BLANDFORD FORUM CIVIC DAY
One of the highlights of being Mayor is being invited to Civic Days across the county. A Civic Day is an opportunity for the host town to show off what it has to offer but more importantly is an opportunity to talk to other mayors and compare notes. Each Civic Day I have had the pleasure of attending has proved to be an eyeopener, I learn about and get to see things that every day visitors are totally unaware of.
I have been to Blandford Forum on several occasions and have always thought of it as a nice little market town; not as nice as Bridport of course! Our visit took us to an industrial estate, the Food Pantry and the Blandford Town Museum.
I had no idea that Blandford Forum was such a hive of industrial activity. On the day we visited two engineering companies Bristol Maid manufacturers of medical furniture and equipment, and Iracroft Ltd manufacturers of a comprehensive range of metal pipe and tube fabricated products.
I never cease to be amazed by what goes on inside those bland looking buildings we see as we drive past industrial estates across the country. The level of precision engineering taking place inside both of the companies we visited was second to none with processes such as high powered laser cutting and automated fabrication sitting alongside hand crafted elements.
During the day we made two other visits, one to the Blandford Pantry and the other to the Blandford Town Museum. The Blandford Pantry located in the Youth and Community Centre is an additional service available for those who need to access food on top of the Food Bank which is open 5 days a week. Just like here in Bridport, the number of people needing to access these services has increased significantly as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
The next time you visit Blandford Forum the Blandford Town Museum is well worth popping into. It is a charming place just off the high street with a wealth of information about the town including models of the fire which devastated the town in 1731 and a working scale model of the former Blandford Station and goods yard which represents years of work by the Museum Railway Club and features authentic OO gauge locomotives and rolling stock.
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY
January 27 1945 was the date on which Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp was liberated.
Today January 27 is the day when we remember the millions of people killed in the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
I joined representatives from towns across Dorset and members of the public at the Corn Exchange in Dorchester to participate in the the 2023 reflection.
A key part of the event was series of presentations from local schools, Kushti Bok – voice for Gypsies and travellers in Dorset and beyond, Dorset County Hospital Choir and Heart and Soul, Dorset Police – Hate Crime and South West Dorset Multicultural Network. For me the most moving presentation was by Bridport’s Monique Pasche who spoke to us about growing up in Nazi occupied Lille and the role her father played in saving and supporting victims and in collaboration with the Resistance assisting allied airmen to return to the UK.
The theme for Holocaust memorial day 2023 was Ordinary People:
- Ordinary people are involved in all aspects of Genocides and persecutions
- Ordinary people facilitate the Genocide
- Ordinary people actively perpetrate Genocide
- Ordinary people are rescuers and Good Samaritans during Genocide
- Ordinary people recruit and support for resistance to Genocide
- Ordinary People die because of their resistance to Genocide
As Ordinary People, we all have a part to play. Let us not close our eyes and ears to what goes on around us, but open our hearts and minds and be part of the movement for Peace and Justice across the globe.
NEW ELIZABETHAN SINGERS’ CONCERT
Bridport’s New Elizabethan Singers are a brilliantly talented group of amateur singers. Founded in 1966, the group has since grown to become the largest choir in West Dorset performing two or three concerts per year.
The most recent performance held in St Swithun’s Church and included pieces by Benjamin Britten, Vaughan Williams and Matthew Coleridge. The concert opened with Benjamin Britten’s entertaining and dramatic cantata ‘Saint Nicolas’ Op. 42. This was followed by a performance of Vaughan Williams’ most famous choral works, his ‘Five Mystical Songs’
The final piece was the first performance of new music by local composer Matthew Coleridge. The joyous and melodic Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis were performed ahead of their inclusion on a CD to be released in February. I particularly enjoyed this piece
Throughout the concert the singing and the performances of the supporting strings and percussion were of the highest order. Look out for future performances and grab a ticket as soon as you can to ensure you are not disappointed. Click HERE for details of the next concert Saturday on 13th May 2023, 7pm – St Mary’s Church, Bridport
HARMONY MEN’S WALKING GROUP
Looking after our physical and mental wellbeing is vital if we are to live fulfilled lives and the Harmony Men’s Walking Group is a wonderful way in which to look after both. The Harmony Men’s Walking Group is not about seeing how fast or far you can go. It is about so much more.
Simply strolling through our beautiful countryside in the company of other men; having a chat along the way; stopping to take in the views and breathing in the fresh air is the perfect way to get to know someone, share your thoughts and lift your spirits.
I certainly felt invigorated by the end of the first walk and will do my best to join in whenever my schedule allows me to.
Walks are planned to take place every Tuesday starting at 2.00pm from the bench seats located on St Mary’s Playing Field. For more information please call Rob on 07597 379290.
BRIDPORT COMMUNITY CONNECTORS PROJECT
Wessex Water has launched the Community Connectors project in Bridport.
The project aims to coordinate activities and help to co-design improvements for the community and local environment, focusing on issues related to water supply and its social impact, waste water, and the environment. Following the recent community workshop and collaboration with local residents and organisations, the two-year project will provide £50k worth of funding for local groups to deliver projects in Bridport that address local priorities and work towards shared outcomes.
Funding applications open on the Monday 6th February and close on the Friday 3rd March.
To find out more about the project click here or get in touch with Emma Teasdale if you have any questions or are interested in applying for funding and want to know more.
WEST DORSET SOUTH COAST PATH PARISH BOUNDARY MARKERS
New parish boundary markers are continuing to be installed on the West Dorset South Coast Path. Details on all of the parish boundary markers can be found HERE. Two very local ones can be seen within a short distance of each other at West Bay
Symondsbury to Bridport boundary: Remembering the “Wildcats of Bridport” a group of women net makers who downed tools, went on strike and marched in protest of a pay cut and secured the support of Bridport. Artist Alice Blogg
Bridport to Burton Bradstock boundary: Recollecting the “spotters” who stood up along the iconic West Bay cliff top. When they saw a shoal of fish they would shout out to the fishermen below “Mackerel Straying” This prompted the fishermen to launch their boats and fish! Artist Brendon Murless
DORSET YOUTH ASSOCIATION – new mental health hub
Children’s emotional well-being is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health helps them develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Children and young people can now use Dorset Youth Association’s new mental health hub to find out where to go to get support in Dorset. The hub is set up so people can easily find local services that can help with a range of issues including anxiety, depression, bereavement and eating disorders.
There is also a dedicated directory for parents and carers to get advice on how to support their children with their mental health.
EVENTS COMING UP
Bridport Bridge Club Open Day
Bridport Bridge Club is hosting an open day for bridge players of all levels to come and join a free club session. This will take place on Wednesday 8th February at 7pm – 10pm and Friday 10th February at 2pm – 4.45pm in St Swithun’s Church Hall.
The club meets to play duplicate bridge on Wednesday evenings and most Friday afternoons, with a Thursday evening session played online. Annual membership is £5 with £2 each per session (£3 for visitors). For more information please click HERE or call 01308 425298.
Bridport History Society
Bridport History Society’s next meeting will be on Thursday 9th February at 2.15pm in the United Church Hall, East Street, Bridport.
The topic is ‘Distressed’ in Dorset: a tale of debt, bankruptcy and flight in the 1820’s by Dr Robert Nantes.
Visitors are welcome. For more information please click HERE or call Jane Ferentzi-Sheppard on 01308 425710.
BRIDPORT COMMUNITY CHARTER FAIR – invitation to organisations
Planning is underway for this year’s Bridport Community Charter Fair organised by the Charter Fair Committee and Bridport Town Council. The event will be held on Saturday 20th May at the Millennium Green, Bridport from 9.30am – 3.30pm.
This event is a great opportunity for organisations to promote their
work. If your organisation would like a stall at this year’s event please email Claire Peters-Way for an application form or call Bridport Town Council on 01308 456722
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