033 The Draycott Trophy Winner

033 The Draycott Trophy Winner

Gerald Dally, alongside his daughter Maria, surprises and enlightens Tiggi with tales from the past about the Somerset village of Draycott. They look back at a community that has quadrupled in size since he was a small boy.

Gerald talks candidly about his school days and a successful career as a vegetable and strawberry farmer, with trophies to prove it.

Tiggi asks about comparisons with the village in wartime and Covid-19. What are the effects on this small community?

From charabancs and village fairs, to crashing spitfires on Draycott Moor. This is a story every villager can enjoy. It gives our wider audience a true glimpse into Somerset village life.

031 Draycott’s Deacon

031 Draycott’s Deacon

Thea Oliver chats to Tiggi over coffee about her recent and massive achievement.

A resident of Draycott for many years, Thea has brought up a large family. To this day she continues to work hard for her family and as a nurse practitioner.

With a strong religious faith and values from birth, Thea has always supported her community and the clergy.  This has included acting as a lay worship assistant at churches in Cheddar, Rodney Stoke and St Peters in Draycott. More recently and after months of arduous theologian study, she has been ordained. Wearing her new clerical collar, a symbol of her devotion to God, “Putting her head above the parapet” literally!

An enlightening life story of love and courage.

030 Draycott Head Teacher

030 Draycott Head Teacher

Will Ewens is the new Head Teacher of both Draycott & Rodney Stoke First School and Shipham First School. Two rural places of learning for young children. Both schools with a history of excellence and their locations surrounded by Somerset’s beautiful Mendip hills. Will, a Somerset resident from birth, has already faced many challenges since he began his post only ten months ago. Soon after he started, Covid-19 struck with all the complexities of Government guidelines surrounding education.

This podcast, recorded a month before the children returned to school after a break of six months. Will tells Tiggi about his hopes and aspirations for all the children and staff under his care. Highlighting what a privilege this role will bring. Supporting families and enabling children to go forward in their life journey’s with excellent values. Will is passionate about children, community and the gift of education. Keeping an open door policy for everybody he works with, including parents, helping to form the new global citizens of our future.

029 The Draycott Charity

029 The Draycott Charity

Helen Dance is one of the pillars of the communities of Draycott and Rodney Stoke. An experienced volunteer with CAM (Citizens Advice Mendip), Clerk of the Card Trust, Editor of the Parish newsletter and owner of 2 raucous parrots.

She reveals a fascinating and surprising tale of John and Joseph Card.  In the early 1700’s they left an amazingly generous legacy to the village in the form of land. Then along came Reverend Cobley, who also left a substantial legacy to support children being sent to work in the local lead mines. Now combined as an established charity, this fund, to this day, supports members of the community in financial need, such as education and pensions. However, with the onset of Covid-19, the need for support has increased and the philanthropic gesture from two brothers and a vicar, who died over a hundred years ago, carry on to this day.

Also in this podcast, Helen clarifies the present role of CA Mendip, which now operates an on-line and telephone service during the pandemic. She also describes, as editor, how a simple Parish newsletter can impact so positively for the 625 households on the community. A busy woman!

028 Draycott’s Version of BBC Radio4’s ‘The Listening Project’

028 Draycott’s Version of BBC Radio4’s ‘The Listening Project’

Tiggi and Ella chat about their guide dogs Jackie and Rio. How their lives have become enriched with assistance from their canine pals. However, the road to enlightenment never runs completely smoothly!

A gentle and amusing conversation between two friends sharing in the joys and tribulations of life with sight loss and unpredictable dogs.

026 Sight Loss – Courage and Endeavour

026 Sight Loss – Courage and Endeavour

This is a very moving life story.

Ella Caulfield is an extraordinary young lady.

Living with partial sight loss as a child growing up was a massive challenge. In 2015 fate administered another bitter blow.

Ella has encountered many extreme challenges throughout her young life. However, a new friend Rio, her guide dog, has joined her family and support group.

Ella gave me the privilege of listening to her life story.

At only 20 years old and against all the odds her future looks bright!

020 The Draycott Milliner

020 The Draycott Milliner

Chloe is one of the top 20 British hat designers. Awarded this lofty title thanks to her ethical approach to making hats.

Tiggi wants to find out how it all started. From humble beginnings making fascinators for friends weddings, Chloe now designs and makes stylish, sophisticated and beautiful hats. All from reclaimed materials.

With several acclaimed collections under her belt Chloe looks to the future with her new brand ‘Chloe Haywood London’.

A wonderful life story of creative ambition sprinkled with spangly fun!

024 Covid-19 and Conservation

018 Draycott and Rodney Stoke Good Neighbours Sew to Help Protect the NHS and Care Workers.

In these troubled times we all want to help. That’s exactly what a group of people have been doing for our NHS and carers.

Tiggi talks to Jan Kinsman about a local group who are sewing to help our heroes. How did it all start? What exactly are they making, and how do they maintain social distancing?

0016 Draycott Dynamite

0016 Draycott Dynamite

1917, Star Wars and James Bond.  Just a few of the feature films Charlie Adcock and his team at Event Horizon have worked on.

From an early age Charlie wanted to blow things up!  Inspired by the gift of a tiny amount of Potassium Nitrate, his  life passion began, making explosives bend to his will.  Currently he has workshops in Somerset and Cornwall.  Life is rarely still these days for Charlie.

After squeezing past a BL 755 cluster bomb in Charlies hallway, Tiggi arrived in the safety of his kitchen. She finds out all about the early years, firing giant fireworks from Cheddar Church, and his most spectacular explosions to date!

015 Draycott Strawberries and Cream

015 Draycott Strawberries and Cream

This time I chat to Seagers, who are strawberry growers providing some of the highest quality fruit in Draycott.

Father and son combo, Andrew and Chris, talk about :-

  • their strawberries
  • the use of bees for pollination
  • the ups and downs of farming life.

Most importantly they tell me what community means to them.

I am also astounded by the revelation that they once had a surprise visitor to the village – but not in human form!


				
					
014 Draycott Willow Artist

014 Draycott Willow Artist

Willow is synonymous with the Somerset levels and Draycott Moor.

Sophie Courtiour is by definition a willow artist, but Tiggi finds out she is so much more.

A single mother who built her own eco home, surviving artic weather living in a tent during the build. Having no art training but needing an income, Sophie made hurdles in hazel, which lead to willow.

This is a story of courage, love and hidden talent.

011 Draycott Divas

011 Draycott Divas

A funny, informative and slightly bonkers look at life in a Choir!

Kate Lynch is a Musical Gem!

Choir Director and Vocal Coach in Draycott, as well as Director of Cheddar Valley Voices. A total of four choirs made up of both children and adults from across the local area.

Tiggi, as a founder member in the Adult choir, chats to Kate about the ups and downs of singing and Kate’s new role as a Musical Director.

024 Covid-19 and Conservation

010 “Save Our Shop”

Draycott sits in the middle of the countryside with only one shop to service the community. A lifeline. Recently the shop was threatened with closure until a group of philanthropic residents set out to save it.

On December 1st the store will become ‘The Draycott Community Shop’.

Run by village volunteers and financial good-will, the shop is saved!  However, a massive undertaking is in process with the renovations.

Draycott Diaries Documentaries will be following this incredible endeavour.  The first segment hears from the individuals making the impossible, possible!

 

009 From Fleet Street to “The Street”

009 From Fleet Street to “The Street”

Rob Perkins, owner and publisher of Valley Life is a journalist with more than 35 years experience on local, regional and national newspapers.

Decrying the loss of real journalism in big corporate newspaper groups, Rob believes that local publications still have an important role to play in informing local people and putting businesses in touch with potential customers.

Valley Life is now in its third year and with more than 30 issues behind it, he believes that it is now a real part of the community and here to stay.

He talks to Tiggi  about his career from national newspapers to his hyper-local publication.

008 The Vicar of Draycott

008 The Vicar of Draycott

A  behind the scenes look at the life of a  rural Priest.  Reverent Stuart Burns, the Vicar of Draycott,  by definition is at the epicentre of the community. As Tiggi chats to Stuart she begins to find out more, focusing on his past and discovering why he felt called to serve God.  Born to politically aware parents in South Africa at the height of Apartheid and as supporters of the human rights activist Desmond Tutu, Stuart often witnessed violence and brutality.  As a student he lost his faith but eventually it returned and he became ordained. As a new Priest he presided at many funerals of people he knew caught up in conflict.  Now married with a young family, life in South Africa became untenable.  20 years ago he moved to the UK and his story continues with the ups and downs of faith, community  and the Church in current turbulent times.  On a lighter side we find out Stuart is an accomplished cook and loves a TV thriller with a homemade curry!

007 Draycott’s Postman Hat

007 Draycott’s Postman Hat

On the hottest day of the year, Tiggi chats to the Draycott Bowler Hatted Postman, Ian MacLauchlan.  His story is fascinating.  Having left South Africa during political unrest, he moved his family to the UK, and has had a myriad of jobs, including serving in the military, teaching sports, as a bank manager and most recently in the Post Office.  Having worked in massive postal sorting offices across the country, his dream was to serve as a Postie in a sleepy rural country village and Draycott became his permanent patch.  Ian  admits to side stepping larger career opportunities to follow his dreams of serving community and to set up the animal charity ‘Hounds for Heroes’.  The charity trains dogs to support veterans with both physical and mental health challenges. With his endless high energy level Ian’s hobbies, all sports based, include international bog snorkelling! A funny, poignant episode highlighting that success and personal satisfaction comes in many forms.

005 Moon Walk

005 Moon Walk

This episode takes us on a journey with Draycott resident Teresa Wyatt as she tells her story about walking all night through London for nearly thirty miles to heighten awareness about breast cancer and to raise money for the Moonwalk cancer charity.  When her legs were tiring, the dawn chorus of bird song, and thoughts of people challenged with brutal cancer treatment, spurred her to the finish line!

004 Tiggi’s Tales

004 Tiggi’s Tales

“This Episode is Tiggi’s story.  Interviewed by her BBC friend Elaine, Tiggi explains how she came to live in Draycott, and, twenty years on, her reasons for creating this Podcast series Draycott Diaries.  During the conversation Tiggi talks candidly about her sight loss, the community that has supported her and about a new life in the making with Jackie her Guide Dog.  No need to grab the tissues, it’s all good!”

002 A Rural Retreat

002 A Rural Retreat

Nyland Manor, a large and sumptuous Georgian style manor house, runs as a successful venue for local events. Tiggi talks to mother and daughter, Rachel and Phoebe. The manor has a fascinating story about its build and the challenges of starting and running a family business.   Her guide dog, Jackie, slightly lets the side down by diving into their beautiful heart shaped lake part way through the interview!

001 Coffee with the Colonel

001 Coffee with the Colonel

Tiggi and her dog, Jackie, chum up for this episode with friend and BBC colleague Elaine.  Both residents of Draycott and fascinated by where people disappear to on their daily commutes from the village.  They manage to persuade Colonel Darren Denning to tell his story about his job in the military and how it connects to his family life living in a rural community.