English Riviera Magazine August/September 2021

Page 1

Walks • Local Food • Heritage • Theatre • People • Events • Arts

EnglishRiviera August/September 2021

CeSluembrmaerte! Get Outdoors

with Richard Hanbury

The Wave Project Meeting Katie Smith


The Secret Museum Celebrating 175 years

Give It A Go!

Dinghy Sailing


THE BOARDS Support your local theatres

A brand new

FarformOccombe Shop ARTS TO ENJOY







Artizan Events Devon Open Studios Dartington Festival


English Riviera Magazine for Residents by Residents DELIVERED FREE TO HOMES AND BUSINESSES THROUGHOUT THE BAY

The value of advice

You work hard to support your family and enjoy life – so why not seek expert advice to ensure your wealth is being managed effectively? ife is busy – often complicated. Families become fragmented; demands on our time increase.You’d think that advances in technology, communications and media would make life easier, but that’s not always the case – it can just increase the noise and confusion as ‘information overload’ leaves us unsure about which way to turn. We rely on experts to help us or point us in the right direction: if our car breaks down, we see a mechanic; if we get toothache, we visit the dentist; if our body hurts, we consult a doctor. The same should also be true of our finances. Why wouldn’t we seek the advice of experts to ensure that it’s being managed at the most effective time and in the most effective way? Our advice proposition centres around you – a relationship-based, long-term approach focusing on understanding your motivations, needs and aspirations. Only then can we recommend products and investments that work in synergy with each other and match your attitude to risk. But of course, ‘the value of advice’ can be subjective and mean different things to different people. For some, ‘value’ can be found in the relinquishing of the burden and worry; for others, it’s knowing that their investments are being professionally managed and working towards achieving their goals.

However you define ‘value’, you can rest assured that we’re here to support and guide you on every step of your financial journey. At St. James’s Place, we focus on achieving and maintaining a thorough understanding of your financial needs and aspirations.We believe passionately that the best wealth management service is provided through personalised, face-to-face advice.





We offer investments, with opportunities to grow your wealth and protect it against inflation, and a broad range of funds to choose from to help you build an appropriate portfolio. Regardless of your life stage, it’s also important to receive the right advice on your pension requirements. We can help you make the most of retirement opportunities, whether you’re an individual or a business. We also specialise in providing effective solutions to meet your insurance and protection needs. Whether you require life cover or advice on Inheritance Tax,

St. James’s Place will offer you the right products and services to suit you and your family. Whether you are remortgaging, downsizing, or a first-time buyer, St. James’s Place can offer advice on a wide range of mortgages. We also have access to a range of banking solutions. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and the value may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested. The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time and are generally dependent on individual circumstances.

Get in touch for an expert revue of your financial planning, lending and protection.


Adrian Howard


Managing Director

01803 659659 / 07853 370222 • adrian.howard@sjpp.co.uk


The Old Bank Chambers, Fore Street, St Marychurch, Torquay TQ1 4PR The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.


About us...

to the August/September issue. Created and Published By Devon Magazine Company Limited Julian Rees julian@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Telephone 01803 842893 Mobile: 07455 206470 Anita Newcombe anita@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Telephone: 01803 850886 Advertising Sales sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Advertising Copy copy@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Editorial editorial@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Website englishrivieramagazine.co.uk ISSN (Print) 2052-8515 ISSN (Online) 2052-8523

Next issue 27 September Write to us at: ENGLISH RIVIERA MAGAZINE 69 DAVIES AVENUE PAIGNTON TQ4 7AW © 2018 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form without prior permission of the publishers. All material is sent at the owner’s risk and whilst every care is taken, Devon Magazine Company Ltd will not accept liability for loss or damage. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content but the publishers cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations or for the consequences of any reliance on these details; neither can they vouch for the accuracy of claims made by any advertiser. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers.

@EngRivieraMag englishriveramag f englishriveramagazine englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

We’ve been hitting the beach for this issue, firstly chatting to Katie Smith, South Devon Co-ordinator for amazing surf therapy charity The Wave Project. Then we speak to Richard Hanbury one of a trio of outdoor adventure instructors who founded Reach Outdoors, now successfully based at Goodrington Sands. We’ve also been giving dinghy sailing a go with Brixham Yacht Club. Lots of our lovely readers have asked for shorter, more accessible walks so we offer you an easy summer stroll around picturesque Paignton Harbour and redoubtable Roundham Head with its Burma Star Garden and its memorial to Lt.Cdr Arthur Leyland Harrison VC. The arts scene is particularly vibrant with Torbay putting up a strong showing for the prestigious Devon Open Studios event. Artizan’s English Riviera Summer Open, Dartington’s Summer School & Festival and Brixham Art Society’s Summer Exhibition are always a popular draw. The Mayflower 400 Exhibition at Torre Abbey and The Gallery at Cockington Court are also must-visits for art-lovers. And we’ve previewed Torquay Museum’s Secret Museum exhibition, where you’ll get to see wonderful items that have been hidden away for years. Do browse our Theatre and What’s On sections for extra inspiration too.

Happy reading and stay safe this summer!

If you would like to ADVERTISE your business in English Riviera Magazine Call 01803 850886 or email sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Walks • Local Food • Heritage • Nature • People • Events • Arts

EnglishRiviera June/July 2019


A Sailing Adventure with




Wilfred Owen's

Torquay Vacation A Lifetime in Art



Give It A Go!


Debbie MacPherson Fashioning Leather

Vistas & Views on the coastpath

Occombe & Paignton Harbour

Armchair Twitcher

Feathered friends in your garden

English Riviera Magazine for Residents by Residents DELIVERED FREE TO HOMES AND BUSINESSES THROUGHOUT THE BAY


August/September 2021 | 3

English Riviera ad.qxp_Layout 1 21/05/2021 15:56 Page 3

“The quality of the ingredients, presentation and pure culinary skill was outstanding. I would eat here again and again if I lived in Torbay“ Taste of the West Judge







In this issue | August/September 2021 6 Openers Local news snippets

14 Meeting Katie Smith

18 Enjoying Life Outdoors

Wave Project Co-ordinator

33 Interiors update

18 Enjoying Life Outdoors Reach Outdoor’s Richard Hanbury

22 Heritage - John Robert Gibbs West Country pharmaceutical innovator

24 Redoubtable Landladies Kevin Dixon investigates

27 The Secret Museum Celebrating 175 years

29 The Big Relaunch A brand-new farm shop coming soon

30 Give It A Go! We try dinghy sailing

32 Walk An easy summer stroll

24 Redoubtable Landladies

35 What’s On Our pick of local events

37 Theatre Who’s treading the boards?

40 Arts Roundup Enjoy exhibitions & arty events

47 Gardening

30 Give It A Go!

Mr Fox is going to Chelsea!

On the cover

Meadfoot Beach © English Riviera BID Company

43 Devon Open Studios


August/September 2021 | 5

Lifesaving Defibrillators for Ella

Cavanna Homes has donated two lifesaving defibrillators to the family and school of 12-year-old Ella Halfyard who was diagnosed with a serious heart condition earlier this year. One defibrillator has been installed at Torquay Girls’ Grammar School and the other is portable. Cavanna Homes’ Sales Advisor Kevyn Dixon and Site Manager Willie Whitelaw, first became aware of Ella’s condition when her parents Lizzie and Tom Halfyard were due to collect the keys to their new home. Torquay Girls’ Grammar School contacted the couple to say an ambulance had been called for Ella. As Lizzie explained, “The alarm was raised because she’d been unresponsive at school and although she recovered, this brought home how serious her condition is and how vital it is that she has a defibrillator with her at all times.” The equipment has been life changing for Ella and provided reassurance for her parents Lizzie and Tom, and her two sisters Megan and Rosie. 

Upton Park Opening Terry Manning, Mayor of Torbay, has officially opened Upton Park in Torquay following a major investment to improve its amenities. Five ‘zones’ have been created ranging from fitness, play and sport to woodland play, netball courts and lawn green bowls, all developed to ensure residents and visitors are able to make better use of the location. Work to trees has increased light levels. Some trees were removed and replaced with a replanting scheme to increase species diversity and to create a more favourable home for wildlife. The park’s lighting has been upgraded to a LED system, and the netball courts have been brought back into use so local clubs can play here regularly. Upton Park was created in the late 1920s on derelict land. The bowling green and tennis courts were created in 1928. In 1944, before D-Day, a US Army field6

| August/September 2021

kitchen was set up there; meals were served in huts and men sat in the open air to eat. Later the troops boarded ships in Torquay Harbour that would take them over to the Normandy Landing Beaches. 

Saving People & the Planet Life saving charity Devon Air Ambulance Trust has endorsed the Devon Climate Emergency Declaration. The people behind the famous red ‘copters have already made plans to commission an emissions audit; they have also established an in-house ‘Green Team’. Helena Holt, CEO says, “It is essential that we play our part in working towards achieving the 45% drop in carbon emissions required globally by 2030 if we are to reach net-zero by 2050 to avoid the worst effects of climate change by keeping warming below 1.5 degrees. As a charity that cares for the health of those we serve, we recognise that our ability to deliver our service effectively is very much subject to the impact of climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse. We are fortunate therefore to have a highly-motivated workforce that is entirely behind the strategic goals set out to achieve this.” Devon Air Ambulance’s life-saving service is made possible only thanks to support from communities across and beyond Devon whom they serve. Supporters can assist their fundraising efforts by visiting www.data.org/donate   daat.org

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We offer challenges which children thrive on and we attain outstanding academic results through the hard work and positive support of our dedicated teachers, all achieved in the cheerful and purposeful environment that is Abbey School. For the second year running our 11+ pass rate was an amazing 100%. We are ranked 24th in the top 100 Independent Prep Schools. We offer nursery places from birth to 4 years and accept funding for 3 and 4 year olds (both 15 and 30 hours). We provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities, making the most of our indoor heated pool, climbing wall and theatre facilities. We’re open all year round with our thriving holiday club running in all school holidays.

If you have young family to educate, why not come and visit us? We look forward to welcoming you to Abbey School.


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Dartington Farmers’ Market Dartington Trust now has a regular Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm (until mid-October). It’s located in Shippon Square, just opposite The Green Table. The local and seasonal foods are grown, raised and produced in the community and there are local crafts too. The market not only allows farmers and producers to sell directly, but also allows shoppers to meet the people who make it, grow it and pick it. You can buy raw milk, freshly milled flour, soughdough bread, bagels, fruit and vegetables. A rolling selection of suppliers includes: The Fresh Flour Company, Crock & Cole (wild fermented products), Raw Indulgence (cakes), Hylsten Bakery, Venus Hemp, Montreal Style Bagels, Apricot Centre (local food products), Five Planets Mushrooms and Totnes Potters. There is also live music from a range of talented local buskers. Free entry for visitors. 

and close to Brixham’s world-famous fish market gives us the best chance to enjoy this fabulous new cookbook. If you are a seafood lover, you’ll find both simple and more complicated recipes here, neatly divided between summer and winter suggestions. Each section includes tantalising recipes that promise a real flavour explosion including: The Mackerel Schwarma, Singapore Chilli Crab and Prawn & Crab Som Tam Salad in the summer section and Crispy Chilli Squid, Rockfish Seafood Chowder and Pizza ‘Claminara’. I also loved the sound of Sea Bream baked in paper, Smoked Hadock & Egg Hash and of course the famous Rockfish Fish and Chips. You’ll also find ideas for scallops, sea bream, mussels, cockles, cuttlefish, sprats, plaice, monkfish, sea bass and lots more. The back of the book has a section called Sauces and Sides that add the finishing touch to your creation. The book is available online at £18 plus P & P or you can ‘Click and Collect’ from Brixham Fish Market. 

Bark, Bark

– This is My Life and Yours Too

The Rockfish Cookbook Popular local fishmonger, chef and restaurateur Mitch Tonks believes that seafood tastes better with a view of the sea so living on the English Riviera 8

| August/September 2021

Local Torquay author Patricia Young is fascinated about how people think and behave and this book delves into the innermost thoughts and secrets of Magno, a black Newfoundland Dog. As narrator, Magno relates his own story starting before his birth and throughout his life. It is presented as an uncomplicated philosophy fable, and in sharing the dog’s experiences, joyful or sorrowful, the book creates a link with the personal experiences of its readers too. Magno’s life journey draws parallels with our own life journey and the eternal quest for acceptance, happiness and personal growth. Both Patricia Young’s book, Understanding Your Personality, and her personality questionnaire, developed from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, have been used in education, counselling and medical work. The book is widely available online.  To promote your business to our readers email sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk


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Mirrors of Understanding Joanne Adams a British-Nigerian mum of children living and schooling in Torbay is fundraising to purchase books with diverse characters for the 30 state-funded Bay primary schools. She wants schoolchildren from minority ethnic groups to be protected from the potential identity crisis that comes from not seeing any characters that look like them in their school library. School librarians call these books ‘mirrors’. It’s equally important for white children that these books serve as ‘windows’ of understanding into the cultural background of their BAME classmates. This can really help in preventing discrimination. Joanne says, “Books only featuring white characters are a great disservice to children of all backgrounds because it portrays a false reality. Our NHS is an excellent example of an institution with doctors, nurses and scientists from varied backgrounds and colour: Black, white & Asians but these are often not reflected in books in school libraries which often than not portrays a doctor or an astronaut as Caucasian.” Joanne’s fundraiser aims to make change happen and build a better future where all our children see themselves represented and flourish.   gofund.me/93c771a9

Planning Ahead Nathan Rivers has become the new Devon and Cornwall advisor for Unique Funeral Plans. He is available to visit prospective clients in their homes to explain how these plans work and answer any questions. The cost of funerals has been rising over the last ten years and there are many costs to consider when 10 | August/September 2021

planning the farewell of a loved one. Nathan says, “Unique Funeral Plans is a well established company, which has been selling these plans for more than five years and all monies are safely invested in a Trust Fund.” He explains, “We offer a choice from a simple cremation to a traditional burial service with limousines, using a network of funeral directors and there are discounts for joint plans.” The company has also pledged to make a direct NHS donation for every plan taken out and the cost varies from £1000 to £3475 dependent on the options chosen.   uniqueriversnb@gmail.com


Rock Steady Bays, the award-winning, family-run local brewery has just launched a brandnew, low alcohol lager called Rock Steady. Extremely flavoursome and refreshing, it has had brilliant feedback to date. Each bottle contains just 49 calories, 1% alcohol and is vegan. The Bay’s team loves to brew premium ales using the finest local ingredients whilst regularly supporting the community and the local environment. Their cheery delivery drivers, excellent service and delicious brews have made them a welcome sight around the Bay and beyond. Available in 12 x 330ml bottles Rock Steady can be purchased direct from the Bays Brewery online shop with 35% discount using L0YALTY35 discount code. shop.baysbrewery. co.uk 01803 555004 

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Riding Life’s Waves T

Katie Smith

he Wave Project, the world’s first ‘surf therapy’ course funded by a government health service, was launched at Watergate Bay in Cornwall in 2010 by Joe Taylor and has now expanded right across the country. The charity is also part of ISTO (International Surf Therapy Organisation). Today I’m meeting Katie Smith at Goodrington Sands. She tells me that she’s been with The Wave Project for six years, having started as a volunteer in 2015 and is now working as South Devon Co-ordinator. Katie actually lives at Bigbury where, let’s face it, they probably get a great

14 | August/September 2021

Katie Smith is South Devon Co-ordinator for surf therapy charity The Wave Project and spends two days a week running projects at Paignton’s Goodrington Sands. Anita Newcombe popped by to discover more.

deal more surf than we do in Torbay. Although Katie does run sessions on her home turf in Bigbury Bay, there was a considerable demand to accommodate young people from the Torbay area. It was just too far for parents to get their children to Bigbury, hence the two days a week we now find her at Goodrington. Waves breaking or not, there are a large number of children attending the 6-week courses for 8-18 year olds here. These are children who are facing isolation for many reasons such as mental health conditions, bereavement, bullying, abuse, eating disorders and physical disabilities.

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Riviera People

The sessions offer a great levelling experience and allow the young people to focus on the ‘here and now’. Katie explains, “Everyone enters the water with nothing – all the kids wear the same wetsuit and they leave their labels (e.g. ADHD) behind – there are lots of children who desperately need this.” A clinical psychologist assigned by the NHS evaluated the project at an early stage. This indicated participants felt calmer, less angry and more connected to each other after the sessions. Regular ongoing evaluation has been embedded in The Wave Project from the start. One young man who did not speak and had a diagnosis of selective mutism began talking freely again during the course. Feedback from foster carers and social workers has been really positive with one commenting that the child’s behaviour was transformed. Katie explains, “Whatever their difficulties, they are englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

The sessions offer a great levelling experience and allow the young people to focus on the ‘here and now’

honestly like different kids in the water. I’m so lucky to have a job that I enjoy and is making such a difference to people’s lives.” Normally The Wave Project offers six, weekly surf therapy sessions, after which the youngsters are able to join the Surf Club meeting up once or twice a month. However, the Covid pandemic has led to an upsurge of referrals and during the February-March lockdown they had 140 children at the beach on mini-courses (in bad weather they did indoor climbing). Sibling groups often came down together helping families that had struggled with greatly reduced support during lockdown. A range of partner organisations can refer children to the project including social workers, schools and doctors. Katie explains, “We let them have fun. When you stand on a surf board, you often fall off and have to get back on and try again – but the process is fun and August/September 2021 | 15

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Riviera People

Funding comes from a wide range of donors with the South Devon Project having gained support from Children in Need and more recently via a fantastic collaboration with Mitch Tonks’ Rockfish

rewarding so the kids love it.” There is also a seated surfboard for children with disabilities. The Wave Project is based on laughter, fun, adventure and challenge. It’s very different from school and is brilliant for children who have never had this kind of opportunity. Katie’s job is about co-ordinating the process, working with referral partners and parents. She liaises with Reach Outdoors, which provides the instructors and she recruits and trains the many volunteers and mentors who help in all sorts of ways. She also does the marketing and fundraising. The surf therapy courses are free of charge for participants allowing it to be fully inclusive for all. Funding comes from a wide range of donors with the South Devon Project having gained support from Children in Need and more recently via a fantastic collaboration with Mitch Tonks’ Rockfish. Katie says, “Mitch has been amazing.” There is also a Wave Project membership programme and there are opportunities to donate and fundraise with a fundraisers’ pack available on the website. Katie takes volunteers for The Wave Project from the age of 14 and also has some amazing adult volunteers and mentors including a local doctor, a gardener and many more from the local area. The charity does depend on volunteers and offers a range of roles, which can be very rewarding. You can sign up or find out more on the website. The Wave Project is also currently involved in a social englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

prescribing pilot scheme, which allows local GPs to prescribe a 6-session surf therapy course to patients aged 8 to 13 who could benefit. This leads to fun and adventure that can truly transform a child’s life. It’s been funded by BBC Children in Need’s programme ‘A Million & Me’ which focuses on children’s mental health. Katie is Devonian through and through and started coming regularly to Torbay as a child due to her mother’s work at Torbay Hospital. After reading Geography at Loughborough University she spent a year travelling the world. She hopped on a plane to Moscow then boarded a train to China, later arriving in New Zealand. Here she spent a year working on a farm, surfing and playing rugby. One day she watched people with disabilities at the coastal resort of Sumner being wheeled into the sea to have some fun in the waves. She was very inspired by this and on her return started looking for something similar and that’s when she discovered The Wave Project. She’s been with the charity ever since and loves working at Goodrington Sands. When not working Katie loves socialising and enjoying life in the Bay. She’s a keen photographer and is often seen paddleboarding, sea swimming and surfing. She’s also super keen on rugby and the Exeter Chiefs. She tells me, “I eat out way too much!” Her favourite places include Rockfish, Cantina, The Boathouse Paignton, WeSUP Torquay and Brixham’s Curious Kitchen.   waveproject.co.uk August/September 2021 | 17



OUTDOORS Richard Hanbury is one of a trio of outdoor adventure instructors who founded Reach Outdoors, now based at Goodrington, in 2012. Anita Newcombe dropped by the beach to find out more.


’m meeting Richard Hanbury at Goodrington Sands and he explains that he, Rachel Mayhew-Edwards and Ashley Hone used to work together at a youth charity in Southhampton. Having come up with the idea of setting up their own adventure sports company based in Devon, they gave up their jobs, launched Reach Outdoors and decided they would give it a year to see if their concept worked. Clearly it did as they now have a vibrant calendar of events running plus plenty of training and one-to-one intensive coaching sessions as well as the simple hiring out of kayaks and paddleboards from the beach. The three directors came to the Bay in 2012, initially renting a house together at Combeinteignhead. Operating from

18 | August/September 2021

a shared rural location where they had space to store their kit and where the dining room became their office was a success in terms of keeping costs low in the first couple of years. They worked (without pay initially) at Reach Outdoors in the daytime and took part-time jobs in the evenings to make ends meet. They invested in a van, a trailer, 6 kayaks, a stock of wetsuits and got started. Richard explains that their website was important to their early success, being so professional that they looked really well established from the word go. The work was done by Kubiak Creative thanks to a family link. In March 2014 they were approached by Torbay Coast and

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Riviera People

this end they are offering a 16-week intensive instructor Countryside Trust to rent part of the former Seashore training course starting in November. If you fancy it, Centre at Goodrington (the Trust still has the top floor) you’ll need a good level of fitness plus a real passion for and this gave them the perfect base from which to the outdoors and engaging with people. Reach Outdoors develop and expand the business. They already had a also offers training for the British Canoeing Sea Kayak relationship with the trust as they were regularly hiring its Award and the SUP Sheltered Water Award. residential centre Warren Barn for groups. Later the team During the winter and shoulder months they have at Splashdown Quaywest offered them some space to store weekly programmes with schools, regularly running a all their kayaks and paddleboards. Richard says, “They’ve variety of activities for pupils. Among the three directors, been just amazing to us.” Rachel specialises in climbing, Richard and Ash specialise Nowadays Reach Outdoors offers kayaking, in kayaking and paddleboarding and they all offer paddleboarding, coasteering, climbing, caving, bushcraft coasteering. Richard and multi-activity wild tells me that when weekends with training, Richard tells me that he’s delighted by expeditions and how the business has grown and become a they started running coaching. You can book well-loved service at the heart of the Bay. the centre, coasteering was by far the most with your own group popular activity with or join one of their lots of bookings for stag and hen parties. Now however, open sessions. Richard tells me, “In addition to group they work with a much wider range of clients including sessions we’ve also been doing one-to-one coaching with families. Kayaking, paddleboarding and other activities vulnerable young people who haven’t been able to settle have quickly grown in popularity. within a mainstream environment.” Referrals are often For Torbay residents and visitors there are guided made via Torbay Council and sometimes via local colleges. Youngsters can be coached for as many as 12 hours a week tours, overnight expeditions plus skills training. The Open Programme can be booked on the website or you over a long period. Reach Outdoors’ Adaptive Education can ask for a private group session to be arranged for Programme provides transferable skills and can offer the you. For families there are two students a chance to gain outdoor accreditations and giant SUPs taking 8 people on move into the world of outdoor education, transforming their lives. The company also works with the Prince’s Trust each. Guided expeditions will usually head around and Duke of Edinburgh Awards and surf therapy charity the Bay, taking in the The Wave Project. beautiful coastline, Their Adaptive Education work has become an spectacular caves important part of the business but Richard and his coand hidden beaches. directors also want to expand their training services. To


August/September 2021 | 19

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Riviera People

When booking a session you’ll be provided with wetsuits and buoyancy aids plus helmets and gloves as needed. You can also simply hire kayaks and paddleboards by the hour directly from the beach at Goodrington Sands. It’s definitely worth gaining a decent level of skills though as the weather conditions can change markedly as you travel around the Bay. When it’s mellow at Elberry it might be very windy and exposed at Meadfoot. In fact Reach Outdoors will not hire out their craft at all in strong offshore breezes. The team are often first on the scene with their safety boat when ordinary members of the public get into difficulty. Richard explains that this often happens during the peak season – a child may be blown out on an inflatable for example. Even though Reach Outdoors is not a rescue service for the public they will always help as needed. Richard tells me that he’s delighted by how the business has grown and become a well-loved service at the heart of the Bay. He tells me, “I just love the Bay – it’s spectacular, really sheltered and no two days working here at Reach Outdoors are the same – the variety makes it fun and really rewarding.” Richard is married to Natalie and they have two children, Jonah who is four and Walter who is two. Jonah loves going on a paddleboard and has already been

on a trip around Thatcher Rock. Walter has only been kayaking so far but he is showing signs of loving water sports already. Jackson, their Collie Cross Springer loves the beach and the water too. The family lives in Newton Abbot although Natalie originally came from Exeter and Richard from Llanelli in Wales. After leaving university in Swansea where he qualified in Watersports and Outdoor Activity Management, Richard worked for Mark Warner in Greece and Corsica before becoming a sailing instructor in Australia as part of a world trip to exotic spots like New York, Los Angeles, Fiji and Thailand. However, now Torbay is definitely best. Richard says, “The Bay is amazing – east facing so it’s a safer environment than many places in spite of the occasional offshore breezes – the horseshoe shape of the Bay usually offers shelter somewhere.” Of course their trips also take in the fabulous River Dart, often from Stoke Gabriel or Totnes. Caving is available nearby at Pridhamsleigh Cavern near Buckfastleigh and is an adventure activity like no other with stunning rock formations, chambers and even an underground lake. If any of these ideas have inspired you, why not give a new adventure a go?   reach-outdoors.com

Goodrington Beach Wheelchair A Beach Wheelchair is now available at Goodrington Sands to anyone who needs it. It has special wheels that can go over the sand and into the water. Provided by Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN), it can be booked and collected from Reach Outdoors, Tanners Road. A donation of £5 is requested with a deposit of £20 and a form of ID needed (donation goes to THHN). Please phone to book or ask at Reach Outdoors. 01803 524950 reach-outdoors.com


August/September 2021 | 21

John Robert Gibbs wholesale vision... Lying directly behind the terraced houses on Manor Road in Preston Paignton, is one of Torbay’s hidden commercial gems. Torbay Civic Society Chairman Ian Handford tells the story of John Robert Gibbs.


very day pedestrians, cyclists and motorists note those was supplying products to pharmacists around the county. large white commercial vehicles with the AAH letters Six years later and our agent/salesman realised there was emblazoned on their side not realising they are part of an opportunity for a pharmaceutical wholesaler in the area a large national pharmaceutical organisation supplying and so set about creating his new business. thousands of products from Preston to chemists around In 1937 Jack purchased two empty houses in Manor the South of England. What commenced as a small family Road Preston and then appointed a Board of Directors, business with humble beginnings started in a garden store including his father and brother Bert, plus a qualified of a house in Kings Road, Preston. Yet the business was pharmacist. He established his business as a company - J destined to become a major supplier of pharmaceutical R Gibbs and Co Ltd and initially continued to trade from products from Preston, which made it, in its formative the family store until it was clear that far more storage years, one of our largest was required. Now the local employers. second stage of progression From the outset of his new company It was John Robert came when the company Jack had announced he would only Gibbs (known as Jack) supply products he deemed “ethical” purchased a large property working from 1930 as behind the row of terraced while also promising a next day an agent for the West houses in Manor Road, delivery service to clients. Country’s pharmaceutical which had previously industry, who realised the potential for a wholesaler on been used as the Preston Indoor Bowling Centre. The the peninsula. With his wide experience of supplying two-storey building comprised 12,000 square feet on each products to pharmacists and chemists for many years, floor and now provided all the extra space required. John set up the first ever pharmaceutical wholesaling From the outset of his new company Jack had business supplying nearly all Devon and Cornwall’s announced he would only supply products he deemed chemist shops from a small store at the rear of his home in “ethical” while also promising a next day delivery service Kings Road. to clients. His promotional literature repeated the promise, Born in 1906 in India, John was a son of army parents ‘Everything for the pharmacist - we supply only ethical who eventually brought the family to Britain to reside products and give next day delivery’. It was a winning in Preston. He now attended Torquay Boys’ Grammar formula and the business now grew rapidly and became one School and when his education was complete in 1930, he of the first in the UK to stock and supply (from Preston) started as an agent for the pharmaceutical industry, which – ‘folic acid preparations’ previously obtainable only from

22 | August/September 2021

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Riviera Heritage doctors in America. The business thus became a major supplier to most of the chemists in Devon and Cornwall and soon to many towns and cities beyond. The third expansion came when the company purchased and converted two private houses in Manor Road into commercial offices. The growth of the firm was such it now supplied chemists in no less than twelve counties around the South of England, whilst occasionally even fulfilling orders from independent shops in London. But World War II intervened and Jack was called up. He joined the RAF, leaving his business in the hands of his father and brother Bert. Then Bert also enlisted but sadly he would never return as he died in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Meanwhile, Jack became an RAF Commissioned Officer until in 1941 his troop ship was torpedoed off North Africa. Safely recovered from the sea, Jack was landed in Tunisia and became part of the British First Army until he was returned home on a hospital ship and then discharged from active service in 1943. It was not until 1945 that he returned to the company now under the control of his father, and helped by a new director - Leonard Tucker. By now the business had widened its territory extensively, although keeping to Jack’s next day delivery ethos and founding principles. Deliveries were now made daily to places as far afield as Oxford and Cheltenham and involved a fleet of nine lorries from Preston. With its licensed refrigeration room now installed even ‘Dangerous Drugs’ like vaccines and serums could be stored and supplied from Preston while still retaining that ‘ethical’ products ethos. By 1948 it was clear that a new depot was needed and so Jack moved into Bristol and eventually acquired the established druggist - Ferris and Co Ltd. With a Mr Byfield appointed Director and Manager at Bristol, the storage capacity of all the Gibbs Company now exceeded a staggering 64,000 square feet. Modern machinery was introduced to both mix and pack products while the office staff even enjoyed a new invoicing and accounting system called Power-Samas. The final stage of this family connection came when a new factory and warehouse was built at englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Kenn Road in Bristol, before in 1959 the whole empire was sold to British Drug Houses Ltd. Although remaining Managing Director, Jack commented, “This I did in perfect harmony until I decided it was better to retire while I was still young enough (he loved squash and golf ) or at least not too old - to continue to enjoy myself ”. Jack finally retired in 1965 when another name change came, this time to Vestric Ltd. In 1983 Jack celebrated 50 years of marriage to Enid and two years later on April 1st 1985 he died at his home in Cliff Road, Paignton. Survived by Enid and the two children Carolyn and Peter, Vestric had become part of Glaxo PLC and then AAH Holdings and finally AAH Pharmaceuticals emerged in 1985. The firm became a subsidiary of the German firm Celesio AG in 1995, and oh by the way AAH today stands for ‘All About Health’.   torbaycivicsociety.co.uk

August/September 2021 | 23

Sybil Fawlty really ran


During the 19th and early 20th centuries Torbay was noted for its redoubtable landladies, with women often holding unusually influential positions for the times. Kevin Dixon tells us more.


ybil Fawlty was a far more effective manager than her husband, handled crises calmly, and she knew that the hotel was there to generate an income, rather than to attract a better class of guest. She intimidated Basil who described her as having the ability to “kill a man at ten paces with one blow of her tongue.” This is the stereotype of the seaside landlady. She was usually a resilient and tough businesswoman with an ineffectual man somewhere in the background. Intriguingly, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some commentators were referring to ‘men’s towns’ - which had a masculine presence in industry such as mining or steel working. They also referred, often dismissively, to places where women had an untypical power base. Following this impression, seaside resorts were often known as women’s towns. In 1871 there were 12,772 females to 8,885 males in Torquay, women far outnumbering men, as one of the principal sources of

24 | August/September 2021

employment was domestic service. Of course, much work in female employment was exploitative and poorly paid. Yet, there were a few roles dominated by women that gave them an almost equal place in society. These included the pub landlady and the guesthouse owner. Torquay had a large number of these in a town of landladies. It was a community, which gave women a powerful and influential position in an untypical town. This reinforced the special nature of seaside resorts where class and gender were confused and inverted. The role of guesthouse landlady had evolved with the town. In 1850 there were only 150 hotel rooms available in Torquay, plus 70 lodging housekeepers offering another 350 rooms. From the 1860s onwards, there was a rapid growth in hotels being built to accommodate the well off, and they advertised themselves with prestigious names: The Imperial, The Grand, and The Royal.

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Riviera Heritage But beyond the large hotels, lodging was in private However, having informed their landlady at Abbey Road houses. These were independently owned and catered that she was leaving, it seemed that the said host took for the market by providing cheap, unpretentious offence and retaliated by interfering with her mail. accommodation. Torquay was ideal for the growth of the In March 1893 the children’s author Beatrix Potter holiday trade as generously sized Victorian and Edwardian visited Torquay and also found her accommodation houses could easily be converted into boarding houses and unsatisfactory: small hotels. These guesthouses, which would evolve into “I sniffed my bedroom on arrival, and for a few hours bed and breakfasts, had family members often working a felt a certain grim satisfaction where my forebodings were 12-hour day. The guesthouse offered economic autonomy maintained, but it is possible to have too much Natural and domestic power to their owners, though we shouldn’t History in a bed. I did not undress after the first night, but forget there was often the exploitation of domestic servants I was obliged to lie on it because there were only two chairs as part-time staff were also employed. and one of them was broken.” Notably, very few single men ran a guesthouse, the sector The landlady was a feature of the Torquay holiday being clearly perceived as being a woman’s business. If a and social landscape for a century but times changed. married couple ran the house, the wife’s name was often By the seventies the golden age of the Torquay landlady above the door, the husband being relegated to a behindwas coming to an end. Redundancy payments and early the-scenes role. For older women and widows, taking in retirement had attracted into the industry more male guests was one of the few income-generators available. This owners. British holidaymakers had found that they could may be because relatively few travel to the Mediterranean. families depended on the trade In 1871 there were 12,772 There were fewer tourists and exclusively. This was a seasonal the average length of stay was females to 8,885 males and highly competitive industry becoming shorter. Meanwhile in Torquay, women far and there was only a limited there were new forms of outnumbering men amount of money to be made. competition in caravans and selfThe males in the household usually had other occupations. catering while the larger hotels were offering lower rates to As profit margins were tight, the home limited in space, and coach parties. the family workforce often stretched, many landladies found Landladies found that visitors’ expectations were rising it necessary to impose a strict discipline. They offered few and they had to offer more than basic accommodation amenities and cut corners whenever possible. This imperative - amenities such as television lounges and licensed bars. led to the idea of the landlady as being fierce, cunning, Perhaps the greatest challenge was in the provision of en intimidating and, in caricature, often physically large; in suite bathrooms. Those old Torquay villas often proved contrast to their emasculated and downtrodden husbands. difficult to modernise without losing too much capacity. As with many stereotypes, there was some truth here, At the same time there were new fire regulations and but also the male-female role reversal and the existence of a taxes. Even though the landladies adapted and switched to cadre of powerful women does seem to have caused genuine bed and breakfast from full board, gradually the boarding unease. The landlady consequently ended up as a great house market shrank. The influence and power of this British comic institution, the focus of jokes and seaside seaside small business model declined as the postcards for decades. ownership of tourist accommodation As for the reality, we have many reports, cartoons and moved from the local to the songs, about how some lodgings were certainly run-down national, and now to the and dirty. Charles Dickens and William Makepeace international. Thackeray wrote of how poor seaside accommodation And so, Torquay’s two was, the people were dreadful, the landladies dishonest new large hotels, the and the food appalling. There were often inflated prices Premier Inn and the and hidden costs. Hampton, are owned Canadian Isabella Cowen visited Torquay in 1892 respectively by a and recorded in her diary that she first found furnished national company, apartments at 38 Abbey Road. She wasn’t impressed and Whitbread, while called their apartment a “queer dark place”. Soon after she Hilton has its moved to 6, Torwood Terrace on Babbacombe Road where base in Memphis, she found “the society of refined and intelligent neighbours”. Tennessee. 


August/September 2021 | 25

At Abbeyfield people are at the heart Supported Housing for Independent People of everything we do

Supported Housing for Independent People


Sheltered Housing for Independent People over 55

ABBEYFIELD SOUTH WEST SOCIETY staff, consisting of a Manager, cooks and a cleane th Abbeyfield houses are situated in lovely areas, oasting their own beautiful grounds. Park House in who all work together to ensure residents are happy staff, consisting of a Manager, cooks and a cleaner Both Abbeyfield are situated in lovelypark areas, and content. aignton is situated directlyhouses opposite a beautiful boasting their own beautiful grounds. Park House in who all work together to ensure residents are happy nd is a five minute walk from the beach. Sanders and content. are various activities, events and entertainmen Paignton is situated directly opposite a beautiful park There ourt in St Marychurch, Torquay, has a wonderful and is a five minute walk from the beach. Sanders that take place throughout the year which the There are various activities, events and entertainment Court in St Marychurch, Torquay, has a is wonderful that take place throughout the wish. year which the ge private courtyard and the local precinct just a residents can join in if they large private courtyard and the local precinct is just a residents can join in if they wish. e minute walk away, with all the amenities you would five minute walk away, with all the amenities you would Traditional home cooked meals are provided in the Traditional home cooked meals are provided in the pect. Both sites offer public transport services expect. Bothgood sites offer good public transport services dining room every day and breakfast dining room every day and breakfast provisions areprovisions are by,and so it iseasy nice and easyand to goexplore. and explore. ose by, so it isclose nice to go provided for for residents to haveto in their rooms. provided residents have in their rooms. At our Abbeyfield houses residents find friendship The weekly charge covers all utilities and food, so our Abbeyfield houses residents find friendship Allsupport bills arelosing included, except telephone line &all calls and without their independence The charge utilities there weekly are no bills to worry covers about, other than a BTand food, so nd support and without dignity. losing their independence telephone line which is necessary for the residents, there are no bills to worry about, other than a B nd dignity. The rooms are unfurnished with en-suite facilities and telephone 24hr emergency pendant to work, so all concerns line which is necessary for the residents a kitchenette area. The houses have a communal

e rooms arelaundry, unfurnished withlounge en-suite and dining room, and facilities beautiful garden. kitchenette Each area. Thehas houses a communal house a smallhave and friendly committed undry, dining room, lounge and beautiful garden.

about running a house are taken away.

24hr emergency pendant to work, so all concern Each room has its own 24hr emergency call system about running for residents peaceaofhouse mind. are taken away.

Each room has its own 24hr emergency call system for residents peacetelephone of mind. ch house has a To small and friendly committed arrange a visit or for more information

the Manager at: Park House, Paignton 01803 557732 or a forvisit Sanders Court, Torquay 01803 316164. arrange or for more information telephone Or visit our website: www.abbeyfield.com

To the Manager at: Park House, Paignton 01803 557732 or for Sanders Court, Torquay 01803 316164. Or visit our website: www.abbeyfield.com Registered Society No: 23413R under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014


Out & About



Torquay Museum is celebrating its 175th anniversary with a fascinating exhibition of 175 hidden-away objects from its ‘behind the scenes’ store cupboards, most specially chosen by local residents. We preview the collection.


npredictable? You bet! What happens when you invite a large number of local Torbay residents to rummage around your store cupboards where items that have not been seen for years – if ever – are hidden away? Keen paddler and kayaker Steve Darling chose a highly decorated paddle from the South Seas. Young Daniel aged 6 chose a Crocodile Trophy Head saying he likes crocodiles because they are dangerous. Judith Mills selected a Mottoware Pot explaining that she has only recently discovered the story of Torquay Pottery and loves the piece from Watcombe. I took an immediate fancy to the stunning Inlaid Marble Specimen Table. It shows off the different colours and fossils that make our local limestone so special, and helped to create a successful stone industry in the Bay in the 19th century. I also enjoy the dramatic contrast between the simple, rustic Carters’ Smock worn by workers in the 18th century and the dazzling silver Cocktail Dress worn by Maurine Reynolds who moved to Torquay to escape bombs in Plymouth during WW2. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

The old-fashioned, highly polished cabinets of butterflies catch my eye with their fabulous iridescent colours. There’s also a wonderful dolls’ house, which used to be on permanent display at the museum but was put into store in 2005. Don’t miss ‘Sally’ a VJ Day Doll made from waste materials as a special souvenir for Lorna Smith of Torquay and given by her mother to celebrate VJ Day 1945. More poignant is Aubrey Brown’s 1943 diary, kept daily until he died in 1943 when a German bomb hit St Marychurch. More international is a 19th century Wooden Printing Block used to advertise a tea-selling business during the 19th century Opium Wars with China. The exhibition also attempts to explain the reasons some items are seldom displayed. Some were secret or rather mysterious, some items raise ethical considerations, some are just very big and heavy, some may be prone to deterioration, some are extremely rare and valuable causing a security risk and some have been overlooked or forgotten. The Secret Museum exhibition is on at Torquay Museum until 4 September 2021.   torquaymuseum.org August/September 2021 | 27

OPENING MI D-AUGUST A Brand New Occombe Farm Shop Our are regionally sourced from the best the West Country has to Aproducts Brand New Occombe Farm Shop offer and our proceeds go towards caring for Torbay’s special green spaces.




Foodie Delights & Family Fun at Occombe

Out & About

A brand-new farm shop is opening at Occombe Farm. Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust (TCCT) has confirmed that their old shop is being extended and completely refitted for a mid-August launch.


he new Occombe Farm Shop will provide a central A variety of new and interesting roles have been created point to buy the very best produce the West Country including Customer Service Assistants and Kitchen Team has to offer. Three-quarters of its products have been Assistants. Occombe will be seeking to secure new staff sourced from across the region. With a 6,000-product for the play barn and animal trail in the coming months. range including fresh and wholefoods, wines, spirits, beers Cath Cooke the new General Manager of Occombe and ciders, bakery and deli, plus lifestyle and gifts, it’s sure says, “We can’t wait to unveil our brand new Occombe to be popular with food-lovers. Farm Shop to our local community, and visitors. Whilst The remodelling and we’re working hard on relaunch of Occombe getting our farm shop open Farm Shop is part of for August, lots of work TCCT’s wider plan to will be going on behind the regenerate Occombe Farm scenes at Occombe to bring as a brand new, all weather, our exciting new Farm Park year-round, farm visitor & Play to Torbay for the destination, due to open autumn”. later this year. Occombe As Torbay’s local Farm Park & Play will be a conservation charity, mix of indoor and outdoor TCCT is responsible for Members of the new farm shop team activities for all the family. protecting and conserving There will be exploratory over 1,700 acres of and inspirational indoor Torbay’s special natural Our team has spent months play for children aged places including Berry seeking out the cream of our 2 – 12 years, an outdoor Head Nature Reserve, region’s crop. We’ve listened to jumping pillow feature and Cockington Country producer stories, tasted and a self-guided animal trail Park, Occombe Farm and sampled to select an exceptional, with animal encounters many precious woodlands, hand-picked product range barn and farm animal cliffs and coastal walks. paddocks. Occombe will help raise Lily Shaw, Retail Manager, Occombe Farm Shop says, funds towards TCCT’s care of these treasured green “Our team has spent months seeking out the cream of places and spaces in Torbay. It will also allow the Trust to our region’s crop. We’ve listened to producer stories, provide more varied and better-supported volunteering tasted and sampled to select an exceptional, hand-picked opportunities for local residents.  product range.”  countryside-trust.org.uk There will be a selection of farm-cooked deli options and product choices have been made to minimise singleuse plastics and incorporate refillables and recycling. The regeneration of Occombe Farm will generate 60 new jobs.


August/September 2021 | 29

Show me the ropes..

There’s rarely a weekend goes by during the warmer months when the Bay isn’t playing host to a swarm of white sailed dinghies taking part in national and international events hosted by one of the Bay’s sailing and yacht clubs. Julian Rees goes along to Brixham Yacht Club to give dinghy sailing a go!


rriving at Brixham Yacht Club I’m met by a very busy scene as people of all ages are busying themselves about a fleet of small boats on the harbourside and the club compound. The boats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, mono-hulls, catamarans, single sails and twin sails, some for one and others for two or three sailors. I get changed into the required gear taking note of the restrictions in numbers in the changing rooms. Once in my wetsuit and boots (it’s the end of June as I’m writing and still chilly in the sea) I don a buoyancy aid. All togged up I set off to meet my instructor for the evening Rob Dyson. I’m directed to Rob by members who greet me like an old friend, and find him assisting with rigging one of the club boats. There are seven dinghies available for hire to club members at a small fee and these are ideal for getting to know a variety of dinghies as your skills progress. Rob is an Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualified instructor and regularly teaches RYA Level I and II Dinghy Sailing qualifications to adults and youngsters. Rob introduces me to our boat for the evening’s session,

30 | August/September 2021

an RS Vision. It’s 14 foot in length and has over 20m2 of sail area available. With the light airs of the evening we’re probably going to need most of it! Rob and fellow trainer Issy rig the boat and give me the lowdown on its capabilities - it’s a safe boat and one often used for training as it can comfortably take two crew and an instructor. It’s been nearly forty years since I last sat in a sailing dinghy; as I’m introduced to the various sheets (ropes) and halyards (ropes) I’m struck by how much smaller and lighter everything is nowadays. We head for the slipway and join the queue to launch. Once afloat the flotilla of small boats makes its way through the harbour and I’m amazed at the skills of some of the helms some as young as 10 or 11 as they thread their way skilfully through the moorings towards the open waters of the Bay.

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Give It A Go! Dinghy Sailing My instructor Rob Dyson Becalmed!

Competitors in this year’s English Riviera Dinghy Regatta


boats; there’s a world of tech and innovation here for those who are driven to win and you can spend money to your heart’s content getting lighter, stronger, faster with carbon fibre, titanium and Dyneema (string) to keep up with the pros or you can sit back go with the flow... Whichever way you choose, it’s nice to know you’re powered by nature, except when nature takes a rest and you have to break out the paddles!   brixhamyachtclub.com

Further information Brixham Yacht Club is a private members’ club. For membership details visit brixhamyachtclub.com. The club is an RYA Training Centre offering various training courses which are available to members and the public and on completion often allow discounted club membership rates. Don’t be misled by the name yacht club as there is a wide variety of watersports on offer here on the harbourside. There’s paddleboarding, kayaking and dinghy sailing as well as a large yacht racing fleet and an active cruising group. Boats looking for crew are matched with members looking for a sail via the club’s website. Lively WhatsApp groups keep everyone in touch, having proved invaluable during the period of Covid restrictions. Now reopen, the club offers a full bar service and top quality restaurant with fantastic views of the Bay. All club events are supported by a fleet of safety boats and a passenger shuttle service is provided free by volunteers at the club. The club has its own private slipway and deepwater mooring pontoons for visitors.

August/September 2021 | 31

PHOTO © : Alex Hamer, alexhamer.myportfolio.com

Monday nights’ sessions are race nights so with Rob at the helm gently issuing instructions we gather at the start line which is marked by an inflatable ‘can’ with a support boat at the other end. There’s only one thing missing now and that’s a decent puff of wind... Quite often a breeze will spring up in the Bay but tonight it is stubbornly staying away and whilst we are moving, it’s only just. Some say it takes more skill to win a race in light airs than it does in a good wind and all around us all sorts of techniques are employed to make way - the adults hoping the weight of experience and cunning will outfox the lightweight youngsters and on this occasion the adults prevail. I’m reliably informed though that this is rarely the case. The race is reduced to just one lap of the course and as we have the support of two safety boats we’re able to pick up a tow back to the slipway with the fleet trailing behind. Despite the disappointments there’s a great atmosphere and already much banter ensues about the next event. It’s been great fun and I’m smitten and will be back for another go. As we de-rig I take a look around at some of the other

Easy summer

strolling... Need to know

Distance: 2 miles Exertion: Easy Time: Allow 1.5 hours Terrain: Pathways and pavements. Suitable for pushchairs and mobility scooters. Dogs: On leads on roads. Refreshments: At Paignton Harbour


n our reader survey many readers asked for walks that were accessible to all - pushchairs, mobility scooters and those who couldn’t walk too far. So this issue we’re walking from Paignton train station to the harbour and around Roundham Head. We take in the busy town and get the feel for holidaying in the Bay and what makes the local economy tick with the throngs on Torbay Road and Paignton’s pretty seafront. There’s plenty to see and do and history to discover as well as some of best views in the Bay. 

1 From the train station turn right into Torbay Road, passing the old, soon to be reopened, Paignton Picture House and continue towards the seafront taking the third turning right into Queens Road then left into Torbay

32 | August/September 2021

Park. At the seafront, cross the road and join up with the coastpath as it heads toward the harbour. See the children’s Geoplay Park and Pirate Golf if you’ve got youngsters along for the walk. 2 Follow the coastline under the arch to the harbour. The harbour was established in 1838 in its current form and was an important port for exporting local goods, most notably cider and giant cabbages. Today it’s home to a crab processing plant that distributes locally caught fare across the country. As you walk up the slope to skirt the harbour, you’ll see the small building on the left, which was formerly the Preventatives Station, more commonly known as the coastguard. 3 At the far side of the harbour either choose to stroll down to the outer sea wall or climb the steps and drop down to the popular Fairy Cove. From here you can climb the steps at the rear of the beach and turn left into the Burma Star Garden, which leads out to Cliff Road. Otherwise, carry on up the hill and turn left into Cliff Road to avoid the steps and pick up the route again in

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Walk the Burma Star Memorial Garden adjacent to the Sea Anglers Club. 4 Roundham Head is accessed another 75 metres along Cliff Road. Looking out over the red sandstone cliffs, known as the Paignton Ledges, where in 1804 the warship Venerable was wrecked, it offers fabulous views over the Bay towards Torquay and makes a great viewing point for nautical activities. As you walk through the park, pause at the memorial stone and plaque to the left of the pathway that tells the story of Torquay-born Lieutenant Commander Arthur Leyland Harrison VC whose heroic actions were notable during WW1. 5 At the top of the hill you will be standing above a magnificent rock walk planted with an array of spectacular semi-tropical plants that were supplied by Paignton Zoo’s founder Herbert Whitley. This area was constructed in the 1930s by Welsh miners as part of a work creation scheme during the Great Depression. More spectacular views towards the south stretch out over Goodrington and Brixham and complete the Bay panorama. 


The Preventatives Station The Rock Walk above Goodrington Sands

August/September 2021 | 33

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n O s ’ t a h W BAY E H T D N U O R A

Please check before travelling as events are subject to change.

Kents Cavern

The Speakeasy Cinema, Torre Abbey

Step into the Stone Age at these wonderful prehistoric caves. Regular tours are running daily from 10am – 4pm. Evening Tours Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Book online. 91 Isham Road, Torquay TQ1 2JF 01803 205136 kents-cavern.co.uk

19-22 August Enjoy timeless movies plus refreshments to include classics like Singing in the Rain, Cabaret, Some Like it Hot and The Goonies. Limited numbers and social distancing. Spanish Barn, The Kings Drive, Torquay, TQ2 5JE torre-abbey.org.uk

Agatha Christie’s Greenway Visit the stunning holiday home of the Queen of Crime. House, garden, shop and café are open. Car parking must be prebooked. Dogs on leads welcome in garden. Times: daily 10.30am-5pm. Greenway Road, Galmpton TQ5 0ES 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Coleton Fishacre Enjoy a visit to the country home of the D’Oyly Carte family and travel back in time to the Jazz Age. House, garden, shop and café are open. Times: daily 10.30am-5pm. nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre

Stitch by the Sea Exhibition On till 5 September Browse an exhibition of work from the members of South Devon Stitchers. Time: 10am-5pm, cost included in your abbey admission. Torre Abbey, The Kings Drive, Torquay, TQ2 5JE torre-abbey.org.uk

Circus Extreme, Paignton 20 August-5 September With something for all the family, Circus Extreme combines world-famous circus artists, clown escapades and hairraising extreme stunts. Be amazed by the Danguir Troupe on the high wire and wheel of death, the extreme FMX team flying through the air and the stunt riding team performing the Globe of Death, enduring G-forces similar to that of a fighter pilot. Esplanade Road, Paignton TQ4 6BW circusextreme.co.uk

Wine & Wickets Fridays 7pm A seasonal ladies’ membership of £10 entitles you to a fun weekly hour-long training session followed by a sociable glass of Prosecco or soft drink afterwards. Paignton Cricket Club, Queen’s Park, Queen’s Road, Paignton TQ4 6AT 01803 557715 paigntoncricketclub.co.uk/membership

Anderton & Rowlands Fun Fair 2-31 August Enjoy this traditional funfair with dodgems, rides and sideshows for all ages. Torre Abbey Meadows, The Kings Drive, Torquay TQ2 5JE englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Torbay Royal Regatta 20-22 August atch an historic regatta that draws some of the finest sailors to the Bay. There will be over 100 yachts and dinghies competing at this top class championship sailing event. Royal Torbay Yacht Club, Beacon Terrace, Torquay TQ1 2BH rtyc.org August/September 2021 | 35

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Riviera What’s On Paignton Lions Club Fun Day 22 August A community fun day with stalls, entertainment and a family dog show. Time: 11am-4pm. Young’s Park, Paignton, TQ4 6BU paigntonlions.org.uk

Aqua Adrenaline Racing 27-29 August The sound of powerboats will resound around Tor Bay with OCRDA Round 5 National Championships. Between races a flyboard display will take place in the fairway adjacent to Haldon Pier. Beacon Quay, Torquay TQ1 2BG aquaadrenaline.co.uk

Brixham Battery Event 29 & 30 August In addition to regular opening on Sundays, Mondays and Fridays from 2-4pm, the special event on 29 & 30 August is a big draw with military vehicles, living history displays, tours of the grounds and gunfloors, volunteers in period dress and more. Also open for VJ Day on 26 September. Free admission but consider a donation, dog friendly. Brixham Battery Heritage Centre, Fishcombe Road, Brixham TQ5 8RU brixhambattery.net

Marldon Apple Pie Fair 4 September Marldon Apple Pie Fair has been going since 1888 in memory of local farmer, George Hill, who would use his windfall apples to bake an enormous apple pie for the village. Events throughout the afternoon include local arts, crafts and food stands, falconry displays, games, a novelty dog show and plenty of apple pie and cream. The Village Green, Marldon, TQ3 1SL facebook.com/Marldonapplepiefair/

Great West Jaguar & Classic Car Day 5 September A classic car gathering of over 130 cars plus food, a raffle, live music, interactive demos and a special display englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

celebrating the famous E-type. Time: 10.30am-4pm. Torre Abbey, The Kings Drive, Torquay, TQ2 5JE torre-abbey.org.uk

International Agatha Christie Festival 11-18 September he festival that celebrates the life and works of locally born Agatha Christie returns this year with films, talks, events, guided tours and visits to Greenway, her spectacularly beautiful holiday home on the River Dart. Torre Abbey, The Kings Drive, Torquay, TQ2 5JE iacf-uk.org

Torbay Half Marathon 12 September A highly popular half marathon that brings in thousands of runners on the two-loop route from Paignton to Torquay and back (twice). estival atmosphere and lots of fun e pect road closures. There is also a 10K route this year. Paignton Green, Paignton, TQ4 6ED torbayhalfmarathon.co.uk

Agatha Christie Sea Swim 18 September This unique event celebrates Agatha Christie’s love of sea swimming, by taking participants on a one mile sightseeing swim’ between two of her favourite beaches, Beacon Cove and Meadfoot Beach. Participants are encouraged not to race, but to enjoy the scenery, whilst raising money for owcroft ospice. imes: 4.15pm-6pm, tickets £ 5. ooking online. Beacon Cove, Torquay TQ1 2EP iacf-uk.org

Offshore Model Boat Enthusiasts 25 & 26 September 0 model boats (up to 5 or 6ft) long will race in the ay at speeds of up to 50mph on a 2-3 mile course. Watch from Torquay’s Haldon Pier. 10am-5pm both days. Haldon Pier, Torquay TQ1 2BG offshorembe.uk

If you are holding an event in October or November let us know and we’ll list it here! Email the details to: editorial@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Deadline for submissions is 15 September August/September 2021 | 37

e r t a e h T ! CURTAINS UP

Babbacombe Theatre Box Office 01803 32838 Editor’s pick SUPERSTARS On until 20 October Tuesdays Wednesdays This fabulous show features some of the most iconic stars of music, stage and screen, performed by a multi-talented cast with comedy, songs from movie and stage including 9-5, Top Gun, Hairspray, Jersey Boys, The Greatest Showman, Grease and Burlesque. With the hugely popular entertainer Steve Laister plus the wonderful talents of Paul Cobley, Wayne Martin, Lindsey Collard, Danze Chique and many more, it’s a show not to be missed. Also worth seeing… I Lo e Music – On till October Thursdays ABBA – Take a Chance on Us – 2 August

38 | August/September 2021

Palace Theatre, Paignton Box Office 01803 800 Editor’s pick ALICE IN WONDERLAND 21 22 August Bring the family to a fun-filled summer panto matinée with Hot Rock Productions. Join Alice as she falls down the rabbit hole and finds herself on a magical journey. he aturday evening performance is adult-only as Alice’s adventures are rather more saucy. Also worth seeing… The Little Mix Show – August The Beach Boys Tribute Show – 14 August

Princess Theatre, Torquay Box Office 0844 8 13023 Editor’s pick ON RICHARDSON THE NITWIT 4 September Will the recycling be put out on the right day? Who is going to smooth over the top of the margarine? How many lights are on upstairs when everybody is downstairs? Watch Jon Richardson pretend that these aren’t his foremost concerns as he leaves home on his first tour since the last one. Also worth seeing… The Carpenters Story – 22 August Fireman Sam Sa es the Circus – 20 August

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Little Theatre, Torquay Box Office 01803 299330 Editor’s pick THE RICH AND THE PURE 19 September This is a special ‘Red Carpet 7th Birthday Screening’ marking the TOADS’ extraordinary achievements. ‘A scandal that divided the land’s richest resort.’ Unleashed Community Drama presents a story of austerity in the richest resort in the land, set in the 1840s. he film weaves together the stories of real-life, colourful characters from Torquay’s Victorian past. William Kitson, awrence alk and ishop hillpotts all come back to life in this fascinating film. Created and performed by a large cast of actors, all drawn from the e -homeless and recovery community of or uay, it was filmed over si weeks in the actual locations where the history of the ay unfolded.

Also worth seeing… Ladies’ Day – 4-9 October What’s So Amazing About Grace? – 21-24 October

Outdoor Theatre at Cockington Court Dress warmly and bring a picnic, chairs or a rug. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 3 August Claudio loves Hero, and Benedick hates Beatrice. This is just as well, because ero loves Claudio and eatrice hates enedick. he best of hakespearean farce presented by llyria heatre Company. ook online. HMS PINAFORE 30 August et on board the warship M inafore, the opera cheerfully mocks such Great British institutions as Class, atriotism and the oyal Navy. A wonderful comic opera by llyria. Book online. cockingtoncourt.org/whats-on englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

August/September 2021 | 39

Arts R O U N D U P.

Please check before travelling as events are subject to change.

Torquay’s Artizan Gallery & Café

paint and collage. Preview 24 July 6-8pm – booking essential. art-hub.co.uk/ex/eley21

Dartmoor of the Big Sky 16-28 August Jim Doran’s exhibition presents a view of Dartmoor that is breathtaking and big, highlighting nature’s organic design, as opposed to mankind’s utilitarian design. His work endeavours to capture the essence of Dartmoor. Preview 13 August 6-8pm – booking essential . art-hub.co.uk/ex/august21 Sky Fire Jim Doran

Gossamer Threads On till 7 August Mhari Treharne and Emma Roberts are exhibiting work developed at the Newlyn School of Art over the last year. During this time, they have recognised a strong resonance between their work with each of their practices embedded in a sense of narrative, nostalgia and memory. Preview 24 July 6-8pm – booking essential. art-hub.co.uk/events-1/gossamerpv

All the above exhibitions are: Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturdays 10am-6pm Artizan Gallery & Café, 7 Lucius Street, Torquay, TQ2 5UW

Torquay’s Artizan Collective Gallery English Riviera Summer Open

Oxalis Mhairi-Treharne

Coastal Villages – Calm and Chaos On till 7 August Philip Eley is a naive artist living in Paignton. A regular e hibitor with Arti an, this will be hilips first solo show. Philip’s paintings are silent Dittisham Philip Eley worlds, where nothing is over-worked. Things have to find their form uickly and in as few lines as possible. He generally uses a restricted colour palette, but the bright pops of colour are carefully chosen. Works are made using acrylic ink, acrylic

40 | August/September 2021

On till 29 August The annual English Riviera Summer Open Exhibition returns for another year as the country approaches ‘business as usual’ and Torbay ramps up for what is expected to be an exceptionally busy tourist season. This show is Artizan’s nod to the wonderful Royal Academy Summer Show and will The Dive Emma Roberts welcome artists of all ages and disciplines to show work alongside each other, some e hibiting for the first time, rubbing shoulders with

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Arts other more established artists. art-hub.co.uk/ex/erso21 The above exhibition is held: Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 – 16:00 Artizan Collective Gallery, Unit 5 74 Fleet Street Torquay TQ2 5EB For more information contact juliebrandon@ artizangallery.co.uk 07522 509642 artizan gallery.co.uk Also check out art-hub.co.uk

Brixham Art Society Summer Art Exhibition On till 7 August A colourful and exuberant post-lockdown exhibition. View original paintings, drawings and prints, in a wide variety of subject matter, including local scenes. All work is for sale. Held from 10am – 5pm daily (last day ends 3.30pm). Free entry. Scala Hall, Market Street, Brixham TQ5 8EU brixhamartsociety.co.uk

Mayflower 400 Exhibition, Torre Abbey On till 30 August The Tamar Valley Printmakers (UK) and the Cape Cod Printmakers (USA) present artistic work inspired by the journey taken by the Mayflower 400 years ago. 40 artists will be represented in the exhibition, from both sides of the Atlantic. The story of the Pilgrims and their epic voyage across the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower to set up a colony in the New World has become the stuff of folklore. The Wampanoag and the wider Native American Nations are also an integral part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations. Entry included with admission fee. The King’s Drive Torquay TQ2 5 JE torre-abbey.org.uk


The GALLERY @Cockington Court 10.30am-4.30pm daily Ongoing selling exhibition showing the region’s leading artists and makers. Items ranging from scarves, jewellery, ceramics, metalwork, artists cards, metalwork, collages, paintings and prints. Don’t miss the fabulous craft studios too! 01803 607230 Facebook @cockingtoncourt

Taiko Drumming Weekend, Dartington 11 & 12 September Taiko is a performing art originating from Japan involving big drums and choreography. It’s a lot of fun, but also quite physical so provides a good workout for the body and the brain. As well as the actual drumming, participants on this beginner workshop get the opportunity to learn all about the history of Taiko. Participants will learn the fundamentals as well as some various patterns and rhythms culminating in learning an entire Taiko piece to perform by the end of the weekend. Cost: £146 (nonresidential) – lunch, tea & coffee included. 10% discount for Dartington members. Studio 1 SPACE, Dartington, Totnes TQ9 6EL dartington.org

Ceramics and the Sea, Dartington 13-17 September An immersive five-day ceramics course with acclaimed potter Elaine Bolt. You’ll use techniques and glazes with clay and found materials from the beach to form ceramic and mixed media work. The course also includes a trip to the beach with Kit Andrews, where you’ll experience pit firing with seaweed. Cost: £485 (non-residential) – lunch, refreshments and materials included, 10% discount for Dartington members. Dartington Print & Pottery Studio, Dartington, Totnes TQ9 6EL dartington.org August/September 2021 | 41


Fleet Walk, 74 Fleet St, Torquay TQ2 5EB www.art-hub.co.uk (01803) 463385 collective@artizangallery.co.uk


7 Lucius Street, Torquay, TQ2 5UW www.artizangallery.co.uk (01803) 428626 info@artizangallery.co.uk


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42 | August/September 2021


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Arts R O U N D U P.


Devon Open Studios In Torbay

Artizan Gallery is supporting ten Torbay Artists for Devon Open Studios. This wonderful event runs from 11 – 26 September with a launch evening on 10 September at Artizan’s Collective Gallery in Torquay’s Fleet Street.


widely anticipated annual event, evon pen tudios defied the pandemic in 2020, admirably adapting its model and through good fortune slotting itself between the national lockdowns to welcome dedicated patrons from across the UK for whom the event is somewhat of a pilgrimage. With this remarkable achievement in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that with a more favourable national outlook to celebrate, Devon Open Studios is set to come back strong this year. Buoyed by artists eager to return to showing work to public audiences, a record number of venues across Devon can be found on the event map this year with Torbay set to be an essential stop. This year the Bay will host 18 unique venues across its three towns with work ranging from traditional plein air practice to contemporary printmaking, and including sculpture, illustration and design. Devon Open Studios is a unique opportunity to meet artists in their studios and buy art direct from the creator. Many venues offer demonstrations, give talks or give you a chance to have a go. Three exhibition showcases will join the 15 working studio spaces to visit in the Bay. A retrospective of Devon Masters Arthur Homeshaw R.W.A. and Richard Slater R.I. will be hosted at Artizan Gallery alongside their Sculpture Studio, a celebration of 3D work welcoming accomplished sculptors working in various englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Fish & Ships Rhian Wyn Harrison Facing The Future Alexandra Jacobs

Reprise Clark Nicol

mediums and producing at the height of their respective fields. And the esteemed 21 Group of Artists is returning to Torbay where the group was established in 1967, hosted at the Artizan Collective Gallery as the group participates in Devon Open tudios for the first time. The programme is in part supported by the Torbay Grant Awards which, sponsored by Artizan Gallery, has supported 10 artists from the Bay to take part this year. The grants were awarded to a diverse range of artists with working studios in Torbay to support engagement with the annual event following the past 18 months of hardship. Torbay Grant Artists include: Rhian Wyn Harrison with her colourful and fun illustrations featuring coastal birds and sea life, Mark Bell with his richly textured art depicting movement, fluid lines and form, Gesche Buecker with her bright and beautiful stoneware ceramics, Ian Cox with his limited edition relief lino prints, Lee Pover with her wonderful scenes in ceramics and driftwood, William Mills the award-winning abstract artist, Peter King with his rich colours, bold brushwork and wild flamboyance, Claire armer with her colourful mixed media, landscapes and coastal inspired abstracts, Elisabeth Hadley the renowned South West sculptor specialising in bron e figures of the human form and Julia Finzel, painter, printmaker and photographer.  August/September 2021 | 43






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Arts R O U N D U P.

Dartington Summer School & Festival

Dartington is hosting a superb programme of concerts, plus free events, family workshops and performances to run alongside a four-week, musical study programme. On till 20 August.


on’t miss soprano Mhairi Lawson joining Scotland’s leading period instrument ensemble, Dunedin Consort, with their dynamic director John Butt, for an intimate programme of songs by Purcell. The Nest Collective is bringing their celebrated Campfire Club, offering folk songs around the campfire and there ll be a performance by one of the countrys finest folk trios, everet. Acclaimed violinist Rachel Podger will lead the Festival Baroque Orchestra in a dazzling programme of baroque concertos and dances by Corelli, Handel, Biber and Bach. John Butt and the Dunedin Consort, alongside the Festival Baroque Orchestra and a chorus of Summer School participants, will perform Bach’s astonishing late masterpiece, B Minor Mass. Enjoy a celebration of chamber music, with the internationally acclaimed rodsky uartet. hey are performing two intensely powerful works by composers facing their own mortality: Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden and rittens tring uartet No. . Mary evan and Joseph Middleton will be sharing some of their favourite Baudelaire settings by Debussy and Faure. Violinist Thomas Gould, cellist Matthew Barley and pianist Florian Mitrea will perform Beethoven’s majestic Archduke rio.

Mary Bevan

Rachel Podger

nnovative pianist and composer Sarah Nicolls will present her compelling new piece about climate change. Brilliant jazz pianist Peter Edwards will celebrate black composers from swing to bebop and Peter Edwards contemporary jazz, plus an e clusive performance of uke llingtons acred Music. There’s a new programme of family friendly and free events. art of this is ree estival ridays - full days of live music will take place where the whole family is welcome. pect a variety of musical happenings including processions, singing under trees, brass fanfares and folk sessions. A series of special rela ed concerts will run, allowing for noise and movement. ncluded in these is evolting hymes Marvellous Music – a musical e ploration of oald ahls darkly clever tales and pianist lorian Mitrea playing music by Mo art, including his charming variation on winkle, twinkle little star . amily workshops are running throughout the four-week period, aimed at a variety of ages from babies to teenagers, including oundscreative ab with ara ranks. JOY! a new commission from John Barber and Hazel Gould, brings together voices of all ages and abilities and this is open to all. 

 dartington.org/whats-on he final week offers ja and e perimental music, including a premiere of A s ook of lames and Shadows’, featuring soprano Lucy Goddard and violinist ophie Appleton. All-female cappella uintet lack Voices is returning with their enduringly popular concert. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

August/September 2021 | 45

2021 Events 2020

centre of creativity

Craft studios

Seven Dials Café

Play area

Easter Activities Activities 30 March 12–18 April- 13 April

Details Detailscorrect correctatattime timeofofprint, print,but butplease pleasevisit visitthe the website websiteforforthe themost mostupuptotodate datelistlistofofevents. events.

Cockington Court Heritage Day Illyria Outdoor Theatre 20 September – Much Ado About Nothing 3 August Apple & Pumpkin Cockington Festival Illyria Outdoor Theatre 25 October – HMS Pinafore

Sculpture Sculpture Trail Trail 2020 2021 28 June - 20 September August–October; dates tbc Illyria Illyria Outdoor Outdoor Theatre Theatre 30 August & Day of the Dead -– Much Ado About Nothingof Halloween The Further Adventures 2 August Festival Doctor Dolittle Cockington Apple Day 26 October - 1 November Illyria 29 MayOutdoor Theatre 24 October, tbc - HMS Pinafore Christmas at Cockington Court LaAugust La Arts Alice in Halloween Festival 13 December 25–31 October Wonderland digital trail Illyria Outdoor Theatre For details of activities Experience Wintersee Wonders -31The Further Adventures of please our website May–6 June December–January, dates tbc Dr Dolittle www.cockingtoncourt.org 25 ForAugust details of activities please see our website www.cockingtoncourt.org

acre award winning Come460 and us for country parkvisit and gardens Arts and crafts workshops a summer of fun! Visitor Welcome Point and

and room hire • Weddings 460 acre award winning country park to explore galleries Manor House • Meet over 20 of our makers in our craft Carriage ridesstudios

• Visit our two Galleries to see work by over 120 leading artists and designers • See James Murch, our Artist in Residence painting on site • Indulge in delicious food and drink at Seven Dials Café see hear • Manor House and childrens play area to discover • Enjoy a Horse & Carriage ride through the parkland • Theatrical summer performances,, wonderland trail and choir – fun for all the family (further information and booking via our website) taste

Plus ... Make a date to visit our BLOOM exhibition

touchshowcasing a Our seasonal exhibition programme year long creative journey through the four seasons, featuring stunning artwork by leading local artists and makers. Also visit our Mini ‘sculp’ture exhibition in the Manor House. Opens 3rd August. Visit www.cockingtoncourt.org to find out more. smell

Free admission, open daily from 10am . Galleries open 10.30am–5pm. Cockington Court Craft Centre, Cockington,Torquay TQ2 6XA Tel: 01803 607230 @CockingtonCourt Email: info@cockingtoncourt.org www.cockingtoncourt.org

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Mr Fox’s Garden Mr Fox keeps a close eye on his tomatoes, plans his exhibit for Chelsea Flower Show and gives his top tips for planting up a Covid-safe patio space.


ell, what a lovely summer. We’ve had plenty of sun and lots of rain, keeping England’s green and pleasant land very green and very pleasant. The good news is my youngest little boy has finally realised there’s no point picking green tomatoes. Last year he just liked picking them because they were ball shaped; it was his mission in life to pick them, and it was my mission to try and stop him; we were like Tom and Jerry! And of course he won; we got no tomatoes, food was scarce last year, we could have really done with those tomatoes. Luckily this year he’s wised up a bit, at the grand old age of 3 and a half he’s acquired the virtue of patience. I’ve had some bad news. For a good part of the last two years I’ve been involved in a lovely project. Well I say involved; everything was on hold really; we were just treading water whilst waiting for various permissions. The plan was to create a beautiful three-acre garden where vulnerable adults (and anyone who wanted), could visit, enjoy, explore and connect with nature. It really is a fantastic idea but after two years of trying to get the go ahead, the people spearheading the project have had enough of waiting. It’s so annoying to think that someone in an office has control over things like this, the reason given was ‘too rural’ (how ironic) and it was close to Trago. I’ve also had some super good news though. The Chelsea flower show is on. Due to Covid, it’s been postponed until September. I thought it might be a good chance to get my foot in the door; there’s a fiveyear-plus waiting list to exhibit at Chelsea; they don’t just accept anyone, only the very best the country has to offer. But I figured there’s not much in bloom in September and for many companies it’s their prime

time for Christmas preparations, so a good selection of exhibitors might choose not to attend. I thought I’ll just have a little look at the online form and get an idea on the price of a pitch; it’ll do no harm. Anyway, I filled the form out, and now we’re going! I literally can’t believe it; I’ve never even been to London before. The reality of the situation hit me when we received the acceptance letter. How am I going to get there? How am I going to get all my artworks there? Where is it? Can I sleep in the van? There’s only Catherine and I; what if we break down? I’ve had a look at the site map and the guys next to us are selling shepherds huts for £50,000. I’m only ‘little me’ in the garden shed; perhaps I’ve bitten of more than I can chew. Oh well. There’s so much to plan; I’ve stopped flapping now; if the van breaks down on route we’ll just have to keep walking to the most expensive picnic spot in London; it’s in God’s hands now. Don’t worry everyone, we’ll do Torquay proud, meet the Queen and bring back a gold medal (hopefully). Look out for me on the telly won’t you. Toodle pip!

Mr Fox

We are James and Catherine (Mr Fox’s Garden). We provide a garden maintenance and landscaping service around the Bay but the main part of our business is making plant supports, garden art and sculptures - and it’s all made right here on the English Riviera. We’re proud to say that this year we have pieces on permanent display at RHS Rosemoor and Buckfast Abbey.

mrfoxsgarden.com englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Mr Fox August/September 2021 | 47

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Love your patio... So far this year our patios have become a Covid-safe meeting place for friends and family. People are now investing in improving their space but be careful not to plant too much as many patio plants can grow very large very quickly. Summer favourites that will make the patio look beautiful while leaving space to relax include: pale pink Nemesia ‘Confetti’, with a light floral fragrance that lives up to its name; dark red Chocolate Cosmos with a mouth-watering scent and late-flowering Gladiolus murielae, while the rich perfumes of tobacco plants (Nicotiana) and Oriental lilies intensify in the evening and night. Get the most from your space by growing upwards. Sweet peas and star jasmine (Trachelospermum) clamber up arches, trellis and walls with support. All these plants are great for containers, borders or raised beds, so you can have perfume anywhere that gets a reasonable amount of sun. 

Chocolate Cosmos

Nemesia ‘Confetti’

Keep on top of these summer jobs: • Feed tomatoes and other fruit-producing crops (such as cucumbers and peppers) with a weekly liquid feed, for a bigger, better harvest. • Sow quick growing veg little and often to harvest in late summer and autumn, such as beetroot, radish, rocket, lettuce, baby carrots and spinach. • Buy young veg plants such as kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, which will crop over winter and into next year. Protect with fine insect mesh to keep off pests and pigeons. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

• Plant strawberries for a luscious harvest next summer. They grow well in containers – even hanging baskets and window boxes. • Make sure you take plenty of cuttings through the summer; this saves money, and helps you to develop your borders. It is always lovely to give or swap with friends and neighbours. • Remove the dead flower heads to encourage longer flowering, but keep the later seed heads for autumn interest and to keep the birds happy. August/September 2021 | 49


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