Out & About Walks Local Food Social Diary Ar ts Nature
EnglishRiviera magazine October/November 2013
BERRY HEAD Birds Autumn What’s On
Plus! Halloween Roundup
Crafty Mums at Cockington Local Lad Engineers the Future
Enjoy Torbay Festival of Poetry Discover How
Revving Up with
Paega’s Tun Became
Cider with Richard
The Apple Harvest in Full Swing
English Riviera Magazine For Residents By Residents
FROM A FIVE STAR BUILDER
BRIXHAM, DEVON TQ5 9EL
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three and four bedroom homes, off Douglas Avenue in Brixham, all with wonderful views of the sea.
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Welcome... ...to issue two and thanks to everyone who has written, tweeted, Facebooked and spoken to us over the last eight weeks for all your positive comments. So the summer we’ve all waited patiently for, arrived. The beaches thronged and Julian’s paddleboard spent more time afloat than sat languishing in the shed! We enjoyed the exciting racing in regatta week, the fantastic fireworks, joined the hordes of visitors from around the world for the Agatha Christie Festival but best of all enjoyed the beautiful coast and countryside in the glorious sunshine! Everyone who works on the beaches, parks and gardens did a fantastic job making the English Riviera look its best for locals and visitors alike and deserve a big round of applause. In this issue we’re thinking about autumn friendship and fun and, as always, there is lots to enjoy locally on the English Riviera. Why not give Torbay Festival of Poetry a go? Festival organiser Patricia Oxley says that she loves it when people say they didn’t know they could enjoy poetry. And a companiable glass of wine is considered quite ‘de rigueur’. We’ve also got lots for budding birdwatchers to discover at Berry Head, some inspirational sailing, a walk with spectacular views, the apple harvest and cider-making plus Halloween fun, some local celeb spotting and much more… Keep an eye on our Facebook page too as we’re on the
We’d love to hear from you! @EngRivieraMag
English Riviera Magazine
hunt for your favourite Christmas recipes - the best ones will appear in the next issue along with a round-up of the finest local festive food! (You can send them in the post too at the address below). Look out for our improved What’s On pages with lots more events to see and get involved with over the next two months, whether you like museums, cookery, wildlife or the arts there’s lots going on in October and November. Enjoy your reading and please keep letting us know what you liked!
Don’t forget to visit the website, for more news, social events, competitions and features in between issues.
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The Fluder I II
Torbay Festival of Poetry
Birdwatching at Berry Head
A Day in the Life...
Round Britain Experience
Local news snippets
2013 line-up revealed Twitching tips
Devon’s largest construction site
Local historian John Risdon on Paignton The trip of a lifetime
34 37 43 46
Local ladies have it all sewn up New Air Ambulance drops in
Spectacular views for all
Things to do in October and November
What’s On Halloween
Spooky events for all the family
Treading the Boards
Local theatre dates for your diary
54 65 66
We visit Hunt’s Cider in Yalberton Heston Blumenthal in Brixham
Who’s been out and about?
Rallye Beaujolais revs up
Legal advice from Wollen Michelmore
Meet me at Berry Head
Win a copy of our sewing projects book! See page 31 englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
On the cover
Torquay harbour at dusk ©Lee Pengelly/Alamy
Des Res for Bugs! An insect hotel has been built by Living Coasts grounds team; Lee Widdecombe, Joyce Higginson and Wayne Broadway. They created the pitched-roof lodgings from scratch using wire mesh, pine cones and pieces of scrap wood. Living Coasts’ Senior Presenter Chloe Garland said “The bug house will show visitors how important insects are to the ecosystem. It’s good for species like lady bugs, solitary bees and wasps, hoverflies, lacewings and butterflies. Insects will use the hotel to lay eggs or to hibernate through the winter either as adults or larvae.” “People think it’s great - they are going home inspired to build their own!” o livingcoasts.org.uk 0844 474 3366
“People think it’s great - they are going home inspired to build their own!”
Zoo Celebrates Global Tree Expert’s Torquay roots Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is marking the role South Devon played in the career of the man regarded around the world as the father of modern tree surgery. John Davey served a six year apprenticeship in horticulture and landscape gardening in Torquay. He moved to the US and became a leading tree expert, publishing his first book, the Tree Doctor, in 1901. Now, Paignton Zoo is planting a tree to commemorate his 6
Kenton Rogers, Henrik Sjoman of the Swedish University of Agricultural Science and Professor Mike Raupp of the University of Maryland plant a Kentucky coffee tree in the grounds of Paignton Zoo.
Devon connection. Catherine Mortimer, Paignton Zoo Head Gardener, explained: “John Davey is almost unknown in this country, but in the US he is regarded as the founding father of tree surgery. His contribution to the science of arboriculture is of global significance. He established one of the first tree care firms - The Davey Tree Expert Company – which today is among the largest in the world.” The planting marks the start of a project to evaluate the Zoo’s trees using technology created by the US Forest Service and developed by The Davey Tree Expert Company. The i-Tree system puts a value on the tree cover of a given area. That study calculated that Torbay has 818,000 trees covering nearly 12% of its land area. These trees remove 50 tonnes of pollution from the air each year and store 98,000 tonnes of carbon. The value of this urban forest was put at £280 million. There is one piece of the jigsaw missing. Catherine Mortimer: “We know that John Davey studied in Torbay, but we are not sure exactly where. We are looking for information on that subject. If there are any history detectives out there who would like a challenge, please get in touch!” o
The lucky winner of our great Crab Quay House competition was CHRIS WARDLE from Torquay who will enjoy a ‘Seafood Feast’ with 5 friends plus a bottle of bubbly at one of Brixham’s newest restaurants with truly spectacular views of the Fish Market. o crabquayhouse.co.uk englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
Openers... Openers... Nicki Chapman visits the Riviera’s oldest home Saltern Cove Cleaned Up! On Friday 6 September members of Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, English Riviera Magazine staff and volunteers gave Saltern Cove an end of season clean up and collected about 6 bin bags of litter from the beach. The litter was recorded for the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch national database and included everything from socks and shoes to lobster pots and probably enough rope and fishing line to reach right across the bay! o TV presenter Nicki Chapman was in the English Riviera this summer filming the opening sequences for an episode of the next series of the BBC’s hit show “Escape to the Country” at Kents Cavern, the oldest home in Britain. o
Zoo’s tiny new-born This tiny new-born is a mandrill, an endangered primate from the rainforests of West Africa. Born at Paignton Zoo on 11th September to parents Marta and Jumanji, the youngster is another important contribution to the European Endangered species Programme, of which Paignton Zoo is a part. The Zoo’s troop now numbers seven; males Jumanji and Akello, females Makemba, Mirjam and Marta, plus this new arrival and a female baby born in January to mother Makemba and father Jumanji and named Jumba. o
Laura James, John Hill, Alan Kavanagh and Chris Birks (Marine Education Rangers), Jenny Brewster and Grace Barker (English Riviera Magazine).
Thanks to everyone who took part and do look out for more conservation and volunteering events at englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
Brixham 2013 -Best Ever! Crowds turned out in force for the fabulous Fishstock Brixham festival, a great day out which showcases the whole of our wonderful local fishing industry. o
Torbay Festival of Poetry, which runs from 24 – 28 October, is now in its 13th year. Its organisers, William and Patricia Oxley, explained how poetry, friendship and fun has made this festival grow so that it now attracts many hundreds of festivalgoers from the English Riviera and across Europe.
discovering and collecting poets along the way. he Brixham-based couple told English Riviera No two festivals are the same and every year has a Magazine that the idea for starting up a poetry different programme. Over the years the couple have festival evolved from Millennium Year when held children’s poetry events both at Paignton Zoo and William was appointed as Poet in Residence for Torbay on the steam railway. They’ve had spooky poems in the as part of a government scheme to appoint 1000 artists dimly lit chambers at Kents Cavern and they’ve visited of all kinds for a year. During the year William ran the ghost of Henry Francis Lyte, who wrote Abide with 10 events plus a mini-festival. When the year was over, Me at the Berry Head Hotel. it seemed a shame to stop, so Patricia raised funds for There is also a tourism element a poetry festival from the Arts “The most rewarding to the proceedings with tours Council and Torbay Festival of thing is hearing people say of the English Riviera often Poetry was born. This year’s festival has 26 events that they didn’t realise how included, much to the delight of both residents and visitors. This and although some are expected much they could year there’s a visit to Lupton to sell out early, there will still be enjoy poetry.” House and the festival’s opening plenty more for people to enjoy. event will be held at the newly You don’t have to be particularly well read to love the varied programme. As Patricia said, reopened Torre Abbey. William explained that there are a number of poets “The most rewarding thing is hearing people say that and writers associated with the English Riviera including they didn’t realise how much they could enjoy poetry.” famously, the ‘world’s worst poet’ William Topaz William and Patricia Oxley have had a life in poetry; McGonagall who penned an (apparently dreadful) their house is at the end of a pretty white gravelled lane with a charming garden. Every part of the house is lined ode to Torquay entitled Beautiful Torquay. Elizabeth Barrett Browning lived for three years at Hotel Regina with poetry books and William’s office is a treasure trove in Torquay, which was once her aunt’s home. Rupert of books, pamphlets, photographs and memorabilia. Brook wrote a sonnet on Abbey Sands during a visit and William is the poet, with many books of poetry Kipling also visited, living in a house next to Orestone published, whilst Patricia is the Festival Organiser. Manor. Other writers associated with the English Having edited Acumen Literary Journal for many Riviera are Charles Darwin, Henry James and Charles years, she has the opportunity to travel the country,
Arts Kingsley. Of course we mustn’t forget our very own Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie who, it is not widely known, wrote poems about Dartmoor. When William and Patricia founded the Torbay Festival of Poetry in 2000, poetry events were pretty rare but their work in promoting poetry to a wider audience has encouraged others and there are now a number of regular groups and events throughout the Bay. The Oxleys are now firmly embedded as the ‘go-to’
poetry people in the bay and Patricia is often referred to as ‘The Poetry Person of Torbay’ with Torbay Council referring poetry enquiries straight to her. Always happy to help and inspire others to share her tremendous love of reading, Patricia was awarded an MBE in 2011 for services to poetry. She remembers, “I was only allowed to wear it for about 3 minutes before it was whipped away and replaced in its presentation box.” o
William and Patricia Oxley
The 2013 festival has a great line-up, opening with Spanish Tapas at Torre Abbey featuring Glyn Pursglove and Christopher North, an event which promises to transport us to the warm Mediterranean from Torquay’s Medieval past and which includes Spanish guitar music from Rob Scott (Thursday, 24th October). With a further 25 events, most taking place at the
Livermead Cliff Hotel, the poetry flows throughout the weekend, including readings from Gillian Clarke, national poet of Wales and Helen Dunmore awardwinning poet and novelist. With talks, workshops and sociable activities, often including a welcome glass of wine, this is a festival for all to enjoy. For more information visit torbaypoetryfestival.co.uk
Discover bird watching at
a world-class nature haven
erry Head towers 60 metres (200 feet) above the English Channel and is one of the most southerly points on the English mainland, creating a regular bird rarity and migration hot spot. The mix of grassland, scrub woodland, rocks and quarries provides an excellent variety of habitats for birds. About 200 species have been recorded and 50 species breed within or close to the reserve. The high cliffs are host to the largest breeding colonies of guillemots on the south coast of England, Berry Head’s most famous residents. This award-winning nature reserve is also home to a small breeding colony of cirl
buntings and regular sightings include sparrowhawk, goldcrest, occasional firecrest, wheatear, razorbill, black redstart and occasional eider duck, as well as the regular daily guillemot count, from the seacliff facing hide, averaging 1,200 birds. Head Ranger Noel Hughes manages Berry Head, part of the UNESCO-recognised English Riviera Global Geopark, on behalf of Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. He leads a team of seasonal and part-time rangers who manage the site and co-ordinate volunteer working. The nature reserve has recently been awarded englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
PHOTOS: MIKE LANGMAN
In spite of its magniﬁcent position guarding the southern end of the Bay, it’s easy to forget what a blissful time you can have visiting the spectacular National Nature Reserve at Berry Head. This is a great place to discover the delights of bird watching, even if you barely know a sparrow from a swan! Keen amateur ‘twitcher’ Richard Newcombe ﬁnds out more.
Autumn is a great time to see the busy arrivals and departures of migrants and there is plenty of information available to help the inexperienced birdwatcher. recommending Berry Head for its beautiful scenery. Head Ranger Noel Hughes said, “This award is testament to all the hard work of the team of parttime and seasonal rangers and all the volunteers who put in so much effort every day at Berry Head. We are all so proud of the nature reserve and it’s an amazing achievement to be recognised as one of the top attractions in the world.” Berry Head had an important role to play defending our nation, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars when it protected the naval anchorage of Tor Bay with its gun batteries. The fascinating forts are protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and our suggested bird watching walk starts at South Fort. The best time of day to go to view birds is at dawn but there is plenty to see all day. Alongside the rugged beauty of Berry Head, the National Nature Reserve provides a extensive wheel chair access and easy walking routes together with a network of 12 ‘Audio Stop Points that can be accessed by mobile phone blue tooth technology and which give the visitor information about geology and history as well as what wildlife can be expected to be seen. Don’t forget to bring some binoculars and a camera.o
Information Postcode TQ5 9AP Getting there Berry Head is well signposted in Brixham from all directions. Parking No fees to visit the site but there’s a paying car park at Berry Head. Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust members park free. Distance and time This is a compact site occupying a coastal promontory but allow plenty of time to see the birds and explore the geology and history of the site. Terrain The site is generally level, there is a steep road way is to access sea level at the north of the reserve. Gravel or paved pathways are available throughout. Accessibility There is wheelchair access to all areas of the reserve. Dogs are welcomed under control. Facilities A visitor centre plus the delightful Guardhouse Cafe are both available on site www. guardhousecafe.com Public transport The number 12 bus serves Brixham. The service runs approximately every 10 minutes throughout the day. Take the bus to Brixham and either follow the signs to Berry Head (30 minute walk, part of which is steep) or, from Brixham Town Centre take bus no. 17 (hourly service) which runs to Victoria Road. From here it is about a ½ mile walk to Berry Head, signposted from the bus stop (and still with steep sections).
Rangers Noel Hughes (centre), Lee Nicholson and Jenny Russell englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
PHOTO: RICHARD NEWCOMBE
a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. This places Berry Head in the top 10 per cent of global attractions reviewed by visitors on travel website TripAdvisor. The natural beauty of the area is recognised as the main allure for visiting, with both residents and visitors frequently describing the ‘stunning views’ and
Where to go...
This circular walk is a gentle stroll for walkers of all abilities and only moderate ﬁtness is required. Key points along the route are highlighted together with a short description of what you can expect to see at each place. 1 Situated close to the car park at the extreme southerly edge of the site is the South Fort, high above the sea where peregrine falcons are regularly seen hunting and feeding on the cliffs. This amazing bird can dive at speeds of up to 180km per hour! 2 The bird observation hide overlooks the guillemots and provides a comfortable viewing point for this most impressive colony. There is good viewing in the early mornings from October to March and the breeding season runs from March to June. Guillemots don’t build a nest. Instead they lay a single pear shaped egg on the cliff and take turns in looking after it. You can also see fulmar, a member of the petrel and shearwater family around the cliffs. If threatened when on a nest it will regurgitate an oily ﬁshy substance over the predator – including unsuspecting climbers!
Birdwatching 3 Scrubland around the North Fort provides cover for the resident cirl bunting population, which are one of Britain’s most endangered songbirds. Look out for them singing on top of bushes with their distinctive ‘highwayman’s mask’. Greenﬁnch can be seen all year round on Berry Head. Look out for ﬂashes of yellow and green as they ﬂy and feed on insects and seeds. In the autumn you can also see many recently arrived migrants as they recover from the sea crossing before venturing further inland. Long-tailed tits are always busy around the headland.
4 The lighthouse is known as the ‘highest and lowest’ in the country as it is very short but very high up on the cliffs so can be seen for miles around. From here the sea birds reign supreme and from a 200-foot vantage point sea birds including gannets and the elegant terns and fulmars can be watched from above. Regular sightings of cetaceans such as the harbour porpoise and bottle nosed dolphin can be seen from the cliff top and the lonesome, mysterious basking shark has been seen to feed in the rich, sheltered waters below Berry Head. P Car Park R Refreshments
Don’t miss... AUTUMN MIGRATION WATCH AT BERRY HEAD
Saturday 9 November (See page 39 for more details)
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English Riviera events calendar 14
What to see...
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PEREGRINE FALCON FIRECREST - A REGULAR MIGRANT DURING THE AUTUMN FULMAR - CLOSE RELATIVE OF THE ALBATROSS CIRL BUNTING LONG-TAILED TITS - ALWAYS BUSY AROUND THE HEADLAND
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BIRD PHOTOS: MIKE LANGMAN
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A day in the life... Tim Fletcher Site engineer
SDLR Project-North End Setting out the jobs to be done, ensuring everything is done correctly, safely and to exacting tolerances is all in a day’s work for a site engineer on the South West’s largest construction site as Julian Rees ﬁnds out when he visits the road improvement works at Penn Inn.
for the structures that will eventually support the flyover any of us go to work each day mindful of above Penn Inn roundabout. the problems we’ll have to overcome and the Tim grew up in Torbay and attended Torquay Boys’ solutions we’ll to need devise to make our day Grammar School. He spent some time working on the run smoothly. How’s this for one? ‘Maintain all public periphery of the construction industry before deciding it rights of way and access across Penn Inn roundabout was a career he’d like to pursue so took a university access whilst installing thousands of tonnes of steel and concrete course at South Devon College and enrolled at Plymouth overhead’...certainly puts a few things in to perspective! He graduated with a good This is just one of the conundrums Tim ‘Setting out’ is like land University. honours degree in Coastal and Civil Fletcher faces in his daily life as Site surveying in reverse - Engineering in 2012. Engineer on the South Devon Link Road Project for Galliford Try. putting marks on the A couple of months after his Tim found himself sat in Tim is one of several Site Engineers ground so it can be graduation front of the SDLR Project Director Jim working on the SDLR project who transformed into the Watson having written a speculative letter report in to Site Agents, who in turn report to the project management planned landscape to Galliford Try after the announcement of the project was made. team. The project is broken down into It goes without saying that Tim’s ‘can do’ attitude several key areas and Tim’s responsibility currently lies at impressed the boss and he commenced work with the the north end, where he is overseeing relocation work for then five-strong team at the beginning of August 2012. electricity and gas services, drainage and culvert building Amongst his first responsibilities was surveying of all works on the Sainsbury’s site and work on the footings
A Day in the Life structures that would need demolition in order for the initial groundworks to be able to commence and his knowledge of the local area helped no end. University equipped Tim with the basic skills to get the job done but a project of this scale means that learning and aquisition of new skills is an ongoing process. Tim is mentored by the site Construction Manager Ian Yelf who oversees his progress towards professional accreditation from the Institute of Civil Engineers. This will see him become firstly an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and then a Chartered Engineer (CEng), which is the recognised benchmark worldwide. Tim is also giving back to the local educational community that helped him get where he is today by hosting workshops for schoolchildren and students, with his Galliford Try colleagues, on road building and other aspects of construction and civil engineering in partnership with South Devon College. As Site Engineer it is Tim’s job to ensure that everything drawn on the site plans is transferred to the ground by way of the ‘setting out’ process. Like land surveying, but in reverse,
he marks the ground where new structures are to be built so nothing can progress without him. As new features take shape he also has to monitor the quality of the work and materials used, as once they’re buried under roads or car parks and tonnes of earth, digging them up again to make repairs isn’t an option! The responsibility doesn’t end there. The health and safety of everyone working in his area, construction workers welfare and the safety of public around the site must remain monitored and logged on a daily basis. “So is this the beginning of a long life on the road, no pun intended, moving around the country from one project to another?” I asked. Tim is happy with the fact that his job is going to take him to different places, maybe all over the world, but is really glad that when this project ends he’ll have left his mark in a big way on the place where he grew up.o
Find out more southdevonlinkroad.co.uk englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
How Paega’s Tun became
Local historian John Risdon brings Paignton’s past back to life, when the Manor of Paignton’s wealth was ten times greater than any other manor in Torbay and Palace Avenue was part of a thriving deer park
ver a thousand years have passed since Saxon Paega’s tun and its surrounding lands became the property of the Bishops of Exeter. A tun is the ancient Saxon word for a farming settlement and it was highly likely that Paega was its first chieftain. These days, in our present place-names, tun has become ton, hence PaignTON. You can still identify the original site by a visit to the beautiful Parish church of St. John as well as The Coverdale Tower. You can also see a section of defensive, crenulated wall, constructed of local red sandstone breccia. Our Saxon forefathers really knew where to site their settlements. This was a great spot located on the first area of higher firm ground, above the saltwater marsh and some distance from the line of sand dunes, their associated mile & a half of beach and the sea! In addition, an abundant supply of fresh water came tumbling down from the hillside above.
In those early days of Christian England, the leaders of the church and monastic houses were powerful, influential and quick to take advantage of their authority. Hence the Bishops of Exeter became the Lords of the Manor of Paignton and remained so right up to the days of Henry VIII. The Manor of Paignton, including a number of estates, stretched from the coast of Torbay to the banks of the River Dart and its rural wealth was considerable, being ten times greater than any other manor in Torbay. One of the reasons for this wealth was the inclusion of its saltpans down by the seashore, creating a product that was of great value. In 1294, it was Thomas, Bishop of Exeter, as Lord of the Manor, who gave permission for the town to hold a market once a week and a fair once a year; the forerunner of the Regatta fair held on the Green these days. The site of the market was adjacent to the Bishop’s Palace and today a plaque marks the spot in the area between the
Parish Church of St. John and the Palace walls. It was the early Norman Bishops of Exeter who instructed the building of their palaces around South Devon: Chudleigh, Bishopsteignton and here at Paignton. No doubt these were status symbols and an indication of their mobility. These days it is strange to think of the area to the South of the Palace (Palace Avenue Gardens and beyond) having been a deer park during Norman and Medieval times, for the recreational use of the Bishop and his entourage. To help protect the town and palace, a curtain wall and tower were constructed using the local breccia sandstone. The view from the top of the tower would have been impressive in those days, before the town expanded eastwards. The great sweep of the bay would have been visible and any ensuing threat from the sea. The tithe barn, associated with the Bishops’ holding of this Manor and a measure of its wealth, was found within the town. It was larger in dimension than that of Torre Abbey but sadly no longer exists. Probably a present street name that identifies so colourfully with that era is Winners Street. It has adapted from the original ‘Vinners’ street, signifying the vineyards that were once situated on the south & east slopes. These vineyards produced local wine during warmer, sunnier Norman times. The striking dominance of the Parish church of St. John in its local stone is a grand statement of the status and wealth of Paignton during those early years. The skill of those early stonemasons is beautifully identified through the Norman arched doorway at the base of the tower. The more recently named Kirkham House is within
ABOVE: NORMAN DOORWAY AT PAIGNTON PARISH CHURCH LEFT: KIRKHAM HOUSE OAK DOORWAY AND KIRKHAM HOUSE IN LITTLEGATE ROAD
in pic of No th k- fe w e up rin To p g rb oi ay nt ar s ea
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Local History sight of the church. Originally aged as late medieval, it is one of the oldest remaining buildings of Paignton and is thought to either have been associated with the church or a rich merchant’s residence, possibly both during its early life. These days English Heritage manages Kirkham House, supported by the Paignton Heritage Society. Towards the end of the Bishops’ hold on Paignton, Bishop Coverdale held sway here and hence The Coverdale Tower is named after him. Legend has it that he made the first translation of the Bible into English working in the tower. However, although he did in fact make the first translation, Paignton regretfully cannot claim this important ecclesiastical happening. In 1557 the See of Exeter finally gave up its ownership of Paignton when the Earl of Pembroke purchased the Manor.
legend has it that Bishop Coverdale made the first translation of the Bible into english working in the tower
These days The Coverdale Tower can be either accessed directly off Palace Avenue, heading towards the Parish Church or, I think more intriguingly, from Church Street, passing through the attractive churchyard. A very short detour to the East end of the church and some careful investigation can bring you to observe striations (linear marks) in a lower section of a buttress where the menfolk in these early years sharpened their arrows whilst involved in archery practice on the adjacent land. This was a legal requirement of all men of fighting age and the yew for their long bows could be obtained from the nearby yew tree within the churchyard, also obligatory. Paignton’s association with the Bishops of Exeter continues up to the present day through the Parish Church, its weathered red walls and the Coverdale Tower. Sadly the Palace itself has long gone, replaced by the vicarage and a church hall. Victorian times would see the remarkable development of that ancient hunting park with the tasteful positioning of the terraces of Palace Avenue around their restful gardens. The Palace Theatre and Public hall that was originally destined for the central park area was fortunately finally built in 1890 in its present position at the head of the avenue. For Paignton it is indeed a far cry from the days of that first authoritative figure Paega – but the name remains, a rich inheritance of Paignton’s heritage.o 22
above: aRRow sHaRpeninG maRks at paiGnton paRisH cHuRcH left: tHe paRisH maRket plaque
John Risdon runs the very successful company The Heritage of South Devon which offers professional illustrated talks, guided walks, heritage tour commentary and courses. He lives and works from his home in Galmpton. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
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A World Class Sailing Hub Brixham has proved quite a magnet for nautical adventurers since it became the starting point for the Round Britain Experience, offering sailors of all levels the chance to circumnavigate the British Isles on board a luxury yacht. Anita Newcombe sailed a leg of the trip via the Scilly Isles to Howth near Dublin.
TOP: ANITA AT THE HEALM OF ROUND BRITAIN EXPERIENCE
Trip of a Lifetime
good fun – having a potter round some of the prettiest lready noted for its world-class marinas, stunning sailing harbours in Britain. The Isles of Scilly are a hugely horse-shoe shaped bay and busy racing calendar, popular destination and we enjoyed a barbeque on the the 12 week circumnavigations offered by beach at St Agnes to celebrate Skipper Duncan Brignell’s Brixham’s South West Marine Training are putting the birthday. After taking my turn preparing supper in English Riviera firmly on the map as an important sailing Padstow, I popped ashore for a glass of bubbly on the hub. quay – blissful! Sailing around the British Isles really is one of life’s All of the participants, regardless of their previous great adventures, complete with challenging conditions sailing knowledge, are trained to be fully involved in and breathtaking scenery. For 12 weeks, the Round running of the boat, deciding Britain Experience transports a It certainly is an experience the her destinations, charting her few adventurers to some of the most memorable locations in Great that will live in the memory passages and piloting her into rocky anchorages. Discussions take Britain whilst learning all the skills for a very long time as every evening, the Almanac necessary to sail anywhere in the the yacht visits over 60 place is studied and various ports are world. destinations, many of which considered. You can develop The exact itinerary and sailing havens you’ll drop into is largely people only dream about. your skills to a very high standard on the trip. Instruction to RYA dependent on the choices made Coastal Skipper standard and the opportunity to earn by the participating crewmembers, the weather and of qualifications up to Yachtmaster can be achieved. course, the highly experienced Skipper. Both beginners Departure from Brixham takes place in April and July and experienced sailors alike can enjoy the Round Britain each year, and the adventurers return 12 weeks later Experience in equal measure. You can undertake the having covered at last 2500 miles. whole trip, which lasts around 3 months or just book a As well as the Round Britain Experience, South West single leg of the voyage. Marine Training offers a choice of RYA Sailing Courses; Don’t think it’s mainly for men either; lots of women both practical and theory plus Powerboat and Motorboat have enjoyed the trip and have proved very competent at Courses. They offer ‘Mileage Builders’ which could the helm. There’s a great sense of camaraderie on board be South Coast trips between Brixham and the River and plenty of space to read quietly and relax. My private Thames, to Channel Island weekends and exploring the cabin was extremely luxurious and came complete with Isles of Scilly. en suite! You can also charter yachts or book single day and The yacht sails into a sheltered port every evening weekend sailing that is tailored to your needs and there and the crew take in in turns to prepare dinner, which is is a choice of Brixham, Dartmouth or Torquay for served around the saloon table. Going ashore is always
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points of departure. A day sail may take in Berry Head, Thatcher Rock, Oddicombe, Paignton, Goodrington and Broadsands whilst a weekend sail may take you as far as Salcombe. Corporate hospitality is also a popular option and great for entertaining clients or team building. South West Marine Training Partner, Neil Penman grew up on the English Riviera and spent his teens mucking about in boats until joining the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineer. On leaving he worked as Chief Sail Instructor for the Royal Navyâ€™s seamanship centre in Plymouth and then as Chief RYA instructor at Dartmouthâ€™s Britannia Royal Naval College. As well as leisure courses, the company offers the STCW Commercial Qualifications required for super yachts, fishing vessels and merchant shipping. South West Marine Training can even offer STCW-95 upgrades for those considering a career in the marine industry. For those simply looking to learn something new, learning to sail could literally change your life! o
Trip of a Lifetime
TOP: BRIXHAM MARINA MIDDLE: TRANQUIL ST. AGNES BOTTOM: NEAL PENMAN AND SKIPPER DUNCAN BRIGNELL
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Crafty Mums Do Business at Cockington Emma Curtis and Elizabeth Parnell successfully combine business with family life on the English Riviera as Jane Fitzgerald discovers…
ome wonderfully creative artists and craft makers are they describe as a throwback to their childhoods. “We felt it had an English vintage feel and a familiarity about housed in the Stable Yard and Sea Change Studios, it.” Soon afterwards they designed their first sewing kit. tucked behind the 17th century manor house at “We wrote and illustrated the instructions ourselves,” Cockington. The airy studios, which are arranged around says Emma, who claims she is by no means a stitcher. a central public courtyard, have been designed specifically “We concentrated on creating a product that was for craft workers with wide glass doors, reinforced floors heavily branded with distinctive labels and handmade and individual sinks and are heated by a biomass boiler. buttons. The instructions were written from a non-sewers Here visitors to Cockington can see and take part in point of view, and aimed at adults. We don’t assume any all kinds of crafts in action, from gilding to sewing and knowledge of sewing.” furniture making to sculpture. Visitors to Cockington It wasn’t long before orders Inside Hamble and Jemima’s studio, Emma is busy at her sewing can see and take part in started to come in – first a small from David and Charles (now machine, surrounded by pretty all kinds of crafts in action, one F &W Media), then John Lewis cotton print bags and gorgeous from gilding to sewing took several thousand. vintage fabrics. A stint at a trade show led to The two busy working Mums, to furniture making to a further 50 retailers selling the Emma Curtis and Elizabeth Parnell sculpture Hamble & Jemima kits, so Emma have been based at Sea Change and Elizabeth found themselves busier than they had studios since they opened in 2011. The stylish duo produces and sells exquisite sewing kits alongside fabrics, ever imagined. It is no surprise the kits were instantly successful. handmade buttons and assorted eye catching accessories. Elizabeth’s design background and Emma’s knowledge of Emma met Elizabeth, a graphic designer when she industry is a winning combination. The kits are deeply was working as marketing project manager for a craft desirable objects in themselves, packed carefully in tissue book club in Newton Abbot. “We found we had a lot in paper and beautifully packaged in the branded bags and common,” says Emma. “We were both born and raised packs. in Torbay then lived away for many years, returning here “We always use the best quality fabrics, ribbons and to have children. We wanted to get the right work-life accessories, our packaging looks professional and most balance and running our own business helps us to do importantly, our instructions are easy to follow. Lots of that.” people want to buy a craft project and start work on it In 2010 they founded Hamble and Jemima – a name
â€œWe are very lucky. Not everyone has glorious beaches on their doorstep and gets to come to work in a country park every dayâ€?
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Arts and Crafts straight away, so we provide everything a customer needs in one lovely package.” Attention is poured into every detail – the label in particular which takes its inspiration from the English Riviera. “We chose a range of complementary calming blues and creams, with an English rose background flourish.” Much of Emma and Elizabeth’s time over the past year has been devoted to producing a book of makes, Abbygale Sews, which was first commissioned by a German publisher. This summer Search Press published it in the UK. “It is so nice to work on your own book. We wrote the words, took the photos, Elizabeth’s husband did the illustrations and we designed it ourselves too. We wanted to produce something inspirational yet practical, and I think we have achieved this.” The book is a collection of 20 simple sewing projects with all the pattern pieces provided in a fold-out sheet tucked into a pocket on the inside back cover. “Every project has a story behind it. For instance there’s a bag I made with a handle just the right size for slipping over the back of a pushchair. When you have small children you don’t want to be carrying bags yourself.” Their own snapshots show Elizabeth and Emma at home and enjoying life on the English Riviera with their families, at Emma’s beach hut in Goodrington and walking the dogs along the beach. “We did have to be careful not to be seeming to gloat in the book. We are very lucky. Not everyone has glorious beaches on their doorstep and gets to come to work in a country park every day. “It is a great community here, and I can bring my children along sometimes – my oldest boy plays football in the park. Working from home can be difficult. If you have a family it can be hard to find the headspace to develop new ideas. And here at Cockington with people coming in and out all the time you quickly get a sense of what they like about your products. We have also been able to tap into Torbay Development Agency’s business advice service on occasions.” What is next for Hamble and Jemima? “We want to get more into the trade side of things and find a distributor. This space fills up quickly when you start to pack up orders in our studio. And Elizabeth is busy creating a new H&J fabric, ribbon and paper range.” Things certainly don’t stand still with H&J. Drop into Emma and Elizabeth’s studio at Cockington to see for yourselves.o englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
We have 3 copies of Abbygale Sews to give away, all you have to do is visit englishrivieramagazine. co.uk and answer the following question - Which BBC children’s programme did the Hamble and Jemima characters appear in? Closing date for entries is 18 November. Please read our competition terms and conditions at englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
Brand-New Devon Air Ambulance Drops-in to Paignton Cricket Club Thanks to overwhelming public support, Devon’s second wholly owned Air Ambulance has arrived! The new EC135 helicopter made a series of dropin visits across the county before going into service.
he tour served to help aircrew familiarize themselves with the specially designed emergency aircraft and to give as many people as possible the chance to see the new helicopter at close quarters and meet the crew. Captain Ian Payne, a local Torquay lad, piloted the brand-new Devon Air Ambulance, G-DAAN, into Paignton Cricket Club. Ian knows the cricket ground well and was warmly welcomed by the local residents who had come in their droves to see round our fab new aircraft! Devon has two air ambulances; it costs £4.5 million each year to keep both helicopters flying and the service is completely independent of government and National
Lottery funding. This means that it is funded by the people of Devon and this is proudly emblazoned on the doors of the new aircraft. Heléna Holt, Chief Executive of Devon Air Ambulance Trust said: “We are immensely grateful for the unstinting support of the people of Devon and all the communities that have raised money to help us acquire this aircraft and to BBC Radio Devon for the special Air Ambulance appeal that contributed so much towards this project. Nigel Hare, Operations Director for the Trust, explained how buying instead of leasing the aircraft saves the Trust in the region of £12,000 per month per helicopter, which they are planning to invest in extending operating hours and further clinical skills training for the crew.o
Debbie Gregory (Community PR OfďŹ cer DAAT), Michael Chequer (BBC Radio Devon), Nigel Hare (Operations Director DAAT)
Anita Newcombe (Chair DAAT & English Riviera Magazine), Capt. Ian Payne ( Air Operations Manager), Julian Rees (English Riviera Magazine)
John Hall (DAAT) & Caroline Creer (Fundraising Director DAAT)
Uninterrupted & Iconic Views Distance: 2.8 miles Exertion: Moderate Time: Allow between 90 minutes and 2 ½ hours if including Hope’s Nose Terrain: Coastpath. Steep and rutted in
fantastic walk for experiencing some of the Bay’s finest uninterrupted views of the coast to Teignmouth, East Devon, across Lyme Bay to Portland Bill on a clear day, as well as some of Torquay’s most dramatic geology. Much of the South West Coast Path section of this walk has been improved by Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust over the past two years after consultation with local residents identified views that had long been lost to uncontrolled undergrowth and tree cover. 1 From the car park on Anstey’s Cove Road take the Bishop’s Walk path 10 metres to the right of the road that drops down to Anstey’s Cove. This will eventually emerge on to Ilsham Marine Drive. Along the way there are numerous viewpoints, some with benches and shelter, affording fantastic sites of Long Quarry Point, and Hope’s Nose and further aﬁeld along the East Devon Coast. There is an extended route taking you down towards the edge of the woods and cliffs which eventually leads back up to the main path for those who’d prefer a longer walk. 2 When the path reaches Ilsham Marine Drive cross the road and take the elevated grassy path up the hill back toward the coastline. More uninterupted views across Lyme Bay from here.The path follows above the line of the road around to Hope’s Nose. The path down to Hope’s Nose is steep and narrow in places and a little scrambling is required to get all the way to the water’s edge. The way down is the way back up so for a less strenuous walk you might want to leave this part out although it’ll tire the children out! 3 From the top of Hope’s Nose follow the road
places. Not suitable for pushchairs or very young children. Muddy in winter. Dogs: Near to roads in places and some road crossings. Refreshments: Seasonal at Meadfoot downhill for 30 metres until you see the sign for the coast path towards Thatcher Point on the right. The path takes you down past the stunning Thatcher House with its beautifully kept grounds and out to Thatcher Point for a close-up view of Thatcher Rock and its seabird colonies (take your binoculars) and long views across the bay. Take care here there are some long drops. Follow the path back up to the road. 4 Follow Ilsham Marine Drive down to Meadfoot Beach and turn left to follow the valley back up towards Anstey’s Cove. This long grassy route is known as Manor Gardens and Lincombe Slopes and is a popular summer picnic location and a good opportunity for a spot of cricket or football. At the top of the green space follow the road once more for a couple of hundred metres before crossing over and following the next area of parkland back to the car park.o
Ordnance Survey Mapping ÂŠ Crown copyright. Media 082/13
TWELFTH NIGHT KENTS CAVERN PRESENTS A BUTTERFLY PRODUCTION
“First rate close-up promenade theatre meets one of the most exclusive and inspiring settings for a theatre production” Herald Express
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11TH -18TH NOVEMBER 2013
Around the Bay ITV’s Poirot Set at Torquay Museum Throughout October and November
Step inside Poirot’s study at Torquay Museum’s redesigned Agatha Christie Gallery. See a re-construction of Poirot’s study, the furniture and props from ITV’s acclaimed TV adaptation.
Babbacombe Road, Torquay, TQ1 1HG torquaymuseum.org 01803 293975
What’s On Monster Saturday at Torquay Museum 5 October Family fun is on offer exploring the wonderful culture of Fiji. View the Far Side of the World exhibition and make objects and paintings inspired by pattern making, paint and colour.
529, Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HG torquaymuseum.org 01803-293975 English Riviera Wheel Daily until 5 November
Taller than Nelsons Column at the dizzy height of nearly 60 metres, the English Riviera Wheel is sited in Princess Gardens, Torquay, next to the Pavilion and gives breathtaking 360 degree views across the Bay. Open till 10pm.
Torquay Seafront, TQ2 5EQ englishrivierawheel.co.uk 0844 474 2233 Cockington Restoration Appeal Walks 5-6 October Brixham Art & Craft Market Saturdays until 26 October The beautiful harbour side area of Brixham is transformed into the shoppers’ haven, which is the Brixham Art and Craft Market. The market is colourful and a-buzz with atmosphere showcasing some of the best art and craft in the South West.
The Quay, Brixham, TQ5 8AW brixhammarket.co.uk 01803 852085
Do you care about the future of Cockington? This is a fantastic opportunity to walk around the Park in the company of a Trust Ranger and learn about the exciting plans to create a brand new Visitor Centre for Cockington to communicate its 1000 years of history, as well as renovating the Gamekeeper’s Cottage, the lakes and the ornamental gardens. Wear suitable footwear. Entry free, no booking required, but donations welcome. Meet at Cockington Visitor Centre at 2pm.
countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022
Sausage Making Workshop, Occombe Farm Cookery School 6 October Collective Spirit at Spanish Barn, Torre Abbey Wednesdays to Sundays until 18 October The Lone Twin Boat Project is a living archive of people’s stories and lives, a 30ft vessel made from donated wooden items, and one of the major outcomes of last year’s Cultural Olympiad. It will form the centrepiece of a maritime exhibition at Torre Abbey’s Spanish Barn.
The Kings Drive, Torquay TQ2 5JE creativetorbay.com 01803 207048 englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
Fancy having a go at making your own sausages? From chipolatas to chorizo, the world of the sausage is incredibly varied and versatile. A professional butcher will lead this fun hands-on workshop. You will learn the art of making delicious sausages using local ingredients. There will also be the opportunity to taste the sausages you create by cooking them afterwards, and you will leave with lots of your creations to take home with you.
Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022
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autumn walks Discover Discover the the gardens gardens at at Coleton Coleton Fishacre filled with the Fishacre filled with the colours colours of of autumn, autumn, warm warm up up with with aa wander wander around around the the unique unique art art deco deco house house and and enjoy enjoy aa tasty tasty treat treat in in Café Café Coleton. Coleton. The The perfect perfect way way to to make make the most of the changing seasons. the most of the changing seasons. Members Members and and under under 5s 5s go go free. free.
01803 01803 842382 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre
©© National National Trust Trust Images. Images. Registered Registered Charity Charity Number Number 205846. 205846.
What’s On Visit of MV Albatross, Torquay 6 October Look out for a very big ship in the Bay!
Thai Feast, Occombe Farm Cookery School 3 November Punchy red chillies, sweetness of palm sugar and coconut, flavourful soy and fish sauces, fresh zestiness of lemon grass and limes - these are the flavours of Thailand. Thai Feast is a cooking course full of bright and warming flavours for colder days and the perfect antidote to the winter blues!
Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022 Archaeological Finds & Stories from Berry Head 4 November Brixham’s Connection with Dartmoor – Past & Present 7 October Local historian John Risdon will be giving this fascinating illustrated talk at Brixham Heritage Museum at 2pm.
The Old Police Station, Brixham TQ5 8LZ brixhammuseum.org.uk 01803 856267 Brixham Sunday Market 13 October
Enjoy a wander through the bustling Brixham Sunday market.
Fore Street, Brixham, TQ5 8EF Torbay Family Market, Torquay 28 October
Philip Armitage will present his latest findings at Brixham Heritage Museum - 2pm for 2.30pm.
The Old Police Station, Brixham TQ5 8LZ brixhammuseum.org.uk 01803-856267 The Great Gorillas Auction, Palace Theatre, Paignton 6 November
Each of the Great Gorilla sculptures that have been displayed around the English Riviera and Exeter will be auctioned at a gala charity evening with the funds raised being used by Paignton Zoo to support gorilla and conservation projects plus a local community charity.
Palace Avenue, Paignton, TQ3 3HF greatgorillas.org.uk 01803 697504
A community-inspired market, there will be fun for the whole family.
Castle Circus, Torquay TQ1 3DR torbayfamilymarket.co.uk 07411 414105 Cockington Kids Nature Photography, Cockington 28 October Become a nature photographer for the day to capture the beauty of Cockington Country Park! There will be a tour of the best sites and subjects within the countryside estate; from woodlands, lakes and parkland giving top tips along the way. Suitable for 7-12 year olds and booking is essential.
Cockington Visitor Centre, Cockington, Torquay TQ2 6XA countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022 Monster Saturday – The Big Draw 2 November
Migration Watch at Berry Head 9 November Early November can produce some of the most spectacular movements of birds and given the right conditions thousands of birds could be on the move in huge flocks. Local bird expert Mike Langman will help identify these birds. Lunch will be at Guardhouse Café. Bring binoculars, stout footwear and waterproof jacket. Booking is essential.
Berry Head National Nature Reserve, Gillard Road, Brixham TQ5 9AP countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022
Enjoy family fun at Torquay Museum working with artists & creating drawings to discover the earliest cave paintings ever found.
529, Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 1HG torquaymuseum.org 01803-293975 englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
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What’s On All Things Vintage & Lovely Fair, Torquay 24 November 50 Vintage inspired and handcrafted stalls including fashion, crockery and lots of great Christmas gift ideas. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served.
Fungal Workshop, Berry Head 16 November Wax cap, Earth Star, Blewit or Jew’s Ear? Come and search for a range of weird and amazing fungi at Berry Head National Nature Reserve with expert Dr Christian Taylor, we will explore the headland collecting some edible finds for a cook up. Includes lunch at Guardhouse Cafe, booking is essential.
Berry Head National Nature Reserve, Gillard Road, Brixham TQ5 9AP countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022 Torquay Town Centre Christmas Event 16 November Celebrate the start of the Christmas season in Torquay with entertainment throughout the day in the town centre, a celebrity performance at 3pm at the Fleet Street main stage and firework finale at 6pm.
Union Street and Fleet Street, Torquay. See Twitter @torbaytowns Prim & Proper Christmas Gift Fayre, Torquay 23 November
A traditional Christmas Fayre with Santa’s grotto, Christmas songs, professional face painter and lunches alongside an array of 40 gift stalls. Classical pianist Dawn Fallon will be playing Christmas songs.
Livermead Cliff Hotel, Torbay Road, TQ2 6RQ shorelineevents.co.uk 07551 545657
Palace Hotel, Babbacombe Road, Torquay TQ1 3TG missivy.co.uk 01803 213837 Brixham Christmas Market Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November
Over 40 stalls are expected with mulled wine, local food, gifts and crafts you won’t find on the high street! PLUS: children’s entertainment. On the first evening there’ll be a ‘Lights, Lanterns & ‘luminations parade and the exciting Christmas lights switch on!
englishriviera.co.uk/whats-on Christmas Cake Masterclass, Occombe Farm Cookery School 24 November
A traditional, hands-on festive baking day. You will master a traditional fruit cake, homemade marzipan, Buche de Noel and spiced Christmas muffins. Also explore some simple but impressive Christmas cake decorations.
Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022 Burlesque & Boogie 30 November
Billed as a West End Show in the West Country, Kinky & Quirky, who have been running vintage burlesque shows in Torquay & South Devon since 2007, promise a top quality night out with some of the world’s most fabulous contemporary performers. They are also presenting The One Stop Vintage Shop during the day plus a glamorous after-show ball.
Riviera Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay, TQ2 5LZ theonestopvintageshop.com 01803-299992 Occombe Farm Christmas Elf Trail 30 November – 20 December
Father Christmas has sent his elves on a mission this Christmas to help solve the mystery as to why Rudolph has lost his red nose. Can you help the elves on their adventure and collect the secret ingredients hidden on the nature trail to help gets Rudolph’s nose glowing again? Suitable for all ages
Occombe Farm Visitor Centre countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022
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n e e w o l l a Henings of MiniHorrors
October 27th to 31st 2013 Open 10.30am to 9.30pm (Last entry 7.30pm) A miniature world of spoof-horror takes over the gardens, but dare you venture in after dark for the full Halloween experience?
www.model-village.co.uk Babbacombe Model Village, Hampton Avenue, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 3LA. Tel: 01803 315315
The spookiest events around in some surprising and exciting places! Kents Cavern Halloween Fun & Ghost Tour, Torquay 26-31 October With a pumpkin hunt, a wizard apprentice and the superspooky atmosphere of the dimly lit, renowned caverns – there’ll be lots of Halloween fun underground! Special Ghost Tour on Halloween Night, 31 October is not for the faint-hearted!
Ilsham Road, Torquay, TQ1 2JF kents-cavern.co.uk 01803 215136
Occombe Spooktacular Skeleton Trail 29 October until 31 October On a dark, dark farm there is a dark, dark trail waiting to be explored this Halloween! Kids, can you take on the spooky skeletons and find the hidden key to unlock the coffin filled with Halloween treats? Find the key and you will receive a chocolate prize from our spooky spectacular skeleton. Also, take part in creepy Halloween crafts and have a go at making batty masks, Halloween lanterns and apple bobbing. Suitable for 4-12 year olds.
Victorian Halloween Hunt at Bygones, Torquay 27 October until 4 November A fun Victorian Halloween Hunt and spooky stories – children come in scary fancy dress and adults get to solve the Mystery of ‘The Body in the Parlour’!
Fore Street, St Marychurch, Torquay TQ1 4PR bygones.co.uk 01803 326108
Occombe Farm, Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022
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Babbacombe Model Village – Halloween of Mini Horrors, Torquay 27 October until 31 October
The Model Village takes on a spooky twist! Open all day but the spooky Halloween theme starts from dusk with eerie illuminations, fire and sound effects. Live actors roam the gardens and our Workshop of Horrors tour taking you through the woods and past abandoned workshops by lantern light. Open till 10pm.
Hampton Avenue, Torquay, TQ1 3LA babbacombemodelvillage.co.uk 01803 315315
Kids Cookery School – Halloween Special, Occombe 1 November
Cockington Court Halloween Festival, Torquay 27 October until 3 November Cockington Court is hosting a festival of FREE Halloween inspired arts and crafts and activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Enjoy a Halloween fun, hands-on day for budding chefs with Halloween themed bread making, spooky cupcakes and toffee apples. Bring a packed lunch. Suitable for 7 – 14 year olds. Booking is essential.
Occombe Farm, Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN countryside-trust.org.uk 01803 520022
Cockington Village,Torquay,TQ2 6XA cockingtoncourt.org 01803 607230
Treading the boards Compiled by Grace Barker
Little Theatre, Torquay Box Ofﬁce 01803 299330 Editor’s pick 84 Charing Cross Road 12-19 October In 1949 a struggling American writer started a correspondence with a firm of British antiquarian booksellers that was to last for twenty years. This drama shows a warm and compassionate exchange of letters, skilfully and lovingly adapted for the stage.
Also worth seeing… The Haunting 9-16 November
Babbacombe Theatre Box Ofﬁce 01803 328385 Editor’s pick Charity Concert on behalf of Torbay Dementia Action Alliance, starring the Military Wives Plymouth Choir 23 November only The popular chart topping Military Wives, Plymouth and Tyrone Phillip Roth-Piper will be appearing in concert to raise funds for dementia patients within the community. All proceeds generated on the evening will go directly to the cause so please show your support.
Also worth seeing… Foster & Allen 1 November Steeleye Span 15 November
Palace Theatre, Paignton Box Ofﬁce 01803 665800 Editor’s pick The Curtain Falls 30 October -1 November Co – written by Dean Winters and Steve Laister this Black Comedy of backstage rivalry shows egos and personalities collide in the biggest summer show of 1976. Book now, this play will sell out.
Also worth seeing seeing… … A Key forTwo 9-12 October.
Princess Theatre, Torquay Box Ofﬁce 0844 8713023 Editor’s pick The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) 17 October only Described by New York Times as ‘Pithier than Python’, this fast-paced comedy incorporates all 37 plays in 97 minutes! Prepare yourself for a night of comedy, history, tragedy and men in tights that will leave you helpless with laughter.
Also worth seeing… Charlie Landsborough Overview 9 October only Show of Hands 26 October only
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Cider with Richard With the apple harvest in full swing, Jane Fitzgerald chats to Richard Hunt about his family cider business at Higher Yalberton Farm.
clay soil, which drains well but holds water in a bit n the western fringes of Paignton, hidden away deeper. Wildlife is abundant. There is wild mint growing behind Sainsbury’s and a busy industrial park between the trees, and the air is alive with butterflies lies the sheltered fertile Yalberton valley. Here and bees. As a member of the Countryside Stewardship you can see some of the few remaining traditional cider Scheme, Richard doesn’t use sprays, which encourages a orchards in the county. “The blossom was amazing this rich diversity of wildlife. spring,” says cider producer Richard Hunt as we walk Even Richard standing at 6’5” looks small beneath one in the shade of 100 year-old apple trees in an orchard particularly whopping tree that is groaning under the his family have been tending for centuries. For Richard weight of hundreds of green apples. It’s a Dabinett - a blossom means business, for over the past eight years he bitter-sweet variety of cider apple. has successfully revived the family “When I came back to the “We reckon this tree must be business, Hunts Cider. It’s looking like it’s going to be a good harvest, farm in 2005 after playing around 100 years old. I don’t think last year was terrible – there was so professional rugby for ﬁve I have ever seen one as big as this. We say 30, 30, 30. Thirty years for much rain. 2011 was a bumper crop years, Dad said ‘you can a tree to grow to maturity, thirty in producing 12,000 gallons of cider. “Orchards were traditionally for make the cider, so I had a its prime and thirty years to die.” I notice red apples growing on grazing sheep,” Richard says. “After lot to learn” one side of one tree with green the ewes have lambed indoors, it’s on the other. Richard explains another variety has been the first place they go when the lambs are about 2 days grafted onto it. He shows me how the grafting is done. I old. Orchards provide shelter and they’re usually close to ask him how he learnt about growing apples and making the house, so you can keep any eye out for scrumpers!” cider. His answer was not what I had expected: “I’ve Conditions in the Yalberton Valley are ideal for apple learnt a lot from YouTube. That’s how I learnt to graft. trees – a sheltered southern aspect and rich red loam over Roger, Jade, Annette, Christine, and Richard Hunt
Food & Drink My grandfather knew all the names of the apple varieties, and all about cider making, but when it went out of fashion in the nineties, it was pushed to one side and a lot of knowledge of the trees was lost. When I came back to the farm in 2005 after playing professional rugby for five years, Dad said ‘You can make the cider, so I had a lot to learn”. Richard has researched all aspects of cider making as well as the history of his family farming in the valley, and he has managed to identify many of the rare varieties growing there. These include Fair Maid of Devon, Paignton Marigold, Browns, Bickington Grey and Killerton. Richard’s wife Angie, his mother Christine, father Roger, sister Annette and stepdaughter Jade all work on the 400 acre mixed farm where, as well as running the cider business, they keep 70 head of cattle (South Devons and Limousins), 100 sheep (Suffolks and White Face Dartmoors) and grow 80 acres of spring barley. As if this wasn’t enough, there’s also a busy campsite to run. Up until last Autumn Richard’s grandmother sold the cider direct from the farm, but she finally decided to retire at the age of 87, so the rest of the family share this job between them. Selling at the farm gate accounts for nearly half of the sales. The rest is distributed to farm shops around Exeter, Plymouth and Dartmoor, or sold online.
Food & Drink We head for the barn where the cider is produced. It’s a few minutes down the road from the farm. When the apples drop from the trees in October and November this year they will be brought here for the last time, as Richard is in the process of building a new barn closer to the farm. “This will be our fourth move in 250 years,” Richard Hunt tells me as he rattles open the doors of the barn, which has been used for cider making since the beginning of the 1800s. Inside, ancient beams support a lofty roof and the air is sharp with the tang of apples and wood. Oak barrels line one side of the barn with huge tanks on the other. Pride of place in the centre stands a hefty cider press. “This was state of the art when my grandfather installed it in 1950,” says Richard. ”It needs a bang and a wallop with a hammer every now and again, but it’s still doing a great job.” It’s so efficient that Richard plans include moving it to the new barn up the road. Above the press is an entrance on a higher level (the barn is built into a hill) where the washed apples are driven on a belt to be first crushed then pressed. “Washing the apples is the coldest job,” recalls Richard. “The sun doesn’t reach behind the barn until late morning.” And judging by the stack of waterproof gear hanging in the barn, cider making seems to be a pretty wet business too. The extracted juice is then pumped into fermentation tanks where it matures (without the addition of any yeast or sugar) for around 9 months. “Our cider is more akin to wine, it’s 100 percent juice. We don’t add any yeasts or sugar, it is all naturally produced by the apples.” When the natural sugars in the juice have converted into alcohol, the cider is pumped out of the tanks into oak barrels and casks - leaving the spent yeast at the bottom. A good cider should be a englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
lovely amber colour and clear enough to see your hand through it, I’m told. It matures in barrels ready for drinking in a few months, although it can be kept for up to two years. Last year, Hunts produced their own apple juice for the first time. It is deliciously fresh with a tartness rarely found in soft drinks. One day soon Richard hopes to experiment with the champagne method, and reveals he has 2,000 champagne bottles in waiting. He says he has been learning about the method on the internet. Watch this space! o
Cooking tip... Pork in cider Angie Hunt recommends roasting a local pork shoulder in cider. Prepare the pork for roasting as usual, then put a roughly chopped onion and carrot under the meat and pour about an inch of dry cider into the roasting pan. Top up with cider if it reduces too much reserve the juices to make the tasty gravy. Hunt’s Cider, Higher Yalberton Farm, Paignton TQ4 7PE 01803 782309 huntscider.co.uk
Spotted in Brixham -
Heston Blumenthal Heston Blumenthal delighted crowds in Brixham when he visited the port to ﬁlm for the Channel 4 series, Heston’s Fantastical Food.
“Fish & chips the Heston way was wild, wacky & very tasty.”
he full sized replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind was turned into a seafarer’s chippy with Heston serving his very own interpretation of Britain’s traditional fish and chips. Vicky Prichard-Davies, local Brixham resident was one of the lucky few to be invited on board to meet the famous chef and taste the culinary creations. She told English Riviera Magazine, “Meeting Heston was a bit like meeting Willy Wonka with a Golden Ticket to board the Golden Hind. Expect the unexpected. Fish & chips the Heston way was wild, wacky & very tasty.” The Golden Hind had been renamed HMS Chippy, decorated with an enormous fish with huge teeth nestling
amongst big fishing nets. A Jolly Roger flag flew from the mast complete with a piratical image of the celebrity chef. A large number of ‘Heston’s Crew’ members in black t-shirts could be observed on the harbourside and the team were using the Old Market House just opposite for the food preparation. Golden Hind owner Simon Read said, “It’s great having Heston on board the Golden Hind – he’s a really nice guy and his high profile means that the filming is great news for Brixham.” Heston also dined at the Michelin starred Elephant in Torquay, where our very own award-winning chef Simon Hulstone invited him to taste a range of local fish dishes.o englishrivieramagazine.co.uk
Food and Drink News
More than 50 guests enjoyed cocktails and delicious canapes on the Crab Quay House terrace overlooking Brixhamâ€™s busy harbour and fish quay. Co-publishers Julian Rees and Anita Newcombe spoke about the fantastic reception the magazine had received from both readers and advertisers and about their plans for the future. John Steven, owner of Crab Quay House also spoke to guests about the restaurant, new Head Chef Danielle Haulahal, and why he is warmly supporting English Riviera Magazine. LEFT: Rachel and Julian Rees, Emma Bartlett, Anita Newcombe, Grace Barker, Richard Newcombe
Martyn Green, Danielle Haulahal and John Steven (all Crab Quay House)
Julian Rees and Anita Newcombe
Lydia Stone and Carolyn Custerson (ERTC), Belinda Smith and Gary Calland (National Trust English Riviera)
Lucy Bence and Eddie Bence (Berry Head Hotel)
Julian Rees, Paul Rose and Sophie Williams (e-Strategy)
Anita Newcome, Peter Blake, and Helen Saunders
Jim Thomsom (SWCL and FSB), Paula Geroge and Marissa WakeďŹ eld (Cockington Court)
Michelle Kenhard (Headland Court) , Vicky Prichard-Davies (Quayside Hotel)
Patricia and William Oxley (Torbay Festival of Poetry), Brenda Hutchings (Toads Theatre Company)
Julian and Rachel Rees , Mike and Helen Snowdon (The Weary Ploughman)
Richard Cuming (Bygones), Pippa Craddock (Paignton Zoo), Ronnie Halden (Peninsula One Source)
Tracy Satchwill (TLH Leisure Resort), Rachel Rees, Vicky Hinchcliffe (TLH)
Tracey Cole and Giles Charnaud (both Rowcroft Hospice), Caroline Haddock (Churston Farm Shop)
Thank you to all our readers and advertisers for your support! Philip King (Smugglers Story), Alan Taylor (Blue Chip Holidays) and John Risdon
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Regatta Fireworks Party A drinks reception was held on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Torquay to watch the grand Bi-Centenary Celebration Firework Display celebrating 200 years of Torbay Royal Regatta. Leading UK ﬁreworks display company Fantastic Fireworks created a magniﬁcent display, with Paignton pyrotechnician Tony Smith in charge of the ‘big bang’ team.
Anita Newcombe, Grace Barker (both English Riviera Magazine)
Simon DeVey (Anderton & Rowland), Sarah Short, Sharon Heath, Lisa Scourﬁeld, Jim Short
Debbie Selley (Secretary Torbay Royal Regatta), Cllr Julien Parrott (Chairman Torbay Council), David Selley (Chairman Torbay Royal Regatta)
Helen Golub, Joe Hayward
Karen Holdup, Stephen Holdup, Betty Selley, Patricia Hill, Cllr Ray Hill (Torbay Council)
Ian Baker (Linden Homes), Jackie Baker, Clive Scourﬁeld (Linden Homes)
Lisa Scourﬁeld, Roland DeVey (Anderton & Rowland), Betty Selley
Contact us at:
email@example.com Donna Myers-O’Keefe, Ron Reynolds, Mick Bennett, Craig Neilson, Bob Myers, William Myers-O’Keefe (all Torbay Hospital Radio)
if you are hosting an event you would like us to include.
Red Arrows Reception at Imperial Hotel
A reception was held on the terrace of the Imperial Hotel Torquay to watch the Red Arrows and to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Torbay Royal Regatta. Ground Supervisor Mike Ling (Red 10) gave the commentary and the 21-minute Red Arrows display included some old favourites such as The Corkscrew, the Big Vixen Roll, The Detonator, the Cyclone and the Typhoon Loop as well as an exciting new manoeuvre called the Twister. Red 10 told English Riviera Magazine that looping manoeuvres can only be performed when the cloud base is over 5,500 feet and Red 1 was able to make the ﬁnal decision to ﬂy the new Twister only at the last moment. The Hawk aircraft gives a display of breathtaking speed, agility and precision ﬂying at 400 miles per hour at only 6 – 8 feet apart. Mike Ling, who ﬂew in the display team for three years before becoming Red 10 Ground Supervisor, said that the Red Arrows team love ﬂying over the English Riviera where they can always hear the crowd when ﬂying at just 100 feet.
Anita Newcombe (English Riviera Magazine), Mike Ling (Red 10)
Mike Ling, Julian Chandler (Torbay Royal Regatta)
Fredrik Korallus (Chief Executive Puma Hotels), Mayor Gordon Oliver (Mayor of Torbay), Linda Hill, Farida, Alexander & Kristian Korallus
Debbie Selley (Secretary Torbay Royal Regatta), Mike Ling, David Selley (Chairman Torbay Royal Regatta)
RED ARROW PHOTO: VITALY KUZMIN
Ofﬁcer Cadet Katie King (Cambridge University Air Squadron, Mike Ling (Red 10), Cllr Julien Parrott (Chair Torbay Council), Flt Lt. Mike Cauchi (Central Flying School)
Peter Coxill, Maggie Coxill, Jenny Carter, Roger Carter, Cllr Nicole Amil, Steve Williams
Alicia Knight, Betty Selley, Marcia Sandford
Jim & Sarah Short (Europlas), Jess, Lisa and Clive ScourďŹ eld (Linden Homes)
Kathy Uglow, Karen Holdup
Cllr Nicole Amil, Cllr Pete Addis
Lesley Haworth, Jack Haworth, John Haworth, Isobel Sellors
RED ARROW PHOTO: VITALY KUZMIN
Geoff & Sam Valentine, Clive Patch
Peter Coleman, Sue Cheriton
Valerie and Daniel Boatwright (President Babbacombe & St Marychurch Rotary Club)
John Wheeler, Joe Hayward
The 2013 Agatha Christie Festival goes swingingly... Swing Along With Cole Porter Angie Wright, Chloe Sharn-Dorrell, Martin Gaisford (Hercule Poirot), Carolyn Custerson, Lydia Stone (all ERTC)
Alison Baker, Claire Baker, Joanna Forster, Lynne Hazell
Agatha Christie fans from around the world put on their glad rags for a glamorous Cocktails, Costumes, Cake and Cole Porter event at the Agatha Christie Festival’s fabulous new Hub at Torquay’s Grand Hotel. Guests enjoyed delicious cocktails and delightful cakes to celebrate Agatha Christie’s birthday and listened and danced to a live band playing Cole Porter numbers. ’Poirot’ was on hand to greet the assembled company.
Chris Clapp, Ian Ellis
Keith Richardson (Richardson Hotels), Martin Gaisford (Hercule Poirot), Fi Richardson
Feather Boas, Cocktails and Clues at Churston
Guests brought out their beads, dusted off their feather boas, and sharpened their skills of detection for The Reunion, an exciting murder mystery presented by the Candlelight Theatre Company at Churston’s Weary Ploughman. Dressing up in 30’s style for the evening of glamour and intrigue, suspects sipped on Christie-themed cocktails and enjoyed a delicious three-course dinner while the drama unfolded.
Helen & Mike Snowdon
Mr & Mrs Silverwood
Elaine Giffard, Emma Peace, Simon Colley, Camille Blampied, Jodie Lowe
Paul & Anna Hook, Catherine Cheek, Alan Greenhow
Gaynor Walter, Ian & Sandy Howard, Keith Walter
Ben Lyons, Hsinyu Chang
Murder on the Riviera Belle
Guests in period costume boarded the Riviera Belle Dining Train for an evening of murder and mystery.The evening’s plot was set in motion by the Candlelight Theatre Co. with cuisine provided by Hennessy Restaurant in Torquay. It was a glamorous night of cocktails and dining with clues and plenty of intrigue.
Andrew & Christina Hartvanye
Anthony Padgett, Stephanie Sturges
Rupert Pitts, Sue Potter, John & Donna Hodge
The Candlelight Theatre Company
Dr Rupert & Elizabeth Irving
Sophie Hannah and the Brand-New Poirot
Wendy Humphrey, Nottie Hornblower
The international bestselling crime writer, Sophie Hannah, who is to write a new Agatha Christie novel, appeared at the Agatha Christie Festival Hub at Torquay’s Grand Hotel. Appearing with Sophie were Mathew Prichard (Agatha Christie’s Grandson), David Brawn (HarperCollins) and John Curran (author Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks). Written with the full backing of the family, this is the first ever Agatha Christie continuation novel and will be published in September 2014.
Angie Mangino, Sophie Hannah, Jaclyn Lurker, Tamsen Harward (Acorn Productions)
Sophie Hannah, Martin Gaisford (Hercule Poirot)
Scott Wallace Baker, David Brawn, Natasha Hughes, Laura Di Giuseppe
Celebrating the Mallowan - Christie Archaeology Picnics Agatha Christie fans congregated at Kents Cavern, the English Riviera’s home of archaeology for a three-course dinner, tour of the caves and talk from eminent archaeologist Dr Joan Oates, who worked at Nimrud with Max Mallowan and his wife Agatha Christie-Mallowan. With a brief introduction to Nimrud, the after dinner talk focused on their Friday picnics including visits to the Yezidi ‘Spring Festival’, the monastery at Al Qosh and picnics in Kurdistan.
Lydia Stone (ERTC), Scott Wallace Baker
ABOVE: Anne Birch, Jim Birch, Angie Mangino ABOVE LEFT: Norman Home, Christian Kirsch, Elizabeth Raikes, Tracy Windley
LEFT: Nick Powe (Kents Cavern), Dr Joan Oates, Mike Linane
Carolyn Custerson (ERTC), David Brawn (HarperCollins)
Val McDermid at Festival Literary Dinner Top-billing crime and thriller author Val McDermid was the special guest at the Agatha Christie Festival Literary Dinner at Torquay’s Grand Hotel. Val spoke about how she had been heavily influenced in her early years by Agatha Christie’s work and in particular she remembered her early reading of The Murder at the Vicarage. McDermid is a top ten best seller, translated into over 30 languages. Advance copies of her latest novel Cross and Burn were available at the black tie event with Val signing copies for fans.
ABOVE: Val McDermid, Anita Newcombe FAR LEFT: Belinda Smith, Gary Calland (both National Trust English Riviera), Hilary Strong LEFT: Fi Richardson, Martin Gaisford (Hercule Poirot), Keith Richardson (Richardson Hotels)
FAR LEFT: Tracey Brawn, Carolyn Custerson (ERTC), David Brawn (HarperCollins), Martin Gaisford (Hercule Poirot), Linda Hill, Mayor Gordon Oliver, Mathew Prichard (Agatha Christie Ltd) LEFT: Mary Traynor, Val McDermid, Alan Taylor
A Garden Party to Die For
An elegant garden party was held in the Potent Plants Garden at Torre Abbey. Guests met the Head Gardener Ali Marshall and learned about Agatha Christieâ€™s knowledge of potent plants, which she used to great effect in her world-famous novels. With a 1930s theme: music, servants, bubbly, tea and cake served on the lawn, Agatha Christie fans celebrated the glamour and social life of the period in the beautiful grounds of Torquayâ€™s oldest building. TOP RIGHT: Ali Marshall (Head Gardener Torre Abbey) MIDDLE RIGHT: Martin Gaisford (Hercule Poirot), Anita Newcombe (English Riviera Magazine) BOTTOM RIGHT: Scott Wallace Baker, Anne and Jim Birch
TOP LEFT: Martin Gaisford (Hercule Poirot), Stephanie Sturges, Anthony Padgett BOTTOM LEFT: Deborah Spencer, Gerry & Linda Halischuk
Kate Mosse and Simon Brett inspired by Agatha Christie
Top authors Kate Mosse and Simon Brett were special guests at a Literary Panel event at the Agatha Christie Festival Hub at the Grand Hotel, Torquay. Both authors spoke about their inspirations drawn from Agatha Christie. Kate and Simon were joined by David Brawn, Publisher at HarperCollins, publishing Agatha Christie since 1926.
ABOVE: John Curran, David Brawn (HarperCollins), Kate Mosse, Martin Gaisford (Hercule Poirot), Simon Brett, Tracey Guiry (Literature Works), Tamsen Harward BELOW: Scott Wallace Baker, Carolyn Custerson (ERTC), Mark Kingscote
ABOVE: June and Ken Orange BELOW: Anita Newcombe, Kate Mosse ABOVE: Laura Di Giuseppe, Tamsen Harward (Acorn Productions) BELOW: Simon Brett, Lydia Stone (ERTC)
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BusinessBreaks... Rallye Beaujolais Revs Up for Torbay RNLI “Mini4RNLI” is a year-long project dreamed up by Bob Higginson and Roy Bickley in support of Torbay Lifeboat and culminating in the exciting Rallye Beaujolais from Brixham. Rallye Beaujolais 2013 is a 4-day, organised rally departing with a great fanfare from Brixham Lifeboat Station on the evening of Friday, 22 November. The rally, which is routed via Plymouth, is due to cover around 1200 miles through the Beaujolais region before returning to Brixham. The exact route and challenges are a closely guarded secret and will only be issued on the ferry crossing to Roscoff. Car clubs and individuals are warmly invited to sign up and all types of vehicle are expected, including an entry from the yachtsman and entrepreneur Peter de Savary (also owner of the Cary Arms in Babbacombe). The lead vehicle will be a Classic Mini Cooper S previously owned by the 2013 Le Mans 24hour endurance winner Martin Plowman. Prizes have been donated by various companies including
Snap-On, Villandry, Autoglym, Peli Products, Loop Fobs, Chris Slack Photography, Quba Sails and Liaisons UK Ltd. Brittany Ferries are assisting the Rallye by allowing teams to book the event direct through a Mini4RNLI page on their website www.brittanyferries.co.uk/m4rnli with a special discount for Rally Beaujolais teams. Each team will pay £100 for the route and challenges, which will form the basis of the fund raising during the event. Individual teams who are raising funds for a registered charity will be able to compete for £50. Restaurants will be encouraged to host Beaujolais events, where competitors will be able to deliver the wine with a grand entrance and a photo call on their return. Potential sponsors, competitors and restaurateurs can contact the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or on mini4rnli.org.uk or the Mini4RNLI Facebook page for further information.o
the brieﬁng straightforward and honest legal advice to take the stress out of tough situations
Rising Waters for Insurance Premiums
roperties in areas affected by ﬂooding in the past, or at risk of ﬂooding in the future, are now ﬁnding that buildings insurance premiums are extremely and often prohibitively expensive. An agreement between the Government and the insurance industry to provide reasonable cost insurance in such cases ended on 31 July 2013. Negotiations on a replacement agreement have continued for some time. Comments in the press suggested the insurers were unhappy that the Government’s commitment to fund ﬂood management works had faltered in the downturn. So insurers went ahead and charged open market prices for insurance to ﬂood-affected properties. Far from a dry subject, in any sense of the word, the
Fortunately the Government and insurers appear to have reached an agreement availability of insurance covering ﬂood risk is crucial. In an open market, insurers would have the option of refusing to cover properties at high or indeed any risk or increasing premiums to the point of being unaffordable. Most, if not all, mortgage lenders will decline to provide a mortgage unless adequate property buildings insurance can be obtained. If that is impossible and a property is unmortgageable, then it can only be sold to a limited market and will suffer a dramatic drop in value. Increased availability of information threatens to make the problem worse. Large ﬂood payouts by insurers in recent years have been accompanied by increased countrywide ﬂood assessments for surface, river and seawater ﬂooding. When you next buy or remortgage a house, your solicitor is almost certain to carry out an environmental search which will contain a ﬂood risk. Fortunately, the Government and insurers appear to
have reached an agreement. They will provide an industry fund to support the highest risk properties. The fund will be raised by a levy on all household premiums, currently suggested at £10.50 per household. It will cap the amount an owner pays for ﬂood insurance and the level of the policy excess, increasing it over a period to allow households to adjust to an increase. The Government may step in to cover any losses in the fund although this is yet to be agreed. Homes built in 2009 and afterwards will not be covered, nor are they under the existing agreement to promote avoiding risky areas, and nor are homes in the highest Council Tax Band. The Government has set out long-term funding for ﬂood defenses until 2020. The fund, known as Flood Re, is intended to be in force by summer 2015. In the meantime insurers will voluntarily abide by the statement of principle. The issue seems likely only to grow in importance. New ﬂood searches seem to suggest that more properties are at risk of ﬂooding than was previously thought, often by surface water where there is no nearby water source. Serious ﬂooding in recent times also suggests the actual risk is increasing as well. Insurers are certainly looking to reﬂect this in their insurance premiums.
David Morgan Wynne Solicitor
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