East Coker Society Newsletter


April 2007  –  Free Issue No 126


Chair: John Sugg   863435   e-mail

Newsletter Editor: Lesley Lindsay   862868   e-mail

Secretary: Sarah Owen   862218

Treasurer: Keith Helliar   863700


East Coker Society News


30 June – 7 July 2007

Here's your chance to show off your creativity in the East Coker Society Scarecrow Competition.

Open to all residents and ages; clubs and organisations of the parish.  We hope you will put on an impressive display in the run up to the Village Fκte on Saturday 7July 2007.  Prizes will be awarded in 3 classes and an additional prize for the judges’ favourite.


Prize Classes:             1.  Children                    2.  Adults                      3. Clubs and Organisations


We plan to create a scarecrow map for an organised walk through the village, which will start from the East Coker Hall from 2.00 pm on Saturday 30 June 2007.  Photographs will be taken of all the entries and displayed at the Village Fκte, when prizes and certificates will be awarded.  Everyone is welcome to join the walk.  Refreshments will be available.


Scarecrows will need to be displayed by 9.00 am on Saturday 30 June 2007, for judging before the walk. For inspiration and ideas, check out 'scarecrow competitions' on the internet at www.google.co.uk.  We would ask everyone to leave their scarecrows out until Saturday 7 July 2007 to help to promote the Village Fκte.


Please complete the entry form below and put it in an envelope with your entry fee of £2 and drop it off in the Scarecrow Competition collection box at the East Coker Post Office or send to East Coker Society, c/o Sarah Owen, Paddock Cottage, East Coker, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 9JP 862218. The closing date for entry forms is Saturday 16 June 2007.





Name ……………………………………………….  Contact Tel No ……………………………………


Club / Organisation (if applicable) ………………………..…………………………………………….


Address & Post Code ……………………………………………………..………………………………..




Scarecrow Name …………………………………………………. Entry Class ………………………..


Entry Fee £2 Enclosed ……………………...






We greatly appreciate delivery by e-mail as it saves money on our printing costs.  If in future you would like to receive the Newsletter via e-mail, please e-mail Lesley Lindsay with your name and postal address so you can be removed from our delivery lists.  For those already receiving the Newsletter by e-mail, please e-mail Lesley Lindsay if you change your e-mail address.  Your e-mail address will be kept entirely private, with no cross-referencing of other people's e-mails. 





The AGM of the East Coker Society will be held in the Dampier Room, East Coker Hall, on Tuesday 22 May 2007 at 7.30pm.  All villagers welcome.





The 2007 Diary is now at the East Coker Post Office.  Please could village organisations put their forthcoming events in the Diary to avoid the doubling up of these events.  Thank you.





A very big thank you to all the organisations that have given us donations.  We are very grateful for these as they help towards the printing of the Newsletter.



Village Clubs and Organisations




Advance notice for Photography Classes


Harbour View                 Fire and/or Smoke                     Animals

Winter Scene                Bridge                                       Four different photos of Transport





The Annual General Meeting of the Trust will be held on Monday 14 May 2007 in the Dampier Room of East Coker Hall, commencing at 7.30pm.


Any organisation wishing to have a representative on the Committee must apply in writing to the Secretary, Mrs H Styles, 21 Mill Close, East Coker, BA22 9LF, to arrive no later than Saturday 28 April.


All residents of the East Coker Parish 18 years and over are eligible to attend.





The East Coker Short Mat Bowls Club would welcome new members – beginners or experienced players.  We are a friendly club and meet every Tuesday 7.15pm – 10.00pm and Friday 2.30pm – 4.30pm at East Coker Hall.  The club is a member of Yeovil & District Short Mat Bowls League and we also play friendlies with other clubs in the area, while some of our members enter open competitions further afield.  If you are interested and over 14 years of age, why not give me a call, any evening, for more details.  We are always pleased to help beginners.


George Dudden 864222 Club Captain and Chairman





The Luncheon, on 22 March, with a talk 'Secret's of a Honeymoon Suitcase' by Valerie Trefall made £330.  Thank you to all those that supported the event.


Friday 28 September, 'Silver Jubilee Ball' to be held at the Digby Hall, Sherborne.  This is to celebrate 25 years of the Action Medical Research in East Coker.  For further details 478409





East Coker Wine Circle achieved success at the Annual County Wine Festival, organised by the Somerset Association of Amateur Winemakers in March.  This included winning, for the fourth time, the coveted inter-circle challenge trophy for four bottles of wine.  The honours in this class – two firsts, a second and a third – were shared by the current chairman, Vince Wolny and former chairman, Joyce Pryor.


Although fielding only three exhibitors this year, East Coker brought home a total of nine trophies.  Vince Wolny gained five trophies, and Joyce Pryor three.  Together with Darren Shutler, the East Coker Circle mustered sufficient points from their other placings to come a close runner up to this year’s champions, Mendip Wine Circle, who had eleven exhibitors competing.


The Circle still has an interesting programme before it embarks on its year of events to celebrate its 30th Anniversary.  To mark this milestone the Circle is supporting the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the Yeovil Cardiac Unit, and certain events and activities during the year will be earmarked as fund raisers.  Guests are always welcome at the monthly meetings and social events.  The Anniversary Dinner on 20 October will be one event when former members of the Circle will be particularly welcome.  Also, look out for notices for the Open Golf Tournament that is being organised for the above chosen charities.


The Circle still has a few places for membership.  All inquiries to the Secretary, Mary Horsley 471072





Members started off the New Year with a lively afternoon of popular music and a sing-a-long with the Warry Brothers.  At the next meeting a talk by Clive Wakely – a funeral director – might have aroused feelings of mortality in some – NOT SO!  He informed and amused most with some of his more light-hearted experiences in the family business he had joined as a school-leaver.  A 'Jolly Brolly' competition added a touch of cheer to the occasion with an array of umbrellas featuring floral designs, penguins, donkeys, owls and a winning Pooh Bear motif.


Steve Davis was the next guest speaker, outlining the work of the Thames River Police from a time when rowing boats and hand held flame torches were used to patrol the dockland areas to the high-tec modern craft that can speed up and down the river today.


Pat Liddiard, a local resident and accomplished quilter, brought an impressive display of patchwork and crocheted quilts to the next meeting.  She acts as area coordinator for the South Somerset division of the national 'Linus' group of volunteers, who produce 'security blankets'. These are given freely to babies and children in desperate need of tangible comfort and support in times of stress, and thereafter to own for keeps.  Pat then judged items club members had hand made, and an endearing little stuffed donkey received her highest praise.


A gallant team of members were persuaded to enter the Pavilion Fund 'Village Quiz Night' on 10 March.  They were 'successful' in winning the 'booby prize', with no loss of dignity, but with much hysterical laughter, disguising their panic as the quiz sheets were rushed around the table 'Jeremy Paxman' style.  But, oh, how they enjoyed the Fish and Chip Supper served during the interval.


A very non–'Strictly Come Dancing' was enjoyed at the popular Tea Dance, when very few members remained in their seats and those who did so appreciated the spectacle of the Time to Share – toe-tapping, shoe-shuffling, joint-creaking – troupe of past-caring exhibitionists, responding to the music of the Steve Stimpson 'Misty Group'.


New members are always welcome to join this relaxed and friendly group, who meet every fortnight at the East Coker Hall from 2.30pm – 4,00pm.  Transport can be provided if required.


Future programme of events:

            16 April – Searching for Butterflies in Hungary      30 April – Complimentary Therapies

            14 May – The Cresta Entertainers                       4 June – Card Bingo

            11 June – Whole Day Outing – non-members welcome

25 June – Songs of Praise at St Michael's Church





The winners in the January draw were: Mrs L R Dunster £100; Mrs T Dunningham £50; Mr M Cripps £40; Mr T Clough £30; Mrs L Evans £20; Mr C Bingley £15; Mr P Pisani £10; Mrs S Graham £10.





We continue to have interesting speakers each month who both entertain and stimulate.  At the March meeting Dr and Mrs Long told members of their continuing support to the children of Fiji.  In April, the Resolution which the Women’s Institute wish to bring to the Government’s notice will be debated.  In May we hear from John Burgess on his work as correspondent for the wireless, whilst in June, to celebrate the birthday of East Coker W.I., we are planning a day's outing.  The progressive Whist Drive continues to increase in popularity now, regularly playing 10 tables, which, with the Jumble Sale held last February, helps to subsidise our outing.  Whist Drives will be held on Thursday 19 April, and Thursday 17 May.  For those interested, we play friendly skittles every other month and are planning a craft day in the Autumn.  We also join in Yeovil group activities such as ten pin bowling.


We have recently had the honour of being asked to allow our W.I. banner to be shown in a National Federation Needlework Exhibition later this year.


Anyone interested in joining the W.I. needs to contact Secretary, Linda Morgan tel. 863694





'Ornamental Grasses', 'Snowdrops', 'Soil Science' and 'Dahlias' were the subjects presented to the Club during the first four months of 2007.


Chris Smith, from Pennard Plants, situated in the old walled garden of the big house at East Pennard, not only discussed the value and care of ornamental grasses, but also brought a number of other plants and seed packets for members to buy.  Likewise the plants Pam Gussage brought with her to illustrate her delightful talk on the seasonal plants of snowdrops, which were readily snapped up.  Paul Hending's talk on 'Soil Science' was well supported by the men of the Club.  His easy style made this seemingly 'dry' subject accessible to everyone.  The talk on 'Dahlias' takes place as this Newsletter is being distributed.  Also in this period a coach load of members went on a three-day trip to Cornwall, visiting the gardens that were not included in the very successful trip, two years ago.


During the next three months, Christabel King, a leading botanical artist connected with Kew, will pay a return visit to talk about her experiences in Brazil.  Julie Riley and Alex Reeves will be talking about plants for ponds, and in July there will be another visit to a local garden of interest.  There is also an expedition to Exbury on 17 May, when the gardens will be aglow with Rhododendrons.


Programme for May 2007 to July 2007:

10 May Christabel King – Brazilian Plants & Botanical Paintings', with illustrations

17 May Day Trip to Exbury

14 June Julie Riley & Alex Reeves – 'Plants for Ponds & Wet Places'

12 July Garden Visit


Meetings are usually held on a Thursday, at 7.30pm in the East Coker Hall.  Visitors and new members are always welcome.  Enquiries to the Secretary, Catherine Denney 862294 or Treasurer, Stan Shayler 420291





The East Coker Branch of the Royal British Legion will be holding their annual Cheese & Wine evening on Friday 27 April 2007 at the East Coker Hall at 7.30pm.  Please come and support this popular event and we would be delighted to welcome new members to the village.


We are fortunate in Somerset to have two Legion Homes, one for convalescence and one residential which we support on a regular basis.


The ex-servicemen who now are able to take advantage of the facilities that these two homes provide are no longer elderly residents, but young casualties from present conflicts.  The Legion is able to support them in a variety of ways from convalescence to finding a new career, perhaps after leaving the Forces.


We always need new members in the Branch to help us to continue the work we do in supporting our ex-service men, not just locally but throughout the country.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the Legion, please join us on 27 April 2007 at the East Coker Hall.


Marilyn Smith





Barn Dance with The Yetties on Friday 22 June 2007 at East Coker Hall, at 7.30 pm.  Tickets £8 to include a ploughman's supper.  Bar to be provided.  Proceeds to go towards a guiding trip to Switzerland in 2008.  Tickets available from Nora White 477897





Tuesday 24 April  'Open Evening' – anyone can read either their own or favourite poems.

Tuesday 29 May  'Flora Poetica' – poetry on the theme of gardens, with local gardening clubs invited.

Tuesday 3 July  'American Poetry'


All our meetings are held in the skittle alley of the Helyar Arms, 7.30pm start.  There is no admission charge, and the meetings are open to anyone with an interest in poetry.





The Annual Village Quiz was held on the 10 March at the East Coker Hall and once again it was a full house with 20 teams of 8 people. 


The winners of the 'East Coker Cockerel' were The Friends of the Helyar Arms, with the Scouts coming a close second and 'Crumplers' third.  Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all the people who helped to make the event a great success.  Just under £900 was raised for the Pavilion Fund.


Bridget Sugg  Chairman – East Coker Pavilion Fund



Young People




Jumble Sale

Spring – Saturday 21 April 2007 at East Coker Hall 2.00pm  Remember we will collect.  Contact Max Bugler 862186


Waste Paper Collections:        Saturday 28 April           Saturday 26 May           Saturday 30 June


Thank you for your continued support.  Jackie Glover.





After 24 years as head teacher at the school, Mr Sweetlove will be retiring this Summer.


Summer Fayre – 15 June 2007 at 6.00pm



There are vacancies at the school for two Dinner-ladies and a Classroom Assistant to work with challenging children, to start in September 2007.


If you are interested, please contact East Coker School 862532





East Coker Playgroup is situated at The Pavilion, Long Furlong Lane, in an outstanding and safe location, with parking on site.  From the Pavilion, direct access to the playing fields allows the group every opportunity to take the curriculum outside and enjoy physical and outdoor exploration.


I bet you didn’t know that the Pavilion has been host to a bus, train, aeroplane, rocket and submarine over the last five weeks.  This week the children had great fun drawing fish and sea creatures to appear in the portholes as we ‘travel’ along.  Thanks to various sea films and (I suspect home aquariums), I was quite astonished at the variety and names given to their fishy pictures.  Our journey to the deep blue will be fascinating.


The wealth of experience of our fully qualified staff offers quality childcare and education through play, exploring the wider environment and local community with project-based activities.  These include trips out and visitors, such as the fire brigade, police, vet, doctor, dentist, clergy, musicians and local artists.  Ofsted have consistently given the group excellent reports and commended us for the interaction and encouragements between staff and children, partnership with parents, teaching, management and the emphasis on fun.


Children can join us from the age of 2½, and Nursery Education Funding is available from the term after the third birthday.  We are open during term time every weekday morning, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and offer optional lunch cover for children who like to bring a packed lunch.  During the Summer Term the playgroup is piloting extended opening hours – please contact Kay Strode if you would like more information on this exciting new opportunity on your doorstep.  We also offer sessions during some of the school holidays, again contact Kay Strode for information on upcoming dates.


For more information, and to put your child/children on the waiting list, please contact Kay Strode on 07798 812540 or after 6.00pm on 872126


We would also love to see you at the playgroup’s Summer Fair on 9 June.  This annual event is held at the Pavilion, Long Furlong Lane in the afternoon. There will be a variety of stalls and refreshments, East Coker School Country Dancers will entertain, the raffle will be drawn, and I believe the Firemen are invited as well. All this activity takes place during the afternoon and hopefully our booking for fine weather will hold.



The Churches




St Michael's Church Plant Sale


To be held at Bubspool House, Saturday 19 May 2007, 10.30am – 12.30pm.


In order to have a successful fundraising Plant Sale this year, would everyone who has a chance to grow some seedlings, split some herbaceous plants, take some cuttings, or even 'bring and buy' something, please do their best to contribute to the success of the event.


Cakes and Jams would be very welcome for the Produce Stall.




Maundy Thursday 5 April            6.30pm Eucharist – Last Supper, The Watch

Good Friday 6 April                    10.00am – Stations of the Cross & Prayers

Easter Saturday 7 April              6.30pm Festival of Light – Renewal of Baptismal Vows

Easter Day 8 April                      8.00am Holy Communion 1662    10.00am Family Eucharist 2000

Sunday 6 May                           10.00am Children's Service – Zambia Theme

Rogation Sunday 13 May            10.00am – Meet in the church

Thursday 17 May                       6.30pm Eucharist

Saturday 19 May                       Children's' Festival Day – Well's Cathedral

Pentecost Sunday 27 May          Pentecost Holy Communion, 10.00am Sung Eucharist, 6.00pm Evensong.

Trinity Sunday 3 June                 8.00am Holy Communion, 10.00am Family Eucharist.


Parish Church Annual General Meeting  Wednesday 18 April, 7.30pm Dampier Room, East Coker Hall


East Coker Church Fete – Saturday 7 July 2007 at 2.00pm.  All Welcome


Cakes for the Fete


I shall be running the Cake stall at the Fete on 7 July, so any cakes would be very welcome to make this stall a success.  Please could you deliver them to Amberley, Long Furlong Lane, or phone East Coker School 862532.  Thank you


Monica King


St Michael's Church Bookstall


Richard and Gail Vanderpump have kindly undertaken the responsibility for running the Bookstall.  Cards for all occasions can be purchased in the church, as well as pamphlets and booklets.





There will be an 'All Ages Family Service' at Closworth Church on Good Friday, 6 April at 10.00am.  Although it will be more formal than the usual Family service, we shall cater for the children with a special activity for them during the talk.  After the service there will be 'Cold' Cross Buns.


On Easter Day, 8 April at 10.00am, we shall be celebrating Easter with our usual Family Service followed by an Easter Egg Hunt.  There will be no Family Service on 15 April.


On Sunday 20 May we shall be celebrating Rogation Sunday – sorry if it is a week later. If the weather is fine we shall go outside to bless the gardens, and also any pets that can come and join us.  For more details phone me, Monica 862834





Notelets – featuring an attractive picture of the Norman Chancel Arch are available in packs of 12 for £5, or 50p each from Heather and Anthony and these are also part of our fundraising activities.  There about 10 packs of our very popular Christmas Cards left, featuring the Candlelit Carol Service, at the same price, as well as bookmarks, key rings, pens and other memorabilia.


Sunday Services; Holy Communion:

6 May, 9.00am; 20 May, 11.30am; 3 June, 9.00am; 17 June, 11.30am; 1 July, 9.00am; 15 July, 11.30am.


Churchwardens: Heather Snook 474138,  Anthony Denning 474294





A warm welcome awaits you at the end of Burton Lane. Services are as follows:

Sundays – The Lord's Supper 11.00am.  Prayer and Bible Study 6.30pm.

Monthly Family Service on the 2nd Sunday at 11.00am when The Lord's Supper takes place at 6.30pm instead of the Bible Study.  Other events announced weekly.


Contact us on 422594 or 863735





Our series of sermons from April to July will be on Revelation 1-3.  'What Christ thinks of the Church'


Wed 18 April, 7.00pm – Revelation 1 – Ian Lewis, St Bartholomew's, Bath

Wed 16 May, 7.00pm – The Letter to Ephesus: Revelation: 2:1-7 – James Dudley-Smith, St John's, Yeovil

Wed 20 June, 7.00pm – The Letter to Smyrna: Revelation: 2:8-11 – James de Costobadie, St Saviour's, Christchurch, New Zealand

Wed 8 July,  7.00pm – The Letter to Pergamum: Revelation;2 12-17 – Adrian Reynolds, Yately Baptist Church


These meetings will take place in the East Coker Hall.  Do join us and bring your friends with you.  Refreshments are served after each meeting.


Roy Hodder 862519



Village News




Friday 27 April – National Blind Children's Society


Friday 25 May – Campaign for Protection of Rural England


Friday 29 June – Action Medical Research – Touching Tiny Lives


Thank you to the Helyar Arms


At the January Coffee and Cake Morning kindly hosted by Ian McKerracher and his staff at the Helyar Arms, £710 was raised for ARC (Arthritis Research Campaign).  A big thank you to the 100 plus people who supported the event and especially Michelle Lesch (Manageress of the Helyar Arms), Head Chef Mat Eke and their respective teams for all their hard work.  Jane Sperring.


Coffee Morning at the Helyar Arms in aid of Mercy Ships


The Coffee Morning held at the end of February was a great success and raised £480 towards the costs of sending local eye surgeon and Rotarian, Yinka Osoba, to operate on a Mercy Ship off the coast of Africa.  The Rotary Club of Yeovil expresses its thanks to all who attended and to the Helyar Arms for supporting the project.  The required funds total should be reached by September which will enable this worthy cause to extend the essential medical services that can be provided to this very needy region.





Hello Everyone


We are the Moorhouse family (that's Paul, Vicky, Emmalia and Lillia) and we are the new owners of East Coker Post Office and Store.  We are very excited about our new venture in East Coker and want to provide the best service we possibly can to the village.  Indeed, it was on our very first visit here that we knew it was the place to be.


To all people we have already met, we would like to say a big thank you for giving us such a warm welcome.  To those we have not yet met, please do come and introduce yourselves (we can't promise to remember all your names straightaway, but we are learning).


Here's a quick reminder of the services we provide and the opening hours:


Post Office                                                       Opening Times


Postage                                                            Monday             7.45am – 1.00pm    2.00pm – 5.30pm

Bill Payments                                                    Tuesday            7.45am – 1.00pm

Foreign Currency                                               Wednesday       7.45am – 1.00pm

Travel Insurance                                     Thursday           7.45am – 1.00pm

National Savings/Premium Bonds                        Friday               7.45am – 1.00pm

Cash withdrawals & Deposits from:

A&L; Barclays; Lloyds TSB; Co-operative Bank; Cahoot

Fishing Licences

Car & Home Insurance

Gift Vouchers

Post Office Saving Stamps

Postal Orders

Phone Cards


The Shop                                                         Opening Times


Newspapers & Magazines                                  Monday             7.30am – 1.00pm    2.00pm – 5.30pm

Bread & Cakes                                                  Tuesday            7.30am – 1.00pm    2.00pm – 5.30pm

Milk, Butter & Cheeses                                      Wednesday       7.30am – 1.00pm    2.00pm – 5.30pm

Fruit & Vegetables                                             Thursday           7.30am – 1.00pm    2.00pm – 5.30pm

Confectionery                                                    Friday               7.30am – 1.00pm    2.00pm – 5.30pm

Off-Licence                                                        Saturday           7.30am – 1.00pm

General Groceries                                              Sunday             8.00am – 12 noon


Cards & Stationery

Mobile Top-ups

Photo-copying & Photo-printing

Handmade Jewellery


Please note the new services of photo-copying and photo-printing.  Also, we are pleased to announce that as from 29 March the Post Office will have Euros on demand, so no need to pre-order.


Finally, we would ask you to support your local Post Office and Shop and if there are any improvements/additions you would like us to make, please let us know and we will endeavour to make them.





Don and Barbara Nicol (and Tilly), of Jasmine Cottage, would like to thank everyone who came to our 'drop in day' at the end of January, and for making us feel so welcome to the village.  We were overwhelmed by the response we had to our invitation and now feel members of your village.  We are sorry we can't remember all of your names – but we are working on it.




You are warmly invited to


Coker Wood Cottage, Pendomer


Sunday 3 June 2007


when the developing garden will be open between 2.00pm & 6.00pm in aid of

The National Gardens Scheme


Teas; Pottery; Wood Turning; Water Colours; Fair Organ (occasionally!); Treasure Hunt for Children (& the Young at Heart)


Parking is limited so please walk, cycle, or share cars if possible.  It is a lovely walk up from East Coker.  We are on the road between Pendomer and Halstock, at Grid Ref: ST533102.  Non-walkers: Parking Ό mile down the lane by the railway bridge.


Charities supported: Macmillan Cancer Relief, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices, Crossroads – Caring for Carers, The Queen’s Nursing Institute, The Nurses Welfare Service, The Royal Gardeners’ Orphan Fund, NGS Gardeners’ Bursaries, Perennial (Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society), County Nursing Associations, St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice, St Roch Church, Pendomer


Anthea Lovelock





Sally Jackson wrote in the last Newsletter about her bellringing experiences.  This prompted a new bellringer to join us.  As always we could do with some more people, experienced or not, to join us.  If you feel like a new challenge of bellringing, and to help keep the bells of East Coker ringing, please call Lesley Lindsay 862868





Vernal Equinox 21 March 2007


We were fortunate in having perfect conditions for observing the Total Lunar Eclipse on the evening of 3 March.  Skies were clear and the event was at a reasonable time, totality passing before midnight.  At totality the moon was a coppery red, just like the official pictures, a wonderful sight to behold.  The next Total Lunar Eclipse visible from the village will be on 21 February 2008, but that event will take place in the small hours, with totality at 3.00am, perhaps a time for the dedicated watcher only.


Winter skies have not been particularly interesting.  The only planet in the night sky has been Saturn but from now until about the end of May, Venus should be a bright object in the western sky an hour or so after sunset.  Then it moves in front of the sun to emerge in the autumn as a morning planet in the east before sunrise.  Jupiter will slowly traverse the southern night sky in late May, as Saturn glides to the west.


The winter was reported to be the warmest on record.  January was mild but quite windy, with a colder end to the month, stretching into February, which then continued the mild theme into March.  A very cold few days before the start of official Spring came as a reminder that winter still lurks in the wings.  January's maximum temperature was 12.9ΊC (55.2ΊF) on the 9th, while the month's minimum of minus 2.5ΊC (27.5ΊF) occurred on the night of 25 January.  Storms across the country on the 18 January gave the village a wet and windy day, when the barometer fell to 989mb.  January had four frosty days and a rainfall of 79.2mm (3.12ins).  February was a little colder with a maximum of 12.2Ί (54ΊF) on the 28th. and a minimum of minus 2.4ΊC (27.7ΊF) on the night of the 3rd.  Clear skies resulted from a high on that day of 1041mb.  There were five frosty days in the month which had 101.1mm (3.98ins) of rain.  The average daytime maximum for January was 9.7ΊC (49.4ΊF) while the average minimum night temperature was 5.6ΊC (42.13ΊF).  For February, the averages were 9.3ΊC and 4.1ΊC (48.75ΊF and 39.39ΊF).


The mild late winter weather gave some interesting reports.  I was told of sightings of celandines in flower in early January, and primroses plus periwinkles flowering in sheltered hedges by 23 January. Crocuses began to flower in the garden on 7 January.  A splendid display of daffodils along Bunford Hill and the old Bunford Lane was a fine sight in January, as was the early opening of hazel catkins.  By early March, hedges along Bunford Hill were greening rapidly, curiously, on the coldest side facing north-east.  A Blue-tit sang its 'teacher-teacher' song on 2 February.  Fieldfares were reported gathering to the west of the village in late January but only a single report of a flying butterfly, probably a comma, has been received.  I saw the first bumblebee flying on 3 March.  Ants were running on warm days about the same date.


Last year I had to reline my garden pool after a heron had perforated the liner while taking all the fish.  As an experiment I have not added any life to the fresh water to see what would arrive spontaneously.  As expected, the first sign of new life was a growth of algae, greening the water.  The next to arrive were frogs – ten swimming by mid February.  After frogspawn had been deposited, a water boatman arrived on 14 March.  I wonder what will find the water during the summer.


Francis Cloke 862496





We are hoping to start an East Coker Flower Club that will meet once a month on a Thursday, in the Dampier Room, East Coker Hall, from 2.00pm – 4.00pm.  This will take the form of 'hands-on' arrangements, talks, plant and seed swapping.  It will be quite casual and great fun, with tea and biscuits at half time.  We need at least 10 to 15 interested people so that it is not imperative that you come to every meeting.  There will be a charge but, again, this depends on the interest and number of people.


If you are interested, please telephone 862868 by 30 April and you will be informed as soon as possible after that date, whether this is going to be a viable club.





By the time you read this newsletter, the Parish Council and South Somerset District Council will have arranged a Litter Picking Day around the parish on Saturday, 31 March.  Hopefully, there will have been a good turnout of volunteers to spring-clean the parish roadsides and verges and all will be clean and tidy.  However, it does not stop there – everyone is responsible for the general tidiness of the village and litter is always a major issue. So, please keep on top of litter in your area all the year round!


Following on from the above, if you think that refuse or recycling lorries are spilling their contents, as has been reported in the village, contact Beth Prince at Brympton Way (462462) with as much detail (date, time, place, registration no. etc.) as possible.


The Parish Lengthsman continues to work one day a week in our area, basically doing the jobs that the local council never seems to get around to doing, and generally keeping the village tidy.  If you think there is a job that can be resolved by him, contact Roy Hodder on 862419.  The lengthsman also does a lot of the strimming, and he will soon be seen trimming around the village.  A ‘faceful’ of dog’s mess is every strimmer operator’s worst experience and if there is dog excrement on footpaths, verges and banks the council contractors may well refuse to continue.  PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG and use the dog litter bins around the village.  We do not apologise for constantly reminding you of this!


There has been an alarming incident of a large dog chasing horse riders in the north of the parish.  Dog walkers were seen walking in a field (not on a footpath) and the dog came through the hedge and attacked the pony of a young rider, who was thrown off.  She was lucky not to have been attacked by the dog as well.  This was a very frightening experience and the police have been informed.  Dogs must be kept on a lead near any livestock and walkers (and their dogs) must stay on footpaths at all times.


The applications for the Parish Council Elections had to be in by 4 April, so potential parish councillors have hopefully forwarded their forms to Brympton Way for inclusion.


Parishioners in the Wraxall area will be pleased that they are still a part of East Coker Parish and that the Council voted not to approve the proposal to merge their area with Yeovil.  This decision was made partly because of the large amount of written public objections to the proposal, so having your say in an organised manner is still the best way of defeating unwelcome proposals.


Local councillor, Alan Cornelius, retires this year after over 50 years in local government.  His support for the village over these years has been enormous and many controversial proposals that were not considered to be in the interest of the parish have been diplomatically dealt with under his tenure.  He has always had the best interests of the parish at heart and East Coker owes a large debt to his perception and loyalty.  The Parish Council will be hoping to celebrate with Alan later in the year.


The road between Pincushion Corner and Netherton will be closed for 2 weeks from 2 April for drainage repairs.





The next issue of the Newsletter will be in July 2007.  Copy, please, to Lesley Lindsay, Little Meadow, Coker Marsh, East Coker or e-mail Lesley Lindsay or to the East Coker Post Office & Store by Thursday 28 June 2007.




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