Walking home through town a couple of evenings ago after attending a mayoral event I was struck by how cheerful our high streets are looking. The big tree in Bucky Doo Square, the illuminated street garlands, the Christmas trees above the shops, and the seasonal window dispalys in many of the shops when taken together make for a pretty stunning display.
Over the past week I have had the privilage of going along to a number of very different but equally important and rewarding events including:
Sunday – helped at Santas Grotto in the WI Hall;
Monday – attended and met residents at the St James Care Home Carol Service;
Wednesday – visited residents in the Bridport Charities Almshouses, attended the Citizens Advice Christmas party, attended the Bridport and District Allotment Society (BADAS) monthly meeting;
Thursday – attended past Bridport Mayor David Tetts memorial service, interviewed by young reporters from the Bank of Dreams and Nightmares about Bridport’s High Streets, attended and gave a speech at the Sir John Colfox Academy Senior Awards evening, attended the Blue Lights Carol Service.
Every one of the events is special in its own way and I definitely feel privileged to be able to go along to them. But there is one thing I would like to pick out and share with you. When I was being interviewed by the young reporters from the Bank of Dreams and Nightmares one of them asked me ‘What new shops woudl you like to see on Bridport’s high street?’
It is a great question and I have been pondering it ever since. Our high street is a living organism that responds to external stimuli both positive and negative and as such it is constantly having to adapt. The nostalgic side of me is saddened when a much loved business closes, but the innovative, adventurous side of me is excited by the new opportunity created. That is why it is such a great question and why I am still, some 48 hours later, turning it over in my head. If you have any thoughts or bright ideas please share them with me via [email protected]
BRIDPORT MUMMERS’ CHRISTMAS PLAY
Bridport’s Mummers return to the town this Saturday (17 December). While not quite as long established as the Symondsbury Mummers, the Bridport troupe have been delighting audiences of all ages since 2017 with their modern take on the mumming tradition. It’s a topsy turvy world in which good battles bad, characters die and are magically restored to life, all the while questioning the social order. With characters based on local pubs, the Mummers are touring three of the town’s finest ale houses with their Christmas play reminding us all about the real reason for the festive season.
What tales will the Woodman tell? Will the George capture the Tiger? Will the Ropemaker and the Cerne Abbas Giant leave anything (un)covered? Will the Bull hit it off with Lord Nelson? Will the Greyhound succeed in pursuit of Hoppy Ness? What gifts will Doctor Christmas bring? Who on earth are the Oddfellows?!
All will be revealed at The Ropemakers (5.00pm), The Pursuit of Hoppiness (6.00pm) and The Woodman (7.00pm). Unfortunately we still have to keep one part of the mumming tradition we’d rather not have to see in the town – begging for food and drink. There will be a (cash) collection in aid of the Bridport Food Bank, Cupboard Love.
More than 7% of adults in England never learnt to read at school or to put it another way 2.4 million adults in England alone cannot read at all or can barely read.
Not being able to read as an adult is, for most people, an excruciatingly embarrassing situation to be in. It generally follows years of painful humiliation at school, when failure to learn to read in the early years will have led to an inability to participate in the rest of the curriculum as they grew older. Some will have sat quietly (but often terrified) at the back of the class, hoping to get by without being noticed. Others will have played up to distract attention, preferring to be seen by their friends as jokers, rather than as just ‘stupid’. For some, this will have led to truanting and/or exclusion, but any child in this situation is likely to leave school as soon as possible and never want to go back.
Learning to read transforms lives.
Could you be the person that helps someone to learn to read?
No special qualifications are needed to become a reading coach, training is provided, and you will be supported throughout your coaching journey. By becoming a reading coach and teaching someone to read you will be giving them the greatest gift you could possibly give them.
To find out more about volunteering opportunities at Read Easy Bridport simply call 07707 259905 or visit the Read Easy website by clicking HERE.
WEST BAY WALLOW 2022
Bridport Round Table will be hosting the 18th Boxing Day Swim, known locally as the West Bay Wallow, to raise money for local charities. The swim comes with a twist as people can dive into the sea in fancy dress, with the best dressed receiving a prize.
Originally it was held on East Beach, but from 2009 it is held within the safety of the marina (outer harbour). The event was originally in aid of ‘CLIC’ Sargent – ‘Caring for Children with Cancer’ charity and started by John & Marlyn McHugh as a tribute to their grandson Brett who died of cancer at the age of ten. The event is now run by Bridport Round Table and participants can support their own individual charity.
The event is free to enter, though donations are welcome. The swim will take place from midday, though entrants will need to sign in from 10.45am at the slipway to the outer harbour.
For more details, visit the Bridport Round Table Facebook page by clicking HERE.
BRIDPORT GOOD NEIGHBOUR SCHEME
The Bridport Good Neighbour Scheme provides help for simple tasks and transport for hospital visiting and appointments, doctors, dentists, opticians, chiropodists, prescription collection, shopping and other essential tasks.
The seven days a week service is available to anyone who has transport difficulties and covers Bridport and the local surrounding area including Bothenhampton, Bradpole, Chideock, Dottery, Eype, Loders, Morcombelake, Salway Ash, Waytown and West Bay.
To book the service simply call 01308 420483
If you can spare a couple of hours a week why not become one of the volunteers providing the service. To find out more pop into Good Books, The Old School, Gundry Lane, Bridport. Open from 9am to 1pm on weekdays or call 01308 42048
POLICE CADET LEADERS
Dorset Police is launching a recruitment drive for Police Cadet Leaders to join the Force and help to make an instrumental difference to young people’s lives in the county.
The Force has four thriving volunteer police cadet units based in Christchurch, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth that provide an exciting opportunity for teenagers aged 13 to 17 to learn about the law, police procedures and specialist police units while developing a range of skills, including communication, interpersonal and teamwork.
In order to provide an environment for these young people to serve their community through volunteering and acting as ambassadors for the Force, a team of volunteers are needed to help run the scheme. They are particularly keen to recruit new Police Cadet Leaders in Poole, Christchurch and the rural areas of Dorset so they can expand their successful scheme.
Leaders do not have to have previous police experience, only an interest in helping young people achieve their best and reach their full potential. The role includes running weekly meetings, supporting outdoor activities and policing events.
For more information click HERE.
To apply to become a Dorset Police Cadet Leader click HERE.
If you would like to have a chat with a member of the team, please email [email protected].
MORRISONS – CHARITABLE GIVING AT THE TILL
Did you know that you can make a donations to one of the Morrisons’ nominated charities at all of the tills whether manned or self service? If unsure how to do it simply ask the person on the till or one of the helpers on the self service tills. To find out more about each of the nominated charities before adding your till donation click on the links below.
Simply by adding as little as £1 to your weekly food shop you are helping to make a big difference.
Just for the Christmas period the pick up bag cage for the Food Bank has moved to the end of the self scan checkouts.
In addition to the pre pack bags please feel free to add any little bits for Christmas hampers that the foodbanks can add to their hampers to help make someone’s Christmas a little more special.
AND FINALLY – THINK TOTALLY LOCALLY THIS CHRISTMAS
Over the past few months I have featured three of our local businesses taking part in the ‘Magic Tenner’ campaign to encourage us all to THINK LOCAL first when doing our shopping and gift buying.
Instead of focussing on any businesses this week I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our local businesses for everything they do to provide us with what is widely regarded as one of the best high street shopping and dining experiences in the country.
To keep it that way it is up to all of us to consider using them first rather than taking to the internet.
USE THEM OR LOSE THEM