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CELEBRATION TO MARK OPENING OF TEMPLETON COMMUNITY LANDING SITE

Mr Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, joined local residents and Devon Air Ambulance Community Landing Sites Development Officer, Toby Russell, earlier this month to celebrate the opening of a Community Landing Site at Templeton Village Hall.

The idea to establish a landing site to support Devon Air Ambulance’s night operations was first raised by Sue Squire, Clerk to Templeton Parish Council, and the use of the land by the Village Hall was then explored. The Parish Council approved the idea and Parish Councillor, David Leeming, liaised with DAA, Devon County and Mid Devon District Council so a new lighting column could be provided at the Village Hall, an important requirement for a community landing site.

A landing site on the edge of the car park was selected by DAA, and the Village Hall Committee gave permission for DAA to use the land. The lighting column has two remotely operated lights that are switched on before the helicopter lands in the event of an emergency during the hours of darkness.

Toby Russell, Community Landing Sites Development Officer at DAA, said, “We were delighted to have the support of so many people who facilitated this landing site and to welcome Neil Parish to its opening. In addition to the grant given through the Bank LIBOR fines towards the project, we would like to thank Investing In Devon (for a grant towards the project), Sarah Coffin, Templeton Parish Council Chair, Parish Councillors (the Parish Council gave a grant towards the project) and Reg Coffin, Templeton Village Hall Committee Chair and Committee.

“Thank you to everyone involved for their time and support and for coming along to celebrate the opening.”

DUNSTER VILLAGE PHOTO COMPETITION

The Dunster Tourism Forum (DTF) has launched its first ever photography competition. The theme for 2019 is simply ’The Most Beautiful Photo of Dunster’, which gives a wide scope for the many talented amateur, semi-professional and professional photographers in the area to showcase their talents.

The deadline for entries is 15 June 2019. The prizes include a luxury weekend stay for two in Dunster’s 13th-century Luttrell Arms Hotel with an evening dinner and a visit to the hotel’s new Beauty Rooms, Sunday lunch for two at award-winning Reeves Restaurant and vouchers to spend in Raft Dunster boutique and Dunster Living interior shop. Each winner also receives a full-day studio photography course with Nina Dodd, a professional photographer of 25 years based in the village. 

In addition, there’s a ‘People’s Choice’ Award where followers of the competition’s Facebook page can vote for their favourites from a selection of entries.

Best entries will also be displayed in the village in a free outdoor exhibition in 2019 and in a 2020 Dunster calendar.

The photography competition is the first of several new events for Dunster in 2019 and has received great interest from the start with over 2200 Facebook page views in the first few days of the launch.

For more information on the competition and Dunster visit www.discoverdunster.info/

MINEHEAD LITERARY FESTIVAL AND SHORT STORY COMPETITION

Minehead’s first literary festival will take place on Saturday 27 April at the Methodist Hall, Minehead, featuring presentations by four leading writers with ties to the area who will explore the importance of place in their writing. An art exhibition will also run from April 1 to May 6 at the Regal Theatre and Toucan Wholefoods to celebrate Minehead Literary Festival, with work by local artists which will also focus on the theme of the  importance of place.

Speaking at the literary festival will be one of the country’s foremost writers of novels and short stories, Tessa Hadley. Winner of the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize and author of critically-acclaimed novels Clever Girl, The London Train and The Past, Tessa Hadley has a special connection with the area which shines through her work.
BBC radio producer, writer and bird watcher Tim Dee (pictured) will also share his knowledge of the area and particularly his insights into the natural world. Author of titles including Four Fields and The Running Sky – A Birdwatching Life, Tim is an exceptionally original storyteller, mixing autobiography with nature writing to captivating effect. His most recently published book, Ground Work – Writings on People and Places, is an anthology of new work by some of the most exciting authors writing about the natural world today, and was described in a Guardian review as “an extraordinary and life-affirming book”.

Best-selling author of first novel The Huntingfield Paintress and winner of the Jane Austen Short Story Award in 2014, Pamela Holmes has been fascinated by the area since she lived and worked on a farm on Exmoor in the 1970s (see Exmoor Magazine, Issue 85, Winter 2018, page 92).

For the younger audience, popular local writer Victoria Eveleigh will be giving a special illustrated presentation about her much-loved series of books Katy’s Exmoor Ponies and The Horseshoe Trilogy. Billed as ‘Tea Time with Tortie’, this event promises to be a highlight of the festival and offers a chance to meet the best contemporary writer of pony stories around.

A writing competition, with separate classes for adults and
children, will be organised in the run up to the festival, details of which can be found below. Catering for the Festival will be provided by Toucan Wholefoods.

For more information and details about how to book:
W: www.mineheadliteraryfestival.org
E: mineheadliteraryfestival@gmail.com
T: Janet Styles on 01643 822097.

Minehead Literary Festival: Short Story Competition

Children aged 5 to 9 years old are invited to submit an illustrated story or poem, up to 250 words, using the theme ‘The Magic Train’.

10- to 15-year-olds should compose a short story or poem, up to 500 words, on the theme ‘The Day all the Teachers Disappeared’.

The children’s competition is facilitated by West Somerset Academies Trust and Cafe Write. Please post entries to WSAT, Minehead Middle School, Ponsford Road, Minehead TA24 5RH or email them to mineheadliteraryfestival@gmail.com, to arrive before 31 March 2019, with the competitor’s name, age and contact details.

For adults (16+), the theme is ‘Minehead: Gateway to Exmoor’. Typed entries of up to 500 words, prose or poetry, should be submitted to mineheadliteraryfestival@gmail.com or posted to Literary Festival Comp. 2 Hillview Road, Minehead TA24 8EG, arriving before 31 March 2019; all entries must include the competitor’s name and contact details.

Winners will be announced at Minehead Literary Festival on 27 April.

 Photo by Claire Spottiswoode