Showing posts from May, 2010

The Bicton 2011 Calendar Photo Competition

My photo doesn't really do justice to the rhododendrons at Bicton. I'm sure you can do better
Bicton Park, just a few miles north-east of Budleigh Salterton, is one of my favourite places to visit. Its botanical gardens containing over 1,000 specimen trees and laid out to designs which include 18th century Italian and 19th century American influences are a real treat not only for keen horticulturalists but also for photographers.

The deadline of 31 May 2010 is now approaching for Bicton's 2011 Calendar Photo Competition. So if you're a keen photographer you're invited to submit your photos - a maximum of three per person - for entry into the competition.

A winner will be selected for each month and for the front cover of the calendar, and you are asked to suggest a proposed caption with each photo and email these along with your name, address and telephone number to (Max 8MB).

The winners, as well as having their photo or photos featured in B…

In a Heartbeat at Budleigh Salterton Gala Week

Last year at Budleigh's Gala Week I thought I'd come under the spell of what I thought was a blue witch. Too late I realised that Sam Cochrane, pictured above, was actually dressed in period costume advertising a medieval dance in Knowle Village Hall to raise funds for In a Heartbeat, Budleigh's own charity.

Kind-hearted volunteers like Sam are among the busy and enthusiastic people of In a Heartbeat who help disabled children and others less fortunate than ourselves, and they'll no doubt be there with their eye-catching activities during the 2010 Budleigh Salterton Gala Week. The charity was formed in October 2007 and aims to make a difference in the local community.

On Saturday 29 May In a Heartbeat will have a beer tent on The Green along with children’s games, sweets and face painting.

Then a week later on Saturday 5 June In a Heartbeat has organised a performance of Circus Berzercus in the Public Hall.

Exeter based juggler Ben Cornish and clown Steve Eldridge, shown a…

East Budleigh's Salem Chapel Flower Festival 28-31 May 2010

Nostalgia and gratitude will set the tone for East Budleigh's Salem Chapel Flower Festival, evoking memories of the World War Two era combined with the beauty of Britain's landscapes.

"'This green and pleasant land' will be the main theme of the Festival," says Kathy Moyle, Chairman of the Committee of the Friends of Salem Chapel. "But we wanted also to say a thank you to our service men and women then and now."

The Flower Festival has been arranged to feature life in the 1940s, with floral displays on themes including a wartime wedding, remembrance time, school life and harvest time.

An evening of songs and music from the Home Front, performed by Exmouth-based entertainers Blitz and Peaces (pictured above), will be a highlight of the Festival on Saturday 29 May at 7.30 pm. Singing duo Arthur and Lesley Cook specialise in providing music of the 1930s and 40s, playing on wartime instruments. A washing line hanging across the Salem Chapel will be one of …

Gearing up for Gala Week 2010

One of the proud contestants in the 2009 pebble-building competition

The busy members of Budleigh Salterton Lions Club and their friends have been hard at work preparing for the town's Gala Week which starts in a few weeks' time.

A treasure hunt, dog show, beach fishing and fancy dress competitions, a pudding evening, a walking tour of the town, an Indian cookery demonstration, a pirates' party night, and comedy circus and magic shows are just some of the events that are being organised.

Many Budleigh clubs and societies will be holding Open Days to show off their members' skills and invite people to join, including the Art Club, the Croquet and Bowls Clubs and Budleigh in Bloom.

The Salterton Drama Club presents a Gala Performance of Noel Coward's Present Laughter at The Playhouse in Meadow Lane, Budleigh Salterton on Saturday 5 June, with additional performances on 7 and 12 June.

An early highlight of Gala Week will be the Crowning of …

Budleigh Festival tickets on sale

Tickets for Budleigh Salterton's sixth Festival of Music and the Arts are on sale to the public from Monday 17 May at the Tourist Information Centre.

Supported by Michelmores Solicitors the Festival begins on 17 July before the full programme of 23 - 31 July 2010 offering a wide variety of performers and events.

Its many highlights include the famous King's Singers, Verdi's opera La Traviata, two orchestral concerts and the London Adventist Chorale.

There are the combined 120 voices of the Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir and the Caldicot Choir from Wales who will give the opening concert on 17 July. They are followed a few days later by guitarist Craig Ogden with flautist Judith Hall.

The French pianist Pascale Rogé gives a recital and plays duets with Ami Rogé, and the Chilingirian Quartet will perform a varied programme which includes Beethoven's Opus 130. Also performing in the Festival is internationally-celebrated British pianist Mark B…

Telling the tale of the telegraph at Brewster Ladies' Library

The French Cable Station Museum, Orleans Picture

A French flag hangs outside this old 19th century building in the town of Orleans, just a few miles east of Budleigh Salterton's sister-town of Brewster on Cape Cod. It's not just because the Cape Cod town of Orleans was named after the ancient French city. The flag reminds visitors that this building, completed in 1891 was the American termination point for a telegraph cable that came directly to the United States from France. It was installed in 1898 and was almost 3,200 miles long.

Click on and you can read the full story of the French telegraph and the Orleans cable station, which has been preserved as one of just three such marine telegraph stations remaining around the world. The others are in Newfoundland, and Porthcurno in Cornwall

On 18 May 2010 museum volunteer and retired electrical engineer Jos…

If you could eat a horse, try The Dog and Donkey

The Dog and Donkey pub in Knowle, just outside Budleigh Salterton. It's also known as The Britannia Inn

Head Chef and owner of Knowle's Dog and Donkey Richard Steer is an ex-Marine with a background in catering for hundreds of hungry military types.

So forget the dieting and tuck in at my local where the £5 lunchtime carvery offers amazing value. Considering that 'The Dog' is sort of just round the corner from me I really should have blogged it before now, especially as we first discovered it about ten years ago when we were staying on holiday at Pooh Cottage Holiday Park just up the road at the end of Bear Lane.

A friendly welcome awaits you from Richard and Bea Steer at The Dog and Donkey
Richard and his wife Bea took over the pub four years ago following their move from Surrey and have established it as a reliable eating-place offering, as they say "fresh and top quality unpretentious food, beautifully cooked with great attention to de…

A good grounding for the future on both sides of the pond

Drake's Church of England Primary School in East Budleigh

I'm always on the look-out for similarities and sometimes for differences between the way we do things on this side of the Atlantic and how they do them over in our sister-town of Brewster on Cape Cod.

By coincidence it was about three years ago on both sides of the pond that people had the bright idea of training young gardeners of the future on plots of land which had been specially set aside for vegetable production.

Spring has been a long time coming this year but a few months ago, despite an icy east wind still blowing, the Upper Years' pupils of Drake's Church of England Primary School in East Budleigh, were up at their allotment preparing the beds for some early crops.

The children had already worked hard during their Big Dig last November in preparation for the 2010 planting. Two of the beds had manure dug in and the children broadcast wheat into one bed and barley into the other. "The children will sti…