The Gun Powder Plot Thickens in Somerset (2 to 9 November)

This week we have a rundown of five connections between Somerset and the Gun Powder Plot of 1605. Not only that, we’ve found some local fireworks/bonfire nights connected to each. Its going to be a blast!

Nether Stowey: Birthplace of the Antagonist.

Nether Stowey’s Robert Parsons was a Catholic Priest. As a vocal campaigner for restoring a Catholic crown, Parsons was reputed to be one of the influential figures behind inspiring Guy Fawkes and his conspirators to plot.

Although there are no fireworks displays in Nether Stowey, 30 minutes down the road at Wiveliscombe they have a bonfire and Guy night being hosted at the Recreation Ground. This Saturday 3rd November, Gates open at 6:00 p.m. for bonfire, food and bar, with the fireworks starting at 7.00 p.m. Tickets £5.00 on the night. Find out more.

Bridgwater: Continuously celebrating Fawkes’ failure.

The origins of the famous Bridgwater Carnival can be traced back to the Gun Powder Plot. Since then it has gone on to break records and is recognised internationally for the parade of colourful floats, burning of squibs and merrymaking.

Friday 2nd November from 7:00pm sees the start of the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival weekend with a grand firework display. The carnival starts at the same time the following day. Details for Bridgwater Carnival and Bridgwater Fireworks.

Ilchester: First recipe for gun powder.

The first recorded recipe for gun powder in Europe (it had been used previously in China) was documented by Ilchester’s famous scientist-friar Roger Bacon.
Just down the road from Ilchester will be the Yeovil Firework display which is celebrating its 50 year anniversary and boasts an impressive line up of music and entertainment. Head to the Yeovil Showground on 3rd November at 5:00 p.m. More information.

Montacute: Guy Fawkes’ prosecution.

Sir Edward Phelips led the opening arguments for the prosecution in the trial of Guy Fawkes, just four years after completing work on his home, Montacute House.
See fireworks this Saturday 3rd November in Montacute at the Recreation Fields, gates open at 17:30 onwards. More information.

Wellington: Judge presiding over the condemned.

Sir John Popham was born in Huntworth, North Petherton and died in Wellington. He was Lord Chief Justice of England, presiding over the trials of Mary Queen of Scots, Sir Walter Raleigh and Guy Fawkes.

If you are in or around Wellington on Saturday 3rd November head to Wellington College for their spectacular fireworks display. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. but with tickets selling out for the last three years, it is suggested that you book early to avoid disappointment. More information

Its Punkie Night in Somerset so get your mangelwurzels ready! (26 October to 2 November)

Hallowe’en is just around the corner, but did you know that Somerset has its own take on this Autumn festival called Punkie Night? It spans back… well, no one really knows how long we have been celebrating it, but it involves parading with your carved lantern and singing so I am sure it will continue to be celebrated for many years to come. Find out more about Punkie Night here.

Punkie Night happens on the last Thursday in October so get your carved mangelwurzels, swedes and pumpkins ready because here are our picks for Punkie and Hallowe’en events around the County this week:

Traditional Punkie Night at Hinton St George Village Hall Event Details

25 October 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Bring your carved lanterns to the village hall to join the parade around the village singing ‘The Punkie Song’. The event finishes up back at the village hall for lantern judging and refreshments.

Hallowe’en Disco at West Coker, Inn The Square Event Details

25 October 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Inn The Square will be hosting a Punkie Night / Halloween party for the kids with a disco, tuck shop and fancy dress. £2.00 entry fee on the door.

Unfairground Rides at Weston-super-Mare, Grand Pier Event Details

25 October to 31 October from 7:30 p.m. Weston-super-Mare invite you to experience the Unfairground, with live scare zones, rides and spooky surprises. Tickets available in advance or on the door from £12.50.

Punkie Celebrations at Montacute Village Hall Event Details

27 October starting at 6:30 p.m. Punkie Night, with prizes for best costumes for children and adults. You can collect free tickets from Montacute Garage.

Spooky Story Telling at Cheddar Gorge, The Caves. Event Details

27 October to 4 November from 11:00 a.m. Some famous literary figures come to life to tell a spooky tale and help you solve a mystery. A Hallowe’en Tale – Mysteries of the Cave is included with a Day Ticket.

There are loads of other fab events taking place across Somerset for Punkie Night and Hallowe’en so put your Dracula fangs in and go out to find some, it will be a real scream.

Stylish, scenic, fastest, biggest and oldest; just someways that Somerset tops the lists (19 to 26 October 2018)

We love living in Somerset because it has some of the most inspiring places you could ever look for. Here’s some proof – if you needed it!

Five places* and achievements that stand out include:

BEST PLACE TO LIVE IN THE UK: Frome Discover Frome

Trouva.com rated Frome the most stylish place in the UK and The Times ranked it the best place to live in the South West in 2018. Close to Bath & Bristol, and with so much culture to hand, Frome is doing something right!

MOST SCENIC DRIVE IN THE UK: Cheddar to Ashwick Read more here.

Cheddar Gorge was selected as the most pleasant road in Britain to cruise along, beating the Scottsh Highlands and the Welsh Black Mountains. It’s such a windy road you can’t help keep below the speed limit and marvel at the incredible views around you.

THE WORLD’S FASTEST HELICOPTER: built in Yeovil, flown over Glastonbury Guinness World Records

The speed record for a helicopter is 249.09 mph and was set by John Trevor Eggington, flying over Glastonbury on 11 August 1986 in a Westland Lynx. The Lynx is synonymous with Westlands (now known as Leonardo) which has been an integral part of Yeovil’s industry, and the UK’s military capabilities since 1935.

THE WORLD’S MOST IMPRESSIVE VEGETABLES: Shepton Mallet Guinness World Records

A 23.4kg beetroot. A 4.89kg potato. A 107 centimetre cucumber. These giant vegetables prove something special is in the soil in Shepton Mallet. Imagine the rhubarb! Seriously though, that’s one heck of a salad.

BRITAIN’S OLDEST COMPLETE HUMAN SKELETON: Cheddar Read more here

Living locally well before the invention of the automobile (see our second entry to this list), this world famous skeleton is estimated to be 9,100 years old, from the Mesolithic period. He probably had dark skin, blue eyes and dark curly or wavy hair. He was also probably lactose intolerant… no cheese for him then! Cheddar Man is so important that he moved to London.

*we seriously struggled to keep this list down to just five places/achievements. The Telegraph even wrote an article about why Somerset was the most beautiful place in England. As if you need to see why, read the article here. But its no surprise to us!

Maybe you know of some other achievements that have put Somerset up there along with the best? Leave a comment below.

Picking, pickling and pumpkins – it must be Autumn in Somerset (12 to 19 October)

Its getting very autumnal in Somerset this week. Here are five fun things that are worth wrapping up and getting out there for:

Fungal Foray

Take a guided walk through the beautiful Hestercombe Gardens with the Chairman of the Association of British Fungal Groups to discover and identify mushrooms.

Saurekrautathon

Do you love all things fermented? Have you always wanted to get into the Guinness Book of World Records? Well this weekend you can in Wells by taking part in the Saurekrautathon

Perfect Pumpkins

Green fingers amongst us can win £1000 if we have a perfect pumpkin on our plots. On the 19th and 20th Wookey Hole will be judging the best squashes brought to their location in Wells and awarding the best among them with the prize (categories include the most perfect, heaviest and scariest).

A Celebration of Autumn

Somerset Rural Life Museum are hosting a celebration of all things Autumn on 13 October. From apple pressing and giant pumpkins to rural crafts and folklore it looks like there will be plenty to do.

Apple Picking Day

The National Trust at Glastonbury Tor need some help with their bumper crop so are inviting families to come and help on 13th, 14th and 20th October in the Orchards at the foot of the Tor. Find out more here: National Trust Apple Picking

Carnivals, Horses and Dragons (5 to 12 October 2018)

Short and simple, here are five things that caught our attention in Somerset this week:

Horses Horses

Somerset based Wassail Theatre has a new play called Horses, Horses. It is touring Somerset and beyond right now (I saw it last week and loved it). Most of the shows are free and in a local pub, so it is a win-win. Find out more here: Wassail Theatre

Farmers Market

Somerset Farmers markets are on in Axminster and Midsomer Norton this Saturday (6th) and Frome on Sunday (7th). Each of these markets has great local produce on offer so check it out! Details here: Somerset Farmers Markets

Carnival

It’s carnival season, so let’s wheel out the illuminated carts! Somerset loves a Carnival and it is Ilmister’s turn this weekend, see details: Ilminster Carnival. Did you know that Bridgwater Carnival dates back to 1605?

The Lost Words

We are big fans of the Somerset Cool team and their blog. The latest post is championing a great cause to fund a copy of a beautiful new poetry book for every primary school in Somerset. Find the blog post here at Somerset Cool and the support the cause through Lost Words Crowd Funding

Sea Dragons

We love dragons!! So at the top of my To-Do list is to go and see the free Sea Dragon exhibition in Street. The Alfred Gillett Trust have also organised some great looking half term events as part of this project. Find more here: Alfred Gillett Trust