Volunteers wanted to join the House of Lords

If the forthcoming winter fills you with dread, and you fancy a bit of interest and creativity in your life, then why not join the House of Lords? The only qualifications required are that you must be capable of looking like a peer, (but ermine and coronet will be supplied), and you must be able to hold a tune, although guidance and support will be provided.

This will not suit the really ambitious, since the House of Lords in question is not at Westminster, but at Milborne Port, where the Milborn Port Opera is beginning rehearsals for Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe.

As usual, new singers and performers are welcome. In Iolanthe, G&S lampoon the House of Lords as a bastion of the ineffective, privileged and dim-witted, and take a few pot shots at lawyers and bankers on the way, so it will ring a bell with modern audiences.

It floats the notion that entry to the House might be through competitive examination, which may appeal to the current reformers, who seem to be getting nowhere.

The show runs straight after Easter. Rehearsals start on 6 September, and are weekly, every Thursday. There are breaks for half term and Christmas. So come along to the Methodist hall, Cold Harbour, Milborne Port on Thursday 6 September ready for an 8pm start.

PS If you don’t want to be a peer, you can always be a fairy!

 More about Milborne Port Opera

Pension misery ahead

If you have a “Drawdown Pension”, prepare for a nasty surprise.

One Horsington resident was stunned to return from holiday to find his income had been reduced, at a stroke, by over one third following a review of his fund.

All pension companies are required by law to review the state of their client’s funds every 3 years to ensure the income from it is sustainable.  The rules were changed this April, and now anyone with a drawdown pension (where the funds are invested in the stock market rather than in an annuity) can expect a similar result when their pensions come up for review.

The rules now insist that funds’ maximum income limits are governed by the notional return on Gilts, which are at an all-time low thanks to printing money through quantitative easing. This applies even if the fund is not invested in Gilts.

It seems that there is no problem which cannot be made worse by Government intervention.

Pensioners in these schemes can apparently expect cuts of between 36 and 50 per cent, while MPs and the mandarins who make to rules continue to collect their gold-plated-index linked payouts.

You have been warned.


Slate or tile? It’s important (apparently)

Many of us were surprised to learn that even the parish church needs to apply for planning permission, even for alterations.

The Blog’s planning applications section reveals that they want to change the external roof covering on the south aisle from clay tiles to Welsh slate. The reason for the change is that the existing roof  has too shallow a pitch for clay tiles, and is therefore vulnerable to water penetration. Slate tiles will provide better protection, according to the consultants employed by the church.

Horsington Parish Council discussed this application at their last meeting.   Surprisingly, Two Councillors were in favour, but three Councillors were opposed. One abstained because he/she felt that they needed further information.

The meeting recognised that the roof needs repairing but one Councillor, who has experience in roofing, reported that there are tiles on the market that are suitable for roofs with a pitch down to 15 degrees, and the council felt that this option should be investigated before the option of replacing the tiles with slates is taken.

Relations between the church and the parish council are said to be “strained”. Oh dear.

Jubilee video raises the roof

Sales of the video of the Jubilee street party have raised over £480 for the church roof fund. There are plenty more copies for sale at £10 from the Half Moon.

Make sure you have a record of this unique event, as there  unlikely to be another celebration like this in the lifetime of any of the people present.

Virtually everyone who attended is featured in one way or another, along with the team of volunteers who put the event together.

The video has been made to a high professional standard, and has two bonus tracks – the Horsington Bellringers, and original archive footage of the Coronation in 1953.

The blog has learnt that the DVD will not work in some players. The manufacturers have put their hands up and owned up to a technical fault, and replaced the lot. If your copy does not work, pick up a  replacement from the Half Moon.

New sluice for pond

Horse pond sluice
Putting the finishing touches to the horse pond sluice gates

Thanks to Charles james and Phil Shrimpton, the horse pond has a set of spanking new sluice gates. These will maintain a decent level of water in the pond, and regulate flooding (Surely cause flooding -ed).

A big thank you to both for their hours of work and engineering expertise. Plus thanks to Kev Wigley, who supplied the gates.

Charles James and Phil Shrimpton

The Horsington bell ringers strike success.

Horsington Bellringers
The Horsington Bellringers

Anna Piechna writes: June 16 this year was Horsington School’s village fete.  I wonder if anyone noticed anything else going on?  140+ people descended on us for another reason.

It was the Bath & Wells Association of Church Bells Ringers’ six bell striking competition.

Through out the Bath & Wells there are 11 branches, from Dunster up to Bath, who each held a local competition in their branch.  The top two teams from each branch were then sent forward to the final, which was hosted by our Cary Branch.  Each branch takes it in turns to host the event so we will not get another chance for 11 years!

Heats were held in Horsington, Maperton and South Cadbury with the final at Templecombe.

We were very kindly lent some lovely outbuildings to squirrel away the judges so they could not be knobbled!

Our local team came third in our heat and Preston Plucknett, who toppled the two favourites, Bathwick and Chilcompton, won the event.

As host we had to provide teas which proved a mammoth task for 140 +.  Thanks must go to Andrew and Phillipa Tarling who provided much needed advice and food for ploughmans, helping to keep the cost down.  With their help and all the others who contributed cakes etc., we managed to make over £300 which will go towards much needed work on Templecombe bells which are in need of serious repair.

Roll on another 11 years!

Thanks Anna. Remember, contributions are always welcome -Ed

See the Bellringers in action on BloggoVision

Two bonus tracks added to Jubilee DVD

Horsington Jubilee DVD
2 bonus tracks on the Horsington Jubilee DVD

The DVD of the Jubilee celebrations, which is being sold in aid of the church roof fund, is now in production and will be delivered later this week.

As a special bonus, two extra videos have been added:
• The Horsington Bellringers ringing their Jubilee Peal
• Some rarely seen archive footage of the Queen’s coronation in 1952

The world premiere of the video will be on Sunday 15th July at the Half Moon at 2 pm, and everyone is welcome.

Copies will be on sale then, assuming they have been delivered. The initial order is 50 copies. You can reserve your personal copy by emailing bloggovision@idnet.com. Each DVD costs £10.00.

(This is an automated email account, and not for general correspondence.)

Me and My Girl – The “Blackmore Vale” speaks

Your editor has not yet had the fortune to visit Shaftesbury Arts Centre to review “Me and my Girl”, so we must rely on the drama critic of the “Blackmore Vale  Magazine” for a verdict on the show. Here are a few choice quotes from this week’s review, in case you haven’t seen them.

“a huge amount of musical talent at Shaftesbury …”

Sophie Lester (director) . . .  has found and unleashed an energy, enthusiasm  and joy in her cast that also infects the audience.

“…some brilliant directoral ideas…”

“Many Shaftesbury Arts Centre stalwarts give the performance of their lives…”

You get the picture.