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BLOG 119 – Coronation Weekend, Coronation Windows, ‘From Street To Sea’, Bridport Bowling Club Centenary And Mayor Making

BLOG 119 – Coronation Weekend, Coronation Windows, ‘From Street to Sea’, Bridport Bowling Club Centenary and Mayor Making


On Friday, Anne and I attended the Dorset Civic Service to mark the Coronation of King Charles III held in Sherborne Abbey. Along with Mayors and Civic Leaders from across the Dorset, the service was attended by local MPs Chris Loder and Richard Drax, The High Sheriff Colin Weston and His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant Angus Campbell and several hundred invited guests.

The Mayors and Mace Bearers gathered in the Digby Memorial Hall, which is a short distance from the Abbey, where we dressed in our robes. Having all of the Dorset Mayors together, fully robed, is an unusual occurrence and only happens on ‘very important occasions’. This is the only time in my three years as mayor that it has happened. Once we were all fully robed with our chains in place we processed to the Abbey in procession led by the Mace Bearers.

The procession must have been a splendid sight, but when you are part of it you do not see it in its full glory. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, despite the weather forecast, and as I entered the Abbey it took a brief moment for my eyes to adjust from the bright sunshine outside. I was momentarily spellbound by the beauty of the packed Abbey with the light streaming in through the stained glass.

The service itself was led by the Bishop of Sherborne, The Rt Revd Karen Gorham who delivered a thought provoking sermon. For me the highlight moment was when the choir sang Zadok the Priest, by Handel. It is a piece of music which when the choir start singing, at around 80 seconds in, sends a tingle through me every time I hear it.

The images below give a flavour of the event.


At 11.00am on Saturday morning, the Town Clerk Will Austin, Deputy Mayor Dave Bolwell and I joined Town Crier John Collingwood on Bucky Doo Square when he delivered a specially cry written by Peter White, Seaford Town Crier since the 1977 Silver Jubilee, adopted by the AHGTC.

Thans to Tim Russ for the above images.

In a repeat of the weather on Coronation Day 1953, a steady drizzle was falling on an almost deserted town centre as we stepped onto the square. As soon as John started ringing his bell a small somewhat bedraggled crowd gathered to listen to him. Afterwards I said a few words and the four of us closed the event with a rousing singing of God Save the King.

Whilst we were there John reminded me that the Council pays my subscription to the world’s oldest and largest Town Crier’s Association, the Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers (AHGTC), and that Bridport is currently the holder of their magnificent solid silver Championship Cup. 


On Sunday morning the Town Clerk Will Austin, Anne and I joined the congregation gathered at St Mary’s Church, South Street for a special service to mark the Coronation of King Charles III. The pews were well filled with worshipers who were in fine voice. It was good to see so many there and I have to say that despite my lack of prowess when it comes to singing I really enjoy it when I do. Perhaps it is the fact that you are doing it with others that makes you feel uplifted.
After the service I joined Rev Deb Smith and other members of the congregation to apply a special sticker to their recycling bin. The sticker identified it as having been twinned with another one in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the Bin Twinning charity.

As you can imagine I was intrigued to find out more so on arriving back home I did a quick Internet search and found these two videos which explain the concept. Click VIDEO 1 and VIDEO 2 to watch them.

If after watching the videos you are like me inspired to twin your recycling bin click HERE to do so.

On our way back to the Town Hall Will and I took a detour to have a look at the refurbished Coronation Bridge. With its fresh coat of paint and Coronation commemorating plaque it is looking great again.


As always the shopkeepers on Bridport’s high streets provied us with some wonderful Coronation themed window displays.

Thank you all for making such a great effort , they looked great.

FROM STREET TO SEA – Bridport’s Mass Litter Pick

The fifth ‘From Street to Sea’ mass litter pick, scheduled to take place as part of the King’s Big Help Out, saw around 100 people out picking across the town.

The images left show some of the pickers who gathered at from top to bottom Morrisons, Waitrose and the Co-op car parks.

Joining townspeople of all ages taking to the streets were Town and Parish Councillors, members of the St Mary’s Church congregation, and Barratt David Wilson Holmes staff.

In addition I am aware of a number of people who were out picking on their own street including picker extraordinaire Ruth Wrixton who crammed two and a half black sacks with litter collected along the A35 between the two Walditch turnings.

Apart from the usual supermarket trolleys, glass and plastic bottles, cans, cigarette butts and fast food wrappers a set of Apple Earbuds was found in a hedge. They have since been charges up and hopefully with a posting on Bridport Banter they can be reunited with the owner.

The worst and most dangerous items collected were a number of broken bottles from below the esplanade wall on West Beach. Surely if you are capable of carrying boxes of full bottles and cans down there surely you must be able to carry back the empties. The towel seen in the bottom image was also found on the beach and used to collect and wrap up the broken glass in.

A big thank you to all those who came out and did their bit to remove the rubbish thoughtlessly discarded by others.

The next ‘From Street to Sea’ mass litter pick will take place on Sunday 15th October.

PLASTIC FREE BRIDPORT – welcomes another business.

Plastic Free Bridport welcome Natural Skincare Solutions to our growing list of plastic free businesses.

Natural Skincare Solutions moved from London 14 years ago making beauty skincare products primarily for other companies in the industry. While they went through the process all companies do to attain the award, they are also involved in recycling packaging where appropriate and in creating new product via up-cycling (for instance using coffee residue in skin product).

They had used bubble wrap in the past and have moved to a biodegradable corn based “foam chips”; they switched to paper wrap for small packaging, are using paper tape on their boxing and now use non plastic tea bags (you would be surprised which top brands still contain plastic).

Natural Skincare Solutions receive their certificate as a Plastic Free Champions.

What is most impressive is how they work with their customers (who often send their own packaging to be filled by NSS) in discussing the possibilities of packaging types: glass, aluminium bottles, or pcr plastic (recycled), searching for the best options in terms of environmental impact, energy use and potential reuse (and cost, but often not the deciding factor). One of their biggest clients gets customers to send their used packs back in the same box for refills. No recycling involved. Natural Skincare Solutions appear to be having significant impact within the industry as a whole, not just on their own production line.

To learn more about Natural Skincare Solutions click HERE.

Has your business or community group achieved Plastic Free Status yet. Click HERE to see how you can become the next to achieve it in Bridport.

Contact the Plastic Free Bridport team by clicking HERE to send us a message via our Facebook page.


On Wednesday afternoon, Anne and I joined members of the Bridport Bowling Club at their centenary celebration where I was made very welcome by Club President Paul Tibble.

The idea of a Bowls Club was first memtioned at the March 1921 AGM of the Bridport Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club. It was announced that a green was to be laid at Brewery Field the site of the the current Leisure Centre. To read more about the fascinating history of the Bridport Bowling Club click HERE.

To celebrate, the club played a ‘friendly’ game against a Bowls England team that included the Bowls England President Deepak Tanna – Leicestershire (on the left of the photograph), Senior Vice President David King-Taylor – Nottinghamshire and players from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Sussex and Hampshire.

Club member Steve was a most generous host throughout our visit. Thank you Steve for making us feel so welcome.

From L-R David King-Taylor Senior Vice President Bowls England, Paul Tibble Bridport Bowling Club President, Myself, Anne Bark and Deepak Tanna

After a light lunch enabling those there to get to know each other, the players made their way onto the green. Once there they spread out around it to bowl a single bowl at a model spider sitting in the middle. The bowler whose bowl ended up closest won the kitty that each competitor had added a pound coin to earlier.

Following that it was down to the serious stuff – the ‘friendly’ match against Bowls England. I stayed and watched and after about an hour the Bridport team were well ahead in 3 of the five ends, drawing in another and slightly behind in another. Almost as soon as the match started the sun broke through and the sky turned blue which made it perfrct for sitting under the verrandah with a pint whilst chatting to members and watching the play on the green. Unfortunately I had to leave before the end of the match and I hope Bridport managed to keep up the excellent start they had made and come out on top by the end.

Whether it turned out to be a win for Bridport or not is almost irrelevant. It was abundantly clear to me that there is a really friendly atmosphere at the club and that it is as much about enjoying each other’s company whilst playing the game and socialising afterwards in the clubhouse, as it is about winning. I am sure that is slightly different when there is a league match on though.

The club offers a warm welcome to new members and with that purpose in mind runs Taster sessions where residents of Bridport and surrounding villages can come to the club and try out the game in a very relaxed, inviting and jovial manner with club members on hand to show them the rudiments of the game and a tour around the facilities. The next taster sessions are on:

  • Saturday 13th May 10.00am – 12.00am
  • Saturday 20th May 10.00am – 12.00am
  • Saturday 27th May 10.00am – 12.00am

Why not go along an have a go? (Only stipulation is wear suitable shoes i.e. trainers or flat soled shoes)

For further details contact Liz Kennedy on 01308 480930 or email lizneu@hotmail. com


On Wednesday evening Dave Bolwell was elected to serve as Mayor of Bridport for the 2023/24 municipal year.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dave and I am sure he will be an excellent ambassador and advocate for the town.

Thank you for reading my Mayor’s blogs over the last three years. Time to hand on the baton to the new Mayor.

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