Thursday, 27 August 2009

Coming Shortly.

It is very possible that, once I get settled in Scotland, there will be a new blog. Provisional title Beyond Silvertonia.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Postscript: Moving On.

In early to mid september I shall be moving out of Silverton and returning to Ayr in the west of scotland where I have aquired a lease on a pleasant harbourside flat. It had become apparent to me even before the recent events that led to the termination of the blog that after twenty one years of living in a town, village life was no longer for me. When you dont drive the strain and hassle of getting to local amenities by a less than adequate public transport system becomes an ever present pain and the Silverton of 2009 is not the closely knit community that I spent the first thirty seven years of my life in. There are many people I shall miss when I leave and a few that I definately will not but thats always the way. I dont doubt that I shall still visit the village regularly as long as I have a family connection here and it will always be good to meet old friends. I dont doubt that when I am sitting on my riverside patio in the evening looking out from Ayr harbour to the Isle of Arran and the Ailsa Craig Silverton will not be far from my thoughts and any readers od Silvertonia who pass that way will always be welcome.

It may well be that I shall, in the fullness of time return to blogging. If so the blog address will appear here.

Monday, 10 August 2009

The End Of The Road.

In all probability this will be the final post on Silvertonia. It has become more and more difficult to find new material to sustain the blog and I feel that I have written everything I can think of relating to the Silverton that I grew up in and in which I spent most of the formative years of my life.

More importantly the central dynamic that has kept the blog afloat these past fourteen months, the friendship between myself and Carolyn Frost has changed. Carolyn remains one of my dearest friends but the circumstances that enabled us to create material for the blog have now altered to the extent that we cannot remain as a working partnership. Although I could continue to write alone as far as this blog is concerned, Carroll without Frost would be like Morecombe without Wise or McCartney without Lennon. It could continue but would never be the same. Without the input of my quirky, individual, perceptive friend who has lit up my life for the past two years the blog is not viable.

I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the blog in the past 14 months particularly Babyblox, Tanseylegs, Foxy and Alan Haydon in all his guises. The blog will not be deleted but will remain as part of a history of Silverton at a particular time in its existance and as a record of a special friendship. I am considering the possibilty of starting another blog but that would of necessity be a different project to what we have here. If another blog is launched a web address will be published here witghin the next few weeks.

From Silvertonia, Goodbye.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

40 years.

According to the news this morning the new head of the army foresees British involvement in Afghanistan lasting up to another 40 years.

Given the constant rate of attrition against British forces and given that the idea of what is supposed to be being achieved there constantly changes, you wonder if the British population and indeed the peoples of the other nations involved in tghis mess will stand for it for another 40 months, particularly as it is clear to everyone except Gordon Brown and the rest of the political class that the main organising centre for terrorist attacks is not Afghanistan but Pakistan and the main idealogical and financial base for islamic fundamentalism remains, as it always has been Saudi Arabia.

20 years.

I understand that 2010 will mark the 20th anniversary of Street Market and to mark the event there may be a return of the major open air gigs that used to round off the event. One of the major problems with these events was that it was never clear until the event was ubder way whether there would be enough money available to cover necessities such as lighting and stage erection. This problem was a major cause of stress to the organisers and one of the solutions that has been put to me is that refundable subscriptions of something like ten pounds could be sold in advance to cover running costs.

Perhaps its an idea worth thinking about.

New Blood.

word has it that a number of those who have been active in running and organising the Street Market over the past few years will be taking a step backwards from the running of the event next year. Hopefully, some younger people with new ideas and fresh energy can be found who can contribute to what is Silverton's premier event of the year.

Maybe its time to shift the focus of Street Market away from the main street and the stalls to one of becoming a wider community festival.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

New York, New York.

Congratulations to Alan Issac at The Lamb Inn for winning a three day trip to New York curtesy of The Wickwar Brewery in Gloustershire. It appears that the trip was won for the substantial sales of their excellebt ale 'Bankers Draught' in 'the Lamb' last month..

I also hope that Alan and Jane will enjoy their forthcoming trip to Ireland. A good chance to relax after the rigours of Street Market.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Street Market.

The annual street market came and went yesterday. Most of the day was cloudy and overcast with some rain and drizzle but the overall attendence seemed to be good despite the weather. There seemed to be quiye a wide range of stalls including produce, pies and bread and the usual range of bric a brac, jewellry and leather. The community band played, the drama groiup did their perfprmances and of course we had the tug of war with the real Lamb team emerging victorious and on the female side Thorverton defeating Silverton. The addition of Foxy's Karaoke/Disco at the 'the Tuns' seems to have been a sucess but as I called it a day early last evening I domt know how the other music based evening events went.

Unfortunately, although I took a number of photographs of yesterdays proceedings some technical difficulties mean that I cant add them to the blog immediately. Hopefully, we shall have them here soon.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Serious Issues.

There will be no blog entry today beyond this one. Serious issues have come to the boil and I do not feel in a position to post anything else today. Hopefully I shall be able to do some street market coverage tomorrow.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

What Music Are You Listening Today ?.

So, what music are you listening today on your MP3, CD or maybe even good old fashioned audiotape or vinyl if you have such things. I have been listening to a couple of albums by the late, lamented, Warren Zevon over the last couple of days. First his classic late seventies album 'Excitable Boy' and today the album he made a few years ago when he already knew that he was dying of lung cancer, aptly titled 'Life I'll Kill Ya'.

Tomorrow, reggae from The Jolly Brothers.

Lamb Inn Quiz.

Sorry to report that there will not be a report from me about last nights Stret Market Quiz as I decide to take the night off to do other things. I feel that I have done my quiz quotient for the time being. Perhaps someone else would like to place a report in the comments section.

Whats On The Blog ?.

People keep approaching me with the question 'whats on the blog ?.' That seems like a very silly question to me. If they want to know whats on the blog the simple solution is to read it.

More On Three Tuns Entertainment.

I have been contacted by Paul Fox to clarify what is happening at the Three Tuns by way of entertainment and food on Street Market Day. As advertised, music will commence at 10.00am and 'The Tuns' will be offering sandwiches, bageuettes and a full bar menu throughout the day. In the evening they will be offering a full A La Carte menu and there will be a Karaoke/Disco with fun and games and prizes to be won.

Top prize will be two first class rail return tickets Exeter to London with First Great Western Trains. other prizes will be a meal for two, bottles of wine, free beer and chocolates. And dont forget folks Darren, elected Silverton's Barperson Of The Year on this very blog will be on hand to entertain.

Sounds like a good day out, as does the fayre on offer at the other two. Street Market will be offering a great range of entrertainment whatever the weather.

A Bigger Splash.

One of opur regular readers complains that some idiot drivers are taking advantage of the current wet weather to drive through puddles at high speed and attempt to soak pedestrians. Presumably most of these people are car drivers and one hopes that they might be similarly treated by drivers of Artic's when next on the motorway or that they might fall foul of a trailer load of dung.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A Matter Of Training.

When we have a local brew specially produced locally for Street Market, as is the case this year with 'Carnival King, it might be an idea if bar staff at our local hostelries could point out the fact to visitors to the area who come in to order a pint of ale and it is not left to customers to do so. We have few enough local industries as it is and other local busnisses should be doing all they can to make sure that manufacturers like Exe Valley Breweries are supported.

Will It Ever Stop ?.

There seems to be only one topic of conversation in the village at the moment, yje continuing appaling weather. I got soaked whilst out with the dog this morning in what appeared to be the usual daily semi tropical downpour. One wonders whether the usual Street Market luck where the weather is concerned will hold out yet again this year. The prospects so far are less then promising.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Jumping Again.

I see that the sponsorship forms for the next Exeter Leukemia Fund parachute jump to be held on September 4th are doing the rounds. I Hope that everyone will help in sponsoring and supporting this worthy cause.

I should think we shall soon have enough trained parachutists in the village to restage the battle off Arnhem.

Carnival King.

The annual brew specially developed for Street Market by Exe Valley Breweries is now on sale around the pubs. This years brew goes under the name 'CVarnival King' and is an excellent brew indeed and to be highly recommended.

The Questions.

So what were the questions that won the 'Diddley-Squat' team £260.00 at The Trout Inn on sunday night ?. They went something like this.

Q. Boy George once worked for The Royal Shakespeare Company. What was his job.

A. Makeup Artist.

Q. Where is the White Horse bridge ?.

A. The New Wembley Stadium.

Q. Who were Pelham, Russell and Derby.

A. british Prime Ministers.

Q. John Hewer who died last month at the age of 86 played a jovial character on Television between 1967 and 1998. Who did he play ?.

A. Captain Birdseye.

So there you are.

End Of Story.

Sorry to report that the other Housemartin chick being raised by Alison and Trevor Newton has now also died. Its always a very tricky business trying to raise wild birds but well done to Alison and Trevor for giving it a go.

Monday, 27 July 2009


A couple of updates on stories we have covered recently.

Leo, Grandson of Paul and Carolyn Frost, is now out of hospital and doing well, so I understand.

On the closure of the 'Johnnie Walker' bottling plant in Ayrshire, about 20'000 people, equivelant to half the population of the town of Kilmarnock where the plant is based, marched through the town yesterday as part of the campaign to keep the plant open. The suceeding rally was addressed by all the leaders of Scotland's main political parties.

Cricket Off.

The atrocious werather yesterday put paid to the first leg of the annual cricketing contest between The Lamb Inn and The Duke Of York from Iddesleigh. The match, which was due to have been played at Thorverton was rained off before it started and the teams had to settle for a skittling contest at The Lamb Inn.

We hape that the weather will be more favourable for the return cricket match due to be played at the end of August.


For the second time this year the team known as 'Diddley Squat' visited The Trout Inn at Bickleigh last night to take part in the monthly quiz and came away two hundred and sixty quid the richer. Those who could have joined the time but didnt, will be kicking themselves now.

Well done to 'The Tamworth Two' who scraped into the top three in the main quiz.

Battle Of The Bands.

The Cougars, appearing at the Lamb Inn Shed this weekend, are less then chuffed with the publicity for the band 'Eventine' who are appearing down the road at the Silverton Inn. The publicity material for 'Eventine' describes the band as being 'young and vibrant'. 'The Cougars' take this to mean that the youthful demeanour of the Silverton Inn attraction outweighs The Cougars' decades of musical experience.

'Eventine' beware. 'The Cougars' are a force to be reckoned with when they are uncaged.

Elsewhere, on Street Market Day' the Three Tuns are presenting all day Karaoke from 10.00am. It will be interesting to see who will be willing to give their rendition of 'New York, New York' or whatever. at ten in the morning stone cold sober.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

They Came And Went.

The Morris sides duly came and went from the Lamb Inn yesterday. Morris men from as far away as Derbyshire did their thing in less than ideal weather conditions outside the pub at lunchtime and then retired to the Lamb Inn shed for a meal which they all enjoyed. It was interesting to note that like so many other group pastimes these days, most of those taking part were far from being in the first flush of youth. Whatever ones view of Morris dancing it is a traditional part of english culture and if it fails to be carried on by succeeding generations it undoubtedly will be a considerable loss. One opnly has to contrast the age of Morris dancers with those who take part in Scottish and Irish traditional dancing and culture to see the difference. Perhaps in countries like scotland and Ireland where the defence of culture has been a vital component in the struggle to retain national identity these things are taken more seriously. Perhaps it is time that the English also began to consider the importance of their identity beyond Britishness.

Wise Words.

As has been widely reported, the last British survivor of the slaughterhouses that were the trenches of WW1 has died at the age of 111. Hopefully Harry Patch will be remembered not just as one of the longest surviving veterans of WW1 but also for his statement that war is nothing but organised murder.

Words we would all do well to remember.

One Bird Down.

Sad to report that one of the House Martin chicks being raised by Alison Newton has now died. The sole survivor was doing well up to yesterday afternoon as far as I am aware.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Silverton's Transgendered Mayor.

No, dont all get overexcited. Strange things have not been going on whilst you slept but it seems that the city of Silverton, Oregon, USA has a transgendered mayor who is in trouble with the local council for not following the work dress code by wearing a miniskirt. To find out more about this visit the blog 'Harry's Place'

and scroll down the page to the CNN video regarding this matter.

I wonder if this incident will encourage any of the parish council to 'come out of the wardrobe', so to speak.

Around The World.

There was an interesting conversation in the pub last night. Miles Snowden asked if when the Lamb was full there were any countries in the world which someone in the pub had not visited. We did manage to think of a few African countries and assorted pariah states like Myanmar and North Korea where Silvertonians have not set foot but in these days of reletively cheap intercontinental travel there can be very few.

Perhaps some of our readers might like to tell us of the most unusual and obscure countries they have visited.

Turning Japanese.

Good luck to Karen, Sarah and the others on their forthcoming trip to Japan. We hope that whilst they are there they might just take the time to publicise the blog in those parts. I am sure that many Japanese wishing to learn more about English society and culture might well benefit from reading our little blog.

Street Market Music.

I am going to put advertisments for all the musical events being organised by the three pubs for Street Market on the sidebar of the blog so that people can have an easy guide to whats on.

Carnival Capers.

Thanks to Maxine Edwards for the following summary of the Drama Group production to be performed at Street Market.

Madame Rose and her travelling troupe of street players arrive in Silverton to put on some entertainment but meet with some opposition from the carnival committee led by the formidable Hermoinie Wright (right by name-right by nature) but she has met her match in council official Petty Von Stropp (grandaughter of the infamous Hetty Von Stropp who last appeared in the February Review at the Community Hall).

Will the travellers win the hearts of the carnival committee ?. Will the committe prevail against officialdom (rules must be obayed) ?. and what is the moral to the tale ?.

Come and watch one of the performances - at 12.00 midday and 3pm on the 'little rec' on Street Market day.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Get Well Soon.

We were saddened to hear last night that Leo, grandson of Paul and Carolyn Frost and son of Kim and Emma was rushed into hospital on the eve of his third birthday with what appears to be a form of viral infection. We hope that his stay will not be a long one.

Get well soon, Leo.

Dog Control.

When walking Rory in New Barn road this morning I was approached up the road by a woman with a number of children and a spaniel dog. When the party approached the Spaniel pulled his lead away from its owner an proceeded to attack Rory. Although there was no harm done I certainly gave the dogs owner a piece of my mind. Spaniels, amongst other breeds, are strong and active dogs and those who own or control them should really make sure that they have a firm grip on them when other dogs are aroud, particularly when there are children in the vicinity. Failure to do so can have consequences.

Silverton Inn- Street Market News.

Completing our round up of what is happening at our three pubs on Street Market day we come to the Silverton Inn. The Silverton Inn will be serving breakfasts from 10.00am to Noon, Lunches from Noon to 2.00pm and and an evening menu from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. Later in the evening there will be music from 'Eventine'.

Thursday, 23 July 2009


I had an excellent meal of sausages and chips at The Lamb Inn last night and it reminded me of how lucky we are to have a number of good local sausage manufacturers of sausages, notably Vesey's and Chinn's. Its certainly an advance on the days when all most people usually got were the awful Wall's sausages and the like. There is nothing like a good full flavoured sauysage wheter with batter or without to keep your appetite satisfied and at least, these days there is more you can do with a sausage then fry it. Sausage casseroles being just the thing for a winters evening.

But as we old boy scouts all know the best sausages you will find are the ones frying over an open camp fire. The thought of sausages coming to their full, ripe, fried, flavour in such conditions almost makes me nostalgic for shorts.

Well almost.

Shrinking Band.

Sad to report but it seems that the community band is having a struggle to get itself together in the run up to the Street Market. There have been consistant problems regarding band members holidays clashing with Street Market and I understand that the band was down to a duo at band practice last night the latest problem being that the band leaders car broke down on the way to the village.

Hopefully, things may go better for them come the big day.

Spreading Fast.

According to the latest figures, new cases of swine flu hit the 100,000 mark last week, the figure that it had been expected to register at the height of the flu season in the autumn. Although swine flu does not seem to be as virulent as some other types of flu it does appear to be highly infectious.

The government now have their flu pandemic website up and running and it can be found at:

Bird Rescue.

Now a story to make you go 'aah'. A couple of days ago Alison Newton came across a couple of baby housemartins at the bottom of Parsonage lane who appeared to have been the survivors of an accident to their nest which had left the nest lying on the ground. Alison, being of kindly disposition decided to attempt to save the chicks and took them home, despite the warnings of those who said that because Housemartins usually live on insects they would be unlikely to thrive on any other type of food. Having contacted someone with experience in animal rescue Alison was told that small quantities of cat food would do the job and so she began establishing them on such a diet. She also got them settled in a basket in the airing cupboard.

Two days later it appears that they are still alive and appear to be well being fed every hour and a half by Alison's band, Trevor. We shall await with interest to see how this story develops and I am sure that we all hope that it has a happy ending.

Sheep Rampage.

I hear that there were two mass escapes from the Prispen field this morning. Some got as far as the 'big rec'. Due to the sterling efforts of Trevor and Alison Newton and the owner of the sheep, Peter Barons the miscreants were returned to their place of residence without damage being caused to gardens in the area.

Pesky sheep.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

A Loss Of Spirit.

Combining the recent themes on the blog of factory closures and drink I am sure that those with an interest in Whisky will be concerned at the news that the international drinks conglomarate Diageo are planning to close the Distilleries that make 'Johnnie Walker' whiskey at Kilmarnock and Port Dundas in the west of scotland. The proposed closures would mean the disappearence of yet another iconic brand from these islands if the proposals go ahead, although it appears that talks between Diageo and the Scottish government have been described by the company as 'constructive'.

Hopefully, 'Johnnie Walker' can keep striding on.

Closing Time.

Yet another plug for Dave Osler. On his blog today he has a piece lamenting to demise of the old fashioned boozer, in his case a pub in North London called 'The Halfway House' which has now been rebranded 'The Camden Eye', complete with Wi-Fi access and continental barstaff but I suspect that many of us know just what he means. With a report recently published that states that something like fifty pubs a week are closing due to the recession and social change few would argue that the licensed trade does not need to move with the times but do we really want a situation where we end up with pubs being almost entirely under the control of chains like Wetherspoons, Harvester and Punch Taverns or entirely converted into wine bars and bistro's. Admittedly, as Dave Osler points out, the Olde English boozer could be intimidating to many women with perhaps an overly male clientele and there was a tendency for fights to break out on a saturday night, I dont see how replacing them with faceless, branded nonentities or extortionately priced fake continental cafes is any improvement.

Its a theme that this blog has touched upon before but again we raise the cry. WE still have three puns in the village, lets use them or we will surely lose them. And if we have a few spare quid in our pocket lets try to use the pubs in our neighbouring village, Thorverton. Especially the irreplaceble Exeter Inn.

Wrong Number.

Just a short message for Michael Carroll who I know reads this blog from time to time. Next time you get the urge to phone your brother in Chicasgo at 3. 30am please make sure that you have the right number. No harm done but some of us have enough trouble sleeping as it is.



Late July.

Its a funny old time of the year is late jUly. The summer should be in full swing, the english school holidays have just begun and yet, you can just detect the first signs of the change in the year coming. The mornings are just that bit darker and the street lights are beginning to come on just that bit earlier at night. You just get that hint that if the best of the year is not yet past it might well soon be. As the year creeps on so your life creeps on. Perhaps this is the time of the year to think about how much of your life has passed and if you feel that the first signs of advancing age are encroaching how to make the best use of what is left of your summer or autumn before winter arrives. Perhaps its time to review your career path and perhaps think about new directions or to think about what can be harvested from current relationships or whether the crops in that field are dead and new and more resilient crops need to be planted before chillier times set in. Time perhaps, to think about how your needs change as the seasons of your life change and which of your circle will be important to you in times ahead.

Its funny what thoughts come to your mind in late july.

Tears To A Glass Eye.

Occasionally I have mentioned notable scottish expressions and one that comes to mind is 'tears to a glass eye'. Someone might tell you a remarkably exaggerated sob story and you might reply 'That one would bring tears to a glass eye'.

Todays word from the old scottish tongue is 'houghmagandie'. I am sure there will be a few here who know what it means, if not, look it up.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

More On Wind Turbine Factory Closure.

A while ago I posted on the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle Of Wight. The Vestas plant was the only one in Britain producing wind turbines and its closure allegedly has to do with the falling demand for wind turbines across Europe which seems a little bizarre given the enthusiasm for them in this part of the world. It would now seem that the Vestas workers are now occupying the factory as part of the ongoing fight to save the plant.

For those interested in this issue there is now a blog.

About Time.

i notice that the hedge has at last had its summer cut on Kenson hill between the village and Stumpy cross. Not a moment too soon in my view as unofficial passing places seemed to have developed in the undergrowth coming from the hedges to allow some sort of passing in safety and the hill had become a pedestrians nightmare.

Now if someone would only cut the hedge behind the former gallery and the ever expanding hedge growth in Roach Lane we might be getting somewhere.

Oldest Swingers In Town.

As usual, the oldest swingers in town, 'The Cougars' will be leaving there zimmer frames at home for their annual appearence at The Lamb Inn on Street Market night, August 1st. Come along and give the old chaps some support. They probasbly will need supporting onto the stage and off it and who knows, it might be the last time we see them.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Walking On The Moon.

Few people can be unaware that today is the 40th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon. Over the jast few days the famous sentance uttered by Neil Armstrong about 'One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind' has rarely been far from radio and TV. Many people can remember exactly where they were when Armstrong set foot upon the moon but I must admit that as far as I can remember I was tucked up in bed and was annoyed when someone came to give me the news.

If you can remember what you were doing on this historic occasion feel free to use the comments column to share your memories with us.

Secrets And Lies.

Every village has its fair share of secrets hidden away so well that they never even come to the attention of the local gossip merchants. Silverton is no exception to that and down the years this blogger may well have got wind of a few of them. There are people whose real lives are somewhat different to their public image and sometimes you get a small glimpse of the secrets that hide behind the lies. Once you have been around as long as I have the secrets that are big news today fade into the background of your mind and in time fade away altogether unless they eventually spill out into the open as can sometimes happen. Of course this blog does not deal in such matters as we respect the secrets of our readers and and other members of our community but you might ask are there any juicy secrets lurking out there that I am aware of ?.

Well, there may be.

Or I could be lying.

Big Karaoke Event.

Continuing to flag up events taking place during Street Market The Three Tuns will be having quite a major Karaoke event during the street market itself and during the evening. No doubt all and sundry will be spending the next couple of weeks practising their unique renditions of old favourites like 'My way, 'Simply The Best' and 'Crazy' to the general annoyance of family, neighbours and companion animals.


Somebody raised an interesting point with me this morning. Will the scaffolding around the old gallery building be allowed to stay there for the duration of Street Market ?. I would have thought that there would be some health and safety issues involved if things remain as they are.

Morris Performance.

As part of a visit to the area by The Morris Ring, the national organisation of morris dancers, 3 morris sides will be performing outside The Lamb Inn this saturday at 12.05pm. Given that the sides touring the area at the weekend are said to be some of the best in the country this should be an event worth seeing.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Testing Them Out.

I was in the pub yesterday afternoon when one of the assistants to the prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for this constituency, Mel Stride came in and asked whether anyone had any issues that we wanted Mr Stride to take up. The issue of the double yellow lines in Fore Street was raised and I raised the issue of the unsuitability of our main access route along Upexe Lane for the volume of traffic it now has to carry. Whilst I am by no means a supporter of the Conservative party and certainly will not be voting for Mel Stride I think it has to be recognised that he will almost certainly be our MP within the next twelve months. That being the case, if the Tory party now are expressing a wish to take up local issues we should be testing them out as regards the strengh of their real committment. If people are approached by Mr Stride I would urge them to make sure that our future MP is fully aware of the issues that concern the village and that people will have no hesitation in following up what progress he has made in resolving issues raised.

He could of course, also read this blog as an indication of what concerns Silverton.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

On The Pull.

Rumour has it that several of the teams that usually take part in the annual tug of war contest at the Street Market are threatening not to take part because one team takes the contest too seriously and engages in a high degree of training. Surely, the purpose of entering such contests is to win and to win you have to make serious preperations. One wonders if certain teams really want such a contest to be a totally fun occasion or whether some of those who might be considering not entering might be considered a bunch of pussies.

Front Seat Storm.

I hear that there has been something of a controversy amongst members of the Over 60's Club about who gets to sit in the front seat on the coach on club outings. It would seem that the Over 60's, despite their accumulation of life experience, have members amongst them who have not moved on from their schooldays when disputes about who sat next to whom and in what seats were the order of the day. I believe that our school students now have to sign contracts regarding good behaviour on the school bus but there were few such restraints in my day when bullying could be rife and vandalism on the school coach was far from unknown.

Presumably however, the over 60's do not get up to some of the things that used to go on between some of the older male and female school students on some of the school buses on which I have travelled.If they do the Over 60's Club outings must be a more interesting day out then they appear at first sight.

Steel Band.

In a change to the established order of things at the Street Market the traditional jazz band that usually plays outside The Lamb Inn on Street Market Day afternoon has this year been replaced by A steel band. The Blackdown Hills steel band will be making their first appearence in this part of the world, as far as I know, and you can hear a sample of their repotoire on their website:

Friday, 17 July 2009

Flying Objects.

Jane Isaac tells us that whilst standing outside The Lamb Inn last night she observed a fast moving brightly lit object coming over the village that was rapidly followed by two others. Before our local UFO enthusiasts get too excited however it appears that the objects sighted might well have been the type of Japanese lanterns that fly though the sky with flames coming from them.

I wonder who was rekeasing such flying objects in the village last night.


A number of well known childrens authors have stated that they will no longer be undertaking visits to schools because they are now being required to pay £64.00 to obtain a certificate from the Criminal Records Beareu certifying that they are fit persons to have contact with children. The authors quite reasonably state that when they visit schools they speak to children in groups and have almost no contact with children on an individual basis.

On the radio this morning a spokesperson for the CRB stated that the authors were being required to undergo the checks because they were in regular contact with school pupils from a position of trust where they might build up relationships with individual children. A heating engineer then emailed the programme to say that although most of his work involved visiting schools to deal with cooling systems in staff rooms he was now also being asked by schools for a CRB certificate. The CRB spokesman also told him that as a regular visitor to schools he was also in a position where he could build up trust with individuals.

We all want to see children protected as far as is reasonably possible, especially in the wake of horrors like the Soham murders. You wonder however where this mania for CRB disclosure is going to end. Supermarket checkout workers and and staff at fast food outlets have regular access to children and young people, why not CRB checks for them ?. Now we have family freindly pubs why not checks for bar staff and those who wait on tables ?. Why not go the whole hog and make people get their CRB disclosures before they are allowed to have children in the first place ?.

Sadly, for all the CRB checks some paedophiles will always slip through the net. CRB checks offer no cast iron guarantee of stopping the perverts. What they do achieve as far as I can see is making everyone guilty until proved innocent, deterring people who may have a genuine interest in working with young people from going beyond the first hurdle and providing yet another method for government generating income beyond normal methods of taxation.

The Masked Man. Photo.

We have now been supplied with a photograph of the masked hooligan who recently terrorised staff at a local hairdressing salon. Knowing something of this rascally fellow it is probably just as well he kept the bag over his head.

Apparently there is no truth to the rumour that he was the rather smelly fellow with the cider cans who was arrested in the square recently. We can confirm that Bagman was out of the country at the time.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

All The Old Dudes.

I see from a post on the blog of the ever excellent, Dave Osler that the 1970s Glam Rock band, Mott The Hoople, are doing some reunion gigs in London later this year. What makes this reunion slightly more interesting then some others is that the lead singer, Ian Hunter celebrated his 70th birthday last month. As Dave Osler rightly points out how can Hunter blast out the old hits like 'All The Young Dudes' and keep a straight face.

Perhaps the band would be better doing the Little Feat number 'Old Folks Boogie'.

Green Cross Code.

A random thought from the ever inventive, if quirky, mind of Carolyn Frost regarding pedestrian crossings..

Why in these days of diversity is the symbol on a pedestrian crossing that of a green man ?. Surely this is somewhat sexist. What about replacing it with a green woman ?. then again should one go further and replace it with a symbol representing a green transsexual, although what that might look like is best left to the imagination.

Nice one Carolyn, but I might add why does the symbol have to be green. I would have thought that in some of the Gay districts of our major cities you could have a pink symbol depicting two blokes holding hands. Then why should the Black community be left out. You could have a symbol of a dreadlocked Rasta. Moving on to Muslim areas you could have a woman in a Burqua but you would have to make sure that if you had some chap wearing a turban and a beard it was not taken to be an image of the Prophet or you might get a lot of pedestrian crossing signs being incinerated by the likes of Al-Majiroun. The same might well happen if the Pagans saw a sign representing the Wicker Man. In Scotland you could have tartan crossing signs representing men in kilts. In Wales a sheep might be appropriate.

Perhaps we are better sticking with the green man and following the Green Cross code..

Who Was That Masked Man ?..

Who was the well known Silvertonian who walked into a local hairdressing salon recently wearing a paper bag over his head with the words'dont laugh' inscribed on the front.

It would seem that he is replacing his usual contribution to the world of entertainment with a shot at performance art.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Rising Costs.

I heard from a member of the Street Market Committee last night about the ever rising costs of staging the event due to increased insurance payments and the increasingly obtrusive use of health and safety regulations by the local authorities. Whilst we may well object to paying to walk down Fore street on Street Market Day we should all remember the costs of staging the event even before the first penny is raised for charity.

the Street Market has had an excellent saftey record down the years and those involved in the organisation of the event probably have a better understanding of the health and safety issues then a bunch of MDDC jobsworths. You sometimes think that some local authorities will never be satisfied until every last public event is shut down and that total health and safety rules supreme. I suppose if that ever happens the only saving grace will be that a whole layer of local government officials might become redundant but I suspect that they would just move on to enforcing their will within the home. I am glad that I grew up in the era when you could still have your carnival floats on a lorry. Heaven knows what the healh and safety police would make of a procession of heavy goods vehicles going up our narrow main streets today.

It's Here.

I hear that Silverton has its first case of swine flu. We all hope that the person concerned will soon make a full recovery but this news should be a reminder to us all of just how quickly this virus is spreading across the country. I remember when I was last in scotland at the start of may, this virus was still largely confined to Mexico. The current thinking seems to be that the disease will die down a bit over the summer before really getting into its stride when the autumn and winter arrive. I hope that the current predicitions regarding the severity of the virus are correct, that most of those who catch the virus recover quickly and that a vaccine is soon available.

Whatever happened to Bird Flu ?. I wonder if that one is still lurking out there preparing to go global.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Street Market Quiz.

The annual Street Market quiz will be held at The Lamb Inn on Wednesday July 29th at 8.30pm. The main theme of the quiz, as is the case with the Street Market itself will be 'Carnival'. This quiz is traditionally very well attended so those interested should get their teams organised shortly.

I believe a certain regular commentator on this blog will be playing a major part in writing the quiz. It should be of a high standard.

'A Walk Around Silverton'.

Graham Parnell has asked me to point out that there is an abridged version of 'The Book Of Silverton' titled 'A Walk Around Silverton', which contains newer material and photographs, which has been on sale in the three pubs and the SPAR shop. Copies cost £3.00

Monday, 13 July 2009

A Suggestion.

I was talking to someone this morning who, despite having lived in the village for sometime, had no knowledge of the history of Silverton as it relates to papermaking. I am sure that many people move in to the village and move out again without ever knowing much of the history of the village and the surrounding area. We have, of course, the Book Of Silverton which is a useful resource but is large and cumbersome and not what everyone would want on their bookshelf.

A good few years ago I believe the Womens Institute published a small pamphlet covering the outline of Silverton history and perhaps it might be an idea to now produce something similar. Broadly, something that would be an easy reference point for those interested in learning more about the village and the factors that made it what it is. It may be that this is a subject covered in the new 'Welcome Packs' which I have not yet seen but if not perhaps it is something that the Local History Society or the 'We Live Here' project might consider.

It's All Too Quiet Again.

The village seems to have gone very quiet again. I am really struggling to find matyerial to keep the blog going on a daily basis. Even the comments boxes are unusually quiet. Has every one gone on holiday or are you all ill with swine flu ?. Surely there is something going on out there that you would like us to publicise or is it all material that is to sensitive for this particular location. Perhaps its time to set up an anonymous blog that prints the real news about whats going on 'under the carpet', so to speak but I am not sure if I am up to doing that sort of work myself.
Never mind. Street Market is coming up. That usually provides a story or two.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

A Wet One.

I did'nt sleep too well last night due to the heavy rain battering off the windows , the wind banging doors and me thinking too much about 'Elephants'. Its all a bit too autumnal for my liking this early in July. It reminds us of what we have to come as the year draws on. Never mind, the school holidays are nearly upon us and I am sure that we will all be hoping that the weather improves for the childrens long summer break. I am sure that the rain will have been welcomed by the farmers and by those who object to having their water bills added to by the necessity to water their garden plants

The Elephant In The Living Room.

A concept that will be familiar to most of us. The large issue that sits in the lives of many families or within many relationships which everyone knows about but no one once to talk about because once the 'Elephant' wakes up it becomes totally destructive of everything around it. You have to be very careful about these 'elephants' when people who dont know they are there blunder into situations they know nothing of and start behaving like that other legendary destructive animal.

The bull in the china shop.

Skydive Video.

We now have access to a video of Steve Hogarth and friends doing their charity skydive back in june. You can find it on youtube:

Saturday, 11 July 2009

And The Winner Is !.......Darren.

We now have the final result of the 'Silverton's Favorite Barperson' poll. The results were.

Darren (Three Tuns) 14 Votes.
Brenda (Lamb Inn) 12 Votes.
Louise (Lamb Inn) 7 Votes
Phill (Silverton Inn) 2 Votes.
Mike (Three Tuns) 1 Vote.
Amanda (Silverton Inn) 0 Votes.

So we therefore declare Darren of the Three Tuns Silverton's Favourite Barperson for 2009. As previously stated we are not in a position to hand out awards but I am sure that our readers will be buying him a celebratory drink or two in the near future.

Friday, 10 July 2009

They Are Coming Back.

I hear that Alan and Maureen Haydon will be back from their continental adventures on sunday. The blog will, I have no doubt soon be receiving an increased flow of comments to the comments box and the Lamb Inn will be receiving an increased amount of cash flow.

Hacking Away.

Nothing to do with dodgy journalistic practises on this occasion. I have been at work again hacking down overgrown bushes at Wyndham road and I wondered which genius first decided that having bushes like Buddlia's in your garden was a good idea. The things flower for a short period and look great but the rest of the time seem to grow a foot every time your back is turned. Unless you keep a tight rein on them you have all the bother of cutting them down and trying to dispose of the branches, not a difficult job in the days when every good gardener had a regular bonfire but a lot less easy in these pollution concious days when bonfires are frowned upon, when not outright illegal. A chopped up Buddlia takes up your Wheelie bin in no time at all and its not always easy to find transport to take the stuff to the tip.

My answer eliminate the pesky bushes before they take over your garden and your life.

Thursday, 9 July 2009


According to reports in 'The Guardian' and not denied by News International. it seems that the ' News Of THe World' has been invo;ved in a who;esale bugging operation against the mobile phones of anyone it seems to think might provide a story and that many of those so targetted were never informed of these activities by the police despite the OIld Bill being well aware of them.

I dont doubt that if you or I indulged in such activities against our neighbours mobiles we should very soon have had our collars felt but it seems that only the former royal correspondent of the NOtW got his just cumuppence for such activities. If this practice was as widespread within the newspaper as seems may well have been the case, lets hope that many more of the colleagues of the former correspondent, Mr Moncrieff, will soon be following his footsteps for a spell at her majesty's pleasure.

I would imagine that 'Public interest' is no defence for those trawling peoples in boxes in the hope of finding a story.

Dont Forget Folks.

Dont forget folks that voting for Silverton's favourite barperson ends on Saturday morning. If you have not voted yet please do so and make sure that your significant others, family. friends. workmates and anyone I have not thought of do likewise.

It could be a tight finish.

Marching On.

The continuing struggle to maintain and devolop the Community Band set me to thinking about my former area of residence... the west of Scotland. There is a part of the world with no shortage of community bands of one sort or another, although not all of them are to everyones taste. As I mentioned on the blog last year you have the pipe bands which are usually uncontroversial, but you also have the marching bands, mainly the flute, accordion and drum bands associated with the Orange Order and carrying such names as 'Brigton True Blues' or 'The Loyal Sons Of King William'. At this time of the year, in Glasgow and the surrounding counties, on a saturday or sunday morning you will find them, dressed in a variety of colourful uniforms, gathering in some back street prior to marching off to one of the local gatherings that culminate in the huge''Orange Walk' that goes through the centre of Glasgow on the first saturday in july. Then the city centre echoes to the thunder of the Lambeg Drums and the shrill wistle of the flutes as the bands blast out the orange repotoire invariably containing the Orange anthem 'The Sash My Father Wore'. The bands and lodges are often accompanied by huge gangs of young people from arreas like Dennistoun or parts of Lanarkshire or Ayrshire, drunk on Buckfast, draped in union jacks and screaming abuse at anything deemed catholic, Irish or anyone they consider less then white.

On the other side of the religious divide, smaller but still active, we have the Republican flute bands usualy named after a deceased member of the IRA, one of the best known being the 'Volunteer Sean McIlvena Republican Flute Band'. Before the IRA ceasefire these bands were usually restricted in parading to certyain defined areas but have in recent years seem to be more accepted. One of the strangest incidents involving a RFB that I can remember was on the huge demonstration in Glasgow in 1988 to mark the 70th birthday of Nelson Mandela when ' The Rising Pheonix RFB' from Edinburgh turned up to take part. Because of the controversial nature of the band the events organisers band them from taking part in the procession with their instruments and they marched at the back in correct formation whistling their repotoire.

So other parts of these islands dont have the same problems that we do in forming community bands. Whether we would be wanting some of the bands that they have elsewhere may be open to question but we could certainly do with some of their enthusiasm and perhaps they could spare us a flute player or a couple of Lambegs for Street Market.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Wind Turbine Plant To Close.

An addition to the story on wind turbines we carried recently. From a story on another blog I see that the only plant in Britain, its on the Isle Of Wight, that manufactures wind turbines is threatened with closure by its owners, The Vestas Corperation. 600 people look set to be made redundant.

Given the rapid spread of wind turbines across the countryside the decision to close the only British plant that makes them seems bizarre. It would appear that its possible that those who oppose the turbine planned for Aishe Barton may not only been getting an unwanted turbine but a non British one as well.

Band Call.

Once more I have an appeal from the community Band for more musiciaNS. It would seem, that due to holiodays, some of the existing members will not be available for Street Market. Potential band members should head for the Community Hall next tuesday evening.

Charity Ambush.

I was in Tiverton this morning and there seemed to be collectors for a cancer research charity all along Fore Street and into Bampton Street.While no one would argue with the validity of the cause being collected for, it was obvious that people were getting fed up with being harrassed over such a small area of pavement by so many collectors. Given that the whole of Tiverton town centre is in a small and contained area I would have tgought that about three strategically placed collectors could have done the job which seemed to have involved something like double that number.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Frog Off.

Rory the dog became very excited at something lurking in the bushes at the top of Coach Road yesterday morning and dragged a very irate young frog out of the undergrowth which subsequently hopped off at high speed up the road. It never fails to amaze me that so long after the building of Wyndham Road and the loss of The Meade and 'The Stugs' it contained, that so many amphibians of one sort or another still use the area as home.

Rear View.

A young woman of our aquaintence was recently complaining about walking along the rather dangerous peice of road between Red Cross and the village. She said that she had been involved in near misses on occasions and on others had been shouted at by passing motorists. Her partner rather ungallently commented that the motorists had not been shouting at her because she was taking up road space but rather were shouting at her in appreciation of her rear view.

We could not possibly comment of course.


Its good to see that organised groups of people from within the village are now using our lanes and streets for regular walks. Beyond being a physically healthy activity this is also an opportunity for people of all ages to get out of their homes and meet other people thus preventing lonliness and isolation. Additionally, it also means that people within the village are increasingly aware of the problems that confront pedestrians from the increased traffic that seems to afflict parts of the village, notably the square. Its also good to see that groups of walkers from outside the villaghe are increasingly using our footpaths at weekends and also using some of our local hostelries for refreshments.

We also of course, have increasing numbers of cyclists using our roads at weekends and holiday periods. Cycling is another physical activity that should be encouraged and many of the cyclists who pass through the village are friendly and observe most of the rules of the road. Sadly however most still seem to still lack the bells and other warning devices that this blog has commented on previously. It is a shame when the healthy alternatives to the motor car, walking and cycling, end up in opposition to each other.

Monday, 6 July 2009


The Annual General Meeting of the trustees of the Community Hall will be held at the hall at 7.30pm. Monday 13th Jily.

All welcome

'We Live Here'.

A 'Drop-In' session on the progress of the 'We Live Here' initiave will be held at the community hall on Saturday 11th July between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

All Welcome.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Psst !. Wanna Buy A Budgie ?.

I see from the scottish section of the BBC News website, that Tayside policee are the theft of 14 high value Budgies. I only once ever owned two of these noisy and destructive little creatures and would not wish to repeat the experience but should you be approached by a shifty looking character in your local in the near future asking you if you would lkie to purchase any of the little birds you will know that they are probably too hot to handle.

The Spy Who Came In From Facebook.

I was quite amused to hear this morning that the new head of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) had his personal and family details plastered all over Facebook by his wife. This sort of thing would never have happened in the old days. Readers of the spy novels of John Le Carre cannot imagine that his spymaster, George Smiley would have his details on a Facebook page partly because he was outwardly too boring and partly because his wife was usually too busy jumping into bed with all and sundry to have bothered with social networking sites had they existed in those days.

Perhaps though, in these days. we dont need the likes of George Smiley to go through all the convoluted businesss of espionage as it wasa carried on in the days of the Cold War. Given that everyone, including the bad guys and girls seem to have Facebook pages all we need is a few spotty teenage nerds with the time, inclination and financial incentive, to trawl through Facebook, Myspace, Bebo and the like in search of homely pictures of Osama Bin Laden or perhaps following him on Twitter as he tells us how he dodged the latest US air raids.

Wind Turbine: Permission Granted.

I Understand that Mid Devon District Council have now granted planning permission for the wind turbine to be erected at Aishe Barton. As most will know the original proposal was withdrawn after a number of vigourous protests from local objectors but was then resubmitted. I understand that there was considerably less opposition from individual objectors this time around and despite the continuing opposition of the Parish Council planning permission has now been gramted.

What is surprising about the wind turbine issue is that many people fail to grasp the long term implications. Earlier this year the village was in uproar over a proposed travellers site which probably have had almost no enviornmental impact outside the limited area around Hayne. The granting of planning permission by MDDC for the wind turbine at Aishe means that not only will we now have a turbine visable from Silverton and most of the surrounding area but that the granting of such planning permission by the district council makes it a good deal harder for them to refuse permission for the erection of similar turbines in other parts of the Exe valley thus potentially changing the character of this part of Devon forever.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Favourite Barperson: Three Tuns Heat and

Result Of Three Tuns heat of the Silverton's Favourite Barperson poll.

Darren 10 Votes
Mike 4 votes
Scott 3 votes

Darren and Mike go through to the final for which voting will now begin. The finallists are.


Results next saturday

Welcome To The 'Welcome Packs'.

I am glad to see that the Silverton 'Welcome Packs' are now in the shops. This blog, from its very early days championed the introduction of such packs as a way of introducing both new arrivals and tourists to the village and to what the village and the surrounding area have to offer,

Well done to all those involved with the packs production.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Modern Day Slavery.

Most of us will have seen the recent reports, in the press and on TV, regarding the raid by immigration authorities on a farm near Credition this week in which a dozen failed asylum seekers were detained. You wonder what sort of lives these people were living out there in the wilds of mid Devon. Not for them, I suspect, a trip to the local Wetherspoons or a club in Exeter at the end of a working week as I would guess that had they dome so they would have stood out like a collection of sore thumbs and probably the pittance they were being paid would hardly have covered the taxi or bus fare. More likely all they got to see of our county was whatever part of the farm they worked on and the inside of some sort of dormitory.

Far too many people are still prepared to risk the massive fines that can be now imposed in order to attempt to profit from that particular form of cheap labour. They are prepared to use people who, unwisely have allowed themselves to be conned by other unscrupoulous operators into placing themselves into a modern form of slavery often owing those who facilitated their entry into the country sums they can never repay. We should also remember that agriculture is by no means the worst fate that can befall them as we know from the stories of the young and vunerable who have been dragged into the sex industry with no hope of escape. We should also remember those other slaves who produce the cheap clothing that we have all come to take for granted in recent years.

Economic slavery of this type should be unacceptable in the modern world whether it occurs in Canton or Crediton. We would all do well to remember that when making our purchases and wonder just a little at who produced the food on our plates this evening.

Traffic News

I see from the parish magazine that the parish council are looking at imposing width and weight restrictions on vehicles using Upexe lane. I thought that such restrictions were already in place in terms of Tiverton road and I thought that there were some restrictions on lorries using the roads through the village as a 'rat run' to and from the M5 at some time in the lpast. The whole issue of vehicular access to the village seems to be a problem with little hope of a long term solution in the present political and financial climate.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Funeral Details.

We understand that the funeral for the late Mra Eva Gooding will take place on tuesday 7th july at 3.30pm at St Mary's church. pamily flowers only.

Snack Time.

I suppose that most of us of a certain age can remember only too well when your choice of potato crisps was confined to Smiths Plain with the salt in a little twist of blue paper at the bottom of the packet. I can remember when Golden Wonder brought in cheese and onion flavoured crisps and the flavour was so stong to the untrained palate that it made me feel sick. Then we had beef and onion, salt and vinegar and all the rest ubtil we get to the present day when we have exotic flavours like jalepino pepper and tomato and basol. Along the way we have had some bizarre flavours such as hedgehog although no flaviur featuring deep fried mars bars has yet appeared.

Alongside the crisps in the pub we have had an assortment of nuts and the notorious pork scratchings, known for destroying the teeth of the unwary, although more gum friendly products now seem to be in circulation. Then we have had the pickled snacks such as eggs and gherkins.

According to the thinking of the medical professionals most, if not all, of these snacks would be regarded as being hazardous to our heallth but the pub experience wouild not be the same without them. After all, if you are going to risk your health with the occasional pint too many pints of Old Sock Rot you might as well complete your rebellion against the health police with a pickled egg and a packet of cheese and onion..

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The Great Hunt.

According to newspaper reports several hundred thousand of the new twenty pence peices have gone into circulation with the date missing. It seems that the Royal Mint are prepared to pay fifty pounds a time for the return of these coins but that a collector has already paid five thousand pounds for one of them on eBay. I think we can all guess that everyone will be checking their change very closely from now on and that coat linings and the backs of sofas and the sides of armchairs will be getting special attention.

And if you walk into your local drinking hole and find noone serving at the bar it probably doesnt mean that they have succumbed to swine flu.

More likely they are out the back studying the twenty pences from their till under a magnifying glass.

Another Moan.

I seem to be doing a lot of moaning about the state of our roads and hedges at the moment and here comes another one. Whilst walking down Tiverton road this morning I had to get into the side of the road very quickly to avoid oncoming traffic and scratched my face on a large bramble growing out of the hedge behind the old Gallery building. The state of this hedge is an ongoing problem at this time of the year and I hope that people will be made aware of the danger. Silverton seems to be becoming quite a hazardous place for pedestrians these days.

It Aint Half Hot Mum !.

For the benefit of our readers in foriegn parts its worth mentioning that Silverton, like the rest of the UK apparently, is currently suffering the effects of a heatwave. What makes this one unpleasent is the very high humidity which is accompaying the current high temperatures. Nightime temperatures are what daytime temperatures were this time last year. Sleeping conditions are not pleasent and its not an ideal situation for man nor beast.

Can it be only five months since we were slip[ping and sliding about in the ice and snow and the skittles contingents were having trouble getting through the snowdrifts to get to Newquay ?. we crtainly seem to be getting some extreme climatic conditions this year and I think that we all know how the current big heat' is going to end.

Thunder, lightening and torrential downpours seem likely to be the order of the day.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Its That Lane Again.

I am sorry to return to the subject of Upexe lane once more. On the bus to Tiverton this morning we came very close to becoming totally jammed against another double decker going in the opposite direction and on the return journey the driver became involved in a confrontation with an elderly woman driver near the Tuns lane turning who seemed to be having trouble grasping the concept of reversing.

There can be very few communities of our size in devon I would think, whose main access road is so narrow and difficult to navigate, especially at this time of year when the hedges need some serious trimming. As this blog has commented before, we hope that the parish council will be pursuing the implementation of the section of the 'We Live Here' proposals relating to Upexe lane with the utmost vigour.

The Old Ones Are The Best.

I was talking to one of our younger readers earlier today who is just back from Glastonbury. Whilst she was impressed with some of the more recent acts such as Blur and Kasabian she admitted that her favourite performance was by Tom Jones, who must have been performing nearly twenty years before she was born. Another outstanding act, she reported was Neil Young who's musical longevity falls not far short of the Jones boyo. Its remarkable that some of these sixties veterans seem to be able to retain a sizable fan base of all ages when the players themselves are well into the bus pass years.

The person I was speaking to said that she refrained from throwing her panties at Tom Jones but saw others doing so. One wonders if he prefers being hit by the products of Next or M&S.

Monday, 29 June 2009

A Bit Of A mess.

Sorry to see that the renovation work on what used to be The Gallery at the bottom of Fore street seems to have come to a halt. I understand that the halt is of a temporary nature but it is to be hoped that work will soon be resumed as with the former Londis building opposite nearby remaining empty, that part of the village is beginning to seem somewhat derelict.

The old Londis shop has now been out of use for a year. It is to be hoped that there will be some progress towards a new future for the building shortly.

Notable Celebrations.

In passing, we record two notable celebrations that took place over the weekend. The parties for the Diamond Wedding anniversary of Jim and Norah Massey and the 60th birthday of Shirley Andrew. Good to hear that both events passed off sucessfully.

A Cricketing Success.

Congratulations to The Lamb Inn on winning the knockout competition in Thorverton yesterday. Its not often that Silvertonians get into winning at cricket so its good to be able to report a victory over more experienced players. I understand that there was a creditable performance also from the team representing The Silverton Inn.

Congratulations all round.

Four Way Split.

The section of the Lamb Inn quiz team that takes part in the monthly quiz sessions at the Trout Inn at Bickleigh was back in action after a long absence last night. Now playing under a new name-Diddly-Squat, we emerged as joint winners of the main part of the quiz. Unfortunately, we had to share the top honours with three other teams and came out of the contest individually five pounds richer.

The Jackpot however remains to be won and will have increased to £260.00 at the next quiz which will be held on july 26th.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


I must admit that I have not watched much of the coverage of the Glastonbury Festival on television. I would like to have but Rory the dog is not a fan and thinks that I should be in bed ratgher than watching the likes of Lady Gagga perform. It must be admitted that the blogging team have a certain fondness for Lady Gagga and have been known to join in with her on performances of 'Poker Face' when she appears on the box. Whilst I did get to see Lsady G on friday I was prevented from seeing Neil Young later in the evening and I did not get to watch Bruce Springsteen last night either. Perhaps next year I am going to have to forgo my scottish adventures and invest in a Glastonbury ticket although wondering about in the mud and resting my ancient bones in a Yurt might well pursuade me otherwise.

Anybody want to buy a dog ?.


After the Rugby was over yesterday I was watching some Speedway being broadcast from Cardiff. I had not watched, or even thought about Speedway for many years but seeing it again last night reminded myself and others of the days when Silverton had a close involvement with the sport. This was back in the days when former rider Neil Street lived at the bottom of Park Close and maintained a workshop there along wuth his son-in-law, the former world Speedway champion, Phil Crump. I can well remember the sound of engines being tuned up in the mornings and reports of visits to the workshop by many of the top names in Speedway during the mid 1970's. I believe that Phil Crump's son, Jason is now carrying on the family tradition as a notable Speedway rider.

Additionally, Speedway was a major spectator sport for people from the village with a regular contingent going to Exeter County Ground on a monday night to watch Exeter Falcons. No one who ever went will forget the smell of the track. The aroma of cinders, petrol and engine oil and coming home covered in the dust from the track. So it was good to see from the television coverage last night that Speedway continues to retain its appeal for new generations.

it Makes You Think.

Returning to the death of Michael Jackson just briefly. It now seems that a major factor in this tragedy could have been the misuse, or overperscription, of perscription drugs. This should be a remindder to us all that although we hear constantly about the dangers of Heroin, Cannabis and the like, for most of us the real danger of addiction can come from drugs perscribed by your doctor or bought over the counter at your local chemists. I remember once meeting a woman who was addicted to something as common as Askit.Many of us tend to pop your common or garden painkillers like Paracetamol or Aspirin with very little thought about what these things are doing longterm to our bodies even when we are well aware of the recommended daily dose. If the death of Michael Jackson has one good long term effect perhaps it will be to make all of us think more about what perscription and over the counter drugs can do to our bodies when we become too dependent on them or take them for granted.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

A Passing Fad ?.

is it just my imagination or do we seem to be not having so many Barbeques this year ?. Although the weather has been better this year, so far, then the last two summers it seems to me that we have been having less of the smell of burnt meat hanging over the village then in some years past. Perhaps its a sign of the recession biting, a taste for healthier living or maybe with advancing age my sense of smell is going downhill. There still seem to be large numbers of bags of barbeque fuel on sale outside the SPAR so perhaps the best/worst is yet to come.

Favourite Barperson : Silverton Inn Results.

The result of The Silverton Inn heat of the Silverton's Favourite Barperson poll was as follows.

Phill. 9 Votes.
Amanda. 5 Votes.
Gemma. 4 Votes.
Shane. 4 Votes.
Luke. 2 Votes.
Gina. 2 Votes
Dan. 1 Vote.

Therefore, Phill and Amanda go through to the final and we now proceed to the Three Tuns heat.

The Jackson Joke Machine.

Following on from yesterday's post regarding how quickly Michael Jackson jokes would be in circulation I asked around last night and found that people were recieving Jackson jokes by text yesterday morning before they even knew he was dead. It makes you wonder is there an office somewhere out there where people sit around all day making up topical jokes, or perhaps there is a warehouse where prescripted topical jokes are kept ready for any occasion. Although many of the jokes that circulate on these occasions can be pretty distatesful, I suppose they do have the effect of puncturing the cult of celebrity that much of the media likes to cultivate around the likes of Jackson.

Just to prove that the blog has a sense of humour a couple of the more repeatable Jackson jokes.

Rumour has it that Gary Glitter has put in a world record bid for Michael Jackson's computer.

Michael Jackson's body cannot be disposed of until Thursday.

Why ?.

Because Thursday is recycling day in Los Angeles.

The one about Lego bricks was deemed unsuitable for this blog.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Why Bother ?.

Returning to the Jackson death briefly, Why did Messrs Brown and Cameron fall over themselves to send condolences to Jackson's family and friends ?. Idoubt if the Jackson clan have ever heard of either of them and it raises the demise of a musician, however talented, to the status of an international disaster.

Perhaps however they know something we dont. Perhaps they know that somewhere in these islands there is a parliamentary constituancy with such a high concentration of Jacko fans that failure to placate them might cost one party or another a vital seat at the upcoming general election.

Its more likely however, I suppose, that the gruesome twosome just couldnt resist another opportunity to associate themselves with celebrity.

Even when the celebrity in question is dead.


I have been at work this morning cutting back the large bush situated outside the Bloggers residence in Wyndham Road. You know when these jobs need doung when you are nearly poked in the eye by stray branches every time you take the dogs out. When I mentioned to Carolyn this morning that I would bring the loppers up from my mothers and give the bush a trim she reminded me that I have been saying that I would do this for the past two years. As I innediately went and collected the loppers and got on with it she thinks that a little nagging goes a long way.

I prefer not to think of it as nagging merely a gentle reminder.

I have been nagged by experts. Carolyn isnt one of them.

Anyway, bush now under control and eyes safe from a poking.

Texting Times.

Everyone by now will have heard of the death of the self proclaimed 'King Of Pop' and one time honorary director of Exeter City FC, Michael Jackson. Given the vast amount of media coverage that this death is creating this blog will not be commenting on the death of this troubled genius in detail but one aspect of what will follow his death is of some interest.

On hearing the news of his death both Carolyn and myself independently came up with the thought that very soon the first Michael Jackson jokes will be doing the rounds via internet and text.

The though that struck me was that whilst the people of Iran, protesting the rigging of elections and organising against the theocratic dictatorship under which they labour, put the internet and texting to good use in organising their struggle against repression the best the english seem to be able to do with these new and instant methods of communication is to circulate endless streams of racist, sexist and homophobic jokes.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Ancient Music.

I see that some of the earliest musical instruments yet found have been discovered in a cave in Germany. It seems that out ancestors were playing flutes made out of vulture's wing bones up to 40, 000 years ago. Rumours that these may have been the original instruments played by Alan Haydon and his associates in The Cougars have yet to be confirmed.

Days Out.

Its also good to hear that the large contingent that went on the Over 60's outing to Gloucester yesterday had a good day out even if they did get caught up in the Glastonbury traffic on the way back. Seemingly the weather was excellent and all enjoyed the boat trip on the river Avon. Its worth reminding our readers of more mature years that the Over 60's Club organises regular outings and trips to theatre through most of the year.

Teeing Off

We hope that Phil Robinson and the rest of the Three Tuns crew have a good time on their golfing outing in Portugal. You are certainly more likely to get decent weather there then on a golfing holiday in Scotland. A few days in Troon doesnt sound the same somehow.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

An Old Issue.

Returning to an issue that we raised during last summer. Going across the fields on the footpath between Roach Lane and the Silverton-Butterleigh road this morning I was reminded of old black and white film of explorers fighting their way through the jungle. Surely this is the time of year when the footpaths would be expected to be most in use and the time of the year when it would be the most important to keep them clear ?.

Sad News.

I heard yesterday evening of the death of one of our oldest and best known residents, Mrs Eva Gooding of High Street. Eva was 95. Although not born in Silverton in themany years she had lived here she had become one of the best known residents of the village. Generations of former pupils of Silverton Primary School will remember 'Mrs Good' first as the School caretaker and later as a kitchen assistant. Others in the village and the surrounding area will remember her from her time working in Killerton House.

Although of increasingly poor mobility in recent years, Eva retained a formidable memory and a cheerful disposition. Regulars at The Lamb Inn will also remember that until very recently she came in regularly for sunday lunch with her friends Sandra Brown and Flossie and was always ready for a conversation with those present.

We send our condolences to Geoffrey, Janet and all her family and friends.

The Plague Of Summer

Never mind the onward march of swine flu, I would imagine that many more of us at the moment, are more concerned with that plague of the summer months, Hay Fever. I never had a problem with Hay Fever as a child and only developed it when nearly out of my teenage years. I have suffered with it annually ever since, the only time when it was less of a problem was during the years when I was living by the coast in Scotland. This year, until now, it had not been much of a problem but is quite bad at the moment, exacerbated so it seems, by the onset of a summer cold.

So if you encounter me over the next few weeks and I am not at my best, its not the onset of SWine Flu, just the annual pollen plague.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Its Festival Time Again !.

I hear that Louise Edwards and a number of other people from the village will be heading for the Glastonbury Festival Glastonbury is part of the English summer scene now in the same way as Wimbledon but rather more dangerous to your health. I admit to never having been but I suspect that this year, with swine flu on the march and the festival's notoriously dodgy toilet facilities, it would not be my first choice of how to spend a summer weekend. Also I think I am a bit long in the tooth to be spending nights in a leaking tent, especially as thunderstorms are, as usual, in the forecast. I must admit though that the prospect of thousands of ageing Status Quo fans headbanging their way towards brain damage to the sounds of their heroes has a certain appeal as does an appearence by the great, Neil Young but I think I shall just sit back and watch the highlights on TV and leave the rest of it to those still young enough to be able to cope with the consequences of blocked tooilets, dodgy burgers and the threat of drowning in the mud.

Have a good one folks.

Drama Queens

I hear that there has been some dispute over funds still held by what remains of Silverton's former am-dram outfit, The Silverton Players and our current organisation of local thespians, The Silverton Drama Group. The Silverton Players, who ran a highlysuccessful series of pantomomes in the 1980's and folded about the time of the demise of the New Hall, departed the scene still having momey in the bank and some fairly good lighting equipment and scenery. It is believed that the scenery was later put to use elsewhere and I am not sure what became of the lighting but funds from the Silverton Players are still held in the name of that organisation. My understanding is that when the Drama Group was set up approaches were made to the surviving officers of the Silverton Players committee about passing the fdunds on to the Drama Group but this was put on hold until it could be seen whether the Drama Group would prove to be a viable and sustainable organisation. It would seem, from what I hear, that a subsequent approach to the SP was sharply rejected.

I really cant see what the problem here now is. The Drama Group have now staged a number of sucessful productions and it is highly unlikely, given the age of the people involved that The Silverton Players will rise from the ashes. Given those factors, I cannot see why the assets of the Silverton Players, both financial and material, could not be passed over to the current drama company.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Bloody Mobiles.

I was in the SPAR shop last night and was just paying for my purchase at the counter when my mobile phone rang. It was quite an important call and I had no complaint about taking it but it is amazing the amount of times that your mobile can remain quiet until you are in the middle of doing something and the phone either rings or you get a text message. How did we ever cope in the days before mobiles. Remember the good old days when instant communication was through the Telegraph boys on their bikes or by queuing up at the local telephone box to fight for control of the receiver with the local teenagers who were in the proccess of making obscene calls to some girl at a telephone box in the next village, Whilst I recognise the useful nature of mobiles I also have some sympathy with someone of our aquaintence who refuses to rake his mobile phone to the pub as he likes to have a degree of uncontactibility in his leisure hours. I dont doubt that in the future people will look back in nostalgia to the good old days of the mobile from a position where the communications devices of the future are wired inbto your brains at birth and you even get subliminal messages whilst asleep but such days have not been reached yet.

All that being said however, the one thing worse then getting phone messages at awkward times is not getting any at all. You get serious withdrawal symptoms when that text messaging bleep does not through at some time in the day or your ringtone remains silent. Messages from the outside world at least prove to us that we are still alive.

The Hoo Hoo Man.

Which well known stalwart of The Lamb Inn bar was recently described by another well known face on the pub scene as 'the hoo-hoo man' ?. We believe that the name was given because of 'the hoo-hoo man's' distintive laugh but it opens up a number of interesting possibilities. We wonder whether the hoo-hoo man will be followed by the yoo-hoo man, the boo-hoo man and even possibly the who-he man, the sort of bloke who sits quietly at the bar nursing a pint for twenty five years and when he dies people say 'Who he ?'.

Time will tell, I suppose.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

'And They Seemed Such A lovely Couple'.

How many times have we all heard that statement made when a relationship breaks up. You get a couple who, on the surface, have everything going for them and one day it all comes to a sudden and nasty end because of circumstances that were not even apparent to their closest friends. There can be many reasons for this pf course, but a very common one is that one or other of the parties involved has decided that it is necessary to maintain a front to the world on order not to upset family, or brcause they feel the need to keep up a respectable reputation in society. Some people are so good at doing this that its not until they are dead or dying that things come to light about how they always detested or despised their other half.

iven that we live in much more liberal times it is perhaps surprising that people still feel the need to live in such a way but we all knopw that many do. Its ubdeerstandable where there are children involved but you often wonder how fooled that children really are. Behind closed doors the masks have a tendancy to slip even with the best actors and actresses involved. And doesnt deciet as a way of life begin to take over other aspects of your existence ?. Pretending to live the perfect life when in reality you are living a lie can be an extremely destructive business for both the person living the lie and to those who are being lied to.

When the lie becomes too big and complex and holds back people achieving happiness and their full potential you have to decide that perhaps honesty is the less damaging option. Perhaps then, its time to approach the other party involved and spell out clearly why the lie can no longer be sustained.

Fathers Day.

As well as being the longest day, today is also Fathers Day, the day when fatherhood is celebrated. I dont doubt that, throughout the land, fathers have had their breakfast brought to them in bed, providing they are not suffering hangovers, and they are being presented with copies of AC/DC's greatest hits or mugs inscribed with lines like 'Worlds Greatest Dad' by greatful offspring. I also dont doubt that the pubs will be doing a roaring trade in sunday roasts at lunchtime and that the likes of Clinton Cards will have had their profits suitably boosted.

So all we can say to all the fathers reading the blog is have a good day and all we can say to their partners and offspring is give the old man the telly control this afternoon and let him watch that fishing programme that he likes instead of the the omnibus edition of Eastenders which usually takes precedence.

The Longest Day

According to the BBC News this morning, some 30,000 people gathered at Stonehenge this morning to celebrate the summer solstice. Witches and wizards, Druids and assorted new agers gathered at the 5,000 year old stone circle to mark the dawn of the longest day of the year and they did it with a great deal of drumming and cheering as far as I could gather from the radio report.

Here in Silverton, we do not do much in the way of celebrating the summer solstice. There are no organised events that I know of and we dont have the local white witches dancing naked around the great oak tree or anything like that. I expect that a few in the village will be perhaps having an extra pint or two in the pub, but then again any excuse will do for some to go down that road. Perhaps there might be a barbeque or two but that would be about the extent of any celebration here I should think.

Anyway, whats really to celebrate ?. This is as good as it gets and give it a month and the nights will be drawing in again, then it will be street market and the end of the school holidays and before we know it christmas will be looming once again. The summer solstice only marks the time when you realise that half the year has gone again and you have achieved very little once more.

It just marks another half year of your life gone past.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Poll Result- Lamb Inn Heat..

The Lamb Inn heat of the poll for Silverton's favourite barperson is now concluded. The results were.

Brenda Gardiner. 12 votes.
Louise Edwards. 6 Votes.
Nikki Butt 4 Votes.
Erica Ginn. 3 Votes.
Alan Isaac. 3 Votes.
Jane Isaac. 2 Votes.
Alan Cross. 1 Vote.
Alan Catlin. I Vote
Barbara Langdon. 1 Vote.
Louise Isaac. 1 Vote.

We shall now proceed to the Silverton Inn heat.

What People Want.

Much is made of the difference between men and women in the way that they think. A whole industry has grown up around ideas such as those outlined in works such as 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus' and we could have a whole discussion about whether such differences are inherited or based in social relations and power differewnces between the sexes.

Fear not however as we are not going down that road at this time on a saturday morning.

For all the percieved differences I suspect that in relationships most people of either sex want basically the same thing. Someone to be there in the good times and the bad, to be supportive but to give the other person their own space and, most of all, someone who is actually prepared to listen to what they are being told rather then thinking that communication is about talking at people. A good sense of humour also helps as in most relationships you certainly need it from time to time.

And there ends todays sermon.

Times Of Inner Turmoil.

We all have times of inner turmoil due to lifes ups and downs. I suppose I have been lucky in the past couple of years in that my times of inner turmoil have been few and far between, but I know that others are not so fortunate. We all have our different ways of dealing with these things. Some have a Duvet day and pull the covers firmly over their head whilst they sort out their thoughts before proceeding afresh whilst others resort to a quick Voddy or two, with, or without, tonic. Then there are the chocoholics who get stuck into a nice box of Thorntons. Others turn to trusted friends for advice, although in some situations its difficult to know who you can trust and some, whilst they may hear the advice never take it.

When I get into turmoil situations these days I just get on the internet and bang out a few posts for the blog. Its amazing how you can clarify your thinking sometimes when doing a bit of creative writing. Perhaps thats another good reason why people should take up blogging, to aid their mental processes and to relieve their frustrations at people they are peeved at.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Tea Break.

I am not sure if we have covered this one before but I was wondering what our esteemed readers like to have with their tea. Carolyn has recently expressed a fondness for ginger buiscuits whilst I am more of a Jaffa Cake man myself. Others go for Hob Nobs and some for Kit Kats. Then there are those who go for digestive buiscuits, with, or without the Chocolate covering. My Granny had a liking for the rock like objects known as Dorset Knobs which she would pursuade my dad to obtain from Morcombelake, their place of manufacture, when he was van driving in that part of the world. Shortbread is another favourite, both in its homeland of Scotland and elsewhere and the list goes on.

If you have a favourite snack not listed above that you have on your tea or coffee break, feel free to tell us about it.

Or perhaps in these recessionary times you dont have time for a tea break.

Which puts me in mind of a joke, but its far too rude for a family blog such as this.

Not A Good Job.

Mrs Frost has drawn my attention to the patching job carried out by the highways Roach Lane. Living with a Tarmacer, Mrs Frost knows a thing or two about the finer points of road repair and says that the Roach Lane patching effort is something of a rough job and that the new surface is likely to break up in heavy rain. Having had a look at it myself it certainly looks very rough around the edges. I know that Roach Lane is not a major highway but you might have expected a bit better then this I would have thought.

Last Chance For Voting.

Dont forget folks, if you have not yet voted in The Lamb Inn heat of 'Silverton's Favourite Barperson' poll you have about eighteen hours left. Tomorrow we move to The Silverton Inn heat.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

More Photo's

I am also adding another couple of photo's. This time Carroll family photo's taken at the 30th birthday barbeque held by my nephew, Mike. In photo one we have, from left to right, Sharon Fraser-Carroll, Joe Carroll, Sophie Carroll, Mike Carroll on Barbeque, Pascale Fraser-Carroll, Geoff Carroll and Micha Fraser-Carroll.

In picture two we have Sharon, Sophie, Erica Levy, Pascale, Micha and Geoff.

It seems a good time was had by all.

More Parachute Photo's.

We now have some more parachute jump photo's supplied by Louise Banks. Louise will also soon be sending us on details of the next jump to be held in September when Louise herself, is hoping to participate.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Parachute Photos

As you will now see we have some photos from the recent parachute jump for charity. Thanks to Steve for supplying them. Unfortunately some other photos that Steve took during the actual jump were overexposed.

Better luck next time.


Following on from our recent post regarding the football boot in the hedge past the 'Tuns' a source reports to us that while passing up some steps in Exeter this morning they came across a pair of frilly pink Knickers lying nearby.

One wonders what tale lies behind that sighting ?. Possibly best we dont know. Some things are more interesting when left to the imagination.

Patched Up.

I was glad to note that The Highways Department were at last engaged on some patching in Roach Lane this morning. Repairs to the road surface in this particular lane are long overdue.

If we could only get the hedges cut in the lane before someone gets an eye put out by branches growing across the lane things would be ideal.

Beware Scammers.

I understand that a number of people in the village have received phone calls which appear to be part of a fairly crude phone scam. People are being phoned by a company they have never heard of informing them that they owe money because of direct debits that have not been paid. Hopefully, anyone receiving such calls will be passing on the details to the relevant authorities. This sort of criminal operation is becoming all too common these days.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Digital Revolution.

I see that Lord Carter's report on digital Britain is proposing yet another attack on illegal filesharing. Given that a very large proportion on people with Broadband access are engaged in this proccess nearly every day of the week and given that the technology around filesharing is constantly evolving, unless you are prepared to legislate to disconnect persistant offenders, a solution that european governments now seem to be ruling out, I doubt that you are ever going to be able to prevent the practice. Despite over twenty years of action against video piracy, whether in the form of the old video tapes or in the more recent form of DVD's even those reletively simple forms of piracy remain rampant.

Anecdotally, it now seems that some people now just download pirated material for the sake of it. Some, allegedly just want to download some obscure albums that they lkent yo someone in 1973, whilst it would seem that others have computers full of stuff that they will never get round to watching or listening to in a lifetime. Perhaps the only way for any government to regain monies lost through copyright theft would be to slap a small tax on all fixed landlines and distribute it amongst media producers but given that Broadband is becoming increasingly mobile and given public hostility to taxation I cant see it happening. I suspect that filesharing and intellectual piracy in one form or another is firmly here to stay.

Where Are The Photo's ?.

I am still awaiting promised photo's of last weeks charity parachute jump. Could someone email them on to me please ?.

Cover Up.

Watching the BBC 'Spotlight' programme at lunchtime I noticed that there was a report naming the westcountry as a hotspot for skin cancer. I grew up in a period when getting a nice suntan without adequate protection was regarded as a sign of good health and , as a child, spent many happy hours in the summer out in the fields without ever having to think about the possible effects of the sun's rays. I remember getting particularly sunburnt as a child when on a boat of Exmouth, but that was just something that you had to put up with in those days.

Now we know differently. The incidence of melenoma, the most virulant type of skin cancer is rapidly increasing and death rates are on the rise. No one now would dream of long exposure to the sun without putting on an adequate layer of sun blocker. For us in what has traditionally been a cold climate where there now seems to be increasing evidence of climate change and increasing temperatures, it may well be that our long love affair with the sun's rays is going to become a more realistic understanding as to the effects of the sun on our bodies. Something that many who live in traditionally warmer climes have understood for most of human existence.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Booted Out.

Walking around the village and the surrounding area with the dog you find all sorts of odd things lying about in the hedgerows. The usual items are junk food boxes and drinks cans but on the road between The Three Tuns and the old gravel pit there is what appears to be a football boot lying in the hedge. Youy wonder what the story is behind that. Did someone have a bad away match and hurl his boot out of the car in fury ?. I have heard of throwing the dummy out of the pram so perhaps this is a new varient on the theme.

At least though, you do not get the vast amount of smashed bottles which formerly contained various types of alcoholic beverage lying about the place as was the case in my former place of residence.

And The Band Played On.

I was interested to hear some feedback from the musical event at the Thorverton show on saturday night. Good to hear that the event was well attended and that there were some good all round performances.

Of interest to some of us oldies was the news that one of the bands that performed was fronted by Tim Tree late of this parish. It is reported that Tim was performing his usual set of Shadows standards in the usual, competant manner that he has been perfecting since his days with The Thunderbirds at Silverton New Hall in the early 60's. He has probably been playing 'Apache' and the like, nearly as long as Hank Marvin himself.

Goes to show that Mr Tree is another old rocker who refuses to fade away.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Karaoke .

I was interested to hear that one of our pubs is to feature a karaoke session on Street Market night. Karaoke , as far as I know, never seems to have had the same popularity in Silverton that it seems to have had elsewhere. When I lived in Prestwick in the mid nineties, my local, the Toll Bar, regularly used to have Karaoke sessions on a sunday afternoon featuring Captain Karaoke. The captain was in real life, a bloke called Andy Bryden who, with his wife, ran an agency that provided party entertainment that included one of his mates who would appear as Chuck the Chicken. Bryden, who was in many ways a fairly obnoxious fellow, later went on to have walk on parts in some minor Hollywood films and was last seen as an extra in the scottish soap 'River City'. The Karaoke performers at the Toll Bar included one girl who was an extremely good singer who unfortunately had a repotoire consisting of one song, the Patsy Cline classic 'Crazy'. Some of the other performances were so horrendous that they made some of the worst contenders on 'Britain's Got Talent'sound wonderful. How they ever had the nerve to appear in public was beyond me, but then, some people dont seem to be able to help themselves if there is a microphone about and they take a drink or two too many.

So when Street Market rolls around lets hope that those who feel moved to sing will have a repotoire of more than one song and will at least try to avoid frightening all the dogs and the elderly for miles around. Perhaps they will improve their chances of getting away with it though if they perform dressed as Chuck The Chicken.

Cider Weather

Now that summer is upon us I have switched from my usual drink of choice, one of the real ales, to a nice pint of cider. Its interesting to note how the image of cider has changed in recent years from that of a drink that was favoured by those who liked to get as blootered as possible on a limited budget, to the drink of choice of the young and trendy. Much of this change in the status of cider can, of course, be traced to the very sucessful marketing of Magners cider over recent years but it is now the case that draught brands like Westons and Thatchers are now drunk by people like myself who would not have considered touching the stuff not that long ago.

Certainly, with the summer we seem to be having this year so far, nearer to what you might expect a summer to be then last years disaster, a nice pint of cold, draught cider is just the way to quench your thirst on a hot weekend afternoon or in the evening. We shall keep the real ales in reserve until the evenings start drawing in again and the first nip of autumn is in the air.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Barperson Of The Year.

Following on from the post below I think its time to try and establish who is Silverton's favourite barperson. To this end the blog will, of course, be running a poll. It will work in the following way. For the next three weeks we shall be running heats featuring the staff of our three local pubs. This will be done in alphabetical order. First The Lamb followed by The Silverton Inn and lastly, The Three Tuns. We shall then have a final poll featuring the top two contestants from each pub.

Sadly, the blog being a rather poor institution, there will be no super prize except kowing that you are the choice of our readers.