McDonalds fines pensioner £100 for overstaying

Macdonalds can be bad for your financial Health

Richard Gaunt writes…
I have been charged for overstaying in a McDonalds car park on the A12 in Essex – £100! Outrageous. I have appealed both to McDonalds (I was in the “restaurant” the whole time), and MET Parking, who manage the car park.

It was a “free” car park. The owners claimed there were time limit and penalty notices displayed, but none of our party saw them. There were certainly none in the restaurant where we were seated for the duration of our visit.

Surely there was no contract between us? If I had seen the notice I would have observed the terms and conditions. Only a fool would agree to pay £100 to park there.

I am outraged and really want to fight this.

I appeal to the Blog’s readership – do I have a chance in court?

See the detailed letters to McDonalds and MET Parking

If any of m’learned friends are readers, perhaps they could post a comment.

In the meantime – Avoid MacDonalds!

Local advice surgery – Friday 11th August

Our two South Somerset District Councillors William Wallace and Hayward Burt are holding advice sessions on Friday 11th August.

The first one is at Holton Village Hall from 12.30-1 15 pm

The second is at Henstridge Village Hall from 1.30-2.15 pm

If you have local concerns about planning, roads, rubbish collection, or council policy generally, this is your chance to tackle them head on.

No appointment necessary, just turn up.

This is a great initiative. Your editor apologises for the short notice, but his in-tray is bulging and he’s away a lot. If more meetings are scheduled, we will put them in the diary in future -Ed

Valerie Pratt

Toni Salmonson writes. . .

I am very sad to tell you that Valerie Pratt, of Hearne Cottage, Horsington, died peacefully at home this morning, Sunday 6 August, at 9.40.  She had been suffering from motor neuron disease.  Please tell people who knew her who might not see this blog.  There will be a notice in the Blackmore Vale Magazine with details of the funeral arrangements.

We were very sorry to hear that Valerie has passed on. She was a formidable character and a much loved and respected resident of Horsington. We invite people who knew her well to post tibutes. Please contact -Ed

Horsington’s secret rock chick get a million hits on Spotify

Toby Butler and Liela Moss, who perform in the duo “Roman Remains”.

Liela Moss, who lives in Horsington House, has notched up considerable musical success with her duo Roman Remains’ song “Killing Moon”, which has received over 1 million hits on the music streaming website Spotify. The song was the title track in the Netflix hit series “13 Reasons Why”.

We realise many Blog readers, still tuned into the Home Service, will be mystified by this. Spotify and Netflix are  internet-based portals where you can listen to or watch anything at a click of a mouse. With the demise of high street record shops they are, along with Apples’s iTunes, the principal means of distributing music and video these days. One million hits is a hell of an achievement (the Blog get around 150!) Spotify is where musical reputations get made and broken.

Liela and her partner Toby, the other half of the duo, also perform in The Duke Spirit , a successful English Rock band which they co-founded. This has toured the UK and overseas for many years. They are possibly better-known in the USA, where they have  performed regularly on TV.

We think it’s rather good, and well worth a listen.

readers can listen here

Something else for Horsington to be proud of.

Meet Mark Tucker in the Half Moon on Friday 28 July

Mark Tucker, soon to depart on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, will be in the Half Moon Inn, Horsington, from 9 pm onwards on Friday 28th July. This will be one of his last appearances before he vanishes for a year, and this is an ideal opportunity for people to meet him, thank him for his service as a parish councillor, and wish him bon voyage.

See you there.

Get ready for the Horsington Open 2017

The Horsington Open is back, bigger and better, at a date and time which will be more convenient for many players.

This year’s competition will be played at Henstridge Golf Club on Saturday September 2nd 2017.

The 9-hole competition is in aid of local charities, and is open to all comers. Ladies and non-handicappers are welcome. Entry is just £15 per player, including green fees. Individuals and teams of 4.

The prize (as befits an “Open”) is a claret jug, plus many other prizes generously donated by local businesses.

The competition tees off just after 10 am. The prize giving will be held in the Half Moon, Horsington at 6.30 pm, when there will also be a charity raffle.

This competition is back after a year off in 2016. It provides an opportunity for players at all levels to get together for a fun day of golf and raise money for charity. The field normally includes some really good golfers, some desperately bad golfers, many ladies and several beginners.

The Half Moon, Horsington, has generously agreed to sponsor some prizes and to host the prize giving.  South Cheriton’s White Horse pub has volunteered its customary support, with players and prizes. Henstridge Golf Club have been generous and wonderful, as usual.

The easiest way to enter is to book on line  Pay on the day.

Or you can get an entry form  and more information from the Half Moon, the White Horse, or Henstridge Golf Club,  ALL WELCOME!

The competition is organised by Horsington’s Richard Gaunt and David and Tricia Blake.

Thanks to the estate of the late, celebrated cartoonist, HM Bateman for permission to use his cartoon in our poster. We will be offering one of his famous prints as a prize.

Download a poster

Re-live last the 2015 competition won by Tony Brodie, of Henstridge

Situation vacant: pub quiz team

A vacancy has arisen for a talented, knowledgeable, well-read, erudite polymath of any gender to join an established pub quiz team for Sunday night competitions in Milborne Port, following the impeding departure of the present incumbent on a year-long yacht cruise.

A working knowledge of the celebrity sections of the tabloid press and modern pop music would be a distinct advantage, since the existing team members are devoid of talent in this area.

This team came within a gnat’s whisker of winning the £135 jackpot in last week’s quiz.  This could be your big chance.

Apply to the editor in confidence –

We are delighted to report that someone has come forward, but we can still accommodate 1 more. Don’t be shy. -Ed

Horsington’s Mark is ready for it – whatever it is!

Mark Tucker on Great Britain. Note the size of the fearsome steel shroud he is hanging on to.

Horsington parish councillor, diver, Glastonbury entrepreneur, pub quizzer, and now – sailor – MARK TUCKER is about to embark on a trans global adventure as part of the Great Britain Team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

This is one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. At 40,000 nautical miles long and taking almost a year to complete, it consists of twelve teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

There are 712 crew, representing 41 different nationalities. Crew can choose the entire race or one or more of its eight legs, but our Mark has signed up for the entire 11-month trip. He has been appointed a coxwain.

The Race sets sail on Sunday 20 August from Liverpool’s Albert Dock, and the route takes in Uruguay,  South Africa, Australia, Tasmania, China, The USA, the Panama Canal and Ireland, returning to Liverpool in July 2018.

Sleeping quarters on Great Britain. Not that you will get any any.

The Blog had an exclusive preview of Great Britain in dock at Gosport. It’s a spartan, cramped, comfortless sardine tin housing 22 people (half of whom will be on deck, so they will be “hot bunking”) with no privacy, alcohol, heating (or cooling). Take a good supply of wet wipes Mark, because there will be no showers until you reach port. Each leg takes between 4-6 weeks.

On deck, there’s precious little shelter. The sails, which must be constantly changed and trimmed according to conditions, weigh a ton. They also occupy a third of the accommodation below deck. The ropes are huge, the winches fearsome and the steel shrouds, which hold the rigging together, are bar-tight and would support a cable-car.

Mark in the gelley. Imagine an operating angle of 45 degrees at sea

The whole machine will slice through the waves at about 14 knots, the speed of a cruising merchant ship. They will encounter extremes of everything – hot-cold, wind-calm, elation-depression, confidence-fear. They will become very, very tired. And smelly.

Mark has decided to support UNICEF, the Round the World Race official charity. He writes:

“In a few weeks’ time, I’ll be stepping onto a 70 foot racing yacht and won’t set foot again on UK soil for over 11 months and having covered 40,000 miles of ocean. It’s going to be awesome but it’s also going to be tough, it’s going to be cold and it’s going to be uncomfortable.

“Children around the world live their whole lives in much tougher, harsher and more uncomfortable environments however – UNICEF are working in the UK and around the globe to improve living, health and educational conditions and I’d be overjoyed if you’d find it in your hearts to make a small donation to help make someone’s life just a little easier.”

You can donate to Mark’s cause by visiting his “Just Giving” page

£850 has been raised so far. Come on Horsington! We have something and someone to be very proud of.

Note: money raised will go straight to the charity, Mark is funding his own expenses. Ed

Marcus at Felthams Farm shortlisted for cheese award

Marcus Fergusson with a batch of Renegade Monk cheese.

Vote for Feltham’s Farm in the Great British Cheese Awards 2017

Blog readers and cheese fans are being urged to vote for Feltham’s Farm in Horsington, which has been shortlisted in the 2017 Great British Cheese Awards in two categories – Best Artisan Cheese and Best Soft Cheese for its Renegade Monk cheese.  The Great British Cheese Awards recognise, promote and reward excellence in the artisan cheese industry, dominated by small, independent cheese makers.

Renegade Monk is a soft blue cheese, rind washed in ale from Frome’s Milk Street Brewery, and made using organic pasteurised cow’s milk from Bruton Dairy.   It is one of twelve shortlisted cheeses in each category out of 500 nominated cheeses by the public nationwide. No other cheese award gives the general public such a large voice in choosing the winners.

The Great British Cheese Awards don’t rely on tastings by a panel of judges but instead bring together hundreds of thousands of people online.

You can vote online for Feltham’s Farm’s Renegade Monk until 12th August at

Marcus Fergusson, Cheese maker at Feltham’s Farm says “We could only have managed this with the wonderful partners and retailers  who have supported us from the start  The Great British Cheese Awards are exciting for us because they are voted for solely by the public .  If we win the cheese will get national recognition and we can expand our business”.

You can buy Renegade Monk from the Village shop in Charlton Horethorne. Please buy some and vote -Ed.