Rhythm Section Want Ad

On behalf of the Ringwood and Burley Band, I write to enquire whether there are any readers interested in joining the Brass Band, in particular cornet and B♭ Bass players. Other musicians also welcome to apply.

The Band also seek sponsors to help cover their overheads. These could be from individuals or companies. All small or larger donations,  would be much appreciated.  For example, I have agreed to sponsor the Band's newsletter. in return, my logo will be published. Individual sponsors, who would like their name shown, can request that when forwarding their support. Firms could send in their logo (not advertisements) and that may be used within promotional publicity such as event programmes, or the web-site.

Potential new players, please telephone Tony Mist on 01425 473542. Sponsorship/donations can be forwarded to the Treasurer, 8. Wanstead Close, Ringwood BH24 1SJ. Email queries to:- ringwoodandburleyband@mail.com

Further information can be found on their website.

Wessex Attractions: Bayard’s Cove Fort

Built during the reign of Henry VIII, Bayard's Cove Fort was envisaged as the last line of defence against a French invasion of the Dartmouth area, should their navy make it past Dartmouth and Kingswear castles. Dartmouth was a prosperous port with a thriving trade in French wine, making it susceptible to attack in wartime.

As it happened, the fort was not attacked for over a century after it was built, and the attack did not come from French warships, but from English ground forces during the Civil War. It was captured in 1643 by Royalist forces under the command of Prince Maurice, nephew of Charles I, Dartmouth having initially sided with the Parliamentarian cause.

The fort fell into decline during the 18th century, but was restored in the second half of the 19th, due to the rise of Dartmouth as a tourist destination, and the arrival of the Royal Naval College there in 1863. During the Second World War, it was used as a machine-gun post.

Today, the fort is open 7 days a week during daylight hours. The postcode is TQ6 9AX.

Wessex Attractions: Castle Combe

Castle Combe is primarily known as a motorsports venue, but the Cotswold village from which the racetrack takes its name has repeatedly been voted one of the most picturesque in England.

The racetrack has been Wessex's premier venue for motor racing for 65 years. The circuit is 1.85 miles long.

The village is regularly used as a location for film and TV, most recently in Steven Spielberg's War Horse. The church of St Andrew dates back to the 13th century and the Market Cross (currently undergoing restoration at the time of writing) from the 14th.

The postcode, for satnav purposes, is SN14 7NG.

Wessex Attractions: Winchester Military Quarter

Winchester is home to a number of regimental museums, six to be precise, which have now banded together under the label of Winchester's Military Quarter. A single ticket costing £11 gains you access to the following:

  • Horse Power: The Museum of the King's Royal Hussars
  • The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum
  • The Gurkha Museum
  • The Rifles Collection
  • The Museum of the Adjutant General's Corps
  • The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum

Horse Power tells the story of three cavalry regiments: The 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own), the 11th Hussars (Prince Albert’s Own), and their successor regiment The Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’s Own). It features uniforms, audio-visual displays, and a diorama of the aftermath of the Battle of Balaclava (1854).

The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum features the uniform worn by Andy McNab, a touch screen display giving information on the regiment's 59 Victoria Cross recipients and a diorama of the Battle of Waterloo (1815).

The Gurkha Museum allows visitors to explore not only the history of the Gurkha regiment, but also the culture of Nepal.

The Rifles Collection is of particular interest to Society members, as the four regiments which merged to form The Rifles in 2007 covered the whole of Wessex, as well as some neighbouring counties. We had hoped at the time that the new regiment would feature the word Wessex in its name, but it was not to be.

The Museum of the Adjutant General's Corps is dedicated to the internal administration of the army, as well as featuring a display on the history of women in the army.

The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum naturally has more of a focus on local history than the others. The "Hampshire Tigers" are the county regiment for Hampshire (in its pre-1974 boundaries) and the Isle of Wight.

The museums are all located close to each other at Peninsula Barracks, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8TS . The site also features a cafe called Copper Joe's serving light lunches from 10am to 4pm.

Wessex on Screen: Comrades

Comrades was a 1986 film written and directed by Bill Douglas telling the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. The Martyrs themselves will be the subject of a separate article in due course, so this post will concentrate purely on the film.

The film clocks in at nearly three hours, the first half of which takes place in Dorset, and the second in Australia after their unjust transportation for the "crime" of forming a trade union. Douglas was previously known for the autobiographical, social realist trilogy My Childhood (1972), My Ain Folk (1973) and My Way Home (1978). Comrades was the result of a nine-year struggle to bring it to the screen.

Rather than a straight retelling of the story, Comrades uses an impressionistic approach, with the tale told by a magic lanternist played by Alex Norton, who also plays a dozen other roles scattered throughout the film. It was praised as a "poetic and painterly work" by Sheila Rowbotham in The Guardian, and won the BFI's Sutherland Trophy for 1986, as well as being nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival the following year.

Despite what the DVD cover used as the featured image (taken from Wikipedia) says, the film was never an 18 certificate. It was originally cut by three seconds in order to receive a PG rating, and re-released uncut on home video in 2009 with a 15 certificate.

Comrades is available to rent on the BFI Player.