Page 1





ISSUE 248 / SUMMER 2019 / £3








ABOVE: How to buy art,

page 24; BELOW: It’s Summer Show time again! Page 15


e’ve immersed ourselves in art this issue. We’ve gone straight off the deep end: why you should buy an original artwork, what kind of piece to go for, and where to find it. Like everything we do, the focus is entirely local. Exeter and the surrounding area is blessed with countless excellent artists, organisations and galleries that between them will match you with your perfect piece, be it an oil painting of the estuary, or an immersive sound installation inspired by junction 29 of the M5 (OK, you might have trouble sourcing that one, but we bet someone round here is working on it as we speak). Get inspired and informed with our feature on page 24, in which we talk to various local experts about why investing in creativity is a Good Thing Generally, and browse some handpicked, ever-so-cool local artworks in Ed’s Choice (page 30) then get out there and find something that makes your heart sing and your walls groan with gratitude. Not an Ikea poster. Never. May the rest of your summer be pictureperfect – we’ll see you back here in three sandy, salty weeks.

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

Issue 248/Summer 2019 Cover Into silence 1, 60cm x 60cm, oil and mixed media on canvas, Naomi Hart, 2019 – see page 30


8 Spotlight Big Screen In The Park, Sidmouth

Folk Fest and more summer heads-ups

11 JP HEDGE ...has a lovely story about his grandad 13 MY DESK Jim Hill of Propeller

cover feature

24 GIVE IT YOUR WALL How to buy art that will

last a lifetime (and beyond)

the arts


15 INTRO Devon Guild of Craftsmen’s Summer Show 16 WHAT’S ON Roll up, roll up for the pick of the

summer entertainment scene



was it like growing up gay in Exeter in the ’80s?


23 intro All the colours of the Exeter rainbow 30 editor’s choice Works by local artists


32 SIT IN THE GREEN GARDEN Planet-friendly

gardening, and the best gardens to visit this summer

20 I exeter living I 5

Issue 248/Summer 2019

food & DRINK

38 RESTAURANT West Coast wonders at Pink Moon 40 RECIPES Sardine salad and spaghetti with clams,

courtesy of that nice Mitch ‘Rockfish’ Tonks


46 ONE IN A MULLION A cottage called

‘Morwenna’? We must be in Poldark country...


49 business insights Good news stories from the

city’s business community

52 the way i see it The secret to a successful merger 54 meet the winners The Good Game lads

recall this year’s Exeter Living Awards



56 showcase Paging Serena! This restored Devon

longhouse has its own tennis court


65 SHORE THING Pssst! Want to buy a beach hut?


43 society 66 Exeter lives Met Office chief Penny Endersby


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 7

Everybody’s talking about…


Just like food, the movies taste better outdoors. Exeter’s annual al fresco cinema extravaganza returns to Northernhay Gardens from 1-10 August, and you are urged to bagsy your deckchair now. As usual, this year’s selection of silver screen gems runs the gamut from family faves to cult classics: you’ve got Jurassic Park, Bohemian Rhapsody and Little Miss Sunshine on the first weekend (1-3 Aug), with Pan’s Labyrinth, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and A Star Is Born, on the second (8-10 Aug). All will be projected onto a ten-metre screen, against the beautiful illuminated backdrop of the city. And if you don’t fancy lugging your own chair and picnic across town, you can pre-order both and they’ll be waiting for you on arrival. Tickets cost £7 in advance or £8 on the gate (if available). Gates and bars open from 7pm with films starting around 9pm. For more:



Some of the country’s most important climate experts will gather at Exeter Phoenix on 31 July to answer the question on everybody’s lips right now. Presented by Ritula Shah from the BBC’s The World Tonight, discussion event ‘Can I Do Anything About Climate Change?’ will address whether it’s small lifestyle changes or radical activism that will best tackle the current climate emergency. On the panel are Penelope Endersby, the head of the Met Office; Piers Forster, lead author of IPCC reports and member of the Committee on Climate Change; Molly Scott-Cato, our region’s Green MEP; Danny Chivers, poet, activist and writer; and Steffen Boehm, professor in organisation and sustainability at the University of Exeter. Whatever you do, don’t turn up with a disposable Costa cup… For more:

Blackbeard’s Tea Party get in the festie mood



Whether you’re a hardcore folkie with the entire Pentangle back catalogue on vinyl, or just enjoy the fiddle and uilleann pipe bits on Ed Sheeran albums – heck, even if you wish only to sip cider and watch people dancing in clogs – Sidmouth Folk Festival is the place to be from 2-9 August. As well as the high-calibre concerts taking place on the main stages at The Ham and The Bulverton – this year’s stellar lineup includes Richard Thompson (in solo acoustic mode) Julie Fowlis, Flook, Peatbog Faeries, Topette, Seth Lakeman and Blackbeard’s Tea Party – make time in your schedule for the legendary late night ceilidhs, open mic events aimed at young singer songwriters, and general hey-nonny-nonny-ing along the seafront. For more:

8 I exeter living I

spotlight Jim and Charlie – real gentlemen keep their waistcoats on at the seaside



You’re never far from brilliant new theatre in Exeter, but when we heard that a bunch of our favourite local creatives were collaborating on a new show for this summer our ears pricked up. Clarke Andrews Tempest is inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and explores the reveries of a silent film star who finds himself washed-up in both senses of the word – on an island, and professionally. A collaboration between actor Charlie Coldfield, singer-songwriter Jim Causley and film maker and photographer Benjamin Borley – and directed by Polly Agg-Manning – the show mixes live performance, film, computer-generated images and evocative music, including a score from The Dalwood Rocket. Catch it at The Old Library Bodmin on 20 July and at St Nicholas Priory, Exeter from 23-25 July. Judging by the trailer, it’s deffo such stuff as dreams are made on. For more:

SEVEN DEADLY SINS In our regular mini Q&A with visiting and local performers, LAURENCE ALDRIDGE of The MakeShift Ensemble bares his wicked soul

SLOTH: What should you be really putting your back into right now?

LUST: Who or what do you find yourself lusting after today?

Ooooh. Difficult to answer without a rant! People who lie in public office or who believe poverty is simply caused by laziness.

Time! I’d love to have two weeks with no responsibilities to just sit back and take stock... I’m sure everyone would!

GREED: What should you be cutting down on (non-food and drink!)

Social media. It’s such an addictive waste of time and energy, and a great causer of stress!

GLUTTONY: What one thing could you happily eat or drink until you burst?

Really good beer. My local landlord knows everything there is to know about proper brewing and cellar keeping and he’s turning me into a beer snob.

Organisation. I have three projects on the go and I’m so happy to wander between them without any plan and do not getting that much done.

WRATH: What/who makes you angry?

ENVY: Who are you jealous of ?

Three amazing women I know who are all strong, driven and clear-headed. I try to emulate them.

PRIDE: What’s your proudest achievement? Writing the music for four MakeShift Ensemble pieces and a production of Mother Courage. I only picked up the guitar by accident and I can’t believe where I’ve got to now!

The MakeShift Ensembles’ family show I Am Turtle is at Exeter Phoenix on 26-27 July as part of Exeter Fringe Festival; I exeter living I 9


RAMM – quietly being ace, all year round

Home for the holidays JP is enjoying a year of discovery in Exeter


“Two-thirds of the visitors to RAMM are local”

t has been an incredibly busy year so far for the teams at Exeter City Council in all their guises. I am lucky enough to have the council’s cultural activities under my remit – so that’s things like the awardwinning RAMM, Corn Exchange and Underground Passages. Time and again, whilst the council ends up dealing with the pressing matters of the day, these brilliant services quietly run in the background delivering top-class events. The cultural activity in the city is one of the council’s largest commitments. It is important, not only to the two million visitors that come to the city every year, but also the residents. Two-thirds of the visitors to RAMM, for instance, are local. At six years old my son Harry still squeezes into a bee outfit you can collect from the entrances, and will walk for hours around the halls.

Glancing ahead to the rest of the year there are some highlights that I can’t wait for. This autumn, the RAMM continues to programme its activities around the theme of migration. On 1 October the gorgeous Kate Humble is heading to Exeter to talk about her experiences with nomadic people, which she filmed as part of a BBC series. She has an amazing ability to personify things, and bring what may be abstract or different to life. Then, at the end of October, I am especially excited for the talk about the Devon heroes of the Second World War. These are stories of men and women who carried out remarkable acts of heroism, all captured and retold for the first time. It’s remarkable to think that these stories are still coming out. My own granddad would never talk about the war. His medals remain sealed in the box – he never wanted to open them. One of the few stories, if not the only one, I know about the role he played, is his return journey on a train cramped full of soldiers. He had made the journey by sea from Dunkirk to Dover. My grandma was staying with friends in a pub in Kent and as the train sped through the Chatham, he threw an empty packet of cigarettes out of the window. Written on it was the pub’s name and the words ‘Whoever finds this, can you take

it to the pub and tell Dorothy I’m alright and coming home’. Unbelievably, the cigarette packet made it back to her in advance of my granddad. Amazing. And if you want to get your hands on some items from the Second World War in Exeter, every second and last Tuesday of the month there is a handling session for items. Just 0.01% of the RAMM’s items are on permanent display, so these free sessions are really important to give people a chance to understand their own heritage. And you have until the end of October to join the summer programme of our Red Coat Tours. They have always been the envy of other cities, and now they come with a royal seal of approval, having been awarded the Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service. Firmly fitting into ‘best-kept secret’ territory, the only days they don’t run are Christmas and Boxing Day. The summer line-up runs until the end of October, with highlights among the 20 tours including Forgotten Exeter and Oddities & Curiosities. There is so much to look forward to in Exeter this year. ■ 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 11


We are actually in the old court house and those windows are the old windows to the cells!


Propeller is full of plants and we keep adding more. It makes for a much nicer place to work

Currently I’m building the iOS app for my new business venture, an online delivery service

These phone stands are actually a product I designed and made years ago with Cut & Burn and we use them daily even now



This laptop stand is actually also on a massive stand-up desk that we built. The tall stand makes sure the eye level is better for posture It Doesn't Have To Be Crazy At Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson – kind of the opposite of most business books

The noise-cancelling headphones for when I need to completely zone out. They even block screaming kids!

C’mon, it’s Exmouth! When is it not sunny here? (They need a good clean…)

lexible working spaces are big news right now. And if you thought opening up your laptop in a cool, open-plan space with kindred spirits, a coffee machine and some trendy succulents sounded rather fun… well, just imagine all that but by the seaside. Somewhere like Propeller, for example. Jim Hill is co-founder of Exmouth’s new, not-for-profit co-working space which opened at the end of last year. “We are on a mission to create an ecosystem for ambitious startups in Exmouth,” explains Jim, “but crucially, too, offering all the perks of beach life. Over the summer we are planning on running our first series of ‘board meetings’ – some very casual member talks given at sea on paddle boards.” Hope they’ve got somewhere to hang the wetsuits… ■ For more: I EXETER LIVING I 13

the arts s n a p s h o t s o f e x e t e r ’ s c u lt u r a l l i f e

Ceramics by Jenny Southam (President’s Prize winner, Summer Show 2018)

ON THE MAKE Who wants a people’s vote? Devon Guild of Craftsmen do. Wait, come back! This one’s got nothing to do with Br****. The Devon Guild’s Summer Show was launched in 1955 to celebrate the skills and original work of members of the Bovey Tracey-based membership organisation, exhibition space and charity. It embraces a vast range of techniques from ancient to cutting-edge, and mediums including ceramics, textiles and print. So where do you come in? Well, among the awards up for grabs, visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite craftsperson in The People’s Choice Award. Go on – make a maker’s day. The Summer Show is at Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, 20 July – 8 September. Exhibition open daily 10am – 5.30pm, free entry; I exeter living I 15

What’s on

© Mat t Austin

19 July – 19 August

Made in Devon: local lad Seth Lakeman heads for Sidmouth Folk Festival

EXHIBITIONS Until 31 August

EVOLVER PRIZE 2019 Cover designs from the regional arts guide’s annual competition. Also, until 27 July, Who Am I, work by people with learning disabilities, from local charity Magic Carpet. Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Dowell Street, Honiton;

Until 31 August

PIRATES! FACT & FICTION/ SAMURAI: WARRIORS OF JAPAN/THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR: EPIC MOVIE PROPS AND COSTUMES/ D DAY 75 Pop-up exhibitions from Torquay Museum. The Guildhall Shopping Centre (ground floor entrance by St Pancras Church), Exeter;

Until 8 September

NICKY HIRST: ALGORITHMS... Solo exibition of new work by the London-based artist, who takes one of 2019’s biggest buzzwords – ‘algorithms’ – and twists it into a number of poetic and curious anagrams. These then inspire their own individual artworks. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

Until 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;

Until 31 October

PHILIP LETTS: TEXTURES Mixed media art examining modern challenges including climate change Devon Sculpture Park, Mamhead;

16 I exeter living I

20 July-8 September

DEVON GUILD OF CRAFTSMEN SUMMER SHOW See page 15. Exeter Devon Guild, Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey;

15-17 August

EXETER QUILTERS EXHIBITION Over 100 new patchwork and quilting works – also on display will be the antique ‘Topsham Quilt’, and you can enter a raffle to win a hand-made double quilt. Proceeds to charity. Refreshments available. Mint Methodist Church, Fore Street, Exeter;

theatre, Comedy & Dance 23-25 July


Marooned on the island once inhabited by Prospero, washed-up silent movie star Clarke Andrews (Charlie Coldfield) finds himself enchanted by the residual magic of events long forgotten. Featuring a mix of live performance, film, silent comedy, music (Jim Causley) and the original Shakespearean text. St Nicholas Priory, Exeter;

26 July-4 August

EXETER FRINGE FESTIVAL 100 fresh, exhilarating, funny, boundary-pushing performances running across 10 days. Whatever your favourite flavour of entertainment, we promise you’ll find something to devour. Highlights include Really Want To Hurt Me (3 Aug – see page 20), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (31 July), children’s show I Am Turtle (26-27 July) and The International Joke Off (26 July).

what’s on their cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

Exeter Phoenix and Barnfield Theatre;

16-17 August

A BITESIZED CONVERSATION Award-winning play in which actor Florrie Taylor combines autobiography, pop music and movement, to tackle eating disorders. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

1 August

31 August

KIEFER SUTHERLAND Actual Jack Bauer/David from The Lost Boys and his decent countryrockers are sold out but you can contact the venue for returns. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

THE FIRST THURSDAY CLUB New monthly blues club hosted by singer and TV voiceover, Rob Brown, tonight featuring Gets/z Loose. “Think Paris in the sixties without the smoke,” they say. The Hourglass, Melbourne Street;

2 August

A FAIRY TALE Magical children’s production by Pocket Watch Theatre Company, staged on the banks of the lake. Pack a picnic and grab a rug! Canonteign Falls, nr Chudleigh;

2-9 August

SIDMOUTH FOLK FESTIVAL This year’s iteration of the worldfamous folkie fest features another all-star line-up, including Richard Thompson, Julie Fowlis, Flook and Devon folk hero Seth Lakeman. Mostly at The Ham and The Bulverton, Sidmouth;

music & opera 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;

3-4 August

TUNES IN THE CASTLE FESTIVAL Brand new music festival boasting an impressive line-up: local girl Joss Stone, James Morrison and Pixie Lott top the bill on Sat, with Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, The Skints and Ward Thomas on Sun. Plus gin bar on the castle terrace, silent disco, jousting, kids’ playground and more. Camping available. Powderham Castle, Kenton;

20 July


Beautiful Days welcomes Skunk Anansie Ward Thomas join the line-up at Tunes In The Castle bottom: She’s off the deep end: catch A Star Is Born in Northernhay Gardens middle:

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;

9 August

SMOOVE & TURRELL The Geordie soul/funk crew celebrate 10 years in the business with the release of Solid Brass – 10 Years of Northern Funk a retrospective of the biggest tracks from their blistering live shows. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

26 July

AMADEUS ORCHESTRA Russian classics from RimskyKorsakov, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich, with prize-winning Russian pianist Mariya Kostenko and conductor Philip Mackenzie. Exeter Cathedral;

27 July

16-18 August

HOT 8 BRASS BAND Breathtakingly buoyant, rollicking brass band, straight from the streets of New Orleans. YouTube

BEAUTIFUL DAYS FESTIVAL Hothouse Flowers, Skunk Anansie, Ziggy Marley, The Strangers, Sleaford Mods, Ash, Peter Hook & The Light, John Shuttleworth and Robin Ince (and many more) join festival founders Levellers at this family-friendly knees-up. This year’s I exeter living I 17

WHAT’S ON theme: fairy tales. New for 2019: a ‘Wild Spa’. Escot Park;

OTHER EVENTS Until 3 August

QUAY WORDS Six-week pilot programme of words and stories programmed by Literature Works on behalf of the Exeter Canal and Quay Trust. Look out for free events, workshops, writing surgeries and readings for all, featuring both local talent, national stars and publishing industry specialists. Custom House, Exeter Quay;

19 & 26 July

EXETER STREET FOOD MARKET Experience local street food at its best in lovely city locations. Piazza Terracina (19 July, 4.309.30pm), Southernhay Gardens (26 July, 11am -8pm);

20 July

EXETER CHIEFS KIT LAUNCH Meet Rob Baxter and members of the Exeter Chiefs squad as they unveil the new home and cup kits. Family activities and entertainment, too. Starts 3pm. Exeter Quay;


EMILY MACAULAY shares the latest from Exeter Library

Exeter has been successful in progressing through the first phase of a process to become a UNESCO City of Literature – and this is very exciting for Exeter Library. Only four UK cities can gain endorsement from UNESCO’s UK Commission to join the Creative Cities Network and Exeter was one of these. The city’s application now goes into an international competitive process and we will hear the verdict in November 2019. The bid, led by Exeter City Council, is a partnership between: Exeter City Council, Exeter Culture, The University of Exeter, Devon County Council, Libraries Unlimited, Literature Works, Exeter Cathedral and Exeter Canal

and Quay Trust. If the city is successful in its application, it will enable Exeter to use the prestigious title of City of Literature and produce a four-year cultural programme of activity for the communities of Exeter and the region. The network of UNESCO’s Creative Cities will also enable Exeter to develop international partnerships and opportunities for the benefit of its communities and the cultural sector. Discussions and plans are already in place for lottery funding applications to support this. The bid has been nationally endorsed by Arts Council England, The British Council and MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw.



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.)

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;

31 July

CAN I DO ANYTHING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? Discussion with world-leading speakers from politics, business, activism, and science, including Penelope Endersby, the head of the Met Office; Piers Forster, lead author of IPCC reports and member of the Committee on Climate Change; Molly Scott-Cato, our region’s Green MEP; Danny Chivers, poet, activist and writer; and Steffen Boehm, Professor in Organisation and Sustainability at the University of Exeter. Ritula

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

Shah from the BBC’s The World Tonight presents. Exeter Phoenix, Gandy Street, Exeter;

1-3 & 8-10 August

BIG SCREEN IN THE PARK Outdoor cinema across six summer evenings: Jurassic Park (1 Aug), Little Miss Sunshine (2 Aug), Bohemian Rhpasody (3 Aug), Pan’s Labyrinth (8 Aug), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (9 Aug) and A Star Is Born (10 Aug). Take a picnic or avail yourself of the onsite bars and street food. Northernhay Gardens, Exeter;

16 August

RHS GARDEN ROSEMOOR FLOWER SHOW Floral displays, nursery and trade stands, expert advice, food, live music and the chance to see the new Cool Garden. RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington; ■

SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS What was it like growing up gay in Exeter in the ’80s? We asked writer and director Ben SantaMaria, whose bittersweet comedy Really Want To Hurt Me answers the question on stage this August


By Anna Britten

elf-esteem, homophobic bullying and the life-saving magic of Kajagoogoo and the school play – this sums up the dark, ’80s-flavoured coming-out comedy Really Want To Hurt Me which forms part of Exeter Fringe Festival. Based on the real-life experiences of writer and director Ben SantaMaria, who grew up in Topsham, attending Topsham Middle School and then Priory High School (now known as Isca Academy), it’s performed by Ryan Price – in, we’re pleased to tell you, a proper Devon accent – and has won enthusiastic reviews everywhere it’s been performed. (Readers with long memories may have caught an earlier version at Bike Shed Theatre a few years ago). Now, following sold-out dates in London and Edinburgh Fringe 2018, it’s back in the city that inspired it, as part of a UK tour. What got you through those difficult years as a gay teenager in ’80s Exeter?

The great pop and indie soundtrack that’s featured in the show – classics from Culture Club, Eurythmics, Tears for Fears, The Smiths, Kate Bush and more – plus finding a purpose and another way of escaping daily life through theatre: amateur dramatics, school plays and then being involved in other local shows at the Northcott and on tour. I had some great friends as well. Exeter now versus Exeter then – what are the main changes affecting LGBTQ people?

In many ways, it’s a different world. Back then, there was the legendary


Acorn Pub, which everyone called the ‘Gaycorn’ and saw as this almost mythically strange place in the city, but I moved away before I was of an age to be exploring any local gay community. When I visit these days, it’s really thrilling and moving to see how much LGBTQ visibility there is, with all kinds of events and a growing sense of inclusion and celebration of difference as each year passes. At the same time, of course, that progress is still vulnerable to backlash and a new cycle of the same old compulsory norms that you have to be brave and quite sure of yourself to challenge and fight against. I’d say that the new LGBTQ generation will relate to everything that my ’80s character goes through. What was it like, writing something so personal?

I didn’t plan to write this play! I resisted it for a while, but it definitely snuck up on me as unfinished business and it’s ended up being the most rewarding experience I’ve had so far as a writer. It taught me how much my life has been completely shaped by those naïve formative years. We spend too much time as a culture trying to disown and escape who we were growing up. This process reminded me that I like that awkward, unformed person I was then. How will it feel to bring the play back to the city that inspired it?

Being on the main stage at the Barnfield Theatre is a really emotional achievement for me. It’s somewhere I’ve known since I was the age of the boy in the play, and the show’s full of local references that I hope the Exeter Fringe Festival audience will enjoy recognising, and connect with. It actually means more than I can put into words to share this story here. Really Want To Hurt Me is at Barnfield Theatre on 3 Aug, as part of Exeter Fringe Festival;



“It actually means more than I can put into words” I EXETER LIVING I 21

Elizabeth Ann of Exeter


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

3 Cathedral Close, Exeter EX1 1EZ Telephone: 01392 252876



From its fudge to its cheese, the Quayside to yonder hills, and the seagulls to the bees, Exeter is a multi-hued marvel. You might have seen Devon artist Corinne Young’s Shades of... series of prints before – she’s also done Devon, Cornwall and Somerset – but this one, for our own fair city, is brand new. Grab yours quick at Leela on Magdalen Road – choose from A4 (£15), A3 (£27) or A2 (£38). We can see a rainbow – and a bestseller... I EXETER LIVING I 23

buying art


Step away from mass-produced posters and invest in some original art from a local independent dealer or direct from the artist. Here’s why, and how… Words by Roxanne Duris


ot a houseful of bare walls, or just a sad, empty space above the fireplace? We know it’s tempting to rush to the high street – or a certain Swedish furniture superstore – and grab a nice, safe, mass-produced poster of a lake or some artfully arranged pebbles. But don’t. Instead, spend a little time seeking out something original, from one of Exeter’s many, superb artists – there is something out there for all budgets, and every taste, from classical to ultra-recherché. Lend us your ears…


That mass reproduction of Manhattan that you’re thinking of buying has nothing but contempt for you. It’s pimped itself out to millions of people around the world and has no more wish to speak to your heart than a road sign. Real, original work on the other hand? It’s straight from the hands, eyes, personality and emotions of a professional, often from your region. It’s their baby. And they’re giving it to you! “Buying an original work of art gives a unique pleasure,” says Roger Bishop of Topsham Art Group. “You own something which nobody else has, and which an artist has created from his or her personal observation or imagination, using a skill which has been developed over many years of practice. You choose it because it appeals to something within you which is satisfied by sharing a visual experience with the artist. “You can enjoy that feeling every time you look at the work on your

wall, and others will see it as part of your personality and style. An original work does this in a way that reproductions cannot do nearly so well. No-one else will have anything exactly the same. It can truly reflect your own personality and taste.” It’s also never going to stop being interesting – the best artworks reveal something new of themselves every time you look at them. Adds Eleanor Ludgate of Three Hares Gallery: “An original painting should bring you hours of pleasure and enjoyment, and, I think, also a little bit of mystery as to just how it was accomplished!”


“Buying an original work of art does not need to break the bank,” reassures Chris Mitchell, executive director of the South West Academy of Fine & Applied Arts in Exeter. “And it may be a very good investment. Start with a budget. There are unique works of art available at really accessible prices across the South West. Choose a piece which you really enjoy and it can last you a lifetime.” Look at this way: if you spend, say, £200 on something at the age of 40, and look happily at it at least once a day until you’re 80, that equates to one pence a day. Furthermore, if you hand it down to your kids, they get the benefit too, until your little watercolour of Dartmoor eventually represents free daily joy for generations. No brainer! Better still, often you don’t have to pay upfront all in one go. Ask if your local gallery has a payment scheme, or is part of the national Own Art interest-free loan network. And turn to Ed’s Choice, page 30, for some handpicked, affordable artworks from local artists including our cover star Naomi Hart.

“Choose a piece which you really enjoy and it can last you a lifetime”


Times of India by June Arnold, South West Academy

buying art


Get ready to feel good. “Where one might argue that the most important reason for buying original art is the investment potential that comes from acquiring works from an established or sought after artist, I would argue that there is a far more important reason for doing so,” says Angela Yarwood, director of Budleigh Salterton-based Brook Gallery. “By buying a piece of original art, you are buying into the artist’s time, creativity, self- expression and individuality but you also supporting a larger art community. “The value of an artwork is not isolated. It is planned, created, exhibited, sold and enjoyed. All in the art community – from artists to schools, galleries, museums, collectors and onlookers – play a role in supporting one another by allowing many to experience and to be part of the culture of art. As the viewer and purchaser you are an integral component in the real art world.”


Never reject an artwork because it doesn’t contain the same shade of grey as your freshly-painted walls, or harmonise with the statement sofa. The heart wants what it wants. “I love it when someone comes into my gallery or just passes the shop window, never intending to buy a painting, but then they just fall in love with a picture and just can’t bear to walk away without it!” says Eleanor Ludgate. “I am not so happy when people come looking for a picture to match the colours in their room. This does not really work well and they would be better off buying a print they can change when they update their colour scheme. I prefer it when they choose an original because they love the painting and to their delight it just happens to be a perfect colour to go in their home.”


top: Luftschloss by Heidi Koenig, oil on canvas, £4,750 at Brook Gallery above: Denise Rogers’ Rose Nude, pastel, £195 via Topsham Art Group

“It will continue to give you the same spiritual uplift for many years to come”

Still Life: Red Jug and Seed Heads by Christine Pratt, acrylic, £250 via Topsham Art Group


Here’s Chris Mitchell of the South West Academy again: “The best way to select your perfect piece is to visit art exhibitions and galleries and browse – sometimes you will find an immediate affinity with an artwork and sometimes you will need to take your time. Put together a list of work that you like and would like to live with. Think about where the artwork will be placed in your home or business. Online searches can help, but you need to get close up and personal to really sense the way it is made, and get to grips with the sensations that have inspired it.” Adds Roger Bishop of Topsham Art Group: “Visiting an art show such as the forthcoming Topsham Art Group’s Summer Exhibition will give you an opportunity to see a wide variety of work in all kinds of media and in different shapes and sizes. Among these you are likely to find one that speaks to you in your own individual emotional language. “Look at it carefully and then walk around some more before coming back to it. If it still has the same strong appeal, buy it, because it is likely that it will continue to give you the same spiritual uplift for many years to come.” n Look out for an exhibition by local artist Alan Cotton at Brook Gallery this September

ART FROM WHERE YOU ARE… Local places to buy good, local work Brook Gallery Fore St, Budleigh Salterton EX9 6NH Castle Fine Art 7 Roman Walk, Exeter EX1 1GN Exeter Phoenix Gandy St, Exeter EX4 3LS Lantic Gallery 38 Gold Street, Tiverton EX16 6PY Marine House at Beer Fore St, Beer EX12 3EF No.39 The Art House 39 Gold Street, Tiverton EX16 6QB

Southgate Gallery 64 South St, Exeter EX1 1EE South West Academy Thelma Hulbert Gallery Dowell Street, Honiton EX14 1LX Three Hares Gallery 20 The Square, Chagford TQ13 8AB

open your art

Paint, sketch, sculpt, or make art in any other style or medium? Fancy being exhibited in Exeter Castle? Then you’ve got until midnight on 29 September to submit work for the Exeter-based South West Academy of Fine & Applied Arts’s 2019 Open Exhibition to be held at Exeter Castle, 12-23 November. All styles and techniques are welcome, and this year there will be a dedicated exhibition space for 3D work. A number of sponsored prizes and awards will be up for grabs. The South West Academy is a registered charity dedicated to advancing the creation and appreciation of art in the South West of Britain. Its core membership, the academicians, are outstanding practitioners of fine and applied arts with varied practices, backgrounds and styles. It has an annual calendar of exhibitions and events, including two large-scale exhibitions.

Finding Thoughts by Charlie O’Sullivan, South West Academy

Topsham Art Group Hybrid Gallery 51 High Street, Honiton EX14 1PW

“By buying a piece of original art, you are buying into the artist’s time, creativity, selfexpression and individuality but you also supporting a larger art community.The value of an artwork is not isolated” I EXETER LIVING I 29

ed’s choice ROYAL ALBERT MEMORiAL MUSEUM BY AYLWYN BOWEN, £25 The local artist who did those great new Exeter signs will also post you this lovely signed A3 print

Into silence 1 by Naomi Hart, £450 We loved this meditative canvas so much we put it on the cover. Naomi has made art in some of the most remote and otherworldly places on earth, and it shows


Invest in a striking new work from some of Exeter best artists

Early Morning Topsham Harbour by Jiri Ptacek, £650 The next best thing to actually living on the estuary... South Gate Gallery, 64 South St, Exeter;

30 I exeter living I

Treescape New South Wales IV by Catherine Cartwright, £120 Monoprint with gold and silver leaf on beautiful Japanese paper, that's stitched together. Comes in its own purpose-made perspex box frame

DEVON EDGE BY GREGORY MASON, £65 Limited edition print from the Devon-based finalist of Sky Arts' Landscape Artist of the Year in 2018

GREEN LEGS, BY JANETSAINSBURY, £195 This warm, playful acrylic on paper (which comes framed) is typical of the work of the Exeter-based figurative painter and member of Preston Street Union

HORN TAILS BY WILLOW PATERSON, £95 This highly detailed illustration from the Topsham artist comes in a solid ash frame www.willow

DENZIL BY NADEZDHA LISAK, £2,000 (PAINTING)/ £40 (PRINT) Such grace and movement in this acrylic created from a photo by Julia Forsyth. Lisak accepts commissions of any portrait subject ATLANTIC BY JEREMY SPECK, £65 This vibrant screenprint by the Double Elephant Print Workshop director perfectly evokes the wildness of the Atlantic coast

MACKEREL BY DEBBIE COLES, £425 The Sidmouth painter brings out the beauty of the ordinary in oils and collage I EXETER LIVING I 31

SIT IN THE GREEN GARDEN When it comes to 21st century gardening, looking pretty is not enough. As sales of organic fertiliser and vegetable plants soar, here’s how to be an eco-conscious gardener, and enjoy a garden bursting with health and life. Plus, the best gardens to visit this summer Words by Roxanne Duris

The Hot Garden at RHS Rosemoor – find out more on page 34




veryone wants to be a gardener in the summer. Whether you’ve got six landscaped acres to tend or just a backyard and some potted geraniums, there’s nothing nicer than planting, pruning, deadheading and generally pottering around in the sunshine feeling close to nature. But unless you’ve been living in Beer Quarry Caves all year, you’ll know we’re living through a climate emergency. So, whereas in decades past we’ve made all these horticultural efforts chiefly for our own benefit, the modern gardener is well aware their own patch can play a role in saving the planet – by allowing plants and wildlife to thrive, while using up as little of the planet’s resources as possible. Don’t know where to start? Here a few guidelines…

Harvest rainwater

Install a rainwater butt in an exposed corner of the garden to collect all that pure, unadulterated rain we’re so, erm, lucky to get in this country. This can be used to water lawns and borders (and even to rinse car and windows). You’ll not only preserve the nation’s water supplies and save money if you’re on a meter, but you’ll also reduce stormwater runoff, thus preventing erosion and flooding. Also, if there’s a hosepipe ban, you’re winning.

Choose organic weaponry Opt for eco-friendly, organic fertilisers. The other type – we’re not going to say ‘chemical’ because literally everything on earth is made of chemicals – can contain way more minerals than your fruit and veg actually need, meaning the excess gets washed away and ends up polluting water sources used by both humans and animals. Same with your slug pellets. Those based on ferrous sulphate – a naturallyoccurring ingredient acceptable to organic growers – are now the top sellers.

Go native

Butterflies and bees love native flowers, especially wild lilac, goldenrod, and lemon balm. The more species you can cram into your flower beds, the better – gardens with 10 or more species of attractive plants have been found to entice the most bees. Also, leave a corner of the lawn to grow wild and you’ve got yourself a meadow. To encourage biodiversity and stop the grasses dominating, cut it down at the end of August. I EXETER LIVING I 33

You don’t have to dig a pond to get the frogs to visit

GARDENS OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS Inspiring gardens to visit this summer

Create amphibian hangouts

Relax, you don’t have to dig a pond. Yes, frogs and toads need water to breed but chances are someone in your neighbourhood is already providing that – and, when not doing the tadpole thing, amphibians will happily make a home among piles of stones or rotting wood and long, damp grass.

Switch off

You don’t need fossil fuels to make your garden glow. Choose solar-powered lights over those using mains electricity. As well as being better for the world, and your electricity bill, they can be hung anywhere that suits. Yes, the cheaper varieties can be a little dim – the brightness depends on the quality of the photovoltaic cells and the size of the LED bulb. So spend a little more if you want to really dazzle.

Feed the birds

It’s not just during winter’s deep freeze that our birds need edible handouts. They appreciate a treat in summer too, especially as many of them are raising their babies. No need to buy a big plastic pack of commercial bird feed – the RSPB says you can also put out the following: black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, soaked sultanas, raisins and currants, mild grated cheese, mealworms, waxworms, and good seed mixtures without loose peanuts (which can be high in a harmful natural toxin). n


Bicton PARK Botanical Gardens Head to East Budleigh to lose yourself in these huge, stunning, Grade I-listed landscaped gardens boasting almost three centuries of horticultural history. Bicton Park Botanical Gardens have something for all ages and all levels of gardening obsession from ‘vaguely aware what a spade is’ all the way up to ‘watches Gardeners’ World with a notepad’. Themed gardens, historic glasshouses and a countryside museum

Bring the bees in with native flowers

for the grown-ups, and a woodland railway and play areas for kids.

RHS Rosemoor A little patch of botanical heaven nestled in the Torridge Valley, Rosemoor dates back to 1931. It richly rewards a visit whatever the season but is especially stunning in summer, we think, when the Hot Garden is aflame with vibrant reds, purples, yellows and oranges couresty of plants including Helenium

‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’, Solidago ‘Goldenmosa’, and Hemerocallis ‘Pardon Me’. You can also meander through over 100 acres of woodland when you need to cool off. rosemoor

Killerton House & Gardens Entrusted to the National Trust in 1944, NT Killerton is one of Devon’s most popular tourist attractions in part thanks to its extremely great outdoors. A range of walks and trails, many of them dogfriendly, mean you need never take the same stroll twice. Surrounding the beautiful Georgian house you’ll find 6,400 acres of landscaped gardens, farmland, woodland, parkland and orchards, an Iron Age Fort – and even an extinct volcano. Look out for stunning flowers, trees from around the world and all manner of secret nooks and winding footpaths. killerton/the-garden

GARDENS GARDEN GURUS These local green-fingered experts have got your back (garden) GARDEN CENTRES, NURSERIES & MACHINERY SUPPLIERS Bernaville Nurseries 01392 851326; Masons Kings 01626 852140; Otter Garden Centre 01404 815815; St Bridget Nurseries 01392 873672; Urban & Rural Plants 01392 253266; www.


Polar Landscaping 01392 274478;

Ed Rogers 01392 860748;

R & M Landscaping 01392 841585; www.

Exeter Garden Maintenance 01392 660376; www.

RMP Landscaping 07717 496623;

Garden Plant Design 07725 904277;

Roger Webster Garden Design 01392 877717;

Green Man Gardens 07794 294283; www.

Urban Earth 01395 260168;

Hartnell Gardens 01392 244132; www.


Aggett Bros 07545 898541;

Paul Bentley: The Landscape Gardener 07480 132288; www.

City Gardens 07765 401304;

P J Contracting 07887 424143;

Birds need treats in summer too


Dene Clatworthy 07880 947251;

Dartmoor Tree Surgeons 01395 232854; www.


Green Thumb Lawn 01363 83822;


GARDEN FURNITURE MAKERS Chunky Monkey 01392 490590; www.

GARAGE DOORS First Light 01404 43238;

RAILINGS, GATES ETC Hand Crafted Steel 01837 89225;

Hembury Contracting 07432 829707; www.

“The more species you can cram in the better” I EXETER LIVING I 35

Celebrating 20 Years of e xcellence!

Offering delicious balanced dishes at superb value

House Menu, A la Carte and popular Taster Menu and Wine Flight are all available, check out our website for sample menus and future events. Newly refurbished with the same smiley faces. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 6.00pm Now open Saturday & Sunday Lunch from 12.00pm

The Triangle, Kenton (Nr Powderham Castle) Exeter, EX6 8LS. 01626 890195

Would you like to work in Media Sales? We are always looking to hear from talented individuals who would like to work for MediaClash, presenting advertising opportunities and marketing solutions across our portfolio of fantastic magazines and events. We are a growing business and anticipate there being various opportunities over the next few months. If you would like to join our continuing success story please email your CV to or give us a call anytime on 01225 475827 for a chat about the company, our magazines and available positions.


Anna Britten is California dreaming at this perky, witty Queen Street newcomer


od, this place is fun. It’s sunshine, blue skies, cruising along an ocean freeway with the smell of orange blossom flooding in through the window and Smooth by Santana flooding out. Indulge our overexcitement – Pink Moon is just so thrillingly California. There isn’t a traditional European dish to be seen, nor much we’ve ever seen anywhere round here before, except perhaps the breakfast fry-up, but even that comes with paprika beans and a choice of egg species. Head elsewhere for your pork belly and artisanal pizza, folks. Equally as important, looks-wise this joint is a 10. In a dining scene largely dominated by the twin aesthetics of ‘gastropub-cosy’ and industrial-chic, Pink Moon’s candy-pink and mint-green colour scheme puts a big, goofy grin on our face. Half the ground floor is given over to a coffee shop area serving absurdly cheap and unusual snacks to grab-and-go. Downstairs is a bar and

38 I exeter living I

nightclub – lads of Exeter, if you ruin this joint for the rest of us, I am personally coming over there to yank you out by the seat of your Stone Island pants. Exotic plants from Hutch trail everywhere, and – we chuckle hard at this; after two mojitos we’d be on the floor – police mugshots of Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan distinguish the gents’ and ladies’ loo doors. It also tickles us that, after a number of customer enquiries, they are inventing an anecdote to pretend that, yes, the place was named after the Nick Drake song. They being owner Adam Pike, operations manager Kingsley Crocker, chef Josh Tilt (whose mum and dad own Rodean in Kenton, fact fans) and venue manager Amelia Pike who also dreamed up the décor (major props to her). With the appearance of Pink Moon, most other restaurants have suddenly aged ten years. In true West Coast-style, Josh’s menu is modern, healthy, slightly hippy, Mexican-influenced, fish- and veggie-centric and fresh in every sense – yoga types will be downward-dogging in gratitude.


“Yoga types will be downward-dogging in gratitude” It’s split into brunch-y stuff, tacos, small plates and large plates, with suppliers including locals Forest Fungi, Emma’s Bread, Westcountry Produce & MC Kelly. Along with two Berries Before Bros smoothies (berries, apple, banana, soy yoghurt, maple syrup and cranberry), and several strawberry-and-mint iced teas, we share the following, and exhort you to do the same… Butter-crisped oysters – four of them, crunchy, chewy and briny – served in their shells in a slurpable butter and lemon juice puddle filled with slivers of bacon, parsley and spring onion. You will immediately scratch oysters off your ‘absolutely not’ list. The sturdy, moreish sweet potato fries dipped in garlic and lemon mayo slip down in seconds, with two fish tacos – one blue corn, one plain – cradling several chunks of juicy bream in a light, crunchy cornflake batter, and a rainbow of diced heritage tomatoes doused in a sour cream dip. Home-made kimchi gives a pleasant poke to the back of the throat. If you want to seduce a brunch date order them the two Weetabix-sized hunks of flavoursome potato hash packed with chunks of smoked bacon and black pudding, with a perfectly poached duck egg, maple-dressed salad with a scattering of seeds. If we could build an extension on our stomachs we’d order the burnt watermelon with roasted squash and miso, and the chicken piccata, too. But we’ve been here ages and the sun is going down over Santa Monica Boulevard, aka Queen Street. In the immortal words of Tupac Shakur: welcome everybody to the wild, wild west… n

Dining details Pink Moon, 44 Queen St, Exeter EX4 3SR; 01392 905550; Opening times Mon-Tue 8am-5pm, Wed-Sat 8am-5pm & 6-11pm, Sun 10am-4pm Prices From £1.50 for a side to £27 for a main Vegetarian/vegan choice Excellently catered for Disabled access OK Drinks The usual coffees, cold drinks and a well-stocked bar, but also kombucha and their own lager and cider Service/atmosphere Katy Perry video I exeter living I 39


A two-course summer seafood feast courtesy of Mitch Tonks of Rockfish


hen the sun comes out, I often find myself thinking of great travels and great food I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy, particularly in the Mediterranean,” says Mitch. “One of the first things I’ll do is head to a local trattoria and enjoy a cold beer and some freshly grilled sardines that have usually just been landed by a local fisherman. “At home in Devon I love cooking over the fire or on a plancha or a BBQ and eating outdoors. You don’t need to think about it as something to do only when you’re having loads of people over, just cook for yourself and family, keep it really simple – these two recipes are easy to prepare and easy to serve in the middle of the table for all to share. Not many ingredients are needed for some of the best meals but sunshine and friends are a good starting place. “Get yourself some really fresh seafood from a local fishmonger and enjoy a couple of wonderful dishes best served outdoors and spread over a few hours. Time to relax and slow down!”

Grilled sardine, pine nut and olive salad Serves 2

Ingredients 6 sardines, filleted 1 red onion, finely sliced 1 tablespoon dried oregano 6 ripe tomatoes 10 olives black or green 1 round lettuce A good pinch of dried Greek oregano 1 cucumber – halved, seeds removed Small handful pine nuts Olive oil 1 egg yolk Good splash white wine vinegar Teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ clove garlic 1 anchovy fillet Sea salt


Method 1. Heat a grill pan until hot, or a traditional grill. 2. Brush the sardines with oil and some of the oregano and grill with the skin side facing the heat for 4-5 minutes, until crisp and cooked 3. To make the dressing, place the egg yolk in a small food processor with the garlic, oregano,

mustard, vinegar and anchovy fillet and blitz, gradually add the oil until thickened, then loosen with a splash of water until at pouring consistency. Taste and season. 4. Mix together all the remaining salad ingredients, season with salt, then toss with the dressing. Lay the sardines on top of the salad, or break up and toss through it.


Baked spaghetti and clams Serves 1 – increase quantities as needed

Pasta cooked this way is delicious, as it really soaks up all the juices. Ingredients 75g spaghetti 20 clams 1 dried chilli, crumbled 2 garlic cloves 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped Squeeze of lemon

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. 2. Half-cook the spaghetti and toss with the clams (discard any whose shells are broken or open and fail to close when tapped sharply), the crumbled dried chilli, the garlic cloves and most of the finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. 3. Place them on a layer of parchment and foil (foil on the bottom) and seal securely. Place on a baking tray and cook for 8–10 minutes. 4. Open the parcels and discard any clams

that remain closed. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of the remaining finely chopped parsley. This also works well with a few skinned tomatoes and some whole roasted garlic cloves thrown in. © Mitch Tonks, Fish Easy published by Pavilion, £19.99, available at bookstores, online and at Rockfish restaurants I EXETER LIVING I 41

Join in the fun and take part in Exmouth’s ďŹ rst ever sponsored colour bomb event. Walk, run or dance through the colour bomb paint stations and help raise money for the New Deaf Academy.




Mark and Marie Buckfield

Victoria Hatfield and Marion Baxter Sibley Jack Heywood, Kelvin Keller and Tom Cairns

Ann Hunter, Mattie Richardson and Helen Scholes


Crafters, makers, bakers, barbers and bar tenders gathered together to showcase their one-of-a-kind products and services at the InExeter independent showcase in St Stephens Church on 27 June. Celebrating the launch of InExeter’s Summer of Independents campaign, which will champion Exeter’s vibrant independent scene, the event shone a light on a handful on the brilliant indie businesses in the city. Voting is now open for InExeter’s Summer of Independents competition to find the independent business of the year in three categories: Food & Drink, Retail and Service. For more information visit summerofindependents Photos by Steve Haywood

Lisa Jackson and Lauren Musinguzi

Erin Cox Patrick Cunningham and Yvan Williams

John Tron Davidson, Gabrielle Peckham, Adi Stone and Jasmine Kelly I EXETER LIVING I 43


Pete Joyce and Meddie Joyce

Bradley Swinbank, Noah Rickets, Mae Housego, Natasha Pavey, Endurance Arthur and Esther Kenig Bob and Liz Cruwys

Lizzie Bennett and David Williams

Sir Ian collects donations for the Northcott’s ‘Pay It Forward’ campaign


Exeter’s theatre lovers young and old turned out in droves when British acting legend IanMcKellen stopped off at Exeter Northcott Theatre on 1 July with his show Ian McKellen On Stage With Tolkien, Shakespeare, others and you!, part of a national tour to celebrate his 80th birthday. Photos by Mike Alsford

Sir Ian McKellen

Daniel Buckroyd, Michele Leech, Harry Studholme, Charles Courtenay, John Birkin, Lucy Studholme, Clarissa Brown and Emma Birkin Queues build for a chance to meet the man himself

Joe McNulty, Elaine and Martin Kingston, Pip and David Hill, Andy Oaker 44 I EXETER LIVING I


Jack and Melanie Frier Susy Atkins

Bryony Langford


Alec Carter and Micki Leach

Adele, Michael, Julie and James Dart

The vibrant South West Wine School’s ‘First of the Summer Wine’ event at the Deer Park Country House near Honiton saw over 100 guests turn up and taste more than 40 wines in the beautiful surroundings of the walled garden and the Orangery. These were served alongside a smorgasbord of delicious food created by the chefs at this stunning country house.

Jonathan and Hayley Reynolds and family

Olly Forster I EXETER LIVING I 45

one in a mullion

We were staying in a cottage called ‘Morwenna’ – and if that doesn’t give you a clue that we were knee-deep in Poldark country, I don’t know what would… By Mal Rogers

great escapes


The Harbour View Apartments have views across to Mullion Cove; yes, of course you can come in – dog visitors are even more fussed over than their owners; many local beaches were used for Poldark locations

idan Turner pillowcases outsell all other souvenirs throughout the region.” That was what the BBC press release said. It continued: “Poldark’s scenic shots of Cornwall have helped propel the county into the international limelight, with tourists travelling from all over the world to see it in the flesh.” We’d quibble with the word ‘flesh’ in this context – unless, of course, they’re referring to Ross’s predilection for topless scything. Locations that fans are keen to visit include the quaint harbour at Charlestown, the fishing village of Penberth, and Bodmin Moor. The tin mines are also a big draw, including Levant and Botallack, as are the beaches, stretching from Holywell Bay to Kynance Cove. The latter is easily reached from Mullion Cove Hotel and its cottages, many of which bear Poldarkian names. (True story: last time we visited, we missed Aidan Turner by a week; he’d been staying, as you’d hope, in Demelza.) Other familiar locations close by include Gunwalloe Cove, scene of many a smugglery episode; and Church Cove’s Instagram-ready St Winwalloe Church, where Dwight wed Caroline. Note to aspiring authors who fancy writing the next bestselling saga – you need only wander around the graveyard for a ready-made cast of Cornish characters; a Samuel Oats here, a Grace Hendy Lugg there. Of course, Cornwall had celebrity visitors long before Aidan and co. D H Lawrence described the Duchy as having “that flicker of Celtic consciousness before it was swamped under Norman and Teutonic waves”. Well, not entirely swamped, DH, because Cornwall has a unique feel of being English, yet Celtic and rugged. It’s famously independent, as evinced by the number of Cornish flags you’ll see – mind, if our flag was a cool piratical black cross, we’d fly it all the time, too. Postcard-grade villages and narrow-laned fishing harbours abound, with cosy pubs and teahouses in which to linger and ponder the obvious merits of slathering the jam on scones before the cream, as opposed to the frankly insane cream-before-jam method. Everything, but everything, is more dramatic in Cornwall. It’s like Devon on steroids. Even getting to the sandy beach adjacent to Mullion Cove is a Grade-I Famous Five-style adventure, the entrance being via a stygian cave which threads some fifty feet through the dark, damp bedrock before opening out onto the sand. You can’t help speculating on the value of the contraband transported through here over the centuries, or admiring the agility of the locals, who skip through this pitch-black slippery hole as if it was a tarmac road in full daylight. Amazingly, once you get to the other side, there are families kitted out with windbreaks, collapsible chairs and picnics – you clearly just need a bit of practice, or possibly to be born with a surname prefixed ‘Tre-’.

To explore the tail end of Cornwall known as the Lizard – not as far west as Land’s End, but the Duchy’s most southerly tip – there are few more welcoming places to stay than Mullion Cove Hotel. It sits in glorious isolation above the old fishing harbour, a clifftop eyrie with views along the snarling coastline and down to the harbour; there’d be an uninterrupted view to the Statue of Liberty, if only the world was flat. The hotel is currently in the process of being strenuously boutiqued – the building of a huge spa is underway – but despite being updated the place maintains an air of relaxed, friendly gentility. It’s branched out in recent years into cool, contemporary self-catering apartments, some right down in the harbour, and others, such as the newly opened, Harbour View Apartments where we stayed, perched even higher than the hotel. Despite the tasteful pale décor and soft carpets, they don’t just let you bring the dogs, but pamper them with little bags of biscuits, and a handy guide to the beaches that permit them in high season. The four apartments are named for female Cornish icons: Morwenna, Verity, Rowena and Daphne (we’re guessing that the Minack’s Rowena Cade and author Daphne du Maurier are referenced by the latter two – unless, of course, they’re distant cousins of Caroline Penvenen that we haven’t met yet). Each has a private balcony or terrace, ideal for sundowners or storm-watching; some even have hot tubs. If you’re unlucky enough to be in Cornwall when the sun is splitting the skies, you’ll have no excuse but to head along the South West Coast Path, which passes, handily enough, right in front of the Mullion Cove Hotel. The path is enclosed by banks of hawthorn, sloe, blackberry and gorse bushes. On one side the ocean thunders a hundred feet below; on the other a wild heathland dotted with wild flowers, prehistoric ruins, and the old workings of tin mines stretches towards the moors. Out to sea, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, porpoises, whales and sharks; if none obligingly pop up, console yourself by admiring some surprisingly subtropical plants, which flourish here due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. Having said that, I dipped my toes into the water down at Mullion Harbour only to realise that terms like ‘warming effect’ are really only relative. But any walk on the Lizard – clifftop, lonely beach, or rough moorland – will provide you with everything you might want. It’s really not difficult to see why the Lizard has inspired painters, writers, poets, sculptors — and, of course, TV producers.

Travel details The Apartments

The Harbour View apartments are the latest selfcatering apartments for the Mullion Cove Hotel, and sleep between 4-6 people. Prices start at £799 for a week. Visit or call 01326 240328 I EXETER LIVING I 47

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

Quote of the issue

“as far as we know, we’re the only company providing this opportunity in the uk” Who’s found a gap in the market? Find out on page 50

The Big Number © Guy Newman / Rekord Media


Veterinary practices using the services of Exeter-based VPG. See this page...


Exeter Science Park welcomes successful national veterinary pathologists


above The VPG team settle into their new home

eading UK veterinary pathology firm, The Veterinary Pathology Group (VPG), has moved from the University of Exeter’s Innovation Centre to Exeter Science Park following recent company growth. From a team of just three, which formed as Torrance Diamond Diagnostic Services in Exeter in 2001, there are now 135 employees across the group, 45 of which have been based in Exeter Science Park’s Newton building since June 2019. The VPG provides a diagnostic

results service for over 900 veterinary practices across the UK and Ireland, offering particular expertise in cytology, haematology and histopathology. Says director Andy Torrance: “The move to Exeter Science Park will underpin the next phase of our company’s growth and allow us to enhance the service further as we continue to develop new diagnostic tests to support veterinarians in the UK and across Europe. “We chose the Science Park as not only does it offer fantastic facilities to allow our staff to

perform their duties, but the prime location provides a very accessible point for our network of courier drivers and clients to deliver samples to our laboratory for diagnostic testing and analysis.” Exeter will become the company’s head office, the other laboratories and offices being located in Ringwood, Hitchin, Bristol, Leeds and Cork. “Exeter Science Park is an excellent choice for the VPG’s next phase of growth,” says Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park. “We provide high-quality office and laboratory space and outstanding business support to help innovative science, technology, engineering, maths and medical, or STEMM, businesses deliver extraordinary growth. We wish them continued success here.” For more: I exeter living I 115 49

business insights

HAPPY SHOPPERS Shopping & Dining, the app’s creators have now developed it to include the ability to report venue cleanliness and repair issues. Andrew McNeilly, centre director at Guildhall Shopping & Dining says: “Here at Guildhall Shopping & Dining, we see the potential opportunity for the Krowd app is invaluable in creating a safe, secure shopping environment for customers and brands alike.” Adds Krowdthink MD Geoff Revill: “Guildhall Shopping & Dining’s commitment to customer service and safety has made them an early adopter of our innovation and a real innovator in their own right as they demonstrate the future of digital in retail. We look forward to its wider deployment to the public and venue staff later this year.”

© Mat t Austin

Guildhall Shopping & Dining has partnered with Devon-based app and platform developer Krowdthink to make the venue safer and more responsive to shopper concerns. It is the first retail mall outside London to use the Krowd app by Krowdthink, which was developed in response to the terror attacks in the UK in 2017 and the ensuing demand for a communication-based platform that deters, detects and disrupts unwanted behaviours in crowded places such as shopping centres. Krowd, which won funding from the Home Office late last year, allows people in crowded places to engage directly with onsite security or facilities support teams to report suspicious activity, potential threats, lost children or minor crimes in real-time using their phones. Working with Guildhall

For more:


Passengers alighting at Cranbrook and Honiton railway stations can now avail themselves of electric bikes from Exeter-based Co Bikes, allowing for seamless – and zero-carbon – onward commuting. The investment in the new e-bike stations by South Western Railway is due to a successful bid for over £1 million in grants from government, local authorities and third-party funding sources to improve cycle-rail connectivity across their network. In Devon, match funding is through a partnership between Devon County Council and East Devon District Council, alongside the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone and Lidl. Cranbrook will see a 20 e-bike station installed and Honiton will benefit from a 10 e-bike station. Bikes can be rented from the station using the Nextbike app and cost just £1 per 20 minutes (plus £10 deposit) – they can either be returned to the same station or any other station in the Co Bikes network. For more:;

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Sargon Latchin and Richard Hills-Ingyon outside the new shop in Gandy Street

“Gandy Street fits our profile perfectly, with lots of like-minded businesses close by, so when the shop became available the decision was easy to make.” Customers bringing old candles into the shop are offered a discount on purchases. Richard and Sargon are also keen to encourage hotels and restaurants in Exeter to recycle their candles: “We are happy to collect used candles from any local businesses,” says Sargon. “The good thing is, this will help them to achieve their green objectives and keep old wax out of landfill.” For more: www. therecycledcandlecompany.

© Mike Alsford


The UK’s only candle recycling business, The Recycled Candle Company has opened its new shop at 16 Gandy Street in the heart of Exeter’s indie shopping district. Explains Richard Hills-Ingyon, who co-founded the business in Ottery St Mary with Sargon Latchin: “The concept is simple; wax from used candles is melted down, filtered, dyed and scented to create beautiful new candles. “As far as we know, we’re the only company providing this opportunity for recycling candle wax in the UK, if not the world. “Although we loved being in Ottery, it became increasingly obvious that we needed more space to allow us to take the business to the next level.

Mark Pellow, chairman of Exeter Chamber; Helen Hartstein, RAMM; Ben Bradshaw; and Derek Phillips, vice president of Exeter Chamber

Movers and shakers etc

Lynsey Carroll

Exeter property developer, Burrington Estates has appointed Peter Quincey as development director and John Harvey as community manager… Crediton-based estate agents Helmores has announced the appointment of Ian Blanchford to the role of associate partner... Lynsey Carroll (pictured) joins local housebuilders Devonshire Homes as their new sales manager… Kevin Bradford rejoins Redrow as sales consultant working on the Saxon Brook development in Exeter.

CONSTITUENT PARTS Over 80 businesses attended the recent Exeter Chamber of Commerce annual lunch with guest speaker and Exeter MP, Ben Bradshaw. Held at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, the lunch gave members the opportunity to raise issues and ask questions about what has been affecting their businesses. Ben answered questions from members on topics including business rates, new home construction, zero carbon city planning and Brexit. “I am always pleased to be able to address the Exeter business community through

the Chamber of Commerce,” says Ben Bradshaw. “The event provides another route by which I can hear from constituents and ensure that I am representing their views at national level.” The next event in the Chamber calendar is the Exeter Chamber Summer Bash, taking place on Thursday 22 August 2019 at Deer Park Country House. Attendees will be able to enjoy a summer evening of networking with cider punch and stonebaked pizzas in the spectacular grounds of Deer Park Country House in Honiton.

For more: I exeter living I 51

business insiGHTS

Get teams working together as soon as possible, advises Sarah

“GENEROSITY, KINDNESS and fairness will always go a long way”

The Way I See It

SECRETS OF A SUCCESSFUL MERGER Wondering how to have a smooth business ‘wedding’? SARAH WITHERIDGE, partner and head of property at WBW Solicitors, played a key part in the firm’s merger with Ford Simey last autumn. So listen up…


obody can claim to be an expert when firms or teams merge; people are at the heart of making such things a success and so, inevitably, every situation is unique. I do think some guiding principles are always important, however…

Be prepared but adaptable Preparing as best you can in advance is vital, but it is just as important to be adaptable and quick to react to particular circumstances throughout the process and beyond. Things inevitably crop up that were not planned for, and it is crucial to be flexible and adapt – this helps to ensure you can support your staff and continue seamlessly to provide the best of care to all clients.

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Embrace best practice When two strong firms merge, there are always things that can be learnt from each other. It is a perfect opportunity to take a good look at what both firms have done well and consider how we might do things even better when working together. Be willing to embrace best practice wherever it might be found, and this will always make a merged firm or team stronger. Some old fashioned values You have to recognise that mergers are demanding for all the staff involved, but I think encouraging a genuine culture of generosity, kindness and fairness, where people both listen to and hear what others are trying to say, will always go a long way towards mitigating this.

A shared endeavour It is important that the aims of the newly merged firm, the direction of travel and the benefits of merging (both for staff and clients) are clear to everyone involved. We can then work together with a sense of shared endeavour – aiming to make the merged firm as strong as it can be and greater than the sum of its previous parts. For WBW, following the merger with Ford Simey, it has meant that we can now offer legal services across the whole of the region, with every client able to access to the widest range of expertise, from our offices which are in the heart of the communities that they serve. Blend teams I think it is more difficult to move towards a shared culture if teams or offices from merging firms are not blended together wherever possible. It might seem easier to keep the status quo during the busyness of a merger but, in the long term, working alongside new colleagues seems to me the most obvious way for everyone to learn from each other, building new relationships and getting together as a new team. And finally… never underestimate the power of endless good humour and cake! I am hugely fortunate at WBW to have a property team that is jam-packed full of talented, knowledgeable and lovely people across all of our offices who make my working day a pleasure. This makes the good humour part much easier to achieve – and I am confident that those in my team and the Exeter office will attest to my belief in the power of cake!

advertising feature

Helping your grandchildren financially


If you are at a stage of your life where you’re financially comfortable and want to give a helping hand to your family, here is an introduction to the key allowances available to you. By Carolyn Matravers of OLD MILL

haring your wealth during your lifetime reduces the size of your estate and therefore your Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability. The following allowances enable you to make gifts which immediately reduce the size of your estate and have no IHT implications.

Annual exemption This allowance enables you to gift £3,000 each year. As a couple you could gift £6,000 and if you don’t utilise it, it can be carried forward one year.

Small gifts allowance You can make as many gifts, of up to £250 per person, as you want, although not to someone you have used another exemption on.

Gifts out of excess income This type of gift can be made as long as you can maintain your standard of living without having to draw on additional capital. Ideal if you have high income levels and low expenditure as it can slow the growth of your estate. However, your executors will need to prove to HMRC that these gifts fulfil their criteria, so it’s worth keeping a record of your available income/cash flow each year.

If you want to make a gift in excess of the allowances, you would need to survive for a period of seven years from the date of the gift for it not to be liable to IHT. A trust can be a tax-efficient way to make a substantial gift, while still giving you some control on how it is used. Before making any gift, make sure you protect your own financial future. Old Mill are here to help – contact us to find out more. n

Gifts in respect of marriage You can make wedding or civil ceremony gifts of between £1,000 and £5,000. A gift would need to be made before the wedding and the wedding does need to go ahead!

If you would like to know more, please do contact me on 01935 709334 or

business insights xxxxxxx

“Be nice’... it’s that simple. Nice things happen to nice people”

exeter living awards 2019 GOOD GAME


Who’s making the best food and drink in Exeter right now? Just the thought of answering that question puts us off our lunch. Luckily, it fell to our discerning Exeter Living Award judges, and they chose local charcuterie and cured meats company Good Game. Co-founder Steve Williams casts his mind back to a big night… The Mexican wave you started is one of everyone’s best memories of the Exeter Living Awards. Did you plan it?

Pete and I don’t plan much, to be honest. We have been a double act now for so long we just kind of know what each other is thinking and we go with it. Also if we haven’t got anything to say we just do something stupid. It’s worked so far. Why do you think Good Game won?

We have been up as finalists before but this year I really think it’s all

come right for us. I think it’s hard to win an award like this when you are still new; you need to have been round the block a little. How did you first get into the food business?

Pete and I drove a car to Casablanca with a mutual friend, Jim from Topsham Wines. It started there and we’ve just kept going where the dream takes us! What’s the best piece of industry advice you’ve ever been given?

‘Be nice’.... it’s that simple. Nice things happen to nice people.

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What plans do you have for Good Game over the next couple of years?

Plans? That’s not what we do! We do not plan! However, we do want to spend some time making sure Good Game is flying and we are spending some time making sure our products are the best they can be, and then looking for more routes to the market so we can share with more of you. Also, look out for something we are calling the Good Game Grub Club… Who are your local food/drink producer heroes?

For me, there are a couple of people who farm beef that are worth talking about. Darts Farm produce some the finest dry-aged beef you will find anywhere in the world. Also, there is a young farmer called Nick, who has grass-fed, organic, native breed beef on his farm in Dartmoor, Wooder Farm. Check these guys out. What’s your bestselling product?

Our chorizo and chilli chorizo are the best selling products right now. Also, our ’nduja is catching up. Tell us your favourite bit of game-related trivia…

Deer have no predators so if we don’t shoot them and eat them they get old, their teeth wear out and they starve to death! Eat deer or release wolves. For more:

Remberton Farm



This restored Devon longhouse has its own tennis court and outbuildings ripe for conversion. KITTY KANE serves for the set I EXETER LIVING I 57

A place to call home property


hwock! Clop! Whatever sound a well-hit tennis ball makes to your ears, we’re sure you’ll agree it’s a beautiful one. Now imagine hearing it not through the TV screen as you’re watching Wimbledon or the US Open, but emanating from your own tennis court. At your own house. Hang on, maybe it’s actually you hitting that ball! Remberton Farm is a wisteria-clad, Grade II-listed farmhouse set in a tranquil elevated position enjoying far-reaching views, almost midway between Tivvy and Cullompton, and surrounded by some of Mid Devon’s most dreamy countryside. Dating back to the 16th century, with 17th century additions, it’s that bona fide Dartmoor trophy property, the Devon longhouse – a traditional stone building where humans lived with their livestock. It was a quid pro quo arrangement – the animals were protected, and the humans benefitted from their body heat. Obviously, you won’t find cow pats or olden days plumbing here in 2019. Remberton Farm has been meticulously


refurbished by the vendors to create a spacious, adaptable and beautifully finished modern family home. Characterful original features have been retained, while modern facilities such as underfloor heating and approved double glazed units have been incorporated. Inside the house you’ll find a number of large, charming, heavily-timber-beamed reception rooms including a cosy, Shaker-style kitchen/breakfast room. Upstairs are five whopping bedrooms, two bathrooms (one of them is ginormous) and an annexe with two further bedrooms, one of which is ensuite. In addition to the main house there is a scattering of traditional outbuildings providing further development potential. Planning permission – now lapsed – has previously been granted to convert them into a five-bedroom holiday let. Savills will provide details of the planning consent and drawings if you’re interested. Even the presence of holidaymakers is unlikely to infringe much upon your peace and quiet. Surrounding you, after all, are approximately 35 acres of bucolic land – immaculately kept gardens with mature borders, terraces, lawns, wildflower meadows, an orchard, a greenhouse with a fruit cage and vegetable garden, and a potting shed; just over 23 acres of pasture fringing a beautiful wooded valley; around 12 acres of mixed deciduous woodland; a stream; and a selection of ornamental ponds. And that tennis court we mentioned. It’s the all-weather variety, so there’s no excuse not to get out there and coax forth your inner Andy or Serena. Call us if you need a doubles partner, yeah? n

House numbers £1,350,000 guide price 5 bedrooms 5,515 square footage 35 acres (approximately)

15 miles to Exeter Savills, Sterling Court, 17 Dix’s Field Exeter EX1 1QA 01392 455700; I EXETER LIVING I 59

City Centre Exeter

Guide Price £675,000

An exceptional, Grade II Listed Georgian town house with access to all the facilities and amenities of Exeter’s city centre. The beautifully presented interior has been extended on the ground floor to further enhance the family living space. 4/5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 reception rooms, newly fitted kitchen/breakfast room, utility room and cloakroom. Landscaped gardens and parking for 2/3 cars.

For further details please call Michael Shaw on 01392 427500 or email



Guide Price £575,000

A rare opportunity to purchase a well-presented Grade II Listed, late Georgian townhouse. Potentially a fabulous family home with substantial rooms, character features and high ceilings. Large reception rooms, study, kitchen/breakfast room, shower room/ cloakroom, 5 double bedrooms, bathroom and separate WC. Gardens to the front and rear with direct access to a detached garage and potential for further off road parking (subject to consent).

For further details please call Giles Hann on 01392 427500 or email



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Buy a beach hut in Teigmouth? You’ve more chance of buying a ticket to the Met Ball, surely? Well, yes, normally. That’s why we deemed this dinky property purchase worthy of a shout-out


t’s rare to find a beach hut up for grabs – they normally get handed down through the generations – but rarer still to find one as well-proportioned as this. Why, it’s the size of a studio flat! Perched on the foreshore at Teignmouth Beach, at the bottom of Lifeboat Lane, 9 River Beach comprises two rooms: a ‘day room’ with a fully fitted kitchen, and a storage room for your kayaks, surf boards, life jackets, crabbing nets, deck chairs and so, sandily, forth. It’s also connected to both electric and water supplies, and has an electrically operated roller shutter door as well as double glazed doors and its own trot mooring. You can make it yours when it’s sold by public auction at 6pm on Tuesday 30 July, at The Jolly Farmer on Market Street in Newton Abbot (unless sold previously). n Guide price: £200,000 Woods Estate Agents & Auctioneers 01803 866336; I exeter living I 65


“Met Office people really, really like weather” asked for one or not: “It should be all right by the time you’re flying back, but there might be some crosswinds at Manchester which could delay the plane on its way to you!”

PENNY ENDERSBY Come rain or shine, the Met Office chief loves her job – and Exeter It’s a well-known fact that the British love talking about the weather. Which makes Penny Endersby very popular at parties. London-born Penny, you see, has been chief executive of the Met Office in Exeter since December 2018. Before that she ran the cyber and information systems for the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. We found out more about the Exeter climate supremo… How have your first six months at the Met Office been?

Amazing! I’m loving the job and the more I find out about the extent of what we do, the more awesome it is. Everybody tends to think of us as the source of weather forecasts and warnings, and of course we are,

but the work we do on predicting, attributing and mitigating climate change, in support of UK armed forces, or helping developing nations build forecasting capability and protect themselves from climate change impacts, is less well known, but just as important. I’m really proud to be representing such a fantastic organisation. What’s the first thing most people say when they hear what your job is?

“Can you make sure it’s fine on my birthday/for my holiday?” Tell us a secret about day-today life at the Met Office…

Met Office people really, really like weather. If you say you’re going anywhere you get an expertlyprovided personalised forecast from a colleague whether you

66 I exeter living I

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

I’m a choral musician, so it would be a Bach cantata or Purcell motet. I’ve joined the St Peter’s Singers at Exeter Cathedral since moving down. What job would you be terrible at?

Being a high-end waiter, the kind who carries ten plates at a time. I’m quite a clumsy person. What’s your earliest childhood memory?

I remember the day my sister was born. I was not quite two. I don’t remember the baby, or visiting my mother in hospital, rather I remember jumping up and down on the sofa in the waiting room with another little girl. Something must have come through to me about it being a momentous day though, for me to remember that. Who would play you in a film about your life?

Kate Beckinsale or Helena Bonham Carter – I’ve been told I look like both of them at one time or another.

Favourite places to eat, drink and shop in Exeter and the surrounding area?

I’m living in Topsham at the moment, which is full of fab restaurants and dangerously tempting ladies’ clothes shops. I shop a lot at Darts Farm too, which is great for buying ingredients for meals for one when I’m on my own in the week. If you had a time machine, which era would you return to and why?

A pre-industrial farming landscape, perhaps 18th century. I know we have a very impoverished ecology now and we don’t even notice it. I’d like to go back and reset my benchmark for clouds of small birds rising from the hedgerows and insect life. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Flight – but I’d settle for being a superb pianist instead of an inept one. We’d better let you get on… What are you doing right after this?

A phone conference with the head of the World Meteorological Organisation to get to know him a bit ahead of the four-yearly congress coming up in Geneva. n For more:

Profile for MediaClash

Exeter Living - Issue 248  

Exeter Living - Issue 248