Showing posts from November, 2014

Mulled wine, mince pies and magic at the Museum

Fairlynch will be open from 6.00 pm on Friday 5 December, which is Late Night Shopping in Budleigh.
Among the attractions will be a magician!

Hunting hats

Young Fairlynch visitor Amelia enjoyed trying out different hats from the Museum’s dressing-up box. But we could do with many more for visitors, young and old, to play with.  So I composed a little plea:

Hunting hats

In Fairlynch Museum we’ve loads of old clothes,
With buttons and ribbons and collars and bows.
We’ve dresses, and trousers and many cravats,
But we’ve noticed a definite shortage of hats.

You can try on old jackets, occasional smocks,
And even wear things like your grandmother’s frocks.
But of kepis and topees and bonnets and such,
We have to admit that there’s not very much.

Of fedoras I fear the museum has none,
And sombreros are rare: I doubt we have one.
Of beanies I’m sure that I’ve never seen any.
And clearly of fezzes there aren’t very many.

Of Stetsons and homburgs it’s thought they are rare;
Of deerstalker hats there are none we can spare.
A couple of panama hats would be nice,
And a mortarboard...? Great! Just one would suffice.

Fairlynch considers digital engagement

Check out the old fossils on the Jurassic Coast Partnership's website at
I mentioned ‘digital’ elsewhere a couple of years ago on this blog in relation to local businesses and their use of the internet. 
Since then, more and more Budleigh people seem to be ‘digitally engaged’, and using social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Fairlynch Museum's Nick Speare  Image credit: Mo Sandford FRPS
For museums, digital engagement can mean something pretty broad and quite radical, including the sensible way in which visitors on the other side of the world are able to admire Fairlynch’s artefacts. “Many museums are making much more use of the internet to make their collections and catalogues available to the public and this is the direction Fairlynch should be following,” says the Museum’s Treasurer Nick Speare.
A start was made in October 2013 with the arrival of the Jurassic Coast Partnership team in Budleigh, as I reported at http://budleighbrewsteruni…

Museum’s Corporate Friends hopeful on car park issue

Car parking will be free for the time being at Budleigh Salterton's Upper Station Road car park Although I write mostly about Fairlynch Museum matters I was happy to oblige when asked to mention Budleigh Salterton Music Festival events.
As I’ve written elsewhere, more festivals means more visitors to the town, which means more visitors to its museum...
But of course more visitors are good for Budleigh businesses generally.

So it’s excellent news, as reported in a recent edition of the Budleigh Journal, that East Devon District Council and Clinton Devon Estates have met to discuss the issue of the free car park at Upper Station Road Car Park.

Fully used: Budleigh's Upper Station Road Car Park  Both parties, according to a joint statement made by EDDC and CDE, “understand the importance of the car park to the town and want to ensure that the facility serves the town for many years to come.”

“Consequently, the first requirement is to ensure that we fully understand the patterns of usa…

Music Festival tunes up for tenth anniversary

Image credit:
Talking of music, which I do here Budleigh Salterton’s Music Festival will be celebrating ten years of staging highly successful concerts by performers from all over the world in 2015.
The Festival, described recently by Richard Morrison in the Times as a “nine-day wonder”, started in July 2005 with Friend of Fairlynch Museum Roger Bowen as its first Chairman.
The main Festival takes place in the summer, but other exciting events are staged at other times in the year.
A ‘Carols by Candlelight’ concert will take place in St Peter’s Church on 9 December. It will be sung by Voces8, seen above, an internationally acclaimed group who were a great success at the Festival in 2013. They will sing a new carol, composed by the winner of the Budleigh Carol Competition for which there were 79 entries. The winner will be announced shortly and will receive the prize, plus being invited to hear the first public performance of the carol sung by Voces8 on 9 December.
You can…

People from the past 10: Valerie Dwerryhouse (1933-2010)

Valerie Dwerryhouse: admired by colleagues for her work behind the scenes at Fairlynch Museum 
Over the years Fairlynch has been fortunate in finding many volunteers with a professional background in research, enabling the Museum to maintain high standards normally found in much bigger institutions. The good scientist’s ability to think critically is of special value and Dr Valerie Dwerryhouse, a highly respected immunologist and Fairlynch volunteer for many years, was certainly distinguished in that respect.
She was born Valerie Stacey on 17 September 1933. Brought up in the village of Holsworthy, in north-west Devon, she studied Microbiology at Imperial College after graduating in Household and Social Science at London University’s Queen Elizabeth College. Some of the inspiration and motivation for her studies came from the family doctor in Holsworthy, Stuart Craddock, who had been a research assistant to Sir Alexander Fleming at the time of the discovery of penicillin. It was Dr C…

Museum scores a precious find for Budleigh’s musical past

A 1957 Budleigh Salterton Drama Club production for which Joan Bennett wrote the music
Rare compositions of music from more than half a century ago have found their way back to Budleigh thanks to a Friend of Fairlynch Museum who revisited the town recently.
They give an insight into the background of one of the most successful and versatile composers of our times who was brought up in the area.
 Local jazz enthusiasts are among those who know of Budleigh’s association with the late Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, creator not only of jazz and classical pieces but also of film scores for box-office hits like Far from the Madding Crowd (1967) Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Four Weddings and a Funeral. 

The Bennett family in the garden of Lace Acre, in Budleigh Salterton's Boucher Road 
Sir Richard’s father, the children’s author Rodney Bennett had come to know Joyce Dennys the artist and wife of a Budleigh GP. She had provided illustrations for Rodney…