East Coker Society Newsletter


January 2008  –  Free Issue No 129


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





A grateful thank you, from the East Coker Society, must go to all our stalwart distributors, who brave wind and weather to deliver the quarterly Newsletter – we couldn't do it without you!  Thank you must also go to Sally Jackson for proof-reading the Newsletter and to Martin Wells our chief distributor.





The new East Coker Bag is a 'must-have' item if you live in East Coker!  The cotton shopper is available with either long or short handles, and has the East Coker Cockerel on one side.  Environmentally friendly, and good for the 'green' consumer!  Cost is £3, available from the East Coker P.O. & Store.





By popular demand the East Coker Society will run another Scarecrow Competition over the weekend of 21/22 June 2008.  Entry Forms and further details will be available in the April Newsletter,





We greatly appreciate delivery by e-mail as it saves money on our printing costs so 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. 


Your e-mail address will be kept entirely private, with no cross-referencing of other people's e-mails.


For those already receiving the Newsletter by e-mail, please e-mail Lesley Lindsay if you change your e-mail address.





Thank you to everyone who came and supported the Christmas Bazaar last November.  A special thank you must go to Father Christmas who called in on his way to the North Pole and to Carol Blackmore who organised the many varied stalls.  A big thank you to all who helped at this event, especially in the kitchen, your efforts are much appreciated.





The 2008 Diary is now at the East Coker Post Office, to the right of the door when entering the shop.  Please could village organisations put their forthcoming events in the Diary to avoid the doubling up of these events.  Thank you.



Village Clubs and Organisations




This is the report we have all been looking forward to writing for seven years.  Work on the new extension will start mid-February weather permitting.  Over the last few months we have been busy obtaining revised planning permission and estimates for the extension to the existing pavilion, which will be primarily used by the Playschool, with the existing building being revamped for Parish Council, sport and recreational use.


After obtaining three estimates we are pleased to announce that East Coker based Warman Building Company have been appointed main contractor for the project.


The building will be of breeze block with timber cladding to match the existing facility.  The funds we have available will be sufficient to complete the new extension but a figure of around £12,000 will be needed to revamp the old building which is in need of new wiring, plumbing, sanitary-ware, heating and windows, etc.


These funds, we hope, will be raised by an Auction of Promises, to be held later in the year.  As many of you who took part in our first auction will remember it raised £8,000, the lots included some generous holiday opportunities, which got the fund-raising off to a great start, and we anticipate a good cross-section off lots this time.  This event could take us to the conclusion of the project.  For more information, or to donate a promise, please call me on 863435.


The Annual Village Quiz will be held on Saturday 8 March 2008 at 7.00pm at the East Coker Hall.  Please call me on the above number to register your team, one team per group, first come first served basis, as numbers are limited. This will continue to be an annual event to raise money for the up-keep of the modernized pavilion.


May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken part in anyway in this marathon fund raiser and the fruits of your labours will soon be benefiting the village for years to come.


Wishing you a happy new year – Bridget Sugg  East Coker Pavilion Fund 863435





The aim of this club is twofold – to raise money for charities related to the Coker District and to distribute half the income to members through a quarterly draw.


Income is raised by inviting as many people as possible to subscribe £5 a quarter by Bankers Order. In this way there is no requirement for house to house collection.  It is hoped that each subscriber will find two members and that they, in turn will carry on the process.  Every occupant in a household is eligible to join separately and thus take part in the draw which takes place every January, April, July, and October.


The winners will be published in the East Coker Newsletter


The Charity Element will be distributed every April and has included The Action Group for Crippled Children, St Margaret's Hospice, the local branch of MacMillan Nurses, the local branch of the British Legion, Barnabas House for the Homeless in Yeovil, the Church, East Coker Pavilion Fund and Yeovil Hospital 'Flying Colours' Appeal.


Information and Bankers Orders can be obtained from: Mike Weston, The Coker 400 Club, Dairy Cottage, East Coker, Yeovil BA22 9JY, tel 862472.


The winners in the October draw were: Mrs Pia Boast £100; Mr P Clough £50; Mrs L Evans £40; Mrs K Wright £30; Mr T Clough £20; Mr J Darling £15; Mr P Pisani £10; Mr J Sharp £10.





As the Wine Circle moves into the second part of its programme members can reflect upon an excellent first half and the promise of more of the same to come with interesting and entertaining speakers and social events. The Circle, which meets on the first Wednesday of the month at the East Coker Hall from 8.00pm, still has room for a few members.  Wine making interest is welcome, and catered for, but not essential; just the wish to enjoy.  Inquiries to Secretary, Mary Horsley, 471072 or log on to the Circle's website: www.eastcokerwinecircle.co.uk





Starting way back in April 2007 with a successful fund-raising Spring Fair and Easter Bonnet Parade, members have continued to enjoy a varied fortnightly programme of events.  Alison Charles entertained us with her account of the 'Butterfly Hunt' she and her husband had undertaken in Budapest.  Jenny Hillman gave professional advice on the qualities and dangers of using complimentary therapies and essential oils.  The Cresta Entertainers did just what it said on the programme and entertained with their singing and brain-teasing of their enthralled audience.


Card Bingo without its usual experienced caller proved to be a hilarious afternoon.  The excursion to Weymouth in May gave the trippers a chance to shop and get a breath of sea air.


Favourite Hymns were sung at St. Michael's, with the customary tea and cakes being served albeit in a changed venue.


In July, Rita Hedicker, gave a heartwarming talk about her childhood in a Scottish orphanage and in August, Sue Mason gave an awesome flower arranging demonstration.  The weather let us down on the Club's 32nd Birthday Party which was meant to be held in Flora and Ray Duley's garden.  It looked like being cancelled but Ray's much appreciated response was simply to invite everyone inside.  Thanks, Ray and Flora.


The AGM went smoothly and was followed by an informative talk by Age Concern.  Another day's outing, in September was enjoyed at Lyme Regis and then on to Ottery Nurseries.  A small group of members saw the excellent production of 'Rebecca' at the Swan Theatre, with local resident, Ian White excelling in the role of Mandalay's Butler.  A display of flamboyant and often seductive Eastern Dancing given by Kim Cary and Fiona Stevens was fascinating to watch.

The Annual Craft Competition was held in October, and was judged by local resident Gill Holt, who gave an account of her search for the 'Sasquatch', in America; better known on this side of the pond as 'Big Foot'.  Sadly the 'Call My Bluff' session had to be cancelled but Alison stepped in with photographs and reminiscences of her first expedition photographing butterflies.


The Christmas Bazaar raised a commendable £200 with its White Elephant Stall, tombola and raffle and games.  The bells rang out in December and the choir accompanied all those who attended the Carol Service at St. Michael's.  The year ended with the East Coker Hall bedecked with colour and warmth for the Christmas Party.  David Pryor served a delicious hot punch before and during the festive meal served by volunteers from the WI.  A crazy skiffle group entertained before everyone joined in singing Christmas songs and carols, bringing the event merrily to a close.  Members received a gift on leaving – a thoughtful and appropriate use of a bequest made by a long-standing and loyal member of TTS – the late Hilda Wills.


For further information of the Time to Share, please contact the Club Chairman, Alison Charles 863137.


Future Dates:

21 January        Hogmanay Hop with the 'Misty Trio'         4 February         Building Houses in Cambodia

18 February       Poetry Please                                        3 March            Our Second Trip to Hungary

17 March           Easter Fair                                            31 March           Diving in the Far East





Forthcoming Meetings:

Tuesday 22 January – Ama Bolton – a local poet and frequent reader at the 'poetry fountain' in Wells

Tuesday 26 February – James Crowden – Wartime Poetry

Tuesday 25 March – Open Evening – Bring a poem – no particular subject


Meetings are in the Skittle Alley, the Helyar Arms 7.30pm.  Material for the Group's Newsletter, or any correspondence, can be sent to David Cloke, Group Co-ordinator, Church Cottage, Burton Cross, East Coker, Yeovil, BA22 9LY, 862623 or Joyce Best 862317 email: info@eastcokerpoetry.org.uk website: www.eastcokerpoetry.org.uk





We are hoping to produce a play in May – ‘Allo! Allo!’ and need some cast members.  If anyone is interested in joining us, please contact Nora White 477897.


'The Yetties' – Barn Dance at East Coker Hall has been changed from 30 May to 27 June 2008.  Tickets £8 (includes a ploughman's).  Contact Nora White 477897.  In aid of Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and Yeovil Cardiac Unit.





2008 will prove to be an exciting year for us as we celebrate our 90th birthday, although we cannot boast any original members!  We are starting our new year's programme on Thursday 31 January with a look at 'Hidden Somerset' through the eyes of the camera.  We also run Whist Drives every third Thursday of the month at 7.30 pm where anyone is welcome.  We are holding our traditional Jumble Sale on Saturday 16 February, at 2.00pm in the East Coker Hall, which always proves to be very popular with the bargain-hunters.  Anyone wishing to join us at any time would be very welcome.  The monthly meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month at the East Coker Hall from 7.30pm.  The dates for the Whist Drives are 17 January and 21 February.  


For any further information please contact the Secretary Linda Morgan 863694





The Club spent a lively Autumn with two meetings in the Quick Silver Mail.  In October they heard about setting up a stand at the Chelsea Flower Show by Nick Williams-Ellis.


In November the AGM was held when officers for the previous year were re-elected as follows: Chair Helen Styles; Secretary Catherine Denney; Treasurer Stan Shayler; Programme Secretary Don White; Press Secretary Sally Jackson.  Rachel Blow resigned from the Committee and her place was taken by Sue Pain, the other members being Mike Bayliss and Stephanie Talbot.  Following the meeting there was a delicious meal and a game of skittles.  Mike Bayliss was the men's winner and Sue Pain the ladies.


The December meeting was a truly seasonal one in the East Coker Hall.  Marion Emery gave a vivid description of a 'Victorian Christmas' with the history of Winter Solstice celebrations from the earliest times.  The evening finished with mulled wine and mince pies.


Programme for February to April 2008


14 February – Brimsmore Gold Club 'A Hampton Court Experience'

13 March – John Rowsell talks on 'Fruit and Vegetables'

10 April – Chris Hunter gives a talk on ' Rock Gardens and Alpines'

7 - 9 April – The Club's Spring Holiday is a trip to Wales based on Cardiff


The Club usually meets at the East Coker Hall on the second Thursday of the month at 7.30pm.  Visitors and new members are always welcome.  Enquiries to Catherine Denney on 862294 or Stan Shayler on 420291





Our Club Needs You!


A New Year – Why not try a new sport?  We play in the Yeovil and District short mat bowls summer and winter leagues; we also play friendlies, tournaments and charity competitions.


Our club days are Tuesday evenings and Friday afternoons at the East Coker Hall.  We would especially welcome younger members.


If anyone would like more information, or would like to join us, they can contact the Secretary, Margaret Robins on 864174



Young People




Happy New Year to all from East Coker Playgroup.  Our 'Night and Day' theme of last term was smashing and the children’s work presented a fine display of what can be seen during the day and what maybe about at night!  Music Story Tellers visited us and shared their musical instruments and stories with us.  The children performed a wonderful Nativity to parents and were very happy that Father Christmas came to visit the end of term Party.  Post Christmas can be quite dull after all the excitement but I have a feeling this will not be so.  This term the children are finding out about our senses.  We went on a walk outside and had a fabulous time, feeling the wind and rain(!), hearing the wind in the trees and helicopters, seeing many things, including the smoke from a nearby house (blown about by, you guessed it, the wind), smelling the countryside smells and tasting the food at break time when we came back in.

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.  The playgroup offers extended opening hours (a breakfast club and ‘afterschool’ club for pre-schoolers) – please contact Kay Strode if you would like more information on this exciting opportunity on your doorstep.  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





Newspaper Collections:


The collection point is opposite the School on the last Saturday of each month from 8.30am to 10.30am.  If possible please flat pack your newspapers and tie into bundles.  We are now only able to collect newsprint – sorry no magazines.  Arrangements for Nash Lane and Helena Road are co-ordinated separately by Ray Smith.


Dates:   26 January   23 February   29 March


Jumble Sales: Spring – Saturday 19 April 2008   Autumn – Saturday 18 October.  Both to be held at the East Coker Hall from 2.00pm.  Remember, we will collect.  Contact Max Bugler 862186.


Thank You for your continued support. Jackie Glover.



The Churches






Sunday 20 January                    8.00am Holy Communion            10.00am Sung Eucharist            6.00pm Evensong

Sunday 27 January                    8.00am Holy Communion            10.00am Sung Eucharist

Ash Wednesday  6 February       7.30am  Holy Communion           6.30pm Holy Communion

Mothering Sunday  2 March        8.00am Holy Communion            10.00am Family Service - procession with flowers for mothers

Palm Sunday  16 March             8.00am Holy Communion            9.50am meet at the Vicarage to process to the church with Palms.
10.00am Sung Eucharist 6.00pm Evensong

Maundy Thursday  20 March       6.30pm The Last Supper – The Watch

Good Friday  21 March               10.00am Stations of the Cross – procession around the church

Easter Day  23 March                8.00am Holy Communion            10.00am Easter Communion       6.00pm Evensong

Sunday  30 March                      8.00am Holy Communion            10.00am Matins             6.00pm Evensong





25 February – 9 March – make Fairtrade your habit!


A Fairtrade Stall will be in St Michael's Church following the Mothering Day Service on 2 March.  Children, save your pocket-money – mothers too!


St. Michael's Lent Lunch & Project


Soup & Cheese Lunch Saturday 8 March 12 noon – 2.00pm at the Vicarage, East Coker in aid of the Children of Fiji.  All welcome.


We are collecting educational toys for 4-6 year-olds for a new kindergarten. 


Many people will have met Peter and Margaret Long, who live in Cattistock, and travel regularly to Fiji for the Charity.  Two years ago our Lent project collected musical toys for a school for the blind, which the Longs had set up.  It was wonderful to receive photographs of happy, smiling children using them.  We hope that we will be able to produce more smiling faces from the educational toys we receive this Lent.


Toys can be left at the Church before Easter or brought to the Lent Lunch


Enquiries for both events please phone 850256





Thank you to all the families who came to the Nativity on Christmas Eve, especially to all the mothers who made costumes for the children.  Every seat in the Church was full and hopefully there will be pictures in both the Blackmore Vale and the Grapevine.  I think we may have recruited some bellringers for Closworth as some of the children expressed an interest!  Thank you to the East Coker Bellringers who rang at one of the very busiest times of the year.


There will be the usual Family Services on 20 January and 17 February.

16 March, Palm Sunday, we hope, weather permitting, to have part of the Service outside.

21 March, Good Friday, we have our usual Service, lasting about 30 minutes, when we remember Christ's Crucifixion.  This will be an 'All Ages Service'.

23 March, Easter Day, we shall have our usual 'All Ages Service' and the Easter Egg Hunt.


Lent Prayer Group – in the past we have had an afternoon prayer group.  Numbers dropped due to people moving, but I am wondering if it would be possible to start again, possibly in my house.  In the past people have brought prayers and it has been an opportunity just to be quiet.  A possible day would be Thursday either am or pm.  There will be a board in the Church, or phone me for details.  The group will be open to all who want a period of quiet, starting in Lent.


Dorothy Loveless.  On behalf of Dorothy I should like to thank all who made her 100th Birthday celebrations so special.  She handed a cheque of over £300 to St. Margaret's Hospice.  Thank you.


More details from Monica 862834





Our weekly meetings are as follows:

1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays 11.00am – Worship Service.  On the first Sunday of each month this service incorporates Communion.


Please note: Approximately once a month we have a joint meeting with the Mill Church alternating between the Chapel and the School.


2nd Sunday 11.00am – Family Service

2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Sunday Evenings at 6.30pm – Communion


Tuesdays 7.45pm – Prayer Meeting and discussion time. We are currently basing our discussion around a DVD and book by Philip Yancey entitled 'What's so amazing about Grace?'


Wednesdays 10.30am – Bible Study in a home.  Other services as announced.


Kevin Chapman is available in the village each Wednesday between 9.30am and 4.30pm.  He can be contacted on 07812726853 or email ec.cf@hotmail.co.uk.  Please do feel free to contact him if you have any queries about the Christian faith or if you would like someone to pray with you.






20 January – 11.30am Holy Communion              3 February – 9.00am Holy Communion

17 February – 11.30am Holy Communion 2 March – 9.00am Holy Communion

Good Friday 21 March – 11.00am Short Litany     Easter Day 23 March – 11.30am Holy Communion


Please Note that there will be NO SERVICE on the third Sunday in March (16).  It will be replaced a week later by the Easter Day Service.


6 April – 9.00am Holy Communion                       20 April – 11.30am – Holy Communion


Churchwardens: Mrs Carol Blackmore 862192      Mr Anthony Dening 474294



Village News




The lecture will be held on Saturday16 February 2008, in St. Michael's Church, East Coker, at 11.00am.  The speaker is Dr Alan Sked, Senior Lecturer in International History and formerly Convenor of European Studies at the London School of Economics.  His lecture is entitled


'Is the European Union a Lost Cause?'


Admission is free-of-charge and a glass of wine will be available after the lecture, with the opportunity to meet and talk with Dr Sked.


If you wish to attend, please reserve, in advance, the number of places you require, by telephoning Clive Bingley on 863036





As in previous years, the surgery will be closed for part of one morning each month for staff training.  On these mornings, there are none of the usual surgeries, but a locum doctor is available to see anyone needing an appointment.


The surgery is open from 8.30 am – 11.00am as usual and then closes completely until 1.30 pm.  If a medical emergency occurs during that time then patients can either dial 999 or the surgery can be contacted on 0787 575 0811.  The surgery opens again as usual from 1.30 pm


The dates of the training days in 2008:

Friday 25 January           Friday 15 February         Friday 7 March               Friday 25April

Friday 16 May               Friday 27 June               Friday 18 July                Friday 19 September

Friday 24 October           Friday 5 December





The mobile library visits on a Thursday – the times and dates for the stops in 2008 are:


East Coker

Helyar Arms                              11.45am – 12 noon

North Coker Bus Shelter 12.05pm – 12 25pm

Meadow View                            12.30pm – 12.50pm

Maudesley Fields                       12.55pm – 13.15pm

Sutton Bingham

Bower Farm                               13.25pm – 13.45pm



24 January        14 February       6 March            27 March           17 April             8 May

29 May             19 June             10July               31 July              21 August





The Helyar Almshouses Charity registered Charity Number 245432, runs the almshouses in the village of East Coker.  There are 7 single and 2 double almshouses in a row leading up to the church in the village.


The houses are Grade 1 listed buildings dating from the 17th century.  At the end of the almshouses there is a chapel that was originally built for the residents to worship in.  Due to the close proximity to the village church, this chapel is no longer used and Planning and Listed Building Consent has been granted to convert this into a tenth almshouse.


As a result of the low income of the Charity, there are little funds available to pay for this conversion work to the chapel.  We estimate the cost of carrying out the refurbishment will be in the region of £50,000 and we hope to get the project underway by next year.


We are starting an appeal to raise money for this conversion.  If you are able to help, please contact the Chairman, Arthur Rees, 862828 or Roger Burt, 862125.





The New Year is here, so it’s time to think about those fitness resolutions!  Many of you may be aware that your closest leisure facility is at Stoke-sub-Hamdon, but for those of you who haven’t had the chance to come over and join us. There is a big welcome from all the staff at Stanchester Sports Centre.  We’re here to help you achieve all your health and fitness ambitions.


We are very lucky to have such an amazing facility right on our doorsteps, with a sports centre boasting a sports hall, squash court, outdoor floodlit tennis and multi-use area, and brand new fitness room, all available for the whole community.


Stoke-sub-Hamdon is proud to have the most up-to-date gym facilities in the area.  It is fully equipped with brand new LifeFitness cardio and strength machines, plus a selection of free weights.  But what makes us stand out from the rest is Fitlinxx – the state-of-the-art personal training system, which remembers your individually tailored programme on each machine, tracks your progress and allows you to include outdoor activities such as badminton and jogging in your workout history.  Everything is also accessible via the website, so you can watch your progress and log extra activities at any time! 


Check out www.fitlinxx.com for more information.   Come in and see our highly qualified fitness instructors to book your gym induction.


We run a successful adult and junior activity timetable with activities such as aerobics, circuits, pilates, fencing, trampolining and many, many more.  What better way of getting over the Christmas excesses, and making your new year’s resolution a healthy one!


Stanchester also runs holiday activities for children to stop them getting too bored over the school holidays, so why not give us a call to find out details of our exciting February instalment of fun and games.


For details on any of our activities or facilities give the Centre a call, or pop in for a tour.  We hope to see you soon.


Stanchester Sports Centre  (01935) 825261  stanchestersportscentre@somerset.gov.uk





'The Natural History of Somerset'.  This course covers many aspects of the County's natural history, looking at plants and animals of the woodlands, grasslands and the coast and the influence of man on the countryside.  The course will be fully illustrated.


Tutor: Stephen Parker  Tuesday 2.30pm – 4.00pm  East Coker Hall.  6 meetings from 5 February 2008. Cost £28.


Contact Sarah Smith 862466





New Year's Day 2008

'As the days lengthen, so the cold strengthens'.  This piece of ancient weather lore implies that the worst of the winter is yet to come.  But signs of Spring are appearing all around us.  Daffodil spears are up about two inches, while buds on trees and shrubs are already swelling, especially the large sticky buds of the Horse Chestnut.  Some forecasters are predicting a very hard winter to come but it will have to be very severe to match the long frost of 1962/3.


Last year was a curious year for weather.  After a warm and promising spring the summer was cool and sunless, with record rainfall and severe floods in some parts of the realm.  Measurable rain fell on 152 days with a total of 858mm (33.77 ins) for the year.  We had 27 frosty mornings and a bitterly cold spell in mid-December.


Towards the year end there was a very quiet spell with virtually no wind for about a week.  An American correspondent who reads the Newsletter on the Internet was surprised and a little amused by my recent reference to last year's maximum summer temperature of 76°F.  He quoted this as a usual temperature for November in Georgia, his home State.


The gloomy summer gave few butterfly sightings but on 28 September I disturbed a cloud of about 15 dark Peacocks enjoying a feed on some crushed crab apples on the pavement.  The apples may have been fermenting in the autumn sunshine.  The late summer brought forth an excess of crane flies (Daddy Longlegs) which were attracted by evening lights and invaded the house.  The many small money spiders that appeared in the summer produced a shimmering mass of web threads on my lawn at the beginning of October, a strange sight on the grass.  A frosty spell in early November gave a day of leaf-fall, the leaves falling like rain for many hours.

After the rain of early summer, a long dry spell in August reduced the number of fungi that usually appear in the autumn, but two excellent specimens of 'Shaggy Caps' or 'Lawyer's Wig' (Coprinus comatus) appeared on a neighbour's lawn.  These unmistakable fungi are quite edible but I wondered about some very large, difficult-to-identify fungi that also grew along the root run of a cherry tree in another garden, possibly a Clitocybe, some of which are deadly poisonous.


Bird behaviour seems to be changing.  Blackbirds usually harass Song Thrushes, but a pair of Song Thrushes was ignored by several resident Blackbirds.  Yet a male Blackbird chased a small Robin away throughout a day of feeding recently.  Blackbirds usually ignore other quite different species.  One rare visitor to my garden was a Firecrest in November.  This small bird is an occasional winter visitor.  I was able to watch it for long enough to give a positive identification. Other visitors included a Green Woodpecker and a Redwing in the coldest spell of December.


The comet 'Holmes' was a brave sight in early November but was difficult to spot as the usual tail was not visible.  In the coming months Mars will be visible in the south, moving slowly west to be replaced by Saturn in the night sky.  On 18 January, at just before midnight, Mars will be occulted by the moon but perhaps will be difficult to spot as the moon will be almost full.  The great winter constellation, Orion, will be just below Mars as they both move westwards.  On the recent shortest day, the Winter Solstice, there were only 7 hours 55 minutes of daylight, but next June on the Summer Solstice the sun will be up for a glorious 16 hours 31 minutes.


Francis Cloke. 862496





Helyar Arms Quiz – Sunday 27 January


Teams of 4 people are required at the cost of £5 per team which will be booked on a first come first served basis, with free chips at half time.  1st Prize is 4 tickets for Nigel Mansell's Golf Course, Devon.  2nd Prize is Sunday lunch for 4 people – main course only.


The next quiz will be Sunday 30 March – details to follow from the Helyar Arms


Charity Coffee Mornings


The Coffee Morning held last November for the Downs Syndrome Association raised around £500.  We would like to thank the Helyar Arms for their generosity in organising this event and to thank everyone who came.


Charity Coffee Mornings are held at the Helyar Arms on the last Friday of each month from 10.30am.  All welcome.  The dates are as follows:


25 January – Wessex Autistic Society

29 February – details from the Helyar Arms

28 March – details from the Helyar Arms





The Parish Council wishes everyone a Happy New Year – one that should see the completion of the extension to the Pavilion, and grateful thanks to the Pavilion committee who have worked tirelessly to achieve this goal.


Congratulations to Emma Trickey who received the Volunteer of the Year award, sponsored by AugustaWestland for her work with the very successful East Coker Cockerels FC.


Following on from this, it is essential that the pitches at the Pavilion are in a safe and clean state for all players.  In the interest of health, the Parish Council is considering a total ban on dogs on the playing fields, as teams cannot be expected to be exposed to dog fouling. 


It should not be necessary for team managers/players to have to clean dogs’ mess off the pitches before they are able to play.  We are constantly asking dog owners not to walk dogs on the pitches.  If you must use the pavilion fields, please keep to the boundaries and clean up after your dogs so that no residue is left. 


Unsupervised dogs are definitely not welcomed – so do not allow dogs out unless you are with them!


Following the extension to the car park at the Pavilion, six new trees have been offered as replacements for those felled, and these will be planted along the western boundary.


Two grant applications have been made: one to the SSDC, for funds to consider the setting up of a Youth Parish Council so that our youngsters can be involved in decision making in the village for their future; and one available, via our District Councillors, for new furniture for the pavilion.


The Parish Plan was completed to discuss the future of our village and to express the opinions of its residents.  It is an ongoing exercise and any comments for updating the findings can be passed to the Parish Clerk for discussion at future Council meetings.


The Wheelie Bin at the Cemetery was acquired (after much effort) for the sole purpose of disposing of cemetery waste.  Other domestic waste should not be placed in this bin or the Council will not collect at all – so please do not abuse this facility.


The Sureline Bus 1733 from Yeovil Bus Station to Dorchester and Weymouth has been withdrawn.  Passengers travelling to East Coker will be able to travel on an existing service operated by Nippy Bus.


From 4 February 2008, the road leading to Hardington will be closed for two weeks.


If anyone would be interested in the formation of a Croquet Club (probably a summer activity, using the pitches) please contact Pauline Gubbins (PC Clerk - 862062).


Our local policing level is on the up!  Inspector Andy Pritchard addressed the January PC Meeting and assured us that a new Beat Manager will soon be in place and our new PCSO, Dave Lewis, is already familiar with the area and dealing with problems as they arise. 


Contact numbers are available from the Parish Clerk (862062).


The Somerset Community Safety Newsletter asks if you have a view on crime matters.  If you have advice or an experience that you would like to share, or are interested in how to protect yourself against a certain crime, call 01823 357836 or email crimereduction@somerset.gov.uk





The next issue of the Newsletter will be in April 2008.  Copy, please, to Lesley Lindsay, Little Meadow, Coker Marsh, East Coker or e-mail Lesley Lindsay or to the East Coker Post Office & Stores by Tuesday 25 March 2008.




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