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.