East Coker Society


July 2004    Free  Issue   No  115


Chair: John Sugg  863435                                  

Newsletter Editor: Lesley Lindsay  862868

Secretary: Sarah Owen  862218

Treasurer: Keith Helliar  863700


East Coker Society News




John and Bridget Sugg kindly opened their garden for cream teas and Pimms on 19 June helping the society to raise an impressive £353 for funds.  Thank you to everyone who helped to support this successful event.  We hope you all enjoyed yourselves.





A meeting is being held on Tuesday 14 September at 7.30pm in the Dampier Room, East Coker Hall.  This meeting is to discuss whether the village wishes to hold celebrations/commemorations of the 60th anniversary of VE / VJ Days to be held on 9/10 July 2005.  Please come with ideas and all are welcome.





The Christmas Bazaar will be held in the East Coker Hall, on Saturday 4 December.  Forms for stalls will be in October's Newsletter.



Village Clubs and Organisations




Just a reminder that schedules for the classes are now available from East Coker Post Office & Stores.  So pick one up today and get entering!  All proceeds will be going to the Pavilion Fund.





Azur Fashion Show


The East Coker Committee of Action Medical Research would like to thank everyone, who came to our Fashion Show at East Coker Hall.  It was a very enjoyable and successful day, raising £1060 for our charity.


Michaelmas Fayre


Once again our very popular fair, will be held at East Coker Hall on Tuesday 21 September, from 10.00am – 4.00pm.  The entrance fee will be £2, which includes tea or coffee, and refreshments will be available all day.


A unique selection of goods will be on sale this year.  There will be over 30 stalls, coming from all over the country, having been selected to offer a superb range of high quality goods at reasonable prices.


So please come along and bring your friends and do some early Christmas shopping!


Leigh Mead





On a warm, sunny day at the end of May, over 100 cyclists set off on a sponsored cycle ride to raise money for the Pavilion Fund.  Some enthusiastic individuals ventured out on the 20-mile route, which meandered through the picturesque lanes of Corscombe and Halstock.  Many families undertook the 10-mile route, which wended out in the same direction, and those with small children opted for the much shorter route through the lanes of East Coker.


All riders then met back at the Pavilion for a barbeque (the food for which was generously provided by Asda) and, of course, some liquid refreshment.  After a few hours the cyclists made their way home tired but happy.  It was lovely to see so many children and families being involved in this event, particularly as, when the pavilion is built, it will be the youth of the village who stand to benefit the most from it.


Present estimates suggest that £1400 will be raised from the cycle ride.  However, there are still some people who have not yet handed in their sponsor money.  If this applies to you, please bring it to Emma Trickey or John Sugg as soon as possible.  Don’t forget, there is a prize for the highest sponsorship handed in!  Because off the great success of this well supported event we hope to make it an annual fundraiser.


Speaking of finances, East Coker Pre-School Playgroup has very kindly donated the proceeds from their Summer Fair to the Pavilion fund.  This gesture is much appreciated, especially as a lot of hard work has gone into making the Summer Fair such a success.


We are delighted to announce that the East Coker Cricket Team is once more playing at Longfurlong Lane, after an absence of many years.  The cricket square has been reinstated on the “old” playing field, and the football pitch will now be laid out on the “new “ playing field, so that the pitches don’t have to overlap.


The inaugural match of the new East Coker team was held on 2 June against an Ivel Barbarian XI.  It was a very close competition, but the East Coker team was the eventual winner, by a slim margin of four runs!


The next fundraising event will be on 9 October, when the Pavilion Committee will be bringing you a musical extravaganza at Ivel Barbarians Rugby Club. The popular local band “Storm” will be performing for us, and there will also be the opportunity to groove the night away with the Big “O” disco.  Tickets will be on sale shortly for about £5 per head, which will include a simple supper of bacon and sausage baps.





This year has been a very memorable one in our history, as we watched veterans of the forces celebrate the 60th anniversary of D-Day.  Let us now do our bit as we turn our thoughts to the Poppy Appeal.


I do hope all my collectors will be available for this important year.  I really do appreciate your 'footwork'.  Even though we are no longer in the village the procedure will be exactly the same, as Barry and I will still deliver the boxes.


Many thanks.  Sue Hounsell





After a successful first meeting of the new East Coker Poetry Group, the next event is planned for Wednesday 28 July, when Joyce Best and Jean Caunter will be reading their favourite animal poems.


The group meets from 7.30pm – 8.30pm in the Apple Loft at the Helyar Arms, East Coker.  It is a fun and informal occasion and everyone is welcome.  There is no membership fee.


Call Sue McKerracher on 863633 for information, or just come along on the night.





We had a highly successful Open Evening in May, with Anne Swithinbank.  This enabled the club to present

St Margaret's Hospice, Yeovil with a cheque for £1000.  Since then members have visited the South Somerset District Council plant nursery at Lufton Park and have spent a glorious day at the Royal Horticultural Society's garden at Rosemoor in Devon.  We have also been to the Brimsmoor Garden Centre to listen to a talk on ponds – their construction and suitable plants.


Now we are looking forward to visiting the Hampton Court Flower Show in July.  A coach will be setting off early on 8 July with more than 50 members and their friends.  We look forward to a great day.


The club now has over 70 members.  New members and visitors are always welcomed to our monthly meetings which are held at East Coker Hall on the 2nd Thursday of each month (unless otherwise stated) starting at 7.30pm.  If you are not yet a member but would be interested in joining us come along to one of our meetings, or ring me, Rachael Blow, on 862841.



EAST  COKER  WINE  CIRCLE  (www.ecokerwinecircle.eurobell.co.uk)


A fascinating programme of speakers to suit many tastes has been planned for the East Coker Wine Circle's new year.  The first meeting will be on Wednesday 4 August when Chris and Sandy Rendell will talk about antique glassware.  It is hoped there will be an opportunity for them to discuss any items members bring with them.  This will be followed on 1 September with stories of the supernatural by Roger Evans and on 13 October with a talk by Barry Woodhouse about his journey from Russia to the Mediterranean.  Larry Skeets returns to the Circle on 3 November when he will be talking of his experiences at bar tending.  A Call My Wine Bluff (tasting) and a bread making competition will bring 2004 to a close.


Running in conjunction with the main programme this year will be a winemaking forum designed for the dedicated winemakers, for both beginners and potential winemakers.  These meetings will be held at members' homes.  Anyone interested in this forum should contact Vince Wolny (863838) or via the Circle's email (ecokerwinecircle@eurobell.co.uk).


A comprehensive social programme has also been planned and will include a brewery tour and tasting of country wines and liqueurs in October, a nine-day trip to the Rhein in Germany and three theatre outings.  The Circle's winemakers will also be entering their wines in the SW Federation wine festival in October.





Members and friends recently spent a very interesting day at Wilton House and gardens for the Women's Institute birthday meeting.  In July a talk will be given by Mrs Alma Williams and in August Mrs Peggy Newman will guide members through research into family trees.  Members will be showing off some of their talents at the September meeting.


This Institute, which meets on the last Thursday of each month, was awarded third place in both the cookery and craft sections at the Bath & West Show this year.  The monthly open whist drives restart at East Coker Hall on Thursday 16 September.  Anyone is welcome to attend any meeting as a guest or a potential new member.



Young People




40th Anniversary Barn Dance on Saturday 13 November at 7.30pm East Coker Hall.


This year is a special year for the Scout Group as we will be celebrating 40 years of scouting in East Coker.  To mark this event we will be holding a Barn Dance.  This is not a fund raising event but an opportunity for the village to celebrate with us and is open to all who would like to come along.


We look forward to meeting up with 'old' scouts and acquaintances from the past.  The evening will also include an exhibition.  If anyone has any interesting items/old photos etc. that could be exhibited please contact us.  These would of course be returned.


Tickets are on sale at Adults £5, Children £2.50, and includes supper, but please bring your own drinks.  Children's soft drinks will be on sale during the evening.


Contact Max Bugler  862186 and Pat Switzer  863764.


Waste Paper Collections:      31 July, 2 October, and 4 December.


Autumn Jumble Sale to be held at East Coker Village Hall, Saturday 9 October at 2.00pm.  All donations of jumble gratefully received.  Remember we will collect.  Max Bugler  862186


Thank you for your support.  Jackie Glover





Summer term at playgroup has been a whirl of activity. The children have explored 'Our Environment' and 'Other Countries'.  There is some wonderful artwork displayed around the Pavilion.  The children due to start in September have come to visit and the children who go up to school in September have visited their schools.  Towards the end of term there will be a trip to go on for the older children and the Sports Day to take part in.  (We mums and dads are in serious training right now)

East Coker Pre-School Playgroup is registered with Ofsted and the Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership and follows the Foundation Stage curriculum.  We provide a warm, friendly, stimulating and safe environment where children can blossom and grow, learning and developing happily through play based activities.  There is funding available through the Early Years Grant when children become eligible.  Children are able to attend from 2½ up to 5 years old.  We are open Monday to Friday during term time from 9.15am – 12 noon, and on a Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon from 1.00pm – 3.30pm.  At present we are able to offer lunch cover for children who would like to bring a packed lunch and stay until 1.15pm for an extra fee.

To secure a place on the waiting list for your children please contact Kay Strode on 872126 after 6.00pm.  It is best to get your child’s name down early on the waiting list; places are limited.

During the Summer Holidays, sessions will be available to children up to their 6th birthday.  Please contact Kay Strode on the number above if you would like further information.

This year will see the tenth annual Craft Fair held by the Playgroup.  It will be on Sunday 14 November 2004 at East Coker Village Hall, from 10.30am – 4.00pm.  Stalls are available for the Craft Fair.  Please contact Eve Dudden on 862357 for details.



The Churches




A Coffee Morning is being held at The Anchorage, Coker Marsh, on Saturday 4 September, 10.00am – 12 noon.  Many stalls including cake, plants, bric-a-brac and raffle.  Entrance £2 to include tea or coffee.  All welcome.




Service for those we have loved but see no longer.


Our annual service in which we remember those who are no longer with us will be on 31 October – the Sunday of All Souls.  The service will begin at 6.00pm and the preacher this year is Rev. E Bangay who is chairman of Cruse and was chaplain of Yeovil Hospital.  During the service we read out the names of those who have passed away.  I will be writing to those whose loved ones died this year but please let me have the names of anybody else you would like included by 24 October as the list usually contains some 100+ names.  We prefer to use only one Christian name.


Monica Whipp  862834


St. Michael's Church Plant Sale 2004


Thanks to the efforts and support of many people this year the event raised £1,100.  This has enabled the committee to make donations of £500 to The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and £500 to The Yeovil Hospice Appeal.  Our thanks to everyone who was involved.





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

Sundays:- Sunday Club for 4 – 12 year olds 10.00am except 2nd Sunday in the month which has a Family Service 10.30am  The Lord's Supper 11.30am   Bible Study 6.30pm.  Other events announced weekly.


Contact us on  422594/862980 or 863735



Village News




The proposed Parish Plan has received a grant so that the Parish Council can now finance questionnaires, which will be delivered to every house.  Please take some time to answer the questions about how you would like to see the parish move forward into the 21st century.  Your views and opinions will be very important and this is a chance for everyone to have their say in their village’s future.  The results will be presented at a later date for all to see.  Please remember to return the questionnaire!


East Coker’s entry in the ‘Calor Gas Village of the Year’ competition has been presented to the judges by a team led by Sarah Rashley, who has gathered all the relevant information together.  We now await the judges’ decision.


The cricket pitch at the Pavilion is now in full and exclusive use by the Cricket Club and the football pitch will be ready for teams to use in the new season.  If you are at the Play Area or on the pitches, please do not drop litter.  There is a rubbish bin for waste, which really should be used!  KEEP YOUR PLAYING FIELDS TIDY!



LADIES  NIGHT – Friday 1 October 2004, 7.00pm – 10.00pm, East Coker Hall.


Over 40 therapists, stalls and raffle.  Ticket price £10 includes three 15 minute therapy sessions, glass of wine and dessert.  Choose from reflexology, aromatherapy, massage, Indian head massage, manicure, facials, plus much, much more - something for all ages.  Come along and be pampered for the night, indulge in some shopping, and enjoy your free food and wine chatting with friends.


For advance ticket sales, contact Liz Raymont on 863229.  Book early to avoid disappointment as tickets will be limited.  If you don't pre-book, you can still come along on the night, browse around the stalls and there may even be a few treatment sessions still available at £3 each.


Proceeds in aid of Hardington Pre - School, a registered charity.  Linda Fry





Summer Solstice – 21 June


Spring continued into April, which was cool, damp and cloudy, although a few warm days ended the month.  A surprising, violent, hailstorm occurred on the 7th and rain fell on 13 days.  Towards the end of April a warm spell gave a temperature of 19.4C, (66.9F) on the 25th.


May was a much drier month with only 7 days of rain.  Rainfall for the month was 29.7mm (1.17 ins.) compared with April's 87.6mm (3.45 ins.).  So far, June has been a warm dry month with temperatures rising into the mid 20s Celsius.  In the first half of the month daytime temperatures rose to over 20C on 10 days, with a high of 25.4 (77.7F) on the 7th.  By the middle of the month, gardens were looking parched and in need of a good soaking.  Only a trace of rain fell in the first half of the month.  Perhaps we shall have a repeat of last year's hot summer despite the old saying


"Oak before ash, all wet and splash.

Ash before oak, all fire and smoke"


as the oak was well in leaf before the ash this year.  Many country sayings are not all that reliable and I have noticed that the oak is invariably in leaf before the ash, even in the long hot dry summers of 2003 and 1976.


The dry spell in early summer reduced the sightings of butterflies.  A damp few days before sunnier days seem to bring them out.  The first Orange Tips flew on a warm 24 April, preceded by a Speckled Wood on the 12th.  These, together with an early Brimstone, a few Small Whites, a solitary Small Blue and a Painted Lady have been the total of sightings so far this year.  But I was cheered to see a fine specimen of an over-wintering Lime Hawk Moth fluttering indoors in May.


Buzzards have been flying low over the village.  The first of the migrating chiff-chaffs sang on 22 April.  My Long Furlong Lane Outstation correspondent reports a pair of mallard feeding in gardens locally, while the same pair has been down to feed on a bowl of food elsewhere in the village.  Few swallows have been seen and there appears to be a reduction in the number of housemartins.


Digging more than one spit down in the garden yields a base of pure seaside sand.  The salty smell brings back a memory of an old custom which was frequent in my youth.  A travelling ironmonger would sell a bucket of sea-sand for a penny.  This would be spread over the stone-flagged floors of cottages, to be swept up each evening.  I can still recall the gritty feel of walking on the floor, so strewn, of my next door neighbour.  All far removed from modern fitted carpets.  I wonder if anyone in the village can recall such a custom locally?


Alas, the total eclipse of the moon in May was obscured by clouds, but we had a fine morning on 8 June to see the Transit of Venus.  It was possible to see Venus as a tiny dot crossing the sun, by projecting the sun's image onto a piece of white card.  Much better pictures of the event were seen on TV.  Jupiter has been prominent in the south western sky at night for a month or so but will move to the west as summer progresses and disappear from the night sky by early July.  Venus and Saturn will appear in the early morning before sunrise during the early autumn.  The next total eclipse of the moon visible at East Coker, will be on 28 October at about 3.00am.


Francis Cloke  862496





Saturday 30 October 2004, in the Dampier Room at the Village Hall.  Doors open 10.00am – 12 noon.


Please come and support the birds!  Buy your Christmas cards and gifts from a very good selection.  There will be a cake stall, bring and buy stall, plants, etc.


All donations, especially cakes, will be very welcome.


Lorna Doyle





Just a reminder, now that summer is here, to think of your neighbour before lighting a bonfire.  The best time for this is after 6.00pm and not over a weekend if possible.  Thank you.





Homes are urgently wanted for French students from the 8 – 21 July.  This is a great opportunity for your family to practice their French.  Payments will be made for their board and lodgings.  The students will be out all day from 9.00am – 5.00pm.


If you feel you can help, please phone Monica 863493





I heartily agree with the plea in the last Newsletter, for all of us to help keep our village free of litter.  I would like to give recognition and thanks to Sally Jackson who, with the aid of a plastic carrier bag and a long pointed stick, picks up all the litter she finds between the Ten Cottages and Pincushion corner.  Sally is one of our most senior members of the village and should put all of us to shame by her indomitable commitment.  Thank you Sally – would that there were more like you.


Joyce Best





VILLAGE  DIARY  July 2004  -  December 2004



Thu 22 July

Gardening Club

Visit Hinton St George


Wed 28 July

Poetry Group

Helyar Arms


Sat 31 July

Waste Paper Collection

Opposite School

9am – 11am

Wed 4 Aug

Wine Circle

East Coker Hall


Thu 12 Aug

Botanical Drawings Talk -

Gardening Club

East Coker Hall


Sat 21 Aug

Flower Show & Wine Festival

East Coker Hall


Wed 1 Sept

Wine Circle

East Coker Hall


Sat 4 Sept

Coffee Morning

The Anchorage

10am – 12 noon

Thu 9 Sept

"Bees in Your Garden" Talk –

Gardening Club

East Coker Hall


Tue 14 Sept

Village Meeting

Dampier Room, ECH


Thu 16 Sept

Whist Drive

East Coker Hall


Tue 21 Sept

Michaelmas Fayre

East Coker Hall

10am – 4pm

Fri 1 Oct

Ladies Night

East Coker Hall

7pm – 10pm

Sat 2 Oct

Waste Paper Collection

Opposite School

9am – 11am

Sat 9 Oct

Musical Extravaganza

Ivel Rugby Club


Sat 9 Oct

Scout Jumble Sale

East Coker Hall


Wed 13 Oct

Wine Circle

East Coker Hall


Thu 14 Oct

Gardening Club Talk - Potatoes

East Coker Hall


Sat 30 Oct

RSPB Coffee Morning

Dampier Room, ECH

10am – 12 noon

Sat 13 Nov

40th Anniversary Barn Dance

East Coker Hall


Sun 14 Nov

Craft Fair

East Coker Hall

10.30am – 4pm

Sat 4 Dec

Waste Paper Collection

Opposite School

9am – 11am

Sat 4 Dec

Christmas Bazaar

East Coker Hall