Showing posts from September, 2013

Fairlynch Local History Group needs YOU!

Budleigh Salterton’s FairlynchMuseum is appealing for local residents to contact them with World War One stories.

“The Local Historyexhibition next year will focus mainly on the people who were living in Budleigh and the surrounding villages at the time of the First World War,” explains Museum spokesperson Margaret Brett. “However we are interested in hearing about anyone who took part in that war - now is the time to record their achievement.”
“The starting point was the names on the War Memorials,” says Margaret. “We would also like to hear about those who returned from the War, or had reservedjobs at home.What do we know about their families?What contribution did local women make to the War Effort?Was the area affected or involved in any particular way? We are interested in your stories.”
To further their knowledge Margaret and her fellow-museum volunteers have planned three drop-in sessions at the Museum, when they hope that anyone who has any information, stories or interest will g…

A palaeontological puzzle

FairlynchMuseum's Environment Room holds a store of treasures from a large range of sources. From stuffed birds and a Victorian ornithologist's jottings to the remarkable pebbles that Nobel prize winner Max Perutz wrote about in the 1930s. From Bronze Age tools and Roman pottery to collections of shells and fossils from the Jurassic coast.
Not too many of the latter were actually found in Budleigh, with a major exception which caused some excitement when it was first described in 1863. This was the discovery that the quartzite pebbles, or 'popples' as they were known, contained fossilised brachiopods - shellfish similar to molluscs. Shown above on display in the Museum, they were first written about by the amateur geologist William Vicary (1811-1903). A tanner by trade, Vicary did so well in business that he was able to retire to Exeter, where he was one of the founding members of the Devonshire Association, established in 1862. As an enthusiastic collector of fossils, …

Science at Sidmouth

The logo of Sidmouth’s Café Scientifique, part of the town’s second Science Festival
Sea, Salt and Sponges, our bicentenary exhibition in honour of East Devon’s great Victorian scientist Henry John Carter FRS comes to an end when Fairlynch Museum closes on 30 September.
But the Museum will open on Wednesday 16 October from 10.00am to 1.00pm to coincide with the second Sidmouth Science Festival which runs from 14 to 20 October.
Sidmouth, just a few miles east of Budleigh Salterton, is noted for its four former residents who were Fellows of the Royal Society and who are honoured by individual displays in the town’s Museum - see
However the Science Festival’s focus is very much on 21st century issues rather than on the past. The Festival organisers, made up by the Vision Group for Sidmouth (VGS) and the Norman Lockyer Observatory, believe that with so many technical issues being faced by society…

Penguin expert's quest brings him from New Zealand to Budleigh

Antarctic artefacts: Former Fairlynch Museum Chairman Roger Kingwill, right, shows Professor Lloyd Davis some of the material used in the 'Survival!' exhibition to mark the centenary of Captain Scott's Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole

So many travellers and explorers associated with the Budleigh area have made their mark in distant lands that it’s no surprise to find overseas visitors in FairlynchMuseum keen to trace family trees or eager to see where their forebears lived.

Professor Lloyd Davis, who holds the Stuart Chair in Science Communications at the University of Otago in New Zealand, was a recent visitor searching for information.Wildlife enthusiasts from that part of the world will know Lloyd as a leading authority on penguins, on which he’s written many scientific papers. He’s even written a book Penguin: a season in the life of the Adelie penguin, which is a story of penguins and Antarctica as seen through the eyes of a penguin. It won the PEN Best First Bo…

Brian Pepperrell (10 October 1938 - 21 June 2013) Trustee of Fairlynch Museum and Arts Centre

Brian Pepperrell, pictured at a Fairlynch grummage sale in 2009
Most of the volunteer helpers at Fairlynch live in the immediate area of Budleigh Salterton. Brian’s loyalty to the Museum was demonstrated by his tireless devotion to the Local History Group and his willingness to attend Trustees’ meetings, despite having to travel from Dunkeswell, near Honiton. It meant making a round trip of 44 miles on a regular basis for ten years.
Brian began his education at SouthvillePrimary School in Feltham, Middlesex. He took his 11-plus and, after achieving a remarkable 98% in Maths, he won a place at HamptonGrammar School. After a promising start he ‘left at the Headmaster's Pleasure’ at fifteen to join the RAF as an Apprentice Tradesman.
Brian Pepperrell's RAF experience included working on aircraft like this Valiant V bomber
Photo credit: Adrian Pingstone 
After successfully completing his training as a Electronics, Instruments and Radar Technician at RAF Locking, Weston-super-Mare, …