I was saddened to hear that the Tourist Information Centre has closed in Sherborne with Dorset Council’s excuse being that there was very little usage by visitors to the town. Until 2019 I regularly volunteered at Sherborne Museum and we frequently had people coming in to ask where the Tourist Information was. We also had lots of people wanting to know how to get to the castles and their opening times – requests that should have been dealt with by the TIC. It would probably not be feasible but re-locating a small-scale TIC to the Museum could be beneficial both to the Museum and to visitors to the town.
Mair Graham, Henstridge
Can I say how much I am enjoying the new ‘Night Sky’ column? I’m a (very) amateur astronomy student, and the new format with not only the guide to what to look for but also the fascinating insight into Mr Nolan’s photography has been nothing short of inspiring. I am currently researching the ‘how’s and what’s’ of purchasing the correct gear to work with my rather old telescope (with a new one on my Christmas List!) so that I can begin to dabble in the art of astrophotography myself.
N Travers, Marnhull
The newly published Elections Bill will allow ministers to define and curtail ‘campaigning’, could make coordinating opposition an offence, and permits political meddling in the Electoral Commission.
A free election is one where unaffiliated organisations, charities and even the person on the street can be part of the debate. And where independent groups like Best for Britain, can provide voters with information on parties and their policies.
By putting restrictions on campaigning and cross-party co-operation, this bill stifles healthy opposition. It is an attack on the foundations of our democracy.
Now that the country has ‘opened up’ again, may I say how thankful I am that we here in Dorset seem to be moderate, level-headed and courteous as we go about our daily business. I have been shielding my husband for much of the last 18mths, and ‘freedom day’ filled me with fear; going into busy public spaces still concerns me, despite us both being double-jabbed now.
Yet I have found to my relief that almost everyone continues to wear their mask, allow space in shops, queues at a comfortable distance – and long-missed friends have checked on whether ’hugs, hands or no-touching-please’ are the order of the day when we have finally met.
Thank you, to the whole community – most of these measures are to protect others as much as one’s self, and I am deeply thankful for the kindness and consideration from all. Oddly, the exceptions more often than not seem to be those of my own generation (in our ‘twilight years’ shall we say?) who are sniffing at the rules, and it’s the youngest – the least affected by covid – who are happiest to stick to the rules. Let’s keep on being considerate, thoughtful, and keeping each other safe as the year turns and we head into what I hope will be our final difficult winter.
Hannah Bremming, Verwood.
I read your (usually amusing) column The Random 19 in the July issue and was once again very disappointed. When asked her favourite crisp flavour, world famous novelist Tracy Chevalier answered ‘plain.’
Every one knows the proper answer to this question is Smoky Bacon, followed by Prawn Cocktail. I know she is from Maryland, USA, and we must allow for that, but her response makes me wonder how good Ms Chevalier’s books actually are if she is so glib over such important matters.
If memory serves correctly, no one in this otherwise-excellent series has managed to get this very simple question correct – I sincerely hope your next Random 19-er will have far more sense.
P Bone, Shaftesbury
(I know. Kate Adie gets it wrong this month too. I’m SO disappointed in her. I promise you that I take this up with the Random 19-ers every month. You’re correct, of course – the right answer is, in fact, smoky bacon – Ed)
Walking down Sherborne high street after many months absence I was shocked to see so many shops have ceased trading and lay empty.
I am confident that a lot of this is due to excessive rental rates, as is the case in most high streets. Surely some of them can be run on a short lease to help the hundreds of local artisans and crafts people sell their goods? Our town centres are going to seem like Poundbury (soulless) if this continues.
V Larking, Henstridge