The Tenor bell of St Stephen's rang
out at midnight on December 31st 1999, and signaled the end of the
twentieth century, the beginning of the year 2000, and the New Millennium.
The bell was cast in 1583, in the reign of Elizabeth 1st, and this could
have been the fifth time that it had rung in a new century.
The New Year's Eve celebrations had
started with the lighting of the beacon on the Big Recreational Ground at
11pm. People of all ages - babies in push chairs and several
eighty-year olds left their own parties and gathered to form a torchlight
procession. Most had a light of some kind. There were oil lamps,
night lights in jam jars and even a candelabra.
Several people brought musical
instruments. Horns, whistles and rattles and a very large drum,
lent by the Winsham Coronation Band, led the whole procession.
This drum was much too heavy to be carried so it was pushed on a trolley
by Stella Abbey, banged by Trish Baxter and followed by a crowd of fifty
The route led through the Davies Close sheltered
homes, where a party was in full swing in the Community Room. They
pulled back the curtains and joined in by waving and cheering.
Soon the walkers were in voice and heading towards the village.
Then, unexpectedly, everything came to a halt when a wheel fell off the
trolley carrying the drum. A bit of attention from Roger
Beer, the village mechanic, soon had the procession underway again.
A voice called "Oggy-Oggy-Oggy" and chorus replied, " Oi-Oi-Oi".
This was repeated again and again with a background of rattles and
Up Back Street and down Fore Street the procession
went with people joining in on the way. When they reached the
Church it was not quite midnight so off they went again. This
time to Court Street and back again. By this time the revelers
from the Jubilee Hall and The Bell had come out into the street, many of
them in fancy dress. About two hundred people waited,
noisily, to hear the first chime rung by Keith Fowler, Captain of the
Tower. No one heard the rest as the whole street erupted into
cheers and impromptu singing of Auld Lang Syne. 'Happy New Year' and
'Happy Millennium' was on everybody's lips. There was much
laughing and kissing - a wonderful scene, soon to be lit by fireworks
from many directions. Gradually people returned to their own
parties - to their own houses, the Jubilee Hall, the Sports and Social
Club or The Bell Inn.By the time most people were up and about on New
Year's Day, all signs of the celebrations had gone from Church Street.
Roy Smart, Richard Rose, Julian Dorse and his son Adam, had swept away
the party popper streamers and other debris. Winsham was ready for the
National Millennium Event.
At 11.45am on New Years Day 2000, 56 people gathered
in St Stephen's Church for the Millennium Service led by one of our
churchwardens, Pam Barratt. This service was being repeated all over
the country. At Noon, the bells were rung in the church as
part of a national bell-ringing peal to welcome the new Millennium. The
ringers, led by Tower Captain Keith Fowler were Alan Spurdle, John
Loaring, Jill Stone, George Evans, Jethro Evans, Shane Sweetland and
Sandie Wells, the last four of whom had taken up bell ringing especially
for the occasion. Unfortunately Rob Symonds and Steve Rowsell were
unable ring due to the 'flu epidemic. Whilst the bells were
ringing the congregation were offered a glass of wine to celebrate the New
Year by members of the Millennium Committee.
The New Year Walk was the first of four
walks organised by the Winsham 2000 Committee to take place. Some
twenty plus walkers participated, leaving the Jubilee Hall at 11.15
am. The route was by way of Colham Lane, across fields to Bridge
and Ammerham returning along the footpath past the cemetery and
church. The weather was dull with drizzle, so the hot drinks served
at the Jubilee Hall, to accompany the walker's packed lunches, were
Trade at the Play Group
Jumble Sale was very brisk. £118 was raised in just over an hour.
Any suitable leftover clothing was handed to Gilly Hobbs, to be sent to
the people of St. Helena on the next available cargo ship.
On Tuesday evening, the Art Club was treated
to a talk by the outstanding local artist Ted Hersy. Some
thirty members gathered in the Jubilee Hall to listen to Ted who is
a a master of technique when it comes to painting in Acrylic.
February 4th & 5th
The Skittles Fund Raising Competition held at the
Bell Inn was a great success and raised £104.50p. The winners were Giles
Morris, who won the first prize of £30, Paul Nicholls, who won the second
prize of £15, and a special Prize of £5 was given to Joe Langridge aged
11, who gave the adults a run for their money. Many thanks to those
who took part and everyone who helped. Also many thanks for the
raffle prizes that were donated.
A good crowd of Youth Club members enjoyed
themselves at the Youth Club Disco held in the Skittle Alley of the Bell
Inn. A lot of energy was put into dancing to the very noisy disco
music. A raffle was held and the Club finances benefited by £86.
A Quiz was held in aid of Davies Close residents.
Mr Brian Bishop had devised a number of statements each with some of the
words represented by their initial letter, e.g. seven s on a F.P.P.- Seven
sides on a Fifty Pence Piece. The purchase of the quizzes at 50p a
time raised £41 after prizes were paid for.
Every first Friday in March, throughout the
world, is marked by a non-denominational service celebrating the
Women's World Day of Prayer. The women of each country devise the
service and take into consideration the concerns and needs of the
people of their country. As the years go by we get a better
understanding of the lives led by women world-wide.
Women from Winsham, both from the United
Reformed Church and St. Stephen's, traveled to Thorncombe to join in
the service at St Mary's.
Also, there were members of
Thorncombe Chapel. The address was given by Mrs Elizabeth Rutter who
told us of her journeys in India, where she met, and was blessed by Mother
Teresa of Calcutta. Next year the service will be in Winsham at either the
United Reform Church or St Stephen's.
A Family Quiz Night was held at the Bell Inn in aid
of the School Parent/Teacher Association. This was a non fund
raising event, just an evening to get together and have a bit of fun.
Disastrous floods have devastated areas of
Mozambique. In response to a National Appeal for aid, the Mothers Union
organised a Coffee Morning in the Jubilee Hall. In a few days
posters were put up and arrangements made. So many people wanted to
help and were very generous with donations of goods to sell and
willingness to buy, that £260 was raised in a very short time.
Posters advertising "Pig Racing Night in The Bell",
roused a lot of curiosity in the village. The Street Fair Committee
was bringing something new to Winsham. Animal Rights people had
nothing to fear. The pigs were propelled by batteries and until the race
had finished no one knew which pig had the strongest battery inside.
£176 was raised to go towards financing this year's Street Fair.
Winsham Royal British Legion Women's Section Coffee
Morning was held in the Jubilee Hall at 10.30 a.m. All the usual
stalls, cakes, bric-a-brac, plants etc… These stalls plus a raffle
The general meeting of the Winsham Neighbourhood
Watch Scheme attracted 21 people. P.C. Alan Chinn, Crime Reduction
Officer, from Crewkerne, provided a one hour "Non-stop Review" covering
Home Security, Shed Security, Holiday Reminders, The 'Door-Step Code' and
also Vehicle related crime. A larger attendance was anticipated, but
the school Parents and Teachers Association Meeting had "greater pull"!
After two days of bitter weather with snow
falling over most of the West Country, it actually dawned fair for
the Coffee Morning at the Jubilee Hall, which was held to raise
money to buy flowers for 'St Stephen's Church Flower Festival', to
take place on July 1st & 2nd. Early morning saw people staggering
up Church Street laden with things for the various stalls - which
included a Bric-a- Brac, Plant, Cake, 'Nearly New' clothes and of
course, a Raffle! Coffee was also provided and there was tremendous
support from the people of Winsham.With everyone's help we raised
the amazing sum of £222.31p, which will be divided equally between
all the organisations that are taking part in July. Our thanks go
out to the people of Winsham and to all the helpers who made it such
a successful morning.
Every year during Lent, a lunch is organised in aid
of a good cause. This year the venue was Glebe Cottage and the
choice of the fund to benefit was made by the hostess. This year the
victims of the flooding in Mozambique were helped by the £86 raised by the
twenty-eight adults and two children who enjoyed the home-made soup,
bread, cheese and apples.
The Winsham W.I. had organised a 'Have-a-go-day' in
the Jubilee Hall. This was an opportunity for anyone to try any of the
crafts being demonstrated. The members from W.I's in Tatworth,
Chard, Dowlish Wake,Ilminster & Horton had also been invited.
Several people tried decoupages, there was considerable interest in the
creation of greetings cards with hot wax and glitter, and the miniature
doll's house making created a lot of interest. It was altogether a
very successful day.
The School May Fair is usually held on the Saturday
before the Spring Bank Holiday Monday. This year, because Easter is
not until 23rd April and the school will be on holiday, an Easter Sale was
held in the Jubilee hall instead. The atmosphere was not the same -
there was not room for all the fun and games which usually take place on
the school field. However, £448 was raised to help with school
Roy Smart runs the London Marathon. Saturday 15th
April dawned with something approaching a blizzard, with significant
amounts of snow pitching in Winsham and on the heights of Windwhistle.
This did not bode too well for the ten runners from Crewkerne Running
Club, plus some family supporters, who set off for London at an early hour
in time to get settled into their accommodation and, theoretically, to
relax for the rest of the day. Apart from Salisbury Plain, the snow
did not last too long, so everyone arrived safely. Here is his account:
"The recommendation for the Saturday
afternoon is to `take the weight off the feet' - I once spent most of the
time walking round the Museum of London, which was not a good idea.
There is a large London Marathon Exhibition to visit, which may be
mandatory, as runners have to register there by the Saturday afternoon,
but as Crewkerne register in advance, most of us avoid it. A trip on
the river is less tiring, perhaps to see the Dome, but the weather,
although improving, was not exactly ideal. Most of our party stay at
Blackheath, close to the Marathon starting areas, so we settled for a
quiet stroll to the Greenwich Observatory. Plenty of food and drink
(non-alcoholic of course) kept us going until the obligatory pasta at
suppertime. It's amazing how much some people can eat!
Sunday, thankfully, was very
different from the previous day, starting dry, sunny and quite warm.
With a bedroom window looking out onto Blackheath I had an excellent view
of the final preparations - barriers being put in place, baggage lorries
arriving which would take kitbags to the finish, TV crews setting up, and
of course an increasing ant-like convoy of runners heading for the
assembly areas. There are two main starts, plus the `Elite' and
`Good for Age'. Crewkerne had two runners in the latter, including myself
- it gets easier to qualify as you get older.
All of the 35,000 or so runners converge after about
three miles, so it can get very congested and quite difficult to run - a
good excuse if you finish with a poor time. There seemed to be more
runners than ever this year, but I was quite pleased with a time of
3hrs.50min., my best for eight years, which does not say
for the years in between! The crowds and support were incredible and
I shall never forget the noise and the atmosphere crossing Tower Bridge.
Steven Kivett, running his first marathon, made exactly the same comment".
After the finish you are carried
along in a river of space blankets, to collect medal, goody bag, T-shirt
and, eventually, kit bag from the appropriate lorry. Then it is off
for the reunion at a pre-arranged spot in St. James's Park and in due
course the train back to the hotel. A soak in the bath works wonders
and soon everyone is fit for the journey home.
Runners in the London Marathon have
raised millions of pounds for charities over the years. My
contribution this year, with the help of many Winsham friends, was £500
for St. Margaret's Somerset Hospice, which also had an `official' team of
five, raising over £5000 between us.
The Junior Church Coffee Morning was held in the
Jubilee Hall and was the scene for another Wednesday morning. This
one was organised by Gillian Grabham and all the usual stalls were there -
cakes, bric-a-brac etc. Together with a raffle and donations £130
was raised for Junior Church funds.
The Village Spring Walk was the second of the four
walks organised this year by the Winsham 2000 Committee. A long and
a short walk were planned. At least 40 people set off at 10.45 a.m.
Both walks followed the same route via Bere Farm to Sheldrick Bridge.
The long walk then proceeded in the direction of Thorncombe before
rejoining the shorter walk at Thorncombe T-junction. Return was via
Forde Abbey and Ammerham. Most walkers stayed at The Bell Inn for lunch.
Also in April
Davies Close Quiz - Another brainteaser. This
time there were missing words to find. £31.50 was raised. Winsham
Stores ran a competition to guess the name of a toy rabbit. This
raised £40 for St Margaret's Hospice.
The Youth Club Jumble Sale was held at the
Jubilee Hall. Cast-off clothing, second hand toys and books,
homemade cakes and practically anything that would sell, made up a
good jumble sale. It is always surprising to see what is collected
and it's usually a job to know what to do with what is left over.
This time £80 was raised. The best of the leftover clothes where
washed and packed up for St Helena.
The Horticultural Society held its annual
plant sale and coffee evening. This is an opportunity for villagers
to buy annual bedding plants thanks to the presence of Mr & Mrs
Redman who have a nursery at Forton. Society members add to the
range of plants available by bringing along their surplus vegetable,
perennial, wild flower and pot plants. There was also a raffle and
the final profit from this year's event was £137.16 - larger than
usual due to the selling off of "Barn" goods - pots, composts etc.,
which the Society has now ceased to deal in.
The Lifeboat sale is run in the Jubilee Hall by the
Royal National Lifeboat Institute (Chard Branch). The members bring
with them all that they wish to sell. This includes new products
from the R.N.L.I. as well as items, which have been collected or donated
This sale is always very well supported. We all
appreciate the invaluable work done by the R.N.L.I. and the fact that
their work is funded only by voluntary efforts. This year the total
required nationally is £88 million (£240,000 per day). Today's sale raised
May 12th - 14th
|The Winsham Annual Art
Exhibition was held at the Jubilee Hall.
The Preview party that
took place on the evening of May 12th was very well attended, with
nearly one hundred art lovers coming to admire the local talent and
to sample the food and wine provided by club members. A raffle was
also held. This occasion provides not only an opportunity for the
artists to display their work, but also an enjoyable social
occasion. The Winsham Art Club has grown considerably in numbers
during the last year, due to the evening classes, started by club
members for those younger aspiring artists in the village who were
unable for various reasons to attend day classes.
The standard of exhibits was high this year, and due to the increase
in membership there was a great variety of work on display,
including for the first time - examples of the work done by the
children at their evening classes.
To mark the Millennium year three local artists contributed ten
portraits of notable historical figures, one from each century.
The school and the playgroup produced excellent displays, and added
an extra dimension to the Exhibition. A local Artist from
Broadwindsor, Mr David Braxton selected six exhibits for special
commendations - they were as follows: Iris Bamford, Penny Pargiter,
Gwengar Smart, Liz Tadema, Les Toulmin and Bert Wood. The vote
for the most popular picture in the show went to Les Toulmin.
The Exhibition itself took place on the following two days, achieving
record attendance and good sales. Refreshments were served during
this period. There was also a raffle.The money raised during
the Art Club Exhibition weekend helps to defray the expenses of
holding the Exhibition and running the club. The Treasurer was
very pleased with the success of the weekend and the money raised
covered the cost of the venue with a small profit that went into
of the Youth Club, with ten adults, joined in the National Litter
Pick. Protective plastic tabards were provided by the organisers and
it is good to think of parties of young people picking up the litter
in the streets.
June 24th & 25th
The Winsham Street Fair was held on two days
instead of one as a special celebration to mark the 2000 Millennium
Year. It was blessed with wonderful weather and despite competition
from other Millennium Celebrations was probably on of the most
successful yet. Holyrood School Swing Band, Emazdad the
magician, rock & roll dancers, line dancers and the Bournemouth
Carnival Band, better known as the Spidermen, entertained us. We had
a fancy dress parade, a military vehicle procession, spinning
wheels, laser domes, super slides, raffles, hot dogs, burgers, fish
and chips, bouncy castle, ball pool, lunches, teas and so much more.
The evening brought dancing in the street to the Chris Rainbow Band
from 'eight 'till late', and the following day, after the initial
tidying up we adjourned to the Recreation Ground for a village party
and were entertained by an "It's a Knockout" competition.
Eight teams battled with huge inflatable balls, Three-man ski's,
hamster wheels and water competitions, and barn dancing to the Ivor
Hyde Band rounded off the whole weekend. The barn dancing
highlighted the family spirit in the village when three generations
of a least one family were represented. It was a wonderful
weekend that brought the village together and entertained everyone,
from every generation. The Street Fair Committee appreciates
the support given by all the other village organisations that helped
to made the weekend a total success.
"Farming through the Ages" was the theme of
the Flower Festival organised by the Fund Raising Committee of St
Stephens, which was held at St
Stephens Church. The church was beautifully decorated with displays
from the Short Mat Bowls Club, Winsham Horticultural Society,
Pre-School and Toddlers, Winsham School, W.I., Farm 2000, St
Stephens P.C.C., Wessex Foundation, Winsham Youth Club, Winsham
parish council, Winsham Mother's Union, Winsham Art Club, Winsham
Bell Ringers, YSL Seeds and the Fund Raising Committee. St Stephen's
Gift Day was also held on the same day as the Flower Festival, and
no doubt each event benefited the other. By far the majority
of gifts were handed in at the Lych Gate and then most folk
continued on into the church to admire the decorations and exhibits.
In April 200, new relaxed tax regulations were introduced by the
government which meant that UK tax payers were able, by signing a
simple declaration form, to make their gifts by Gift Aid thus
enabling the church to benefit by an additional £285 in tax
recovered from the Inland Revenue.Prior to 1st July, every household
in the parish was advised that the Gift Day was taking place, given
a brief explanation about Gift Aid and provided with a declaration
envelope in which to place contributions.
A total of £1,532 was received of which £1,352 was made under Gift Aid
regulations. This means the Treasurer will recover a further
£379 income tax, bringing the total to £1,911. This compares
with £1,380 given at the last Gift Day in 1998 and is a wonderful
expression of support for our parish Church in Millennium Year.
In 2000 we need to find £10,700, or just over £29 each and every day
of the year to fulfill our financial commitments - Regular offerings
are, of course, the mainstay of our income and the extra revenue
produced by fund raising events and the Gift Day is vital in order
that we can pay our way.
"Winsham Gardens Open" was organised by Jim and Joan
Aslett, in aid of St. Margaret's Hospice. Opened by the Mayor of Chard and
a representative of the Hospice, on a warm and sunny day, over two hundred
tickets were sold to visit sixteen village gardens, which were open to the
public. Refreshments were available during the day along with a
raffle, and sales of plants, books and bric-a-bac. The total raised
for the Hospice was £1,573.16p.
Winsham's pre-school and Toddlers held a
Weenybopper's Disco, organised by the committee as a social event,
although they did make about £56 profit.
The Disco was held in the Jubilee hall, and aimed at
the pre-school age. Almost all the children who presently attend the
Pre-School came to the disco with their Mums and Dads, brothers and
sisters. Disco lights were hired from the Resource Center at Yeovil.
A music system was borrowed from Sarah Love and Gemma Nicholls was the DJ!
The children really enjoyed it.
Chard Show was held at Purtington. This year
the show has a great many entries in all the usual classes from
leading-rein ponies and horses to horse drawn traps.
The weather was good and the show was judged to be
the best yet. Thanks were expressed to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Forward
for the use of fields at lower Farm, Purtington.
This was the third of the four walks
organised by the Winsham 2000 Committee. Again a long and a short
walk were planned. The long walk left at 2.30p.m.. and proceeded
via Bere Farm, Shedrick Bridge, Magdalen Farm to Wayford Woods.
Here the walkers were joined by the participants of the short walk
who had come via Ashcombe and Hey Farm. After a picnic in less that
good weather the combined party of 27 people returned by the direct
route with the final stretch along Broadenham Lane.
A meeting was held in the Jubilee Hall to discuss and to vote on the
"That this Parish meeting of the electors of the Parish of Winsham
hereby requires the South Somerset District Council to hold a Poll
in the Parish of Winsham. The question to be asked in the Poll
shall be ' Do you wish to keep the Pound Sterling as the currency of
the United Kingdom?' "
Mr John Sullivan took the Chair and the speaker was Mr. Stanley Buton
from Thorncombe. A lively discussion ensued and after various points
of view were put forward - including and amendment proposed by Mr
Robert Shearer and seconded by Mrs Stella Abbey
"..... that the whole matter should be dropped at parish level, and
left to our elected government." Obviously the majority felt
that they would prefer more involvement in their own and their
children's future and the motion was carried without amendment.
Under the provisions of a little used section of the 1972 Local
Government Act, the District council can now be required to hold a
poll in the parish.
The Pre-School and Toddlers Jumble Sale was
held at the Jubilee Hall. This was another fund raising event to
provide much needed money. £112.42 was raised.
The United Reformed Church held their
harvest Festival Service on the 24th September 2000. The Rev. Owen
Butler from Taunton took the Service. He is a retired Clergyman who
frequently visits the Church to minister, and his services are much
appreciated by the Congregation.We had a good number in the
congregation; visitors from other nearby villages swelled the
number, which reflected in great gusto with the hymn singing of the
popular Harvest hymns.
On the Saturday previous to the Sunday service, several Church members
gathered to bring along produce and help to decorate the Church, we
had a lovely array of goodies, not to mention some firewood and
coal, lots of produce was home grown in gardens, cakes lovingly
baked, also pickles etc., and, of course, lots of various tinned
At 12.30pm on Harvest Day, after the service, we
assembled in the Jubilee Hall for our Harvest Lunch, which was beautifully
cooked by Jean Spurdle and Mary Hebditch, two of our members. The
meal was roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, cauliflower,
mashed swede and carrots, and peas, followed by a choice of either apple
tart or trifle, with bowls of clotted cream. Afterwards one could
help themselves to a choice of cheeses and biscuits, then tea or coffee.
All this meal for £3.50 per head. After the meal Roy Frecknall gave a vote
of thanks to the cook and the helpers who served at table, and washed the
On the following Monday evening, all the gifts of
produce were auctioned at the Church by Michael Hebditch, who usually
gives everyone a good laugh. It was a very wet and windy evening, so
not many come, but never the less everything was sold, and as all were
gifts, the money was all profit for the Church funds. So altogether
it was a very successful and enjoyable Harvest Festival.
There was a Coffee Morning at the Bell Inn, which
raised£106 for the Macmillan Nurses Fund. These nurses visit cancer
patients in their own homes and give them all the care they need - 24-hour
care whenever required.
At the annual presentation, held at The Bell Inn,
£680 was distributed to local charities. Lotteries are held
throughout the year and the winners nominate the charity to receive some
of the money
A calm and peaceful autumn morning with the
rooks adding their voices to the bells being rung to welcome St
Stephen's Harvest Festival. The church looked and smelt wonderful
with all the fruit and vegetables, and flowers beautifully arranged.
Our Family Service had the benefit of a
visit from Laura, the Pastoral Worker from St Mary's Church, Chard,
who made a great impression on the children who remembered for some
time afterwards her game of pass the parcel and its accompanying
message. Over coffee afterwards we all agreed what a happy service
it had been. In the evening we celebrated the Eucharist with
harvest Hymns.On Monday morning a sale of produce was held which was
very poorly attended, but nevertheless raised £52.40p.On Monday
evening we gathered for our traditional Harvest Supper, well
prepared and served by the usual faithful band of helpers.
Profits from the supper came to £57, so a total of £109.40p was sent
to Harvest Help, a very worthwhile charity
The Red Cross Coffee Morning was held in the
Jubilee Hall. The usual Winsham support for the Coffee Morning was there
to help raise £65 for The Red Cross.
The Jubilee Hall is very popular with the Chard
Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. They bring all
the items for sale, including some branded R.N.L.I. goods such as
notebooks, tea towels, greetings cards and diaries. Within an hour
and a half of opening at 10.30 a.m. they had taken £325 - a good
About 20 people took part in the Village Autumn
Walk, leaving the Bell Inn at 11.00am and arriving back at 1.00pm.
The route was along Limekiln Lane, by bridleway and footpath, to Whatly
and then on to Bridge and Ammerham and back past the church. Most
participants socialised by staying for drinks and lunch at the Bell. The
weather was kind
Approximately ten residents of Winsham together
with a Winsham dog took part in the sponsored "Walk for Life" in aid of
the Macmillan Cancer Charity from West Bay to Winsham, organised by Tony
Fuller. The starting time was 8.30 am and the distance between 15
and 16 miles. The time taken by most Winsham participants was 6
hours, which included a short stop on Pilsden Pen. The weather was
excellent for a long walk. Very muddy conditions were encountered
in Marshwood Vale owing to the recent very wet weather.
Winsham Youth Club held their annual charity
Halloween Disco at the Bell Inn. Youth Club members had worked
hard for the previous few weeks making Halloween decoration, which
ensured that the scene was well set for the occasion. Kathy and
Julian Dorse kindly organised the disco and local businesses generously
donated prizes for the raffle, fancy dress and pumpkin competitions.
The highlight of the evening was the fancy dress competition, which was
split into two age groups. The judges, Steve Weller and Mary
Quaint (from Cancer Research), had a hard time coming to a decision as
there were so many entries of such a high standard. They
eventually chose Charlie Pryde and Lee Miles as the winners. The
evening was a great success, enjoyed by all and raised £104.00 for The
Cancer Research Campaign, in memory of Stephanie Flanagan.
The Bonfire Party 2000 was held amid fears
that the event may have had to be cancelled following recent bad
weather. These fears were unfounded, however, as the day dawned
bright and clear. The children thoroughly enjoyed helping to build
the bonfire (or biggest ever, helped particularly by a lorry load of
wood from Slades) and making the Guy. The bonfire party held jointly
between Winsham Junior Church & 6+ Groups was well attended,
everyone bringing a few fireworks per family, which made a wonderful
display lasting for approximately three quarters on an hour and the
bonfire burned well into the night. The hot dogs were all devoured
and a profit of £76 was split between the two groups.
This year November 12th was the Sunday nearest to the 11th day of the
month when the original armistice was signed in 1918.
During the previous fortnight poppies had been offered for sale at
every house in Winsham and Cricket St Thomas. Remembrance crosses
and poppy car stickers were also available. Posters, reminding
everyone of the need to give generously, were put up throughout the
The service of Remembrance was held in St Stephen's Church at 3 p.m.
on Sunday 12th with the Winsham Band providing the music to
accompany the hymn singing. For the final part of the service
everyone moved to the War memorial with the processional cross, the
choir and the Rev. Ernie Chivers leading the way, followed by The
British Legion (Women's Section) and the Red Cross were laid.
The Last Post and Reveille were played on the bugle and a two
minutes silence was observed.
The next day all the collecting boxes were opened and donations
counted. The money, together with the collection at the church
service, was sent by Giro account from the Post Office. £728
was raised to support the work of the British Legion with those
suffering as a result of injury whilst serving their country.
A Race night was organised by the Street Fair Committee. Fifty
or more people gathered in the Jubilee Hall for an evening of horse
racing. It was projected onto a screen - eight races each with
eight horses. Each horse was numbered and to part, people buy
tickets at 50p a time for the one they fancy to win. Any number of
tickets can be sold - then half the takings are distributed to the
winning ticket holder. The other half goes to the funds of the
evening's organisers. Local firms who pay £25 and give the
race a name, sponsor each race. An exciting evening for all
and an unusual way to raise £663. for Street Fair funds.
The Pre-School children and the toddlers held a 'Sponsored Trike Ride'
and were sponsored by friends and family to ride their trikes around
the Jubilee Hall. This raised £201.02, which was put towards
the running costs of the playgroup.
The United Reform Church held its Annual Christmas Bazaar in the
Jubilee Hall. Members assembled early to get the trestle
tables erected in their positions and covered in cloths to await the
various items for sale. The morning weather was reasonable
(for a change) as weather plays a big part in the turnout for these
events. There was no shortage of items for sale. One
stall had cakes, made by members, and tinned food, a very popular
stall which people usually make a beeline for upon entering.
Another was filled with bric-a-brac, another with plants, and yet
another with 'items' hand made, very suitable for Christmas gifts.
There was no entry fee, but a charge was made for coffee & biscuits
of 25p. There was a very popular raffle with tickets sold for
50p a strip and all the prizes were donated. The bazaar was
followed by a soup 'n' cheese lunch, consisting of a choice of
soups, and a table laid with biscuits, cheese and an assortment of
pickles whereby one could help themselves, this was followed by a
warm mince pie and a cup of tea or coffee. All this for the princely
sum of £1.50 per person.
After this was finished, members did all the dismantling, packing away
unsold goods, and the washing up, but it was all done in good
spirits and joviality. The outcome of this successful morning was
£387, which is for the Church Funds.
St Stephen's Annual
Bazaar was held in the Jubilee Hall. Despite the miserable weather
we had a good turnout with plenty of cakes, gifts, plants, and table
decorations to buy. There was a large selection of excellent
prizes for the raffle, kindly donated by many generous supporters.
£283 was raised for the Chard Talking Newspapers for the Blind.In
the evening at the Jubilee Hall, along with the children singing
carols, the 6+ acted out the story of Tatiana, a Russian doll who
had been mistreated and was now very tatty. All the other toys
mistreated her and each thought that they would be chosen as "the
best toy in the kingdom" for the princess. However, Tatiana had a
special beauty inside which was made aware as layer after layer of
the special Russian dolls were revealed from inside of her. Tatiana
was played by Sara Douglass, the toy maker by Jess Hamilll, the
king's messenger and the king by Robyn Forrester. The toys were
played by the following:--Cuddly toys - Kirsty Love and Jennifer
Swanke, Marionettes -Sam Pryde and Sam Harris, Toy Soldiers- Ben
Harris, Keiran Bailey and Adrian Shakespeare. A guest princess -
The Christmas Bingo is the biggest fund raising
event in the calendar of the Winsham Pre-School and Toddles.
After weeks of organising, the doors of the Jubilee
Hall opened at 7.30pm and it was 'eyes down' at 8pm for ten games of bingo
and a children's game. Prizes were donated by businesses from the
Chard and Crewkerne area and the staff and parents gave hampers, which
formed the prizes for a Full House. There was also a raffle with over 30
prizes. About eighty people attended and the total profit made was
Winsham Junior Church had their Saturday Christmas
Activity Day. Open to all children aged between 3-13, they spent the
day making Christmas cards, jointed Father Christmas's, calendars, glass
painting, pin cushions, fridge magnets, cooking biscuits and truffles,
marbling, making festive tube characters, hangers, lanterns and much more.
In the lunch break they played games. The children took home all the
items they had made throughout the day. In the evening, the Street
Fair Committee held a Skittles Match at The Bell Inn. A good time was had
by all and £60 was raised to go towards the funding of the Street Fair in
A talk was planned to take place in the Jubilee Hall
given by Dr Louise Crossley. The title of the talk was "Antarctica &
Macquarie Island". The proceeds were to have been in aid of St.
Margaret's Hospice. However, the talk had to be cancelled at short notice,
and the following letter from Dr Crossley explains the circumstances:
the year from November 1999 to November 2000 as Station Leader at the
Australian Research Base on sub Antarctic Macquarie Island, halfway
between Australia and the Antarctic Continent.
On the 7th November the supply ship
Polabird, arrived at Macquarie Island and spent a week
transferring next year's supply of food, fuel and people etc.. We
left on the 14th of November, and although it is only three days sail back
to Australia, we headed south to visit Casey Station, another Australian
base on the Antarctic Continent. While we were ferrying passengers
and cargo to Casey Station by helicopter the ice closed in around the
ship, and although it was in no danger it could not move. And there
we stayed, for three weeks, until the ice melted and opened enough for our
puny five thousand h.p.engine to push the ship out. (
Real Icebreakers have at least 25 thousand h.p.
engines!). As a result we arrived back in Hobart on the 27th of
December instead of the 6th of December as originally planned. So I
missed my date at the Jubilee Hall and also Christmas with my mother (Mrs
Barbara Shrubshall), though I did make it back for New
Year. Incidentally when I arrived at Heathrow, the temperature was -5
degrees C, just about the same as in the ice in Antarctica a few days
The last Friday of the Autumn Term saw the
traditional hive of activity in the school as parents prepared for the
Christmas Teashop - so called because the first one was an actual Teashop
when the children cooked and sold cakes and cups of tea to raise money.
This year saw all the usual fund-raising stalls -
raffle, lucky dip, tombola and bric-a-bac. Several different games
kept the children busy whilst parents enjoyed a cup of tea and a mince pie
in the relative peace of the infant room. A total of just over
£200 was raised for PFA funds. This will go towards their major
project for this year of refurbishing the old swimming pool building and
turning it into a playground shelter, which can be used all year round -
rain or shine!
Carol singing around the village by the school
governors of Winsham School, members of the P.F.A., staff, parents and
pupils, was initially planned for the evening of 13th December, but has to
be postponed until the 18th due to severe wet and windy weather.
Approximately fifty adults and children went
caroling around the village. A collection was held which took £56
and was divided between school funds and the charity Shelter.
Afterwards, mulled wine and mince pies were served in the school,
sponsored by Tesco.
22nd & 23rd
The Winsham Coronation Band played carols in the
village streets on these three evenings. The sound of their music
brought people out of their houses to watch and enjoy the scene.
The sight of a group of players, with their lanterns carried on poles,
is just like many Christmas cards, and the carols remind everyone of the
true meaning of Christmas
The Winsham Football Club held a charity
match in aid of Lupus and Cancer.
The women challenged the men to a game of
football but the men had to be in fancy dress & wellies. The day
started cold but bright and we were all enthusiastic which was a
good start. The majority of the men were wearing long wigs, mini
skirts and ladies tops and underwear. The Referee, who just
happened to be the Vicar of Winsham and a jolly good sport, blew his
whistle and the game started. There was a lot of laughs and
cheating with some of the women hanging on to the men's skirts
(that's if they caught them), but it didn't stop them, they still
managed to score first. After two more goals for the men and one
goal for the women they had half-time (what a relief, they all
needed a drink!)
Quarter of an hour later we started
again. The women were much stronger in the second half thanks to the Vicar
and a few men and they scored a couple more goals, but after a bit more
cheating and some strong tackles made on Gemma Nicholls (their strongest
player), the men won 5-4. At the end of the day it didn't matter who won
or lost they all had a great time.
The players were:-The
Douglass Family, The Slade Brothers, The Partridge Brothers,
Alan Long, Gemma Nicholls, Emma Spurdle, Janine
Nicholls, The Sweetland family
Sherrie Powell, Giles Morris, Julian Shears, Steve
Smith, Michelle Marsh, Wayne Luckett
& Martin Alien.
The Crib Service was again organised by Winsham
Mothers' Union in St Stephen's Church. It was a short simple service
during which children placed dolls dressed as Mary and Joseph etc., from
the nativity story, around the crib.
This year approximately thirty
children and forty adults attended the Service led by the new Vicar, the
Rev. Ernie Chivers. After the Service, coffee and mince pies were
served, and all the children were given a chocolate Father Christmas.
There was an offertory plate left by the door, which collected £35 in aid
of the work of the Mothers' Union. This money will help to purchase
a Mothers Union tabard, which are worn by the members who help to run a
crèche for visitors to Shepton Mallet Prison.
December 31st.New Year's Eve.
Stephen's the Junior Church members were due to act out the nativity story
during the afternoon Christingle service. However, a lot of the children
were ill. They had their youngest ever Joseph as two year old Jordan
Fowler stood in with just one rehearsal in the morning. Thanks went to
Sara Douglas, Jess Hamill and Mary Ellswood who stood in as kings and
shepherds at the last minute without any rehearsals. Sara and Jess, as 6+
members also led the prayers. All members of the congregation went home
with their own Christingle candle.
Rain, Flooding & UFO's
The year 2000 ended with as much excitement as it
had begun. The ground was saturated. The autumn had been the
highest since records began. Heavy rain had started in the early
afternoon and at times Church Street resembled a river. By late
afternoon on the 31st, the river Axe had flooded and travelers visiting
the village had either to cancel their journey or travel via Beaminster
and Crewekeme, a route that was soon to become very hazardous.
Villagers intent on partying beyond the river Axe at
first used four-wheel drives and then tractors. By early evening it
was obvious that it was becoming too dangerous for even these most
intrepid of adventurers and some party plans had to be abandoned. At
around nine pm it was discovered that two men were in serious trouble in
the Axe's floodwaters. One, a cyclist was only saved by being able
to hang on to a small tree. The other, a motorist, was also stranded
in the waters, but was able to climb on to the roof of his car and summon
help with the aid of his mobile phone.The fire brigade attended with a
rescue tender, but the force of the water prevented them from reaching the
men. Further attempts at a rescue were abandoned in favour of an Air Sea
Rescue helicopter.The revellers celebrating the New Year in the village
were unaware of all this until they saw a succession of blue flashing
lights heading down towards the Axe. This was followed by a loud noise of
an engine and a brilliant light moving over the village. Some
thought it was a UFO. Many villagers then followed the noise and
lights to find out what was going on. In a strong wind, and with lights
that filled the valley, the helicopter hovered perilously close to power
lines, allowing the winch crew to rescue first the man from the top of his
car and then the cyclist from the tree. During the second rescue
both the winch man and his target were swept several metres downstream by
the current. After the rescue the helicopter landed in a nearby
field and the two men were taken to hospital by a waiting ambulance.
Soaking wet they were treated for Hypothermia and discharged the next day.
On New Year's Day
the extent of the devastation was evident. Tarmac, tree
boughs, stones and boulders were strewn for up to a hundred metres across
adjacent fields, clearly showing the route and force of the water.
Bushes and trees were forced over on to the road. Older villagers
said that they had never seen the river so deep or having caused so much
Thus ended the Year 2000.