Monday, 27 August 2012
Sunday, 5 August 2012
In line with a growing tendency by
allow the use of cameras on their premises Fairlynch has decided that
photography by visitors will be permitted under certain circumstances. UK
For many years there has been a ban on any kind of filming in galleries and museums but with the growing use of technology such as smartphones many institutions have abandoned the attempt to impose an absolute rule.
The Tate galleries, the National Museum of Wales and the
Smaller museums are showing themselves to be more than ready to follow such trends.
Sam Elliott, Transition Manager at Bolton Library and Museum Service, believes that the traditional ban on any type of photography is too hard to police.
"The majority of people have cameras on their phones," she said. "It's a compliment that they want to take pictures in the museum."
The issue has caused much scratching of heads among museum professionals. Click on http://museumcultures.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/public-photography-in-museums-a-survey/ for an insight.
Image credit: http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/photo-ok/
Saturday, 4 August 2012
A recent survey conducted among Friends of Fairlynch has made for encouraging reading.
"We're really grateful as Museum Trustees to all the Friends who took such trouble in answering our recent questionnaire," said Chairman Roger Sherriff.
Thoughts about the Museum's role in the community have been stimulated by the recent abolition of admission charges. The decision to allow free entry has been approved by virtually all those involved with Fairlynch, particularly in view of the fivefold rise in visitor numbers.
Confirmation of the benefits of the new policy came at a recent meeting of the Museum's General Committee with Roger Sherriff's announcement that shop takings had doubled. "Taking into account all cost factors we found that income for a set period before free admission amounted to £740, and for the equivalent period after abolition charges the figure was £800," he said. "So far it's clearly been a success."
Wanting to know why people had joined the Friends of Fairlynch was a key question in the survey. It produced some gratifying answers.
"I love the fact that we have a local museum with information about Budleigh. I wanted to support it and not lose such a valuable resource," was one enthusiastic response. "Wishing to support a lovely museum in a beautiful building," was another which recognised the uniqueness of the Grade II listed building, one of the few thatched museums in
Among the areas at the Museum of particular interest to Friends was the Local History Room with its impressive archive resources.
But the richness of Budleigh Salterton's heritage in general was recognised, with one Friend suggesting that there should be more "Drama type activities to tell the story of Budleigh and its famous people of the past."
The educational value of Fairlynch and its resources including some fascinating exhibitions was also emphasised, with the belief that there should be enhanced links with local schools.
The Museum is keen to encourage more Friends to become more involved in its work. "Not everyone has time," was one understandable comment. "Friends should not be made to feel they have to be involved further. Perhaps a listing of actual jobs needed to be done would give a more definite purpose to helping in an area of someone's expertise."
A museum offers so much in the way of cultural variety - from fashion to fossils, from lacemaking to literature and from art to archives - that shared interests between local residents can lead to lasting friendships. 'Become a Friend and gain Friends!' was one suggested marketing slogan for a campaign to recruit more followers of Fairlynch.
In view of the abolition of entry charges at the Museum there has been some agonising over how the move would affect people's view of the benefits of being a Friend. Membership had previously included free admission. What benefits could now be offered? was one question. The majority of respondents wanted more special events, with the possibility of a first call for Friends.
But while some thought that the financial benefits of membership might be attractive, the majority weren't interested.
Clearly the best answer to the question of how one might gain from membership of the Friends of Fairlynch was: "Nothing - it is my privilege to help the Museum"
Lavender House, one of no less than 50 houses in Budleigh Salterton designed by Hatchard-Smith
Instantly recognisable with their red and white decoration and their front doors set within brick arches, the houses built by architect William Hatchard-Smith (1887-1987) are still sought after and appreciated by their owners for their elegance and comfort, their sturdy construction and their attention to practical detail.
Plans for one of the houses designed by Hatchard-Smith
Lavender House, on
Moorlands Road, is
a four-bedroomed detached family residence built by Hatchard-Smith in the late
1920s when it was originally named Lavenderhay. Set within what are described as beautifully
landscaped gardens of approximately an acre it has recently undergone an
extensive refurbishment programme while retaining much of the original charm
The stained glass memorial in Budleigh Salterton's St Peter's Church dedicated to Col Hatchard-Smith and his wife
Colonel William Hatchard-Smith will be long remembered in Budleigh not just for the fifty private residences that he built in the town between the two World Wars but also for the hospitality that he and his wife Margaret offered to some 1,500 overseas servicemen and Rhodes scholars at their home Watch Hill on Cricketfield Lane.
Col Hatchard-Smith celebrates his 100th birthday with, left, Mr Waddington, Manager of Lloyd's Bank, paying tribute to the bank's oldest client. Mrs Eileen Brookes, Chairman of Budleigh Salterton Town Council, presented flowers from the Town Council.
An album of plans of the many buildings that he designed was presented to
in 1989 and this has been
supplemented over the years with additional material. The result is a valuable
archive of an important aspect of Budleigh's architectural heritage. Fairlynch Museum
Lavender House is being marketed by Bradleys with a guide price of £1,100,000. For more details see http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-34629553.html
The following houses in Budleigh were built by Hatchard-Smith, listed with their original names:
23 East Budleigh Road
13 Links Road
6 Vales Road
10 Northview Road
10 Lansdowne Road
8 Lansdowne Road
Ridge End, 1
11 Westfield Road
12 Fore Street Hill
9 Coastguard Road
31 Northview Road
Invermay, Knowle Hill
9 Knowle Road
12 Links Road
6 Upper Stoneborough Lane
8 Upper Stoneborough Lane
7 East Budleigh Road
15 Coastguard Road
3 Cricketfield Lane
9 Moorlands Road
10 Upper Stoneborough Lane
Edradynate, 6 East Terrace
7 Knowle Road
1 Boucher Road
Little Garth, Ting Tong
29 Exmouth Road
11 Moorlands Road
Hedges, 4 & 6 Sherbrook Hill
18 Copp Hill Lane
10 Moorlands Road
Braemoray, Ting Tong
11 Knowle Road
2 Exmouth Road
Down-Along, 96 (check)
12 Moorlands Road
Documentation is incomplete for:
15 Northview Road
7 Moorlands Road
Nairn, 20 Copp Hill lane
11 Bedlands Lane
Inner Ting Tong
19 Copp Hill Lane
Beechcroft, 6 Cliff Terrace
3 Moorlands Road
1 Moorlands Road
22 Copp Hill Lane
9 Westfield Road
31 Knowle Road
23 East Budleigh Road
Many other properties with incomplete documentation are listed in
archives. Fairlynch Museum
Jack Wilson, right, with his rowing partner Ran Laurie
With the wonderful news of British sporting success in the 2012 London Olympics it seems right to remember some Budleigh residents of the past who may have inspired today's champions.
John Hyrne Tucker Wilson, known as Jack Wilson, was a British rowing champion and Olympic gold medallist whose family lived at Elvestone on Fore Street Hill. Born on 17 September 1914 in
Bristol, Rhode Island, USA,
to British parents, he was educated in Texas
and Shrewsbury School
in Shropshire, before attending Pembroke
College, . Cambridge
Cambridge, he rowed in three successive Boat
Races (1934–36) in which Cambridge defeated . During the 1935
and 1936 races, he rowed alongside Ran Laurie, father of the actor Hugh Laurie,
who became his rowing partner after Oxford
and a life-long friend. Cambridge
After graduating from University, Wilson took a post as a District Commissioner with the Sudan Political Service, missing an opportunity to participate alongside Laurie in Britain’s Eights boat at the 1936 Olympics. With Laurie joining the Sudan Political Service the following year, the two men joined forces in rowing and, while on leave from colonial service in 1938, won the Silver Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta.
Both Wilson and Laurie returned to
following their success, and continued to serve in the Sudan Political Service
through the Second World War. In 1946, Sudan Wilson
survived an attack by a local woman in who threw an assegai spear at
In 1948 Wilson and Laurie returned to Henley and once again won the Silver Goblets, having had little training and no opportunity to row since their success in the event ten years earlier. This was followed later that year by an Olympic gold medal, once again rowing at
Jack Wilson retired from the colonial service in 1954 and worked for the British Steel Corporation. He died on 16 February 1997, aged 82.
Friday, 3 August 2012
With the Carter bicentenary approaching in 2013 and that of Peter Orlando Hutchinson (1810-97) still fresh in local minds where better to go than to Sidmouth Museum, seen above, to discover how a town only a few miles along the coast from Budleigh commemorated one of its best known characters from the Victorian age.
For P.O.H., though born in
, is very much part of Sidmouth's
local history. And the town clearly cherishes its illustrious former residents which
include four past Fellows of the Royal Society. Winchester
Sir Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945) worked with Marconi, and invented the diode valve.
Sir Norman Lockyer (1836-1920), shown above, discovered helium and the spectrum of the sun, and was Editor of Nature for 50 years from its foundation. Sidney George Brown (1873-1948) was an inventor and engineer who devised the gyro-compass. His company S.G. Brown Ltd was based at
And finally there was Frederick Lindemann (1886-1957) who was Churchill's scientific adviser, honoured as the 1st Viscount Cherwell.
The four Fellows naturally get pride of place in Sidmouth's Museum, an attractive building called Hope Cottage next to the
donated to the Town Council by Miss Constance Radford in August 1925 and leased
to the Sid Vale Association. Its Curator is Dr Bob Symes OBE, a
former Keeper and Head of the Department of Mineralogy at the Natural History
Museum in Parish Church .
There's a cabinet devoted to each FRS displaying relevant gadgets such as the gyro compass manufactured by S.G. Brown. But there are also photos of traders, fishermen and local authors such as R.F. Delderfield whose centenary we've been celebrating this year.
And then of course there's P.O.H. Not a Fellow of the Royal Society of course. In fact he was a self-educated kind of fellow, but what a character. An author, artist, eccentric who insisted on wearing military uniform though not entitled to do so, antiquary, amateur geologist, long-distance walker - his walking-stick is one of the items on view - numismatist, and some might say trouble-maker.
American readers may like to know that Peter Orlando Hutchinson was great grandson to Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780) the controversial Governor of
Sidmouth Parish Church
Photo credit: Eugene Birchall
Certainly he stirred up a hornets' nest of bitter feelings on issues such as the renovation of
Parish Church had agreed to donate a window in
memory of her father who had died in Sidmouth in 1820. Outraged on learning of
its planned location, P.O.H. went so far as to take his letter of protest to the
Queen at Osborne House, the royal residence on the Victoria Isle of
Wight. His diary records his arrival at on 19 Sept 1860 at 3.00 pm. "At
the hotel I changed into my uniform and found the use of it. Sentries presented
arms and the Queen's gatekeeper threw the portal open wide as he saw me
Victoria in 1860 by the painter J.J.E. Mayall
Although his planned interview with the Queen did not take place he succeeded in having his message about the changes at the
conveyed to Victoria, who consequently withdrew her grant for the window
"until the disputes respecting it are settled." Needless to say, the
Church Restoration Committee was outraged at P.O.H's actions. Parish Church
has done a good
job on P.O.H. and its other worthy former residents. Some might think it's as charmingly quirky and
cluttered in a way similar to our own Sidmouth
in Budleigh. And one senses a real affection for Sidmouth's characters from the
past on the part of the volunteers
who've put together displays about the interesting lives of former residents. This
nicely-produced biography of P.O.H. is on sale for the modest sum of £1. Fairlynch Museum
Those who want to spend a bit more can splash out on the splendid edition of Peter Orlando Hutchinson's Diary of a
Devon Antiquary: The
Illustrated Journals & Sketchbooks 1871-1894.
And Budleigh's own Henry Carter FRS, seen above? He was of course a totally different character, though a near contemporary. A professional man who qualified as a surgeon, but like many who studied medicine at that time including his contemporary and admirer Charles Darwin, with a keen interest in natural history. And with a career spent many thousands of miles from East Devon on the Arabian coast and in
, amidst the
hardships of a continent where diseases were rife and the climate was often
Most of his time seems to have been spent looking down a microscope at amoebas, bits of old fossil and pieces of sponge. For it's as a spongiologist that he made his name, with 26 kinds of sponge named after him and with his researches still valued by experts in the field today. That includes those scientists who are discovering the exciting possibilities that sponges can provide in the development of anti-cancer drugs.
No biography of Carter has been written. No diaries and few letters have been preserved. Yet slowly we can gain an insight into his character from the 1,894 pages that he wrote on geology and natural history which appeared in 127 publications during his lifetime.
A decent man with high moral aims. Like his distinguished anatomy professor William Sharpey he saw the study of natural history as something equally valuable as medicine in terms of its benefit to humanity. More than 30 years after their first meeting, Carter revealed how such thinking had moulded his own philosophy of life. A letter he wrote to Sharpey from Budleigh Salterton on 30 May 1872, ten years after his return from
described how he was "devoting my leisure to scientific studies in order
to follow your precept of making fellow-creatures better and happy." India
One couldn't really ask for anything more from a scientist.
'Sea, Salt & Sponges!' the next
exhibition commemorating the birth of Henry John Carter FRS will run from
mid-April to the end of September 2013. Fairlynch Museum
This is an expanded version of the post at http://www.devonmuseums.net/Good-Fellows-of-Budleigh-and-Sidmouth/Latest-News/Fairlynch-Museum/Museum-News/