East Coker Society


January 2004    Free Issue  No 113


Chair: John Sugg  863435    

Secretary and Newsletter Editor: Lesley Lindsay  862868     

Treasurer: Keith Helliar  863700


East Coker Society News



If in the 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.  Your email address will be kept entirely private, with no cross-referencing of other people's emails.  We greatly appreciate delivery by e-mail as it saves money on our printing costs.



Village Clubs and Organisations




East Coker Players are looking for dry storage space in or near the village.  So if you have a shed or garage that you are not using and would be prepared to allow Players to store stage building equipment there, could you please let us know.  Please ring Don or Nora White on 477897.


Following the success of our Pantomime, 'Babes in the Wood', we are now planning our event in May.  This will take place on Saturday 15 May and we are calling all Players, past and present and new, to help prepare for this evening.  Please come along to the Dampier Room at 7.30 pm on Monday 2 February, bringing with you (if you can) a poem or song etc that you may like to perform in May.  We look forward to seeing you there.


Chris Hollis





Your Village Hall Needs You!


East Coker can boast that the Village Hall has good facilities and is well used.  A little time and effort from the committee, who are all volunteers, ensures the hall is available to all.


However, two of our team are about to take well-deserved retirement, so we are urgently looking for volunteers to take on the roles of Chairperson and Secretary.  Full ‘training’ is offered (if needed).


If you feel able to give some free time, and put something back into the village in the bargain, we would like to hear from you.  Meet new friends and have some fun at the same time.


To find out more, please contact Ray 862214, or Andy 863976, or e-mail boofins@btinternet.com


Without volunteers the future of our village hall will be in jeopardy!





Another year has gone by, so perhaps it's time to draw your attention once more to the fact that "Time to Share" meets on alternate Mondays from 2.30pm. - 4.00pm.in the East Coker Hall, starting on 12 January 2004.


As you will remember from previous reports in this Newsletter, we are a happy, friendly crowd, and the programme provides something for everyone to enjoy.  In addition to the talks and presentations, we have competitions and outings, visits to St. Michael's Church, to sing our favourite hymns and carols and, on a more energetic note, Line Dancing and the occasional Tea Dance!


Please Note  that at 2.30pm on 5 April 2004 we are having our annual Spring Fair with Stalls; including Bring and Buy, Competitions and of course, our usual Tea With Homemade Cake. This will be an Open Meeting - Why not come and join us? You may be certain of a warm welcome.


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





The project for the new pavilion at Longfurlong Lane is making good progress.  The committee have met with the planners on site, who have agreed to our proposal to replace the existing building with a modern, custom built pavilion.  We shall, within weeks, have the plans available to display to the village, so you will all be able to see what we are getting so enthusiastic about!


On the fundraising front, there will be an Auction of Promises at East Coker Hall at 7.30pm on Friday 30 January 2004.  There is no admission charge, yet there will be a free drink on arrival and a cheese and wine supper available, so please come and spend the evening with us, and perhaps pick up a bargain!  Some generous offers of services and wares have been donated for auction.  Examples include accommodation for a holiday in Spain, catering services, minibus hire, a soft-top car for a weekend and many more.  A programme detailing all the items will shortly be distributed so you can decide what you fancy bidding for in advance!


Our next event will be a Race Night, with a casino, on 20 March 2004 at East Coker Hall at 8.00pm. The auctioneer will be Tim Edmonds.  Tickets will cost £10, to include chips for the Casino, and we hope to have them on sale at the Auction of Promises.  We are also looking for sponsors for the races; any interested parties can contact myself on 864410, Paula on 862264 or any of the committee members.


We hope to provide some excellent entertainment with these events, but we also hope to raise funds to provide a much-needed facility for recreation and the children of the village. All proceeds from these events will contribute towards making this project achievable.


The next meeting will take place on Thursday 5 February 2004 at The Pavilion at 7.30 pm.


Emma Trickey





Poppy Appeal

Yet again The East Coker Branch has come up trumps, topping last year's total with a magnificent £4,575.63.  East Coker's total being £2,536.11.  Many thanks to all collectors and all who gave so generously.


As you may know, Barry and I are now living in Bridport, but nothing will change, I shall still be doing the Poppies, and I hope to have your continued support.


Dates for your Diary – Cheese & Wine 30 April 2004                  Coffee Morning 9 October 2004


Sue Hounsell






Fashion Show and Lunch

The East Coker Committee of Action Medical Research are organising a Fashion Show and Lunch, on Wednesday 28 April 2004, at East Coker Hall, starting at 11. 00am.  Coffee and biscuits will be served on arrival; next will be the Fashion Show, followed by a two course lunch, which includes a glass of wine or soft drink.


The clothes and accessories are by the Fashion House of Azur.  They are exclusive designs by the Countess of Caernarfon, who wanted to design clothes and accessories for the sort of woman who wants to shop at Harvey Nichols but can't afford it, or lives to far away!  You will have the opportunity to try the clothes on, and either buy or order items on the day.


Tickets are £15 and are strictly limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.  The tickets are available from Leigh Mead, 863466.


Michaelmas Fair

Once again we are holding our very popular Michaelmas Fair at East Coker Hall on Tuesday 21 September 2004.  The majority of stalls this year will be new but a few old favourites will be returning.





On 11 December, Beverly Benham, from Golden Acres Nursery, came to give a talk on houseplants - apparently Aspidistras are back in fashion as they go well in minimalist rooms.  The evening was rounded off with wine, tea, coffee and seasonal fare.  At the end of the year the membership stood at just over 60, which is very pleasing.


I would also like to draw your attention to our Open Evening on 13 May 2004 when we make a special effort to raise money for our charity, which this year is St. Margaret's Hospice garden.  We are delighted that Ann Swithinbank, of T.V. and Radio fame will give a talk entitled "Plants, People and Places". 


We are also planning a visit to the Hampton Court Garden Festival in July.


The Club meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7.30pm in East Coker Hall.  Anyone is welcome to join as member or to come as a visitor.


Forthcoming Meetings:     12 February – The Scented Garden – Chris Yates

      11 March – Bulbs From Around the World – Chris Ireland –Jones, Avon Bulbs

                                           8 April – Organics – Paul Hending


Any queries regarding the club, please telephone Rachel Blow  862849



Young People




After a 'restful' Christmas holiday, we are back to a busy Spring term.  The end of last term saw a visit from Santa on his bus, Christmas parties and a wonderful performance of the Nativity by the children and staff.


The playgroup is open from 9.15am to 12 noon, Monday to Friday for children aged 2½ up to 5 years.  From January 2004 we are also open Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon for a session from 1.00pm to 3.30pm.


Every day there is lunch time cover available, where for £1.50 on the day, children can bring their own lunch and stay on from 12 noon to 1.15pm.


The playgroup is Ofsted registered and works with the Foundation Curriculum.  Nursery Education Funding is available when children become eligible (presently the term after their third birthday).


Spaces are limited and we urge anyone with a child requiring a place to get your baby's name on the waiting list as early as possible. Contact Kay Strode on 872126 (evenings) for further information and an application form.


Thank you to all those who supported our Craft Fair in November, the village hall was full of stalls and we raised £1,200 for funds.  For information on our Craft Fair in November 2004, please contact Eve Dudden 862357.


Many thanks for your continued support.  Eve Dudden  Administrator





Sadly, East Coker Brownies had to say goodbye to their three leaders at Christmas as work and family commitments have taken over their time.  All the leaders will be missed as they were each hardworking, fun and enthusiastic.  Luckily a new leader has been found (Jo Lock 412030) - but more help is still needed.


Anna White  Assistant Division Commissioner for Yeovil Guides





This year is a special year for East Coker Scout Group.  Having originally been formed early in the last century, the Group was re-formed in 1964 and so we will be celebrating our 40th Anniversary this year.  The group was re-formed by Bill Williams (who sadly passed away last year) and Max Bugler (who continues to help as our Treasurer).  We eventually moved to our current building in 1984, when an old army hut was re-located from the Houndstone Camp.  We hope to arrange a special celebratory event later in the year.


2003 passed well for us, including a Group Camp at Huish Woods, Taunton.  On the Saturday, we had all of our sections together on site - covering an age range from 6 – 20 years old.


Our Beavers have gained in strength under their new leader, though the numbers we can take are held back by the need for additional regular help.  We are currently without a Cub Scout leader, but the Scout Leader and myself are covering this role until we can find a new leader.  The Scouts continue to grow in skill, and all sections will be preparing for the year’s forthcoming events.


David Webber  Group Scout Leader  474648


Waste Paper Collections

The collection of waste paper in East Coker has long been an important source of funding for the Scout Group.  We have recently been informed by the recycling company that our tonnage must increase to be cost effective.  We have been given three further collection dates as follows:


7 FEB  3 APRIL & 15 JUNE


We appeal to all villagers to support the Scout Group by recycling their paper.  The collection point is opposite East Coker School from 9am - 11am.  It is helpful to us if newsprint is flat packed and kept separate from glossies as the newsprint is more valuable to us. If you have any queries regarding waste paper please contact Max Bugler  862186


Scout Jumble Sale Dates for 2004

Spring: Saturday 17 April.  Autumn: Saturday 9 October.  Both will be held at 'East Coker Hall at 2.00pm.  Please start saving your Jumble now.


REMEMBER WE WlLL COLLECT  Max Bugler 862186.


Thank you for your continued support.






East Coker Primary School serves a wider community than just our village children, and its newcomers are from a number of pre-schools.


Hardington Mandeville is one of the closest pre-schools feeding into East Coker Primary School and at present it has several vacancies for children aged 2 ½ to 5 years, Monday to Friday, 9.15am to 12.30pm.


The pre-school prides itself on a caring and individual approach to childcare.  Sessions are held at Hardington Mandeville village hall, and the team provides a very happy and stimulating environment in this spacious, relaxed setting. 


For more information, please contact Sarah Quinton on 01935 864296 (evenings) or 07792 513122.


The Churches





Ash Wednesday            25 February  6.00pm Holy Communion

Mothering Sunday          21 March  8.00am Holy Communion; 10.00am Family Service; 6.00pm Evensong

Passion Sunday            28 March  8.00am Holy Communion; 10.00am Eucharist; 6.0pm Evensong

Palm Sunday                 4 April  8.00am Holy Communion; 10.00am Family Communion; 6.00pm Evensong

Maundy Thursday          8 April  6.00pm Holy Communion followed by 'The Watch'

Good Friday                  9 April  10.00am Stations of the Cross

Easter Saturday             10 April  6.00pm Service of Light & New Fire

Easter Sunday               11 April  8.00am Holy Communion; 10.00am Sung Eucharist; 6.00pm Evensong


St Michael's Bookstall Plant Sale – Bubspool House – 15 May 2004 - 10.30am - 12.30pm

We are hoping for the usual marvellous support in the growing of plants etc for this year's event.


Many thanks John Darling





Since October the Mid Week Meetings have been held in the East Coker Hall.  This has greatly helped parking problems, and elderly folk have benefited from the easier access.  The high point of the year was the December Carol Service, where we enjoyed singing traditional Christmas Carols (to the accompaniment of the Coker Nuts?) and an excellent talk by Jonathan Fletcher on the true meaning of Christmas.  Mince Pies, Tea, Coffee and Mulled Wine were served.


The dates of meetings the first five months of 2004 are:

Wednesday 21 January 7.00pm;             Wednesday 18 February 7.00pm;

Wednesday 17 March 7. 00pm;               Wednesday 21 April 7. 00pm;

Wednesday 19 May 7. 00pm


Please do come and join us.  After each meeting there are refreshments and plenty of time to chat.  For further details please contact Edward Armitstead 862785 or Roy Hodder 862519



Village News




Can I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their cards, gifts and best wishes for our retirement.  Missing East Coker like mad, but settling in at Bridport.


Luv, Barry & Sue Hounsell




From the beginning of March 2003 we have had the Lengthsman Richard Thorne working in our Parish one day per week.  During this time he has been involved with cleaning the highway; emptying dog and litter bins; cutting down nettles and weeds (especially the path from Tellis Cross to the School); painting the sign-posts and some road signs; the fence by the river, near the phone box has been repaired and painted; the bus shelter has been varnished; small fly tips removed and various repairs carried-out on Parish property.  During August, with the help of his wife Sharon, he has completely redecorated the interior of the Pavilion

It would be greatly appreciated when the Lengthsman working sign is set up on the highway if motorists could slow down and be patient.  The delays are kept to a minimum and we are trying to improve the area to the benefit of us all.


Roy Hodder



N B Pilates for All


As well as the notice above a new Pilates for All class is starting from the 21 January 2004 at East Coker Hall from 9.45am – 10.45am.  For enquiries call the numbers above




Plans for the new Pavilion have been downscaled to a single storey construction, with the same amenities as before: changing rooms (home and away); toilets; kitchen area; and two rooms with dividing doors to make a larger area if needed.  These plans have not been finalised and are still under discussion.  The Pavilion will provide improved and much needed extra space and facilities for the Playgroup and other clubs, with the emphasis on sport and recreation for the parish.  The newly purchased land for the football pitch has been reseeded and will hopefully be ready for use in the autumn.  This will allow the existing land to be used as the cricket pitch, with a well protected cricket square.


Costs for building the Pavilion will still be in excess of £100,000 - an enormous amount of money has to be raised, so please support all fund-raising activities.


A grant of £12,500 from South Somerset District Council has greatly helped the speedy purchase of replacement play-equipment at the Pavilion.  This is now being installed by Wicksteed.  Further grants have been received from Wyvern Environmental Trust (£5,000) and the Community Chest (£750), so extra equipment, to include a picnic table from a local supplier, stepping stones, and a roundabout, have been added to the original plan.  A new gate will provide security for the play area, and more equipment can be purchased when funds become available.  Bridget Mead, Sarah Rashley and Roy Hodder have put a great deal of time and effort into pushing this project along, and it is thanks to them that we have succeeded with the grant applications.


It is hoped that the recycling black boxes are now being more efficiently handled by the Council Recycling Services.  Anyone who still has problems should consult Beth Prince (Waste Service officer) at the Council offices.


The Parish Lengthsman Scheme is now well into its stride (see earlier in this Newsletter).  Our Lengthsman, Richard Thome, spends a day each week in the parish catching up with the jobs that the local council never quite seems to get around to doing!  This is a pilot scheme, and the success of this venture is being noted by other authorities.  Former parish councillor, Barrie Hartley, was instrumental in setting up the scheme, working with District and County Councils to finance its innovation.  Roy Hodder (862519) now co-ordinates and organises a schedule of work for Richard.  Hopefully the village will be tidier and safer as a result, but please back up all the good work and keep the village litter free.  If you think there are urgent jobs to be dealt with, contact Roy.


At its December meeting, the Parish Council was informed by District Councillor, Alan Cornelius that no modification should be made to the local plan.  This confirms that the proposed development in the north part of the parish has been rejected by the Local Planning Enquiry thus endorsing a concerted effort by East Coker residents and the ensuing, well publicised Referendum which objected to the plans.  The Parish Council was adamant that correct procedure should be followed and that the support of local, district and county councillors should be maintained in achieving this favourable decision.


Looking forward to the spring, Daffodil Day, on 1 November 2003, was a great success, as all generations of planters spread themselves around the village.  In a month or so we shall be able to see the first results of our efforts, and in future years we shall all benefit from a colourful spring display.  Thank you to everyone for your support.





Looking for somewhere to take the kids during Spring half term? The Community Council for Somerset's Altogether Now? Roadshow may be the answer.  The Roadshow is a response to a report recently published by the Community Council which highlighted a lack of access to advice and information for families living in


rural areas.  Bringing together a range of organizations, visitors to the events will be able to talk to experts on a range of issues, from affordable housing and village halls to welfare benefits, employment and careers.


The Roadshow will also include a crèche and activities for children up to the age of 11, while the Somerset Rural Youth Project will provide 'cool stuff' for teenagers, allowing parents to spend time looking at the displays, and information provided by a range of organisations.


Free food and soft drinks will be available throughout the events, which run from 1.30pm - 7.30pm at each of the following venues:

Monday 16 February - Milborne Port Village Hall

Tuesday 17 February - Bishop Henderson School, Coleford

Wednesday 18 February - Westonzoyland Primary School

Thursday 19 February - Stogursey Victory Hall

Friday 20 February - Churchinford Village Hall


Free transport will also be available from surrounding villages.  For more information visit the Community Council for Somerset's website: www.somersetrcc.org.uk or email info@somersetrcc.ora.uk or telephone 01823 331222