Showing posts from August, 2010

Satans in Budleigh Salterton's Public Hall

Budleigh Salterton Public Hall. Is the sun really setting on the last of the demoscene parties to be held here?

OK, so my fears at of a Goth invasion of Budleigh were somewhat alarmist, but there's a real event coming up shortly which sounds even weirder.

After all, if you eavesdropped on an all-night gathering where the guests with names like Vampire, Spiny, Darkblade and Evil Paul were muttering about their SatanDisk in a darkened room only a few minutes from the High Street you might well be phoning the vicar to get an exorcist down there before you can say "Hell's teeth!"

Especially if you know that after their mysterious rituals, in the Public Hall of all places, 20 or 30 of them will be heading down to the beach to do what one of them rejoicing in the name of Cihatari describes as "reveling in the flickering light of a bonfire made from driftwood and random burny stuff." Wh…

Art Club prizewinners 2010

Judge Maggie Giraud congratulates Sheila Stacey winner of the Alan Cotton Trophy for Oil Painting

I've yet to visit Budleigh Salterton's 2010 Art Club summer show. I always look forward to seeing new views of Budleigh by its members, as well admiring the eclectic range of work which shows how much talent there is in the Club.

With all that talent around the members feel justified in a bit of self-congratulation, and as usual prizes have been awarded for various categories. East Devon has attracted many distinguished artists and some of them who came to live in the Budleigh area have given their names to the Art Club prizes.
Alan Cotton is an internationally celebrated landscape painter who lives at Colaton Raleigh just a few miles from Budleigh Salterton; this year's Alan Cotton Trophy for Oil Painting was won by Art Club member Sheila Stacey.

A delighted Neil Rogers holds up his winning painting, judges' choice for the Cecil Elgee Memorial pri…

Not a clerical error

Pictured above: Rev. Mary McKinnon Ganz and Rev. Jade "JD" Benson, new ministers at the First Parish Church in Budleigh Salterton's sister town of Brewster, Massachusetts

It seems a long time ago now that I wrote about Brewster First Parish Church's search for a new pastor at
Inspired as I was by the Church's rigorous resolve to conduct its search for a suitable candidate in a totally unprejudiced way I imagined that it would be many years before the ideal person was found.

So I'm delighted to report that not just one but two new ministers have been chosen and are taking up their duties this month.

The Rev Mary Ganz and her partner the Rev Jade Benson have been welcomed in a spirit of open-mindedness and tolerance which characterises the Brewster church, the first in its denomination 20 years ago to welcome bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender people.

I can't imagine too many chu…

Goth invasion in Budleigh?

Surfing the net the other day I was surprised to see one of my photos being used without permission on the above site which was carrying ads for Bondage & Fetish DVDs, especially as the photo was of our own Fairlynch Museum.

I couldn't really see a connection, except that the page at also had ads for a Gothic Beauty Magazine and Free UK Goth Dating, as well as mentioning another site called

And then I wondered whether the Dark Wave Doom people had seen our town's museum as a suitable venue for Goth gatherings.

Fairlynch, with its "Gothic windows and thatch, typical of the 'cottage orné ' tradition" as described in East Devon District Council's excellent Budleigh Salterton Conservation Area Appraisal at
is of course one of our town's famous landmarks.

Publicity poster for Bloodstock 2010: unlikely to be displayed in Budleigh Salterto…

Heath Quartet to play at Budleigh Salterton

The Heath Quartet: playing at Budleigh Salterton
This month's concert in the St Peter's Music series will consist of chamber works by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Beethoven, performed by the Heath Quartet.

To add to their earlier prizes and awards, the Heath Quartet has in the last few years had spectacular success in the music world. Selected by Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2008, the Quartet won 1st Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2008 Tromp International Competition in Eindhoven and 2nd Prize at the 2009 Haydn International Competition in Vienna along with Special Prizes for the best interpretation of a work by Haydn and of a commissioned composition. The Quartet went on to give recitals throughout the Netherlands, including their Concertgebouw debut, took part in the Haydn Bicentenary in the Esterhazy Palace and gave concerts at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Sage Gateshead (broadcast by BBC Radio 3) and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany.

The Heath Quartet was fo…

Peaculiar story from Brewster

Pea plants: better grown in the garden than in your lung
Every so often one's quiet little home town becomes for a few days the focus of the world's media. It happened to Budleigh Salterton in March this year with those tragic images flashed around the globe of the poor starfish, washed up in their thousands on our pebble beach for some mysterious reason as I recorded at

I never did discover the true reason for their demise. Was it really an appetite for Budleigh mussels, as the Environment Agency suggested? Or had the sex-starved little creatures planned a great big orgy on the beach, part of which is set aside as a naturist zone? The headlines got really quite lurid, culminating in a horrid story of how they ended up in a Chinese takeaway.

This time, it's the turn of our American sister-town of Brewster to be in…