By Jonathan Hudston

A row of houses along South Street, Bridport, with The Chantry to the right

Was Bridport’s oldest building really a lighthouse?

The oldest and perhaps the oddest place in Bridport is The Chantry, down South Street. In medieval times it was lived in by two priests who used to get through nearly 50 pints of beer a week and eat lots of salted fish, peas and beans. When they had guests such as the Rector of Bridport, they used to order even more ale. We know this because the priests kept meticulous records of their spending.

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Beaminster - a Town in Flux

Beaminster — a Town in Flux

Beaminster town centre is changing. After a long period of stress caused by the recession and disastrous events such as the closure of Beaminster Tunnel, following a landslip that killed two people, the town is in an intense state of flux. In the first of a series of articles looking at Beaminster’s prospects, The Yarn has been talking to people starting up new enterprises and hearing from respected figures around the town about local issues and ideas for improvements.

Few of these matters are simple, so we’ve gone into some detail, to help readers get under the skin of the town. We also hope to inspire people to visit Beaminster. Despite some of the problems outlined here, it is a fantastic place. Let us know what you think by writing to The Yarn — and don’t miss more on Beaminster in our next issue.

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Portrait of Millie by Jay Stevenson

Dogged Devotion to Art

It takes bravery to be a pet portrait painter. Just think about it. You often only have a photo or two to work from, particularly if the pet you’re painting has died. You have to satisfy somebody who loves their pet and knows all its quirks and features better than you ever could. Also, you have to please somebody who might never have commissioned an original work of art before — and might never commission one again.

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Pantomime in Drimpton, Dorset

That’s the Way To Do It!

Drimpton, writes Andrew Pastor, is “not the kind of place people are encouraged to relocate to on TV shows”. Yet Drimpton — two miles north of Broadwindsor — is arguably the village with the best community spirit in Dorset, a cheerfulness evoked on almost every page of Panto: The Manual. The book distils the lessons that Andrew Pastor’s learned from writing and directing 10 pantos in Drimpton since 1993.

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Ricky-Romain-at-work-one-of-his-Lost-Voices-series

Ricky Romain probes your human rights in new exhibition at Bridport Arts Centre

‘Marking Injustice’: A Painter’s Way of Coping

Saturday 18 April to Saturday 30 May, Bridport Arts Centre

This is the biggest local exhibition of Ricky Romain’s work since a show at the Town Mill in Lyme Regis back in 2001 was opened by the former Labour leader Michael Foot and the novelist John Fowles. The focus then was on Human Rights – and so it is this year.

With the General Election coming up, the Bridport Democracy Project and the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, Ricky’s show could hardly be more topical.

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