The weather looks reasonable for the bank holiday Sunday, the pitch has been mown by Hoddy, and a reasonable quorum of players has agreed to turn up for the annual cricket match of Horsington v The Tabard Pilgrims, a London pub touring side.
Judging by previous years, the game will be a hard-fought fun game of village cricket at its best.
Kick-off is at 2 pm, and the match will be followed by the usual shenigans at the half Moon, which is also holding its traditional Bank Holiday Sunday quiz.
Able bodied cricketers seeking a game should contact Andrew Tarling at the Half Moon to see if there are any vacancies to fill – on either side.
The culvert replacement on the A30 in Sherborne at Newell Green turns out to need more work than expected. The road will now be totally closed 24 hours a day from 31 May to 24 June. Diversions are in place but basically, avoid.
Many Blog readers will be saddened by the death of Robert Neave. We are hoping that someone who knew him well will write an obituary for the Blog, but in the meantime we are re-printing the notice of his death published in “The Times”, which sums up his character and his sense of humour.
Intrepid cyclist Chris Bailward is heading off on a mammoth cycle trip through all the County Towns of England. He leaves by train from Bristol on 1st June and starts cycling from Carlisle on the 2nd. If all goes according to plan he will finish in Truro on 30th June, having covered 2016 miles.
Chris is raising money for Sport Relief on the way and hopes that you’ll dip into your piggy bank to help him raise at least £2016. Full details of the trip can be found on his blog at www.bailward.co.uk and there is a button which will take you to his Justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/Chris-Bailward1.
Good luck Chris
The Blog will keep you informed with regular updates.
Last Year Chris covered 1800 miles in an epic tour of France, travelling from the Channel to the Mediterranean via the alps, and then along the canal du Midi and up the Western flank., an incredible journey.
The Parish Council has been working hard to resolve the future of the pond and has come up with an imaginative scheme to transform it from a lifeless splodge of mud into a living pond of which we can all be proud.
The problem with the present regime is that the pond silts up, and has to be cleared every 7 years or so. It is no longer permissible to simply cart it away and spread it on fields and lawns – it has to be tested and analysed and taken away by licensed operators, and that means expense. Furthermore, once it has been cleared, it is lifeless, and plant and animal life has to start all over again.
You may be wondering why Horsington Pond has remained empty and choked with silt for the past few months. During the planning process, led by Charles James and Ian Snowden, they found that the roadside wall has been undermined by the water. So SSDC has agreed to repair the wall and complete the stone facing, which was never done when the concrete was installed some years ago.
The pond has remained empty, in order to arrange quotes and for inspections, and it will remain empty until the roadside wall has been repaired. Then, subject to successful funding, until the project is completed.
The Proposal: A living sustainable habitat
Charles James (who installed the new sluice gates supplied by Kev Wigley) did some research and took and advice from DEFRA, The Pond Conservation Trust (now the Freshwater Habitats Trust), the Environment agency, and various other specialists in the field of pond life and aquatic plants and wildlife. He has formulated a plan that entails creating three specific areas to create and maintain the freshwater habitat.
At the lodge end, where the water enters, a silt trap will be built. The natural level of the pond will allow the silt to be removed while still maintaining sufficient depth to allow the pond life to survive.
At the other end there will be a still water frog and newt pond. This will attract a host of aquatic creatures, and provide a fantastic educational resource for the school, and for visitors to the village.
The main body of the pond will be relatively silt free and provide a home for native fish such as minnows, sticklebacks, and all associated pond life naturally found in a freshwater pond with natural floating aquatic plants.
The Parish Council’s aim is to educate people, and at the same time enhance Horsington’s most precious asset.
There is a cost involved, and help is being sought from the National Lottery and Viridor. The funding is being co-ordinated by Ian Snowden.
There will be an exhibition at the Village Fete on 11th June, where all questions will be answered. And no doubt you will be able to contribute to the cost.
The Blog has sometimes criticised the Council, but this time we say “well done”.
Faster Broadband will soon be on its way for the many people in Horsington who do not live within the reach of BT’s superfast service. This will include most, if not all residents of Horsington Marsh, Cucklington and Stoke Trister. And the good news is that a £500 installation grant is available to every household which applies NOW.** This will cover installation costs, and the necessary Wi-Fi infrastructure.
And the better news is that, once installed, the Wi-Fi system appears to be only slightly more expensive than BT’s superfast service.
Your editor, who has a telephone and painfully slow broadband service, will probably save around £20 a month, since his current package does not include calls, but they are included in the combined broadband and phone package offered by Wessex Internet and Vonage.
Penny Nagle, who lives on Horsington Marsh, has been working tirelessly for several months to contact potential suppliers, organise grants and battle with the powers that be. She has received assistance and moral support from local councillor Tim Inglefield, and our MP David Warburton.
The details are a bit complicated, and set out in a consultation document from Wessex Broadband, which you can download here.
It can be summarised thus:
The main wi-fi point will be erected at Coneygore Hill, Stoke Trister, and this will serve subsidiary points at Foxcombe Lane and South Cheriton. Households will be served by one of these, based on signal strength. An existing Wi-Fi point on Henstridge Marsh will complete the coverage down to Buckhorn Weston, Nyland and beyond. Buildings and trees can affect the signal.
The Coneygore Hill Wi-Fi point is expected to be in service by the end of June and households in range will be able to connect shortly after completion. The others (Foxcombe Lane and South Cheriton) will have to wait until the subsidiary Wi-Fi points are confirmed.
We understand they are still trying to obtain a site. Suggestions and volunteer equipment hosts wanted. They are very unobtrusive. (See previous articles).
If you have not registered your interest, contact Penny Nagle as soon as possible. Registering an interest does not mean a financial obligation at this stage.
If you decide to come on board at a later date the voucher scheme may have expired, and you will face a big bill for installation.
**You will receive the voucher if you have speeds of less than 2Mbps. If you do, please take a screen grab (or photograph!) to send to Penny. This is all that the voucher scheme requires to claim.
Andrew and Jeanne Lakeman, who used to live at South Cheriton are hosting a Summer Fair in the garden of their new home at Fifehead Magdalen, just a few miles away. The date is Sunday 22nd May. From noon.
Music will be provided by the blue grass band The Old Boston Tea Party.
There will be a barbecue, tea ,cakes, a tombola, plant sale and much more.
Entry is by donation, in aid of Fifehead church.
Andrew and Jeanne look forward to welcoming old and new friends
The address is Highview, Fifehead Magdalen SP8 5RR