Wimborne History Festival need Volunteers

A wonderful new festival is due to take place this July in Wimborne and volunteers from all areas of the community are encouraged to come forward and volunteer to be a part of it.

Whether your interest is in Wimborne’s Ancient history or Modern history we are looking for a range of enthusiastic volunteers to help Wimborne’s First ‘Living’ History Festival make a resounding impact for both visitors and the local community.

A Consortium of Wimborne’s Heritage Providers has been working together since last summer to submit a lottery bid to deliver a number of community projects to engage the local community in various activities over the next few months and a two day Wimborne History Festival to take place over the weekend July 16 & 17 2016, both on the site of Vespasians Fort just outside Wimborne and within the town itself.

Festival organisers are now seeking volunteers to help with a number of tasks. Stewarding, managing the arena, Compere, lost children tent, setting up the Festival site, managing stall holders, distributing leaflets, selling tickets, car parking management, photography, litter picking, helping with craft activities, Social Media and more manual tasks such as putting up heras fencing are among some of the essential tasks we are looking for help with.

No matter what your availability we are keen for you to join what promises to be a Festival with a welcoming face and with real team spirit, not to mention a fantastic historical experience. We are particularly keen to get young people involved. We want to be accessible so would welcome people from all areas of the community to help so no matter what your age, ability or experience we would love to hear from you.

The first volunteers meeting will be held on Friday 26th February 10 a.m. at East Dorset Heritage Trust, Hanham Rd, Wimborne, BH21 1AS.

“If you would like to help make Wimborne’s first History Festival a truly memorable event and be part of a team who want to make history fun and interesting we can’t wait to hear from you.” Chairman of the Wimborne History Festival

Please Email either: wimbornehistoryfestival@gmail.com ortcooper@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk to express your interest. If you are unable to make this first one please communicate your preferred time for attending a meeting.

Wimborne Minster Pancake Race

PancakeRace2016[1]The 19th Wimborne Minster Pancake Race around the Minster was held on Shrove Tuesday 9th February on the third earliest date since the race was revived in 1998.

In spite of the early date and far from a pleasant weather forecast the morning turned out to be dry and bright albeit a little on the cool side!

Competitors started to arrive by 10.30am and by the time of the first race at 11 o’clock there were 80 entrants all rearing to go! As the Pancake Bell tolled the first of the Adult races took off. Kevin Martin, the Minster’s Ordinand in Training fought valiantly to win but was forced into second place behind the eventual overall winner Philip Goymer. In the second adult race Minster Curate Belinda Marflitt fought off stiff opposition to win the race ahead of Ian Faulkner, Chairman of the Wimborne BID.

Altogether there were twenty races across all the categories including two being pushed in the wheelchair race. Both from Stoneleigh Residential Home the result was as close to a dead heat as you could get! The two, Enid Davies and Violet Carter, both well into their nineties, received a large sack of wild bird food donated by Hayley Pope of the Wimborne Pet Centre.

Probably the most cheers of the morning went to the students of Queen Elizabeth’s School in the final race of the Upper School Age Group. There were five races in the group with students from QE and Beaucroft Schools.

The final had the winners of each of the five races, three students from QE and two from Beaucroft. The QE students realising that they would probably run the fastest agreed amongst themselves that they would allow one of the Beaufort Students to win and this was a delighted Adam Hinks. A truly a sporting gesture on behalf of the QE students.

There were thirty entries in the Toddlers category across four races with Alfie Thornton being declared the overall winner in this sections final race. Four pupils from Wimborne First School competed against each other with Jodie Teo winning the one race in this category. In the Middle School Age Group there were eight entries across two races with the final being won by Dante Dunbabin.

Monetary prizes were given to the schools of the under 18 category winners with packets of sweets to the participating younsters.

The Adult final was the last race of the morning which was won by first time entrant Philip Goymer from Savills Estate Agents. He was declared the Minster Pancake Champion 2016 and received the Old Bakehouse Café Perpetual Challenge Cup from former owners Martyn and Kathy Curtler and a Porcelain Bowl Trophy from the Stour and Avon Magazine presented by News Editor Marilyn Barber.

The races were started by the Town Crier and his Deputy with the Mayor Cllr Shane Bartlett presenting the monetary prizes and the wild bird food. Traditionally the collection taken at the Pancake Race has been for the Mayor’s Charites and £113 was raised.

Anthony Oliver, Race Co-ordinator on behalf of the small organising committee thanked all involved in the event including the Mayor, Town Crier and Deputy, participants, collectors, sponsors and stewards.

Christmas Tree Festival

GoingforBustTree[1]Wimborne United Reform Church are holding a Christmas Tree Festival from 16th-22nd December 2015 inclusive. The Mayor and Mayoress officially opened the Festival yesterday at 12 noon. Each day it will be open from 12 noon – 4pm.

There will be 12 trees in the church and local clubs and charities are invited to decorate. The Mayor and Mayoress took the opportunity to decorate a tree for one of the Mayor’s charities ‘Going for Bust’. Note the very special type of pink decorations!

Photograph taken by Beatrice Dopita of the River Allen Bat Roost.
Entrance will be free.

The Mayor’s Christmas Cards

Details of this years Christmas Cards designed by Wimborne Minster school Children.

Not written your Christmas cards yet? Then get some in town where the proceeds go to good causes. In aid of the Mayor’s charities this year, cards were designed by children from Wimborne First School and St John’s CE First School. You can buy them at Walford Mill, Gullivers Book shop, The Card Gallery, Allendale Centre, Allendale House and Dragaroo’s. The charities that will benefit are: Dreamboats, Vision Wimborne, Wimborne in Bloom, Cystic Fibrosis, Going for Bust and the Royal British Legion.

New Champion Proclaimed At Dorset Town Criers Competition

CrierComp2015-Winner[1] A new champion town crier was proclaimed on Saturday afternoon with the awarding of the Dorset Town Crier’s competition prize, the Stanley Mansbridge Perpetual Trophy. Seven Criers from across the county competed on a stormy afternoon, but their bellows won through.


  • CHAMPION: Alistair Chisholm of Dorchester
  • Joint Runners up (tied on points) David Craner of Beaminster & Andrew Fleming of Swanage.

The prize was awarded by The Mayor & Mayoress of Wimborne Minster, Cllr Shane and Mrs Tracey Bartlett who were warmly thanked by the new champion along with thanks for the support of Wimborne Town Council and the provision of excellent refreshments by the Royal British Legion.

Alistair Chisholm will now host the competition in 2016 in Dorchester, and as host is not eligible to compete, there will be fierce competition for this prodigious County Mantle.

The event was judged by three local residents, Alan Sims of Pamphill, and Anthony (MBE) & Christine Oliver, with Anne Brown Co-ordinating the results and doing the hard maths.

The event also hailed the debut of a potential new Town Crier. Sarah Ngugi joined the occasion having previously expressed a wish to become a Town Crier, her friends had encouraged her to do so following meeting Chris Brown at the start of the Wimborne 10 road race. She took a full part in the occasion and completed a very thoughtful and poignant cry with some aplomb. Sarah was judged in comparison with the main competitors and achieved a score equal to the joint second competitors. No small achievement, now we need to find her a town to represent as she would provide an excellent voice for any town wise enough to appoint her.

A video of Sarah’s cry is available here

NOTE: Stanley Mansbridge was the Shaftesbury Town Crier and the competition began in 1987. Stanley was born in London in 1925. He served in the Royal Navy during the second world war and married Joan Bower in London March 1948, by 1962 he was established as a builder in Shaftesbury and died in 1987.



Wimborne Minster Christmas Lights Switch On

Details of the switching on of the Christmas Lights 2015

The time is nearly upon us for Wimborne Minster to enter the festive season with the switching on of the Christmas lights! The switch will be pressed at 4:30pm on the 28th November by Cllr Shane & Mrs Tracey Bartlett – Town Mayor and Mayoress, Mrs Sandra Bond, Chairman of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Mr Ian Faulkner, Chairman of Wimborne BID and the winners of the Town Council’s “Design a Christmas Card” competition for the first schools.

Once again there will be a temporary stage in The Square where there will be entertainment from 10.30am. The Wimborne Ukulele Band will commence proceedings followed by a variety of bands, choirs and dancers throughout the day. Musicians from Ferndown Brass Band and The Minster Choir will lead the singing of carols around the Christmas tree in The Square from 4.00pm.

The Wimborne Militia will be ready to ward off evil spirits – as is the ancient tradition – on The Minster Green where they will fire their muskets at 4.45 pm. This will allow time to leave the area for those that would rather not be present during the firing.

A collection will be taken in aid of the Mayor’s charities: Wimborne in Bloom, the Royal British Legion, Vision Wimborne, Dreamboats, Going for Bust and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. We are pleased to advise that the Christmas lights were funded equally this year by Wimborne Minster Town Council and Wimborne BID. So please help get the festive season off to a good start by supporting this fun event.

Reporters and photographers welcome. Further details can be obtained from the PR Coordinator Cllr Kelly Webb on pr@wimborne.gov.uk.

Wimborne Minster Town Council Open Day

The Town Council are having an Open Day on 21st November 2015, an opportunity for the residents to come along to the Town Hall and find out how the Council works.

In line with the Mayor’s determination to improve communication between the Town Council and residents, the Town Hall are to hold a special Open Day. Residents are invited to step into the Council premises in West Borough on the 21st November between 10am and 2pm (or until people decide to leave)! This is an informal opportunity to pop your head around the door of the offices and take a look around, chat to the office staff and many of the Councillors. There will be opportunities to find out about the history of the Council, what day to day operations involve and the type of work the Councillors do for the town. The Mayor, Cllr Shane Bartlett said “It is extremely important that residents understand the role of the Town Council and how they can interact with us to raise queries, give views, request information or indeed support. It feels like an appropriate time to open our doors now in light of the many changes on the horizon for Wimborne and not forgetting the recent boundary changes that have brought more residents into the Council boundary. Myself and the other Councillors are looking forward to welcoming many people through the doors during the day”. There is no set time to arrive, the doors will be open with items on display for people to browse through or ask questions about. Information will include details about partnerships that the Council is involved in e.g. with Wimborne BID and Wimborne in Bloom. Refreshments will be served, courtesy of the Wimborne Fair Trade group

Free Parking in Wimborne Minster – Christmas 2015

Date for free parking in Council Car Parks December 2015

Please note the following dates when parking will be free from 10am in District Council owned car parks in town;

Thursday December 3rd
Thursday December 10th
Thursday December 17th and
Thursday December 24th

Charges will still apply in car parks that are privately owned such as Waitrose and the Co-Op.

Council car parks are always free between 6pm and 8am.

Wimborne Minster wins national recognition!

The results are out! Wimborne Minster was awarded a Silver Gilt in the RHS Britain in Bloom UK Finals at the Awards ceremony held in Sunderland last Friday.

The hosts included RHS President, Sir Nicholas Bacon, who gave an address whilst the Master of Ceremonies was James Alexander-Sinclair, garden designer, writer and broadcaster. The Small Town category winners were Ahoghill (Ulster) with one of only two Gold awards in the category. Wimborne in Bloom are very proud that the efforts of so many – committee members, volunteers and supporters have been rewarded with a ‘third equal’ in the UK.

The comments contained in the report glowed for Wimborne and all involved! The Jubilee Garden, Green Man, the Tourist Information Centre, Model Town, Priests House Museum , the Hanham Road underpass wallwrap and Redcotts Recreaton Ground receiving special mention. The report was very complimentary on the ‘remarkable working partnership with the Wimborne BID and the Town Council’ for which Wimborne in Bloom are proud to be an integral member. This partnership and the fund raising initiatives identified Wimborne in Bloom’s approach as ‘unique’.

Commenting, after return from Sunderland, Chairman Richard Nunn expressed his very sincere thanks to all who have helped in any way and was proud that, once again, Wimborne has achieved national recognition. He also thanked South & South East in Bloom who nominated them for the Finals.

However, not resting on laurels, the work goes on and this week will see the removal of the hanging baskets and the Autumn replanting around the Town.

Next events are the Charities Fair on Saturday 14th November and a Coffee Morning on Saturday 21st November.

Wimborne in Bloom Prize Giving

Wimborne in Bloom’s Annual Prizegiving took place on Saturday at Allenbourn Middle School. A week after the Regional Awards Ceremony when Wimborne won a Gold Medal for the second year in succession those gathered were delighted when the news was announced.

Chairman, Richard Nunn also announced that the ‘In Bloom Team’ had been awarded the prestigious Regional Chairman’s Award and also a Silver Gilt award for Redcotts Recreation Ground. St. John’s First School won a Gold Award and Wimborne First School a Bronze Award in the Regional School’s Competition. Grateful thanks was expressed to all those who had helped Wimborne in Bloom to achieve such magnificent results.


Art and Poetry winners together with the Mayor Cllr Shane Bartlett, Chairman of Wimborne in Bloom Richard Nunn and Schools Co-ordinator and Committee Member of Wimborne in Bloom Susie Gatrell

Once again the Prizegiving was split into two events, the first for both the Schools and Adults Art and Poetry Competitions and secondly the main Wimborne in Bloom Competition. The Mayor, Cllr. Shane Bartlett presented the prizes for both events. Local Nurseries and Garden Centres provided garden vouchers to be spent at their centres for the main Competition with Lester Brunt Wealth Management’s donation funding the children’s prizes. Mrs Pam Perry continued her support by sponsoring the Poetry Competition which her late husband Cllr John Perry sponsored when he was Town Mayor.

All prizewinners received a Certificate, kindly produced and donated by Moose International, Wimborne Town Lodge with special thanks to Michael Randall for preparing them all whilst Kevin Randall, their Chairman, was present to award trophies donated by them. Other winners in the main competition also received Trophies in the different categories.

The Town now has to wait another month before the results of the Britain on Bloom National Competition are announced. On the last occasion we were entered in 2012 the Town won the National Small Town Title. Can we hope to have achieved this award again?


Local Competition winners with the Mayor, Chairman of Wimborne in Bloom (back left) and Kevin Randall , Chairman of Wimborne Town Lodge, Moose International (next to Richard Nunn, back left)