Showing posts from April, 2012

AGM for Town's Museum

Fairlynch's AGM this month is a good chance for people to find out more about volunteering at Budleigh Salterton's Museum.
The Annual General Meeting on Monday 14 May at 7.00 pm in the Peter Hall in Budleigh will be an occasion to hear Trustees describe recent achievements and developments at the Museum.

As well as being a forum for local residents to air their views about museum issues it will be an opportunity for Friends of Fairlynch to develop a strategy for matters such as fund-raising.

Museum Chairman Roger Sherriff said: "We've had some highly successful events and exhibitions at Fairlynch in recent years and it was good to hear that the Museum was given a mention at the Scott service in St Paul's this year. As an Arts Centre we're keen to continue our support for local artists.

"We're always in need of more stewards of course. And we're keen to hear views from Friends of Fairlynch and indeed from anyone else at the AGM about topics such as mu…

Budleigh's archiving artist

A familiar figure in Budleigh Salterton since he moved here in 1988, Ken Walker is well-known for his much admired watercolour paintings of the town’s buildings.

Brought up in Boxmoor, Herts, he worked in graphic design for AshridgeManagementCollege before going on to run a photographic business.It was a valuable experience.“Photography has helped me so much in looking at things and with getting the best perspective," says Ken.

He'd been visiting Budleigh for many years with his wife Audrey on holiday. With his retirement andtheir move to the town in 1988 things really took off.His first picture was of the house in Victoria Place where the couple still live.Then came his grand scheme of painting all the shops in the town centre when he realised how Budleigh was changing so rapidly.

Local traders were quick to commission pieces by him as a record of their businesses, and his work is now recognised as an important archive of Budleigh's architectural heritage. Working first on …

Colaton Raleigh's artistic commune

Judging by this website you'd be easily forgiven for thinking that FairlynchMuseum and Budleigh Salterton are the most happening places in East Devon. And by contrast you might well be wondering what people get up to in the quiet Devon villages surrounding us.

Well, take a closer look, suggests villager Laura Boyd. Her own community of Colaton Raleigh, a few miles north-east of Budleigh, is, among other things, surprisingly full of artists.

Proud artists of Colaton Raleigh
"You probably know about our most distinguished painter Alan Cotton," says Laura. He's the most eminent of a virtual commune of artists. Seven of the others, amateur and professional, including Friend of Fairlynch Rowan Turnbull, have come together to show 'Village Art', an exhibition of painting, photography and ceramics."

"The common threads of their work are a love of Devon, their need to express their reactions to this special part of the world and their wish to share it all w…

Social media people - a load of twits?

DartmouthMuseum: top tweeters
"We're very worthy," says Tim Trent, volunteer at DartmouthMuseum and Devon tweeter extraordinaire. "We're a quite ordinary museum - only three rooms plus a lobby. We've been tweeting only since July last year, but for such a tiny museum we punch well above our weight in social media."
Well, when they can boast of sending out 3,569 tweets - it works out at a daily average of 15-20 tweets - it's perhaps why DartmouthMuseum has 706 followers on Twitter, and growing by the minute.The RoyalAlbertMemorialMuseum's current 3,015 tweet total looks measly by comparison.
"The extraordinary thing now is that we're attracting attention from a lot of heavyweights in the social media scene. It's mad really. But it's getting our museum talked about."And DartmouthMuseum was even nominated for a couple of social media awards. They didn't win, but they never expected to, either. “It's all about brand aware…

Mystery of early Budleigh theatre show

Can you help solve a thespian puzzle by providing information about this drama production in Budleigh's Public Hall, dated, according to the above photo, January 1926?

A local antiquarian book collector has suggested that a show which became a West End hit in the 1930s may have had its origins in a much earlier Budleigh Salterton amateur production.

For lovers of crime mysteries Victor Clinton-Baddeley is known as the creator of the amateur detective Dr R.V. Davie in a series of five novels written between 1967 and 1970, the year he died.

But Budleigh-born Clinton-Baddeley had his first success as an author at the age of 25 with his travel book entitled simply Devon.A second edition appeared in 1928.

He went on to write various light-hearted dramas and pantomimes in the 1930s. The first of his comic operettas for which he wrote the libretto was The Pride of the Regiment, or Cashiered for His Country, with music byWalter Leigh.

Published in 1932, as noted in a folder in FairlynchMu…

A round trip from Budleigh Salterton

A la Ronde, the sixteen-sided house located just outside Exmouth, is probably the only other building open to the public in East Devon that bears comparison with Fairlynch for quirkiness.

It's a lot bigger of course and the National Trust has done a wonderful job in conserving its unique features such as the interior decoration which includes this feather frieze, gathered from native game birds and chickens, and laboriously stuck down with isinglass.Another must-see is the fragile shell-encrusted gallery, said to contain nearly 25,000 shells.

Built for two spinster cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter, on their return from a grand tour of Europe in the late 18th century it's said to have been inspired by the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. You can read all about it at

Unique though it is, A la Ronde shares other features with Fairlynch apart from its quirkiness. Both can boast of having a square piano on display to visitors, though…

Friday Lacemaking at Fairlynch

Did you like the photo at of our two lace enthusiasts Sue Morgan and Margaret Williams? If so pop along to the Museum on a Friday afternoon.

This is traditionally the time when lacemaker Margaret Leese, from Exmouth, pictured above, is at Fairlynch together with Pat Lorton, from Budleigh.

Demonstrating the centuries-old skill which has made East Devon famous, the pair can be seen at work on intricate pieces of delicate work which never fail to impress visitors.  Above is a copy of the Fairlynch door knocker in Honiton lace by Margaret Leese.
This year the Lace Guild is holding its Annual Convention at Exeter Racecourse from 13 to 15 April. Its members will be most welcome if they feel like making a short hop to Budleigh to admire Fairlynch's lace collection.
Margaret Williams gives a preview:
"As you enter the Lace Room the first case on the upper left has a selection of blacklace, Honiton, Tape, embroider…

Fairlynch tweets!

Yes, we've joined the select group of Devon museums who are using social media to spread the word about why they're worth a visit. Not just Twitter, but also Facebook.
It all started when the Museum's press officer Michael Downes learned how such things can help somewhere like Fairlynch when last Friday he attended an excellent training session given by Andy Chapman from internet consultancy 1010 Media
1010 Media, with bases in London and Exeter, has worked with a large range of businesses and organisations including Devon Museums and Exeter Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Commenting on Friday's training session, Andy said:"There was lots to cram into a short space of time, and, due to the structure being very 'off the cuff' because of each museum's differing situation, it was slightly tricky to prepare for!"
The session also included topics such as domain names for museums, email, Flikr and the use of PayPal.

Nick puts his stamp on Fairlynch-inspired artwork

"One of the most photographed and painted houses in East Devon" claimed the Western Morning News in its description of the century-old thatched cottage orné that is Budleigh's own museum.

No surprise then, to find Woodbury-based artist Nick Watton backing up the newspaper's claim with his own contribution in this charming watercolour of Fairlynch which he painted last month.

Budleigh is among the coastal spots that often inspire him, as seen in these sketches of our pebble beach and the fishing gear that usually decorates it.  
Brought up in Cornwall, Nick has always been inspired by the scenery of wild and remote places including the coast, the sea and the ships past and present that sail upon her.

So in this year of centenaries and special events that have inspired Fairlynch Museum,  including those of Scott of the Antarctic, the birthday of East Devon author R.F. Delderfield, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, he's keen to remind us th…

Ten years on, Budleigh gets an 'honourable mention'

On the South West Coast Path,
just a few miles west of Budleigh Salterton

Ten or so years after being described as "the last retreat of Britain's chronologically challenged" and a "grey icon" noted for becoming less and less tourist-friendly, Budleigh Salterton has been ranked with Bath in a survey of best places to visit in the South West of England.

Travel writer Simon Heptinstall, who was brought up in the nearby village of Woodbury, succeeded in ruffling a few feathers when in a Telegraph article still online at he described in Budleigh a town that takes pleasure in not inviting you, and which, after dark "slips into an Ovaltine-induced coma" having successfully repelled the tourist invasion.  
But in a recent article based on his independent selection of the ten best days out in England's South West - including Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwal…