Raising a glass to Ben at the Wimborne Folk Festival

Ben was brought up in Wimborne in Dorset, one of those sleepy picturesque English market towns. It was where he roamed in his adolescent years, and where he honed his pub-going skills with his mates during his late teens/early twenties before I whisked him off to Kent to a completely new life in a sleepy picturesque English market town. Now, there is a weekend in Wimborne, once a year, when it aint so sleepy no more and the cobbled streets and alleyways heave with revellers, musicians and lovely nutty folk who wear bells on their ankles and like to bang sticks together as they dance.


Morrissing away

This is called the Wimborne Folk Festival. Ben was very fond of the festival – he had happy (albeit blurry with some falling down) memories of going there. We even went together a couple of times, as you see…

Wimborne Folk Festival 2005

Wimborne Folk Festival 2005

So when the festival came around, a few months after Ben died,  I decided to go and drag as many family and friends along as I could (actually nobody needed dragging), and we all got together, in a pub, to raise our glasses to our gorgeous Ben, who would have so loved to be there with us, being part of our lives still and catching up over a pint. Here is a pic of our assorted party, squashed in a corner on some hay bales.

Family, young and old. Friends, new and old. All raising a glass to Ben at the Wimborne Folk Festival - June 2013

Family, young and old. Friends, new and old. All raising a glass to Ben at the Wimborne Folk Festival – June 2013

So, it was great, and we decided to do it every year. Except last year I messed up – double-booked, and instead of pint-supping in Dorset, I was standing in the snow on Ben Nevis with my Dad. Oops.

I believe I've looked better

I believe I’ve looked better. Ben Nevis – June 2014

Ben’s family kept up the tradition though and had the party without me, good on ’em. This year I AM going to be there, and so are some friends and some family. And this rambly post is really just to invite anyone else who’d like to come and sit in a pub with us, and drink to Ben and say nice things about/insult him. The details are…

The Olive Branch Pub*– East Borough, Wimborne, BH21 1PF

Meet somewhere between the loos and the fourteenth man from the left’s armpit

Saturday 13th June

3pm and thereafter til the kids go crazy


*I know, I know – this aint a ‘proper’ pub, anmd sadly not one Ben would have gone to particuarly, but it’s our best shot at having room for a crowd, inc very small people. So let me know if you can come along (via blog comment, FB or whatever), or just come anyway.  Or…why not join us and Ben in spirit and take yourself to a lovely pub garden anywhere in the world and have a pint (other units are permitted) around 3pm BST and say ‘Cheers Ben’. Send us a pic and a hello if you do!


Pints. Quite possibly drunk at a Wimborne Folk Festival once upon a time.


Filed under Battle with Melanoma

4 responses to “Raising a glass to Ben at the Wimborne Folk Festival

  1. Loved this post, Sal. Your writing is so touching and so humorous. It made my eyes moist. Whenever I see a pic of Ben, I can’t believe he is no longer with us in the physical. Such a beautiful soul. Sending love and best wishes for your family gathering in honour of your Beloved. I am sure you will feel him around you, sober as a judge – of course! 🙂 xx

  2. Ron&Nancy

    Lovely blog, Sally. Lovely photos as well.
    We will raise a drink to Ben on the 13th. Lots of love,

  3. You look great on Ben Nevis. Lovely post and I hope you have a great day at the festival this year. X

  4. Claire

    Lovely memories here. Really looking forward to getting together in Ben’s memory in a place he loved so much 🙂 xxx

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