U14 CRICKET TEAM TAKES COUNTY TITLE

West Buckland School’s U14 cricket team have been crowned Devon county champions after a good win against Exeter School. The quality of the squad is unquestioned, having kept a clean sheet of wins all season.

West Buckland, in North Devon, has a strong heritage of sport and this win for the U14s comes on the back of this squad having won the same title at U13 level. In fact, the current U14s remain unbeaten in all boys sport for the entire academic year!

In a strong team effort, there were a few individual performances of note. Lead wicket-taker of the match was Ethan Cross and top run scorer was Reuben Windley, who are both in Year 9.

Cricket coach, Dom Ford, is impressed with their results this summer but sees this as just part of the bigger picture at the school. “West Buckland has always invested fully in its sport and the boys’ efforts are testament to this. But it is not just the cricket that is benefiting, This summer will see the astroturf pitch surface replaced, which will be great for our boys and girls hockey. In addition, our tennis programme continues to be very popular with our senior teams remaining unbeaten for two seasons!”

 

MILES LAUNCHES A NEW TEA RANGE

A brand-new range of 10 ‘Tea Kites’ has been launched by Miles Tea & Coffee.

These new flavours will focus on green, herbal and fruit teas. Each product will provide a ‘Miles Moment’ in the day, from sleepy moments to wake-up moments! The tea and fruit segments in each teabag will be larger than usual; this will improve the taste and quality of the customer. The new pack design and new machinery will allow Miles to adapt the range with different blends including limited-edition products and seasonal blends. The range currently includes the following flavours:

    • Super Green, Matcha & Turmeric
    • Fennel, Orange & Hibiscus
    • Green Tea & Chamomile
    • Berry Berry
    • Rooibos, Boabab & Chai
    • Lavender, Limeflower & Rose
    • Ginger & Lemongrass
    • Liquorice, Peppermint & Spearmint
    • English Breakfast

John Halls, Operations Director, said: “This is an exciting new market for Miles, being a family business for generations it’s important as we adapt to current trends. This new premium range will provide us with a relevant offering for the ever-growing green tea, herbal and fruit tea market.”

PHOTO: A selection of the new range.

£3,000 UP FOR GRABS TO CELEBRATE TOUR OF BRITAIN

Would you like to host an event in your community to celebrate the Tour of Britain travelling through North Devon?

North Devon sets the scene for a large part of the Stage 2 route and Stage 2 Finish of the 2018 Tour of Britain cycling race and North Devon Council is offering schools, clubs and community groups grants of up to £200 to support celebratory events in the district.

Stage 2 of the Tour is hosted by Devon County Council and supported by North Devon Council. It arrives in North Devon on 3 September and the route takes in much of the breath-taking scenery of North Devon, travelling through a number of villages, towns and communities in the district. North Devon Council is making £3,000 available to support local events, with grants of up to £200 per organisation, awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Events could include street parties or mini race competitions, reminiscence activities to gather peoples histories and links to the communities they live in. Or you could engage your school in an arts competition – the choice is yours! Events can take place at any time in the run-up to the Tour of Britain, they don’t need to be on the day the Tour arrives in North Devon. Complete an application form online at www.northdevon.gov.uk/eventgrants by Friday 17 August 2018.

North Devon Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “We’re so excited that North Devon will be hosting a large part of Stage 2 of this iconic race and we would like our local communities to feel inspired and get involved. You don’t have to live on the route to apply for a grant to hold an event. Go online today to see if you are eligible.”North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “The economic benefits of the Tour of Britain coming to North Devon are obvious, so we’re really pleased to be hosting the event again this year. The route passes through many of our towns and villages, including Barnstaple, Croyde, Woolacombe, Ilfracombe and South Molton; it’s going to be fantastic. We want to encourage the local community to get involved and celebrate the Tour, so we’re making some funds available to support community groups and schools to hold their own events in the run-up to the main event. Take a look at our website for more information on how to apply.”

More information is on the council’s website www.northdevon.gov.uk/eventgrants. If you need help with your application or want to check if you are eligible to apply, contact Vanessa Harrison on 01271 388216 or email vanessa.harrison@northdevon.gov.uk.
Photo courtesy of Sweetspot

MUSEUM’S BIG BUILD HAS FINALLY BEGUN!

The big day has finally arrived and the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is beginning its transformation.

Devon Contractors start work today – Monday 25 June – on the museum’s eagerly anticipated £2m Long Bridge Wing extension, which will increase the building’s footprint by 70%, making space for a new social history gallery, larger shop, café and improved education space. The project, supported by nearly £870,000 of National Lottery funding, is expected to take 12 months to complete, with the museum reopening fully in summer 2019.

The current museum was provided to the town by William Frederick Rock in 1888 as the home of the North Devon Athenaeum. Originally there was another building between it and the Long Bridge, but this was demolished in 1963 when the bridge was widened. The extension will be built on the site of the old building using brick and slate as the main building materials, in keeping with the existing museum building. Terracotta details, reflecting the work of Brannams and copper (which was used extensively by Shapland and Petter in their furniture) will be blended to create interest and soften the impact of the brick.

North Devon Council’s Executive member for Parks, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “This project has been three years in the making, so it will be really exciting to see the scaffolding go up and the builders on site. The museum has remained unchanged for many years, so this is a momentous occasion in the history of this iconic building. The improvements we are making will give the museum the space it needs and deserves to showcase the history of North Devon to the many visitors we welcome through its doors each year.”

Museum Manager, Alison Mills, says: “We’ve already started work behind the scenes, moving collections into storage and clearing parts of the museum that will be affected by the building work. This has revealed features that haven’t been seen in years and hidden treasures we didn’t know were there, including a locked safe behind the underwater world display – we’re still looking for a key that fits! We are all really excited to be part of the museum’s transformation and can’t wait for the building work to get started!”

A temporary front of house is available at the ‘Pop-up museum’, across the road in Bridge Chambers, which is also the base for collecting stories and objects for the new Social History Gallery, so pop in and see how you can get involved.

For behind-the-scenes updates and progress of the build, follow the Museum Manager’s blog at barnstaplemuseumblog.wordpress.com. You can still contact the museum on 01271 346747, museum@northdevon.gov.uk or get in touch on the museum Facebook page.

The Long Bridge Wing Extension project is funded by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Coastal Communities Fund and North Devon Council, with additional contributions from the Arts Council Ready to Borrow scheme, Devon County Council and the Barnstaple and North Devon Museum Development Trust (MBND), which has secured significant contributions from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Fullabrook Windfarm CIC, Foyle Foundation and a host of local businesses, charitable trusts and individuals.  A full list of the MBND funders is available on their website mbndtrust.org.

PHOTO: Museum manager Alison Mills and Cllr Dick Jones with the chosen bricks for the museum extension.

ECO-FRIENDLY PUPILS FUND COACH SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT

Eco-friendly pupils from King’s College recently welcomed to the school the Club Captain of Taunton Rowing Club, Steve Swan.
Steve met with the Head of the King’s Sustainability Strategy, Christina French, to discuss the various sustainability measures implemented across the school and to see how the children could get involved in his latest project: a rainwater-harvesting system at Taunton’s Centre for Outdoor Activities & Community Hub (COACH).

Earlier this month, members of the sustainability group visited the centre, where they took part in an interactive design workshop. Students had the opportunity to audit the building and come up with their own strategies and ideas of how the centre could be more sustainable.

In the coming weeks, King’s pupils will work closely with COACH and Taunton Rowing to construct the rainwater system after donating £500 to help fund the project.

Pictured, left to right: Thomas Newman, Harvey Richard, Steve Swan and Christina French.

TAUNTON CIDER JOINS THE GREAT EXMOOR RIDE

The Great Exmoor Ride, a new Somerset city-to-coast challenge bike ride taking place on Sunday 2nd September, has joined forces with the recently re-launched Taunton Cider Company to help riders celebrate their achievements at the end of this year’s challenge.

The Ride starts in Taunton and takes participants on a stunning 66-mile journey through quiet Somerset country lanes and across the eastern part of Exmoor National Park, before ending in a tranquil spot on the West Somerset coast at Blue Anchor near Minehead.

And, thanks to this new partnership, this summer thirsty riders can look forward to sinking a well-earned pint (or two) of Taunton Cider after a very rewarding and enjoyable day in the saddle.

Darren McKimm, the Ride Organiser, commented: “Taunton Cider has been recognised internationally as one of the best ciders in the world and we’re absolutely delighted to have them on board as one of our key supporters – it’s obviously a great Somerset partnership for the Ride which starts in Taunton, and it’s great to know that our riders will now be able to enjoy a pint of proper cider from Somerset when they cross the finish line!

“Taunton Cider has an extensive history and heritage but in its current form it’s also something refreshing and new from Somerset, just like the GER, and it feels like the perfect West Country combination for the Ride – a fabulous Somerset route with a pint of proper Somerset cider waiting at the finish – so participants can really look forward to a fantastic challenge AND a great day out.”

Matt Hill, from Taunton Cider, added: “Taunton Cider is very pleased to be supporting this fantastic Somerset event and adding to everyone’s enjoyment on the day – it’s great to see people being active and taking on this sort of personal challenge, and we also really like the fact that riders are encouraged to use their efforts to fundraise for charity. Prostate Cancer UK is a great cause to support, so we’d encourage all our customers and fans to think about taking part and then celebrating with us at the finish”.

“Taunton Cider is made from a variety of bitter sweet apples grown in a number of local orchards so it really is proper cider from Somerset, and that makes it the perfect way to round off what should be a challenging and thoroughly enjoyable day at the Great Exmoor Ride – hopefully the thought of a hard-earned and well-deserved pint of Taunton Cider at the end will spur everyone on!”.

Participants can certainly look forward to a spectacular route that will test the legs before ending by the sea on a quiet and unspoilt part of the Somerset coast.

A spokesman added: “It’s a great chance to make summer feel like it’s lasting that little bit longer, and we’re expecting to see a great big smile on people’s faces from the huge sense of achievement that they’ll feel at completing the challenge.”

The event is registered with British Cycling, the sport’s governing body, and participants will benefit from a whole host of event support services, including clear route signage, medical cover, and mobile mechanical support, and there will also be a free BBQ at the finish for riders in addition to the Taunton Cider bar.

Further information and full details on the event, including how to enter, can be found at www.greatexmoorride.com.

HUNDREDS SIGN UP FOR COMMANDO CHALLENGE

Friends, families and colleagues from across the South West are signing up in their hundreds to support the notoriously difficult – and famously muddy – Royal Marines Commando Challenge this October.

To date, 2018 has seen the highest numbers yet of intrepid fundraisers prepared to put themselves through either the 5k ‘Cheerfulness’ or the 10k ‘Endurance’ training circuits in aid of Devon Air Ambulance and The Royal Marines Charity.

The course is the first of a series of tests Royal Marines undertake, and will take fundraisers through moorland and the woodland of Woodbury Common near Lympstone, Devon, which involve tunnels, pipes, wading pools and an underwater culvert.

“This is an event that’s literally and figuratively full of peaks and troughs,” says Caroline Creer, spokesperson for the Royal Marines Commando Challenge. “The course is described by many as physically and emotionally gritty and gruelling, yet the thrill of supporting each other through it and being cheered across the finish line, knowing that you’ve challenged yourself and raised essential funds for charity, is absolutely worth it.”

Individuals or groups can still enter either or both courses for just £5 per person, per challenge, with the option of raising sponsorship for the charities on top. Many teams constitute businesses that see the event as a great team building exercise; certainly colleagues find themselves bonding in the face of such grizzly obstacles as the fully-immersive Sheep Dip and the Crocodile Pit.

There’s still time and space for more participants to sign up and take part in the challenge. Just visit www.commandochallenge.co.uk/signup to sign up for the event on weekend of 13th and / or 14th October, 2018, or keep an eye on the Royal Marines Commando Challenge Facebook page for the latest news and information.

MINEHEAD’S MARITIME MILE

News Release From West Somerset Council

Minehead’s Maritime Mile was launched last week, to give the resort a fresh, new boost designed to attract more visitors in time for the start of the main holiday season.

At an informal ceremony last Tuesday, Minehead’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Gail Everett cut the ribbon to open the new attraction.

The £80,000 project, largely funded through LEADER – an EU scheme that allocates money to help rural areas – will complement the Enterprising Minehead project that has won substantial funding to make the resort the go-to seaside destination by making the most of its traditional appeal as a seaside resort – with a twenty-first-century twist.

The Maritime Mile creates a new heritage interpretation trail, running the length of the seafront to showcase Minehead’s maritime history, myths and legends. The trail has the central theme of ‘find and follow the shells’ and be way-marked to draw people along the route. It will link to existing features like the South West Coast Path and England Coast Path.

An open-air gallery is being built at the trail’s central point to display images and artefacts from Minehead’s past. And there’s an App (suitable for Android and iOS devices).

The App features a quiz designed to entice people to walk to the Harbour and complete the trail, those presenting correct answers to Minehead Visitor Centre will be eligible to collect a prize. This feature technology will also link to the new Minehead destination website for visitors widening Minehead’s appeal as a tourist destination.

The new, high-tech App features *augmented reality, videos and 3D images to make the walk more exciting and interactive – and it links to the new website being launched – www.mineheadbay.co.uk – to further enhance Minehead’s appeal to new and wider audiences.

The state-of-the-art responsive website has been developed to capitalise on marketing the town as a key destination and will also link to the seafront trail/walk and its innovative technology.

The Minehead Coastal Community Team projects have been developed in collaboration with Minehead Museum, Minehead Development Trust, and Butlin’s.

Cllr Andrew Hadley, West Somerset Council’s Lead Member for economic regeneration, said: “The Maritime Mile showcases Minehead’s history and heritage and is a great new feature to enhance what we can now offer our visitors – and encourage more people to enjoy Minehead.

“We are lucky to have a fascinating history that can be brought to life through harnessing the incredible technology that is available now. “

Katrina Midgley, who chairs Minehead Coastal Community Team, added: “This is the first in a series of enhancements to Minehead’s Esplanade, aimed at attracting local people and tourists to enjoy our seafront. I am delighted to see the work of Minehead Coastal Community Team coming to life. I would like to thank everyone who has been instrumental in making this happen.”

*Augmented reality uses computer-aided graphics to add an additional layer of information to aid understanding and/or interaction with the physical world around you.

PHOTO: Ribbon cutting: from the left are Katrina Midgley (MCCT chair), Nicky Bradley, Bernard Maynard-Smith, Gail Everett (Minehead Deputy Mayor), Gary Woolmer, Maureen Smith, Nicki Maclean, Roger Thomas, Mandy Chilcott.

 

 

IN SEARCH OF JOHN KNIGHT’S LOST GARDENS OF SIMONSBATH

An archaeological dig to uncover features of a lost garden created by ‘father of Exmoor’ John Knight in the nineteenth century is about to begin. The work is being led by South West Archaeology with local volunteers, and funded by Exmoor National Park Authority in association with the Simonsbath Programme Steering Group.
An archaeology open morning is being held on Wednesday 27 June from 10am – 1pm to give people the chance to see the excavations and learn more about John Knight’s ambitious plans (Ashcombe car park, TA24 7SH).

In 1820 John Knight, a businessman from Worcestershire, paid £50,000 for a wild, uninhabited area of moorland within what is now Exmoor National Park. He moved there with his wife and six young children and began a project to single-handedly colonise and reclaim the 16,000 acre wilderness previously untouched since the Bronze Age, and to transform it into a great estate with a mansion at its heart in Simonsbath.

Nearby Ashcombe gardens were begun as part of this vision, but were never to be completed. Traces of garden terraces, bridges and paths remain, but very little is known about what the gardens were to be like.

Charlotte Hornsby from the Simonsbath Programme, said: “We have exciting plans to tell Simonsbath’s story and to enlighten both visitors and residents. We also want to bring together the local community, friends and family from around the world who have been touched by the beauty and magic of Simonsbath and its history.”

Rob Wilson-North, head of conservation and access at Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “No one person has done more to shape the direction of Exmoor’s landscape than John Knight, yet we still know relatively little about his influences and motives. We hope this latest excavation will provide further clues to his vision for Exmoor, and help us better understand this cornerstone of the National Park’s history.”

PHOTO: A quartz outcrop in Ashcombe dating back to the 1820s that once formed part of John Knight’s vision for a designed landscape. Credit: Hazel Riley.

WOMEN’S RIGHT TO VOTE EXHIBITION

Somerset Rural Life Museum and Somerset Art Works are delighted to present a new exhibition marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act. The Act gave the first British women the right to vote.

Processions: Two Banners, One Voice has just opened at the Museum. It displays a rare original suffrage banner created by the Weston-super-Mare branch of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies alongside a contemporary banner created by students from Strode College in Street.

The students worked with Bristol-based artist Dorcas Casey to create the banner. It is one of 100 commissioned centenary banners that formed part of PROCESSIONS*, a mass participation artwork that took place on 10 June. Students from Strode College joined women and girls from across the UK who came together in London to process the banners.

Curator Bethan Murray from the South West Heritage Trust said: “The exhibition will allow visitors to discover how the women of Somerset played their part in the fight for women’s suffrage and their continuing roll in working for women’s rights today.”

Beccy Swaine from Somerset Art Works said: “Look closely at the new banner and you will see the enthusiasm, passion and creativity of the women and girls who represented Somerset in London as part of Processions 1918-2018.”

Artist Dorcas Casey worked with students from Strode College Art Department to design and create the contemporary textile banner. It was influenced by original Suffrage banners and encorporates the unique culture of the county. Glastonbury Festival wrist bands are woven into the design.

Dorcas said: “The process of making suffrage banners fostered a sense of collective, collaborative progress for the women who were fighting for equal rights. It’s hard to imagine how subversive and incendiary these embroidered banners were when they first appeared in public. Beneath their beautiful, meticulous surfaces, lies a story of strength, courage, and collaboration.”

The exhibition at the museum

The exhibition is on display at Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury from 16 June to 2 September.

For more information about the project to create the banners visit the blog somersetprocessions.wordpress.com

*PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. Somerset Art Works is one of 100 commissioned organisations www.processions.co.uk

TOP PHOTO: Somerset Art Works at Processions photo by Ben McCluskey.