Milverton, Somerset

Milverton Garden Club March update

A good number of the Garden Club enjoyed an entertaining and informative evening with David Usher, telling us about the evolution of gardens at Hestercombe. David was the Hard Gardener for eighteen years and described the discovery and reclamation of the Georgian pleasure gardens.

He then recalled the reconstruction of the Victorian terrace and the ongoing work on the Edwardian garden created by Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. It is wonderful to have such a gem on our doorstep. After questions, tea and cake was enjoyed.

Next month on 15 March, the speaker is Paul Hending. He will talk about organic gardening, including pest control.

If this year is anything like last year regarding pests, we will need all the help we can get!

All welcome.

999 Calls for the NHS present Threads of Survival

Continuing the long tradition of documenting important historical events in quilts and textiles, 999 Calls for the NHS invites you to visit a timely collection of textiles artworks reflecting pandemic life, and the importance of a public healthcare service for all.

Twenty two quilts created by over 140 stitchers from Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, South and West Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, County Durham, Manchester, Birmingham and London.

Threads of Survival premiered at the British Textiles Biennial 2021 and is now on tour and arrives at St Micheal’s Church, Milverton from Monday 28 March to Sunday 10 April, 12noon to 4pm daily. Entry is free.

Visit Threads of Survival for more information.

Take control dog walkers

We have noticed during the pandemic an increase in dog walkers which in itself is no problem at all. But this has also resulted in an increase in dogs off their leads and totally out of their owners/walkers control, sometimes the dog is nowhere near their owner/walker and they are oblivious to the actions of the dog.

This has become a frequent problem and came to a head recently when a dog chased two of our cats into the barn where they would have been trapped had it not been for the cat flap fitted at the rear through which they could escape.

What made matters worse was when the owner/walker eventually caught the dog they couldn’t understand why we were upset. This was just days after another incident where a terrier was caught chasing our horses around their field.

Today a dog came into our yard, initially we thought the dog did not have an owner/walker as we could not see anyone then we spotted a bobble hat disappearing down the bridleway, they had no idea their dog was harassing our cats. Could we remind all dog owners/walkers that if they are not able keep their dog(s) under close control and within sight to keep them on a lead, some land owners may not be as tolerant in similar circumstances.

Jane and Trevor Eastman
Kestrel Stables

Hedgerow Chaplin in March

March, a very busy month for the move into early spring, festivals of saints, the journey of ourselves that is Lent, a time when it should get a lot warmer to enable spring to show off all of its wonderful glories of nature, growth, beauty, colour and for us, happiness as the winter subsides!
Starting the month on the 1 March is St Davids Day, patron saint of Wales.
Shrove Tuesday, the day to confess and be cleared of your sins before Lent. It is also the day before we traditionally gave up meat and dairy, as well as the eggs and fat, hence the Pancakes!
Following on the 2 March we then move into Lent, not just for giving up things, but maybe to try and help our neighbours and friends. Do good deeds, smile more!
The 17 March brings us St Patrick’s Day, the man that told us to ‘do the little things’. He also used the Shamrock to teach us how three can be one, as is the Trinity.
The Full Moon of 18 March at 7.17am, is called the Plough or Lentern, which means spring and possibly transposed over to our Lent period in the calendar. Chaste Moon is another, referring to the purity of the spring season.
On the 21 March we have the Vernal Equinox, or as we know it better, spring!
In Pagan times the Goddess Ostara or Eostre, would be looked upon as the bringer of spring and dawn. The word Easter may well have developed from her.
We will hear more of Ostara in April when she has her day.
As an added point of interest, pre 1752, the 25 March used to be New Years day before the calendars were changed from Julian to Gregorian.
The 25 March in modern times is also that very important day, ‘Mothering Sunday’. Various stories abound as to what it actually means, but why not just take it as an opportunity to spoil ‘mum’ for all of the things she has done for us!
The clocks move forward an hour on the 27 March, taking away an hour of sleep, but giving us that extra light in the bright spring mornings.
Apart from these busy dates and all that they bring, you will be seeing spring appearing in all of its wonderful guises. The birdsong calling for mates and territory, butterflies, daffodils, primroses and violets in all their beauty and joy. You will also see the farmers out early, busy ploughing and planting crops.
A wonderful month to really look forward to and enjoy!
The Pilgrimage Walk for March will be on Tuesday 15 March at 10.30am. Meet at St Michael’s Church Milverton for a walk of 3.5 miles and about 3 hours.
Please do call me to let me know you are coming or if you have any questions.
Steve Wort

Appeal for local Girlguiding volunteers

Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK.
We have thriving Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Ranger units who enjoy games, outdoor activities, making new friends, crafts, and generally having fun!
But in order to keep these units running, we need some more adult volunteers to help with all sorts of jobs, from admin and book-keeping to helping and running regular meetings and occasional outings and holidays.
Training is provided for all of these voluntary roles and there is lots of support from the local leaders of Tone Division and Girlguiding UK. 
Volunteering looks good on your CV, builds confidence and is a great way to make new friends.
If you enjoy action-packed fun, volunteer with girlguiding and make a difference to the lives of girls and young women. Join us today!
Please contact me for further information: Janet, Division Commissioner on 07341284262 (please leave a message if I don’t get to the phone) or find out more on the Girlguiding website.     
Look forward to meeting you.

Milverton and Fitzhead Society March update

Archaeological dig
Archaeological dig

Bob Croft is very well known to the Milverton and Fitzhead Society, through his fascinating talks about local archaeology.

We are lucky enough to have him return to the Methodist Chapel on 10 March at 7.30 pm to give an illustrated talk about recent archeological discoveries including recent work on Cothelstone Hill; the Quantocks, Wiveliscombe and Bridgwater.

Please do give Bob and the Milverton and Fitzhead Society your support. Without that support, our local community would be diminished.

Milverton History Group March update

Following on from last month’s mention of the Point to Point field, back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it would have been a beautiful site in the spring with pear blossom .

Showerings who produced Babycham, used that area to grow the pear trees which provided their perry juice. Travelling past the field towards Chipley, you will see a large area of tall trees on the right hand side. These were probably planted by the Sandfords. It was known in the 1840’s as ‘New Oaks Plantation’. As oak trees have to be over 150 years before they are used, the trees if still standing, would be useable now !

There is a wonderful free website called ‘Know Your Place‘. It starts with today’s map of the area you want (use the search) then you can search the older maps dating back to the 1840 tithe map and in some areas, even earlier maps .

Give it a try …..

Beware, you will soon become hooked!

We hope to have our next meeting on 31 March in the Victoria Rooms.

Contact Maggie for more details on

Maggie Dinning

WI March update

On 3 February members of Milverton Womens‘ Institute were treated to a wonderful illustrated talk by Ursula Franklin  on ‘Penguins’.

Ursula decided to study penguins after the tragic sudden death of her husband. She immersed herself in travelling to as much of the Southern Hemisphere as possible in order to study the different species of penguin, and her stories were hilarious, fascinating and at times sad.

John Ruskin wrote that it is practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry! Tales of her various means of travel, grappling with the elements, underlined her courage and determination! The penguins certainly put a smile on the face and the members and many guests thoroughly enjoyed learning so much about these wonderful creatures.

We hope Ursula will return as our guest next year as she is about to set off on a further trip to see even more penguins – there are 17 different species!

Our next meeting on the 3 March will be in the Victoria Rooms at 2.30 pm and we much look forward to welcoming Lottie Dale to give her talk ‘Treading the wards, a Nurse’s tale’. We are sure there will be many amusing stories!
Visitors will be warmly welcomed.

Internal refurbishment of public toilets

Milverton Parish Council is seeking applications from suitably qualified companies to undertake the internal refurbishment of the public conveniences at the junction of Fore Street and Creedwell Orchard in Milverton.

The works involve converting the existing female wc into a unisex accessible toilet complete with all statutorily required facilities. The design work is being undertaken by Croft Surveyors in Taunton.

Interested companies should in the first instance, write to Martin Bowden (Building Surveyor) at Croft Surveyors at Bede’s House, Park Street, Taunton TA1 4DG or by email to, providing details of similar projects recently undertaken in the last 2 years and two references, no later than 11 March 2022.

Selected firms will then be invited to submit bids and it is hoped that the contract will be awarded in April.