Poem of the Week 22/06/20

Poem of the week

Finally, being a Monday, we have our poem of the week, this time contributed by Alistair Sage



The problem with self-isolation?

It leads to a sense of frustration.

To reduce this it’s clear

That you might need a beer

Which then causes intoxication.


The problem with intoxication?

You cannot absorb information.

To solve this it’s clear

That you need yet more beer

Which in turn leads to self-isolation.


The problem with self-isolation….


Poem of the Week 29/06/20

Poem of the week

Finally, since it is a Monday we have our poem of the week, kindly contributed by a former resident of the village Margaret Haslam. Many will remember Margaret’s contributions to ‘Poets and Pints’ in the Village Hall.    ‘Corona Catastrophe’ is well up to her usual standard.

Poem of the Week 06/07/20

Poem of the week
Finally the poem this week is contributed by Peter Bright, stimulated no doubt by the reopening of the Westbury

Poem of the Week 13/07/20

Poem of the week

Finally, as it is Monday we have another poem of the week, written when the supermarkets were finding it difficult to keep fully stocked – Not Daffodils by Chris Harris. We have a good stock of poems from regulars like Chris but would like to encourage others to come forward.  Its always good to have new voices.

Coronavirus community support Update 13.07.2020


For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page of the Westbury Website  http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/category/covid-19/


A message from the Chair of the Parish Council


This week’s letter from the Chair of the Parish Council, Sue Isherwood is here.


More facilities reopen


This week we can advise of more steps to reopen facilities with the safety measures in place that we are learning to expect.  Those using the shop, the pub and the hairdressing salon say they have felt reassured by the arrangements the organisers have made to keep people safe and can recommend them to others.  Today there is further news from the Church


Church News
We have now put all the protective features in place for regularly opening the Church for services.
A register will be kept of all visitors and this will be destroyed after 21 days
For the next three months the building will be open as follows :-

Every Wednesday 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm for private prayer

Sunday 12th July 11.00  am Morning Prayer  led by congregation
Sunday 19th 11.00 am Morning Prayer led by congregation
Sunday 26th 11.00 am Holy Communion led by Rev. David Wilcox

August 2nd 11.00 am Morning Service led by Richard Brown
9th 11.00 am Holy Communion celebrating St Lawrence Day led by Rev. Sue Rose
16 th 11.00 am Morning Prayer
23rd  11.00 am Holy Communion led by Rev David Wilcox
30th 11.00 am Morning Prayer

September 6th  11.00 am Morning Service led by Richard Brown
13th 11.00 am Holy Communion led by Rev Steve Lynas
20th 11.00 am Morning Prayer
27th 11.00 am Holy Communion led by Rev David Wilcox
We will then review the situation.
If you have any questions please contact Linda Mogford 01749 870 817
Somerset Library Service

Somerset Library Service has sent us a flyer about the phased reopening of libraries across the county.


The key thing to look out for is the new ‘order and collect service’ whereby users will be able to order up to ten books or DVDs etc at a time. The service is needed because it will not be possible to browse the shelves as before.  Order and collect is currently only running in the larger centres such as Taunton and Bridgwater but all libraries, including Wells, should have this service by the end of August.


Scams and fake cures

Several people have alerted us to telephone and email scams that are going around.  The advice in relation to all of them is to never give out personal details in response to an unsolicited call and be very careful if asked to click or press a number to find out more.  If a call claiming to be from a bank or credit card company sounds plausible ring off and contact the organisation by other means.  They will always understand your need to be careful.


In a similar vein we have come across an article highlighting a number of fake cures for COVID that are going around.  It makes for amusing reading.


Poem of the week

Finally, as it is Monday we have another poem of the week, written when the supermarkets were finding it difficult to keep fully stocked – Not Daffodils by Chris Harris. We have a good stock of poems from regulars like Chris but would like to encourage others to come forward.  Its always good to have new voices.


Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher (870531)   on behalf of the Parish Council

A Trio of Westbury Butterflies of the Week 8th July 2020.


Comma:  This is really a woodland butterfly that has had times in the past when it became quite rare.  However, since the 1960s it has increased dramatically in numbers and has spread northwards reaching Scotland in 2000.  It is now a familiar butterfly of woodland edges, hedgerows and gardens.  The butterfly is named for the white mark on the underside of the hind wing though on the other wing it will resemble a C which is part of its scientific name, Polygonia c-album.  The adult butterfly overwinters, presumably in sheltered places in its woodland habitat but not in our garages and outhouses.  On emerging from hibernation in late March or early April the males take up territories investigating any passing butterfly looking for females.  Pairing is believed to take place high in the woodland canopy after which the female prospects for suitably sunny but sheltered food plant.  In the past a much used foodplant was hop but now the main food plant is nettle but it has been found on a variety of plants such as currants, elms and willows.  The caterpillar feeds inconspicuously on the underside of the leaves of its food plant but by the time it reaches the last, 5th instar, its colouring has been transformed such that it now camouflaged looking like a white bird dropping.  The pupa is formed hanging amongst the vegetation of its food plant.  The adults of the next generation emerge in late May or early June.  These come in two forms – the normal darker form and a much paler form, hutchisonii.  The normal form feeds up on nectar and goes into hibernation in August.  The paler, hutchinsonii, mate and lay eggs that go through their caterpillar and pupal stages emerging in late August and September as a second generation.  These are the late season butterflies which will then, themselves, go into hibernation in late September or October.  There is, therefore, a mixture of one and two generations in its life cycle.

Photos   Robert Maxwell Wood    Peter Bright

Silver-washed Fritillary:   This magnificent, bright orange insect is close to the largest British butterfly and is certainly the largest in Somerset now.  This colouring is also why in some parts of the world this group of butterflies are called leopards. It is a butterfly of woodlands that have an abundance of violets growing around the moss-covered bases of trees, particularly oak.  Woods that are coppiced or thinned have an abundance of bramble, a favourite nectar source, as well as encouraging a good growth of violets. 

They spend a lot of time high in the canopy and feed on the abundance of honey dew on the leaf surfaces.  In some years these strong flying butterflies come into gardens using plants like Hebe and Buddleia as convenient nectar sources. The adults emerge in late June or July and may continue to fly into the middle of August.  They are fast and powerful fliers and the males patrol the woodland rides and canopy investigating any orange butterfly checking for virgin females.

If such a female is found there is a spectacular courtship flight with the male showering the female with pheromones from the sex brands on the front wings that show as dark lines along the middle two veins.  Following this the female seeks out patches of violets but having found them, then goes to a nearby mossy covered oak trunk base where she lays eggs, singly, in mossy crevices.  There is a fabulous colour variation of the females which is a deep bronze green colour called valesina.

It is possible that this dark colouration is favoured in poor summers as the butterfly warms up more quickly, but it is at a disadvantage in normal summers as the males take longer to find these unusually coloured females.  The newly emerged 1st instar caterpillar eats its way out of the egg and immediately hides itself in a bark crevice where it passes the winter.  This could be why ash and beech woods are unsuitable lacking the appropriate moss filled bark crevices.  From early April the young caterpillar comes down to the woodland floor and feeds on the nearby violets.  When fully grown the caterpillar goes up a nearby plant to pupate a metre or two off the ground.  The next generation of adults emerge in late June providing another spectacle of summer in Mendip woodlands.

Photos    Peter Bright


 Dark green Fritillary:     This is typically a butterfly of windswept limestone grasslands but is also found on bracken covered hillsides, grassy dunes and a variety of similar habitats.  It is named for the green wash on the underside of the hind wings.  They need the sward to be of medium height so that heavy grazing, or complete lack of such, can make the violets that are its caterpillar food plant unsuitable.  It should be much more widespread across the Mendip scarp than it is but, it is doing well at Ubley Warren.   Single individuals have been seen on the Beacon and even in a Westbury garden over the last few years. 

With suitable grazing and clearing of gorse there is hope that the butterfly will return to the Beacon once again.  The adults emerge in June and will fly for much of July and perhaps into early August.  They fly strongly and can cope with their windy habitat and have a special fondness for purple flowers like knapweed as nectar sources.  The males will patrol large areas searching for virgin females investigating any suitably coloured butterflies.  After mating, the females will hide while their eggs mature and will then search out the violets growing in suitable places before laying near to them.  As with the Silver-washed Fritillary, the newly hatched caterpillar immediately finds a hiding place in which to hibernate.  Towards the end of March in the following year the caterpillar emerges from hibernation and seeks out violets on which to feed.  The later instar caterpillars are particularly black and spiky and may be seen travelling across open spaces seeking new supplies of violets. 

The blackness presumably enables the caterpillar to warm up quickly in its otherwise exposed and cool habitat. In a very tall grass sward it may, therefore, not be able to warm up quickly enough to survive.  In the middle of May or beginning of June the caterpillars will find hidden places to pupate and the adults will start emerging again from the middle of June.

Photos   John Ball    Peter Bright  Georgina Shuckburgh

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 06.07.2020

Coronavirus Community Support  –  Update 06.07.2020

For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page of the Westbury Website  http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/category/covid-19/

Westbury opens up 

Many people will be pleased to hear the message we have received from the Cutting Room hairdressers.

The Cutting Room Hair salon is opened again on Saturday 4th July.  We are taking extra precautions, only 2 customers in the salon at one time, we are cleaning down and disinfecting in between each customer. We are asking customers to wear a face mask for their appointment ( this is not compulsory, just advice) as the staff will be wearing full visors. There will be hand sanitizer on entry and no drinks will be offered.  

We are booked until mid July but are happy to welcome any customers from the village existing or new.  Please do give us a call to book an appointment 01749 870900 or email amanda@westburyhairsalon.co.uk

We have also had the following message from the Westbury Community Shop.


The Shop has eased access arrangements to allow customers to come to the Post Office and to be able to see the shelves properly to help with their shopping, whilst still being served by staff and volunteers. Naturally, we hope as the new normality evolves, we will be able to open up more. However, the most important development is that the Shop is reorganising the way it handles customer accounts as this part of the operation moves from the excellent initiatives of the Parish Council at the beginning of lockdown to the control of the Shop itself. If you have an account or feel that you would find having one helpful, look at this letter and form. Finally, the Shop now takes contactless payment by card which all helps you to SHOP LOCAL and STAY SAFE .

The Westbury Inn is now open for meals and drinks as well as continuing to offer the take-away service.  Andy and the team are keen to stress that their aim is not to ‘pack the pub’ but to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all customers.  This gives an idea of how the layout and signage now reflects the safety measures needed to ensure social distancing.

But the virus is still with us.

 The stay at home message was at least simple. Now that some of the restrictions on where you can go and who you can meet with have been lifted life is a bit more complicated so we are attaching a brief reminder of the basic rules.

Basic hygeine

As venues such as the village hall and pub reopen this is a simple checklist of the arrangements that will be in place to keep people safe.


  • Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell: Nobody should attend the premises if they have symptoms or are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.
  • Clean your hands often: Sanitiser should be provided at entry and exit points, sanitiser and/or running water, soap and paper towels in toilets and kitchens. Hot air hand dryers are not recommended as they distribute droplets.
  • Respiratory hygiene: Everyone needs to be encouraged to avoid touching their mouth, eyes, and nose. Tissues need to be disposed of into a bin, then hands cleaned. A “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” poster is available (see end for link).
  • Regular cleaning of surfaces that are touched frequently: including door handles, handrails, tabletops, sinks, toilet areas, kitchen surfaces. Ordinary domestic products can be used.
  • Maintain social distancing where possible: Social distancing guidelines currently require at least 2 metres (3 steps) to be maintained between individuals and households. Bookings can be accepted for events where social distancing can be maintained, the number of people each person has contact with is reduced to a small group and/or contacts below 2m are minimised and transitory, but crowded events cannot yet be held. See 2.2 below.


Social distancing

Limiting the number of people you are in contact with remains the best way of keeping yourself safe and stopping the spread of the virus. The rules are tricky to remember so here is a brief summary


  • you can continue to meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households
  • single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • you can also meet in a group of 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household), in any location ‒ public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time

It remains the case ‒ even inside someone’s home ‒ that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. Those who have been able to form a support bubble (which is those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in their bubble. This should be exclusive and should not change. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.

And here are the latest guidelines https://tinyurl.com/ycdh3ylt

You can help by reporting your symptoms

If you want to play a part in helping control the pandemic you could contribute daily records of your health to an app developed by Kings College London who share the data with the NHS.

Help slow the spread of #COVID19 and identify at risk cases sooner by self-reporting your symptoms daily, even if you feel well 🙏. Download the app https://covid.joinzoe.com/


Poem of the week
Finally the poem this week is contributed by Peter Bright, stimulated no doubt by the reopening of the Westbury


Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher (870531)   on behalf of the Parish Council

Lynch Lane Sunshine, Maximum and Minimum Temperatures and Rainfall for 2006 to 2020

Below are links to the data for the months March to June inclusive.  July and August will be added as we get there. The data for March to May have been posted earlier but you would have to chase about to make comparisons between months.  There is a separate file of Photo-voltaic generation totals for each month since 2010 which is a proxy for amount of sunshine.  An attempt is made to suggest which of the years has been sunniest and in which months.


2020.4.5 March max min rain and sunshine data 2006 to 2020  

2020.4.30 April max min rain and sunshine data 2006 to 2020

2020.6.1 May max min rain and sunshine data 2006 to 2020

2020.6.30 June max min rain and sunshine data 2006 to 2020

2020.6.30 Monthly kWh totals 2010-2020

Coronavirus Community Support – Update 03.07.2020

For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page of the Westbury Website  http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/category/covid-19/


The coronavirus has not gone away but nationally and locally we are seeing the first steps back towards more normal living arrangements.  In keeping with that trend, we feel we will be able to reduce the frequency of our updates and ease the workload on our ‘Eyes and Ears’ who help deliver them. From next week therefore we will normally only publish on Mondays unless something major or urgent is notified to us.


We have further information about easing of the lockdown and returning to ‘not quite normal’ locally.


Westbury Church is reopening for services

We have received the following further information from Linda Mogford about reopening Westbury church for services.  (The churches in Easton and Priddy do not yet feel able to resume services.)


We will be holding a morning prayer service at 11 am on Sunday 5th July.. There are some who feel unable to join us yet and we fully respect their views and some people may want to wear a mask.
Covid-19 precautions
You should know that we will have both the south and west doors open to keep the building ventilated
Please use social distancing when entering the south door as usual
Your name and phone number will be taken
There are several bottles of sanitiser and wipes at various points in church. Please use them on entering and leaving the building
A collection plate will be near the door as you enter
There will be no singing
Each, socially distanced place has been marked with a white spot and will have an order of service
Please take the order of service with you as you leave and keep it for the next service.
Please leave through the west door and keep 2 metres apart
Please contact me if you have any other questions or concerns


The Playing Fields are reopening

The Playing Fields are reopening but please note that they open from Sunday 5th, not Saturday. There will still be some restrictions and special advice to follow which is set out here


Our annual glow worm count will happen (but socially distanced)

It’s glow worm time of year again!!  (From now until the end of August)  Anyone wanting to see them should go out an hour after sunset and look along the sides of the quieter roads on the outskirts of the village.  (Sunset is currently 21.30 so look from 22.30 until 23.30.)  They don’t seem to like street lights which presumably distract the males looking for glowing females and it might help them if people took care to keep their outside lighting to a minimum.


Keep safe by wearing high visibility clothing and take a torch for flashing at approaching cars but try to keep it switched off so you can see the glow worms.  If you have not seen one look at the  picture below



Peter Bright would be interested to know when and where you see them and how many.


Because of Covid 19 we will not be meeting together for a sociable glow worm counting evening this year but we will be doing our annual census during the week Sunday 26th July to Saturday 1st August.  Peter Bright has allocated maps to the usual suspects but if anyone  else would like to join in please contact him and we will try to attach you (suitably distanced) to a small team of experienced counters.


Boots Priory Pharmacy

We have been informed that the Boots Priory pharmacy will not open on Saturdays after the 31st August although the High Street branch will continue to operate as normal.



Sue Reece (870618)   Mick Fletcher (870531)   on behalf of the Parish Council