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October 2002 Free Issue 108

Letter from the Chair

Welcome to this new format newsletter. All of you who live or work in the parish of East Coker are automatically members of the Society. One of its aims, as set out in the newly amended Constitution, is ‘to involve, inform and represent all residents as fully as possible’ and the quarterly newsletter has always been seen as the main means of fulfilling this aspiration – from the village, for the village. Articles and notices submitted for this edition have been grouped under the following headings which we hope you will find helpful: East Coker Society News, Village Clubs and Organisations, Young People’s Groups, The Churches, Village News, and Forthcoming Events. The final page will include a tear-off list of village events, designed to pin on your notice board or slip into your diary.

Although known mainly for the newsletter which is delivered to approximately 860 homes in the village (if you would like to receive it by e-mail in future, please see page 2 for details), the Society is involved in a wide variety of projects promoting East Coker, and its Constitution allows for the furthering of interests as diverse as local history and heritage, the environment (both natural and built) and artistic and craft activities, fostering a sense of community.

The Society’s Christmas Bazaar is to be held on 7 December in the village hall. We look forward to as many village groups as possible booking a stall. Already there have been early reservations: Jack & Buttons, selling accessories for children’s bedrooms and Traidcraft, sponsored by St Michael’s Church. Hope to see you all on the 7th, queuing up to buy the new East Coker tea towel!

Pauline Helliar

East Coker Society News


Book early! Tables for the Christmas Bazaar are available. The prices are 1 a foot for 4 feet, 6 feet, 8 feet, 10 feet and 12 feet tables. There are no trestles available. Will individuals or organisations who require a table please fill in the form below, and send either cash or cheque, made payable to the East Coker Society, to Carol Blackmore.


Name of Organisation.....................................................................................................................................

Type of Stall.................................................................................................................................................

Contact Name and Telephone Number...............................................................................................................

Size of table at 1 per foot............I enclose ...........Signed..............................................................................


Don’t forget! To make a date in your diary for the Christmas Bazaar. Many stalls, raffle, tea, coffee and mince pies, and of course Father Christmas will be making an early visit to East Coker, on his way to the North Pole, to ask the children what they want for Christmas.


We now have East Coker Tea Towels for sale at 3 in white or natural. These are available now from Pauline and will be on sale at the Christmas Bazaar. Good for the extra washing up at Christmas! Easy to post to friends and family abroad.


A copy of the amended constitution is posted on the notice board inside the village hall. If you would like a copy, please phone Pauline 863700. We are grateful to those who attended the meeting and returned the reply slips.


By kind permission of Mr Roger Hackwell, Abigail Shepherd has updated the booklet `The Story of our Village` originally written by Mrs Beatrice Hackwell in 1953. Copies of this booklet are available for 1 from St Michael’s bookstall and the village shop, and will also be available at the Christmas Bazaar.

Village Clubs and Organisations


We meet every Tuesday evening, 7.30pm.-10.00pm. and Friday afternoons 2.00pm.-4.00pm. at the East Coker Hall. This is a sport for all ages and we would love to have some younger members, from 11years upwards, to come along. We play friendly evenings, enter competitions and play league matches, at home and away, with other clubs. We are a friendly social club of all ages and if you would like to join us you will be very welcome.

If you are interested, please give me a ring, and I will introduce you to our members, or if we have a sufficient response, we can arrange an open evening.

George Dudden


A weekly dance class is being held at East Coker Hall on Monday evenings, 6.30pm.-7.30pm. Ring Jayne or turn up on the night with a mat or towel. Guaranteed fun while you exercise.


Rehearsals are well under way for our next production. Don’t forget to put a date in your diary to see ‘Peter Pan’ at East Coker Hall from Thursday 28 November to Saturday 30 November inclusive. Tickets available shortly.

Chris Hollis


Summer made a belated appearance this year, but has now lasted through much of September, so we are still enjoying the fruits and flowers and can relax in the garden with a cup of tea. In July we enjoyed a visit to the beautiful gardens of Leigh Farm, in Halstock. In September we had a brief but intensive talk entitled ‘Design Your Own Garden’. Each month members bring spare plants and produce along and the proceeds from selling these are donated to local charities nominated by our members.

Future meetings are:

10 October ‘Heathers’ by Mrs PH Jones.              * 8 November Gold Club Christmas Evening at Brimsmore

12 December Our own Christmas Evening            * 9 January 2003 AGM at the Forresters’

The Club meets on the second Thursday of each month at East Coker Hall, 7.30pm. All welcome to join us with the *exceptions listed above.

Rachel Blow


The RAF Association (South Western) Concert Band, led by Bandmaster, Peter Skellon, will be performing at East Coker Hall on Saturday, 15 February. The event will be a major effort in the wine circle’s charity efforts during its 25th anniversary year.

Formed only four years ago, the band has quickly established itself as a fine concert band which is in considerable demand. All the musicians are volunteers, who just enjoy making music together. In its short existence the band has played a major role in fundraising and recruitment campaigns for the RAFA and has helped in raising some 20,000 for the Wings Appeal.

The band performs a wide repertoire of music, from classical to modern, from military to Beatles, all to a very high standard and all most enjoyable. The proceeds from this event will benefit the Royal British Legion and the RAFA band.

Tickets will be available shortly at 7 adults, 5 children.

Attire for the wine circle’s major social event, the theme party on Saturday 11 January, could not be easier. Chairman for the 25th anniversary year, Barrie Hartley, has decided on simplicity - The Charity Shop Hop (or the NAFF party!). In other words the older or odder the gear the better dressed you will be. If you can’t find a suitable garment in your own wardrobe then you could be doing the multitude of charities, which rely heavily on their retail outlets in town, a very big favour. No need to hire; no need to sew. See you there in your glad rags!

Tickets will be available shortly for non-members at 7.50 including supper.

Ticket enquiries for both events from Wine Circle Treasurer, David Fellowes, 24 Broadacres, East Coker. 864346.

Advance Notice: Theatre Outing – “My Fair Lady” – Wednesday, 19 March 2003. Silver Jubilee Dinner (celebrity guest) – Saturday, 22 March 2003.

David Pryor


Next Waste Paper Collections: Saturday 12 October and Saturday 7 December

Autumn Jumble Sale This will be held at East Coker Hall, Saturday 19 October at 2.30pm . All donations of jumble gratefully received. Remember WE WILL COLLECT. Max Bugler

The Scout Group are at present seeking helpers to assist our Beaver and Cub sections. We desperately need your help and support. If you can spare the time and would be interested in helping out, please contact our Scout Leader, Dave Webber 474648

Jackie Glover


The East Coker Flower Show got off to a sparkling start this year, thanks to Gibbs Dry Cleaners of Yeovil, who very kindly sponsored the laundering of all our show table cloths. The Show continues to thrive with many entries and some new entrants.

Cup winners were:

Maudsley Silver Challenge Cup Mrs Sarah Rashley
Miss E.B. Drake Silver Challenge Cup Miss Georgina Bussell
Mrs Newman Silver Challenge Cup Mr Mike Bayliss
Ralph Eacott Plaque Mrs Sarah Rashley
Drake Memorial Silver Challenge Cup Mrs Hebe Bowes
Archie Neville Memorial Cup Mr Geoff Clarke
Gloria Mead Cup Miss Emma Bussell
Jane Harvey Pot Plant Salver Mr Don White
Miss Keefe Challenge Cup Mrs Christine Mead & Miss Hazel Love
Mrs C. Mead Challenge Cup Mrs Brenda Gibbons
League of Friends Trophy Mrs Sarah Rashley
Eileen Doye Cup Mrs Olive Sharman
Molly Kettlewell Cup Mrs Christine Mead
Society Photographic Trophy Mr Ray Duley & Mr David Pryor
John Whittock Challenge Cup for Painting Mrs Joan Bulcraig
E.C. Wine Circle cup for most points Mrs Joyce Pryor
E.C. Wine Circle best in show shield Mr V. Wolney
Dick Rolph cup for Best Wine Circle Exhibit Mr V. Wolney
E.C. Wine Circle Novice Trophy Mr Dudley White

Once again, many thanks to all who helped organise the show, all who exhibited and all who came. We raised 250.

Sue Hounsell

Situation Vacant

East Coker Flower Show committee is in need of a secretary. The job entails four meetings per year, one or two days hard work, depending on the amount of show entries, a lovely day at the Flower Show, and a committee meeting meal to mull over the hits or misses of the Show. Anyone interested please ring Sue Hounsell.

New Classes for 2003 Show

Craft Class 70 is billed as a, ‘you’ve made it we’ll judge it’, which covers just about anything!!!

Photography: Class 71  Chimneys       Class 72  Pub signs       Class 73  A Wet Day

                Class 74  By the river     Class 75  Party time      Class 76  Pet Portrait

Sue Hounsell

Young People


Would anyone be interested in helping at West Coker Rainbows/Brownies/Guides? Please contact Anna White 477365 for a chat.


We are holding a Craft Fair on Sunday 10 November 2002, at East Coker Hall, from 10.30am.-4.00pm. Come and browse, do some Christmas shopping, enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. You might win a raffle prize and be tempted by our home-made cake stall. Last few remaining stalls available.

For further information, please contact Eve Dudden

We are a local playgroup operating at the Sports Pavilion, Long Furlong Lane, East Coker. Sessions run from Monday to Friday from 9.15am to 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, please contact Kay Strode


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 1 per family.

Contact Penny

EAST COKER SCOUT GROUP See under `Village Clubs and Organisations`

The Churches


The Walls Are Crumbling

There have been many serious studies done in the past five years on the state of the church in England. For those of us who are still attempting to be “church” in the culture in which we find ourselves, the results are both gloomy and very challenging. The walls do seem to be crumbling metaphorically.

Every week in England the church loses 1000 young people under the age of 15 years. That of course means we have to attract that number if we even attempt to stand still. It is anticipated that by the year 2030 at least five of our denominations in England will be at serious risk of extinction.

The Mill Church meets every Sunday in East Coker School hall and of course anyone who would like to join us is welcome. Recently, however, we have been asking ourselves how to really be relevant to our society and communicate effectively all that we believe in. We are aware that in America after September 11 last year attendance to church increased in all denominations except in churches like ours. The reason being that nobody can find us because we do not have buildings of our own.

So if you are interested in finding out who we are and what we do, why not ring us on 864136 or 863262. We have activities on offer for children, young people, parents and toddlers, and a whole range of other things. Over the autumn we are having a monthly meeting for visitors on a Sunday morning at 10.30am. This will start with breakfast and then include an informal type of service. The dates are 3 November and 1 December. Do feel free to ring in advance or just turn up on the day.

Lin Hann


Service of thanksgiving for those we have loved but see no longer. This year’s service is on Sunday 3 November at 6.00pm. The preacher is the Rural Dean, Preb. Mark Ellis. If you have not given me the names of the loved ones you would like remembered please let me have them as soon as possible. Many thanks.



For the last two years we have held a special family service on Christmas Eve at 4.00pm. This is a short service and the children act part of the Christmas Story. It is very informal and all children, even babies are especially welcome. If you would like to come and want more details please phone me. If the children want to dress up we can cope with lots of angels and shepherds only one Mary and Joseph but an extra king would not matter! Happy Christmas.



Coffee Morning Grateful thanks to everyone who helped, contributed and supported the coffee morning held at The Anchorage, Coker Marsh. It was a resounding success, making 634.65 for funds. Special thanks must go to Kay Biggin for the use of her beautiful garden, it was the perfect setting.

Carol Service Tuesday 17 December 2002 at 7.00pm. All Welcome.

Carol Blackmore

Village News


The East Coker Committee would like to thank all those who came to our Michaelmas Fair at the Ivel Barbarians Rugby Club. Your support was very much appreciated and we raised 1900 for our charity.


For several months the P C has been negotiating with the County Council / W S Atkins to employ a ‘Lengthsman’ – a person who will spend 1 days per week doing general tidying up, minor repairs, etc, -within the parish and it is hoped that a pilot scheme will be started in the near future.

Also being considered is the purchase of land to extend the recreation field in Long Furlong Lane and the upgrading of the present pavilion or the building of a new one.

Following the resignation of two Parish Councillors, Mrs Bridget Sugg and Mr Roy Hodder were co-opted at the July meeting.

Councillors are working on the initial stages of a ‘Parish Plan’. A survey will have to be undertaken to highlight the needs and issues within the community, taking stock of what we have and what would be needed for the future. Participation from as many individuals and groups as possible is required.

The P C would again ask members of the public to note one of the bye-laws relating to the recreation field, Long Furlong Lane – A PERSON SHALL NOT IN THE GROUND DRIVE, PITCH OR CHIP A HARD GOLF BALL.


As most of our dog walkers in the village keep the pavements clean with the use of ‘pooper-scoopers’ etc, please could we ask our horse riders not to allow their horses to foul the pavements.


We would like to thank everyone who came to our ‘Open Garden’ on the 27/28 July, and also to those who sent contributions. We were very lucky with the weather and made lots of new friends as well as seeing lots of old ones. We do hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as we did. 485 was made for the Yeovil Hospice Appeal.

Bob & Sue Richards


At the Christmas Bazaar, 7 December, East Coker Hall. If you have any books, videos, CD’s, DVD’s, tapes, and jigsaw puzzles we would welcome them for our stall. We can collect or you can leave them at Springfield Cottage, Coker Marsh, or bring them to our stall on the day.

Sally Jackson or Jenny Lumley


I have had a letter from Joyce Wilson of CLIC thanking all the people in East Coker who are supporting them by saving used postage stamps. The stamps are sent to Bristol where they are sorted by volunteers and then sold through local auctions and stamp clubs.

CLIC relies entirely on public donations to fund its vital work and the money raised is used to provide nursing care and research and many other services that these families need. Joyce Wilson reminds us that almost 70% of children suffering this disease now survive. Funds are still needed, so please continue to save your stamps and take them to the Village Shop, or to me, at Holly Cottage, nearby.

Micky Hall


Annual Christmas Show and Open Day, Tuesday 29 October, 2.00pm to 5.00pm.

Have you visited your village shop recently, or even popped in just to pick up a pension or newspaper? If not, you will not appreciate what a clean, appealing, well presented and organised ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ you have on your doorstep. It is run by a hardworking and enthusiastic staff, who not only serve in the shop, but also provide a wealth of local information. Have you ever wondered how a delivery driver found your house? The chances are it will be one of many inquiries we receive each day. Where do many people ask for information or tickets for village events? – You’ve’ guessed it! Unfortunately this is the only time that we see them. We also have many Christmas customers in the Post Office – again where do they live the rest of the year?

There has been a great deal in the press recently about the government not supporting rural communities, on the other hand the communities themselves cannot expect their village shops and post offices to survive if the people who live there do not use them. As I am sure someone important has said, ‘the future is in your hands’ you have to use it or ultimately lose it. Make a commitment to support your local Post Office and Stores by supplementing your bulk supermarket shopping with some locally produced cake, bread, cheeses and cold meats, or our extensive range of almost anything. We also have one of the best ranges of greeting cards in the area. In the Post Office you can do your banking for many of the major banks, order currency and many other products.

Christmas in the shop starts at 2.00pm on Tuesday 29 October when Sue and Leigh will be holding the traditional shop ‘Christmas Fayre’. This is your chance to browse around our exciting new ranges of Christmas treats and cards, and get ahead of the rush!

Nick Carter

Forthcoming Events


Wednesday 23 October, at the East Coker Hall from 10.00am.-12 noon. Stalls will include: Raffle, Tombola, Books, Bric-a-brac, Cakes and produce, Toys, Christmas cards and gifts. Coffee and biscuits. Admission 50p.



Due to popular demand, we will be holding a traditional Burns Night at East Coker Hall on Saturday 25 January 2003. This is a very enjoyable evening, with the Piper, piping in the Haggis (it really is delicious, honestly!), the address to the Haggis, the dram of whisky, and dancing to a Ceilidh band. So do come and join us, tickets will be available soon from Leigh Mead 863466.


23 November 2002 at East Coker Hall. Doors open 7.00pm. Eyes down 7.45pm. Fundraising event for Darren Shutler to attend the 20th World Scout Jamboree in Thailand 2002/2003


VILLAGE EVENTS October 2002 January 2003

Sat 12 Oct - Waste paper collection Opposite the school

Sat 19 Oct - Jumble Sale Village Hall 2.30pm

Wed 23 Oct - Save the Children Michaelmas Fair Village Hall 10am–12noon

Tues 29 Oct- Village Shop Christmas Fayre 2.00pm–5.00pm

Sun 3 Nov - Thanksgiving service at St Michaels` (See above)

Sun 10 Nov - Craft Fair Village Hall 10.30am–4.00pm (See above)

Sat 23 Nov - Christmas Bingo Village Hall 7.00pm (See above)

Thurs 28 Nov - Pantomime Village Hall

Fri 29 Nov - Pantomime Village Hall

Sat 30 Nov - Pantomime Village Hall

Sat 7 Dec - Waste paper collection Opposite the school

Sat 7 Dec - Christmas Bazaar Village Hall 2.00pm

Tues 17 Dec - Carol Service Sutton Bingham Church 7.00pm

Tues 24 Dec - Christmas Service at Closworth 4.00pm

Mon 6 Jan - Deadline for articles to be included in January Newsletter

Sat 11 Jan - East Coker Wine Circle Party Village Hall

Sat 25 Jan - Burns Night Village Hall (See above)

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