This site is a sort of museum in cyberspace full of odds and ends about life in Budleigh Salterton.
It celebrates among other things the connection between our corner of East Devon - birthplace of both Sir Walter Raleigh and Roger Conant, founder of Salem, Massachusetts - and the United States of America.
The site was inspired by the friendship link established in 2001 with the Cape Cod community of Brewster.
A snip in time for Ralegh Room
Friend of Fairlynch Richard Champernowne performs the opening ceremony at the Sir Walter Ralegh Room
East Devon residents think this is a wonderful
part of Britain and cherish its fascinating history. But the fact is that a
large number of us are ‘blow-ins’ attracted by the beauty of its landscape and
its laid-back lifestyle.
So to open Fairlynch Museum’s ‘Beyond the Boyhood’
Sir Walter Ralegh exhibition it was wonderful to have someone with such a well
known Devon family name as Champernowne.
Even better was the
fact that Richard Champernowne, a
Friend of Fairlynch Museum, has a family link going back through the centuries
to Sir Walter. His family
records trace a blood line from Richard back to Sir Walter Ralegh's maternal
grandfather Sir Arthur Champernowne – an MP, Sheriff of Devon and Vice-Admiral
of the Devon coasts.
Sir Walter's mother
Katherine Gilbert (née Champernowne) was one of Sir Arthur's six daughters and Richard
is a descendant of one of his two sons.”
We know so little about Ralegh’s early life in Devon that any glimpse
into the background of this great historical figure is something to be
Job done! The Sir Walter Ralegh Room is now open
So the time-honoured ribbon-cutting by Richard
Champernowne at Fairlynch Museum’s preview evening on Thursday 2 April took on a special significance.
Sadly we couldn’t find any Tudor scissors for the
With the centenary of Scott of the Antarctic's ill-fated polar expedition very much in mind, a play with close links to Fairlynch Museum's 2011 exhibition 'Survival!' is coming to Budleigh Salterton's Public Hall on Wednesday 25 May.
I spoke to Jenny Coverack, the actress who will be performing it.
If you're a BBC Radio 4 listener you may well have heard her reading the Book at Bedtime 'Flush' by Virginia Woolf in February this year. More recently she was the midwife in 'The Archers.' Other BBC productions including 'Poetry Please' and 'The Afternoon Play' have also employed her acting talents.
Actress Jenny Coverack: "passionate" about playing the character of Kathleen Scott. She is pictured here performing part of her play 'A Father for my Son' in Scott's hut at Cape Evans, on Ross Island, Antarctica
Trained at the Bristol Old Vic, Jenny Coverack has a voice familiar to millions of radio listeners. She grew up…
Reginald Alfred 'Reg' Varney was an English actor, most notable for his role as a cheerful Cockney bus driver in the 1970s TV sitcom On the Buses.
For ten years he lived at Dark Lane House on picturesque Dark Lane in Budleigh Salterton, seen above. Millions of television viewers remember him with affection. He has been described as belonging to the old school of comedians, with his dislike of much contemporary television and his pride in never using swear words to get a laugh.
Varney was born on 11 July 1916 in Canning Town, which was then part of Essex but is now part of East London. His father worked in a rubber factory in Silvertown and he was one of five children who grew up in Addington Road, Canning Town. He was educated at the nearby Star Lane Primary School in West Ham and after leaving school at 14, he worked as a messenger boy at the Regent Palace Hotel, pictured above.
Above right: A Windmill
Theatre poster. The first 'Revudeville' act opened in 1932. The show…
with bridge, with two figures on a path, a red brick wall and two cattle
grazing. Oil on canvas, framed, signed by the artist.490mm
W x 400mm H (approx.) From today,
you have the extremely rare opportunity of owning an original painting by Reg
Varney and supporting a wonderful local charity.
The star of
The Rag Trade and On the Buses was a talented artist as well as a successful
actor and gifted musician. In his
autobiography he reveals that his dream as a boy was to go to art school, but
he failed the maths test. The above sketch of two dogs was done by Reg at the age of 13.
As part of
Fairlynch Museum’s exhibition ‘Our Little Clown’ his paintings are being
offered for sale by his family to raise money for The Children’s Hospice South
West. http://www.chsw.org.uk/ To buy a
painting, choose one you like. Make a note of its number. The one featured here is Number 1. Seven paintings are being sold and the best way to see them is to visit Fairlynch Museum where they are all…