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Bride Valley News - February 2004

Diary of events for all Parishes February 2004
Church Services February 2004

                 FROM THE CLERGY                


February is one of my favourite months, and this year it's even a day longer than usual! 


It's the month now when we really notice the lighter evenings and the increasing signs of life in our garden and countryside.  As I write on a mild and breezy early January morning, there are already clumps of snowdrops in bloom in Litton Cheney churchyard, and the odd daffodil is also out.  Our garden is divided between two robins and both have been singing from obvious positions, proudly and beautifully for the world to see and hear.  The lawn is growing too, I shall have to mow it soon, and it's only January.  How much more should things have moved on by February? 


In my own life, February is the month when I begin to get used to be one year older (January Birthday), and this year it should mark the point when the Bride Valley Churches should be more than half way through the Interregnum.  Indeed by the end of the month we should know who our new Rector is going to be.  There should be some light at the end of the tunnel of the most pressurised time I have ever experienced. 


February has some fun days, especially St Valentine's Day.  This Saint of course was not a great lover or even romantic, as far as we know.  He was more likely a pious Bishop of the Roman church who was martyred in the 4th century.  It's his day rather than his person which is more significant because 14th February has traditionally marked the turning-point from Winter to Spring, and we will all be aware of what the human heart turns to in Spring!  There is also normally Shrove Tuesday, and for those keeping Lent, a last chance to have a binge. 


In the life of the church February is also important.  It begins with Candlemas when the 40-day-old Jesus was presented in the Temple, the Epiphany season ends, the Christmas Crib should be dismantled, and we begin to look towards Lent and Easter.  This year February ends with the beginning of Lent (an ancient word for Spring) and exceptionally a 5th Sunday (29th) when we shall be having a special 11.00am Family Service at Litton Cheney for the whole Valley. 


February is going to be a very exciting month, but isn't every month, for I could write a similar 'From the Clergy' article about them all?


God, I believe, has enabled there to be life in the universe of his making.  We are that life, and the exercise of looking ahead to see where our blessings are, can help us to realise how fortunate we are.  Alleluia. 

   Anthony Ashwell


 Valley Notes

From the Registers

Funerals and Thanksgiving Services


From Puncknowle on 4th December 2003.

Peter Gerald Fox, retired G.P., whose Thanksgiving Service was held at St Mary's Church, Burton Bradstock on 17th January 2004. 


At St Mary's Church, Litton Cheney on 5th December 2003.

Charles Brian McShane, also a retired G.P.


At St Michael and All Angels Church, Littlebredy on 23rd December 2003.

Margaret Syddall of Puddletown; mother of Jennie Jones. 


At St Mary's Church, Burton Bradstock on 17th January 2004. 

Peter James Oldridge, retired Captain of the Royal Navy. 


To Ann, Virginia, Jennie, Margaret, and their families, we send our sincerest condolences. 


New Team Rector Recruitment

As we go to press, of the 16 individuals who expressed interest in our Post, 7 sent in completed application forms.  Interviews will have taken place on 29th January, and we should, I pray, be able to give the name of our 'Team Rector Designate' and the date of his/her Institution in next month's BVN. 


United 5th Sunday Family Service

Following the success of the last such Service, back in the summer of 2003, this will now become a regular 5th Sunday event.  Responsibility for its planning, organisation and presentation has been given to the Bride Valley Thursday Fellowship Group, who I'm sure would appreciate our prayers.  So, setting the ball rolling:



United Family Service (for the whole valley)

Sunday 29th February


St Mary's Church, Litton Cheney

Refreshments afterwards


Christmas Services

Perhaps Christmas seems some time ago now, but this is to report that across the valley our Christmas attendances were generally similar to last year.  I can only comment on the Services I took, but special memories of the warmth at the Chilcombe and Shipton Gorge Carol Services, the 'excitement' at the Litton Cheney Crib Service, and the joy at the Litton and Puncknowle Christmas Communions.  But wherever the Service was, it remains for me the greatest privilege to lead the worship of our people. 

Anthony Ashwell


Christingle     St.Mary's Church

Shining light into darkness                       Puncknowle                                    At 9.30 a.m.

                 On Sunday 1st February


Celebrate a special Christingle in aid of The Children's Society's anti-bullying work, and help us shine light into darkness. We hope you will join us for this joyful and moving service



The Children's Society - a Voluntary Society of the Church of England

Charity Registration Number 221124


Tiny Tots / Pram Service 

The next service will be at 11.00am on Friday 6th Februaryat St. Mary's Church, Burton Bradstock.                                          Yvette Smith ( 898219 )


Bride Valley ( Wednesday ) Bible Study Group

This month we complete our course of studies on Philippians. Both sessions begin at 7.30pm and last up to two hours.


Session X        Caring and Sharing               Phil.Ch.4.vv.10-23

Feb   4             The Old Rectory, Litton Cheney          

Feb 11             Fir Tree Cottage, Shipton Gorge                

                                                                               Mike Read 01303 897445


The Bride Valley (Thursday) Fellowship Group

The group meets on Thursday evenings and alternates between Prayer and Bible Study.  Arriving from 7.30pm we begin at 8.00pm aiming to finish by about 9.30pm.  All are most welcome. For further details contact Paul ..., Tel ...


Feb    5        Bible Study  Matthew 5.43-48   How to love your enemies                                                                       6 Baglake, Litton Cheney


Feb 12            Prayer          The Threshing Barn, Higher Kingston Russell


Feb 19            No meeting                                                       


Feb 26           Bible Study Matthew 6.1-4       How to give                                                                                   12, Napier Close, Puncknowle




Mothers' Union


Thursday 26th February - 2.30pm

"World Wide Meeting" - Speaker Mike Read -

An update on his Romanian Connection.

Bring & Buy for Overseas Fund

To be held at Westfield, Shipton Lane, Burton Bradstock



Bible Notes

If anyone would like to take the Bible Reading Fellowship Notes this year, please let Hilary Mousley know ( The Red House, Middle Street, Burton Bradstock, Bridport, DT6 4QR 01308 897849 ). The year runs from the 1st May till the end of April but orders have to be placed well in advance; Hilary Mousley needs to know by mid-February. There are two sets of Notes, Guidelines and New Daylight, and the special group annual subscription for each is £9.45, payment being made on delivery of the May-August 2004 issue. Samples of these Notes are available on request. (Copies for those already on the list will be covered automatically unless notification is received to the contrary).


Royal British Legion

The Annual Dinner will be held at Freshwater Holiday Park on Monday 23rd February, 6.30pm for 7.00pm. 

J Reeves (Sec)

Burton Bradstock Post Office

Are you aware of the range of products and services available at your local Post Office? 


Pensions and Allowances are being brought up-to-date with on-line payments using the Post Office card account, but even if you have elected to have it paid into your bank you can still access your money at the Post Office if you bank with one of our partner banks.  Don't worry if you haven't been notified yet - you will in due course. 


Getting cash at the Post office has never been easier. 

If you bank with Alliance & Leicester (Girobank), Barclays, or Lloyds TSB you can get money by handing me your bank card and tapping in your PIN number into the pinpad on the counter.  If you prefer, you can get your money by encashing a cheque and you can pay money and cheques into your bank - all at the Post Office! 


So all in all, if you bank with one of our partner banks, you can do all your banking at your local Post Office without having to go into town.  And it's free, quick, easy, secure and local. 


You can also pay your bills at the Post Office.  These include gas, electricity, water, telephone, Council Tax, Income Tax, TV licence, etc.  As well as paying by cash or cheque, we now accept payment by Debit card. 


Your Post Office is also a National Investments & Savings Bank, which means that you can pay money into your ordinary or investment savings accounts or take money out of the latter (although the format of this account may be changing).  Here you can also buy investment products such as Premium Bonds, Savings Bonds & Certificates, Capital Bonds, Cash ISA's, Children's Bonds, etc.  Call in for a leaflet. 


For overseas travellers we can process E111's for foreign medical treatment, obtain most foreign currencies within a few days - free of charge, no commission plus free buyback of currency on return.  Post Office Ltd also offers good rates for travel insurance. 


Besides 1st and 2nd class postage within the UK, we can set up recorded delivery or special delivery for peace of mind.  For overseas mail we can send by airmail or international signed for or large parcels can be sent via Parcelforce Worldwide.  There is also a Standard Parcel service for UK parcels, which can carry additional insurance if required.  Mail can be redirected if moving house or kept safe for collection.     


So with the availability of these products and services plus airletters, fishing licences, TV and motor vehicle stamps, Postal Orders, Post Office Phonecards, arranging for flowers to be sent through the post via 'Bunches', you can see that your local Post Office is still alive and kicking.  Our latest service is the 'top-up' of your mobile phone through our E top-up service where you can top-up as little as £5 at a time.  This covers T-mobile, Virgin, Tesco mobile, Orange, O2 and Vodaphone. 


We also do photocopying. 


So, if you want the Post Office to survive for your convenience, you have to use it and support it. 

USE IT OR LOSE IT                                        Peter Dutton


Bride Valley Fledglings Playgroup

Welcome to Edmund Shackleton who joined us in November just before his 4th birthday. We had another visitor last term - Hattie the Clown, who entertained the children with BIG bubbles and balloon hats which was fun.  Our final visitor was Father Christmas who came before our Christmas party and handed out presents. Parents and guests saw us sing and play our Christmas songs and while the children ate the party food, enjoyed a glass of mulled wine.  Playgroup children also visited Thorner's School to see their Nativity play (including some older sisters and brothers) and afterwards played in Reception classroom and outside in the playground.


Thank you again to all our supporters last year - Bingo Night raised £417 for Playgroup, Crown Puncknowle Fundraisers presented us a cheque for £400 from the summer Fun Night and our last Quiz raised £107- also many thanks from me for all the input which made these events go so well.  


Our next big date is : SATURDAY  FEBRUARY 14th   -   PHOTOGRAPHER / COFFEE MORNING   when our friendly, professional Photographerwill be coming to Puncknowle Hall again to take photos - all are welcome - family groups especially - combined with our Coffee Morning.  For any information about this or about the Playgroup, please feel free to ring me

                                                                Carol  Bennett (Playleader)    01308 897771


Thorner's CE VA Primary School

This month I am finding it difficult to write about anything in connection with school as it is that time of the year when things are quite quiet.  We have started the term, getting back into routines but not planning for a specific event.  On reflection this is just like most of us in our homes and gardens.  The garden is taking a rest and building up strength ready for the spurt in new growth. At the beginning of term we in school looked at how we were working and realised that all too often we were concentrating on the negative behaviour so we have introduced what is generally known as 'Golden Time'.  Since the beginning of term we have introduced a 'free time' once a week, where positive behaviour and attitudes from children are rewarded by the ability to choose an activity; the pupils who find it difficult to maintain this through the week have a time for reflection.  Anyone who visits school will notice the posters and the 6 rules that support us in reinforcing this, hoping that it will become embedded in their normal everyday behaviour.  Each week an assembly is led by a member of staff to support and discuss a rule where we will all build up these moral values, recognising them as deep and precious things.  Reading this you may think that school is an awful place to be!  Can I reassure you that for the majority of pupils the rules will prove to be a visual representation of how they normally behave, it is more of a publication and reminder that this is what we are striving to work towards for the whole community and that we need to make an effort to work with those few members who find it difficult.

Alison Johnstone


First Steps Parent and Toddler Group meets on Wednesdays between 10.00am and 12 noon.  Your first session is free and 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:  Bridget (Burton Bradstock) 898600 or Jo (Litton Cheney) ... or Julie (Puncknowle) 897178 or Rachel (Kingston Russell and Long Bredy) 482246


Litton Cheney Youth Club meets on Tuesday evenings for those between 8 and 17 years in Litton Cheney and the surrounding villages.  For further details of the sessions read the Litton notes or contact Paul Kingston 482384.


Burton Bradstock CE VC School

As I began to think about this month's BVN contribution by referring back to what I wrote for January, it occurred to me that Ofsted must have been preparing our Christmas letter at about the same time.  So whilst I was writing about some events being expected but we don't know when, the powers that be knew exactly!  We now know that we are being 'done' in the week after half term.  However, the new Framework is designed to be more supportive of schools so should not be held in quite the trepidation that it used to be.  In addition to this, since we are a Voluntary Controlled Church of England school, we also receive a separate inspection for Collective Worship.  I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys the 'Ofsted Experience', but I do believe it can be a positive one.


So far as other news is concerned, staff began this term with a very successful and productive day updating our First Aid skills with training that was conducted by the St John's Ambulance Service. 


Classes 3 and 4 experienced a hugely enjoyable, stimulating and thought-provoking day when we were visited by Mr Peter Barton and Mr Norman Schamroth as part of a Cluster initiative.  The theme of the day was 'Dealing with Diversity' and involving story, discussion, and a range of other activities which heightened the children's awareness of a range of issues.


Also last month many of you may have seen the 'Life Van' parked outside school for a couple of days.  This is a terrific resource that tours the county promoting health education.  All our children were able to visit the van and receive expert tuition in a range of topics and activities.  The opportunity to learn in a new context is often very productive, and this certainly proved to be the case with the Life Van.


Mark Stratta.

100 Club

December winners were:               £20 - B. Neale

£10 - B. Dent

            £  5 - V.L. Hewlett

Bonus winners were:                          £10 - D. Sorrell

                                                            £10 - J. Wyatt

                                                            £10 - D.J. Cole

                                                            £10 - E. Crooke



Writing in the West

Nicola Thorne and Margaret Graham


Tuesday March 23rd at

 Burton Bradstock W.I. Hall, 7.00pm.

                                         Tickets £3.


See page 18 for further details



Bride Valley Gardening Club

The next meeting is on Feb. 9th at Thorner's School, Litton Cheney at 7.30.p.m. when the Speaker willbe David Hitchcock whose subject is "Songbird Aquilegias."        Do come along and join our Club - membership is only £3 a year - and you will be most welcome.


8th March          Val Hurlston-Gardiner - Painswick Rococo Gardens

Norma Millard     Club Secretary  897774.


Burton Bradstock Players

The box office for our pantomime "Snow White" has opened at Burton Bradstock Post Office.  Performances will take place 9th - 14th February at the W.I. Hall.                                                                                                                                       D.Ekins



Institute of Advanced Motorists ( Dorset Group )

Wednesday 3rd,10th & 17th March 2004    

7.00 - 9.00pm

Room 1 County Hall, Dorchester


Are you a Carer?????????  

On February 6th between 10 and 12 at Bridport Hospital there will be the first of monthly meetings, for support of those that are caring, in an informal capacity. The aim is to offer information and mutual support to a group of people who act, unpaid to look after friends, family and partners, thereby saving much public monies.

For details, or if you need transport, please ring 897322.         Anna Lovell.



Crisis - What Crisis?

The word crisis is now so widely used that we have almost become immune to it. So often it is applied to businesses or governments which may well have brought a crisis upon their own heads.


There is, however, a crisis in agriculture and its associated services that is rarely discussed, but which is having devastating effects on the lives of those involved. There are many causes of this situation, but the human cost is at times so bad that despair and clinical depression are becoming increasingly common. Some farmers have seen their incomes fall to such an extent that they have taken on ever increasing overdrafts. Others who have rented their farms can see no way of retiring and having a home in the area where their friends are. Some farm workers have lost their jobs and cannot find a house in the countryside. The list is endless.


To try to help those affected, the Farm Crisis Network has been set up. In simple terms it consists of a number of volunteers who have agricultural backgrounds, and who firstly provide a listening ear. All conversations are undertaken in complete confidence. Volunteers can be contacted by telephone, and are also willing to visit a caller by appointment. Depending on the nature of the crisis, the volunteer has access to properly qualified professional advice to help resolve immediate difficulties. We are also in touch with organisations that can provide emergency funding to pay food and heating bills when income is insufficient, and others that can purchase homes to rent in the area where the farmer or farm worker has lived.


The work of the FCN is offered completely free of charge, and initial professional advice is also provided free. The most important point is that we can only help those who make contact with us. The Dorset office is located at Suite 6, Somerleigh Gate, Somerleigh Road, Dorchester, DTI 1TL and the `phone number is 01305 250977, and the office is open five mornings a week. There is also a National Helpline - 07002 326326 (7.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.). If you are one of those affected by the crisis in agriculture, or know someone who is, please make contact so that help can be offered.


Ladybirds will meet on Wednesday 11th February at 8pm in the home of Ursula Bayer, Litton Cheney when everyone is invited to bring along their favourite book.



The Eastern End Bride Valley Children's Christmas Party Organisers wish to thank the following:  Litton Cheney Social Committee, Litton Cheney Bell Ringers, Mick Lawless and The Crown Inn, Alison Johnstone and staff at Thorner's, Paul Kingston, Liza Adams Smith, Beaminster Young Farmers, John Cook and a very big thank you as always to Carol Randall.  The children enjoyed the party and had a lovely afternoon.  Thank you to all concerned.                                                                                                         Mandy Wakely- Organiser



Computer Courses and Support available during March

Two courses are being offered in March, one for desktop publishing and the other for advanced word processing.   Only small groups will be accommodated on each course making it easier for course content to be flexible and meet specific needs.


The desktop publishing course is available to anyone who would like to be able to produce items such as greetings cards, newsletters, posters or certificates.  The course will consist of 3 Tuesday morning sessions starting on 2nd March starting at 9.30 and finishing at 11.30am.


The advanced word processing workshop is designed for people who wish to use some of the more sophisticated features of the computer program such as mail merge, formatting features and security aspects.  If there are any particular features that you would like to explore during the workshop then please specify when booking.  The workshop will run from 9.30 until 11.30am on Tuesday 23rd March.


The tutor for the courses will be from the LymeNet, a training centre based in Lyme Regis and the courses will be held in the Reading Room in Burton Bradstock. 




Starting Date

Finishing Date


No of Sessions


No of Places

Desktop Publishing


2nd March

16th March





Advanced Word Processing


23rd March







Bookings can be made by e-mailing Karen Venn on or phoning 01308 897094 between 5pm and 7pm weekday evenings.  After booking, cheques should be made payable to 'Burton Bradstock Website Committee'.


It is possible to run scanner courses for people who want to make the most of using a computer scanner.  However as the functions of scanners vary considerably LymeNet are offering to run these courses on an individual basis.  If you require further details or wish to book a scanning course please contact LymeNet on 01297 444570.


Computer support is also available in Burton Bradstock Library on Fridays.  To take advantage of this facility it is essential to book through Heather Thompson at the library.

Karen Venn



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.



Choir Practices                       Fridays at 6.00 p.m.


Bell Ringing Practices           Thursdays at 7.00pm


Gift Sunday                            15th February  Chideock Aid for Romania


The next Healing Service at St Mary's  16th February at 7.00pm


The next Tiny Tots / Pram Service will be held on Friday 6th February


Ash Wednesday - 25th February

We mark the beginning of Lent at the west end of the valley by extending our usual 10.00am Wednesday Holy Communion Service to include a short address and Imposition of Ashes (this is voluntary). 

There is a similar Service at Puncknowle at 7.00pm for those who cannot make a daytime fixture. 


Fifth Sunday - 29th February

The only Church Service in Burton on this day will be Evensong at 6.30pm.  There are said 9.30am Holy Communions at Shipton Gorge and Swyre, and a United Valley Family Service at Litton Cheney (11.00am )                                                                            Anthony Ashwell


Church Electoral Roll - Revision

The Church Electoral Roll is revised each year (except when a new roll is prepared every sixth year) in time for the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.  If your name is already included in the current roll, then no further action is required of you.   


The revision period leading up to the annual meeting provides an ideal opportunity for those who wish to have their names added to the electoral roll to apply for enrolment, the requirements for which are very simple.  You must be baptised (christened), a member of the Church of England or of a church in communion with it, be aged 16 or over and either resident in the parish or have regularly attended church there for at least six months


Being on the electoral roll of the parish means you can attend the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (to be held this year on Monday 22nd March in church at 7.30pm) and vote in the elections to the Parochial Church Council or stand for election yourself if you are a communicant member of the Church of England.  It enables you to have your voice heard at Deanery and Diocesan level as well as in your own parish. 


Application forms for enrolment on the Church Electoral Roll will be available in church in the weeks leading up to the annual meeting or if you wish to contact me direct on Tel: 897872 to discuss any aspect of enrolment I will be pleased to help.                                                                                                                                                         Maurice Ackland - Electoral Roll Officer


Church of England Children's Society

Another year gone and yet another big thank you to all who came Carol Singing around the village, including a three week old baby!! - it couldn't be more appropriate as our money was for the Children's Society.  Also many thanks to Steve and Lesley Dove for having us all back to their house where we celebrated Basil's special birthday with a little more than a cup of coffee!!   To finish, thank you all, the singers, collectors, and of course the people who gave so generously to help me send £187.00 for the Church of England.  Other money sent over the past year was:

Frugal Lunch - £130.00  Christingle - £118.32  Boxes - £330.70.

                                                                                                  Greta Heal


Royal British Legion - Women's Section

Our meetings will now be held every two months.  The first one this year will be in the Reading Room at 2.30pm on 9th February when Barbara Cooper will be the speaker.  Will all members make a big effort to attend. 

                                                                                           Greta Heal (Sec)

Burton Bradstock Village Society

A quite historical evening was enjoyed by members and friends of the Village Society on 12th December when Brian Stidwell gave a talk on the history of West Bay. 


Funds for building the harbour were first raised in the 16th century and following storm damage the river was eventually altered to flow out between the two piers and new sluices built at a cost of £3500!  Shipping trade increased until it reached a peak of 800 ships a year with shipbuilding going on at the western side of the harbour. 


We were shown several slides of shipping and the local buildings of West Bay, which traced the development of the area, but of course this trade all declined later in the 19th century, and with the coming of the Bridport to West Bay railway became a destination for holidaymakers and visitors, with Pier terrace being built in 1887, followed soon afterwards by a new esplanade.  


All in all a wonderful recollection of our past. 


Our next journey takes us to the Himalayas when David Barnikel gives a talk on his travels in the Himalayan Kingdom of Mustang.                                                                                                                   Peter Dutton


Burton Bradstock Post Office

Please see article under Valley Section  (  page 6 ) 


Burton Bradstock W.I.  See STOP PRESS page 33


The Bells of St. Mary's

A quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles was rung at St. Mary's in December to celebrate the 80th birthday of Basil Dent. Basil has been Bell Tower Captain at Burton Bradstock for many years and so it was also a mark of appreciation for the time given over the years introducing and teaching the art of bell ringing to many would-be ringers. Congratulations, Basil!

Anyone who may be interested in ringing the church bells would be most welcome at any of the practice nights on Thursdays at 7.00 pm.

Burton Bradstock Players

Performances of "Snow White" will take place 9th - 14th February at the W.I. Hall. Tickets are available from Burton Bradstock Post Office. All enquiries to John Ivall, tel:  897470 - no refunds available.


Badminton & Table Tennis

Are you interested in playing either of these games: both are good healthy sports. Equipment is available to play them in the W.I. Hall, Burton Bradstock.

We need at least ten people per sport to make it a viable proposition. All are welcome, male and female. Please telephone Peter Colbert 897922 for more details.


Christmas Tree

Again we had a Christmas tree on The Green. But this year we purchased new lights from a donation kindly given by Eileen Dearden in memory of her parents Bill & Elsie Hunt. Also thanks to the Parish Council for obtaining the tree from Justin Mallinson's wood and Norman & Peggy Thompson for use of their electricity.

Peter Colbert -  Village Society





Tuesday March 23rd at

 Burton Bradstock W.I. Hall, 7.00pm. Tickets £3.

Writing in the West

                                                       Nicola Thorne and Margaret Graham


As part of the 2004 Dorset Festival of Words and Voices Week, Dorset County Council's Library Service has invited two popular local authors to discuss living and writing in West Dorset. There will be time afterwards for the audience to ask questions, meet the authors and buy books. This is a unique occasion, not to be missed by booklovers! Nicola Thorne (Rosemary Ellerbeck) has amongst her best sellers 'My Name is Martha Brown' based on a famous murder trial in nineteenth century Dorchester. Margaret Graham is well known for her contemporary novels set in the West Country such as `Practising Wearing Purple' and `Out of the Night'.


Entry by ticket only, £3 available from Burton Bradstock Library or Bridport Library during opening hours.

For further information, please contact Heather Thomson, Assistant-in-Charge, Burton Bradstock Library on 01308 897563.

Thank you

I should like to express sincere thanks for the extreme goodwill shown to me on the occasion of my recent 'Special Birthday'.  Through the many messages, cards and gifts, special thanks to Lesley and Greta for the party with the Carol Singers after the Carol Singing, and to Janet and John for arranging the bell-ringing, and to our Ringers for the party which followed.  Thanks also to the ringing friends who rang: a truly very special day.                                                                         Basil Dent


I would like to thank everyone for their prayers, cards and flowers, etc. for my short stay in hospital.  It's so nice to have such wonderful friends.                                                                                         Greta Heal


Burton Bradstock W.I. - Thank you from Joan Gillett

On the occasion of my retirement from the W.I. after 23 years I wish to express my sincere thanks for the generous gifts and delicious afternoon tea party. It has been a most enjoyable time and I wish you all the very best for the future. 



My grateful thanks to so many villagers for the get-well cards, telephone enquiries and support for Elaine during my recent stays in Dorchester Hospital. The visits by Anthony Ashwell were of great comfort to me.

Freddy Tame



Burton Bradstock Village

Web Site Address

Did you know that the Bride Valley News

is published on this web site every month?

In addition, did you know that old copies of the magazine

can also be viewed on the web site?

And, it is in colour too!



Village Correspondent: Mrs. Joy White

Eastcote  3 Gullivers Orchard  Shipton Gorge

Tel: ( 01308 )897974



Carol Singing  

The band of singers were pleased to have a dry, if cold, night when they sang around the village collecting for Save the Children.  The Epplestones kindly invited us all in for well appreciated refreshments which helped to lubricate the vocal chords for the singing around the rest of the village.  We were delighted to have the lead voice of Janet Lane with us, and also the well decorated and helpful door knockers and money collectors, who were Gemma, Tommy and Will.  Thanks to all your generosity we raised £106.28  which was very gratefully received by Save the Children. 


Grand Christmas Bazaar - December 6th.

Many thanks to our kind friends who helped run our bazaar in the Village Hall (beautifully bedecked by Christine and Robert ), and to all who provided a wide range of lovely gifts for the stalls.


This was a really festive occasion, raising £385 for St. Martin's Church, so well done everyone!

Gillian Maxfield and Janet Lane.


The New York Marathon 

Karen's sponsorship money totalled £2,510.54 which she was delighted with. Her time was exactly 4 hours which she was pleased with too. One minute less and she would have been listed in the ELITE section of under four hours!

Ivy Platt

Congratulations from us all, Karen! Ed.

Shipton Gorge Village Hall 100 Club

Winners for the January Draw




Mildred Street



Mary Lister



Village Correspondent: Sid Marshall

3 Green Barton, Swyre Tel: 897318



Regretfully the Public Telephone Box has been vandalised again. The police and British Telecom have been advised. We await developments.




Temporary address:-







Correspondents: Elizabeth Slater & Sid Marshall



Pun Fun - Family Fun Quiz for all

For all the people of Puncknowle, Swyre and West Bexington.

Friday 27 February 7.30 - 10.00pm Puncknowle Hall

A relaxing evening for all comers, new and old.  Don't forget your favourite tipple and a donation towards the cost of hall hire and heating.

Come and get to know more people from the villages - plenty of chance to chat.

Contact Nos. 898492/897751



Fund raising events for the Air Ambulance to be held at Bull Inn, Swyre

 7th February - Quiz Nite.

14th February - Mr & Mrs. So you think you know them well?

21st February - Quiz Nite.

28th February - Play Your Cards Right. TV favourite with the Bull's own Dolly Dealer.

For further details please ring Chris or Sue at the Bull on 897250.


Puncknowle and Swyre Parish Council 3rd February 2004

The Parish Council will meet at 7.30 on the 3rd February at Puncknowle Church Hall.


Future shopping trips.

Do you really want this service? We have struggled to fill the coach over the winter months and have decided to defer future trips until the spring. (Starting in April). We would however like to have feedback from you such as where you might like to go, when and at what times.


Please phone Cllr. Symone Ingram on 897743 or Anna Lovell on 897322.


The above is an initiative organised by your local Parish Council so please offer your support otherwise it will be a case if it doesn't get used it won't happen again.


Puncknowle Swyre and West Bexington Homewatch

Phone Boxes - Last month the entire contents of the Phone Box in Swyre were stolen in the early hours of the morning. The thieves completely removed the phone, coin box and equipment using a steel cable tied to a vehicle, just leaving two wires one of which could have been live. The Police have informed us that there have been several thefts of phone boxes in the West Dorset area. If you do see a telephone box being robbed in this fashion, try and get a description of the vehicles used. We have been advised that sometimes thieves use two cars, one a brightly coloured car that normally speeds away, and another car which is not so conspicuous. The second car usually contains the money and equipment taken.  If you can get the registration of both cars it would help the police.

Please could all people living near Post Boxes keep an eye out and if you hear or see anything suspicious let the Police know. Thank you.

Telephone Scam - The Homewatch have been advised of the following telephone scam relating to home and/or work phones including mobiles. Your phone rings and you receive a recorded message: "Congratulations, We are calling to advise you that you have won an all expenses paid trip to ....... Please press 9 now to hear further details". If you press 9, you'll be connected to a premium line that bills in the region of £20 per minute! If you press 9 and connect, even if you disconnect immediately, the other end will stay connected for a minimum of 5 minutes - at a cost to you of £100 - the message lasts for 11 minutes. The final part of the call asks you to key in your postcode and house number (which has other security issues !!) and then after a wait of a further 2 minutes responds with the message: "Sorry, you are not one of the lucky winners " and disconnects adding a whopping £260.00 to your bill!!! BT advise that these calls originate form outside the UK and as such, they are powerless to act. If you do receive this call immediately hang up and report it to BT. Always go by the old adage that "there is no such thing as a free lunch"


Community Vehicle - The community vehicle will be at Puncknowle Bottom between 12.30 and 13.30 on Thursday 26th February. If you have never visited the vehicle why not go and see Anne who runs the vehicle with any security queries.


Deputy to Coordinator - If you are interested in helping with Homewatch I am looking for volunteers from both Swyre and West Bexington to act as deputies to me to assist with the passing of information to the Homewatch representatives in these villages. If you are interested please give me a ring.

Andy Marshall - 897732 




Village Correspondent:  Elizabeth Slater

1, Lytton Close, Puncknowle, Dorchester DT2 9BH

Telephone: ( 01308 ) 897751



Christingle Service - 1st February

A last minute reminder: 9.30am in church, to support the work of the Children's Society. 




Ash Wednesday - 25th February

We mark the beginning of Lent at the east-end of the valley with a Holy Communion at 7.00pm.  This will include the traditional 'Imposition of Ashes' though I must emphasise that 'ashing' is voluntary. 

Anthony Ashwell


Bride Valley Fledglings Playgroup - ( See page 7  of Valley Notes for this month's report )



Carol Singing Round the Village

£232 was raised for the Dorset Air Ambulance.  Very many thanks to those who gave so generously and especially to the singers with the trombone and violin accompaniment, also to the children who worked so hard with the collection tins.                                                     

Ann Roberts


Social Evening

Social Evening Thursday 19 February 7.30 in the Church Hall.  Stephen Griffith, the Tropical Garden Curator, will be giving a talk on the Gardens and Villas of the Mediterranean Regions.  This should be an interesting evening.  There will be coffee and biscuits and a collection to cover expenses.

Ann Roberts

Puncknowle Art Group

By now, the new season will be underway and everyone will have forgotten how much they enjoyed their Christmas lunch at The Crown. We are looking forward to two meetings in Feb. - the 6th and the 20th which will be a talk and demonstration by Michael J. Chappell.                                                                     Christine Molony


It is with regret that we learn of the death of  Margaret Pride of Riplea, West Bexington.  We extend our deepest sympathy to her daughter Alison and family.



Don't forget to check the village website

to keep in touch with village events and find useful information




Sue Diment

Our deepest thanks to Sue (and her family) who, after four years of devoted service to the church, is giving up being deputy churchwarden and effectively the management of the building and its Services within it.  We hope and pray that somebody new is prepared to take on this vital work, for if it is not done, it will be all but impossible to hold Services there. 


Apart from the Christmas Carol Service, there are monthly Evensongs in the summer time, an 8.00am Holy Communion on Easter Day, and this year a Wedding. 


The first Services of 2004 should be:

4th April           6.30pm            Palm Sunday Evensong

11th April         8.00am             Easter Day Holy Communion


But will they be able to take place?                                          Anthony Ashwell


 LITTON CHENEY                                

Village Correspondent:

Mrs. Elizabeth Kingston, 5 Manor Farm Close


Fifth Sunday Family Service - 29th February

It is our turn to host what will become a fixture for 5th Sundays.  The Service will mark the beginning of Lent and will be followed by refreshments.  Do come.                                                             Anthony Ashwell


Christmas Service Collections

The total of the collections at the Carol Service and Midnight Communion on Christmas Eve amounted to £330.  Half has been given to the Cheshire Home, Dorchester and half to CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood).  Thank you to all who gave and to Hugh and Carol Lindsay who kindly allowed the use of the Old Rectory for the mulled wine and mince pies after the Carol Service.


The Triangle Christmas Tree

Many thanks to Priscilla Leslie-Smith for her generosity in supplying the electricity for the lights.  Thanks also to the Parish Council for the labour in setting it up and taking it down and to the Social Committee for meeting the cost of the tree and new bulbs - (have you heard the rumour that next year the Committee are also going to take on the labouring task?!).


Litton Cheney Social Committee

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the carol singing around the village and all those who gave most generously to our collection.  We sent almost £300 to the Naomi House Children's Hospice - quite a lot up on last year's figure.  Also a big thank you to Irene and Chris who provided mince pies, mulled wine and a welcoming fire which all helped to keep us going.


Our next event is a Quiz Evening on Saturday 28th February 7.30pm at Thorner's School.  Either make up your own team - perhaps your neighbours and form a street team, or maybe youth club, bellringers, Parish Councillors, garden club, ladybirds, etc.etc. maximum of eight people or just come along and form a team when you arrive.  We will provide the cheese and biscuits - liquid refreshments by donation.  We may even be able to offer a small prize to the winners!

For your diaries - The Annual Duck Race - Easter Sunday 11th April               


Litton 2004

A steering group has been formed in response to the flyer everyone received in December in connection with Vital Villages.


Everyone is invited to attend one or both Open Meetings on Wednesday 4th February 2004 at 7.30pm and Saturday 7th February 2004 at 11.00am at Thorner's School.


We hope as many people as possible will come along to give their views on issues affecting the village and enjoy a coffee and chat with other villagers.


For further information contact:  Elizabeth Kingston, 5 Manor Farm Close or email


If you miss the meetings but have ideas and suggestions about how life can be improved in the parish of Litton Cheney please do not hesitate to get in touch.


The Police Community Support Unit will be by the Bus Shelter on Tuesday 10th February between 2.00pm and 3.00pm.


Litton Cheney Youth Club

Well done to Andrew Moore whose design was awarded second place in the Dorset Youth Association's Christmas Card Competition.  The provisional dates for February are Tuesday 10th and Tuesday 24th in Litton Cheney Church Hall.  For further details contact Paul Kingston 482384.


The Mobile Library stops by the Bus Shelter on Thursday's fortnightly between 3.25 and 4.10pm.  The library will be in Litton Cheney on Thursday 12th February and Thursday 26th February.


Parish Clerk

The Parish Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs Wendy Taylor as the new Parish Clerk.  She may be contacted on 482532 or e mail -  It is intended to make a presentation to the outgoing Clerk, John Rowlands, at the Village Assembly on 9th March in recognition of his service to the village, a task he carried out with considerable dedication and without payment thus relieving all of us of an addition to our Council Tax bills; if you wish to contribute please hand your cash or cheque to the Council Chairman Freddie Spicer at 1 Litton Hill by 14th February.


Poppy Appeal.

The collection for Litton Cheney raised £225.06.  Many thanks to all donors and collectors.  Apologies for the belated notice - I was on the sick list.                                                                                  Kate Wilkinson.


Natalie, Andy, Amy and Katie wish all their friends in Litton Cheney and the Bride Valley a fond farewell after 9 years, we've not gone too far (Pymore) to be forgotten.  See you all soon!

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.



LONG BREDY                                                         

Village Correspondent:

Mrs. Elinor Frost, Bridelands ( 482269 )


Lenten Lunch   

Robert and Jill Maltby welcome you to Long Barrow Farmhouse on Thursday 26th February from 12:30pm.  Do please come to support us, it will be in aid of "Send a Cow", which works in the poorest countries of East Africa.  It provides training to look after the cow, or goats, pigs, bees or poultry.  The families receiving an animal undertake to pass on the first female offspring to another poor family, who in their turn do the same.  This charity has been operating for fifteen years.


The February meeting of Long Bredy and Litton Cheney W.I. will be held on Tuesday 3rd February at Cowleaze Corner, the home of Janet Cuff, at 2:30pm. The speaker will be Mrs Maureen Etherington from Save the Children.  All are welcome.

A reminder that subscriptions are due, please.


Farewell to the Phillips family at 7 Kingston Cottages and welcome to Kate and Darren Still and son, Luke.  We hope they enjoy life in Higher Kingston Russell and Long Bredy.





Thanks to all in the village who helped towards, or joined in, the various Christmas events and festivities.  The Church looked splendid, as always, and the Village Hall was marvellously decorated for the Social Club's party and the generous refreshments after the crowded and very enjoyable carol service.  Congratulations to all concerned in any way. 


The Christmas period was tinged with sadness, however, for various families in the village.  The funeral was held in Church of Margaret Syddall, Jenny Jones' mother, and a few days later there was a small ceremony in the churchyard as Nora Tippett's ashes were buried with those of her late husband Jack.  They had moved away from West Lodge to Hertfordshire shortly before Jack's death in 1992, but left behind many happy memories of their time in the village.  Their surviving family will alter the plaque on Jack's memorial bench in the churchyard to include Nora's name as well.


Talking of memorial benches, the sharp-eyed may have noticed the wooden seat which appeared last autumn in the corner of the cricket ground furthest from the pavilion.  This is in memory of Claire Clements, of Weymouth, who was tragically killed in a road accident in the Lake District last April, aged 17, shortly after beginning a career in the Merchant Navy.  She and her family and some of their friends were in the habit of borrowing the cricket ground for a picnic and barbecue each year, and it was here that they asked for a memorial to be placed, as she loved this place (in the words of the little plaque) so much.  The family is also fundraising in Claire's memory to provide outward bound experiences for Weymouth youngsters, and Sir Philip has details if anyone is interested in learning any more.


May all those mentioned above rest in peace, and those who mourn them be comforted.




We are grateful to our Bride Valley Resident for submitting another poem for inclusion in this month's edition.




(A poem for the young)


"Daddy Dear, look a plus sign in the sky

Up there, upon the steeple high!"

And following the gaze of his little son

Father saw the sign of the Three-In-One.


"Son, that's the sign of Our Saviour's Cross.

To follow it means gain

But to leave it means loss.

A knight has the plus sign upon his shield

And see how the powers of darkness yield!


Don't live by the minus as many folk do

For the path of the minus can never be true.

The plus is the path that will always be right,

Leading you upwards into the light.


It means healing and peace

And the power to forgive

And to follow that plus

Is the right way to live.


Now, my boy, do you know what we mean by the plus?"

"Oh yes, Daddy Dear.......... It means God with us:"

Bride Valley Resident





The following article is included at the request of the Community Development Manager ( Dorset Community Action ).

Delivery of Affordable Rural Housing

§                     Is there a lack of affordable homes in your local community????

§                     Do families and young people have to leave your village because they cannot afford to rent or buy a house????

§                     Has this had a knock-on effect on local services such as closure of village shop or pub????

As over 50% of the population in the South West live in rural areas, it is more than likely that the lack of affordable rural housing impacts on your village or neighbouring community.

This is where the Rural Housing Enablers, employed by Dorset Community Action, can assist you and your local council to meet the affordable housing needs of local communities of less than 3000 population.

The Rural Housing Enabler can:

1.        Help identify and raise awareness of rural housing needs by supporting and providing advice to rural communities to undertake housing needs surveys.

2.        Liase with all the organisations who have a role to play in the provision of affordable housing in rural areas - rural communities, housing associations, local authorities and landowners.

3.        Assist local authorities to effectively implement exception sites and quota policies by identifying suitable sites and feeding into supplementary planning guidance.

4.        Act as an independent broker to help overcome the obstacles which hinder the provision of rural affordable housing

North Dorset was one of the first councils in the country to get a Rural Housing Enabler as part of a pilot study and now two years on Rachel Kalis, RHE for North Dorset is seeing her earlier work come to fruition with over 30 new affordable housing units being available by the end of 2003

Thanks to the work of the Rural Housing Enabler and the generosity of the landowner, two affordable homes will shortly be completed in Stourton Caundle, North Dorset. Two families from the village have succeeded in getting together sufficient mortgage to part buy the two 3 bedroom houses in spite of the dramatic rise in house values since the scheme was devised. They are only allowed to increase the proportion of the house they own up to a limit of 80%, and if they sell their share, they have to offer it to Stourton Caundle residents first, then to the surrounding villages and then only to the wider community if there is no demand from local residents.

There is a Rural Housing Enabler working in West Dorset who will be more than willing to attend a local meeting or discuss local needs and possible solutions. You can contact Andy Lloyd on 01305 252447 or e-mail him on:-                                                              


Dorset Community Action (DCA) is an independent voluntary organisation and charitable company. It is governed by a Board of Trustees, and has a membership of voluntary organisations, community groups, social enterprises and local authorities from across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

DCA is committed to encouraging and supporting the interests of local communities in consultation, transport, community facilities, learning and skills, regeneration, sustainable living and social issues. We also initiate and deliver new services, which respond to local needs.

DCA is also the Council for Voluntary Service for Dorset and supports the development of the voluntary sector through information, networking, representation, building capacity, and filling gaps.

DCA works in partnership with, and is funded by, the Countryside Agency, Dorset's local authorities, the Learning and Skills Council, and other statutory and grant-making bodies.

To find out more information, please visit Dorset Community Action's website:





*********  STOP PRESS  *********


Burton Bradstock Women's Institute


At the January meeting the President welcomed Mrs Phyl Hyde as a new member and Mrs Heather Seddon as a visitor and wished everybody a Happy New Year.


Mr John Surry then gave a most entertaining talk which he entitled "Words, Words , Words"and Mrs Jill Spinney gave the vote of thanks.


 There is to be a whist drive on 26th February and a skittles evening at Freshwater on Saturday 13th March.  The reading group meets once a month ,the tapestry group every fortnight and guided walks take place once a month.


Numbers were taken for outings to "Cats" at Southampton on 6th May and Hampton Court Flower show in July.


The flower of the month was won by Heather Thomson, and winners of the 100club were:-

Mr Parsons, Mrs Raven, Mr Allison and Mrs Buckle


Date of next meeting 10th February at 2.15  Speaker Mr Clive Groves on the subject of Violets.


The BRIDGE GROUP meets in the W.I Hall on Tuesdays at 2.00pm

Come and join us for a  friendly  game of bridge , everyone welcome.

This month's dates are 17th and 24th February (first two weeks the hall is closed for the Panto)

For further information contact Chris Clarke on 898117




The War Requiem by Benjamin Britten

Lighthouse, Poole

29 February 2004 7.30pm

by DOVES, Imperial College Symphony Orchestra

& members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets: Lighthouse, Harmony Music, Dorchester,

Nicol1 World Travel, Dorchester. £10, £8 (Sen.Cit), £5 (sts)

COACH £2 return from Dorchester only.

Enquiries: Jane Soole  01305 832069 or 830953