Summer issue is here!

Welcome to our summer issue, which this time has a nostalgic theme to tie in with the various anniversaries taking place in 2014 – not least the centenary of the start of the First World War and 60 years of Exmoor National Park.

We have been lucky enough to team up with both Ilfracombe Museum and Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life – to look back at the Victorian seaside collectors, and at Mid Devon at home during the Great War.

Editing the issue has provided me with a mini series of fascinating history lessons, so much more interesting than reading a dry tome at a desk because it has felt like living history, made real and meaningful in the names, landscape and architecture of our every day. I hope that you, too, will find this, as you take time out to put your feet up with the magazine.

I don’t think that I will look at a footpath sign in quite the same way again after reading Tony James’ interview with Exmoor’s first warden (ranger), Jim Collins, nor will I enjoy a glass of wine at the Top Ship under the archway without thinking about Jack Woollacott’s wily pony and his adventurous rides home! How Jack came to be the star of our cover is something of a long story involving very difficult decisions as we had several strong contenders for the issue. The news at the last minute that the photo had in fact been taken for The Field magazine ‘back in the day’ threatened to scupper plans through fear of copyright issues. Luckily, they very kindly agreed to its use, which allowed us to take the plunge and have an old photograph on the cover for the first time; I hope that you like it. Of course, the lambs have now all arrived and are out in the sunshine, so Jack is very much a ‘dawn of summer’ image. Readers tell us that they enjoy seeing such pictures because they are a vibrant reminder of true Exmoor and if you have similar stories – and the photos to bring them to life – we would love to hear from you.

Happy reading and reminiscing!

Naomi Cudmore, Editor

PS: Don’t forget – you can subscribe to the magazine as a gift so if you are stuck for presents you need look no further. An affordable gift which lasts all year round. Our phone number is 0845 224 1203.