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Artisans and Artists of Ashburton - continued success leads to further expansion

Word count: 320

Interior design business Artisans and Artists in Ashburton knew that they had outgrown their first shop in the town within 6 months. “We realised that we needed bigger premises pretty fast as we did not have enough room to swing a pattern book!” says co-founder and interior designer Susan Folwell. The business is now ensconced in their new showroom and design studio in West Street in the town but the expansion plans have not stopped there, additional premises have been purchased to enable the design studio to expand during 2013. Artisans and Artists firmly believe that artisan is the new luxury. As well as offering a full interior design service and carrying an extensive range of fabric and wallpaper pattern books in their inhouse library, they also design and manufacture their own range of bespoke furniture, artisan produced in Devon.

Chair - a neat occasional chair based on a 1950’s design, the Coffee Beam - a modernist coffee table/ footstool hewn from Devon oak and the latest addition - the Gidleigh Footstool. The Gidleigh Footstool is available in either deep buttoned or plain, in any size and choice of cloth and came about when Susan was trying to source a large footstool for a library project for a client. “We found limited choice of size and fabrics from off the shelf options so we decided to design and manufacture it ourselves. The client was delighted and it is now the latest addition to our range.” Whilst the bespoke range is locally produced, you will also find a large number of interesting items sourced from around the world in the Ashburton showroom. “We are frequently told that we are certainly not run of the mill and that makes the global search that we engage with for the showroom and clients very worthwhile.”

The bespoke range includes the Hatherleigh Console Table made from reclaimed maple ballroom flooring from the 1920’s, the Clovelly

The Gidleigh Footstool shown in Gidleigh Park Susan Folwell 01364 653276

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Adam Gribble, Master Thatcher homes in on the South Devon region Having been brought up in Devon, Adam Gribble found himself working as a thatcher by accident! After a six month back-packing tour of South America in his youth, he was approached by a local thatcher to do some labouring work and soon realised that this was the job for him. He still remembers the 'wow' factor on seeing his first completed thatched house, over twenty years ago. A lot of his friends moved away from Devon searching for careers, in the hope of finding bigger, better things in life, but Adam considered himself fortunate to be living in such a lovely part of the country and preferred to concentrate on his new career.

He is well aware that although people may paint an idealistic image of thatching life, there are certainly some years that are particularly testing. However, Adam still gets that worthwhile buzz on seeing the finished product when a roof is completed, and he gets to work on some amazing properties in stunning locations. He points out 'It is not all roses though and if you'd seen how many days this year that I've sat in my truck , absolutely drenched in wet clothes watching the monsoon-like rain, you'd think I was crazy to enjoy my work'. However, being an eternal optimist, Adam feels the future is looking bright and he just hopes the weather follows suit, as he looks forward to his next twenty years of thatching. Adam is married, with two young children and lives in Bovey Tracey. Having been working in East Devon for the past ten years, he is about to concentrate on thatching in South Devon.

South Devon Coast & Country

Master Thatcher Adam 01626 830211 / 077026 20005


If you're the proprietor of an excellent local business, make contact with Vivienne Crump (01395 568025)



What a difference a day makes! - The Royal Seven Stars Hotel, Totnes

Word count: 321

This was true of events at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel in September 2012. On Friday 29th September everyone at the famous landmark Hotel, in the heart of Totnes, was thrilled as they had just been awarded the Excellence in Customer Service and the Hospitality Business of the Year at the glittering English Riviera & South Devon Tourism & Hospitality Awards 2012, held in the English Rivera Centre in Torquay. There was little time to celebrate as only 24 hours later, during a busy Saturday evening dinner service, a fire occurred in the hotel's kitchen. The catastrophic flames completely gutted the kitchen within minutes and caused some damage to the recently refurbished Ballroom above. Eight fire engines with their crews fought until the early hours of Sunday morning to extinguish the blaze. Business as Usual - well, almost! Two weeks after the extensive fire, staff worked hard to ensure that it was running as smoothly as possible and back to near full functionality; a temporary kitchen had been installed in the

rear car park and was able to cater for 90% of the normal menu. All bedrooms where unaffected and the main impact was on functions, which were due to take place in the first floor ballroom Most functions had been able to go ahead by using the TQ9 Brasserie & Champagne Bar on the ground floor and only larger functions such as weddings had to be moved to alternative venues. It was a real challenge, but The staff of The Royal Seven Stars everyone really pulled together Hotel enjoying their success as a team to make sure things were as normal as they could possibly be. Given the state that the place was damaged areas with the ballroom hosting its in following the fire, most people would never first wedding on Saturday 3rd November. The know what had gone on behind the scenes. newly refurbished kitchen is on track for the busy Building work began immediately to rebuild the festive season.

Celebrating 100 years of service to the people of South Devon - Grey Cars of Torbay

Word count: 346

days of the old charabancs. Back then it was all bench seats open to the elements with little or no suspension. Now you can expect comfortable seating and glide along on air suspension in air conditioned comfort.

Grey Cars of Torbay are a coach firm with something to celebrate. For 100 years they have been offering day trips and excursions to the people of South Devon. Originally formed in the spring of 1913 with the name ‘The Grey Torpedo Cars’, the ‘torpedo’ was dropped from the title at the outbreak of the First World War for obvious reasons! Now the Grey Cars name is being kept alive by the Millman family. They are no strangers to the coaching industry, being 4th generation coach operators with the fifth generation waiting in the wings. The coaches have improved since 1913 and the

In essence, the operation is still the same, and everyone at Grey Cars prides themselves in offering good, old fashioned service with that all important attention to detail. The day trips programme is still popular and pick up points can be found from Totnes to Dawlish and many places in between. For small groups and individuals, Grey Cars offer a whole range of day trips including special events, National Trust properties, shopping trips, theatre trips and sightseeing tours. They also have the occasional short break on their programme, and are known throughout the area for their 4 star value for money breaks to London.

Drivers and coach at Dartmouth between us, we are hoping to put together a display of vintage buses and coaches as well as showing off some of our present day fleet.”

With 2013 being Grey Cars’ Centenary year, they are planning a big celebration. Details are sketchy at the moment, but Diane Millman said “We have been talking to the Devon General Society and

“For our 90th anniversary we managed to track down some of Grey Cars’ old drivers from back in the 40s and 50s, but I don’t suppose there are many left now.” However, if you know differently, she would love to hear from you.

A Celebration of Life in South Devon


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