Top Stories in the BV December issue:

• When Dickens came to Sherborne – and didn’t want to:

“Must I come? The place smells of CowSh*t”.

Roger Guttridge has the details of the second public reading of A Christmas Carol, in what is now Macintosh Antiques (p.12)

The Love Local Trust Local Awards dinner was this week – Congratulations to Gullivers Farm, Shop & Kitchen, overall Champions. Read to discover more about many of Dorset’s ethical food & drink producers. (Page 8 )

• Steve from Oxfords Bakery is the 4th generation ‘Happy Baker’ in A Country Living “…they were queued up outside all masked up. And they all clapped and cheered. I’m so humbled.” (p.14)

• Christmas traditions – the team share theirs, and some of this year’s featured celebrity guests were invited to share their own favourites (p.18)

• The Random 19 is with primetime drama actress Hermione Norris who lives near Sturminster Newton – we chat about Will Smith, not walking out on yourself and McCoys crisps. (p.30)

• In equestrian, retired international event horse Happy Times is enjoying a well-earned retirement from Griffiths Eventing Team outside Gillingham with Mouse Berry, and at The Glanvilles Stud Ltd. there’s an insight into Tattersalls and latest news of their record-breaking girl Honeysuckle. (p.44)

• In Trethowans farming section, Louise from the NFU Mutual Sturminster Newton discusses Dorset’s groundbreaking approach to the nitrate levels in a local catchment, James Cossins is happy November is behind him, and Andrew is looking back at a disastrous nativity play (p.48)

• In Food & Drink, Heather from Dorset Foodie Feed has a fabulous Christmas Baking Treats Special of simple treats (p.79), Meet Your Local is talking to The Fleur de Lys Inn, (p.84), Rachael Rowe has been talking to Bramble Restaurant‘s Mat Follas about his Mure Liqueurs (p.87), and Vineyards are back! (p.88)

• The Ward Goodman charity pages this month have shared the shocking work of Margaret Green Animal Rescue and the annual Sturminster Newton Santa Stride is back – there’s still time to register(p.76)