Blogs > October 2017

October 2017

Nine Challenges Down ... One To Go!

31st October 2017

matt zipwire


Challenge Number 9 Complete! 

On Saturday 28th October I was faced with challenge number 9 of Matt’s Colossal 10.

After a drive to Cornwall, I stood looking at England’s fastest and longest zip wire. Easy, some might say, however lying face down, on the edge of a ledge about to plow up to 60mph through the air, easy wasn’t the thing going through my mind. 

After the first ten seconds, once the initial shock was out the way, it actually was an incredible feeling, albeit a short and brisk challenge, it was another one complete. 



So that leaves just one challenge left, the 10 Hour Dance-a-thon taking place this Sunday between 9am-7pm at Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester. When the clock strikes 7pm on Sunday, all 10 challenges will be over and it will be time to look forward to the finale evening on 18th November, which everyone is invited to attend. 

More can be found at or to support please visit 


Posted by Matt Smith at 10:18am

Borneo Jungle Trek - Done!

27th October 2017

borneo weldmar


On Friday 13th October I took 15 people to join me on the Borneo Jungle Challenge, the 8th in 10 challenges as part of my Colossal 10.

After a 27 hour journey from leaving the hospice to arriving in Borneo, we were already exhausted before the trek had even started!

On Sunday 15th we took our first steps into the jungle, our home for the next five days. We soon realised that the humidity was going to add to the challenge and after not so long, knew we would also have to contend with torrential rain throughout the five days.

Each evening we went to bed with wet clothes and boots, only to put them back on again the next morning. Our meals consisted heavily of plain rice and the jungle was filed with leeches ready to attach themselves to our skin for their feeding time!

At night, the rain and wind continued resulting in very little sleep each evening and that was before the snorers in camp started drifting off to sleep.

Each day the inclines got tougher, the ground got more slippery and we all became more exhausted.


However, the sense of pride and achievement as we crossed the finish line as a strong group was incredible. Although this was a tough challenge, we all completed together, helping each other along the way ensuring that everyone finished and was proud of what they had achieved.

I am extremely proud of all of the trekkers and it was genuinely a pleasure to join them on the Borneo Jungle Challenge.

Would I go back? Maybe not for a while, my walking boots are still drying out!

So that leaves just two challenges left. This weekend I will be taking on England’s highest and fastest flat laying zip wire with speeds up to 60mph. Next weekend will see my final challenge, the 10 hour dance-a-thon will applications still open online at

But to end my year of challenges, we are holding a finale evening on Saturday 18th November at Thomas Hardye School Theatre. There will be live entertainment, videos of all the challenges and we will be joined by Carl from Wessex FM too to chat with me about the past 12 months. Tickets are available now at or by calling 01305 261800. I’d love to see you there!


Posted by Matt Smith at 12:19pm

Secondary Modern School Reunion

24th October 2017


Organising a school reunion is one thing but organising a school reunion where those attending will now be 70 years old is quite another. That's the mission for Angela Jones, née Robinson.

Angela attended the Secondary Modern School in Cromwell Road, Weymouth between 1958 and 1962. There was a reunion 40 years ago but now Angela is looking to get all her old school mates back together for a night out.

Here's Angela with the details.

If you want to go along, the event is happening this Thursday 26th October from 7.30PM at Marquis of Granby, Chickerell Rd, Weymouth DT4 9TW.

Do you have a family member who attended the school during those years? If so, please share this with them.

Posted by Carl at 3:30pm

Evien Fernandes

24th October 2017

Every now and then, if you're lucky, you'll get to meet somebody who has overcome immense obstacles and pushed forward where many might well have given up. And so it was when I found out about Evien Fernandes.

Evien's father passed away 18 months ago and the aftermath of losing a parent at such a young age plunged him into depression along with other issues.

His Mum, Jane dropped us an email to tell us about his 12 hour fundraiser for Mosaic, the charity that stepped into offer specialised support and guidance. Mosaic are a charity that help young people dealing with bereavement and such was their impact on Evien, he decided with the help of Mum to put on this special event.

We popped along to the Physiques and Shapes Health Club in Dorchester to have a chat and to do our own little bit. I'd never used a treadmill before and hadn't expected to find a five minute walk quite so tricky. Especially not when Evien was next to and had not even broken a sweat.

Here then is our little video report from the event. You can find out more about the charity as well here:

Posted by Carl at 2:33pm

10 Years of Budmouth CCF

23rd October 2017


This year marks 10 years of the Budmouth Combined Cadet Force and to celebrate they want as many past members as possible to attend a special Christmas function on the 09th December.

Rob stopped by the studio to see me and explain more.

You can email Rob at:

Or call him on 01305 830514.

Posted by Carl at 7:34am

Life of Brian!

20th October 2017

Carl AshwinWith Storm Brian paying us a frankly uninvited visit this weekend, I thought I’d take a look at where storm names come from. Who chooses them and how?

We’ve already had Storm Aileen this year and Brian is next on the list for this weekend so no surprises that there’s an alphabetical list of names to move through.

The storm names for this year are: Aileen, Brian, Caroline, Dylan, Eleanor, Fionn, Georgina, Hector, Iona, James, Karen, Larry, Maeve, Niall, Octavia, Paul, Rebecca, Simon, Tali, Victor and Winifred.

You might have noticed that letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are unaccounted for and this is apparently in keeping with international storm naming conventions. Yes! They have rules about all of this.

Brian is only the second storm of the 17/18 storm season for the UK. The 16/17 season saw five storms whilst the 15/16 season saw no less than 11!

Some of the names used for our storms come from Met Éireann - The Irish Meteorological Service whilst others come from the general public via submissions to the Met Office on social media in 2015.

In case you're wondering where Storm Ophelia fits into all of this, because of where it originated it kept it's original name given by a different country so doesn't fall under our own naming convention.

Of course some names also had to be rejected. These range from the unusual to the downright silly. Rejected storm names include:

Apocalypse, Stormageddon, Voldemort and In A Teacup (this is my favourite) and there are more!

So there you have it, the names for this seasons storms, the ones rejected and where they came from.

As for Brian, he’s a very naughty boy! 

Posted by Carl at 10:49pm

Margaret Green Animal Rescue

19th October 2017

Margaret Green Animal Rescue have opened a new store on St Thomas Street in Weymouth. I popped along to see Jenni Wilkinson to find out more about the charity and their shops.

Margaret Green Animal Rescue

Posted by Carl at 11:24am

Lesson 10 - Slipping Away

12th October 2017

Carl AshwinBefore I get onto the details of this weeks lesson, I need to let you know that I HAVE BOOKED MY DRIVING TEST!

Now, there are only three people who know the date and time and that is how it will stay for now. None of my colleagues at Wessex FM know when it is and even a visit from our CEO didn't crack me. So, my test date is approaching!

There were two areas of focus for this weeks lesson.

The first was the Dual Carriageway to practice overtaking and entering and exiting on long and short slip roads. I'll be honest, the business of joining the Dual Carriageway from a long slip road does rather feel like a 'put your foot down and hope for the best' situation. My first attempt was a little dodgy with me looking to the right to see what was coming whilst not seeing that the front of the car was about to cross into the right hand lane! After a few more attempts though I was soon making good progress and we eventually made our way into Dorchester and into Fairfield Car Park to attempt some bay parking.

My first attempt was basically flawless. Claire was impressed but me being a curmudgeon in training wrote it off as beginners luck. So we tried it again and it was again fine. At last, we've found a manoeuvre involving reversing that doesn't make me want to go back in time to visit myself in a former life and have a few words about my behaviour coming back to haunt me later on down the line (that bit makes perfect sense to me but you may not fare so well!).

Until next Tuesday then when I think we might be trying to reverse round corners again!

And so to my song choice for this lesson. I have to thank Andrew in the Wessex FM office for suggesting this one!

Posted by Carl Ashwin at 3:04pm

Simon Webbe

12th October 2017

Simon Webbe Album Sleeve

Simon Webbe joined me on the show on 12th October 2017 to talk about his forthcoming third solo album Smile. He also let slip that he's working on something with Blue for 2018!

You can listen to our full interview below:

Simon's new album Smile is out on 13th October 2017. Here's the lead song from the album, entitled Nothing Without You.

Posted by Carl at 11:49am


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