Friday, 27 June 2014

History on foot

Members of the Exmouth & District U3A History Group combined a visit to Fairlynch on Thursday 5 June with a walking tour of Budleigh. Led by Museum Secretary Michael Downes and Chairman Roger Sherriff, the group enjoyed their exploration of the town in brilliant sunshine before a coffee break, followed by a trip round the Museum.


Budleigh’s sponge expert on show at NHM

 Research on Budleigh Salterton's 19th century sponge expert by Fairlynch volunteer Michael Downes has helped curators prepare an exhibition at London's Natural History Museum.

 Above: The feature on Henry Carter FRS in the Natural History Museum's display 'Untold Human Stories from the NHM Porifera Collection.'
 Budleigh Salterton’s only native-born Fellow of the Royal Society Henry Carter was the main subject of the 2013 Fairlynch exhibition ‘Sea, Salt and Sponges.’ 


The exhibition was accompanied by a booklet ‘The Scientist in The Cottage’, written by Fairlynch Museum Secretary Michael Downes. It was praised by the NHM’s Emma Sherlock, Curator in the Invertebrate Section of the Zoology Department at the Museum, and is the first-ever published biography of the Budleigh-born surgeon, geologist and spongologist. 

Emma explained that the booklet had helped in a project that she and her NHM colleagues were working on with regard to Henry Carter and fellow spongologist  James Scott Bowerbank.  My volunteer ended up ordering one too as we enjoyed it so much,” she wrote.
Copies of ‘The Scientist in The Cottage’ are on sale at Fairlynch Museum.

Museum Garden open for Hospicecare

Yes, Fairlynch Museum garden is one of the 16 Budleigh gardens open for Hospicecare this weekend, Saturday and Sunday 28-29 June. Don't worry about the rain. All the gardens are desperate for it. Raindrops on roses make brilliant photos. 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Full marks for Fairlynch Museum

Happy museum visitors Kerry Mayers and son Charlie give the thumbs-up to Fairlynch

Whether writing online or in the visitors’ book, people continue to lavish praise on Budleigh Salterton’s museum as the season enters its third month.   

The building, the volunteer staff and the exhibitions have all played their part in making a call at Fairlynch one of the enjoyable highlights of a visit to the town.

“This is a lovely place for local history - beautiful building and packed with interest,” wrote Beatrice H. from Exeter on Tripadvisor. “The volunteers were welcoming - admittedly I am a history graduate but my 16-year-old daughter found plenty to interest her too. Nice little shop - we will be back!  thank you.”

Alison Hilton and her family were also attracted by the building. “So pleased we popped in on Sunday - who could resist such a beautiful house?!” she wrote on our Facebook page. “We didn't have much time but the displays were really interesting and we were made to feel very welcome! Thank you!”

Similar compliments were echoed by people from further afield. “A wonderful place. Thank you Budleigh Salterton,”  wrote the Curtis family from Australia in the visitors’ book.

Museums are increasingly expected to cater for all ages, and Fairlynch is certainly playing its part. “Great for all the family - Thank you!” wrote the Roberts family from Manningtree in Essex. A Nottingham resident was pleased with the way that the quiz kept children involved with the exhibitions.

The Local History section was singled out for praise by a visitor from Cheam who was researching a family tree, while the Museum’s ‘Great War at Fairlynch’ exhibition was a hit with Kate Benson from Chorleywood, Hertfordshire. “Wonderful display on WW1, informative, bright and relevant to Budleigh Salterton - Well done!!!” was her comment.

It looks as though whatever the weather can throw at us, Fairlynch Museum will ensure that visitors to Budleigh enjoy their stay in East Devon.

Max Perutz on display

 Fairlynch’s newly refurbished Priscilla Carter Room at last has an acknowledgement of the role that the eminent scientist Max Perutz played in the Museum’s origins.

The story of Perutz and Fairlynch’s radioactive pebbles is now on display in the area’s geology section. 

Grand Book Sale at Fairlynch

The Grand Book Sale at Fairlynch Museum on 28 June 2014 will be a great opportunity to find books recommended by Friends of Fairlynch and others at bargain prices.

The range is huge - fiction, crime fiction, travel, biographies, art...  There will be something for everyone. And of course you can enjoy the garden. Or simply visit the Museum.

Budleigh Gardens open for Hospicecare

Above:  Beautiful domed blooms of the climbing rose ‘James Galway’

Sixteen gardens in Budleigh Salterton will be open on 28 and 29 June 2014, helping raise money for Hospiscare.  The gardens will all be open from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm each day. At only £5.00 per adult for entry into all 16 gardens that should be a beautiful experience!

The gardens include that of Cramalt Lodge on Cricketfield Lane, home to Fairlynch Museum President Joy Gawne. It boasts a rose garden and a medlar tree among its charms.

A photographic record of the evolution of Cramalt Lodge garden will be on display, along with an exhibition of bygones of yesteryear such as old toasting-forks and waffle irons. 

For details of the Open Gardens event click on

Friends support pedalling for the pituitary


It’s a tiny gland no bigger than a pea, but for its size it’s one of the most important areas in the body.  The chemical messengers or hormones that it controls play a vital role in our health, affecting functions as varied as growth, mood and reproduction.

Pituitary disorders are rare but serious.  When Richard Greetham, a director of Bradleys Estate Agents was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour his colleagues at the firm’s Budleigh office were naturally shocked and upset.  His good friend Robin Burne, pictured above, is a familiar face to many involved in our local property scene. Robin is determined to do his bit and help Richard and his family in any way he can.

“Many people have not heard of this devastating condition, let alone the impact it can have,” says Robin. “To show my support for Richard I ran in Plymouth's Half Marathon on 27 April with other colleagues.  In June I am going to accompany Richard on Days 1 and 2 of his 'Tour De Bradleys' , when he is cycling to all our 33 offices.”


The first day of the Charity Bike Ride opens with the stage from Taunton to the Bradleys Head Office in Exmouth on  21 June. The following day will see a ride from Exmouth to Okehampton.  Richard  himself is aiming to complete over 400 miles during the entire ride, which he admits will be a tough challenge.

“I took up cycling a year ago with a view to training for this, and I have been training for a year, but sadly no amount of training can prepare you for some of the climbs and hills that Devon, Cornwall and Somerset can throw at you,” he explained.

“A year ago I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour, which came as rather a shock, having had a five year period of feeling generally unwell, and struggling really to find out the cause of these feelings. Once the diagnosis had been made, the transition from feeling generally very unwell to complete recovery and feeling normal again was such a relief. I really felt that I had to do something for this unknown condition. The Pituitary Foundation is mainly an information and promotional charity that helps people with pituitary conditions. Its main aim is to raise awareness of the many conditions that are linked to the pituitary gland, which sits just beneath your brain. They are a small charity but do a fantastic job and really need the support and help, so that they are able to help people who have been undiagnosed like I was for many years, and raise awareness of some of the conditions that are linked.”

Bradleys Estate Agents has chosen The Pituitary Foundation as its official charity during 2014, and further challenges for Robin lie ahead with September’s Half Marathon in Bristol and the Exeter Great West Run in October.

Pituitary tumours can be cured, and so far Richard has responded well to treatment.  “We hope that as a company we can raise much needed funds as well as vital awareness of this condition,” says Robin.

Bradleys is a Corporate Friend of Fairlynch and Chairman Roger Sherriff invites all those associated with the Museum to join Robin in helping to support this worthy cause.

For more information, click on and