The Blackmore Vale Magazine is dead. Long live “The Leveller”

So farewell then, the Blackmore Vale Magazine, the local house hunters’ bible and the one place to look for gardeners, tilers, garden machinery and old cars. Oh, and the dating page, which used to have some of us in stitches in the pub on Friday nights.

But rejoice. A replacement is at hand. Enter “The Leveller”, which claims to be Somerset’s largest circulation newspaper, based in Langport.

It’s a monthly, and the latest edition is just out. Each copy has been treated with an anti-bacterial agent, so you have nothing to fear.

Unlike the BVM, The August edition of ”The Leveller” is packed with hard-hitting news and editorials.

  • The sudden cave in of Somerset’s District Councils in favour of a single unitary authority for Somerset.
  • The case for a single unitary authority
  • The Collapse of the planning departments in SSDC and SWAT
  • The questionable results of SSDC’s “transformation programme” and its budget overrun
  • Dubious behaviour by councilors in Wells over planning issues
  • The ongoing soap opera of Wincanton Town Council
  • The sale of Viridor (who collect your rubbish) to an American venture capital company
  • Somerset’s limited response to climate change
  • And much more

You would never find this kind of serious local journalism in the dear old BVM (or any  of its sister journals published by its owners Reach plc, who seem intent on putting all its publications on line in an annoying clickbait format which has alienated readers. The BVM was becoming increasingly advertising-driven, with the editorial team having a very minor seat at the bottom of the table. Sadly, they have all lost their jobs, which we regret. But in the blog’s view, the writing had been on the wall for years.

So we welcome “The Leveller”, and hope its talented editor Andrew Lee and team will continue the fight to hold the people who govern us to account. And lets have some ads for animals, old cars, garden sheds. Mowers, plumbers, plasterers and all sorts. No dating though.

You will find The Leveller in most of the places you would have picked up the BVM

The on line edition is here

It’s also on Facebook and Twitter.

Horsington Open fully booked with a record entry

A record 72 people will set out in pursuit of the coveted Claret Jug in the 9th Horsington Open at Henstridge Golf Club on September 5th. This is the maximum number the course can accommodate in two “Shotgun starts” – where everyone begins simultaneously on different tees.

The competition was fully booked two and a half weeks before the Off, another record.

Last year the Open raised £950 for local charities Wincanton Live at Home and St Margaret’s Hospice. This year organisers Richard Gaunt and David Blake are hoping to raise considerably more.

Good luck to all competitors. And remember to maintain a proper distance at all times. No jokes about touching the wrong balls -Ed

Half Moon Opening hours in August

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday

It was lovely to see so many of you on Sunday for the first time in ages! Here are our new opening hours. Booking for food is essential either via Facebook or by calling 01963 370140- Andrew

Friday 6-11pm – food served 7-9pm
Saturday 6-11pm – food served 7-9pm
Sunday 12-5pm – food served 12-2pm
Tuesday 6-10pm – food served 7-9pm

Every Tuesday in August is Steak Night! Using your Eat Out To Help Out concession, 2 x 10oz Rump steaks with all the trimmings for just £15! Yes!

Those Cheesemakers have done it again

Marcus Fergusson and Penny Nagel

Not content with invading mainland Europe (well, the Netherlands actually), the intrepid cheesemakers of Horsington Marsh have scooped another major award in the world of cheesemaking. Marcus and Penny, of Felthams Farm have won Best British Cheese with their famous Renegade Monk cheese, beating a Cornish Gouda and a Rutland Red, which came second and third respectively.

They also won their class- Best artisan (soft) cheese.

Over 300 cheeses were entered into the competition, including many well-known producers.

The awards were given by the Virtual Cheese Awards. “Virtual”, because of the Coronavirus lockdown. The judging of the 30 finalists was live on Zoom last Saturday.

The Virtual Cheese Awards were created during the COVID-19 pandemic and aimed to demystify and celebrate British cheese and its producers in a time of great need. 

Sarah de Wit, co-founder of the Virtual Cheese Awards and Cheese & Dairy consultant said:

“Renegade Monk is a very worthy winner and a fantastic example of a small artisan cheesemaker that is reinventing what a British cheese should be. We really are leading the world with our exceptional cheesemakers and we’re super proud to shine a light on them. All we ask is that consumers go out and buy these cheeses and support our British cheese industry.”

Marcus Fergusson, founder of Feltham’s Farm said of the win: “We are still completely over the moon; honoured and stunned in equal measure. We watched the judging live as a family, crowded around a computer screen…there was a refreshing transparency to the judging process and it was fascinating to hear all of the cheeses analysed by such knowledgeable and unflinching judges.

“Winning this award is huge for a tiny artisan producer like us. We sold our first cheese in March 2017 and last year sold just 6,000 cheeses. We are profoundly grateful for the exposure that the Virtual Cheese Awards has brought us and many other artisan cheese producers – we all need all the help we can get right now and we hope that the awards will encourage the public to keep buying artisan cheese from small outlets and not return to the supermarket habits of old!”

More info HERE

Brilliant! -Ed