Devon's Great Explorers

Above: Cllr Tom Wright, Mayor Budleigh Salterton, congratulates 'Sir Walter Raleigh' and the Fairlynch Fancies on winning 1st prize in their category
As you know Budleigh Carnival is happening on the evening of Saturday 28 September. Fairlynch Museum’s costumed group The Fairlynch Fancies, flushed with their success in winning 1st prize among the walking groups in the 2018 Carnival, is entering again with the title ‘Devon Explorers’.

Now that ties in nicely with the Museum’s current exhibition, called ‘Devon’s New World Explorers’. In case you haven’t seen it, the displays focus on people like Sir Walter Raleigh, his half-brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Francis Drake. The Golden Age of Queen Elizabeth I was a celebrated period for exploration.

View towards Sharpitor & Leather Tor down the valley of the river Meavy.  Photo credit: Herby
Of course Devon has been the home of many other explorers from other, more recent times. The long coastline and the wild parts of Dartmo…

Shakespeare in Salterton: The Tempest

A much-loved Shakespeare play performed in a Budleigh garden at the home of Fairlynch Museum’s co-founder Joy Gawne by a troupe of enthusiastic local actors… What more would you want for a Saturday summer evening’s entertainment?
Exeter & Countess Wear Community Theatre will stage an outdoor performance of The Tempest in the garden of Cramalt Lodge at 2 Cricketfield Lane. Members of the cast are featured on this poster.
Director Jill Coram says, ‘I am particularly looking forward to directing this play with its so many facets, including betrayal, colonisation, slavery, murderous plotting and magic. Then there is of course the shipwreck and was it the shipwreck which started off a course of events which affected all the characters you will see in the play. Come along and judge for yourself!’
Jill explained that the location was suggested by Joy Gawne’s niece. ‘Once I viewed it, I felt it was perfect and lent itself beautifully to “The Tempest”.’
Known for her love of theatre as well as…

Facing Budleigh's Past and Present

Photo by Lynne Lovatt‎, Christmas Eve 2011 from the Rolle flats in Budleigh and posted in Facebook's Budleigh - Past and Present
Well, the sun has risen on a new year and it’s time for a change!
I’ve been in the habit of emailing lists of news items and features of local interest on a regular basis. The Raleigh 400 blog has done its work to mark the 400th anniversary of the Great Devonian’s death and has closed - though I'm likely to tinker with it from time to time!  

You can view it at leisure by clicking on

Budleigh Salterton, William Payne, 1790   Devon Archives.  Posted on Budleigh - Past and Present by Yannick 'MrMunro' Munro‎
Budleigh and Brewster United has come back to life, and I'll be contributing to that, together with the new Facebook group Budleigh – Past and Present. Details about that and how to join are at the end of this post.

Budleigh – Past and Present has attracted lots of interest, with some remarkable pictures of lif…

Tracking Budleigh's past at Fairlynch Museum

Colin Yeats, left, and Leo Dolling with children from Budleigh’s St Peter’s School
Two former British Railways employees were kind enough to welcome nearly 30 children from St Peter’s CofE School during a visit to Fairlynch on 9 November 2017.

The KS 1 children, accompanied by teacher Elizabeth Stubbs and adult helpers, had been studying changes in transport as a class subject. The Museum's railway display in the Local History Room, with its many artefacts, saved when the branch line and station closed in 1967, proved to be an effective teaching aid for the children.

Naturally there was fun involved when they were allowed to wear the station master’s cap, and there was a rare chance for some to hold the ceremonial spade used by Lady Gertrude Rolle on 6 November 1895 to cut the first sod for the building of Budleigh Salterton Station. 

For Yettington’s Colin Yeats who had worked on the Budleigh branch line railway it was the second time that he had helped out in this way.  Another ex-r…

The Baptist Church in Budleigh Salterton 1843-2018

Having written a history of Fairlynch in 2017 I naturally volunteered a year later to review a similar publication which tells the story of the Baptist Church in our town.
The subjects are alike in many ways: both museum and church are attractive 19th century local landmarks. Being listed buildings they both present expensive headaches of maintenance; as institutions serving the local community both have had their ups and downs over the years. Baptist minister Revd. Graham Wise’s account of the church and its people is an enjoyably readable paperback which is a valuable addition to Budleigh's local history studies.
A history of the church was first published in 1983. This latest version provides an update for the 175th anniversary which it celebrated in 2018.

The original Temple Methodist Church, with Ash Villa (left) which was demolished to make room for the car parking area 
There have been Baptist Christians in Budleigh since the early 19th century, when they worshipped with Meth…