TRANSATLANTIC CELEBRATIONS FOR DUNSTER BEACH HUT

Salad Days is one of around 250 beach huts at Dunster Beach, but this one is special.

To begin with, it has a Visit England 5-star rating, making it the only beach hut in the UK to receive such an accolade, and now it has won two awards at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards: Silver for ‘Self Catering Business of the Year’ and Gold for ‘Dog Friendly Business of the Year’.

Designed and rebuilt from the ground up, the 80-year-old beach hut is the pride of Susan Juggins and Brett Bates. They took on a run-down beach hut that had been used by holiday makers since the end of the war and had housed coastal defence workers before that. They wanted to give it a new lease of life as a luxury beach hut with all the comforts of modern-day living. Salad Days offers boutique-style accommodation in a beach hut environment and it is dog friendly to boot.

News of the awards was not just celebrated by co-owner Susan who collected the award at Somerset County Cricket Club in Taunton, but also 3,500 miles away in Toronto Canada.

 

Brett had previously arranged a trip to visit his son Brett jar, who lives there with his fiancée Aisha, before the finalist’s announcement was made in October. He spent the day eagerly awaiting news via Twitter from Susan and the organisers at Visit Somerset. “You can hardly believe the excitement when the news came through,” said Brett. “Toronto certainly knew Somerset had arrived in the city.”

Susan, who attended the awards event with her sister Anne, said, “We felt so honoured just to be there, amongst the best that Somerset has to offer and to come away with two awards is just amazing. We love this area and our little beach hut to bits. It just goes to show even though we may be small we can still play with the big boys and win’”

The story of their success may not stop there; Salad Days will soon find out if they are to represent Somerset at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February next year.

The awards are run annually by Visit England with the judging carried out locally by industry experts, followed by area and national finals. To be a finalist in any category, each entrant has to be at the top of their game, offering world-class service within the highly competitive tourism industry. The South West has won more awards than any other area of the UK. Somerset had the highest ever number of awards entrants this year.

For further details see: dunsterbeachhut.com/  twitter.com/DunsterBeachHut

Or read the extract from an article which appeared in our autumn issue here:

ROSEMOOR ALIGHT WITH WINTER MAGIC

RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon is always a treat and is beautiful throughout the year. This year, following all the wonderful feedback from their first illuminations in 2016, visitors can once again enjoy the garden lit up on a greatly extended trail. Innovative, hi-tech, dynamic colour-changing illuminations provide a magical festive trail around the trees, shrubs and winter sculptures.

This year, the trail is roughly four to five times the length of last year’s, with additional dates, too, running from 17 November 2017 through to 6 January 2018. It takes in the Formal Gardens and extends into the Stream Field where visitors can buy warming hot drinks and snacks at the Shepherd’s Rest – a brand-new, al-fresco catering facility. The trail then follows back down the Long Borders and incorporates displays in the Hot Garden and all around the Winter Garden, too.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday the gardens will be open until 8.30pm to maximise the effects of the lighting into the evening hours, and on those days garden entry will be discounted after 3pm. The award-winning Garden Kitchen Restaurant will be once again be serving ‘Simple Family Suppers’ from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, and booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment. The Rosemoor Shop & Plant Centre will also remain open for late-night shopping on these nights and will be a magical place to go for all those Christmas decorations, gift and plant ideas, including for the first time, potted and freshly cut Christmas Trees.

A wonderful festive atmosphere will be created on some of the evenings with Christmas Food, Craft and Antique Fairs; and, on two weekends in December, the very popular Entertainingly Different will be performing ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ in their own inimitable style with songs, stories, poems and dancing. Tickets to these are free but limited and online booking is strongly recommended.

The final day of the illuminations, Saturday 6 January, Rosemoor’s Garden Room events building will be the location for a special Quantum Theatre production of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Information and details on limited ticket prices, together with a booking link are available on line at rhs.org.uk/rosemoor.

During the same period, Rosemoor will hold its extremely popular annual Winter Sculpture Exhibition, where each year over 33,000 visitors enjoy the eclectic mix of exhibits set against the backdrop of the garden. Some of these will be lit up by the illuminations, too, to make them extra special. Most of the sculptures in the exhibition are for sale.

To make the most of a winter visit to Rosemoor there is a wonderful winter walk and trail taking in much of the surprising amounts of colour, scent, texture and structure including dogwoods, ornamental grasses and some of our national collection of hollies, as well as the sculptures set amongst the shrubs.

For more information on events at RHS Garden Rosemoor visit www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor Normal garden admission applies (free for RHS members). Garden open every day (except Christmas Day) 10am – 5pm.

November’s Winter Events at Rosemoor:
4 – 12 November
‘A year in the life of Rosemoor’ Art Exhibition
Theresa Shaw and Jill Griffin have their art on display in Rosemoor’s Lecture / Exhibition HallDaily 10am – 5pm, normal garden admission – free for RHS members

17 November 2017 to 6 January 2018
See how our garden glows Winter Illuminations
Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday, 4pm – 8.30pm Normal garden admission discounted entry after 3pm.

18 November 2016 to 18 February 2017
Winter Sculpture Exhibition
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the garden in winter with its amazing textures and surprising colour and scent, Rosemoor’s Winter Sculpture Exhibition is now an established part of the events programme. The exhibition continues through into 2018 with an exciting and eclectic mix of exhibits from a diverse collection of sculptors, and using a wide variety of media including from steel and glass to cement and pottery. Visitors can pick up a trail and see how many sculptures they can discover through the garden. Most of the pieces exhibited are for sale. Free, guided sculpture walks leave the Visitor Centre at 11.30am most Wednesday mornings.
Daily 10am – 5pm, normal garden admission – free for RHS members

24 – 26 November
Christmas Craft Fair
The Garden Room will be full of the South West’s best craftspeople, making it the ideal place to snap up an early Christmas present or two.
Friday & Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm in the Garden Room. Normal garden admission – free for RHS members

 25 & 26 November
Garden Wildlife in The Spotlight
Devon Wildlife Trust will be in the Plant Centre offering advice 1pm – 4.30pm

ODYSSEAN TOPOGRAPHIES AT HESTERCOMBE

Four artists reconsider landscape through sound, sculpture, food, film and digital animation

This winter, Hestercombe Gallery in Somerset hosts a group exhibition in which four artists reconsider the physical world through sound, sculpture, food, film and digital animation, exploring how technology has changed our relationship to landscape.

The exhibition emerged as the result of a longstanding collaboration between artists Natasha Rosling, Alexander Stevenson, Alistair Grant and Simon Lee Dicker – who instigated and took part in a series of artist residencies across the Orkney Isles.

Travelling, researching and responding across the archipelago, the artists spent time in a remote bothy, a lighthouse, a beachside golf course and a burial chamber. Working individually, they each developed distinctive connections with the islands’ human stories and extraordinary geography.

 

Odyssean: Topographies is not a conclusion to the project, but an opening, in which the artists reflect on their experiences, experiment with ideas and processes, generate new lines of enquiry and share questions common to their practices.

Large-scale sculpture, installation, animation, film, sound, workshops and events will be presented across the house and gardens of Hestercombe. The exhibition will also respond to its surroundings: a landscape at once historic and contemporary, highly managed and equally wild.

The exhibition programme includes a seminar in late January, on artistic research and new approaches to landscape. The event will include performance, food and collective discussions around mapping invisible and imagined spaces, and the idea of remoteness, both physical and emotional.

Odyssean: Topographies is open daily 11am – 4pm, from 18 November 2017 until 25 February 2018. The preview for the exhibition will take place on Friday 17 November.

The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England and Gane Trust.

Exhibition and event listings
Exhibition Preview
17 November 2017, 6–8pm
Free, all welcome

Exhibition
Odyssean: Topographies
18 November – 25 February, open daily, 11am-4pm
Free to members or £10.45 for an adult ticket (concessions available). Ticket includes entry to the House and Gardens.

PHOTO: Rackwick Bothy.

 

 

PILGRIMS’ WAY – STAND AT DELIVER AT HALSWAY MANOR

Pilgrims’ Way present a new album and show packed full of highwaymen, robbers, and brigands, their stories told through traditional English folk song and 1980s disco.

Avoided at all costs, scorned and mocked, these villainous figures have fascinated and alarmed the good people of England for years. Now they’re making an album about highwaymen.

Pilgrims’ Way are often accused of stealing a living, so for this, their third studio album, it made sense to draw from the rich seam of the highwayman ballad. From the derring-do of Robin Hood bashing the bishop, via Dick Turpin’s doomed attempt to obtain legal aid under a Tory government, to ‘The Box on her Head’, the dramatic and unforgettable tale of a young lady with a box on her head, the album covers centuries of inflated stories, glorified violence, sexual innuendo, and the common man breaking all the rules in a desperate bid to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

Incorporating over 40 instruments, a dozen songs, and a riotous feel-good energy throughout, this is a magnificent tour-de-force by a band at the absolute peak of their overdraft.

Expect energy, choruses, and gold-brocaded Hussars’ jackets galore! The powerhouse five-piece arrangements will send you home dancing, and with an overwhelming desire to hold up and rob some stagecoaches.

Halsway Manor in Somerset provides a permanent home for the enjoyment, study and development of folk music, dance and culture in England and draws on traditions from across Europe and beyond. Unique in the UK it hosts over 340 days of residential and outreach activity every year covering all facets of the folk arts from instrumental music, song and dance to traditional storytelling, crafts and instrument making.

Tickets are priced £10 / £4 for full-time students. Phone 01984 618274 or buy online: www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

BOOK SIGNING WITH JACKIE MORRIS TO CELEBRATE THE PUBLICATION OF THE LOST WORDS

Number Seven Dulverton is thrilled that renowned illustrator Jackie Morris has found time to visit Exmoor during her current national tour celebrating the publication of The Lost Words. This stunning book highlights the words that are sadly disappearing from our dictionaries to be replaced by contemporary terms for our increasingly technological world.

The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood and is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke – without ‘Acorn’ there would be no woodland habitat, no owls roosting, no carpet of bluebells.

Award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane has written the most mesmerising acrostic spell-poems which are accompanied by Jackie’s distinctive watercolours creating an enchanting book that captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages. Readers may be familiar with his best-selling titles ‘Landmarks’ and ‘The Old Ways.’

Throughout the day a collection of Jackie’s prints and originals will be on display, copies of the book will be available for sale and Jackie will be on hand to sign copies. She will also be reading and demonstrating her adept skills with watercolour and brush.

For further information do contact Davina Jelley info@numbersevendulverton.co.uk 01398 324457

DATE: Friday 27th October 11am – 4pm
VENUE: NUMBER SEVEN
7 THE HIGH STREET
DULVERTON
SOMERSET
TA22 9HB

KING’S COLLEGE OPENS PARTNER SCHOOL IN INDIA

King’s College has recently opened a new partner school in India – King’s College, India – in the city of Rohtak, just north of New Delhi. Pupils from King’s College and King’s Hall School were delighted to welcome a group of their fellow Indian pupils for the first time, in mid-October, as part of a regular exchange programme. As well as immersing themselves completely in the lives of the schools here in Taunton for two weeks, the visitors involved their British counterparts in the magic of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.

The visiting children and their teachers celebrated the two-day festival with great enthusiasm, enjoying creative workshops, musicals and fireworks. As well as educating staff and pupils about rangoli – intricate floor patterns made using coloured powder – the pupils from King’s College India performed a stunning musical show depicting the celebration of good over evil and the victory of light over darkness in the school theatre.

The celebrations ended on the Thursday night with a fireworks display in the grounds of King’s Hall, followed by a sumptuous Indian supper.

Commenting on their first week in the UK, KCI School Manager, Captain Yashika Dalal, said: “Our first week has been wonderful. We’ve enjoyed celebrating Diwali with our fellow King’s pupils here in Taunton. The Diwali lunch was lavish and included tasty Indian curries and sweets, which took us by surprise – that we were able to enjoy the home made delicacies overseas. It was such a warm gesture.”

WIMBLEBALL LAKE REACHES FINALS OF BRISTOL, BATH & SOMERSET TOURISM AWARDS

Wimbleball Lake has been selected as one of the finalists in the 2017/18 Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards in the ‘Tourism Experience of the Year’ category.

Wimbleball is managed by South West Lakes Trust whose challenge it is to balance conservation with recreational enjoyment of the lakes as a visitor attraction. Wimbleball boasts the perfect blend of excitement and tranquillity, offering visitors a peaceful retreat into the countryside or a more adventurous day out on Exmoor.

The family-friendly site offers something for everyone including the delightful Duck Café serving fabulous, fresh, local food, a children’s play area, a network of footpaths and cycle tracks as well as archery, high ropes, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, sailing and windsurfing. In addition, there is also a popular campsite offering visitors the opportunity to extend their stay on Exmoor and camp or glamp on site.

Andy Parsons, Chief Executive of South West Lakes Trust, said, “To be a finalist in a very tough category really underlines the fantastic achievements of our awesome Wimbleball team – they are absolutely dedicated to providing unrivalled experiences to our customers, helping them to create treasured memories. We are very proud of this nomination and look forward to welcoming many more new people to the lake to enjoy all that it has to offer.”

The annual competition saw an increase to 24 categories this year, with 111 entries received from across the county. The South West Lakes Trust team will be in suspense until the prestigious Awards Ceremony on 9 November, when they will learn whether they have won a Gold, Silver or Bronze award.

Successful businesses in the Awards will automatically be considered for matching categories in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2018 with the chance to go on to represent Somerset, Bristol and Bath at the National VisitEngland Awards.

Follow Wimbleball Lake on Facebook to find out how they got on.

ANDY MAY TRIO AT HALSWAY THIS SUNDAY

The North East’s finest, the Andy May Trio, will make a rare appearance in the South West when they visit Halsway Manor as part of their short National tour. The trio will perform on Sunday 15 October at 8pm.

The Andy May Trio are three award-winning musicians from Newcastle – Northumbrian piper Andy May (Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies, Baltic Crossing), guitarist Ian Stephenson (Kan, Baltic Crossing) and fiddler Sophy Ball (422, Bottle Bank Band). Together they play high-energy instrumental folk, inspired by the music of their native North East.

A typical performance might include traditional tunes from Northumberland, newly-composed material by all members of the band and an introduction to the pipes, all delivered with a warmth and humour which is sure to draw in both folk aficionados and newcomers alike for a dazzling show filled with virtuosity and energy.

There’s a certain connection only heard between musicians after many years’ playing together; after more than a decade’s music making together in various guises, the tight interplay and sense of fun between these three friends is sure to delight.

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 are priced £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 at www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

HARRIET’S SAMARITANS CHARITY POSTER WINS FIRST PRIZE

West Buckland School Year 8 pupil, Harriet Wilson-North (second from the left, with the bright-orange poster), has been presented with a new ipad by Barnstaple Mayor, Mrs Julie Hunt, after winning first prize in a poster competition celebrating 50 years of the North Devon Samaritan’s branch.

The competition was open to three age categories, with the winners of all three age categories seeing their posters displayed in Barnstaple library over the summer.

In addition to Harriet winning her category, Year 8s Summer Culverhouse, Tyler-Paige Beckley and Jasmine Jefferies were presented with highly commended certificates for their stunning poster designs and a plaque to be hung up in the school in recognition of their girls’ achievements.

The competition, which was open to 99 schools in North Devon, was run to raise awareness of the charity’s invaluable work. Volunteer Anna Flynn was delighted to attend the prize giving at West Buckland in assembly. She said, “This positive and fun activity was aimed at highlighting to students from as young as eight the importance of emotional health and the role of the charity in supporting those in emotional distress. All these girls have put a great deal of thought into their designs and Harriet’s was particularly striking and poignant. Well done to all of them.”

WELLINGTON SCHOOL RAISES MONEY FOR HURRICANE VICTIMS

Pupils throughout Wellington School have been committed to helping those hit by Hurricane Irma. Prep School pupils held a fundraising day recently to support the victims in the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

All children were invited to take part in a non-uniform day-wearing wellies in keeping with the theme of the storm!

There was also a welly-boot throwing competition and a cake sale. As the country’s national sport is swimming, the school stuck with the aquatic theme and held a “row-a-thon”. Pupils and teachers aimed to row a total of 26k during the day (the length of the island) and everyone was involved. Well done to all pupils, who raised over £430.

In addition, the Senior School held another mufti day and raised almost £1,500 for those hit in the island of Domenica, where 22 of the pupils were involved in a conservation and research project with Operation Wallacea this summer. All their camps and bases have been destroyed as well as much of the reef they were diving off. They hope some of the funds will make a difference to those rendered homeless by the hurricane.