The positive response to the flying of the Ukrainian flag and lighting the Town Hall clock in yellow and blue has been overwhelming. When I made the suggestion to my fellow Town Councillors, I was met with 100% agreement that this was the least we could do under the circumstances. To have such support from elected local politicians of every political persuasion reinforced by subsequent positive feedback from the people of the town, reflects the strength of feeling about the unfolding situation in Ukraine here in Bridport.
That said, I am aware of one or two people who have expressed a different view.
This highly visual gesture of support has been complimented by numerous generous acts including:
- The flags you see flying above the Town Hall and at Mountfield were specially made by Bridport Banners who have generously donated them. The Town Council has in return donated what would have been to cost to purchase the flags to the Disasters Emergency Committee – Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Bridport Banners have let it be known that they have a quantity of suitable fabric which they can make into flags for those who need them. To find out more call: 01308 459688
- An articulated lorry filled with donations made by local people will set off on Monday for Ukraine driven to by Gary Copp, owner of West Bay restaurant Catch of the Day and Rory Brown of Cains Farm Transport who are also supplying the vehicle. They face a 25 hour journey to the Poland Ukraine border where they will hand over the consignment to the Red Cross. God speed, gentlemen.
- This coming Sunday Baboo Gelato is giving all the proceeds from sales at all of its outlets including West Bay to the Disaster Emergency Committee.
- Local Rotary Clubs have already raised over £4,000 from street collections.
- Bridport Youth FC has raised £1,074 – £300 to support the delivery of supplies to Ukraine and the remainder has been added to Bridport Rotary Club Fund.
- Laurence Boon rode from Bridport to Bristol and back and raised more than £2,000 for Unicef UK.
These are just some of the humanitarian responses to the carnage currently taking place in Ukraine being made here in Bridport.
In addition the Government has made two announcements in the last fortnight about a proposed new refugee support scheme, and after the first one on 1 March the Town Council made immediate contact with our local MP, Dorset Council (as housing authority), and with the Bridport Refugee Group (which as you may know has recently found a home here for a refugee family under an earlier similar scheme). We do need to know more about how we can bring the scheme to Bridport and it is very frustrating that things are not moving more quickly. The latest statement from Government yesterday says “Further details on the community sponsorship route are being worked up at pace and will be communicated in due course, including how people and organisations in the UK can apply to be sponsors.” We do need this detail, and it is very disappointing and puzzling that more progress has not been made in the 10 days since the original announcement.
Nonetheless the Town Council continues to prepare for the possibility of the scheme opening soon, and the Town Clerk is in contact with Dorset Council to encourage the provision of suitable premises for homes. He has also asked whether they will be engaging at a county level – this could be a more effective way of operating than each town ‘doing its own thing’.
I would certainly encourage you to contact Chris Loder MP [email protected] and ask him to keep up the pressure on ministers for the scheme to be opened sooner rather than later, and with supporting funding to ensure that local communities can deliver homes. If/when the scheme opens, I also expect that any local arrangements will require volunteer support, and you could help with that if you are willing. In the meantime you might want to get involved with the Bridport Refugee Support Campaign – https://bridportrefugee.org.uk/.
To donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee – Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal CLICK
Bridport Celebrates International Women’s Day – Bridport Museum
International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March is a moment to express solidarity with women across the world and to celebrate women’s achievements in support of one another.
In 2022, days into the war in Ukraine, it seems particularly appropriate that we celebrate the life of one Bridport woman who galvanised the town to provide support and hospitality to refugees fleeing from another terrible conflict, the Great War.
This IWD and during Women’s History month we celebrate the practical solidarity of Tryphena Cornick (1871-1925).
“Who was Tryphena Cornick? As her Cornish name shows, Tryphena Sandercock was born in Jacobstow, a village in North Cornwall, in 1871. Her father was a shopkeeper and farmer. She seems to have worked for a living after leaving school and aged 20 was boarding in Launceston, working as a stationer’s assistant. In 1899, Tryphena … “
To find out more about this amazing woman CLICK.
Bridport Carnival and Torch Parade
Great News. It looks like the much loved Bridport Carnival and Torch Parade are able to go ahead this year following the resolution of issues associated with the temporary closure of the A35. The weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of August is hopefully when these much local events will once again be taking place.
According to Parade Manager Gill Crump everything is looking positive and now local people and businesses need to get behind it. They are currently looking for a sponsor for the whole event which would cost £1,000, and as many community groups and businesses to get involved and make this a weekend to remember.
To get involved or find out more CLICK
Advance warning of another event that returns this year after an enforced two year absence due to Covid – The Mayors Quiz which is scheduled to take place on the evening of Friday 22nd April in the Town Hall.
So start gathering your team of six, planning how you will decorate your table and brushing up on your general knowledge. Details of how to book your table etc will be in my next Blog.