Showing posts from April, 2010

Bitten by the bug: a "Southern belle" at Budleigh Salterton Flea Market

To Budleigh Salterton's excellent Thursday flea market in the Public Hall, pictured above, where my friend Annie and I have often found interesting and collectable pieces at bargain prices.

The market is run by Hittesleigh-based Hyson Fairs Ltd, whose Sheila Hyson has been successfully staging Antiques & Collectors Fairs and fleamarkets for over twenty years. The company is proud to support Leukaemia Research and four times a year it holds an Antiques & Collectors Fair at Chagford, to raise much needed funds for this worthwhile cause.

The stallholders are a friendly bunch of people, always ready to haggle or just to chat about their sale items. Like the producers at our Farmers' Markets they do a lot of good for the town by bringing in visitors. Some of the stallholders come from the Budleigh area like Sue Chapman, who contributed a piece for this site at…

The real Budleigh

As most local people know, the village that we know today as East Budleigh was a thriving and relatively wealthy community long before Budleigh Salterton became popular as a seaside resort. Not until the end of the 19th century did Salterton become a parish in its own right, with its own church of St Peter's, consecrated in 1893.

By contrast there is evidence that the origins of All Saints Church in East Budleigh go back to Saxon times. You certainly feel that you're in an important historic place as soon as you enter the village with its winding main street lined with picturesque thatched cottages. In fact visitors from our sister-town of Brewster should probably start in East Budleigh if they want to explore the area, if only because of the village's centuries-old links with America.

For a start East Budleigh is the birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh, the Elizabethan courtier, poet, soldier, and explorer who was responsible for pioneering some of the earliest European settle…

Iolanthe in Budleigh, Saturday 8 May 2010

Following their success with The Pirates of Penzance on their first Springtime trip to Budleigh in 2008, Imperial Productions return with another Gilbert & Sullivan classic, Iolanthe.

"We feel sure that Imperial will be able to present an excellent show to the good people of Budleigh, given the talent and enthusiasm on offer," say show directors Sarah Hargreaves and Wendy Norman.

Iolanthe or The Peer and the Peri, was the seventh of Gilbert and Sullivan's operas, and opened at the Savoy Theatre in London on 25 November 1882. It pokes fun at the British legal system and government, especially the House of Lords. With its absurd plot combining fairies and peers and its tuneful songs Iolanthe has always been seen as one of the most entertaining of G & S works.

There are two performances in The Public Hall at 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm

Tickets at £10 are now available at Budleigh Salterton Tourist Information.

The cast list is as follows:

Lord Chancellor - Tony Baker
Lord Tolloler…

Farewell King Billy... Welcome Ocean House!

Ocean House Café & Deli

Yet another local landmark has been lost with the demise of Budleigh Salterton's King William pub. It's a sign of the times, with 52 going out of business every week at a cost of 24,000 jobs over the past 12 months, according to research carried out last year for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

The King William Hotel, fondly known in Budleigh as the King Billy

Equally a sign of the times is the success of King Billy's replacement, the Ocean House Café & Deli, where new owners Robin and Nikki Townsend have made their mark on the Budleigh gastro scene by providing healthy food with a strong salad theme and a dash of the Mediterranean.

I tried one of their platters some months ago and was impressed by the care which had gone into the arrangement of all those green leaves and other healthy items on the plate. A few days ago I went back with a hungry son-in-law and two noisy grandchildren, this time with my camera to record the happy f…

The changing face of Budleigh (2): Social Networking on the High Street

The Houses of Parliament, photo by Adrian Pingstone
MPs are increasingly using sites like Facebook for their work

It's been criticised for encouraging paedophiles, accused of failing to keep our personal details safe, and banned by anxious parents in many homes. And yet social networking sites like Facebook are used as a normal tool of communication not just by young people but by businesses and charities such as Oxfam. Arts events organisers use it to promote literary and music festivals from London to Ledbury and from Edinburgh to Exeter. Social networking in general has seen a 660% percentage in its use by MPs over the last three years.

Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club is a Facebook user

Here in our little corner of East Devon Facebook is being increasingly used by clubs and businesses as a free and easy way to advertise activities and products and to communicate with members and clients. Group sites include St Peter's School with 277 former-pupils, the town's Cricket Club, …

A sunny outlook for Brewster in Bloom 2010

Above: Doris Franzago, co-founder of Brewster in Bloom

Just as I was boasting at that Budleigh Salterton with its famous micro-climate was benefiting from the early arrival of spring, compared with our sister-town of Brewster in Massachusetts, the sea mist swept in and the rain came down as if winter had suddenly returned.

I doubt that World Dance Day at Budleigh Salterton which I'd promoted at ever happened. My friend Annie and I were about to set out in time to catch the 10.30 am start of the spectacle on Budleigh beach when the heavens opened. When we finally made it through the murky mistfulness an hour later to the event's location at Steamer Steps only the pebbles were there to greet us. The beach was empty.

Well, that's the English weather for you. And we are still in the month of April showers.…

Cooking for the prostate

It was published almost a year ago. But, says N&EDPSA member David Warner, there are still men he knows who have never heard of soya or lycopene even though they are members of the support group that he runs for Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

N&EDPSA stands for North & East Devon Prostate Support Association of course - the letters PSA should be an obvious clue to the purpose of the group, associated as they are with the most common test for a disease which kills one man every hour in the UK.

So anything which can be said to slow down prostate cancer's progress has to be a good thing, and David, pictured above with urology/oncology specialist nurse Jane Billing from the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, was happy to recommend the Prostate Care Cookbook at the Association's local branch meeting on 22 April 2010.

Above: Soya milk, an alternative to dairy products, and tomatoes, rich in lycopene, are both recommended by many experts to fight prostate cancer

I did promis…

The Labour Party in East Devon: helping the world to become "a more civilised and fairer place."

The Labour Party has only been in government for four short periods of the 20th century, but claims that its achievements have revolutionised the lives of the British people. Labour believes that it stands for social justice, strong community and strong values, reward for hard work, decency, and rights matched by responsibilities.

In particular the Party claims, as set out in its constitution, to be creating "a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few."

"Those democratic values have guided us through twelve years in government: everything from the large canvas of economic stability, full employment and record investment in public services, to the fine detail of the minimum wage, free museum entry and civil partnerships."

The Party admits that the lessons it should draw from its history are not all positive. "Labour was in government for just 23 of its first 100 years. On occasions we h…

St Peter's Music concert: A Piano Recital by JOHN LILL on Thursday 6 May 2010,

John Lill will play

Sonata in F K332 Mozart
Sonata in C major Opus 53 (Waldstein) Beethoven
Ballade No 4 in F minor Opus 52 Chopin
Variations and Fugue on a theme of Handel Opus 24 Brahms

John Lill, photo by Sophie Baker

Arguably Britain's most well known pianist who has recently celebrated his 60th birthday with a series of concerts throughout the UK, John Lill first came to international attention when he won the coveted Tchaikovsky award in Moscow in 1970. Known for his aristocratic interpretations of Beethoven and the great masters of the nineteenth and twentieth century piano repertoire, he performs all over the world and was awarded a CBE in the 2005 New Year's Honours List, having been awarded the OBE in 1977.

John Lill's concert career spans over fifty years. His rare talent emerged at an early age - he gave his first piano recital at the age of nine. At eighteen he performed Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano Concerto under Sir Adrian Boult, followed by his much-acclaimed Londo…

Tickets for 2010 St Peter's Music Concerts in Budleigh Salterton

Above: St Peter's Church, venue for the St Peter's Music concerts

Only ten days remain until the deadline for obtaining a special deal for season tickets for the popular series of St Peter's Music Concerts.

The tickets cost £51 for the whole season but must be purchased before 1 May 2010. Application is usually made on the form on the first inside page of the 2010 St Peter's Music Calendar of Events, enclosing a cheque made payable to St Peter's Music. Alternatively, enquiries and an S.A.E should be posted to St Peter's Music, Pipers, 5 Bridge Road, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6EA.

Purchasers of these four tickets in advance are entitled to a complimentary glass of wine or fruit juice during the interval of each concert by producing the receipt for their purchase.

Tickets for individual concerts are normally on sale about one month before the date of each concert. The tickets can be obtained in a number of ways, as follows:

1. From the following ticket outlets:


Let them eat cakes!

Above: The Lawn Bakery, at 8 The Lawn, Budleigh Salterton

Forget the guilt trips as you gorge yourself on what Devon's most famous for - its cream teas. That's what Rachel Anne Walls from London would advise friends and readers of her newly-launched blog Raw Baking at

Above: The Lawn Bakery's "scrumptious" pecan slices

And the star recommendation on her site for a good gorge is Budleigh Salterton's own Lawn Bakery - "the best bakery in the south west" as she calls it. She gives top marks to its pecan slices and cherry buns. "Truly scrumptious!" gasps Rachel.

This will be popular reading in Devon, as will Rachel's advice to her blog readers:
"I eat and bake and exercise in between so I can eat and bake more." It sounds more fun than any of the diets that I've tried.

All about twinning, a little sister and its Big Brother

Above: An aerial view of Brewster , Massachusetts

The Spring 2010 Town Meeting of our Cape Cod sister community of Brewster will be held at the Stony Brook Elementary School Cafetorium at 7.00 pm on Monday 3 May.

Budleigh Salterton Public Hall, seat of the Town Council, where our Annual Town Meetings are held
Budleigh Salterton had its Annual Town Meeting a month or so ago on Wednesday 10 March, as I reported at
Of course our Spring comes a bit earlier than Brewster's.

I see that on the Town of Brewster website at that it is now officially stated by our Cape Cod sister-community that "Brewster is a twin town with Budleigh Salterton in the United Kingdom."

Budleigh Salterton Town Council's coat of arms

It's lovely to see the link recognised. But of course no such declaration has ever appeared on parchment signed by representatives of our two towns - or however…

Gardeners' Fair at Budleigh Salterton

Above: Container gardening for everyone - anything that could hold a plant is possible
Well, the gardening season is well underway, and so are the weeds, slugs and snails though in this dry spell there's less sign of those annoying predators. But every time I lift an old bit of brick or paving slab in the garden there they are breeding stealthily and dreaming about their next meal.

Good value on one of the plant stalls at Hyson Gardeners' Fair
So there's plenty of work to be done out there, and a Gardener's Fair in Budleigh Salterton's Public Hall on 1 May 2010 might be just the place for you to pick up some useful gadgets, books, plants or even hints from experienced gardeners.

This is the fourth annual Gardener's Fair in Budleigh organised by Hyson Fairs Ltd which stages similar events at Topsham just over a week later, and at Chagford at the end of the month.

From potting shed to patio - lots on offer at a Gardeners' Fair Each fair …