Winsham cartoon village map showing the church, primary school, jubilee hall and community shop with fields, cows and sheep. Created by Bethany Fowler as the header banner for the Winsham Web Museum.
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Orginally published Aug 2021
Last updated Aug 2021

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Art Club

In February 1960 John Thirtle, F.R.S.A, formed the Winsham Art Group. He was a professional artist, recently moved to the Winsham area, who offered tuition free for a year. Only two of the dozen or so original members had ever put brush to canvas before. They began with charcoal and white ceiling paper. It was not very long before oils were attempted. The ceiling paper was sized before being brought to class and advice about colours and type of paint and brushes given. John Thirtle looked upon this class as an experiment, something he had always wanted to bring about. His aim was to teach them to SEE, to express their individual feelings and whilst appreciating the work of others not to be too influenced by them. Such was the enthusiasm of the class that his experiment was to exceed all expectations and in 1962 they held their first exhibition in the Jubilee Hall. Fifteen members hired the Jubilee Hall for thirteen weekly evenings. Only two of the dozen or so original members had ever put brush to canvas before. They began with charcoal and white ceiling paper. It was not very long before oils were attempted. The ceiling paper was sized before being brought to class and advice about colours and type of paint and brushes given.

John Thirtle looked upon this class as an experiment, something he had always wanted to bring about. His aim was to teach them to SEE, to express their individual feelings and whilst appreciating the work of others not to be too influenced by them. Such was the enthusiasm of the class that his experiment was to exceed all expectations and in 1962 they held their first exhibition in the Jubilee Hall. They were complimented on the originality of their work, which was spontaneous and refreshing.

John Thirtle

Tim Spilsbury took over the tuition the following year and the group continued with various people giving talks until 1 966 when matters were put on a sound basis with the Winsham Art Club being formed and a committee elected. A subscription of five shillings a year was charged. Barbara Shrub-shall was elected Secretary and continued for twenty years. Doffia Bennett was Treasurer for twenty one years.

In 1970 John Jowitt became tutor and by this time many new people had come to the village and it was necessary to limit membership to thirty with Associate membership limited to ten. Subscriptions in 1 972 were fifty pence for full members and thirty pence for associate members. Classes were changed to afternoon when the light is better.

After John Jowett's retirement Sue Iredale and then Sphillipa Colby took over tuition for two years each 'and in 1990 Gwengar Smart became tutor. On her retirement the class was split into two afternoons a week, one run by Bert Wood the other by Marjorie Williams. Today Bert still teaches the Tuesday class and Les Toulmin takes the Thursday class.Over the years many outings were arranged and regular coffee mornings were held at the Bell Inn in Winsham when members were encouraged to bring a picture based on a chosen subject. This continues to date and is still popular.

In 1999 an evening class on Tuesday was started with Gwen Cubbage as tutor. This was by popular request in order to include some younger members who had commitments during the daytime. At the same time a Junior Art Club was formed for the children, tutored by Sheila Joyce. This has proved very popular and the numbers have grown so rapidly that other members of the club have volunteered to help and the venue has been changed to the school to make it an after school activity although still run by the Club. The children also exhibit at the Annual Exhibition, usually held in the spring. Other activities include participation in the school's May Fair and the biannual Street Fair when we have a stall selling small pictures and cards.

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Margery, Nancy and Joan having a busy time on the Art Club Stall

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Happy coffee morning, a monthly event held at The Bell Inn

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Summertime club outing

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Phyllida with the paintings by the children of Winsham School

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Barbara hard at work during the Thursday class

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Friday evening preview of the Art Club Exhibition

Coronation Band

Winsham Coronation Band was formed to celebrate the Coronation of Edward VII in 1902.

During the second world war the band managed to carry on and being the only band for 10 to 15 miles around were in great demand at money raising efforts for the war weapon weeks. With the end of hostilities and return of members, the band were able to attend contests with some success.

During recent years the band has played at village events including playing carols around the village at Christmas time. This year some ex-members of the band joined us and we played for the Remembrance Day Service at St Stephen's Church.

We practice on Thursday evenings in the Band Hut but despite efforts to train young members the band has dwindled to eight members, five being O A Ps and unless a miracle happens we shall have to disband before our centenary.

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Cricket Club

Founded in 1974, Winsham Cricket Club's aim was to provide cricket for the village residents, with friendly matches against local clubs. 36 years on it is still providing friendly cricket as well as league games in the guise of tie Chard Evening League on Wednesdays and the Somerset League on Saturdays. The nucleus of the team comes from village residents with the remainder coming from outlying areas. Principally, Norman Good and members of the club keep the ground at Bakersfield in good condition.

The Millennium Season started in late March with the local cricket school at Wambrook being hired for net practice. This was well attended with a good number of young players wanting coaching. As well as the youngsters, the usual stalwarts of the club were there to lend their experience. The club was also glad to welcome some new faces, some which had played cricket at a much higher level and some that just wanted the enjoyment of playing the game. We even had a television celebrity join us. Craig Charles obviously came from good cricketing stock, as one of his close descendants played for the West Indies.

The club had a reasonable start to the season, performing ably with bat and ball, and the young members of the club making very worthwhile contributions. In fact, three fourteen year olds played regularly throughout the season, which is a very good sign for the future. The one thing we lost this year was that little bit of luck that would mean the difference between winning and losing and, win or lose, each game is played with spirit and keenness. Winning is great, but if we lose a game, our heads remain high, as the enjoyment is taking part. Knowing we haven't performed as well as we should, the players immediately agreed to go straight back to the cricket school for net practice to iron out their flaws in preparation for next season. It looks like cricket is wanted all the year round!

The club Annual Dinner and Presentation takes place in October when the members vote for their choice of outstanding players, as well as the Club Person of the year.
Looking to the future we find ourselves in a situation we have never been in before, with hopefully a youth/junior team being formed and possibly, even more exciting, the formation of a ladies' team, which would be a real bonus, as there are very few ladies' teams around. Good Luck, Girls!

The future of the club looks bright and we look forward to die 2001 season.

Maurice Beviss-Secretary

Davies Close Sheltered Housing

Davies Close Sheltered Accommodation is a group of bungalows in Davies Close. The bungalows are owned by Somerset Homes, the tenants are connected to a Piper System that allows them to alert and communicate with The Scheme Manager, Maureen Marsh, or the Control Centre in Yeovil when Maureen is not available. There are 32 Bungalows and at present there are 42 tenants and all are able to use the Communal room at any time during the day for rest, relaxation, to sit quietly or to join in the organised activities. Early this year a Loop System was installed in the Common Room to help the Hard of Hearing, this was paid for with monies raised by Mr. Paul Smith who manufactured and arranged the sale of Encapsulated Maps of the Parish.

Other Fundraising activities, including Quizzes, Raffles are organised by the tenants to allow them to purchase various items and to help reduce the cost of outings. In August of this year we purchased a Video Player to allow us to view some of recent and not so recent video releases.

Various activities are organised in the Communal Room these include Physical Activities, Whist, Scrabble, Video, Bingo and Darts/Social Evenings. Once a month on a Wednesday morning Mr. McMinn, from the chapel, conducts a Communion Service in the Common Room.

On the last Friday of every month the tenants meet to discuss anything which is bothering them and to arrange extra activities.

Some of the entries from our Year 2000 Diary: -

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District Councillor

The various roles of a District Councillor

I was once asked by a club in the village to give a talk on being a district councillor, and decided to use the theme of "wearing different hats". The job is nothing if not varied! As I am into drama and costume, I took along a set of disguises to illustrate the idea.The first role was SECRETARY. We spend part of each day opening letters, answering the phone, listening to answer-phone messages, nowadays, accessing and writing e-mails. (For this role I donned a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles.) As there is a great deal to learn, we have to be RESEARCHERS. (Here I put on an academic gown.) Information may come from Council papers, from the Council's or the Government's web pages or from enquiries to the officers. When I hand on this information to the public, or suggest where to find it, I feel like a TEACHER. (Here I added a mortar-board to the gown.)

A councillor often has to make judgements, either at a public meeting, or when consulted by an officer on a ward matter. This is far from comfortable, as the individuals or the parish council concerned may not agree with one's decision. The "hat" for this was of course a JUDGE'S wig: perhaps a black cap would have been more appropriate.

On the other hand, a councillor often finds him/herself reassuring or encouraging their constituents. South Somerset District Council is a particularly open council, helping people to speak out at meetings and continually consulting. Advising the young, the shy or the inarticulate makes one feel like a PARISH PRIEST. (At the talk I quickly put on a dog-collar.)

Drama Group

True community theatre

In 1985 the whole of the West Country celebrated the three-hundredth anniversary of the Pitchfork Rebellion. It was a daunting task to tell the complete story of Monmouth's campaign, including the Battle of Sedgemoor, as a play in our Jubilee Hall, but we did it! I kept in mind the simplicity of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and a sense of local patriotism, and the audience loved it.

Several other plays were linked to Street Fair themes: for the Victorian one, it was a visit by Sherlock Holmes to solve a crime in Winsham; for the Twenties Street Fair the scene was a country-house party and an impending strike by the servants, as a nod (albeit humorously ) to
the class struggle of the time.

Other anniversaries prompted more locally-based plots. What would it have been like to be a Saxon peasant when the Normans came round to compile their Domesday Book? This was the basis of "The Winsham Conquest", in which the Saxons cleverly outwitted their overlords - of course!

Performing this in the pub led to a regular short Christmas performance. We revived the Mummers' Play, an ancient folk play, using the Dorset script. A version of Thomas Hardy's "The Three Strangers" also in the pub, was followed by a mediaeval mystery play "Mac the Sheep-stealer", which was staged in the Church, including Lottie the sheep!
Our beautiful countryside was the appropriate setting for "The Pilgrim's Progress" in the summer of 1994. Hills, streams, meadows, paths and buildings featured allegorically, as they do in Bunyan's book. It was a two-mile walk for cast and audience! Some chose to ride on a pony-cart or travel by tractor and trailer.

The lovely gardens of the village were the setting for "The Winsham Canterbury Tales": four plays, each in a different setting, with the audience walking between. Yes, providentially, we have had wonderful weather for our outdoor productions.
Our final production of the millennium was "A Ring of Time". Celebrating the Christian story through the festivals of the year, and taking place in the Church.
The plays have involved casts of over forty, and actors, musicians and dancers from seven to seventy.

That's true community drama!

Football Club

The club was founded in 1895 and, over the years, has played against other villages and some town teams.

In the early days matches were played in a field opposite Davies Close. Keen youngsters were able to learn from watching the teams playing and retrieving the balls whenever they ran off down the slope.

Players returning to Winsham after serving in the forces during the Second World War brought new skills with them. They had played with professional footballers and had experienced the disciplined way of approaching the sport - no alcohol before matches for example.

In a village this size football was very much a tradition with some families and there was always plenty of support from relations and former players. The ladies played their part by looking after the kit - even washing the laces.

In 1950-1 Winsham F.C. won the Axminster Hospital Cup and Perry Street Charity Cup.

Today Winsham Football Club has two teams. The first team plays in Division Two of the Perry Street League and are currently in 8th position. The reserve team plays in Division Four of the same league and are currently in 6th place, a better position than the last two seasons. Both teams consist of local players from Winsham and players from Chard and surrounding villages.

Recently we have set up a Youth Team for 5 - 15 year olds running on a Monday night.

2000-2001 Season

First TeamReserve Team
Phil Fursman 
George Hamill
Martin Allen 
Steve Cockerill 
Julian Shears
Kevin Barrett 
Royston Loveridge 
Shane Down 
Dan Slade 
Martin Jacobs 
Steve Smith 
Craig Parris 
Steve Long 
Paul Retchford
 Luke Brown
Simon Douglass (Capt.)
Dominic Douglass
Nick Long
Phil Lawrence
Shane Partridge
Darren Partridge
Gary Partridge
Ryan Partridge
Kevin Reed
Tim Vine
Martin Maber
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First Team: 1999 - 2000 Season

Front row (left to right):Royston Loveridge,Julian Shears,Richard Frecknall,Kevin Barrett,Martin Allen
Back Row(left to right):George Hamill(Manager),Darren Partridge,Rob Long,James Brown,Dean Salter,Craig salter and Gary Frecknall

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Reserve Team: 1999 - 2000 Season

Front Row: Ben Stone, Shane Partridge, Simon Douglass, Daniel Beckham, Brian Partridge
Back Row:
 Paul Retchford, Dominic Douglass, Craig Parris, Luke Brown, Steve Smith, Nick Long

Horticultural Society

As every year, planning for 2000 was started at the AGM the previous year, November 23rd 1999. Officers elected were, President - Mrs J Cameron re-elected. Vice Presidents - John Hammett and Jack Peadon re-elected. Chairman - Bob Cooke, elected again after a few years as Vice Chairman. Stephen Rowsell, having stepped down as Chairman due to work commitment, was made Vice Chairman. Treasurer - Janet Smart, having taken over from Jim Aslett. Secretary - Trish Baxter re-elected.

At this AGM it was decided to hold just one show in the Year 2000, in place of the Summer Show in August and the Autumn Show in October, with a probable date being the third Saturday in September.

Now to the Year 2000.

The first committee meeting in January confirmed the Show date as September 16th and rearranged the Schedules to incorporate as much as possible into one show. The result was success, except that, being much earlier than the usual Autumn Show, no Chrysanthemums were entered.

The first event of the year was the annual plant sale. Over the last few years we have invited the Redman Family to bring plants from their nursery and give us a percentage, which has been very generous.

Show day

Now on to the AGM of 2000 which was on November 21st.

Mrs Cameron, after many years as President decided it was time to retire. We thanked her for all the time and effort she has put into the Society. John Hammett was elected President. As one of our previous Vice Presidents had sadly passed away since our last AGM, I refer to Jack Peadon whose support and help over many years was much appreciated, Vic Chubb and Les Toulmin were elected as Vice Presidents. Bob Cooke, Chairman, Stephen Rowsell, Vice Chairman and Janet Smart were re-elected. Trish Baxter did not wish to be re-elected as Secretary, so Hilda Vaughan was elected with Margaret Long as Chief Caterer.

In the Chairman's report he put forward a proposal that next year we hold an evening show in October to cater for the lost Chrysanthemums in our earlier show this year, together with some other cut flower classes. Also to stage the Art Classes on this evening instead of the main show, with perhaps a bring and buy of Autumn plants and cuttings plus refreshments. It was later agreed and Saturday, October 27th 2001 has been booked. The Main Show date is September 15th 2001.

In July was the Church Flower festival when we had an area to stage "Dairy Farming". Buttercup and Daisy, made by Janet Smart, and a magnificent flower display in the Font, by John Hammett, was talked about for weeks after.

Show day - September 16th. The previous few days had been wet and windy which made a slight difference to the quality of cut flowers that we may have expected. Having said that, there was not much spare space. Vegetables were much the same but both the Children's and Art classes were up.Now on to the AGM of 2000 which was on November 21st.

Mrs Cameron, after many years as President decided it was time to retire. We thanked her for all the time and effort she has put into the Society. John Hammett was elected President. As one of our previous Vice Presidents had sadly passed away since our last AGM, I refer to Jack Peadon whose support and help over many years was much appreciated, Vic Chubb and Les Toulmin were elected as Vice Presidents. Bob Cooke, Chairman, Stephen Rowsell, Vice Chairman and Janet Smart were re-elected. Trish Baxter did not wish to be re-elected as Secretary, so Hilda Vaughan was elected with Margaret Long as Chief Caterer.

In the Chairman's report he put forward a proposal that next year we hold an evening show in October to cater for the lost Chrysanthemums in our earlier show this year, together with some other cut flower classes. Also to stage the Art Classes on this evening instead of the main show, with perhaps a bring and buy of Autumn plants and cuttings plus refreshments. It was later agreed and Saturday, October 27th 2001 has been booked. The Main Show date is September 15th 2001.B.C.

Prize winning entries in vegetable classes

Joint Parish Magazine

The Joint Parish Magazine reaches some 420 homes each month, in the Parishes of Winsham, Thorncombe & Cricket St. Thomas. About 200 are distributed in Winsham, about 60% of all Households. It contains both Church & general news from the Parishes, and carries advertising by local businesses. The Annual Subscription is £4.20 for twelve monthly issues, including delivery.

The production of the magazine is an example of how the church and the secular interests, in the community can work together to their mutual benefit and to the advantage of all the communities involved. It is also an example of how adjacent villages can co-operate.
The editorial content of the publication is balanced as far as is possible to give roughly equal coverage between the co-operating parishes.

The ambience of the publication is Christian, and the church related items undoubtedly do set the editorial tone although they are generally less in number than the general village news items. The style of the publication is one of positive reporting, and avoids, as far as possible, negative and controversial items.

A good deal of the editorial is concerned with forthcoming events and reports of events just passed. It also carries regular reports on, for example Parish Council Meetings, W.I activity, the schools etc; it also runs regular items of Horticultural, interest, Farming and local flora and fauna. It also carries an integrated Parish Diary, listing chronologically events in Winsham, Thorncombe and Cricket St.Thomas.

The editorial content of the magazine usually runs to some ten pages each month, with paid advertising making up a further nine, pages. Advertising is an important part of the magazine. It makes a significant contribution towards the production costs of about 55p. per copy. Apart from this it does put many local suppliers of goods and services in touch potentially valuable customers living in the communities. There are more people wishing to advertise than there are spaces available. For many readers, especially those moving to the area, the advertising is an invaluable source of information about local services and supplies

Distribution of the Joint Parish Magazine is managed and organized through the respective Parochial Church Councils representing the three parishes. They organize the teams, which at the beginning of each year undertake the collection of the annual subscriptions to the magazine, and then carry out the monthly delivery of the publication.

Jubilee Hall

Over the past year the committee had had thirteen members, some as village representatives and others representing the organisations of the village and users of the hall.

The committee meet every two months, mainly discussing future maintenance and improvements. In the last year, the hall has been redecorated inside and out by a local person, Mr Steve Weller. Repairs on the roof and general odd jobs have been done to maintain the building. A telephone is now installed for the use of organisations and has proved very useful so far.

There are various organisations using the hall, mainly the; 'Pre-school & Toddlers', 'Rainbow Guides', 'Brownies', 'Aikido', 'Art Club', 'Sunday School', '6+', 'Parish Council', '60's Club', 'W.I', 'Horticultural Society' and Winsham Primary School.

Coffee mornings have been held by the 'RNLI', 'The Friends of Essex House' and other charities supported by Mrs Margaret Long. The 'Street Fair Committee' have had dances, race nights and a well worth seeing fashion show using models from our local community. Jumble sales and discos have been held by the Pre-school and Winsham Youth Club.

At Christmas time various events are organised. Pre-school hold a Bingo night and a nativity. Gillian Grabham organises a play involving children from the 6+ group and an activity day for children with voluntary help from local people.

Of course, this year with the Street Fair which involves the majority of people in Winsham, the hall was used by the PFA of Winsham Primary School, jointly with the Pre-school to provide tea, coffee etc. along with ploughman's lunches and strawberries and cream. Yum!

The '150 Club' still remains the biggest 'fund raiser' for the hall itself, kindly organised by Mrs Janet Smart, who has had this task for a long time.

Mr Philip Kershaw remains a long-standing Treasurer for the hall, and at present Mr Julian Dorse is acting Chairperson, who always knows someone who can help 'free of charge' or 'cheaply' to do a job, if a job needs doing. Mrs Kathy Dorse is the present Secretary and Bookings Secretary, who wishes for the skills of shorthand and typing, but gets by with the help of computers.
Mr John Sullivan is the Vice-Chairman and at present the other members of the Jubilee Hall Management Committee are, Mrs J Cameron, Mrs M Fowler, Mr J Loaring, Mr N Good, Mrs S Love, Mrs A Wigmore, Mrs S Joyce, Mrs C douglass and Mrs S Powell.

The next main future improvements for the hall are to adapt disabled facilities and disabled access, which is legally required within the next four years.

Ki Aikido Club

Village Hall Mondays 6.30-9.30 pm, Thursdays 7.30-9.30 pm

Ki Aikido stems from Japan and means: "The way of harmony with the life-force". Although derived from the fighting arts it is not martial, on the contrary: at the core of Ki Aikido lie the principles of love, harmony and reconciliation. Non-dissension, 'do not disagree' is what you strive for, on and off the matt.

You mostly work with a partner, and via exercises you learn - surprise! - that you are actually stronger, more balanced and less likely to get hurt when you relax: that 'going on the defense', wears you out so you are defeated with ease. Tension is the enemy, and the bad habits of our mind, such as to go rigid and compete. 'Put yourself in partner's place' is another aikido rule, and when doing that, physically or metaphorically, you discover that there is no conflict at all, you were just trying to get to the same place in different ways. The only person to compete with is yourself; can I get better tomorrow than I am today?

In Winsham our ages range from 12 to 53: age, nor physical state is a handicap for practice. Anyone can learn co-ordination of mind and body. perhaps our most important core principle, with great benefits to themselves and their surroundings. The worse you are at it, the more you can leam. For every strong, fit member, there is another one who will tell you they always hated sports!

As Ki Aikido doesn't look superficially impressive, and, rather than encourage, tries to get rid of our 'fighting mind', it does not have the appeal of judo and karate. We practise in Winsham because of its beautiful village hall, but of our 8 members only Adam (Dorse) is local, the rest come from as far as Martock and West Coker. We are part of the Ki Federation of Great Britain, whose Head, Sensei Williams, began teaching after a long training in Japan. Being so near Headquarters in Burnham on Sea, teacher sensei Eileen Honeybun and most of our members go there for courses or high-level teaching.

Once a year we put on a Saturday course, where people from other clubs come to practise, grade and eat (senseis cooked lunches are famous). The rest of the time we just practice, slowly losing our habits of stiffening, resisting and confronting head-on. It seems an impossible task, but the reason we keep coming is because of the effects we see in our lives, daily. And the fun!

Millennium Committee

A meeting was held in the Jubilee hall on 12 March 1999 to decide how Winsham would commemorate the year 2000. About fifty people attended and many ideas were proposed. A committee, Winsham 2000, was formed to co-ordinate the year's events. Stella Abbey became the Chairman and with Ann Beviss as Secretary the plans were made.
A torchlight procession was arranged for New Year's Eve to start the new Millennium followed by the first of four seasonal footpath walks led by Peter Pye and Denis Shaw.

The Parish Council was approached and gave £100.00 towards the provision of souvenir mugs to all children living in the Parish of 11 years and under. A further grant of £200.00 was made by South Somerset District Council. The mugs were presented to the children on Sports Day, June 30, following the Street Fair. 
Other fund raising was needed. An application to receive money from Awards for All was unsuccessful. Janet Smart arranged for T-shirts with the Winsham 2000 Yew tree logo to be produced for sale. Ann Bevis arranged a skittles competition and a quiz.

Millennium Book.
It was decided to compile a book to describe all aspects of the Parish during the year 2000 A.D. This would be on similar lines to the W.I. Book produced in 1965 but would be much more detailed. Anne Rose, Peter and Mary Pye and Jan Sullivan were responsible for contacting and persuading all the organisations and businesses in the village to provide information about themselves, collating the diary, taking photographs of people places and events, weather readings, and generally collecting and processing all the details and finally compiling the book. A separate volume was produced by Robert Shearer, who photographed every property in the parish during the year. Early on it had been decided that a copy of each volume would be deposited in the Public Records Office in Taunton. These two volumes bear witness to the fruits of all that labour.

A preview of the book's progress was shown in the Jubilee Hall on the 2nd October 2000 and it was planned that the completed volume would be on display during the Millennium Exhibition in 2001. An exhibition to be held in year 2001 was planned and Janet Smart, Caroline Sweetland, Stephanie Flanagan and Janet Horner formed a sub-committee to organise it.

One of the displays at The Millennium Book preview in the Jubilee Hall

Millennium Exhibition.
The year 2000 for the Exhibition Committee was one of planning and research. We had a vision of what we wanted to do and gradually the means of achieving it fell into place as each person had an interest in a different aspect. So Rob Simmons, an ex-teacher, dealt with the history of the millennium, the display based on a time line and using research from Chard Museum and the County Records Office. Janet Smart worked on the year 1000 with the book by Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger as the base, plus the big houses which influenced the village, Cricket St Thomas, Forde Abbey and Leigh House, the church and chapel.
Work towards the envisaged exhibition during that year entailed letters written to various owners of the properties concerned, visits to collect information and photographs and requests in the Parish Magazine for the loan of artefacts and pictures.

Millennium Exhibition (Children's Section).
After the initial meeting of the Exhibition Committee Janet Horner, Stella's daughter, Stephanie Flanagan and Caroline Sweetland concentrated on the future as part of the exhibition where the children would play a part. We met on several occasions then Janet moved away to get married and , sadly, Stephanie died.

Towards the end of the year Caroline wrote to the children who attended the village organisations, Brownies, Pre-School, School and Youth Club and requested photographs to be sent in of them for the exhibition. She also put a similar request in the Parish Magazine and spent an evening at the Youth Club where they designed some pictures of the future including travel, fashion etc. Pre-School also included the themes of the future and homes in the future in their curriculum. Danielle and some friends planned a collage of a futuristic person. All these items including the photographs, would be displayed in the Committee Room of the Jubilee Hall for the exhibition. The idea was to make the "Future" part of the exhibition very different. Caroline made plans to go to the Scrap Store, part of the Community Resource Centre in Yeovil and use scrap materials to completely line and decorate the room. After the exhibition all photographs would be returned and the materials from the Scrap Store recycled.

Janet Smart, Rob Simmons, Caroline Sweetland

Wall Hanging.
Kate Langridge agreed to organise the production of a wall hanging. Six inch squares were embroidered by individuals, with their own designs depicting various aspects of the village, and stitched together and backed by Kate.

Yew Tree.
In March 2001 a Yew tree will be planted in the churchyard.

Mothers Union

Winsham M.U. group began on 11/2/1996 when Father Brian Sutton, the vicar of St. Stephen's church at that time, received six women into the M.U. at a special service. Since then some have moved away and others have joined, and at present there are 8 members on roll. 

The group meets every month in the homes of its members in rotation, members' young children being present and welcome. Meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month, usually in the mornings, finishing in time for members to collect children from Playgroup or school, but a few meetings are held in the evenings to make them accessible for people at work.

The aim of the Mothers' Union is "The advancement of the Christian religion in the sphere of marriage and family life" and many of the meetings directly reflect this. The programme of meetings for the year 2000 is shown below. 

1. 11/1 AGM / social meeting
2. 1/2 Birthday Service, and reception of new member (in church)
3. 14/3 Speaker - 'God's story, our story' 25/3 Lady Day service (diocese event at Bath Abbey)
4. 11/4 Speaker - Parenting.
5. 9/5 Social meeting, planning for Street Fair, Flower Festival, & picnic 
6. 13/6 Speaker - from Pilsdon Community 
7. 15/8 Picnic - visiting Fr. Brian & Bridget -Shared service with Farmborough M.U., led jointly by their Rector Fr. Brian
8. 11/9 Deanery Harvest Festival (St. Barts. Crewkerne).
9. 12/9 Speaker - The Media
10. 10/10 Social meeting, planning for Stir-Up Sunday, programme 2001
11. 14/11 Speaker - 'Life in the Vicarage' 
12. 12/12 Social meeting, planning Crib service.
13. 24/12 Crib Service

We are a small group, whose members support each other in many ways, particularly when there is a birth, wedding or death in any of our families. We encourage each other to persevere with bringing children to church and with finding time for spiritual things despite being very busy. 

Some of those without young children take part in staffing the creche at Shepton Mallet Prison, to help mothers visiting imprisoned relatives there. We take part in village events such as the Street Fair and Flower Festival, and most of our members are busy in other village organisations.

Back: Robert Kurl, Diana Kershaw, Jean Peacock, Sandy Wells, Jordan Fowler, Helen Fowler
Front: Caroline Sweetland, Ruby Sweetland, Jennie Kearl, Edie Jones, Jemima Sweetland and Bethany Fowler

Neighbourhood Watch

In earlier times the Village Policeman acted as a stabilising influence within a rural setting. Life in the urban and inner city situation, understandably, was more complex and always evolved at a faster rate. So that crime reduction aims and.methods could become more widely understood in these areas Neighbourhood Watch Schemes were introduced in the early 1980's.

In 1993 the Winsham Parish Council recognised the need to improve the security in the village and after a successful General Meeting in the Jubilee Hall some 14 volunteers offered to act as Contact Persons under a Coordinator. The original scheme continues to operate, is well regarded and covers some 360 households and 16 farms.
Since April 1997 there has been a Neighbourhood Watch Administration Office in Yeovil for the East Somerset Police District.

Up to April 2000 the Windwhistle Police and Community Consultative Group (PQCG) met regularly with representation coming from Ilminster, Crewkerne and Chard. These meetings encouraged the exchange of information and open discussion on a wide range of crime related and other topics. Besides acting as a useful source of information for the Winsham Parish Council, the PCCG meetings also highlighted topics for inclusion in a regular Neighbourhood Watch Bulletin.

As all communities continue to evolve, the Avon and Somerset Police Authority has decided to replace PCCG meetings with COMMUNITY SAFETY CONSULTATION TEAMS. The teams will retain representation from the Police Authority, the Constabulary, District Councils and other relevant public and voluntary sen/ices. The aim, however, is that there should be local groups which will seek not only to improve the quality of life and safety in their respective communities but also to highlight specific needs for the Police Authority attention.

From September 2000 the "Somerton Sector Team" will cover Somerton, Ilminster, Crewkerne, Wincanton, Chard (- and Winsham).
Besides holding an annual meeting for Contact Persons in Winsham another event in 1999 was SHEDUCATION - a visit to the village in October 1999 by the "Crime Prevention Mobile Display and Advice Unit". In March 2000 there was a General Meeting in the Jubilee Hall so that the Crime Reduction Officer from Crewkerne could make a presentation. Very good advice was given on dwelling security, the identification and protection of personal property, credit card security and, of course vehicle security.

Own Band

We are a local band, with two members living in the centre of Winsham. Our name is 'Chard Remains'.We have six members, playing various instruments. Julian Dorse, from Winsham, enjoys arranging the music, making Irish music either funky or reggae. He plays bass, guitar, mandola and sings.

Jonno, from Buckland St Mary, well he can play anything, but generally plays whistles, harmonicas, saxophones, banjo and sings.

Paul, from Wellington, he plays guitar, keyboards and sings and has many of his own songs tucked up his sleeve.

Martine, from Sparkford, she plays fiddle and can improvise on any tunes.

Andy, from Bridgewater, he plays drums and congas and is often thrown in the deep end as he is the latest member who never knows what we might play next.

How we formed is a long story, but basically Kathy met Julian through joining a guitar group that he had started. Kathy would sing the songs they were learning. After a few months, Julian had been approached by Rob and Sandra (the previous proprietors of the Bell Inn, Winsham) for any ideas of local entertainment to celebrate the anniversary of one year at the pub, and this is where it all started.

Julian asked Kathy and a friend, Jonno, to form a trio to make music for this occasion . Along with the trio another three musicians that Jonno and Julian knew came along to perform for the first half of the evening. One of their members, Paul, had previously met Jonno and Julian at a folk club in Wellington. Kathy exchanged musical interest with Paul and agreed to get together to play music. So Paul, Jonno, Julian and Kathy met once a week, practising at 'The George Hotel' and later at Kathy's house.

Julian, through being the local butcher, organised gigs at local pubs and parties.

Drinking in 'The George Hotel one night after practising, Jonno came up with the name 'Chard Remains' which suited the band well, as we were always asked to play in front of the fire at local pubs. After four years came the first drummer, Steve, then Sam and later Andy who we had met whilst entertaining at a wedding. Sam was leaving for university and Andy was asked to take his place, as he had proved his skills drumming during the evening of the wedding and enjoyed playing with us. Seven years later we met Martine through music events and asked her if she would like to join. So eight years on we are still together and continue to enjoy the music.

Village Pantomimes

The first Pantomime we put on was Aladdin in March 1989 for three performances in the Jubilee Hall. Olwyn Thomas (Church Street) wrote a skeleton plot which we all added to. We had no stage, no lighting other than the normal Hall strip lights and a strange, no doubt highly dangerous, W.I. contraption. The curtains had to have a large piece added onto the bottom to reach the floor and two young boys, Mathews Tett and Puddicombe, as Curtain Drawers. No money for costumes but plenty of old curtains, and nimble fingers worked miracles. About fifty people were involved, with our Chairman of the Parish Council, Mary Loaring bringing the house down as the Ring Fairy in a Tutu. Enjoyed by all but with complaints galore as only the front few rows could actually see! 

Marjorie Fowler saved the day by finding us some second hand staging for Jack and the Beanstalk in 1995. New curtains and new and hired lighting pleased the audience and even with an extra performance it was, again, a sell out. Geoff Jones as the Giant's Baby in a nappy and a bottle stole the show, though with thirty in the cast (on a stage 16' x 12' and a small apron) there was plenty of competition for the title. Copies of the video taken were later on sale.

Robertson Caruso (or the Singing Castaway) was the third effort in March 1998. A brand new, light and easy to handle stage, more lighting, a proper backdrop was bought and even some material for costumes. Still no more room though and with thirty four people in the cast space was at a premium. This time we entered the "Cinderella" Competition for Somerset Pantomimes. There were twenty five entrants from small villages like ours to towns like Wellington. We won five Prizes. "Tomorrow's Stars" were Liam Whittle, Gemma Davies and Maya Preston; the "Zaniest Script" - Penny Pargiter, and one of the Major prizes "Best Principal Boy" to Claire Morris who lived at Thorncombe, but has now moved to Spain. She so nobly held us all together, where do we go without her??

For all three shows we have had a marvellous team of backstage "doers". Tuesdays at Paccombe Cottage (Thompson's) for costumes, Wednesdays at Glebe Cottage (Rose's) for props and sets at Laymore (de Boinod), Jasons (Preston's) and Stuckey Farmhouse (Pargiter's).

Penny Pargiter, Author/Producer.

Winsham Parish Council

For a little more than one hundred years Parish Councils have managed parish affairs. Winsham has nine elected councillors. Some have a record of long service, others have been in office since the election two years ago and since then two have been elected to fill casual vacancies.

In September, Mrs Pat Green, our Parish Clerk died after a short illness. We were all saddened by her untimely death. It also meant that some of the business of the council was delayed to some extent while we sought a new Parish Clerk. In this respect we have been fortunate in recruiting Frank Vaughan, who moved into the village earlier this year. He is now working hard at absorbing the details of his responsibilities, and coming to grips with the work in progress.

Tasks within the Parish Council, when they can be classified, are delegated to individual or groups of Councillors who then report progress at each monthly meeting. Planning, policy and expenditure decisions can only be made at the properly constituted Parish Council meeting which is open to the public. Provision is made for public questions at each meeting.

The duties of the Parish Council are many and varied. 

The precept for 2000 is £6000.00 which comes from the taxes collected by South Somerset District Council.

On the Lower Recreation Ground the cutting of grass and the maintenance of the Play Equipment area is one of our responsibilities. The latter includes checking each week the safety aspects of all the equipment by a Parish Councillor, at no cost to the Parish, to ensure its compliance with legal standards. The withdrawal from use of the climbing frame was a result of new standards. Safety matting is soon to be installed, which will then enable the frame to be used once again.

Plans are also progressing for the installation of a Bus Shelter near Davies Close. This will be of real benefit for the many children and village residents who regularly travel to Chard by bus. This we expect to be built during 2001.

With the heavy rainfall of the last few months the maintenance of the Parish drainage systems have been very much under review. The situation is difficult, with so much water coming off the fields. Probably the best that can realistically be achieved is a quick response for those particular areas where local flooding is capable of being alleviated, and where it creates the most danger and inconvenience.

The regular cutting of grass in the Churchyard and Cemetery and general maintenance of these areas is also part of the Parish Council remit. This includes fencing and the levelling and grassing of grave spaces when settlement has finished. Much of this work, other than the grass cutting, is done without any charge to the Precept.

Planning is also another important aspect of our work. Although final decisions are the responsibility of the District Council, the Parish Council's views are sought on all applications.

The results of a parish consultation concerning speeding traffic through the village showed that there was support for some sort of traffic calming action. The cost to the parish for providing this would be prohibitive and Winsham is not near the top of the Highway Authority's priority list. However, the Parish Council will keep traffic calming on its agenda.
In April a section of the Churchyard wall bordering The Old Vicarage collapsed. The Churchyard is closed and the Parish Council is responsible for maintaining the boundaries. Until ownership of this section of wall is established the wall remains in its fallen state.

Work is in hand to resurface the present footpath to the cemetery and provide a double track. It will improve the access for vehicles. This has been started but because of the rainfall this Autumn the work could not be completed.

During Public Question time in July notice was drawn to the state of the War Memorial. It was agreed that refurbishment was needed and that the work would be done in 2001.

The hundred year old oak tree in the Small Recreation Ground is showing signs of problems. Professional advice gave no definite diagnosis. It's future, and probable replacement was considered in the Autumn

A permanent home for the Village Bier is proving very difficult to find. St Stephen's Church might be a possibility.

Preliminary arrangements for Winsham to be twinned with Saint Remy du Val, in France have been made. The two villages are roughly the same size, both have primary schools and, being rural, have the same interests. The twinning organisation will be independent from the Parish Council but needs the support and backing of the whole village. The Parish Council readily gave their support for the plans.

Court Farm Close has been approved as the name for the new housing development at Court Farm.

The possibility of a low cost housing development in Western Way, beyond the Thatched Houses, was raised. Lower cost homes in Winsham, suitable for young people, is often discussed at meetings. Housing Associations own many of the houses in the village and decide who the tenants are to be. Local people have almost no advantage.

Every year the Parish Council publishes a Parish Guide, which is distributed to every house. A copy will be stored with the Parish Magazines for this year.

F. Vaughan (Parish Clerk) and C. Slade (Chairman)
A. Rose, H. Dukes, P. Love and J. Sullivan (Vice Chair)
P. Pye, E. Partridge, G. Winter and A. Fuller

Pre-School and Toddlers Group

Winsham Pre-school was established in 1984 and has been running successfully ever since. Our group is registered by Social Services, which ensures that we offer the highest quality care for the children. Many of the children who attend the Pre-school, live in Winsham, but several come from Chard and the surrounding villages. We are also registered members of the Pre-school Learning Alliance and a registered charity. Although not officially affiliated to the school, we work closely together and often join them for special events.

The Pre-school is run by a committee made up from volunteers elected each year at the A.G.M, mainly from the parents and carers of children in the Pre-school. At the start of the year 2000, there were ten committee members and four paid members of staff, including the Pre-school Supervisor and two assistants. An administrator was appointed this year to undertake some of the financial and business side of the group. We also have a Pre-school assistant who works in a voluntary capacity. 

There is a "Helpers Rota" where parents help in the Pre-school once or twice a term. We are very lucky to have several older members of the community who also help on this rota. The committee is responsible for the general running of the Pre-school, working to a constitution set up by the Pre-school Learning Alliance. They also undertake fundraising. During the year 2000 we have raised money through Jumble sales, book parties, etc. We provided refreshments at the Street Fair and we are organising our annual Christmas Bingo, which is usually a very popular village event.

The Pre-school follows a curriculum which covers such areas as; Personal and social development, Language and literacy, Knowledge and understanding of the world. We are registered to claim the Nursery Education Grants, which are available for four-year-olds and therefore are inspected regularly by OFSTED (the Office for Standards in Education). Our Supervisor holds the Diploma in Pre-school Practice and all members of staff are encouraged to attend training courses regularly.

At the start of the year 2000 there were sixteen Pre-school children and about eight toddlers regularly attending the Parent and Toddler group. The sessions are from 9.15-12.00 Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in the Jubilee Hall, and for the first time ever, there was an additional session on a Monday this summer term, which was aimed at the "Rising Fives". Themes this year have included; farming, transport, the seaside and the jobs people do. 

Outings have included a visit to a farm, a teddy bears picnic and sports day held at the Sports and Social Club and a visit to Lyme Regis. A highlight of the year was an African/ Caribbean drum and rhythm workshop, which culminated in a mini-camival to which the children of Winsham School were also invited. The Pre-school is very involved in the events of the village. During this year the children's work has been exhibited in the Winsham Horticultural Society Show, the Art Club's annual exhibition and St. Stephen's Flower Festival as well as displays in Chard Library. Next year the children's work will hopefully create part of "The Future" in the Winsham Millennium Exhibition.

To sum up, we are a relatively small but very active group. We have a very dedicated staff team and benefit from the support of the village, and we have lots of FUN!

The total of Pre-school children through the doors during the year 2000 was 22 and the number of Toddlers was 15.

Rainbows and Brownies

1st Winsham Brownies were re-started 3 years ago, after a long break, with just 9 girls. There are now 19 members. Over the last 3 years, some of the girls have moved up to Guides, the next stage in the Movement. The idea of Brownies has not changed much over the years, the emphasis still being on fun, helping others and working towards badges, which keeps the girls busy - but the uniform is much easier to cope with.

1st Winsham Rainbows were started 2 years ago, Rainbows being a very new branch of the Guide Movement, set up to introduce 5 - 7 year old girls to the guide Movement. The programme for them is very simple, bur structured, consisting of games and activities similar to Brownies. After 6 weeks, a rainbow undergoes a simple 'Promise' Ceremony and can wear a 'promise badge' on her Rainbow coloured tabard. Each unit chooses a colour from the spectrum for their uniform and Winsham has chosen Purple. By the age of 7, most girls are ready to move onto Brownies, and usually settle very quickly into the next stage of Guiding.

Both groups meet on Friday evenings in the Jubilee Hall. Rainbows 4.30 - 5.30 p.m. Brownies 5.30 - 7.00 p.m., term times.

Cheryl Douglas, Jennie Kearl
Louise, Calypso, Kirsty, Victoria
Electra, Bethany
Josephine, Aimee, Elizabeth

Recreational Ground Management Committee

Compared with the organisations that use the facilities, mainly the Cricket, Football and Short Mat Bowls Clubs and the Sports and Social Club which runs the Pavilion on a day-to-day basis, the Management Committee is, at the moment, a fairly low key operation.

However, plans have been afoot for a little while to make much needed improvements. Various schemes have been considered, with estimated costs initially ranging from £25,000 to £250,000, but by the time all necessary specification

s and building requirements have been met, these figures change to about £50,000 and well over £300,000. National Lottery funding is considered essential, even for the cheapest scheme, but to have any chance of getting this, the clubs concerned have to draw up comprehensive development plans and budgets for at least five years ahead. 

Work is starting on these, the proposal being that the first stage of the re-development would see the building of a new changing block, which in turn would provide more room for other uses in the existing building. This, being built mainly of timber, is not going to last forever, so the plan is to replace it in due course.

Any Lottery funding is not likely to be more than 70% of the total cost, so much support, financially and otherwise, will be needed from the village.

Royal British Legion Women's Section

On 26th October 1963, at the annual dinner of the Winsham and Cricket St. Thomas British Legion, 18 ladies joined the Legion and the women's section was born. The inaugural meeting was held the same evening and the following month the first meeting of members was held at the Congregational Church Hall in Winsham. The men's section has since been disbanded but the ladies' section is still active with 20 members, four of whom are founder members still involved in running the section.

The branch meeting is now held on the second Monday of each month in the Sports and Social Club, Winsham and fund raising for Legion causes within the County e.g. Somerset Legion Home at Weston-Super-Mare and Dunkirk House at Bishop's Lydeard and Head Quarters is always high on the agenda. The meetings are not just concerned with Legion business however and the evening is usually rounded off with a guest speaker or a quiz drawn up by one of the members.

Since the closure of the men's branch of the Legion, the women's section has taken over the organisation of the Annual Remembrance Day Service at Winsham. Each year on Remembrance Sunday a service is held in St. Stephen's Church and progresses to the War Memorial where the traditional poppy wreath is laid by one of the members and the standard is paraded. The Standard Bearer and representatives from the branch also attend the Annual County Conference which, is held each November at the Winter Gardens, Weston-Super-Mare. Alternating with the other members of the Middleney group, Chard and Langport, the ladies of Winsham also take their turn in hosting the Annual Group meeting.

The RBL women's section has been meeting in Winsham for the past 37 years, regularly taking part in village activities such as the bi-annual Street Fair. At this years event the ladies won the shield for the best stall with their Human Fruit Machine but the main fund raising event in the Winsham women's section calendar is their annual coffee morning which, is held in March and is always well supported.

The members are looking forward to celebrating the sections 40th birthday in 2003.

Winsham Primary School

Please note: In order to meet regulations concerning publication on the World Wide Web of photographs of children taken on School premises, to protect the identity of the children concerned, the pictures shown here have been electronically modified to prevent recognition. In 2014, when the youngest children concerned will have reached adulthood it is proposed to reinstate unmodified pictures. We regret any disappointment this may cause.

The millennium year coincides with the 150th anniversary of the school in its present building. Many events took place to celebrate this event, during the Street Fair the pupils, dressed in costume, took part in Victorian lessons, whilst visitors were able to browse at the historical items on display. Many older visitors found their names in the School Register and examined entries in the Punishment Book.

The school held a 150th Birthday party, the children dressed in Victorian clothes and had a whole school photograph taken as a souvenir of the event. The children learnt many music hall songs which were performed for the parents and the old school bell which had been silent for many years was repaired and is now in daily use. The final school celebration was the planting of an oak tree in the school field, whilst the Parish Council marked the historical year by presenting all the pupils with a Millennium mug.
The school supported various village events through exhibiting at the Horticultural Show, Flower Festival and Art Exhibition. A display of the children's art work brightened the Social Services Office and many children took part in producing two clay monsters to adorn the walls of a new garden at Chard Hospital.

The children paraded around the village on various occasions, dressed as book characters to celebrate World Book Day, displaying magnificent Easter Bonnets and as poor Victorian scholars.

The school and Playgroup combined for several activities, the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Harvest Festival and a cultural event when the school children dressed in the colours of the Zambian Flag joined with the nursery children for a presentation of Afro-Caribbean stories and music performed by a theatre group.

Winsham School hosted a visit from St Aloysius School from the heart of London, this was a cultural experience for all. Closer to home Preston Primary School in Yeovil played host to Winsham pupils so they could taste life in one of the county's largest primary schools. Travelling further afield initial steps have been taken to twin with a similar sized school in Northern France, the Headteachers of the respective schools have visited their counterparts villages and the children are corresponding with drawings, photographs and writing.

Winsham school collaborates with other small schools in the locality for staff in-service and sporting events such a football, unihoc, rounders, swimming gala and a special event for 2000 was the Millennium Olympics Sports Day for all the junior aged pupils.

The junior children travelled to London for the day to visit the Millennium Dome, they were amazed by its size for most of the village could be fitted under the roof. The younger children travelled to Minehead on a steam train for their special outing.

The whole school ended the Summer term with a visit to Charmouth, with the older children walking seven miles of the coastal footpath from Chideock to Charmouth.

The school was inspected by the Office for Standards in Education and were pleased with the improvements made since the previous visit. They were particularly pleased with the school's community involvement, extra curricular activities, the organisation of the school, parental and Governor involvement, the pupils attitude to work and the team spirit of the staff. When they next visit they wish to see a further improvement in mathematics and science.

The school is supported by a conscientious Governing Body and an active Parents and Friend association which fund raises through events such as the Christmas Tea Shop and Spring Fair to purchase extra equipment and sponsor treats such as the Christmas Party.

Short Mat Bowling

The Club was started at the Sports and Social Club on 17th July 1992.

The 6' wide short mat is 45' long which is placed in the skittle alley. In the beginning the mat and equipment was rented from Yeovil District Sports Council at a cost of £20.00 every three months. We then found that there was interest in the game and so we started fund raising to buy our own equipment.

The dress code when we play in tournaments is grey skirts or trousers with white tops, Jumpers are in the club colours, which Winsham decided should be pale blue. One thing is a must and that is proper flat shoes. Mr Ken Harvie designed the Club Badge which is of the Village Cross Pump.

Many of the Club members play in away tournaments and league games in Chard. Each member pays a fee for the year of £5.00, with weekly green fees of 75 pence. Games take place on Friday evenings at 8 p.m. and our rent for the hire of the Sports and Social Club is £25.00 per quarter.

In November 1999 we started to teach children and about fourteen are showing good interest for the future. Two boys, Alex Beer and Sean Westlake, are registered members playing for the over 11 and over 8 years Junior Somerset teams.

Ten adults are registered members to play Somerset games and Mr Alan Long is now graded to play for Somerset.

The club Officers elected are;

Mr Fred Long - Chairman
Mrs Edith Jones - Secretary
Mrs Margaret Long - Treasurer

When Winsham started playing it was quite a new game in this country. Now in the Year 2000 there are many Short Mat Bowls Clubs throughout the country.

Edith Jones.

(Mr Fred Long, Chairman, sadly passed away on 6th November 2000)

Six Plus

6+ is a church run youth group for children of 6 - 12 yrs of age (although this does not mean that the children or their parents have to be church attendees to belong). Membership currently stands at 11. We meet on the first Wednesday of every month from 6.30 p.m. - 8.00 p.m. in the Jubilee Hall.

In the summer months we play rounders, "Kwik Cricket" and other team games or use our other games equipment including a parachute, skittles & canes, balls, bean bags, hoops, ropes etc.

During the winter months children can play board games or take part in other activities such as modelling (oven hardening material, air drying clay and plaster of Paris), bead weaving, cross stitch, monster making, quilling, wool weaving, bead pictures, junk modelling, cooking and many others, often finishing the evening with games such as musical chairs, "Oxford and Cambridge" etc.

We also hold annual events:- the children put on a Christmas entertainment - usually a play, carols etc. (weekly rehearsals) and a barbecue and games evening for 6+ families and other villagers, and in conjunction with Junior Church organise a bonfire and firework evening open to anyone who wishes to attend. Money raised from these events is used to buy new equipment/offset the cost for members of our annual outing, which usually takes place around the 2nd weekend in September. Although this year we are arranging a joint trip with Winsham Junior Church on the "Santa Steam Train Special".

Winsham 6+ Group also supports a charity called "Love Russia" which provides help for orphanages and orphans in the form of Food, Spectacles for those who need them, Medicine & Vitamins, Teachers, Cots and Equipment, Carers, Fuel for the cold winters, Sending clothes to the Ukraine, Toys etc.

We were very pleased this year to welcome the Director of Love Russia, Alex Cooke, who gave an illustrated talk to the children and showed them slides demonstrating life for the orphans and the difficulties they face.

Winsham Junior Church

Junior Church meets every Sunday (apart from the first Sunday of each month and throughout August). There are currently 2 groups.
Junior Church Times.
Junior Church is held from 10.30 - 11.45 in the Jubilee Hall. This allows those parents who wish to attend church to do so and not have to worry should the service run over time.
2nd Sundays
On the second Sunday of each month, we meet in the church, join in the first hymn and take the children to the altar rail to receive a blessing, before going across to the Jubilee Hall for Junior Church as normal.
General Information on Junior Church
All groups start off together singing modem hymns out of "Junior Praise" or their favourite action songs.
This is followed by saying the Lord's Prayer in its traditional form and one or more other prayers.
A collection is then taken (children take turns collecting and counting the money). The collection currently goes towards our sponsorship through ACTIONAID of a boy in Uganda. (Sponsorship costs £15 per month.) We get regular updates on his progress plus some drawings/writing by him and some information about some aspect of life for the people in the area where he lives. We in turn can send photographs, drawings etc. to him.
If anyone has had a birthday in the preceding week we celebrate by the child telling us about their birthday, singing "Happy Birthday" to them and they have a 'dip in the bag' which contains items such as picture puzzles, key rings, magnets etc.
The children record their attendance on a chart onto which they stick their chosen shape for the week. Along with attendance at Family Services and other services to which they have been specifically invited, this goes towards working out the annual prizes for regular attendance awarded at the Family service in December.
We then split into groups

3-5 yr olds

Sessions may include the following :-
A lead in sharing time e.g. if the theme for the week is "God Made Animals" we discuss favourite animals/where you might see them/any pets children may have at home and their care etc.

We may review last weeks/story or theme if relevant to this week.
Each week we have a bible story which may be accompanied by teaching aid resource materials such as pictures and puppets, making appropriate noises etc. and this is sometimes followed up by acting out the story or miming to a taped version. We also have a "Bible in Pelt" flannel board set to make the scenes etc. which the children can then recreate themselves.

They fill in worksheets involving colouring, sticking, etc.
They will also complete one or more art and craft projects which relate to the day's story/theme.
We also play games relevant to the theme.

5-11 year olds

As well as attendance at Junior Church and Family Service they also get points for attending other special services to which they have been specifically invited, (e.g. Good Friday, Christingle, Carol Service etc.) arriving on time, remembering to bring collection etc., which all go towards working out the annual prizes for regular attendance awarded at the Family service in December.

Sessions may include the following:-
Lead ins - this could be a follow up discussion on the previous week's story/theme. Did they remember to carry out what they agreed? Or a preliminary discussion relevant to the theme, or maybe a special resource based activity.

The children each have their own work books and craft books which often includes the bible story for the week (This may sometimes be followed up with acting out/miming to a taped version) and follow up activities relating to the story or theme. These may include mazes, making puppets, cutting out and using cards for a memory game, filling in missing words and codes, making lists e.g. following earlier discussion on different ways to worship see how many they can now list, looking up references in the bible to complete verses, making something to remind them to put into practise something they have learned/ promised to do, completing a questionnaire with either a moral or belief theme, making a festival reminder e.g. Easter Card etc.

We may sometimes play a game relevant to the story/theme. This could be in the form of a resource board game or a physical game.

Family Service

On the first Sunday of each month there is no Junior Church and instead children attend the regular Family Service which starts at 10.30. a.m.
The children are encouraged to take part in the service by taking turns to hand out books, reading prayers/parts of lessons, demonstrating choruses, taking the collection etc.
They will also receive attendance points and stamps as for Junior Church.
All children who have completed full attendance for the previous month i.e. Family Service, all Junior Church Services and any special services, are presented with a sticker during the Family Service.

Junior Church organises a Christmas Activity Day, open to all children between the ages of 3 and 13, they can come for the day and make cards, presents, decorations and play games, Summer Play Scheme and Bonfire/Fireworks & Barbecue Party (in conjunction with 6+) as well as organising occasional outings e.g. the Children's annual festival event at Wells etc. We also usually hold an Easter Coffee Morning and near Christmas a Junior Songs Of Praise Service with hymns chosen by the children.

The Sunday after Christmas we have a Christingle service in the afternoon. The children play a large part in this and usually perform a Nativity play or other special item. This is sometimes followed by a Junior Church Christmas Party.

Sixties Club

A group of O. A. Ps decided they would like to form a Club, July 19 1967. 22 folk attend a meeting, Col. Boyce presided hence 60's formed, officers appointed for committee. Fees to be 10p ann., paid at AGM. Tea and biscuits 3p, a trade stall members could bring and buy. Also a draw, they would meet every 2 weeks, 2.30 - 4.30 in village hall, for free outings members to attend 10 times. Not long before there was over 40 members. They were lucky to have a good variety of speakers, demonstrations, slides, school children, whist, beetle drive, bingo. There was a lot of talent in the club, Mr Davies, Mrs D March played the piano, Mrs M Butler played the Mandaline, her sister Mrs Bone the violin, it was decided to form a choir called "Old Timers", ladies wore red pinafore skirts, white blouses, men black trousers, white shirts, red dickey bows. They were soon entertaining others.

They brought their own china and cutlery, which was used for their "Xmas Parties" free, when all had a gift, later Mrs J Spurdle and helpers cooked and served the meal, in fact only as numbers got less that she finished. Mr and Mrs P. Trott were the main stay and only just finished owing to health, Mrs Trott, still like her name, trots to the shop. They are in their 90s.

Now we are in the year 2000 we have Mrs H Partridge, Mrs K Griffen original members still with us. Afraid our membership down to 12, lost some to ill health and death, you would think the village consists of all youngsters or do 60s and over think they're not old enough.

We are lucky to have Mrs J Hayball, our Chairman, who can always have slides, quizzes. Without her we'd be finished. Mrs M Fowler, Sec. keeps us in the news. We have followed our parents. We now meet in United Reformed Church rooms as the hall too expensive, fees £2.00, trade stall, draw, outings no more, "Xmas Partys" we go out. We do get a council grant, £30.00, and have odd donations. We've had speakers who live in the Village also Mayor of Chard, Mrs J Smith, who was born in village, but there are few around who once did entertain. Still we entertain ourselves, catch up on gossip, enjoy cup of tea, still better to have few friendly folk than too many critics; so who knows how long we will survive, 'pending how long we live, we look back on "Happy Memories", surprising what we've learnt. 

Sec. Marjorie Fowler.

The Saint Helena Appeal

Elizabeth Rutter drew our attention to the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. This compassionate adventurous lady, wife of Rev. Canon Claude, had visited this tiny isolated island and was touched by the friendly islanders. She set about sending knitting wool, books and children's clothes, all very much needed by the poorer islanders.

These proud people are not naked, staving, or hopeless. They seem themselves as forgotten British Subjects, living in real hardship in some cases. Little or no employment exists and the cost of living is very high. With no airport, the island is totally dependent on the ship, which visits just four times a year.

There are no diary cattle and because of the volcanic origins of the island, limited farming. Constant trade winds, little rainfall and an abundance of pests and insects all add to the difficulties.

In early 1999 generous people took the 'saints' to their hearts, and soon regular help was shipped from Cardiff free of charge by Cernow Shipping. There are about 6,000 islanders, not all in need, but we help the very young, elderly and unemployed. At least we make them fell we care.

Our contact on the island is Bobby Robertson, of the St. Helena Community Help Association. We exchange books, photos, letters and news of our respective communities.

A wide range of goods has been sent out. At Christmas toys, goodies, toiletries and gifts were sent. Of course, this had to be done in October, due to the length of the sea voyage. Several times we have had large donations of used clothes and shoes collected by organisations such as the Playgroup and Youth Club, but mainly it was individuals who contacted us, or left things on our doorstep.

At the end of July 2000 we were shocked to hear from the shipping, company that, in future, we would be expected to pay for the shipping and handling. These changes, are more than the goods to be sent are worht, in monetary terms. Stunned and saddened we are waiting to hear from Bobby Robertson. While we live in hope, realistically we must face the fact that this could be the end of the present level of help we can offer.

Personally, we have been enriched by the lovely people we have met during collecting, and to whom many thanks are due. Remember, things we sent out with love, were received with pleasure and gratitude. Together we made a difference.

Nov 2000: We have now heard we will be allowed to continue to send our donations free.

George and Jilly Hobbs

St. Stephens Church

There are many references to the origins of the Church in Winsham. One refers to the possibility of the See of Bath and Wells in 909 AD. We know that there have been vicars of Winsham since 1321. A board in the church lists them from Robert de Veele de Well in 1321 to 1989 when Brian Ralph Sutton was appointed.

In 1921 the parish of Cricket St Thomas came under the care of the vicar of Winsham although remaining a separate parish. 1982 saw the formation of a joint benefice with the parish of Thorncombe added from the Salisbury diocese. The Winsham Vicarage was sold and the vicar for the benefice lived in Thorncombe until the retirement of the Reverend Brian Sutton in 1998. A Team ministry based on Chard was planned and the Reverend Canon A.E.H. Rutter came out of retirement and assisted, in a part-time capacity, with the care of the former benefice.

The Team was launched in 1999 with the Reverend Stephen Kivett, Rector of St. Mary's, Chard, as Team Rector. When a Team Vicar is appointed at Furnham, Chard, he will have responsibility for Thorncombe, Winsham and Cricket St Thomas.

Canon Rutter retired for a second time when the Reverend Ernest Chivers was licensed to serve in the Team ministry on a part-time basis. He now lives in Thorncombe Vicarage, does some parochial work and conducts Sunday Services. The choir of St Stephen's leads the singing at morning services. At present the choirmaster, Tony Meech, would welcome more regular members but whenever there is a festival or special occasion their numbers are swelled by other members of the parish. When there is a fifth Sunday in the month the service on that day alternates between Thorncombe and Winsham. This helps both choirs and gives great pleasure.

The first service in this Millennium Year was the New Year's Day Special Order of Service followed by the National ringing of the bells at midday. Refreshments were served by the Winsham 2000 committee.

All the church festivals have been observed with services at Easter, including a family service on Good Friday. Winsham schoolchildren brought many donations to the church following their own Harvest Service in school. The church was beautifully decorated with flowers, garden produce and many cans of crops from overseas. Christmas is a particularly busy time with the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, the Mother's Union Crib Service on Christmas Eve and the Children's Society Christingle Service. All these as well as a well attended service on Christmas Day.

The British Legion Remembrance Day was attended by the Winsham Coronation Band who played before and after the service and accompanied the hymns.

The church looked its best in July for the Flower Festival. Farming in all its aspects, past and present, was represented and gave much food for thought to the many people who visited the church and a great feeling of co-operation to all the village organisations which took part.

The Parish Registers show that there have been six baptisms, one marriage and five funerals.

The P.C.C. has had many subjects to consider this year. One of the main ones is the introduction of Common Worship. From Advent Sunday 2000 this will be the order of service to be used in all churches and will replace the Alternative Service Book which has been in use since 1980. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer can still be used and the Family Service Book will be retained.

In four years time all public buildings will be required to allow access for disabled people. The steps by the pulpit will need handrails. An architect has been asked to submit designs. This work will add considerably to the P.C.C.'s financial commitments.

The P.C.C. has been asked whether, perhaps, the Village Bier could find a home in the church. A decision will be made next year.

Fundraising for good causes included serving cooked breakfasts and then hot dogs all day on the pavement outside the Lych gate on Street Fair Day, a Lent Lunch and the Christmas Bazaar, and the Harvest Supper. An opportunity for the Parish to support St Stephen's was the Gift day. All of these events were very well supported.

A footnote - To everyone's delight the swallows returned, after missing last year, and reared two broods of young

St Stephen's Missionary Group

The St Stephen's Missionary group is an interdenominational group which was started in early 1960 by Mrs Blackley, Mr Withers and the Reverend Fairweather.Meetings were first held at Leigh House, then at the Vicarage in Winsham. The Misses Hunt were also great supporters for many years.

At the start the group supported overseas missions, as Mrs Blackley had been a missionary. Funds were raised by holding Cream Teas, Fetes, Coffee Mornings etc. There were many members and the group was very well supported.

Noreen White took over from Mrs Blackley as Secretary. On Noreen's death, Maggie Jeavons took on the role. The present Secretary, Margaret Long, took over in 1992.

Membership has gone down over the years, the few left still raise money and still support six charities each year as well as any emergencies that come along.

The Charities supported are;
Church Missionary Society Sight Savers International
Mission to Seamen Church Pastoral Aid Society
South American Missionary Society Home Farm Trust

We have meetings with speakers during the Winter months, also outings to places of interest.

The present committee are;
Chairman: Tony Meech Vice Chairman: Mona Tierney
Secretary: Margaret Long Treasurer: Edie Jones
Jean Thompson, Dora Pine, Pam May and Pam Hammett

Revd. Canon A.E.H. Rutter
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Revd. Canon A.E.H. Rutter

Revd. M.S. (Stephen) Kivett
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Revd. M.S. (Stephen) Kivett

Revd. E.A.J. Chivers
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Revd. E.A.J. Chivers

St. Stephen's Parochial Church Council
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St. Stephen's Parochial Church Council
Back Row L to R: C Sweetland, E Jones, T Meech, D Kershaw, P Howell, H Fowler, P Pargiter, A Rose, J Peacock (churchwarden)
Front Row L to R: D Pine, P Barratt (Churchwarden), G Grabham, J Stone, R Barratt. 

United Reformed Church


After August 24th., 1662, any preacher refusing to assent to the 39 Articles of the Book of Common Prayer was to be ejected from their living, deprived of their income and not be permitted to preach to people upon pain of imprisonment. Many hundreds of eminent, pious, learned, faithful ministers of the Gospel were temporarily silenced including the Rev.William Ball, vicar of St.Stephens, who then formed an Independent Congregation in Winsham. It needed a supreme act of faith to leave the Established Church as the tithes, which provided the living, were due at this time. The new congregation included many well known families and they met in houses until after the Toleration Act when the first church building, converted from a house, was used to worship in 1703. A new chapel was built in 1760 when Mr "Orator" Henley, a member of a county family from Leigh, was minister. A larger chapel was needed and in 1810 the present building was erected and the house and garden given by Mr.Huge Trenchard of Maudlin. The Schoolroom was added in 1863. A full list of the ministers serving the church since 1662 would use up the 400 words allotted for this book.

Complete renovations were carried out in the late 1800s and in 1993. Our church seeks to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the local community and worldwide through its Council For World Mission. CWM is the successor to the London Missionary Society whose most well known missionary was David Livingstone.

Our minister, the Reverend John McMinn M.A., conducts two Sunday services a month, the other Sunday services taken by retired ministers or lay-preachers. After the first Sunday service in the month, coffee and tea are served. The third Sunday includes our monthly Communion Service. Our church has always had an open Communion Table, the only criteria being that those partaking "Should love the Lord". John cares for our congregation and others in tile village by regular visiting at home and in hospital

After the Harvest Festival service, a meal is served and a popular sale of produce held on the Monday evening. Winsham Coronation Band plays for the Annual Service of Lessons and Carols.
A monthly Soup'n Cheese Lunch is held in the Pavilion and occasional concerts are held in the church.
Members of the church play a full part in the life of the village and give service where required. A warm welcome awaits anyone who visits.

Michael Hebditch, Hon.Sec. August 24th. 2000.

Members of the United Reformed Church
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Members of the United Reformed Church

Members of the United Reformed Church
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Members of the United Reformed Church

Winsham United Reformed Church
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Winsham United Reformed Church

Women's Institute (W.I)

Winsham W.I was started in 1917 and meetings were held until 1943. There was a gap of seven years when there were no meetings. 1950 heralded a revival which has carried on until today. The aim of the W.I. has always been to broaden the outlook of country women and encourage domestic and artistic skills. Today these opportunities are very wide indeed. They include learning to swim, play golf, tennis and take part in surfing, go-karting etc.

Our local W.I. has a very full programme. Apart from our monthly meetings, we take part in many County events, Council Meetings, County outings and holidays, quizzes, skittles and Scrabble competitions.

We have a small but important say in larger national events when we vote on the Resolutions put forward at the National Annual Meeting. Every W.I. in the country sends a representative to the Annual Meeting. This year it was held at the Wembley Conference centre, London and the Resolutions represented our concern for the funding of children's hospices, the care of stroke victims and the possible, closure of village post offices. Locally we support the Flower Festivals, Street fairs, Schools fetes and Chard Hospital fete.

Among our own members we have very enjoyable monthly meetings, we walk, play Scrabble, sew and annually play Thorncombe W.I at skittles. We have social evenings to celebrate Christmas, our birthdays and good food at the home of Mrs Rawlings. The last of these was an evening celebrating all things Cornish. We maintain a link with Bell in Queensland, Australia, exchanging Christmas cards and presents.

Winsham W.I's 50th Birthday Party

Youth Club

Winsham Youth Club has been in operation since August 1998. Open on Wednesday evenings, it caters for young people between the ages of 8 and 17. Activities include creative workshops, quizzes, family discos and occasional outings.   As well as organised, structured activities the need for young people to have free time to 'chill out' is recognised. There is a tuckshop selling sweets, crisps and drinks at reasonable prices which is particularly popular with our younger members. Members organise fundraising events throughout the year such as jumble sales and sponsored walks which help to fund running costs. The group have also proven to be important within the community by raising money for charity at their annual Halloween disco and keeping the village clean and tidy on their Litter Pick. Membership costs £5.00 per year plus 30p entrance fee for each session attended.

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Winsham Youth Club presenting a cheque to Cancer Research after raising £310 at their Halloween Disco

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Winsham Youth Club by Samantha Earl