Join our cheerful volunteer family! Plus cars, boots and looking forwards to Easter

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Pauline Batstone shares her monthly round up of what’s happening among the town’s collection of community enterprises and events

Some of the wild daffodil planted with the help of William Barnes school in November 2019

Spring has unmistakably arrived, heralding the perfect opportunity for a fresh wardrobe update with ladies’ attire from The Boutique and gentlemen’s fashion from Dapper Chaps.
Alternatively, you might be feeling like now’s the perfect time to revitalise your living space – head to the Furniture Store in the old Barclays Bank for an enticing selection of new-to-you items to keep, upcycle or re-purpose.
Of course, then you should add some practical and/or decorative touches with some items from The Emporium.
For art enthusiasts, The Art Gallery continues to offer a delightful selection of pictures. Additionally, above the Furniture Store, don’t forget the hub providing free school uniforms – if you have no need of it yourself, be sure to tell any parent of school-aged children that it’s there and available.
Embrace sustainability – all our items are
pre-loved, economically priced, recycled and good for the planet.
To sustain our thriving community, we are in need of more volunteers, particularly at The Boutique. Would you like to come and join our cheerful family? Get out the house, meet new people, fill a few quiet hours and immerse yourself in the lovely feeling of giving back. However, it comes with a warning: your new found love for the fashion at The Boutique may necessitate a larger wardrobe from the Furniture Store.
Recently, a Christian Dior silk scarf caught my eye during my shift. It simply had to come home with me, albeit at a price.
Sadly, until we gain some new volunteers The Boutique will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. If you can spare a couple of hours during the week, please do drop by The Emporium or 1855 for a friendly chat, or email Cheryl on 1855stur@gmail.com.

In other news …
Mark your calendars for 2nd March, when 1855 will host its customary Meet the Traders event in the morning, offering a perfect opportunity for leisurely browse around the ever-changing stock.
Car and Bike Enthusiasts are welcome to come along to the regular event for classic and sports car and bike enthusiasts. Classic cars and bikes, interesting modern sports cars and bikes are all welcome – it’s free and very informal.
They meet from 9am til 12pm on the first Saturday of each month, in the winter at the bottom of the Railway Gardens. Next meet is Saturday 2nd March and then 6th April will, weather permitting, be the first of the year back on The Rec. Please come along with your car or bike, or just to have a look and talk to other enthusiasts.
FREE PARKING in town on both days.
Prepare for the return of the regular Car Boot Sales from the 7th of April until the 1st of September, with sellers setting up from 10 a.m. and buyers welcomed from 11 a.m. Parking will be available on site, with proceeds supporting the Vale Pantry and Hedgehog Rescue of Hazelbury Bryan.
The Newton Residents Association will conduct its 2024 AGM at The Bull Tavern on Friday 15th of March, at 6:30pm.
Thanks to Darryl and Emma of The Bull for their support.

Looking to Easter
As Easter approaches, our churches are abuzz with activities. Look to their respective web pages for event details.
On Good Friday, a brief service will be held at The Cross in the Market Place, followed by complimentary Hot Cross Buns from SturAction.
Central to Easter celebrations, on Saturday 30th March, the three Sturminster Newton churches will embark on Jesus’ Easter Journey, commencing at Christian Fellowship, then Methodist Church, and concluding at St. Mary’s, with sessions at 10.30am and 12.30pm, fostering moments of reflection and praise.
Easter Saturday also promises some tasty indulgence with a Chocolate Fair at The Exchange from 10am to 2pm.
The Vale Pantry Easter Egg Hunt will be taking place on the same day from 10am to 4pm.
And to counteract all that chocolate consumption, assemble at The Exchange at 2pm for an Easter Bonnet Parade around town. Don’t fret if you forget your bonnet – spares will be available at The Exchange from 1.30pm and everyone receives a prize – there’s absolutely no competition involved!
On Easter Sunday, our churches will all hold special services, marking the pinnacle of the church calendar. Consult their notices for precise details.

Save the date
Volunteer Day is on 13th of April, bringing together voluntary groups and potential volunteers from 11am to 3pm at Stour Connect on Bath Road. Come and see if there’s something you could be part of – and there will be an accompanying Jumble Sale if you enjoy a rummage, too!

D Day stories
Lastly, a reminder that we’re seeking contributions from local people whose family members took part in the build-up and military invasion of Normandy 80 years ago.
Stur LitFest will be creating an exhibition of local family testimonies and images that will be on show in the gallery at The Exchange. On 9th June, the exhibition will be formally launched alongside author events commemorating the invasion. If you’d like to contribute to the exhibition, please send a short summary (500 words maximum) of your forbear’s experience in June 1944 and a copy of any images to sturlitfest1@gmail.com – or deliver a hand-written account to the Town Council Offices in Sturminster Newton, marked ‘FAO Cllr Pauline Batstone, D-Day 80th Anniversary Project’.

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