Bogtastic 2016

Following on from last year’s successful event which was attended by more than 400 people, Bogtastic 2016 takes place on Tuesday 26th July from 10am to 4pm in and around Simonsbath

Bogtastic A4This free family event is a fun adventure day celebrating Exmoor’s wildlife, moorland and heritage with many activities and displays.  In Simonsbath, the River Barle flows past the historic water-powered sawmill, under the old stone bridge and by a meadow, along a beautiful moorland valley. Here you can play games and go stream dipping to find out about the river’s wildlife – fish, otters, birds, bats and creatures you’ve never seen – it’s a great place for a picnic too. Take a minibus up the hill to where the sky larks sing at Blackpitts and explore the bogs full of multi-coloured mosses.

Held during UK National Park’s Week, Bogtastic is the South West’s biggest and best bog festival. This  ‘drop in’ event will feature the Bogstacle course, live bats, the opportunity to visit one of the South West’s last remaining operational water powered sawmills, and lots more all-weather and undercover activities. There is something for everyone! It is free entry, with toilets and food on site and locally. Bring your wellington boots and dress for any weather – there is shelter in case it tries to rain.

See you at the welcome tent! 

Entrance is free, although some activities may request a small charge. For further information on Bogtastic please contact: Lynmouth National Park Centre on 01598 752509 or visit www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or the facebook page.

Date for the Diary: Simonsbath Sawmill Open Day

National Mills Weekend 2016

Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May 201

National Mills weekend is the annual festival of our milling heritage and this year both of Exmoor’s historic, water powered sawmills at Timberscombe and the National Park Authority owned mill at Simonsbath – will be open to the public on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May 2016 ,

Graham Wills who will be opening the Simonsbath sawmill says: “Small estate sawmills which were once common are now rare and Exmoor is very fortunate in having two, restored sawmills both of which will be open over the weekend, and are just 14 miles apart – being able to visit both on either the Saturday or Sunday would be a great day out.”

Simonbath sawmill will be open on both days from 10am – 4pm and there are refreshments available in the village.

Simonsbath Sawmill is an historic, water-powered sawmill and estate workshops lying in a beautiful riverside location in the heart of Exmoor National Park.  It was built for John Knight (1767 – 1850) who bought much of central Exmoor in the early years of the 19th century, and was refurbished for Viscount Ebrington in 1898. It was bought by Exmoor National Park Authority in 1996 and restored with Heritage Lottery Funding.  It is a nationally significant building – one of very few estate sawmills with evidence of systems of power and contemporary saw benches. The sawmill is no longer in regular operational use but is maintained in working condition and is used for demonstration purposes and as the venue for educational events and activities.  It is cared for by a small team of volunteers who help with maintenance, lead tours and are researching the history of the mill.  Further information:  www.simonsbathsawmill.org.uk

Cowbridge sawmill at Timberscombe will be open from 11am – 4.30pm on 14 & 15 May each day.

 

 

Simonsbath Festival starts tomorrow

Simonsbath Festival 2015 starts on Bank Holiday Monday May 4 at 2.30pm with traditional May Day celebrations for all the family on Exford Village Green.  There will be magical tales about the Exmoor Forest from popular local storyteller Frances Harrison, followed by maypole dancing to live music from Howard Harrison on guitar and Ben van Weede on fiddle.  Tea and refreshments will be available.

In the next six weeks the tiny village of Simonsbath, and its magical moorland setting, will be buzzing with an exciting mix of events, from classical, jazz, opera and world music concerts to poetry readings, talks, walks, workshops and much more.

The festival’s opening concert brings the warm Mediterranean sounds of Greek music to Simonsbath with a performance by the outstanding George Kypreos Band at St Luke’s Church on Saturday May 9 at 7.30pm.

And on Wednesday May 13 at 7.30pm Birdie Johnson comes to St Luke’s to talk about the book she has just edited by her mother Buster Johnson (with foreword by grandson Boris).  Birdie’s talk will include highlights from Alas Poor Johnny, her mother’s colourful and entertaining memoir of life on an Exmoor farm in the 1950s, and she will explain how, after all these years, it has finally come to be published.

Throughout the festival period Boevey’s Tea Rooms will host an exhibition of art by local artists featuring mainly Exmoor themed work including paintings in oil, watercolour and pastel as well as printmaking and photography.

Simonsbath Festival runs from May 4 to June 19.  For information or to request a full-colour printed festival programme phone Victoria Thomas on 01643 8313434, email simonsbathfestival@mail.com or visit the website www.simonsbathfestival.co.uk.  To book tickets phone Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

And here is an overview of events:

Performers and Speakers

Birdie Johnson  Wednesday May 13 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s

Birdie Johnson, Buster Johnson’s daughter, talks about Alas Poor Johnny, her mother’s highly entertaining memoir of life on an Exmoor farm in the 1950s, and how, after all these years, it has finally come to be published.   Read more….

Geoff Nichols  Good Vibes  Friday May 22 – 8.30pm,  Exmoor Forest Inn

Geoff Nichols returns to the Exmoor Forest Inn with his Swing jazz band Good Vibes. Having led the legendary Avon Cities jazz band for many years, trumpet and vibes star Geoff Nichols turns to the Swing music of the 1930s and 40s to present his Good Vibes band for the discerning jazz fan.   Read more…..

The George Kypreos Band   Saturday May 9 – 7.30pm,  St Luke’s  

Simonsbath Festival opens with the sunlight and warmth of the Mediterranean evoked by the sound of Greek music from the George Kypreos Band. The band is led by the virtuoso bouzouki and distinctively soulful voice of George Kypreos, accompanied by Greek female vocals, and driven by the strong rhythmic grooves of gypsy guitar, Syrian darbouka and a rocking English back-line.    Read more….

Kausary  Saturday May 30 – 4:00pm and 7.30pm, St Luke’s

The Peruvian band Kausary’s workshop at 4pm will take participants on a journey through Andean culture to experience the vitality of the music and dance of Latin America. The emphasis is is on hands-on experience, with the opportunity to play some of the instruments, including panpipes, guitar and charango, so that participants can discover their own Andean spirit!

Then at 7.30pm the six-piece band  plays a rich repertoire of traditional Andean and contemporary Latin sounds, playing with unequalled depth of emotion in styles typical of the Andean highlands, coastal lowlands, Amazon basin and forest, and Cuba.   Read more….

Le Jazz  Saturday June 6 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s

The highly entertaining and dazzlingly dexterous musicians who form Le Jazz show their mastery and enjoyment in a variety of musical styles, performing a richly diverse programme of music from Faure to Django Reinhart, with Gershwin and Jewish Klezma music along the way.    Read more….

Michael Bochmann and David Watkins  Saturday May 23 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s

Sacred and Profane – music for violin and harp.

World class violinist Michael Bochmann and harpist David Watkins perform an irresistible programme of music from the sublime to the more down to earth, including works by Bach, Vivaldi, Saint-Saens, Paganini, Mozart and Massenet, and much-loved traditional pieces to herald the arrival of summer. Read more….

Njabulo Madlala  Saturday May 16 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s 

South African baritone and 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Award-winning Njabulo Madlala brings a voice of rare distinction and beauty to the Simonsbath Festival and demonstrates the quality and range of his musicianship in a dazzlingly diverse programme featuring Schubert lieder, African-American spirituals, French art songs, English ballads and traditional South African folk songs.      Read more….

Pop-Up Opera  Saturday June 13 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s

The Italian Girl in Algiers

Playboy Mustafa is bored with his wife Elvira; what he really wants is an Italian girl. Coincidentally, an Italian girl Isabella arrives, in search of her sweetheart Lindoro, a young Italian man recently captured on the high seas by Mustafa’s pirates and now in his service.    Read more…. 

Rob Wilson-North  Wednesday June 3 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s 

Rob Wilson-North, Conservation Manager for the Exmoor National Park, explains how current research is revealing more about the enterprising Georgian industrialist John Knight’s vision for Exmoor and his plans for a great mansion at the heart of his estate in Simonsbath with pleasure grounds after the picturesque style.      Read more….

Dr Sue Baker  Wednesday May 27 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s 

Author of ‘Survival of the Fittest – a Natural History of the Exmoor Pony’ and past chair of the Exmoor Pony Society, Dr Sue Baker assesses the future of the Exmoor Pony.    Read more….

Tom and Barbara Brown   Wednesday June 10 – 7.30pm, Exmoor Forest Inn

Moor Songs

The Exmoor Forest Inn hosts an open session of Exmoor music and song led by popular folk and traditional entertainers Tom and Barbara Brown. Singers, musicians and audience are all welcome.     Read more…..

Tracey Elliot-Reep  Wednesday May 20 – 7.30pm, St Luke’s 

Adventures on horseback

Tracey gives an inspirational and entertaining presentation about her amazing horse riding adventures in distant lands, illustrated with stunning photography and film.   Read more….

Date for the Diary: National Mills Weekend 10/11 May 2014

NEWS FROM EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK

 

National Mills Weekend – this weekend

Saturday 10 May and Sunday 11 May 2014

Until the advent of the steam engine, wind and watermills provided the only source of power for many different processes – from making flour, paper, and cloth to hammering metal and extracting oils.   Some of these mills have been restored to working order, some are derelict, some still working commercially.  National Mills Weekend is the annual festival of our milling heritage and affords a great opportunity to explore mills, many of which are not usually open to the public.  At least a dozen Devon watermills will be open during the weekend.  A similar number, plus two windmills, will be open in Somerset.

For further information see www.nationalmillsweekend.co.uk which list all the mills open by County.

Both of Exmoor’s restored water-powered sawmills – at Simonsbath and Timberscombe – will be specially open over the weekend

Simonsbath Sawmill

Simonsbath Sawmill is an historic, water-powered sawmill and estate workshops lying in a beautiful riverside location in the heart of Exmoor National Park.  It was built for John Knight (1767 – 1850) who bought much of central Exmoor in the early years of the 19th century, and was refurbished for Viscount Ebrington in 1898. It was bought by Exmoor National Park Authority in 1996 and restored over 2002/03 – with Heritage Lottery Funding.  It is a nationally significant building – one of very few estate sawmills with evidence of systems of power and contemporary sawbenches. The sawmill is no longer in regular operational use but is maintained in working condition and is used for demonstration purposes and as the venue for educational events and activities.  It is cared for by a small team of volunteers who help with maintenance, lead tours and are researching the history of the mill.  Further information:  www.simonsbathsawmill.org.uk

There will be live music at the mill on Sunday 11 May in the afternoon..

Just4Jazz

Just4Jazz are a four piece band of alto saxophone, electric keyboard, electric bass and drums.  They play an eclectic range of ‘lazy’ music with a jazz bias.  Numbers range from classic pieces from the 1930s/40s such as ‘Summertime’ and ‘Autumn Leaves’ to film scores and pop from the 60s through to present day.   Their music is strong on melody but is intended to be gentle on the ear and easy listening.

Cowbridge Sawmill

Cowbridge Sawmill is situated in the village of Timberscombe, set in the midst of the beautiful Exmoor countryside. The first Mill on this site dates from at least the 14th Century when it produced flour for the local people.  In 1904 the Mill was converted to a sawmill which continued to serve the local community.  By the end of the 20th century the Mill was in urgent need of renovation.  This renovation has been driven by the vision and determination of  Mr Owen Rush, who together with his wife Angela purchased the Mill in a derelict state in 1995. The old mill has been reroofed and the floors rebuilt, while the dilapidated workshop and forge have been demolished and replaced by an attractive two storey building of local stone with a slate roof.  As well as enhancing the appearance of the Mill, the  new building contains a forge, workshop and museum providing an interesting attraction for the village of Timberscombe and the Exmoor region.

The most ambitious aspect of the project has been hidden from the view of passers-by. This is the restoration of the 14 ft. water wheel which used water from the Mill Leat to power the Mill for over 700 years. The wheel is now turning again with the aim of producing Hydro Electric Power. The project is one of 5 schemes currently being developed by the Exmoor Renewable Energy Group to provide sustainable energy for local use.    Further information: http://www.timberscombeinfo.com/

Simonsbath Festival – List of Events

Poetry at St Luke’s – Wednesday June 11 – 7.30pm

José Emilio Pacheco 1939 – 2014

Building on the success of last year’s event, the North Devon Poetry Workshop returns to Simonsbath Festival with another informal session, presenting a series of poems by members on various themes and inviting poems from the floor after the interval.  Everyone with an interest in poetry is most welcome, especially poets, readers and writers inspired by Exmoor.

The publication last December of the first-ever Exmoor-based contemporary poetry anthology –Midnight Skies – Exmoor in Verse – has generated interest both locally and further afield.  The launch of the anthology was a manifestation of the power of poetry – its ability to bring people together and create a unique community through the particular means of communication that this medium offers.

Refreshments available and an optional light snack costing £4 may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; minimum suggested donation £5 for unreserved seating; 14 year-olds and under free.

             .

Aji Pa’Ti – Saturday May 31 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s 

Outstanding 10-piece band Ají Pa’Ti brings the exciting beat and rhythms of world music and the unmistakable sound of Cuba to Simonsbath Festival.

Ají Pa’Ti is a truly international band with members from Cuba, Colombia, Australia and Britain performing a mix of ancient and modern, folklore and tropical, Latin American and European music.  The distinctive sound of the charango – the small Bolivian Andean lute, guitar and ukulele blends with the driving rhythm section of percussion and bass, while the voice of Cuban lead singer Indira Roman rises effortlessly above the classic Latin American polyrhythms.

Refreshments and a light Cuban-style supper, prepared by Exmoor’s own Cordon Bleu trained Frances Chanter, will be available at approximately 6pm, after the workshop and before the evening’s concert, and may be booked in advance by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £15 to reserve the seat of your choice; standard tickets £10 (student/unemployed £7.50); 14 year-olds and under FREE.

Combined ticket to include Aji Pa’Ti concert and DrumNation workshop (4-6pm at Simonsbath Sawmill): Adults: £12.50 (Concessionary £10); 14 year-olds and under £3.

Alaudiae – Saturday May 17 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s

Sopranos Carleen Ebbs and Claire Egan and mezzo soprano Miranda Westcott, who form the vocal trio Alaudiae, perform a selection of trios, duets and solos from the sacred, song and operatic repertoire encompassing a musical journey through the 16th to 20th centuries, accompanied by pianist Charlotte Forrest.

Refreshments available and an optional canapé selection, costing £5 and prepared by Exmoor’s own Cordon Bleu trained Frances Chanter, may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £15 to reserve the seat of your choice; standard tickets £10 (student/unemployed £7.50); 14 year-olds and under FREE.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

John Burgess – Wednesday May 21 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s

Voices from the Moor

Oral history specialist and former BBC Radio producer John Burgess presents a selection of recordings he has made over the years of local people telling their own personal stories about life on Exmoor, including  the Simonsbath area,  with tales about the school, the old mine cottages and stories connected to the First World War.

Refreshments available and an optional light snack costing £4 may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; minimum suggested donation £5 for unreserved seating; 14 year-olds and under free.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Chris Chapman – Saturday May 10 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s

Film Premiere 

How Many People see the Stars as I do?  The Exmoor Story of Hope Bourne

Acclaimed photographer and documentary film maker Chris Chapman presents the premiere of his film about the legendary Exmoor writer and artist Hope Bourne, who for 24 years lived in a tiny caravan in remote isolation, leading a life of self-sufficiency, painting and sketching the moor, writing for the local paper and later combining this creativity in a remarkable series of books.

Refreshments available and a snack of produce exclusively sourced from Exmoor, costing £5 and prepared by Exmoor’s own Cordon Bleu trained Frances Chanter, may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Tickets: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; standard tickets £5; film sponsors and 14 year-olds and under FREE.

              —————————————————————————————————————————

Lord Douglas Hurd – Wednesday May 14 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s

Lord Douglas Hurd, who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major between 1979 and his retirement in 1995, shares personal reminiscences of his time in office and his special interest in the great 19th century Conservative politician and twice Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, about whom he has co-authored a best-selling biography.

 Refreshments available and an optional light snack costing £4 may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; suggested minimum donation £5 for unreserved seating; 14 year-olds and under free.

————————————————————————————————————————————

DrumNation – Saturday May 31 – 4-6pm – Simonsbath Sawmill 

Drumming and percussion workshop with Josh West

A high energy and fun-filled workshop for all ages and abilities, with a range of drums and percussion and some tuned melodic percussion provided, but you are welcome to bring your own instruments as well.

Adults: £5; 14 year-olds and under £3.   

Combined ticket to include DrumNation workshop and evening concert with Cuban band Ají Pa’T at 7.30pm St Luke’s Church Simonsbath: Adults: £12.50 (Concessionary £10); 14 year-olds and under £3.

Refreshments available during the break.

A light Cuban-style supper, prepared by Exmoor’s own Cordon Bleu trained Frances Chanter, will be available at approximately 6pm, after the workshop and before the evening’s concert, and may be booked in advance by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

—————————————————————————————————————————————

Victoria Eveleigh and Hilary Bradt –  Wednesday June 4 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s 

Saddlebags and Silver Snaffles

Equestrian tales, fact and fiction

Local authors Hilary Bradt and Victoria Eveleigh talk about the experiences and adventures that inspired them to write their much-loved books.

Victoria writes children’s fiction with horses and ponies as a central theme, guided by the conventions of storytelling, whereas Hilary’s recent books describe a journey with her ponies through Ireland, complete with all the things that real life can throw at you in an apparently random manner.

As Hilary and Victoria compared notes about horse stories in general and their own books in particular, they made some surprising discoveries…

Refreshments available and an optional light snack costing £4 may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; minimum suggested donation £5 for unreserved seating; 14 year-olds and under free. 

————————————————————————————–

Karl Daymond – Saturday June 14 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s

Lowering the Tone

Opera Singer, pianist and actor Karl Daymond invites you to waste an evening with him in the company of Noel Coward, Tom Lehrer, Gilbert and Sullivan, Flanders and Swann and others.

Karl Daymond trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at The National Opera Studio, sponsored by Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He has appeared as a principal baritone with English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, at The Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Opera North, The BBC PROMS, Glyndebourne Festival, The Chicago Festival, The Covent Garden Festival, The Edinburgh Festival, The Dublin Festival, The Bath Festival and with The Philharmonia, The Royal Philharmonic, The London Sinfonietta and The Berlin Philharmonic.

Refreshments available and a “snack with attitude”, costing £5 and prepared by Exmoor’s own Cordon Bleu trained Frances Chanter, may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £15 to reserve the seat of your choice; standard tickets £10 (student/unemployed £7.50); 14 year-olds and under FREE.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Les Petites Annonces – Saturday May 24 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s

Les Petites Annonces Gypsy Swing band performs an irresistibly delicious blend of French music from the foot tapping gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt’s famed Hot Club de France to the romantic chansons of the 1920s to 60s, including the wonderful Charles Trenet, and plenty more in between.

Refreshments are available and optional tapas snacks costing £5 and prepared by Exmoor’s own Cordon Bleu trained Frances Chanter, may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451. 

Admission: £15 to reserve the seat of your choice; standard tickets £10 (student/unemployed £7.50); 14 year-olds and under FREE.

—————————————————————————————————————————

The Moorland Quartet – Sunday May 25 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s Sarah Greinig, Simon Routh, Barbara Pears and Ruth Lock with soprano Alison Routh

The Moorland Quartet was formed by local musician Barbara Pears.  Barbara attended the Guildhall School of Music where she gained a teaching diploma.  She taught violin and viola at Epsom College for 18 years and also taught for Surrey County.

Refreshments available and an optional light snack costing £4 may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; minimum suggested donation £5 for unreserved seating; 14 year-olds and under free.

—————————————————————————————————————————

 Geoff Nichols – Good Vibes – Wednesday June 18 – 8pm – Exmoor Forest Inn

Geoff Nichols brings his Swing jazz band Good Vibes to Simonsbath Festival 

“One of the great jazz players in this country today.”  Humphrey Lyttelton.

“One of the best . . . A pleasure to play alongside.”  Acker Bilk. 

Having led the legendary Avon Cities jazz band for many years, trumpet and vibes star Geoff Nichols turns to the Swing music of the 1930s and 40s to present his Good Vibes Band for the discerning jazz fans who require something more than the ordinary or just average.

The band’s style is built around the wonderful jazz sound of the vibraphone (or vibraharp, as it is known in the US), supplemented by the Swing-style trumpet and horn of the leader.

Included in the band’s programme will always be a selection of compositions by Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Berlin, plus some of Geoff’s own compositions, spiced with a handful of jazz classics from the 1920s.

Admission: free with a retiring collection.

————————————————————————————————————————————

Paddy King-Fretts – Sunday June 1 – 6pm – Boevey’s Tea Rooms

‘Pimms with Paddy’

Paddy King-Fretts – man of Exmoor, soldier, traveller and writer – shares the story of his fascinating and eventful life in the friendly and informal atmosphere of Boevey’s Tea Rooms.

Brought up high in the wilds of Exmoor in the immediate post-war years, Paddy takes us back to the harsh existence of what life was like on the moor in those far-off days – before the advent of electricity, drainage or piped water – when two cart horses pulled the hay wain, years before the National Park.

He recounts vividly how this remote, solitary boyhood shaped his life, first as an infantryman and SAS soldier, then later as a writer about the moors we love.

Refreshments available during the interval and a light Ploughman’s with a selection of local cheeses, costing £5, may be booked in advance for the interval.

Admission: £5 (includes a glass of Pimms).

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Tom and Barbara Brown – Wednesday May 28 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s 

An Exmoor Garland

Ever-popular folk and traditional entertainers Tom and Barbara Brown present an evening of modern and traditional songs, stories, readings and music all about the ancient Forest of Exmoor and its ways of life.

Refreshments available and an optional light snack of a Ploughman’s Supper costing £7 may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

Admission: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; minimum suggested donation £5 for unreserved seating; 14 year-olds and under free.

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Tamsin Waley-Cohen –  Saturday June 7 – 7.30pm – St Luke’s 

Virtuoso Violin

Supremely gifted violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen performs some of the greatest works for virtuoso violin on one of the world’s finest violins, her treasured Stradivarius, made in Cremonain 1721.  The violin was played for many years by the great Hungarian violinist Lorand Fenyves, with whom Tamsin studied at Prussia Cove.

Refreshments available and an optional snack during the interval may be booked in advance.

Admission: £15 to reserve the seat of your choice; standard tickets £10 (student/unemployed £7.50); 14 year-olds and under FREE.

—————————————————————–

Two Skirts and a Sporran – Friday May 16 – 7.30pm – The Exmoor Forest Inn 

Light musical entertainment for a summer evening from the trio Two Skirts and a Sporran featuring James Ross on bass clarinet and flautists Barbara Wilson and Caroline Taylor. The concert includes popular jazz tunes by Gershwin, Rogers and Hart and Hoagy Carmichael; a selection of pop favourites by Abba and Elvis Presley; film tunes from The Thorn Birds, Robin Hood, All That Jazz; as well as a selection of popular classical pieces.


Admission: suggested donation £5

—————————————————————————————————————–

Westcombe Brass – Friday May 9 – 6pm – St Luke’s 

Westcombe Brass are an accomplished young brass quintet who have previously given concerts at St Luke’s.  

As part of this year’s Simonsbath Festival they are running a series of workshops in local schools – Cutcombe First, Exford First and Dulverton Middle – and working towards this joint concert with the children.

The concert programme includes songs from the First World War and music composed during that era.

Refreshments available and an optional light snack, costing £4 and consisting of a Cornish pastry, delivered fresh from Cornwall by the trombone player’s family, together with a tub of Styles’s ice cream may be booked in advance for the interval by telephoning Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.  Free refreshments available for children.

Admission: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; suggested donation £5 for unreserved seating; 14 year-olds and under free.

News from Exmoor National Park: White Rock Cottage in Simonsbath – Open Day

 

ENPAExmoor National Park Authority has recently completed the purchase of White Rock Cottage (the former school site) in Simonsbath. The previous owners, West Somerset Council, agreed to sell the site once it became clear that plans to develop it for affordable housing, while conserving its historic importance, were not likely to be financially viable.

 

Chief Executive Dr Nigel Stone said: “The National Park decided to buy the property primarily with the objective of safeguarding the historic interest of this important site which formed part of the Knight estate and the 19th Century reclamation of Exmoor Forest.

 

“We are already working with the Parish Council and local community and there will be a public open day on Monday 18November when we look forward to welcoming anyone who would like to help shape our thinking on the best way to conserve and utilise White Rock Cottage and other heritage sites in Simonsbath.  We intend that the project should be led and managed by a local group and would be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to play a part in the development of the project. We would also like to hear from anyone who went to the school or has memories of the site in the past.

“In time, we hope to secure the funding needed to restore the buildings and provide public access so that, when combined with the many other locations of interest such as the landscape gardens in Ashcombe: the 19th century sawmill and pound building, Simonsbath can become an even more interesting destination in the centre of the National Park.”

A recent report on White Rock Cottage commissioned by the National Park Authority reveals the former school site was built in the early 1800’s as a ‘picturesque’ element – a cottage orné – within a designed garden landscape being developed by the Knight family. The original rustic cottage was extended in the 1850s to provide on-site staff accommodation and part converted in 1857 to use as a school within the newly established community of Simonsbath.  The building has been used in the later 20th century as a research and study centre but has been closed for a considerable time.

Now that the building has been acquired, the National Park will be undertaking conservation work aimed at halting the further deterioration of the building which has been exposed to the elements for some time. In order to start the process of drying out the building, a local conservation builder will be removing loose masonry and render; opening up the door and window openings and covering the whole structure with a temporary scaffolding roof.  The drying process may take one or two years to complete by which time future plans will have been prepared and funding sought for the full restoration phase to begin.

The event on 18th November will include a display about the area in Boeveys tea-room where refreshments will be available.

Also on the 18 November the historic 19th century water-powered sawmill at Simonsbath will be open from 10am-4pm. The sawmill is owned by the National Park Authority and there will be ‘drop-in’ tours available all day.

There is limited public parking at the mill so people might prefer to park at the public car park at Ashcombe, where there are toilets and walk 500 metres to the site.

 

A wild night out in Simonsbath

205 Wild night out in Simonsbath

 

 

Wednesday 12 June 2013. 8:30pm-10:00pm

 

A gentle stroll around Simonsbath on the lookout for the nocturnal sights and sounds of bats, moths, and the stars. Hear ultrasonic bat calls with our bat detectors and see them in flight. Watch moths attracted to our moth-lamp, and keep an eye out for more wildlife such as owls and foxes. Please bring a torch, warm clothing and stout footwear. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Food, parking and toilets available nearby. Meet at the Exmoor Forest Inn, TA24 7SH, on the B3223, Simonsbath. Part of the Simonsbath Festival.

No dogs please.

Call 07875 565823 or visit www.heartofexmoor.org.uk for more information.