‘People make Places. Places make People’.... In 2011 villagers began an online Open Archive on an informal basis. We have been recording events, logging images, sharing ideas and making comments for several years. You are welcome to browse its entries and view its pictures. The archive was closed for submitting new entries in February 2019.

2013 - select a year: 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

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Submitted by: andrew       On: 24/12/2013 at: 11:52       Location: Drimpton

Storm Reports

On 23rd December (yesterday) a storm battered much of southern England, including Drimpton. In Dorset 25 people were reported as having to be rescued from stranded cars. meanwhile in Drimpton..... [Here are reports from three villagers]

“It got gradually worse here as the day went on but is easing again somewhat now. I had to go to Crewkerne just after lunch but couldn’t get back via Clapton, so in the end had to go all the way back, then to Beaminster, and just made it back through Broadwindsor. No floods in Drimpton yet, thankfully, and as I say, the weather is definitely subsiding….” [But it returned with a vengeance later on.]

“We have had 0.89" of rain here in the last 24 hours. I went out at midday and the water was lying across Chard Rd, lapping the centre white line. Across the stream I could see water draining into the river from the runoff dip…. I rodded the gully outside Rosemary & Pete 's bungalow and could see the end of the rods emerge from the outlet above stream level, and it then gushed freely.
I had another look about 4.30pm. The water now lapping beyond the white line, but not as far as Bridge Farm wall. I rodded again, but could not see the outfall as the river is too full to see it. On the upstream side of the bridge there is about 4" clear above water level before the highest point of the underside of the arch, so it is coping.”

“High winds and heavy rain all morning and most of the afternoon turned Chard Road into a rival of the Little Axe! John Watts and Stan Sach struggled in the wet to clear debris from the drains, but the amount of water pouring down Burstock Lane and into Chard Road was just overwhelming and covering the road at Bridge Farm but not, as far as I know, affecting any property.”

Submitted by: Admin       On: 22/12/2013 at: 23:43       Location: Drimpton

Len Baker and The Hut - entry 1 of 2

Happy Birthday, Drimpton Village Hall!

On December 23rd 1923 Drimpton Village Hall (known as The Hut) was opened. On Friday December 20th 2013 about 150 villagers and friends came together to celebrate our Hall's 90th birthday. The evening consisted of three parts. First, we had a shortened traditional Christmas Show including a pop-up Nativity and a visit from Father Christmas plus some amazing Chinese music from Robyn! After that it was the World Premiere and the only ever performance of 'LEN BAKER & THE HUT' to celebrating The Hut's central role in village life over so many years.
The Cast had been rehearsing for 10 weeks, but they only all came together on the night. Images from a final rehearsal are now lodged here in the archive along with the Programme showing who did what, and a copy of the full script, so that you can read it.
If you were there, I know you had a grand time. If you weren't there, these images and all the rest can give you a flavour of what you missed. The evening brought people of all ages together, from 4 to 80+. We raised smiles and spirits and had a jolly good time at the Party that rounded off the evening - complete with giant birthday cake!

1 - The Cast. Andrew Pastor sitting extreme left
2 - (l to r) Emily, Ellie, Rosa and Georgia
3 - (l to r) Rosa, Georgia, Emily, Clara, Rebecca (hidden), Amy and Grace
4 - Amanda Fogg leading Ballet Class with Mel Newman
5 - Kate Hesketh as Pip Benveniste
6 - (l to r) Ellie, Rebecca, Emily, Amy, Grace, Clara, Rosa, Georgia, with Lottie & Alan [Gentle Exercise]
7 - (l to r) Matthew, Jack, Sam, Amos, Leo, Jake and William, with Ella [Gentle Exercise]
8 - (l to r) Amy, Grace, Clara, Rosa, Georgia, with Rebecca [Short Mat Bowls]

The next entry contains more photographs plus the Programme and the full script.

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Submitted by: Admin       On: 22/12/2013 at: 23:28       Location: Drimpton

Len Baker and The Hut - entry 2 of 2

More photographs, the Programme and the full script.

1 - (l to r) Lee Baker, Chris Fogg, with Matthew [all played Len Baker]
2 - (l to r) Ella and Lottie [Guides]
3 - (l to r) Robert Fooks, Lynwen Davies, John Davies, Brian Hesketh [Original Hall Committee]
4 - (l to r) Brian Hesketh, Kay Porteous, Alan Clark, Robert Hedditch [Original Hall Committee]
5 - (l to r) Lee Baker, Roy Baker [on Coastal Watch, WW2]

Click here to download the Programme and the script (PDF). A new widow or tab will open. It may take a moment or two to download.

Update: A DVD of the complete play and concert is now available from Norman Marsden at a nominal charge of £1.50 to cover production costs.

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Submitted by: andrew       On: 17/12/2013 at: 12:31       Location: Drimpton

Carol Singing

Yesterday on a mild, damp/drizzly evening, a relatively small choir of a dozen or so gathered by the bollards between Applefield Road and Marksmead. Along came a team of four girls who were to be the 'door knockers' and money collectors. Plus, a surprise extra this year, Jonathan turned up with his trumpet! We started with liquid refreshments provided by Mel and Maurice before we set out. First we did Marksmead before heading off to Netherhay. Here we had more refreshments at the home of Barbara and Brian. Was our singing improving? We thought it was! next we walked along Netherhay Lane to do Drimpton Cross. More refreshments! This time served up at the home of Beryl, Ken and Jennie. Our singing was definitely getting better!! Now we worked away along Chard Road, doing Spearmead and Oxhayes as well. Our final lap took us up the hill towards the Pub, including Applefield Road on the way. And as it was 8.30pm and we had been singing since 6.30pm, and Jonathan had been playing his trumpet brilliantly for two hours, we called it a day. This year Bridport Road didn't get our attention. We apologise if you were waiting for us; next year we'll certainly do you too! The 'choir' now headed back to the village Hall where Rosemary was waiting with hot chocolate and nibbles. We all agreed that Jonathan's trumpet playing had been the making of our performance. We actually sang in key; almost a first. The money raised, all £144 61p of it, is to be shared between two charities working with homeless people.

Update: We raised just over £150 for homeless charities; equally shared between Crisis, The Church Housing Trust and The Samaritans. Well done and thanks to all who donated.

Submitted by: Jane       On: 13/12/2013 at: 14:21       Location: Drimpton

Village Christmas Lunch

A full Village Hall was the setting for the 2013 Christmas Lunch with well over 60 diners and servers enjoying a main course of Turkey, Pork or Vegetarian followed by an amazing selection of the famous Drimpton puds.
The afternoon was rounded off with entertainment from Viv, Janet and Peter Cresswell and a line dancing display by the Short Mat Bowling Club!

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Submitted by: Heskie       On: 13/12/2013 at: 11:14       Location: Drimpton

The Garden Club: Clapton, Wayford and District Hort Soc

We enjoyed a wonderful evening last night at the Royal Oak, the food was very good, the company lively and fun and, except for those poor souls having to work the next day, we continued the evening chatting almost into the small hours.

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Submitted by: Heskie       On: 13/12/2013 at: 10:42       Location: Drimpton

Water main outside Post Office Yard

When we returned home from our trip to South Africa, we found Chard Road well and truly disrupted, it wasn't straight forward even getting back in to unload. However, the men working on the water main moved aside some equipment to let us in and all was well. That proved to be typical of their attitude throughout, although it must be disruptive to their work, I have seen them time and again make way so that someone might pass or a delivery get through.
I was pleased to see (for what reason I haven't a clue) that underground, just outside Post Office Yard looks like a man-sized Meccano kit, all in bright blue; so I just had to take some pictures, the last one being yesterday (12th December 2013) now that it is completed and the surface made good. (I do like the way any bit of new tarmac gets a bright new splash of white road marking where appropriate - in stark contrast to the drabness of the remaining, and in some cases, barely perceptible originals.)

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Submitted by: Norman       On: 12/12/2013 at: 16:13       Location: Drimpton

Water mains replacement - Last lap for 2013

Wessex Water have completed pipe replacement on the section of Chard Road up to Drimpton Cross. The work is on schedule and the road surface should be restored on Monday 16th after which the roads will be clear of works until January.
Here are some pictures of the new pipe being pulled through, breaking up the old pipe ahead of it.

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Submitted by: Norman       On: 8/12/2013 at: 16:38       Location: Drimpton

90 years of the Village Hall - part 10

26th November 1923 Minutes of the DHFC held at Spring Farm

Present: Col Douglas in the chair, Mrs Gale, Mr Goddard, Mr J.E. Miller, Mrs Miller, Mr Harrison, Mr B. Harrison, Mr W. Doble, Mr R. Hedditch
The minutes of the previous meeting were read passed and signed.
The secretary was instructed to write to Ms Trotman, Beaminster re. the transferring of the site of the hut.
Mr Goddard proposed & Mr W. Doble seconded that the ladies W.C. should be a small moveable affair & the matter was left to Mr Goddard to instruct Messrs Wakely Bros. to get it made according to the proposal.
It was arranged to fix up the dressing rooms inside the hut with curtains and poles.
Mr Doble proposed that Wakely Bros. should supply materials for a stage 8ft x 10ft & with 8 trestles. Mrs Gale seconded & it was carried by the committee.
It was proposed & carried that the steps for the front door should be left to Mr Goddard to instruct Messrs. Wakely Bros. to construct according to the proposal.
Mesdames Gale & Miller offered to lend their oil stoves to heat the hut etc. which kind offer was gratefully accepted.
Messrs Wakely Bros. were to be instructed to fix hooks for the lamps which Mrs Gale had also promised to lend for the time being.
The question of the piano was then brought forward & it was decided the piano should be fetched from the school when required & returned when finished with.
The secretary was instructed to advertise in the Western Gazette re. chairs, stools & tables, also to write to Mr A. R. Hayward re. opening. The opening was fixed for 20th December.
Mrs Gale proposed & Mrs Miller seconded that Mrs A. Doble should be asked to act on the committee. This was carried unanimously.
The next meeting was fixed for Sat. 1st December at 8 p.m.
The meeting then closed.

Things are now moving apace (including the ‘moveable’ ladies toilet!) with details of internal and external fittings. With the opening day less than a month away there is much work to be done and the committee will meet almost every week to discuss progress.

1st December 1923 Minutes of the DHFC held at Spring Farm

Present: Mr J.E. Miller in the chair, Mrs Gale, Mr Goddard, Mr B. Harrison, Mr H. Doble, Mr R. Hedditch & the Secretary.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read passed and signed.
A letter was read from Mr. Trotman re the deeds. The secretary to return them after the perusal of the trustees.
A telegram was read from Mr Hayward accepting the offer to open the hut.
The question of chairs etc was brought forward & it was decided to let the matter rest at present & await events.
It was decided the hut should be opened at 6.30 p.m. followed by a concert at 7.0 p.m. to be followed by a dance from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. It was left to various members of the committee to try and obtain the necessary talent for the concert. The prices of admission were fixed for the concert 2/6, 1/9 & 1/- & for the dance 1/6. The secretary was asked to write to Rev. Ford of Broadwindsor re the concert. It was decided to put adverts in the County Mail on the 12th & 19th and to get 50 posters ordered.
Mr Goddard informed the committee he had given Messrs Wakely Bros. orders to make the ladies W.C. at a cost of £6-5-0, the steps to the front entrance at £4-17-6 & to fix the hooks for the lamps.
Mrs Gale read a P.C. from Mrs Bales of Wayford re a conference of various hut committees in the district to confer on the question of closing time and the admittance of children. The committee directed Mrs Gale to reply and say that as the hut was in its infancy, this committee would make its own rules and regulations for the present.
The cttee. decided to send out invitations to all subscribers to the Hut Fund.
The Sec. was instructed to find out the cost of insuring the Hut against fire.
The next meeting was fixed for Wednesday 12th December 1923.
The meeting then closed.

Submitted by: Norman       On: 5/12/2013 at: 12:02       Location: Drimpton

Clarence Hooper's Land-Rover - more from John Shute

John Shute lived at Manor Farm directly opposite the Royal Oak. This account is from him and based on an interview on 4th December 2013:

Clarence’s smallholding was about 14 acres on the left of Netherhay Lane going in the direction of Clapton. His land went from the lane towards Oathill – an L-shaped piece down to the river where there is a footbridge. Access was through the gateway directly opposite the Council pull-in on the lane. John Edwards of Bridge Farm has the land now. Clarence had a cow or two on it at any one time. They gave him his calf every year, which he sold. Beef. Milk. ‘He never owned a tractor so he used the Land Rover because it was a versatile vehicle and used it for everything. He had a tin shed (still standing- see photo attached) where he milked them.’ Looking at the photo, he milked them in the right end where he had a copper for heating water. The middle section he kept some hay. The left end was a byre where the cows could walk in and out, for shelter. But people tended to leave their cows out all year. The milking was by hand with a stool and bucket. The milk was drunk and his wife made butter, cheese. There was a well and he’d dip the water out of it with a bucket. ‘When it was haymaking time, he used to cut the hay with his Land Rover. He used to pull an old-fashioned horse-drawn mowing machine, which up until five years ago was under the hedge – a Victorian thing. He used to sit on the seat. Two horses would have pulled it.’ But Clarence used the Land Rover instead. ‘Clarence went hardly anywhere in it. He used to go to Crewkerne once a week with his wife – Win couldn’t drive - and do the shopping and he might have gone to Yeovil twice a year to the market or on a special day to do some shopping. Then every morning he’d go in it from the Pub down to the field to milk the cow. When I was about 7 or 8 (in 1963/4) I drove it. I used to go around with his brother, Sid, a lot on the cattle lorries. When Clarence was either ill or his wife had a holiday, his brother Sid used to do the milking. I used to go with him. I used to drive down across the field milk the cow and drive it back. At haymaking time Clarence used to mow the hay himself, turn the hay with my Father’s hayturner which was an old-fashioned Dennings of Chard horse-drawn machine which he could pull with the Land Rover. I believe Gilbert Johnson used to bail it because no one had a bailer round here. Father used to come down with the trailer and tractor and we used to haul his hay for him. Obviously he had people out the Pub come and do the manual work. You’d call in there one night – a gang of youngsters – I expect he paid them a pint – and we used to put the hay in the barn. The barn has since burned down – maybe 20 years ago. This was a pole barn made out of telegraph poles next to the milking shed.’

‘There was no back to the Land Rover cab. It was just a canvas sheet from the windscreen up over the tail. No point locking it. You could climb right over the back and into the seats... [Sandra: ‘That’s lovely taking Win shopping, isn’t it?’]… ‘Winter time, the calves from the cows he used to take up the Pub in the Land Rover and keep in the stable (still standing to the left of the Pub car park entrance) He’d bring the milk back and the waste milk would go to feed the calves. He would have had a churn to haul the milk home, but he wouldn’t have filled the churn up – maybe half a churn. Nothing was tested or registered.’

‘Clarence never owned any other vehicles. The Landover was his car. He never owned a truck’ [This means that another story about him working on the roads with a truck is quite likely a mis-remembered story that might be about his father, Frank, who definitely was a roadman]

Who was P Read who was the next owner after Clarence? ‘Well there was a Phil Read and a Ben Read who were relations. Was Clarence’s wife Win a Read before marriage? That could be the tie-up. Phil Read was a cattle haulier. The buyer would’ve been somebody local because people never travelled very far.’

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