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Flower Show

Posted 8th January 2016
The photographs behind the letters...

Caryford Patchwork

"Two Landscapes"




Craft Market


"Somerset Potato Day"
Posted 1st February 2016

Pennard Plants once again came to Caryford Hall with a wide selection of their heritage and heirloom seed potato's, vegetable and flower seeds.

Chris Smith (Pennard Plants) gives us his account of the event:


"We have been running the Somerset Potato Day for 11 years.  This is our second time at Caryford Hall having previously held the event at the now closed Constitutional Club.  This year's event proved to be a success with good attendance.  Today we had 74 varieties of seed potatoes on offer plus onion sets, shallots, our range of heritage and heirloom seeds, fruit trees and bushes.  Today's is one of 23 such events held from early January to mid-March in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire, as well as in London.  Afterwards our attention turns to preparations for the Chelsea Flower Show.


Refreshments were available and sold in aid of charity.  Today we raised just over £100 for the Macmillan Cancer Support.


We will be back  at Caryford Hall on Sunday January 22nd for our 2017 Potato Day.  We hope to see you then."

Castle Cary & Ansford Carnival Society
"Donation Evening"
5th February 2016

The Caryford Community Hall Committee are extremely grateful for the generous donation given by the Carnival Society

Caryford Community Hall was one of a number of local groups who received donations from the Castle Cary & Ansford Carnival Society following their very successful 2015 season.  Others include the local Air Training Corps, Castle Cary Scouts, Ansford Fencing Club, All Saints Church, Carymoor RSPB Wildlife Explorers, Tiddlywinks Toddler Group, Castle Cary Primary School, Brue Valley Rotary, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Cary Comedians Carnival Club, Castle Cary Majorettes and the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

The presentation was made at The Horse Pond Inn on Friday 5th February.  Liz Middleton – Caryford Hall Chair (back row wearing glasses) received a donation of £180 on behalf of the Hall’s Committee.  The money is much appreciated and will go towards improvements to the Hall; such as their recent purchase of bollards and chains for the car park, which has improved parking density and overall safety for large events.

"The Spy from Tisbury"
6th February 2016

A fund raising event the proceeds of which goes to the Caryford Community Hall Development Fund.

Stormy conditions outside was not enough to put off a sizeable attendance to Caryford Community Hall’s Winter Lecture, which was presented by retired GP Yvonne Varley.  In it she told the fascinating, surprising and true tale of the “Spy from Tisbury”.  Dr Varley explained that her interest in the subject arose once she had moved to Tisbury only to find their house had once belonged to the man in question. Having delved further she uncovered the little known story of renowned English author who left his home in Wiltshire for a Russia that was about to go to war with Germany and on the brink of revolution.  As a journalist he subsequently had access to senior members of the newly formed Bolshevik government, which did not go unnoticed by those in MI6.


Dr Varley gave an interesting and highly enjoyable account of this intriguing story, even though technical difficulties prevented her from sharing accompanying images with her audience.


Like Agatha Christie’s “Mouse-Trap” it does not seem right for us to disclose the name of the “Spy from Tisbury” as it could spoil the surprise to any future audiences.


The lecture raised an impressive £580 for improvements to the Hall.  Dr Varley is donating her speaker’s fee to her favourite charity – The Riziki Children’s Home in Nakuru, Kenya.

"Village SOS Funding"
24th February 2016

Caryford Community Hall has received a £1,215.00 donation from Village SOS to help with grant applications.

The Caryford Community Hall Development Committee are grateful to Village SOS for the grant of £1,215, which buy's us 35 hours of support from the Community Council for Somerset to help us prepare grant applications (pointing us in the right direction and making sure we word the applications in the way most likely to succeed).

22nd March 2016

Cinema-at-Caryford in conjunction with Moviola continue to attract large audiences 

A sell-out audience enjoyed the Tuesday presentation of "The Lady in the Van".  Proof of the popularity of the monthly screening brought to us by Cinema-at-Caryford.   The next showing is the film "Brooklyn" on the 26th April; followed by "The Danish Girl" in May and "Bridge of Spies" in June.  Entry costs £6.00 or £5.00 if bought in advance.  Free nibbles are available and a glass of wine can be bought from the bar.

15th April 2016

The Schmoozenbergs ended their latest tour at the Caryford Community Hall.  The quartet provided a highly enjoyable and entertaining mix of 1930’s Parisian gypsy swing.  The choice of music had been inspired by the renowned guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt, who with violinist Stéphane Grappelli formed the world famous Hot Club of France.  In between the music Sam Stennett (far-left) provided us with a fascinating insight of the great man’s (Django’s) life, times and influences.


Once again thanks go to Cary Live who in association with Take Art Somerset were responsible for bringing the Schmoozenbers to the Caryford Hall.


All proceeds of the event will go towards repairs needed to All Saints Church clock.

Chair Appeal


Posted 21st April 2016

Once again "Cinema-at-Caryford" have made up the shortfall on our latest appeal, which has now allowed us to purchase an additional 20 upholstered chairs making a full compliment of 200.
It means that 70 of the 200 were made possible by the wonderful response by individuals to our two chair appeals, 64 came from the generosity of “Cinema-at-Caryford” and the balance bought with money from this year’s hall budget.
A brilliant outcome that benefits all hall users.
"The Hoares of Stourhead"
29th April 2016

The Camelot U3A's April lecture was presented by Tom Burr, who told the story of the Stourhead estate and the making of its renowned landscape garden.  In particular, Tom explained how successive generations of the Hoare family created and developed the character and charm of this place.  Now under the protection and care of the National Trust, it remains somewhere for all to enjoy.  Tom’s account will undoubtedly change ones perception of the garden and maybe make one explore the less familiar places away for the lake.


Tom worked for the National Trust for many years, spending many of them as Officer for the Wessex Region based at Stourhead.  An attendance of approximately 170 came to the Caryford Community Hall to hear Tom speak.  They did not leave disappointed.  Thank you Tom and Camelot U3A.


The Camelot U3A hold monthly talks that are open to both members and non-members.  The April lecture was the last of this seasons talks.  The next will be held in September.


We recommend anyone interested in joining the Camelot U3A to go along to the Open & Enrolment Day, which will be held at Caryford Community Hall on Thursday 9th June (2.30 to 4.00pm).  It provides an opportunity to suss out the various groups and activities available to members.  You would be made most welcome.

What a night...

The reknowned US blues musician Guy Davis was given a standing ovation from a packed Caryford Hall

Monday 15th August

After a memorable performance - Guy with Liz Middleton (centre), Helen and Ray Leary, and others of the Caryford organising committee

A well attend music event ended with a standing ovation for top US blues musician Guy Davis.  People came far and wide to see this much appreciated performer.  The Caryford Hall Committee hope to make such music gigs a regular fixture in the hall calendar.  The revenue from the event will go towards the planned extension.

A special thanks goes to Helen and Ray Leary who came forward with the idea of holding music gigs in the hall and who worked extremely hard to make Monday nights event a success.


Saturday 17th September

Caryford Community Hall was wonderfully transformed into the dark and foreboding main hall of a 1930's Manor House on Dartmoor (complete with mist) by Cary Amateur Theatrical Society (CATS) for their highly entertaining performance of "The Mystery of Talbot Manor" - a Murder Mystery play.  It was a fun-filled evening with an excellent 2 course dinner provided by the Caryford Hall Committee.  All proceeds of the event going to the Hall's development fund.

The performance was the last of this series of plays.  CATS are now turning their attention to it's sequel "The Return to Talbot Manor", which we hope to see in Caryford in the near future.

The image shows the cast being quizzed by the audience as to possible motives for the murder of Marcus Talbot.

Christmas Craft Market 2016

Saturday 3rd December

2016 was our most successful Christmas Market.  As always the emphasis was on locally made hand-crafted quality items.  The 33 stallholders who attended the fair offered an amazing assortment of products.  284 visitors came to see and buy.  The lunch and refreshments available in the Caryford Cafe' proved to be extremely popular making a handsome profit for the Hall.  As always all proceeds from the Market has gone to the Hall Development Fund.

"Six ways to Santiago"
Posted 22nd January 2016

Charity fund raising event in support of

"Macmillan Cancer Support" and "Happy Landings Animal Sanctuary"

held on the 16th January 2016

Review written by Tom Burr:


If anyone had thought that the Spanish word “Camino” (The Way) would be of no interest to those in Cary, they were proved wrong on Saturday the 16th January, when the Caryford Community Hall was almost full for the showing of the award winning documentary “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago”.  The film profiles 6 groups of pilgrims as they trace the ancient path from the South of France to Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in North Western Spain.


We were introduced to pilgrims of different ages and backgrounds walking the route for their own personal reasons.  Alliances were formed and help given generously to those who stumbled for whatever reason.  Basic accommodation in crowded albergues (hostels for pilgrims) at times a challenge, but also an opportunity to share experiences and make lasting friendships.  Arrival at Santiago’s Cathedral is the goal for most with Finisterre (Fisterra in Galician – pre-Columbus End-of-the World) being the final destination for a few,


Following the film the audience were invited to discuss practicalities with three seasoned pilgrims.  Wine and delicious canapés were served and the stimulating evening raised useful money for the Macmillan Cancer Support and Happy Landings Animal ShelterA big thank you goes to the organisers for a most enjoyable and rewarding evening.

Further information from the organisers:


The event raised £517.25 to be split between the two charities.  It was organised by Simon Bebbington supported by other Macmillan committee members - notably Margaret Bebbington [Chair] and Rosanna Child.  Further support on the night came from Martin and Penny Steiner [Penny is the outgoing Chair]. The panel for the Q and A session comprised Adam Wells, who provided the film and runs a company promoting the Camino - El Camino Ltd; and Julia Cartwright and Terry Burton who are both recent pilgrims.

1st May 2016

Andrew Tucker chose the Caryford Community Hall to trial run his model railway exhibit in preparation for the DEMU Showcase 2016 exhibition to be held at Burton Town Hall, Burton-on-Trent on the 4th and 5th June.


The 9 metre long model is based on a ½ mile stretch of railway between Bevois Park and St Denys, which lies north of Southampton.  It features in fine detail how this stretch of line would have appeared just prior to privatisation in the 1990’s.  Andrew and son started construction of the impressive “N” gauge model in 1995.  Great effort has been made to remain historically accurate.


Andrew said that the Hall was ideal for his purpose.  As well as having the space needed; the hall provides good natural light, comfort, peace and quiet, and ample off road parking.

Tuesday 10th May 2016, 7.30pm

Alan Butt-Philip:

Lecturer in European Integration at the University of Bath, Lib-Dem.

Alan Dimmick:

Leader of UKIP Group at Somerset County Council.

Oliver Dowding:

Organic Farmer, Green Party Agricultural Spokesperson.

Nick Weeks:

Agricultural and Amenities Contractor, District Councillor for Cary, Cons.

Chair - David Osborne (Standing):

Chair of Churches Together in Castle Cary and Ansford

Caryford Community Hall was full to see a distinguished informed panel representing opposite views with respect to whether the UK should remain or leave the EU, answer questions posted by members of the audience.  Questions were put to the candidates by Prebendary Rev. David Osborne who chaired the proceedings.  Having been invited to give their overall point-of-view; each candidate was invited to respond to individuals concerns on the economy, National Health Service, defence, environment and immigration.


The event was interesting and well received.  Now it is up to the audience to make their informed decision as to which way they vote on the 23rd June.


The event was organized by the "Use-Less-Share-More" group and funded by donations taken at the door.  All surplus donations were given to Christian Aid.


Saturday 20th August

The inaugural Castle Rock went ahead despite the severe weather warning issued by the Met Office for the Saturday.  It had been planned to hold the music festival out-doors in the grounds of the Caryford Community Hall with complementary entertainment (i.e. café, kid’s zone, stalls, etc.) available inside the hall.  The threat of high winds and rain caused a last minute change of plan.  Some hard work and a few compromises by the two organisers - Castle Cary AFC and Caryford Hall Committee – was needed to allow the event to successfully go ahead and be enjoyed by a most appreciative crowd.  

Six splendid regional acts provided the afternoon/evening entertainment.  The line-up included Light-Garden, The Cherry Trees, The Somerset Paddies, Undercover, Mitchell & Vincent and Livewired.

Castle Rock is a fundraising event that was conceived by Castle Cary AFC as an enjoyable way to raise money for the coming season.  Caryford Community Hall were invited to participate with their own complimentary fundraising activity.  The proceeds of which will go towards the Hall’s development fund.  

Both the Football Club and the Hall Committee are now turning their attention to next year’s Castle Rock including ways of making the festival even better.  Further information will be posted when available.

“When the Train came to Cary”

A talk given by Prof. Will Vaughan

Saturday 8th October

An audience of around 100 were at Caryford Hall on Saturday to hear Will Vaughan’s fascinating and enjoyable account of the major changes that took place in Castle Cary 160 years ago.  Will explained the drivers behind the major investment needed to create a railway and how it impacted on rural areas.  Ansford station (later renamed Castle Cary) opened in 1856.  Originally, it was on a GWR line linking Weymouth with Bath and Devizes.

Subsequently, in 1906 the “Great Way West” linking Taunton to Paddington was routed through Castle Cary.  The coming of the railway triggered other investment in the vicinity, such as the building of the Market House and a direct road link between it and the town (Station Road).  There were also changes in commerce and new opportunities as demonstrated by John Boyd’s horsehair textile mill and the opening of the milk factory.  As well as winners there had to be some losers.  These included the loss of toll gates and coaching inns, and those farmers who had to release land for the creation of the railway line.  But overall Will’s story remains a positive and exciting one.

The proceeds of the evening will go to the Caryford Hall’s development fund.  The Caryford Community Hall Committee are extremely grateful to Will Vaughan for his wonderful presentation.

“Reg Meuross plays Caryford”

Saturday 19th November

Acclaimed English singer-songwriter Reg Meuross chose to come to Castle Cary as part of his "December" album tour. Considered by many to be one of our best UK songwriters, his live solo performances are known for their extraordinary intimacy. Reg told the story of how he acquired and restored his much loved 1944 Martin guitar. A very special instrument, which he played beautifully.

The proceeds of the evening will go to the Caryford Hall’s development fund. 


4th December 2017

Caryford Hall hosted a Sunday afternoon performance by the brilliant acoustic folk duo Mitchell & Vincent, whose unique and evocative style is something that all live music lovers appreciate and enjoy.  The session was paired with a Somerset Wine Company informal pre-Christmas wine tasting. A selection of 40 bottles of wine were made available to taste.  The £8.00 ticket cost included 6 tastings.  That is to say "Good Music and Good Wine".

The event was extremely well received with an over whelming support for similar events in the future.

All proceeds of the fundraising event will go to the Hall Development Fund.

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