Bere Regis

  • MARY and John England celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a lovely party for 65 invited guests at the Dorset Golf and Country Club.

Guests at the party included John's best man, Michael Drayton, and bridesmaids Margaret England and Pamela Pugh.

Mary and John met in 1955 at dancing classes near Mary's home town of Newport. John, originally from Poole, was working at the Royal Naval Propellant Factory at Caerwent.

After their move to Bere Regis, John worked at Holton Heath, Wareham for many years until his retirement.

Mary and John have been involved with many aspects of village life through the years.

John was a churchwarden for many years, and is captain of the team of bell ringers. In years past he chaired the PTA at Bere Regis first school,ran the scout group and helped to organise many of the village carnivals.

Since his retirement, he has been a friendly face behind the counter of the post office each week.

Mary was for many years secretary of the young wives group, women's institute, mothers' union and was a much-loved dinner lady at the school, as well as finding time to sing with the Gadabouts and later the Woodbury Hill Singers.

Since their retirement, Mary and John have enjoyed many enjoyable holidays together.

They both agree that the secret of a long and happy marriage is tolerance.

  • BRENDA Pitfield tells me that there is to be another re-union of the old girls from Dorchester Grammar School (the Green School) on Saturday, October 23 from 11am until 3pm at Broadmayne village hall.

Bring a plate of food to share.

Contact Brenda on 01929 471391.


  • NEIGHBOURCAR service co-ordinator Mike Chaney tells me that the new scheme began as planned at the end of September.

Puddletown is already well served by its volunteers, says Mike, and now it is getting another service run by villagers giving up their time to help one another.

People from the community already help to keep the village library open by working there two days a week and by offering computer training courses and sessions for pre-school children.

Now a couple of dozen of them are taking on the job of driving elderly and disabled people to the village surgery or to other medically-related appointments.

Four villagers will take turns at taking details of upcoming appointments from the fifty or so people who have joined the scheme.

They will then ring round the couple of dozen people who have signed up to do the driving.

‘For several years past such a scheme has been operating in the village, run by the NHS and Friends of the Puddletown Practice,’ adds Mike. ‘When we heard that the NHS could no longer fund someone to match patients and drivers we got together and set up the new scheme to take over this valuable work.

‘We have been given generous financial help by the Dorset Partnership for Older People Project (POPP).

Mike points out that such lifts can only be offered to people who cannot use public transport (where it exists) or who cannot, through age or disability, get to their appointments without such help.

He adds that application forms to enrol as a passenger can be obtained from the surgery ─ and that extra volunteer drivers are always needed.

He can be contacted on 01305 848352.