Martinstown Harvest Supper or “Torture by Trifle”


Martinstown Village HallSaturday 8th October
When we spoke to Reverend Jean in August she mentioned the forthcoming Harvest Supper as a shining example of how the Martinstown community worked together to achieve their aims.

Jean had suggested reviving the annual Harvest Supper tradition and had met with a few “key players” over drinks in The Brewers Arms. After that, she says, it was out of her hands. The village took over and the end result was a packed village hall on the night of 8th October, with people from Martinstown, Steepleton and Abbas, churchgoers and non-churchgoers, all enjoying a marvellous evening of eating and entertainment.

We had asked if we could attend, purely to gather some of the audio atmosphere of the event – Jean had mentioned there would be entertainment after the supper. We hoped to arrive after everyone had finished eating but instead we were welcomed in and told that though we had missed the main course there was still dessert to come and plenty of it! We politely declined, but trays of delicious looking desserts just kept coming round – it really was torture by trifle!

Finally it was time for the entertainment – billed as “Im and Im” (Allan Knott and Steve Kinnersley). We had met Allan previously in his role as Lay Preacher at the Winterbourne Steepleton church service, but today he was in very different guise.

Allan and Steve entertained the hall with a mixture of traditional Dorset folk songs and timeless classics which most of us were old enough to remember from our youth, plus some comic banter and stories and lots of audience participation. We particularly loved Allan’s rendition of “the Dorset National Anthem”Farmer’s Boy.  Despite being there as observers/recordists we both felt very much part of the event (maybe it’s our age?!) and also felt that this event could have been taking place anytime within the last few hundred years (minus the mics/lights/amps of course).  We felt so connected to the place and the people – it really took us by surprise.