Sherborne Times November 2019

Page 1



HEAT OF THE MOMENT with Glassblower, Emsie Sharp



hh… damp earth and chimney smoke, air-stung skin and doI?-don’t-I? jumpers. Autumn’s closing scene alludes to a darker, magical sequel, but for now we wait. The quiet space in between asks nothing of us; an unassuming friend at peace with the weightless pause in conversation. And so to November. Nicholas Bourne and friends are en route to Corfe Castle, Richard Pyman and Alastair Poulain take 45 children to the battlefields of Northern France and Belgium, Mike Burks plays host to an international congress and Rory MacLean heads into the Carpathian Mountains. Closer to home, Andy Foster offers careers advice, Cindy Chant reaches a milestone and Juliana Atyeo has a clear-out. We are also delighted to be offering a complimentary meal for four courtesy of The Bull Inn, Bruton (see page 81). Jo and Katharine meanwhile keep themselves warm with a cup of tea in the company of glassblower Emsie Sharp. Have a great month. Glen Cheyne, Editor @sherbornetimes

CONTRIBUTORS Editorial and creative direction Glen Cheyne

Hannah Al-Temimi Kingston Vets @TheKingstonVets Juliana Atyeo

Design Andy Gerrard @round_studio

Simon Barber Evolver Magazine @SimonEvolver

Sub editors Jay Armstrong @jayarmstrong_ Elaine Taylor

Elisabeth Bletsoe Sherborne Museum @SherborneMuseum

Photography Katharine Davies @Katharine_KDP

Nicholas Bourne Earth Sports @EarthSportsLtd

Feature writer Jo Denbury @jo_denbury

Richard Bromell ASFAV Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers @CharterhouseAV

Editorial assistant Helen Brown

Benjamin Brown BSc (Hons), ANutr London Road Clinic @56londonroad

Illustrations Elizabeth Watson @DandybirdDesign Print Pureprint Distribution team David Elsmore David and Susan Joby Christine Knott The Jackson Family Sarah Morgan Mary and Roger Napper Alfie Neville-Jones Mark and Miranda Pender Claire Pilley

Rory MacLean Sasha Matkevich & Jack Smith The Green Restaurant @greensherborne Suzy Newton Partners in Designs @InteriorsDorset

Paula Carnell @paula.carnell

Simon Partridge BSc SPFit

Cindy Chant Sherborne Walks @sherbornewalks

Alastair Poulain & Richard Pyman Sherborne Preparatory School @Sherborneprep

Ali Cockrean

Emma Rees Yoga With Emma

Gillian M Constable DWT Sherborne Group @DorsetWildlife

1 Bretts Yard Digby Road Sherborne Dorset DT9 3NL

Jenny Dickinson Dear to Me Studio @DearToMeStudio

01935 315556 @sherbornetimes

Melanie Fermor Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife

4 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Lucy Lewis Dorset Mind @DorsetMind

Mark Newton-Clarke MA VetMB PhD MRCVS Newton Clarke Veterinary Partnership @swanhousevet

David Copp

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.

James Hull The Story Pig @thestorypig

Mike Burks The Gardens Group @TheGardensGroup

Rebecca de Pelet Sherborne School @SherborneSchool

Sherborne Times is printed on an FSCÂŽ and EU Ecolabel certified paper. It goes without saying that once thoroughly well read, this magazine is easily recycled and we actively encourage you to do so.

Sarah Hitch The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms Maragret Balfour Beauty Centre @SanctuaryDorset @margaretbalfourbeautycentre

Sam Dodd

Jimmy Flynn Milborne Port Computers @MPortComputers Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS Fort Financial Planning Craig Hardaker Communifit @communifit Andy Hastie Cinematheque

Mike Riley Riley’s Cycles Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom Glencairn House Clinic The Rendezvous @TheRendezvous1 Regan Schreiber Hazlegrove School Paul Stickland Black Shed Flowers @NaughtyDinosaur Val Stones @valstones James Stubbs Sherborne Scribblers Reverend Jono Tregale St Pauls Church @StPaulsSherb Frances Walker Sherborne Literary Society @SherborneLitSoc Luke Watson Mogers Drewett Solicitors @mogersdrewett

70 8

What’s On

NOVEMBER 2019 54 Interiors

124 Tech

16 Film

62 Gardening

126 Directory

20 Art


128 Community

24 Shopping Guide

80 Food & Drink

130 Short Story

28 Family

91 Animal Care

132 Literature

38 Environment

96 Body & Mind

137 Crossword

42 Wild Dorset

114 Property

138 Pause for Thought

48 History

120 Legal

52 Antiques

122 Finance | 5

We beat by £500. We’ll pay an extra £500 for your 1 to 3-year-old Audi* (finance agreements included). With great offers on new Audis, there’s never been a better time to trade-in.

Find out more: call 01935 574981 or visit

Yeovil Audi. Look No Further. Yeovil Audi Houndstone Business Park, Mead Avenue, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 8RT 01935 574981  

Terms and conditions apply. *This off er applies to Audi models aged 1 to 3-years-old. Part-exchange valuation subject to physical appraisal and mileage limitations. Off ers are not available in conjunction with any other off er and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Accurate at time of publication [October 2019].

Mead Ave

Yeovil Audi

Av e M ea d

Lu ft on W ay

ve Western A

Houndstone Business Park

Houndstone Retail Park

n Way Stourto


Thinking of letting your holiday home? We know that your holiday home is just that – a home. That’s why our local team is dedicated to managing your property with the same care and attention you would. With tailored services to suit your needs, you can be as involved as you like, so why not get in touch today?

01929 448 708 8 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

NOVEMBER 2019 Listings

Thursdays 1.30pm-2.30pm

Talk: Dorset’s Most Haunted Places


The Sherborne Library Scribes

Mondays 2pm-3.30pm

Library writing group for sharing

Trinity Manor Care Home, Bradford Rd,

‘Feel Better with a Book’ Group Sherborne Library, Hound St. Shared

& discussion. 01935 812683

DT9 6EX. Free. Bookings: 01935 574961 ____________________________


Friday 1st 2.30pm-5pm

reading aloud with a small & friendly

Thursdays 2pm-4pm

Afternoon Tea Dance

group. Free. 01935 812683

Seniors Digital Drop-in


for Help with Technology

Digby Hall, Hound St. £5. 01460 240112

Last Monday of month 5pm-6pm

Sherborne Library, Hound St.



01935 812683

Friday 1st 7pm


An Adventure in Georgia:

A lively book discussion group

Thursdays 2.30pm-4.30pm

Close up to the Russian Border


ArtsLink Fizz! Parkinson’s Dance

2nd Monday of month

Tinney’s Lane Youth &

Glanvilles Wootton Village Hall. £10,

Sherborne Library, Hound St.

9.30am-3.30pm West Country Embroiderers

Community Centre. 01935 815899

includes wine/canapés. ____________________________

Saturday 2nd 2.30pm


Talk: Hospital Blues

welcome. 01963 34696

1st Thursday of month 9.30am



Digby Hall, Hound St. £3 members;

Tuesdays 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm

From Sherborne Barbers, Cheap St.

Digby Hall, Hound St. New members

ArtsLink Fizz! Art for Memory

£5 guests.


Free walk & talk with other small

Saturday 2nd 3pm

FB: Netwalk Sherborne; Instagram:

An Audience with Michael Jacobs


Tickets via anaudiencewithmichaeljacobs.

business owners & entrepreneurs.

My Presenting Past:

yourtimecoaching; Twitter: @yt_coaching

Cheap St Church, DT9 3BJ £6.

Dorset Mind - Sherborne

1st Thursday of month 2pm-3.30pm

Wellbeing Group

“My Time” Carers’ Support Group or on door

Costa Coffee, Cheap St. £3 incl. free drink.

The Shielings, The Avenue,

Saturday 2nd 7.30pm


01935 601499/01935 816321

West End Hall, DT9 6AU.

Wednesdays 1pm

Fridays 1.45pm


Lunchtime Organ Recital

Lunchtime Recitals

Sunday 3rd 9am

Sherborne Abbey. Free. Retiring collection

Cheap St Church, DT9 3BJ. Free.

Charity Run

Wednesdays, Thursdays

Fridays 2pm

& Fridays 10am-2pm

Sherborne Health Walks

Various distances. Fancy dress headwear

Sherborne Lunch Club

Leaving from Waitrose. Free. 07825 691508

Wingfield Room, Digby Hall DT9 3AA. 01935 815899

____________________________ 1st & 3rd Tuesdays 6pm-8pm


Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd. 01935 814680


DT9 3AJ. Advice, coffee & chat.

Halloween Disco


Free. 01963 211011


Sherborne Sports Centre, DT9 3AP.



Sunday 3rd 3pm


Throughout November

Piano & Cello Recital:

Thursdays 9.30am-11.30pm

Take a Fresh Look

Ano Manero & Arturo Serna

ArtsLink Fizz! Art for Parents

at your Wardrobe

St Pauls Church Hall/West End Hall

In support of Oxfam. 07828 625897

Cheap St Church. £10 includes cream



Monday 4th 7.30pm-9pm

Friday 1st 12pm-2pm

Insight Talk: Holy Stardust

(two sessions). 01935 815899/07483


tea. Tickets: Winstones or 01963 251255 ____________________________ | 9

WHAT'S ON Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd,

01963 220455

Wednesday 13th 7.30pm


Film: The White Crow (R)


Saturday 9th 9am-12.30pm

Tuesday 5th 11am-1pm

Bacon Bap Breakfast

Digby Hall, Hound St. £6 from TIC.

Talk: Future Planning –

Cheap St Church Hall, DT9 3BJ.

DT9 3NL. £5.

The Care Journey

01935 815341


Proceeds to Chernobyl Children’s

Thursday 14th 11am-1pm

Lifeline. £3. Coffee £1

Dementia Friends


Information Session


Saturday 9th 10am

Tuesday 5th 6pm

Paddleboat Theatre: Clare

Trinity Manor Care Home, Bradford Rd,

Leweston Bonfire Night

Hollingworth & the Scoop

Leweston School, DT9 6EN. £6/£4

of the Century

Thursday 14th 2pm-6pm

01749 677049

Happy Healthy You!


Chetnole Village Hall. £8/£5.

Tuesday 5th 8pm

01935 872998


Sherborne Library, Hound St.

Talk: The Royal Hospital

Saturday 9th 5pm-10pm

01935 812683


Chelsea, A Brief History

Bradford Abbas Bonfire Night

Thursday 14th 7.30pm

Digby Hall, Hound St. Non-members:

BBQ, bar, rides. £6/£3

Talisk Folk Band


Saturday 9th 5pm

Thursday 7th 2pm

Fireworks Extravaganza


The Treasure Act & Portable

Sherborne Castle, New Rd, DT9 5NR.

Friday 15th 7pm


Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd

Trinity Manor Care Home, Bradford Rd,

DT9 6EX. Free. Bookings: 01935 594030


Antiquities Scheme


DT9 6EX. Free. 01935 574961


Cerne Abbas Village Hall. 07779 ____________________________

Lost Dorset

members: £5.

Saturday 9th 7.15pm-11pm


Folk Night: Peter Bruntnell

Tickets £10 from Winstone’s, TIC

Friday 8th 10.30am-4.30pm

Sandford Orcas Village Hall, DT9 4RX.

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. Non-

Botanical Drawing for Beginners

or online.


£10. Tickets: Mitre Inn or 07505 361693

Friday 15th 7.30pm


Sherborne Schools

£200 for two days. 07720 637808

Monday 11th 10.30am-3pm

Joint Schools’ Concert

West Country


Embroiderers Open Day

Big School Room, Sherborne School,

Friday 8th 11am

Digby Hall, Hound St. 01963 34696

Sculpture by the Lakes DT2 8QU

Talk: Fire Safety

DT9 3AP. Free.



Saturday 16th 10.30am-12.30pm

Abbey View Care Home, Bristol Rd,

Tuesday 12th 11.30am

Oxfam Coffee Morning

DT9 4HD. Free. 01935 813222

Royal Voluntary Service


Lunch Club

Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd, DT9 3NL

Friday 8th 7.30pm

Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd.

Saturday 16th 8pm-11pm


Digby Hall, Hound St. All levels, 18+. £5.

Concert: Tim Kliphuis Trio


07502 130241/01935 593539

Ballroom/Latin/Sequence Dancing

DT9 6LQ. £10/£6. 01935 873719

Tuesday 12th 7.30pm

01460 240112

Yetminster Jubilee Hall, Church St,

Sherborne Bradford


Abbas Camera Club

Sunday 17th 8am

Friday 8th 7.30pm-9pm

Village Hall, Bradford Abbas, DT9 6RF

Sherborne 5K Run



Wine Tasting Sandford Orcas Village Hall, DT9 4RX 10 | Sherborne Times | November 2019


The Terraces, DT9 5NS

NOVEMBER 2019 Sunday 17th 10.15am

by Eve Bonham

Pentabus: The Tale

Dorset Ramblers Walk

Winstone’s Books, 8 Cheap St.

of Little Bevan


01935 891744

Rose & Crown, Bradford Abbas.

01935 816128

Halstock Village Hall. Suitable 12+


Thursday 21st 7.30pm


Monday 18th 7.30pm

Tindall Recital Series

Friday 22nd 7.30pm

Leigh Moviola: Yesterday (12A)

Tindall Recital Hall, Sherborne School.

Sherborne All Stars Dinner & Jazz


3AP. £25. 01935 812249

6.5 miles am/2.5 miles pm

Leigh Village Hall, DT9 6HL. £6

Tickets: £10 from TIC or 01935 812249

Dining Hall, Sherborne School, DT9

Tuesday 19th 8pm

Friday 22nd 6pm-9pm


Lawrence of Arabia’s War

Winter Wine Tasting

Saturday 23rd 2.30pm

Digby Hall, Hound St. Non-members £5.

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd.

Every Picture Tells a Story



members £3.


£15 from Vineyards

Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd. £5. SDFHS

Wednesday 20th 7.30pm

Friday 22nd 7pm


DWT Talk: Surfers Against Sewage

Poetry Plus: Autumn Anthology

Saturday 23rd 7.30pm

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd

Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd. Tickets: £5

She’Koyokh: Traditional Music

Thursday 21st 6.30pm-8.30pm


Buckland Newton Village Hall.

____________________________ Book launch: Dear Magpies

from Winstone’s or on the door

from Turkey & the Balkans

Friday 22nd 7.30pm

01300 345455

MUSIC AND READINGS FOR CHRISTMAS Sherborne School Chamber Choir Thursday 12th December 6.00pm - 7.00pm, Sherborne School Chapel Programme includes music by Holst, Poston, Howells and Cornelius James Henderson, director Daniel Baker, organ

Tickets £10 from Sherborne School Reception, Abbey Road. 01935 812249 or | 11


Please share your recommendations and contacts via FaceBook @sherborneparents ____________________________



Mondays 2pm-2.30pm/

Tuesdays 9.15am,

Saturdays 10.15am-11am


9.55am & 10.35am

Grapplers United

Helen Laxton School of Dance

Monkey Music

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Tinneys Lane Youth Club. Ballet

Scout Hut, Blackberry Rd. Booking

Unit B, Western Ways Yard, Bristol Rd

07909 662018

for toddlers & pre-schoolers.


essential. 01935 850541. monkeymusic. ____________________________

DT9 4HR. £25/month. First session free ____________________________

Mondays 4pm

Tuesdays (term-time)

1st Saturday of the month

Helen Laxton School of Dance



Sherborne Primary School. Ballet,

Tuesday Toddlers

Sticky Church

street dance, hip hop.

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd.

Cheap Street Church Hall. Free group


£1.50 per family.


01963 251747

for playgroup & primary age children.

Mondays 4pm

Wednesdays 10.30am–12pm

Stardust Dance School

Truth Be Told Intergenerational

____________________________ Until 2nd November

Oxley Dance Studio. Ballet/Tap/

Toddler Group

Halloween Maize Maze

Modern dance. Reception-Yr 4.

Abbey View Care Home, Bristol Rd.

The Toy Barn, Blackmarsh Farm


£2.50 per family. Includes child lunch. Booking essential. 07713 102676.


DT9 4JX. 01935 815040

Saturday 16th 10.30am-11.30am


There’s No Such

Tinney’s Youth Club

Fridays 9.30am-11am

Thing As A Gruffalo?!

Tinney’s Lane, DT9 3DY. Ages 11-16.

Bishops Caundle Toddler Group

Sherborne Library, Hound St. Free



Mondays & Wednesdays 6.30pm-8.30pm

£1 FB: Tinney’s Youth Club

All Saints School, Bishops Caundle

Tuesdays (term-time) 9.30am

Fridays 7.15pm

Nether Compton

Shindo Wadokai Karate Club

Tuesday 26th 11am-2pm

Baby & Toddler Group

(age 5+)

Bookbinding for Kids Workshop

Village Hall

Sherborne Dance Academy, North Rd.

Sherborne Museum, DT9 3BP. Free.


07769 215881

story/craft day. 01935 812683





Redesigning & Renovating

Tuesday 26th 11.30am

Tired Borders

Royal Voluntary

Sculpture by the Lakes DT2 8QU. £100.

Service Lunch Club

Village Hall, Bradford Abbas, DT9 6RF


07720 637808

Wednesday 27th 6.30pm


Weldmar Hospicecare Trust

07502 130241/01935 593539

Tuesday 26th 7.30pm

Light Up a Life Service


Sherborne Bradford

Tuesday 26th 10.30am-4.30pm

Abbas Camera Club

Castle Gardens, New Rd, DT9 5NR

Raleigh Hall, Digby Rd.

12 | Sherborne Times | November 2019


NOVEMBER 2019 Thursday 28th 7.30pm

Jazz Concert

with Lindsay Punch

Sherborne Floral Group

Cheap St Church, DT9 3BJ. £15 including

Trinity Manor Care Home, Bradford

‘Seasonal Sparkle’ Digby Hall, Hound St. Refreshments, sales table, raffle. 01935 813316

____________________________ Friday 29th 2pm-3.30pm Origins: Something Understood Sherborne Library, Hound St.

refreshments from TIC or 01935 815565.


Workshops & classes

Free talk on early history of Sherborne.


Rd, DT9 6EX. £35. Bookings:

____________________________ Tuesday 12th 11am-1pm Healthy Living Workshop Trinity Manor Care Home, Bradford Rd,

DT9 6EX. Free. Bookings: 01935 574961 ____________________________

01935 812683


Sunday 17th 1.30pm-4.30pm


Art Classes & Workshops

Sherborne Folk Band Workshop

Friday 29th 6pm

with Ali Cockrean

Christmas Gin Tasting Evening

Wheelwright Studios, Thornford

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. £10

Abbey View Care Home, Bristol Rd,

DT9 4HD. £4. Includes refreshments. 01935 813222

DT9 6QE. All abilities, including

beginners. 07742 888302

in advance/£12 on door. 07527 508277



Wednesday 20th 2.30pm


Tuesdays 10am–12pm

Christmas Tree

Saturday 30th 7pm

ArtsLink Fizz! Art for Memory

Decorations Workshop

Henry Blofeld: My A-Z of Cricket

Wingfield Room, Digby Hall, Hound

Catholic Church hall, Westbury

stage memory loss. 01935 815899


Digby Hall, Hound St. Tickets: £12 from Winstone’s. 01935 815261

St. Free art class for people with early

DT9 3RA £4 includes refreshments

Monday 25th 11.30am-12.30pm


Wreath-making Demonstration

Rob Gee: Forget Me Not –

Tuesdays 10am-1pm

The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit

until December

Trinity Manor Care Home, Bradford Rd,

Nether Compton Village Hall. Suitable

Chetnole Art Group


Village Hall, Chetnole.£135 for

____________________________ Saturday 30th 7.30pm

DT9 6EX. Mulled wine & mince pies. Free. Bookings: 01935 574961

14+. 01935 413220

with Laurence Belbin

Saturday 30th 7.30pm

13-week term. 01935 872256




Choir Concert

Wednesdays 2pm-4pm

Mondays 10.30am-12pm

Sherborne Abbey DT9 3LQ.

& Thursdays 10am-12pm

Yoga with Gemma

The Slipped Stitch Workshops


The Julian, Cheap St. 01935 508249

Longburton Village Hall.

Magnificat: Sherborne Chamber

£5-£16 from TIC


07812 593314



Mondays & Wednesdays


Thursdays 2.30pm-4pm

Just Breathe Yoga & Qigong

Tuesday 3rd December 8pm

ArtsLink Fizz! Parkinson’s Dance

Dutch Courage & Mother’s

Tinney’s Lane Youth & Community

Chetnole & Corton Denham. 07983

Planning ahead

Ruin – the Gin Craze Digby Hall, Hound St DT9 3AA.

Centre. Free dance class & social time



for people who live with Parkinson’s.



Venues - Sherborne, Milborne Port,

01935 815899

Yoga with Emma


Wednesday 6th 6pm-8pm

Friday 6th December 7.30pm

Shape & Style Class


Non-members £5. | 13

WHAT'S ON ____________________________

Sunday 17th 10.30am-3.30pm



Yoga Workshop

Mixed Touch Rugby

Hatha Yoga

Sydling St Nicholas Village Hall. £40.

Sherborne School pitches,

07773 651530

07887 800803

Meditation & Relaxation. Small classes,

beginners welcome. FB: @yogasherborne

Some previous experience necessary.


Ottery Lane DT9 6EE.



Sunday 24th 9.30am-4.30pm

Sundays 9am (from Abbey gates)

Tuesdays 10am-11am

Prana Flow: A Day of Yoga,

& Wednesdays 6pm (from Riley’s)

Vinyassa Flow Yoga

Movement & Sound

Digby Etape Cycling Club Rides

Stourton Caundle Village Hall. 07403

Leigh Village Hall DT9 6HL. £60

Average 12mph for 60 minutes.



245546 Tuesday evenings

including lunch.

& Friday mornings

Fairs & markets

Iyengar Yoga


Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd.

Thursdays & Saturdays

01935 389357

The Parade

Drop-bar road bike recommended. ____________________________ Sherborne Town FC First XI Toolstation Western League

Division 1. Terrace Playing Fields, DT9

With experienced teacher Anna Finch.

Pannier Market



Lebeq United (H)

Wednesdays 8.30am-9.20am

Thursdays 9am-11.30am

Saturday 9th

Vinyassa Flow Yoga

Country Market

Calne Town (A)

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. 07403

Church Hall, Digby Rd

Saturday 16th


Devizes Town (A)


Every third Friday 9am-1pm

Saturday 23rd

Wednesdays am, Thursdays am &

Farmers’ Market

Ashton & Backwell United (H)

Fridays pm

Cheap St



Saturday 30th

Sherborne venues. Especially suitable

Every 4th Saturday, 9am-3.30pm

Welton Rovers (A)

for aged 50+. 01935 873594

Vintage Market


____________________________ Wednesdays 2pm-3pm

Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Rd. 07809 387594

Sherborne RFC. First XV Southern


Fields, DT9 5NS.


Yoga with Suzanne

Classic Mat-based Pilates

5NS. 3pm start Saturday 2nd

Counties South. The Terrace Playing

Charlton Horethorne Village Hall. £7.50.

Saturday 23rd 10.30am-1pm

2.15pm start


Sandford Orcas Village Hall.

Trowbridge (H)

07828 625897

Arts & Crafts Fair

Fridays 4pm-5pm

Refreshments available

Saturday 16th


Wimborne (A)

Charlton Horethorne Village Hall. £7.50.

Sunday 24th 3pm-5pm

Saturday 23rd

07828 625897

Mini Christmas Fair

Banbury (H)



Fridays 6pm-7pm

Glanvilles Wootton Village Hall. £1.


listings please email details – date/

Classic Hatha Yoga (beginners)

Evening Yoga Digby Church Hall, Digby Rd.

Saturday 9th

To include your event in our FREE time/title/venue/description/price/

All abilities. Emphasis on relaxation.

Sport ____________________________

5th of each preceding month to


Tuesdays & Thursdays

01935 816933

14 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

contact (max 20 words) – by the

ARE YOUR RETIREMENT PLANS ON COURSE? Contact us for a pension review.

PETER HARDING WEALTH MANAGEMENT Principal Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management

30 Haven Road, Canford Cliffs, Dorset BH13 7LP Tel: 01202 830730 40 High Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8JG Tel: 01747 855554 9 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3PU Tel: 01935 315315 Email: Web: The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the title ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Peter Harding Wealth Management is a trading name of Peter Harding Practice Ltd.



Andy Hastie, Yeovil Cinematheque


s the winter months arrive (all too quickly!) this can only mean one thing: film society seasons are underway! Cinematheque has had a great start so far but has no films scheduled for November. Yeovil’s Swan Theatre, our venue, has a theatrical production and some live streaming from the National Theatre on this month; check their website for details. The other day a friend enquired where my interest in cinema comes from. It was my father who introduced me to this world of wonder and possibility. He was a history teacher in London during the 1950s and ‘60s and, at the weekend, would go into school to do some marking. To give my mother some respite, he would often take me with him, set up an old reel-to-reel projector, and sit me down to watch (much like the boy in Cinema Paradiso but without the romance!). I can still today vividly recall watching Robert Flaherty’s ground-breaking documentaries, especially Nanook of the North, showing an Inuit family in far Northern Canada struggling to survive, building an igloo, fishing and hunting seals, and Louisiana Story, a 1948 film from the American south about a young boy in the Bayou, moving through the swamps on a small flat boat, with alligators and exotic birds everywhere. This was the start of the oil boom and well-digging was expanding rapidly. I can still remember the mesmerising music, and oil derricks noisily nodding 16 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Nanook of the North (1922)

up and down. We had no television at home so this was eye-opening to a seven- or eight-year-old boy. Many years later I read that Nanook of the North was financed by a French furrier company and Louisiana Story by an oil multinational, so that the impartiality of both documentaries was compromised. Not that I was bothered; they had set me on a personal journey of pleasure in all things cinematic. I remember being taken to see British historical adventures such as Billy Budd, (with a very young Terence Stamp), North West Passage, Lawrence of Arabia and HMS Defiant which stars Sherborne’s own actor, screenwriter and playwright Brian Phelan as one of the crew! I was quite a precocious child and from about the age of 14 would range all over London (thanks, Time Out) searching for films to devour; this interest has remained with me ever since. Come along to Cinematheque and chat about how your interest in film started. Our next presentations in December are Woman at War and Divine Order, both extremely funny but with a serious core. I’ll review them both next month. As always, details are on our website.

Rick Stein

Book Signing

Meet the charismatic travel writer and chef Rick Stein and pick up a signed copy of his latest book Secret France, the perfect Christmas gift for the cook in your life!

Tuesday 5th November, 1pm

Winstone’s, Cheap Street, Sherborne Entry is free so please arrive promptly to avoid disappointment!

Henry Blofeld

Talk & Book Signing

To celebrate the publication of his new book, My A-Z of Cricket, legendary cricket broadcaster Henry Blofeld joins us for an entertaining evening’s jaunt through the cricket landscape.

Saturday 30th November, 7pm

Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne Tickets £12 available in store or via

8 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3PX Tel: 01935 816128


‘This is exactly what Sherborne needs.’

Elementum Gallery A lifestyle gallery and bookshop with a focus on the natural world. FIND US ON SOUTH STREET

Bouquets & Arrangements Houseplants, Cacti & Succulents Rustic Garden & Home Décor Wedding Flowers Funeral Tributes Corporate Designs Ellie Taylor

01935 814 308 43 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3PU | 17

PREVIEW In association with

CLARE HOLLINGWORTH AND THE SCOOP OF THE CENTURY 29th August 1939. Today it is reported that an intrepid

young journalist crossed the border from Poland to Germany. There, she saw something that would change her life and

highly interactive family show bursting with storytelling, songs and the scoop of the century.

history forever. From the busy newspaper offices in London

story of one of the most important writers of our time

Saturday 9th November 10am

style to the remarkable tale of fearless journalist Clare

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would rock the world. Go undercover and join them for a


to the frontline during World War II, the remarkable true


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Clare Hollingworth and the Scoop of the Century

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18 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

ARTIST AT WORK No. 13: Sam Dodd, Grey Wagtail, Acrylic on canvas 40cm x 30cm


f you are not aware by now of the decline in our insect population, then you have probably been living under the proverbial rock with the earwigs and woodlice — those that are left that is… The Grey Wagtail is a stunningly beautiful, longtailed, blue-grey and yellow bird residing along stony, fast-flowing streams throughout the UK, where it relies on flies and other invertebrates as its main food source. I have been lucky enough to have seen this bird a handful of times near my home and along the shallow, rocky streams on Dartmoor. It’s elegance, energy and that zesty flash of lemon yellow inspired me to put brush to canvas. As long as I can remember I have had a love of nature: from being captivated as a child tucked up in bed listening to the blackbird’s ‘Goodnight’ song and later the vixen and her haunting cry, to memories of making plaster-casts of animal tracks with my Dad. Sadly, the

tragic decline of our insects is having, and will continue to have, a knock-on effect through the food chain, affecting our bird populations, mammals and ultimately us. So, if you haven’t already done so, please do at least one thing to encourage wildlife onto your patch — you will be rewarded. Sam works from her home studio on a hillside in rural West Dorset. Here she creates vibrant, acrylic paintings of predominantly British wildlife, with a particular passion for birds. Sam exhibits at galleries and shows throughout the South West. Grey Wagtail is available to purchase at £375 and is currently on display at A2 Gallery, Wells. | 19




t occurred to me, as I pondered on an angle for this article, that although I have written for the Sherborne Times for two years I’ve never really shared my own approach to painting. In common with most professional artists I’ve developed a recognisable style over the years and a unique way of working to achieve a finished image. Just as actors often have rituals before they go on stage, artists often have little peculiarities in the way they prepare to paint or how they execute their work. Since moving to Sherborne three years ago I’ve dedicated almost all my time to setting up and running a small art school in Thornford. As with all fledgling businesses, it has needed lots of energy and attention to allow it to grow and develop, leaving precious little time for me to paint my own work. In fact, let’s be honest here, apart from demonstrating and teaching my students a range of techniques, I pretty much parked painting in the pending tray. Now Secret Art School is more established I can once again turn my attention to fulfilling my own creative endeavours. However, I don’t believe artistic intent ever stands still, which means that often, after a break, my work has altered or changed in some way. Far from being alarmed about this I’ve always chosen to embrace it, in the belief that trying to control the impulses to ‘do something different or experimental’ stifles the pure joy and spontaneity of the creative process. It also stops an artist reaching their full potential. As an expressionist landscape artist I strive to capture, in visual terms, my emotional response to a place, as opposed to the nature of its physicality. The most crucial element for me is to capture the intangibles of intense mood, energy and atmosphere, striving to encourage the viewer to ‘feel’ a response to my interpretation of place and time. In order to achieve this, I prefer to work entirely from memory. I choose not to jog my recollection of places 20 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Ali Cockrean High Wind, Low Tide

by sketching, looking at photographs or taking notes. In this way I can be sure that what I create is the pure essence of my response to the world around me. As well as taking inspiration from the countryside, I find I am continually drawn to the sea. In particular, culture and history form the foundation for much of my work. I allow my paintings to evolve and develop their unique characteristics as I work on them. I therefore do not start with a firm idea of what they will become - I simply watch and respond to the marks I make. Initially I try to think as little as possible as I paint, preferring to use my intuition to guide the progress of the piece, applying layer over layer, blending, adjusting

tone, colour and contrast, and forming shapes until they become meaningful. As the landscape reveals itself, I then attempt to create harmony and wholeness. I continue to work until the painting ‘feels’ complete. This takes as long as it takes, tweaking and adjusting until the balance is right. Spontaneity is crucial for me - it creates the energy and captures the spirit of the piece. It is the uniqueness of each journey of construction and creation that keeps me painting. I hugely enjoy the roller-coaster of ups and downs as a painting ebbs and flows to its final destination. The finished painting is always formed as much from my subconscious as conscious mind.

So, as I pick up my paint brush again and start to build a new collection of work, I can feel the excitement rising because I’m not sure where this new journey will take me. That’s OK because the thrill of that journey is to be enjoyed as much as the final destination and I’ve always been a fan of a magical mystery tour!

____________________________________________ Saturday 23rd November 4pm-8pm Art Exhibition: Ali Cockrean Mill Farm, Bradford Abbas. For details call 07742 888302

____________________________________________ | 21

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Shopping Guide

Night sky kaleidoscope, Fly Jesse, £10.95

Light up bath duck, Present Company, £4.99

Children’s books, Circus, £7.99 each

Books, Elementum Gallery, from £10


Jenny Dickinson, Dear to Me Studio On these dark November nights, here are some great buys to help keep you cosy. 24 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Aveda night hair masque, Robin James Salon, £49

Pyjamas, Circus, £155 Nightdress, Belissima Lingerie, £200

Aden & Anais whale blanket, Fly Jesse, £44.95

The Chocolate Society hot chocolate shaker & hot chocolate drops, The Circus £25 & £7.50

Night time tonic and sleep better pillow mist, NaturalLife £7.45 & £12.95 | 25

FESTIVE SHOPPING DAY Sunday 1st December


t’s the time of year when Sherborne comes alive with festive fun. Christmas lights twinkle around the town, carol singers delight locals and tourists alike and Sherborne Town Band reminds us to ‘Hark!’ as ‘The Herald Angels Sing’. Sherborne Festive Shopping Day is on Sunday 1st December between 10am and 4pm. Festive Shopping Day is organised by volunteers from Sherborne Chamber of Trade and supported by Sherborne Town Council, Porter Dodson, The Eastbury, The Paddock Project, Sherborne Girls, Sherborne School, Abbey104 and Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles. The town’s increasingly popular ‘Love a Local Christmas’ event is free to attend and offers a fabulous family day out whilst raising awareness of many local charities. There will be a wide range of free, musical, fun and entertaining activities for all ages including balloon modellers, face painters and a stilt walker. There will be dancing from the Black Rock Dancers and Dance Academy, singing from the choirs of Leweston School and members of Sherborne Chamber Choir, and the wonderful Sherborne Town Band and festive bagpipes will add to the musical extravaganza throughout the day. Cheap Street and Digby Road will both be closed to traffic to allow for the street entertainment, market stalls and much more, with Abbey104 FM broadcasting live all day from The Parade. This year, for the first time, market stalls will also be found on the Abbey Green by kind permission of Sherborne Abbey. Delicious local produce will be available with pop-up shops and stalls offering individual and imaginative gifts for all the family. Every year the shops outdo themselves with their beautiful Christmas displays and window dressings and are full to bursting with gift ideas for even the most difficult recipient! Do look for the Christmas decorations made by local schoolchildren and displayed 26 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

in shop windows around the town. The town’s many coffee shops, pubs and restaurants will have delicious festive treats and the grown-ups can even enjoy a glass or two of mulled wine whilst soaking up the seasonal atmosphere. There’s the award-winning Christmas display at Castle Gardens too, just two minutes’ drive from the town centre. Father Christmas will once again be taking up residence in his Grotto outside the Post Office with a little help from Blackmore Vale Lions. Every child he sees will receive a gift (in return for a small entry fee of £2). Carol services will be held in Sherborne Abbey throughout the afternoon. Visitors are welcome to attend and to enjoy the stunning backdrop of the spectacular, ceiling-high Christmas tree and the traditional crib scene. Cheap Street Church stages its ever-popular Christmas Tree Festival too, featuring dozens of delightfully and individually decorated twinkling trees. At 4pm a parade of musicians and dancers will gather at the top of Cheap Street to make their way down towards the Conduit. Everyone is welcome to join in and gather to see the town’s Christmas Tree being illuminated. The day ends just in time for visitors to join Sherborne Abbey’s annual, family-friendly Christingle service at 5pm. It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Keep up to date with the latest news on social media. For further information please contact the Sherborne Chamber of Trade & Commerce at @SherborneFestiveShopping @sherbornefestive @SherborneCOT




@sherborneCOT @sherbornefestiveshopping @sherbornefestive
















Toy Barn


more t han a toy shop.. . • cHRiSTmAS iDEAS, FROm lEgO TO climBiNg FRAmES • PlAY EquiPmENT • TRADiTiONAl TOYS • lEARNiNg gAmES • PARTiES & EVENTS • ViSiT TODAY OR SHOP ONliNE

THE TOY BARN Blackmarsh Farm Sherborne DT9 4JX 01935 815040 28 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Developing Curiosity


For more information or to arrange a visit please contact the Registrar, Charlotte Carty

01935 810911 or Acreman Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3NY | 29

UNEARTHED Georgie Paine, aged 15

Yeovil District Swimming Club and The Gryphon School


eorgie joined Yeovil District Swimming Club (YDSC) aged 7 and moved up to the Performance Squad in 2017. She’s competed in the Southern Junior League and Arena League, which build team spirit while maintaining an element of fun. She’s also competed at the Somerset County Championships, making the top 10 in every event and achieving 5 podium finishes. Her first 50m free regional final was at the South West Regional Championships, where she achieved a time of 28.16 seconds for the English Nationals. Only 20 are selected and Georgie was 21st, disappointing for her as she’d trained incredibly hard to get there. Georgie is a strong believer that swim training helps to regulate her emotions and de-stress. Despite next summer’s exams, she intends to continue training hard to try and achieve her goal of reaching the summer English National finals. A highly focused and self-motivated young girl, she can channel her nerves and perform when it matters. If a race doesn’t go as planned, she learns fast and re-focuses for the next one. She supports her teammates and is a great role model for the younger swimmers with her dedication and strong work ethic. Georgie is now a swim assistant, supporting teachers with young children who are learning to swim, and aims to do her Level 1 swim teacher course when she is 16 so she can pass on her knowledge to the new generation of swimmers.

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

30 | Sherborne Times | November 2019


Children’s Book Review by Ethan, aged 11

Lost Species by Jess French, illustrated by Daniel Long (Wren & Rook, 2019) £14.99 Sherborne Times Reader Offer Price of £13.99 from Winstone’s Books


ost Species by zoologist, vet and CBBC presenter Jess French and illustrator Daniel Long is a fascinating book that explains how creatures have become extinct. With a clear extinction timeline, it tells the reader about the animals, when they lived and what made them extinct. The illustrations are really good, they are simple with bold colours. I liked the megatherium — huge sloths which were as heavy as an elephant and twice as tall. They were clumsy as well so when they tried to climb trees their weight would pull the tree down — if it was an extremely strong tree the megatherium would just fall off ! The most surprising fact that I learned was about

the Lazarus Species, where some animals have come back from extinction — sometimes rediscovered thousands of years later. I particularly enjoyed learning about the gastric brooding frog which, when it thought danger was near, would swallow its babies! Unfortunately the frog became extinct because of loss of habitat, fungal infection and climate change. This book makes it clear that, although extinction is natural, many creatures nowadays die from human action and how if we don’t do anything we, the animal population and the planet will suffer. This book sends an important message to us all. | 31


CAN THE YOUNG BE MOVED BY THE WORLD WARS? Richard Pyman & Alastair Poulain, Sherborne Prep School


ow is it best to educate children whose grandparents were not in either war — the first generation with no direct link — about the great sacrifices made? The best hope of remembrance, we felt, was to go there. We recently had the privilege of taking 45 elevenyear-olds from Sherborne Prep to Northern France and Belgium, visiting the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres. Undertaken shortly after the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the trip felt significant to us as 32 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

teachers of a certain age, and we had hoped to prepare the cohort for the solemnity and poignance of the occasion. Brigade ties were packed, along with combs and pressed handkerchiefs; umbrellas were tightly furled. However, you never know with children (or animals). Of course, for them, it was a chance to spend time with friends in a new and exotic location, to stay up late, away from their parents. The French aspect, the historic aspect, the cultural and moral aspect had perhaps slipped down the order somewhat, in favour of this rarely found freedom.

"Overwhelmingly the most profound experiences were on the ground trodden by soldiers just over 100 years before."

Excitement reached fever pitch during our madcap dash around Bruges (in a monsoon) and the cold swim in the slate-grey sea of the Channel will live long in the happy memory bank, too, but overwhelmingly the most profound experiences were on the ground trodden by soldiers just over 100 years before. On the Somme, Thiepval showed us the names of some of the children’s ancestors. Newfoundland Park showed them the first glimpse of the outcomes of a futile advance, the Mourning Caribou statue the lasting memorial. At Beaumont-Hamel, we lay in the Sunken Lane, on the exact spot in No Man’s Land where the Lancashires awaited 7.30am on 1st July 1916, looking across to Hawthorne Ridge Crater, prematurely blown at 7.20am. In Delville Wood, the ‘Devil’s Wood’, the tranquil symmetry of replanted trees and well-cropped rides did not conceal the cost of the South Africans’ heroism. At Ypres, we stood in the dugout where John Macrae, author of In Flanders Fields, had operated on the wounded. One could imagine the bedlam even without the prompt of the neighbouring cemetery. Our head boy read the poem exactly where Macrae would undoubtedly have stood. At the Welsh Memorial, the children heard the Welsh National Anthem sung in Welsh. At the Menin Gate, we heard the Last Post, heads bowed. Unquestionably, this offered the most powerful way of embedding the scale of the courage and sacrifice into young minds. Of course, a trip to London on the 10th November will provide an atmospheric and emotive experience. The numbers, the clothes, the medals, the silence, the parade, the Palladian backdrop and the dignitaries combine to provide a unique blend of subtle melancholy and hope overcoming despair, laced with respect, strength and honour. As for our trip... it was heavy stuff but, in my humble opinion, it should form part of every child’s education. As the Spanish philosopher, George Santayana, said, ‘Those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them.’ However, he also said, ‘Only the dead have seen the end of war.’ And Siegfried Sassoon, whose words were so poignantly read out at Thiepval on the 100th anniversary of 1st July 1916, had the same message as Santayana: ‘Have you forgotten yet?... Look up, and swear by the green of the Spring that you’ll never forget.’ | 33


34 | Sherborne Times | November 2019



Regan Schreiber, Head of Boarding, Hazlegrove Prep School

remember my granny asking me, in response to my telling her of my newly acquired VHS/TV 2-in-1, what happens if one breaks? And following this up by saying that they are never as good as stand-alone items – there must be a compromise. I have carried these wise words with me, especially when I have been tempted to buy the all-in-one camping gadget or kitchen appliance. However, with all due respect to granny, I think I have finally found the only 2-in-1 product that is genuinely better than the stand-alone ones. The product? A day-boarding school. One might think that they would be better on their own, but no; they complement each other perfectly. What are the benefits of choosing a school with boarding if what you really want is a day school? Surely life, and indeed school, is complicated enough for our children, without them having to wonder why some children board and others don’t? And what about those dreaded cliques? Boarders are day children who just happen to live at the school during termtime. During the school day, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart and you certainly wouldn’t find day and boarding children co-existing separately. That is just not how children work. They are in the same classes, play in the same teams and enjoy the same school meals. But there is something that changes in schools where boarding is present: there is a soul and a heartbeat in the school that is very different to that of day schools. This exists because the staff and the children view the school as home – they invest time and care in the fabric of the school which permeates into the day-to-day running of the school. One only must walk around an empty school to realise that, without children, it is a somewhat eerie experience. Add children and caring adults into the place, 24 hours a day, and what you get is a real family and community feel and this benefits everyone – day and boarding children alike. In terms of facilities, boarding schools often offer all the bells and whistles and more – as they need to occupy and provide for children after hours. In terms of pastoral care, the school is attuned to the holistic approach towards looking after children, with a focus on both well-being and schoolwork. The school never switches off and nor do the staff. The culture amongst the staff is most definitely about holistic parenting - that doesn’t keep normal working hours. This positively affects all staff who work in a dayboarding school and has an enormous benefit for all who attend the school. What I would say though is that the boarding needs to be exceptional. If boarding is done well, everyone benefits. So, forgive yourself for that 4-in-1 jacket that you bought and the pair of shoes that were meant to be both smart and casual and give a day-boarding school a try. I would be very surprised to hear that you didn’t feel the pulse of a loving and caring community, the instant you walked through the door. | 35


QUIET REBELLIONS Rebecca de Pelet, Teacher of English, Sherborne School


he opportunity to draw links between this month’s infamous plot and our current political situation will no doubt prove fruitful for many a cartoonist. Thinking about the nature of a violent plot reminded me of Byron, oddly enough. Visiting a good friend at Harrow School a few years ago, I was struck by a large portrait of the poet as a young man. ‘He wanted to blow up his headmaster you know,’ quipped my host. And it’s true, sort of. Enraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s choice of a chap called Butler for headmaster (the school’s governors couldn’t decide between three contenders and passed the buck), Byron is reputed to have plotted to lay a gunpowder trail leading to the new incumbent’s door. In the end, there was no explosion and, whilst I had always assumed that he was caught out in some suitably dramatic fashion, I learn from a book on the school by Paul Elledge that Byron and his friends realised that such an incendiary event would imperil the fourth form room whose walls sanctuaried the carved names of their predecessors and would soon enshrine their own. Ah, the egocentrism of the young. Such rebel poets can seem rather thin on the ground within the honeyed walls of Sherborne but they do exist. If not quite Swiftian, (with the sense of savage indignation W. B. Yeats ascribed to the great 17th century, Irish satirist in an epitaph for him) these writers certainly stage quiet rebellions of their own; they are a small band of brothers who gather to write once a week after lessons. It has been a privilege, indeed possibly the greatest honour of my teaching career, to work with young writers. Most commonly in rather uninspiring classrooms, under harshly artificial light, and after a long working day, a never-failing alchemy occurs as boys arrive clutching laptop or battered notebook. Writers are a notoriously private lot and exposing the fact that they write for their own pleasure can lead to a certain furtiveness in their arrival; new recruits often peep round my door, uncertain of what or whom they will find. Pioneers from the early years of my tenure at the school can now be found writing documentary film 36 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

scripts, submitting poetry to publishers, conducting post-graduate research in linguistics, writing plays, editing magazines, even leading a charity which enables disadvantaged pupils across the U.K. to spot when news is fake. The power of finding their voice spilled into the school lives of some too, with one pupil relinquishing his 1st XV place in order to spend more time writing, another refusing all of his offers to read science at university and reapplying for the humanities, and a third revealing, in a moment worthy of a film script, that he was already published as a graphic novelist in America. The word is indeed a powerful thing. Currently, I have a poet, two novelists, a couple of short story writers and a writer of slam within the group, and working with them is often the highlight of my week. Rebels may not be how the rest of the school sees these boys; it needs to look harder. Among those writers who have now left there was one who wrote beautifully about falling in love across the choir stalls, another produced a brutal and breathtaking account of what it was to live with alcoholism in the family and a third laid bare his journey with depression. These young adults are of the kind identified by Coleridge as his kin since Deep thinking is attainable only by a man of deep feeling. Whether the shaping of rebellion lies in their choice to think, to feel, to listen, or to craft, writing takes patience and quiet, and risk. There will, of course, always be the need for louder rebellions. Voices need to be heard and sometimes matching them with actions is the right thing to do. Rebellion on the page needs be a well-judged art, and the world has always needed the sharp pen of the satirist. Schools do too. But the world, and schools, must carve out spaces for those who write. Patient, literary endeavour, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, is powerful stuff. As a very wise friend once put it to me, ‘sabbath is sabotage’; long may those poets, script-writers, novelists and playwrights of Sherborne keep rebelling.

Georgios Kollidas/Shutterstock

George Gordon, 6th Lord Byron, 1788 - 1824, engraved by J.H. Robinson (1846) | 37


 Billion Photos/Shutterstock

38 | Sherborne Times | November 2019


‘Live simply so that others may simply live.’ Mahatma Gandhi (possibly)


uring the half-term holiday, I found myself clearing out unwanted items: clothes, toys, books – just stuff for which we had no further need. Luckily, many of the things could go to charity shops and will hopefully be useful to someone else. The exercise reinforced what I have been thinking for quite some time: if we are really going to make good our relationship with the planet, what we really need to consider is our relationship with stuff. During the past few decades we have been programmed to believe that consumerism will deliver the key to happiness. Advertisements, ever more tailored to our individual preferences, bombard us even in our most private spaces and we willingly buy into the narrative that through purchasing the latest – insert your personal material weakness here! – we will become better or more fulfilled individuals. Feeling down? Go out for some retail therapy! Even more dangerous, log on and find anything that you think you want and, at the click of a button, it will be packaged, shipped and delivered to your door often within 24 hours. We live in a society that is driven by instant gratification and expectation which borders on self-entitlement. Perhaps, we feel that as we work ever longer hours, with the boundaries between work and home being ever more blurred through 24/7 email and other media contact, that somehow our reward should manifest itself in the material. Questions I ask myself now before making a purchase are: how did the item come into being (in other words, what resources have been used to make it and what impact has its production had on planet, people and animals), how long will it be used for and what will become of it after its use, and, importantly, do I actually need this item? If I feel I do need the item (which seems to be less and less the case, so saddened am I by the bleak outlook for things after I have finished with them) I then ask myself, ‘Is there an alternative to buying this item? Can I borrow something, or reuse/repurpose something I have at home?’ It’s strange, when you begin to think about it, that we’ve all sleepwalked into the belief that it is essential for each household to own, for

example, a set of tools, a variety of gadgets or large gardening items that are rarely used but take up storage space. It’s perhaps also down to the erosion of community that it feels difficult to lend or borrow items although, ironically, striking up these more sharing relationships would potentially bring about a regeneration of community. I am lucky in that my parents live around the corner and we are able to share a slow cooker, food processor – even a car. Beyond our self-worth, we have come to allow stuff – and I call it that quite purposefully – to even define value in our relationships. Often with good intentions, we try to illustrate our feelings through presenting our friends and family with gifts of stuff, perhaps even subconsciously weighing gifts as an indication of the depth of feeling or commitment. Of course, it is difficult to articulate this without seeming ungrateful, however, if we are to reposition ourselves so that we consider the needs of the planet before our own, then we need to not be frightened of questioning that which has become so ingrained in our practices. There appears to be a growing market in the gifting of ‘experiences’ but even then it is important to consider the carbon cost of the experience itself. I can’t help seeing it as yet another consumerist gimmick for a company to make money. When it was my birthday this year, a very good friend of mine told me that she had been unable to find me a suitable gift (I hadn’t been expecting one). I think this was because she’d started to see the things she might want to give me through my eyes: this item was wrapped in plastic; that item had an environmental cost; she couldn’t be sure of the ethical implications of something, and so on. When I said to her that the greatest gift was spending time with her, it was an entirely authentic, heartfelt statement. To me the greatest gift is time: time to be with the people I love, or sometimes, just to be alone, at home or in nature. How strange it is, then, that we work longer and longer hours (often in roles which unfortunately have a negative impact on the planet) and believe that we need more and more money to buy more and more stuff to make us happy. Well, I for one am not buying that anymore. | 39


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Image: Tom Marshall 42 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

LIFE ON THE HEDGE Melanie Fermor, Volunteer, Dorset Wildlife Trust


s the mercury begins to drop and Mother Nature sweeps her autumnal paintbrush over the landscape, our thoughts turn to some of our sleepier species. Prickly native hedgehogs (erinaceus europaeus) are busy at this time of year, looking for places to hibernate through the British winter. They typically hibernate between November and mid-March but can be seen between these times looking for new nesting sites. Beware though… they don’t always choose a suitable spot and can be found in all sorts of places, including bonfires! So please make sure you check before lighting. Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and, whilst sleepy in the daytime, they are industrious little creatures at night, covering a surprising 1-2km per night on their tiny little legs. Their home range may be 10-20 hectares, where they rummage around for insects to eat and look for a mate. They are often seen in more built-up areas, where their range could cover the gardens of a whole street... so you may have more neighbours than you realise! Hedgehog numbers have declined hugely, particularly in rural areas. They were once common but, due to habitat destruction and other factors such as pesticide use, the population has declined by 30% since 2003. So how can we help? Hedgehogs will appreciate a few simple wildlife-friendly gardening approaches. Consider leaving a log pile or compost heap in your garden as a good place for them to shelter; it’s also a veritable insect and grub buffet table for hungry hedgehogs too! You could build hedgehog holes – small spaces in your fences to allow hedgehogs to range from garden to garden in your community. You might consider leaving out some meaty cat food or dog food and some water in the colder months to help our prickly pals along. You could even build a special hedgehog house. You can find hedgehogs throughout the UK, with the exception of just a few small Scottish islands. Hedgehogs frequent gardens, hedgerows, woodlands, grasslands, cemeteries, indeed anywhere with good natural coverage, a plentiful food source and not too much human disturbance during the night-time hours. • Signs that you have a hedgehog present in your garden include disturbed leaves and ground foliage, and droppings. If your neighbours have them, you might too. • Hedgehogs are nocturnal. If you see one in the daytime it may be in distress. Contact your local wildlife rescue centre for advice or visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website. • Consider building a homely hedgehog house in your garden. For details, visit the Dorset Wildlife Trust website. | 43

Wild Dorset



Gillian M Constable, Dorset Wildlife Trust Sherborne Group Committee Member

avid Attenborough did so much with Blue Planet II to make us aware of the dire state of our oceans regarding plastic waste. However, in 1990, the group ‘Surfers Against Sewage’ was formed to organise a national campaign for the better treatment of sewage before it is dumped in our seas. Some progress has been made on this front but a treatment plant accident or inland storm leading to flooding generally sets back the progress. Often sea swimmers and surfers report health problems after entering the sea. Now Surfers Against Sewage works not just for surfers and not just for sewage; their work encompasses many aspects including plastics. The speaker at our meeting on 20th November is Warren Bicheno who is the South Coast representative of Surfers Against Sewage and was a volunteer at the Kimmeridge Marine Centre. He will be speaking about the work of Surfers Against Sewage, their campaigns and how they rely on us to help in their work. Our meeting is in Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road with doors opening at 7pm for 7.30pm with time for drinks, nibbles and conversation. Non-members of DWT are most welcome. I need to give a final mention of the remarkable 44 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

2019 Dorset long-tailed blue butterfly sightings. Dorset Butterfly Conservation records officer writes on the website that to date he has received 10 records of the species in Dorset this year. This includes one very fresh specimen from a Parkstone garden indicating that it had bred locally. They are thought to breed on everlasting sweet peas although none grow in the garden of the observer. We have a large clump of this plant and live within 3km of the Alners Gorse Reserve where one was seen but have not been honoured by a visitation. DWT’s ‘Get Dorset Buzzing’ campaign seems to have gone exceptionally well, with over 4,000 joining the scheme. Clearly the awareness of doing our best for bees and other insects is mounting. Individuals are looking at plants and considering whether they are bee-friendly before purchase and distributing bee houses about their gardens. Although the campaign finished on 31st October, DWT wants to ‘Keep Dorset Buzzing’ and encourages everyone to start planning for next year. Please, with any garden replanting, check the beefriendliness of plants you consider.




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Wild Dorset


Paula Carnell, Beekeeping Consultant, Writer and Speaker Alexlukin/Shutterstock


ny interest in bees and agriculture will raise the awareness of the neonicotinoids along with the global debate on whether or not they are responsible for the decline in insects, in particular bees. Visiting the global bee conference Apimondia in Montreal Canada I was very interested to learn that the theme was, ‘Working together in agriculture’. Four keynote speakers, Prof. Gene Robinson (USA), Dr Rufus Issacs (USA), Dr Peter Rosenkranz (Germany) and Dr Thomas Seeley (USA) inspired and educated us on subjects as diverse as the genetic roots of sociality, integrated crop pollination, a worldwide perspective on 46 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

bee health, and Darwinian beekeeping. Each keynote was influenced by research on the effects of chemicals on bees, both on crops and within the hive by beekeepers. Growing up in Dorset and living all my life within farming communities, the subject of insecticides is always a hot topic where emotions can run high. It was fabulous to have so many of the world’s leading scientists sharing their various research results. Although neonicotinoids have been widely discussed in the media, the details of what exactly they are and how they work is not such common knowledge. As a ‘systemic’ insecticide, the revolutionary ‘neonic’ family

of chemical pest control works by treating the seed of a plant so that, as it grows, the insect repellent is dispersed throughout the whole plant, its stem, leaves, blossom, nectar and pollen. When first introduced on sunflower seeds in 1994, beekeepers sent out the first alarm as millions of bees were killed whilst pollinating these beautiful fields that we have come to love in France and Italy. The ‘neonic’ contains nicotine genes which are addictive, so the bees just can’t help but be more and more attracted to the toxic platter. Before a chemical pesticide is released it is tested to see if it kills or disables the pest it is designed to protect the plant from; its effect on other wildlife, or humans, is not tested. To then ban a substance, irrefutable scientific evidence has to be published for proof that the chemical is dangerous. Our own British scientist, Dave Goulson, from Sussex University, led the initial studies discovering that the production of queens in bumble bee colonies had reduced from an average of 33 per colony, to an average of just 1. This was also partly due to the spraying of various chemicals on crops early in the mornings to protect honeybees who tend to rise later. The problem was that bumble and solitary bees, our most important and effective pollinators, are up and about at first light. I learned during the conference that the reason the Californian almond farms depend on using 95% of North America’s honeybee population for pollination is because they have lost their native solitary and bumble bee populations, not to mention flies and beetles. We really are in a crisis situation. I met with American beekeepers who donated their own colonies for the much-needed pollination, only to see hundreds of their colonies collapse and die after being exposed to the almond blossom. The banning of neonic pesticides in Europe caused an outcry, with fears that more toxic chemicals would be used on crops to protect them which would in turn have repercussions on our bees. Rachel Carson’s 1963 book Silent Spring sent alarm bells around the world and led to the banning of DDT, however traces of many banned chemicals are still found in wax comb and, more alarmingly, honey. During this year’s World Bee Awards, 47% of the honey entries were rejected due to contaminants and adulteration. Perhaps we can detach ourselves from our farming practices, which balance the need for producing food in vast quantities to feed the globe against the consequences of using pesticides. What if residues of these chemicals can affect our own health? Neonics

can’t be washed off. We may presume that before these toxic chemicals are released to spray on our food, they are tested on humans. Wouldn’t it be terrible if, by consuming chemically sprayed food, our own bodies were affected in the same way that it was designed to affect the pests needing control? Thankfully, Canadian professor Thomas Sanderson of the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) has begun researching the effect of the world’s most widely used pesticides on human health. His team have discovered that they disrupt our hormonal systems, and more research is needed on these endocrine-disrupting neonicotinoids. Research on bee health is vast and growing, with a picture developing that the chemicals we are using on crops, as well as the miticides used by conventional beekeepers within the hive, are causing a lot of problems. The chemicals included in neonics include thiamethoxam, clothianidin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiacloprid, dinotefuran and nitenpyram. These names remind me of chef Jamie Oliver telling us we shouldn’t eat food with ingredients we can’t pronounce! The chemical mix changes depending on the crop and what is not widely known is that the actual patents for the finished products are combined with fungicides; it appears that it’s the combination of chemicals which is causing all the problems. When tested in laboratory conditions, insects are exposed to one chemical at a time and a lethal dose is calculated. As biologist Rachel Carson wrote, we are not prepared for the impact and increased toxicity that combining a cocktail of chemicals produces. Bees exposed to just clothianidin don’t die immediately, but the second or third generation of drones have decreased sperm count and the second generation of queens is less fertile and live shorter lives. When a beekeeper finds a colony of bees all dead around the entrance of their hive and suspects chemical poisoning, the agricultural scientists claim that it can’t be as the chemicals have been proven not to actually kill. This is where the problems lie: communication and education. Beekeepers and farmers need to work together and discuss the problems both face. With my background in natural health, my argument is always that a healthy plant won’t attract pests or disease so perhaps we need to look more into how we can improve our soils and nutrition for plants so that we no longer need such toxic chemical pest control. | 47


5TH NOVEMBER ENGRAVING Elisabeth Bletsoe, Curator, Sherborne Museum


utumn in folklore appears to be a time of balancing and redress, the settling of old scores before the time of purification, symbolised by fire, in preparation for the celebrations at the turning of the year. This was driven by the agricultural calendar; before winter, cattle were slaughtered for meat and their bones burned and rendered down for fertiliser, the word ‘bonfire’ being derived from the original ‘bone-fire’. Grafted neatly onto these traditional ritualised burnings is the country’s marking of the discovery of the Guy Fawkes Plot. In his foreword to J. S. Udal’s Dorsetshire Folklore (1922) the poet William Barnes noted that, ‘The Guy Faux Day celebrations by fireworks and bonfires have always been very popular in Dorsetshire... the 5th of November still gathers in some parishes of Dorset its firewielding youths to celebrate Guy Faux’s night, by flaring bonfires and flying fireworks, far more for fun than Faux, and rather as fire-worshippers than politicians.’ As can be seen from this engraving, Sherborne celebrated no less vigorously than the rest of the county; in 1846 The Sherborne Mercury voiced concern over the zealous annual revival of the, ‘time-honoured nuisance of a bon-fire in the public road’ and violent clashes with police attempting to suppress youths with lighted tarbarrels on their heads, resulting in one officer suffering facial injuries. Mayhem continued, such that in 1878 The Western Gazette expressed doubt that a cavalry regiment would be more successful at control. A committee of ‘Bonfire Boys’, such as are still operating in towns and villages of The Weald, was set up as a safety valve to raise subscriptions towards a more settled programme, to which the public responded exuberantly. It regularly 48 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

consisted of a torch-light procession, an illumination of the Slopes with coloured fire, a display of fireworks and, finally, the burning of a huge bonfire in the field opposite the Digby Hotel. A Gazette reporter remarked he had, ‘seldom seen anything prettier than the beautiful trees of the famous terraces thus standing out against their temporary green and rosy background.’ The Parade included groups such as the town mummers, military band, fire brigade, Teddy Roe’s band and Milborne Port Fife and Drum band as well as unpopular figures, played by Sherborne’s great and good: Disraeli, the Pope, the Russian Czar and, of course, Guy Fawkes. Described as, ‘a very grotesque affair... blazing torches, dropping their black grease upon white pinafores, masks of unspeakable ugliness, false noses... of portentous length, swarthy Orientals whose blackness was burnt cork and whose corkscrew curls were upholsterer’s fringe, villainous-looking savages with tin broad-swords,' it would make its way through Half Moon Street, Long Street, by the Black Horse, Newland, Greenhill, passing the Antelope, down Cheap Street and Market Street, to the bonfire-field. A fire balloon would go up, discharging fireworks, ‘and then, at last, the great pile of combustibles which had been built up in the centre of the field amid the joyous shouts of the boys.’ Similar parades were held in surrounding villages such as Yetminster. By the mid-1890s, however, its popularity in Sherborne was waning, possibly due to the formation of cliques among the committee and the targeting of local MPs and clergy as objects of satire. Sherborne Museum is open Tues-Sat 10.30am-4.30pm; admission free, donations welcomed.





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MILESTONES Cindy Chant, Blue Badge Guide


his month I’m writing about milestones. I want to give you the history of these lovely old relics from times past, when everything in life was so much slower, when we all asked, ‘How far is it to…?’ and when little children repeatedly questioned ‘Are we there yet?’ For well over a hundred years now, milestones, once an essential part of the country’s transport system, have lain redundant beside our modern roads. Milestones have long been superseded by new-style road signs and now these lovely, solid blocks are largely neglected, vulnerable to damage by the weather, by modern machinery or removed altogether to make way for highway improvements. These interesting roadside features are rapidly disappearing as roads are diverted or widened. The Romans laid good, metalled roads to move soldiers and supplies quickly across their empire. They measured distance to help with their timings and efficiency, and erected cylindrical stones every thousand double-step paces (1618 yards) along their roads. The word mile is taken from the Latin word ‘mille’ meaning ‘thousand’ and about 60 Roman milestones still survive in the countryside today. There is a lovely one to be seen on the A35 at the Kingston Maurward roundabout in Dorchester; due to the continuous volume of fast traffic, it is rather difficult to slow your car here to view it so be very careful. Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain it took another thousand years for the next form 50 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

of information for travellers to appear, this being the result of the emerging postal system. In 1660, the General Letter Office had been established and postal charges were calculated according to distance. Although the 1760-yard statute mile had been introduced in 1593, the length of a mile could still vary alarmingly across the country – 2600-yard miles were common in some parts! Hence, it became essential to have accurate, measured mile-markers and also a decent road system. That is why, in 1706, an Act of Parliament set up the turnpike trusts and, from 1767, mileposts became compulsory on all turnpikes, not only to inform travellers of direction and distances but also to help the coaches and wagons keep to schedule. The distances were still being used to calculate postal charges before the uniform postal rates were introduced in 1840. The earliest milestone in Dorset was ordered by the Poole Trust in 1757 and over 250 soon appeared beside Dorset’s roads. Most were hewn from Purbeck or Portland stone although, later on, cast-iron milestones also existed. Ten cast-iron mileposts near to Sherborne share a design found nowhere else in Dorset. Some milestones had castiron plates attached to them or were subsequently altered. The Maiden Newton Trust paid £2.3s 0d (£2.15) in 1850 to have its 43 milestones re-lettered and painted. The vast majority of Dorset’s milestones are fairly plain in appearance, with pointed, semi-circular or

rounded tops. Stones erected by individual trusts tended to be unique to that trust. At first the faces were square to the road but, as travel became faster, angled designs were made for better visibility. The information on Dorset’s milestones was all presented in the same way. Distances were shown in miles, half-miles and quartermiles. Early on, Roman numerals were used and there are still five examples of these surviving in Dorset to this day. Proving the age of milestones has been difficult, since very few are engraved with a date. Milestones today are the property of the Highways Department of the Dorset County Council or, on the trunk roads, the Highways Agency. Both these organisations, and the Milestone Society, are aware of the need to preserve these roadside treasures. Most of the ones in east Dorset have been cleaned and painted, while a stone close to Winterbourne Abbas in south Dorset was fairly recently found lying in a ditch; it has now been rescued and reset beside the A35. About 50 milestones in the county are now listed, while some have been moved to safer positions but still near to the original locations. The biggest threat to milestones today is the tractor mowers, although in some parts of the county theft has also become a problem. ‘Milestones’ is a generic term and includes mileposts made of cast iron. However, such waymarkers are rapidly disappearing. Over the years, many have been removed, buried or damaged. In World War II many were defaced, or removed to disorientate potential German invaders, and then not all were replaced after the war. Many more have been demolished as roads have been widened, or become victims of collision damage, or smashed by hedge cutters. Many more have been lost or have disappeared into hedges, banks or gardens. Now however, after years of neglect, milestones are at long last emerging from the shadows. They are still to be seen but only for those who take the trouble to look. I would like to raise awareness of the historic value of our milestones and waymarkers, so, if this topic has interested you and you would like to know more, please visit the Milestone Society’s website and do contact their database manager if you know of any milestones that are lost, hidden or out of place.


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Next month I am moving on to what really excites me: the ‘Coaching Era’. Much to come on this fascinating topic so watch this space! | 51


PERSONAL CHOICE Richard Bromell, ASFAV, Charterhouse Auctioneers


here is a lot of talk about condition when items come in for auction, especially for our classic and vintage car and motorcycle auctions. Some like a barn-stored project. Often these can be basket-case restoration projects but there is something romantic about breathing life back into these machines. On occasion, I have sold a deserving project for more than it is worth restored, so it is not all about the money. All of this, however, is subjective. Clearly the bidder looking for a restoration project recognises it will be a labour of love. There will no doubt be a few choice swear words said during the process and a few knuckles cut and bruised. There will probably be issues over locating and buying obscure parts which might have been specific to the 52 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

vehicle for just a year, now probably several decades ago. In 2016 we cleared a house in Bristol. It was a threebedroom semi with a garage attached, and it was in here we found a car barricaded in by hundreds of bottle of wine and spirits. The car itself was reasonably unremarkable – a 1981 Talbot Horizon 1.3 GL. Finished in orange, this threedoor hatchback was admittedly not going to set the world of classic cars on fire, but it did ignite a small fire with a group of keen Chrysler Horizon enthusiasts. This was because it had been driven just 318 miles. Having been won as a prize I can only assume the owner did not like it, drove it into his garage and left it there. On the day, it sold for over £4,000 to a group of Chrysler Horizon enthusiasts. They bought it not just

1969 Jensen Interceptor Mk I, with modifications. £40,000-50,000 in the Charterhouse classic and vintage car auction to be held on Sunday 3rd November

because it was a Horizon but because it is quite possibly the most original Horizon in private ownership in the world – some accolade – and would provide an excellent reference point for those looking to repair and restore other Horizons in the future. Not everyone is transfixed on keeping their vehicles as completely standard as the day they left the factory and in our classic and vintage car auction we have a car which is far from standard. The car, a 1969 Jensen Interceptor Mk I, is in my list of cars to own - something I will probably never do! Over a period of years, a previous owner spent a vast sum of money lovingly restoring the Interceptor. During this process, he also changed subtle details of the car to make it how he wanted the car to look, feel and drive.

The resulting car looks magnificent and is testament to the quality of craftsmanship and restoration skills of this owner. However, owners are just custodians and the current owner has put his property on the market and it is time for the Interceptor to go off to a new garage. Whether it will be left alone as it is or restored back to being original only time will tell.

____________________________________________ Sunday 3rd November 12pm Charterhouse Classic and Vintage Car Auction Royal Bath & West Showground, Exmoor Hall, BA4 6QN. Gates open 9.30am

____________________________________________ | 53

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A REVIVAL OF THE AESTHETIC Suzy Newton, Partners in Design


decade in the late 19th century brought together a group of artists which became known as The Aesthetic Movement. Captivated by the hand-made and fastidious about every detail in design and architecture, they collectively influenced the world around them in celebration and appreciation of decorative beauty. The aesthetic movement championed pure beauty and ‘art for art’s sake’, emphasising the visual and sensual qualities of art and design over practical, moral or narrative considerations. The aesthetic movement flourished in Britain in the 1870s and 1880s and was important equally in fine and applied arts. In applied arts it can be seen as part of the revolution in design initiated by William Morris, with the foundation of Morris & Co. in 1862. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. From 1875 the ideals of aestheticism were commercialised by the Liberty store in London, which later also popularised Art Nouveau. Today the Aesthetic Movement is flourishing again, inspiring many collections from the fabric houses for autumn/winter 2019. The Melsetter collection, just released by Morris & Co., celebrates May Morris, daughter of William and one of English embroidery’s most prominent figures. As an embroiderer, designer, teacher and campaigner, May’s career spanned more than 50 years. In 1907, she founded the Women’s Guild of Arts with Mary Elizabeth Turner, as the Art Workers 58 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Guild did not admit women. Like her father, May Morris was a dedicated scholar to her art form and her study of historic needlework shaped the stitches, colours and designs in her work. The Melsetter collection (named after her home, Melsetter House in Scotland) is inspired by May’s work and by the needlewomen influenced by her craftmanship and teaching. She described the house as, ‘a sort of fairy palace on the edge of the northern sea, a wonderful place, remotely and romantically situated, with its tapestries and its silken hangings and its carpets.’ The range is full of characteristic arts and crafts patterns: leafy fronds, curious birds, and some strikingly geometric trellises. The Melsetter collection follows on the heels of an exhibition devoted to May at the William Morris Gallery last year – hopefully the first herald of a full-blown revival of her work. The Melsetter design itself was inspired by embroidered bed hangings, originally created by May for her father’s bed. This newly drawn wallpaper version showcases May’s spectacular design of birds and flowerheads trailing a central fruit tree. Presenting a wide and varied colour palette, from the traditional hues of Carmine Red to the deep blues of Indigo and neutral shades of Linen, Chalk and Sage, Melsetter provides a multitude of decorating options.

All images: The Melsetter Collection by Morris & Co | 59


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JOINED UP THINKING Mike Burks, Managing Director, The Gardens Group

The Temperate House, Kew Gardens


he UK recently hosted the International Garden Centre Association Congress which takes place every year but returns to these shores only every 10 or 12 years. My wife, Louise, and I were invited to be part of the team of volunteers who acted as hosts and couriers for the 250 guests from some 19 countries as far away as Australia, China, Japan and Canada, with many European countries represented too. The event was based in Windsor and most delegates stayed at the Castle Hotel, which is opposite the actual 64 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

castle; for those who have an affection for history or the Royal Family it was a real treat. The week-long event was action packed and most days started at 6:30am. There were tours of the top 13 garden centres in the south-east with additional visits to Wisley, Kew, Hatfield House, the London Eye and Bombay Gin, as well as lectures on some days, including a presentation on the history and ethos of John Lewis followed by a tour of their prestigious stores nearby. Our coach was multinational with some Brits along

Alexey Fedorenko/Shutterstock

"One of my favourite memories was seeing Liam from Wales, who is in his early twenties, jiving with Hinata in her mid-sixties from Japan!"

with Canadians, Chinese and Dutch delegates. Luckily my language skills were not needed as English was understood by almost everyone. This was the first Congress that we had been on and so I had underestimated the amount of work required. Everyone had to be counted onto the coach every time we ended a visit and we soon got to know who the latecomers would be! We then had to give the background of the next visit including an idea of the local market conditions, such as average house prices in the area, population densities and average earnings. After a visit we invited delegates to come to the front of the coach and give feedback on what they had seen; it was especially interesting hearing what the Canadians and Chinese thought of modern British garden centres. The Canadians especially were struck by the lack of plants in some of the centres, which is a criticism that we often make too. They were also amazed at the coffee shops, cafés and restaurants - something that we learnt just don’t exist in Canadian garden centres. On the Monday we headed through Hampshire to Southampton, Tuesday we were in Kent, Wednesday, Surrey, Thursday, Hertfordshire and on Friday we were in the Kew area. As ever Kew was fascinating, and I just love the glasshouses, especially the older Victorian constructions. I am also a lover of trees and so the grounds of Kew are just a delight. Wisley has had a makeover recently with tens of millions being spent and spent well too. In the evenings we were well entertained with some very fine meals usually followed by dancing and we finally got back to the hotel by midnight! I was bowled over by how well the different nationalities got on and some who had been attending for years saw the event as a reunion. One of my favourite memories from the trip was one evening seeing Liam from Wales, who is in his early twenties, jiving with Hinata in her mid-sixties from Japan! Hinata’s command of the English language was patchy and, to be fair, so was Liam’s but they were getting on so well. It got me to wondering in the blog I was asked to write, inspired by how well everyone was interacting, sharing ideas and experiences, whether something could be set up on a bigger scale where countries got together and worked for the greater good. Worldwide would be great but what if we started closer to home, say with a collection of European countries getting together and working on common problems and challenges. Hey, we could call it a Union of Europe or something similar… just a thought! | 65


DIARY OF A FLOWER FARMER Paul Stickland, Black Shed Flowers


here have been a few, absolute standout, star performers at Black Shed this year. (Actually, there have been dozens but this article has to be around 600 words, not 6000.) These are plants that have really exceeded their brief. It’s a tough brief too. They have to be easy to germinate and grow in the very considerable quantities that we need - not just one or two, or a casual dozen, but hundreds. Beyond this they have to be easy to harvest and work well as a cut flower; they must also be useful to a busy florist, have a reasonable vase life, and blend with and enhance other species in a bouquet or arrangement. One such star is the demure and ethereal beauty, Omphalodes linifolia. I was first introduced to it many years ago by those extraordinary plantsfolk Nori and Sandra Pope, during their magical years creating the wonderful garden at Hadspen. Dear Nori has recently passed away but he has left an extraordinary legacy of knowledge and plantsmanship, touching the hearts and gardens of all those who knew him. I was always struck by the subtle beauty of this flower and, when we started the flower farm, I wondered how it would work as a cut flower. Seedlings germinated, flowered and it was immediately apparent that this rare beauty was going to be very popular. It has the most beautiful sage green foliage and soon produces the most exquisite tiny white flowers, which have an amazing vase life; even when the flowers fall, the starry, glaucous bracts are simply divine. Understandably, it is adored by our florists, a very classy addition to any bridal bouquet. It also has the welcome habit of self-seeding in great quantities, and even better, being a hardy annual, of surviving our recent winters. At the other end of the spectrum is another spectacularly useful cut flower, the Zinnia. I have to admit that, until we started a cut-flower farm, I hadn’t 66 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

given Zinnias a thought. I’d seen them of course but considered them too brash, an explosion of rather coarse colours and forms. Seeing how they figured high on other flower farmers’ must-have lists, it was clearly time to abandon my prejudices and explore their charms. It didn’t take long to see the error of my ways. Sure, there are some varieties that can stay in their seed packets. The large Benary Giant series has been bred to grow huge, strongly coloured blooms with repeat flowering all summer but their colours are unsubtle, even glaring at times, and are difficult to use in a mixed bouquet. Fine as a jug full of colour but not really for me. There are dozens of other mixes, from the

bicolour Jazzy, to the self-coloured Oklahomas but they leave me a little cold. When you get to the Zinderella varieties, things get more interesting; Zinderella Peach is really lovely. We had a lot of self-sown seedlings this year and our Agapanthus patch is full of some real gems, tiny rainbow pops of colour. The stars for me are the Queen Lime varieties. Queen Lime itself is gorgeous, a really unusual double form in a very rare pale green, making a beautiful focal flower in a bouquet. Then there are the Queen Red Lime and Queen Orange Lime shown here. They have to be one of my favourite flowers to harvest. The variety of forms and colours that these plants provide is quite unique; no

two flowers are the same, even on the same plant. The blend of colours makes them useful in many different ways. They blend with so many other colours and, with the current trend for subtle, almost somber, colours, have become a firm favourite with us and our florists alike. Luckily, they’re very easy to grow. Don’t sow them until early May and be very careful transplanting them as they don’t like disturbance and perform very well if sown direct. You’ll have flowers in weeks, they barely need any water and will flower until the first frosts. Perfect! paulstickland_ | 67

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EMSIE SHARP Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies


n a converted cowshed, across the yard of Goldhill Organic Farm in Child Okeford, is glassblower Emsie Sharp’s studio. It’s an autumn day; the sun is bright and the air is sharp with the approach of frost. Step into Emsie’s studio, however, and the heavy heat from the furnace wraps you in a sudden warm cloak. Dragon-like, it draws its breath and bellows heat across the room. The rhythm is soporific and enticing but this beast of a furnace is not to be messed with. ‘It’s resting at the moment,’ says Emsie. At times it can reach 1400 degrees Celsius. >

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72 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

In the pit of the furnace sit smouldering gobs of glass. As Emsie works, an assistant plunges a long, heavy, iron rod into the furnace’s depths to collect one of the glowing hot honey-like dollops. Then, in deft, careful turns, the hot mass begins to take shape. It’s precise work that requires gestures and timings that are often described as a ballet. One false turn could spell disaster. ‘The excitement is in that the work is so quick and very intense,’ says Emsie. ‘You can’t just walk away from a piece. Once you begin you are committed to it and must finish it. The whole process is very focused, you have to do it in one. It keeps my brain occupied because it requires so much skill.’ Emsie has been blowing glass for nearly 28 years and has been here at the Cowshed for 5. Her career began the moment she walked into a ‘hot room’ at Farnham College of Art. ‘It was like an epiphany,’ reflects Emsie. ‘I knew I wanted to go to art college but I was only 17 and lacked confidence. I didn’t want to go into Fine Art

so when I found glassblowing that was it.’ She studied 3D design, specialising in glassblowing, for three years and, after graduating, went on to work at a studio in Brick Lane for a further three years. ‘Then I had this mad idea to go and work at Murano in Venice. I packed my little bag and off I went.’ Murano is a Venetian island well known for glassblowing. Since the Middle Ages its studios have been kitting out Europe’s palazzos with some of the greatest chandeliers and glasses the world has ever seen. So secret was the method of the island’s glass-makers that they were only allowed to leave the island in a coffin. Since then the rules of engagement have become less arduous. When Emsie arrived in 1997 there were still 300 studios. ‘I didn’t have it planned at all,’ says Emsie of her determination to train with some of the world’s best maestros. ‘I just went there and knocked on doors. It was still a very closed, traditionally male place even then, with a lot of old family businesses such as Venini,’ she > | 73

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explains. ‘My only contact didn’t have any work to offer, so I worked at the Seguso and Elite studio as an assistant.’ An assistant’s job is tough. It’s hard, physical work that needs strong arms and hands like clamps to grasp the heavy tools. ‘The production of wine glasses is really exhausting,’ Emsie explains. ‘I worked 10-hour days in the week and Saturday mornings. I didn’t speak a word of Italian, so I learned visually. Being the only woman was a bit lonely and sometimes I felt I shouldn’t be there. Looking back on it now I suppose it wasn’t the easiest of experiences but I took away a skill: perfection.’ She continues, ‘As an assistant you have to be able to provide the right amount of glass at just the right temperature when the maestro wants it. You get burns in the process 76 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

and you don’t want to get it wrong. If you bring the wrong colour of glass you will be in deep trouble so you learn very quickly to get it right.’ After three years she felt she had done enough and returned to the UK. The other string to Emsie’s bow is cooking and, to make ends meet on her return, she took a kitchen job at Gaunt’s House near Wimborne. Here she met Willie Walker, a fellow Dorset-based glassblower and soon became his assistant. Then an opportunity came up for a studio with the Dorset Centre for Rural Skills and at last she could become a Maestra in her own right, which in turn led to her setting up the studio where we stand today. There is a quirky romance to hand-blown glass. No

two finished pieces are the same and each one contains its own unique natural imperfections that enhance the overall effect: a dappled stage on which light dances, deceives and draws you nearer. Hand-blown light shades have become something of a fashion item, their unpredictable, organic forms opposing the formality of manufactured glass. Emsie has recently blown two large, balloon-shaped, clear shades for Chettle House. When not working in clear glass Emsie draws her inspiration for colour from the sea, or rather under it. ‘I love snorkelling,’ she explains. ‘That colourful underwater world is very glassy.’ Emsie’s studio is home to her collection of sea-urchins and sponges which serve to inspire her glass platters and lamp-bases.

Their colours, shapes and spirals are regularly interpreted into a delicious mix of ideas, realised in glass. In Emsie’s words it’s ‘Practice, practice, practice’ that enables her to turn a scolding molten mass into an objet d’art. I particularly love her Georgian glasses; they are a joy to behold. Like the perfect utensil, they are balanced in the hand — weighted without feeling heavy. ‘I love the technique of making wine glasses,’ says Emsie. ‘It requires great precision, using callipers. It has to be just the right amount of glass and the weight has to be exact. It’s a very different way of working. I like the focus it requires; like meditation, you can’t think of anything else while you are doing it.’ I wonder aloud whether glassblowing is a discipline > | 77

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akin to mindfulness: with its requirement to be present in the very moment. Emsie agrees. ‘Mentally, it is a question of letting it happen. You can’t fight the glass. You can only apply the skill, the idea, and decisions on colour and pattern. The glass is so soft that you have to be incredibly gentle and almost let it use gravity. It is very fluid. You can’t stop!’ I am tempted to have a go and, with Christmas on the horizon, I am pleased to discover that it’s Christmas bauble season at Emsie’s studio. As well as hosting a number of local schools which come for an afternoon session of bauble blowing, she is also hoping to run similar workshops for adults and children alike. The lucky few (as places are limited) will all have a chance to create a glass bauble of their own to hang on the tree or present as a gift — the perfect start for any budding glassblower. Glassblowing is a craft steeped in 1,000 years of history. The required skills are learned not in the

classroom but through practice, practice, practice. The ancient techniques can only be passed from maestro (or in this case maestra) to student and it takes commitment to preserve a knowledge that would otherwise be lost. Emsie sits on the sofa in the relative cool at the far end of her studio and ponders over a cup of tea. ‘It’s the physicality of it that I love; it settles the mind. I need something that tires me out and then I can relax at the end of the day. Otherwise I would get up to all sorts of no good!’ We pause, lulled by the pulsing furnace, and contemplate the moment. Glassblowing might be hard, and very hot work but Emsie’s right, it certainly settles the mind. Emsie Sharp will be hosting a glass-blown bauble workshop at her studio on the 7th December. Cost £15. Limited places. Reservations: | 79


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Food and Drink



Image: Katharine Davies 82 | Sherborne Times | November 2019


bout 20 years ago my husband and I went out for a day in Devon (he has taken me out since) and we had lunch in a village cafÊ that sold homemade chutneys. I bought two jars of pear chutney; we loved them. I looked at the various ingredients and identified the spices then decided to have a go and, after a little tweaking adding stem ginger as I love all things ginger, I was soon making the chutney for friends, family and charities. I would make it at school and sell it for school funds too. The pear and ginger go perfectly with cold meats and poultry and it’s also good with cheeses and cheese scones. This chutney is dark, spicy and, with the addition of ginger, there is heat that is a real winter warmer. The chopping of the ingredients does take a little time but put on some good music and the time will pass quickly. Also, whilst you are stirring the mixture, you can do a bit of dancing and stepping to get your exercise in (moving, dancing, stretching are all good for the body and soul). What you will need

A large steel pan at least 6 litres A large wooden or silicon spoon 4-5 clean 1lb jars with lids. Place the jars on a baking sheet to make it easy to lift them out when they are hot and also to catch any spilled chutney Heat-proof jug for pouring the chutney into the jars A jam funnel (useful and worth investing in) Waxed circles for 1lb jars Labels to stick on each jar Ingredients

1.5kg pears, peeled, cored and diced 500g onions, skinned and diced small 225g celery, finely chopped 200g stem ginger, finely chopped 225g sultanas 700g dark soft brown sugar Âź teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 rounded teaspoon fine sea salt 12 twists of black pepper (I use my pepper mill) 600ml malt vinegar Method

1 Put all the fruit and vegetables in a pan and simmer very gently until tender, stirring often. Do not add any liquid as the pears and celery will release liquid as they cook. 2 Place the clean jars in an oven set at 140C fan to

sterilise them whilst the chutney is simmering. 3 Add the remaining ingredients and bring steadily to the boil stirring all the time, then turn down the heat and allow the chutney to simmer until it has reached a thick consistency. 4 To test whether the chutney is the right consistency allow the chutney to drop from the spoon. It should drop slowly. If it drops quickly, continue to simmer the mixture. It can often take an hour to reach the correct consistency. I set my timer for 10 minutes and go about my household chores. When I hear the pinger, I give the pan a stir to make sure none of the sultanas stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. 5 Get the jars out of the oven and dip the jug into the chutney (I hold a tea plate under the jug to catch any drips). Place the jam funnel, if you have one, onto each jar in turn and pour the chutney into the jars to within 1mm of the top. 6 Cover each jar with a wax circle before placing the lids on the jars. Wipe down the jars of any dripped chutney. 7 Write out the labels and date them. Stick the labels on the jars whilst the chutney is still hot. This chutney is best left to mature for at least 2 months, so I make mine now ready for Christmas. If you can be even more patient, leave your chutney for a year. It will also be beautifully flavoured after two years. Once you have made your first lot you could make a second lot and leave that to eat the following year. | 83

Image: Clint Randall

Food and Drink

OVEN-BAKED LOIN OF PORK WITH WILD MUSHROOM SAUCE Sasha Matkevitch, Head Chef and Jack Smith, Junior Sous Chef, The Green


his dish is based on the classic ‘scallopine e funghi’, a very popular and well-known Italian dish. I use local pork instead of veal and serve it with simply boiled pink fur potatoes and creamy celeriac purée. A comforting yet classy winter dish. Ingredients

2kg pork loin, bone in (4 cutlets) 3 tbsp olive oil 125g butter 300g spring onions, trimmed, washed and cut into julienne strips 4 cloves garlic, crushed 3 sprigs thyme 1 sprig rosemary 400g wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 300ml chicken stock 1 tbsp flat parsley, chopped Cornish sea salt and black pepper Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F. 2 Trim the pork loin of any fat and trim away any meat or fat from around the emerging bones. Tie with kitchen string so that it keeps its shape during cooking, and season with salt and pepper. 3 Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 50g of butter in a large sauté pan and add the meat to seal it. Cook 84 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

the joint until meat is browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside. 4 Wipe the sauté pan with kitchen paper and then melt 50g of butter. Add the spring onions and cook until they just start to colour. 5 Return the meat to the sauté pan, on top of the spring onions. Add 3 cloves of garlic, thyme, rosemary and chicken stock. 6 Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, until the temperature at the centre of the joint is 60C when measured with a meat thermometer. 7 Remove the pork from the pan, cover with kitchen foil and set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes. 8 Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in another pan and sauté mushrooms with the remaining clove of garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. 9 Make the sauce in the pan in which you cooked the pork loin. Discard the garlic, rosemary and thyme, skim the fat from the surface and then add the mushrooms and parsley into the stock and spring onions. 10 Heat gently and whisk in the remaining butter to finish. Season to taste with Cornish salt and pepper. To serve: Cut the pork into 4 cutlets and serve with the sauce on the side. Buon appetito!

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Food and Drink

A MONTH ON THE PIG FARM James Hull, The Story Pig


have been writing in the wonderful Sherborne Times for a year now. I recently found last year’s first article and realised that although much has changed since then, much hasn’t. As for any business, it has been a year of ups and downs, constant learning and constant hard work. We still don’t own a tractor and that has always been an issue, never more so than in the wet winter months. Loading pigs with the Land Rover and trailer becomes a battle against the ever-present mud: that feeling in the pit of my stomach that we will get stuck; the elation when we escape from the field unscathed. A year ago we had about 130 pigs; today we are farming nearly 200. We now sell pigs every week, have more customers and, this year, have participated in many more events. As I write, our hog roaster is gently slowcooking a Tamworth pig for a wedding party tomorrow. It will cook slowly all through the night, gently sizzling away, and tomorrow morning we will be greeted by the most amazing smell of a whole pig roasting. Looking back to this time last year I see we were still basking in the after-glow of our amazing dry summer; the ground was still dry and we were awaiting the rains. Well, a year on and they have certainly arrived. After 3 weeks of almost constant rain the ground is wet and slippery and giving us glimpses of the months ahead. We have finally finished moving all the pigs into 86 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

their new paddocks which, two weeks ago, were pristine, smooth and full of green. All that rain plus countless pigs digging through the softened ground and now it’s a very different story. We spent 3 weekends fencing, moving the water supply and then loading countless groups of naughty pigs into the trailer and delivering them to their new areas. There’s something very satisfying about turning them into a new paddock. They do say it’s the small things in life - which is lucky because the flash holidays and the Euro millions lottery win are still evading us here at The Story Pig! But life is good: we have each other, an amazing view to wake up to every day, fresh air, no commute and 5 new kittens to coo over. However, many things don’t go to plan. If we are honest and not living life through an Instagram filter, I guess it’s the same for most businesses. We normally castrate all our male piglets at a very early age to ensure a trouble-free farm when they become teenagers, as Charlotte calls them. Well, one slipped through the net and was a very naughty teenager when we weren’t looking! And now we are reaping what he sowed: 10 gilts farrowing who were not supposed to. While this might sound lovely, it’s actually a management nightmare, and an over-supply of piglets. Another lesson learned!

FROM FIELD TO TABLE Order our homegrown Tamworth ham, sausages, joints and bacon Demand for food parcels in and around Sherborne continues to be very high but donations are not keeping pace. Sherborne Food Bank relies solely on the generous food and cash donations from the community and remains in urgent need of your help. When shopping please consider adding the following items to your trolley: • Tinned Vegetables and Meals • Rice and Pasta • Bottles/Jars/Cartons Donation points can be easily found at

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Food and Drink


Chateau Huadong-Parry, Laoshan, Qingdao


he news that China is about to become the largest wine consumer and producer in the world is no shock to those of us that are fed industry statistics. Chinese wine production has come a long way since my first visit to China (on sports marketing business) in 1983 when I was treated to a glass of Great Wall of China Red, which left me rather underwhelmed. Things were changing dramatically in the ‘reform and opening’ period and China’s annual GNP growth 88 | Sherborne Times | November 2019


rate began to point to a rather more prosperous future. It was during this period that urban Chinese got into the wine-drinking habit. This was generally encouraged by the authorities because it replaced the baijiu spirit drinking tradition, which included a toasting practice that left most participants legless. Baijiu is a grain-based distillate usually sold at 52 abv compared with the 40 abv of Gordons Gin and Smirnoff Vodka. The more successful Chinese businessmen developed a taste for French red wine because they found it

sophisticated and satisfying. Present-giving has always been a Chinese tradition, particularly at New Year, and wine became a preferred gift. The Chinese prefer red wine because the colour is identified with good fortune and prosperity. It should also be taken into account that French names such as Lafite have a particular meaning in China. There is a huge secondary market in Chateau Lafite and other fine French wines, and for a long time Bordeaux dominated imports. Bordeaux and France are still important but some shrewd trade deals with Australia and Chile have given Chinese consumers wider choice. However, Cabernet Sauvignon remains the preferred red grape and accounts for sixty per cent of all Chinese table wine plantings. Merlot and Carménère are also popular, and there is growing interest in Marselan, a relatively recent crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon with Grenache. Recently I tasted a convincing Pinot Noir, made by the award-winning winemaker at Helan Qingxue in Ningxia. The white wines tend to be from Chardonnay or Italian Riesling but the range is broadening. Small quantities of good ice wines are also being made. Imports remain significant but naturally the Chinese hope to meet the demand for basic red wine from their own vineyards. They have invested significantly in these vineyards but the quality is still somewhat below that of established international producers. In the meantime the two most promising areas of production for quality wines are maritime but monsoonal Shandong Province (where Long Dai, the Domaines Rothschild Chateau was planted in 2009) and hilly, gravelly Nangxiais where some of the best wines have been produced. Shandong is monsoonal yet manages to find a way through such varied problems as fungal disease and lack of protection from winter cold. Ningxia’s vineyards, on well-drained, gravelly, south-facing slopes some five hundred and fifty miles west of Beijing, are very promising and this is where some of the best wines are being produced. Our long association with French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and German wines continues and Australian, South African, and South American wines have earned our increasing attention for their quality and pricing. Why then should we be interested in such a new and still largely unproven wine source as China? Richard Smart, a leading global viticultural consultant, has spoken of the progress being made in Ningxia Province. He has long held the view that

temperature changes will affect many traditional winegrowing regions, including his native Australia, and that China is well placed to take advantage. Over the last 30 years China has proved it can make top-quality wines of its own, often with the help of some of the world’s leading consultant oenologists and winemakers. China has also attracted significant investment from such established fine wine producers as Domaines Lafite Rothschild, LVMH and Pernod Ricard. There is no doubt in my mind that Chinese fine wine will be made but it will not happen quite as quickly as they would like. It takes a long time for a new wine region, and indeed a newly planted vineyard, to develop its personality. Another consideration is cost. The cost of producing wine in China is rather greater than in such sun-blessed countries as Australia, South Africa and South America. The world wine market is competitive. It is reasonable to assume that China will meet much of its own demand for basic red wines; return on investment will be enhanced by exporting a better quality product. But what about the here and now? If you are a wine enthusiast curious about the world’s different wines, I would recommend investigating Chinese wine for yourself. Take the advice of a good and trustworthy wine merchant who will point you towards the more established Chinese producers who have gained distribution in established wine-importing countries including the UK. In this context I must mention Changyu Moser. Lenz Moser, the Austrian winemaker, became involved with the oldest Chinese winery and has helped them make their mark in many export markets including UK. Berry Brothers & Rudd, Sainsbury and Tesco are three companies who have been brave and bold enough to give Chinese wines a chance. A Changyu Noble Dragon Red, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, and the Changyu Moser XV Cabernet Sauvignon were available in the £8-£9 a bottle price range. A press colleague described them as a, ‘cross between classic Bordeaux and a rich fruity Australian wine’ and I pass this on as a rough guide. These are less expensive wines which do not have complexity and character of the better offerings but they will give you an indication of what the Chinese can do. At a more sophisticated level, Ao Yun, Ningxia Chateau Sun God, Hebei Domaine Franco-Chinois, Hebei Grace Vineyard, Hebei Silver Heights and Xinjiang Helan Qingxue, have stood up well in major international competition. Stockists can be found via | 89


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90 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

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Animal Care


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


hose of you who read this article regularly will realise that I write more about dogs than cats. This is not a personal bias in terms of species preference, rather a reflection of my own experience with Trilby, Jessica and Portia, our household ‘canine kids’. This month I thought I would try to redress the balance by bringing a feline initiative to your attention, hopefully of interest to anyone thinking of getting a kitten. Before I start, it’s important to acknowledge that there are hundreds (nay, thousands!) of cats in rescue centres all looking for a loving home. All ages, shapes, colours and breeds, there for the asking. However, if you already have a cat or cats, introducing a newcomer is much more difficult than adding to your pack of dogs. Cats are more solitary and territorial so keeping the peace is tricky when a stranger is added to the mix. For those of you wanting a kitten, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) are supporting a ‘kitten checklist’ designed to help prospective owners spot signs of ill health and understand feline behaviour. The scheme mirrors the puppy contract, which helps those purchasing a puppy to do so responsibly and from a reputable breeder. The kitten checklist is presented in precisely that form, with prompts and questions to help ensure the would-be owner has fully considered all aspects of feline ownership. Launched by the Cat Group and supported by a range of animal welfare organisations, potential kitten buyers are encouraged to see the kitten and its mother at least once before making the decision to purchase. It also provides handy tips for first-time cat owners with guidance on feeding and litter tray substrate, performing a basic health check and asking about parasite control, microchipping and vaccination. I’m sure all cat owners want their furry friends to develop into happy, confident personalities that fit into their family lives. However, it is important that kittens get positive interactions with humans and become used to a domestic lifestyle before they are 8 weeks old. The 92 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Vasilyev Alexandr/Shutterstock

president of the BVA, a very eloquent lady called Daniella Dos Santos, commented that many people make the decision to acquire a kitten based on looks and emotion and do not ask the right questions. This has relevance as nearly 60% of vets in small animal general practice often see pets that are not well suited to their owner’s lifestyle, while 30% see pets that are being denied at least one of the welfare needs all animals deserve. To put kitten medical issues into perspective, most newly acquired kittens have parasites of one type or other, internal (round worms) and external (fleas or ear mites), often both. Not really excusable even though I am the first to admit that, in multi-

animal households, eradication of fleas is not the easiest task. So, the odd flea is to be forgiven but if a kitten is covered in fleas that is tantamount to neglect. Cat ‘flu is almost inevitable in home-bred kittens but is not to be expected in pure breeds, reared in high-health breeding catteries. Always worse when there is a heavy parasite burden and inadequate nutrition, cat ‘flu is rarely fatal unless immunosuppression from feline retroviruses (FIV and FelV) plays a role. Luckily, we have modern anti-viral drugs that can really help but the key is regular vaccination of the mother so that protection is passed to her kittens to protect them in the first weeks of life before they are vaccinated themselves at 9 weeks’ old. Just to make a final plug for vaccination, the HIV-

equivalent viruses that affect cats can be prevented in most part by using yearly vaccines. Cats are good at sharing their viruses, biting each other regularly and sharing bodily fluids whenever possible. So, if you value your feline companions, look after them with the best preventative care. To see the kitten checklist, Google ‘kitten checklist the cat group’ and most hits will take you there. If you have difficulty accessing the information, we have a printed version available in the surgery. Information on preventative care is available in our clinics. | 93

Animal Care

ATYPICAL MYOPATHY Hannah Al-Temimi, The Kingston Veterinary Group

Ian Fletcher/Shutterstock


id you know that your horse may be at risk from the trees growing in your pasture? The commonly seen sycamore tree (Acer pseudoplatanus) of the UK and Northern Europe produces a toxin that can be fatal to horses. Horses poisoned by this toxin have a poor survival rate depending on how early the disease is caught. Luckily, there are management options to decrease the risk of sycamore poisoning in your horse and also specific tests to identify it. What is it?

The toxin, called hypoglycin A, is found in sycamore seeds that fall from sycamore trees in the autumn and, to a lesser extent, in the growing seedlings and leaves during the springtime. Hypoglycin A damages 94 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

important muscles in the horse and results in a disease known as ‘atypical myopathy’. Since muscle is present everywhere in the body, every body system can be affected and the owner often sees a confusing range of symptoms. The onset of the disease can be very rapid, with some horses being found dead in their fields. Symptoms

Some commonly seen signs of atypical myopathy are: • Muscle soreness and tremors • Stiffness • Weakness • Lethargy • Fast or laboured breathing • Reluctance to work • Loss of balance

the horse’s blood; it normally takes around 2-3 days to get results. The presence of muscle damage can also be confirmed by measuring enzyme levels in the blood that are released by damaged muscle cells. Since levels of toxin in sycamore trees can vary, the Royal Veterinary College also offers testing of leaves and seeds to horse owners if they are concerned about their pasture. Treatment

There is really no quick ‘cure’ for this disease but several things can be administered to make the horse as comfortable as possible if the disease is caught early. In order to protect the kidneys from toxin damage and prevent dehydration, the horse will normally need to be hospitalised and given large quantities of fluids via a drip. Constant nursing will also be needed as atypical myopathy can be very painful for the horse. Research has shown that supplementary anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals are beneficial in the treatment of atypical myopathy. Additionally, activated charcoal administered to the horse can help in some cases. The lucky horses that do recover from this disease go on to make a slow but complete recovery and can usually return to work with no long-term effects. Management

• Red or brown urine • Fast or irregular heartbeat • Collapse • Colic • Low body temperature • Sudden death Diagnosis

Your vet will perform a clinical examination on your horse and take a history of their grazing habits. Young horses and those on poor pasture are more at risk of ingesting sycamore, as are those out on pasture twenty-four hours a day during the autumn and spring. If your vet feels that your horse has been at particular risk, a blood test can be taken and sent to the Royal Veterinary College. This tests for hypoglycin A in

Several management options are available to reduce incidence of atypical myopathy. • Fence off any sycamore trees in your pasture so horses cannot nibble on any leaves • Fence off any areas where seeds have fallen or blown onto from neighbouring pastures • Pick up seeds and seedlings from the pasture • Turn out horses for shorter periods • Reduce stocking density of horses in the field to improve grazing quality and amount per horse • Provide extra forage, especially in poor pasture • Any mown seedlings or cuttings must be collected as the hypoglycin A toxin remains in cut plant material. Atypical myopathy can be a devastating disease and more common than you think. It is not contagious but, if you have a suspected case of sycamore poisoning at your yard, it is worth removing other field mates from the same pasture and blood testing for the toxin. Lastly, always call your vet immediately if you are concerned. | 95

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Body and Mind



Mike Riley, Riley’s Cycles

few years ago I was invited to sell two small-wheeled bicycles for a lady in Nether Compton. Her late husband had been an artist who was commissioned to paint each new ocean liner when they were launched and his paintings hung in the offices of Cunard, P&O and Union Castle. The lady kindly gave me a memento: a ships crest from the Canberra, on which I had served as an officer. The 98 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

preferred steed of the artist was a Moulton F-type, suitable for attaching his easel to and carrying his paints. This load-carrying ability was a feature of the Moulton which had fixed racks front and rear. Due to the wheel size the weight was low and easier to balance: in one road test a journalist carried a crate of oranges across London. The suspension was also a benefit as the artist often rode along rough tracks to

the location of his subjects. The Moulton bicycle was a revolutionary concept as it combined small wheels and suspension, making the ride more comfortable: it is considered a design icon. Designer Dr Alex Moulton was an engineer specialising in suspension systems who also had experience during the war in aircraft manufacture. When you learn he designed the suspension of another ‘swinging sixties’ design classic, the Mini car, you can see the influences on his thinking. The artist’s Moulton was in good condition, having been kept in the dry, and had none of the rot and cracks which some frames suffered with. A customer with a modern, small-wheeled bike we had repaired was browsing in our storage barn and said that he knew someone who would be interested in the Moulton bike. Sure enough, a few days later, I had a call. ‘Hello Mike, this is Sean. I understand you have a nice Moulton F-type.’ We arranged a visit and it turned out it was Sean Moulton, son of Alex, who had taken over the Moulton bicycle company. Sean was doing so well selling new space frame design models to rich Chinese entrepreneurs that he could afford to return manufacturing to ‘the Hall’ which was the original production facility in Bradfordon-Avon. So, the F-type was duly sent off to be refurbished by the Moulton Preservation Society and is to be displayed in the new reception of the Moulton factory. Sean told me his father had offered his design to Raleigh bicycles who dismissed it. Undeterred, he conducted market research in Scotland and then took his prototype to the 1962 Cycle Show and was inundated with orders. He phoned HQ to say they should double the size of the production facility at the Hall. A few years later Raleigh acquired the Moulton business; more of that later. In modern parlance, Alex would be considered a disruptor as he challenged and shook up conventional thinking about bicycle design and manufacture. As well as innovation in appearance, the construction was novel; it used aircraft manufacturing techniques to make the frame from pressed steel, joined by riveting and brazing. Although traditionalists tried to fault the design, it was hard to dispute that it worked well, giving a comfortable ride, and it was demonstrated to be more efficient in some conditions. This was evidenced by Time Trial champion and record breaker John Woodburn breaking the Cardiff-London record on

a Moulton Speed model in 1962. Moultons have also competed in the Race Across America where, it is reported, Moulton riders were the only ones who could write their names at the checkpoints thanks to the front suspension which reduced vibration. The Moulton was a boost for a flagging cycle industry in 1963 when scooters and cars were replacing bicycles. There were 5 models including a folder and they received a great deal of free publicity from reviews in both the cycling and mainstream press. Production reached 1,000 units a week and the British Motor Corporation took control of manufacturing in 1966, at which point 100,000 had been made, using a production facility in Kirkby, Liverpool. By then the bikes were exported internationally and built under licence in several countries. Quality problems at the Kirkby factory included forks, front suspension and rear forks. Eventually Raleigh acknowledged they were wrong to dismiss the Moulton design and bought the company and produced Moulton Mk III models for 3 years. Usually I ponder how to close but this article almost wrote itself and there is a sense of continuity about the events. First a friend gave me a Moulton book today and another about the Brompton. Then I had a call this morning from a lady in Nether Compton asking if I would like to collect a couple of old, small-wheel bikes, giving me feeling of déjà vu. In this case it was a Raleigh 20 and an RSW 16. The RSW 16 was Raleigh’s attempt at a cheaper answer to the Moulton; it was a poor design as the balloon tyres made the bike feel ‘like waltzing in Wellington boots’ and the steering was ponderous as well as having more drag from the soft tyres. This competitor was launched with a massive marketing budget and many other small wheel designs were also being produced. This intense competition added to the quality problems at the Kirkby producer were factors in the demise of popularity of Moulton, and small wheel bikes in general, and in 1974 production ceased. I now have an early example of the Moulton space frame style which can be split for storage or transporting. And whom did I buy it from but the brother of the author of the book I was given about the Brompton. So, I conclude, in small-wheel circles there is no escaping small circles! | 99

Body and Mind



t Weatherbury (Puddletown) we encountered our first glimpse of dark forests of towering pines as we rolled along enticingly smooth fire track, bordered by delicate pink heather. A growing sense of freedom lit up the cells of our bodies as we sped along the sinuous trail towards Pallington Heath and Bovington Camp; it was here that Hardy’s friend and fellow author T.E. Lawrence kept a bijoux retreat called Clouds Hill. During Lawrence’s time at the cottage he shared his love of nature with Hardy’s second wife Florence, engaging in extensive correspondence regarding the care and nurture of flowering shrubs such as the wonderfully vibrant rhododendrons that littered 100 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

our route through the Isle of Purbeck. On arrival at Bovington we made a brief stop outside the Tank Museum to collect ourselves before a 3-mile section of tarmac to Giddy Green; we crossed the River Frome via the charming stone bridge at Wool that forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 2. Conscious that it’s all too easy to overdo it early on, especially on a warm day, we pottered along comfortably enough, delighting in the magnificent castellated gatehouse that materialised out of the open countryside as we approached Lulworth. After an early morning start the Goat Herd was in need of a boost, so we took our first espresso of the day

at Lulworth Castle after 40 miles of riding. This most ubiquitous of beverages can trace its heritage back centuries to the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau. Legend has it that the goat herder Kaldi first discovered the potential of these beloved beans: he noticed that, after eating the berries from a certain tree, his goats became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night. Kaldi reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery who made a drink with the berries and found that it kept him alert through the long hours of evening prayer. The abbot shared his discovery with the other monks at the monastery and knowledge of the energising berries began to spread.

As with those Ethiopian goats centuries before, it produced the desired effect for our very own Goat Herd. Nestled on the south side of the castle the tearoom is popular with walkers and the sojourn afforded us time to chat to fellow adventurers. I struck up a conversation with a lady in her 70s, at the table next to us, who was two thirds of the way through walking from West Lulworth to Tyneham and back to West Lulworth. She told us that she to used to cycle but no longer felt fit enough to do so, which was surprising given her sprightly demeanour and the distance she had already covered that morning. From experience I know that the mental challenge can often be tougher than the physical. ‘What makes it difficult isn’t so much the speed, it’s that you’ve got time to think.’ ‘If your legs hurt or your breathing is uncomfortable then you might have another eight hours of grinding your way to the end. If you’ve had a couple of punctures, especially if you’re cold and wet… that’s when it can really get to you.’ However, our ride was blessed by all-day sunshine and a balmy 22 degrees Celsius, which can bring its own set of challenges. To successfully complete the ride we had to pay extra attention to staying hydrated. The staff at the tea rooms kindly refilled our water bottles from a tap in the kitchen and, freshly invigorated, we set off on the next section to Corfe Castle. Grateful to be back on tarmac for a couple of miles, we climbed over the gunnery ranges at Lulworth and past the abandoned village at Tyneham with glorious 360 views across the English Channel and over towards Poole harbour. Keeping to high ground, we followed the line of the Purbeck Hills to Corfe, stopping at West Hill to survey our surrounds. As we did so we heard the cheerful ‘chuff chuff ’ of the Swanage steam train as it snaked into view from behind the ruins of the castle. Descending quickly, we skirted around the base of the castle before the somewhat technical ascent of Rollington Hill via the Purbeck Way, the first third consisting of loose stone with a challenging rock step that extinguished almost all forward momentum. Once back on the ridge line it was relatively easy going until the descent of the old cobbled trackway that turned our bikes into wildly bucking jackhammers. Next month’s instalment follows the intrepid Goat Herd from Corfe Castle back to Sherborne and a well-earned pint. | 101

Body & Mind

SKIN STRESS SOS Sarah Hitch, The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms and Margaret Balfour Beauty Centre

Everyonephoto Studio/Shutterstock


sychological stress arises when perceived pressure exceeds our ability to cope. This triggers the hypothalamus (a tiny control tower in the brain) to release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol as part of a primal ‘fight or flight’ response. However, the levels released are usually disproportionate to what is required and, if the levels don’t quickly normalise afterwards, it can have a huge impact on the skin and well-being. Constantly flooding your system with excessive stress hormones has major repercussions for health. Stress has also been shown to increase inflammation, which can be a good thing in moderation because it helps the body to kill viruses and bacteria. However, an excessive release can exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne and eczema, leading to flare-ups when you are feeling frazzled. Problem skin is particularly affected by stress hormones as they stimulate sebum production, trigger breakouts and slow the speed of skin repair. When we are in the ‘hamster wheel mode’ we are far more likely to engage in unhealthy lifestyle behaviours. A Mental Health Foundation study found that stress led to increases in unhealthy eating, drinking alcohol and smoking, all of which spell disaster for health and skin. Disturbed sleep is a common hallmark of stress. Not only does it rob the skin of its chance to rejuvenate but the associated tiredness makes it too tempting to reach for sugary treats or a glass of wine. Studies have shown that this increased sugar in the blood triggers Glycation, where sugar molecules bond to proteins in the skin. This forms Advance Glycation End Products (ironically 102 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

often shortened to AGEs). It has been found that these AGEs cause skin fibres to become stiffer and less elastic, resulting in premature lines and wrinkles. Stress-induced tiredness can also make us switch on the kettle, however the multiple caffeine hits lead to dehydrated skin and another disturbed night’s sleep. It’s easy to get trapped in a vicious cycle. We feel stressed, our skin flares up and our health suffers which adds more stress. A certain level of stress is, of course, an inevitable part of life and learning how to handle it is key. Sitting cross-legged on a mat and chanting for hours isn’t for everyone but finding a relaxation technique that works for you is a positive way to reduce stress levels. Whether it’s mindfulness, yoga, meditation or tai chi, choose one that you enjoy because then you’re more likely to stick to it. Cardiovascular exercise is great at burning off nervous energy and releases feel good endorphins, making you feel energised and more resilient to stress. Safeguard your sleep quality by avoiding caffeine after midday and excessive alcohol in the evening, and turn off electric devices at least an hour before going to bed. Lack of sleep leads to increased cortisol levels the next day which, in turn, make it harder to sleep, hence it’s an important area to improve. While you may not need official statistics to confirm that your stress levels have been skyrocketing, it’s important to understand the havoc it wreaks on skin and health and know that you can do something to help.

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Body and Mind

LONELINESS AFFECTS EVERYONE Lucy Lewis, Dorset Mind Ambassador


oneliness can be defined as what we experience when we are struggling to form and maintain meaningful relationships. These feelings can also be caused by various life events and situations such as divorce, sickness and retirement, or individual characteristics such as age or low income. However, loneliness isn’t synonymous with being alone. It is both possible to enjoy alone time and to feel lonely in a room full of people. Some people experience loneliness as mild emotional pain whilst others experience it in other ways such as physical pain, sleep issues, stress, lowered immunity and depression. In fact, research by Holt-Lunstad revealed that those with low social connections had a similar risk of dying prematurely as people who smoke 15 cigarettes per day. There are lots of things you can do to feel less lonely. The first step to reducing loneliness is to work out what triggers these feelings. When do you feel lonely? Are there certain people whose company makes you feel lonely? How long have you been feeling lonely? Which situations trigger loneliness? Make a mental note or a journal entry each time you feel lonely; you may gain some insight which could help you in taking some helpful steps in your life to support your wellbeing. A key change could be embracing new opportunities in order to make meaningful connections. You could join a class or a club so you can explore interests and meet like-minded people. You may also experience a sense of belonging and fulfilment by joining a group, which can help combat feelings of loneliness. A great option for meeting new people and improving your mental health is through volunteering. Helping others not only helps improve your self-esteem and employment skills but also improves the world around you. Use your strengths to help a cause you’re passionate about. 104 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Furthermore, you may already have connections with people in your life that you could strengthen by spending more time with them. If you enjoy someone’s company, or share mutual interests, why not initiate meetings or agree to plans more often? Make an effort, keep your mind open and ensure that you take things at a comfortable pace. Importantly, try to avoid comparing yourself to others. The life that people present, especially online, isn’t necessarily a true reflection of their lives. People only share the best snapshots of their lives; there’s always more going on behind the scenes. People who seem like they are living exciting, happy lives may also experience intense periods of loneliness. Social media is a poor reflection of reality so don’t compare your unfiltered life to the filtered lives of others. These are just some suggestions for combatting loneliness but remember to be kind and patient with yourself - different techniques are effective for different people. Don’t expect overnight change but, with time and persistence, it is possible to see a noticeable improvement in your wellbeing. However, some people can benefit from extra support in improving their wellbeing. If you are feeling distressed or your emotions are interfering with your everyday life, consider discussing your emotions with licenced mental health professionals who can help you explore these feelings, develop healthy coping mechanisms and improve your mental health. To find a licenced mental health professional, contact your GP or find mental health services in your area by visiting our website. If you’d like to support mental health services in Dorset, you can apply for a variety of volunteer roles via the Dorset Mind website.

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Raising awareness for men’s mental wellbeing | 105

Body and Mind


Image: Stuart Brill

Craig Hardaker, BSc (Hons), Communifit


ur Sit and Strengthen exercise class is hugely popular across both Dorset and Somerset. The main objective of the class is to keep all muscles, bones and joints as strong as possible. This helps to fight against the negative effects of the ageing process, as discussed in previous articles. The class targets all major areas of the body from head to toe, not only improving strength but also mobility and balance. Sit and Strengthen is perfect for anyone who struggles to stand for long periods of time, those needing rehab from 106 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

an injury, people who have certain medical conditions and anyone who isn’t able to move around quickly. To make the exercises more challenging, we often add ankle weights for the lower body and dumbbells for the upper body exercises. There are multiple exercises; here are some of my favourites. As with all exercise, please be sensible, particularly when working with weights - which should be a weight you are comfortable with. If in any doubt, seek medical advice before beginning.

Knee lifts

Sitting tall with an engaged core, lift one knee up to your highest point keeping the angle of the knee joint at ninety degrees. Slowly, and under control, move the foot back to the floor and repeat three times. Once completed, repeat this process with the opposite leg. It is quite common to have one leg stronger than the other so don’t be surprised if one leg raises higher or is much easier to lift. Don’t have ankle weights? Wear some heavy shoes or boots! Bicep curls

Sit at the front of your chair and hang arms either side of the chair. Squeeze your elbows into the side of your body and bring one arm up to your shoulder – travelling a total of 180 degrees. A slow and controlled decline back to the starting position and then repeat. Don’t have any dumbbells? Use cans of baked beans or bottles of water! Elastic leg extension

Sitting tall with an engaged core, place a 1.5-metrelong piece of elastic underneath the sole of one foot. With hands either side of your knee, and keeping the elastic taut, pull up to your hips. Raise your knee up towards your chest and then push away. Your ankle will travel 90 degrees throughout both the upwards and downwards phase. Try and keep your foot off the floor to make the exercise more challenging. Don’t have any elastic? Use an old pair of tights! Ball squeezes

Place an inflatable physio or pilates ball between your knees. Squeeze the ball as hard as you can for up to 10 seconds. Make this more dynamic with a pulsing squeeze. Combine the two for the ultimate workout! Make sure you aren’t transferring body weight over the ball. Don’t have a ball? Use a cushion! It is immensely important to sit in a suitable chair whilst performing each exercise and also to use the correct technique. It is worth noting that not all exercises suit everyone. To make sure you are suitable, and that you are performing the exercises correctly, attend one of our classes for an assessment and join the ever-growing Communifit team. Invest in your health and be proactive not reactive. You are totally worth it.

Exercise classes in Dorset and Somerset

Over 50s classes Sit and Strengthen

A chair-based exercise class aiming to increase your strength, flexibility, joint mobility, balance and functional independence - all while having fun. Monday 11:00 - 12:00, Jubilee Hall, Church St, Yetminster Tuesday 12:15 - 13:15, Abbey Manor Community Centre, Preston Road, Yeovil Tuesday 13.00 – 14.00, Village Hall, Church Road, Bradford Abbas Wednesday 14:15 - 15:00, West End Hall, Littlefield, Sherborne Thursday 12:30 - 13:30, Village Hall, Halves Lane, East Coker Friday 12:30 - 13:15, Youth and Community Centre, Tinneys Lane, Sherborne

Stand and Strengthen

The same objectives as Sit and Strengthen but you are standing! Targeting all the major muscle groups. You must be able to stand for the whole duration but can hold a chair if needed. A tough class working around your chair. Wednesday 15.15 - 16:00, West End Hall, Littlefield, Sherborne Friday 13:30 - 14:15, Youth and Community Centre, Tinneys Lane, Sherborne

Don’t Lose it, Move it!

An active circuit-based class, improving muscle strength, aerobic fitness and core stability. The class for those who like a challenge! Wednesday 16:15 - 17:00 West End Hall, Littlefield, Sherborne Friday 14:30 - 15:15, Youth and Community Centre, Tinneys Lane, Sherborne

Seated Yoga

All the benefits of traditional Yoga, but without the need to get up and down from the floor! Fantastic for anyone looking to gain upper arm strength and core stability, whilst building a calmer mind and stronger body. Perfect for lower body rehab. Tuesday 13:30 - 14:30 West End Hall, Littlefield Sherborne

£4 for 45 min and £5 for 1 hour classes. To find out what class will suit you, please contact us for your free consultation. Pay as you go


Booking not required. For more information call 07791 308 773 or email


communi_fit | 107

Body and Mind

WEIGHT TRAINING WILL BENEFIT YOUR YOGA PRACTICE AND VICE VERSA Simon Partridge BSc (Sports Science), Personal Trainer SPFit, & Emma Rees BSc, Yoga Teacher


mma Rees asked me to be her strength and conditioning coach. She has been an absolute pleasure to work with as well as inspiring me with her own yoga practice. Here she writes about her own weight training programme.

leg curls, which can be done using a fit ball or – my favourite – the suspension trainer. Alignment and safety

As a full-time yoga teacher I should be in pretty good physical shape, however, the more energy I put into my business, the more I realise I can’t take my health for granted. Taking time for my own training keeps me fit and informs my teaching. Here are some of the key benefits of combining yoga and strength training.

In teaching yoga, my students are my priority. Staying safe is vital, and you’ll hear modifications and alignment cues to help you. I try to do the same for myself although you will catch me teaching back-to-back classes, demonstrating poses without a proper warm up, and carrying around large amounts of kit, so there’s certainly scope for injury. Chest and overhead presses (using dumbbells) strengthen my shoulders, meaning I can teach all those yoga flows safely, and the technique in a deadlift means I’ll never lift a box incorrectly again!

Core stability

Mental wellbeing

A strong and balanced core is a significant benefit of regular yoga practice and I encourage clients to think less about ‘rock-hard abs’ and more about improved posture and reduced stress on the lower back. I started weight training thinking I had this part of the body figured out, so was surprised by the difference it made. Split squats look simple but really wake up the core muscles and have improved challenging (and previously wobbly) yoga balances such as one-legged side plank pose.

Weight training has definitely added strength to my asana practice (the yoga poses). However, yoga combines physical movement with breathing techniques, meditation and mindfulness, and I didn’t expect to find this while doing chin-ups. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Any opportunity to take time out, connect with the body and give the mind a different focus can boost confidence and add to mental and emotional wellbeing, be it running, weight-training, yoga or something else. It may be a bit of a cliché but giving myself time for this leaves me with a lot more energy, encouragement and good-humour to pass on in my own classes.

Key benefits of weight training to support yoga practice and yoga teaching

Balancing the body (I don’t mean on one leg!)

Yoga is brilliant for ‘pushing’ poses (all those planks and downward-facing dogs) but not great for ‘pulling’ movements. The posterior chain can be neglected as, even when we try to use these muscles (upward-facing dog, for example), there’s a temptation to ‘cheat’ with the arms… enter the chin-up! Similarly, with legs we focus on tight hamstrings, stretching them while we strengthen the quadriceps, but with 4 or 5 classes each day, I was overdoing it. I strengthen my hamstrings with

108 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

The take-home message from Emma is that yoga and weight training clearly complement each other. But don’t just take our word for it; try it and see how quickly you improve in both. Good luck.







S WA N YA R D , S H E R B O R N E , D T 9 3 A X 0 1 9 3 5 8 1 6 1 7 7 W W W. M A R G A R E T B A L F O U R . C O . U K

Body & Mind

PREDIABETES Benjamin Brown, BSc (Hons), ANutr


rediabetes is characterised by higher than normal blood glucose levels and, if undiagnosed and untreated, can develop into type-2 diabetes. The prevalence of prediabetes in England tripled between 2003 and 2011 with an estimated 7 million people, or 1 in 3 adults, thought to be living with the condition nationally. Many people are completely unaware that they are prediabetic as the condition develops gradually and usually without any warning symptoms. Thus, it comes as quite a shock to be told of being borderline diabetic as the symptoms of type-2 diabetes start to appear. Many risk factors are associated with prediabetes and you should get tested if you are over the age of 40 or have any of the following: • a family history of diabetes • high blood pressure • raised plasma triglycerides • low HDL cholesterol However, prediabetes is associated with obesity and central adiposity more than any other risk factor, with one meta-analysis attributing obesity to a seven-fold increase in diabetes risk compared to normal weight. Our modern lifestyles encourage overconsumption of energy-dense foods and reduced physical activity and energy expenditure, resulting in a positive energy balance and thus long-term weight gain. Weight loss and the prevention of weight gain is therefore essential to help reduce the risk of prediabetes and to help prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes. However, dietary improvements can also help modulate susceptibility. Epidemiological evidence indicates that certain foods can either increase or have a protective effect on

110 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

diabetes risk. Foods containing simple carbohydrates (white sugar, white rice and white bread) have a high glycaemic index (GI) and are broken down relatively quickly. Excessive consumption of these foods can cause an increase in plasma glucose and insulin demand and can result in increased insulin resistance and weight gain. On the other hand, the insoluble dietary fibre found in wholegrains has a protective effect, while increased consumption of green leafy vegetables high in magnesium can help increase glucose metabolism. Identifying foods that can be swapped for healthier alternatives (e.g. wholegrain bread instead of white) is a great place to start improving the overall quality of a diet. The Diabetes Prevention Programme study identified that prediabetes can be reversed and ultimately prevented from developing into type-2 diabetes by implementing dietary and lifestyle changes. These changes could be as simple as increasing your level of physical activity and reducing the amount of time spent doing sedentary activities to seeking dietary advice and support. Discussing your relationship with food, level of motivation and current lifestyle with a nutritionist can help to identify and overcome potential barriers while setting achievable and realistic goals. Dietary and lifestyle interventions, when carried out under the supervision of a nutritionist, can be hugely successful at achieving sustained weight loss and an overall sense of health, while also improving your relationship with food.

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Body & Mind




Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom GP & Complementary Practitioner

eeling worried and anxious from time to time is a normal reaction that we all experience in certain situations or circumstances. If, however, those feelings of anxiety are present on a regular basis they can interfere with your everyday life. A generalised anxiety disorder is common especially in those ‘born worriers’ amongst us. On the physical level, it can cause dry mouth, tummy bloating, palpitations and tension headaches. On the mental level it can cause apprehension, fear, terror, restlessness, irritability, despair, and panic attack when severe. Anxiety can be treated in a number of ways, either alone or in combination. Conventional medicine is effective. For the pre-event anxiety such as before an exam, interview or plane flight you may be prescribed Propranolol (a betablocker that reduces the body’s ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline) or Diazepam (Valium, a sedative but be careful as it is addictive if taken regularly and you should not drive having taken it). An anti-depressant in the same class as Prozac called Citalopram also has a licence for anxiety. This is taken on a regular basis if you have generalised, continuous anxiety and is monitored by your GP. If you would prefer not to take conventional medication you could try herbal medicine. Valerian is a relaxant and mild sedative. Studies have shown that it is effective in improving sleep quality and duration. Chamomile has a gentle anxiety-reducing action and relaxant effect – many people take it after the evening meal for this reason. Homeopathy can also be very helpful for anxiety. For the exam, interview or speech nerves, a remedy called Arg Nit is especially effective for those anticipatory fears. Arsenicum Album is a remedy for those tense and

112 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

restless types who just can’t relax and settle. Anxiety that follows a specific event such as a shock is relieved by Aconite (which is also very effective for panic feelings). Besides medicines and remedies, generalised anxiety also responds excellently to counselling in order to tease out, understand and come to terms with the trigger factor that brought it on. More specifically, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is even better as it teaches you how to deal with the anxiety state itself; it gives you the tools to stop the downward spiralling of anxiety as well as the brooding and dwelling on the worry factors. You can access NHS counselling services through your GP or directly by contacting ‘Steps 2 Well-being’ in Dorset or ‘Right Steps’ in Somerset. Mind-body techniques such as meditation and relaxation may be helpful. Exercise releases the stimulant chemicals ‘endorphins’ which help both anxiety and depression. Yoga and massage can also be helpful to bring calm and focus. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is helpful for some people; selected needling can help restore the natural balance and flow of internal energies that are disturbed in general anxiety. As I outlined above, anxiety which is either ‘brief ’, such as with an event, or ‘on-going’ as in the ‘born worrier’ should be tackled especially if it is interfering with your life. The biggest step is recognising it, admitting it and, most importantly, asking for help. You may choose one strategy or technique alone or several in combination. Hopefully this guide will help you deal with your anxiety in order to enjoy life to its fullest.

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Andy Foster, Director, Raise Architects

f you wanted to speed up your career development, what would you do? Pedalling faster is not always the most effective way of arriving sooner. Sometimes, it’s better to concentrate on the things that slow you down. What follows are my thoughts on how to overcome ten sources of potential inertia. They were written for the talented young team at Raise Architects. They may also be of use to talented people in other jobs too.

Gary Bendig/Unsplash

116 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

1 Many things aren’t discussed. Don’t assume anything and keep asking questions. Be observant. Be curious. Ask why things are done this way and not that way. Start the conversation that other people aren’t having. Find ways to keep it going. Ask if you can do things differently. Or don't ask if you can do things differently; just do them. See what conversations arise when you do. 2 Important subjects aren’t taught. Understand how progress is made in subjects that appear to be ‘blackarts’. Read around the subject (books, journals, websites). Learn from other people’s experiences. Make the most of your own experiences. Talk to really good people. Ask them what they know and how they know it. Find out what strategies and techniques they use. Encourage them to tell stories. 3 Most textbooks aren’t helpful. Keep looking for better books. They’ll be hard to find and you’ll only obtain partial answers. Don’t expect anything to be delivered on a plate. Look in other places too. The internet, obviously, but also talk to people. Talk to contractors, suppliers, craftsmen and other consultants. What do they know? What references do they have? Your knowledge will build from disparate sources. Keep a record. 4 Nothing stays the same for long. Stay alert. You have permission to make one assumption: that everything is changing. For any aspect of what you’re doing, question how long it’s been done like this. Understand how it used to be done. Acquire some understanding of what’s really driving the change. Change isn’t always for the better. Are you using the latest information? Are the people to whom you’re talking working with up-to-date methods? 5 Mistakes are often concealed. Figure out what you need to do in order to prevent your own mistakes happening again. What do you need to change? Find ways of sharing what you’ve learnt with other people but be aware that mistakes are a sensitive subject. The culture of the organisation in which you work is essential. Put some time between the mistake occurring and the conversation about it. This is a search for better ways of doing things. 6 There isn’t enough feedback. Seek out people who are natural coaches. You might have several, for different subjects. Recognise when you find yourself working in a vacuum and do something about it. Think about small things. For instance, put your work on the wall. Post a notice saying that you’re struggling with a problem and you’d like some

feedback. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. The chances are nobody else knows for certain either. 7 How to do things isn’t written down. When you’re working on a task, record the sources of information that you’ve used. You’ll be surprised how quickly you forget. When the job is complete, think through how you could have done it better. Start writing things down for yourself. See if you can find other people who will do the same and share with you. Create a culture of sharing. You can accelerate things when there’s a collective. 8 Thinking isn’t valued. Thinking is hard and requires effort. Find what works for you. Experiment with different ways of working. Find out what other people do. Keep developing the quality of your thinking even if it feels like it’s not being valued. Thinking is a skill; your brain is a muscle. Plenty of people have explored the subject of thinking. Read up on it. Quality and reliability of thought always trump a shallow view of productivity. 9 Experience isn’t reflected upon. Keep a development journal. Become conscious of the different tasks that you’re being asked to do. When tasks repeat, delve a bit deeper. Think about how you could do them better. Experiment with other approaches. Review them with other people. Things rarely end up worse as a result of talking about them. Develop a discipline for reviewing what you’ve done before moving on to the next exciting thing. 10 The teachers aren’t taught. Value and support the people who are naturally good teachers but recognise that people only know what they know. They’re like you but with more experience. Develop a more mature relationship with the idea of the ‘teacher and student’ than the one you had at school. Set longterm goals. Start sharing your knowledge and skills with other people. Give and you will receive. You are about to become the teacher. ‘If you want momentum, you’ll have to create it yourself, right now, by getting up and getting started.’ (Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage). A longer version of this article can be found at | 117

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WHAT TO DO WHEN A VERBAL PROMISE ISN’T HONOURED Luke Watson, Partner, Mogers Drewett Dispute Resolution Team


ne day all this will be yours…’ It’s a familiar saying, particularly among the farming community, where family businesses are passed down through the generations. But what happens when there’s no evidence of this verbal agreement in the deceased’s Will? Frustration. Disappointment. Possible legal intervention. If a family member, let’s call her Jane, doesn’t automatically get what they’ve always been promised, she may wish to pursue legal action in the form of a ‘proprietary estoppel’ claim. Essentially, this means Jane will attempt to enforce the promise made. Unsurprisingly, it is common within the agricultural sector. Proprietary estoppel claims often rely on a verbal promise as evidence of the deceased’s intentions. However, the promise usually needs to have been made over a number of years and the claimant must have believed and relied upon it. For example, when Jane was growing up, she was told that she would inherit the family farm. Jane would say that this incentivised her to work long hours on the farm for low pay rather than try and establish her own farming business. In other words, 120 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Jane will say that she acted to her ‘detriment’. A court will need to see evidence of any such detriment. Before a proprietary estoppel claim can proceed, the court will need to hear how the promise came about and the context in which it was made. Any evidence from a third party (with nothing to gain) can help support the claim. Once a claim has been established, the court would need to consider ‘quantum’, namely the extent to which the promise can be honoured. It’s the role of the court to ensure justice is brought about. This means that Jane might receive the whole of the farm or only part of it. This kind of claim can be extremely hostile and expensive, with the losing party taking responsibility for the winning party’s costs. Therefore, it may be advisable to seek the help of a specialist solicitor to try and resolve any dispute. It is always a good idea to attempt to keep the dispute out of the courts - this can help minimise the financial impact and help make a difficult time that bit easier for everyone involved.

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


hen people act as though the sky is falling, it’s helpful to remember that volatility is normal and there are simple things you can do to pursue a better investment experience. Recently, the market has shown a lot of volatility. This can be unnerving, even when you have a solid plan backed up by an investment philosophy you believe in. Most of the time, it feels great to know that if you’re a long-term investor, you can go about your life with the confidence that true conviction brings. Volatility is a normal part of investing. We all know that markets go up and down so, although we may be disappointed by downturns, we shouldn’t be surprised by them. Most importantly, for long-term investors, reacting emotionally to recent market volatility may be more detrimental to portfolio performance than the downturn itself. So, how do you tune out the noise? Working with a good financial adviser can help you see past the headlines and cultivate discipline and a sense of security, knowing you have a well-thought-out plan in place that is working toward your goals. That’s the power of professional advice. Some investors have changed their lives in a profound way by changing their attitude about markets. No longer held hostage to the whims of markets, they are now settled into a healthy, less emotional relationship with investing, anchored by their belief in the way markets work. Times like this can be difficult, especially as we don’t know how long they will last; try not to lose sight of your long-term goals and remember that uncertainty is actually part of what creates opportunity. Equities have higher expected returns than other investments because they require investors to bear additional risk. Without uncertainty, investors wouldn’t get paid for taking on this risk. As I’ve said many times, much of the financial services industry is geared toward making people think they can avoid uncertainty. However, the future is unknowable. The best approach is to make informed choices, adjust as your needs and objectives change, and be okay with a range of possible outcomes. And remember: you’re not in this alone. Your financial adviser should be there to help remind you that a properly built plan considers the ups and downs of the market.

122 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

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‘Can Microsoft release a bug-fixing update for Windows 10 without it causing new problems? Apparently not, it seems that yet again the company has released a cumulative update that breaks something else… this time, it’s printers that have been affected.’ (Rob Thubron, 1 Oct 2019) As you’ll know from previous blogs, I hate printers! They are the bane of my life. I have wasted more hours, days and years failing to fix them than I care to think about. I agree with Rob that Microsoft don’t help, as every time they release an update it seems to remove all your printers and then try and re-discover them, failing in the process. It’s then up to you to re-install your printer manually. So, what is a printer? In computing terms, a printer is a peripheral which makes a persistent human-readable representation of graphics or text on paper (thanks Wikipedia!). In English, they put what you see on the screen onto paper. Today there are only really two types: inkjet and laser. Inkjets squirt dots of coloured ink onto the paper as the print head passes over it; they are relatively slow and, cost per sheet, expensive on ink but good for low-volume home use. They are also excellent for home printing of photographs. They don’t require any warm-up time but are prone to drying out if not used regularly. They are also cheap to buy. Laser printers fuse coloured powder onto the paper with heat; they are fast and much cheaper on consumables per copy in a high-volume environment. However, they can’t use special papers for photographs 124 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

and can take several minutes to warm-up for the first copy. They will, however, print perfectly after months in a cupboard. Historically they have been relatively expensive to buy compared with an inkjet but they continue to become cheaper. Should you buy cheap replacement ink and toner? I do! The cost of a set of genuine cartridges for an inkjet can be almost as much as the cost of the printer itself. There is a risk, however, that if your printer is still under warranty this is invalidated if you have not used genuine ink or toner. I could never ‘recommend’ you do it but I consider the risk to be worthwhile as the savings can be huge (T&Cs apply!). So, what are you to do? I always say, ‘Spend as little as possible and replace as often as necessary’. If you’ve only spent £34.99 on a printer then it’s not worth worrying about if it breaks down after your year’s warranty. There is nothing to mend in a printer; you just throw it away and get another one. Always spend a little time uninstalling the old one from your computer first, then carefully follow the instructions provided by the new one to get it set up properly right away. The choice as always, is yours, but if you think you need advice, you know where to come. Coming Up Next Month: Disaster planning, recovery and business continuity

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THE RENDEZVOUS The Rendezvous Team


ased in the crypt beneath the Cheap Street Methodist Church, The Rendezvous works with nearly 400 young people (up to age 25) every year, providing advice and information, mental health support and learning opportunities to smooth the transition into adulthood and help them go on to lead happy, healthy and purposeful lives. So many young people in our community are struggling at home, at school and in life and over 50% of our work now involves support around mental health and wellbeing. Our staff team are committed and passionate. They are renowned for their ability to build relationships with young people who greatly benefit from the unbiased, non-judgmental advice and encouragement they receive - whether through openaccess drop-in sessions, small group work or having the chance to talk and offload to a youth worker or counsellor. The issues can range from exam stress (which features heavily), relationships or darker issues such as violence in the home. Our weekly young parents’ group is well known and has been running every Wednesday for nearly 20 years. Many are referred to us by the local health visitor team for reasons ranging from housing issues or universal credit problems through to social isolation. The team help resolve problems where needed as well as making home visits and encouraging them to join the supportive weekly sessions. We watch with pride as these young people grow into confident and capable parents caring for their families despite often difficult circumstances. Our learning programme goes from strength to strength and we now run three sessions a week to help students gain GCSE equivalent qualifications in 128 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

English or Maths. Our students work one-to-one with a volunteer tutor, learn at their own pace and can take the exams when they are ready. It is extremely rewarding for everyone involved to watch them thrive and grow in confidence and self-belief as they work towards qualifications that help them move onto apprenticeships, get into college and, in some cases, university. Our 20+ fantastic volunteers are an integral part of the work we do and we are always on the lookout for more. Volunteering can quite literally change your life – two of our ex-volunteers decided to teach and are now working as fully-qualified teachers! Don’t hesitate to get in touch if this is something that might be of interest. The impact of cuts in public services is keenly felt. We no longer just see young people who self-refer but increasingly parents of teens are contacting us looking for help and support for their children who may be selfharming, suffering with anxiety and low mood. We also receive referrals from schools, GPs and the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). As numbers needing support have increased, funding sources have dwindled and our need to fund-raise is a constant battle. We are truly grateful for those in the community who already support us and always appreciate any gift no matter how large or small – you can make a one-off donation online or why not consider joining our Friends organisation? We will be holding our annual Christmas Quiz at the Digby Memorial Hall on 6th December and when you see us holding our next street collection do please stop to ask questions and find out more about our work.

THE FAMOUS FIVE Craig Hardaker, BSc (Hons), Communifit

Image: Dave Bendell


ommunifit has been running a monthly 5km series from the Terraces in Sherborne since February 2019. Each month the event attracts more and more people from the local community and beyond. On average 80+ people register; community participation is encouraged and children under 12 can enter for £1. There are no cut off times or age limits - it’s all about taking part, whatever your ability. You don’t have to run, walking is just fine. Everyone gets an awesome medal which Communifit design and commission each month. What makes the 5km series different is that the money raised each month from the entry fees goes back into the community to support local charities and causes. So far, Communifit has raised money for The Hidden Needs Trust, Yeovil Hospital Breast Cancer Unit, Adam Anstey’s cycle race across America and assisted in the purchase of a fabulous new wheelchair for a competitor with MS who joins the events each month. Over the next few months the 5km will support Ups and Downs and Escapeline, and the big Christmas Jumper Run on 1st December will raise money for the Sherborne Foodbank. If you want to join in one of the 5km events, listings and tickets are available on our website. Everyone is welcome and everyone at the event is really welcoming,

including the marshals who volunteer their time each month. You can attend a single event or try to improve your time each month and chase a personal best. The route is always the same, taking in the best of Sherborne with scenic views past the meadows, the castle and some of the prettiest houses in town. Best of all, Oliver’s Coffee House is there to welcome you back with hot drinks and fabulous refreshments. Spectators are also welcome and parking is free. Some events can seem quite daunting but ours certainly isn’t. For those who are wanting to build on fitness levels to either complete the 5km distance or beat previous times, we have this covered. A series of fitness classes for all ages and abilities can be found on our website. Our 5km series really does bring the community together and creates a wonderful family atmosphere. Looking to 2020, Communifit organises a run on the second Sunday of each month, with the exception of September when we host a sportive and need to choose 11 local charities or causes to support. So if you are a charity or a group we could help to support, and you are local to Sherborne or assist in the Sherborne community, then please contact on 07791 308773 or email | 129

Short Story



James Stubbs

t was a warm October day as he gently and nervously pushed open the now sticking gates of the entrance to his grandparents’ house. He felt both awkward and agitated, and almost like an intruder entering a house that always had such meaning. He was looking for something intangible but probably just wanting to experience the peace of the wonderful garden. The dust of family quarrels, misunderstandings and reactionary behaviour between his mother and aunt, who were the surviving offspring and executors of his grandparents’ estate, felt real and painful, but now the house was empty. The contents had been dispersed but not the memories. He had watched, bemused and ashamed in equal measure by the level of antagonism and irritation between the sisters, and also by the complex and very real discordance and misunderstanding of a family in crisis, as the ship they were on appeared to lose both its rudder and navigational pole star. He wondered if all families behaved like this in the grip of forces that they were barely conscious of, wrestling with demons and grief. He walked up the drive, aware of boyhood memories and the deep love and affection he had had for them both coupled with the unhappy feeling that somehow he was not worthy and had been a disappointment to them. Where these feelings had come from he couldn’t guess so, not for the first time, he tried to ignore them. The thatched cottage was so easy on the eye, sitting as if it had been planted in the landscape to protect its inhabitants but also to be loved and handled and graciously cared for over many generations. It was lovely to step into the darkened porch and breathe in the soft smell of thatch. The front door was blackened oak and the door-knocker was huge and hung invitingly. He lifted it, feeling its lovely weight, and knocked twice. The reverberation rang dully and empty through the house. He turned and walked up the path following the overgrown wisteria to the back of the house and garden, where he was overwhelmed by memories that seemed to cascade all around him like a waterfall and half-remembered sights: the site where granny fell; the peaty asparagus bed; the seesaw that grandad had made from a long, wide plank; being taught how to mow a lawn

130 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

- ‘pick out a flower over there in the bed and aim for it’; the pride of being praised for doing something well and seeing for himself that yes, indeed, he had done a good job. Everything in the garden was so perfectly where it should be that somehow the steps, the borders, the shed, the hedges, the trees, every flower and leaf could not have been anywhere else other than where they were. It was faultless; yes, overgrown and neglected, but he was aware of the underlying perfection of it all as wherever his eyes alighted there was a memory harboured there that added depth and colour and richness. He looked up and stood gazing at a wizened old apple tree: it was leaning away from him, its grey trunk and branches frizzled with lichen. Suddenly he was aware that he had been standing motionless in front of it for some time. The sun emerged from behind a cloud and filled the garden with light and warmth. He allowed his eyes to slowly take in everything about its shape: vigorous clumps of mistletoe and old mans beard were gracefully interwoven, draped as if clothing the upper branches, the ancient skeleton almost overloaded with weight but somehow looking incredibly elegant and harmonious, resiliently supporting everything on it, a few over-ripe apples delicately hanging in space. Something within him made him stay still and he found he was aware of his grandmother, in all her beauty, ugliness, her flawed grace and humour, and overall her femininity. He felt connected to her and felt that somehow she was trying to communicate with him, as if she was saying, ‘Here, look, feel, allow yourself to experience… this is what fertility is.’ He felt blessed, enchanted and close to tears. A blackbird flew out of the tree and he followed its flight to where it landed in an overgrown hedge. Something caught his eye. He went over to the cascading field maple and parted the branches. There was the garden roller! The heavy, squeaking, ancient garden roller with its special lumbering, hollow-sounding timbre that he had learned to swing on and pull as a child; there, hidden from view and his for the taking! Buried treasure, unasked for and forgotten but his if he wanted it! Did he have the wit and strength to somehow get it into his car? | 131



Pravda Ha Ha: True Travels to the End of Europe by Rory MacLean (Bloomsbury, 2019) £20


Sherborne Times Reader Offer Price of £19 from Winstone’s Books hirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and his UK top ten bestseller Stalin’s Nose, local author Rory MacLean has retraced his original journey from Berlin to Moscow backwards, with this bold and unsettling exposé of Putin’s Russia and European disintegration.

A gem of a book… MacLean must surely be the outstanding, and most indefatigable, traveller-writer of our time. ( John le Carré) I was looking for a church, although not because I felt like death. My car rose off the steppe and into the Carpathians, the arc of mountains that stretched from Ukraine through Hungary and the Czech Republic to form a natural barrier between the Slavic and Romanised worlds. It was a remote, meaningless fragment of territory cut off from everywhere. I’d heard about an old church hidden high in these mountains, built for an emperor who’d never visited. In an effort to set the rough wooden structure apart local men had taken to shaking out their hair over the altar after Mass. As their region was known for its gold deposits, and most men worked in the mines, minute specs of gold dust fell from many tousled heads. Over a century of

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Sundays the altar and apse came to be covered with thick billows and folds of glinting gold, and the emperor caught wind of the story. Enticed by his subjects’ devotion, he made plans to visit the little church, until the outbreak of the First World War doomed both his plans and his empire. ‘Do you know the old joke about the baby who was born on the border?’ asked a forester in German, the first living soul I’d seen in an hour and who I asked for directions. ‘To find his true nationality his father picked him up and threw him in the air. If the baby landed on the Hungarian side of the border, he was Hungarian. If he landed on the Ukrainian side, he was Ukrainian. But if he landed on his head, he’d be Russian.’ After another hour the setting sun gilded an edge of mountain, casting a band of yellow across crag and scar. Snowy footpaths ran through woods above which the branches of ancient spruces hung like mourning weeds. Ice crystals glistened in the snowfields, filling the air with a kind of magic, wrapping a halo around an old wooden building. In any other light I’d have driven right past the church, tucked as it was amongst the spruce trees. But suddenly it was in front of me, and I wasn’t the only visitor. I parked the car and walked into the bright halo, towards the sound of hammering. My footsteps crunched on the hard-packed snow as I pushed open the heavy wooden door. At the head of the nave were an elderly couple, and a coffin. She – in layered black skirts and embroidered peremitkah headdress – was crumpled upon it. He circled it and her, driving home the last nails, sealing its lid. In a pinewood pew stood another man – younger, perhaps a son, also dressed in black – who held a wilted bunch of flowers upside down. The moment was sad and dark yet all around it spread fields of gold: rumpled golden altar cloths, iridescent cross, a lustrous shining sanctuary. Beneath Christ Pantocrator, the all-powerful judge of humanity, the church shimmered with light. It lit the naive iconostasis, glistened off the falling hammerhead, caught the tears on the old man’s cheek. In that brief moment, I imagined generations of miners stepping forward, kneeling with humility, shaking out their hair around the altar. Never had I seen the like, and never would I see it again for outside the sun dropped behind a far peak and deep shadows fell across the earth. The golden light was sucked out of the day and the building revealed its true colours: dismal ash grey and weathered brown. As I watched, the two men lifted the coffin onto their shoulders and carried it past me into the dusk. The old couple did not meet my eyes, did not speak, but once the coffin had been slipped into their pale van the younger man turned to me. ‘Mein Bruder,’ he said. My brother. ‘No priest?’ I asked. He shook his head. ‘All gone. Every person gone.’ ‘I’m sorry.’ He answered with the barest hint of a shrug then turned and opened the driver’s door. His parents were already inside the van. I had no idea how the brother had met his end – war? Mining accident? Drug overdose? – but when the engine coughed into life, I had the presence of mind to spring forward, and tap on the frosted glass. ‘Ist das die goldene Kirche?’ I asked, gesturing at the sombre church. ‘Die geheime goldene Kirche?’ ‘Da da,’ replied the young man in Ukrainian. ‘But all gold gone. All stolen.’ He wound up the window and added, ‘Good night.’ | 133


LITERARY REVIEW Frances Walker, Sherborne Literary Society

The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves, by Andrew Lownie (Blink, 2019) £20 Sherborne Times Reader Offer Price of £19 from Winstone’s Books


his absorbing biography has been thoroughly researched by Andrew Lownie and includes details from documents and private testimonies not available at the time of previously published works. In his preface Lownie quotes from Mountbatten, ‘No biography has any value unless it is written with warts and all’. There are certainly plenty of warts but the lives of Mountbatten and his wife, Edwina, are also portrayed as being ones of huge contradictions. Mountbatten’s fame as Viceroy of India and as First Sea Lord, a position he had passionately desired since his father’s ignominious resignation from the same post at the outbreak of the First World War, are set against descriptions of his disastrous failures of leadership, for example the sinking of HMS Kelly in 1941, the ill-fated Dieppe raid in 1942 and his handling of Partition in India. Despite her lonely and emotionally starved childhood, which may help us to understand her constant search for affection in later life, Edwina is shown to be more than her husband’s equal in intellect and achievement. Her tireless war work, her humanitarian work in setting up and overseeing welfare clinics in India and her support of her husband during the difficult and often dangerous negotiations leading up to Independence in India, contrast vividly with Edwina’s apparent neglect of her two young daughters and, as a young wife and mother, her constant search for excitement and stimulation as she travelled across continents with a variety of dazzling friends and lovers in search of distraction. The legion of lovers who played their part in the lives of Lord and Lady Mountbatten would seem to 134 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

contradict the evidence of their dependence on one another in their thirty-eight-year marriage. Their open marriage seems to have worked for them, up to a point. Lownie suggests that Mountbatten’s personal sense of inadequacy in his private life found an outlet in his determination for public office and the great satisfaction he derived from all the pomp and ceremony which accompanied his high office. Lownie describes the five-yearold Dickie’s thrill on receiving his Christmas present from Tsar Nicholas: a replica uniform of the Chevalier Garde, complete with helmet, breastplate, boots, spurs and sword. ‘It was to be the start of a lifelong love of uniforms.’ Towards the end of his life Mountbatten wanted to make sure that his legacy matched up to his own idea of his life’s achievements. There were numerous criticisms of his vanity and mendacity from those who had served with him, as well as his tendency to re-write events in order to boost his own role in history. General Pat MacClellan (military assistant to Mountbatten) noted in 1980, ‘His public image – far-sighted, imaginative, bold, dynamic, charismatic and vigorous – was not shared by many of those who competed with him and who regarded him as devious, vain, imperious, unscrupulous and unprincipled. In fact, privately he was kind, charming, sentimental, witty and magnetic’. Andrew Lownie’s frank account of this fascinating couple, whose lives and loves spanned the twentieth century, makes compelling reading.

Shop to let in Cheap Street




with Blacksmith, Alex Pole


Available across Bridport and beyond Read online at 136 | Sherborne Times | November 2019

Mr. Ron Haynes and family would like to thank all those who made such generous donations to Help for Heroes and Smile Train in memory of Jean Haynes.

19 Cheap Street, Sherborne. 01935 815005 @OliversSherbs @OliversCoffeeHouse @oliverscoffeehouse


ACROSS 1. Graphic symbol (4) 3. Large edible marine crustaceans (8) 9. Easily drawn out into a wire (7) 10. Exceed; perform better than (5) 11. Very small amount (5) 12. Put in someone's care (7) 13. Place that is frequented for holidays (6) 15. Exist permanently in (6) 17. Extremely obvious (7) 18. Waterlogged ground (5) 20. Constructed (5) 21. Material made from animal skin (7) 22. Longing (8) 23. Network of lines (4)

DOWN 1. Inexpressibly (13) 2. Take place; happen (5) 4. Complied with orders (6) 5. Small meteor (8,4) 6. Speak excitedly of (7) 7. Easily angered (5-8) 8. School for young children (12) 14. Endurance (7) 16. Taken illegally (6) 19. Loathe (5) | 137



Reverend Jono Tregale, St Pauls Church

recently visited a friend in Poole who had previously lived in a land-locked county much further north in the country. He mentioned that friends from his former home town would call and excitedly say, ‘I expect you can see the sea from your house now that you live on the coast.’ ‘No,’ my friend had to reply, ‘I can’t see the sea but I can see John Lewis from my bedroom window.’ It’s interesting to think about the assumptions that people make. To those living so far from the sea it would seem assured that those who live in Poole, on the glorious Dorset coast, must have a view of the sea? It reminded me about the story of an English lady who was planning to move to another country and, having seen a house there to rent, contacted the agent asking about a W.C. because it hadn’t been mentioned in the particulars. The reply came as follows: ‘The W.C. is situated five miles from the house and is capable of holding 350 people at a time and is open several days a week. A large number of people attend during the summer months, being in a tourist area, so it is suggested you go early, although there is plenty of standing room. The acoustics are very good and everyone can hear the slightest sound. I go to the W.C. quite often but my wife is rather delicate; therefore, she cannot attend regularly. It has been six months since the last time she went. Naturally, it pains her very much not to be able to go more often. It may be of interest to you to know that my daughter was married in our W.C. and it was there she met her husband. We hope you will be here in time for our fete which will raise money for the purchase of more comfortable seats for our W.C. I shall close now with the desire to accommodate you in every way possible, and I will be happy to save you a seat down front or near the door, whichever you prefer.’ Not what the lady had been expecting. The agent had thought W.C. referred to a ‘wayside chapel’. Clearly assumptions had been made by both parties as to what the other meant or understood by W.C. (although the story must surely not be true?). We make so many assumptions each and every day. Some really don’t matter too much, but some do. We can make assumptions about other people, perhaps based on what they look like or what they sound like. I suppose another word for that is prejudice. In doing so we can miss out on potential friendship and help – and fail to give equal opportunity to others. We also make assumptions about how life works, about what success means and how to achieve happiness. Many also make assumptions about faith and God. Jesus often taught in ‘parables’ - short pithy stories about everyday things - which challenged his hearers’ assumptions, often turning them on their heads. They will repay careful thought and can be found in the ‘gospels’ at the beginning of the New Testament – stories about coins, sheep, camels, robbers and trees. For us in our everyday lives, maybe it will be good to challenge our own assumptions — about ourselves, about others, about life and about faith.

138 | Sherborne Times | November 2019


Green by name and nature


LO C A L LY S O U R C E D I N G R E D I E N T S S E A S O N A L P RO D U C E 3 CO U R S E P R I X F I X E M E N U AVA I L A B L E E V E RY F R I DAY A N D S AT U R DAY N I G H T 2019 MICHELIN BIB GOURMAND WINNERS Tuesday - Saturday Lunch 12pm - 2.30pm | Dinner 6.30pm - 9.30pm

Sunday Lunch 12pm - 2.30pm

3 The Green, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3HY 01935 813821 @greensherborne