Due to personal reasons and after 4 years continual work, I am stepping back from chief editorial duties at Broadwindsor.Org until Easter. I will endeavour to keep the What’s On up to date in the interim.
Annual registration fees, for local businesses & organisations cover basic overheads, will be £20/year and due in April. I hope I can continue to count on your support.
Registration fees and donations are motivating, inspiring and always most welcome.
In 1897, in the small village of Broadwindsor, carpenters and gatemakers Arthur and Ernie Wakely turned their skills to making coffins.
Arthur’s son Jack helped his father and uncle in the family business and, with an entrepreneurial eye, he purchased a small funeral business in Bridport. Fast forward more than 120 years and that funeral business has burgeoned into 14 offices covering an area from Sidmouth to Wincanton.
Jack’s grandson, Richard Wakely, is the fourth-generation funeral director to join A. J. Wakely & Sons. Richard says: ‘It wasn’t my plan to come into the family business. My dad, Clive, a director in the firm, never pushed me or my three sisters. It wasn’t like TV’s Succession! Dad wanted it to be a natural progression. This is more of a vocation than an actual job. You’ve got to want to do it.’
After leaving school, Richard worked in the Philippines for the charity Mercy in Action. ‘That experience was life-changing for me,’ he says. ‘I grew up so much in three years.’
Working in the charity’s homes for vulnerable children in the Philippines, Richard ran a summer programme for street kids and a drop-in centre for orphans. ‘We’d feed them and give them a basic education.’
A keen sportsman, Richard spent time going into the community and playing basketball with the kids. This success led him to run an after-school programme as a full-time job. ‘A lot of the kids had no electricity in the evening and were doing their homework by candlelight. Opening the day centre at night gave them a safe space to study.’
We’ll find a way
Returning home, a casual chat while walking along the beach with his dad led to him joining the family business aged 21. Richard began learning the ropes as a general employee. He worked on the fixtures and fittings of coffins, having inherited his great grandfathers’ craft skills, and he shadowed experienced funeral director Matthew Paterson.
Richard juggled working with studying for his funeral director’s diploma. ‘Incredibly, you don’t legally need any qualifications to be a funeral director. It’s scary to think anyone can set up – without the right facilities, knowledge, or empathy that this work requires. Hopefully regulations will be coming in soon.’
After nine years, Richard now runs two of the Wakely offices. ‘Our motto is: “we will say yes and then work out how to do it”!
If a family wants it done and it’s legal, we’ll find a way.’
This includes unusual requests – Richard researched if a lady could keep her husband’s skeleton hanging in her office (she couldn’t).
He’s also been asked to dress down in shorts and a t-shirt rather than the usual funeral attire of tailcoated suit.
‘The taboo of talking about death has changed. People are keener to organise their own funeral and take the burden off loved ones. People want a personal touch. We now have a Land Rover Defender converted into a hearse for funerals on private land. Sometimes it’s just in a field with hay bales for the mourners.’
What is the reaction when Richard says what he does for a living? ‘I always say it’s either a conversation starter or finisher. Some people are surprised and hesitant, not wanting to know more. Others ask questions – lots of them!’
Richard’s faith helps him handle the emotions of dealing with death every day. ‘Praying through things really helps. My wife Emily is also a fantastic support. And as soon as I walk through the door, I’m bowled over by two young children and a baby. Work goes to one side for family time and that helps a lot.’
Organising a funeral for a baby or child is the toughest part of his job. ‘You feel for the parents.
‘Also, I’m always struck by non-attended funerals, where the deceased has outlived all friends and relations so there are no mourners. You become the congregation, and when you hear about their incredible lives, it’s very moving. I remember one chap who had been a spy gathering intel during the Second World War. We’re coming to the end of that generation. Such heroic stories will be buried forever – I’m very privileged to hear some of them.’
Quick fire questions:
Top dinner party guests?
My rugby heroes, Jonny Wilkinson and Dan Carter. Jesus would be cool … and my great grandfather, so I could thank him for starting the business!
Our Parish Council promote themselves by stating: Broadwindsor Group Parish Council represents the views of local people, negotiates and influences the decisions which directly affect the community and delivers important services to improve the quality of life for everyone living and working in the area.
The Neighbourhood Plan became a statutory part of the development plan for the area and carries significant weight in how planning applications are decided. You can read the October 2018 Submission Draft Neighbourhood Plan, in full HERE. (The Editor could not find the approved plan on the Dorset Council website.)
The next meeting of Broadwindsor Group Parish Council will be held at Drimpton Village Hall on Monday, 12th February at 7.30pm. All are invited to attend.
The full agenda is not yet published but one planning application in particular, which has a deadline of 15th February for comments, has received much attention on social media… Councillor Steve Chubb commented as below:
The following application P/FUL/2022/05832 has been received from Dorset Council and will be discussed at our next meeting on 12 February. A Case Officer was only appointed at the end of last week and an extension to the deadline for comments has been requested in order that the Parish Council can discuss collectively and seek the views of those living close by. Members of the public can make comments to the Parish Council or comment directly to Dorset Council online. The deadline is 15 February.In November 2022 Chapman Lily Planning Ltd attended a Parish Council meeting to discuss the proposal prior to submission to Dorset Council. The published minute of that item is below (main image). https://planning.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx…
Let YOUR voice be heard:
You can comment now directly on the application on Dorset Council’s website HERE, up until Thursday, 15th February.
You can voice your comments to the local councillors by attending their meeting on Monday, 12th February.
A distant cousin of Scotland’s Cullen Skink, this has more of a broth consistency (rather than some thicker versions) but if preferred you can mash half the potatoes into the broth once cooked, to give a thicker result. Mop up the broth with some crusty bread. Weights don’t have to be exact.
50g knob of butter
4-5 spring onions, chopped
1 large mugful sweetcorn (tinned or frozen)
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
800g fish or chicken stock
400g skinned, boned smoked haddock, cut into large chunks
400g any skinless, boneless white fish, salmon or combination, cut as above
Melt butter in a large pan and add spring onions, sweetcorn and potatoes. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes.
Add stock (and dried dill, if using) and simmer for about 7-8 minutes or until the potatoes and corn are cooked.
Add the fish and cook gently for a couple of minutes until done. Add fresh dill and most of the parsley.
Take off the heat. Stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper (and a small teaspoonful of sugar if needed).
Top with remaining parsley and enjoy immediately.
Raspberry cheesecake hearts (makes 6 generous squares or hearts or 8 smaller)
1 sheet puff pastry
1 beaten egg
3-4 tbsp granulated sugar
1 punnet raspberries (or strawberries, sliced)
150g cream cheese, at room temperature (pour off any whey)
100g double cream
2 tbsp sifted icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 220F/200C/Gas 7.
Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place your pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and fold in half. Gently roll together (but not too thinly).
Using a heart-shaped cutter, cut out six (or more, depending on the size of the cutter) heart shapes or squares. Place on baking sheet, prick the tops gently, brush with the beaten egg and give each one a generous sprinkling of sugar.
Bake for 9-10 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Cool completely, then split in half horizontally.
Beat the cream cheese until soft, and add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract, mixing thoroughly.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the cream cheese mixture.
Pile onto the unsugared sides of the pastries, top with the fruit and top with the sugared pastry pieces. Dust with sifted icing sugar if desired.
Running alonside FareShare at Drimpton Village Hall this Friday from 9 – 11am, a Care Coordinator from the Jurassic Coast Primary Care Network will be in attendance. The following information is taken from their website:
>>> Social prescribing is when patients are referred to support in the community, in order to improve their health and wellbeing. Patients are connected to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.
This service can help patients if:
They need linking to support for mental and physical health issues, such as smoking cessation and healthy eating
They are feeling isolated and want assistance in becoming more involved in your community
They are struggling with work, housing or money worries
Care Coordinators connect patients with the help, care and support they need to manage their long term conditions and to make decisions about their own care.
This service can help patients if they are:
Need help finding their way around different health, social care and support services
Have one or more long term conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, COPD, CVD, dementia, chronic pain)
A care coordinator can work with you to create a care and support plan that is centred around what matters to you. Work closely with your care givers and the important people in your life to make sure you receive the best possible care. Support you in navigating the health system and accessing local support and services.
A referral to this service is entirely voluntary. Nobody is obliged to use the service and we welcome all patients who need support who are engaged and happy to work with us.
The team work across Bridport, Beaminster and Lyme Regis and attend each practice at least twice a week. The team can see patients at their medical surgery, at home or via a telephone or video call. <<<
This Friday, 2nd February at Drimpton Village Hall is an OutReach service running from 9 – 11am.
Local business Pour Decisions had one of their products featured on Channel 4’s Sunday morning programme, Sunday Brunch… “…the most delicious vintage of Galets Rouge. You may have tried the absolutely delicious ‘21 (it was a best seller), try the ‘22 and see the difference for yourselves!” – Yasemin
Congratulations Yasemin & Pete 🙂
Reopening on Wednesday 3rd February, visit them at Redlands Yard.
At 7.30pm at the Comrades Hall Friday, 16th February, Broadwindsor’s Community Film Club will be showing…
The Miracle Club (12)
A 2023 comedy-drama directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan. Starring Laura Linney, Kathy Bates , Maggie Smith and Agnes O’Casey. Running time 1 hr. 31 mins.
Ballygar, Dublin, Ireland, 1967: close friends Lily (Maggie Smith), Eileen (Kathy Bates) and Dolly (Agnes O’Casey) win the trip of a lifetime – a pilgrimage to Lourdes. With each woman desperately in need of a personal miracle, the trip seems like an answer to all their prayers. But when they are joined by Chrissie (Laura Linney), returning to Dublin after decades in America, deep wounds from their past are re-opened and bitter truths exposed. As they confront one another and embrace their shared past, the group reckon with revelations that will change them forever.
At 7.30pm at the Comrades Hall this Friday, 19th January, Broadwindsor’s Community Film Club will be showing…
A Haunting In Venice (12)
Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Kenneth Branagh, Kelly Reilly, Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Dornan. Running time 1 hr. 43 mins.
Kenneth Branagh stars as celebrated sleuth Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. He soon gets thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets when one of the guests is murdered.
A couple of warming recipes to fend off the January chills…
Scouse (or Lobscouse) – serves 4-6
Derived from ‘lapskaus’, a traditional, one-pan stew said to have been introduced to Liverpool by Norwegian sailors, this is a great winter stand-by, using beef or lamb and January’s seasonal root vegetables. Leave out the meat if preferred. Typically served with pickled red cabbage and a doorstep of crusty fresh bread (a squeeze of HP not to be underestimated). Every household has its own version. No need to follow exact weights, go by eye.
2 onions, coarsely chopped
3-4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 large carrots, peeled and roughly sliced
1 medium swede, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 cup pearl barley or dried soup mix (soaked in water for 1 hour)
750g stewing beef or lamb, preferably in thick slices (I use beef as less fatty)
1.5 litres beef stock
Rinse and drain the barley/soup mix. In a large pan, melt the butter on a medium heat and seal the meat on all sides.
Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes, before adding the stock and barley/soup mix. Add marrowbone, if using.
Simmer until the meat is tender and the pulses cooked, then remove the meat onto a plate.
Season the broth with salt and pepper (plus an optional good dash of Worcestershire sauce), add the carrots and swede then after 20 mins add the potatoes and cook until everything is cooked.
Remove and discard marrowbone. Add the meat back in, check seasoning, and enjoy.
Best wrapped and kept for a few days before eating, but easier said than done. You will need a 2lb loaf tin, buttered and lined, and a hand whisk.
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
115g hard butter, cubed
115g black treacle
115g golden syrup (measure treacle and syrup straight into a saucepan)
115g dark muscovado sugar
275g milk (whole, preferably) (measure sugar and milk into another saucepan)
1 egg, beaten
4 balls stem ginger in syrup, chopped (Opies brand is good)
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas mark 4.
Sift dry ingredients together into a large bowl and rub in the butter (the colder your hands, the better).
Gently warm the treacle and syrup until runny but not hot. Do the same with the sugar and milk in the other pan, just enough to dissolve the sugar.
Add the treacle/syrup mixture to the dry ingredients, whisk, then add the milk/sugar mixture and the egg.
Whisk briefly until you have a smooth batter. Fold in the stem ginger pieces, ensuring they are fairly evenly dispersed.
Pour into the loaf tin, give the tin a sharp tap on the worktop and bake for around 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack. Keeps well.