English Riviera Magazine Dec/January 2014

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Walks Local Food Heritage Nature People Events Arts




December/January 2014/15






Meet Richard Cuming

Give It A Go



Sharkham Point to Man Sands


Marissa Wakefield

Stargazing with Torbay Astronomical Society FESTIVE FOOD AND DRINK – TOP TIPS FROM LOCAL CHEFS

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About us... Created and Published By Devon Magazine Company Limited Anita Newcombe anita@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Telephone: 01803 850886 Julian Rees julian@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Telephone 01803 842893 Mobile: 07455 206470 Advertising sales sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Advertising Copy copy@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Editorial editorial@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Website englishrivieramagazine.co.uk facebook.com/englishrivieramagazine twitter.com/EngRivieraMag ISSN (Print) 2052-8515 ISSN (Online) 2052-8523

...to issue nine! We are now well into the festive season; this is such a special time of year for family, friends and fun. We hope you’ll enjoy some of our festive food and drink ideas and take time out to book up some magical Christmas events, theatre and pantos that are on offer locally for the whole family. Christmas is about sharing, so do catch up with friends and make your shopping super-fun this year, maybe with a spot of lunch or afternoon tea thrown into the mix. But it’s not all about Christmas, we’ve a big feature on stargazing, another on archery plus fascinating profiles on Marissa Wakefield and Richard Cuming who run two of our most beloved local attractions and a delightful winter walk to blow those cobwebs away. We also hear from you, our readers as we report the results of our first-ever reader survey and announce the competition winners. We wish you the best-ever Christmas and New Year. Please keep sending us your news, your photos and your story ideas to editorial@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk and do chat to us on Twitter and Facebook. We love parties, exhibitions and all kinds of events, so please feel free to invite us along if you’d like your event featured in the next issue.

Happy reading and stay local this Christmas!

Proudly printed in Devon at Polestar Wheatons, Exeter. Next issue 30 January Write to us at:

ENGLISH RIVIERA MAGAZINE 69 DAVIES AVENUE PAIGNTON DEVON TQ4 7AW © 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.


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Contents December/January 2014/15 6


Local news snippets

12 Marissa Wakefield

26 Festive Food & Drink

My dream job in Cockington

16 Richard Cuming

What we did with Dad’s tank engine

20 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

We meet Torbay Astronomical Society

26 Festive Food & Drink

Tasty tips and recipes for the holiday season

34 Festive Towns

A round-up of the best seasonal events

50 Walk

Walk off that big Christmas dinner!

52 Give It A Go!

Going for gold - Archery

54 Treading The Boards Theatre and pantomimes

57 Your Say

Results from our reader survey

16 Richard Cuming

58 Social Diary

Local people at local events

64 Business Breaks

Local business news

66 The Briefing

Legal news from Wollen Michelmore

12 Marissa Wakefield

52 Give It A Go

34 FestiveTowns

Cover image: Golden Hind at Brixham Š Chris Slack chrisslack.com englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

December/January 2014/15




Torre Abbey Gardens launch their Explorer Badge Torre Abbey Gardens have just launched their very own activity badge for Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. With fun activities that encourage exploration of the wonderful world of plants in the garden and some practical gardening activities, Torre Abbey welcomes enquiries from anyone involved in the Guiding movement. For more

Swan Islander Rediscovered Simon Tonge, Executive Director of Paignton Zoo has rediscovered the preserved remains of two unrecorded Swan Island hutias tucked away in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. His scientific paper about the find has now been published in the Caribbean Journal of Science. Herbert Whitley, founder of Paignton Zoo, originally donated the two specimens to the museum in 1939/40. A captive breeding programme, started in the 1930s was sadly unsuccessful and the Swan Island hutia became extinct in the 1950s. However, the rediscovery of these obscure cousins of the guinea pig contributes greatly to our understanding of why extinctions happen. Simon said, “I’ve spent my whole working life trying to prevent further extinctions, so I’ve tried to understand pattern and process in extinctions and as a result have become slightly obsessive about documenting them correctly.” Holly Morgenroth, Curator of Natural History at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum said, “The discovery of these specimens’ importance is an excellent example of how regional museum collections can benefit current scientific research.” o Holly Morgenroth (RAMM) with Simon Tonge and the Swan Island hutia


December/January 2014/15

information and bookings contact the Head Gardener on 01803 213191 or e-mail ali.marshall@torbay.gov. uk. o

Devon Air Ambulance Celebrates Totnes Opening

Devon Air Ambulance opened its latest charity shop in Totnes and is offering some great items for sale for Christmas. Captain Ian Payne, DAAT’s Flight Operations Director cut the ribbon and the opening day brought in the highest revenue of any opening to date. o

Commodore’s Charity Evening Totnes Boating Association held their annual Commodore’s Charity Night in aid of their chosen charity of the year, Devon Air Ambulance Trust. The donation cheque was presented to Adrian Parker on behalf of DAAT during a small ceremony alongside the club’s moorings on the River Dart. o



Openers... Openers... Families for Children Expands

Local adoption charity Families for Children based in Buckfastleigh, is expanding to open three new offices across the South West, making them the largest voluntary adoption agency in the country. After successfully placing 48 children last year, Families for Children are expecting to increase recruitment of adopters to 70 during 2015/ 2016. Their expansion plan includes strengthening of their existing adoption support services as well as continuing to assess and prepare potential adoptive parents throughout the region. If adoption is something you have considered please call 01364 645480 or visit familiesforchildren.org.uk o

Britain’s Most Luxurious Bat House? When Cavanna Homes were planning their new Fusion development in Paignton, a derelict farm building, which had housed rare lesser horseshoe bats needed to be demolished, so a purpose-built £26,000 new home was designed and constructed specially for them. Plans for the bat’s new des-res were drawn up by LHC Architecture in conjunction with ecological consultants EAD. Now the team from EAD says that lesser horseshoe bats have started making use of the Bat House’s bespoke fixtures and fittings, as evidence including a number of droppings and signs of feeding have been discovered during routine monitoring. Michael Newman from Torquaybased Cavanna Homes said, “With our 90 years of experience building award-winning family homes in the Westcountry, we were happy to rise to the challenge of providing a house suitable for our furry neighbours.” o

Last issue’s mystery object was correctly identified by Debbie Baker from Torquay. The plaque sited in Brixham’s inner harbour is devoted to those lost at sea and was created by local stonemason Keith Baker. If you think you recognise the object below then visit englishrivieramagazine.co.uk/competitions and let us know where you think it is and what it is? The answer will be in the next issue. o

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December/January 2014/15


Openers... New Year Johann Strauss Gala in Torquay

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra returns to the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay for the third year running with their sparkling New Year Johann Strauss Gala on Friday 10 January. The BSO’s annual celebration of all things Viennese brings to life the glories of the 19th-century dance halls in a bubbling selection of waltzes, gallops, polkas and marches by Johann Strauss and his contemporaries. Don’t miss your chance to hear a sophisticated concert with full symphony orchestra performing Strauss as it should be heard! Pieces include the Chatterbox Polka, The Merry Widow Overture and, of course, the Blue Danube to finish. This season the Orchestra is conducted by Viennese maestro Thomas

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December/January 2014/15

Openers... Rösner, and joined by British star soprano Elizabeth Watts, who sang in this year’s BBC Last Night of the Proms. Tickets start from £12 and are on sale from the Riviera Centre on 01803 206333 or online at BSOlive.com.o

Big Tree Sculptor’s Newest Creations Local artist Mic Chambers, best known for his famous ‘Big Tree’ sculpture in Paignton has been commissioned by Galliford Try to create six sculptural benches. These are all made from trees that had to be cut down to accommodate the new South Devon Link Road. All the benches are from oak trees and carved to be reminiscent of a love seat where people are back to back when sitting on them. Each one has a different motif carved on them including frogs, flowers, dragonflies and large wood lice. They will be installed along the route of the new road when it is completed in 2015. Mic Chambers is a sculptor and accomplished painter who lives in Ashburton and is opening The Tnuk Gallery there in December. o micchambersanartist.com

Some of the sculptural benches carved by Mic Chambers (inset).



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Openers... Brixham Fish Market Tours Brixham Fish Market Tours, run by volunteers with the permission and help of Brixham Trawler Agents, had a very successful 2014. 350 people took the early morning tours starting at 6am and many more were on the reserve lists. Visitors came from all over including Italy, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. All profit from these tours is donated to the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen and the voluntary group presented John Anderson (Superintendant of the Mission) with a cheque for £1600. Christine Hodgetts of Brixham Fish Market Tours said, “Thanks to all those volunteers who helped, to our hosts Barry Young and Rick Smith of Brixham Trawler Agents and to Neil & Michelle Pearce of Shipmates who provided a very welcome breakfast so early in the morning.” The tours resume in April 2015 and will be highlighted in our What’s On pages. o

Openers... Bless their Little Cotton Socks Anneka, a Sulawesi crested black macaque, complete with socks

Vets at Paignton Zoo have found a great use for the many children’s socks regularly lost there. They are using them to help keep the paws of sick monkeys warm during operations. Socks are put to use if they haven’t been claimed after six weeks so children and their parents can take some comfort from the fact that wayward socks are going to a good cause. Paignton Zoo Vet Nurse, Celine Campana, who came up with the idea said, “We use them a lot for monkeys because their hands are similar to those of small children. We’ve used them on the paws of maned wolves and could try them on the big cats - but we’d probably need some bigger socks…o

Beverley Holidays Raise £249 In World’s Biggest Coffee Morning The award-winning holiday park hosted coffee and homemade cakes in its Oasis Centre on Beverley Park in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Staff at the holiday park had their baking skills put to the test in the Great Beverley Bake-Off which saw them compete for the title of Beverley’s Best Baker. Both holidaymakers and members of the local community attended the event. The Beverley Holidays Entertainment Team were recently recognised at the Palm FM Local Heroes 2014 Awards when they were crowned joint winner in the Fundraiser of the Year category. o 10

December/January 2014/15

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My Dream Job at Cockington Marissa Wakefield spent 30 years enjoying working in the arts, never thinking that her dream job would exist. She found it though at Cockington Court Craft Centre in Torquay. Anita Newcombe went to find out why the subtle mix of heritage and contemporary culture proved so appealing. 12

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Riviera People


rriving at Cockington to meet Marissa, the russet and appealing events and find suitable craft tenants to fill and golden autumn leaves are starting to fall the studios. Overall, she wanted it all to make sense and in profusion around the country park. I stroll empathise with the craft centre’s ethos and surroundings. though the pretty rose garden to enter the manor house Marissa explains, “Cockington Court, as a historic where we are due to meet. As we settle to a nice cup of manor house must be protected for the future and to tea in the café, the sunshine washes through the windows achieve this, it’s important that it pays its way. Weddings and a group of walkers with an assortment of very large now being held regularly bring in useful funds and but well-behaved dogs troops in. provide a sustainable source of income.” It was Marissa’s partner Stuart who first spotted the The Court had been renovated with funds from the advertisement in the Guardian, which was to change European Regional Development Fund just about the their lives. At the time, Marissa was Chief Executive time that Marissa arrived in post and civil weddings of DIVA, a charity for community arts in Wakefield, at the venue had been put on hold. However, when Yorkshire and had previously managed various National Oldway Mansion closed in 2012, Cockington secured Trust properties as well as a contemporary Arts Council a new wedding licence and also became home to the funded craft centre. The advertised post of Centre Council Registrar Offices. This has been a very successful Director at Cockington Court promised the rare partnership and last year the Cockington Court team combination of running a well-loved heritage site that hosted an impressive 72 weddings of its own. was also a centre for both traditional and contemporary The whole of Cockington’s Country Park and Craft crafts. Marissa was immediately Centre is free to enter and provides “I’m absolutely passionate a very attractive day out for visitors smitten with the beautiful site and the couple made the momentous about everything we are of all ages. The craft centre is a decision to move to Devon. doing here. Our team and combination of popular longI can see why working at standing tenants such as Ourglass Cockington would be a dream job. all our tenants and partners and more fledgling makers who The setting, for a start, is certainly are inspirational and by need starter space to build up dream-like with 460 acres of working together we are their clientele. The Sea Change beautiful parkland, hidden away in a Studios are designed for change secret valley yet extremely close to the already starting to achieve and give people a start-up with urban conurbation of Torquay. Here ‘easy-in, easy-out’ leases where small great results.” one can walk in peace, daydream by businesses can apply for more space the ornamental lakes and muse over the history of this as they grow and develop. Marissa tells me, “I am very quintessential piece of English history. Bliss! ambitious for the craft centre and known for juggling Despite the complete relaxation that steals over you many things to ensure success for all.” when you visit this magical place, Cockington, with its The craft centre has a pleasingly diverse mix of makers thriving craft community, is actually a hive of activity who must satisfy certain criteria to gain a place at the where makers are tirelessly at work producing their centre. Studios are only available for 3D craft makers who creations under the admiring gaze of visitors. Marissa, as are able to demonstrate to the public on 5-7 days per Centre Director of this community has a big job to do. week. This means that painters and photographers are not I asked Marissa what she had first set out to achieve on the menu but you will find a jeweller, ceramic artist, when she arrived. She explained, “Torbay Coast and sculptor, textile artist, furniture maker and many others Countryside Trust, the previous guardians of the site to delight you on your visit. The incumbents are carefully had done a great job but when the Torbay Development chosen by a vetting panel but once on board, they benefit Agency (TDA) took over, they had clear objectives on from good value units from only £127 per month, many how the Cockington Court Craft Centre should move with rates and utilities included. forward. My instinct was to observe what was working So when is the best day to visit I ask? “Everyday as there well, form a coherent plan of action and then deliver it.” is always something to see here. We have over 18 craft Marissa’s biggest tasks were to increase visitor numbers studios, the kitchen gallery, the gardens, the parkland to the site, come up with new branding, plan exciting and all free!” says Marissa. As Centre Director, she is englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

December/January 2014/15


Riviera People now working on a project with South Devon College where Arts and Crafts students can get involved to gain work experience whilst also assisting the tenants. If the students show aptitude, they may get to work alongside the makers. Marissa will be offering work experience around marketing and teaching gallery skills to the students and tenants who may need support in this area as she worked for numerous leading galleries and museums including the National Portrait Gallery. The events programme at Cockington is also a big winner to bring in extra visitors. Over 1000 people attended last year’s spooky Halloween event. Even more excitingly, the Ceramics Festival that Marissa put together with support from the TDA and the Arts Council, attracted over 4,000 visitors to Cockington in just two days. This is a big success for Torbay and Marissa is really proud and delighted that it worked so well, continuing to look at possibilities for introducing new craft events. Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust still manages the huge swathe of beautiful parkland and Marissa works closely with their team to ensure correct use of the land. She and her team, including Cockington Court’s Craft Centre Co-ordinator Paula George, are also working closely with the Trust on the Green Heart Appeal, which is vitally important to raise money to protect and restore the huge country park. Cockington is a free, safe day out for families, individuals and tourists to come all year round. Marissa explained, “The site is much loved already. We just need to make sure that we expand our support-base and appeal to a wider demographic without losing any of our regular customers.” For 2015, Marissa has ambitious plans to create a new garden based on the theme of house interiors within Cockington’s historic walled art garden. I hear about the many creative ideas currently bubbling away that could lead to a new attraction akin to a ‘mini-Heligan’ to tempt visitors in. There are also plans to create a visitor welcome point at the front of the Grade II listed manor house, providing information about the craft centre and parkland plus a showcase for artists and crafts people. When this is in place, branding is being considered to harness a ‘Made in Cockington’ theme, sure to be popular with visitors taking home a beautiful souvenir. So has Cockington lived up to all her expectations as a dream job for Marissa? “Oh yes,” she says. “I’m absolutely passionate about everything we are doing here. Our team and all our tenants and partners are 14

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inspirational and by working together we are already starting to achieve great results.” “And how about the rest of the English Riviera?” I ask. Marissa tells me that she loves the beaches in summer and particularly Ansteys Cove and Teignmouth where she visits regularly with her partner Stuart and her son Zak, aged nine. She also enjoys the moodiness of Dartmoor, which she can see from her garden in Newton Abbot and can’t believe the breathtaking sunsets; she’s always trying to get the best photograph. In the end though, their very favourite place is Cockington and it’s not hard at all to see why. ¨

Christmas Events at Cockington 6 – 7 December Christmas Food and Craft Fair 6 December – 4 January Skate at Cockington Court cockingtoncourt.org englishrivieramagazine.co.uk


December/January 2014/15


What We Did with Dad’s Tank Engine 30 years ago Richard Cuming’s Dad Ken, an avid collector, bought a 28ton railway engine but had nowhere to put it. Anita Newcombe chats to Richard at Bygones in St Marychurch to find out more.


Richard explained, “Dad loved railwayana and wanted ichard Cuming and his sister Amanda Penwell to create a transport museum but the family felt that this are 5th generation members of the local family was not sufficiently interesting to the public. However, we who have ridden the wave of retail trends over had seen and admired York Castle Museum which had an many years and now run the unique local attraction that is Edwardian and Victorian street and this was the catalyst Bygones. we needed to create Bygones.” Serendipity then took a I meet Richard on a Friday morning that should have hand as premises just along from St Marychurch Post been quiet but in fact is surprisingly busy. This is not a Office had become available. It had been a cinema and museum. Bygones’ famous street with its well-stocked Apothecary, General Store and Toy Shop exudes the sights, then a furniture shop and luckily there was lots of space for the family’s extensive collections plus Dad’s tank engine, sounds and scents of 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s (now called Patricia after Richard’s mother), to take up Diamond Jubilee. It’s a huge site with period display residence. rooms including a nursery, a kitchen and a station hotel. So the premises were acquired and one cold Sunday in There’s also a large working model railway, a World War I February 1987, Fore Street outside Bygones was closed and trench, a 40s and 50s shopping arcade, a Fantasy Land, an the railway engine arrived on a low-loader accompanied Edwardian amusement arcade and a display of by a police escort. The front of the P & O Steamship Company “I have always been building had been removed and two memorabilia. Collectables are crammed into every nook and fascinated by history. I love enormous cranes arrived to lift the engine into position. A winch cranny making this a place of endless the story behind the item; huge was also used to edge her sideways fascination where you can easily perhaps someone famous into the building, a process, which spend hours and hours. took most of the day and rather But how did it all start I wonder? or a well-known local attracted a huge Richard tells me that his great-great person might have used it” unsurprisingly, crowd. By May that year Bygones grandfather and then his great was opened to the public. grandfather ran a saddlery in Totnes, where NatWest Bank Like his family before him, Richard has a background in is now. Then as cars came in, they saw the writing on the independent retail running shops in Babbacombe before wall and moved into confectionery, tobacco and news, getting more and more involved with Bygones. He has also running two shops in Totnes from 1910. During the war, been heavily involved in politics at a local and national the family swapped ice cream from their shops with US troops in exchange for other products they couldn’t source. level, as a councillor for 17 years, leader of Torbay Unitary Authority and also a parliamentary candidate at two When it was his father’s turn to take the family helm, general elections standing in Merthyr Tydfil and Plymouth he ran St Marychurch’s Post Office plus retail shops in Devonport. Not having been elected on either occasion, Babbacombe and in Torwood Street in Torquay. Richard started to spend more time working at Bygones The whole family have always been keen collectors, and building up the collections. He tells me, “I have acquiring art and collectables and over the years had always been fascinated by history. I love the story behind amassed a wide range of items. Then came the great day in the item; perhaps someone famous or a well-known local 1986 when the family home was completely full and Dad person might have used it. Sometimes the individual pieces still couldn’t resist buying a 28-ton railway engine from can be very emotive, like a wedding photo recovered from Falmouth Docks. There was simply no-where at all to put someone who was killed in the war.” it.


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Riviera People

Riviera People Bygones from all over the world and I know that when I All the pieces at Bygones are originals but because go abroad, a proper welcome means I’ll want to return.” Bygones is very much the recreation of a bygone era rather Richard’s philosophy also extends to local and than a dusty museum, the General Stores will contain, international relations. He has been Chair of the English say 20 Oxo tins and these need to be found to ensure the Riviera Attractions for over four years and has helped this authentic look of a store. Another way in which Richard local marketing organization to evolve dramatically. On and his family create a sense of ‘being there in the era’ is to the international front, his family frequently travelled to have all the clocks showing the correct time plus the day’s Gibraltar when he was a child and he is now trying to set correct date is always on display but in the year 1897. up reciprocal marketing arrangements with our British Richard tells me that every day in his life at Bygones Overseas Territory. He tells me, “Seven millions Brits is different with something new to collect or display. He describes to me how he regularly trawls the Antiques Trade visit Gibraltar every year so why not have some pop-up banners at exit points to the territory to promote visiting Gazette online looking for new items and is always on the English Riviera?” the lookout for military medals to put on show. There is a It does seem to me that running and stocking an targeted plan of what to buy to develop the displays. For example, the World War I displays are currently expanding attraction so vibrant and constantly evolving as Bygones would be quite addictive and I’m and the Trench Experience will be improved with a new sound system. “We like to treat visitors as not surprised to hear that Richard Richard explains, “The centenary we would like to be treated, is often at Bygones far into the evening. I ask him if it is eerie at makes WWI much more tangible always welcoming and night when the place empties out. and this will be especially important chatting to people about Richard says, “Late at night you do over the next 4 years.” get the sense sometimes that you are But as we approach Christmas, where they have not alone. Also, sometimes things festive magic is cleverly mixed travelled from.” appear to have moved overnight for into the displays at Bygones. The no reason that I can discover.” Street takes on a very different look and we are to be But don’t imagine that Richard never escapes into the treated to a delightful Victorian Christmas experience. outside world. He is married to Jane and they enjoy Richard explains, “The Victorians were very astute at travelling to places like Greece or Italy for short breaks. marketing and they looked to Christmas as a time to drive In May they are off to the Far East and Richard will lay a sales of festive items, food and spices using Christmas wreath at Singapore Memorial for his uncle who was killed advertisements as we would today.” There’s lots of fun for in World War II. children during the festive season. Richard’s team hides Richard and Jane live in St Marychurch, are keen modern items around Bygones for a popular children’s trail walkers and get out regularly onto the coast path. They and this year families can book ‘Breakfast with Santa’ from often enjoy walking from Walls Hill to Daddyhole Plain 20th to 24th December. and the walk alongside the railway line at Teignmouth. Look out also for 1914 tobacco and chocolate boxes Richard also recommends the Paignton to Brixham sent as Christmas gifts to the front line by families and coast path because of the great photo opportunities that organisations like the Grocers’ Federation and also by present themselves along the way. He describes himself Princess Mary. These are here to commemorate the as definitely a foodie, sampling anything from traditional widespread unofficial ceasefires that took place with English fare through to Indian and Cantonese dishes. He British and German soldiers engaging in carol singing says, “The choice has improved dramatically in the Bay in and exchanging food and souvenirs. Troops from both the last five years.” His favourite eaterie however, is Ode in sides were also reported to have enjoyed some impromptu football kickabouts together. Although it was not official or Shaldon, which he loves and visits often. But right now, everyone at Bygones is gearing up for universal, the truce is often seen as a symbolic moment of the festive fun with the task of transforming the Victorian peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events Street into a magical winter wonderland with snow, festive of human history. Richard explains his family’s business sounds, a 12-foot Christmas tree and the arrival of Santa. philosophy to me. “We like to treat visitors as we would like to be treated, always welcoming and chatting to people As a great fan of an old-fashioned, traditional Christmas, I can’t wait! ¨ about where they have travelled from. People do come to 18

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Twinkle Twinkle Lit le Star

English Riviera magazine looks a little further than the star on top of the Christmas tree this festive season when Anita Newcombe, together with Julian Rees, visits Torbay Astronomical Society.


have been told that Torbay Astronomical Society is a very friendly group and this proves to be the case when I telephone Chairman David Norman to find out more. He is super welcoming and when I subsequently speak to the society’s Secretary, David Love I am promptly invited to their observational evening at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School. Just one hitch though – the weather is forecast to be cloudy so there will be no actual observing during the evening. Nevertheless, we find a large group of space enthusiasts gathered in the physics laboratory at the school - there is always a series of talks and film showings when the weather is inclement. We are introduced to Paul Hutchinson, another committee member, who shows us outside, up some steps lit by red glowing lights (to protect night vision) and into the observatory. Here we admire the distinctive dome that opens up to reveal the splendour of the night sky. In the centre of the dome resides a brand new Celestron C1400 Edge HD, a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope, a serious science research tool and excellent for astrophotography with its computerised tracking system. This amazing piece of equipment belongs to the Boys’ School but the society has access to it along with a range


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Clubs & Societies

First Quarter Moon Photo: Keith Ball englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

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of other rather clever telescopes that can reveal all sorts of objects in the night sky. With the observatory roof firmly closed, it is quite warm. I had thought it was an essential requirement to be well muffled up for stargazing as it is essentially an outdoor, night time activity but this seems quite toasty. Paul explains, “The observatory has to be kept cool and the temperature usually equalises with the outside temperature quite quickly when the roof is opened. This is important as warm air can distort light entering the telescope and harm the seeing quality.” Torbay Astronomical Society was founded in 1956 and its patron is none other than famous astronomer Professor Chris Lintott, former member and old boy of Torquay Boys’ Grammar School. Chris is now co-presenter on BBC’s Sky at Night programme, hosted for over 50 years by Sir Patrick Moore. In February, Chris popped back and unveiled the refurbished observatory and its splendid new telescope and gave a talk entitled “How to Discover a Planet from Your Sofa.” Hmm. My very own planet – what’s not to like? But this evening we are not going to be observing so we head back to the lab to talk to David Love who tells us more about the society and its members. In spite of the cloudy conditions around 35 members have turned up and more of these are women than I had expected, maybe around 25 percent. David explains, “We have increased our membership in the last few years and now have about 80 members. We meet fortnightly on Thursday evenings at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School (TBGS) between September and April and we alternate between speaker meetings and observational evenings.” Now I discover that David is not only a keen astronomer who has his own telescope at the bottom of his garden but he has also recently published a new book Kepler: Tortured Genius. It’s about 17th century German astronomer, Johannes Kepler who was one of the four giants of the scientific revolution of that period. Johannes Kepler was one of the first people ever to accept that the Earth went round the Sun but more than that, he was a pivotal figure, every bit as important as Copernicus, Galileo or Newton. David spent five years researching and writing the book, and is well qualified to tackle the subject, having obtained a degree in physics and astronomy at University College London. But it’s now time to settle down to the business of the evening and I find myself enjoying it more than I expected given my very tenuous grasp of the mysteries of astronomy. 22

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BBC Sky At Night presenter and society patron Chris Lintott at the TBGS observatory

Amie Schofield (Treasurer TAS), Adam Hart-Davis (recent guest speaker) and Gloria Shorter (Vice Treasurer)


Clubs & Societies

Join The Club Membership of Torbay Astronomical Society costs just £15 a year (£10 if 65 or over, and £5 for students under 18). torbayastro.org.uk Jupiter and the Winter Stars Event – Booking is essential for this event at Berry Head on 17 January 2015, call Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust on 01803 520022, cost £7.50. countryside-trust.org.uk Photo: Chris Proctor

Kepler:Tortured Genius – to buy David Love’s book email davidloveastro@gmail.com or visit Torquay Museum Shop in Babbacombe Road or Torbay Bookshop in Paignton. Society secretary David Love - at home with his telescope

A time exposure of the sky in the direction of the constellation of Cygnus the Swan Photo: Paul Hutchinson englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

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There are short films about such delights as the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy illustrated by truly stunning photography and some discussion about what might happen when they collide in 4 – 5 billion years time. The good news is that they are likely just to merge happily but who knew? At the moment if each of these galaxies were the size of a CD they’d currently be 8ft apart so no immediate concern then. I like the way things are explained, as there is plenty for both the beginner and the more advanced enthusiast to enjoy and lots of comments and questions going back and forth, making it a fun evening. The group breaks for coffee and general chat and I seize the opportunity to chat to Chris Proctor, another member and astronomer who is running a stargazing evening at Berry Head on 17 January from 7-9pm. You’ll

The group will use telescopes to see giant Jupiter, distant Uranus and winter showpieces including the Pleiades, Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy.

Orion nebula Photo: Simon Harding

need to book in advance (see details on previous page) to explore the winter constellations with Chris, hot drink in hand. The group will use telescopes to see giant Jupiter, distant Uranus and winter showpieces including the Pleiades, Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy. If it’s cloudy there will be an illustrated talk on the winter sky and recent astronomical events. Our first Torbay Astronomical Society event is drawing to a close and I find myself quite inspired. It is much more interesting to look at the vastness of the night sky and have some idea of what might be up there. I left wishing to know more and having found the mystique of the night sky very appealing. If you’d like to know more I think you’ll find Torbay Astronomical Society a great place to start.¨

Evening Excursions to the Northern Lights Omega Holidays is running evening excursions to the Northern Lights with guest astronomers to help you get the most out of the experience. 20 January - Northern Lights from Bristol Airport 15 February – Northern Lights from Exeter Airport

omega-holidays.reader.travel 24

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Clubs & Societies

Comet Lovejoy Photo: Tony Slocombe

The Pleiades Photo: Simon Harding

Coming Soon 13/14 December The Geminid Meteor Shower Meteor showers are bits of debris (most of which are smaller than a grain of sand) that hit the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed, and then burn up because of friction. We see them as brief flashes of light as they streak across the night sky. The debris usually comes from a comet. Over time, this debris spreads out along the comet’s orbit. Each time that the Earth and the comet’s orbit cross, we see a meteor shower. The shower will appear to come from a particular direction, corresponding to the direction of the comet’s orbit. In the case of the Geminids, the meteors appear to originate from the direction of the constellation of Gemini. It is almost impossible to predict exactly how good any one meteor shower will be, but it would be a disappointment if this year’s Geminids produced anything less than a couple of meteors every minute. To view them, you need a dark sky. This December’s full moon will be on 6 December, so the moon will not be a problem for evening viewing on 13 December. To view the Geminids, wait until late evening, dress up warmly before going outside, then find Gemini, stare in its general direction, and wait! 20 March 2015 - Partial Eclipse of the Sun A partial eclipse is coming up in the morning of 20 March. A partial eclipse is not nearly as interesting as a total eclipse, but is nevertheless worth watching. About 80% of the sun’s surface will be covered by the moon, as seen from Torbay.You should NOT stare directly at the sun’s disc, as this is very likely to damage the eyes permanently. Instead, you should get special eclipse viewers, made of mylar, that block out over 99% of the sun’s light and make it safe to observe (several commercial companies sell these). Also you should NEVER look directly at the sun through binoculars or a telescope as this will result in instant and permanent blindness. With thanks to David Love - Torbay Astronomical Society

Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska The Northern Lights,shine above Bear Lake Photo Copyright: United States Air Force englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

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A Family Affair - Festive Recipes for Christmas

Christmas entertaining can be fun if family and friends rally round. We’ve gathered together some great recipes and top tips for festive cooking – don’t forget to make sure that everyone helps! Super fast canapés for the festive season from Mitch Tonks owner and chef, Rockfish and The Seahorse, Torquay and Dartmouth South Devon Crab on Toast

Mix some brown crabmeat with a good pinch of mace, white pepper and a splash of brandy, then stir in some white crabmeat and spread on sliced, toasted baguette.

Crab Crostini

White South Devon crab mixed with olive oil, lemon, black pepper, chervil, parsley and dried chilli on small pieces of bread.

Smoked Salmon

Small slice on a piece of bread with black pepper, lemon and a few chives.

Marinated Scallops with Chilli and Mint Finely chopped scallops marinated in lime, chilli and mint for 2-3 minutes served on teaspoons - 8 on a plate.

Monkfish Tartare

Very finely diced monkfish with minced capers, minced gherkins lemon zest, fine shallots, olive oil, dried chilli, parsley, salt. Served on teaspoons – 8 on a plate.


Opened on a plate and with a dish of shallot vinegar for drizzling on top. o

Easy Mulled Wine – from the Editor

Someone in your family party will enjoy studding an orange with cloves so get them working on this whilst you hot up a couple of bottles of wine (add water or orange juice to dilute a little if you prefer a lighter drink). Pop the studded orange into the pot with some lemon slices, add some ground ginger and a couple of cinnamon sticks plus sugar or honey to taste and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Make sure the youngsters have a warmed, nonalcoholic version made with cranberry, apple and orange juice. Serve with stollen, nice spiced biscuits, mince pies or Christmas cake – great after a winter walk on the coast path! o 26

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Festive Food & Drink

Sensational Starter! Potted South Devon Crab from Mitch Tonks

A classic recipe, a classic method and you’ll know why this is so popular as soon as you dig out a delicious spoonful to spread on your toast, the aroma and taste is sensational. Serves 4 Ingredients 250gm brown crabmeat 150 gram white crabmeat Splash of cognac 1 tsp ground fennel seeds 1 crumbled dried chilli 100g melted butter + 50g for pouring on top Fennel fronds Juice & zest 1/2 lemon Method Melt the butter, stir in the crabmeat, cognac, the fennel, lemon juice, chilli & zest season and taste and then put into ramekins and pour a little melted butter over the top then sprinkle with fennel fronds, chill well and serve with toast. o


My Tips for a Scrumptious Turkey and Trimmings from Dean Griffin, Executive Head Chef, Berry Head Hotel, Brixham “I recommend choosing a well-known turkey with lots of flavour such as a Norfolk Bronze. Then to enhance the flavour, mix butter, thyme and lemon zest together and place this under the turkey’s skin before roasting. This mixture will melt and the turkey will take on the flavours. It is very important that once your turkey (or any other joint of meat) is cooked, that it is left to rest for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour as this makes it a lot more succulent. For roast potatoes, I use Maris Piper. First of all peel them then par boil in chicken stock or water, then drain them and shake to roughen the edges, place them into a hot roasting tray with either rape seed oil or olive oil and season with thyme or rosemary, garlic cloves sea salt and cracked black pepper. To make sprouts more exciting, try something different, slice and sauté them with shallots, smoked bacon and maple syrup!” o

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Something Festive for the Vegetarian from Scott Harris-Jones, Head Chef, Le Bistrot Pierre, Torquay Honey-Roasted Goats’ Cheese Served on toasted brioche with sun-blushed tomatoes, rocket and balsamic Serves 4 Preparation Time – 20 mins Cooking Time – 5 mins Ingredients 360 g goats’ cheese log 40 g clear honey 4 brioche slices 150 g sun-blushed tomatoes 60 ml balsamic vinegar 40 ml extra virgin olive oil 10 g flat-leaf parsley 60 g lettuce, rocket, Roquette Arugula 40 ml dressing (see dressing recipe online) Preparation Chop the parsley and toast the brioche Method 1. Dice the tomato wedges (1 into 2 or 3) and add balsamic, olive oil, parsley, salt & pepper and lightly mix it with a spoon, ensuring not to mash the tomatoes 2. Drizzle the goat’s cheese with honey and put under the grill under till brown 3. To assemble: Place the dressed rocket leaves on top of the brioche in the middle of the plate 4. Rest the warm goat’s cheese on the rocket and spoon the dressing around. o

C hef ’s


is tmas A great C hr r any fo t en es pr ef is a bu dd ing ch torch ow bl kitchen they w ith which the can toas t se and goat’s chee er than th honey ra ill. gr e th g in us

A little Drop of the Good Stuff – Wine Tips from Ken Williams, Master Sommelier, Berry Head Hotel

“I suggest that a lovely wine to complement your starter such as smoked salmon or continental meats could be a Macon Blanc Villages or a Sancerre from the Loire Valley. Both are crisp and dry, with the Sancerre having gooseberry flavours. A pleasant red wine to go with your turkey main course could be our Brouilly, which is a soft smooth wine. Brouilly is one of the main villages in the Beaujolais area of France. A good choice of dessert wine available at most good wine shops is a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise which is a very powerfully sweet wine full of honeyed flavours and a very strong wine at about 15% abv.”o 28

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Festive Food & Drink Che f ’s T ip

Festive Dining - Just for Two from Scott Harris-Jones, Le Bistrot Pierre

Tr y w it ser vin h g t his cre lovel a y dau my gr , a pot p hino i tin a s vel toes o e v r ma ety m ust sh ard

If a turkey is too big, then Coq au Vin is always a good option, or try roast duck (considerably smaller than a turkey!) Serves 2 Preparation Time – 20 mins Cooking Time – 2 1/2 hours Ingredients 4 chicken legs (280-340g) 500ml red wine 180g smoked bacon lardons 200g button mushrooms 200g carrots 200g silverskin onions 100g celery

2 bay leaves 600ml chicken stock 20g peeled garlic cloves Sprig rosemary Sprig thyme 30g unsalted butter 60ml vegetable oil

Method 1. Rub salt all over the legs and marinate them overnight in a shallow tray with thyme, sliced garlic and red wine 2. The next day, fry the rest of the garlic, bacon, herbs, onions and vegetables in a deep ovenproof pot until lightly browned 3. Add the marinated chicken, wine and chicken stock then cover the pot and place in the oven for 90 minutes at 160°C 4. Let it cool slightly then strain off the stock for sauce 5. Bring stock to a boil and reduce until the sauce thickens slightly and lightly coats the back of a spoon 6. Place the chicken legs (skin up), vegetables and sauce into a shallow tray and finish in a hot oven until chicken skin starts to crisp 7. To serve, place the vegetables from the sauce at the bottom, rest the chicken leg on top and baste with more sauce. o

For Those Wonderful Homemade Mince Pies - Christmas Mincemeat with a Cranberry Twist by reader Linda Jeyes Ingredients 250 grams sultanas 250 grams raisins 250 grams currants 250 grams cranberries 225 grams candied mixed peel chopped Zest and juice of 2 oranges Zest and juice of 2 lemons 225 grams vegetable suet 75 grams whole almonds chopped

500 grams cooking apples cored and grated 325 grams soft light brown sugar 4 level teaspoons of mixed spice 1 teaspoon of cinnamon Half a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg 6 tablespoons of brandy, rum or sherry (optional)

• You will need approximately 6 x 370 gram jam jars that will need to be sterilised. • Place all the ingredients apart from the alcohol in a large pan and stir well. • Heat gently and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. • Leave to cool completely and then add the alcohol of your choice. • Spoon into sterilised jars and put the lids on tightly and label. • Keep in a cool place until required. • Should keep for approximately six months. o December/January 2014/15


Come along and discover great value provincial French cooking made with authentic, fresh ingredients. Lunch 2 courses £10.95 Lunch 3 courses £12.95 Pre theatre 2 courses £14.95 A la carte also available

Serving locally sourced fish dishes

Located in the new Abbey Sands complex with an outside terrace, restaurant and bar, overlooking the stunning Torquay bay.

A bientôt! Abbey Sands, Abbey Crescent, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 5FB

Give yourself a break over the festive season and come and see why our SUPER SUNDAY ROAST is one of the county’s best!


01803 845837 churstontraditionalfarmshop.org.uk 30

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Tel: 01803 221 213 www.lebistrotpierre.co.uk




Dartmouth Road, nr Brixham TQ5 0LL (Just before the Go Carts)


Festive Food & Drink

A Continental Treat – Scrummy Stollen From Holly and David Jones at Manna from Devon

This stollen recipe is incredibly popular at Christmas and makes a fantastic present especially as it keeps really well and you can make it in advance. Ingredients 10g dried yeast 175ml warm milk 1 egg 30g caster sugar 5g salt 60g softened butter 350g strong white flour 50g sultanas 50g currants 50g glace cherries, rinsed in hot water, drained and quartered 50g candied peel 120g marzipan Icing sugar


Method 1. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, sugar, salt, butter, milk, yeast and the flour. 2.Using a wooden spoon or bread scraper, mix until the ingredients come together to form a dough and then turn it on to a clean work surface and knead well until the dough is smooth and elastic. 3. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for 60-90 minutes. 4.Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and shape into a square about 30x30cm. Put all the dried fruit on top of the dough and knead together until the fruit is mixed in. 5.Shape the dough into a rectangle 20x25cm. Shape the marzipan into a roll the same length as the dough and place it in the centre of the dough. 6.Fold one side of the dough over the marzipan and then do the same with the other side. 7.Place the stollen, seam side down, on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for about 2 hours, until doubled in size. 8.Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. 9.Uncover the dough and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown. 10. Melt a little butter (about 30g) and brush over the cooked stollen while it’s still hot. Dust with lots of icing sugar until completely white and cool on a wire rack. 11. When completely cold, wrap the stollen tightly in foil and store in a tin for up to a week to mature. 12. When you’re ready to eat the stollen, slice it thinly and serve with coffee or a glass of mulled wine. o

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O L 12 UNC PEN -3P H F M & D OR & 6.3 INN 0 – ER 9P M.

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Throughout December & January, Three Course Festive Party Menu. From 2 – 32 guests - £24.50 29th January, 7pm - Feel Good Five Course Tasting Menu with Matching Wines - £39.95 13th & 14th February, 6.30pm – 9pm - Valentines Three Course Candlelit Dinner with Champagne - £45.00 Recommended Michelin Eating out in Pubs Guide 2014 & the Good Food Guide 2014

For further information and bookings please call 01803 327110 or email: enquiries@caryarms.co.uk www.caryarms.co.uk


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Festive Food & Drink Celebratory Cocktails from Le Bistrot Pierre - cocktails are always fun but make sure you have fun non-alcoholic choices for the non-drinkers and youngsters. Guillotine Mary Cocktail (a twist on a Bloody Mary)

50ml Vodka 175ml Tomato Juice 5 dashes of Tabasco 2 twists of Pepper 5ml fresh Lemon juice 1 teaspoon of Taste No. 5, Umami paste Add cubed ice and then roll the cocktail (don’t shake it or the tomato can split) and serve over ice with a stick of celery, a lemon wedge and a large crouton topped with fresh pesto. Note: This is a vegetarian cocktail as it uses Umami paste rather than Worcestershire sauce. o

Espresso Martini

Single shot of Espresso 35ml Vodka 25ml Tia Maria 10ml Sugar Syrup Shake ingredients hard (but not for too long as the hot coffee will melt the ice and dilute the drink) – enough to make it froth. Pour it into a Martini glass and let it settle before garnishing it with 3 coffee beans. Note: Sugar syrup is made from equal parts water and sugar. Kahlúa may be substituted for the Tia Maria. If you don’t have an Espresso machine you can dilute a good instant coffee with 50ml of hot water as an alternative. o

Festive Ales

Don’t fancy cocktails? Why not try a locally produced festive ale? Bays Brewery’s locally brewed Jingle Ale is available now until Christmas in cask, polypins (bag in a box) and bottles. It’s a delicious 4% ale, deep amber in colour with a subtle sweetness and a hoppy finish. And for those New Year parties, Bays 2015 ale, again locally brewed, is available from mid-December in cask and polypins. It’s a well-balanced amber colour, 3.9%, easydrinking ale for the New Year. o englishrivieramagazine.co.uk


Why not share your favourite festive season treats at facebook.com/ EnglishRivieraMag

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Festive Towns around the

English Riviera

The English Riviera is a wonderful place to be throughout the festive season and we bring you a roundup on what’s happening right across the region. Combine this year’s Christmas shopping with some fun festive events or a visit to one of the local attractions that are all dressed up for Christmas. Treat yourself to mince pies and hot chocolate in our cafés, a little lunch or supper in our fabulous restaurants and celebrate what we have on our doorstep.

Torquay Torquay puts on the glitz at Christmas with sparkly Christmas lights, a festive atmosphere and some very special events. A visit to those creative makers at Cockington is always a treat with lots of inspiring Christmas gifts and a chance to go skating at the outdoor rink. There are some exciting and unusual places to meet Santa including a real underground grotto at Kents Cavern and a marine grotto at Living Coasts. There will be late night shopping on Thursdays prior to Christmas with free parking in Torbay Council car parks from 5pm.

German Christmas Market, Marldon On until 21 December (Thurs & Fri eves plus Sat & Sun all day)

Visitors to Marldon Christmas Tree Farm can soak up the holiday season in German style with musical entertainment, a host of stalls offering festive food and drink, Christmas gifts and trinkets plus a Santa’s grotto, Christmas land train and a chance to see Santa’s magical reindeer. Totnes Road, Marldon, TQ3 1RR marldonchristmastrees.co.uk

The Mistletoe Ball, Grand Hotel 6 December

Kick start the festive season with this popular annual Christmas black tie dinner and dance. Enjoy a champagne reception and a four-course dinner. Following dinner there will be a charity auction and then you can dance the night away with live band the Cuckoo Collective. Tickets £48. Seafront, Torquay, TQ2 6NT 0844 4742222 paigntonzoo.org.uk

Skate at Cockington Court 6 December - 4 January

Get your skates on this winter and have a twirl on the LAMBCO Christmas Skating Rink in front of a festive Cockington Court Manor House. This year there will be a roof over the rink offering all weather skating. Open daily from 10.30am to 5pm. Cockington Village, Torquay TQ2 6XA 01803 607230 cockingtoncourt.org

Christmas at Cockington Court & Food Fayre 6 and 7 December

There’ll be a Santa’s grotto, craft and food stalls, choirs, lantern parade, mince pies & mulled wine, face painting, Christmas quiz plus free family arts & crafts. Visit the craft studios & galleries for that special gift: paintings and prints, sculpture, vintage fashion and accessories, ceramics, glass blowers, blacksmith, toy maker, chocolatier, jeweller, textiles, leather, furniture, bags & sewing kits, wrapping paper, cards and more…. Cockington Village, Torquay TQ2 6XA 01803 607230 cockingtoncourt.org englishrivieramagazine.co.uk


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Monster Saturday – The Big Freeze, Torquay Museum 6 December

Imagine what it was like in the Ice Age, find out about the ice caps and glaciers! Make special Big Freeze decorations for Christmas, and explore how liquids turn to solids when they freeze. Family-friendly activities are free for all with a museum ticket (tickets are valid for one year so you can enjoy all Monster Saturdays for the next 12 months). No need to book. Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HG 01803 293975 torquaymuseum.org

Santa in the Caves, Kents Cavern 7, 13, 14 & 20-24 December

✩ ❅

Christmas Murder Mystery, Imperial Hotel 18 December

Can you guess whodunnit? The action begins over predinner drinks and concludes over coffee. Whilst you sit down to a delicious Christmas themed 3-course dinner, actors will lay the clues that you have to unravel. It is up to you to investigate and accuse a suspect. Booking essential. Tickets £29.95 per person. Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG 01803 206165 thehotelcollection.co.uk

Venture underground in Britain’s premier prehistoric cave as Santa returns to Kents Cavern. Some very unexpected and magical friends join him in his grotto. Who will answer your knock and open the door this year? Will it be Mrs. Santa? Angel Gabrielle? Fairy Mary? Princess Snowflake? An hour long festive show, a personal visit with Santa, fantastic Christmas presents, mulled wine and mince pies. Tickets £9. Present for 1 year olds £3.50 otherwise under 2s are free. Ilsham Road, Torquay, TQ1 2JF 01803 215136 kents-cavern.co.uk

Hosted Seafood Night with Mitch Tonks, Rockfish 18 December & 15 January

Sunday Lunch with Santa, Imperial Hotel 14 & 21 December

Brunch with Santa, Living Coasts 20-23 December

Although he’s very busy indeed preparing for the big day, Santa will be visiting the Imperial. Lunch with Santa is the perfect way for families to get together for some pre-festive fun. Sit down to a delicious 3-course meal and enjoy the festive novelties laid out on your table. After lunch, youngsters can meet the big man himself and he will present every young guest with an early Christmas gift. Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG 01803 206165 thehotelcollection.co.uk

Enjoy a special celebration of our local seafood at Rockfish in Torquay with host Mitch Tonks. Enjoy a specially created menu with dishes like crab salad, octopus, cured fish, roasted whole sea bass, turbot and hollandaise. The menu will be created from the best fish and shellfish available from the markets on the day. 20 Victoria Parade, Torquay, TQ1 2BB 01803 212175 therockfish.co.uk

Visit Living Coasts this Christmas and enjoy a festive pancake brunch before meeting Santa in his magical grotto. Children will get to decorate their very own Christmas pancakes with all sorts of sweet treats, take part in a craft activity and meet Santa to receive a special present. You can also meet Santa on 13 & 14 December but brunch will not be available. Booking essential. Harbourside, Beacon Quay, Torquay TQ1 2BG 01803 202484 livingcoasts.org.uk

Traditional Coca Cola Truck Visit, Union Street17 December

Christmas is on its way and to mark another season of festivities, the iconic Coca Cola Christmas Truck is stopping off in Torbay. Adverts featuring the famous red lorry mark the start of Christmas for many people and this year the truck is touring the country spreading festive cheer. The truck will visit from midday to 8pm. Union Street, Torquay TQ1 1ES


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✩ Boxing Day Dip, Corbyn Head 26 December

The Boxing Day Dip is an annual event organised by No. 200 (Torquay) Squadron Air Training Corps in aid of the unit as well as an additional chosen charity, which this year is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI); all proceeds are split 50% to each organisation. Participants


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and supporters should arrive between 10.30am and 10.45am ready to enter the sea at 11.00am. Changing facilities will be available for participants in the Grand Hotel post event. Corbyn Head, Torbay Road, Torquay TQ2 6RH


u h c y r a M t S & e b m o c a b b Ba Babbacombe and St Marychurch are on the must-visit list at Christmas with a delightful set of shops, sweeping winter views across Babbacombe Downs and some very special attractions that have been magically transformed into winter wonderlands with lots of fun and surprises for the whole family.

Babbacombe Model Village, Hampton Avenue, St Marychurch TQ1 3LA 01803 315315 babbacombemodelvillage.co.uk

Victorian Christmas, Bygones 1 December – 2 January

Step back to a Magical Victorian Christmas as Bygones is turned into a winter wonderland with snow, festive sounds and a 12-foot Christmas tree. Children’s crafts are available to make and take home, all included in the admission price. Fore Street, St Marychurch TQ1 4PR 01803 326108 bygones.co.uk

Babbacombe Christmas Street Party 6 December

A day of light entertainment and fun for all ages to celebrate this festive season runs from 11am until 4pm. Reddenhill Road, Torquay, TQ1 3NT babbacombe.torbaytowns.co.uk

Christmas at the Model Village, Babbacombe 13 December – 2 January (except Xmas day)

Lots of Christmas fun for the family with magical illuminations lighting up the park daily from 3pm plus Alpine skiing for kids (3-8yrs), crazy mini-golf, a Christmas trail and a mini-panto. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Christmas in miniature at Babbacombe Model Village

St Marychurch Christmas Street Party 16 December

Stalls, food, entertainment, Santa and the Snow Queen plus Devon & Cornwall Police Pipes and Drums. Time: 12 noon - 8pm. Free parking in local car parks from 10am. St Marychurch Precinct, TQ1 4LX babbacombe.torbaytowns.co.uk

Breakfast with Victorian Santa, Bygones 20 – 24 December

Breakfast with Santa is a huge hit with families so book early! 9.30am each day. Fore Street, St Marychurch, Torquay TQ1 4PR 01803 326108 bygones.co.uk December/January 2014/15


Tel: 01803 215136


Riviera International Centre, Torquay

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

   ⁄ 

New Year    Johann Strauss Gala    . The BSO is delighted to return to Torquay for another celebration of the king of waltz. What better way to celebrate the New Year than with the BSO’s definitive celebration of Johann Strauss and his sparkling legacy! Let the BSO waltz you away with an enchanting musical selection including Chatterbox and Pizzicato Polkas Emperor and Gold and Silver Waltzes Vilja from Merry Widow and many more... plus, of course, the Blue Danube to finish! Thomas Rösner  Elizabeth Watts 

 

 

December/January 2014/15

live.com englishrivieramagazine.co.uk


Paignton Christmas in Paignton has something for everyone with Christmas fayres and markets, Santa’s grottos, festive trips on the spectacular steam railway and for the brave, a Boxing Day walk into the sea.

South Devon College Christmas Fayre & Market 3 & 4 December Organised by Friends of South Devon College, this festive fayre and market will take place in the main campus. Time: 10am-3pm, free entry, plenty of parking. The Street, Level 1, Vantage Point, Long Road, Paignton TQ4 7EJ 08000 380123 southdevon.ac.uk

Christmas at the Farm, Occombe 4 December

Join Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust for an evening of shopping and Christmas fun. There will be a Christmas market featuring a range of gifts from local craft producers as well as local festive food and many other gift ideas. The farm shop will be open for late night shopping and there will be entertainment throughout the evening. Bring the kids along for some Christmas craft activities and a visit to see Santa in his garden grotto. Time: 6.30-9.30pm, Cost: Free entry and free parking, small charge for some activities including Santa’s grotto, Booking: Not required Occombe Farm, Preston Down Road, Preston, Paignton TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk/occombe

Winter Bird Walk, Occombe 7 December

Brush up on your gull, diver and grebe identification skills at Broadsands with local expert Mike Langman. Torbay provides some great opportunities to study gulls and wintering seabirds often at close range. Mike will take you through the identification of several gull species of various ages and any grebes and divers that should be present. The marsh is a great place for wintering firecrest and chiffchaffs. The winter cirl bunting feeding station which Mike started 15 years ago will be visited for some great views of this ‘Devon Bunting’. Cost: £6 per person, englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

T Festive Towns

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booking essential. Occombe Farm, Preston Down Road, Preston, Paignton TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk/occombe

Christmas Hamper Workshop, Occombe 7 December

Create your own wonderful Christmas hamper full of delectable goodies for your family or to give as a present to that special person. You will create truffles, Panforte, cranberry and pistachio biscotti, Mexican hot chocolate, pecan snowball cookies, fudge and Christmas pecan. Cost: £75 per person including lunch. Occombe Farm, Preston Down Road, Preston, Paignton TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk/occombe

Torbay Gilbert & Sullivan Society Christmas Concert 12 December

Together with Totnes Band, Torbay Gilbert and Sullivan Society presents their annual Christmas concert. Enjoy an evening of varied Christmas music with many solos, duets, and choruses as well as carols for the audience to join in with. Tickets: £8.50. Palace Theatre, Paignton 01803 665800 palacetheatrepaignton.co.uk

Christmas at Paignton Zoo 13, 14 & 20-24 December

Santa’s lost his reindeer! Visit Paignton Zoo this Christmas to help him find them! Go on a festive adventure around the Zoo, meet Santa in his magical grotto and receive a great present, then ride the Jungle Christmas Express and make sure you spot all the reindeer to receive a special Christmas goody bag! Booking essential. Totnes Road, Paignton TQ4 7EU 0844 474 2222 paigntonzoo.org.uk


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December/January 2014/15



T Festive Towns

Santa Express Steam Train, Paignton 13, 14 & 20-24 December

There will be three Santa Express trains a day at 10.45am, 1pm and 3pm. Join in the fun at Paignton where the log fires will be burning strongly. Board the train to Kingswear and return. During the journey a festive mince pie and a glass of mulled wine can be enjoyed (by the adults!). Santa will visit you at your seat - make sure you chase off Scrooge and you will receive a gift (children only). Paignton Queens Park Station, Torbay Road, Paignton, TQ4 6AF 01803 555872 dartmouthrailriver.co.uk

Paignton Lions Club Walk into the Sea 26 December

Gingerbread House Workshop, Occombe 14 December

Brixham & Kingswear

Decorate your own edible Gingerbread House for Christmas in this fun, family workshop led by Lori Reich. Lori will provide you with gingerbread house, delicious decorations and ideas to help you assemble and decorate your own house to take home. You’ll need a couple of pairs of hands to complete your house – bring an older brother, sister or other family member to help you. Cost £22.50 per house. Occombe Farm Cookery School, Preston Down Road, Preston, Paignton TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk/occombe

Paignton Lions Club Boxing Day ‘Walk in to the Sea’ started 26th December, 1976 and what was a one-off has become a major Christmas Holiday attraction ever since. Numerous charities benefit from the events and only once has the event had to cancel due to weather warnings from the Coastguard. Paignton Sands, Esplanade Road, Paignton, TQ4 6BW 01803 526034 paigntonlions.org.uk

The southern end of the Bay has its own very special charm at Christmas with its beautiful harbourside, vibrant shopping areas and lots of cafes and restaurants. Why not book one of the magical National Trust events at Coleton Fishacre and Greenway or one of the festive dining options at places like stunning Berry Head Hotel. There’s a superb selection of restaurants, cafes and pubs in Brixham, full of maritime character with many serving delicious seafood from the world-famous fish market.

Dine by The Dart, Greenway 5 & 19 December

Enjoy a celebration of local produce with three courses of fine dining in Agatha Christie’s beloved holiday home by the River Dart. Tickets are £27.50, under 12s £17.50, booking essential. Greenway Road, Brixham TQ5 0ES 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Christmas Natural Wreath Making, Occombe 14 December

Get into the festive spirit at this fun Christmas workshop and create an eye-catching wreath out of natural materials to adorn your door or as a stunning table piece. Drop in between 11am and 3pm, £9 per wreath. Occombe Farm Yurt, Preston Down Road, Preston, Paignton TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk/occombe englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

December/January 2014/15



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Fri 22nd - Sun 24th May 2015, 2 nights CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW £255 per person (based on 2 sharing) 4«««« Victoria Park Plaza Hotel Fri 19th - Tues 23rd June 2015, 4 nights SANDRINGHAM AND THE NORFOLK BROADS £299 per person (based on 2 sharing) All excursions included


December/January 2014/15

10th January 14th January 22nd January 27th January 10th February 14th February





T Festive Towns

✩ An Evening of Christmas Music, Lupton House 15 & 16 December

Treat yourself to an evening of Christmas music with Quay Harmony & guests from 7.30pm. Tickets are £7, concessions £5. Brixham Road, Churston Ferrers, TQ5 0LD 01803 851991 discoverlupton.com

Violin & Piano Recital, Lupton House 17 December Christmas Cocktails and Carols, Coleton Fishacre 6 December

Step back in time and enjoy the decadence of a 1920s Christmas.Dress up in your finest flapper dress or dapper suit and come along to Coleton Fishacre where you can enjoy the atmosphere whilst sipping cocktails and singing carols in the Saloon. Tickets £25. Brownstone Road, Kingswear, TQ6 0EQ 01803 843235 nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre

Collect Your Christmas Decorations, Coleton Fishacre 6 December

Join the Coleton Fishacre team for a guided tour around the garden, gathering foliage and woodland cuttings as you go to take home for your Christmas wreaths and decorations. Free event but normal admission charges apply. Brownstone Road, Kingswear, TQ6 0EQ 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre

Collect Your Christmas Decorations, Greenway 13 December

Join the Greenway team for a guided tour around the garden, gathering foliage and woodland cuttings as you go to take home for your Christmas wreaths and decorations. Free event but normal admission charges apply. Greenway Road, Brixham TQ5 0ES 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway


A recital featuring the music of Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and more with Yulia Northridge on violin and Ekaterina Shetliffe on piano. Tickets: £5, under 16s free when accompanied by an adult. Brixham Road, Churston Ferrers, TQ5 0LD 01803 845800 discoverlupton.com

Festive Feasts in the House Kitchen, Greenway 20 & 21 December (last available dates and selling fast) Celebrate Christmas in true style, with the exclusive opportunity to have a two course Christmas lunch in the fabulous setting of the Greenway House Kitchen. With delicious food and mulled wine or spiced apple juice, enjoyed in the heart of Agatha Christie’s holiday home; what better way to get into the festive spirit? Tickets £22.50, under 12s £17.50 Greenway Road, Brixham TQ5 0ES 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Christmas Eve Candlelit Dinner, Berry Head Hotel 24 December

Enjoy a romantic candlelit evening to include 4 courses & coffee. Bucks Fizz & canapés will be served on arrival at 7pm with live music from Margaret Duffy before dinner. Cost £32 (or join in the Christmas Eve Bar Party for a festive drink or brasserie supper). Eddie will be on the piano for carols and a sing along from 9pm onwards. Check the website for Christmas Day options for nonresidents. Berry Head Road, Brixham, TQ5 9AJ 01803 853225 berryheadhotel.com

December/January 2014/15


First class travel as standard Travel in style when you’re Christmas shopping with:


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What more reason do you need to climb aboard? If you would like to get news and offers on Gold and all of our other services visit www.stagecoachbus.com/southwest and register for our ‘Bus Bulletin’



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December/January 2014/15



T Festive Towns

New Year’s Eve Celebrations, Berry Head Hotel 31 December

A stunning place to see in the New Year, three courses & coffee are included in the hotel’s Grand Gala Buffet followed by dancing to ’Freeway’ & DJ with bubbly & mince pies at midnight. Fancy dress or simply dress to impress. Time 8pm – 2am, tickets £68 (or bar party with DJ only £5 entry). Berry Head Road, Brixham, TQ5 9AJ 01803 853225 berryheadhotel.com

New Year’s Day Jazz Lunch, Berry Head Hotel 1 January

Start the New Year in style with a 3-course carvery lunch with coffee and live jazz for £23.95 (main course only £14.95) Berry Head Road, Brixham, TQ5 9AJ 01803 853225 berryheadhotel.com

Dartmouth A visit to Dartmouth is always a treat and the town is a haven of interesting shops and waterside strolls plus the historic Dartmouth Castle with its splendid position guarding the River Dart. Brunch at Al Frescos, hugely popular with locals and visitors alike plus a big collection of cafés, restaurants and character pubs, offer a happy complement to any festive season visit over the water.

Britannia Royal Naval College Tours, Dartmouth 1, 8 & 15 December

Take a break from the festive scene and visit the naval training establishment where HM the Queen first met Prince Philip. Tours of this iconic building cover its considerable history and its role within the Royal Navy today. Booking via Dartmouth Tourist Information Service. Britannia Royal Naval College, College Way, Dartmouth TQ6 0HJ 01803 834224 englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Christmas Concert, Britannia Royal Naval College ❅ 9 December

A concert of seasonal music presented by The Britannia Royal Naval College volunteer band. Tickets £8.00, pre purchased and seat numbered ticket only. A coach service will pick up from Nat West Bank and park & ride from 18.20-19.20 and will return after the concert. The Casper John Hall BRNC, Dartmouth TQ6 0HJ 01803 677565 britanniaassociation.org.uk

Dartmouth Fatstock Show 9 December

Enjoy this one-day traditional event in Dartmouth and mingle with farmers and animals in the The Pannier Market, Dartmouth. Grand Exhibition of cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, butter, cream and eggs. The Old Market, Dartmouth, TQ6 9YY 01803 863888

Anzac Street Bistro Solo Night 17 December

On your tod this Christmas? Why not give Anzac Street Bistro’s Solo Night a whirl and meet some new friends or even someone special? Enjoy a three-course set menu for £15 with a complimentary cocktail plus live music from James Weaver. Event is suitable for people aged 40 and over. Booking essential. Anzac Street, Dartmouth TQ6 9DL 01803 835515 anzacbistro.co.uk

Christmas Carols at Bayards Cove, Dartmouth 24 December

To celebrate Christmas Eve come along with all your friends to Christmas Carols at Bayards Cove and make it a brilliant start to Christmas. Bring a torch for the carol sheets and look out for the new snow machine. Time: 16.45pm until 18.45pm. Dartmouth TQ6 9AN

Torbay Christmas Rubbish and Recycling Collections Thank you for recycling for Torbay Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Normal Day of collection Monday 22nd December

Contact your council...

the easy way

For all you need to know about waste and recycling in Torbay visit www.torbay.gov.uk/ yourbins or telephone 01803 207900.

Revised day of collection  Saturday 20 December

Tuesday 23 December

 Monday 22 December Wednesday 24 December  Tuesday 23 December Thursday 25 December Friday 26 December Monday 29 December Tuesday 30 December

 Wednesday 24 December  Saturday 27 December  Monday 29 December  Tuesday 30 December

Wednesday 31 December  Wednesday 31 December Thursday 1 January  Friday 2 January Friday 2 January

 Saturday 3 January

Monday 5 January

 Monday 5 January  Tuesday 6 January

Tuesday 6 January Wednesday 7 January Thursday 8 January

 Wednesday 7 January  Thursday 8 January

Friday 9 January

 Saturday 9 January

No Collection For any queries on the Christmas recycling and rubbish collections please either call Tor2 on 01803 701316 or email tor2-enquiries@tor2.co.uk



uck Totnes, Dartington & B Bohemian Totnes has a character all of its own and a visit to the town makes a great festive day out. There is an almost limitless choice of cafes and restaurants and an eclectic collection of fashion outlets. There is always plenty going on at beautiful Dartington and some Christmassy steam railway outings.

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Late Night Shopping Events, Totnes 9, 16, 23 December

The Late Night Shopping Events take place from 3.30pm - 9.30pm. See a festive crowd gather along the medieval High Street and enjoy the craft stalls, locally made food and drink, local entertainments and some shopping in the town’s wide variety of independent shops. Fore Street and High Street, Totnes 01803 862147 totneslatenightshopping.co.uk

Christmas Fair, Dartington 20 & 21 December

A Love Food Dartington Christmas Fair with food and craft stalls, mulled wine and chestnuts, all accompanied by live music and Santa! Totnes, TQ9 6EL 01803 847147 dartington.org

Christmas Extravaganza, Totnes December 21 Santa by Steam, South Devon Railway 6, 7, 13, 14 & 19-23 December

Come and see Santa on board his special grotto train between Buckfastleigh & Totnes! He will be handing out a Christmas gift to every child who travels, while there are mince pies and mulled wine for the grown ups. Booking essential. The Station, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0DZ 01364 644370 southdevonrailway.co.uk

All Things Vintage & Festive Fair, Dartington 7 December

Over 45 stalls including clothes, homewares and unique Christmas gifts. Take in the Festive spirit with live music by Becky Brine and the Spectrum Wind Band. Get glammed up in the festive boudoir with a beauty and nail parlour, photo-booth and free workshop on choosing your perfect festive outfit, plus free interactive workshops all day. Entry £2.00, no booking, under 12s free. Totnes, TQ9 6EL 01803 847147 dartington.org englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Glorious Chorus with the support of The Kingsmen presents Christmas Extravaganza. A feast of seasonal songs from two of the region’s leading choirs. Time 7pm. Buy tickets online or from Totnes Information Centre. St Johns Church, Bridgetown, Totnes TQ9 5AJ 01803 862028 gloriouschorus.co.uk

Mince Pie Specials, South Devon Railway 27 December – 1 January

Take a trip after Christmas and into the New Year and enjoy a mince pie and trip down the line. Booking not required. The Station, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0DZ 01364 644370 southdevonrailway.co.uk

Dartington Hall New Year’s Eve Gala Ball 31 December Dartington Hall presents its New Year’s Eve Gala Ball in the Great Hall. Tickets £85.00 per person including arrival drink, five-course meal, champagne at midnight and live music. Totnes, TQ9 6EL 01803 847147 dartington.org December/January 2014/15


Step back in time this Christmas at Greenway and Coleton Fishacre Discover Christmas at Greenway on Saturdays and Sundays in December, and explore the 1920s festivities at Coleton Fishacre on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays until Christmas. Greenway and Coleton Fishacre will also be open 27-31 December, 11am-4pm, for just £5 entry (free for National Trust members).

a festive day out

Call 01803 842382 to book your parking space at Greenway, or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre Share your Christmas traditions with us.

Christmas pattern inspired by wallpaper at Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire.

© National Trust 2014. The National Trust is a Registered charity no. 205846. National Trust Images.

23rd - 27th February 2015

Explore the legends of the far west in this Cornish Winter Warmer with striking sea views.

From £265*

6th - 9th March 2015

To the manor born in the glamorous setting of Cricket St Thomas, with this Warner Leisure Hotel.

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21st - 24th May 2015 Visit the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show, as we stay at the Guoman Tower Hotel London.

From £339*

*Prices shown are per person based on two sharing. Single supplements may apply. Please ask for full details.

www.tallyhoholidays.co.uk 48

December/January 2014/15

01548 854067 englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Newton Abbot


T Festive Towns

Newton Abbot will be bedecked with Christmas lights and a festive atmosphere. Nearby, Hannah’s at Seale Hayne is definitely worth supporting and there are some fun, Christmas events to make it easy to do so.

12 – 4pm, tickets £3.50 Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot TQ12 6NQ 01626 325800 discoverhannahs.org/Seale-Hayne/

St Agnes Fountain Christmas Concert, Hannahs 7 December

Christmas Tour, Old Forde House 14 December

St Agnes Fountain will be starting Christmas in tuneful style on their 14th consecutive Christmas tour. Since their first get-together, to record the eponymous St Agnes Fountain album in 2001, the quartet of founder, David Hughes; Fairport Convention’s Chris Leslie and 2009’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Duo, Chris While and Julie Matthews, have brought musical invention and laughter to the star-dust atmosphere of the season. Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot TQ12 6NQ 01626 325800 discoverhannahs.org/Seale-Hayne/

Visit Santa in His Grotto, Hannahs 13 & 14 December

Santa invites girls and boys to come and visit him in his woodland grotto. As well as helping elves get creative in their workshop, children will also get to meet the big guy himself and choose a special gift. The Christmas gifts exhibition will be open, as well as shops and bistro. Time

Pay a Christmas visit to this Grade I listed manor house which once provided hospitality for kings, queens, princes, princesses plus numerous lords and ladies since the reign of Elizabeth I. Mince pies and spiced apple juice plus a selection of other hot drinks will be available and you can enjoy carols around the Christmas tree. Time 2pm – 4pm, entrance £4, no booking required. Brunel Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX 01626 201120 newtonabbot-tc.gov.uk/whats-on

Newton Abbot Orchestra & Military Wives, Hannahs 17 December

Sit back in The Great Hall and soak up a seasonal selection of light classics and festive favourites, as well as a carol or two. Bar open for light refreshments and mince pies. Time: 7pm, tickets £12, booking recommended. Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot TQ12 6NQ 01626 325800 discoverhannahs.org/Seale-Hayne/

Please check latest information before attending events to avoid disappointment. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

December/January 2014/15


As ships steam by... Distance: 3 miles Exertion: Moderate with some steep sections. Time: Allow 2 hours Terrain: Coast path of varying quality - can be muddy. Not suitable for pushchairs or very young children. Dogs: Free to roam. Refreshments: Bring a flask. Start Postcode: TQ5 9QN


rom Sharkham Point to Man Sands is a welltrodden section of the South West Coast Path that was regularly patrolled by the coastguard in years gone by. Sharkham Point, now a managed nature reserve, has seen many changes over time and whilst there is still some evidence of adits and mine workings, the majority of the works were filled more recently as the headland was formerly the refuse tip for Brixham. The iron-rich middle Devonian shales that stretch back along the coast to Berry Head are fossil bearing, making a diversion down to St Mary’s Beach at the beginning of this walk an entertaining one, especially if you have excited youngsters with you! There are more than often light coloured plumes of silt washing out to sea as the gently sloping soft shales behind the beach are slowly leached away. This is a hilly walk in parts so plenty of opportunity to take a breather and watch all manner of craft passing by - sailing boats making passage along the coast to Dartmouth, trawlers bound for the Atlantic and freighters steaming their way up the channel. At the right time of year you might even spot a basking shark. Walking boots are recommended for this walk as the steep inclines can be slippery in wet weather!

1From the car park at the far end of St Mary’s Road take the path to the left of the car park as you face out to sea. After 150 metres one can take the path through the kissing gate on the left out around the headland or proceed downhill for another 50 metres 50

December/January 2014/15

to the steps that lead down to the beach under the watchful gaze of St Mary, a wood carving by local ar tist Isabel Coulton. 2 The coast path around the headland to Sharkham Point affords great views along the coast to Berry Head and off the silty out-wash that gave rise to the old name for this area, Mudstone Bay. 3 The path skir ts the promontory and on reaching the southern end there are benches to take in views of the coast toward Dar tmouth. The path goes eastward downhill across open ground to a stone stile and follows a narrow winding cliff top path. 4 Another bench is situated here before taking the switchback path upward on to the National Trust owned Southdown Cliff, the highest point on the route. 5 At this point the path descends very steeply to Man Sands. Take care if it’s wet as the ground can be very slippery. 6 Man Sands has many points of interest. An inhabited coastal cottage and ancient lime kiln can be found at the southernmost end of the beach. Behind the beach a reed-surrounded ley of fresh water stretches out with pleasant views up the valley. The return route follows the same path for most of the way; however you might take the choice of a shor ter path directly to the car park once you get back to the Sharkham headland. o


2 1 3 4



1 Waypoint




Ordnance Survey South Devon Explorer Map OL20

Š Crown copyright. Media 082/14

December/January October/November 2014/15 2014


Going for Gold! Julian Rees and Richard Newcombe, English Riviera Magazine’s photographer, try their hand at the ancient pursuit of archery with the Brixham Archers.


n a small Brixham industrial estate a group result is often wildly different. of volunteer coaches prepare for another Only through an unfaltering beginners’ archery course, the fourth such appreciation of the role of every muscle course to run this year, in what the club officials tell me involved and a mastery of those microis a continuing upsurge in interest brought about by the movements will consistency be achieved! London Olympics in 2012. For the last half an hour the ante is upped and now Brixham Archers run a four-week beginners’ course to we’re shooting for reward, jelly babies to be exact. introduce both young and old to the truly ancient sport of It’s surprising how this changes things and cheers go archery. The course aims to provide an introduction and up as the more proficient amongst us shoot three arrows teach beginners how to shoot safely. At £40 for the four into the gold! weekly sessions, including use of all the equipment, it’s a After completion of the four-week beginners’ course very economical sport to have a go at. every participant who makes the grade receives a Our course is conducted by three Archery GB qualified certificate that allows them to apply for membership at instructors, Paul Allan, Nix Ward and Ian Caira. For our any Archery GB affiliated club. Following on from this group of twelve beginners, things get underway with a run introductory course, Brixham Archers offers further through of basic safety routines for training opportunities to gain the indoor training venue followed Within twenty minutes of the Archery GB progress awards as by demonstrations of basic session starting we are now well as shooting for the club at technique. Then we are fitted-out and national competitions. ready to fire our first arrows local with arm guards and a set of arrows As archers develop their to fit our draw length. skills they may specialise within a range of disciplines Within twenty minutes of the session starting we are including traditional longbow, target and field archery ready to fire our first arrows. Under close supervision (shooting at static and moving targets on open ground we draw and gingerly release our arrows with the mixed and in woodland - not live animals I hasten to add!). success of beginners. At a distance of twelve metres we Brixham Archers offer access to all of these disciplines all manage to hit the target. It’s worth bearing in mind which appeal at a different level either to those wishing to though, that the Olympic distance is 70 metres from engage in a recreational pastime or a highly competitive archer to target. Indeed for the more complex targetsport. shooting bows, the targets get far smaller than the 122cm Coach Paul Allan tells us that buying your own diameter we are aiming at! equipment need not break the bank - a beginners’ recurve As the evening progresses, we move further up the bow costs as little as £50. However it’s best to wait until range and the required skills become more evident as we you find the direction you wish to go before investing as start to notice the effect of the arrows flightpath dipping traditional longbow shooting is a very different discipline over a greater distance. from competitive target shooting and the kit ranges from Honing of the basic skill set gets under way and the basic wooden bows to extremely complex compound three instructors move from person to person correcting bows with concentric pulley systems and telescopic sights. stance, grip and all manner of elements that affect the Overall, Brixham Archers offer a great introduction path of the arrow. There’s a vast amount of information to a sport that might take a lifetime to master but is still to take on board and much as with golf, one might be accessible for all ages with a little training so can easily be convinced that the pattern of bodily movements and enjoyed by all the family. ¨ actions was identical to that of previous attempts but the brixhamarchers.co.uk


December/January 2014/15


Give It A Go - Archery


“S o be

turns in heave nab oon re m w ent e e h t f l a l i s c w n inatio , g n e o l n of h t o s s , in the hear ts o g a l bow p hold fm n en.� lo tifu kee y u a her rc

Richard Newcombe gets his gold! Competitive shooting at Churston Grammar School

Julian Rees with Brixham Archers instructors Nix Ward and Ian Caira englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

December/January 2014/15


Treading the boards Babbacombe Theatre Box Office 01803 328385 Editor’s pick ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS 3, 10, 17, 26, 28 DECEMBER AND 1 JANUARY With adaptations of some great classics (of the musical and comedic variety), costume design, choreography and musical arrangements; providing a kaleidoscope of colour, this two hour family show takes you on a journey into a land of make believe.

Flavel Arts Centre Dartmouth Box Office 01803 839530 Editor’s pick DARTMOUTH ORCHESTRA CHRISTMAS CONCERT 18 DECEMBER ONLY The Dartmouth Orchestra is enjoying its second season under their Musical Director and Conductor Tony Hindley. This year’s concert will have Music by Haydn and Rutter as well as Christmas favourites all to put everyone in the mood for festivities.

Also worth seeing… Dr Livingstone, I Presume? 30 January only

Brixham Theatre Box Office 01803 882717 Editor’s pick SGT. PEPPER’S ONLY DART BOARD BAND 20 DECEMBER ONLY ‘It was 20 years ago today that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play’ and in those twenty years Sgt Pepper’s Only Dart Board Band has become one of the most respected and widely known Beatles acts around the globe. From the Cavern to Krakow, Glastonbury to Glasgow, Abbey Road to Alabama, this funny, but musically magnificent, show has brought audiences to their feet.

Also worth seeing… The Neil Diamond Story 10 December 54

December/January 2014/15

Palace Theatre, Paignton Box Office 01803 665800 Editor’s pick CIRCUS OF HORRORS 10 JANUARY ONLY The show that stormed into the finals of Britain’s Got Talent and now a West End smash is back to mark its 20th Anniversary in spectacular style. The latest incarnation ‘The Night of the Zombie’ is set in 2020, a decrepit & corpse ridden London, plagued by a swamp of Zombies. In a city ruled by the undead & climaxing in an awesome flaming apocalypse.

Princess Theatre, Torquay Box Office 0844 8713023 Editor’s pick VIENNA FESTIVAL BALLET – THE NUTCRACKER 6 DECEMBER ONLY Enjoy one of Tchaikovsky’s world famous classical ballets, The Nutcracker when the highly acclaimed Vienna Festival Ballet company returns to town. The enchanting tale of The Nutcracker follows Clara and her nutcracker doll, which magically transforms into a princely soldier. Their adventures see the Prince and Clara combat the Mouse King and join the Sugar Plum Fairy on a wonderful trip to a kingdom made entirely of sweets.

Also worth seeing… Royal Marines Christmas Spectacular 7 December only


Theatre & Panto Little Theatre, Torquay Box Office 01803 299330 Editor’s pick THE WOMAN IN WHITE 17 – 24 JANUARY Sir Percival Glyde, who is being hounded for money by the sinister Count Fosco, marries the heiress Laura Fairlie for her fortune. As events unfold, Glyde’s efforts to secure the money - and also to remove the threat to his reputation posed by the unfortunate Anne Catherick become more desperate and cruel. Combined with this tale of disturbing intrigue are elements of romance and comedy: the resulting mix is headily entertaining.

Also worth seeing… Words 4 Voices 15 December only Jocular Spectacular Roving Comedy Show 30 January

Pantos Around the Bay Have some fun this year with a proper panto!

Aladdin 21 December – 4 January

This year Paignton Pantomime Productions presents its 80th consecutive pantomime and promises to make it the best ever. A full company of principals, senior dancers, panto babes, an adult chorus and a professional 4 piece band will transport you to the colourful land of China via Egypt. Rub the magic lamp, enter the cave of wonders and marvel at the stunning sets, glittering costumes, wonderful songs and dazzling dancing.

Palace Theatre, Palace Avenue, Paignton, TQ3 3HF Box Office: 01803 665800 palacetheatrepaignton.co.uk Zorro the Panto 30 & 31 January

South Devon Players presents a panto with a difference with this show combining elements of traditional pantomime, with elements of Vegas shows. It tells the swashbuckling tale of the Mexican outlaw Zorro, who has to outwit an evil witch, and a rather henpecked evil landowner, who wants to steal the ancient Aztec gold.

Palace Theatre, Palace Avenue, Paignton, TQ3 3HF Box Office: 01803 665800 palacetheatrepaignton.co.uk

The Snow Queen 5 & 6 December

Sinbad 28 – 31 December

Brixham Theatre, New Road Brixham TQ5 8TA Box Office: 01803 882717 batsweb.org.uk

The Flavel, Flavel Place, Dartmouth TQ6 9ND Box Office: 01803 839530 theflavel.org.uk

The Snow Queen plans to transform the world into a blinding white wilderness, where people’s hearts are as cold as ice. Trapped in her ice palace, enchanted by a magic mirror, Kai seems lost to the world forever. His sister, Gerda, must find a way to rescue him, encountering a treacherous troll and a band of robbers along the way.

Will Sinbad defeat the monstrous Kali? Will he regain the Cobra Jewel stolen by the wicked sorceress Sirenetta? Will the Caliph of Baghdad be so pleased with Sinbad he will give him the hand of the beautiful Princess Yasmin? Will Tinbad the tailor have courage to propose to Mrs Sinbad? This is a tale inspired from the Arabian Nights in traditional pantomime style by the Dartmouth Players.

Sleeping Beauty 12 December – 4 January

Everyone likes a lie-in, but Sleeping Beauty takes it whole new level. Cursed by an evil fairy she is doomed to slumber forever until she is awoken by true love’s kiss! Set your alarm clocks for this year’s fun-filled pantomime. Starring Emmerdale’s Leah Bracknell, from X Factor’s Eton Road - David Heath and Mark Jenkins from Channel 4’s The Hotel with Matt Dallen, Carly Nickson, David Sparkle and Helen Kent.

Princess Theatre, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 5EZ Box Office: 0844 871 3023 atgtickets.com englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

December/January 2014/15


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Do your business communications leave you scratching your head? Our team of writers, designers, publishers and printers can produce professional quality leaflets, booklets, brochures, magazines, e-newsletters, websites or in-house publications at very competitive prices. To arrange a free consultation 01803 850886/842893 info@englishrivieramarketing.co.uk englishrivieramarketing.co.uk Professional Marketing Materials That Deliver Results 56

December/January 2014/15


Reader Survey Results Our warmest thanks go out to all our readers who took the time to complete our very first reader survey and we have two draw winners who win dinner for two at Le Bistrot Pierre (see below). Here are some of the things we found out. Top 6 Reader Sections 1. Around the Bay - Diary 2. Food and Drink Features 3. Riviera People 4. Walks 5. Theatre 6. History

Mr J, Paignton “From issue 1, I’ve looked forward to the next one. I have kept them all for friends and visitors when they come to stay. For me – right size, right quality, great format and balance – long may it continue.” Mrs K, St Marychurch “Could not believe it is free, wonderful glossy cover.” Mrs L, Paignton “Your advertisements blended – a much better read than (a regional title) – a smaller mag with more articles!”




Around the Bay April & May


Coleton Fishacre Jazz Club, Kingswear 4 April & 2 May

A new exhibition of beautiful illustrations of dragons by award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Jackie Morris; it features the original stunning watercolour paintings used to illustrate Jackie’s book of the same name. The exhibition also features a dragon painted by Jackie for Terry Pratchett’s best-selling Disc World Calendar. Also see dragon-decorated objects from Torquay Museum’s own collections, ranging from magnificent Samurai swords to Torquay’s first ever gas lamp in the shape of a dragon (dated to 1834), and beautiful ceramics. Babbacombe Road, Torquay, TQ1 1 HG 01803 293975 torquaymuseum.org


Dartmouth Food Festival takes place from 24-26 October and has been described by The Guardian as one of the top 10 food festivals in the UK. We find out what’s on the menu.


Brixham Folk Club 4 April

Organised by Anne and Steve Gill with help from Maggie Duffy and John Miles. Cost £3 Lounge Bar, Brixham Theatre, New Road, Brixham, TQ5 8LX 01803 858394 batsweb.org.uk

English Riviera Wheel, Torquay From 4 April

The English Riviera Wheel is back! Taller than Nelson’s Column at the dizzy height of nearly 60 metres, the English Riviera Wheel will be sited in Princess Gardens, Torquay, next to the Pavilion and give breathtaking 360 degree views across the Bay.

Torquay Pavilion, Torquay Sea Front, TQ2 5EQ

April/May 2014

Foodie Heaven



Do the exhibits really come to life at night, do ghosts haunt the uppermost reaches of the museum and what’s it like working in a place where time travel is part of a day’s work? Anita Newcombe meets Carl Smith of Torquay Museum to find out more. 10

October/November 2014

Mrs L, Shiphay “Delightful little magazine packed full of articles relevant to locals. Nice to see some faces I know in the pictures!” Mr L, Maidencombe “Interesting and informative.”

What You’d Like More Of 1. Gardening 2. Charities 3. Maritime 4. Young People 5. Shopping We’re working on it!

Be Seen in English Riviera Magazine! To advertise your business in a forthcoming issue, please call Anita Newcombe on 01803 850886 or email sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk for a copy of our media pack. You can also view our media pack online at englishrivieramagazine.co.uk



Enjoy a delicious two-course supper accompanied by a local jazz band in Café Coleton. The classic tunes and elegant performance are in perfect keeping with the Art Deco elegance of Coleton Fishacre, where the Jazz era is still swinging! Tickets £28 Coleton Fishacre, Brownstone Road, Kingswear, TQ6 0EQ 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre

Tell Me a Dragon Exhibition, Torquay Museum On until 25th June


Some comments we loved...





n its beautiful setting on the banks of the River Dart, Dartmouth’s Food Festival will once again be a magnet for foodies from far and wide. There will be hands-on workshops and cookery demonstrations, plus you’ll be able to see some very big names from the world of food and drink in action. Top chefs Mitch Tonks, Mark Hix and Richard Bertinet will be cooking up a storm and Toronto based Jennifer McLagen, the provocative food writer behind the trilogy of books: Bones, Fat and Odd Bits, is extending a European tour to attend the festival. Other big names certain to attract the crowds are Henry Dimbleby, the co-founder of the fast-food restaurant chain Leon, and former BBC Good Food editor and founder of Olive magazine, Orlando Murrin. The series of Eat Your Words talks about the impact of food on our culture and even our planet, is in its second year and is already attracting both nationally renowned and international speakers. Writer and TV presenter, Lucy Siegle, who specialises in environmental issues and ethical consumerism, will champion the debate. Lucy is a regular contributor to The Guardian and the BBC’s One Show. Dartmouth Food Festival is not just a collection of stalls, each plying their wares, it’s a major annual festival which is exciting, free to attend and non-profit englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

October/November 2014


Layout, design and use of photos

Hurrah! All respondents liked the magazine’s quality.


76% of readers always or often found the advertisements of interest.

Your Copy

83% of readers either kept their copy for reference or passed it on

Getting Your Magazine

82% of respondents got their copy delivered through their door with 18% picking up their copy at a local post office or pickup point.

Competition Winners Our lucky winners who will enjoy dinner for two at the fabulous new Le Bistrot Pierre in Torquay are: Mrs Gilly Laskey from Torquay and Mr Ian Jenkins of Paignton.


First anniversary celebration The publishers of English Riviera Magazine held a reception in the caves at Kents Cavern to celebrate its ďŹ rst year anniversary. Advertisers and supporters enjoyed drinks and canapes plus a tour around the spectacularly beautiful prehistoric caves in Torquay.

Robert Williams (RW Architectural Design), Anita Newcombe and Julian Rees (both English Riviera Magazine)

David Rowe (Gordon Rowe), Chris Hart (Wollen Michelmore) and Damian Offer (Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust)

Claire Chidler, Gwyn Gibbons (both Imperial Hotel) and Carolyn Custerson (English Riviera Tourism Company)

Caroline Merry (Beverley Park), Nick Powe (Kents Cavern) and Claire Jeavons (Beverley Park)

Simon Jolley, Sarah James (both Riviera International Conference Centre) and Richard Cuming (Bygones)

Daniel Darlow (Devon Leather Care), Hilary Thorpe and Bob Beard


December/January 2014/15


Social Diary

Helen Harman (Outset Torbay) and Julian Rees

Richard Newcombe (English Riviera Magazine) and Malgorzata Bednarek (Smugglers & Pirates Experience)

Nick Powe (Kents Cavern), Phil and Nicky Allen (All The Right Notes) and Martyn Strange (Babbacombe Inn)

Kim Risdon and Leah Miller (both Princess Theatre) with Julian Rees

Michael and Marilyn O’Donnell


Anita Newcombe and Chris Hart

John and Linda Jeyes, Malgorzata Bednarek and Anita Newcombe

Simon Read (Golden Hind) and Katherine Elliott (Rowcroft Hospice)

Rachel Rees and Julie Hutchins (Jules Advertising & Marketing)

December/January 2014/15


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English Riviera events calendar


December/January 2014/15


Magna Carta Women

Social Diary

Local artist Tracy Satchwill held a private reception to mark the launch of her 4-piece collage Magna Carta Women at Brixham Sea Works.The artwork was designed to help celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the famous Magna Carta in 1215 and will be touring England in 2015.

Tracy Satchwill and Tim Kendall

Joy Baker and Lynne Ward

Heather Jewell and Kazzy Gribbon

Vicky Hinchliffe and David Satchwill

Liz Edwards with David and Christine Hodgetts

Rachel Swain and Caroline Kendall


James Bower and Sophie Bower

Tracy’s project was featured in the October/November 2014 issue of the magazine, if you missed it you can read back issues at:



Above Right: Liz Cook and Tracy Satchwill Right: Simon Williams and Sharyn Baker

December/January 2014/15


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December/January 2014/15

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E-Strategy Afternoon Tea Party

Social Diary

Local web specialists e-Strategy held an afternoon tea party for their customers at Torquay’s Grand Hotel. Rosemary Carr (Create Broadcasting) and Stuart Devlin (e-Strategy)

Caroline Keating and Claire Jeavons (both Beverley Park) Jo Barron (Richardson Hotels), Will Carrodus (Dartington Hall Trust) and Katherine Sobey (Paignton Zoo) Robin Barker (Services for Tourism), Lorna and Alistair Handyside (Higher Wiscombe)

Contact us at:

editorial@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk @EngRivieraMag facebook.com/englishriveramag if you are hosting an event you would like us to include.


Tourism Awards at the Palace The glitterati of the tourism industry was out in force for the Herald Express English Riviera & South Devon Tourism & Hospitality Awards 2014 held at Torquay’s Palace Hotel. Former East Enders star Charlie Brooks (Janine Butcher) was guest of honour and helped to present the awards. Guest speaker was Anton Piotrowski, Masterchef Pro Winner 2012.Tourism & Hospitality Business of the Year was The Elmdene,Torquay and Nigel Way MBE was presented with a Special Awards for Outstanding Services to Tourism.

Pippa Craddock (Paignton Zoo - Winner Sustainable Tourism Award), (Living Coasts runner up Most Effective Marketing Award), Sereny Damon (Dartmouth Steam Railway & Riverboat Co - joint winner Best Visitor Attraction, runner up Tourism Experience)

Michelle Pugh (Herald Express), Richard Cuming (Chair of Judges) and Jim Parker (Herald Express)

The Winners

Gordon Oliver (Mayor of Torbay), NIgel Way MBE (Special Award for Services to Tourism) and Steve Parrock (TDA)


December/January 2014/15


BusinessBreaks... The Chancellor Visits Marldon George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, visited Marldon Christmas Tree Farm as its owners Jadecliff celebrated the launch of their new ‘My Little Tree’ range of micro trees for the domestic market and announce plans to export their trees for the first time.

The Chancellor’s visit formed the agricultural element of his regional tour highlighting the role of women in the economy. While on the visit, George Osborne also picked the official Christmas tree for No 11 Downing Street. o

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP with staff at Marldon Christmas Tree Farm meeting George Osborne

Cavanna Joins The 5% Club Torquay-based homebuilder, Cavanna Homes has joined ‘The 5% Club’ alongside global big-hitters such as Babcock International and Airbus Group. The Club is an industry-led scheme encouraging firms across the country to commit to having at least five per Jordan Edgecombe on site at Fusion in Paignton cent of the workforce in professional training at any one time. Cavanna Group Managing Director Eugene Rapson said, “Some years ago we recognised that to continue to be a successful company, and to deliver growth, we needed to invest first and foremost in our people. We’ve signed up to The 5% Club Charter, which commits us to playing our part in transforming the fortunes of young, talented people in the UK, and to ensuring that the country retains its reputation for innovation.” Jordan Edgecombe, a trainee quantity surveyor, joined Cavanna Homes last year, and is working towards his BTEC Level 3 in Construction at Exeter College. He said, “I spend two days a week at head office, two days a week on site, and one day a week at college. The experience on site is invaluable. At the moment I’m working on the Fusion site in Paignton, and it’s great to be able to see construction under way.”o 64

December/January 2014/15

Torquay Community Work a Winner Torquay station scooped third prize in the Best Station Gardens category at the National Community Rail Awards held in Scarborough thanks to its green transformation by the ROC Aspects learning centre and the First Great Western station adoption project. Through weekly gardening work at the station, the scheme gives people with learning disabilities the opportunity to learn new skills and to work towards a nationally recognised qualification. Their efforts have brightened station platforms with planting on an English Riviera theme, including reclamation of a large rockery. Learner David Maltby said of the project: “I love doing it, it’s so brilliant.” Torbay’s railway was further distinguished when first prize in the Innovation category went to therivieraline.com, a website to encourage more people to take the train between Exeter and Torbay. o



BusinessBreaks... Abbey Sands is The Future We reported in the last issue that the prestigious new Abbey Sands development on Torquay’s seafront had won Best UK Mixed-Use Development at the International Property Awards 2014 and has been selected to represent the UK in the global awards held in Dubai. Now its architects, Kay Elliott have announced that Abbey Sands has been selected to illustrate the future of British architecture at the MIPIM UK property event in London. Part of the Architecture Tomorrow Exhibition, the Torquay development is one of only three projects located outside of the capital which have been selected. The £12 million scheme for developer Havard Estates is nearing completion and

includes four restaurants, 14 open market apartments, 13 holiday apartments and extensive public realm improvements. (Photos are artist’s impressions). o

A Golden Year For Stagecoach Stagecoach South West has celebrated the first anniversary of its flagship luxury Stagecoach Gold bus service, which connects the English Riviera with Totnes and Plymouth. The service has been a big hit with over three quarters of a million passengers carried since the launch. The service runs every half hour from Torquay to Plymouth, six days per week and hourly on Sundays. Michael Watson, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said: “Since its introduction last year, the Gold service has proved to be a resounding success and I am grateful to our passengers for their loyal support during the past year. The leather seats, free wi-fi and extra leg room all add some every day luxury to bus travel and all for the price of a regular bus ticket!” As well as linking Torquay with Totnes and Plymouth, Gold also provides regular connections between Totnes and Dartmouth. A day of unlimited travel between Torquay and Plymouth is just £7.50 and between Torquay and Totnes is £4.90. stagecoachbus. com/southwest o englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Malcolm Rundle, Engineering Manager (Torquay), Simone Smith, Operations Manager (Torquay) and Michael Watson, Managing Director, Stagecoach South West

December/January 2014/15


the briefing straightforward and honest legal advice to take the stress out of tough situations

Relationships Without Rings Despite being an incurable romantic, I often advise cohabiting clients that tying the knot brings rewards from financial and inheritance perspectives. For some, however, saying “I do”, is a step too far because of complex lives and concern regarding the costs of getting wed (and, somewhat cynically, a messy divorce). Although some four million couples cohabit in England and Wales, they are not afforded the same legal protection as married couples and civil partners. On 1st October 2014, the Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act (“the Act”) came into force and attempted to reform the intestacy rules (i.e. how your estate is distributed if you die without having made a will). For example, the surviving spouse or civil partner of the intestate spouse will inherit the estate absolutely. Cohabitants get nothing. The Act was the result of the Law Commission’s lengthy consultation into intestacy and family provision and was discussed alongside the Inheritance (Cohabitants) Bill. The latter Bill gave rights to cohabitants on intestacy, but was deemed too controversial and was subsequently dropped. Law cannot evolve as quickly as society and despite the progress achieved in the fight for the right to marry by way of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, cohabitants are ignored. Is this because recognising them would undermine marriage and accordingly weaken the basis for a strong community? Whilst this viewpoint is held by some in the church, it is myopic that so many should be disregarded. If you cohabit and you have not made a will, your surviving partner can make a claim against your estate as your dependant. The Act amends the Inheritance (Provision for Families and Dependants) Act 1975 by allowing claims from dependants in households where there was some give and take economically. However, the general principle in contested matters is that the loser bears the other side’s costs, which means that litigation is an expensive option. Nevertheless, it is interesting that whilst the Act

does not strengthen cohabitants’ rights, it does remove arbitrary restrictions on the need for marriage or civil partnership and focuses instead on the nature of a relationship. Under the Act, a step child is entitled to apply for provision from the deceased’s estate in relation to any family in which the deceased stood in the role of a parent. Perhaps this intimates growing acceptance of cohabitation and children who become part of these unions to because such relationships are as stable as marriage. Regardless, it is the quality of the relationship and not the institution of marriage itself that is most important thing. The dearth of legal protection for cohabitants is concerning and cohabitants’ rights in life and death will depend on the fate of the Cohabitants Rights Bill. Don’t expect anything to happen too soon, however, since the Bill only received its first reading in the House of Lords on the 9th June 2014. Finally, Mary Ann Shaffer in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pier Society poignantly said “I don’t want to be married just to be married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with” If you are like the protagonist in this book and you cohabit, the only way you can truly be sure that your estate will pass to whomsoever you wish is to make a will. If you have any queries arising from this article contact me by telephone 01803 213251 or by email: emma.mitcham@wollenmichelmore.co.uk

Emma Mitcham Solicitor

Private Client Law @wmlegal Wollenmichelmore

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