7.30pm on Monday 23rd of  May 2022

Halstock Village Hall

Draft minutes

16 members of the public were present as well as Tessa Safadi (Parish Council Clerk) and Parish Councillors Dave Clary, David Hallett, Richard James, and Grant Prior

Councillor Richard James (Vice Chairman) chaired the meeting which opened at 7.30pm and ended at 9pm.



Councillors Jez Hodesdon and Nigel Clarke

 3. APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE 2019 MEETING (No meeting held in 2020 and 2021)

The draft minutes  were read out and approved with one correction relating to the  reporting of the Halstock Village Trust report “Martin Manning reported that £2100 from the former Afternoon Group is still held in a separate account and is available for a suitable project, mainly for older residents.”

Proposed Martin Manning and seconded Bardy Griffiths


There were no matters arising.


The Chairman’s (councillor Lovegrove) Parish council Year-end report was read out. See appendix 1


Please see appendix 2 below.

The Potluck club has not met since 2019 and there may be interest in resurrecting the club, may be with a broad range of activates offered, to encourage younger members of Halstock to take part.  Ideas and volunteer’s welcome. Please contact Tony Hill.


Organisation of the Platinum Jubilee party are progressing.  Details of Jubilee activities can be found on the Halstock Website and there will be a formal meeting to finalise arrangements on Tuesday 24thMay.

The Jubilee tree will be planted soon, and a Jubilee Queens Canopy plaque has been arranged.

There is a need to encourage newcomers to the village to take an active part in village activities and events.  It would be lovely to see new members joining  organisations like the Village Hall committee.

The loss of the youth club was felt to be one issue in the failure to attract more young people to engage at an early stage in Village activities.

The issue of attracting more young families into the village was also discussed and the lack facilities such as a playground and of affordable housing was raised as one issue.  Some residents felt that we could also be more sympathetic of new planning requests to support younger families moving into the area or those already living here.  Planning was discussed  in this respect.  Parish Councils planning comments hold the same weight as any other member of the public and residents were encouraged to send in their own responses regarding  planning applications, including ones that support developments, as the responses seen by Dorset Council can sometimes be biased in favour of objection, as people tend to send in reasons for objections rather than approval.  Dorset Council have a relatively small list of criteria for objection, so reports sent to Dorset Council need to be relevant and factual if they are to be considered.

Specific planning issues were raised but where not discussed as this was not the correct forum for these discussions.  Any issues that need to be raised should be dealt with at the Parish Council meetings.  Please contact the Parish Clerk chparishclerk@gmail.com if you would like to raise an issue at the next Parish Council meeting.

Appendix 1



  1. This has been a very busy year for the Council, complicated initially by the impact of Covid 19, which amongst other things meant an extra physical meeting in June 2021 to approve the decisions of a previous Zoom meeting.
  2. The Council was shocked to lose its vice chairman Katharine Singleton-Smith in a tragic farming accident and erected a bench on Common Lane in her memory.
  3. It however succeeded in co-opting new members to replace Katharine and other departing members so currently has a full complement of Councillors.
  4. The appointment of Tessa Safadi as clerk has proved to be very successful. She has now started training for the clerk’s professional CiLCA qualification.
  5. The council now has migrated to internet banking which will make banking operations much more efficient, particularly now its former bank the TSB has closed local branches.
  6. The Council erected an adult gym at the Corscombe Playground, and cleared and seeded the scrub area, and organised a working party to plant a new hedge there.
  7. It also provided Speed Gates at the entrances to Halstock and an additional grit bin at Merrylands.
  8. The Council tried and failed to address the traffic problems of speeding through Halstock and long vehicles using Court Lane, Corscombe.
  9. It responded to consultations on Dorset Council car parking, the proposed Dorset National Park, parish council area restructuring, and the Dorset Council Climate and Ecological Emergency and Local Plans. It signed up to the Dorset Deserves Better campaign objecting to certain aspects of the Dorset Local Plan.
  10. Financially the Council reached a milestone when millennium loans taken out to help the Halstock Community Room and Corscombe Village Hall were finally paid off, which enabled it to avoid increasing the 2022/23 precept.
  11. Finally, two recent initiatives for the benefit of its residents. Firstly, supporting the production of free Walking Guides for the area, produced by the Public Rights of Way Group. And secondly the planting of trees, with official plaques, at Halstock and Corscombe to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Henry Lovegrove, Chairman

May 2022

Appendix 2 – Halstock reports, Halstock parish meeting 23.5.22

Please note that due to formatting issues the reports from the Royal British Legion and the Annual Report to the Halstock Village Trust are only visible in the PDF attached.

 Halstock Village Shop Limited

Report to the Halstock Village Meeting – 23 May 2022


The accounts for the year ended 31 May 2021 are available on the village web-site but copies have been provided for anyone who has not seen them.

Shop sales in that year totalled £413,780 and the company made a net pre-tax profit of £40,331 from which it made a donation of £20,000 to Halstock Village Trust.

As most of you will know, the shop is community owned and run and its profits are covenanted to the Trust.  Since 2015, the company has made net donations to the Trust totalling £71,500 and has also paid it over £8,200 interest on its loan.

The sales figure of £413,780 in 2021 represents a remarkable 23% increase over the previous year and is largely attributable to the effects of Covid and the lock-down.

These amazing results would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts of both our employed staff and our many volunteers who worked tirelessly during the lock-down, keeping the shop open, sourcing supplies to keep the shelves well stocked and making deliveries to people who were self-isolating.  Their efforts and the support of the local community in using the shop are greatly appreciated.

While we do not yet have final figures for the year ending 31 May 2022, we anticipate that total sales will be about £380,000 which, while lower than last year, is still 30% up on pre-Covid levels.  We have recently spent over £9,000 on renewing the shop flooring and painting the outside windows but pre-tax profits are expected to be about £17,000.

Shop extension

We are currently considering building an extension to the shop so that a wider range of goods can be stocked and better displayed and to improve the shopping experience more generally.

We are having plans and costings prepared at which point it is intended that the village will be consulted on those plans.

Vacancy for part-time assistant manager

Rachel Hamlin, our assistant manager, is retiring at the end of June so we are looking to recruit a replacement.  If anyone here is interested or knows of anyone who may be interested, please contact (or ask them to contact) Barry or Graham in the shop or Bardy Griffiths (bardygriffiths@gmail.com)


The shop would not be what it is without our volunteers.  We are always on the look-out for new volunteers so if anyone has a few hours spare and would like to volunteer, please contact Barry or Graham in the shop or Di Staines (distaines19@gmail.com).




 Over the last year the committee have been able to get back to the normal routine of having six meetings a year.

This has enabled us to start all the regular activities again.  This means we are playing badminton on Tuesday nights, skittles which alternates with art classes on Wednesday nights, yoga on Friday mornings and short mat bowls on Friday afternoons.  If you would like to join any of these groups, especially the skittles group, please let me know.  While use of the Community Room has restricted over the Covid period the coffee mornings have been held at the hall on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  The Thursday coffee morning will now move back to the community Room but there will be a coffee morning with craft and chat on Tuesdays.

Halstock Village Cinema did not start until March as the choice of films offered to us was very limited.  I am glad to say that we now will be showing films every month.

We are always looking at ways to improve the hall and this year we have installed a loft ladder in the rear changing room so that access to the loft is much easier and safer than it was when you could only access it via the high doors in the hall.  The PVC covering to the patio was in very bad state with many holes in it, this has now been replaced.

As usual I would like to thank all the committee for their help during the year.  There are people, who are not on the committee, who undertake work for the hall and I would like to thank them also.

Peter Brinck

Chairman, Halstock Community Hall Management Committee



After a year of cancellations in 2020 we were able to run a programme of events in 2021, and even makeshift show in the carpark of the village hall. The events however were not well attended with many not being confident to go out again after the various lockdowns.

 At a very sparse attendance at the AGM in November 2021 Ian McNab stood down as chairperson. Nobody volunteered to take over or even join the committee in another role and we looked in danger of closing. The committee members who were left felt this to be a great shame so with some re-arrangement we decided to continue, offering a reduced programme, and sadly not running the Flower show.

Helen McNab joined the committee as event’s organiser, Bardy Griffiths took over as chair, Diana Staines continued as Treasurer and took over Membership, and we are well supported by Peter Brinck (Vice chair) and Heather Caplan.

In February 2022 Malcolm Mills from Castle Gardens spoke to us on the subject of Plants that changed the world, in March we had our discount shopping visit to Castle Gardens, in April Robert Appleby spoke on re-wilding of Wyke Farm. All these have been well attended. There is a NGS visit to Wyke Farm during the weekend of 18th/19th June which no doubt many in the village will take advantage of. On May 21 we held a plant swap and coffee morning in the hall.

Future dates are July 6 a visit to Batcombe House near Shepton Mallet;  August 14 a members only Tea party at Russell House hosted by John and Trisha Bright; September19 a talk by James Cross on ‘The Bishop’s Palace Gardens – past, present and future’. 

October 17th is our AGM followed by a Wine and cheese evening  with a discussion about our gardening year- Share problems-find solutions.

So far, we are pleased that we made the decision to continue, and should anyone come forward to be the administrator for a Flower Show, we would be able to re-instate it. We still have the cups!

Bardy Griffiths

Friends of St. Juthware and St. Martins Church

The Friend’s activities continue to be suspended in the larger part due to Covid uncertainties and the reluctance of our usual “target customers” to turn out for social activities, which form the greater part of our fund-raising efforts. As time passes into the summer months, we anticipate that will change and justify resumption of our efforts and ‘normal business’. The 100 Club continues to function nonetheless and contribute usefully to our income, and we remain able to fund Church maintenance needs as and when required. We, as always, would be delighted to welcome new Members of the Executive Committee and are in particular need of an Honorary Secretary if anyone in the Parish would be interested in volunteering to take on this role. It is not especially onerous! If so, would they please contact me either at this email address or 01935 891331.


Halstock Art Group meets in the village hall in the evening of the second and fourth Wednesday of each month and provides an opportunity for artists from Halstock and surrounding villages to meet in a friendly and relaxed environment to develop their artistic abilities.  We have been asked to give an idea to the parish council of the sort of activities which we have been involved in over the last year.

While our members are free to bring whatever they want to get on with on the night, we do also set a project for anyone who wants to try something different.  This can include a still life for those who prefer to work from life, an image from our collection of reference photos, or a themed evening.  Our Parisian night last summer with an impressionist theme and a friend who kindly agreed to model went down very well, as did the wine and nibbles.  Wine in very modest quantities is also a feature of our Christmas get togethers.

In summer we take advantage of the field at the back of the hall, which provides inspiration for landscape artists, and there is always the option of our members drawing and painting each other, sometimes with props and accessories.

There have to date been a number of displays and exhibitions of our members’ work, these include a number of displays in the community shop window, last summer’s church festival, and Reasons to be Cheerful and Christmas displays in the community room.

We have been discussing the group with the Yarn Barton Centre in Beaminster, and they have agreed that we can hold an exhibition of our artwork there later in the year.  Dates will be announced as and when.  Further displays in the shop window will take place from time to time, dates to be agreed and notified, and when the weather permits there will be outdoor painting sessions at a suitable venue with drinks and nibbles and our friend as a model if possible.

At the moment HAG has nine members and would welcome enquiries from more local artists of all abilities.  If anyone is interested, please pass on our contact number which is 01935 892359.  We also have a page on the village website with examples of our members’ artwork if anyone would like to have a look.

Vivien  Walters

Community Speedwatch (CSW)

CSW has been operating in Corscombe & Halstock since 2017 with the support of the Parish Council and in partnership with Dorset Police’s ‘Dorset Road Safe’. During Covid lockdowns, Speedwatch monitoring was prohibited throughout the county but monitoring here has recently recommenced.

It is often assumed that CSW sets out to capture speeding drivers, but as volunteers that cannot be the remit, although information passed to Dorset Road Safe is of course followed up by them. Rather CSW’s aim is to act both as a visible deterrent and a reminder to speeding drivers that measures may be expected to be in place in this location at any time.

In a rural community such as ours, where speeding is an evident concern to many, the quality-of-life issue is important, as is feeling safe when using the roads recreationally. Therefore, during lockdown the Corscombe & Halstock CSW group worked with the Parish Council, Dorset Road Safe and Dorset Highways to instal speed ‘gateways’ in Halstock. These bold, white gateways take the form of attractive but obtrusive structures positioned at the point of the terminal speed limit (in this case 30mph), when entering the village. Their intended purpose is, over time, to instill in the minds of drivers passing-through, that they are entering a rural community where road conditions are about to change and where there may be pedestrians, animals, parked vehicles, a lack of pavements and other factors demanding of their consideration. Signs on the gateways reinforce the lowered speed limit and invite drivers to take care. Further speed-reminder interventions have not been ruled out, however.

Dorset’s new County Speedwatch Coordinator, Maria Attwood, is currently planning to attend Halstock Village Fete in September 2022, hopefully supported by our PCSO, Alex Bishop and a team of local CSW volunteers, with the aim of building greater understanding of Dorset Road Safe as well as community understanding of the role and purpose of CSW.

Tony Hill, CSW Coordinator for Corscombe & Halstock

23th May 2022


Coming Back from Covid

Halstock Community Room is now fully open again and our popular ‘Coffee & Cakes’ coffee mornings have already restarted every Thursday from 10.30. Anyone and everyone can drop in and enjoy home-made cakes, coffee or tea and a catch up with friends.

Of course, you can meet here for a coffee and a chat any day of the week, if the room is not in use. Our excellent bean-to-cup coffee machine is always there ready to serve a variety of coffees and hot chocolate, for just £1 a cup.  Think of the Community Room as the village-centre café and a quiet corner for a catch-up, or just to sit and read the paper, perhaps with a snack from the shop

Hiring the Community Room

The Community Room is also a flexible space that we hire out to non-commercial users for interest-group meetings etc., both during shop hours and in the evening. At £5 for a four-hour daytime session, it’s as good as free. There’s a kitchen and toilet in situ too, plus free wifi.

 Anyone working locally in these fields is encouraged to contact the Committee (see contact details below) to express an interest and to review the opportunities.

With Halstock and the surrounding villages coming back to life, its’ time to think how you could use your Community Room for the things you enjoy doing. Call Tony Hill on 892485 to see how we can help you with that.

Tony Hill / Chair. 13th May 2022

Halstock Village Cinema

Halstock Village Cinema (formerly know as ‘Film Nights’) has been in existence in Halstock for more than seven years but in the early stages, despite good audience support, the necessary financial arrangement with the outside supplier, made avoiding a financial loss extremely difficult.

For that reason, in 2017, Halstock Village Hall applied for and obtained a grant from the British Film Institute’s Neighborhood Cinema Fund, which provided us with our own Blu-ray disc player, a 4000 lumens digital projector, integral amplifier and sound system and 3.5-metre-wide screen. From then on, being financially free from an external provider, we were able to obtain up-to-the-minute film releases on disc, on a split-of-box-office arrangement which makes it virtually impossible for a loss to be incurred.

The supplier partner we use is Moviola Ltd., itself a not-for-profit company which negotiates with all the major film distributors on behalf of over 300 community cinemas nationally, to provide a cost-effective programming and film booking service for individual small community venues.

So, for five years now, Halstock Village Cinema has been hiring-in and showing films in this way, usually available within 3 months of their first-run cinema release dates, making them topical and popular for our audiences to enjoy, here in the heart of our village community. Tickets cost just £6.50. Drinks cost around £2 or less and ice creams £1.

Using email marketing, ‘what’s on’ listings and local advertising, our screenings regularly reach audiences of 35 and more and have on occasions been higher than 50, deriving from numerous places aside from Halstock itself. During those five years, profits from ticket sales, bar takings and raffles have been ploughed back into the village hall, improving its facilities, including the refurbishment of ladies and gents’ toilets, plus other smaller projects.

But our aim is also, from time to time, to introduce film titles which people would not automatically have chosen for themselves. In that way, new discoveries are made, and tastes are widened through new experiences. After such a showing, it is always pleasing to hear audience members comment to the effect of, ‘I probably wouldn’t have gone to see that normally, but I’m really pleased I came’. Hopefully this indicates a genuine trust between our audience and us as programmers.

An evening at Halstock Village Cinema is a social event as much as a cinema experience and for this reason we work hard to optimise the time people can spend meeting and chatting with friends as well as watching the film. We are grateful to all our friends who make up our audiences, for their loyalty and support and we always look forward to seeing them and to their appreciative words and smiles on leaving.

Tony Hill/ Halstock Village Cinema 23/05/22



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