February March 2014 Edition

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Out & About Walks Local Food Social Diary Ar ts Nature


EnglishRiviera magazine February/March 2014

Everyone loves a




Dance Like Strictly

A DOG’S LIFE! Paignton walkies


Torbay Style



Brendan Cole comes to Torquay

Dartmouth COMEDY FESTIVAL Historical

Cockington Meet green fingered

Ali Marshall


pages of

society events

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We’d love to hear from you! English Riviera Magazine

@EngRivieraMag …to issue four and in spite of considerable stormy weather over the last few weeks, we’re really looking forward to the spring and there’s lots going on to get us out and about in February and March. The beaches are quiet and welcome dogs at this time of year so why not try our Paignton walkies? Plus our what’s on pages are full of ideas to get you cooking, chatting, baking, dancing, exploring, celebrating, dining, sketching, photographing and discovering. There’s also a special wedding section for those planning their big day this year. We love meeting people and this issue we bring you interviews with Kevin Hills who makes motorbikes, Don, Ron, Eddy and David who’ve spent a lifetime nurturing their male voice choir, Ali Marshall with her philosophy and green fingers and Helen Avoth with her interior design. If you still need cheering up then why not hop over the river to the Dartmouth Comedy Festival? Laughs are guaranteed. Or if you’re just hungry we’re focusing on fish this month with a feature on the charismatic folk who are the heart and soul of Brixham Fish Market. Inspired by this, we’ve also brought you a delicious fish recipe from Kieran Ottaway of the Berry Head Hotel and some yummy pastries from Wellswood’s Philippe Moutiere.

Whatever you choose to do in February and March, don’t forget to play local, stay local and shop local – it’s all here on the English Riviera! Keep sending us your news and feature ideas and please chat to us on Twitter and Facebook.

Happy reading!

Don’t forget to visit the website, for more news, social events, competitions and features in between issues.


About us... Created and Published By Devon Magazine Company Ltd Anita Newcombe anita@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Telephone: 01803 850886 Julian Rees julian@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Telephone 01803 842893 Mobile: 07455 206470

Advertising sales sales@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Advertising Copy copy@englishrivieramagazine.co.uk Website englishrivieramagazine.co.uk facebook.com/ englishrivieramagazine ISSN (Print) 2052-8515 ISSN (Online) 2052-8523

Proudly Printed in Devon

Next issue 28 March

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


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February/March 2014

englishrivieramagazine.co.uk 08/11/2013 14:58

In this issue... 6



Kevin Hills - Bikebuilder

14 16 22

Local news snippets


Paignton business sells to the world

Brixham Orpheus Male Voices 60th anniversary of the choir


Meet Ali Marshall


Cockington’s History


Three families of influence

Home Front


The Cwtch Barn


Riviera Weddings




40 48

Meet Ali Marshall

The Head Gardener at Torre Abbey





A new feature on Riviera property

A stunning restoration Tying the knot in the Bay Our favourite dog walk

22 Historical Cockington

What’s On

A guide to local events

Dartmouth Comedy Festival

Hop over the river for some laughs

28 Holiday Hideaway



Theatre Round Up


A Trip Around The Fish Market

57 58 64 66

Who’s treading the boards?

We visit Brixham’s famous market

Food Snippets

A tasty recipe from a local chef

Social Diary

Were you there?

Hidden Hi-Tech


The lowdown on Gooch & Housego

The Briefing

Legal news from Wollen Michelmore

Cover image: Paignton Sands ©

Mark Lakeman / Alamy englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

February/March 2014




Rare Bird Gets the Twitchers Out

pull the plug on wasteful electrical equipment to help reduce CO2 emissions. Presenter Chloe Garland said, “As Living Coasts is home to so many penguins – birds that are found at and around the South Pole – this campaign is perfect for us. By saving power we can all save money, too - so it’s a win-win situation! Living Coasts are planning a special wall dedicated to the campaign with posters and updates. Staff will inspire visitors with talks, trails and quizzes to teach people about animals from the North and South Pole and how we can all easily reduce our CO2 emissions. There will be school workshops and themed events through the year. There will also be updates on PEG the Polar Explorer Gorilla, who has sailed for the Antarctic on board the icebreaker HMS Protector. o livingcoasts.org.uk poletopolecampaign.org


Twitchers from around the county descended on Brixham amid reports of a White-billed Diver being spotted. This very rare bird, which has probably never been seen before in Brixham, got a reception normally reserved for A-listers when it appeared near Brixham Breakwater. Telescopes and cameras jostled for position as birders homed in to get the elusive tick on their bird watching life lists.o

Lunncekyrs! Wi

Three winners will be receiving their copies of Drifter and Scully’s first adventure The Pink Flamingo they are - Lisa Spencer and Johneen Bennett from Torquay, and Chris d’Lacey from Brixham.

Unplug for Penguins Living Coasts in Torquay is supporting an international campaign to help save the Polar regions on which lots of our favourite wildlife depend. The coastal zoo is suggesting that we ‘think penguin’ and 6

February/March 2014



Openers... Openers... Zoo Celebrates Baby Orang

Paignton Zoo is celebrating a second orang utan birth in 7 months. Paignton Zoo Director of Operations and Curator of Mammals, Neil Bemment said: “You wait 16 years and then two babies come along in nine months!” One of the Zoo’s other females, Mali, gave birth to a female baby named Tatau in April.o paigntonzoo.org.uk

Rowcroft Gets Boost to Light up a Life Appeal Local charity, Rowcroft Hospice has received a welcome boost in funding for their vital work across South Devon. Mike Snowdon, owner of Churston’s Weary Ploughman Inn has donated £750 towards the charity’s Light up a Life Appeal. Fundraiser, Jill Stevens accepted the cheque on behalf of Rowcroft at a Christmas handover at the popular dining pub near Brixham. Mr Snowdon said, “We pledged the donation to Rowcroft Hospice as part of our local dining club ‘The Weary VIPs.’ Rowcroft does fantastic work in the community and thoroughly deserve all the help we can give them.o

Life at the Palace! Local Brixham resident Patricia Oxley attended a reception hosted by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace to celebrate Contemporary British Poetry. Patricia was awarded an MBE for her services to poetry in 2011 and edits poetry magazine Acumen, which was recently crowned best literary publication in the South West. She is also the long-standing organiser of Torbay Poetry Festival.o

Diet Tips From Monkeys The latest diet tip for those on a New Year health kick comes from Paignton Zoo. The classic image of monkeys with a banana in their grasp is changing as fruit cultivated for humans has become just too sweet to be healthy. Head of Conservation and Advocacy Dr Amy Plowman is also an animal nutrition expert: “People usually try to improve their diet by eating more fruit – but fruit cultivated for humans is much higher in sugar and much lower in protein and fibre than most wild fruit because we like our fruit to be so sweet and juicy. ” So what do the animals eat instead? “The alternative is vegetables, especially leafy green veg. This is great because it is high in protein, fibre and lots of vitamins and minerals.” The good news is, Paignton Zoo’s fruit-free diet is bringing improvements in physical health and changes in some behaviours. “Smaller monkeys such as tamarins and marmosets are highly strung animals and live in tightknit social groups which can be quite aggressive at times. Reducing the sugar in their diets has calmed them down and made their groups more settled.” Great advice for a healthy and happy New Year you!

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February/March 2014


Paignton s Paignton’s

Kev Hill remanufactures and remodels BMW motrobikes from a small workshop in Paignton and sends them all over the world. Julian Rees finds out more about this global backstreet hero.


ev Hill arrived in Torbay in 2001 on the back of a job offer having grown up in in Weston-supermare. He’d had a variety of jobs, driving lorries, taxi’s and delivering car spares but always wanted to work for himself. Two things coursed through him, a streak of creativity from his family, a grandfather who was a renowned 8

February/March 2014

maritime artist and father who built model boats - not the sort you’d see on a boating lake but the sort you’d see in the foyer of Cunard or BP’s head office in a long glass case. On his mother’s side of the family were yacht designers. The second was a love of motorbikes, from the age of 14 Kev was never without a two-wheeled companion. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Rivera People




For a long time the two-wheeled desire was strictly leisure based and arose from the need to experience the freedom of the open road and the elements, a feeling that anyone who’s ever been bitten by the motorbike bug will be familiar with. At the time Kevin rode a new BMW K1200R for pleasure and decided that he needed an older bike to englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

tackle the daily commute, soak up the mileage and the winter road salt. With an appreciation for BMW’s build quality he picked up a cheap elderly BMW R series boxer-twin engine bike and set about stripping it of unnecessary weight and anything that didn’t serve a purpose for commuting. The reassembled bike always got lots of comments and admiring glances wherever he February/March 2014


What’s On!

Visit www.englishriviera.co.uk/whats-on Brought to you by the English Riviera Tourism Company

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English Riviera events calendar

stepping out

Members and under 5s go free.

01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/coleton-fishacre


February/March 2014

© National Trust Images/Tony Cobley. Registered Charity Number 205846.

Step into spring at Coleton Fishacre and discover the gardens as they burst into life. Wander around the unique art deco house and enjoy a tasty treat in Café Coleton. The perfect way to shake off those winter blues.

© National Trust Images/Tony Cobley. Registered Charity Number 205846.

Coleton Fishacre


Rivera People rode it and it wasn’t long before he set about building another bike. This was the birth of what is now a business that sells remanufactured BMW R Series bikes to collectors around the world and sits at the pinnacle of the British retro bike trade with thousands of hobby and trade copyists snapping at its heals. At one time you could find a 1970’s or 80’s BMW bike on Ebay for less than £500, nowadays every one that appears turns into an online auction scrap as the potential values are now great. Sourcing donor bikes now takes up a far greater part of Kev’s day. The remanufacturing process sees the stripping down of the entire bike and replacing of all consumables such as bearings, chains, and seals, alongside service items such as spark plugs and brake pads. That’s just the beginning though as the rest of the bikes components are either replaced in the remodelling process or completely rebuilt, re-polished, or re-chromed. “A BMW bike is the ideal basis for remanufacture as the engineering is straightforward and very well made” says Kev. Everything that is remanufactured on his bikes is sourced from engineers and fabricators within 30 miles of Paignton.



It doesn’t take long before something I’ve innovated appears on someone else’s machine Reliable modern carburettors and integrated electronics are installed to ensure the bikes deliver the trouble-free running you’d expect from a contemporary vehicle and because the bike is pared back to basics there’s seldom little to go wrong. Asked how BMW viewed his work Kev said he has had nothing but support and praise from the company and they even asked him to bring some of his bikes to display alongside their new-for-2014 RnineT. From what I’ve seen of this new model I think I’d have to say that BMW itself might just have taken some inspiration from Kevils for this retro-inspired new model – I’m sure they’d never admit it though! Due to the competitive nature of the custom bike trade there has to be a bit of secrecy and Kev is tightlipped about future developments – “It doesn’t take long before something I’ve innovated appears on someone else’s machines and copying other people won’t keep the customers coming. Every new bike we produce has to include innovations and improvements. You can’t have a englishrivieramagazine.co.uk



February/March 2014


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February/March 2014


Rivera People portfolio though without a maverick to keep the interest alive.” says Kev. When asked if he thought enthusiasm for the scene might wane he cites the immortal line, spoken by James Earl Jones, from Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams “If you build it, people will come.” The first few bikes were built at home in Preston and once the garage, the greenhouse and the kitchen ran out of space for donor bikes and parts a commercial unit was secured in Paignton and Kev took the plunge to quit his job and turn his hobby into a business. Kevil’s Speed Shop was born, reminiscent of the 60’s bike scene. I’m told back then if you had a bike you’d be sat in a café at one end of the Bovey Straights waiting for your turn to go ‘ton-up’ between Newton Abbot and Bovey Tracey. At first most orders came through word of mouth or from Flickr photographs of each new bike on the internet but as the retro custom bike scene grew word spread through the bike press and through Kevil’s new



It doesn’t surprise when he says “Ideas quite often come to me in dreams” website and the order books filled. Kevil’s now produces a bike every 5 or 6 weeks for customers all over the world, the latest being a Gulf Porsche race car inspired 1000cc ‘street scrambler’ named ‘Sebring’. This build was commissioned for an entertainment mogul from the island of Ibiza. Customers come to him with vague outlines of what they want, either a colour or style or even an object they’ve always admired and the rest is left up to his imagination. When you see the workshop, the line of donor bikes waiting to be stripped down, the racking full of parts either awaiting refurbishment or gleaming brightly ready-to-fit, it doesn’t surprise when he says “Ideas quite often come to me in dreams”. This really is eat, sleep, dream, make motorbikes! This year Kevil’s will be taking bikes to shows in London and around Europe. The culmination of 2013 for Kev was his own personal bike ‘Ace’ going on display in the front window of the resurgent iconic motorcycling brand Belstaff’s recently opened London shop in New Bond Street. The bike having been loaned to them, along with several other Kevil’s bikes, for an advertising campaign that featured none other than David Beckham riding his machines. When I ask Kev which is his favourite bike, he tells me “it’s the next one we build”. kevilsspeedshop.com englishrivieramagazine.co.uk



February/March 2014


Brixham Orpheus Male Voice Choir

60 th Anniversary


Anita Newcombe met Don, Ron, Eddy and David in Brixham to find out why they have made singing and fellowship such an important part of their lives.

that goes really deep.” t’s 60 years since a group of twelve Baptists formed The Choir made its first recording for BBC Radio the Brixham Orpheus Male Voice Choir and the in May 1957 and its first TV appearance on Westward group gave its first concert in Brixham Theatre in Television in February 1964. In the 1980s they appeared 1954. Male Voice Choirs generally flourished in areas on the BBC’s Songs of Praise and on ITV’s Highway. where a high density of industrialisation such as mining There have been further recordings plus many visits and and shipbuilding existed. This led to areas such as Wales, exchanges around the country and also to Germany and Cornwall, Yorkshire and the Midlands being richly served Belgium. Over the years they have joined up with several whereas there were relatively few in Devon. Hence the bands including Brixham’s own Brixham Choir is rather special. The average age of the Royal British Legion Band, Royal Current President of the Brixham Orpheus Male Voice Choir is Don Choir is over 70 and they Marines Bands from Dartmouth and Bodmin Town Band, Thompson who has been a member are always looking for Lympstone, Bedworth Brass and even the Central for an astonishing 45 years and new recruits with a warm Band of the White Russian Army has sung at over 500 concerts. “It during their UK tour in 1998. seems like a long time but we’ve welcome for all The average age of the choir is had so much enjoyment and the over 70 and they are always looking for new recruits years have passed so quickly, says Don. “The Choir hasn’t with a warm welcome for all. The entry requirement is altered much over the years although we now have more very relaxed and newbies are given plenty of time and members from outside Brixham. Probably half come encouragement to settle in. You do need to be able to from Torquay, Paignton, Newton Abbot, Totnes and sing in tune but there’s no need to be able to read music. Teignmouth these days.” Eddy Phillips was Musical Director for 25 years and has Indeed, many in the choir don’t, although they soon learn now taken the role of Assistant Musical Director, having to follow been in the Choir a along. The total of 38 years. Choir “I couldn’t meets live without every the Choir,” Thursday says Eddy. in “There’s Brixham. a bond The Choir with sings in all the members

Robert Brown, Eddy Phillips, Don Thompson, and Ron Burrington 14

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60 Years

4 parts (First Tenor, Second Tenor, Baritone and Bass) and all categories are needed to create the harmony. First Tenors, being the highest voice in the range, are the most difficult to find but all voices are needed and the majority of male voices are baritone, unless trained. The Choir has 35 members at present, having reached a high of 60 members in the early 90s. Ron Burrington is current Musical Director and has been in post for the last ten years. He explained, “The next ten or fifteen years will be critical for Male Voice Choirs as we do need to attract younger members. Although it’s a regular commitment every Thursday evening, both the singing and the camaraderie are great fun and incredibly good for you. You don’t have to be a great singer, just hold a tune and the rest will come.” David Brown is Brixham Orpheus Male Voice Choir’s Chairman. He says, “We’re like an extended family. When new people come it can be a bit daunting for them but we do everything we can to help newcomers settle in and enjoy themselves.” The Choir raises funds for a wide range of charities through its concerts, only using its Annual Concert for its own funds. Beneficiaries in the last year


have included Brixham’s Shoalstone Pool, Brixham Does Care, Salvation Army, Brixham and the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Last September they performed a joint concert with Plymouth Military Wives Choir that raised £5,000. Many of the Choir’s members were originally from other areas. David came to Devon from London in 1969 and worked as a Coastguard Officer in Brixham for 22 years. Eddy was Brixham born and bred and worked as an upholsterer. Don came to Brixham in 1960 from Dorking and was an estate agent and auctioneer. Ron, a Chartered Surveyor was born in Plymouth, lived in the South East and settled in Brixham 18 years ago. They all started singing in their local choirs at a relatively young age and have loved it ever since. New Year is a great time to join and new choir members could find themselves singing in concert within a few weeks. The 60th Anniversary Concert will be held at All Saints Church in Brixham on July 19th and popular soloist Margaret Duffy will be performing. A grand Choir Banquet will also be held at the Redcliffe Hotel in July to celebrate the 60th anniversary and all choir members and their partners will be invited. You can become a Friend of the Choir for £10 and there’s a Ladies Support Group too. If you want to know more about the music, snippets can be heard on the website but the best way is to attend one of their regular concerts. Who knows you may end up staying for many years! o brixham-orpheus-choir.org

February/March 2014


Philosophy and Gardening at Torre Abbey

Anita Newcombe meets Ali Marshall, Head Gardener at Torre Abbey and delves into a world of philosophy, horticulture, vegetable gardening and Agatha Christie.


February/March 2014


Riviera People


February/March 2014



met Ali in the pretty café at Torre Abbey and settled my second child. My first child had a French nanny and I in for a chat over a nice cup of tea on a rainy winter’s did feel that I had missed out at times.” day. I was interested to find out how one becomes a “I have always loved Torre Abbey and there was a Head Gardener, imagining an early interest in horticulture secret entrance at the top of the Woodland Walk that was and a life filled with planning, planting and pruning. special and very dark. I always came in that way and I “My first degree was in philosophy used to hunt tigers, with my uncle I am very interested in the supplying the tiger sounds. That’s and linguistics,” said Ali rather stories behind plants and why today there’s a ‘Beware Wild unexpectedly. “I didn’t think about gardening when I was younger and like to design gardens with Animals’ sign on the Childrens’ worked as a Business Consultant in Trail; I want our young visitors to multiple layers of meaning have as much fun as I did.” Paris for many years.” So how did Ali transform herself from a Business Ali told me that she heard a radio programme extolling Consultant in Paris into a Head Gardener at Torre Abbey the virtues of vegetable gardening and the importance in Torquay? of not filling your child with chemicals. Inspired by this, “My family lived in Chelston and my uncle had a beach she took up an allotment at Sherwell Valley and this hut at Corbyn Head so I spent many happy holidays here sparked off her love of gardening. She then decided to on the English Riviera,” reveals Ali. “I moved to the Bay study horticulture at Dartington and Bicton and started from France in 1998 determined to spend more time with volunteering with Torbay Council’s Parks Department.


February/March 2014


decided it was perfect for her plan. She’s created a central “I learned gardening skills and efficient ways of square of planting, which contains the potent plants working, such as how to plant 2,000 bedding plants plus four sides, which contain clues to four of Christie’s in one day. When the job came up as Head Gardener short stories. One of these is a Hercule Poirot story and at Torre Abbey in 2008, I managed to convince the the other three are Miss Marple. It’s the sort of lovely interviewers that I had lots of wonderful ideas.” cottagey English garden that Agatha Christie who was And so she did with one of her proudest achievements born in Torquay would probably have enjoyed, especially being the creation of the Agatha Christie Potent Plants Garden, which is filled with plants Gardening is such a good as the idyllic scene starts to give up its darker secrets. Having visited the used to make the Queen of Crime’s antidote to the fast-moving Potent Plants Garden for afternoon famous poisons. “I read all the Agatha Christie world. Nature moves at her tea and heard Ali give talks during novels and quickly discovered that own pace whatever you do. the Agatha Christie Festival, I saw her passion for the subject and inthe recurrent theme was poisons,” depth knowledge first-hand – absolutely fascinating! recalls Ali. “I had already done some research on Ali told me, “It may be the philosophy background but medieval plants and once I had noted all the plant I am very interested in the stories behind plants and like references from the stories, I started to design the garden.” to design gardens with multiple layers of meaning. We The area chosen was the Old Rose Garden, which put in interpretation wherever possible to reflect this so couldn’t be replanted with fresh stock due to ‘rose replant it’s interesting to both adults and children.” disorder’. The garden is quite self-contained and Ali englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

February/March 2014


Two Tips from Ali • Forsythia – don’t prune in winter or you’ll miss your spring flowers. Cut your spring flowering shrubs immediately after flowering and whilst the flowers are still on the stem. Never use a hedge trimmer. • Palms - if you want to plant a palm at home, the standard one is the Phoenix. But why not try the Butia palm? They are much rarer and have longer, more elegant fronds. They are available from specialist suppliers.

Ali is particularly involved in children’s activities. “I want people to come and feel that sense of wonder that I felt when I was younger. It’s not just about looking pretty, we create interactive trails that are fun for everyone.” The whole garden is managed sustainably without chemical products, pesticides or herbicides, relying instead on old-fashioned manual labour to keep the weeds down. Much of the gardening is done by hand using traditional techniques, although Ali admits to using a mower rather than a scythe to cut the grass! So where does Ali live and does she still have a vegetable garden, I wondered? Well she lives in the cottage next to Torre Abbey with her family and Ella their 6-month old Newfoundland puppy plus some chickens and rabbits. And yes, there’s a vegetable patch and the family is currently enjoying home grown carrots, kale, swedes, parsnips and all the brassicas. The cottage was originally built for the Torre Abbey gardener by the Cary’s and is rather low beamed which can be challenging for Ali’s rather tall family! “Gardening is such a good antidote to the fast-moving world. Nature moves at her own pace whatever you do. You become quite accepting of things like the weather and life is never boring with the demands of both long term and seasonal planning. If something doesn’t quite work out, well there’s always next year!”o The garden reopens on March 1. torre-abbey.org.uk Volunteer Opportunities Always available in: Gardening – contact ali.marshall@torbay.gov.uk Children’s Activities – contact dee.martin@torbay.gov.uk 20

February/March 2014


What to See in March

• Blue Scillas – dainty blue flowers over the rockery • Hot Chocolate Tree – tiny vanilla scented flowers in the Winter Border that smell just like hot chocolate! • Early Tulips • Bougainvillea and Giant Bird of Paradise, in flower in the heated glasshouses • Jasmine, which smells wonderful and Angel’s Trumpet, both in the Palm House • Huge Aloes - like candelabras with really strong colours, flame orange, red and yellow in the Arid House • Cactus also in flower in the Arid House • Palms including some rare ones from Kew Gardens • Daffodils should be in flower • Lilo the Gorilla returns and there’ll be lots of fun & games


February/March 2014


Cockington Three Families of Influence

Most of us know and love Cockington for its beautiful estate, its attractive manor house and its fine craft studios but how many know about the families who lived here long ago? John Risdon fills us in.


t the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066, lost this particular estate but at least he kept his head! Alric the Saxon was Lord of the Manor of He was to return following the Restoration in order to Cockington but soon lost his estate to the eventually purchase the neighbouring estate of Torre and Norman conquerors. The Fitzmartins became Lords of Torre Abbey. the Manor having purchased it from William de Falaise The seat of Cockington, the Court, has stood on its and, obviously well pleased with their new domain, took present site for over 1,000 years. Its original timbered the name ‘de Cockington’. Their ownership was to last Saxon hall was more than likely converted to local stone for 300 years, then in 1375 ownership passed to the Cary during the occupancy of the ‘de Cockington’ family. Some family. concept of its early architecture and design into medieval The Carys were a family of considerable local and times can best be surmised with a simplistic comparison national influence and were of the Great Hall at Dartington. to become a pillar of the local Henry Cary was forced to The Cary family then brought establishment wielding much power sell Cockington. He lost this about a major conversion during and authority. So great was their Tudor times. Although they were to particular estate but at least destroy the Great Hall by flooring political dexterity that during the reign of Elizabeth, George Cary, an he kept his head! the structure they, in turn, I would ardent Catholic, became Deputy suggest, created the most distinctive Lord Lieutenant of the County and participated in the period of Cockington Court. The three floors, an inclusive defence of the locality from Spanish attack during the kitchen within a newly created north wing, balanced by time of the Armada. Eventually, during the 17th century, a matching south wing, were all capped with an elegant their luck ran out, temporarily! Having supported the pitched roof and set within its enclosed court. Luckily King, Charles I, during the Civil War and following his for us a glimpse of that era still remains, on the north demise, Henry Cary was forced to sell Cockington. He face of the north wing. There a beautiful Tudor doorway 22

February/March 2014


Co is d 1

Local History

Agatha Christie was a close friend of the Mallocks and enjoyed amateur dramatics with the family at Cockington Court.

Cockingon Forge is believed to date from the 14th Century


In 1943, two German bombs landed near Cockington Church shattering its stained glass windows.

The Mallocks built Livermead House on the seafront for visitors and one guest in 1854 was Charles Kingsley famous 23 2014 author of theFebruary/March Water Babies.

play and relax in, for all generations. Its history is enveloped is to be found, a doorway that led into the kitchen and to in the mists of time. From Norman times through to the base of the servants’ back stairs that once led to their the reign of Elizabeth I it was very much a hunting miniscule garret rooms. Apparent in close proximity within ground with deer the main prey. The origins of the three this north-facing wall are the remnants of similarly aged ponds is thought to be associated with the arrival of the windows, since in filled, it is said, to have counteracted the neighbouring monks (or canons) of Torre Abbey in 1196. introduction of the window tax! The ponds provided carp for the Monks’ table. Following Following the Civil War, the Mallock family of Exeter the Dissolution of the Monasteries the ponds provided a purchased Cockington and they would remain as Lords rural industrial purpose where the hides of cattle could be of the Manor until 1933. It is thought that the dreaded soaked in preparation for the nearby window tax was one reason why the In 1801 the entire tannery at Lanscombe. With the Mallocks, in their years here, radically population, which then arrival of the Mallocks began the changed the appearance of the Court once more. The outline structure we included all of what we call creation of a garden environment with ornamental ponds. Game was see today dates from the early 19th Livermead and Chelston raised and nurtured in Manscombe century, a far simpler, lower and today, numbered 350 Woods from Tudor times and a rather more bland design. And yet home provided for the gamekeeper. this was to be home to generations of Sport in the form of the gun had now arrived and shooting Mallocks as Squires of Cockington until the 1930s. From as a popular form of entertainment for Squire Mallock’s here the family ran the estate, its parkland and farms. In house guests. During the late 19th century Richard 1801 the entire population, which then included all of Mallock did much to regenerate and re-plant the park and what we call Livermead and Chelston today, numbered woodlands following his grandfather having constructed 350 men, women and children. The Court was the family the new drive from the Lower Lodge during the 1840’s. home where birthdays, Christmas and Guy Fawkes were Now the family could access the Court directly without celebrated, where laughter was heard and yes, crying too! having to drive through the village. Today we see the surrounding park as a place to both 24

February/March 2014


Local History

The village centre which today provides the archetypal identity of Cockington, has developed at the nucleus of three ancient farmsteads providing the simple accommodation for the tenants together with the necessary services such as mill and smithy. Cockington village was still very much a living farming community up until the 1970’s. Before the construction of the main coast road from Torquay to Paignton during the 1840’s the cross roads within the village would have been a hub of activity, part of the network of tracks and lanes joining the communities of Torre, Marldon and Paignton in trade and socially. One building that does not fit architecturally into the historic village scene is The Drum Inn. Ironically its inclusion provides the perfect symbol of change and a new identity for Cockington. During the 1930’s the manorial inheritance of the estate came to an end after a span of over 1000 years. The Mallock family sold Cockington to Torquay Council. It was thought by the powers that be, that the village, being in a rather dilapidated state, should be ‘modernised’. Demolish the old and introduce a new ‘model’ village. One of Britain’s greatest architects of the time, Sir Edwin Lutyens, was employed to recreate the village. Work started with the demolition of the old village inn on the junction with Bewhay Lane together with some cottages. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

In its place arose Lutyens’ creation and a symbol of the new Cockington to come, once the Second World War was over. The creation of a Lutyens village was never to see fulfilment due to a change of attitude and a lack of funds after the war. Over the past years enthusiasm for Cockington, its village, Court and Country Park, has waxed and waned. Its complex identity as heritage village, home, tourist attraction and conservation area has strived for a balanced and fruitful life. As 2013 drew to a conclusion, optimism for a renewal of vibrancy has been rekindled through the Cockington Restoration Appeal and will gather momentum into 2014.o For more information and to donate to the appeal visit www.countryside-trust.org.uk 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. February/March 2014


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Want to know what’s happening in local property? Keep an eye on our new property section for news and views on the home front. Preparing Your Riviera Home to Sell

Market confidence seems to be improving but one thing is sure, presenting your home in the most appealing way will help create a favourable impression to prospective buyers. So in a joyful, spring-like spirit, here are some ideas that may help your home to get noticed if you are hoping to sell this year. First task is to step outside your property and take a good hard look around, take photos if it helps but put yourself in the position of a hopeful buyer and look with fresh eyes. Are the lawns freshly mown and nicely edged? Do you have a splash of seasonal colour around with some strategically placed flowering pots? Does your garage need clearing or painting and does the front of the house look well maintained? Fences, paving stones, window frames and doors should all come under your scrutiny – be ruthless and get those jobs done! Now stroll inside and take a fresh look at the interior. If you are serious about selling, freshly painting everything in a neutral colour, preferably white or pale cream can help. It looks clean and gives the illusion of extra space. This could

be a good time to start the famous New Year declutter, giving unwanted items to charity shops wherever possible. Are you really going to use those neglected clothes, kitchen items, holiday souvenirs and so on in the foreseeable future? Now you can clean and polish all your furniture and skirting boards, hire a carpet-cleaning machine or consider getting a professional in to do a full springclean throughout. Look at your furniture. Is it all a bit overcrowded? Would anyone you know benefit from some starter furniture for a first home? Can you reduce the number of ornaments and knick-knacks you display? englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Finally, choose some lovely new hotel-like bedspreads (which are surprisingly inexpensive nowadays) with a couple of tasteful cushions to make the bedrooms look inviting. Yes, clear the bedside tables completely apart from (matching) lamps. Well, you get the idea and maybe after all this effort you’ll see your home in a whole new light and be able to successfully inspire a prospective buyer. Good luck! o

Good Year for Cavanna Homes As a result of diversification and the recovering housing market, Cavanna Homes has reported another year of growth despite nearly 10% fewer house sales in 2013. The Torquay-based homebuilder produced a record turnover of £32.2 million on 167 property sales across eight developments along with the establishment of a high-tech employment facility Jonathan Cavanna in Paignton. The average open market price of a Cavanna Homes property in 2013 was £195,000 with prices ranging from £85,000 for an apartment to £385,000 for a luxury four-bedroom family home. The government’s Help to Buy Scheme has been an element in approximately 35% of all purchases, in line with national levels. Commenting on the company’s activities in 2013, Managing Director Eugene Rapson said: “It has been a good trading year in terms of growth and employment and we have also put in place some solid foundations for the future by securing a strong portfolio of sites which will enable us to continue building high quality homes to meet demand in the South Eugene Rapson West. It has also been a year for celebration with the award of our first maximum 5-star rating from the House Builders Federation and marking our company’s 90th anniversary with a programme of charity support initiatives across the region.”o February/March 2014


An Occombe ‘Cwtch’ from designer Helen Avoth

Anita Newcombe chats to designer Helen Avoth about how she renovated her beloved holiday home in Occombe and her experience of holiday letting.


February/March 2014


Interiors/Holiday Lets


February/March 2014



ust opposite Occombe Farm in a leafy clearing stands perfect,” Helen revealed. Helen brought in a team of builders overseen by The Cwtch Barn, named after the Welsh word for Sam’s husband Simon Knapman who is from local cuddle or a hug. I am meeting designer Helen Avoth company R.J. Knapman and Son. Helen told me, “The in a few moments of quiet time before her guests start result was exactly as I wanted it. It has become my checking in for a family get together. And yes, I get a sanctuary.” Neil adds, “You close the door and you’re in friendly hug or a ‘cwtch’ from Helen who tells me that a different world.” she and her partner Neil divide their time between Once the structural work was complete, Helen arranged Caerleon in Wales, Marbella in Spain and The Cwtch for the beams, walls and ceiling all to be painted white. Barn. Bamboo floors were fitted (which feel blissful underfoot) “I’ve been coming to the English Riviera for 24 years,” says Helen. Initially, the main draw was my best and opening up the whole space allowed the vaulted, beamed ceiling to come into its friend Sam Knapman but over the years I fell in love with the Helen had a vision to uplift its own as a feature with real ‘wow’ place and decided to buy my tired interior and open up the factor. Add to this the existing floor own holiday home.” myriad ‘odd’ little rooms to ceiling gable end window and It was Sam who found the there emerged a dramatic space property, then called The Old that is beautifully spacious and airy. Helen then went on Poundhouse (originally part of the Occombe Estate to create a cosy feel that makes it appealing summer or where the apples were crushed). It had already been winter. She put in three large comfy sofas around a huge converted but Helen had a vision to uplift its tired coffee table and then added a toasty wood burner. For interior and open up the myriad ‘odd’ little rooms entertainment she’s installed a wall-mounted flatscreen into a wonderful open-plan space that is so perfect for TV with Sky, DVD, CD, radio and Bose surround sound. holiday and weekend visits. The family loves entertaining so Helen has also made sure Helen had been a property developer for around 13 that the attractive kitchen area is brilliantly well equipped years but interior design is her passion now and she and the large dining table seats eight comfortably. wanted to create a modern, fresh New England style Downstairs, the bedrooms feature a master en-suite with the property. “It was well over budget but it was 30

February/March 2014


Interiors/Holiday Lets

with king size bed and there are three other beautifully designed bedrooms, the fourth with bunk beds plus another TV. Cwtch Barn is a great place for pets and children as there’s an enclosed and walled garden, complete with patio and outdoor furniture and immediate access to some lovely walks, which Helen adores. I asked Helen what she likes so much about visiting the English Riviera. She was enthusiastic, “There’s so much to do here, I enjoy the whole English Riviera and I also love Dartmouth. Our location here at Occombe is just fab with a farm shop just opposite and right by a lovely dog walking path for our two Westies. The children love the waterslides at Splashdown Quaywest, the new

Geoplay Park, Paignton Pier and the BMX course at Parkfield as well as all the beaches.” Helen lets her holiday home via Blue Chip Holidays when the family are not in residence and it has become popular all year round. “I never intended to let Cwtch Barn but Blue Chip have been amazing. They do everything! They’re efficient and friendly and letting is a great way to create quite a substantial income.” I left Helen juggling phone calls from various family members and left feeling quite inspired to do something a little more creative with my own home this spring.o

Helen’s Top Tips

Paint everything white. Bring your own personality into your décor. Little touches like funky radiators are important. Email me if you want any advice: helenavoth68@gmail.com

Ed. Please let us know if you contact Helen or are inspired by her experience. Don’t forget to share any ideas with English Riviera Magazine readers.


A Classic English Wedding at Churston Ferrers

Grace and Ash Jeyes celebrated their winter wedding at the beautiful Church of St Mary the Virgin in the village of Churston Ferrers near Brixham.

Riviera Weddings


hurston Ferrers Church is rather special because when holidaying at Greenway, Agatha Christie regularly attended the church. In 1955, she donated the royalties from her short story Greenshaw’s Folly to the church, to pay for a new stained glass window. The east-facing window, designed by Bideford artist James Patterson, depicts Jesus as the Good Shepherd in Agatha’s favourite colours of greens and mauves. Excitement started in the morning of the wedding when the hairdresser and makeup artist Estelle arrived at Grace’s family home in Brixham and photographer Chloe Kingham started recording the special day. Meanwhile, the groom’s family was staying at Mooring’s Reach on the harbourside with other guests dotted around Brixham in a collection of hotels, B & Bs and holiday properties. Family and guests had flown in from Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sweden, Belgium, Guernsey and Germany to celebrate. The night before the wedding, a relaxed Caribbean evening was held at Verna’s Pepper Shack on Brixham’s inner harbour so guests had already had time to meet up before the big day. The church ceremony was under the charge of Rev. Ian Blyde and the bride wore a slim cut, traditional gown and a long cathedral veil plus a glamorous, white bolero. The bridesmaids wore electric blue and the groom, best man and ushers wore Prince Edward cut morning suits. After the church service, a reception and dinner was held at Crab Quay House. The next morning a big breakfast for guests and the bride and groom was held at Café Alf Resco in Dartmouth before the newlyweds headed to the British Virgin Islands for their honeymoon.o


February/March 2014


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February/March 2014


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Riviera Weddings

Choosing Your Wedding Venue Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now the real work begins in planning your perfect day.


irst you’ll need to decide whether you’d like a church or civil wedding. If it’s the former, ease of transport from the church to the reception venue will be an important factor to consider. However, if you’re thinking about a civil wedding, there are many licensed venues where you can both tie the knot and host your celebration too. Many brides dream about the perfect wedding and a location for stunning photographs is usually high on the list of must-haves. Luckily the English Riviera has lots of attractive venues and many have spectacular views of the Bay. But first things first. How big will your wedding be? Venue capacity is an important consideration and you should have a good idea of numbers as well as a budget before you start looking at venues. There are many options for your wedding breakfast. A formal meal or a reception and buffet are popular choices and you’ll need to decide if you need space for a


band or other form of entertainment plus a dance floor. You’ll want to review menu choices and drinks packages, find out how the room will be set out and what type of linen and glassware will be provided. Many venues can provide photographs showing weddings they have held so you can get an idea of how the room will look dressed for the occasion. You should also ask about access for any disabled guests you may be inviting. Many venues get booked a long way ahead for weddings so don’t forget to make sure your preferred date is available. Also find out whether a range of accommodation is available nearby for your guests and whether there is car parking at the venue. Above all, do you feel comfortable in the venue, do you like the staff and the wedding coordinator, have they given you all the information you need and do they make you feel special? If so then go right ahead and have a wonderful day!o

February/March 2014


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February/March 2014


Pick up a copy at Torbay Bookshop 7 Torquay Road Paignton TQ3 3DU

Haddon Galleries

6/7 Victoria Parade Torquay TQ1 2BB

Hobb Nobs

19/20 The Quay Brixham TQ5 8AW More outlets coming soon! englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Riviera Weddings

Wedding Fairs There’s so much to decide whether you’re going for a traditional church service or a civil ceremony. There’s the reception to think about, the dress, the flowers, the cake, the entertainment, the photos and much more. We take a look at some local wedding fairs to give you inspiration and to provide a fun day out! The Devon Wedding Show, Torquay Sunday 9 February

With fabulous dresses, flowers, cakes, photographers, honeymoons and cars and billed as Torbay’s biggest and best wedding show, this event promises to be a wonderful day out for brides and grooms-to-be and their families. A huge selection of exhibitors will provide lots of wonderful ideas for your big day. It’s free to enter and there’s a free goody bag on arrival.

Time: 11am – 4pm with catwalk shows at 12.30pm and 2pm Riviera International Conference Centre, Torquay TQ2 5LZ 01803-201055 devonweddingshow.co.uk

The Imperial Wedding Fayre, Torquay Sunday 16 February

Find inspiration for your perfect wedding day plus a fashion catwalk showing the latest bridal collections. The Imperial Hotel’s own wedding co-ordinator will be on hand to discuss popular inclusive wedding packages.

The Imperial Hotel, Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG 01803 294301 pumahotels.co.uk


Living Coasts Wedding Fair, Torquay Sunday 23 March

Romance amongst the penguins! Living Coasts is a unique setting for an exciting wedding show with its marine wildlife and stunning views of the Bay. There will be a range of local exhibitors to help you plan your big day and Living Coasts’ Wedding Co-ordinator will on hand. Refreshments are available all day from the Terrace Café and Bar.

Time: from noon – 4pm, free entry into fair Living Coasts, Beacon Quay, Torquay, TQ1 2BG 01803 202499 livingcoasts.org.uk

February/March 2014


The Perfect Antidote To A Busy Week Distance: 2 miles Exertion: Easy Time: Allow between 45 minutes and 2 hours depending on your dog’s needs!

Terrain: Sandy beach, bring your wellies! Dogs: Near to roads in places and not between May and September. Refreshments: Plentiful along the route.


his is one of my favourite things and if a stroll on a Saturday afternoon could be called iconic then this is the scene - a low tide, winter sun high in the sky, all the family together with the dog, and a leisurely stroll from Marine Parade all the way to Paignton Harbour and back. No tricky navigation or difficult terrain here, just a long stroll to relax and unwind after a busy week. Catch up with the family, have some fun with the dog, grab a hot chocolate on the pier and look out across the bay and feel a little sympathy for anyone you know who lives in a city! It’s a social thing too, there’s always a big crowd and if you’re in need of some puppy socialisation, this is the place to be with dogs of all shapes and sizes. If you’ve forgotten a dog ball, the kiosk on Marine Parade is always well stocked. This issue, we decided to see who else was enjoying the sun so here’s a few friends we met on the way. If we missed you then why not add your favourite pet portarit to our gallery at facebook.com/englishrivieramagazine.o

Kiki the Maltese cross Poodle with Nicky 38

February/March 2014


Walk Pebbles, Spud and Wolfy with the Williams and Chattaway family

Paula with Lucy the Springer Spaniel

Murphy the Cockerpoo and Solo the Working Cocker with Marguerite and Anne

Inka the Siberian Husky with Kelly, Jack and Ethan

Julian with Dylan the Sprizla

Daniel, Jessica and Daisy with Ava the Dalmatian


February/March 2014


Around the Bay February & March Breadmaking for Beginners, Occombe Farm Cookery School 2 February

Learn the essentials of breadmaking and discover how quick and easy producing delicious loaves of this everyday food staple can be. You will become hands-on in the breadmaking process during this workshop, getting to grips with simple loaves including wholemeal, white, millers or granary, soda bread, cinnamon rolls and foccacia - plus leave armed with plenty of baked goods to take home. Led by Lucy Croose (who has studied with expert baker Andrew Whitley) author of Bread Matters, founder of the Village Bakery and co-founder of the Real Bread Campaign.

Time: 10am - 4pm, booking essential, cost: £70 to include lunch Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk

Indian Feast, Occombe Farm Cookery School 9 February

The fragrant food of India, deliciously spiced, creamy and full of flavour will be a feast for your senses and this course will take you on a sensory adventure to this colourful country. Explore the intriguing and delicious world of Indian cookery and learn some of the classic dishes from the North and South. From the spicy heat of Rajasthan to the aromatic flavours of Kerala, you will be creating an Indian feast. Led by Holly Jones of Manna from Devon cooking school and inspired by her recent travels in India, this hands-on workshop will open up a whole world of fabulous Indian food. You will leave with the skills to prepare and cook the best Indian feast ever!

Time: 10am - 4pm, booking essential, cost: £80 to include lunch Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk

Cockington Winter Warmer Wander 8 February

Wrap up warm and bring your wellies for a wintery walk around Cockington Country Park. Join a Trust ranger on a wander around the estate looking out for early signs of spring with wildlife spotting and stories from Cockington’s heritage. After braving the chilly winter air, warm up at cosy Weavers Cottage for delicious organic soup and freshly baked bread, with a chance to find out more about Cockington’s restoration plans.

Time: 10.00-12.30, booking essential, cost: £5.00 Cockington Visitor Centre (village centre) TQ2 6XA 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk 40

February/March 2014

Jonathan Dimbleby at the Flavel, Dartmouth 10 February

Jonathan Dimbleby will host ‘Any Questions’ with a panel of four high-profile locals including Simon Drew, Pam Braakenburg, Jonathan Hawkins and Paul Reach. Questions will be invited from the audience. Jonathan is a writer, broadcaster and film-maker who has presented Any englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

What’s On Questions? for BBC radio 4 since 1987. All funds raised will be for the Dartmouth & District Indoor Pool.

Time: 7.30pm, Tickets £10 Flavel Place, Dartmouth TQ6 9ND 01803 839530 theflavel.org.uk

Valentine’s Dinner & Dance, Berry Head Hotel 14 February

Enjoy a delicious 4-course dinner with canapés and bubbly on arrival and a red rose for all the ladies, followed by live cabaret and dancing.

Cost: £30 per person Berry Head Road, Brixham TQ5 9AJ 01803 853225 berryheadhotel.com

cost: £3.50 per child - includes chocolate prize & craft activities Preston Down Rd, Paignton, Devon TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk Devon Historical and Hysterical with Maggie Duffy at Brixham Library 26 February

An event for Friends of Brixham Library. Join Maggie Duffy for an informative afternoon based around her experiences of Devonshire life; includes poetry, readings and song. You must be a member at least a week before joining an event.

Time: 2pm, Cost: £5 Brixham Library, Market Street, Brixham TQ5 8EU 01803 853870 friendsofbrixhamlibrary.wordpress.com Thai Feast, Occombe Farm Cookery School 2 March

Valentine’s Dinner, Imperial Hotel 14 February

A Valentine’s celebration in the Regatta Restaurant at Torquay’s Imperial Hotel promises a four -course dinner, live entertainment and a complimentary glass of fizz on arrival.

Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG 01803 294301 pumahotels.co.uk

Occombe Knights’ Adventure Trail, Occombe Farm 18 February – 20 February

Calling all noble knights and brave princesses to come on a quest to find a magical golden unicorn! Can you defeat gruesome trolls, wicked witches and take on the mighty dragon to find your way to the Griffin who is guarding this enchanted unicorn? You will need to use all your wits and if you succeed in your quest, you will be rewarded for your bravery with a chocolate prize. Also, take part in a knights’ workshop and make your very own knights’ shield or a beautiful princess hat. Come in fancy dress for a real adventure! Suitable for 4-12 year olds

Punchy red chillies, sweetness of palm sugar and coconut, salty soy and fish sauces, fresh zestiness of lemon grass and limes. Hot, sweet, salty and sour - these are the flavours of Thailand. This cooking course is full of bright and warming flavours for the cold winter days and the perfect antidote to the winter blues! As you discover the principles of Thai cooking, you’ll prepare everything needed to cook homemade spring rolls with a chilli dipping sauce, hot and sour soup, pad thai noodles, green and red curries and green papaya salad, some of the classics of the Thai kitchen, inspired by Holly’s travels through Thailand. Holly Jones is the head chef and joint owner of Manna from Devon cooking school.

Time: 10am - 4pm, booking essential, cost: £80 to include lunch Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk

Time: 10am – 3pm, no booking required, englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

February/March 2014




Image for illustration only


A world of won in miniatureders

A masterpiece of modelling, humorously depicting British life ge and culture from the past to the present day! lla r i V g fo www.model-village.co.uk 01803 315 315 hin W 4!

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February/March 2014


What’s On Mrs Crotty’s Ceilidh Band, Torquay 8 March

Time: 2pm, Cost: £5 Brixham Library, Market Street, Brixham TQ5 8EU 01803 853870 friendsofbrixhamlibrary.wordpress.com

St Matthias Church, Babbacombe Road, Torquay, TQ1 1 HW st-matthias-church.org Tickets: 01803 323801

Poets Friday at Cockington 14 March

An evening of dance, supper and fun. Tickets £8.50 to include supper. Profits go towards a Torquay Operatic Society 2014 production.

Sausage Making Workshop, Occombe Farm Cookery School 9 March

Fancy having a go at making your own sausages? From chipolatas to chorizo, the world of the sausage is incredibly varied and versatile. Join this fun hands-on workshop with a professional Butcher from Gribbles Butchers @ Occombe Farm shop. You will learn the art of making delicious sausages using local ingredients. There will also be the opportunity to taste the sausages you make by cooking them afterwards, and you will leave with lots of your creations to take home with you.

Time: 10am - 4pm, booking essential, cost: £70 to include lunch Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk

The Building & History of Torbay and Dartmouth Railway, Brixham 12 March

A talk with local historian John Risdon; this is an event for Friends of Brixham Library. The Dartmouth & Torbay Railway Company built the railway from Torre to Paignton and later to “Brixham Road” in 1861, thence on to the port of Dartmouth for 1864. Although only 11 miles in length, its building had to overcome a considerable number of engineering challenges, its present state proving their success. You must be a member at least a week before joining an event. englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Poets Friday features poetry readings in the beautiful setting of Cockington Court. Talented poets in South Devon will read their own work plus well-known favourites. The theme is: Summer in Torbay. Enjoy a gentle walk in Cockington’s arboretum and organic garden and bring a poem to read.

Time: 2-4pm, £3 for poetry and afternoon tea. Resource Room, Seachange Studios, Cockington Court Craft Centre, Torquay TQ2 6XA 01803-411142 www.deborahtreliving.co.uk Cake Making for Beginners, Occombe Farm Cookery School 15 March

Inspired by the Great British Bake Off and want to learn how to make cakes like a professional? Then join Lucy Croose, our professional cake maker on this fun and hands-on course. You will cover making various cakes and sponges from devilishly good chocolate cupcakes, luscious lemon drizzle, the ever classic Victoria Sponge and the oh so moreish Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping. As well as leaving with delicious cakes and recipes, students will be provided with lots of top tips to avert disaster and help their baking feel more relaxed and fun! This is a hands-on course and you will be making your own cakes. All ingredients for this course will be provided and you will take home the cakes that you make.

Time: 10am - 4pm, booking essential, cost: £70 per person to include lunch from the Occombe Café. Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk February/March 2014


Are you looking for a new interest? Make New Friends Enjoy a Sporting Environment Competitive and Fun Tournaments

Come to our

Packed Diary of Social Events Over 20 Touring Team Visits Fresh Air and Sunshine!


Saturday 12 April 2-5pm

The Brixham Bowling Club

We’re so sure you’ll enjoy it, first year memebership is FREE! Get in touch to find out more...

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February/March 2014


What’s On Spring Flower Walks at Greenway 15, 22 & 29 March

crafts at the National Trust’s beautiful Bradley estate in Newton Abbot. Learn old crafts and new skills, such as making gate hurdles, trellis, woodturning and cleaving. All equipment and tuition is included. Stout footwear and sensible clothing is advised for these activities. Please bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink on both days. Children over 12 welcome when accompanied by an adult.

Join the gardeners at Greenway for a walk through the glorious woodland gardens filled with spring flowers. Greenway’s romantic woodland garden is renowned for its spring flowers - from camellias to rhododendrons, as well as swathes of spring bulbs. This walk and talk is a great way to find out all about what’s in flower, and the history of the garden. Normal admission charges apply.

Time 10am – 4pm each day, booking essential, cost £50 Bradley, Totnes Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 1LX nationaltrust.org.uk/bradley 01803 842382


Time: 12noon – 1pm, booking essential, cost £5 Greenway House, Greenway, Brixham, TQ5 0ES 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Gilbert & Sullivan Society Concert, Berry Head Hotel 15 March

The Torbay branch of the Gilbert & Sullivan Society is giving a concert with a hot supper at the Berry Head Hotel in Brixham. Supper served at 7pm followed by a full evening of entertainment. Tickets £16.50 to include supper.

Tickets are available from the hotel or by phoning 01803 323801. Berry Head Road, Brixham TQ5 9AJ berryheadhotel.com 01803-853225 Woodland Crafts, Bradley 15 & 16 March

Join the rangers for a two-day introduction to woodland englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Cake Decorating for Beginners, Occombe Farm Cookery School 16 March

Learn the art of cake decorating with Lucy Croose – owner of home baking business Cakes, Bakes and Coffee. This course includes an introduction to using royal icing, buttercream, and sugarpaste, as well as learning basic piping skills and how to make stunning simple sugar flowers and delightful edible decorations. Learn how to layer, fill and cover a single tiered cake the professional way for weddings, birthdays or just to show off to your friends! Lucy will guide you through all the techniques and skills needed to achieve a flawless finish and students will have lots of chances to practise using different methods of decoration. You will leave with 12 of your own baked and beautifully decorated cupcakes.

Time: 10am - 4pm, booking essential, cost: £70 per person to include lunch from the Occombe Café.Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk February/March 2014


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February/March 2014


winter 2011/12

Meet the

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Enjoy Torbay Festival of Poetry Revving Up with

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Fishstock Brixham

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Meet Torquay Torquay’s

Elephant Gardening Hulstone r How

Stone Age Man Dive the



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Escape to Fisherton Romany Farm’s Wagons

Local Lad Engineers the Future


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Crafty Mums at Cockington

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9 society

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The famous

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Last Poirot BERRY HEAD Birds Plus! Halloween Roundup

Glamour & Intrigue


Autumn What’s On

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August 2013

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What’s On Spring Artist’s Day, Greenway 17 March

Calling all springtime sketchers and fabulous photographers. Ever wanted to capture that perfect moment with nobody else around? Come along to Greenway to enjoy a day exclusively for you. Local artist, Emma Carter, will be giving a talk on art at Greenway as part of your day.

Time: 10.30am, booking essential, cost £18 Greenway House, Greenway, Brixham, TQ5 0ES 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Members Event, Coastal Wildlife Walk to Coleton Fishacre 23 March

01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway ABBA Tribute Night, Imperial Hotel 29 March

You’re invited to put your dancing shoes on and become a Super Trouper. The evening includes a two-course dinner, ABBA tribute act and tunes from the resident DJ.

Cost: £24.95 per person Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG 01803 294301 pumahotels.co.uk

Exclusively for Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust members, this guided walk from Berry Head to Coleton Fishacre requires a good level of fitness and sturdy walking boots. Guides will help you spot wildlife and tell you about the heritage of this beautiful coastal landscape. You’ll enjoy a soup lunch (included) at the Coleton Fishacre Café and enjoy a special tour of the gardens too. Parking is free for TCCT members.

Mothers Day Lunch, Greenway 30 March

Time: 10am – 3pm, booking essential, cost £20 Meet: Berry Head Car Park, Gillard Road, Brixham TQ5 9AP 01803 520022 countryside-trust.org.uk

Time: 12 noon – 1.45pm and 2 – 3.45pm, booking essential, cost: Adults £19.95 Children £12.95 plus normal admission charges. Greenway House, Greenway, Brixham, TQ5 0ES. 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway

Spring Photography Workshop, Greenway 25 March

Mothering Sunday Lunch, Imperial Hotel 30 March

Join a volunteer photographer for this inspirational photography day in the Greenway’s glorious spring gardens. A lunch of homemade soup in the House Kitchen is included. Bring your own camera and SD card.

Time: 10.30am, booking essential, cost £18 Greenway House, Greenway, Brixham, TQ5 0ES 01803 842382 nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway 1940s Blackout Tour, Greenway 27 March

Come along and discover Greenway’s wartime past, when the house was requisitioned by the US Coastguard. Take this tour with a 1940s twist and learn about Greenway’s interesting wartime history, including the library frieze, and enjoy wartime refreshments.

Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm, booking essential, cost £15 Greenway House, Greenway, Brixham, TQ5 0ES englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Spoil your mum with a two-course meal in the heart of Greenway, the House Kitchen. Give your mum a unique gift this year; two courses of delicious seasonal food in Agatha Christie’s beloved holiday home. Your mum will get a beautiful posy of flowers from Greenway garden too.

Treat your lovely Mum to a three-course traditional Sunday lunch in the Imperial’s Regatta Restaurant with live swing entertainment. Every Mum is promised a special complimentary gift.

Park Hill Road, Torquay TQ1 2DG 01803 294301 pumahotels.co.uk

April & May Events If you’re holding an event in April or May email us at editorial@ englishrivieramagazine.co.uk and we’ll list it in the next issue and on our website February/March 2014


Dartmouth’s 8th Comedy Festival The 8th Dartmouth Comedy Festival presents some wonderfully hilarious comedy events at the Flavel and around Dartmouth throughout the week. Tuesday 4th March Matt Harvey at Café Alf Resco

Writer, poet, enemy of all that’s difficult and upsetting, Matt’s way with words has taken him from Totnes to the Wimbledon Tennis Matt Harvey Championships via Saturday Live, the Edinburgh Festival and the Work section of the Guardian.

Time: 7pm Tickets £18 to include rustic supper Lucy Porter - Northern Soul, The Flavel Does geography shape our destiny? Lucy never felt that she belonged down south. She tried moving to Manchester, marrying a Welshman and travelling the world, but she’s still - like the littlest hobo - seeking her spiritual home.

Time: 8pm Tickets £12

Wednesday 5th March Carl Donnelly and Romesh Ranganathan, The Flavel Both nominated for awards at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, join Carl Donnelly and Romesh Ranganathan for a double bill. Carl is a rare and beautiful thing and Romesh is trying to make sense of the world but cannot make sense of his own house. Plus support from Tommy Rowson.

Time: 8pm Tickets £14

Thursday 6th March The Only Way is Downton, The Flavel

Luke Kempner will perform his parody show ‘The Only 48

February/March 2014

Tiernan Douieb

Way is Downton’, which will follow the crisis of why the salt and pepper cruets were not straight at the dinner table. As celebrities start appearing at the Abbey, cultures and eras will hilariously clash and collide.

Time: 8pm Tickets £12 Friday 7th March

Carly Smallman – Curry and Comedy at Royal Castle Hotel Carly Smallman sings funny songs. Her unique blend of outrageous impropriety and adorable sincerity has established her as a firm favourite on the comedy circuit. Book your curry early at 7pm or later at 9pm.

Carly Smallman

Time: 8pm Tickets £18 Slightly Fat Features, The Flavel

You are invited to fasten your seatbelts during this riotous comedy cabaret troupe, part Monty Python, and part Cirque du Soleil. You’ll witness astonishing physical skills, tiger taming, bullet catching, and knife throwing and motorbike madness. This is billed as an edge of your seat experience like no other.

Time: 7.30pm Tickets: Adults £12 Under 18s £10 Saturday 8th March Everything You’ve Ever Needed to Know Ever, The Flavel

Do you know everything? Tiernan Douieb knows why you can’t run with scissors but hairdressers can wave them in your face and how the bubbles in fizzy drinks are put there. This is a very silly comedy for kids, adults, robots and things that go ‘yargle’.

Time: 2pm Tickets £5


What’s On Sean Hughes – Penguins, The Flavel

Patrick Monahan

Patrick Monahan – Cake Charmer, The Flavel

New stand-up show from this loveable Teessider who likes hugging and eating cake (not simultaneously!) and is renowned for his superb anecdotes, his unique charm and his unmistakable brand of humour.

Time: 7.30pm Tickets £12 Slightly Fat Features


Sean takes us back to his Dublin upbringing and the utter awkwardness of teenage life, weaving in family, school days, friendships and tying it all in to the present. It’s brilliant and multi-layered but what does it have to do with Penguins? Buy a ticket and all will be revealed…

Time: 9pm Tickets £16

Sean Hughes

The Flavel Arts Ce Flavel Pla ntre, ce, Dartmout h TQ6 01803 839 9ND 5 theflavel.o 30 rg.uk

February/March 2014


Treading the boards Babbacombe Theatre Box Office 01803 328385 Editor’s pick A COMEDY & VARIETY NIGHT 21 February only

Also worth seeing… Cinderella 19 – 22 February

A fundraising evening in aid of Torbay Holiday Helpers Network, this event will be hosted by award winning London-based comedy duo, Revan and Fennell. It will feature some superb acts, such as Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, Phil Blackmore, The Three Half Pints, a fantastic slapstick troupe and Stu Turner who blends comedy and magic with absolute nonsense. Also appearing will be Tamar Broadbent, a tour de force of pure talent, 5 star actress, singer, writer, composer and comedienne.

Also worth seeing… Ultimate Elton & the Rocket Band 8 March only

Palace Theatre Paignton Box Office 01803 665800 Editor’s pick IRA LEVIN’S DEATHTRAP 19 – 22 February Brixham Theatre Box Office 01803 882717 Editor’s pick GIGSPANNER 7 March only Peter Knight’s Gigspanner take their influences from all parts of the world, from France to Africa via the United States and the UK. With his success playing fiddle with Steeleye Span, Peter Knight has a deserved reputation as one of folk music’s finest exponents of the violin but at times he seemed to defy what is possible, mesmerising audiences. 50

February/March 2014

Ira Levin’s Death Trap , presented by Bijou Theatre Productions, is a mystery play which promises to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. It holds the record for the longest running comedy-thriller on Broadway.

Little Theatre Torquay Box Office 01803 299330 Editor’s pick TOUCH AND GO (A TOADS’ season play) 15 – 22 March (No Sunday performance) Having been encouraged to take up jogging by his wife Hilary, Brian sees his girl-friend, Wendy, in his friend George’s flat when he is ostensibly running around the park. However, while Brian is visiting Wendy, helpful George knows that his own affair will not be discovered as the object of his affection is Brian’s wife Hilary! It’s all plain sailing until George’s wife Jessica returns too soon englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Dance Like Strictly from a business trip to America…

Also worth seeing… Alice 19 – 22 February

Princess Theatre Torquay Box Office 0844 8713023 Editor’s pick LET IT BE 10-15 March The ultimate treat for Beatles fans, this international hit show celebrating the legacy of the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, comes direct from the West End. Relive The Beatles’ meteoric rise from their humble beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, through the heights of Beatlemania, to their later studio masterpieces, with live performances of early tracks including Twist and Shout, She Loves You and Drive My Car, as well as global mega-hits Yesterday, Hey Jude, Come Together and, of course, Let It Be.

Following the end of the Strictly season, when Abbey and Aljaz amazed us and Natalie and Artem delighted us, we now have the glamour of the dance coming right here to the English Riviera! Brendan Cole: Licence to Thrill 6 March

Brendan Cole is bringing his brand new show, Licence to Thrill to Torquay. Brendan, one of Strictly Come Dancing’s most charismatic choreographers and performers, along with his cast of 20 musicians and dancers, will treat you to an evening of Ballroom magic and Latin excitement in this live dance extravaganza. With music from across the ages, there will be something for everyone in this exciting production. Tickets £25 - £35

Princess Theatre, Torquay Box Office 0844 8713023

Also worth seeing… Thriller Live 17-22 February Ed Byrne - Roaring Forties 7 March Alison Moyet 31 March only


English Riviera International Dance Festival, Torquay 30 May – 6 June How about a week of non-stop dancing? The English Riviera International Dance Festival is a glittering annual dance extravaganza open to everyone with an interest in dancing. So whether you want to join in with social and leisure dancing, learn and improve your dancing prowess, watch champions in cabaret or enter the competitions, there will be something for you. Based at the Victoria Hotel in Torquay with its magnificent ballroom the week’s programme includes: Great music for dancing and listening, watching world class dancers in cabaret, ‘Learn & Improve’ dance sessions in a fun and friendly atmosphere, complimentary masterclasses, general dancing & social teach-ins, evening social dancing and gala dance evenings.

01803 400500 tlh.co.uk/english-riviera-dance-festival englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

February/March 2014


Fish Town

The fishing industry in Brixham is flourishing as Jane Fitzgerald discovers one early winter’s morning



here. The lots landed from Brixham’s beam trawlers are sold t’s 5.55 am on a Tuesday and I am parking rather off one by one. It is hard to know who has bought what as hurriedly above the harbour in Brixham. I fling myself the bids are barely discernible. downhill in the inky darkness past sleeping terraces The buyers cut a dash in white coats and Wellington towards a shimmering glass beacon of the new Fish Market boots, topped off by every-which-way hats from bowler building. At six on the dot I see a crocodile of visitors to inverted baseball cap. This is climbing the glass tower. I reach the Individual merchants can big business and a lot of money lobby where I am white coated and is changing hands. Individual blue booted just in time to tag onto spend as much as merchants can spend as much as the end of the line as it approaches the £250,000 a day £250,000 a day. Around 12,000 auction floor. tons of fish comes through this market in a year and it turns I have signed up for a tour of the Fish Market led by over some £25.5 million. Yet beneath the serious business Brixham Trawler Agents Managing Director, Rick Smith. of achieving the keenest price for the finest fish lies a strong The floor spangles with ice-filled boxes laden with the day’s sense of camaraderie. The fishing community in Brixham catch. Every sprat, dab and plaice has been meticulously sticks together and merchants who have gone head to head graded and labelled with name of boat and area of catch. over a particular lot will probably be seen eating breakfast Buyers circle the auctioneer, their heads lowered in together in Tides Café a couple of hours later. concentration. This is a verbal auction. No electronic bids

Rick holds up a plump lemon sole to show us what a the Southwest Peninsula,” Rick tells us, “and because it is fresh fish looks like “it should smell of the sea, not fishy,” a multi species fishery it’s difficult to make a net to target he says. “The flesh should be firm and shiny, the blood all the species. Dover Sole for example are very slippery bright red, and the eyes, bright clear and convex.” Rick fish and tend to get through the net.” should know – he spent 35 years as a fisherman before I notice a small crowd has gathered around an working with land-based Brixham Trawler enormous fish that must be 15ft from nose Agents. to tail. It’s a Common Thresher Shark, an Around 50 day boats and 20 beam endangered species and the largest of the trawlers currently fish out of Brixham. three Thresher Sharks. It was landed as This is significantly less than it was bycatch. This is a rare occurence as Rick in the nineties when fish stocks were explains: “It was dead in the nets, or it dangerously depleted. “We now have a would have been put back in the sea. It viable fleet,” says Rick, “and fish numbers was in with 10 tons of sprats,” The beast is are increasing astonishingly. It’s a good duly auctioned and the shark meat sold on news story, but not without a lot of effort the slab of a local fishmonger. This proved from the fishermen”. a controversial issue. Conservationists Brixham has the reputation of being protested that shark meat shouldn’t be sold Rick Smith one of the most sustainable fishing ports because of its vulnerable status. However it isn’t in the country, with boats using specially adapted nets illegal to accidentally catch the Common Thresher Shark to eliminate bycatch and save fuel consumption where in UK waters, and those landed dead can be brought to possible. Sixty percent of the fish landed in Brixham is land as “permissible catch”. non-quota. “Over forty species of fish are caught around We move through to a hall where the fish landed from


February/March 2014


the day boats is auctioned. Stefan, a Brixham fishmonger shows me his purchases: “I bought a pick and mix of red mullet, brill, mackerel and plaice,” he says. “For me day boat fish is better - it looks better on the counter. I’ll be buying squid too which is starting to come in now, and the price is good. For me Brixham is the best place in the world, and the fish I sell can’t get any fresher.” Stefan isn’t the only trader with his eye on fish from the day boats. Demand for it is growing and it’s easy to see why - the boat only goes out for one day, the fish are carefully caught and handled and landed on the Quay by the same evening. Typically a day boat will set out at 4 or 5am with one or two crew on board. They may go out to Lyme Bay or Start Point; certainly no further than Portland Bill. It’s a tough job – particularly at this time of year when rough weather can prevent the fishermen from going out at all for days on end. The larger beam trawlers on the other hand head for fishing grounds further afield in most weathers and are away for five or six days at a time. Inky fish such as cuttlefish and squid is kept separately from the rest, to prevent the ink from contaminating


the pristine white fish. I learn most of the inky fish is for export. An astonishing 60 percent of all the fish landed at Brixham is exported - mainly to Europe. The British are yet to develop a taste for Spider Crab, cuttlefish and even squid. “There’s a big market for cuttlefish and squid in Japan, and for whelks in Korea,” says Rick, “and Dover sole is the most valuable of our exports.” As we step outside to watch trawler The Constant Friend being loaded with ice from the new ice plant, the sun is rising over the sea. It is perfectly calm and the brightly painted boats gleam in the half-light and the sky is smudged purple and orange. Inland lights twinkle as the town wakes up, and by the time the children catch the school bus, traders, auctioneers and administrators will be cradling warm mugs of tea, already half way through their day. As I leave the market I see huge lorries standing ready to take the fish on the next stage of their journey.o To find out about Brixham Fish Market Tours contact Christine Hodgetts 07410 617931 or email bfmt2014@gmail.com

February/March 2014


Ploughmans’ favourite

The Ploughman’s favourite this month is the new Pappa Wills gourmet pizza, nicely spicy, accompanied by a fine pint of Doombar of course. Open seven days a week Delicious menu: gourmet pizzas, traditional favourites, local seafood and lunchtime lights Join our VIPs – Very Important Ploughmen! For special offers, treats and news* Booking now for Valentines Day and for Mothering Sunday on 30 March. Call today to book or find out more. *TQ residents only


Weary Ploughman

Inn wearyploughman.co.uk 01803 844702

Dartmouth Road Churston Ferrers Nr Brixham TQ5 0LL


% 0 5 FF





(Normal price £17.95)

et view the Menu online at m r * crabquayhouse.co.uk u u Complete the form below go en m and bring it with you Name: Email:

01803 858120


BRIXHAM FISH MARKET BRIXHAM TQ5 8AJ booking highly recommended!


February/March 2014

*Terms and Conditions of offer: Not available Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday Lunch. Offer is valid from 2nd January to 28th February 2014. One voucher is required per table, with details form filled out. Tables over 12 must pre-order


Food&Drink... Grilled Seabass With Coconut Oil, Chilli, Braised Fennel & Curly Kale with Sliced Scallop & a St Clements Sauce Kieran Ottaway Kitchen Development Chef Berry Head Hotel

Serves 1 Ingredients Sea Bass 1 Sea Bass fillet St Clements Sauce 1 tsp Coconut Oil 1 Shallot 1 tsp Chilli Oil 2 Lemons & 2 Oranges Salt & Pepper to taste 1 tsp Sugar Fennel 1/2 Tomato 1 Fennel 20g Parsley 1 Shallot 1 Scallop 20g Butter Parsnip Puree 200ml Water 1 Parsnip 1 tsp Fish Stock 100 ml Coconut Milk 30g Curly Kale Method Sea Bass: Lay on a slightly greased tray. Drizzle with chilli & coconut oil. Season with salt & pepper. Place under hot grill until skin is crisp & set aside to rest. Season with sea salt & cracked pepper.

Food Find of the Month! Spring is almost upon us and memories of Christmas feasting are fading fast along with all those resolutions, so when passing the Naughty But Nice Patisserie in Wellswood I felt absolutely no guilt in dropping in to choose from a fantastic selection of homemade pastries and cakes from French pastry chef Philippe Moutiere. I’d passed by several times before but avoided temptation but alas the heavenly aromas were too much this time. I plumped for a firm favourite of mine, a peach frangipane tart. Baked freshly that morning it was still warm and the challenge was to get home home and get coffee on before it englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Fennel: In a hot pan add a knob of butter, one sliced fennel & a shallot. Toss in butter, add water, fish stock and cook until fennel is soft. Add curly kale to finish. Cover whilst resting to finish sauce. Parsnip Puree: Boil parsnips until soft, drain well. Blend with a little coconut milk and season to taste. St Clements Sauce: In a small pan add half a finely sliced shallot. Add a teaspoon of butter. SautĂŠ off the shallots until translucent. Add the juice from lemons & oranges. Reduce by half with a little sugar. Finish with diced tomato, chopped parsley & thinly sliced scallop. To Serve Drain both the kale and fennel and place on centre of plate. Place bass fillet on top. Remove scallops from sauce. Apply sauce around plate.o

had time to fully cool. Boy was it good! Plumptious peaches - not too sweet, frangipane as almondy as the most almondy of things and golden pastry with just the right amount of crunch and absolutely no sign of a soggy bottom! Roll on more wet winter mornings where I need a good cheering up! o

February/March 2014


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Complete the order form and post it to: English Riviera Magazine 69 Davies Avenue Paignton TQ4 7AW

Please make cheques payable to Devon Magazine Company Ltd englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Celebration of New Team Rector

The Reverend Ian Blyde was licensed and instituted as Team Rector of the Brixham Mission Community at a packed service at St Mary the Virgin Church, Churston Ferrers. The Bishop of Crediton, the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel conducted the institution and the Archdeacon of Totnes, the Venerable John Rawlings led the induction. Also in attendance for the celebration of this Crown Appointment was the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Robin Barlow. Following the service, a reception was held at Churston Grammar School.

Cllr Julien Parrott (Chairman Torbay Council) and Sue Powell (Consort)

Jean Tregaskes (Electoral Roll OfďŹ cer), Ken Davies (Churchwarden), Joan Davies, Graham and Brenda Eyre.

Helen Harman & Kim Thornton (Outset Torbay) Sian Rees (TDA)

Rowland Thomas (Organist), Marilyn Thomas, Graham Carter (Chorister), Wendy Emlyn (Reader), Jayne Carter (Chorister) and Bridget Cusacks (Churchwarden)

Robin Barlow (Dep.Lord Lieutenant of Devon) and Rev. Ian Blyde

Margaret Morris, Joan Davies, Joy Jaco, Betty Bowser, Sandie Hempton, Justine Garvey, Gay Brook

Robert Brook (Churchwarden) and Derek Mills

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Lesley Roberts, Shirley Thompson, Rev. Ian Blyde, Alison Crozier (Churchwarden), Christine Carroll (Churchwarden), David Roberts (Churchwarden)

February/March 2014


Hollywood Style Murder A glamorous evening of fine dining and murder mystery took place at the Weary Ploughman in Churston with the scene set by Candlelight Theatre Company.

David Layfield and Christine Evenden

Graham Parsons, Patricia Parsons, Simon Parsons, and Rachel Hornby

Val and Steve Finch

Special guests Betty, Mike and Penny


February/March 2014

David Woodall, Julie Shears, Bethan Shears, Anna Greenslade, Jackie Forbes and David Forbes

Diana Case and Ian Cullen

Michael and Helen Snowdon (Weary Ploughman), Victoria and Andy Thomas

Jodie Lowe and Claire Giffard (Weary Ploughman)


Farewell to Dominic Acland

Social Diary

Trustees, colleagues and friends gathered at Occombe Farm to bid farewell to Dominic Acland who has left Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust after 13 years as Director of the successful local conservation charity. Dominic, who helped to set up the charitable trust, will be succeeded by Damian Offer.

Anita Newcombe and Dominic Acland.

Damian Offer (incoming Director TCCT) and Nigel Wollen (Trustee)

Justin Cox (Farm & Estate Manager TCCT), Tim Key (Trustee), and Richard Hussey (Trustee)

Dominic Acland, Trustees & Friends


Alex Scholefield (TCCT), and Lydia Stone (English Riviera Tourism Company)

Peter Cliff (Trustee) and Tina Crowson (Trustee)

Peter Redstone (Trustee) and John Stocks (Trustee)

February/March 2014


TDA Workhubs Pre-launch Torbay Development Agency celebrated the pre-launch of their ‘Works’ spaces for Torbay at the Harbour Works, Torquay and Brixham Sea Works.

Adrian Sheen (TDA), Lucie Rose – (Wollen Michelmore), Hugh Doxat-Pratt (Alpha Financial Consultants)

Emily Gomez (Bay Bouncers), Cathy Runham (Accadendo), Janet Holmes (Torbay Wills & Probate)

Helen Harman & Kim Thornton (Outset Torbay) Sian Rees (TDA)

Glen Marlow and Chris Lever (ITTQ)

Michelle Liscombe & Kim Hodder (Astra Zeneca), Adrian Sheen & Helen Pope (TDA)

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editorial@englishrivieramagazine. co.uk if you are hosting an event you would like us to include.


February/March 2014


Torbay Business Forum

Business Diary

Torbay Business Forum held a well attended meeting at Torquay’s Grand Hotel which heard Mayor Gordon Oliver’s ideas for a Bay-wide Business Improvement District (BID). However, the proposal did not receive support from members.

Clive Meredith (Wollen Michelmore), Alan Denby (TDA) and Simon Wilson (Wollen Michelmore)

Rob Newman (Torbay Business Forum), Gordon Oliver (Mayor of Torbay) and Matthew Clarke (The Torbay Bookshop)

Jim Parker (Herald Express), Barry Buxton (Chairman Torbay Town Centres Company), Paul Howard (Torbay Town Centres Company) and Matthew Dyer (Paignton BID Manager)

Caroline Yearsley (Original Concepts) and Gill Evans (Pluss)

High Profile Boost for RICC

Torquay’s Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC) has secured the return of the UK Independence Party’s National Spring Conference.

About 1000 delegates are expected to attend the 2-day meeting, taking place from 28th February – 1st March 2014. The high profile event has returned after very favourable comments about the venue from the conference organisers. Steve Crowther, Chairman of UKIP and organiser of the 2014 Spring Conference said: “Following the close of our last conference at the RICC, we received a large number of compliments about how good the venue was and how polite and cheerful the staff were. The service we received during the planning and staging of our conference was superb with excellent feedback on the standard of catering. There was particular englishrivieramagazine.co.uk




praise for the gala dinner. We therefore had no hesitation in considering the RICC once again and very much look forward to working with the team again”. Julien Parrott, Chairman of Torbay Council and UKIP Councillor, said: “We are always thrilled to welcome large, high profile events such as this and in particular the return of this one. The obvious benefits, including the expected media attention, are invaluable to the RICC and the Bay. There is also no better endorsement for a job well done than the return of a conference”. The conference highlight will be a public meeting with Party Leader Nigel Farage on Saturday 1st March.o February/March 2014


Hidden Hi-Tech

Assembling the light fantastic Julian Rees visits photonics manufacturer Gooch & Housego in Torquay to find out about the company’s growth and why the Bay has a history in fibre optic technology.


photon checks into a hotel, the concierge asks “May I take your bags?” the photon replies “I don’t have any, I’m travelling light”. That, as far as I can ascertain, is the only photonics joke that exists but may help a little in explaining what Torquay-based hi-tech manufacturers Gooch and Housego actually do. The first thing I asked Graham Catley, General Manager, at the Torquay factory was ‘What is photonics?’ The reply came easily, as one might expect from someone whose work time is spent dabbling in a modern day black art, “It’s like electronics but with light.” Gooch and Housego have their head office in Illminster, Somerset and have other facilities in the UK, United States and Asia. The Torquay factory was bought by them in

2007 as a growing business that was born of a management buyout of Sifam’s fibre optic research division after the global telecommunications crash in 2001. Until that point they had been a supplier of fibre optic amplifiers and repeaters to Nortel. The small company, employing just 32 people in 2002 instated an ambitious 5 year plan and by 2007 employed 80 people with an annual turnover of £5m. The company continues to grow steadily under Gooch and Housego’s ownership with their annual turnover doubling to £10m with a staff of 110 including engineer Andy Rider who first established the fibre optics research and development department at Sifam in 1985. The principal products made in Torquay are fibre optic

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BusinessBreaks... Torquay’s Elmdene Hotel Third Best in UK

components and modules such as amplifiers and repeaters which enable an uninterrupted, therefore extremely fast, data stream to be carried over huge distances. Chances are if you’re viewing a website that is hosted in the United States or calling a friend in New York the data is travelling across the Atlantic via a cable containing equipment made in Torquay! Due to the relatively low cost of optical fibre compared to traditional copper cabling, applications that involve long distances such as oil pipelines and railway lines are increasingly monitored by photonic systems that can detect the most minute deviations allowing remote monitoring of structures that were previously only inspected by people working in harsh conditions and remote locations. Other applications containing Gooch and Housego’s products can be found in the aerospace and defence industries, biomedical and life sciences and industrial research. The company supplies critical components to a research facility in the US that has built the world’s largest laser to conduct research into power generation through the use of laser fusion, a potentially limitless, clean energy for the future. Anyone who’s lived in the Bay for a few years will be aware of Nortel, and probably wasn’t more than ‘3 steps’ away from someone who worked there back in the late nineties when it employed 6000 people. As Torbay’s biggest ever single employer its demise was felt deeply. Many highly skilled engineers and operatives either sought reemployment further afield in Exeter or Plymouth or simply changed trades. Now as Gooch and Housego’s operations expand, they are able to employ local people who’ve been harbouring the necessary skills whilst in alternative employment and as Graham points out, this hi-tech niche is growing around the people of the Bay and utilising the resources that are already within the community. Graham sees a solid future for the Torquay business. The workforce is positive and staff retention is 100%, with the company investing in the site to increase productivity and allow scope for more projects.o englishrivieramagazine.co.uk

Torquay is once again top of the pops in the latest TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards. The Elmdene Hotel has been placed third in the UK, tenth in Europe and 22nd in the world within the Best Small Hotels category. Devon overall is revealed as the UK’s biggest winning county after Greater London, with eleven hotels securing awards across five of the seven categories in this year’s awards – more than New York and Rome combined. The county’s victories include the top three best romantic hotels in the UK with The Old Rectory Hotel, Martinhoe, The Elmdene, Torquay and Shelley’s in Lynmouth taking first, second and third place respectively.

Carol and Andy Gibbs, owners of The Elmdene said, “We are absolutely delighted not only for ourselves but for everyone in the Bay. We believe that standards are very high in Torquay and we are constantly striving to ensure our guests to have the best possible experience.” Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive of the English Riviera Tourism Company and Chair of Visit Devon said, “I am thrilled - but not entirely surprised - to find that Devon hotels have outperformed New York and Rome in the latest TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. Devon hotels offer outstanding quality service - and value for money and I am absolutely delighted to see smaller operators like Carol and Andy at The Elmdene hotel in Torquay make it into the top 10 Small Hotels in the UK. This is fantastic publicity for Torquay and the English Riviera.’’ Now in their 12th year, the awards honour the world’s most outstanding properties in the categories of Top Hotels, Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Family, Luxury, Romance, and Small Hotels. Travellers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the reviews and opinions of millions of TripAdvisor travellers around the globe.o February/March 2014


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

The Contemplative Effect Of The Sea I sit at my desk for a quick lunch break after a busy In broadly accepting all but 9 of the 290 morning drafting court proceedings in a claim against recommendations in the Francis Report after the a hospital where a man contracted life threatening Public Inquiry into the scandal the government renecrotising faciitis and taking instructions from an affirms its commitment to the values of the NHS and elderly and confused lady prescribed inappropriate to put patients first. But there is clearly much work to medication by her GP. be done. Is it too much to hope that fundamental good The boats are bobbing as I look out at the sea order and calm will be established in the NHS in a way shimmering in the sun across the harbour and the that would have made Florence Nightingale proud? bay beyond in what must be the best view from an Much is known about the famous nurse and social office window anywhere! And after a morning spent reformer who lived for 90 years and who worked so dealing with some of the difficult personal issues tirelessly for the good of others but I am intrigued to often involved in cases of medical negligence what a discover a bit of trivia; some lesser known fact about restorative effect the water her. A quick search on my As I gaze into the has on this calm day; and computer and here it is! Did you distance I find myself yet what very different know that (when not tending the emotions it can stir up in a contemplating a storm of sick) she is said to have kept a pet storm. owl in her pocket? a rather different kind As I gaze into the distance Lunch over I am now off to I find myself contemplating court for an application for an a storm of a rather different kind; one that has been interim payment of damages in a case involving a man raging for some considerable time and is relevant to whose leg was amputated after he contracted MRSA my work as a medical negligence solicitor. at hospital. I take a last glance out of the window as Florence Nightingale wrote in 1859 in ‘Notes on I leave. The boats are still bobbing and the sea is still Nursing’, ‘the very first requirement in a hospital shimmering. The sun is still shining on the English is that it should do the sick no harm.’ Over 150 Riviera! years after those words were written it is difficult to If you have any queries arising from this article understand how, with annual resources on a scale that contact me by telephone 01803 213251 or by email: would have been inconceivable in Nightingale’s day, amanda.harvey@wollenmichelmore.co.uk the standard of care being given to some NHS patients is under a very bright spotlight in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal. Of course no one is advocating a return to the conditions which Florence Nightingale and the soldiers Amanda Harvey she nursed night after night had to endure in the Medical Negligence 1800’s, but for all the astonishing developments in Solicitor medicine, science and technology over the last 160 years it sometimes seems as if the good sense and @wmlegal principles about which she wrote at great length have Wollenmichelmore been somehow lost along the way.

Wollen Michelmore SOLICITORS TORQUAY 01803 213251

NEWTON ABBOT 01626 332266

Regional Law Firm of the year South West

PAIGNTON 01803 521692

DARTMOUTH 01803 832191

www.wollenmichelmore.co.uk This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (No.563758)


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February/March 2014

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