Shapwick News Summer 2023

Picnic and Litterpick Parish Council Shapwick Starlets WI Slowing Down Shapwick Weather Dora's Poetry Corner History Group Coronation Picnic Pictures 4 & A High-flying Vicar Dovecote School From the Horse's Mouth Cricket Club Music on the Pitch Sustainable Shapwick Ashcott Football Club Community Cafe What's On The Coronation, and the Big Lunch, have been and gone. But Sunday 7 May 2023 was a beautiful sunny day and close on 200 villagers, guests and friends gathered on what will soon be Shapwick's own Village Green to celebrate, relax, enjoy the company and the day. Have a look at the spread of pictures on pp. 4 and 5! Our thanks go to everyone who helped make the day such a delight: the cakes, the games, the neighbourly good humour. Thank you everybody! SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 3 Call for Volunteers & Contributions In this issue: S U M M E R I S S U E , J U L Y 2 0 2 3 B R O U G H T T O Y O U B Y T H E S H A P W I C K C O M M U N I T Y G R O U P 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 Coronation Litterpick refreshments ready for their return. Fortunately the rain held off until we’d finished. It was wonderful to see so many people getting involved in this very worthwhile project for the village. It was also lovely that villagers were able to stay a while to chat over refreshments. A big thank you to all who participated. We’ll be doing it again next year but probably earlier in the year (before all the vegetation gets too high). LORRAINE DAVIS And whether you're monarchist, republican or something in between, Charles' idea - for the Bank Holiday Monday to be a day for community environmental action - may well have struck a chord... On Coronation Monday a large group of villagers gathered for a litter pick. After a health and safety briefing they set off around the village and surrounding roads. Whilst the roads within the village were largely litter free we still managed to fill 7 sacks. Wendy Anderson, who kindly donated her time and culinary skills, had sausage baps (sausages kindly donated by Paul Rogers) and

2 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 3 Shapwick Parish Council Shapwick Starlets WI SUE SELLICK GRAHAM CROUCHER CHAIR OF SHAPWICK PC Village Green Update: Given that the acquisition of the Village Green has been twenty-plus years in the making, we should not really be surprised that, as this issue of Shapwick News goes to the printers the purchase of the Green is still “work in progress”, with the legal teams preparing the contracts and completing the required searches. The main reason for the delay is the fact that the names on the Land Registry still included a person who died several years ago. Clearly this needs to be corrected before completion can take place. Meanwhile thanks to everyone who supported the Village Hall and Pavilion Consultation events. We ended up with many valuable contributions to the various surveys created for the events. We will be using these findings to create a “master plan” which will then be shared with the community for final comment. We have also had a very useful meeting with the planning team at Somerset Council who have offered help and guidance from their various experts to help us shape the “master plan”. The Annual Parish Meeting and the Parish Council AGM were held in June. Reports either written or verbal were provided to the meeting by:- St Mary’s Church, Shapwick Community Land Trust, Shapwick History Group, Shapwick Runners, Dovecote School and Shapwick Pavilion and Playing Field. Copies of the reports will be posted to the Parish Council website For its part the Parish Council felt that, in addition to dealing with various planning issues and the Village Green purchase during the past 12 months, it had made good progress in the area of communication through a presence on Facebook and the excellent support of the Shapwick News “delivery team” who enabled the PC and others to distribute important messages alongside Shapwick News itself. Further progress had been made on some of the recurring themes i.e. dog fouling and “ditches and drains” (see report in the April 2023 issue of Shapwick News). In the Parish Council Meeting that followed the Village Meeting Graham Croucher and Lesley Gaskell were re-elected as Chair and Vice Chair respectively. All Agendas and Minutes are available at: For our June meeting, our speaker was Rob Jones, a former Homicide Detective with Avon and Somerset police, who has researched his ancestors who came from Shapwick. The names he had researched were Roley, Vearing, Diamond and Warry. It all started when he found some ledgers in a blanket box when his Aunt died. The ledgers belonged to George Roley who was a mason in the village. All most interesting, and Rob will be invited back again to talk about his life in the police force. We have lots of lovely new members, in fact may shortly have to start a waiting list, which is amazing as only a few years ago the group was down to 10 members and on the point of folding! The Coronation picnic was a lovely event, with so many cakes generously donated. It was a great afternoon. I think the WI Tug of War team was a force to be reckoned with... (see p. 4!) We finished off with a photo session with the ‘Royal Couple’ in Tracey’s field – thank you Tracey. The FabDrumming session really was Fab too! Marion bought along about 40 instruments including 20 Djembe drums and it was so much fun. In fact we now want to start our own Drumming group! Some of our members helped out again at the Bath and West in June (see left!) and we will be at the Taunton Flower Show again later on in the summer. In July we will be doing some gentle pilates with Julie, who runs classes in the village. Then we will have our Summer break. But we have lots of August Adventures planned. Last year we visited Hestercombe Gardens, and had factory tours courtesy of Owen Barry and Drapers. This year we are hoping to visit the Somerset Brick and Tile Museum, the History Hut, Glenda Spooner Farm and the Spirit of Glastonbury. Follow Shapwick Starlets WI on Facebook. We meet the second Tuesday of each month apart from August, at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

Dora's Poetry Corner 3 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 3 RICH TWEEDY Slowing Down and Seeing More DORA WATKINS Hi folks, We’ve let the front lawn grow wild this year, as we have done in several previous years. This time, though, I’ve started to pay attention to the insects that are frequenting it. One of the highlights was this red-headed cardinal beetle – and it’s probably seeing this one that persuaded me to look more closely to see what else I could see. To be honest, one reason I’ve seen so many interesting insects this year is simply because I’ve looked for them. It’s not just the lawn that’s good for them: I hadn’t realised, until last month, that when our vibernum bush flowers, it is abuzz with bees and hoverflies – far more so than the lawn. I wonder whether we sometimes don’t see what God is doing, or hear what God is saying, because we need to learn to see and hear properly? God is often much more active than we are aware, but we fail to realise this because we’re not opening our eyes and ears in the right way. That’s why, when we pray, we need to slow down, and quieten both ourselves and our environment, in order to be able to speak to God effectively and hear from him. As it says in Luke’s gospel, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”. If even Jesus needed to withdraw to somewhere quiet to pray, how much more do we need to do so as well? Every blessing, Rich Tweedy The moon cast its shadow over field and stream Perchance to dream Steely cold, silver blue romantic light Embalmed the night A night made for lovers strolling hand in hand Across the sand Wandering a honeysuckled country lane Their love a pain A sweetly seductive pain as barbs dig deep No time to weep Carried away by moonlight things so unreal Just time to feel Real world a million miles away counts no more Waves lap the shore The moonlight takes over, dangerous moonlight, It rules the night Dangerous Moonlight Shapwick Weather STUART DENNES As I write this in mid-June, in a prolonged period of very dry weather, readers may be surprised to find that we have had 816mm of rain over the twelve months to the end of May, which is above the long-term average. However, I can report that since the deluge on the 8th May we have had 9mm (less than half an inch) of rain in 37 days! I recorded a highest temperature of 33.5°C on 13 June and a lowest of minus 5.4 °C on 24 January. If anyone would like to receive some more information please email me: Shapwick History Group JOHN ANDERSON Wednesday 30 August 2023, 7pm, Village Hall: 'Treasures of Somerset', a talk by Amal Khreisheh, Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of Somerset. Amal will explore and explain our history through key objects and discoveries over time, including the Shapwick Hoard. All welcome, voluntary contributions appreciated for non-members. The Shapwick History Group has two fascinating talks coming up: Wednesday 12th July, 7pm, Village Hall: ‘The House Whisperer: An Introduction to Looking at Old Houses’, a talk by John Rickard from Somerset Vernacular Building Research Group. John is part of the team behind the fantastic survey of Shapwick’s historic buildings, recently reprinted and distributed by a SHG member. All welcome, no tickets required, voluntary contributions appreciated for non-members. See also the report on p. 6 on the recent talk by Roger Scott on the sometime Shapwick vicar and "radical bishop" Churchill Julius!

4 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 3 Table Tennis and Tug of War, Fancy Dress and Fancy Cakes, Raspberry Flan and Ram-Bo Peep, Pies and Pictures of the Perfect Village Green: some memories of Shapwick's Big Coronation Picnic 2023

5 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 3 Emma Constanza's Perfect Village Green! The other winners, Joshua Tweedy and Hattie Jacobs, drew lovely pictures too, but in colours so soft and restful they resisted being printed!

Find Shapwick News online at Environment Day On 9th June, Dovecote school staff and students marked Environment Day by taking a walk around Shapwick, looking out for all the different trees and wildflowers we could find! The students earned themselves a pin badge for their amazing efforts. The village is lovely, and we all really enjoyed our walk, thank you for being lovely neighbours! Summer Fair We had a fantastic day welcoming families, staff and friends to Dovecote for our first fundraising event on 10th June. Amazing weather and an amazing atmosphere. We will be holding further events in the future, and it would be lovely to see you all. 6 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 3 Finding it hard because the photos a bFlack and white? Find a flourition of Shapwick News at: https://www.shapwickparishcounci History on our Doorstep: Churchill Julius, Shapwick’s High-Flying Vicar ROGER SCOTT & JOHN ANDERSON There was also a brief overview of the conflagration that destroyed much of the building in 1919, followed by an account of Mr Churchill Julius, who was vicar of Shapwick from 1875 until 1878. Churchill was undoubtedly the most famous vicar who ever presided at Shapwick, and went on to become arguably one of the most well known Churchmen of his time, rising to the position of Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand. He was an extremely clever yet humble individual who felt strongly about the plight of the poor and especially their children's education. Julius came from a privileged background and his grandfather was personal physician to King William IV. However, despite this, he was a committed socialist who believed the New Testament preached socialism. He was also very keen on engineering and could 'turn his hand' to a multitude of tasks. Julius became known as the 'Radical Bishop' and has been described as one of the most remarkable men ever to don clerical dress. He was instrumental in the building of Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand. When it was finished, he wanted to lay the top brick in the spire. He sat in a wooden chair and was hauled, by ropes, up the side of the spire, a height of 270-290 feet, where he laid the brick. He was virtually the first man in New Zealand to own a penny-farthing, then a motorbike, then a car. He was in constant trouble with the police Find out more at: 6.html At a recent History Group meeting, Roger outlined a history of the UK census from the year 1086 onwards. This highlighted the development of a system which needed to record millions of names, ages, places of birth, etc., and the problems involved with organising such a massive national undertaking, at a time when a large percentage of the population was uneducated. This was followed by an in-depth portrayal of the vicars and families who once lived in Shapwick’s Old Vicarage, as suggested by census information from 1851-1911. Shapwick History Group is a group of friendly locals who are interested in finding out more about the past life and times of Shapwick and the surrounding area. If you’d like more info on our meetings, talks and trips, contact or check us out at We have some great talks coming up: see ‘What’s on’, and p. 3 of this issue! We would love to see you there! for speeding; when he was aged 86 they refused to renew his driving licence. His exploits were reported around the world. Churchill died in Christchurch, NZ, in 1938, aged 90. Dovecote School LEAH ROBERTS Road safety and speed awareness In Life skills students are learning about road safety, road awareness and the green cross code. On 23rd May we had a visit from two local traffic officers and aim to work with them again in the future for some speed measuring of traffic that travels past the school.

Shapwick and Polden Cricket Club SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 3 7 TRACEY LOCKYER From the Horse's Mouth The year began well with renewal of our Clubmark accreditation by the ECB which demonstrates that we provide a safe, well run and sustainable environment for our members. Then almost the entire pre-season programme of early outdoor training and friendly matches had to be cancelled due to rain and sodden ground. But May brought glorious sunshine and high temperatures. All three senior Men’s sides are in challenging leagues and having to work hard to hold their own. The 1st XI play in the second tier (Bristol & Somerset Division) of the West of England Premier Division where at the time of writing they sit 8th. They have had good wins against Bridgwater 2nd XI and Ilminster !st XI. Captain Calum Haggett has excelled with the bat having scored 328 runs in 4 innings at an average of 82, the second highest total runs in the Division. James Hayman has led the bowling attack with 10 wickets. The 2nd XI play in the Premier Division of the Somerset League where they too are 8th with wins against Frome 2nd XI and Bridgwater 3rd XI. Dan Rudge has been the top scorer with 123 from 5 innings. Cam Birch and Jack Broughton have each taken 6 wickets. The 3rd XI play in Division 6 North and are currently 10th but had a good win against Compton Dundon 1st XI. Anthony Veevers heads the batting performances with 184 runs in 4 innings. Russ Edwards has led the bowling attack and taken 6 wickets. The Sunday T20 side beat Long Sutton in their only game to date with Ben Trotman taking 5 wickets. Farmers are so reliant on the weather. With the busy harvest season upon us there is no stop for the farmers in the village, from early mornings to late at night. The first of the crops to come in is the silage, for feeding during the long dark months. It was all go with the threat of rain which would have ruined the crop. Then on with the hay, cutting it, then having to turn it, hoping it will dry. It then gets walled up before baling and then moving to storage before it rains again. If hay is baled too damp, it will cause bacteria to grow within the bales and then it is no good for the animals. The damp may cause the hay to 'heat' and Farming is not just a lovely life, it's a hard stressful job having to balance weather with long hours. Time scales are short to get the ground ready for rotation crops. So next time you hear the farmers in our village working, be it early morning or late at night, think how lucky we are!! When you hear the rook scarers going off from first light to the end of the day, remember the farmers are protecting their crops from birds stripping the seeds and plants from their fields. We all need farmers to provide us food three times a day. Farming is a way of life for the farmers in our village: all of them have carried their family tradition on...I count myself very lucky. combust, to start a fire causing absolute devastation. And then it's not long before the cereal crops are ready and the maize - if it ever gets going because of the lack of rain. JOHN BALL The Women’s team captained by Emily Bartram play in Division 3 South of the Somerset Women’s & Girls Softball League and currently sit 5th. The club runs junior sides for all ages between U9s and U19s, with practices on Friday evenings, and entered into local leagues against other clubs. We hope to see you all for a leisurely drink on what we think is the best beer garden around, open Friday from 5pm and Saturdays from 1pm. Also keep an eye on Facebook for Sunday opening. Everyone welcome ! Our Music on the Pitch fundraiser 2023 will be held on 16 September at The Pavilion, featuring a range of great bands, food and bar. Tickets are on sale at The Pavilion: pre-event prices: Adults: £10, kids over 11: £5. On the night: Adults £12, kids over 11: £7. Get yours now and show your support for Shapwick and Polden CC!

What's On Call for Volunteers & Contributions We need volunteers! Like to help edit future issues? Please email: Shapwick News is a quarterly publication. For the autumn issue, due to publish in October 2023, please submit contributions by no later than 15 September 2023, preferably via email above or post in the black post box next to the Village Hall's main door. Thank you! There is no guarantee that all material submitted will be used - publication is at the Editor's discretion and articles may be amended or condensed. We do not print anonymous contributions but are prepared to include items under a pen name, if so desired, on condition that we are given the name and address of the author(s). Opinions expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the Editor nor Parish Council. Summer Issue, July 2023: Published by Shapwick Parish Council, edited by Moray McGowan. Cricket Pavilion Events Bingo: 7 July, 21 July, 4 August , 18 August, 1 September 29 September, 13 October Open Mic/Music: 8 September, 6 October Quiz nights: 28 July, 25 August, 22 September for information contact: Yoga exercise classes on Monday evenings from 7.30-8.45pm, at the Village Hall. Contact: Shapwick Community Café Village Hall, 20 July 2-4 pm Cricket Pavilion, 24 August, 2-4 pm Saint Mary's Church, 21 September, 2-4 pm Village Hall, 19 October, 2-4 pm Shapwick Starlets WI meet the second Tuesday of the month, 7.30pm in Shapwick Village Hall. Contact us via Shapwick Starlets Facebook page or email 11 July: Pilates with Julie August : Adventures but no meeting 12 September: Elaine Chalus: “Long before Suffrage” SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 3 8 Every Sunday: Shapwick Runners' Sunday Run! Meet at the cricket field, set off at 9am. All abilities welcome! Sustainable Shapwick group: for information contact Steve at: Shapwick History group (see p. 3 & p.6): 12 July, Village Hall, 7pm: John Rickard: 'An Introduction to Looking at Old Houses' 30 August, Village Hall, 7pm: Amal Khreisheh: Treasures of Somerset' .All welcome. Contact John at: Village Hall events For Village Hall events or hires contact Nerina, 210329 or Bridget, 210185 COLIN MACPHERSON Ashcott FC wins Somerset Division 2!! After a very, very long season the league division two title came down to the penultimate game. Ashcott needed to beat Combe St Nicholas away to take the title. They duly did, winning 4-2. The team finished the game with 3 of the U16’s squad from last season. Ashcott won 21 of their games, drawing only 3 and losing twice. Unlike other divisions, the teams they lost to weren't any of the top three finishers, and they gained 7-0 wins over Long Ashton and Cutters Friday! Ossian Gould was Ashcott's top hitter, with a whopping 27 goals in just 25 appearances. He is also top goalscorer in the Division. Above right is the Ashcott Management Team for Season 2022/23 proudly displaying the Trophy. The Shapwick Community Café continues to be highly popular, with many regulars and others who just pop in when they can. The three venues, the Pavilion, St Mary’s Community Cafe WENDY ANDERSON Church and the Village Hall each have their own atmosphere, and everyone is welcome to come and enjoy a piece of cake with a hot drink, laugh and chat with new and old friends. See you there! Sustainable Shapwick STEVE POLDEN The Sustainable Shapwick group has met a couple of times since the inaugural meeting and presentation by Steve Mews of Green Wedmore. Ideas being pursued include options for tree planting, a freecycle event as well as the litter pick (see p.1). For upcoming meetings we are planning to hold a 'Show & Tell' type event. A couple of villagers have offered to open their houses to explain the different alternative energy sources they have, such as air source water heater with electric radiators and a solar panel with a battery installation. If you would like to attend, please drop us an email on In the autumn, following a workshop held in Glastonbury, we are planning a climate change adaptation workshop: again drop us a line if you would like to attend this thought provoking session or look out for details on the Shapwick FaceBook page. 16 September: Music on the Pitch, see. p.7 in Shapwick between now and mid-October Thankyou to all who provided picnic photographs, especially John Anderson for the group photo on the front page!