Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Thats All For Now Folks

That will be blogging suspended for the next nine days while I am away in Scotland. Doubtless, I shall have some tales to tell when I return. In my absence Mrs Frost will be keeping an eye on the shop, as her work schedule allows, so I hope that you all behave in an appropriate manner.

Abd just a thought. Who was the 'vicar' who ran off with a 'tart'.?.

A thought On The Economic Crisis.

If I might be forgiven putting on my historian's hat just for a moment. One point of significance that I have not seen mentioned in all the talk about getting us all out and spending again is who ultimately benefits, and what the consequences of that are. Given that Britain, along with most of the rest of the western world, manufactures increasingly little in terms of what reductions in VAT are likely to be spent on, The real beneficiries of the cuts in VAT and other financial stimulants are likely to be the economies of those countries that do, China, India, Brazil and the other rapidly emerging economies beyond Europe and the USA. The net result of this will be that such contries will inevitably emerge from the current crisis even stronger in relation to the developed western economies then they were before the current downturn began.

It seems increasingly likely to me, that we are seeing a fundamental shift in the balance of global power both financial and political, unprecedented since the dawn of the industrial revolution. This has become increasingly obvious to anyone who thought about it ever since the insatiable demand for metal from the Chinese led to the disappearence of drain covers from drains around the country. This shift in power is likely to be of far more consequence for our children and grandchildren then the current knockabout in the house of commons about whether the chancellor should have cut VAT or not.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Another Little Fiddle.

And whikst on the subject of buses, why are National Express now charging a 50p booking fee on tickets bought on the internet when its the customers themselves who do the booking ?.

The Worst Service Ever ?.

Sorry to return to the subject of the buses yet again, but is the current service the most unreliable we have ever had in the village ?. I went to catch a morning bus into Exeter today and after waiting for some 25 minutes, gave up and went home. Its now reached the stage that unless I have specific business that means that I have to go to Tiverton rather than Exeter, or vice versa, I just jump on the first bus that comes in. It seems that every week now there are reports of buses running late, breaking down or not turning up at al. God help those who have to use the buses to get to work or college who are under the constant stress of wondering if they are going to make it on time.

Once again, I return to the point that Devon General were able, for many years, to run a regular, reletively cheap and efficient service in and out of the village, as were stagecoach originally. Cook's also ran an efficient and friendly service during their tenure of the contract. Now we have Stagecoach back again and we have more frequent buses that seem unable to run to time with overpriced tickets for those who stil buy them.You also have the situation where the ageing fleet of double deckers that run this route hourly, are slowly falling apart.

If the idea of bus deregulation was to encourage competition then that idea went by the board long ago with the likes of Stagecoach, Arriva and First Bus carving up the nation between them and driving any potential rivals on profitable routes into the ground. Any attempts to get people out of cars and unto public transport are a total joke as long as such conditions persist.

Monday, 24 November 2008

A good win.

The Lamb Quiz team took on the Cricket Club at The Five Bells in Clyst Hydon and emerged with a very creditable win by a margin of twelve points, our best score of the season so far. Home next week to play The Merrymeade 'A'.

The Giggle Band.

I was encouraged to include this by a certain well known musician of this parish.

It seems that amongst the musical fraternity back in the 60s the band at the top of a ladies stocking was known as 'the giggle band'.

The thinking was apparently that if you got beyond that point you were laughing.

Car Park

I hear that there was an outbreak of vandalism aimed at cars in the car park on saturday night. Dont know all the details as yeat but its hardly the first time this has happened. Given the current state of parking in the village its the sort of thing that is not going to encourage people to park there. I know that its yet more expense on the council tax payer but if we are serious about moving parking off the streets perhaps its time to get some improved lighting in the area or, CCTV.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


I was walking Rory, the black dog on the blog, in the vicinity of the chicken farm at Babylon yesterday morning, when he leapt into the hedge and reemerged with a large rat that was soon a deceased rat.

That should be a warning to the rat population. Being lean and mean is probably a better option for escaping the attentions of a ratting dog like a Patterdale, then overfeeding on chicken fod.

Very Odd.

Returning for a moment to the matter of the leaked BNP membership list, one of the oddest names on the list as far as this part of the world was concerned, was that of the clinical psychologist, Dr Neil Bathurst of Exminster.

Neil Bathurst has as bizzare a political history as you are ever likely to find anywhere. In the late 1980's he was a member of the Labour party in Exeter and one of a small group who left Labour and joined The Workers Revolutionary Party. After a short spell with the WRP he left and was then associated with the rival Socialist Workers Party and had a reputation as a militant antifascist. He then dropped out of politics altogether until he resurfaced on the BNP membership list. Apparently he also has an interest in Buddism and Death Metal music.

It would seem that the good doctor is probably in need of some serious counselling himself.

If You Cant Stand The Heat.....

Those visiting The Lamb Inn yesterday lunchtime will have noticed that Alan Issac had abandoned his usual spot behind the bar and had been drafted into the kitchen to do the cooking. It seems that Jane was out and Brendon the chef, had a problem with his motorcycle and couldnt get to work. Despite a lunchtime under pressure, it has to be said that Alan put in a very creditable performance where the cooking was concerned.

Perhaps an alternative career awaits.

Birthday Greetings.

Happy 90th birthday greetings to Naome Nicholson of King street and belated birthday greetings for yesterday to Phil Frost, 23.

Saturday, 22 November 2008


A lady of our aquaintance says that she has trousers that its safe to sit down in but not to stand up in and vice versa. Is this a common problem amongst the femalw population ?. I think we should be told.

Northern Soul

Recent remarks on the blog about the activities of so called 'northerners' sem to be causing a degree of annoyance amongst others from 'oop north'. They are objecting to the fact that all those residents of the village who originate from north of Spaghetti Junction are being tarred with the same brush. One person who originates from the Manchester area wishes me to state that those who have been the cause of recent controversy are in fact, 'scousers'. As it hapens this is not strictly true as I believe that one of them does hail from the Manchester area. It also has to be said that there are a number of people from Merseyside resident in the village who live entirely blameless lives amongst us and that it is not the job of this blog to become involved in the feud between Manchester and Liverpool, a feud that seems to have been going since the feud between Rome and Carthage.

At the end of the day, You cant blame troubles in the village on peoples place of birth. The plain fact is that everywhere has its share of anti social elements and given our mobile society, they can move anywhere. Its also the case that sadly, Silverton has produced its ffair share of the undesirable down the years. It may be handy to pass of f the blame for some of our troubles on 'northerners' or 'scousers', but we might find that the next outbreak of anti social behaviour comes from people born much closer to home.

Lost Cat.

A cat has gone missing from the Fore Stret area. The missing animal is about four years old and has a white marking under its chin. Can anyone having any knowledge of a stray cat matching that discription please contact the occupants of 2 Fore Street.

Friday, 21 November 2008


After a long series of problems with watches, I have at last got one that appears to work properly and with a plastic strap that, unlike some of its metal counterparts, you dont seem to need a degree in engineering to put on. I always seem to have had problems with watches nack to when I was a boy. If it wasnt watches going missing it was \me being allergic to the metal straps. In my view, if God did inded create the world in seven days he might have at least given us all a Rolex to help us keep track of the time that he created.

Strictly Come Dancing v The X Factor.

There seems to be only one subject that excersises the great british public on a saturday night, whether to boogie with Brucie on Strictly Come Dancing or singalong with Simon and co on The X Factor. The nation is split and households divided.

So, how do you lot spend your saturday evenings in front of the telly ?. Do we in Silverton have a passion for dance or is TV's answer to a Karaoke session down the pub your cup of hot chocolate. perhaps its time to let us know.

Being not a fan of either particularly, but with a slight preference for The X Factor, I prefer to spend my saturday nights watching episodes off my DVD boxed set collections. I am on series 2 of 'Deadwood' and series 1 of 'The Wire' at the moment.

The Chicken House Cometh

Updated chicken co-op news. The fortified chicken house will be arriving on monday, or so we are reliably informed. Reports that Louise was using her recent absailing charity event as a cover for intensive training with a handpicked team of former Spetznatz operatives specially handpicked by Dr Bob could not be confirmed. Neither could reports that Louise would be leading the team dressed in a leather catsuit, much to the disappointment of some.

Rumours that this team have been trained to attack if the word 'Fox' is uttered are said to have led to a certain well known family from Davies close seeking contractors to dig a very deep bunker.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

White Van Men.

Why do we have white van men ?. White is not the only colour after all and its good to see that Thorverton now has a pink van man.. Strange that delivery drivers in this part of the world go for white given that our climate and the general state of the roads renders a white van several shades of filthy in no time.

Jukebox Jive.

I wonder if anyone else has a nostolgia for the old style pub jukeboxes. I remember when one of these used to grace the back room of the New Inn sitting against the wall in all its brightlylit splendour. For the insertion of a coin you could watch the 45's going around before the machine settled on the tune of your choice. In later years I took to collecting as many of the singles of the mid, late seventies that were my favourites at the time through record fairs. Its a sign of the changing times that I later converted most of them to MP3 format and they now reside on my computer.

In the intervening years since the 70's, we have had changing formats, first CD and now increasingly MP3, but to my mind the sound of a 45 played on an old style jukebox had a warmer and somehow more friendly sound then the then much of the unatuarally clinical sound that we hear today. As with much modern technology, something has been lost in translation.

Early Warning.

The blog will not be updated between November 27th and December 5th as I shall be away in Scotland again. Normal service will then be resumed in full.

Sorry For The Break

Sorry the blog was not published yesterday. I had to go into Exeter on urgent financial business and unfortunately missed the bus on the way back. This is what happens when you are short of a watch.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Oh Dear !.

According to reports circulating on 'Harry's Place', and a number of other internet sites this afternon, the entire membership list of the BNP, as of Sept 08, has been leaked online. Given that this is in breach of the data protection act nioone is prepared to say exactly where it is, but apparently it makes for interesting reading as it contains details of jobs, hobbies and the like.

Much as I dislike the BNP and what they stand for, I must admit to having qualms about this sort of thing. Some of those crowing elsewhere should remember what can be done to them today can be done to you tomorrow, although I must admit I would like to see the BNP line dancers in action. What it says about that organisation is, how can you claim to be able to run a country when you cant even keep your membership lists secure.

UPDATE. I know where it is now, but I aint telling.

Oldest Resident.

Now that passing your ninetieth birthday seems to be becoming quite a common occurrance, I was wondering who is the oldest person actually, currently residing in the village ?.

Any idea.

Down The Scary Alley.

One of the more bizarre features of the way that Silverton has developed down the years is that the only means of direct access from Fore Street to the car park and community hall is via the alley that runs down to the health centre. This is not a great point of access during the day but at night, especially in winter, it becomes downright dangerous due to the lack of street lighting on the path. I know this is regarded as a private road by the parish council, but given its importance as an access route to the local amenities surely, some improvement to the lighting in the area should be a matter of some urgency.

Mas Max And Priscilla.

I was at the AGM of the Silverton Local History Society last night, a report of which I would imagine will be appearing in due course, on their website. The AGM was followed by a talk by Maxine Edwaeds of this parish, on her recent visit to Silverton New South Wales. Silverton NSW had a brief history as a mining boom town in the late nineteenth century before being overtaken by its nearby rival, Broken Hill, where bigger deposits of silver were discovered. The austrailian Silverton has now declined into a semi ghost town with a few art and craft communities and a museum. It does however, retain some of its early artitechure which has made it a prime locatrion for filmakers and it has featured in films as diverse as 'A Town Like Alice', 'Mad Max' and its sequels and 'Priscilla Quen Of The Desert'. It has also featured in many of the Castlemaine 4x advertisments.

The thought that occured to me was what might happen if the mad max fan club and a bunch of 'Friends Of Priscilla' got redirected to Silverton, England by mistake. I suspect that the results would be far more entertaining then Street Market.

Monday, 17 November 2008


As Tbird points out in an earlier comment, The ferret racing will be held on Nov 22nd NOT nov 27th as advertised in a previous post.

'Silverton' as a surname.

Although its unusual, Silverton is not unknown as a surname. I suppose the best known current Silverton is probably Kate Silverton, the BBC newsreader. I dont know if any research has ever been done on any links between the village and holders of Silverton as a name, but I remember coming across a possible explanation for those who have town names as a surname some years ago.

Back in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries, I cant remember which, the city of London took action against jewish traders who refused to trade on a saturday for religious reasons leading to many jews leaving London for the provinces and settling in market towns, often then taking the name of their adopted towns as a surname. Silverton in those days, of course had a market and I suppose its well within the realms of possibility that a displaced jewish trader could ended up in these parts. I dont know if current Silvertons have jewish connections but even if not directly, there could have been conversions down the centuries.

Maybe of course, there were no direct connections with the village at all and it was just that some distant ancestor passed through one day and decided that being called Silverton was a bit more distinctive then being called Smith and changed his name accordingly. An interessting subject for speculation.

This weeks Quiz Result.

The Lamb quiz team played Merrymeade 'B', formerly The Globe, at home last night. After falling someway behind in the early stages we fought back, only losing by one point in the final round.

Thankfully, we won the beer leg.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Its that Time Of THe Year Again.

Its that time of the year again when the rugger buggers don their England shirts and trip off to the Lamb on a saturday afternoon to watch the big lads churning up the mid and knocking the seven bells of hell out of each other. Not a good day yesterday with Australia emerging triumphant.

Nice to see The Three Tuns out in force for the match though.

Words To Ponder

Big Bruce reports that he saw a sign on the wall of a pub in Exmouth that read.

'I am a drunkard, not a alcoholic'.
'Alcoholics go to meetings'.

Welcome back, big man.

Good to see Bruce Mattock back in the village yesterday. As many will know, Bruce was a permanent fixture on the Silverton pub circuit for many years and was a good friend to many in the village. Although he is now resident in Topsham he still visits the area and having had a good afternon in The Lamb with friends yesterday says he hopes to be visiting the village more frequently.

The Kids Are Alright.

Nice to hear from the newb proprieters of Cabbages and Kings that they consider the children of Silverton the politest children they have ever met.

In an age when there is an almost continual barrage of bad publicity regarding the behaviour of young people its good to hhear our children being so strongly complimented.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

New Hate Figure Needed

Now that Dave Haggett has sold up the village will be needing a new 'man you love to hate'. There always is one. Perhaps we should have a poll to see who gets the position this time.

Nominations for the blogger will be excluded, naturally.

The Smoking Fraternity.

I finally gave up smoking in 1997. I had 6 years off the weed in the 80s but got drawn back into it whilst involved with Ayr College Students Association and it took me ten years to quit again. What we ex smokers tend to forget is the sense of fraternity that develops amongst the devotees of the weed. I suspect that this frarernity has been reinforced by the smoking ban in pubs. I was reminded of this last night whilst standing outside The Lamb with the smokers.It was a mild night and there were quite a number of people out there and you realise that you get talking to people that you probably never wouyld otherwise. Its one of those odd contradictions of life that a habit which is so destructive to your health probably improves the social life of many of those it destroys. Perhaps if the governmentr is really serious about stamping out smoking they should ban smokers gathering in groups of more then two.

Friday Night.

Friday night in Silverton, during my lifetime anyway, has always been the night when the boys and girls, young and not so young, come out to play. After a hard weeks work, or enforced abstinence to to financial restrictions, they get out and about and the more adventurous get into the pubs they dont usually visit. Even the chief stoker was spotted in the Three Tuns last night and I even put in an apearence there myself along with Mr Fox and MS Symonds. I thought I had better mention my visit to the Tuns as there have been complaints that this particular establishment does not get enough mentions here. I have to report that it was a pleasent visit, as always, and that The Three Tuns is always worth a visit even if it is a bit off the beaten track for some of us.

Nice to see the former proprietors of 'The Tuns' Pete and Di, there last night. Good to see they still keep in touch.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Ferret Racing

Dont forget folks, Feret racing in the community hall on Novenber 27th. Doors open at 7.00pm, so if you fancy a punt on our little furry friends thats the place to be.

Could It Happen Here ?.

There has been much justified outrage in the press and amongst the public at large, regarding some recent cases of child abuse and murder. Leaving aside the issues surrounding child protection which are beyond the scope of this blog, I think there is a legitimate question to be asked about whether or not such things could happen in our community.

Many of us like to think that we live in a village where the social bonds are strong and that in a cohesive community such as ours abuse of children or the vunerable would be spotted and reported at a fairly early stage, whikst I would like to think so I think its open to some doubt as to whether abuses would be spotted in the way that we like to think they once would have been. In Silverton, as elsewhere, the extended family is a thing of the past and changed work patterns and more mobility often mean that we do not know our neighbours in the way that we once would have. Then there is the reluctance to become involved with authority with all the time wasting and form filling that this often entails, plus of course, the usual reluctance to accept that such things could hapen here.

I think we have to thake the view that whilst serious abuses are unlikely to go undetected amongst ius, they are not impossible. Once we accept that simple truth it makes it a lot easier to sot when things are going wrong and to act accordingly. One thing that the ghastly murder of Colleen Chudley should have taught us all is that, picturesque as it may be, Silverton is in no way immune from the woes of the world.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

For Sale. 'The Sopranos'.

For Sale.

Boxed Sets. Series 1-6 'The Sopranos'. £50.00.

Excellent condition, a chance to get the acclaimed US series based around the fictional everyday life of mafia folk.

Contact the blog or the blogger at his 'ofice'

Tragic Event. Update.

I see that the Express and Echo is carrying a major article on the tragic death of Scott Endicot, reported briefly here last week. Whilst he was well known in the village due to past problems it has been gratifying to see the amount of sympathy his tragic death has generated, even amongst some who might have ben expected to feel otherwise.


The street market theme for 2009 is to be carnival ,so it seems. I thouhjt yjis one had been done before, I dont suppose it will be much like the Brazilian event unfortunately, I suspect it wil be just another opportunity for the usual suspects to have a change of costume. One suggestion however, perhaps we could have a samba band or similar doing the afternon stint outside the Lamb rather then the clapped out bunch of old jazzers who really are beginning to get a little bit by their sell by date.

Alternatively, perhaps we could bring in a couple of sound systems from the Notting Hill Carnival, but I suspect that could be a bit radical for this part of the world.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


As most Silvertonians old and new will be aware there are still a number sites in the village where water taps were located in the days before mains water became universal. Like others, I am old enough to remember some of these taps still being used by residents to collect water as late as the 1970's. One well known and remembered Silvertonian in fact, continued to use it as his main water supply until his death in that decade.

One use my grandmother found for such a tap in Parsonage lane back in the early part of the twentieth century was to replace the cider in the jar that her uncle had sent her, and one of her sisters, to the Lamb to collect, from which they had drunk a quantity. This went on for some time until her uncle Bil said that he was going to have to go to The Lamb to confront 'Walty Marsh' about the heinious crime of watering his cider. unfortunately, I dont know what punishments were handed out to the offenders.

Underage drinking and related crime, have a long pedigree it seems..

Catching A cold

Judging by the people you meet round and about, it would appear that the winter seaon of colds and flu is now in ful swing. I have escaped the bugs so far, touch wood, but I notice that a fair few of the regulars of The Lamb and The Silverton Inn seem to be so afflicted. If you have to get a dose of the llurgy, I suppose its better to try to get it over with before the Christmas season is upon us as there is nothing worse than feeling like death whilst others are having a good time, or at least appearing to.

So, I suppose its time to get out your cold remedies of choice and to stock up with the ingriedients for hot toddy. Its probably also the time to have your thickest duvet ready and to prepare to face the rigours of several days of watching daytime TV.

If male of course, you will probably also have to face cracks from female aquaintences and family members about 'man flu'.

Never mind, their day will come. Our winter bugs dont discriminate on grounds of sex.


I notice that some potholes seem to be appearing in the surface of Wyndham road. I dont suppose this would have anything to do with the daily onslaught on the road surfaces of the stagecoach double deckers, would it ?.

And while on the subject of the double deckers, I hear that last week a bus driver had to approach a householder in Wyndham road in order to get a car moved in order to get his bus through. Its no wonder that I hear that the drivers are now in contact with their union about the situation.

Spar Sold.

As our anonymous commentator points out in reply to an earlier post it would seem that the SPAR shop has been sold to someone who already has a substantial chain of such businesses.

I suppose however, Dave Haggett, like the late US president, Richard Milhous Nixon will now be able to say 'They won't have me to kick around anymore'.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Dazed And Confused pt 2

By an odd coincidence, The ever excellent Dave Osler has just posted a very similar article on alcohol to the one I wrote yesterday on his blog. Dave pays particular attention to recent attempts in Botswana to limit alcohol consumption which nearly brought that smal nation to its knees.

Another Life Lost.

We were saddened to hear of yet another fatality on the A396, this time at Rewe yesterday. This tragedy again highlights the fact that roads like the A396 were never built to take the volume of traffic that now use them and that such roads need a comprehensive programme of redevelopment rather than some of the ineffectual traffic calming measures that act as little more then a sticking plaster at best.


Today is armistace day when the poppy is the symbol of those who fought and died in The Great War. Ironic is it not, that the poppy is now also used to remember those who have fallen in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan being a country where the poppy has very different connotations.

No Avoiding It.

The clocks have gone back, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Remembrance sunday and Armistace Day are now past and there is no avoiding the reality that, unless you live in Scotland and celebrsate St Andrews Day, the next big day on the calender is Christmas. The signs are there. Somerfields have started playing christmassy songs, although Slade have yet to be heard, Christmas Cards are now on sale everywhere and Alan at The Lamb has started his Christmas draw. Its all down hill from here,. Endless worries about what to give great auntie Edna for christmas, assuming she lasts that long or worrying about whether the latest version of Grand Theft Auto is suitable for little willie. Some may be having worries about whether they should give the wife and girlfriend the same brand of perfume or how to avoid thgem meeting up at a mutual friends party. Then there is the vexed question of what you do with uncle George if ypou invite him to spend christmas with you and he gets drunk, tells obscene jokes and makes passes at every woman in the building under 65. These are the sort of traumas that ensure that the divorce lawyers are always busy after Christmas and there is always a long queue for the psychiatrists couch come january.

Some of us of course, have few relations to worry about come the great festive swill but doubtless, as usual, we shall be also stressed at the thought that we may be missing something. No One escapes the rigours of Christmas.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Not So Quiet

I posted a piece recently to the effect that the village had been a bit quiet recently. Given some of the things that have been happening in the area over the past few weeks, perhaps I should have kept quiet myself. The old chinese curse'May you live in interesting times' certainly seems very relevant just at the moment.

Dazed And Confused.

How many words are there in the english language for getting drunk ?. An ever increasing number it would seem.Some of those I can think of are, wellied, trollied,wasted, trousered, ratarsed,blootered, stocious, hammered, wrecked, pie-eyed,slaughtered ,plastered, pissed,guttered and full. I am sure that others can think of even more.

As most know, and as it states in the opening post of this blog much of what is written here is written from a barstool perspective. That does not mean however that this blogger, or indeed anyone else associated with the blog are permanantly under the influence of alcoholic beverages. I enjoy a drink but usually know when its time to call it a day and go home. Thats not to say that on occasions one does not get a bit inebriated but I can think of very few occasions in my drinking career that I have deliberately set out to get into that state.

That, I think is what marks off most of the social drinkers over 40 from the younger generation most of whom seem to have one aim in life at the weekends which is to get blitzed out of their heads as quickly as possible. The state and the medical establishment attempt to put the blame on cheap pub promotions and cut price supermarket booze but many of the younger people I know that binge drink do it whether the booze is cheap or not. Cheeky Vimto's at £3.50-£4.00 a time are hardly a cheap option but I have seen people drinking a fair few of these and similar drinks around our local hostelries. Perhaps its time that the relevant authorities started asking hard questions about why so many people feel a need to lose their minds on such a regular basis but sometimes you suspect they would rather not know the real answers. I suspect that what the state and its allies will do is bring in even more legislation restricting the consumption of alcohol hitting the innocent equally with the guilty which seems to be the way of it with many things these days.

So those of us who enjoy our regular drink but cause nobody but ourselves any possible harm had better enjoy ourselves while we can.

That being the case, mines a pint..

Crossways Quiz.

The Lamb quiz team visited the Crossways Tavern at Hele last night and recorded our first win of the season. Good to see that the Crossways is still operating despite the recent flooding which seriously affected the building.

Next week we are at home playing The Merrymeade 'B' team which was formerly known as The Globe. It seems The Globe at Samford Peverall no longer have a need for a quiz team.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remembrance And War.

I remember Rembrance sunday in Silverton when I was young as being usually accompanied by suitably damp and sombre weather. The act of remembrance, then as now, consisted of the church service and the parade led by the Royal British Legion at the war memorial. In those days the parase usually took place under the eagle eyes of men like former RSM, Sid Withycombe a veteran of the first world war. That of course, indicates the main difference between the acts of remembrance then and now in that many of those present would have been participants, not just in the second world war but also in the first and would be people to who the names on the war memorial would not just be names but former neighbours, friends or reletives. That is the link with the past that is now being lost now that not only the last few veterans of the great war are in extreme old age but that those who participated in the second world war are also now leaving the stage of history.

Its difficult to imagine that we, in europe at least, will ever again see wars where huge conscript armies are flung against each other with the resultant mass slaughter. Had TV and the internet existed at the time of the first world war and images been available of the mass insanity of the trench warfare of the western front there would have probably been mass uprisings against all the rulers of the combatant european nations within two years and the whole bloody business would have been brought to a premature end. Therin though lies the contradiction though, that however much we detest war and its bloody consequences, without the technologial advances created by the necessity to win wars, most of what we now regard as vital parts of modern life such as the internet and Television probably would not exist. War sadly, throught history has been ta major motor force of technologial and scientific development, no more so then over the past century and a half. Its a sad fact of life that whilst we remember those from the village who died in the wars of the past century, without the conflicts in which they gave their lives our lives today would probably be far less easy in material and medical terms then they actually are..

Todays act of rembrance will also remember the 16, 000 or so service personnel who have died in conflicts since the end of world war two. It is a mark of the changing nature of wars and the way they are conducted that no names from this period appear on our war memorial. Fewr now fight and fewr die. Most of us will only know of the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan from television and the newspapers rather then from personal experience or from having met participants. We can only hope that with the change of administration in Washington no new conditions will be created where new names have to be added to the war memorial in the square.


A coach party went from the Lamb last night to Jethro's club at Lewdown. I didnt attend. If I want to see crap, sexist comedians I can get that any day of the week in any of the pubs in the village and not have to pay a fortune to do so.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

People Watching.

So how do you spend your time whilst travelling on public transport ?. Someone we know tries to work out peoples occupations from the way that they look or dress. Is that bloke with the bald spot and the long greying hair who gets off the bus at the local college a lecturer, mature student or maybe the cleaner. Is the woman in the grwey suit carrying a briefcase a solicitor, or maybe she is off soliciting. The smartly dressed girl with the bouffont hairdo could, of course be a hairdresser and the bald bloke in the corner listening to heavy metal on his MP3 player could be a security gaurd going off duty. And what about the seedy looking gent in the anorak sitting in the back seat of the bus. Whats his story, council worker going to work as a cleark in a housing office or a trainspotter heading for the local station to await, with baited breath, the coming of the 7.45 to Paddington.

But always remember, while you are watching and trying to identify them, someone could be watching you and trying to work out what ypou do. in fact, perhaps thats what everyone who has to spend time on a bus or train does to pass the time, and you can bet more times then enough they get it wrong.

Feeling Your Age.

When you hear someone saying 'I'm 45/55/65 tomorrow, but I dont feel it' what do they really mean. What are you suposed to feel like at a given age and why should we feel that we have to feel like that. Just because you are 55 or 60, as long as you are in good health should you feel that you should have creaking joints and aches and pains and somehow feel uneasy if you dont ?.

Much of the way we view age is a social construct based on the images we recieve through the media and through how we viewd older people when we were growing up. Older people wrere viewed as relitively sexless and heading rapidly for second childhood only a few years ago, and by old you could often count anyone over 50. In my view the endless repeats of 'The Last Of The Summer Wine' have a lot to answer for in perpetuating this image. Now, with the advances in medicine and improved diet people can continue to lead active and fufilled lives into old age and so the concept of feeling, or looking ones age becomes redundant. Perhaps also its time to dump the concepts of people being ' mutton dressed as lamb'. If, for instance, a woman of 45 feels she can carry off dressing younger why should she be condemned automatically for doing so.

On the other hand there are always exceptions, of course and blokes who suddenly decide to cover themselves in tatoos when they hit 40 should really take a step back and ask if this is the best way to express their identity.

Comments Taking Off.

Its good to see that the comments section of the blog is now getting more used and that our readers are being so imaginative in the comments that they are leaving. The comments on the hall site in particular seem to be coming along nicely.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Up in Smoke.

Is it true that £1000,00 has been spent on Fireworks for tomorrow nights firework party at the primary school ?.

I know of one dog owner who thinks that the school should pay him compensation for the money he has to spend on tranquilisers for his dog every year, not to mention for the distress caused to the dog.


I hear that a large truck became jammed on the narrow road near the chicken farm a couple of days back and had to be extricated whilst police blocked off roads in the area. I dont know if this incident was yet another example of Sat Nav misdirection but I dont suppose that anyone would be surprised if it was. The scenario of foriegn drivers with little knowledge of the local are whom can only rely on their SatNavs has become a common story throughout the south west. The owners of these vehicles should remember that SatNavs are no substitute for having drivers who know the areas they are driving in and that if using drivers with little familiarity with the area you have to at least make an attempt to train them.

Gagetry is no substitute for human experience.

No Cream ?.

Jane Isaac at The Lamb asks why there appears to be no cream in cartons of full cream milk in the way that you used to get cream in the old milk bottles. As someone who has drunk semi skimmed for more years now than I care to think about I must admit that one of the pleasures about getting milk from the bottles in the old days was getting the cream to add to your tea. The disappearence of the cream is, I suppose yet another example of the world we have lost. A world before the health and safety police took over and risk aversion became a way of life.

Tragic Event.

We were saddened to here of the death of a young person on the outskirts of the village in what appear to have been very tragic circumstances.

We send condolances to the family and friends of the person concerned.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

A Quick One

You will notice that todays blog entries are briefer then usul. This is because I have to take Rory to the vet for his yearly vaccination boosters.

Hall site pt 96

The owner of the bus on the old hall site, Mr R. Vanneck, says he has squatters rights on the site as he has been using it for ten years.

Comments ?.

A Bit Quiet

Bonfire night seems to have passed off quietly as far as the village was concerned. Whilst fireworks were set off there seemed to be a good deal fewer then in some previous years which would seem to indicate that the tighter controls on fireworks are having an effect, or people are saving them for the weekend.

Obama Victory Rally Photos.

Following on from yesterdays post regarding Barak Obama, some exclusive photographs of the Chicago victory rally taken by my nephew, Joe Carroll who was at the event.

Go to the collection entitled 'Obamarun' and use the slideshow option.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The Winner.

I notice that there has been a fair bit of interest in the outcome of the US elections expressed in the Pub in the past few days with most backing Obama.

Lets hope that for those in the US it doesnt end up like the words in the song 'Wont Get Folled Again' by The Who.

'Meet the new boss,
Same as the old boss'.

Bonfire Night In Silverton.

When I was young, the the buildup to November 5th began almost as soon as the school summer holidays ended. The local children would begin to accumulate flammable material in the big rec and much of it would be stored in the old wooden shelter which was located somewhere about where the bungalow owned by Dave and Shirley Wright now stands. By early october the older youths were touring the village with a borrowed horse and cart collecting larger items for the fire, old beds and suites, and often large numbers of old tyres. Large quantities of waste paper and cardboard boxes were also collected from what was then Perratts. One of the prime movers in this activity during my time was Stuart Chudley, who's daughter Colleen was so brutally murdered in Park close a few years ago.

Having collected the material the next step was to secure it against raids by members of the travelling community who had an interest in the tyres, and against maurauding gangs from Ellerhayes who were intent on burning our fire before the due date. Guards were mounted, but sadly they were not always sucessful in preventing attacks. Sadly, but honestly, I have to say that the pre november 5th period was not without a good deal of misbehaviour with fireworks with letter boxes coming under attack on occasion.

So, by november 5th a mighty bomfire would have been built in the rec with the wooden shelter getting some fire damage on occasions due to some premature enthusiasm by those inclined to a spot of arson. On the night itselt the fire would be lit, sometimes with a guy but often without, and what would now be regarded as noxious clouds of smoke would roll over the village. Fireworks would be set off often in a thouroughly unsafe manner, but I dont recall any serious injuries. If we wee honest I think that most of us found collecting the material for the fire more fun than burning the fire itself although often the fire would be kept going for days afterwards by the real enthusiasts.

Writing the above reminds me that we are again talking about a very different world. Bonfires and firework displays are now highly controlled and anyone attempting to build the sort of fires we did would soon have it dismantled by the authorities on grounds of public safety. Sadly, bonfire night is yet another area of life where young people are no longer allowed the freedom that we once took for granted.

Jumping Off Pays

We are pleased to report that the absailing expedition undertaken by Louise the Lamb barperson at the weekend raised £175.00 for the childrens hospice.

We think that she should perhaps consider some parachute jumping as a future fundraiser.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Silverton's Worldwide.

I see that one of the items on the agenda for the forthcoming meeting of the Silverton Local History Society is a talk by Maxine Edwards on her recent visit To Silverton, Australia. This raises the question of how many Silvertons there are worldwide. Besides our own dear green place I know of one in Scotland, the Silverton district of Dumbarton, two in the USA and one each in Australia and South Africa. Is that the total or can anyone add some more.

Whilst on the subject of Silverton down under, I believe that a photograph exists of Alan Haydon polishing the brass plate on the front of what remains of the local masonic lodge as \our Australian namesake is largely a ghost town. I suspect that Mr Haydon was trying to alert the masonic brethren closer to home that he was open to offers of membership.

Or perhaps he just has a polishing fetish.

UPDATE. I am informed by Graham Parnell that there are in fact 6 Silvertons in the USA and one in Canada (British Columbia)

What Is To Be Done ?.

With the rather decrepit minibus which now adorns the hall site. There has been a suggestion that one of the local darts teams aquires it as transportation to away matches but my own is that the drama group takes it over for a cut price remake of 'Summer Holiday'. Instead of the original intrepid group of youngsters truipping o off to Greece, or wherever, we could have our merry band of thespians going of on an expedition in search of the lost treacle mines of Butterleigh with appropriate musical interludes.

Who might take the Cliff Richard part is best left to the imagination.

New Arrival.

Congratulations to Daniel Gooding and his partner, Michelle on the latest addition to their family. I understand that a baby boy was born this morning.

Another Birthday Celebration

Nice to see the family of Robert 'Barney' Barons out in force last night to celebrate his 44th birthday. Our wel known cyclist and charity fundraiser has been suffering from a back injury of late which has temporary put paid to his usually strenupous training schedule. Hopefully, his back will soon be back in full working order enabling him to continue building for the major ride he is hoping to undertake next year.

Communications Breakdown

There was a breakdown of ccommunications amongst the darts fraternity last night. The Lamb 'A' team set off to play the Rewe Social Club at Rewe and a short time later the Rewe team aeeived at the Lamb thinking that they were playing an away match. Due to that useful little device, the mobile phone, communications were reestablished before the situation was reached where both teams started out towards there respective home destinations. Its a good thing that the mistake was not made by a team from further away than Rewe.

UPDATE> The Lamb 'A' won the eventual match 7-2

Monday, 3 November 2008

On the buses, pt 365.

I hear that a petition is being circulated against the running of the Double Deck buses in Wyndaham and Coach roads. I shall not be signing it. The major gripes with the buses as far as many are concerned is that the buses run the route in the wrong direction for the safety of the passengers waiting in Coach road, that they run too late at night and that there is a daft omission to the route in that the first buses of the day, when people are going to or returning from work if on nights, only go as far as the Square. Otherwise, the buses remain a bon for the elderly or for those with shopping or pushchairs who have to get to places like Park Close, Livingshayes road or Hillcrest.


Another of our regular readers, whilst in the course of his work at a major british airport, fell into conversation with Rick Parfitt of Status Quo who was also at the airport awaiting an arrival. Parfitt filled in our reader with the details of the veteran bands upcoming european tour. He should have asked if the quo would fancy doing a gig at The Lamb Inn Shed in aid of a worthy charity. It would have to be an accoustic set though as I doubt they would get their stage gear through the front door.


One of our regular readers tells me that when recently returning from holiday in Turkey, she was allowed to take her umberella on board the plane whilst being prevented from boarding with orange juice. This happened on the occasion she boarded the plane in Turkey and at a later plane changeover with the umberella only getting a very cursory inspection..

Given the current security climate I find this rather surprising. Does anyone else remember the fate of the Bulgarian dissident, Georgy Markov back in the eighties ?.

No Quiz

The Lamb Inn quiz team did not participate in a quiz last night as the opposing team. The Knigs Head from Cullompton pulled out due to the team being ill. Our next quiz is due to be away at The Crossways Tavern , Hele next sunday.

Sunday, 2 November 2008


What a relief to have got this close to November 5th without the village sounding like a rerun of a world war two artillery barrage all night long. It would seem that the restrictions on the sale of fireworks are at last beginning to have an effect to the great relief of both pets and their owners. Whilst some aspects of bonfire night have become overregulated in my view, the restrictions on the availability of fireworks were long overdue.

Lost History

The appearence of the latest Silverton History Society calender has led to some discussion of how much of the history of the village nas been lost. As I remarked in an earlier post the village lock up burnt down somewhere at either the end of the nineteenth, or the beginning of the twentieth centuries. The lock up was situated in Workhouse Court and the old workhouse can be seen in the phoyotograph of The Lamb and the High Street on the calender which was taken about 1880. So far, no one has been able to find a report of the fire that destroyed it. Likewise, there is no account that I know of concerning the disasterous fire which destroyed The Shambles and parts of The Square in the mid nineteenth century, Unlike the fires that destroyed large parts of Stoke Canon which were well recorded, Siloverton's conflagrations seem not to have attracted the same attention.

Another of Silverton's catalouge of lost history are the houses that once stood on the small track mear the farm once owned by the late Gordon Symonds which is now known as Windmill lane. We know that there were a number of houses there because they appear on old tithe maps and it is believed that they were probably also destroyed by fire but beyond that almost nothing is known about them or who lived there. Some believe that this settlement might even have been the original site of the first settlement that became Silverton but who knows ?. Another examle is the location of the Temperance Tavern that allegedly stood in King Street when it was Back Lane, and indeed, at least one other Tavern which supposedly stood in the same street, I am sure that others could give other examples.

All this illustrates the imprtance of the work now being done by local historians in recording the more recent history of our village and the need to preserve any material relating to the past. Even in our overdocumented society it is surprising how much slips through the net. More importantly, the real need is to preserve peoples personal and family histories so that old diary in the drawer might well turn out to be of importance to future historians in what it records about day to day life in the village.

Saturday, 1 November 2008


When not blogging, I often have a look at some music videos on Youtube and from time to time I shal pass on some good ones for the delectation of the Muso's who follow the blog. Today, an appropriate one for the times we are passing through, 'How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live' by Ry Cooder with the great Flaco Jiminez on accordion.


And so we move into November, the penultimate month of the year. This is often a month when weather conditions can vary within a week from freezing cold to uncomfortably mild. It is also the month when the winter colds and flu really get going. Its the month when winter really gets established and when you stsart contemplating the passing of yet another year of your life. November is one of those months that people get through rather than look forward to. A month both dark and dank. Its the sort of month where your free time is best spent beside a warm fire either at home or in a friendly hostelry with something warm and cheering to drink in your hand. Its not a good month for those on their own or for those whom the dark depresses. Perhaps this November we might all go out of our way to make their lives a little lighter.

The Birthday Bash

Mr Frost's birthday was celebrated in the appropriate manner at the Lamb last night. The blogging team, minus the dogs, were in attendance and Mrs Frost was at her most glamourous, a fact not lost on our musical director who was much taken with her appearence. Mr Frost's fishing partners, Mr Northey and Mr Dolmen were there as were other well wishers. There was much talk of Mike Howe's excellent range of pies as the well known piemaker also put in an appearence. I good time was had by all and Mr Frost said that he had thouroughly enjoyed his birthday, although I hear that he did not entirely escape the perils of overindulgence. Needless to say, being the man that he is, he did not neglect his stoking duties, something we were all glad of given the current weather conditions.