Many thanks to all those who attended the Dulverton Antiques Valuation Day in Dulverton Town Hall on Saturday 23 March.  A steady flow of people clutching antique items kept the expert valuers from Adam Partridge Auctioneers busy throughout the day.  Paintings, vases, watches, jewellery, military items, toys, crockery, silverware…. and much much more.

A military expert from Adam Partridge Auctioneers

“What a lovely, friendly event” commented Mrs J from Brushford, “filled with Dulverton’s unique community spirit.”

‘Guess the Antique Item’ Competition

And so to the popular free competition: ‘Guess the Antique Item’.  Many visitors had a go at guessing the original intended use of three antique items that had been brought along by Adam Partridge Auctioneers.

Item 1 – A late 18th Century yew wood wig powderer

Item 2 – An ice cream dispenser (to put between two wafers)

Item 3 – An exceptionally rare cattle horn trainer (to make the horns grow evenly)

Great fun was had by all the entrants amid lots of head scratching!

Only one person correctly guessed Item 1 – other suggestions included a hair curler, a beauty spot applicator, a device to pull lace stays and even an 18th Century ping pong game!

Nine people guessed Item 2 correctly – one interesting suggestion was that it was used for tying fish hooks!

Five people guessed that Item 3 was connected with the horns of an animal, though rams and billy goats were mentioned instead of cattle. Other suggestions included an udder teat cover, a seed spacer, a hobble and weights for a jockey!

The Winning Entries…

No-one guessed all three items correctly, but three people guessed two out of three and their names were put into a hat to draw the winner.  These were:

Jane Erith

Chris Kelly

Mr J Wilkins

And The Winner is…

Chris Kelly

Congratulations to him!  A bottle of wine is heading his way, generously donated by Town Mills B&B in Dulverton.

Thanks also to Dulverton’s Oggies Music Shop and Tim Venning’s ‘From Tim’s Workshop’ for bringing along their array of fascinating upcycled and repurposed items for the home – from musical instruments to agricultural machinery!

Finally, particular thanks to all the Visit Dulverton volunteers for baking cakes, serving refreshments and welcoming the visitors with big smiles!

Counting down the days until the next Dulverton Antiques Valuation Days to be held in the Town Hall on Saturday 23 March from 10.30 to 3.30.

The friendly and knowledgeable experts from Adam Partridge Auctioneers are returning to the beautiful Exmoor market town of Dulverton to join the volunteers from Visit Dulverton for another valuation event – and a fun competition for all to enter!

Visitors will be invited to search their attics and bring along any antiques, jewellery, fine art & collectors’ items they can find. For a small donation of £5 the specialists on hand will give a valuation and history of the items that are brought along.  A maximum of three portable items per person (that are small enough to carry!). No pre-booking required, just a first come, first served simple ticketed system on the day. For those wishing to sell items, the auctioneers will be able to accept pieces on the day for future specialist auctions.

There will also be a fun free competition at the event, when visitors will be asked to guess “What is the antique item?”  Three unique and unusual antique items will be displayed and competitors will be invited to write down what they believe the item to be and what was its original intended use.  The first person to guess all three correctly will win a bottle of wine generously donated by Town Mills B&B in Dulverton.

There will also be stalls from Dulverton’s Oggies Music Shop and Tim Venning’s ‘From Tim’s Workshop’. Both businesses create fascinating upcycled and repurposed items for the home – from musical instruments to agricultural machinery!

Refreshments will be available.

Visit the event page to learn more.

Following the success of the two 2023 Dulverton Antiques Valuation Days, Adam Partridge Auctioneers are returning to the beautiful Exmoor market town of Dulverton on Saturday 23 March to join the volunteers from Visit Dulverton for another valuation event – and a fun competition for all to enter!  Adam is well known as a regular face on television programmes such as Flog It!, Antiques Road Trip and Bargain Hunt, and is delighted to be assisting Visit Dulverton again with this friendly event.

What’s Happening?

On Saturday 23 March from 10.30am to 3.30pm, the experts from Adam Partridge Auctioneers will be found in Dulverton’s historic Town Hall for another Dulverton Antiques Valuation Day.  Visitors will be invited to bring along their antiques, jewellery, fine art & collectors’ items.  For a small donation the specialists on hand will give a valuation and history of the items that are brought along.  The donation is to be £5 for a maximum of three portable items per person (that are small enough to carry!). No pre-booking required, just a first come, first served simple ticketed system on the day. For those wishing to sell items, the auctioneers will be able to accept pieces on the day for future specialist auctions.

There will also be a fun free competition at the event, when visitors will be asked to guess “What is the antique item?”  Three unique and unusual antique items will be displayed and competitors will be invited to write down what they believe the item to be and what was its original intended use.  The first person to guess all three correctly will win a bottle of wine donated by Town Mills B&B in Dulverton.  Thinking caps on!

There will also be stalls from Dulverton’s Oggies Music Shop and Tim Venning’s ‘From Tim’s Workshop’. Both businesses create fascinating upcycled and repurposed items for the home – from musical instruments to agricultural machinery!

Refreshments will be available.

Visit the event page to learn more.

Dulverton’s favourite historical fiction writer, Kate Lord Brown, was again given the impossible task of choosing the winner and two runners up for the 2023 Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival Children’s Writing Competition.

This year there were 26 remarkable, top level entries from children under the age of 13 from right across Devon, Somerset and Exmoor.  The theme for this year’s competition was to write a story of up to 500 words on farming, life on a farm – really anything to do with farms, to link with Michael Morpurgo’s love of farming and his charity Farms for City Children.  See below the competition entry poster designed by Rebecca Day of The Toad Hall Company.

The entries for the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival Children’s Writing Competition came in from far and wide – Bolham to Watchet, Bideford to Wiveliscombe – and the winner was 6 year old Fergus Brewer from Horner, near Minhead.  12 year old Amelia Toms from Bideford and 6 year old Jack Richard from Wiveliscombe were the excellent runners up.  All of them received prizes donated by Waterstones Barnstaple presented by the UK’s leading family author, Michael Morpurgo – who had just spent an hour on the festival stage chatting about his writing, farming and of course the wonderful ‘War Horse’ book, film and theatre production.

Pictured above from left to right are: Kate Lord Brown, Amelia Toms, Fergus Brewer, Jack Richards, Michael Morpurgo.

Read Fergus’ winning story here:

Bob’s Big Battle by Fergus Brewer (age 6)

Below the biggest mountain on Exmoor was a little place called Evie Farm.

It was full of wildlife and nature, but the farm was sold to a farmer who wasn’t very nice to the soil.

In the soil the microorganisms, the bacteria and fungi were having a fun time playing with each other.

The leader of the bacteria was called Bob, he was the king of the soil bacteria.

Bob is a green soil bacteria, with two small green legs and one eye with a wide smile. A friendly king who loves to play, the bacteria are invisible to humans.

While they were all playing on a sunny day, a sprayer came to the farm and the sprayer declared he would deploy his booms then travelled up and down and released the chemicals.

Luckily Bob knew just what to do.

He asked his friends the fungi to help, Bob and his fellow bacteria used the fungi to boost their strength.

Then Bob and his bacteria army headed to battle

They used their nets to capture the chemicals.

Pow, tang, whallop, urghh, kapoom

and took them deep deep deep deep underground.

And then left them there forever so they couldn’t harm the rivers, animals and soil.

The fungi and bacteria had the biggest party ever with little glow worms as their glowsticks.

The worms sang, the dung beetles played their rock and roll guitars.

People could hear them from miles around, when the party finished the microorganisms decided to take over the soil banishing the chemicals forever.

The new farmers heard their song and sent the sprayer to the scrap yard.

 

 

 

 

The curtain came down on the evening of Sunday 19 November on the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023 to rapturous applause and fabulous feedback from the speakers, sponsors and members of the audience.  ‘The Exmoor event of the year’ according to Mrs W of North Devon and ‘thank you for two wonderfully interesting and stimulating days’ from Ms G of Somerset; and ‘congratulations on creating the most wonderfully diverse, yet completely connected literary festival’, from editor Mrs M.

From the ‘Survival and Adventure’ talk L to R: travel publisher Hilary Bradt, British explorer Belinda Kirk, festival director Ali Pegrum, UK military survival expert John Hudson

A wide variety of talks and topics

Michael Morpurgo’s talk on Sunday was an event highlight – where he chatted with writer Alice Thomson about his classic ‘War Horse’ and treated the audience of all ages to a reading of a poem about the tortoise and hare, and even sang a beautiful folk song.  ‘Morpurgo was a complete joy’ wrote Mrs B of Dulverton.

 

Rachel Johnson’s (pictured above) enlightening talk about her life in the political arena attracted another huge audience, in conversation with art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston.  Writers Julian Glover and Victoria Eveleigh discussed the complexities of the use and protection of the countryside, in the company of a fascinated audience that included many Exmoor farmers and landowners.

 

‘Duchesses Behaving Badly’ became the in-house title for a lively talk with historical biographers Andrew Lownie and Catherine Ostler.  Their books about Edward VIII and the Duchess of Windsor, and the 18thC Duchess of Kingston sold like hot cakes in the popup event bookshop run by Waterstones of Barnstaple.

 

Other topics in the weekend’s programme included railways, wine, the benefits of challenge and adventure, and creativity in its many forms – the latter with writer Albert Read, celebrity photographer Harry Borden and editor Miranda Taylor.  Lovers of fiction were treated to a talk with three remarkable novelists – Sarah Turner, Hannh Richell and Janet Ellis – all of whom have new books in the pipeline coming very soon.  Janet, a former Blue Peter presenter, said ‘the atmosphere couldn’t have been nicer and [the whole event] sparkled!’

The Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023 Children’s Writing Competition

Historical novelist Kate Lord Brown judged the festival’s Children’s Writing Competition and Michael Morpurgo handed the prizes to winner Fergus Brewer (age 6) and runners up Amelia Toms (age 12) and Jack Richards (age 6).  Fergus’ incredibly imaginative and creative story delighted the audience and can be found here on this website. Pictured above are L to R: Kate Lord Brown, runner up Amelia Toms, winner Fergus Brewer, runner up Jack Richards, Michael Morpurgo.

 

The event was sponsored by local businesses Tozers Solicitors, Amicus Law, Stockham Farm Exmoor, The Exclusive Cake Company, Exmoor Character Cottages, Exmoor News, First Design, Hedley Price, Jeff Pegrum Landscaping, Maitland Walker, Osteo & Physio Tiverton,  Risdon Hosegood, The Sip Shed, Town Mills, Ware Construction, Wellhayes Vineyard, Winsbere House, The Bridge Inn Dulverton, James Pryce Tractors, Masons Kings, Rothwell & Dunworth and Fabula Arts.

It’s just 5 days before a host of celebrated authors, writers and speakers descend on the charming moorland town of Dulverton for the second Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival. Michael Morpurgo, William Sitwell, Janet Ellis, Rachel Johnson, Andrew Lownie, Sarah Turner, Catherine Ostler, Albert Read… to name but a few.

 

A few tickets remain for some of the ten author talks taking place across the weekend of 18 and 19 November in Dulverton Town Hall.  There will be tickets available on the door but online booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment.  Tickets here!

 

Do you want to learn about the South West’s lost railways; the truth behind Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson’s relationship; how to grow a vineyard in Britain’s climate; how embarking on an adventure is good for your wellbeing…?  All of these discussions will be had at the festival, and more.

 

Creative writing workshops for adults and children are also taking place in Dulverton Library on the Saturday afternoon.  An excellent opportunity to begin realising your dream of writing your first book!

 

Author Kate Lord Brown has once again had the difficult task of judging the many entries for the Festival Children’s Writing Competition and the winner and runners up will be revealed on Sunday – with prizes presented to them by one of the UK’s favourite writers, Michael Morpurgo.

 

The event has been generously sponsored by local businesses Tozers Solicitors, Amicus Law, Stockham Farm Exmoor, The Exclusive Cake Company, Exmoor Character Cottages, Exmoor News, Wellhayes Vineyard, First Design, Friendship & Sons, Hedley Price, Jeff Pegrum Landscaping, Maitland Walker, Osteo & Physio, Risdon Hosegood, The Sip Shed, Town Mills, Ware Construction, Winsbere House, The Bridge Inn Dulverton, James Pryce Tractors, Masons Kings, Rothwell & Dunworth and Fabula Arts.

Have you ever dreamt of writing a book?

Or perhaps illustrating a book for children?

Thanks to the support of our newly-acquired Creative Writing Workshop Sponsor, Amicus Law Solicitors, the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023 will feature three different workshops suitable for both adults and children.

The workshops are all to be held in Dulverton Library on Saturday 18 November.

1.30 – 2.30 PRESENTATION & PLANNING A PICTURE BOOK WITH ANNABEL COLLIS

Suitable for adults and children age 12+ (10 spaces available) BOOK TICKETS HERE

Annabel Collis, author of You Can’t Catch Me will explain how she develops her ideas into story boards, dummy books and creates artwork.  There will be time for questions to discuss your ideas and an opportunity to plot and plan your own story to develop in the future.

Author Annabel Collis

Author Annabel Collis

2.45 – 3.45 CHILDREN’S CREATIVE WRITING & ILLUSTRATING WORKSHOP WITH ANNABEL COLLIS

Family workshop for children aged 4+ (10 child spaces available) BOOK TICKETS HERE

Annabel will read one of her stories and you will then have the chance to plot your own story and create a piece of artwork using an exciting variety of collage materials (all supplied). Annabel is passionate about children’s books and encouraging children’s creativity and reading skills. A fun, family activity.

Up to two children must be accompanied by an adult with free admission.

Children and adults drawing and writing

Adults and children enjoying the creative writing workshop

4.00 – 5.30 CHILDREN’S “ACTIVE WRITING” WORKSHOP WITH JAMES GILLAM OF FABULA ARTS

Family workshop for children aged 6+ (15 child spaces available) BOOK TICKETS HERE

The Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival is delighted to be working this year with Fabula Arts, a local company that believes in the importance of an education that encourages children’s inherent creativity. Join in this fun, inspirational festival workshop with Fabula Arts founder James Gillam to compose your own exciting story, with opportunities throughout to act out your characters and plot. Up to two children must be accompanied by an adult with free admission.

Children acting and dancing

Children enjoying an active writing session with Fabula Arts

The event has been sponsored by local businesses Amicus Law Solicitors, Tozers Solicitors, The Exclusive Cake Company, Exmoor Character Cottages, Exmoor News, First Design, Friendship & Sons, Hedley Price, Jeff Pegrum Landscaping, Maitland Walker, Osteo & Physio, Risdon Hosegood, The Sip Shed, Stockham Farm Exmoor, Town Mills, Ware Construction, Wellhayes Vineyard, Winsbere House, The Bridge Inn Dulverton, James Pryce Tractors, Masons Kings, Rothwell & Dunworth and Fabula Arts.

 

For full details of the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023 and to book tickets to all author talks and creative writing workshops, please visit here.

 

Have you had a chance to buy your tickets to November’s Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023? They’re selling fast! The event is to be held in Dulverton Town Hall across the weekend of Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November, with online ticket sales via this Visit Dulverton website.  Listen to the podcast to hear Festival Director, Ali Pegrum, chatting about all the speakers who are going to attend.

Michael Morpurgo, interviewed by Alice Thomson, was destined to be a popular event and tickets to his talk sold out within just three weeks!  However budding writers will still have the opportunity of meeting one of the UK’s most celebrated authors if they enter the Festival Children’s Writing Competition, as Mr Morpurgo will be presenting the prizes to the lucky winners!

Festival programmes and details of the writing competition and creative writing workshops have been delivered to schools right across the area.  “Last year’s competition had some brilliant entries from children from Barnstaple to Bolham and Timberscombe to Tiverton – we’re hoping that will be repeated this year”, said Ali.  Full details of the competition and the workshops can be found in the programme.

Other talks not to miss over the Festival Weekend include Rachel Johnson, with writer Rachel Campbell-Johnston; historical biographers Andrew Lownie and Catherine Ostler; and best-selling novelists Janet Ellis, Sarah Turner and Hannah Richell. Restaurant critic William Sitwell with wine writer Henry Jeffreys; Julian Glover and Victoria Eveleigh asking ‘What is our countryside for?’; and photographer Harry Borden and writer Albert Read discussing creativity with Miranda Taylor. British explorers Belinda Kirk and John Hudson with Hilary Bradt; well-known ITV sports reporter Dennis Coath; and local railway historians Freddie Huxtable, Ian Coleby and Amyas Crump.

 

The event has been sponsored by local businesses Tozers Solicitors, The Exclusive Cake Company, Exmoor Character Cottages, Exmoor News, First Design, Friendship & Sons, Hedley Price, Jeff Pegrum Landscaping, Maitland Walker, Osteo & Physio, Risdon Hosegood, The Sip Shed, Stockham Farm Exmoor, Town Mills, Ware Construction, Wellhayes Vineyard, Winsbere House, The Bridge Inn Dulverton, James Pryce Tractors, Masons Kings, Rothwell & Dunworth and Fabula Arts.

For full details of the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival 2023 – including the creative writing workshops specifically for children – visit here.

The ‘Secret Gardens of Dulverton’ day on 2 July was a great success and Visit Dulverton is delighted to announce that profits from the garden visitors and cake sales have meant that a generous donation has been made to Exmoor National Park’s CareMoor charity.  Ten private gardens were especially opened for the day across the pretty moorland town of Dulverton and visitors were treated to unusual plants, summer colour and careful landscaping – and tea and cakes in the Town Hall of course!

Christine Dubery, Chair of Dulverton Town Council, was keen for any profits from the day to be made as a charitable donation to a local relevant cause.  After discussion with the Visit Dulverton team and with the ten garden owners themselves, a donation of £1000 was made to Exmoor National Park’s CareMoor ‘Sowing the Seeds Appeal’. Christine said: “We are delighted to have been able to give back to our local community in this way – and our huge thanks to the owners of the ten gardens for kindly opening their gardens and making this a possibility. We look forward to opening more of Dulverton’s ‘secret’ gardens to visitors next summer.”

Katrina Munro, ENPA’s Sustainable Economy Officer said: “Thank you so much for the donation from the Open Gardens to our Sowing the Seeds Appeal.  It will help with the purchase of a new piece of specialist equipment required and the setting up of a wildflower seed nursery on ENPA land at Exford”.

The ENP website explains that meadows attract a multitude of wildlife and often support flora and fauna that cannot thrive in other habitats. Typically characterised by species such as black knapweed, ox-eye daisy, yellow rattle, hawkbits, vetches and rarer orchids, they can also support colourful waxcap fungi with names such as parrot, snowy and crimson. In addition to being aesthetically beautiful, they are ecologically important as they provide areas for pollinating insects, nesting, food gathering, shelter and even animal courtship displays.

Like other ecosystems, meadows experience increased pressure due to climate change, especially as precipitation and weather conditions change. However, grasslands and meadows also have an important climate change mitigation potential as carbon sinks; deep-rooted grasses store a substantial amount of carbon in soil.

The ENPA have been running informative sessions about the creation of wildflower meadows, one of which was attended by Visit Dulverton volunteer Ken Warren who said:  “The session in Simonsbath included a presentation on how to convert grassland, whether a garden lawn or many acres, into a wildflower meadow. We were shown a brush harvester which is used to collect fresh seed from existing wildflower meadows. That seed is then used to sow potential new meadows. We then walked to nearby land where many, many acres of wildflower meadows have been created. To see meadows as some of us might remember them was a privilege and a memorable experience.”

For more information on the Sowing the Seeds Appeal visit: ENPA CareMoor Sowing the Seeds Appeal

Main image by Emma How of Dulverton – one of four Highly Commended photographs entered into the 2022 Dulverton Photographic Competition.

Many thanks to all those who came along to the Dulverton Antiques Valuation Day on Saturday 23 September – and particularly the expert valuers from our friends at Adam Partridge Autioneers.

 

Visitors were invited to bring along their antiques, jewellery, fine art & collectors’ items.  For a donation of £5 (for a maximum of three items) the specialists on hand gave a valuation and history of the items that were brought along.  A lovely cotton tablecloth bought in a junk shop 40 years ago was discovered to have an amazing maritime history, dating from August 2014 with a value of £150+ being placed on it!

There was also a new fun competition at the event, when visitors (and the experts!) were asked to guess “WHAT IS THE ANTIQUE ITEM?”  Three unique antique items were generously loaned for the competition by local friends and displayed…

No 1 – a Victorian Silver Plated Spoon Warmer (made by Elkington & Co and dating from 1880)

No 2 – a 20th Century Wooden Ruan – a traditional Chinese lute (plucked string instrument).

No 3 – a Victorian Copper Beer Strainer (which had to be displayed upside down)

And the winners are…. Sarah and Steve Adams of Dulverton who correctly guessed two of the three items.  They will receive the prize of a bottle of wine donated by Dulverton’s Town Mills B&B! Many thanks to all those that took part in the competition in great humour.  A favourite guess was that the Spoon Warmer was a headless three-legged silver hedgehog!

Visit Dulverton always likes to promote the message of “repair, reuse, repurpose, recycle” with other stalls at the event – including Oggies Music Shop of Dulverton, Tim Venning’s Workshop (who can be found regularly at the Dulverton Farmers Market) and the team from the Somerset Waste Partnership who took donations of unwanted smart tech to recycle.  Somerset’s bright blue Fixy Van was parked right outside the door!