Category Archives: Events

Biggest display of original British surfboards and memorabilia from the 1960s ever seen in the UK

Glen Short at Newquay, 1965
Glen Short at Newquay, 1965

A major new exhibition at the award-winning Museum of British Surfing will look at the decade when modern surfing culture first washed ashore on the UK’s beaches in the 1960s.

Exactly 50 years after the Britain’s first surf shop opened its doors, ‘Sixties SURFER!’ will tap into the source of this new wave of surfers, and the enduring footsteps they left in the sand for generations of dedicated wave-riders to follow.

Museum founder Peter Robinson sets the scene: “A massive sea change occurred in the swinging Sixties when the UK met Malibu, Bondi and the Beach Boys head-on, and a new surfing culture was imported from foreign shores. In the 70 years before this surfing had been quite a genteel affair with a handful of hardy pioneers, wooden surfboards & woollen bathing suits.”

‘Sixties SURFER!’ will be the biggest display of original British surfboards and memorabilia from the 1960s ever seen in the UK, and will sample the films, photography, music and fashions of this groundbreaking decade.

“Make sure you come along and ‘hang ten’ with us this year, and check out the radical ‘baggies’, ‘Malibu boards’ and first wetsuits that changed the face of British surfing forever,” says Peter.

The exhibition has been made possible by sponsorship from businesses across Devon and Cornwall including 1960s wetsuit pioneer Gul, Wavelength surfing magazine, Finisterre clothing, Skinners Brewery, The Thatch pub, Marsdens Cottage Holidays, Parkin Estates and The Red Barn pub.

The Museum of British Surfing is a registered charity and opened in Braunton, North Devon for the first time in April 2012.  It is the first and only dedicated museum celebrating surfing history in Europe.

Alongside the new temporary exhibition, there are sections on early surfing history,  North Devon surfing and the environment and special children’s activities.

The earliest recorded surfing in Britain took place in 1890 when two Hawaiian princes and their English guardian rode waves at Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast.

Concert in aid of Brompton Regis Church organ restoration fund

There will be a charity concert, this Saturday, 6 April, at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Brompton Regis, featuring the Moorland Quartet with Alison Routh (soprano).  The event is being held in aid of the organ restoration fund (





Wine and soft drinks will be on sale at the interval.

For tickets (£7 each, unnumbered), phone 01398 371128 or email .   They are also available in Village Shop.  A few in the side aisle may have a restricted view.

The George Inn can serve early suppers from 6.00 (pre-booking on 01398 371273).

Exmoor Trust Annual Quiz

The Exmoor Trust Annual Quiz will take place on Friday 22nd March at Winsford Village Hall.

This popular event is now in its third year, and teams are invited to challenge for the Exmoor Trust Quiz trophy. As always an excellent home-cooked two course supper will be laid on to fuel the competition.

Further details will be posted on the Exmoor Trust website.


The Exmoor Trust’s aims are three-fold:

  • To conserve and enhance for the public benefit the area known as Greater Exmoor;
  • To encourage the public to appreciate and respect all aspects of its historical, physical and cultural environment;
  • To further such charitable purposes for the benefit of Exmoor as the Trustees shall determine from time to time.

The Greater Exmoor area, covered by the Exmoor Trust’s remit, extends from Watchet to Combe Martin in the north, to South Molton and Clayhanger in the south, and includes Minehead.

In pursuit of these aims, the Exmoor Trust’s tactical objectives are to support a broad range of issues relating to the inhabitants, ecology and environment of Greater Exmoor. These objectives are achieved by raising, managing and dispersing funds in an efficient and cost-effective manner, and by using its influence and expertise to help, support and sustain the communities within Greater Exmoor.

Overall, the Exmoor Trust seeks to achieve, in a sustainable and enduring way, a happy balance of interests which will continue to provide vibrant community life, interest for the public, the preservation of the wilderness of the environment and, above all, hope for the future of this unique environment.


Exmoor Awareness to explore Moorland Heritage and Second World War connections

The final Exmoor Awareness session of the year is being held on Tuesday 26 March from 10am to 4pm in Minehead offering a fascinating insight into Exmoor’s moorland heritage and connections with the Second World War .

Exmoor Awareness provides tourism providers with the opportunity to gain a greater insight in to the special qualities of the National Park, with expert speakers and guides. The morning session will be held at Minehead Methodist Church Hall with presentations from the National Park Authority’s Conservation Manager Rob Wilson-North and Shirley Blaycock (Historic Environment Conservation Officer), along with Faye Balmond (Moorland Heritage Officer for the Exmoor Landscape Partnership Project) and Dr Lee Bray (Historic Environment Officer for the Exmoor Mires project). There will be a round-up of different moorland heritage projects currently being undertaken, information about the new Dig Porlock venture and a presentations on Exmoor’s use by the military during the Second World War.

Following a local produce buffet, the afternoon will consist of a field trip taking in key sites on North Hill with an opportunity to look around a Second World War radar station and other sites connected with the conflict.

“The history and heritage of our moorlands is fascinating” said Dan James, Sustainable Economy Officer for Exmoor National Park Authority. “Every year visitors come to enjoy the breathtaking views that the moorlands of Exmoor provide and this session will allow tourism providers to learn a huge amount of extra information about the heritage of the area to pass on to guests.”

The session costs just £15 including refreshments and lunch in addition to the presentations and field trip. Advanced booking is essential by phoning Dan James on 01398 322234 or downloading a booking from here:

West Somerset Railway Lynton and Lynmouth Explorer

Following the retirement of Martyn Babb from operating Blue Motors of Exmoor the West Somerset Railway has been looking at a new package to offer passengers a chance to see some more of Exmoor in combination with a steam train trip. They have come up with the following:

Passengers will travel on the ‘Lynton and Lynmouth Explorer’  – the 10.25 steam train from Bishops Lydeard to Dunster station where they will be met by a Ridlers coach to take them over Exmoor to the twin villages for a lunchtime visit of around two hours. The coach will leave again at 2.30pm and is due to arrive at Minehead at 3.30pm, giving some time for a leg stretch or a visit to the station shop. The steam train home departs at 4.05 pm and is back at Bishops Lydeard at 5.22pm.

The dates of operation will be 24 May, 14 and 28 June, 12 and 26 July and 13 and 27 September. Costs are £21.00 for adults, £19.00 for seniors, £10.00 for children aged 5 to 15 and £50.00 for a family of two adults and up to four children.

Somerset Woodland Association New Date for Willett Walk

DATE: Friday 8 March 2013
LOCATION: Willett Hill
TIME: 9am-1pm

This is the new date for the event which Somerset Woodland Association had to postpone due to the snow a few weeks ago. If you wanted to go but could not make the date in January, hopefully you will be able to make the revised date.

This will be an interesting and informative walk; talk to experts in the field about current and topical aspects of Ash Dieback. The walk will focus on how to identify diseases such as Chalara fraxinea and Phytophthora ramorum, discussing the impact on native woodlands, an owners responsibility and management issues.

The event, which is open to all,  is free for members and £10 for non-members. Lunch costs £3 per person if requested.

Please book in advance by emailing; directions will be sent on confirmation.

Sports Celebrity Dinner raises over £1500 for new Minehead Cricket Pavilion

Rugby World Cup winner Mark Regan, MBE, and Somerset Cricketer Arul Suppiah were the special guests at the recent Sports Celebrity Fundraising Dinner which was held at The Culbone  in association with Minehead Cricket Club. The sporting stars helped to raise over £1500 which will go towards the building of Minehead Cricket Club’s new pavilion, due for completion this summer.

It was a full house at the restaurant where Head Chef Jack Scarterfield and his team produced a delicious 3-course meal including Ruby Red Devon Beef Steak and Pork Belly with celeriac mash and purple sprouting broccoli. The Culbone has recently won awards for its great menus and has been praised for its commitment to local produce and suppliers, as well as its warm and friendly service.

Managing Director, and keen cricket fan, Mark Sanders was delighted with how the evening went. “After all the snow we were dreading having to cancel the evening, but the roads opened just in time and everyone made it up here for one of the best nights we’ve ever had. It was really successful and we would love this to become an annual event.”

This function was the first of Arul Suppiah’s benefit year and he opened the after dinner entertainment with a varied and wide-ranging question and answer session. Locally, Arul Suppiah will also be playing in a summer benefit match along with Marcus Trescothick on Friday 9 August at Minehead Cricket Club – with a pre-match buffet to be served in the new pavilion. Rugby international Mark Regan, MBE, gave a hilarious speech on his famous rugby career covering his time as a member of the side that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, and as a British Lion.

The main sponsors of the evening were Jewson Builders Merchants of Minehead who are also the suppliers of the building materials for the new cricket pavilion. Extra funds were raised by a raffle and auction from which proceeds were shared between the Benefit Fund, Arul’s chosen charities Children’s Hospice South West & the PCA Benevolent Fund, and Minehead Cricket Club’s new pavilion fund.

Simonsbath Festival 2013 – even bigger and better

The programme for Simonsbath Festival 2013 is confirmed, the website is live and tickets at affordable prices are already on sale – and some events are free.

The festival will take place from 4 May to 22 June in the beautiful heart of Exmoor with May Day and Midsummer’s Day celebrations of traditional music and songs from Exmoor, and a variety of events in between, including world music concerts to celebrate music from other cultures.

Events at the newly-restored church of St Luke’s include a performance by the internationally acclaimed concert pianist Helen Yorke, an evening of opera from students of the Italian academy founded by Sir Georg Solti, an all-female trumpet quartet and African, Indian and Spanish Flamenco concerts.

Exmoor resident Sir Andrew Burns will reflect on his 45-year career in the Diplomatic Service and his current role as UK Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues. There will be a presentation about farming life in the area from the 1920s to 1970s with archive film and traditional music and song. Celebrated musician Geoff Nichols will present an evening of words and music featuring poems by Thomas Hardy, while photographer and film maker Chris Chapman will give a talk and preview of his new film Hope Bourne – a celebration of Exmoor.

The Exmoor Forest Inn will host an art exhibition throughout the festival as well as a jazz concert and a poetry afternoon, and Simonsbath’s historic Sawmill will host a fascinating series of talks and walks uncovering the local history. And there are lots more events, including recreational activities for all the family, so there is something to suit everyone’s taste.

Full details of the programme and how to buy tickets are available on the website. You can also find the festival on Facebook and follow events on Twitter. For more information or if you would like to receive a printed programme when it is published, please contact Victoria Thomas on 01643 831343 or email

With support from Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership/Heart of Exmoor and ARTlife in partnership with West Somerset Council.

Simonsbath Festival Website now live!

The website for Simonsbath Festival 2013 is now LIVE!

The organisers are happy to announce a line-up of top performers and speakers, with more events and more variety. Simonsbath Festival 2013 brings you an exciting variety of music, fascinating talks, bracing outdoor activities and fabulous food. Please visit the website and let them know what you think:

You can follow them on Twitter and find their page on Facebook.

Exhibition: Royal Celebrations past and present

Coronation celebrations, West Exe, 1911.
Coronation celebrations, West Exe, 1911.

Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life has opened its new temporary exhibition ‘Royal Celebrations past and present’ at the museum on Thursday 6 December.

The exhibition is filled with photographs of local celebrations for Coronations and Jubilees, from Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 to the 2012 Jubilee. Earlier this year the museum asked local communities to take photos of their Jubilee celebrations and send in copies. We were delighted to get such a positive response, and have photos from Bickleigh, Black Dog, Coleford, Thorverton and Morchard Bishop on display.

The exhibition will run from 6-22 December.

Entry to this exhibition will cost £1 for adults and accompanying children are free.

About Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

The museum is open February to Christmas and provides extensive permanent displays on the history of Mid Devon, as well as running a lively temporary exhibition programme consisting of displays put on by the museum as well as those featuring local artists and groups. The museum’s Education Department is used by schools from all over Devon and beyond. The museum is family friendly and runs holiday activities.

Opening Hours:

February to Christmas

Monday to Friday 10:30-4:30

Saturdays 10:00-1:00

Open Bank Holidays.

Tel: 01884 256295