This month’s news from the team in Sturminster Newton


Sturminster Newton has a new community newsletter – Pauline Batstone tells you how to find it, along with the round-up of what’s happening in Stur

John Dimech’s exhibition in The Baxter’s Room above The Emporium

The third edition of What’s Happening in Stur has now come out. Not everyone is aware of it yet, so do please spread the word among your friends and family. It does the job Stur’s Unity magazine once did, sharing what is happening in the town. The town council is printing off hard copies but do email to receive your own digital copy.
Alternatively, you can read it online via the Learning Centre website – Thanks to David Shepherd, who leads The Exchange Learning Centre and has initiated this.

Work continues to transform the former NatWest Bank into an exciting space for Blackmore Vale entrepreneurs to sell their goods to the public. More than 30 business have so far expressed interest in hiring space, ranging from a shelf to the former manager’s office or the bank’s old strongroom. The latter is the idea of our own local wine producer! We have several local authors who have signed up for shelf space on which to sell their books. Anyone who may be interested should get in touch on to arrange an interview.
Jacqui Wragg as been researching the old building, and discovered that it was handed over to the National Provincial Bank on 18th September 1855. Appropriate, then, that an autum opening of phase one is planned.
Gallery and exhibition space
The art gallery above The Emporium is proving a lovely space to display the range of pre-loved pictures, prints and paintings which are donated for sale. There have been some lovely surprises too, with visitors advising that a particular painting priced at £15 in the gallery could well raise 200 per cent more at auction.
The Baxter’s Room on the second floor can now be hired by artists wishing to exhibit their work – £100 fee for the first week, £80 the second, plus commission. Our first exhibitor John Dimech, who filled the space with local views of Dorset, has had lots of visitors.
Stur Arts Week has just come to an end – thanks to all those artists who exhibited and the shops which gave window space.

A selection of John Dimech’s Dorset scenes

Sturbiz is the official Chamber of Commerce for Sturminster Newton and the local area. There is a new focus to play a more active role on behalf of our town’s business community after Covid, along with the aim of increasing membership to 100 this year, says co-ordinator Jacqui Wragg, who is already planning the third Schools Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair for this autumn, where our young people can research potential local careers.

People often say Stur is buzzing and in the last week of August it will be buzzing even more! We have a number of events, celebrating Sturminster Newton’s beautiful natural environment and the wildlife and plants which share it with us. For information about those partnership events keep an eye on The Riverside Family Fest is on the 20th August (see poster above right) on the Riverside Meadows. There will also be a community fete on 27th August, 12pm to 4pm in The Railway Gardens. A summer quiz, aimed at our young people, will be in the shops from 20th August to 11th September.

Do you have time?
Volunteers play a vital part in all we do in the town and more are always needed. Do you perhaps a have a couple of hours you could fill?
Why not come and use your spare time to serve your community, make new friends and fill a few quiet hours.


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