East Coker Society Newsletter


October 2005  –  Free Issue No 120


Chair: John Sugg   863435

Newsletter Editor: Lesley Lindsay   862868

Secretary: Sarah Owen   862218

Treasurer: Keith Helliar   863700



East Coker Society News




In the future if 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.  We greatly appreciate delivery by e-mail as it saves money on our printing costs.


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





It has been noticeable in recent months that the amount of litter in the village has greatly increased.  It would be helpful if villagers could look after the verges in front and to the side of their property so that East Coker can become a 'litter-free zone'.





Book early!  Tables for the Christmas Bazaar are available.  The price is £1 a foot, for 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 foot tables.  Setting up of tables will be from 12 noon onwards.


Individuals or organisations who wish to reserve a table should please fill in the form below, and send it with either cash or a cheque, by 5 November at the latest, made payable to East Coker Society, to Carol Blackmore, Pippins, Higher Burton, East Coker 862192.  This will make certain your stall is reserved.







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


Type of Stall………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


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



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







Village Clubs and Organisations




The winners in the July draw were J Burgess £100, Mrs L Dunster £50, Mrs P Moore £40, Mr R Chatwin £30, Mrs W Vipond £20, D Leng £15, Brig C Robertson £10 and M Chapman £10.





The East Coker Committee of Action Medical Research will be holding a Fashion Show on Tuesday 18 October at East Coker Hall, 7.00pm for 7.30pm.


The clothes being modelled will be from the Kaliko, Minuet and Country Casuals departments in Denners.


So put this date in your diary now, because you will not want to miss this very enjoyable evening!


Leigh Mead





Meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month at the East Coker Hall at 7.30pm with a variety of interesting speakers.   All newcomers are welcome.  The autumn whist drives are held at East Coker Hall on the third Thursday of the month at 7.30pm.  The next is on Thursday 20 October.





Following another highly successful wine festival held under the auspices of the East Coker Flower Show, the wine circle members were treated to a fascinating illustrated talk on tattoos and tattooing at their September meeting by Keith Barnard-Jones, a retired GP from Portland.


Keith, who made a hobby of studying the subject and collecting photographic images, obtained most of his photographs from the inmates of HM Prison, Portland and Borstal (now a Young Offenders Institution).


Many were humorous; some obviously designed to shock, some to express their love of a partner and others to make a statement against authority.  Others were extremely artistic and members were left wondering if the artists' talents could have been better placed elsewhere.  Keith explained that in many cases those who had them were very proud to show them off.  While tattoos could be removed the various means of removing them would always leave a scar.


Several members will be exhibiting at the South West Federation of Wine and Beer Makers' annual festival at Woolacombe this month (October) and the Circle has now joined the national association with a view to competing nationally.


Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month from 8.00pm at the East Coker Hall.  New members welcome.  For further information visit our web site www.ecokerwinecircle.eurobell.co.uk or telephone 862816





The most recent event to boost the coffers of the Pavilion Fund was the Family Cycle Ride, which took place in July.  Organised on behalf of the Pavilion Fund by East Coker Cockerels Football Club, the cycle ride saw children and adults ride along routes varying in length from 3 miles to 20 miles.  Cyclists then returned to the Pavilion to enjoy a barbeque cooked by club coaches Aitor Martinez and Paul Morton.  In total the event raised £1,100 for the Pavilion Fund.


The focus of the Committee will now turn to researching the funding for the Pavilion project from the grant making bodies available.  All interested parties will be most welcome at the next committee meeting, which will be on Monday 10 October at the Pavilion at 8.00pm.


Chairman          Robert Mead                  Vice-Chair                     Bridget Sugg

Secretary          Paula Downes               Publicity Officer             Emma Trickey





East Coker Players would like to inform everyone that unfortunately they have had to cancel their pantomime this year.  This is due to our Musical Director letting us down and some member dropping out at the last minute. We need YOUR support to make the next production possible.  Do you know any budding actor/actresses, costume markers, stage crew etc?  If more members can't be found we may not be able to trend the boards again.  Please contact Anna Shutler (01935) 477365 for more information.


We have decided to run a Christmas Bingo on Saturday 3 December.  Doors open 7.30 pm, Eyes down 8.00 pm.  All money raised will go to the Players and their chosen charity for the year.


Darren Shutler





Future Meetings, October to January (Thursdays at 7.30 pm in East Coker Hall)


13 October:                  'Lawn Care' by Brimsmore Garden Centre

Tuesday 25 October:    A coach trip to Westonbirt Arboretum.  Non-members very welcome

10 November:              A G M followed by a video of 'Lavender Fields of Norfolk' by David Smale

Tuesday 22 November 7.30pm: Discount Shopping at Brimsmore Garden Centre

8 December:                'Searching for Butterflies in Greece' – Alison Charles

12 January 2006:          'Birds in Your Garden' – Mike Bickerton


Chair: Olga Clifford         Secretary: Vivienne Ford  863954.           Treasurer: Catherine Denney  862294.





Forthcoming Meetings all at 7.30pm at The Helyar Arms, East Coker


Monday 14 November  'Relationships'  Eve Simmonds from Sherborne will present an evening of poetry on the theme of 'relationships'.


Wednesday 21 December (The Shortest Day)  'Seasonal and Winter Poems' to include an original recording of Dylan Thomas reading 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' and other original recordings.  Mulled Wine and Mince Pies will be available, hosted by Catherine Simmonds and Amelia Bennett.


In February Gaie Vickers will be presenting the poems – date to be confirmed


Sue McKerracher has done a truly splendid job over the last year to build up the poetry group in East Coker.  Unfortunately Sue has had to relinquish the helm and stand down as leader of the group at short notice due to health reasons; hers will be a hard act to follow.  She has brought the energy and enthusiasm needed to keep a group running, along with the practical skills to produce all the newsletters, poetry booklets and organise a website.  We wish Sue a speedy recovery.


David Cloke will be acting as the Poetry Group co-ordinator 862623.  Any correspondence should be sent to Church Cottage, Burton Cross, East Coker, Yeovil, BA22 9LY.  Alternatively, contact Joyce Best on 862317.  Our website for information about the poetry competition is still www.eastcokerpoetry.org.uk





There is an error in the telephone directory listing the telephone number of East Coker Hall Bookings it should be 01935 862087  The listings in Yellow Pages and Thomson's Directories are correct.  Please make a note of the correct number in your personal directory. The number 863786 is no longer available.


R Allwood





Annual Coffee Morning Saturday 22 October, 10.30am – 12 noon, East Coker Hall.  Please come along for coffee and biscuits to meet members and friends and to support your local branch.  All welcome.



Young People




Eurojam 2005


In August two scouts and myself went to Eurojam which was staged at Chelmsford, Essex.  It was the biggest international Scout event to be held in the UK for 50 years.  We went with our leaders Gary and Kevin and camped with 10,000 other Scouts and Guides from 52 different countries.


We camped with a troop from North Carolina, USA, which livened things up a bit!  We staged rugby and football matches against other countries.  Amongst the activities we visited Girwell Park the home of Scouting in the UK, helped dig a pond for a local community project and took the Americans into London so they could see the sights.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and one we will never forget.


Simon Glover, Explorer Scout.


Waste Paper Collections         Saturdays 29 October    26 November     31 December


Thank you for your support.  Jackie Glover.





Have you heard the singing near the Pavilion on a week day morning?  If you listen very carefully you may catch the end of Humpty Dumpty or Hey Diddle, Diddle.  Yes, the playgroup is back in session, 5 mornings a week from 9.15am to 12 noon.  On a Tuesday and Wednesday you may get an afternoon recital, when the afternoon sessions run from 1.15pm to 3.15pm.  Our Lunch Club runs from 12 noon to 1.15pm and is an opportunity for children to bring their lunch for an extra fee.


The Playgroup is run by qualified and experienced staff and enjoys fantastic outdoor play opportunities which are utilised as often as possible.  Due to the dedication and hard work by both staff and parents there is a wonderful range of play equipment.  The Playgroup is registered with Ofsted and the Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership and follows the Foundation Curriculum, when eligible Nursery Education Funding is available.  Learning is play based with the emphasis being on having fun.  To secure a place on the Waiting List please contact Kay Strode on 872126 after 6.00pm.


Our annual Craft Fair, organised by the parents' is on Sunday 13 November, 10.30am – 4.00pm, at the East Coker Hall.  Stalls are available; please contact Liz Barnes on 864405 for information and booking form.  We'd love to see you there.  Come along for some early Christmas shopping, a relaxing browse or for inspiration. A photographer will be present for family portrait photographs (available in time for Christmas), and a raffle with some wonderful prizes will be drawn.  There will be refreshments and light lunches available.  Do come and soak up the craft atmosphere.


Eve Dudden





East Coker Cockerels were delighted to round off a marvellous year by receiving the Charter Standard Club Award 2005 at the Somerset FA’s presentation evening at Glastonbury in July.  This award recognises the hard work, dedication and training put in by the coaches and the committee, and the club were immensely proud to accept it.


During the summer break, the club organised a very successful family cycle ride in aid of the Pavilion committee.  This event raised a staggering £1,100 and the Cockerels would like to thank all the families who supported the cycle ride and helped to make it so worthwhile.


Two new coaches, Aitor Martinez and Emma Trickey, passed the Level One coaching course in August, bringing the total of qualified coaches at the club to six.


The four Cockerels teams have now kicked off a new season, with the U8 team sporting a new kit kindly sponsored by local business MBA Resources.  Good luck to all the teams; have a successful and enjoyable season!



The Churches




Sunday 13 November  Service of Remembrance at 10. 50am when all uniformed groups are very welcome to parade with their banners and flags, as an act of thanksgiving for those who died in the past two major conflicts of 1914-18, and 1939-45.


Sunday 4 December  Christingle  10.00am


Sunday 18 December  Carol Service 6.00pm  Readers and singers are very welcome to be there.


Monday 19 December  Carol singing around the village, starting at The Poplars 7.00pm.  9.00pm Mince Pies etc at the Vicarage.


Christmas Eve  11.00pm Midnight Mass


Christmas Day  8.00am Holy Communion.  10.00am Family Service


New Year's Day  8.00am Holy Communion.  10.00am Family Service Epiphany.  6.00pm Evensong


Please do contact me, or either of the Churchwardens, for further information.  You would be very welcome at all the above events.


Roger Burt  862125


Service for those we have loved but see no longer Sunday 30 October at 6.00pm.


The preacher will be the Archdeacon of Wells, The Ven. Peter Maurice.  I will be writing to those who have been bereaved in the last year a little nearer the time but please let me have the names of other loved ones, before October 23. 


There is no limit to the number of names you send in but because of the numbers we usually use only one Christian name per person.  Any problems give me a ring.


Monica  862834





The Coffee Morning at The Anchorage, Coker Marsh on Saturday 3 September was a happy occasion on a sunny morning when the garden was looking at its best.  Thanks to Mrs Biggin and all who contributed to the event, £470 was raised for church funds.


Sunday and Other Services – November 2005 – January 2006

Tuesday 1 November      6.30pm  All Saints' Evensong

Sunday 6 November       9.00am  Holy Communion

Sunday 20 November     11.30am  Holy Communion

Sunday 4 December       9.00am  Holy Communion

Sunday 18 December     11.30am  Holy Communion

Tuesday 20 December    6.30pm  Christmas Carol Service

Christmas Day               11.30am  Holy Communion

New Year's Day             9.00am  Holy Communion

Sunday 15 January        11.30am  Holy Communion


All services are based on the 1662 Prayer Book.  The evening services are held by candlelight, which contributes to the special atmosphere of this beautiful little church.  An electronic system keeps this church open during daylight hours and the visitors' book shows that people come from all over the world to visit it.


Churchwardens: Mrs Heather Snook  474138                   Mr Anthony Denning  474294





Christmas Eve Service

We shall be having our usual service on 24 December at 4.00pm.  I hope the children will come dressed as Angels, Shepherds, Wise Men, or as animals and children from other lands.  During the last three months I have been working on ideas for an up-to-date presentation of the Nativity Story which might feature a T V News Presenter!


It will be a very informal service lasting about 30 minutes and we do not worry about any unscripted sounds.  So come and join us


Monica  862834





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

Sundays – The Lord's Supper 11.00am.  Prayer and Bible Study 6.30pm.

Monthly Family Service on the 2nd Sunday at 11.00am when The Lord's Supper takes place at 6.30pm instead of the Bible Study.  Other events announced weekly.


Contact us on 422594 or 863735



Village News




22 & 23 October 2005


10.00am – 5.00pm


Stable Cottage, Coker Court, East Coker


Coffee, Light Lunches, and Cream Teas


Proceeds from paintings and refreshments to Prostate and Breast Cancer Research


All Welcome





Frequent visitors to the Playing Fields at Long Furlong Lane will have noticed that there is now a half-sized football pitch marked out there.  This football pitch has been created for use by youth football teams, as there are many children in the village eager to play football.


Unfortunately, when a team turned up to use the pitch recently, the officials had to move eight separate piles of dog mess from the pitch before they could begin.


Could all dog walkers who use the recreation field please ensure that they remove any deposit their dog may leave and either take it home or place it in the bins provided.  The recreation field is provided for everyone to use, and if we all use the facilities responsibly we should not hinder anyone else’s enjoyment.


Thank you





Wednesday 19 October, 10.00am – 12 noon at the East Coker Hall.  Bring and Buy for Cakes and Produce; Bric-a-brac; Toys; Tombola and Grand Raffle.  Charity Christmas Cards and gifts for sale.  Coffee and tea available.  Admission 50p.  Call in and see us!




Although it's only October our thoughts now turn to the Poppy appeal.  I do hope that all my collectors, old and new will be able to do their bit again this year.  If you have any problems please give me a ring.  Many thanks in advance


Sue Hounsell  01308 424702





CLIC in Bristol has combined with the Sir Malcolm Fund for Children to become CLIC Sargent.  They still welcome used postage stamps and foreign coins.  These are sold to finance medical research.  Please leave them at the Village Shop (thank you Steve and Leisha) or at Holly Cottage.


Micky Hall





Autumn is traditionally the time of the year for bonfires.  Before lighting one, please do remember to make sure there no washing on your neighbour's line and that the wind is blowing away from the houses.





Autumn Equinox 22 September 2005

Although the warm dry days of summer lasted well into September, signs of autumn appeared by mid-August. A few yellowing leaves showed up brightly among the deep green summer foliage.  Later in the month a thin carpet of fallen leaves gave a hint of forthcoming winter.  Nevertheless, summer has been a pleasantly warm one this year.  In July we had ten consecutive days, (8th-17th), when the temperature rose above 21C (70F), with a high of 27.1C (80.8F) on the 11th.


August had eight days above 21C, the month ending with a thunderstorm on the afternoon of the 31st. September continued the warm weather into the first half of the month, after which nights became quite chilly as we approached the official start of autumn.  Rain fell on nine days in June, 57.4mm.(2.26ins.); on ten days in July, 51.6mm.(2.03ins.) and on seven days in August, 38.1mm. (1.5ins.).  For the half year to June 30 the total rainfall was 324.9mm.(12.79ins.).


I was delighted to receive two reports of a sighting of Red Kites near the village.  Although these rare birds have been part of the scene in mid-Wales for several years and more recently in Oxfordshire, these local sightings are encouraging for the spread of the species.  In most years Green Woodpeckers have visited my lawn in late August to feed on swarming ants.  But this year ants in the garden have been sparse and no woodpeckers have visited.  Perhaps the generally dry weather has limited ant numbers.  A Magpie harassed a Sparrow-hawk feeding on a Collared Dove which it had attacked in the garden and, to my surprise; the hawk gave way to the magpie and flew off.  A single Nuthatch fed on my birdfeeder in July, recognised at first by the bird's head-down stance on the feeder.


I received a most interesting comment on the lack of Orange-tip butterflies in the spring.  My correspondent suggested that the practice of keeping our village's roadside verges tidy by cutting the caterpillars' food supply, (Ladies Smock or Cuckoo Flower, Cardamine pratensis), might have been the reason.  Again, this summer has seen far fewer butterflies.  Only a single specimen of Small Tortoiseshells has visited me and generally there have been very few sightings of the usual Red Admirals and Peacocks.  No migrant Painted Ladies have made the trip from North Africa this summer.


Dragonflies have been a welcome colourful sight over a small pool in the garden, although they have been outnumbered by the smaller Damselflies this year.


Already, misty mornings are showing up many spider webs on shrubs.  Some of these webs are surprisingly strong.


The inconspicuous flowers of the Ivy opened early this year, a welcome feeding opportunity for autumn flies as colder days begin.  A few fungi have already appeared, presenting a problem in identification.


A partial eclipse of the sun will be visible on the morning of October 3rd.  This eclipse will begin at 7.45 am G.M.T and reach maximum at 9.00am.  The event will be over by 10.15 am G.M.T.  By mid November, Mars will be well visible in the southern sky at bedtime.  Later in the year, by mid December, Saturn will appear in the south-eastern night sky.  Winter constellations, the Square of Pegasus and later, Orion, will begin to shine in the southern sky.


Francis Cloke  862496




Registered Charity No.200719

Where older people find Care in Housing

101 West Hendford Yeovil BA 20 1XN


Ideal for the older person not wishing to live alone, but wanting to retain their

independence and enjoy the company of others.


Most rooms ensuite.  Very reasonable rates as we have charity status.

No nursing care, but Resident Manager on hand.


Telephone Mr. Joe Waite, House Manager, 01935 475768

Visitors are always welcome to come and look around.





Do we now all have it?  Is it too late to change our ways?  How hard would it be?  Or indeed, would it just take a small amount of forethought?


But ultimately the one big question is do we care?


Do we care where the produce comes from and how long it takes to get to the shelves?  Do we care how the producers are squeezed dry for the sake of profits?  Do we care that every day at least one small shop closes?


However, a village losing its shop is costly in more ways than one.  Firstly, it can still be the centre of the local community, a place for meeting people.  Secondly, the property values drop as the village becomes less of a village and more just a group of houses ,and less desirable to live in.  Thirdly, it is another victory for the supermarkets in their quest to remove all opposition.  And let's not forget those who can’t get anywhere and rely on the shop.


One of the only things that have survived from becoming another supermarket aisle is, The Post Office.  Surprising, maybe, but not if you realise that there is not any money to be made from this quarter and therefore of little or no interest at all to them.  It has been tried and maybe still is in some places, but the Post Office transactions alone will not pay the wages of Post Office staff let alone make the desired profit levels.


In this village we took steps to try and maintain a Post Office within the village even though the Post Office trade locally has declined due to lifestyles, pension changes and such things as the advent of e-mail.  We adjusted the hours to meet the demand and yet make it as viable from a business point of view as possible.  We are now open from 8.00am until 1.00pm on Monday to Friday and Monday afternoon.  But does everybody really understand what can be done at the village Post Office in terms of banking, foreign currency, bill payments and of course postage?


The shop itself obviously can’t match the supermarket for volume, but is competitive in its own right with special offers all of the time.  Although how many people actually really do know the true prices of things?  More importantly, the quality issue comes into play.  Can you compare a loaf of bread from our local baker with that from your local supermarket? – that depends whether or not you want preservatives in your Bread.  What about milk?  Does the milk in your fridge have sodium as one of the nutritional elements?  Should tomatoes be red, round, hard, all the same size and well travelled? – especially in the height of the English growing season.  Why would anybody want to buy runner beans grown in Kenya or potatoes grown in Israel?  And so the list of questions goes on, without even starting on the subject of meat.


So the next time that you need some milk, bread, a bottle of wine or other bits and pieces don’t think that you have to go to the supermarket to get them.  It will cost you a lot more than you think by the time you come out with the rest of the things that you didn’t really want.  While we are on the subject also have a look at the prices that you are paying and compare and then add your car expense costs.


So, please support your local shop, as the sad fact is that if you don’t use us you will lose us.


East Coker P O & Stores – Newsagents, off-licence, confectionery, greetings cards and general provisions, including fresh bread and milk.


Shop hours


Monday to Friday

7.30am – 1.00pm           2.00pm – 5.30pm



7.30am – 1.00pm



8.00am – 12.00pm




Wednesday 2 November and Thursday 3 November






Regular passengers on the 212 bus, which runs between Dorchester and Yeovil, and follows a delightfully tortuous route serving villages on either side of the A37, were greatly relieved when the bus continued to run on 5 September.  This was the day the First Bus Company withdrew its service, but by then the Sure-line Company from Portland had agreed to take it over.  This little bright blue bus, slightly less roomy than its predecessor and with less luggage space, operates a very similar timetable, with the same friendliness and helpfulness.  It is hoped that with support from the Dorset and Somerset County Councils this service will prove sufficiently commercially viable to be continued after the first trial months.


Timetables of the new 212 and 216 (Dorchester via Sherborne) are available from the Yeovil Bus Station and from the East Coker Post Office Stores – and no doubt from similar stores in the villages through which the service runs. The telephone number of the company is: 01305 823039.



The other bus change in East Coker is the replacement of the former 56 service between Lakefields in West Coker and Yeovil by a new Nippy/ink bus, N8, which follows the same route and approximately the same times as before.  The special feature of this service is that it is available, by prior arrangement, to collect people from places not on its regular route.  This arrangement has to be made by telephoning the company beforehand, and the number is given on the timetable.  People who have used this service speak very highly of it.  Residents at Burrells, for instance, in West Coker, who used to have to hire an expensive taxi to take them to the village Club on the A30, can now book the N8 to take them there at a fraction of the cost.  The idea behind this service, which is supported by the Somerset County Council, is that no resident in a rural area within a certain radius of Yeovil should be without the possibility of public transport into town and home again.


Timetables, with explanations, are available from the Bus Station and the village shops.  The telephone number is: 01935 423700.


Sally Jackson





The 70th Anniversary of the local Flower Show and Wine Festival, made a profit of £233.55.  The entries were up this year which is very encouraging for all to see, with a lot of the younger are generation getting involved.  Well done!


Trophy winners.

Maudsley Silver Challenge Cup, for most points in Show – Sarah Rashley

Archie Neville Memorial Cup, for most points in fruit & veg – Mike Bayliss

League of Friends Cup, for most points in Flower section – Don White

Ralph Eacott plaque – for best vase of Dahlias – Don White

Pittard Rose Cup, for 5 roses – D. Carter

Mrs Newman Cup, for Gladioli – Don White

Jane Harvey Pot Plant Salver – Lois Crisp

Molly Kettlewell Herb Cup – W. Mitchell

Miss Keefe Cup, for most Points in Floral Art – C. Mead

Drake Memorial Cup, for most points in Home-craft – Marie Firth

Eileen Doye Memorial Cup, for best Jam – Hebe Bowes

Christine Mead Cup, for most points in Craft section – Marie Firth

Photographic Trophy – David Pryor

East Coker Garden Cup, for Children's Classes, under 5's – Ella Kearvell

Gloria Mead Cup, for Children's' Classes, 6-10 years – Emily Parish

Miss E B Drake Challenge Cup, For Children's Classes, 11-15 years – Alexander Firth


Wine Festival

East Coker Wine Circle Cup, for Most points in Wine-Festival – David Pryor

Standring Memorial Cup for most points by a Circle member – David Pryor

East Coker Wine Circle Trophy for best wine in show – David Pryor

Dick Rolph Cup for best wine exhibited by a Circle member – David Pryor

East Coker Wine Circle Novice Points Trophy – Anna Shutler


A Big Thank You to every one who entered and we hope to see you again next year.





The next issue of the Newsletter will be in January 2006.  Copy, please, to Lesley Lindsay, Little Meadow, Coker Marsh, East Coker or e-mail Lesley or to the East Coker Post Office & Stores by Friday 6 January 2006.


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