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The last month has seen so much activity with all the children who have been staying on site. Some of them wanted to make a den in the orchard and I gave them material like hardboard from the goose’s pen, plastic feed bags, silage bale string, fencing stakes and old dust sheets to help them on their way. (1,2). They even brought shingle back from Charmouth to make a path with logs. Quite young children helped with setting up their tent for their parents (3). The fire pit was used for the second time for a barbeque (4) and marshmallows were a delicious treat with one family (5). The New Holland Tractor is always a favourite for children to be photographed with. (6) I have had two stag parties visit the site, one being from London which was also a reunion of university friends. This group christened my new fire pit (7). The other stag group was also a reunion of the people in the same class at Poole Grammar School. They liked a good game of croquet. A mother and daughter from the Czech Republic were travelling around the West Country by public transport, I drove them to Morcombelake to catch buses for days out. (8). One family arrived with a “5 minute tent” and they did in fact manage to get it up in that time (9). A couple, who did not want to drive their motorhome out and about during their visit, brought along their scooter and sped around the lanes on it. (10) I try to do my conservation walk around the farm as often as possible and had a good turn out for this one in July (11)


At the beginning of August we found a heifer calf (Daisy) that had been rejected by its mother Myra. Myra seemed to favour the male twin (Douggy). (12) We tried over 24 hours to make the pair bond but it the end we had to bring Daisy to the barn in the back of a car (13) and hand feed it (14) first on colostrum (equivalent to its mother’s milk) for a few days, then on ordinary milk powder. There will be more about Daisy in my September newsletter.

The geese have proved as popular as ever with some children arriving in their pyjamas anxious to let the geese out first thing in the morning (15). The goose house then has to be got ready for the evening by filling up their feeder with wheat and giving them clean water and bedding. (16) The children even wanted to see if the geese liked melon (17) Geese need to be moved to new grass every so often and we had to put up a new temporary fence (18) when they moved to fresh pastures 2 weeks ago.

Collapsing drains and heavy vehicles cause dips in the yard so scalpings or hardcore have to be tipped to make a better surface (19). Fences collapse over time with rotten stakes so repairs are on going (20). A 20 ft trailer is a useful piece of equipment and this one is being repaired with new chequered plate sheets (21, 22) A 1950s International B23 mowing machine with a reciprocating cutter bar has been restored and worked perfectly to top (cutting thistles and old grass after the sheep have left) the orchard. (23, 24).

The Marshwood Vale Young Farmers’ club organised an exchange weekend with a group from Wickin Glamorgan in Wales. The group stayed in one of my fields (25) and had a hearty breakfast on the first morning (26) Our local club had been over to Wales for their exchange trip earlier in the summer. During their weekend stay the Welsh young farmers visited a robotic milking unit, Splash Down at Poole and the beach and fair at West Bay and had a riotous party in a local farmer’s barn during one evening. The MVYFC made an interesting exhibit at the Bridport Carnival in that they manually pulled a Ferguson 35 tractor up the main street dressed in their black and white cow designed onesies. (27)


I have been selling flowers at the markets since the beginning of July (28). I have a good crop of tomatoes but they are very slow in going red (29) Campsite children helped me pick blackcurrants and later sorted through them to get rid of the leaves and bits of grass (30). Two very enthusiastic girls helped me label my chutney jars with tamper proof, name, lot, ingredients and sell by date labels (31). The buying of a cheap (£15) paddling pool has proved popular with everyone and many hours have been spend shrieking with laughter, (32. 33) and occasional shivering! We have a Plum Viney apple tree in the garden which always has tons of apples. (34) We do not have time to make cider of them so they are given to the cows and geese. Its a pity we don’t have pigs here any more.


Salway Ash Fete was lucky to have a brilliantly sunny day. The crashing of plates (35) could be heard all over the field and people did not last very long on the slippery horse (36). The skittle alley tested the expertise of many a skittler during the afternoon (37) and the tombola stand had many prizes waiting to be won. (38) The dancing girls from Kelci’s Dancing Academy were waiting for their turn in the main ring (39) and a tug of war contest proved very popular with both children and young farmers. (40, 41, 42). The Marshwood Vale Young Farmers were wearing their new tops and used converted ski boots to get a good grip on the situation. The other team who pulled against them was the Beaminster Young Farmers team. The Marshwood Vale team won.

I was very impressed with the Bridport Carnival floats. There appeared to be more floats than in previous years. The Bridport Foundry drove their Eddison Steam Engine up the main street pulling a trailer (43, 44). My cousin carried the Town Crier and Mayor in his 1921 Rover 16 car (45). This car was found in an orchard in Worcester in 1976 and lovingly restored over 11 years. Washingpool Farm had an authentic wagon carrying sheaves of wheat but modern day straw bales (46) to sit on and Kelci’s Academy’s girls were out doing their best with hula hoops (47, 48)

The Friends of St Candida (associated with Whitchurch Church) recently put on a Garden Party Concert. The Cantamus Choir sang pieces from Monteverdi, Gibbons, Vaughan Williams and other composers in the church at Whitchurch which has wonderful acoustics. (49) The choir was formed in 2012 and is a small group of singers whose aim is to select and perform the very best from sacred, secular and consort music and to bring it through occasional performances to a wider audience in West Dorset and elsewhere. After the concert we descended on Candida House across the road for a high tea (50, 51, 52). If it had not been raining so much beforehand we would have eaten at tables and chairs on the main lawn. (53) An old photo of a similar garden party taken in Edwardian times on the same lawn (when the building was the local vicarage) has been given to me. (54).

Very little is known of the history of the old vicarage – as there are no deeds (as is often the case with church property). In the vestry minutes it was noted that building work on the original house (which was much smaller) was done during the encumbancy of the Reverend Francis Gosforth (1810-1839) who authorised what the building is today. In the 1881 census a Rev Francis Allen, his wife Rosa and their ten children lived at the vicarage. Also lodging there were 2 assistant curates, a niece, governess, pupil, and three servants. During the late 1950s and early 1960s (and possibly before) the local village school held their annual sports on the lawn. (55, 56). The first photo shows children in the “boat race” with headteacher Mrs Ridout. The second one is of the mothers’ race. The vicarage became a private house in 1976 when the church sold it to the present owner. A custom built vicarage was erected just up the road, but the church sold this off in 2007, and the joint vicars at the time moved to Charmouth, which is where the present team vicar (of 13 parishes) lives.


Bellice – fire bellows

Blatherhead – an idiot

Bickety – arrogant

Clothes that do wring – clothes that are too tight and cut into your skin

Cocked up – stood waiting for someone

Cor jiggard – well fancy that

Ee dowted the light – switched off the light

Ee be very near – he is very miserly

Ee do eat too eager – he eats greedily

Gayking – going out a lot socially

Gone to pigeons bush – gone to a secret destination

Nestletripe – the runt of the litter


Thank you to the people who helped with research for this newsletter: John and Cynthia Bain, Caroline and Eleanor Lambert and Olivia Daly from the Cantamus Choir.

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