Around the societies: January 2018

December 27 2017
Around the societies: January 2018

The latest news from local organisations.


AFTER a hectic Christmas, with a sell-out concert and several street collections which raised more than £3,000 for local charities and good causes, Wells Lions have a bright and active start planned for 2018, with two major events already underway.

On Thursday, January 25, in partnership with The Swan Hotel, the Lions are staging The Big Breakfast - a networking opportunity for all local business leaders to meet together socially, over breakfast, and to learn more about the voluntary work of Wells Lions. The event will run from 7.30am-10.30am.

A highlight of the event will be a talk given by a surprise inspirational guest speaker. Tickets are £10 each and restricted to 90 people. The Lions are hoping that local businesses will take tables of 10 and invite their own guests to enjoy this social event. It is expected to become an annual event, kick-starting each new year.

All profits from the Big Breakfast will be earmarked for local charities and good causes which Wells Lions are supporting this year, including Children’s Hospice South West and Mendip YMCA. For more information and to buy tickets, telephone Paul Clegg on 01749 671596 or email Tickets are also available at The Swan Hotel in Wells.

On Saturday, March 17, Wells Lions are hosting Bristol Male Voice Choir for a fundraising concert to be held at St Cuthbert’s Church in Wells. The Bristol choir is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018. Tickets are on sale now.

Last March, a similar concert at the church with Caerphilly Male Voice Choir raised £3,500 for Wells-based dementia charities. The beneficiary this year will be Children’s Hospice South West. For more information and to buy tickets, telephone 01458 210926 or email

Wells Lions is now the fastest growing voluntary service organisation in the community, having more than doubled its numbers in 2017. The club’s next business meeting will be on Monday, January 8, at its new venue, The Lawrence Centre, Wells, by the entrance to Union Street car park, starting at 7pm. Anyone who is interested in knowing more about the work of Wells Lions is welcome to attend.


TO kick off the new season at Wells Gardening Club the first meeting will be an evening of mid-winter pleasures.

There will be a Grand Quiz on a variety of gardening trivia and know-how with prizes, a festive table of refreshments, a chance to join or renew membership, a look at the programme of talks and visits for 2018, as well as much friendly chat. All this with free admission and a welcome to members and visitors alike.

The venue is the Wells Town Hall, the date is Thursday, January 11, the time is 7.30pm.

For more details call 01749 679182.

Pip Harwood


CARNIVAL in Wells 2017 was a spectacular event, and Wells Twinning Association together with the mayor and city council were delighted to welcome the Burgermeister of Bad Durkheim with his family and delegates of Bad Durkheim Twinning Association to watch the event. The visitors expressed the view that the show was spectacular and that they had never witnessed anything like it.

During the course of the weekend, the Bad Durkheim twinners were taken on tours of Wookey Hole Caves, Wells Cathedral, Wells and Mendip Museum, The Bishop’s Palace and the Town Hall. On the Sunday there was a buffet lunch in the Town Hall attended by over 100 people comprised of most of the city council, twinners and other guests.

Coincidentally it was Burgermiester Glogger’s birthday, therefore the lunch, in addition to promoting twinning, morphed into a birthday party with balloons, decorations and music supplied by Sarah Chant.

Burgermeister Christoph Glogger, Mayor of Wells John North and Wells Twinning Association chairman Richard Hibberd all spoke about the importance of twinning and how successful the weekend had been in terms of cementing the relationship between Wells and Bad Durkheim.

Wells Twinning Association and Wells City Council would like to thank The Ring of Bells, Wookey, Wookey Hole Hotel and Caves, The Dean of Wells Cathedral, Wells and Mendip Museum, Rosie Martin, CEO The Bishop’s Palace, The Crown at Wells, The Swan Hotel, Raso’s Fish & Chips, Cooper and Tanner, Gould and Swayne, F Griffiths & Sons Butchers, Partners In Cream, Lui & Pat Fabiano, Janis D’ovidio, Wells town clerk and her staff and the Wells Twinning Association members who volunteered.

Following the presentation made to the council in July, Richard Hibberd, treasurer Bob Reynolds and secretary Dawn Payne met with the mayor, Councillor John North, mayoress Gail North, deputy mayor Celia Wride and councillors Colin Price, Danny Unwin and Gordon Wilson to discuss the future of twinning in Wells and the relationship between the city council, Wells’ twin towns and the twinning association. A very positive discussion was held which resulted in the mayor agreeing to prepare a paper to put before the council to formalise the relationship and develop a joint approach to planning activities with our twin towns. It is hoped that this draft will be finalised and put before the council early in 2018.

The committee are currently in discussion with our twin towns to formulate plans for 2018 and will communicate these once they are finalised.

There are still a few tickets left for the fundraising “Sunday Lunch with a Difference”. The venue this year will be The Godney Tea Rooms, Godney. For tickets, contact Tony D’ovidio, tel: 07770 994652 or email


EVERYONE is welcome at Wells Civic Society’s first evening meeting of the new year on Wednesday, January 10, at the Wells and Mendip Museum at 7.30pm.

There will be a short AGM followed by the guest speaker, the Very Rev John Davies, the Dean of Wells, who will talk about ‘The Role of the Dean in the City of Wells’.

Members and non-members are very welcome.


WELLS Floral Art Society celebrates its 65th year with a new name. However, we meet at the same place, St Thomas’ Church Hall, Wells, at the same time, 2.15pm. Our demonstrator at the meeting on January 9 is Beverley Clay from Cardiff and her intriguing subject is Men, Me, Flowers.

Why not join us? Annual subscription is £27 or visitors £5.

Jenny Jones


AT our December meeting, members enjoyed mulled apple juice, mince pies and Christmas music while decorating wreaths made from withies and dogwood grown in our secretary’s garden.

People brought greenery, holly, mistletoe and ivy to share and, by the time everyone had added their own baubles and bows, we had dozens of different wreaths to hang on our doors. The museum shop stayed open late for gift shopping, and we exchanged presents in a Secret Santa.

The programme for 2018 was distributed. Among the things we will be hearing about in meetings next year are growing flowers; auctions; sugar craft; recycling; and wills, trust and probate. More details are on our Facebook page

During December, some members planned to meet at a Wells pub for a seasonal drink, and others to attend the WI carol service at Wells Cathedral, followed by a tour of the archives. To avoid further diary pressure in the busy Christmas period, we will be going out for a New Year dinner at the Cheese Yard Cafe in West Horrington in January.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 9, at 7.30pm (not the first Tuesday of the month this time) at the Mendip and Wells Museum. We will discuss the shortlist of five potential WI campaigns for 2018; the Skip Man will be talking about his lifetime of collecting; we will recycle any unwanted gifts (especially cookery and household items); and there will be a quiz. Annual subscriptions will also be due.

New women will be welcome to join us in the New Year.

Veronica Howe


SODA is the usual name for groups belonging to a small national charity, the Society for Disabled Artists.

The Wells Group meets at the Skills and Learning Centre in Portway, about five minutes from the bus station. We meet on a Tuesday afternoon between 1.30pm and 3.30pm. There are special tutors coming several times a term, and advice and encouragement given every week. We have a few expeditions out every year, and there are chances to exhibit.

The new term starts on Tuesday, January 9. For further information please ring 01749 673755 or 01749 673334.


ANYBODY with an interest in tinnitus or hyperacusis is invited to the next meeting of our support group, which is affiliated to the British Tinnitus Association and has run for seven years.

These can be very distressing conditions which are often poorly understood, even by medical professionals, and are believed to affect around 20 per cent of the population.

It can be an enormous help to talk with others having the same or similar problem as you will get a very sympathetic and understanding hearing without being considered in the least odd or hysterical.

We share experiences and strategies which make it much easier to live as normally as possible with these conditions.

We will next meet at 7.30pm on Thursday, January 18, in the Community Room at Wells Fire Station.

If anybody would like further information, please phone me on 01749 673044 or email

Michael Rowe

• Picture, top: Wells Lions’ president Paul Clegg, right, welcomes the club’s most recent recruit, Steve Whitby