VILLAGE VOICES

Village Voices is a voluntary self-help group setting up and managing village-based projects and encouraging participation by everyone. Village Voices was formed in response to a general request expressed in the Village Survey (1999) by the villagers of Drimpton, Netherhay and Greenham. They wanted to “do more stuff together” as a community.

'PANTO: The MANUAL' is the outcome of our latest project – the research, production and publication taking place in 2014-15.
For all the details, click here.
Copies are available at Amazon.
For colour illustrations accompanying 'PANTO: The MANUAL', click here.

1999-2000:Singing Workshops led by Penny Dunscombe
[Pilot Project set up with funding from West Dorset District Council]

1999 on:Monthly Newsletters – Delivered free to every household.

2000 on:Original biennial Pantomimes – Written for the village. Bringing together large casts of all ages with the purpose of having fun, being creative and achieving quality. We presented our 10th Pantomime, ‘Robin Hood’, in March 2013.


Mother Hubbard, 1998

The Cast of Robin Hood, 2013

2000:The Fanny Craddock Theatre Company was formed. Presented an original play, ‘Fortune’, written by the cast, accompanied by a feast.


'Fortune', 2000

2000-2002:Land Marks Project, to chart the new housing development of Applefield Road and Marksmead, included the following strands:
Art (artist, Jenny Beck)
Photography (main photographer, Pip Benveniste)
Video (led by Tim Fogg)
Song (composer and choir leader, Penny Dunscombe)
Music (composer, James Carmichael)
Reminiscence, Oral History & Writing ‘Village Voices: Local Lives’
(researcher/writer, Andrew Pastor, main graphic designer, Chris Beck)
[Major funder: Awards For Heritage Lottery Fund]
“Land Marks is a ground-breaking project which seeks to resolve social tensions within villages, particularly between residents coming into developments and existing villagers. This highly imaginative scheme seems to me to offer the possibility of significantly improving the quality of village life…” Oliver Letwin, MP – Jan 2001


Applefield Road 2001, Photo: Bill Studley

Back of Caddy's Mews 2002, Jenny Beck

On Applefield Road, 2001

The Intergenerational Community Choir, led by Penny Dunscombe, 2002

2001 on:Annual Christmas Shows – Nativity, Sketches, Songs, Music and much more. Fundraising for CLIC-Sargent


Children's Nativity Scene

2001:Computer Skills for Adults – Course at the Village Hall

2001 on:Digital Archiving – Collecting and cataloguing a growing archive of village images (led by Norman Marsden)


Charabanc trip to the coast, c1920

2002:Village Directory – Compilation of skills, trades, interests, groups and organisations, delivered free to every household (graphic designer, Tony Gibbons)

2002:Village Open Gardens’ Day

2003:The Fanny Craddock Theatre Company presented an original play ‘You Are Harry Kipper, And I Claim My £5’, accompanied by feast

2002-2006:Building Bridges Project to continue the work of integrating long-established and newly-arrived villagers, included the following strands:
Art (artists, Jenny Beck and Keith Tubb)
Photography (led by Jenny Banks)
Textile (designed and made by a group of village enthusiasts for long term display in the Village Hall)
Video (led by Tim Fogg)
Local History, Natural History, Reminiscence, Writing ‘Farming Families’ and ‘The Nameless Stream’ (researcher/writer, Andrew Pastor, graphic designers, Chris Back and Brian Hesketh)
Establishing a new signed public footpath, ‘The Green Way’, (designed and made by Karen Hansen, erected by villagers) Route Map (designed by Adam Tubb)
[Major funders: Local Heritage Initiative, Leader+, Defra, Chalk & Cheese, West Dorset District Council]
“Building Bridges focused on art and its inclusive nature to enable community development by communities for communities… (the) old versus new split within communities is often ignored, with little being done to truly integrate individuals into the traditional heart of the village. The commitment and enthusiasm of the villagers of Drimpton to proactively bind the community together was truly inspirational, and offer a successful model that has since been transferred to other communities in Dorset.”
Chalk & Cheese Review - 2006


Doble Family, Lower Greenham Farm, 2005

John Edwards, 2004

River Landscape by Keith Tubb, 2005

The new village bridge, by Jenny Beck

The Green Way, Karen Hanson & constructors

Pip Benveniste's Autumn mural design, 2004

'Little Axe' village hall textile mural, 2005

'School children by the stream', Libby Jukes

2003:One Last Time Event – Photographing villagers on the old village bridge before its demolition. (main photographer, Jennie Banks)


Villagers on the new village bridge, 2003

2003:Taking Tea On The Bridge Event – to celebrate the completion of the new village bridge.


Taking Tea On The Bridge, 2003

2003:Dragon-Making Workshop for children – preparing for the 2003 pantomime, ‘The Princess and The Dragon’ (led by Tessa Dixon)

2003:Village Faces – Exhibition of photographs taken through 2003.

2003:Audio-Visual Course to learn computer-based archiving skills at PVA, Bridport


PVA Course, 2003

2004:Five Years On – Exhibition of photographs, video and artwork made since 1999.

2004 on:Village Website – www.drimpton.org.uk (led by Norman Marsden)

2005:Spanish language classes – led by Barbara Wright

2005:Naming The Stream – inviting villagers to submit ideas of names for our ‘nameless stream’, an all-inclusive voting process to draw up a shortlist and a final vote to pick the favourite. The result was ‘The Little Axe’.


Little Axe, photograph, Keith Tubb, 2005

2006:Twekkelo Project, Netherlands – consultancy role

2006:Street Dance for children – led by Lucy Howell

2006-2009:Who Were We? Project including Local/Family History Research, Archiving, Graphic Design, Writing ‘Who Were We?’ (lead researcher, Jane Marsden, writer, Andrew Pastor, graphic designer, Peter Marriage) [major funders: Awards For All Big Lottery Fund, Dorset County Council]
“This is an absolutely superb book not only in its content, but in its lay-out, presentation and innovatory techniques… (It is) a family historian’s dream.” Somerset & Dorset Family History Society, Feb 2010
“The community of Drimpton has spent the last few years engaged in a labour of love . . . Judging by the size of the book, and what must have been terrier-like tenacity of the research, there was both a great deal of both labour and love in the task.” Rene Gerryts. Bridport News. 26 Nov 2009


Who Were We?

2008:Village Survey – designed and delivered by villagers

2008:Pilates and Dancercise Classes – led by Carolyn Brettell

2009:French Language Classes – led by Barbara Wright

2009:Who Were We? website. (designer, Brian Hesketh)

2009:Village Open Gardens’ Day

2010:Stubbins Project, Lancashire – consultancy role

2011 on:'Open Archive' – online archive set up as an independent website, now absorbed within www.drimpton.org.uk

2012:Village Open Gardens’ Day

2013 on:New version of village website (Martyn Pearce with Norman Marsden, Brian Hesketh and Andrew Pastor)

2013:'Len Baker and The Hut' - original community play written and performed to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Village Hall


The Cast of 'Len Baker and The Hut'

2014: Research and production of 'The Panto Book' on DVD

2015: Singing Sessions led by Jonathan and Sally Jevons

2015: Production and publication of 'PANTO: The MANUAL'. Go to our blog for the details - pantothemanual.blogspot.co.uk

2015: 'Cloudwatching for Beginners' – an original community play featuring a cast of children and adults (and hedgehogs) in a comedy eco-adventure.

Cloudwatching  for Beginners Cloudwatching  for Beginners Cloudwatching  for Beginners
Cloudwatching  for Beginners Cloudwatching  for Beginners Cloudwatching  for Beginners
Cloudwatching  for Beginners Cloudwatching  for Beginners Cloudwatching  for Beginners
Cloudwatching  for Beginners Cloudwatching  for Beginners Cloudwatching  for Beginners

2016: Singing Sessions led by Jonathan and Sally Jevons.

2018: The Wind In The Willows, adapted for the village with a large cast of children and adults, featuring Toad, Badger, Mole, Ratty, Otter and Albert plus a gang of rabbits (with carrots) on the run from Mr McGregor and a gang of unpleasant Weasels!

Wind in the Willows Wind in the Willows Wind in the Willows
Wind in the Willows Wind in the Willows Wind in the Willows

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