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Bride Valley News March 2005

Diary of events for all Parishes March 2005

Church Services March 2005


             FROM THE CLERGY             

In life we are never very far from death, in fact it can be but a breath away.  Often I hear a verse from the Bible quoted 'of that day no one knows'.  It is appropriate isn't it, even if it is out of context right here. 


Death can come particularly suddenly as a result of an accident or natural disaster : the tsunami recently to name but one.  Sometimes the accident can be at the hand of another, and at others it can be at our own.  We are quite capable of bringing death on ourselves, sometimes deliberately by suicide, or by living our lives in such a way that they are in constant danger.  We are regularly reminded that we stand a high chance of shortening our lives if we overeat, or smoke, or fail to exercise, and so on.  In fact we all have bodies that wear out and there is nothing we can do about that.  Some people are born with physical problems that known or unknown will result in a short life, whilst others are born with a remarkable constitution and the probability of a really long life.  Death too is no judge of people.  The good can live short lives, and the evil long ones.  We really don't know when the crunch will come for us, and it all too often seems to be so very unfair.  There is of course one fact of which we can be utterly certain, that we will die, and our death will be at the hand of fate, an accident, or ourselves or another, or simply just by our own bodies wearing out.  In the midst of life we are in death, to whom then can we turn for help? 


It's interesting to look at my list of causes of death: accident, disaster, self, others, neglect, illness, weakness.  God is not in any of these, though all are side effects of being alive in God's world, or put differently, of living because of God.  Has God not provided an answer to this? 


Christians believe 'yes' and work to inform others of their belief that through Jesus Christ, in death we are never far from life.  For God who created time, life after death  is meaningless, a person's being simply is, eternally.  This is what we have been shown on Good Friday and Easter Day, death is dead and life is forever.                        

                                                                                   Anthony Ashwell


Mothering Sunday the 6th March. The Rector writes:-

I was a mother once. I was not very good at it. I never managed to give birth, you understand, and breast-feeding was a problem to which I never found an answer. But being a single parent with four children for some years meant I had to do all sorts of motherly things, albeit without the physical and symbiotic attributes. 


Favourite memories include the look of horror on the faces of French ladies when I invaded their toilet block on a campsite near the Loire. It was the only place to do the washing up, and of course, being in France, only women could be expected to do the washing up. The look on the faces of the French men was interesting too. Should they defend the chastity and honour of their womenfolk, or was I just another of those English homosexuals about whom they had heard so much? Taking the girls shopping for clothes was fun too.


But one of the most fulfilling part of the years was the mothering. There is no real replacement for a mother, and a great deal of mothering was inevitably left undone. But of that which was done I did some, and the children did some, and we managed in an eccentric sort of a way to do quite a lot of mothering between us.


Mothering Sunday is quite a lot about mummy, though, as a hint, it is as well to be wary of those cards which read "To a perfect Mother." Pause for a moment, and imagine the never to be spoken reply? "What? Here am I! I work, I raise children, I cook, sweep and clean, at the end of which I am still supposed to look as relaxed and beautiful as a magazine-full of models, and now I have to be perfect as well?" Best to find something a little more tactful. 


But Mothering Sunday is also, in fact mostly, about mothering, and we are all supposed to have a try at that. And a reason that this is a very good thing to do is that, however imperfectly or ineptly we manage it, we can all know a little of the love that we should have for one another in our Lord Jesus Christ.


God bless. Bob.


      Valley Notes     



From the Registers


In Memoriam

17th January                  Elizabeth Margaret Delian Turner

Good Friday Services in the Valley (25th March)

9.30am             Litton Cheney: The Litany

10.00am           Littlebredy: The Litany

10.30am           Puncknowle: Family Service

11.00am           Shipton Gorge: The Litany

12 noon            Burton Bradstock: 3 hour Service of Devotion (ends at 3.00pm)

The 10.30am Puncknowle Family Service will be a new Service to the Valley, and suitable for all ages. 


Easter Day Services in the Valley (27th March)

6.00am             Ashley Chase: Holy Communion at the Chapel in the  Woods. 

8.00am             Burton Bradstock: Holy Communion

8.00am             Chilcombe: Holy Communion

9.30am             Litton Cheney: Parish Communion

9.30am             Puncknowle: Parish Communion

11.00am           Burton Bradstock: Easter Matins

11.00am           Littlebredy: Holy Communion

11.00am           Long Bredy: Holy Communion

11.00am           Swyre: Parish Communion

6.30pm            Burton Bradstock: Parish Communion

6.30pm            Shipton Gorge: Holy Communion


Holy Communion is the 'Traditional Service' which is without hymns at the 8.00am venues.  Parish Communion is Common Worship Holy Communion. 

The clocks go forward on Easter Day!!


Mothering Sunday Services  (6th March)

Litton Cheney (9.30am) and Burton Bradstock (11.00am) will have special Services suitable for all ages and without Holy Communion.  Swyre will have a special Songs of Praise at 3.30pm.  The Parish Communion at Puncknowle will include a distribution of posies. 

Anthony Ashwell

Tiny Tots/Pram Service

The next service will be in St. Mary's Burton Bradstock at 11.00am on Friday 11th March. All welcome.


Lent Series.

The first of two sessions is on a Wednesday evening from 7.00pm to 8.30 pm with refreshments to follow. These will be held in Burton Bradstock Church and the second, held in various locations, will be an afternoon session from 2.00pm to 3.30pm. The two sessions in each place each week will be duplicated, so that if anyone cannot get to one, they will be able to attend the other. Please refer to the Calendar for details of Thursday sessions.

2nd / 3rd March. Relations with our family. Genealogy / biblical family life / the family of the Church.

9th / 10th March. Our relationship with ourselves. Our story  / our estimation of ourselves

16th / 17th March. Our relationship with God, and his with us. God's relationship within himself in the Trinity. Rubliev's icon. 


The Bride Valley (Thursday) Fellowship Group

The group meets on Thursday evenings.  Arriving from 7.30pm we begin at 8.00pm aiming to finish by about 9.30pm.  Our studies during March will lead us toward the great Easter festival.  All are most welcome. For further details contact Paul


Mar 3               St Mark 14.32-42                    6 Baglake, Litton Cheney


Mar 10            Mark 15.21-41                        West Lodge, Littlebredy

                        (The Crucifixion)

Mar 17            "The Passion of the Christ"        7 Norburton, Burton Bradstock

                        (Study of the current film)

Mar 24            "The Passion of the Christ"        6 Baglake, Litton Cheney            

              (Film "The Passion of the Christ")          




Mothers' Union

Tuesday 15th March   9.30am - 2.30pm

Spring Council at Corfe Mullen


Please note change of date for our next meeting - (our normal 4th Thursday would be Maundy Thursday).

Thursday 17th 10.30am at

Clayhanger Berwick (on the Burton to Litton Road)

We are having the "Prayers for Ireland Service" followed by our business meeting.


Monday 4th April - Archdeanery Festival at Sherborne Abbey

Coach available but numbers need to be in.




¯¯¯¯Music for Lent and Passiontide¯¯¯¯

We have been asked to publicise the following events:

Mozart's 'Requiem' & 'Clarinet Concerto'

Saturday 19th March at 7.30pm in St George's Church, Langton Matravers.  The College Choral Society & The Orchestra of Collegium Vocale.  Natalie Burton: Clarinet.  Tickets £8  For details and reservations telephone 01202 465468. 


J.S. Bach 'St John Passion'

Good Friday 25th March at 7.30pm in Shapwick Parish Church (Near Wimborne).  The Choir and Orchestra of Collegium Vocale.  Evangelist: Andrew Carwood, Director: Ian Davis.  Tickets £9.  For details and reservations telephone 01202 632980. 


J.S. Bach 'St John Passion'

Saturday 19th March at 7.30pm in St Mary's Church, Dorchester.  The Choir and Orchestra of Hendon St Mary, London.  Tickets £7 (£4 children) available at the door. 



Burton Bradstock CE VC School

Last month I mentioned an evening we were holding for parents about reading.  This proved to be a very enjoyable and stimulating time.  We were joined by Mrs Claire Shields a consultant literacy teacher who gave a presentation that covered the ways in which reading is taught in school and how we can help children at home too.  Next, Miss Sanderson introduced the 'bookmark' system we are currently trialling.  This is a bookmark that accompanies a home reading book and gives prompts as to the kind of questions to ask and discuss with a child.  Following this was an opportunity for questions and informal discussion.  Our thanks go to the PTA for providing refreshments on the evening and also for their continuing fund-raising efforts which have enabled us to purchase many new guided reading books.  The children are already enjoying these and a large number were on display during the evening.


I was recently reminded of some work Class 4 did back in the Autumn about the role and importance of story telling throughout the ages.  An important way of communicating, particularly in cultures where only the privileged could read or write, was by passing on stories orally.  In class we tried this out as a 'Chinese Whispers' exercise.  It was remarkable how the story changed from beginning to end. Admittedly this was a false situation in that the message had to be whispered and I suspect that a few children had an expectancy that it might change.  Nevertheless it was interesting to see what happened when the listener misheard - they either passed on a 'best guess / close fit' or simply made it up.  Whilst this caused a certain amount of amusement it also highlighted the dangers too.  We certainly had a productive discussion about how easily information can change and rumours spread.  Why do I share this now?  Well, more frequently than you might suppose, stories get back to me about events or incidents that are supposed to have happened at school of which I and indeed we as a staff have absolutely no idea.  An ex-Headteacher of mine used to tell parents, "If you don't believe half of what you hear about us in school we promise not to believe half of what we hear about you at home!"  There is much to be said for such advice.  If in doubt check it out.

Mark Stratta.


100 Club

January Winners:                                                                                                              

            £20      - Mrs Pettit       £10      - D. Percy          £5      - S. Barclay


Thorner's CE VA Primary School

In the last few months a number of families have moved into the area, we welcome you all and we hope that you enjoy your time here at Thorner's as well as in the valley.  Moving schools can be quite a daunting experience for many children, all the families who joined us last term have settled well and have blended in well, you would not really know that they had not been with us since Reception.  We hope that our current influx of children will make the transition with ease too.   One of the advantages of being a small school is that we are all aware of the needs of each and every pupil.  We, pupils and staff, all work together to make the integration as smooth as possible and welcome the opportunity to put all those citizenship lessons into operation in a very practical way.  Anyone can study the theory, but to actually put it into place shows that there is an appreciation of others and how they feel.


The government is talking a lot about extended schools and we are beginning to look at how we can make best use of the facilities in school.  The Governing Body are investigating ways to improve provision for the village.  A number of local groups do use the hall or grounds for an occasional meeting so if you are looking for a 'different' venue why not get in touch. When you think about it, we use the buildings for a maximum of 7 hours a day, 5 days a week during term time only, so it would make sense to try and extend the usage.  If you have any suggestions do please let us know.


Our conservation area is beginning to come alive now that the warmer weather is with us and you can definitely see a change.  Yesterday (remember I am writing this at the beginning of February) one of the parents supplied a large quantity of frogspawn for our wildlife pond so by the time you read this we may even have some frogs, well at least tadpoles.  This will be an ideal opportunity for our pupils to closely observe the development of frogs from frogspawn to frogs.  I only hope we do not get a cold spell or predators.  I shall keep you informed of progress next month.

Alison Johnstone


Thorner's School 100 Club winners:  February

£15      Mrs Emma Waite                     £10      Mrs Valerie Shepherd


Bride Valley  Fledglings News

In January our Early Years Joint Review took place by Dorset County Council staff and we now await their feedback - they keep an eye on us as well as Ofsted.  This term we have welcomed two more new children - Daniel Laver from Puncknowle, and Domino Shackleton from Little Bredy who are settling in well. Number on the register is up to 12 and Tuesday is our busiest day -  still room for more!


Our "Music Machines" week in February was particularly interesting with opportunities for children to try out lots of different instruments, especially some brought in by Sally, our Chair and Clara's mum, which included trumpet, flute, violin and mandolin, as well as a large keyboard which I took in to playgroup. Sue brought in her Karaoke machine and we recorded the children talking and singing songs. Great fun!  Our  theme this month is "Opposites" - with different sorts of learning activities eg Hot/Cold, Long/Short, Happy/Sad.


Our Quiz "Where in the World" is still on sale in the usual places - how is your geography? Test it out for £1 - all proceeds to playgroup.

Carol Bennet 01308 897771 or Playgroup mobile  07967 400385

Litton Cheney Youth Club meets on Tuesday evenings, for those between 8 and 17 years in Litton Cheney and the surrounding villages.  For information contact Paul Kingston 482384


First Steps Parent and Toddler Group

Date for your Diary: Coffee Morning- Saturday 30th April, 10.00 - 12.00


We are open to anyone who lives in the Bride Valley and meet at Long Bredy Village Hall every Wednesday during the school term. The Health Visitor joins us on the first session of the month (2nd March) for baby-weighing, advice etc.  Each session will start at 10:00 and finish at 12:00. We have toys and activities for all pre-school age children (0-4years). For parents and carers we offer coffee and friendly chat and the chance to meet other parents/carers in the area. For further details, please contact:  Jo 482346, or Julie 897178, or Rachel 482246.



Wind in the Willows

Monday 7th to Saturday 12th March

The Village Hall, Burton Bradstock


Have you booked your seats yet?

Tickets available from the Post Office now


Ladybirds will be hearing about 'Ancient Sites of the Valley' from Paul Kingston at 8:00pm Wednesday 9th March.  The meeting will be held at Long Bredy Village Hall and members will be welcome to bring along guests to enjoy this talk.


Bride Valley Gardening Club

It's almost March and who can believe it?         Usually winters here in the Valley seem to go on forever, with endless days of torrential rain and misty skies - thankfully this one has so far been so kind, with beautiful sunny days and therefore sunsets.

So with the onset of spring means the end of our indoor meetings with the lectures/slide shows, quizzes/ parties, the last of these meetings takes place on the 14th March at our usual venue of Thorner's School, Litton Cheney at 7.30p.m. when the Speaker will be Mary Benger on a subject that should appeal to eve "Gardening made Easier".


In April, date to be announced, we will have the AGM when we will review the past year and will be looking to appointments on the Committee. We are still looking for an Outings Secretary to organise 1 or 2 outings a year. Someone with access to a computer would be useful - don't forget they are readily available at all our Libraries - including Burton Bradstock. Also we will be looking for someone else to do the Compost/Fertiliser order - our current President Brian Prentice has done this for so many years - he is now looking for a break!


We look forward to seeing you in March

Norma Millard  (Secretary.  West Bexington  [ 01308] 897774)


ÛBredy Farm Met Rainfall StationÛ

Some people have noticed that I have not been publishing the rainfall figures for the last three vears. This is because I have retired from official daily recording but still do monthly recording using the same Met. equipment. The last few years' annual records are:­-

2002    1056.7 mm (41.6 inches)

2003       708.8 mm (27.9 inches

2004      780.5 mm (30.7 inches) v a 10 year rolling average 883.5 mm (32.9 ins). Daily rainfall is recorded by the automatic telemetry system.

Heavy rains in February, August and October contributed to the groundwater levels but are still not up to long term averages according to the Environmental Agency's South Wessex area report, which they allow me to pass on. Their Overview is as follows:- A dry January, combined with below average rainfall in November and December, has produced an exceptional 3-month period of rainfall deficiency. The window of opportunity for any significant seasonal groundwater recharge is rapidly closing. The "traditionally" wettest months of the year have only delivered half the expected average rainfall, and ground water levels and river flows are very depressed. It is now difficult to contemplate how the weather systems could conspire to deliver sufficient rainfall in the last month of winter to redress this rainfall deficit. The possibility of full aquifers recharge appears remote, and with little prospect of significant rainfall in the immediate forecast, the water environment in South Wessex is now likely to be under stress later in the year.                                                                                                          Justin Mallinson. Bredy.


The Royal British Legion

 This month's Social Evening will be held at the New Inn, Shipton Gorge on Monday 21st March at 7.30pm.                               J.Reeves (Hon.Sec.)


Organist needed for Holy Trinity Church, Swyre.

After many years of faithful and much appreciated service, Eric has decided that he can no longer commit himself to playing the organ for us regularly at Swyre. We would like to thank him for all the playing he has so willingly and cheerfully performed for us, and say how much we will miss both him and his playing. We are now looking for one or two people to replace Eric, for services on the first Sunday of the month at 3.30pm in the winter and 6.30pm in the summer, and the third Sunday at 11.00am. Please consider if this may be something you could do by way of service to the Church, on a regular or occasional basis. It would be sad always to have services without music, and to have an organ left unplayed. You would receive a warm and heartfelt welcome at Swyre Church.


If you could help please contact one of the Church Wardens to discuss.

 Vera Hirst 897335 and Yvonne Buckland 898492.

Puncknowle, Swyre and West Bexington.



Lent Lunch

The Old Rectory Litton Cheney

Tuesday 15th March 12.30pm - 2.00pm

In aid of Send-a-Cow (or goat or chicken)



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                            20th March       C.M.S.

For the work of  Steve & Cathy Burgess


The next Service of Prayer for Healing at St Mary's will be held on Monday   14th March at 7.00pm.


Tiny Tots / Pram Service will be held at 11.00am on Friday 11th March at St. Mary's Church, Burton Bradstock.


Burton Bradstock in Holy Week.

Easter is so early this year that I struggle to think of Palm Sunday being on the 20th March, but so it is. The following is the list of services for Holy Week at St Mary's,  Burton Bradstock:

            Monday 21st                Compline and prayers               7.00 pm

            Tuesday 22nd               Compline and prayers               7.00 pm

            Wednesday 23rd          Compline and prayers               7.00 pm

Thursday 24th                      7.30 pm

We will have an agape meal in the village hall. This will be lamb of some recipe, and other reminders of the Passover which Jesus celebrated at the last supper. Within this service we will remember the breaking of the bread and the passing of the cup of wine. After the last supper Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane where he chided his disciples for not being able to watch with him for an hour. We will go over to Church after our supper, and try to stay awake for a bit. 

            Friday  25th                 12.00 noon - 3.00 pm three hours' devotion                

            Saturday 26th               7.30 pm Vigil for Holy Saturday

            Sunday 27th                 Easter Day. There will be a six o'clock communion at the chapel in the woods.

8.00 am    Holy Communion at St Mary's.

11.00am   Morning Prayer.        

 6.30 pm  Evening Service.

Don't forget to adjust your clocks!


Of Treacle and Mining.

"A complex polysaccharide in a colloidal solution" was the result of investigations into a seepage discovered in the old tunnel in the Rectory garden. I wrote last month that it remained to be seen if anything might be done with this unusual substance.


It turns out that it can. This sugary ooze can be manufactured into sugar solutions, and other by-products, by means of a distillation system similar to that by which crude oil is processed. If you recall from school lessons, oil in a refinery is put into a fractionation tower, and from the several levels of the tower are taken: the heavy tars that make tarmac, heavier and lighter oils, diesel and petrol, and at the most refined end, aviation fuels and the like. Similarly polysaccharides can be distilled into several weights and colours of sugars.


The common name for those places where these natural sugars are found and processed is "treacle mine" which like so many shorthand names is catchy, but not strictly accurate. It is not treacle that is literally coming out of the ground, but the substance from which sugar products, including treacle, can be fractionated and produced.


There are a number of treacle mines established and in production in the country and abroad. A wish not to incur the displeasure of the editor by using too much of her valuable space prevents me from making a list of them here, but we are making contact with one or two of the more local ones to ask for advice. For now, suffice to say that this remarkable discovery has been made in the Rectory garden. It remains to be seen whether or not there is enough of it for it to have any commercial potential. 



"The Wind in the Willows"

Burton Bradstock Village Hall

Monday 7th March - Saturday 12th March

Tickets available now at Burton Bradstock Post Office.


The Future of Burton Bradstock

Many thanks to all of those who participated in the parish plan consultation and open day, and for the many welcome comments supporting the activities and involvement.  The open day event on Saturday 28th January was well attended with over 200 visitors who examined facts about the village, both past and present, and participated in discussions with representatives from agencies and organisations that were on hand to inform our planning process.


The preliminary findings from the questionnaire have been produced and responses have been grouped into subject areas.  The top 10 are listed below.  It must be noted that the subject areas have simply been counted at this stage and the results do not separate negative or positive comments.


Top 10 subject areas:

Traffic calming


TV & radio reception/coverage


Parking  (1)




Affordable housing


Parking  (2)


Waste & litter


Young people's activities


Dog fouling


Conservation/keep village as it is





An abundance of ideas and visions for our village's ideal future emanated from the '3 wishes' section of the questionnaire and the Parish Plan steering group is looking at further consultation and the way forward.  We have a number of people who have expressed interest in becoming more involved in the planning process, however, we will always welcome more so if you have any particular expertise or areas of interest please contact Elise Ripley on 897010.  More detailed information containing all contributions will be available on the village website at and a hard copy of the document containing all responses will be available in Burton Bradstock library.

Burton Bradstock Village Hall

Inaugural Event - 29 January 2005

Many thanks to all those people who made this event so successful, those who helped to organise it and those who gave so generously during the evening through the raffle, auction and the bar. Special thanks must go to those businesses and people in the village who donated items for the auction and raffle, both of which raised a lot of money  and a great start to fund raising efforts.  The event marked the passing of management control of the Village Hall from the WI to the new Burton Bradstock Village Hall Committee. The theme of "The Past, Present and Future of the Village Hall" was relayed to the audience first by Len Green, who read a fascinating summary of the history of the Hall researched and prepared by his wife Wendy.  This piece will shortly appear on the village website.  Archie Mackie, the Chairman of the new Committee, then explained the process of the changeover which had taken exactly one year culminating in the new Trust's application to become a Charity.  A plaque commemorating the two village ladies, Alice Fielding and Dorothy Codrington, who had guaranteed the original funds for building the Hall was unveiled.  Archie stressed that the new Committee would work hard to continue the excellent work of the WI in the running of the Hall for the benefit of the village, but this could only happen with the practical help and support of all the people in the village.


The evening was a great start to the new era and there is much to look forward to.  If you are interested in joining the Committee or are able to give help organising fund-raising events or in any practical way, please enter your name and details on the "Village Hall Volunteers and Ideas" sheet in the Post Office or telephone Archie Mackie on 01308 898668.

Archie Mackie - Chairman, Burton Bradstock Village Hall Committee.



Village Hall 100 Club - Up and Running but Still Time to Join.

The Village Hall 100 Club was launched at the Inaugural Evening and already has 68 paid up members.  The cost is £10 for the year and ten monthly draws will be made, normally on the first of each month March to December inclusive.  However, to give readers of this month's BVN time to join the Club, the first draw will be made on 15 March.  Prizes will be £20, £10 and £5, doubling to £40, £20 and £10 for the December draw.  Anyone over the age of 16 can join so tell your friends and neighbours; please note that this scheme replaces the WI 100 Club which will be closing.  Application forms are in Burton Bradstock Post Office and cheques should be made payable to "Burton Bradstock Village Hall Committee".  If you have any queries please phone me on the number below.  Special thanks go to an anonymous donor who, while not agreeing in principle with "draws", gave £10 not to join the 100 Club but to show support for the Village Hall.  In the same spirit, I hope you will join the 100 Club now and stand to win by taking part in the first draw on 15 March 2005.

John Grantham

 Promoter, Burton Bradstock Village Hall Committee Tel: 01308 897935



Artsreach Event - The Kotel Ensemble - Saturday 19th March at 7.30 pm.

Following the success of "The Old Rope String Band" we have chosen a different but nevertheless just as 'amazing' a style of musical entertainment in 'The Kotel Ensemble' for our second Artsreach promotion.  This Bulgarian Folk Group, in full Bulgarian costume and playing a host of traditional instruments, is made up of remarkable musicians and singers. Their performance will be a memorable experience.  Their music is rich, with complex rhythms and haunting melodies drawn from their cultural history - a beautiful, living tradition.  We guarantee that you will be moved and enthralled whatever your age or musical taste.  Unmissable!


Tickets are £6 and are available at the Post Office or from 'The Retreat', High Street, Burton Bradstock (01308 897214).  Don't delay - book today!!  A Cash Bar will be available.  Remember the last Artrsreach show was a sell out very early on and many people were turned away on the night.

Norman Saunders-White  

Artsreach Coordinator, Burton Bradstock Village Hall Committee.


Village Events Diary

Following comments received about the increasing number of social and other events taking place in Burton Bradstock, it has been decided to resurrect a 'Village Events Diary' to try to avoid clashes and offer residents and visitors alike a simple single point of reference for finding out where and when village events are taking place.  The diary for 2005 is in the Post Office, Burton Bradstock and we invite anyone planning any event in the village to enter details of the event and a contact name and telephone number.

Although the Burton Bradstock Village Hall Committee is managing the Events Diary, the diary is not just for noting events taking place in the Village Hall; it applies to anything that is happening in the village.  Along with the diary, there is an 'Ideas Sheet' where anyone can enter suggestions for events they would like to see take place in the village.  Thank you for your cooperation

Susan Moores - Secretary, Burton Bradstock Village Hall Committee.


Burton Bradstock Bridge Group

In the Village Hall on Tuesdays 15th & 22nd March at 2.00pm. New members welcome - for further information please ring Chris Clarke Tel: 898117


Burton Bradstock WI  February

Members were treated to a very interesting talk about Abbotsbury tropical gardens by Mr. S Griffith, with some colourful slides of tender beauties we all wished we could grow.


Forty six members attended a splendid New Year Party on January 22nd and on February 7th Betty Drewery and Marge Banks were the winners at a whist drive held at the home of Joan Allan.


Also in February, the walkers are to circulate Puncknowle on the 15th, the reading group are to enjoy Betty Boothroyd's autobiography on the 22nd; there is a skittles evening at Freshwater on the 26th.

Mr. P Gamble will talk on plant propagation at the next meeting, open to husbands and partners, on March 15th at 7.30pm.

Heather Seadon


Burton Bradstock Village Society

There was an air of intrigue and mystery in the village hall on 14th Jan when Bill Putnam gave a talk to the society entitled "The Treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau".


The story concerns a priest who took over a very dilapidated old church in a remote Pyrenees village and curiously set about pouring money into a total renovation of the church, building a grand villa in the village with a large estate and gardens. Where the money came from was a total mystery- where did he suddenly acquire this enormous amount of money?


It was rumoured that the priest had discovered a great treasure somewhere in the old church or village- there was evidence of a secret code concealed in old documents found, but the true source of his sudden wealth went to the grave with him. The subsequent priest and many visitors since have been feverishly searching for this lost treasure and there are other stories and legends about secret codes, religious connections and societies.


And what is the truth about all this lost treasure and secret codes? Well, you should have come to the meeting to find out!

Peter Dutton

I'm intrigued - please tell us the secret next month, Peter! Ed.


A Big Thank-You

A big thank-you to all those who supported my Coffee Morning, in aid of the Alzheimer's Society and held on February 10th, which raised the magnificent sum of £250. To all my helpers, to those who donated items, to those who donated cash and especially to those who came on the day again a big, big thank-you.                                                                                                                                                                          Noreen Short


Burton Bradstock Allotments

Anyone wishing to have one of these allotments, please contact the Parish Clerk, Fel Moore, on 01308 459001.




Burton Bradstock Village Website Address


Loads of information on the village including maps, videos, current events, useful contacts and history.


And, did you know that the Bride Valley News is published on this web site every month?

It  includes every back issue of the magazine, as far  back as January 2000.

 All this, and it's in colour too!




SHIPTON GORGE                                                          


Village Correspondent: Mrs. Joy White

Eastcote  3 Gullivers Orchard  Shipton Gorge

Tel: ( 01308 )897974



Mothering Sunday Family Service - Sunday, March 6th, at 4.00p.m.

Everyone is invited to our service of thanksgiving in St. Martin's church, when children will give thanks for their mothers, and present them with posies of spring flowers. Tea, simnel cake and treats will be served afterwards in church.


Asia Earthquake and Flood Appeal Tea Party

A sumptuous tea party was held in the Village Hall on January 20th, to raise funds for the tsunami disaster. We were treated not only to tea and cakes, but also to a delightful afternoon of music provided by the Bride Valley Ladies Choir, who sang a wide range of songs, and by violin solos from their conductor Janet Lane, accompanied by Sue Smith. What a treat to have such a wealth of talent on display, and many thanks to them all.

Many thanks also to all who contributed in any way to this very successful and enjoyable afternoon. Altogether, the event raised £800, so thank you all again for your generosity. With a few outstanding gifts and donations we will have raised the "grand" total of £1000. Well done everybody!



Shipton Gorge Village Society are having a Bingo Evening at the Village Hall on Wednesday 23rd March. Eyes down at 7-30pm. All welcome.



London Marathon 2005

On April 17th I am running the London Marathon. I first ran in 2003 and finished in 3 hours 29 mins. After training while at university I am hoping to improve my time to 3 hours 15 mins. Once again I have chosen Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) as my charity to support and wish to raise around £1250 for them. Any sponsorship will be gratefully received. If you wish to sponsor me you can on www.justgiving.comlmhewlett or through my parents on 01308 897278. Thank you.                                                                             Martin Hewlett



Shipton Gorge Village Hall 100 Club

February Draw Winners



No. 98

Colin Green


No. 90

Ann Jones




Shipton Gorge Village Website





Village Correspondent: Sid Marshall

3 Green Barton, Swyre Tel: 897318


Church Annual Meeting

Advance notice that this will be on Sunday 3rd April within Evensong at 6.30pm

Anthony Ashwell

Mothering Sunday, 6th March, at 3.30pm.

There will be a special service in Swyre Church to recognise mothers and all women within our church, as well as our Mother Church. Buttonhole-posies will be distributed, hopefully by the children, during the service, which will be followed by tea and Simnel cake. Do come and share this lovely time with us.


On Saturday 5th we would like any children, and the young at heart, to meet to pick wild flowers in the churchyard, help make posies-buttonholes, and prepare them to be distributed during Sunday's service. Meet at 10am at the church. If you have any small spring flowers to spare in your gardens please bring them along with you on Saturday to help with the posies.


Swyre Churchyard Working Party. Saturday 12th March, 10am to 12noon.

We really need your help in maintaining our Churchyard and the outside of the church. Gutters need to be kept clear, paths swept and kept weed-free, hedges trimmed, gates painted, rubbish cleared, and most of all graves kept tidy and clear of weeds and saplings. If you feel you could help with any of these tasks, please come along for as long as you can spare. A group of us can make a difference, and might even have some fun together!  You will need to bring gardening gloves, rubbish sacks and gardening tools for the job if possible. If you cannot manage these tasks, encouragement by way of a cuppa etc. would be welcome! Hope to see you there.                                                         Swyre Churchwardens


Who's the Swyre Poet?

Reading a poem in the magazine for Feb

The words seem to flow but never ebb.

Full of humour and of wit,

A dull day was suddenly lit.


Are the words written by a great poet?

Who? But I just don't know it.

Scanning the words, I look for clues.

Which of our residents do I choose?


Could it be a person with artistic skills?

Or someone who walks our village hills.

Maybe it's a passing guest,

I'm still no further in my quest.


Pubs mentioned are the Anchor and Bull

O stupid me, O what a fool.

It's now quite obvious for me to see,

This hidden person's identity.


Standing at the bar, he's under no strain

With his badge of office on a chain.

Entertaining the visitors and locals alike

                        It can only be, our own dear Mike.              Anon




Temporary address:-







Puncknowle and Swyre Parish Council Meeting

There will be a meeting of the Parish Council on Tuesday 1st March in the Puncknowle Church Hall at 7.30pm.



New Parish Clerk

The Council is delighted to advise you that it has appointed Mrs Carolyn Buckland to be the Parish Clerk from the 1st March 2005. Mrs Buckland can be contacted on 897726 from that date.

Madeline Marshall Chairwoman

 Puncknowle and Swyre Parish Council



Important Date For Your Diary!!   Saturday 16th April, 7.30pm.

Barn Dance at Puncknowle Hall.  See next month BVN for details.



Puncknowle  & Swyre Fete

30th July 2005 Puncknowle Manor grounds.

The Fete working party would love to hear from you. We need a lot of helpers to keep up the traditions, especially stallholders. If you feel able to help, have any ideas or suggestions you wish to pass on please will you contact any of the following working party members.

Beryl Truscott        897058       Chris Gregory        898596                  

David Buckland     898492                                                  

We will also need lots of things to fill the stalls so this is an advance warning of the sort of things we will be looking for:-

Cakes for the cake stall and teas and coffees.

Goods for bric a brac and white elephant.

Bottles for bottle stall and whiskey draw.

Plants for the plant stall.

Clothes for the clothing stall (Quality clothing will be continuing as a separate venture)

Books for the book stall.

If transport is needed this can be arranged. Please phone David at the number above. If anyone has storage space available we would love to hear from you.                                                                                     David Buckland






PUNCKNOWLE & WEST BEXINGTON                          


Village Correspondent:  Elizabeth Slater

1, Lytton Close, Puncknowle, Dorchester DT2 9BH

Telephone: ( 01308 ) 897751


Bride Valley Fledglings Playgroup

See Page 8 (Valley Notes Section ) for report. 


Social Evening

To be held on Thursday 17 March at 7.30 in the Church Hall.  Graham Roberts, who is the Project Officer for Hampshire Wild Life Trust, will reveal "The Truth About Otters And Mink".  Don't miss this special opportunity.  There will tea, coffee and biscuits and a collection to cover expenses.                                                                                    Ann Roberts


Church Decoration for Easter

This will take place on Saturday 26 March. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Especially welcome will be small tied bunches of primroses, plus spring flowers and greenery.  The primroses can be left in the Church the day before in the bowls of water provided.

Ann Roberts


Important Date for Your Diary    Saturday 16 April

Barn Dance in Puncknowle Hall - See next month BVN for details.


Puncknowle Art Group

It is always interesting to listen to someone who is talented and dedicated talking about their work. We are grateful to Mr. Charles Fuge who is an illustrator, for explaining to us the processes involved when working on pictures for a children's book. The technical details were quite new to us and the beautiful pictures can only serve to inspire children worldwide with their lovely artistry.

Dates for March are - 4th Brian Cocks at Acoustic Range        

                                18th Using the right side of the brain 

Christine Molony


Don't forget to check the village website

to keep in touch with village events and find useful information



LITTON CHENEY                                                      

Village Correspondent:

Elizabeth Kingston  5 Manor Farm Close, Litton Cheney




Fete 2005

This year the Fete will be held at Court House on Monday 30th May.

There will be a planning meeting on Tuesday 22nd March in the Church Hall at 7.30 pm for anyone who would like to run a stall, help with games, raffle, teas, etc.  According to the Vital Village Survey, 78% of people in the Village go to the Fete, so please come along to the meeting and add your ideas to make this year's event even better!


The Churchyard

How does your garden grass grow?  If it's anything like the churchyard no doubt you find yourself cutting longer grass more frequently for more months in the year than in the past.  The voluntary task of cutting the churchyard has reached a bit of a crossroads; we have lost the invaluable help of John Perrin and his tractor following his retirement (huge thanks to him for all his work and his continuing help and advice) and our pedestrian mower is getting old and seems ever heavier just like the volunteers.  The yard could be turned over to sheep - this has been tried and is impractical or it can be left wild and unkempt - it was and there were complaints.  The general consensus is that thanks to recent efforts the yard is attractive and should if possible be maintained like that.  So the volunteers intend to spend less time cutting and more time sitting - how so?


Having dismissed the alternative of outside contractors as being prohibitively costly (assuming one could be found to do the whole yard, which is proving impossible) it is hoped that the PCC will purchase a ride on mower and a smaller, lighter pedestrian mower to reach the parts the ride on cannot reach.  A suitable combination has been identified.  The only obstacle is cost; the nature of the yard requires highly manoeuvrable and powerful machines which do not come cheap.  With the addition of a secure storage facility the total cost will be in excess of £5000.


Will you please help to defray this cost?  Twenty generous donations of £250 would do the trick.  For some this may be a small price to pay to keep the churchyard spic and span for the foreseeable future - they may wish to give two or more such amounts but for most it's asking too much - whatever you decide will be very welcome.


Please help, today, now; take out your cheque book, do the business, generously, making it payable to "PCC St Mary's Litton Cheney" and send or take it to Freddie Spicer, 1 Litton Hill, Litton Cheney DT2 9AN.  Greater benefit can be obtained via Gift Aid, if you can do this please indicate and a form will be provided.                   Freddie Spicer 482717



Litton Cheney Youth Club

The dates for March have yet to be confirmed but the club meets in The Church Hall from 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm fortnightly.  The Youth Club recently received £50 from the Bridport Police Ball and will receive a donation from Litton Cheney Parish Council for which they are very grateful.  For further details about the Youth Club please phone Paul Kingston 482384


Lithe Litton Ladies

This popular exercise class continues in the Church Hall on Mondays from 6 -7.15 pm.  All are welcome whatever your level of fitness - just £3.50 per session.  For more details ring Alison Davidson 482661.



Village Assembly

The Village Assembly will be held on Tuesday 8th March at Thorner's School, at 7.00 pm.  A display in the Hall will show the progress that has been made towards a Parish Plan as a result of the Vital Village Survey.  There will be a presentation by Mr Martin Gregory from Dorset County Council's Environmental Services, on waste reduction, recycling and composting.  Following this there will be an opportunity to raise any topics for discussion.  After the Village Assembly there will be a short Parish Council meeting which everyone is welcome to attend.

Litton Cheney Social Committee

About 45 people enjoyed a very pleasant time at the Wine and Wisdom Quiz evening.  It was a very close contest with much heckling and a few objections - all taken in good humour - and the School benefited by being nominated by the winners as their choice of a local good cause to receive the prize.


Saturday 12th March, Village Memories and Reflections Exhibition

(See February BVN)

10.30 - 12.00 bring your old photos, memorabilia etc to Thorner's School.

2.00 -5.00 Exhibition at the School - come and view the exhibits and have a cup of tea and biscuits.

7.30pm £1.00 admission fee for a Talk and slide show "Memories of life in Litton Cheney" compered by David Taylor, with contributions from committee members and especially the audience.  Enjoy some food - wine will be available for a donation.  Please come and enjoy an interesting and enlightening day about our village.

All BVN readers welcome.


Saturday 19th March, Village Walk - meet at the Bus Shelter 10am to arrange the sharing of cars to Burton Bradstock.  We will be walking a circular route to Shipton Gorge where we will have lunch.

Sunday 27th March - Duck Race and Easter Egg Hunt - 12 noon Main Street near Fry's Yard.  Ducks £1 each - prizes for the winners.  Easter Egg Hunt for children with prizes.  Why not stay and enjoy lunch at the White Horse.

Advance Notice - Saturday 16th April, Litter Pick 10.00 am from the Bus Shelter

For information on any events please contact a Committee Member or call me on 482552.                                            Kathy Kourik Secretary LCSC

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 )


Church Annual Meeting

This will be on Tuesday 15th March at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.  All those on the Church Electoral Roll should attend this meeting if they possibly can.                                                                                      Anthony Ashwell


Rachel Dewhurst, the ten-year old daughter of Peter and Rosemary, has had a busy time; in January she decided to hold a coffee morning at the Village Hall to raise funds for the victims of the Tsunami disaster.  With the help of friends who gave their valuable time, an amount of £271.89 was achieved. This was a wonderful effort particularly as Rachel was due to go into hospital shortly afterwards.  It seems that Southampton Hospital must have decided she was a troublemaker; they sent her back home as soon as they had done their work and encased her in plaster, in an effort to slow her down!  However, the village is delighted to see her back so soon and all our good wishes go to her for a speedy recovery.


The Batchelor family also decided to raise money for the Tsunami victims: on what was a very rainy afternoon on Saturday 5th February, they organised a tabletop sale that produced over £400.  Their thanks go to all those who contributed, especially the stall-holders for giving their time and making it such a successful effort.


Congratulations to Albert and Rosemarie Pitcher on the arrival of Lucy May, their first granddaughter, daughter of Robin and Penny and sister of Charlie, who was born 18th January.


Phyllis Collyer will be celebrating her 90th birthday in March.  Phyllis will be at the Village Hall on Sunday, 13th March between 3:00 and 5:00pm and would be delighted to see friends and neighbours calling in and enjoying a cup of tea with her.

(As Phyllis has accumulated a houseful of objects during her long life, she has said that she does not wish to receive any presents - there is no room for them!)

Long Bredy & Litton Cheney WI

The March meeting will be held at 7:30pm on Tuesday 1st March at the Church Hall, Litton Cheney.  The talk will be 'A male speaker's view of the WI.  All are welcome.


Belated congratulations and best wishes to Helen March and Wayne Taylor, news of whose wedding has been overlooked so far.  They were married in Winchester just after Christmas, and we wish them many more years of happiness together.


The Village Hall will next be open on Friday 4th March, for a Quiz Night with supper.  Entry is £1.00 per head, and teams of 4 (if possible) from within or without the village are welcome.  Doors open at 7.30, with the first question fired at about 8.00 p.m.  The Committee is hoping for another good turnout, which these evenings thoroughly merit.  Inter-village rivalry has been a bit one-sided so far, though .


At 1.00 p.m. the following Friday, 11th March, there will be a Lent Frugal Lunch at Bridehead, for anyone who would like to come and have some bread and water (plus some soup and a bit of fruit and cheese, let it be said), in return for voluntary contributions for a charity yet to be decided.


The Easter celebrations in Church will occupy their traditional pattern.       Good Friday is on March 25th, and will be marked by the short and simple     Litany service at 10.00 a.m.  The Easter Day Communion on the 27th March will be at 11.00 a.m., and everyone is especially invited to this major celebration in the Christian year.


Between the two services, the Church will be decorated for Easter, and Judy Yates and her team will welcome any volunteers to help.  Details of timings, etc., can be established from Judy on 482307 in the meanwhile.  A reminder to any keen youngsters that the writing in the windows needs over 200 bunches of primroses with about 20 heads to the bunch, so the more pickers the better.  Experienced hands will be tying the bunches together in the Village Hall, probably on Good Friday afternoon.  Please help with the picking if you can!