TIVERTON MUSEUM ACQUIRES RARE POW NEWSPAPER

Staff at Tiverton Museum were intrigued to see a newspaper from Tiverton’s Prisoner of War camp come up for auction recently. The camp was located close to the site that Petroc and the High School occupy today. The weekly newspaper ‘Die Eule’ – or ‘The Owl’ – dates from September 1946 and features stories and articles, puzzles, jokes and reports of a football match between Tiverton and Silverton. Most of the paper is in German apart from a section about learning English. There was another camp near Cruwys Morchard which housed Italian prisoners of war. With a donation from a supporter, the museum was able to purchase the newspaper.

Pippa Griffith, Director of Tiverton Museum, says, “We are absolutely delighted to have acquired this very rare item; we didn’t even know that the camp had produced a newspaper. We hold very little in the museum about the camp, just a couple of photographs so this is an important acquisition for this part of Tiverton’s history. We would love to hear from anyone who has photographs of the camp or of any people who stayed there, or even more copies of this newspaper!

“We know that prisoners of war were driven out to local farms to help out, especially at busy times such as potato harvesting. We would also love to hear from anyone who knows about prisoners of war who stayed on and made Mid Devon their home, perhaps marrying a local woman.”

PHOTO: The Salvation Army band playing to prisoners of war. There are more photos on our Instagram feed: @exmoormagazine

BLOWZABELLA CELEBRATING 40 YEARS IN 2018: LIVE AT HALSWAY MANOR 

International folk legends Blowzabella celebrate 40 years with a festival weekend at the picturesque Halsway Manor in the Quantock hills, alongside special guests Naragonia (Belgium). The festival weekend is now sold out but tickets are still available for a public Concert / Dance on Saturday 12 May at 8pm.

At a typical Blowzabella gig there are songs, dance music, and songs you can dance to. The variety of the arrangements and the mixture of unusual and more usual instruments provides plenty to enjoy whether you’re out there dancing or sitting on the sidelines listening.

Blowzabella play dance music composed and arranged by the band for a variety of English and European traditional dances. The dances are easy to pick up and you don’t have to be an expert to get involved, just have a go. Many people choose not to dance and come along to watch and listen – and that’s fine too. The band have done gigs like this for donkey’s years so you’re always in safe hands.

Blowzabella is a genuinely unique band that makes an inimitable, driving, drone-based wall-of-sound played with a fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling. They compose their own music which is influenced by English and European traditional folk music and song.

Blowzabella are: Andy Cutting – diatonic button accordion; Jo Freya – vocals, saxophone, clarinet; Paul James – vocals, bagpipes, saxophones; Gregory Jolivet – hurdy-gurdy; David Shepherd – violin; Barn Stradling – bass guitar; Jon Swayne – bagpipes, saxophone.

Many of their tunes are “standards” in the modern British/European folk repertoire and are played by people all over the world. Bands across Europe who experiment with folk music often cite Blowzabella as a major influence. Much loved and respected, there is no one else quite like them.

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. Parking, a bar and camping are all available onsite.

Tickets are priced £15 / £6 for under 18s. Tickets with camping & breakfast are priced £30 / £21under 18s. Buy securely online: www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

 

LITTLE BEACH HUT GETS BIG AWARD

Salad Days at Dunster Beach, Dunster in Somerset has been awarded Bronze at this year’s Visit England Tourism Excellence Awards for Dog Friendly Business of the Year.

The awards, held annually, are the culmination of all of England’s regional Tourism Awards. To reach this stage all finalists have to have won at county and regional level first and need to be the best in their chosen field, businesses have to offer world-class service and excel in all areas. Brett Bates and Susan Juggins of Salad Days won Gold for Dog Friendly Business of the Year and Silver for Self Catering Business of the Year at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards in November last year, then repeated the accolade at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February. They were then taken aback to find out that Salad Days had been nominated for the prestigious Visit England Awards last month “and now to have gone on to be awarded Bronze is just incredible,” said Brett.

“Dunster Beach has always been a little hidden part of Somerset, now to have been recognised on the national stage, we hope to have an even greater impact on tourism in the area and make people realise they can pull off the motorway in Somerset to sample some amazing, award-winning attractions, eateries and places to stay. We have had some fantastic exposure and hope to be able to bring some of our success back with us to benefit the whole area; we know our fellow beach hut owners will be as pleased with this award as we are, it helps put Dunster Beach on the map and it is no longer a hidden gem.”

The couple were first attracted to the awards because of the offer of free advice from tourism industry experts. As beginners themselves –  Salad Days is only in its second year – Brett and Susan say they have learned so much and met some lovely people during the process; they would advise anybody to enter the awards and go on the courses offered. “Being in tourism can seem like a lot of hard work at times but to meet like-minded people via the awards process can be such a benefit to the business owner and their customers,” said Brett. “Our guests at Salad Days love the fact that we have won awards, but more importantly, they are the ones who feel the benefit of what we have learned. We have loved being able to introduce this part of Somerset and Exmoor to people who have never been here before, and the awards have helped us to be able to do just that.”

So what next? Brett and Susan are currently renovating their second beach hut, Holi Moli, to run alongside Salad Days. The aim is to learn from Salad Days’ success and improve upon what has been such a winning formula. Brett and Susan will both continue training and learning new skills, so watch this space, Holi Moli will be bringing colour to Dunster Beach and hopefully new guests to the area.

CRACKING DOWN ON FLY-TIPPERS IN NORTH DEVON

North Devon Council is continuing to crack down on fly-tippers across the district following a successful prosecution and fine.
Earlier this month, Mr Graham Kay from Peak View, Malvern pleaded guilty to the ‘Duty of Care’ offence under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This was for not making sure waste generated at his property in Ilfracombe which he was renovating was disposed of correctly.  Mr Kay was fined a sum of £750 for the offence with a victim’s surcharge of £75. Mr Kay was also ordered to pay a contribution of £1,160 towards the council’s costs from carrying out the investigation and legal processes, as well as the cost of cleaning up the waste.

As well as this, the council has issued a fixed penalty notice for £300 for failure to have a waste transfer note or trade waste agreement to another local resident for dumping garden waste and soil from their vehicle in North Molton.

Lead member for Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “The carriage and disposal of waste is subject to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and disposing of waste on any land is an offence of fly tipping and any vehicle used in the connection with fly-tipping can be seized. These cases show that we are prepared to take positive action against offenders through fines and prosecutions but our preferred option is it education and promoting awareness to the damage that these actions inflect on our area.

“Fly-tipping is a costly exercise for those affected by it, namely the landowner and taxpayer who can be left to foot the bill to clean it up and investigate to find out who the offender is. North Devon is a beautiful place to live, let’s keep it this way and dispose of our rubbish responsibly.”

To report littering, fly-tipping or other environmental offences please contact customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk. You can also report incidents on the council’s website northdevon.gov.uk/flytipping.

 

PLASTIC FREE DEVON CONSORTIUM FORMED

North Devon is one step closer to becoming a plastic free district, thanks to the formation of a new consortium.

Earlier this month representatives from a number of charities, voluntary groups and organisations met at a workshop hosted by North Devon Council to discuss how they could each contribute towards making North Devon plastic free. They decided that, by working in collaboration, they could provide residents, businesses and visitors with a clear understanding of how to make a practical difference to their coastlines and communities.

The new consortium will work in partnership with Plastic Free North Devon (PFND), a grassroots community movement that uses the framework developed by environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) in their Plastic Free Coastlines campaign. The local community organisation is supported by SAS and The Pickwell Foundation, and recently received additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Fullabrook Community Interest Company. It aims to inspire North Devon residents, tourists and businesses to reduce their ‘plastic footprint’ and drastically reduce the consumption of single-use plastic throughout the whole of North Devon, not just the coastal areas.

The consortium will be made up of a number of groups and organisations, including:

•  Plastic Free North Devon
•  North Devon Council
•  North Devon Biosphere
•  North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
•  The National Trust
•  Beaford Arts
•  Barnstaple & District Chamber of Commerce
•  Martin Dorey, founder of the 2 Minute Beach Clean
•  Petroc
•  BeachCare, Keep Britain Tidy
•  Ilfracombe Town Council
•  Beth Newsome from Seadog, representing small food and drink businesses.
North Devon Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Councillor Rodney Can, says: “I am delighted that we are taking such positive steps towards making our beautiful district plastic free. By working in collaboration with Plastic Free North Devon, and other groups who share our concern about plastic pollution, we will be able to deliver a clear message to the public and businesses on how they can make some positive changes of their own. Plastic pollution is everyone’s problem; we all need to take responsibility for the plastic we use, and how we dispose of it, in order to tackle this global environmental crisis.”

Surfers Against Sewage’s South West regional representative and PFND coordinator, Claire Moodie, says: “The formation of this consortium is an amazing opportunity for the plastic free movement to really gain momentum and take action fast and effectively across the region. The sharing of resources and expertise between the stakeholders involved will help spread the message to every part of North Devon and ensure we move forward together to protect our precious environment. Everyone has the opportunity and responsibility to make a difference – however big or small, every action counts. This campaign is about empowering every community to come together, make their voices heard and start a wave of change.”

Writer and founder of 2 Minute Beach Clean, Martin Dorey, says: “I firmly believe that the only way we’ll solve our plastic crisis is through community, collaboration, people and passion, and this initiative does all this brilliantly. It unites a lot of caring, committed people to work in the best interests of us all.”

The new consortium will be meeting in early May to develop the Plastic Free North Devon action plan.

More information on how you can reduce your consumption of single-use plastics is available on Surfers Against Sewage’s website. To keep up-to-date with Plastic Free North Devon’s news follow their Facebook page.

EXMOOR LAUNCHES NEW PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

Exmoor National Park’s future vision for the next five years was launched today, welcomed by Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Defra Minister for National Parks, in a video address at the Exmoor National Park Authority and Exmoor Society’s joint Spring Conference held in Dulverton Town Hall.

Exmoor National Park’s 2018-2023 Partnership Plan* has been led by Exmoor National Park Authority, with input from around 80 partners, landowners, local communities, organisations and businesses, through a rigorous programme of workshops and meetings. Opinions were also sought through a public survey and key evidence on the Park’s special qualities gathered through the State of the Park Report.

Under the core themes of ‘People, Place, Prosperity’, the Plan sets out key strategies needed to ensure Exmoor’s diverse and beautiful landscapes remain rich in wildlife and history, and that people everywhere have the opportunity to enjoy its special qualities. It also highlights the need to foster a vibrant local economy for Exmoor’s communities by providing new routes for innovation and entrepreneurship, and for increasing rural productivity.

Key priorities include a commitment to maintaining Exmoor as a working living landscape, with farming at its core. Increasing rural productivity through targeted land management schemes, and support to help new and young farmers diversify their farming income and develop rural skills form a vital part of the strategy. This interaction between people and nature has persisted for centuries and is crucial to maintaining the rich array of wildlife and habitats found on Exmoor today.

Increasing opportunities for people to enjoy and get involved in maintaining Exmoor as one of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK is also a mainstay of the Plan. Exmoor’s first rate rights of way network is a shining example of this, with an impressive 96 per cent of routes classed as open and easy to use – the highest of all National Parks.

Work to encourage more people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to enjoy the Park will also continue, following a rise in the number of young people visiting, including over 6,500 students last year alone, and continuing support for local schools through the Authority’s Learning Partners Scheme.

Ensuring local communities thrive through a vibrant local economy is another key ambition. While visitor numbers have been steady over the last five years, the length of time people stay in the park is up by 35 per cent. The report highlights the positive impact this is on the local economy, with the Exmoor tourism industry currently valued at around £115 million.

Challenges for the Park are also addressed, including how best to restore Exmoor’s renowned purple heather moors, which rely on careful management by Exmoor’s hill farmers, along with the Authority and other partners.

In the video address to conference delegates, Lord Gardiner said: “I am delighted to support the launch of the Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan. It sets out an exciting agenda for the next five years.”

Sarah Bryan, chief executive of Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “This Plan is for all those who care about Exmoor: the place, its communities and the benefits the National Park provides to the nation. By providing a framework for working together, we hope it will mean people can continue to be inspired by its extraordinary beauty and sense of place, while supporting those who rely on it for their livelihood to reap the many benefits that National Park status can bring.”

Robin Milton, Chairman of Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “We are extremely grateful to our many partners for sharing their views and to the more than 900 people who responded to our public opinion survey, showing just how cherished Exmoor is by so many. At this time of substantial political change and uncertainty, we hope this will allow us to capitalise on this unique chance to help shape Exmoor for future generations, whilst continuing to enrich the local economy and landscapes.”

EXMOOR BUSINESSES COULD BENEFIT FROM INTERNATIONAL TOURISM BOOST

Tourism providers in and around Exmoor and Dartmoor are being invited to a free session this month as part of a £1.4 million project to develop new products and experiences that will attract more overseas visitors to explore England’s National Parks.

Dartmoor and Exmoor have worked with other English National Parks to secure the funding from Visit England’s ‘Discover England Fund’.  Whilst initially the project will be targeting German and Australian visitors, the new products created would be available to all markets.

The sessions are being held as follows:

·       Dartmoor – Tuesday 24th April. 10am-12noon at Islington Country House Hotel and 5.30pm- 7.30pm at Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre, Princetown

·       Exmoor – Thursday 26th April. 6-8.30pm at the White Horse Inn, Exford (there is an additional drop-in session from 4pm to 6pm for anyone unable to join the main session).

Dan James, Sustainable Economy Manager at Exmoor National Park, said, “Through this project, we are seeking to offer unique, immersive visitor experiences, which stand out in the global marketplace and tell the stories of our landscape, history and heritage. We want to support our local business to develop experiences which can be packaged together, adding value to the many unique experiences already attracting millions of visitors to our National Parks every year.”

Significant research has been undertaken to identify the most compelling experiences available in each National Park, which reflect the local character and distinctiveness of these jewels in the crown of the English countryside. These include wildlife encounters, opportunities to meet with local farmers and producers and to discover England’s great history within our National Parks.

The next step is to recruit businesses who will benefit from a significant support programme (including workshops and one-to-one sessions) to help develop their products, engage with the travel trade and welcome overseas visitors. At the end of this process the National Parks hope to have a suite of over 50 top experiences within the English National Parks for tour operators to utilise in their programmes – the English National Park Experience Collection.

Richard Drysdale, Visitor Services Manager at Dartmoor National Park, said, “There will be opportunities for all types and sizes of business to get involved from small activity providers to large accommodation providers. A core part of the project will focus on packaging individual components to create compelling stories, so you may want to get involved in either leading or supporting one of the identified experiences. These open sessions are free to attend and we would encourage anyone wanting to find out more to come along and get involved.”

Each session will cover the background and context to the project, provide some examples of the experiences being developed and the step changes required to deliver these on a global platform, as well as details of how businesses can apply to be a part of the programme and the benefits they will receive.

The business support element of the project is being supported by Visit Exmoor and Visit Dartmoor (the Destination Management Organisations for the National Parks) with expert support and training from Max Lawrence (Inspire Hospitality) and Jo Butler Consulting.

To sign up for the Dartmoor sessions please email Jenny@VisitDartmoor.co.uk or for the Exmoor sessions contact experiencecollection@mail.com

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.”

INVITATION TO TENDER: HARBOUR MARKET AND CONCESSION DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

Minehead Coastal Communities Team has levered Coastal Community funding to develop a new harbour market and attract suitable seaside concessions for Minehead seafront.

The opportunity is for a self-motivated market, event organiser or similar, with marketing and PR experience and excellent communication skills. The position will be a varied, and be on a self-employed basis. The contract will be to develop, market, promote, manage and coordinate delivery of Harbour Markets and Concessions in Minehead. This part-time contract opportunity is over a two year period, with an expectation to become self-sustainable following that period.

Please click on the links to view the job descriptionperson specification and draft contract containing more detail of the role.

If you have any questions please email tender@westsomerset.gov.uk. Please note the closing date for applicants is 24 April 2018, at 12 noon.

RECYCLE FOR MID DEVON: PRIMARY SCHOOL DRAWING COMPETITION

Winning entries will have a lorry named after them with their artwork displayed on the vehicle.

Mid Devon District Council is running another exciting competition for all Mid Devon primary school children. They would like children of primary school age to enter a drawing which shows what Mid Devon District Council collects as part of its kerbside blue food caddy collection and/or its subscription-based garden waste collection.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Clive Eginton, said: “We have six new lorries that need names and some lovely artwork. All the lorries have a split body where food and garden waste is collected and stored separately. The drawings should give a positive message to inspire people to recycle their food and garden waste. Food waste sent to landfill doesn’t harmlessly breakdown and as it rots it releases methane – a harmful greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Food waste collected from your blue caddy is processed into energy and fertiliser. Garden waste is made into compost which is excellent to mix with soil to grow fruit and vegetables.”

The drawings need to be A4 in size and landscape, using paint, crayon, chalk or any other type of drawing material, but not photographs, sorry. They can be done in school or at home but schools may wish to submit more than one entry. However, only one entry per pupil will be accepted and  the decision of the judges will be final.

Other than these rules, pupils can use their imagination, so let the creative juices flow! Good luck!!

The competition entry closing date is midnight on Tuesday 8 May 2018 and winning pupils will be notified by Friday 18 May 2018.

All entries must be posted or delivered to:

Mid Devon District Council
Street Scene Services – Recycling Competition
Phoenix House
Phoenix Lane
Tiverton
Devon
EX16 6PP

See the website for full terms and conditions: www.middevon.gov.uk/media/345268/recycling-drawing-comp-2018-tcs.pdf