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The children on site love being involved with the animals and birds. They often help me put the goslings to bed (1) or want to see the cows (2). During one weekend I had a very musical group who serenaded us with guitars and drums (3) On another occasion some keen cyclists and their supporters from Southampton arrived for a one night stop after cycling 107 miles from home. They put up their matching tents quickly and then relaxed (4). The next morning they said that they would be leaving at 6.30 am so I was there to take more photos at 6.20 (5) but they were nowhere near ready! Within an hour they were on their bikes (6) ready to do the next 105 miles to somewhere in Dartmoor. The following day they planned to cycle a further 80 odd miles to reach Lands End. The site continues to attract interesting caravans this one being an Eriba called Daisy (7). Lots of people bring dogs. It was very difficult to get this family of three to stay still long enough to be snapped together (8). The father, Chief, is a Highland White Terrier, the mother, Missy, a Bichon Frise and their 11 ½ weeks old son, Solo, is a Weeson (designer puppy). Painting of buildings near the house and campsite is never ending. (9)


The animals were late going out to grass this year for various reasons (10), but before letting them out they had to be wormed (11) and replacement ear tags had to be inserted to make the animals legal (12, 13). Some of the animals seem to lose their ear tags during the winter by rubbing their heads against the feeder. We have several fields with wild flowers (14). These fields need to be cut later than grass that is a new ley without flowers, so that the wild flowers will seed before being cut off. The grass is mown (15) and then tedded (spread out to dry more quickly) (16). Next the machine is adjusted so that it then becomes a rake which puts the silage into swaths (17, 18). The bailer then comes along and picks up the silage (or haylage if the grass is very dry) (19). The bales are then wrapped (20) and finally carried to the pile at the side of the field before being moved to their final destination ready for the animals to eat next winter (21). There are some heifers on the farm which have calved within the last 6 months (22). There is a bull running with them at the moment.


There is lots of fruit in the garden at the moment. It is a bumper year for gooseberries, both large and miniature (23) and for black currants (24). In fact I have been pruning (cutting off a third of the oldest stalks on each bush) and giving the stalks to friends and campers so that they can pick them themselves (25) The loganberries are just getting ripe. Most of them are on a wall next to the bees so it means I have to go out and pick them before the bees are up or after they have gone to bed as I am allergic to bee stings (26). Perhaps I will let the birds have them! The first sunflower, sweet pea and dahlia have all appeared in the last 2 weeks (27, 28, 29). The Philadelphus (mock orange blossom) gives off an amazing perfume (30), the Coggygria is very useful for putting with cut flowers (31) and the yucca just looks majestic on the roadside verge (32)


In June the West Dorset Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Club held its 39th Annual Rally at West Bay. Local enthusiasts John Lambert and Ben Chivington, (33, 34) who dressed for the part, took a 1926 Eddison Steam Roller to this event. The journey it took to West Bay from Bridport Foundry caused quite a stir. (35).

Broadoak held a Summer Party which involved the whole community. The obstacle race was the funniest to watch, with walking the plank (36), catching a doughnut on a piece of string (37), ‘bobbing’ for an apple in water (38) finding a piece of chocolate in a plate of flour (39) and crawling under a tarpaulin (40). All ages ran the egg and spoon race (41). Tea included hot dogs (42) and jellies (43)


In 2012 when the West Dorset District council decided to close Charmouth Library to save costs, a team of determined villagers stepped in and decided not only to save it but to re-invigorate it (44). The council paid for some essential repairs to be done before handing over the building, and then volunteers redecorated it in modern, welcoming colours. Lottery funding was secured to enable the Library to be extended to provide a bright café and meeting area with toilet facilities. This is proving very popular with local groups – Rhymetime for the under 5s, Tea and Chat for older residents, computer training, a Sewing Circle and Film Clubs for all ages, to name but a few. Delicious tea, coffee and snacks are always available. The Tourist Information Service is also based in the porch of the building. ‘Charmouth Central’, as it is now known, continues to provide the same book service as before (45). Local people are able to use their existing library tickets to borrow books, and to order books from other libraries. Usage has increased, unlike in many of the Council run buildings. The Library is staffed entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers who have undergone detailed training to run the service. Overall Charmouth Central is buzzing with activity!


Recently there has been a ‘rescue dig’ at Seatown, near Chideock. (46) The digging has to be done at the present time otherwise it will disappear into the sea and be lost forever. An archaeologist who happened to be walking along the beach noticed that there was a black band of material eroding out of the cliff face. (47) The land involved belongs to the National Trust who organised their own archaeologists and volunteers to do the dig. They had dug down to a depth of 6 feet. From the grass at the top there is a layer of top soil deposit. Next was found a layer of stones and soil which was thought to have ‘slipped’ from the nearby hill through ploughing or other activities. Below that was soil deposition and at the base was there was the remains of a 4000 year old mound of burnt material (48). It is believed to date from the Bronze Age.

A little way further down the ditch was what looked like the remains of heath or kiln (49). It was sprayed with water to bring the yellow, black and red colours up more clearly. The whole site was a hive of activity (50, 51) and twice a week local children, as part of their school activity period, came to help with the dig (51, 53). To date quite a lot of flint (54) (scrapers and cutting blades) has been found – possibly dating back to 800 BC and some Iron Age pottery (55). This dig is part of the National Trust’s Conservation of the Archaeology of the Coast which is linked to the year of the Coast Rescue Mission. When the “Burnt Mound” was in operation the actual coast line would have been a mile further out to sea. Whilst walking along the beach to take the cliff photos I espied a sheep which I thought was just about to commit suicide (56) but within a very short time it was joined by another sheep and then both trotted down the cliff face just like mountain goats (57)


Ee cawd do it – he pretended to do it

All growed up – reached adulthood

Cover me pook up – cover up my protruding stomach (with a large shirt)

Ee be all to ell – he is definitely not very well

Ee will car us to Bridport – He will take us to Bridport (by some means of transport)

Suent – farming term – to spread evenly over soil – for grass seed/wheat or manure

The dog was runned ovr – the dog was run over

Tis upter – it is up to her (to do something)

Cassent cuss as well as could cas – you can’t cuss (swear) as well as you could cuss

Verk stick – a walking stick with a fork at the top where one’s thumb and forefinger could rest` whilst yarning (gossiping)

Croopy down – a female child

The girl be red headed – she is reaching puberty


Thank you to the people who helped me with research for this newsletter: George and Amanda Streatfield, Carol Lee, Mandy Harvey, The National Trust and Carol Lewis.

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