LEAF AND TREE EXHIBITION BY LOCAL ARTIST IN DULVERTON

Bampton print maker Lizzie Mee’s exhibition, ‘Leaf and Tree’, opens at the Guildhall Gallery in Dulverton on Monday 1 October and runs until Saturday 6 October. The exhibition features linocut and aquatint prints which have been inspired by Lizzie’s love of the local countryside.

As part of the exhibition, Lizzie is running a special print workshop in the gallery which covers two sessions (both 10am-1pm) on Tuesday 2 and Thursday 4 October for £75 and a workshop on Saturday 6 October 10am-1pm for £45. Lizzie is an experienced teacher and workshop leader. These sessions offer a unique opportunity to explore how Lizzie has made her prints, and for people to have a go at lino printing themselves. All materials are included; booking is essential through lizziemee@hotmail.com

Lizzie Mee says, “I am very excited to be showing my work in Dulverton. I love spending time around the twon and on Exmoor. I hope that people see the inspiration of the local landscape within my prints.”

Lizzie Mee is a print maker based in Bampton. She has been printmaking for around 15 years, and has been a teacher for longer! Lizzie studied at Falmouth Art College and has printed at Spike Island Print Studios in Bristol before moving to Devon.
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MAGICAL EVENING OF SONG AT MINEHEAD METHODIST CHURCH

There will be another magical evening of song on Saturday 29 September at Minehead Methodist Church starting at 7.30pm. Two years ago, the initial concert was very well received and led to many requests for a repeat performance. Once again, the concert will feature the highly acclaimed Minehead Male Voice Choir and talented soloist Eloise Routledge. All proceeds will be donated to the West Somerset Advice Bureau, a local charity which provides a free, independent advice service to residents across West Somerset.

The Choir has a loyal following of supporters and always provides excellent entertainment with many favourite songs which range from shows, musicals and films, to traditional, folk, spiritual and operetta. Founded in 2000, the Choir has 40 members and is very capably led by Jacqueline Butterworth, an experienced and highly accomplished Musical Director.

Eloise is an experienced opera singer and concert soloist, having performed in the UK and abroad with companies such as Garsington Opera, Holland Opera and Welsh National Opera, and in venues from Birmingham Symphony Hall, Nottingham Albert Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, to Sydney Opera House and major concert halls across Australia as guest soloist on tour with Treorchy Male Voice Choir. Now based in Somerset, Eloise has been singing more locally at Bristol’s Colston Hall and Wells Cathedral, and enjoys bringing a range of repertoire from opera to show greats and well-known favourites to her audience.

It promises, once again, to be a very enjoyable Magical Evening of Song and an opportunity not to be missed!

Tickets are £8.50 and will be available from Toucan Wholefoods in The Parade, Minehead, The Tantivy in Dulverton and from reception at the West Somerset Advice Bureau, Market House Lane, Minehead. Alternatively, please telephone 01398 371248. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX IN MINEHEAD

This is a press release issued by West Somerset Council.

A functional but far from glamorous green box on Minehead seafront is all set for a makeover – and the hunt is on for the talent to do it.

Wessex Water has agreed that its equipment box near the Jubilee Gardens Café can feature a new cover as part of the Eastern Esplanade enhancement.

As a result, Minehead Coastal Communities Team is launching a competition for a design on the theme of ‘Maritime Minehead by the Sea’.

Minehead’s prosperity was closely bound up with the sea and for more than 200 years the port was second in local importance only to Bristol. Minehead offers traditional seaside fun, with its promenade, a beautiful bay with sandy beach and a backdrop of Exmoor.

Budding artists from the community now have the chance to design their ideas or memories of how they portray Maritime Minehead in a graphic style than can be transferred to a cover for the equipment box.

The closing date for entries is noon on September 30 and they will be judged by at least three representatives from Minehead Town Council, the Coastal Communities Team and Swan Paul Architects.

“People often comment on the dilapidated state of the box. This is a great opportunity for local artists to transform it into something that shows more of Minehead’s seaside heritage, whilst retaining its functionality. I look forward to seeing the results,” said Katrina Midgley, who chairs the Coastal Communities Team in Minehead.

Enterprising Minehead is a partnership project involving West Somerset Council, Minehead Coastal Communities Team (MCCT) and partners including representatives from the business, voluntary and leisure sectors.

The project aims to make the most of Minehead’s traditional appeal as a seaside resort – but making sure it is fit for the twenty-first century.

The design will be transferred to flat vinyl, stickyback panels which will be fixed to the box. Full details of the competition rules and ‘Appendix A’ containing the design layout can be found at mineheadcct.co.uk.

Completed entries can be emailed to tender@westsomerset.gov.uk or alternatively sent by post to Minehead Esplanade Equipment Box Design Competition, West Somerset Council, West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, TA4 4QA.

ART TREK OPEN STUDIOS FIFTEEN YEARS ON

This much-loved North Devon Open Studios event is entering its fifteenth year and going from strength to strength. With many local artists and makers new to the event this year (14-30 September), they join others who have taken part many times, helping keep Art Trek the fresh, vibrant and enticing event visitors have come to expect.

There’s an array of art forms being showcased in 2018, including wood and stone carving, ceramics, painting, original printmaking, wood engraving, photography, textiles and weaving, cartoons and illustration, artisan market stalls, basketmaking, rope making and knotted sculpture, etc.

This year Art Trek has international guest artist and ceramicist, Sandy Brown, opening in her amazing studio at The Sandy Brown Museum, housed in The Old Glove Factory, Appledore, where she will also be collaborating on ‘The Glorious Modern Banquet’ with award-winning chef, Lyndsay Platt of The Glorious Oyster fame. This special evening event will take place on Friday 21 September. Details of ‘The Glorious Modern Banquet’ and other Art Trek Special Events, along with all the artists taking part, can be found on www.arttrek.co.uk

The Art Trek brochure is available at White Moose, Trinity Street, Barnstaple and at various galleries, TICs, libraries, shops and businesses or for enquiries please email info@arttrek.co.uk or call; 01271 379872.

PHOTO: Artwork by Sandy Brown.

SOMERSET OPEN STUDIOS 2018

Now the largest event in Somerset for visual artists and makers, Somerset Open Studios draws Art Weeks back to its roots this year, focusing on artists in their working environment. Between 15 and 30 September 2018, artists demonstrate how they make their work: their process, practice and inspiration. The event allows a rare opportunity to see inside artists’ studios, temporary working spaces and other locations to find out what goes on behind the scenes. Open Studios showcases established names as well as introducing new and emerging artists.

Open Studios visitors can find out first hand about the creative process through demonstrations, workshops, talks and visits, to educate, inspire and delight. Art appreciators of all ages are welcome at Family Friendly venues and also at a Family Friendly finale weekend on 29 and 30 September, with special events and activities for all.

Artists’ Open Studios can be found in unexpected and unusual locations and the event is an ideal opportunity to explore the different and distinct regions of the county and make some surprising discoveries.

The 2018 Open Studios Guide is out now and features nearly 300 artists in 192 venues. It is available in tourist information points, libraries, museums, galleries and cultural locations, as well as cafes, bookshops and other selected outlets or you can browse an online version at somersetartworks.org.uk.

Top: Artwork by Emma Bradshaw

The artists exhibiting in West Somerset this year are (venue numbers in brackets and all details on the website):

 

BARNSTAPLE ABILITY FOOTBALL CLUB CELEBRATE TOUR OF BRITAIN

This is a press release from North Devon Council.

An event has been held by Barnstaple Ability Football Club to celebrate the Tour of Britain’s visit to North Devon recently, thanks to a grant from North Devon Council.

In the approach to the Tour of Britain travelling through North Devon, £3,000 of funds were made available by North Devon Council for any local community group or schools who wanted to get involved and celebrate the Tour. Barnstaple Ability FC used their grant of £200 to hold two events for their squad, including a Tour of Britain-themed football session and social, and a cycle along the Tarka Trail with players and their families. The club is made up of players over 16 with any additional needs, including sensory impairment, physical disability, learning difficulties and mental health issues.

At their football session on Thursday 30 August, the squad were encouraged to cycle to training, and afterwards spent time together enjoying a burger and the company of their family and friends. 45-50 people participated in the event, with people cycling to training from Abbotsham, Bideford, South Molton and Barnstaple to the club’s Tews Lane training ground at Bickington. At the club’s next event on Saturday 1 September, 20 cyclists from the football club set off from Barnstaple train station along the Tarka Trail to celebrate cycling and the Tour of Britain coming to North Devon, with refreshments along the way. Participants, who have a variety of additional needs including Down Syndrome, autism, learning difficulties, dyspraxia and mental health issues, used a variety of bikes to cycle along the trail to Bideford with stops at Fremington and Instow.

Melanie Regan, a volunteer coach and the chairperson for Barnstaple Ability Football Club, says: “We would like to thank North Devon Council, whose Tour of Britain grant made this event possible and meant that everyone, regardless of ability, was able to participate and enjoy cycling and celebrating the Tour coming to town. We are also grateful to Shelley’s Snacks, who provided the delicious food at our football social. Our events demonstrated that cycling is for everyone, with participants varying in age from five to sixty years old.”

North Devon Council’s Executive member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “We are so pleased that we were able to help our local communities get involved in the run-up to the Tour of Britain’s visit to North Devon. The events held by the Barnstaple Ability Football Club clearly brought joy to a lot of individuals, and encouraged people to get on their bikes and get fit, whatever their age and ability. We are very proud of how the people of North Devon welcomed the Tour to our beautiful district and hope our residents thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of the build-up and the big day.”

For more information about joining the Barnstaple Ability Football Club please contact Melanie Regan on 07764 767955 or by email to melanieregan7@icloud.com. Training takes place every Thursday at 5.45pm at various locations.

DON’T RISK YOUR LIFE IN HARBOUR

This is a press release issues by West Somerset Council.

Please don’t risk your life is the warning being issued by West Somerset Council after two young men got into serious difficulties in Watchet Harbour. The pair were rescued by a passing boat and were given emergency CPR by the boat owner and a member of Watchet Coastguard before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

The incident has prompted a warning from West Somerset Council’s assistant harbour master, Craig Butler, who said: “It’s so sad that this incident happened at the end of a fantastic summer in Watchet.

“The harbour is an extremely dangerous place to swim or to jump into from the harbour walls. The Bristol Channel has strong currents, extreme tidal ranges and there’s also danger from marine traffic.

“We work with HM Coastguard, Police and the Sea Scouts to spread the message in schools and to highlight the risks.

“I take health and safety extremely seriously for harbour users and the public that frequent the harbour all year round. As harbour master I wish both young men a full recovery and really hope they and others will learn from this very serious incident.”

Cllr Martin Dewdney, West Somerset Council’s Cabinet member for Resources, said: “It is extremely dangerous to jump into the water at any harbour as there are numerous hazards. There is sensible advice on our website: www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/Environment/Harbours/Beach-Safety so I would urge people to enjoy our coastal areas – but to do so safely.

“Water depth changes with the tide, the water may be shallower than it seems and submerged objects may not be visible, the shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim and strong currents can rapidly sweep people away.”

DEVON OPEN STUDIOS BEGINS TODAY

This September, 8th -23rd, Devon Open Studios showcases the talent and creative lives of the artists who live and work in Devon, when hundreds of artists are the stars of the show as they open their studios to the public.

Imagine finding free art exhibitions everywhere you go, with the unique chance to enter the personal space of an artist, talk to them about their work and buy art directly without paying a gallery commission. Whether meeting a solo artist in their private studio or discovering pop-up artist collectives in some of Devon’s most stunning heritage buildings, art lovers can gain exclusive access to the inner workings of the Devon art community.

Visitors can discover art on self-guided tours, brochure in hand, visiting as many artists as they wish or just follow their whim and the little yellow studio arrows dotted around some of the most strikingly diverse and spectacular landscapes in Britain, from the wilderness of the moors, across bucolic villages and towns to the rugged beauty of, not one, but two incredible coastlines.

Opportunities abound to join events, workshops and meet artists face to face in their working environment: whether it’s painting, sculpture, textiles, furniture, glass-blowing, photography, printmaking, crafts, ceramics, or fantastical puppetry; there’s something for everyone.

“Devon Open Studios – it’s so inspiring and I love getting to meet the artists, chat with them and see their work up close as well as their studio spaces. I travel around to visit studios so I see places I might not have gone to otherwise. The whole thing is a brilliant idea and makes for very enjoyable time. ” Visitor 2017

This year, 259 artists will be opening their doors to the public and exhibiting their work in more than 153 locations across Devon. The popularity of the event has soared, with over 34,387 visitors in 2017 and over £203,402 spent in reported sales of nearly 6,093 items sold.

Devon Open Studios is an event organised by Devon Artist Network (DAN), which promotes, celebrates and champions the arts in Devon. Artist members, resident or working in Devon, are provided with a home page to showcase their work on the DAN website, receive regular arts newsletters and the opportunity to join events, workshops and exhibitions.

More information about Devon Artist Network’s Devon Open Studios can be found on the website: www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk. A free guide to the event with colour-coded maps and every artist illustrated is available from tourist information centres, libraries, hotels and galleries and can also be downloaded here. Please check the brochure to confirm dates, times, and find out helpful directions.

Devon Open Studios began as a pilot project in 1999 and now, 19 years later, the FREE annual event which spans 16 days including 3 weekends in September, is one of the largest in the country.

Come and discover new artists in their studios, and buy directly from them .

QUANTOCK HILLS AONB OUTSTANDING WEEK EVENTS IN SEPTEMBER

Saturday 15 September marks the beginning of ‘Outstanding Week’, a national week celebrating our 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) across Britain, with a week of Outstanding events and project run by AONBs across the country.

September has always been an outstanding month in our countryside, with harvests being brought home, trees and meadows taking on their autumnal colours, skies offering a full palette of hues, musky bonfires lingering in the evening air and a welcoming calmness for visitors.

September this year, however, promises to be even more outstanding!

The AONB Family has worked together to organise a week (and a bit) long programme of events to help people enjoy and be inspired by Britain’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). Starting on Saturday 15 September and continuing through to Sunday 23 September, the events for all AONBs can be found on www.landscapesforlife.org.uk/events/outstanding-week/

The Quantock Hills AONB have a couple of special events planned to celebrate this outstanding week – a ‘Creatures of the Night Walk’ being led by rangers so you can see how the woodland comes to life after dark and also a ‘Whittling in the Woods’ workshop for adults who’d like to learn more about this ancient craft.   Go to www.quantockhills.com/aonbevents to find out more.

As NAAONB’s Jill Smith, explains, “Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are some of the most beautiful, cherished and outstanding landscapes in the UK. They are vibrant and dynamic and offer a wealth of opportunities for people to enjoy our countryside.

Outstanding Week helps people connect with nature, getting them out into and engaging with the the UK’s outstanding landscapes by enjoying local food and drink, country shows, dark sky discovery nights, walking festivals, archaeology walks, wood fairs, foraging, wildlife walks, coastal and marine days, thatching courses, drystone walling competitions, charcoal making, bioblitz, inspiration through art and music and many, many other activities.

“Whether you are looking for an outstanding view, intending to reward yourself with a cream tea or trying to kick start a new health regime, you can’t fail to have a great time in one of the UK’s 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They are Landscapes for Life in so many different ways”.

See www.landscapesforlife.org.uk/events/outstanding-week/

Twitter @naaonb & @aonbfamily #outstandingweek for new events to enjoy each day.

PHOTO: Birches Corner near Lydeard Hill, from our autumn issue Quantock Hills Special Feature (courtesy Quantock Hills AONB).

MINEHEAD’S NORTH HILL ON THE RADAR

A convoy of military vehicles will depart from Minehead this Saturday (8 September) at 10.30am en route to the Second World War tank training grounds and Radar Station on North Hill, as part of a celebration of wartime heritage hosted by Exmoor National Park and the National Trust for Heritage Open Days.

During the war, North Hill was closed to civilians and brought under military control. It became one of country’s five new tank training ranges for British, American and Canadian troops. Tucked down the coastal slopes lay a top-secret Radar Station, one of 244 across the country and part of a coastal defensive chain to identify shipping and low-flying aircraft. The stations were ‘manned’ 24 hours a day and operators at Radar Stations were often women from the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF).

The top-secret radar stations were often stationed by women (photo sourced by Gwen Arnold).

The convoy will parade along Minehead seafront via Blenheim Gardens, before heading to North Hill where spectators can discover more about this incredible time through displays at the Radar Station and guided walks of the training grounds across to Bossington Hill. There will also be a chance to learn about the earlier archaeological landscape, from the Iron Age settlement at Bury Castle to the ruined medieval Burgundy Chapel.

The event is suitable for all ages and free to attend, but donations are welcome to CareMoor for Exmoor, which fundraises towards the upkeep of the National Park.

Shirley Blaylock, Historic Environment Conservation Officer at Exmoor National Park, said: “This is a fantastic chance for people to discover a slice of history from the National Park that is often overlooked. North Hill was an important military complex during the Second World War and it’s great to be able to bring to life the role that it played in maintaining national security at this critical time.”

For more information about the event visit: www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/castles-in-the-sky-the-wwii-radar-station-on-north-hill