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Mayor’s Blog – Bridlit, Harmony, Just Fish and a report from the Mayoress –

Mayor’s Blog 143

Just Fish, 19th BridLit Festival, Borough Harmony AGM, Mayor’s Charities updates, Mayoress reports.

Opening of Just Fish – West Bay

On Saturday I had the pleasure of officially opening a new business in West Bay. After the recent closure of Samways the news that we would still have a fresh fish shop in West Bay was very welcome.

Today Fishmongers seem to be a rarity, but when I think of West Bay I would expect to find fish and seafood on sale somewhere. To see West Bay without a fishmonger would be a very sad state of affairs. Traditions that fulfil a need should be continued and, as in this case, expanded. They now have tables and chairs inside (and hopefully outside shortly) coupled with an imaginative Tapas menu and a take away service which is an interesting addition. Just Fish is a small family business and is based on their vision of offering local fresh produce from a traditional fishmonger’s counter. They may be a small part of the Bay but hope to have a lasting impact. I was pleased to hear that the original staff were kept on once the sale had gone through and it was lovely to meet them and especially their knowledgeable fishmonger Lester. They are confident that they will prove to be our local destination for all of our seafood needs! Well worth a visit and there are some wonderful pictures of tempting platters and creations on their Facebook page.

Opening of Just Fish – West Bay
Opening of Just Fish – West Bay


Official opening of the Bridport Literary Festival

After receiving an invitation from Tanya Bruce-Lockhart, The Festival Founder and Director, on Sunday I found myself on stage at the Electric Palace and officially opening the 19th Bridport Literary Festival. It was a packed audience but I am positive that I was not the main attraction! For me it has been special to represent our Town at the many local events that have taken place this year and BridLit is a local event that has proven to be an international success.

Official opening of the Bridport Literary Festival

The BridLit Festival was formed in 2005 from the internationally renowned Bridport Prize which started in 1973, and the original vision for the Festival has not changed.  It has always been to invite authors to Bridport for them to introduce and talk about their books and give audiences the opportunity to interact with them.

This year we again are having a very exciting programme of events throughout the week that take place at various venues across the town and as avid readers and booklovers, Bridget and I are attending some very exciting events. Without a doubt there will be something to appeal to, not just the members of our community, but also those who come from far and wide to join us in this Literary celebration.

After opening the event I joined the rest of the audience to listen to a fascinating presentation by James Holland about his latest book “The Savage Storm”, the battle for Italy 1943. James really brought to life the various battles but also introduced those who played key parts in the fight to gain control of Italy. It was quite emotional in places to hear some of the personal stories and tragedies that befell civilians as well as soldiers, both Allies and Germans. A truly riveting hour and for those interested in events of the Second World War his book will not only weave the many events in Italy and beyond together but will also bring them to life in a truly remarkable way.

Official opening of the Bridport Literary Festival
Official opening of the Bridport Literary Festival


Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tanya, the Festival Director and her team,  for having the vision, determination and stamina to put this event together for us to enjoy.


The Borough Harmony AGM

As Mayor I was invited to the Harmony AGM on Tuesday. As a firm supporter of the fantastic work they do in Bridport it was very interesting to hear, not only of their success throughout the year, but of their future expansion plans. The number of people coming to Harmony is on the increase and Harmony are looking to move to bigger premises in the near future. The constant battle to obtain funding was highlighted and obtaining  sufficient “core funding” is a real problem. I am sure we all wish them good fortune in their efforts and offer support where we can.

Mayor’s Charities updates

My two charities for this year are the Bridport Community Kitchen and the Bridport Youth and Community Centre. The upcoming Mayor’s Quiz on the 19th of November is the main fundraising event from the Mayor for these two worthy causes. Tables are filling fast and there will be a raffle with almost 50 prizes kindly donated by many local businesses and some individuals!


On behalf of the BYCC  I have been asked to publicise an opportunity to enter our them into a draw for £5,000. It is easy to do and perhaps you could take the time to add your support to increase their chances. I have entered them myself and encouraged many others to do the same.

The window of opportunity closes on the 10th of November so please help with a nomination if you can.

The charity number required to enter the draw is  1168464

See below for further information:

6th – 10th November
Get your favourite charity supporting Children and Young People in the running for £5,000 today!
In recognition of all the charities who work tirelessly to support Children and Young People, we’re giving 10 charities £5,000 each in this limited-time special draw.
All you need to do is nominate a charity whose core charitable purpose is to support children and young people (aged 23 and under).
Nominate a charity for £5,000
Terms and conditions apply.


 Bridport Community Kitchen

Secondly we now have a lot of dedicated knitters beavering away producing squares to help the Community Kitchen produce Bridport’s longest scarf – 380m long,  which will reach from the steps of the Beacon Church to the steps of the Town Hall.

It would be wonderful if people can support this effort and there are various ways of donating. Just a £1 a square would help to raise money so that the Community Kitchen can keep going and continue to provide food and supplies for those in need. There is a QR code on the poster below, please try and help if you can spare even just a £1.

Bridport Community Kitchen

Insert poster: scarf poster


Mayoress’ reports

I have really been enjoying the Bridlit Festival and the variety on offer.

On Monday evening, my friend and I happily sat down in popular Mercato Italiano, glass in hand, to watch a pasta masterclass demonstration by Mateo Zielonka, ‘the Pasta Man‘. After a short introduction by the owner, our wonderful Ilaria, he demonstrated techniques of pasta making and we were all inspired to try some these ideas at home. Following the demonstration, Mateo cooked a 3 course taster menu with pappardelle, ravioli and radiatori. Absolutely exquisite and more of the same please!

Mercato Italiano
Mercato Italiano


On Tuesday, I attended the conversation between author, Sarah Watling and Jason Webster, discussing her book ‚ ‘Tomorrow perhaps the Future‘. The book tracks women like Martha Gelhorn, Jessica Mitford, Nancy Cunard and Virginia Woolf, in the 1930‘s, who make their way to Spain to fight against the corrosive spread of Fascism. Sarah follows these women and their new found freedoms despite the fact that they were doomed to disappointment, disillusion and ultimate defeat, it left a substantial legacy of memoir and poetry. I am looking forward to now reading the book!

Bridlit Festival
Bridlit Festival

Photos: Mayoress 1,2

I popped along to the new Bridport Carer cafe on Thursday at Coffee#1. This group meets every 2nd Thursday of the month. I met a lively and chatty group, enjoying a free coffee and some time out. The general discussion was about the ageing population and lack of support. Unpaid carers are exhausted and statistically more than 68% are unable to get a respite break from their caring role when needed. The group has a facilitator from Carer Support Dorset who was able to guide people to the various appropriate agencies for support.

For more information follow this  link:

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