ACTOR Martin Clunes and wife Philippa thanked school pupils in person for their help at his annual fair.

The Beaminster School students volunteer for the local Buckham Fair as the culmination of their Community Sports Leader course.

As well as to say thank you, Mr Clunes presented awards to the 16 students who completed the course.

Mr Clunes, who lives near Baeminster, told the sixth form students that the fair raised more than £42,000 for Julia’s House children’s hospice. With the event growing in popularity each year, he also outlined some improvements that will be made for next year.

They include hiring professional help with car parking and traffic control to ease congestion and improve access.

Teacher Kevin Donovan, who co-ordinates the sports leaders programme, said: “Beaminster School is delighted to be able to support Buckham Fair, and 19 students are already signed up for volunteering duties at next year’s event.”

The sports leaders course involves planning and leading a variety of sessions for students of all age groups.

At Buckham Fair, the students worked from 8.30am to 6.30pm, covering a variety of tasks including staffing the entrance, running pony rides, emptying the bins and generally facilitating access around the site, as well as the traffic control.