Showing posts from May, 2016

Fairlynch Museum's Object of the Month May 2016: The Joyce Dennys Deckchairs

The summer has finally arrived, the deckchairs are out and it's time for more of my bloggerel. 

Young visitors to Fairlynch Museum Martha aged five, on the left, and her six-year-old sister Eva, thought our specially designed deckchairs were a terrific idea, especially after they'd seen the original paintings by Joyce Dennys on display in the museum. 

I wonder whether there are any artists out there now, painting today's Budeigh characters so amusingly.

Click on the image to make it a bit bigger.

Budleigh Salterton scientist Henry Carter and that dinosaur poo

At a previous post about Fairlynch’s Object of the Month for April 2016 I promised that I would give some background to my pooem at

No, it wasn’t an April Fool.
A few years ago I wrote the first biography of any length devoted to the life and achievements of Henry Carter FRS, physician, geologist and naturalist, pictured above.
 Born in Budleigh Salterton, Carter returned to his “native place” as he calls it in 1862 after travels in Arabia and working as a doctor in India. He is buried in the churchyard of All Saints, East Budleigh.
Carter was internationally known by his contemporaries for his research into marine sponges, but it was for his work as a geologist that the Royal Society elected him as a Fellow in 1859.
There is evidence to show that his geologising had begun while he was still a boy, as he explored the coastline around Budleigh Salterton. In fact, in a 1981 article published in…

The Terror of Topsham?

Fairlynch Museum was glad to be able to help out one of our sister museums in Devon when the fragment of flag shown here was lent for an exhibition at Topsham.

A model of HMS Terror on display at Topsham Museum

Budleigh’s own warship

I learnt recently that a visit to Fairlynch is being planned for local schoolchildren. They’re keen to find out about World War Two, so naturally I investigated what our museum might have in the way of things to look at and study. Various items are listed in the records, including a gas mask, a helmet, a stirrup pump, a ration book, and loads of photos, all stored away and waiting to be shown off to visitors.

One rather fine item which is not listed – I found it on the internet – is a copy of this ship’s crest, currently for sale on Ebay but at a specially discounted price for Fairlynch after an approach was made to the owner.  The image is of a parrot or popinjay perched on a trident.
The ship in question was HMS Polruan, a Bangor-class minesweeper launched on 18 July 1940. Bangor-class warships were named after HMS Bangor, and all Royal Navy ships of that class were named after British coastal towns.
During WW2 many towns adopted ships by raising money during Warship Week.