The  White Horse remains closed but the Church continues to open daily for private prayer and Sunday services.  The Blackmore Vale Practice has virtually completed Covid-19 vaccinations for the over 70’s and is currently vaccinating those over 65 and younger people with underlying medical conditions.  For full details see below.

Anyone with Covid symptoms including a continuous cough, a high temperature, a loss of smell or taste should self isolate and book a test.  To book Ring 119.  A testing site has been established in the Station Road Car Park, Sturminster Newton next to the Original Factory Shop.  

The village community spirit continues to help everyone get through these difficult times.



These statistics relate to the population covered by our Practice, over 18, who have received the first dose of the vaccine by mid-March –

  • 13,820 – 66% of our Practice population
  • 99.4% of all care home patients – (this changes, as residents change)
  • 99.1% of Health & Social care workers
  • 84.6% of those at risk in the 16-64 group
  • 98.6% over 70 years

The vaccination clinics continue in the Exchange in Sturminster Newton, but again the message is please don’t phone the Practice regarding Covid vaccines.  They only get a few days warning when they are going to receive supplies of the vaccine, they then contact people on their list, to book an appointment. 

If you receive a letter from the National Booking Service, you can book on-line for one of the Mass Vaccination Centres.  If you’ve also had an invitation from the Practice, please choose whichever is more convenient for you.

If you have a mobile and don’t already receive messages from the Practice, if you’d like this service, then email these details to so they can update the records.

927 2nd doses to date have been given and those due, will be being contacted. As mentioned earlier, as the Practice doesn’t know more than a few days ahead when the vaccines will arrive, it’s not possible to arrange appointments much in advance.  This is frustrating for everyone, but it can’t be changed at this stage.

Also, it’s not possible to arrange 2nd doses earlier than the 11-12 week Government protocol.  This is totally out of the Practice’s hands, so please don’t phone to have this debate!!!

The first six groups of people have been offered the vaccine – that’s those who are –

  1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. 75 years of age and over
  4. 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. 65 years of age and over
  6. 16 to 64 years of age with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

If by any chance, you fall into one of these categories and haven’t been invited to have a vaccination, the easiest way to arrange one is through the national booking service which can be accessed at  Here you can choose a time slot and location that suits you.   If you would prefer to telephone, then call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. Or you can contact the Practice.

After the vaccine  ‘Life as normal’ is slowly creeping up on us! To help keep this road map on track, remember to follow Government rules accordingly. It’s important to remember that having the COVID-19 Vaccination does not make you immune, you can still catch Coronavirus and pass it on to others.

Transport   If you need support or advice about getting to your local vaccination appointment safely, the council’s COVID-19 community response helpline can help.Dorset Council – 01305 221000             To find out more:

Access to the Surgeries

The Blackmore Vale Partnership encourages patients to contact them if they have any clinical needs.  It’s really important that if you are worried about any symptoms or health conditions that you get in touch, ideally by the online system – eConsult, for non urgent issues, through the website. 

If urgent, then telephone in the usual way.  You will then be advised by telephone and if necessary, an appointment will be made for a face to face consultation. Please don’t just turn up at the surgery without an appointment.

Key Messages from the Practice

  • The Practice is open for business, so please continue to attend any face to face appointments that you have already made.
  • GP and Nurse Practitioner/Paramedic Practitioner appointments will still all be via telephone, eConsult or video consultation and they will then decide if you need to come into the practice and will make an appointment.

 All clinicians seeing patients face to face, will be wearing protective equipment and all patients attending the surgery should wear a face covering, wash their hands and wherever possible maintain a 2 metre distance. If a clinician needs to examine you they will do so with full PPE on and will disinfect the room once you leave.

  • Patients who are experiencing Covid 19 symptoms and who need to be assessed face to face, will be asked to attend our Hot Site at Marnhull. We have a separate section of the building that is Covid secure with a separate entrance and two suitable rooms for managing patients.
  • If you are asked to attend Marnhull surgery with Covid 19 symptoms, please wait in your car until we call you in. We need to keep to one patient at a time. This allows clinicians to ensure they have the correct equipment on and for cleaning & disinfecting the rooms.
  • At present we are also able to see patients for routine appointments at Marnhull, but this may change if the numbers of people testing positive continue to grow.
  • The Practice thanks everyone for their ongoing support and they’ll endeavour to do all they can to keep patients, staff and the community as safe as possible.


All being well it is hoped to hold the Village Show on Sunday 5th September.


Because of the epidemic it has been decided to cancel this year’s event and this will now take place in June 2022.  Regrettably it was felt that because of all the uncertainties it is not possible to guarantee the health and safety of visitors, garden owners and all those preparing for and managing the weekend.




On 21st December an amazing group of young carol singers on ponies went round the village.  This had been organised by Alice Fox-Pitt and they were raising money for Homestart.  It was a wonderful sight with both riders and ponies suitably dressed for the occasion.



Although Covid-19 restrictions prevented a social gathering to compliment the working session, the juicing operations did go ahead and produced over 200 litres of juice. 

These were produced from donated apples and those picked from the Community Orchard.  Many thanks are due to those who donated or picked fruit, to those who helped on the day and to people who provided empty bottles.  The organising team were led by Liz Collins and Shane Johnstone and Liz’s detailed report can be found in the October Mosaic.   

Bottles of the pasteurised juice have been distributed throughout the village.  



There was an excellent turnout at this regular event despite the dreaded December bugs preventing a number of regular party-goers from attending. It was notable that many of the newer residents came as well as many children and young people from the village. The food brought for the buffet table was even better than in the past and made for a sumptuous feast. A large array of prizes were donated for the Giant Christmas Raffle and this raised £150 for Home Start in Sturminster Newton. The winner of the Christmas Quiz was Jo Martin who won a Christmas Goody Bag of wine, chocolates and biscuits.

Thanks are again due to Mr. and Mrs. Pitt-Rivers for their generosity in allowing the use of the Tithe Barn and for supplying the log fire and background heating to keep everyone warm. A special thankyou is also due to those who came to set up the day before, to those who helped during the evening and ‘the army’ of people who came on the Saturday afternoon to clear up – all greatly appreciated.

At the end of the evening Anthea Harding announced that after six years she was stepping down from the role of ‘organiser’ and now hopes that someone would come forward to take over from her. She has put in a great amount of work both this year and in the past and special thanks are due to her. Anyone interested should get in touch with her to discuss what is involved.



The Village Show organised by Chris Hardiman and his Village Hall Committee was held in perfect conditions on Sunday 1st September. A total profit of £235 which will go towards maintenance of the Hall was raised on the day.

The efforts of the organisers and the skills of the many who entered the various classes demonstrated Hinton’s strong community spirit.  Many enjoyed a lunch-time picnic in the hot sun.  There were 57 classes, 12 of which were for children below 12 years old.

The Dog Scurry was much enjoyed by all those taking part including the dogs who all behaved well.  William Fox-Pitt kept fit leading the Pony Rides side shows Splat the Rat, Stocks with wet sponges, Buzzer Bar, which tested steady hands, and Decorate a Plate were all a great success.  The Tombola and Cake stalls with many prizes and cakes donated by villagers all sold out.  

170 entries were displayed with classes covering a wide range, including vegetables, flowers, fruit, cakes and preserves as well as various handicrafts, photography and artwork .  Judging took place in the morning and after the prizes and cups were presented by Mrs. Pitt-Rivers a Produce Auction took place. Thanks are due to everybody who made this such a successful event with special thanks to the Village Hall Committee Members.


Village Show
village-show-2019 - tomatoes on plate

village show 2019 - flower display
village show 2019 - fruit display
village show 2019 - produce display


Many thank to everyone who gave their support, assistance, or opened their gardens.  Particular thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Pitt-Rivers for opening their own garden and for allowing the use of the Tithe Barn, also to all our major sponsors, Harts of Stur, Symonds & Sampson, The Southern Co-operative Society and Wessex Water and all the other businesses and individuals who gave financial sponsorship and gifts.

The weather was thankfully very kind to us after much rain and wind in recent weeks and over the two days more than 600 people attended.  As usual the teas were a great success and the books, “shabby-chic” and plant stalls were busy with visitors buying their bargains and the tombola was very popular and consequently rain out of prizes very quickly..  Once again, we were entertained with music from “Strings Attached” led by our own John Harding.

New for this year was a small display of pictures and items relating to the Hinton St. Mary Mosaic and a number of children enjoyed making mosaics to win prizes provided by the Blackmore Vale Arts Society.

Based on rough figures, we exceeded the amount raised in 2017.  Considering the rather variable weather and the other events going on that weekend this result was amazing.  It will greatly assist meeting the budgeted costs in the region of £16,000 required for urgent repairs to the Church over the next 12 months.

If you have any photographs of this Gardens Open which you would be willing to share, please send them to me and I will arrange for them to be put on to this website.

Shane Johnstone

01258-474670    email 

Photographs of other past village events by be viewed here