William Wallace to chair Somerset County Council

William Wallace, who was recently elected as County Councillor for Horsington, as part of the Blackmore Vale Ward, has been chosen as Chairman of Somerset County Council.

His appointment will be confirmed at the first full meeting of the County Council after the recent elections, on May 24th.

William has been a district Councillor since 2003, and a County  Councillor since 2005. He has also been chairman of finance for the  Avon and Somerset Police Authority and chairman of HR for the Devon and Somerset  Fire Authority.

For the past 4 years he has been Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for Adult Social Care, a highly sensitive and very difficult post in which he has had to balance the conflicting pressures of reducing costs, improving care and integrating with other health services providers.

The Blog congratulates William on his new role, a fitting pinnacle to a distinguished career in local government. If we have been unkind to him in the past, we apologise unequivocally, but point out that this has been in the interest of  treating all political candidates objectively and fairly  at election time.

(Or unfairly -Ed).

Get out more- there’s nothing on telly!

We are happy to welcome Fanny Charles, Editor of the Fine Times Recorder  as a guest columnist. She writes …

WHEN I sat down to write this, the news of the Manchester Arena attack was dominating the media. There are no words to describe the horror and cynicism of such a terrorist bombing at a concert for teenage fans in the middle of an election campaign. And of course it was right for the party leaders to immediately suspend campaigning.

But, trite as it sounds, life must go on. The need for democracy has never been greater, and the imperative to keep doing what we do is an absolute. We should still go to concerts and football matches, street markets and supermarkets, the theatre and the park. When we are paralysed by the fear of what might happen, the evil of the terrorists has done its work.

So, at what seems an awkward time to encourage people to get out and celebrate our beautiful region and the creativity of its people , that’s what we are doing.

It’s festival time. Bath’s new look festival, combining the music and literature festivals, has started and there are lots of exciting and unique events. And the city’s vibrant Fringe Festival brings some of the best street theatre and music to the city.

Open For Art, the open studios event in Dorchester, Weymouth and Portland, runs to 4th June.

Salisbury’s international arts festival, one of the most varied in the country, begins this coming weekend, as does Wells Comedy Festival and one of the region’s biggest open studio events, the Wylye Valley Art Trail.

The late May bank holiday weekend also includes Lyme Regis Jazz and Blues Festival.

Chalke Valley History Festival, one of the world’s biggest events dedicated to every aspect of history – from the archaeology beneath our feet to wartime planes in the skies above – is back for the seventh year, at a new venue.

Among the outstanding productions at the theatre, we urge you to get to Bristol Old Vic to see the re-imagining of Euripides’ Medea. This story as old as time gets a shocking and profound contemporary reworking.

Bridport’s first community opera, Flea, is on at the Electric Palace this week – it sounds huge fun and we’re looking forward to seeing it at the weekend.

We have an interview with Marta Fontanals Simmons, the brilliant young mezzo from Castle Cary, who makes her debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro at Garsington Opera, one of the best of the country house opera festivals.

Finally, we’ve been doing some judging for the Great Taste Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food (which is based at Gillingham in Dorset). So we end with a spirited offering – our new Nine Things, later this week, is a list of some of the region’s best distilleries, most of them small batch, artisan businesses that are putting flavour and passion back into gin and other spirits. Enjoy!

Keep in touch – you can email us at info@theftr.co.uk with news and previews, and check out The Fine Times Recorder www.theftr.co.uk for regional arts, food and environmental news, travel and more.

Fanny Charles, Editor,
The Fine Times Recorder

There is a permanent link to the Fine Times Recorder on our “Blogroll”.
You can also subscribe to receive their regular newsletters – Ed

Pub quiz is back

Was it a co-incidence? A sign announcing “Pub Quiz Bank Holiday Sunday” appeared at the entrance to the village a few hours after the Blog’s lament that The Half Moon seems to have dropped the traditional Bank Holiday Quiz. Certainly there was nothing at the New Year or Easter.

But now, it seems, the quiz is back, and will be welcomed by the many local teams who vie with each other for the coveted winners title. Let’s hope Andrew continues to allow us to exercise our brains at Bank holiday time. It will round off the cricket nicely.

Pub Quiz
8.00 pm
Bank Holiday Sunday
Teams of 4-ish.

Horsington gears up for annual cricket battle – Cancelled

This game has been cancelled.

The cricket season looms. Pads and boots are being whitened, trousers pressed and bats oiled. Yes, it’s time for Horsington’s annual match against the famous Tabard Pilgrims, a pub touring side from Chiswick, West London, the former home of at least two Horsington residents.

The match takes place on Bank Holiday Sunday, starting at 2 pm, at the cricket ground next to the village hall.

Horsington’s captain Christian Bennett has selected a team he believes can trounce the London invaders. His side features a number of erstwhile hockey players, so we should see some big hitters. Charlie Mann, with his “interesting” bowling action is in the team, along with Nick Mattravers and the two Lane brothers.

Horsington has won only one game out of the series, now in its seventh year. Will 2017 be the year the tables are turned?

Any  cricketers seeking a game should contact Andrew Tarling at the Half Moon to see if there are any vacancies to fill – on either side.

Spectators are very welcome. The match always attracts a good crowd, and a thrilling finish is usually guaranteed. This is relaxed, informal village cricket at its best.

There will be the usual post match gathering, with food and a pub quiz at the Half Moon.  Get a team together and join the fun.

Pond update.

Horsington Pond, a few weeks ago

Charles James, the brains behind the pond, reports:

The pond is near completion, we await the wildlife information board from the suppliers then all is done.

I spotted this morning a pair of fledgling Grey Wagtails on the side of the pond, it would appear that they have nested around the pond.

The RSPB put the Grey Wagtail at Red status, which means they have the highest conservation priority (species needing urgent action).

Species receiving Red status are either globally threatened or have shown a 50% decline in UK breeding population over the last 25 years so it is encouraging to see them breeding here.

It was also pleasing to see our local children playing in the dipping pond over the weekend.

Horsington Manor up for sale

Horsington Manor has been put on the market with an asking price of £5.5 million. The price includes over 100 acres, a swimming pool, tennis court and a solar farm. A further 90 acres of agricultural land is available for purchase separately. Strutt &Parker and Knight Frank are jointly handling the sale. 

See an important comment on this post

Patrick Mileham talk – The Battle for Arras 19 May, Horsington Church

If you enjoyed Patrick Mileham’s talk on the Battle of Waterloo last year, this one’s for you. North Cheriton’s former soldier, military historian and university lecturer will talk about the Battle of Arras, fought in France 100 years ago.

The battle of Arras was fought by 23 British, Australian and Canadian divisions against the Germans from 9 April to 16 May 1917. At the same time the battles for Vimy Ridge, north of Arras, and the first and second battles of the Scarpe, and Bullecourt were also raging,

Our speaker will question the story -forwards and backwards, for conscripts and volunteers, soldiers and commanders, statesmen and civilians – and delve into that spirit which eventually collapsed and that spirit which prevailed.

Very interesting!

Friday 19th
May @ 7.30pm
St John’s Church

Suggested Donation £8 inc Refreshments
For information:
Tel 01963 371478

SSDC By election: Tories retain Blackmore Vale with 70% of vote

Congratulations to Hayward Burt,  the Tory Candidate in the by election to replace the late Tim Inglefield. In a simple 3-horse race he polled 70 per cent of the votes and was a clear winner. Last time round the Tories, with 2 candidates, polled 59% cent of the votes.

South Somerset District Council – Blackmore Vale Ward