The local village school closed some years ago and pupils now travel to Puddletown for first and middle school education and to Dorchester for upper school. There is a school bus service to Puddletown and children attending Hardye’s School in Dorchester use the normal daily bus service.
Excellent medical cover for the majority of the parish is provided by general practice surgeries in Puddletown and Bere Regis. For pets and other animals there are veterinary practices in Puddletown and Wool.
There are now two defibrillators in the parish, one outside the village hall in Briantspuddle and the other in the old telephone box opposite the church in Affpuddle. Called cPADs (Community Public Access Defidrillators) the yellow boxes each contain an AED – Automated External Defibrillator. When directed to it by the ambulance service this equipment will enable any member of the public to provide immediate life saving assistance to someone suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest.
The Community Heartbeat Trust “were very pleased to support another community in installing this life saving equipment, the benefits of having AED’s immediately accessible within communities is now well documented. I would encourage any village or community group wishing to follow Briantspuddle’s example to get in touch with us through our website by clicking on the link below”
Just like other rural communities transport is a bit of a problem and much reliance is placed upon private means to undertake most journeys. The nearest petrol station is in Bere Regis otherwise it’s a hike along the A35 to Dorchester, the A31 towards Winterborne Zelston, or down to Wool. The Damory bus company run a limited service through the parish details of which can be obtained from the Village Shop.
As a result of a budget cap in 2014 by Dorset County Council, on subsidies for transport links, many villages lost their bus service. Fortunately we were spared that loss but more cuts have meant a reduction from providing links only to Dorchester and Blandford.
Bere Regis has set up a NeighbourCar Scheme as a voluntary organisation set up to provide a choice for locals with long or short term transport difficulties. Organisers of the scheme have very kindly offered to open membership of the scheme up to residents of Affpuddle and Turnerspuddle Parish.
Volunteer drivers, who all live in the local area and have use of their own car are happy to take clients to the doctor, dentist, optician, chiropodist, hairdresser, railway station, shopping etc.
There is an initial registration fee of £5 for clients (payable once only) and a suggested minimum donation of 50p per mile for each journey taken. For couples in the same household there will only be one registration.
If you are interested in joining the scheme either a client or a driver please telephone the Area Co-ordinator and a visit will be arranged to explain the scheme in detail. You can find out the details and more about the scheme by visiting Bere Regis Community website www.bereregis.org the site includes some useful questions and answers.
Perhaps most important for some, all the local pubs are in adjacent parishes, the nearest being the Martyrs Inn at Tolpuddle with others in Bere Regis, Moreton and Bovington. Joining the Bladen Social Club may help to avoid the need to travel for a drink.
Superfast Broadband is now up and running for most of the residents in the Parish. In Briantspuddle, and depending upon how far away you are from the Green Cabinet by the bridge, then something in the order of 24 and 40 Mbps download speed is now possible. In Affpuddle, served by the Tolpuddle Green Cabinet on the Green the distance is much greater and somewhere in the order of 12 – 16 Mbps should be possible. There is still reliance on copper wire from the Green Cabinets so it is still important that some kind of record of performance is kept so that meaningful discussion can be achieved with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) – BT, Talk Talk, Plusnet, Virgin, Orange etc. This will help to keep on top of problems and pressure on BT Openreach, the providers of the infrastructure. The link below gives some guidance on self help which is the usual first step in any assistance obtained from providers!