Sunday, 5 May 2013

Finding your feet at Fairlynch



"The best of Budleigh Salterton is on display in Fairlynch. Local history and local geology sit together in a charming building. Every time I walk past or go inside, I am reminded of why this town is so special."  That’s what the broadcaster and former Budleigh resident Sue Lawley told us a few years ago.

Yes indeed. May is National Walking Month. Living Streets, the national charity that works to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, is encouraging people to walk with their successful annual initiatives of Walk to Work Week and Walk to School Week during the current month.

Living Streets is also urging people to enjoy the thrill of making those wonderful little finds that happen only when you’re on foot. “Walking is a great way to discover hidden gems in your neighbourhood - be it for the view, the ambience, or a particular attraction,” they say.

The charity has launched a campaign to discover such hidden gems, inviting people to join with them in their quest to find new national treasures. The top new discoveries will be crowned one of the seven wonders of National Walking Month.

Entries opened on 1 May. Living Streets will pick the final seven on the strength of how they are described. You can send in photos and even videos, but make sure you tell the campaign organisers why your Hidden Treasure is so special.

Maybe you’ll find your footsteps taking you to Fairlynch this month. It may be ages since you last set foot inside the Museum. Or you may never have visited the charming building before. Now that we have free admission you may feel like joining the growing number of visitors to Budleigh who find that Fairlynch is truly one of the town’s hidden gems.   

And if, like Sue Lawley, you feel it’s a national treasure worth writing about do let the people at Living Streets know about us. For more details click on
Image credit: Living Streets with an amendment by Fairlynch Museum






Friday, 3 May 2013

Museum says farewell to lacemaker

Fairlynch is losing one of its volunteers who helped make a popular Friday afternoon attraction at the Museum with the retirement of resident lacemaker Margaret Leese.
Exmouth resident Margaret delighted and intrigued hundreds of visitors to the Museum with the demonstration of her intricate and beautiful work.  “Lacemaking was very much a traditional cottage industry in this part of Devon, so I am sorry not to be continuing at Fairlynch,” she said. “It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience to be part of the Museum’s lace team in such a special way.”
Originally from Cornwall, Margaret first started lacemaking over 25 years ago when she saw the skill being demonstrated at Ottery St Mary. “I hadn’t been in the area all that long but I thought that looks quite exciting and challenging as a hobby,” she recalled.

Various pieces of Margaret’s work are on show at Fairlynch, including a lace version of the Museum’s doorknocker. She reckons that it must have taken 400 hours to make.
Lacemaking continues to thrive as a hobby for many enthusiasts all over the world, and the Museum is keen for demonstrations to be continued.  Fairlynch volunteer Sue Morgan who took over recently the Dolls and Bears department at Fairlynch has offered to give lacemaking demonstrations at half-term and on Friday afternoons during August.

Fascinating Finds Day at Fairlynch

Have you ever found a curious coin while out walking?  Or a puzzling piece of pottery?  Or even an  ancient axe-head?

Anyone who has made such a fascinating find is invited to bring the item to Fairlynch Museum on Thursday 23 May 2013 between 11.00 am and 5.00 pm.

Archaeologist Danielle Wootton, who works for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, will be on hand to identify objects that people may have found while out digging in the garden or rambling in the countryside.  Metal detectorists are welcome, says Danielle.

“Finds Days like this are a wonderful opportunity for objects to be identified and recorded by experts. We would like to see anything that has been made or shaped by humans in the past such as flint, bone, pottery and metal objects or coins - but not things like rocks or fossils, dolls or antique furniture.  Even if you haven’t found anything, drop in to find out more about Archaeology and the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Everyone is welcome.”