East Coker Society




January 2003           Free Issue 109



Letter from the Chair


May I on behalf of the Committee wish you a somewhat belated Happy New Year; we hope that 2003 will be successful for the village and all its enterprises.  There may be some of you who feel the lack of a club in the village which caters for your particular interests, be it astronomy, walking, model-making, bird-watching, or whatever.  Why not make it a New Year resolution to find out, through the pages of this newsletter, whether there are any other like-minded enthusiasts around who would be interested in setting something up?  You might well be pleasantly surprised.


The Christmas Bazaar was a particular success this year: £333.06 was raised for the newsletter and all 300 village tea towels were sold, many of them destined to be sent as presents to friends and relations far from here.  Eight village groups benefited from having stalls at the Bazaar – a ‘village’ event in every sense.  Thank you all for your support.


You may have noticed several recent improvements to one of the most attractive corners of our village, namely The Paddock.  Old tree roots have been removed and ground levelled.  Bare earth patches are to be grassed over in the spring and the Society’s future plans for this area include planting an oak tree to give good autumn colour and hanging new wooden gates.  Very many thanks to John Sugg and David Mead for their work.


The Village Events list (at the back of the newsletter) features the next four months of activities.  The April Newsletter will include events from April to August so do let Lesley know of anything scheduled for that period (date, time and venue please).  If you advise we advertise!


Last but by no means least, we should all pay tribute to the 30 volunteer distributors who have yet again tramped the streets and lanes of East Coker to ensure that this newsletter is delivered to every household.  We couldn’t do without you!


Pauline Helliar



East Coker Society News



VILLAGE  HISTORY  EXHIBITION  13 and 14 September 2003 – details in next Newsletter.



Village Clubs and Organisations




'Roast Beef Lunch' to be held in April at the East Coker Hall.  If interested please contact Mary Ashley 862263


The Group meets Tuesdays 6.00pm – 7.00pm at the East Coker Hall.  New members welcome.  Contact Mary Ashley 862263





Earlier last year I asked that during the Golden Jubilee year we make a special effort to top last year's figure.  You did not disappoint me, and it is with very many thanks to all collectors, and to everyone who gave so generously, that we have in fact topped that figure by £70.15 to £2439.42.  Well done.


Sue Hounsell 863287


Lest We Forget


On 9 November four of us boarded Berry's bus for our trip to London to see the Festival of Remembrance at The Royal Albert Hall.  We found our seats way up in the gods, but on the front row, so had a really good bird's eye view, and also of the  Royal Box.  The atmosphere was amazing, just to know that everyone was there for the same reason filled us with some hope for the times ahead.  The 'Royals' arrived at eight o'clock and we saw Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles, The Princess Royal, The Count and Countess of Wessex and a host of politicians, including the Prime Minister.  The evening progressed a little differently to other years.  Because it was the Golden Jubilee Year much was made of the 50 years of The Queen's reign, and a moving tribute was paid to The Queen Mother, during the two minute silence and the dropping of the poppy petals.  Everyone's thoughts were obviously very personal, some remembering the men and women who had bravely given their lives, so that we may enjoy the freedom we have, others remembering personnel still fighting for that freedom.  It was good to see so many young people taking part, their enthusiasm running like a thread of new hope through the whole proceeding.  Sunday morning saw us at the Cenotaph.  Yes, in the rain!  Luckily, this stopped in time for the laying of the wreaths and the march past of the veterans.  The Chelsea Pensioners brought a lump to every throat, and when the whole of The Mall rang with the tune of 'There'll Always Be an England', we all knew exactly why we were there, and come what may no-one will ever be able to take away that feeling of pride.  Our final stop was Westminster Abbey and The Field of Remembrance.  This again highlighted the losses already sustained, and conflicts still happening all over the world.


I don't know whether I shall ever go again, or if I really want to.  Having celebrated the remembrance weekend, during the Golden Jubilee year I feel I have certainly had my 'perfect moment'!!


Sue Hounsell





"Time to Share", now in its 28th year, is still flourishing, with a membership which has grown to 60 during the past few months.


We meet from 2.30pm – 4.00pm on alternate Mondays in the East Coker Hall to enjoy a varied programme of talks and activities in a really friendly, happy atmosphere.  There is always time for a "cuppa" and a chat and, of course, a piece of delicious cake, home-made for us by our very kind "Cake Rota" ladies.


This year's programme will include two whole day outings, talks ranging from "Social Security" to "Music Hall", Line Dancing, a Quiz Afternoon, two Bazaars, two parties and much more!


If you would like to find out more about "Time to Share", please contact Alison Charles 863137, Jean Bicknell 478733 or Mary Baker 862132





By the time the Newsletter reaches you the AGM will have been held and we will be embarking upon a new series of talks and visits covering a wide range of interests, which we hope will please all tastes.  Programmes ready at the February meeting.  We start with a talk on 'Violets' by Mr Clive Groves from Groves Nurseries, Bridport, and in April are looking forward to our visit to Kew Gardens.


The Club has had an encouraging rise in membership over the past year.  We hope to welcome back all our members and to meet many new ones.


Future meetings are:-     13 March           Vegetables for the Small Garden David Rawding

                                    10 April             Patio Containers                                    Brimsmore Staff

                                    24 April             Visit to Kew Gardens

                                    8 May               The Amateur Greenhouse                       Robert Allwood


The club meets on the second Thursday of each month at East Coker Hall, 7.30pm.  All welcome.


Rachel Blow 862849





We have just completed a highly successful and interesting year under the presidency of Eileen Horwood.  Besides very informative and amusing speakers at the monthly meetings we have run three workshops.  A three-day workshop introduced us into the intricacies of the computer.  By the end of the sessions, we could not only write letters but could make greetings cards and search the internet.  


Two separate one-day workshops guided us through the art of barge painting and painting on silk.  These workshops proved highly satisfying as we were able to make several of our own Christmas presents.


A visit to Cothay Manor was arranged to celebrate our birthday and we also visited the theatre as a group.  Outings organised by the W.I. Group have included ten-pin bowling and organised walks.


Whist Drives


We run monthly Whist Drives during the winter to help boost funds.  These are held in East Coker Hall and are open to anyone.  They will be held on Thursdays, 23 January, 20 February, 20 March and, 17 April, starting at 7.30pm.  Tel 863223


The New Year programme starts on Thursday, 30 January at 7.30pm at the East Coker Hall where we will entertained by the famous “No, No, Yes” comedy actor, Trevor Peacock from ‘The Vicar of Dibley’.  Anyone interested in joining the Women's Institute, please come along to that meeting or phone treasurer, Angela Rees, on 862828 for details.


Jumble Sale


To be held on Saturday 1 February at the East Coker Hall.  Doors open at 2.00pm.  Any jumble will be gratefully received.


Joyce Pryor 862816



EAST  COKER  PLAYERS – thank you!


Another super pantomime!  The children were great!  A lot of hard work must have gone into giving the audience such enjoyable performances of 'Peter Pan'.  Well done!


Sue Hounsell





A successful year is always a hard act to follow.  For the Wine Circle's Silver Jubilee Year we promised a really fantastic programme and we believe we are achieving this aim.  It is hoped that the charity concert by the South West RAFA Band on Saturday, 15 February will raise a substantial sum of money for the Royal British Legion.  This event is open to non members and tickets (£7 for adults, £5 for children) are available from the Treasurer, David Fellowes, 864346.  Our other major event is the 25th anniversary dinner on Saturday, 22 March.  A four-day visit to Shropshire for an English wine trail has been organized for July.


For the hog roast last year it seems that it was a case of déja vu, the weather once again knocked the shine off this event and the committee has decided to put a repeat roast on the back burner for a while!  A new venue and new format is being planned.  Watch this space!  Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has supported the Wine Circle over the past year and to take this opportunity to wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year.


David Pryor





Next Waste Paper Collections for 2003:  8 February, 12 April, 7 June, 9 August, 11 October, 6 December


This is a regular fund raiser for the East Coker Scout Group and we welcome all contributions large or small.

The collection point is opposite East Coker School during the morning.  It is helpful to us if newsprint is flat packed and kept separate from magazines & glossies as the newsprint is more valuable to us.  Any queries regarding waste paper, please phone Max Bugler: 862186.


Scout Jumble Sale Dates for 2003


Spring: Saturday 19 April Autumn: Saturday 18 October.  Both will be held at East Coker Village Hall at 2.00pm.  Please start saving your jumble now.


REMEMBER WE WILL COLLECT. Tel. Max Bugler 862186


Thank you for your continued support.  Jackie Glover







A study of the south coast from Penwith to Poole, integrating the physical and human aspects, looking at themes such as geology, landforms, settlements, industries and conservation.  Case studies of locations will exemplify the splendid diversity of this fascinating coastline.  Tutor:  Paul Pickering, B.Sc. Cert. Ed.


Beginning:  Tuesday 4 March, 2.30pm – 4.00pm for six weekly meetings in the village hall, Halves Lane.


Course Fee:  £20, paid on second meeting.  Students who receive a means tested benefit or Job Seeker's Allowance and their unwaged dependants can register for this course for £3.  The tuition is then FREE – and those on low income may also be eligible for help.


For further information contact:  Sarah Smith, Penhill Farm, Pendomer, Yeovil, BA22 9PA.  Tel. 862466



Young People




Peter Sweetlove – Head Teacher


Mr Sweetlove celebrated 20 years as the School's Head Teacher on 6 January 2003).  There must be many ex staff, pupils, parents and friends who have memorabilia of the school from January 1983 and we would love to collate these and present them to Mr Sweetlove sometime later in the year.  If you know of anyone who would like to contribute their memories of the school, special days, amusing incidents, what they loved most and perhaps a personal note of what they are doing now, please send them to Christine Mowbray, Odmoor House, East Coker, BA22 9HY on an A5 piece of paper, together with any photographs (which will be returned).  The PTFA will be asking Mr Sweetlove to plant a tree in the school playing fields to commemorate 20 years of service to the school as a token of our great appreciation.


Many thanks.  Chris Mowbray, Chair PTFA  862478


Travelling  Trends  Fashion Show.


This will be held at East Coker School, Thursday, 13 February.  Doors open 7.30pm, show starts at 8.00pm.  We are the first in this area to host a Fashion Show with Travelling Trends.  So you won't have seen them before.  Why not come along and enjoy a Ladies Night out, a glass of wine and this season's fashions all in one go?  This is your chance to see, try on and buy High Street fashions, from retailers such as Principles, Marks and Spencer's 'Per Una', Next, Gap and many more at greatly reduced prices.  Tickets will be on sale at £3.50, to include a glass of wine or tea or coffee, from 20 January at East Coker Village Post Office (thank you Nick), or by posting your ticket order to Chris Mowbray, Odmoor House, East Coker, (by the telephone box) with cash or a cheque made payable to East Coker PTFA and the total amount of tickets required and address to send them to.  We look forward to a great village community evening.





We are a local playgroup operating at The Sports Pavilion, Long Furlong Lane, East Coker, next to the playing fields.  Sessions run Monday to Friday starting at 9.15am and finishing at 12 noon.  We provide a warm, friendly, stimulating and safe environment where children can blossom and grow, learning and developing happily through play based activities. We are Ofsted inspected and children will be funded under the Early Years Grant system when eligible.  For further information on Playgroup, please contact Kay Strode on 872126


Our next fundraising event is our May Fair on 17 May at The Pavilion, Long Furlong Lane, East Coker during the afternoon.





A baby and toddler group for parents and carers.  An afternoon for fun and play whilst becoming familiar with the playschool setting and facilities.


We meet on Thursday afternoon from 1.30pm to 3.00pm at The Pavilion, Long Furlong Lane, East Coker. The cost per family is £1.00.


Contact; Penny 862753



The Churches




Special Services


Mothering Sunday  30 March  10.00am  Children's Service


Passion Sunday  6 April  10.00am  Matins  1662 Prayer Book


Palm Sunday  13 April  10.00am  Procession of Palms


Maundy Thursday  17 April  6.00pm  Last Supper Eucharist followed by 'The Watch'


Good Friday  18 April  10.00am  Stations of the Cross


Holy Saturday  19 April  6.00pm  Lighting of the New Fire


Easter Day  20 April  10.00am  Sung Eucharist


Roger Burt 862125





The East Coker bell-ringers are always happy to welcome anybody who would like to try their hand at bell-ringing.  It is great fun and 'good exercise'!  We will start practices in March on a Friday night.  Please ring Lesley Lindsay 862868



The Mid week Meetings


These meetings are held once a month at the church.  The emphasis is placed on preaching and teaching the Bible.  All meetings start at 7.00pm and last for one hour, followed by refreshments and plenty of time to chat.


The dates are:-  Tuesday 28 January  Rev Alan Hogarth   

Wednesday 19 February  Rev James de Costobadie

                        Tuesday 25 March  Rev Rupert Demery


Please feel free to join us.  For further details, please ring 862519 or 862785  Roy Hodder





Six or seven years ago the tiny Church of All Saints Closworth was on the verge of closing because of lack of support and building problems but things have changed.  Just before Christmas the church was beautifully decorated and lit with brightly coloured night lights for the annual Carol Service.  The church was full and the congregation sang well known carols with enthusiasm.  St. Michaels Church Choir from East Coker sang a number of lesser known carols.  Members of Closworth congregation read the lessons and after the Service the congregation was served mulled wine and mince pies.  Nobody seemed to want to go home, perhaps they had heard the call to the service on the bells rung by the vicar and Roger Barber.


On Christmas Eve Closworth Church was again completely full with excited and expectant children dressed to take part in scenes from the Nativity.  There were angels and shepherds and kings as well as a baby lamb.  All wanted to be part of the Service.  As the Christmas story unfolded in verses chosen by Penny Barber and read by the older children, the younger ones came up to join Mary and Joseph and the real live baby Jesus.  All behaved perfectly and there were not any cries from either baby Jesus or the lamb.  Even the most boisterous toddler stood solemnly still with rapt looks of adoration.  Was it the beautiful dresses that had been produced by caring mothers and grandparents that made the children so good or was it the Spirit of Christmas and the Christ Child's birth that was in their hearts?  At one time I could not sing, I had a lump in my throat.


Monica Whipp



Village News




If you have made a booking for the Hall for 2003 and have not been contacted by Pauline the new Hall Bookings Secretary) within the last month, please phone her as soon as possible.


Pauline Helliar 862087





At the November meeting, the following reply was received from B/T regarding the branches of trees growing around overhead cabling, 'that overhead cabling is especially robust and designed to withstand extreme wear and tear'.  They do, however, state 'it is the responsibility of the owners of the trees to attend to pruning as and when necessary'.


Roy Hodder 862519





Thank you to everybody who saved their used postage stamps for CLIC.  I was able to take the largest collection yet to the CLIC shop.  Please continue to save both British and foreign stamps throughout the year and take them to the shop, or to me, at Holly Cottage nearby.


Micky Hall





While some direct mail can be very useful and relevant, much of it goes straight into the bin without being read.  You can considerably reduce the amount of unsolicited mail you receive by contacting the Mailing Preference Service (MPS), which offers a service for households.  Registering with MPS will stop most of the junk mail you don't want.  Application forms for registration under this scheme are available from the Mailing Preference Service,  Freepost 22, London, W1E 7EZ  Tel 020 7 766 4410  Fax 020 7 976 1886  email mps@dma.org.uk






VILLAGE  EVENTS  January 2003    April 2003


Sat 1 Feb                   WI Jumble Sale, East Coker Hall.  Doors open 2.00pm


Sat 8 Feb                   Waste Paper Collection.  Opposite the school.  9.00am – 11.00am


Thurs 13 Feb             Fashion Show, East Coker School.  Doors open 7.30pm


Sat 15 Feb                 South West RAFA Band.  East Coker Hall


Thurs 20 Feb             Whist Drive, East Coker Hall.  7.30pm


Thurs 20 Mar             Whist Drive, East Coker Hall.  7.30pm


Sat 22 Mar                 Wine Circle Silver Anniversary Dinner


Sat 12 April                Waste Paper Collection.  Opposite the school.  9.00am – 11.00am


Thurs 17 April            Whist Drive, East Coker Hall.  7.30pm


Sat 19 April                Scout Jumble Sale.  East Coker Hall, 2.00pm


Sat 17 May                Plant Sale, Bubspool House


Sat 17 May                Playgroup Summer Fair, The Pavilion, Longfurlong Lane



If your event is written into the Village Diary (kept in the Post Office) we will include it in this section of the Newsletter.