Category Archives: north devon

ART TREK CALLS FOR ARTISTS & MAKERS TO TAKE PART IN SEPTEMBER OPEN STUDIO EVENT

Back in 2003, a small group of artists across the area decided to throw open the doors to their homes and studios as part of the North Devon Festival. 14 years on and this successful, established open studios event will showcase work from some of the best artists and makers in the area as they again open their homes, studios, gardens and shared venues.

The call is now out for artists and makers to take part in the September 2017 Art Trek. Last year over 50 artists were featured, exhibiting their work, offering insights into their working practice and discussing the techniques used in their creative processes. Bideford based artist and ceramicist, Michael Storrs, took part in Art Trek for the first time in 2016.

Broken Face Michael Storrs (c) John Andow

Michael says, “I was amazed how many people came to see my work and it was interesting to get people’s comments and take on things. I found that overall it was a very positive experience and I also sold some work! Plus, to my great delight, I have been offered an exhibition of my work in Paris at the end of this year.”

Barnstaple-based artist Mike Woollacott has participated in Art Trek since 2007. He says, “I have taken part in North Devon Art Trek for nine years and have always enjoyed the experience. Over the years I have found it very rewarding to meet lots of interesting people, whether they are local, or, in many cases, have travelled considerable distances. Obviously selling my art is a bonus, but I have found the contacts I make are extremely beneficial, in that people may purchase at a later date or even recommend me to friends and family.”

Yet another artist who opened her studio last year was ceramicist Fiona Matthews. Fiona’s comment on taking part: “A great experience – you never know who will walk through the door and where a conversation might lead. Not to be missed!”

For the first time in 2017, Art Trek will be produced by White Moose Projects CIC, formed to offer free and accessible opportunities for people from all backgrounds to engage with visual arts. One of its founders, Stella Levy, has been involved with Art Trek since its inception. Stella is confident that Art Trek has a bright future under White Moose Projects: “This North Devon open studios event is much loved in the area, both by the artists taking part and visitors to the event and with White Moose now supporting the annual Art Trek, it will ensure the open studios goes forward with a renewed vitality, but not losing the trust in the event, developed over the last 14 years.”

Artists and Makers wanting more information and to take part in the September 2017 Art Trek, please apply for an Entry Form to info@arttrek.co.uk. The closing date for completed forms is 1 June 2017.

Top: The River Taw at Chapleton by Mike Woollacott.

REGENERATION PLANS FOR BUTCHERS ROW, BARNSTAPLE

Plans are on the table to regenerate one of Barnstaple’s most iconic streets.

North Devon Council is setting aside some of its planned maintenance budget to spruce up Butchers Row in the coming months. It is also in talks with Barnstaple Town Centre Management to understand customer needs and changing shopping habits and to discuss plans to regenerate the historic street.

Last year the council refurbished Barnstaple Pannier Market, which runs the length of Butchers Row. Attention is now being turned to the historic units that the council lets to local businesses and work is likely to begin in the next couple of months.

Head of Resources at North Devon Council, Jon Triggs, says: “Butchers Row is probably one of the most photographed streets in Barnstaple and is an important historical feature of the town. Over the next couple of months we will be looking in detail at what can be done to improve and regenerate the Row, which is Grade II listed and, as such, needs extra care.”

There are currently some vacant units along the Row available to let. Contact Wright Commercial for more information on 01271 377333 or www.thewrightproperty.co.uk.

 

ROSEMOOR’S NEWEST WEDDING VENUE

Following a £1.2m investment for the tourism industry in the South West, The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden Rosemoor is pleased to announce that their newest corporate hire and wedding venue will be completed this month.

The Garden Room, as it is to be known, is set in the stunning grounds of RHS Garden Rosemoor and is already receiving enquiries and securing bookings for weddings and awards nights well into 2018.

Able to accommodate up to 460 people for conferences or 250 to sit-down banqueting, the Garden Room is in an inspirational setting – the perfect place for corporate hire including conferences, training, product launches and trade shows and special celebrations such weddings, awards nights and private parties. Rosemoor’s award-winning restaurant team is fully equipped to cater for every need.

The Garden Room joins a number of other venues that are available for hire at Rosemoor which include The Peter Buckley Learning Centre, with its two state-of-the-art teaching classrooms, exhibition room and gardens and a lecture / exhibition hall. It is also one of ten venues licensed for weddings or civil ceremonies in the garden including intimate stables and shelters. In addition to weddings, the extremely experienced Rosemoor team hosts over 100 events, courses and workshops every year with everything from live music concerts and theatre productions to art and sculpture exhibitions, craft, food, plant and antiques fairs; flower shows and competitions.

One of the first of these events is a Wedding & Special Occasions Fayre on Sunday 7 May when Rosemoor will showcase everything that the garden and Devon has to offer a would-be bride or party organiser. Normal garden admission applies although tickets are free for this event for pre-booked bride and groom couples. Please visit www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor or telephone the events team on 01805 626810.

 

NORTH DEVON SCHOOLS’ SHOW JUMPING LEAGUE: HAT TRICK FOR SOUTH MOLTON

Tuesday 4 April saw the first leg of the new North Devon Schools Show Jumping League, held at Coxleigh Barton Equestrian Centre, near Barnstaple, where teams from South Molton Community College picked a hat trick of firsts in each of the four classes.

Maisie Atkinson, riding It’s About Time took individual first in the 60cm class, and South Molton’s team Thunder won the 70cm class (Maisie Atkinson on It’s About Time, Anna Drury on Jet; Molly Matthews on Mystic Meg; Chloe Sanders on Tickled Pink).

Team Storm (Maisie Atkinson on Little William; Izzy Breard on The Grand Sort Jury; Molly Matthews on Million Dollar Girl; Grace Sinclair on Cregg Surprise) took first place in the 80cm and 90cm classes.

Schools competing in the League included the Community Colleges from South Molton, Chulmleigh, Pilton, Park School, Holsworthy, Torrington, Bideford, The Gateway Federation and West Buckland School. The under-11 years were also represented by The Chulmleigh Cubs and The Shirwell Shooting Stars.

Each of the four classes included a team and also had a number of individual entries – a total of 58 combinations jumped as individuals throughout the day. The South Molton Community College pupils also picked up a number of additional individual rosettes.

The series is the brainchild of Vicky Fiddes and consists of four monthly competitions to be held at Coxleigh Barton, Barnstaple, and Mullacott Event Centre, Ilfracombe, throughout the summer of 2017.

Mrs Sherwood, South Molton Community College’s team coach, said, “How amazing that we had such a winning streak on our first time out. I know that most of our young people have experience of riding for the Dulverton West Pony Club and this seems to have stood them in good stead in the first leg of the League. Well done to all of them, some of whom are on new ponies for the 2017 season. They rode very well, looked smart and were a credit to our sponsor Acorn Saddlery, who kindly donated the numnahs and sweatshirts, in the school’s new purple livery.

However, there are still three other elements of the competition to go and we know that anything could happen from here on in!”

Watch this space…

And you can follow the League on Facebook.

PHOTO: Team Storm. Left to right: Molly Matthews, Izzy Beard, Grace Sinclair and Maisie Atkinson.

RHS RHODODENDRON COMPETITION AT ROSEMOOR

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden Rosemoor will be bursting with more blooms than usual when it hosts RHS National Rhododendron Show and Competition on 22 and 23 April.

The Rhododendron Competition will be the first event to take place in the brand new Garden Room – a purpose-built permanent building suitable for all kinds of events throughout the year including conferences and wedding receptions.

Come and marvel at the remarkable variety and colour of these beautiful, spring-flowering plants. This National Show has more than 60 classes covering all types of rhododendrons, plus trade and advice stands as well as magnificent displays of magnolias and camellias, too. With competitors coming from as far afield as Oxfordshire and Hampshire, it promises more spring colour than ever before. Past competitors have included Exbury Gardens, Caerhays Castle, The Savill Garden, Trewithin, Marwood Hill and several National Trust properties in the South West including Glendurgan and Trelissick.

The Rhododendron Competition is entirely free to enter and open to anyone who wishes to exhibit. Professional and home gardeners alike will compete for prizes for the best blooms. Judging takes place on Saturday morning from 10am with the show open to the public from 11.30am. On Sunday the displays will be available for viewing 10am – 4pm.

Entry forms are available direct from RHS Competitions Manager, Georgina Barter at: georginabarter@rhs.org.uk.

The Rhododendron Competition is the main event for gardeners but there are many other events taking place at RHS Rosemoor throughout this spring,

NEW VIEWING AREA FOR VERITY IS NOW COMPLETE

Work to provide a new seating and information area next to the Verity sculpture in Ilfracombe is complete.

The project to re-landscape the area around the sculpture to provide a larger viewing platform, seating and lighting was finished last week with the installation of a new information plinth.

Damien Hirst’s 20-metre sculpture was loaned to North Devon Council by For Giving CIC in 2012. The information plinth is located at the foot of Verity and provides visitors with information on what the statue is all about.

Ilfracombe Harbour Master, Rob Lawson (pictured), says: “Completion of the re-landscaping works have provided an exceptional new viewing area for the statue.  The materials used, both in colour and texture, have enhanced the Verity experience and I feel privileged to be able to see this iconic landmark every day.  Verity will continue to provide much interest and discussion for the many visitors who come to see her and I would like to thank Mr Hirst for his continued support of Ilfracombe.”

Work started on the final phase of the project in November 2016. Since Verity has been installed she has become a popular draw for tourists and this work will further enhance the Pier area and improve the visitor experience.

EASTER AT BARNSTAPLE PANNIER MARKET

Spring is in the air at Barnstaple Pannier Market with the return of Monday markets and an Easter eggstravaganza.

Monday markets make a return on Monday 3 April, offering even more opportunity to visit the town’s unique indoor market. With a wide variety of stalls, including fresh local produce, books, gifts, clothing, crafts and antiques, the market will be open six days a week from April until Christmas, with many Sunday events throughout the year.

On Saturday 15 April, the Easter bunny will be making a special visit to hand out mini chocolate eggs to our young visitors, and there will be an eggciting Easter Egg hunt around the market. Then, between 11am and 1pm, Borderline morris dancers will be performing and Dave Hendy will be doing magic around the market.

Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “Spring has definitely sprung at the market with the return of Monday markets and the annual egg hunt.  Please do come along and support the market and enjoy the free family entertainment on Easter Saturday.”

Local ward member for Barnstaple (central town), Councillor Adam Bradford says, “I am delighted that there are now even more opportunities and reasons for us all to enjoy this lively and unique space. We are all looking forward to Easter!”

To keep up to date with the Pannier Market’s news and events, head over to Facebook and like their page: www.facebook.com/BarnstaplePannierMarket/?fref=ts

 

LOTTERY FUNDING SUCCESS FOR BARNSTAPLE MUSEUM PROJECT

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is celebrating as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced £868,100 of National Lottery funding towards its extension project.

Made possible by National Lottery players, today’s funding success is an important milestone, bringing the project another step closer to fruition and unlocking further funding opportunities. Last year the museum was awarded £69,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop plans for the proposed £1.8m extension on the Long Bridge side of the building. The plans were approved by North Devon Council planning team earlier this month.

A further £250,000 has been committed to the project by North Devon Council and the museum is through to the second stage of a funding bid for £500,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund. A fundraising campaign, led by the Museum Development Trust, is also underway and a number of corporate sponsors have already come on board.

North Devon Council Executive Member responsible for culture, Councillor Brian Moores, says: “What incredible news! This is a massive boost for the museum and we’re overjoyed. This brings the amount of National Lottery funding up to £937,000, which is half of the overall cost of the extension project.

“We now wait with bated breath for the results of the museum’s bid for Coastal Communities Funding. The museum staff, volunteers and the Museum Development Trust are working so hard to drive this project forward, they should be very proud of what they have achieved so far.”

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “For nearly 130 years, this museum has been open to the public, telling the story of North Devon – from arts and manufacture to social history and ordinary moments captured on film.

“Now, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the museum has taken another crucial step towards transforming the way people can access their heritage, with an outreach programme and the creation of space for community activities set to make the museum an even more valuable part of North Devon life.”

If you would like to help support the project, you can donate online at mbndtrust.org. For more information about corporate sponsorship contact the museum on 01271 346747 or email museum@northdevon.gov.uk.

 

BARNSTAPLE APPEAL FOR FIRST WORLD WAR STORIES

A memorial plaque is planned for a plinth in Rotary Gardens, Pilton next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

North Devon Council is appealing for people to come forward with stories, pictures or letters back home of any men or women from the Pilton area who served, fought and survived; or relating to one of the 39 Pilton men who lost their lives in the war.

Executive Member responsible for parks, leisure and culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says, “This is an opportunity for local people to get involved and share memories of the war with the wider community in a lasting memorial to commemorate local heroes who fought for our country.”

Local ward member for Barnstaple Pilton, Councillor Mair Manuel, who has been heavily involved with the project, says, “I have been pleased to be involved with this project from its inception.  This will be a public recognition of the sacrifices made, and I hope that any family which suffered will feel able to contribute their story.  The plinth will also be an easily accessible point where people can pay their respects in future years.”

Local ward member for Barnstaple Pilton, Councillor Brian Greenslade says “I welcome this very much. We must never forget the carnage of the First World War and what it meant for so many individuals and their families. My grandfather fought in this conflict in the general area of Ypres. Thankfully he survived and lived until age 84. One experience I treasure is being able to be in Ypres on Armistice Day some while ago and being able to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate during the remembrance event. I am sure many brave people from Pilton also took part in these battles and it is right that “We remember them.”

Martin Haddrill, a volunteer for the project, says, “Pilton, the original settlement of Barnstaple, has a great sense of history as shown by the success of the heritage archive ‘The Pilton Story’.  Before it is too late, we hope to collect stories of some of the men and women from Pilton who fought in the conflict and, in some cases, did not return.   Their stories will be told on the fourth plinth in the centre of Rotary Gardens.”

If anyone has any information they would like to share, please contact the parks department on 01271 388326 or email parks@northdevon.gov.uk.

 

BARNSTAPLE MUSEUM PLANNING APPLICATION FOR NEW EXTENSION APPROVED

The planning application for a new extension at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon has been approved by North Devon Council.

The council’s planning committee approved the application for the new design on Wednesday 8 March. Following public consultation earlier this year, the original design was revised so that the new extension and existing building complement each other better.

The extension will provide a bigger and brighter entrance to welcome visitors, as well as increasing the floor space, offering the opportunity for more displays and exhibitions, including a new twentieth-century social history gallery. With a new education room, improvements to the shop and tea room and increased storage space, it will help the museum be more sustainable going into the future.

Executive member, Councillor Brian Moores, said: “We are very happy that the new design has been approved by the planning committee. It is a very exciting time for the museum as the new extension will bring big improvements to the facilities on offer. We hope that the displays and exhibitions, which will be part of the new extension, will attract even more visitors, both from the local area and tourists. Alison Mills, our museum manager, is doing a great job on our behalf to drive this project forward. To find out more, come down to the museum and speak to Alison or any of her staff and volunteers.”

Local ward member for Barnstaple central, Councillor Adam Bradford, said: “I am extremely excited about this important development which will bring more space in the museum for education and encourage our young people to a take greater interest in history. The plans are innovative and my thanks to Alison and her team for their continuing hard work. This is a great project for us to get behind, whether as individuals or businesses.”

Copies of all the approved drawings and plans are online at www.northdevon.gov.uk under planning application number 62191.