Around the societies: November 2017

November 01 2017
Around the societies: November 2017

THE latest news from local organisations.


DR Jo Newton, a GP from Wells City Practice, talked to members about Managing the Menopause. She skilfully combined humour and medical facts to demystify the menopause, talking about stereotypes, symptoms, what treatment is available and when it is necessary to seek medical advice.

Dr Newton answered lots of questions from members about drug treatments, phyto-oestrogens, links to cancers, natural remedies and HRT, putting reservations about HRT into perspective with evidence about the greater risks to health posed by lack of exercise and alcohol consumption.

Just over £56 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Research by selling home-made cake in the tea break, and the lucky winner of the October raffle took home vouchers to spend in a Wells deli.

Over the next few weeks members will be visiting the former Shepton Mallet prison; meeting at The Globe Inn to discuss campaign ideas; watching a flower arranging demonstration at the Little Theatre; enjoying live broadcasts of ballets, operas, musicals and plays at Wells Film Centre, and attending a Christmas Carol Service at Wells Cathedral. We will also be filling shoe boxes with toiletries, accessories, books, CDs and other nice things to make Christmas presents for people being helped by the YMCA and a local women’s refuge.

The next meeting will be at the Wells and Mendip Museum at 7.30pm on Tuesday, November 7. Things could get noisy as Wendy Easton will be leading a drumming workshop.

Interested women can attend as visitors before committing to join. At the last meeting we welcomed our youngest visitor, Harriet Rose, aged three months

Veronica Howe


WELLS city councillor Celia Wride has become the 200th member of Wells Civic Society. The society is very pleased to welcome her, and as a new member, Celia was also presented with a civic society mug.

The civic society is always looking for new members to join to enjoy the evening talks on the second Wednesday of every month in the meeting room at Wells and Mendip Museum, where there is always an interesting speaker to inform and entertain about many and varied aspects of the history, art, life and times of Wells, and to take part in the various events that the civic society organises and takes part in across the city such as the planned Wells Mosaic and the recent Art 360 event on the Cathedral Green.
Membership is £10 per year, £15 for a joint membership and £20 for corporate membership.

To join, please contact membership secretary Clare Blackmore:


EACH year for over 600 years Bad Durkheim has held a Wurstmarkt or Sausage Market in early September. Traditionally, it showed off the traditional “Wursts” with a small number of samples of local wine to enhance the experience. But now, it has morphed into a huge fun fair and celebration of the grape harvest lasting ten days.

Local custom is that the Burgermeister invites representatives of Bad Durkheim’s twin towns, Paray-le-Monial, (France), Wells (UK), Kempton (Germany), Kluczbork (Poland) and Bad Berka (Germany) to visit for the first weekend of celebrations.

This provides an excellent opportunity not only to renew old friendships and make new friends but also to discuss amongst a wide group how twinning is developing across a large area.

This year a party of 12 travelled to Bad Durkheim to attend the celebrations and the formal ceremonies. The Mayor and Mayoress of Wells and the chairman and secretary of the Wells Twinning Association were invited to a formal lunch by the Burgermeister, at which representatives from each twin town gave a talk on twinning in their town and their ambitions going forward.

One clear message came through from each of the speeches and that was that current political circumstances increased the need for closer twinning arrangements between each town. Each of the town’s representatives agreed to work to further this end.

We were entertained extremely well during the visit, particularly by the Burgermeister, Christoph Glogger and his family and Uli and Jutta Baer. We look forward to seeing them again in Wells in November, to celebrate our carnival.

Richard Hibberd


AFTER the pop concert in the summer we put on a classical piano recital with homemade tea to follow in September to a delighted udience, raising over £500 so far for refugee agency Safe Passage.

WRAG has taken over the collection of clothes, blankets, sleeping bags etc for Safe Passage and other local charities each Friday from 10am-noon in Wells Town Hall. Also, there will be a second bric-a-brac stall at Wells Market in November, and hopefully in Shepton Mallet too.

Anyone wanting to know more information will find two of us each Friday at the Town Hall, or search for Wells Refugee Aid on Facebook.


THE MBBA is one of the largest and most proactive bridleway associations in the UK, dedicated to creating and maintaining safe riding routes.
The aims of the association are to protect and preserve the character and status of Mendip’s green ways, to advertise their existence via our map marking service and to encourage the active participation of our members to identify routes in need of improvement.

We are affiliated to the British Horse Society and we are an entirely voluntary association. All the money from our subscriptions and fundraising goes directly to improve the riding routes in the Mendip area. In fact, in the past eight years we have funded over £75,000 worth of improvements to routes in our area. We are also fortunate to have a good working partnership with Somerset County Council and indeed where possible, many of our projects are joint funded.

To raise these funds we hold regular Fun Rides, our Glastonbury Ride being the most famous with an amazing route around the festival site and the beautiful surrounding countryside. We also host an annual Bonanza Fun Day – this year we were thrilled that Wocket Woy and Pwoducer joined us for the fun.

Please visit our website and like our Facebook page. Better still, join us for just £15 per year and receive discounts on all the events we hold.

We are also looking for area representatives who ride their local routes and are happy to let us know if there is a problem or to discuss issues that arise in their area. Although the positions are entirely voluntary, there is no commitment to come to regular meetings, this is simply a way for us to keep an “ear to the ground” and keep up our good work. You will be provided with a map of your area with the local bridleways and just need to contact us if an issue arises.

Ginnie Jones


DAVID Usher was for 18 years head gardener at the prestigious Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton. While there he was responsible for the restoration of the Gertrude Jekyll / Edwin Lutyens gardens in front of the house.

These were overgrown and many of the original plants and plantings in a dismal state. He and his team refurbished it in detail, bringing it back to its former magnificence.
This work achieved, David found himself embroiled in a new restoration, that of the 18th century landscape garden at the rear of the property. His experience, therefore, speaks for itself.

And he is going to speak to Wells Gardening Club on Thursday, November 9, in Wells Town Hall at 7.30pm. His talk, The Answer Lies in the Soil, will look at plants and planting, dealing with that often neglected part of the garden, the ground itself. His advice will be well worth hearing considering his expert achievements so far. David now runs his own consultancy and gardening firm.

Everyone is welcome at what will be the last meeting of the year. Visitors £3, members £1.

For more details call 01749 679182.

Pip Harwood

• Picture, top: Bad Durkheim and Wells Twinning Associations