AT THE West Lulworth History Group meeting, David Craner, the Crewkerne town crier, talked about Mummers' Plays. These are seasonal folk plays performed by troupes of actors known variously as mummers, guisers, pace-eggers etc. The earliest evidence of mummers' plays as they are known today (usually involving a magical cure by a quack doctor) is from the mid to late 18th century.

The Lulworth version is unique in having a Napoleon Bonaparte character - he is supposed to have come ashore at the Cove in his search for possible landing places for his army and was overheard to say 'C'est impossible'. It was always performed in the village on Christmas Eve, but also in Tyneham and Coombe Keynes, until the First World War brought it to an end.

Fortunately, someone broke the oral tradition of the play and wrote the words down; a copy was preserved and passed to us by Beryl Chaffey, a one-time resident of Lulworth. This enabled the West Lulworth WI to revive the play at their diamond jubilee party in 1980, making new costumes for the event. They performed it again in 1990, then this year the local History Group members donned the 1980 costumes for another performance.

  • West Lulworth Parish Plan Steering Committee is to be congratulated on producing their parish plan, which makes very interesting reading.

Chaldon did their plan a while ago now, and Winfrith Newburgh together with East Knighton Parish Plan Steering Committee is in the process of producing their questionnaire after Christmas.

  • A new footpath is to be opened on Saturday, December 22 and will link East Lulworth to the coastal path at Arishmel.

I will find out more details and let you know what it is like to walk. Our new puppy, Fizz is getting better at walking so it will be good to explore this new footpath.

  • Another good way to work off those few extra pounds is to join in with Family Reels at West Lulworth Village Hall on Friday, December 28 from 7pm until 11pm.

Soft drinks and a ploughman's supper will be included in the £7 ticket and £5 for under 12's.

Contact Joanne Selfe on 01305 852138 who has been organising this popular event for several years now.

  • Our Parish News has a new editor, a new treasurer and a new advertising secretary and thanks to these worthy volunteers coming forward to help keep our magazine flourishing.

We rely on it so much for news about all sorts of things as well as church services etc. We wish them well with the new issues during 2008. The distributors will be coming around in the New Year asking for the yearly subscription which is £5.

  • Sue Glover's book about the Winfrith WI Scrapbook in the 70s and 80s is on sale at Winfrith Post Office if you would like to purchase a copy.

It costs £7.50 and if you would like to know more about it, contact Sue Glover on 01305 852887.

  • The first carol singers of the season came around this evening singing strongly and enthusiastically for Crisis at Christmas.
  • I wish everyone a happy time over the holiday and every good wish for 2008.