Tenth Horsington Open tees off in September

Last year’s winners- the Horsington Hackers

The famous “Horsington Open” is back in September. This annual fun golf tournament in aid of local charities will be played at Henstridge Golf Club on Saturday September 4th 2021. Last year it raised over £1250 for St Margaret’s Hospice and the Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance. Organisers Richard Gaunt and David Blake are hoping to beat this (again)in 2021.

The 9-hole competition is open to all comers. Ladies and non-handicappers are welcome. Entry is  £20 per player, including green fees. Individuals and teams of up to 4 can enter. Everything raised goes to the charities.

The prize (as befits an “Open”) is a claret jug (to keep for a year), plus many other prizes generously donated by local businesses.

The field normally includes some really good golfers, some desperately bad golfers, many ladies and several beginners. The result is normally a cliff-hanger, and it’s always fun.

This year they will be running three divisions – One for those with low handicaps (25and under) and the other for high handicaps (26 and over), which will make the distribution of prizes fairer. There will be a further division for those without a handicap (but it’s easy to get one -see below)

The easiest way to enter is to book on line via Facebook or the Horsington Blog :


Or you can get more information from  Henstridge Golf Club,  ALL WELCOME!

The competition is organised by Horsington’s Richard and Libby Gaunt and David and Tricia Blake, who recently moved to Bath.

How to get a handicap in time for the “Open” Join Henstridge Golf club as a “flexi member”. The cost is currently £100 for membership up to the end of February 2022, but will reduce pro rata week by week. This entitles you to half price golf, seven days a week, plus use of the practice range. Put in six nine-hole cards or three 18-hole cards and you will be given an English Golf handicap, which is valid on virtually every course in the world. Or join as a full member and you need pay nothing more.  Henstridge Golf club is on 01963 362789. Call to book a tee time or discuss membership options.

Follow the Horsington Open on Facebook

WTF:Wincanton Town Festival to go ahead despite attempted ban.

You couldn’t make it up. This Saturday 26 June is the Wincanton Town Festival, an arty party for everyone in the beautiful Grounds of Greening the Earth Gallery (Formerly Clementina’s) in the High Street. From 12 noon until 9pm

The event is supported and part funded by the pompous-sounding Wincanton Regeneration Board. Tongue in cheek, the organisers decided to market the event as WTF: Wincanton Town Festival.  

At the last minute, after all the participants  had been booked and all the budget allocated, a self-righteous, self-important, and probably overpaid, bureaucrat on the board made the decision to cancel funding of the event. The reason was an objection to the acronym WTF. Did she think it stood for something other than “Wincanton Town Festival”? “Wales Triumph at Football”, perhaps? “Welcome Transgender folk”? “Whisky Tasting Fantasia”?

With 48 hours to go, the organisers appealed higher up the food chain. To everyone’s relief, common sense prevailed, and the funding was reinstated. Not sure the regeneration board’s sense of humour has, though.

What the organisers say.

“WTF: Wincanton Town Festival.

The Wincanton Town Festival mARkeT aims to be more than just a market. It aims to be a full body experience!

This one-off event is set in and around the grounds of a truly captivating 17th century manor house located in the centre of Wincanton, the Greening the Earth Gallery (formerly Clementina’s).

This historic venue will play host to a wide variety of ‘experiences’ that are sure to stimulate all the senses! Artists from all disciplines will play, display, demonstrate and sell their special talents in and around this unique and picturesque setting.

Should be fun.

Saturday 26 June – 12noon- 9pm. Live music. Art. Food. Nature.

Morrisons must give raiders the brush off

Morrisons Wincanton. Under threat?

The Blog rarely comments on national news stories, but this has very local ramifications as well.

Morrisons have received a £5.5 billion takeover bid from a US Venture capital outfit called Clayton Dubilier and Rice, with former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy leading the charge to trouser vast profits, commissions and rakeoffs.

This has all the fingerprints of an elaborate scam which will crucify employees, customers, suppliers and pensioners.

It works like this. It order to raise the money to fund the deal, the US bidders will raise money against the security of the assets they are acquiring, and Morrisons will be left encumbered with vast debts. As a result, the new US owners will turn on the heat to make a hefty return on capital, to the detriment of prices, wages and suppliers (some of whom are local farmers and food processors). Bring on the chlorinated chicken!

Hysteria? consider the takeover of Manchester united by the Glazers, who borrowed huge sums against Man U’s collateral and paid themselves generous dividends as a bonus, without a single goal being scored.

Or unloved Kraft, who took over Cadbury’s and broke their promises regarding UK production, employees and tax status before the ink was hardly dry on the takeover agreement.

If this deal goes ahead, Morrisons will probably become  a private company and totally unaccountable, except to its US owners.

We hope shareholders will repel boarders and that the Government will stop this transfer of a very British enterprise to a dodgy US bidder.

Free golf at Henstridge on 26 June

Henstridge Golf Club, home of the fabulous “Horsington Open”, is holding an Open Day for anyone who wants to come and have a go. Make a note- Saturday 26th June from 9.30 am

Bring a friend and play 9 holes for free – or ask if a member is available to take you round. Golf clubs available if you don’t have any.

We suggest you book a tee-off time – 01963 371572 or email  admin@henstridgegolfandleisure.co.uk

It’s a great opportunity to try out the game, use the friendly bar and meet the captain and other members.

Also a great time to start practicing for the 10th Horsington Open, our annual charity tournament.

The Horsington Open is on Saturday 5th September 2021

Henstridge Golf club is in Marsh Lane, Henstridge, close to the airfield. It’s well signposted  from the A30.

More Broadband information from Wessex Internet

Wessex Internet have  sent us more details of the proposed FREE  Broadband project for Horsington and the Cheritons -Ed

Wessex Internet writes. . . Before we can commit to initiating our project for the area, we would like to see a 40% registration of interest level from the community. Once this is reached we will then progress to the next stages of submitting a project for approval to use UK Gigabit voucher funding here.

We would normally look to start building within 6 months of meeting the 40% signup rate. However, we must consider variables such as land access and ground conditions that may delay a project. For example, Horsington Marsh is a pocket of land that, using the soft dig approach, would need to be completed in the driest possible conditions to limit disruption and damage caused to land.

Here is a video of how we install our fibre: https://youtu.be/9Rw290tV9Ag  it is very important to stress that our approach to installing in residential gardens is that we will aim so cause as little disruption as possible, and heavy machinery is NOT used.

Most importantly: We use the voucher funding to help fund the network and Wessex is investing in the infrastructure to ensure that everyone who wants a connection receives a free of charge installation to their homes  (subject to a one off £49 activation fee and their monthly package charge). We will not charge on top of the voucher funding.

Sign up HERE

See original story

Broadband -Even better News!

Wessex Internet have joined the fray to pitch for a fibre broadband network connection into every home in the village.

Our last story featured Openreach. Their proposed network only covered 43 homes in selected postcodes at a cost of £2310 per dwelling (less the associated Government grant)

Wessex have come up with a scheme which will eventually connect nearly every house in Horsington, FREE (providing enough people sign up)

The Proposed Wessex scheme has 3 Zones – North Cheriton, South Cheriton and Horsington , including the Marsh. North and South Cheriton will be connected first, and Horsington later.

Under the Openreach proposal, we would need to  form a limited company to sign a contact to carry out the work. Everyone would have had to pay a deposit.

The Wessex scheme merely requires everyone to sign up  on line to declare they are interested. No money, providing you allow Wessex to apply for a voucher on your behalf.

You are strongly urged to do this, even if you have already signed up for Openreach. You have no liability until you sign an actual contract.

You can sign up HERE. Do it now! It costs nothing. Talk to your neighbours. (Not everyone reads The Blog.)

Some things to bear in mind:

  1. This is only viable if a significant proportion of the population signs up

2. The cost will be covered by Government grants -£1500 for homes, £3500 for businesses.

3. If not enough people sign up, IT WON’T HAPPEN.

4 .Research shows that your house goes up in value with a fast broadband connection and is easier to sell.

5. The Wessex scheme will require you to have a contract for their internet service starting at £29 pm.. This may mean a new email address etc. If you have a contract with someone else, you can switch over when your contract ends.

Wessex internet will be organising public meetings in Horsington or North Cheriton village halls to explain everything and answer questions.

Watch this space, as they say.

Our advice: At this early stage, sign up for both Openreach and Wessex, so you can compare the cost and disruption levels before going ahead. But Wessex looks like the winner.

See our original post

More about the fibre installation

The Installation of Broadband into a community has several stages

We are only at Stage 1

Stage 1 Registering interest. Wessex internet need to know what households want the service and then need to ensure there are enough of them  to make the scheme financially viable. Please make sure your neighbours know about this and are on board.

Stage 2 Planning. They have to map the proposed routes of the cables and negotiate with local landowners. We hope they will be sympathetic (they get a lifetime discount on services!) The cable laying process is as non-invasive as possible and uses “Mole ploughs”. The Clay around Horsington is ideal.

Stage 3 Building the network. The mole ploughs get to work, going under services like water mains. The teams have agricultural experience and understand farming. All land disruption is made good

Stage 4 Connecting customers. Wessex aims to treat gardens with care when the fibre cables are laid to houses

Stage 5 Complete. Sizzling broadband speeds. No more jerky movies or blank periods.

More information from Wessex Internet

Community Broadband – Your questions answered

Openreach have kindly provided us with answers to common questions. Watch the Blog for more news. We want to move fast.


Why do I need it and what will it do for me?

Why do I need faster Broadband?

There is published research independent of Openreach that show faster broadband can increase your house price by up to 2% and the second most asked question when viewing a house to buy or rent is what is the broadband speed, so you may not require faster broadband but should you ever wish to sell or rent your house a faster broad band will make it much more attractive to potential buyers.

More and more service require Wi-Fi/internet connection, Netflix, Sky Q, Ring door bell, Xbox, Security cameras this will only go in one direction.

 I am told I already have Fibre why is FTTP different?

When communication providers (CPs) speak of Fibre they can mean either Fibre to the Premise (Full Fibre, FTTP, Fibre to the Home) or Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). Most of the country have FTTC. Full Fibre or FTTP delivers gigabit capable fibre all the way into your home or business. It delivers faster speeds that can be guaranteed, no loss of speed at peak times and no loss of speeds due to distance from the cabinet or exchange. This link helps to explain the differences Openreach ADSL/FTTC/FTTP explained

What speed can I get from FTTP?

Our technology is capable of 1Gbps. At the moment most service providers are only offering service up to 330 Mbps. This is expected to change as demand increases.

Why do I need to do a Community Fibre Partnership when the Government have promised a full fibre rollout by 2025 (originally 2030)?

The Government have announced this but have not specified either how it will be delivered or who will pay for it. A CFP will deliver in one year (from contract signature). At the moment there are several voucher scheme available that may fully fund your scheme.

Can I have GFAST through a Community Fibre Partnership Scheme

It is not possible have a CFP using GFAST. GFAST is a technology that enables those near to a cabinet (within 300m) to receive speeds of up to 330mbps.

Is there an alternative solution to taking FTTP? Can I have a new cabinet nearer to me than take FTTP?

In theory yes, but in practice the cost of a new cabinet will be more expensive than FTTP and will be ineligible for Government vouchers.

I have a green fibre cabinet nearby, why can’t you just connect into this?

This is fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and is not capable of supporting a community’s FTTP connections. We have separate fibre connection points called nodes with much bigger capacity that we use to deliver fibre to the premises (FTTP).

How long does a typical Community Fibre Partnership take?

A Community Fibre Partnership can take up to 1 year to deliver once the contract is signed.

The time taken to get to contract is dependent on the complexity of the scheme, whether DCMS vouchers are used and the time it takes for the community lead to rally their community.

Estimates and Final offers

I only registered 5 addresses why have you listed 12 addresses in the Initial quote?

Within our network, properties share common Distribution Points (DPs), this could be a pole or a box outside your property. When we design the new fibre network, we will include all properties that share the same distribution point as the addresses you have given us, because they will all naturally benefit from the work. The capital cost doesn’t change and adding the properties that share your equipment means that the contribution required by each property becomes smaller.

My neighbour does not want anything to do with this, will he benefit from the scheme?

It depends on his location. If he shares the same Distribution Point (DP) then he will be included. However if the DP is not included then he will not benefit.

Could you please confirm that the Final Offer is an absolute figure, and not subject to survey or any price increase when you start the work?

Final offers are a confirmed price, unless they explicitly state that they are subject to a survey. We rarely survey and only if there are flats, self-dig routes or concern regarding the route.

Once the contract is signed, the price is fixed regardless of if it costs Openreach more than expected.  

Why is my final offer much higher than my initial estimate?

Initial estimates are a computer generated estimate to give an indicative cost. To generate a final offer a planner has looked in detail at our records for the area. This can vary in price because:

The model is not sophisticated enough to identify all the variables

The node that the model identified as the point of connection no longer has capacity

The address list is different to the original

I have my estimate/final offer and now wish to add more properties not on the original list, how do I do this?

Absolutely, we want to reach as many people in your community as possible. We will need to produce a new estimate and this may change the capital cost, but we will adopt the same principle of adding others who share the same network – we want to make schemes as affordable as possible.

Does the estimate include voucher funding?

No, as funding is subject to availability/eligibility we won’t make any deductions at this stage, so any potential funding could be used to reduce the amount that the community must pay.

What about the USO, can I use this here?

The Universal Service Obligation (USO) licence is held by BT, not Openreach. It is a separate application process & service that gives individuals the right to demand 10 Mbs service if current speeds received today are below this threshold. BT offer a few options including 4G. Details can be found at www.bt.com/USO

Vouchers and Payment

When do I have to pay and how much?

The amount that the community will have to pay will be stated in the final offer letter, please note that this amount is the total amount before and vouchers are applied.

You will have to pay the community scheme (to be set up), who will then pay Openreach.

If the scheme does not contain any vouchers then you will be invoiced 50% of the total amount once contract is signed and 50% once the installation is complete.

If the scheme does contain vouchers, then these are first applied to the final 50% payment, any balance is then applied to the initial payment. See example below:

The cost of a scheme is £50k and there are £30k value of vouchers. £25k is due on contract signature and £25k is due on completion. The value of vouchers are worth more than the final payment. So the balance is taken off the initial payment. This means that the initial payment is £20k.

Is a scheme is fully funded by vouchers then no payment is made. However if on completion of the work a voucher has become invalid, then a final invoice will be sent to the Legal Entity showing the balance.

Can I spread the payments over several years?

It is not possible to change the payment terms of 50% on contract signature and 50% on completion

Is it possible to check voucher eligibility now? If, say, a person runs a business from home but the registered address is at their accountants – would this work?

Please see https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/ for further information on eligibility

If after collecting all the vouchers we still have a gap – how exactly do we pay that gap? Bank transfer to some Openreach account?

Yes, we will send an invoice to the Legal Entity.

If a Gigabit business voucher is rejected – would the same property be able to get a residential voucher?

Maybe. It depends on the reason for the rejection. If the reason is that the business cannot prove its status then maybe. But if the reason is that there is an alternative provider coming to the area, then no.

The process indicates that only after all vouchers are authorised then the contract will be signed. So, what if after the authorisation we are short of the quote for some reason? Could it be possible to add more properties at this point?

Yes, but it would add a delay as the process needs to be started again. This can only happen before a contract is signed.

Can I add any vouchers to the scheme once the contract is signed?

No vouchers cannot be added to the scheme, however if someone moves house then it is possible to substitute a voucher.

If someone applies for a voucher as a business (SME) – will they be required to connect to an ISP via a business contract?

No. Small businesses can use residential ISP contracts.

How do the vouchers work?

Please go to https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/ for more information, but any approved voucher funding will be paid directly to Openreach and will be deducted from the final offer amount.

What is defined as a business for the voucher schemes?

A small or medium business must be turning over less than 50million Euros per annum. It can be a limited company, sole trader or charity. It must operate from the premise in the scheme, however if a limited company can be registered elsewhere.

I work from home, but my company operates from a business premise elsewhere, can I claim a voucher?

No as the business is operating elsewhere

My wife does freelance transcription as a Medical Secretary. She is not formally registered as a sole trader because she does not make much (less than the tax free allowance).

Suggest that they request a voucher as a business and it is up to them to prove with DCMS. She will need to have invoices or something to prove she is working as a business

I have a business at my address as does my wife and it is our home, can we claim 2 business vouchers and 1 residential voucher?

The scheme only allows one voucher per property.

Service Providers

How can we find out the running costs? Is the phone line rental cost the same for FTTP as for voice/ADSL connection?

Openreach is not allowed to advise on ISP issues. You can check which ISPs offer Full Fibre service by looking at https://www.homeandbusiness.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/ultrafast-broadband/ultrafast-fibre-buy-it-now

You cannot check Ultrafast prices for your postcode as the Gigabit infrastructure is not in place yet. So, please use postcode MK182HY

Do I have to use BT?

No, everyone who takes part can choose their own communications/service provider (SP/CP) for service  – details of participating fibre providers that use the Openreach network here – https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband/fttp-providers      

How much more a month is a FTTP service?

Openreach is not a Service Provider, please speak to a Service provider to confirm charges

Contracts and Legal Entities

What is the best form of legal entity (LE) for a community?

Openreach can contract with various forms of non-profit entities – from unincorporated entity (which does not have to be registered at the Companies House) to various forms of limited companies (these require registration). For example, community interest companies (CIC) or company limited by guarantee (CLG). The choice depends on what suits the community best.

The following are some useful links:

Set up a Community Interest Company this is quite reader friendly

How do we contract with Openreach?

The contract must be between a Legal Entity and Openreach rather than a group of individuals. The LE can be a business in the community, a CIC (Community Interest Company), parish council, it can be an individual. Please note that a sole trader will be contracted with as an individual.

Do I have an ongoing contract with Openreach?

No, the contract is to deliver the project, after this the infrastructure becomes Business as usual and maintained the same as the rest of OR network. All faults are reported via your Service Provider, the same as you do now.


When is VAT charged?

VAT is only charged on Commercial groups where the end user has to pay a share of the CFP. EG if the CFP is a business park and the landlord passes on the CFP via a mandatory user charge. If it is Voluntary then no VAT is charged, so if all vouchers no VAT is charged.

In cases where we do charge VAT and the company is VAT registered then they should be able to offset their VAT in their usual way. Please note that we are not Tax Accountants nor HMRC so they do need to seek their own advice on this.

NB If we do charge VAT and the company is not VAT registered then they cannot off set the VAT.

Self Dig

Can I dig some of the route?

It may be possible to reduce our charges by digging some of the route, if digging is required. In many places the network is fully ducted, or supplied overhead, in these cases no digging is necessary.  Additionally self dig can only be on private land (digging on public highways requires licences, even in the verge).

Customers wishing to Self Dig must supply details of the Landowners, probable route and a survey will be necessary.


Can you install in MDUs

Multiple Dwelling Units (flats) are complex for Openreach to deliver to. We will always need to survey and will require Landlords details (or someone to provide access to all areas) prior to a final cost being produced.


How long will it take to deliver?

Our contract states we will deliver within 12 months of a signed contract. We will of course work to install the network as quickly as possible.

Why does it take so long for you to deliver?

Once contract is signed, we need to undertake a details plan of your area and plan it into existing work. The work required is a major civil engineering project. We may need to arrange Traffic Management with the local authority to enable us to work in manholes in the road. We may also need to agree wayleaves. This does take time, hence our contracts do stay that the work can take 1 year.

What is a wayleave?

A right of way granted by a landowner, generally in exchange for payment and typically for purposes such as the erection of telegraph wires or laying of pipes.

“companies must have way leaves for work they want to carry out on private land”

Do you need to dig up my road?

We will usually deliver the new fibre via exiting poles and ducts, very occasionally we may need to install new duct and poles but we can usually deliver over the existing infrastructure.

How can one know if a fibre cable would come into the house underground or overhead?

It follows the current route.

Would normal voice line come through the same fibre cable or via a copper cable?

Customers can choose if they wish to have a Voice Over IP service or keep a copper line for their voice calls.

Fibre to the Premise will be included in the contract for those specified on the contract. If someone wants a connection later – will it be a standard connection charge for them for them or incur some cost?

It depends on where they are and whether there is capacity. This is not known in advance of signing the contract.

What equipment will be provided at the end of the fibre cable – just the optical network terminal (ONT) box?

Just a box, a bit larger than your current Master Socket. There is a video:

Will I need a new router and if so when do I get it?

When you order service this will be sent to you from your Internet Service Provider.

Where the road/pavement/lawns/walls are dug up for the fibre cables – will Openreach make good the surfaces after the work?

Yes, the only exception is if a drive is a specialist surface such as Resin, when the individual customer will need to arrange and pay for the re-instatement

What will be the process of discussing the fibre route when there is a need (previous route is unclear or sub-optimal or crosses someone’s private land, etc.)?

With the exception of the link to someone’s home the route is as per existing and is known – it follows the current cables.

When will you need to enter my home?

Our project will deliver a full fibre solution from the exchange to your property, however we do not enter your home when we are building the network. The final connection into your property will be done when you place an order with your Service Provider.

Other Questions:

Can you Fibre just to the road and then we dig up our own gardens (lead ins)?

This is possible but makes the scheme very complex. All leads in will need to have been completed and inspected before the network can be set to go live. We do not recommend this approach.

Good News – Fibre broadband is coming to every house.

Gigabyte connection for every house in Horsington

Looks like our internet drought is about to end. No more pathetic download speeds!

Openreach have agreed to investigate connecting 43 properties in Horsington, South Cheriton and Horsington Marsh to the fibre broadband network, giving speeds of up to one Gigabyte per second. Huge!

You can see the list here http://horsington.blog2.idnet.com/files/2021/05/Broadband-fibre.pdf

If your property is not on this list, and you are not already in contact with Openreach, then email the editor immediately. You must live in the following BA8 postcodes:


The projected cost of installation is £99,341.00, or £2310.26, per dwelling. This cost may be reduced if more people join the scheme or if local landowners with diggers can be persuaded to lay down a trench on private land (NOT roads or verges). The cost will rise if people decline to take part.

Each household is entitled to a grant from public funds of £1500 for a private residence or £3,500 if you can prove you are a business. You can expect the value of your property to go up considerably as a result.

As we understand it, the contact to do the work has to be between Openreach and a “Legal entity”, which will collect the money and then pay Openreach. We may have to set this up, or maybe the Parish Council will undertake this. We shall enquire.

It will take a year from the contract signing to install the service. You will not be required to change internet service provider, your emails and log-ons etc.

To go ahead we need EVERYONE on board, please. The next step is to form a legal entity and elect directors and signatories, so they can legally sign a contract. Openreach will help us apply for the necessary grants (this has to be done individually).

The project is being coordinated by Penny Nagle and Richard Gaunt, who are liaising with Openreach. You may expect a visit.