Friday, 24 June 2011

I'm feeling well and truly netted

The old Fairlynch site hosted by Devon Museums has vanished, just as I was getting the hang of it

I last mentioned my involvement with Budleigh Salterton's Fairlynch Museum at referring to the work I'd done on the website at

Well, the website is back online after what was for me a mysterious blip. But it took me some time to recognise it.

The helpful explanation from Devon Museums, which runs the site, was that the changes had proved necessary because there were a number of problems with the old site that they just could not rectify in the Joomla system that underpinned it.

"In addition," I was told, "we now have no funding for Devon Museums Group or for the website, hosting or technical support, so we needed to make it more sustainable and also generate income if possible."

It seemed to me initially that much of my work to add extra images and text for the various collections at Fairlynch Museum had simply disappeared into cyberspace, including a page of links to other museums, sponsors and similar institutions.

But I may be wrong. There's a training session next month and I've clearly got a lot to learn about the website's sustainability and income generation facilities, and maybe even something about Joomla.

"All this has been built into the new site, and so much more - with an iPhone app to follow," I've been promised.

An exciting new era? Or a rather confusing development which is proving just too much for a simple blogger like me.

Two major collections at The Brook

Chris Orr RA, 'Black Dog looking West'

Budleigh Salterton's Brook Gallery is delighted to announce its new summer launches - The Permanent Collection and The Contemporary Collection, from 19 June to 2 September 2011.

"These collections promise to fill the Gallery with colour, interest, history and delight in every sense over the summer months, and will celebrate the enduring relationships that it enjoys with its artists," says The Brook's owner Angela Yarwood.

"A ‘cause célèbre’ of influential artists and print makers, the extraordinary Summer show combines the Permanent and the Contemporary Collections with a list of artists that runs like a roll call of the nation’s most acclaimed. The Permanent Collection includes artists such as those from the RA stable: Chris Orr, Eileen Cooper, Tom Phillips, Norman Ackroyd, and Bill Jacklin, and Brad Faine whose work was amongst those that lifted the lid on a new school of vibrant art in the 1960s and 1970s. The Contemporary Collection compounds the ethos behind the innovative work of these highly acclaimed artists and print makers, the glorious ‘observers of life and form’ including Trevor Price, Mychael Barratt, Martin Langford, Kathleen Caddick, Sonia Rollo and Susie Perring to name but a few. These are the creators who combine their superb compositions with the complexities of original print making techniques.

Tom Phillips RA 'Paper Moon' from 'We are the People'

The summer months show a celebration of what The Brook strives to achieve; a heady mix of good art by acclaimed artists – a consistent theme that makes the Brook one of the UK’s most enlightened regional galleries."

Angela adds: "The Summer 2011 launch of our Collections provides an opportunity for The Brook to showcase all that makes us what we are today. We’re proud to provide a unique service; we work with the best, who produce the best and we take great pleasure bringing these ground breaking names and impressive works to our gallery here in Budleigh and our nationwide customer base."

The Brook Gallery, Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 6NE

Tel: 01395 443 003


Open 10.30 am to 5.00 pm, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays

A secret Budstock

The spirit of Budstock is alive and well

Someone emailed me the other day to ask "How come you didn't know about Budfest last Saturday??"

Well, I can't be expected to cover all the Budleigh news. The local press do a great job anyway, and my efforts are getting more and more spasmodic, especially during the summer months.

I think what my friend was enquiring about was a one-off event on 19 June which I'll mention now just because it's one of those quirky Budleigh things that deserves a place in the cyberarchives.

This was the event's intriguing description according to organiser Joe Holroyd: "A rainbow, a kingfisher, three great bands, 120 people, and a good deal of cider and ale convene to celebrate a secret outlaw Budstock on the 40th birthday of its founder Toby Holroyd."

I won't say any more than that, except to refer people who don't know anything about Budstock to my post at

It's just good to know that events like this can be organised successfully in Budleigh Salterton with no fuss, lots of goodwill and a refreshing absence of red tape.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Budleigh Gala Week 2011: a few photos

I mentioned at that I'd be posting photos of Budleigh Salterton's Gala Week 2011 and here they are. Well, some from the opening day's celebrations anyway. Here's the coach taking the Gala royal family to The Green.

Local journalist Becca Gliddon presents a floral tribute to the Gala Queen .

Becca Gliddon's speech praised Budleigh Salterton Lions for their role in organising this big community event.

As usual the twirlers and cheerleaders put on a polished performance.

Budleigh Salterton charity Inaheartbeat were raising money for their Goody Boxes.

The local Inner Wheel team ran a popular plant stall.

Budleigh Salterton Lions run the Gala Week. The event raised £15,000 for charity.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has a Gala Week Stall, as you'd expect in a coastal town like Budleigh Salterton.

St Peter's C of E primary school fund-raising team of parents were there.

Fairlynch volunteer helpers Margaret Williams, left, and Ann Hack were raising funds for the town's museum.

Three-year-old Alex Mitchell went fishing at the Messy Church fete stall. I've been a bit slow in getting round to posting these photos, but maybe that's just me settling into the rhythm of West Country life. Also the weeds have been more active than usual now that our English summer has re-established itself after that Mediterranean hot spell.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Another brochure for Budleigh Salterton

I'm pleased with this photo of Fairlynch Museum, if only because that Mediterranean-blue sky offers a more cheerful alternative to the rained-soaked view that I currently have from my window. Well, it was a publicity shot after all. It now appears on the latest material that I found myself producing in my role as publicity officer for the Museum.

This is a smart little folded leaflet which will do a good job of promoting our current exhibition based on the life and achievements of former Budleigh resident George Murray Levick, one of the group of six survivors of the Northern Party which made up Scott of the Antarctic's ill-fated polar expedition of 1910-13.

It will shortly be finding its way to hundreds of outlets in Devon and beyond.

Many thanks to the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust for their sponsorship of the leaflet.

And thanks to Dave at Copyrite in Exmouth for his efficiency and helpfulness in tying up a few loose ends on the technical side. Do click on to see how he could help you with your own projects.

All this is a kind of explanation and excuse for the recent lack of blogging. Being retired doesn't seem to mean being less busy.

I was going to boast about my work on the vastly expanded Fairlynch Museum website at as a further excuse. But it seems to be out of action at this moment for some reason. A mystery until I discovered that other museum websites on the same service seem to be dead as well, so hopefully it's only a temporary blip.

A muse about music at the museum

I was gently chided recently by Budleigh Festival supremo Roger Bowen for failing to mention on my blog the Reception for Friends of the Festival which took place in the town's Public Hall on 28 April.

So to make amends here's a photo of the Tourist Information Centre banner showing the splendid line-up of performers for the 2011 Festival. And here's the Festival website link at

One of the beauties of blogging is that it can be a spasmodic business, ideal for amateurs and eccentrics, with no obligation to meet the deadlines that rule the world of the professional media.

I do try to keep this little Budleigh archive in cyberspace up to date, and I'm usually keen to promote music events in the area and I see that I totally failed to mention last Wednesday's Emma Johnson concert, part of the St Peter's Music concert series.

Talking of archives, I've been very busy with work for Fairlynch Museum - more about that in my next post. That's my excuse for my failure anyway.

Emma Johnson is a world-class clarinettist who was one of the stars of the 2008 Budleigh Festival so I'm sure that the St Peter's event would have been well attended.

But thinking about music and museums, while researching the history of Fairlynch I was intrigued to learn that the Ukrainian-born pianist, Benno Moseiwitsch, pictured here, had performed in Budleigh Salterton.

It seems that before it became a museum, the house was owned by a Mr Bull, a keen musician. Benno Moseiwitsch was one of the promising young musicians whom he used to invite to stay and to play at Fairlynch. Budleigh residents would apparently gather in the street outside to hear him perform.

One of them, Joyce Evans, otherwise known as the artist and author Joyce Dennys, remembers him as he sat on the beach throwing pebbles but being afraid that one of them might ricochet and hurt his hands.

Could Fairlynch one day become a concert venue as it used to be? The Museum staged a 2007 exhibition showing ladies in 19th century costume listening to what was described in Fairlynch publicity as "their new (and very fashionable) Broadwood square piano."

A nice idea, but I'm told that the piano, made by what's claimed to be one of the oldest and most prestigious companies in the world, is in need of some attention.

Scarecrows and much more at East Budleigh

Potato head: one of last year's scarecrows greeting visitors to the village of East Budleigh

I see that one of Devon's best known historians is giving a talk next week at East Budleigh's All Saints Church.

Dr Todd Gray's subject will be the county's old customs and traditions.

I always feel that his researches into Devon history might be of interest to my American readers because he was brought up in Massachusetts, as I've mentioned at

It's so appropriate that his talk should be in the church where the young Walter Raleigh worshipped with his family almost 500 years ago.

This is the opening event in East Budleigh's Scarecrow Festival next weekend and I wonder whether Dr Gray will be telling us about the age-old origins of scarecrows, a countryside tradition which of course goes back way beyond Raleigh's time.

Lots more activities will be taking place over the weekend including duck races on the brook, Devon cream teas, and tours of All Saints Church. All monies raised will go towards the upkeep of the Church and the surrounding Churchyard.

The full programme is below:

East Budleigh Scarecrow Festival Friday 17- Sunday 19 June 2011

Programme of Events:

Friday 17 June:- A Talk by Dr Todd Gray (Exeter University) on ‘The Calendar Year in Devon: Customs and Traditions over the Past 500 Years’ in All Saints Church commencing at 7.30 pm. Tickets £5.00 from East Budleigh Garage, the East Budleigh Shop or at the door.

Saturday 18 June:- 12.00 Midday at the Village Hall... Opening of the Scarecrow Festival by Revd. Anne Charlton.

Saturday 18 June and Sunday 19 June:-
Village Hall: 12.00 midday – 4.30 pm on both days
Cake Stall, Book Stall, Plant Stall, Sale of Memorabilia including mini-scarecrows
The famous East Budleigh Cream Teas will be available as well as a Bar for the sale of Pimm’s
Duck Race in the brook by the Village Hall (start-time 3.00 pm on both days)

All Saints Church:
Exhibition of Colourful Knitting Produced in the Village for the Children of Moldova as well as some interesting and rare Books: 12.00 midday - 4.30 pm on both days
Tours of the 12th Century Church: starting at 2.15 pm from the Church Porch on both days
Tours to the top of the Church Bell Tower: 1.30 - 6.00 pm on Saturday and 2.00 - 4.00 pm on Sunday

Drake's School
School Open Day on the Saturday [10.00 am to 3.00 pm] including tours of pupils’ work and an exhibition of old photographs entitled ‘Dipping into the Past’
Children’s Treasure Hunt through the Village

Other Activities in East Budleigh Village:
Plenty of Scarecrows to see! Vote for your favourite scarecrow.
Information Panels on history of scarecrows etc.
Re-instatement of the Toll Bridge: 12.00 midday to 4.30 pm on both days.
Tours of the Village: starting at 2.00 pm from outside the Village Hall on both days.

Sunday 19 June:- Songs of Praise in All Saints Church commencing at 6.30 pm.