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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 247 / JULY 2019/ £3











ABOVE: Days out with the kids, page 29 BELOW: Ed’s Choice, page 26


t’s taken its sweet time, but summer is officially here. Sure, as we write this, raindrops are still bouncing off Exeter’s barbecues, and we’re all making sneaky trips to the boiler to put the heating back on for a bit, but let’s remind ourselves why we love this time of year regardless. It’s the heady joy of realising you can slip off your jacket in a pub garden without freezing to death. The clank of ice cubes dropping into all your drinks. The breeze between your toes when you dangle your bare feet off a harbour wall. Althea & Donna’s Uptown Top Ranking oozing from an open car window. Not to mention Devon ice cream, evening strolls, flip flops, and happy fellow humans everywhere you look. And then, of course, there’s all the fun, organised events to be enjoyed over summer in this exciting and friendly corner of the South West – you’ll discover our pick of the best throughout the pages of this here July issue. We’ve got previews of two fun-packed local festivals, ideas for family days out over the school holidays and loads more. Stay cool, Exeter. It’s a much better look than sweaty and sunburnt.

ANNA BRITTEN Follow us on Twitter @ExeterLiving I EXETER LIVING I 3

Issue 247/July 2019 Cover Wonder Fields festival


6 Spotlight Goings-on in and around the city 9 jP hedge The story behind those new city signs 11 my desk Designer Amy McGill

the arts

13 INTRO Artist Nicky Hirst at Exeter Phoenix 14 WHAT’S ON We’ll tell you where to go this month 18 LITTLE WONDER The local festival that’s to the

manor born

comes the first ever Exeter Fringe Festival!



23 intro We’ve found your new summer top 26 editor’s choice Toys, clothes and other treats

for your little cherubs – all from local indie traders


cover feature

29 DOING IT FOR THE KIDS The school holidays

are coming – here’s something to get you through

food & DRINK

39 food & drink news We’ve got some tasty

tidings for you


41 business insights Muse and Mansons, Skin

Angels, Burrington Estates, Co-Cars and much more

45 the way i see it How to hire the right person 46 meet the winners... in our Creative and

Education categories

49 THE GENERATION GAME We chat to some of

the city’s most interesting family-run companies

Property © MATT AUSTIN


20 FRINGE BINGE Who needs Edinburgh? Here

81 showcase The St Leonards pile that’s begging to

be de-converted...


90 Exeter lives Exeter Fringe’s Elaine Faulkner

Editor Anna Britten Managing Editor Deri Robins Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Editor’s Photo Emma Solley Contributors JP Hedge, Roxanne Duris, Kitty Kane Advertising manager Paul Wiltshire paul. Account manager Paula Miller Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston sarah.kingston@mediaclash. Deputy production manager/production designer Kirstie Howe Chief Executive Jane Ingham Chief Executive Greg Ingham Exeter Living MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Salisbury. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs (, @CrumbsMag). Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact: I exeter living I 5

Kate Salmon at TedxExeter 2019

Everybody’s talking about…

TEDX EXETER TALKS GO LIVE Talks from this year’s TEDxExeter, the South West’s leading ideas festival, have been launched for online viewing through their website and YouTube. The eighth TEDxExeter took place in April at the Northcott Theatre and was livestreamed around the world. Under the banner ‘Art of the Possible’, speakers tackled subjects from disability, fancy dress and artificial intelligence, to street harassment, FGM and the need for civility at work. Says Claire Kennedy, curator and licensee of TEDxExeter: “Over the last few weeks our team of volunteers has been working hard to get the talks ready to launch online. This involves a great deal of behind-the-scenes work, including transcribing the talks ready for translation into a wide range of languages, and we are delighted that the talks have now been launched on our brand new website.” The talks are already racking up tens of thousands of views. For more:



The Royal Marines Commando Training Centre, Lympstone recently hosted this year’s Rehabilitation Triathlon, in which 120 injured service men and women competed. The Rehab Tri involves Royal Navy, Army and RAF armed forces personnel, regardless of where they are in their recoveries, and this year included Northern Ireland, Balkans, Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from across the UK, as well as Royal Marines recruits and cohorts from the US Marine Corps and the Royal Netherlands Marines Corps. Some had lost limbs, others were suffering from PTSD, and for the majority taking part, the swimming, cycling and static rowing challenge played a significant part in their arduous roads to recovery. The principal supporter of the event is the RMA – The Royal Marines Charity, which provides integral support to veterans and relies on donations and fundraising. For more:

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Residents of Exeter and the surrounding area have been honoured in HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year for their efforts to improve the social mobility of those from underprivileged backgrounds. Professor Tamsin Jane Ford (Tamsin Cromwell), pictured, from Exeter, becomes Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to psychiatry; Jennifer Mary Stephens from Exeter becomes a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to social care; and Terence Arthur Knights from Exmouth receives a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for voluntary service to Young People and the community of Exmouth. In addition, three local volunteer groups – Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services, Honiton Dementia Action Alliance and Exeter Red Coat Guides – will receive the Royal seal of approval and will be awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.


Custom House


THE WRITE STUFF A major new arts event at Custom House this summer aims to inject life into Exeter’s literary landscape while giving fresh purpose to one of Exeter’s most important, Grade I-listed buildings. Quay Words was launched on National Writing Day, 26 June. The six-week pilot programme of words and stories runs until 3 August, and is programmed by Literature Works on behalf of the Exeter Canal & Quay Trust. Emmy Award-winning writer Patrick Gale, leading contemporary novelist Amanda Craig and Raymond Antrobus, winner of the Ted Hughes award, all appear as part of a diverse programme of free events, workshops, writing surgeries and readings, featuring both local talent, national stars and publishing industry specialists, and designed “to include everyone of all ages and from all walks of life in engaging with literature.” Writer-in-residence, Louisa Adjoa Parker, will be on hand weekly for residents to pop in and discuss writing. Says Alan Williamson, Chair of Exeter Canal & Quay Trust: “We are setting out on a journey to explore the potential of the Custom House as a new centre for literature in the South West. We aim to keep it popular and flexible, with something for everyone including families, children and schools. The building has a rich heritage connecting Exeter to international trade and partnership which we intend to build on through literature, words and other creative activities.” For more:



Conservators at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) have uncovered an exquisite watercolour by the Devonian artist Albert Moulton Foweraker (1873-1942). The exciting discovery was made during the conservation of paintings for the exhibition A Sense of Place and was found hidden beneath another of Foweraker’s paintings, Palma, Majorca. Says RAMM’s Michele Green: “It is thrilling to be the first to set eyes on this painting for 100 years. The painting is exquisite. It has all the characteristics of Foweraker’s Impressionistic style and demonstrates his skill in depicting the effects of light upon the landscape. The foreground is dominated by a cluster of rocks set against a wooded hillside. In the distance the eye is drawn to a craggy hillside illuminated and seemingly ablaze with the orange glow of the sun’s light.” Foweraker was educated at Exeter Cathedral School, then Christ’s College Cambridge. He worked both as an engineer and journalist in Exeter before taking up art professionally and being admitted to the Royal Society of British Artists. He then became an art teacher in St Ives and exhibited regularly in London and regional galleries. For more:

The newly discovered Foweraker work, left, with the painting it was found beneath Palma, Majorca I exeter living I 7


Signs of life JP shares the story behind Exeter’s eye-catching new welcome signs


ylwyn Bowen is becoming one of my favourite people in Exeter, and I’ve yet to meet him in person. Very much like the story around Exeter Live Better, he falls into best-kept secret territory. It was a year ago now that colleagues at Exeter City Council and myself started work on trying to improve the signs around the city. The first job was trying to establish the current state of play. I’ll forever be grateful for one member of staff who, with mobile phone in hand, was prepared to visit every sign you can think of to try and assess what was what.

“I’ve had people ask where they all are, so they can go and visit them and collect the set”

I’ll be the first to admit there were some awful ones. There was a wooden one on the outskirts of Ludwell Valley Park that looked like Woody Woodpecker had enjoyed an all-you-can-eat buffet. Others had been shot by airguns, vandalised, crashed into, and some removed completely. At the same time, we finalised work around Exeter Live Better. Exeter is really rather good, amazing in fact, at doing a huge range of things. The bit we aren’t great at is celebrating that success. The ambition of ‘living better’, and improving life for everyone, is a golden thread running through this city – just about everyone is trying to achieve it in one way or another. So we launched this brand, owned by the city, its people and its residents, in order to do more through celebrating success together. We could have put up more signs simply saying ‘Exeter City Council’. I’m very grateful I’ve been given the remit to be braver. More than 20 signs have now been set up at the entrances of the city. We loved the work that Aylwyn had done with InExeter in the city centre, across the bridge above Exeter Central and also opposite Exeter Library. All kinds of brilliant things about the city have been drawn, from the work around climate change, the beauty of the

Quay, our amazing education institutions, through to the success of our sporting clubs. I think he has such a gift – to be able to capture some of the spirit of this city and project that back in art form. With a heck of a lot of elbow grease, and a few niggles along the way, the signs have overwhelmingly been supported. I’ve had people ask where they all are, so they can go and visit them and collect the set. Others have asked us to make them available in prints so people can have them in their homes. It’s the start of a process for me – one where the city council continues to lead and reflect on the brilliant things we are doing. We have more work to do to try and sort out some of the rest of the signs – whether they been damaged by wear and tear or Mr Woodpecker himself. It’s a brilliant start for Exeter Live Better and its partners – including the amazing Aylwyn and his work. ■ Jon-Paul Hedge is a director at Exeter City Council where he currently looks after tourism, communications and culture. He is a former newspaper editor and lives in the city with his wife and two young children. I EXETER LIVING I 9


It’s important to have some green life in the your work environment to offset all the tech. These guys love the light in here

This pack of cards is called ‘Oblique Strategies’ and was created by Brian Eno to release musicians and producers from creative paralysis. I find that many of the nuggets of wisdom these offer can apply to design too


The pen comes from a Japanese shop called Loves Crazy Sh*t Wow. I’m drawn to its sheer weirdness

The breakfast of champions!


Bottle opener. I will treat myself to a beer when the working week is over, so Friday night is its time to shine!

A fantastic book to delve into when I need a bit of design inspiration

As a musician, it feels natural to have a few instruments dotted around the office, and this folding guitar is one ingenious piece of design

I’m a big tea addict, so only a pint of it will do


my used to be in a punk band called Bull See Red. “I miss the adrenaline of playing live and the energy from the crowd at a good show,” she says. “I don’t miss the lack of sleep quite as much.” Nowadays, Amy is creative director at trendy Exeter design agency Studio Illicit, based in McCoys Arcade where, she admits, she is surrounded by temptation: “McCoys Arcade is incredibly vibrant and has some of the best indie businesses around. It’s also dangerous, I might add, as I could easily spend all my money on lattes (Sacred Grounds), craft beers (Hops & Crafts) and guitars (Mansons).” Despite the team working hard, the office vibe, Amy assures us is “very chilled – hopefully we have the balance about right. “We have ‘Burrito Friday’ where we get the best lunch from Taco Macho down the road. There are also ping pong championships going on right now, but I’m terrible at it so I always bail on this one.” ■

For more: I EXETER LIVING I 11


MAGIC WORDS Are you a logophile, a lover of words? Then the solo exhibition of new work by artist Nicky Hirst at Exeter Phoenix this summer is definitely going to be your jam (or vibe, groove, thing, predilection...) First, the London-based artist, who is represented by the esteemed Domo Baal gallery, takes one of 2019’s biggest buzzwords – ‘algorithms’ – and twists it into a number of poetic and curious anagrams (see above). These then inspire their own individual artworks. Much of Hirst’s work explores serendipity in surprising places. It’s clever, witty and elegant – and we can’t wait to see what she does with A Grim Sloth… Nicky Hirst: Algorithms… runs from Sat 13 July – Sun 8 Sept 2019 at Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter; Preview and artist’s talk: Sat 13 July, 3-5pm I EXETER LIVING I 13

What’s on

© Gordon Cl arke

28 June – 28 July

Find out more about the world’s nomadic people at RAMM this summer


HANNAH LUDNOW & NIGEL SHARMAN Works by two respected UK semiabstract landscape artists. Marine House at Beer;

Until 13 July

A COUNTRY WALK Landscapes inspired by East Devon (Debbie Lush) and East Sussex ( Linda Felcey). Hybrid Gallery, 51 High Street, Honiton;

13 July-6 October

NOMADS: HOMES ON THE MOVE Exhibition examining the lives of the estimated 30-40 million nomadic people in the world. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

14 July-8 September

NICKY HIRST: ALGORITHMS... See page 13. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

theatre, Comedy & Dance 5 July

PAMELA’S PALACE “Outstanding” (The Scotsman) interactive comedy show set in a hair salon, from the producers of Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter;

5-7 July

WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT Smash hit children’s show based on

14 I exeter living I

the picture book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter;

to having kids. Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter;

10-13 July

26 July-4 August

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR The Cygnet Company go on tour with their production of Shakespeare’s tale of marriage and trickery. Open air, so remember your chairs and picnic. Whyte House, Farringdon (10 July); Hillersdon House, Cullompton (11 July); Knackershole Barn, West Knowle (12 July); Undercliffe, Lympstone (13 July);

12 July

CARL HUTCHINSON: I KNOW I SHOULDN’T BEHAVE LIKE THIS The Geordie comedian takes on grown-up issues from buying a house

EXETER FRINGE FESTIVAL Lashings of excellent, small-scale theatre, music and more. See also feature, page 20 and Lives, page 90. Exeter Phoenix and Barnfield Theatre;

music & opera 30 June

SUNDAY SESSIONS: NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS/ THE CHARLATANS/REVEREND & THE MAKERS/THE BLINDERS/ THE LOFT CLUB The sensible Oasis brother brings his solo project (plus Wonderwall et al) to the city, with support from some

what’s on fellow Britpop survivors, and great local indie-pop outfit The Loft Club. Powderham Castle, Kenton;

1 July

JOAN AS POLICEWOMAN The genre-defying US musician plays solo with piano and guitar in support of mesmerising, recent, multi-disc career retrospective Anthology. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

5 July

DIVERTIMENTO PIANO TRIO Music by Mary Eade, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. St Margaret’s Church, Topsham;

5-7 July

above: Superstar author Jo Nesbø heads to town left: Make an appointment at Pamela’s Palace below: Give it up for Hot 8 Brass Band

EXETER FESTIVAL Brand new three-day event. Friday is devoted to outdoor cinema, live music is the flavour of Saturday (and stars platinum-selling indie popsters The Hoosiers, plus local party band Joey the Lips) and Sunday is all about family fun. Various venues including Northernhay Gardens;

6 July

THE DREAM OF GERONTIUS Exeter Symphony Orchestra, tenor Thomas Hobbs, mezzo soprano Madeleine Shaw and bass Tim Murfin perform Elgar’s epic masterpiece. Exeter Cathedral;

12-13 July

SKAFEST Two days of ska, with performances from Mexico City four-piece Los de Abajo (Fri) and King Hammond (Sat), plus DJs in the bar and on the terrace. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

12-14 July

WONDER FIELDS See page 18. Great Fulford, nr Dunsford;

13 July

EXETER FESTIVAL CHORUS The acclaimed local choir deliver Vivaldi’s Gloria in D and Mozart’s Mass In C Minor, two of the great masterworks in the choral

repertoire. Exeter Cathedral;

19-20 July

CHAGSTOCK 2019 Fab little local festival, headlined by Fun Lovin’ Criminals, with From The Jam, Mad Dog Mcrea, Devon folksters Velvet & Stone and more. Glamping available. Chagford;

20 July

TRADE ROOTS Wren Music take us on a musical journey across the sea, with songs, music, stories and images inspired by Bideford’s maritime history. Cygnet Theatre, Friars Gate, Exeter;

21 July

MUSHROOMHEAD Alternative metal band from Cleveland, Ohio known for their stunning live show. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

26 July

AMADEUS ORCHESTRA An evening of Russian classics from Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich, with prizewinning Russian pianist Mariya Kostenko and conductor Philip Mackenzie. Exeter Cathedral;

27 July

HOT 8 BRASS BAND Breathtakingly buoyant, rollicking brass band, straight from the streets of New Orleans. YouTube their cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart – you’ll like. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

other events 4, 19 & 26 July

EXETER STREET FOOD MARKET Experience street food at its best with locally sourced fresh produce served up in some of Exeter’s most beautiful locations. The Quay (4 July, 5-30-9pm), Piazza Terracina (19 July, 4.309.30pm), Southernhay Gardens (26 July, 11am -8pm);

4-6 July

EXETER CRAFT FESTIVAL Witness the talent of the South I exeter living I 15

WHAT’S ON West’s makers and artists. Cathedral Green;

6 July

DUNSFORD SHOW Quintessential English country summer fete, with bouncy castle, dog show, Pimms, classic cars and all the trimmings. 12noon-5pm. Dunsford;

6 July

EXETER CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL A day of quality sipping hosted jointly by Topsham Brewery and the Exeter Round Table Group. Exeter Quay; Facebook: exetercraftbeerfestival

6 July

MADE IT DEVON MAKERS MARKET 30 independent creatives sell their jewellery, art, clothing, cards, homewares, stationery and more. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

6 July

PLANET EARTH GAMES The world’s first environmentthemed, multi-sport event provides a unique Olympic and Paralympic-style experience for young people and their families. Flowerpot Playing Fields, Exeter;

LIBRARY LIFE EMILY MACAULAY shares the latest from Exeter Library Space Chase is the name of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge

It is almost that time of year again, when young people across the city take part in the Summer Reading Challenge – and we can’t wait! Last year, over 1,000 young people took part and this summer we hope even more will join in the fun as we enjoy some space-themed adventures. The Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge 2019 launches on Saturday 13 July and, from that date, your young readers can come along, sign up and start reading. They have to read six books over the school holidays (we encourage two at a time), collecting stickers and following a trail. Then, when they come back to us to finish, they will be awarded

with a Space Chasers medal and certificate as well as being entered into a prize draw. It’s not all about the bling though, and we also have a packed programme of summer events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and all things spacey... plus some events that aren’t very space-themed but are great fun, like Exmoor Zoo in the library! (Spaces for the zoo visit are limited, so please keep an eye out on social media and in the library for ticket details.) Whether your young readers have undertaken the Summer Reading Challenge before, or this is their first year, all are welcome. We hope to see you soon.


WANT MORE? Sign up now for the Exeter Living newsletter... Weekends: sure, sometimes all you want to do is the big shop, and some boxset bingeing. But, mostly, you yearn to get out and about: browse a flea market, maybe, catch a dazzling new exhibition, or hit a festival, for example. Come the tail-end of Friday, however, you’re often still without a plan. Guess what? Exeter Living can help! Sign up now to start receiving the popular Exeter Living Friday afternoon email newsletter, in which I suggest the best events and outings for the coming weekend – from theatre to gigs to family fun days and more – along with a property pick of the week, money-saving offers, and the week’s most amusing, locally-sourced tweets. (Fear not, we don’t share your data with third parties – ever.)

11 July

GILLIAN BURKE: SPRINGWATCH UNWRAPPED The Springwatch presenter answers audience members’ questions about life behind the scenes on one of the nation’s favourite wildlife shows. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

17 July

JEFF ROSE: OUR GREAT MIGRATION The archaeologist, official National Geographic Explorer and TV presenter explores ancient humans’ migration out of Africa and Arabia, as part of RAMM’s migration theme. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

Like the sound of it? Then jump on mediaclash. pronto and you’ll hear from us soon.

18 July

JO NESBØ The bestselling Norwegian thriller writer talks about, and signs copies of, his latest Harry Hole novel, Knife. Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter;

25 July

A GARDEN FOR THE BIRDS: AN EVENING WITH TOBY BUCKLAND The affable local gardening celebrity talks you through the dos and don’ts of making safe and healthy habitats for birds. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter; ■

LITTLE WONDER Boutique urban music festival Wonder Fields makes a welcome return to its manor

18 I exeter living I


“When your ears start ringing, you can take yourself off for a hip-hop workout or a sauna and hot tub”


onder Fields is the nearest ‘proper’ – ie grass stains, no sleep, beer in your hair – festival to Exeter. For that reason, when it was launched in 2015 we felt warm, tender – hell, even maternal – feelings towards it. These intensified when we learned that it was run by youthful brother and sister team, Alice and Nick de Haan. “In 2015 it was very much sound systems, hammocks and beer...” the siblings reminisce. “Now it seems to include so, so much more, which is great! The constant need for evolution and change is exciting, it keeps us on our toes and, as a team, gives us all great opportunity.” What advice would they give their younger selves? “Two words: patience and planning!” This year’s family-friendly gathering takes place once again on the magnificent Great Fulford estate and features Alice and Nick’s most impressive line-up of live music yet.

Topping the bill this year are UK hip-hop and dub-step outfit Foreign Beggars, ska royalty Neville Staple, UK jungle and drum and bass pioneer Kenny Ken, Russian-born DJ/producer DJ Vadim, and Bristol hip-hop heavyweights DJ Bunky & MC Joe Peng – aka Laid Blak. Exeter singer-songwriter Sadie Horler pops up too. What’s more, when your ears start ringing, you can take yourself off for a hip-hop workout, yoga on a paddleboard, a slip ’n’ slide, sauna and hot tub, or a spot of archery, among other LOL-stuffed activities. There’s a new venue planned from 2020. Will we still be able to claim Wonder Fields as one of our own, we wonder? “Unfortunately we can’t give too much away on this one. However, it is within 40 miles of the current site... how about that? Still local enough for all of the Devon contingent!” Wonder Fields takes place 12-14 July at Great Fulford, Dunsford;

Goodness gracious, Great Fulford... I exeter living I 19

clockwise from above: The Narwhal Ensemble; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Mamma G’s Story Time; PaddleBoat Theatre



FRINGE BINGE 100 performances over 10 days. Look out Edinburgh, the first ever Exeter Fringe Festival is here! Words by Anna Britten


ate-night cabaret, a one-man King Lear, virtual reality voyages, and a country and western musical about the BHS crisis… The fun of a fringe festival is you just don’t know what you’re going to stumble across next. This summer, say hello to the brand new Exeter Fringe Festival and its pick ’n’ mix of 100 fresh, exhilarating, funny, boundary-pushing performances running at Exeter Phoenix and Barnfield Theatre across 10 days. Whatever your favourite flavour of entertainment, we promise you’ll find something to devour. Love the classics? Get yourself some Shakespeare, in the shape of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Sun & Moon Theatre and King Lear from Oddbodies. Prefer contemporary pieces? The majority of the programme is made up of brand new plays tackling everything from politics and parenting to dating and mental health. Fan of futuristic fare? Well, try the not one but two plays set in a near-future Cornwall – 2021: A Cornish Space Odyssey and Dreckly – and the thrillingly Black Mirror-esque-sounding RawTransport™, a virtual reality experience from Electrick Village that invites certain audience members to ‘travel’ to exciting locations while everyone else watches their adventures on a big screen. Who are your viewing companions going to be? Take the nippers to family shows like Margo & Mr Whatsit or Mamma G’s Story Time, or book a babysitter for more adult-oriented treats such as Ladies Night, a play about two strippers, and dark comedy show The Emu Who Haunts Me. There are things to watch with mates, with dates, and alone (in fact, we’d say doing a fringe fest alone is arguably heaven, much like being left alone with the TV remote). Fancy a bit of everything? Genres and themes are mashed-up like

a toddler’s lunch in shows like Hot Flushes by Documental Theatre, an uproarious musical comedy about vengeance and aging during the BHS pension scandal. Only got a couple of quid in your pocket? No problem. Look out for a dedicated space for work-in-progress performances where all the tickets will be ‘Pay What You Decide’. There’s also music from acts like local gypsy jazz combo La Vie En Rose and contemporary folksters India Electric Co, and magic from James ‘Nephew of Paul Daniels’ Phelan. If you’re thinking, ‘Gosh, this sounds like the kind of stuff the late, lamented Bike Shed Theatre did so well’, that’s partly because one of the organisers is theatre director Alex Jackson who worked at that venerable establishment until its closure last year, and has since been honing his craft in London. Alex has been toiling on Exeter Fringe Festival in tandem with festival director Elaine Faulkner, a fellow local theatre heavyweight, board member of the Barnfield Theatre and production manager of the Exeter Northcott Theatre. “Exeter Fringe Festival was born from conversations Elaine and I had last summer,” explains Alex. “We felt there was a real gap in the cultural offering for audiences. “As a local resident, I’ve been excited by the prospect of a festival where everyone is welcome. Whether you’ve never been before, or you’re a regular theatregoer, we’ve programmed something for you. That’s what we want to build, an exciting festival that draws audiences and acts from near and far to our vibrant city.” If the festival is a hit, they’ll make it an annual event. So see shows. Please. Your city needs this.

“The fun of a fringe festival is you just don’t know what you’re going to stumble across next”

Exeter Fringe Festival runs from 26 July to 4 August 2019; I EXETER LIVING I 21

Elizabeth Ann of Exeter

Casa Magnolia CHAGFORD


Smart, casual and occasion shoes. Large selection of HB loafers. Lisa Kay, Cefalu, Caprice, Van Dal, Riva. Hand made Spanish and Italian colourful sandals and much much more.

Sizes 2 (35) to 8 (41) available and various fittings

Yacco Maricard Masai Mama B Ochre Knitwear Cut Loose Quernstone Lily and Me Robell Vilagallo Ralston Terre Rouge Privatsachen

Mid SEASON SALE NOW ON! 3 Cathedral Close, Exeter EX1 1EZ Telephone: 01392 252876

38 The Square, Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8AB 01647 433905 / Its all on our website:

shopping live well, buy better

CHERRY ON TOP Imagine you’re Sophia Loren. It’s 1959. You’re in St Tropez. What are you going to wear? This top. Accessorised with hoop earrings and a Singapore Sling. Off the shoulder if it’s hot, on the shoulder if there’s a cool breeze off the Med (you can adapt the neckline accordingly, y’see). The vintage silhouette endures from season-to-season, year-to-year, and there’s always a nostalgia boom in times of global uncertainty. No need to go the whole ’50s throwback, though – it looks sharpest with your everyday denim and plenty of 21st century attitude. ‘Dolores’ picnic top by Collectif, £25 from Frocks In Swing Time, 151/152, Fore St, Exeter; I EXETER LIVING I 23


Perfect 10 REVIVE BEAUTY & HAIR DESIGN celebrates its 10-year anniversary this summer


oasting an impressive treatment list, three beauty rooms and a recently refurbished hair salon, Revive Beauty & Hair Design offers all you need to look and feel amazing. Tucked away down a quaint side street, just a stone's throw from the High Street in Crediton, is where you will find this hidden gem. From nails and waxing to tanning and semi-permanent make-up, Revive offers a comprehensive range of beauty and hair treatments using the finest salon brands, including Milkshake Hair, Glo Skin and OPI. As Revive celebrates its 10-year anniversary this August, salon owner Elly Coles is proud of her business's achievements.

From the humble beginnings of a single beauty room and team of one, to the multi-room beauty and hair salon and team of five that Revive is today. Throughout the growth and expansion, customer service has always sat at the heart of Revive. So much so that Elly is incredibly proud to have maintained numerous clients from when she began back in 2009. Focused on offering their customers the best and latest treatments, the Revive team is passionate about keeping up-to-date with the latest training and continually introducing new treatments. ■

Courtney House, 14 High Street Crediton, EX17 3AF 01363 775884

Offering friendly, professional beauty treatments in the heart of St Leonard’s, Exeter Monu and Renu facials | Lash and Brow Treatments | Jane Iredale make-up sessions | Manicures and Pedicures Shellac Manicures and Pedicures (two week varnish) | Electrolysis | Waxing | Massage

NEW! LAVA SHELL MASSAGE Lava shells are the first self-heating massage tool. The shells emit heat allowing a continuous and seamless warm body massage. Available from 19th June 2019. Full Body Massage £50 | Back Massage £40

4 Roberts Road, St Leonard’s, Exeter EX2 4HB. 01392 410055

NOW OPEN Weds 10am - 8pm, Thurs 9am - 5pm, Fri 9am - 7pm, Sat 9am - 5pm

EAMES ELEPHANTS, £185 EACH A toy, a tiny table, or just a decorative nicknack, this sweet and robust design classic will stick around for generations Sapphire Spaces, Dart Business Park, Topsham;

ORGANIC ROMPER, £19.90 For your own baby dragon Kapbula, 17 Paris Street, Exeter;

HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU, KIDS You’re not spoiling them, you’re supporting the local economy

BABY MILESTONE CARDS, £5 Celebrate all the big steps (including those first ones...) St Bridget Nurseries, Old Rydon Lane, Exeter & Sidmouth Road, Clyst St. Mary, Exeter;

GRUMPYCORN BY SARAH MCINTYRE (SCHOLASTIC), £12.99 We’ve found a witty and warm antidote to your unicorn fatigue... Crediton Community Bookshop, 100 High Street, Crediton;

GIANT ARX 24 BICYCLE, £325 Sleek little lightweight flyer for ages 9+ Partridge Cycles Superstore, A38 Kennford, Exeter EX6 7TW;



UMAGE TABLE LAMP, £138 Glows pink when switched on, so perfect for the small-but-glamorous Amos Lighting, Bridford Rd, Marsh Barton Industrial Estate, Exeter & Dart Business Park, Topsham;

SNAP-ON ANIMAL WATCHES, £7.50 EACH Gosh, it’s whisker o’clock already... The Shop at RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;

PLAY ‘N’ PACK TRAVEL ACTIVITY SET, £24.95 Colouring stuff and other fun bits to whinge-proof your plane/train/boat journey Rose & Reign, Church Street, Exmouth;

UNISEX KIDS’ DUNGAREES, £50 Cute corduroy throw-ons in a rainbow of colours, designed and handmade in Exeter Nutkids; shop/Nutkids

ORGANIC COTTON TIPI, £139.95 You could probably Airbnb this out for £50 a night if you live in Topsham. To tourists under 158cm high, that is Rose & Reign, Church Street, Exmouth; I EXETER LIVING I 27

days out

Doing it for THE KIDS

Stuck for things to do with the children? We’ve rounded up five fab family excursions, in and around Exeter, each of which should keep your brood happy all day. Book ahead wherever possible, get there nice and early, and stock up on snacks… Words by Roxanne Duris

Gather the clans at Crealy I EXETER LIVING I 29



Impossible to think of a bigger, city centre child magnet than RAMM. Just set them loose to wander the many galleries and gawp at the countless extraordinary exhibits from stuffed elephants to Egyptian mummies. Be sure to grab one of the wheelie suitcases containing dressing-up clothes at the entrance. Among the larks on offer this summer, look out for the family events attached to the new Nomads exhibition, African drumming on 14 August, and the drop-in Wildlife Photo Calls (30 July, 6 and 13 Aug) in which the whole gang can dress up as animals and have their picture taken against a green screen background. Refuel with doughnuts and smoothies in the kidproof café. Lots of unique pocket money buys in the shop. RAMM, Queen Street, Exeter;



It exists, of course, to protect and celebrate its precious, four-legged residents – but there’s a lot more to do at the Donkey Sanctuary besides meeting the Eeyores (fascinating and amusing though they are). 2019 sees this wonderful, welcoming natural playground just outside Sidmouth celebrate its 50th anniversary with lots of fun stuff. We are huge fans of its large, familyand disability-friendly café/restaurant and


“Refuel with doughnuts and smoothies in the kidproof café”

days out the acres of green space in which to wander. Special events this summer (some paid-for) include a Golden Carrot Hunt running until 11 July, Car Show with live music and children’s ents on 7 July, a Summer Fair on 11 July and, from 13 July, an Adoption Donkey Guess Who trail. Best of all? It’s open daily 9am-5pm, and admission and parking is free. The Donkey Sanctuary, Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, EX10 0NU;



This is a breathtaking 65-acre garden of delights nestled in the beautiful Torridge Valley. Plenty of space for young legs to run around in, play hide-and-seek, and generally let off steam, plus a family wildlife trail with worksheets, and play areas. This summer, you’ll also find The Very Hungry Caterpillar™-themed craft workshops on weekdays between 29 July and 30 August (excluding 2, 16 & 26 August), plus weekly ticketed family shows, including Captain Coconut & His Amazing Bubble Show, Magic Martin, family ukulele workshops with Sunnyside-up and open-air theatre. Psst: they also do a rather superior Sunday carvery… RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington;

opposite page, top: What will you find at RAMM?;

bottom: Take part in The Donkey Sanctuary’s Golden Carrot Hunt; this page, top: Get ‘em cooking at Buckfast Abbey; bottom: RHS Rosemoor is laying on plenty of family fun this summer



Well worth a short drive southwards, the soul-soothing Buckfast Abbey has a range of activities for the family this summer. The Summer Food & Craft Fair takes place on 6 July and, because kids generally give zero monkeys about Michelin stars, they can get their hands floury at Fun Kitchen – the awardwinning cookery school for children. Leading British authors and illustrators, including several from the West Country, will be descending for a Children’s Book Festival from 11-14 July – look out for Wally of Where’s Wally? fame popping up throughout the weekend. The excellent Monastic Way exhibition is back for a second season giving an insight into the lives of monks, via hightech visuals and interactive models, and when hunger takes over, you can grab a family-sized Wind In The Willows picnic basket from the on-site Grange Restaurant. Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0EE;



If adrenaline is an essential ingredient for your family day out, then you don’t need us to inform you Crealy is a no-brainer. This all-ages theme park has over 60 rides and attractions across more than 85,000 square feet – plus 200 zoo and farm animals including the unmissably cute Meerkat Manor. This summer, back by popular demand, are the Hydro High Dive crew, who’ll be hurling themselves into a pool from heights of over 80ft from 22 July-31 August. If a day’s not enough, your ticket gets you free entry for the rest of the week (during the school hols), and you can glamp on-site if the family want to make a holiday out of it. Crealy Adventure Park & Resort, Sidmouth Rd, Clyst St Mary; I EXETER LIVING I 31

beach you to it


uring the summer holidays, savvy Devonians keep the boogie boards and cool bag on permanent standby. Because when the sun shines and a trip to the beach beckons, you don’t want to hang around. Children and beaches go together like wasps and lemonade. Luckily, golden sands and red pebbles are never far away when you live in blessed East Devon – here, we make the process of choosing a little easier for you, by comparing and contrasting 11 exceptional beaches less than an hour away (and some less than half an hour). All you have to do is pick the most suitable one, slap on the hats and sunscreen and head towards the sound of splashing . . .



Distance from Exeter: 15 miles The quaint seaside resort of Teignmouth boasts a small, old-fashioned pier, complete with arcade games to amuse the whole family, and is definitely worth a visit. Look out, too, for some great restaurants – plus lifeguard service and award-winning children’s play area.

Distance from Exeter: 14.5 miles The two miles of sandy beach at Exmouth are perfect for swimming or just building sandcastles and boast plenty of popular eateries. Famous for watersports, daily cleaning and regular lifeguard patrols, plus fun, family events on the Esplanade.

Distance from Exeter: 11.2 miles As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the dunes and grasslands behind the sandy beach are popular with walkers and nature lovers, whilst the beach itself is ideal for sandcastles and swimming and has Blue Flag status, an arcade and go-kart track to amuse children.


Distance from Exeter: 12.8 miles Much quieter than the neighbouring Dawlish Warren, Dawlish Beach is a secluded area, made up of a mix of sand and shingle and is popular with bathers – although the lack of a lifeguard may put off weaker swimmers and families with young children.



Distance from Exeter: 15.8 miles This sandy beach situated close to the picturesque village of Shaldon is tucked away and secluded, yet often busy with tourists making the most of the watersports on offer, which include swimming, canoeing and rowing. The highlight of Shaldon summers is the annual Water Carnival – this year on 3 August – with its parade of decorated boats, beach stalls, children’s disco and more.

“Savvy Devonians keep the boogie boards and cool bag on permanent standby”

Jacob’s Ladder beach, Sidmouth



Distance from Exeter: 18 miles A pebble beach on the Jurassic Coast, Budleigh Salterton comprises a naturist area alongside a ‘textile’ (i.e. not naked!) area, and users of each are reminded to respect one another. The lack of a lifeguard service and the (sometimes) dangerous currents near the mouth of the River Otter means that swimmers should be cautious.


Distance from Exeter: 18.9 miles Sidmouth’s is a welcoming pebble beach, with plenty of nearby car parks, making it easily accessible for the whole family. A short walk across the esplanade takes you round to the even nicer Jacob’s Ladder Beach, revealing an expanse of sand, perfect for sandcastles.


Distance from Exeter: 16.5 miles Super sandy beach which stretches to Exmouth during low tide. The slope down to the beach is steep, compromising disability access, but the beach is sheltered and perfect for swimming and watersports. It can get busy as there’s a caravan park above.


Distance from Exeter: 22.5 miles Branscombe’s mile-long beach made up of sand and shingle is utterly idyllic. The cliffs, and three of the properties in the enchanting period village above the beach, are owned by the National Trust.


Distance from Exeter: 25 miles Secluded pebble suntrap with gently curving cliffs that protect the bay from the wind, and lots of fisherman Instagrammably unloading lobsters.


Distance from Exeter: 26.1 miles Lined with cheerful, brightly coloured beach huts, harking back to the traditions of an English seaside resort. Perfect for anyone looking to recreate the seaside holidays of their youth.


Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival has launched a poetry competition for budding young writers on the theme of ‘space’. The competition is open to anyone aged 5-12, with the winning entrant being awarded a £50 book token at the glittering Festival launch party on Tuesday 17 September. Poems must be no more than 600 words long. All entries must clearly include the child’s name, address and date of birth, and should be handed in to Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth or Sidmouth libraries – or emailed to – by Friday 5 July 2019. “Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is committed to supporting and inspiring the next generation of writers,” says Annie Ashworth, the Festival’s artistic director. “This is a challenging but also a very exciting theme that we hope will get the creative juices flowing. “We’re open to poems of any style, as long as they are clearly on the theme of space. The judges are looking for work that shows real creativity and imagination. “We look forward to seeing everyone’s entries.” I EXETER LIVING I 33

Winners of 2019 Exeter Living Awards Gastro Pub of the Year! DRINKS - EVENTS - FOOD Cosy Village Pub with a Contemporary Twist. Mini Pub, Maxi Vibe The Seven Stars, Kennford EX6 7TR 01392 834 887




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Exeter Living team 01225 475800

food & drink news

VALENTINA DAYS Exeter Cookery School is hosting authentic Italian cookery masterclasses with TV chef, cookery book author and accomplished tutor Valentina Harris. A series of six authentic, one-day Italian cookery masterclasses are scheduled for 20 and 21 July, 10 and 11 August, and 28 and 29 September, and cover a range of Italian cooking styles and techniques, from basic and advanced pasta-making to perfect risotto and gnocchi. All culminate in participants sitting down together to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Two edible Christmas gift-making courses will follow on 16-17 November, and Valentina will also host a series of Italian Feasts on 21 July (Sicilian), 11 August (Tuscan) and 29 September (Venetian). Says Jim Fisher, head chef and co-owner of Exeter Cookery School: “Valentina is every bit as lovely as her on-screen persona, so we think our guests are in for a real foodie treat.” The courses cost £155 per person per day, with discounts for booking multiple courses. For more: Perfect your pasta with Valentina Harris

Blair Holdsworth – don’t ask him for a cappuccino

SOME ENCHANTED EVENINGS Assumed it was all just coffee and cakes at Exploding Bakery? Wrong. Because the tirelessly inventive Queen Street café has added another string to its bow, and is now also serving as a wine bar offering additive-free, natural wines all day as well as, three evenings a week, dinner. The new, “small but punchy menu” from chef Blair Holdsworth (formerly of trendy London BBQ joint Pitt Cue, and Michelin-starred restaurant Inver) uses local, seasonal produce and is available from 6pm until 10.30pm, Thurs-Sat. You can’t book any of the 18 seats, so arrive early to grab one – and due to the nature of the menu and the style of service they can’t adapt the dishes for dietary requirements. The hip, industrial-rustic space is also available for hire for client hospitality or private groups. 

For more:

CURD NERDS Want to become an expert on everything from gruyère to gorgonzola? Newton St Cyres-based cheese producer, Quicke’s is set to become the first cheesemaker to hold Academy of Cheese training courses on a working farm, with a series of dates due to get underway later this year. The Level 1: Associate one-day course will offer cheese lovers and cheesemongers the chance to improve their knowledge and gain a recognised qualification, and covers cheesemaking, provenance, terminology and more, beginning with a guided tour of the farm and a chance to witness cheesemaking in action. The session will be supported by home study and further tasting, before delegates undertake a multiple choice exam paper. Open to everyone, the course costs £195 per person and will take place at Quickes on 24 September, 26 November and 25 February 2020. For more:

Up your cheese game at Quickes I EXETER LIVING I 39

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businessinsights E XETER AND E A S T DE VON GET TO WORK

Quote of the issue


So don’t mess candidates around at interview. See page 45

The Big Number

1 million Bricks laid by which local property developer? Find out on page 42


Homegrown rock star buys his favourite local guitar-makers

M above: Matt Bellamy of Muse with Adrian Ashton of Mansons

att Bellamy, guitarist, songwriter and frontman of international rock band Muse, has bought the majority shareholding in Exeter-based guitar business Mansons. Bellamy, who grew up in Teignmouth, is a longterm fan of the guitar-makers and has co-designed a number of custom models with them, including the

Manson ‘De Lorean’. South West law firm Ashfords, led by Andrew Betteridge, acted for Manson Guitar Works founder Hugh Manson – who established the business with his brother Andy in the 1960s – and Adrian Ashton, on the sale of a majority shareholding in Manson Guitar Works Limited and the sale of the intellectual property in the guitars from Hugh Manson.

Bellamy now owns a majority of the business through his company Globalist Partners Limited, with Adrian Ashton also remaining as a shareholder. Luthier and namesake Hugh Manson will remain a consultant to the company. For over four decades, Mansons guitars have been played by some of the most respected names in rock music – including Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, Seasick Steve, Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro, Robyn Hitchcock, and Mike Kerr of Royal Blood – and combine traditional craftsmanship with cutting edge technology. “I’m excited to be taking ownership of Manson Guitar Works and developing its potential in the future,” says Bellamy. “Having played Manson Guitars since I was able to co-design my first custom guitar I have the best insight into the products.” For more: I exeter living I 115 41

business insights


Colin Palmer: a really hands-on MD

Pop one of these on your table and help conquer loneliness

Exmouth carer, campaigner and blogger Caron Sprake is urging local cafés, restaurants and pubs to help tackle the loneliness epidemic by displaying cards enabling customers to invite strangers to share their table. The laminated, A6-size ‘Happy To Share’ cards have been designed by Caron, with an initial run being funded by local charity Recovery Devon, and a second run of 50,000 being printed now with the support of the Community Lottery. In addition, the University of Exeter has secured research funding to evaluate the cards’ impact. “If they prove to be really useful in reducing loneliness,” says Caron, “there is the hope of far higher funding and a far broader distribution in the future.” The cards are available for free to businesses who get in touch via the Happy To Share website below. For more:

BUILDING ON SUCCESS Exeter-based property developer, Burrington Estates New Homes, have marked a major milestone in the build of their developments across the South West as they lay the one millionth brick at their EXIII site in Topsham. The property developer, which has been building luxury new homes across the South West for the past three years, celebrated the occasion with a brick laying ceremony, with both construction teams and suppliers in attendance. Says Colin Palmer, MD at Burrington Estates: “This year has truly been incredible for the Burrington Estates New Homes team and we are delighted to have reached this great milestone. We have always said

Don Armand, Clara Bond, David Greensmith, Mariam Badavi and Alec Hepburn

that building houses is so much more than places for people to live, it’s about creating desirable homes and long-lasting communities. Behind the million bricks are the couples and families who have trusted us to create their dream home and we cannot thank them enough.” “It’s been great working with South West Brick and Stone who have supplied quality bricks for our developments and we have built a strong relationship which we hope to continue.” Burrington Estates will now turn its attention to its fourth site in the Exeter area and 15th planned development overall, Home Farm, Pinhoe. For more:

SAVING YOUR SKIN International rugby stars Alec Hepburn and Don Armand have signed up to become the latest ambassadors for Skin Angels, an ongoing educational campaign founded by Mariam Badavi, owner of Exeter’s Purity Boutique Spa. The Exeter Chiefs stars join Mariam and her existing ambassadors – singer-songwriter Clara Bond and David Greensmith, business development manager of Exeter City Council – to help educate young people in Exeter on the dangers of not using daily sunscreen, under the slogan ‘Don’t play games with your skin’. Say Mariam, a former nurse at Exeter’s RD&E Hospital: “I’m thrilled to welcome Alec and Don. I think girls mostly understand the importance of looking after their skin, however many boys today don’t tend to listen, and this is particularly why having these incredible new sporting ambassadors on board will really help to get that message out there.” For more:

42 I exeter living I

Co-cars and University of Exeter team up for sustainable travel

HIRE PURPOSE The University of Exeter is the latest organisation to sign up to Exeter-based Co-cars’ sustainable, hire-by-the-hour car scheme for businesses. The partnership means University staff can now access three new, low-emission Toyota Yaris Hybrids for business travel. Co-cars charges an hourly hire rate plus mileage, managing all other costs themselves. Says Joel Smith, sustainability officer at the University of Exeter: “The hybrid cars will really benefit our staff by allowing them to

work more flexibly and travel more sustainably to meetings and on other essential journeys. Providing a choice of transport options to our staff supports our Sustainable Travel Plan objectives and helps to reduce the number of cars on the road in Exeter and on our campuses.” Mark Hodgson, founder and MD of Co-cars, adds: “Shared cars such as ours remove, on average, 15 private cars from the road, making them a great choice for organisations looking to manage staff parking and car use whilst also

helping meet their environmental objectives.” University staff who sign up to use the cars can also apply for free, first year, individual or household membership. In total, Co-cars now has 24 cars available for businesses and individuals to hire across Exeter, including four electric vehicles, and will be adding more in the coming months. Co-cars also operates Co-bikes, the city’s on-street electric bike hire scheme. For more:

PLAYING THE LONG GAME The organisers of the Bigwave Business Games are celebrating the event’s tenth anniversary this summer. The annual charity fundraiser was created by digital growth agency Bigwave Media, which has offices in Exeter, Torquay and Plymouth, and has raised more than £32,000 for local charitable causes since 2009. The Games’ nominated charity is The Exeter Foundation and Exeter-based five-time Olympian, Jo Pavey, is its ambassador. This year, 28 local businesses battled it out and the Games concluded with a Bell Boat Race on the Quay, on 21 June. This year also saw the launch of the Games in Torbay. Says Rebecca Cooper of Bigwave Media: “Year on year, the Business Games bring new and exciting opportunities for local businesses. Now in their tenth year, the Bigwave Business Games are a cornerstone in the local business community. The games provide an unparalleled opportunity for local businesses to network and boost their profile across the region. The energy and passion that participants bring every year is overwhelming.” Don’t you wish all business objectives were this fun?

For more: I exeter living I 43

business insiGHTS

Joanne Caine

“WHAT NOT TO ASK: ‘ARE YOU PREGNANT?’ ‘ARE YOU SINGLE?’” What’s the going salary for the role you are recruiting for? What perks do they provide? How do they communicate the company culture?

The Way I See It

HOW DO I RECRUIT THE BEST PERSON? Looking for new staff? Nobody in Exeter knows more about successful recruitment than JOANNE CAINE of Cathedral Appointments. Here, she shares her secrets…


ou’ve heard it a thousand times. And it’s true. Your staff are the most important asset of your business. It’s currently a highly driven candidate market and, in certain sectors where demand for specific skills exceeds the supply of candidates, recruiting the right person for the job is a challenge. Add into the mix candidates playing employers off against each other, cherry-picking the best offer and accepting counter-offers, and it becomes a battlefield. The good news? A few tweaks to your recruitment process will put your business in the best position to hire. Here are a few helpful tips. Differentiate your business When it comes to creating your job advert, you need to stand out. Inject some personality into proceedings. Use your branding to differentiate your opportunity from vacancies with your competitors.

Open your search Not enough candidates? Don’t dismiss applicants without industry experience if they have the skills you need. OK, you might have to spend more time training them up but there are distinct advantages to hiring outside your industry. Diverse teams are more creative problem-solvers and an employee that’s new to your sector will be able to offer fresh insight, new viewpoints and help to find new gaps in the market. Make decisions early We know. In an ideal world it would be great to compare and contrast a pool of strong candidates. Unfortunately, you don’t have that luxury. You need to act fast or risk losing a good candidate to another business. Learn from your competitors How do you sell your business to a potential candidate who is weighing up three different job offers? Keep an eye on how other businesses in your industry are marketing their job vacancies.

Being yourself beats applying pressure We’ve all watched the candidates squirm through their interviews on The Apprentice. Yes, it’s good to see how any potential employee can handle themselves in a high-pressure situation. But you’re not going to see a true reflection of your candidate’s abilities unless they’re able to relax. Easing the stress encourages interviewees to perform at their best – and will leave you better qualified to judge each candidate’s aptitude for the job. You want your candidate to want you You might think you have first dibs on your shortlist of candidates. Sure, the onus is on the applicant to sell their skills. But unless you want to risk losing out on top talent, you need to sell the opportunity that’s on offer for candidates, too. Your reputation is on the line It’s the digital age. Bad news spreads fast. A poorly conducted, ill-prepared interview or needlessly aggressive manner can lead to negative impressions of your business stretching across social networks like a reputation-shattering virus. Combat this by offering feedback, letting candidates know the result as soon as you’re able, and thanking all candidates for their time. If someone feels positive about their experience with your business, they’re more likely to share that sentiment with their friends and followers. Questions not to ask “Do you go to church?” “How much do you weigh?” “Are you pregnant?” “Are you single?” Seriously? You need to show interest in your candidate but, really, all you should be focusing on is their ability to do the job and fit for your organisation. Over to you... For more: I exeter living I 45


Those jawdropping special effects you see at big sporting events and theatrical productions? Many of them are created by Exeter’s very own Luminous Show Technology based at Exeter Science Park. Here, Helen Badley talks about winning this year’s Creative category and New Business categories So how did it feel to win two Exeter Living Awards?

Absolutely amazing! To win one award was fantastic but to win TWO was incredible. We were blown away.



What’s your best memory of the night?

Seeing how excited the Luminous team were when we won. It was so unexpected! We were up against some strong competition, and we really didn’t expect to win. There was much whooping from everyone on our table and some very happy, smiley faces.


Why do you think Luminous Show Technology won?

We have worked hard over the past 18 months to build up our fabulous team of employees and cement our reputation within the entertainment industry as the ‘go-to’ company for innovative hardware solutions. Hopefully the judges could see how our hard work benefits the local economy as, despite most of our hardware being used across the globe, most of our suppliers are in


fact local to Exeter and the South West. Tell us in a nutshell what services you provide...

Luminous Show Technology provides creative special effects hardware solutions for some of the biggest live events and shows, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Phantom of the Opera, and for internationally renowned touring artists.

How and why did you establish the business?

After a decade-long partnership working in the special effects industry around the world, Mike Badley and Ed Samkin founded Luminous in November 2017, bringing together their wideranging expertise into one company. We know that the entertainment industry moves quickly and producers are always looking for the next big thing, and new impressive ways to wow their audiences. We are unique in our agile approach in providing innovative technical solutions to this industry. The creative team at Luminous develop ideas for new special effects technology, and rapidly turn those ideas into high quality products. What are you working on at the moment?

We have a unique system in production that can create images, logos, words and patterns out of falling water for a client who provides special effects to large-scale music tours, and we are always looking for ways to improve our flame system product line. Our flames were deployed recently for the opening of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Finals at Twickenham. Sadly, Exeter Chiefs didn’t come home with the cup this time, but fingers crossed for next year. We’d better get working on some more flames…! What’s on the to-do list for the rest of 2019?

We have another order to fulfil for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Hamburg later this year, along with several other exciting projects that have to remain top secret. Shhh! What do you love most about working in the entertainment industry?

The variety. The industry is always looking for new, innovative special effect products that give the wow factor. It is exciting to be able to provide the thrills that audiences experience when they go to see a show or attend a concert. We are the magic makers! For more:

business insights



devices, which bring the mobility of the tablet and the full functionality of the desktop PC onto the desk of every single child. We have invested in media-rich digital classrooms where multi-screens, video conferencing and surround sound provide immersive learning spaces that bring the outside world into the class, and the children out into the world. And our TV and recording studio allows the children to use video technology to record their own TV programmes, produce adverts for enterprise projects and much more.

Education is a hot topic right now, and the diverse shortlist for this year’s Exeter Living Award for Education demonstrated just what lengths educational professionals of all types are going to for the children and young people of Exeter. Here, category winner Jonathan Bishop, CEO and executive headteacher of the Cornerstone Academy Trust (TCAT), tells us more… So how did it feel to win an Exeter Living Award?

I was, of course, delighted – as firsttime entrants we weren’t expecting to win, so being announced as the winners of the very first award of the evening really took me by surprise!

Why do you think the Cornerstone Academy Trust won?

I’d like to think that it was because we have an outstanding reputation within primary education. This is

not only for the children’s level of achievement but also for the quality of our curriculum, both in breadth and depth – we provide enriched opportunities that create a unique, personalised offer for every child.

Its founding school, Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS), has been designated as a centre of excellence for both English and science by the Department for Education.

Can you tell us in a nutshell what you are, and do?

What tech do TCAT pupils have access to that pupils at most other schools do not? Can you give concrete examples?

TCAT is a small, but growing, multi-academy trust with a global reputation for the use of technology to underpin both teaching and learning.

Key stage 2 pupils have 1:1 access to high-quality Microsoft Surface

“we have invested in mediarich digital classrooms” What’s coming up for you over the rest of 2019?

Over the summer we will be moving Westclyst Community Primary School – which we’re delighted has just received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report – out of its temporary accommodation into a brand-new school building in readiness for the next academic year. And we’re at the early stages of building another new school at Monkerton, to open 2020. Which other schools or educational institutions do you admire in the Exeter area?

I admire the work done by John Laramy and Exeter College – an outstanding organisation and a Microsoft Showcase College. Where we strive to give children the best possible start in life, we really appreciate the great results when they ‘come out the other end’. It’s so good to work in partnership with a college with a similar ethos and values, harnessing the use of technology to get the best out of everyone. What do you love most about Exeter in general?

Personally, I think it’s location, location, location! Exeter is a thriving and engaging city with lots of culture and history but it’s so close to the coast and the moors – all things that make it an ideal place to live, work and bring up a family. For more: I EXETER LIVING I 47

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THE GENERATION GAME For many businesses in and around Exeter, workmates aren’t just workmates – they’re siblings, sons and daughters, in-laws and even, sometimes, grandchildren. So what’s it like running a business with your family? (Spoiler: they all talk shop over dinner…)


Words by Roxanne Duris

Darts assemble I exeter living I 49



id you know that 90% of the world’s companies are family fi rms? Among them, 30% of all companies with revenues above $1 billion, including international giants like Volkswagen, Wal-Mart and LVMH – but also countless smaller outfits, including a number of thriving businesses right here in and around Exeter. Keeping it in the family is a business approach that ensures stability and longevity, but if you’re a fast-paced, risk-taking type it might not be for you. We asked five local family fi rms why it’s defi nitely for them…


The Almond family own Devon Contract Waste and have plenty of reasons to celebrate

The Almond family own and run Devon Contract Waste (DCW), now in its 30th year and a leading provider of commercial waste management services in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. DCW was the fi rst company to introduce a ‘zero to landfi ll’ solution to the region, and after a devastating fi re destroyed its last headquarters in 2017, will open its new HQ in Marsh Barton at the end of the year. MD Simon Almond is joined by wife Anne-Marie (company secretary), his father Howard (director), and daughters Emily and Lucy (respectively, business support manager and purchase ledger). Emily tells us more… Advantages of running a business with family members?

The passion – we all care so much about the company and we are always buzzing with ideas about what we could do next. We all work incredibly long, hard hours because we are 100% dedicated to making DCW a success. Any disadvantages?

Due to being so busy it’s very hard to take time off at the same time. Family holidays are very hard to come by! Proudest moment?

Without question, the days and weeks following the fi re when the whole team pulled together to make sure our business survived. The family business doesn’t stop with the Almonds – all of our colleagues make DCW one big family. Do you have any rules about ‘talking shop’ at home/at family gatherings?

This can vary depending on what type of day we have all had. The general rule is to not talk business when we are at home. However, this is very hard to stick to as we are all so passionate about what we do, it’s sometimes impossible! What words of wisdom do you have for anyone thinking of starting a business with a relative?

Working with family can be an absolute joy but can also be very tough. You need to respect each other’s role in the business and make sure you don’t all work in the same office. You need space to miss each other and look forward to spending time together at home. As with any high-pressure job, you have to enjoy what you do. If you stop enjoying it, learn to delegate more and share the pressure. Every challenge faced is an opportunity to improve. For more:



Vintage-and-retro fashion boutique Frocks in Swing Time on Fore Street is run by Hayley Shaw, her husband Gary and step-mum Cathy, with occasional cover provided by sister-in-law Estelle. As well as a wide range of women’s clothing and accessories in sizes 8 -26, and children’s clothing from 0-12, the shop offers a free styling service. Here’s Hayley… Advantages of running a business with family members?

The biggest is knowing that the business will still be run with the same enthusiasm and dedication at all times. Offering a familyfriendly, customer-led service is a very important part of our business and, I believe, is the reason we have made the fi nals for three awards this year. Any disadvantages?  

As my husband and I now live and work together it does rather take out the element of coming home and asking ‘How was your day?’ However, as we work in the same place we can both completely understand and appreciate how that day has been, so this can also be a perk! Proudest moment?  

The fi rst five-star recommendation we received. It was so lovely that someone felt so happy with our service they went to the trouble of writing in detail how impressed they were. It made me feel quite emotional. Do you have any rules about ‘talking shop’ at home/at family gatherings?

We probably should, but as we love what we do so much it doesn’t happen! What words of wisdom do you have for anyone thinking of starting a business with a relative?  

Try doing it on a short-term basis fi rst. Gary and I did three-day events such as the Vintage Nostalgia Festival fi rst, to make sure that we could work together without falling out.


Hayley and Gary run Frocks In Swing Time with the help of two other family members I EXETER LIVING I 51

The Boyce clan


This small Shillingford St George nursery, fruit farm and vineyard celebrates its 25th anniversary this summer. It will mark the occasion with a Celebration Afternoon on Sunday 21 July in aid of local charity Rainbow Living, which provides accommodation for adults with learning and other disabilities. The business is a partnership of brothers Tim and Simon Boyce, together with help from their parents Susan and Clive. Tim’s wife Rachel works two days a week and grandson Bazzil also helps, when university studies allow. Susan shares her thoughts... Advantages of running a business with family members?

Knowing each other well beforehand (warts and all) means that it is practical to direct each member according to their strengths and interests. Also, trust, loyalty and shared values: we have found that building and running a family business means everyone is more likely to put in the extra hours and effort needed to make it a success, and there is a strong understanding of joint responsibilities. Any disadvantages?

Family businesses can bring lots of challenges and we have our funny little ways! A sense of humour is essential and we make sure we deal with any issues as and when they arise. We can sometimes become restricted in our perspectives, but we are fortunate to have a strong community and network around us and we will seek advice from people outside our business, which definitely helps. Any funny stories?

One customer drove all the way from their home with their cat on the roof of the car! Proudest moment?

Hosting the South West Vineyards annual competition; also learning that our efforts have helped local towns and villages win Britain in Bloom Awards.

52 I exeter living I

Do you have any rules about ‘talking shop’ at home/at family gatherings?

No. Horticulture is like farming – more a way of life than just a job, so ‘talking shop’ occurs naturally among lively discussions about many other topics. What words of wisdom do you have for anyone thinking of starting a business with a relative?

There’s no denying that running a family business can be hard work, but the rewards far outweigh any disadvantages. Our biggest piece of advice would be to make sure you really know each other and sit down together and decide on a sensible working/business plan right from the start.


Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Darts Farm was recently named Best South West Farm Shop at the 2018 Taste of the West Awards. It remains a family business run by the three Dart brothers; the retail headed up by Michael and James and the farm by Paul. The family business is, at its core, still a working farm, and sells all of its home-grown produce directly through the farm shop. We quizzed director Michael Dart… Advantages of running a business with family members?

Trust, understanding and care – all of which are our traditional family values and have been from the very beginning. Any funny stories?

I often find that Jim and I end up dressing the same! We go to the same places so it’s inevitable. Also customers and suppliers often get confused as to who’s who, which makes for some funny moments. Proudest moment?

Obviously when we won Best UK Farm Shop but also every week when the shop is full of customers and the atmosphere is electric.

FAMILY BUSINESSES Do you have any rules about ‘talking shop’ at home/at family gatherings?

We’ve grown up with business being discussed whether at work or at home, therefore it’s part of our life. Best to quarrel, though, in private! What words of wisdom do you have for anyone thinking of starting a business with a relative?

Get the structure right at the start. Recognise each other’s strengths and weaknesses and let them shine. Put your egos away!


Founded in 1925, St Bridget Nurseries has grown from a small market garden start-up to having two garden centres and one production nursery in Exeter. The company grows over 85% of the plants it sells and is now a fourth-generation family business overseen by Tammy Falloon (MD) and her mother Janet Flinn (company director). We asked the former how it all works... Advantages of running a business with family members?

Seeing your family every day.

Any disadvantages? Seeing your family every day! No, the only disadvantage in our situation is that there is only two of us, so if we have a situation where we disagree, we will involve trusted advisors to help. Any funny stories?

I’ve attended board meetings from a very early age. Mum left me in an

office briefly and came back in to fi nd I had a mouthful of staples so I had to go and have an X-ray (luckily no staples consumed). I also remember being heavily pregnant and having a business meeting with Mum in the office when all of a sudden the chair gave way. I was so heavy I’d bent the metal upright, a clear sign that I needed to start my maternity leave! Proudest moment?

Defi nitely winning the UK’s Family Business of the Year (Homes & Gardens) 2019 recently, but also when I receive letters of praise for one of our team, or overhear a customer positively commenting on something we’ve done. That’s like a little drop of sunshine to the heart. Do you have any rules about ‘talking shop’ at home/at family gatherings?

No. I think we need them, though. I do fi nd we tend to talk more about family at work, and talk more about work at home, which seems very confused!

What words of wisdom do you have for anyone thinking of starting a business with a relative?

Don’t be led by the good times; you need to know you can keep both your business and your personal relationship through bad times as well as the good. It can put a strain on relationships but, equally, the pleasure of sharing the highs with those you love the most is worth it. ■

Tammy and Janet of St Bridget Nurseries


prof e ss i onal S E R V ICE S S P ECI A L

the city AT WORK



F I N A N CE / R EC R U IT M E N T / P R O P E R TY / L A W / B U S I N E S S S E R V ICE S



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setting the agenda Meet the shining stars of Exeter’s professional services’ community, from lawyers to financial experts who help your wealth grow, and a myriad of other professions in between


xeter’s an increasingly important player on the national business playing field. It’s a centre of innovation, acumen and excellence. Just to get a sample of this professional offering – from the legal eagles to the financial wizards, the property experts to the essential business service guys – we spoke to a wide cross-section of experts and asked: So, how’s business? I exeter living I 59

architectsfeature advertising Catherine Lichota

The Fry Group Ian Ellis

Tell us about your business

The Fry Group has been trusted for more than 120 years to help clients with all aspects of financial planning, from tax optimisation, wealth management and pensions to trusts and estate administration. Over the years, we have built strong long-term relationships with clients and often work with families through the generations. What achievement as a firm are you most proud of?

We have been a Chartered firm of financial planners since 2013, and in 2019 were awarded the CII Gold Standard for pension transfer advice. In 2018 we were placed 5th (our highest ever ranking) in FT Adviser’s Top 100 Financial Advisers; a significant accolade. We’ve also been recognised in a number of international awards. When was your company founded?

The Fry Group was established in 1898 by Wilfred T. Fry, initially focusing on helping British expatriates recover tax. What areas do you specialise in?

We offer tax-led financial advice for clients in the UK and overseas. Finances are personal and every client has their own priorities and aspirations. We focus on three key areas: wealth management, tax optimisation and estate planning. The challenges our clients are facing

Bryers LLP

Catherine Lichota

Tell us a little about your business...

We specialise in assisting clients with intellectual property (IP) matters, whether that involves inventions, designs, branding or other implementations of ideas important to a business. We work with companies operating in different industries and in different countries, and with people having all sorts of different backgrounds. What sets you apart from others in your sector?

Our philosophy is to be approachable and pragmatic, so that people feel comfortable to contact us with whatever IP related query they have, whenever they have it. Our recommendations are more effective the more we understand the relevant commercial circumstances, and so we like to stay in regular contact with our clients so we can learn of any changes that may alter our advice sooner rather than later. We are based in the West Country and are happy to travel or to use conferencing technology to avoid our office location becoming a barrier to establishing and maintaining business relations. What challenges are your clients facing?

A perennial issue is attracting and keeping the right people within a business, which can be affected by many factors such as general industry trends, company culture, the education, experience and skills of the workforce, and local housing and transport costs. Tell us about the growth of the company...

Over the last 20 years, it has grown from needing only a few rooms in the building to taking over the whole property and making changes to fit everyone in! 01225 428877;

4 I exeter living I

Some financial challenges are enduring – such as minimising tax and ensuring all estate matters are taken care of. Others are more dependent on external forces. For example the ongoing disruption in global markets – the result of many issues including trade wars – means that the current investment landscape is challenging. Ultimately good financial planning can help maintain some form of stability and control, regardless of circumstances. Did you know...?

Our London office managed to sell an unwanted refrigerator to Buckingham Palace following World War 2. 01903 231545; Ian Ellis

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Coping with investment uncertainty


Investors need not necessarily fear these turbulent times, says Tony Hawes of OLD MILL

inancial markets have been turbulent recently and you may have heard that "uncertainty" is the cause. This suggests that uncertainty comes and goes, but because the future is unpredictable, investors must cope with uncertainty all the time. Consider the Brexit process, US-China trade talks and recent fund manager issues that have been in the press. Not everything goes to plan. So how can investors learn to cope with pervasive uncertainty? It can be hard, especially in volatile periods when the value of your investments is fluctuating from day to day.

expected effect and prices change as participants act on this. It’s therefore reasonable for you to work on the assumption that today’s market level has priced in current uncertainty. As we know, predicting future events correctly, or how the market will react to future events, is difficult. The good news is that being a successful investor doesn’t rely on making accurate predictions. It’s important to understand that market volatility is a part of investing and to receive the benefit of higher potential returns, investors must be willing to accept increased uncertainty.

Pricing-in uncertainty

Uncertainty and your investments

Millions of stock-market participants around the world are continually assessing information, its

We define a successful investment experience as one where our clients sleep soundly at night,

understand the investment journey they are taking, and have a strong chance of achieving their future lifestyle goals. A key part of this is being able to stay with your investment philosophy, even during tough times. A well thought-out, transparent investment approach can help people be better prepared to face uncertainty and may improve their ability to stick with their plan and ultimately capture the long-term returns of capital markets. It’s natural to feel unsettled with so much turmoil in the UK and globally, so please contact us if you would like to discuss your investments. That’s what we’re here for. n If you would like to know more, please do contact me on 07854 413809 or

CLEAR INDEPENDENT GUIDANCE Premier Financial Planning Ltd. Independent Investment & Mortgage Advice 1B Station Road, Pinhoe, Exeter EX1 3SA Contact us: | Telephone: 01392 758950

Hartnell Chanot

Belinda Newton

Rachel Buckley

Tell us a little about your business

We are the largest firm of family law specialists outside of London, providing family law services to clients in the South West and further afield, including international clients. What achievement as a firm are you most proud of?

This has to be the team that we have - they are amazing. Everyone works tirelessly to help clients and children when they are at their most vulnerable to get back on to the road to recovery and independence. They really care about the work that they do and the service they provide. We’ve won a fair few awards, too! Describe your offices?

They’re light and bright with a friendly atmosphere. We have table tennis on offer for our staff to have fun and relax at lunch times. We have the radio on to lighten the mood – staff often break out into song or a little dance. What makes working in Exeter special?

It’s the fact that Exeter has everything – we’re near to the coast, the countryside and the moors. Exeter has great restaurants and shopping. And most of all it has an amazing business community that is incredibly supportive and inclusive. When was your firm founded and who by?

The company was founded by our Managing Director, Norman Hartnell back in 1991. At the time, we were one of the first law firms where each lawyer had their own computer. Did you know...?

That we sponsor two of the Exeter Chief’s players; the British Lion and Welsh International star Tomas Francis and Chief’s player Jack Innard. We are very proud of our association with these successful players. We played them at table tennis recently but I won’t reveal who won! 01392 421777;

Rachel Buckley

THE HR Dept Exeter Belinda Newton

Tell us a little about your business

As an outsourced HR department, we provide SME businesses with everything a large corporate would expect from its own in-house human resource team. The only difference is that they don’t have to pay to keep us in-house! From providing a single employee contract, to taking on all their human resources problems, we can provide the right level of support. What areas do you specialise in?

Our services include: • General HR support • Contracts of employment and staff handbooks • Absence Management • Performance Management • Disciplinary and grievance hearings • Dismissals • Redundancy projects and outplacement • Training and development When you employ staff there are lots of administrative tasks that must be done. To help with that we have just launched a new HR Operating Manual - a simple to use guide that provides employers with everything they need to take on an employee and manage them through to what to do at the end of employment. What sets you apart from others in your sector?

We are local to our clients so get to know them and how their business works. We don’t sell solutions, but design support to suit the needs of each individual company. Did you know...?

In a recent customer satisfaction survey, 100% of our customers said we gave them peace of mind with their HR needs. 01392 349560;

“From providing a single employee contract, to taking on all their human resources problems, we can provide the right level of support” 64 I exeter living I

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“Exeter has an amazing business community that is incredibly supportive and inclusive” I exeter living I 65


Emma Grant

Learn to Finance Emma Grant

Tell us a little bit about your business

My background is local government finance, working at Exeter City Council for 20 years. Latterly, I took on the role of systems accountant there and I was on the project team responsible for implementing a new finance system. I carried out training for all new users and developed my love of training from there. In December 2013, I took voluntary redundancy to make the move into teaching. Since 2016, I have been teaching the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification to a wide range of students. In April 2018, I set up my own business, Learn to Finance Ltd, offering bookkeeping and accountancy tuition. I now provide a range of freelance accountancy courses and workshops and am excited to be collaborating with Education & Training Skills in Exeter, to offer the full range of AAT qualifications.

Fiona and Claire

Tell us about your community/charity involvement

What areas do you specialise in?

What areas do you specialise in?

What sets you apart from others in your sector?

Last summer, I worked as a volunteer finance officer at the South West MS Therapy Centre in Exeter as I wanted to give something back, and this is a charity close to my heart. Being my own boss provided me with this wonderful opportunity. A couple of months later, I became their Treasurer. Learn to Finance specialises in providing bookkeeping and accounting tuition, and bespoke workshops, up to and including the AAT Professional Diploma - Level 4. Did you know...?

I’ve been a member of the Exmouth Town Concert Band and the Exeter and East Devon Rock Choir. 01395 226 458; Email:;

MBC accountants

Tell us a little about your business…

At MBC accountants we do what it says on the tin. We are chartered accountants offering a bespoke service from all the basic accounting requirements to the full service where we act as your finance department. We are professional yet non-judgemental. Our team are knowledgeable, but we still believe in speaking in standard language. Transparency and client confidentiality are key. We are committed to hitting deadlines but have time for you as a person.

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MBC accountants works with businesses of all sizes helping them to maximise their profit after tax. We can act as your finance department, offering you a tailor-made outsourced solution or you can pick and mix any of the services we offer – year end compliance and tax returns, book-keeping, VAT payroll etc. Fiona believes passionately about delivering a boutique service tailor made to the needs of your business. The service we provide makes it easier for you to focus on running your business. We pride ourselves on being friendly and approachable. Our team is experienced, proactive and committed to delivering a bespoke service to each and every client. Clients love our six-week turnaround on yearend accounts and our fixed fee policy. Any exciting news?

MBC accountants will be exhibiting again this year at the South West Business Expo. This is always a very successful event for our team and the networking opportunities provide new clients adding value and drive to our service. Fiona Rook opened in Okehampton 17 years ago and due to a continuing growing client base, we expanded into new offices in the heart of Exeter in 2015 which in turn now has an exciting, growing client base. We are in a central and accessible location with offices in Dix’s Field. 01392 590068;


WE PROVIDE YOU WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF FINANCE. Our Accountancy courses will provide you with the knowledge and understanding of finance and accounts to help you start out in your accountancy career.

EMMA GRANT MAAT CPFA Exmouth Business Centre 14 Hartley Rd - Devon - EX8 2SG

01395 226458

- Architecture - Building Services - Building Surveying - Civil Engineering Design - Civil Contracting - Construction - Cost & Project Management - Facilities Management & Maintenance - Residential Development - Structural Engineering - Trades & Labour


Two decades specialising in construction recruitment has allowed us to finesse our craft. An essential part of this has been to constantly strive to best understand our clients and candidates – we’ve gained a deep appreciation of how we can make your recruitment process more enjoyable and rewarding, and this remains at the heart of everything we do.

1 Emperor Way, Exeter Business Park, Sowton, Exeter, EX1 3QS Telephone: 01392 314052 E-mail:

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advertising feature Premier Finance James Dalgleish

Tell us a little about your business

We are a community-based team of IFA’s and mortgage advisors providing a one-stop shop to help people get the best deals on their mortgages or insurances as well as plan for the future through investment planning. Work/life balance – how do you get it right for you and your staff?

With a team of four offering client appointments six days a week including evening meetings as long as someone can man the fort we can be flexible with our working hours and which is great when many of us have young families. What plans do you have for 2019?

Coming up to our third year later in 2019, it’s great to be able to employer a full-time client manager helping increase turn around and service levels and we are also on track to reach over £30 million worth of mortgage lending helping so many people move in to their dream homes. Did you know...?

It’s in our blood to give ‘extra’ with three-quarters of the team coming from the same well known high street bank. 01392 758950; Email:;

Mark Neath

Old Mill Jackson Mark Neath

“Providing a one stop shop to help people get the best deals on their mortgages or insurances”

Tell us a little about your business

Old Mill is a unique group of industry-leading financial experts working at the cutting edge of digital accounting, financial planning and tax advisory in a wide range of personal and business areas. We believe in supporting the ambition, drive and variety of the South West economy through a combination of expert advice and excellent client support. Name a rising star in your company

Carolyn Matravers, a chartered financial planner, who recently gained her Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) accreditation, is making a real difference in the lives of those she works with. The increasingly complex nature of later life finances means that it can be a total minefield for older people and their families. Having an expert, like Carolyn, in our Exeter team means we can take a holistic view of the whole later life market, as well as care funding matters, to provide vital advice to those tackling later life issues. Tell us about your community/charity involvement…

Each year our offices choose a charity that they want to support. This year our Exeter office have been raising money for FORCE, a local cancer charity that has been funding research and buying equipment to improve patient care since 1987. So far we have raised over £3,500 for the charity. Did you know...?

One of our team is an international triathlete, competing as part of the GB team in his age group. 01392 214635;


Funding solutions for your business and property needs

Property Investments

Property Development

Bridging Finance

Crowd Funding

Asset Finance

Commercial Mortgages

Buy To Let Mortgages

Invoice Finance

Banking Consultancy

Business Loans (Secured and Unsecured)

01225 800849

South West Business Finance is a broker of credit and not a lender. South West Business Finance is a trading name of Aspire Commercial Finance Limited Registered in England & Wales under No: 09076273 Aspire Commercial Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (690089) also a member of the NACFB (06/0035/CM) Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up on repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it.

advertising feature Rathbones Matt Hall

Richard Norman

Tell us about your business.

Rathbones was established in 1742 and is one of the UK’s leading providers of high-quality investment management services to individuals, families, charities, and their advisers. We work with you to put in place a personalised investment strategy - whether that is to help protect and grow your wealth, or produce an investment income. What about your firm are you most proud of?

At Rathbones we pride ourselves on not having relationship managers. This means from the outset, your relationship is with the person responsible for managing your investments and helping you achieve your goals. What predictions do you have for markets in 2019?

Volatility. With geopolitics, ongoing trade wars, the US moving ever closer to the end of this economic cycle and the path for interest rates hanging in the balance, there are uncertain times ahead. Did you know...?

Financial priorities change over time so it is important that you review your investment strategy regularly. We do this with you, so your investments, and our understanding of your requirements, are always in line with what is happening in your life. Rather than ask you to fit in with us, we build our service around what is important to you. Because no two people are alike, we apply the same rule to investing 01392 201000; Matt Hall

Redmayne Bentley Richard Norman

Tell us a little about your business

Redmayne Bentley was established in 1875 by John Redmayne, and today the firm is one of the UK’s largest independent investment management and stockbroking firms. Clients approach us from a variety of backgrounds and individual circumstances. They may be seeking specific expertise or an investment management service to achieve an income in retirement, saving money towards school fees, or achieving better returns with their savings. Having opened in 2007, the Exeter office has a highly experienced team of five people with almost 100 years’ industry experience between them. What areas do you specialise in?

We provide bespoke investment management, as well as stockbroking and tax-efficient products such as ISAs and SIPPs, and have considerable experience of working with private clients, trusts and charities. We also work with executors (individuals and solicitors) on probate valuation services and sell shares for estates and beneficiaries. What sets you apart from others in your sector?

In an industry where more online investment platforms are coming onto the market, we provide a service based on establishing longterm relationships with our clients, built on trust and understanding. Our investment managers provide a personal, tailored and flexible approach to managing their clients’ investments, using their expertise across all asset classes to tailor the portfolio and service to each individual client. This ethos is also at the centre of our stockbroking service, ideally suited to experienced investors who seek a high-quality service with a stockbroker. We deal in UK and overseas stocks held in certificated and electronic form. Did you know...?

We were awarded ‘Best Full Service Stockbroker’, ‘Best Stockbroker for Customer Service’, ‘Best Self Select ISA’ and ‘Stockbroker of the Year’ at the Investors Chronicle and Financial Times Investment and Wealth Management Awards 2018. 01392 687230; I EXETER LIVING I 71

advertising feature RGB recruitment Tanya Loosemore

Tell us a little about your business

RGB is the longest established, market-leading construction recruitment specialist in the South West. We are unique in the fact that we run independently, supported by Pertemps Network, giving us great financial security and back office support enabling us to offer our clients and candidates the very best levels in service including experienced and qualified consultants, great market coverage and knowledge through long-standing relationships with the leading local and national construction, engineering and property companies. Our ability to tailor our service to individuals and offer sound career advice is second to none. Tell us about your community/charity involvement…

We are committed to making a positive impact in our marketplace and community. We support a charity each year, working to raise as much as possible – often in the thousands. We are involved in schemes encouraging people into the construction industry or back into work, Building Greater Exeter, equality programmes through Women in Property and are sponsors of both Exeter Chiefs and ECFC. What areas do you specialise in?

Chris Elliott, Simon Sheldrake and Paul Lilley from SWBF

Construction, engineering and property.

South West Business Finance

What benefits do you offer employees?

Tell us a little about your business...

We reward our consultants with an industry-leading commission structure and we are always introducing incentives to further enhance their package. We have regular events such as days at the races and weekends away, as we believe in rewarding staff for excellent performance. All staff receive access to a share save scheme, pension, flexible working and Perkbox. We provide training and development programmes for all employees. Did you know...?

This year, RGB will be celebrating its 20th year in business. 01392 314052;

Tanya Loosemore

Dan Smith

South West Business Finance (SWBF) is an independent finance consultancy and commercial brokerage. We work with a broad range of lenders and funding providers to find our clients the most appropriate finance for their needs. We use our broad range of experience to put together the best debt structures for our clients, focussing mainly on trading businesses and property professionals.   What predictions do you have for the sector in 2019?

The uncertainty in the external economic climate does bring both challenges and opportunity for businesses. All businesses and property professionals will need to be discussing their finances to ensure that they will stand through this difficult period and therefore we are still forecasting growth. Tell us about your community/charity involvement…

We are delighted to be supporting Children’s Hospice South West as our charity partner of year 2019. The team completed a sponsored walk along the Bristol to Bath cycle path, raising over £3700! These funds will help support life-limited children and their families from across the South West. What areas do you specialise in?

We specialise in all aspects of business and property finance. What we are currently seeing most of is cashflow finance, whether that be for growth, growing pains or a small gap in general cashflow. On the property side we are completing a lot of property development and commercial mortgage transactions. Debt sizes vary from £100k to £20m. When was your firm founded and who by?

My fellow managing director Steve Barrett and I founded the business in 2014, having both come from a background of commercial and corporate banking. Our team is now 14 members strong with a huge amount of commercial banking experience, over 250 years between us. With this much experience we don’t believe there is a transaction that we haven’t seen… saying that, we are happy to be tested!   Tell us something interesting about your company...

We have an office dog called Digby! 01225 800849; I EXETER LIVING I 73

advertising feature Sam Reid

WBW SOLICITORS Sarah Witheridge

Tell us a little about your business

Our firm is one of the largest legal practices in the area with offices across Devon and Cornwall. Our teams offer the very best legal advice across a full range of services, both for private individuals and for businesses. We put our clients at the very centre of how we do business, and this means that we can tailor-make solutions. We are always happy to dovetail with other professionals that our clients work alongside so that we can ensure that the best results are achieved for our clients. We aim always to be approachable, accessible and open in our dealings with our clients and other professionals. We strive to build and sustain good working relationships – relationships based on trust, the ability to understand the needs of our clients and to offer advice that meets those needs. Describe your offices

Tozers solicitors Sam Reid

Tell us a little about your business

We are a full service law firm, meaning we offer anything from helping you make a Will, to moving house, to advising businesses on corporate finance. In our large Exeter residential property team, we make sure that the moving process goes as smoothly as possible, whether you are buying a manor house or selling an apartment. A lot of our work is received through recommendations from clients we’ve helped to move in the past. Tell us about your community/charity involvement

We have nine offices across Devon and Cornwall – Newton Abbot, Exeter, Torquay, Paignton, Bovey Tracey, Sidmouth, Exmouth and Honiton in Devon and Launceston into Cornwall. This means that we can offer real local knowledge for the communities and areas where our offices are based. How have the last 12 months been for you?

Busy, following the merge with Ford Simey – we merged with Ford Simey in November, bringing two of the oldest law firms in Devon together. With our complementary ethos and office geography, this has enabled us to enhance and strengthen the legal offering available to all our clients. 01392 274126;

Sarah Witheridge

Charity involvement is incredibly important for us at Tozers. Each year, staff vote on who should be our ‘charity of the year’ and are encouraged to think of creative ways to fundraise. For 2019, we are supporting Age UK Exeter which has so far involved walks, pick n mix, and our upcoming family fun day on 6 July at St Thomas Pleasure Grounds. What makes working in Exeter special?

Exeter has a thriving business community and we’re lucky in Southernhay to be surrounded by many businesses that we work with. Not only that, but Exeter is also a beautiful place to work. It’s leafy, has some great architecture and is certainly buzzing without being overwhelming. As we’re based centrally, we’re spoilt for choice of where to go at lunchtime, including the street food market which happens at this time of year. Did you know...?

Tozers was established in 1785 so we like to think we are part of the furniture in the area! 01392 207020;

“In our large Exeter residential property team, we make sure that the moving process goes as smoothly as possible” I EXETER LIVING I 75

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For more information go online 13 Dix’s Field, Southernhay,Exeter, Devon, EX1 1QA | Fiona rook 01392 590068

advertising feature What challenges are your clients facing?

I hate to say it, but Brexit must be the big one. It’s not necessarily the notion of Brexit but the uncertainty of it. The start of the year saw people be far more cautious about stepping onto, up or off the property ladder but that seems to be changing now. Perhaps people are just fed up and have decided to get on with their lives? The commercial sector has remained strong however. Local industry appears to have taken a far more pragmatic view. They are getting on with things and this means helping them to formulate plans for the ‘just in case’ scenarios which has helped a lot of deals go through even when Brexit deadlines have come and gone! Did you know...?

Although Wollens is a new name to Exeter, we actually merged with the long-established firm of Morgan & Pope Solicitors in 2018 whose roots go back to 1833 which is before Exeter City Council was even created! 01392 274006;

Charlotte McGregor

Wollen Michelmore Charlotte McGregor

Tell us about your community/charity involvement…

I became a volunteer Trustee with the fabulous local charity Hospiscare last September. I always knew that it was a great charity delivering first class palliative care and support to patients and their family and being a Trustee has enabled me to confirm my views. It is a real privilege to be involved with the planning of future projects which we hope to roll out within the next few years. I can honestly say that Hospiscare will not just fill the gap which exists between what the patient and their family want and what the NHS can deliver but we will be offering a service which will allow people to die with dignity.

“We all know that Exeter is simply the best place to be in Devon. It has become such a vibrant city with so much enthusiasm for investment”

What areas do you specialise in?

I am a private client lawyer which means that I deal with estate planning, wills and estate administration (probate). Essentially, I spend a lot of the day thinking and talking about death! It’s a very interesting area of the law and has required me to deal with all sorts of unusual things - finding lost relatives, locating foreign assets, arranging for ashes to be turned into diamonds to name just a few! The estate planning side of things is equally as interesting as it gives me the opportunity to really get to know my clients. We work together on a very intense basis for a fairly modest length of time but when we’ve finished, I know all about them - their family, their wealth, their future plans etc and it doesn’t end there. I am then involved with putting plans into action with assistance of the rest of the Wollens team. This might involve selling off development land after the appropriate tax planning has been actioned, setting up family trusts or family investment companies etc. We all know that Exeter is simply the best place to be in Devon. It has become such a vibrant city with so much enthusiasm for investment, not just by the City Council but also the residents and business owners who live and operate here. The success of the City is fuelled by people with big imaginations and ambition and we have been lucky enough to work alongside, for and with a number of them.


What makes working in Exeter special? I EXETER LIVING I 77

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Kitty Kane finds a stunning Georgian property ready to be ‘unconverted’ back into a family home I EXETER LIVING I 81

A place to call home property


t’s a whopper, isn’t it? And yes, inevitably – since so few of us have the large families, or household staff, required for a gigantic, fourstorey home – it has gone the way of many such properties and been divided into flats. Acland House currently consists of the owner’s two-bedroom maisonette on the ground and first floor, and 14 studio flats. So if you’re a landlord, or landlord-in-waiting, this is the mother of all going concerns. If, however, you do have that large family – and, if not a retinue of staff, at least someone to help with the hoovering – we have good news. The planning department have visited the semi-detached pile recently and indicated they would be pleased should it be reconfigured back into a family home – maybe a six-bedroomer – and that no further planning would need to be obtained. The effort and expense of sledgehammering all those partition walls would be well worth it. Acland House, after all, is located on Victoria Park Road in St Leonards, one of Exeter’s most attractive and prestigious streets: wide and tree-lined, tranquil and well-heeled, with those immaculate, stucco Georgian houses lined up like a row of wedding cakes. It’s home to the famous Exeter School, and the practically peerless Magdalen Road, with all its charming


amenities, lies just around the corner – and if commuting is a big part of your life, you’re the right end of town for the M5. The property is Grade II-listed so, inside, you’ll find all the expected period features – high ceilings, cornicing, elegant fireplaces, heavenly sash windows, many of them with deep sills you could sit on, and more. Unlike the earliest Georgian town houses, whose gardens were barely more than paved courtyards, those from the very late Georgian period – like Acland House – boasted much more substantial ones, in which their owners could sit with a pot of Darjeeling and enjoy the verdant, manicured space one of their minions had toiled over. Acland House has an unusually large garden with a wide patio, flat expanse of lawn and borders packed with tidy, mature shrubs. It’s west-facing, letting you soak up the sun from lunchtime onwards. There is also a decent front garden as well as parking for at least two cars to the front of the house. As modern apartment blocks spring up across city centres, the demand for generously-sized family houses is stronger than ever. Restored to its former layout, Acland House will swallow up the kids and all their pals and allow you to entertain like Gatsby, all while being only five minutes from the nearest pint of milk or newspaper. Go! n

House numbers Square feet From M5 Prestige location

6,500 2.5 miles 1

Guide price


For more: Knight Frank 19 Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1QD 01392 423111; I EXETER LIVING I 83

Clyst Hydon Cullompton

Guide Price £650,000 - £700,000

An exceptional detached barn conversion with over 3,600 sq ft of living space, situated in an idyllic village location. Adaptable accommodation with self-contained annexe space and a separate 1 bedroom cottage. Large sitting room and dining area, high quality kitchen, 4 double bedrooms (2 en suite) and family bathroom. Good sized gardens overlooking the surrounding countryside, garage and off road parking for several vehicles.

For further details telephone James Mold on 01392 427500 or email


Holland Park Exeter

Guide Price £750,000

A contemporary family home enjoying a quiet convenient cul-de-sac location, close to Exeter Golf & Country Club. This stunningly presented light and spacious property has been further enhanced by the current owners with a high quality kitchen, open-plan living space and 4 double bedrooms with master en suite. Bricked paved driveway with double garage and enclosed south-facing rear garden.

For further details telephone Giles Hann on 01392 427500 or email


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“Never before, or since, have I been seen in a red, spiky wig ” been so many! I’ll never forget when my grandparents took me to see West Side Story at Theatre Royal Plymouth. I must have been about 14 and I remember getting goose bumps as the show started and realising then that I wanted to be a part of the theatre world. Do you have a nickname/ nicknames?

My Grandad used to call me Topsy when I was little and I sometimes get called Lainey.

ELAINE FAULKNER She’s festival director of the brand new Exeter Fringe and loves a bit of Pink This summer sees the launch of the new Exeter Fringe, presenting our culturedevouring city with a hamper of fresh, funny, surprising and thought-provoking theatre (and some other stuff, but mostly theatre). You can read more about that on page 20. Meanwhile, here’s everything you need to know about the local theatre expert at the steering wheel… Whereabouts do you live, and what makes it special?

I live in Exeter and love it! I love that it’s got everything to make a city great, but it’s small enough to walk around and you can see green hills from the city centre. There’s such a great range of people and things going on here but, of course, the arts scene is one of my favourite things. There’s always something

exciting going on at one of our cultural venues or in an open space. What are your hopes for the first ever Exeter Fringe?

We’ve made the festival for Exeter and have really tried to make sure there’s something for everyone, so I hope that lots of people from all walks of life are able to come and enjoy the performances. It would be amazing if people discovered a theatre company they haven’t seen before, or a venue they’ve never visited, and felt inspired to seek them out again, so that Exeter Fringe has a legacy beyond the 10 days of the festival. What’s the most memorable theatrical experience you’ve ever had, as an audience member?

That’s a tricky one, there have

90 I exeter living I

What piece of music would you put on at the end of a trying day?

Something by Pink. I’ve enjoyed her music since the early days of her career. She’s an amazing singer/songwriter and all-round inspiring person. What’s been your best fancy dress costume?

Me and a group of friends dressed as ’70s punk rockers and spent New Year’s Eve in Teignmouth. Never before, or since, have I been seen in a red spiky wig! What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

One time I was stage-managing a show and hadn’t noticed a drill left on stage… until an actor brought it off halfway through Act One. When did you last cry, and why?

I’m not a big crier, but there was definitely a tear in my eye during the closing session of WOW Exeter, which I productionmanaged. A group of young women we were working with wrote an empowering song for the festival and performed it to a full audience. I got to work with some

amazing people and was proud to see all our hard work pay off. What’s your most treasured possession?

A necklace which was a 21st birthday present from my greatuncle who died some years earlier. He’d actually given it to my mum on my christening day to keep in case he wasn’t around, so that’s very special. Who would play you in a film about your life?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and I’d get her to write it too. Absolutely loved Fleabag! Favourite places to eat, drink and shop in Exeter and the surrounding area?

There are loads of great places to choose from, but the pizzas at The Flat are awesome, especially if followed by a gin cocktail at Forn. For shopping I love to mooch around somewhere like Darts Farm or the Craft Festival when it comes to the Cathedral Green. If you had a time machine, which era would you return to and why?

I think I’d keep a time machine very busy as I’m fascinated by lots of moments and people in history, but one of my first stops would have to be to Shakespeare’s time to see an opening night of one of his plays in the original Globe Theatre. We’d better let you get on… What are you doing right after this?

I need to finish the technical schedule for Exeter Fringe and send it out to everyone. That’s going to be a lot of emails! n For more:

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Exeter Living - Issue 247  

Exeter Living - Issue 247