Thursday, 13 June 2019

Common Knowledge in Great Torrington. A Curate Caught Off Guard!!

We love a good tale and a bit of a gossip in North Devon so it was great to hear from the Author, Tom Hughes, an American "Victorianist" with a peculiar interest in Victorian clerical scandals, of which, lucky for him, there were quite a few.

In 2008, Halsgrove Publishing (Somerset) published two books, collections of his stories from Devon and Norfolk (Halsgrove Press), "Blame it on the Devon Vicar2 is the book from which the Torrington story was taken. Below is a brief extract from his blog post entitled "Victorian Clerical Errors"  now read on....

"The North Devon town of Great Torrington is “pleasantly seated on a bold eminence.” From Castle Hill, the eye can follow the winding wooded banks of the river Torridge. Just below the hill, you will find the celebrated Great Torrington Common.

On a summer Monday in 1879, the Rev. Herbert Oldfield Francis was out walking on that common. He had been curate at the parish church of St. Michael's since 1876. Mr. Francis was the son of a prosperous London industrialist. He was 40, married and the father of three. On his ramble that day, he happened to meet Miss Lucy Jones. He knew Lucy well; her father was a physician who worked with the curate at the town's workhouse. It also happened that Rev. Francis's wife was also a doctor's daughter and she and Lucy were great friends.

Torrington common covered, and covers still, over 365 acres of rolling terrain. This meeting between Mr. Francis and Miss Jones took place in an area later described as “a hollow or a gully.”

They were there for some little while...and, they were being watched"

.....want to find out more about this scandal then tap here to read all about it in Tom Hughes blog Victorian Clerical Errors

Torrington Commons 2018 - Photo copyright Pat Adams (All Rights Resrved)
Torrington Commons 2018 - Photo copyright Pat Adams
Torrington Commons 2018 - Photo copyright Pat Adams (All Rights Resrved)
Torrington Commons 2018 - Photo copyright Pat Adams
 ---------------------
About Torrington Commons Towards the end of the 12th century, a 'large waste called The Common' was given to the people of Torrington. In 1889, the rights to this land were transferred by an act of parliament to an elected Committee of Conservators. The common is freely accessible to all, and visitors can walk the twenty miles of footpaths, ranging from the golf course in the north, ancient wood and wild flower meadow in the west, and dropping down to the beautiful river Torridge valley to the south of the town. Torrington's South Street and Sydney House car parks give direct access to the Commons, and there is a car park and a public toilet block at the Old Bowling Green. (This is Torrington)

Monday, 10 June 2019

Celebrate the Summer Solstice Cruise on the MS Oldenburg with Northam Care Trust and the Smokey Mountain Boys.

The Northam Care Trust (formerly Northam Lodge) are celebrating the Summer Solstice by hosting a fundraiser on the MS Oldenburg on Friday 21st June 2019 from 7.45pm. We will leave Bideford Quay for a two hour sailing around the Taw Torridge estuary.
 
We have a brand new sound this year from The Smokey Mountain Boys who will be playing the toe-tapping Sounds of Bluegrass, and you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy alongside a fully licensed bar.

Summer Solstice Cruise in aid of the Northam Care Trust on the MS Oldenburg Friday 21st June
 Summer Solstice Cruise in aid of the Northam Care Trust on the MS Oldenburg Friday 21st June 2019 Tickets cost £16 (adult)/£8 (child) and can be purchased directly from their website at www.northamcaretrust.co.uk.
 👀👀👀
ABOUT NORTHAM CARE TRUST
The Northam Care Trust is a charity formed as Northam Lodge in 1978 and our mission is to support people with learning and physical disabilities in having choice and control in achieving the best possible quality of life, evidenced by real quality outcomes and supported by our passion for excellence. They are based in Northam and Bideford in North Devon and have developed person centred support for people with profound and multiple learning and other disabilities and complex needs in residential and day activities. Excellent communication, respect, dignity, engagement, support for carers and a set of values and behaviours underpin our work and add value with personalisation at the core. They are the only organisation in North Devon and North Cornwall providing this high care specialist service and are a vital resource for families and carers whose relatives live in our accommodation or use our community support facilities including the range of day activities we offer at Rose Hill. Tap here to find out more about the Northam Care Trust Past and Present
The Northam Care Trust

Friday, 31 May 2019

Going 'wild' is secret for happiness. Thousands take up challenge to go wild every day in June


The Wildlife Trusts' annual challenge – 30 Days Wild – calling on everyone to go wild every day in June starts this weekend. This year looks set to be bigger and wilder than ever. So far 50,000 people across the UK including nearly 2,000 in Devon have signed up to participate. The numbers are made up of individuals, families, schools, businesses and care home communities.
30 Days Wild encourages everyone to enjoy nature locally through daily Random Acts of Wildness: listening to bird song, gazing at butterflies, growing borage for bees and making the most of our parks, gardens and school grounds. Evidence shows that taking part can also make us happier and healthier.
The impact of taking part in 30 Days Wild has been tracked by academics at the University of Derby. Their study found that people who did something 'wild' each day for a month, felt happier, healthier and more connected to nature, with added benefits for the natural world too.*
Miles Richardson from the University of Derby said; "Our research looked at the impact of 30 Days Wild on 1,000 people, two months after completing the challenge. All those taking part benefitted, feeling 30% healthier than when they started on average. People who reported a disconnect from nature and who spend less time outdoors, showed the greatest improvement in happiness and pro-conservation behaviours."
"At a time when poor mental health is on the rise and the decline of our wildlife show no sign of slowing down, 30 Days Wild demonstrates what a much-needed new relationship with nature might look like, for everyone, throughout the year."
Supporting the 30 Days Wild challenge this year are:
Ellie Harrison, presenter of Countryfile and President of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, said: "Being outside in nature makes us all well. The smallest moments connecting - the surprise of a beetle revealing its wings; the fleeting secrets of bats at dusk; or the puff of valuable pollen from flowers we saw as weeds - all bring us wonder and enchantment. This June we're challenging you to a Random Act of Wildness every single day of the month. What will you be delighted by?"
James McVey of rock band The Vamps said, "30 Days Wild is a fantastic challenge and everyone can take part - whether it's building a den, listening to the dawn chorus or visiting a favourite wild place, enjoying our wonderful wildlife can help us to feel happier and healthier, I'll be joining in this June!"
Dr Amir Khan from Channel 5's GPs behind closed doors said; "Spending time outdoors, enjoying wildlife on our doorstep and in our communities is free and can benefit our mental and physical health in so many ways. Spend a few moments every day in June taking part in random acts of wildness – notice something new in nature, climb a tree or create space for nature in your neighbourhood - The Wildlife Trusts has lots of ideas and inspiration to help you make the most of the 30 Days Wild challenge. Go Wild!"
Devon Wildlife Trust's Steve Hussey said: "30 Days Wild has become a much-loved challenge and it's set to be an exciting month for everyone taking part. This year in Devon we're staging a special 30 Days Wild celebration at Exeter's Mincinglake Valley Park on Sunday 16 June from 10.30am. It's free and gives everybody an opportunity to join us in discovering Exeter's wild secrets and to be inspired by nature."

People wanting to sign up to this year's 30 Days can do so at the Devon Wildlife Trust website www.devonwildlifetrust.org Signing up is FREE!

Friday, 24 May 2019

SUNDAY HIGHLIGHT. CLOVELLY SEAWEED FESTIVAL

Head Down Along Clovelly for the annual Seaweed Festival which promotes seaweed for its immense health & nutritional benefits. As it is hugely versatile, quay kitchens will have a surprising variety of dishes and stalls will be selling a range of seaweed products.

There will also be plenty of entertainment for both adults and children to enjoy, such as "Know your Seaweed" talks by Emma Gunn, craft activities and workshops, street entertainment and live music throughout the day. The Seaweed Health Foundation will provide information on the benefits of seaweed for food and health, Adam Reeve will be doing a seaweed demonstration and talk, who forages local seaweed.

You will be amazed at the world of seaweed. Bring your own and ask the experts what is the best use for your particular selection.

Clovelly Seaweed Festival. Montage copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus
-------------------------


Clovelly Seaweed Festival
Admission charges include all entertainment.
Date: Sunday 26th May
Location: Clovelly Harbour
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Contact: Tel: 01237 431781.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Stepping Out. Enjoy an intriquing performance walk along the unique Northam Burrows coastline with Red Herring.

Join Red Herring on a unique shared journey, a fun and intriguing performance walk, which reveals little known stories of our coastline and invites us to experience it in new ways.

Come and walk with us along the unique Northam Burrows coastline. This place may already be familiar to you, we’ll experience it together, in new and unfamiliar ways. You’ll be immersed in a journey of both travel and time: a monumental journey of the earth beneath our feet; the migratory routes of wintering birds; the marks left behind by boatbuilders and the footprints of life along this coastline.

Through snippets of text, recorded sound and found objects, we’ll investigate the stories attached to the land as we travel across it.

A circular walk, developed in partnership with Northam Burrows Country Park, will cover 2 – 3 miles over uneven ground. Please come prepared to walk this distance with suitable outdoor footwear and clothing. You will walk for about 1.5 hours with frequent stops and creative interludes along the way. We will provide light refreshments. Please note, performance duration and finish times may vary, depending on the walking pace of each group.

Red Herring will be running further Stepping Out events in September 2019, please join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Events will include a new Creative Coastal Walk as well as an Interactive Walkabout Performance and Sound Installation see below for details.

Stepping Out
Saturday June 8th and Sunday June 9th: 2.00 – 4.30 PM
Location: The walks will start and finish from The Skern end of Northam Burrows Country Park. Specific details on the meeting place will be provided after booking. Performances will start promptly, please arrive 15 minutes in advance to allow time to park and walk to the start. If you drive to the Burrows please be aware, unless you have a season ticket, there will be a £4 access fee.
--------------
Cancellations: If weather conditions are unsafe, we will inform you of any cancellations by 10am on the morning of the performance. If, due to poor weather, a performance is cancelled we will endeavour to offer an alternative date.

  • Unfortunately, as the walks take place over uneven ground, we aren’t able to accommodate wheelchairs or push chairs. 
  • As we’ll be walking in a group, we also request that dogs stay at home. 
  • Walks are suitable for young people aged 13+. 
  • Numbers are limited to 20 on each walk.
Illustration from "A History of the Earth and Animated Nature" by Oliver Goldsmith from rawpixel’s own original edition of the publication (Creative Commons)
Illustration from "A History of the Earth and Animated Nature" by Oliver Goldsmith  (Creative Commons)

Stepping Out is supported with funding from Arts Council England and the North Devon Coast AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) which is funded by Defra. Stepping Out is part of a series of events celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the North Devon Coast AONB.

About Red Herring Productions CIC:
"We create playful and exciting outdoor theatre which brings diverse groups of people together to celebrate our shared heritage. These are performed on street corners, in parks and rural landscapes, with a fresh approach that blurs the edges between performers and audiences. We work with local communities, enabling them to learn about, share and celebrate their cultural heritage through talks, workshops and performance." Website - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter

Thursday, 16 May 2019

‘Dangerous’ fly-tipping creates problems for charity

A Devon-based charity has been left the costly and dangerous task of clearing up fly-tipping left by thoughtless vandals at one of its nature reserves.
 
A ‘substantial truck or van load’ of mixed rubbish was dumped recently at Devon Wildlife Trust’s Meresfelle nature reserve. The reserve is near Woolfardisworthy in North West Devon and is a haven for rare wildlife including the marsh fritillary butterfly.
 
The charity’s staff discovered what was described as a ‘mixed load’ of rubbish fly-tipped and blocking an entrance to the site. On closer inspection the items dumped included carrier bags, children’s toys, general household rubbish, concrete paving slabs, timber, an old fan heater and garden waste.
 
Devon Wildlife Trust’s Steve Hussey said:
“It’s always sad when people fly-tip at one our nature reserves. Most are in rural spots and represent easy targets for unthinking individuals who can’t be bothered or don’t want the expense of recycling and disposing of rubbish properly.
 
Clearing up after fly-tippers puts our staff at risk because you can never be sure what has been dumped. In the past we’ve discovered used medical equipment in amongst discarded materials.
 
It’s very expensive for our charity to deal with these incidents. We’d much rather be directing our people and resources to the job of helping Devon’s wildlife.”
 
Devon Wildlife Trust cares for 50 nature reserves in the county. Anyone with any information on the fly-tipped rubbish should call the charity or the police with information.
The fly-tipped rubbish recently found at Devon Wildlife Trust’s Meresfelle nature reserve
The fly-tipped rubbish recently found at Devon Wildlife Trust’s Meresfelle nature reserve
-------------
Devon Wildlife Trust cares for 50 nature reserves in the county. Anyone with any information on the fly-tipped rubbish should call the charity or the police with information.
👀👀👀
Keep in touch with Devon Wildlife Trust
 Website

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Wild days ahead in Devon. A leading South West charity is urging us all to go wild.

Sign up is now open for the Wildlife Trusts’ month-long national nature challenge. People can get their free packs at www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild and start planning their 30 Days Wild which starts on Saturday 1st June.
 
Last year 30 Days Wild was a record breaker with more than 2,500 people in Devon joining the 350,000 people across the UK who chose to embrace the challenge of experiencing nature every day during June.
 
People choosing to make the commitment this year are promised a rich array of resources to help them go wild. Participants receive a handy pocket-sized guide to 101 Random Acts of Wildness, a packet of wildflower seeds, a wall chart to make memories of their wild month, and wild-at-heart stickers to share with family and friends.
 
For the first time, the Wildlife Trusts have also produced a pack for care homes alongside packs for schools and businesses. Research has shown that providing contact with nature can help people to feel happier and healthier.
 
Steve Hussey for Devon Wildlife Trust, said:
“30 Days Wild is such a fun thing to do and everyone can get involved - make a daisy chain, start a list of wildlife you see in your garden, look for animal tracks or feel cool grass between your toes. You can sign up now to get your free pack of goodies, including stickers, wallchart and lots more Random Acts of Wildness to help you to plan your wild month. Get your family, friends, school, work place or care home involved too. We can’t wait to share in everybody’s wild adventures!”
 
Now in its fifth year, 30 Days Wild participants keep up to date and share the fun and activities across social media #30DaysWild.
#30DaysWild with Devon Wildlife Trust - Photo copyright Matthew Roberts (All Rights Reserved)
#30DaysWild with Devon Wildlife Trust. Photo copyright Matthew Roberts (All Rights Reserved)
#30DaysWild with Devon Wildlife Trust - Photo copyright Nick Upton (All Rights Reserved)
#30DaysWild with Devon Wildlife Trust. Photo copyright Nick Upton (All Rights Reserved)

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Celebrate the Summer Solstice in aid of the Northam Care Trust aboard the MS Oldenburg

The Northam Care Trust (formerly Northam Lodge) are celebrating the Summer Solstice by hosting a fundraiser on the MS Oldenburg on Friday 21st June 2019 from 7.45pm. They will leave Bideford Quay for a two hour sailing around the Taw Torridge estuary.

They have a brand new sound this year from The Smokey Mountain Boys who will be playing the toe-tapping Sounds of Bluegrass, and you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy alongside a fully licensed bar.

Celebrate the Summer Solstice in aid of the Northam Care Trust aboard the MS Oldenburg
 Summer Solstice Cruise in aid of the Northam Care Trust on the MS Oldenburg Friday 21st June 2019 Tickets cost £16 (adult)/£8 (child) and can be purchased directly from their website at www.northamcaretrust.co.uk.
 👀👀👀
ABOUT NORTHAM CARE TRUST
The Northam Care Trust is a charity formed as Northam Lodge in 1978 and our mission is to support people with learning and physical disabilities in having choice and control in achieving the best possible quality of life, evidenced by real quality outcomes and supported by our passion for excellence. They are based in Northam and Bideford in North Devon and have developed person centred support for people with profound and multiple learning and other disabilities and complex needs in residential and day activities. Excellent communication, respect, dignity, engagement, support for carers and a set of values and behaviours underpin our work and add value with personalisation at the core. They are the only organisation in North Devon and North Cornwall providing this high care specialist service and are a vital resource for families and carers whose relatives live in our accommodation or use our community support facilities including the range of day activities we offer at Rose Hill. Tap here to find out more about the Northam Care Trust Past and Present
The Northam Care Trust

Friday, 5 April 2019

Clovelly Updates. "Traditional with a modern twist"

The further major renovations of the Red Lion Hotel, situated on the harbour wall at the historic village of Clovelly, looking across Bideford Bay, was completed at the end March 2019.

The reception area was refurbished using our much loved local Delabole slate as the flooring (admittedly Cornish – but we cannot have everything in Devon). The reception desk picks up on our maritime tradition, and behind, there is an enlarged map of Devon dating back to the 16th century, from the owning family's archives.

There is comfortable seating in both the reception area and the Residents Lounge where there is oak flooring and rugs to replace the carpet.

An oak staircase with an oar handrail leads down to the Harbour Bar and Snug Bar. Both Bars have been beautifully refurbished, whilst not losing their original character.

The design criteria has been "traditional with a modern twist", and follows the brief of extensive renovation of the Restaurant in 2017 and the Sail Loft accommodation in 2011.
Clovelly Updates. Refurbished Harbour Bar at the Red Lion Hotel  - "Traditional with a modern twist"
 Refurbished Harbour Bar at the Red Lion Hotel  - "Traditional with a modern twist"
Clovelly Updates. Refurbished Reception Area, Residents Lounge and Snug Bar - "Traditional with a modern twist"
Refurbished Reception Area, Residents Lounge and Snug Bar at the Red Lion Hotel - "Traditional with a modern twist"
-----------------------
www.clovelly.co.uk Tel: 01237 431237.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Clovelly features in BBC 2 series Britain in Bloom.

Episode two of the popular BBC 2 series "Britain in Bloom" focuses on residents of the picturesque fishing village of Clovelly, North Devon.

World-famous for its steep cobbled street where no traffic is allowed - instead, residents rely upon sledges to transport goods to their cottages. This programme will explore the particular challenges of gardening in Clovelly and the often creative ways that residents approach ‘Bloom’. Imagine the effort involved in getting materials such as gravel, decking, compost etc. to the cottages!

Presenter Chris Bavin spent time in the village, filming members of the Clovelly Community Gardening Group in the months leading up to and including the judging day - when esteemed RHS Judges visited to assess the groups efforts. Will the group be awarded gold?

Su Maddocks leads the Clovelly in Bloom project:

“With over 1600 communities entering Britain in Bloom each year, we were both surprised and thrilled to be chosen to be one of the 15 communities to be filmed for the 2nd series of the programme. It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our beautiful village and the culmination of our year-round efforts.”

“Personally I am really excited to see if we have managed to share with the wider audience, the amazing impact Britain in Bloom has had on both our community and the proactive initiatives we are taking to care for our environment. I also hope it shows what great fun we had doing it!”

“In a busy tourist destination like ours it is all too easy to forget, when the place is full of tourists, that there is a community of people, who live here all year round and call it home. Britain in Bloom has encouraged us to want to make our village both look special and to look after our wildlife and environment, for us and not just for those who visit.”

Episode 2 was broadcast on 26th March 2019 - Catch up here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003mx9

BBC Bloom: Su Maddocks, Dolly, Ann Jarvis, Chris Bavin, Ellie Jarvis - Children: Wilfie (5yrs), Sonny (9yrs). Photo copyright Ellie Jarvis (All Rights Reserved)
BBC Bloom: Su Maddocks, Dolly, Ann Jarvis, Chris Bavin, Ellie Jarvis - Children: Wilfie (5yrs), Sonny (9yrs). Photo copyright Ellie Jarvis (All Rights Reserved)
BBC Bloom Presenter Chris Bavin in Clovelly Harbour. Photo copyright Ellie Jarvis (All Rights Reserved)
BBC Bloom Presenter Chris Bavin in Clovelly Harbour. Photo copyright Ellie Jarvis (All Rights Reserved)
 BBC Bloom Presenter Chris Bavin and Su Maddocks who leads the Clovelly in Bloom Project. Photo copyright BBC (All Rights Reserved)
BBC Bloom Presenter Chris Bavin and Su Maddocks who leads the Clovelly in Bloom Project. Photo copyright BBC (All Rights Reserved)
BBC Bloom Presenter Chris Bavin chats to Dolly. Photo copyright Ellie Jarvis (All Rights Reserved)
BBC Bloom Presenter Chris Bavin chats to Dolly. Photo copyright Ellie Jarvis (All Rights Reserved)
BBC Bloom Presenter Chris Bavin on a Clovelly fishing boat. Photo copyright BBC (All Rights Reserved)
BBC Bloom Presenter Chris Bavin on a Clovelly fishing boat. Photo copyright BBC (All Rights Reserved)
👀👀👀
ABOUT BRITAIN IN BLOOMThe second series of BBC Two’s Britain in Bloom focuses on fifteen different communities as they prepare to enter the Royal Horticultural Society’s prestigious annual floral competition. Presented by Chris Bavin, each episode follows the journey of one community as they come together to prepare for Britain in Bloom right through to the all-important judging day itself.