Draycott Diaries

Village Podcast

Life stories from a village postcode.

Latest Podcast Episode

056 Blindness Is Never Dark

As Patron of the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind). Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a passionate advocate for the rights of blind and partially sighted people.

With that in mind we are delighted to re broadcast the podcast we made with Ella Caulfield two years ago. A young lady who became totally blind at the age of just 15.

Her Majesty was also a keen member of the WI. Ella, with her guide dog Rio at her side, joined me recently and told her story of going blind to our local Rodney Stoke and Draycott WI.

A poignant story of loss, courage and enlightenment, supported by the legacy of education led by our greatly missed compassionate Monarch.

 

Draycott Village

Jackie

Podcast Episodes

Tiggi, lives in a gorgeous Somerset village . Always on the move with her assistance dog Jackie, she pops in along the way to see friends and chat about community and life. Everybody has an untold story and Tiggi’s on a mission to dig them out !

Recent Podcast Episodes

056 Blindness Is Never Dark

056 Blindness Is Never Dark

As Patron of the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind). Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a passionate advocate for the rights of blind and partially sighted people.

With that in mind we are delighted to re broadcast the podcast we made with Ella Caulfield two years ago. A young lady who became totally blind at the age of just 15.

Her Majesty was also a keen member of the WI. Ella, with her guide dog Rio at her side, joined me recently and told her story of going blind to our local Rodney Stoke and Draycott WI.

A poignant story of loss, courage and enlightenment, supported by the legacy of education led by our greatly missed compassionate Monarch.

 

055 Rodney Stoke and Draycott WI

055 Rodney Stoke and Draycott WI

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Alison Quill, who was President of the branch from 2019, until her death in April 2022.

Tiggi talks to Natalyia Wills, a member of the local WI since 2015.  She is on a mission to bust the myth that the WI is not only ‘Jam and Jerusalem’.

Since 1915 when the first WI was formed in Wales, many resolutions from them have been made directly to Government. They have been influencing on so many important matters since,  including social housing, HIV and Aids awareness, and Care Not Custody for Women. Back in the 1970s they were even campaigning on environmental issues.

During  the two world wars, the WI organisation started to empower women in rural areas to support the war effort. The organisation went from strength to strength.

Currently the WI has a membership of 220,000. Still the largest and arguably the most powerful women’s group in the UK

 

 

054 Perch Hill Vineyard Near Draycott

054 Perch Hill Vineyard Near Draycott

Having faced a life changing diagnosis and a need to re navigate her life, two and a half years ago, Alison Ironside and her Mother moved from Cornwall to Draycott.  They wanted to join a community and ideally buy some land. Bingo! A vineyard came up for sale nearby called PERCH HILL. Boasting a south facing plot on the Mendip hillside, and unbroken views across the Somerset levels to Glastonbury.

With a new horticultural degree under her belt and a giant leap of faith, Alison bought her piece of heaven.  As a confessed novice on wines and wine making Alison could not wait to start her new life journey as a bio friendly and carbon neutral grape grower of both exotic and quaffable wines on a minimal scale.  And to employ local labour.

Within a short time Covid-19 struck and it seemed Alison’s dream might turn out to be a nightmare instead.  Listen to this extraordinary story of a woman’s passion to succeed against all the odds.

“If you can read, you can learn!”   A sound message bequeathed to Alison by her late and dearly missed Dad.

053 Draycott’s Jubilee Celebration

053 Draycott’s Jubilee Celebration

I had a real scoop this month.  For our Draycott Diaries Jubilee Special, I chat with internationally acclaimed choral conductor, composer and organist Barry Rose OBE.

As resident organist and Master of the Choir at St Paul’s Cathedral in London from 1974, Barry participated in many royal services. These included the 1977 Silver Jubilee and the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Barry’s glittering career started with no qualifications whatsoever, just a love for pipe organ music – practising regularly on a harmonium and the local cinema’s Wurlitzer-type organ to learn his craft. This eventually allowed him to get away from working in an insurance office (much to his Father’s disappointment). A lucky meeting got him an audition for the Royal Academy of Music, and determination and talent did the rest.

We learn that conducting a famous Cathedral choir has its hazards – including flying lampshades. More importantly, how was he allowed to turn his back on the Queen?

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052 Draycott And The Strawberry Line

052 Draycott And The Strawberry Line

The romance of an historic steam train, puffing along through the gorgeous Somerset countryside. Children waving as passengers disembark at Draycott Station. Watched from the windows of the Railway Inn opposite.  This was the Cheddar Valley Line, later re-named The Strawberry Line due to its delicious cargo of rich, red, ripe and juicy strawberries heading for the dainty plates of royalty and top restaurants. From late Victorian period to the early 60’s as transport needs were ever changing.

As Tiggi chats to local journalist and train enthusiast Harry Mottram, we learn about this iconic section of railway line, sadly stopped on its tracks in the mid 60’s, impacting on the local community.  Espionage or a need for modernity?  Only time will tell.

 Where the tracks once lay and with some tunnels still standing firm, the environment may yet re invent itself as a pathway for nature. Both Tiggi and Harry hope this is the case.

(Strawberry Line Photos courtesy Harry Mottram)

051 The Draycott Arborist

051 The Draycott Arborist

Village resident Adam Clark had two passions as a boy, soldiers and trees.  As he chats with Tiggi we learn so much from his past experiences.  As a student army cadet Adam once organised an expedition in Nepal to the base of Mount Everest.   On this trek he met some retired Gurkha soldiers they inspired him with their integrity and fiery spirit.

Adam went on to train as an Officer at Sandhurst, for the Royal Gurkhas Rifles as part of the British Army.  He was delighted to be stationed in Nepal for a time, to recruit Gurkhas amongst his military duties.  Around 2012 he and his Gurkha regiment were deployed to fight in Afghanistan.

Leaving the army was a tough choice but Adam wanted to start a family and lead a quieter life. A gift from his wife inspired him back to his love of trees and conservation.  Putting himself through a myriad of training Adam is now a fully qualified Arborist.  Having settled into the village for seven years, Adam and his wife recently bought their own piece of heaven.  A plot of land at the top of the Mendip hills.  Not the steep hills of Nepal, but close!

 

ADAM CLARK TREE SERVICES

www.adamclark.arborist.co.uk

07870 982388

Meet The Podcast Hosts

Tiggi

Tiggi

Jackie

Jackie

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