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J UNE 2020 | FREE






his month’s edition, as did the last, comes to you from the garden bench. I have been sitting here so long that my toes have taken root, reaching deep into the clay soil. Blackbirds sit at my elbow and sparrows nest in my beard. Greenfly navigate my awkward topography while spiders spin webs on my face. A canopy of white wisteria, thick with the buzz of a billion bees, stretches a tendril around my shoulder and I am woven silently, willingly into the wilds of my garden. Meanwhile, the world steps blinking into the light, and the creatures – though arguably more able custodians – dart back into the shadows. What have we learned? What happens now? Will families still cycle the streets? Will we still sit and look for looking’s sake? Will we continue to help our neighbour and value, above all, those we had long taken for granted? Let’s hope we can hold on to our newfound patience, our reinterpretation of what is truly necessary and carry it with us into this next version of normal. This month, we revisit summers gone by, the people we met and the stories they told. We also bid farewell and good luck to long-time contributor Jimmy Flynn. Jimmy has been hitting deadlines month in, month out and this, his 61st, is his last. Thank you Jimmy. See you on the allotment! Take care. Glen Cheyne, Editor glen@homegrown-media.co.uk @sherbornetimes

CONTRIBUTORS Editorial and creative direction Glen Cheyne Design Andy Gerrard @round_studio Sub editor Sadie Wilkins Photography Katharine Davies @Katharine_KDP Feature writer Jo Denbury @jo_denbury Editorial assistant Helen Brown Social media Jenny Dickinson Illustrations Elizabeth Watson elizabethwatsonillustration.com Distribution team Barbara and David Elsmore Nancy Henderson The Jackson Family David and Susan Joby Christine Knott Sarah Morgan Mary and Roger Napper Alfie Neville-Jones Mark and Miranda Pender Claire Pilley Ionas Tsetikas

Adam Anstey Sherborne Preparatory School @Sherborneprep sherborneprep.org Plaxy Arthur plaxypots.com Laurence Belbin laurencebelbin.com Lucy Beney MAMBACP London Road Clinic 56londonroad.co.uk Joe Benjamin Richard Bromell ASFAV Charterhouse Auctioneers and Valuers @CharterhouseAV charterhouse-auction.com Mike Burks The Gardens Group @TheGardensGroup thegardensgroup.co.uk Jenny Campbell Sherborne Scribblers Helen Carless BA ASFAV Lawrences Auctioneers @LFA_Crewkerne lawrences.co.uk Paula Carnell @paula.carnell paulacarnell.com Cindy Chant Sherborne Walks @sherbornewalks sherbornewalks.co.uk

01935 315556 @sherbornetimes info@homegrown-media.co.uk sherbornetimes.co.uk 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. 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.

4 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Andy Hastie Cinematheque cinematheque.org.uk Sarah Hitch The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms The Margaret Balfour Beauty Centre @SanctuaryDorset @margaretbalfourbeautycentre thesanctuarysherborne.co.uk margaretbalfour.co.uk James Hull The Story Pig @thestorypig thestorypig.co.uk Lucy Lewis Dorset Mind @DorsetMind dorsetmind.uk Chris Loder MP Sasha Matkevich The Green Restaurant @greensherborne greenrestaurant.co.uk Mark Newton-Clarke MA VetMB PhD MRCVS Newton Clarke Veterinary Partnership @swanhousevet newtonclarkevet.com Andy Nurton Sherborne School @SherborneSchool sherborne.org

Jonathan Cheal Mogers Drewett Solicitors @mogersdrewett md-solicitors.co.uk

Simon Partridge SP Fit @spfitsherborne spfit-sherborne.co.uk

Gillian M Constable DWT Sherborne Group @DorsetWildlife dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk

Cath Rapley Lodestone Property @LodestoneProp lodestoneproperty.co.uk

David Copp

Mike Riley Riley’s Cycles rileyscycles.co.uk

Rosie Cunningham

1 Bretts Yard Digby Road Sherborne Dorset DT9 3NL

Dorset Wildlife Trust @DorsetWildlife dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk

Jemma Dempsey Jimmy Flynn Milborne Port Computers @MPortComputers computing-mp.co.uk Andrew Fort B.A. (Econ.) CFPcm Chartered MCSI APFS Fort Financial Planning ffp.org.uk Andy Foster Raise Architects @raisearchitects raisearchitects.com Revd Duncan Goldie Cheap Street United Church cheapstreetchurch.co.uk Craig Hardaker Communifit @communifit communifit.co.uk Dawn Hart Yoga Sherborne yogasherborne.co.uk Lydia Harvey

Dr Tim Robinson MB BS MSc MRCGP DRCOG MFHom Glencairn House Clinic glencairnhouse.co.uk doctortwrobinson.com Paul Stickland Black Shed Flowers @blackshedflowers blackshedflowers.blogspot.co.uk Jonathan Stones Sherborne Literary Society @SherborneLitSoc sherborneliterarysociety.com Val Stones @valstones bakerval.com Emma Tabor & Paul Newman @paulnewmanart paulnewmanartist.com Safia and Ian Thomas Bootmakers Workshop John Walsh BVSc Cert AVP DBR MRCVS Friars Moor Vets @FriarsMoorVets friarsmoorvets.co.uk


JUNE 2020

6 Community

64 Antiques

126 Legal

18 Film

68 Gardening

128 Finance

26 Theatre


130 Tech

20 Art 28 Family 50 Wild Dorset 56 Outdoors 62 History

92 Food & Drink 100 Animal Care 104 Body & Mind 122 Property

134 In Conversation With 136 Short Story 140 Literature 143 Pause for Thought

sherbornetimes.co.uk | 5


COMMUNITY Food & drink takeaway & delivery ____________________________ Ab Fab Cakes A range of sweet treats from brownies, biscuits, and cupcakes to celebration

cakes. Just because we’re in lockdown, and what better way to celebrate than

postal service cakesabfab@hotmail.com.

free delivery. beanshot.co.uk


Brewed Boy

Bakerman Dan

Great selection of beers in cans, plus


Freshly baked bread delivered, plus

eggs and cheese. Pizzas available on a Friday and Saturday 5pm-8pm. @dandanbakerman


1ltr bottles of our own brewery’s beers

- home delivery service. 07889 731071 info@brewedboy.co.uk





it doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate,

Bean Shot Coffee

The Cross Keys

with cake! Email to find out about

Roasting and shipping its ‘Bloody Good Coffee’ daily for you to enjoy at home -

Takeaway and delivery service, including

6 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Sunday roast, burgers, BBQ and a

e V n i r r o a b l r e h S Kindness We Can Help!

We have a network of volunteers covering Sherborne and the surrounding villages. We can help with shopping, delivering food, collecting prescriptions, walking dogs and more. If you are in isolation and need help with something - please contact us. We can also connect you to a FREE book and DVD delivery service. Contact us via Facebook @sherborneviralkindness or call us on 07884 115 987. All our services are completely FREE.

COMMUNITY selection of beers and wines. Individual

supplements, body care and household

from the roastery. 01935 481010

Takeaway coffees offered on market

phone and we can either box products

Sherborne Market Fruit & Veg

can now offer a local delivery service

Veg Shop)

sherborne@gmail.com 01935 815756

Conduit, plus home deliveries. Call

and family ready meals also available. days, Thursday and Saturday. 10% off for NHS workers. 01935 508130

____________________________ Dorset Fine Dining Selection of meals available; delivered to your door or collected from the kitchen

items. Orders can be placed over the


up ready to collect at the door or we

(also Wincanton Fruit and

via #sherborneviralkindness. naturalife.

Every Thursday and Saturday on the


07527 727947, text 07515 554549 or email



in Higher Holton, including BBQ packs.

Oliver’s Coffee House

freshly baked bread. Available Monday

Tuesday – Saturday. Homemade cakes

Takeaway and delivery menu available

local delivery. Range of Reads Coffee

evening. 01935 507900


Vegetable and meat boxes available, plus

Open for takeaway only 9am-1pm,


to Friday. 07525 667687

and cream teas for collection or free

for pre-orders on a Friday and Saturday

____________________________ Ecco Gelato

and Dorset Tea also available. jane@


oliverscoffeehouse.co.uk 01935 815005

The Story Pig

and 1l tubs. philippa@ecco-gelato.co.uk

Oxfords Bakery

box delivered on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Gainsborough Arms

eggs, milk, cheese and fresh food.

Your favourite gelato flavours can be

delivered to your door in 500ml, 750ml

____________________________ Milborne Port. ‘Meals on Wheels’

delivery service; selection of meals from the menu, delivered to your door.

____________________________ Home deliveries, freshly baked bread, ‘Drive-through’ at the bakery in Alweston. 01963 23214


Home delivery service; £30 essential Plus, free-range Tamworth pork,

including sausages and pork chops. james@thestorypig.co.uk

thestorypig.co.uk 07802 443905


01963 250 330

Parsons Butchers

The Three Wishes

The Kings Arms

Fresh meat delivered directly to your door. 01935 812071

Delivery service including lasagne, fish


07966385908 nicky_king@icloud.com

____________________________ Charlton Horethorne. Frozen meals for

pie, and shepherd’s pie. Call Nicky on

collection or delivery, plus a selection of

The Pear Tree Deli


cakes, bread, eggs, milk, cheese, honey,

Independent Wine Merchant

offering cream teas delivered to your

wine, spirits, beer and mixers. Orders


house wines. 01935 220281

Delivering a range of products including

Vineyards, Sherborne’s

Les Evan Vegetables

jams and a selection of meals. Also

Operating a home delivery service for

home. Open 9am-1pm, and offering

received by 12pm each Monday will be

Culverhayes car park,

Saturday mornings 9am-12pm.

____________________________ Mandarin House Chinese

takeaway sandwiches. 01935 812828


Delivery and takeaway. 01935 814320

Pizza Pasta Mondo

The Market Town

01935 488685

____________________________ Gardener Greengrocer

Delivery and takeaway pizza.

delivered either Tuesday or Thursday

of the same week. Now offering pre-

arranged collections. Order via email

only shop@vineyardsofsherborne.co.uk @vineyards.wine




Open some mornings at the shop. a.davies753@btinternet.com

service with online click and collect.

The Queens Arms

The White Post

Email Adrian for deliveries

Corton Denham. Hot takeaway

Saturday night takeaway, order via direct


01963 220317

number. Order on a Tuesday from

Naturalife Wholefoods Open Monday to Saturday 10am–4pm. We stock a variety of foods, flour, food 8 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

____________________________ Reads Coffee Order online or collect directly

message on Facebook with telephone 6pm–11pm.



Dorset 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem

Do YOU need help with your wellbeing? OR could YOU help others that do? Due to the COVID-19 outbreak we’ve seen a huge rise in anxiety and poor mental health across Dorset. We know that now, more than ever, people need our support. Which is why we’ve replaced our adult and young people services with online or phone support. This means we are able

to continue to support Dorset’s local communities. We can deliver support groups, befriending, counselling and mentoring in this new way. We’ve also developed a new training programme for individuals and companies. Find out more by emailing contact@dorsetmind.uk.

Website: dorsetmind.uk • #joinourmovement Registered Charity No. 1108168

COMMUNITY Support ____________________________ Catherine Paterson, ARTT, MPM 50% off RTT hypnotherapy for all

NHS staff. Clinical hypnotherapist,

Wim Hof instructor. 079413 86971 catherinepaterson.co.uk

____________________________ Lucy Beney MBACP Lucy is an integrative counsellor,

registered with the BACP. Usually

support service which is bespoke to each

yogasherborne.co.uk 07817 624081

as shopping, collection of prescriptions,


etc. We are unable to offer personal


Contact Amanda on 07786 9251637

Black Shed Flowers


nationwide. Gift vouchers also available.

customer. Services include such things light housework, companionship


care or provide a cleaning service.



Next day delivery of beautiful flowers,


07859 911817


working out of London Road Clinic and


remote sessions. She works mainly with


issues. She is also a qualified Tuning into

We also have two live HIIT classes each

The Corner House

also teaming up with Wincanton Print to

from 8am-1pm and 4pm-5pm. Also,

Castle Gardens

in local schools, Lucy is currently offering


young people and parents on a range of

Videos for all our over 50s exercise classes.

Teens facilitator. lucybeneycounselling.com

week. Live video PT with clients. Whilst

Newsagent & general store is open

distribute exercise cards for over 70s with

delivering our goods to elderly/

lucybeneycounselling@gmail.com 07510 081445

____________________________ The Rendezvous One-to-one emotional support via

no internet access. 07791 308773

info@communifit.co.uk communifit.co.uk


Deliveries across range of plants. 01935 814633 thegardensgroup.co.uk


vulnerable/self-isolating customers. 01935 815 615


telephone, email, or Skype for young



people and young families.

Advice and guidance available. Plus,

Online fitness programmes - Strength

Deliveries available on electrical items.

help with housing, benefits and universal

and Conditioning, Stretching, Broga plus Old School Circuits and HIIT Class.

01935 389665

credit, food bank referrals via phone, email and Facebook messenger.

@therendezvous1 therendezvous.org.uk

@SPFit-Sherborne and

@swjpartridge spfit-sherborne.co.uk



Yoga with Emma

Sherborne Viral Kindness

Emma’s yoga classes for flexibility,

A community initiative helping those who are in need, offering a variety

of services including shopping and

prescription pick-ups, free meals from their community kitchen – donations accepted but are not expected — dog

walking, DVD and book swap scheme

and a Go Fund Me page to support the community efforts during COVID-19. @sherborneviralkindness

____________________________ Total Wellbeing Matters Total Wellbeing Matters is a local company covering Sherborne and

surrounding areas. We offer a home 10 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

strength and well-being are now

online. Choose from pre-recorded

sessions to access whenever you like

or attend live group classes via Zoom to boost motivation. There’s a mix of

paid and free options, to help you get back on the mat. emmareesyoga.com

ebmarsh.com marshs@ebmarsh.com

____________________________ The Slipped Stitch Free home delivery in Sherborne and Milborne Port, and by post to other areas. We are running a ‘Lockdown

Crochet Along’ and virtual ‘Knit and

Natter’ sessions on Facebook on Tuesday mornings, and Thursday & Saturday afternoons.


info@theslippedstitch.co.uk theslippedstitch.co.uk/blog



Toy Barn

Yoga Sherborne

available for delivery. info@toy-barn.co.uk

____________________________ Hatha Yoga, relaxation & meditation. Live classes or recorded for you to practise in your own time.

Suitable for all levels including

beginners. yogasherborne.co.uk hello@

Selection of toys and play equipment


Coping through coronavirus If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak, visit samaritans.org/coronavirus You can speak to Samaritans for emotional support on 116 123

Call 116 123




Jules Bradburn, The Sherborne Market

e are so excited to see that the Government has allowed open markets to trade again. During lockdown, it has only been food and essential items that could be sold at open markets, but now we’ve been given the green light to showcase our fantastic local artisans, crafts people and amazing food producers. The first market in June 2019 saw over 3000 people attend on a beautiful sunny day in Sherborne. With stalls along cheap street and on the Abbey Green; it was a busy Father’s Day. A year on and yet again, it’s Father’s Day that will be the re-launch of our market- 21st June 2020. Necessary precautions must be taken in line with government advice on spacing, social distancing and queue management. So, this year, the stalls will be spaced out along Cheap Street, Half Moon Street, Digby Road, and hopefully, in both Paddock Gardens and Pageant Gardens. Spacing the stalls will give stall holders the room needed to manage the customers and the ability to still engage and offer tasters where appropriate. We will have social distancing volunteers giving out information on the whereabouts of stalls, but also reminding people to abide by the social distancing rules so that everything runs smoothly and more importantly, safely. So, what’s on offer? We have a myriad of stall holders from artisan food and drink to flowers, plants, stained glass, potters, leather crafts, wooden crafts, artists, some of whom have been featured in The Sherborne Times in recent issues. We are encouraging our businesses in town to set up stalls outside their premises so they can fill people in on their products, services and latest information on how their business is operating. We are aware that some may doubt the timing of the market re-opening and may claim it’s too soon, but our town needs our support as do our businesses; they need to flourish once more and start to re-build in what, for many business owners, is an incredibly stressful and unknown landscape. With lockdown restrictions easing by the day, we feel now is the time to start slowly moving forward. Over 80 stalls have booked in so far but they will he spread around the town carefully so visitors can move freely and explore the town whilst meeting with our local traders and businesses. We hope that if you decide to venture out, you will have an enjoyable day outside that not only supports local traders but more importantly, feels safe and refreshing after such a long time at home for many. ___________________________________________________________________________ Every 3rd Sunday, June - September The Sherborne Market Cheap Street, Half Moon Street, Digby Road.



12 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


Hand picked & selected artisan market featuring local producers, suppliers, amazing food, arts and crafts. 3RD SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH STARTING 21ST JUNE


OUR MAN IN WESTMINSTER Chris Loder MP, Member of Parliament for West Dorset


t seems like an eternity away now but, just after 3pm on Saturday 21st September, I sat in the chancel of Sherborne Abbey - in peace and quiet and personal prayer, considering what the future might hold for me, having just been interviewed to be a parliamentary candidate. Earlier that morning, at home on the farm, I had strained every sinew to help a mother give birth to her enormous calf. It was an impossible and traumatic situation, where the calf sadly did not survive and the mother prolapsed. It was not quite the way I had planned to start the day and the vet was still there when I got home. It was very sad for all of us at Ryalls Farm. Whilst that day was pretty awful, I look back now and think what better grounding could I have had at the start of the day on which the West Dorset Conservative Party would be shortlisting its new parliamentary candidate for a constituency with such strong agriculture and farming roots. Over the last two months, I have often reflected on that day, because whilst difficult, I had taken many things for granted and now realise what life is like without these small blessings. I have not been able to spend time with my parents as they have been shielding from this virus – and of course, at the date of writing, I am still unable to enter Sherborne Abbey - the Parish Church that is my spiritual home. But of course, life is now very different, in that I am now elected to Parliament with the responsibility and voice of 83,000 people. I am thankful every day that my education at the Gryphon School gave me the start in life, not for university, but for a railway career of 20 years that has provided me with many of the skills I need. Being born at the Yeatman Hospital, schooled here and brought up here, I often wonder if this was my vocation – perhaps even destiny – to be the newly elected Member of Parliament. While the first six months as an MP has been

14 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

somewhat a baptism of fire - it has also been immensely enjoyable. Walking into the House of Commons chamber on Friday 13th December 2019 for the first time, in absolute silence, was one of the most moving moments I have ever experienced. So, too, has been bringing resolution to the nation with voting for the EU Withdrawal Bill; but even heavier on my conscience was the Coronavirus Bill when it was brought to the House of Commons. Of course, the utmost priority has been for me to ensure that all of us in West Dorset have received, and continue to receive, what was needed during this pandemic. From securing adequate PPE, additional funding for Dorset Council, hand sanitiser for GP surgeries, scrubs for our hospitals and care homes, supplies to our remote village stores and even deliveries to those who could not get their own groceries – or who were let down by the supermarkets’ home delivery system, it has been a very hands-on time. I have also been greatly moved by the many letters

Image: Len Copland

and correspondence I’ve received in recent months. They led me to pursue the campaign for funerals to be reinstated at Yeovil Crematorium chapel; to petition the Government for greater support for dairy farmers and to lobby on behalf of businesses and individuals who were not able to get the financial support they needed. I hope, in the not too distant future, it will also lead to our Parish Churches being reopened and for small funerals, weddings and baptisms to be possible once again. But what now for us and our community? During June and July, we should slowly see restrictions being lifted and our liberties restored. Shops are gently reopening on Cheap Street and businesses are trading - but life is going to be very different and now is the time to consider and prepare for that. We are likely heading into one of the worst recessions for decades and we will not be immune from the effects of that. It is a political tightrope to tread, achieving the fine balance of controlling the virus and safeguarding public health, while reopening our economy. We have had 360

confirmed Coronavirus cases in a population of 380,000 in rural Dorset and so, as difficult as it is, we will need to put that into perspective when making decisions as we return to normality. Now is the time to think differently, innovatively - maybe even consider going back to how things were done years ago, where the butcher, the greengrocer, the baker and the milkman delivered directly to our homes and villages. Our local shops and small businesses that have been the most hard-hit, are often the same local businesses that have thrown themselves into voluntary initiatives during this crisis; going the extra mile to provide hundreds of meals each week, having raised the money themselves with volunteer support. The least we can do for them now, through the turbulence ahead, is to actively support them. Not just saying we will, but actually doing it. chrisloder.co.uk sherbornetimes.co.uk | 15


16 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


Andy Hastie, Yeovil Cinematheque


nother month gone and, at the time of writing, little change in our situation with Cinematheque still waiting to open again. However, with the astonishing Tiger King on Netflix becoming a popular distraction for many, I thought it might be an idea to mention further documentaries which highlight some remarkable people, both good and bad. All can be streamed from Amazon Prime. 20 Feet from Stardom (2014) from the USA, a multi award-winning documentary telling the previously untold true story of the backing singers behind so many of the biggest stars throughout the 21st century. This tribute is both triumphant and heart-breaking, with plenty of archive footage, and recalls the struggle many great, albeit anonymous, singers have had in the shadows of superstardom. With some fascinating anecdotes and fabulous performances, this really is a feel-good delight. ‘Electrifying… sheer perfection,’ Rolling Stone Magazine. The Conquest of Everest (1953) is the original British Oscar-nominated account of Edmund Hillary and John Hunt’s expedition to the summit of Mount Everest. Detailing the meticulous planning involved, the film is full of dramatic scenery, breathtaking photography and real tension throughout the historic climb. Man with a Movie Camera directed by Dziga Vertov in 1929, is an extraordinary montage of everyday urban Russian life. Shot in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa, it follows the people at work and play in a ‘dawn till dusk’ format. Starting as the city wakes, it records the ebb and flow of human life including birth, marriage, divorce and death: streets, traffic, factories, machinery all humming, spinning and whirring, keeping the city going throughout. It is all rather exhilarating and represents the best of Soviet cinema’s avant-garde. In complete contrast, Tabloid (2010) is Errol Morris’ stranger than fiction telling of former beauty queen, Joyce McKinney’s, obsession with the man of her dreams

and what she does to catch him. This is mind-boggling cinema; unbelievable, hilarious, barking-mad, but completely true! Finding Vivian Maier (2014) is the story of a nanny who, when pushing her wards in a pram around 1950s Chicago, took thousands of photographs of street life. These were only discovered decades later, and Maier subsequently became described as one of the twentieth century’s greatest photographers. ‘A tantalising and utterly fascinating film,’ The Independent. Beware of Mr Baker (2013) is a no holds barred portrait of the great former Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker. With contributions from Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce amongst others, plus plenty of excellent live music footage, this is a must for rock fans even if Ginger Baker comes across as a boorish, bullying, unattractive man, broke and isolated in South Africa, lashing out at everyone around him. ‘One of the most jaw-dropping rockumentaries ever made,’ Q Magazine. Finally, Cutie and the Boxer (2013) is a revealing insight into a 40 year creative partnership. Set in New York, it explores the relationship between Japanese painter Ushio Shinohara and his artist wife Noriko. Shinohara ‘paints’ with boxing gloves to little commercial success, after he left Japan as a leading member of the avant-garde to seek international recognition. Over the years, their roles have slowly changed as Noriko is now recognised in her own right for her drawings. The film is a moving and affectionate portrait of a couple dealing with eternal themes of sacrifice and ageing, against a background of two lives dedicated to art. I hope that there is something of interest here. Don’t forget to suggest your own favourites, if you wish. Stay safe. cinematheque.org.uk swan-theatre.co.uk

sherbornetimes.co.uk | 17


Twelfth Night Image: Marc Brenner



ational Theatre Live have come up trumps with their free streaming programme of plays. Twelfth Night, directed by Simon Godwin in 2017, is a modern take with Tamsin Greig playing a rather hilarious Malvolia. She had the audience hanging onto her every stare, twitch and movement. Huge respect. Phoebe Fox plays an excellent Olivia. The set design by Soutra Gilmour is ingenious. But, oh, Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein filmed in 2011 by the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating between the roles of the creature and Victor Frankenstein is a masterpiece. I saw Cumberbatch as the creature. The first fifteen 18 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

minutes of the play saw the creature emerge naked into the world and discover his feet. The splayed feet, the angular arms, the stumbling, the quest for balance was a truly epic display of an actor inhabiting a role and a tour de force of physical theatre. This is an unforgettable and astonishing performance. The audience almost forgives this bewildered and grotesque creature who is cast out into a hostile and cruel world. As he becomes more desperate to be loved and understood, the creature lashes out in frustration burning and killing those in his path. His maker, played by Lee Miller, cruelly and sadistically manipulates his creation throughout. Neither characters are likeable, but our sympathies lie with the creature in

Frankenstein Image: Catherine Ashmore

the end. Naomie Harris plays Elizabeth, Victor’s fiancée, but hardly gets a look in. I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 50th birthday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall from 1998 on his The Shows Must Go On series. Whilst many years ago, I did enjoy Glenn Close and Antonio Banderas reprising their roles as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, and the phantom in Phantom of the Opera, respectively. Sarah Brightman’s soprano voice is truly amazing in a role which was written specifically for her by her then husband, Lloyd Webber, as the original Christine. On to Wise Children, directed by Emma Rice, based on Angela Carter’s novel about illegitimate twin showgirls from a theatrical dynasty. Filmed at the York Theatre Royal in 2019, it’s full of seediness, sparkle and dark in parts with the highs and lows of a dysfunctional family. The stage is dominated by a decrepit old caravan under the starry lights of a theatre’s stage. Characters

change sex, colour and age seamlessly. Strange, but also rather addictive. Hampstead Theatre released a live stream of the 2014 production of Tiger Country by Nina Raine about life and death challenges in the A&E department of an NHS London hospital. The staff are over-worked, under immense strain and under-resourced – play this out alongside their own human frailties and it makes for an intense and gripping account of life in the NHS stretched to its limits. For light entertainment, visit Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny on YouTube, listen to the sublime Patrick Stewart on Twitter reading a new sonnet every day @SirPatStew or watch 100 Great Paintings of All Time on YouTube, compiled by Kiddopedia according to their popularity. Don’t forget the Royal Albert Home programme of artists presenting exclusive sessions from their homes. sherbornetimes.co.uk | 19



No. 20: Plaxy Arthur - Plaxy Pots


iving in the wonderful countryside near Sherborne, I find the soft colours and textures of our scenery an inspiration for my work. I make both functional pots – table and ovenware, alongside one-off studio pots. I use glazes that I mix myself, often chosen from traditional Japanese recipes. A gas-fired kiln is used to fire my work, which lets me experiment with the effects of reduction firing as the oxygen limitation interacts with the molten glaze. It is the subtlety and variety of the colour effects - the individuality of each pot – that I find so exciting in this technique. No two pots are ever the same. Each one feels different too; pottery is very tactile, which is part of the beauty. I have potted part-time all my life, and around the world, living with my husband in several countries. I 20 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

learned a lot from ceramics, and potters themselves in Africa, Germany, France and India. Above all, I have worked with traditional potters in India, whose throwing techniques are amazing: craft pottery traditions that have developed over centuries evolve shapes that are immensely satisfying to look at while, of course, being totally functional. I traveled to India for a couple of weeks in January to work in ceramics. Luckily, I managed to undertake this period of study before lockdown! Full-time pottery became a reality for me when I retired, and my husband and I moved to the Sherborne area – from Berlin, via London – a few years ago. We love it! plaxypots.com

SONIA BARTON ∙ VANESSA BOWMAN 19 th June - 4th July SEE THE EXHIBITION ONLINE Interactive catalogue





THE GALLERY IS NOW OPEN FOR THIS SHOW There is plenty of safe space within the Gallery to visit the Exhibition


THE JERRAM GALLERY Half Moon Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3LN

01935 815261 info@jerramgallery.com Tuesday – Saturday




Andy Foster, Raise Architects

imagine you were as disappointed as I was to learn that our new art gallery, the Paddock Project, had been abandoned following the withdrawal of the primary benefactor’s funding. It’s a sad thing to happen given the dedication of so many people over the years. It is especially unfortunate because the notion of a significant art project in Sherborne had received such strong local support. The project would have benefited not only the artistic community but the town and its residents as well. It’s a setback that results from and is made worse by, the global pandemic; the greatest collective shock that we have experienced. What is needed at this challenging time is optimism and the hope of a brighter future. We’ve had our fill of despair. I’ve been providing architectural services for the other art project in Sherborne, the Art Farm, located in the old barns at Barton Farm. This scheme, principally intended to provide artists studios as well as sculpture and pottery workshops, remains viable but will inevitably be affected by changes to the funding landscape. As a result, we will need to revisit the proposals to ensure that they include appropriate facilities and that they can be delivered economically. Before embarking on this review, it felt right to pause for a moment to see if anything could come from the idea of a joint project. I am pleased to confirm that discussions are in progress regarding the possibility of a combined approach. Joe Benjamin and Sir Robert Fry, the respective Chairs of the Art Farm Project and Sherborne Community Arts Centre Trust, have both confirmed to me their agreement to explore such a strategy. It won’t be easy as each project has its complexities and sensitivities. However, bringing them together as a single entity, and avoiding any duplication of facilities, has the potential to simplify and streamline the concepts. It also provides an opportunity to re-imagine what is possible, albeit on a more modest scale, and take advantage of the significant wealth of knowledge and support that the projects have previously accrued. New sources of funding will be required, and no doubt 22 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

these will be increasingly difficult to secure during the coming economic difficulties. It is in this context that the two projects have asked me to develop ideas for how a building or buildings for a unified scheme might emerge. No one can predict the future, and I am under no illusions as to the difficulty of this task. In reviewing the configuration of both projects, it will be essential to look at things holistically and to ask some fundamental questions. Previously, each project had its own site; should this new unified project instead be based at one location? What will any changes to the proposals mean for Barton Farm and the integration of the project with other Digby Estate buildings? If the old Paddock Project site is unused, what will happen to that area of land, given the constraints imposed on its acquisition? Could improvements be made to the relationship with Paddock Gardens? Previously, there was a reduction of spaces in the Market Car Park but could there now

Kai Oberhauser/Unsplash

be an increase? Will car usage in Sherborne go up or statutory and otherwise. A programme of regular public down in the future? What about the future of high street consultation will be crucial, as will the need to listen and shopping? What will happen with Sherborne House and to incorporate adjustments according to what is said. is there a possibility of co-ordination with Sherborne Although the Art Farm and Sherborne Community House Trust to help unlock the full potential of this Arts Centre Trust will drive the study, we should not vital building? Can we arrive at a masterplan that will forget that the real clients are the people of Sherborne. provide sufficient improvement to the town, suchImage: that itKai Oberhauser Overall,Unsplash we need to be realistic and focus on what is will gain support from the Town Council and the local achievable. Any solution must command local support community? It may not be possible to achieve all that and be capable of attracting funds. However, that doesn’t was previously intended, but even with a reduced scope, prevent us from being ambitious. The proposals should the project can still be a catalyst for broader benefit. still spark the public imagination and be a significant Not everyone will agree with whatever emerges, contribution to Sherborne’s future success. Although and not all opinions can be incorporated. We will have it would be tempting to give up in the face of the to abandon some possibilities as we prioritise others. difficulties caused by the global pandemic, what we need Given the circumstances, people will also be sceptical now, more than ever, is hope. A successful community that we can achieve anything. The development of art project can still make a significant contribution to a new proposals will require sensitive management better future for us all. and collaboration. There will be an obvious need for appropriate consultation with all relevant organisations, raisearchitects.com sherbornetimes.co.uk | 23


AN ARTIST’S VIEW Laurence Belbin


hese certainly have been unusual times. As an artist, I am used to going off to places to paint and draw whenever I desire, and it’s been frustrating, to say the least, being confined. That said, it does make you look much closer at what’s around your immediate surroundings, both inside and out. I did this little sketch of primroses in my garden; they were not at their best, but still looked nice. Using HB and 2B pencils on cartridge paper, I began with the main flower and slowly worked out, enlarging the area taken in as I went. Those of you who have attended my 24 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

drawing classes in Yetminster, will know that so much can be achieved by building up the shading. What starts off as dark can so easily be transformed to a mid-tone by intensifying the darkness next to it. This way, you can add more interest to the shadowy areas. Try and stay true to your subject and use any artistic licence with care. This didn’t take very long, perhaps over a couple of mugs of tea! But a relaxing and enjoyable time was had. The next little piece is also in my garden, done on the same cartridge paper and drawn with a HB pencil. Our garden is divided into ‘little rooms’, so you can go

from area to area and enjoy the aspects of that section rather than see it all from one place. This is the small area where salad vegetables are grown, along with beans and a few carrots. The dividing wall is a combination of brick and stone, with flowerpots and odds and ends; it made a nice corner to draw. The old grinding wheel and chimney pot where I store sticks etc. all add to the interest. The seeds are beginning to show through, which makes it look like I know what I’m doing! As there was quite a bit going on in the drawing, there was a possibility that when reproduced it may

have looked a little confusing, so I decided to lay some watercolour down. I did think I might use some pen and ink too, but changed my mind as it would have made it too defined. It really is a sketch, but I do find, regardless of the outcome, doing these ‘notes’ does make one look closely. Depending on how long this lockdown continues, I might end up with a huge collection of studies of the garden! laurencebelbin.com sherbornetimes.co.uk | 25


‘THE SUNLIGHT WAS GOLDEN, GLOWING…’ Helen Carless BA, ASFAV, Lawrences Auctioneers

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e are transporting ourselves into brighter days ahead with this watercolour and gouache by Laura Knight (1877-1970) Lamorna Cove that came to auction recently. It was offered for sale with a letter from the artist to the buyer, thanking her for her cheque of £78.15, which read: Dear Mrs Murray Your very kind letter and cheque for £78-15-0 enclosed, has been sent on to me at the above address [Park Hole, Colwall, Nr. Malvern, Worcs.]. I hope you will love `Lamorna Cove` (No119) when it is delivered to you by my agent, Messrs James Bourlet, at the close of the Diploma Gallery on September the twelth [sic] ... where to; The wonderful way in which you speak of my exhibition fills me with joy and encouragement. Although I am now an antique, I hope I have not become just a piece of furniture. With many thanks, yours sincerely, Laura Knight Following her marriage to Harold Knight in 1903, Laura and her husband moved to the artists‘ colony of Staithes on the Yorkshire coast. They failed to thrive financially and, after a holiday in Cornwall in 1907, they moved to Newlyn where they settled much more contentedly. They mixed (and shared painting trips) with all the other artists, including Alexander Stanhope Forbes, Ernest and Dod Proctor, Alfred Munnings and Samuel John Lamorna Birch. The Knights spent twelve years in Cornwall before moving to London in 1919, but they maintained a happy association with Newlyn during their holidays. In Janet Dunbar‘s book on Laura Knight (1975), she writes, ‘The sunlight on this Cornish coast was unlike anything Laura remembered in Staithes… it was golden, glowing, turning the blue-green sea into sparkling iridescence... Laura wholeheartedly accepted the tenet of the Newlyn School that outdoor subjects, like landscapes and seascapes, should be faithful transcripts from nature painted from first to last on the spot.’ The view is from Tregurnow cliff top, above Flagstaff Cottage, looking down into Lamorna Cove. Granite from these cliffs was hauled to London for the building of the Thames Embankment. This early composition for the celebrated oil concentrates upon the glittering light of the water that has filled the cove upon the rise of the tide. ‘The little bay,’ Knight recalled, had been ‘turned to gold by the reflection of the sun shining on the cliff above... it was an excessively bright canvas.’ Indeed, the subject was so memorable that it lingered long in Knight‘s memory so much so that, during a week of murky fogs in the capital in the winter of 1919-1920, she developed her sketches and her acute visual memory into the stunning exhibit for the Royal Academy that summer (no.618). The challenge was to recall the sparkling and ever-changing colours that had so memorably illuminated the cove. Such was Laura Knight‘s inspiration that she managed to pin down just enough of the glorious light, sunshine and rippling water on that magical day to recreate the special ‘ebullient vitality’ of the Cornish coast in the dark days of a London winter, whilst 300 miles away from the county of Cornwall that she loved so much. The 37.5 x 42.5cm watercolour was bought for £11,250. lawrences.co.uk

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elizabethwatsonillustration.com 28 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

A journey of learning & discovery...

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UNEARTHED Fabian Mercer, aged 15 Sherborne School


usic Scholar, Fabian Mercer, is currently in the Fifth Form (Year 11) at Sherborne School and would have been on the cusp of taking his GCSE exams pre lockdown. As a Music Scholar, Fabian makes a significant contribution to the busy Music School: he sings in the Chamber Choir, the School Choir and the Choral Society, which performed Mozart’s Requiem in the Abbey last February. Additionally, he plays the trombone in the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Band, Brass Band and the Swing Band. During lockdown, Fabian has been with his family in Yorkshire, but has nonetheless been involved in six remote recordings with musical ensembles - a process which involves recording his singing or playing on a mobile phone, whilst listening to a guide track, then sending the recordings to the music staff in Sherborne for editing in their homes. Fabian is also a keen actor; his lead role of Hector in the Boarding House’s brilliant production of The History Boys was a performance of real maturity and pathos. He has also been involved in the Model United Nations Society, the School’s Environmental Action Group, which is currently engaged in an extensive programme of tree planting and Fabian is leading the way in his Boarding House by coordinating a scheme to reuse plastic shopping bags. Alongside this and his studies, Fabian also finds time to play squash and to go walking and fly fishing. With such a broad portfolio of activity, it is hard to predict exactly the area in which Fabian will make his mark when he leaves Sherborne, but make one he most certainly will. sherborne.org

KATHARINE DAVIES PHOTOGRAPHY Portrait, lifestyle, PR and editorial commissions 07808 400083 info@katharinedaviesphotography.co.uk www.katharinedaviesphotography.co.uk

30 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


Children’s Reading Picks

Little Green Donkey, by Anuska Allepuz (Walker Books) £7.99 Sherborne Times Reader Offer Price of £6.99 from Winstone’s Books by Ethan (aged 12) Little Green Donkey is about a donkey whose mum is encouraging him to eat different types of foods but the only thing he likes eating is grass. In fact, he likes it so much that his pillow is made out of it so when he wakes up, he can eat straight away. One day, he had eaten so much grass that when he looked at himself in his reflection in some water, he was green! His mum, once again, tried to get him to eat different food but, no matter what she tried, he didn’t like them. Until, one day, he ate something truly wonderful and tasty that wasn’t grass… (read the book if you want to know more!) The coloured pencil illustrations in the book are calming and cute. It has some really funny bits in it, like when he tries to keep that he has turned green from his mum by covering himself in mud and leaves and he says, ‘Nobody will ever guess…I’m a genius!’ I think that there are two morals in this story – the first one is to have the confidence to try lots of different

foods then you might find something you like, and the second moral is to eat a balanced diet to keep healthy. This is definitely a book for fussy eaters!

I Don’t Want To Wash My Hands! by Tony Ross (Andersen Press) £6.99 Sherborne Times Reader Offer Price of £5.99 from Winstone’s Books by Corbin (aged 9) I Don’t Want To Wash My Hands! is a book for young children. It is one story out of a whole set of books about The Little Princess. She is usually naughty but, in this book, she isn’t really mischievous, she just wants to do lots of messy things. The other characters in this story are always telling The Little Princess to wash her hands after her messy play and she keeps asking why. There is a really funny twist at the end! I like this book because it has scruffy, colourful pictures and it is a simple story. It has a moral in it, which is to wash your hands, so germs don’t get into your tummy and make you poorly. This is really important at the moment for everyone, but mostly for the little children who will enjoy this book. sherbornetimes.co.uk | 31

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Safia and Ian, Bootmakers Workshop

ith most of us still in partial lockdown and online shops struggling to keep up with our orders, there’s never been a better time to consider what you can make from any old rubbish. Scrap-based design is something we’ve been doing at Bootmakers since we opened our workshop doors, almost three years ago. We’re lucky enough to receive all manner of unwanted materials – from old buttons to empty coconut shells, brought in by people like us, who just can’t stand waste. We take these items in, promising to do our best to transform one person’s junk into another person’s treasure. And in normal circumstances, people of all ages come into the workshop to use these materials, either for their own projects, or to have a go at some of the ideas we’ve designed. The alchemy of turning waste into wanted is a trick learnt from years spent in developing countries such as Morocco. When there aren’t many shops around, it’s amazing how a bag of random bits and bobs can inspire one to create a masterpiece. It’s far less daunting to use scrap materials than it is to sit down with an expensive new sketchbook, or to break the seal of a pack of designer scrapbooking paper. This month’s Bootmakers video shows how to use origami paper to make a simple tubular flyer – but if you don’t have origami paper to hand, any lightweight paper will do. And while you’re casting an eye around for the paper, why not look for other rubbish you could transform? It’s amazing how time flies when you’re transforming new things into old. @Bootmakersworkshops

34 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

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HOME FRONT Jemma Dempsey


38 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


’ve decided the term ‘home schooling’ is a misnomer — taking the plunge to teach your children at home is a conscious decision which is made with deliberation, thought and lots of planning, not something that’s thrust upon you by your government with no notice whatsoever in the midst of a national health crisis. Before the ‘new normal’, home schooling conjured up images of spare rooms magically transformed into classrooms with colourful Cath Kidston-esque bunting, box files alphabetically organised to complement the national curriculum, art supplies and more besides, with children merrily reciting their times tables while making impossibly complex origami great white sharks, learning about global warming and singing tracks from ‘The Greatest Showman’. Well, not in my house. Fast forward to my lockdown kitchen and there are piles of printer paper, waiting to be stuck into exercise books of various hues, hastily bought from Amazon, scissors, glue sticks, an apple core. And now we know for the older children it will be going on until September, for the younger ones a phased return in June. It all started well enough. Joe Wicks is a clockwork bunny; I am full of admiration at his enduring ability to keep going every morning and I sincerely hope his smiley enthusiasm will rub off on me. ‘Come on Ma,’ the small one cries, but his words of encouragement do little other than remind me that my near 50-year-old carcass is missing its regular swimming sessions and that makes me grumpy. I feel old and it’s only 9.30am. Time for a coffee. We get the computer out and say hello to the virtual classroom; messages of dubious educational merit flow back and forth between the students. It’s here that the resistance begins — the small one does not want to do the English work about trolls; it’s the second week on this topic. He pushes his exercise book away and declares that trolls aren’t real. I admit he has a point but remind him that his teacher has set this work. I cajole, I bribe, I put on my stern voice, I strongly suggest, I jazz it up, I threaten… it is at this point I realise I am not a teacher. It is at this point that I realise those thoughts I had about retraining as a teacher, about using my industry experience gleaned as a journalist over however many decades and putting it to good use in the classroom, need to be put to bed. This is not for me. I do not have the patience.

I shoo the small one outside; we are still blessed with good weather, and we go and inspect the veggie garden. The strawberry plants now have real strawberries; I am amazed I haven’t killed them. The broad beans are literally growing in front of my eyes; my dad is pleased as he loves them. The peas are winding themselves around the canes, the lettuces look ready to be picked — but are they? The beetroot is definitely growing, so is the coriander. But the rocket’s being eaten by something, it’s full of holes. I also planted cauliflower — why? They’re going to be huge. A friend has given me some broccoli and sprouts - lucky if I ever get anyone to eat those apart from me, still I don’t care. And a dear friend in the village has given me some tomato plants; I gave her a bottle of wine. It was a fair trade me thinks. Back in the house, in the kitchen at mission control, the other one appears, hunting for food. Unimpressed with what’s on offer, he goes to leave, but I call him back and his brother in from outside. ‘It’s no good,’ I tell them both, ‘it’s time.’ They exchange worried looks and I can visibly see them swallow. I open the dog’s cupboard and rummage around until I find what I’m looking for — a black box. I summon the husband into the kitchen, nod at the box and tell him there’s no putting it off any more. He asks me if I’m sure, to which I respond that we don’t really have much choice. It’s time for a haircut and the dog’s clippers will provide the means to do it. The boys try to beat a hasty retreat but I’ve sealed off the exits; resistance is futile. I turn the clippers on and they come alive in my hands; I feel uneasy about this but try not to let it show. The husband plucks up the courage and offers to go first — a number 3 buzz cut and it’s all done and dusted in minutes — the only tricky bit around the ears. I step back to admire my handiwork, even the husband seems quite happy, but then he’s yet to put his glasses back on. The older one goes next, he’s not smiling but at least he knows what to expect, then the small one. There’s a lot of hair on the floor. Both boys look glum, we take a photo and label it our convict lockdown haircuts. They offer to cut mine, but I decline and gesture a ponytail will suffice if my hair gets out of control. The grey though, the grey. Am trying to learn to love the grey…

sherbornetimes.co.uk | 39




uring these challenging times our farmers have kept going with the day job, providing the essential, high quality food for the nation. This, however, has not been easy with many farmers facing the uncertainty of falling milk prices or even the prospect that their milk might not be collected. Those supplying the cafe and restaurant markets have been facing especially difficult times as their market collapsed overnight due to restaurant and cafe closures. Despite this, there have been many positives to come out of this trying situation. One big benefit is that people have started to reconnect with where their food is coming from and how it is produced. Many people have started buying milk and other produce directly from local farmers. Buying produce in this manner really engages the public with the farms and where it is produced. Farmers are very passionate about their high-quality produce and love interacting with the public to teach them how it is made. With many children being home-schooled, farmers have launched the #LockdownLearning initiative. The aim is to inspire and educate children about food and its origin. Farmers and people associated with the industry, such as vets, have been uploading teaching videos to the Eat Farm Now website. Please visit this and share the videos on social media with the #LockdownLearning hashtag. friarsmoorvets.co.uk


The team at Friars Moor Livestock Health are calling for all children to learn about farming and where their food comes from. We would like children to make posters showing how the food they eat is produced. When you have finished your poster, please take a picture or scan and send it by email to: farmoffice@friarsmoorlivestockhealth.co.uk A prize will be given for the best poster in age groups 4 to 7 years, 8 to 11 years and 12 to 16 years old. Please submit all entries by 1st July. Winners will be announced in the August edition and contacted in person before this. Good luck, stay safe, wash your hands, be creative and visit your nearest farm shop or milk vending machine to sample some wholesome local produce. friarsmoorvets.co.uk

40 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


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The Joinery Works, Alweston Sherborne, Dorset DT9 5HS Tel: 01963 23219 Fax: 01963 23053 Email: info@fcuffandsons.co.uk



NEW SCHOOL OF THOUGHT Adam Anstey, Director of IT Systems, Data and Compliance, Sherborne Preparatory School


44 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


uring a lockdown stargazing session, I was amazed to see a series of ten satellites rocketing across the night sky in perfect unison. As my Labrador started to bark and wind rustled through the trees, it was becoming more like a scene from a Sci-Fi film. Suddenly, a further line of ten satellites crossed paths adjacently at incredible speeds. These satellite tests initiated by SpaceX, confirmed my suspicion that it will not be long before Elon Musk’s Starlink vision begins beaming down inexpensive broadband on a global level, even to areas which previously had no or limited access to the internet. This is surely a magnificent small step for mankind in the right direction with Dorset perhaps falling within the ‘limited’ bracket at times. We have all witnessed first-hand a firm reliance on fast internet speeds in order to support the plethora of platforms that are now gracing our sociallydistanced lives. An online existence, which may be the norm for some time to come, naturally conflicts the physical demands that we as humans have evolved to enjoy and our pupils clearly miss running around their beloved school grounds with friends. Physically being in a school brings endless opportunity to grow socially; both in confidence and wisdom. Daily interactions during classroom collaboration, assemblies, form time or on the sports field are something that online platforms aim to replicate. Although in a somewhat solo capacity, we have used the tools available creatively to ensure our pupils still feel close to their friends, their teachers, the wider school community, whilst still engaged with their learning. Teachers work tirelessly to deliver a broad, forward-thinking curriculum that prepares children for an ever-changing world, one which might never be the same again. With this in mind, we have needed to ensure that our online teaching content strives to replicate this challenging, academic, exciting and engaging curriculum, whilst still embedding the fun, welcoming, happy and nurturing atmosphere that our school is well known for. This is not a one-off psychological experiment for us, but a real opportunity to develop a learning platform that can be positively utilised far beyond the current social limitations. A delicate equilibrium between engaging online content and off-screen learning is continually developing and with this, I have noticed a surge in confidence within our pupils, teachers and indeed parents. A successful hybrid learning model combines both online and face-toface experiences for children, allowing schools to choose the most effective elements of each and to use these to maximum effect. Working online, pupils have the ability to learn at their own pace; develop further independence, recap on content quickly and ensure all their thoughts and ideas are secured safely within the cloud. It is clear that interacting with friends whilst queuing up for seconds during lunch or receiving that reassuring nod from the teacher during a challenging maths lesson, are aspects that our pupils sorely miss but with a careful balance, we can be sure to offer an innovative school experience for all. To put it simply, online learning platforms will put a firm question mark around snow days but this, of course, does not mean that we will stop encouraging them to take a sledge out into the snow. sherborneprep.org sherbornetimes.co.uk | 45


THE LEGACY OF CRICKET Andy Nurton, Sherborne School

Image: Josie Sturgess-Mills


espite it being over 60 years ago and before lockdown can ever be imagined, my dad can still clearly recall waiting desperately for the phone to ring at home to inform my grandfather that someone could not play for the village club on the upcoming weekend. The phone call was often at very short notice and, as a ten/eleven-year-old in those days, Dad would play to make up the numbers, but he was just desperate to be involved. Eventually, 46 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

it progressed into a more active role for the club and Dad was able to open the batting with his father (as you will read later, history has a habit of repeating itself ). At the same time, Dad was receiving encouragement and expert coaching at secondary school, all of which helped him to go on to play for Oxfordshire County Cricket Club and the Minor Counties representative side for many years. His cricketing expertise was what brought us

to Sherborne, when he was appointed Master in Charge of Cricket at Sherborne School in 1987. My cricketing career had a very similar backdrop. I remember being taken to games as a very young boy whenever and wherever Dad was participating. I would have a bat and a ball with me constantly and I recall Mum bowling at me on countless occasions while Dad was busy in the middle. So much so, that she soon learned the finer points of the game and was able to recognise a well-executed cover-drive. One of my fondest early memories was hanging out with Dad in the changing room or clubhouse after the game, listening to the chatter amongst the teammates and being bought a packet of peanuts from the bar as a treat! When we moved to Sherborne, I started playing at school immediately as an Under 11 and I very quickly made my debut for Sherborne Cricket Club thanks to the late, great Graeme McKinnon (my French teacher at the time) who picked me up to fill in at short notice for the club’s 2nd XI, much in the same way Dad had all those years ago. I was warmly welcomed into the club and soon given ample opportunity to contribute in all areas, even though I was much younger than the other members of the team. As I got a bit older, there were some memorable games when Dad and I opened the batting together; the only downside, as Dad always says, was that I scored somewhat quicker than him. I am not sure that was necessarily always the case! I enjoyed all sports at school, but my biggest passion was cricket. Dad always states that one of his biggest dilemmas was when, as Master in Charge of Cricket, he wanted to select me as the 1st XI Captain for the right reasons, but he did not want to be cited as showing favouritism. He recalls that, fortunately, other potential 1st XI members all encouraged him to appoint me, so it was, to some extent, taken out of his hands. Leaving school and heading to university for four years made it a difficult decision as to where I carried on playing, and this was followed by three and half years living and working in London. However, such was the affiliation that I felt to Sherborne Cricket Club that I made the decision to travel back each weekend in the summer to play. I was delighted to be appointed club captain at the age of 23 and soon afterwards that commitment was made easier when I returned to Sherborne to teach Modern Languages at Sherborne School. I was very fortunate that the School allowed me to continue captaining Sherborne 1st XI on Saturdays, a position I held for eight years, before subsequently taking

on the role of Chairman at the club for another three. Links like this, between the town and the School, are vital in so many areas. Another example of this is John Atkins, the exceptional Head Groundsman at Sherborne School. John, who continues to keep the grounds looking beautiful in lockdown until the boys return, has also proved invaluable to Sherborne Cricket Club in giving advice and help to the likes of Richard Carter, David Barnstable and Andy Guppy as the club’s committee has taken over the maintenance of the square on the Terraces from the council in recent years. This move has greatly improved the playing surface and provided scope for advances in other areas too, notably reigniting the youth section and establishing a ladies’ team. There is no doubt that it is the encouragement and enthusiasm shown by family members that often influences youngsters in sport, or indeed in any activity. Cricket is addictive and, like many other sports, has changed greatly over the years with programmes such as All-Stars, Dynamo’s and even glow-in-the-dark cricket now inspiring youth participation, as well as the rise in popularity of women’s cricket. As for the Nurtons, when we are through these uncertain times, my dad is planning on taking my son, Isaac, for net practice on a regular basis and teaching him the basics of the game. Even though at the age of six it is simply a case of hitting the ball, Isaac still insists on strapping pads to his legs, wearing batting gloves and these days, donning the compulsory helmet. Perhaps he is already preparing to play his first proper match in the same team as his father and grandfather – that is certainly a dream that I know Dad has. Andy Nurton is currently Housemaster of Wallace House where he lives with his wife, Ali, and their three children. Ali works as a management accountant for a number of local businesses. Andy continues to be Master in Charge of Cricket at Sherborne School and looks forward to playing cricket for Sherborne Cricket Club as soon as the sport can resume. Before Government restrictions were in place due to Covid-19, Sherborne Cricket Club planned to run youth cricket at the Terraces on Wednesday and Friday evenings from 4.30pm, throughout the summer, with sessions for children of all ages. Their 1st XI and 2nd XI teams would normally be playing in the Dorset League on Saturdays from the beginning of May until the end of August. sherborne.org sherbornetimes.co.uk | 47

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Wild Dorset

A FLYING SUCCESS! Lydia Harvey, Volunteer, Dorset Wildlife Trust


e all know that spending time with nature can help to improve our wellbeing, both physically and mentally. But during these unprecedented times, connecting with the world around us has become more important. Even if you can’t get out for a walk, there’s still plenty of things we can do from home and in our gardens to enjoy wildlife. The Dorset Wildlife Trust barn owl webcam has captured the lives of various resident barn owls for the world to see, over many years. With their distinctive heart-shaped face and pale feathers, they can sometimes be seen skimming over fields and hedgerows in the hours of dawn and dusk as they look for prey. Barn owls are superb hunters and everything distinctive about these beautiful birds is designed to help them hunt. Their curved facial disc helps them to hear as it directs sounds towards the inner ears, which are situated near their eyes. Each ear is shaped differently, and one is slightly higher than the other to help the owl work out exactly where the sound is coming from. They have the most sensitive hearing of any animal ever tested - great for tracking down tiny mammals such as mice and voles to feed their young. The soft wings of the barn owl help to maintain a smooth, silent, airflow, meaning they don’t stall when flying at low speed, which in turn means they have enough time to pinpoint their prey before pouncing. Their large dark eyes are specially adapted to notice the slightest movement and their distinctive colouring helps them blend into their surroundings. If seen from above, they will look similar to the scrubby grasslands over which they hunt and from below they will appear as a pale silhouette to any unsuspecting prey. Throughout history, barn owls have been known by many different nicknames, such as ‘ghost owl’, ‘church owl’ and ‘screech owl’. But the name ‘demon owl’, in particular, illustrates how they were considered by some rural populations – something not so difficult to understand when you hear their piercing shrieks and hissing calls. Turn the volume up on your computer as these can be heard on the webcam! The pair of nesting barn owls have been together over the winter and have 5 eggs. All five eggs hatched and, at the time of writing, two chicks are thriving. Watch the Dorset Wildlife Trust webcam, sponsored by PFM Associates at dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlifewebcam

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Image: Paul Williams sherbornetimes.co.uk | 51

Wild Dorset

SHERBORNE DWT Gillian M. Constable, Dorset Wildlife Trust Sherborne Group Committee Member


his morning, 11th May, was one of those I shall not forget. If I kept a bird list ‘seen from bed’ it would have a star entry – red kite. I was still in bed and gazing at the sky thinking what a beautiful morning it was and then I suddenly realised I was looking at a red kite. I rapidly moved to watch from the window – it was persisting in sailing round and round. Some time later, just before going downstairs, I looked out again and it was sitting near the top of a close ancient oak. Hastily, I headed into the garden, grabbing my camera, and was able to get record shots of the one in the tree, whilst listening to it mew. As it took to flight, I realised there was a second kite in the sky; I have never seen two reds flying together in Dorset. For quite some time, we watched the pair circling and sweeping over the garden. After lunch that day, we looked out and there was the kite once again in top of the oak. My photo might not be the best but it is my record shot, taken on a very windy day, and is thus very important. You never know what might be seen from home during lockdown. Portland Bird Observatory reported four red kites over the island on 9th May 2020. Evidently, a good number of people in the Sherborne area have been taking their daily walks around the local lanes and recording the butterflies they have seen. I don’t 52 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Image: Gillian M. Constable

remember Dorset Butterfly Conservation’s recording map having as many markers for the area; please keep the records coming in. Although the orange-tip is described as having May as their main flight period, they seemed to be in profusion during the remarkable weather of April. This year, we have had a blackbird nest just under the sitting room window – a new location for them. Occasionally, I observed the excitement of at least four gaping chicks when a parent returned its beak full of worms. The parents were very busy in our garden collecting worms even whilst we were seated nearby. This morning, the nest is empty and so we shall be looking for fledglings pottering about. When I wrote last month, the Lorton Meadow DWT Reserve barn owl nest, which can be viewed on DWT’s webcam, had three eggs. Today, there are three fluffy owlets and two eggs still being incubated. You have to be quite lucky to see them since Mrs Owl spreads her wings, keeping all well-protected. Mr Owl seems to be bringing a good number of mice etc. for the family but if they all hatch, he will be exceedingly busy providing sufficient food for all. dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk dorsetbutterflies.com

30 Days Wild Improve your health and happiness and do something wild every day in June Sign up: www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/30dayswild

DORSET WILDLIFE TRUST Photos © Jane Adams, Tony Bates MBE, Sam Dallimore Katharine Davies & Heather Radice.

Wild Dorset

THE WISDOM OF NATURE Paula Carnell, Beekeeping Consultant, Writer and Speaker

Maria Stezhko/Shutterstock


une will hopefully see the beginnings of emergence for the people of the British Isles. Gradually dipping our toes out of the comfort and safety of our homes or for some, the first glimpses of freedom after lockdown. Personal perspective has a vast impact on our own realities, one man’s poison and all that. Our wildlife has had an incredible spring; freedom to fly and 54 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

procreate, blossom and feed. For many, it has been the first spring where circumstances enabled the observance of it in motion; each step carefully laid out before us from our windows. The bees swarmed early this year, 21st April, around Castle Cary. It was 12th May in 2019. I patiently coaxed swarms from people’s gardens into skeps, socially

distancing as I explained the procedure. Bees continue to fascinate, as I had more calls than usual for mason bees in the walls of homes, and bumble bees seeming to disappear into lawns. Yes, the bees do live in walls and lawns, but they are just part of the 270 species of bee we have left in the UK. There were many more, though lost following our behaviour, oblivious to the impact tarmacking a driveway had on the species of insects often too small to be noticed living there. We have adapted to our new normal, fearful of attack from the human’s no 1 enemy. Nature has always had viruses to contend with, often coinciding with leaps in evolution. Bees are coping with many viruses and humans have done their best to intervene and protect our bees from the ultimate ending for us all – death. Since the popularity of saving bees over the last twenty or so years, many scientists have been studying diseases and bee death, only to come to the conclusion that bees manage best when left alone to adapt naturally. Many of the most severe diseases have been a result of human intervention in the first place, adding stress to the colonies with intensive breeding, transportation and lack of nutrition given to colonies. We are so lucky here in Dorset to have a healthy source of wild colonies, emerging from the woodlands, refreshed and healthy, after a few generations of humanfree living. A bee colony in a tree has a home lined with their own antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial propolis. The queens are free to mate in the air with the strongest and healthiest drones. All the pollen and nectar collected through the year is stored and processed into bee bread and honey, purely to feed themselves. Living in accordance with nature, their health thrives, and should a disease or parasite invade, yes there will be fatalities, but over a few generations they have adapted behaviours and resistance and so become strong again. As we demolish their habitat, some wild bees are now leaving the woodlands, and flying straight into our empty hives. I have had three wild swarms fly straight into my own personal hives so far, this season. I like to think they come into our lives to teach us. What could they be saying? Sadly, much of the human population has been living completely separated from all nature, seeing it as something continuous that we have mastered and controlled. It feeds us and we can play in the oceans and forests to relax and unwind. Yet, we have become the parasite of nature, feeding on all the goodness until it is weak and struggling to survive. Whether the dolphins

of Venice were fake or real news is irrelevant. Such joy was felt at the thought of it; wildlife recovering, waters murky with pollution and rubbish, void of life, suddenly alive and clear within such a short time. Of course, if we return to the previous ‘normal’ it won’t take long before the waters become murky again. During May, I launched a programme to plant 1 million trees in the deforested and now barren lands of Madagascar. It may seem a bit far away and shouldn’t we be concentrating on our own area first? The point is that Madagascar IS our own area. What happens there affects our own weather patterns, and the health of the planet as a whole. Trees are the lungs of the planet, and just like humans with Covid-19, the planet is struggling to breathe. Initially, I thought that perhaps planting 1 million trees was a tall goal, and where would we plant them? Surely, that covers quite an area. Madagascar is twice the size of the British Isles and with half the population. The trees endemic to there are some of the most medicinal, used by western and traditional pharmacists for hundreds, even thousands of years. We simply cannot afford to lose them. We are responsible for much of the felling – desiring exotic wooden furniture and even charcoal. The trees feed the bees too. Their major defence, even their ‘skin’ lining their hives, comes from propolis, the resin seeping from trees. Different trees provide different resins; the bees know this and use a complex mix to ensure the perfect healthy recipe. Propolis from Dorset is very different to propolis in Scotland, or Madagascar. In Bhutan, I learned that each year, on the King’s birthday, 700,000 trees are planted, maintaining the over 65% coverage of their beautiful kingdom in forests. The UK has only 10% coverage and since learning more about the connection between trees and bees, I see so many lonesome trees, who have lost their family of woodland through hedges being removed and fields enlarged and cleared. We often joke that the planet will survive long after humans have become extinct, but I fear that we may have crossed that tipping point. Human extinction may well coincide with a slow and painful death of nature that the bees are trying to warn us about. Spring 2020 will hopefully give us the much needed perspective to change our ways and start listening to the wisdom of nature; to heal not only ourselves, but also our home. paulacarnell.com sherbornetimes.co.uk | 55


56 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

On Foot



Emma Tabor and Paul Newman

s the lockdown continues and our deadline looms, this month we thought we would share our local walk with you and look at some of the things that inspire us whilst out on foot. Bridport Times’ readers are familiar with our monthly rambles, so as we are still restricting our travel, lockdown has provided an opportunity to write a walk which can also be shared with Sherborne Times’ readers. In a time of isolation, we are fortunate to live amongst woodland on the north west Dorset border with Somerset. At this time, our walks are fragranced with wild garlic and bluebells. The day, and night, is soundtracked by the allotted timeslots of different bird song. Blackbirds stir around 4am, while their song thrush cousins bookend the day; their liquid notes trickling though the newly clothed boughs of oak, ash, beech and hazel. Chiff chaffs and blackcaps have been here for a few weeks now and their warbling follows not long after the blackbird’s, gradually building a gently pulsing symphony which also includes dunnocks, blue tits and wood pigeons. Occasional contributors include percussive interludes from goldfinches, wrens, robins and jays. Greater spotted woodpeckers startle us with their frequent shrieks, flying across the gap between Goathill and Hanover woods. Tawny owls are not as vocal as they were earlier in the year, but occasionally they will call and can sometimes be heard deep in the wood in the daytime. Distance: 3 3/4 miles Time: Approx. 2 hours Park: There are limited parking places along the road between Goathill church and where the road forks for Haydon and Stourton Caundle. Walk Features: This walk twists along the Dorset and Somerset border, covering the gentle terrain to the east of Sherborne. The outward route follows an easy track through mixed woodland in Hanover Wood, with the return section along a quiet backroad from Purse Caundle to Goathill. The route is relatively flat, with a couple of small inclines. > sherbornetimes.co.uk | 57

Each month, we devise a walk for you to try with your family and friends (including four-legged members) pointing out a few interesting things along the way, be it flora, fauna, architecture, history, the unusual and sometimes the unfamiliar. For June, we explore the woodland along the county border to the east of Sherborne Castle estate. Hanover Wood runs along a ridge, marking the border between south Somerset and north west Dorset. The wood has a lovely mix of trees including a hazel coppice, a small yew grove and many fine oak trees to admire along the way. The Manor House at Purse Caundle is an architectural gem and quietly impressive, dating back to the 15th Century and the time of Henry VI, although its origins go back further. There are a few other small buildings of note on the route, including the nearby church at Goathill and Goathill Lodge, an exquisitely thatched cottage. The seclusion of the woods allows for glimpses of deer, hare and particularly secretive birds including jays. 58 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


Start: SY 677 168 1 From the start, walk up the road towards the fingerpost for Haydon and Stourton Caundle, on a grassy triangle in front of cottages. Fork left for Stourton Caundle, and after 20 yards, directly opposite a wooden gate for the cottages, turn left into the woods. 2 Enter the woods, following a well-worn path, soon passing an impressive oak on your right hand side. After 250 yards, and shortly after crossing a small, log-strewn gully, the path suddenly bears sharp left and heads down towards a track. Turn right onto this track and follow this as you continue through Hanover Wood, running parallel to a ridge on your right. This first section of the walk has a lovely mix of wood with some yew trees along the way. It is a good spot to see greater spotted woodpeckers, tree creepers, hares and deer. >

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1 After just over a mile from the start, the track eventually reaches a grove of yew trees. From the grove, take the footpath to the right, now heading steeply up to the top of the ridge and a gap in the fence with an old broken gate. 2 As you emerge from the wood into a field, the footpath takes you diagonally across to the righthand corner of the field. This sometimes has electric fences running across it, if so, then it might be easier to head straight across the field to pick up a track nearer the farm buildings. If that is the case, turn right onto the track, after going through an electric gate. Where the track meets the corner of the field, by a large chestnut tree, turn left through a gate into a paddock which borders a stream. 3 Follow the hedge on the right and in 150 yards, the path drops slightly to meet the stream on the left. Go left and cross the stream, just before a pond, and then turn right through a large metal gate which takes you into Home Farm. Go straight through the farmyard and in 150 yards emerge onto the road. 4 Turn right to walk through Purse Caundle, first passing the Manor House and its beautifully proportioned oriel window, with four blank shields underneath the panes. You soon pass St Peter’s Church on the left and the village seat, with an

inscription from the Great War set above the alcove. 5 After a few more yards, take the first right and follow the road through the rest of the village. The road soon bends sharp left in front of Manor Farm. Stay on the road and after a few yards it bends sharp right. In just over a mile you will reach a fingerpost signed ‘Trip’s’, near Trip’s Farm. Keep straight on for a few more yards, past a bungalow on your left and then follow the road as it bends to the right at a junction. Just before the road then turns to the left, you will see a large metal gate and a footpath sign on your right. 6 Go through the gate, entering a field which runs along a shallow valley. Keep straight ahead along the bottom of the valley, passing a large oak tree on your left and in a few more yards, you will meet another large metal gate, where you cross a stream. This takes you into a larger field with another impressive oak on the left of the field. Head up the field, passing another smaller oak on your right, near the field edge. Follow the field edge for a few more yards until you reach the right-hand corner and a large metal gate to exit the field onto the road. Turn left onto the road and head downhill, back to the junction you passed earlier and back to the start. sherbornetimes.co.uk | 61



LOCAL COACHING ACCIDENTS Cindy Chant, Sherborne Blue Badge Guide

Some people may find parts of this article upsetting.


here were, of course, during the coaching periods, accidents galore! Last month, I mentioned some, but they were not local to us here, and so this month, I want to focus on some of those which occurred here, in our local area of Sherborne. Of course, there were many that were not recorded and so difficult for me to research; some of what you are reading here is valuable knowledge from Dr Lesley Wray’s book ‘History of Milborne Port’, and also a lot of local gossip that I have acquired over the years that I have lived here. Crackmoor Hill, just outside Milborne Port, was a particularly bad spot. In 1827, Mr. Knott, a local man, was driving his gig - a light-weight open carriage through Sherborne, when he met a stage wagon on Crackmoor Hill. The stage driver did not stop quickly enough, and this frightened Mr Knott’s horse, which jumped over the edge of the road dragging the gig with it. Mr. Knott had a passenger with him, and they managed to avoid injury by jumping out of the carriage, but the horse then jumped back onto the road, before bolting off dragging the broken gig along as well. Another incident in the same area was in January 1829. John Taylor was driving Woollcott’s London to Exeter wagon, when he fell off as he was coming down 62 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

the very steep Crackmoor Hill. Unfortunately, he could not get out of the way and the wheels of the wagon went over him, breaking several bones in his leg. Crackmoor Hill used to be a lot steeper than it is today. This changed when the Sherborne Turnpike Company used dynamite to blast through the rocks in order to reduce it to what it is today, approximately 50 feet in height. Crackmoor Lodge, on the Digby estate, still stands alongside a stretch of the old road, high above the now, brick-lined cutting. Another recorded accident happened around 7pm in December 1836. Three people were riding home to Sherborne from Milborne Port, when they met a sprung cart with long straight shafts. The cart had a saddle horse tethered at the offside of the cart, which narrowed the space available to pass. As the first rider rode past, the horse shied slightly, causing the other horse to swerve away, and this horse caught one of the shafts of the cart. The shaft, unfortunately, pierced the animal’s chest, puncturing its heart. The horse died on the spot, but the rider managed to jump clear without injury! Also recorded, but with very little details, so I am unable to tell you very much… In September 1851, the Dorchester Mail Coach was returning to Sherborne, along the Leweston drove, when the bar on the lead horse became unhooked. The horse fell and the wheels passed over it, killing it instantly. The coach did not

topple over. The horse belonged to Mr. Mees of The Kings Arms, Sherborne - I’m afraid this seems to be the limit to this story, as far as I have heard. Now, here is a bit of road rage. Yes, it happened, even then! From the Sherborne Journal, July 1842: ‘As the mail was between Henstridge and Yeovil, the outside box passenger threw an egg at the driver of a passing country cart. The egg fell on the neck of the man, who then, in a sudden rage, unharnessed his horse from the cart, grabbed his cart whip, mounted his horse and gave chase at a rattling pace.’ Although, another fascinating story that must end there, as I am sadly unable to elaborate for you. One more incident occurred several years later, in 1863. William Hiscock was in charge of a wagon with two horses. As they were travelling along, the front horse shied at something. Hiscock darted forward to hold the horse, but he was an elderly man, and he stumbled, falling under the horse’s hooves. Both wheels of the wagon went over his chest and he died almost immediately. Next, we come right up to date with details of a very recent carriage accident that happened in Dorset in August 2013. Holidaymakers were forced to rush for cover after a runaway horse and carriage careered through Swanage town’s high street and crashed into a car. Both the horse and the four-wheeled cart were thrown onto their side, narrowly missing bystanders. Incredibly, the cart driver, the car driver and the horse all escaped unscathed, and the shaken horse was recovered by members of the public. When I first came to live in Sherborne, nearly 60 years ago now, I was told of the story of bolting horses, with carriage, at Trent Barrow Pool, which lies along the Trent footpaths. This pool was once the scene of a tragedy. A two-horse-drawn carriage crashed into the pool, drowning all on board, plus the horses. Some people say that nowadays whilst riding horses out on a hack, the horses hesitate at this part of the bridle way, unwilling to continue, and also some dogs too avoid this part of the track! What do my readers think of this? Maybe some of you know of more incidents. If you do, please contact me. I am keen to learn more. Last month, I did say that I would write something on highwaymen, but that will be for next month in a separate article. I will also write shortly about what it was really like to experience travelling in a stagecoach. Keep reading! Lots more to come…

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LOCKDOWN CRAFTING Richard Bromell, ASFAV, Charterhouse Auctioneers


hese continue to be strange times, as I write this article. The sun is out, and we are making preparations for re-opening The Long Street Salerooms with a busy programme of auctions. During the lockdown, I have kept myself occupied by spending time reading books on antiques - gaining more knowledge - and replying to emails with clients attaching antiques and collectibles for valuation, but that is me. Many of you have probably spent time crafting with textiles and needlework. Some new skills will have been 64 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

learnt, possibly from YouTube tutorials, or maybe you finished a project which had been lying around. We often come across needlework panels. Mrs B has been a keen needle worker over the decades. When we were first together and living in Cheltenham, she commuted to London daily. To pass the time on the train she worked on a William Morris needlework panel called The Strawberry Thief. Commuting for hours a day was not easy and she was soon recruited to work for a company nearby in Tewkesbury, sadly before she completed the panel

which still remains unfinished today! Although I have not personally attempted needlework, I have keen interest in the subject, primarily in 18th and 19th century needlework. I would love to own earlier needle work panels such as 17th century stump or raised work. The panels would have been worked by ladies rather than servants. They were skilfully produced at a time when a gentleman did not work and there was no point seen in educating young girls, but they were taught to sew. But stump or raised work was reserved for members of high society. The young girl in service would also be taught how to sew, but not so it could be admired hanging on a wall, more so she could show her skills at repairing clothing, linen and other textiles. A sample of her work would be produced, showing all the different stitches and these became known as ‘samplers.’ The sampler would be shown to prospective employers. Early samplers were usually just lines of stitching with letters of the alphabet in various fonts and numerals, and generally had the name of the creator and a year or date (there is always a great display of these at Montacute House). Moving forward to the 18th and 19th centuries, samplers became brighter and more colourful. Not only containing letters and numerals, they would also incorporate dogs, cats, deer and other animals, a house,

poem and verse along with flowers and trees. These are all sought-after at auction today. They are collected for their aesthetic beauty, their technical skill and for their historical interest. As mentioned above, you generally have a name and date of the young girl who completed the sampler. Sometimes, you might come across sisters, or a notation of which town or city they were made in and other information, which enables you to look back and research what happened to the child. Perhaps the best examples of samplers containing information are orphanage samplers. In over 35 years in auctioneering, I have only had the pleasure to see and handle two. The last one I sold was in September. Like all orphanage samplers, it was worked in red cotton on linen, no silk here. It was quite honestly one of the most charming lots I sold in 2019. It was signed and inscribed E Mars, South Wing, New Orphan House, Ashley Down, Bristol, 1888. It also incorporated a squirrel, an elephant, a cat, a cow, a Royal Coat of Arms, two verses, letters and numerals. In wonderful condition, this historically important sampler sold for ÂŁ4,160 after fierce bidding, sadly way out of my price range. charterhouse-auction.com

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elizabethwatsonillustration.com 68 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

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efore all this began, we were preparing for a drive to wean everyone off peat and indeed to support a campaign known as ‘Peat Free April.’ We will all have to come off peat soon because of its links to the release of carbon dioxide during harvesting and the subsequent impact on climate change. So, we’re doing everything we can to make our business and our customers part of the solution. The campaign included trials on our part; growing the same crop, in this case Violas, using various peat-free and peat-based composts to see what differences there would be in terms of growth and flowering. Events in the meantime took over, but a few weeks ago I thought it best to plant my trial plants in a border in the garden. At that stage, there was little or no difference between the batches. I kept the labels for each plant with them and mixed the batches up as I planted. I mulched the lot with Bloomin’ Amazing, which also controls slugs. It looked good and the project eased the pressures of the day, so once again gardening worked its magic. A week or so later though, I was puzzled; one part of the bed was doing far worse than the rest. Investigations as to why drew a blank, and the poor growth was from plants grown in peat-based compost, as well as peat-free. One sunny morning, I discovered the reason. I had popped back home and walked into the garden to find one of our dogs snoozing on the affected plants! A gentle wag of the tail said ‘Hi, but I’m very comfy here, so please don’t expect more of me.’ The culprit was Joey. We have two dogs: Myla, who is a beautiful Labrador Poodle cross, with three-quarters from the former, and our second, Joey, who is the same age as Myla, but with a somewhat unknown pedigree (sort of Chocolate Labrador/Beagle/other), as he came to us from a foster home a year ago. Joey was found in Ireland and was just about to be put down when he was rescued and brought back to the UK. He found a home with a young family who tried their very best, but he was so sad that he could barely move. In fact, his mental issues were so deep that a

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vet said it was best for him to be put to sleep. He was subsequently fostered again, this time by Tom and Jane who run Fat Fish Aquatics at Castle Gardens. We met Joey by chance; he was huddled in a corner, cowering from anyone who came along, especially men. He would not move, hated a lead and so had to be carried everywhere. We live on-site, so we suggested he had an afternoon in our garden with Myla. As soon as he ventured into the garden, Joey came to life and the two charged around the lawn in an extraordinary bout of happiness. Joey, who was stick thin at the time, was exhausted after an hour, but he agreed to come the next day and so the week went on. We decided that perhaps a sleepover would be good, and all went very well, although he wouldn’t let me anywhere near him. Joey arrived with his only possessions in this world – his scruffy collar and a raggedy ball. Myla offered him one of her beds and so the overnight stay went very well. We never intended to have another dog, but Joey just stayed on. Every day is the best day of his life. He charges upstairs at the earliest light and leaps onto the bed, amazed that there is another morning. Myla is grumpy first thing but agrees to go out with him and so begins another amazing adventure. Joey is the happiest dog ever. He will now snuggle up on my lap and will bring his lead to us. He struggles a bit knowing how to greet other dogs, but that’s improving too. Myla loves him dearly and is very much in charge, but she failed to tell him that my border was for plants, not for dogs. Indeed, she decided that his policy with regards to the border is correct, so has now joined Joey on this new comfy spot. So, what have we learnt? Peat-free compost can have just as good results as peat-based compost, and also the two, in Joey’s opinion, are just as comfortable as each other. thegardensgroup.co.uk

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DIARY OF A FLOWER FARMER Paul Stickland, Black Shed Flowers


nother month has flown by at Black Shed and as the days increase in length, so do our working hours. This is no challenge though; those gorgeous mornings and evenings in the low golden light are very special. Finding the energy is sometimes a challenge though! Our weeks have had a different shape this year. For the last three years, our weeks were concentrated around weddings, meeting our brides and grooms, walking them round the farm, choosing their favourite flowers, making notes, designing bouquets, and calculating the number of stems needed to fill their chosen wedding venue with flowers. Wednesday and Thursday would be early starts, picking and conditioning the thousands of blooms ready for them to be picked up by the excited couples. All rather lovely moments and we haven‘t had one of these this year. I think we‘re missing them; the gasps and wows as they see their burgeoning buckets of flowers, wondering how they‘ll fit them all into the car, and the bride‘s face as she sees her gorgeous bouquet for the first time. Then there‘s meeting and chatting with all our fabulous florist friends. We supply a great many very talented event and retail florists, providing them with our very best blooms is really exciting. Seeing those flowers starring in their amazing floral creations on Instagram later is a very special thrill. We‘ve witnessed an incredible rise in demand for British flowers from florists. The Dutch Flower Auctions have been out of action, so their normal supply chain has fallen apart. Florist‘s shops are still closed as I write this, but people want flowers in their lives, perhaps more than ever at the moment. Birthdays, anniversaries and, of course, funerals. We‘ve done a great deal of funeral and memorial work in these last few months. Families seem to like our natural rural style. No formal roses or lilies, just the best and freshest from the field. Many of the folk whose lives we are honouring would have been gardeners, or country folk and it‘s lovely to be able to reflect that in their flowers.

We‘ve been so lucky to be able to continue to work here at the farm, plenty of space and lots of fresh air and sunshine. There‘s a lovely happy team here too, at the moment. Our volunteer, Carlyn, unable to return to her native Italy, has been with us since January; she‘s sown virtually every seed in the garden this year. It‘s lovely that she‘ll be able to see the fruits of our labours. Then there‘s Emma and Jenny, both wildly overqualified for our simple tasks, but loving working with flowers in the fresh air and sunshine, providing not just hard work but giggles and companionship. Our delivery guy, Nick, has been amazing too, delivering six days a week. As he says, ‘driving through the beautiful Dorset countryside, delivering beautiful flowers to friendly customers, what‘s not to like?!’ Lynch pins in all this are Helen and Tabitha. Tabs has been keeping up with her remote year 6 school work in her ‚study‘ in the back of our van, but for the rest of the day has been helping on the farm, cutting, arranging, driving the tractor, mowing the lawns, helping with the deliveries, planting and sowing. It‘s an education in itself ! Helen‘s been the real star though, creating dozens and dozens of fantastic bouquets to fill the homes of all our lovely local customers and, now that we‘re able to offer nationwide overnight delivery, new ones all over the country. Day after day, the orders keep rolling in. It‘s endlessly fascinating and inspiring to see what she creates with the ever-changing palette from the field. It‘s actually been a struggle to keep up with her demand for blooms sometimes, so we‘ve had to buy in flowers from fellow British flower farmers in Yorkshire, The Lake District and Sussex. All are reporting a huge boom in sales and interest from florists and customers all over the UK, as everyone‘s attention turns to local producers and suppliers. Let‘s hope that continues and becomes one of the positive outcomes of this time. blackshedflowers.blogspot.co.uk @blackshedflowers

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RETROSPECTIVE Words Jo Denbury Photography Katharine Davies

MAY 2016



nd so the summer season of visual feasts kicks off again. We’ll be dusting off our sunhats, arming ourselves with a map and heading off into the sunshine in search of old favourites and as yet undiscovered artists. This month the great Dorset Art Weeks is upon us. Dorset has long been a favoured county among artists. Many settling here, lured by its landscape, light and space. Over the coming pages we meet just some of the talent putting Sherborne on the map. Continue reading

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asha Matkevich has a soft spot for vegetables. ‘My grandmother was a vegetarian,’ he recalls, ‘she taught me a respect for food, how to plant, grow, pick and prepare it, that has been with me ever since.’ Home for Sasha was in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains in Russia. It’s a bountiful, beautiful landscape with a rich soil that cultivates one of the best vegetable gardens of the world. A place not far from the Silk Route where spices from the east meet the produce of the west and where culinary skills are faithfully passed down from generation to generation. This helps to explain why now, many years later, as head chef and owner of The Green, one of Dorset’s finest restaurants, that Sasha is still careful to source the best produce and ingredients that he can find locally. Continue reading

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JULY 2017



ime-poor, cookbook-heavy is how these five ladies found themselves two years ago. They all shared a passion for cooking but, with young families and busy working lives, there was little time to get together – let alone produce any fare beyond the usual family fodder. The solution was to begin a cookbook club. Kate Scorer, Lisa Sunderland, Michela Chiappa and Lucy O’Donnell were members of a book club (Michela and Lucy confessing however to never having read the novels). Along with friend Angela Clothier they discovered that they were all guilty of buying cookbooks, but didn’t often actually cook from them. With the start of Sherborne’s first cookbook club, that has all changed. Now they choose one book a month, then each of them selects a recipe from that book – comprising one starter, one main course, two side dishes and a pudding. They then prepare that dish at home and bring to the house of whoever’s turn it is to host. As Michela points out, “It is the perfect way to have a dinner party, without the expense.” Continue reading

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

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JULY 2018



he sun is threatening to break through the clouds as I sit on the bank of the Sutton Bingham Reservoir watching six small dinghies, with even smaller helms, make their way across the water. It’s rather like watching fledgling ducklings take their first paddle without mother duck. With me is Mark Talbot, one of the senior instructors at the Sutton Bingham Sailing Club, a man with an infectious exuberance for teaching youngsters how to sail. ‘I first sailed here a long time ago when I was a pupil at Taunton School and won the Dorset Schools championship,’ he says. Mark returned some 30 years later with children of his own, all of them now grown up. ‘I bought a 420 boat and raced here with them, and I suppose helping to raise four children was my greatest qualification,’ he adds, although he is of course a fully qualified instructor. Mark firmly believes that if you can encourage children to enjoy sailing they will be hooked for life. Continue reading

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he sun is high and just a whisper of breeze tickles the long grass. Stop for a moment and you can hear a blackcap's song float high above the trees. This is summer at its best. I’m standing under a linden tree with environmentalist, Nigel Spring, as he examines the tree’s flowers. These tiny bursts of the palest yellow provide a heady mix for bee and human alike. ‘They’re used in France to make tea,’ says Nigel. ‘The French make a tisane from the flowers which helps you sleep.’ And while I stand and consider the merits of picking a few to help with my husband’s insomnia, Nigel is off looking for a hole in the hedge. We are about to embark on a stroll round the Terrace Meadow, a patch of limestone grassland adjacent to Sherborne’s Terrace playing fields. Nigel is the local representative for EuCAN and Butterfly Conservation. EuCAN is a community interest company that works in the UK and Europe to involve people in the conservation of their local environment. It provides training and practical experience for everyone from volunteers to graduates and therapeutic groups. Locally, it has provided a number of opportunities for young people to gain a skill, such as in the use of chainsaws and brush-cutters which has enabled them to find work. In Dorset there are several voluntary groups that work hard to maintain local natural habitats such as the Terraces. Continue reading

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JUNE 2019



or some time, a quiet organic movement has been growing in Godmanstone, just north of Dorchester: first the milk that used to come from Manor Farm and then the shop run by Hugh and Patsy Chapman, who sold the produce from their organic vegetable farm. Three years ago, the Chapmans decided to retire from the shop and it was then that they asked the brother and sister team, Alex and Nick Beer, if they would like to take over. Alex and Nick agreed and Feed the Soul was born. To open a vegan restaurant in the middle of the Dorset countryside might seem like a risky idea but if anyone is going to succeed it will be these two. Their passion for nourishing vegan food that uses as many local ingredients as possible is infectious. As Nick puts it, ‘We’re very lucky because we grew up in Charminster and, being local, we have received a lot of support from local people.’ Continue reading

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JULY 2019



t’s a balmy evening and Compton House Cricket Club’s pitch is basking in a golden hue as the sun sets to the west. There’s a dozy quiet in the air that’s occasionally broken by the sound of willow hitting leather and the call for a catch. You’ve got the scene: this is Dorset village cricket at its best and a tradition that has been honoured on this site for 150 years. The club was originally set up by Colonel JP Goodden when he owned Compton House. It was a place to play what was then called ‘country house cricket’: games played by guests at weekend ‘country house parties’. This would be a regular form of entertainment which eventually all but died out at the start of the First World War. The pavilion was originally a sheep-shearing shed, open to the elements and with no shutters. Continue reading

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Food and Drink THE CAKE WHISPERER Val Stones



his came about when I developed the recipe for a goat’s cheese, courgette and tomato tart. I also made rich butter pastry tarts filled with cream patisserie, crème pat and summer fruits, so I combined aspects from each bake and created this delicious recipe: a buttery, flaky pastry topped with a creamy crème pat and piled with summer fruits.

What you will need

Preparation time 20 minutes Baking time 20-25 minutes

500g pack of readymade butter puff pastry 400g summer fruits such as strawberries Image: (hulled Katharine and Davies cut

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A baking sheet pre-heated in the oven, a silicon baking sheet or a cake lifter, baking beans, greaseproof paper or a parchment cake liner, a cooling rack and a clean ruler that you use only for baking (I use a wooden 30 cm school one that is just under 3cm deep. Ingredients Serves 8

in half lengthwise), blackberries, raspberries and blueberries A few mint leaves for decoration A little icing sugar for dusting the crème pat and the tart before serving For the crème pat: 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten 75g caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 40g cornflour (corn starch) 300g whole milk 15g butter 300ml double cream Method

First make the crème pat: 1 Place the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract in a pan and beat to incorporate all the ingredients until smooth. 2 Gradually add the milk and whisk until all combined. 3 Add the butter and place over a low heat until the butter is melted. 4 Bring steadily to the boil, whisking continuously, until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk. 5 Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and dust with icing sugar - this helps to prevent a skin forming. Cover with cling film, making sure it touches the mixture, which again prevents a skin from forming. 6 Allow to cool completely, then place in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the double cream to the custard and whisk until thick and creamy. Set aside in the fridge until needed. 7 Preheat the oven to 200C fan, 220C conventional, gas mark 6 To make the tart: 8 Roll the pastry into a rectangle 29cm x 21cm or a square and place onto the silicon baking sheet. 9 With a sharp knife and a ruler mark out an inner rectangle/square (3cm inwards) by placing the ruler on the pre-marked shape and with a sharp knife, score down into the pastry but not all the way through. Do this on the remaining 3 sides but stop about 3cm from each corner so that you have created a picture frame. Prick the base of the tart with a fork. 10 To bake blind, scrunch up the greaseproof paper to fit

within the lines of the cut rectangle and half fill with baking beans. Then place on the pre-heated baking sheet, by gently easing the silicon sheet onto it. 11 Bake for 20 minutes, by which time it should be well risen and golden around the edges, but the middle of the base will need a little longer. Remove the baking beans and bake for a further 15 minutes, you don’t want a soggy bottom! 12 When baked until golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then lift onto a cooling rack with a cake lifter. To assemble: 13 Place the base onto a serving plate. 14 Whisk the crème pat to ensure it is light and creamy, then spoon into the tart. 15 Either place the fruits in lines over the top of the cream filling, not leaving gaps, or pile the fruits on top of the cream. 16 Place in the fridge to chill and bring out 10 minutes before serving. 17 Just before serving, decorate with mint leaves and dust with icing sugar. Serve with a little more cream. bakerval.com sherbornetimes.co.uk | 95

Food and Drink



his is a typical dish from the Northern Caucasus, traditionally baked in a large clay dish. Ideal for a warm summer alfresco family meal. A dish which has many versions as many families, including my own, have tried very successful vegan variations of this dish, chanakhi, using a mixture of potato, courgette and chickpeas instead of lamb. Ingredients Serves 6

4 medium aubergines 1kg shoulder of lamb, trimmed & finely diced to approx. 0.5cm 6 red onions, sliced 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 6 cloves of garlic, crushed 3 fresh green chillies, finely chopped 2 large red peppers, seedless & sliced 4 tbsp brown rice 3 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes 4 tbsp sunflower oil 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped 2 tbsp celery leaves, chopped 2 tbsp flat parsley, chopped 1 tsp cumin, toasted & ground 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses Cornish sea salt & black pepper ½ pomegranate to decorate 96 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


1 Trim off the tops and bases of the aubergines and cut into 5cm tall circular slices. Use a spoon to hollow out the aubergine slices, retaining the flesh and being careful not to go through the base of the aubergine. Set aside. 2 Finely chop the aubergine flesh. Place in a large bowl and mix with the lamb, garlic, chopped chillies, coriander, basil, cumin and rice. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed-out aubergines and set aside. 3 Pour the oil into a large rectangular roasting pan. Lay the sliced onions on the base of the pan, followed by a layer of sliced red peppers and sit the filled aubergines on top, packing them in snugly so that they don’t fall over during cooking. 4 Place the tomatoes, parsley, pomegranate molasses, celery stalks and leaves in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Season with black pepper and sea salt to taste and pour the mixture over the prepared aubergines. 5 Cover the roasting dish with foil and cook at 180°C for 2 / 2 ½ hours, until the lamb is tender and fragrant, and the rice is fully cooked. 6 To serve, decorate with pomegranate seeds and accompany with plain boiled potatoes and freshly baked flat bread. greenrestaurant.co.uk

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


t’s 05.15 on a slightly cloudy Tuesday morning. We have four young sows due to have their second litters any day now; they are round and bursting at the seams with piglets, so I have just walked around the pigs to check them. It’s so dry and hot that a lot of our pigs have moved outside for their sleeping arrangements; they often do this in the summer - it’s nice that they can do what they like. They were all still sleeping and no little piglets yet. While there, Blue and I walked quietly around the rest of the pig groups - it’s not often you catch them in bed at this time of year - so it’s nice to see how they behave when there is no food on offer, because that’s all they really want. So, now I am sat in our garden writing my article, it’s late again and I know I write best under pressure, but it really has to be done… NOW! The sprinkler is on, gently swishing near me, Blue is sat by the gate, a loyal friend always, there’s a gentle early morning breeze making me slightly shiver, but I am determined to write outside. We have had another incredibly busy month. Dan, the fencer, is here fencing around the new lavender field and making a new paddock for the sheep. I am trying to fence the new pig area, but it’s slow progress; butchering and sausage-making takes precedent over everything else! We now have our new walk-in fridge and freezer installed, instantly filled with joints, sausages proudly hanging in strings, and bacon piled high in various states of curing. Delivery days are Friday and Saturday, I fly around the countryside dropping off parcels hither and thither, having a newfound respect for the myriads of delivery drivers whose full-time job is to supply us with parcels. How incredibly difficult it is to find the right house! When people live somewhere, they often somehow

think everyone else will know where they are, but overgrown signs, names on the floor, sat navs that tell me I have arrived when I haven’t, all have other ideas about my meeting of the final destination. Oh, and numbers that do not follow as one would expect… ‘Oh, yes, number 5 is around the corner on the opposite side, no, they haven’t got a number.’ Grrr! A part of the job I never would have thought of before. I’ve given up and come inside, although it’s incredibly dry, it still seems to be quite cold a lot of the time, with a chilly wind pervading. Our garden has avoided the frosts that caught many out; our potatoes are hidden under a deep bed of straw - we tried this last year for the first time and it worked well for us, protecting them from a late frost, keeping them from growing green and stopping all the weeds from growing. Flowers are now filling the beds and vegetables are coming through. Trying to farm and garden without using chemicals is tricky; there seems to be a little pest at every turn to eat everything we lovingly plant. I stare daily at the parsnip and beetroot rows to see signs of emerging seedlings, of course the weeds are up and away already! The sheep have all lambed and are being good at the moment; they are incredibly pretty. The lambs have now become a gang, tearing round their paddock at top speed, scaring the ducks, who often venture into their area looking for slugs and snails. So, I have managed to write a whole article without mentioning the dreaded C word, I think we are all a bit fed up with C now. Charlotte and I both hope all our readers are safe and well and that by next month, things will still be slowly improving. thestorypigcompany.co.uk

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Food and Drink



s a trainee in the Burgundian cellars of Bouchard Aîné in the hot summer of 1956, I looked forward to taking a glass of cassis vin blanc with the family after work every evening. Georges Bouchard produced his own blackcurrant liqueur to which he added white wine from aligoté, Burgundy’s other white grape. The idea of mixing the two was promoted by the legendary French Resistance hero Canon Kir who was later made Bishop of Dijon. Dijon is not only the capital of the 98 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Burgundy wine region, but famous for its mustard seed and cassis, very fine blackcurrants from which a liqueur is made. After WW2, the Burgundians began to replace the aligoté with Burgundy’s own sparkling wine known as crémant: the cassis with crémant drink became known as Kir Royal. Recently UK sales of crémant have shot up. We English have had a long love affair with Champagne, which in its best years takes an awful lot of beating as a fine sparkling wine. However, good vintage champagnes have become relatively expensive


and sparkling wine lovers have been looking for a less expensive option for everyday use. We now have an increasing supply of our own high-quality English sparkling wines, grown from the same vine varieties in the same Kimmeridgian clay soils as Champagne. More recently, Prosecco has fulfilled public demand for inexpensive sparkling wine for regular use. It has deservedly won a reputation for being a fun wine, widely available and consumed without too much

pomp and ceremony. But French crémant is beginning to make a name for itself in between prosecco and champagne. Most wine merchants have a range of crémant wines at prices in between Prosecco and Champagne. Eight French wine regions have developed controlled appellations for sparkling wine other than Champagne. The regulations generally demand grapes are hand-picked, pressing regulated to achieve a good quality of juice, and wines are aged for a minimum of 12 months. Of the eight French regions I mentioned, I start with Burgundy. The M & S offering delights me for three reasons. The grapes used include chardonnay and pinot noir: the maturation period is two or three years. A word, new to me, to look for is ‘Eminent’ for those matured for 24 months: Grand Eminent for 36 months. And the normal price is about £12. The Loire is France’s second most important sparkling wine-producing region and many leading Champagne houses make their own sparkling wines using the méthode champenoise. For years, I have been a regular consumer of Gratien & Meyer’s excellent Saumur at around £12 a bottle. Other producers use a little chenin blanc to add notes of quince and apricot, and cabernet franc for richness and depth. Waitrose have had enormous success with their crémant from Limoux which also uses pinot noir and chardonnay fruit. And I have always been a follower of Sainsbury’s excellent Taste the Difference range. Their crémant at about £11 has a peachy, honeysuckle flavour and shows what good winemakers can do with ripe fruit. Tesco, as befits the largest UK wine merchant, has a Blanquette de Limoux with an attractive apply-flavoured wine at around £9. There is plenty of good crémant around, but due to a current nationwide shortage, the Kir or blackcurrant liqueur is not so easily found. Sainsbury, Tesco and Aldi list it and Bols, Boudier de Kuyper and Marie Brizard are reliable distillers. Sherborne’s own Vineyards stock Jaffelin Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs and Chateau Langlois Crémant de Loire, both award-winning chateaus with low intervention winemaking and both at £16 a bottle. Under normal circumstances they would also stock all the Kirs mentioned in this article but they do currently hold the Marie Brizard full size bottle 70cl at £14.95. Vineyards can also be counted among the few Burgundian cassis suppliers. I would look out for them and raise a toast to the heroic Canon Kir. sherbornetimes.co.uk | 99


Pet, Equine & Farm Animals

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Animal Care

DEGREES OF SEPARATION Mark Newton-Clarke, MA VetMB PhD MRCVS Newton Clarke Veterinary Surgeons


ver the last few weeks and months, we have all been physically separated and there is no doubt that this is producing some anxiety. Although we have all become accustomed to more solitary lives, the personal connection that face-to-face meetings bring cannot be replaced with an image on a screen or a voice at the end of the telephone. It is certainly better than nothing and we should, perhaps, be grateful we live in a time when information technology has given us Skype, FaceTime, Zoom and Houseparty. At both surgeries, we are using a video consultation facility, called PetsApp, that allows us to conduct a realtime consultation so we can gather more information about your pets’ problems. As with social contact, this is no substitute for the real thing, but at least it allows us to make a more accurate assessment of a health issue and is 102 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Susan Schmitz/Shutterstock

certainly much better than a telephone call. Urgent and more serious cases are called into the clinics for face-toface examination and treatment, with owners waiting outside. We are making changes to the waiting room area in Swan House, so that we will be able to safely accept owners into the building again, as soon as Government restrictions allow. I think we all need to expect social distancing to last until a vaccine is widely available and that will probably not be for a year or more. Social separation brings its own anxiety to we humans and it has been a well-documented problem in dogs for years. Paradoxically, now that so much more time is being spent with our pets, the problem is on the increase. The anxiety that dogs suffer on separation from their owners is one of a number of behavioural disorders that we often come across in general practice; another

common disorder being a noise phobia, most commonly associated with fireworks or thunderstorms. The two can often go together. Although I am spending more time at work than I have for 5 years, Tracey is working from home and our children, Anna and Freddie, are both having extended leave from university. The change in daily routine means human affection is on tap 24/7. And how the dogs love to spend the night on a bed! All this extra attention has meant intolerance of any periods of exclusion. Even brief closure of a door, dividing humans from canines, is met with head-butting and scratching of the offending barrier until we relent, which doesn’t take very long. As I will come on to, this is NOT the thing to do! Luckily, the separation anxiety-related behaviour shown by our dogs is only mild and is more desire to be with us than distress at being apart. However, it can quickly escalate and so measures should be put in place to stop the behaviour getting worse. Are you hearing me, family? In general, separation anxiety gets worse with increasing age and is often associated with a dog’s background of adoption from a previous home or rescue shelter. Classic signs include pets following owners around the house like shadows, being excessively excited when you return from being away for even short periods, barking or whining in an attempt to block you departing the house, destruction when you are away, or soiling in the home while you are out. Other signs include drooling, depression, vomiting, diarrhoea, self-harm and incessant pacing. In order to make a diagnosis of separation anxiety, we need to take a detailed history as there are alternative explanations for the symptoms. For example, medical conditions affecting skin or internal organs, lack of training, other phobias, insufficient exercise or stimulation. If we decide that the anxious behaviour is due to separation, there are three main strategies for treatment: environmental, behavioural and pharmacological. Essentially, we aim to change the relationship between the pet and the owner, the leaving and return protocols to reduce anxiety, and, finally, to prescribe some psychoactive medication. Studies have shown the importance of changing the pet-owner relationship by preventing lap-sitting, sleeping in bedrooms, gratuitous titbits, following around the house and having times of enforced separation within the home. The trouble is, we all love our dogs! So, appearing to be more offhand can be a real struggle. Owner resistance to these suggestions

is common and natural. It is important to suggest replacement activities such as exercise classes, grooming, increased walks, interaction with other dogs and owners. These positive actions can help reduce the feeling that we are distancing ourselves from a much-loved animal. Anxious dogs often detect departure cues from the owner in great detail, for example, certain clothing may be associated with going to work, meaning a long separation and hence more anxiety. On the other hand, some dogs will not become anxious if they know the owner is going to work, as time away is usually predictable and these dogs only show anxiety during and after non-work departures. We think this is because these separation periods are often variable. It is important to try and define the type of departure that leads to anxiety and then the cues around the time can be habituated. By this, I mean going through the motions of leaving but not actually doing so, with your dog sitting near the departure door. After practice, most dogs will not display their usual departure routine, but will learn to ignore the cues as the owner does not leave the house. This habituation routine needs to be repeated at least 5 times daily, quite a laborious task! It is natural for owners to try to reassure an anxious dog during a real departure, prolonging the whole episode and increasing emotional and physical contact, which is counterproductive as it usually only serves to increase anxiety at the time. So, ignore the dog for 15-30 mins prior to departure, which means no looking, touching, talking to or other form of interaction. Likewise, on return keep the greeting quiet and muted and then ignore the dog for 15-30 mins and only attend when it is calm and quiet. Do not encourage excited greetings as is often the case with many dogs suffering separation anxiety. Allow the dog outside to toilet but do so in a detached manner. The strategy outlined above is only a summary of the sorts of things we advise to try and reduce the anxiety around leaving our pets at home. As our society makes the first steps to returning to normal, many of us will be spending less time at home after months of continuous company with our dogs. If your pet starts to show signs of stress as we start leaving them at home again, do consider behavioural advice from your veterinary surgeon or nurse. In addition to the behaviour therapy, some drugs have been shown to help and your veterinary surgery can advise you further. newtonclarkevet.com sherbornetimes.co.uk | 103

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Body & Mind

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD Lucy Beney, MA MBACP, London Road Clinic

‘When we are no longer able to change a situation…we are challenged to change ourselves,’ Viktor Frankl

Llia Torlin/Shutterstock

106 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


ow well have you survived lockdown? Our feelings about being confined to our homes will vary, depending on our circumstances, environment and above all, on the quality of the relationships we have been able to maintain. For some people, lockdown has been a revelation; we have discovered new ways of working and have developed skills that we never knew we had. There may have been time to reflect and the opportunity to get to know others in a more meaningful way. If enough money is coming in, the thought of life returning to ‘normal’ may be the big challenge. Many people who suffer with anxiety and depression have found lockdown something of a relief. Society’s expectations of normal social interaction have been suspended. A few have recently had more work than they can easily handle. For others, lockdown has meant loneliness and isolation. There is frustration about the cancellation of plans, both big and small, and a sense of unease about the ‘new normal’. Relationships may be rocky, or perhaps domestic abuse is a devastating concern. We may be afraid that we won’t reclaim our old lives for a long time. For a huge number of people, this is overlaid with pressing financial worries and the looming threat of unemployment. Thinking about the future now can feel a little like staring through a sheet of reinforced glass at something too big to comprehend easily. Imagine looking out over a city from a panoramic picture window. While the view is impressive and offers endless possibilities, it can also be scary and overwhelming. There’s just too much to take in and a lot remains sketchy and unknown. It is difficult to identify anything other than the biggest landmarks - and even they may be hazy. How about imagining the future as a stained-glass window instead? It requires a good deal of time and effort to produce the beauty and complexity. The colours and shapes are carefully honed individually. The picture emerges slowly, step-by-step. With a large expanse of clear glass, we look beyond it to what unfolds outside. We can overlook what is right in front of us and keep yearning for what is ‘out there’ instead. With a stained-glass window, the glass is not completely translucent - the picture itself is worth seeing rather than what lies beyond. We can appreciate it for what it is, in the here-and-now. In the same way, valuing our lives in the present moment and making the most of each minute helps to reduce anxiety about the future. We can enjoy the simple pleasures, be grateful for something each day and live in the moment, as we move slowly forward, towards bigger goals. We all have choices, however limited they may feel. The future is ours; to be built piece by piece in our own time and in our own way. Yours will not look exactly like anyone else’s - and that is fine. Lucy Beney MA MBACP is an Integrative Counsellor, usually working out of London Road Clinic, but now offering video call appointments on lucybeneycounselling.com 56londonroad.co.uk sherbornetimes.co.uk | 107

Body and Mind

COCOON OF CARE Sarah Hitch, The Sanctuary Beauty Rooms and The Margaret Balfour Beauty Centre


acials: what makes a good one? As with most things in beauty industry, the answer has to be… well it depends. What you want, where your skin is starting from and perhaps how much you want to spend are all factors. Unlike most of the things in beauty, facials are further complicated by the fact they are delivered in person with varying degrees of deftness and expertise. So, who you know and where to go matters because it is 108 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

knowledge and expertise that gets results. Some facials are enjoyed as a one-off treat after being received as a gift or often as a present to yourself when the feeling of ‘I just need to treat myself ’ hits. Other facials fit into a lunch break or at the end of the working day, on the way home as a regular ‘must do’ maintenance. Facials can be the awe-inspiring heavenly relaxation type, or they can be far more active and less relaxing. Preference for the experience desired is key here. Whilst

Blue Planet Studio/Shutterstock

"Some of us want to slide off the treatment bed, punch-drunk on massage, others prefer the dancing lights of an LED lamp and the results-driven tingle of a chemical peel."

some of us want to slide off the treatment bed, punchdrunk on massage, others prefer the dancing lights of an LED lamp and the results-driven tingle of a chemical peel. There is no need to choose, as many modern facial services take the skin on a whistle-stop tour to any number of treatments within a facial, from microcurrent to micro needling, and still involve an element of rest and relaxation. Hands-on facials, that were known as ‘Classic Swiss’ involving cleanse, exfoliation, massage and mask, now borrow a little something from science with updated formulas and results-driven ingredients. A good facial should have solid ‘in house’ techniques according to the product brand. Modern concerns such as pollution, stress and hormonal changes are addressed alongside resurfacing and replenishing techniques. Massage movements drain fluid, improve circulation using beautifully scented oils, serums and masks in flowing succession. It’s a cocoon of care as much as a facial treatment. You walk - no, float - out with gleaming, vibrant skin that looks bouncy, fresh and transformed – just as you feel. Don’t dismiss the etiquette at either end of your facial. When carried out with care and expertise, the consultation and post-treatment debrief can have as much impact as the bit in the middle. The consultation is the most important thing we do. We listen, we learn, we investigate and then we educate. We often need to create a change in the skin, especially where conditions of acne, pigmentation and rosacea are present. Homecare advice is part of a therapist’s job; you should never feel pressure to buy anything, but if you come to a professional skin centre, you should walk away knowing what changes you need to make to see improvements. It could be that you need to switch one or two products in your current routine or that you could think more about advanced ingredients. Or it could be that you need a whole new skincare routine to get the results that you want. We will help you; it’s our job. If you’re seeking a long-term strategy and serious change, consider a tailored facial in a regular programme with your therapist. A great facial is a thing of wonder that will have you questioning yourself why you don’t prioritise it more often. See you in the waiting room! thesanctuarysherborne.co.uk margaretbalfour.co.uk sherbornetimes.co.uk | 109

Body and Mind



Dawn Hart, Hatha Yoga & Meditation Teacher

here are a number of breathing exercises that can help you feel calm and reduce mental tension. Last month, I took you through abdominal or ‘belly breathing’. Humming Bee or Brahmari Breath is more focused on the upper part of your body, but has the same result as it encourages you to extend your ‘out breath’ longer than your ‘in breath’ — stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system, inducing a feeling of well being and reducing muscular tension. Additional benefits associated with this particular exercise include reducing insomnia, strengthening throat and voice, and reducing blood pressure. It is also useful during labour and to sooth a baby, especially if performed regularly in the few months before the baby is born - I can vouch for this! All breathing exercises should be practised on an empty stomach and although this exercise is not advanced, if you do feel uncomfortable, stop and come back to your natural breathing. Do not practise if you have a severe ear infection. • Come into a comfortable sitting position, where your body is relaxed but you have a straight spine and can breathe easily. 110 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

• Humming Bee or Brahmari Breath is often practised by closing off the senses of hearing and seeing. Blocking the ears increases the vibrations and closing the eyes helps you focus inward. To do this, gently press the flaps of your ears closed with your thumbs and lightly place your fingers over your closed eyes. This is not essential and if you are more comfortable, leave your hands resting on your legs. • Keeping your mouth closed, breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Exhale slowly, while making a deep steady ‘mm’ sound, a humming sound - like a bee. • Exhale slowly; do not strain. The exhalation will naturally be longer than the inhalation. • Breathe in again through the nose and repeat. Between three and five rounds is good. Watch the video here for a demonstration. If you are able to practise with more than one of you, I recommend trying it with your ears uncovered, as you benefit from the other peoples’ humming! yogasherborne.co.uk @yogasherborne

We can’t wait to see you all.* * We hope to be back open soon. Check out our social media and website for updates and virtual workouts.

Oxley would like to say a big thank you to all the key workers.



Health Clinic • Acupuncture • Osteopathy • Counselling • Physiotherapy • EMDR Therapy • Shiatsu • Podiatry and Chiropody

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Tel: 01963 251860

www.56londonroad.co.uk @56LondonRoadClinic Email: info@56londonroad.co.uk 56 London Road, Milborne Port, Sherborne DT9 5DW Free Parking and Wheelchair access sherbornetimes.co.uk | 111

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INCENTIVES TO CYCLE Mike Riley, Riley’s Cycles



hat have our government ever done for cyclists, eh? In the film by Monty Python, The Life of Brian, an aggressive militant, played by John Cleese, challenges his fellow militants saying, ‘what have the Romans done for us?’ The others respond with a list of significant Roman benefits, causing Cleese’ character to become increasingly annoyed. So, I ask a similar question, what have the government done for us cyclists? In the March 2016 Department of Transport (DoT) Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, the DoT state, ‘We want to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.’ In a previous career, I was tasked to work with a university team in Bristol trying to find a solution to traffic congestion. Buzzwords abounded such as multi-modal transport, i.e. walking to the bus stop and hopping on a bus, or intermodal transfers, i.e. putting your bike on a train. In the days of British Rail, they carried out a study to see if it was safe to hang bikes up by their wheel so they could load more bikes in a guard’s van. In those days, before the majority of us owned cars, many bikes would be waiting on station platforms to make their intermodal transfer as folks commuted to work. Nowadays, we are lucky if there are more than 2 bicycle spaces on a train, but that is not the government’s doing, it is the consequence of private business running the rail network and maximising profit. 112 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

The document lists objectives including doubling the number of bicycle journeys from 2013 to 2025. That may have been already achieved as a result of Covid-19 and lockdown rather than government initiatives. What this shows is that cyclists who are nervous of traffic, like my wife Alison, will ride on roads when vehicle traffic is significantly less, and drivers’ behaviour is more considerate. So, modifying drivers’ behaviour and traffic segregation, which could be achieved by physical separation or time separation, are key to getting more cyclists on the road. Sustrans and the National Cycle Network

The work of Sustrans is to establish a national network of cycle routes using existing routes where possible. When you see a small sign on a road signpost with a number and a bicycle symbol, that means the road is designated as part of a national cycle route, for example Bradford Road is part of NCN route 26. This route runs from Portishead in Somerset to Portland in Dorset. Routes many also use bridle ways or disused railway lines like the Strawberry line and are selected to void traffic or use quiet roads, which are often the most scenic options. Area maps covering the whole country are available to buy showing NCN routes or can be found on Sustrans’ website, sustrans.org.uk. There is also a ‘find a route’ feature and an interactive map where you can place comments to suggest where a new route is required, such as Sherborne to Milborne Port.

Local Authorities

Dorset Council have produced some excellent cycle guides. These are available from the Tourist Information Centre in Digby Road or online at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk In parts of the county, like Poole and Bournemouth where the population is more densely packed, the local authority have invested to create some super cycle routes such as Sandbanks to Hengistbury Head and Upton Country Park to Ringwood on the Castleman Trailway. At a national level, the government set aside £500 million in an access fund to help pay for such projects and also introduced initiatives such as Healthy New Towns and Public Health England schemes to combat obesity through exercise. Cycle to Work Schemes

Cycle to Work schemes are a government initiative to help workers buy a bike to use for commuting to work. The concept of the scheme is known as salary sacrifice and the bike payment is taken out of an employee’s wages in monthly instalments, before any tax or national insurance is deducted. This is the equivalent of saving the employee the tax that would have been paid on the money earned before they spent it if they went to buy a new bike. The scheme benefits are that the employee saves tax which could be worth 40% for some, there is effectively an interest-free loan over 12 months and the employer saves on national insurance contributions. The government view is that by encouraging cycling to work, instead of using a car or public transport, will reduce traffic congestion, improve the rider’s health and make them more productive at work as they will be energised. Various schemes have been set up to help companies administer a cycle to work scheme for their staff. They are all funded by charging a commission to the dealer to cover the admin costs. Some are closed schemes which mean you must spend your voucher at a particular chain of shops, and many are limited to £1000. As a cycle dealer, I prefer the Green Commute Initiative which is a social enterprise with the mission of getting more people riding bikes. The other schemes are run as an opportunistic way of exploiting a government initiative intended to help society for profit, so the charges by the dealer have to cover the usual costs of a private company and some work in cahoots with employee benefits package providers to give a referral fee. The Green Commute is great for smaller companies who might only provide a bike to one employee a year

because they can use a simple online form instead of setting up a complicated portal on their I.T. system. Also, if the employee is not as fit as they aspire to be, the scheme allows them to spend a bit more to buy an ebike and accessories. Bikeability

When I was a child, we had the National Cycling Proficiency scheme which taught children how to ride a bike safely. I was taught by a stern policeman who threatened to wallop me if I stood up out of the saddle. This training is now replaced by Bikeability. The instructors who run this locally are committed cyclists. I enjoy seeing the youngsters riding in formation past my house as Ben teaches them positioning on the road, hand signals and bike control, amongst other essential skills to stay safe on the road. So, what have the government done for us cyclists? Well, more than we may have realised. There is still a lot more that could be done such as opening up access to routes on private land to provide safe alternatives to busy roads, improving driver education such as making riding a bike in traffic part of the driving test, legislation like in Holland where the driver is assumed to be at fault in an accident with a cyclist, so they take more care. Cyclists also don’t help to improve public opinion of them. I was cycling to work at Riley’s Cycles in Trendle Street this week, and a lady was cycling towards me the wrong way down the one-way street. I asked if she knew that it was a one-way street and she said, ‘Oh yes, I have lived here for 30 years!’ as she breezed past me ignoring social distancing guidance. Just the previous week, I was reversing my vehicle out of our entrance onto Trendle Street, supervised by a colleague, and two lads came the wrong way along there, one on an electric scooter (illegal to ride on the road) and the other pulling a wheelie on his bike; my colleague who was guiding me was looking in the direction traffic should use, so did not see them. It would have been very messy if they had collided with my vehicle. Prior to this, I came across an accident at Acreman Street junction with a badly damaged bicycle on the road, a damaged car and a cyclist being attended to by paramedics. I assumed the car driver had hit a poor cyclist because they had not been looking, but it was the cyclist who was at fault because he was riding the wrong way along Trendle Street. rileyscycles.co.uk sherbornetimes.co.uk | 113

Body & Mind

Ivan Kruk/Shutterstock


ating disorders affect approximately 1.25 million people in the UK. * This high prevalence means that most people know or know of someone affected by disordered eating, whether that be anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, OSFED (other specified feeding or eating disorder) or others. However, this awareness can allow misinformation to spread like wildfire and many people hold harmful misconceptions and opinions about these conditions and those affected. Stigma and misunderstanding can fuel discrimination and decrease help being sought, which can in turn exacerbate symptoms and hinder recovery. Here are 5 common myths surrounding eating disorders and the evidence dispelling them: 114 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Myth 1: Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the only/most common eating disorders

Although more well-known, anorexia and bulimia are not the most common eating disorders. Research conducted in 2015 by Hay and Colleagues revealed that the most prevalent eating disorder in the UK was OSFED, accounting for 47% of cases. The subsequent most common eating disorders were binge eating disorder (22%), bulimia (19%) and anorexia (8%). Myth 2: People with eating disorders are just seeking attention

Some people believe those experiencing eating disorders are choosing to behave in damaging ways to cause drama

the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.* Eating disorders can also fuel other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. They are very real conditions that deserve to be taken seriously and treated with respect. Myth 4: Eating disorders only affect white, middle-class, teenage girls

Although eating disorders more commonly affect adolescent girls, they can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, socio-economic background, ethnicity or sexuality. Eating disorders have been diagnosed in children as young as 6 and adults in their 70s. Men account for approximately 25% of people diagnosed with eating disorders. Myth 5: Eating disorders are always visible

There is a common stereotype of what people with mental illness look like. Along with the assumed demographics mentioned above, people often imagine someone very thin and visibly ill. However, with anorexia accounting for approximately 8% of eating disorder diagnoses, many people with disordered eating conditions demonstrate weight stability or gain rather than extreme weight loss. Even amongst those with severe anorexia, not everyone is visibly thin. If someone developed an eating disorder when they were considerably overweight, they wouldn’t become skeletal overnight. Furthermore, weight can often fluctuate, and it isn’t necessarily an accurate indicator of mental wellbeing.

or gain attention. In reality, many disordered eating habits take place in private; the affected person often goes to great lengths to hide their condition so as not to provoke worry, intervention or anger. Eating disorders are not a choice; they are complex disorders which involve biological, social and environmental factors and compulsions which can be very difficult to control. Myth 3: Eating disorders aren’t serious

There is a misconception that people with eating disorders don’t have a real condition and that there are more serious issues to worry about. However, eating disorders are anything but trivial; anorexia nervosa has

Eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of shape, size or background. They are complex disorders that require understanding, awareness and care. A recovery journey is possible for anyone and it is vital to get support as quickly as you can if you believe you are struggling with your body image or eating habits. If you think you may have an eating disorder, make an appointment with your GP as soon as you can. Dorset Mind’s ‘Restored’ Eating Disorder Service believes that change is possible. The charity will empower and support your journey towards recovery from disordered eating. The charity delivers a weekly support group, mentoring and counselling across Dorset and additional resources and information. You can selfrefer by email to restored@dorsetmind.uk Find out more online at: dorsetmind.uk/help-and-support *Statistics from BEAT Eating Disorders (2018) sherbornetimes.co.uk | 115

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS Craig Hardaker, BSc (Hons), Communifit


t is so wonderful to see so many people filling their time with exercise. Social media is flooded with people working out, going for walks in new territory, cycling, following different high quality online workout programmes and so much more. Let’s keep it up! Here is how. Staying motivated

Of course, even with the best of intentions, you may find your motivation flagging from time to time. You probably just want things to go back to normal, rather than trying to clear a patch of space in your living room for the thirteenth day in a row. Therefore, mix your training up and plan a schedule. It can be hard to stay motivated, so make a sensible daily plan – and try to stick to it. Setting goals

For this reason, it’s important to set goals, whether big or small, and to schedule your workouts. Routine is important here; I would advise that you plan your workouts for first thing in the morning, so you can get them out of the way before the day’s distractions kick in! Why not set yourself a 20 minute movement session three times a day? This will help to break the day up and make limited resources go further. You could go up and down the stairs, use a box or ledge to perform step-ups, etc. Maintaining fitness

It takes about 7 to 14 days for your aerobic fitness levels to start declining. This means taking a few weeks out of your running schedule, for instance, shouldn’t have much long-term effect. What you lose initially is mostly the gains that you’ve 116 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Image: Stuart Brill

Body & Mind

made in the last few months of training. If you’ve been a lifelong runner, you will retain much of your aerobic fitness for several months. If you’re anxious about losing fitness, it might be worth tracking your progress in a fitness journal or by using a fitness app. Some apps have the added advantage of offering a virtual community who can hold you accountable and keep you on track! A fitness app will also give you solid data to refer back to when you’re doubting your progress, meaning you won’t succumb to negative thoughts that could lead you to scale down your exercise plan. Positive thinking

Finally, if ever there was a time to apply the power of positive thinking, this is it. Reframe the lockdown situation; see it as less of a blow to your fitness, but more as a chance to enhance both your fitness levels and progress. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t continue with your current fitness regime, or find a race or event that you’ve been training for has been cancelled. I’m restarting my training to race in the London Marathon, which has now moved to October. In this day and age, there are many options and resources to allow you to work out from home, so rather than taking a negative view of the situation regarding maintaining your fitness levels, think positively and see it as a motivating challenge. Here at Communifit we are always offering our help, support and advice. Together, we are stronger! All the best. communifit.co.uk

1-1’s and classes online • Outside 1-1’s at special rate during June • Hatha Yoga • Relaxation and guided meditation • Recordings also available Contact Dawn for more details 07817 624081 @yogasherborne hello@yogasherborne.co.uk Yoga Alliance qualified teacher


Body & Mind


Simon Partridge BSc (Sports Science), Personal Trainer, SPFit


wrote my last article on Saturday 21st March and how the world has changed since then. We, like many other businesses, shut our doors and have not yet re-opened them. Like most within the fitness industry, we have moved all our 1:1 coaching, classes and workshops to online channels. We wanted our classes to be free, so anyone who had lost their business or job could still benefit from exercising and we have now delivered over 40 free sessions. Before the pandemic, we really prided ourselves on creating a friendly environment where people with different levels of strength, fitness and flexibility could support each other and have fun at the same time. No egos here. Many of our members have forged genuine friendships, which I am delighted to say have been invaluable in keeping us all going during this stressful time. But this new demand for online training has also amazed me, because we now have people from all 118 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

over the country joining us live. Bristol, Winchester, Southampton, Hertfordshire, North Yorkshire and London are just a few examples. We can also add New Zealand, Australia and Kenya to that list, in what is now a global phenomenon. But possibly the most wonderful aspect for many of us, is friends and family are now exercising at the same time in the same class and interacting with each other on screen. Families and friends may be isolating, but this has also been an opportunity to bring us all together in a way, I for one, never foresaw. It has also been great to be in contact with so many other small gym owners, personal trainers and coaches – many of whom I have had no contact with for some time. But the genuine support and exchange of ideas has been so valuable and rewarding. Social media, TV and the internet are full of what exercises to do, but not necessarily how you put them together to form a complete schedule.

I really believe that this period of change should not push your fitness back to square one. Here are 3 simple, yet challenging methods to help design and progress your own workouts, particularly when short of equipment, space and maybe time: Isometric holds: holding the muscle in a contracted position for a determined time period, forces the muscle to work harder in the given position e.g. pause at the bottom of a squat. Ladder training: choose two exercises (A and B). Exercise A starts off with a high number of reps and B with one rep. For each set of both A and B exercises, exchange the number of reps (10–1, 9-2, 8-3 etc.) so that the reps for exercise A decrease, while the reps for B increase. OMEM (On The Minute, Every Minute): one method of OMEM is to choose two or three exercises and perform a small number of reps for each exercise (five for example) and repeat the five reps OMEM for a set period - try 20 minutes. Rest for the remaining time within the minute. There are, of course, many, many more methods. I hope these have given you a few ideas and please do not hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions on

how to get stronger, fitter and more flexible, whatever your fitness level. Please also contact me if you would like to get involved with our 1:1 coaching or our live, online classes and workshops. Everyone is welcome, and some will remain free, so good luck to you all. Stay safe, fit and healthy. SPFit Online Programme ____________________________________________ Strength and Conditioning Workshop Mondays and Thursdays at 6.30pm Midday Stretching Workshop Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1.30pm Broga - the original fitness yoga Wednesdays at 6.30pm Old School Circuits and HIIT Class Saturdays at 9am ____________________________________________

All details for our online classes are set up as specific events on our Facebook page SPFit-Sherborne and also posted to Instagram on @swjpartridge spfit-sherborne.co.uk sherbornetimes.co.uk | 119

Body & Mind



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


uring the coronavirus epidemic, our attention has been paid to respiratory symptoms. There was a concern that the familiar symptoms of hayfever may be mistaken for Covid-19 symptoms. However, in the absence of fever and a new dry cough, sneezing, itchy eyes, nose and throat, as well as a runny nose, is much more likely to be due to the annual nuisance that is hayfever, an allergy to tree, weed and flower pollens and spores circulating in the air. For many of us, the symptoms have been milder due to the enforced isolation that we have all been subjected to during lockdown. To some extent, the exposure to spores and pollens has been less - perhaps this could be viewed as one slightly positive outcome during all this hideousness. The conventional treatment for hayfever is with antihistamines. The preferred one is Cetirizine 10mg as this is a non-sedating, once daily treatment that can be purchased over the counter in the chemist and supermarkets. This also applies to Opticrom eyedrops for eye itchiness, watering and irritation. Sneezing and runny nose issues are dealt with by twice daily puffs of the steroid nasal spray Beconase, that can also be purchased in the chemist. In years gone by, long-acting steroid injections were given annually, but these have fallen out of favour due to potential adverse effects. Besides conventional treatment, there are herbal remedies such as Eyebright and Plantain. Modern day science has demonstrated that they bring about changes in the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. They can be obtained from most health food shops. Homeopathy is another complementary medicine

120 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

that is effective in easing hayfever symptoms. Random controlled trials have demonstrated clearly that the effect is not placebo. Treatment is similar to conventional asthma management, namely the ‘preventer’ and ‘reliever’ medicinal approaches. The prevention of hayfever is with the use of homeopathically-prepared pollens and spores, taken twice daily throughout the season. The ‘reliever’ for hayfever is by using medicines that have the properties of alleviating those specific symptoms - Euphrasia (Eyebright) for eye itching, Sabadilla for sneezing and Allium Cepa (red onion) for runny nose. These should be taken to relieve the symptoms, should they occur despite taking the ‘preventer’. Many of the symptoms are not just confined to the hayfever season. Some people have the same symptoms when exposed to dog, cat, horse, house dust. As with hayfever, it is sensible to try to establish the trigger factor in order to avoid exposure. Often, this is common sense and ‘trial and error’. However, sometimes more detailed assessment and allergy testing may be needed to identify the causal factor and advice on how to manage the situation. Skin prick allergy testing is a validated method that provides an immediate definite result. With the above, hopefully the symptoms of hayfever will be minimised or even eliminated. This will improve everyday quality of life, sleep and concentration at work (if you are) and school (whenever that might be) during these nightmarish times of Covid-19. doctorTWRobinson.com glencairnhouse.co.uk

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sherbornetimes.co.uk | 121


HOME SWEET HOME? Cath Rapley, Lodestone Property

Cathy Mo


id you ever watch Dr Lucy Worsley’s historical series If Walls Could Talk? on the BBC, where the historian took us through the history of each room in the house? From medieval beds made of straw, ‘hitting the hay,’ to the Elizabethan introduction of living rooms, Worsley, who is the chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces, entertained us by dressing up in period costume while revealing some of our strange living habits – like ‘bundling’ - the custom of allowing unmarried couples to lie tied to a bed fully-dressed all night, ‘just to chat.’ But while this was all very entertaining, the point of the programme was to demonstrate that the way 122 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

we use our homes reflects the times in which we live. For example, Elizabethan society became increasingly consumerist, with the result that wealthy people wanted more rooms to show off their possessions to guests. This meant society moved away from living in one-roomed houses and barns, to aspiring to live in large houses, with many rooms fulfilling many functions from work to play, so they could separate the private and public. Then, as the modern age developed, more people owned or rented their own properties, which in turn shrunk in size. Consequently, we spent less time indoors as we went out to work, school and play. Now, at the start of a new decade in the 21st Century,

orris-Adams, Co-founder, Lodestone Property. Image: Bill Bradshaw

"Those who adapt successfully, are those who are able to maintain clear boundaries in terms of a designated space and time."

we suddenly find we’ve been forced back to our own patch again, thanks to a powerful, destructive virus. But is this the start of a new phase of how we live now, or just a temporary blip? Of course, a lot will depend on the progress of the virus, but what are we learning from this experience? You’d think that an enforced period ‘a la maison’ wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the English – after all, there’s a general idea in our national consciousness that your home is your sanctuary, and what you do under your own roof is your business. This idea was enshrined in law in the 17th Century by lawyer and politician Sir Edward Coke, The Institutes of the Laws Of England (1628). ‘For a man’s house is his castle et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium [and each man‘s home is his safest refuge].’ It’s true that, for many of us, returning home has made us re-evaluate and appreciate aspects of our lives overlooked in busy times – helped by warm days and balmy nights. Describing their experiences, Sue Macey and Cathy Morris-Adams, managing partners at Lodestone Property, which has a branch in Shaftesbury, feel grateful for clarity. Sue told us, ‘we are lucky enough to have a 4-bedroom family house and we were thinking of downsizing,’ she says, ‘but this experience has made us realise that we are not ready to do it. Two of our three children have come back home and because of the space we have, we have not got on top of one another. And because of the weather being so lovely and as we are fortunate enough to also have outside space, ‘lockdown’ has not had a huge negative impact on us. We have decided to stay because we appreciate it all so much more.’ Cathy’s experience was different – she says, ‘I managed to sell my house during lockdown, no mean feat but we are experts in chain progression! I am now going to be renting and what has come out of this for me is that I thought I would be happy with a very small garden because work keeps me so busy, but this has made me realise how important a garden is, especially space for veggies, and I think this will be a conclusion that lots of people leaving cities will also come to.’ Hanna Sampson, 28, and Mollie Mogridge, 23, owners of a florist and café, have also noticed a feeling of contentment. The young business owners opened Pamplemousse, their Shaftesbury-based business, 5 days before quarantine – but adapted fast to being forced to close the shop by offering doorstep deliveries of flowers, cakes and now bread, which is proving very popular. ‘When we turn up to people’s houses to drop > sherbornetimes.co.uk | 123

Mollie, Pamplemousse Flowers

off a surprise gift, they are often in their gardens and seem like that they are enjoying themselves, perhaps because they have slowed down,’ says Mollie. ‘People are being thoughtful too,’ she continues, ‘sending gifts just to say they care rather than for a birthday or anniversary and our customers are loving receiving handwritten notes with their parcels rather than just a text.’ Hanna’s experience is slightly different, however, in that she has a two-year old son, Ralph, who would usually be at nursery most of the week. ‘We always planned that I would have one day at home doing the accounts,’ she says, describing the pair’s initial ideas for how they would divide the work, ‘but it is quite hard answering the phone and entertaining him, although it’s nice that he is having more mummy time.’ So, while those of us with gardens and space are largely adapting well to these new conditions, others may find it stressful, particularly if we have to work at home. Chartered Psychologist Emily Hooper, based at the Riverside Psychology Service in Yetminster, agrees: ‘People will have very different experiences, depending on their circumstances,’ she says. ‘For example, working from home when you live alone is likely to be easy from a practical point of view, but may bring psychological challenges in terms of loneliness. Meanwhile, someone attempting to work at the same time as home schooling will have very different issues.’ But the availability of so much technology like video conferencing and broadband has meant that the actual act of working from home is much easier - and effective. Emily continues: ‘Many people have found 124 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

they are far more productive. I believe those who adapt successfully, are those who are able to maintain clear boundaries in terms of a designated space and time. In addition, they maintain meaningful contact with others, such as an in-depth telephone conversation. Significant contact is especially important for those where the workplace provides a great deal of their social interaction, as meeting these basic needs are essential for our wellbeing.’ So, does the relative ease in which we have embraced making home our focus mean a change in the way we use our houses in future, especially if we are to move in and out of lockdowns in the coming years? Simon Neville-Jones, Lodestone Property’s Dorset manager concludes: ‘Although no-one knows what’s ahead, at the moment, we’re seeing lots of people looking at houses online who are thinking of moving, and my anticipation is that we will see lots of people want to move out of densely populated areas. I think what they’re going to be looking for is a village with a post office, good broadband and home office. For the upper echelons of the market, people will want a pool and tennis court too, because they will want a property that does everything for us.’ So, despite the abundance of modern technology, we could actually return to a home life similar to that of affluent Elizabethans and later, the Victorians, where rooms were used for many different purposes, so residents hardly had to leave their properties at all. Home, sweet home? Time will tell. lodestoneproperty.co.uk

“You can’t turn back the clock. But you can wind it up again” ··· Bonnie Prudden

The past few months have been very challenging for us all but we hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well. We have spent our time productively while we have been away, keeping in touch with our clients and creating new initiatives. We would like to share with you a copy of our new lifestyle magazine Lodestone Life.

Our passion for Somerset and Dorset underpins everything we do. It is a beautiful part of the world which is full of exciting businesses, talented people and wonderful events. We want to show off the best bits, as well as the wonderful houses that we have sold and let over the past year. You can download the magazine here: www.purplepanther.co.uk/Magazines/Lodestone/A/ In the meantime, if you would like any advice regarding your property requirements please call Simon Neville-Jones on 01747 442577 or email him at: simon@lodestoneproperty.co.uk

Cathy Morris-Adams Managing Partner

Sue Macey Managing Partner

www.lodestoneproperty.co.uk wells@lodestoneproperty.co.uk | bruton@lodestoneproperty.co.uk

Simon Neville-Jones Manager (Dorset)

01749 605099 (Bruton) | 01749 605088 (Wells) 01747 445042 (Shaftesbury)


PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY & COVID-19 Jonathan Cheal, Agriculture Team, Mogers Drewett


s we all continue to do our bit to help slow the spread of coronavirus, never has our daily exercise been more important both for our physical and mental wellbeing. While this has led to the discovery of new public footpaths for many, it has also caused implications for associated landowners. The significant increase in the numbers of people using public footpaths over the last few weeks has been a cause for anxiety among many landowners, particularly where public footpaths run through or close to farmhouses, buildings and yards. With increased instances of gates being left open and dogs not being controlled, farmers have raised concerns that this could put people who live and work in rural areas at risk, as well as increasing the risk to livestock. While the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has provided the option for farmers to offer alternative routes so that everyone can remain safe, the rights of way network remains open. Landowners do not have the legal right to block or obstruct public rights of way or access, as closures could limit opportunities for people to exercise locally or access essential amenities. However, recognising that these are unprecedented times, Defra has permitted landowners to consider a number of temporary measures that will help reduce any associated impact to livestock, for those who live in 126 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

and around the local area. Such measures may include the following: • Tying gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to touch the gate • Displaying notices that encourage users to respect local residents and workers by following social distancing guidelines • Offering alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools but only where it is safe for users and livestock to do so. Defra has said that this flexibility is temporary. They also remind farmers to check their public liability cover, where having the public walk other than on a public right of way is potentially at the farmer’s risk. If you are thinking of applying for a permanent diversion of a path to divert it from a garden or farmyard, please do take advice in advance, as it is not a straightforward process. Although most walkers prefer to avoid walking through gardens and yards and would welcome a diversion as long as the new path is just as good, some of the user groups have a policy of opposing diversions on principle. Where guidance is changing regularly, any landowners with questions relating to their land and current rules concerning access should seek legal advice. mogersdrewett.com

EXPERT LAWYERS ON YOUR SIDE, AT YOUR SIDE. Forward-thinking legal advice on your doorstep Sherborne | Bath | Wells | Frome mogersdrewett.com | 01935 813 691



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


ver the last 10 weeks or so, the world’s stock markets have crashed and, surprisingly, partially recovered, despite the terrible disruption and ever-increasing death toll. Daily market returns have ranged from -12% to +9.6% (S&P 500.) The economic shutdown is likely to have unpleasant consequences. However, this experience provides valuable lessons for investors. We can then be better prepared for the next bear market, whenever it may arrive.

writing it down, can help.

We have a love-hate relationship with cash

As uncertainty increases and markets fall, there will be an inevitable clamour for activity. Things are happening — what are we doing about it? Whether or not what we are doing is likely to be beneficial in the long-term or is even part of our plan, investment process is likely to fade into insignificance. For the vast majority of investors sitting on our hands or making very modest adjustments based on pre-existing plans, is the right thing to do. Continue to think long-term; doing nothing is often the best option. Decisions we make in periods of stress will have profound implications for our long-term results. If an investment decision makes you feel good immediately, it will probably make you feel bad in the long-term. In periods of market weakness, the temptation to do what will make you feel better now can be overwhelming.

When interest rates are low, very few people are comfortable holding cash. After allowing for inflation, it often provides a negative real return. When stock market-based investments are rising rapidly, such paltry returns are painful. In the topsy-turvy world that we are currently living in, cash is vitally important. We would suggest that everybody holds enough cash to cover both emergency and planned expenditure. After all, the capital value of cash does not go down. We need to have a plan

Making plans for torrid market conditions is a crucial element of prudent long-term investing. Of course, we cannot prepare for specific eventualities — here is what I will do in a global pandemic — but we do know that severe declines in asset prices will occur at some unpredictable juncture. Even acknowledging this, and

128 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

We need to have a plan we can stick to

News will be uniformly terrible. Are we sure that our plan was sensible? Hasn’t everything changed? Sticking to our plan will be the last thing we want to do. You might need to tweak your plan, for example, spending less if your available resources have reduced. But don’t panic. People will want action!


Your Life, Your Money, Your Future Trusted, professional, fee based advice We live in a complex world. At FFP we aim to remove complexity, replacing it with simplicity and clarity so that our clients can enjoy their lives without worry

FFP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Telephone: 01935 813322 Email: info@ffp.org.uk Website: www.ffp.org.uk


130 | Sherborne Times | June 2020


ell, here I am on a Sunday evening, early May, enjoying a gin and tonic… BoJo has just told me I’ve got to stay in for at least the next two months, probably three, and by the time you read this, it’ll probably all have changed again! Many of you already know that I have been retired from Milborne Port Computers since July last year, and it’s not easy giving up what you enjoy doing. It began a couple of years ago when I started talking about maybe, hypothetically, possibly, sometime, going onto a threeday week, and my son James would then be in the driving seat. By the time we actually came to do it, at the end of 2018, not only was he in the driving seat, but he was deciding how the company would operate without me. As is often the case, the part-time idea never really worked properly as you can’t plan what is going to walk in the door at any given time, and it was difficult leaving half-done jobs to be finished off by someone else. In the end, it worked out well for both of us. Whilst I still answer questions about how I did something 12 years ago, James is forging ahead on his own and being successful independently; I’m delighted! It’s taken a while to get used to the idea of not having to go to work five days a week; I can choose what to do and when. However, the retirement plan did not include sitting on my backside in the sun, which is what I’ve been doing for the past 8 weeks. I had parttime, zero hours, working at outside events, but that’s now a victim of Covid-19. I also had the same set up working for a bank towing mobile units all over the country, but that’s also ended due to the pandemic. Fortunately, I did agree to keep on a few websites that I helped with over the years, as James didn’t want that part of the business, and this has kept me mentally busy at least. We, the royal we, did plan on lots of travel in our mobile home, but that’s off for the foreseeable future, so the current Mrs. Flynn has had me moving the greenhouse, building a patio, painting the conservatory inside and out, interior decorating, window cleaning, allotment digging etc. etc. We’ve walked every inch of every footpath within striking distance and my running is up to 10k again, but it’s not really the retirement I signed up for… I’ll just have to be patient, I think. One thing I did say I’d keep going was this monthly epistle, for a while. Well, this is a year on and my 61st article; sadly, it’ll be my last for the Sherborne Times. Although, you may see me in another local publication where my regurgitated drivel is running about 2 years behind; same story but updated. We’ve covered everything from broadband speeds to solid state disks, email setup to viruses (not Covid-19), and I hope you’ve enjoyed them. So, for the very last time… the choice, as always, is yours, but if you think you need advice, you know where to call. Coming up next month: nothing… it’s goodbye from me! computing-mp.co.uk sherbornetimes.co.uk | 131


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Muntanya is an independent trekking and outdoors shop offering clothing and equipment from major suppliers with advice on anything trekking from finding a local walking group, navigation and expedition planning. Come and have a chat about your latest adventure…. …even if you haven’t had it yet! 7 Cheap St, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3PT 01935 389484 • 0787 5465218 david@muntanya.co.uk www.muntanya.co.uk 132 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

01935 872007 / 07715 867145 waynesbusiness@aol.com

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A family run business established in 1998, we promise a highly professional level of service Tel: 07733 101064 or 01935 817885 www.lsflooring.co.uk

Yenstone Walling Ltd Dry Stone Walling and Landscaping All types of stone walling undertaken 01963 371123 | 07791 588141 www.yenstonewalling.co.uk Patrick Houchen DSWA member CIS registered

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01963 250788 sherbornetimes.co.uk | 133



DB: What was your childhood like? CM-I: I was born in Hertfordshire, but we soon moved to Guildford where I had a very happy childhood. At the age of eight, I went to a boarding prep school. I much enjoyed my time there and developed academically and musically though I was not a games star. I then went to Wellington, where there were still the remnants of personal ‘fagging’ though these were quickly got rid of. There was a good music department 134 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

and I was able to play the Harrison organ in the Chapel, continue with the piano and do a lot of singing. At prep school I had started to learn Greek and at Wellington I was able to develop my love of the classics. DB: What happened after school? CM-I: I had a nine-month gap between leaving school and university. I spent four months at a kibbutz at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. This was an interesting time, a year before the Six Day War, when

Israel felt embattled and threatened by Syria and Egypt. I then went to Pembroke College, Cambridge, to read Classics. Life was still quite traditional, and the college was all-male, though there was plenty of opportunity – not least through music – to meet girls from the women’s colleges. In fact, I met Patsy, my wife of fifty years and my mainstay, when we were singing the Dream of Gerontius in King’s College Chapel. I also enjoyed hockey and cycling round the countryside. After Cambridge, I did a year’s teaching course in Edinburgh. I always wanted to teach and also felt I had a call to the church’s ministry: I began with teaching. DB: How did your career evolve? CM-I: In 1970, I came to Sherborne School as a junior member of a very strong Classics department. I knew how good the school was academically and spent twenty happy years there. As happens in schools, I got involved in many activities over the years. I helped with the Combined Cadet Force (which I had also done at Wellington) and enjoyed adventure training, which introduced me to the Lake District. I umpired hockey games and was a tutor in two or three houses. I also jointly ran the university entrance guidance and led some trips to Greece. I became Head of Classics from 1982, a time of growth in the department. I was ordained in 1987, after training at Salisbury Theological College, and became Assistant Chaplain. I also did parish work at Poyntington, which I knew well having played the organ there for a number of years. I ran the family service and parish Eucharist. I then left to go to Milton Abbey as I wanted to combine a full chaplaincy with teaching. I was also again involved with the CCF. The school is set in lovely countryside and has magnificent buildings, especially the mediaeval Abbey. The pupils – at that time boys, but now girls too – were (and remain) particularly outgoing and engaging. It being a small school one could know everyone well. I am still involved with the school as a Governor and the Visitor. After seven happy years, I saw the job of Conduct at Eton advertised in the Church Times. Conduct is an old term for a salaried priest rather like the personal chaplains that 18th century landowners employed. As the senior chaplain, I had a team of three other C of E chaplains and one RC all of whom taught a fairly full timetable. We divided the houses between us with each of us looking after about six pastorally. The houses were small and full of activity at a very high level and we found the school a wonderful, friendly and supportive

community. As at Milton Abbey, we had open house and boys used to drop in for tea and chat. As this was part of their normal life, they felt easy coming to talk if they had any problems. I was involved in the confirmations of Prince William and Prince Harry. Having retired from Eton, I became Vicar of the Close at Salisbury Cathedral, which is where I had been ordained deacon. It was a lovely place to live and we made many friends. As well as the residents of the Close, I also looked after the Cathedral congregation. Subsequently, we moved back to Sherborne. There is a good team of retired clergy here and I am lucky to be Chaplain to the splendid Abbey Choir, which is a great privilege. Sherborne caters for a wide range of Church of England worship. Our wonderful Abbey - the ‘Cathedral of Dorset’ – combines traditional with more modern liturgy; Castleton uses the Book of Common Prayer, while St Paul’s is in the evangelical tradition. DB: What have you learnt along the way? CM-I: The value of friendship, listening without judging and about living in community. DB: Is there anything you might have done differently? CM-I: Nothing. I have been lucky to have lived and worked in beautiful places alongside delightful people. I have particularly enjoyed the give and take of the classroom. DB: What changes have you noticed? CM-I: There is now a far greater openness particularly in school and church life. Both adults and teenagers are much more open in what they will talk about. The study of Classics is now more confined to independent schools. I think this is a pity as they are at the centre of both our language and our culture, and they also help with analytical thinking skills. DB: What are you currently involved in? CM-I: As well as being a Governor of Milton Abbey and Chaplain to the Abbey Choir, I am also involved in the Sherborne Wednesday Club. This meets once a month and is great for people who cannot get out much in the evenings as members are collected from their homes. Our programme includes talks, games, quizzes and outings. I also enjoy walking; we have the most beautiful countryside with lovely hills, pastures and villages. I think it is quite unbeatable. DB: Do you have a wish for Sherborne? CM-I: We have an unusual concentration of schools and I would like them to continue working together and for our town to prosper. sherbornetimes.co.uk | 135

Short Story



Jenny Campbell, Sherborne Scribblers

he clock was a deal breaker when my sister-in-law and I went to look at the flat in Sherborne. I took a tape measure with me and confirmed that the height of the walls was just over seven and a half feet which meant that if I removed the brass finial at the top, the clock would just about fit into the hall with approximately half an inch to spare. To anyone who did not know its provenance, the mahogany long-case, with barley twist columns on either side of the glass fronted top, would be no more than a fine piece of furniture – if you were into that sort of thing. It bears the maker’s name of Riddell and a date of November 1802 below a painting of what looks like an old Scots baronial style edifice beside a tranquil loch and low hills in the background. In each corner of the actual clock face, with its painted Roman numerals, there is a pale gold cartouche decorated with a pink, gold and green floral design. An interesting item, whichever way you look at it. But what makes the clock special to me is its Campbell family history. Let’s go back to the time I first saw it in the hall of my in-laws’ flat in Glasgow, 1966, a few months after Jim and I were married. We had arrived from Canada, where we were both then working, and although Jim’s parents had been to visit us there twice, this was the first time I had been to their home. We stayed for just over two weeks and during that time, I watched, fascinated as my father-in-law went through the Sunday evening ritual of winding up the clock at precisely 8pm. Crick, crick, crick of the key as slowly, slowly, the heavy weights rose on their metal rods and wheels to the top of the long case. Then came the reverent setting of the brass pendulum to swing steadily from side to side, until all one heard was the gentle tick, tick, tick of the clock and its hourly chime. Jim and his older brother, Andy, had been born and raised in a tenement flat in Glasgow. Their mother, Nancy (Somerville), had to climb up two flights of stairs gripping 4-year old Andy in one hand, together with the pushchair, while carrying baby Jim in the other. My father-in-law, Pop, was a mechanical engineer who worked for the Albion Motor Company and had known what it meant to be out of work for a year during the Depression. He eventually got a job as a lorry driver despite never having driven before. This was prior to the introduction of driving licences and to the best of my knowledge, he never did sit a test!

136 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Life, then, was not easy for the young Campbell family. But Nancy would have kept the flat sparkling clean, black-leading the kitchen stove every month, as she used to tell me, and always ensuring that there was food on the table. Jim and Andy slept in a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ bed in the kitchen, and the first time I saw one of these I envied him! It looked so cosy and was probably the warmest place to be during the city’s long, cold winters. Here, at the kitchen table, the boys did their homework; and woe betide either of them who came home from school and said they had only got eighteen or nineteen for spelling. Out would come Pop’s strap to remind them that: ‘Next time, you’ll get twenty!’ Education in Scotland at that time was prized above all else for many a poorer family with parents like Pop and Nancy, who had left school at the age of fourteen. A long line of eminent doctors (a Somerville among them), lawyers, teachers, engineers and artists in Scotland came from identical backgrounds, studying, as Jim did, in a small tenement room with the curtains closed to shut out the sounds of summer play in the street below or the lure of the Students’ Union. Pop’s father was a licensed grocer in Blantyre (home of the famous Dr Livingstone!) in Lanarkshire. It was all countryside around there, then, and Jim’s greatest joy when young was to spend the summer holidays at Neuark, the grandparents’ home in Blantyre where, every night, he would lie in bed and listen to the comforting tick of the grandfather clock downstairs. Grandmother Campbell, always kind, must have been a delightful woman. According to my husband, even in her sixties she could ‘go over her wilkies’ (roll over on the floor) much to the delight of her grandsons! She could also put a cake in the oven, fall asleep in her chair and, at precisely the right time, wake up and say to Jim or Andy ‘That cake will be ready. Away ben and take it out of the oven.’ And it was always baked to perfection. What a joy that house must have been to two wee boys from the city: the aroma of bacon and eggs drifting up the stairs in the morning and – always – the familiar tick, tick, tick of the clock. When first, his grandfather and then, his grandmother, died, the house was sold and for some extraordinary reason the clock was divided between two nearby and separate members of the family: one in Carluke and one in Larkhall. Pop, ever the engineer and desirous of owning the clock, hit on an ingenious idea to that end. He went first to the owner of the top half and said: ‘If I can persuade the others to let me have the bottom half, would you give me yours?’ Next, he went to them and repeated the suggestion in reverse. It worked and, lovingly, Pop restored the clock to its full and sonorous glory. Decades later, in January 1971, when Jim, our two-year old daughter and >

sherbornetimes.co.uk | 137

I were living on the island of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, Fiona and I went up to Glasgow to spend the weekend with Jim’s parents. Afterwards, Pop drove us to Glasgow Central Station for the train to Wemyss Bay where we were to get the boat home. Just over an hour later, as my wee daughter and I walked down the gangway of the ferry at Rothesay, the island’s main town, I was surprised to see not only Jim waiting to greet us, but his brother as well. Andy, by this time, was head of the Maths department at the local academy; and, hurriedly, Jim explained that they were on their way up to Glasgow where, after a bit of shopping, Pop had driven home and then collapsed and died on his own front doorstep. Shocking as this was, my father-in-law, a great lover of Robert Burns, could not have chosen a better day to go than the twenty-fifth of January, the Bard’s birthday! Three months later, Nancy came to live with us on Bute, where Fiona and I also grew to love the comforting tick, tick of the clock downstairs as we drifted off to sleep. Our own house, built in 1827, was a three-storey, terraced house on the sea front, with twelve-foot-high ceilings. Its early Victorian features suited the clock to perfection and, like his father before him, Jim now took over the winding of the clock every Sunday evening. My new job was keeping the mahogany case polished to the same high standard as all the previous Campbell women. Not – horror of horrors – with commercially produced sprays and creams, but with a mixture of paraffin, spirit and warm water. An application of this, once a month, required no more than regular dusting thereafter to ensure the ongoing beauty of the clock in our hall where, at Christmas time, I decorated it with sprigs of holly and mistletoe. Somehow, despite the low ceilings of my flat in Sherborne and the consequent removal of the brass finial, the clock seems as comfortable in its new home as it has, throughout its long life, in other houses. In recent years, too, I have finally traced its origins. The name Riddell is not one that appears in standard Scottish long-case clock catalogues; but it is, apparently, well known for its clock making in Lanarkshire where there were a few generations of Riddells in Larkhall during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This discovery also filled in the missing pieces of the family jigsaw: hearing certain names and places and, previously, never being quite sure where they fitted in. I find it remarkable that the grandfather clock is still ticking away after almost 220 years and wonder if it will continue to delight its listeners in another hundred. Oh, I do hope so.

138 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

Reopening 15th June

We are delighted to say following the Government announcement that we can open on June 15th, we will be taking every precaution to protect customers and staff and we very much look forward to seeing you then.

Win stone Post!

A big thank you to everyone who has supported us through these strange times.

In self-isolation? Or simply taking the opportunity to cosy-up at home until it all blows over? We will be continuing our home delivery service for the remainder of lock-down. If you live within a 2 mile radius of the shop, we will deliver your books to your door* Deliveries will be made between 5-6pm the same day if the book’s in stock or the day after if we need to order it in. For those who live a little further afield, we will happily pop your book in the post using Gardners Home Delivery service. We can take secure payment over the phone, so just call us with your requirements and we will be very happy to help

Contact us on 01935 816128 or email winstonebooks1@gmail.com For a list of titles worth locking yourself away with, visit: www.winstonebooks.co.uk/Sherborne or follow us online: @winstonessherborne @winstonebooks @winstonebooks All efforts will be made to keep this service running throughout this period, staff health permitting. We reserve the right to withdraw this offer at any time.



LITERARY REVIEW Jonathan Stones, Sherborne Literary Society

This Too Shall Pass: Stories of Change, Crisis and Hopeful Beginnings by Julia Samuel (Penguin Life 2020) £14.99 Sherborne Times Reader Offer Price of £13.99 from Winstone’s Books


he title to this book has been taken from an original Persian aphorism, which has been adopted many times down the centuries, notably by Abraham Lincoln. It makes for a highly appropriate title for these extraordinary times we are having to live through. But for a change, it isn’t directly about the impact of Covid-19. It is instead an account by a leading British psychotherapist of many hours of conversations with her patients (or ‘clients’ as she calls them) showing how we can learn to adapt and thrive during our most difficult and transformative experiences. Under five main headings, ‘Family Relationships’, ‘Love’, ‘Work’, ‘Health’ and ‘Identity’, the author describes, in intimate detail, the various dilemmas and crises experienced by her individual interviewees in facing changes to their lives, which are brought together at the end of each chapter by her reflections on certain aspects of these themes. Starting with ‘Family’, Samuel reflects that “Tolstoy wrote: ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’. I disagree. I believe every family is unique. No family remains the same, and it is unhelpful to think of them as either good or bad.” And this is a major theme in her writing and especially in her relationships with her patients, which is to be totally non-judgemental in her attitude to whatever they tell her. She is evidently very good at setting them at ease and in gaining their confidence that she is totally on their side, whatever they have to reveal to her. This, in turn, leads to great empathy between them and her. 140 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

An observer might be tempted to note that a possible downside of all this is her tendency to, on occasion, seemingly overlook the solipsistic behaviours that she frequently encounters in them. For instance, in her interviews with ‘Isobel’ in the chapter ‘Love’: Isobel has come to see her as a result of having left her husband and her four-year old son after twelve years of marriage, and during the course of an affair with, in her words, ‘an irredeemably unsuitable man’ called Gunner. In this, she angrily finds fault with her parents, whose sympathy was with her husband, who had seen her kissing Gunner in the street – ‘sheer bad luck for it wasn’t his usual route.’ Having said that, this reviewer found some of Samuel’s reflections at the end of the chapter ‘Love’ to be some of the most poignant in the book. Her encounter with one of the subjects in this chapter in particular, a middle-aged widower called Robbie, were deeply moving. Samuel’s reflections often show great insight into the contemporary human condition. At the end of the chapter ‘Work’ she writes: ‘It seems a miracle to me that our brains really are plastic: we can change. However tight the knot of our perceptions and beliefs, if we put our mind to shifting it, bearing the discomfort, even pain, of it, and persist, something inevitably changes.’ Which may well be an appropriate testament for our present time. sherborneliterarysociety.com

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Joe Benjamin

he sun is shining. I know because I can see the sunlit facades of the buildings nearby from my window. Sitting here, I am trying hard to avoid the thought that after more than six weeks of being tied to this house, and for a good part of that time to this room where I sometimes write, I must avoid going stir crazy. It is my wife’s birthday. Neither she nor I want to worry about which one; far too many have already gone, each one passing more quickly than the last. It is also the 75th anniversary of VE day. I am one of those boys who were celebrating on that day at a huge street party. The adults got drunk as they danced in the streets. Most were mums who could, finally, if they were the lucky ones, look forward, as we the kids did, to seeing ‘Dad’ home again. We made ourselves sick on jelly and blancmange and skimpily margarined sandwiches and swilled lemonade, orangeade, cherryade and Tizer. I was about to sit for the ‘scholarship’, as we called the exam, that would lead me and many others to grammar school a few months later, only to find that our teachers were all very old and well past their sell-by date. We had to wait another year or so when the armed forces started to release the ‘proper’ teachers from the miseries of war to face the realities and the problems of ‘civvy street’. Back to today and I prepared some breakfast for us both after giving Sylvia her coffee in bed. The phone hardly stopped ringing. My youngest grandson, Tom, was one of those wanting to wish Granny a happy birthday. I could hear their chat and heard that he was finally taking English language as a subsidiary subject since he now has to do another year at college. He is one of the many young people who think they have been robbed of their life’s work in seeking A-levels in 2020. It made me look back on my own life and its changes in circumstance — for better and worse. I took the phone from Sylvia as their call was ending and spoke to Tom. He has shown a natural and strong gift for writing but until now had decided to pursue Maths, Economics, or Business Studies. That is, he was already being consumed by the propaganda of the consumer environment in which almost all of the

142 | Sherborne Times | June 2020

world exists; worse, that it was that environment that consumed me for the greater part – and certainly the earlier part – of my long lifetime. I told Tom that I was delighted that at least he was doing a subject for which he has a natural leaning. I also touched on the importance of contentment rather than hedonism – however that may be obtained, subject to some reason – as the most important guide to drive one forward in life. It led me to think of Humanism. I don’t belong to the Humanist Society, although I have had friends that were members. I am not in a position to say how they would define it; probably in many different ways. But I have considered many of the ‘isms’: Anarchism, Communism, Socialism, Liberalism, Capitalism, Materialism, Humanism. To me Humanism should, if one considers its inherent meaning, be simply the philosophy whereby one considers not just what one wants or needs but also the effect obtaining it will have on everyone else, as well as oneself. Happiness is often more rewarding when obtained by giving rather than receiving. Being rich is probably not going to make one happy. Glibly, there is a saying in the USA, Money isn’t everything but what comes next is a long way back. There is some truth in that unfortunately, but probably only because the politics that drive and organise society tend to move either to make the rich richer or the rich poorer. Even the latter has proved not to give what the poor feel they should have and so their resentment echoes through every corner of our lives. Perhaps, if education strove to make each of us find our own innate talents – and most of us have some and never discover or use them, at least not until many years have been wasted – then maybe society would not be so materialistic, nor government so capitalistic. If the lockdown has made me and many others stir crazy, it has at least given us a chance to smell the roses. They have just come into bloom and very little can compare with the beauty of watching the ballet of the birds and the bees, listening to their song and basking in the glory of the colour and perfume of the roses.



Revd Duncan Goldie, Cheap Street United Church

e are living in a time, due to Covid-19, when most of us have had a pause in life and a time to think and wonder what the future has in store for us. As a country, we have had over thirty-eight thousand personal tragedies with the unexpected death of loved ones. By enduring a lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, there are people that have seen their jobs and businesses, which they have invested much of their lives in, disappear. And all of us have had to change our plans and cancel holidays and celebrations that we had been looking forward to. We are used to thinking that only something big and powerful can change our lives rather than something so small and invisible having the potential to defeat us. Jesus was not one to underestimate the importance of the small and would often talk about faith in God being so small, like a mustard seed, that one could miss it, but it grows to completely change the person. We often wonder what has the power to change us and the world we live in; we are used to our invention and technology doing so. It comes as a shock that a simple virus also has the power to do so. But perhaps we should not be too surprised. In H. G. Wells’ 1898 novel War of the Worlds, with the world under attack from Martians who hold a technology the humans cannot match, it is the Earth-borne bacteria, which their immune systems couldn’t cope with due to having destroyed diseases on their home world of Mars, that defeats and kills the Martians. A story that was set to music by Jeff Wayne in 1970’s. I play with the Sherborne Town Band, and between January and March there is one piece of music that becomes the soundtrack to your lives, and that is the year’s area test piece. This year, for Sherborne Town Band, it was a piece called ‘Legacy’ by Tom Davoren. It was written to celebrate Aneurin Bevan and the creation of the National Health Service on the 5th July 1948. In the notes about the piece, it detailed the portrayal of ‘triumph over adversity’ that happens in the NHS. In the current climate, where people applaud the NHS and all frontline workers who are bravely standing up against Covid-19, it has been particularly relevant. The challenge of this lockdown, and the inevitable steps of easing from lockdown, is for all of us to seek to triumph over the adversity this virus has brought us. This is being achieved through our collective actions of not going out, looking out for neighbours and aiding those who need help or support. This virus has and will continue to make us rethink what and who is most important to us. It causes us to remember that the good health of others around the world matters to us because it is also essential for our own good health. Yes, we will have to self-isolate at times, and speak on the phone or via the computer, but with God by our side, we will not be dragged down into fear and selfishness, for the hope Jesus gives us through his death and resurrection, is that we will triumph in this coronavirus adversity. cheapstreetchurch.co.uk

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Sherborne Times June 2020  

Summer feature retrospective + Community, Art, Family, Wild Dorset, History, Antiques, Gardening, Food & Drink, Animal Care, Body & Mind, Fi...

Sherborne Times June 2020  

Summer feature retrospective + Community, Art, Family, Wild Dorset, History, Antiques, Gardening, Food & Drink, Animal Care, Body & Mind, Fi...

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