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Before I retired from full time employment the Easter weekend was always greatly looked forward to. It is the first Bank Holiday weekend of the year and falls at a time when the days are becoming ever longer and warmer.

In the multicultural, multi faith and no faith society we live in today Easter represents different things to different people. For allotment holders like myself it is the time to start planting in anticipation of bumper crops over the coming months. For others it is a time to set off on the first holiday of the year as our busy local roads over the past few days can certainly verify. For many it is a time to gather as families and rather like at Christmas simply enjoy each others company for a day or two. For children it is all about what the Easter Bunny is going to bring them.

But what is the true meaning of Easter and how did it get its name?

Easter is one of the main holidays, or Holy Days, of Christianity. It honours the resurrection of Jesus three days after His death by crucifixion. For many Christian churches, Easter is the joyful conclusion to the Lenten season of devoted prayer, fasting and penitence.

Along with Christmas, Easter is one of the most important celebrations in the Christian calendar. It is when Christians glorify and give thanks for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. After His crucifixion, death and burial, Christ rose from the grave three days later. By this, Christians believe He conquered death and redeemed us from sin.

According to, Easter is “an annual Christian festival in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, as calculated according to tables based in Western churches on the Gregorian calendar and in Orthodox churches on the Julian calendar. Also called Easter Sunday. the day on which this festival is celebrated.”

The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia gives biblical references of “Easter,” stating,
The word does not properly occur in Scripture, although the King James Version has it in Acts 12:4 where it stands for Passover, as it is rightly rendered in the Revised Version (British and American). There is no trace of Easter celebration in the New Testament, though some would see an intimation of it in 1 Corinthians 5:7. The Jewish Christians in the early church continued to celebrate the Passover, regarding Christ as the true paschal lamb, and this naturally passed over into a commemoration of the death and resurrection of our Lord or an Easter feast.

According to the Bible dictionary, the name “Easter” was derived from “Eostre,” “originally a Saxon word (Eostre), denoting a goddess of the Saxons, in honour of whom sacrifices were offered about the time of the Passover.”

Another probability is the Norse eostur, eastur, or ostara, which meant “the season of the growing sun” or “the season of new birth.” The word east comes from the same roots. In this case, easter would be linked to the changing of the season.

Whatever it means to you may I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Easter.

BRIDPORT’S FILM FESTIVAL – The Joy of Saturday Morning Cinema and more!

It’s been a real delight for me over the past few weeks to see posters and brochures for Bridport’s Film Festival, From Page to Screen appearing all around town: A welcome reminder of the many festivals that brighten our cultural life throughout the year.

Also, a reminder for me as to many conversations I had over the last year with local festival organisers to inquire into their offering for and engagement with young people. I’d ventured the suggestion that each of our local festivals might support a “young people’s festival fringe”.

I was interested to see if and how our film festival has responded, so I posed the question to FPTS committee members, Chris Pike, Ines Cavill, Nick Goldsmith and Paul Marshall.

The brand new, first run Super Mario Bros movie on the Electric Palace big screen at 11am on Saturday morning. A big, bold popular choice. One for the kids to immerse in and parents to be persuaded into buying tickets for. I hope to see queues round the block on South Street for this one,” said Chris. Not the answer I was initially expecting. This didn’t sound like a fringe, more like a radical new haircut. “We wanted to take a risk. To try something different. And if the grown-ups don’t fancy it, we’re also showing Francois Truffaut’s extraordinary debut film, The 400 Blows at the Arts Centre at exactly the same time. Bridport Saturday morning cinema for all.” But surely this couldn’t be the whole story?

We’ve always included events for young people in our programme” continued Ines. “Years ago, we did have a daily children’s show at the Stables during the festival. In more recent years, we’ve focused on special events like screening Babe at Washingpool Farm shop or a puppet-making workshop following a screening of Pinocchio at the Lyric Theatre. This year we’ll be working with the youth centre and others on creative responses by young people to our “Memento” exhibition in the Arts Centre, Allsop Gallery, which accompanies the festival.”

“Let’s not forget our long-running collaboration with headline sponsors, Arts University, Bournemouth” added Nick. “AUB students will be filming many events during the festival including our ‘in conversation’ between radio and TV presenter, Francine Stock and festival curator and double-Academy Award screenwriter, Christopher Hampton.”

“And also that we have young people taking a leading role on our committee too,” said Paul.

Ok, I get it. Make a suggestion to an organising team in Bridport and they’ll surely respond, but perhaps not in the way that was initially anticipated. Of course, why would I expect anything less? That contradictory zeal is part of the joy of Bridport.

That and the upcoming choice between two Saturday morning cinema offerings.

For full details of From Page to Screen. 2023 – April 26th to 30th click HERE


Please help The Bank of Dreams and Nightmares to continue to deliver their FREE creative writing workshops for children. The time for creativity is NOW!

When The Bank of Dreams and Nightmares set out their journey as a creative writing charity they asked one simple question at the start of their workshops. . . “What ingredients make a great story?” All too often the top three answers that came back were punctuation, words, and fronted adverbials. What’s a fronted adverbial, I hear you ask, and what has it got to do with stories? 

Not a lot is the answer! The Bank of Dreams and Nightmares believe this heavy focus on grammar and structure that schools are forced to teach is killing creativity.  What makes a great story is imagination! 

They are deeply invested in continuing to grow the creative writing opportunities they offer young people, and I hope you are too!  

In order to raise the funds needed to continue with this valuable work The Bank of Dreams and Nightmares has launched a fun Crowdfunder campaign; THE WALL OF SUPPORTERS.

For the back cover of the next issue of their quarterly newspaper which goes out to every school in the local area and is available as a subscription to buy, they will be printing their wall of supporters, see attached flyer for info and to get involved go to the £10 REWARD and select a quantity of squares you would like: To add your name to the wall of supporters click HERE


Down and out in Bridport and the Surrounding Parishes 1200-1900 by Sylvia Stafford

This history of the lives and conditions of the poor, sick, and elderly and their care within the local community, traces the development of the role of the monasteries and almshouses of the 12th and 13th centuries, to the early poorhouses and workhouses, and by the mid-19th century to the establishment of hundreds of union workhouses.

The twenty parishes which formed Bridport Union Workhouse provide the framework for the study, whilst further examples are drawn from other Dorset towns, and relevant locations mostly in the South West of England.

The development of Bridport Union Workhouse is examined against the parallel development of the town of Bridport and the nearby parishes, as well as the particular challenges faced by the poor, sick and elderly in accessing education, training, employment and health services in the locality.

Price: £12.00, 258 pages: 94 photographs, illustrations, maps and tables: glossary: 156 references; index.

Twenty per cent of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to support local charities which strive to help those in need today.

Available from: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, Bridport Museum, West Bay Discovery Centre, The Book Shop, South Street, and Little Toller Books, Beaminster. (Waterstones to be confirmed)


Without telling her parents, Iris Stephens took the bull by the horns and applied for a place on London’s West End Musical Theatre (WEMT) weekend training programme. Following a successful audition I am pleased to tell you Iris has been offered a place to train with WEMT which is one of the UK’s leading professional weekend training program for young performers.

I am reliably informed, by those in the know, that WEMT is one of the most sought after training companies and places are extremely limited so it is a great opportunity for Iris to develop her singing, dancing and acting talents.

Iris told me “I’m so excited and grateful that I have been awarded a place in this amazing school, this is a huge opportunity for me that will get me closer to my dream of working in musical theatre.”

The program runs for 10 weeks every term, for 5 hours on a Sunday. There are 3 terms every year and Iris is now fundraising for this year’s tuition and travel costs. The term starts mid April and she is hoping to have raised some money by then.

The sessions feature singing, dance, acting and musical theatre classes as well as being able to work regularly with amazing West End guests, such as leading performers, casting directors, agents, musical directors and theatre producers. 

You can view Iris singing her audition song by clicking below.

Over recent months I have been thrilled to attend a number of performances at the Arts Centre and Electric Palace where Bridport’s young people have had the opportunity to shine. Iris was one of those and I am absolutely thrilled that her special talent has been recognised and that she now has the opportunity to develop it further.

All Iris now has to do is to get herself to London every weekend and to do that she is seeing your support by making a contribution towards her weekly travel costs, and termly course fees for the year.  You can support Iris by clicking HERE

AND FINALLY – only a month to go until …….

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