25th October 2008


25th October 2008
6th December 2008
31st January 2009
7th March 2009



Saturday 25th October 2008.

A coterie of idlers gathered at Dinnington Docks Public House for the inaugural meeting of the Idlers.

Joe was early; surely a sign of a man with too much time on his hands. He was hungry too. Bob found Rick loitering in the car park and managed to force him to the bar first.

Suprisingly the pub was very busy with many people eating including many young children. We found a quiet corner, Joe ordered liver and bacon and discussions began.

The pub was decorated with railway paraphernalia- junctions, signal boxes, engines you name it. But why? We’d already decided that the only docks for miles around were of the botanic variety. So a railway? The pub is situated adjacent to the Fosse Way, a lovely straight roman road. We could only surmise that the locals have mistaken this for a long disused railway (perhaps one axed by Beeching?) and assuming that the pub would have been adjacent to the station (aka villa!) garlanded it accordingly. We idlers say ‘undo Beechings work! These ancient railways are far too long a walk’

Subjects under discussion included Joe’s painting (he hoped he would be away long enough not to have to do any more on his return); Bob’s arches; Male to female sex operations; the plight of the pound; the state of Joe’s liver-the one he was eating.

Wendy and Stellen arrived. They hadn’t been able to decide whether to eat first or risk the pub food. Joe said they had made a mistake. Rick and I were inclined to agree. Joe took offence at the logo on Stellen’s jacket; it clearly stated ‘ACTIVE’ ! Rick suggested that he should not wear it to the next event; Bob suggested he could perhaps embroider the letters ‘IN’ in front.

Wendy said she had never been a member of a club before and wasn’t sure about it. Some discussion occurred concerning whether we should be a club or an association. Despite the fact that ‘association’ takes much longer to write down than the word ‘club’ I would prefer the longer word- the acronym is better.

SadIC versus SadIA(sadier)(saddier)? *

Always look on the bright side was considered a fine ‘motto’ Bob suggested another one could be one of his favourite maxims which was ‘never do today what could be done tomorrow’

Rick produced a run down of the afternoons events/projects/targets/tasks.These were to

Firstly, Find the 1827 Hinton cricket field. And

Secondly, Go to church to find a coat of arms made from something called ' Coade' stone.

The second task suddenly seemed more complicated when Rick produced a tome about the history of coade stone with a price tag of £48.

He insisted that it didn’t matter if we didn’t want to buy one as he only had one thousand for sale anyway. We all flicked through the book very quickly as we didn’t want to appear too interested! Perhaps we would buy one for our wives/mistresses/husbands for xmas. **

So whether to walk or drive. Obviously we drove as it was nearly November.

Lovely church. Old rectory. Joe was very pleased to learn the differences between Barge boards, Soffits and Fascias as he was sure this information would prove useful at some stage in his life.

Gorgeous Hunky Punks alpha examples.

Coat of arms made from Coade Stone very impressive.








Stood in front of the house of Henry Fowler, the renowned lexicographer, and Joe wondered what a futtock was. Bob explained and Rick said that it was not a good idea to use the word too often as one could become obsessed with it. Bob said there was something called a futtock shroud and was it all right to talk about that. Joe said ‘pants’.

Then in search of ancient cricket field. Several fields were examined but only one seemed at all likely and this was now occupied by bullocks who were perhaps using the old pavilion for shelter.( Possibly suitable opponents for Blacksmiths. Suggest Graham arranges a fixture.)


So we were undecided to the exact site of the pitch which kept the idlers happy for it is not in their nature to reach firm conclusions about anything very much.

We stumbled across an old ice house on our return to the village. And finally we failed to find a Roman Villa.

Very fine views and interesting area. Remember to take telescope next time so don’t have to walk so far.

We may meet again soon to idle around Stockland and compare the tastes of the parish's ciders.

* Rick says he still prefers clubs, and he did consider acronyms which is why he added ‘and Devon’ !

** Rick says there is of course a discount for idlers, but warns against giving a copy to one’s partner for xmas. Unless you wish to part !


Strength in Idleness





Somerset and Devon Idlers Club
³Always Look on the Bright Side of Life²

Inaugural  Meeting

Saturday 25 October 2008   1.15pm
Congregate at the Dinnington Docks Public House, near Ilminster, TA17 8SX, a mile west of Hinton St George (Tel. 01460 52397), in advance of an attempt to discover the original 1827 Hinton Cricket ground, and view the Coade Stone Memorial in the parish church.

AIMS OF THE CLUB: Obviously None.

The Idler is well aware when he is is idling, but it is a touch difficult to catch the essence of his calling in a dictionary definition. At the back of his mind, he acknowledges the kernel of truth encapsulated in Samuel Johnson¹s dictum ³We would all be idle if we could². The Idler is not inactive, it is just that the things he likes to do are considered unprofitable by the compilers of the Bible, Marx, Adam Smith, puritans and Gordon Brown. If he has a credo, it is probably to value friendship above worldly success, quite Scriptural in its way. One plus in the Idler¹s favour is that he is unlikely to instigate a war, unless by mistake.

The ingenuity of the modern Idler is to aspire to this noble way of life without the benefit of a large private income. The Idler is generally a good companion. Old Johnson was again on the right track when he spilled the beans to Boswell, ³If you are idle be not solitary². Hence the pressing need for an Idling Club.

DRINK. The Idler often requires a libation to hone his skills. His preference is for an old-fashioned hostelry, sans TV and piped music. His tipple is likely to be produced by a small artisan producer, rather than from a multi-national firm¹s factory.


FOOD. The Idler takes his food seriously. Slow or fast, he likes real food. He can understand why Joe Hackett intended to visit Naples to eat at the oldest pizzeria still working.



JARGON. Even if he is a stumbling mumbler, the Idler eschews the neologisms of business, government and education. No Idler is ever ³going forward². The only ³stakeholder² he recognises is a fork.  Somewhat perversely the Idler delights in the specialist vocabularies connected with old trades and crafts, and nautical and military terms. He rejoices to learn in the Royal Navy an ³idler² was someone excused from the night watch, and has a special fondness for the word ³futtock².

If any of the above notions strike a chord, why not come to Dinnington Docks on Saturday.

If you are not able to come to the first meeting, but have an idle curiosity in this new movement, let me know and we will keep you informed of future gatherings, which could include following the Bridport Sands strata inland through the sunken lanes of Dorset; comparing the black puddings of Britain, France and Italy; cider and perry tastings; horse and terrier racing, and assessing the field patterns of Luppitt.

Hope to see you on 25th October.                Richard

email: inquiries@rgwatkins.co.uk   tel 01460 54188
7 Water Street, Barrington, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0JR.

³How does this club differ from just going to the pub?²
Anthea Watkins