The latest Blog visitor figures suggest that readership is increasing slowly and steadily month on month, and that the blog is now established as part of village life.
Horsington Blog Visitor statistics
There have been just under 6,000 hits since the blog started. Two thirds of our visitors are regulars, coming back time after time. A third of our regulars have made 10 or more visits.  Some readers have made over 50 visits.

As a news medium for the village it is unrivalled. Readership doubles when we have dramatic events to report.

There have been 95 articles published since we started, and 136 comments on those articles. Most have these have been good natured, and we have only had to remove two which strayed beyond the territory of friendly banter. So for the moment, we will continue to operate a policy of free speech – your comments will be published immediately, without any editorial intervention. So keep them coming, keep it polite, and use your real name unless you have a really compelling reason not to. You have nothing to fear from anyone.

So, dear readers…
Tell us about things which should be reported –
Tell us when you have an event to promote-
Use our free services and “for Sale” pages to promote your business and sell stuff.
Let us have material for the Horsington historic photo and video archive. Old Photographs (including the 1960’s), 8mm cine film, videos. All material will be returned.

Finally… SUBSCRIBE to the Blog. You will get automatic email updates every time a new article appears. Totally confidential. Your email will not be abused in any way.

Happy Blogging!

The Editor

Food gong for the Old Inn

The Old Inn at Holton has won the south west region of the Great Pub Awards dining pub of the year competition, and  has been mentioned in The Indepedent’s list of the top 50 gastropubs in Britain.

As well as the specials and an imaginative “fine dining” a la carte, the Old Inn has plenty of pub favourites and regular affordable choices – steak on Tuesday, simple suppers (two-courses for a set price) on Thursdays), a £5 fish and chips deal always on offer, and a Sunday main-course roast (beef, lamb or chicken) for £7.50.

The 16th century pub had an extensive renovation in 2009. Well worth a visit.

More information

Calling all budding singers and actors….

Milborne Port Opera needs YOU!

If you enjoy singing and acting, why not come along and join our friendly group? Be part of our new magical production, Follow That Girl, a musical by Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds (of Salad Days fame).

Rehearsals are every Thursday, at 8 pm from September through to Easter next year, with our performance the week after Easter 2012.

Why not come along to the first rehearsal on Thursday 8th September and give it a
try?  (8pm in the Methodist Church, Milborne Port.)

It’s a great way to meet new people and get involved in a community event, and above all,
it’s a lot of fun!

Experience and/or ability to read music are non-essential. For more information contact
our secretary, Sarah Bignell by e-mail ( or ‘phone 01963 370447.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

MPO Website

Planning applications

In case anyone locally has not realised it, there is a digest of current planning applications and decisions on the South Somerset D.C website

The blog notes the application by Mr Phillip Colebatch for removal of a 90m length of hedgerow between two fields to increase area for arable husbandry (GR: 370182/125458).  Should we encourage the ploughing up of old pasture and removal of habitat for many birds and mammals? It’s a prickly debate: on the one hand the world is increasingly short of staple foods, on the other is the destruction of the environment leading to reduction, and in some cases extinction, of species. In this case it seems the short term gain is heavily outweighed by the long term benefit to the environment of leaving things as they are. (what do you think Ed?)
See earlier post -Ed

This Application has been refused -Ed

We wonder what size of event will be able to be hosted at the Grange with the approval for the orangery, conservatory and verandah?  Presumably this will now negate the need for a marquee for wedding receptions? Anyway as long as it is self-contained and does not cause undue disturbance there can be no complaint: but loud music and fireworks will not go down at all well on a regular basis.  Consideration is needed on all sides.

Parish Council Minutes

Minutes of Horsington Parish Council Meeting held at St Margaret’s Hall on

Thursday 9th  June 2011

Open Forum: Local residents raised concerns about the planning applications at The Grange. They were concerned about increased noise and traffic and felt that there was a lack of control during events. The possible access via land near Horsington House was discussed.

Mr Longman, owner of The Grange, and his representatives gave an update on his planning application and efforts to reduce noise and answered questions.

16        Members present: Mrs J Wood (Chairman), Mrs J Pyne, W Candy, S Hawkins, C James, Mrs B Mann, County / District Councillor T Inglefield, Mr P Longman, S Illingworth & 15 members of the public & Mrs T Chapman (covering for clerk).

Apologies: Mrs A Clayton, County / District Councillor W Wallace & PCSO John Winfield.

17.         Declaration of interest: It was agreed that Mrs B Mann did not need to declare an interest in the planning application at The Grange as her daughter’s horse has not been stabled at the property since March.

18        To approve as a correct record of meeting held on 12th May – Proposed by S Hawkins and seconded by Charles James. Passed unanimously.

19        Matters arising from previous minutes:

1 – Clerk reported that R Thorne will carry out the repairs at the play area next week if there is no rain. This is due to the fact that wet pour does not set during wet weather.

2 – Clerk reported that Hastoe Housing Association has been chased twice this week but there is nothing new to report yet.

3 – Clerk reported that PCSO John Winfield had traced the driver of the car that damaged the fence at the brook in Horsington. These details have been passed on to the Highways Department.

4 – S Dunn has been asked to quote for cutting alongside the road and bank by the play areas.

5 – Richard Cotes – James does not have any Environment Agency letters regarding the Horse Pond that had been sent to him without the Parish Council receiving a copy.  Clerk has passed a copy of all correspondence with the Environment Agency to C James.


1 – 11/01960/FUL & 11/01974/LBC Mr P Longman, Horsingon Grange, Rectory Lane, Horsington – internal and external alterations and the erection of an orangery, kitchen conservatory and verandah to dwelling house (resubmission of 10/04552/FUL & 10/04557/LBC) – The Council took a vote which resulted in two Councillors in favour, three against with one abstention.

2 – 11/02049/FUL Mr P Longman, Horsington Grange, Rectory Lane, Horsington – use of the Grange and siting of marquee for the holding of up to 10 events in any one calendar year. The Council took a vote which resulted in 2 abstentions and 4 Councillors opposed to the application. There was concern about the adverse effect of increased traffic and noise in the centre of the village. The current approach is via a narrow road and the noise and traffic has a big impact on houses along this road. The alternative access is from the A357 where visibility is poor.

Determinations: none

Other: none

21.       Finance:

  1. Cheques authorised:

000791 £35.00 Community Council for Somerset – subscription 2011 – 2012.

000792  £270.00 S Hawkins  – grass cutting.

000793 £197.00 S P Collins – grass cutting.

  1. Money Received: £350.00 for purchase of graves F23 & F24 plus one burial Mrs Lloyd.

22.      Play Area: nothing to report.

23.      Cemetery / Church yard:

1 Clerk reported that the Archdeacon has granted permission to repair the wall so there will be no need to obtain a faculty. Debbie Moseley at SSDC has been informed. She has passed the information on to her colleague Peter Higgenden.

2 – It was reported that SSDC approved the risk assessment and method statement for cutting the grass at the church yard, subject to a few changes. It was agreed that S Hawkins would edit the file to remove the underlining and return to the Clerk.

24.      Footpaths:

1 – Mrs J Pyne reported that she has not heard anything about Hanglands Lane.

25.      Horse Pond:

1 – C James reported that he had started to cut back the grass alongside the stream and was happy to continue. He will also try and remove the weed in the stream to help the water flow.

26. Correspondence:

  1. 1. SSDC – Vacancy for Parish Council representative on SSDC Standards Committee – noted.
  2. 2. Avon & Somerset Police Authority – Consultation – taken by Mrs Wood.
  3. 3. Somerset Crane Chronicle – Newsletter – taken by W Candy.
  4. 4. Somerset County Council – Broadband – noted.
  5. 5. Somerset Community Council – Thatch Newsletter – taken by W Candy.
  6. 6. Somerset County Council – Evacuee Accommodation Centres – noted.
  7. 7. Somerset county Council – Further Electoral Review of Somerset – noted.
  8. 8. SSDC – Dog Control Orders – these have been placed on the Parish notice boards. It was suggested that copies could be posted on lamp post or telegraph posts but it was reported that this is prohibited by regulations regarding ‘fly posting’.

27.       Any other business of importance:

1Clerk confirmed that Mrs B Mann had reported a blocked drain in South Cheriton outside Dale Cottage. This has now been reported to the Highways Department.

2 – Mrs Pyne raised the issue of BT’s offer to sell the telephone box in Horsington for £1. It was reported that newspapers for the village are left in the box. If the Parish Council purchase the box the telephone equipment will be removed and the responsibility for its maintenance would be transferred. C James offered to help maintain the box.

Meeting Closed at 9:15pm

Date of next meeting Thursday 14th July 2011

Horsington Parish Council meeting

This agenda is published in the form in which it was sent to the blog by David Chapman, the Parish Clerk.  The blog does not know the reason for the numbering of the items which seem to start at no 29. (Ed)

The Horsington Parish Councillors are:

Mrs J Wood
Mrs J Pyne
Mrs A Clayton
Mrs B Mann
Mr S Hawkins
Mr W Candy
Mr C James

Meeting 7.30pm on Thursday 14th July 2011

St Margaret’s Hall


Open Forum

29.       Members present and apologies

30.       Declaration of interest

31.       Approve the minutes of meeting on 9th June

32.       Matters arising from minutes

33.       Planning: as below plus others received by 14th July


1.   11/02289/FUL Mr D Blake, Lower Lodge, Lower Road, Horsingon  – erection of a single storey extension and single storey garden room to dwelling.

Determinations: none


34.      Finance:

  1. Authorise cheques.
  2. Money received.

35.      Play Area:

36.      Cemetery / Churchyard:

1.   Review charges.

2.   Church yard risk assessment.

37.      Footpaths:

38.       Horse Pond:

39.       Village Newsletter:

40. Correspondence:

1. Yeovil District Hospital – Newsletter.

2.   Community Council for Somerset – Acknowledgement of Subscription.

3.   Bus Community Partnership – Meeting & Poster.

4.   SSDC – Area East Bulletin.

41. Any other business of importance

Items for next agenda.

Date of next meeting 11th August 2011

If you have anything you wish to discuss, make your views known to your Parish Councillors before the August meeting and attend the Open Forum

Templecombe Church filled to capacity for Gemma’s funeral

Gemma Palmer

Gemma Palmer, tragically killed in a terrible road accident on the night of 22/23 June, was buried in Templcombe churchyard on Tuesday 5 July. A large number of mourners, possibly 300 or more, wearing bright clothing as instructed,  filled the parish church to capacity. It was literally standing room only.

The service was conducted with great dignity and sympathy by the rector, the Rev Peter Hallett, who spoke of the “mess and uanswered questions” surrounding her death, and the undoubted love which many people had for 29 year old Gemma, as evidenced by the turnout at her funeral service.

It was a very sad day for Templecombe and Horsington, and for Gemma’s grieving family, to whom we continue to extend our deepest sympathy.

Maybe someone who knew her well would like to contribute an appreciation of Gemma’s life.

Dogstapo tactics

DogNot everyone likes dogs, we admit, but bad dog behavior and fouling don’t seem to be a major problem in Horsington or the Cheritons.

So why have notices gone up around the villages warning that from July 1st dogs must be put and kept on a lead when an authorised officer of the South Somerset District Council directs you to do so?

Who is an “Authorised Officer”? On what grounds can he or she make this order? We are not told. (Presumably when  officious jobsworths think a dog is about to bite them –Ed).

From the same date, anyone who fails to clear up their dog mess on any public highway or open space (not private land) is liable to a fine of £1000. Yes, £1000!

How are the fantasists at Brympton Way going to enforce this legislation? Will there be a poopy patrol? A turd hotline? At what cost? Supposing you don’t have a spare £1000 lying around and you have run out of polythene bags? Anyway, shouldn’t  you be using biodegradable paper bags instead?

And, having taken the offending mess home, squelching in your pocket, which bin do you put it in? The green one? The black one? The brown one? Maybe someone in authority will explain, and at the same time tell us why the council does not have better things to do with their time and our money.

Tell us what you think -Ed. And what about the horses?

Inside Brympton Way

Fat catNewly elected district councillor for Wincanton Nick Colbert has begun to spill the beans on what goes on inside the SSDC’s offices at Brympton Way. In the Wincanton Window, he writes amusingly and penetratingly on the culture which pervades the organisation, which has the highest council taxes in Somerset. Well done Nick, keep it up. Well worth a read. Councillors Wallace and Inglefield,  please copy.

Tragic road accident claims a much-loved victim

Gemma Palmer, a young mother from Templecombe and a very popular worker at the Half Moon, was  killed in a terrible and tragic traffic accident on the night of Wednesday 22 June.

It is almost impossible for anyone who knew Gemma to come to terms with this terrible news. The Blog sends its heartfelt condolences to Gemma’s husband Greg, and their three young daughters. Gemma was  pretty, popular, kind,  generous, vivacious, a great mother, and good at her jobs (she was also a part time hairdresser). She will be deeply mourned and missed by all her friends and customers at the Half Moon, and elsewhere in the village.