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This week I had a Veterans4Verterans group staying overnight with their support team. The V4V started off as a Facebook group just for ex-service personnel, but it grew. (1) This year the charity chosen is Garrison Girls. This was set up to help not only the service men but also the families of sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The two veterans in this case took on the challenge of walking from Lands End to Whitehall in London. They started on 1st February and walked from Lands End to Helston, the following day’s journeys took them to Cornon Downs, then St Austell, Liskeard, and Plymouth. They have walked on average about 25 miles a day. They had a rest day in Plymouth. From there they journeyed to Totness, Dawlish, Honiton and thence on to Crabbs Bluntshay. They plan to arrive in Whitehall at the MOD on 28th February The veterans are picked up at the end of every day by the caravan where the supporters offer them somewhere warm and dry to stay, food to eat, and somewhere they can “chill out” for the evening. They left the campsite at about 9 am on a cold and frosty morning to start the next leg of their journey in Bridport. (2, 3)


To date we have had about 80 lambs born. As with cows and calves, sheep and lambs have to be ear tagged too. This is quite a complicated process with lambs (4, 5, 6, 7). The lambs are kept close to their mothers during this process to make it less stressful for both lambs and ear tagger, (8) but one mother got quite aggressive and tried to head butt, so the lamb had to be taken out of the pen to be tagged.

I was recently given this piece of equipment (9) and we moved it to the garden path as a feature. It was very heavy to manoeuvre. It is thought that the outside frame dates from the early 1800s and was originally a cake cracker which kibbled (rendered into small pieces) large slabs of cotton cake, linseed cake and palm kernel cake for cattle to eat. Later on the parts relating to the cake cracker disappeared and what was left was made into a grinding stone which sharpened axes and scythes, bill hooks for hedge laying and staff and reap hooks for trimming hedges and brambles. As with any old galvanise buildings the roofs leak so more galvanise had to be found to keep our sawn up wood dry. (10)

It was so warm today after the sharp frost has disappeared, that the bees were out flying. (11)



The event was a variation of a Beetle Drive. When we walked through the door at Blackdown Village Hall we were given a sheet with either a blue or pink line on it (12) (after we had paid £5 to partake in the exciting evening). Four people sat at each table with blues facing pinks. Dice were then thrown (very close to the table to speed up the game was preferable). We needed a 6 to start – to draw a body, and then a 5 to draw the head. After that we hoped to throw a one for a button, 2 for an arm, three for a nose or mouth and 4 for an eye, until you had created a “snowman” We worked in pairs and if say you threw a 4 you would call out to your partner “4 – an eye”It was important to build up the speed of the throwing and picking up of the dice and giving it to the person on your left. It was amazing how quickly some people shouted “snowman” having gained 14 points. While this speedy drawing was taking place some other people hadn’t even started because they had not thrown a 6. When the game had finished the winning pair had to move – the blue one to a higher numbered table, and the pink one to a lower numbered table. Quite often there was some confusion at this point! One of the losers on the table had to move to a different seat so that s/he would be partnering a different person for the second game. My highest score was 13 (13). After 12 games the scores were added up. The maximum could be 168 (which was impossible to achieve).

The winner of the event had a score of 122. The booby prize went for a score of 68. This score card showed two blanks! There was a bar at hand (14) to keep everyone cool, calm and collected. We were rewarded for our efforts later on with delicious puddings – especially the pavlovas. (15) As a finale the raffle took place (16)


At the end of January the 16th Big Breakfast took place at Whitchurch. We always get to the hall early as there are so many other things to do on a Sunday. Bread was waiting to be toasted (17), and fruit and cereals were there to be eaten (18). The kitchen staff were just warming up for the mammoth task of cooking for between 300 and 350 people during the long morning (19). It is always such a great social event. (20). The total profit for the Big Breakfast was £1840 which included the raffle. The money will be split between Prostrate Cancer UK and the Whitchurch Village Hall.


This club has been running for several years on a monthly basis. Ivan is always chief projectionist (21) It is possible to join for a year for £40, or pay as you attend. Food is always served before the film (22) and a bar is available.

The films for 2016 are

  • January – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • February – The Man in the White Suit
  • March – Mr Turner
  • April – Caught on a Train
  • May – Field of Dreams
  • June – Atonement
  • July – Up
  • August – Cinema Paradiso
  • September – The Maltese Falcon
  • October – Cold Mountain
  • November – Like Water for Chocolate
  • December – The Nightmare before Christmas


I attended a Jurassic Coast Trust photography workshop at the end of January. We met up at The Chesil Beach Centre, Portland (23) where we were introduced to Julian Sawyer an award-winning nature photographer. The Centre held a wealth of very informative displays (24). Our first destination on Portland was the Tout Quarry. (25) This area depicted many fascinating sculptures (26, 27, 28). We saw the remains of the old railway track where unsuitable stone was just carried along the track and dumped over the cliff (29). There were several examples of brilliant stonework in the area (30). Later on we were able to take some amazing shots showing Portland and the Fleet (31). Lastly we came to Portland Bill where there were gale force winds lashing up huge waves and nearly blowing us into the sea. (32, 33)


This was formed in May 2002 and is a limited company. The Association has a core boundary of Charmouth, Beaminster and Abbotsbury, with Bridport and West Bay being the primary focus. The BDTA’s main activities are concentrated on:

  • Networking – through regular member social meetings (34)
  • Marketing – through the website, a presence at the Melplash Show, and various advertising
  • Lobbying – the BDTA is a member of a multiple local government committees and has good connections at the town, district and county level councils.

With around 60 members and a desire to recruit more, the Association is made up of all sorts of companies with the main criterion for membership being a positive attitude to tourism. Members include holiday parks, B&Bs, hotels, shops, pubs and farms.

Each year the Association makes an award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Local Tourism. Recipients of the award include Professor Denys Brunsden, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and Chris Chibnall.

A selection of Association members is as follows Bridport Tourism Information Centre, (35), The Olive Tree (36), Palmers Brewery (37), Highlands End Holiday Park (38), Bridport Coachworks (39), Highway Farm (40), Kernow Pantry (41), Snooks the Hatters (42), Bridport Arts Centre (43), Bridport Antiques (44) , the Taj Mahal. (45) and Crabbs Bluntshay Farm. Websites for these businesses can be found below. If anyone would like to join the Association the email is

Tourist Information Centre –

Olive Tree –

Palmers Brewery –

Highlands End Holiday Park –

Bridport Coachworks –

Highway Farm –

Kernow Pantry –

Snooks the Hatters –

Bridport Arts Centre –

Bridport Antiques –

The Taj Mahal does not have a website


Thank you to the people who helped me with research for this newsletter: Scott Conliffe, Louise Webberley, Malcolm Castle, Caroline Lambert, Sue Johnson, Richard Payne-Withers, The Veterans4Verterans Charity and Guy Kerr.


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