News 2 February 2015
Head in clouds charity jump
A Nailsea mum with a fear of heights is going to jump 12,000ft from an aeroplane in memory of her baby nephew who died aged just six weeks.
Reluctant skydiver Lisa Pletts, pictured right, said: “I can’t even climb our loft ladder without getting frightened.”
But the 30-year-old mother-of-two who works as a care home supervisor at Argentum Lodge, at Silver Street, says she is determined to conquer her acrophobia to raise awareness and funds for two worthy charities.
The sponsored jump is scheduled for Saturday, May 23, from an aerodrome at Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Lisa is married to competition administrator Chris, aged 31, and the couple live with their children Shannon, nine, and George, seven, at Dunster Gardens.
She said: “My husband doesn’t think I will go through with it but I have to – I have no choice even though I am scared.”
Lisa is part of a large, loving extended family so when sister Sarah gave birth to a very premature baby boy called Tylor last November everyone was excited but cautious.
With the hospital prognosis good it was fingers crossed despite Tylor being born at 25 weeks and diagnosed with colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease.
It was a devastating blow when the he lost his fight for life early in the New Year at St Michael’s hospital, Bristol, said Lisa.
“We were all in bits especially his parents who had so much hope for their small son,” she said.
Sarah, 27, also works as a carer and lives with her full-time house husband Ricky, 40, and their daughters Kyla, four, and Kaci, five, near Taunton, Somerset.
Nailsea friends Lizzie and Richard Swanton have funded all the costs of the tandem skydive and Lizzie, a midwife, will be filming the charity stunt to prove Lisa actually does jump.
Lisa has set a goal of £1,000 which will be split equally between Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity and Crohn's and Colitis UK.
The skydive is advertised as ‘relentlessly exhilarating from the moment you board the plane until you land on terra firma’.
Happily Lisa will be strapped to an expert instructor on the way down when the skydivers can expect to reach speeds in excess of 120mph.
The experience is described as a ’free-falling, gravity-powered joyride’ when participants get ‘an adrenaline rush like never ever before and see the world from a completely new perspective’.
And the blurb adds: “This is not a once in a lifetime experience because once you've made the jump, you'll want to do it again and again.”
Lisa said: "They'll be be lucky as I am only planning to do it once."
To go to Lisa’s fundraising page click HERE.
The Royal Oak pub in Nailsea High Street is going to host a raffle for the fund and it is hoped the first prize will be for another skydive but we think Lisa will pass on this prize.
Despite a fear of heights one brave Nailsea mum set to do charity jump in memory of her small nephew
Drink up thy zider
Regulars at a North Somerset pub did a double take this week when a face from the area’s musical past dropped in for a pint and a song.
Unfortunately it wasn't the Royal Oak at Nailsea, where the story began, but another Somerset haunt of Wurzels founder Adge Cutler.
And the man at the bar was no ghost: in fact, it was actor Alex Dunbar, who is playing the Wurzels legend in a new play about his life and music to be performed next month.
Bath-based Alex was in North Somerset to research his upcoming role in Scrumpy & Western: The Life and Times of Adge Cutler, which will be premiered live at The Curzon Cinema, Clevedon, at 7.30pm on Friday March 6.
After a day pottering about Wuzelesque locations including Nempnett Thrubwell, Stanton Drew and Burrington Combe, Alex enjoyed a pint of scrumpy at The Crown in Churchill - a pub little changed since Adge’s time.
The play has been co-written by Tom Henry and Shaun McCarthy and is being staged by the newly-formed Hooligan Theatre Productions.
The Arts Council agreed a small grant to get it to the development stage and it is hoped that if it goes down well, more funding can be obtained to tour it fully later in the year including a performance at Nailsea.
Alex is from the village of Muchelney, on the Somerset Levels, and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
He said: “This is a great role and the play pays tribute to the kind of characters you still find around Somerset to this day - funny, resourceful and with a real sense of identity and love for the area.
“Through his songs Adge Cutler really tapped into all that, which is why they’re so popular today. He could celebrate the Somerset way of life and send it up at the same time, and that’s quite a feat.”
Scrumpy & Western follows the band’s 1966 recording of their first album at the Royal Oak, flashing back to Adge’s past and the inspiration for his songs.
It features six professional actors and many songs from that famous album, recorded live by EMI engineers who travelled from London to get the concert on to tape.
Tom said: “Shaun and I found it strange that Adge’s life and songs hadn’t been given any theatrical treatment, so we set out to rectify that. I hope we’ve paid a fitting tribute to the Bard of Somerset.”
Shaun said: “The Arts Council funding means that we can afford to pay professional actors, plus a director and a musical director, to deliver a ‘rehearsed reading’ version of the show which we hope will attract extra funding and be able to go into full production later this year.
“Ideally, we’d love to take this show on tour and we’re hoping that if we can attract as much support as possible, in terms of a packed house, on the night of the rehearsed reading, we will be able to do just that.”
The show, directed by Amanda Horlock with musical direction by Martin Pring, is also being performed at the Town Hall, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, on Saturday March 7.
Tom and Shaun hope that members of the audience will join in the fun by dressing Wurzel-style on both evenings.
Tickets £7 with concessions by clicking HERE.
Although Adge Cutler was killed in a car crash 40 years ago, the Wurzels remain hugely popular around the South West and beyond, and no summer is complete without appearances from the band in a variety of venues.
Tom, aged 47, has ghost written several books and is former award-winning newspaper journalist who lives in North Somerset.
With his wife Melanie Greenwood they run a small PR agency called YouPR.
The couple lived in Nailsea for many years and Tom is an accomplished musician.
Shaun, 61, who lives Long Ashton, is a professional playwright and dramaturge for stage and radio, an Oxford and Bristol university creative writing tutor and author of more than 20 educational resources titles.
He is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, and in 2014 was awarded a Hawthorden International Writers’ Fellowship.