Get that Treorchy sound in Sherborne Abbey

There is still time to get  tickets for the  world famous Treorchy Male Choir’s Sherborne Abbey  Concert on September 16th.

The choir’s close harmony singing coupled with the Abbey’s renowned acoustics will make for a very special evening.

George Wagland, the Blackmore Vale Lion’s president reports brisk ticket sales. This is definitely not one to be missed

7pm tickets £25, £18, £12

Book online Very simple, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 2 clicks and you’re done!, or at the Sherborne Tourist Information Office

Horsington Open’s charity fund rises to £800

Thanks to a generous donation from, a regular resident at the Half Moon, the Horsington’ Open’s charitable fund now stands at £800.

The pot will be divided between St Margaret’s Hospice and Wincanton Live at Home shortly.

This is a serious amount of mony, raised by golf competitors and other donors, and demonstrates how far this competition has come since its inception in 2013, when it raised £113 for the church roof.

In 2014 the competition raised just £64.00

In 2015, thanks to  a number of generous sponsors and some determined fund raising by the organisers, the total rose to £600.

And this year (after a year off) the competition raised £800.

Organisers Richard Gaunt and David Blake put this down to staging the competition in the summer, which attracts more, and better entrants, and the improved playing conditions at Henstridge, where they have worked very hard on both the course and the clubhouse.

They said” We thank everyone who played or supported us very warmly for their generosity.”

Next year the target is £1,000. Now that would be an achievement.

Round the World Race: A carrot lands from above

Horsington’s Mark Tucker’s  yacht Great Britain is lying second, about 18 miles behind the leader, in the Round the world Clipper race halfway through the Doldrums corridor.

The conditions here are tricky. Some boats have started their engines (which they are allowed to do for 60 hours if they meet certain conditions). Others are sailing on. Big winds and challenges (like a new embryo hurricane, Jose), lie ahead.

Most days the crew take it in turn to write and publish the Crew diary.

Mark published his first report on Monday September 4th. Here it is, fresh from somewhere near the Equator. We like his style, very reminiscent of the Blog….

“Day 16: The Curious Case of the Carrot and the Kite

Strange things happen at sea. Very strange things. But, when a carrot dropped out of our hoisted windseeker this morning, the oddness reached a new level. Skipper Andy suspected foul play and ordered a full investigation; GREAT Britain‘s former police officer and recently promoted Chafe Inspector Ian Medland was to head up the inquiry and was determined to, er, ‘root’ out the culprit. Was this a ploy by the General Woollers Union to use carrotic acid to destroy the sail? Was this an attempt by a crew member to hide and secure additional rations? Medders had to find out and wasted no time in setting up a makeshift interview room; 20 Superkings, a vat of coffee and a supply of doughnuts were duly ordered.

First in the frame was Sailmaker and Watch Leader Simon Speirs. He certainly had the motive; one less sail would be one less sail to have to repair. Speirs had an alibi though – he’d barely taken a step away from the sewing machine over the last few days and certainly hadn’t been anywhere near the carrots. Medders deduced that Speirs and his apprentice seamstress accomplice, Tessa Hicks, could not be to blame.

Focus moved to the other Watch Leader, Spencer J Bienvenue III. Bienvenue was known to have a large appetite and could have hidden the carrot for later consumption. Forensic tests revealed the carrot had no trace of Sriracha sauce and Bienvenue was released without charge.

Medland worked his way through the watch rota and, one by one, suspects were brought in and ruled out. Graham Bell, our ultra-competitive Olympian, had neither the time nor the motive; Mark Tucker had been busy baking flavoured loaves and filing race reports; our resident Aussie Ray Gibson had been fully occupied fixing just about everything; Ian Munford had been leaving cheesy biscuits for sleeping crew mates (a separate investigation is to follow); Krish Patel had spent too long working on her stand-up routine to have come up with any vegetable related pranks; Catherine Foster had been reminiscing about her Grandmother’s peculiar shopping habits; Commodore Timothy Jeffrey (RN Rtd) had barely stepped away from the facts and figures on the screen in his stateroom; Gareth Blanks had been erecting a sunshade for the helm (but clearly is more used to horticulture than naval architecture – think fruit fly more than fly deck); Jon Milne had been keeping the deck gear in fine fettle; Pip O’Sullivan had been busy auditing rice pudding supplies; Antonia Hiesgen had been brushing up her Spanish ahead of arrival in Uruguay (Inspector Medland failed to note the Spanish for carrot in his notebook); Phil Gunn had been either too heavily engrossed in Modern Family or The Perkins Marine Diesel Service Bulletin to care and GREAT Britain‘s media mogul, John Olson had been busy processing photos and typesetting his memoirs.

Inspector Medland had more trouble ruling out the two remaining crew members. Nicola Thurlow, who had assisted O’Sullivan with victualling and had therefore had more access to carrots than most, was shifty and evasive. Edmund Aldworth (who immediately arose suspicion by also going under the names of Ed, Eddy, Edward and Eduardo) was unable to provide an alibi and was known to have close ties to the GWU.

With insufficient evidence to prosecute, Inspector Medland added the case to the dusty pile of unsolved crimes on his desk and joined the rest of his watch to spot sharks and head south.”

Mark Tucker

Current position and chart. (In real time)
Crew diaries 

Mark is supporting  UNICEF, the Round the World Race official charity. You can donate to Mark’s cause by visiting his “Just Giving” page.

Best Welsh Choir comes to Sherborne Abbey on 16 September – (Booking link now works!)

The world famous Treorchy Male Choir are celebrating their 75th anniversary at a concert in the spectacular setting of Sherborne Abbey on September 16th.

The choir’s close harmony singing coupled with the Abbey’s renowned acoustics will make for a very special evening.

This concert is being hosted by The Blackmore Vale Lions who are celebrating their 100th anniversary Proceeds will be donated to The Gryphon School’s Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Ten Tors Challenge Scheme

7pm tickets £25, £18, £12

Book online (Very simple, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week), or at the Sherborne Tourist Information Office

Apologies that the link did not work in the last version of this article – Ed

Best ever Horsington Open raises £781

44 players took to the field to battle it out for the coveted Claret Jug in the Horsington Open at Henstridge Golf Club on Saturday September 2nd. The weather was sunny and warm, the course beautifully prepared, and nothing could go wrong. And it didn’t.

The event raised £781, to be shared between St Margaret’s Hospice and Wincanton Live at Home, thanks to the generosity of the players, sponsors and prizegivers. The Open also received generous donations from potential competitors who were unable to play this time.

As usual the competition was stiff and the winning scores very close. Some very good golfers turned out and the Henstridge course, thought to be rather easy by the unknowing, served up several traps for the complacent, as demonstrated by the lost ball count – 40.

A special mention goes to the Ashford Family, whose team Wrong Direction played impeccably, but were beaten for honours by the handicap system. Elizabeth Ashford, aged 12 and playing off a handicap of 10(!) achieved the longest drive by a lady. Ron Ashford achieved the longest drive by a man, on the tricky  dog-legged 7th hole.

Edward Malcolm of Gnashers United achieved the Nearest the Pin prize with a spectacular shot on the short 8th hole, which was as close to a hole in one as it was possible to be.

Horsington Open Winner Jon Banfield collects the Claret Jug from organiser Richard Gaunt

The Overall Winner was Jon Banfield of the White Horse Wishfulls, which also won the team prize with 50 points. Jon achieved 26 stableford points off a handicap of 28. (Report to the handicap secretary -Ed).

The Claret Jug will now reside in the White Horse until the next competition. Go and check it out, Steve has got some decent beer in.

Second was Lynne Williams of the SLAGS (Sherborne Ladies Amateur Golfing Society, in case you wondered), with 23 points off a handicap of 19. The Sherborne ladies all played impeccably, and came second in the team competition, with 49 points

Third was Steve Penny from Henstridge A with 21 points off a handicap of 18. Henstridge A Team also came third, with 48 points. Steve also collected the lost ball lottery, correctly guessing 40 balls would be lost. Funny, he also walked off with this prize a week earlier at the Henstridge Open.

At the prizegiving at the Half Moon Mark Warren generously bid for the foursome at Woodbury Park. Exeter, kindly donated by Hunts Foodservice..

Many thanks to The White Horse, the Half Moon and Henstridge Golf Club for a very successful day and the best Horsington Open yet.

Full Results and Prize list
Photo Gallery

Horsington Open 2017 – All the action

We will update this as more pictures and captions come in. Please email any pictures to Please add a caption to identify people.

Full Report
Final amount raised

Sean Riordan,Mark Warren,David Blake and Phil Warren of Hackers Galore
The SLAGS (Sherborne ladies Amateur Golfing Society): Sylvia Blackwell, Jenny Scarth, Carol-Anne Raisbeck and Lynn Williams
Teabags: John Scarf, Bryan Stringer, Martin Coulsey, Mike Davies
Peter Garbo, Neil Edwards, Ray Phillips and Richard Gaunt of The Beggars
George Wagland,Chris Bailward, Chris Ralston and Peter Gripper of the half Mooners
The Whippets: David Shephard, Anthony Ward,Peter Munro, Ken May
Andre Blond and Jon Banfield of the White Horse Wishfulls – winners of the team and individual competition
Horsington Open Winner Jon Banfield collects the Claret Jug from organiser Richard Gaunt

Round the World: Mark’s team Great Britain now in second place

Horsington’s  Mark Tucker is taking part in the Clipper Round the World Race, now in its 9th day.

The Round the World Fleet. Great Britiain is the Dark Blue boat in second place

The fleet is heading south in mid Atlantic, west of the Straits of Gibraltar. Mark’s boat, Great Britain, has stormed from 11th to second place, having taken a westerly course to pick up more wind, and is now pursuing the leader, Qingdao, out of sight but less 20 miles ahead.

So far there have been no major incidents (although one boat has put ashore for a crew injury), but the crews have been frantically busy with sail changes to meet the varying weather conditions which can change minute by minute.

Only 4750 miles or so to the finish of the first race in Punta d’Est in Uruguay. In a week’s time they will be near the equator and the dreaded doldrums, where fortunes can be reversed in the tricky light, or non-existent winds.

The GB team has played its “Joker”. Teams can do this one only during the entire race. It means that at the end of this leg, whatever points they score will be doubled, so there’s everything to play for

Conditions on board are tough, but the crew seem to be melding together, and their dramatic improvement in position will have raised their sprits enormously.

You can follow the race on the Clipper website. Each ship reports daily, with every crew member taking turns to write the diary. Mark has yet to make his debut.

Current position and chart. (In real time)
Crew diaries 

Mark is supporting  UNICEF, the Round the World Race official charity. You can donate to Mark’s cause by visiting his “Just Giving” page.

Only a week to the Horsington Open and you can still enter

Entries are flooding in for this year’s Charity HORSINGTON OPEN on Saturday 2nd September 2017 at Henstridge Golf & Leisure Centre.

There is still time to enter. All welcome. Why not form a team?

Full details are on the Horsington Blog .

This year you can enter on line and pay on the day. You are one click away!
Or you can pick up an entry form from our two village pubs, which are generously sponsoring the event – Horsington’s Half Moon, and South Cheriton’s White Horse. Also the Henstridge Golf Club.

You will enjoy an entertaining morning’s golf in aid of local charities – St Margaret’s Hospice, which has helped so many people in the village, and Wincanton Live at Home, which helps elderly people to lead independent lives at home.

If you would like to provide a competition or raffle prize it will be most gratefully received. Please contact Richard gaunt – or co-organiser David Blake –
Please enter – you are one click away!

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