- No dates present
Our friends at the Bull Hotel have welcomed the New Year in their blog with a post on the Spirit of Bridport, very fitting we think! Here it is….
Happy New Year! 2012 promises to be such a great -and busy- year… on top of Bridport’s established food, literary and quirky events, ‘Spirit of Bridport’ has been created to celebrate the 2012 Cultural Olympiad during the year, culminating with a three-week Festival of Culture in the Summer.
From 11 to 27 August 2012 ‘Spirit of Bridport’ will bring together our heritage and our present. Bridport will be filled with art, theatre, music, sport and all manner of fun and entertainment for all.
Foodies will have their tastebuds and nostrils tickled with pop-up cafes and restaurants, cooking events and of course the local pubs and restaurants (including the Bull Hotel and The Stable cider house!) offering their fantastic menus with local produce.
Art lovers will have a chance to meet local artists and check-out their work at ‘Bridport Open Studios’ during August bank holiday. With more than 200 artists in the area, the art on display is very varied, from established painters to newcomers, pottery makers, textile artists, sculptors, photographers… All tastes and pockets.
The Melplash Agricultural Show and the Carnival are also a yearly event in Bridport’s diary loved by locals. But ‘Spirit of Bridport’ has more in store for 2012. The newly refurbished Town Hall and the Museum (free entry) will celebrate the town’s rope and net making history. The Bridport Art Centre and the Electric Palace will offer a mini film festival, inspirational sports speakers, comedy nights and exhibitions by internationally recognised photographers.
Bridport is also home to a national theatrical puppet-making workshop at the Lyric Theatre, home of the Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company. They will offer a pupping making extravaganza for young children and families, great fun.
No festival is complete without music. Many pubs have live music during the year (including the monthly Hayloft Sessions above The Stable cider house) but during the festival there won’t be an evening without a band, a singer, a musician or a DJ playing their sounds somewhere in town. There might be a bit of busking Sidmouth-style and a song-writing competition with Billy Bragg.
Since all this has originally been inspired by the 2012 Sailing Olympics in Weymouth, sport has not been forgotten. Bridport Gig Rowing Club -who are doing really well at national level we’re proud to say- are organising gig boat regattas In West Bay and there will be fencing and bowling as well.
When we said busy for 2012, we meant it! Organisations and community groups all over town are getting together to give Bridport’s people and their visiting friends a year to remember.
We very much look forward to welcoming you at The Bull Hotel and The Stable in Bridport and we wish you a very happy and fun 2012, wherever you are…
See you soon in Bridport.
Sladers Yard, West Bay’s perfect showplace for artists and high quality makers in all media along with a licensed organic cafe, is delighted to be a member of the Spirit of Bridport.
Sladers Yard website
The inaugural Bridport Summer Festival of Culture will run between the 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony and the Paralympic Games opening ceremony. It will be a celebration of our unique and vibrant market town bringing together and showcasing the wonderful variety of cultural events that Bridport has become renowned for in recent years. The festival will be based around six themes:
• Visual Arts
• Literature & Digital Arts
• History & Heritage*
The festival will also be marked by an opening and closing event which will reflect the six cultural themes of the festival and also embrace the values of the Olympic Games; respect, excellence and friendship and the vision of the Paralympic Games; to enable, to achieve, to inspire and excite.
* Five centuries ago, Queen Elizabeth bestowed on Bridport the right to hold a twice weekly market, which stills takes place every Wednesday and Saturday today (though without the Elizabethan costumes and the food isn’t 500 years old!). And whilst Bridport may only have a small population (now some 13,000) we are the home of an internationally renowned rope and net making industry that stretches from Roman times through the 1400’s when Bridport was supplying ropes to both the Royal Navy, most of the UK’s commercial naval fleet and many of the UK’s hangmen (its the century of less auspicious events such as Christopher Columbus first landing in the Americas, the Spanish Inquisition, the construction of Machu Picchu, Joan of Arc ended the Siege of Orlean and England seeing the War of the Roses). More recently, Bridport supplied the goal nets for the 1966 World Cup and other major football championships, nets for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and for the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
The Spirit of Bridport committee gratefully acknowledge the following individual members for their financial support:
The idea grew out of two community initiatives, one in Bridport, to save a field from development and the other, a year-long project of The Symondsbury Apple Project, which was designed to raise awareness of Dorset’s rich orchard heritage. The new project created an orchard of apple trees, a ‘cordon hedge’ of heritage varieties, a wall of espalier pears and plums and a small plot of mother trees of local provenance to provide grafting wood for the future.