Around the societies: December 2017

November 26 2017
Around the societies: December 2017

THE latest news from local organisations.


A RECORD number of players – 38 – attended the annual fundraising event at St Thomas’ Church Hall, St Thomas Street, Wells, on Thursday, October 26. The charity selected this year is St Margaret’s Hospice and a grand total of £376.50 was raised through individual donations, delicious homemade cakes, and a gift of £100 from Wells City Bridge Club. 

The chairman, Charlie Sutton, said it was a great evening. The duplicate bridge hands played were prepared by Roy Rowe to test the learning of members, from teachings given on other evenings this year. He thanked everyone for their generosity and support.


WELLS Civic Society invite members and non-members to their Christmas Celebration at Wells and Mendip Museum on Wednesday, December 13, at 7.30pm.

Entitled A Victorian Christmas in Wells, Gert and Daisy, Victorian ladies of a certain age, will recall past yuletides in our fair city and the mixture of jollity and pathos represented based on the archives of the Wells Journal.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be provided by the society for your delight and delectation.


AT our November meeting we were transported from a cold, wet, dark Somerset November night to Africa by Charles and Nick from Mendip All Drummers, who brought along beautiful djembes, drums shaped like large goblets, carved from hollowed tree trunk and covered in goat skin.

Djembes can make a wide range of sounds when the skin is struck in different areas with bare hands. Invited to find our inner rhythms, we sat in a circle with our djembes between our knees and started playing by copying short phrases demonstrated by Charles while Nick beat out a backing on a set of heavier drums called the dun duns. Pretty soon we were drumming different parts in intricate patterns for minutes on end, with others providing accompaniment on traditional percussion instruments.

We were shown how to play some classic “songs” including one with the unlikely name of Funky McGrew. Even those who normally consider themselves uncoordinated were soon pounding away in a hypnotic trance. Charles said we were naturals.

The shortlist of five potential WI campaigns for 2018 was announced, addressing a range of important and topical concerns from stopping female genital mutilation to raising awareness of modern slavery. Members now have the chance to learn more before our January meeting, when each member will vote for the one she would most like to go forward for further discussion and possible adoption at the national WI Annual Meeting in June 2018.

Some members will be helping a local student with her university dissertation by taking part in a focus group as part of her research into on women’s involvement in politics in rural areas.

The positive power of the WI network was harnessed to help the Children of Chernobyl Wells charity recruit more host families for the children coming in July 2018. Members took leaflets to display in schools and workplaces and agreed to spread the word amongst their families, friends and neighbours.

Lots of people brought beautifully wrapped shoeboxes filled with presents to be distributed to young people supported by the YMCA in Somerset. Sadly, for some of them the shoebox is the only Christmas gift they will receive.

The next meeting will be at the Mendip and Wells Museum at 7.30pm on Tuesday, December 5. The crafters will have made willow rings for members to make their own Christmas wreaths, so people should bring garden foliage and decorations.

Veronica Howe


THE Beetlecrushers clog and step dance group have enjoyed an extended ‘Dancing Out’ season this year, with performances at both Barrington Court’s Apple Day on October 22, and at Pumpkins on the Platform, an event held on October 29. at Midsomer Norton Heritage Station. A variety of dances from around the British Isles were enthusiastically received, as well as a new dance choreographed using traditional steps.

The final opportunity to see the group before the end of the year will be in Glastonbury on December 3 at The Rural Life Museum’s A Very Victorian Christmas.
As a group, our doors are always open to new members, with or without previous experience. Just contact the secretary, Ann, on 01373 812227. Full details are on our website

• Players at Wells City Thursday Bridge Club’s annual fundraising event