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DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 /2014

FREE

Shining a light on literature, art, music and performance in Somerset

INSIDE THIS ISSU...
FESTIVE CONCERT
WITH

GLASTONBURY MALE VOICE CHOIR
Saturday 7 December
8.00pm
Popular ballads, old favourites and Christma...
Contents
05 Introduction
07 Hansel & Gretel
09 Taunton Literary Festival:Ranulph Fiennes &
Gervase Phinn rescheduled
11 Ch...
Richard
Huish
College

A Levels
BTECs
Apprenticeships
Degrees
Professional Training

Call us now on
01823 320800



www.hu...
A certain crispness to the air and red berries in the trees signal that its time for
winter festivities and festivals. If,...
South West Music
School are a music
charity working with
talented young instrumentalists, singers and
composers aged 8-18y...
A Christmas Gift to Taunton
The Taunton Theatre Association, who are hoping to be given the go-ahead to
run the Brewhouse ...
WILLOWS

WETLANDS
VISITOR CENTRE

Gift ideas for Christmas

workshops
 courses

contemporary  traditional methods
held on ...
Taunton Literary Festival 2013
The third Taunton Literary Festival proved a great success with good attendance at the
majo...
A ‘MUST-READ’ NOW ON KINDLE – ONLY £0.99P

ginger fig gifts and gallery

1b Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823

Merry Chris...
Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER

01823 337742 brendonbooks@gmail.com www.brendonbooksonline.co.uk

Book...
Touching Distance
Graham Hurley
RRP £16.99 £13.99

Fiction

Three unrelated, random killings. Or something much, much wors...
History/Current Affairs
When Britain Burned the Whitehouse
Peter Snow
RRP £25.00 £20.00

In his compelling narrative style...
Biography
Disraeli
Douglas Hurd
RRP £20.00 £16.00

Benjamin Disraeli was the most gifted parliamentarian of the nineteenth...
Cookery/Natural World
Cooking People
Sophia Waugh
RRP £20.00 £16.00

With modern cookery books always at the top of the
be...
Sport  Pastimes/Humour
John Bailey’s
Fishing Bible
RRP £24.99 £19.99

In this comprehensive fishing guide, author and expe...
Miscellaneous

The Elements of Eloquence
Mark Forsyth
RRP £12.99 £10.99

In an age unhealthily obsessed with substance, th...
Children’s Books
Doctor Who: The Essential Guide
Justin Richards
£12.99 £10.99

The Lost Gods
Francesca Simon
£10.99 £8.99...
COME AND SEE WHY
OUR REPUTATION GOES BEFORE US

HICKIES

the music store

Reading  Tiverton Est. 1864

New Pianos  Used pi...
December Events
Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Pleas...
December Events (continued)
Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event lis...
January Events (continued)
Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event list...
Contacts List
Barn, Obridge House Priorswood, Taunton. Contact: Jeremy Harvey. 01823 276421
Barrington Court, Barrington, ...
Taunton Youth Dance Company
2013 marks 10 years of Taunton Youth Dance Company
(TYDC) at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre. One of...
The dance workshops in question
took place in July and September and
were kindly supported by a number of
organisations an...
The Phoenix Singers
Founded in Devon
in 1971 by a small
group of friends, The
Phoenix Singers has
grown to become a
promin...
Christmas with
the Phoenix Singers
The Phoenix Singers will be singing
in St George’s Church, Dunster as
part of the popul...
The Christmas Arts  Crafts Collection
at Ilminster Arts Centre
The Christmas Collection
is an annual event that
celebrates...
From the left: June Dobson, DVA Images; Jeremy Briggs, Hollow Forms; Sue Heys, Fan Lamp	

			

From the left: Lorraine Cha...
I
lminster Entertainments Society was formed in 1947 with
its inaugural production of “The Farmer’s Wife”. The society
pre...
Interior of Warehouse Theatre

Cratchits in rehearsal

“... I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all th...
Carols and Classics
at Merriott
Carols  Classics 5. Merriott. Friday 20th
December. In its 5th year, this annual
treat of ...
Sinead Gillespie Introduces the first BAC
Talk at Bridgwater Arts Centre in January
Sinéad Gillespie was born in Northern
...
The Lost Islands of Somerset
A new book has just
been published by
Somerset Heritage
Service on ‘The Lost
Islands of Somer...
Poetry Corner: Candy Bright
Since moving to Exmoor a few years back I have been able to indulge myself in
a passion that h...
Reaching for the Stars.....
Huish student Matt
Konig won this year’s
Brunner Creative Writing Competition for
Richard Huis...
“Hold on, Janine, I’ll ask him…do you
know what that was?”
Gareth realised that the last comment,
from a balding man with ...
My Favourite...
We asked Jeremy Harvey, Chairman of the Somerset Art Gallery
Trust and former headteacher of Bishop Fox’s ...
LAMPDecemberandJanuaryIssue
LAMPDecemberandJanuaryIssue
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LAMPDecemberandJanuaryIssue

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December and January Issue of LAMP Magazine covering the arts: Literarature, Art, Music and Performance

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  1. 1. DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013 /2014 FREE Shining a light on literature, art, music and performance in Somerset INSIDE THIS ISSUE Hansel & Gretel Christmas Book Collection Calendar of Events Taunton Youth Dance Phoenix Singers Christmas Arts & Crafts A Christmas Carol Carols & Classics at Merriott Church Sinead Gillespie Lost Islands of Somerset Poetry Corner with Candy Bright Brunner Prize Results Short Story My Favourite with Jeremy Harvey
  2. 2. FESTIVE CONCERT WITH GLASTONBURY MALE VOICE CHOIR Saturday 7 December 8.00pm Popular ballads, old favourites and Christmas carols. Come along with friends and family to start your festive celebrations with stirring music, mince pies and mulled wine. Tickets £16 (under 18s £8) - includes mulled wine & mince pies Pre-booked suppers available at £22 Dillington House ilminster somerset tA19 9Dt t 01460 258613 www.Dillington.com 2
  3. 3. Contents 05 Introduction 07 Hansel & Gretel 09 Taunton Literary Festival:Ranulph Fiennes & Gervase Phinn rescheduled 11 Christmas Book Collection 20 Calendar of Events 24 Taunton Youth Dance Group 26 Phoenix Singers 28 Christmas Arts & Crafts Collection 30 A Christmas Carol 32 Carols & Classics at Merriott Church 33 Sinead Gillespie at Bridgwater Arts Centre 34 Lost Islands of Somerset 35 Poetry Corner with Candy Bright 36 Reaching for the Stars... Brunner Prize and the winning story in full 38 My Favourite with Jeremy Harvey Editor: Lionel Ward Copy Editor: Jo Ward All enquiries: lampmagazine1@gmail.com 01823 337742 c/o Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER The views expressed in Lamp are not necessarily those of the editorial team. Copyright, unless otherwise stated, is that of the magazine or the individual authors. We do not accept liability for the content or accuracy of the magazine including that of the advertisers.
  4. 4. Richard Huish College A Levels BTECs Apprenticeships Degrees Professional Training Call us now on 01823 320800 www.huish.ac.uk 01823 320800 Richard Huish College, South Road, Taunton TA1 3DZ
  5. 5. A certain crispness to the air and red berries in the trees signal that its time for winter festivities and festivals. If, like me, you are still making your preparations, there are lots of ideas here – a Christmas book perhaps, one to curl up with over the holiday or to treasure for years to come, or some of the delightful arts and crafts from Ilminster Arts Centre. Or perhaps you’ll choose tickets from the vast array on offer: music of all kinds, singing and dance, Christmas shows and drama. Maybe you’ll be inspired by the story of how Hansel and Gretel comes to be playing on Castle Green in Taunton or want to support the Variety Gala at Queens College both put on by Taunton Theatre Association to support the re-opening of The Brewhouse next year. Perhaps you are looking further ahead to your plans for 2014 and, inspired by the wonderful Taunton Literary Festival, find yourself musing about the book you’ve always dreamed of publishing. Rejection seems almost to be a rite of passage for authors so getting a little help is very welcome. Sinead Gillespie offers her thoughts on her experience of getting published. Maybe your passion is music or singing and, if so, perhaps this will be the year for taking part yourself in one of the many opportunities on offer. One of my inspiring meetings in 2013 was with Diane Burnell. Having retired, she was wistfully wishing she had followed her heart and gone to art school. Challenged by her granddaughter, Diane studied and won a Fine Arts degree. She followed her passion and today is the Chair of Contemporary Artists Network, supporting others in releasing their own unimagined gifts. Whatever our dreams, let’s be bold and paint our own canvas in 2014. Val Hammond Val Hammond is Chair and a Director of Taunton Theatre Association Ltd, the community based organisation aiming to re-open the Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre. For information: www.tauntontheatre.org.uk.
  6. 6. South West Music School are a music charity working with talented young instrumentalists, singers and composers aged 8-18yrs in the South West. Applications open for 2014/15 on 29th Jan 2014. Application forms will be available from: www.swms.org.uk.’ 20% off with this voucher* To celebrate the opening of our new studio in Taunton, Christina Dithmar Photography are offering 20% off all portrait shoots. *Voucher valid until April 1st 2014. PORTRAITS family, children pets, equine WeDDIngS COmmeRCIAl eSSenCe Of WOmAn 07882 534 115 www.christina-dithmar-photography.co.uk 6
  7. 7. A Christmas Gift to Taunton The Taunton Theatre Association, who are hoping to be given the go-ahead to run the Brewhouse when their case is presented for approval before an executive panel of councillors in December, are putting on a free production of Hansel Gretel in Castle Green, Taunton. The classic fairy tale will showcase much of the local talent and services we have in Taunton. There will be music from up and coming young star Aisha Bellamy, Okoko DJ Max Corderoy and The Big Noise, dance from Nicky Jenks School of Dance, the artistic abilities of Vislab, sound from Liven Up, Lighting provided by Bright, children’s choir from Stagecoach and Trull C of E VA primary school and all graphic design has been provided by ADK Design. All those involved – performers, production, costumes and marketing team - have donated their skills and time at no cost. Cliff from the Knight’s Rest Inn and Chris Trott, the butcher have even kindly offered to feed the audience every night with a spit roast. The intention is to demonstrate that the group is capable of putting on a professional show with limited resources. Beccy Armory, Creative Producer; David Duthie, Father; Beth Court, Gretel Creative producer, Becky Armoury, comments, ‘It is an adventurous project that is certainly testing the resolve of all the businesses involved, the production team and Taunton Theatre Association - but if proof were needed that we miss our theatre, this is it! ‘ All free tickets for the production which takes place on 19th, 20th and 21st September have now been allocated. The Background The Brewhouse went into administration in February of this year. Tone Theatre submitted a bid to the administrators BDQ in April. In July Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) agreed to purchase the lease from the administrators. In August the Taunton Theatre association, an amalgam of Tone Theatre and TAPA/Count Me In community interest groups, became a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG), a not for profit company which can apply for charity status and apply for grants and loans. There are three voluntary directors supported by a commissioning group. The directors and commission group are also founder members of the company and stand as guarantors of the company limited by guarantee (CLG). On September 23rd they submitted an outline business plan to TDBC. In October TDBC acquired the lease of the Brewhouse and decided to work with Taunton Theatre Association as preferred bidders for the operating licence. A fundraising target of £350,000 was announced by the association to support capital and start up costs. On November 21st they presented before TDBC Public Scrutiny Committee. Illustration by Arthur Rackham, 1909
  8. 8. WILLOWS WETLANDS VISITOR CENTRE Gift ideas for Christmas workshops courses contemporary traditional methods held on a traditional working willow farm displays, workshops/courses, talks demonstrations, sculpture trail for more information call 01278 691105 or visit our website: www.musgrovewillows.co.uk Stoke St Gregory, Taunton TA3 6HY 01823 490249 www.englishwillowbaskets.co.uk musgrovewillows.co.uk Willowfields, Lakewall, Westonzoyland, Somerset TA7 0LP whats on_musgrove141x98.indd 1 18/2/10 11:43:19 For that special present for your loved one Now Stocking Anatomic-Gel Joseph Cheaney shoes for men 8
  9. 9. Taunton Literary Festival 2013 The third Taunton Literary Festival proved a great success with good attendance at the majority of events. More than 50 national and local authors were involved over the 17 days between 2nd November and 19th November. Highlights included Peter Snow, Douglas Hurd, Victoria Glendinning, Sinclair McKay and Saul David. Several of the events attracted an audience of more than a hundred and a number were oversubscribed or near to capacity. Kit Chapman of the Castle Hotel, who were hosts for a number of the events, commented: Taunton should be hugely thankful for another wonderful Literary Festival featuring, yet again, a galaxy of distinguished authors which adds so much to the cultural life of this town. Two of the events, with Ranulph Fiennes and Gervase Phinn had to be rescheduled and will now take place in January. Tickets from: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER Tel: 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail.com If you still hold tickets for the original dates they may be retained for the new event or the ticket money may be refunded. Details for the events below: 7.30 pm Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Extreme Adventures at the Lowest Temperatures on Earth Price: £8.00 Rescheduled Date: Thu 9th Nov 2014. Venue: St James Church, St James St,Taunton TA1 1JS There are only few human beings who can adapt, survive and thrive in the coldest regions on earth. And below a certain temperature, death is inevitable. Sir Ranulph Fiennes has spent much of his life exploring and working in conditions of extreme cold. The loss of many of his fingers to frostbite is a testament to the horrors man is exposed to at such perilous temperatures. With the many adventures he has led over the past 40 years, testing his limits of endurance to the maximum, he deservedly holds the title of ‘the world’s greatest explorer’. Despite our technological advances, the Arctic, the Antarctic and the highest mountains on earth, remain some of the most dangerous and unexplored areas of the world. This remarkable book reveals the chequered history of man’s attempts to discover and understand these remote areas of the planet, from the early voyages of discovery of Cook, Ross, Weddell, Amundsen, Shackleton and Franklin to Sir Ranulph’s own extraordinary feats; from his adventuring apprenticeship on the Greenland Ice Cap, to masterminding over the past 5 years the first crossing of the Antarctic during winter, where temperatures regularly plummeted to minus 92 * C. Both historically questioning and intensely personal, Cold is a celebration of a life dedicated to researching and exploring some of the most hostile and brutally cold places on earth. 7.30pm Gervase Phinn: Little Village School Series Price: £8.00 Rescheduled Date: Saturday 4th November 2014. Please contact Brendon Books for further details. Gervase Phinn is a teacher, freelance lecturer, author, poet, school inspector, educational consultant and visiting professor of education. For fourteen years he taught in a range of schools, then acted as General Adviser for Language Development in Rotherham before moving on to North Yorkshire, where he spent ten years as a school inspector. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children’s charities and educational organizations. The third Little Village School novel Summer has arrived in Barton-in-the-Dale and as a new term begins at the little primary school, it’s not just the warm weather that’s getting people hot under the collar. Meetings with the teachers from Urebank School to discuss the merger are producing more than a few fireworks, a disruptive new pupil arrives, set to cause trouble, and a surprising staff love affair is exposed. There’s also a big school production of The Wizard of Oz to organise as well as an impending visit from the Minister of Education. Headteacher Elisabeth Devine certainly has her work cut out for her. And that’s just some of the drama set to shake-up the village. Throw in a sprinkling of secrets, shocking revelations, old flames, new liaisons, psychics, weddings and misfortune ...There’s plenty to gossip about this term.
  10. 10. A ‘MUST-READ’ NOW ON KINDLE – ONLY £0.99P ginger fig gifts and gallery 1b Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 Merry Christmas a Happy New Year to all our customers ginger fig gallery promotes artists and designers exclusively from the South West, exhibiting new talent alongside established artists 18 Do you Aspire to be a better Do you aspire to be a or manager? leader better leader or manager? BoostBoost your career with an accredited leadership and your career with an accredited leadership management and management qualification qualification ILM Level 4 5 Certificate/Diploma in ILM Level 4 5 Certificate/Diploma in Leadership Leadership Management Management Where and when? Where and When? Level 4 Commencing Level 4 commencing January 2014 in Chard January 2014 in Chard Level 5 commencing February 2014 in Taunton Level 5 Commencing February 2014 in Taunton Delivery Distance learning or Delivery through taught sessions Distance learning or through taught sessions 10 • Enhance your leadership and management skills. • GainEnhance your leadership and Institute an accredited qualification from the management skills of Leadership and Management (ILM), the UK’s Gain an accredited qualification from the Institue of leadership largest awarding body for leadership and largest awarding body for leadand management(ILM), the Uk’s managementand management qualifications. ership qualifications. • Receive expert tutor support every step of the way. Receive Expert tutor support every step of the way • Membership with the ILM for the duration of your Membership with the ILM for the duration of you registration. registration. Last chance to enrol for January 2014! Last Chance to enrol for January 2014! Who is it for? Interested? Interested Who Practising middle is it for? 01823 368282 or email Call Call 01823 368282 or email Practising middle and advanced level SLC@somerset.gov.uk SLC@somerset.gov.uk and advanced level Deadline: 18th December managers Deadline: 18th December managers
  11. 11. Old Brewery Buildings, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 brendonbooks@gmail.com www.brendonbooksonline.co.uk Book Gift Ideas for Christmas 11
  12. 12. Touching Distance Graham Hurley RRP £16.99 £13.99 Fiction Three unrelated, random killings. Or something much, much worse? Graham Hurely’s new crime thriller unleashes a serial killer; combining Hurley’s talent for ultra-realistic, character driven police-procedurals with a plot powered by an explosive ticking clock and kicking his books into a new realm of tension and fear. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9781409131557 hb Orion The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Alexander McCall Smith RRP £16.99 £13.99 As Botswana awaits the familiar blessing of the rains and the resumption of the eternal cycle, seismic upheaval is taking place at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. 9781408704318 hb Little, Brown Sense Sensibilty Joanna Trollope RRP £18.99 £15.99 Joanna Trollope’s much-anticipated contemporary reworking of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility launches The Austen Project and is already one of the most talked about books of the year. Joanna Trollope casts Sense Sensibility in a fresh new light, re-telling a coming-of-age story about young love and heartbreak 9780007461769 hb Harper Collins Dear Life Alice Munro RRP £8.99 £7.99 This is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Alice Munro captures the essence of life in her brilliant new collection of stories. Moments of change, chance encounters, the twist of fate that leads a person to a new way of thinking or being: the stories in Dear Life build to form a radiant, indelible portrait of just how dangerous and strange ordinary life can be. 9780099578635 hb Vintage The Luminaries Eleanor Catton RRP £18.99 £15.99 The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. 9781847084316 hb Granta Books The Goldfinch Donna Tartt RRP £20.00 £16.00 North West London comes vividly to life in “NW”, the new novel by the author of the bestselling “White Teeth” and Man Booker-shortlisted “On Beauty”. This is the story of a city. The north-west corner of a city. Here you’ll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and others who live nowhere at all. And many people in between. 9780241144145 hb Hamish Hamilton Helen Fielding Mad About the Boy RRP £16.99 £13.99 Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, tweeting, texting and redisovering her sexuality in what some people rudely and outdatedly call ‘middle age’. The long-awaited return of a muchloved character, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is timely, tender, touching, witty, wise and bloody hilarious... 9780224098090 hb RRP £18.99 £15.99 Postcards from the Past Marcia Willett RRP £16.99 £13.99 Siblings Billa and Ed share their beautiful, grand old childhood home in rural Cornwall. Their lives are uncomplicated. With family and friends nearby and their free and easy living arrangements, life seems as content as can be. But when postcards start arriving from a sinister figure they thought belonged well and truly in their pasts, old memories are stirred. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9780593071519 hb Transworld The Last Runaway Tracy Chevalier RRP £7.99 £6.99 The stunning new novel from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring. Honor Bright is a sheltered Quaker who has rarely ventured out of 1850s Dorset when she impulsively emigrates to America. Opposed to the slavery that defines and divides the country, she finds her principles tested to the limit when a runaway slave appears at the farm of her new family. In 9780007350353 pb HarperCollins The Hydrogen Sonata Iain M. Banks RRP £8.99 £7.99 The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilisation. An ancient people, organised on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. 9780356501499 hb Little, Brown Brendon Books: 01823 337742 email: brendon books@gmail.com 12
  13. 13. History/Current Affairs When Britain Burned the Whitehouse Peter Snow RRP £25.00 £20.00 In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of both sides of this extraordinary confrontation, the outcome of which inspired the writing of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, America’s national anthem.Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he also describes the colourful personalities on both sides of these spectacular events. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9781848546110 hb John M urray The Fishing Fleet Anne De Courcy RRP £7.99 £6.99 From the late 19th century, when the Raj was at its height, many of Britain’s best and brightest young men went out to India to work as administrators, soldiers and businessmen. With the advent of steam travel and the opening of the Suez Canal, countless young women, suffering at the lack of eligible men in Britain, followed in their wake. 9780753828960 pb Orion Catastrophe Max Hastings £30.00 £25.00 From the best-selling author of All Hell Let Loose comes a magisterial chronicle of the calamity that befell Europe in 1914 as the continent shifted from the glamour of the Edwardian era to the tragedy of total war. In 1914, Europe plunged into the 20th century’s first terrible act of self-immolation- what was then called The Great War. 9780007398577 hb HarperCollins Elizabeth of York Alison Weir RRP £20.00 £16.00 Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. The eldest daughter of Edward IV, at seventeen she was relegated from pampered princess to bastard fugitive, but the probable murders of her brothers, the Princes in the Tower, left Elizabeth heiress to the royal House of York, and in 1486, Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor, married her, thus uniting the red and white roses of Lancaster and York. 9780224089814 hb Vintage Dallas 1963 Bill Minutaglio RRP £20.00 £16.00 In November 1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. His death remains a defining moment for millions of people but few understand the unstoppable forces that were building in the city long before this dramatic event played out before the world Dallas 1963 is a riveting account of the convergence of a group of unyielding and highly focused protagonists in a city sometimes seemingly filled with hate for JFK. 9781848547759 hb John Murray To the Edge of the World Christian Wolmar RRP £22.00 £17.60 Christian Wolmar expertly tells the story of the Trans-Siberian railway from its conception and construction under Tsar Alexander III, to the northern extension ordered by Brezhnev and its current success as a vital artery. He also explores the crucial role the line played in both the Russian Civil War and the Second World War, SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9781846140884 hb Penguin 100 Days to Victory Saul David RRP £20.00 £16.00 Saul David’s 100 Days to Victory is a totally original, utterly engaging account of the Great War - the first book to tell the story of the ‘war to end all wars’ through the events of one hundred key days between 1914 and 1918. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9780224095464 hb Square Peg One Summer 1927 Bill Bryson RRP £20.00 £16.00 Britain’s favourite writer of narrative non-fiction Bill Bryson travels back in time to a forgotten summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and, in five eventful months, changed the world for ever. In this hugely entertaining book, Bill Bryson spins a story of brawling adventure, reckless optimism and delirious energy, with a cast of unforgettable and eccentric characters, with trademark brio, wit and authority. 9780007309290 hb Harper Press High Minds Simone Heffer £9.99 Britain in the 1840s was a country wracked by poverty, unrest and uncertainty. By the 1880s it was a confident nation of progress and prosperity, transformed not just by industrialisation but by new attitudes to politics, education, women and the working class. That it should have changed so radically was very largely the work of an astonishingly dynamic and high-minded group of people. 9781847946775 hb Cornerstone The Lost World of Bletchley Park Sinclair McKay RRP £25.00 £20.00 Featuring over 200 photographs, some previously unseen, and text by Sinclair McKay, this will be an essential purchase for everyone interested in the place where codebreaking helped to win the war. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9781846684999 pb Profile Brendon Books: 01823 337742 email: brendon books@gmail.com 13
  14. 14. Biography Disraeli Douglas Hurd RRP £20.00 £16.00 Benjamin Disraeli was the most gifted parliamentarian of the nineteenth century. A superb orator, writer and wit, he twice rose to become Prime Minister. But how much do we really know about the man behind the words? In this engaging reassessment, Douglas Hurd and Edward Young explore the paradoxes at the centre of Disraeli’s ‘two lives’: SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9780297860976 hb Orion Ammonites Leaping Fish Penelope Lively RRP £14.99 £11.99 A memoir that addresses ageing, memory, time and a life in the 20th century, by one of our greatest writers, Penelope Lively. ‘This is not quite a memoir. Rather, it is the view from old age. And a view of old age itself, this place at which we arrive with a certain surprise - ambushed, or so it can seem.’ 9780241146385 hb Fig Tree C S Lewis: A Life Alister McGrath RRP £9.99 £8.99 The recent Narnia films have inspired a resurgence of interest in C. S. Lewis, the Oxford academic, popular theologian and, most famously, creator of the magical world of Narnia - and this authoritative new biography, published to mark the 50th anniversary of Lewis’s death, sets out to introduce him to a new generation. 9781444745542 pb Hodder Mary Berry: Recipe for Life Mary Berry RRP £16.00 20.00 From Queen of Tarts to the nation’s heart, Mary Berry shares her Recipe for Life. ‘In the words of my father, my birth caused no end of trouble...’ From the moment she came into the world - two weeks early, throwing her parents’ lives into disarray - Mary has gracefully but firmly done things her own way. 9781405912846 hb Penguin Spike Milligan: Man of Letters Spike Milligan RRP £25.00 £20.00 Spike Milligan: Man of Letters presents a rich selection of the funniest and most revealing of his missives It includes correspondence with the most famous politicians, actors, celebrities and rock stars of his day, and takes the reader behind the scenes in his wrangles with producers, publishers, editors and his impervious manager-agent. 9780670923731 hb Viking I am Malala Malala Yousafzai RRP £18.99 £15.19 ‘I had spent most of my childhood thinking I was a dog, and suspect I had aged in dog years. By the time I was ten I had discovered the pain of unbearable loss. I had felt joy and jealousy. Most important of all, I knew how to love and how to let myself be loved. All these things I learnt through animals. Horses and dogs were my family and my friends. This is their story as much as it is mine’. 9780670921461 hb Penguin A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine Tony Benn RRP £20.00 £16.00 In this final volume of diaries, Tony Benn reflects on the compensations and the disadvantages of old age. With the support of a small circle of friends and his extended family, he continues his activities on behalf of social justice, peace and accountability in public life, to a background of political change and the international economic crisis’. 9780091943875 hb Cornerstone Darling Monster Diana Cooper RRP £25.00 £20.00 In “On Wheels” Michael Holroyd takes on the humble automobile. Weaving together memoir and anecdote with historical example he traces his relationship with cars and driving through a lifetime of biography. Sly and perceptive to a fault, in these five delightful essays Michael Holroyd finds new and surprising ways to understand the past and challenge our view of the future 9780701187439 hb Chatto Windus Raffles Victoria Glendinning RRP £9.99 £8.99 Raffles remains a controversial figure, and in the first biography for over forty years, Victoria Glendinning charts his prodigious rise within the social and historical contexts of his world. His domestic and personal life was vivid and shot through with tragedy. His own end was sad, but his fame immortal. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9781846686047 pb Profile Bonkers Jennifer Saunders RRP £20.00 £16.00 From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia, her characters are household names. But it’s Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, moving and frankly bonkers memoir, filled with laughter, friends and occasional heartache - but never misery. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9780241001561 hb Viking 14 Brendon Books: 01823 337742 email: brendon books@gmail.com
  15. 15. Cookery/Natural World Cooking People Sophia Waugh RRP £20.00 £16.00 With modern cookery books always at the top of the bestseller lists, Sophia Waugh looks at the differences - and the similarities - between cooking then and now. Cooking People focuses on five female writers who have revolutionised home cooking. From Hannah Woolley who was, in the seventeenth century, to the muchloved Isabella Beeton and Elizabeth David, Waugh investigates the what, how and why of English eating. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9780752876474 hb Orion Little French Kitchen Rachel Khoo £20.00 £16.00 Taking her ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ on tour in her second official book, Rachel is leaving the capital city to travel to the four corners of France in search of the very best recipes in the country. Her first book was The Little Paris Kitchen, accompanying her hit BBC2 television series. She writes a weekly recipe column for the Evening Standard. 9780718177478 hb Penguin Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Guide 2014 Hugh Johnson £11.99 £10.99 Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book is the ultimate compact guide. Now in its 37th edition, it is the UK’s number one wine book for wine-lovers and professionals. It is the key reference for enthusiasts, investors and collectors and this year’s edition boasts up-to-date news on more than 6,000 wines, growers and regions, plus invaluable vintage information from experts around the world. 978-1845337445 hb Mitchell Beazley Badgerlands Patrick Barkham £18.99 £15.99 Barkham delves into the fascinating natural and rich cultural history of the animal - from their prehistoric arrival in Britain, to their savage persecution over the centuries, to their change of fortunes in the 20th century.Barkham’s affection for the stubborn, striped-nose creatures is infectious and Badgerlands will cement his reputation as one of our most vivid, witty and curious nature writers. 9781847085047 hb Granta The Great British Year Stephen Moss RRP £25.00 £20.00 Britain is a place of remarkable beauty and surprising extremes: nowhere else in the temperate world boasts such extreme variety in such a small area. Our humble island has over 10,000 miles of coastline; iconic animals and birds; and unique spectacles of migration that see wildlife from all corners of the globe descend upon our shores. 9781780877105 hb Quercus 15 Eat: The Little Book of Fast food Nigel Slater £26.00 £20.80 From the star of BBC One’s ‘Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen’ this beautiful and easy-to-use follow-up to ‘The Kitchen Diaries II’ contains over 600 recipe ideas and is your essential go-to for what to cook every day. Returning to the territory of Nigel’s bestselling ‘Real Fast Food’, ‘Eat’ is bursting with beautifully simple and quick-to-cook recipes 9780007526154 hb HarperCollins Leiths How to Cook Pru Leith RRP £30.00 £25.00 This comprehensive book takes the reader - subject by subject - through every aspect of food preparation and cooking. Skills are comprehensively explained and clearly illustrated with step-by-step photographs throughout. Here you will find the essentials that most cookbooks leave out: 9781849493192 hb Quadrille CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2014 Roger Protz RRP £15.99 £12.99 The Good Beer Guide is fully revised and updated each year and features pubs across the United Kingdom that serve the best real ale. Now in its 41st edition, this pub guide is completely independent with listings based entirely on nomination and evaluation by CAMRA members. 9781852493127 pb Camra Cat Sense £20.00 £16.00 From John Bradshaw, one of the world’s leading experts on animal behaviour, and the author of the Sunday Times Bestseller, In Defence of Dogs, Cat Sense is a scientific portrait of the true, surprising nature of cats. Worshipped as gods, feared as demonic servants, seen as both wild opportunists and beloved companions, cats often seem as unfathomable, enigmatic and magical to us today as they did in ancient times. 9781846145940 hb Penguin Cold Ranulph Fiennes £20.00 £16.00 Despite our technological advances, the Arctic, the Antarctic and the highest mountains on earth, remain some of the most dangerous and unexplored areas of the world. This remarkable book reveals the chequered history of man’s attempts to discover and understand these remote areas of the planet, from the early voyages of discovery of Cook, Ross, Weddell, Amundsen, Shackleton and Franklin to Sir Ranulph’s own extraordinary feats. 9781471127823 hb Simon Schuster Brendon Books: 01823 337742 email: brendon books@gmail.com
  16. 16. Sport Pastimes/Humour John Bailey’s Fishing Bible RRP £24.99 £19.99 In this comprehensive fishing guide, author and expert angler John Bailey covers a complete range of fishing methods and techniques, showing anglers of all levels how to develop new skills and improve upon existing ones. From free-lining to carp fishing, and from reading rivers to understanding fish behaviour, this hugely informative volume is all the angler needs in order to make the most of any fishing experience. 978-1780094090 hb New Holland Two Girls One on Each Knee Alan Connor RRP £12.99 £10.99 Two Girls, One on Each Knee: A History of Cryptic Crosswords is an audaciously constructed book on the pleasures and puzzles of cryptic crosswords and their linguistic wordplay, from Alan Connor, the Guardian’s writer on crosswords. 9781846148415 h Particular Books Am I Missing Something Iain Hollingshead RRP £9.99 £8.99 In this fifth volume of wise, waggish and down- right outrageous letters for which there wasn’t enough space - or editorial stomach - in the paper, we offer another hilariously alternative review of the year. With an agenda as enticing as ever, ranging from Chris Huhne’s speeding points to a royal baby, a new Pope to Andy Murray, it will prove, once again, that the Telegraph’s letters writers have an astute sense of what really matters. 9781781311615hb Aurum Press Private Eye: A Cartoon History Nick Newman RRP £25.00 £20.00 The Horologicon (or book of hours) gives you the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to the hour of the day when you really need them. Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized. Pretending to work? That’s fudgelling, which may lead to rizzling if you feel sleepy after lunch, though by dinner time you will have become a sparkling deipnosophist. 9781848314153 hb Icon Matt: The Best of 2013 Simon Elmes RRP £18.99 £15.99 No one does it better...From recessions, referendums and royal babies to press regulations and our love-hate relationship with the bizarre British weather - not to mention the horse burger crisis...Matt reviews the last 12 months in his own inimitable style. 9781409121572 pb Orion Doped Jamie Reid £20.00 £16.00 Winner of the William Hil Sports Book of the Year Award. Doped is the gripping true-story racing thriller set in Britain in the 1950s and early 1960s. Combining a potent mix of horse racing, drugs, sex, class, crime, gambling and the monarchy, it tells the true story of one of the biggest doping scandals in British racing history. 9781909471047 hb Racing Post Books Beefy’s Cricket Tales Ian Botham RRP £18.99 £15.99 Botham has compiled some of his favourite stories from a life devoted to cricket and brought them all together in one volume. With the help of his huge network of friends, colleagues, team-mates and opponents, he has put together a collection of the best and the funniest stories from the cricket world. 9781849838009 hb Simon Schuster Pick of the Oldie 2014 Richard Ingrams £9.99 £8.99 Celebrate the centurys’ finest movies in “The Rough Guide to 21st Century Cinema”, a lavishly illustrated homage to the world’s best movies of this new era of cinema. It offers: the best 101 films: a run down of the finest films of the millenium from Hollywood blockbusters to indie gems. 9781901170207 hb Oldie Publications Peas Queues Sandi Toksvig RRP £12.99 £10.99 How do you get rid of unwanted guests? What do you do if there’s a racket in the quiet carriage? How should you eat peas, and behave in queues? How to behave, like how to punctuate, is an aspect of life that many are no longer taught - and getting it wrong is the stuff of comedy at best and humiliation at worst. Thankfully, Sandi Toksvig has come to the rescue with her entertaining guide to modern manners 9781781250327 hb Profile 100 Pointless Arguments Alexander Armstrong Richard Osman RRP £14.99 12.99 From the presenters of the hit BBC One television series Pointless and authors of The 100 Most Pointless Things in the World comes a hilarious collection of answers to some of life’s biggest questions. Alexander Armstrong and his pointless friend Richard Osman will put the world to rights and finally answer the 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World...Ever. 9781444762075 hb Hodder Brendon Books: 01823 337742 email: brendon books@gmail.com 16
  17. 17. Miscellaneous The Elements of Eloquence Mark Forsyth RRP £12.99 £10.99 In an age unhealthily obsessed with substance, this is a book on the importance of pure style, from the bestselling author of The Etymologicon and The Horologicon. From classic poetry to pop lyrics and from the King James Bible to advertising slogans, Mark Forsyth explains the secrets that make a phrase - such as ‘Tiger, Tiger, burning bright’, or ‘To be or not to be’ - memorable. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9781848316218 hb Icon Wordsmiths Warriors David Hilary Crysta’ £20.00 £16.00 Wordsmiths and Warriors explores the heritage of English through the places in Britain that shaped it. It unites the warriors, whose invasions transformed the language, with the poets, scholars, reformers, and others who helped create its character. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9780199668120 hb Oxford University Press What a Wonderful World Marcus Chown £17.99 £14.99 In “What a Wonderful World”, Marcus Chown, bestselling author of “Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You” and the Solar System app, uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions about the workings of our everyday lives. SOME SIGNED COPIES WHILE STOCK LAST 9780571278398 hb Faber The Archers: Ambridge Chronicles Joanna Toye RRP £9.99 £8.99 It has been the soundtrack of our lives for over six decades, from stooking corn with Dan Archer in the 1950s to the tragic death of Nigel Pargetter in 2011. We know the characters of Ambridge - from much-loved Phil and Jill Archer and the irrepressible Grundys to wayward Brian Aldridge - like we know close friends. 9781849905770 hb Ebury 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Steven Schneider RRP £20.00 £16.00 My Old Man John Major RRP £9.99 £8.99 Miller’s Antique Marks Judith Miller RRP £6.99 £5.99 On The Map Simon Garfield RRP £9.99 £8.99 Packed with vital statistics, and a few facts that might surprise you, this is a collector’s must for the bookshelf as well as an entertaining read for all those who love the world of film. Whether your passion lies with The Blue Angel or Blue Velvet, from the films you shouldn’t have missed the first time around, to the films you can see again and again, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is the definitive guide for all movie lovers. 9781844037346 pb Octopus The Horologicon (or book of hours) gives you the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to the hour of the day when you really need them. Do you wake up feeling rough? Then you’re philogrobolized. Pretending to work? That’s fudgelling, which may lead to rizzling if you feel sleepy after lunch, though by dinner time you will have become a sparkling deipnosophist. 9781848314153 hb Icon Mapping Lost Branch Lines Paul Atterbury RRP £25.00 £20.00 Today, branch lines are part of a lost world, an era when railway maps of Britain showed lines crisscrossing every county - many of which had distinctive, but also lost, names. By bringing together old maps, images of old branch lines and modern photographs of relics that can be discovered today, this book celebrates a Britain of fond memories. 9781446302835 hb David Charles Shortlisted for the Theatre Book Prize; former prime minister John Major takes a remarkable journey into his own unconventional family past to tell the story of the British music hall. John Major shares memories of his performer father Tom and then shines the spotlight on the story of the music hall itself, from its Victorian heyday to its demise 9780007450145 pb HarperCollins Maps fascinate us. They chart our understanding of the world and they log our progress, but above all they tell our stories. From the early sketches of philosophers and explorers through to Google Maps and beyond, Simon Garfield examines how maps both relate and realign our history. 9781846685101 pb Profile Books The Broken Road Patrick Leigh Fermor RRP £25.00 £20.00 The long-awaited final volume of the trilogy by Patrick Leigh Fermor - a perfect gift for Christmas. It remains unfinished but The Broken Road - edited and introduced by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper - completes an extraordinary journey. 9781848547520 hb John Murray Brendon Books: 01823 337742 email: brendon books@gmail.com 17
  18. 18. Children’s Books Doctor Who: The Essential Guide Justin Richards £12.99 £10.99 The Lost Gods Francesca Simon £10.99 £8.99 9781405914000 bb BBC Books In The Sleeping Army, Freya went to Hel and back. She fought dragons, fled fire and outwitted giants - all to restore eternal youth to the Norse Gods. But now they’re back, does anyone care? Up in Asgard, it doesn’t really feel like it. The Gods’ popularity on earth is waning, and without regular worship, their powers are fading fast. 9781846685651 hb Profile Atticus Claw Lends a Paw Jennifer Gray £5.99 £4.99 Of Lions and Unicorns Michael Morpurgo £16.99 £13.99 This essential anniversary guide to fifty years of Doctor Who includes all eleven incarnations of the Doctor and fascinating facts on his adventures in space and time, helpful companions and fearsome foes like the Daleks, Cybermen and Ice Warriors! You can find out all about the Doctor’s TARDIS, his regenerations and much much more! Atticus Grammatticus Cattypuss Claw, the world’s greatest police cat, is back. When the kittens at the local cats’ home are wrongly suspected of a knitting crime spree, Inspector Cheddar is baffled. Atticus must step in to find the real culprits. In an adventure that takes him from Littleton-on-Sea to the sands of the Egyptian desert 9780099439752 pb Red Fox Jack The Beanstalk: a Book of Nursery Stories Kathleen Lines £14.99 £11.99 Jack and the Beanstalk is just one of the ten favourite nursery stories that make up this companion to Harold Jones’s book of nursery rhymes, Lavender’s Blue. All the best and most-loved stories, such as The Three Bears, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, and Tom Thumb, are included in this collection . 9780192735874 hb Oxford University Press Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades Rick Riordan £12.99 £10.99 The House of Hades is the fourth book in the bestselling Heroes of Olympus series, set in the action-packed world of Percy Jackson. The stakes have never been higher. If Percy Jackson and Annabeth fail in their quest, there’ll be hell on Earth. Literally. 9780141339184 hb Penguin Frost Hollow Hall Emma Carroll RRP £12.99 £5.99 In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl. It’s all about the dead here, she’s told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all manner of dark secrets...Frost Hollow Hall is a thrilling historical fiction debut. 9780571295449 pb Faber The most comprehensive and definitive Michael Morpurgo collection ever, this gorgeous hardback edition features twenty-five enchanting short stories by the nation’s favourite storyteller - as well as extracts from twenty-five of his bestloved novels. Divided into five parts - covering war, animals, memory, the sea and folk tales - this timeless treasury spans the whole of Michael Morpurgo’s glittering literary career. 9780007395354 hb HarperCollins Gruffalo’s Child Sound Book Julia Donaldson £12.99 £10.99 Growl along with the Gruffalo’s Child as she tip-toes through the snow on a wild, windy and NOISY night! Press the 10 interactive sound buttons on this amazing play-along version of the best-selling THE GRUFFALO’S CHILD and bring the story vividly to life! The perfect gift for all fans of THE GRUFFALO. 9780230757455 hb Macmillan Wibbly Pig Picks a Pet Mick Inkpen RRP £1l.99 £8.99 If you could have any pet at all, what would you choose? Wibbly Pig and Scruffy Pig are worried that Big Pig’s sister’s friend will choose a really boring rabbit at the pet shop. Surely an elephant, a bear or a dinosaur would be much more exciting? Wibbly is one of the most popular characters on CBeebies and his latest picture book adventure is bound to be a firm favourite with pre-schoolers. ‘An irresistible character. 9781444908213 pb Hatchette Stormbringer Philippa Gregory £6.99 £5.99 Luca Vero is a member of the secret Order of Darkness, tasked with searching out and reporting signs of the end of the world. Breaking his journey in Piccolo, he finds a place filled with superstitious fears: of the unknown, of the forces of the sea and sky, of strangers. With him are his loyal friend and servant, Frieze, and his clerk, Brother Peter, as well as the Lady Isolde and her mysterious servant-companion Ishraq. 9780857077363 pb Simon Schuster Brendon Books: 01823 337742 email: brendon books@gmail.com 18
  19. 19. COME AND SEE WHY OUR REPUTATION GOES BEFORE US HICKIES the music store Reading Tiverton Est. 1864 New Pianos Used pianos Digital Pianos Concert/Event Hire Piano Rental from £35.00pm Piano Removals On Site Workshop A fine selection of grand and upright pianos 01884 257211 Tiverton See our showroom at: 7 Lowman Units Lowman Way Tiverton EX16 6SR Just 10 minutes off J27 M5 www.hickies.co.uk Email: pianos@hickies.co.uk 19 FREE taster session of a Fitness League class on Friday 17th January at 10 am at: St George’s Church Hall, Wilton, Taunton. Call Nikki Mumby on 07833 503759 or email: nikki.mumby@tesco.net Bring a fitness mat or large towel.
  20. 20. December Events Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Date 3-5 Event Details Venue Time Drama Blood Brother - Heathfield School Year 11 Tachhi Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Jyotsna Srikanth - tradional indian/Jazz fusion Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 3-7 Musical Cats - Taunton School Brewhouse Various 7 Music Joyful Triumphant – A Celebration of Great Composers - West Somerset Singers Taunton Baptist Church 7.30 Music A Christmas Concert - Taunton Choral Society Music Advent Service - In Ecclesia St John’s Church 6.00 Music In Tune with Heaven: English Church Music of the 19th 20th Century - Bridgwater Choral Society St Mary’s Church, Bridgwater 7.30 Comedy Lucy Porter: Northern Soul Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Music Christmas Carols with Wellington School Chapel Choir Hestercombe Gardens 6.00 Music Mad About ABBA - Voulez Vous (Tribute) Tachhi Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Cathryn Craig Brian Willoughby Wellington Arts Centre 7.30 Variety Billy Fury - The Dansette Days Blakehay Theatre, WSM 7.30 Variety Performance Evening David Hall, S Petherton 7.30 10-12 Drama Blues Twos - Space Companyy Tachhi Morris, Taunton 7.30 11 Drama Treasure Island - Mind the Gap Tachhi Morris, Taunton 11am 12 Music Martin Simpson - Folk music Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 8 Comedy Ist Comedy Quarter Night CICCIC, Taunton 7.30 12-13 Caberet Genesis Christmas Wonderland Wellington Arts Centre 7.30 125jan Pantomime Jack the Beanstalk Playhouse, WSM Various 125jan Pantomime Snow White the Seven Dwarfs Ocatgon, Yeovil Various 13 Music Mellstock Band – A Tale of Two Christmases Regal, Minehead 7.30 Music Carols at Lunchtime - Canticle Choir St John The Evangelist, Taunton 12.45 13 Variety Boing: Pyjama Party - Travelling Light Bristol Old Vic Tachhi Morris, Taunton 11.15/5.30 14 Music Fanfare for Christmas - The Phoenix Singers St James Church, Taunton 7.30 Music String Chamber Concert - Somerset County Orchestra Queen’s College, Taunton 7.30 Music The Dylan Project - songs of Bob Dylan David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Drama Evening of Monologues Festive Tales-Swan Youth Theatre Swan Theatre, Ilminster 7.45 Music Southwest Rocks at Christmas - Rock Show Choruses Tachhi Morris, Taunton 7.30 14-18 Musical The Gingerbread Man - Play by David Wood (daytime performances) Blakehay Theatre, WSM Various 15 Music Carols at Christmas - Yoevil Temple Salvation Army Octagon, Yeovil 3/6.30 16 Music Christmas Concert - Collegium Singers St John’s Church, Wellington 7.30 Music Abba Fever Tribute Taunton RFC Hyde Park 16- 17 Variety Christmas Community Showcase Tacchi Morris, Taunton 7.30 19 Music Heathfield Christmas Concert - Four Choirs Heathfield Community School 7.00 20
  21. 21. December Events (continued) Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Date 19-21 Event Details Venue Time Hansel Gretel - Taunton Theatre Association Castle Green, Taunton Ballet Nutcracker - Ballet Theatre UK Tachhi Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Carols Classics 5 - Bowen Ensemble All Saints Church, Merriott 7.30 Comedy Christmas.Time - Near-ta Theatre (Musical Comedy) Bridgwater Arts Centre Music 20 Drama Carrolling Crumpets - John Kirkpatrick Silver Street Ctre, Wiv. 8.00 Talk Schooldays in West Wales - John Reeve (SIAS) Stoke St Mary V Hall 7.30 20-21 Music Christmas Concert - Taunton Concert Band Tachhi Morris, Taunton 7.30 21 Music Christmas Carols with Amici Hestercombe Gardens 6.00 21-22 Variety Imagine Christmas WOW Performing Arts Group Regal, Minehead Various 22 Music Kid’s Christmas Carol Concert Hestercombe Gardens 4.30 23 Music Nine Lessons Carols - The Phoenix Singers St John Baptist Ch., Wellington 6.30 294jan Pantomime Cinderella - Frome Musical Theatre Company Frome Memorial Theatre Various January Events 4 Talk 4-11 Contact Brendon Books 7.30 Pantomime Mother Goose - Minehead Panto People Regal, Minehead Various 5 Music King’s College Chapel 3.00 5-11 Pantomime Jack and the Beanstall-Wayfarers Pantomime Society Tachhi Morris, Taunton Variety 9 Talk Sir Ranulph Fiennes - Talk followed by book signing (tickets from Brendon Books: 01823 337742) St James Church, Taunton 7.30 10 Talk Puzzles, Posers and Practice - the trials and tribulations of a working archivist. Talk by Esther Hoyle Museum of Somerset, Taunton 2.30 11 Variety Gala Variety Peformance (to support re-opening of Brewhouse) Queen’s College 7.30 13 Talk The Rolle Canal, North Devon - Adrian Wills (SIAS) North Town School, Taunton 7.30 15-16 Dance Glasto! Space Fest 2014 Tachhi Morris, Taunton 7.30 16 Talk The Shock of the Nude - Maggie Giraud Castle Hotel, Taunton 11am 17 Music The Best in UK Stand-Up - Comedy Box Blakehay Theatre, WSM 8.30 Music The Bully Wee Band with Phil Beer David Hall, S Petherton 8.00 Talk Steam in the West Country - Terry Nichols Stoke St Mary V. Hall 7.30 Music Moonrakers Concert - Living Tradition Halsway Manor 8.00 Music UK Pink Floyd Experience (Tribute) Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Music Julian and Jiaxin Lloyd Webber - A Tale Of Two Cellos Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 A Fine Bright Day by Philip Goulding Swan Theatre, Ilminster 7.45 22-26 Pantomime Sleeping Beauty-Wellington Pantomime Group The Wellesley, Wellington 7.30 23 18 20-25 Drama Gervase Phinn - Talk followed by book signing (tickets from Brendon Books: 01823 337742) Light Out of Darkness - A Feast of Music Brazz Comedy Night Castle Hotel, Taunton Music Paul Jones Dave Kelly Acoustic Duo David Hall 8.00 Music 21 Comedy Vienna Mozart Trio Octagon,Yeovil 7.30
  22. 22. January Events (continued) Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Date 24 Event Details Venue Time Music The Dominant Quartet: Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Scherzo,Tchaikosvsky Castle Hotel, Taunton 5.30 Music Paul Carrack Octagon,Yeovil 7.30 Music The Concert Carousel - Music Makers Academy Blakehay Theatre, WSM 2.30/7.30 Music Burns Night Barn Dance - Hobsons Choice (Folk Music) Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Comedy Lee Hurst - Things That Make You Go Aaarggh! Octagon,Yeovil 8.00 Music The Dominant Quartet: Schubert, Borodin/Mozart, Ravel, Tchaikosvsky Castle Hotel, Taunton 10.30/5.30 Talk The Draining of the Somerset Levels - Iain Miles (SIAS) St George’s Ch. Hall, Tiverton 10.30am Music The Dominant Quartet: Haydn, Webern, Langsamer Satz, Tchaikosvsky Castle Hotel, Taunton 10.30 Music The Cosmic Sausages - A ‘Chance to Dance’ Event David Hall, S Petherton 7.30 27 Talk Iron Ore Mining in South West England - Mick Atkinson (SIAS) North Town School, Taunton 7.30 281feb Pantomime YAPS: Dick Whittington Octagon,Yeovil Various 31 Comedy Russell Kane - Smallness Frome Memorial Theatre 8.00 Talk BAC Talk: Getting Published - Sinead Gillespie Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Talk BAC TalkGetting Published: Sinead Gillespie Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 25 26 31 Art Exhibitions December/January Sites of Fact and Fiction by Jenny Graham. Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre. 5th Nov-20th Dec Art for Giving exhibition: Bridgwater Arts Centre: Wed 13 Nov to Fri 20 Dec. Wed – Fri 10 – 3 and Sat 10 – 1 Drawing Museum Lace - Exhibition: Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury. Somerset Revealed: Museum of Somerset. 26 Nov 2013 - 4 Jan 2014 Jack Coulthard at CICCIC, Paul Street Taunton from December 6th – January 2nd 2014. (CICIC closed on December 7th).10 Ishah Rayson - Paintings 10 Dec 2013 - 6 Jan 2014 Hestercombe Gardens 2014 Royal Photographic Society Biennial Exhibition-Taunton Library 9th Dec - 11th January Ilminster Arts Centre: Annual Open Winners Exhibition (for 2013) Mon 6th January - Sat 25th Jan Paintings by Jenny Keogh Taunton Library 13th Jan - 25th Jan 2014 Two of a Kind: Brians Cocks and Billie Willcocks. Ilminster Arts Centre Tue 28th Jan-Sat 15th Feb 2014 The Pop Up Gallery-Taunton Library 27th Jan-1Feb 2014 22
  23. 23. Contacts List Barn, Obridge House Priorswood, Taunton. Contact: Jeremy Harvey. 01823 276421 Barrington Court, Barrington,  Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0NQ 01460 242614 Bishop’s Palace, Cathedral Green, Wells Somerset BA5 2PD 01749 988111 www.bishopspalace.org.uk The Blakehay Theatre, Wadham Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1JZ 01934 645493 Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 brendonbooks@gmail.com Bridgwater Arts Centre, 11-13 Castle Street, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3DD 01278 422 700 The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton TA1 1NF 01823 272671 St Peter St Paul Church, Moor Lane, North Curry Ta3 6JZ 01823 490255 The David Hall, Roundwell St South Petherton. TA13 5AA 01460 240340 info@thedavidhall.org Dillington House, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9DT 01460 258648 dillington@somerset.gov.uk Dunster Tithe Barn 01643 821658 info@dunstertithebarn.org.uk Fyne Court, Broomfield, Somerset TA5 2EQ 01823 451587 Gallery4Art. www.gallery4art.co.uk. 01984 623357 Ginger Fig, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 326798 Halseway Manor, Crowcombe, Taunton, Somerset TA4 4BD 01984 618274 Hestercombe Gardens, Hestercombe, Taunton TA2 8LG 01823 413 923 Hobbyhorse Ballroom, Esplanade, Minehead, Somerset TA24 5QP 01643 702274 Ilminster Arts Centre, East Street, Ilminster TA19 0AN 01460 55783  Imagine Design Create Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 252133 imaginedesigncreate@live.co.uk Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton Somerset TA1 4AA 01823 255088 www.somerset.gov.uk/museums Music in the Quantocks 01823 451162 Night of the Prom: 07973 252 346 Oake Manor Golf Club,Oake Taunton  TA4 1BA 01823 461992 Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil BA20 1UX 01935 422884 Parish Church St John, Wellington, 72 High Street Wellington(01823) 662248 The Playhouse Theatre,High Street,Weston super Mare,BS23 1HP 01934 645544 Porlock Village Hall, Toll Road (New Rd), Porlock TA24 8QD 01643 862717 Queen’s Conference Centre, Trull Road, Taunton Ta1 4QS 01823 272559 contact@queenscollege.org.uk Regal Theatre, 10-16 The Avenue,  Minehead TA24 5AY 01643 706430 mail@regaltheatre.co.uk Richard Huish College, 2 Kings Close,  Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XP 01823 320800 Silver Street Centre, Silver Street,  Wiveliscombe, Taunton, Somerset TA4 2PA 01984 623107 Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society, Field Officer, Peter Daniel, 29 Barbers Mead, Taunton, TA2 8PY. Telephone : 01823 339368. E-mail : peter.daniel51@btinternet.com Somerset Rural Life Museum. Abbey Farm, Chilkwell Street, GlastonburySomerset BA6 8DB 01458 831197 St Mary Magdalene Church, Church Square, Taunton TA1 1SA 01823 272441 St Mary’s Church, St Mary Street, Bridgwater TA6 3EQ 01278 422437 saintmarybridgwater@gmail.com St Mary’s Church, Stogumber office.qtb@btinternet.com St John’s Church, Park Street, Taunton TA1 4DG secretary@stjohnstaunton.org.uk The Swan Theatre, 138 Park Street,Yeovil BA20 1QT swantheatre@gmail.com Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, School Road, Taunton TA2 8PD 01823 41 41 41 info@tacchi-morris.com Taunton Flower Show http://www.tauntonfs.co.uk/ Taunton Library, Paul St, Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XZ 0845 345 9177 Taunton RFC Hyde Park, Hyde Lane, Bathpool, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8BU 01823 336363 Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Somerset TA3 7BL 01823 337172 Temple Methodist Church, Upper High Street, Taunton TA1 3PY (01823) 275765 Tyntesfield Wraxall, North Somerset, BS48 1NT Warehouse Theatre,  Brewery Lane, Ilminster, TA19 9AD Tel 01460 57049 Wellesley Theatre, 50-52 Mantle Street, Wellington TA21 8AU 01823 666668 Wellington Arts Centre, Eight Acre Lane, Wellington, TA21 8PS 01458 250655 Wellsprings Leisure Centre, Cheddon Road, Taunton TA2 7QP 01823 271271 Yeovil Library, The Library, King George Street, Yeovil Somerset BA20 1PY Tel 01823 336370 23
  24. 24. Taunton Youth Dance Company 2013 marks 10 years of Taunton Youth Dance Company (TYDC) at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre. One of TYDC’s Directors, Jenny Copping offers an insight into the company and their mission to bring young dance professionals back to Somerset. Having a dance company such as TYDC in Taunton means young dancers (aged 15-25) at the start of their careers are able to access some great opportunities right on their doorstep. Over the last decade hundreds of young people from across Somerset have worked with TYDC, and former company members have gone on to study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London Contemporary Dance School, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and many other prestigious 24 fessional dance world of taking class and developing performance material, and the opportunity to work as a company with members of various experiences and ages which enriches the work we produce.’ Jenny has been Artistic Director of TYDC for 2 years and worked regularly with the company prior to this. Her aim is to challenge and develop company member’s skills in contemporary and creative dance, offering support, guidance and expertise. ‘We aim to inspire our dancers to fully engage in high quality dance opportunities, making them versatile and adaptable performers.’ says Jenny, who is also Co-ordinator of Dance at The SPACE, a post-16 performing arts college situated next door to TacchiMorris Arts Centre. TYDC are currently on a mission to bring young dance professionals back to Somerset. These young performers are incredible ambassadors for Somerset and TYDC are keen to harness dance universities. their talent to inspire the next generaMany have performed tion of dancers, as Jenny explains ‘We within professional dance are passionate about promoting and companies around the world including supporting young dancers in their BalletBoyz and JV2 (Jasmin Vardimon’s dance progression. We have invested Graduate Company) and have even in our ex-members by supporting toured with hit musical “We Will Rock them in developing work locally that You”. has then been toured to schools and ‘TYDC provides an important opporcolleges across Somerset. We regutunity for young dancers enabling access larly have our ex-students work with to performance and technical training our current company members to help in an environment that isn’t based on them see the potential pathways that a reaching educational criteria.’ explains dance career can take.’ Jenny. ‘It allows an insight into the pro-
  25. 25. The dance workshops in question took place in July and September and were kindly supported by a number of organisations and local businesses, but continued financial investment is needed in order to secure such projects in the future. Any businesses who would like to get involved should contact the arts centre. Over the years TYDC have worked with professional dancers such as Ed Pearce (BalletBoyz), Kay Crook (mapdance), Richard Alston Dance Company, Jasmin Vardimon Company, and Earthfall and are now at an extremely exciting point, as Jenny explains, ‘After a fantastic year involving school tours, professional workshops and a celebratory performance platform, we are once again faced with some great opportunities including a project focusing on WW1 in partnership with Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre and Somerset Heritage Centre.’ The project (for which Taunton Youth Dance Company are applying for Heritage Lottery Funding) will be unfolding throughout the year and will include work with professional companies such as Tavaziva. In May, TYDC dancers will have the chance to work with young hot-shot choreographer James Wilton, who recently choreographed a 3,000 strong team of dancers for the Rugby League World Cup opening ceremony. This exciting opportunity for young male dancers will involve the group creating and rehearsing a piece of work in a day, before performing a curtain raiser for James’ show that evening. This opportunity is extended out to young male dancers across the county. Further information and an application form can be found on the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre website. ‘I love working with TYDC because it is a really fresh and exciting environment to work in.’ says Jenny.‘The Company members are creative and innovative in interpreting ideas and I greatly enjoy how myself and Clare [Parker] bounce ideas off one another as we develop and form the performance work.’ Clare Parker is one of Tacchi-Morris’ 25 new community dance tutors. A former tutor for Richard Alston’s Dance Company, Clare leads Blitz Youth Dance Company for ages 8-11 years and Digit Youth Dance Company for ages 12-14 years. She is an experienced dance professional who is a performer, teacher, and choreographer. In addition to her work with TYDC, Jenny also runs a class for ages 4-6 years at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre called Fun Feet. ‘Inspiring young children of this age to express themselves through movement is wonderful.’ says Jenny. ‘It is also great to see how the Fun Feet students then feed into the dance classes as they grow older developing their skills through Blitz and Digit until they make it back to me in TYDC!’ By Sara Loveridge See TYDC perform in the Christmas Community Dance Show on Tuesday 17th December at 7.30pm. Tickets: £7 / £6 / Concessions / £4.50 Students. At Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, School Road, Taunton. TA2 8PD. Box Office: 01823 414141. See www.tacchi-morris.com. Auditions for TYDC take place each September. For more information see: www.tacchi-morris.com/young-people/tydc or www.tauntonyouthdancecompany.co.uk
  26. 26. The Phoenix Singers Founded in Devon in 1971 by a small group of friends, The Phoenix Singers has grown to become a prominent choir in the Southwest. Now based in Taunton, singers come from a wide regional area. The choir’s concert repertoire has expanded enormously over recent times, made possible by the ability and vast experience of its members. With its eclectic approach to styles and periods of choral music, including contemporary composers and arrangers, The Phoenix Singers perform programmes that often have religious themes and draw heavily on composers of the 16th and 20th centuries. The summer concert usually has more of a light-music feel, featuring jazz standards and folk song. The choir’s musical director since 1996 has been Andrew Maddocks. Andrew 26 ing arts students based at the Tacchi Morris Centre. In March the choir were accompanied by a fine young cellist, Amy Jolly. Amy played memorably and with great expression to accompany a beautiful work entitled Svyati by the much-loved composer John Tavener who, sadly, died on 12th November. trained as a cathedral chorister at Peterborough and as a music student at Cambridge. He has spent his working life in music education, founding The Bridgwater Young People’s Choir in 1983 and conducting The Taunton Children’s Choir in the 1990s. He currently works with The Voices Foundation, a London based charity which promotes singing in schools. The Phoenix Singers are keen to draw young singers into the wonderful tradition of English choral music. To this end, the choir offers four choral scholarships each year, where student singers are supported with a payment towards the costs of singing tuition. Younger members also pay a reduced subscription. The choir regularly invites young performers to be part of their concerts and the Christmas concert on 14th December will feature choirs from local schools and colleges (see below for details). Last summer’s concert at Dunster featured talented dancers from The Space – a group of perform- Concerts often take place in Taunton, the churches of St Mary Magdalene and St James being regular venues. The summer concert has, for the past few years, been held in The Tithe Barn in Dunster where, weather permitting, the audience can also enjoy a picnic with strawberries and wine in the beautiful Andrew Maddocks, the choir’s musical director since 1996 walled garden. The choir sometimes performs in support of local charities and causes such the Beacon Centre at Musgrove Park Hospital. The Phoenix Singers are available to sing at weddings and functions.
  27. 27. Christmas with the Phoenix Singers The Phoenix Singers will be singing in St George’s Church, Dunster as part of the popular candlelight celebrations on Friday 6th December at 7pm See www.dunsterbycandlelight. co.uk On 14th December at 7.30pm, The Phoenix Singers present a family concert in St James’s Church, Taunton. The guest singers for this outreach event will be the choirs of Trull and Kingston St Mary Primary Schools, The Castle School, Taunton, and the chamber choir of Richard Huish College, Taunton. The programme will feature different combinations of the five choirs and there will be opportunities for the audience to be part of the massed choir for some firm favourites including ‘O little town of Bethlehem’, ‘God rest you merry, gentlemen’ and ‘O come all ye faithful’. In addition to organ accompaniment by John Young, The Phoenix Singers are delighted this year to welcome ‘Academy Brass’, a young ensemble from the Royal Academy of Music. On Monday 23rd December at 6.30pm, The Phoenix Singers present their annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols in the candlelit surroundings of St John the Baptist Church, Wellington. The service will include pieces by contemporary composers Paul Mealor and Philip Stopford and a setting of ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ by organist and choirmaster of Wells Cathedral, Matthew Owens. There is no admission charge, but a collection will be taken. 27 See The Phoenix Singers 7pm Friday 6 December Dunster by Candlelight St George’s Church, Dunster 7.30pm Saturday 14th December Fanfare for Christmas at St James’s Church, Taunton Tickets £12 from TIC 01823 432704 or www.thephoenixsingers.co.uk 6.30pm Monday 23rd December Festival of Nine Lessons Carols St John Baptist Church, Wellington No admission charge but please apply for tickets on 01823 432704 7.30pm Saturday 15th March 2014 Sounds Spiritual ll St John Baptist Church, Wellington Further enquiries: Frances Webb 07970 710056 email: franbb@gmail.com www.thephoenixsingers.co.uk
  28. 28. The Christmas Arts Crafts Collection at Ilminster Arts Centre The Christmas Collection is an annual event that celebrates the creativity of local artists and craft makers. Visual Arts Co-ordinator Sue Bishop offers a flavour of what visitors can expect from this festive exhibition. ‘One of the aims of Ilminster Arts Centre is to support local artists and crafts people through a programme of exhibitions.’ explains Sue. ‘By offering their work to the public, we hope to open visitor’s eyes to the richness of art in Somerset, and the importance of supporting the regions creative talent.’ The Christmas Collection has become something of an Ilminster tradition, with a wide-range of high-quality crafts and artwork displayed each year. ‘We [the gallery team] look out for makers and artists when visiting venues during Somerset Art Weeks and other events such as the 10 Parishes Festival.’ says Sue, herself an artist. ‘We also interview those who approach us individually and always welcome more enquiries. The best way to do this is to leave your contact details at the Arts Centre.’ Those displaying work this year include Tania Alcock who produces vibrant textile wall hangings and wearable accessories, plus a range of soaps. Other artists working with textiles include Diana Pattinson, whose series of felt wall hangings take inspiration form the colours and textures of the natural world, and Jackie Williams from Dommett Hill Farm who uses pure Shetland wool to create beautiful scarves. Alison Tutcher has been making hats for twenty years and creates headwear for all seasons and occasions, while Kathryn Chambers (aka k3n) is displaying a range of quilted textile art. There is also a selection of original knitwear by Jane Fenn-Smith and Carole Pragnell. 28 Australian-born ceramicist Drew Robins works with stoneware clays which are thrown by hand on a potter’s wheel and decorated before being fired. His range of functional pottery and decorative agateware pieces are designed to be used on an everyday basis, while June Dobson’s hand built pottery and thrown bowls are a celebration of nature with their impressions of flower and plant forms. Ross Pike of R and M Designs, who has recently exhibited his work at The Somerset Guild of Craftsmen in Somerton creates bespoke furniture and wood carvings that are contemporary and stylish, while Jeremy Briggs’ wood-turned vessels make for the perfect centrepiece in any home. Glass artists include Lorraine Chalmers from Yeo River Glass who creates elegant designs in bold, bright colours using the art of glass fusing, while stained glass artist Sue Heys produces attractive pieces inspired by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. She is also a member of the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen. Emerging artist Janine Starr specialises in making glass beads, bead sets and sterling silver jewellery, and Josephine Wadman is a lampwork bead and jewellery maker who uses a variety of Italian Murano, German and American glass to great effect, while Norma Dale creates stunning statement jewellery using wire and beads. Well-known for her fantastical and humorous paintings and etchings, artist Nancy Farmer has created a collection of baubles, coasters, and candles that are certain to create a talking point at any Christmas party. Earlier in the year Ilminster Arts Centre held its first ever Creative Photography Open, and as part of their prize, the winners are displaying their work alongside The Christmas Collection. ‘The winners were offered a joint exhibition as part of the Arts Centre’s commitment to encouraging photographers who see their work as an art form.’ explains Sue. ‘We will be having another photographic competition in 2014 and we would encourage all photographers to have their names registered with us as soon as possible.’ The Arts Centre proved to be a big draw for Sue and her husband when they moved to the South West several years ago. ‘I had plans for developing my own artwork and having my own exhibition.’ says Sue, a former teacher who had worked in education for thirty two years. ‘Volunteering at the Arts Centre gave me that opportunity and soon afterwards an exhibition in the Café Gallery, which really inspired me to go forward.’ Sue initially began volunteering as a front desk steward before taking on the role of Visual Arts Co-ordinator three years ago. ‘The opportunity to take the galleries forward and discover new artists and groups has enabled me to develop as an artist myself, make friends and join them for exhibitions - and it has been a wonderful experience.’ By Sara Loveridge See The Christmas Collection from Monday 25th November - Saturday 21st December. Open Monday-Friday 9.30am4.30pm, Saturday 9.30am2.30pm. Free entry. At Ilminster Arts Centre, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. Box Office: 01460 54973. www.themeetinghouse.org.uk.
  29. 29. From the left: June Dobson, DVA Images; Jeremy Briggs, Hollow Forms; Sue Heys, Fan Lamp From the left: Lorraine Chalmers, Yeo River Glass; Baubles, Nancy Farmer; Drew Robbins, Fluted Vase; Red Dot Earrings, Janine Starr From the left: Tania Alcock, Textile Hanging; Norma Dale, Kintted Wire/Pearl Cuff; Diana Pattinson, Cockerel Image; Scarves 005: Jackie Williams 29
  30. 30. I lminster Entertainments Society was formed in 1947 with its inaugural production of “The Farmer’s Wife”. The society presents five productions in the theatre every year including its very popular Christmas show. The production for this year is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. As Christmas Day approaches, Ebenezer Scrooge resents the interruption to his business of money-making. The arrival of the ghost of his dead friend and business partner, Jacob Marley, and three Spirits of Christmas make him stop and rethink his own life and his attitude to those around him, the world in general and Christmas in particular. Charles Dickens published his wellknown tale in December 1843 and this adaptation was produced quickly for the stage by CZ Barnett early in 1844. It brings to life all the favourite characters from the book and presents Dicken’s moral tale highlighting the hardships faced by the poor in a country which acts hard against those who cannot afford the cost of living. Using Barnett’s script and music of the time, Ilminster Entertainment Society are looking forward to presenting this energetic production of a Christmas ghost story that is funny, sad and ultimately heart-warming. The show will run from Wednesday 11th December to Saturday 14th December at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday 14th December at 2.30pm. Tickets cost £8.50 (adult), £7.50 (concession) and £7.00 (child) and are available from Lanes Garden Shop, 17 Silver Street, Ilminster or by calling the Box Office on 07943 779880. 30 Some years ago Ilminster Entertainments Society we were lucky enough to obtain premises at the former fruit and vegetable warehouse on Brewery Lane. Through much hard work, grants and donations, a theatre was formed which now seats 155 people and represents one of the most well equipped, professional-standard amateur theatres in the county. The theatre now stages IES productions as well as outside theatre and musical companies and also plays host to Ilminster Cinema Club, Ile Valley Flower Club and many other social clubs. More information about the theatre and what is going on can be found on the website: www.thewarehousetheatre.org.uk
  31. 31. Interior of Warehouse Theatre Cratchits in rehearsal “... I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year ...” The character of Scrooge is thought to represent the conflicting feelings he had for his own father who was imprisoned Marshalsea Prison when he was only 12. He was forced to leave school, seek lodgings and work in a blacking factory, a situation that continued after his father’s release. Originally Dickens was going to publish a political pamphlet entitled ‘An Appeal to 31 the People of England on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child’ following the Second Report of the Children’s Employment Commission of February 1843. The idealisaton of Christmas is foreshadowed in The Pickwick Papers which he wrote in 1837. Following a fund raising speech for the poor at the Manchester Athaneum, he began A Christmas Carol believing that it would be a more effective way of communicating his message than a polemical pamphlet. He completed the majority of the book in only six weeks. Disappointed with his earnings from his previous novel, Martin Chuzzlwit, he negotiated a percentage of the profits rather than a lump sum payment with Chapman and Hall. When the book was published it received, for the most part, great critical acclaim. It did not bring him the profits he had hoped. However, it went into its seventh edition within 6 months and received widespread critical acclaim. William Thackeray described it as: ‘a national benefit and to every man or woman who reads it.’ It is credited with influencing the way we observe Christmas in this country today throwing off the shackles of the sober Puritan observance and introducing the idea of festive generosity. ‘Scrooge’ and ‘Bah! Humbug!’ have passed into the English language and it popularised the prase Merry Christmas Charles Dickens in 1842
  32. 32. Carols and Classics at Merriott Carols Classics 5. Merriott. Friday 20th December. In its 5th year, this annual treat of Carols Classics by the Bowen Ensemble will again be performed at the All Saints Church, Merriott TA165PS. The Bowen Ensemble consisting of young professional, and post graduates from London Music Colleges, will again provide an evening of Carols Classical music with Organ, Piano, and Strings from composers such as Schuman, Haydn, Debussy and more. These talented musicians are at the start of their professional careers, and individually perform regularly in London at all the major venues, and across the UK and Europe with leading orchestras such as the LSO, Southbank Sinfonia, and the Philharmonia. With Mince pies and Mulled wine to start the Christmas Festivities this is a Friday evening not to be missed. This is a popular event and with over 160 attending last year so be sure to book / reserve your tickets early. Tickets £7 available from Osbornes Store, Broadway, Merriott; or the Town Hall, Crewkerne. or Tel. 07870404631 or 0146076360 . 7:00pm Refreshments for a 7:30pm concert start Why Not Advertise in LAMP? Make yourself visible while supporting the promotion of the artistic community in Somerset LAMP Magazine c/o Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings Bath Place Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 lampmagazine1@gmail.com 32
  33. 33. Sinead Gillespie Introduces the first BAC Talk at Bridgwater Arts Centre in January Sinéad Gillespie was born in Northern Ireland, a child of the troubled 60s, now living and writing in Somerset. She has been the Writer in Residence at Bridgwater Arts Centre for the past four years. On October 24th Sinéad’s debut novel …but I love you was launched. On January 31st she will present the first in the series of BACTalks at the Arts Centre about her writing journey thus far. We invited her to give us a preview. “Anyone can tell you how they got published. And however it comes about, someone in that audience will be thinking you just got a lucky break. It’s what I thought every time I listened to published authors. In part I did, but I worked very hard every step of the way to overcome obstacles and turn them into opportunities. I’ll save that part of the story for the talk, but essentially it’s about creating your own luck and a tough work ethic which is something other would-be writers can do. I think a more interesting question is why I do I write? What is this compulsion to put pen to paper and share stories? Things happen to shut a girl up: society, religion, attitudes, betrayals. And as the outer voice is silenced, the inner voice cries. For years mine found solace in academia as I proved my worth with a Masters’ Degree and I rewarded myself with drama school. What eventually broke the dam was working with my Asperger’s son, and supporting parents in the same position. I learned that we all shared a story, a secret story of pain, guilt, shame and fear as we faced the world with our special children. I decided it was time to tell. I wrote a play called ‘From Within’ about living with autism, produced with full Arts Council funding, gaining a place on the Outstanding Performers List 2006 in Brighton’s Fringe Festival. …but I love you burst into my consciousness while living in Brighton observing reactions to same-sex relationships, leading to observations about mixed messages and misread signs, and ultimately, the many different things meant by that little phrase …but I love you . The story is about two women who are going to fall in love and all the people who help or hinder. It’s an exploration of sexual identity, prejudice, and understanding. I like to challenge the reader to really look at their own beliefs by identifying with a character then observing the outcome of the plot.” www.sineadgillespie.co.uk or follow on Twitter @SineadGBoys, or Facebook Sinéad Gillespie Author Page. The BACTalk is a free event on Jan 31st 2014. But I love You is avaialable from Brendon Books, Bath lace, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 email: brendonbooks@gmail. com www.brendonbooksonline.co.uk Want to subscribe to LAMP? Have the next six issues of LAMP sent directly to you on publication. Cost £10. LAMP Magazine, c/o Brendon Books, Old Brewery Buildings Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 lampmagazine1@gmail.com 33
  34. 34. The Lost Islands of Somerset A new book has just been published by Somerset Heritage Service on ‘The Lost Islands of Somerset’. Over 100 islands of hard geology poke up out of the peat and clay of the Somerset Levels and Moors floodplain. They have been the focus for human activity for the last 10,000 years and have a unique history that is explored in a new book ‘The Lost Islands of Somerset: exploring a unique wetland heritage’ by Richard Brunning, the Levels and Moors Archaeologist for Somerset County Council. The booklet is the product of a project that has been investigating the archaeology of some of the islands with funding from the Levels and Moors Local Action Group and the County Council. Saxon Causeway near Glastonbury The book briefly describes the islands and their surrounding wetland landscape, how they were linked by wooden trackways in the prehistoric period and how the floodplain was gradually reclaimed in the RomanoBritish and Medieval periods. A dozen of the island are then covered in more detail, with especial focus on islands such as Muchelney and Aller where geophysical survey and excavation took place. Lost Islands is avaialable from: Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 Price:£5.00 Burow Mump Skulls uncovered in a Somerset quarry have revealed the oldest cemetery in the UK. is part of a raised island of hard rock above the surrounding Levels and Moors floodplain. Radiocarbon dating of two skulls found at a sand quarry in Greylake near Middlezoy has revealed Somerset to be the home of the earliest known cemetery in the UK. Somerset County Councillor Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Community services said: “Somerset’s wonderfully rich heritage plays a big part in attracting visitors. I’m delight that this project has thrown new light on to these exciting finds.” Dr Richard Brunning, from Somerset County Council’s Heritage Service who is leading the Lost Islands of Somerset Project, said: “This was amazing news and was just the result we were hoping for. It shows that a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer group was operating from the island and burying its dead there. Such open air cemeteries are extremely rare in Europe and this is the only one known from the UK.” This internationally important discovery shows that by around 8,300 BC Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) hunter-gatherers were burying their dead on the island. All the other human remains from this early period in Britain have been found in caves. Flint tools were also found in large numbers on the site in the 1950s suggesting that it was used as a long-term camp site. More analysis will be carried out on the skulls and the tools to shed light on how this ancient community lived and died. As part of Somerset County Council’s, ‘Lost Islands of Somerset’ project, a team investigating the archaeology of the Somerset Levels has revealed this amazing find. The skulls are held by the Blake Museum in Bridgwater and have been dated at 10,000 years old. They came from the remains of five bodies discovered in 1928 at the sand quarry in Greylake, which 34
  35. 35. Poetry Corner: Candy Bright Since moving to Exmoor a few years back I have been able to indulge myself in a passion that has been burning for decades, that passion is poetry. It has been more than that, it has been a friend. I have been asked why do I write poetry? It is for the same reason I read poetry- to find a common space where even if just for a moment there is a shared understanding. Of course there is the added bonus when the words work, really work and it is an explosive excitement that ensues. When reading a poem that hits me straight in the gut, the heart; my head shouts ‘YES!’ it is a synergy unlike any other. Always a good poem stands out as one that I wish I had written myself. When I start work on a poem it will not leave me alone be it day or night, like a needy child; until it is done-as though it has it’s own entity. BLANKETS They are often scratchy, old and brown but roll up quite nicely to fit snuggly under arm. They know us well. We may try to leave them here or there and be lighter for five or ten but just when you think them gone there they are back again. Oh thorns in sides flies in ointments and spanners in works should you not let us be? There are times when it looked like sun down early or the light bulb spent as darkness descends all aroundbut there they have unravelled themselves covered heads and we are pinned to the groundunable to see beyond the weave unable to talk to beg our leave until they are presently done with we. . Ah splinters in eyes and stones in shoes, 35 Achilles heels would you not let us be free? Yet we softly whisper to ourselves it is we who can’t breathe without you, we pretend to leave you about the place and damn the soul but save the faceyet we awake in the night to search for then find you and comfort us all in this dread. Where do we begin and end? are we cut from the same cloth and bound by the same thread? Oh broken wings that never will fly lets cover up forever you and I. SEARCH Can seeking and searching ever end and what the hell is it for a hunger that’s never satisfied a cell with forever locked door. Does everyone have this feeling? can it be a common theme? A sense of loss and hope to reclaim a pain in the soul so hard to sustain, I have named it as madness I have blamed it on birth I have begged for the magic of past lives to unearthI have raged with the sea and sat beneath trees and still it evades me whatever it be NEANT The picture framed of the space in between an afterthought of an afterbirth of what might have been of a half life in the half light of the space that’s left in between. Wedged in Henge like of immovable stone that no miracle will roll away to discover an absent saviour for that brighter day. The nihilistic force bearing down into the vacuous void made flesh. In go folded letters, pills and crumpled thoughts to the space in between, the black hole takes them somewhere we have never been and back again to the space that’s left in between. Candy reads regularly for the Juncture 25 Poetry Group for which she is ‘honoured to be a member’. An anthology of her poems, Candy Colours, is available from Brendon Books. She also appears in two anthologies, Freeze Frame and Juncture 25, also available from there. Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 email:brendonbooks@gmail.com
  36. 36. Reaching for the Stars..... Huish student Matt Konig won this year’s Brunner Creative Writing Competition for Richard Huish College and its partner schools. In all, there were 202 entries. The titles were prompted by the short stories and novels of science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, himself an Old Boy of what was then Richard Huish Grammar School. Matt has produced a suitably dystopian view in his version of ‘the Awakening, ’ with an enemy worthy of Dr Who! The description of the sight that greets Barker as he emerges from Exit3 creates a powerful image. The full text of the winning entry follows over the next two pages. winners of both competitions Bottom Ellie Shopland-Botez (Bishop Fox’s), Mabel Matthews (Haygrove), Lauren Bleasby (Stanchester) 2nd row: Phoebe Tootill, Grace Maddison (Haygrove), Matt Konig, Helen Gardner 3rd row:Matt Konig, Lucy Thorne, Melissa Eveleigh 4th row: mary King, Hannah Govan, Sam Dunnett 5th row:Will Sweet (Heathfield), Samuel Hunt (Haygrove), Luke Townsend, Back row: Alex Chadwick, Dan Wright, Douglas Marshall Lucy Thorne (Lucas cup Winner) and Matt Konig (Brunner winner) 36 The Awakening by Matt Konig Gareth Barker did not know what his train had just run over. It was an unexpected interruption on a previously routine shift. One minute, he was speeding through the tunnels underneath London’s north bank, keeping an eye out for signals on the tracks ahead. Then, a jolt. His first thoughts were of the horror stories he had overheard during staff training at Ashfield, of drivers hitting concrete blocks or suicidal humans on the tracks. But those accidents happened on the surface lines; the route that Gareth covered on his shift was more or less completely underground. No, this was something else entirely. Gareth’s first instinct was to stop his train; he pulled down sharp on the braking lever and brought the train to a halt. Once it had stopped, he reached over the train’s control panel and picked up a phone. He dialled the number for the Underground control room 55 Broadway, not far away from the nearest station, St James’ Park – and raised the receiver. “Train 5731, calling to report possible impact on undercarriage, will try and investigate, over.” Nothing. “Train 5731, is there anyone there, over?” Still nothing. Gareth put the receiver down. Great - now the phones weren’t working. Standing up and adjusting his tie, he then opened the carriage door behind him and stepped into the passenger area full of commuters. He moved swiftly through the carriages; as he went through each one, he heard brief snatches of dialogue, of phone calls to bosses warning them that they would be late, of anxious parents reassuring their children that they wouldn’t be underground forever. “No, I’m…I’m on the Circle line…just left St James’ Park… no…no, not by 10…maybe an hour if I’m lucky… yeah, we just had a huge jolt…” “Is it OK if we get the later tour now? I think it’s every half an hour, so as long as we get there before it closes…”
  37. 37. “Hold on, Janine, I’ll ask him…do you know what that was?” Gareth realised that the last comment, from a balding man with a guitar case in one hand and a mobile phone in the other, was aimed at him. Most passengers didn’t choose to speak to staff, and if they did, it was usually a torrent of abuse; Gareth had been on the receiving ends of these tirades more than once “That’s what I’m going to find out,” he replied. Gareth opened the door at the end of the last carriage and peered out into the dim tunnel. Even after pulling out a torch from his fluorescent jacket and shining it on the tracks, Gar Reaching for the Stars… Gareth could only see ahead for a few feet. He closed the train door and hopped down onto the track, then walked on ahead, taking care not to step on the electrified rails. He found nothing. No dead bodies, no concrete slabs. The beam of his torch revealed nothing, save for rats scurrying in the pits beneath the rails, and the odd piece of litter, perhaps blown in from one of the neighbouring stations. Perhaps there had been nothing on the tracks, and Gareth had imagined it. Perhaps. The passengers were still waiting when Gareth re-entered his train; thankfully there had not been any riots or mutinies in his absence. Either the commuters this morning were very good at waiting, or the stories from staff training hadn’t all been true. If it was the former, then there appeared to be one exception; the balding man from earlier was stood by the door, fists clenched, with impatient eyes showing no traces of bonhomie. “What was it?” the balding man asked. “I haven’t found anything yet,” Gareth replied, “but-“ “Oh, for God’s sake.” “Sir-“ “You don’t get it, do you? I’m half an hour late for my board meeting now - how am I going to explain myself? My train crashed into nothing?” “Sir, I’m only doing my job, we don’t usually have to deal with things like this.” 37 “Things like what? Like what we just ran over? You don’t know that, do you-“ The lights flickered off. Slowly, as the passengers around him turned and looked in confusion, Gareth became aware of a sound. tak tak tak tak tak It was a rhythmic hollow tapping noise, echoing off the brick walls, coming from outside the train. Coming from underneath the train. taktaktaktaktak TAKTAKTAKTAKTAK Gareth had no idea what the thing bursting through the floor was. He didn’t recognize the single bulbous, bloodshot eye, darting from passenger to passenger, blinking rapidly; nor the pale, spindly limbs, the left one crushing the balding man’s ribcage, the right one fumbling around blindly in the darkness; nor its terrible scream, the cry of a tuneless violin in the hands of a novice. He knew what it was saying, though. Its speech was slow at first. “Who’s… you got…who’s there…for…my board…for God’s…” Gradually, its words came out faster and faster, until the whole carriage was ringing with its words. “GET THE LATER…MYSELF MY TRAIN…LIKE WHAT…LINE JUST LEFT ST JAMES…WHO’S THERE…FIND OUT…” This was not speech. This was a baby mimicking mummy and daddy, desperately trying to adapt overheard conversations to its own mouth. In that moment, another word surged through Gareth’s mind. Run. He ran through the carriages, surprising those commuters in the back of the train who were still unaware of the massacre at the front. He ran out into the tunnel, almost spraining his ankle on the cab footplate, and down the tracks. He ran and ran and ran, away from the train, away from whatever that thing was. Whatever it was his train had just run over. Gareth only stopped running when he chanced upon an exit; a solid metal door set in the tunnel wall, with a green “WAY OUT” sign beckoning above. He leant on the door, mopping his brow, a marathon runner at the finish line. Confused and muddled thoughts raced through his head, thoughts of the passengers he had left behind, thoughts of what might be happening in those carriages now, thoughts of the garbled voice of that creature, screaming and yelling and – tak tak tak tak tak TAK TAK TAK Not even daring to look back, Gareth opened the door, ran through, and slammed it shut. He could hear heavy, laboured breaths moving behind the door, punctuated with the odd half-syllable snatched from the mouth of some dead commuter. After what seemed like hours – although Gareth knew it could only have been a few seconds – the breathing faded, the footsteps passed, and he was alone once more. Gareth cautiously advanced, down the corridor and through another emergency door, and behind it, another hallway; however, this one was adorned with posters and signs. “Exit 3, for Houses of Parliament” read one, and at last Gareth knew where he was. He broke into a run again, following the signs that promised an escape from this place – the place he now knew as Westminster station. He ran up an escalator, down another passage, into the ticket hall (unusually empty for rush hour), and down one final corridor. Gareth knew where he was now; he had followed this route many times before. At the end of the passage was Exit 3 itself, a short flight of steps that came out right underneath Big Ben. And it was on fire. The clock tower’s masonry was charred and burnt. The ornate clock face was shattered. The spire was missing. Fiery plumes of ash rose from Whitehall. Sirens and screams wailed in the distance. Pale spindly shapes, bigger than the infant Gareth had seen in the tunnel, climbed the walls of the office buildings, ripping out windows and furniture and people. London was bleeding to death.
  38. 38. My Favourite... We asked Jeremy Harvey, Chairman of the Somerset Art Gallery Trust and former headteacher of Bishop Fox’s School, to tell us about his favourite books and pieces of art, music and drama. Choosing one book is not easy because my favourite book is often the one I’m reading at the time, and the same applies to the music I’m hearing and the art I’m enjoying. So I’m stretching the parameters to include works that I return to again and again. The book I’ve read a dozen times is Mr.Lyward’s Answer by Michael Burn. It’s about George Lyward’s therapeutic work with intelligent and emotionally damaged boys/young men at Finchden Manor. Reading it tipped me into teaching, and convinced me of the need to discern a person’s emotional readiness. Two recent novels which I’ve returned to with delight are Muriel Barberry’s A Rembrandt today would long to paint Judi Dench’s portrait.. We have, however, his self-portraits – I must see the one in the restored Kenwood House – and his amazing Return of the Prodigal Son (Hermitage, St. Petersburg) and his pen and ink drawings, such as Saskia Sleeping. His sepia ink is my favourite colour Sir Edward Elgar camped near Stratford for many Augusts and enjoyed many plays. Favourites are A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hal Falstaff in Henry 1V Pt 1. The one production I wish I could see is Peter Brook’s The Dream, which I’ve only read about. Literature and the fine arts, music and drama are gifts, ‘favourite things’, treasures. English is my main language but Saskia Sleeping - Rembrandt for drawing. Mr Lyward’s Answer Michael Burn The Elegance of the Hedgehog which is about a caretaker (the hedgehog) in a Paris apartment block, and Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture which is set in an Irish mental asylum. (I’d like to recommend the film Philomena, the harrowing Irish story of a boy taken from his young unmarried mother (Judi Dench): close ups of her face fascinated me.) 38 Music now is more central these days. I grew up on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Chopin’s piano pieces, and Flanders and Swan’s songs. Now unaccompanied Bach cello suites and a Mozart piano concerto especially thrill. And listening to R3’s Essential Classics introduces works by other composers and interviews of interesting people. Best of all I like to hear live music, such as the Taunton Sinfonietta’s recent concert. I love reading Under Milk Wood aloud, preferably with others. Its word play is so imaginative and enjoyable. For drama is best experienced live. We’ve A Midsummer Night’s Dream luckily I can enjoy imagination, skill and creativity in all these domains across other languages and cultures.

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