Shapwick News Summer 2022

Flags and bunting everywhere, hanging baskets on the post boxes and road signs, even a knitted bonnet on the letter box outside the Pavilion: thank you to everyone in the village who helped set the scene for Shapwick to come together to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and her amazing 70 year reign. Then the Jubilee Picnic allowed us to meet up with old friends and make some new ones. Thanks to the village bakers there was a huge selection of delicious cakes too! The children present were invited to take part in 8 challenges, each earning a letter which would eventually spell SHAPWICK. Once the challenges were completed the children won a small prize, and the primary school children living in Shapwick were given a Platinum Jubilee Commemorative coin. The challenges included “Jan Swain” wellie throwing, completing a giant jigsaw puzzle of the village, and drawing a picture of the Queen. Thank you to Tracey Lockyer for judging the drawings and choosing the winner, Jack Greenway. Once everyone had eaten In this issue: S U M M E R I S S U E , J U L Y 2 0 2 2 LESLEY GASKELL , MORAY MCGOWAN Shapwick Jubilee Picnic, 3 June 2022 Jubilee Time! Page 1 Shapwick Hits the Headlines Page 1 Shapwick Jam's back! Page 2 Shapwick Starlets WI Page 2 From the Horse's Mouth Page 2 Dora's Poetry Corner Page 3 Exciting Times at Dovecote School Page 3 Village Hall news Page 3 The Shapwick Murders - History on our Doorstep Page 3 Parish Council and Shapwick Community Group update Page 4 Shapwick Walks Page 4 Reflecting on the Wildlife Exhibition Page 5 A Tribute to Martin Baker Page 5 Cricket Club Update Page 5 News from Ashcott FC Page 6 What's On / Game On! Page 6 Call for Volunteers & Submissions Page 6 1 B R O U G H T T O Y O U B Y T H E S H A P W I C K C O M M U N I T Y G R O U P Shapwick Hits the Headlines Shapwick Heath was one of six nature reserves named by Natural England as part of the new Somerset Wetland National Nature Reserve protecting over 6,000 hectares of land judged of national importance in the county. The announcement in May this year confirmed that the extended ‘super’ reserve brings together Bridgwater Bay, Ham Wall, Huntspill River, the Somerset Levels, Westhay Moor and Shapwick Heath to mark the 70th anniversary of Natural England’s first nature reserve. FRANK BARNARD their fill and completed the challenges, we gathered for the Jubilee group photograph which will join the one from the Diamond Jubilee on the wall of the village hall. The winners of the Treasure Hunt were announced as Janet and David Coombes and their team The Goldfinches. Reverend Richard Tweedy proposed a Royal Toast and we sang the National Anthem. The Shapwick bell ringers then took part in a national bell ringing event as part of the weekend Jubilee celebrations. Jack Greenway's winning drawing: Even better in colour! A big thank you to everyone who joined in the event and the many volunteers who helped setting up, packing away, and donating prizes. Also, many congratulations to Janice Taylor and family for winning the Shapwick Starlets WI's much-coveted prize for the best decorated house and garden!

From the Horse's Mouth TRACEY LOCKYER 2 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 2 Shapwick Starlets WI On the Friday morning alone, with the smell of bacon wafting through the marquee, we served over 300 bacon rolls. And for those with a sweet tooth there were delicious cakes and scones to choose from. It was quite a challenge when one of the first orders to come in was for 17 baps, which meant there was a short wait for following orders, however our team were on top form! Our speaker for our May meeting was Charlotte, Wildlife Release Manager from Secret World Wildlife Rescue. Charlotte was very informative and funny and told us tales of some of the releases and what her work involves. There was a slight technology issue as Charlotte's laptop and our projector were not compatible and for some reason the PowerPoint sped up the video of a badger release, so it was turbo charged. Made everyone laugh though! And as the Bath and West Show was back for 2022, we were happy to send five volunteers to help out in the refreshments marquee on the Friday and Saturday. Each WI group had made their own unique bunting which was displayed in the marquee and looked amazing. Thank you to Dora for knitting and Amanda (pictured) for stitching ours which looked stunning and was also displayed in our tent at the Shapwick Jam. ewes and rams had their coats removed. A very hard, back-breaking job! The wool is rolled, put into bags, and sent to the British Wool Board at South Molton. You receive your money in arrears for the wool. During the COVID lockdown they struggled to sell wool, and last year I had to pay them money for taking it! I have just received this year's payment: for nearly 400 kgs I got £58!! Gone are the days wool brought a profit. SUE SELLECK Our speaker for June was Jane from Canine Concern, a charity that makes care dog visits to those who may benefit the most from their service, such as care homes, hospitals, work places and schools. If anyone would like to come along to see what we get up to, you would be more than welcome. We meet the second Tuesday of each month in Shapwick Village Hall at 7.30 pm. You can find us on Facebook - Shapwick Starlets WI. Shapwick Jam's Back! SIMON DAWES Wow, what a blast! Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed the Jam; we had an amazing time. A sunny chilled afternoon with some great individual performances and a fantastic packed evening and great atmosphere created by you! Like all post-COVID (or so it seemed) events, encouraging ticket sales was a challenge, but in the end you never let us down and for that we are all truly grateful. An amazing day doesn’t happen without fabulous support. Firstly my thanks to all the artists who performed: the Jam is all about live sound and we were fortunate to have a great crosssection of music genres. To the sound team, Jacob Dawes and John Wood, to the tent crew from Ashcott Beer Festival and a special thank-you to Roger Stacey for the use of the fencing, to Tony and Hazel at Festive Lizards for donating the canvas for our new large marquee and to Tim and Julia Cann for lending us theirs. To the Shapwick Starlets for a great afternoon of tea and cake and to the Jam burger crew, Nerina and Jude and all of the team who kept us fed during the evening. To the bar team, Bridget, Stuart, Jen, Chloe, Nick, Ali, James and Connie: you changing climate, ever in fear of a poor crop. The next sheep job is weaning the lambs off their mothers, so I apologise in advance if it's noisy for a few days. Then a well earned rest for the girls before the cycle starts all again in September ☺️ Next issue: looking back at a farming childhood at Bowerings Farm. were fab! To the rest of the Jam organising team, John, Kate and Fin and those from the village who helped with set up and shake down … a massive thank-you! Finally, to Steve Dunster for all his fantastic support in both the planning and pulling it all together. It costs £3 to shear a ram and £1.50 for a ewe. So now shearing costs me money, but for health and hygiene reasons it needs to be done. The village farmers have been busy silaging and haymaking, gathering in the animal food for the winter: trying to beat our everWith lambing truly over and lambs beginning to be fit for market, the next job was shearing. One hot Saturday, 165 Pics: Tallulah Stringer & Elissa Hamlett

In 1845 a Shapwick woman stood in the dock at Taunton Assizes accused of poisoning members of her family. Sarah Freeman née Dimond, born in 1817 to poor but honest parents, had led a troubled childhood. JASON GODDARD, CEO Exciting Times at Dovecote School History on our Doorstep: The Shapwick Murders 3 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 2 FRANK BARNARD Taught at the village school to read, write and ‘use the needle’ she had left at fourteen and by eighteen had two illegitimate children. A marriage was arranged to Henry Freeman and she and her son James settled in his cottage in Pedwell. When Henry and James died, apparently of cholera, she moved to Bridgwater and then to London where she led a rackety life. In 1844 she was back in Shapwick as the unwelcome guest of her brother Charles. Soon her mother fell ill and died, quickly followed by Charles after eating food prepared by his sister. Suspicious, police established OFSTED have been in and it's all go ahead for September. Some of their comments: "Leaders have thought deeply about the curriculum the school will teach. They have a ambitious vision for creating personalised learning for the pupils. To that end, they have created a flexible curriculum framework that can be adapted to meet the needs of pupils when they arrive at the school. All pupils are expected to have education, health, and care (EHC) plans. The pupils will typically have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with additional social, emotional, and mental health needs, particularly anxiety. Many will have a history of disrupted education and the curriculum has been specifically designed to support these pupils to achieve." We will be welcoming 30 staff and over 22 students for the start of the term. Staff will be training from 22nd August, just in case you are wondering about the increase in cars. The smallholding will start to realise its potential in August also. You are very welcome to come and say hello. Two of the new staff also want to introduce themselves: Hello Shapwick! We are two of the new teachers starting at Dovecote in August! Jess James and Flick Hayman. We are so excited to be joining the new school adventure and are keen to get involved in community life! As arts specialists we like creating crafts (knitting, crochet, artwork etc) and would love to get involved in helping you with charity projects and learning from your expertise! I’m sure our students will absolutely love being involved as well! Thank you again for our school's warm welcome and we look forward to meeting you soon. The barn owl sat winking and blinking In the safety of the old stone barn, Safe from cold wind that blew from the north, Just a part of the old country farm. But owly had to forage and hunt To find sustenance out in the night. He looked long and hard to find some food But the verges were all cut quite tight. No grass for the voles to have some fun, They had packed up and gone far away. So farmer, pay some attention. If you want your barn owly to stay, Leave a few feet of verge to grow wild So that little voles can sport and play. Then owly will stay safe in his barn Well-fed so he won't go away. Dora's Poetry Corner 'BARN OWL ' BY DORA WATKINS The Village Hall Committee is looking forward to a busy Autumn. We have the following events planned for the village: Sunday 4th September - Cream tea afternoon Saturday 22nd October - Harvest Supper Friday 25th November - Fish & Chip Quiz Night We are also planning to hold a 'Breakfast Bike Ride', look out for posters around the village and details on the residents facebook page confirming the details. Please come and join us and bring your friends too! Village Hall Plans BRIDGET DAWES There's a lot more but it goes without saying that we're delighted. From a sketch taken in court that she had bought arsenic from a Bridgwater chemist and poison was found in Charles’s body. This led to the authorities exhuming the bodies of mother, brother and son and arsenic was also detected. Charged with four murders but tried for one, Freeman was found guilty and hanged at Wilton. Her last words: ‘ I am as innocent as a lamb.’ Why did she do it? She wanted to marry George Davis, a Cheddar man, and planned to use more than £20 received from a Death Club to fund a move from the area. But he rejected her and she was heard to say: ‘ I will serve him the same trick as I did my husband.’ When Davis refused to meet her in a pub her brother picked up a pint of beer she had intended for Davis to drink, only for her to snatch it away and throw the contents on the fire. But she had been seen to mix a powder in the glass and afterwards a yellow substance was discovered in the dregs of beer. It seems that George Davis, Sarah Freeman’s intended fifth victim, had a lucky escape…

Shapwick Walks – Loxley Woods This is a walk so familiar to many, but for others is a secret still to be discovered. Anyone local to Shapwick should know the joy of experiencing the changing seasons in this small area of woodland only half a mile from the centre of Shapwick. Loxley woods are owned by the Woodland Trust – see ( and are accessible by various footpaths from Shapwick, or from the small car parking area in Wood Lane. Start from the centre of Shapwick by the junction of Church Road and Mill Lane, and walk all the way up Mill Lane (approx ½ mile) to the junction with High Lane. Turn right as far as the postbox. Take the public footpath marked by a finger post next to the postbox and head straight up – carry on past the electricity sub-station, and then over the stile into the field and all the way up to the small gate and stile into the woods. Here pause to look back at wonderful views of Shapwick nestling in the countryside with the full expanse of the Mendips in the background. Once you’ve entered the woods, turn right and follow the meandering path for some 500 metres until you reach a small ramp with a handrail. In early spring you will see primroses and snowdrops, then later bluebells, swiftly followed by a carpet of wild garlic. Be TERESA KING 4 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 2 Approximately 3 miles, to and from the Church. Shapwick Birds (page 6) - Solutions Answers (Down): 1. Lapwing 3. Great white egret 4. Wren 9. Tufted duck 10. Swallow 11. Bittern 13. Sparrow 14. Heron 15. Robin (Across): 2. Jay 5. Pheasants 6. Green woodpecker 7. Starling 8. Whitethroat 12. Marsh harrier careful of roots underfoot. It is also wise to keep dogs on leads in this section due to the proximity of the A39. At the ramp, you could choose to go through the small gate on your right and follow the footpath through the field back to the western end of High Lane. Alternatively, go up the ramp then turn right and continue down the track in a northerly direction for about another 300m (passing another gate to the field on your right) until you reach a clear junction. Carry straight on at this junction to follow a circular 1km loop in an anti-clockwise direction round the lower half of the woods. After a few hundred metres you come to a bench where the path circles round to the left. In summer you can see pink orchids just before you reach a swampy area. It can get muddy here in wet weather. Continue looping round until you reach the small car park on Wood Lane. Here turn sharp left on a straight grassy path to return to the start of the loop. You can then turn right up the path and either take one of the gates to access the public footpath back through the fields to High Lane, or continue eastwards through the upper part the woods, retracing your footsteps back to the postbox. Shapwick has a good network of footpaths and lanes to explore. For detail of public footpaths and bridleways see OS Explorer 141. Please remember: always stick to public footpaths and bridlepaths (as marked on the OS map) or private footpaths only where landowners have given their permission (e.g. Woodland Trust as above). Please do not roam elsewhere in farmers’ fields. Please keep dogs on a lead where there is livestock and pick up your dog mess - not only is it unpleasant, it is also dangerous for cattle. Parish Council and Shapwick Community Group update Parish Council: May saw the Annual Parish Meeting and the first routine PC meeting since the local elections in early May with new and existing councillors in place. We still have a vacancy for one Parish Councillor: if you would like to join us and help make a difference, all you need to do is let Sue Williams, the clerk, know: Shapwick Community Group: This Parish Council committee is getting into full swing and has started a number of projects as a result of the responses we have received to “I wish Shapwick had…..”. Thanks to everyone for your replies: please keep them coming! All channels are still open, on paper via the village hall post box, via PC email or via a Google Form All responses are treated in confidence. We have completed the second of our original tasks with the recent launch of the Village Welcome Pack. This comprehensive document is intended to to provide people new to Shapwick with all of the information they need when they arrive. We would ask all villagers to keep their eyes open for new neighbours and to let the Parish Council know via or DM Shapwick PC on Facebook. One of the councillors will then deliver a copy. You can view The Welcome Pack (and all PC agendas and minutes) on Facebook or under documents on the Parish Council website: Walking: Rich Tweedy is leading the team of Nikki Polden, Matt Barnett & Steve Campion to investigate & potentially seek membership of the “Walkers are Welcome” group Additionally they plan to explore changes to existing footpaths and consider how the dog poo issue might be resolved. Affordable Housing: Given the strong preference for a small scale housing development shown in last year's village poll, we have decided to learn more about what this might entail. Stuart Dennes has arranged a meeting with the Community Land Trust later in July who will explain more about how it all works. Shapwick Community Café: The first Café was held at St Marys’ Church on Monday 27th June organised by Wendy Anderson and Helen Wade. 15-20 people enjoyed coffee, cake and great conversation; thanks to everyone who joined in. Watch out on Facebook and the village notice boards for the next Café event. Broadband: Given the regular adverse comments about this service in Shapwick, Steve McAuliffe and Graham Croucher undertook to carry out some initial investigations. We will shortly be launching a village survey on Facebook to gather some basic facts about internet speed in Shapwick. We hope that everyone will take part, we can then make a good plan for the next steps. GRAHAM CROUCHER, CHAIR OF SHAPWICK PC

The Wildlife Photography Exhibition in the church in mid-May was very successful – much more so than even my optimistic expectations! There were times when it was quite crowded, with cars parked in all the available spaces around the church. The exhibition featured the work of 21 photographers and two camera clubs, all focussed on Somerset wildlife. While birds were the most frequent subjects, there was a wide diversity of wildlife displayed: for example, one of the photographers focussed on bats, while another specialised on insects. Particular thanks goes to Shapwick’s own Kim Hemmings, for her wonderful display, and to the mid-Somerset Camera Reflecting on the Wildlife Exhibition Shapwick & Polden Cricket Club RICH TWEEDY EMAI L : V ICAR@POLDENWHEEL .CO.UK Club, who meet in the Shapwick Pavilion, and who were co-ordinated by Janet Miles. One reason for the success was the café, hosted by locals – many of whom were from Shapwick but with support from neighbouring villages – all very efficiently co-ordinated by Helen Wade. This helped to create a hospitable atmosphere. Several people commented to me that they hadn’t realised how muchwonderful wildlife we have in this area. That was one of the main things I’d really hoped would be achieved by the exhibition! For a full report and more photos, please visit 5 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 2 https://riverbankscribe. Tribute to Martin Baker During his 50+ years of association with the Cricket Club, some of Martin’s roles included First Team Captain, Groundsman, Finance Manager amongst many others. It is thanks to Martin’s tireless efforts, vision and dedication that Shapwick is fortunate to have become a sporting centre of excellence and to have a wonderful social resource in the form of The Pavilion. Martin was always a pleasure to deal with and a great friend to the village and villagers. He will be greatly missed by the Shapwick community. GRAHAM CROUCHER Martin Edmund Baker passed away peacefully at Yeovil District Hospital on the 19th May 2022, aged 76. Loving husband to Chris, step-father to Lucy & step-father to Becky & Annabel. If you have had any interaction with the Cricket Club, Playing Field or the Pavilion you will have almost certainly met Martin. As the middle of the 2022 season approaches the club continues to thrive under Director of Cricket Calum Haggett. We have a newly formed ladies team with mixed ages and abilities. Training takes place on Tuesday evenings starting at 6:30pm with coaching on batting, bowling and fielding using a soft ball. This season we have joined the Somerset Women’s Softball league to give our training a focus. It includes casual tournament style cricket being played on Sunday afternoons against like minded teams from around the county, a lovely social event and lots of fun whilst playing with friends! If you would be interested in joining or receiving information then please get in touch with Emily Spencer - The youth section continues to grow. This year we have 150 under 16s registered and around 120 regularly train on Friday Nights. We run the All Stars 4-8 year olds; Girls Only Dynamos 9-13 and mixed age groups from 9-16 year olds. Congratulations to those parents who qualified as coaches over the winter; there are two qualified coaches in each age group. Interested juniors should contact Pete Ross – On Saturdays the 1st XI plays in the Premier 2 Division of the West of England League and currently lies 7th in the table with notable victories over Weston-Super-Mare CC and Downend CC to their credit. The 2nd and 3rd XIs play in the Somerset Cricket league: the 2nds are currently in joint 1st place in Division 1 and the 3rd XI are third in Division 6. 3rd XI captain Jarrad Cave leads the batting averages in that Division with 307 runs. The Pavilion, with its newly extended patio, has a licensed bar and food available every Friday evening. Please come down, have a drink and support your local club. AL I STAIR BARR

Village Hall Events (Also see entry on p. 3!) Shapwick Starlets WI meet the second Tuesday of each month (apart from August), 7.30pm in Shapwick Village Hall. Contact us via Shapwick Starlets Facebook page or email Yoga exercise classes on Monday evenings from 7.30-8.45pm. Contact: Hire out sessions on the table tennis table! £4 for 1/2hr or £7 for 1hr - contact Nerina on 210329 or Bridget on 210185. Cricket Pavilion Events - Bingo: August 5th & 19th, September 2nd, 16th & 30th, October 14th & 28th Music/open mic: August 12th, September 9th, October 7th Quiz night: August 26th, September 23rd, October 21st These events all start at 8pm. The bar and kitchen are open from 5.30pm. Everyone welcome. If you would like to book a table for bingo, please email Every Sunday: Shapwick Runners' Sunday Run! Meet at the cricket field, set off at 9am. All abilities welcome! The next date for the Shapwick Community Café will be announced soon via posters and the FB Residents' page! Call for Volunteers & Submissions We need volunteers! Like to help edit future issues? Please email: Shapwick News is a quarterly publication. For the autumn issue, due to publish in October 2022, please submit contributions by no later than 30th September, via email above or post in the black post box next to the Village Hall's main door. Thank you! There is no guarantee that all material submitted will be used - publication is at the Editor's discretion and articles may be amended or condensed. We do not print anonymous contributions but are prepared to include items under a pen name, if so desired, on condition that we are given the name and address of the author(s). Opinions expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the Editor nor Parish Council. Summer Edition: Published by Shapwick Parish Council, edited by Kate Anderson and Moray McGowan. What's On 6 SUMMER I S SUE | J ULY 2 0 2 2 Game On! Our club enables children and adults from the local community to come together and enjoy playing football in a fun & safe environment. We have over 150 children and 80 adults playing for Ashcott FC and are a FA accredited club with FA level 1 & 2 qualified coaches. After all the lockdown issues, we finally finished a full season during the 21/22 season. The 1st team finished 6th in the Somerset County League, with the Reserves holding their own in the Yeovil Premier. We will be entering 17 youth teams and 3 adult teams for the 2022/2023 season. We will enter our U7s, U8s, U9s, U10s U11s and U13s into the Taunton Youth League and our U14s, U15s and 16s and the U18s into the Yeovil Youth League. Both leagues will see the children play against teams from the Taunton Deane, West Somerset and Sedgemoor area. Our Adult 1st, Reserves and Vets will enter into the Somerset County League, Yeovil and District League and Somerset Veterans Legends League. All home games will be played at the Coronation Playing Fields in Ashcott. We also hold “Mini Kickers” training sessions for 3-5 year olds each Saturday morning at Coronation Playing Fields from 10am during the season, giving young children their first taste of football. Each session focuses on the fun element of sport and teamwork. If you are interested in joining the club or have any further questions, please call me on 07886 210168 or email News from Ashcott Football Club COL IN MACPHERSON Shapwick Birds Down : 1 . 2 0 2 1 f i l m a b o u t s a l t f a rme r s a n d a g y p s y f am i l y ( 7 ) 3 . Y o u wo u l d n ’ t wa n t t o g r e e t t h i s s h a r k a t t h e He a t h ( 5 , 5 , 5 ) 4 . D e s i g n s a g o o d k i t c h e n ( 4 ) 9 . Y o u wo u l d f i n d t h i s b i r d o n y o u r ma t t r e s s a n d i n y o u r d u v e t ( 6 , 4 ) A c r o s s : 2 . Y o u ma y s e e t h i s b i r d wa l k i n g o n a c r o s s i n g w i t h t r a f f i c ( 3 ) 5 . He p a n t s a s h e r u n s f r om t r a f f i c ( a n a g . ) ( 9 ) 6 . Wo o d y s a y s g o ! ( 5 , 1 0 ) 7 . A n t h o n y Ho p k i n s f a v o r i t e F B I a g e n t ( 8 ) 8 . No y o u h a v e n ’ t g o t t o n s i l l i t i s ( 1 1 ) 1 2 . F i g h t e r a i r c r a f t y o u wo u l d n ’ t m i n d s e e i n g l a n d a t A v a l o n ( 5 , 7 ) An swe r s on p a g e 4 1 0 . A b i t t e r p i l l i s d i f f i c u l t t o a c c e p t ( 7 ) 1 1 . A s u b u r b o f S o u t h amp t o n ( 7 ) 1 3 . J a c k a g r e e s t h i s i s a g o o d n ame f o r a p i r a t e ( 7 ) 1 4 . T h i s b i r d c a n b e f o u n d i n ‘ b a t h e r o n r i v e r s i d e ’ ( 5 ) 1 5 . Y o u c o u l d g o t o j a i l f o r d o i n g t h i s ( 5 )