UpFront May 23

The huge selection of events promoted in this issue is a sure sign that we are determined to emerge from the mists of winter. There are too many to mention them all, but from Dr Feelgood in Honiton to the New Elizabethan Singers in Bridport and all manner of gatherings and shows across the countryside, diverse interests are being well catered for around this wider local community. And it seems we are catering for our wildlife and natural environment too. On page 21 Michael McCarthy describes his favourite geological aspects of Dorset. Enjoying the view from that ‘splendid natural monument’ that is Eggardon Hill, he relishes the ‘world of tight, hidden valleys, pudding-basin-shaped hills, tiny lanes almost too narrow to drive down, and the ancient deep sunken paths known as holloways.’ Already celebrated by distinguished writers such as Brian Jackman and Kenneth Allsop, Michael also looks out over what he calls ‘the very loveliest part of the county.’ The name Kenneth Allsop is well known in this part of Dorset and we are pleased to have a contribution from his son Tristan on Page 22. Fifty years to the month since his father’s untimely death, Tristan remembers the man who coined the phrase ‘money talks: beauty is voiceless’ and asks: what would his father make of the world today? Concluding that he would be saddened by much of the decline in nature, he believes ‘he would have been much heartened by the awareness and engagement by the public in today’s environmental conflicts.’ While Philip Strange remembers his search for avocets on the mudflats around the estuary of the river Exe in East Devon on page 24, we are offered the opportunity to learn about environments a little further afield on page 32 when Bridport area resident Dr Owen Day talks about protecting coral reefs in an upcoming ‘Helping the Planet’ talk at Sladers Yard in West Bay. And while the environment may look a little more interplanetary in Joe Fender’s film The River of Mirrors, showing at the Electric Palace, Bridport on May 3rd, the main character is the river and the film is described as a ‘meditation on water’ on page 36. Joe says he hopes to inspire people to see rivers differently. A thought that might well be echoed closer to home.