With all of the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations behind us I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my experience of three very different events I attended during that period.
Blue Lights Carol Service
On the evening of Thursday 16th December Anne and I attended the 2021 Blue Lights Carol Service held in St Mary’s Church, South Street.
The Blue Light Carol Service was started 12 years ago in Bridport. The event is organised by Divisional Police Chaplain Philip Ringer and Inspector Darren Stanton and enables all members of the Emergency Services to gather together to join in with carols and hear the story of the birth of Jesus. A mark of the dedication of many of those present that evening is that they will be working or on call throughout the festive period whilst we are enjoying time with family, opening presents and feasting.
The service opened dramatically when the lights in the church were switched off and were replaced by the headlight of a motorcycle which was ridden down the aisle to take its place at the front. St Mary’s will have been witness to many sights over the years and this will be long remembered by those present.
The motorcycle or DocBike was ridden by Dr. Ian Mew (Intensive Care Consultant and Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Doctor) who together with PC Chris Smith QPM, (Police Traffic Officer and Advanced Police Motorcycle Instructor for over 20 years) started the project by delivering life-saving skills to local riders through Biker Down courses (an interactive trauma aid skills session) held at BikeSafe events across the region. Not happy to just teach these skills to riders of all ages and experience levels, Ian wanted to take them to the roadside and so Dorset DocBike was born. To find out more go to: https://docbike.org/
The service was brought to a close with the singing of the Twelve Days of Christmas. This was very much an audience participation rendition with those present taking on the roles of the theme of each verse; a Partridge through to 12 Drummers Drumming. The whole thing involved much bobbing up and down when it was your turn to sing and was thoroughly enjoyed by all present.
Every year this service has supported the important and ongoing work of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance through the collection held. To find out more and donate go to: https://www.dsairambulance.org.uk/about-us
2021 marks 10th Anniversary of the formation of Bridport Young Performers. BYP is a youth theatre group that features a cast and production team, from the characters and chorus to the costumes and backstage team, with everyone involved being 25 or under!
The invitation to attend the opening night on Tuesday 21 December, of their latest musical production Seussical, was an event I was really looking forward to attending. And to say I was not disappointed is an understatement, I was hooked from the moment the curtains opened. Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! It was completely bonkers and absolutely wonderful.
The performance brings to life all of our favourite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton The Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie, and a little boy with a big imagination Jojo. The colourful characters transport you from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.
The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton faces a double challenge – not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping, and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.
I was so impressed by the high standard the young people from the Bridport Young Performers who put the whole thing together achieved. From those on stage to the numerous others working behind the scenes every one of the people who made this production such a success I cannot praise you enough. I, for one, can’t wait to see your next production.
West Bay Beach Clean in Memory of Simon Jordan
What a phenomenal turn out, approximately 130 people turned up to beach clean and litter pick in memory of Simon Jordan.
Thank you Sara from Bay Paddle Boarding , Sarah and John from the West Bay Discovery Centre and Roy for organising and managing the event.
Thanks also go to Sophie from Litter Free Coast and Sea, Jools and Jane from Weymouth & Portland Marine Litter Project CIC and Natasha Amanda and Gary from CUDS (Clean Up Dorset Squad) as well as the Clean Jurassic Coast CIC team who were out in force, Caroline, Barbara and many others who helped with the bags, etc. The list is endless.
The end result of this very emotional day was a grand clear up of West Bay’s beaches and Harbourside, resulting in a brilliant 115.2kg of litter removed. It was worth every tear and I have no doubt Simon was smiling down upon us.
Finally I would like to thank The Watch House for supplying everyone with mulled cider or fruit punch once their picking session was completed. Thank you.
It is a mark of what Simon achieved that the West Bay Beach Cleans have become monthly social events attended by people of all ages, either on their own or in family or friendship groups. If you would like to take part in future West Bay Beach Cleans simply meet outside the Watch House at 10.00 on the third Sunday of the month, collect a bag and a picker and get stuck in.
See you on Sunday January 16th, same time and place where Bay Paddle Boarding and Clean Jurassic Coast CIC will continue Simon’s 5ThingsClear legacy.
To find out more about 5ThingsClear go to: https://www.5thingsclear.com/
We are all aware of how challenging the past two years have been and our local business community has stepped up to the mark in order to keep us all fed, safe and well. But challenges from the on line and global economies mean it is an ever more challenging environment in which to operate a local business.
The Bridport Chamber of Chamber has got together with a couple of local businesses to launch a new networking event:
The launch is scheduled to take place at the Hayloft at the Bull Hotel, January 20th 6.30 to 8pm.
It would be great to see a full house of businesses large and small there. To book a ticket go to: