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Mayor’s Blog 141

Mayor’s Blog 141

This week: Bridport Rugby Club Tag Festival, The Street to Sea Litter Pick, The Bridport Prize, Trafalgar Service.

Bridport Rugby Club Tag Festival

 The annual Bridport Rugby Club Tag festival was a great success with 12 school teams taking part on a sunny Saturday morning. I was very impressed with the individual skills and teamwork shown by all of those taking part and it was an exciting event with much energy , excitement and sportsmanship on display.

Semi Final 1 –  saw  St Catherines RC Primary School V Symondsbury Primary School

Semi-final 2 – saw Thorner’s Primary School V Broadwindsor Primary School

St Catherines and Thorner’s made it through to the final whilst Symondsbury and Broadwindsors played off for third place.

Symondsbury and Broadwindsor played superb rugby and with a lot of tagging and tries being scored it was an exciting match to watch with the result hard to predict. Eventually after a hard fought match Broadwindsor ran out winners and achieved a well deserved third place.

The final was a fast and furious game with action and tries at both ends of the pitch. It was a very close game and with scores level going into the last minute and with parents from both teams (and the Mayor) shouting encouragement from the sideline both of the schools were playing outstanding tag rugby. In the end the winning try was scored with seconds remaining and but in the end it was St Catherines who were triumphant and winning the tournament for the  10th year in a row.

It was a pleasure to be asked to present the medals to the third place and runners up teams and the cup to the winners. It was plain to see from the smiling faces, just how much fun everyone had. As Peter Brook, the President of Bridport Rugby Club said in his speech, the overall winner was Rugby!

Congratulations to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make the event happen and in particular to Lloyd Vercoe from the Rugby Club who oversaw the event which ran so smoothly from start to finish.

Bridport Rugby Club Tag Festival
Bridport Rugby Club Tag Festival
Bridport Rugby Club Tag Festival

From Street to Sea

The fourth Bridport’s Mass Litter Pick took place on Sunday 16th October from 10.00 – 12noon. On the day, there were people out picking on our beaches, people on paddle boards and in canoes, picking along the riverbanks and of course the Bridport litter Free Street Champions were out all over Bridport cleaning their streets.

Deputy Mayor Ian Bark said that it was the best turnout ever so the event was a great success. I joined in with the group at the Morrisons and (sadly) we all managed to rid the streets of a large bagful of rubbish each.

From Street to Sea
From Street to Sea
From Street to Sea

The Bridport Prize 2023

This year Bridport Arts Centre staged its 50th Bridport Prize competition, a competition that has worldwide entries, acclaim and status, and it was a great pleasure for Bridget and I to be invited to attend the prize giving event held last Saturday.

For those who are not familiar with the Bridport prize, what it is and the prestige that it carries:

 Our mission?

To encourage writers everywhere!

We are passionate about discovering creative writing talent from around the world. Previous winners include the novelist Kate Atkinson MBE, Kit de Waal and Kelleigh Greenberg- Jephcott. Former judges include Monica Ali, Roger McGough and Zoe Heller. Many writers have launched their careers with us and ended up on the best sellers list.

We really enjoyed the occasion and we had the opportunity to talk to the prize winners and also some of the Judges and we both realised that it was something special for authors to enter and thousands do from over 140 countries around the world.

Mention the Bridport Prize and the eyes of writers everywhere light up. It’s not just the money – though that’s not to be sneezed at – it’s a prize really worth fighting for in terms of prestige and genuine literary accomplishment.

Fay Weldon CBE, a previous Honorary Patron who has sadly passed away.

We really enjoyed the readings from their entries given by the category winners and a special mention to those who travelled from the USA to Bridport to receive their awards in person. All of those we had a chance to talk with seemed enchanted by Bridport and thrilled to have their work chosen by the Judges. The whole event was a wonderful advertisement for the Town and it is something we should all be proud of.

The Bridport Prize 2023
The Bridport Prize 2023

Although Bridget and I read many books, something new for me to take away from the event – “Flash Fiction”. I was amazed at how clever these mini stories were and how much could be conveyed in so few words.

Flash fiction is a type of prose narrative that takes the form of very brief, self-contained stories. Its word count ranges from 5 to 1,000 words on average, and tops out at 1,500.

I might even have a go myself for next year!

For more information:

For the prize winners:

Congratulations to the Bridport Arts Centre for staging such a memorable and wonderful event!

Trafalgar Day celebration Sunday October 22nd

I was invited by Bob Bickers, the Honorary Secretary of the Bridport Branch of the Royal Naval Association, to attend the annual Service to Commemorate Admiral Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar. It was held in St. John’s church in West Bay.

I had the pleasure of attending this service last year as Deputy Mayor and found it to be a very moving ceremony and a reminder of, not only acts of individual courage, but also how many have lost their lives in such battles and conflicts throughout history. I must confess I did enjoy the small tot of rum afterwards as and we joined together in a toast to Admiral Nelson, a man who undoubtedly was instrumental in winning a battle that was a pivotal point in our history.

The Battle of Trafalgar was to witness both the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte’s plans to invade Britain, and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. It was never going to be any ordinary battle.

During the engagement at Trafalgar, on 21 October 1805, the Royal Navy annihilated the greatest threat to British security for 200 years, but lost Britain’s national hero in the process. Little wonder the battle transcended the mundane calculation of ships and men, victory and defeat. It guaranteed Britain’s control of the oceans, the basis of our global power for over a century. Definitely an achievement worth remembering.

Bob Bickers was telling me afterwards that sadly in Bridport their membership is dwindling with only a few active members left. The Royal Naval Association is open to any serving or ex-service people and it would be wonderful if there are any who would be prepared to join and breathe new life into this local Branch of the Royal Naval Association.

Anyone interested please contact Bob Bickers: [email protected], or telephone 07831 709585

Upcoming Quiz on November 19th

Don’t forget that my Mayor’s Quiz is on Sunday the 19th of November and we will be holding it in the Youth and Community Centre again. Please come along and test your knowledge and have some fun. Tables of 6 maximum can be booked via the Tourist Information Centre, details on the Poster below.

We already have many donations of great prizes from local businesses and individuals, so the raffle will certainly be worth entering on the night!

Mayor's Quiz Night


Any donations for the raffle from organisations or businesses would be much appreciated, We can collect!! Please e mail [email protected]

From the Mayoress:

 I would like to make everyone aware that there is now a “drop in” Carer café being held at the back of Café#1 in Bridport. Please see the poster below for details.

Bridport Carer Cafe





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