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

EnglishRiviera BUY LOCAL & SAVE





Brendon Prince



October/November 2021


Meet the

locals... Ceramicist

Tez Roberts

Fish Town Producer

Jim Funnell



Francesca Lawrence

History &Heritage Naturalist

Philip Henry Gosse Riviera Fashion

The Victorian Topper

Take a walk in the Parke

Give it a Go!

Dark Magic at Pridhamsleigh

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

Wish your income prospects would improve? A well-balanced portfolio can help investors with longerterm income need ether you are a saver or a spender, planning your retirement, or enjoying your silver years, we all want to get our money working harder. But in the current financial climate, it’s difficult to know how. It’s twelve years since the onset of the financial crisis and the effects were still being felt as COVID-19 arrived, meaning that savers must also weather the storm of another global recession. Higher taxation, wage stagnation and rising living costs are some of the consequences. Cash savers in bank and building society deposits have been the real losers in recent years, and the outlook appears bleak. Retirement can now last 30 years or more, so it’s vital that your investments last. Any income generated also needs to maintain its spending power to combat the threat of inflation. History shows that, through a combination of capital growth and dividend income, investing in equities, or shares, has provided investors with a better chance of outpacing inflation over the long term compared with other asset classes. The economic crisis created by the pandemic has forced many companies to suspend or reduce their dividend payments. However, it is expected that companies will reinstate their dividend policies as soon as it is prudent to do so. The long-term track record of shares delivering a rising

income remains intact and investing in companies remains a core component of an income strategy.





For most investors, the best way to harness the dividend potential of equities is through investment funds, which spread your money across the shares of many worldwide companies. St. James’s Place offers a diversified range of equity funds which seek to achieve an attractive total return through a combination of dividend income and capital growth. Funds invested in corporate or government bonds also remain popular, particularly with cautious investors. We strongly believe that a diversified fixed-interest strategy, with exposure to government, investment grade, sub-investment grade and senior secured debt, will help position your portfolio to benefit from growth and steady levels of income. Commercial property also has a strong, long-term track record for generating a reliable stream of rental income, as well as the scope for capital appreciation. Importantly, its returns are largely

independent of other asset classes. Again, the pandemic has caused a short-term drop in the rental income paid by some struggling tenants; but as the economy recovers, commercial property should continue to be an important source of income for investors. Investors should, however, note that investing in real asset classes (equities, corporate bonds and commercial property) does not provide the security of capital which is characteristic of a deposit account with a bank or building society. The value of capital, and income from it, can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested. The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select, and the value can therefore go down as well as up.You may get back less than you invested.

Get in touch for an expert revue of your investments and retirement planning.


Adrian Howard


Managing Director

01803 659659 / 07853 370222 •

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


About us...

to the October/November issue. Created and Published By Devon Magazine Company Limited Julian Rees Telephone 01803 842893 Mobile: 07455 206470 Anita Newcombe Telephone: 01803 850886 Advertising Sales Advertising Copy Editorial Website ISSN (Print) 2052-8515 ISSN (Online) 2052-8523

Next issue 26 November Write to us at: ENGLISH RIVIERA MAGAZINE 69 DAVIES AVENUE PAIGNTON TQ4 7AW © 2018 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form without prior permission of the publishers. All material is sent at the owner’s risk and whilst every care is taken, Devon Magazine Company Ltd will not accept liability for loss or damage. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of our content but the publishers cannot be held responsible for any omissions, errors or alterations or for the consequences of any reliance on these details; neither can they vouch for the accuracy of claims made by any advertiser. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers.

d @EngRivieraMag c englishriveramag f englishriveramagazine

This issue we celebrate water safety campaigner Brendon Prince’s world record achievement for the first circumnavigation of the British mainland with a stand up paddleboard. Big congratulations Brendon! We’ve also been chatting to Jim Funnell TV Producer who lives in Marldon and has wonderful celebrity anecdotes to tell, Tez Roberts ceramicist at Cockington Court with her gorgeous stoneware and Francesca Lawrence collage artist with her charming, surreal scenes. We’ve been along to see Brixham’s brand-new Walk of Fame on the breakwater, scrambled underground for some ‘Give it a Go!’ caving magic, attended the launch of Occombe Farm’s scrumptious new farm shop and previewed some of the fabulous Devon Open Studios artworks at Artizan Gallery. Our Theatre, Arts and What’s On sections reflect the gradual opening up of events around the Bay and we are starting to think about planning for the festive season. Hopefully we can see as many of our friends and family members as possible this year in a Covid-safe environment. Staying in the fresh air is always healthy so why not try our suggested walk this month? Whatever you choose, do enjoy the beautiful autumn months.

Happy reading and keep safe If you would like to ADVERTISE your business in English Riviera Magazine Call 01803 850886 or email Walks • Local Food • Heritage • Nature • People • Events • Arts

EnglishRiviera June/July 2019


A Sailing Adventure with




Wilfred Owen's

Torquay Vacation A Lifetime in Art



Give It A Go!


Debbie MacPherson Fashioning Leather

Vistas & Views on the coastpath

Occombe & Paignton Harbour

Armchair Twitcher

Feathered friends in your garden

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

October/November 2021 | 3

English Riviera ad.qxp_Layout 1 17/09/2021 14:22 Page 4








Chef Callum will be launching our new Autumn menu from October 4th onwards. If you can’t wait, take a peak by visiting our website at Bon appétit!




C A L L 0 1 8 0 3 2 2 8 9 9 8 O R B O O K O N L I N E A T B R A S S E R I E A T T H E B A Y. C O M MEADFOOT SEA ROAD



T O R Q U A Y ’ S O N LY F I N E D I N I N G R E S T A U R A N T O P E N E V E R Y N I G H T M O N D A Y T O S U N D A Y

In this issue | October/November 2021 6 Openers Local news snippets

15 Brendon Prince

12 Filming Fish Town Meeting Jim Funnell

33 Interiors update

14 Ceramics By The Sea Cockington Court’s Tez Roberts

17 Circumnavigator Celebrates Brendon Prince makes history

18 Heritage - Philip Henry Gosse Naturalist and writer

20 Heritage - Torquay Top Hats Victorian Riviera fashion

23 Give It A Go! Dark Magic at Pridhamsleigh

26 Walk Stroll around Parke at Bovey Tracey

29 Brixham’s Walk of Fame

23 Give It A Go!

Put your name down...

31 What’s On Our pick of local events

36 Theatre Who’s treading the boards?

39 Arts Roundup Enjoy exhibitions & arty events

40 Arts - Francesca Lawrence Collages in a scene near you

40 Francesca Lawrence

45 Social Diary Getting back to going out

47 Gardening It’s bulb time

On the cover Brendon Prince © WR Photography

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October/November 2021 | 5

Openers... Openers... Openers... Mixed Reality Headsets A pilot project is taking place at Torbay Hospital’s Breast Care Unit trialling groundbreaking Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist technology. A mixed reality headset, HoloLens 2 uses multiple sensors, advanced optics, and holographic processing. The digital overlays created within the headset can be used to display information, which blends with the real world to create a mixed or augmented view. Clinical specialist nurses can send a high-resolution video feed to consultants, in real time, to get immediate advice on a patient’s needs. Jacqueline Rees-Lee, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast and Plastic Surgeon said, “Extended Reality (XR) Technologies are undoubtedly going to play a big part in patient care, and staff and healthcare education in the future.” Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust has been using digital technology and virtual reality-driven solutions for some time. Patients who are seriously ill, undergoing treatment or are end of life, have been offered immersive experiences for therapeutic support and it has also helped train staff in real life scenarios. ¢

Lake Titicaca water frogs are threatened due to their use in a Peruvian medicinal drink, known as ‘frog juice’, which is said to cure a variety of ailments including asthma and rheumatism. It is also sold as an aphrodisiac, consumed by blending the skinned frog with ingredients such as honey. There is no scientific evidence for the efficacy of this drink. Dr Katy Upton, Team Leader of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates at Paignton Zoo, said, “They are an extremely unusual species that have been getting a lot of interest from our guests.” ¢

Mosaic for Marilyn A mosaic has been unveiled at Torquay’s Acorn Centre to celebrate the life of manager and community campaigner Marilyn Martin who died in 2019. Friends from the Positive People programme, the Crafty Fox in Paignton and others took two years to create the stunning artwork. It features ice creams because Marilyn loved visiting the seafront with her family to eat them, bushes made from handprints of her grandchildren, and pearls from a hope project that she supported in the Philippines. There is also an angel to represent her spiritual beliefs, a picture of Marilyn, one of her beloved grandchildren, Harry, and an acorn to represent the centre. ¢

Lake Titicaca Frogs The Bay’s The Best

Paignton Zoo’s popular Amphibian Ark is now home to endangered Lake Titicaca frogs - and they’ve laid clutches of eggs – a real boost for the species. These aquatic frogs are from Lake Titicaca, which is a large, deep, freshwater lake in the Andes. It’s one of South America’s largest lakes, said to be the birthplace of the legendary Incas. In the wild, 6

| October/November 2021

One of Torbay’s largest employers has shown confidence in the Bay’s future by investing in a brand new website, which launched earlier this week. Jason Garside, Managing Director at TLH Leisure Resort said, “The strong staycation trend and popularity of the English Riviera as a destination of choice for UK staycations has given us great confidence in the future of our business and the tourism industry on the whole. The new website is one of many significant investments we are currently implementing with the aim of improving our overall guest experience.” Vicky Hinchliffe, Senior Marketing Executive, at TLH Leisure Resort said,

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Christmas Craft Fayre at Lupton House Saturday 27th November • 10am - 4pm Sunday 28th November • 10am - 4pm Free entry • Café & Gift Shop open Parking £1 per car

Lupton House, Churston Ferrers TQ5 0LD 01803 845800 •

Openers... Openers... Openers... “Guests have become even more accustomed to buying and paying for goods and services online during the COVID-19 pandemic and expect their online experience to be seamless. Our new website certainly achieves this.” The new website is now live with useful information for both hotel residents and local visitors. 

Velopark Expansion

Ian Piercy & John Finnegan

Tuck In to Support Rowcroft

Fancy a night off from cooking while supporting Rowcroft Hospice? Then take a look at Devon Farm Kitchen’s delicious menu of home cooked dishes delivered to your door, with all profits going to Rowcroft. Top-selling main courses include locally sourced roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, lamb loin, sausage and mash, Brixham fish pie and vegetable curry. Yummy puddings include Sticky Toffee, Ginger Sponge and Chocolate & Walnut. Devon Farm Kitchen Manager Joe Bradshaw says, “Our nutritionally balanced meals are particularly popular with customers who have older relatives. It’s a great way to ensure that elderly loved ones are eating healthily day-to-day because the meals are created with expert input from dieticians, and handmade using the finest local ingredients from Devon’s farmers, fishing communities and other producers.” All meals are frozen for freshness and served on returnable ceramic plates and bowls, making it easy for customers to cook in a microwave or conventional oven. 01803 217477   8

| October/November 2021

Torbay Velopark has received funding to enable the creation of a community cycling hub, permanent cyclocross track for racing and a pump track, both of which will meet national competition standards. There will be off road tracks (grass, mud and gravel), cycle hire and a refreshment area with seating looking directly onto the track. The new facilities will benefit both experienced cyclists as well as cyclists of all ages and abilities who will have a ‘go to’ cycling destination. In addition, there will be provision made for families, schools, colleges and groups with special needs. Work on the new facilities will be completed by 31 March 2022. The total funding of £61,000 comes from British Cycling’s Place to Ride scheme (awarded to Torbay Council, Lex Leisure and Mid Devon Cycling Club) and from a further major commitment of funds by Mid Devon Cycling Club. Torbay Velopark’s existing 1.5km track is the only closed road circuit in Devon and Cornwall and is already used all year round by amateurs and professionals for cycling, including coaching and training and a range of other sporting activities. Volunteers supporting Torbay Council will largely manage the project and it will be maintained by voluntary sector funding, with grants from British Cycling. It is part of a wider Torbay Council commitment to support and nurture sports in the Bay. 

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Do you own high quality jewellery items looking for a new home? If so, then take advantage of our Agency Selling Service. We are offering a more lucrative alternative to auctions or cash offers and are looking for beautiful pieces of jewellery to sell on your behalf. If you have inherited items or it is simply time to let a piece pass on to someone new to enjoy, then we can appraise your items, clean, polish and prepare them for sale at our busy high street shop. Any repairs required can be organised.

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01803 296500 • 43 Ilsham Road • Wellswood • Torquay • TQ1 2JG

Jim Funnell

Producer, Director and Writer Now living in Marldon, Jim Funnell has made films, commercials and TV programmes including Sky Atlantic’s Fish Town. He’s worked with Griff Rhys Jones, John Sergeant, Gordon Ramsay, Eddie Izzard, Minnie Driver and Peter O’Toole. Anita Newcombe meets him for a chat.


’m meeting Jim for a cuppa at Occombe Farm Café and He tells me, “Fishing is just impossibly picturesque I soon find that he’s full of fun and anecdotes about his – filmmakers live for ‘captured moments’ and gorgeous filming career. ‘general view’ shots.” He started in film and TV as a ‘runner’ (aka coffee Ten years on and Fish Town is still being repeated and maker and driver) for Eddie Izzard and soon led a varied Jim tells me of his happy memories of that time. existence, eating dinner with Peter Stringfellow, meeting “Steve and Bridget’s Rio Chip Shop were always so Hugh Hefner (his son calls him ‘Dressing Gown Guy’- he’s kind and funny. We couldn’t believe sometimes the things unimpressed), travelling the Indian Railways with John they said, and the innuendoes were priceless. There was Sergeant, breaking Minnie Driver’s winnebago, teaching something magical about the deep-sea diver and shark on Peter O’Toole how to use a video the roof - those kinds of quirky camera around London, going details really make a town. “ It was his year filming in to Kate Winslet’s first wedding, But his absolute favourite Brixham that led to him returning from filming the Twin place was the Maritime Inn (now falling in love with the place gone of course). He says, “It was Towers in New York just a few and he subsequently moved to phenomenal, and I know there days before they were attacked, the area with his family being called up by Gordon was all kinds of speculation in Ramsay who offered to babysit, the press about Prince Harry and handing a hypothermic Griff Rhys Jones a face flannel offering to buy the place when he visited - but you know after he swam the Mersey (he expected a towel robe - the I wouldn’t have blamed him. Mr Tibbs the parrot used flannel was all Jim had). to sit on our heads as we had a few beers in the evenings But Jim Funnell’s real ‘claim to fame’ for locals here in usually in the pub all to ourselves.” the Bay is his 10-part, Sky Atlantic series Fish Town, all Jim loves the ‘amphitheatre’ around Brixham harbour about Brixham. As Series Producer, he devised the look and the fishing trawlers that make such a timeless scene. and feel of the show and wrote the evocative narration. It was his year filming in Brixham that led to him falling His commission was to create an aspirational, story-led in love with the place and he subsequently moved to the show and including some lyrical, poetic moments allowed area with his family. him to get across thoughts and ideas that it would be Although throughout his career, Jim has travelled to rather awkward or ‘clunky’ to deliver in prose. all corners of the globe, he now sticks as close to home

12 | October/November 2021

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Riviera People as possible. With his family he loves visiting Dartmoor, out to Uganda and shot and edited a film in the field all paddling kayaks and is keen to try paddleboarding. about the amazing work staff from the Bay’s Mayfield His latest projects include making short films with School and others have been doing to help. Wanjawulo two gorgeous little furry celebrities Frankie and Casper. (meaning Special Person in the Ugandan village Busu) He explains, “They’re the doggy models (long haired supports children and young people from rural, povertychihuahuas) for a Torbay luxury pet brand called Petsuku. stricken areas of Uganda with developmental or acquired com. Filming with those little loveable rascals every week disability impacting on their inclusion and capacity to has been hilarious, especially since they need just the thrive. Jim has been impressed by the project and by the same high level super star treatment as all expertise and care coming from Mayfield celebs - plenty of fluffing and retakes ‘with School and beyond. One of his sons has feeling’!” significant additional needs so it’s close He’s also working on a film project to his heart. If you’d like to donate visit about the climate emergency and the vital importance of actions that are taken Somehow, Jim has still managed to in the very near future. He says, “The work on his book, Brixham Chimes. biggest story of our times is unfolding Having written the narration and poetry right now and I am capturing some of this for the actor Kenneth Cranham on Fish in a series of films about COP26 and the Town, it’s a kind of follow up and is Meeting Hugh Hefner CEE Bill. The next few months will define now available online. It’s part illustrated the future world for our children.” picture book, part fish recipe book, part Social interest films on these big novella in poetic form. Brixham Chimes existential crises are hugely important for broadcasters charts fictional lives across the town through the past, - terrestrial or well-known streaming giants. With the present and future with a powerful message for all those effects of climate change already being felt with floods, who love the sea. He says, “Whether you love poetry or wildfires, sea-level rise, increased weather volatility and hate it I firmly believe it is the most important book about climate instability he explains, “These films on COP26 Brixham anyone will ever read.” and the CEE Bill will prove to be either a powerful legacy These days Jim will always try to stay locally as much for visionary change makers who really support what’s as possible loving Brixham, South Hams and the Bay. He needed for fundamental environmental change, or a explains, “I’m obsessed with the sea – always have been – permanent record of inaction and meaningless rhetoric.” my cameraman used to laugh at me as I am regularly to be Another vital project is his film Wanjawulo. Jim travelled found simply staring out to sea.” 

Jim filming in Uganda

October/November 2021 | 13


Ceramics by the Sea Ceramicist Tez Roberts recently moved from the Welsh Valleys to Torbay where she now has a craft studio at Cockington Court. Anita Newcombe called in for a chat.


lthough Tez had been happily practising her ceramic can be chosen and then attached to a tie to make a stylish art in Wales for many years, it took a proposal of necklace. marriage from her partner Krystal to make her consider Tez tells me, ‘In Wales my studio was in a barn with the lure of the South Devon coast. Her marriage is now no natural light but it’s so airy here at Cockington Court imminent and she is firmly established in a craft studio at and I’ve been influenced by the wonderful colours of the Cockington Court’s Sea Change Studios. sea and the countryside.’ In fact this is the first time that She tells me, “My work is predominantly stoneware Tez has had a direct outlet for her work, mainly selling her and for the last 7 or 8 years pieces online in the past. this has been centred around The work starts with It’s so airy here at Cockington functional pottery.” weighing out the clay, then Court and I’ve been influenced it is ‘wedged’ which means I’m admiring some of her by the wonderful colours of the pieces on display and these it is kneaded to get an even sea and the countryside include: goblets, mugs, vases, consistency and to expel air jugs, oven dishes, pan rests, bubbles. It then goes onto the lemon squeezers, yarn bowls, large bells, dog bowls potters’ wheel (which sounds like the fun part to me). A (specially designed for dogs with floppy ears), coasters, mug usually takes 5-7 minutes on the wheel and an oven plates and bowls. She also makes ceramic pendants that dish around 15 minutes. The product is then wired off the

14 | October/November 2021

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Riviera People wheel and left to dry overnight. Next day it’s back on the wheel for a spot of ‘turning’ with a metal tool (like a wood turner except with clay). The piece is now given a ‘foot ring’, which gives it a lovely finished look and is stamped with Tez’s mark on the bottom and the side. The clay is harder now – dry but not yet fired (the greenware stage). Handles are added using a slip made from dried clay and vinegar – this prevents cracking and stops the handles falling off. The next stage is to leave the items until they’re completely dry and ready for the first (bisque) firing to 1000 degrees. This process turns the clay into ceramic. Tez takes her batch of products out when cool and checks them over for any imperfections. Then it’s time for the glazing to start, with a mix that Tez has prepared earlier. She prepares her glazes from raw materials and achieves some beautiful results through the exciting alchemy of the glaze technique. She tells me, “Seeing my glazes develop is wonderful – it makes you smile when you open the kiln.” The glaze is used by dipping or pouring and can be repeated 3 or 4 times to get the desired results. Now the base will be wiped and cleaned so it doesn’t stick to the kiln and fired again at 2045 degrees for ten hours. It will then take a further 10 hours to cool down. Tez is in her Cockington studio five days a week, usually Tuesday to Saturday and sometimes Sunday. She says, “I’m constantly covered in clay – it’s hard to keep clean – it good that my studio is away from where I live because the clay just gets everywhere.” Visitors to the studio often commission sets of items like mugs and each piece will be a little different. Tez explains that she finds the psychology of handles and homeware interesting. People can become very attached to ‘their mug’ and only feel at home with their special one. She’s now concentrating on developing new products in her distinctive style. Surprisingly, the pieces that are hugely popular online are markedly different from the ones visitors choose when they come to the studio in person. Tez needs to cater both for her online and her face-to-face customers and that keeps her pretty busy – not to mention crafting extra stock for the

Christmas rush when people are looking for stylish but practical gifts. It’s so good to have met the local maker when choosing – it does make the present giving much more thoughtful and special. She loves working at the Sea Change Studios and has found the other makers and the Cockington Court Director, Marissa Wakefield incredibly supportive. When not working, Tez spends time with Krystal and her small son and enjoys swimming and paddleboarding out of Paignton, Brixham and Babbacombe. She tells me, “Life can often be challenging as an artist but I’m really happy here.” Why not pop by to see Tez and her stunning stoneware range at Cockington Court?   Above: One of Tez’s dog bowls - especially designed for dogs with floppy ears!

October/November 2021 | 15

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Brendon Makes SUP History Torquay’s very own Brendon Prince has become the world’s first paddleboarder to successfully circumnavigate the whole of the British mainland.


ur April issue carried an article on Torquay’s Brendon Prince, who was training to attempt a world record, hoping to become the first paddleboarder to circumnavigate a 4,000 km route around mainland Britain. Well just 141 days after his departure from Abbey Sands and he’s made SUP history arriving back on the same beach after an epic battle with the weather, the tides and fatigue. Yes he’s done it. The four corners of mainland Britain and all the way around – a world record! Despite the many hardships along the way he’s seen wonderful wildlife all around Britain including orcas, sharks, seals, dolphins and amazing seabirds. Plus, he’s met followers and supporters at all his stopping places. Brendon took on this epic challenge in the pursuit of water safety. Since a terrible experience as an off-duty lifeguard on the north Cornish coast when he battled but

ultimately failed to save three souls from drowning, he has dedicated himself to providing vital water safety education for children, founding the charity Above Water. Brendon aims to raise £200,000 to develop the world’s first ‘gamefied’ water safety app free for all schools. The challenges Brendon faced during his SUP adventure were numerous and by paddling from beach to beach without boat support meant that he faced the perils of making it to shore after each gruelling day. Brendon’s longest distance in a single day was 76km and his shortest was 2km, having to navigate the tidal flow around the UK coastline to aid him in his journey. Congratulations Brendon! If you’d like to read our earlier article about how Brendon prepared for his big adventure, the kit he took and much more, you can read the April issue at  c @thelongpaddle2021

October/November 2021 | 17

Philip Henry Gosse Sea Creatures, Scripture & Seclusion

A 19th century naturalist and writer, Gosse’s work popularised the seawater aquarium. His attempts to reconcile the story of creation with the scientific theory of evolution created ferocious debate, causing him to flee London and settle in St Marychurch. Ian Handford of Torbay Civic Society tells us more.


he nineteenth century saw increasing acceptance of man’s natural evolutionary development in contrast to Holy Intervention. Intellectual battles raged between distinguished men like Lyell, Darwin, Romanes, RendleShort and eventually Philip Henry Gosse, a religious zealot and zoologist whose work initially admired, was being cast aside by scientists, the public and even his own friend Charles Darwin. A renowned writer and zoologist of natural history, Philip was the son of Thomas Gosse of Worcester, born in April 1810. His father an unsuccessful writer was a talented miniature-painter. He eventually moved the family to Poole Dorset and it was there an aunt spotted Philip’s talents - she the mother of famous Professor Thomas Bell. Philip’s debut as a writer came in 1826 after working in a whaler’s office until 1835 in Newfoundland. He had learned to be a naturalist specialising in insects using his first microscope. His work The ‘Entomology of

18 | October/November 2021

Newfoundland’ included drawings of its fauna and flora and, having left, went to Philadelphia in 1838 where he was warmly received by the Academy of Natural Sciences. Having completed his book ‘The Canadian Naturalist’ on the voyage home he sold that manuscript and then in London opened a school and completed a second manuscript ‘Introduction to Zoology’. At the age of thirty-three he was finally noticed by the scientific community and in 1844 was commissioned by the British Museum to collect the “undescribed birds and insects” of Jamaica before returning to England again in 1846. He never left our shores again. His book ‘Birds of Jamaica’ was published in 1847 and one year later he married Miss Emily Bowes an Anglican (Wesleyan) who had arrived at a similar attitude on the divisions arising in the Protestant church. Emily spoke three languages and being the stronger personality, unknowingly had a magnetic power over the will and

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Riviera Heritage nature of Philip. But now his friend Charles Darwin was dividing the scientific community with his theories of evolution while Philip was living with his wife in an atmosphere of God. A student of the Holy Scripture and an ardent believer in doctrine Philip today would likely be viewed as an evangelist - finding human pleasure only in the word of God. The couple enjoyed endless discussion on scripture every day and, in their religious fervour, became rather isolated from the world. Their son Edmund later related, “Here was a perfect purity, perfect intrepidity, perfect abnegation, yet also narrowness, isolation and an absence of perspective, an absence of humanity - entire resignation to the will of God and not less entire disdain of the judgement and opinion of man.” Edmund, born in 1849, was to live in a strange household. On hearing of his birth Philip had recorded in his diary “E. delivered a son and I received a green swallow from Jamaica”. He was their only child. By 1851 Philip’s best work had appeared, ‘A Naturalist’s Sojourn in Jamaica’. He followed this with ‘The Antiquities of Assyria’ plus other works for the Society of Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK). Advised to retire due to overwork Gosse now turned his attention to marine invertebrates and in January 1852 visited St Marychurch for the first time before moving to Ilfracombe North Devon. These shoreline exploits resulted in ‘A Naturalist’s Rambles on the Devonshire Coast’ (1853) and he now announced that he was able to keep marine animals alive in captivity for eleven months, a feat previously thought impossible. The family moved to London in December 1852 and helped the Zoological Gardens in Regents Park to set up a large glass tank for plants and marine animals so that Gosse could create his ‘Fish House Aquarium’, soon a popular attraction which was financially successful. But with the debate on evolution and the age of the earth in geological terms at odds with the Genesis narrative of six days of creation, academic storm clouds were gathering. Gosse moved his family to Weymouth but with Emily and himself in ill health he was soon forced to return to London. By 1854 the Gosse family was in Tenby, remaining eight weeks before returning to London in better health.

His book ‘The Aquarium’ with five coloured plates was published, though to the dismay of irritated amateurs it had no handbook on the finds. The publication still sold like wildfire and was Gosse’s most successful book commercially. Responding to critics, he wrote two more volumes entitled ‘Manual on Marine Zoology’ with seven hundred illustrations drawn during 1855-56. Now an elected Fellow of the Royal Society he was a regular contributor to their publication ‘Philosophical Transactions’. Gosse’s scientific studies in Wales had touched upon the controversial subject of evolution. These clashed with Darwin’s alternative theories, and Lyell’s geological research and they now “rubbished the idea that Noah’s flood covered the whole earth”. Such hostility seemed to suggest God was not dead but “that there was never such an individual”. The issue so agitated public and academic minds that it became the turning point for Gosse who in 1857 finally left London in despair to live at ’Sandhurst’ St Marychurch Road, Torquay. That year Emily died. Philip missed her intellectual sympathy and was unable to accommodate himself to the new theories. He remained physically, mentally and spiritually isolated from society and expected his son to do the same. In 1860 he married his second wife Eliza Brightwen (Plymouth Brethren), which saw him provide a Gospel Hall at Fore Street St Marychurch. Now devoting his time to the cultivation of orchids and microscopic studies of ‘rotifera’ (a section of zoology wholly neglected) Gosse became a virtual recluse. Meanwhile his son Edmund refused his father’s rejection of the world and confessed to being “a militant evolutionary atheist”. Philip Gosse died in Torquay the 23rd August 1888 aged 79. It would not be until April 6th 2016 that a Society Blue Plaque was unveiled at Sandhurst Court in Manor Road. St Marychurch.   October/November 2021 | 19

The Torquay

Top Hat

If we look at paintings and photographs of Victorian Torbay, it’s noticeable that everyone wore a hat. Kevin Dixon investigates the appeal of the topper, especially popular in Torquay.


This was a symbol of urban respectability. It represented or much of the century men wore a specific hat, for status, wealth, elegance, and formality. It made a all occasions, at any time of day. This was the top hat, statement, was a symbol of business and considered ‘the’ the symbol of the nineteenth-century masculine Empirehat for the bourgeois man. The top hat made its wearer builder and gentleman at leisure. It was ubiquitous in feel taller, self-assured and suave, particularly when tilted Torquay, the seaside resort for the nation’s elite. at a ten-degree angle. The top hat emerged by the end of the eighteenth Dramatic, and imposing, there was also a psychological century, replacing the tricorne that can be seen in many impact as it could intimidate. It was described at the time old illustrations of the town. It may have descended as “a tall structure having a shiny lustre and calculated to from the sugarloaf hat, which was named after the frighten timid people.” Accordingly, top hats became part loaves into which sugar was formed at that time – and, incidentally, remembered in the shape of Sugarloaf Hill in of the uniforms worn by policemen and postmen to give them the appearance of authority. Goodrington. The height and shape varied through the century as The first silk top hat in England is credited to minor modifications came and went out of fashion, their Middlesex hatter George Dunnage in 1793. And within individual names coming from their shape, height, or 30 years top hats had become popular with all social size. It was during the 1840s and the 1850s that the top classes, even workmen wore them despite their apparent hat reached its most extreme impracticality. It seemed form, with ever-higher to particularly appeal to In Torre and Torquay railway the Romantic Movement, stations, Union Street shops, hotel crowns and narrow brims; which had established a lobbies, public houses, and dance the stovepipe being the most style in literature and art, halls, the hat usually remained on notable. There’s a famous photograph of Isambard emphasising the senses and Kingdom Brunel, wearing his black stovepipe hat. emotions. Clothing was part of that flamboyance and top As a matter of course, such an important symbol hat designs reflect this. attracted conventions and rituals. Etiquette demanded For a few decades hats made of beaver fur were popular that the hat remained on outdoors. Indeed, a man because of its waterproof properties. Black silk then outdoors without a hat would be a subject of negative became the standard, sometimes varied with grey top comment. An exception would be orators who would hats. When dress coats as conventional formal daywear remove their hats while speaking, so that the audience were replaced by the frock coat from the 1840s, top might observe their facial expressions. hats continued to be worn. But it wasn’t until 1850 that Once indoors, the rule became less clear and depended the fashion really took off when Prince Albert starting on whether this was a public or a private space. In Torre wearing the striking headgear in public. The top hat and Torquay railway stations, Union Street shops, hotel then inevitably became a focus for the stylish male and lobbies, public houses, and dance halls, the hat usually remained so for the next fifty years. remained on. In more respectable spaces, such as a Men wore top hats for business, pleasure and formal harbour side restaurant, hats would be removed and there occasions. The hat came to proclaim the spirit of the would be pegs upon which they could be hung. age, with some writers even noting how an assemblage In the Royal Theatre and Opera House in Abbey Road resembled factory chimneys, so contributing to the mood the hat would be removed once the gentleman took his of the industrial era.

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Riviera Heritage seat. This would be out of consideration for those sitting behind. It would then be checked along with the topcoat in the cloakroom. For some, however, this would have been less necessary as the Frenchman Antoine Gibus had invented a collapsible ‘opera hat’ in 1823. When entering a home the hat was generally removed immediately and given to a servant. In a brief visit, the hat would be removed, but retained in the hand. With all this hat wearing, and the taking off and putting on, ‘hat hair’ was avoided by the widespread use of hair oil. This was, of course, predominantly a male fashion; women had their own millinery with its discrete messages. On the other hand, women’s riding clothes did include a top hat with an attached veil. Essentially, the top hat was a nineteenth century institution and by 1900 was only being worn for special occasions such as weddings

and dances. However, there was a short-lived resurgence in the 1930s when movie stars Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich and others, brought it back in favour. Yet, the inter-war period saw the widespread introduction of informal suits. These were worn with less overbearing hats such as bowlers, homburgs, boaters and fedoras. Accordingly, after World War II, white tie, morning dress and frock coats, along with their counterpart, the top hat, were largely confined to high society, politics, and international diplomacy. Today you are only likely to see a top hat at weddings and televised horse racing. Or perhaps in the theatre. In 1914, the Parisian magician, Louis Comte, debuted his new trick of pulling a white rabbit from the depths of his top hat. 

October/November 2021 | 21

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Give it a Go! Caving

Dark Magic

Inside a grassy hill near Ashburton is Pridhamsleigh Cavern. Its interconnected chambers leading to an underground lake are ideal for novice cavers. Anita Newcombe joined Richard Hanbury of Reach Outdoors to give it a go!


’m meeting Richard at a parking spot close to Outdoors, billed later - we stop here to log our visit on Pridhamsleigh for a private early evening tour of a chalkboard. A very short distance now to the cave’s Pridhamsleigh Cavern. I’ve never been caving before so I entrance which is wide and reassuringly pretty with plenty have no real idea what to expect, apart from the emailed of greenery and vegetation hanging over it. Here Rich instructions advising me to wear a comfortable base layer stops to give a safety briefing and talks me through what to and asking for my shoe size. When I arrive I’m fitted with expect. He emphasises that it will be very dark and muddy a heavy-duty, all-in-one caving oversuit with wrist seals and but our head torches will illuminate our surroundings a long, covered zip up the front. pretty well. The absolute silence in To this is added a sturdy caving Are we ready? Yes I think so – belt with a square link buckle, a here is quite deafening – it here we go! Rich has already told helmet, head torch and a pair of me that the first bit is just like presses on your eardrums well-fitting wellies. I give Richard climbing under a table (do you with deep intensity – it’s a my phone in a dry bag along with keep slippery rocks under your powerful feeling. a small towel so I can wipe my table?). So I scramble through hands before touching the camera. He is carrying other – a bit awkwardly at first, trying to get used to the watery safety kit including spare head torches and batteries. mud already coating my hands. Fairly quickly a big cave Once togged up we stroll up the lane towards the cavern opens up ahead and we stop to perch on a couple of rocks climbing over a stile into the orchard at Pridhamsleigh – this is Crystal Cave. The absolute silence in here is quite Farm. The farmer exacts a small toll (£1.50 each), which deafening – it presses on your eardrums with deep intensity can be left in a box or, in the case of regulars like Reach – it’s a powerful feeling. Rich tells me that these rocks

October/November 2021 | 23

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Give it a Go! Caving and caves sit in total quiet and complete darkness most of the time. To see what that’s like we switch off our head torches for around 30 seconds and just feel it. It’s a weird nothingness – you could be floating – you have no shape or form. It’s such an overpowering contrast to our normal lives. I touch my fingers against the rock to make sure I’m really still here. Taking a break 1 kilometre Then the head torches underground go on again and Crystal at the Lake Cave comes back into view. There are some quartz rocks that give meaning to the original name but many of these have been eroded now. However we look up into what’s known as The Attic. There’s a circular opening in the roof like a round minstrels’ gallery that you could climb into – if it wasn’t so high up. We press on and I’m now getting used to moving around and using my caving suit to clamber, cling, edge along and slippy-slide around the place. We’re on what they call the ‘Tourist Route’ – there are harder challenges one can do but this is quite mind-blowing enough for me. We emerge into another large opening called Bishop’s Cave. There is a formation that looks eerily like a bishop pointing his finger towards the exit – handy if you get disoriented. Be aware though this complex, multilevel maze is not suitable for unaccompanied novices – it would be very easy to get lost. Richard explains that there are three levels to the system, not unlike the basement, middle floors and attic of a house. Every tunnel seems to have a choice of other tunnels to follow. Often I can’t see the way through until Richard points it out. None of the passages we attempt are really scary but there is a bit of body manoeuvring and wriggling to do, which is great fun and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead in the next chamber. I pull myself through a gap and emerge into the Coal Hole, a big cavern with various ways out. Richard shows me a hole in the ground called The Cellar (the coal cellar?) but we steer clear of this tricky and wet option. Instead we get ourselves onto The Coal Shute, a slippy, muddy slide down the shiny ‘people-polished’ stone down into the next

level of the system. More scrambling and now we are in a large, oddly shaped chamber called The Junction. We are very near our goal of reaching the underground lake – we just have to get through The Pit (which I must admit I don’t like the sound of) and finally we arrive at the beautiful emeraldgreen pool they call The Lake. I immediately think of the lake scene in Harry Potter - this place “has known magic”. Looking into the water I can see lines that are laid out for scuba divers who make underwater dives between here and Pridhamsleigh Two. No one else is here today though. We are now 1.1 kilometers from the entrance and at the furthest point of the cavern. The lake is over 30 metres deep. I look about for the blind white cave shrimp, which is said to be the only thing that lives here but see no sign. After a little time soaking up the magnificence of this awesome azure chamber and taking photos, we start to head back. After clambering back through The Pit and The Junction we take a different route – more discoveries. Rich is lying on his back on a feature called The Double Bed. You have to clamber aboard and then roll over and basically fall out the other side where you meet The Mud Slide. After rolling over The Double Bed, which is great fun, I lie right back as I begin to descend The Mud Slide. This slows your slithery progress a bit as you glide down a couple of levels. Then it’s back into Bishop’s Cave, through Crystal Cave and out again. It’s been a spectacular and memorable experience and now we’re off to the stream to wash the kit before heading home. It’s a bit like laundry day on the Ganges as we tread the mud out of the suits in the cool river. You can book caving experiences with Reach Outdoors and it makes a fun day out for groups of friends, family, children’s parties (8 and over) and anyone with a sense of adventure. If you fancy giving caving a go do make sure that you book a professional guide.   October/November 2021 | 25

A walk in the Parke... Need to know

Distance: Various Exertion: Easy, gentle slopes Time: 45 minutes walking plus at least 1 hour admiring the scenery and exploring Terrain: Woodland and gravel paths. Dogs: Under close control near livestock Refreshments: Home Farm Café at Parke open 10am-5pm daily Accessibilty: Robust pushchairs. An all terrain mobility scooter can be hired Parking: Usual National Trust rates apply Start Postcode: TQ13 9JQ


utumn is a fantastic time to explore the woodland trails and riverbanks at the National Trust’s Parke Estate at Bovey Tracey. It has a wide range of historical features, restored buildings, a working walled garden, woodland and riverside walks plus a lovely café to relax in once you’re done. On arrival you can pick a leaflet, which has an illustrated map detailing three routes of varying lengths

26 | October/November 2021

to choose from for your walk. On our visit we leave the car park and go downhill to the walled garden and National Trust shop, then take the medium route. This leads us west up through the wooded hillside above the River Bovey, affording spectacular views over the treetops towards the town of Bovey Tracey and beyond. The trail continues to the far edge of the grounds before dropping down to the riverside. The river is spanned by a wooden footbridge and there is a choice to follow, the riverside path or old railway line heading east and back to the estate house. We choose to follow the pretty riverside path with its relaxing sunny glades. The river has a medieval weir, which once supplied a leat to power the local mill and still provides water to the rich grazing pasture on the Parke Estate. The path crosses back over the river to return to the 19th century house and there’s an interesting selection of trees in the park grounds that sprawl eastward in front of the house. The route returns you to the car park just a stone’s throw away from the pretty Home Farm Café with a wide range of tempting treats to finish off a good walk. 

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Out & About

Walk of Fame Lighting Up Brixham, founded by Neil Worrell and Vicky Pritchard-Davies has unveiled the brand-new ‘Brixham’s Walk of Fame’.


his fabulous series of cast-iron plates on the Breakwater, etched with individual names, is designed to celebrate both locals and those who love Brixham, past and present. Vicky says, “We’ve been planning this for two years. With over 200 names already immortalised we’re thrilled to have reached this stage. When I got cancer three years ago, I prayed that I’d see this day – and I have - so I’m understandably emotional”. Neil adds, “I’m relieved to have the First Phase plates down, weighing over 70kg each, there is half of a ton of pure cast iron now bolted down. The material reflects the rich history of ore mining in Brixham as well as the rust on the trawlers in the harbour and the red sails of the heritage boats”. The first name on the plates is Jackie Robinson, Neil’s wife who died in 2017 of a brain tumour. And whom he says, “was the inspiration behind all of this”. And with another 200 or so names already registered, the project is now well on the way to reaching the 1000 name target. Neil & Vicky started ‘Lighting Up Brixham’ two years ago after both having had setbacks in their lives and wanting to make a difference. They both raised money for national charities but then Neil suggested that they did something directly for their town. ‘The Walk’ is already making a difference. Neil says, “All profits go to the town

- we work for free, and ‘The Walk’ is already funding our new initiative ‘Brighten Up Brixham’ to paint houses pastel colours. It’s also funding six more seasonal lights to add to the fourteen already here.” Neil explained, “We’re passionate about the town and so are thousands of others. This new project enables people to celebrate their love for Brixham and support it, in a physical and permanent way. Brixham receives more than half a million visitors a year and is currently bouncing back strongly from the pandemic.” Vicky adds, ‘Everybody can have their names on the Breakwater from £145. In our view, it’s nicer, and cheaper, than a bench - and no varnishing required! You can stand on ‘The Walk’ and reflect on the people whose names are inscribed - and who will be there for decades. Imagine your children and grandchildren visiting in 20-30 years time…. It’s emotional for many and they have already told us so – often with tears in their eyes”. Money raised by The Walk will be invested in permanent town improvements and Vicky and Neil are hopeful that the venture will raise thousands of pounds. Registration for Phase Two of Brixham’s Walk of Fame is now open.   October/November 2021 | 29

2021 Events 2020

centre of creativity l

Craft studios


Seven Dials Café


460 acre award winning country park and gardens


Play area


Arts and crafts workshops


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

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

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

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

Come and usandfor Visitorvisit Welcome Point galleries aN AUTUMN Carriage rides of INSPIRATION!

• 460 acre award winning country park to explore • Meet over 20 of our makers in our craft studios • Visit our two Galleries to see work by over 120 seeleading artists and designers hear • See James Murch, our Artist in Residence painting on site • Indulge in delicious food and drink at Seven Dials Café • Manor House and childrens play area to discover taste

Plus ... Visit our GLOW exhibition

Our seasonal exhibition programme touch showcasing a year long creative journey through the four seasons. Featuring stunning artwork by leading local artists and makers celebrating the magnificent trees changing colour here at Cockington. Visit to find out more. smell

Free admission, open daily from 10am . Galleries open 10.30am–5pm. Cockington Court Craft , Cockington,Torquay TQ2 6XA 01803 607230 CentreCentre, of Creativity, Cockington, Torquay TQ2Tel: 6XA Tel: 01803 607230 @CockingtonCourt @CockingtonC Email: TDA is a trading name of Torbay Economic Development Company Limited, a company registered in England and Wales No. 7604855 Registered Office Tor Hill House, Union Street, Torquay, Devon TQ2 5QW

Thinking of letting your holiday home? Find out how our locally-based team can support you through every step of your holiday letting journey, with award-winning service, full property management options and industry-leading marketing.

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n O s ’ t a h W BAY E H T D N U O R A

Please check before travelling as events are subject to change.

Kents Cavern Step into the Stone Age at these wonderful prehistoric caves. Regular tours are running daily from 10am – 4pm. Halloween fun during October’s Half Term. Yoga in the Caves until 18 October. Book online. 91 Isham Road, Torquay TQ1 2JF 01803 205136

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

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

Adoption Events 9 October, 1 & 23 November & 8 December Families for Children is holding information sessions to give you the opportunity to find out more about adoption. All events by Zoom at various times (see website). Booking: online, by phone or email. All welcome. 01364 645480

Dartmouth Food Festival 22-24 October Enjoy Dartmouth’s annual food festival with 3 days of delicious local and regional food and drink, internationally renowned chefs and wonderful stands to browse, taste and buy.

Brixham Battery Open Day 24 October The whole Brixham Battery site will be open for this special event. There will be tours of the grounds, tunnels, gun floors, living history displays, weapons talk with blank firing and military vehicles. Free admission but consider a donation, dog friendly. Times: 11am-4pm. Brixham Battery Heritage Centre, Fishcombe Hill, Brixham TQ5 8RU

Fougou Jazz 26 October

British Canoeing – Sea Kayak Award 9-11 October This is a 3-day training course and assessment for kayakers with some previous experience (training is also available for beginners – please ask). Course cost: £250 to include use of boat and kit as required. Reach Outdoors, The Seashore Centre, Goodrington Beach, Paignton TQ4 6LP 01803 524950

Wendy Kirkland & Pat Spakes Sextet featuring Roger Beaujolais on vibraphone. Tickets: £12. Preston Conservative Club, 299 Torquay Road, Paignton TQ3 2EY 07967 790358

Halloween Fair, Dartmouth 30 October Celebrate Halloween with a lots of wonderful stalls selling crafts, cards, jewellery, herbal body care products, bags, driftwood pieces, bags, books and cakes plus balloon models and a children’s fancy dress competition. Held in aid October/November 2021 | 31

Torquay Escape to our Spa and take some time for yourself. • Luxury ELEMIS treatments • OPI manicures and pedicures • Dedicated relaxation area Spa Days from

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Riviera What’s On of Children’s Hospice South West. Times: 10am-3pm. The Old Market, Dartmouth TQ6 9QB

Murder Mystery Night, Imperial Hotel 30 October Ghosthunters is a murder-mystery evening over a drinks reception and 3-course dinner with the action provided by Candlelight Theatre Company. Will the ghosthunters make it through the evening alive? Tickets £49 per person to include dinner and drinks reception. Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG

Outdoor Instructor Training, Goodrington 1 November – 6 March This 16-week training course offers 16 awards focussed on paddlesport, hillwalking, climbing, coasteering and bushcraft. It will be delivered by leading trainers and assessors with input from the Reach Outdoors Senior Instructor Team. Includes 4 UK expeditions: Brecon Beacons, Lake District, Dartmoor and South Devon Coast. Reach Outdoors, Tanners Road, Goodrington Sands, Paignton TQ4 6LP

English Riviera Film Festival 1-6 November The festival returns for its seventh year with a host of events and screenings culminating in the English Riviera International Film Awards. Claire Bueno of online film magazine Premiere Scene will be conducting online interviews with film producers throughout the festival week. Festival-goers will be able to attend events at Artizan Gallery and South Devon College Hi Tech & Digital Centre. A new highlight this year, as part of the festival’s mission to seek out new talent, will be the 72 Hour Film Challenge for South Devon College students, who will compete to produce new short films in just 3 days

Orpheus - Fougou Jazz 9 November Orpheus - A truly unique and authentic Latin extravaganza ready to transport you straight to Brazil. Tickets: £12. Preston Conservative Club, 299 Torquay Road, Paignton TQ3 2EY 07967 790358

Train of Lights From 24 November – 30 December Enjoy this festive illuminated steam railway experience that takes you on a return trip and magical show to Paignton, Churston and Kingswear, via the sparkling, twinkling enchanted forest. Pre-booking essential; wheelchair access available; assistance dogs only; includes flashing lights, multiple departure times. 01803 555872

Salute to Humph – Fougou Jazz 24 November Salute to Humph – a special Big Band Concert to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Humphrey Littleton, the elder statesman of British Jazz. With a 10-piece band led by jazz trumpeter Chris Hodgkins. Tickets: £15 (advance), £16 (door), doors open 7.30pm. Livermead Cliff Hotel, Seafront Torquay TQ2 6RQ 07967 790358

Christmas Craft Fayre, Lupton House 27 & 28 November Enjoy a sparkling Christmas experience at the beautiful Grade 2*listed Lupton House with its stunning parkland and Italianate garden. With craft stalls and family fun this delightful event is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit. Free entry, café and gift shop open, times 10am-4pm each day, parking £1 per car. Churston Ferrers TQ5 0LD 01803 845800

Lanterns, Lights and ‘luminations, Brixham 27 November Brixham will celebrate its Christmas Lights Switch on with a ‘Lanterns, Lights and ‘luminations’ parade. The Quay, Brixham TQ5 8TA

Winter Fest, Torre Abbey 27-28 November A Christmas Fair with gift stalls in the Spanish Barn and the main abbey. Included with normal admission. Times: 10am-5pm.

If you are holding an event in December or January let us know and we’ll list it here! Email the details to: Deadline for submissions is 1 November. October/November 2021 | 33


PLANNING YOUR CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS It’s definitely never too early to start planning your Christmas parties, Santa events and festive drinkies. It’s great to have a few treats in store after a difficult year for us all.


he English Riviera has been reassuringly busy this season and the festive period looks set to deliver more of the same. Book early to secure your favoured dining spot for a family or staff celebration, plan some Santa fun for the kids and don’t forget to get the drinks in for some pre-Christmas unwinding. ¢

PARTY NIGHTS 2021 Party Nights include: • 3 course meal • Free drinks reception • Crackers, hats, streamers, balloons • Party DJ until 1am • Reduced stopover rates


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cal Farmers! More than just a fantastic farm shop... DEL I











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October/November 2021 | 35

e r t a e h T ! CURTAINS UP

Babbacombe Theatre Box Office 01803 328385 Editor’s pick SUPERSTARS On until 20 October (Tuesdays & Wednesdays) This fabulous show features some of the most iconic stars of music, stage and screen, performed by a multi-talented cast with comedy, songs from movie and stage including 9-5, Top Gun, Hairspray, Jersey Boys, The Greatest Showman, Grease and Burlesque. With the hugely popular entertainer Steve Laister plus the wonderful talents of Paul Cobley, Wayne Martin, Lindsey Collard, Danze Chique and many more, it’s a show not to be missed. Also worth seeing… Legends of Swing - 8 October Step into Christmas - from 27 October

Palace Theatre, Paignton Box Office 01803 665800 Editor’s pick THE GHOST TRAIN 65th Anniversary Show for Bijou Theatre 20-23 October Originally launched as a private members’ theatre club by Greta Huggins in 1954 Bijou has survived against the odds and is now beloved by many. In 1969 Jill Farrant joined the management and in 1973 Wendy and Ian Caplan came on board. The first production under the new management was The Ghost Train so it is very special to The Bijou Theatre Club and has been chosen to celebrate their 65th (having been delayed by Covid it’s now the 66th) anniversary. The Ghost Train was first produced in 1925 and has been filmed three times. The only play written by Arnold Ridley of Dad’s Army fame, it’s a great mixture of suspense comedy and thriller. A silly young man accidentally strands six passengers at a small Cornish wayside station. Despite the psychic stationmaster’s weird stories of a ghost train, they decide to stay the night in the waiting room. Soon they regret this rash decision. Also worth seeing… Voodoo Room – 9 October Crown Matrimonial - 24-27 November

Princess Theatre, Torquay Box Office 0844 8713023 Editor’s pick ENGLISH YOUTH BALLET – THE NUTCRACKER 29-30 October The superb cast will star some of the finest international principal dancers and bring you the talents of 100 selected young dancers. On Christmas Eve Clara is given a nutcracker doll by Uncle Drosselmeyer. That night she dreams that the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince and together they embark on an exciting adventure.

36 | October/November 2021

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Also worth seeing… Fireman Sam Saves the Circus - 9 October Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show – 26-27 November

Little Theatre, Torquay Box Office 01803 299330 Editor’s pick LADIES’ DAY 4-9 October

An exuberant comedy by TOADS Theatre Company, Ladies’ Day is the story of four women who work at Hull Fish Docks decide to take a day trip to the races. Out go the overalls and wellies as they get dressed up to the nines and prepare for a day of drinking champagne and a flutter on the horses. Will they hit the jackpot? Also worth seeing… What’s So Amazing About Grace? 21-23 October Deathtrap 15-20 November

October/November 2021 | 37

ARTIZAN GALLERY 7 Lucius Street, TQ2 5UW 07522 509642

38 | October/November 2021

ARTIZAN COLLECTIVE GALLERY Fleet Walk, 74 Fleet St, TQ2 5EB 07762 921571

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Arts R O U N D U P.

Please check before travelling as events are subject to change.

Torquay’s Artizan Gallery & Café English Riviera Film Festival (see also What’s On pages) 1-6 November Artizan Gallery is collaborating with the festival this year and will be hosting several films and events.

Arts Preview event 2 October 6-8pm – contact gallery to book.

William Mills Solo Exhibition 19-31 October Throughout 2021 William has been making good use of an expanded studio space and has produced a body of work some of which is impressively large in scale and full of atmosphere and drama. Within the work are his signature rich textures and organic surfaces, features that are so incredibly important to him. He says, “I want viewers to be able to scour vast sections of canvas and never find any evidence of tools, brushwork or any form of deliberate human manipulation. It’s an exhaustingly time-consuming process, slowly covering my tracks with layers upon layers of paint, but the reward when every square inch of the painting has something interesting to say makes it so infinitely worth it.”

Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturdays 10am-6pm Artizan Gallery & Café, 7 Lucius Street, Torquay, TQ2 5UW

Torquay’s Artizan Collective Gallery Journey Through Dartmoor 5-17 October Sharp Tor Simon Fowler

In this exhibition Simon Fowler will be showing work produced in the past five years whilst living in Devon. Most of the paintings are of South Devon and particularly Dartmoor and demonstrate his exploration of colour and how colour reveals itself from constant viewing. A keen observer, Simon notes how the landscape changes constantly from repeated visits. He says, “I like to peel off the layers of the images that come to me to hopefully reveal a deeper understanding of how I might put a painting together.” Simon will be giving away three of the exhibited paintings and anyone visiting and selecting a favourite piece will have a chance of winning it.

Turbulence William Mills

Tuesday – Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm Artizan Collective Gallery, Unit 5 74 Fleet Street Torquay TQ2 5EB For more information contact juliebrandon@, 07522 509642 artizan Also check out October/November 2021 | 39

Palace Theatre - Paignton Wed 20 October - Sat 23 October 2021


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R O U N D U P.

The GALLERY @Cockington Court 10.30am-4.30pm daily Ongoing selling exhibition showing the region’s leading artists and makers. Items ranging from scarves, jewellery, ceramics, metalwork, artists cards, metalwork, collages, paintings and prints. Bloom exhibition is still on until 3 October in the Kitchen Gallery. Don’t miss the fabulous craft studios too! 01803 607230 Facebook @cockingtoncourt

Sensory Drawing Journey, Dartington 2 & 3 October This 2-day course for adults with Bath-based artist and lecturer Fhiona Mckie is suitable for the experienced and beginners alike. It is an opportunity to (re)connect with creative practice. This will build confidence and skills alongside encouraging spontaneity and learning to exploit unexpected results supported and guided by Fhiona. Cost: £290 (non-residential) including lunch, tea & coffee, residential option with breakfast & dinner is £390. 10% discount for Dartington members. Studio 20, Dartington Hall, Totnes TQ9 6EL

Finding the Thread, Torquay 14 October For hundreds of years Exeter was known for its cloth. The recent discovery by Dr Todd Gray, of several thousands of cloth samples, displays the history of an industry, which once underpinned the economy of Devon. Time:2.15pm, cost: non-members £8.00. Talk followed by tea and homemade cake. St Matthias Church Hall, Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HW 01803 314490

Immersive Charcoal Landscapes, Dartington 21-26 November Enjoy a journey into the versatile and fascinating medium of charcoal with course tutor Kate Boucher. On this week-long course you will examine the expressive qualities of charcoal and how they can be used to respond to the evocative landscape of Dartington and Dartmoor. To fully explore these qualities, you will experiment with different types of charcoal both natural and man-made, and even make your own charcoal and your own simple sketchbook. You will develop your repertoire of mark-making techniques, working from direct observation and your own photographs taken on site. Cost: £695 (non-residential) including lunch, tea & coffee, residential option with breakfast & dinner is £975. 10% discount for Dartington members. Dartington Hall, Totnes TQ9 6EL

The English Country Church 11 November Enjoy a talk by The Rev. Dr Nicholas Henderson on English history from the pre-Christians to the Tudors and how to read architecture inside and out. Time: 2.15pm, cost: nonmembers £8.00. Talk followed by tea and homemade cake. St Matthias Church Hall, Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HW 01803 314490

October/November 2021 | 41

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Arts R O U N D U P.


Francesca Lawrence

Collage Artist

Local artist Francesca Lawrence’s delightfully whimsical and quirky collages will bring a smile to your lips. Here she spills the beans on how lockdown was the catalyst for her collaging, which proved to be ‘chicken soup’ for her creative soul.


rancesca decided to give collage a go when she found herself confined to the house with time on her hands during the first nationwide lockdown. She’d spotted an online competition hosted by one of her favourite artists, Maria Rivans. The idea was to make a lockdown collage with anything that was lying handy around the house and Francesca quickly found an old Tesco magazine, some leaflets in the junk mail pile and a box of old postcards. Grabbing a pair of scissors she set to work, created a collage featuring cake, fairies and flying sweets, took a photo of the finished result and sent it off. A couple of weeks later she was a winner – a proper collage artist – selected by Maria Rivans herself. This spurred her on and with her prize, Maria’s new book Extraordinary Things to Cut Out and Collage, she was soon on a roll. She invested in an art scalpel, a cutting mat and a better pair of scissors. Then, commandeering the dining room table, she organised the hundreds of images into little heaps according to subject matter, ready to be inspired. She hasn’t stopped since, creating over 300 pieces so far

and amassing a following of 3000 people on her Instagram art page. She’s found it the easiest artform she’s ever tried, with almost instant results and gratification. She loves the way your imagination can go absolutely nuts creating new relationships and perspectives between images in surreal and playful ways. She says, “As a creative Aspergers female, I love it. The best thing about it is that it’s so inclusive that anyone can do it.” Francesca lives in the Bay with her husband and two curious goldfish. She loves travelling, writing, championing the empowerment of women and girls, tending to her plants, smashing stereotypes surrounding Asperger’s Syndrome, reading, hiking, watching movies or series, and collecting all things Nicolas Cage! She has a BSc (Hons) in Physical Geography and currently works as a receptionist. If you have any magazines, leaflets, postcards, papers, posters, or catalogues lying around, why not give it a go? Francesca would love to see your creations and you can tag her @pesto.frankie on Instagram. 

October/November 2021 | 43

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Social Diary

D I A R Y.

Occombe Farm Shop Launch Trustees, supporters and retail staff attended a reception to launch the brand new, much larger farm shop at Occombe.

 Cath Cooke (Occombe GM), Lily Shaw (Retail Manager, Occombe Farm Shop), and Andra Johnstone (Chair of the Trustees TCCT)

 Cath Cooke (Occombe GM), Rob &

Jo Osborne (ER Response & Security) and Sarah James (Marketing TCCT)

 Steve Bryan (SB Developments), Gary

Taylor and Ben Gay (Heighway Field)

 Andy Beer, Andrew Rogers and

 John Stocks, Sarah James (TCCT) and

Mark Green (all Fruition)

Alan Tyerman

Devon Open Studios Launch Artizan Gallery held a launch event to mark the start of Devon Open Studios 2021. A wonderful range of pieces were displayed in the Sculpture Studio, plus, guests were able to meet Printmaker Ian Cox, Winner of the 2021 Artizan Studio Grant.

 Elisabeth Hadley and Rose Elliott  Anne Ellis, Mandy Ellis Voisey and Grace Clifford

Debbie Phillips, Gesche Buecker and David Phillips

 Ian Cox

Jacob and Julie Brandon (Artizan Gallery)  Lucy Nelson and Anita Newcombe

October/November 2021 | 45

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Mr Fox’ Fox ’ s Garden


Mr Fox reflects on the trials and tribulations of preparing for the Chelsea Flower Show and inspires us with plans for ‘bulb-time’ in the garden.


o… rewind back to the 17th of August. We’d just got the show would have definitely fallen into the category back from the RHS Rosemoor show, we hadn’t really of good sense; there was only one problem; I’d told my planned to be busy at the show but Nan I was going, so I was going. For every year they allocate us the same two weeks I dragged my leg around, lovely spot and we didn’t want to lose trying to do anything, planning and it; ‘twas was a lovely flower show, good wishing. Slowly the feeling in my leg to get back out and we made a mini returned and the pain subsided. holiday of the weekend by camping Fast forward to September 1st. I with the kids. realised I’d just made a very difficult Things were a lot busier than we’d job even more difficult. I broke the expected and we got back home tasks up into three smaller jobs, feeling totally shattered, with a getting everything there, storing few new orders on our website and everything in the stall and displaying ‘Operation Chelsea’ looming; there everything; working like the clappers was no time to stop. Around 3pm I with 18-hour days; we pressed on. memorably stopped concentrating We set off on Sunday September and managed to pull a tonne of steel 12th in the afternoon and arrived on to myself; off to A&E I went at a Hammersmith hotel in the for ten stitches and an X-ray. I’ve late evening. The drive in was It was like the wacky races: immense, flashing lights, TV never had an accident before, it scooters, bikes, trucks, cars billboards, flyovers and multi-lane was a very interesting experience. and vans. It was absolute junctions; it was all going well I felt quite embarrassed that I’d pandemonium - not like made a mistake and would have until I got hit with a £26 bill for a Devon... kept it quiet but it’s important chicken sandwich and 2 teas. to get the message out there: ‘Don’t work when you’re Monday morning, rush hour, we drove to the show. too tired’. Hats off to all the nurses who patched me up; It was five miles away but felt like 50. I had a little thank you. knowledge of London’s geography; stay away from So… exactly a month before the Chelsea flower Whitechapel & Old Kent Road. Regent Street, Oxford show was set to start with hardly a plan or stockpile, I Street and Bond street are all a safe bet and whatever smashed my leg, not broken, but very bad nevertheless, you do don’t end up staying in a hotel on Mayfair or very sore and I was unable to walk. Park Lane... I was hoping to have a little scout around Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Never give in. but all the nutcases driving about soon squashed that [...] in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give idea. It was like the wacky races: scooters, bikes, trucks, in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.” cars and vans. It was absolute pandemonium - not It was the last day we could cancel everything without like Devon. It took a few minutes to adjust my driving having to pay the show and hotel fees in full. Cancelling style and become a contender in the race - not before

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

October/November 2021 | 47

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

Supported Housing for Independent People


Sheltered Housing for Independent People over 55

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

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

about running a house are taken away.

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

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

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

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

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Gardening long we arrived at the entrance to Ranelegh Gardens. In we drove, surrounded by one awe-inspiring sight after another. There were diggers and dumpers, telehandlers, cranes, skips and score upon score of builders working away like ants plus multitudes of people with clipboards. My mind was already blown after the drive in and now we were down to a 5mph speed limit slowly moving through the site it felt like we were a little rowing boat amongst a huge Armada of galleons and battle ships.

I t's Bulb Time Clearing away the summer’s flowering can be a miserable task so planting bulbs is a forward –looking, cheering affair. Autumn is bulb-planting season and narcissi (daffodils) are perfectly at home growing in borders - or why not try some planting amongst your lawns? To create a meadow lawn do choose your varieties with care to create the right effect. While big mixed sacks of daffodils are temptingly priced, the large blowsy blooms never look at home in grass. Instead, select two or three varieties of smaller narcissi and stagger the flowering times to enjoy colour for months. Early varieties include ‘February Gold’, ‘Jetfire’, and our native wild daffodil or Lent lily Narcissus pseudonarcissus – all shortgrowing and able to withstand

Jobs for the garden in October • Grow some watercress for healthy winter salads using bagged watercress bought from the greengrocer. Place shoots in water to root, then plant into troughs or pots and keep moist, it won’t be long before you have a sustainable crop. • Autumn is the season to plant anything hardy like shrubs, roses, trees, and hedging, while the soil is warm and moist and perfect to encourage lots of root growth. • Clean out the greenhouse in advance of winter before it fills with plants. Take everything out, wash glass inside and out to make the most of scarce winter light. Good hygiene in the greenhouse avoids a lot of potential pest and disease problems, which can spread quickly in the enclosed atmosphere.

We found our allocated patch, hopped out and started to erect our little stall, unloading a good tonne of stock and neatly concealing it within the walls of our display. Then we drove home again. We had three more days in Devon to make some more stock, reload the van and then off to London we go again. The show starts tomorrow. I’ll let you all know how it went in the next issue… Till next time... take care.

Mr Fox the gales. Then for late spring, plant the single white poet’s or pheasant’s eye narcissus, N. poeticus var recurvus which has tall stems to bear flowers above the growing grass. When planting, aim for a natural look with bulbs scattered in clumps of varying numbers. Use a spade for planting, first cutting squares or rectangles of turf on three sides to roll back, exposing the soil, then digging a large wide hole for each group of bulbs. Finally, batter the turf a bit before rolling back in place to break up the grass roots so the bulbs don’t lift the turf as their shoots grow. 

• Pot up bedding plants like geraniums and busy lizzies, to bring indoors and enjoy on your windowsill for weeks, for more colour and to preserve them over the winter – if they’re out for the first frost their delicate stems will freeze. • Plant spring bedding and bulbs in patio pots and window boxes.

October/November 2021 | 49


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