Category Archives: News from our advertisers

DRIVING THE DISTANCE FOR DEMENTIA WITH JOHN DEERE

HMP Kirkham prison officer Andy Maxfield from Inskip in Lancashire is finalising plans to set a brand-new Guinness World Record by driving from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a John Deere lawn tractor, whilst raising money for the charity, Alzheimer’s Society.

The ‘Driving the Distance for Dementia’ Challenge will set off from John O’Groats at 8am on Tuesday 25 July 2017; the signposted distance to Land’s End is 874 miles. The planned route expects them to arrive in the South West on Saturday, passing Bristol around midday, then on to Taunton and Crediton, reaching Okehampton early Sunday morning then past Redruth, Penzance and finally their end destination Land’s End.

Roger Prior, Director at Masons Kings said, “As the local John Deere dealership for Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, we are looking forward to seeing this challenge arrive in our region on Saturday. It’s going to be exciting to see how the X750 lawn tractor, a popular product at Masons Kings, gets on with such a big distance and different terrains. This is such a great cause and myself and the rest of the team can’t wait to see this Guinness World Record achieved.”

This distance has not been attempted before on an unmodified lawn tractor, but Andy is still hoping to complete the distance in less than five days on his own. He has recently been promoting the challenge at shows and events in the north of England, starting with a visit to his beloved Blackburn Rovers FC – see the club’s video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2hyoHbP5j8&feature=youtu.be – and including this month’s Great Yorkshire Show.

Andy Maxfield will be using a 24hp X750 John Deere lawn tractor and accompanied by support vehicles provided by John Deere. The X750 has power steering, cruise control and a top road speed of around 10mph. Andy will also be supported by his wife Karen and their two daughters Kathryn and Kaitlyn.

Andy’s 77-year-old father James and James’ mother Theresa were both diagnosed with dementia, which prompted Andy to start seriously fundraising for the charity in January this year. “Initially I had the idea of a fundraising ball to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society, which will be held on Saturday 9 December at Preston Masonic Hall,” he said.

“After that, because friends and neighbours often take the mickey out of me for being into lawnmowers – I’ve got eight altogether for cutting the grass around the village – I just thought it would be appropriate to try for the world record for driving a lawn tractor the length of Britain. I asked John Deere, although I don’t have one of their mowers at home, as I know they make quality products and I wanted something to get me from A to B without breaking down!”

John Deere Limited, turf division manager Chris Meacock, said: “Our UK and Ireland employees select a specific charity each year to support with a variety of fundraising activities. By coincidence we had chosen Alzheimer’s Society when we were approached by Andy Maxfield to help with the Guinness World Record attempt, so it was very good timing on his part!

“We are delighted to back this very worthy cause and are looking forward to the challenge. In addition to providing the X750 for ‘Driving the Distance for Dementia’, we have offered Andy a new X350R lawn tractor worth over £5,000 as a special raffle prize for the family’s charity ball in December.”

Sue Swire, regional community fundraising officer for Alzheimer’s Society in Lancashire, said: “It’s wonderful that Andy is taking on such a great challenge to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society to unite against dementia, and we are really grateful. Funds raised from the challenge will help us move a step closer to a world without dementia – dementia devastates lives, but dementia won’t win.”

Andy Maxfield’s charity ball has a JustGiving website page for donations at www.justgiving.com/andrew-maxfield, with the total already standing at over £2,200 in early July, and donations can also be made by texting MAXF80 £3 to 70070. More information on the ball and the challenge are available at www.facebook.com/ForgetMeNotPreston, and by following Andy on Twitter @AndyMax69.

Alzheimer’s Society is available for anyone affected by dementia and there are lots of ways the charity can help – for details call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.

FAMILY FUN AT WIMBLEBALL LAKE OPEN DAY

On Sunday 2 July West Country charity South West Lakes Trust held their annual Open Day at a very sunny Wimbleball Lake. Over 1,900 people of all ages attended the event and were able to take part in a variety of activities, both on and off the water, including: bushcraft, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, archery, high ropes, roller zorbing and fishing tasters.

For the little ones there was also face painting by Anna Fraser, a bouncy castle, provided by ‘Wellington Bouncy Castles’, and giant games. Visitors of all ages were also given the chance to try out a range of instruments from around the world with an all-day session provided by ‘Music Mash’.

Local stallholders were kept busy with a steady stream of visitors and there was also the chance to get up close to some of North Devon Hawk Walks’ magnificent birds of prey.

The hog roast proved extremely popular as did the wood-fired pizzas provided by Rebel Town Pizza. The Duck Café were also kept busy throughout the day serving some of their renowned delicious treats, including copious amounts of ice cream!

Luke Hoather, Centre Manager at Wimbleball Lake, said, “What an amazing day! So many people enjoying what Wimbleball has to offer, even the sun joined us. I would like to say a big thank you to the Wimbleball team, South West Fishing For Life, Wimbleball Lake Sailing Club and the Duck Café for helping to make the day such a success. We look forward to next year’s event!”

The next event taking place at Wimbleball will be South West Fishing For Life’s annual family fun day on 6 August, 12p-3.30pm. The afternoon will include a variety of craft stalls and lot of fun and games for the children. For more information about upcoming events at Wimbleball, and other South West Lakes Trust sites, please call 01566 771930 or visit www.southwestlakes.co.uk

VINTAGE WEEKEND AT RHS ROSEMOOR

RHS Garden Rosemoor goes back in time during the weekend 22 – 23 July with two days packed with all things retro, vintage and antique.

Visitors to the stunning 65-acre gardens in Devon, with its formal gardens, woodland walks, stream and lake, walled fruit and vegetable garden, and fully licensed restaurant, will also be in for a real treat with a display of vintage vehicles, motorbikes from North Devon British Motorcycle Owners Club and vintage caravans.

New for 2017, Rosemoor will have a World War II re-enactment from the 4th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry including: Queen Alexander nursing, an air raid precaution, The Land Army, The Home Guard, The Auxillary Territorial Service and paratroopers. Continuing the 1940s theme on Saturday afternoon, there is a special guest Sandy Sparkle from Torquay doing a series of 30-minute sets of typical songs from the era.

The Vintage Horticultural & Garden Machinery Club will once again have a presence. This national organisation with over 900 members was formed to promote an active interest in the preservation, exhibiting and operation of vintage equipment used in horticulture, allotment keeping and home gardening. Some of their vintage farm and horticultural equipment will be shown operating during the weekend.

In addition, in the new Garden Room, Rosemoor’s permanent events building, there will be an Antique and Collectors Fair, organised by Devon County Antiques Fairs with stalls and sellers from across the South West featuring an eclectic selection of quality antiques and collectables of all sorts – vintage fabrics, ceramics, furniture and perfume bottles as well as silver and glass.

For more information on events at RHS Garden Rosemoor visit www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor or telephone 01805 624067.

Normal garden admission applies (free for RHS members)

GALLERY4ART AT HALSWAY MANOR

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, is proud to present a week of Art inspired by the Somerset countryside in its house and grounds this August. The Somerset group of professional artists, Gallery4Art, will be showcasing their contemporary artworks in a colourful exhibition from Monday 7  to Friday 11 August. Entry will be free to view the work and paintings, and prints and sculpture will be available to buy at affordable prices.

“Gallery4Art never fail to put on a dazzling array of interesting art – we just wish we could take it all home with us.”  Visitor to G4A’s 2016 Halsway exhibition.

Running alongside the exhibition will be a day of workshops so you can try your hand at techniques used by the artists. On Tuesday 8 August you can choose from experimental screen printing with Jim Munnion, textiles with Sarah Meikle, wire and mixed media sculpture with Mel Deegan, wildlife willow sculpture with Sophie Courtiour or whimsical watercolour painting with Alison Jacobs.

The workshops cost £65 per person and this includes materials. No previous experience is required, and full support and advice will be given by the artists who are all experienced tutors. For more information and details on how to book go online to halswaymanor.org.uk/event/summer-exhibition-of-contemporary-art/

On Thursday 10 August the artists are putting on more activities in the Manor grounds. From 10.30am children can enjoy a pirate-themed Treasure Hunt with Captain Strawbeard and Crew! This costs £5 per child.  This covers art activities, including painting pirate pictures and making pirate-themed hats, etc. Children must be accompanied by an adult (adults free). And, of course, pirate-themed fancy dress is encouraged.

To end Thursday’s fun in the gardens the artists invite you to join them for tea and a talk. At 3.30pm you can be entertained by the artists over cream tea at £5 a head, whilst they describe and demonstrate their work, and talk about their artist’s practice and techniques.

To book on workshops or activities please phone Halsway Manor (this is recommended as places fill fast) on 01984 618274


FAUSTUS AT HALSWAY MANOR

Catch Faustus, the pioneering, “bloke folk” triumvirate  of Benji Kirkpatrick, Paul Sartin & Saul Rose as they return to Halsway Manor for a live gig on Thursday 6 July at 8pm.

Previously nominated for the Best Group Award in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and Artist In Residence at Halsway Manor Centre for Folk Arts across 2016 supported by funding from Arts Council England, Faustus brings to the stage three of the leading lights of their generation: Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel, War Horse), Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone representing the best in the current vibrant English folk scene.

Faustus released their acclaimed third album, ‘Death and Other Animals’, in October 2016, tackling head-on subjects from the Dance of Death to the plight of the common man, sand-swallowed ships to mythical black dogs. The album has huge local resonance as it was researched, rehearsed and recorded at Halsway Manor on the Quantock Hills, during Faustus’ time as Artists in Residence. Beastly good” said Folking.com, “Modern day folk Buccaneers… so blindingly dazzling you’ll need to don a pair of RayBans before listening,” said LouderThanWar.com.

Faustus are leading a course ‘From Page to Performance’ halswaymanor.org.uk/event/faustus-from-page-to-performance/  at Halsway in the run-up to the gig, and the evening will open with performances by participants, before the mighty Faustus take to the stage!

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, has been established as a Charity since 1965. Nestling at the foot of the Quantock Hills Halsway Manor provides a year-round programme of events and activities in traditional folk music, dance, song, storytelling, folklore and related arts and crafts. There’s ample free parking onsite, a bar and – of course – beautiful atmospheric settings for concerts with wonderful acoustics, and a chance to catch-up with the artists over a drink afterwards!

Tickets for ‘Faustus’ are priced at £10, with a concessionary price of £4 for children and full time students of any age. Call 01984 618274 (option 1), email office@halswaymanor.org.uk or buy securely online www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

ROSE FESTIVAL FOLLOWED BY AUGUST FLOWER SHOW AT RHS ROSEMOOR

A trip to Rosemoor is a must for visitors to beautiful Devon this summer as the RHS Garden celebrates the nation’s favourite flower with a Rose Festival (17 June-30 July), and a few weeks later holds its inaugural RHS Flower Show (18-20 August).

Rosemoor is surely the ideal place for a Rose Festival in early summer. Boasting one of the UK’s largest collections of roses, it is home to two dedicated rose gardens, bringing together 200 different cultivars and a wealth of hues and perfumes, from cottage garden climbers to bright and beautiful container plants.

Visitors to the first RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show in August will see the garden awash with floral displays and specialist nurseries brought to the South West by the RHS for the first time. With expert advice on hand from horticulturists, this is an occasion not to be missed for keen gardeners.

RHS Garden Rosemoor Curator Jon Webster says: “There is nothing like Rosemoor in summer. From the warm days of June when the roses begin to bloom, releasing their indescribable scent, to late summer when our ‘Hot Garden’ peaks in swaths of oranges and reds, there is so much to enjoy and so much to see. And with our second annual Rose Festival and our first-ever RHS Flower Show taking place, summer at Rosemoor in 2017 is sure to delight and inspire.”

Rose Festival highlights (17 June-30 July 2017)                      

  • A Rose Weekend on 24 and 25 June with a floral-themed craft and food market, more than 30 stalls, plus free, guided tours of the renowned Rose Gardens.
  • A range of rose-inspired and rose-infused treats, throughout the festival, freshly served from Rosemoor’s Garden Kitchen: rose meringues, rose and rhubarb cakes, and Turkish delight coffee.
  • For ‘Rosemoor Late’ evenings, the gardens will open until 9pm on 6, 14, 20 and 27 July. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and rolling hills of this Devonshire garden at dusk as the roses release their evening perfume. Live music and Pimm’s will add to the festivities.
  • Every Wednesday afternoon an expert florist will demonstrate flower-arranging techniques with roses.
  • Visitors may take a self-guided Rose Trail on an historic journey through the garden, from the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden to the Long Borders and the Cottage Garden.
  • In celebration of British Flowers Week (19-25 June), British roses will be firmly in the spotlight in the Rosemoor Plant Centre, with high-quality selections on sale from David Austin Roses.

RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show highlights (18-20 August 2017)

  • Rosemoor’s first RHS Flower Show will be awash with striking floral displays and an abundance of quality plants, along with 20 specialist nurseries from across the UK, plus garden trade stands throughout the weekend.
  • Offering the very best of the South West from Rosemoor’s award-winning catering team, an Afternoon Tea Tent will be serving up delicious prosecco cream teas to take away and enjoy as visitors soak up the atmosphere.
  • For those seeking the best gardening advice, visitors can learn how to transform their gardens and make the most of their plants with an extensive programme of specialist talks and demonstrations taking place in the Garden Room.
  • Visitors can book tickets for exclusive early access on 18, 19 and 20 August, which will treat them to breakfast and a first look at the featured nurseries and trade stands from 9am before the official opening at 10am as well as guaranteed parking.
  • A free Park ‘n’ ride service will operate from Torrington Rugby Club.

RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8PH

www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor 01805 626810

Entry to the both the RHS Garden Rosemoor Rose Festival and RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show is included in normal garden entry.

The Garden opens from 10am – 5pm each day.

SOUTH WEST LAKES TRUST AND SOUTH WEST WATER PHOTO COMPETITION

After the huge success of last year’s ‘Love your Lakes’ photo competition, South West Lakes Trust and South West Water have decided to hold it again this year.

The competition, now in its fifth year, aims to encourage people of all ages to make the most of the fantastic photo opportunities at their lakes across Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset. The lakes of the South West are popular among amateur and professional photographers alike and the opportunities are endless.

This year there will be three photo categories – ‘family fun’, ‘on the water’ and ‘feats of engineering’. Photos must be taken at one of South West Lakes Trust’s lakes. A fantastic prize of a £250 will be awarded to the overall winning photograph, with £100 for each individual category winner. Runner-up prizes will also be up for grabs and a special prize will be awarded to the photo which receives the most public votes.

The ‘Love your Lakes’ photo competition is free to enter and will be judged by Andy Parsons, Chief Executive of South West Lakes Trust, Alan Hyde, South West Water’s Head of Community Relations, and last, but at no means least, renowned professional news and sport photographer Richard Austin.

Richard has been working at the top end of the newspaper and magazine industry for more than a quarter of a century. His photographs are used all over the world in newspapers and magazines, and as a modern-day media photographer Richard has the ability to adapt his photographic work not only to news and sport but also in the expanding business world of Public Relations and website photography.

Andy Parsons said: “Everyone in our area has a lake within thirty minutes’ drive of their home, providing an ideal setting for perfecting photography skills. Throughout the year the landscape changes, shadows lengthen and shorten and greenery appears and disappears, giving photographers the fascinating challenge of capturing their favourite locations in differing stages. I really look forward to judging the competition this year, knowing that it is a great leveller, open to people of all ages and abilities. Please feel encouraged to take a trip to a lake near you – you never know what wildlife you will encounter or how much fun it can be trying to capture that special scene.”

Alan Hyde added: “We’re pleased to be supporting South West Lakes Trust’s photo competition again this year. Every dam is an amazing feat of engineering and the lakes that they create provide lots of opportunities for family fun, whether that’s watersports or simply picnicking and enjoying the scenery. Take your camera with you, send us your best pictures and I look forward to seeing the results in the autumn.”

To submit your photos visit www.swlakestrust.org.uk/photo-competition

PHOTO by Julia Amies-Green: Wimbleball misty evening in spring.

HALSWAY FETE AND FOLK FOR ALL THE FAMILY

This year’s Halsway Manor Fête takes place on Saturday 3 June, from 12-5pm, and promises to be bigger and better than ever!

The Manor gardens will be filled with stalls including local foods and produce, flowers, books, plants, art and crafts. Minehead Library will be offering storytelling for children in the Summer House, Mr Mommet’s Punch and Judy will take place on the croquet lawn, and the Manor’s maypole will be put to good use with opportunities for all to join in with maypole dancing! Feeling peckish? There will be a lovely range of delicious things to eat, including cream teas, cakes, a BBQ and ice cream made especially for you by Somerset’s Brinkman’s Ice Cream!

Halsway are delighted to be welcoming several dance teams to the day as part of Sweet Coppin’s 40th anniversary celebrations! There will be performances throughout the afternoon from Taunton’s Sweet Coppin clog dancers, Taunton Deane Morris Men, City Clickers clog dancers, and Silver Flame Rapper Sword dancers; there will be a workshop too for anyone who wants to try clog, morris or rapper for themselves.

Entrance to the Fête is by donation – please give what you can; all monies raised will go towards Halsway’s Restoration Appeal, a project of essential works to preserve both the fabric of the historic Manor, and also its nationally important library collection.

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, has been established as a Charity since 1965. Nestling at the foot of the Quantock Hills Halsway Manor provides a year-round programme of events and activities in traditional folk music, dance, song, storytelling, folklore and related arts and crafts. All are welcome. For more information visit www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

TIME TO GET OUTDOORS WITH NORTH DEVON & EXMOOR FEST

Keen walkers are being encouraged to come to North Devon and Exmoor this month (May, 2017) for an Outdoor Festival run by Visit Exmoor that coincides with National Walking Month.

The event hopes to inspire everyone from hardened ramblers to novice strollers, from far and wide, to pull on their walking boots and head for the area.

Outdoor enthusiast, Claire Sellar-Elliott, co-owner of The Jubilee Inn at West Anstey along with Executive Chef Sam Salway, said: “This part of North Devon and Exmoor is perfect for walkers of all abilities, as there is plenty to see and do with paths that are either challenging or easy to do.”

The Jubilee Inn is in the heart of deepest Devon, not far from the official ‘Gateway to Exmoor’– the bustling and picturesque market town of South Molton.

“Right on our doorstep here is the 117-mile Two Moors Way, which traverses the whole county, coast-to-coast, from Plymouth to Lynmouth. We get lots of walkers popping in to have teas, coffees and lunches with us en route.

“Often our guests stay with us to explore the immediate area on foot, so we provide pack lunches, everything from basic and family options, to luxury champagne hampers, on request too.

“We also welcome a lot of cyclists and caravan-holiday visitors who come to the area to enjoy the outstanding views and landscapes. We provide secure bicycle storage and free parking for those transporting their bicycles to the area from further afield, if they wish to use us as a base for a wider holiday.”

The Visit Exmoor Outdoor Festival aims to promote everything from coastal to forestry and moorland walks, as well as paths taking in the area’s quaintest villages and many other activities are being promoted too.

“Festivals like these are a great way for everyone to explore North Devon and Exmoor and take in some of our finest vistas, and just to enjoy the simpler things in life like hedgerow flowers and birdsong.

“But it’s not just about visitors coming into the area, the festival overlaps with National Walking Month, which is designed to encourage us all to get out and walk more, wherever we live. Experts say adults need to do at least 20 minutes of walking a day for health, fitness and general well-being, so it’d be really great if locals got involved too and came out walking in the area this month as well.

“We’re also close to the South West Coast Path, which has wonderful, breath-taking views. There are lots of circular walks here too, perfect for all abilities.

“But it’s not just about us humans, this part of Devon is wonderful for anyone with a dog as well and we are super dog friendly here with pet-friendly rooms. A senior member of staff also has their own Cruft’s Winner and offers doggy bathing and care!

“Those wishing to take their horses onto Exmoor for some outstanding trail riding are actively encouraged too as we’ve got box parking and local horsey knowhow to hand!”

For more information about this year’s event, which comes under Visit Exmoor’s Outdoor Festival, please visit www.visit-exmoor.co.uk.

To link with the Outdoor Festival and National Walking month, The Jubilee Inn is offering visitors throughout May a special buy one, get one half price offer for Wednesday and Thursday lunchtimes from dishes selected from its daily Menu du Jour.*

It is also offering guests a special buy one, get one half price on all main course Sunday roasts until 31 August, excluding the Bank Holiday weekends. Booking is essential to participate in any offers.

For further details about The Jubilee Inn, which is on the B3227 at West Anstey near South Molton, please call 01398 341401 or visit www.thejubileeinn.co.uk.

KING’S GIRLS RETAIN ISFA U18 TITLE

King’s College, Taunton set a new record when they won the Independent Schools’ Football Association (ISFA) Girls’ Under 18 eleven-a-side cup by beating ACS International School Cobham 9-1 in the final at the home of Thame United at the end of April.

King’s became the first team in the history of the competition to retain this national title. In addition, this is the third time in the past four seasons that they have lifted the trophy, underlining  the status of King’s College, Taunton as the leading independent school in England for girls’ football.

On the first evening, King’s dominated proceedings from start to finish, and by half time led 4-0 thanks to goals from Lucie Waddon (2), Karolayne Alencar and Sarah Hill.

After the break, King’s extended their lead, with goals from substitute Lannece Hole, Beth Barzotelli, Kayane Alencar, Captain Beth Beale and Sarah Hill, before Repton pulled one back late in the game.

Chris Heayns, the Director of Football at King’s Schools, said: “This is a very special group of players who have worked hard and come together to produce some outstanding football. In doing so, they have set an excellent example to the younger players following them through school. They fully deserve this success.”

The football program at King’s has come a long way under Chris Heayns, who has been in charge for eight years. The program continues to evolve to provide the right opportunities, and to ensure the experience for each player is the best it can be.

“We want every player to achieve the very best he or she can be, at the same time getting a sound education and enjoying all of the other opportunities the school offers,” said Chris.

“Many of the girls play in women’s football leagues and there is no doubt that our links with Exeter City Ladies and other clubs has been a valuable part of their development. Three girls who were part of the winning side joined our Sixth Form on scholarships two years ago. In September will be taking up scholarships in North America.”

King’s are once again offering Sixth Form Scholarships worth up to 50% in a range of subjects for candidates who have the talent and the aspiration and show outstanding potential in their field, who would like to join Year 12 in September 2017.

As well as receiving top-class coaching to develop their particular skills, all pupils at King’s benefit from being part of an exceptionally happy and caring community. The school offers highly regarded academic subjects that universities prefer, small class sizes, and teachers who inspire pupils to reach their full academic potential. There is a range of excellent facilities, a broad offering of co-curricular activities, and opportunities to stretch pupils academically, which include visits, seminars, clubs and societies that are open to all.

Anyone who would like to find out more should make contact with the school’s Registrar, Kate Rippin, on 01823 328204 or visit www.kings-taunton.co.uk