Showing posts from February, 2013

People from the Past: 6. Marley Harris 1928-2011

Continuing our series on eminent or interesting former residents of Budleigh we recall someone who really should have been featured in our Olympics-themed items of 2012.

Marley Harris died on 19 August, just under two years ago, aged 83. As Marley Spearman, she was one of the most celebrated amateur lady golfers of the 1960s. The stories about her are legendary, not least including the explanation of how she became a golfing star having begun her career as a dancer on the West End stage.

She was born Marley Joan Baker on 11 January 1928, the daughter of a businessman, and grew up in Wimbledon. Leaving school early, she joined a dance troupe which performed at London’s Windmill Theatre. After marrying Tony Spearman in her twenties she left the stage, living as a housewife in a small flat just off Marble Arch.

Among those inspired by her later sporting success was her nephew Mitchell Spearman, the Florida-based golf professional. Both he and East Devon Golf Club member Bob Lankester were…

Latest Boys’ Toy arrives in Exeter

Yes, I expect you’re wondering what that photo of Bob Monkhouse is doing there with its scary message.
Well, if you’ve been curious enough to read about the crazy man who spends so much time blogging away about the latest news from Budleigh’s museum you’ll know that I am, I hope, a cancer survivor. And digging deeper - perhaps by using the search box on the blog and typing in the word prostate - you’ll find that I, like many of my age, went through the prostatectomy ordeal just over three years ago.That followed a diagnosis of cancer two years previously.
You’ll also have noted, perhaps that not all of this blog is devoted to FairlynchMuseum or even Budleigh Salterton, fascinating though our little town is.
Yes, it’s a grim business, cancer. Like any life-threatening illness. But the doctors are making progress and now comes news that the Royal Devon and ExeterHospital has bought a robot to carry out surgical procedures such as prostatectomy. They do say that the robot is less likely t…

Sea Beauties of the Past

It’s not all ball gowns and bustles in FairlynchMuseum’s Costume Department. To add a dash of glamour to this year’s ‘Sea Salt and Sponges’ exhibition they’ve come up with a display of vintage bathing costumes. There’s even a model of a bathing machine, one of those weird contraptions used by Victorian ladies to preserve their modesty while preparing to frolic in the waves on Budleigh beach.

‘Sea, Salt and Sponges’ opens at FairlynchMuseum on 29 March and runs until 30 September with extra opening during October half term

Talking of vintage, while going round the shops in Budleigh to ask if they’d be kind enough to display posters for the Museum I always find a welcome at What Katy Did. Well, the owner Katy Gooding, pictured below, has more than a passing interest in Fairlynch’s contents, seeing that she specialises in the kind of vintage goodies that will eventually end up in museum displays.
So always keen to repay one good turn with another I thou…

Fatal Flowers?

A sudden outburst of flowers in the sunshine is telling me that spring is on the way, especially the cheeky dandelions flowering earlier than usual. Just look at that seed head ready to invade the garden, and it’s only mid-February.

Now there’s one flower which will be soon be making an appearance and from what I heard at a recent meeting on the theme of ‘Environmental Aspects of the River Otter’, organised by the Otter Valley Association it’s even more cheeky and persistent than dandelions. For wildlife trusts it’s actually one of the most worrying sights anywhere in the countryside.
Just imagine some scientist telling us that cancer spores could be cleared up as easily as litter from our streets and hedgerows in order to totally eradicate that horrible disease. Think of the national effort that would be made as everyone scoured streets and pavements, our woods, fields and river-banks. From the tiniest toddler to the most wrinkled granny we’d all be out there on hands and knees if ne…

A patients’ monument of Victorian Exeter

Some Budleigh residents may remember from many years ago their visits to the old Royal Devon and ExeterHospital at its Southernhay site in the city centre.
Not that they would remember seeing horses and carriages of course. The above engraving by Exeter artist and photographer Owen Angel (c.1821-1909) dates from 1849 and not even longevity-celebrated Budleigh can boast of having citizens from that time.

An inscription below the engraving tells us that the work was printed by Mr Angel, on the occasion of the Fancy Bazaar in aid of the Funds of the Devon & ExeterHospital, held on Northernhay, Exeter, on 31 July and 1 August 1849. The ‘Royal’ was added only following the visit by the Duke and Duchess of York in 1899.

Mr Angel’s work appears here because it’s one of the many interesting items on loan from the Devon and Exeter Medical Society which will be on show at Fairlynch’s forthcoming exhibition ‘Sea, Salt and Sponges.’

The connection with Budleigh is that one of the town’s most ce…