Bride Valley News

June 2003


Church Service Times
From The Clergy
Main BVN menu  
Valley Notes - all the other 'whats on' bits
Burton Bradstock - The Church + other village organisations
Shipton Gorge
Puncknowle & West Bexington
Litton Cheney
Long Bredy
Editor's Extras
Diary of Events for all Parishes - This month - check it out

St Mary's Burton Bradstock FROM THE CLERGYSt Mary's Litton Cheney

Birth and death are the two most natural things in the world.  For plants, animals and people life begins, and it ends.  It has a natural span, though accident and disease may cut it short or good fortune prolong it.

It is the great privilege of priests to be allowed to share something of the intimate moments of families around times of birth and death.  We share the joy of birth and baptism, the sadness of death and funeral services.

Over the past few weeks we have had quite a number of deaths in the Valley.  Some of them might have been expected, others not.  Sometimes a family tells the priest that grandfather doesn't know he is soon to die, and please don't tell him.  Grandfather tells the priest that he knows he is going to die soon, but please don't tell the family, it will only cause them pain.  Grandfather might have been better prepared for death, and some of the initial pain for the bereaved family eased, had they all been able to talk about it together.  We should speak more often with our loved ones - of plans and expectations, and of death.

Yet, however much a death may be expected soon, when it comes it is a shock.  Then, death itself is covered by silence.  It should not be.  Talking is a most important part of the process of bereavement.  In a misguided attempt not to cause further grief, some avoid the recently bereaved, denying them the healing opportunity to talk, particularly of the one who has died.  And tears should be no embarrassment.  If talking is too hard, simply to be there, listening, is helpful.  Immediately following a death, there is shock, numbness, an inability to think clearly and quickly, at a time when so much has to be decided and done.  To receive help with some of these practical things is a great strength - the making of tea, the running of errands or the provision of transport.

Sooner or later we all experience the death of someone we love. We should prepare ourselves for such an event, thinking and speaking together of the probabilities, and of our understanding and our fears.  Those responsible for coastal defences prepare in times of calm, in readiness for the storm.  It is too late to be trying to build sea defences when the storm is raging.  One day the storm of bereavement will come.  It is well to have prepared for it on sunny days.

It is again the privilege of priests to talk of these things, often with those who do not share their faith.  We are always glad to be asked, where people think we may possibly be able to help.

John Atkinson

We have been asked by the Church Commissioners to include the following report:-


Financial results in 2002

In a dreadful year for stock markets the Commissioners achieved a total return of -9.3%. This was much better than the average of -13.9% for UK pension funds. Over the long run, whether annual returns are better or worse than the average makes a big difference to how much money we can produce for the Church. Our property holdings, which make up a higher share of our assets than for most funds, did well. Once again this lessened the impact of the continuing stock market slump. Total assets stood at £3.5 billion at the end of 2002 - some £160 million higher than if we had achieved only average results in the year. Over the last ten years our returns have been more than 3% better each year than the average for comparable funds.  Stock markets are still weak at present. But our current view is that equities should remain the largest share of the fund as we judge that they offer the best prospects over the long term.

Spending in 2002

The Commissioners' fund provides money for a range of purposes: all clergy pensions earned before 1998 - the Pensions Measure allows us to spend some capital on these - and other support for the Church's work especially in areas of need. In total we spent around £165 million in 2002:

.        £97.7 million for clergy pensions already in payment

.        £8.1 million to help dioceses and parishes with the cost of building up the new fund to meet pensions earned from 1998

.        £25.5 million for parish ministry, mainly in payments to dioceses for clergy stipends. £18.3 million of this money was directed to the poorest dioceses

.        £17.2 million for bishops' stipends, housing, office and working costs

.        £6.0 million for the stipends of cathedral clergy and grants mainly for cathedral staff salaries

.        £11.1 million towards church buildings, administration and helping other Church bodies

Our actuaries update their advice on our fund every year to help us gauge how much we can safely plan to spend in future. The latest update confirms that, thanks partly to relatively good performance in 2002, current assumptions are still sound and our spending plans for 2002-04 remain on track. We know this assurance is important for dioceses' financial plans.

Targeting the Commissioners' support

We try to spend our money in ways that will do most good. The parish mission fund, which began in 2002, offered new flexibility in the use of £10 million of our support for parish ministry in 2002-04. Some dioceses are using this money for parish evangelism to build new congregations and churches. Some plan to attract new funds from other sources.

In November the General Synod agreed we should take steps to refocus the almost £5 million we pay towards individual clergy stipends, and around £3 million in clergy retirement housing costs, on support for parish ministry where today's needs are greatest.

Value for money

Getting the best value out of our assets is vital. 2002 was the first full year of our new letting policy for some of the London housing estates. The public service employers we are now working with have no shortage of workers - nurses, teachers, classroom assistants, for example - who need to live locally and wish us to house them. Market lettings too have been steady. Work to repair and improve the properties has started on two estates and is going well.

We have cut our running costs by 30% in real terms in the last 10 years. Over 2002-04 we and the Archbishops' Council will hold costs at 2001 levels. In July many Synod members supported taking a fresh look at the work of bishops' legal officers, which we help to fund, again with the aim of making the best use of resources. We carried out a review, talking to people close to this work, and have now made recommendations.

On the communication front, a new quarterly newsletter from 2002, available on­line at and at, now gives dioceses and parishes regular updates on our asset management.

Copies of the Commissioners' report are available from the Policy Unit, Church Commissioners, 1 Millbank, London SWIP 3JZ.

                  tel: 020-7898 1135/1619/1623 fax: 020-7898 1131                                    e-mail:                                                     website:

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Valley Notes

June 29th : United Valley Service and Picnic                            

This day is St Peter's Day and it's also a fifth Sunday, so we are going to have a special Celebration. 

The only mid-morning Service on this day will be a Family Service at Littlebredy at 11o'clock, and every Church indeed every village is not only invited but strongly encouraged to come along.  There is plenty of parking on the green and it would be lovely if everybody could bring a picnic lunch to consume afterwards by the lake.  (There are toilets in the Village Hall as well!) 

So please do consider joining us for what promises to be a truly wonderful Feast Day.                                                         Anthony Ashwell

Mothers' Union 
Wednesday 11th June (Please  note date) Quiet Day with the Pilsdon Community -
arriving at 12 noon for the Midday Eucharist. Bring a packed lunch.
Monday 30th June In & Out & Roundabout at St. Mary's Hall Bridport 10.00 for 10.30 am. A chance to meet our Officers from Salisbury and to ask questions about what we want in the Mothers' Union etc
Yvette Smith ( 898219 )


The Bride Valley (Wednesday) Bible Study Group

Our courses continue this month, with the west end following the east end's Lent course on the Passion according to St Mark, and the east end looking at the west end's 'Seven Deadly Sins', which the latter also examined in Lent.  All the sessions begin on Wednesdays at 7.30pm * with refreshments and can last for up to two hours or so.  Please do come along if you can, you will be most welcome. 

East End

11th June          The Rectory, Litton C.  St Mark, Chapter 16

25th June          Hillside, W.Bexington   'Yet two more Deadly  Sins'

9th July             Pitcombe, Littlebredy                'The last Deadly Sin'

West End

4th June            St Catherine's Cross, S. G.       St Mark, Chapter 13

18th June          Windy Gap, Shipton Lane         St Mark, Chapter 14

1st July (2pm)  7 Norburton, B. Bradstock       St Mark, Chapter 15

16th July           Westfield, Shipton Lane            St Mark, Chapter 16

* Please note: the Bible Study session at the West End for the beginning of July has been changed to Tuesday 1st July instead of the Wednesday and the time of meeting has also changed to 2.00pm in the afternoon instead of the evening.                                                                Anthony Ashwell


The group meets on Thursday evenings and alternates between Prayer and Bible Study.  Arriving from 7.30p.m. we begin at 7.45p.m. aiming to finish by about 9.15p.m.  All are most welcome. For further details contact Paul ..., Tel ...

JUNE 5            COLOSSIANS 2. 16-23          6   Baglake, Litton Cheney

JUNE 12          PRAYER                                  The Threshing Barn, Higher                                                 Kingston Russell

JUNE 19          COLOSSIANS 3.1-4              12  Napier Close

JUNE 26          PRAYER                                 West Lodge, Littlebredy

THANK YOU!                                            

Many of you will have noticed a new look to this month's magazine; owing to the generosity of The Burton Web Site Committee and Burton Bradstock Parish Council, The Bride Valley Team Council have been given money towards a new computer for the production of the B.V.N. Up till now the editor has been struggling with her nine year old machine, which has been causing many a headache! I am extremely grateful to those who appreciated the difficult situation; my particular thanks go to Tim and David Linford who ordered, set up and installed the new computer and spent many hours patiently teaching me to use it. I have much to learn but the hope is that, as time goes by, the hours of practice will bear fruit! I apologise now for any mistakes or omissions there might be in this issue.

Susan Paul   Editor

Burton Bradstock School

Having just completed one of the shortest first 'half' terms on record, for Year 6 children, June marks the beginning of the end of their primary careers.  Hopefully it is a time when they can reflect upon some happy memories.  My thanks go to Abbie Waite and Olivia Denning for their report on one such memory during the Easter Holidays:

On Thursday 24th April many children arrived at Bryanston School for a day of singing in style.  They came from many different places. even France.  Including us: Olivia Denning and Abbie Waite!

We learnt many different singing styles with the help of Christine Page and her talented colleague Kathy.  We learnt the words at home and put them to the tune at Bryanston!  We also learnt some new songs during the day: 'Time for change', 'Fever' and 'Can you hear me?'  We also learnt two African songs and a Hebridean song.  It was really interesting.

During the day we were allowed to wander around the grounds which was also very interesting!  There were so many different things to do that we were always amused: swimming, eating in the cafeteria or simply exploring the grounds!

But there was no more time for wandering.  It was concert time!  We ran to take our seats in the theatre and get prepared for our singing.

First we listened to the orchestra who were all very talented.  A French lady sang a few opera songs with the orchestra.  She sounded just like a professional, even though she was only about 18!  She was wearing a wonderful white dress.  It was now our turn!  We hurried down to the stage, with butterflies in our stomachs.  Luckily Kathy was there and she made us feel better!

We were singing the African songs first, which we had to give a lot of Oomph to.  It was okay though because we managed to make it sound fabulous (or so Kathy said!)  Next we started our Hebridean song, which was actually used to call to seals.  We did that well too.  Next Christine Page took over and we sang 'Can you hear me?' (a song where we used sign language while singing as it was actually about a deaf person), then 'Time for Change' (along with the orchestra).

It was certainly a long day but certainly worth it as we learnt so many new ways of singing that we will never forget!

Well done girls for making the most of such a wonderful opportunity.

This month also heralds our Summer Fair on Saturday 14th June from 2.00 - 4.00 p.m. at the school.  We are most grateful for the hard work already put into this event by the P.T.A. committee and hope that you will be able to join us.

Mark Stratta

April 100 Club Winners:

            £20 - Mrs J Bowles

            £10 - Mr D Sorrell

              £5 - Mr & Mrs Venn


Thorner's CE VA Primary School

During this coming month we are looking forward to a number of sporting events, both in school and within the cluster.  Let's hope that the weather is kind to us and does not stop the Sports' afternoons. 

Having completed our SATS last month we await the results but in the meantime can continue our education in the widest  possible of senses.  I feel that school is where pupils can put into practice some of the early lessons taught by parents, before they even start school and then build on them to create a rounded person.  You may wonder what I am talking about ... manners, concern for others and the environment etc;  one of the things I still notice to this day is how clean the villages are, very little litter is evident in comparison to towns.  It is mainly due to the fact that children here are encouraged to dispose of their litter in the proper place, pride is taken by everyone to ensure that the villages are pleasant to live in.  This is maybe one reason for all the tourists we get!  It is not so obvious how much pupils care for one another, they have their ups and downs, arguments and disagreements, changing of friendships but if anyone of them is hurt all rally round to do all that they can.  If they are finding it hard to complete some work or a task there is usually someone there to encourage, guide and even give a helping hand without being asked.  Generally children take routine tasks and do them with a smile, what does annoy is when one person fails to pull their weight and do a fair share.  Working together as part of a team is an important skill to learn as very little can be achieved in life without the help of others.  Giving a little of yourself in certain situations will reap rewards when you least expect them.  These lessons are started at home where each member of the family is given tasks, it could be setting the table, keeping their bedroom tidy or going on errands and when games are played, taking turns, being 'out' or winning!  Each one of us needs to be responsible for our own actions to ensure that the litter around does not mount up; it does not matter if you are small or big, young or old, unemployed or the Prime Minister.  I see this as part of their education, being aware of others, how we can make the environment and the World a better place for all to live, understanding the reasons for events and their consequences.

Alison Johnstone  Headteacher

Thorner's Parent and Teachers' Association                            

Events coming up
26 May    Caribbean village and school fete
14 June    Rounders fun evening
23 July     Years 4/5 End of term party                                                         

100 CLUB
Lucky winners -- Sarah Nobes and Jill Neil                                                   
 New members always welcome

Please remember to come whatever the weather for a fun packed event.    There are lots of prizes are to be won.

Thank you to:- C. G. Fry & Sons Ltd who have kindly agreed to sponsor the steel band 
Harmony Music who have given an electric guitar for 1st prize - Grand Draw
Steven Spurrier for the case of fine French wine 2nd prize - Grand draw 
A. C. Moxom Ltd who will generously cover the Grand Draw 3rd prize of £50
New this year:-     Decorated knees competition - let your imagination go with the swing ~  Quad bikes - for those with a racing fantasy
Other:     Tug of war - flex those muscles!    Stalls  ~   Home bake stall~             Maypole
Sunny weather - lets hope and pray 
All bakers please send in your fresh produce in time for the fete as always - many thanks to all of you 

I hope you have enjoyed the bank holidays with the pleasant weather and that you will join us in this fun packed community affair.

Thank you to the fete committee and to all those who have contributed in any way. I hope I have not missed any kind persons.

EVERYONE welcome!                                         Dianne ffoulkes (chair)

First Steps Parent and Toddler Group meets on Wednesdays from 10.00am till 12 noon during term time.  We offer toys and activities for all pre-school children, coffee and chat for parents and carers.  The group meets at Long Bredy Village Hall on the first, third and fifth Wednesdays of the month.  On the second Wednesday we meet in Little Bredy Hall and on the fourth Wednesday we meet in either Little Bredy or Puncknowle.  For further details contact:  Jo (Litton Cheney) ... or Julie (Puncknowle) 897178 or Rachel (Kingston Russell and Long Bredy) 482246

Ladybirds will meet in June for their Annual Barbeque.

Giant Sunflower Competition

Potted sunflowers are available (£1 each, all proceeds going to Litton Cheney Youth Club) from Paul Kingston 482384.  As of May 10th the leading contenders had reached the grand height of 60 cm.

Litton Cheney Youth Club is open to all young people between the ages of 8 and 17 years from Litton Cheney and the surrounding area.  For details of their meetings in June please read the Litton Notes.

N.G.S.Gardens Open in June & July


June 3rd           Innsacre,   Shipton Gorge*

                    The  Scented Garden, Littlebredy**  Roses  &  delphiniums.

June 10th        Innsacre,   Shipton Gorge

                    The  Scented Garden,  Littlebredy** Roses & delphiniums.

                    The Old Rectory, Litton Cheney    Teas in aid of  the Church

June 17th         The  Scented Garden,  Littlebredy** Roses  &  delphiniums.

June 24th          The  Scented Garden,  Littlebredy** Roses  &  delphiniums.

July 20th      Tithe Barn House, Chalk Pit Lane, Litton Cheney   2.00-6.00  Roses, climbers and herbaceous plants.  Teas

* See May B.V.N.   ( page 24 ) for further details

** The Scented Garden is also open every Tuesday in July

Children's Society Coffee Morning

Puncknowle Manor

Friday 6th June at 10.30am

Cake Stall ~ Bring & Buy ~ Raffle

Entrance 50p includes Coffee & Biscuits

to support the work of the Children's Society

Burton Bradstock

Gardens Open

Sunday 22nd June 2003   2 - 6

in aid of CancerCare Dorset

teas, plants and parking at Manor Farm



Mary Ryan is bringing the LONDON FESTIVAL PLAYERS to Burton Bradstock to play for us in another series of concerts this summer.

21st, 22nd and 23rd August - St Mary's Church.

Programme includes:-

J.S.BACH                    Brandenburg Concerto No 2

J.S.BACH                    Cantata, No 51

BELLINI                      Oboe Concerto

MENDELSSOHN       Octet, Op 20

TARTINI                     Devil's Trill Sonata


Performing as soloists with the London Festival Players will be David Juritz (violin),Adrian Bradbury (cello), Neil Black OBE (oboe), Janice Knight (oboe), David Mason (trumpet), Stephen Cutting (trumpet), Mary Ryan (flute), Hilary Kenway (soprano) and Hubert Dawkes (keyboard).

Tickets  -  prices and arrangements for purchase will be published in next month's BVN.

Mike Southgate.


SUNDAY 8th JUNE 2003 2.30 - 5.00pm

Bring your valuables for evaluation by Paul Atterbury (BBC Antiques Road Show)


Michael Dark (The Auction House, Bridport)

Tickets at the door £2.50 to include a Cream Tea. 

Evaluations: £1 per item


ASSOSCIATION (Reg Charity 210760)

THE WEST DORSET DIVISION OF THE FRIENDS OF THE SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN AND FAMILIES ASSOSCIATION urgently needs a Secretary.  The committee meets about 4 times a year in and around Bridport and organises fund raising events.  For further details please ring Miss Sandra Brown on 01308 423 078



Weymouth Library on Monday 2nd June 2003 at 2.00 p.m.

Weymouth library is holding an information afternoon on Monday 2nd June at 2.00 p.m. for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to help deliver the library service to readers who are housebound.

This service is aimed at the many people in the Weymouth area who are not able to get to their local library. The library works with volunteers who take a selection of material out to people's homes on a regular basis.

Tracy Long, West Division Manager for Dorset County Library said, "We are hoping to enlist a number of volunteers so that we can start to answer the growing demand for this service. The service contributes to improving the quality of life for those who are housebound - through a regular visit from a volunteer and by having access to books and books on tape"

The recruitment afternoon is designed to ensure that people are fully informed about what's involved. Light refreshments will be provided and there will be plenty of opportunity to talk to the people who run the service.

Paul, a volunteer explained, "It's certainly an interesting and rewarding job because people do appreciate their library visit and I enjoy spreading the word ........ but you do need to be prepared to climb a few stairs and carry bundles of books which can be quite heavy."

Please contact Nicola Brown or Jenny Nicholson at Weymouth Library on 01305 762416 if you would like to attend the session or would like more information.

Communications Unit, County Hall, Dorchester DT1 1XJ. Tel 01305 224491.



Madalina Rusu will give a PIANO RECITAL in the W.I. Hall, Burton Bradstock, on Wednesday 9th July at 7.30pm. Admission £5.00 at the door; all proceeds to assist with her studies.



Prelude & Fugue in E Flat No: 7



Sonata in A Minor



Fantasie in F Minor Op 49



Scenes from Childhood






Study Op 33  No:7  in E Flat


Op 39 No: 5 in E Flat Minor


Prelude Op 32 No: 12 in G Sharp


Prelude Op 23 No: 4 in D Major


Musical Moment Op 16  No: 4

Madalina will also perform this recital at the Beaminster Festival on 3rd July, and in St. Mary's Church, Dorchester, on 12th July. On 25th October, she will appear as soloist with the Dorset Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No: 25.



SATURDAY 5th JULY 2003 2.00pm


 Totally under cover if wet ~ plenty of free parking






14-15 June


Refreshments available

Science Museum

Fifteen kids from the Bride Valley were loaded into a mini-bus for a journey into the unknown at the Science Museum in London.  They joined 360 kids, sleeping amongst the exhibits in sleeping bags.  This was one of those rare instances when learning changed from a chore into an unexpectedly exciting adventure.  There was something for everyone. from making rockets launch to Mars to viewing an IMAX production of life on a satellite.  There was a show "Feel the Force" where Phil the stunt frog demonstrated a variety of forces and motion.

Our Dorset children won the Night Owl Quiz, which resulted in winning a book each about electricity at prize-giving in the morning.

The trip was organised by Liza Adams-Smith and a group of enabling parents who were keen to enrich their children's experience of education.  "We are hoping to join with schools in the Bridport cluster and fill a coach next time.  It is a shame that excessive red tape and fear of litigation prevents teaching staff from organising such trips."

Simon Baxter from Little Bredy drove the bus conscientiously through the London traffic.  We attempted to make easy identification of our kids by having them wear red bibs and the mobile phone numbers printed on their arms in indelible ink.  Our efforts were a little over zealous because once we entered the museum everything ran like clockwork with ushers guiding us through the experience.

"I expected Science night to be good but I could never have imagined how absolutely fabulous the whole experience would be. 

I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone.

Having visited this museum in 'normal circumstances', I realise how much we actually missed.  Upon reflection I see that previous trips to the museum would have been greatly enhanced by this approach."

The Science Museum organises about three nights per term and changes topics regularly.  Thanks to U-Haul Vehicle Rental for providing the mini-bus at a special rate to help with costs.

Science Night Trip

I would like to express my gratitude to those adults who accompanied the children to the sleep over at the Science Museum in London:  Jo Lee who managed to capture the adventure on film, Jim Armstrong who assisted in Galileo's gravity experiment, Ross Jones and Simon Baxter who bravely endured Hyde Park Corner traffic to ensure safe delivery of the passengers.  I would also like to thank all the youngsters who demonstrated exceptionally excellent behaviour and were a joy to accompany.

Special thanks to Nathan Baxter and Ryan Kingston who volunteered and successfully cleaned up the mini-bus at the end of the venture..WELL DONE!

We all have great memories to cherish.

                                                                                    Liza Adams-Smith

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BURTON BRADSTOCK St Mary's Burton Bradstock

Village Correspondent Mr Basil Dent

2, Norburton, Burton Bradstock. Tel:- (01308) 897125

Mid Week Worship

Holy Communion             Wednesdays at 10.00 a.m. followed by  coffee in the Rectory                                                                 

Choir Practices                       Fridays at 6.00 p.m.

Bell Ringing Practices           Thursdays at 7.00pm

Gift Sunday                            15th June          Christian Blind Mission

The next Tiny Tots / Pram Service will be held on Friday 6th June at 11.00 am.


The next Healing Services at St Mary's will be held on Mondays 16th June and 21st July, each at 7.00 pm.


Funeral                       2nd May                        Marjorie A. Jarman

Burial of Ashes          2nd May                        G. May Bechervaise

The Parochial Church Council next meets on Monday 23rd June at 7.00pm

BURTON BRADSTOCK PLAYERS will be holding their Annual General Meeting in the WI Hall, Burton Bradstock, at 7.30pm on Thursday 12th June, followed by refreshments. All are welcome, members and non-members. We particularly welcome those who wish to join us; there is plenty to do both on stage and off! Come along and hear our plans for the autumn                                                                                                                           


Burton Bradstock Village Society                                                            

The last talk of the season was given to the Society on 25th April by a Burton local, Mr. John Grantham. In his presentation entitled 'Behind the Scenes at the Dorset Museum' he gave a totally fascinating insight into the activities of the Dorset County Museum. He showed, with slides, how the Museum has progressed not only through its range of exhibits, but also its presentation, user friendly appeal and public awareness. Inevitably, a large part of the exhibits is taken up with Thomas Hardy memorabilia, being the largest such collection in the world, but we were also shown slides of skeletons of ancient Britons and Warriors from Maiden Castle, and other aspects of old Dorset life through 6000 years of Dorchester history. Following this presentation we feel sure that there will be a lot of local people flooding through the doors of the museum to learn for themselves about the abundance of our local history and to attend one of the many exhibitions and meetings to be staged at the Museum in the coming months.    

 This year's Coffee Morning will be held on 12th June in the W.I. Hall from 10.30 am to 12 noon so do come along and support it. There will be garden plants for sale, so if you have any spare plants please bring them along beforehand.                                                                                                                                                                      Peter Dutton

Gardens Open

A cluster of private gardens in the centre of the village will be opening in aid of CancerCare Dorset on Sunday 22nd June from 2 to 6.00pm. Parking will be at Manor Farm where you will be able to purchase tickets, adults £2.50, Children 50p along with teas, plants and produce. Take this opportunity to see inside several delightful cottage gardens not normally open to the public. For more details contact Heather Thomson on 01308  897196

Bride Valley Royal British Legion

Women's Section                                                                                                        

Mrs Elizabeth Gale will be organizing a walk around Burton Bradstock on 3rd June starting at 2.00pm at the playing fields followed by tea and cake at the Reading Room. We would like to say a big "thank you" for all your support for our Easter Sale and for your donations; our total came to £605.55.                                                                J. Hyde Chairman

This month's R.B.L. Social on 2nd June will be at the Crown Inn, Puncknowle at 7.30pm. This will be the last of the season until September.

Date For Diary 
Thursday 10th July 2.30pm Garden Party in The Rectory Garden (Burton Bradstock) for the Alzheimer's Society.
There will be various stalls in the garden and Cream Teas will be served in the W.I. Hall.

Part-time Staff wanted to assist with the operation of the Car Park at Hive Beach, Burton Bradstock on Saturdays in June, July, August 2003. There could also be some work on the occasional Sunday.
Times 9.30am - 4.30pm.
More information and Rates of Pay available from Parish Clerk, Fel Moore on 01308­ 459001.


We have the good fortune to live in a beautiful village with much to appreciate in our community and our surroundings. For this we must thank our forebears who worked over the years to make it this way; for example such stalwarts as Mr Howarth, the School Headmaster, who ran the Parish Council for so many years and whose foresight ensured that we have an uncluttered beach and foreshore to enjoy today.

It does takes effort to keep the village the way it is and it is saddening that so few people, from an electoral roll of about 850 people, are prepared to come forward to serve on the Parish Council; and this in spite of all the notices and fliers the Council recently published and distributed. With four vacancies, only two candidates ( Leon Sea and Jim Harding ) volunteered to sit on the Council. As a result there was no election in Burton Bradstock when the local council elections took place at the beginning of May. It is also disheartening that there is so little interest shown in the affairs of the village. Only 18 people, apart from councillors, turned up to the annual parish meeting. This apathy extends across other activities as nobody has come forward to help with running the youth club, in spite of the large number of young people from the village attending. There were only four helpers with the village clean up. But nobody hesitates to complain if they think something is at fault or something should be done.                                                                           

We have a council of seven at the start of the new council term and together we will continue the job, supported most ably by the clerk Fel Moore. However it would be much better if the Council ran at full strength with nine. If any of you in the village are prepared to be co-opted to serve on the council, please contact me (897487) or the Parish Clerk (459001) and we will brief you on what is involved. The work is not too demanding, nor is it trivial as many of the issues arising are of significant content Also the Declaration of Interests is much less intrusive than would appear from recent adverse reports in the press.

I look forward to hearing from you!!

Mike Southgate, Chairman, Burton Bradstock Parish Council.                          

Stop Press.  Celia Cummins has stepped forward to serve.

Burton Bradstock W.I.

Did you know that ten per cent of children starting primary school are classed as overweight and that more than half of 4 to 18-year olds have dental decay largely caused by frequent consumption of sugar-laden products? This prompted the Resolution put forward at the May meeting by Jean Leach that HM Government should address this problem. Barbara Pursey then raised the second Resolution that the Government should promote and strengthen modern apprenticeship schemes to provide skilled workers for the future. To continue the "cradle-to-the-grave" theme Wendy Green urged us to support the Resolution that the Government should take urgent action to enable older people, irrespective of their means, to spend their remaining years in comfort and dignity either in their own homes or in nursing or residential homes of their choice. Our support was given to all three Resolutions, the last two unanimously.

Virginia Harvell and Heather Thomson have been co-opted onto the committee and the new Hall Booking secretary is now Wendy Green. Preparations are well in hand for the Spring Fair on 26th May. There are still five seats left for the outing to Knightshayes Court on 25th June.

A party atmosphere was created by the delicious food and wine followed by a light-hearted musical quiz. The president Pat Raven thanked Joan Gillett and Lilian Brown who prepared and served the repast.

Hundred Club winners were: 1. Doreen Rogers 2. Pat Dutton 3. Dorothy Lewis 4. Nancy Bushell. Sheila Spencer-Smith's clematis won the Flower of the Month competition. Mary Bailey was thanked for her flower arrangement.

 Dates for your Diary:

Walking Group 17th June Reading Club 24th June

Barbecue at Joan Allen's on Saturday 19th July.

The speaker at the next meeting on 10th June is Mike Davies on "Farmhouse Cheeses." Also at the June meeting the future of the WI Hall will be discussed and ideas are requested as to how the legacy from former member Trudy Hodgson can be used as a fitting memorial to her.

Sheila Spencer-Smith

The Post Office

Those of us who have visited the Post Office recently will have noticed how smart it is looking. Many, many thanks go to Mike Southgate, Peter Colbert, Tony Combe and Gill Robertson for using their considerable decorating skills on behalf of the village.

For information and news check out more of the Burton Bradstock website

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SHIPTON GORGE St Martin's Shipton Gorge

Village Correspondent: Mrs.Joy White

Eastcote, 3 Gullivers Orchard, Shipton Gorge



Wedding           3rd May          Jeffrey A. Fisher and Margaret E. Branson

Funeral           14th May          John E. Earnshaw

The Parochial Church Council next meets on Wednesday 18th June at 7.30 pm at Innsacre.

Village Plant Sale 
The magnificent sum of £340-40 was raised at this very successful and enjoyable event; the money has been shared by St Martin's Church and Waves, the National Children's Society Project in Weymouth.
Many thanks go to everyone who worked so hard, selling and buying.                                                                     
Elizabeth Langren & Janet Lane

United Family Service - June 29th
This will be the first service for Bride Valley Families, to be held at St Michael and All Angels Little Bredy - a really beautiful setting. Please read the Bredy Section for details.                                              
Janet Lane

St Martin's Church Summer Fete - Advanced Notice 
Our annual fundraising event will take place on Saturday July 19th in and around the Village Hall. There will be some new and exciting features this year to entertain all the family. Watch this space next month.                                                                             
The Churchwardens

London Marathon 2003  
I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me and the many people who gave their support in my London Marathon Run. I finished in 3 hours & 29 minutes and have raised £1800 for CRY ( Cardiac Risk in the Young  )                                                                                Martin Hewlett                                                                        
On behalf of all the residents of Shipton Gorge we congratulate Martin Hewlett on his achievement in theLondon Marathon 2003.Well done, Martin! 
( & congratulations from all our readers, too. Ed. )

Plant Swap & Coffee Morning
On 14th June this event will be held in the Village Hall from 10.00am - 12 noon. Please come along with a rooted plant and enjoy a natter with coffee and biscuits; some very good plants have been swapped in previous years.                                                  
Geoff Shepherd 897490

Peter & Pam Bates thank all their kind friends for their charming cards welcoming them to Burgay House, Shipton Gorge. The good wishes are much appreciated.

Vacancy of Councilor

There is a vacancy for a Parish Councilor on Shipton Gorge Parish Council. Would interested parties contact the clerk by 30th June 2003. Tel 01308 898255.                                            John Bredemear. Parish Clerk

Shipton Gorge Hall 100 Club
Winners for the May Draw:- 
No. 25    Jenny Burt      £10
No. 31    George Bradbury

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Chilcombe Church


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SWYRE Holy Trinity Swyre

Village Correspondent: Sid Marshall

3 Green Barton, Swyre


Easter Cake Stall in Swyre Church Porch

Thank you to everyone who helped by:-Donating ingredients,
Making cakes,
Running the stall,
And most importantly by coming along and buying all the cakes in just over an hour we raised a massive £130 for the fund - thank you all very much.

The Yeates family wedding

 On the 28th June Martin and Annemarie will be getting married. Part of the ceremony will be held in Holy Trinity, Swyre. We all wish them every happiness and a long life together.

Puncknowle and Swyre Parish Council 3rd June 2003

The Parish Council will meet on Tuesday 3rd June in Puncknowle Church Hall, at 7.30pm.

Archaeology Weekend 19/20 July 2003

A further reminder that anyone who wishes to take part in the dig this year please contact Julie Lewis Tel 897003.

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 Village Correspondent: Elizabeth Slater

1, Lytton Close, Puncknowle, Dorchester  DT2 9BH

Telephone: (01308) 897751


From the Registers

Holy Baptism

James Alexander Wild on 21st April 2003. 

James wasn't too happy to be baptised with cold local spring water on a glorious Easter Monday, but then warmed to the idea and watered his own head several times.  We pray his parents and godparents will keep him enthusiastic to Church. 

Anthony Ashwell

Puncknowle and Swyre Fete Saturday July 26th                                                                                                   A list of stallholders will appear in the July issue of the Bride Valley News. So please turn out bric-a-­brac, books, C.Ds, toys or unwanted gifts, or knit small jerseys and sew for fancy goods. We also need homemade jams, chutneys etc. and any plants you can spare for the plant stall. Any articles will be gratefully received and may be delivered to Jan Dixon 897301, David Jenkins 897225 or Ann Roberts 897716

Pun Fun

 "Fun for Puncknowle, Swyre and West Bexington People"

Friday 27 June, 7.30 - 10pm at "Hollybush" - next door to Puncknowle Hall (in Hall if wet!)  A BARBECUE EVENING for anyone in the valley to meet, chat and enjoy themselves.  Bring your own meat/fish/veg to BBQ, and tipple as required.  Bread, salad/tea/coffee etc provided.  Everyone welcome. Come and go as you please.

Donations towards costs would be appreciated.

         Contact Nos. 898492/897751

Children's Society

A Coffee Morning will be held at Puncknowle Manor by kind permission of Jim and Sarah Wild on Friday 6th June at 10.30 am.  Cake Stall, Bring and Buy, Raffle.

Entrance 50p including coffee and biscuits.

Bride Valley Fledglings 
First of all I would like to say, on behalf of the Play Group Committee and Staff, how sad we were to hear of Peter Palm's tragic death. We send our heart felt condolences to Lavinia and Alice who were previous members of the Fledglings.                  

Secondly I would like to say thank you to Mick and the Puncknowle Fund-raisers [The Crown ] for their cheque for £500, this was partially raised at our Fun Night last year. The Pre-school has started, with the children staying to have their lunch and learning to change their clothes for P E.  No final date has been fixed for our end of term outing yet, so more news to follow. I would like to say thank you to Siobhan Baxter who drove her horse and trap from Littlebredy to show to the children; this coincided with the week's theme of Horses. Our sponsored Trike ride will take place on the 19th June at the Crown Car Park at 9.15 am.

Dates for the Diary
Sponsored Trike Ride   19th June
Fun Night & Bar-b
-que at The Crown Puncknowle 26th  July 7.00pm 
Christmas Bingo 21st November
The Summer Quiz is on sale from the end of July                                         
                                          Sue Talbot Administrator 01308 482204       

Puncknowle Art Group 
It was wet and windy but we spent a very cosy morning in the Crown looking at members' work. We would like to thank Pearl Trott, our speaker in April, for a very interesting talk on calligraphy.           Dates for June are:-
13th - Mosaic card with Sallie
27th - painting in Puncknowle

Puncknowle and Swyre Parish Council

The Parish Council will meet on Tuesday 3rd June in Puncknowle Church Hall, at 7.30pm.

A warm welcome to Diane Lawrence, a Reflexology therapist who has recently moved into 'Spindrift' at West Bexington.  Every good wish for her happiness here in the Bride Valley.


Dont forget to check the village website to keep in touch with village events and useful information

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St Mary's Litton Cheney LITTON CHENEY

Village Correspondents:

Mrs. Elizabeth Kingston, 5 Manor Farm Close

From the Registers

Holy Matrimony

10th May          Kate Spurrier to Andrew Richards

A beautiful bride, a handsome groom, and joyful guests on the late afternoon of a warm spring day. 

Paul Cheater

It is always good to have Paul, Diana, Hannah, Tom and Alice in the village, and these last Easter holidays we were particularly fortunate to have Paul playing the organ in church as usual, and Tom playing two recorder solos quite beautifully.  Paul has now begun his Readership Training in Oxford, and I hope will be able to help lead Services regularly in the holidays. 

Anthony Ashwell

Litton Cheney Social Committee

Many thanks to villagers, friends and the large number of holidaymakers who supported the Duck Race and Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday.  What a frenzy!  Approximately 200 ducks were sold before the event and another 140 in about 20 minutes on the day.  There was money changing hands quicker than you could say "£1 a duck, please" and the race started late as a result.  It was quite a sight to see the ducks bobbing down the stream.  There was much activity in The White Horse Garden shortly afterwards as the children enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt.  Grateful thanks to Debbie and John who made us all very welcome; they needed a well earned rest by late afternoon.

A number of people gathered for the circular walk to Littlebredy on Bank Holiday Monday 5th May.  The weather was perfect with good visibility, and fantastic views of Lyme Bay and Portland were enjoyed by all.                                                                 Kathy Kourik Secretary LCSC

Litton Cheney Playing Field Association

On a thankfully sunny afternoon we were pleased so many people came to see John open the hard standing area at the playing field.  A big THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to this project in any way.  The village now has short tennis posts and net, badminton/volleyball posts and nets which are available for use, they are kept at the playing field and the key can be borrowed from Elizabeth Kingston, 5 Manor Farm Close (482384) or Katharine Jones, Townsend Barn, Chalk Pit Lane (482589).

The Playing Field Association will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 5th June at 7.30 pm in The Church Hall, Litton Cheney.  Everyone is very welcome.

Garden Opening

The Old Rectory will be open on Tuesday 10th June from 2.00-7.00 pm.  Teas in aid of the Church.

The Dorset Police Community Support Unit will be in Litton Cheney by the Bus Shelter on Thursday 12th June between 7.00-8.00 pm.

Litton Cheney Youth Club will be meeting in June at the Church Hall, Litton Cheney on Tuesday 3rd June and Tuesday 17th June.  The session for juniors (8-12 years) is from 6.30 pm - 8.00 pm and for the seniors (13-17 years) 8.00 pm - 9.30 pm.  The cost is 60p per session.  During June the Youth Club will also be going on a canoeing trip.  For further details of the Youth Club please contact Paul Kingston 482384 and read the Valley Notes about their fundraising Sunflower Competition.


On Friday 20th June at 6.30pm I will be leading a walk for the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society entitled 'Ancient Landscapes of the Bride Valley'.  Starting from the Bus Shelter the walk of about 2.5 miles will visit many of the ancient sites of Litton and there will be views of many other sites around the Bride Valley.  Anyone with an interest in local history or archaeology is very welcome to attend.

Big Dig  Plans are ongoing to dig at least one test pit in Litton as part of the nationwide Time Team 'Big Dig' during the weekend of June 28th/29th.

Paddocks Cremation Site This site has now been confirmed as dating from the Middle Bronze Age (around 3,300 years old) and containing numerous 'Deverel-Rimbury' cremation urns.

                                                                                 Paul Kingston 482384

Four intrepid regulars at The White Horse Inn plan to do a sponsored Abseil Jump from Hardy's Monument in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust, the leukaemia charity.

Rachael and John Kingston, Dave (Jed) Kingston and Paul Kingston will be jumping from the top of the monument, a height of 70 foot, on Sunday 22nd June, between 10 am and 11 am.

It is hoped as many as possible will turn up to support them on the day, but more importantly sponsor their brave endeavour.  Each has an individual sponsor form, and there is also a general one in the pub.

We look forward to your support.     

Debbie and John, The White Horse Inn 482539

Welcome to Litton's young resident Arthur Hugh Smith, a son for Georgina and Richard and the first grandchild for Alex and Nancy Coombes. - Visit the web site for the latest news. The group meets at The White Horse Inn at 8 o'clock on the first monday of each month - All welcome.

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St Peter's Long Bredy LONG BREDY

Village Correspondents: Mrs Elinor Frost


Tel ( 01308 ) 482269

From the Registers
Funerals and Burials

16th April 2003            Vera Mary King        aged 96
Although Mary left Long Bredy about 20 years ago, after the death of her husband Lionel, it was good to have so many people come to church to say their goodbyes.  Mary had set up the gardens of Longbride House, still so beautiful today, and we gave thanks to God for a fascinating life. 

28th April 2003            Peter Anthony Palm   aged 48
Just about everybody locally will be aware of the tragic circumstances under which Peter was killed, and the church really needed room in the rafters to accommodate the 250 or so people who came to the Funeral.  We were pleased to hear the Village Singers and privileged to hear wonderful tributes to such a friendly, enthusiastic, hardworking and community-minded person.  We send our deepest sympathy to Lavinia and Alice, and Peter's mother and sisters. 


Our Family Service with Holy Communion was not very joyful just three days after Peter's death.  But many people came along praying that Resurrection would be for Peter too. 

Anthony Ashwell

Congratulations to Helen Horsley on being made Programme Manager at Weymouth College.

Sponsored Tractor Pull

This event will take place on Wednesday 11th June.  Our young farmers will meet at Long Bredy Village Hall at 7:00 pm and pull a grey Ferguson tractor through the village along to Litton Cheney and finish at the White Horse, hopefully collecting a few pounds along the way!

Please look out for us on the night and throw some coins into the bucket, all proceeds will go towards new goal posts for Thorner's School.

For more information contact Rick on 01308 482549

Village Fete - 12th July 2:30 - 4:30pm

By kind invitation of Mr & Mrs Carter in the gardens of Kingston Russell House.

This is the most important day in the village year so let's all join in and make it a special one.

The principal stallholders are:

                        Books                          Juniper Green & Nick Brown

                        Teas                            June Clewlow & Chris Smith

                        Children's Stall         Harriet Sykes & family

Plants & Produce       Helen Fox, Pat Tucker, Ann &               Brian Peppiatt

                        Ice-cream                    Ray Winter & Sara Deane

                        Cakes                          Jackie Cain

                        Bric-a-Brac                David & Jane Peretz,

Gwen Kinghorn for collection point

                        Bottle Tombola          Mike & Valerie Shepherd

                        Grand Draw               Tracy Linwood

Peter Palm

Peter and Lavinia came to Long Bredy fourteen years ago and Peter was very soon getting involved with village life.

Peter put so much enthusiasm into everything he did.  He was on the Parish Council and was the most efficient Church Treasurer for ten years and only recently handed over to Mike Shepherd.  The Village Hall has flourished under his Chairmanship and as Treasurer.

The Bottle Tombola at the Fete was always a great success, especially with the extra 'duty free'.

Peter leaves a large gap in this village and we all sadly miss him.

Our deepest sympathy goes to Lavinia and Alice.

Lavinia wishes to thank everyone for their support and for the refreshments and flowers at the Village Hall after Peter's funeral.

Long Bredy & Litton Cheney Women's Institute

The May meeting began with birthday posies being presented by President Jackie Baker to Jenny Cox and Jackie Cain.

Arthur Pearse and his wife, Josephine gave the group a fascinating history of Tamarisk, their organic farm, and the surrounding area of West Bexington, an area that was sacked by the French and from the 15th century was no longer recognisable as a conventional village. Mr & Mrs Pearse went to live there in the 1960s and since then have become enthusiastic and successful organic farmers, despite some initial mistakes.  The National Trust were impressed by their efforts and have gradually encouraged all their other farmers to adopt similar methods.  A wealth of local maps showed how the farm has expanded and the beautiful photographs they provided displayed the wide range of their produce.

Janet Cuff spoke for the whole group when she thanked Mr & Mrs Pearse for such an informative and interesting evening in which we all learned something new.

Our next meeting in June will be a visit to Forde Abbey.

                                                                                       Valerie Shepherd

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LITTLEBREDY St Michael & All Angels Littlebredy

Funeral and Burial

17th April 2003 Mary Coombes aged 82
Mary lived with her family at West Hill Farm, which although in Winterborne Abbas Parish was once very much part of the Bridehead estate.  Her husband Bernard is buried in St Michael's churchyard and Mary's mortal remains now join his.  She had much to do with Littlebredy and was sweetly remembered by a good congregation of family and friends.  We send our condolences especially to Jean and her brothers and sisters. 


The only mid-morning Service in the whole of the Bride Valley will be at 11o'clock on this day.  It will be a Family Service followed by a (bring-your-own) picnic by the lake.  See Valley Notes for further details. 

Anthony Ashwell


Easter came too late in April to be recorded in May's magazine, so this is the first opportunity to thank and congratulate all those who decorated the Church so beautifully.  The wonderful tableau of the Easter story (in playdough and other materials) contributed by the children of Thorner's School was a great addition and much appreciated.

Just beforehand, on Maundy Thursday, the funeral had taken place of Mary Coombes.  Her family was well supported by friends and relations as she was laid to rest beside her late husband Bernard in the churchyard.

As in previous years, Chris and Judy Yates are opening The Scented Garden to the public under the National Gardens Scheme from 2.30 - 8.00 p.m. every Tuesday in June and July.  This has become a popular attraction, causing increased traffic and some congestion around the village green on busy days, so Chris and Judy apologize in advance to their neighbours for any inconvenience which may be caused in connection with the Open Days.  Neighbours are of course particularly welcome to visit the gardens and admire the fruits of Chris & Judy's enormous energies and skills.

Thanks in advance are due to those volunteers who will be providing teas in the Village Hall for visitors to the gardens.  Proceeds will be divided between Hall and Church funds.  The Hall can also benefit from its next Bar opening, on Friday 6th June, from about 6.30 p.m. onwards.

June has five Sundays this year, and the fifth (29th June) will be marked by a United Service of All-age Worship here at 11.00 a.m.  This will be the only service in the valley that morning, so we look forward to welcoming friends and families from other congregations elsewhere.  Weather permitting, a collective picnic lunch by the lake has been mooted as a fitting conclusion to the time of fellowship, but no doubt further details will follow in due course.

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Editor's Extras


Many people on Hive Beach on 22nd April were privileged to watch about eight dolphins playing a few yards out to sea. Sadly I did not see them then but noticed some later in the morning about half a mile off shore.

Having made enquiries I reported the sightings to the Durlston Marine Project who would be most grateful if we were to report any further sightings to them either on 01929 421111 or by e-mail:-       

Alternatively let me know and I will pass on the information to them.

They have sent me the following information to help in their research.

Dolphin Watching Tips

With your naked eye, scan the sea from the cliffs to the horizon. Look out for these signs:

White Water; was it a wave or a dolphin splash?

Seabirds: Gulls circling in the air and gannets diving are often  signs of dolphins below.

Fins: is there a dorsal fin?

Don't be surprised if you lose sight of them for a while - dolphins often dive for up to 5 minutes, so you may have to wait a while before they return to the surface to breathe.

Make a note of the following details:-

date and time

estimated number of dolphins

species (or a description and photo/sketch if you're not sure)

location first sighted (as accurately as possible)

direction the dolphins were swimming

their behavior - slow/fast swim, leaping, direction of movement

the weather and the state of the sea

Do not swim with, touch or feed dolphins, for your safety and theirs. Remember they are wild creatures!

If you have never been to the Information Centre at Durlston, Swanage it is really worth a visit. Their displays on the flora and fauna of the area are fascinating and beautifully displayed .Further information can be found on their website


50 Years Ago

Those of us who have entered our second half century will never forget the momentous year of 1953. For me, personally, it was the year I reached double figures and had my appendix out. Consequently, I received my first bouquet (from my father who was abroad at the time!); this was followed by two weeks off school to recover. England won the Ashes, Everest was conquered and, of course, our Queen was crowned at Westminster Abbey. For years, until I stopped to work it out, I thought 1953 was also the year of Roger Bannister's great triumph - a MILE in four minutes. The year, in fact, was 1954. I know this because we did not have our tortoise until then and we called him Roger because he managed a YARD in four minutes. 

My father worked for the P & O and we had the great good fortune to be entertained on Coronation Day in their offices in London. The windows looked down over one of the few places on the route where the Coronation Procession passed twice, on the way to and from the Abbey. A lavish breakfast awaited us when we arrived at the bidden time of 6.30am and this was followed by scrumptious food throughout the day. It was also one of  the first days I remember watching television; one had been organised so we could watch the Abbey ceremony between the two processions.

What memories of 2nd June 1953 most stand out in my mind? I vividly remember my new cotton dress and as I am the younger sister this was a bit special. I remember, too, before going to bed early the previous night, being allowed to iron my special hankie that had a Union Jack embroidered in the corner. We were up at 4.00am ( in the dark ) and were taken by taxi to the station where we saw a billboard saying "Everest Crowned." I could not understand this as I imagined that Hillary and Tenzing had carried a huge crown to the top, but my Mother explained what it meant.everyone was jubilant. What a way to begin the day! Years later I learned they had kept back the news so it could be announced on Coronation Day. When we arrived in London we were greeted by the sight of huge crowds in Trafalgar Square; they were all so cheerful but I felt sorry for them as it was so damp and cold. When we arrived at our destination I was very glad we were inside because if we had been outside my new dress would have been ruined and, almost as bad, I would have frozen. There must have been several hours before we saw the procession but I don't remember the time dragging as there was so much to see. Gradually the police and troops lined the route and for hours they never seemed to move a muscle. At last we heard music in the distance.. they were coming! Of course I remember the Gold Coach and the tiny figure of the Queen waving from inside, after all we had been painting and talking about it in school for weeks. What also clearly stays in my mind is the wonderful sight of the colourful procession  moving as one down the hill towards us and then seeing the individuals as they turned and came past us. Queen Salote of Tonga waved cheerfully, enjoying herself, ignoring the rain and the offer of a closed carriage. Her diminutive husband sat hunched and miserably cold opposite her. We read in the papers the next day that the reporters had also noticed the contrast between the two of them. Rank after rank of service men and women went by and I can remember being very proud that it was a women's service, the Wrens, who wore the most immaculate uniform and whose marching was the smartest, and that was before I knew anything about the battle of the sexes!

As we left I can remember my mother being worried about missing the train and not getting home in time to hear Winston Churchill give his Prime Ministerial broadcast on the radio or rather the wireless as we called it then. While crossing the Square I just could not believe that so many thousands of people could disappear so quickly, nor that after such a special day they could leave behind so much litter; it seemed as if the wet, soggy newspapers, when collected, would make a mountain almost as high as Everest.

Had I been fifty years older no doubt my recollections of the day would be very different, new dresses and flag embroidered hankies would have faded into the background of my mind; perhaps some of my memories have been jolted by pictures and talk over the years; some may even be inaccurate and enhanced by a vivid imagination, but however old those of us were who witnessed this amazing event none of us will ever forget the atmosphere. It was a day of enormous contrasts: the fluttering of thousands of flags along the route, the still solemnity in the Abbey: dazzling gold against rain soaked roads: guardsmen's scarlet tunics, damp black bearskins: faultlessly groomed horses, grey and black: clatter of hooves, rumble of carriage wheels. We won't forget that silence as the Archbishop paused holding the crown above  the Queen's head, nor, moments later the jubilant chorus of "God Save The Queen" that echoed throughout the Abbey over and over again after the crown was placed on her head. "Vivat Regina," and thank you, we all say fifty years on.                                                                



Anniversary Events for June 2003

Sat 14th - Royal British Legion Fete

Wed 25th - Bridport Heritage Forum Talk, Town Hall, Bridport in the 1800s

Sat 28th - New Elizabethan Singers, with the Maddison  Boys, in association with the Lions Club.

Don't forget The Flowers of Dorset Exhibition at The Dorset County Museum, Dorchester; it has now been extended until the end of August.

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Editor: Susan Paul Windy Gap Shipton Lane Burton Bradstock DT6 4NQ