Events in our village during 2015
As work is progressing apace on the new village Hall we, unfortunately, had to cancel this year’s Guy Fawkes fireworks celebration as another suitable venue in the village could not be found. Although disappointing, we will be back with a bang with an even better event next year in the new Hall.
December was an eventful month starting with the Bruton Late Night Shopping event at which Bullbeggar Cider had a stall. The generous bakers in the village made dozens of mince pies and these accompanied delicious mulled cider on the evening encouraging buoyant sales. A successful event which raised funds for the village.
A similar stall later in the week at Kilver Court Food Festival sadly did not meet with the same success.
Carol singing through the village on 14th December was well attended with lots of new faces in the choir too and the carolers were rewarded with warming mulled wine and mince pies as they travelled through the village.
Our Christmas Eve service was celebrated a little earlier in the evening this year with a welcoming glass of mulled wine and mince pies after which the congregation joined in celebration in the beautifully decorated and candlelit church – a wonderful beginning to the Christmas festivities.
The year ended on an unseasonal, mild and soggy note – a far cry from a white Christmas – but looking forward to an exciting, eventful new year ahead with many spring flowers already making an appearance to brighten up the grey, damp winter days.
Half of the participants in our visit to Hinkley Point B nuclear reactor came from our benefice for this event. After extremely rigorous security checks, we were given one of the most fascinating tours of this extraordinary power producing plant. Sadly, we could not take a photograph of us all in hard hats, glasses and ear defenders! The latent power of the reactor below us was quite awe inspiring. We will now be watching the building of Hinkley C from a far more informed position. We finished the trip with lunch at the Halfway House, Pitney. The security team had looked up Lamyatt on the map and were fascinated to know what we all did in this tiny village. They are used to much more auspicious groups attending!
Our visit to John Boyd Textiles Ltd in Castle Caryr was fully booked. We were lucky enough to have the director guiding us through not only the history of horse hair weaving in Castle Cary but also its current manufacture and end-users, including the music industry. The looms were mesmerising and the fabric produced, simply beautiful. We concluded the afternoon with a cream tea at Cole Manor. The event will be repeated in the Spring as there was a waiting list.
Excitement mounted with the announcement from Philip Stone that he would be ready to start work at the Village Hall towards the end of the month. The Hall Improvement Team have spent many months in preparation for the beginning of the works and these are now fast becoming reality.
Although the heavens opened almost as soon as the protective fencing was installed this didn’t stop the stalwart building team from making a start with digging ditches and demolishing the toilet and storage block. Works will now continue through until Spring 2016, subject to any unforseen delays, and we hope to keep disruption to a minimum for the neighbours in close proximity to the Hall. Regular photographic updates on progress can be seen elsewhere on the website.
The village vegetable table made a belated appearance outside the church but no sooner had it appeared than surplus vegetables and fruit were appearing in ever more varied and increasing quantities. For those without productive vegetable gardens the table provides an opportunity to contribute to the Church funds by making donations in exchange for lovely fresh, village produce, or to simply swap surplus items for alternatives grown by others. This year the table has seen everything from figs, plums, raspberries and apples and rhubarb, to beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, sweetcorn, potatoes and pumpkin. A welcome alternative to supermarket shopping!
A lively game of croquet was again organised by Victoria and Simon on their perfectly mown lawn. Competitive spirits were much in evidence and a wonderful tea enjoyed by all although the weather could, perhaps, have been a little better. The funds raised will further swell the Hall improvement coffers and many thanks must go to Victoria and Simon for a lovely afternoon.
With the final paperwork completed this month for our grants from Viridor Credits and Veolia we are now confident that our building works will soon begin and now await confirmation of a start date from Philip Stone.
Towards the end of June a large team of willing volunteers gathered at the village hall to pack up all the furniture and equipment. When the Hall had been stripped bare with everything wrapped and packed in boxes, they were then loaded onto the trailers to head off up the village to be stored elsewhere for the duration of the forthcoming building works. We then closed the door on this chapter of life at the Village Hall.
With the Hall now out of use for the next few months we sadly had to forego this year’s Fete but are eagerly looking forward to an even better one next year when we hope our new Hall will be ready to welcome everyone back .
A rather cool morning dawned on 8th May for our VE Day 70 year celebration in the village marked first by a service in the Church. Everyone in the village, together with the wider parish, was invited and it included a talk by Sylvia Anderson on the splendid collage, created by villagers to celebrate the 50th VE Day anniversary. After the service a party followed at the Village Hall extending into a marquee erected to accommodate everyone. Although the rain drizzled down and the air was chilly, everyone was in fine vocal form as we lustily sang some old wartime favourites most ably accompanied by Rev. Rosey Lunn on keyboards and David Ash on guitar. Bullbeggar Cider Cup, Cottage Brewery beer and wine flowed, accompanied by a delicious selection of food generously donated and enjoyed by the many who attended. Grateful thanks go to all who supported the event and also helped with the marquee and the patriotic red, white and blue decorations.
After the party a group of twenty or more villagers hiked to the top of Creech Hill where at 9.30pm we lit the beacon -one of some 150 up and down the country – the first of which was ignited by the Queen. Although the damp air created some initial difficulty it was soon blazing and through the mists another was just discernible in the distance. Thanks must go to Alan Candy for resurrecting and repairing the metal beacon structure which had been lying in the undergrowth since it was last lit 20 years ago! It will now, hopefully, find a more suitable storage place…….
Glorious Spring weather greeted the Easter celebrations, and a church filled with wonderful flowers welcomed the congregation on Easter Sunday. Traditional egg rolling and Easter Egg hunt were held on Easter Monday with plenty of eager competitors. Thanks must go to the team of “street sweepers” who prepared the ground for a long and smooth journey for many eggs to roll down Portway Hill. And thanks, too, to the village bakers for delicious cakes and tea in the Hall afterwards.
More good news arrived at the beginning of this month in the form of a major grant from Viridor Credits of some £140,000. Our project is now rapidly becoming a reality and we are very grateful to them for fulfilling our request. Many thanks must go , too, to Keith, Helen and Romy for all their hard work in patiently completing the long and complicated application forms and for assembling all the required information. We now eagerly await the result of one more outstanding application…..
The final Supper Club of the season was held on 16th April. Guided by its American theme, a capacity audience sat down to barbecue chicken, coleslaw and baked potatoes followed by hot fudge sundae. No American movie could be complete without popcorn – and this was no exception! A thoroughly enjoyable movie and all left looking forward to next season in a new and more comfortable Hall.
This wonderful month filled with warm sunshine gave us yet one more piece of excellent news ….Garfield Weston have awarded us a grant of £25,000 towards our final goal for the Village Hall. We are extremely grateful to all who have so generously supported our efforts.
Anthony Ffooks arranged, towards the end of the month, a meeting with the organisers of the local shoot to discuss the proliferation of pheasants who manage to escape the guns and instead wander the village roads, disturb the horse riders or head to village gardens for sustenance. An agreement was made by the organisers to return to grass the newly ploughed area alongside the bridleway on Creech Hill, and to do everything they can to remove – and subsequently prevent – the birds from making their way downhill to the village
The month concluded on another positive note. Bullbeggar Cider has been shortlisted for a Prince of Wales Trust community award. Representatives and judges from the Trust came to discuss the cider making and to see, first hand, how it all works. Fortuitously, an order for another 50 cases of cider was received the day before their arrival, so many were hard at work labeling and boxing the bottles in preparation for despatch. The presentation of the award to the winner will take place at the Bath & West Show on 27th May and all our fingers are crossed!
A busy month for Bullbeggar cider as orders came flooding in. Several helpers from the village were pulled in to assist with bottling and labeling to enable a large order from London to be fulfilled. We are now bottling the cider in smaller 33.3cl bottles as well as 50cl bottles to satisfy demand from restaurants as well as retail outlets.
The Shakespeare committee arranged their annual photo call and the end result will be sent to local media next month for advertising the forthcoming production of As You Like It to be held on 4th July.
Towards the end of the month we received very exciting news! Our application for a grant to Veolia met with a positive result. They have generously supported us in the amount of almost £66,000 towards our village hall improvement and we now eagerly await the result of other applications.
Our fundraising progresses apace and the beginning of the month saw the Hall Improvement Team meeting with a representative from Viridor Credits who came to look at the Hall and discuss our plans. After taking some photographs, and gaining more information, he left to impart his views to a meeting of the awards board later that day. He left us feeling mildly optimistic.
Our second Supper Club was held on 6th February. The movie screened that night was a thought provoking, Salaam Bombay. Thanks must go to Victoria Ogilvy for her delicious chicken curry with dhal, rice and accompaniments.
Bullbeggar cider showed its face at a very successful event – Spiral of Light in Bruton. A wonderful spectacle with candles lit in a spiral up to the Dovecote. Fire juggling, music and a magnificent fireworks display finished off a delightful evening and the cider bar, with warm mulled cider, was deemed very welcome on a rather chilly evening.
Lamyatt’s year got off to an excellent start with the second Supper Club of the season on the 15th January. A French film with a difference – our first animated presentation – the award winning Belleville Rendezvous was well received by a full house of local residents and friends. Pre-dinner cocktails of Gin & French were washed down with canapes of celeriac remoulade, pork terrine and pissaladiere, in keeping with the theme. A delicious Boeuf Bourguignonwith some good French Merlot followed and the meal was rounded off with a wonderful Tarte au Citron. Well done Helen and the team for a lovely evening and an excellent film choice.
Later in the month thoughts turned towards Summer and our annual open air Shakespeare event. A welcome diversion from the dark and gloomy winter days that have been the norm for most of the month. The first meeting of the organising committee on the 22nd January at Speeds Farm saw a lively evening of discussion and decisions. The committee were rewarded with a delicious supper and wine kindly provided by David & Simone – along with Gary’s excellent Angel Pudding which finished the evening perfectly.
This year’s production of As You Like It, again performed for us by the excellent professional Shakespeare touring company, The Festival Players, will be on 4th July at Speeds Farm.
A turn out of keen Scots and friends from Lamyatt, as well as farther afield, descended on the Village Hall to celebrate Burn’s night. Tartan and heather decorated the Hall and Sylvia’s splendid watercolours of Highland dancers drew much admiration. The whisky flowed, Cullen Skink was supped, and the huge Chieftain haggis was heartily consumed. Caryl was, as always, a brilliant choreographer and ensured the many enthusiastic participants danced and reeled their way round the tiny space without mishap! Happy Birthday Rabbie Burns – for Auld Lang Syne…..