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STUNNING NEW SCIENCE FACILITY AT KINGS HALL & DofE WITH A DIFFERENCE

by Vicki Crandley, King’s

This term we have moved into the most amazing new science faculty with twice the space of before and a facility surely equal to the best available to children this age anywhere in the country. The much anticipated completion of our stunning new Science faculty presented us with a unique opportunity to launch an exciting new event at King’s Hall School: Monday 11th September marked the beginning of our first Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Week.

As part of this event, we were delighted to welcome the BLOODHOUND-SSC Project – an international education initiative focused around a 1,000mph World Land Speed Record attempt.

The main objective of the Project is: ‘to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology and maths – by demonstrating how they can be harnessed to achieve the impossible, such as a jet and rocket powered car capable of setting a new World Land Speed Record.’

During their two-day visit, BLOODHOUND treated the children to presentations, workshops, talks and tours of a life-sized model of their record-breaking car. Even our staff enjoyed getting to grips with building and racing balloon-powered cars!

If you would like to learn more about the school, we are holding an Open Day on Friday 6th October.
For further details please contact our Admissions Team: 01823 285920/admissions@kingshalltaunton.co.uk

At King’s Hall meanwhile some of the pupils have been tackling the DofE in an innovative way…

As well as the usual method taken to achieve the DofE Gold Award expedition, six pupils from King’s College decided to take a different approach lately … instead of walking they would travel by canoe.

At the end of August, 17 Lower Sixth pupils headed off to Dartmoor to complete their final DofE Gold Award expedition on foot, and, at the same time, the water-based expedition set off down the River Wye.

Having previously shown an interest in learning to paddle, Harry Cooper-Simpson, Dan Bernardo, Jack Mead, Angus Lyon, Bradley Rickard and Oliver Martin requested the option to canoe, and under the tutorship of Mr Chris Pearson set about perfecting their boat-handling skills as well as preparing for various rescue scenarios.Commenting on their practice sessions, Chris said: “All their preparation and hard work paid off when the group embarked on their practice expedition on the lower stretches of the River Wye, taking three days to make their way from Hoarwithy, through Ross-on-Wye and into the spectacular Symonds Yat gorge. On entering the gorge at the infamous rapids they spent several hours learning introductory white water skills – always a challenge, particularly in a tandem boat loaded with expedition kit! The coordination and understanding needed to successfully navigate a tandem boat is not to be underestimated and requires a deep level of communication and trust between the crew; there’s nothing like the threat of capsizing to sharpen the mind and focus attention.”

With this newly acquired skill and experience under their belts, the boys began their four-day journey, starting at Glasbury, and wending their way out of the Black Mountains in Wales and into the rolling hills of Herefordshire, down into the wide plains below the city of Hereford itself. This was the first time the group would find themselves truly on their own – although accompanied by a GPS tracker that allowed Mr Pearson to monitor their progress whilst giving them the remote experience that is key to the Duke of Edinburgh ethos.

The weather was kind and sunny for the first three days as the group made stops at the wide variety of bridges, where they compared design, style, age and usage for their presentation as well as exploring their surroundings from the unique perspective of the river. On the final day it was a race against the weather as the group embarked at 6.00am to try to finish before the impending rain storm took hold. Alas, the last few hours were cold and damp and resembled any trip to Dartmoor on a rainy day!

Speaking of a rainy Dartmoor… the walkers all completed their expedition in challenging Dartmoor conditions, and should be commended for their resilience and determination.

 

NICOLA DAVIES COMES TO NUMBER SEVEN DULVERTON

Number Seven Dulverton is delighted that Nicola Davies will be visiting them as part of her national celebrations marking her twenty-year career publishing the most inspiring and awarding-winning books. 2017 saw her 50th title roll off the press. Some of you may remember her from presenting the BBC’s Really Wild Show alongside Chris Packham and Terry Nutkins.

Aided by her publishers, Walker Books, Nicola has swapped skills from writing to illustration and has created an eye-catching window display which was first shown in Crickhowell.

It is currently on show at Number Seven where Nicola will be signing books, sharing stories and future publishing plans on Friday 1 September from 11am until 1pm; all are welcome. Among her most recent titles are Lots, King of the Sky, Tiny and A First Book of Nature.

Nicola is a natural storyteller and has some amazing experiences to share alongside an in-depth knowledge of all things zoological. Her gift is in making these facts so accessible to all ages and her books are a great testimony of her skill.

For further information do contact Davina Jelley info@numbersevendulverton.co.uk or call 01398 324457 or visit the website: www.numbersevendulverton.co.uk.

A NEW HOME FOR PARKS & GARDENS UK WITH HESTERCOMBE

Parks & Gardens UK is entering an exciting phase in its development at its new home with the Hestercombe Gardens Trust. In September 2016 Parks & Gardens UK (P&GUK) with Hestercombe Gardens Trust received £97,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to secure the future of the P&GUK database and website of historic designed landscapes.

The P&GUK archive has records of over 9,100 historic designed landscape sites and over 2,400 biographies of associated people and organisations. The Hestercombe archive contains a significant collection of documents, photographs, plans and manuscripts relating not only to Hestercombe itself (with its eighteenth-century Landscape Garden and also its Jekyll/ Lutyens gardens) but to other parks, gardens and designed landscapes in the United Kingdom.

The combination of the two databases, by offering economies of scale and ease of access between them, will offer a powerful research resource unmatched elsewhere. It will also allow for its expansion by maintaining and developing the existing close relationship between County Gardens Trust and The Gardens Trust, as well as the development of new relationships with like-minded organisations. Hestercombe, near Taunton, is readily accessible and has a range of conference rooms for seminars, summer schools and workshops that will make the study of gardens and landscapes available to a wider public.

Dr Barbara Simms, chair of P&GUK, said: “Both organisations have worked hard over the past months to secure the successful transfer of Parks & Gardens UK to Hestercombe Gardens Trust. It is very exciting that Parks & Gardens UK has a new home that will allow its expansion as the leading on-line resource for historic parks and gardens.”

Philip White, Chief Executive of the Hestercombe Gardens Trust, said: “I am delighted that Hestercombe will have the opportunity to develop and expand on the considerable work achieved by P&GUK over more than ten years and look forward to working with the County Gardens Trusts and others in realising the database’s considerable potential.”

Explaining the importance of the National Lottery support, Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscape & Natural Heritage at the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “This project offers a unique opportunity to bring together two incredibly important sources of data and research for the very first time. Whether it’s someone just wanting to find out more about our rich history of landscape design, or a researcher delving into the history of an early park or garden, these databases are an important and accessible resource for all. Having supported the Parks & Gardens UK database since its inception, we’re pleased to offer this support so that it can transition into a new chapter in its existence.”

PHOTO by Chris Lacey Photography for Hestercombe.

SUMMER OF ADVENTURE AT RHS ROSEMOOR

The Famous Five is the inspiration for a ‘Summer of Adventure’ at RHS Garden Rosemoor

  • Garden adventure trails celebrate 75th anniversary of first book
  • Mass picnic on 11 August for Enid Blyton’s 120th birthday
  • Famous Five stories continue to inspire love of being outdoors

2017 marks 75 years since the first book was published in Enid Blyton’s best-loved series The Famous Five. To celebrate the occasion the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has teamed up with Enid Blyton Entertainment and Hodder Children’s Books to offer a range of exciting events and activities across the four RHS Gardens this summer.

At RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon, there will be a lively program of events and activities inspired by The Famous Five’s values – friendship, heroism, adventure, outdoors and daring. There are ‘Five Go on a Garden Adventure’ trails, and a delightful exhibition of Enid Blyton memorabilia, drop-in family craft workshops every weekday and Rosemoor is holding a mass picnic party on 11 August to celebrate Enid Blyton’s 120th birthday.

For children across the generations, Enid Blyton has inspired a love for flowers, plants, gardens and the outdoors through her descriptive powers, and particularly through the adventures of her five famous characters, Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog. From camping on hillsides to exploring streams, from enjoying tasty picnics to discovering caves, many of The Famous Five’s adventures are firmly rooted in the great outdoors.

Enid had an abiding love and deep knowledge of flora and fauna. She wrote to friends of her pleasure at creating her first garden at Elfin Cottage, Beckenham, which included a wild, raised garden in one corner, shrubs and beds of old-fashioned flowers such as lupins, pansies, hollyhocks and roses, an area for fruit and vegetables and a round pond for waterlilies. Inspired by this, lovely descriptions of trees, flowers and birdsong occur even in the midst of her 21 The Famous Five adventures.

It was only at the start of the 1950s that publishers Hodder & Stoughton first used the term The Famous Five and, within a year or two, they had sold more than six million copies. Enid Blyton had only planned to write a handful, but sales were so strong that she went on to pen 21 Famous Five novels, with more than two million copies continuing to sell each year.

The RHS’s Liz Thwaite, said: “People’s love of gardens and gardening often starts when they are children – running, laughing and playing in them, exploring winding paths, going for country walks and discovering the wonders of plants and wildlife. We hope that this summer will create many new happy memories for children, inspired by our gardens and Enid Blyton’s wonderful adventure books.”

The adventure trail at Rosemoor will encourage children to help The Famous Five find Uncle Quentin, who has gone missing on a horticultural research mission. In addition to the trail, exhibition and craft activities there is a whole raft of other events taking place throughout the Summer Holidays.

For details of The Famous Five events and a host of other forthcoming dates for your diary at Rosemoor, see the website.

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/

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.