BARNSTAPLE’S FOODFEST IS BACK!

There’s just over a fortnight to go before FOODfest returns to Barnstaple Pannier Market. Organised by Barnstaple Town Centre Management, with support from North Devon Council, this annual event this year takes place on Sunday 21 October. Now in its 11th year, FOODfest is a gastronomic treat showcasing the very best local artisan food businesses from across North Devon.

Hosts Seth Conway and Dez Turland from Brend Hotels will be joined by four of the best chefs who work in the region:

• Mark Dodson, chef patron of the Michelin-starred Masons Arms, Knowstone
• James Mason from the Coach House by Michael Caines at Kentisbury Grange
• Thomas Carr from the Michelin starred Olive Room & Seafood Grill
• Jamie Coleman Head Chef at The Notley Arms and South West Chef of the Year 2016

The chefs will be live on stage in the market during the course of the day to demonstrate their talents, provide cooking tips and answer questions from the audience.

If your tastebuds are already tingling and you can’t wait for FOODfest, you can book a table at the launch event taking place on Tuesday 16 October at 6.30pm in The Taw Restaurant, Petroc. Enjoy a sumptuous four-course tasting dinner menu prepared by the four top South West chefs appearing at FOODfest and the hospitality and catering students from the college. The chefs will be sharing their skills and culinary knowledge with the students by each designing and cooking a course for the FOODFest launch meal. The evening is £35 per head and tables can be booked by calling 01271 852483 or emailing thetaw@petroc.ac.uk.

Executive Member for Economic Regeneration, Councillor Pat Barker, said: “FOODfest is back and it looks better than ever! With more than 70 exhibitors showcasing some of North Devon’s finest food and drink, what’s not to like? The launch event sounds amazing and what a fantastic experience for the catering students at Petroc to be inspired and encouraged by some of the South West’s best chefs. Book early to avoid disappointment!”

Barnstaple Town Centre Manager, Hannah Harrington, said: “FOODfest is one of the highlights of our calendar and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the market for the eleventh time. We’ll also have seating and street food on Butchers Row again, and this year we’ll be spilling out onto Market Street too with an outdoor living and entertainment space – we just keep getting bigger and better.”

FOODfest runs from 10am to 3.30pm, with free entry to the Pannier Market. Thanks to sponsors Rangemoors, Ashgrove, John’s of Instow and Appledore, Brend Hotels and Barnstaple Town Centre Management.

FOUR NFU BURSARIES UP FOR GRABS FOR AGRICULTURE STUDENTS

A-level students who have just finished their exams may be able to get financial support to study for agricultural degrees at university thanks to NFU Mutual’s Undergraduate Bursary Scheme.

Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual is offering financial support to four students starting undergraduate courses in agriculture in autumn 2018. The bursaries will provide £3,000 per student to help with tuition or living costs for the duration of their studies.

NFU Mutual, which provides insurance for 75% of the UK’s farmers, will also support the successful students with work experience, networking and assistance with course projects.

NFU Mutual’s Charlie Yorke, who co-ordinates the award scheme, said: “We’re an insurer with over a century’s experience protecting the countryside. As part of our support for the farming community we want to help encourage students who have the potential to become agriculture’s future leaders.

“In recent years, affordable education for young people and their ability to play a greater role in agricultural businesses have emerged as large concerns for farming families. The award aims to make a positive contribution in this area.

“This is the fourth year NFU Mutual has offered the award, and it’s been great to see how previous award winners have used the bursary, such as to fund extra courses which have increased their skills base and made them more employable.”

Stefan Marks, a BSc Agriculture student at Reading University, originally from Cornwall, is currently in the third year of the scheme, having been awarded NFU Mutual’s Undergraduate Bursary in 2016.

Stefan explained: “Having grown up on the family farm, I’ve always had an interest in agriculture, particularly looking at the way technology and science can ensure sustainable and efficient farming systems.

“The bursary money has enabled me to have some financial security and has allowed me to invest in travel to different enterprises to thereby broaden my understanding of the industry and diverse farming systems. It has also been valuable in ensuring I have textbooks and other resources to aid my studies.

“I am in the process of doing my dissertation focusing on the concept of soil health and Mesofauna populations and, whilst at university, I have explored a particular interest in hydroponics. After I graduate, I intend use this knowledge to work within the agricultural industry.”

Stefan added: “I’d really encourage anyone interested in agriculture to apply for the bursary. It gave me confidence in my studies knowing that someone thought I had potential and my interests were relevant. This really encouraged me to make the most of my course and the opportunities it offers.

“Not only does NFU Mutual offer the financial support, but I’ve had contact from them encouraging me to get involved and providing me with vital industry contacts. It has been so helpful and I’m really grateful for the support.”

William Harvey is also studying for a BSc in Agriculture at Reading University. Going into his second year in September 2018, he was also selected for NFU Mutual’s Undergraduate Bursary Scheme.

“I come from a dairy farm near Newton Abbot in Devon and so have always had a passion for the industry. I’m studying a broad spectrum of agriculture and currently deciding what I want to specialise in for my final year,” William explained.

“The scheme has been a huge help for me and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking to go into the industry. The grant has allowed me to focus on my studies without worrying about financial issues and really made sure I make the most of my degree.”

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2018. For more information visit: www.nfumutual.co.uk/undergrad.

 

NEW SCHOOL PLAN APPROVED FOR TIVERTON

The future of Tiverton’s Eastern Urban Extension (EUE) has been given a welcome boost this month, with planning approval being granted for a new school.

Devon County Council has approved plans for a 420-place primary school and 70-place nursery on land to the east of Tiverton near to Post Hill.

The new school forms part of the Tiverton EUE Masterplan which also identifies land for a community centre and local shops, which will be situated alongside the school as part of a new neighbourhood area. Also included in the Tiverton EUE is the development of up to 2,000 new homes and employment land.

Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration at Mid Devon District Council, Cllr Richard Chesterton, said: “Tiverton’s EUE is needed to ensure the future vitality of Mid Devon. However, we know there is no point building more and more homes without the necessary infrastructure and community amenities to support this additional housing. This is why we have already seen the successful completion of phase one of the new A361 junction and now we have approval for a new school. It is an exciting time for the town and this development and push for growth will ensure families and businesses will see Tiverton as an attractive and prosperous place to be.”

Full details of the planning application, which is conditional, can be accessed at www.planning.devon.gov.uk and using application number DCC/4070/2018.

DOVERY MANOR MUSEUM FIRST WORLD WAR PROJECT

Are you or your family from the Vale of Porlock and did you have family member who fought in the First World War? Perhaps you had a grandfather or a great uncle who served in the ranks? Or a great aunt who volunteered to work as a nurse treating the long-term wounded in Minehead Hospital?

Dovery Manor Museum in Porlock is marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War with a series of newly researched publications by Jeff Cox.

Already on display at the museum is a comprehensive register recording the name, rank, regiment and often the home addresses, of over 350 men and women from Porlock, Luccombe, Selworthy, Culbone, Oare and Stoke Pero who served. It’s the first time such detailed research has been attempted, honouring the sacrifices made by so many from the district.

The second volume is a Roll of Honour, which pays tribute to all those men from Porlock and the Vale who died in the First World War. It tells in some detail the story of each man whose name is carved on one of the three parish war memorials at Porlock, Luccombe and Selworthy.

Is your relative listed in the register? Or might details in the register help fill gaps in your family history?

The museum now wants to hear from anyone who has stories or photos of their family members from the three parishes who served in the conflict, for inclusion in a third publication which will tell the very human stories of sacrifice, service and dedication.

The volumes are the result of extensive new research, timed to culminate this November – the centenary of the end of the First World War. But they do not claim to be the final story. There may well be errors or omissions. And that is where you can help. Do visit the museum and look at these volumes; and please tell them if you have information that can improve this tribute to the men and women from Porlock and the Vale.

The museum has recently been successful in acquiring a grant from One Stop Carriers For Causes which will make possible the publication of all three volumes and the creation of a a permanent First World War memorial display at the museum.

Please contact anyone at the museum (which is open daily from 10am-5pm, except Sundays) or Jeff Cox on 01643 863083, or by emailing jeff.cox@talk21.com

PHOTO: Unveiling of the war memorial, July 1921.

DARK SKIES OPENING AND CHILDREN’S POETRY COMPETITION

700 students from Ilfracombe will be treated to a 360-degree immersive planetarium experience for the opening day of the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival next month (17 October), thanks to a generous donation from the Ilfracombe Rotary Club.

Inside a mobile planetarium, the children will be taken on a 3D journey around the wonders of the solar system by an experienced astronomer. A further two ticketed public planetarium sessions will take place at Ilfracombe Academy in the evening, followed by guided stargazing outside.

It’s hoped the experience will provide plenty of inspiration for entries to the Festival’s Dark Skies Poetry Competition. The winners, as judged by award-winning local poet Mark Totterdell, will receive prizes courtesy of Sunday Afternoons and Astronomy Now magazine for the following three age categories: under 11s, 11-15 and over 16s. Anyone wishing to enter should send their poem to info@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or ‘Dark Skies Poetry Competition, Exmoor House, Dulverton, TA22 9HL.’ The deadline is 17 November.

Exmoor National Park’s Katrina Munro, who is coordinating the Festival, said: “We hope the competition will inspire everyone to look up at our starry skies, identify planets and constellations and capture the sense of wonder that unfolds. There are ten prizes to be won and the winning poems will be put on public display around Exmoor.”

The pop-up planetarium will later appear at Dunster Tithe Barn on Saturday 3 November, alongside an astrophotography exhibition by Paul Howel of Pictor Images and a chance to try solar-gazing or star-gazing with Exmoor Stargazers. It’s one of 40 events set to take place at venues across the National Park from 17 October – 4 November, aimed at everyone from seasoned stargazers to beginners and families. The full programme is available from National Park Centres in Dulverton, Dunster and Lynmouth or at www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/darkskiesfestival .

Katrina added: “We are extremely grateful to the Ilfracombe Rotary Club for their kind sponsorship, allowing so many school children to have this wonderful experience, and to our festival sponsors, AirBand. With so many events across the region, we hope to inspire as many people as possible to discover the thrill of gazing up at one of the country’s darkest skies.”

LYN FOOD FEST COMING UP

Follow your nose to discover the finest food Exmoor has to offer at the Lyn Food Fest, taking place this year on Sunday 30 September at Lynton Town Hall. There will be a host of stalls selling an impressive display of tempting delights from all around the area.

Make room in the freezer to stock up on free-range chicken, sausages, ruby red beef, pork and Exmoor lamb. Look out for organic veg, locally grown herbs and spices, chilli plants and home-made preserves. It might be as well to organise a lift home; there’ll be Devon sparkling wine, Exmoor Gin distilled in the Brendon Valley, Porlock Cider and even Thunder Toffee Vodka. For teetotallers there’s delicious Somerset apple drinks and fine pressed 100% natural fruit juices.

Adding an international flavour to the event there will be Spanish and Basque specialists Goierri Foods, The Anglo-Indian Chef and German gourmets Marion’s Deli all based in Devon. Loosen your belt for brownies and baklava, chocolate, churros and cheese.

The Festival runs from 10.30am-4pm in the forecourt, foyer and main hall. There is a café and festival bar.

Organiser Christine Bowden and her volunteer team have many years’ experience in both the food trade and exhibiting at local, national and international events. All profits from the food festival go to local charities in the Lynton and Lynmouth area. “We made a healthy profit last year,” says Christine. “Money raised goes to support small local projects that make a difference to our area. It’s great fun too.”

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the delicious local produce we have here. The varied greater Exmoor landscape is a veritable store cupboard of delights, “ said Visit Exmoor Marketing Manager Jennette Baxter. “It is always, deservedly, a very popular event, so get there in good time!”

For more information see www.LynFoodFest.co.uk

For more information on Visit Exmoor see www.Visit-Exmoor.co.uk  

LANDY AND FRIENDS AUTHOR VERONICA LAMOND VISITS KING’S HALL

Earlier this month, pupils from King’s Hall received a very special visit from Cornish author and illustrator, Veronica Lamond.

Veronica is best known for her popular Landy and Friends books – a series that engages young children in diverse, real-life adventures through the loveable characters of Landy (a 1956 Series 1 Land Rover) and Fender (a 1999 Defender).

She spoke to pupils from Nursery to Year 2 about how she produces her books, showing them the very palette she uses to bring her characters to life! The children were also lucky enough to hear passages from Veronica’s novels in a unique reading workshop.

To round off the experience, the pupils gathered on the school field to meet a special guest. Accompanied by Land Rover engineer, Mick Moore, was none other than Landy himself!

The pupils had a fantastic time interacting with the vintage automobile and even had the opportunity to hop inside!

Emily Marcuccilli, Librarian at King’s Hall, said: “A wonderful day was had by all, with the arrival of Landy himself really bringing these charming stories to life for our littlest bookworms.”

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.
lizzieprint.wordpress.com

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.

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