Category Archives: west somerset

NEW GRANT TO PAY FOR WATCHET SUMMERTIME FESTIVAL

Watchet Coastal Community Team (CCT) is delighted to have been awarded a grant of £4,200 by the Big Lottery’s Awards for All. The bid for the grant had been put together by a team comprising Watchet CCT, Watchet Summertime, Halsway Manor and Pebbles Cider bar, and is intended to celebrate the heritage of Watchet. The activities will be run by Watchet Summertime, and will include music, walks and workshops to celebrate Watchet’s heritage for everyone to enjoy.

The Watchet Summertime Team have been beavering away and, thanks to this grant and local sponsorship, the activities can now be seen in the brochure and posters which are being widely disseminated.

Music

The week starts (11 August) with a concert in St Decuman’s Church by the well-regarded Kitty Macfarlane, who is supported by Hannah Cumming and Jon Dyer (both of whom played a fantastic concert last at St Decuman’s last year).

The week continues with lots more music, starting with a Sea Shanty Workshop for all in The Boat Museum on Sunday, and gigs in local pubs and bars during the week. Lost Coyotes will play in Pebbles on Sunday evening, the talented Lukas Drinkwater in The London Inn on Monday evening and David Milton will be singing outside Contains Art on Wednesday evening (at the opening of the Summertime Art Exhibition).

Tom Moore and Archie Churchill Moss sing on Wednesday evening, The Open Mic Sessions, with lots of local musicians are in The Marquee behind the Star on Thursday evening, Martyn Babb, Tony Piper and crew will be ‘Hauling on the Halliards’ with their sea shanties on Friday evening at The Boat Museum, and there will also be a Family Ceilidh with Gadarene in Knight’s Templar School on Friday 17th in the evening.

The week comes to a musical close with Andy Barratt and friends, Jessie and The Skunknecks and Turnette Doone and the explosive and celebrated Summertime Firework Display by Fire Magic on Saturday 18th . Most of the music events are free for the audience except for the Opening Concert and the Family Ceilidh.

Walks
This year there are three walks, suitable for families who want to know more about the area. On Monday afternoon The West Somerset Mineral Line Association will start from The Market House Museum. David Milton will be your guide on his inimitable Watchet History Walk on Thursday early evening, and Paul Upton will talk you through Watchet’s Architectural Walk around the town with the option of extending your walk up to St Decuman’s Church and Well on Saturday morning.

Workshops
The Lottery Grant has enabled Watchet Summertime to hold several workshops during the week, all of which are free for participants; starting with the aforementioned Shanty Workshop with Pete Truin on Sunday 12 August. Two Rivers Paper Company will be on The Esplanade on Tuesday and showing all ages how to make paper. Watchet Market House Museum are running a workshop with the subject ‘Watchet and The Civil War’ in the Methodist School Room on Wednesday morning (15th).

There are also  two workshops geared up to 12 + young adults this year. Alice Maddicott is running a Poetry Workshop in the Library ‘Mythical Creatures and Alternative Realms’ on Wednesday 15th in the afternoon, and on Saturday morning 18th Cat Mills will run a Jewellery Workshop on The Esplanade (it will be free for participants to work with copper but there will be a small charge for items made of silver). On Friday afternoon, 17 August, Jan Martin will run a Book Binding Workshop outside Contains Art, which will be suitable for older children or adults.

Here are the listings issued by the organisers.

Monday 13th August
Watchet Summertime is running ‘A Day for Change’ on the Esplanade between 10am and 4pm. This will be a mixture of workshops and demos, information stalls and activities for all ages on the theme of positive changes we can all make in our lives. Come and find out more and get involved!

Tuesday 14th August
Tuesday is Family Craft Day, with workshops and demos all day, for all the family to have a go! Find your inner craftsperson, and make this the year you try something new. In the evening Watchet Summertime Art Exhibition will be launched (6pm onwards). Come and mingle with local artists and listen to David Milton sing.

Wednesday 15th August
As well as the workshops, Alexandra Simson (Story Well) will be doing two session of Storytelling, ‘Summer Magic with Story Well’ at 11am and 12 noon, in The Library. Her earlier session will be for younger children (up to 6 or 7) and the second session for children slightly older.

Thursday 16th August
Watchet Summertime’s Open Mic will be on The Esplanade from 10 am until late afternoon (then moving to the marquee behind The Star) with a host of local musicians. There will be Charity Stalls on The Esplanade all day, come and find out about local charities and spend to help them. In the evening Watchet Community Cinema are putting on an open air film, Grease on The Esplanade. Bring a chair and suitable clothing (though we hope for a lovely evening!). Maybe break out your fifties clothing and join in with the fun.

Friday 17th August
A day for children of all ages! In the morning Lyn Routledge will be demonstrating her Trapeze skills and encouraging the brave to join in. Watchet Town Council Fun Day starts at 12 noon and there will be Punch and Judy and Pirates, Storytelling and Puppets, Balloons and magic, Popcorn and candy floss, a ball pool and Sumo suits! Watchet’s Super Ducks will be competing in A Duck Race, in the afternoon. Which one will be the winner!

Saturday 18th August
Watchet’s celebrated Fireworks go off with a bang at 10pm, but before then there will be music of all types galore from 2pm and a Hog Roast from 6pm.

PLUS!

Monday 27th August Bank Holiday Monday
This year we will be holding our beautiful Candle Float on August Bank Holiday Monday (when tides are more suitable) but we will be selling the candles during Summertime week. Don’t miss out.

Please see the attached poster and listing for our full programme, or check out our FB page for Watchet Summertime or the webpage

www.watchetsummertime.btck.co.uk/

COMING UP THE REGAL THEATRE MINEHEAD

GUYS AND DOLLS
A Musical Fable of Broadway
Based on the Story and Characters of David Runyon
Music and Lyrics by FRANK LOESSER

The Regal Theatre presents it 2018 Summer Show at the Regal Theatre Monday 8 – Saturday 18 August with Guys and Dolls by Frank Loesser.  Opening on Broadway in 1950, the show received unanimously positive reviews from critics and won a raft of awards.  Frequently revived with star casts, this popular musical comedy is now performed at the Regal Theatre with an all-star cast of local talent

All the hot gamblers are in town, and they’re all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s incarnation of “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”; the only problem is, he needs $1,000 to find a safe place for the game. Throw in Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission she runs; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan’s $1000 bet that he can’t get Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana; Miss Adelaide, who wants Nathan to marry her; Police Lieutenant Brannigan, who always seems to appear at the wrong time and you have a set-up for a cracking show.

Based on the story and characters of David Runyon and with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, this is a popular musical which includes favourites like ‘Fugue for Tinhorns’; ‘Luck Be a Lady’ and ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat’.

Performances begin at 7.30pm and tickets priced at £9 (adults), £8.50 (Friends of the Regal), £4.50 (16 and under & ES40s) and £20 (family ticket), are now available from the Regal Box Office (01643 706430), 10am – 3pm Monday – Friday. Opening night offer £5 per ticket. Hurry before tickets sell out!  No performance on Sunday 12 August. No matinées.

Apologies that online booking is currently unavailable. The service will be restored very shortly.

Also coming up…

The first of a monthly Sunday afternoon Jazz club
PETE ALLEN HOT 4
On Sunday 12 August from 3pm to 5.30pm in the Regal Theatre Bar

The Pete Allen Hot 4 gather to present the first of a monthly Sunday afternoon Jazz club.

For those who love jazz, this will be an entertaining musical selection of happy traditional jazz that everyone can enjoy and understand. A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon listening to Pete on saxophone accompanied by drums, bass and piano or guitar/banjo.

Tickets all cost £12.00 and are now available from the Regal Box Office (details as above).

The Jazz Club will continue to meet on the second Sunday of each month.  Next date will be Sunday 9 September

MINEHEAD TO WELCOME TOP UK AND EUROPEAN JET SKI RACERS

P1 AquaX Championships will serve up two days of high-speed marine motorsport action at the Minehead Summer Festival on the weekend of 4-5 August.

More than 40 jet ski riders from seven countries will head to Minehead Bay on the West Somerset coast to compete for UK and European P1 AquaX titles. This will be the first visit to Minehead by P1 AquaX since the race series was launched in the UK in 2011, and it now stages events in the USA, Malaysia and mainland Europe.

The Minehead Summer Festival has come about through a partnership between the Minehead Events Group, Minehead Coastal Communities Team, ThunderCat powerboats and P1 AquaX. It is hoped that the weekend will become an annual event to entertain residents and attract visitors to the town to raise its profile and boost the local economy. The double bill of fast and furious jet ski and powerboat racing will be free to watch and Andy Hadley, chairman of the Minehead Events Group, said: “As a fun weekend for all the family to enjoy, we are hoping to attract visitors from far and wide to watch the top class jet ski and powerboat racing, and I want to thank local sponsors Amicus Law, Beaver Ford, CJ Lynch & Sons, Autohaus and Jewson for their support in making this event possible.”

Mayor of Minehead, Cllr Norman Hercock, is looking forward to the Summer Festival: “I’m sure all the sporting action that will take place on Minehead seafront will deliver a special and entertaining weekend for both local residents and holidaymakers alike.”

Former world champion jet skier and now Global Head of P1 AquaX, Lisa Barsby, explains: “Our events take place on the sea with simple, wide-open race courses that give riders the chance to open up their throttles and enjoy the full performance of the craft. The racing includes both sprint and endurance classes, lasting about 10 minutes and 30 minutes respectively, with the racers reaching speeds of up to 80mph.

The four-venue P1 AquaX EuroTour series kicked off on France’s Mediterranean coast in May – following the announcement that Experience Kissimmee, the travel and tourism authority in central Florida that promotes the destination, had become the title sponsor of this season’s tour – and then visited Normandy last month. After Minehead the racers will travel to Port Balis near Barcelona for the final round in October. The UK Championship has raced in Torquay and Porthcawl this Summer and Minehead now hosts the finale.

One of the competitors with only a short journey next week will be Simon Gill, the experienced and successful jet skier from Bristol who is the reigning UK and European champion in 2-stroke sprint. “Minehead is just down the road,” says Simon, “And I often ride that coastline. There’s a very fast rise and fall tide there, with a range of more than 12 metres in the Bristol Channel, so it could make for some exciting racing especially if there’s a bit of wind about to produce some interesting conditions.”

The jet ski action will start at 9.30am on Saturday (4 August) and 11.30am on Sunday (5 August), with the podium presentations to the winning riders taking place on The Esplanade at 4pm on Sunday. The racing will be filmed for television and shown internationally on leading sports channels and also on P1AquaX-YouTube.

For information about the weekend follow this link… p1aquax.com/Race-info/Minehead/2018/86196

LUMEN PRIZE: ADVENTURES IN DIGITAL ART EXHIBITION AT CONTAINS ART

This exhibition, specially curated for Contains Art in Watchet features interactive and immersive digital artworks by three international artists previously selected for The Lumen Prize. These works explore what is social and collaborative about digital, celebrating the value of such experiences.

American artist Biwei Niu was a 2017 Lumen Prize finalist with her ‘Evolution of Rhythm’. The piece is an interactive touch-based installation about Qi, a principle that forms the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine. In the work, abstract and organic graphics are projected onto a large, vertical frame covered with white fabric.  By touching the fabric surface people make waves, or push the imagery around.

‘MOC’, by Lab 212 from France, was a 2015 Lumen Prize finalist. It explores the relationship between sound and image through simple interactions. An imaginary landscape passes before the viewer, who, by whistling into a microphone, can make trees grow and evolve in real time based on the sound produced.

‘Hyperplanes of Simultaneity’, by Italian artists Fabio Giampietro and Alessio de Vecchi, was the 2016 Lumen Prize Gold winner. The work combines the tradition of painting with innovative Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. The viewer is presented at first with a large-scale urban canvas, but has their experience of it transformed by seeing the work through a VR headset.

The exhibitions runs until 12 August and is open 11-4, Wednesdays to Sundays.

MINEHEAD & EXMOOR MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Regal Theatre is proud once again to welcome the Minehead and Exmoor Music Festival for a week of rehearsals and performance. This is the 55th season of the Minehead & Exmoor Music Festival, which presents a week of concerts across West Somerset. 

The Regal provides a home where the orchestra rehearses and also hosts 3 major concerts.  (The Young Artists’ Concert on Sunday 22 July (at 7pm) and the Chamber Concert on Thursday 27 July (at 4pm) take place at the Methodist Church opposite the theatre.)

The orchestra, which plays a pivotal role in the Minehead Music Festival, was originally founded by Tim Reynish in 1963. It has been running in its present form for 30 years under Artistic Director and Conductor Richard Dickins.  Once again he has produced a fine programme of music which everyone is sure to enjoy. Every year he manages to persuade eminent international soloists as well as up-and-coming stars to come and perform with the orchestra.

The players are drawn from all over the country but most come from the London area where many of them perform with well-established orchestras and chamber groups. They produce high standards of performance which audiences eagerly anticipate.

Here is the festival line-up…

FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA CONCERTS AT THE REGAL THEATRE
CONDUCTED BY RICHARD DICKINS          

TICKETS: Adults £18.00, Students £3.00

Monday 23 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Mozart:  Symphony No 35 (Haffner)
Paul Patterson: Double Bass Concerto
A world premiere performance
Soloist Leon Bosch
Mendelssohn: Symphony No 3 (Scottish)

Wednesday 25 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Rossini:  Overture to The Barber of Seville
Bruch: Violin Concerto No 1
Soloist Maya Magub
Brahms: Symphony No 3

Saturday 28 July at Regal Theatre, Minehead
END OF FESTIVAL CONCERT
The Festival Orchestra conducted by Richard Dickins
Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Dvorak: Cello Concerto No 1
Soloist Laura van der Heijden  
Shostakovich: Symphony No 5

Tickets are now on sale at the Regal Box Office (01643 706430), 10am – 3pm Monday – Friday, 10am – 1pm Saturday.

MORE PLASTICS CAN NOW BE RECYCLED IN WEST SOMERSET

GOOD NEWS! Here is the latest information issued by Somerset Waste Partnership on plastics (see end of info for a suggestion):

PLASTIC BOTTLES: Put out only plastic bottles at the kerbside if you have an individual collection – no other plastics, but discard tops, rinse, squash and recycle all household plastic bottles, including those for milk, juice, shampoo, bleach and more, including trigger cleaning sprays and liquid soap dispensers.
No thanks: those from the garage (oil etc) or garden (pesticides etc) should be discarded.

Bottle tops: There are two main reasons why we ask you to discard bottle tops: first, they may be of a different plastic to the bottles or contain other materials, such as – in some trigger sprays – metal springs, thus adding contamination to the materials we want; and second, the bottle tops can both get into the sorting machinery and prevent bottles from being squashed as the machinery bales thousands of bottles together for transport elsewhere. Under great pressure, the bottles can then explode, blowing apart the bale and forcing the staff to start again, wasting both time and money.

PLASTIC POTS, TUBS, TRAYS:  Drop off rigid plastic food and household pots, tubs and trays in the plastic bottle skips at any of Somerset’s 16 recycling sites when passing. Pots, tubs and trays include pots for yoghurt, soup, face cream, hair gel; tubs for margarine, ice cream, laundry tablets; trays (including black plastic) for meat, fish, ready meals, and plastic punnets for fruit or mushrooms. Please rinse, discard/recycle as appropriate all foil, film covers, absorbent pads or card packaging, squash, then add to plastic bottle skip.

Ensure you exclude: plastic paint and plant pots, seed trays; toys, garden furniture, car parts, CD-DVD-VHS cases or contents; thin film , such as clingfilm, bubble wrap, carrier bags, film covers, bread bags, multipack wraps (though some thin films, with the “film” packaging label, may be able to be added to carrier bag collections at some supermarkets).

TETRA PAKS: Drop off Tetra Paks, other beverage cartons, and single-use drink cups when passing any of 12 recycling sites (all except Castle Cary, Cheddar, Dulverton or Somerton), please rinse and squash. NB: Many liquids available in beverage cartons are also available in containers – plastic, glass, cans – that we collect in kerbside collections. And we have been told by a number of those who prefer or can only drink nut milks, such as oat, soya and almond milks, that it is easy to make exactly the amount, consistency and flavour/sweetness required using any good food processor, thus saving money, reducing waste and eliminating the existing costly and complex-to-recycle packaging.

FUTURE PLANS: The situation for plastics in Somerset will be transformed once we have a new multi-million pound collections contract in place, for which negotiations are now underway, and have designed and had built a new recycling truck fleet for those new collections. Given the required public procurement rules under which these high-value contracts must be placed, this will take time to ensure practical, sustainable and best value outcomes.

We then plan to roll out the “Recycle More” weekly kerbside collection of all existing materials plus plastic pots, tubs, trays, Tetra Paks and other beverage cartons, single-use coffee cups and perhaps other materials, from 2020. Because of the extra light but very bulky materials being collected every week, we will then also change the frequency of rubbish collections to once every three weeks. Our trials of this with hundreds of Somerset families of all sizes in all sorts of accommodation over several months showed not only a large jump in recycling and a matching drop in rubbish levels, but an 84% approval for three-weekly rubbish collections with extra weekly plastics and other materials.

For more information on plastics, see: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/act-on-plastics/

For more information on beverage cartons and single-use drink cups, see: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/dozen-recycling-sites-take-single-use-coffee-cups/

For more information on Recycle More future collections: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycle-more/

And for more on the other items we do and do not take in kerbside recycling: https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/recycling-collections/

IDEA: If there are any garden centres out there which recycle plant pots and seed trays please get in touch with Exmoor Magazine and we will spread the word!

MINEHEAD’S MARITIME MILE

News Release From West Somerset Council

Minehead’s Maritime Mile was launched last week, to give the resort a fresh, new boost designed to attract more visitors in time for the start of the main holiday season.

At an informal ceremony last Tuesday, Minehead’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Gail Everett cut the ribbon to open the new attraction.

The £80,000 project, largely funded through LEADER – an EU scheme that allocates money to help rural areas – will complement the Enterprising Minehead project that has won substantial funding to make the resort the go-to seaside destination by making the most of its traditional appeal as a seaside resort – with a twenty-first-century twist.

The Maritime Mile creates a new heritage interpretation trail, running the length of the seafront to showcase Minehead’s maritime history, myths and legends. The trail has the central theme of ‘find and follow the shells’ and be way-marked to draw people along the route. It will link to existing features like the South West Coast Path and England Coast Path.

An open-air gallery is being built at the trail’s central point to display images and artefacts from Minehead’s past. And there’s an App (suitable for Android and iOS devices).

The App features a quiz designed to entice people to walk to the Harbour and complete the trail, those presenting correct answers to Minehead Visitor Centre will be eligible to collect a prize. This feature technology will also link to the new Minehead destination website for visitors widening Minehead’s appeal as a tourist destination.

The new, high-tech App features *augmented reality, videos and 3D images to make the walk more exciting and interactive – and it links to the new website being launched – www.mineheadbay.co.uk – to further enhance Minehead’s appeal to new and wider audiences.

The state-of-the-art responsive website has been developed to capitalise on marketing the town as a key destination and will also link to the seafront trail/walk and its innovative technology.

The Minehead Coastal Community Team projects have been developed in collaboration with Minehead Museum, Minehead Development Trust, and Butlin’s.

Cllr Andrew Hadley, West Somerset Council’s Lead Member for economic regeneration, said: “The Maritime Mile showcases Minehead’s history and heritage and is a great new feature to enhance what we can now offer our visitors – and encourage more people to enjoy Minehead.

“We are lucky to have a fascinating history that can be brought to life through harnessing the incredible technology that is available now. “

Katrina Midgley, who chairs Minehead Coastal Community Team, added: “This is the first in a series of enhancements to Minehead’s Esplanade, aimed at attracting local people and tourists to enjoy our seafront. I am delighted to see the work of Minehead Coastal Community Team coming to life. I would like to thank everyone who has been instrumental in making this happen.”

*Augmented reality uses computer-aided graphics to add an additional layer of information to aid understanding and/or interaction with the physical world around you.

PHOTO: Ribbon cutting: from the left are Katrina Midgley (MCCT chair), Nicky Bradley, Bernard Maynard-Smith, Gail Everett (Minehead Deputy Mayor), Gary Woolmer, Maureen Smith, Nicki Maclean, Roger Thomas, Mandy Chilcott.

 

 

LEADER THANKS AWARD-WINNING VOLUNTEERS

Press release issued by West Somerset Council

Leader of West Somerset Council, Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew, is adding his congratulations to two local voluntary groups which have won the highest recognition.

Home-Start West Somerset and Watchet Phoenix Volunteer Team have been recognised and honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK, to recognise and celebrate outstanding work by groups of volunteers in their communities, for the benefit of others.

Cllr Trollope-Bellew said: “Volunteering has long and proud history in West Somerset. We are a largely remote and rural area where people look after each other – and are self-reliant.

“As a council we do recognise their efforts and have jointly, with our partner council in Taunton Deane, launched a lottery to help support volunteer and charity groups.

“I am delighted that two of the three Queen’s Awards in Somerset this year are going to West Somerset organisations. On behalf of the council, I would like to thank these groups – and the many others that do so much – for their tireless hard work.”

PHOTO: Home-Start West Somerset. Left to right: Siobhan Lennon-Patience (mum, service user and newly appointed trustee), Pam Shambrook (volunteer) and Clare Pound (Minehead Home-Start manager). This photo was used in our spring 2017 issue’s article about the charity.

NEW INVESTIGATION INTO DUNSTER’S BUILDINGS

A new project to record and date Dunster’s medieval buildings in one of Exmoor National Park’s oldest settlements launches this week. It was kick-started after a number of buildings were found to have arch-braced roofs and true cruck frames, indicating they dated back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

A free event for people to learn more about the two-year project is being held at Tithe Barn in Dunster on Sunday 3  June from 1.30 – 5.30pm, with historical talks including Richard Parker from the Time Team Dig Village Project, who have been researching Dunster’s history and archaeology over the last few years.

There will be an array of historic maps on show with experts on hand to help residents try and locate their house on maps from different time periods, plus guidance on how to estimate a building’s age. People are also being asked to bring along old photos of Dunster that might help provide clues to the history of the village, and there will be some fun family activities too.

Mary Ewing from Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (SANHS), which is leading the project in association with Exmoor National Park and Dunster Museum, with sponsorship from Historic England, said: “There’s been a lot of interest in uncovering Dunster’s past recently and it’s great to see so many members of the community getting behind this exciting project.

“We’re delighted to now be furthering this work through the most thorough investigation of Dunster’s historic buildings to date. We hope to be able to give as many residents as possible the chance to find out the history of their house using cutting-edge techniques such as dendrochronology, which uses tree rings from the building’s timbers to pinpoint the exact year they were formed.”

Shirley Blaylock, historic environment conservation officer at Exmoor National Park, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for today’s residents to get a glimpse into Dunster’s past and contribute to important research. We look forward to seeing how the story unfolds.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the project should contact Mary Ewing via the SANHS office on 01823 272429 or info@sanhs.org

PHOTO: Dunster’s High House, now called The Nunnery (but which was never a convent), photographed by Julia Amies-Green for our Winter 2016 issue article by Mary Siraut – ‘Medieval Origins’. The article was all about medieval buildings on Exmoor. The magazine is available as a back issue here.

WEST SOMERSET COUNCIL JOINS DEMENTIA ALLIANCE

West Somerset Council has officially joined Watchet area Dementia Action Alliance (WDAA) as part of its commitment to being a “dementia-friendly” organisation.

Cllr Keith Turner, the Lead Member for Housing, Health and Wellbeing, is the council’s representative on the group.

West Somerset Council fully supports WDAA and the organisation’s work locally in transforming the health for people living with dementia through community action.

Cllr Turner said: “I am proud the council is now a member of this local organisation – one that is making a real difference to people’s lives. Support networks are vital for those with dementia, their families and carers and helps people maintain that all-important independence for longer.

“I was pleased to attend WDAA’s annual general meeting this week and see for myself the tremendous amount of work that volunteers are doing.”

Margaret Tatham (WDAA lead) said: “We are delighted that West Somerset Council has joined the Alliance, which now has 45 members across Watchet, Williton and nearby villages, all helping to make our area more Dementia Friendly.”

The council became a dementia-friendly organisation four years ago with staff undergoing awareness training with some going on to become ‘dementia champions’.

Staff are planning to raise funds for Reminiscence Learning, the dementia charity, during National Dementia Awareness Week (May 21-27).

PHOTO:  (L-R): Cllr Dave Westcott, Lead Member for Community and Customer, Cllr Keith Turner and WADAA chair Margaret Tatham.