Category Archives: Events

International artist brings permanent exhibition to South Molton

Following on from his very successful ‘An Artist on Exmoor’ exhibition at Christmas, internationally renowned artist Ken Hildrew’s work can be permanently viewed at the Exmoor Gallery, Photoscene, The Square, South Molton from Saturday 14 July, when it officially opens.

Ken is a major artist who has won accolades and prizes in Europe, America and Japan, but who has lived quietly in North Molton for more than 20 years. On opening day, he will be at the gallery from 10.00 to 2.00, to meet the public and talk about how his collection was inspired. There will be a free glass of wine and nibbles for all comers, and complementary postcards of some of Ken’s finest works, with donations going to the Devon Air Ambulance.

Exmoor in its many guises, Ken’s primary inspiration, will be the subject of his opening exhibition. The initial collection will include atmospheric pictures of Exmoor in all its glory, as well as local wildlife such as The Emperor stag, owls and falcons.

However he already has plans to feature other art collections in the future, with the titles like All About Owls scheduled for October, and The River Thames for New Year 2013.

Ken said: “After the Artist on Exmoor Exhibition was so well received last year, I decided to take up Photoscene’s offer of a permanent Exmoor Gallery. South Molton seems to be doing well, despite the tough financial climate, and that fact that it is fast becoming a destination shopping town, make me sure that this is the right move for me.”

He continued: “I love the local area and find that Exmoor gives me a ceaseless canvass of rugged beauty, which I believe keeps my art fresh and timeless”.

With original works, signed limited edition prints and Art Cards Devon Air Ambulance Appeal, the exhibition will have something for every pocket.

For further enquiries about the Exhibition, please ring Photoscene on 01769 57982.

Woodland Playscheme events coming up

The Woodland Playscheme is running a Diamond Jubilee Hatter’s Tea party on Friday 8 June 1-5pm.  There will be games and activities for everyone to get involved in or you can merely enjoy the woodland and atmosphere. Of course there will also be ample tea and cake!

Organiser Louise Kennedy is still on the lookout for items which they can borrow to dress the woods for the Hatter’s Tea Party so if anyone has large tea pots, bunting, trestle tables, table cloths, mirrors stored away they would love to hear from you! Don’t forget it is fancy dress attire for all too!  Bring your own cup and saucer and your own cream bun!

It’s a tea party theme so you will need a chair,
Come dressed as the Hatter or the Queen to be there!
And don’t forget, be you a rabbit or hare,
Bring a picnic party plate of food to share!
Tea, coffee, squash and cakes will be provided
Wear sensible outdoor clothing, especially wellies if it’s been raining!

This event is being held in a secret squirrel location, so please contact Louise to book.

The cost is £5 per child and £3 per adult

Hunting of the Earl of Rone

If you’re looking for alternative ways to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, the Hunting of the Earl of Rone (1-4 June) in Combe Martin is a spectacle not to be missed. Once banned for ‘licentiousness and drunken behaviour’, village maidens, hobby horse, fool and band hunt the earl all weekend. When they finally find him, they march him the length of the high street (stretching two miles, it’s reputedly the longest in the country), regularly shooting and reviving him until he is cast into the sea! Heading into Exmoor’s heartland, the Dulverton Folk Festival (1-5 June) has a host of impressive free acts to entertain in an extended Jubilee Special – you can book a pitch at a local campsite or enjoy the hospitality of hotels, B&Bs and pubs in this most charming Exmoor town.

Cutcombe Parish Prepares for the Beacon Lighting

Planning for the lighting of Dunkery Beacon is now well underway as Cutcombe Parish prepares to welcome visitors to watch the lighting of its beacon on Monday 4 June. Having learned from previous events in this area, traffic will be carefully managed and arrangements made to facilitate parking as close to the beacon area as is possible.  Roger Webber, Chairman of Cutcombe Parish Council, said that part of the uncertainty will be the numbers of people with cars wishing to attend and the weather could greatly affect the turnout.

The plan recommends that all cars approach the area from Wheddon Cross on the B3224 towards Exford before turning off at Blagdon Cross towards Dunkery and the road will be restricted at Dunkery Gate with parking provided in a field just before the gate. The small parking area inside the Gate will be for emergency vehicles only.  The footpath route to the Beacon area is about a kilometre following a zig-zag path unsuitable for those physically limited.  It will take about 30 minutes to ascend to the Beacon Area on foot.

The stretch of road between Dunkery Gate and Webbers Post will have restricted parking on the right hand side. All its lay byes and car parks will be cordoned off and only available for the bus service for disabled users which will be available from 7.30 to 11pm on 4 June, operated by ATWEST. This bus service will run from the Exmoor Farmers parking area about 400 metres from Wheddon Cross crossroads, where there will also be free parking available.  Less able people will be able to take a picnic to the largest car park on the road from where they will have a clear view of the Beacon.  Mark Courtiour, the Countryside Operations Manager for the National Trust which owns the land surrounding the beacon, said that they must preserve the area close to the beacon site and therefore the fire will be sited just to one side.  Also vehicle access from the road along the horizontal path has to be restricted to emergency vehicles only.

Edwin Beckett, who is the appointed Beacon Registrar for Dunkery Beacon, said that over 4,000 beacons will be lit between 10pm and 10.30pm on 4 June. Dunkery Beacon is part of the ancient Anchor Chain of Beacons which will all be lit at 10pm.  The view from Dunkery Beacon enables people to see many of the beacons in the South West, and also in Wales, used to alert England throughout the ages.

Mr Beckett said:  “We hope that people from near and far will join this celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We request that visitors to the area  bring a torch and take all their belongings and any rubbish home.  We are delighted with the help being provided by the National Trust, our Parish Council and volunteers from the area, Exmoor Farmers for the use of their car park and Mr and Mrs Harold Stevens for also allowing cars to be parked at the owners risk in their field by Dunkery Gate. But special thanks to ATWEST, which will only levy a reduced  charge for passengers of £2, which enables us to offer access to the less-abled and their carers. The help provided  by PC Bruce Strachan has also been invaluable.”

Rest & Be to repeat Shear Exmoor event

Following the success of last years’ Shear Exmoor the Rest & Be Thankful Inn at Wheddon Cross have organised it again. Shear Exmoor is a charity sheep-shearing competition to be staged in the Bottom Shed at Goosemoor Farm on Sunday 10 June 2012, Registration before 12noon, 1st class to start approximately 1pm. There are 5 different classes including Open, Intermediate, Veterans, Young Farmers Junior and Senior, plus a fun Team Shear event. There will be additional demonstrations of shearing equipment and local produce and uses of Wool, Bar and BBQ, and CLOWNS will be on hand to do keep the children entertained to create a fun day out for the whole family.

The aim of Shear Exmoor is to raise funds for a local charity CLOWNS, who provide learning and entertainment opportunities all over Exmoor for young children and our local Young Farmers Club. We hope that if the event is successful, it will become the country’s premier shearing competition and perhaps become as famous as the Golden Shears, staged in New Zealand. Shear Exmoor’s aim is to be informative with a fun dimension – Shearing is a very important and skilful job and Exmoor has an abundance of talented shearers, we the organisers wanted to show locals and visitors alike an example of what Exmoor has to offer from the high speed shearing of the Open class to the precision of the Blade shearing – even some well known local farmers are dusting off their equipment for the Veteran class.

We are looking for Entrants for Shear Exmoor the shearing competition – so if you have experience in shearing, whether you are a novice or think yourself a ‘Pro’ please contact either James Webber 07967 358017, Caroline Norman @ the Rest and Be Thankful 01643 841222 or Dave Takle for an entry form.

Plans for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Clock Tower in Minehead

People around the nation are gearing up to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a variety of ways. There are plans for street parties, firework displays, the lighting of beacons and much, much more.

One group in Minehead have come together to raise funds to construct an 8.5m high clock tower, with three clock faces, a tidal times face and radial seating on Minehead’s seafront, opposite the West Somerset Railway Station.

The clock and tower have been designed by Conservation Architect and Marine Historian Peter Ferguson. He has based the design on that of a ‘Screwpile Lighthouse’ which serves to reflect the maritime location. The unique and practical structure will incorporate low-maintenance materials which should easily deter damage by bad weather or vandalism. All necessary legal permissions have been granted and the local council have pledged to be responsible for all future maintenance.

Funding is being generated by the generosity of advertisers, private donors, grants and local fund raising activities. The local community has been active in generating funds; there have been garden parties, walks, a jazz concert, a Celtic evening, and the Minehead Middle school took part in a competition to design posters. The local Rainbows, Brownies and Guides raised money for the project during the recent late night shopping event. In February the Minehead Male voice choir held a very successful concert, in the Methodist Church, to raise more funds and also the exposure profile of the project.

To encourage local people to contribute, anyone donating £30 or more can elect to have a chosen name on the base of the tower. Full information is available on the website:

Another initiative that the group has undertaken is the construction of an information hoarding on the site of the proposed siting of the tower. There are six sides, all useable for display. Four are currently in use, two for information about the project, one to display the winning poster from the competition and the fourth for advertising kindly sponsored by local businesses who are keen to show their support.

The advertisements will be on permanent display for at least six months. Details of how to become involved can be found on the website.