Clubs Groups and other Activities

Badger Street Band

The Badger Street Band (BSB) is a folk band made up of people who either haven’t played their instrument much since they were children, or have never played a musical instrument. We have a semi professional accordionist, fiddlers, flute, recorders, cello, ukulele, guitar, mandolin, and a variety of percussion players. We welcome players of more or less all instruments and all abilities. It’s helpful to read music though not essential.

We play traditional folk music from around the UK. We also sing – typically folk or country songs, sometimes unaccompanied. We enjoy a ‘sing a long’ with our audiences at some events.

We usually sing and play in parts.

We rehearse once a month on a Sunday afternoon in Badger Street, more often in the lead up to a performance. We have three or four ‘gigs’ a year – including barn dances, playing for community events, church festivals and picnics, and any other local events where music would be welcome.

Contact: Rebecca George at Email: rebecca@indinet.net

Bell Ringers

Staple Fitzpaine

St. Peter’s Church Bell Ringers practice every Tuesday from 8 till 9pm.

Bellringing is an ancient art and performs a service to the community. We call people to worship and ring for weddings. It is a social pastime and is very good exercise for the mind and body. Full training is given.

If you are interested in joining in, learning or just coming along to see what is involved contact Paul Hart Tel: 01823 480 769 or Email: paul@underhill.myzen.co.uk .

Orchard Portman

St. Michael’s Church Bell Ringers has four regular members who ring for services of obligation and Harvest. The tower has four bells so only twenty-four changes are possible. This is less than for a tower with five or six bells, and those wishing to progress need to move on later. However we are happy to teach enthusiasts. There is no fixed practice night.

If you are interested in finding out more please contact Ken Bidgood Tel: 01823 421269 or Email: kenbidgood@btconnect.com .

Churches functioning within Neroche Parish area

St Peter's Church Staple Fitzpaine

The beautiful ancient church of St Peter nestles in the heart of Staple Fitzpaine providing a place for Christian worship and fellowship.

St Peter’s is a church in the community and as such holds a number of events throughout the year in the church, at Neroche Hall and around the parish. Regular events include Neroche Thursday Lunches at Neroche Hall, concerts and flower festivals.

Rector: Rev. Joanna Porter, The Rectory, Ash Road, Stoke St Mary, TA3 5BX. Tel: 01823 974716. Email: joanna@sevensowers.org .

Churchwarden: Mark Porter 01823 481132.

Click here for times of services throughout the benefice.

St Michael's Church Orchard Portman

The Church of St Michael serves the community of Orchard Portman.

Rector: Rev. Joanna Porter, The Rectory, Ash Road, Stoke St Mary, TA3 5BX. Tel: 01823 974716. Email: joanna@sevensowers.org .

Churchwardens: Mr David Cavill 01823 284517 and Mr Richard Bailey 01823 971025

Click here for times of services throughout the benefice.

Family Focus Group

An informal social and support group for women of all ages who enjoy stimulating conversation and lively discussions on a wide variety of topics. Activities also include speakers, watching films, book reviews, a summer picnic and Christmas meal. During the ten years the group has been running we have shared with each other, in confidence, our cares and concerns and supported each other with practical assistance and prayer.

If you think you might like to join us please feel invited and you will be made very welcome. Monthly meetings (except August) every third Thursday, 10am – 12.30pm generally at 26 Home Orchard, Hatch Beauchamp.

Contact: Marilyn Hayward Tel: 01823 481 008.

Garden Club

The Hatch Beauchamp and Neroche Garden Club meets once a month. The meetings may take the form of talks by guest speakers at either the Neroche Village Hall or Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall. Alternatively they may involve visits to local garden nurseries or gardens of particular interest. There are also social events when members open their own gardens.

There are approximately fifty members from the local area with an interest and enthusiasm for gardening and the desire to share this with other like-minded people. New members are welcome.

We plan to meet approximately monthly during the summer. Our April AGM marks the official start of our year.

Details can be obtained from: Maureen James, Secretary, at 01823 481111 or tlsivyfarm@gmail.com

History Group

The Neroche Local History Group was formed in 2007. It now focuses mainly on local history research. Anyone with an interest in the history of our local villages and surroundings is welcome to join the group. If you would like to start doing local research and don't know how to begin, please contact Jane Hole.

There are usually two meetings a year, held in Neroche Hall, in February and November.

In 2018 the group produced its first book based on its research. It is entitled "Village Life in the Lee of the Blackdowns: Chronicles of Bickenhall Curland Staple Fitzpaine".

For further information, or to purchase a copy of the book, please contact Jane Hole Tel: 01460 234410 or Email: jane.hole@outlook.com .

Lunch Club

The Neroche Thursday Lunch Club meet at Neroche Village Hall usually on first Thursday of the month at 12.45 for 13.00. Open to all but must book a place beforehand for catering numbers. Lifts can be arranged & dietary requirements dealt with if possible.

Further details are available on the Events. It is organised by Friends of St Peter's.

Contact: Alison Brown Tel: 01823 480 441 or Email: aabrown.battens@gmail.com

Taunton Vale Polo Club

Taunton Vale Polo Club - Polo is an equine team sport. Each team has four players. A polo pitch is 350 yards long and 250 yards wide. The game consists of 4 periods called chukkas and each chukka is 7.5 minutes duration. A polo ball is plastic and slightly bigger than a cricket ball. Polo ponies are the sports car of the horse world having very fast acceleration, are highly maneuverable and very athletic.

Founded in 1911 by the Officers of the Regimental Depot of the Somerset Light Infantry, together with other enthusiasts, Taunton Vale Polo Club has the oldest polo ground in England. Join us from April to September to play or watch some of the best polo the Westcountry has to offer. We provide polo for all ages and abilities from beginners to professionals with varying tournament levels allowing all members to be involved.

The ground is open to spectators, so bring along a picnic and watch the action from the sidelines or from the beautiful thatched clubhouse open to visitors and members alike.

The club does not currently have an active website.

St Peter's Singers

St. Peter’s Choir meets weekly at St. Peter’s Church, Staple Fitzpaine, on a Thursday at 7.30pm. We enjoy singing together and keeping our voices in tune to sing at the main church festivals. The music is generally church choral music in 2 – 4 parts. The most important aspect of our choir is the enjoyment of singing with others.

Everyone who likes to sing is welcome – there is no need to be able to read music as the ability to learn and remember a tune is the key factor. We do learn from music scores but it is only a guide and can be easily learnt.

Contact: Emma McDaid at Email: brudy.mcdaid@gmail.com

Women's Institute

Bickenhall & District WI is a typical small rural institute that was founded in 1926. We aim to provide a diverse programme of speakers, and activities. Anything from Wildlife conservation to Wine tasting. Our members are from all age groups, from different backgrounds and with a wide range of interests. Somerset Federation also provides a comprehensive range of activities, outings and competitions. National Federation provide zoom meeting courses for just £5 a session.

We meet at Neroche Village Hall in the evening of the second Wednesday each month at 7.30 p.m. We would be pleased to hear from anyone wishing to join our friendly group. Why not come as a visitor and see if this is for you. If transport is a problem we will do our best to help.  Click here for the Events page which has details of the coming meeting.

Contact: Secretary: Frances Alford: Tel: 01460 234245 fran.alford@hotmail.co.uk