Thursday, 17 August 2017

Clovelly Lectures: "What the Jihadis Really Want" Speaker Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO

Clovelly welcomes Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO to a Forum on World Affairs, International Relations, Security & Defence and Science & Technology. A platform for providing information for informed choices . In its 8th year, Clovelly Lectures has found a reflective and responsive audience. A curiosity and interest in listening and discussing matters that directly impact our lives in a fast changing and confusing economic and political world.

Clovelly Lectures: Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO
Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles joined HSBC Holdings in October 2013 as Senior Adviser tothe Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive. In May 2015, he was appointed to a new post as Group Head of Government Affairs, and then as Group Head of Public Affairs from June 2017. He is also Chairman of HSBC Bank Oman SAOG, and a Director of HSBC Bank Egypt SAE. 
Before HSBC Sherard worked for two and a half years as Business Development Director, International, at BAE Systems PLC. Earlier he spent over 30 years in the British Diplomatic Service, which he joined straight from reading Classics at Oxford. He served in Cairo, Washington and Paris. 
He was also Principal Private Secretary to the UK Foreign Secretary, the late Robin Cook, and was Head of the Foreign Office Hong Kong Department from 1994 up to the handover to China in 1997. His final diplomatic jobs were as Ambassador to Israel(2001–2003), Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2003–2007), Ambassador to Afghanistan (2007-2009), and the UK Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2009–2010). 
Sherard is also Chairman of the UK Financial Inclusion Commission; an Ambassador for the Money Advice Trust, and for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust; a member of the Boards of the China-Britain Business Council, and the Egyptian British Business Council; Chairman of the Omani-British Business Council; a Committee Member of The Hong Kong Association; and a Board Member of Asia House. He is President of the Algeria British Business Council;and Chair of the UK Advisory Council, LSE Confucius Institute for Business London, and of Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Trust. 
He sits on the International Engagement Committee of the British Academy. He is an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford, and President of the Jane Austen Society. He has an honorary D Litt from the University of Westminster, and is a Liveryman of The Skinners' Company. Sherard is the author of two books about his diplomatic experiences: Cables from Kabuland Ever the Diplomat. He speaks French and Arabic, some Hebrew and rudimentary Pashtu
Saturday October 7th 2017
"What the Jihadis Really Want"
Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO
For tickets and further information please contact or Tel: 01237 431200

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sign of the Cross. Remembering the Lynmouth Flood Disaster

The Lynmouth Flood August 15th 1952.

“When the Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend C. Mortimer preached at the Memorial Service held a fortnight after the disaster in 1952 he said that when it was all over a cross should be erected where the water broke through.

The Bishop said, ‘A cross is a sign, not simply of death, but of death followed by resurrection’.”

On the 50th Anniversary of the disaster the Lord Lieutenant of Devon unveiled the memorial wooden cross on the Lyndale Bridge as seen in the photograph here.

There is permanent free exhibition at the Flood Memorial Hall opposite Lynmouth Harbour.

Exhibits include a  model of the village pre-flood, along with images of the buildings which were destroyed, films, photographs and personal accounts.

Today Lynmouth has been truly resurrected, a vibrant place where visitors flock from all around the world. Lynton and Lymouth "Where the moor meets the sea" is on the dramatic Exmoor Coast and is also famous for the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Glen Lyn Gorge, Watersmeet, the Valley of Rocks and more....

The Memorial Cross for the victims of the Lynmouth Flood at Lynmouth Today - Photo copyright Pat Adams
 The Memorial Cross for the victims of the Lynmouth Flood Disaster. Photo Lynmouth August 2017 Pat Adams
Lynmouth Flood Disaster press cuttings on show inside the Flood Memorial Hall - Photo copyright Pat Adams
Press cuttings on show inside the Flood Memorial Hall - Photo Pat Adams

Monday, 14 August 2017

Life discovered in extinct dinosaur!

Sixty-six millions years after they were believed to have become extinct, life has been discovered once more in the body of a huge dinosaur.

While the giant lizards once roamed the prehistoric lands of a supercontinent known as Pangea, this time the dinosaur in question is to be found near Ilfracombe, North Devon.

This startling claim began to make more sense when it was found that the ‘life’ in question actually belonged to a colony of lesser horseshoe bats. Wildlife researchers have recently discovered that the bats are actually living in the belly of a giant fibre-glass triceratops, one of a range of large, replica dinosaurs on display at the popular Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park.

The finding was made by The Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project. In 2017 more than 400 volunteers have undertaken night time surveys using ultrasonic bat detectors in an attempt to map the places where the nocturnal mammals live in Devon. It was after a tip off of an unusual bat roost that the dinosaur location was revealed.

Ruth Testa manages the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat Project, an initiative which is led by the charity Devon Wildlife Trust. Ruth explained what happened:

“Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park generously allowed us to visit and have a look for bats in the park after we were alerted to the possible presence of a roost. When we arrived we didn’t know what species they would be and we could never have guessed where they would be living. To find them hanging out inside a model of a triceratops came as a big surprise.”

The four metre high dinosaur is one of the older models found in the park and it’s thought that the bats made their home there after discovering a hole in the underside of the triceratops’ belly.

Ruth Testa added:

“Bats will seek out safe and dry places they can rest up during the day before venturing out at night to look for food. The stomach of this dinosaur obviously fitted the bill. The surveys our volunteers undertake are giving us a unique insight into how bats behave. With this knowledge we can then ensure that our landscapes become more bat-friendly in the future.”

Louisa Bartlett, Senior Primate Keeper at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, said:

“It is fantastic to discover we have bats living in a triceratops, we always knew we had wild bats on site but never really knew where. The fact that they have decided to live in a dinosaur just makes it even more exciting!

We have 94,000 visitors every year and recently installed six brand new animatronic dinosaurs. You never know, one day the bats may decide to move residence into one of our new dinosaurs, if they feel like upgrading!”

Lesser horseshoe bats are described as ‘rare’ and like many species of bat their numbers have declined in the UK over recent decades due mainly to changes in our countryside such as the loss of hedges, falling insect prey numbers and the destruction of their roosts.

Becky Wilson, of the national charity Bat Conservation Trust, reacted to the find with surprise:

“We get to hear of some very unusual bat roosts and are always pleased to hear of new ones. But a fibreglass triceratops is definitely a first for us!”

To guard against disturbance Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park is now asking its visitors to give the bats and their triceratops some space.

The triceratops at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
The Triceratops at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park. Photo copyright Devon Wildlife Trust
A lesser horseshoe bat photo copyright Devon Wildlife Trust
A Lesser Horseshoe Bat photo copyright Devon Wildlife Trust