Coast and Countryside Events

6 – 8 July: Uplyme & Lyme Regis
Horticultural Society
Monday 6 to Wednesday 8 July. Submit entries for Uplyme & Lyme Regis Horticultural Society Virtual Summer Flower and Produce Fair. 12 classes to enter. Show goes live 1pm Saturday 11 July. Full details available at

15 July: Furleigh Estate
Nordic Walking in the vineyard is back at Furleigh Estate. Wednesday 15th July at 5.30pm. Cost is £10 including loan of poles and a glass of fizz. Book online at or call 01308 488991.

Mondays in July
Learn to play bowls for free. Severalls Jubilee Bowls Club in Crewkerne will be open for safe friendly coaching every Monday 10am – 12noon. If Mondays are not suitable for you then please suggest another day. To book a free coaching lesson phone Geoff on 01308 867221 or email

Bridport Millenium Green
This area has gardens surrounding Mountfield (Council Offices), and 10 acres of pastureland and woodland on Coneygar Hill. The AGMs for the Friends who fundraise, and the Trust who make the decisions in consultation with the public, on how to spend it has been suspended for this year. However, plans will be available for the public to offer feedback in the future—these include restoring the icehouse; planting trees; updating the flower beds; new fencing and resurfacing the entrance footpath to the hill and pasture land. As the Friends are unable to have any fundraising events for the time being they are offering Life Membership for 2020 only for £50, rather than their normal £100. This includes discounts at events, and at local shops and cafes. More details from Sandra Brown on 01308 423078, or visit their website for more information

Chard Camera Club
At the present time and for the near future the club is still not meeting twice monthly. Members and people interested or who follow the club and it’s activities can keep fully up to date by visiting the club’s website or indeed by calling the clubs members secretary Joyce Partridge on 01460 66885. The club also has a Group link off of Facebook should anyone also wish to keep informed. Details of the club’s resumption to activities will be notified in these columns. Stay safe all.

Chard Royal Naval Association
At the present time and for the near future the club is still not meeting monthly. Details of when the association will resume their activities/meetings will be announced in this diary section in the oncoming month’s.Further details and advice can be obtained by calling the Chard branch secretary Mr Gary Pennells on 0146077978. The association also has a Group link off of Facebook under Chard Royal Naval Association.

Honiton U3A
In light of the sudden outbreak of Covid -19 in March, the deadline for the 2020/21 membership renewal was extended to 30th June and Honiton U3A would like to thank all those members (well over 50%) who have supported their U3A by renewing for this current year despite the uncertainties that lie ahead. In March the decision was taken to cancel all meetings until September. This situation will be kept under constant review and as that time approaches updates will be announced. In the meantime they will be striving to find new ways to keep their interest groups functioning and in contact via the many services available on the internet. In April the group produced a Special Edition Easter Newsletter and in early May there was a second Newsletter, and now in early July there will be a third. (All their Newsletters are available to view on their website). Honiton U3A now has a ‘Think Tank’ made up of five members whose aim will be to help raise their profile and attract new members. Difficulties do still lay ahead, but they look forward to when the good times return! Website:

Chard History Group
Circumstances are against July and August meetings for Chard History Group. There is a CHG meeting booked for on September 10. Watch this space for news on whether it will proceed.

Good Books
Good Books in Bridport is very pleased to have re-opened, and looks forward to welcoming their regular and new customers. Opening times have changed to Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 10am-1pm and from July they will also be open on a Wednesday. The shop stocks a range of Bibles, prayer books, gift and colouring books to uplift and encourage during these difficult times. They also benefit from a large selection of second-hand Christian books written over many decades, including some classics by authors such as C.S. Lewis.

Forde Abbey Gardens
Forde Abbey Gardens, Plant Nursery and Gift Shop. Over the past few months it’s been all hands to the trowel, and the family along with Jo and Clem have been working away in the garden to ensure it is looking its absolute best. They invite you to come and enjoy the fruits of their labour in the fresh air and wide open spaces of the garden. Along with the shop and plant nursery full of seasonal inspiration, open daily from 11am. The loos are open, and they will have measures in place to ensure that all safety guidelines are followed. Open daily, from 11am. Tel: 01460 220231.

Calligraphy Courses.
Jenny Trotman plans to start a new Beginners’ Calligraphy course soon at her upstairs studio in Dorchester. 5 fortnightly lessons on Saturday mornings, 10 am – 12. Small groups, no more than 5 people £60.00. Tea and coffee as well! Phone: 01305 – 264568 for more details and to enrol.

Artsreach is producing a series of articles about rural Dorset villages: their past, their present, and their future. The project, called ‘Tales from the Village’ will be a way to share stories and experiences of the rural communities we love so dearly. Nobody knows the history better than the people and communities that live there—so Artsreach is asking for your help. They are looking for photos (old and new) of your village, its people, its buildings and history. The organisation wants to hear fun facts, tall tales, folklore, points of historical interest, and true stories of your village and community. If you’d like to be involved with this project, please send relevant photos of your village/village hall with any accompanying stories or text to along with your name, the name of your village and any other details you’d like mentioned in the article by 8 July 2020.

Centre for Pure Sound
centreforpuresound crystal and Tibetan bowl soundbaths and ‘Angels of Sound’ toning/overtoning events all now on Zoom for the time being: Sunday 2PM group soundbath on Zoom: Email to say you’d like to join in on a particular week. Thursday 6.30 PM Group toning on Zoom: their basic Angels of Sound toning practice, email to say you’d like the link to join. If you haven’t done this practice before you’ll need the 121 tutorial below. Donation. Also available:121 sessions via Zoom. 01935 389655

Café Sladers
Café Sladers Takeaway is open Wednesday to Saturdays 10am – 4pm. You can pick up a picnic lunch to take to the beach with dinners to heat and eat at home. Delivery is available to addresses in DT6, DT8 and Bride Valley DT2. Picnic ideas include Super-generous fresh Lyme Bay crab sandwich with Eton Mess and chilled Prosecco for £20 or a Feel Good vegan Superfood Salad with avocado, tomato, quinoa, toasted seeds and pine nuts with a lime and soy dressing along with Squidgy Chocolate and Beetroot Cake and organic Ginger Beer for £15, Seafood dinners and rich beef stews and pies with desserts can all be ordered and heated at home or frozen for later in the week. View the menus online – and sign up for a weekly update of menu ideas and offers – at (or follow the links from

Beaminster Museum
In view of the current advice about COVID-19, Beaminster Museum have announced that their forthcoming “Expanding Beaminster Museum into the Community Project” project starting in the autumn, their planned events and the reopening of the museum for their summer season 2020 have all been cancelled. They plan to reopen for the 2021 season on Friday 2nd April 2021 at the earliest. Please check website for the latest information – It is hoped that the museum may carry on with some activities in alternative premises while the Museum itself is closed. Volunteers will continue to carry out curatorial and research work while closed. In the meantime, questions about the museum’s artefacts can be sent as usual using the details on the Contacts page of their website.

Town Mill, Lyme Regis
The Town Mill community had to respond to the COVID-19 crisis by closing its doors to the public. A few businesses were able to carry on as normal, some were able to adapt to on-line sales and others evolved to offer takeaways and deliveries.
Caroline of Sew La Di Da, worked with others in the town to sew scrubs for the NHS; Laura baked bread, cakes and savories which were delivered and sold locally; The Brewery also offered home deliveries of beer and later take-away.
All volunteering stopped at the mill but milling continued with Ian Prudence keeping the wheel turning. Petrina organised local deliveries of flour and then established an outlet in the high street via Lyme Regis Butchers. A mini-market popped up on a Wednesday at The Malthouse and on a Friday at Hunters Lodge Pub, selling flour and Laura’s baked goods as well as fish and seafood straight from the boat.
With The Government’s announcement that non-essential retail shops can open and the expectation that galleries, museums, cafes and bars will be opening in July, The Town Mill Community is slowly preparing to welcome visitors once more.
Safe Sewing. The New Norm
There are four self contained Sewing Stations for you to create safely, in a beautiful clean safe distanced space. Each student will have an overlocker, sewing machine, iron and ironing board. They have thought about creating a safe space, ensuring you can still engage with each other and enjoy a workshop. 07707811114 to book a drop in
Pottery: Don and Harry are delighted to welcome visitors back to the Pottery. With the necessary precautions in place watch them at work on the wheel or browse thier table and giftware in the display area. One family ‘bubble’ at a time please. Open 7 days a week.
Molesworth & Bird have opened their doors with unique seaweed designs and gifts.
Lucy Campbell jewellery is preparing to return to the mill.
Galleries and Mill: A slow, phased opening of the Galleries and Mill is planned and The Courtyard Gallery opens as a retail area in July.
Art, cards, flour, kits and mill books will be available for sale and the gallery will look a little different with hand gel stations and staff/volunteers wearing face covering behind perspex screen. They will only be accepting card payments, and there will be a one way route through the gallery and a limit to the number of people in the gallery at one time.
The Malthouse Gallery to open in July/August.
If The Courtyard Gallery proves manageable and the Government allows Museums and Galleries to open as expected, they will be opening up The Malthouse Gallery. There is a superb program planned for the rest of 2020 and a very strong programme for next year as all artists who have been unable to hold their exhibitions due to Covid-19, have re-booked for the 2021 season.
Watch the miller at work July/August
Having the water wheel turning, helps breathe life into The Town Mill Community. They will still need to produce flour for sale in The Courtyard Gallery and for Commercial Customers so they will be looking for volunteers to mill. With the doors to the meal floor open from the courtyard, there will be an opportunity for visitors to watch the Miller at work. No public will be allowed to enter the mill for the time being but they are looking at how this could change.

West Bay Discovery Centre
The team at West Bay Discovery Centre are working hard behind the scenes to be ready to reopen the Centre when Government guidelines permit us to do so. ‘We’re really keen to share the Discovery Centre and our new exhibition “Down the Track”, which tells the story of the Bridport to West Bay railway line, with visitors’ said Trustee John West. ‘We recognise though that our first duty is to protect our excellent volunteers and staff and the wellbeing of our visitors. With this in mind we’re looking at how we can adapt the Centre so that the interest provided by our usual interactive displays isn’t lost entirely.
Check the Discovery Centre website for news about reopening dates and in the meantime the Centre will continue to share news and fascinating stories about local history and wildlife on its Facebook page.’ The current situation is demanding for local businesses and as a charitable attraction the Discovery Centre wants to do its bit to help support the local economy and inspire both visitors and local people to seek out and enjoy all that West Bay and this part of the Jurassic Coast has to offer.

Axe Vale & District Conservation Society
Axe Vale & District Conservation Society is sorry to say that all their July events have been cancelled. They hope to run their August events, including a re-scheduled Wildlife Day at Seaton Wetlands on 30th August and hope to be able to give further details in the August edition of The Marshwood Vale Magazine.
The Arts Society Neroche South Somerset
The Committee has met (via Zoom) and agreed provisionally, but optimistically, that the first meeting of the 2020 – 2021 season will take place on Monday, 7th December, with a welcome drink and the AGM, followed by refreshments and socialising. The Society looks forward to welcoming visitors again when lectures hopefully start in January. Please contact Sue on 01460 57179 or visit the website:

The Living Tree
The Living Tree cancer support group, based in Bridport, locked down about one week before the official Government lockdown; the Trustees quickly recognised that with a membership mainly made up of people who were living with cancer, it was wise to shut down all face-to-face operations as soon as the gravity of the coronavirus situation became apparent.
Not only do some cancers make people more vulnerable to infection, some of the treatments do too. This meant not only the Friday afternoon drop in sessions had to be suspended, but all activities, swimming, table tennis, walking, workshops, indeed anything that Living Tree organises stopped overnight.
However, cancer does not stop, members need support, friendships have been made over the years, those newly diagnosed need help, ways of helping our members through these difficult times had to be found.
Rosemary Thorpe from The Livinmg tree explained: ‘Firstly, our usual monthly newsletter became fortnightly, a telephone tree was set up, those who we knew were especially vulnerable were contacted, our Facebook page became especially busy with updating members and providing them with inspirational messages and links to helpful advice for those with and without cancer. The newsletter contained not only information and links to help us, but also inspirational poems from our own Book of Words, published last year, and thoughts from our Mindfulness Leader, guiding us to meditations and calming ways of being in and coping with this challenging situation.
‘Our Therapists Partnership could not operate to provide complementary therapies to members, but soon our usual Worry Busting sessions resumed via online video conferencing and this paved the way for the eventual resumption of the Friday afternoon drop-in sessions, but now they are called Tea and Chat sessions; you just have to bring your own tea and Living Tree members always know how to chat, but now they do it online.
‘Whilst there are signs for some that lockdown is lifting, it is very difficult to determine when the Living Tree will be open for face to face meetings, in spite of new government advice, as our membership contains many who have been shielding and are likely to be more cautious than the general public.
So, for now, we have to do the sensible thing, do what we can online, over the phone, use social media and email , keep connected, provide support and friendship where we can and provide a medium to continue our work. We know we are needed, cancer does not stop and neither will we, to make sure our members get the support they need, until we can resume our usual activities in person.
And in the meantime, we keep smiling and listening and planning and coming up with new ideas to help our existing members, and welcome anybody to contact us who thinks we can be of help to them.’
If anybody would like to get in touch with the Living Tree, here are the details,, or phone 07341916976 and leave a text message.