Wincanton Choral Society Christmas Concert – Sunday 11 December

Anyone who heard Wincanton’ Choral Society’s stunning rendition of Haydn’s “Creation” in the summer knows they are in for a treat this Christmas. This exceptional choir (featuring a good few Horsington residents) will be performing their annual Christmas concert in the Wincanton sports hall on Sunday 11th december at

The programme includes

Karl Jenkins’ “A Celebration of Christmas”
Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium”
Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah.

Ticket prices are unchanged from last year – £12 adults, £6.00 for the under 18’s.

Tickets from Choir members, if you know one, or 01749 813899.
More about the choir, including membership details

Christmas hangover cures

The Half Moon has a mission to stave off the post-Christmas blues with some tempting offers and events.
1st January New Year’s Day Brunch 12 noon -3 pm, £7.95 a head (Children £4.95) .
New year’s Day quiz 8 pm. teams of 4 (ish) £1 per head. Re-kindle those brain cells.
Saturday 28th January Burrrns Night Supper.  Hit the haggis big time.
Every January Sunday Carvery main course and desert – special offer -£10 per person.

Beer & Skittles at the Half Moon

Here’s an idea for some meaningful exercise  to keep the Christmas flab at bay. The Half Moon is offering an evening of beer and skittles (well, a hot supper and your first pint or a glass of wine) including use of the skittle alley, for just £7.95 per person. Why not form a team and challenge your neighbours?
You can issue an  invitation for people to join your team or challenges to other teams  by using the “Comment” facility on the Blog.
Bookings: Tel 370140 or

Colonel Blashford-Snell, I presume?

It will be pith helmets and jungle drums galore at Horsington Parish church on Friday  9th December, when famous explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell  gives a talk on “19th Century Darkest Africa”.

In 1968, as a mere Captain, John Blashford -Snell led a British army expedition to descend the Blue Nile at the invitation of then emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassi.

Further ambitious expeditions followed, including the first land crossing of Panama’s  Darien Gap in 1971/2 and navigating all 2700 miles of the Congo in 1974.

It promises to be a very interesting talk. Tickets at the door. Talk starts 7.30. Suggested donation £8

More about the Colonel


Stop Press: Pilgrim Singers at Horsington Church – 27th November at 6 pm

Wincanton’s Pilgrim Singers, led by Jane Fenton, are singing at at a Taizé Advent service at Horsington Church at 6pm this Sunday 27 November.

Taizé is an interdenominational Christian community based in France which has prayer and song at the heart of its worship.

Should be an uplifting evening. The Pilgrim singers are excellent.

More about  Taizé here

Silas Silage’s Gardening diary – November

Silas Silage has been hobnobbing with the celebrities at the BBC, no less. Ooooh!
Silas Silage











My loyal readers will not be surprised to learn that eventually, in a busy and eventful life, one earns the respect of one’s peers, and enters the heady world of the respected celebrity guru. So it was, when a few weeks ago I answered the phone and a young female voice asked me to confirm my name and address and then asked “Is that THE Mr Silas Silage the gardener?” I confirmed that indeed it was, and she said she was from the BBC, and looking for knowledgeable people to appear on a gardening programme.

She said “We’ve got Matthew Biggs, Eric Robson and Bunny Guinness on the programme, so I hope you can come along”. “Guinness?” I exclaimed. “Count me in”.

As you can image, Mrs Silage went all in a tizzy when I broke the news, and fussed around getting my old green tweed suit out, trimming my ears and nose with some electric jobbie she got from an ad on daytime TV, and making me have a bath.

The day dawned for the recording, and off I set for the studio in Bristol. I had to leave at six in the  morning, such is the state of our transport system. Bus to Cary, then to Shepton, then to Gurney Slade, Radstock, Bath, Keynsham and finally Bristol. It was thirsty work, but luckily I had my trusty flask of beetroot burgundy, and there was an excellent alehouse in Radstock. And several in Bath. And one in Bristol too. Or was it two?

So I arrived at the studio as darkness fell, tired, but refreshed. The reception area at the studio was very busy, but I found the Gardeners Question Time queue. But surely there would be someone there to meet me? We shuffled forward and I found myself in a large room with black drapes and an eerie silence. I sat down with all the others, but I immediately spotted the mistake. I was in the audience, and I should have been with the experts, who I could see on the stage, shuffling paper and engaging in learned discussion.

I went outside, trying to find my way backstage. An excited thin young woman rushed  towards me and said “There you are – we’ve been looking for you everywhere”, and she grabbed my arm and marched me along the corridor. “Quick, we’ve less than a minute!”

I was whisked into a side room and sat down in a chair. Two girls leapt on me, dapping my face with a yellow sponge, then before I knew it I was propelled into another room with bright lights and a big screen where a hatchet-faced Scottish woman was groaning on and on about something.

No sooner had I been dumped in a chair when she turned to me abruptly and said “Over to Bristol. What do you think is the cause of the problem?” The Thin One, now adorned with headphones and a clipboard pointed at me with a grand gesture.

When I’m stuck in a tight place, I always think it’s a good policy to buy time to think, so I scratched my ear and pulled out my beetroot burgundy flask and took a long, thoughtful, nip. “Well”, I said slowly and craftily, “It depends what you think the problem is. My main problem is that my knees aren’t as good as they used to be, and the moles have been a bit of a nuisance this year…”

“I just want to bring in the Bishop of York”, said the Scottish woman brusquely, with a startled expression on her face. “What do you think Bishop?”

A purple –clad figure on another big screen beside me came to life, but I carried on. “The big landowners are uprooting the hedges and destroying the habitat of rabbits, crows, badgers, and the other things we eat.”

“ An Englishman’s garden is  sacrosanct ” I said, taking another pull at the beetroot burgundy, and I was just about to launch into my prepared speech when the Scottish woman started reading from the next day’s papers and said “That’s all we have time for, goodnight”. Some loud music was played, and the lights dimmed. I fell asleep.

Later I was awakened by the Thin One who said “There you are – we’ve been looking for you everywhere”. I think it’s the only words she knew. She handed me a brown envelope and hurried me towards the exit, and before I knew it, I was out of the revolving door and onto a busy Bristol street.

In the envelope were five crisp £20 notes. I took another nip of the beetroot burgundy and went to look for a bus. Funny place, the BBC. Funny place, Bristol.

Silas Silage’s Christmas special, with seasonal recipes and cocktail ideas will be coming in December. You still have time to leave the country! -Ed

Fireworks round-up

Here’s our list of  firework displays in the area on Saturday. If you know of something more local, email the editor

Gillingham. Shaftesbury and Gillingham Round table have their annual Gillingham Fireworks Display at the North Dorset Rugby Club. A  huge firework  display and  large bonfire, with  guys made by  local primary school children.

Music, burgers, hot dogs and candy floss add to the entertainment.

The Round Table have been holding this event for more than 15 years now and have raised more than £40,000 for charities.

Gates open at 5.30pm, fire light is at 7pm with fireworks at 7.30pm

Sherborne Castle provides a spectacular backdrop for fireworks, There is entertainment, live music and refreshments from 5pm. The bonfire is lit at 7pm, with the fireworks due off at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for children, with under-fives free.

Yeovil Lions are teaming up Yeovil Round Table to put on what must be one of the biggest fireworks displays in the area and this year the giant bonfire returns again. Yeovil Show Ground – doors open 5.30. Adults £6.00, children £3.00, family ticket £15.00.

Yeovil – Westland Leisure complex has a fireworks extravaganza from 6.30 pm £5 adult, £3.50 child.