Half term and Halloween cinema treats

WhereWestBegins, the cinema venture masterminded by Horsington’s Penny Nagle, has some half term treats in Wincanton, Bruton and Yeovil.

(1) 30th Anniversary Screening of The Princess Bride –Wincanton Town Hall  Friday 27th October 2-5pm

A cult film that has survived the test of time, The Princess Bride convincingly carries everyone from Mel Smith, Peter Cook, Billy Crystal to Wallace Shawn (“Incon-theeeee-vable!) to Andre the Giant without puncturing the fairytale bubble.  It’s funny, it works on many levels (as the best children’s films do) and you will enjoy it as much as your children.

Before the film there will be a creative workshop with actor Agni Scott (Bridget Jones’s Baby, The Hamburg Cell) on how make a fairytale.  She says :

“Enter a world of a magical adventure inspired by this great classic film.  Ever wanted to be a pirate, a knight, fight an Evil prince, a Giant? Want to know how to cross the bog of eternal stench? Scale a three hundred foot mountain? Come along and discover how. Bring clothes you can move in, and your imagination.”  Recommended ages for the event: 7 to 11 years old (younger children considered but must be accompanied).


(2) My Life As a Courgette with Clay Animation Workshop from Jim Parkyn of Aardman Animation. Guided Discussion after film.   Hauser & Wirth Somerset – Saturday 28th October 2-5pm (Tickets are FREE to children on Free School Meals or in Care)

This is a wonderful Oscar nominated Swiss French stop animation film about children in an orphanage.  It is gentle and funny, and much cheerier than the subject matter suggests.  There is a guided discussion afterwards for children to talk openly about what it’s like not to have a parent.  (Or if your parent is a courgette-ED)

It’s so life affirming that Bristol’s Aardman Studios (Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep) are supporting the release, and Jim Parkyn, their senior animator is coming along to run a clay animation workshop beforehand.  He looks like Father Christmas and made Shaun the Sheep – what’s not to like…

He says “Anybody can make a model but it’s the little tweaks that make it a character. In the model making class we’ll make it easy by breaking it right down into basic shapes that fit together. The clay has to be warm and in the workshop we’ll be warming it up by hand to make it flexible and workable and then everything we’ll do will be by hand, no tools required. It’s amazing the different effects than can be created by finger and nails. You’ll be able to take your model home and experiment even further.”


Finally, a Halloween treat at the newly refurbished Westlands Cwntre, Yeovil:

(3) Nosferatu – With Somerset Brides of Dracula providing live music  – Westlands Yeovil Tuesday 31 October at 7.30pm. 

The 7th Best Horror film of all time (The Guardian), this silent German Expressionist film from Murnau is the original using all aspects of the film – visual and narrative to tell the story of Dracula.  A must see if you are at all interested in German Expressionism or want to take your children to a classic on Halloween.  Amazingly this is a PG, because it shows so little but the images stick.  Recommended for anyone over 10.


WhereWestBegins is a not for profit organisation bringing film events to Somerset.

Thanks to the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Fund which has made all this possible.

More information from Penny Nagle
mob + 44 7768 832954


Local Councillors’ surgery in Horsington on Friday 6th October

Horsington’s local Councillor Hayward Burt and County Councillor William Wallace (also the Somerset CC Chairman) will be holding a surgery in St Maragaret’s Hall, Horsington on Friday 6th October from 3pm to 4 pm

This is your chance to raise any issues or bring important matters to their attention.

State of the roads?

Have your say!

Bailward’s on his bike again, cycling home from Sicily

Ready for the Off

Horsington resident and intrepid cyclist Chris Bailward has embarked on another epic cycle ride – this time to cycle from daughter Kate’s house on the slopes of Mount Etna, Italy, all the way home to Horsington. He set off at 8am on Wednesday morning and is now on top of a hill in Calabria.

He has been training by doing punishing 80 mile rides around Somerset and Dorset, and on the slopes of Mount Etna.

This is his fourth cycling adventure. Previous expeditions include Lands End to John o’Groats, the Bailward Tour de France and an 1800 mile trek around the County Towns of England.

You can follow Chris’s adventures on his very entertaining Blog, and the Horsington Blog will also follow him and publish highlights from time to time.

Good luck Chris.

Round the world clipper race set for a nail-biting weekend finish

Should be a close finish

The race hots up with only a few days to go to the finish of the first leg in this race, a mere 6,000 miles from Liverpool to Uruguay.

GREAT Britain, with Horsington’s Mark Tucker on board in the Round the World Clipper race, has fought back to regain third place, but they are over 100 miles behind the leader and there’s less than 350 miles to the finish in Punta d’Este.

Can they catch up? It looks doubtful. Their current speed, 8.6 knots is a full knot slower than the leaders Sanya Serenity Coast and PSP Logistics. And other boats are creeping up on them. It should be a nail-biting finish.
The latest estimate is that the fleet will cross the line some time between 1400 Thursday and midday Sunday. Great Britain is expected in the early hours of Saturday Morning.

Villagers turning up at the Half Moon for Strictly Come Drinking on Saturday evening will be able to reflect that Horsington’s finest will probably be enjoying his first beer for over a month at the same time. Cheers Mark.

Current position and chart. (In real time)
Crew diaries 

Mark is supporting  UNICEF, the Round the World Race official charity. You can donate to Mark’s cause by visiting his “Just Giving” page.

Round the World Race – learn how to pack spinnakers in you own home

Mark Tucker, has dropped back to 7th (oh dear) in the closely-fought Clipper Round the World Race somewhere off the coast of Brazil, with 1400 nautical miles to go to the finish of leg l.

He  has written another entry in the crew blog of GREAT Britain:

Day 25 – Build your own woolling simulator! (Wooling is what you do to spinnakers the minute they come down below, so you can get them up again as quickly as possible without snagging or wrapping – Geddit? -Ed)

Here on board GREAT Britain we know you love to follow us online and in spirit, but now we’ve teamed up with our friends at the General Woollers Union to come up with this helpful guide to building a woolling simulator to give you a taste of ocean racing at home!

You will need:

  • Several large pieces of fabric. About the size of a tennis court should suffice. Have your favourite haberdasher trim each into a rough triangle. These will be your kites.
  • A small caravan.
  • Friends or family.
  • A child’s paddling pool. Fill with water.
  • Wool. Colour and fleck to your preference but a brighter shade will bring joy to your day.
  • A rugby team (optional).
  • A fiery furnace or 100 stage lights (optional).
  • Blackout curtains and dim red lights (optional).
  • Patience.
  • A good sense of humour.
  • Plenty of tea.

Basic simulation

Install at least one of your friends in each of the caravan bunks and allow them to slumber; it is your mission for them to remain asleep until you’ve finished. Get into the caravan and shut the door. Have your remaining friends take one of the kites and dip it into the paddling pool. Once thoroughly wet, ask them to bundle, twist and generally contort it before feeding it to you through the caravan skylight. Now your fun begins!

The first step is to make sure it’s flat by removing the twists. Start at one of the triangle corners (we suggest taking it up to the end of the caravan with the vase of plastic flowers and copy of Puzzler), work your way down the edges until your as sure as you can be it’s flat.

Top GWU Tip: You’ll never be completely sure! Once you’re happy, bring forth the wool for now the actual woolling can begin! Starting at each of the corners, roll the edges in on each other and tie with a short length of wool. Aim to use as much or as little wool as possible depending on your mood; as a rough guide every inch is too often, every meter too little.

Work in from each of the corners to form a three pointed star of which Mercedes would be proud – get it wrong and nappy rash will be your downfall! Once complete, take your star and carefully pack into one of those blue bags from your favourite Swedish home store that everyone has in their cupboard. Stuff into the wardrobe. Drink tea.

Advanced Simulation 1 – Multiple Kites

As above, but ask your friends to stuff multiple kites through the skylight consectuively; the less time you have between drops the more fun you’ll have!

Advanced Simulation 2 – Night Kites

As per the basic simulation, but use the blackout curtains to make the caravan dark and push your woolling to a whole new level. The use of dim, red light is permitted.

Advanced Simulation 3 – Heavy Seas Kites

Employ the services of your local rugby team to violently rock the caravan as you work. Both sideways and forwards/backwards motion is encouraged – the more random, the more violent the more fun!

Advanced Simulation 4 – Tropical Kites

Make use of your fiery furnace or shine your stage lights to really heat things up! It’s what you wear that really makes this simulation shine. This year for him it’s all about turquoise silk boxers whilst for her, sweaty sports casual will really see you stand out from the crowd.

Advanced Simulation 5 – Multiple Night Heavy Seas Tropical Kites

This simulation is not recommended. Just say no.

We hope you enjoy your simulation as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you.

This simulation is fully endorsed by the General Woollers Union. GWU: Working for our flock.

Mark Tucker

Current position and chart. (In real time)
Crew diaries 

Mark is supporting  UNICEF, the Round the World Race official charity. You can donate to Mark’s cause by visiting his “Just Giving” page.

Cheese awards – look out for these prizewinners

Marcus Fergusson’s success in the Global Cheese Awards begs the question “What is the best cheese you can get locally? It’s worth studying the list of prize winners before you go shopping for cheese.

Here are some of the winners from the world’s top cheese makers, many of them local.

Long Clawson Diary in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, won both the Global Champion and the UK Supreme Champion for their Stilton cheese. It’s also worth looking out for their Red Leicester, and their  Cave-aged Cheddar

Wensleydale Creamery won awards for numerous cheeses, including their eponymous Wensleydale variety

Local companies, Longman, Wyke, Barbers and Keens also featured in the prize lists, along with Arla Foods (Taw Valley) and Dairycrest.

The Co-op, Asda and Bookers all featured in the prizes for major producers.

Click here to see a full list of prize winners at the 2017 Global cheese awards


Marcus walks off with the Gold for Renegade Monk

Top prize for Renegade Monk in the Global Cheese Awards.

Congratulations to Marcus Fergusson at Felthams Farm, Horsington. He has just scooped the Gold Award at the Global Cheese Awards in Frome with his “Renegade Monk”, a soft beer-washed blue cheese. A considerable achievement, as he only started production in March this year.

The Global Cheese Awards in Frome is Britain’s longest running cheese show, dating from 1861. It attracts over 1,000 entries from across the world.

Renegade Monk was in the Artisan Cheese Maker Class – for producers making less than 5 tonnes per week. This still includes some pretty big producers – Marcus makes less than 50 kilos of cheese per week (around 850 cheeses per month).

Renegade Monk is now being stocked in 20 outlets across Somerset and Dorset and is beginning to be sold in London, debuting at the Cavalry & Guards Club. It is also now available at the Half Moon, as well as the Charlton Horethorne village shop.

Marcus commented “We are thrilled to have won this award – and feel pretty pleased with ourselves considering we only sold our first cheese in March. There has been a swift surge of interest from other outlets and wholesalers – one in particular is keen to get the cheese into Fortnum & Mason.

This all means that we will be moving forward with plans to expand the business  earlier than we had anticipated – and indeed we are looking to employ someone on a part-time basis with immediate effect. Adrian Pratt has already volunteered himself for the role.

Yet another achievement for Horsington to be proud of -Ed

McDonalds shows no mercy and scores an own goal.

McDonalds, whose chief executive earns USD 7.9 million a year, and whose UK employees are on strike against low wages and zero hours, has scored an own goal over a parking fine. It has refused to intervene in a parking dispute where a man on his way to a funeral was fined £100 by McDonalds’ parking company MET Parking Services for overstaying in their car park on the A 12 near Chelmsford. He was in the restaurant the whole time, where parking notices were not visible.

Richard Gaunt, of Horsington, Somerset, has paid the fine under protest as he didn’t think he stood a chance of winning a court case.

But he has retaliated by downgrading his regular, loyal customer status to “Boycott”. It could cost the fast food chain thousands.

Richard is retired, but delivers new cars around the country. He reckons he  spends between £8 and £10 in McDonalds most working days, 4-5  days a week. Say £600 a year.  If his 60 colleagues delivering cars out of Henstridge join the boycott, that’s £36,000 lost to McDonalds every year.

If the 980- members of Trade Platers United Facebook Group join in, the multiplier effect will be very serious.

Said Richard “I will never go to a McDonalds again, and many of my colleagues could join me. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.”

Richard appealed both to McDonalds and to the parking company. They turned him down flat. A request to Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s UK CEO to act as an “honest broker” to resolve the dispute, was ignored.

Said Richard “I made an honest mistake, but, acting as judge and jury in their own cause, they made no allowances for my age, my ability to pay, my preoccupation and distress at attending a funeral, my tiredness after a long drive, my unfamiliarity with the location and the fact that I was a customer inside the restaurant for the duration of my visit.

“In this case a little mercy and justice would have been appropriate and admirable. Their behaviour exemplifies the arrogance and disdain with which large companies increasingly treat their customers.”

Looks like McDonalds is not just screwing its staff, but its customers too.

If you want to write to Paul Pomroy, the chief executive, his address is
McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd
11-59 High Road
East Finchley
N2 8AW

Richard Gaunt note: The fine was reduced to £50 as it was  paid within 28 days. They have the cheek to charge an additional sum for any kind of card payment, including debit cards.

Get that Treorchy sound in Sherborne Abbey

There is still time to get  tickets for the  world famous Treorchy Male Choir’s Sherborne Abbey  Concert on September 16th.

The choir’s close harmony singing coupled with the Abbey’s renowned acoustics will make for a very special evening.

George Wagland, the Blackmore Vale Lion’s president reports brisk ticket sales. This is definitely not one to be missed

7pm tickets £25, £18, £12

Book online Very simple, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 2 clicks and you’re done!, or at the Sherborne Tourist Information Office

Horsington Open’s charity fund rises to £800

Thanks to a generous donation from, a regular resident at the Half Moon, the Horsington’ Open’s charitable fund now stands at £800.

The pot will be divided between St Margaret’s Hospice and Wincanton Live at Home shortly.

This is a serious amount of mony, raised by golf competitors and other donors, and demonstrates how far this competition has come since its inception in 2013, when it raised £113 for the church roof.

In 2014 the competition raised just £64.00

In 2015, thanks to  a number of generous sponsors and some determined fund raising by the organisers, the total rose to £600.

And this year (after a year off) the competition raised £800.

Organisers Richard Gaunt and David Blake put this down to staging the competition in the summer, which attracts more, and better entrants, and the improved playing conditions at Henstridge, where they have worked very hard on both the course and the clubhouse.

They said” We thank everyone who played or supported us very warmly for their generosity.”

Next year the target is £1,000. Now that would be an achievement.