MPO is back with a special concert performance of “The Arcadians”

Milborne Port Opera will emerge from its lockdown hibernation with a one-night-only “concert performance” of its postponed production “The Arcadians”. The performance will be on Saturday September 25th in Milborne Port Village Hall at 7.30 pm.

The original production was postponed 2 weeks before its opening night in April 2020 when the country went into lockdown.

Due to Covid precautions, the opera will not be fully staged.  The chorus will perform as a socially distanced choir, on a plain stage, with only the principals costumed. But the minimalistic version will enable the audience to enjoy the superb music of Lionel Moncton and Howard Talbot (the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice of their era).

Director Linda Mumford has created a cut down version of the show which simplifies the plot while retaining the best musical numbers and the abundant humour.

For health reasons the audience has been limited to 100 people. Seats are unreserved but there will be capacity for sensible social distancing. The cost is £10 per ticket. Book online at  www. mpopera.co.uk.

The company is planning its next show for April 2022 – Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow”. Rehearsals start in October.

If anyone wants to take part, front or backstage, the company will give them a warm welcome. See their website – www.milborneportopera.co.uk. Rehearsals are weekly, on Thursdays, so the time commitment is manageable.

Bailward is off again!

This time it’s JOGLE

Horsington’s demon cyclist, Chris Bailward, is currently in the wilds of Scotland on the early stages of an epic 1100 mile John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE for short) cycle ride.

He’s done it in reverse before, in 2014, but this time he’s doing it the easy way, as its obvious to anyone looking at the map that it’s downhill all the way! Moreover, he’s assisted by a power-assisted cycle which will give him a boost up any hills he encounters.

Downhill all the way!

Previously Chris has done a circumnavigation of France, Ireland, Sicily-Horsington, the 4 corners of Britain and Every English county town, so this trip is just business as usual.

It did not get off to a good start. Chris went to Scotland by sleeper from London Euston. He booked his (electric power-assisted) bike. It was only when he got the ticket and read the small print that he discovered that the Caledonian Sleeper will not take electric bikes, even though you can’t tell them apart from normal bikes. Other railway companies will carry , and even welcome them, so why not Caledonian Sleeper?

He tried in vain to find out why, but was met with a wall of silence. Eventually the Blog contacted the Caledonian press office to obtain a statement from them. Again silence. The Blog then contacted the Serco chief of media relations Charles Carr, who promised a response, and again nothing.

Serco, one of Britain’s worst companies, owns Caledonian Sleeper, but clearly has no influence over its press office.

The story gets worse. Chris bought a different electric bike, with a detachable motor, and this was allowed on the train (he put the motor in his bag). However, when he got to Edinburgh at 4am, where the train divided, Chris was woken up by the guard and told to move his bike to a different carriage, an impossible task for a sleeper employee. Not a good start to an adventure.

You can follow Chris’s adventures on his entertaining blog at www.bailward.co.uk. JOGLE is not up at the moment owing to poor internet connections in the far north of Scotland, but in the meantime you can read about his other voyages there.

Good luck Chris. See you in September in time for the Horsington Open!

St John’s BBQ and picnic -14 August

Horsington Church
Horsington Church, painted by Philp Rawlings

Everyone is invited to celebrate the (hopeful) return of summer on Saturday 14 August, when St John’s Horsington is hosting a family picnic and barbeque in the churchyard from 5 pm.

Come ready for a picnic, bring salads, desserts, plates, cutlery, glasses and
rugs/chairs.
Wine & soft drinks available to buy(or bring your own if you like).
In order to cater correctly, please email your order for Burgers £2.50, Hot dogs £2. to Steve Miles freshford632@gmail.com. Pay on the day.
In the event of rain, they may have to cancel so please supply a mobile telephone number so they can text you.

Sounds good. The village needs something like this. Have fun!

Horsington’s cheesemakers to open their doors

Penny Nagle and Marcus Fergusson, owners and founders of Feltham’s Farm cheeses

Horsington’s champion cheesemakers, Marcus and Penny, will offer tours of their award winning cheesemaking facilitates on Horsington Marsh on three dates during the summer:

Saturday 31 July
Friday 20 August
Saturday 28 August (Bank Holiday weekend)
From 4 -6.30 pm.

They have had so many people asking to see the organic farm and facility that they decided to formalise these into some “Cheese Experience” events at Feltham’s Farm.

You will be welcomed with an organic ale whilst they take you to feed whey to the piglets (born 9 July!), and the Hebridean sheep. You will tour the exterior of the cheese facility, and you will get to feel and taste curds and whey (whey-hey!). Then to the barn to taste four cheeses, along with delicious local wine from Smith and Evans in Langport. Cheese and wine will be available to buy afterwards.   We have three dates over the summer (see above), but if you are in the area, and have 4+ people wishing to do this, they will try to find another date for you so please get in touch.

New pilets at Feltham’s Farm

Pre-booking is essential – Book here:https://www.felthamsfarm.com/buy-our-cheese/

More news from Feltham’s farm

Penny Nagle writes . . . .

Our cheesemaking adventure started out of adversity – redundancy at work – and then Marcus taking the one day cheesemaking at River Cottage in 2016.   This was life changing.  

Marcus has now been invited back to teach that very same course starting in September, so it just goes to show that you, too, can go from passionate, cheese eating amateur, to multi-award winning professional by doing this River Cottage course…!  You can book tickets for it here.    

We’ve have had some real highlights at Feltham’s Farm over the past few months – and it is always worth sharing good news (particularly when there is a pandemic still hovering at the door). 

Summer really started for us when our third cheese, La Fresca Margarita won Best British Cheese at the Virtual Cheese Awards.  That we won this award for the second year running, blind tasted live online by professional cheese experts really, finally confirmed for us that our decision to become cheesemakers five years ago was the right one.

Marcus has  been elected Chair of the Global Cheese Awards in Frome, which are the longest running cheese awards in the UK – since 1861.  This will be happening on 11 September, and half of the Feltham’s Farm team will be there.  Find out more about the awards here
 
Penny will take the other half of the Feltham’s Farm team to the Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival on 11 & 12 September, so do come and say hello to us there.  
 
Another organic farmer visited us yesterday, and as we walked through our fields he commented that he’d never seen so many butterflies or moths anywhere before – our fields are alive and thriving with them!  
Whilst we don’t have accommodation available over the summer as it is being revamped, we will do from September, so please do look at our website.   If you love wild swimming, our new 25m square swimming pond will be finished by then too…lots of dragon flies are already making it their home.  
Please do visit as well…
 
All the best Penny and Marcus
 
@FelthamsFarm 
www.felthamsfarm.com

Plenty of action at the White Horse

The White Horse at South Cheriton is going from strength to strength. Good food, fair prices and some excellent beers, coupled with excellent and friendly hospitality makes this a great pub for our villages.

They did a splendid job during the Euro finals, with a large high-definition screen in the socially-distanced skittle alley, and now they have some more events in the pipeline.

Next Sunday, 18th July will be the slightly postponed monthly quiz. Teams of up to five. £1 per person entry fee, and the winning team takes the pot. The quiz starts at 7.45, so be there early to grab a table. The quiz is repeated on the second Sunday of every month.

The following weekend, Sunday 25th July sees the return of the popular Redhillbillies who create what they describe as “warm nostalgic, foot tapping, partner swinging and sunshine smile on your face music”. They have been playing together for over 10 years, and last time they visited the White Horse they created a musical storm of the nicest kind.

Their session starts at 2pm, which will round off a delicious lunch nicely.To book a table for either event call 01963 370394 or email thewhitehorse@gmail.com.

The redhillbillies

Tenth Horsington Open tees off in September

Last year’s winners- the Horsington Hackers

The famous “Horsington Open” is back in September. This annual fun golf tournament in aid of local charities will be played at Henstridge Golf Club on Saturday September 4th 2021. Last year it raised over £1250 for St Margaret’s Hospice and the Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance. Organisers Richard Gaunt and David Blake are hoping to beat this (again)in 2021.

The 9-hole competition is open to all comers. Ladies and non-handicappers are welcome. Entry is  £20 per player, including green fees. Individuals and teams of up to 4 can enter. Everything raised goes to the charities.

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

The field normally includes some really good golfers, some desperately bad golfers, many ladies and several beginners. The result is normally a cliff-hanger, and it’s always fun.

This year they will be running three divisions – One for those with low handicaps (25and under) and the other for high handicaps (26 and over), which will make the distribution of prizes fairer. There will be a further division for those without a handicap (but it’s easy to get one -see below)

The easiest way to enter is to book on line via Facebook or the Horsington Blog :

BOOK HERE

Or you can get more information from  Henstridge Golf Club,  ALL WELCOME!

The competition is organised by Horsington’s Richard and Libby Gaunt and David and Tricia Blake, who recently moved to Bath.

How to get a handicap in time for the “Open” Join Henstridge Golf club as a “flexi member”. The cost is currently £100 for membership up to the end of February 2022, but will reduce pro rata week by week. This entitles you to half price golf, seven days a week, plus use of the practice range. Put in six nine-hole cards or three 18-hole cards and you will be given an English Golf handicap, which is valid on virtually every course in the world. Or join as a full member and you need pay nothing more.  Henstridge Golf club is on 01963 362789. Call to book a tee time or discuss membership options.

Follow the Horsington Open on Facebook

WTF:Wincanton Town Festival to go ahead despite attempted ban.

You couldn’t make it up. This Saturday 26 June is the Wincanton Town Festival, an arty party for everyone in the beautiful Grounds of Greening the Earth Gallery (Formerly Clementina’s) in the High Street. From 12 noon until 9pm

The event is supported and part funded by the pompous-sounding Wincanton Regeneration Board. Tongue in cheek, the organisers decided to market the event as WTF: Wincanton Town Festival.  

At the last minute, after all the participants  had been booked and all the budget allocated, a self-righteous, self-important, and probably overpaid, bureaucrat on the board made the decision to cancel funding of the event. The reason was an objection to the acronym WTF. Did she think it stood for something other than “Wincanton Town Festival”? “Wales Triumph at Football”, perhaps? “Welcome Transgender folk”? “Whisky Tasting Fantasia”?

With 48 hours to go, the organisers appealed higher up the food chain. To everyone’s relief, common sense prevailed, and the funding was reinstated. Not sure the regeneration board’s sense of humour has, though.

What the organisers say.

“WTF: Wincanton Town Festival.

The Wincanton Town Festival mARkeT aims to be more than just a market. It aims to be a full body experience!

This one-off event is set in and around the grounds of a truly captivating 17th century manor house located in the centre of Wincanton, the Greening the Earth Gallery (formerly Clementina’s).

This historic venue will play host to a wide variety of ‘experiences’ that are sure to stimulate all the senses! Artists from all disciplines will play, display, demonstrate and sell their special talents in and around this unique and picturesque setting.

Should be fun.

Saturday 26 June – 12noon- 9pm. Live music. Art. Food. Nature.

Morrisons must give raiders the brush off

Morrisons Wincanton. Under threat?

The Blog rarely comments on national news stories, but this has very local ramifications as well.

Morrisons have received a £5.5 billion takeover bid from a US Venture capital outfit called Clayton Dubilier and Rice, with former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy leading the charge to trouser vast profits, commissions and rakeoffs.

This has all the fingerprints of an elaborate scam which will crucify employees, customers, suppliers and pensioners.

It works like this. It order to raise the money to fund the deal, the US bidders will raise money against the security of the assets they are acquiring, and Morrisons will be left encumbered with vast debts. As a result, the new US owners will turn on the heat to make a hefty return on capital, to the detriment of prices, wages and suppliers (some of whom are local farmers and food processors). Bring on the chlorinated chicken!

Hysteria? consider the takeover of Manchester united by the Glazers, who borrowed huge sums against Man U’s collateral and paid themselves generous dividends as a bonus, without a single goal being scored.

Or unloved Kraft, who took over Cadbury’s and broke their promises regarding UK production, employees and tax status before the ink was hardly dry on the takeover agreement.

If this deal goes ahead, Morrisons will probably become  a private company and totally unaccountable, except to its US owners.

We hope shareholders will repel boarders and that the Government will stop this transfer of a very British enterprise to a dodgy US bidder.

Free golf at Henstridge on 26 June

Henstridge Golf Club, home of the fabulous “Horsington Open”, is holding an Open Day for anyone who wants to come and have a go. Make a note- Saturday 26th June from 9.30 am

Bring a friend and play 9 holes for free – or ask if a member is available to take you round. Golf clubs available if you don’t have any.

We suggest you book a tee-off time – 01963 371572 or email  admin@henstridgegolfandleisure.co.uk

It’s a great opportunity to try out the game, use the friendly bar and meet the captain and other members.

Also a great time to start practicing for the 10th Horsington Open, our annual charity tournament.

The Horsington Open is on Saturday 5th September 2021

Henstridge Golf club is in Marsh Lane, Henstridge, close to the airfield. It’s well signposted  from the A30.