Saturday, 13 August 2011


Minehead: Red Devils

The trouble with a parachute display is that you get only the one chance for your picture. There were other participants but this is probably the best of a poor bunch of shots as it does show the men stacked one on another.

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Minehead: Red Arrows

I reckon I was very lucky to get the pictures which I managed. The planes were very fast and it was difficult to get the flight into the camera viewfinder. In some cases I didn't and the picture just showed a smoke trail!
The Red Arrows are extremely popular and travel to various resorts to put on a display during the year. There are some more coming up within a reasonable travelling distance so I can look at this as a practice run!

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Saturday, 2 July 2011


William Barnes "The Dorset Poet"

Here is a further bit of name-dropping! This is not substantiated as I have never found the link which my father maintained existed. William Barnes, 'The Dorset Poet', is supposed to be related to my branch of the Chant family. It may have been wishful thinking but there could be a connection. In a biographical work I have seen recorded that Barnes would take his daughter to the top of Ham Hill and point out to her the various localities which were visible and which had played a part in his life.. Barnes is buried at Winterborne Came: his memorial is the Celtic cross you see. He was a friend of Thomas Hardy and in the living room at Hardy's home, Max Gate, a small painting once owned by Barnes is on display. When Hardy died this was disposed of, together with other memorabilia, by Hardy's sister. Subsequently it was repurchased as a gift to help record the friendship between the two men.

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Now for a bit of name-dropping! Thomas Hardy O.M. used to worship at Stinsford church where his father had assisted with maintaining the tidiness and appearance. Hardy would walk over the fields from the home he had designed for himself called Max Gate. On his mother's side, my late cousin David Chant was a distant cousin of Hardy, a fact of which he was proud but which he often kept to himself in discussions.

29th June 2011

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Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Get Digging!

Where is that pot of gold?


Tuesday, 10 May 2011


A Postscript

It is pleasing to live in a village. I have not been here years enough to become part of the furniture and known to all and sundry but I do have a lot of family about and know a lot of other people by sight. One of my visitors from the antipodes changed his camera card whilst we were going round the churchyard at St Mary's the other day. The old one must have missed his pocket as he put it away as it was found there and passed to Diane Chant, whose son keeps the grass cut and looks after things generally. After all her boy might know whose it was. In fact, since I was in a few of the pictures, Diane knew to phone me, and I collected the card from her. All three brothers are in this picture so whose card? I am sure one of them will let me know when they read this! Thanks very much to the finder.

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Thursday, 5 May 2011


Visitors to Stoke-sub-Hamdon

When I was looking at the computer a few days ago I realised that one of my Australian cousins had come on a visit to Somerset and not let me offer hospitality. By a coincidence the next day I received an e-mail from his mother so, naturally I mentioned that I should have liked to have met him. This brought to light that that cousin had moved on to Italy but that his brothers were in Edinburgh! We made contact and they included a visit to Stoke-sub-Hamdon, their ancestral home village, on their way to Paris to meet with other members of their family who were also touring from Victoria.

I have had a suggestion about the picture from one wife but, alas, too late: one should be covering his ears, the next his eyes and the third his mouth! The three of them are sitting on a seat in St Mary's churchyard which was used by their mum when she came over last time.

After they left I went over to Greylake and saw whimbrel for the first time.

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