Showing posts from November, 2015

Christmas Late Night Shopping in Budleigh Salterton: Friday 4 December 2015

Looking forward to wearing that top hat again when Fairlynch volunteers take part in the big procession starting at 5.45pm outside the Public Hall on Friday 4 December.  A warm welcome awaits you at the Museum for Late Night Shopping.

The founder of the Bicton Countryside Museum

Continued from

It’s good to see in the new Bicton Countryside Museum guidebook a few pages about its founder N.D.G. James. The story of the James Collection, as it’s now known, is really worth telling. 

The Fordson tractor, built by the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, USA, dates from 1917 and is probably one of the oldest in the UK. You may recognise the scarecrow driver
Farming and agriculture make up so much of the Lower Otter Valley, stretching from Budleigh Salterton to Newton Poppleford, that it’s only right that they should have their place in any local museum. 

The threshing machine would definitely not fit into Fairlynch. Built by Marshall Sons & Co Ltd, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire and delivered to the now defunct Exeter-based mechanical engineering firm of Taylor & Bodley on 18 August 1890

Sadly, Fairlynch simply does not have the space for a display on the scale of the B…

Fairlynch Museum and Arts Centre to include pebble art in 2016

Budleigh’s ‘buns’ or pebbles are what make its beach special and pebble artist Simon Wood over the last few years has made it even more of a talking-point with his creations.

They don’t last for ever of course. The winter storms have taken away these pebble pictures that he created but the photos remain. 

Apart from the pleasure they give, the pictures have benefited the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) for which Simon set up a website at

Trial by Jury – wickedly updated in Budleigh on 5 December

Fairlynch Museum's 2016 exhibition 'Our Little Clown' is a a centenary tribute to Reg Varney, former Budleigh resident and a much-loved figure among past British entertainers.
Imperial Productions, as locals will know, has been in the business of entertaining audiences in the area for many years.
They are delighted to return to Budleigh Salterton this Christmas with a whacky, wicked and wonderful update of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic court-room comedy, ‘Trial by Jury’.  

Simon Jones as Mr. Justice Soxon
This hilarious adaptation - by prize-winning composer/lyricist Alaric Barrie - started life as a charity show in the Guildhall School of Law Courtroom and has since been produced at the Inns of Court in London and as part of the New Wimbledon Theatre ‘Fresh Ideas’ season, where it was their most successful studio production ever.

Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir 2015 Christmas Concert

Our Friends in the Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir will be singing a selection of Christmas songs and other songs from its extensive repertoire.  They will also welcome local soprano Val Howels as their guest artist, which will be the 21st year she has sung with the choir. 
The Choir has a policy of supporting good causes. Five years ago a concert in Budleigh raised an  impressive £1,350.00 for Fairlynch Museum.
Earlier this year, Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir celebrated success in a prestigious competition. It received third prize in the large choir category at the Cornwall International Male Voice Festival – the first time it had achieved a top three finish.

The Christmas 2015 concert will be at Temple Methodist Church on Friday 11 December at 7.30pm, as shown on the above poster which gives details of ticket prices and sales outlets.

A Doll for December

Dear little Lithuanian I do adore your dress. Your eyelashes are charming And excite me, I confess. But when I read your history, And learnt from whence you came, It filled me both with sadness And a little bit of shame.

© Michael Downes 2015

A new month is approaching and I intend to keep to my self-imposed promise that I would display each month an image relating to Fairlynch Museum.
Not just on my blog, but on our smart new noticeboard, kindly provided by Honiton-based firm Duralife Windows. Just as I was scratching my head about what to choose next, Sue Morgan, our Toys, Dolls and Bears expert at Fairlynch kindly gave me some information about a Lithuanian doll in the Museum’s collection.
I thought the story behind it was so sad that I was moved to write the above poem – well, my friend Annie calls my efforts doggerel – so, OK – ‘verse.’
Here’s the story, based on information given by the donor, Miss Barbara Blathwayt, of Sunny Bank, East Terrace in Budleigh Salterton.
“It was given to me b…