Category Archives: north devon

SCHOOL LAUNCHES EXCITING CREATIVE ARTS EVENTS FOR NORTH DEVON PUBLIC

West Buckland School is opening its doors as a new venue for the arts in North Devon, with the launch of ARTS@WB, an exciting cultural programme of stand-up comedy, dance, music, art and drama events, open to the North Devon public. The majority of the productions will be held in the school’s fabulous 150 Arts building, where visitors will also be able to browse exhibitions from distinguished artists.

ARTS@WB has been created by the school’s Director of Music and Performing Arts, Emma Kent, who many will know from her work with the North Devon Sinfonia and who has always been a great supporter of the arts in North Devon.

“ARTS@WB is a really exciting new venture for the school and the wider community,” she said. “Hopefully everyone will find something in the programme which will whet their appetite for culture and the arts and tempt them to visit our beautiful campus to enjoy a social and thought-provoking evening.”

As well as enjoying the main attraction, visitors are encouraged to come early, pick up a glass of something and enjoy a browse around the school’s stunning 150 Arts building where there will be a number of exhibitions on display from emerging artists.

The programme is suitable for people across the age groups and there are a limited number of student tickets, priced at just £1.

Legally Blonde and Katie Derham

Highlights for the 2019-2020 programme include a critically acclaimed circus and dance performance by Nikki Rummer and JD Broussé, a comedy club night featuring Noel Brodie, Jo Coffey, Chris Leworthy and Angie Belcher, a show-stopping production of the West End hit Legally Blonde at the Queen’s theatre and an Evening with Katie Derham – an insight into the life of the well-known arts journalist and presenter of the Proms season on the BBC.

For more information, or to download a copy of the full ARTS@WB brochure, please visit: www.westbuckland.com/arts-at-wb.

TOP: “Thirsty” by Paper Birds, just one of the many exciting productions at West Buckland School as part of their ARTS@WB.

VINTAGE & HANDMADE FAIR

Preparation is now in full swing for this September’s Vintage & Handmade event on Sunday 22 September at Barnstaple Pannier Market.

The show promises to be a colourful and theatrical spectacular with a 50s circus-themed backdrop to an incredible selection of exhibitors: an eclectic mix of vintage & retro traders, work that has been beautifully upcycled or recycled and stunning work from artisans across the South West including jewellery, prints, paintings, ceramics, candles, woodwork and textiles.

Barnstaple Pannier Market will be transformed – behind the curtained entrance you will find a ring master, usherettes with trays, vintage games, a vintage lemonade stand hosted by North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA) and a live swing band.

Cool creative workshops can be pre-booked including paper-flower making and hand-stitched embroidered brooches.

There will also be food traders and a tea & coffee lounge.

Put the date in your diary, you definitely don’t want to miss this one. Dig out your favourite vintage glad rags as dressing up for this event is actively encouraged.

MUSEUM OF BARNSTAPLE: NEW SHOP

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is looking for manufacturers, designers, artists and skilled craftspeople to supply products for sale in their brand-new museum shop.

They want to stock a range of items, featuring commercial products made locally in the South West, and would be particularly interested in items that reference their collections of silver, natural history, pottery and woodworking.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says: “With the new extension nearing completion, exciting times are ahead for the museum.  The new shop will be a fantastic outlet for commercial products that are designed and manufactured around the region.”

Alison Mills, Manager of The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon, says: “We are all very excited about the new extension which will give us a much larger shop than we had previously. This will give us an amazing opportunity to showcase a range of beautiful products for sale, made right here in the South West.”

The museum is currently closed while work continues on the exciting new Long Bridge Wing extension, and is due to reopen this autumn with a brand-new social history gallery, larger shop, café and improved education space.

If you think you have a product that would appeal to the museum’s varied audience of local visitors and tourists, then please get in touch by emailing: trudy.weston@northdevon.gov.uk.

BARNSTAPLE URBAN SPORTS FESTIVAL

Barnstaple is set to host an exciting new event, as the Urban Sports Festival and a range of adrenaline sports come to town in September.

The Barnstaple Urban Sports Festival is a one-day event designed to showcase non-mainstream sports to the local community, with entertainment on offer for all the family. The festival will take place on Sunday 8 September at various locations across the town.

North Devon, which has recently been labelled ‘England’s Adventure Coast’ by Visit England, has a strong connection with adrenaline sports, thanks to its surf culture and outdoor lifestyle. The festival will feature exciting sports such as BMX, skateboarding, rollerskating, scooter trials and parkour, celebrating Barnstaple’s offer as an ‘urban playground’.  As well as the various activities being demoed, there will be have-a-go sessions for children and adults, street food, live music and competitions on offer.

Barnstaple Town Centre Manager, Hannah Harrington, says, “We are incredibly proud to be hosting the Urban Sports Festival in Barnstaple. This will be a free community festival-style event that will be great fun for participants and spectators alike. Get the date in your diary and bring your family along to enjoy the day with us.”

North Devon Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economic development and regeneration, Councillor Malcolm Prowse, says: “This promises to be an exciting event for the people of North Devon and we would like to see as many residents attending it as possible. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to go along and enjoy the day but, who knows, you may feel inspired to take up a new hobby!”

More information about the event is available online www.urbansportsfestival.co.uk If you’re interested in getting involved in please contact Vanessa Harrison vanessa.harrison@northdevon.gov.uk or 01271 388216.

ILFRACOMBE LOCALS RAISE CASH TO LAUNCH HARBOUR’S MARINE ROBOT

Two Ilfracombe residents have raised £300 in a show of community spirit to ensure the town harbour’s marine robot can continue its clean-up.

Carol Chapple and Rose Fisher, who live close to Ilfracombe Harbour, organised a raffle to raise money to fund the WasteShark launch project when it became apparent that Ilfracombe’s high tidal range was preventing the robot from being used on a regular basis.

The autonomous marine robot was first launched in Ilfracombe in March this year to help clear the harbour of waste. The WasteShark is designed to roam distances of up to 5km of water, capturing plastics, microplastics, oils and other pollutants.

Ilfracombe was the first place in the UK to host the WasteShark, which is the world’s first marine robot designed specifically to eat waste and collect data. It does not emit carbon or produce noise or light pollution, so is kind to nature and poses no threat to wildlife.

Ilfracombe is located on the Bristol Channel, which has the second highest tidal range in the world (the first being in the Bay of Fundy in Canada). This has meant that the launch system devised by the manufacturers of the WasteShark does not always work in Ilfracombe Harbour. Together with local firm Coastal Engineering Services, Harbourmaster Georgina Carlo-Paat and Deputy Harbourmaster Ric Simpson designed an alternative launch system, consisting of a crane and bespoke shark cage to name but a few parts.

Ilfracombe Harbourmaster, Georgina Carlo-Paat says: “I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the Lantern Court community and local residents for organising and taking part in a raffle in support of the WasteShark. Raising this money to go towards the launch system will enable the ‘shark’ to go out and about more often and keep our beautiful harbour clear of debris. Thanks to the community’s efforts we are now well on the way to having the WasteShark on a regular patrol around the harbour.”

You can keep up to date with what’s happening at Ilfracombe Harbour on North Devon Council’s website www.northdevon.gov.uk/business/ilfracombe-harbour.

PHOTO: Ilfracombe Harbourmaster Georgina Carlo-Paat (centre) with Carol Chapple (left) and Rose Fisher (right).

ILFRACOMBE SCHOOLCHILDREN QUALIFY AS JUNIOR PARK RANGERS

The latest group of Year 4 schoolchildren from Ilfracombe Junior School have made the grade as ‘Junior Park Rangers’.

Earlier this month, 120 children were presented with their certificates after successfully completing the four-week junior Park Rangers course, which covered topics such as orienteering, tree identification, mini beasts and pond dipping.

The course, organised by North Devon Council’s Parks team, is so successful that it has been running for the past 14 years. The course aims to raise awareness about the importance of parks and how we can help look after them. As well as learning practical skills, the children are taught about wildlife, biodiversity and the natural environment.

North Devon Council Leader, Councillor David Worden, says: “It’s great to see so many new Park Rangers.  The idea behind this scheme is to raise young people’s awareness of the importance of parks and why we need to protect them for future generations. So it’s reassuring to know that we have another group of youngsters who will be looking after them. It is also very important to the Parks team that the children enjoy themselves and have lots of fun while they are learning. The children were very enthusiastic in all the activities they took part in and I would like to commend them all for being a credit to both their school and their community.”

Joe Alcock from Ilfracombe Junior School says: “The children at our school really enjoy the Park Rangers activities they get to participate in and the course is a real highlight within the school year. The opportunity to learn more about the park and explore the beauty it offers is a real joy for all involved.”

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer at Bicclescombe Park, there is a very active group on Facebook – contact the council’s Parks team on 01271 388308 for more information.

PHOTO: Back row, left to right: Cllr Netti Pearson, Mike Jones (NDC Parks), Cllr Geoffrey Fowler; front: children from Ilfracombe Junior School Y4.

FOUR NORTH DEVON PROJECTS TO BENEFIT FROM FUNDING BOOST

Over £30,000 has been released for projects which will benefit residents across North Devon.

At a meeting of the North Devon Council Strategy and Resources Committee on 1 July councillors agreed to allocate S106* funding towards four projects which will improve facilities in the district.

  • £20,450 towards improvements to Tomlin Hall in Bickington (pictured)
  • £1,775 towards a shelter at Marlborough Road Cemetery in Ilfracombe
  • £5,000 towards Oakford Villas play area in North Molton
  • £3,520 towards improvements at Victory Hall in North Molton

A survey by Fremington Parish Council identified the facilities in Tomlin Hall as being in need of modernisation.  Funds will be used to improve the kitchen area and provide new plumbing and heating.

Funds in Ilfracombe will provide a shelter at Marlborough Road Cemetery to give visitors a place to shelter from the weather.

North Molton will benefit from improvements to the play facilities at Oakford Villas play area and essential health and safety work to upgrade the electrical system in Victory Hall.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden, says, “I am very pleased that these projects will receive the funding which is vital to help provide much needed facilities across the district. These open space funds, made as part of major planning applications, allow the council to give back to the community in a meaningful way.”

Local ward member for Bickington, Councillor Joy Cann, says, “As Bickington Councillors Helen, Will and I are all delighted to see Tomlin Hall receiving the funding it deserves and desperately needs for improvements.  Bickington is already a great place to to live and improving Tomlin Hall and providing a better community meeting space will enhance the village further.”

Local ward member for Ilfracombe West, Councillor Geoff Fowler, says, “Marlborough Road Cemetery is exposed at the best of times so to be able to get some respite from the elements for folk has to make sensitive visits more bearable.”

Local ward member for Ilfracombe West, Councillor Netti Pearson, says, “I am sure that visitors to the cemetery will be grateful for a place where they can sit in contemplation and shelter from adverse weather. There are too few shelters in Ilfracombe’s open spaces and I would like to see more installed in town in the future.

*Section 106 (S106) is money paid to the council by developers as part of the planning conditions of planning applications. The money can only be used for certain things, but is used primarily for public open space projects.

Photo courtesy of Tony Gussin.

NEW E-TICKETING SYSTEM FOR NORTH DEVON SHOW

For the first time visitors to this year’s North Devon Show will be able to buy an e-ticket which organisers say should help-fast track their entrance to the showground at Umberleigh for the one-day agricultural show on 7 August. The e-tickets also come at a discounted price.

Show Secretary, Theresa Soanes, said: “We’re really excited about the changes to our ticketing for this year’s show. Our staff will have electronic scan readers and so instead of people queuing at the ticket office, everyone will now come straight to the gates. People who’ve bought advance tickets will be scanned in quickly and those who pay on the gate should now also get inside more quickly.”

E-tickets can be bought via the North Devon Show website and an email will be sent as a confirmation of purchase. Inside the email will be a QR code which can either be printed out in advance or opened on a mobile phone to be scanned at the gate. Tickets can also be bought from certain shops and tourist information centres across North Devon (full list on the NDS website) also with a one pound discount.

Mrs Soanes added: “The show continues to improve each year as we offer more fun and activities for all the family so it was the right thing to do to update our ticketing system. But we know not everyone can buy online so we’ve made sure outlets across the district are selling tickets at the same low price as on the internet.”

Entry to the show costs £15 for adults and just £3 for children in advance, with a family ticket of £34 for two adults and three children. Prices for online tickets bought less than 48 hours before the show and on the day at the showground are £1 more.

Unlike many other attractions the entry fee for the North Devon Show includes lots of things to do including going to the Circus which returns this year after proving so successful last year. Organisers have introduced an education and animal-petting zone where children can get up close to a range of animals including miniature donkeys, Valais black nose sheep, alpacas and lots more. In the Countryside Area you can try your skills at clay laser shooting with no extra charge as well as watching ferret racing, fly casting and archery.

The success of the music stage last year has seen the arena expanded and the number of performers increased, with the stage moving to be central to the showground closer to the food and drink tents.

BICCLESCOMBE PARK OPEN DAY: ALL WELCOME

Enjoy a free day of family fun at Ilfracombe’s award-winning Bicclescombe Park this half term.

The open day is being held on Wednesday 29 May between 11am and 3pm, with the opportunity for residents to have their say on the future of Bicclescombe Park.

If you are free this half term, why not plan a visit? There will be lots of free activities on the day to keep the whole family amused, including:

• tennis taster sessions
• arts and crafts with Mrs Recycle
• face painting
• model boat displays
• circus and art workshops
• treasure hunt

Contracts Delivery Manager at North Devon Council, Mark Kentell, says: “Bicclescombe is a wonderful park and we look forward to seeing everyone at the open day.

“The park is continuously being improved, with the help of a very dedicated group of volunteers, and we hope to begin the final phase of the play area redevelopment very soon. So we are keen for members of the public to come forward with their ideas of what could be done to improve and enhance the park for everyone to enjoy.”

For more information, call the Parks Team on 01271 388326 or email parks@northdevon.gov.uk

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WOODSIDE

You might have seen a rope strung with colourfully painted walking boots across the East Lyn River on your walks recently. It is part of the bid to raise funds to replace a popular footbridge known locally as ‘Woodside Bridge’.

Over 40 boots were painted by the children of West Exmoor Federation and heaved into place across the East Lyn River by local volunteers from the Lynmouth Coastguard Search & Rescue.

Woodside Bridge once formed part of a short circular walk along the lower reaches of the river, returning to the picturesque village of Lynmouth via Middleham Memorial Gardens, created in memory of victims of the famous 1952 flood disaster.

It’s been a feature of the area for more than a century, but it wore out and had to be removed in 2016 and the Lyn Community Development Trust (LCDT) have since been fundraising to have it reinstated. They are now three-quarters of the way towards the £60K needed for a beautiful new bridge built in solid Exmoor oak and have secured commitment from Exmoor National Park Authority to help with installation and maintenance, when the remaining funds are raised.

Dave Wilde, Chair of the LDCT, said: “We came up with the idea of the boots as a way of bringing the appeal to the attention of the many walkers and visitors to the area, as well as local residents. It was lovely to see the schoolchildren getting involved and the boots they painted look wonderful. They’re the ones who will get to walk across the new bridge in future, so it’s great they have been able to help in such an inspiring way”.

Julia Bradbury has also shown her support for the campaign after the route featured in her hit TV series Britain’s Best Walks and online portal The Outdoor Guide, along with TV presenter Caroline Quentin, who took time to record a video appeal after finding out about the Bridge through her role as President of the Campaign for National Parks.

It’s also being backed by Exmoor National Park Authority through its CareMoor for Exmoor scheme, run by Philip Kiberd. He said: “What a brilliant idea, West Exmoor Federation have done a great job. I might ask them to paint my boots next. It’s amazing how everyone has got behind this campaign and LCDT, the schools, the coastguard and the National Trust all deserve praise for arranging it and allowing it to go ahead. Let’s hope it encourages lots of donations to the appeal and helps get the bridge back soon.”

Donate to the Woodside Bridge Appeal via CareMoor for Exmoor www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/caremoor, in person at the National Park Centre in Lynmouth or for Gift Aid via the LCDTat wonderful.org/appeal/woodsidebridgereplacementappeal-1f70a510.