Sunday, 27 May 2018

Congratulations to 'The Lost Colony'

Massive congratulations from little Fairlynch Museum and the Raleigh 400 team to the cast of The Lost Colony show on the successful start of their 81st season. 

Do remind your audience about the great and multi-talented Sir Walter Raleigh, one of the stars of your show. Born in East Budleigh only a few miles from the fair town of Budleigh Salterton in the glorious county of Devon UK from where I am writing, and unjustly put to death by the cowardly King James I on 29 October 1618. 

It’s four hundred years ago, but here we remember him. Great pics of your show now appearing online; I thought I would send in exchange these photos of some of our Fairlynch Museum volunteers taken yesterday at Budleigh Salterton’s 2018 Gala Week. 

Image credit: Christine Chittock.   
Costumes courtesy of the Linhay Costume team at Fairlynch Museum; gentleman's costume loaned by the Tudor Dance Group.

See  and for more on The Lost Colony.  


Raleigh’s Relish hits the right notes in Gala Week

The Salterton Club’s ‘Great Millais Mystery Murder’ is just one of several events in Budleigh’s 2018 Gala Week which have as their theme the ‘Life and Times of Sir Walter Raleigh’, marking the 400th anniversary of the death of East Devon’s best-known historical figure.   

Raleigh’s Relish is the title of a jazz piece written by local musician Pat Brandon specially for Budleigh Salterton’s Sir Walter Raleigh-themed 2018 Gala Week, to be performed in the town’s Public Hall on Sunday 27 May at 7.30 pm.  

Meeting Sir Walter himself was one of the last things that Pat expected when he bumped into the great Elizabethan adventurer and local hero on The Green at the start of Gala Week.  

‘It was an honour and a pleasure to make Sir Walter’s acquaintance,’ he told me.  

Pat was thrilled to receive the above digital portraiture of himself meeting Queen Elizabeth I’s  favourite, and I feel sure that his encounter will inspire him to give a truly great performance of his tribute to Sir Walter this evening.  

Pat will be playing on piano alongside Val Sinclair, the Cambridge-based jazz/blues vocalist, who makes a welcome return to the town. They will be joined by other local jazz musicians Peter Canter (bass), Marius Rudnick (saxophone) and Jim Newton (drums).

Val puts her own unique style onto ‘cool’ popular jazz standards, loves singing ‘the blues’ and has enjoyed a career that has seen her perform in many festivals, proms and venues including the glorious setting of Hereford Cathedral. BBC’s Sue Marchant speaks of Val’s ‘glorious voice’, ‘like a delicious box of chocolates’. ‘Deep velvet and plummy tones’ describe it well.

The bar opens at 7.00pm, concert begins at 7.30pm. Tickets from Tourist Information Centre in Budleigh or on the door - £10.00.


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Our visit to the Devon County Show

The Great Raleigh 400 Exhibition in the Museum of Fairlynch in the fair town of Budleigh Salterton approacheth. From Monday 28th day of this merrie month of May, from 2 of the clock, will the famous painting of our Boyhood be displayed. We did betake ourselves to our fair County of Devon Show to there spread news of this Great Exhibition in Budleigh to all comers.

‘Twas at the invitation of Master Nigel Jones, the learned scribe who doth toil daily and nightly on his most worthy Devonshire magazine which is sent into many parts of our fair County. The young ladies who assist him did show us the excellent chronicle of our life which had been written on many pages with divers portraits.

Master Nigel hath with great pride created the Hubcast. ‘Tis a wondrous calendar of events that do take place in every corner of our fair county. And all transmitted by means digital speedier than the swiftest flight of wingรจd Mercury.

‘Twas on the farmstead of Hayes Barton in the fair town of East Budleigh that we did spend our childhood. This did imbue us with natural affection for the land and rustic matters, and we did hasten to see the fine oxen and other creatures that were displayed in the showground.

Verily they did make a fine spectacle on the greensward, and the sun did shine merrily.

Mightily impressed we were by these fine chariots in which the farmers of present times do ride.

Yet did it also gladden our heart to find the wheelwright’s wondrous skills so ably demonstrated by the worthy Master Martin. The good man doth use the oak of our fair county to fine effect with his garden benches and tables. We should have employed him in the building of that great ship the Ark Ralegh which we did graciously offer to our sovereign Lady Elizabeth.

We made haste to the pavilion of the Great Beeb, there to announce our arrival to the scribes whom many hold in awe. In this 400th year since our cruel departure from this world our reputation has suffered from slings and arrows of certain foolish knaves who do belittle our achievements in the New World.  ‘Twas our intent to request these scribes that they denounce the cowardly and uncouth Scottish upstart who brought about my demise for fear of offending the Spaniard.

We saw with some discomfiture that a messenger had failed to announce our coming. Yet these servants of the Great Beeb did receive us most courteously and were curious to know whence we came.  They did seem to note our opinions most diligently with many smiles, but in sooth we cannot say what truth they would tell.   

Our hunger for fame had not been sated after this somewhat unsatisfactory encounter with the Great Beeb’s scribes. We therefore repaired to other pavilions there to satisfy a more pressing hunger. Many arrays of vittles there were throughout the Show, and we did fully sate our appetite with these excellent rolls of sausage.

These fine ladies had doubtless heard of the favours we had enjoyed from the Queen. They did beseech us for pictures that they did call selfies, which we did most graciously grant.

‘Twas most delightful to discover how our charms did melt the hearts of such fair damsels of Devon.

This fair lady did tarry most pleasantly to hear our tales of adventures in distant lands. We did astonish her when we informed her that ‘twas thanks to our discoverie of the Pitch Lake on the island of Trinidad that so many fine roads had been builded. And that did include the avenues of the very Showground on which we stood. This foolishness of the ‘spuds and ciggies’ related by the vulgar multitude is verily not worth the telling for our greatness lies elsewhere.       

Many fine enterprises had set up their pavilions at the Show like the one ye see here set up by Exeter’s splendid museum. Here we did chance upon Mistress Shelley, who is most learned in the science of costume through the centuries. We did discourse most pleasantly of such matters as threads, buttons and bobbins. We believe she was impressed by our skill with the needle, for each pearl on our richly embroidered doublet had been sewn by our fair hand.   

Fine Academies of Learning there were too like this College of the Queen from the fair town of Taunton in the neighbouring county of Somerset. The learned teachers did seem honoured by our visit and did request this digital portrait.    

We were pleased also to be welcomed to the Academy of Bramdene in the city of Exeter, and a further portrait was made to show us communing with the learned teachers.

These green men did mystify us with their jigs and jolly jumps. We did learn that they do celebrate ancient fertility rites. They did declare themselves impressed by our world-renowned prowess in wooing our most revered Virgin Queen.

Of a sudden we found ourselves being given proof of these ancient rites which a green man did perform most briskly on a young nymph he had encountered. ‘Twas a most jolly scene, with ribald comments a plenty made by the assembly. 

This fellow in strange antique costume did boldly hail us as a fellow-pirate, asking us if we knew a certain Master Jonny Depp, yet we declared ourselves blameless in such matters. Some villainous and ignorant persons of the vulgar multitude do slander us in most ignoble fashion when they accuse us of piracy, but we found this fellow to be not such a knave and did make many jests together with these fair ladies.

These good folk did courteously enquire as to how our day had been. We did most gladly assure them of the pleasure that our visit had given us. ‘Tis forsooth a County Show of which Devonians should be proud, and verily we hope to grace it with our presence in future years.

And so fare thee well.      



Radical Ralegh

The point about Sir Walter Ralegh: historian Anna Beer with Millais’ celebrated 1870 painting at Fairlynch Museum.  Dr Beer’s visi...