TOWN AND COUNTRY MEMORIES WANTED BY POP-UP MUSEUM

A temporary museum has popped up at Bridge Chambers on The Strand in Barnstaple, as the main museum building is closed while works are carried out for the £1.8m Long Bridge Wing extension project.

The museum is calling for locals to share their stories and memories with them, centred around five main themes:

– ‘Hatched, Matched, Dispatched’

– ‘World of Work’

– ‘Town and Country’

– ‘High days and Holidays’

– ‘House and Home’

The museum is interested in collecting stories and memories around the current theme of “Town and Country”, to help gather information for the new social history gallery display and to get information about some of the objects in their collection. These include maps and driving guides, bicycles, an Elliott’s Ralli car, Pannier market basket, Bromleys café photographs, signs and signposts.

The Town and Country theme is all about the relationship between Barnstaple and North Devon’s surrounding communities, including cafés, shops and markets like Bromleys and the Swiss Café – as well as the Pannier Market, cattle market and Butcher’s Row. Museum staff are also looking for stories about newspapers, printing and other media.

The theme includes public transport, roads, getting about, buses and trains, and in particular life before and after the Link Road and how communities have changed. They would also love to hear from people working in the police force, emergency services, local government and the utilities – gas, water and electricity.

Sadie Green, Activity plan co-ordinator, says, “We are having a fascinating time listening to locals coming in and sharing their stories with us. We would love to hear from anyone who can tell us about life before and after the Link Road and how things have changed. We also have a special Bromley’s café memories day on June 26th at the pop-up museum between 10am and 12pm and would love to hear stories about working, eating and attending functions there! If there are any ex-bus or train drivers out there who remember the old passenger and goods stations on the Strand and farmers, butchers and locals who recall the buzz of the cattle and Pannier Market and old shops, please come in and see us!”

Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Brian Moores, says: “The Pop-Up is always looking for community experts – everyone is welcome to visit, especially if you have lots of knowledge about any of the topics or if you used to work for one of the companies mentioned and are happy to spend time with them so that your stories and memories can be recorded for posterity.”

The “Pop-Up” museum is now open at Bridge Chambers on The Strand, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. For more information follow and like the Pop up FB page @Popupbarnstaple to follow their progress, see events, photos and stories.

PHOTO: Bromleys, The Strand

EXMOOR SOCIETY POETRY COMPETITION RESULTS

The Exmoor Society, celebrating its 60th anniversary, has just announced the winners of its poetry competition, which has been re-established after a lull of a number of years.

They are:
1st: Pat Glover’s ‘Old Ruddock’s Boy Made Good, They Say, Up Country’
2nd: Audrey Coldrick’s ‘Through Somerset Fields’
3rd: Ian Enters’ ‘Leprosy Window, Culbone Church’

Highly Commended:
Matt Bryden’s ‘An Imposition’
Paul Ings’ ‘The Sense’
Graeme Ryan’s ‘May 17th’

The purpose of the competition is to inspire people about Exmoor, one of England’s finest landscapes, in a special way though the power of poetry. The Society commented that it was amazed at the number of entries coming from as far afield as the Czech Republic and many areas of England as well as those living in the National Park.

Rachel Thomas, The Exmoor Society Chairman, said, “The Society is particularly grateful to the two judges, Richard Westcott and Cathy Nicholls, poets themselves, who read each poem anonymously and, although selecting the final three winners, commented on how difficult it was to make comparisons, worse than comparing apples and pears, as each poem was special in its own unique way. As a result, the Society will put the three winning poems, and the three highly commended ones, on its website. They will also appear in the Exmoor Review, The Exmoor Society’s annual publication, with a view to possibly publishing an anthology of all the poems.”

On the variety of themes, the judges commented thus: “There was a profound sense of history, ranging from the nineteenth-century Ada and her husband’s famous tunnels, through medieval churches, to ancient Exmoor where stones stand in silent sentry.

“Meanwhile many Exmoor birds flew by… wood warbler and redstart/Pied flycatcher and dipper/Flitting like librarians.
And larks drizzling their song, as well as buzzards, pheasants, pipits who chatter their verses, a kite, a curlew (or two), fieldfares, song thrush and cuckoo.

“Among other fauna we frequently met the Exmoor pony free roaming and of independent mind, with cream-rimmed eye, along with red deer, cattle, sheep and lambs; even an adder appeared.

“Flora was represented by pokey random heather, beech hedges fired to a warm coppery glow, snowdrops (which giggle, in lazy loveliness, lifting lacy bonnets), and shimmering blackthorn.

“We were exposed to Exmoor in every season, bright and dark, welcoming and hostile, dry and sodden. In short, Exmoor was well and truly celebrated – its clouds and big skies, rivers and hills, pathways and lanes – with enthusiasm, joy and gratitude, which could not but move us.

“From the technical point of view poetic forms ranged from the formality of the sonnet to completely free verse; we heard regular rhymes as well as some subtle and original rhymes; there was ingenious and creative use of space and enjambment, some lovely musicality, and even a concrete poem.

“Our rules did not specify a type face, so we were treated to some handwritten texts, bringing their own individuality and distinctiveness, along with a huge variety of fonts. But we did specify a maximum length, which sadly meant a couple of good poems excluded themselves.

“We hope that the Exmoor Society’s Poetry Competition has demonstrated the power of poetry, raised its profile and saluted Exmoor in a special way. Thank you then to all our poets – thanks for your thoughts and feelings so carefully presented through poetry, for offering your poems, for entering the competition and supporting the work the Exmoor Society does.”

Old Ruddock’s Boy Made Good, They Say, Up Country

I thought a jaunty walk was best
To take me down the deepened lane.
I turned my lumpen throat and back.
My father watched with straightened mouth.
No talk of pride or shame or pain.
I blinked away the scorching light.
The shadows shattered in the narrow track.

I didn’t have the words to spell
the restless itch
the urgent thirst
for towns and light, the edge, the world,
the something, not hedged in.

I used to take the kids at first.
We made our nest in Rowan Tree
where the cowshed used to be.
Just the promised August week
they swung on gates and ran with sticks.
I smarted at the change of it
and waited for the hush of sleep
to wander out in startling nights
and stride across the deep grooved fields
to thwack again the hoar oak tree.
The proof to me I’d been.
I’d creep about the cleaned up yard,
Flowered up with tubs and neat,
until, with softest soughs,
it came . . . the past . . .
the pull and pump and suckle,
the warm hay-breath of cows,
the pink and velvet nuzzles,
the muddy slap of hooves.

And yes, I’ve got the cars and house,
The long haul holiday.
I’ve even got some Cup match comps –
A good life, as you say.

Pat Glover

BOOKINGS NOW OPEN FOR 2018 NORTH DEVON FOODFEST

North Devon’s biggest celebration of local food and drink is back and exhibitors are being urged to get in quick to secure their place at the event.

Online bookings are now being accepted for FOODfest 2018, which takes place on Sunday 21 October at Barnstaple Pannier Market and will feature many local food and drink exhibitors.

Now in its eleventh year, event organisers Barnstaple Town Centre Management and North Devon Council have seen the event increase in popularity and success since it first launched in 2008. With over 10,000 visitors, 100 exhibitors and top chefs from some of North Devon’s best local restaurants at FOODfest last year, the annual event is now a firm favourite in the foodie calendar.

Hannah Harrington, from Barnstaple Town Centre Management, says: “FOODfest 2018 will be as busy and popular as ever, showcasing and celebrating the best of our local food and drink. We are also delighted to be working with The Taw restaurant at Petroc this year for an exciting launch event.  As always, FOODfest will help to promote our area and support our suppliers, growers and traders.”

Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “FOODfest is always hugely successful and is a unique opportunity for local food and drink businesses to showcase what they have to offer to the thousands of visitors who flock to the Pannier Market each year. The booking lines are already open so get in quick if you want to be part of the hottest food event of 2018.”

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 1 August. Apply online at www.barnstaple.co.uk/north-devon-foodfest, email foodfest@barnstaple.co.uk or call 01271 321049 for more information.

 

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.

FORTHCOMING FIVE-WEEK ROSE FESTIVAL AT ROSEMOOR

From 16 June to 22 July, RHS Garden Rosemoor will host a five-week-long Rose Festival: a breathtaking showcase of colours and scents set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful RHS Gardens, bordered by acres of stunning woodlands. Swathes of scented blooms, floral workshops and unusual cultivars on sale make this a must-see for Devon visitors this summer.

Boasting one of the UK’s largest collections of roses, RHS Garden Rosemoor is home to two dedicated rose gardens, bringing together over 2,000 roses across more than 200 different varieties and a wealth of hues and perfumes. From cottage garden climbers, to bright and beautiful container varieties, there will be a rose to inspire and suit all gardens.

Top highlights from the festival include guided tours, expert advice from RHS horticulturists, a floral themed craft market, a rose trail, and much, much more.

Festival Events and Highlights:

  • Rose Weekend, extended to a three-day event from 22 to 24 June featuring a floral-themed craft and food market with over 40 stalls in the stunning new Garden Room events building.
  • Brand New for 2018 and to celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War and in memory of those who lost their lives, Rosemoor has planted a group of Rosa Pax. Latin for ‘peace’, Rosa ‘Pax’ is a hybrid musk rose and was developed by the rose breeder, Joseph Pemberton, and launched in 1918 to commemorate the end of WW1.

Armed Forces Day, 30 June                                                                        

100 red ceramic poppies, interpreted and designed by popular local artist Renée Kilburn, will be on display to start Rosemoor’s commemorations of the centenary of the end of the First World War. Standing tall amongst the poppies is a wonderful sculpture of an ‘Unknown Soldier’ affectionately known as George N. The life-size soldier is crafted by another popular Rosemoor and Devon based artist, George Hider.

Armed forces personnel have free admission to Rosemoor on 30 June – simply bring ID.

The display will stay up until 11 November when Rosemoor will welcome all serving and retired armed forces personnel plus a family guest in for free (simply bring proof to the front entrance). Then the poppies and George will continue to be displayed as part of the annual Winter Sculpture Exhibition. The red poppies are available to purchase, with a £3.50 donation on every poppy sold going to the Royal British Legion.

  • Rosemoor’s Garden Kitchen will be celebrating roses throughout the month with a delectable series of rose-inspired and rose-infused treats, from rose meringues to rose and raspberry cakes.
  • There will be ‘Late’ openings every Friday in July – 6, 13, 20 – and 27, when the garden will be open until 9pm and visitors can enjoy the gardens at dusk as the roses release their evening scent. Special offer of ‘5 after 5’ – £5 garden admission after 5pm. There will be live music and the restaurant will be serving delicious evening meals too (advance table reservations highly recommended).
  • Every Wednesday, there will rose-themed Afternoon Teas (pre-booking required) including an expert florist will demonstrate flower-arranging techniques with English roses and be present for a Q & A session.
  • The Celebrate Summer self-guided trail will take visitors on a historic, scented journey throughout the 65-acre garden and includes stunning rose varieties and their fascinating stories from the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden and the Shrub Rose Garden, down the Long Borders, the Cottage Garden, as well as other roses at Rosemoor House.

Normal garden admission applies, which is free for RHS Members. Please visit www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor/Articles/Rose-Festival or call 01805 626810 for more details.

 

WINNERS OF MID DEVON DRAWING COMPETITION NAMED

News release from Mid Devon District Council

Mid Devon District Council recently ran a competition asking children of primary-school age to enter a drawing which showed what the Council collects as part of its kerbside blue food caddy collection and/or its subscription-based garden waste collection. The competition was held following the arrival of the Council’s new collection vehicles which are an essential part of keeping food and garden waste separate when collected.  This saves the taxpayer money when the organic material is composted and creates a better grade of compost and fertiliser.

The judges were looking for drawings that gave a positive message to inspire people to recycle their food and garden waste. Food waste that is not put out in the blue caddies is sent to landfill and doesn’t break down harmlessly. As it rots it releases methane – a harmful greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

67 amazing entries from children attending primary schools in Tiverton, Uffculme, Kentisbeare and Crediton were sent in. Out of those entries 6 lucky winners were announced at a presentation held at Phoenix House on Tuesday 5 June. Leader of the Council, Councillor Clive Eginton, greeted the children and welcomed all to the presentation.  Councillor Eginton said: “Judging the competition proved to be really challenging for myself and Councillor Radford. We saw some very artistic and beautifully coloured drawings.  It was fantastic to see the children had really thought about recycling and the benefits of composting food and garden waste.”

The winners were presented with a certificate by Councillor Ray Radford, Chairman of the Environment Policy and Development Group, who said, “I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the competition. We had a difficult time choosing the winners but feel we made the right decision; we have six wonderful drawings that really capture the essence of the competition and the winners should be very proud of themselves.”

The photo features, left to right: Felicity Jones, Councillor Eginton, the winners – Emily, Connie, May, Finley, Ruby and Victoria and Councillor Radford.  Each of the winners will have one of the new vehicles named after them and their artwork will be displayed on the body of the vehicle. After the presentation the children were invited to sit in the lorry and chat with Recycling Officer Felicity Jones.

LEADER THANKS AWARD-WINNING VOLUNTEERS

Press release issued by West Somerset Council

Leader of West Somerset Council, Cllr Anthony Trollope-Bellew, is adding his congratulations to two local voluntary groups which have won the highest recognition.

Home-Start West Somerset and Watchet Phoenix Volunteer Team have been recognised and honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK, to recognise and celebrate outstanding work by groups of volunteers in their communities, for the benefit of others.

Cllr Trollope-Bellew said: “Volunteering has long and proud history in West Somerset. We are a largely remote and rural area where people look after each other – and are self-reliant.

“As a council we do recognise their efforts and have jointly, with our partner council in Taunton Deane, launched a lottery to help support volunteer and charity groups.

“I am delighted that two of the three Queen’s Awards in Somerset this year are going to West Somerset organisations. On behalf of the council, I would like to thank these groups – and the many others that do so much – for their tireless hard work.”

PHOTO: Home-Start West Somerset. Left to right: Siobhan Lennon-Patience (mum, service user and newly appointed trustee), Pam Shambrook (volunteer) and Clare Pound (Minehead Home-Start manager). This photo was used in our spring 2017 issue’s article about the charity.

UNMISSABLE EXMOOR FOODIE EVENTS THIS SUMMER

Press release issued by Exmoor National Park

Exmoor National Park has teamed up with three top restaurants to add three new summer dates to its CareMoor for Exmoor Dining Club series, which celebrates the best of Exmoor produce while raising money towards the upkeep of the National Park and its special qualities.

The Beach Hotel, Minehead will kick off the series with a ‘Summer celebration of Exmoor & Sea’ on the 5th July (www.thebeachhotel.org, 01643 704765). Their restaurant incorporates an impressive theatre-style kitchen where diners can watch the chefs at work. The award-winning hotel hosted a very successful Local Food and Drink Trade Show earlier this year for the launch of the National Park’s #EatExmoor campaign.

Head Chef, Paul Ruttledge, whose background includes three-rosette restaurants, said: “This is another exciting opportunity to help support the National Park and showcase our use of great Exmoor produce. At our evening in July I’ll be presenting a very special menu with a real focus on my love of local food – characterised by the coming together of rich farmland and rugged coastline in one extraordinary place.”

On 9th August you can enjoy a celebratory five-course ‘Seafood Evening’ at Tarr Farm Inn, Dulverton (www.tarrfarm.co.uk, 01643 851507). Situated on the banks of the River Barle by the picturesque Tarr Steps, this Inn was voted in the Top 50 Gastro Pubs in 2017 and was a finalist in the Somerset Life Food and Drink Awards 2017.

The Pyne Arms, East Down, Barnstaple (www.pynearms.co.uk, 01271 850055) are holding an event on 7th September. Their use of local produce was recognised with a Taste of the West Gold Award 2017 and Best Pub in 2017 in the Devon Life Food & Drink Awards.

In October the Luttrell Arms in Dunster, who have recently been awarded 2 AA Rosettes for their fine cuisine, will be celebrating local produce with Head Chef Barrie Tucker (www.luttrellarms.co.uk,   01643 821555).

Katrina Munro, Sustainable Economy Project Officer for Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “As part of our Eat Exmoor campaign we’re working with local producers, hospitality businesses and Visit Exmoor to celebrate the great quality of the produce we have here on Exmoor. We’re very proud that these top restaurants are holding CareMoor Dining Club events and grateful for the funds they are raising for CareMoor.

“The fixed price of each Dining Club event includes a £5 donation to CareMoor – supporting important nature, heritage and rights of way projects across the National Park. We encourage anyone with a love of Exmoor and appreciation of fine food to book early for these very special meals.”

Further details of all the CareMoor Dining Club events can be found at www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/caremoor.

NORTH DEVON PIONEER PROJECT

Press release issued by North Devon Council

Are you a super surfer, kayaking king or prefer to stand-up paddle, dive, sail or swim in the sea? Maybe you want to have a go at these sports but something puts you off?

North Devon Council wants to hear from local people in North Devon and Torridge about how they do (or don’t) use the sea to exercise, in order to better understand the value, issues and benefits of using our marine environment. Anyone with an interest in outdoor watersports is encouraged to take part in a short survey online at www.northdevon.gov.uk/consultations before 19 June.

North Devon has been selected to be part of a study which explores how we can best manage our marine assets (geology, soil, air, water and living things) for the benefit of the environment, economy and people. The council wants to capture all the useful knowledge that local people have about how North Devon’s marine environment is used and appreciated by the people who live all across the coast.

Executive member for Environment, Councillor Rodney Can, says: “North Devon has an exceptional coastline and we are very proud of our marine environment, which is enjoyed by our local residents and thousands of visitors every year. Being chosen as part of the Marine Pioneer project recognises North Devon’s national importance and I would encourage anyone who enjoys outdoor watersports, including surfing, kayaking, kite-surfing and sea swimming to get involved. Equally, if you would like to take part in outdoor watersports but don’t, we would like to know the reasons why.”

Executive Member for Economic Regeneration, Councillor Pat Barker, says: “As well as the obvious benefits to our environment, the results of studies like this are really important when we apply for funding for important projects to deliver new facilities in the area. This has a knock-on effect on our local economy and enhances the health and prosperity of the area as a whole. You have until  June to take part in our survey so please get online today if you are involved, or want to be involved in outdoor watersports in northern Devon.”

The consultation stretches to outdoor watersports clubs and a separate survey has been sent to each club in the area. If you have not received this survey, please get in touch with the council’s Economic Development team on 01271 388369.

More information about the Marine Pioneer Project is available at www.northdevonbiosphere.org.uk/marinepioneer.

NATIONAL CREAM TEA DAY IS COMING!

CareMoor for Exmoor has teamed up with Visit Exmoor to celebrate National Cream Tea on Exmoor.

National Cream Tea Day offers a great opportunity to promote your venue and help raise funds and awareness of CareMoor for Exmoor.

Why not join those already participating and sign up to host a cream tea for CareMoor (i.e. include a donation as part of cream tea sales) or promote CareMoor during the day to visitors, making collection boxes and opportunities to donate available.<

CareMoor and Visit Exmoor will be actively promoting National Cream Tea Day from now, up to and including 29 June, on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as on the ENPA blog, and their websites and within our National Park Centres, through press releases to local and national press and through their partner networks. As the day is National Cream Tea Day any venue taking part will also get extra publicity via the National Cream Tea Society.

They will also be providing some additional promotional material to any participating establishment to display ahead of the event and on the day.

Competition
To capture public interest we will be running a twitter ‘competition’ asking visitors to vote on that old-age question. Should it be cream first with jam on top; or jam first with cream on top? Cream tea-ers will be invited to tweet their vote and a picture of their cream tea & venue. Why not join in? To take part, simple drop them a line letting them know what you are doing and they will add you to their Cream Tea venue map and social media promotions. What better way to enjoy flaming June than with a cream tea!

PHOTO: We would like to draw readers’ attention to the non-partisan choice of image for this story. We are risk averse on this one!