Sunday, 15 May 2011

A* for Museum's adventure day

Inspired as I am by tales of such East Devon-born adventurers as Sir Walter Raleigh I went along to the Budleigh Budding Explorers Day at Fairlynch Museum that I've already mentioned at

Entry to the Museum was free, which might have had something to do with the crowds of families who'd turned up on Saturday 7 May. But the Bicton College students had put a lot of effort into some innovative thinking to make the event attractive and interesting, from the bunting decoration to the various activities on offer.

I spoke to Jo Woods, pictured above, a mature student from West Hatch, near Taunton, who was in charge of the potato printing stall. I'd wondered a bit about the relevance of this activity to explorers, but Jo explained the link with Sir Walter Raleigh and the potatoes he's supposed to have brought back from America.

It's a small step from potato-printing to vegetable planting and Jo was also promoting 'green' thinking in food production. She is studying Environmental Education at Bicton and feels strongly about carbon footprints and the costs of food transport.

"The weather was a bit iffy, but it's gone really well," she told me. "We've been busy all day."

Tom Weare, 22, from Feniton, was in charge of the boatbuilding stall. Model boats made of cardboard of course, but there were plenty of enthusiastic kids designing various craft. He was equally pleased with the success of the day. "Loads of people have come along. It's been manic at times."

Hannah Flett, from Exeter, (on the left in the photo) and Jackie Kidd, from Woodbury Salterton, explained that sustainability had been one of the themes of the day. Navigation was their special area of interest.

Like her fellow-students Hannah was pleased with the way things had gone. "It's been a fabulous event, a really good experience with excellent feedback," she said. "We've been encouraged to come up with our own ideas."

So, a valuable experience in educational terms for the student organisers as well as lots of fun for the kids. It was the first time that Bicton College had used the Museum in this way and I'm sure it won't be the last.

For more information about Bicton College and Fairlynch Museum click on and

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