A stroll into Bridport on a lovely, sunny, April Saturday morning and the pavements were packed with people browsing the over 100 market stalls, sitting out enjoying a coffee and meeting and greeting friends. All along East Street, West Street, Downs Street, Barrack Street and as far as the eye could see down South Street there were stalls purveying a dazzling array of items for sale. Everything from exotic fungi, clothing, bric-a-brac, street food, fresh fruit and vegetables, music to numerous beautiful hand crafted items manufactured by extremely talented local artisans.
Meanwhile Bucky Doo Square was crowded with people enjoying the music and songs of local favourites Rough Assembly and the cafes and pubs nearby were all extremely busy with people sitting out in the sun.
Bridport is a wonderful place to be at any time of year but on a warm spring Saturday morning I can’t think of anywhere better to be.
DRAWING FEST – for grown ups!
On Saturday afternoon I joined over 50 ‘grown ups’ at the Bridport Youth and Community centre for the Drawing Fest. The hall was set up with a range of drawing based activities for people to try including the now infamous swinging hammock.
Sitting down at one of the tables I very quickly became totally absorbed in a collage activity and surprised myself with what I managed to create. Staring at a blank piece of paper and no idea what I was going to do I had a look at the examples provided and began browsing the vast range of coloured paper available. Homing in on one that looked like a bit of a psychedelic sunburst I took up there scissors and began cutting. From that moment on I was away and somehow the creative juices began to flow and I managed to produce what I thought was a pretty decent piece of ‘art’.
Having the opportunity to sit down and be so totally absorbed in something so creative was extremely satisfying and I know that those around me felt exactly the same. Be sure to get yourself along to the next one and surprise yourself with your creativity. Click HERE to find out more and see more images of what took place.
BRIDPORT LIONS CLUB – 50th Anniversary Lunch
Since 1973 Bridport Lions Club has been serving towns and villages across a large part of west Dorset – from Lyme Regis to the west, to Beaminster in the north and Abbotsbury to the east. If you live in Askerswell, Loders, the Kingcombes, Melplash, Salwayash or the Marshwood Vale they are here to help. If your community didn’t get a mention it’s because there are so many small communities in this area, but rest assured you are still on their radar.
On Sunday the Bridport Lions Club was joined by members of Weymouth and other nearby clubs to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its inception with a special lunch at the Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club and a splendid occasion it was.
Lions is an international organisation represented in 206 countries by more than 47,000clubs with over 1,400,000 members. There are nearly 1000 Lions Clubs in the British Isles and Ireland alone. I am told that wherever you are in the world you are guaranteed to be able to find a friendly welcome if you are wearing your Lions pin.
The Lions motto is ‘to serve’ our community and they do this by raising funds and giving freely of their time. Furthermore, every pound that they collect is a pound that will go to the causes they support because all administration costs are met from their own pockets or sponsorship. Fundraising is at the heart of every Lions club in order to maintain a Charity Account of sufficient size to meet the most urgent and/or worthwhile causes presented to it. To sustain this fund the club organises, promotes and runs a number of events each year.
Events are targeted at raising funds for specific and named causes such as the locally based RNLI, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, etc. which, although of a general nature are considered vital to the wellbeing of all residents in our geographic area. They also combine with another charity’s event such as the Julia’s Hospice or participate in the Bridport Carnival where the donations collected go to a town fund which goes to causes which fall within the Lions local community remit.
Their main money raising event is the annual Swimarathon held in the Bridport Leisure Centre in early October, which involves more than twenty teams of six swimmers of all ages and capability who compete for several cups. Their task, prior to the day, is to raise individual sponsorship while club members gain corporate sponsorship to fund the costs of the event.
Another prime fundraiser is their Santa Sleigh which, by kind permission of Morrisons, is placed outside the supermarket for several days running up to Christmas. Suitably attired members are on hand to receive donations from the public whilst trying to avoid pneumonia!
In the lead up to Easter they raffle eggs in many local pubs and other outlets, raising valuable funds in the process; while at the food festival in June they can be seen supplying satisfying hog roast, sausage roll and burger snacks to visitors to the event.
Having spent some time with them on Sunday I can confirm that they are a very social group who have a lot of fun, while enjoying the challenge of service and the fulfilment it provides.
The Bridport Lions meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at the Haddon House Hotel, West Bay. If you are looking for a way to give back and support your community why not give the Bridport Lions a go. To get in contact click HERE or call 0345 833 7409.
DORCHESTER MAYOR’S CIVIC DAY
Civic Days are when a Mayor invites Mayors from across Dorset to their town. It is an opportunity for the host Mayor to show off their town and for Mayors to brag about their towns and share ideas.
The Dorchester Civic Day began with morning coffee in the Shire Hall Museum followed by a guided tour through 200 years of justice and injustice. The tour enabled us to walk in the footsteps of people whose lives were forever changed in the historic court at Dorchester’s Shire Hall. Experiencing the cramped dank cells before ascending to the dock must have been a terrifying experience which today you can experience for yourself.
After lunch we visited Dorset Museum which is only a short walk from the Shire Hall. Founded in 1846, the museum covers Dorset’s history and environment. The current building was built in 1881 on the former site of the George Inn. The building was designed specifically to house the museum’s collection and is in the Neo-Gothic style. The museum closed in October 2018 to undergo refurbishment and the construction of the extension. It reopened on 29 May 2021 after the re-opening was delayed due to the covid pandemic. The cost of the work came to £16.4 million.
Our tour started in the beautiful Victorian cast iron hall with beautiful Roman mosaics discovered in Dorchester now displayed on the floor for visitors to walk over and view close up thanks to the efforts of one Thomas Hardy. Our guide then led us to the top floor to view the art gallery where the paintings and sculptures of Elizabeth Frink are undoubtedly the star attraction in my opinion. Then on to the Thomas Hardy collection before descending to the natural history and Dorset life exhibits.
The day ended with tea and cake at the Corn Exchange followed by a demonstration of CPR and how to use a defibrillator. How to do CPR and use a defibrillator are life shills that we should all learn and refresh ourselves with on a regular basis. Hopefully they are skills that you will never be required to use but in the event that you need to, it could be life saving. Do you know where your nearest defibrillator is located?
BRIDPORT COLOUR WALK
What is Bridport Colour Walk? It is simply an informal gathering of people who love colour & dressing up. There are no rules – in fact the more colours, the better.
It’s been been a huge success in Spitalfields Market market where it began. Check out Colour Walk – Old Spitalfields Monthly by clicking HERE
When I heard about it, I thought this was right up Bridport’s Street, fun for stallholders, locals and visitors alike.
On the 3rd Saturday of every month from May to September, Bridport Colour Walk looks forward to meeting you on the streets of Bridport, wearing your most colourful clothes and accessories and you’re all welcome!
If you’re not as brave as these colourful people (click HERE to see more), then a colourful scarf will do as a starter effort!
There is just over 4 weeks to go until Saturday May 20th so spread the word, and get digging all those fabulous colourful pieces out of your wardrobe!
FROM STREET TO SEA 5
Another plug for Bridport’s mass Liter Pick taking place on Mon day 8th May.
Have you decided which venue you are going to pick from yet?
Remember you can either walk to one of the picking venues collecting on the way and drop off what you have collected or arrive at one of the picking venues from 10.00am and go picking local green spaces etc from there.
A plea to the dog walker who allows their dog to roam off lead in the Walditch Allotments. Please keep your dog on a lead to stop it digging up and pooing in my freshly sown salad bed.
I am aware that dog poo can be a danger to human health and am now left wondering if the organic and pesticide free produce I grow on my allotment is safe to eat.
If anyone knows the answer I would love to hear from them.