Local film festival to screen rare movie masterpieces

Hauser & Wirth  at Bruton are staging their Somerset “Sound of Silent” festival, to celebrate 100 years of music and movies.

The festival kicks off next Friday 12 May at 6.30 pm with a screening of Eisenstein’s  masterpiece  “Battleship Potemkin” on a big screen with a live accompaniment of original music. This a rare chance to see this very famous Russian film from the Soviet era.


Horsington resident Penny Nagle’s new company Where West Begins is behind the other screenings in the festival, which runs from the 12- 14 May.  As you can see, many of these screening are particularly suited to young people, particularly those who want to learn about how films are made.

Singin’ in the Rain” – Sunday 14 May at 11am – “the greatest musical of all time” + Professor Millie Taylor talking why it’s so great. Millie Taylor is Professor of Musical Theatre at Winchester University and author of several books on the subject including “Musical Theatre, Realism and Entertainment”.

Charlie Chaplin’s “The Circus with circus skills workshop from Frome’s Circus AllStars  – Saturday 13 May at 2pm.  Everyone gets very excited about juggling feathers and then collapses laughing in a heap in front of a 90 year old black and white movie.  It’s an amazing thing to see.  http://wherewestbegins.org.uk/event/charlie-chaplin-circus-1928-u-circus-stars-circus-skills-workshop-hauser-wirth-somerset/

Bruton’s Youth Cinema Foundation’s workshop with Yeovil’s Castaways Theatre Group on making film followed by a screening of “Bugsy Malone” Sunday 14 May at 2.30pm.  http://wherewestbegins.org.uk/event/bugsy-malone-hauser-wirth-somerset-may-14-castaways-theatre-group-youth-cinema-foundation/

Where West Begins also stages films at Wincanton Town Hall and the newly refurbished Westlands Centre, Yeovil. Full details on their very comprehensive website.

Election: The Green Party responds

The Blog has received the following comment from Oliver Dowding, the Green Party Candidate in the election. We are delighted to publish it as part of our commitment to more and better communication about local politics.

He writes…

That’s a very interesting blog. This might be last-minute, but it’s worth placing nonetheless.

The Green Party, and I echo this stance, are all about people and where they live. We only have one planet but we are consuming as though we had three. We have to deal with this as an imperative.

We’ve got to make sure that everybody in our area is cared for properly and with dignity. That this will mean rearranging budgets and priorities is inevitable. If we don’t put people first, and instead favour huge glossy capital projects, our society will be poorer overall. Hence, we are against Hinkley C, which is gobbling up enormous amounts of both national and Somerset financial resources. It’s bleeding the east of the county to feed the west of the county. We can perfectly easily power the South West without the need for Hinckley. With the financial resources better apportioned we can care for all our people equitably.

This same misappropriation is part of the reason we are seeing business rates unmanageable a high for many businesses. We have to tackle this problem, and the disproportionate level of rates between often similar businesses. This is vital if we are to see our rural towns and villages retain the businesses that are often the lifeblood of both the people who live there and work there.

Social care is going to be the big issue within the next 20 years as the population of retired people becomes ever greater and the pool of those working and generating funds to care for the elderly diminishes. The evidence is there all of us if we look, and the problems will only get bigger. If you haven’t seen the film I, Daniel Blake, I recommend it. It’s a chilling example of how we’ve been let down the wrong paths.

Amongst other issues that need a firmer grip than either of the two previous party administrations have delivered our waste and recycling. Why is it that Somerset recycling centres are only open for half the week, whilst Dorset sees them open every day? This has to change. Equally, Dorset allows people to buy the more saleable and reusable things instead of chucking them in a skip to be “recycled”. Somerset should be doing the same. It’s amazing that the authorities who are supposed to work for us so implacably opposed to what we need.

Something else the concerns many people and needs clamping down on is fly tipping. I suffer it myself on my farm, and once somebody dumped something or somebody else’s land it becomes the landowner’s problem not the dumper! It shouldn’t be thus. We have to make it as easy as possible for people to take their unwanted waste to municipal centres and dispose of them properly.

Another thing which I will be making strenuous efforts to deal with is our roads. The Green Party would like to see an increase in non-vehicular mobility, together with more public funded mobility (be that taxis, buses, community transport etc). We need to better maintain the highways we have, and this includes the local roads which enable cyclists to get off the main roads. Having had one fatality in the last five years in the village I live in being caused entirely by a big pothole, which was unmarked, is perfectly clear to me that proper and durable road mending is a vital service being starved of proper levels of investment. If we don’t look after the basic fabric of where we live, it won’t matter how many fancy projects we have elsewhere, a society itself will develop another fracture line.

Finally, as a sufferer of a shockingly poor internet service, something with which none of us can adequately survive these days, particularly if running any kind of business or service, agency or support network etc, I’ll be doing all I can (as I do already) to fight for a much better and more user acceptable service. Amongst other targets will be to lobby and persuade the telecoms companies to share their distribution apparatus. It’s a nonsense that people can receive a good signal from one supplier but not another.

None of these things aren’t rocket science, but why have we had to suffer successive administrations who have failed to get to grips with them insufficient time, sensitively and for the people? This can all change! However, that only happens if you make sure that the right people end up in the jobs and roles and who can then enable the right outcomes. It’s your choice!

Finally, not voting should not be an option!

With best wishes to all who make the effort to vote!!

Thursday’s election: Rapid response from the Conservatives

Some people saw our recent post on the local election as a personal attack on the candidates. Not so. The point was that  poor communication meant we would have to judge them on publicly available (i.e internet)  sources.

Step forward William Wallace, the only candidate to react to our challenge, who has now shared his impressive election communications with us. The Blog bunker was obviously not on his circulation list. We are happy to publish it for the benefit of other voters who may not have seen it

Other candidates are welcome to submit their election material up to midnight on Wednesday. Good luck to all -Ed

Election Communication from William Wallace, Conservative Candidate for Somerset County Council 

Original article



William Wallace responds . . .

  County and District Councillor William Wallace has responded to our article on the forthcoming election. Thanks William. Let’s hear from the other candidates -Ed.

A few corrections …. Somerset County goes to the polls for the 55 seats of the County with a by-election for a District Councillor for the Blackmoor Vale ward . May the 4th  not the 5thMay. (Sorry, Ed).

As the Conservative party candidate , I have delivered to every household in the B Vale twice with my biography , policies and what I have achieved over the last 4 years. –maybe Eds house was missed . On the doorstep I have received many words of thanks and support  Perhaps you would like to join me at a local pub and I can give you the various leaflets and info already given to the electorate  -Thanks for all your support . – William Wallace.

Original article

South Somerset goes to the polls on Thursday 4th May. (Yawn).

It’s Election Time. Don’t vote and you’ll get the councillor you deserve.

Local elections are always overshadowed by a general election, and Teresa May’s snap election on June 8th will inevitably mean that Thursday May 4th’s County Council and District Council elections will attract a low turnout for some fairly unimpressive candidates.

All have fought a dismal, low key, flaccid campaign. Actually “fought” is a wild overstatement. It hasn’t even been a skirmish.

First, the County Council election.

Incumbent William Wallace is defending a 745 majority for the Conservatives against UKIP, which came second last time round. The result will be interesting, since UKIP is not putting up a candidate. Will he take the UKIP vote, or will they go elsewhere?

The choice is not very exciting, as far as we can see from any of the candidates’ public profiles. Your editor had to ferret about for these on the internet, since NONE of the candidates have bothered to communicate with the electorate, not even through simple leaflets, websites or facebook pages.

BVM: South Somerset not mentioned – and 2 candidates missing in the print version

Even the Blackmore Vale Magazine missed out two of the candidates in their pre-election coverage.

So we will have to judge them by what they say about themselves (which is very little) on Facebook and other websites

The Candidates

Oliver DOWDING, Green Party.
A farmer for 40 years  and the Green Party’s agricultural spokesman. Lives in Shepton Montague. His farming seems to be mainly grass and arable, so he will have plenty of time for council work. He will need it, as he is standing in both elections, just like 2 of the other candidates, so he can trouser two sets of allowances and expenses. Nice work

Sara DYKE  Liberal Democrat
Currently the South Somerset District Councillor for Milborne Port, who ousted previous incumbent Lucy Wallace, wife of the aforementioned William, in last year’s election by just 1 vote.  Her other job is working for an EU-funded grant-making body designed to bribe taxpayers with their own money, and which seems mired in bureaucracy. A third salary from the public purse will come in handy. Not much on her Facebook page unless you like tattoos.


William WALLACE Conservative
Is the incumbent Conservative County Councillor and also one of the District Council’s Conservative Councillors. He sits on the Cabinet of SCC. Despite his implausibly young photograph in the Blackmore Vale Magazine, he claims to have lived in the area for 30 years. No policy statement, but at least you can talk to him in the pub from time to time.

No Facebook, and only one sentence on the Conservatives’ website.

It’s all been hidden!

Michael YIANNI, Labour Party
He claims that by voting Labour you won’t be voting for more cuts in council services, but instead voting to improve and strengthen our communities. Back to bribing us with our own money then.

He also believes in social justice, but don’t we all?

His Facebook page has been completely redacted. You have to be a friend before you can see it. We wonder what he’s hiding?


Winterborne Longjohns betting odds
Wallace 3/1,  Dowding, 4/1 Dyke 9/2, Yianni 100-1

South Somerset District Council By Election

This election is to find a replacement for the much-respected and badly-missed Tim Inglefield, who died tragically on 27th February. Your editor was approached to stand and allowed his name to go forward, only to be turned down by the selection committee. Much to his relief, and, we suspect, that of the community at large.

The candidates

Grahame BAKER Liberal Democrat.
Grahame’s Facebook profile demonstrates he has a beard, is a Liberal Democrat and not much else.


Hayward BURT Conservative.
Hayward went to Sexey’s School and was at least born in Horsington. It appears he once stood in Stroud, but came second. That’s all we know. Oh, and he lives in Templecombe.


 Oliver DOWDING  Green Party

Another aspirant “double hatter”, as they are known. Actually he seems like a decent bloke, but the tendency of  councillors to try and grab extra allowances by sitting on two councils is not welcome, leads to conflicts of interest and is the best argument we know for a single local authority for Somerset.

Most voters (and we suspect many of the councillors) are completely confused about which authority does what. Local services are  mainly dictated by central Government policy anyway. The poor local authorities have to put up with it and pretend to be important.

Winterborne Longjohns betting odds:
Burt 2/1, Baker 7/2, Dowding 4/1
Verdict: A bit like a 3-horse race on a deserted wet Thursday at Wincanton Races.  Keep your money in your pocket.


If the candidates wish to post anything, we will happily accommodate them – There are 2 days to go and everything to play for – Ed

William Wallace responds

Oliver Dowding responds

Mrs Badger writes. . . .

Yes she’s back. Delighted to hear from you ma’am -Ed

Dear Mr Editor,

I would like to take advantage of the hospitality of your medium to announce that today is the first of May and that I have just heard the first cuckoo, which broadcast its iconic mating call at exactly 7.45 this morning.

Spring is here. I wonder if that nice Mr Longjohns will be visiting the area soon. Such a shame about his horses.

Yours ever,

Amelia Badger (Mrs)

Winterbourne has been very quiet of late. We hope, like Mrs Badger, he will be back soon.

May Diary

Regular activities (Village Hall unless stated).

Monday Pilates 1

Pilates 2

5.30 -6.30pm

6.45 – 7.45pm

Tuesday Upholstery 10.30am
Badminton 8 pm
Wednesday Free
Thursday Art 10am
Friday Art 10am
Saturday Free

Other activities

Tues 2nd Ladies Lunch Group. Cole Manor Tearooms Lunch
Wed 3rd Music Night, Half Moon Inn 8.30pm
Thurs 4th W.I AGM and talk on A Victorian Head Gardener. Village Hall 7.30pm
Sat 6th Village Hall Annual General meeting. All welcome.  Village Hall 9.30am

Thur 11th

Parish Council meeting. Village Hall 7.30pm
Sat 13th Yarlington Plant Fair. Yarlington House 10am – 4pm
Tues 16th Charlton Horethorne and District Garden Club. Talk The History of the Cottage Garden. Neil Lovesey. CH Village Hall 6.45 for 7.15pm
Wed 17th Coffee Morning in aid of Children’s Society. Half Moon Inn 10.30 am – 12pm
Fri 19th Talk on the Battle of Arras by Patrick Mileham. Horsington Church More 7.30 pm
Fri 26th Wincanton History Society.  My Life in Wincanton by Gill D’Arcy 7.30 pm
Sun 28th Horsington Cricket v Tabard Pilgrims at the Cricket Field 2 pm
Sun 28th PUB QUIZ at Half Moon Inn Approx    8 pm
St John’s Church Services
7th Mayl Holy Communion with Sunday School 9.15am
14th May Morning Prayer 11 am
21st May Holy Communion 9.15am
28th May Holy Communion BCP  8.30am
Churchwardens Anne Jones 370626
Rosemarie Wigley 371478

MPO now sold out

Milborne Port Opera’s “Into the Woods” is now sold out, unless you bag the 2 remaining tickets at Waynes, Milborne Port.

The company would like to thank everyone from Horsington who came and supported the show, particularly the coach party from the Half Moon. We hope you enjoyed it.

For those who missed it, there’s a brilliant review in the Fine Times Recorder. Read it, and make a note to book early next year. The Week after Easter.

They can’t wait to entertain you.

Into the Woods – 2 nights to go and you can see it -if you’re quick!

MPO’s “Into the Woods” has played to delighted audiences since it opened on Wednesday.

Milborne Port Opera’s “Into the Woods” is now firmly in its stride. The Audience reaction has been great (see video), and there is still time to book to see this adventurous show, very different from MPO’s usual offering of Gilbert and Sullivan.

“Into the woods” intertwines the magical fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm with some dark themes and some wry comedy, all staged with the stunning accompaniment of Stephen Sondheim’s spellbinding music played beautifully by MPOs resident band.

There are only a few tickets left on line, and at Wayne’s butchers at Milborne Port. www.thelittleboxoffice.com/mpo

It may be possible to squeeze in a few extra seats, so it could be worth turning up at Milborne Port Village Hall at around 6.45 to see if there are any returns or no shows

Here’s the audience reaction on the first night.

Off to the Woods in Milborne Port

Milborne Port Opera’s “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine opens tomorrow, Wednesday, in the Milborne Port Village Hall. It runs until Saturday. There are still a few tickets available on most nights – www.thelittleboxoffice.com/mpo. Don’t miss this spellbinding show from a company which had five nominations for awards last year, and won three – Best Sound, the “Show Stopper” and best small venue.

Peter Mumford ,Alison Gosney and Mark Blackham in Milborne Port Opera’s “Into the Woods”

See www.milborneportopera.com for more details.

The Half |Moon is organising a coach party on Thursday 20 April. Be there!