Horsington Cricket team is looking for players for a match on Sunday 29 May –the late May Bank Holiday weekend.
The opponents are a London pub side – the “Tabard Pilgrims”. They are making a return visit, having enjoyed themselves so much last year.
Part of their enjoyment stems from the fact that they snatched victory following a miraculous catch on the boundary by one of their players with the implausible name of “Juggs”*, and went on to beat us by 35 runs.
This year we have to get even. So dust of your pads, start exercising your bowling arm, and volunteer to play. There will be a full social programme after the game, including attempts by the visitors to retain their place in the loo seat trophy hall of fame in the Half Moon (you have to drink a half from every tap in the pub). Despite photographic evidence to the contrary, we believe they will dress normally this time!
We need you! Those interested should contact Andrew Tarling, Landlord of the Half Moon. email him
This match is an important event for Horsington. If the cricket pitch is not used, then we lose the legal right to play there – ever.
It was a headline we couldn’t resist. This post is about a group of ladies who meet in the village hall every Tuesday to rescue old (sometimes antique) furniture and restore it under the watchful gaze of master upholsterer Hugh Pamplin.
The cover-up in question is the transformation which takes place when the final layer of new material is carefully stitched in place.
There are a few vacancies for new members. So if you have the odd bit of Chippendale, or failing that, Parker Knoll, which deserves a new lease of life and pride of place in your sitting room, please come along, and learn as you go. No previous experience required.
There is a small charge to cover the cost of the village hall. And of course you need your own chair, pouffe or whatever, materials and tools, but Hugh can advise on these.
Sunday’s quiz, which was won by a team including the Landlord, raised about £75 for the Lions and will be put towards supporting local charity initiatives. They particularly want to support the Air Ambulance and are running regular quizzes around the area to further their aims. The next quiz at the Half Moon will be Easter Sunday April 24th.
Landlored Andrew Tarling, who often sets the questions, wishes to make it clear that he had nothing to do with the questions in this quiz!
Vicky Franklin writes: Enjoyed your blog, don’t know much about blogs, this is the first one I’ve read.
I would like to mention an attack by dogs that took place on our land at Coldhills, Horsington, leaving an inlamb ewe traumatised and bleeding in the hedge. She was making a recovery when attacked again on the other leg. I have now had to remove her from the field.
We have a footpath going through our land, please will users keep their dogs on leads and if you let your dogs out at night, make sure you know where they are.
I am told I should be reporting this incident to the police.
Safety-conscious Horsington mower relaxes
after a hard morning’s work
Here’s a real turf war.
The South Somerset District Council has suddenly started taking an interest in Horsington Parish churchyard and the surrounding grass areas.
They abruptly stopped maintaining it in 1991 without explanation or consultation, and the Parish took it over, mowing it to a very high standard, thanks to the noble efforts of two parish councillors.
Faced with job cuts, and threats to their livelihood, the jobsworths from the SSDC turned up unannounced at the last Parish Council meeting in a bid to secure the work.
The Parish Council said it was more than satisfied with the work and there was no need to change anything. Then the SSDC played the elfin safety card. Apparently Somerset’s hospitals are clogged with mutilated graveyard mowers, and only registered contractors have the necessary skills and insurance cover to carry out this task without causing carnage.
The SSDC kindly offered to take over this dangerous work at, it is rumoured, more than double the cost, passing on the extra burden to Horsington’s residents and without any guarantee that the churchyard would receive a trim and tidy up before each wedding or baptism, as it does at present.
The Parish Council was unmoved, and the work will continue to be carried out beautifully and cost-effectively by our own very skilled and well-insured people. Well done!
PS. The last time the SSDC insisted that only registered contractors could work in Horsington, the Village School received an expensive and substandard kitchen, despite the willingness of many skilled local volunteers to do the work.
Many Wincanton and Somerton buses will no longer run after Somerset County Council cut £3.6 million – half the County’s bus budget – from subsidies as part of its economy drive.
As a consequence, First, will stop or curtail many of its services from Sunday, April 17. Among services being totally withdrawn is the 901 Wells to Wincanton via Shepton Mallet and Castle Cary Station.
The 58 Yeovil to Wincanton evenings, Sundays and public holidays service will also be reduced.
Simon Cursio, commercial director of First Bristol, Somerset and Avon, said: “We have done what we can to minimise the impact of the changes, taking some risk in running some of the journeys on a commercial basis ourselves”.
This is undoubtedly bad news for bus users, although it has to be said that many buses seem to run around empty, or with just a few people in them. We also notice many “Not in Service”, which in reality could easily pick up passengers.
If Somerset County council has more than £7 million to spend on bus subsidies every year, it might be time to “Think outside the box”. Maybe empty buses trundling around the countryside are not the best solution to rural transport problems. Minibuses and taxis providing an on demand service within specified hours might be a cheaper and more efficient way forward.
It normally takes a mass murder to get a minor rural area like South Somerset in the headlines, but this weekend our beloved Council ( Band D: £1449.47 per year) hit the jackpot with the front page and an inside story in the Telegraph. The essential facts:
Phil Dolan trousered £569,000 of Council Taxpayers’ money after voluntarily leaving his post as Chief Executive of SSDC after just 6 years- £157,000 for salary, a redundancy payment of £167,000 and a lovely pension top up of £239,000. Breathtaking. He is quoted in the Daily Telegraph “There are no fat cat golden handshakes”. So that’s all right then.
Corporate Director Mark Pollock earned £52,000 for seven months’ work, plus £112,000 for loss of office, and £164,000 for his pension fund.
David Stapleton was paid £56,000 for 8 months’ work, plus £121,000 for loss of office and £131,000 for pension contributions.The total, £1.2 million, is not far short of the £1.35 million Somerset County Council achieved by reducing library opening hours . Or, to put it another way, 827 band D householders – say the populations of Horsington and South, possibly North Cheriton – coughed up their entire council tax for these guys.
Phil Dolan, no doubt exhausted, has taken early retirement. The other two, one of whose jobs was to liaise with Somerset County Council on the Hinkley Point power station (no we don’t believe it either), and the other was in charge of “health and wellbeing” (we thought the NHS did that), have both gone on to lucrative employment in the local government mafia of quangoes, talkshops and consultancies.
In its defence, the council states “This restructure involved a reduction in staff from having a Chief Executive and four Corporate Directors to having a shared Chief Executive and two directors.
“The departure of the former CEO and the 2 Directors, who were all made redundant, has helped facilitate annual savings of £431k per annum. It is normal practice and a legal requirement in both the public and the private sector for senior executives to receive payment for their loss of employment.”
All very well, but it begs the question of why were at least two of these people were paid so much in the first place for what look like non jobs, already duplicated by the work of other agencies?
And did any of our elected councillors speak out about the poor value for money these roles represented or their severance terms? Or were they too busy?
How many other publicly-funded non jobsworths are lurking in the undergrowth at SSDC or SCC? Tell us. Email the editor with your story. In total confidence, of course