Showing posts from May, 2014

‘Local Voices’ in June

Three Friends of the Museum are involved in a project which will see a Salterton Playhouse production on Friday 13 June.

The project is sponsored by the Otter Valley Association with the aim of encouraging writing and the pleasure of reading — both poetry and prose fiction — inspired by our local Devon landscape and natural heritage.

Friends of Fairlynch Sue Chapman, Katherine McDermott-Darley and Nicola Daniels have been working in the ‘Local Voices’  group which includes Wendy Spicer and Maggie Giraud.   Their writing has been inspired  by the broad theme of the Phoenix Myth: regeneration, rebirth, hope and growth.  “It’s a very broad and surprising  spectrum of ideas,” says Sue.  A successful creative workshop collaboration with Clinton Devon Estates, and the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust took place earlier this year around themes associated with the ‘Phoenix Cycle’ and local photographer Mo Bowman’s stunning images. A second Writers’ Workshop took place on Saturday …

Secret Gardens of Topsham 8 June 2014

Good luck to our friends at Topsham Museum with their 2014 'Secret Gardens' event

Shakespeare in Salterton

A Budleigh garden owned by an amateur dramatics enthusiast, a troupe of well known local actors, and a much-loved Shakespeare play.What more would you want fora Saturday summer evening’s entertainment?

Well, a bit of dry weather of course! That arrived just in time after a day of driving rain. West Country theatre group Prior Commitment staged an outdoor performance of the popular comedy Twelfth Night in the garden of Cramalt Lodge, home of Fairlynch Museum President Joy Gawne.

Directed by Steve Andrews, the production featured well-known local actors including Mike Terry and James Cotter, pictured above, as well as performers from further afield. Joy Gawne, a co-founder of the Museum and known for her love of theatre, was delighted that the garden was being used as a backdrop. “We used to have dressing-up entertainments at WI summer meetings, but this is the first time that Cramalt Lodge has been used for Shakespeare,” she told me. Some Budleigh theatre-goers may remember her perform…

Topsham’s Secret Gardens on Sunday 8 June 2014

Even in the pouring rain the gardens of Topsham looked beautiful when I visited them during the 2012 'Secret Gardens' event. On Sunday 8 June, Friend of Fairlynch Margaret Wilson, who was heavily involved on that previous occasion two years ago, will no doubt be praying for sunshine. But I wonder whether I’ll take photos as good as the ones you can see at
Whether you like gardens or not, the event is enjoyable for all. “What could be more intriguing than exploring the hidden corners of an ancient port, with streets and dwellings going back 400 years?” ask the organisers.“Well, looking behind those walls and gates at the secret gardens concealed in many an unlikely corner will certainly satisfy your curiosity.”
Sunday 8 June is when the owners of some of Topsham’s private gardens will be inviting you to see their treasures – if you can find them!
This bi-annual event has proved a big hit with loca…

Fairlynch AGM on 19 May 2014

Fairlynch Museum and Arts Centre will hold its Annual General Meeting on Monday 19 May at 7.00 pm in the Peter Hall, Budleigh Salterton.
This is an occasion to hear Trustees describe recent achievements and developments at the Museum.
All are welcome but only Friends of Fairlynch can vote on issues relating to the constitution. Refreshments will be served.

Remembering Max Perutz (1914-2002)

Max Perutz dancing with his wife Gisela at the 1962 Nobel ball
Image credit: Wikipedia
Not too many Fellows of the Royal Society or Nobel prizewinners have been drawn to Budleigh Salterton’s delights. So I was excited a few years ago to discover a genuine Budleigh scientist who’d remained faithful to the town of his birth and in 1862 settled here in retirement after an adventurous life on the other side of the world.Henry John Carter FRS was deservedly honoured with a rare blue plaque on the wall of his house off Fore Street Hill.

Max Perutz was not a Budleigh resident. But he certainly helped to give the place distinction, and for that reason among many others I will be toasting his health on 19 May. It’s 100 years since his birth, recognised this year by Royal Mail which has honoured him with a stamp as part of the ‘Remarkable Lives’ series.
Max Ferdinand Perutz, OM, CH, CBE, FRS, was an Austrian-born British molecular biologist, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with John …

Flower power to help Museum

The primroses came out early this year, heralding the arrival of spring. And now with May Day we enter a new season.It’s no surprise that this pretty plant has been adopted as our county flower, decorating as it does, in the words of the official website “countless miles of Devon's hedgerows and roadside verges in the early months of the year.”
The flower has been chosen also for its value as a symbol of conservation.“Common species such as the Primrose are often useful indicators of the world around us,” I read a little further on the site.
“Unless we succeed in maintaining the status of such common plants, we stand little chance in saving those habitats and species that are already rare or threatened. By promoting the conservation of the Primrose, we can help to look after the many habitats in which it is fundamental for growth and the many species that are typically found along side it.”

'The Primrose' from volume I of Familiar Wild Flowers by F. Edward Hulme FLS, FSA