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Talent will out in new Melplash Show competitions
10:17am Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
COMPETITION was stiff and the standard high for the first rural craft prize at this year’s Melplash Show.
There were 16 entries covering a wide variety of rural crafts and judges Peter Yeates and Stuart Gay, working to a very complex and detailed point system, managed to separate the winners The first six were separated by only one point.
The Guy Memorial Trophy, introduced this year by thatcher Guy Gale’s widow Elizabeth to recognise local craftsmen and women, Was won by Peter Thomas a living wood turner and stick maker from Rampisham.
Second place went to master thatcher Edward Taylor and third to another master thatcher Zach Watts.
Joint fourth were artistic blacksmith Robert Fielding, wheelwright Robert Fielding and potter Tim Hurn.
The winner Peter Thomas is a retired farmer who took up woodturning initially as a hobby using locally sourced timber which is either dead, storm-damaged or thinning from hedgerows.
Mr Thomas said: “If I had a mission in life it is to make people aware of the diverse beauty and variety of our natural species without having to import timber, often from a non –sustainable source.”
His workshop and gallery are in Rampisham centred in an around a 15th century thatched cottage.
Guy Gale was a Master Thatcher in Dorset for more than 50 years, chairman of the Dorset Master Thatchers’ Association and an executive on the UK committee.
He took a great pride in his work and could run his hand to other skills such as hurdle making, woodcraft, stone walling, bee-skep making and hedging.
He enjoyed sheep shearing by hand which he practised on some of his own flock of Polled Dorsets and Ile de France sheep when farming at Salway Ash over 42 years. Hand sheep clippers are used both in shearing and thatching.
Guy Gale served on the Melplash Agricultural Society executive committee and was at one time chairman of the sheep section. He was always on the field during show week in all weathers assisting in getting everything ready for show day. He died in January 2009.
ANOTHER first proved an equally popular contest with 18 entries for the first Best Bridport Banger judged by family butcher Richard Balson.
He voted West Moor Fine Foods, above, the tops, with Maydown Farm second.
The Seafood Chowder sponsored and judged by Riverside Restaurant’s Arthur Watson voted Mrs S Anderson winner, below, followed by Linda Pyke and Sue Stones.
The Curry Competition sponsored and judged by Helen and Rafique Choudhury of the Taj Mahal Restaurant and Seaspring Seeds was won by Bernie Jones, below, with Anita Jones second and Vicki Wren third.
The Sandwich Plate donated by Lady Sandwich, last year's President, was handed out by this year's incumbent Cleeves Palmer to Leakers to the best local food at the show, see below.