Thursday, 31 July 2008
Other celebrities who have passed through the hostelries of Silverton at various times include the actor who played Tom Forrest in the long running radio soap 'The Archers' (Three Tuns) and the late actor and comedian, Arthur English who visited the then New Inn in the 1970s. The author, Ian 'Emma' Blair was also, of course a regular at all three establishments for a number of years whilst living in the village. I am sure that others could be added to the list.
Whilst participating in the quiz I was reminded that its worth remembering how many of those who appeared in questions in one category, could in different circumstances have appeared in the other. Although Nelson Mandela would be regarded by most these days as being in the hero category its not so many years ago that Young Conservatives attended their conference wearing T Shirts demanding that he be hung. Che Geuvara may well be a hero and inspiration to millions around the world but would be seen very differently if you held a similar quiz in Miami. Gen Sir Redvers Buller might have been a hero to Brit imperialism in the 19th century but was no doubt viewd very differently by the Boers and Zulus who he came into contact with in a military capacity. Not forgetting of course Maggie Thatcher... but there again who could forget her. I suspect we shall see some very different views of her status as hero or villain displayed if the current proposal that she merits a state funeral is ever implemented.
Danger, regional stereotyping at work.
Good luck, Mark on your acting debut on saturday.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Whatever happens, as long as some sort of event goes ahead, this blog will be doing its best to cover as much as possible and to post photographs as soon as is practical. We shall endeaver to post all the news thats fit to print and perhaps some that isnt. Hopefully some embarrassing moments may appear here. Not ones involving this blogger if they can be avoided.
At the moment this blog is doing what it set out to do when it started less than two months ago but we could certainly do with more feedback.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
I think we should be told.
Monday, 28 July 2008
The next quiz at the Trout will be on Aug 31st.
Abstinence may well be the order of the day next time around.
Sunday, 27 July 2008
Busy as things were at the Lamb, as one of the bar staff pointed out it was really only a dry run for the real big event next weekend. street market.
Saturday, 26 July 2008
45 minutes does seem a long time to answer a call of this type, if the reports received are correct. I hope that we are not into one of those situations once more, where because the village is generally quiet for a period, it takes a lower priority than some other areas when it comes to issues of crime management.
- I notice that our occasional commentator, Lilly, has been noticeable by her (and I am almost certain it is a 'her') absence over the past week or so. It could of course be that 'she' is on holiday or has work commitments, or as many of us do from time to time, has a computer problem.
On the other hand it could be, of course that 'she' has transferred her affections to one of the boys with the big blogs. If so, it should perhaps be pointed out that with blogging, as with other things in life, size isnt always everything. We may be small but hopefully we sometimes reach places that other blogs dont.
I also pointed out as well that you could end up with knitted condoms which could prove disasterous for all concerned.
Friday, 25 July 2008
Needless to say this blog will not be giving racing tips any time soon.
With Street Market approaching we are going to try to give this blog some extra publicity. There may well be posters appearing round and about over the next week or so.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Today, of course things are a little more advanced when it comes to school trips abroad. One of my younger neices who attends a school in Hertfordshire, is currently in China and her sister will next year be heading for Brazil. Presumably, in a few years time trips of this type will indeed have become as unremarkable as were our trips to Teignmouth and Torquay in the 50s and 60s. What changes half a century can bring.
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
If anyone has any other event they would like publicised, this blog will only be too happy to oblige.
I understand that Honest John will not now be appearing at The Lamb due to illness.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Monday, 21 July 2008
I believe that people need to rely less on so called leaders and more on their own efforts in order to create societies both local and transnational which are geared to the needs of the majority of the population of this planet rather then to either the seemingly insatiable needs of giant corperations for profit or the equally insatiable need of politicians for power and recognition. I suspect that the chice that is faced by humankind over the next few decades is either to move towards such societies or to return to a very unpleasent form of barbarism. Whether humanity can achieve a better form of existance is, of course very much open to question.
And thats the extent of the political position that will be expressed here.
Sunday, 20 July 2008
And I can assure all our readers that the participants in the walk were stone cold sober.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Another random thought. Some say that for some women a bar of chocolate is better than sex. Can this be true and is the reason the human race has not died out is because sex got established before Cadburys.
You can tell its a slow news day, cant you ?.
Friday, 18 July 2008
That experience put me off lettuce completely for a number of years and I am still wary about it to this day.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Although cycling from one end of the island to the other is not an uncommon event these days, it is believed that teams doing the double run are comparatively rare. Hopefully, if this event takes place a scheduled, a considerable amount of money will be raised for this worthwile charity.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
I was also told the other day that strawberries appear as a design on some items of underwear. I will leave it to more fertile imaginations then mine to work out why that might be.
And while on the subject of the Lamb, What has become of Homer, the Simpsonesque Christmas doll that was kidnapped from that hostelry by unknown ruffians last christmas. I understand that he has been forced to telephone his owners by his captors on a number of occasions but of the little fellow himself there is still no sign.
Hopefully the villainous swine who abducted Homer will make sure that he is back in his rightful place before next christmas or they may well find that it will not be a season of peace and goodwill for them should theuir identities become known. Already a deadly secret society known as 'The Friends Of Homer' are said to be planning countermeasures. Garden gnomes could be under threat.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
For other photos from my collection taken in Silverton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayr over the past few years, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/28603548@N02/ The pages will be updated and descriptions added from time to time.
It wouldnt surprise me though if there are not more adjustments in the offing.
I would hold a poll on the layout but I doubt that anyone would vote in it. Comments are welcome though.
Monday, 14 July 2008
Not that I have such a thing, actually but you can but dream. Dreaming is free as Blondie put it in one of their songs.
Surely, it should not be beyond the realms of possibility that a link machine could be installed somewhere or is it the case that being able to access your own money without having to pay for the privilage is just another of those things we have to forgo for the joys of living in the country.
Sunday, 13 July 2008
Silverton Week was nearer to the tradition of the old village carnival then to the current street Market. You had the grand parade through the village and a Silverton Week queen competition, but also prizes for the best decorated house and business. There were exibitions of art and photographs, and Silvertons first exibition of local history, organised by the late Dave Edmunds in 1976. There were also tug o wars and comedy football matches where men dressed up in womens clothing. Pram races were also a regular feature. The Week inevitably always ended with a dance in the village hall. Silverton Week eventually become an event spread over a fortnight and finally failed for the all too common reason that too few people were prepared to take part in the very considerable degree of organisation and the success of the event ended up resting on the same few shoulders.
While it was fairly short lived when compared to the timescale of the continuing Street Market, Silverton Week succeeded very well in terms of what it set out to do. It did create a situation where Silvertonians of all kinds could participate in an annual event and brought a great deal of enjoyment to those who took part and it was a successful fundraising event. I think it also created the conditions and the interest that groups like the local history society were able to build on. Where it failed, and I think that similar problems exist with Street Market, was that it failed to generate enough committment amongst a wider layer of the population to aid with the organisation of the event. At least with Street Market this is a situation that has not become a critical factor in its continuing existence.
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Older Silvertonians will certainly remember George Carpenter who plied his trade from a tin shack at the bottom of Tiverton road next to Archie Tremletts forge, which can now be found in Tiverton museum. Despite having serious mobility problems, George was always cheerful and had a considerable knowledge of village affairs of all kinds. I can still remember qeueing up at his shop on a saturday morning and reading surruptitiously his collection of rather risque (for the 1960s) magazines while listening to George and his collection of mainly elderly friends discussing the events of the day. The qeues for his services were always long as long hair had not really become fashionable in these parts for most of the period and and a good few men used the shop as a social meeting place in the way they would have done with the pub. As I remember it, Adult haircuts cost one shilling and boys were sheared for sixpence. The village lost part of its character when George gave up the business and his shack was replaced by housing just as it did when the forge went the same way. We didnt know it but we were watching a world sliding away before our eyes.
Perhaps we should see people like George and Archie as the amongst the real Silverton heroes. They,and others like them, helped give Silverton its iindividual character and helped maintain its sense of community in ways that are often lacking today.
Friday, 11 July 2008
So for gutzache go and try a pint, available at The Lamb, and other good hostelries I should think.
I suspect that it can only be a matter of time before groups within England begin to look towards more and more radical solutions for the current problems of public transport as private motering becomes ever more expensive and environmentally damaging.
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Most people would recognise that Silverton has undergone major social changes in recent decades, not least in that an increasing percentage of the population are now either newcomers or are people who probably are not going to be residents in the long term. Its also true that an increasing number of people do not have the Christian church, in whatever form as the centre of their lives and an unknown number within the village who reject the church in whatever form it takes. This means that there is a growing need for a publication that while it does the job currently done by the existing magazine, is able to engage with a broader layer of people within the village and to articulate a wider vision of what it means to be a Silvertonian in the 21st century. There is also an urgent need for such a publication to encourage debate and discussion within the village on the range of important issues such as the 'we live here' initiave recently discussed by the parish council, that people are going to have to engage with in the current climate of increasing and accelerating social change.
A good model that might be worth looking at is the equivelant magazine in Thorverton. This is a lively and well produced magazine that encourages participation from its readers. Although internet publications like this blog can do some of the required work it has to be recognised that in order to reach, and engage with the largest number of people there is still the need for an imaginative and lively print publication.
Its also worth noting that quite a number of people from the Silverton area have won the weekly top prize. There are considerably better odds on winning this one then you will find on the National Lottery or on Euromillions.
Firstly, there is no direct connection, as far as I am aware between the flagpole and the war memorial. They just happen to be in the same area of the village and in fact, when I was young, there was no flag flying permanently from the flagpole as is now the case.
secondly, whilst accepting the sensitivities that some obviously feel over the issue, it needs pointing out that the twinning movement has been a small part of the process that has ensured that there has been a prolonged period of peace in western europe and that the human contacts established between communities and individuals through such initiatives make it less and less likely that there will ever be another one. Given that, I think that flying what some might regard as a foriegn flag in the village for a very limited period is a small price to pay in order that we never see a situation again where the names of the young men, and nowadays women, of Silverton are added to the sad role recorded on the memorial in the square. Perhaps those with an interest in twinning should now be extending there interests to twinning further afield to areas of the world currently embroiled in conflict in order that perhaps it will be more difficult for leaders of nations of whatever political shade find it more difficult to send young men and women into situations where they end up as names on a block of stone.
And its worth pointing out to those with objections to France and its inhabitants that Bretons are no more French than the Welsh are English. Indeed, the Bretons are a proud celtic nation who probably have more in common linguistically and culturally with Cornwall then with much of France.
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Whilst it might not be unusual to find older people with such ideas it really does show up some basic lack of knowledge of the basic social history of the area that you live in when you come out with stuff like this. I put it down, largely, to the fact that there is such a large turnover of population in villages in places like Silverton that so many people here now have almost no knowledge that they are able to pass on to young people about the places they live in.
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Personally, I dont find the Broadclyst Somerfield, or indeed Somerfield in general the best of the supermarkets. The last time I was in the Broadclyst supermarket, the shelves were decidedly understocked for two thirty in the afternoon. When I lived in Scotland we had a choice of most of the big supermarket chains and Somerfield lagged behind all the others on most aspects of shopping, most notably on prices.
I wonder how the coming opening of a branch of Tescos in Cullompton will affect the local balance of power amongst the supermarkets in Mid Devon. I would imagine that the Somerfield stores in Cullompton and Broadclyst will feel a very chill wind.
Whilst on Cullompton shopping I hear that the excellent town centre butchers, Veyseys may be closing soon due to the retirement of the owner. If this does happen it will be a sad loss to local shoppers in search of good quality meat.
Monday, 7 July 2008
Sunday, 6 July 2008
I never have really got into that kind of outdoor hobby. My hobby, when young was stamp collecting. I had a big collection when about ten, some of which were quite valuable, or so I have been told. Predictably, when I got a bit older and other interests became more important I gave the entire collection away. When in my thirties I took up serious Record collecting for a while but the collection took up too much space and was difficult to transport when moving and eventually had to go.
Perhaps its time now that I have reached 'later life' to find a new hobby beyond writing this blog. I dont really think you can count dog walking as a hobby, more of a chore. The problem is that most hobbies seem to cost the earth these days so I expect that I shall have to just keep people watching in the pub.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
The National bus pass scheme introduced in England in april whilst it has undoubtedly opened up travel on public transport to a wide range of disadvantaged people, is in fact less comprehensive then its Scottish equivelant. In Scotland there is no restriction on people using their passes from 09.00, and more importantly, it allows disabled people to have carers or friends accompany them free of charge. This means that people with mobility problems can have assistance in travelling without the added worry of needing to be concerned about the travelling expenses incurred by a companion. Although the Scottish bus pass scheme is now having its funding reviewed by the scottish government, ironically because of the success of the scheme, if the authorities in England are serious about extending access to public transport to the elderly and disabled, as well as cuting reliance on private cars, something along the lines of the Scottish scheme should be introduced.
Friday, 4 July 2008
Thursday, 3 July 2008
I was not resident in Silverton at the time the ban was imposed but as a fairly regular visitor to the village prior to the ban I cant really see that trade has been seriously harmed. Those who like going out for a drink and for social reasons are still doing so and if smokers seem to have ajusted to the situation where they have to indulge their habit outdoors. This seems even to have held true during the winter when we were warned of the direst consequences for the licensed trade. People adjust here just as they had to in Ireland and Scotland where the ban was introduced earlier. Additionally, people who could not bear smoky atmospheres for health reasons can now go for a drink or a meal without suffering the ill effects. Whether, as some claim the absence of tobacco smoke in the pub atmosphere as allowed other, less pleasent smells to come to the fore is something I cant say that I have noticed. Bar staff on the whole seem to be ever more appreciative of the cleaner air that they now can work in.
I must say though, as an ex smoker and a frequenter of public houses for the past forty years that there is still something missing when you walk into a pub and you cannot smell the once familier aroma of tobacco smoke mixed with the smell of beer. I doubt that those of us whose drinking lives extend back before the ban will ever feel entirely at home without it.
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
And so we are now back to the situation where a village with a population topping 2,000 and rising has no public convieniences a very poor situation for both locals and visitors. We no longer have the option of using the toilet that was once behind Bradys garage should we need it at night. Those who complain about dog droppings might also give a thought to humans who get taken short who are not even as fortunate as the dogs in that if they behave indiscreetly in such matters they are likely to face a criminal record rather than just the wrath of the dog warden and a potential ASBO.
We are now left with a monstrous blot on the centre of the village in the form of the site of the former New Hall. Due to a consistent failure by sucessive owners to develop the site we are now left with what is in effect a scrap yard situated in the village main street. The only respite from this eyesore has been the once a year relief when the scrap vehicles have been removed to allow the site to be used for Street Market events but now that is no longer the case because of the alleged risk of fire. After a recent period when the site was supposedly sold for development and subsequently partially cleared the collection of scrap vehicles are steadily returning to haunt us.
That this state of affairs is allowed to continue is a disgrace. We read in the papers almost weekly about councils excersising their powers in order to regulate and remove threats to the environment. The people of Silverton have the right to know why steps have not been taken to ensure that this site has not been cleared out and secured whatever its current ownership or planning status.
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
I suppose I have been lucky in the locations I have lived in during my life. Having been born and lived for the first 37 years of my life in Silverton, I then relocated to the Ayr area of the Clyde coast in the west of Scotland and for the next 21 years had spectacular views across the Clyde estuary to the Isle Of Arran, the Ailsa Craig and the Mull of Kintyre in daily view. Both the residents of the Exe valley and the Clyde coast have been inclined to take their surroundings for granted