Tag Archives: featured

Lifeline grants for Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon, Landmark Theatre and Queen’s Theatre

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is celebrating with the news that it will receive £58k from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund. Also benefiting from the fund are the Queen’s and Landmark theatres, which together will receive £550k.

The Museum has faced a very challenging year in 2020. It closed in March in line with government guidelines so the grand re-opening, following the refurbishment and the new wing extension, was put on hold.

The Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe have been unable to operate fully since March as a result of Covid restrictions. But following this week’s announcement that they will be awarded funding, Selladoor – the company that runs the theatres – has announced it intends to lift the curtains and re-open in time for Christmas, with full Covid safety measures in place.

Museum Curator, Alison Mills, says, “This funding is excellent news for the Museum and all the staff and volunteers. It will help to make up for the income we have lost this year to date, and enable us to get fully up and running. Although the pandemic continues to affect all our lives we hope to extend our opening hours soon by recruiting some temporary staff. We will also be investing in digital services, so people can enjoy our exhibitions and learn about our collections virtually.”

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor David Worden says: “I am delighted that the cultural heart of North Devon is being supported by this much-needed lifeline. Our museum and theatres are very important to our community; as we saw a few years ago when the then theatre operator went into administration. The amount of people who rallied around to save the theatres from closure was astounding. We are lucky to have such fantastic facilities here and we must support them as much as we can during these difficult times.”

David Hutchinson, Chief Executive of Selladoor Worldwide says “Whilst many theatres across the UK are still closed due to the challenges brought by Covid-19, Selladoor are once again opening the doors of The Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and The Landmark in Ilfracombe to ensure the local communities of North Devon have access to live theatre, and this festive entertainment will be provided within a safe, socially-distanced environment.”

The museum was able to re-open safely on 12 August. Admission is free, but to ensure the safety of staff and visitors, an advanced booking system has been introduced to help manage visitor numbers so social distancing can be maintained and ensure the museum experience is a safe and welcoming one.

All visitors are being asked to book a timed arrival slot in advance on the Museum website between the revised opening hours of 11am-3pm (last admittance at 2pm), Wednesday to Friday.

Additional events at the theatres are yet to be confirmed so keep an eye out for the latest announcements and for further information or to book tickets visit the Queens Theatre website or follow the Queen’s Theatre and The Landmark on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Book your tickets for Rosemoor Glow

Tickets for Glow at Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Gardens are now on sale to the general public as the world’s leading gardening charity prepares to light up its gardens this winter for magical events throughout the festive season.

With many festive events cancelled, now is the time to treat yourself to something special. The winter at Rosemoor in North Devon is always one of the most beautiful sights in all seasons. In addition to its daytime beauty, once again visitors can see the garden transformed at night too by innovative colour-changing lighting into a magical festive trail around the trees, shrubs, water features and sculptures.

With the safety of visitors and staff its foremost priority in these challenging times, the RHS has put in place a number of measures to ensure everyone can enjoy the events with confidence. These include mandatory advance booking, one-way routes around the gardens and limits on numbers at any one time. All four RHS Gardens have recently been awarded Visit England’s ‘Good to Go’ certification, an industry-standard mark of reassurance that they are carefully following all the latest government guidance on Covid-19.

“We are thrilled to be able to welcome our visitors to Rosemoor for Glow this year, and we can’t wait to share the beautiful new displays we have planned,” says Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Gardens and Shows. “Glow is a highlight of the winter months for us and our visitors, and we have worked hard to ensure that these will be fun, enchanting and safe events for all the family.”

Taking visitors along a new (one-way) route, Rosemoor Glow 2020 will include the Winter Garden (back by popular demand), the Cool Garden with its rippling water rills, the Long Borders, through the Cottage Garden for the first time and once again down to The Lake with its incredible reflections. Also for the first time, there will be interactive sections as well as a few ‘light’ surprises along the way.

Please see the website for the selected dates between 19 November to 2 January. During Glow evenings the gardens will be open until 8pm to maximise the effects of the lighting and, on those days, normal garden entry includes Glow (free for RHS members). In this way you can enjoy a full day out seeing the gardens and sculptures by day and then also Rosemoor Glow by night.

Hot and cold refreshments will be available at various points around the trail and the Rosemoor Shop will also remain open until 8pm for Christmas Trees and decorations as well as exclusive RHS gift ranges.

Other events taking place:

Rosemoor’s extremely popular annual Winter Sculpture Exhibition will be up and running from 12 November to 31 January. Last year, record numbers of visitors enjoyed the eclectic mix of exhibits that are set against the backdrop of the garden. This year, the exhibition has been freshened up with a high proportion of new artists. Most of the sculptures featured in the exhibition are for sale.

To make the most of a visit to Rosemoor there is also a special day-time seasonal Garden Trail (one for autumn and one for winter) which includes many specimens from our national collection of hollies and featuring key highlighted plants and shrubs around the garden.

Every visit and every purchase supports the charitable work of the RHS. Normal garden admission applies (free for RHS members). The Garden itself is open every day (except Christmas Day) 10am-5pm. Tickets for Glow must be booked online. Routes are fully accessible and festive refreshments will be available. For further information, visit rhs.org.uk/Rosemoor.

Halsway Manor House breaks at the heart of the British Folk scene

If you fancy a last-minute holiday or change of scene for half term and enjoy a place with a story, Halsway Manor could be for you.

Halsway Manor is the National Centre for Folk Arts, a charity offering residential folk music courses throughout the year. But Covid restrictions have taken a toll on the programming and while some of the dance and European music events are postponed the venue is offering out its rooms for holiday accommodation. This is a rare treat to stay in a venue with history at the heart of the English Folk Music Scene.

Halsway Manor, with its medieval origins, offers simple, affordable and homely accommodation in beautiful building and grounds. You can expect the same warm and friendly welcome as course participants do with breakfast and evening dinner served in the dining room. The bedrooms recently received a makeover thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund award. The library is also open to guests with its decorative Tudor ceilings and collection of local folklore and music.

The Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are the backdrop for Halsway Manor, making it a perfect base for cycling, walking and nature holidays. You can explore the local villages, footpaths throughout the Quantocks and Exmoor, and the West Somerset coastline all of which are within easy reach. There is plenty of space for arts and crafts activities. And after your day’s adventures you can relax by the fire and enjoy a drink in the panelled bar. Single, double and family rooms are available and each has its own bathroom. With so much space the Manor lends itself to these times and has Visit England’s Good to Go mark.

At a time when music venues and performing artists are struggling this is a great way to support this arts charity which supports musicianship and helps to keep traditional English Folk music scene alive.

To book a stay at Halsway Manor visit www.halswaymanor.org.uk tel 01984 618 274.