Monday, September 02, 2019

Outdoor activities in a mellow autumn week

Bank holiday Monday found the Bones music gang once again in Rode Mill, as friendly landlord John so enjoyed the previous event he invited the whole team back to do it all again. A great atmosphere, with several youngsters requesting favourite numbers or dancing along.

The LISTEN summer of sound art project, which began at the end of July and extended throughout August, has now drawn to a close after an amazing variety of events across Frome, including talks, concerts, installations, workshops, exhibitions and walks. The Poetry in Motion team, which has offered walks inspired by a wide range of local characters over the last few years, had a slightly different line-up for this event, partly for the sad reason of Martin Bax's ill-health, and partly because our subject was Emma Sheppard, the long-undervalued reforming Victorian who John Payne and I have been researching for over a year. Joining us for this walk were Emma-experts Nick Hersey and Liz Corfield, and soundman John Corfield to ensure the large group of walkers heard every word. Their response of was very encouraging, and an MP3 recording will follow, for those who missed the event. Here's me holding forth on Emma's work with prostitutes which, by defying the Victorian trope of female moral frailty and the impossibility of rehabilitation, places her firmly with the early pre-feminists. Thanks Mel Dsy for the 2 pix.

Still in Frome for this week's brief glimpse of local music, most of which I sadly missed, the annual All Roads Lead To Frome event at Cheese & Grain with 20 bands filled Saturday with sound from noon till 10pm, using both stages to avoid even momentary breaks. (These identified as the "Hey Didn't The Foo Fighters Play That Stage" Stage and the "I Knew Frank Turner Before He Was Famous" Stage) Popular reggae band Irie Fire headlined - here's Ghost of the Avalanche also on the Foo, aka Main, Stage.

Further afield now, in Ebbor Gorge. This amazing woodland site in the limestone Mendip hills has caves and streams - and forest sculpture - and fabulous views across to Glasonbury and beyond from the top of this National Trust Nature Reserve.  The option of short scrambles as well as long treks, and the luscious scenery and serene picnic pitches, makes this a perfect place for a family trip:

Ending with a couple of nice local footnotes in a dark week: nationally: Happy 80th birthday to Christine Goodman, mother to talented musicians Mike and David and ballet dancer Clare, and herself a creative contributor to Frome's Memorial theatre.

And celebrating a life rather than an anniversary: here's what the Boyles Cross in Frome has looked like since news of the death,  hours of her death, floral tributes to Lisa Wells, the inspirational young woman whi started 'Lisa's Army' to support sufferers of bowel cancer like herself, co-wrote a book for children coping with parental illness, - Only One of Me - and was involved with a wide range of supportive events. She died on August 17 and by the next weekend the fountain in the town centre was surrounded by flowers in bouquets and containers with moving personal tributes. They have been  renewed daily, with new balloons and personal messages.

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