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March / April 2018

Issue 8

Okehampton • Moretonhampstead • Chagford • Chichacott • Stockley • Belstone • Bondleigh • North Tawton • Sampford Courtenay • Taw Green • Sticklepath • South Zeal • Throwleigh • Wonson • Lydford • Lewdown • Bridestowe • Gidleigh North Bovey • Sourton • Meldon • Boasley Cross • Bratton Clovelly • Portgate • Lewtrenchard

r o o m t r Da e p a c s d n a l g n i k A wor




Helping farmers to help themselves with the Dartmoor Hill Farmers project.


The latest update on new schools in our area.


Charity pilgrimage, village nostalgia, and 16 pages of events to enjoy this spring.

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Throwing the spotlight on a magical land... Welcome to the March/April edition of Oke Links - which this time is celebrating that most unique of areas - Dartmoor. We are so lucky to have this wonderful national park right on our doorsteps - to be able to walk or ride for miles over open land that’s steeped in history, providing some of the most picturesque views in the UK - is a real privilege. Yet for all its beauty, it is a managed, working park and I have certainly learned a great deal about this and many other aspects of Dartmoor whilst preparing this issue. Phil Heard (one of our ‘Local People’ for this issue) farms the hard and difficult land on the northern edge of the moor - read his story on page 16. Our two other local people featured in this issue, both have close Dartmoor connections; moorland guide and historian Paul Rendell and Tony Clark, who for many years was in charge of the army’s training areas and that amazing annual event, the Ten Tors challenge. Our feature this edition throws the spotlight on the Dartmoor Hill Farm Project. This is a fascinating organisation that supports farmers by helping them with training and advice. Often known as the moorland watchdog, the subject of our charity focus is the Dartmoor Preservation Association - which some 130 years ago, almost never came into being thanks to the little matter of unpaid solicitor’s fees! Parents of teenaged children might like to head to page 23 where Kirstie Nixon, head of Year 11 at Okehampton College gives her top tips for effective revision, ahead of the Easter holidays and those looming examinations in late spring. Also in the school spotlight is an update on the big building project at Chagford Primary School as well as an update on how the new Okehampton Primary School is coming along. I hope you enjoy reading the magazine, our biggest issue to date! And please remember, do get in touch if you have a story to tell, or an event to publicise, we’d love to hear from you.

Jane Jane Honey – Editor. Please contact me via email at: or 07971 917071.


CONTENTS 4 NOTICEBOARD A seasonal warning about being Moor Aware, how Community Links can help and an appeal for more men! 14 SPORTS NEWS Lewdown Cricket Club and Chagford Bowling Club look to the new season 16 LOCAL PEOPLE Three men whose lives are inextricably linked to Dartmoor 22 EDUCATION The latest on primary school developments and top tips for revision! 26 CHARITY FOCUS Dartmoor Preservation Association 31 HEALTH AND WELLBEING A focus on aromatherapy 32 GARDENING Jonathan Webster of RHS Rosemoor looks forward to spring colour 50 MUSIC AND ART Get Changed’s latest production 56 FEATURE The Dartmoor Hill Farm Project 58 WALKS WITH WINNIE A lovely circular walk from Chagford 58 HISTORY Moretonhampstead Local History Group’s investigations into Doccombe Manor

Linksmagazines MOOR

The deadline for any inclusions in May/June issue is 6th April 2018. We would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to our many contributors for so kindly giving us their time and expertise, in helping keep our magazine so interesting to all. OKE Links is produced by Olijam Communications Ltd. THE OLIJAM TEAM:

Editor: Editorial Director: Publisher: Design: Advertising:

Jane Honey Lizzie Watt Tim Randell Sara Venner, Julian Rees Jane Daniel, Victoria Smith

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Contact Tim, Jane or Victoria on 07450 161 929 / 01822 615627 to disuss your advertising enquiries. Email: or visit our website: to view our rate card. Please note that the opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the editorial team. We have done our utmost to ensure that all the content is correct and accurate at the time of print, but we emphasise that Oke Links or Olijam Communications Ltd accepts no responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. All data contained in advertisements are subject to the Advertising Standards Authority guidelines and are accepted by us in good faith at the time of going to press. Reproduction of editorial is strictly prohibited without prior permission from the publisher. All rights reserved copyright © 2018




Protecting Dartmoor’s wildlife and livestock The breeding season for moorland birds on Dartmoor coincides with the lambing season and, with the arrival of spring, the moorland will be full of new life, so it is particularly important for all of us to be Moor Aware. Many visitors and local people exercise their dogs when enjoying Dartmoor. Although a dog may not be actively chasing livestock, its presence can still cause disturbance. During the lambing and calving season, expecting ewes or cows are particularly vulnerable.  A frightened animal may abort or abandon its young – a tragedy for the animal and a financial loss to the farmer. The worrying of livestock by dogs is a year round concern and the law requires that dogs be kept under close control at all times.  It is a criminal offence for dogs to worry livestock. The dog owner can be fined and in some cases have their dog destroyed. During the bird breeding and lambing season - March, April, May, June and July, you can minimise disturbance to ground nesting birds and ensure livestock are safe by: •

keeping to tracks and paths as much as possible;

keeping your dog on a lead - especially as most lambing takes place at the same time that birds are nesting;

avoiding young birds on the ground or distressed parent birds, by walking around the area and moving away quickly, allowing the parents to return;

spreading the word by telling others how they can help too.

Young animals are often at the roadside and when vehicles approach may run across the road to join parents. It is important to be Moor Aware when driving and keep speeds down to enable safe stopping. If you see a young animal which appears to be on its own out on the moor, please do not attempt to move it. You may be separating it from its parent which may be grazing some distance away and will return. The Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society (jointly with the Dartmoor Commoners’ Council) funds the work of Livestock Protection Officer, Karla McKechnie, who is on emergency call-out to deal with incidents of sheep worrying, dog attacks, casualties from road traffic accidents and livestock in distress on Dartmoor. Call her on 07873 587 561 to report an incident. For further information visit or

On the move! Quakers in Okehampton are moving. You will now find us every Sunday at 10.30am in the Dartmoor room at The Ockment Centre, North Street, Okehampton. Now we have a more central venue we hope that it will be easier for newcomers to find us and discover more about the Quaker way. Quakers sit still and silently, in a circle, for an hour. Sometimes someone will speak or read a short piece but other times we might sit in silence for the whole hour. Quakers find sitting in silence can help us to see things more clearly, to live our lives in more meaningful and peaceful way, and lead us to take action in the world where we see a need. Some Quakers describe it as paying attention to the teacher within us, or sensing the Inward Light, or listening to God.

We don’t expect children to sit quietly and still for a whole hour. So, on the second Sunday of the month children and young people have their own separate activities. With two adults facilitating the group, they might learn about Quaker history such as our peace testimony, or Elizabeth Fry who used to be on our £5 notes. They might try out ways to sit still and quietly. At our last meeting the children discussed ‘Ending Hunger’. A visiting speaker told them about the local Foodbank and they selected items of food to take to one of the collection points in town. They also enjoyed playing some food related games as well as learning some interesting facts about poverty. All are welcome at Okehampton Quakers. For more details contact Barbara 01837 55805. Barbara Childs



Family support and counselling Community Links SW CIC is a not for profit organisation established in April 2011 to support families and young people through early intervention, education and enhanced family support. It provides support and counselling for residents of Okehampton and Okehampton Hamlets at low or no cost, thanks to funding from Okehampton United Charities. Experienced, friendly practitioners and counsellors work alongside families and individuals in a very flexible way. The support offered can look very different for each individual. It may be helping someone get back to work after illness, coping with bereavement or working on confidence and assertiveness skills. It can be helping parents, when they realise that their child has additional needs, working through a maze of emotions, or accessing specialist services. A spokesperson for Community Links said: ‘Often, we find that different families experience very similar parenting issues, so we offer group sessions where families explore specific challenges together. Realising that you are not the only one having difficulties can be very reassuring.’

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Community Links also runs two groups which meet regularly in Okehampton - the Autism/ADHD Parent Support Group and the Okehampton Mental Health Support Group. Both groups provide a safe place to connect with others, helping to reduce any feelings of isolation. Ciara White from Tor Support Services said: ‘They have embraced and swiftly put into action many fantastic opportunities for growth, development, nurturing and support for the local community and have built up considerable experience in delivering family support services.’ Chris Parsons from the Okehampton Children’s Centre added: ‘Okehampton would be a far needier community without them; they are an amazing resource.’ Community Links understands that people face a variety of challenges, for all sorts of reasons, but they do not have to face them alone. To access support, please contact info@ or call us on 07808 523111.



New Citizens’ Advice Healthwatch Champion for West Devon and Torridge Sam Scott has been appointed as the Healthwatch Champion covering West Devon and Torridge for the Citizen’s Advice. As Healthwatch Champion, Sam can help give people a stronger voice to influence how health and social care services are provided within the area. Sam can also provide information, advice and support on a wide range of topics including what to expect from health and social care services, making complaints or giving praise on services and signposting to local services. Talking about his new role, Sam said: ‘As Healthwatch Champion I can provide free, confidential and specialist help on anything related to health or social care. By sharing your views, good or bad, about the health and social care services you have received or tried to receive you can help shape or improve services for the future.’ To make an enquiry, Sam can be contacted at sam@ or on 07748 207766. Alternatively you can visit a local office, more information can be found at: Sam joins Michelle Leeds, who is the Healthwatch Champion covering North and Mid Devon for the Citizen’s Advice. Michelle can be contacted on For the most up-to-date advice, please visit pop into your local office or call Adviceline on 03444 111 444 Okehampton Citizens Advice (Ockment Centre) Tues & Weds 10-4pm and Fri 10-1pm


Support and a listening ear at the Forget Me Not Café The Forget Me Not Café in Okehampton is a social group for people with memory problems and their carers, where they can come and meet others, have a cup of tea, cake and a chat with people that are in a similar position, in an accepting and friendly environment. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the aim is to provide a place and time where those who have memory problems and their carers can just chat and be at ease. There are several volunteers who understand what people are going through and can provide a listening ear and help where they can. Information is also provided for people with memory problems and related issues at the café. There is usually a complementary therapist on hand to give short therapy sessions and also professionals that you can talk to if you wish. The Forget Me Not Café meets on the last Tuesday of every month, except December, between 2pm and 4pm, at the Glen Community Room in Castle Road, Okehampton - just past the Post Office, turn into Castle Road, continue over the little bridge and you fill find The Glen on the right. Café dates in March and April are on 27th March and 24th April. For further information phone Lynn on 01837 53397 or email:


One Okehampton - a dynamic new movement in town! One Okehampton is a collective promoting community inclusion and reducing loneliness. Its volunteers recently organised the festive markets which saw more than 10,000 people come into the town on Sundays during the run-up to Christmas. As part of these events, the Okehampton ‘Elf Outpost’ saw 476 children take part in their letter writing workshop.

Now, its Fresh Food Project is providing free produce to locals donated by supermarkets and restaurants which have not been collected by other charities. Anyone can turn up and save the food from the skips it would

otherwise be destined for! One week 28 sacks of broccoli was distributed, the next, 100 boxes of cookies! Okehampton Vegan Group arose from a discussion whereby One Okehampton member Rebecca Green was challenged to find something for vegans to do in the town. Not wanting to admit defeat, One Okehampton started a monthly meeting at The Heart Space on Station road, where each person brings along a tasty vegan snack to share. One Okehampton is also working with local groups and historians, backed by Red Lion Yard owner Angus McPhie, on a special history trail and series of events. Dark and Dastardly, Fabulous and Fantastic: The Alternative History of Okehampton will feature a special walk through town with characters to meet who will explain their tales of woe or wonder. The group is also working hard to establish a weekly market in Okehampton, probably on a Tuesday,

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to provide a new outlet following the scaling back of Hatherleigh Market. Rebecca said: ‘One Okehampton believes that if people feel valued by their community, they will be happier within it. Our amazing ever-growing team of volunteers are so valuable thanks to their support and our team’s diverse experience, we will continue to run events for the community that are free of charge. ‘We will also run low-cost fundraising events to be able to do this. We operate a sustainable project policy; if we don’t have the cash and can’t raise it within the community, we don’t do it. Our aim isn’t to control groups we establish - we set them up, support them and let them run by those who use them.’ What next? Markets, magic and mayhem . . . Watch the Facebook page for details or to find out how to get involved, pop into Mooplehog in West Street or call Rebecca on 07398 720015.

01837 52379

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Moretonhampstead History Society Founded in 1965, the society is actively engaged in researching, archiving and presenting all aspects of Moreton’s history. It has about 90 members who enjoy monthly illustrated talks on local and regional history at the Union Inn, Moretonhampstead at 7.30pm on the third Wednesday of the month from September to May; guided visits to historic sites are organised in the summer months. Visitor are always welcome to the meetings while tours around Moreton for locals, visitors and other history groups by society members are also available on request. In recent years, members have engaged in a number of research projects forming the basis of audio-visual

exhibitions in the Green Hill Arts and Heritage Centre in Moreton, where the society keeps its paper archives. The most recent about the history of Fingle Woods was commissioned and sponsored by the woods’ new owners, the National and Woodland Trusts. Currently a dedicated group, following a course in palaeography at Devon Heritage Centre, are transcribing and translating the manorial records of Doccombe. That will culminate in an exhibition next year, funded by the Moor than meets the Eye project – see The exhibitions are accompanied by booklets available at Green Hill Arts and Heritage Centre. Local artists

and camera enthusiasts have been of great assistance and are helping to put together an illustrated historical guide book of Moreton for publication in the spring. The digital age has also been embraced with the creation of two other websites. Visitors to www.moretonhampstead. will find the programme of talks and visits, a comprehensive range of articles and searchable databases such as the parish and school registers. The paper archives are catalogued at and can be consulted by appointment via the contact tab. We receive regular research inquiries from family historians worldwide.

A big ‘thank you’ from the Lions! The Lions Club of Okehampton and District would like to thank the local community who donated £1,578.49p to its Christmas Carols collection that members carried out on December 23rd and 24th, outside the town’s Waitrose & Co-op supermarkets.

This money will be used to support local causes. Pictured during a coffee morning held last November is past president, Lion Robert Cunliffe, handing over a cheque for £1,500 to Meriel Fishwick, chief executive from FORCE cancer charity, from Exeter. The money was

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WHAT’S ON in your local area VISIT


We need more men! The evenings are beginning to get lighter and what could be better than enjoying some convivial company and a cuppa in the shed? Okehampton’s Men in Sheds project finally became a reality at the end of last summer. Thanks to the offer of a very reasonable lease by Okehampton United Charities, willing volunteers built the shed on a plot of land at Okehampton’s Community Garden. The 16’ x 24’ shed boasts a kitchenette, three work benches and storage cupboards and one of the most beautiful views in Okehampton, looking straight over the valley to the northern slopes of Dartmoor. As Men in Sheds chairman Phil Bush said: ‘I sometimes think if you are feeling a little bit down, just sitting on the veranda looking at that view with a cup of coffee will make everything seem better!’ At the moment that all important kettle is heated using gas but the Men in Sheds committee has submitted applications for grant funding which will

enable power to be connected to the building. Currently there are about eight men regularly using the shed - some of them are retired while others are still working. Referrals are also expected soon from the Devon Healthwatch organisation. They carry out a variety of practical jobs, mending and making things and they have been approached with a view to getting involved in refurbishing and recycling items which would otherwise go to the tip. Phil said: ‘We bring our own equipment and share it and we have just received a grant of £500 to buy additional tools. We have recently been given a lathe so once we have power, we will be in business!’

in a Tuesday afternoon get together, involving a bring-your-own lunch and then a few hours practical work on a project. Initially the sessions would run between noon and 4pm, but as summer approaches and if people wish to, they will be able to stay longer. Socially, there are also plans for a barbecue in the summer, following a successful carol concert at Christmas. Anyone who would like to find out more about Men in Sheds should call Phil Bush on 01837 658779 or email or Terry Kempster on 01837 53621 or email

The group would now like to hear from men who would be interested

Twinning opportunities North Tawton Twinning Association is currently in the planning stages for this year’s visit to the town by the members of the Blangy Le Chateau twinning group, which takes place on May 11th to May 13th. The twinning association has been running for more than 40 years and has a growing number of people and families involved in the annual visits, but as Jill Whiteley, chairman of the group, said, more members of any age are very welcome to enjoy the pleasure of regular visits to a foreign country, learning more about its history, culture, food and customs.

The itinerary for this year’s visit is in the planning stages but North Tawton Twinning Association would be very pleased to hear from anyone in the area who might like to join them for any of the activities or to become a member of this friendly, sociable group. There is no need to speak French although anyone

Jill said: ‘We usually all go out for a meal together and we organise a cultural or historical trip - for example, last time we went to Castle Drogo.’

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who can would be very welcome! The association would also be interested in hearing from families who would like to host French visitors during their stay. For more information about North Tawton Twinning Association please call Jill Whiteley on 01837 880233.

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Dartmoor: A Wild and Wondrous Region Moor than meets the eye and RAMM have collaborated to present ‘Dartmoor, a Wild and Wondrous Region’, which tells the story of how Dartmoor was perceived through the eyes of artists during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The largest exhibition of its kind in a generation, it includes oil paintings, watercolours, early photographs and postcards from RAMM’s own collection as well as loans from British museums and private collections, many of which have rarely been seen in public before. The exhibition is one of the outcomes of the Moor than meets the Eye project, ‘In the Footsteps of the Victorians’, which has produced a detailed history of the changes that took place during the Victorian era, transforming the communities and landscape. These developments were captured by artists and the RAMM exhibition traces the story of Dartmoor, from a ‘dreary mountainous tract’ to the ‘epitome of the picturesque’.

Gallery 21, Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), Exeter Free entry 10am to 5pm Tue to Sun until 31st March. In addition, there will be a number of associated events such as Dartmoor guided walks, a talk on Interpreting Dartmoor’s Prehistoric Archaeology and Mr Mortimer’s Wild and Wondrous Travelling Exhibition of Dartmoor for all the family on 14th February. For more information visit www.rammuseum. A book documenting the Wild and Wondrous Region exhibition is also available.

Chamber news The chamber now has a new venue for its regular breakfast network meetings on the third Wednesday of each month. They will now take place at the Pavilion in the Park, beginning at 7.30am.

This year’s secretary will be Shane Green, vice chair is Lyn Evans and treasurer is Caroline Mott. There are a number of new committee members too.

There will also be regular evening meetings on the third Thursday of the month.

During the meeting, Steve Bolt, Louis Enderson and Mike Harding were made honorary life members of the chamber in recognition of their fantastic hard work maintaining and erecting the town’s Christmas lights each year. Thanks were also expressed to the many organisations who made donations towards the Christmas light funds.Tributes were paid to Christine Marsh for her help with grant applications, Gail Turner for her work as chamber secretary and also Matt Welveart and Jade Oliver-Deacon for their support.

The chamber recently held its annual meeting, when members voted for Linda Harper to continue as chairman for the second year. Linda said she was very pleased to remain in the role and pledged that the chamber would continue bringing more events to Okehampton and work hard to address the town’s traffic congestion issues.

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Serving well-kept Devon real ales, good food and providing comfortable accommodation on Dartmoor, The Tors Inn is well known as a haven for locals and visitors alike.

Mothering Sunday - with a present for every Mum! Easter - We’re open all day every day over Easter Quiz - every month, please contact us for details Gin Quiz and Gin Menu arriving 22 March 01837 840 689 • Belstone EX20 1QZ • • 10

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Tourism organisation produces the official Guide to Dartmoor. Visit Dartmoor’s Official Guide to Dartmoor is winging its way all over the world after being produced, designed and published in Okehampton.

business services section on the website. We have photographers, film makers, marketing consultants, local producers and local business support agencies signing up to this new initiative.

As part of its strategy to promote, support and market the Visit Dartmoor member businesses, each year a Visit Dartmoor destination guide is published which is distributed to Tourist Information Centres all over the UK. The role of this guide is to promote Dartmoor as a short break destination, and to encourage visitors to stay longer! This year it is packed with ideas for activities like cycling, walking, riding, dog-walking, fishing, kayaking and climbing. Visitors are encouraged to explore the history, myths and legends of Dartmoor, and to visit its wonderful galleries, attractions, craft shops, sculpture school and the new Artisan Trail. Of course it is full of superb accommodation and wonderful places to eat! Jenny How of Visit Dartmoor said: ‘As always it will still be distributed all over the country, but we will be focusing more on the South West, particularly Cornwall to Dorset - and the brochures will also be available in motorway service stations to pick up those last minute bookings for our members. People from all over the world request their copies of the Guide by post, we’re always amazed at the number of countries we get orders from.’ The Guide is also available as a download or to be read online by the 56,000 website visitors who use the site every month. Jenny said: ‘The Guide is free, sustained purely by advertising revenue as we do not receive any external funding. We also support local, non-tourism businesses with our

As the official tourism organisation for Dartmoor, Visit Dartmoor supports and promote member businesses in the tourism Industry on and around Dartmoor with an extremely powerful and high performing website, a huge social media following, and free training courses, workshops and business showcase days. And as tourism delivery Ppartner to Dartmoor National Park Authority, it promotes Dartmoor as a world class destination, regularly hosting press trips for national and international journalists and travel writers and by attending tourism and travel shows with the annual Dartmoor Guide, themed itineraries and other promotional material. If anyone would like to know more about becoming a Visit Dartmoor member, or a business services partner, please email

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New rooms available Management at The Ockment Centre are pleased to announce that they have recently refurbished two further rooms, which are now available to rent. These rooms sit within a separate building to the rear of the main centre, accessible through reception or the gardens gates. Hay Tor and Bracken Tor rooms are extremely light and airy, with laminate flooring throughout and both enjoy views of the

trees and river. Hay Tor also benefits from a small room which could be used as a changing room for exercise classes. The rooms will seat 15 boardroom or 15 café style in Bracken Tor and 20 boardroom or 20 café style in Hay Tor. Please contact the Ockment Centre on 01837 53276 for further information and hire fees or email

Fingers crossed for recycling award! The waste collection crew on one of the largest rounds in West Devon are celebrating after being shortlisted for a Recycle Devon ‘Thank You’ Award.

Tawton, South Zeal and Sticklepath. They began working on the round two years ago, and are frequently complimented by residents for their hard work, politeness and ‘can do’ attitude.

The awards, held annually at County Hall, Exeter, celebrate those in the community who go the extra mile to help people recycle. The crew have been nominated by their employer, FCC Environment, who noticed that since starting the round two years ago, they have improved it in every aspect, turning complaints into compliments from the public.

Cllr Robert Sampson, Ward Member for Chagford, said: ‘I’m thrilled to hear that our recycling crew have been shortlisted for this award, and that their hard work has been recognised. We’re very lucky and proud to have such a great team providing such a vital service.’The crew will attend the award ceremony in March, where all shortlisted candidates will receive a glass trophy (recycled, of course) and the overall winner of each category will be announced.

The team collect the bulk of recycling for a huge area of West Devon, including Hatherleigh, Chagford, Okehampton, North

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Friendly club - lovely views! Chagford Bowling Club is a small friendly club with around 30 members. It is situated in the heart of Chagford, with beautiful views of Castle Drogo and Dartmoor. The club’s public open day will be held on April 29th between 11am and 4pm - everyone is welcome to come along and give bowls a try!

What do I need to begin playing? To start with you only need a pair of flat shoes (no heel). The club has woods of all sizes and weights and a club member can advise on how to choose the right wood for you.

Club evenings - ‘roll ups’ There are two club evenings a week during the season, known as ‘roll ups’ - they are held on Mondays and Fridays between 5pm and 7pm. Members are encouraged to attend these roll ups, as they are more than just practise sessions, they are also ‘getting to know you’ sessions. Members are welcome to make tea and coffee while they are at the club. Throughout the season there are a number of friendly match fixtures, both home and away, with a number of clubs throughout Devon and sometimes Cornwall.


The club also has a men’s Over 60s League Team which plays home and away during the league season.

The club is most fortunate that it has members who have Level One coaching qualifications. They will be happy to give you a practise session to get you started.

For more information about Chagford Bowling club, please call secretary Brian Walford on 01647 433708.

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Lewdown and Bridestowe look forward to further juniors’ cricket success Lewdown and Bridestowe cricket clubs are looking forward to building on a strong first year of combining their junior sections for the good of youth cricket in the West Devon Area. The two clubs have put aside any local rivalry and have the common aim of providing the best platform for young cricketers in the area. The combining of the two clubs at a junior level, while the senior teams continue to field their own independent senior teams, meant that more opportunities opened up. Alex Jopling,from Bridestowe Cricket Club, said: ‘We had the support of both of our respective clubs to proceed with this since it was clear that what we could deliver was far greater combined than if we had continued to run our own independent junior sections. ‘The clubs are only four miles apart and rather than compete for junior players, it was far better to work together. This allowed us to embrace the ECB All Stars initiative for under 8s and also provide competitive cricket at various age levels. The uptake was tremendous, with sometimes over 50 children at our Friday evening training sessions.’

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This season the aim is to build on that success and in addition to the Friday evening training sessions, cricket will start with indoor hardball training in March, leading to U11, U12 and U14 teams and U10 Friendlies and U8 cricket tournaments. They will also aim to run sessions to encourage even more parent participation and to demystify the concerns that helpers need to know about cricket to be able to assist. The Clubs are going a step further and creating a joint logo’d kit for their juniors, to strengthen the foundation laid last season. Nick Hayden of Lewdown Cricket Club said: ‘We really enjoyed last year’s joint venture and are grateful to everyone from both clubs for making it such fun and a great success and we can’t wait to get going for the 2018 season. For details please visit our Facebook page for regular updates and all aspiring young cricketers are welcome.’ Go to the facebook page Bridestowe and Lewdown Youth Cricket for more details.



Paul Rendell ‘Every day is different’ says the Dartmoor walker Life is a bit of a jigsaw for Okehampton’s Paul Rendell. Not only does this busy man edit a bi-monthly magazine, he writes books, gives talks and guided walks, clocking up around 2,500 miles a year – from walking in the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall and Devon including Dartmoor and Exmoor. As he admits, he needs to be very organized; covering such a broad area, life would soon become quite awkward if he had a walk in Combe Martin and a talk in Saltash all on the same day!

1991. ‘People were always phoning me up asking what was happening here and there on the moor and if I didn’t know the answer, I would know someone who did. So I thought, why can’t I produce something and make a bit of money at the same time?’ His talks programme now includes around 200 dates each year. The talks range in subject matter from industrial archaeology and wildlife, to waterways and folklore. Each is illustrated, many with his own photographs. He clearly loves the life he has carved out for himself. ‘Someone once said to me: “The problem with you Paul, you don’t like taking orders”. I do like being my own boss and I can’t imagine doing anything else now. ‘Often I will get up, do my emails, go out and lead a walk. I have a regular Tuesday walk every week. I may then do another walk in the afternoon and during the summer months I may even do one in the evening as well. On another day I might do three talks in one day or I might do a 12-mile walk and then a talk in the evening. Every day is different!’

However, it wasn’t always this way. Paul was born in Plymouth and started his working life as a chef, before a period working as a roofer and then a gardener at Devonport Dockyard. His love of walking on Dartmoor sprang from family treks with his mum and dad. ‘I started walking on the moor when I was seven or eight. We didn’t have a car so we’d travel out to the moor on the bus; my love of walking really came from my parents. I’ve been leading guided walks since I was 16!’ Redundancy from the dockyard was the spur that led to self employment for Paul. He developed his programme of guided walks further afield and then moved to Okehampton, which provided an ideal central point for his walking ‘patch’. Paul started producing his magazine Dartmoor News in 16

Paul’s walking customers range from local people, to visitors and tourists or school groups. He sometimes does themed walks, with the likes of Sherlock Holmes and his Dartmoor connection proving very popular. His knowledge of Dartmoor is extraordinarily broad and he has a love for many specific areas of the moor, but a particular favourite is around Burrator, the subject of one of the many books he has written, another is Cut Hill - right in the heart of the moor. ‘You need to know what you are doing to get to Cut Hill - but it’s great. You rarely see anyone, and are left purely with the sounds of birds and other wildlife. If I want to be on my own that’s where I’d go.’ One area he is not so sure about is Scorhill stone circle, near Gidleigh. ‘I’ve fainted up there, I’ve been sick, the hairs on my hands go up. There have just been too many strange happenings and weird sensations for me, so I now don’t go there. I don’t know what it is and I know other people love it, but it’s an area I now try and avoid!’

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I suppose it’s a mix of the history, its wildlife, its remoteness - you can just get away from every day life.

He is sympathetic to the supernatural. As an eight-yearold child he felt ‘absolutely compelled’ to rush home in the middle of a school day, only to find his mum had fallen down the stairs. He is convinced he saw a ghost on Blackdown near Mary Tavy. He is currently writing a new book about unexplained happenings on the moor, to include well known legends, some not so well known, and a few of his own experiences.

Asked to explain just what makes Dartmoor so special for him: he said ‘I suppose it’s a mix of the history, its wildlife, its remoteness - you can just get away from every day life. Lots of people say to me I’m not working, I am just on holiday all of the time!’ Jane Honey

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Tony Clark A former soldier with a passion for the moor Tony, a youthful 73, was brought up in Okehampton and despite going to boarding school and travelling the world through his life in the army, he has managed to stay pretty close to the town and moors that he loves so much. He and his wife Helen have lived in the same very beautiful Devon longhouse in South Tawton parish for the past 23 years, where they brought up their two children.

As a result of his military career, Tony became heavily involved in Ten Tors, the annual event that has seen thousands of young people trek over Dartmoor on a two day expedition. It is organised by the Army and these days Tony’s official title is ‘advisor to the Director’, a role where he can put to good use the 23 years worth of invaluable experience gained with a youth challenge he is still completely passionate about.

On finishing his initial officer training at Sandhurst, Tony was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment where he commanded 4 PARA. Later he became responsible for the Army’s training estate in the South West, including Dartmoor. When he left active service at the age of 55, he became Commandant of the Dartmoor Training Area for the next eleven years. ‘I started wearing khaki uniform at the age of eleven and stopped when I got to 67 - which doesn’t really show much in terms of fashion talent!’

Since retiring Tony has become involved with the More than Meets the Eye Landscape Partnership - a Heritage Lotteryfunded scheme bringing communities and organisations together to explore Dartmoor’s past, conserve its wildlife, improve understanding of this unique area and develop and share the skills to look after it for generations to come. It is in the process of delivering some 28 projects ranging from improved access at Fernworthy Reservoir and the Hameldown World War II bomber crash archaeological survey, to the creation of the Wray Valley Trail.

Although use of the moor by the military has its opponents, Tony strongly believes it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. ‘It’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s incredibly important to the Army and they work with local people looking towards the environmental care of the moor, whether it’s repair of tracks or contributing towards study projects. ‘My favourite words, by reducing a variety of elements down to a simple phrase, are “care and consideration”. For me this encapsulates the relationship that the Army and everyone else, whether ramblers, commoners or locals, has with Dartmoor. It’s a precious asset and if we damage it, it won’t be precious any more.’


Tony is also chairman of the Dartmoor Trust - an organisation created 19 years ago. It supports practical projects benefiting the National Park through grant aid. Tony explains: ‘The National Park has had a considerable reduction in the amount of money it receives from central government, which means it isn’t able to deliver some of the highly desirable work needed to look after Dartmoor. The Trust cares for the archaeology, history and cultural heritage of the moor, doing so by raising money and supporting work for the good of Dartmoor.’ He explained that one of the Trust’s biggest projects to date has been the creation of the Dartmoor Trust Archive, a fascinating collection of wonderful photographs of the moor,

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The Ten Tors Challenge

dating back to the middle of the 19th century. ‘We are also keen to create a study centre, somewhere on Dartmoor, so the many enthusiasts of the moor have a space they can use for research.’ When not volunteering many hours for the good of the area he loves, Tony also runs the lifesaving section of Okehampton Otters Swimming Club. He also enjoys photography and working on his smallholding.

‘I just feel so lucky to live on Dartmoor and in such a wonderful community; it’s an incredible place. To be able to give something back to the area and to contribute to it, I think, is really important and I have no desire whatsoever to live anywhere else.’ Jane Honey




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Phil Heard A farmer who is Dartmoor born and bred but enjoys just a touch of the wild west!

Born and raised on the fringes of northern Dartmoor, it is plain that the moors are embedded deep within farmer Phil Heard’s soul. It may sound poetic and whimsical – Dartmoor farmers aren’t known for their deep sense of romance – however you can feel his love for this wild and rugged land. ‘Even when it’s cold and wet (and it’s always colder and wetter here), I still love getting out on the moor. If I am stressed, Mandi my wife, tells me to get out on the horse. It’s so beautiful whatever the weather that I always come back feeling better.’ Phillip’s family bought the farm in the late 1950s and he has pretty much been working in the business since he left school. His stock now totals some 300 cattle and 1,200 ewes. The toughest of his animals, his Welsh black cows, spend their summers grazing the moors, whilst his Limousin X Friesian

enjoy the easier lower pastures. He also has a few Charolais cattle. He breeds his own Scotch mule ewes and has around 700 Scotch Black Face sheep on the high moors. His herds are now up to full strength following the nightmare days of 2001 when foot and mouth swept through Devon’s farms. ‘It was a terrible time. It was like a waiting game. We were taken out because we were contiguous. The stock on the hillside stayed up there but we lost most of the cattle and probably three quarters of the sheep.’ He explains that stock grazing freely on the moor instinctively know where they are and stay within their ‘patch’ - it’s known as leering, or hefting – but following foot and mouth, new stock did not have this in-built knowledge. ‘It takes a generation to re-heft, so it probably took about five to


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‘You are never going to earn a fortune farming on Dartmoor – it’s about lifestyle and as such I’d never want to live anywhere else.’

seven years before everything settled down again. That first summer after foot and mouth, the cattle were wandering off everywhere, we were always getting calls from our neighbours!’ However perseverance and patience eventually paid off and Phil, to his surprise and great delight, was named Beef Farmer of the Year in 2008 by Farmers’ Weekly, in recognition of his skill in breeding cattle most suitable for the demanding land he farms. He says it was a great honour and a great night out in London! Phil and Mandi, unusually in this day and age, still often use horsepower when it comes to moving sheep and cattle. ‘Traditionally on Dartmoor farmers have always used horses. When quad bikes came along they tended to supersede the horses, but our land is particularly steep and rocky and not so suitable for bikes. So we’ve gone down the American west route and use Quarter Horses. They have a lovely temperament, they’re pretty agile and quiet without being ploddy. Plus the cattle are calm with the horses, they aren’t noisy like a bike.’

The couple’s passion for riding and use of working horses sparked the latest diversification on the farm - riding holidays. These have grown year on year, even featuring on television; the image of a Dartmoor cowboy obviously piquing the imagination of broadcast producers. Phil and Mandy take their guests out on a variety of Dartmoor trips, including three or five day cattle drives, with the option to camp out. Staying with equines, Phil and Mandi also have a small herd of Shetland ponies grazing the commons and a few pure breed Dartmoor mares they keep off the moor. ‘There’s quite a good market for the Shetlands but not a great deal of demand for Dartmoors,’ says Phil.

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A New School for Okehampton The new school for Okehampton, St James Church of England Primary and Nursery School, has been consulting on its plans. Scheduled to open in September 2018, the new school aims to offer ‘the best possible education and experiences for every child’. It will make the most its natural environment by specialising in outdoor education and learning to develop character and resilience. Children can expect moor walks, kite flying, pond dipping, forest school and orienteering alongside the more traditional after school clubs. They will need a good pair of wellies! The school will be sponsored by the Diocese of Exeter. As a Church of England School, St James will be underpinned by a strong Christian ethos in which every child is valued for his or her unique talents. To enable to the school to benefit from local education expertise, St James will work in formal partnership with Okehampton Primary School and the wider Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust. It will initially offer reception places for September 2018 and parents can apply - or amend their preferences - at any point until the end of the school summer

holidays 2018. Provision for nursery and key stage one children is currently being considered. Diocesan Director of Education John Searson said: ‘We are delighted to be moving forward with our plans for the new school and we have welcomed the opportunity to talk to local people about what they want to see. This is a very exciting project and Dartmoor provides the perfect backdrop for our unique focus on developing character through outdoor education and learning. I look forward to welcoming our first pupils.’ The Diocese of Exeter has been consulting the local community about its plans. The consultation closes on March 16th and the consultation report will be published on March 20th. For more information, visit:

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The exams are nearly here... Top tips for best revision practice With the exam season looming for 16 to 18 year olds, it is worthwhile taking on board a few top tips for how to cope during this potentially stressful time. As adults we often forget the huge pressure put on young people, but also that some of their coping strategies are not conducive to doing well - we were all there and can probably name a few bad examples ourselves! That in mind, here are a few that staff at Okehampton College advocate you try to support anyone who is going through the process; it is not exhaustive but a good place to start!

Create a revision timetable Making a timetable helps organise your time so that no subject is missed out. It is easy to only revise the things we like or simply for the next exam but with most students having two GCSE exams a day, priorities are often hard to make last minute. It is often useful to do this with an adult as they will be able to help you plan your time, be realistic about what you can do and help book in breaks and rest slots.

Set up your revision space Young people often insist that revision is easier with music or the tv on in the background. Remember that the exams are in silence so practicing this early on will foster a good work ethic and make the experience easier in the long run. Revision space should have no distractions and be on a flat desk-like surface where possible.

Make it as fun as possible Use colour! Use cards! Create songs and rhymes! There are many ways to learn something and the more exciting it is, the better. Past Papers and linked answers are often available online, as are a wealth of useful websites with quizzes - make use of what you know will stick in your mind!

Rewards Revision sessions should really be no longer than 30 minutes for each subject as, let’s be honest, the aim to revise for three hours straight on any one subject is just unrealistic! The best time of the day to revise is the morning so rewards of an afternoon with friends or family will aid motivation! Make a reward something that is calming or fun - whatever works for you. A long walk, a film or even some time playing computer games. Revision is key to success and the reward for all your hard work now is a long and relaxing summer!

Look after yourself It is often easy to forget the basics during the next few months. Remember that you need to prepare physically as well as mentally and this means looking after yourself! Sleep, water, food and relaxation are all key aspects to ensuring that you will not run out of steam before the last exam. Hopefully you will find these tips useful; remember that there are lots of people to support you both at school and at home so please ask for help if you need it! Good luck! Kirstie Nixon Head of Year 11 Okehampton College

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New school takes shape The future of rural education is bright in Chagford, as works progress at pace on the brand new 210-place school at Chagford Church of England Primary School. The two-storey school, set to open its doors to pupils in September 2018, also includes a 26-place nursery. Chagford School is part of the Education Skills Funding Agency’s £4.4 billion initiative targeted at rebuilding or refurbishing those school buildings in the very worst condition across the country. Chagford was awarded the rebuild based on the findings of a number of condition reports and technical surveys carried out by Devon County Council and the Department for Education. The purpose-built new school was designed in full consultation with the school, parents and members of the community during the design phase. The new building will meet all current design standards for acoustics, lighting, ventilation, indoor air quality and thermal comfort, as well as providing 21st century IT infrastructure, and improved security. Headteacher Liz Wiseman said: ‘The existing school, built in the 1930s and converted to a primary school in 1971, is no longer fit for purpose. Our maintenance and energy costs are high, and more than ever, school funds are stretched. We are delighted to be part of this programme, and Kier Construction and the ESFA have kept us involved right the way through.’ Work began in earnest in August 2017 in preparing the foundations and the pupils and staff have enjoyed seeing the building works progress over the autumn term, as lots of diggers and cranes moved in. In November, a time capsule containing the thoughts and prayers of pupils, staff, governors and Kier Construction was laid in the foundations of the new hall. ‘We wanted to make sure that as well as lots of concrete, our new school will be founded on what really matters – love, understanding and being a place where every member of

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the school family is valued,’ said the Rev Paul Seaton-Burn, a former school governor and Team Rector of the Whiddon Mission Community serving the Chagford Parish and local community. ‘One way of expressing this has been the placing of Bibles previously used in our school within the new foundations.’ With the steel frame now erected, despite the high winds and rain in January, the contractors have begun roofing work and the school is really taking shape. School Business Manager Nuala McDermott explained that the new school hall would be much bigger than the existing hall, and the school is keen to encourage and promote community use. ‘We are very much looking forward to extending our lettings programme, and sharing the space for everyone to enjoy,’ she said. The school also has ambitious plans to build a multi-use games area in the grounds, following a survey of pupils, parents and the community last year, in conjunction with Lemon Gazelle, a local project management company. Meanwhile, staff are busy with business as usual, while looking forward to moving into the new school at the end of July. The new school football pitch and playing fields will then be built on the site of the old school, with works due to complete by the end of the year. More information about the project can be found at https:// as well as regular updates on the school website.



Dartmoor Preservation Association A guardian of one of England’s most precious landscapes, helping to look after Dartmoor for more than 130 years.…. The Dartmoor Preservation Association, or DPA, has been helping to look after Dartmoor for more than 130 years. Also known as the ‘Friends of Dartmoor’, the Association was a guardian of the landscape for almost 70 years before the National Park came into being and it has worked tirelessly to ensure that Dartmoor remains one of England’s few surviving pieces of wild and beautiful moorland. The DPA was founded in 1883, amidst growing interest in Dartmoor’s landscape, history and natural history and concern over attempts to fence in and ‘improve’ the moorland at the expense of the rights of the commoners. The first act of its founders was to engage a barrister to produce a report on the historic rights of commoners, which could be used as evidence in the courts. Unfortunately, in their enthusiasm, they lost track of his costs and when the bill was presented, they didn’t have the money to pay it! However, funds were eventually found and in 1897 the research proved to be decisive, when it was used in a court case to prevent the unlawful fencing-off of 39 acres of Peter Tavy Great Common. Over the following 50 years, the DPA fought a number of battles against attempts to damage the moorland, starting with protests against the War Department’s use of land leased from the Duchy of Cornwall for live firing. This caused serious difficulties for the commoners and meant that the public was excluded for virtually the whole of the summer months. Although the DPA has never been against the armed forces, it has always campaigned for respect for the landscape and public safety and has had some success in negotiating improved public access. Even today, the Association works closely with the Ministry of Defence to try and ensure that minimum disruption is caused to the landscape and the people who want to enjoy it. 26

Throughout its existence, the DPA has campaigned against denial of public access; attempts to flood huge tracts of farmland to create reservoirs and build power stations; and the disfiguring of the landscape by inappropriate development, the planting of conifers and the dumping of spoil from quarries. It has had varying degrees of success and has even raised funds from its members to purchase four pieces of land to prevent them from being misused. Apart from campaigning activities, from the very beginning the DPA’s members have also been involved in conservation work, raising fallen stones, clearing leats and preventing historic sites from becoming overrun with bracken. It still has a keen group of volunteers who meet to carry out conservation and survey work and to manage the DPA’s own pieces of land. Indeed, in 2017, one of its trustees was named as the UK National Parks ‘Volunteer of the Year’ for his hard work, carried out over many years. With the creation of the Dartmoor National Park in 1951 it was hoped that there would no longer be a need for a watchdog organisation. This turned out to be wishful thinking and vigilance is required as much today as it has ever been. The National Park designation has not afforded all of the

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undoubtedly lead to more recreational use and increased pressure on the landscape. In the face of these threats, the DPA will carry on with its role as a guardian of Dartmoor. It will fiercely protect its independent status, which allows it to work with other organisations without being beholden to them. So, for example, while the DPA will support the National Park Authority when it is doing the right thing, it won’t hesitate to oppose it when it isn’t. As the recognised ‘Friends of . . .’ body representing the Dartmoor National Park, it will join like-minded organisations, both local and national, in campaigning for the protection of all of the nation’s National Parks. It will also work with conservation organisations on projects for the protection of Dartmoor’s ecology and its cultural and historical heritage.

protections which had been expected and the next few years are likely to throw up a number of serious issues: planners are already struggling with the national policy framework, which has enabled some significant and inappropriate developments to go ahead; Britain’s exit from the European Union may present threats to the livelihood of the farmers who play a vital role in managing the moorland landscape; and there is also a question mark over whether EU environmental protections will be maintained. The large number of housing developments being built around the National Park will

If you are interested in supporting the work of the DPA, would like to help with its volunteering work, or simply go along to one of its free walks or events, you can find out all you need to know on its website: Phil Hutt Dartmoor Preservation Association



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Allergy management and treatment Advice from Dr Emma Chapman, Okehampton Medical Centre An allergy is a reaction the body has to a particular food or substance and they are very common, affecting more than one in four people in the UK at some point in their lives. Having an allergy can be a nuisance and affect your everyday activities, but most allergic reactions are mild and can be largely kept under control.

Wash pets and their bedding/soft furnishings they lay on at least once a week.

Common allergies

Hay fever

Grass and tree pollen

To help keep your hay fever under control you could:

Dust mites

Animal dander (tiny flakes of skin or hair)

Check weather reports for pollen count and stay indoors when high if possible.

Food - particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cow’s milk

Avoid drying clothes and bedding outside when pollen count is high.

Insect bites and stings

Latex - used to make some gloves and condoms

Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect eyes

Mould - these can release small particles into the air that you can breathe in

Household chemicals, including those in detergents and hair dyes

Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who aren’t allergic to them.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction Allergic reactions usually happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen. They can cause sneezing, a runny nose, red, itchy watery eyes, wheezing and coughing, a red itchy rash, worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms. If this occurs take an antihistamine. if it does not improve or is severe contact your GP. Try to identify what triggered the reaction and work to avoid it in the future or take pre-emptive antihistamines.

Prevention The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the substance that you’re allergic to, although this isn’t always easy or practical. Below is some practical advice to help manage your allergy.

Pets It’s not the pet fur that causes an allergic reaction. Instead, it’s flakes of their dead skin, saliva and dried urine. If you can’t permanently remove a pet from the house, you could try: Keep pets outside as much as possible, or limit them to certain areas in the house and do not let them in the bedroom.

Regularly groom pets outside. If you don’t own a pet, taking antihistamine tablets an hour before entering a pet-inhabited house.

Shower and change clothes after being outside Avoid grassy areas such as parks and fields especially in the early morning, evening or night when pollen count is highest.

Insect bites and stings When outdoors, particularly in the summer, you could cover exposed skin, wear shoes, apply insect repellant and avoid wearing strong perfume or fragrances, as these can attract insects.

Allergy medications Medications for mild allergies are available from pharmacies without prescription, but always ask your pharmacist or GP for advice before starting any new medication. Antihistamines – The main medicines for allergies. They can be used when you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction or to prevent an allergic reaction, for example taking in the morning if you know the pollen count will be high that day. Decongestants – Can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose caused by an allergic reaction. Lotions and creams – Red itchy skin caused by an allergic reaction can be treated with over-the-counter cream and lotions such as emollients (moisturising creams) to keep skin soft and protect from allergens, calamine lotion to reduce itchiness or steroids to reduce inflammation. Dr Emma Chapman


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Aromatherapy - a practice with a long history This short introductory article about aromatherapy touches upon the ancient origins and history of aromatherapy, the complexity of essential oils, the art of aromatherapy, its spiritual and esoteric uses and the possible benefits of an aromatherapy treatment. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were among the first to appreciate the benefits of oils, resins and plants for their antiseptic, antibacterial and preserving qualities. India also has a long and ancient history of using plants, oils and herb extracts in their traditional Ayurvedic medicine. ‘Ayurvedic’ means ‘knowledge or ‘science of life’ and is highly revered even today. The west is becoming more aware of its benefits and like aromatherapy, it too is becoming popular. Europe began to perceive and test the benefits of using plant resins and herb extracts as remedies much later than our ancestors in other parts of the world. In the 1920s French chemist and perfumer René Maurice Gattefosse invented the term aromatherapy; he discovered that lavender oil helped burns and wounds to heal and prevent scarring. He used oils during the First World War on soldiers, when he discovered they helped wounds heal quicker. In the 1940s aromatherapy was brought to Britain by Marguerite Maury, who used massage as a method of applying essential oils. Aromatherapy has many aspects and is as individual as the client receiving the treatment Aromatherapy is a holistic complementary therapy that uses pure essential oils, natural aromas and massage to promote physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual well being. Essential oils are absorbed into our bodies through our skin via massage and the olfactory system, where they engage and interact with our systems holistically in accordance with the therapeutic properties/chemical composition of particular oils.

between science and art. Knowledge was not divided up and compartmentalised as it is today, one could say there was once a more holistic approach to knowledge, learning and practice and in this way, aromatherapy has the potential to work and be used in many ways. A therapist may also embrace esoteric and spiritual approaches in their practice. A therapist may also work with the energetic body, selecting essential oils for their vibrational or energetic qualities rather than their chemical or physical therapeutic actions.

Some of the possible benefits of aromatherapy Relief from stress, anxiety and tension Warming up and warming down muscles before and after exercise Feelings of deep relaxation, peace and calm ‘Me Time’ Tender Loving Care Nurturing, uplifting, energising

Complex essential oils as life force

A general sense of health and wellbeing

Essential oils are complex, chemical, aromatic molecular substances extracted from plants and trees by the process of distillation. They may be described as the ‘life force’ of the plant or tree from whence they came. The chemical composition of DNA in plants is very similar to our own. Each oil consists of around 100 to 300 components, this is why a single oil such as lavender has a variety of properties and uses, including antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-depressant and analgesic, as well as being calming and helping to promote sleep.

Comforting for the terminally ill and their families

The art and science of aromatherapy Tisserand (1977), in his book The Art Of Aromatherapy, reminds us that there was a time when we did not distinguish

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Aiding our personal growth and meditation practice

A quick note on safety Essential oils should not be ingested or used in the first three months of pregnancy and should be used in a weak dilution of 1% if breast feeding. However it is advised to consult a qualified aromatherapist who will provide a confidential consultation to ensure that Aromatherapy is right for you. Anna Georghiou BA Hons Psy/Phil, MA Fine Art, VTCT Dip Aromatherapy, FHT Member.



The splendour of spring arrives and the garden awakes! Jonathan Webster, Curator at RHS Rosemoor, shares his love of spring gardens, some plants that he really would not do without and some top tips and gardening advice to get us out in the garden! The Westcountry has a long history of many famous gardens focusing on these plants. They benefit from our moister climes which aids their growth and flowering, mimicking their often native woodland or mountainous habitat. At RHS Rosemoor we grow a huge variety of these gems. Many we plant under a light tree canopy to protect them from sharp spring frosts which can damage their flowers and once these trees are in leaf, they protect and shade them during hotter summer months.

Spring is one of my favourite times of year - after a lot of tidying up over winter, the garden is ready for all the plants to burst into life again and start the spring spectacle with colourful flowers and lush foliage, with a sense of freshness and hopefully a change in the weather! Every year still has a sense of expectation, as most plants are very reliant on our variable weather which can help or hinder their flowering display. Although we constantly talk about our changing weather - a very British thing to do - this great climate of ours is the key to the wide range of plants we are able to grow from all over the world.

With so many of these gems to choose from, these are some I would not do without:

The first sign of spring to me is the vibrant and often colourclashing flower power provided by some of our garden favourites - camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias. The majority are native to the Northern hemisphere and characterise the typical English woodland garden. These plants come from many countries, including China, the Himalayas and Japan; they have been a staple of British horticulture since they were first introduced by intrepid plant hunters scouring the world in search of interesting plants to grace our gardens.

Camellia x williamsii ‘Saint Ewe’ with vibrant single pink flowers - it arose from breeding work at Caerhays Castle in Cornwall in the 1920s by John Charles Williams and was named after the nearby village of St Ewe. This is a reliable flowerer, quite often starting in November and continuing until April. Rhododendrons are one of the most colourful groups of plants. This is a very large plant family and one of my favourite groups of Rhododendrons are the evergreen azaleas. From Japan,

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Top Tips for March and April Dividing your herbaceous perennials Most benefit from division every two to three years to maintain health and vigour. For the purposes of propagation, the task can be done more regularly. These will soon come into growth, mulch and water to help them settle in.

Pruning for colourful stems When some shrubs are pruned hard, they regrow vigorously, producing more colourful stems that brighten up the garden in winter. If left, over time they will become less dramatic.  Allow the maximum time to enjoy these colourful stems shrubby Cornus and willows are typically pruned from late March to mid-April, just as the new growth is developing.

Seed sowing outdoors

these are so vibrant in colour, from pure whites, shocking oranges to vibrant reds, when planted in bold groups they provide a spectacle of pure flower power with all the leaves hiding below. Rhododendron ‘Hino-crimson’, with lush green foliage adds to the garden throughout the year and has bright crimson flowers in spring. A very special plant, Magnolia campbellii is not for a small garden, this graceful flowering tree from the Himalayas produces stunning pink to white flowers the size of dinner plates. It is one of the first magnolias to flower and if not planted in a nice sheltered spot can get caught by a frosty night. Jonathan Webster Curator, RHS Rosemoor

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Many vegetables, annuals, biennials and herbaceous plants can be grown from seed sown outdoors. The secret to success is to prepare a good seedbed, free of weeds with a crumblelike soil-surface texture. As long as the soil is warm and moist, seed will germinate quickly. In practice, this usually means either mid-spring to early summer (April-June). If you can provide the crop with protection, such as cloches or fleece, sowing can begin in early spring.

Repairing lawns Patches in lawns can appear for a number of reasons and when they do, it is always advisable to repair them. Re-seeding or turfing bare patches will prevent weeds germinating, and of course, it looks much better. Lawns are best repaired in spring or autumn, when the weather is damp and cool, as the lawn is most likely to recover well in these conditions.

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It’s great news! Stuart Luxton celebrates a wonderful start to the year Hello again everyone. I am hoping that by the time you read this the winter monsoon season will be over and we will having some nice warmer spring weather - since I last wrote we have had more than our fair share of rain. On balance though, at least we have had rain - there appear to be parts of the world that have record breaking droughts. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to farm with no rain at all, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Immediately after New Year in January we had yet another TB test. It couldn’t have been a better start to the year, a totally clear test - this coupled with a clear test in November means that we are free from TB restrictions for the first time since August 2016. It might have been good news for us but it was great news for 12 young men on the farm. We have a dozen young bulls of good working age now, able to be sold to other farmers. It was a great feeling to be able to put their nose rings in and tidy them up ready for viewing by potential customers. You can see them at Things have gone so well that we already have a few sales. Last year’s crop had to be slaughtered - because of our TB restrictions there wasn’t much chance of selling them, it was a very sad time. We can also start to plan for a show season and decide which animals will be going on their travels this summer. By the time you read this, the lambing season will nearly be upon us. We have

scanned the ewes and they are carrying over two lambs each on average, with less than 2% empty, a few more lambs than last year but not too many. We now concentrate on getting the ewes ready for their big day. We make sure that they are fed correctly and are in good health. We also prepare for looking after ewes and lambs if things don’t go perfectly. We like to think that we are good farmers, but a year ago we joined a sheep producers’ club at North Park Vets. The aim was to improve management practices in line with modern guidelines. I have learned that we were indeed good sheep farmers and are very efficient at producing and rearing lambs efficiently without purchasing extra feed. But we have also realised that we can make improvements to what we do. There are new practices that should help to reduce the level of lameness in the flock while at the same time reducing antibiotic usage. No farmer likes having lame sheep on the farm, but in general where there are sheep, there are lame sheep. Anything we can learn that will help reduce lameness has to help reduce stress levels for the animals and for the farmer. At the shop the mad Christmas period is over for another year and in theory we are in the retail backwater that is January. This year though, we have had a very good month. We had virtually nothing left from Christmas and we have a nice steady stream of customers

to keep us out of mischief. In February we begin the extension of Farmer Luxtons and look forward to being able to provide more local products to more local people. I look forward to next edition of Oke Links, as we will then be in the middle of the best time of year on the farm, the lambing and calving season. Stuart Luxton

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also be on hand for advice and information. The event runs from 9am until noon.

WEEKLY NORDIC WALKS Tuesday 12-1pm.Okehampton Area Thursday 10-11am. Tavistock Saturday 10-11.30am Okehampton Area. For more details www.

11 MARCH MOTHERING SUNDAY Three course lunch including flowers for Mum at £37.50 a head at Lewtrenchard Manor. To book call 01566 783222.


14 MARCH TIME TEAM TALK A talk by Tim Taylor - Producer of TV’s The Time Team, will be hosted by the Okehampton and District Local History Society at 7.30pm in the Ockment Centre, Okehampton. Visitors welcome. Entry £3.

5 MARCH MEET THE FAIRTRADE FARMER Join Okehampton Fairtrade group at the Terry Bennett Centre, Fireplace Church between 3.30pm and 5.30pm for tea and cake with Esther Chepkwony, a Kenyan tea grower. Find out how Fairtrade has benefitted her family and community. Free event, all welcome. 8 MARCH INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY Pop into Okehampton Library and take a look at the book displays. 10 MARCH COFFEE MORNING In The Charter Hall, Okehampton, to raise funds for Okehampton and District Community Transport Group. Tea and coffee plus stalls, bric-a-brac, puzzles, books, Donations for the stalls or raffle can be dropped into the ODCTG offices. A representative from the fire service will


14 MARCH WALK WITH WINNIE A scenic walk for all with Denise Horner of Dartmoor Nordic Walking. See page 58. Leaving Chagford Swimming Pool Car Park at 10am. Call Denise on 07944 630677 for more information. 17 MARCH EXETER CATHEDRAL CONCERT Exeter Festival Chorus presents Rachmaninov’s Liturgy of St John Chrysostom at 7.30pm. The concert is part of the Chorus’s 25th anniversary season. Tickets for the anniversary brochure and this concert, one of four special events being staged throughout the year, are available at http://www.

18 MARCH WALK WITH DARTMOOR’S PACK PONIES Inspired by ‘Walking Dartmoor’s Ancient Tracks’ by Eric Hemery, Sam Goodwin has been single-handedly training ponies to carry packs. Along with Emma Cunis of Dartmoor’s Daughter, you will have the opportunity to step into the past and experience Dartmoor and its distinctive breed in a unique and authentic way. For information and to book call 07817 329584 or go to 20 MARCH FREE GARDEN DAY Take the opportunity to visit RHS Rosemoor’s inspirational 65-acre gardens for free. Enjoy the daffodils and spring bulbs as the gardens burst into new life. 21 MARCH HISTORY TALK Alehouses and Good Fellowship in early modern England - a talk by Mark Halewood hosted by Moretonhampstead History Society. 7.30pm, Union Inn, Moretonhampstead. Tel 01647 441083 or see www/ 21 MARCH UNDER 5S STORIES AND CRAFTS A free event for under 5s and their carers at Okehampton Library. No booking necessary.

A Chelsea oval dish Sold for £1,050

St. Edmund’s Court, Okehampton Street, Exeter EX4 1DU T: 01392 413100 W: E:


18 MARCH HIGH DARTMOOR WALK Led by Paul Rendell. Meet at 10.15am at Meldon Old Quarry car park SX568 921 (not the reservoir car park) for a nine mile, five hour long walk via Redaven Brook, Pixie Pool, Yes tor, High Willhays, Black Tor and Meldon Reservoir. Book by 6pm the day before by calling Paul on 01837 54725 or email £10 per person, no dogs please.

21 MARCH FARMERS’ MARKET In Red Lion Yard Okehampton, staged by Okehampton Chamber of Trade.

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WHAT’S ON 23 MARCH LECTURE: W TITCOMBE - AN ARTIST OF MANY PARTS David Tovey is a well known art historian, who specializes in Cornish art, and Will Titcomb, one of the first artist settlers in St Ives in the late 1880s, is his greatgrandfather. Come and hear tales of the artist’s peripatetic life and find out why many of his paintings now have immense social-historical interest at this lecture at Bratton Clovelly Parish Hall. Doors and bar open at 7pm, lecture begins at 7.30pm. Refreshments available. Tickets: £5. To book seats or table, email: or phone: 01837 871696. Further information from 24 MARCH SOUTH WEST ALPINE SOCIETY SHOW At RHS Rosemoor. The show which has relocated from its original home in Exeter

will highlight some of the great alpine plant nurseries who can provide helpful advice on growing these specialist plants. Judging takes place in The Garden Room until approximately 11am, with the trophy presentation at 3.45pm. Visitors can view the displays from 11am–4pm. Plant sales open at 10am. Normal admission charges apply. 24 MARCH - 15 APRIL EASTER BUNNY HUNT Lindt East Bunny Hunt at RHS Rosemoor enjoy the beautiful gardens and search for the golden bunny - fun for all the family. 24 MARCH BIG BREAKFAST! Back again by popular request, the hugely successful Big Breakfast returns to Sampford Courtenay Village Hall. From 8.30am until 11am come and enjoy a traditional English breakfast for only £6 a head. All proceeds towards hall funds. Pay on the day but to reserve a seat call 01837 880300, 01837 880300 or 01837 89168.

31 MARCH COFFEE MORNING Hosted by the Lions Club of Okehampton in The Charter Hall, between 9am and noon. All welcome.

Sale of Jewellery, Silver, Antiques & Art 27th March at 10.30am

Sale of Wines, Spirits & Related Items 10th April at 10.30am


New classes and activities for 2018 Updated menu with healthy choices Catering for your family celebrations and occasions Private venue hire

A temporary art exhibition at the Museum of Dartmoor Life, Okehampton by artists Hugo Lines and Kenson Low. 30 MARCH - 15 APRIL CADBURY EASTER EGG HUNT

Track down the Cadbury bunny and his friends in Lydford Gorge. Discover more about the trees that grow in the gorge by following bunny’s trail, with a delicious treat at the end. 10am until 4.30pm daily, £3 per trail, normal admission applies. Fore more activities at the gorge, see page 53. 30 MARCH RAG RUG MAKING WORKSHOP

Call: 01837 318010

email: Okehampton College•Mill Road Okehampton•EX20 1GE

Learn how to make your own rag rug by following this traditional art during a workshop being held at Finch Foundry in Sticklepath. For this and other events at the foundry, see page 55.

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Chinese Bottle Vase, SOLD £10,000

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April ACTIVE MUMS CYCLING PROJECT If you would like to get into the fresh air and lovely scenery on a bike with your baby (over 6 months) or young child, OCRA will be starting Active Mums sessions based from Adventure Okehampton with led rides, bikes and buggies. For more information on these FREE sessions contact or 07901 827126. 1 APRIL RUN IN THE PARK! 2.5k and 5k run courses. Ideal for families, young people and adults of all ages. Start at the OCRA Pavilion at 9.30. £1 adults, children free. 1 APRIL - 15 APRIL SPRING TRAIL

At the Museum of Dartmoor Life, Okehampton. Easter holiday fun for the youngsters in the family. 2 - 13 APRIL EASTER ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN Wide range of sport, art, adventure and activity camps for children/young people aged four to 16 years. See full programme at

6 APRIL - 1 JUNE MINDFULNESS STRESS REDUCTION COURSE Eight-week course being held at The Ockment Centre between 2pm and 4pm on Fridays. Instruction by Catherine Large, full trained through the University of Exeter. To register for the course and for further details please email: catfrankie.large@ 8 APRIL KIDS NATURE TREASURE HUNT AND LETTERBOXING A fun and interesting way of connecting children of all ages to the beautiful Dartmoor landscape as well as meeting other children and burning off lots of energy! Recommended age five to eleven years. For information and to book call 07817 329584 or go to www. 9 APRIL FLYING BOOKS Recycle old books using origami at Okehampton Library between 10.30am and 11.30am. Suitable for children aged 7 plus. Free event but booking essential. Call the library on 01837 52805. 14 APRIL A PERFORMANCE BY THEATRE ALIBI Theatre Alibi brings The Boy Who Climbed Into The Moon to South Zeal Victory Hall at 3pm. For tickets please call 01837 840829.

14 APRIL GASTRONOMIC EVENING To be held at North Bovey Parish Hall, to raise money for the hall thatch fund. A fine dining evening including a five course meal and introductory glass of fizz. Bring your own drinks. £53 per person, tables will be in sixes. For more information call Gordon Hurst on 01647 221 535. 15 APRIL ANDREW’S CORNER OPEN GARDEN Open garden Andrew’s Corner, Skaigh Lane, Belstone EX20 1RD in aid of the National Garden Scheme 2-5pm. Refreshments, plants for sale, also open by appointment. Further information or email 16 - 21 APRIL THE ADVENTURES OF MR TOAD A funny and thrilling show staged by The Courtenay Players with music, dance and great acting from both the younger members and more experienced crew. You can see the production at The Charter Hall, Okehampton at 7.30pm. Tickets are £9 adults £4.50 for U18s, available from Fairplace Church shop or at the venue on the night. Call secretary Stan Stormont for more information on 07880 537946. 16 APRIL LIFE DRAWING Sessions for all at Greenhill Arts in Moretonhampstead. For more information go to




29 Fore Street Okehampton EX20 1HB 01837 659300

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WHAT’S ON 17 APRIL HISTORY TOUR Enjoy a tour of the atmospheric Lewtrenchard Manor, including lunch and refreshments. 10.30am arrival. £30 per person. To book, call 01566 783222. 18 APRIL HISTORY TALK Devon’s Lost Heritage - a talk by Felicity Goodall, hosted by Moretonhampstead History Society. 7.30pm, Union Inn, Moretonhampstead. Tel 01647 441083 or see www/ 21 APRIL BOWL TURNING COURSE

Bowl turning on a traditional wood turners pole lathe with Sharif Adams, one day, North Bovey, 9.30am until 5pm. All tools and materials provided, suitable for beginners, booking essential and by arrangement for one to one or specific dates for group courses. For information go to Www.sharifadams. or call 07964 225064. 22 APRIL ANDREW’S CORNER OPEN GARDEN Open garden Andrew’s Corner, Skaigh Lane, Belstone EX20 1RD in aid of the National Garden Scheme 2-5pm. Refreshments, plants for sale, also open by appointment. Further information or email

26 APRIL GREAT PLANTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR Talk by David Squires from the Royal Horticultural Society at Okehampton Library, 7pm. Tickets only £3, to include refreshments. For more information or to book call the library on 01837 52805. 28 APRIL TAMAR VALLEY MALE VOICE CHOIR CONCERT At St Andrew’s Church, Sampford Courtenay. Admission £7, with proceeds being donated to Devon Air Ambulance Trust. Contact Dave Weeks on 01837 851379 for further information. 29 APRIL ANDREW’S CORNER OPEN GARDEN Open garden Andrew’s Corner, Skaigh Lane, Belstone EX20 1RD in aid of the National Garden Scheme 2-5pm. Refreshments, plants for sale, also open by appointment. Further information or email

available either before or on the day (also see the village website www. Car Boot – Cars £4, Vans £6 and any vehicle towing a trailer or having a gazebo £10. Please ring 01837 851269 for further details. 6 MAY BLUEBELL WALK Led by Paul Rendell. Meet at 10.15am at Hound Tor car park for a ten mile, six hour walk via Holwell Lawn, Beckabrook, Emsworthy, Saddle Tor, Holwell Tor, Black Hill, Leighon and Hayne Down. £10 per person, please book by calling 01837 54727 or email 11-13 MAY TEN TORS The big adventure for youngsters is this weekend. Teams arrive on the Friday and leave Okehampton Camp on Saturday morning, returning the next day.

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May 5 MAY SAMPFORD COURTENAY FAMILY DOG SHOW AND CAR BOOT SALE Being held at Sampford Courtenay Village Hall at 1pm. Dog show schedules are

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21 APRIL - 7 MAY

‘The beating heart of the arts in West Devon and East Cornwall’

Andrew Wilson, Festival President

INTRODUCING ThIS YEAR’S FESTIVAl: Chairman, Christopher Kirwin Welcome to our 15th Birthday Festival! The 2018 Tavistock Festival CIO, our 16th and second since becoming a charitable organisation (charity no. 1169664), again will sing the praises of all that our award winning market town has to offer. In recent years, Tavistock has been voted Best Market Town in Britain and Best Food Town in the South West and with its charming country atmosphere, a thriving pannier market and many exceptional independent specialist shops, the Tavistock Festival is a wonderful annual addition for locals and visitors alike. In this, its 16th year, the Festival is spread over 17 days - again a music, arts and literary festival – with art exhibitions and literary workshops, in addition to the many varied musical events presenting a broad spectrum of musical styles. Andrew Wilson, local conductor and renowned world-wide prize-winning composer, continues as our President. Once again this year, in association with the Friends of the Festival and of the Wharf Arts Centre, we will promote Live Performance Broadcasts of ballet, music, opera and theatre from venues such as the National

Theatre, Royal Opera House and Royal Shakespeare Company; we are very keen to persuade all of our Patrons to support these events - a wonderful way to access live theatre. 2018 continues to see us receiving invaluable support, both old and new, from our own Friends of the Tavistock Festival, the Bedford Hotel, Olijam Communications Ltd (Tavy, Oke and Moor Links magazines), Alistair Kinsey, Hansford Bell, Eldreds, Miller Town & Country, Plymouth Music Accord, Wharf Arts Centre, Robertsons and Mount Kelly Foundation, plus the Malcolm Arnold Society, the Sir Malcolm Arnold Trust, Crebers, Quirky, Tavistock Library, Tavistock Pannier Market and the Tavistock Rotary Club, to all of whom we are most hotels in two grateful. We wouldTwo alsobeautiful like to say thank youexceptional for the location The Two Bridges Hotel, in the heart of Dartmoo support of our regular (and a number of welcome new) National Park, and The Bedford Hotel, in the individual event sponsors. perfect Devon market town of Tavistock. I look forward to seeing you, often, I hope, during the Individually styled rooms Festival.


Award-winning dining Traditional afternoon teas l Weddings, celebrations and private dining l A warm welcome, always l l

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The Tavistock Festival is pleased to be working in partnership with:

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Saturday 21st April

Festival Opening by Sophie Neville Reception & Entertainment. From 12.00 noon in the Bedford Hotel, Portrait Room – retiring collection




SAtuRdAY 21St

City of Plymouth Pipe Band St Eustachius’s, 10.30 am in the Churchyard – collection buckets in churchyard Chamber Ensemble of london St Eustachius’s, 7.30 pm - works by Malcolm Arnold, Johannes Brahms, Gabriel Fauré, Clive Jenkins, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Andrew M Wilson - Tickets - £15 (children - £5) from Miller Town & Country (Tavistock Office) or on the door Sponsored by the Malcolm Arnold Society, Eldreds Auctioneers & Valuers & Plymouth Music Accord

SundAY 22nd

Recital by levowan XII, including the Rutter Requiem St Eustachius’s 7.30 pm – retiring collection to help defray expenses

MondAY 23Rd

Recital by the Mount Kelly Musicians (Indira Falle – pianoforte & Jonathan hibbs – violin) St Eustachius’s 6.30 pm. Tickets - £5 (children - £2) on the door. Sponsored by

the Mount Kelly Foundation

tueSdAY 24th

lunchtime Recital by Wessex Piano Duo (Stella Searson & Sarah Rowe) St Eustachius’s 1.00 pm Tickets - £5 (children – free) on the door recital series. Recital series sponsored by Alistair Kinsey

‘A Cottage on Dartmoor’ directed by Anthony Asquith (1929) with live music from Wurlitza The Wharf Arts Centre 7.30 pm. Tickets £10 from the Wharf Arts Centre Box Office in advance or on the night – enquiries@

Recital by the Mount Kelly Musicians (Carys Twyman – flute & Grace liu – pianoforte) St Eustachius’s 6.30 pm Tickets £5 (children £2) on the door

Sponsored by the Mount Kelly Foundation

Martin Dale Jazz Trio Bedford Hotel Gallery 26, 7.30 pm for 8.00 pm. Including bossa novas in celebration of World Dance Day. Supper & drinks available from the bar. Tickets £12 from the Bedford Hotel reception or on the door for the Jazz Trio alone

thuRSdAY 26th


WedneSdAY 25th

lunchtime Oboe and Piano Recital by leslie Mazur-Park and Mary Mazur-Park St Eustachius’s 1.00 pm - with guest soloist, Rosemary Turner. Tickets £5 (children – free) on the door. Recital series sponsored by Alistair Kinsey

FRIdAY 27th

Plymouth Area Police Choir (with supporting children’s choir) St Eustachius’s 7.30 pm – in association with the Tavistock 700th Anniversary celebrations. Tickets as publicised in the Church or on the door

SAtuRdAY 28th

Divertimento and Vocal Accord St Eustachius’s 7.30 pm . A joint concert with works for string quartet and a cappella choir Tickets £12 - from Miller Town & Country (Tavistock Office) or on the door.

Sponsored by Robertsons and the Original Pasty House

Rock On with ‘Guitar legends’ The Wharf Arts Centre 8.00 pm. Tickets - £14 from the Wharf Arts Centre Box Office – 01822 611166 or enquiries@

SundAY 29th

WORlD DANCE DAY Royal School of Church Music singing day St Eustachius’s 6.00 pm. Joint service with RSCM choirs - in association with the Tavistock 700th Anniversary celebrations

tueSdAY 1St

Dartmoor Dawn Chorus in the company of the Dartmoor Border Morris dancers Leeden Tor Car Park 5.15 am - followed by breakfast at the Fox Tor Café in Princetown lunchtime Organ Recital by Dr Sean Sweeney St Eustachius’s 1.00 pm. Tickets £5 (children – free) on the door. Recital series sponsored by Alistair Kinsey

WedneSdAY 2nd

Talk by Darryl harrison, illustrated by excerpts of recorded music Tavistock Library 10.00am ‘Stealing Fire from the Gods: Beethoven and Prometheus’ – Tickets £2 in advance from the Library or on the door TAVISTOCK SINGS! St Eustachius’s 7.00pm. An evening of singing from local school choirs culminating in a massed choir finale featuring over two hundred young voices. Tickets: £2 per adult on the door or in advance from Miller Town & Country (Tavistock Office).

Sponsored by the Mount Kelly Foundation

thuRSdAY 3Rd

lunchtime Pianoforte Recital by Brian Chapple St Eustachius’s 1.00pm . Tickets £5 (children – free) on the door. Recital series sponsored by Alistair Kinsey

(Tickets purchased through Miller Town & Country – no credit cards – BACS/cash/cheques only) 42

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lecturesWALKS live Broadcast Performance of ‘Manon’ from the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden The Wharf Arts Centre 7.15pm Tickets £13 (£10 - children/Friends of the Wharf) from the Wharf Arts Centre Box Office – enquiries@

FRIdAY 4th Peter Cigleris (clarinet) accompanied by Martin Cousin (pianoforte) St Eustachius’s 7.30 pm To include works by Malcolm Arnold, Leonard Bernstein, Carlo della Giacoma, Clive Jenkins and Andrew M Wilson. Tickets £15 (children £5) from Miller Town & Country (Tavistock Office) or on the door. Sponsored by the Malcolm Arnold Trust and Tamar Valley Tourist Association (TAVATA)

SundAY 6th Festival Evensong St Eustachius’s 6.00 pm Choir augmented by Launceston Parish Church Choir Followed by Recital by Launceston Parish Church Choir – retiring collection

MondAY 7th Choral Workshop directed by Julian Jensen St Eustachius’s 9.30am for 10.00am Ancient to Modern: music from the Renaissance masters and their TwentyFirst Century counterparts, to include ‘O Nata Lux’ by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) and a setting of the same text by Morten Lauridsen (1943- ) Workshop to be followed by tea at the Bedford Hotel. Tickets for participants £10; for further details, contact Julian Jensen on 01822 813162 or email 6.00pm ‘Tavistock Sings’ A performance by the day’s Workshop participants - retiring collection to help defray costs

‘Battle of the Bands’ The Wharf Arts Centre 7.30pm An evening of music from local youth musicians/bands – for further details, contact Julian Jensen on 01822 813162 or email Tickets: £5 (students - £2), bookable in advance from the Wharf Arts Centre Box Office or on the door 01822 611166 or enquiries@

Myths and Legends’ Tavistock Library 10.30am Booking essential via the Library (01822 612218) Retiring collection to help defray costs Talk by Darryl harrison ‘The Black Square – Malevich and Modern Art’ Tavistock Library 1.00pm Tickets £2 in advance from the Library or on the door

Supported by the Wharf Arts Centre and the Mount Kelly Foundation

Sponsored by the Curtis Whiteford Crocker

APRIL 1St to MAY 10th

FRIdAY 27th

An exhibition of Arthur Ransome-themed books Tavistock Library – during normal opening hours. Sponsored by librariesunlimited


SAtuRdAY 21St

Talk by Sophie Neville – The Making of ‘Swallows & Amazons (1974)’ Bedford Hotel, Portrait Room 2.30pm Tickets £5 (children free) from the Bedford Hotel reception or on the door. Event will be followed by the cutting of the Festival 15th Birthday Cake at Quirky, Bedford Square Sponsored by the Bedford Hotel & Quirky

SundAY 22nd

Swallows & Amazons 1974 Film. Sophie Neville (Titty in the film) will introduce the film and hold a Q&A session after it. The Wharf Arts Centre 2.00 pm. Tickets £8 (children £4) from the Wharf Arts Centre Box Office.

MondAY 23Rd

Talk by Simon Dell – ‘Three Murders and a Suicide’ The Wharf Arts Centre 2.00 pm Part of Friends of the Wharf Talk Series .Tickets £5 (FOTW - £4) on the door

Tavistock Walk with Simon Dell Start from Court Gate, Bedford Square 2.00 pm Tickets £5 collected by Festival Stewards at the start of the walk

SAtuRdAY 28th A Poetry Fun Session with Penelope Woolley Tavistock Library 1.00pm With readings and a chance to compose an original fun poem with Penelope Woolley. Booking essential via the Library (01822 612218) – free admission – small prizes are likely to be awarded! Sponsored by the Friends of the Library

MondAY 30th Talk by David Tovey – ‘St Ives – The Artists, the Fisherfolk and the Fishing Industry’ The Wharf Arts Centre 2.00pm Part of Friends of the Wharf Lecture Series. Tickets £5 (FOTW - £4) on the door Supper with a performance of rehearsed readings Bedford Hotel Gallery 26, 7.00pm for 7.30pm Readings by members of the Tavonians Theatre Company, of two of Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’ monologues. Tickets: £20 (including supper) from Miller Town & Country (Tavistock Office) or £8 on the door with supper available from the bar Sponsored by the Bedford Hotel & Crebers

WedneSdAY 25th

literary Workshop with Myfanwy (Vanni) Cook ‘Creating Fantasy Fiction from Dartmoor


tueSdAY 1St Supper with a performance of rehearsed readings The Old Chapel, Calstock 7.00pm for

The Wharf Box Office - 01822 611166 enquiries@tavistockwharf .com

FRIdAY 4th

Tavistock Walk with Simon Dell Start from Court Gate, Bedford Square 2.00pm. Tickets £5 collected by Festival Stewards at the start of the walk

available from the Tavistock Library from February 21st - entries to be submitted by April 14th. Judging will be completed by April 28th and the prizes presented on May 5th at the Festival Gala Supper at the Bedford Hotel (see above) Entry Fee - £5

SAtuRdAY 5th

Sponsored by the Friends of Tavistock Library & Amazon Publications

7.30pm Readings by members of the Tavonians Theatre Company of two of Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’ monologues Tickets: £tbc from the Old Chapel and Miller Town & Country (Tavistock Office) or, if available, on the door

Festival Artists’ Market Bedford Square 9.00am to 4.00pm Festival Artists’ Market in association with Tavistock Pannier Market. For details contact the Market Reeve, Duane Carruthers, on 01822 611003 or

A Playreading of ‘Swallows & Amazons’ Princetown Library 7.00 pm Join Jayne Ashenbury from Whimsical Wandering for an informal reading of extracts from the play script Tickets £5 from Tavistock or Princetown Libraries in advance or on the door

Create a ‘Swallows and Amazons’ style video using a green screen Tavistock Library 10.00am – 3.00pm Event for 7 to 11 year olds Booking essential on 01822 612218 as limited places available

WedneSdAY 2nd

Talk by Darryl harrison, illustrated by excerpts of recorded music Tavistock Library 10.00 am ‘Stealing Fire for the Gods: Beethoven and Prometheus’ Tickets £2 in advance from the Library or on the door A Playreading of ‘Swallows & Amazons’ Tavistock Library 2.30pm Join Jayne Ashenbury from Whimsical Wandering for an informal reading of extracts from the play script. Tickets £5 from the Library in advance or on the door

thuRSdAY 3Rd

A talk by liz Shakespeare – ‘The Postman Poet’ Tavistock Library 7.30 pm Further details from the Library on 01822 612218 Tickets £2 from the Library Supported by Libraries Unlimited

Festival Gala Supper Festival Gala Supper with a performance of rehearsed readings by members of the Tavonians Theatre Company of two of Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads’ monologues. Prior to the event, prizes will be presented to the winners of the Tavistock Library sponsored, ‘Arthur Ransome Themed Writing Competition.’ Bedford Hotel Gallery 26, 7.00pm for 7.30 pm Tickets: £20 including supper from Miller Town & Country (Tavistock Office) or £8 on the door with supper available from the bar.

Sponsored by the Bedford Hotel & Crebers


MARCh - SAtuRdAY 17th Mount Kelly Choral Society present Mozart’s Mass in C minor St Eustachius’s Church 7.00 pm Tickets £10 (children - free) from Bookstop or on the door. Sponsored by the Mount Kelly

Foundation - in association with the Tavistock 700th Anniversary celebrations

APRIL/MAY Friends of the Wharf Talk Series Mondays 9th & 16th April & Mondays 14th & 21st May at 2pm. The Wharf Arts Centre (for details see What’s On Section of the Links magazine) Tickets - £5 (£4 - Friends of the Wharf) on the door

APRIL - WedneSdAY 4th live Broadcast Performace Verdi’s opera ‘Macbeth’ from the Royal Opera house The Wharf Arts Centre 7.15 pm Tickets £13 (£10 - children/Friends of the Wharf) from the Wharf Arts Centre Box Office –

APRIL - SAtuRdAY 7th Tavi Artists’ Market Bedford Square 9.00am to 3.00pm – in association with Tavistock Pannier Market for details contact the Market Reeve, Duane Carruthers, on 01822 611003 or

An Arthur Ransome Themed Writing Competition Competition opens on March 1st Details


Again this year, we are offering members of the Friends of the Festival the chance to buy a Festival Pass; one of theses passes enables you to obtain a discount on the price you pay for your tickets – minimum cost of Friends Membership is £30.

BRONZE pass £50 SIlVER pass £100 GOlD pass £200 PlATINUM pass


Please contact Christopher Kirwin (Festival CIO Chairman) on 01822 859477 or bridgemoorhouse@ for Friends Application Form. (Tickets purchased through Miller Town & Country – no credit cards – BACS/cash/cheques only)

Tavistock’s main venue for Films, Theatre, Live Music and Live Broadcasts

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Fronted by Johnny Warman as Roger Daltry, this show covers all the hits from the band’s early years.

An evening of spellbinding traditional English folk that sounds fresh and new.

Renowned for its action packed explosive show Limehouse continue to keep the spirit of Thin Lizzy alive.





With 90 albums to choose from this tribute to Neil Young have an extensive back catalogue to choose from.

An exciting time for local blues rock musician Kris Barras who has recently been signed to a record label with huge success at his feet.

Grunge lives on through this tribute act whose show captures the live and studio catalogue of Seattle based Nirvana.

AOR rockers are hoping to bring a little light to a genre that has remained in the shadows far too long…..





John Mainwering as ‘Bowie’ brings to the stage a quality show that replicates the mannerisms, voice and showmanship of a legend.

Geoff is an award winning blues-roots guitarist from Australia playing The Wharf as part of a UK tour.

Perfectly capturing the distinctive authentic sounds of one of the biggest guitar bands of all time.

Folk rockster Davey Dodds is the previous singer songerwriter of prog band Red Jasper – this promises to be a very special night.




A tribute not only celebrating Genesis but the acts associated with them like Mike and the Mechanics & Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel solo careers.

BB King, Brian May, Clapton, Hedrix, Santana, Steve Ray Vaughn are just a few names to be celebrated…

Hear the sounds of the 80’s fronted by ex Joey the Lips singer Jimmy Alderson, an evening not to be missed

For full details and how to book events visit our website: Tavistock Wharf Box Office 01822 611166

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March 22 - 24

Back in time in Throwleigh In March last year Throwleigh Archive presented the first of two productions about the history and heritage of Throwleigh. Called The Miss Varwells Throwleigh it was an adaptation of an account of the history of the village published in 1938 by a local resident, Emmie Varwell. A mixture of narrative, live-action, music and song illustrated by photographs from the Archive, it played to packed houses. At the same time The Archive re-published Emmie Varwell’s book, ‘Throwleigh, The Story of a Dartmoor Village,’ making this enchanting account available again for the first time in many years. This March, Throwleigh Archive will be presenting their second production. Titled Colonel Heath’s Hut, the presentation will concentrate on events in the village during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Unlike part one, this performance is not based on the writings of one person. Instead, a wide range of accounts, reminiscences and documents held by the Throwleigh Archive have been utilised, along with extracts from contemporary local newspapers. Once again, a range of photographs drawn from the Archive’s collection will support the narrative. Also, this time, the

producers are utilising a number of film extracts. Because time had moved on, another world war had taken place - the Throwleigh of the 1940s and 50s was becoming a different place. Although many of the old families still remained and much of life went on as before, the wider world was beginning to impact on the village. New fashions in clothes, in music and communications could not be ignored and these are represented in this production. Step by step, the traditional village was beginning its transformation into the Throwleigh of today. The performances will be in Throwleigh Village Hall at 7.30pm on the evenings of March 22nd, 23rd and 24th. Book your tickets as soon as possible from Dawn Hatton – 01647 231051.

Tavistock Pannier Market BUSINESS AS USUAL

With Pannier Market improvement works underway, it is still business as usual at the Pannier Market Complex.

The newly refurbished Butchers Hall is trading Tuesday - Saturday, 9 - 4.30pm Pannier Market Town Hall traders Tuesday - Friday 9 -4.30pm - Market perimeter shops open as usual throughout the works Butchers Hall will launch in Summer 2018 as a new market venue and will host a variety of themed markets and events. For more information call 01822 616134

For more information 01822 617232 48

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Training days with the Hill Farm Project 30th and 31st March

Dry-stone walling – two-day practical courses in March This course will teach participants how to build and repair a dry-stone wall from foundations to capping stones. Led by experienced practitioner Martin Stallard the training will provide all of the key skills required to restore a boundary to a stock-proof condition. The course will be held in Postbridge area tbc, at a cost of £50.00 for HFP contributors or £60.00 for non-contributors. 11th April to August

Bee-spoke beginners course for beekeeping on Dartmoor This course has been designed to meet the challenges of keeping bees on Dartmoor for prospective, new or novice

beekeepers. It will include a mixture of theory and practical aspects covering topics from swarming to hive management - 8 sessions commencing in April and running through the season to the honey harvest in August. The course will be held at Buckfast Abbey Bee Department with up to 5 sessions at locations on Dartmoor. Weekday afternoons. For more information email the Hill Farm Office on hfp@ or phone 01822 890913

The return of the farmers’ market Third Saturday of the month

A regular farmers’ market for Okehampton is in the pipeline, following the success of a pilot event held just before Christmas. The new markets are going to be held in Red Lion Yard - a change of venue from the previous farmers’ markets held in the town a few years ago, when they were held around St James’ Church. Mish Flexman of Okehampton Chamber of Trade said: ‘Visually this is a wonderful venue, but unfortunately mainly, I believe, due to the fact that it can be so cold there in winter months, the market eventually closed.

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‘As the Chamber’s co-ordinator for the food and music festival, I have a considerable list of local traders and it occurred to me that it might be possible to draw on this pool of growers and producers to reintroduce a farmer’s market. ‘We decided to run two pilot markets, one before Christmas and one before Easter to judge the enthusiasm of potential stall holders and the public for the return of a regular monthly farmer’s market in the town. At a chamber committee meeting in January, it was decided that after Easter, Okehampton would hold it’s own regular farmer’s market on the third Saturday of the month, starting on March 21.



March 26

Museum of Dartmoor Life – the 2018 season After a very successful 2017 the Museum is looking forward to opening its doors on Monday March 26th for the new season. Over the winter, museum volunteers have been doing lots of cleaning and conservation work around the museum to maintain the collection and the building itself. On the subject of volunteers, the Museum is always glad to speak to people who are interested in volunteering. There are a variety of roles to suit a variety of interests. The volunteers also visit other heritage centres whilst they get the chance, including the Visitor Centre at Princetown, the Prison Museum and the Museum of Mid Devon Life in Tiverton.

The events calendar is looking very busy for the new season ranging from exhibitions to an extension to the Museum at Night Festival in May, which will have a Midsummer Night’s Dream theme. New children’s trails are being put in place to help young visitors enjoy the museum. There are a great series of Tea & Talk events booked in including ‘The Gunn Mineral Water Factory, Okehampton’ by Rod Martin from Tavistock Museum and a talk by Jane Marchand, formerly the national park’s Chief Archaeologist. Once again the Museum will be hosting musicians during Okehampton’s Festival in the summer and of course welcoming Father Christmas on Edwardian Evening. On top of all of this the Museum will also be opening on Sundays to coincide with the Summer trains coming in from Exeter as part of the drive to ensure there is plenty to do in Okehampton on a Sunday. All of the Museum’s events can be found on its website, www. on Facebook (The Museum of Dartmoor Life) and on Twitter (@dartmoorlife) or by popping into the Museum.

Spring Antiques Fair 3 & 4 March Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea* 10 March Spring Flower Competitions 10 & 11 March


Community Free Day* Book free tickets online 20 March South West Alpine Garden Society Show 24 March The Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt Easter Trail 24 March – 15 April

Visit us as Rosemoor bursts into a riot of colour Great Torrington, Devon 01805 624067 For Tickets and promotions *Book tickets online . RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262


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April 14

Casting the silver jack! Believe it or not spring is around the corner and thoughts of being outside in the sunshine come to mind. What better way to spend an afternoon but on the bowling green in beautiful surroundings with friends, exchanging gentle banter and of course trying to get the bowls near the jack. The green opens on Saturday, April 14th when the mayor will cast the silver jack. For those who have never bowled and those who once played but are looking to play again you are very welcome to come and join in. If you wish to have a go, flat shoes are the only stipulation as there are spare woods for players to use. Okehampton Simmons Bowling Club had a very successful season in 2017. The men won The Shield, a competition against local clubs, for the third consecutive year and the ladies won their Shield for the first time since the competition began 31 years ago. The men have three teams in the Over 60s League and a team in the Exeter and District League. The ladies, in addition

to playing in the Shield, have just been promoted to division one of the Exeter and district Ladies over 50’s Triple League. In addition to the competitive games the club has mixed friendly matches against other clubs in the area. These matches are indeed friendly and include time for refreshment and talking. There is an informal ‘roll up’ on Tuesday afternoons at 2pm and a skills session on Thursday mornings at 11am where the mysteries of the game will be explained and tuition given, both sessions will be followed by tea and biscuits. Check for further information or call Roger on 01837 53113.

April 21/22 & April 28/29

The River Teign Pilgrimage walking from source to sea to build a well in Mali Here in the West Country we are blessed with an abundance of water! In Mali, Africa, it is a daily struggle to extract enough for the basic needs of a family, the water table level being very deep. Long journeys to the nearest well are often undertaken by children. In order to build one well in Mali, it is expensive, even with the whole community turning out to help. Seedlings, a fellowship group from the Whiddon parishes, were aware of the work of The Joliba Trust, founded by Chagford resident Caroline Hart. They wanted to find a way to contribute to a community who work so hard to support themselves. So the idea of a ‘river journey’ to support building just one well, was ‘floated’. It is also Caroline’s local river. The 40-mile river journey from the Teign’s source to the sea will take place over two weekends, following the river through woodland and meadow, through the rocky Teign gorge, meandering by small hamlets and encompassing industrial townscapes and finally following The Templer Way along the Shaldon estuary shoreline to the river bridge connecting Shaldon to

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Teignmouth, where the journey will officially end at the lovely church of St. Peter sited along the riverfront. For those who wish to enjoy the experience of the full coastal view, it is not far to the height of Shaldon Ness. So approximately 10 miles each journey, or drop in or out at lunchtimes! The first weekend will see the walkers travel from the Teign Clapper Bridge to Doddiscombsleigh; the second weekend will be from Doddiscombsleigh to Sheldon via Chudleigh. A spokesman for the group said: ‘Please sponsor us, walk with us - some of the way, all of the way - or if you can offer to transport some walkers back to their cars at the end of a section, that would be most welcome.’ To express an interest, pick up a sponsor form or check how to sponsor online, please email 51


April 13 & 14

Off the Rails Murder on the Orient Express, Strangers on a Train, Brief Encounter – and now a new railway epic is on the horizon with ‘Off the Rails’, from Okehampton-based theatre company Get Changed. Expect, drama, comedy, music and misplaced luggage – all served up with the inimitable Get Changed blend of theatricality and imagination at Bratton Clovelly Parish Hall on Friday and Saturday, April 13th and 14th. Get Changed Theatre Company works with adults with learning disabilities offering them the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills and as gain confidence. The group meets throughout the year at the Ockment Centre in Okehampton. The regular sessions offer the chance to create friendships and develop supportive relationships for people who might otherwise feel isolated. The performances are a lot of fun and provide an enormous sense of achievement. Under artistic director Jules Walker, the company has produced some well-received shows that have delighted audiences. In the past, Get Changed has explored

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. One of the venues was Castle Drogo, where Get Changed also performed ‘Raise the Roof’; the culmination of a summer history project. The quality of the performances helps change perceptions by the public and demonstrates the creativity, vibrancy and talent the company has to offer. This year, Get Changed is one of the beneficiaries of the Co-op Local Community Fund. The group receives 1% of what Co-op members spend on selected products and services in Okehampton. Tickets for Off the Rails are available from rob@getchanged. com. If you are interested in supporting Get Changed, or joining the company, please email

Until April 14

In Extremis Images of Landscape - C R Brownridge and Deborah Westmancoat This exhibition at Greenhill Arts in Moretonhampstead is concerned with understanding landscape and our place within it. C R Brownridge (1947-2010) was intensely interested in the visual drama of landscape in extremis when high winds, snow, ice or heavy rains had charged a specific landscape with raking light or intense stillness. Deborah Westmancoat is a contemporary painter based in Somerset. She is engaged in a long-term project researching the four classical stages of alchemy and how these might

become apparent within the natural environment. April 28 - June 23 Selected Works by Robert Lenkiewicz Showing diary notes, preparatory sketches and finished canvasses, this exhibition curated by The Lenkiewicz Foundation, provides insight into some of the ideas and inspiration behind his work and reveals a side of his creativity that is seldom seen. For more information go to

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Until April 15

Dave’s Hidden Depths Dave Peake has been fascinated by the underwater world for most of his life and began his exploration of this alien environment at the age of fifteen, diving and snorkelling in the sea in the Plymouth area. Dave joined the police force and worked in what was then the Plymouth City Police, but it wasn’t long before his underwater abilities lead him to a career as a police diver. His duties as a professional diver involved operating in every possible inland freshwater environment, including rivers, ponds and quarries. Dave’s job also saw him serving as a Community Officer based in Yelverton, on the western edge of the National Park, where he developed his interest in Dartmoor. Dave retired from the police in 1995 and still lives in the Yelverton area. He dives and takes photographs of the life and landscapes to be found in our coastal waters and indeed all over the world – but he couldn’t resist the lure to explore the hidden depths of

the place he lives so he began to combine his passion for Dartmoor, the underwater world and photography by capturing images of the unique world of the National Park’s rivers and streams. You can get a glimpse of Dave’s underwater world in the exhibition Dartmoor’s Hidden Depths which runs until April 15th at the Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre in Princetown.

Never happier than when entertaining... Years of learning, years of exams, now Okehampton’s Devon Pike is successfully establishing a career in music. Devon, 22, comes from a musical background and at the age of four could find enough breath to get a sound out of his father’s tuba. This inspired him to learn the cornet with a natural progression to trumpet and along with piano, achieved his grade 8 ABRSM on all instruments. He is presently studying for his DipABRSM on the piano. Devon is never happier than when he is entertaining. Adept in various genres of music from classical to big band, modern pop to easy listening, his expertise and growing repertoire on the piano has brought him to professional status, already playing in the public arena, seen here playing for a wedding fair at the Bedford hotel in Tavistock.

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Music keeps Devon very busy, having a residency at a popular Torquay hotel/restaurant. He also performs regularly at a Plymouth residential home, where through his music and dance he brings pleasure and social interaction to the residents who look forward to his visits. The piano is an instrument of such versatility it suits any ambience, without the need of a full band or orchestra. If you are looking for music to create an ambiance for your special occasion, do not hesitate to contact or call 07880 946839.


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Chocolate bunnies and wild garlic in the gorge Lydford Gorge opened for the season on Saturday, March 3rd. For adventure lovers, the full gorge walk takes you into a prehistoric world of tumbling water and greenery. Watch your footing on the exhilarating river path which takes you up beside the river Lyd as it tumbles down from the moor. Pause to admire highlights such as the Devil’s Cauldron and Whitelady waterfall. There are also options for shorter walks, please ask the friendly visitor welcome team for help. A good way to finish off a walk is in one of the two tea-rooms, open 10am until 5pm and serving light lunches, homemade cakes and cream teas. Look out for seasonal recipes using local specialities like wild garlic, which can be seen and smelt around the gorge in spring.


Friday, March 30 to Sunday, 15 April, 10am-4.30pm Track down the Cadbury bunny and his friends. Discover more about the trees that grow in the gorge by following bunny’s trail, with a delicious treat at the end. £3 per trail, normal admission applies.


Thursday April 5, 10.30am-1.30pm Construct a home for creepy crawlies and tick off one of the 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾. £2 per person, booking advisable, normal admission applies.

LAUNCH A BOTTLE ROCKET: Monday, April 9, 10.30am-1.30pm Bring along an empty pop bottle or borrow one of ours and see how high you can make it fly using just water and air. Normal admission applies.


Friday, April 13, 11am-1pm and 1.30-3.30pm Create your own bunny face sculpture for your garden or home using local wood and basic hand tools. All materials supplied with full instruction from the ranger team. £3 per sculpture, booking advisable, normal admission applies. Saturday, April 21, 11am-2pm - Wild kitchen: Forage for wild garlic and other seasonal snacks in the gorge, and then cook a tasty lunch over the camp fire using your foraged ingredients. £9 per person, booking essential, normal admission applies.

Descend into the Add someDevil's colour to roaring your weekend this Cauldron if you dare autumn at Gibside Plan your next adventure at Lydford Gorge, Go crunching through fallen leavesopen and discoverdaily a forest teeming with wildlife and autumn colours, with walking from the 3 abilities. March routes for all ages and Call 01822 820320 for details When you visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, your

helps usTrust to look 2017. after special <in the region> <like ©support National Theplaces National property property Y and Proeprty Z> in for ever, for everyone. Trust isX,an independent registered charity, number 205846. © National Trust 2016. The National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Photography © National Trust #nationaltrust Photography © National Trust Images. #nationaltrust Images\John Millar.

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Spring is sprung at the castle! After a long cold damp winter we’re looking forward to spring returning to Castle Drogo and the Teign Gorge. Inside the castle it’s been a busy few months of deep cleaning the rooms and getting ready for the new season. There are some exciting new additions to the castle this year such as a new installation by architectural designer and illustrator Edward Crooks in the Library.


Outside work to make the castle watertight has been progressing well on the north end. All being well the major building work should be complete by the end of this year, so from March it will be the last chance to take a trip up the scaffolding viewing tower to find out all about it.

Tuesday 3 - Sun 15 April, 11am-4pm:

The castle, garden, shop and café are now open everyday.


Sunday 4 March & 8 April, 11am-2pm: Join the Wild Tribe at Fingle Bridge Meadows. Bushcraft activities for families with children from 5-12. Wrap up warm as this is an outdoor event. Booking essential on 01647 433306 or email Adult £4, child £6.

Tuesday 3 and 10 April, 11am-4pm: A variety of fun filled crafty activities. Prices of activities will vary please call 01647 433306 for more details. Normal admission applies, there is a small charge for the crafts.


Hunt around the castle garden and grounds to find the boxes to help you answer the questions. Normal admission applies, £1 per trail.

HYDRO TURBINE OPEN HOUSE Saturday 14 April, 11am-4pm:

The hydro turbine building on the River Teign will be open for you to look inside. The knowledgeable guide will be able to tell you about its history, how it was restored and how it works.

Scale new heights as Addclimb some colour to you the viewing your weekend thisDrogo tower at Castle autumn attower Gibside The viewing will open along with the castle on Go crunching through fallen leaves and discover a forest Saturday 3 March. teeming with wildlife and autumn colours, with walking routes for all ages and abilities. Restrictions apply. Call 01647 433306 for details When you visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, your

helps usTrust to look2017. after special <in the region> <like ©support National Theplaces National property property Y and Proeprty Z> in for ever, for everyone. Trust isX,an independent registered charity, number 205846. © National Trust 2016. The National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Photography © National Trust #nationaltrust Photography © National Trust Images. #nationaltrust Images\Robbie Forester Wilson.


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Surprises under the foundry floor! This year we re-opened on Saturday, March 3rd. It’s been a busy winter - we had our busiest ever St Clement’s Day celebration with over 200 visitors, a sing-song with Mariner’s Away and quite a few blacksmiths too. The fastest snail in the snail race came in at under two minutes and a perfectly formed mini-axe made by Tony Hollis from Somerset took the main prize. We’ve been busy with maintenance on the machinery and building and had our regional archaeologist have a look at our floor as well. During the digging of a test pit he uncovered a wall almost a metre down, with signs of burning which could mean a fireplace or even a furnace, either of which were built much earlier than the current building, which has set imaginations racing. We hope to map the area one day using geophysics, as sadly digging any further would be costly and damaging. Over the next two months we have a few events.


A great session which will help you get to grips with this ancient skill. Prices vary but range from £1.50 to £3.00. This kicks off our Easter celebrations, when from Good Friday to Easter Monday, you’ll be able to follow a trail to gain a chocolate prize at the end (£2 per trail).


We will have our usual classic car show with all sorts of interesting, rare and beautiful classics on show. If you’re a returning visitor or spring-bulb enthusiast it will also be worth popping down as we’ve planted plenty of bulbs this winter ready for a flowery spring display once the sun rears its head. Finally I would like to thank the people who have come forward with stories about local suffragettes for our upcoming display over the summer - I am happy for more information so please get in contact if you have any interesting stories.

March 30

Sparks will fly Add some colour to your weekend this at this spring autumn at Gibside Finch Foundry Go crunching through fallen leaves and discover a forest teeming with wildlife and autumn colours, with walking routes for all ages and abilities. Call 01837 840046 for details When you visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, your

helps usTrust to look 2017. after special <in the region> <like ©support National Theplaces National property property Y and Proeprty Z> in for ever, for everyone. Trust isX,an independent registered charity, number 205846. © National Trust 2016. The National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Photography © National Trust #nationaltrust Photography © National Trust Images. #nationaltrust Images\John Millar.

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Dartmoor Hill Farm Project Helping farmers to help themselves, providing guidance, advice, collaborative activities, communication and funding. Dartmoor Hill Farm Project was originally set up in 2003 following a survey commissioned by Dartmoor National Park Authority and the Duchy of Cornwall which investigated the state of farming on Dartmoor. It revealed a need for a support body for a sector of the farming industry which is quite different from any other; one which would help provide a viable future for the men and women whose work is so important to the moor’s iconic landscape. Project officer Sandra Dodd, whose own family farms on Dartmoor’s western slopes, joined the project in 2005. ‘I originally came here to cover maternity leave and I am still here!’ she said. The ethos for the project is all about helping farmers to help themselves, providing guidance, advice, collaborative activities, communication and funding. One of the most important ways of doing this is through training and recently, co-ordinator David Attwell joined the project, which is based at the Old Duchy Hotel in Princetown. As Sandra explained David oversees all the training advice workshops, sources the best deals and facilitates them happening on Dartmoor itself, so the farmers don’t have to travel long distances to attend. ‘We also have a contribution programme whereby farmers pay in £50 at the beginning of the year, which gives a discount on the training and study days. Last year one of our farmers reckoned he saved nearly £500 on training, just through 58

paying that £50 to start with.’ Sandra explained that modern day farming requires a huge amount of administration when it comes to form-filling and box ticking and training was extremely valuable in this area. ‘The trouble is it can be expensive and means a day away from the farm. We try and make it as easy as possible for them,’ she said. The year-round training programme covers a wide variety of activities from dry stone walling and hedge laying, to thatching and sheepdog handling. ‘Beekeeping has also been extremely popular this year.’ The HFP is also developing closer partnerships with tourism providers. The thousands of tourists that visit Dartmoor every year would not see the traditional landscape they expect from Dartmoor unless it was managed by hill farmers and their animals. From 2015, the Hill Farm Project has been funded by Dartmoor National Park Authority, The Duchy of Cornwall and the Prince’s Countryside Fund. It is also taking part in the Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, which over a five year period will be offering support to up to 1,200 farm businesses through a programme of one-to-one support and business workshops. This programme is open to family farms whose main commercial enterprise is livestock or dairy. Farms sign up to the programme as a family business and the whole family is invited to attend the workshops. Support for these has also been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Sandra explains: ‘We can have a maximum of 20 farms involved. Basically it enables the farmers to look at everything; their financial input and output and getting them to think about whether they are using every opportunity available to them. There are five workshops run by professionals available to them and these workshops are really good at making you stop and think about all the possibilities that might be an option for a family farm - they’ve been really interesting.’ Support for the next generation of Dartmoor hill farmers comes in the form of the Moorskills Apprenticeship, which is run

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in conjunction with Duchy College at Stoke Climsland. This will provide young people with qualifications and skills in a wide variety of agricultural areas such as lambing or calving, shearing, beef and sheep production systems, pony and dog handling, use of all terrain vehicles, tractor driving, hedge laying, stone walling, fencing and key skills in literacy and numeracy. One of the most valued services provided by the HFP is its regular, free newsletter, which is sent to 548 farmers every two to three months. From the diary of training and advice workshops, through news on grant funding and the latest on Forestry Commission work to the creation of wildflower meadows, it’s an important source of information for those involved in agriculture on Dartmoor. The HFP is constantly on the lookout for new ideas and innovations which will help ensure the future for Dartmoor farmers. Work is currently being carried out to see if links can be made with military veterans - providing them with opportunities to see how farming on Dartmoor works and whether the skills and knowledge they have gained as service personnel can be transferred into agriculture. And one new partnership which Sandra is very excited about involves Dartmoor sheep - or more precisely, their wool. ‘Enchanted House Beds at Okehampton are looking for more wool from Dartmoor for their mattresses. We are working with a group of farmers to look at the opportunities with this and adding to the pilot wool project we ran a few years back, which is really exciting. We need to add value to the sheep that graze the commons so I am really hopeful for this move,’ she said. Dartmoor Hill Farm Project has a steering group made up of farmers and representatives of the national park and the


Duchy of Cornwall. Steering group member Ed Pollard farms near North Bovey with his son George - the fourth generation of his family to work the farm. They run a suckler herd of Charolais cross cows run with Charolais bulls. The offspring are kept until 18 months of age and sold as forward store cattle. Some heifers are retained as breeding replacements. Ed said: ‘My first involvement with the Dartmoor Hill Farm Project was the Mineral Deficiency Programme, run in conjunction with the local vets in 2013. I joined the steering group in 2014 for three years and rejoined again in 2017. The project not only helps farmers on the high moor but is open to all farmers in the Dartmoor National Park. ‘More farmer involvement helps the project to inform. Farmers can gain advice on new legislation, undertake training courses on all aspects of farming, from the office to hedge and wall maintenance, health and safety, chainsaws, telehandlers, cattle foot trimming, sheep and lambing - the list is endless. Also the HFP organises farm visits, study tours and social evenings. ‘The Dartmoor Hill Farm Project has an important role at present and in the future, to help keep farms on Dartmoor as profitable as possible. It also plays an important role in bringing farmers together both through business and socially, as many farms on Dartmoor can be very isolated places.’  Jane Honey


Walks with... Winnie A lovely walk with castle views This walk has been kindly written (and walked) for us by Denise Horner of Dartmoor Nordic Walking with her dog, Winnie.

Dartmoor Nordic Walking is on Facebook Time: Approximately 1.5 hours Distance: Around 5k (3 miles) Approximately 7500 steps A flat and scenic walk along the River Teign on part of the Tarka Trail, with views of Castle Drogo allowing you many options to extend your walk. Start and finish at Chagford Pool. There are some great places for you and your dog to swim along the route, or come back to swim at the pool, Devon’s largest outdoor freshwater heated pool. This was one of Diesel my chocolate labrador’s favourite walks. We start our walk from Chagford Pool Car Park which can be busy during the opening period, donations to parking can be made here. Turn right out of the car park, following the first signpost on your right through Rushford Mill Farm, go straight across the yard to the field entrance. Keeping the river close to your right, head for the next gate, nearest to the river, across the field in front of you. These two fields are great for Nordic walking! In the distance you will see the woods - pass through the gate and take a few steps to your right towards the river. On the small island in front of you, you will see a carved stone

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that looks like it has been split in two. This is the ‘Granite Song’, a sculpture by Peter Randall-Page. Continue though the woods, over a small bridge, bringing you out on the main A382 Whiddon Down to Moretonhampstead Road, at Dog Marsh Bridge. You will see the Mill End Hotel on your right hand side. Cross over the road and go through the gate, continuing to walk beside the river. The field you are now entering is the location for the famous Chagford Show - a great show with lots to see and do for all of the family, dogs are most welcome too, especially to take part in the terrier racing! This year the show is on Thursday, August 16th. As you walk over a small stream, past another bridge on your right (we will be coming back this way), go through the next gate, take a look up to your left and you will see Castle Drogo. At the next gate, there are three sign posts giving you directions for other walks. At this point you could take a left to walk up to Castle Drogo, but that is for next time - today we will take a right over the suspension bridge. This is a

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Map for guide only.

great spot to swim, you can even do lengths! While standing on the bridge and looking downriver, you will see the newly refurbished pump that helps to generate power for Castle Drogo, the pump house is further down the river on the right. Climb through the gap in the wall, turn right and follow the path to the stone bridge, crossing this towards Whiddon Park House. Looking back in the direction you have just come is Chagford Deer Park, another very scenic walk with sculptures by Peter Randall-Page at its entrance in the woods. Follow the road past the entrance to the house, the next


footpath sign is on your right running alongside the wall. Continue along this path to the end, turning right, down the steps, through the gate and left in to the field. The bridge in front of you takes you back across the river - turn left and then make your way back to the main road, crossing it once again and walking back on the same route we came. If you would like to join us on this walk, we will be meeting on Wednesday, March 14th, 10am at Chagford Pool Car Park. Please book your place on or phone Denise 07944 630677 for more details.

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Spring into wines… Spring is all about new beginnings, a glorious time of rebirth and renewal. A good time to adjust and recalibrate the palate!  I have picked out some perfect everyday drinkers that certainly have a spring in their step and a few must-haves to compliment that Easter roast! So out with those oak thumping whites and the sleep inducing reds, it’s time to go fresh and fruity as we bounce into Spring!

Grüner Veltliner That mysterious white wine in the Austrian section in a tall slim bottle, Grüner Veltliner, literally means ‘Green Wine of Veltlin’. Veltlin was an area in the lower Alps during the 1600s that is now part of Valtellina, Italy. The Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner (£10.79) is succulent dry refreshing wine showing citrus aromas like lemon peel and grapefruit, complemented by stone fruit, fresh vegetal notes and the variety’s trademark hint of white pepper. A real palate cleanser when paired with Asian spices, also delicious teamed up with artichokes and grilled asparagus. 

Les Nivières, Saumur Hidden amongst the masculine Rhône offerings and the sleek Bordeaux wines is Saumur - a bright succulent red from the Loire valley. Known for its more famous wines like Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Vouvray, the River Loire valley is a picturesque vista of rolling vineyards that stretch down to the river’s edge. In the high medieval period, the wines of this region were the most esteemed wines in England and France, even more prized than those from Bordeaux! Les Nivières, Saumur at £8.99 is made entirely from the grape variety Cabernet Franc. For this time of year, this light luscious red is all the French you need to know! An elegant nose of perfumed blackcurrants and a palate of wild hedgerow fruits coupled with light tannins make it fantastically fresh and easy to drink.

Easter Wines Easter Sunday falls on April 1st this year. Most of us are well versed in what food to serve and when over this long festive weekend. From fish on Good Friday to roast lamb on Easter Sunday, with an abundance of chocolate in between, simple traditions are followed every year.


Whether there’s a succulent leg of lamb on your table on Easter Sunday or a meat-free option, roast dinners tend to be pretty high in salt. Salty food can be a great friend to wine, making it taste richer, less acidic, softening those mouthdrying tannins. This means a great opportunity to bring out the big guns like the Waitrose IPW, Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (£9.99) - dynamic red from Chile’s famous Maipo Valley. Bursting with aromas of ripe red fruits and cassis, it leads to a rich, ripe palate with bold tannins. When pairing lamb there is never a Rioja too far away from the offering! The Beronia Reserva Rioja, £10.49, is a quintessential companion to the Sunday dinner table. Deep ruby-maroon in colour, expect to find black fruit, liquorice and chocolate on the nose, dark cherry and mocha (from the oak) on the palate. All this entwined with silky tannins make this sultry Spaniard delectable! 

Chocolate Now, onto the tricky subject of chocolate and wine pairing. Life would be complete if two of our favourite treats made the perfect match, but sadly that is rarely the case. Our palates differ immensely and in general, there are very few wines that pair well with chocolate. As chocolate melts, it coats your mouth in sugar which can mask the fruity flavours of your chosen wine, leaving it tasting bitter and hollow. If you are determined to pair wine and chocolate, you could try choosing a high cocoa content chocolate and match it with a sweet fortified wine such as a Ruby or Tawny Port. Jason Mules Waitrose Okehampton

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Simnel Cake Simnel cake was traditionally made during Lent and garnished with eleven marzipan balls to represent the eleven faithful disciples.



1. Preheat the oven to 150C/280F/Gas 2. Grease and line a 20cm/ 8in cake tin.

100g/4oz glacé cherries 225g/8oz butter, softened 225g/8oz light muscovado sugar 4 large eggs 225g/8oz self-raising flour 225g/8oz sultanas 100g/4oz currants 50g/2oz chopped candied peel 2 lemons, grated zest only 2 tsp ground mixed spice For the filling and topping 450g/1lb marzipan 1-2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed

2. Cut the cherries into quarters. 3. Place the cherries in a bowl with the butter, sugar, eggs, self-raising flour, sultanas, currants, candied peel, lemon zest and mixed spice and beat well until thoroughly mixed. Pour half the mixture into the prepared tin. 4. Take one-third of the marzipan and roll it out to a circle the size of the tin and then place on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top and level the surface. 5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 2½ hours, or until well risen, evenly

brown and firm to the touch. Cover with aluminium foil after one hour if the top is browning too quickly. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack. 6. When the cake is cool, brush the top with a little warmed apricot jam and roll out half the remaining marzipan to fit the top. Form the remaining marzipan into 11 balls. 7. Brush the marzipan with beaten egg and arrange the marzipan balls around the edge of the cake. Brush the tops of the balls with beaten egg and then carefully place the cake under a hot grill until the top is lightly toasted.

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How a ‘poor little’ Dartmoor manor was linked with mighty Canterbury Cathedral Moretonhampstead History Society investigates Doccombe Manor... For his part in the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170, Sir William de Tracy set off for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land - but caught a disease en route and made his last will and testament as he lay dying in a monastery in Italy. In a charter that can be dated at some time between February 1173 and July 1174, de Tracy granted ‘one hundred shillings of land in Moreton[hampstead], namely Doccombe’ to support a monk of Christchurch Priory, Canterbury, to pray ‘for the salvation of the living and the repose of the departed.’ This is the first recorded reference to Doccombe Manor found so far and for the next 367 years, its 1,500 acres on the northeast corner of Dartmoor, including nine farm tenancies, a water-mill, a ducking stool ‘for scolding women’, a chapel and Mardon Common, remained under the control of the Benedictine monks housed within Canterbury Cathedral. Its association with the revered memory of St Thomas of Canterbury meant that, even after the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the establishment of the Anglican Church in Henry VIII’s reign, Doccombe Manor remained a church property under the lordship of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral. Under attack from the Disestablishment Movement in Victorian times, the church shed some of its property, including its ‘poor little manor in Devon’. Ownership passed in 1864 to the Gregory family of Dunsford that had acted as local stewards for Canterbury, until most of it was sold up to its tenants and local farmers after the First World War. Unfortunately, the new Methodist owner decided to close the Gregory Arms pub! This had been very popular with the workers of nearby Blackingstone Granite Quarry, some of whom lived in the manor’s hamlet. Seventy years later, the remaining part of the manor, about 64

400 acres of Mardon Common, passed into the hands of the local farmers. The historical significance of this part of the manor has only recently been appreciated. It has several prehistoric remains; the widest stone circle in Dartmoor National Park, a stone pillar circle, reeves or stone boundary lines and several cairns, including a so-called ‘Giant’s Grave’. There are also medieval reeves, possibly marking the boundary with Moretonhampstead Manor and the remains of ridge and furrow ploughing. Deep gullies on one side are probably the remains of tin-working from the mid 16th century when a ‘John of Doccombe’ appears in the records of the Chagford Stannary. There are also several remains from the Second World War, when US combat engineers camped on the common and practised for the follow-up campaign to the D-Day landings. Finally, Doccombe manor also had a third ownership Moretonhampstead Manor had the rest - of 900 acres of Teign Valley woods, including St Thomas Cleave wood, named for Becket. Disputes over the woods between the two manors led to a line of stones and a baulk, or bank, being set up to establish the boundary that is still very visible. Timber was a very valuable resource, including the production of charcoal, and was carefully controlled by appointed wood wardens of both manors. Some of the woods became part of the Dartington Estate in the 1920s and were heavily coniferised. The woods, now known collectively as Fingle Woods, are today in the joint ownership of the National Trust and the Woodland Trust, who have embarked on an ambitious programme of clearing the conifers to allow for natural regeneration of broadleaf trees and traditional ground plants. Moretonhampstead History Society has obtained an Heritage Lottery Fund grant via the ‘Moor than Meets the Eye’ project to


Researching your ancestors’ military history

research, record and present the history of the manor that is well documented in the archives of Canterbury Cathedral and Lambeth Palace Archives. The manorial documents have been photographed and are being transcribed and, in many cases, translated from Latin. We will also conduct a survey of the manor’s properties and Blackingstone Quarry, that provided granite for the building of many local war memorials and Castle Drogo between the wars. We are also working with the Mardon Commoners to uncover the historic remains there and have been making a drone film of them. The outcome of the research will be an audio-visual exhibition in Moretonhampstead’s Green Hill Arts and Heritage Centre and an accompanying booklet. We are hoping that Dr Ian Mortimer, the president of our society, will contribute to a book for 2020 to mark the 850th anniversary of Becket’s death.

In the meantime we have set up a website www.doccombeparishscapes. for information about the project’s progress. We have also organised talks to accompany the research. Professor Nicholas Vincent of East Anglia University gave an illustrated talk in March 2017 entitled ‘Who murdered Becket?’

Under the Data Protection Act details of WW2, military records are not yet generally available. However, various lists such as British prisoners of war, army roll of honour, civil defence gallantry awards from 1940-1949 and WW2 civilian death records are available on Ancestry UK. The Commonwealth War Graves website also lists WW2 casualties.

Professor James Clark of Exeter University has kindly agreed to talk in November 2018 about the Benedictines and Canterbury Cathedral Priory. Bill Hardiman Moretonhampstead Local History Society

The Napoleonic Wars are covered in Waterloo records 1812-1817 on Ancestry UK, and miscellaneous naval records are also available, such as officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, the navy lists, the navy medal and award rolls, and medals given to merchant seamen. And there are various other lists which cover long periods of time, such as the military campaign medals of 1793-1949, again found on Ancestry UK. Findmypast provides records of servicemen of the Anglo-Boer War, Korean War, Spanish Civil War, Napoleonic War, and the Malayan Emergency, as well as peacetime army lists, army deserters, RAF servicemen and military nurses.

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Ancestry UK provides lists of Scottish soldiers in colonial America, soldiers and casualties of the Boer War, RAF records 1918-1940, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps index 1917-1920, the Women’s RAF index 1918-1920 and the Women’s Royal Naval Service index 1917-1919.

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About 60% of the military records of soldiers who fought in World War One were destroyed during the Second World War. Those records that remain may be found in the British Army service records on the website; medal cards for all soldiers are also listed. Burial records may be found at the Commonwealth War Graves site and also on Ancestry UK. Various other records such as WW1 diaries, army pension records, navy lists and prisoners of war are also listed on Ancestry UK. The website also gives records of servicemen in WW1. A specialist website called the longlongtrail. focuses on WW1 and gives some very good information about how to research soldiers, units, regiments and battles of the WW1 British Army. Another website called the offers an overview for researching records.

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All aspects of heating and plumbing from a dripping tap to full installations of heating systems, wet rooms, solar and underfloor heating. Great links with local bathroom suppliers • 1 Year Guarantee on all workmanship

Serving the West Devon community The Store, Taylor Square, Tavistock PL19 0DG | Tavistock 01822 610222 | Plymouth 01752 869074 | Exeter 01392 401222 •

Growing together ADVERTISE with us and reach more than *58,000 readers...


• We publish three magazine titles: Moor Links, Tavy Links and Oke Links • They are all FREE bi-monthly magazines (Feb/March, April/May etc) • More than 24,000 copies are distributed by the Royal Mail within our three areas, to every house and business address (a readership of more than *58,000).

Call us on 01822 615627 to find out more




What made you decide on accountancy as a career? I stumbled into it! Graduating from London School of Economics in 1985, I spent some time working in the City before locating to Cornwall for personal reasons. Accountancy was a profession I could do locally, and I loved it! How long have you been an accountant? I qualified in 1991, after three years studying for ICAEW exams. What skills or qualifications do you need in your business? Being good at maths and numeracy helps, however, accountancy is much more than that. It’s also being able to write letters and able to advise clients on what can be quite technical points, in a language they understand. Accountants have a lot of technical knowledge relating to a range of scenarios and need to explain to clients what it all means. The world of accounting and tax is constantly changing and we must keep up-to-date; always learning and developing. I’d say the most important skill is the ability to listen – firstly to understand clients’ problems and advise in their best interests. Sometimes they just need a sounding board, or even a shoulder to cry on - being in business is stressful! Do you specialise in certain areas of accountancy and if so, why? I’ve never specialised in any particular sector, but enjoy dealing with different trades and sectors, helping small and medium sized limited company clients. As a result, I can transfer experience and knowledge to offer advice to varying companies facing similar issues. Can you describe a typical day at work? I prefer getting out and about meeting clients face to face, so typically arrive at their business premises at 9am to review their accounts or discuss any issues.  Getting back to the office I check in with my team, offering support and guidance as necessary, responding to emails, and taking calls from clients. The staff leave at 5pm allowing me quiet time to look at a specific set of accounts, or tax issues that may have arisen, before heading home by 7pm. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most? I love the variety of meeting different 70

clients, and seeing them in their environment, which means I learn much about them as individuals and their relationship with their business. Often, I expect to talk about a particular issue, such as finalising the year end accounts, and end up finding out a lot more, allowing me to offer input in all sorts of ways. More and more, with the change to cloud accounting, we’ll be able to look at the future of the business, rather than looking back, which I find really exciting. What’s the most challenging part of your job? Struggling to stop! In an ideal world I’d be able to give all my time for free to every business I encounter, however it’s not realistic! For some businesses who are struggling, it can be difficult to appreciate more of our input would help in the long-run, when in the short-term the finance or willingness to change may not be available. Do you have any plans or ambitions for the future? I intend carrying on doing what I am doing, concentrating on small and medium sized companies which can benefit from my advice most and supporting my staff to develop and grow. What would you say to someone thinking of becoming an accountant? It’s a rewarding career, and a passport to moving into business management, or to stay in a practice giving advice to a range of different businesses. It’s real satisfaction when you’ve assisted a client with a particular issue, or saved them some tax. The studying process is rigorous and demanding, particularly after working all day, however, once you’re fully trained as a Chartered or Certified accountant, or obtained an AAT (Association of Taxation Technicians), it’s a great qualification to have under your belt, wherever you end up!

SPRING & SUMMER menswear collections now in stock Drop in for quality, value for money clothing, and excellent customer service. ( 01837 52596 5 Fore Street Okehampton EX20 1AN

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We supply & install products to suit every home & budget

Looking to replace your windows & doors? Then why not visit our Tavistock showroom to view first hand our extensive range of quality products. From traditional timber to low maintenance PVCu, timeless aluminium to the next generation of timber alternatives.

Unit 1F Westbridge Industrial EstateTavistock PL19 8DE

Tavistock Bathrooms & Tiles

Amanda & James invite you to their showroom



up to 50% Off while stocks last

Unit 8 Plymouth Road Industrial Estate, Tavistock PL19 9QN

01822 618 619


BATHROOMS & TILES By amanda - james

Oke Links - MarchApril 2018  

Oke Links - a local magazine serving the communities and villages around Okehampton, Devon and North Dartmoor. United Kingdom

Oke Links - MarchApril 2018  

Oke Links - a local magazine serving the communities and villages around Okehampton, Devon and North Dartmoor. United Kingdom