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HALSWAY MANOR OPENS ITS DOORS FOR HERITAGE DAYS

At the foot of the Quantock hills, not far from Crowcombe, lies an extraordinary historic building many do not realise is there. Now is your chance to discover this hidden gem, as Halsway Manor will be open to the public as part of Heritage Open Days 2018, on Friday 7 and Friday 14 September.

On a day-to-day basis Halsway Manor operates as the National Centre for Folk Arts, offering residential courses in traditional music, dance, song, crafts and more, welcoming artists and guests from all over the UK, Europe and beyond.

As part of Heritage Open Days, the charity is offering members of the public the opportunity to visit this beautiful Grade 2* listed manor and access rooms normally closed to the public. Through newly installed interpretation, visitors will learn about the manor’s fascinating history from the Domesday Book, to the current building’s origins in the fifteenth century, from eccentric past residents, to its current status full of interesting creative goings on. Families are welcome and there will be special souvenir story and activity packs for children. There are six acres of beautiful gardens and grounds that visitors are also welcome to explore.

Alice Maddicott is the Creative Lead for an ongoing Heritage Lottery Funded ‘Future Halsway’ project, and has been instrumental in the creation of new interpretation materials at the Manor. She says,”We’re really excited to be able to welcome new visitors to discover Halsway and the fascinating history of this beautiful house and area. We really hope people enjoy exploring the house – including the library, great hall and grounds, plus one or two of the more interesting bedrooms too!”

The house will be open to visitors from 10.30am to 3pm, with free parking available onsite. Refreshments will not be available, but visitors are welcome to bring their own – why not bring a picnic lunch to eat on the lawn?

For more information please contact: creative@halswaymanor.org.uk Fancy making a day of it? Other Heritage Open Days properties in the Quantock / West Somerset area include: Halswell House, Dunster Castle, North Hill on the Radar, St John the Baptist church, Carhampton. For more information visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk.

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.

KINGS HALL FAMILY TACKLE THREE PEAKS FOR CANCER

A family from King’s Hall School recently completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for Cancer Research UK.

Former King’s Hall pupils Harriet and Tom Kittow, along with their younger sister Anna, a current Year 4 pupil at the school, tackled the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, all in under 12 hours.

Diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012, thirteen-year-old Harriet wished to raise money for those suffering from the disease.

Joined by family and friends, the trio completed the challenge in 11 hours 17 minutes, raising a fantastic £1,700 for the deserving charity.

The family are particularly thankful to the King’s Hall community, who have shown their support over the past six years.

In 2013, a number of King’s Hall parents undertook the National Three Peaks Challenge, raising money for CLIC Sargent, a leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families.

Victoria Kittow, Harriet’s mother and Year 2 teacher at King’s Hall, said: “Harriet was diagnosed when she was in Year 2. She faced all of her treatment at King’s Hall and everyone was kind and supportive during those years.”

She added: “We are extremely proud of Harriet, Tom and Anna, and hope that their determination and spirit will influence others to get involved in similar life-changing challenges.”

 

HUNT ON FOR TRADITIONAL DEVON RECIPES

Two top Devon chefs are on the hunt this autumn and winter (2018) for unusual traditional Exmoor recipes they can incorporate within their menus.

Donna Berry (pictured), who runs The Swan in Bampton with her husband and fellow chef, Paul, is hoping to hear from people who have recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.

She explained: “We’ve heard of Devon splits, which are a type of scone, apple dappy dessert, tansy pudding – originally made with the tansy herb, Devonshire pork pie and potato cakes, but it’d be great to see if we can unearth some other unusual seasonal dishes from way-back-when, which use produce from Devon and our side of Exmoor.

“People have told us about blackbird pie, which dates back more than 100 years and hails from Exmoor. However, we’re not keen to include that on the menu, but we’d love to hear about other old recipes that originate from the area that we could try out. It’d be great to be able see if we can include or adapt a seasonal local recipe or two on the menu with all the local produce we use, too.”

The Swan, which is an AA Four Star Gold Inn and the oldest pub in Bampton, was named as one of the top 50 gastropubs in the country for the second year running this year.

In 2017, the pub was polled at 50 and this year it’s 28th in the rankings and received a highest climber award. The ‘Estrella Damm’ Top 50 Gastropub Awards are voted for by food writers, executive chefs, celebrity and top hospitality industry chefs, pub guide editors, industry chiefs and food operators.

It has scooped a plethora of awards for its food in the past few months and years including being named Gold Tourism Pub of the Year 2018 at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, voted Best Dining Pub for 2018 in the Trencherman Awards and receiving a Gold Tourism Pub award in the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards. It has two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence as well.

The Swan’s team has a passion for food and embraces the use of produce from the area to create some real pub classics, such as sausages and mash, cod and chips, pies, grilled rump steak and sweets.

Donna said: “We try to keep our dishes simple yet bursting with flavours and imagination. From the freshly baked bread at the start of the meal, to tempting puddings, our kitchen produces everything we serve here at the pub.”

The Swan’s menu is created from fresh, seasonal ingredients, sourced from nearby, on a daily basis by Paul and Donna and their team.

“We are dedicated to using all the local or regional produce available to us, needless to say we are so lucky living here in the West Country, we have local farmers supplying us with their beef, pork and lamb and the fishing communities providing us with the freshest cod for our classic cod and chips,” said Donna.

To find out more about The Swan and to book a table, please call 01398 332248 or visit www.theswan.co

HELEN SEAR PROSPECT REFUGE HAZARD 2: EXHIBITION AT HESTERCOMBE

Internationally acclaimed artist Helen Sear presents a large collection of new and recent work at Hestercombe Gallery this summer. Consisting of works made since 2015, this will be her most ambitious exhibition in the UK to date. Sear’s technique is characterised by exploring the crossover between photography and fine art, and focusing on the co-existence of the human, animal and natural worlds.

The exhibition runs from 14 July until 28 October 2018.

Helen Sear has exhibited around the world and was the first female artist selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice with a solo exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Producing high-quality, conceptually rigorous work, her current work incorporates photography, sound and video within a sculptural context, exploring the potential for her artwork to activate and elicit feeling.

“The photographic/moving image in art practice,” Sear says, “has never been so diverse or contested and, with the acceleration of new digital technologies, the function and presence of the image as both material and permeable is an ongoing challenge in the meaning, making and reception of my work.”

Her practice has evolved from a fine art education in performance, film and installation work in the 1980s and is rooted in an interest in Magic Realism, Surrealism and Conceptual Art. With photography a central subject in her work, she often challenges the dominance of the eye and the fixed-point perspective associated with the camera lens, placing the viewer in intriguing new relationships with the image.

The title of the exhibition comes from the 1975 book by Jay Appleton The Experience of Landscape where he developed the prospect-refuge theory of human aesthetics.

Helen Sear studied Fine Art at Reading University and University College London, Slade School, with her work rising to prominence in the late 1980s, when she worked primarily through installation, performance and film. Her photographic works became widely known in the 1991 British Council exhibition, De-Composition: Constructed Photography in Britain, which toured Latin America and Eastern Europe. Since then she has exhibited widely including About Face at the Hayward Gallery, London, 2004; La Mirada Reflexiva at the Espai D’Art Contemporani in Castellon Spain, 2005; Inside The View, shown at Gallery Harmonia in Finland in 2006; Klompching Gallery New York and Bildkultur, Stuttgart, 2010-12. This year she produced a new video and sound work commissioned during a year-long residency at The Forestry Commission England, Dalby Forest, in partnership with Crescent Arts and as part of Forest Art Works.

She is represented by: Klompching in New York, Martin Asbaek In Copenhagen and Galerie Pennings in Eindhoven.

Top: Forest Operations, 2018.

WEST BUCKLAND SCHOOL RAISE THOUSANDS FOR LOCAL CHARITY

West Buckland School’s Charities Committee, run by Sixth Form students, have raised £8,318.81 for their nominated local charity ‘Everything Ellie’ – the highest amount ever achieved.

The school ran a Fashion Show, put together a special-edition calendar,  sold beautiful glass ‘Ellie’ beads and even busked in South Molton to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Ellie sadly lost her battle with leukaemia in 2015 and the charity, ‘Everything Ellie’, offers an amazing beach hut at Saunton Sands, North Devon, providing a simple day at the seaside and short breaks away. It is a welcome respite from hospital rooms for young people or parents and guardians with young families undergoing treatment for long-term, life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

Justeen Easton, Ellie’s mum, said: “The charity trustees are so very proud of the students and staff at West Buckland School. The grand total is a testament to how they have got behind the charity’s aims and were touched by Ellie’s story. This amount will make an ever-lasting difference to families having the most difficult time and I hope that the students continue to keep in touch to see the joy of their efforts.”

Staff and students are so pleased to have been able to support ‘Everything Ellie’ this year and will follow the progress of the charity going forward.

KING’S HALL CELEBRATE OPENING OF STATE-OF-THE-ART SCIENCE LABS

Staff and pupils at King’s Hall School recently opened their brand-new science labs with a special celebration.

Built by Qube Construct, the £1 million facility boasts state-of-the-art apparatus, with pupils having access to equipment including a Van de Graaff generator, multimeters and circuit equipment.

To conclude the school’s annual Arts Week, Headmaster Justin Chippendale, and Governors, Vice-Custos Roger Mott and Revd Canon Linda Barley, were in attendance to celebrate the outstanding facility.

Also present was King’s Chaplain, Father Mark, who blessed the new block, as per school tradition.

To commemorate the opening, pupils took part in a plasma workshop run by the Bristol-based Science Boffins, who officially opened the centre with a ribbon-burning ceremony.

Head of Science at King’s Hall, Joe Hayden said: “We are privileged to have such an incredible building. The facilities are truly remarkable and it makes not only our science lessons captivating, but also running our Saturday STEM Club a real joy.”

He added: “The new faculty is a fantastic space and I feel great excitement at the possibilities for future developments and the amazing educational benefits the pupils will receive.”

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.

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.

FOLK TRIO LEVERET AT HALSWAY MANOR

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts are delighted to be welcoming acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret to perform at the Manor on Saturday 16 June at 8pm. ​

“Classy players … their intuitive way with tunes is glorious” Mojo

Leveret is a unique collaboration between three of England’s finest folk musicians. Andy Cutting (melodeon), Sam Sweeney (fiddle) and Rob Harbron (concertina) are each regarded as exceptional performers and masters of their instruments. Together their performances combine consummate musicianship, compelling delivery and captivating spontaneity. Leveret’s music is not arranged in the conventional sense and instead they rely on mutual trust, listening and responding as they perform live. Their playing is relaxed and natural, drawing audiences in and inviting them to share in music making that is truly spontaneous and yet deeply timeless.

“This is all about the joy of playing and the intoxicating thrill of three masters of their craft … the empathy between them as the music ebbs and flows is exceptional; you can also see the smiles and winks between them. The feel-good warmth they generate is palpable.” Colin Irwin [fROOTS review of In The Round]

Fiddler Sam Sweeney was the 2015 BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year, directs the National Youth Folk Ensemble and is known for his work in Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, The Full English and his own Made In The Great War project. Melodeon genius Andy Cutting, a three-time BBC Folk Awards Best Musician, is a compelling solo performer and currently works with Blowzabella, Topette, June Tabor, and Roger Daltry. Concertina wizard Rob Harbron leads the English Acoustic Collective summer school and is known for his work with The Full English (Best Group and Best Album BBC Folk Awards 2014), Emma Reid, Fay Hield, Jon Boden and others.

“You won’t find English folk music played better than this”R2

Leveret’s music is firmly rooted in the English tradition but sounds fresh and new.  With their albums New Anything and In The Round and over a long string of sell-out gigs, the trio have built a strong reputation as consummate musicians and captivating performers. Latest release Inventions brings Leveret’s trademark groove, energy and intuitive playing to bear on a set of new tunes composed by the trio, three of today’s finest tunesmiths in the folk field.

“Sublime, exquisite music – don’t miss them” Martin Simpson

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. There’s ample free parking onsite, a bar and – of course – beautiful atmospheric settings for concerts with wonderful acoustics, and a chance to catch-up with the artists over a drink afterwards!

Tickets are priced £15. Call 01984 618274 (option 1), email office@halswaymanor.org.uk or buy securely online at www.halswaymanor.org.uk.