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September 2000 - Newsletter 65

Musical Allsorts
People have been asking us to make an instrumental album for years and, at last, yet 'tis. We've called it 'Musical Allsorts' because that really is the only way to describe it. There are tunes that we first played when we were The Ranters Dance Band in the early sixties right up to some that we have only just learnt and haven't yet played in concerts. Some of the tunes you will know, like The Skye Boat Song, The Wounded Hussar and the Bluebell Polka and the jigs reels and polkas will be familiar to folks who come to our dances. There's a very nice tune called 'The Shepherd's Wife' played on the bowed psaltery, an Irish air 'Morning Star' on penny whistle and 'My Florence' on accordion accompanied by Cyril White on piano. Our good friend Richard Helson joins us on fiddle and mandolin and Cecil Robins (who used to play in Sherborne Town Band) plays drums. There are 18 tracks in all - a real musical allsorts of tempos and styles. We're pleased with it - I think you will be too.


Along The River Stour Video (Part 2)
We have just about finished filming this, which is just as well. The weather has been distinctly damp the last few days and, although this is good for me runner beans, it's not so brilliant for running up and down The Stour. People have been very co-operative once again, chipping in with ideas, checking our facts and giving up their time for interviews etc. Subjects covered so far include: The Roman invasion, conservation, fishing, mills, beautiful old bridges and their upkeep, Bailey bridges and a book about a trip down the river dodging the water bailiffs in 1892. These are mixed in with lovely film of the river, aerial shots and of course there is a fair bit of the Ahhhh! factor as well - baby coot, ducks and swans. Editing it all down to an hour is going to be a real problem but we hope to have the finished product by late autumn.


Sherborne Christmas Concerts & New Years Eve Ceilidh
I know, it only seems two minutes ago we were endeavouring to spell Millennium and anticipating all the computers packing up and expecting all the planes to drop out of the sky but the time has come to sort out the annual Sherborne celebrations. All three events are at The Digby Hall and start at 8p.m. The concerts are on the 8th and 9th of December and the New Year night is on Sunday the 31st. For the Millennium do last year people brought their own food and this proved to be very popular. We had one table absolutely groaning with goodies and decorations including a rather impressive candelabra. This could be your opportunity to finish off the turkey. You don't have to worry about the booze, Mark and Chris Williams run a very good bar. Tickets are available from the PO Box; The Abbey Pharmacy, Cheap Street, Sherborne; The Sweeterie, Middle Street, Yeovil or ring 01935 814611. Tickets for the concerts cost 6 for adults and 5 for children and senior citizens. Those for the New Years do cost 10.

The Millennium Year
I know it's a bit early to start doing an appraisal but the years events seem to have had such a negative press that I thought I would stick my oar in and tell our side of the story. We have been to so many communities that have been united by the drive to make the year a bit special and seen so many enterprising schemes come to fruition through long hours of hard work that I am full of admiration. New halls built, old halls renovated, play areas for the youngsters, weeks of music and entertainment in the smallest of villages. Great stuff. My message is 'There's life outside The Dome and it's thriving'.

Dorset Association For The Disabled
We were asked last year if we would get involved with this splendid organisation on some sort of official basis so we are now, would you believe, co-Presidents of D.A.D. It's a very easy going appointment, no one has had to make any speeches yet, thank goodness, but members from all the branches gathered at Weymouth in early June when their Presidents duly sang them a song or two. A good time was had by all.

Sponsored Walk
Last Sunday I did a sponsored walk to raise money for five girls who are leaving The Gryphon School in Sherborne this year. Before going off to university they have all chosen to go to places like India and China to do jobs such as helping with orphan children. You chipped in with 340 at our concerts so Emma, Rachel, Kitty, Hannah, Laura and I say thank you very much indeed.