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Musicians from four Devon schools had the chance of a lifetime to perform alongside some of the country’s leading instrumentalists in an inspirational concert of work by modern composers. The concert was the culmination of a series of workshops between the London Chamber Orchestra and pupils at Blundell’s, Blundell’s Prep, Uffculme and Exeter Cathedral Schools.

More than a 100 young musicians performed in the main part of the concert which was the piece Simple Gifts by Paul Edlin. The fourth movement of this was generated during improvisation workshops with twelve Blundell’s musician ‘mentors’ and then by working with pupils from all the schools to put the whole piece together. The concert also featured choristers and vocalists from Uffculme, Blundell’s Senior and Prep Schools and all musicians performed under the baton of Christopher Warren-Green, the LCO’s principal conductor. Other pieces performed included Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland by the LCO and Blundell’s Chamber Orchestra and Shaker Loops by John Adams, performed by the LCO.

The project began in November when eight LCO musicians spent the morning giving flash mob performances at Blundell’s Senior and Prep Schools and at Uffculme School and introduced young pupils to the instruments of the orchestra. In the afternoon, the three schools took part in chamber music masterclasses as well as brass ensembles and jazz groups, culminating in an informal concert.

The work with the LCO has been 18 months in the planning, hosted by Blundell’s School and with the initial starting point that the project should unite the community and involve other local schools. The legacy will continue into another concert at Cadogan Hall, London, in May, when lyrics composed for Simple Gifts by Blundell’s musician mentors will be sung by hundreds of students from around the country as part of a larger LCO music project.

PHOTO: The four schools in concert with the London Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Christopher Warren-Green.


One of Wellington School’s Sixth Formers has successfully achieved the coveted Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Charlotte Galley, 17, who is a School Captain, has completed a personal programme of activities in five different disciplines: Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and a Residential. The Gold Award is renowned for being notoriously difficult to achieve, as it is such a challenging experience which requires dedication, stamina and ingenuity.

“The whole experience was very demanding but hugely enjoyable,” commented Charlotte. “I was involved in many different challenges, ranging from singing in the Chapel Choir and the prestigious ensemble Girl Force 9, winning a full hockey colour, to a four-day expedition in the Brecon Beacons. I also went to HMS Raleigh for a sailing course at Jupiter Point, where I was awarded my RYA Dinghy Level 2 and I am also Company Sergeant Major in the CCF and have my own company. This year I have been helping them to progress through their basic training.”

Achieving the Gold Award is a huge achievement. It shows that the candidate has the skills, determination and mentality to really succeed, so there is a proper celebration of the achievement at the Gold Award Presentations (GAPs). Charlotte will be invited to London to be presented with her award at St James’ Palace by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Earl of Wessex.


Children of all ages are invited to take their Mums for a Mothering Sunday (March 26, 2017) treat at a boutique Devon hotel to help raise funds for charity close to the owner’s heart.

The Jubilee Inn in West Anstey near South Molton is supporting Cancer Research UK by hosting special ‘Perfectly Pink’ champagne teas for mothers on Saturday 25 March 25 and Sunday 26 March.

Claire Sellar-Elliott, co-owner of the luxury country inn that offers gastropub/fine dining food and designer B&B rooms, who is also a mum-of-four and a cancer survivor herself, explained: “Mums are the unsung heroes of the world, without a pay cheque, or the numerous ‘thank yous’ they deserve, so at least once a year we should remember how amazing a Mum is and how lucky we are to have them, and let them know by a gesture how loved and appreciated they truly are.”

After a divorce and disabling liver cancer diagnosis, Claire left a career as a partner in a law firm in London’s West End in 2012 to follow her dreams of running a country house hotel on Exmoor where she used to spend her childhood holidays riding.

Claire added: “With my four young children and the incredible support of my family, we all set about renovating and rebuilding The Jubilee Inn together while I fought Hepatocellular cancer (HCC), underwent countless operations, received a live donor liver transplant from my brother Barrie Elliott and continued to live with and treat the recurring HCC in my lungs with chemotherapy, radio-frequency ablation and resections as and when necessary and continuing. My family has shown remarkable fortitude throughout and my Mum was a rock, this is why we’ve chosen to support this wonderful charity in this way.

“Bring your Mum for a special Mothering Sunday or Saturday treat with us to show her how much you care, while also raising funds for Cancer Research UK with each booking by donating £5. Also for every Mum booked in to stay with us during the Mothering Sunday weekend, we will donate a further £5 to this amazing charity too.”

The Jubilee Inn is offering its ‘Perfectly Pink’ luxury champagne tea on Saturday 25 March and Sunday 26 March from 11am until 12 noon and from 2.30pm until 6pm. The tea is priced £24.50 each or £45 for two.

Claire continued: “Enjoy a selection of pink finger sandwiches, homemade pink scones, strawberry clotted cream, homemade ‘pink’ cake, mini ‘pink’ desserts with pot of tea and a glass of Brut Rose Pierre Gobillard Premier Cru. Advance bookings only. £5 will be donated per booking to Cancer Research UK.”

After having spent three years closed, Claire and her family fully refurbished and re-launched The Jubilee Inn in 2015 with the help of Executive Chef and co-owner Sam Salway.

“We’ve created a successful restaurant and boutique B&B with an excellent reputation for ambience, customer service and fabulous food. We’re open throughout the week except Mondays, serving seasonal dishes with ingredients sourced from nearby. We also have six beautiful and individual guest rooms that are all luxurious and inviting. We wanted to create a real home from home atmosphere, with all the little extra luxuries!”

All the bedrooms are ‘uniquely different’ and some have four-poster beds. They have en suite bathrooms with showers and beds with Vi-Spring mattresses and crisp linens.

Claire added: “We provide our guests with luxurious accommodation, fabulous fine dining in our restaurant or classic comfort food in our bar. All our dishes are cooked to perfection, feature local and regional seasonal produce and are accompanied by fine wines and ales.

“We’ve also put together a special one-night stay at the hotel for Mums. If you book your mum and a guest in for a one-night break, either the Friday or Saturday night of the Mothering Sunday weekend, it will cost just £180.

“For every additional generation of mother in any family booking, staying with us, so, for example, where there is a mother and grandmother booked in together, we will donate £5 per mum to Breast Cancer Research.”

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


Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts is pleased to announce that applications are now open for ‘Halsway Young Folk – Intro’.  Developed from their popular ‘Hothouse’ project, this week-long Easter residential (Mon 3 – Fri 7 April) is designed as an intensive but fun introduction to traditional folk music for musicians and singers aged 12-18.

It is led by a team of professional folk artists – Will Lang, Nicola Lyons (4Square), Archie Churchill-Moss (Moore, Moss, Rutter) and Ford Collier (The Drystones), with a dedicated pastoral tutor to make sure you’re well supported while away from home.

Prior experience – as either a singer or musician – is essential, but it’s ok to be new to ‘folk’. It’s intensive and hard work at times, but the team at Halsway guarantees you’ll have fun and make new friends too.

During the week you will operate as a performance company: taking warm-ups together, developing technique in music and performance, learning repertoire, and creating new interpretations of traditional material. There will also be down-time to socialise and enjoy being part of an exciting new company of performers! At the end of the week you’ll have the chance to perform what you’ve learned to an invited audience. And if you’re hooked on folk, you can attend the ‘Halsway Young Folk – Intermediate’ course in the summer, which culminates in performances at Sidmouth Folk Week!

To book a place, please contact Halsway Manor or visit to download an an application form. Each place costs £19, which includes full board (accommodation and all meals), tuition and all activities. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first-served basis.

Bursary places may be available to young people with exceptional talent or for whom the opportunity would be especially beneficial, but whose financial circumstances would otherwise exclude them from the programme. Email if this is something you would like to discuss.

Further ‘Halsway Young Folk’ courses in 2017 include Junior for ages 8-12 (Tue 22 – Thu 24 Aug), Intermediate for ages 13-18 (Mon 31 July – Sat 5 Aug) and Advanced for ages 16 – 25 (Mon 21 – Sat 26 Aug



The British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC), Britain’s largest country shooting organisation, has confirmed its attendance and sponsorship of the West Country’s flagship event, the West of England Game Fair. They are offering a range of have-a-go activities for all ages and abilities, plus advice and information.

Management of land and species for shooting is worth more than £250 million a year and has massive benefits for conservation; BASC strives to have this recognised by politicians, the media and the public.

One way is by working with the shooting community and partners to target conservation effort on land which is shot over, in order to achieve public conservation targets. This programme is called Green Shoots and it is extremely successful in linking shooters and non-shooting conservation organisations for the benefit of all wildlife.

The West of England Game Fair provides a platform for discussions and brings such programmes to the forefront.

The event is amongst the first of the great regional game fairs in the calendar and is regularly attended by over 23,000 visitors, allowing those with a passion for rural life to come together in celebration of this special and diverse lifestyle. It will return on Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 March 2017 at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet.

The BASC information stand will be located on the Showering Pavilion balcony with a wide variety of countryside organisations and artists attending, including the Deer Initiative, South West Wildfowling clubs; Avon & Somerset Firearms Licensing; Simon Trinder Wildlife Artist; Dawn Warr, Simon Newman Woodwork, Farlap Photography Studio and more.

High quality tuition and advice from the BASC team is also offered on the shotgun coaching line and Air Rifles.

The BASC Gundog Scurries had great success in 2016. Four scurries will be available this year (all part of the Chudleys Scurry League) and prizes supplied by Chudleys.

There will also be two gundog tests for working dogs with M and M Gundogs. These tests are designed and set up under the watchful eyes of the BASC gundog training team and judged by renowned gundog trainers Martin Love and Martin Harris. The test can be used as part of the competition or as a training exercise.

The National Gamekeepers Organisation; Pass it on Young Sports; Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust are also confirmed as supporters of the show and will offer advice and information on a variety of countryside issues.

Other features at the Game Fair include an on-site Clay Shoot with Bristol Clay Shooting, Falconry, Fly-casting demonstrations and coaching, Archery, Racing Ferrets, Vintage tractors & machinery, and the Taste of Game Cookery Theatre, hosting expert chefs who will demonstrate how to prepare delicious meals from traditional game meats plus a ’have-a-go’ session!

There will be the opportunity to grab great show offers on guns, fishing equipment, gundog equipment, gifts, clothing, paintings, prints, food and much more in the indoor countryside shopping village with over 300 companies.

You can keep up to date with everything happening at the show by visiting our website or joining our Facebook group and following the event on Twitter. You can also book tickets in advance either on the website or call 01392 421500. The West of England Game Fair is open from 9am – 5pm on 18 and 19 March 2017.


The award-winning Royal Horticultural Society garden in Devon, RHS Garden Rosemoor, will itself be giving out awards during its Spring Flower Competitions (11 – 12 March).

Competitors from all over the South West will have their exquisite blooms of camellias, early magnolias and rhododendrons judged on Saturday morning. Visitors will be able to view the displays from 11.30am, after judging has finished. There will also be an abundance of colour with Rosemoor’s annual daffodil and the RHS Hyacinth competitions. To complement the competition, one end of the marquee will have a huge display of hyacinths, with a wonderful scent to greet visitors as they enter. The other end of the marquee will have a big display of daffodils by R.A. Scamp Quality Daffodils (pictured).

The competitions are entirely free to enter and open to anyone who wishes to exhibit. Georgina Barter, RHS Horticultural Competitions Manager, will be on hand to provide further information and advice about all the RHS shows that take place throughout the year. Pam Hayward, who is the chair of the South West Rhododendron & Camellia Group Committee, will also be available.

The RHS Bulb Committee have arranged the opportunity for pupils from The Pathfields School in Barnstaple to get growing and enter a special class in the show. They have each planted a pot of three bulbs of a miniature daffodil, donated by Johnny Walkers of Walkers Bulbs. About 60 pots of daffodils were planted by the schoolchildren, and those that have grown successfully will be on display at the Spring Flower Competitions. The class will be judged on Friday 10 March and the winners given pride of place at the show.

Trade stands will be setting up in the afternoon of Friday 10 March and include Strete Gate Camellias; Burncoose Nursery, Caerhayes Castle, Cornwall; Pine Cottage Plants, Eggesford; Chris Cooke Plants, Cheltenham; Wildside Nursery, Yelverton (Keith & Ros Wiley); International Camellia Society; and Marwood Hill Gardens.

Visitors will be able to gather plenty of advice from the trade stands, plus there will be a superb range of early spring shrubs and flowering plants available to buy in the Rosemoor Shop and Plant Centre.

Normal garden admission applies. For more information about RHS Garden Rosemoor, events and how to buy tickets please visit or telephone 0845 265 8072 (calls cost 5p per minute, plus your telephone service provider’s access charge).

PHOTO: Ron Scamp.



Theatre company The Last Baguette are bringing science to life with their entertaining comedy, What’s the Matter?, touring the UK this spring and summer. It will be showing at King’s College, Taunton (Theatre) on 16 March at 7.30pm.

A physical comedy about physics, What’s the Matter? is performed by two actors and an overhead projector with original artwork, and appeals to scientists and non-scientists of all ages. Be prepared for a very silly show about a very intelligent subject.

“I am fascinated by physics,” said actor Tristan Green. “There are so many exciting developments happening in the subject at the moment. I think it’s really important that the subject is seen fun and interesting.”

This sci-fi adventure is written by award-winning playwright Tiffany Woodsmith (Sunday Times playwriting award), and was developed with Dr Helen Heath from the University of Bristol. An unexplained cat theft from a lab leads scientist Smithy on a journey through his own experiment into the subatomic world. Can he find the cat and win over his colleague Sarah in the process?

As seen at the British Science Festival, this comedy about the strange and wonderful world of quantum physics features silly songs, dancing particles, scientific slapstick, and a search for Schrodinger’s cat.

The Last Baguette theatre company is a group of international theatre performers who met while studying in Paris in 2009, at the renowned Jaques Lecoq school of mime and the infamous Philippe Gaulier clown school. They make fast-paced, irreverent comedy theatre.

“We were students from eight different countries that knew we wanted to make comedy together. We are inspired by Monty Python, Buster Keyton and vintage science fiction,” said Tristan. After performing in Europe and North America, the Last Baguette are now company-in-residence at Pound Arts in Corsham.

Tristan added: “Making a show about science was very important for me. I love the idea of art and science being two sides of the same coin, and that the show embraces both comedy and science.”

What’s the Matter? has been performed all over the UK in theatres, festivals, museums and colleges.

“A really great fun show that was enjoyed by lovers of science and comedy in equal measure… we were transported to the best of Edinburgh Fringe.”
Tracy Sullivan – Director, Trowbridge Arts

Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Age guidance: 8+

Tickets are free and are available by emailing or calling 01823 328200.



Quince Honey Farm in South Molton is introducing a brand-new event for 2017, the Beekeeping Experience Day.

Running on six days throughout spring and summer, the one-day course, aimed at people aged 16 an over, provides the perfect opportunity for any budding beekeepers out there to get an introduction into the craft. It also promises to be a stimulating day out for those who would simply love the chance to spend a day in the stunning North Devon countryside learning about bees.

Led by a professional beekeeper, the day begins with some fascinating facts about beekeeping and bees, before it’s time to get suited up in full protective clothing to be shown, up close, the inner workings of a hive.

Following a tasty, freshly prepared lunch in the café and a guided tour of Quince Honey Farm’s unique Bee World exhibition, the afternoon session provides the chance to conduct a supervised ‘Beehive Inspection’. This is an opportunity to do some real beekeeping, and to learn how to care for the bees and keep the hive healthy all year round.

The knowledgeable resident beekeeper will wax lyrical about their profession, be on hand to answer any questions, offer up hints and tips and leave participants buzzing with excitement on a day well spent. With bees and beekeeping hitting the headlines now more than ever, it really is a fantastic time to get involved and help bees to thrive in our countryside.

The Beekeeping Experience Days cost £135 per person, including lunch and refreshments, and run on Thursday 11 and Saturday 13 May, Thursday 15 and Saturday 17 June, and Thursday 6 and Saturday 8 July. Ideal as a gift for a loved one or as a treat for yourself.

For more information or to book, contact Quince Honey Farm on 01769 572401, email  or visit the website at

PHOTO: Courtesy Solution Studios Photography


The Drama Department at Wellington School is celebrating after receiving the best set of LAMDA results the school has ever seen.

There was greater uptake for these exams than ever, with everyone achieving either Merit or Distinction grades. More excitingly, for the first time at Wellington, the pupils achieved more overall Distinction grades.

Every LAMDA student must learn, direct and perform up to three pieces from different time periods and answer questions on their pieces and drama practitioners used. The students performed an eclectic mix of contemporary and older pieces including the works of Ibsen, Tom Morris and Shakespeare.

Of the twenty-five candidates who sat the examinations, twenty-one received the highest grade boundary.

The following pupils achieved a Distinction: Pip Williams, Matty Fuller, Tommy Piper, Oliver Yu, Jonathan Jenkins, Toby Shaw, Felicity Rickard, Hayley Summers, Rebecca Frearson , Sammy Caygill, Reyhan Taraq, Stephen Tucker, Abigail Govey, Arielle Sheridan, Poppy Price and Rebecca Wynn.

The following pupils gained Distinctions in their group piece: Felicity Rickard, Poppy Price, Rebecca Wynn, Lucile Milton, Willow Robinson

The following pupils passed with Merit: Lucy Stonecliffe, Thomas Chilcott, Ellie Hendy and Thomas Pepperell.

Photo: Successful LAMDA pupils celebrate their superb results.



810_1261.croppedTwo pupils from King’s College have gained places at two prestigious music conservatoires and one has been invited to attend a National Youth Orchestra day. There are only seven conservatoires in the UK and the competition for places in all of them is fierce.

Cellist Megan Hollingshead (left) has gained a place at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.


015320Jonathan Wong (right) has been offered a place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff to study trumpet.


They both attended many gruelling auditions and spent most of last term practising furiously. Their hard work has certainly paid off and we look forward to hearing great things from them in the future.

Fifth Form pupil Ranulf Mason (pictured top) has been invited to attend the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) Inspire String Ensemble days in Liverpool at half term. Aimed at players aged 11-18, playing at high Grade 6 level right up to Grade 8 Distinction, NYO Inspire Ensembles are three-day residencies in orchestral family groups: Strings, Winds, Brass and Percussion. The philosophy behind NYO Inspire is simple: to give breakthrough experiences of orchestral music to teenagers of all backgrounds, both as musicians and as audience members.

Ranulf plays the viola and the organ and will be taking his Grade 8 exams this term. He also sings in the Chapel choir. In this NYO orchestra he will be playing his viola.