Enter the Horsington School virtual balloon race

Horsington School is trying to raise funds via a virtual balloon race. No real balloons are involved, so no pollution or animal poisoning.

All you have to do is log in, buy some balloons, decorate them, and release them. The system then works out where they will land, taking account actual weather conditions on the day.

Have a go. You could win £500

The competition starts on October 31st

More details here

Beware the Amazon Scammers

Ed writes…

Are you getting irritating automated calls from Amazon threatening to take payments from your bank account for an Amazon Prime subscription?

“Press 1 to speak to an Amazon agent”.

This is a barefaced scam. Normally when you press ”1”, nothing happens, and you get disconnected.

But one day last week I pressed “1” and was connected to a Chinese-sounding lady who told me my account had been hacked and she would help me to stop the calls and track down the culprit.

I was out walking, but she said she would phone me back.  She told me to go to my computer and open a webpage called “Teamviewer”. I was then instructed to download some software.

Luckily I had already Googled “Amazon Prime scam”, which revealed that I was about to have my computer stripped bare of all financial data, passwords etc with a view to raiding my bank account.

I wasted the young lady’s time (and mine) for about ten minutes before accusing her of being, amongst several unprintable things, a common thief, and a filthy scammer.

To my amazement she went on protesting that she was from Amazon and was trying to help me!

If you receive these calls on a mobile phone, they are easy to block.  Just go to call history, click on the number and select “block number”.

Amazon is a huge and profitable company and surely has the resources to track down these criminals, who are causing serious damage to the company’s reputation.

More about Teamviewer software here

Horsington Open 2020- Results


Overall Winner of the Claret Jug – Scott Houghton 26pts
Division 1 winner (hcap <25) -Andrew Gordon 24pts
Div1 Runner-up Trevor Legg 24pts
Division 2 (hcap>25) Rob Acheson 23 pts
Div 2 runner up Mike Davies 23 pts

Best Team Horsington Hackers 57 pts
Runner up Shankers 53 pts
Nearest pin (hole 3) Mark Thirlwell (Sponsored by Nick Hudd)
Nearest pin in 2 (hole 6) Peter Gripper
Nearest Pin( hole 8) George Wagland


Scott Houghton28261
Andrew Gordon23252
Lee Williams21243=
David Blake17243=
Trevor Legg24243=
Steve Lovell20236=
Frank Skinner14236=
John Treasure17236=
Rob Acheson28236=
Mike Davies282210=
Kevin Roadaway142210=
Richard Case172210=
Steve Penny132113=
George Wagland182113=
Andre Blond162113=
Jack Newton232113=
Thomas Lakeman232113=
Tom Mallaburn262017=
Robin Price282017=
Sylvia Blackwell272017=
Nick Maynard201920=
Tim Weatherlilt131920=
Phil Warren281920=
Mac Grant131920=
James Chalke121920=
Howard Bentley-Marchant221920=
Colin Constable251920=
Gill Miles361920=
Mark Thirlwell161828=
Roman Franks181828=
William Wallace1828=
Peter Blackwell281828=
Nick Hudd131828=
Anthony Ward181828=
Damian Orton241828=
Colin Sandall231828=
Simon Ball261828=
Tony Brodie211737=
Denise Case211737=
Ian Osman161737=
Geoff Corani181737=
Kevin Jackson261737=
Phil Ragsdale121737=
Jeoff Hunt181644=
Pete Bastable231644=
Mark Warren241644=
Mark Sedwill181644=
Justin Brown121548=
Peter Gripper181548=
James Bastable171548=
Peter Munro241548=
June Ragsdale361548=
Terry White211548=
Dave Bowden231454=
Perran Newton231454=
Moira Roadaway361356=
Roger Jackson221356=
Tony Garrett161158=
Chris Bailward281158=
Malcolm Stobart221060=
Rob Wright261060=
Andy David28961=
Andrew Tarling24961=
Chris Hoare20961=
Simon Edlman18864=
Richard Gaunt28765=
Anthony Hodges23666=
Anthony Yateman28467=

Horsington Open: The Claret Jug returns to Horsington

The Horsington Open was held on Saturday. This annual charity golf competition, now in its 8th  year, was hotly contested at Henstridge Golf Club with a record entry of 68 socially distanced players. Horsingtonians turned out in force to support the event  – The Horsington Hackers, the Half Mooners, the Home Farm Harriers and Dentists on the Job all flew the flag for the village..

Scott Houghton from Templecombe, playing for the Horsington Hackers, carried off the Claret Jug, which now returns to its rightful place in the Half Moon. Peter Gripper and George Wagland, playing for the Half Moon,  won two of the three “Nearest the pin “ competitions. David Blake and the Warren family team,  the Horsington Hackers,  won the team prize, beating off a stiff challenge from the Foxcombe Flyers (Andre Blond and Damian Orton, with  Jack and Perran Newton); Richard and Denise Case put in a strong showing, along  with  Andrew Tarling and Nick Maynard, also representing the Half Moon. Chris Bailward’s team., The Home Farm Harriers managed to produce the division2 runner up, Rob Acheson.

Anthony Yateman fought off a spirited challenge from Richard Gaunt to secure last place with just 4 points.

Over £1200 was raised for charity, to be divvied up between St Margaret’s Hospice and the Somerset Air Ambulance.

A great day. Well done everyone.

Thanks to Jerry’s Electrical, Vale Motors and Totally Floored for some great prizes. And to Henstridge Golf Club, for presenting a course in terrific condition.

Winner Scott Houghton with the Claret Jug
The Horsington Hackers, winners of the Team prize. David Blake, Phil Warren, Mark Warren, Scott Houghton
The socially-distanced half Mooners- Peter Gripper, George Wagland, Nick Maynard and Andrew Tarling
The Home Farm Harriers – Rob Acheson, Gill Miles, Chris Bailward and Anthony Yateman
Dentists on the Job – Roman Franks, William Wallace, Tom Mallaburn and Richard Gaunt
George Wagland gives it one!
Andrew Tarling wields an invisible club!

Horsington Open: Final version of Tee allocations

The Horsington Open tees off on Saturday with a record entry of 72 golfers – 24 more than last year. In fact the competition is now fully booked

. The prizegiving is around 2 pm on Saturday 5th September. Why not come and have a drink, buy a raffle ticket and cheerr on your local heroes, who will have been working all morning raising money for local charities. (And also enjoying a highly competitive but friendly game of golf

The latest (and hopefully) final list of teams and tee allocations can be downloaded HERE

A new perspective on Slavery

The fishermen and coastal dwellers of 17th-century Britain lived in terror of being kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa. Hundreds of thousands across Europe met wretched deaths on the Barbary Coast in this way. Professor Robert Davis investigates

Read this article on the BBC History website:


Wicked Stepmother turns the tables on the Seven Dwarves

Our parliamentary correspondent Harry Hansard is having a bit of a thin time at Westminster at the moment, so he has pointed his acid-dripping pen at Wincanton, where a dramatic council meeting took place on Monday 24 August. Over to you, Harry

Wincanton Council meeting. Spot the dagger.

Reminiscent of a Wagnerian opera, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and “Snow White and you-know -who”,  Armageddon made a brief visit to Wincanton on August 24th. Outside the wind crashed and the rain came down in stair rods. Inside, for the benefit of Zoomwatchers, a tragedy was played out.

The seven dwarves have it in for the Wicked Stepmother. She has been ingnoring some of them, harassing them by sending too many emails,  bullying,  fixing the minutes and other crimes. They have had enough. It was time to assassinate her. The knives were out. But in a supreme piece of procedural legerdemain, Standing Orders decreed that the assassins speak, not as elected councillors, but as ordinary  residents, thereby neatly blunting their daggers. (Whaaat? -Ed)

First to plunge in the dagger was Councillor Dawn Old, who read the charge sheet “ For 18 months I have been bullied and harassed;  you complain at every opportunity  at my behaviour, yet no reflection is taken  on your own behaviour. You have racked up over 100  formal complaints about you. I have seen you be the cause of 2 clerks going off sick, belittled my colleagues, picked people to co-opt and  scripting what they say,  fixing votes, minutes of meetings falsely changed. Spending money from reserves, conducting council business outside the full council, selling us out over car parking, and  lone meeting with property developers” (foot soldiers of the devil incarnate? -Ed).

She brandished a petition with over 507  signatures (nearly 100 more than the  votes received by the Wicked Stepmother) and demanded a vote of no confidence in the WS.

The WS was ready to cut her off at the pass. Step forward on cue, bag carrier Councillor Tudgay . Out of order, he ruled. (Follow this carefully) The councillor was speaking as a resident and not as a councillor and therefore could not initiate a vote of no confidence. That would have to wait for a slot on a probably very crowded agenda.

Councillor Eadington (speaking as a resident, but not as a councillor(!) said it was like being on the Titanic heading for the rocks skippered by the WS. She was off. Stab. So too was Councillor Sue Hinks, fed up with not being informed or involved in council business and excluded from the WS’s inner circle. Stab

Councillor Phil Rogers brandished his dagger. He was voted in to represent the town, he said. But he felt the council now merely represented itself.  He would not put up with bullying. Stab

Councillor Old re-entered the fray, her dagger flashing. She thanked the resigners for their years of service and said there was not one remaining councillor she had respect for or could vote for. This was the most corrupt council Wincanton had ever had. She resigned. Stab. Comedic exit to strains of “The Muppet Show”, which drowned out formal proceedings for the next few minutes.

Councillor Hearne complained she no longer had a voice on the council. Her suggestions often never made it on to the agenda. Resign . Stab.

The WS remained unperturbed throughout these assassination attempts. Icily emotionless, she batted away each mortal blow like someone swatting an irritating fly. The brave assassins were reminded that all assassinations had to be in writing, dated, and delivered to the Town Hall.

So rather than witnessing the the bloody demise of the Wicked Stepmother, we ended with the disturbing spectacle of the seven dwarves, well 5 of them, falling on their swords.

The WS had vanquished her foes without lifting a finger. She now reigns supreme, unchallenged and mistress of procedural chicanery. Where is Snow White when you need her?

This is not over.

Sue Shelbourn-Barrow, mayor of Wincanton

You can witness the meeting on YouTube-https://youtu.be/V3O9cSatiDU

(Skip the first 2 minutes)