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Christmas Edition


DIY nativity set.

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15 Catherine Hill Frome Somerset BA11 1BZ

The Furball - Christmas 2009

It’s good to be back! Although you probably aren’t aware we ever went away...



hank you for picking up the crimbo edition of the well rested Furball. We’ve had a bit of a facelif/ makeover/design overhaul/ change of look - whatever you want to call it, you’re looking at it! We were very aware that the average Furball reader is not only intelligent, but design savvy with a superior knowledge of aesthetic and style. With this in mind we have striven to give you a local magazine that is relevant to the town and what’s going on as well a being a thing of beauty in itself. In return for that little bit of flattery we were wondering if you might find it in the goodness of your heart to donate a small amount for this issue? If you’re poor, there’s no need but if you’re the sort of person that eats swan for brunch, then a few pennies into The Furball coffers would be very gratefully received. There are a few points dotted around town where you can make such a donation. We thank you in advance for your generosity! Merry Christmas one and all! Matt

Icons Food and drink

Art and design

People and places

Music and gigs

News and views

Contributors This months happy elves are, Barry MacDonald, Kate Bielby, Ed Thomas, Will Angeloro, Andy Morten, Mark Johnson, Johnwyn Richards, Sylvie Cordier, Guy Tayler, Tristan Stevens, Scott MacKillican, Jade Taylor, Miles Pereira all the people and businesses who have taken ads out, anyone who has let us shove a camera in their face and ask them silly questions.


TheFurball is a side project and collaboration between Fancy design and Doubleshot photography. If you have any bright ideas for articles, get in touch, although if we think your ideas are a bit mad then we probably won’t get back to you.

Rebrand The Furball was thinking about about rebranding itself as “Diva’s”, but then we realised- we’d be the THIRD “Diva’s” in Frome (after the Black Swan Cafe, and now the Loft Bar/Wheatsheaf) which is plain stupid. So we’ve now decided on calling ourselves “The Beano” instead because it sounds snappy, and no one else has got it, we think. At the time of writing the council are bolting together that upside down rotory washing line monsrosity of a Christmas decoration at the bottom of Cheap St. I’m starting a ‘bring back our Christmas tree’ campaign right now. Hopefully by next year we will have enough names on our list so as to change the minds of the powers that be.

The Furball The Old Church School Butts Hill Frome Somerset BA11 1HR Matt Wellsted (Editor) 07747125 578

The Furball - Christmas 2009


News & Views

What’s new? Stuff around and about

Frome - A Global Phenomenon There is absolutely no doubt about it. Frome is the center of the universe. In fact, the center of the universe is right where you are now, slap bang right inbetween your eyes. Here are some things that have been going on recently, in Frome or otherwise.





1. The Little Red Cafe is extending it’s opening times until 8pm throughout December to allow us crepuscular folk to relax with a beer after a hard days not finding the perfect gift for that special someone. I’m sure there will be some typically seasonal lovelies on the menu as well. Pop in when you’re passing and take a look. 4

The Furball - Christmas 2009


£ Furbal Donation Points. La Strada Divas The Little Red cafe The Old Church School Offices

We read with great worry about the decision to bung some ‘poor quality’ housing on the site of a lovely apple orchard up by Alexandra Road. What on Earth do the council think they’re up to? The whole thing stinks to high heaven. We don’t want your houses. Nobody wants the houses. Everybody said that. They didn’t listen. It’s not right.The Furball is ready to chain itself to the nearest apple tree to stop the diggers while an endagered species takes up residence on the site. That’s what would happen if it were a Disney film.


The Furbs is now the production of brand new design gang ‘Fancy’ who have just mved into their new offices up at The Old Church School, behind Wesley Church. We’ve just got our Christmas tree in as well so if you want to come in an stick a bauble on, do. This is a picture of our tree>


Glass blowing STUDIO OPEN DAY SUNDAY 6.12.09 12.00 – 16.00 Why not warm yourself with some mulled cider & come and watch or do some glass-blowing? Children are welcome too! With special guests KT Yun & Jackie Truman. Please note-there isn’t much parking available in the area. So if at all possible, please leave your cars at home… Thanks!Follow balloons from the Ex First and last pub!(Chinese restaurant) The Garages The Retreat Frome Somerset BA11 5JU Tel:07837733461

5. 3. There was much business up and down the hill over Halloween. The majority of party goers had made a superb effort in dressing up and a substantial number of zombies went on the rampage later in the evening. More on this with some unsettling pics on page 36. You have been warned.

We’ve been twinned with the One Show now for over a month now and I don’t know about you but I’ve not seen hide nor hair of Adrian Chiles or Christine Bleakley since the initial twinning ceremony. It seems to me like they’ve lost interest. I think it would be only fair if we all went up BBC centre and paid them a visit, like they did us. We’ve organised 60 coaches leaving from the Cheese and Grain car park next week at 3pm. Bring a packed tea and a warm jumper. The Furball - Christmas 2009



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Garden Café Stony St Frome

Open 7 days a week Saturday night is tapas night & on Sunday we serve an all day breakfast as well as our full menu. Come and say hello We’re fully licensed

01373 454 178

Stuff & Nonsense

Button & Wink

Jenson’s buttons


i button fans! It’s been a while since I last wrote my column for The Furball,but that doesn’t mean to say that nothing has been happening, oh no, quite the contrary. First off, I’ve been over to Canada for the world’s biggest button expo. You would not believe how big this event is! Not only do they have all the leading button, toggle, zips and fastening manufacturers in attendance, they also have keynote talks from people like Geoff Velcro, Clive Duffle and Mary Hinge who are all massive in the world of buttons and fastenings. The whole event is held in an old button factory in Winnepeg and in the middle of the room there’s a giant centerpiece which is a giant button made out’ve guessed it, buttons! Anyway, that was that. Also I’ve been to a few button store openings in the South West of the UK. It’s great to turn up at these events because you get to look round the store really early on and stand a real chance of picking up something special. Hmmmm, what else....Oh yeah! I got asked to bring my collection in to the BBC so they could film me for some programme they’re doing on people with obsessive collections ‘n stuff. I am a bit nervous but they said not to worry and just be myself. I’ll let you know how it goes. Ok, that’s all my news for now. I hope you’re well and I’ll see you next time, and remember, a button’s for life not just doing your fly up! Tootle pip.



couple of weeks ago, the Wink family took a trip to the movies to see ‘Up:3D’. This is the latest movie from the Pixar animation studios, and had attracted a number of comment pieces on TV and in print for the emotional response it was drawing from grown-up members of the audience – and men in particular. As we queued at the boxoffice and purchased a family ticket – which came complete with 4 sets of proper 3D specs, not those red and green cardboard efforts – the girl at Bath Odeon cheerfully informed us that “That’ll be £30, please!” “Ah!” I thought to myself, “it’s the ticket price that is reducing grown men to tears…” But after the opening 10 minutes (minor spoiler alert!) which fast-forward us through the life of the main character Carl, I found myself sitting there with tears rolling down my face. And though I’d like to blame it on the dust in Screen 3 – I really can’t. The 10 minutes in question show us how the boy Carl – fascinated by a world famous explorer – meets a young girl, Ellie who shares his obsession. In short vignettes, we then see them grow older, get married, build a house and plan a trip to Paradise Falls in South America where their hero disappeared. Real life then

Leekist Wink gets in the way: pregnancy, the loss of a child, and something always cropping up to thwart their expedition. Now an elderly couple, and on the verge of heading to Paradise Falls, Ellie passes away, leaving Carl bereft, alone in their house which developers want to buy and demolish. The pacing of this 10-minute sequence, and the soundtrack and camera shots was absolutely superb, and the reason it has struck a chord with so many men, I suppose, is the way we can empathise with Carl. Seeing the broad outline of our lives encapsulated into 10 minutes would move even the hardest of hearts. This got me thinking about the other cinematic moments that have left me “with something in my eye”: The Shawshank Redemption – when Andy and Red are reunited on the beach. The Sixth Sense – when it becomes clear why Bruce’s wife has been behaving the way she has. The Matrix Reloaded – when it became clear that the sequel to one of the best films of recent times was disappearing up its own backside. Bank! What about you? What films get your tear-ducts active? Dwayne from Dilton Marsh gets this month’s pub-quiz leg-up: The Large Hadron Collider; Dick Emery; Rudolf Hess and High School Musical 2 are the answers

The Furball - Christmas 2009


Stuff & Nonsense

Whoodathunk? It’s all true. All of it.

The Chairman While the cats away…. So. I spend 2 restless months in bondage(not the good kind, but the “Jews in Egypt” kind), and all hell breaks loose in Frome. Our arch enemies, the pinkertons over at the BNP, The British National Purrrty, have come to town. Savage catcists with a penchant for violence, union busting, thuggery and mass neutering. It was the BNP that aligned itself with the radical MBA(mouse and bird alliance), forsaking the bonds of feline unity. Something must be done, and done with force. Preferably after our afternoon nap. I urge all of my comrades to form street by street surveillance teams. Practice your “call to arms” (page 17 , paragraph 6 of the handbook). Remember, arch the back, fluff the tail (in honour of founding party member, Saul Catwistz), and emit a high pitched squeal loud enough to call all party members to action(and hopefully wake a few of our human overlords……). Keep your claws sharpened in readiness for battle. Leather Sofas and the sides of mattresses(the newer, the better) are perfect for this. USE YOUR WHISKERS. Make sure all escape routes under bushes and hedges are well maintained. Hide all important documents in your neighbours vegetable patch. If you must also leave 10

The Furball - Christmas 2009

a deposit, do so, but be sure to munch some home grown lettuce. War is upon us. Now is the time to show what we are made of, brothers and sisters. The spoils of the socalled catipalist paradise, will soon be ours. Freedom and sparrow innards. TO ARMS!

Could they be linked?

How many of you have tried watching the Wizard of Oz while simultaneously listening to Pink Floyds’ Dark Side of the Moon? It’s creepy. It works. What is obvious is that the members of Pink Floyd painstakingly recorded every note to accompany the film. No small accomplishment given the hourly rate at Abbey Road Studios. But why? What were they trying to achieve? Who knows. Don’t question the intent of the artist. After years of investigation, Furball operatives can reveal that Pink Floyd weren’t the only group of artistic geniuses experimenting with “Cinesync”, as it is now

called. It has been discovered that when watching the film, Jaws, and playing Dire Straights, Brothers in Arms, curious, and downright frightening moments of synchronization can be observed. For example, as the opening chords to “Walk of Life” are played, you can see Roy Schneiders leathery face fondle the skull of a mako shark in absolute synchronization. Eerie. Or how about when we hear, “What’s that, Hawaiian noises, he’s banging on the bongo like a chimpanzee”, we see a bunch of 70s kids at a beach party..Of course, one of them is banging on a bongo..Like a chimpanzee.

Art & design

The Art Works By Fay Goodridge



Put Simply, Rebecca Coles constructs meticulously crafted 3- dimensional decorative artworks from paper. Largely based upon natural themes, Rebecca painstakingly hand cuts each element, slowly assembling a unique, sculptural work, often containing up to 1000 individual pieces.

01 02

Each work is formed within its own tonal range and is displayed in a deep box frame which is hand coloured and finished to make best use of both the form and the shadow it creates. It’s cutting, folding and sticking, but not as we know it! Go and see Rebecca’s work at the forthcoming Christmas exhibition at the Black Swan Gallery – it’s a cut above the rest, and a real visual treat.

“I cut things out with special scissors” 12

The Furball - Christmas 2009

03 04


01 02 03 04 05 06 07

so called, work in progress... ‘∏ Story 01’ (work in progress) detail of 01 detail of 01 detail of 01 This is a lovely image ‘Scotch Argus’ Erebia aethiops



Scissor sense Precautionary measures

The Hurty end

We know that you are generally very sensible with sharp objects, but nonetheless, accidents do happen so we have decided to add our own guidelines to using scissors. Please be creative but by jove, stay safe.

The Handles.

The Furball - Christmas 2009


Truly Sopel’s Festive Fashion Specials… ….hot off the sewing machine!


Fun Christmas knickers Faux fur coats and jackets Shawls Leggings Party tutus Dresses and more!

Free pair of knickers when you spend £50 or more! Come to Truly Sopel’s inviting shop 32 Catherine Hill, Frome And see her wonderful wintry creations. And remember, Truly Sopel girls have a truly good time xx

CHIC, ECLECTIC FASHION WITH EDGE 31 Catherine Hill, Frome BA11 1BY 01373 452929 Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm

People & Places


Whatcha wearing eh?

Roxy Daniels We saw Roxy coming towards us on Stony Street and thought she looked quite Christmassy in her red and white mini polkadot coat and matching bag and scarf. It inspired us to crowbar these rhyming words together for the sake of it. We hope you like it. Thank you to Roxy who was the perfect muse.

We were walking one day and met Roxy Who today was looking quite foxy She was in a rush Wearing her shoes from Krussh And a pair of cotton white socks, see? She said she was feeling flush And asked if we could please hush Her old bag was boxy And glued with epoxy Which is why she bought her new one from Krussh.

Scarf: Krussh Coat: Next Bag: Krussh Jeans: Who cares? Shoes: Krussh When we stopped Roxy we didn’t realise the piece was going to turn into a big advert for the place where most of these items came from (I’m not going to say the name again), but it did, so they can count themselves Christmas lucky!

The Furball - Christmas 2009


Art & design


By Simon & Tabitha of Foreground

Bugs & Bikes Photo credits: all images © Charlie Thomas, Courtesy Foreground


After an intense production period over this Summer featuring contributions from almost 200 local people, Foreground’s Independent State project hit Frome carnival on 26th September. Edwina Ashton, Matt Stokes and Bob and Roberta Smith worked with groups from Frome’s community from July to September to make new artworks that entered the carnival alongside the more traditional entries.

Foreground commissioned Frome-based photographer Charlie Thomas to document the entire process, and we’ve included a small selection of her images on the following pages. To see more documentation of the project being made and the finished artworks visit www.foregroundprojects.


Over the prolonged production period people of all ages and from all works of life worked with the artists, lending their skills, ideas and enthusiasm to help create three really distinctive, quirky projects that added a new dimension to one of the oldest events in Frome’s calendar. The artists projects took the form of a 30 foot carnival float covered in eccentric bugs dancing to The Cramps, a half-tonne abstract metal sculpture made with local blacksmiths towed through the carnival accompanied by a deafening soundtrack from local hardcore bands and a small flotilla of customised tricycles broadcasting local people singing the ancient field names of Frome. 16

The Furball - Christmas 2009






01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.




Bob and Roberta Smith’s signs wait to be mounted on the tricycles A break in rehearsals for Edwina Ashton’s eccentric insects Helen, Lesley, Jenn and Fran Nina, Andy and Alex wait to be Matt Stokes’ flag bearers David and Geraint get ready to run the carnival gauntlet on Bob & Roberta Smith’s tricycles Issy and Liv sew Polly into her bug costume ready for the start of the procession Edwina Ashton’s carnival float in it’s full glory, complete with giant cake, revolving scientist head and over 400 lights Independent State participants give it large for Edwina’s float Jack - the Lord of the Flies (complete with bog-brush antennae) Matt Stokes rides in the back of the black Warrior pick up to mix the hardcore soundtrack Matt’s sculpture is escorted through the town (and is now on it’s way to the Northern Art Prize) The Furball - Christmas 2009


People & Places

The Blue and Yellow slot With Peter MacFadyen

Copenhagen 2009 The keen green place to be seen! Dreaming of a Green Christmas? Why not shop local for food and presents preferably made of reused and recycled materials? Cheap Street shops have plenty of local food and most of Stony Street is a vast pile of cleverly reused clothes...... So, while 80% of the world’s presents are made in China (often by children paid almost nothing), you can avoid buying into that and be responsible for less energy use...... Better still is to go down a Reduce or Refuse route ,but I’ll get accused of being a Scrooge if I push that too far! Thinking of Scrooge, do little actions make any difference? Well if all 10,500 households in Frome turned the thermostat down by 1°C they would save at least £300,000 - which would buy a few local cheeses... I’m not going shopping in Copenhagen in early December, but I am going to be part of the crucial climate talks that will or won’t decide which country pollutes us all with the world’s remaining fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal)...... more on this at Sustainable Frome meetings on the first Thursday of every month (7p.m. Masonic Hall)..... or HERE in future Green Furball Slots.


The Furball - Christmas 2009

A short, but important message: Thought about joining 10:10 yet?? it’s a committment to cut your carbon by 10% in 2010, creating a mass movement of people to give the government the mandate it needs to move on carbon targets in the really radical way that has to happen...... over 34,000 people, 1000 businesses (B&Q, MICROSOFT UK, AND PRET A MANGER HAVE JUST JOINED) and loads of others had gone to http:// please do if you haven’t already!

Critical Mass Join the global comunity. Get on a bike and come ride for a sustainable future. Every third Friday we meet at Live2Ride, Badcox, 6pm enjoy a leisurely ride round town - then go home glowing with eco-righteousness. You too can enjoy the pure bliss that is Critical Mass on 18th December.

MIKE’S SANDWICH ENGINEERING freshly made sandwiches, salads paninis, toasties, jacket potatoes freshly ground coffee, cold drinks, snacks & confectionery. Catering for any event. Corporate lunches.


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ENGINEERING Just hand get 20% off anyover this ad before ordering an sandwich, Panini d , Jacket potato etc. Valid until end of Fe b 20 10! 21 Christchurch St West, Frome, BA11 1EG

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News & Views

Debate School Uniform

School Uniform

We talk with Sylvie Harvey about a passionate issue...

but mainly in former British colonies, some private schools and in countries with a dubious reputation for free thinking such as Japan and North Korea. The rest of the world is obviously missing something! Actually following the Colombine incident, the States tried to implement it with rather limited success. The French Minister for Education recently found the idea of school uniform charming after visiting a London school (scientific research according to the French!). OK, but school uniform totally promotes equality, improves social behaviour and academic achievements. It reduces bullying… doesn’t it? But shouldn’t tolerance towards differences be promoted instead of the standardization of the mind? Also expressing one’s individuality is recognised as a crucial aspect of child development. It is so much easier in the morning.

The Furball makes a futile attempt to play devil’s advocate over an issue which affects every parent of school age kids. We thought we were alone in our horror when presented with the nylon branded options for our precious first born… but we weren’t. Lie them on their backs, check their temperature, vaccinate them, avoid allergens, teach them peace and love… then pop them in some scratchy outfit and send them off to the God factory in restrictive shoes. Aren’t you making a bit of a fuss about nothing? “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. “They are children and they have to understand we are adults!” A Somerset education professional, 2009. Now I may be French and awkward by nature, but I know which statement I prefer. That’s quite persuasive but school uniform is traditional and universal, no? School uniform has always been used in British schools, a hangover from the Empire which, it seems, has never been questioned. You’re right that we find it around the world


The Furball - Christmas 2009

I think people are taking the easy way out here. OK, you may have to have some tough discussions about the suitability of a tutu / Man Utd away strip/ High School Musical cheerleader’s outfit for Monday morning literacy hour… but that’s our job! Anyway, they will learn about adverbs just as well when dressed as Cristiano Ronaldo as in the requisite branded fleece. It would be much more entertaining for the teachers as well. School uniforms are cheaper! Basically, yes they are... providing kids wear them at weekends and during school holidays. They are definitely good financially for the shareholders of Tesco , Marks and Spencer, ASDA and Sainsbury’s etc. In many cases, parents also have to buy uniform directly from the school and this works out much more expensive than buying plain ‘civi’ clothes. The quality of school uniform is usually poor so we have to replace things regularly. Cheaper? I don’t think so in the long run. If you let children wear normal clothes, you are accentuating social inequality. You can spot the rich and poor kids, can’t you? A recent study in France (on a sample of 500 11-15 years old) appear to contradict

this finding with only 11 % of the children interviewed declaring that wearing designer clothing was important against 62% of their parents! When introducing school uniform was suggested, the majority of the children were against, working and lower middle class parents were in the majority against. Only, and with a very slight majority, were the middle and upper class parents in favour of school uniform for their children. Surely uniform is a useful form of social and behavioural control? Are we scared of our youth and hope that by ‘de-humanising’ them, making them feel of lesser value, they will be less of a threat? That does raise serious questions about the place of youth in our society. You’re some kind of greeny lefty type aren’t you?! A little bit. Ever since my children have had to wear school uniform, my washing machine is on, half loaded, at least 2-3 times/week more during school terms than holiday. Black bottoms, white polo shirt and various colours sweatshirts of cheap dyes don’t mix very well! To be fair there is not much scientific evidence either way on the impact of school uniform on behaviour or academic achievement. The only work publicly available on the subject was carried out by two American sociologists. They concluded that on the whole, it had a rather negative impact on academic achievement (in the US). There are in principle, good points in support of school uniform that I would find more persuasive if all schools adopted exactly the same one (including independent schools) and maybe the staff as well… But they look so sweet in their uniform… Oh please, just take a look at school playgrounds, dominated by shades of grey, black, burgundy and yes, sometimes blue and red. But where is the joy, the mix of colours, the fun, the expression that childhood should be full of? The Furball - Christmas 2009


For unforgettable Xmas gifts for collectors and Sci-Fi fans, visit Heroes Assemble.

Stocking import comics, magazines, graphic novels, books, action figures and other collectibles. From Spider-man & Batman to Doctor Who, Halo & Star Wars & many, many more! Heroes Assemble, 4 Palmer Street, Frome, BA11 1DS. Tel 05602 487810. Open Tuesday to Saturday.


The Furball - Christmas 2009

The Furball - Christmas 2009



Pearls,Semi precious stones Bead jewellery,Italian bags Jewellery boxes and other lovely things

A wide and exciting range of jewellery,The seasons clothes having an emphasis on simplicity & style and the bargain basement for added exploration

Commissions undertaken Private appointments available

10 Catherine Hill Frome Somerset

Open 10am-5pm Wed-Sat

Tel: 07757 808971

5 Cheap St, Frome BA11 1BN

01373 455044

Gents, Do Your Duty!

10am – 5 pm mon-sat with late night closing every Thursday upto xmas (7pm)

See her right this Christmas with pleasing gifts from

The Black Swan Arts

01373 473 980

Ray Cist

Frome Town Theatre Proudly Presents


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the star of the 1970s, Fresh from ose Living Th of ne O t ‘I Don’t Wan own brand s hi ith !!’. W Next to Me! sure to be is y gotry, Ra of cheeky bi “Hirarious!”


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Look out for his hilarious catchphrases: “Backs to the wall lads!” “Don’t pick up the soap whatever you do!” and “It’s a crime against nature!”

(Ooh er, missus) Zenna Foa

Miss Ogeny

k ife to a brea Treat the w p -u ng ashi from the w me iss O for so and join M allsm e iv st fe glorious from s. Straight mindednes y nc Fa ’t on t ‘D the sell-ou tour, Miss O h’ uc M s Your in e little lady will have th stitches.

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Adults: £29.50 The Kiddies: £28.50 Concessions: Don’t be silly The Frome Town Theatre would like to point out that we do not have full access for wheelchair users, which is just as well because we generally prefer to laugh at you rather than with you.


People & Places

Asking people stuff Photos by Ed Thomas

Name that festive tune... In an attempt to find out how good the town of Frome was at identifying well know Christmas tunes played into their ears by us whilst having their pic taken, we did exactly that. In order to find people who weren’t going to be able to run away, we started our game/quest/experiment in the new HQ of The Furball, The Old Church School on Butts Hill. By the way, this game’s not as easy as it sounds - all Christmas tunes all sound the same when you’re put on the spot. Actually, I just made that up to make this terrible bunch feel better about themselves.

The Old Church School gang

Rick guessed Queen Thank god it’s Christmas 18 seconds...Hmm, not bad.

Gavin finally got Paul McCartney Wonderful Christmas Time 21 seconds. Nice singing


Gavin Lucy got Slade Merry xmas Everybody 7 seconds

Cherish Lucy Cherish said Chris Rea Driving Home For Christmas 7 seconds

Did you hear that Chris Rea and Dire straits were going to do some sort of collaboration? Oh never mind.... 28

The Furball - Christmas 2009

Ollie Ollie got (with a little help) Wham Last Christmas 25 seconds

Zuzana Zuzana got Bing Crosby Let it Snow 20 seconds

Catherine Hill posse

Truly guessed Slade Merry xmas Everybody 19 seconds. Must try harder.

Alice correctly named Band Aid Do They Know it’s Christmas 28 seconds...Hmm, not bad.



Liz Cliff Richard Mistletoe and Wine 13 seconds.

This experiment was carried out extremely scientifically and with very strict guidelines so as to correctly find the best festive tune identifyer in the town. There was no prize as such but if there was a prize it would go to Fay of The Art Book Seller for guessing Wham in practically no time at all.

Phil Chris Rea Driving Home For Christmas 26 seconds. Stick to the coffee and cake.

Liz Fay Fay Wham Last Christmas 1 second. A winning time if ever there was one.

Phil Patrick Mel and Kim Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree 17 seconds. No extra points for his dancing either.

Patrick The Furball - Christmas 2009



AL H NE ! O T GE HOPS E N O 3S Y L U L R! B K IN A E F O F STOC Huge range of cd’s & dvd’s S always in stock TMA N A LL S I R O H C CE From the latest music to rare cd’s I R P 20 Cheap St Frome

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Stony St 01373 453011

Posters, Canvas, Canvas wraps Musical DVD’s, Personal Cards & many more great gifts for Christmas We also do Films 10% with this ad

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All music tastes catered for. Discounts on most purchases

Food & Drink

Let’s do the...

Cake Walk Frome is a beautiful town. It has cobbled streets, ancient architecture and a certain ‘higgledypiggledyness’ that sets it apart from many other places. One of it’s best features, though, is the number of places in town to get a lovely slice of cake.

Please allow us to introduce the Frome Cakewalk. For any of you cynics out there thinking ‘I bet they’re just doing an article on cake so as to get free cake’, we say. ‘maybe’.


Whatcha wearing eh?


Next issue, The Frome ‘Bun Run’ or similar.

La Strada If you’re thinking that it might have been nice to have a little bit more info like, price, name, what they taste like etc. well, so did we but we didn’t get round to it ‘cos we was too busy eating cake.

Little Red Cafe

Garden Cafe

The Furball - Christmas 2009


Food & Drink

Local outlets

Places we think look good (as well as supply mouthwatering treats)

Delicious Sagebury Cheese

Name: Paul Dumpleton Job Title: Director Name of Shop: Sagebury Cheese Acquired 21 and 22 Cheap St Frome and business freehold in February this year 2009, with the help of Lloyds TSB at a time where the banks were under pressure not to lend money !! the shop has traded as a traditional deli for 15 years by the previous Frome Business owner Nikki Hillman.

When you look around at all the food and drink that lines the shelves of this well stocked deli, not only do you think, ‘hmm, I think I might like to try some of those...’ or, ‘I wonder what that cheese tastes like?’ you’re struck by the appearance of the place and how flipping brilliant everything looks. Well, I do, anyway but I suppose that’s what designers do, look at what things look like. This shop has a pretty cool ingredient of having nice stuff for sale and presenting it in a very easy on the eye way. We stop by for a quick sausage roll and a chat with the shop’s owner, Paul, who is more than happy to tell us a bit about the business. 32

The Furball - Christmas 2009

How long have you been working here? Since February 17th 2009 Is it your business or do you look after it for someone? The shop and business is jointly owned with my wife Laura,however she works full time for a Semi conductor design company in Bath. Do you have a background in food? Yes, I have 26 years Retail Experience with Safeway Foodstores prior to the Morrisons takeover as a Superstore manager in various locations over the South West, I have always wanted to run my own business but found it hard to find the ideal business, however I feel the choice we have made is the right one and that we can continue to service the people of Frome for many years to come. Describe the type of stock you sell. We sell freshly cooked meats, salads, olives, cheese hard and soft and

continental,local cheese, hand made Swiss chocolates fine wines spirits, local ciders Confectionary, home made pastry flips and sausage rolls made with organic ingredients, olive oils,tea, fresh coffee beans to grind and go, oriental suauces and ingredients, dried fruits and ceramic locally made pottery in 3 glazes. We tried some of your wares and they’re very tasty - Is it homemade?

Absolutely! Are you doing any Christmas deals - hampers etc? Yes we will be making hampers and food to order Final question - Assuming you can have world peace and an end to famine as a given - What do you want for Christmas? A non stick yorkshire pudding tin which works ! as at home we are on our 5th tin in just over a year !



£10 Collection Discount* during December visit


for directions and opening hours


“Top quality country wines at staggeringly low prices.”

Amelia Pinsent, Country Life

£10 per customer case collection discount (12 x 75cl bottles, on first case only) on presentation of this advert, valid during December 2009.

Art & design

Interview Local talent

Chris Bucklow Short & sweet Interview by Tristan Stevens TS: You recently photographed Claudia Schiffer to create images for Harper’s Bazaar. Would you consider inviting Jenson Button’s girlfriend Jessica Michibata to pose for you? CB: You mean after I finish the bronze of Jenson for the market place? Why not? Models – particularly celeb models – must embody qualities that allow us to project our anima fantasies onto them. TS: Usually you have to have dreamt of someone for them to become one of your series of photographs? CB: That’s my rule. I’m interested in what they symbolise within my own dreaming psyche. I never dreamt of Claudia, but models are part of our collective dream. And that interests me too. TS: Your also make paintings, are they different parts of your mind? CB: Well the photographs came first, and looking back, I think they resulted from a moment when some internal walls had been breached and I was feeling excited and expansive.The paintings explore what I found after the ecstatic moment had passed

and I could begin to see. And they turn inwards again. TS: You used to be an Art Historian working at the V&A in London. Did you have different walls to break then? CB: Hmmm... No I think I was merrily building walls during that period.


TS: Do you think having been an historian changed the way you might view your own artistic practice? CB: I think unlearnt the mind-set of the curator as I began to make my own work. I don’t think many curators understand just how deeply, deeply personal a symbol of the maker any artwork really is. TS: What’s your favourite shape? CB: A hexagon. TS: You’ve been in Frome for some time now, but what initially made you leave the big smoke? CB: I wanted to be able to concentrate.

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The Furball - Christmas 2009





1.Edward with ‘Hand Out’ 2.Study for the Porters,2009 3.Bee with ‘Mirror Knot’ and ‘The double slit experiment, 2008. 4,5,6. ‘Tetrarch’ 2007 -2009.

The Furball - Christmas 2009


People & Places

Out at night Words by Scott MacKillican pics 1-3 Ed Thomas, pic 4 Megan Kelly

Werewolves and Zombies Hallowe’en on the hill - 31st October, 2009

1. Donna & pumpkin 2. Daisy & bat 3. 4.


Where’s my mummy? Ryan’s got a hangover again

Halloween, 2009 – The worst fears of horror film buffs and comic book junkies were realised as the dead came back to life and clawed their way free from their graves. The first stirrings were noticed in the early afternoon when pedestrians passing Christchurch cemetery could hear a low, awkward hum of sorts permeating the air. “I was kind of a throaty, slightly off key E minor, wavering in volume but quite steadily there,” reported one passerby. By about eight o’clock in the evening a dozen or so of the restless dead had managed to free themselves from their no-so-final resting places and proceeded to stagger, shuffle or crawl over the road and down towards the Sun pub. Luckily, for those inside the pub, the staff of the Sun were prepared for such an occurrence and managed to keep the zombies at bay until their hunger for brains caused them to move on in search of easier prey.

1 2



The Furball - Christmas 2009

They followed gravity’s pull to the centre of town and, eventually, to the front doors of the Crown. The pub’s manager, Tom Cheesman, emerged from the front doors to investigate the strange groaning on the street and was promptly torn apart by the ravenous horde. “He screamed like a little girl,” said one of the patrons, “but he bought us enough time to barricade the doors. I guess we sort of owe him our lives.” The cannibalistic corpses were moving on by the time police arrived and, once it had been determined that they were shuffling towards Trowbridge, were allowed to continue unmolested. “I’m sure that the traffic will finish them off before they get too far,” a police spokesman stated almost convincingly. The investigative team of the Furball have managed to unearth evidence that they most likely cause of the undead disturbance is the unorthodox activities of an ‘Iksentrik’ necromancer pursuing his research from his curio shop on Stony Street. When confronted with this accusation his only response was, “No comment. Mwah, ha, ha, ha...

People & Places


Stunning photoshoot with DITF

The Furball is proud to present its first Fashion Strip. Not that kind of strip you mucky pumpkin. It’s a brilliantly shot and very tasteful ‘comic strip’ to showcase the truly lovely fashion from Claudia Knapp’s Deadly is the Female.

Deadly is the Female… but I wouldn’t turn my back on that snake either

We set ourselves a challenge to create a unique and fascinating feature… on zero budget. Whether we succeeded or not is for you to decide but we are pretty pleased with the results. What’s more, we pulled it off with only the creative energy of local people who don’t mind getting off their bums to throw together a piece of art of a Sunday afternoon. Roll credits: Art Director: Jade Taylor Photography: Ed Thomas Lighting: Adam and Simon Bowman, Bargus Films Models: Sophie Jones, Claudia Knapp, Felix Byrne, Ralph Make-up: Lauren Glover Reptile talent: Cody, Smudge, Marvin, Mac and Tosh (supplied by Laurence Sanderson and Sophie Cox) Wardrobe: Deadly is the Female and Nova (both at the top of Catherine Hill, Frome) Location: Old Variety Store, Palmer Street Many thanks also to Jon Evans and staff at the Garden Café for various props and lots of moral support. Also thanks to Liddy and Garry from Holt Harrison for the loan of the ram’s head. The Furball - Christmas 2009


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The Furball - Christmas 2009

Deadly is the Female

The Furball - Christmas 2009


Stuff & nonsense

Dr N. Capable Guy Tayler knows him

SCRAPING THE BARREL OF HISTORY PLACE NAMES. Hello readers, Since my piece about local traditions in the last publication, my sack has been bulging with correspondence from Frome residents. At least 35% of this mail was favourable, which is greatly appreciated. To the other 65% who doubted the factual accuracy of the piece, I would like to point out that historical research is 50% fact, 30% self belief and 25% supposition. Anyhoo, this month I would like to throw the spotlight on some of Frome’s more unusual place names and road monickers.Who, for example, knows the real reason why North Parade is so-called? And is Wesley Slopes really named after the hollywood actor who starred in the ‘Blade’ trilogy? Read on... 1) Paul Street. Originally known as Upper Catherine Walk, it was renamed in 1976 to commemorate the visit of pint sized magician / entertainer Paul Daniels. Despite protests from residents and English Heritage, the renaming ceremony went ahead, although plans to rename Sheppards Barton ‘Debbie Drive’ were thought to be a step too far. 2) Castle Street. Situated in the historic Badcox area of Frome, Castle Street is the only street of that name in the entire country that doesn’t have a castle on it. Records from 1792 show that the newly formed Touristte Boarde thought that a quick way to bring in more visitors would be to simply overstate Frome’s historic value. The Touristte Boarde were successfully prosecuted by Trading Standards, and many of Frome’s roads had to be renamed, including Henge Gardens, Monument Hill and Bishop’s Palace Road. 3) Nightingale Avenue. Nightingale Avenue is nestled in the conservation area of Stonebridge,on the 40

The Furball - Christmas 2009

north side of the town. Many theories persist as to how this road came by it’s unique name, with most experts agreeing that it was simply a pathetic attempt by greedy developers to try and make the housing estate sound more ‘rural’ and disguise the fact they concreted over a huge swathe of green belt land. I mean,Chestnut Close? Swallow Drive? Come on, people! What’s next? A mock tudor Tesco’s? Judge Jeffries flipping burgers at the drive-thru? It’s this sort of dumbing down that is ruining the very fabric of... (Mrs Capable enters room with a large whiskey to calm the doctor down). Dr N.Capable Next month: Frome’s historic buildings and why my planning applications keep being refused.

Rhyming Slang We don’t really need to say much about this other than let’s see how long it takes to introduce these local rhyming slangs into our everyday speak. Did that make sense? Anyway, check ‘em out. More in the spring. “Get your Martins straight.” Martin Bax - facts. “Oooh, he’s got a lovely white set of Davids” David Heath - teeth . “You’ll never be able to train that clematis up that wall without some PeeWee” - PeeWee Ellis -Trellis. Thanks to Andy Morten for it was his mind what came up with these.

People & Places


by Penny Pimpernell

Three Sisters It was obvious from their production of Chekhov’s classic comedy Three Sisters that Frome drama club are as focused as any professional theatre group. Architects, painters, carpenters, technical specialists, designers, wardrobe, producers and of course the willing souls who put themselves out there in the name of literature deserve an audience. and to see the club expanding with such young talent ensures an exciting future for Frome drama club. From the stunning Veranda to the pink fizzy champagne, the audience were captivated by realism. Every detail was catered for by this group to create authenticity and I even caught a whisper that Trixie Collins, the club’s props specialist, wrote in all imagined literature; letters, notes and school-books to help the cast stay in character. Richard Thomas who has never trodden the boards of theatre before crafted his representation of the baron very well, as did Migs Jacques as the Nanny who orchestrated her props wonderfully. Paul Laville also new to the group created an entertaining and conflicted Kulygin expressing wonderful sentiment in the

final scene. Sarah Richards & Emily Lewis had some the toughest of roles; Natasha played by Emily is rather a lonely and despised role with minimal support, it takes a very strong actress to deliver this character and she handled this well. Olga demands the deepest simmering of emotion through the play; Sarah played the authority of the older sister who finds herself in the role of their deceased mother well. Overall Robert O’Farrell’s debut as director for the group was a success in many ways, his attention to detail gleamed with an understanding of the era proving this classic had been thoroughly researched.

1. 2. 3. 4

Philip David Jade, Naomi and Sarah Emily and Felix




The idiosyncrasies and momentum in many of the performances portrayed a director who utilised and nurtured the talents and skills of cast and crew allowing them to find their own interpretations. I’ll be back in the spring with some more news and reviews from the wings, until then, ta ra!


Polly Pimpernell

The Furball - Christmas 2009


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The Furball decided it was high time to get out of the house on a Friday night and see what was going on in town. What a treat then to find out that the superb Acoustic+ night was on with some equally good acts providing the entertainment. Kicking off proceedings was the very slick, very talented Roger Styles. We pulled him to one side and demanded to know a little bit more... Describe your playing style and influences. Ok, It’s acoustic rock funk but I use a lot of drop tunings in my songs. I suppose I’m quite influenced by jazz players like Antonio Forcione and Paco De Lucia. I like a bit of flamenco type stuff - er Prince and Peter Gabriel for the lyrics side of it. Tower of Power (who Roger has seen live twice...we’re jealous). When you play live it sound’s like there’s more than one of you. Owjoodoothatthen? I use a little loop pedal that records what I play, then plays back a loop of what I’ve just played into it. I 42

Roger Styles

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The Furball - Christmas 2009

sometimes put a mic into it and do some beatbox stuff, but not this evening. I use a little wooden block as a bass drum, it gives a good sound, a nice bit of bottom end.

audience - you don’t always get that, sometimes they just shove you in the corner to supply some background music. Got anything for sale?

I loved your opening tune, ‘Drop A Funk’ I take it you’re a funk lover? Yeah! absolutely - Sly Stone, Average White Band the JB’s - love it. What brought you to hte Cheese and Grain? I had a look online and this place seemed like a really nice venue with a really good reputation, so I thought I’d come and give it a go. So, after your inaugural A+ outing how do you think it went? For me it was really good, I’ve had a run of bad gigs recently so I was due a good one. Tonight I got it! It’s good to have a proper music

Yeah, I have a live DVD and a live CD. You can visit my site and follow what’s going on through that.

Statement of fact: Roger gave Maceo Parker a lift in his Blue Peugeot 406. Roger: Where to Maceo? Maceo: Cross the Tracks.

Music & Gigs

The Operation

Acoustic Plus

Friday night down the C&G

Review by Miles Pereira

Guitarist Alex Veales voice was on top form, his notes clicking perfectly, flowing beautifully with Court and bassist Nick Wilton’s vocal harmonies. 2 songs into their set, a string quartet is introduced to the line up, received with great applause from the crowd. One of the songs the Operation played with the strings, led by Courts mother (who also wrote all the parts, some of which weren’t seen by the other players until earlier in the day) was an old song even I, a seasoned Op fan, hadn’t heard before. The song, ‘She Said’ was a

blissful track, very indulgent when complemented by the strings. Again, vocal harmonies to boot and a rigid rhythm from Wilton & Court make the song probably my favourite one of the evening.

The othe acts that played at A+ were equally captivating and we will be trying to catch up with them over the year for their words, thoughts, ideas etc.

Lara and Harry. Funny, sassy and if we get round to booking them, playing at an upcoming Furball party. If they say yes that is.

The Operation with string quartet doing what they do very well indeed. The strings sounded great and added a dimension I’d not heard before. Look out for the Christmas A+ on December the 18th (I think) you might need to check that date out. Anyway, I’ll be a cracker whenever it is. Be there!

The closing track from the Operation album ‘Beautiful Days’, ‘Without You’ is also the closing track for the show that night. A really delicate song that provokes delicate thoughts to go with it, from what I could tell by the lyrics it’s a song about something personal to Veale. Despite its fragility the song is pounded across the 300 strong crowd,

strings and all. The cheer after this song leads the Op to perform 2 more tracks without the strings, and they play these songs as if they was playing to 60,000 people, headlining at Wembley. Destroying their earlier intimacy and showing this crowd their heavier side, they play a blistering ’In The Dust’ and a fantastic closer ’The Get Up’, both complete with Veale challenging himself to playing the guitar solos, on his acoustic and with no pedal board, proving their ability to adapt to this acoustic setting. After the show, I followed Alex around the Cheese and Grain as he was congratulated by his fans. Most people asked him when they will be doing this again. I’m hoping, soon… maybe with the full orchestra… Miles pereira

Domenic DeCicco. Doing his thing extremely well indeed.

The Furball - Christmas 2009


Spot the difference Due to the success of the last spot the difference game we featured, we’ve decided to gice you another one. The image depicts Catherine Hill on a typical autumn afternoon. To make things a little harder we’re not going to tell you how many differences there are. We’ll leave that up to you. Good luck.


By Poet in residence Scott MacKillican

As the nights grow longer and the chill sets in low And familiar places are threatened by snow Minds sigh more weary though hearts beam more full And the love that is Christmas starts exerting its pull The cool and crisp air paints a glow to the cheeks Mere glimpses of sun as it occasionally peeks Through cracks in the pale cloud-plastered sky And people wish ‘Merry Christmas’ to passers by Dinner and drinking with family and friends Comfortably sedated for days without end By camaraderie, history, hospitality and love Searching for Santa amongst the stars above Ignoring commercials and exploitation for dollars Forgetting globalisation for something much smaller In the true definitions of a need and a want Giving the Ghosts of Christmas a more fitting haunt People pondering people both near and quite far Well wishes that bind them wherever they are For love travels freely across any divide And is more easily encouraged come Christmas-time The frost sparkles like diamonds all through the morn Woolly sweaters and mittens and scarves to stay warm An exhale of breath lingers on in the air And everyone has at least some Christmas cheer So, as nights grow longer and the chill sets in low And familiar places are threatened by snow A mind might be weary though a heart’s beaming full And the love that is Christmas is exerting its pull.


The Furball - Christmas 2009



Plumbing & Heating


Boiler Installation, Service & Repairs, Bathrooms Showers etc.

Frome’s finest fish & chips and Chinese takeaway

eany to p o sd ay e d Tu Sun

Badcox, Frome

General Plumbing & Maintenance & installation

01373 455566 Call: 07816 477 863 Green & Gorgeous Whether it’s pruning your privet, planting your winter veg patch or giving your garden a complete design overhaul, Green & Gorgeous works for you. If your garden is too much to manage or you’ve the space but not the time or inclination, then let Green & Gorgeous inject a passion for plants into your life. Green & Gorgeous focuses on providing high quality services at affordable prices and delivered in a timely fashion. Whether it’s a one-off visit to put your garden to bed for winter, a regular visit to keep it looking it’s best, or even

starting again from scratch, give us a call to see how we can help you. Green & Gorgeous is committed to minimising the environmental impact of gardening and championing home-grown fruit & veg in even the smallest spaces. We maintain the highest standards, use top quality materials and help you to achieve the outdoor space that’s right for you. Our staff have RHS qualifications, so we’re well placed to advise you on all aspects of your garden.

01373 455272 Paul Hermon Green & Gorgeous The Furball - Christmas 2009


Obscure Funk finds The Soulful Strings- The Magic of Christmas Let’s be honest, nearly every Christmas record ever made is crap. That’s why, when it comes to Jesus Season, there’s no escape from the musical horrors on offer. Every year ends in a ‘groundhog day’ style loop; soundtracked by the noelzac drone of Slade, Cliff Richards and Mr Blobby. Thankfully, there is the odd exception to the rule. Those of you looking for an alternative to the ‘sonic punxsutawney’ should listen to the festive funk genius that is the The Magic of Christmas by The Soulful Strings. Recorded in August 1968 at Ter Mar studios in Chicago, and released on Cadet records featuring Cleveland Eaton on bass, Dorothy Ashby on harp, Lenard Druss on woodwinds & horns and an ensemble of unknown session musicians. It’s a tour de force of fatback drums, lush strings, sleigh bells and stomping versions of yuletide standards such as the amazing “Jingle bells” (which sounds a lot like Mardi Gras by Bob James!) and “Sleigh ride” (amazing funky drums) among others. This record is always pretty tough to find, but is well worth tracking down if you can be bothered. Handle with care though, too much airplay may result in grandma doing the ‘windmill’ at your family lunch gathering. Tracklisting A1 Little Drummer Boy A2 Snowfall A3 Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy A4 Deck the Halls A5 Santa Claus is coming to town B1 Sleigh Ride B2 Merry Christmas, Baby B3 Jingle Bells B4 The Christmas Song B5 Parade of the Wooden Soldiers 46

The Furball - Christmas 2009

Barry makes his journey to mecca... The weekend of 21-22nd of November saw “the 32nd Mega Record & CD Fair” in the Jaarbeurs Arena, Utrecht, The Netherlands. This biannual event is billed as the “biggest record fair in the world”, and it’s a mecca for serious collectors and international record dealers selling over 10 MILLION records to flick through, it promised to be vinyl valhalla! Attendance was a no brainer, so I headed off to see what it was all about with my old mate, and fellow beat digger Benj. Flights were booked, we arrived strapped with Euro’s and entered into a ‘race to the records’ with over 10,000 other crate digger’s. Thankfully there were plenty of vinyl to go around, and we both got back with a slab of funky beats and buttons to spend for the rest of the month! For more information on forthcoming record fairs in Utrecht check out

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Christmas Furball  
Christmas Furball  

Frome's favourite independent arts and music rag.