Mendip Times - Worldwide Media

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Celebrating life on
the Mendips and
surrounding areas
Local people, local history, local places, local events and local news
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IT’S good to start the New Year on a
positive note. Some of our community
heroes have been honoured in Somerset
County Council’s annual awards – we
salute them. We also have our usual
pages devoted to the vital work of local
charities and voluntary groups.
We’ve news this month of
environmental awards for Frome and for
work on woodland in Midsomer Norton.
We also hear how new road signs are
helping to put Radstock on the map.
Somerset’s first bird atlas has just
been published – we look at the winners
and losers as our avian friends adapt to
climate change.
We’ve pictures from around the area
of Christmas celebrations and we join
the party at Moorlynch where the
village hall has reopened after the
disastrous floods last winter.
We meet Frank Newbery, who may
well be the last man alive who helped
build the WW2 decoy towns, which we
featured in the magazine last month.
Mary James goes back to her farming
roots while Phil Hendy explains how
Mendip’s caves are getting longer. If
you want some exercise over the
holiday, Sue Gearing suggests a walk
around Banwell. If you want to exercise
your brain test yourself against Felkov,
our new crossword compiler.
With all of our usual features and
contributors, may we wish you a happy
and healthy 2015.
February 2015 deadline:
Friday, 16th January 2015.
Published: Tuesday, 27th January
Steve Egginton [email protected]
Mark Adler [email protected]
Ann Quinn [email protected]
Rachael Abbott [email protected]
Publisher: Mendip Times Limited
Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Somerset BS40 7RG
Contacts: For all enquiries, telephone:
01761 463888
or: email [email protected]
or: [email protected]
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Front cover: Young Chef Of The Year competition in Frome.
Photograph by Mark Adler (see page 17).
Country cops – more help
to tackle rural crime
Crafty cooks – college chefs
serve up a winner
Christmas capers – around
Mendip in pictures
Counting the cost – theatre
group’s tribute to WWI
heroes and heroines
Plus all our regular features
Farming Mary James MBE..........10
Food & Drink...............................14
Internet and Crossword..............24
Arts & Antiques ...........................26
Business ........................................32
Wildlife Chris Sperring MBE .......41
Walking Sue Gearing....................42
Outdoors Les Davies MBE ..........44
Gardening Mary Payne MBE ......46
Health Dr Phil Hammond.............52
Community Simon Selby .............56
Motoring .......................................58
Charities .......................................62
Homes and Interiors....................68
Riding Celia Gadd ........................76
Caving Phil Hendy........................78
What’s On ....................................80
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Finger of fate for Felipe
VISITORS to the 2014
Royal Bath and West
Show might have spotted
the television cameras
focussing on some young
entrepreneurs; they
might not have realised
that they were
contestants in the BBC
series The Apprentice.
Sir Alan Sugar sent them to the showground as one of their
tasks – this photo shows Felipe Alviar-Baquero preparing to
tempt buyers to his handbag stand opposite the Cider and
Orchards Marquee. Colombian-born Felipe, a solicitor for an
international law firm, had a spectacular falling out with a
rival in front of people attending the show.
The result? Sir Alan’s finger of fate: “You’re fired”.
Loud and clear
TOWN crier David Greenway has to stand back from the
microphone as he announces the official opening of Glastonbury
FM’s new studios live on air as presenters Bob Lloyd and Allan
Trinder look on.
The community radio station is based at the Red Brick Building
in Glastonbury and broadcasts on 107.1FM within a ten-mile
radius of the town. It is also available via the internet.on 107.1FM
within a 10 mile radius of Glastonbury.
£60,000 medical appeal
WRINGTON Vale Rotary Club has
launched a £60,000 appeal to buy a
Heartworks training module, which
would be the first in the South West.
The machine assists the medical
profession in the diagnosis of heart
problems by the use of a torso with a
computerised beating heart which can
show up to 40 heart problems.
Several other Rotary clubs are joining in the campaign but
commercial companies are also being asked to support it. Wyevale
Garden Centres have presented a cheque for £450 and promised
collections at their stores in the near year.
Details: Peter Roswell 01934 822280
Designers of the future?
A NEW creative arts centre has opened at All Hallows School at
Cranmore featuring cutting edge technology to inspire students
to reach new levels of achievement.
Led by Berin Nelson, the school’s new Head of Creative
Design and Technology, the centre looks more like a London
design studio than classroom with 2D and 3D design
technology, facilities for coding, laser cutting and 3D printing,
animation, digital photography and more. The centre is also
serving as a driving force to enhance creativity throughout the
already innovative curriculum on offer.
Berin said: “We are committed to ensuring that the
opportunities offered are current, relevant and exciting and that
the curriculum evolves continuously to keep pace with the real
world. We want to really ‘fuse’ the disciplines and demonstrate
to the children that ideas can be brought to life in a number of
ways with the help of technology and creativity and we aim to
enlist the help of specialists along the way to inspire the
The centre’s ambition has been endorsed by design guru
Kevin McCloud who said: “I think All Hallows School's new
Creative Centre is just the ticket. The creative industries are
growth industries and Britain is a world leader. Some of the
biggest planetary names are powered by British design, media
and architectural talents. So encouraging children to explore
their creativity from a young age – and allowing them licence to
think of creativity as important – gives them a head start in a
competitive world. Creativity = Original Thinking. The Centre
is a brilliant idea."
Gerald Read
GERALD Read, one of Chew
Magna’s best-known sportsmen,
has died after a short illness, at
the age of 80. He was involved
in the village’s cricket and
football clubs from an early age
and retained links with them
throughout his life.
He was a founder of RH
Windows and continued
working with them well into
retirement. He leaves his wife,
Ann, who works at the Co-operative in Chew Magna, son,
Duncan, and daughter Julie. Winford church, in his home
village, was packed for his funeral.
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Hedge competition
organisers aim higher
Fun day at Ebbor
open in
January for
the 2015
hedge laying
organised by
the Mid
Hopes are
high that the
event will
top the 26
received for
last year
with a new
prize for the
best entrant
over 60
years of age.
Last year’s amateur winner Clive Riston (left) with
The 2015
overall champion Mike Reed
which is open to amateurs and professional hedge layers, will
be held at Manor Farm at Ditcheat – by kind permission of the
Barber family – on Sunday, February 22nd.
For the second year running a clay pigeon shoot, will be held
alongside the hedging competition.
Christine Barham, secretary of the society, which hosts the
annual Shepton Show, said: “We have already gained some very
good sponsors for the day and the competition is going from
strength to strength.”
For more information, visit:
Beating the
rural thieves
CRIME prevention and detection
capability equipment worth thousands
of pounds has been handed over to
locally-based rural crime officers in the
Avon and Somerset area.
The Rural Crime Team received
£8,000 of security items such as alarms
and security cameras which can be
loaned to farms and smallholdings
whilst there is a higher risk of livestock
or equipment theft and other crime, or
as a demonstrator before making a
decision to buy privately. These items
have been chosen so that they are
appropriate for, and sturdy enough, for
the agricultural environment.
The kit boxes were distributed to
Professor Danielle Schreve, from Royal Holloway University, with a
group of people at the recently excavated bone cave at Ebbor
Gorge where remains of animals that lived on Mendip before the
last ice age have been discovered.
MORE than 250 people have attended a family fun day at
Ebbor Gorge National Nature Reserve. Visitors explored the
gorge, discovered the secrets of the bone cave, weaved a cave
lion and cheered on racing snails. Many enjoyed guided walks
which revealed the reserve’s unique geology and special
wildlife and others which showcased the recent and rare
archaeological finds.
Simon Clarke, Natural England’s Reserve Manager said: “The
event went really
well and we
would like to
thank the many
partners who
activities on the
day. Their input
and enthusiasm
certainly made
the ‘Explore
Ebbor’ a first rate
Local willow sculptor Sophie Courtiour
working with visitors to construct a life size Mendip Rocks!
Festival Event.”
cave lion.
Rural Crime Team PC Rowan Hawkins (based at Wells) delivering a training
officers and PCSOs from across the
force area at a briefing day held at a
farm owned by Somerset NFU chairman
Nick Bragg in South Petherton. The 50
local rural crime contacts were also
given more detailed training and briefed
about the continued rollout across the
force of the Farmwatch scheme. A
Horsewatch scheme will be launched in
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The birds of Somerset
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wonderful birdlife has
been mapped in a new
book The Somerset
Atlas of Breeding and
Wintering Birds.
Produced by the
Ornithological Society
The authors (l to r) Julian Thomas,
(SOS) and British
David Balance, Rob Grimmond, Eve
Trust for Ornithology
Tigwell and Stephen Moss
(BTO), with thousands
of records collected by more than 600 volunteers, this is the first
time the birds of Somerset have been documented so thoroughly.
From Exmoor, the Quantocks and Bridgwater Bay in the west,
through the Blackdowns, Mendip and Polden Hills and the lowlying Levels and Moors in the centre, to Selwood Forest in the
east, Somerset supports more than 200 different species of bird.
The atlas will be an invaluable resource both now and in the
future, to help plan how best to help Somerset’s birdlife. It is also
a fascinating snapshot of the current status and distribution of
birds in Somerset.
It includes common residents such as the robin and blackbird,
summer visitors including the cuckoo, swift and swallow, passage
migrants such as seabirds and waders, and winter visitors –
amongst them thousands of ducks, geese and swans.
The atlas also confirms that Somerset is now home to some
exciting new arrivals, taking advantage of the newly-created
wetland habitats on the Somerset Levels. Bitterns have returned to
breed after an absence of almost half a century, while new arrivals
from the south including great white and little egrets, little bittern,
and the reintroduced flock of cranes now in residence on the
southern part of the levels.
Meanwhile buzzards, red kites and peregrines – once driven to
the edge of extinction by poisoning and pesticides – are now a
regular sight in Somerset’s skies.
But it’s not all good news. Many once common and familiar
birds have either declined in numbers or in a few sad cases have
disappeared completely. The tiny lesser spotted woodpecker is no
longer found in the county’s cider apple orchards, while
yellowhammers no longer sing their characteristic ‘little-bit-ofbread-and-no-cheeese’ song from many of our hedgerows.
Willow tit, grasshopper warbler and merlin have almost
disappeared as breeding birds, while turtle doves and corn
buntings are no longer found in Somerset at all.
To combat these declines, conservationists, birders and
volunteers are now joining forces to improve existing habitats and
create new ones, to try to bring these lost birds back and to
encourage new colonists – perhaps we may see white storks,
glossy ibis and even bee-eater breeding here for the first time.
The Somerset Atlas of Breeding & Wintering Birds is on a
special offer price of £25 + £4.95 postage and packing – £29.95
total, until December 31st, after which the cover price will rise to
£35 + p&p.
To order, send a cheque payable to
‘Somerset Ornithological Society’ to:
Somerset Atlas Offer, Motcombe
House, Combe Wood Lane,
Combe St. Nicholas, Chard,
Somerset TA20 3NH.
How green is my council?
A car club will
open in Frome
FROME Town Council has been awarded £16,000 to set up
a new electric and hybrid car club for local residents and
Two electric cars and one hybrid vehicle will be available
for use from Frome Medical Centre, the town centre and
another site in the south of the town.
The announcement coincides with the authority being
named the Most Proactive Public Body in the whole of the
south west at a green awards ceremony hosted by Regen
SW. Frome was pitted against Plymouth City Council,
Devon County Council and other local authorities from
across the region.
Sporting the world’s first solar powered mayoral chain,
Councillor Peter Macfadyen, the Independent Mayor of
Frome, said: “This award is all about the council and the
community working as one in a common cause. We’re
creating green jobs, green energy production and green
transport opportunities. We’re reducing town wide energy
consumption, energy costs and, perhaps most importantly,
reducing overall carbon use. It’s kicking in at last!”
The council’s Energy and Recycling Officer, Anna
Francis, is the only person in the country doing this type of
work at town council level. Anna said: “Frome is a real hub
for environmental activity. In the next six months we will be
working with local organisations to launch a solar powered
electric/hybrid car club.
“We will be installing solar panels on a range of
community buildings, including the Frome Medical Practice
and Frome Town Football Club, through a ground breaking
partnership with Frome Renewable Energy Co-op (FRECo)
which will generate 200kw, saving 2,248 tonnes of CO2
over their lifetime and generating £268,000 for a community
“We are also
working with
schools to
empower students
and staff to cut
costs and carbon
and have a team
of trained energy
volunteers who
are helping fuel
poor households
to reduce their
Peter Macfadyen (centre) wearing a solar
powered mayoral chain of office
energy bills.”
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Planting for the future
A COMMUNITY tree planting event at
the award-winning Silver Street nature
reserve in Midsomer Norton completed a
very successful year for the volunteers
who care for the green space.
Having regained the prestigious Green
Flag award, the reserve is gradually
being improved and enhanced. In
September, the wellhead was restored
and dedicated to workers from the
The Green Flag award flies in the reserve
Volunteers take a break from the tree planting event which brought 2014’s activities to an
Somerset coalfields.
The Friends of Silver Street, who
fundraise towards the improvement work
and carry out many of the tasks
themselves, invited people to enjoy soup,
coffee and cake after planting birch
saplings, bulbs and plants as well as
scattering wild flower seeds.
For more information about the Friends, telephone: 01761 411292.
Season’s greetings to all
THE festive season will be well under
way by the time you read this, so
greetings to all, including a very happy
New Year.
There has been very little sign of
winter so far this year here (just the
occasional frost), but the recent heavy
with DAVID
snowfalls in the United States have
been a timely reminder that the calendar
is not wrong. Buffalo, on the south eastern shores of the
Great Lakes in New York State, was particularly hard hit
with up to seven
FEET (no, not
inches) of snow, but
it is prone to a lot, as
the icy winds from
Canada pick up a lot
of moisture as they
cross the Great
Lakes and hit
warmer air.
It’s often been said
that what America
does, we will follow
suit (just look at the
shopping mania of
Black Friday) so one
A winter scene on top of Mendip
might argue that we also are on the eastern side of a large
expanse of water i.e. the Atlantic, with our prevailing
winds coming from the west or southwest? But the
situation could not be more different with the Atlantic
being warmed by the Gulf Stream.
If we are going to get any wintry weather we need to
look to the north or northeast with the winds coming from
the Arctic or Siberia and little sign of that so far this
Let’s hope there won’t be too much disruption from the
weather this year. I am sure those people living on the
Somerset Levels will be only too pleased if we have a drier
winter, even if it is a bit colder.
Bye for now.
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Tel: 0800 097 8611 | e-mail: [email protected]
For those of you thinking of moving or even buying for the
first time or for investment, we had some rare good news at
the beginning of December from HM Treasury regarding
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).
e changes will reduce the SDLT payment for the
majority of homebuyers. Under the old rules once the
threshold was reached, you would have paid tax at a single rate
based on the entire property price. Now you will only pay the
rate of tax on the part of the property price within each tax
band – similar to the principles of income tax.
For example, if you bought a property for £180,000 under
the old rules you would have had to pay 1% tax on the full
amount so £1,800.00. Under the new rules, you pay nothing on the first £125k and 2%
on the remaining £60k – so £1,200.00, giving a saving of £650.
Our Services Include:
Commercial and Residential Property
Wills and Probate
Litigation and Personal Injury
Criminal and Family Law
Agricultural, Business and Commercial
Shepton Mallet: 57 High Street,
Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5AQ.
Tel: 01749 330330
Glastonbury: 11 Chilkwell Street,
Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8DL.
Tel: 01458 832510
We recently celebrated Christmas lunch together – although rather early. Father
Christmas and one of his elves paid us a visit to drop off some gifts – he did look rather
familiar? We wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.
Castle Cary: Old Bank House,
High Street, Castle Cary, Somerset,
BA7 7AW. Tel: 01963 350888
Cheddar: Roley House, Church Street,
Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3RA.
Tel: 01934 745400
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Lest old acquaintance
be forgot
THIS year has been a year of remembrance
with many ceremonies to honour those who
died in WW1. My father came home, one of
the lucky ones.
William James joined the Signals, Royal
Field Artillery before he was 17. William’s
father was a sergeant in the Bristol police
for many years and when he retired rented a
small farm on the edge of Dundry.
Five members of his large family had moved away but the
two youngest, William and his sister May, went with their
parents to Prospect Farm. There were around 40 acres which
included orchards and a large garden. No sooner had they
settled in than William rushed off to sign up in the RFA.
A great lover of horses he did not take one of his own. There
is a lovely photo of him in uniform on a white horse which I
guess could have been taken in France. When he returned home
in 1918 with a Military Medal he told his family very little of
his experiences. I pieced together, with help from one brother,
how he had won the medal.
He had been a dispatch rider, on a motorbike, and had
rescued, under fire, a pilot from a wrecked plane who was
carrying an important message. One of his other brothers gave
me a slightly different version but it amounted to the same
So it was back to the farm which he loved and he set about
trying to make it profitable. The principles he applied are the
same as small farmers do today to make ends meet. We call it
diversifying now. As well as making hay using horses and
milking one or two cows by hand he started breaking young
horses and selling them on.
They kept hens and sold the eggs locally as well as the milk,
raised a few pigs and developed the garden. He built a more
modern cowshed that would take ten cows eventually. He also
built hen houses and adapted a large two-storey barn to hold
pigs. Keeping more cows meant a surplus of milk so it was
carefully strained into small churns and he began a delivery
round using a horse and cart.
Customers brought their jugs to the cart for William to fill.
There was no refrigeration then or pasteurisation so it had to be
delivered quickly. As the milk round grew he used a motorbike
and sidecar and in later years a car and trailer then vans
William’s father died in the mid-20s and he was left to
support his mother and sister. Despite all the hard work he was
quite a ‘Jack the lad’ who walked into Bristol to go dancing on
the Flying Fox anchored in the harbour, arriving home in the
early hours for a short sleep before milking and delivering.
As the milk round grew William needed more milk so he
bought some from a local farm in Barrow Gurney. It was in the
village pub that he met the love of his life who was the
landlord’s eldest daughter, Phyllis Patch. After 23 years of
bachelor freedom he settled down with a wife who joined in the
hard work.
It involved more cows, my mother milking them, more
customers and producing more from the farm to sell to them. By
then the milk was cooled in the dairy and bottled by hand with
the empties washed by hand in a tank of near-boiling water with
a revolving bottle brush, which was the ladies’ job.
Then along came WW2 and William joined the Home Guard.
By this time it was only his relatives who called him Will or
William. Everyone else called him Bill. He managed to keep his
customers supplied with veg, eggs and milk. There was also a
bit of a black market going on, which was basically illegal.
He had three pigs killed on the ‘quiet’ and he hung the
carcasses on the top floor of his barn, well locked up, but that
night a bomb fell at the back of the farm and blew the roof off!
There were the carcasses glistening in the moonlight! It was all
hands on deck to get the pigs moved before the police arrived
on the scene. Before it was light the next morning the pigs had
been cut up and the joints delivered
When the war was over food was short and times were hard.
Milk was going to be pasteurised and milking machines were
being used so Bill decided he was not going to invest in a new
milking set-up so he sold the cows (Guernseys) and bought milk
from a local dairy already pasteurised and bottled and increased
his milk round.
He also bought a new little grey Fergie, the Ferguson T20
tractor. Haymaking became much easier, he raised a few beef
animals, the gardens were enlarged and more pigs and poultry
were kept. But it was not to be that Bill kept his beloved small
In 1953 most of the land was taken by compulsory purchase
for the development of part of Withywood. Undaunted he kept
the poultry, pigs and gardens. The milk round was increased yet
again and he persuaded his only daughter to work for him! He
died in 1968 just 18 months after he saw his daughter (me)
married, to a farmer.
Farming section:Layout 1
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Somerset’s honey harvest
AT last there is some
good news for honey
lovers as Somerset
beekeepers enjoy their
best crop for three
years. Figures from
the British
Association show that hives in the West Country averaged
30lbs, up from the lowest point of just 7lbs two years ago.
Reports from the county’s apiaries show a very positive
picture in the main with some yields topping the historic
average of 40lb per hive.
Bee farmer and member of Somerset Beekeepers
Association (SBKA) Chris Harries of Sedgemoor Honey
said the season started well: “The bees came out of the
winter nice and strong because the conditions were
excellent. I only lost one hive out of 300, which was
fantastic as the national average for losses is about 10 per
“Throughout the year there was plenty of moisture in the
ground, the flowers the bees feed on flourished and the sun
came out at the right time. All my 1,700 or so honey boxes
were on a hive somewhere in Somerset at one time.”
However some Somerset beekeepers reported another
disappointing season due to a lack of forage while others
lost colonies because of wasps.
Tractor fans help charity
KEVIN Patch, chairman of the North Somerset Vintage Tractor
Club hands a cheque for £3,000 to Heidi Every of Crossroads
Young Carers at the club’s Christmas social event. The money was
raised from donations and events held by the club in 2014.
The Little Grey Fergie model, (Mick Chapman’s Memorial
Trophy) which is annually awarded to the highest score in the
skittles competition was this year won by Wendy Young of
Winford. Some 120 members and partners attended the evening at
Redhill Village Club.
The first meeting of 2015 of NSVTC is on Tuesday, January
6th at the club. Membership renewals are due at this meeting and
forms for both renewal or new members can be found at: New members are very
welcome. For details: 01275 474649.
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Corey Walkes, at 13 one of the country’s most promising
trampolonists, was the guest of honour at the Christmas
lights ceremony in Radstock town centre. He’s pictured with
Father Christmas and Lesley Mansell, chair of Radstock
Town Council
A two-day artisan craft fair was held in the Tithe Barn in Mells;
proceeds from a raffle raised funds for the village’s community
shop and café
Nick Larsen, whose wife Rebecca organised the fair, helps out on a
festive-themed stall
Corey, who attends Writhlington School, shows off his two silver
medals from the recent World Age Group competition in Florida as
children from Trinity Primary School join in the festive spirit
Page 13 January:Layout 1
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Food & Drink section:Layout 1
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January is as nice as pie
THIS time of year is what Nigel Slater calls
“pie weather”; a bit dank and gloomy.
The kind of weather that requires
something that will wrap its arms around
you and make you feel comforted. And
nothing does that better than a pie. A pie
with a crust, or maybe two, lovely buttery
crumbly pastry, innocent looking until you
slice into it to reveal the delicious contents
within. It needs little else on the plate, maybe a bit of greenery,
or a blob of cream, but all you really want is in one package.
How neat.
Salmon in pastry with stem ginger and currants
This is a princely dish; the sweetness of the leeks sets off the chicken and ham
brilliantly. Make a big one for New Year’s Eve, or a little one for a weekday.
Serve it hot or warm, it is very well behaved.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Soften the leeks in the butter. Add flour and cook
through. Add enough milk to make a thick sauce. Add mustard and cream. Add
chicken and ham. Allow to cool to warm.
Roll out pastry to two rectangles as thick as a pound coin. Place one on
baking paper on a baking sheet. Spoon the filling on top. Brush the edges with
water. Lay second sheet on top and crimp the edges to seal. Brush the top with
beaten egg and slash to allow steam to escape. Bake for 35-45 mins until golden.
375g/13oz shortcrust pastry
110g/4oz butter at room
4 pieces stem ginger in
syrup, finely chopped
2 tbsp currants
1 piece fillet of salmon,
mid-section, skinned and
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
One of the all-time great
pie recipes, dating back
to at least the 17th
century and the signature
dish of the great George
Perry-Smith, of The
Hole in the Wall
restaurant in Bath. Try to
keep the pastry as thin as
possible and cook it in a
hot oven so the salmon
is lightly cooked.
Cut up butter and put in
a bowl. Add ginger and
currants and mix to combine. Cut salmon in half lengthways.
Season one half with salt and pepper, spread half the butter
mixture over it. Cover with the other piece of salmon, top to
tail so it makes a neat sandwich. Season. Spread remaining
butter mixture on top. Refrigerate while you deal with the
Roll out pastry thinly and place on baking paper on a
baking tray. Set salmon on one end, leaving a 1cm edge, and
fold over the rest of the pastry, sealing edges. Rest in fridge
for at least an hour. Pre-heat oven to 220°C. Brush pastry with
beaten egg and make a couple of slashes in the top. Bake for
20 mins until golden. Allow to rest for 10 mins before serving.
(for a large pie)
450g/1lb cooked chicken, in bite size pieces
450g/1lb cooked ham (a gammon shank is
good for this), in bite size pieces
2 leeks, sliced into 1 cm discs
30g/1oz butter
3 tbsp plain flour
250ml/1/2 pint warm milk
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp double cream
2 packs puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
An apple pie always tastes better if you make it yourself,
especially if you have a treasured family recipe. This is a double
crust pie (the best kind, with pastry top and bottom) and uses
both cooking and dessert apples for texture. Add extra
ingredients and spices if you want, but don’t overdo it; it should
be what it is, a simple dish, well made. Use a metal pie plate to
avoid a soggy bottom.
Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Cook spices in butter for a couple of
minutes, add the Bramley apples and the sugar and cook until
collapsed and fluffy. Remove spices and set aside. Peel, core
and chop the Coxs into chunks and add to the Bramleys. Taste
for sweetness.
Cut pastry in half and
roll out one half. Butter
a pie plate and cover
375g/13oz shortcrust pastry
with pastry. Sprinkle
2 Bramley apples, peeled,
over the base 1tbsp flour
cored and chopped
and 1tbsp sugar. Pile
1 cinnamon stick
apple mixture in the
4 cloves
middle. Dampen edges.
a knob of butter
Roll out remaining
100g sugar
pastry and cover pie.
3 dessert apples, such as
Brush with egg white,
slash top, sprinkle with
1 tbsp butter
sugar. Bake for 35-45
1 tbsp flour
mins and allow to cool a
1 tbsp sugar
little before serving.
1 egg white, beaten
Food & Drink section:Layout 1
Page 15
A Somerset winter warmer
WITH the season for warm, spicy cider rapidly approaching,
Thatchers Cider has asked West Country chef Tim Maddams to
recommend some festive dishes to serve alongside Thatchers
Mulled Cider.
Using fresh, seasonal produce, Tim’s recipes are ideal as snacks
or starters, or even a warming outdoor eat for carol singers or
Wassail revellers in the New Year. Now available as recipe cards
for download at the scrumptious dishes
are Smoked Mackerel Tart; Potted Pork with Quick Pickled
Beetroot, and Barbecued Pumpkin, Pheasant and Chorizo Wraps.
To make your own mulled cider, simply follow this simple
Thatchers family recipe:
Take two litres of Thatchers Heritage cider, and add:
• 1 sliced orange, lemon and apple
• 2 star anise
• 5 cloves
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 8 slices ginger
• 5 tablespoons of soft brown sugar to taste.
Simmer gently for around ½ hour but be careful not to let it
Martin Thatcher, managing director of Thatchers Cider and
fourth generation cider maker, said: “There’s nothing more
welcoming than the warming, spicy aroma of mulled cider on a
cold, winter’s evening. This is a recipe our family has used for
many years – we hope you enjoy it, especially when accompanied
by one of Tim’s extra special winter warmers.”
Wells: every Wednesday 9am-2.30pm at the Market Place
All other markets 9am-1pm unless otherwise marked*
Saturday 3rd Axbridge & Midsomer Norton – cancelled
Saturday 10th Frome Cheese & Grain & Keynsham
Saturday 17th Crewkerne
Saturday 24th Glastonbury & Yeovil (9am-2pm)*
Friday 30th
follow us @SFMMarkets For more information phone
01373 814646 or visit
Powering Farming’s Future
Tel: 01225 667151
New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner Menu
Champagne and canapés
Jerusalmen Artichoke Velouté (V)
New Year at Bowlish House
Live piano music all evening • Fireworks at midnight
Home Cured & Poached Salmon, Wrapped in Herbs & Smoked
Salmon with Potato Salad, Herb Oil
Baked Goats Cheese Crotin, Spinach, Confit Cherry, Tomatoes,
Balsamic Syrup & Tapenade (V)
Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait with Red Onion Chutney, Toasted
Rye Bread
Toasted Pine Nut & Spinach Risotto with Parmesan Crackling (V)
Fillet of West Country Beef, Root Vegetable Dauphinoise, Roasted
Shallots, Madeira & Truffle Sauce
Woodland Mushroom Wellington, Roasted Red Pepper Puree, Grilled
Artichokes (V)
All main courses are served with a selection of seasonal vegetables
Assiette of Chocolate: White, Dark & Milk Chocolate Mousse, Tart &
Baked Orange Cheesecake with Orange Mascarpone & Vanilla Ice Cream
Email: [email protected]
or [email protected]
e Bowlish House, Wells Road,
Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 5JB
Selection of West Country Cheeses, Homemade Chutney & Biscuits
Coffee & Petit Fours
£74.50 per person
Food & Drink section:Layout 1
Page 16
Young chefs
are “awesome”
By Mark Adler
SARAH Petroff’s pride in her catering
students’ talents was clear for all to see
– yet again, the contestants in the
annual Rotary Club of Frome’s Young
Chef of the Year competition had risen
to the challenge.
From chicken breast wrapped in
bacon with a Stilton sauce (followed by
sticky fig and walnut pudding with
toffee sauce) to pan fried duck breasts
served with a chestnut mousse and
blackberry sauce (with a limoncello
mousse in a rich chocolate pot to
follow), the seven finalists knew more
than their onions.
Judges Kevin King, from sponsor The
Scallop Shell, and Kevin McDonagh
were in no doubt about the talent on
show at Frome Community College.
Kevin “M”, from sponsor Appetito, said
Gabriel Toomey’s chocolate fondant
with a caramel sauce would have tested
the skills of the best of the Celebrity
Masterchef contestants: “They probably
wouldn’t even attempt a fondant under
this kind of pressure.”
But Sarah, the college’s subject leader
for food technology, was never in doubt.
“You have all been absolutely
awesome,” she told the finalists.
In the end, it came down to a battle
between Gabriel’s chicken with morels
and a sherry sauce and sautéed potatoes
– followed by the impressive fondant –
and Emma Anders’s smoked cod, served
with sautéed new potatoes, rainbow
chard and samphire on a bed of
butternut squash with a trio of desserts –
Emma’s prize-winning menu
The finalists with judges Kevin King and Kevin McDonagh, college principal Gavin Ball,
Jerry Lewis, president of the Rotary Club of Frome and Sarah Petroff
Emma Anders: “the main course was more
cappuccino cup and chocolate mousse
and raspberry jelly shots – to follow.
The winner? First Molly McKechnie,
Katie Lacey, Keeley Berry, Becky
Veness and Tia Roach, were presented
with Highly Commended certificates.
When Kevin “K” announced that
Gabriel was the runner-up, Emma’s
expression said it all.
The 16-year-old admitted she took
some advice on the two-course menu
from a friend in the catering industry
and practiced in the kitchen of the
Mason’s Arms pub in Frome. Emma,
who hopes to work in either the
catering industry or with children, said:
“The dessert might look the most
complicated but that was easy
compared to the main course.”
Emma will now go on to represent
Frome in the next round of the national
Rotary club president Jerry Lewis
said: "Once again we are very proud to
be involved with the competition."
A tense moment when Gabriel is announced as the runner-up and
Emma realises she has won
Food & Drink section:Layout 1
Page 17
Barry and Niki Horwood welcome you to their
newly refurbished village pub.
Children and
dog friendly
Open Monday to Saturday
11am – 11pm
Sunday 11.30am – 10.30pm
Traditional food served all day,
Sunday lunch £6.95
Celebrate New Year with us – live music, buffet and great company
High Street, Pensford BS39 4BH. Telephone: 01761 490156
We’ve got it covered
Mendip Times Distribution Points
Mendip Times is available from over 800 outlets across the Mendips
from superstores to village stores and post offices, farm shops,
supermarkets, garden centres, pubs, inns, hotels and restaurants,
doctors’ surgeries, libraries and tourist information centres.
= Mendip Times
Distribution area
Food & Drink section:Layout 1
Page 18
Make Wells a winner
Fran is presented with her gifts at Wells market
FOOD trader Fran White celebrated her 50th birthday by
working on her stall at the weekly Wednesday market in
Wells but is hoping for another reason to be cheerful.
Fran and her fellow stallholders – they presented her
with cards and a bouquet of flowers – are keeping their
fingers crossed that customers will vote for them in a
national contest.
Britain’s Favourite Market is an online competition run
by the National Association of British Market Authorities,
an organisation representing local authorities who control
markets such as Wells. Wells has been entered in the
category for best large outdoor market.
Voting is now open in the Britain’s
Favourite Market competition
Nominations close on December 31st. To vote,
01761 463926
Sharon and Colin would
like to wish all our guests a
Happy New Year. Thank you
for your patronage in our
1st Year. We look forward to
serving you throughout
2015 and beyond.
We are open for food
New Year’s Day.
Food & Drink section:Layout 1
Page 19
A porky New Year
JUST before the end of 2014 I fulfilled
a long-held dream of mine – I raised,
slaughtered and processed my own pigs.
As I write this I'm at the end of a tenhour day spent making black puddings
(both British style and Normandy style
– with apples and cider brandy), paté
(which I preserved by pressure cooking
in jars), and faggots, as well as
butchering and vacuum-packing joints for the freezer.
The faggots were, by a narrow margin, the stars of the
show, rich and unctuous, almost creamy. They were,
without doubt, the best faggots I'd ever made. So I thought
I'd share my improvised recipe with you here, seeing as
they just about fall under the remit of garden food, given
that they were raised in, and fed partly from, my garden.
Feel free to improvise this recipe according to what you
can readily get hold of, but try to keep the proportion of
offal to meat roughly the same.
Firstly I minced 1kg liver, and followed that up with the
hearts, kidneys, spleens and brains of my pigs, along with
around 2kg of boned-out shoulder (lots of fat included).
Into this I thoroughly mixed 300g oatmeal, a generous
pinch of mace, about 40g salt, lots of black pepper, five
bay leaves ground up with a little salt in a pestle and
mortar and a good pinch of ground allspice.
I left this mixture for around an hour for the oatmeal to
swell and stiffen the mix, then I shaped into balls and
wrapped them in caul fat – alternatively you could just pop
them onto a tray and roast until cooked through and set.
Simmered for 20 minutes in a little pork stock, and the
liquor thickened with a little beurre manie, and these
faggots were simply sublime.
Jacob Whitson is a chef and food writer who has
worked in many of the West Country’s most prestigious
restaurants. He is currently working on his first book, a
travelogue detailing the regional foods of Japan.
Beserker brew!
IT really seems like I have quite a boozy
theme going for Christmas and New Year.
As mentioned before, certain plants such as
Bog Myrtle were ingredients in ale long
before the use of hops in beer and have had
an historical association with people in this
part of the South West for over a
Old Somerset names include: Devonshire
Myrtle (I wonder, in Devon do they call it Somerset Myrtle?),
Gawan, Gold and Goyle (all forms of Gale) from the Old
English ‘Gagol’ and gives its name to places such as
Galsworthy in Devon. This plant has two common names one is
pretty the other less so but somehow I prefer it.
Sweet Gale or Bog Myrtle (Myrica gale) is a deciduous shrub
0.5 – 2m tall. Male and female flowers are red and orange
respectively flowering in April or May. Leaves are narrow and
toothed and grey-green colour on reddish-brown twigs, locally
common in the wetlands,
bogs and wet heath.
Bog Myrtle has so many
uses it really is a talented
plant. These include
making faggots for the
oven, giving off a
wonderfully sweet resinous
aroma when burnt. Resin
was also extracted from
the twigs to make a
vegetable candle wax. It is
an effective insect
repellent and gives a
yellow dye. Medicinally it
has strong anti-microbial
and anti-bacterial
properties useful for cuts and grazes.
But most importantly of all it gave flavour to ale. In Scotland,
Bog Myrtle was used to sweeten heather ale made with, wait
for it – heather! If making beer or wine sounds like too much
work, just use the leaves to give a unique botanical twist to
vodka or gin.
One cheery factoid to consider is that it was also an
ingredient in the Vikings’ ‘beserker brew’, a heady cocktail of
plants and fungi designed to power our horned harrowers and
instil utter fear in those on the receiving end. See what happens
when you refuse their offer of trade.
The Bog Myrtle was really only present to improve the
flavour. The ‘berserk’ bit comes with the use of the otherworldly properties of the mushroom Fly Agaric (Amanita
muscaria). Nasty. My advice, just make sure you use the correct
ingredients in your own concoctions. Here’s wishing you a
happy and prosperous New Year. Cheers!
Adrian Boots is a Landscape Ecologist, Wild Food
Forager and Adventure Activity provider. You can visit his
web site to learn more about
wild food foraging and activities you can do with him on
the Mendip Hills.
Wedding feature:Layout 1
Page 20
Lap of luxury
CHEW Valley Hire Ltd, is a family run business and has been
established for 16 years – providing Super Luxury and Standard
toilet units and shower units for all types of events, including
weddings, festivals, funerals and film shoots, to name but a few.
They pride themselves on an excellent level of service, from the
initial enquiry through to the end of the event – their units being
of an immaculate standard.
As well as toilet units, Chew Valley Hire has been hiring out
trackway for the last three years, allowing their units, generators,
catering vans and marquee vehicles access to weddings and other
events without sinking into fields or ruining lawns.
Chew Valley Hire
01761 221105
E: [email protected] • W:
We give personal help and advice, deliver and
collect on schedule and pay immaculate attention
to detail.
We provide a wide range of luxury and standard
mobile toilets, showers and hire of trackway for
special events including:
• Weddings • Corporate Events
• Fashion Shows • Film Shoots
Cadbury House has it all
WITH breathtaking
views, a contemporary,
luxurious style and a
revitalising on-site spa,
it’s easy to see why
DoubleTree by Hilton
Cadbury House is so in
demand. The hotel offers
a number of packages
available from as little as
Each package has
options to suit your
every need and the
wonderful attention to
detail that sets Cadbury House apart. For the foodies
amongst you, rest assured that the dining element of your
wedding day will be well catered for.
The hotel can offer a number of chic rooms for your
ceremony, licenced for civil ceremonies. For a summer
wedding who could resist the romantic statement of an al
fresco ceremony under a thatched gazebo, positioned to
provide a backdrop of the most sensational views across the
Bristol Channel?
So it’s true, Cadbury House really does provide the full
romantic package. Book your wedding at this unique venue
and you can look forward to a real treat.
Wedding feature:Layout 1
Page 21
Palace a special venue
THE Bishop’s
Palace and
Gardens is a
medieval palace
situated right in
the centre of
Wells. Home to
the Bishops of
Bath and Wells
for over 800 years and surrounded by 14 acres of beautiful
gardens, this venue offers a truly unique location for your
wedding reception.
Guests will be thrilled to arrive at the medieval
drawbridge and cross the moat (complete with world
famous mute swans) to enter the tranquillity of the inner
courtyard, where the remains of the Great Hall and a
picturesque croquet lawn offer the perfect backdrop for
some truly amazing wedding photos.
After arrival drinks on the terrace, alongside formal
planted gardens, the wedding party can dine in the
splendour of the medieval vaulted undercroft and later,
head up to the unrivalled Long Gallery for coffee and cake,
before dancing the night away downstairs in the undercroft!
The Bishop’s Palace has played host to lavish hospitality
for over 800 years, so why not let our dedicated weddings
team show you how to make the best day of your life a
truly memorable one?
As wedding reception prices start from just £2,500, you
don’t have to be a real princess to have a real palace for the
The perfect wedding gown
HAVING departed the High
Street to “find time for her
family, house and the garden in
summer,” award-winning
bridal wear designer Jo
Christoforides has nevertheless
continued to be in demand,
each season creating a limited
number of hand-made
garments of unrivalled quality
for weddings and special
occasions using her trademark
silks, laces and fine wools.
Described by clients as
“dressmaker, artist and
sculptress all rolled into one,” Jo concentrates upon form and fit
to achieve the most flattering silhouette. Exquisite decorative
techniques feature, worked in collaboration with the UK’s
foremost specialists.
One happy customer said: “Jo created the most beautiful
gown that I and many others had ever seen. I cannot put into
words how gorgeous it looked. I felt amazing wearing it. I lost
count of those questioning me about its designer. It was
everything that I dreamed it would be, encapsulating tradition,
elegance, and individuality. It was truly perfect!”
e Bespoke Studio • [email protected] • Tel: 07773 813069
Mendip Times
reduces travel costs
100,000 potential customers within
a short distance of your business
Wedding feature:Layout 1
Page 22
The perfect wedding
venue in Somerset
WHETHER it’s an intimate wedding, a large wedding
reception or the civil wedding ceremony itself, the Best
Western Plus Swan Hotel prides itself on providing the
perfect wedding venue in Somerset.
Civil wedding ceremonies are held in the delightful Garden
Room. This light and airy room lends itself beautifully to
civil wedding ceremonies and opens out onto a secluded
Walled Garden.
The Oak Room, located on the ground floor, has its own
reception and bar area and seats up to 90 guests for a
wedding breakfast. Evening functions for up to 150 guests
can be catered for by hiring the interconnecting Garden
At the front of our hotel, Swan Terrace provides a unique
opportunity to capture Wells Cathedral as a stunning
backdrop for wedding photographs.
Wedding feature:Layout 1
Page 23
Looking forward to 2015
WE are poised on the cusp
of an exciting New Year for
mothers of the bride and
groom, according to
Compton House of Fashion
in Wedmore, with new
designs, colours and styles
flooding in from their
They say wedding hats
and, increasingly, fascinators
are being seen as the chance
to show everyone just how
proud you are of your lovely
Compton House of
Fashion does two buys per year. Their biggest and most
important buy is in the summer when they travel to London to
see the amazing new collections for the Spring and Summer
Season of the following year.
They say: “For 2015 the designers have created some
stunning Mother of the Bride wedding outfits.
We have found that in the past few seasons the colours do not
differ too much between seasons which we like, as we feel it
gives our ladies an array of choice regardless of the month of
which their special day is.”
Top service
TOPLINE Catering have vast experience in catering for all types
of events in all sorts of venues and their friendly and relaxed
approach to organising a memorable occasion helps reduce the
stress and strain that can spoil the excitement of planning your
dream wedding.
From the initial enquiry, menu planning, sourcing great local
ingredients, service on the day – everything is discussed, arranged
and carried out in a slick and professional manner with pleasant
and helpful staff ensuring that the event runs smoothly and all
guests are properly looked after.
Don’t just stick to the traditional – Topline Catering have
imaginative barbecue, big pan and sharing platter menus as well
as the usual hot meal and fork buffet menus. For fabulous freshly
prepared food and top class, no nonsense service get in touch with
Topline Catering on 01275 333308.
Crossword page:Layout 1
Page 1
Using the Sleep and Home
buttons of your iOS device
(Continuing on from last month)
APPLE products are referred to as iOS
Devices – but here referred to as
Your iDevice has two buttons – the
home button at the base of the front and
the sleep (or wake) button near the top
right-hand corner. Here are a few notes on how to use them.
1. How to Restart your iPad/iPhone
The first answer to any techi problem is “turn it off and turn it
on again”, so if your iDevice is feeling slow or if some of the
apps aren’t feeling very responsive, you can restart the device.
Press and hold the Sleep button for about four seconds and
then swipe your finger to power off the device. Now press and
hold the Sleep button for a few seconds again – until the
Apple logo appears – to restart.
This won’t close any of the apps that may be running in the
background before the shutdown. But you might lose unsaved
work – such as an email you were writing before restarting the
2. How to Hard Reset your iPad/iPhone
In most cases, restarting an iDevice should fix the issues but if
you are not able to restart the device, you may do a “hard
reset” and bring your frozen device back to life again.
Simultaneously press and hold the home button and the
sleep button for about 8-10 seconds until the Apple logo
appears. The device will now restart. If you don’t press the
buttons simultaneously, you’ll end up taking a screenshot.
If you don’t touch the screen for two minutes, iPad locks
You can change how long iPad waits to lock itself. And you
can set a passcode to unlock iPad, which would prevent
anyone else from using it without your consent. To set the
auto-lock time, go to Settings > General > Auto-Lock.
To set a passcode, go to Settings > Passcode. Make sure you
remember what you set!
Submitted by IT for the Terrified :
The Old Cowshed, Station Road, Cheddar BS27 3AG
01934 741751 •
[email protected]
We reopen after the Christmas break on 5th January 2015. Two Open
House sessions for your to drop in to find out more about us on
Wednesday 7th January at 1.30-3.30 and Friday 9th January at 10-12.
Followed by workshops on iPad and Tablets and courses on eBay and
Photos, all of which must be pre-booked. We also run a COMPUTER
DROP IN session 1.30-2.00 Thursday afternoons. Call in for a quick word
of advice/help/info.
This article is for guidance only, and the opinion of the writer. For more in
depth information, please contact us.
We offer individual training, at a pace to suit you; a session lasts two
hours and costs £10. We can cover a range of subjects – including absolute
basics; photo management; shopping online; emailing; Word processing,
spreadsheets; basic web design; etc. on a range of devices, including
Windows XP/Vista/W7/W8: Macs: Tablets: iPads: smartphones.
See our website or contact us for further details.
Or if you can spare two hours a week and have skills on any level with any
type of computer that you would like to share with others, please get in
The Mendip Mindbender
1. Mad rush to reach exquisite
village (12)
9. Offline? (9)
10. It is vital you keep state
secrets (5)
11. No further clue is necessary!
12. King is as surrounded and
encompassed by opposing
sibling as constitutes a state
of chaos (8)
13. Another retest in Somerset (6)
15. Strikes surround lack of hard
line security (5,3)
18. Libellous poems sully
director (8)
19. Avoid lifesaver (6)
21. HRH as OAP rebuilds old
monarchy (8)
23. Lawyer and schools
leadership may be shedding
light (6)
26. Night before National Trust
meeting (5)
27. Puts off relief in an anarchic
East (9)
28. Sell ice cream illegally as a
diversionary tactic (7,5)
1. Slimmed down BBC
transport (7)
2. Confuse winter blue on
distorted display (5)
Walkers lacking confidence
emulate swimmer in a state of
rest (9)
Long sounds (4)
I get into trouble with fake in
old academy for the arts (8)
For the sake of realism it has
to include a great thinker (5)
Gardeners absorb newfangled
idea of repeating patterns (7)
Father managed nothing! I
avert suspicion (8)
Shown up old sandstone cliffs
Cold call blunder anything
but nice (9)
History has colourless old
king open first race (8)
Loan repaid spontaneously
which is understood to be
unheard of (7)
Fighters follow procedure as
being backed up at the outset
leads to three sides taking fire
Gives the game away by
taking a different route (5)
Could be a tin of beans holds
credible alternative to local
restaurant? (3,2)
Kudos is what invigorates a
national identity (4)
Compiled by Felkov
Answers on Page 81
News page 25:Layout 1
Page 1
Sign shows the way
for local communities
NEW road signs in place around Radstock are the first of their
kind in the United Kingdom as part of an initiative to generate a
greater sense of community.
The new signs – similar ones have also been put up at
Writhlington, Haydon and Clandown – feature images of local
landmarks and have been developed by the Department for
Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Transport.
Bath and North East Somerset Council commissioned the
signs which were produced by disabled and disadvantaged
former service personnel at Royal British Legion Industries in
The council was able to persuade the government that different
signs should be used for each area because they are “distinct”
communities. Usually, all road signs within a local authority area
have to be of the same design.
The striking photography used on the new signs was taken by
Peasedown St John-based Viewpoint Photography. The three
Radstock signs depict the miners’ wheel and museum clock
tower; two Haydon signs feature its community garden; the
Writhlington sign has an orchid from the world-renowned orchid
project at Writhlington School and the Clandown sign shows a
view across the countryside with the former Holy Trinity Church
in the foreground.
Councillor Dine Romero, the council’s joint Cabinet Lead for
The RBLI manufacturing plant in Kent
Lions’ tree of light
CHEDDAR Vale Lions Club celebrated
its third year of Tree of Light, where
residents of the Cheddar Valley are invited
to sponsor a light in memory of a loved
one or cause.
Cheddar Valley Voices with Kate Lynch
Welcome to Radstock: the official unveiling of one of the new signs.
Pictured (l:r) are: councillor Paul Crossley (leader of B&NES), cllr
Dine Romero, Geoff Streetley, cllr Martin Veal (chairman of
B&NES), cllr Flyff McLaren (Radstock town council), cllr Simon
Allen and Brian Perrett, chairman of Radstock Residents
the Community Covenant, said: “In 2013, Bath and North East
Somerset Council signed a Community Covenant which
encourages local communities to support the armed forces and
promote understanding and awareness of issues affecting them.
We are pleased to have been able to commission the signs from
Royal British Legion Industries as part of our commitment to the
Community Covenant.”
Her counterpart, councillor Simon Allen, said: “We’re
delighted with these new gateway signs which reflect the strong
sense of local pride and identity of these communities, especially
at such an exciting time for Radstock as the new-look town
centre starts to take shape.”
RBLI is a registered not-for-profit charity that provides
rehabilitation, accommodation and employment. Geoff Streetley,
RBLI Director of Commercial, said: “We are delighted that Bath
and North East Somerset Council has decided to use RBLI to
supply new gateway signs. Manufactured with cutting-edge
technology and made by armed forces veterans in our social
enterprise, these signs will allow us to support more ex-service
personnel across the UK.
“This shows the council’s commitment to the Community
Covenant as it is relationships with councils like Bath and North
East Somerset that allow us to provide continued support to
The dedication service was led by the
Rev Sue Rose. Cheddar Valley Voices
under the direction of Kate Lynch sang
Christmas music prior to the service and
carols were accompanied by Cheddar
Valley Music Club Brass Band led by
Anne Higgs.
Over £767 has been raised so far this
year and sponsorship will be accepted up
to December 20th. Last year all the money
raised was donated to youth projects
within the Cheddar Valley and as in the
past no administration money will be
taken from donations.
The Rev Sue Rose, members of Cheddar
Valley Music Club Brass Band together
with Lion President Judith John and
organiser of the Tree of Light Lion Glyn
Arts & Antiques section:Layout 1
Page 26
£1 books and massive online selection!
Family friendly with Children's area
Free spacious parking and Free WiFi
[email protected]
01761 451 333
The Full Stop Café
offers delicious, original
locally sourced
home-made food, and
fresh coffee.
O U T, A L L
at Bookbarn International, Wells Road,
Hallatrow, Bristol BS39 6EX
01761 451 764
L O C AT I O N !
Arts & Antiques section:Layout 1
Page 27
Big boys’ toys
from Tamlyns
TAMLYNS Collectors’ Sale on
February 17th next year will include
an unusual clockwork toy by
Gebruder Bing of Germany, modelled
as a child pulling a toy sailing boat.
Based in Nuremberg, Bing started
making toys in the 1880s and by the
beginning of the 20th century they
were the largest manufacturers of toys
in the world. Their export market
dried up during WWI and although
they continued manufacturing
between the wars, by 1927 they were
having serious problems and stopped
production in 1933.
They made high quality toys which
were expensive in their day and are
sought after by collectors today. They
are well known for their trains and
cars but this toy is rather different and
possibly quite rare.
The sale will also have a large
collection of Beatles memorabilia
amassed by a local fan who loved the
sound they produced from the moment
they first started to the time they spilt
up – there will be all manner of
“ephemeral” items including posters,
books, fan club material, wallpaper,
tin of talc and a large collection of
scrap books with numerous cuttings
beautifully glued in to them.
Entries are now being accepted for this sale. Contact Tamlyns on 01278 445251 for further information.
Arts & Antiques section:Layout 1
Page 28
Clevedon Salesrooms review of 2014
CLEVEDON Salerooms rounded off the
2014 calendar of sales with one of their
most successful quarterly specialist sales in
the firm’s history and their largest ever
fortnightly sale.
The year started well, with the first
specialist sale in March including a rare
Rolex ref:8171 self-wind triple calendar
moon-phase wristwatch. Known to Rolex
connoisseurs as ‘The Padellone’ (Italian for
Frying Pan – a reference to the larger than
normal 38mm diameter of the case) this
watch was one of approximately 1,000
examples produced by Rolex between
1949 and 1952.
This short production run coupled with
its complex movement are the grounds for
the appeal to collectors. Estimated at
£22,000 – £28,000 the watch had an
interesting history, originally the property
of a British diplomat based in the French
Riviera during the post-war period.
All phone lines were booked prior to the
auction and as the bids increased, so the
temperature rose, leaving two bidders, a
collector from Switzerland pitted against
another from Hong Kong. The gavel
dropped and the new owner from Hong
Kong parted with £69,000 for the privilege,
further cementing the saleroom’s reputation
for achieving the highest prices on fine and
rare watches.
The 100th anniversary of the outbreak of
the First World War has increased interest
and values of related items. An historically
important Military Cross group awarded to
Captain Vivian Sumner Simpson 12th
Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment
was the most poignant lot of the year as it
included two bound albums containing
over 90 hand-written letters from Simpson
Rolex Ref: 8171 ‘Padellone’ 18ct
Wristwatch – sold at Clevedon for £69,000
to his brother, along with photographs and
Simpson played for Sheffield Wednesday
before the war and had scored a hat-trick
against Manchester United before serving
in France, being wounded and returning
again to the front despite having the option
to remain in England. On April 13th 1918
Simpson was shot by a sniper. Described in
a letter as ‘The finest man in the regiment’
he left a wife and young family.
The successful bidder was the Yorks and
Lancaster Regiment Museum, alerted to
the lot by Clevedon Salerooms a couple of
months before the sale, allowing them time
to find the £6,950 required to secure the lot
for future generations.
Snow in June seemed unlikely but the
bidders interested in this Parisian winter
landscape by Antoine Blanchard depicting
Notre Dame were undeterred. Measuring
58cm by 89cm, the oil on canvas was
A pair of Chinese hardwood demi-lune
tables – Sold at Clevedon for £26,000
Military Cross Group awarded to Captain
Sumner 12th Battalion York & Lancaster
Regiment – Sold at Caledon for £6,950
number of specialist jewellery valuation
days resulting in more than 150 choice lots
of fine jewellery and a further 40 lots of
fine wrist and pocket watches. A 1950s
Cartier brooch created interest from around
the globe and two telephone bidders took
shots at the bird-shaped brooch, the
winning bidder ruffling a few feathers
when parting with £23,500.
During the year Clevedon Salerooms
popped up in their regular marquee
furnished to look like a country house
interior at the North Somerset Show; laid
on the annual study day for St Peter’s
Hospice Charity shop managers, as well as
conducting numerous charity auctions,
hosting valuation events and giving talks,
all helping to raise funds for local and
national charities.
Clevedon Salerooms would like to thank
all of their clients for contributing to a
successful 2014 and look forward to
welcoming clients, old and new at the first
Antiques, Interiors, Collectables and
Jewellery Sale of 2015 to be held on
Thursday January 8th. They look forward
to offering your items to the widest
possible audience to achieve the highest
possible price.
secured for £16,500 with two further works
by the artist not far behind.
The oriental market has become more
selective but for the finest items money
appears to be no object. A pair of 19th
century Chinese hardwood demi-lune
tables came from a
house in Westonsuper-Mare where the
instruction was to sell
anything of value.
Two Chinese internet
bidders intent on
bringing the tables
home squared up
against one another
with the successful
bidder parting with
£26,000 for the
The build-up to the
final specialist sale of Antoine Blanchard oil on Canvas – Notre Dame, Paris – Sold at
2014 included a
Clevedon for £16,500
Arts & Antiques section:Layout 1
Page 29
Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Sale Highlights
2015 Auction
now available
Tel: 01934 830111 or 0117 325 6789
The Auction Centre, Kenn Road, Kenn, Clevedon, Bristol BS21 6TT
Arts & Antiques section:Layout 1
Page 30
Another busy month at Mendip Auction Rooms
DECEMBER was a busy month at Mendip Auction Rooms with
the first staging of a two-day sale that saw 1,200 lots go under
the hammer with lots having to be displayed in an additional
revamped saleroom.
Items offered included an interesting iron Gladius Mainz
pattern infantry sword dating from the first or second century
and probably Roman with an estimate of £2,000 – £3,000. An
oil on canvas entitled “By The Thames” by Percy William
Gibbs (Estimate £1,000 – £1,500) also met with strong interest.
The next sale to be staged at the auction rooms will be of
Antiques, Fine Art and Collectables on January 10th with a sale
of Victorian and Later Effects on January 20th. A calendar with
the sale dates for 2015 is available from the auction rooms.
The auction rooms are open for valuations every Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday from 10am to 5pm or a valuer is happy to
make a visit to your home at a time to suit you to value items
and discuss the auction process.
Alternatively, the team provide free online valuations – send
an email to [email protected] They can be
contacted on 01749 840770.
Kilver Court ad:Layout 1
Page 1
Business section:Layout 1
Page 32
Which side of the digital
divide is your business?
ENCOURAGING small businesses into Somerset is something we
can all agree is a good thing.
All business starts off small but entrepreneurial people with
drive and determination start the businesses that eventually
become significant local employers. The fact that Mendip is an
area of outstanding natural beauty, with a choice of schools, great
food, independent retailers, markets, pubs and restaurants surely
helps to attract people wanting to run their own small businesses
while providing their families with a great quality of life?
Well yes, and no. Looking more carefully at what business
people want and need, Mendip doesn’t fare so well when it comes
to roads, rail, telephony and internet connectivity. Of these four
infrastructures, telephony and internet connectivity improvements
would cost a small fraction of road or rail – just look at the costs
of the Government’s A303 road improvement announcement
ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement!
Perhaps we’re sleepwalking into a problem? Many people’s
reaction to broadband provision in Somerset is: “Well, I think I’m
getting enough, it isn’t too bad.” However, an incomer used to a
connection 10 or 20 times faster may not have the same view.
There are many and increasing numbers of services provided over
the internet that simply won’t work over slower connections – and
we already have evidence that businesses will not consider taking
on premises with a slow connection. Within a few years this is
likely to mean home owners in areas with slow connections are
attracting fewer viewings and property prices will be affected.
Gaining information about connectivity upgrades is painful.
Neither Somerset County Council nor BT will reveal plans in any
detail. We hear that some areas, such as David Cameron’s rural
constituency in the Cotswolds, can expect 100% of properties to
get a half decent internet speed, however targets for Somerset are
substantially lower and very vague.
Does it matter? If you’d like your business to experience
broadband that allows blistering fast downloads and uploads,
reliable internet telephony, video on demand, video conferencing
and other 21st century services, why not come along to the
Mendip Hub on Southover, Wells?
If you feel it is damaging to Somerset’s economy for so many to
be on the wrong side of the “digital divide” make your voice
heard with our elected representatives!
Judith Ludovino, The Mendip Hub
Duvets & Bedspreads washed & dried
Sheets and Duvet covers
washed and pressed
Professional efficient service
Collection & delivery service in the
Chew Valley
Tel 01761 451787
01275 332966
Page 33
Complete business service
POOLBRIDGE Accountancy, launched in May this year, is a
new accountancy practice located in Poolbridge Business
Centre, near Wedmore. It is headed by local accountant,
Caroline Phillimore.
Caroline previously ran her own practice in the area for ten
years before heading the finance department for an
international group of companies. Poolbridge Accountancy
services a wide variety of companies from local sole traders
turning over £30,000 to international companies with a
£4million turnover.
They specialise in preparing management reports, such as
monthly management accounts, budgets and cash flow
statements, working either with the company’s own
bookkeeper or taking total responsibility for the company’s
bookkeeping requirements.
They work with businesses to implement systems and
procedures, which streamline and enhance the company’s
finances. Caroline said: “We have a strong team with over 50
years’ experience within finance that also provides much more
than an accountancy service. At Poolbridge the team provide
accountancy, bookkeeping, payroll and CIS, a virtual office
with a dedicated PA, both serviced offices and hot desk
services. We also have high specification printers, meeting
rooms, free parking and our own dedicated lease line
providing fast broadband. We have a complete range of
services for businesses.”
Photo by Ignyte Limited, Radstock.
Business section:Layout 1
Get your Se
from £100
Follow them on Twitter: #SWAccountant
TOWENS are now offering Skip hire and Waste management services from their new facility at Clutton
Extensive range of competitively priced skips and containers
Experienced and helpful drivers
Permanently sited skips and containers
Wait and loads
Discounts available on pre-sorted waste e.g. all hardcore or inert
soil etc sorted into one skip or container
Towens Waste Management Ltd | The Old Coal Yard | Marsh Lane | Clutton BS39 5ST
T 01761 453200 | M 07872 489335 | Website:
Business section:Layout 1
Page 34
Old Mill adds to the team
WEST Country accountancy
and financial planning
practice Old Mill has further
added to its thriving rural
services team with the
appointment of consultant
Mark Shelton.
Although he will work
out of Old Mill’s Wells
office, he will cover the
whole South West region,
focussing on specialist
expert witness and forensic
accountancy work, as well
as helping agri-food clients
with finance and business planning.
Andrew Vickery, head of rural services at Old Mill, said:
“Mark has rich pedigree of experience in the farming and food
sectors, with over 30 years’ experience. After 10 years in
practical farming he qualified as an accountant with PwC in
Reading in 1992 and then spent 10 years with Deloitte in
In recent years Mr Shelton had his own specialist accounting
practice in Wells before working with other accountants and as
an interim financial director for a growing food business. In
2012 he was also national chairman of the British Institute of
Agricultural Consultants.
Up to
up to
£500 OFF
50% OFF
Business section:Layout 1
Page 35
Car advice
DUNCAN Wood has turned
his passion for motoring
into a respected business,
Bristol Car Consultant, with
the aim of saving money for
local motorists. Whether
you are buying or selling a
car, or just want motoring
advice, please call or email
– he will do all he can to
help you.
Independent Advice, Practical
Assistance, Buying, Selling,
Maintenance, Repairs
Planning Applications
Listed Building
Building Regulations
Care & Repair
New Houses – Extensions
Conversions & Refurbishments
[email protected]
For a free consultation,
please contact Rob
Tel: 0800 458 4283
Mob: 07818 212 532
[email protected]
Duncan Wood
Tel: 07983 262310
Must enjoy working outdoors, physically fit.
We are looking for
FULL TIME MARQUEE ERECTOR/RIGGER (no experience required, will train
for an excellent long-term future). To work in a small team, erecting marquees and
installing furnishings. During the winter, assisting with minor duties on the farm.
Monday – Friday 8.30- 5.30. Must have driving licence, ideally with 7.5t lorry
licence, if not we will get you trained.
Helping with marquees, must have a car driving licence.
STUDENTS FOR SUMMER – some keen, able bodies home from University,
own transport to get to work is important.
Will be looking to fill these vacancies in the spring.
Pay will depend upon experience etc.
CV to: Jeremy Griffin, [email protected]
JG Marquees, Nettwood Farm, East Harptree, Bristol BS40 6DA.
Tel 01761 221366
Christmas Events feature:Layout 1
Page 14
The moon rises above the
gardens and a willow
sculpture, especially
illuminated as part of the
Floral designer Cathryn Humphries (front left) with members of
Wells and District Floral Arts Society who together created the
stunning Narnia-themed display in the private chapel as part of the
Palace’s Winter Festival
The willow lion in the chapel, from The Lion, The Witch and the
A glimpse of Christmas future? One of the stunning displays
Father Christmas with (left to right) Izzy, Zackary, Luke, Karen,
Lawrence and the Christmas Elf, Tracey King
This year’s Advent
Fun Workshop held
by All Saints'
Church, Publow in
Pensford Memorial
Hall, was hailed
another success.
Georgina and
Abigail are pictured
making an advent
Christmas Events feature:Layout 1
Page 15
Kath Dymond (left) and Denise Moore,
from Midsomer Norton Methodist
Church take part in the nativity event
Ian Glichrist, vice chairman of Bath and North East Somerset
Council, joins Paul Myers, the mayor of Midsomer Norton and the
town’s carnival royalty to switch on the lights
Sammy and Isabelle in the
nativity stable run by Welton
Baptist Church
The newly-formed Midsomer Norton branch of the Forever Friends
Appeal for Bath’s Royal United Hospital ran one of the community
stalls on the night
Stella won first prize
in the lantern making
Education section:Layout 1
Page 38
Setting individual goals
At Chilton Cantelo School, near
Sherborne and Yeovil, we believe
that every child is an explorer.
We help our pupils achieve their
potential by giving them space to
grow, creating an environment
that inspires every day.
Open Day
16 January
Year 7
Scholarship Day
3 February
Telephone: 01935 850555 | 3-18 years | Co-ed | Day, Boarding
Award winning Children’s Day Nursery
Next Steps
Childcare Centre
Baby room - Nursery - Pre-school - Forest School
Highly qualified team. Excellent secure rural location.
Funding available for 2-3-4 year olds
Gardening, Yoga, Music & Dance, Cookery
01749 346808
The Royal Bath & West Showground • Shepton Mallet BA4 6QL
Ofsted 2009 “Outstanding partnership with parents”. “Children have great fun freedom
exploring the world outside in the fresh air, Excellent organised activities.”
An exclusive Children’s Day Nursery delivering exceptional
care & education in an award winning environment
SET in 20 acres of beautiful parkland, Chilton Cantelo School is
located near Sherborne and Yeovil. A co-ed, day and boarding
school for children aged 3-18, the school brings out the best in its
pupils by tailoring learning goals and objectives for each one of
The school provides full, weekly and occasional boarding. Bus
transport for pupils around Somerset offers flexible daily routes as
well as for weekly boarders.
Daily after-school activities are provided as well as weekend
programmes for boarders. All pupils attend at least three activities
a week which range from chamber choir to vehicle repairs.
Chilton Cantelo is part of Cognita Group, a world leader in
independent education and the UK’s largest network of
independent schools.
Details: Call 01935 850555 to attend an Open Day or to
arrange a visit at any time.
We are champions!
EAST Harptree Nursery PreSchool and Forest School are
delighted to announce their
success in achieving the
accolade of Communications
Quality Kite Mark.
The citation says they
provide “a wealth of rich
experiences that children can
enjoy on a regular basis,
exciting opportunities for
extending children's
experiences in learning and
communication and this
Our vision
To provide a rich, stimulating environment, enabling all our
children to achieve their full potential.
Our beliefs
Forest School
Ofsted 2010 “Children have developed good language and number skills and
show a passion for exploring and investigating their world.”
“These skills will help support their future learning”
Funding now available for 2-3-4 year olds
Wells Road Latcham Wedmore BS28 4SA
01934 713527
We believe in the ethos of the Early Years Foundation Stage, e.g.
• Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the
support that enables them to fulfil their potential.
• Children develop quickly in the early years and their
experiences between birth and the age of five have a major
impact on their future life chances.
Our Practice – we will
• consider the individual interests and development of all our
children by observing, recording and reflecting on the
experiences offered and the planning of individual programmes
to fulfil these.
• value each and every child, allowing time for all children and
celebrating their individuality and their successes.
Opening hours
Mon – Fri
8.00am – 5.00pm
Term time only
standard is a real strength of
your setting”.
The school strives to
maintain high standards for all
their children and families and
achieving this Quality Mark is
acknowledgement of the hard
work and dedication of their
enthusiastic staff team.
They are true champions of
their ethos: “Where children
come first.”
The school is also
celebrating the opening of its
new outdoor play area,
following a successful
fundraising event earlier in the
year – a gig by the band
Midlife Crisis which raised
Education section:Layout 1
Page 39
All Hallows celebrates
sporting success
ALL Hallows Preparatory School adopts
a ‘Sport for All’ ethos, aiming to instil in
all children a love of sport and a healthy
lifestyle for life. Many children take part
in a wide range of team and individual
sports and activities throughout the year
with some fantastic results and a lot of
fun and enjoyment along the way!
It has been an exciting few months with
the following representative honours on
top of some great team successes in the
core sports:
Fencing Gold Medal – Salvador Luther
Payne, a Year 7 pupil, took the gold
medal in fencing at Millfield at the Leon
Paul Junior Series – a national
Mendip Schools Cross Country Series –
All Hallows children took three silver
team medals and one bronze.
Somerset Netball Academy –
congratulations to Alice Dymond on
gaining selection.
Junior Academy, England Hockey
development programme –
congratulations to Beth Eke, Alice
Dymond, Maddie Ley-Morgan and
Phoebe Williams.
Somerset U15 County Rugby –
congratulations to Beth Eke.
South West Prep Schools U11s & U13s –
congratulations to Arthur Green, Rob
Dymond, Daniel Hendry and Gregor
Somerset Prep Schools Rugby –
congratulations to Gregor Gaggero, Louis
Roberts, Tom Griffiths and Joe Tomkins.
England IPAC Hockey – former pupils
Victoria McCabe and Annie Wooler have
been selected at their respective age
U15 Spanish National Rugby – former
pupil Matteo Mendizabel has been
selected to play rugby for Spain at Under
15 level.
GB U21 Hockey Squad – congratulations
to former pupil Ed Horler.
For information on Sports Scholarships please contact [email protected]
Education section:Layout 1
Page 40
St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School
Charlton Road, Midsomer Norton BA3 4BD
‘Growing Together Through Christ’
Where every day is an OPEN DAY
Please call 01761 418594 to make an appointment
We are a smaller than average school and pride ourselves on our
caring approach and our ability to meet every child’s needs, helping
them develop and ensure they reach their full potential, whilst growing
in the love of Christ. We welcome children of all faiths. We also offer
wrap-around care as well as an independent on-site Nursery
Come and see for yourselves what the St Benedict’s experience
can do for your child.
Mendip Times
reduces travel costs
100,000 potential customers within
a short distance of your business
College merger completed
A MERGER between Norton Radstock and City of Bath
colleges has been confirmed by the government.
The go-ahead was given by Nick Boles, the Minister for
Skills and Equalities. Henry Logan, acting principal at Norton
Radstock College, said: “I believe this is a positive outcome
for the college, its staff and students.
“It will bring financial security and secure further education
for the district. We will be able to combine resources to
continue the rapid quality improvement that we have begun at
Norton Radstock College.
“We will now be working together on the detail to make
this happen. This quite rightly will take time. Current courses
are not affected; it is business as usual while this behind the
scenes work takes place. This is an exciting time for the future
of vocational education in Bath and North East Somerset.”
The combined college will provide specialist vocational and
education training for more than 3,000 full-time students and
around 10,000 part-time students across a broad range of
Norton Radstock College is one of the largest employers in
North Somerset with 200 full and part-time staff and caters for
approximately 700 full-time students and 5,000 part-time,
studying a wide range of courses over 13 curriculum areas.
The college has been transformed over the years from a
collection of wooden huts to purpose-built complex
Family approach
ST. BENEDICT’S is a school with the Spirit of Christ’s love at
its heart. They offer a rich, exciting curriculum coupled with top
quality teaching and first class resources all wrapped up in a
warm, caring environment.
They make your child’s well-being and education their
priority so every child has the freedom and support to express
their individuality and creativity. They believe that success,
endeavour and friendship should be celebrated together as a
community – the St. Benedict’s family.
They are delighted to announce they have just achieved
‘Dyslexia Friendly’ status for the second time! The staff were
praised for their calm, detailed and effective approach to
learning needs and the way that children with dyslexia are
included seamlessly in all areas of school life.
They cater for the whole child and work tirelessly towards
total inclusion, thus ensuring that every child reaches their
Wildlife DPS:Layout 1
Page 41
MY goal for 2015 is
to help more people
become involved in
wildlife conservation.
I often hear
inspirational stories
about local
community initiatives
to help wildlife, not
led by the big
charities we all hear about, but by
ordinary people standing up for wildlife
issues within their own local area. Most
don’t possess outstanding wildlife
knowledge, just a drive to protect what
they enjoy seeing and hearing when in
their garden or out walking.
It works because they know, or get to
know, the local landowners and
politicians and decision-makers, as well
as other like-minded people in their
community. Where specialist knowledge
or support is needed, there are always
people like myself who can come in and
The State of Nature Report published
recently pulled data together from some
25 wildlife conservation organisations. It
concluded that 60% of species in the UK
are in decline and that 10% are heading
towards extinction within the next 40
years. Nature conservation seems to
constantly be full of doom and gloom,
sometimes on a biblical scale, for
example the World Wildlife Fund stated
recently that in the last 40 years the earth
has lost 50% of all wildlife!
There are many hard-working charities
and other organisations fighting to reverse
the destruction of our wildlife and wild
Jan Osborne and Teresa Day at the launch
of the Community Owl Project
places, but I believe it’s time to call in the
cavalry. If the amazing diversity of
wildlife we’ve inherited on this earth is to
survive for the future then its protection
needs to be led from a local level and by
local people.
For proof of how this can really work
you need look no further than the
Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife
Action Group (YACWAG). Formed in
1999, YACWAG’s purpose was to
enable local people to come together
and purchase (through grants from
various bodies) a ten-acre field deemed
to be under threat.
The objective was to purchase this land
and protect it for the parishes forever.
Since that early success YACWAG has
gone on to recruit more than 200
members and successfully purchase an
additional four nature reserves. Its
members also help maintain part of the
Strawberry Line, as well as the
magnificent Cadbury Hill, a North
Somerset Council reserve, and various
other sites.
This is local people making a major,
tangible difference to their local
environment, now and for the future. If
you would like more information about
YACWAG then look at their website
( ) where you will
find their contact details. They are a very
friendly group and always willing to share
their knowledge, and are always looking
for volunteers.
Photography by Chris Sperring
Make a resolution and get involved this year – it can be a hoot!
If you need any more inspiration, just
look at the picture which I took in
October. It shows two of YACWAG’s
founders, Tony and Faith Moulin (wearing
high vis jackets), along with some of their
volunteers holding a clutch of barn owlets
from one of the nestboxes on their reserve
(the owlets were taken briefly out of the
nestbox to have BTO rings fitted).
From this same nestbox a brood of
tawny owls had fledged earlier in the
year, followed by a brood of stock doves
and now a late brood of barn owls. This is
not a magic box, it simply shows that
when you create good wildlife habitats
then wildlife can and will thrive.
I wish everyone a happy 2015, and
remember everyone can make a difference
for wildlife.
G If anyone would like to learn more
about owls, then please come along to
the launch – previewed in last month’s
Mendip Times – of our new Community
Owls Project on Saturday, January 17th
(2pm to 6pm – booking not required), in
Caryford Community Hall, Castle Cary,
BA7 7JJ. The event includes: craft sale,
meet and learn about barn owls, family
activities, refreshments and nature walk,
after which I will be giving a talk
(booking is required for this). The event
is organised by Give 2 Hoots – a group
of volunteer supporters of the
Community Owls Project. Contact:
[email protected] for more
information and booking.
Chris Sperring is Conservation Officer for the Hawk and Owl Trust
Contact him on 07799 413 918 or via [email protected]
Walking DPS:Layout 1
Page 42
Hills, caves and castle
Sue is having two months’ break from
writing new walks, but has suggested
we re-run a walk dating right back to
the start of Mendip Times. This
ramble from Banwell was in Issue 4,
September 2005, and has been rewalked and is still as good as ever.
A SHORT, fine figure-of-eight walk
from Banwell taking you up above the
beautiful Yeo Lox Valley. It is an area
with evidence of much early settlement
in the valley and this walk passes close
to the very special Banwell Bone
Caves. Walking is easy, dry underfoot
on paths, tracks and quiet lanes and
begins with a steady climb to Banwell
Hill at the start, followed by flat and
downhill sections. There are a number
of stiles some better maintained than
others. En-route there is no refreshment
but options in Banwell.
Although the M5 runs down the Yeo
With Sue Gearing
Lox Valley, this walk nevertheless gives
you much peace, beauty and interest.
PARK: In Banwell village, about four
miles west of Weston-super-Mare on the
busy A371. Park in the free car park in
the centre, well signed off the main road.
START: Turn right from the car park and
along the pavement. Cross Wolvershill
Road and continue a few more yards
before crossing the main road at the
crossing. Head up the Tarmac footpath,
beginning the ascent of the hill. Go
through an estate of bungalows up to a Tjunction with another road and take the
marked footpath which leads you straight
on and up (it was closed for repairs when
I re-walked it and if still in this state just
follow the road left, up and round to the
High Street).
Reach the attractive old High Street
(aptly named because it is high!) and turn
left, passing Banwell Hill Victorian pump
and a variety of village cottages built in
higgledy-piggledy fashion over the years.
There are good views down over the
village. Reach Rock House and turn up
right on the right of way up Hill Path, to
pass more old houses and enjoy more
views. Carry on up the footpath when the
Tarmac ends and this brings you up onto
the open grassland on Banwell Hill, with
the sounds of the village getting fainter
In the 18th century the hill was an open
pasture and was also being mined for
minerals such as lead, calamine, ochre
and baytes.
Reach a crossing track which used to
be the drive up from Banwell to the
caves. Turn right on this and immediately
cross left over a stile into a field.
Continue along the left side of the field,
still on the old drive, and soon pass a
boulder on your right.
It marks the grave of an unknown
person. A modern human skeleton was
found near Banwell Caves and buried
here in 1842 by William Beard who was
running the caves. The stone is inscribed
with the following:
In 1842 Beard with his kindness brought
me to this spot
As one unknown and long forgot
He made my grave and buried me here
When there was no kind friend to shed a
My bones are here but my spirit is fled
And for years unknown numbered with
the dead
Reader as I am, so shall you be
Prepare for death and follow me
Stay on the left side of the field and
cross a stile into the next. Bear diagonally
across heading for a cottage on the far
side. After another stile, go through part
of a cottage garden and through the fivebar gate to a track.
This may have been part of an old Roman
route from the lead mines of Mendip
heading for the port near Uphill from
where the lead was shipped out. Cross the
track and take the stile opposite. Follow
the path diagonally right down the hill
starting to get your first view of the Lox
Yeo Valley and Crook Peak, the only
pointed hill on Mendip. Pass to the left of
an ash tree and cross a stile. In the next
field drop downhill. Cross a marked stile
Walking DPS:Layout 1
Page 43
and continue down and over another and
carry on down to leave over a third stile
by a metal gate.
Our walk goes right on the lane and at a
junction, turn right and stay on this quiet,
high-hedged route for about half a mile.
Ignore a turn left over the M5. Start to
climb gently and reach a Tarmac farm
track on the right marked with footpath
signs on a power pole. Ahead a little way
up the road are the famous Banwell Bone
Caves (see end for opening details).
To continue, turn right on the farm track
and go through the farm to the right of
barns and along the track. Soon pass a
converted long house. Up left is wooded
Banwell Hill containing some of the
follies associated with Banwell Bone
Caves and also Banwell Tower which you
may be able to see emerging from the
trees. After about another third of a mile,
pass a cottage on the left and come to the
point where you joined the track earlier
on. Now continue along the track (not
retracing) and go through a gate across the
track and on to reach a gate and a road.
Continue in the same direction for a few
yards to reach a crossing footpath.
The field on the right is the site of an old
Roman Villa and a Dark Ages cemetery
but all that remains are grassy mounds.
Excavations have produced a number of
finds, in particular a glass bowl which is
now in the care of the Ashmolian
Museum. Other finds are in Axbridge
Cross the stile on the left and go up the
3.35 miles, about 1.75 hours walking.
OS Explorer 153, Weston super Mare & Bleadon Hill, grid ref: 397 593
right edge of two fields and over a stile
back onto the track on Banwell Hill. Turn
right here and eventually the track brings
you down to a lane. Turn left and soon
arrive at Banwell Castle and the main
The romantic looking castle, dating from
1847, was built in the Gothic revival
style, popular amongst eccentric and
wealthy landowners of the time. It is set
in 25 acres of grounds and has great
Cross the main road with care and go
left and then down Dark Lane which used
to be the main route through Banwell. At
the foot, cross the main road and go left
along the pavement, passing the fire
station, then turn right down the drang
(alley) between walls, coming to Banwell
Go through the churchyard to the right of
the church, passing the tomb of William
Bear. Take the path out the other side and
go down steps and on down to the road.
Here go left and soon come to
Banwell’s cart wash with an explanatory
sign. Take the steps up to the bowling
green which was the site of the old village
pond and mill. It was filled in when the
site was acquired to harness the spring to
provide water for Weston. Continue to the
main road and turn right, passing the old
Malt House which served Banwell’s
former brewery and arrive back at the car
G Banwell Caves: There are two caves in
the grounds of an early 19th century
house which are unique and of national
significance. The Bone Cave contains
bones of animals that are no longer native
to this country and are up to 80,000 years
old. There are various follies in the
grounds including the 50ft high tower.
Full public open days are no longer
offered but groups of 10-20 can visit by
pre-booking. Details are in the private
visits page of the website or contact
[email protected] for an
application form by post.
Members of caving clubs may book in
advance to visit the Bone Cave/Baker
Extension and the Stalactite Cave between
May 1st and end of September. e-mail to:
[email protected]
The Story of Banwell Caves
republished in 2014 describes in detail the
history of the caves and contains
illustrations and photos. It costs £5 plus
£2.00 p&p. Cheques payable to Banwell
Caves Heritage Group, to John Haynes,
The Caves, Banwell, BS29 6NA.
Banwell Castle has a restaurant, and
in the summer serves teas in the
castle itself. Tel: 01934 822263.
Outdoors page:Layout 1
Page 56
West Countryman’s Diary
AS I write this month’s edition, the frost is
still on the roof, but the sun is shining. Only
in the last couple of days have I felt the first
cold of winter, and realised that I can no
longer wander around in just my shirt
My weather memory is always very short
With LES
and the days of wet weather have been
kindly removed from the memory bank. In
its place will be this cold frosty morning, when a steaming mug
of tea makes the perfect companion for two slices of toast (with
plenty of butter) two free range eggs and two rashers of smoked
I have to resist the temptation to continue the line of English
breakfast items purely because of time, but a ‘set up’ meal like
this is a good investment if you intend to get out and about on
winter days. Exercise will burn off any excess calories and there
is both protein and carbohydrate content to keep me going,
possibly even up until mid-morning!
Food is the first essential in staying warm through the winter
months, especially if you are going to be outside working or
enjoying the countryside. There is a lot of discussion about diet
in our modern lives. It’s true that fewer people do physical work
these days, but fat is a fuel that we need, providing there isn’t
too much of it.
The wildlife will have been building up body reserves through
the autumn period in preparation for an expected leaner winter.
The trees held onto their leaves so much longer this time,
drawing down as much food as they possibly could and there
are lots of berries on the bushes, much to the delight of the
birds. No, there won’t be any winter weather predictions from
My orchard work really gets underway in January, but begins
in December with the trip to Cornwall. Trenderway Farm is near
the tiny fishing village of Polperro and just down the road from
Looe. Their 2,000 young trees start the work that will dominate
my life for the next couple of months – pruning. The trees here
are still manageable with secateurs and saw.
Formative pruning to get the right branch structure has in the
main been replaced by branch removal in order to keep an open
tree structure and prevent overcrowding. Later in the season the
secateurs will be replaced by the power pruners and air saw, as
bigger trees are dealt with. This year I will not be carrying out
any restoration work in Devon.
Although I will NOT miss the early starts and late finishes
during those last three years, I will miss being in the old
orchard at Worth Farm and the feeling of a job well done at the
end of each day. There are other orchards that still need my
attention and even though pruning is a relatively repetitive job, I
thoroughly enjoy my work.
For those of you who would like to have a go at your own
apple tree here are a few ‘pointers’. Firstly only prune apples
and pears in the winter months; stone fruit such as cherry and
plum need to be cut when there is still some growth in the tree
that will aid the healing. These trees are prone to a disease
called ‘silver leaf’ that can destroy the tree. Its method of entry
is through tree wounds and there is a lesser risk if they are
pruned when sap is still moving. I have found that September is
a good month.
So let’s stay with the apples and pears: firstly remove any
dead wood from your tree, then turn your attention to broken,
damaged or diseased branches. Don’t remove any more than
25% of living wood from the tree in any one year. If you still
have room in your 25%, tackle crossing, rubbing and very
strong upright branches that threaten to take over the tree.
Finally (if there is still room in your 25%) you can add low
branches that cause you problems when you are cutting the
grass. No need to paint the wounds, just don’t cut them too
close to the main branch or tree trunk.
As for the tools you are going to need, they aren’t
complicated. As always, you get what you pay for and cheap
tools are not an investment, so buy the best that you can afford.
Forget the chainsaw as I doubt that many will be dealing with
lots of trees. Buy a good quality hand pruning saw with
hardened teeth. These can’t be sharpened, but hold their edge
for a long time, and cut on the pull stroke with a curved blade
that helps hold them into the cut.
Always put an undercut below the branch to prevent the wood
tearing, and reduce branch weight by cutting back in stages.
Secateurs can cost a lot of money, but always go for the by-pass
type. These act like scissors and with a sharp blade cause less
damage to the branch. Don’t attempt to cut anything greater
than the thickness of your finger with these and be careful
because they can cut through fingers as well! If you need any
more advice visit my website
With the closure of Glastonbury’s Somerset Rural Life
Museum for a couple of years, there will be no wassail in the
orchard this time. I shall watch with interest the effect that this
lack of encouragement will have upon the crop next year. I have
however been taking a look at what might be happening through
the amount of fruit bud showing in the local orchards. Initial
inspections show ‘potential’, but it will depend upon the
blossom season and the willingness of the pollinating insects to
get out and do the job.
Again like the weather forecasting, no firm predictions from
me. In political speak: “I’ll give you a definite maybe some
time within the next few months.”
This month I’ve gone back to a photo taken in the orchard at
Worth Farm near Cullompton during January 2013. The air lines
are running out from the compressor on the back of my old
Bucher Alpine tractor (which still waits patiently for me to re-fit
the gear box after gear failure). The weather was dry and all
was well with the land. I hope it stays that way this year – I
hope that someone has pulled out the plug, so the water can
drain off the Levels this year.
You can always contact me through my website:
Yeo Valley page:Layout 1
Page 1
Gardening section:Layout 1
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To prune or not to prune
PRUNING of shrubs
appears to be the least
understood of garden
practices and yet with
a little basic
knowledge it can
make all the
difference to the way
your plants perform.
Why do we bother to prune at all? We
prune to encourage the plant to perform to
the best of its ability, whether you wish it
to give you plenty of flowers, coloured
leaves, fruits or coloured stems for winter
effect. We also prune to keep the bush
open, create a good shape, and allow
greater air flow which discourages disease.
The time of year that we prune can have
a dramatic effect on a plant. Pruning
during the dormant season encourages
strong vigorous growth. In general the
harder you prune the faster the plant
Pruning in the summer months
(July/August) discourages vigorous growth
and encourages the development of flower
buds on spurs of older wood. The ideal
time to prune for most flowering shrubs is
immediately after flowering, except for
late flowering sorts that are best left until
early spring.
Some plants “bleed” if pruned once the
sap has started to rise in the spring e.g.
vines, birch, walnut. These must be pruned
while completely dormant. If you have
never heard the sap rising in a birch tree in
spring have a go at this. Press your ear to
the trunk of a birch in early March and
you can actually hear the sap rising. No, I
have not gone bonkers!
If you do accidentally cut one of these
plants and it starts to drip copious amounts
of sap then cauterise it with a blow lamp –
even the sort used in posh kitchens will do
the trick.
Evergreens and slow-growing deciduous
shrubs such as witch hazel, Hibiscus and
Corylopsis need very little pruning other
than removing any dead, damaged,
diseased or crossing branches. Also
remove any shoots that may have reverted
from having variegated foliage to the more
vigorous plain green of the original
Newly planted shrubs should be allowed
to establish before routine pruning is
Strong growing deciduous shrubs that
flower in winter, spring or early summer
(up to late June/early July) e.g. Forsythia,
flowering currant, Weigela, Deutzia and
Philadelphus should have approximately
one third of the older wood thinned out,
cutting as near the base of the plant as
All these flower on wood they made the
previous season. This encourages new
wood which can ripen and flower the
following year. Ideally, do this
immediately they have finished flowering.
Use this approach for deciduous shrubs
grown for their attractive coloured foliage
e.g. purple leaved Berberis or variegated
This “one third” method is also ideal
when trying to rejuvenate old or overlarge
shrubs. If you cut out one third of the
oldest wood and the plant responds well,
then repeat the process the next year and
so on. If the plant does not respond with
new growth from the base it is probably a
good idea to replace it. If attempting to
rejuvenate an old evergreen shrub, always
prune in spring, so that the new growth
appears after the likely incidence of frost
which can distort soft young growth.
Deciduous shrubs that flower later, say
July to October, including Buddleja,
Ceratostigma, Lavatera and Caryopteris,
can be hard pruned in the spring, removing
virtually all the growth they made the
previous season leaving just an inch or
two. This method also applies to plants
grown for their attractive coloured winter
stems, e.g. dogwoods, willows and white
stemmed brambles.
This encourages plenty of new growth
which gives the best coloured stems the
following winter. This can be done every
year or every other year. I also use this
method for cotton lavender (Santolina) as I
do not wish it to produce those bright
yellow button flowers and this also stops it
flopping open too.
There is always a lot of debate about
pruning lavender. I like to trim off the
flower spikes in late summer to neaten up
the shape of the plant and then I further
trim the previous season’s growth back in
late spring. However, it is worth bearing
in mind that in the wet West Country
lavender does not last long looking really
good and I usually encourage
replacement after five years or so.
Buddleja and Lavatera can grow very
large in one season and are prone to
damage during the winter by gales. It is a
good idea to remove the top one third of
the bush in the autumn and then leave the
proper pruning until the late spring.
Winter flowering heathers should be
trimmed over immediately after
flowering, essentially removing the old
flower spikes as this will encourage new
growth and stop the plant becoming leggy
and flopping open.
Simply chopping off the top of a shrub
to reduce its height on a regular basis
only encourages it to grow taller and the
base to get older and woodier. Your
neighbours may reap the benefit of any
flower while you look at a collection of
old bare stems.
Sadly pruning in municipal parks and car
parks these days is done with a hedge
trimmer seemingly trimming them into
amoeboid shapes and thus often preventing
them flowering or even reaching their
potential as individual plants.
If you have not already cut the old
leaves off your Lenten Roses
(Helleborus) then do so promptly as this
helps stop the spread of a black leaf
spotting disease.
May 2015 be the best gardening year
Gardening section:Layout 1
Page 47
G Mist over the tops of houseplants regularly especially
if they are in a room with central heating. Water
carefully; it is better to let plants dry out between
waterings and then give a thorough soak than a small
amount regularly.
G Clean houseplant leaves with leaf shine. Dusty leaves will
struggle in low light at this time of year and polished ones
look so much better!
G Group plants together, the display will look better, but
more importantly, they grow better together as a group.
G Feed indoor plants monthly; but make sure the root ball is
wet first, if not water first!
G Keep Citrus cool unless they are actively growing.
G If your living room is looking bare once you have taken
out the Christmas tree and taken down the decorations,
why not liven up the room with a houseplant
G Keep deadheading Cyclamen, African Violets, Christmas
Cacti and Azaleas to encourage more flowers to open.
Don't forget to keep Cyclamen and Azaleas as cool as
possible for prolonged flowering.
G When the days and nights are very cold, move plants
away from cold windowsills into a warmer place!
G Central heating can dry out houseplants, so stand the
pots in groups on a tray of damp Hydroleca or pebbles.
This will create a humid atmosphere around the plants
but do avoid over watering and position them where
they can make the most of the winter daylight.
Courtesy Cleeve Nursery
Merry Christmas and a Happy
New Year from us all at Cleeve Nursery!
Fantastic Fresh Christmas Trees
Beautiful Houseplants
National Garden Gift Vouchers
and much more!
Cleeve Nursery, Cleeve,
Bristol BS49 4PW
Tel 01934 832134
Email [email protected]
Welcome to
South Coast Fencing
& Fabrications Ltd.
Opening 8.00am – 5.00pm Mon – Fri. 8.00am – 12.00pm Sat
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Bespoke buildings to suit you
We specialise in the manufacture of quality standard and bespoke garden buildings
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Let our dedicated team assist you in your choice whatever your budget . . . Full design,
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We also do: Chicken Houses • Dog Kennels • Bin & Log Stores
Tel: 01934 732 396 • • e.mail: [email protected]
We specialise in the manufacture and installation of ornate steel
products including: Gates, Railings, Curtain Poles, and
Security Grills.
Gate automation and site welding services.
We are based in South Bristol and manufacture and install
bespoke made to measure ornate steel products including Gates,
Railings, Security Grills, and Curtain Poles to both domestic and
commercial customers. We take great pride in our work and
receive frequent recommendations.
Please browse the galleries on our website to get an idea of what
we can do.
Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
0 77 6 9 90 5 19 9
Unit 18, Honeyfield Business Park,
Hartcliffe way, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 5RN.
Gardening section:Layout 1
Page 48
Ston Easton
High quality dry screened or
All sizes graded and single size
New year resolution
WHAT about redesigning your own garden to eliminate some
of the tedious work and increase your enjoyment of the good
bits? Garden designer and tutor Christine Pritchard is running
a short course on three Saturdays over six weeks starting in
February. Based at Stoke Lodge, Stoke Bishop you will learn
how to make an accurate plan of your garden and how to
make the most of the spaces within it.
Christine will take you through a range of garden features
you might incorporate and she will help you choose the right
plants for your plot. You don’t need to be an artist or a great
gardener to enjoy this very informal course.
Stump Grinding and Tree Services, throughout the South West
Large or small
quantities supplied
01761 241387
See our website at
or e-mail us at [email protected]
Prefer to talk to us?
Tel: 01934 710135 • Mob: 07941 908832
News page 49:Layout 1
Page 78
Wedmore by Lamplight
Kings of Wessex school band
RAIN showers didn’t dampen the spirits for Wedmore by
Lamplight. St. Andrew’s Church was packed for the traditional
carol service before village children set off with lanterns to
parade down into the village.
Burtle Silver Band entertained the crowds, from a sheltered
spot in The Borough and shopkeepers and stallholders reported
doing a roaring trade.
Bleadon choir’s success
THE Bleadon WI Choir, the Bleadon Belles, are through to
the finals in a national competition called Singing for Joy,
organised by the NFWI (National Federation of WIs) to
celebrate the centenary year of the Women’s Institute.
The enthusiastic choir have only been together for a year,
but with their choirmaster Andrew King conducting and
accompanied by Matthew Tilke, sang three songs in the
regional finals in Exeter and will now go through to the
finals in Birmingham in March 2015.
They will compete against five other regional finalists and
will be performing a specially commissioned song “Singing
for Joy” composed by Jonathan Willcocks, Honorary Fellow
of the Royal College of Music. The winner will be
performing in the Royal Albert Hall at the centenary
meeting of the NFWI.
National award for
Frome volunteers
The start of the lantern parade
Carols around the
Christmas tree
VOLUNTEERS at the Barnardo’s children’s charity shop in
Frome have received a national award in recognition of their
outstanding dedication and commitment.
The Marsh Trust Award is normally given to an individual
but the judges were impressed by the achievements of the
whole team at the shop in Kingsway Precinct. They were
nominated by Barnardo’s manager Judith Loughlin after both
she and her deputy fell ill last year. Although cover was
provided by other staff from elsewhere, the local volunteers
worked longer hours than normal in order to ensure the shop
remained successful.
The current team consists of 32 volunteers aged from 15 to
84 years old, who in the last six months alone provided more
than 3,900 hours of help. During the same period they
received a total of more than 5,700 bags of donations from
the local community.
Judith said: “Our volunteers are the core around which the
rest of the shop revolves and I was amazed by how they
rallied around during such a difficult time. They were loyal
and steadfast.
“During the busiest period they were receiving around 200
bags of donations each week but they never complained.
They just wanted to carry on raising as much money as
possible for vulnerable and disadvantaged children.”
History feature:Layout 1
Page 50
Family gathers for plaque unveiling
DESCENDANTS of one of the founding fathers of the
modern-day Labour movement gathered in Frome for the
unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the centenary of his
Fred Knee was one of the pioneers of social housing in
Britain and was renowned as a fiery orator, even though he
was just five feet tall.
The plaque was donated and installed on Vallis School in
Milk Street by the Frome Society for Local Study. The group
has now dedicated 15 plaques to local people.
Fred was born in Blunt Street (now Selwood Road) in Frome
in June 1868. He was the second son of James Knee and his
wife, Elizabeth, who were both weavers. The family then moved
to Milk Street and Fred attended Milk Street School before
becoming an apprentice compositor at Butler and Tanner and
then moved to London. The family home was later demolished
to make way for an extension to the school.
It was in London that Fred’s political career flourished. He
joined the Social Democratic Federation and the Cooperative
Society, campaigning for cheap workers’ train tickets and
founded the Workmen’s Housing Council to obtain better
housing for workers.
On election to the
Metropolitan Borough of
Battersea, he became
chairman of the Housing
Committee and started a
major programme of
housebuilding to produce
some of the first council
houses in Britain. He
remained a prominent
The plaque commemorating Fred member of the Social
Democratic Federation and
Knee at Vallis School in Milk
its successor the British
Members of the Knee family at the unveiling
Socialist Party.
He became Secretary of the London Trades Council and
was the first Secretary of the London Labour Party until his
death in December 1914. He was succeeded as Secretary of
the London Labour Party by Herbert Morrison, a future Home
Politicians from across the spectrum attended the unveiling
of the plaque by Roger Knee, Fred’s great grandson.
Fred Knee and his family around 1910 at home in Radlett,
Wartime exhibition stirs memories
MORE than 200 people visited the World War I Exhibition held
in Burrington Parish Room at the end of November. Most
stayed to linger long over the many artefacts displayed, the
letters sent from the front, the official notifications of a loved
one missing or dead, or the cuttings from contemporary
There was an illustrated time-line of the main events of the
war, local photographs and documents, including copies for
handling of fragile originals which were in display cases.
Several visitors found their family names in the old school
register or on census records, some met up with old friends or
even discovered that they shared a family link to a soldier who
gave his life.
The thought-provoking displays stimulated lively discussion
over tea and cake. Donations to military charities raised £168.
On the following Monday morning the pupils of Burrington
Primary School visited the exhibition which included examples
of their own work about WWI.
On sale was the new book Burrington Parish in World War I.
This beautifully presented 230-page book in full colour contains
local research into all those who served, along with details of
life in the parish at the time. As the project benefited from a
Heritage Lottery grant it is available for only £8.
Details: 01761 462491 or 462586 or email: [email protected]
History feature:Layout 1
Page 51
Saving Bristol from the blitz
Last month we reported on a project
researching the history of the decoy town
built on Black Down to divert German
bombers from Bristol during the 2nd World
War. Frank Newbery, aged 90, from
Pensford remembers working there.
Steve Egginton reports.
HAVING survived the bombing of Bristol Aircraft Works Frank
left to start an apprenticeship with Colston Electrical Co. in
Bristol. This started on November 26th, 1940 and the first of six
major blitzes on Bristol was on Sunday November 25th.
Frank worked on all the decoys around Bristol, Weston-superMare, Gloucester, Yeovil and Exeter. Cowlins were the main
contractor but all the layout and technical work was carried out
by Colston Elec..
He said: “Jock Dewer was our contracts manager and the last
work I carried out on decoys was laying out the Cheddar sites,
as we called them, in 1941. These were made to look like
marshalling yard lights layouts with fire box units, all linked to
a generator in a shelter with a concrete roof.”
By this stage of the war the German air campaign had
subsided and he said the Black Down decoy was never used.
But it was a different story elsewhere.
“I remember after the Good Friday night raid the fields on the
decoy north of Chew Magna were littered with bombs. Earlier
in December there were incendiary bombs all over the fields at
Downside, where the golf course is now.
“When Lulsgate emergency landing site came into use, that
decoy was moved to Brockley Woods. There were others at
Stanton Lane, near the old Somerset and Dorset Railway, on the
estuary at Yeo Mouth, Failand, Kenn Moor, and at Uphill. An
RAF man, AC2 Cecil Bright, was awarded the Military Medal
for lighting the site there by hand with a flaming torch, as the
detonator powder was damp.
“Like the bomb disposal team I met at Chew Magna decoy,
they were all as ‘mad as hatters’ but very brave men.
“It’s no accident the decoys were mainly on the south side of
Bristol, because the Germans used the Bristol Channel to
navigate, not only to Bristol, but also to Liverpool and
Birmingham, dropping any bombs they had left on the way
Frank’s job was to install lights that mimicked Bristol’s
docks, railways and other strategic locations and fire
installations which would look like burning buildings. He was
not involved in building the humps on Black Down put there to
stop German gliders landing.
He said: “We built two sections on each site, keeping one in
reserve if one had to be rebuilt. Some of the lights were in
boxes that opened and closed mechanically, simulating the
filling of fires on locomotives. We had angle-iron frames built
as box-like structures and covered them in rolls of hessian,
which looked like buildings collapsing as they fell burning.
“The fire baskets were filled with rags and anything else that
would burn, all soaked in creosote. When I had to put a
detonator into the basket I got covered in creosote and ended up
with sores all over my hands and arms. It took a volt and a half
to set them off.
“Fire baskets were the main units on a Starfish site and were
grouped together all over a site that could cover several fields.
It was the basic form of a decoy that worked very well at
Downside for the second and third major blitz on Bristol and
the sixth on Good Friday at Chew Magna.
“It was a seven-day-a-week job with a coach always available
from Clifton Greys, so when I got to Cowlins down in
Broadweir of a morning I could be taken to any site to work.
Later if I was working on layouts with Jock Dewer I
went to our office in Denmark Street as Jock had a
company van.”
He then went into Colston’s workshop to work on
Admiralty contracts, mainly Asdic (now called Sonar)
training units and continued to work on engineering
projects after the war, moving to Pensford with his
sister Alice about 50 years ago.
Since then he’s become nationally famous for
growing champion dahlias and is still president of
Bristol and District Chrysanthemum and Dahlia
But his memories of the war remain as sharp as ever.
He said: “I may well be one of the last alive who has
such knowledge.”
Health section:Layout 1
Page 52
Drop CLANGERS and stay happy
“TELL me, what is it
you plan to do with
your one wild and
precious life?” So asked
the poet Mary Oliver.
Your life is rushing
past, so how can you
get the most from it?
The healthiest and
happiest people often have a reason, purpose
and passion in life.
They have something to get out of bed for,
but that something varies enormously from
person to person. If you sometimes struggle
to find the point of it all, consider dropping
CLANGERS every day.
The Clangers were, or possibly still are, a
community of mauve moon mice who spoke
in whistles, ate sensible portions of soup
made by a dragon, and blue-string pudding,
and lived a gentle life built around
friendship and the little things. They may
still be doing it, and it’s also great plan for
living well.
CONNECT – With the people around you.
With family, friends, colleagues, neighbours,
strangers and pets. At home, work, school, in
your garden, local community, on your
travels and in on-line communities. Think of
these as the cornerstones of your life and
invest time in developing them.
LEARN – Try something new. Rediscover
an old interest. Sign up for that course. Join
a choir. Take on a different responsibility at
work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an
instrument or how to cook your favourite
food. Develop new passions. Set a challenge
you will enjoy achieving. Learning new
things will make you more confident as well
as being fun.
(BE) ACTIVE – Put your passions into
practice. Go for a walk or run. Step outside.
Cycle. Play a game. Get breathless. Garden.
Dance. Join another choir. Break free from
the four walls and the screen. Doing
anything outdoors makes you feel good.
Discover a physical activity you enjoy and
that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
Try to get a little breathless every day. A
good activity such as walking a dog or
gardening achieves a whole CLANG. Have
you had your five portions of fun today?
NOTICE – Be curious and fill up your
senses. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark
on the unusual. Enjoy the everyday. Notice
the changing seasons and light. Savour the
moment, whether you are walking to work,
eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware
of the world around you, how you belong to
it and what you are feeling. Reflecting on
your experiences will help you appreciate
what matters to you. Filling up your brain
with your senses leaves less space for
anxiety and depression.
GIVE BACK – Do something nice for a
friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile.
Volunteer your time. Join a community
group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing
yourself, and your happiness, linked to the
wider community can be incredibly
rewarding and creates connections with the
people around you. Helping those less
fortunate than yourself is fundamental to
good emotional health. Give company to
someone isolated and lonely (e.g. by
becoming a dementia friend or a Silverline
EAT WELL – Connect with local food
producers if you can, learn how to grow,
prepare and cook food, notice the different
sights, smells, textures and tastes of the
ingredients and give back a meal to your
friends and family. Slow down and savour
the tastes and you end up enjoying and
eating a portion, rather than gulping down
three without them touching the sides. You
can prepare, cook and eat well on a budget
(check out the blog and the book, A Girl
Called Jack, by the wonderful Jack Monroe).
RELAX – To sleep well, you may need to
housekeep your brain, write down thoughts
and tasks for the following day so you don’t
forget them and then just rest and reflect on
the day you’ve had, reliving and resavouring the good memories and feeling
grateful. We edit our memories like a
Wikipedia page, focusing on the positive or
negative depending on what mood we’re in.
Others can edit our memories too, which is
why you should choose your friends wisely.
SLEEP – Sleep is essential for mental and
physical health. The brain is very active
during sleep, clearing out all the clutter from
the previous day. If you don’t sleep it’s like
having a party in your brain whilst trying to
stack the dishwasher, mop up the sick and
kick out the gate-crashers. A dark room and
clean cool sheets help, as do a comfortable
mattress and pillow. If your sleep is poor, try
to master the skill of napping for no more
than 15 minutes at a time to top up.
Oversleeping is of no benefit unless you’re
very sleep deprived. Get up at the same time
every day, draw the curtains to let the blue
light bathe your eyes and get CLANGing.
Happy 2015!
For Dr Phil’s new book and 2015 tour dates, go to
Silent night
ONE of the joys of the festive period is
the annual round of musical beds. I am
contemplating buying a new sofa bed
for my brother who has
uncomplainingly put up with a warped
bed-frame and mattress for several
years now.
My brother’s visits are also
accompanied by sneezing and the
rustling of blister-packs of antihistamine, owing to his cat allergy, so I
will endeavour to keep the cats away
from the new purchase.
He is not alone in developing an
allergy. Eldest child claims she is
allergic to the sound of other people
snoring. She doesn’t mind snoring
herself; it’s just other people’s snorts
and sighs she can’t abide. This means
that under no circumstance; holidays,
weekends away, guests staying, must
eldest child’s sleep be disturbed.
This situation leaves middle and
youngest child sharing a room while our
relatives are visiting. As granny could
master a PhD in insomnia, it’s
preferable that she is left undisturbed in
youngest son’s room. The cats must be
locked in the kitchen otherwise they
will prowl round the house trying to
find an open door and a bed to sleep on.
They are not fussy about who they
share with, as long as they can wake
them up at 5 o’clock and demand food.
Youngest son moves out into middle
child’s room. He comes with a camp
bed, self-inflating mattress, duvet and
pillow, a book and 12 soft toys.
Youngest child is happy on a camp bed
and is not fussy about its location.
However, I am worried that once the
soft toys have taken up their position
they’ll be no room left in the bed for
In fact it’s the soft toys that were
source of granny’s insomnia during her
last visit. At three o’clock in the
morning youngest son rolled onto a
mini Frankenstein, with a built-in
menacing laugh, which once activated
let out a loud: “Whoo-a-ha-ha-ha!”
This woke Granny up while youngest
son slept on peacefully. With this in
mind the best option is to persuade
youngest son that while we have guests
staying all noisy toys should sleep
alone, in heavenly peace; even if they
are zombies.
Wishing you a peaceful New Year!
Health section:Layout 1
Page 53
A lifelong passion for angling
SHE may be 88-years-old, have macular
degeneration and a bad back, but that
isn’t going to stop Mary MacCabe from
indulging in her lifelong passion for fly
And to celebrate the success of her
recent cataract surgery, Mary spent an
afternoon fly fishing with celebrity
fishing guide, John Horsey, at Chew
Valley Lake.
She said: “It was absolutely wonderful
to be out on the water again. My macular
degeneration means I can no longer see
well enough to tie on a fly, but I can still
cast a fly line.”
A resident at the St Monica Trust’s
Sandford Station retirement village, Mary
got her first fishing rod when she was just
four years old and has fished all over
Ireland, Great Britain, New Zealand and
It was in Patagonia that Mary caught a
monstrous 27lb sea trout – one of six fish
over 20lbs that she caught during her
two-week trip, which wasn’t bad
considering she was in her mid-seventies
at the time!
She lived in Switzerland for 25 years,
where her husband was a lawyer, but says
the fishing was poor: “I had one week a
year when I would return to the British
Isles to fish for salmon and sea trout.
Then, as the children got older and went
to prep school in England, I’d drive over
with the car to pick them up and do a spot
of fly fishing along the way.”
After the death of her husband, Mary
moved back to the UK and settled in
Taunton where she fished all over the
British Isles for many years with one of
her closest friends before moving into
Sandford Station retirement village.
Unfortunately, the Chew Valley trout
proved to be rather elusive on this
occasion, but John Horsey was very
impressed with Mary’s performance:
“Mary’s casting was better than a lot of
the 20-year-olds I take out on the lake.
“Having fished for over eight decades
she has an incredible knowledge of the
sport and her dedication to overcome her
recent health issues and get out on the
water is an inspiration to us all!”
Health section:Layout 1
Page 54
Healthy projects wanted!
A TOTAL of £7,000 is up
for grabs from Sedgemoor
District Council for groups
to spend on health focussed
Community groups,
registered charities, afterschool clubs, leisure centres,
housing providers, activity
clubs, children’s centres,
offices and businesses are all
Initial consultation
and relaxation CD
Come and have a talk to see how I
can help you get back on track,
call 07717 170 865 to book
an initial consultation or visit
Clinics held at:
Wells Chiropractic &
Centre BA5 1XJ
Chew Medical Centre
BS40 8UE
being encouraged to come
up with their own project
ideas – based on local health
and wellbeing needs, – and
then bid for up to £2,000 to
carry the project through.
The projects must be based
around one or more of the
following themes: physical
activity and exercise, healthy
eating, cooking and growing
or weight management.
G Applications can be made
until Monday, February 2nd.
For details contact Lianne
Clarke (Health Promotion
Officer) via
[email protected] or on 01278
435715. Visit:
hylifestyles where
application forms and
criteria are available for
download or call 01278
436420 for postal or email
copies of the forms.
Learn more about this organisation
and the opportunity to stay with
families in Estonia and visit Latvia
during May 2015.
Wednesday, 18th February, 2015.
BEAH Wells 11-1pm – Free event.
A chance to learn about travel from a
local Somerset based group.
Just turn up!!
To find out about this event or Somerset Friendship
Force (including the visit to Estonia & Riga)
contact: [email protected] or ring
07549190744 to hear a recorded message.
I am an experienced accredited counsellor
offering therapeuc help in a range of situaons.
Rela"onships, Abuse, Conflict Resolu"on, Bereavement, Loss and
Trauma Problems that stem from childhood
Please Contact Wendy Haslam
Accredited Counsellor, Trainer and Supervisor
Tel: 01934 710515
Email: [email protected] • www.s"
Health section:Layout 1
Page 55
Little Yoginis
Yoga for
Yoga Parties for Children
Little Yoginis Parties
are a two-hour, funfilled, healthy and
memorable way to
celebrate your
child’s special day,
whether it’s a
birthday, passing
exams or simply a
Wendy believes yoga will be one
of the buzzwords for 2015
EXPERIENCED yoga instructor Wendy Sugg believes yogathemed parties for children will be all the rage in 2015 amongst
parents looking for a healthy option for a celebration with a
guaranteed fun factor.
As a result, Wendy has launched “Littlyoginis”, a two-hour
themed package aimed at children up to 13 years old, featuring
fun and creative poses and non-competitive yoga “games”.
Themes include Ocean Adventure, Jungle Journey and Forest
Friends but Wendy can also work with parents’ own ideas,
providing all the yoga mats, props and music to make the party
a success.
Wendy, of Evercreech, said: “Yoga is not just for adults but
can be enjoyed by all ages and children respond really
positively to the idea.”
Parties – costs are £150 for up to ten children and £10 for
each additional child – are held in either the child’s home –
including garden – or any other venue and Wendy can also
provide delicious and healthy party food. The yoga sessions can
also be tailored for children with special needs or learning
difficulties. Wendy said: “The poses are designed to increase
cognitive and motor skills in children with learning and
development disabilities. Specialised breathing exercises and
relaxation techniques can improve concentration and reduce
Wendy is also a qualified stress management consultant and
has combined her expertise to create a new spa-based course for
adults call Relaxology. The first day-long session – limited to
eight people – will be held at the Charlton House Hotel in
Shepton Mallet on Monday, January 19th.
Wendy said: “The Relaxology-day’s stress management
programme encourages optimum wellness through selfawareness, diet and lifestyle changes, set in a spa environment
for a truly therapeutic relaxation experience.”
Parties in your own
home/garden or
venue of your
choice. Includes fun,
creative poses and
yoga games led by
an experienced and
certified yoga
Benefits: The stretching techniques used in yoga are an ideal,
easy way for children to have fun whilst growing flexible and
strong; teaching self-awareness, helping to build selfconfidence, encouraging concentration, positive behaviour and
promoting overall wellbeing.
Choose a fun theme:
• Ocean Adventure
• Jungle Journey
• Forest Friends
(or invent your own idea and we’ll provide all you need:
yoga mats, props and music)
As a special gift, the birthday/party host child will receive a
beautiful “littleyoginis” T-shirt (choice of colours)
Tel: 07786 444735
e-mail: [email protected]
For information about the parties, visit: More information about the first
Relaxology day can be found at:
Community DPS:Layout 1
Page 56
From balsam bashing to church cakes: meet some local heroes
INSPIRING people from Mendip were among
those awarded at a special ceremony held by
Somerset County Council for outstanding
contributions to their community.
In all, more than 40 awards were presented to
individuals and community groups from
across the county at the annual Chairman
Awards. They included:
Janet Smith – a truly community-minded
resident of Oakhill, she supports village clubs and societies and is
an active member of the Methodist Chapel where she plays the
organ. Janet is also involved in the East Mendip Gardening Club
and helps to organise the annual Produce Show. She gives time to
support the Good Companions group in the village, is an active
member of the Village Hall and Recreation Ground Committee
and also sits on the Patient Participation Group at the Oakhill
Dorothy Ann Bryant – best known for her tireless work with
Friends of the River Frome. She has been the main project lead in
a bid to rid the riverbank of Himalayan Balsam and has arranged
many litter picking events to clear the areas around the river. She
also leads regular Mendip Health Walks. Most recently, Dorothy
set up a “Life Begins at 70” group, arranging workshops which
focus on ways in which those in their 70s can continue to lead a
healthy and active life.
Kathleen Newman – for more than 40 years, Kath has been
tireless in her contribution to the community of Binegar and
Gurney Slade. She has had involvement in many aspects of
community life within the village including an active role in the
Holy Trinity Church and she continues to be an invaluable
member of the Village Hall Committee. This role has seen Kath
Janet Smith
Dorothy Ann
give much time and energy to supporting events, in particular at
the heart of all kitchen activity. Kath is a dedicated long-term
member and ex-president of the Women’s Institute and is
instrumental in the running of the village’s Welcome Club.
Barbara Cowell – has given a great deal to the community of
Street and was nominated for the commitment she has shown to
local community groups within the village for more than 20 years.
She was a community nurse for 17 years, during which time she
helped many local residents. She has also served on the parish
council for 20 years with two terms of office as chairman. She has
also worked tirelessly on the committees of the Street Society,
Street Twinning Association and Strode Theatre Board of
Stan Wilson OBE – a member of Beckington Parish Council for
nearly 25 years and during that time he has worked tirelessly for
the community. He was nominated by the community as he is
standing down at election next year and the whole community
wanted to acknowledge the work he has carried out for them.
Cliff Clark – a member of the Pen Selwood Parish Council for
some 13 years, with only one short break. He set up the parish
newspaper and continues to edit it so that everyone in the
community can access information. He also organised a picture
exhibition at the parish fete for many years.
Sadly, neither Stan nor Cliff could attend the awards ceremony.
Chairman of Somerset County Council, Councillor David
Fothergill (pictured presenting the awards), said: “I am proud to be
in the presence of these community champions who all deserve a
huge thank you for what they do. The time that they give back to
the people in each of their community’s is worthy of recognition
and I am thrilled I can celebrate their dedication with them
Have a crime-free festive season
WE used to have a saying back when I was a crime reduction
officer: “Crime cannot flourish in a community which cares.”
In other words, get to know your neighbour and community,
perhaps through Neighbourhood Watch. At the very least, be
interested in what is going on around you and, if you spot
something odd, report it rather than assuming it’s none of your
business and someone else will.
I mention this because we are in the midst of Operation
Hamper, a crime prevention initiative by Avon and Somerset
police and which includes trying to reduce the theft of
Barbara Cowell
livestock, heating oil, food items and anything else the criminal
fraternity might want to relieve you of.
As such the local rural beat teams, PCSOs and the Special
Constabulary have been out and about across our area actively
visiting farms, businesses and stables. They have also been
visiting events such as Christmas markets and fairs.
Inspector Andy Pritchard, who used to be a sergeant in Wells
is now with the Rural Crime Team and said: “The weeks
leading towards Christmas are a time when everyone should be
particularly wary of the burglary risk posed by an abundance of
Community DPS:Layout 1
Page 57
Team effort
A DEFIBRILLATOR has been installed outside Churchill
Memorial Hall, following a local fundraising campaign
supported by The Rotary Club of Wrington Vale, Churchill Tree
Care, Churchill Parish Council, Clumber Lodge B&B and
Churchill Village Fund.
Pictured at the handover are the president of Wrington Vale
Rotary Club Tony Thurling, parish councillor Graham Fortune,
chair of the parish council Jackie Bush and parish clerk Aleana
Baird. Graham Fortune is the appointed guardian of the
defibrillator and is responsible for checking it regularly.
Boost for village hall plans
PLANS for a new village hall and community centre for
Congresbury have taken a step forward with £30,000 funding to
help submit a planning application by next March. The money
comes from the Homes and Community Agency, for a new
building on the George V playing fields.
The funding is dependent on agreement from Fields in Trust
which owns the playing fields and the Charity Commission.
Plans have also been boosted with the involvement of leading
architects Stride Treglown. One of their directors Robert Sargent is
a volunteer on the new village hall project.
Ian Sheppard for the project said: “Thanks to their expertise we
are now looking at a smaller single storey building than the one
shown in the original concept plans. This will significantly reduce
the overall cost. “
Fundraising is underway with a full programme of events
planned for next year. The project team is now targeting
September 2017 as the date to have the new building open if
planning permission has been agreed and funding is in place.
Mr Sheppard pointed out that the new building is not dependent
on the sale of the village Memorial Hall, as has been reported.
high-value food and drink and livestock associated with our
local businesses, as well as rural domestic burglaries.”
G A correction: Having chatted with the Somerset
Freemasons, they are keen to correct my error in my
December article when I said that I had heard that the amount
the organisation reportedly gave to charity was “second only
to the national lottery” as that can’t really be substantiated. I
did however find that they had donated £20-25 million yearly
(from all sources), which I think we can agree is pretty
Village celebrates
The Somerset Masonic Flood recovery Fund administered by
the Somerset Community Foundation who presented a cheque
for £25,000
MOORLAND and District Village Hall has reopened after
nine months of recovery and building work following the
floods on the Somerset Levels.
BBC Points West’s Alex Lovell performed the opening
ceremony before villagers and friends celebrated with a hog
roast and drinks, funded by the village hall’s insurer, Aviva.
Apart from money from the insurers, there was a donation
of £25,000 from The Somerset Masonic Flood Recovery Fund
administered by the Somerset Community Foundation, and
£4,600 from North Petherton Town Council.
The Community Council for Somerset managed the
restoration and rebuild of the hall. Chief executive, Katherine
Armstrong, said: “What a fantastic event, I have to thank
Aviva for funding this celebration and for their support
throughout the process. Most importantly this is a fantastic
step towards Moorland’s recovery, the hall is back up and
running and looking great.
“I know the committee are anxious to get the hall and its
user groups back and to continue to be a well utilised
community space. The hall really is back to its former glory if
not better with a few improvements and extra flood defences.”
Julian Taylor, acting chair of the Moorland and District
Village Hall, said: “This really is a hall for the community and
it’s great to see so many of the residents here tonight. We have
proven to be a resilient community and hope this is a new
start to come together more often.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for their hard work and
our thoughts are with those of you who are still not in your
homes – the community and hall is here for you.”
Children from Moorland
Motoring DPS:Layout 1
Page 58
Salts of the earth
By Mark Adler
MEET some of the team who will be working round-theclock – if necessary – to try to keep the roads in Bath and
North East Somerset clear of ice and snow this winter.
Led by Kelvin Packer, the council’s Group Manager for
Highways and Traffic, the highways crews will be ready to
lay salt on around 260 miles of road using a fleet of nine
If necessary, staff from other B&NES departments can be
drafted in to support the crews, based at Clutton.
In the worst of winter, it can cost the authority £10,000 per
day in salt alone to try to keep the roads clear. More than
38% of the network is salted by the council, supplemented
with more than 400 grit bins also available for the public to
access salt, which is imported from Northern Ireland.
The council gritters can be fitted with ploughs to clear
snow and farmers are also on standby to clear minor roads
using blades provided by B&NES. The council has also
recruited 17 snow wardens to help in their local
As Mendip Times went to press, the crews had been
deployed to lay salt on six occasions since October.
Kelvin, who has 30 years’ experience in the highways
field, said: “We are able to maximise our salt supply by
regularly turning it over in the barn to maintain its shelf life,
as well as moving our emergency supply into the barn before
it deteriorates and using calibrated spreaders on the gritting
machines to ensure not a grain is wasted.
“We are monitoring the weather forecast 24 hours a day
using real time data from two weather stations in Peasedown
St. John and at Cold Ashton. We also obtain detailed
forecasts from a specialist supplier of weather information
about the likely effect on road conditions. The council is well
prepared to ensure our priority routes are gritted so that
people can get around the road network as safely as
In addition, the council has a team of inspectors who
visually check the roads. As Kelvin said: “Don’t be surprised
to see someone in a hi-vis jacket next to a council van who is
checking the road surface temperature with a thermometer!”
Councillor Caroline Roberts, Cabinet Member for
Transport, said: “For the past few months, Bath and North
East Somerset Council has been busy preparing for a harsh
winter. Our increased salt storage means our gritting on
prioritised routes can continue for longer.”
What to do . . .
information is available on the Council’s
website - –
including a winter advice leaflet
offering tips on dealing with severe
winter weather on highways and
pavements. This includes Government
guidance on householders clearing snow
and ice outside their home. During any
severe winter weather the council
Brian Price and Richard Wilcox, two of the highways team, with
Kelvin Packer and Cllr Caroline Roberts
“We’re also very grateful to members of the council’s
Snow Warden Scheme, the initiative encouraging people to
volunteer to help clear snow and ice the Council can’t get
Kelvin and Caroline in the salt barn
provides regular updates about the status
of its services on
The public can also play their part in
helping the council to manage the road
network during severe weather. They
can report any problems on:
• Web:
• Email: [email protected]
• Twitter: @ccbathnes
• Text SMS: 07797 806545
• Call: 01225 39 40 41 during working
• In an emergency call 01225 477477
• Don’t get too close to the back of a
gritter in operation – it’s being driven
at a specific speed to ensure the
optimum amount of salt is being
Motoring DPS:Layout 1
Page 59
MG Rover Land Rover Specialists
Sales – Service – Parts – Repairs
Collection/Loan Car by arrangement
For servicing, repairs and sales of all
makes of caravans and motorhomes
Your peace of mind is our priority
CLEEVE HILL, UBLEY. TEL: 01761 462275 (24hrs)
Turnpike Road, Shipham, Winscombe BS25 1TX
Volvo Warranty Compliant
Servicing on New Cars
Volvo Accredited Master Technician
Volvo Diagnostics and Software
01934 842350
Air Conditioning
MOT Testing
Volvo Parts & Accessories
With a vast experience of old and new
models, you can be sure that your
Volvo will receive the highest quality
service but without Main Dealer prices!
co FR
u E
ca rte E
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Bailey approved body shop
and workshop
G Caravan Servicing
G Annual Habitation Checks
G Alu-Tech Bailey Approved Repairers
G Warranty Maintained
G Damp Repairs
G Accident Repairs
G Insurance Repairs
G Accessory Fitting
Our shop stocks a full range of
accessories and equipment
> Very competitive labour
rates £45 per hour plus VAT
> Highly trained and qualified
> Collection and drop off
service available for local
mechanic with over 16 years
> Diagnostic checks available
main dealer experience
> MOT’S arranged
> All makes and models
worked on
> Alloy Wheel Refurbishment
Open Monday - Friday 9am–5pm;
Saturday 9am–1pm
> Fully insured
> Professional Valeting
including Machine Polishing
Marchants Hill,
Gurney Slade BA3 4TY
Call: 01749 841051
Mob: 07778 465520
Email: [email protected]
Christmas Events feature:Layout 1
Page 16
Members of the STARR pantomime group were in fine voice
Transport up the Gorge
Alex Beake, Adam Trenchard and Saffie Tucknott, from Kings of
Wessex, entrants in Mendip Rotary Big Pitch business competition
Cheddar cubs
entertained the
Cheddar's firemen gave
Father Christmas a lift
Esther Hawley and baby
Rose, aged 15 months,
enjoyed the fun
Christmas Events feature:Layout 1
Page 17
Emma Green, one of the organisers of the Rookery Farm Christmas Fair, is pictured
holding Suggsy, her Jack Russell, alongside family and friends. A raffle during the day
raised £260 for the charity Eady’s Journey
Victoria Marcangelo-Lyons, another of the
fair organisers, with Sandra Palmer
(seated), who enjoyed a mini dermatological
treatment whilst visiting Angel-Oh
A child’s eye view of Jozef and Cheeky, two donkeys who
entertained young visitors to the fair
Kim, Kelly, Helen and Clare, ran a craft stall. They work at The
Craftshed, a project near Priddy for people with learning
Church in Blagdon
is nearly £1,000
better off thanks to
its recent Christmas
Fair, which was
held in the Village
Penny Crawford and the Rev Jane
Chamberlain on the Christmas produce stall.
Father Christmas
talking with young
Freddie, as elves
Rosie and Ellie look
out for other
Charity section:Layout 1
Page 62
Rotary keeps helicopter flying Taking the plunge for charity
MEMBERS of Midsomer Norton and Radstock Rotary Club
have donated £3,000 to the Great Western Air Ambulance
charity towards its new, larger, helicopter.
The charity was chosen by past president Rob Porter during
his year in office. Rob (far left) and current president Larry
Taylor (second left) are pictured presenting the cheque to the air
ambulance charity in Bristol.
Busy knitters
KNITTERS have raised £3,500 to support Age UK Somerset’s
winter warmth campaign by making 14,000 miniature woolly
Shepton Mallet’s Knit and Knatter group alone made 1,300
hats, which will join the rest on top of Innocent Smoothie
bottles. For each bottle sold, 25p is donated to Age UK. Money
raised locally will be used to support the charity’s services
across Somerset and North Somerset.
Knocking spots off
Poulter’s style
PROFESSIONAL golfer Ian Poulter is well-known for his
unique taste in clothes, but even he would have been impressed
by fundraising youngsters from a community pre-school in
The children from Horrington House wore spotty t-shirts they
had designed themselves on a visit to neighbouring Wells Golf
Club for a golf lesson to raise money for Children In Need.
RADSTOCK Co-operative Society director, Derek Roberts,
presented the Frome-based charity Positive Action on Cancer
with a cheque for £1,000 and then signed up to do a sky-dive
for them.
He was shown round the charity’s offices, including the
children and young people counselling room, by PAC’s director
Mary Taylor and fundraising and communications manager,
Hannah Culff.
Afterwards he signed up for the charity’s sky-diving day
planned for March 21st. He said: “I’ve always wanted to
perform a sky-dive and this was all the inspiration I needed to
sign-up for an activity that will give me the ultimate adrenaline
rush but at the same time give me the opportunity to raise
money for this very deserving cause.
“The work that PAC does is admirable which is why our
members chose to support them as one of our chosen charities
for the year.”
Positive Action on Cancer believes that no-one should face
cancer alone and clients using the service often refer to it as a
lifeline. It says it can only continue its vital work because of its
support from the local community.
Details: or
call 01373 455255.
Quilters ahoy
Quilters, a
group of
and very
skilled people
who share
their interest
in developing
quilts, have
raised £1,500
towards the cost of building a new lifeboat station in the
Lifeboat operations manager, Charlotte Conroy, presented
prizes for the best quilts at the group’s major exhibition in
the Winter Gardens.
Charity section:Layout 1
Page 63
Help at Christmas
VOLUNTEERS and donations are urgently needed to ensure a
homeless Christmas shelter in Weston-super-Mare can operate
for its 25th year. Homeless charity Comfort and Warmth opens
a shelter every year in the seaside resort to ensure those less
fortunate are kept off the streets and fed at Christmas.
This year the charity will achieve a huge milestone by
helping the homeless for 25 years running by setting up a
shelter at St Paul's Church in Walliscote Road. However, to
ensure their service can continue running as normal, they
urgently need volunteers to come forward and donations from
the community.
They need volunteers to help at the shelter in shifts from the
evening of December 24th at 6pm until after breakfast on
Friday December 28th.
Committee chairman Jon Codd said: “We are desperate for
volunteers to come forward and offer their help to the shelter
this Christmas. Helpers are needed for all shifts including
evening shifts (6pm-11pm) and nights 11pm-8am, so if you
can offer any of your time to this worthy cause we would be
most grateful.”
The charity also requires donations of non-perishable food,
blankets, clothing and toiletries to offer to the people staying
at the shelter from Christmas Eve until December 28th.
Details: Call Jon on 01934 813139 or 07766 448889 or
go to
John’s busy year
DURING his year
as president of the
Rotary Club of
Nailsea and
Backwell, John
Churchill asked
members for their
support in raising
£6,000 to cover the
cost of a special
bed at St Peter’s
He’s actually
been able to present
the hospice with a
cheque for £11,000.
John said: “We raise so much for local, national and indeed
international causes that I thought I may be asking too much to
introduce an additional separate president’s charity.”
Two of the club’s events raised over £3,000 each for his
charity – the Nailsea Charity Walk organised by Graham Hunt
and Richard Gaunt which raised a total of over £18,000 for
local causes and a golf day organised by Howard Walton which
also resulted in over £3,000 being donated to the Special Care
Baby Unit at the BRI.
In addition the Salvation Army gave almost £1,000 from their
Nailsea Christmas concert.
In receiving the cheque Simon Caraffi, chief executive of St.
Peter’s, praised the contribution of Rotary and in particular the
outstanding contribution made to the work of the hospice.
Christmas comes early
for Autistic Eye
THE Radstock based charity Autistic Eye, which sells artwork
for people on the autistic spectrum, has received £1,000 from
Radstock Co-operative Society to support its work.
Director, Graham Jeffrey, is pictured at the cheque
presentation. This was the Co-op’s second donation to the
charity during the year.
Emma’s challenge
EMMA Welch of
Chilcompton has
cycled 1,000 miles to
raise funds for Brain
Tumour Research,
after being inspired by
Andrew Stammers of
Radstock, who was
diagnosed with a brain
tumour in 2011, aged
Last year Emma
became the youngest
girl in the world to
climb the height of
Mount Everest on an
indoor climbing wall
at Writhlington sports centre again raising funds for the charity.
Determined that she could still raise more she decided to
cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats, but Emma suffers
from scoliosis and hadn’t realised the impact it would have on
her cycling.
So a decision was made to change the event from Land’s End
to John O’Groats to simply 1000 miles cycling at home.
Emma said: “It was a terrible shock to learn that Andrew had
a brain tumour and that research into this devastating disease is
so poorly funded – brain tumours receive just 1% of national
cancer research spending.
“This is such an injustice to the thousands of families each
year who learn that a loved one has a brain tumour. I felt I had
to do something to make a difference.”
Her next challenge will be to climb Snowdon next year.
Charity section:Layout 1
Page 64
Welcome to Winscombe
Sidcot School pupils with (front row) Alex Demetriou, Gill
Auden (back row l-r) John Bailey, Iain Kilpatrick and Dave
STUDENTS from Sidcot School have helped welcome
Weston Hospicecare to its new home at Kildare House, the
former HQ of Moose International, in Winscombe by planting
2,500 daffodil bulbs.
Thirty students and their teachers from the Quaker school
planted the bulbs which had been donated by the Axentis
Michael Charitable Trust.
Sidcot’s Headmaster Iain Kilpatrick who led the budding
young gardeners said: “Many of our students had not heard of
a hospice before and those who had were somewhat fearful of
what it meant for a loved one. They gained a huge amount
from volunteering alongside the hospice team of nurses and
doctors and it was a good opportunity for them to learn what
a positive and inspirational organisation it really is.”
Alex Demetriou whose grandfather, Axentis Michael, was
cared for by the hospice was on hand to represent the
charitable trust and to help the children plant the bulbs.
Weston Hospicecare purchased its new premises in
Winscombe in May 2014, the year it celebrated its 25th
anniversary. It hopes to move from its current base inUphill
within the next five years.
Winscombe Primary School children will also be planting
bulbs for the hospice in the next few weeks.
Blagdon supports hospice
Club was bustling
with festive cheer for
a Christmas fair,
which raised just
over £1,000 for
Weston Hospicecare.
It was organised by
the charity’s Blagdon
and Wrington
support group, who
were thanked by its
fundraising manager
Lynette Preston,
pictured left.
Cakes for charity
A CLASSICAL Cake Off at Winscombe Community Centre
raised £600 for Weston Hospicecare while also encouraging
supporters to try their hand at baking.
Charlotte Oliver, of Charlotte’s Tearoom in Winscombe, gave
two delicious raffle prizes. Event fundraiser Blair Chadwick
was joined on the day by a team of local volunteers which
included members of the Winscombe Community Choir and
hospice staff.
Jan’s achievement
Jan Little with Hospice UK Chair Lord Howard
A NURSE who has dedicated her life to caring for people with
life-limiting illnesses has been awarded a prestigious lifetime
achievement award by Hospice UK.
Jan Little, from Knowle, was given the Anne Norfolk Lifetime
Achievement Award, named after the late Duchess of Norfolk,
after caring for patients at St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol for 35
She is pictured receiving the award from Michael Howard at a
glittering ceremony in Leeds during the Hospice UK annual
national conference.
St Peter’s Hospice chief executive, Simon Caraffi, said: “Jan is
so deserving of this award and we’re so proud that she has been
recognised in this way. Her commitment and resilience over 35
years has been astonishing and she has been instrumental in
helping St Peter’s Hospice to develop into the large and thriving
organisation that it is today.”
As Bristol’s only adult hospice, St Peter’s Hospice cares for
more than 2,670 patients each year as well as supporting family
Charity section:Layout 1
Page 65
Go Provence!
Mendip Times contributor Chris Sperring
and his partner Emma have a son called
Marc who has severe learning difficulties.
Last summer they were given a holiday in
the south of France as part of a charitable
initiative called Go Provence. Here, Chris
describes the charity’s work and how the
week transformed the family’s life.
IN August 2014 our family was given the most valuable gift
imaginable: a holiday in the south of France, where our severely
disabled son, Marc, could enjoy his first ever break from us and
where the rest of the family could relax for a week and enjoy
some quality time together in the most breathtaking of settings.
Go Provence was founded five years ago by Ian Callen, who
used to work for the Brandon Trust in Bristol. Each summer he
and his co-founder, Neil Mancer, and their two female English
staff bring people from the UK to enjoy what is probably one of
the best weeks of their life.
They are the most caring and laid-back people you will ever
meet, and nothing fazes them. They specialize in providing
tailor-made holidays for people with learning disabilities, but
also take people with all other physical and mental disabilities
and give every one of their guests the holiday of a lifetime.
The setting is a beautiful gite situated in the countryside just
outside a small village called Moustier St. Marie, in the Gorge
du Verdon. The atmosphere is chilled and the weather is warm.
Neil is the chef and provides fantastic home-cooked meals to
suit every taste and dietary need.
Go Provence can take up to seven people each week and
provide an amazing setting for meeting new friends, or even
having the first holiday away from home with their own friends.
The base is a stone’s throw from all kinds of amazing activities,
like gorge scrambling, rafting, paragliding (in tandem of course)
and even a private mini-cruise to St. Tropez where swimming in
the bay is a must!
Ian and Neil fly to England every Saturday to bring one group
home and collect the next but, being typically over-protective
parents, we decided to fly over with Marc and stay in a holiday
Marc swimming in
the Mediterranean
Marc about to go riding
house in the nearby village of Rougon, to be near Marc if we
were needed.
There are lots of campsites and hotels in the area too, but we
liked the idea of being in the mountains where we could walk
and enjoy watching the large population of griffon vultures, as
well as other exciting wildlife like chamois, lizards and preying
mantis! We had an amazing week, swimming in the warm,
crystal clear waters of the Lac St. Crois, rafting, canoeing, aqua
rambling and exploring charming French villages.
Meanwhile Marc was loving horse riding, swimming, boating
and relaxing with the boys. He had been suffering from
depression, as many young people with learning difficulties do
in their teenage years and although he was improving slowly,
was still a very long way from his old self. This week in France
was a turning point for Marc and for us. It reminded us all how
great life can be and that there is a light at the end of every
I urge anyone with a disabled child to have a look at the Go
Provence website and think about what their holidays could do
for you and your child. I was sceptical and nervous at first, it
was a leap of faith for me, my son has no verbal communication
and since his depression set in can become aggressive.
I thought the idea of leaving him in the care of strangers in a
foreign country was unthinkable, but it was the best decision
I’ve ever made. The cost for each disabled person is in the
region of £1,300, but that includes everything from the flights
(fully supported), transport (in their own minibus), food,
accommodation and activities, not to mention 24/7 support from
the most amazing people imaginable. If in doubt contact Ian
Callen and have a chat.
The only downside is having to come home – we started
planning our next Go Provence holiday before we’d even
landed back at Bristol airport!
In April I will be leading a wildlife holiday in Provence to
raise money for an amazing trip Go Provence has planned for
November 2015. They will be taking a group of people with
learning disabilities to Uganda to volunteer in communities,
building wells, schools, etc. This is an opportunity not usually
open to people with learning disabilities, and it will be costly. I
will be giving my time to lead the holiday which will be an
exciting voyage to see some spectacular wildlife and hopefully
even visit the Camargue! The details haven’t been finalised yet,
but anyone who’s interested in coming on the holiday please get
in touch (tel: 07799 413918) or email:
[email protected] to register your interest and I’ll
send you more information.
Visit: for more information about the charity’s work
Christmas Events feature:Layout 1
Page 18
Fun on the farm
EAST Harptree primary school will be using the £1,000 they
raised at their Christmas Craft Market to make improvements to
the school's outside space. Everyone enjoyed the Christmas
Market which was held at Greenacres Farm, West Harptree.
THE winning entry for
Mendip District Council
chairman, Ron Forrest’s
Christmas card
competition, has been
announced. Kim Warwick
of Nunney submitted the
winning entry depicting a
snowy Nunney Castle.
Georgian, Darcey and Erin, of Shepton Mallet, get into the festive
The latest craft workshop, held at Compton Dando, was another
success, raising £60 for the village’s community association.
Pictured (l to r) are Lottie Watts, Judith Watts and Julia Shahin
with seven-year-old Jean in front.
Bella (left) and Tabitha, students at Wells Cathedral School, selling
programmes and reindeer hats in the Market Place
Christmas Events feature:Layout 1
Page 19
Clowning around
Bippo removes the
first of the stools
Warm-up routine: a gentle jog gets the Cairngorm Herd ready for
the parade
FOUR “volunteers” from the crowd gathering to watch the
reindeer parade found themselves taking centre stage
In a case of “chair today and gone tomorrow”, Bippo the
clown, from Wookey Hole Circus, made them sit on stools
on the main stage before taking the seats away one by one,
leaving themselves to support each other.
Look – no chairs
Members of Connect Youth hit the streets to sell programmes. The
parade once again raised money for the Dorset and Somerset Air
The volunteers
collapse in a heap
Bippo the clown gets in on the act as Wells mayor Chris Briton
presents prizes to art winners Harmoyani Papo and Lili Dadswell
and poetry winners Isore Gooch and George Ballard
The gentle art of downsizing
SUE and John Slade were facing a
problem that many of us have to address.
With the children gone and with families
of their own, their own house suddenly
seemed to have ‘too many rooms’. It was
time to look for something smaller and
easier to run, but memories (and indeed
the furniture accumulated over the years)
made the prospect of downsizing a
somewhat daunting proposition.
Again, like most of us facing a similar
dilemma, Sue and John bit the bullet and
put their house in Wells on the market.
Sue said: “We moved there from
Blackford in 1986 and for many reasons
the place was just perfect. The views
were wonderful and the boys could walk
to the Cathederal School they both
John said: “In many ways we were
fortunate that the property sold so
quickly – it didn’t give us time to change
our minds – but we did need to find
something smaller in Wells fairly
Once more they were in luck and
they found an ideal place, from which
they could walk into town.
The only real challenge was
adjusting to rooms that were
a bit smaller. Sue said: “We
came to terms with this
fairly easily but the sitting
room did seem a little
cramped and we decided to
look at extending.”
Adding a conservatory
seemed the obvious thing to
do, but for aesthetic and allyear-round-comfort reasons,
they wanted a tiled roof.
With a clear idea of exactly
what they had in mind they
went out for designs and
John said: “Having reviewed the ideas
and the prices we were given, we chose
Kingfisher and we were pleased we did.
Everything they did was on time and on
schedule. They were polite, punctual,
tidy and helpful.”
From digging out the foundations to
completion, the job took only eight
weeks but 2014’s golden summer played
its part – not a drop of rain fell whilst the
work was in progress.
Sue said: “What I like about
Kingfisher is that they do what they say.
They are 100% reliable and they don’t let
you down. The quality of their work is
excellent and I can give no greater praise
than by saying that I would (and will)
recommend them to anyone.”
Jacksons Fencing –
news, topical treats
and more . . .
Happy New Year!
IT’S a New Year – 2015! Let’s hope it’s
a peaceful and happy one for everyone.
If anything, last year seemed to whizz by
even faster than the previous one. Yes I
know it’s a sign of age when people say
that sort of thing!
This time last year the headlines were
focussed on the terrible weather the
country had over Christmas and into the
beginning of the year. There were
dreadful floods and bad storms had
caused widespread damage to property.
As a result we were busy at Jacksons,
not only supplying fencing, but trying to
send out helpful info on how to avoid
the common mistakes that can result in
fences falling over in adverse
At the time of writing this, the weather
has been reasonably tame – dare I say it,
I may be tempting fate – when you read
this in January, we may well have had
another disastrous winter. Touch wood
that’s not the case, but if it is, rest
assured we still have all the helpful
advice on our website, so just go to your
local page, to see all handy
links there.
So what’s needed is a swift change of
direction here, I’m going to lead you
away from the possibly gloomy thoughts
of bad weather and show you something
that will hopefully conjure up sunnier
thoughts and happier times.
The photo at the top of the page was
Detail of the central paved area and the
ingenious water feature focal point.
Many thanks to Brian Hattersley for sending me these great photos of his lovely garden,
with the Retreats that he has customised to suit his space. He has also used our Venetian
panels along the rest of the boundary to match the ones in the shelter.
sent to me by a customer, who I met at
a show, a year or so ago. A very nice
man, who was admiring the Retreat
shelter we had on our stand. Brian took
a leaflet, saying he was very impressed
with the Retreat, and said he was going
to have one in his own garden, and that
he may adapt it to make it a bit larger,
as he had the room for probably ‘one
and a half Retreats’. He promised me
photos of the finished installation.
This autumn I was at the same show,
when Brian visited our stand again, “I’m
nearly finished, I will send you those
photos soon," he told me.
Well they were definitely worth
waiting for. I think you’ll agree? I
certainly wouldn’t mind this as my
Thanks Brian, for showing us what you
can achieve with a Retreat – and a half –
and a lot of design genius. Hopefully that
will give us all some inspiration to do
something lovely to our own gardens in
this new year.
There’s just enough space left to
remind you that our Seasonal Savers
offer is still running until the end of
January: raised bed kits (like the ones
you can enter our free prize draw to
win), Sissinghurst planters, verge
protection marker posts, log stores,
wheelie bin stores and metal wall trellis
– for the whole of December and January
we are offering 15% off.
You can check all the details out on
your local page, which gives you
links to the products and how to take
advantage of the discount, or call 0800
408 4754 to talk to your local Jacksons
Fencing Centre.
[email protected]
Enter the free prize
draw and be in with a
chance to win a pair of
Jacksons raised bed kits.
Simply log on to your
local page, address
below and follow the
easy instructions on
how to enter. The draw
closes 31.01.15. To
enter go to:
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Christmas Events feature:Layout 1
Page 13
Winscombe school choir
Elaine Coles, The Country
House Gift Company
Inga (centre) won the right to switch on the Christmas lights in
Shepton Mallet town centre in a competition
Father Christmas
and helpers
Children from St Paul’s school entertained the crowd in the Market
Place with festive songs
Music DPS:Layout 1
Page 74
Showtime in Weston
Into The Woods cast with director Janet Chvatal (kneeling centre)
New year, new
musical director
A LEADING American soprano and musical theatre director helped put Weston College
students through their paces in a Steven Sondheim musical which is about to be turned
into a major Hollywood production.
Janet Chvatal has worked all over the United States and Europe as a performer and
director and is now based in Germany. She spent two years in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s
Phantom Of The Opera and played the Empress of Austria in the world premiere of a
musical about the life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Janet is a friend of Weston College Musical Theatre lecturer Volker Bleck, who invited
her over to direct Into The Woods, a musical by Stephen Sondheim based on various
stories by the Brothers Grimm. The musical has been turned into a film starring Meryl
Streep, Johnny Depp and Emily Blunt, which will be released this Christmas Day.
Janet said: “I came over as a favour to Volker and I suggested this musical to him
because I knew it was being released as a movie. Working with Weston College students
has been great.
“There is an incredible pool of talent here and we have all worked extremely hard to
bring that out. I’ve cracked the whip, but I’ve also been a nice mom to them all!”
The show was staged at the end of November.
SPECTRA Musica, based in
Wincanton, is looking forward to
welcoming their new, extremely
talented musical director in January.
Peter Leech has over 25 years’
experience as a choral and
orchestral conductor, composer and
He will be maintaining the
group’s eclectic programmes which
have brought so much pleasure to
On February 28th he will lead a
Come and Sing Day in the Cheap
Street Methodist Church, Sherborne
which will include Lotti’s Requiem
and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Concert pianist Anita D’Attellis will
be performing and accompanying
once again.
Peter’s first concert with the
group will be on March 21st at the
Wincanton Catholic Church.
Details: 01749 860457
Rocking the valley
Band are
wi n n e r s
AIR cadets from the Devon and Somerset Wing Band took top
honours in the air cadet national band championships held at RAF
They were named best band and best ensemble, earning praise
from TV presenter Carol Vordeman, a new ambassador for air
cadets: “I could not have been prouder to have had the chance to
meet the winners. The music today was of an incredibly high
Drum Major, Flight Sergeant Tim Salvidge,17, of 1955 (City of
Wells) Squadron who led the winning band only had time to say
“It was wonderful to win,” before being asked to lead the band to
perform their winning routine again in front of proud parents and
visiting VIPs.
CHEW Stoke Am Dram's latest production was a huge success,
selling out long before the show – so much so that those unable
to get tickets were invited to watch the dress rehearsal.
They put on Who's the Daddy? a musical based loosely on the
hit musical Mama Mia, which had been adapted by Phil Chalk,
Ruth Knight and Martin Richards, changing the settings from a
Greek island to Denny Island and the Chew Valley.
Pictured are Carrie's band The Kittens (left to right) Donna
Lawson, Ruth Donleavy and Nicky McKean.
Music DPS:Layout 1
Page 75
Musical director retires
has retired as
musical director of
the Trinity Singers
choir he founded
with the Reverend
John Abdy back in
Over the years
Jeremy has taken
the choir from
strength to strength,
developing a wide
ranging repertoire
Jeremy Martin at the Trinity Singers’ 10th
of sacred and
anniversary concert
secular works and
establishing a high reputation in the local area around Churchill
and Burrington.
Highlights of his time include Karl Jenkin’s The Armed Man
(a joint project with Churchill Academy), concerts at St. Mary
Redcliffe, an exchange trip to Florence to sing with a local
choir, and a weekend of Evensongs and other services at Wells
The choir celebrated his years of commitment just before
Christmas and presented Jeremy with a gift to mark his
Trinity Singers, with Andrew Tyrell, is currently rehearsing
Purcell’s “Hear My Prayer” and Parry’s “I Was Glad”, as part of
a joint concert with Churchill Academy, Bristol Cathedral
School and Bristol Cathedral Special Choir, to be performed in
late February in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare.
The choir is looking for a new musical director to continue
its development and anyone who is interested in taking up this
exciting role can contact Bob Shapland (01761 462273 or
07769 813489) for further details.
Because we’re happy!
Showcase for music talent
Sarah Minns
TWO former pupils of the Blue School in Wells who are now
professional singers will return to give a concert as part of a
showcase event in January.
David Butt Philip (tenor) and Sarah Minns (soprano) will
take to the stage after performances by current students.
David, who is currently singing the lead role in La Boheme
with the English National Opera at London’s Coliseum,
started his career as a boy chorister at St Thomas’s Church in
Sarah, trained at the Royal Academy of Music and at the
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has sung with
Wedmore Opera.
As well as showcasing the musical talent at the Blue School
the concert, on Saturday, January 31st will raise funds for
both the music
department and Wells
Association. David
will also conduct
masterclasses and
take part in a
question and answer
session with students
David Butt Philip
the previous day.
Tickets – costing £15 – for the concert are
now available from Alan Butt Philip on 01749 675071
or from Bob Reynolds on 01749 87021.
Showtime in Weston
TAP dancers from The Centre School of Dance, based in
Shepton Mallet, took part in a world record attempt for the
"Largest Tap Dance in multiple venues" for BBC Children In
The school says it’s grateful to Tesco in Shepton Mallet for
letting them dance in the store premises and to the shoppers
who donated money during the display. Dancers across the
country performed the same routine to "Happy" by Pharrel
Williams at exactly the same time.
FOLLOWING their performance of Duruflé’s Requiem at St
Andrews, Chew Magna at the end of November, Chew Valley
Choral Society are gearing up for their next cycle of rehearsals
for a performance of Stanford’s Songs of the Sea and Rutter’s
Requiem, both highly popular pieces.
Rehearsals will start on January 6th on Tuesday evenings at
Chew Stoke village hall, with the concert scheduled for St
John’s Church, Keynsham on April 18th. New members are
always welcome and there’s no intimidating audition to contend
Details: Helen Boyde 01275 333014
2014 • PAGE 75
Riding section:Layout 1
Page 76
It’s a family affair
IT is many years since I have visited the
Blackdown Stud up on the top of Shipham
Hill and it was a pleasure to see it looking
to beautifully attended to, full of top quality
horses all looking relaxed and happy.
Many local people will remember David
Urch, the popular horse vet owning the stud
and breeding his Shire X TB horses, and it
has had a couple of other owners in recent
years but 18 months ago Zoe and Stephen Day purchased the
large equestrian facility to help support the eventing success of
their 26-year-old daughter Jamie Lee.
Local business owners already, the family run CG Eventing
from the stud, and produce and compete quality event horses.
Jamie Lee started competing at a very young age and as a
member of the Banwell Pony club competed very successfully
in all disciplines.
Sister Jodie has also always been extremely keen and
competed throughout her teenage years, now aged 23 years old
she is a massive support to her more competitive sister.
It was a bit of a shock to the family when Jamie Lee gave up
the horses and went to train to be a hairdresser on leaving
school and was completely out of horses for several years.
During that time Zoe herself took over the ride on Jamie Lee’s
very successful pony club horse Fred and enjoyed success in
dressage and eventing.
Aged 20, Jamie Lee decided to get back into the sport and
really has never looked back. Her mum insisted though that she
did a whole winter of ‘mucking out’ and doing all the dirty jobs
before giving her the ride back on Fred.
In her first season back eventing in affiliated competitions she
completed a CCI 1* competition and started to develop her
string of horses.
The horse that really worked its way into her heart was
Serano, an attractive grey who was bought at a ‘bargain’ price
as he was known as a head shaker but Jamie Lee has had a huge
Jamie Lee in action
Jamie Lee Day and her string for 2015
amount of success with him, competing in several 3* and
Advanced competitions with great success. A prolific cross
country horse he has produced numerous, consistent clear
rounds and many placings.
Jamie Lee said: “As soon as I sat on him I just knew we had
to have him, it really was ‘love at first sight’.”
Although fit and well at the moment he has suffered a small
injury and will come back to competition in 2015 but probably
just stay at the level he is at.
Another promising horse is Arkansa Gold who has competed
at 2* level, but Kato Ridge, an 8-year-old intermediate horse,
is the one that Jamie Lee hopes will follow in Serano’s
It is clear talking to Jamie Lee that she really loves her
horses, the stables are immaculate and no corners are cut in
their welfare and care. Having such a great support structure
with Jodie and Zoe never far away is fantastic to see and I feel
sure that 2015 will be a very successful one for all of them.
The facilities at Blackdown stud are really good, with miles
of off-road hacking literally outside the gate, an indoor school,
horse walker and plenty of well-drained turnout.
There are a few spaces available for livery here although I
am sure they will get snapped up quickly so if you are
interested give Jamie Lee a call on 07894 266203.
January 2015 show dates
Wednesday 7th
Lower evening show
jumping at Badgworth
Arena, Axbridge
Sunday 11th
Winter dressage and show
jumping series at Avon
Riding Centre, Bristol
Wednesday 14th
Higher evening show
jumping at Badgworth
Arena, Axbridge
Wednesday 21st
Lower evening show
jumping at Badgworth
Arena, Axbridge
Saturday 24th
Unaffiliated dressage at
Pontispool Equine Sports
Centre, Norton Fitzwarren
Sunday 25th
Unaffiliated dressage at
Pontispool Equine Sports
Centre, Norton Fitzwarren
Wednesday 28th
Higher evening show
jumping at Badgworth
Arena, Axbridge
Saturday 31st
Eventers Challenge at
Pontispool Equine Sports
Riding section:Layout 1
Page 77
Lucy’s new business
ANIMAL Affection is a new business set up by Lucy Austen.
Lucy’s ethos is to provide top class care for animals that you love.
She brings with her great knowledge and experience and has
always kept both horses and dogs. She is college certificated in
animal care and has a passion for competing with her own event
The services she offers include exercising horses and dogs,
feeding and mucking out, dog walking and checking while owners
are at work, holiday cover, helping at horse shows, grooming, or
simply providing an extra pair of hands.
Lucy is happy to consider caring for any animal or provide
services according to clients’ needs.
Paying for a tumble?
THE Weston and Banwell Harriers are well known for crossing
quite difficult country, tackling wide ditches and hedges as they
follow their trails and it has been thought for many years that it
is not a hunt for the faint-hearted.
And so this year they decided to make the most of the fact
that many people end up standing next to their four-legged
friends on the far side of the famous ditches rather than staying
in the saddle and so the Tumbler Club was born.
Basically subscribers have to pay a fine of £5 per fall, or they
can pay a one-off £25 to cover all their falls for the season and
this money is divided between the hunt fund and the Dorset and
Somerset Air Ambulance as they have been out on more than
one occasion to help riders in difficulty.
Regular visits
Holiday cover
Services to suit all needs
Reliable and trustworthy
Any animals considered
Riding on a high in 2014
HILL Farm has had a very exciting summer and have
finished the year with a flourish. They now have a
magnificent indoor riding arena, so you can enjoy your
lesson in the warm and dry, while family and friends have
the luxury of enjoying the undercover viewing area with
This top-class arena and their newly refurbished outdoor
arena are available for hire by the hour, half day or whole
day, so you can run your own event, clinic, or for your own
use, at very reasonable rates.
Their Take Back the Reins courses have been a huge
success with demand overtaking availability and there is
always a waiting list for the next course to start. Because of
this success, The British Equestrian Federation and Hoof
Ride invited them to give a talk at Blenheim horse Trials,
the first riding school in the country to be given this
Hill Farm is now a Pony Club centre and is also looking
into the YELA scheme, the Youth Equestrian Lead Award
for ages 13 to 25.
On Saturdays during the winter they are giving jump
training lessons on your own horse/pony in one-hour groups
for all ages and abilities for the special price of £10 per
person. Booking is essential.
SPECIAL OFFER – Show Jump Training on your
own Horse/Pony With Becky & Haley £10 per
person 1hr Groups on Saturdays throughout the
Winter, all ages and abilities, adult and Children.
Pony Day, Monday 22nd Dec 10-3 £30 Flat &
Jump Day, Monday 29th Dec 10-5 £35
“Take Back e Reins” Book now for courses
starting in January £20 per week
DIY, Part, Full, Schooling & Holiday Livery
available. Purpose built stable yard and New
American Barn style stables. Fantastic facilities.
Indoor & Outdoor Arena. Resident Onsite Riding
Instuctors. Owners live Onsite
Pony club
Membership Forms available now. Rallies &
Activities start January 2015
Arena Hire
Indoor and Outdoor Arena available to hire or
Events, Clinics, & Private use. Very reasonable rates.
Full details from Website or Contact Direct..
Advance bookings only for all Lessons and Arena
Hill Farm Equestrian, Hill Farm, Burtle, Bridgwater, Somerset TA7 8NB
01278 723415 or 07891 555151 or 07977 122047 or
[email protected]
Caving page:Layout 1
Page 78
Why Mendip caves are getting longer
THERE are several
teams of cavers on
Mendip digging for
new caves or
extending known
systems and all
generally working in
isolation. In memory
of Tony Jarratt, who
spent years digging for caves here in
Somerset, in Scotland and elsewhere, six
years ago cavers inaugurated the J-Rat
Digging Award.
A brass digging shovel, mounted on a
plaque, is presented to the team which
discovered the most amount of new cave in
the year. It is a good opportunity for the
various diggers to meet over a few beers
and show off their finds to their fellows.
The prize is open to diggers from
Mendip and Scotland and the award
ceremony was held at the Hunters’ Lodge
Inn on November 22nd. Discoveries in
Reservoir Hole and Charterhouse Cave
have tended to dominate the proceedings.
Although the Scottish diggers found 45
metres of new cave, the prize this year
went to Andrew Atkinson and the
Charterhouse Digging Team who climbed
avens in Charterhouse Cave to discover
100 metres of decorated passage. Most of
this, Puff Pant Rift, was found at the top of
the previously part-climbed High Time
Aven, found in 2010, but another 25 metres
was also entered partway up the unclimbed
Talus Cone Aven, found in 2009.
Other Mendip finds have been much
shorter, but are still interesting. Caine Hill
Shaft, at Priddy, continues to descend
steeply, and recently a pitch has been
descended. So far, 250 tonnes of spoil have
been removed in 13,000 loads, which gives
an idea of the effort involved in opening up
even a small amount of cave.
Longwood Valley Sink was the scene of
much activity two years ago, when cavers
reopened a stream sink to allow water
which could not go underground at
Longwood Swallet, further up the valley.
Blockages to the natural drainage allowed
water to flow into Cheddar Gorge during
the winter of 2012 – 2013, causing the road
to be closed for 88 days due to damage to
the Tarmac.
After stabilisation, work continued to try
to follow the route taken by the water. A
shaft, excavated in the 1970s, was
Presenting the award
reopened, but the route taken by the water
was too impractical to dig. Higher up the
shaft, a phreatic tube from the Triassic
period has been enlarged with explosives
to reach the top of a descending rift, which
looks promising and will act as an
overflow in times of high water.
Several digs in Reservoir Hole are being
worked, although The Silo, heading
towards and under the Gorge road, has
bottomed out to a solid rock floor. At
Skyfall, above The Frozen Deep, ladders
have been fixed, and digging continues
through a choke at the end of a draughting
rift. There is another draughting choke at
the end of Magic Smoke Dig.
In an old quarry at Windsor Hill near
Shepton Mallet, a site dug in the 1970s has
been reopened by a new team to a depth of
nearly ten metres. It takes a large stream in
winter and the flow time to the resurgence
at St. Andrew’s Well in the moat of the
Bishop’s Palace at Wells is only 24 hours –
half the time for Thrupe Lane Swallet,
which is closer to Wells. Divers
investigated the rising earlier this year and
there could be open cave passage here, but
strangely permission to dig with a JCB
seems unlikely to be granted.
At Charterhouse, a team headed by Chris
Binding is working in Grebe Swallet,
originally discovered by 18th century lead
miners. Spoil disposal from a narrow rift at
the end of the cave is difficult, but airspace
was found beyond the choke. The squeeze
was enlarged with explosives, and work
continues in a very muddy passage. It is
hoped that the dig will enter the far reaches
of nearby Upper Flood Swallet, allowing
easier access to this part of the cave.
The Axbridge Caving Group has for
several years been attempting to rediscover
Hutton Cavern in Canada Coombe, near
Weston-super-Mare. Originally found in
1756 by ochre miners, and explored and
described by the Rev. Catcott and others, it
contained a large quantity of Palaeolithic
bones – bison, lion, hyena, horse and other
The cave was then lost and other caves
were all backfilled. Several small caves
have been found by the Axbridge cavers in
old ochre workings, partly with the aid of a
digger. The whole area is rich in ochre. It
was seen that all of these caves lie in the
same ochreous depression and the diggers
believe that together they make up the
original Hutton Cavern. Some bones have
been found, which will be compared to
some found in the 18th century and kept in
Taunton Museum.
An occasional digging group from the
Wessex Cave Club is working at Tween
Twins Hole in Burrington Coombe.
Recently, a breakthough in solid fill in an
ascending passage has opened an airspace,
but at present it is too small to enter. Small
breakthoughs are always to be welcomed,
as they are the bait that keeps the team
It is very rare for a quick discovery to be
made these days – although the Templeton
team has excavated to a depth of more than
60 metres and discovered a 20-metre
decorated shaft, the big breakthough is still
awaited, after more than 15 years digging.
It could be just around the corner, which
keeps every digging team going. We shall
see how many corners have been passed at
next year’s awards evening.
Phil has been caving for more than 47 years and is a member of the Wessex Cave Club. He has been involved in
producing several caving publications and is a caving instructor in Cheddar. His main interest is digging for new caves.
Sport section:Layout 1
Page 1
New coach at Cheddar
CHEDDAR Tennis Club
has appointed Stephen
Pearce as head coach,
taking over from Dean
Cornish. Stephen is well
known locally having
coached at Cheddar as
well as other clubs and
schools over a number of
He is a level 4 LTA
qualified senior club
coach with wide
experience of coaching
players of all ages from
young children to adults.
He aims to build on the
established coaching
programme at Cheddar with some new fun sessions to
encourage more people to pick up a racket.
The club welcomes players of all ages and abilities.
Jo takes the reins
at Wincanton
Details: Stephen Pearce 07904 061301 or
[email protected], or club chair Jennie
Colton 01934 742703.
New investment in leisure
A NOT-for-profit organisation called Fusion Lifestyle has been
appointed as the preferred bidder for the leases to run leisure
centres owned by Mendip District Council.
From June, it will operate Frome Leisure Centre, Wells
Leisure Centre, Strode Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre, Tor
Sports and Leisure Centre and Shepton Mallet Lido.
A legal agreement was due to be signed as Mendip Times
went to press, granting Fusion a 50-year lease on the facilities.
Fusion will succeed Avalon Leisure. Fusion has pledged to
invest in and improve the facilities over the term of its lease,
ensuring up-to-date and popular leisure activities can be
provided across the district for many years to come.
Fusion’s investment programme, which is due to be
completed by April 1st, 2018, includes £2 million at Frome
Leisure Centre, £500,000 at Wells Leisure Centre, £100,000 at
Strode Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre and £75,000 each at
Tor Sports and Leisure Centre and Shepton Mallet Lido.
Councillor John Parham, the council’s Portfolio Holder for
Governance, Assets and Public Spaces, said: “The decision to
appoint Fusion Lifestyle as tenant of the council’s leisure
facilities is great news for the people of Mendip. Fusion will
invest in all of the council’s leisure facilities, reinvigorating
them and updating them for users.
“As a registered charity, Fusion uses its profits to enhance and
develop its services and facilities, so leisure users are kept at the
heart of everything they do.
“To appoint a partner to operate the district’s leisure facilities
was a bold move by the council and one that has secured the
future of leisure across the district for many years to come. If
we had not taken this approach, there would have been a
question mark over how long the council could have continued
to fund leisure services in Mendip.”
Jo Hepburn is the new chairman of Wincanton racecourse
WINCANTON Racecourse will start 2015 with a new
chairman after the appointment of Jo Hepburn who will take
over the role from Guy Henderson.
A racecourse committee director at Wincanton since 2013,
Jo runs a family farming and equestrian operation from
home and has previously worked for the National Trainers
Federation and in bloodstock shipping.
She will succeed Guy Henderson who – having been
chairman at Wincanton since 2012 – is joining Ascot
Racecourse as its chief executive in the New Year.
Jo said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have been asked to
be Guy’s successor at Wincanton. It is a big gap to fill as he
has done so much for the racecourse and we will miss him
hugely. However, we have a really strong and enthusiastic
team and we will all enjoy building on the great legacy he
leaves behind.”
Guy said: “I am delighted for Wincanton that Jo Hepburn
has been appointed the next chairman of the racecourse.
Jo’s love of jump racing and involvement in our locality
ideally suit her to lead Wincanton along the next phase of
its development as we approach its 150th anniversary in
Meanwhile, Geoff Derham has been appointed to
Wincanton’s racecourse committee. His son Harry was a
successful conditional jockey who retired earlier this year
after riding 50 winners.
What's On section:Layout 1
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Page 80
M e n d i p
Please send entries for these listings as a single
paragraph of approximately 25 words. We’re
happy to list entries for charities and voluntary
groups free of charge – but please submit them in
the format below. Commercial entries cost £25.
Thursday December 18th
West Mendip Walkers – a mod circular walk
of 7.7 miles from Dunster. Explorer map: OL9.
Grid:ST994438. Park: Dunster village car park,
off A396. Details:
Weston Hospicecare Carol Service, 6.30pm,
St Paul’s Church, Walliscote Rd, Weston-sMare.
Friday December 19th
Wrington Friendship Club Christmas Party
2.30pm, Wrington Memorial Hall, Silver Street.
New members welcome. For 2015 programme:
Fred Parsons 01934 863562.
Christmas Party Hullabaloo Soft Play Centre,
Townsend, Shepton Mallet, 4.30-6.30pm. Santa,
party bags, games. Use of all the facilities,
unlimited squash, £6/child (must be
accompanied by adult).
Saturday December 20th
Christmas in the Park, Beacon hall,
Peasedown St John, 6.30-8.30pm. Details: Joy
07811 424272 or Mike 07862 253514.
Monday December 22nd
Choral Concert, Wells Bach Singers, with
Bach’s Mass in B minor. St Cuthbert’s church,
T i m e s
Wells, 7.30pm. Tickets £10 from the church
office, [email protected] or on the
Saturday December 27th
Tractor & Engine Autojumble, North
Somerset Vintage Tractor Club. Sellers from
7.30am. Buyers: 9am. Bristol Sales Centre,
Washingpool Farm, Easter Compton, BS35
5RE. Details: Kevin 01278 671784 or Sheila
01275 474649 or:
Mendip Society Walk – 4 miles, Rowberrow &
Dolebury. Meet Swan Inn car park, BS25 1QL.
Contact, Gill 01934 742508.
Sunday December 28th
Classic Car & Motorcycle Breakfast
Gathering, 9- 12noon, Redhill Club, Church
Rd, BS40 5SG. All welcome – bring your
interesting vehicles or just come along to see
those on show. Free entry, ample parking.
Coffee & breakfast. Just off A38 south of
Bristol Airport.
Wednesday December 31st
New Year’s Eve Posh Frock Party 8 til late.
Sit-down dinner, guitarist/singer John Marcus
with popular hits. Tickets £10. Redhill Club,
BS40 5SG. Tel: 01934 862619.All welcome.
New Year’s Eve Party at Coxley Village Hall,
Nr Wells. Music from 60s, 70s 80s. £10 pp
includes buffet, raffle, bar. Children free. In aid
of cancer research. Details: 01749 679138.
W h a t ’ s
Thursday January 1st
Mendip Ramblers walk, Wells to Croscombe.
Details Tony Strange 01934 733783,
[email protected] or
Friday January 2nd
Free Health Walks – easy, mostly level walks
of about 1.5 miles around Glastonbury. Meet
10am at the Health Centre, Wells Road.
Optional café stop at the end. Details:
[email protected]
Saturday January 3rd
Mendip Society walk – 4 miles, East Harptree
Woods. Meet 1.30pm at Smithams Hill car park,
BS40 6DA. Contact, Peter 01761 221995.
Monday January 5th
Weight management drop-in session at
Glastonbury Health Centre, Wells Road. 1012.30pm. Come and meet a health trainer, have
a health MOT, get advice and support, get
Tuesday January 6th
Ivories a talk by Maggie Campbell-Pederson
for Mendip DFAS, 10.30 for 11am, Westex
Suite, Bath & West Show Ground, Shepton
Mallet, BA4 6QN.
Guests welcome.
Thursday January 8th
Cheddar Valley U3A – Historic Cheddar in the
18th & 19th centuries – a talk by Dr Sue Shaw
What's On section:Layout 1
O n
G u i d e
Page 81
f o r
at Church House, Cheddar, 2.15pm – entry £2.
Visitors welcome.
Mendip Ramblers walk Wells to Upper
Coxley and Dulcote, contact details above.
Wells Evening Society architect Geoff Rich on
conservation challenges and solutions in Bath,
Wells Town Hall, 7.30pm.
Warmer Improved Somerset Homes (WISH
project) drop-in at Glastonbury Health Centre,
Wells Road. 10-12.30pm. Find out how to make
your homes warmer, reduce energy bills and
improve your health.
Friday January 9th
Free Health Walks – easy, mostly level walks
of about 1.5 miles around Glastonbury. Meet
10am at the Health Centre, Wells Road.
Optional café stop at the end. Details:
[email protected]
Saturday January 10th
Frome Society for Local Study & Frome
Civic Society, buildings historian, Kay Ross, on
Bath’s pleasure gardens, Assembly Rooms,
Brent Knoll Bazaar & Farmers’ Market,
Brent Knoll Parish Hall, 10am-12noon. Details:
Eddie Fuller, 01278 760308, proceeds to the
parish hall. Free admission.
Congresbury Book Sale, 9am-1pm at War
Memorial Hall. Good quality books, jigsaw
puzzles, dvds, cds and talking books.
Mendip Society Walk – 6 miles around
Axbridge. Meet 1.30pm in The Square. Contact,
Jo 01749 870813.
Saturday January 10th – Saturday January
STARR Pantomime Group, Cheddar, presents
Robin Hood. Tickets Adults £7.50, U- 14, £3.50
from Deane & Sons, Cheddar. Saturday
Wednesday January 14th
Wells Civic Society AGM, speaker tbc,
7.30pm, Wells & Mendip Museum.
Mid-Somerset Agricultural Society Wassail
Party at North Wootton village hall, nr Wells.
Tickets £5 from the show offices: 3 Europa
Court, Crown Trading Estate, Shepton Mallet,
BA4 5QQ or Bartlett, Gooding & Wheelen, 57
High Street, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5AQ.
Thursday January 15th
Mendip Ramblers walk, West Hatch to
Bickenhall Plain, Curland Common, Castle
Neroche and Staple Fitzpaine, contact details
Friday January 16th
Wrington Friendship Club. Songs and
keyboard with Perry, 2.30pm Wrington
Memorial Hall, Silver Street. New members
welcome. Details: Fred Parsons 01934 863562.
Monday January 19th
Hawk and Owl Trust, Bird Slaughter in the
Mediterranean with Roger Lucken, 7.45 pm at
The Star Inn, Tickenham, nr Clevedon BS21
16SE. Details: Carrie Riches 01275 462908.
J a n u a r y
Tuesday January 20th
Congresbury Over-60’s Club. New Year
Celebration & Quiz. Special Raffle for members
only. Congresbury War Memorial Hall, 2.304pm. Details: 01934 832004.
Mendip Society talk: “The life of a Mendip
dormouse” by Jamie Edmonds. 2.30pm at the
Catholic Church Hall, Cheddar BS27 3HU.
Saturday January 17th
Kilmersdon Wassail, Ploughman’s lunches
available at the Village Hall from 12.30, Village
Band and Cam Valley Morris, Crowning
Ceremony at 1.20.
Bleadon Village Market 9-12.30 at the village
halls Bleadon, BS24 0PG. Over 30 stalls with
crafts, collectables, local produce etc.
Refreshments. See
Mendip Society Walk – 5 miles, Mendip Ridge
& Pen Hill. Meet 1.30pm at the Bristol Road
end of Ash Lane, Wells, BA5 2LW. Contact,
John 01934 842868.
Tuesday January 20th
Edward Seago – From Circus to
Sandringham. NADFAS illustrated lectures,
Caryford Hall, Castle Cary, BA7 7JJ, Tuesdays
at 1030. free parking. £6. Information 01963
Thursday January 22nd
Cheddar Valley U3A – Meet & Greet coffee
morning at Church House, Cheddar 10.3012noon. Visitors welcome, details 01934
Yeo Valley HQ, Stephen Moss, What Has
Wildlife Ever Done For Us, followed by twocourse supper, £18, details Jill 01761 461425 or
book at [email protected]
Mendip Ramblers walk, Draycott and the
Mendip Nature Reserve, contact details above.
Friday January 23rd
Friends of Weston-s-Mare Museum, Oh I do
like to be beside the seaside, by John Penny,
Saturday January 24th
Frome Society for Local Study and Frome
Civic Society, Shirley Hodgson, Wandering and
Begging, How our Victorian Ancestors dealt
with Vagrant Children, Frome Assembly
Rooms, 2.3opm.
Congresbury Book Sale, 9am-1pm at War
Memorial Hall. Good quality books, jigsaw
puzzles, dvds, cds and talking books.
Winscombe Table Tennis Club Jumble Sale,
2pm, Winscombe Community Centre, Sandford
Road. Usual stalls + cakes, refreshments, raffle.
Mendip Society Walk – 5 miles, Avalon
Marshes Heritage Walk. Meet 1.30pm at the
Hawk & Owl Trust car park between Shapwick
& Westhay, TA7 9NW. Contact, Brian 01749
Backwell Market, buy one get one free
tea/coffee and cake, 10.30am - 1.30 at WI Hall,
Station Rd, Backwell BS48 3QW.
Wednesday January 28th
Nailsea & Backwell Macular Support Group,
2 0 1 5
Tom McInulty from the Macular Society,
following the AGM, 1.30pm, Backwell WI
Thursday January 29th
Mendip Ramblers walk, Tor Lane, Wells to
Chilcote Manor, Boomclose Corner and
returning via Knowles Hill, contact details
Friday January 30th
Wrington Friendship Club, whist afternoon
and fun quiz, 2.30pm Wrington Memorial Hall,
Silver Street. New members welcome. Details:
Fred Parsons 01934 863562.
Saturday January 31st
Mendip Society Walk – 4.5 miles to Maesbury
Castle Hillfort. Meet 10.30am at Rocky
Mountain Nurseries, Old frome Road, Wells,
BA5 3HA. Contact, Gill 01934 742508.
Saturday January 31st and Sunday February
Somerset Vintage & Classic Tractor Show,
the Royal Bath and West Showground, 9am4pm, Adults £7, OAPs,children £4. Details:
Sunday February 1st
Mid Somerset Oxfam Group quiz at The
Britannia, Wells, BA5 3LQ. 7.30pm, £2.50pp.
Maximum six per table. Contact Trevor 07739
Tuesday February 3rd
The Golden Age of Venetian Glass, a talk by
Mrs J Gardiner for Mendip DFAS, 10.30 for
11am, Westex Suite, Bath & West Show
Ground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN. Details: Guests welcome.
Thursday February 5th
Wells Evening Society, David Edwards,
Surviving the Volcano at Monserrat, 7.30pm,
Wells Town Hall.
Saturday February 7th
Frome Society for Local Study and Frome
Civic Society, Richard Kay on the auctioneer’s
art, Frome Assembly Rooms, 2.30pm.
Mendip Society Walk – 6 miles around Bristol
Dockside. Meet 10am at Temple Meads station.
Contact, Roger 01761 490458.
What's On section:Layout 1
Page 82
(Photo courtesy of Screen Yorkshire
Testament of youth
Alicia Vikander as Vera Brittain in
Testament of Youth
ADVANCE booking is now open for the drama film
Testament of Youth at Wells Film Centre which starts on
Friday, January 16th.
Management at the centre are planning to hold a pre-release
screening of the film on the evening of Monday, January 12th
with a live question and answer session broadcast from
London’s South Bank with the director James Kent and some
of the cast. Testament of Youth is based on the First World
War memoir of the same name written by Vera Brittain. The
film stars Alicia Vikander as Vera Brittain and Kit Harington
as her fiancé Roland Leighton.
The pre-screening event will begin at 6.30pm with an
exclusive “behind the scenes” film. For more information,
WWI memories brought to life
A scene from The Little Victory Ball’s performance in Nunney
AN exhibition of domestic artefacts, souvenirs and period
costumes from the First World War and the immediate post-war
years, is to open in Frome in January.
The items have been loaned by the Heritage Lottery-funded
theatre group The Little Victory Ball who will also stage some
live performances to coincide with the display.
The theatre group’s shows look at how people at home coped
during the conflict and in the aftermath. The emphasis is
particularly on women who found themselves working in
munitions factories and driving buses.
The exhibition will be held at the Black Swan arts centre
from Saturday, January 17th until Saturday, January 31st, with a
show on Saturday, January 24th (7pm) and two shows on the
31st (4pm and 7pm). The Little Victory Ball will also be taking
group bookings from schools, residential homes and other local
groups for shows during the second week of the exhibition.
For information about tickets and bookings, visit:
Princes Road, Wells, BA5 1TD
Starts Friday
19th December
Starts Saturday
20th December
21st December
Starts Friday
26th December
Starts Thursday
1st January
Dumb & Dumber To (15) Get Santa (U)
Night At The Museum – Secret Of The Tomb (PG)
Annie (PG)
Nutcracker (12A) – Bolshoi Ballet
Unbroken (15)
Theory Of Everything (12A)
Book in person Online 24/7 Over the ’phone: 01749 673195
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