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 department.at 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.

Storm In A Beer Glass

I was not out on the friday tour last night as the need for a meal intervened but I hear that there was something of an altercation amongst some well known faces on the village pub scene about the merits, or otherwise, of a certain well known barperson.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the dispute, its good to know that we have people working behind the bars of our local hostelries who can arouse such passions amongst the regulars. At least its better then having some of the anonymous people who seem to think that working in the bar of your local is the same as working on the checkout at TESCO.

Friday, 12 June 2009

The Swarm.

I was walking along with the dog yesterday morning, minding my own business, when, arriving on the roads outside the bungalows in New Barn Road, I heard a loud buzzing noise. Paying no particular attention, I soon realised that I had walked into a colony of Bees who were intent on swarming into the hedge opposite. Now I dont really like our flying stinging friends too much but I decided that the best course of action, having arrived in the midst of them, was just to carry on walking. Luckily, also, Rory decided that perhaps it was not a good idea to take aggressive action where the noisy little beasts were concerned and we made our way through the danger zone unscathed.

I must admit though, that for the rest of the walk into the village I occasionally cast a wary glance over my shoulder lest a noisy brown cloud might be following me up the road having decided, in their collective wisdom that my hat might be just the sort of landing place they might be looking for.

On The Stage.

Watching people arriving at The Lamb the other night for the AGM of the Drama Group reminded me of the concert parties that used to be held in the New Hall back in the late 1950's. We have before on the blog commented about the need for a Silverton's Got Talent vontest and I suppose, the old concert parties were the nearest equivelant we ever had to that without the competitive element. We had a selection of villagers performing their party peices and also appearing in sketches. I can remember appearing in a sketch performed by the Cubs or Scouts, probably my only acting appearence on stage. Many other performances stick in your mind mainly because they tended to be a regular feature of such occasions. One or two that spring to mind were the late Flor Vittles doing her own, and very individual interpretation of the 50's hit 'Tom Dooley' and Sid Hutchings performing the ballad 'Danny Boy' backed by the Reverend Guy Sanderson on piano. Guy Sanderson, as older residents will remember went on to become Bishop of Plymouth in later life.

The old concert parties really were a very Silvertonian event in a way that would probably be impossible now because they featured people who had been born, brought up together or had been neighbours for most of their lives. Also, of course, we are talking about an era when television still had a limited reach within the population and people were accustomed to making their own entertainment. The concert parties were also part of that old social structure within the village that has now gone, along with the New Hall. They were followed in later years by The Silverton Players who contained some very talented local people and now by Thye Drama Group which is slowly but surely beginning to make its mark. The tradition of amateur performance within the village may have changed but is still alive and well.

Well Done To All.

Just to flag up the comments from Louise Banks regarding the recent skyjump in aid of the Exeter Leukemia Fund. This was inded a magnificent acheivement and raised over £7,000. I hope that others will now be encouraged to take part in further fundraising activities in aid of the fund.

If anyone else is involved in fundraising events for charity and would like some advance publicity please let me know.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

People Get Ready.

So thats it then. Swine flu has been declared a global pandemic and will doubtless be coming to you and your family once the autumn is upon us. Perhaps its time to get an early start on preparing for the worst by stocking up with the packets of Lemsip and the tins of Chicken soup.

On the other hand, perhaps we should just all head for the southern hemisphere in the next few months, get a dose of it and get it out of the way. For those on a restricted budget you could head for Scotland and a visit to the nice seaside town of Dunoon where the bug seems to be rampant at the moment. Just think, if its a nice summer you could get a dose of the flu and whilst recovering get a decent suntan on a scottish beach.

And believe me, you can get suntans on Scottish beaches despite the theory that its always cold there.


I read an article in the E&E yesterday about a police raid that closed down a crack house in Exeter. Only a few years ago, the idea that you might find a crack house in the St Leonards area of Exeter, or indeed in any other area of the city, would have been bizarre in the extreme but no longer. Crack cocaine, once the drug of choice for deprived urban areas can now be found almost anywhere in Britain, along with almost any other form of substance, illegal and otherwise that is likely to produce a state of altered conciousness in those who take it.

I dont remember hearing of of illegal substances in the village before the very late 1960's. True, those sophisticates at school who could pass for eighteen and could get into some of the Exeter clubs reported the existence of something called 'Purple Hearts' but I dont actually remember anyone admitting to having taken them. By the late 60's however, when the Three Tuns had become a trendy hangout for the Exeter Uni crowd and a number of students were renting property in the village, it was not that uncommon to come across people who had little brown blocks of a certain substance that they mixed into their rolling tobacco. Although not widespread, such items could soon be found amongst some locals as well as amongst the student crowd. After I moved to Scotland and came into contact with a much more prevelant drugs culture, I weas surprised to return to Silverton on occasions and to hear of people using magic mushrooms, of which I had then hardly heard and of needles being found on the recreation ground. A very big change in a very short time historically. Later of course, we get to "E's" and 'Skunk' which I have no experience of personally, but I suspect that some of those who use such substances would be amongst those regarded as thouroughly respectable.

When we have crack houses in Exeter and in some areas that I have lived in local dealers who were as well known for what they did for a living as the local milkman, you really begin to wonder if, for all the billions of pounds and dollars pumped into the so called 'war on drugs' by governments around the world, they are fighting a war that is already lost. For all the occasional talk of cocaine production being down in one part of the world and heroin production being curtailed in another, the drugs industry rolls on with the more innovative producers moving into buying property for cannibis production. Surely, the time will have to comne when governments are going to have to seriously consider forms of legalisation and the sort of state distribution of heroin to existing addicts such as is now the case in Switzerland. Perhaps then, the money spent fighting the failing war on drugs could be diverted to reducing or preventing people turning to such substances in the first place. If, as seems to be the case that drugs and alcohol are used often to blot out internal miseries, perhaps more should be spent on reducing the cause of such miseries.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


No, its wednesday actually but there was an excellent programme on BBC 4 last night lightheartedly celebrating the traditional English sunday. It reminded me of how boring sunday was when I was a child. Enforced attendance at church followed by the traditional sunday roast and then attendance at sunday school. Being in the church choir you also had to endure Evensong in a half empty church and the highlight of the day on radio was 'Two Way Family Favourites'. Later, as the programme pointed out, when TV became common you had the delights of 'Going For A song' and 'Howards Way'.

Later in life, you had, at least, the option of going to the pub at lunchtime, but just as you were getting into the swing of it, the pub closed at two o clock. In my case I then went home and had a sleep before my roast dinner which by that time had moved to the evening. Sleep was not an invariable occurance during the early eighties however as I was often dragged out of my bed by my nephew Michael, who enjoyed nothing better then making me run around the garden whilst he shouted , 'Ready, Steady, Go !'. I hope that now he has reached the grand old age of thirty he will get the same treatment sometime.

Unlike last nights programme, I can feel little nostolgia for the stultifying english sunday that we have lost. At least now you can get a meal and a drink in a decent pub without fear of eviction at two and having supermarkets and stores upen on a sunday is a necessity in an age of enforced flexible working for most. Eating a roast on sunday is no longer compulsory either, although many carry on the tradition. Sunday might not be a perfect day but at least you have a real choice as to how you spend it.

Favourite Sweets.

Come on, own up, we all hasd them when we were young. Those favourite sweets that you could not go near a sweet shop, Woolworths, or a newsagents without buying. For some it was Flying Saucers, others went for Sherbet Dips and my own personal favourutes were those little round sweets called Love Hearts to which I was quite addicted to for quite a long period during my childhood and no doubt contributed to a fair bit of tooth decay. Then, of course we had our favourite chocolate covered snacks, Mars Bars, Snickers and all the rest that gave us then, and in many cases now, a degree of guilty pleasure.

Perhaps you would like to share your favourite sweets and snacks with us here but put the wrappers in the bin please.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Good Luck.

Good luck to Steve from the SPAR shop who is doing his parachute jump in aid of Exeter Leukemia Research Fund today. Steve was in The Lamb last night, bravely refusing the offer of alcohol before the big jump. Hopefully, he may be supplying us with some photos of the big event soon.

All being well.

The Chocolate Quiz

Louise Banks has asked me to publicise the quiz being organised by Silverton Primary School PTA. Quiz sheets are on sale at Cabbages and Kings and The Lamb Inn. 1st prize will be £20.00, 2nd 10.00 and 3rd £5.00. Completed sheets should be placed in the quiz box in the reception area of the school. In the event of a draw the winning sheet will be drawn from a hat.

Hand In deadline. July 6th.

Results to be announced July 10th

Monday, 8 June 2009

Not In My Name.

The shock result of the euro elections of course, was the election to the European Parliament of two members of the racist, British National Party for North West England and Yorkshire and Humberside. We need to be clear about how this has happened. Despite their share of the vote in the two regions being down on what they achieved in 2004, the overall vote fell further allowing them to profit from such a decline in the total vote. Many people in these regions who did not vote in the elections have now woken up this morning to the nasty reality that they are now represented in the european parliament by a party which is openly racist and has its roots in the sort of fascism whose defeat was being remembered in the D Day commerations only a few days ago. One of those elected, Andrew Brons, elected in Yorkshire was, in the 1960's a member of the British National Socialist Movement lead by then by the late and unlamented, Colin Jordan, which was about as unashamedly a bunch of Hitler worshippers as you could wish to find and whose members at that time had a hand in a wave of arson attacks on Synogouges. Brons was later Chairman of the National Front and has been a lifelong activist on the ultra right. The other BNPer elected, Nick Griffin, needs no more said about him.

The time has come for those who oppose the continued advance of the BNP to take a stand. The battle lines are clearly drawn between those who value an open and diverse Britain and those who believe that the answer to the multiple crises that we face is an attempt to impose a nationalism based on race on the peoples of these islands. For those who oppose the rise of the BNP a clear message must be sent out that the BNP do not speak for us and will not be speaking in europe in our name. To that end the website, Hope Not Hate has launched an online petition to be presented to the european parliament making the position of those who sign it clear. I hope that those of our readers who oppose the rise of the BNP will take the time to sign.


Election Results.

Now that the elections, both euro and local are behind us we can see how our local opinion poll matched up against the poll in the real world.

In our local poll the results were.

BNP 41%
Conservative. 17%
UKIP. 16%
Labour. 7%
Greens 4%
Lib-Dems 2%
Other 2%.

In the South West Region for the European election the result for the same parties was.

Conservative. 30.2%
UKIP 22.1%
Lib-Dems 17.2%
Greens. 9.3%
Labour 7.7%
BNP 3.9%

So beyond getting the Labour vote very nearly right our little local poll was not a very accurate indicator of the result in our wider region.

The electorate has now spoken and the Labour party has been given the expected hammering. In vote and percentage terms the Tories have hardly made massive gains and the Lib Dems seem to be stuck about where they were. I dont doubt that this is an accurate view of the state of play following the recent expenses scandal and from what I hear, a revulsion amongst many of its traditional supporters that the Labour party has now moved so far from its historic position as the party of the working class. Given that the main beneficieries of the revolt against the main parties has been UKIP, a party that does not fare so well at Westminster general elections the odds must be that much of the UKIP vote would go back to the Tories at the next election, but in the current climate, you couldnt risk too much money on it.

What is obvious is that the current government has no longer got the support or the policies necessary to get through to a general election next year. No change of leader of the labour party who would expect to become PM would be acceptable to the people. There must be a general election now !.

Card Confusion.

Given the number of swipe cards of various types that we now all have to carry its hardly surprising that confusions arise. We heard of someone the other day presented their Tesco Clubcard in Sainsbury's adding insult to injury by then putting their shopping into a Somerfield bag.

Confusion indeed, but not as embarrassing as someone, a few years back who got onto a bus and presented their bank card to the driver instead of their travel pass.

Luggage Woes.

I was in Tiverton this morning and had to travel back on the bus with a loaded shopping trolley. Once again, I found that the bus had no area for storing luggage and once again, the trolley had to be parked in the main gangway which I would imagine is a situation contrary to safety regulations.

It seems that Stagecoach are using the 55A/B route as the route of last resort for some of their ageing rolling stock. I noticed last time I was in Ayr that Stagecoach in that part of the west of scotland have at last, updated their fleet of buses there. Roll on the day that some of the comfortable and accessible buses that they have in that part of the world make their way down here.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


One of the great stories of recent years was that of the thousands of yellow rubber ducks that were swept overboard from a container ship and then proceeded to float about the oceans of the world. Occasional news reports appeared in the papers and on television of the progress of these ducks who accidentally seemedc to have provided scientists with some quite valuable information on the course of ocean currents. I wonder if those ducks, or at least some of them, are still out there bobbing about the ocean en route to who knows where.

Anysightings of yellow ducks heading down the village leat however, should be treated as the work of pranksters, or due to the after effects of those who reported seeing them spending one too many nights in The Lamb or The Silverton, or in some cases, both. I dont doubt that other rubber items may be found in the leat from time to time but I doubt that yellow ducks will be amongst them.

Why No Party ?.

Back to the subject of our first anniversary. I know that the possibility of a birthday party was raised at one point in the year. As all will be aware this party did not in the end, materialise. Unfortunately, the party got put on the back burner due to some other pressing matters and time, as it often does, ran out before we could organise anything. Maybe next year, if we are spared.

Flood Problem.

Yesterdays deluge again highlighted the problems regarding flash flooding in various parts of the village and surrounding area. One notable trouble spot yesterday, as often in the past, was on King Street behind the Lamb Inn car park. Had the rain continued much longer the road would have been impassible for pedestrians. Perhaps its time some action was taken to relieve this persistant problem.

Poll Closes.

Our poll on voting intentions in a possible upcoming general election has now closed. I will make some comments on the outcome of the poll tomorrow after we have seen the outcome of the european elections.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

A Year Of 'Silvertonia'..

Today marks the first anniversary of the launch of this blog. I had been playing with the idea of starting a blog for the village for sometime and finaslly decided to take decisive action on a quiet afternoon with nothing else to do. The genesis of the idea for the blog really came out of following the old 'Virtual Silverton' website run by Miles Snowdon in the early years of the decade and the experience of trying to start a yahoo groups based discussion group-also named Silvertonia- some years previously.I wanted to establish a blog where all aspects of life in Silverton and beyond, could ber raised and discussed but I knew that this could give rise to some problems. Knowing that the 'Virtual Silverton' website had eventually failed, partly at least, because of the activities of internet trolls, I wanted to make sure that the comment content of the blog could be controlled and to a large extent this has been achieved sucessfully.

Initially, the blog was very much a one person effort but shortly after its launch I introduced my landlady and good friend, Carolyn Frost to 'Silvertonia' and she became very much part of what this blog is about. What Carolyn brings to the blog is a very individual, sometimes quirky but always feminine view of life that prevents the blog becoming just another political rant forum of which there are all too many, out there on the internet. It has also to be said that without the encouragement and support of Carolyn, I doubt that the blog would have lasted beyond the first month. It was she after all, who coined the phrase that the two necessary internet tasks to be done daily were to 'read blog-do banking'.

We have also, of course, to thank those who have contributed to the comments section of the blog over the past year, particularly to Babyblox and Tanseylegs who have been consistant contributors but also to Foxy, Ken and all the various Anonymous contributors who have posted. Also, a special mention must be given to people in faraway places who have mentioned the blog on their own blogs, notably, Phil B-C of A Very Public Sociologist blog based in Stoke and Ally Black in Edinburgh. Also thanks to all those who have provided material for the blog, including Sue and Louise Banks, Foxy, Graham Parnell, Alan Haydon and many others. Thanks also to those who have registered as Followers of the blog and those who joined the 'Friends Of Silvertonia' Facebook group.

Over the past year 'Silvertonia' has covered issues as diverse as Buses and the BNP. We were the one outlet that gave extensive coverage and comment on the Travellers Site issue and have followed the continuing controversy about the hall site. In addition we have had some humourous and sometimes surreal outings into a fantasy world of giant chocolate bars flying over Wyndham road and pole dancing clubs at the old Londis. We have also covered as much of the history of Silverton over the past fifty years that I can remember or that is fit to print.

So thats year one done, the blog will be continuing, doing what it has always done and hoping that people continue to contribute. Perhaps the posting volume wont be so high but we shall endeaver to keep the 'Silvertonia' standard flying high.

For another year at least.

New Motor.

I got a lift in Don Brady's nice new Merc last night. Donald is very much into showing off his new aquisition at the moment and quite rightly so. Whats the point in being the Silverton Godfather if you cant have a decent motor.

The Weather Breaks.

The recent spell of fine, warm weather finally came to a noisy end this morning when the village was subjected to a short but noisy thunderstorm. For those of us with pets this can not just be a noisy inconvenience but a real source of distress to some of our companion animals. I was at wyndham road when the storm broke out and although Rory doesnt bother with such things, Lilly, who I was dogsitting this morning, was quite upset by it all. Additionally, there was some very heavy rainfall.

Hopefully, the storm having cleared the air, we shall be free of these unpleasent atmosphereic disturbances for the time being.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Election Result.

As some will be aware, in yesterdays election, the outgoing Conservative councillor, John Berry retained the Cullompton Rural seat on Devon county council. This is the seat that includes Silverton. Whilst not sharing the politics of Councillor Berry and taking into account national trends, it is undoubtedly the case that the size of his victory, taking over 53% of the vote, is in part at least, a tribute to his hard work as a local councillor over recent years and the very effective campaign he conducted during the recent election.

Interesting to note also, that Labour finished bottom of the poll in this ward, coming in behind the Greens.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Stone Cold.

I notice that one of the effects of the recent hot spell has been to encourage Rory to take a closer interest then previously in The Lamb Inn. During the hot spell it has become my custom to pop into that establishment whilst on my morning walk for a refreshing pint of cider and I notice that Rory is now leading the charge to the door to get in. The attraction for him is not any beverages that are on sale there but the nice cold stone floor that he can lie on.

its probably just as well that we all dont follow his lead. It might cause a bit of a stir if you went into the pub and fould all the regulars lying on the floor panting.

Well, that early in the day anyway.

Chicken Run.

Whilst out on the morning walk with Rory he became interested in something in the hedge opposite The Chicken Shack in Babylon Road and after some sniffing around. flushed out a large, and very irate chicken that made off down the road. I assume this was an escapee from the chicken farm.

Now wse know why the chicken crossed the road. Because the dog was chasing it.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Who To Vote For ?.

Tomorrow is the day when we are supposed to be voting for our representitives to represent us in the european parliament but as we all know what will actually happen is that, those who actually bother to vote, will use the occasion to kick the established parties as hard as possible and accelerate the pressure for an early general election. Beyond calling on people not to vote for the motley collection of thugs, racists and convicted criminals that constitute the inner circles of the British National Party or UKIP which is essentially the BNP in blazers some of whose current representitives seem to have a penchant for claiming vast expenses from europe whilst others seem to have a nice line in benefit fraud. I cant see that it makes much difference who you vote for as the European parliament will remain essentially a talking shop. If I can drag myself to the polling booth I may vote Green or, even more reluctantly, for the No2EUYes To Democracy list but I cant say I shall do so with any enthusiasm.

On the other hand voting in the County Council elections should, in the current circumstances be more important given the importance that the CC has for the local community. All I would urge for that election is that people vote for candidates who have shown a degree of commottment to our local area rather then just being names on a list.

Racist ?. pt 3

I see from todays Express and Echo that besides Bryan Lee, a number of others of the 40 or so objectors to the once proposed travellers site at Oak Meadow who made submissions to Mid Devon District Council regarding the proposed site, received letters threatening them with action because of the alleged racist content of their submissions. I have not seen all the submissions and cannot comment on all of their contents but would only comment that someone at MDDC was being over zealous at best in regard to what I did see. The only document I saw that came near to being what could be construed as being racist was the anonymous letter that was widely circulated within the village and was condemned for its contents by most who saw it.

While it may well be that the accusations of racism were lodged by an over zealous official who has now had his/her knuckles wrapped, I wonder if I am alone in thinking that there perhaps were those within MDDC planning who thought that by using threats of action against opponents on the grounds of racism they could silence opponents of the site to the extent that it would be passed thus enabling the Council to get nearer to its statutary obligation for providing travellers sites ?. Perhaps thats overly conspiritorial but inn the current climate you naturally expect the worst of some of our public institutions.

A Vital Difference.

Out and about with the dogs last night, which was once again a most pleasent summer night, something struck me which although obvious is perhaps something that people who have always lived in the country forget. When I lived in Prestwick, near the main Ayr-Glasgow road, if you were walking at midnight you were never far from the sound of traffic. The traffic rarely, if ever ceased and the usual low rumble was often punctuated by the sound of sirens, particularly if there was a disaster practice at Prestwick international Airport which was not an uncommon occurance. If you live in Wyndham Road,Silverton and are out and about at midnight you usually can only hear the sound of silence.

The lack of noise pollution is something we all tend to take too much for granted in these parts. It is something we should all have cause to be thankful for.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Hot Summer Nights.

We have certainly had a few hot days and we seem to be having some uncomfortably hot summer nights also. I must admit that I have not been too discomforted by the temperatures so far but I know that some are finding it very difficult to sleep and someone of our aquaintance could be found in their garden at 2.00am this morning drinking coffee and staring at the stars. What thoughts may pass through the mind at such a time and in such a situation we can only guess at. Considering the state of the garden perhaps or the state of their life in general. Perhaps they wished upon a star but you never know these days if the star you are wishing upon might not turn out to be a satellite and as Billy Bragg pointed out in his song 'A New England' which was a hit for the late, lamented, Kirsty McColl back in the eighties 'its wrong to wish on space hardware'.

Others no doubt, will have been tossing and turning under the duvet and counting the chimes of the distant church clock whilst wrestling with family problems or thinking about the tasks that face them when daylight breaks and, as always happens, falling soundly asleep just before the dawn chorus wakes them up again. Then there are those who rouse the dog from its slumbers and prowl the silent streets attracting the suspicious gaze of the occupants of passing taxis and police cars. A couple of nights of heat induced insomnia and people begin to berhave in all sorts of strange ways.

Inevitably though, the heat will break and more normal patterns of sleep and nocturnal behaviour will return. Those lucky enough to have partners can cuddle up to them again safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely to be cuddling up to a turkish bath. Given the time of the year that it is however, I dont doubt that it will not be long before the attractions of the garden seat again become apparent as the temperature rises once more.

Racist ?: Update.

Following on from yesterdays post, The BBC regional Television news at lunchtime reported that MDDC have now apologised to Mr Bryan Lee over the accusations of racism made against him by an official of the planning department.

As indeed they should and should remember that those who cry 'wolf' often live to regret it.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Racist ?.

I see that Mid Devon District Council have threatened one of those who objected to the proposed travellers site at Oak Meadow withreferral to the police on the grounds that his letter of objection to the site proposal was 'racist'. The letter from Bryan Lee contained objections to the site proposal based on events he had experienced in relation to a similar site near property that he used to own.

As someone who has been actively involed with anti racist work in the past I could not see anything in the letter which constituted racism and in any case the definitions of what makes travellers a specific 'race'nare drawn so widely as to make the term almost irrevelant. By bringing the real, and ever present problems regarding real racism in our society into disrepute the planning department of Mid Devon district council are undermining the very thing which they say they are trying to uphold.


The blog is sad to report the death of Joyce Barons of Wyndham Road who died in Hospital yesterday after a long illness. Joyce will be remembered by all who knew her asa dedicated mother and grandmother and, before her retirement as a hardworking example of those who work in social care.

We send our condolances to Peter, Paul, Dawn, Robert and Julie and to all of the rest of her extended family and to her friends.

Charter Signing.

Good to see a good turnout for the signing of the twinning charter on the little rec yesterday. Good also to see the display by the morris team, which I belive has one of our regulaR correspondants in its ranks. There was however, or so I have been told, some controversy about the flag that was flown alongside the Devon flag on the flagpole on the grounds that some people were not happy about a French flag being flown when the Queen had not been invited to a WW2 commememoration over the channel. The sort of people who object to ther flying of the Breton flag on these sort of grounds are doubtless the same sort of people who, in other parts of the world, start wars over football matches. The sad fact about the European union is that because of the way it has been run it has reinforced just this sort of petty nationalist crap amongst certain people which runs exactly counter to what its founders invisaged.