Category Archives: News from our advertisers

HALSWAY MANOR RESTORATION APPEAL AWARDED NATIONAL LOTTERY SUPPORT

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, is delighted to have received a grant of £387,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The National Lottery grant, along with £57,600 from the Country Houses Foundation and £100,000 from supporter donations, will allow the charity to restore the Manor and library collection, and to deliver a creative learning programme in local schools and across West Somerset.

Halsway Manor is a Grade II listed manor house situated at the foot of the Quantock Hills in West Somerset. It has a fascinating history dating back to the fifteenth century, with a mention of the Halsway Estate included in the Domesday Book. Since 1965 the Manor has operated as the National Centre for Folk Arts, providing opportunities for thousands of people to discover, learn about and enjoy traditional folk music, dance, song, folklore, crafts and more. It houses a nationally important collection of books, recordings and artefacts relating to English traditions.

After over fifty years of heavy use, there is essential work needed to preserve the buildings and valuable library collection. The project will repair and conserve the Manor’s historic building fabric, upgrade dated electrical and water systems and provide more efficient heating. This work will be carried out between April and August 2018 by Somerset firms Jonathan Rhind Architects and heritage building company Ellis and Co. Alongside the restoration will be a far-reaching creative learning programme working with local schools and communities to use the folk heritage of Halsway and the surrounding areas to stimulate creative workshops, residencies and new work.

Commenting on the award, Crispian Cook, Chief Executive, said, “We are thrilled to have received this grant thanks to National Lottery players, and a huge thank you goes out to all our supporters who have donated their own money to the project. This project will ensure the Manor – and its library collection – will be available for future generations to enjoy, providing opportunities for countless people to learn about our diverse folk heritage.”

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players this historic building and its fascinating collections have a secure and exciting future. Creative and community focused, this project will enable even more people to explore the centuries old story of Halsway Manor and English folklores, customs and traditions.”

ENGLAND CRICKETER JOS BUTTLER OPENS KING’S NEW SPORTS FACILITY

King’s College recently welcomed back former pupil Jos Buttler as he officially opened the schools’ new sports facility, the Sports Performance and Cricket Centre (SPCC).

Friends, parents, benefactors, pupils and staff gathered to celebrate as this much-anticipated facility was officially opened by Jos. Following the unveiling, Jos then demonstrated some of his world-famous cricket strokes in a masterclass with pupils and King’s Director of Sport, Phil Lewis.

Pupils were challenged to bowl at the England player, with the chance to win a coveted Millichamp & Hall cricket bat if they got him out. It was Fifth Form pupil and Somerset girls’ cricket player Alice Dymond who successfully got one past the international cricket star.

Taking part in a Q&A session afterwards in the school theatre with guests and pupils, including a number of promising young players, Jos talked about what life is like as a first-class cricketer. The England star rounded off his visit by meeting some of the pupils, signing autographs and posing for selfies.

Having joined King’s when he was 13 years old, Jos started his career with Somerset County Cricket Club before joining Lancashire. Remembering his time at King’s fondly, he said: “I first came to King’s as part of the cricket festivals that are held at the school every year. My parents, also having looked at other schools, thought that King’s had a great ‘feel’, a real sense of community. This I remember most of all – the feeling of belonging, especially to my house, Tuckwell. I made many life-long friendships at King’s.

“Attending a school that suddenly enabled me to play and practice several times per week was amazing. I always had the determination to become a professional cricketer, but having access to such a fantastic sports programme and being mentored by such positive and supportive people as Dennis Breakwell, was a massive bonus.”

In offering guidance to young players, he added: “It’s important to enjoy the game. Yes, there are times when your performance is not so great. Then there are the celebrations. The key is to remain balanced throughout the highs and lows, and to always remember, there’ll always be another game!”

Of the new sports centre, he added: “This is a fantastic facility. To anyone serious about their cricket, make sure you’re demanding to use it, to make full use of it!”

Commenting on the day, Phil Lewis said: “It is always such a pleasure to see Jos back at King’s and his visit will be an inspiration to the next generation of young players at the school. The Sports Performance and Cricket Centre is a fantastic addition to the school. It will enable us to run an even more challenging cricket programme for our pupils but also to incorporate a number of different sports and training sessions. With underfloor heating, retractable side panels and a brilliant lighting system, it is an inspirational facility and one we know will engage our pupils even more. We are very, very lucky.”

Director of Development, Julian Mack added: “The SPCC is a monument to the power of philanthropy. We are hugely grateful to our generous benefactors who have made it possible. It will be enjoyed for many years to come by King’s girls and boys.”

EASTER AT ROSEMOOR

RHS Rosemoor is celebrating Easter with a colourful programme of activities at RHS Garden Rosemoor for all the family to enjoy whatever the weather.

Young ones (or the young at heart) can join in the Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt and hop about the garden on the trail of the Lindt Gold Bunny, following clues to lead to a delicious Lindt chocolate treat. On certain days, Entertainingly Different will be helping or is that hindering your hunt – but whichever it is, there is sure to be fun had by all.

Get crafty with Rosemoor’s drop-in family workshops or discover Rosemoor’s beautiful wild flowers on a family adventure walk. With different activities every day and no extra charge, it’s a perfect solution to keeping the kids entertained this Easter holiday.

The Easter holidays culminates in the wonderful Wilderness Weekend with fabulous family activities designed to introduce people to living off the land, treading more quietly and understanding more about nature and the ability we all (people and plants) have to survive our ever-changing situations.

The Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt, Easter Trail is available 24 March – 15 April 2018, 10am–6pm. Drop-in workshops, 11am–1 pm and 2pm–4pm, daily except (weekends and bank holidays).

All activities are free with normal garden admission (which is free for RHS Members). Last admission is one hour before closing. For more information on the garden and to book tickets online, please visit www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor

MILES CELEBRATES 130 YEARS

It’s always best to leave enough time for the tea to infuse in the hot water as it allows for the depth of flavour and strength to develop. A quick dip just doesn’t give the same taste. At Miles this principle applies to the business and day-to-day life, which reflects in the longevity of the company. 2018 sees 130 years of tea and coffee heritage with the Miles family.

2017 saw continual sales growth, showing that taking time to create only the best products does pay off. One of the main areas of growth was with the award-winning West Country Original loose-leaf tea, with its tea blend recipe being a closely guarded secret for years.

John Halls, Operations Director, said: “It’s a real achievement to see growth in such uncertain times. We pride ourselves in protecting our West Somerset workforce and continually upgrading our rural production sites. We have invested in new machinery which will see new products being launched this year and look forward to sharing more about this soon. We are pleased to announce that, for the fifth year running, Miles have been independently ranked among the top four UK tea brands. This year our coffee has been ranked as the second most popular UK coffee brand for farm shops and delis to stock in Best Brands 2017/18 edition which is out this month.”

PHOTO: John Halls, Operations Director with Best Brands Magazines, a pack of Miles award winning West Country blend tea in the tea aisle at the Miles factory

 

 

TWO CONCERTS COMING UP AT HALSWAY

There are two great gigs coming up at Halsway Manor in the next fortnight…

Catch Faustus www.faustusband.com, the pioneering, “bloke folk” triumvirate  of Benji Kirkpatrick, Paul Sartin & Saul Rose as they return to Halsway for a live gig on Thursday 15 February 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 band take to the stage!

Or you might like to try Piva! They will be performing at Halsway on Tuesday 20 February at 8pm…

Early music at its most entertaining, Piva have rightly gained a reputation for their lively performances and entertaining shows. Taking late-sixteenth-century dance and ballad tunes, Piva brings the music of the renaissance to life on authentic instruments – bagpipes, hurdy-gurdies, recorders, viol, curtals, rauschpfeifen, crumhorns, shawms and violins.
“Sheer good fun!” – Early Music Today

Founded in 2002, Piva have firmly established themselves as one of this country’s leading early music ensembles. Playing throughout the UK and Europe, they have gained a reputation for their lively performances and entertaining shows. The members of Piva have wide and diverse musical backgrounds in playing renaissance, jazz, classical, baroque, folk and roots music. They bring all of these diverse musical influences together and fuse them with their knowledge of renaissance music and instruments. The result is early music with attitude!

For both concerts, 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 www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

BRITISH POLAR EXPLORER FELICITY ASTON MBE VISITS KING’S COLLEGE

British polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE paid a visit to King’s College recently as part of an educational lecture series.

Felicity rose to fame in 2012 when she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1,744km, which took 59 days to complete and gave her a place in the book of Guinness World Records.

The former climate scientist gave an account of her journey and the challenges she faced, and spoke to pupils about living and working in the British Antarctic Survey on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Felicity also unveiled a new painting in the school’s Geography Department, kindly donated by Mrs Bridget Baker, the wife of the late Mr Baker, a former Head of Geography at King’s College.

The painting commemorates the arrival of the legendary Transglobe expedition in January 1980, during the first circumnavigation of the earth on its polar axis.

Head of Geography, Andrew Edwards, said: “Felicity was an inspiration to both pupils and staff alike, and we hope to welcome her back again in the near future.”

 

 

BE A BARISTA WITH MILES TEA & COFFEE

Miles Tea & Coffee are offering a new ‘Barista Experience’ at their factory in Somerset.

The first class will take place on Thursday 22 February as part of the Exmoor Food Festival. Miles’ barista expert has a wealth of experience from working in Italy for many years and he is a member of the Speciality Coffee Association Europe (SCAE).

The class will last three hours, during which attendees will learn to distinguish the subtle differences between coffee beans, master the perfect cup of coffee and see some creative latte art.

Previous knowledge of coffee is not a requirement, but a passion for coffee is a must!

Places are limited; to book, email info@djmiles.co.uk. The first course has an introductory price of £33 per person. Location will either be at the Miles Tea & Coffee Minehead or Porlock site, start time to be 9.30am.

Can’t make it? Why not join the company’s monthly roastery tours on the last Thursday of the month, pre-book only, check online for more details or email info@djmiles.co.uk.

PHOTO: Latte Art made with Miles Coffee.

GRANDPARENTS’ DAY AT KING’S HALL SCHOOL

King’s Hall School’s Pre-Prep children welcomed their grandparents and ‘grand-friends’ to school last week for their Grandparents’ Afternoon.

This biennial event offers grandparents the chance to see all the amazing things that their grandchildren are experiencing at the school. The children took huge pride in sharing some of their learning with their relatives, as well as leading them on a tour of the Pre-Prep. A highlight was exploring in the Little Woods and toasting marshmallows on the fire.

As well as playing games, reading stories and enjoying a delicious afternoon tea, the children treated their special guests to an assembly that included some heartfelt readings and a beautiful themed song!

It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the unique relationship that exists between grandparent and grandchild, and the children thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of ‘granny’ and/or ‘grandpa’ coming to school!

One of the grandparents said: “What a wonderful afternoon. We loved Grandparents’ Day and were so impressed with our grandchildren showing us every detail of their work and play. We didn’t want to leave the Forest School (a big thank you for the marshmallow). The staff were all so generous with their time, talking to us and the children. Their singing was fabulous, such happy children and such enthusiasm.  A huge thank you for such a wonderful experience.”

 

JOHN KIRKPATRICK CAROLLING & CRUMPETS CONCERT AT HALSWAY

One of the folk scene’s greatest performers, John Kirkpatrick, will be paying a visit to Halsway Manor shortly, to perform his seasonal show ‘Carolling and Crumpets’. He will be appearing on Thursday 7 December at 7.30pm, presenting a heart-warming, toe-tapping evening looking at the timeless rituals and folklore of midwinter England.

Mysterious and magical songs of wassailing, wren-hunting, stirring the fire and incessant feasting come dressed up in a glittering finery of sparkling tunes and cracking choruses. Add a smattering of hilarious original songs and a sprinkling of carols both familiar and unfamiliar, all stirred up with John’s usual panache and supported by his scintillating skill on squeezeboxes, and you have the recipe for a rattling good sing, guaranteed to keep the spirits cheery and the cold at bay.

“Kirkpatrick’s buoyant presence and lust for this music sounds more rampant than ever.”
Colin Irwin, fRoots Magazine

One of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, John Kirkpatrick is a master of the free reed instrument, playing melodeon, button accordion and anglo concertina, as well as having an enviable reputation as a fine singer and interpreter of English folk music. John has performed solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands; he has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique, and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.

The concert takes place on Thursday 7 December.  Bar opens at 7pm, performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £10 / £4 for full-time students. For more information visit www.halswaymanor.org.uk or contact Halsway Manor: 01984 618274 ext 1 / office@halswaymanor.org.uk.

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: