Tag Archive for: Somerset

The inaugural Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival on 19th and 20th November has been described as a “triumph” by MasterChef judge, restaurant critic and author William Sitwell.

Norman Scott

With a packed programme of fascinating author talks in the Town Hall in Dulverton on the Sunday, culminating in a sellout event with Norman Scott sharing his extraordinary life story and how he survived a murder attempt on Exmoor instigated by 1970’s Liberal politician Jeremy Thorpe.

Norman Scott signing his book, An Accidental Icon.

Creative Writing Workshops

The Saturday programme was held in Dulverton Library with local children’s author Annabel Collis hosting creative writing workshops for adults and children.  Much fun was had and storyboards created by all ages!

Children’s author Annabel Collis hosting the children’s creative writing workshop.

Children’s Authors and The Children’s Writing Competition

The Sunday began with a family audience being treated to a chat with two of Exmoor’s most loved children’s authors, Claire Barker and Victoria Eveleigh, followed by the presentation to Orla Scandrett, age 8, of the winner’s prize in the festival’s Children’s Writing Competition with her story, The Hungry Deer.  The competition judge, author Kate Lord Brown had the tricky task of judging 22 entries from across Exmoor and beyond. The runners up were Thomas Hill, age 7, and Kirsty Tyrrell, age 10.

Orla Scandrett, age 8, with her winning story for the Children’s Writing Competition. With (L to R) authors Claire Barker, Victoria Eveleigh and Kate Lord Brown.

William Sitwell

After a free yoga session at lunchtime with celebrated yogi Colin Dunsmuir, the audience was treated to a talk from William Sitwell about Lord Woolton’s task of feeding the nation during WWII.

William Sitwell gives a talk around his book, Eggs or Anarchy.

The Book Club Talk

The next popular talk was with three bestselling authors of fiction, Veronica Henry, Katherine Webb and Kate Lord Brown.  Veronica latterly congratulated the festival organisers for the warm and inviting atmosphere they had created and, along with the other writers, was delighted to have signed and sold so many books via the festival’s popup bookshop hosted by Waterstones Barnstaple.  The trio of authors were interviewed on stage by Poppy Flaxman, Manager of Waterstones Barnstaple.

Bestselling fiction authors (L to R) Katherine Webb, Veronica Henry and Kate Lord Brown.

Alice Thomson

Alice Thomson, Times columnist, then took to the stage to talk about her remarkable book outlining her many interviews with famous and successful people who had faced adversity in their early lives.

Alice Thomson signing her book, What I Wish I’d Known When I Was Young.

Rugby and the Exeter Chiefs

This illuminating talk was followed by Guardian sports correspondent and author Rob Kitson chatting with South West rugby legend Chris Bentley about all things rugby and the rise of the Exeter Chiefs.  Gossip and laughter was shared by the rugby-loving audience!

Chris Bentley and Rob Kitson sharing rugby stories on stage.

Rob Kitson signing copies of his book, Exe Men, The Extraordinary Rise of Exeter Chiefs.

Festival Feedback

Ali Pegrum, Festival Director, was delighted with how the event had gone and said, “After a long year in the planning, it was wonderful to meet this extraordinary group of writers in Dulverton and bring this new event to Exmoor.  Many complimentary comments have been received from the speakers and the audience, thrilled to have been a part of this inaugural event and hoping it will be repeated.  I’m sure it will!”


The entire two-day festival had been supported by Dulverton Town Council and generously sponsored by local businesses Exmoor Character Cottages, Stockham Farm ExmoorExmoor NewsHedley Price Funeral DirectorsJeff Pegrum LandscapingPFG FabricationTown Mills B&BTozers SolicitorsWare ConstructionRothwell & Dunworth Books, Your First Book, Stags Estate Agents, Osteo & Physio Tiverton, Maitland Walker Solicitors, The Exmoor Feasting Company and The Exclusive Cake Company.

Join the Voices of Exmoor choir for a seasonal celebration of music in Dulverton Town Hall.  Free admission by ticket only, available from The Tantivy in Dulverton or by emailing the Voices of Exmoor

All in aid of this year’s charities – North Devon Hospice, Calvert Trust and St Margaret’s Hospice.


Runners of all ages and abilities have just 10 days to enter for the second annual Dulverton Train Fun Run and Canicross on Sunday 18 September.


With the start and finish taking place on the Exmoor Lawns in this delightful moorland town alongside the River Barle, the routes of 2km, 5km and 10km cross beautiful Exmoor countryside around Dulverton.  Last year’s event took competitors up a steep track from Marsh Bridge to Court Down – and it became known as the Dulverton Demon!


Dulverton is known to be a particularly dog-friendly town and there is the opportunity to run the 5km or 10km routes as a traditional canicross race – with all the fun of letting your dog(s) help you along the paths and up and down the hills!


Local business Exmoor Engraving has created some unique wooden medals for all race finishers – cleverly incorporating Dulverton’s logo of the letter D and an artistic impression of an Exmoor stag.

The event has been generously sponsored by Webbers Estate Agents of Dulverton, Tarr Farm Inn and Oggies Music Shop.


Numbers are strictly limited so runners are advised to book their places well in advance to avoid disappointment.  Full details and booking links can be found here: www.bookwhen.com/dulvertonfuntrailrun.


The delightful Exmoor market town of Dulverton again held its fun filled Vintage Fair on Sunday 4 September.  The Exmoor Lawns beside the River Barle thronged with people enjoying entertainment and stalls from the post war era.  Despite some light drizzle trying to spoil the occasion during the day, the show went on and the downpours stayed away!

The fabulous Liberty Sisters sang their favourite numbers from the 1940’s and 50’s, with the energetic South West Lindy Hoppers dancing and lindyhopping along.  The ebullient Hot House Combo brought their special blend of swinging jazz to get all toes tapping.  Many visitors dressed in the clothes of the period to add to the atmosphere, particularly those from the North Devon Sports and Classic Car Club who brought along their beautiful historic vehicles.


Clare Fairburn, one of the three singing Liberty Sisters, spoke about the event on BBC Radio Somerset earlier in the day saying: “The Dulverton Vintage Fair is one of our favourite places to perform, with a lively and friendly atmosphere and a carefully curated collection of stalls.  A not to be missed event!”

Images above capture the mood of the day, taken by local photographer Simon Ellery.


A wide array of stalls kept the visitors busy shopping with a great variety of vintage clothing, vintage style homeware, brocante, antiques, baskets and more.  Refreshments included a cocktail bar run by Dulverton’s own award-winning Exmoor Distillery and beer from local Wiveliscombe brewery Nuttycombe Brewery.


The event was generously sponsored by local businesses Exmoor Distillery and Seddons Estate Agents; and through the event the organisers and Dulverton Town Council were proud to be helping the CareMoor for Exmoor initiative which supports nature and heritage conservation across Exmoor National Park.


Earlier in the summer Visit Dulverton launched a photographic competition to find the best possible photo of the town in 2022. Since the new branding for the town was rolled out in 2021, along with the creation of the town’s Visit Dulverton social media and website, it had become evident that more images of this pretty Exmoor market town and its charming shops, cottages and businesses were needed to promote it to visitors to help support the local tourism economy.

The competition closed on Friday 15 July with a total of 75 images having been submitted.  The judge, multi award-winning photographer Rosie Barnes had a tough job on her hands!  She has now chosen a winner – the delightful image above by Joanne Davies, who will receive the generous prize from Visit Dulverton.

Rosie said: “Joanne Davies’ image of Dulverton’s iconic bridge stood out to me.  The light and colours are beautiful. There’s a reflective feel (that I imagine is how you’d feel at the water’s edge, looking at Dulverton’s beautiful medieval bridge), and the careful placing of the figures within the framework of the bridge’s arches, along with the general lines of composition throughout the image make a really well seen photograph.”

Rosie also chose five other photographs as worthy of particular mention.  All of these will be posted on Visit Dulverton’s social media over the coming days. The first, and the Competition Runner Up is Gary Scarlett’s boater on the River Barle with the iconic bridge in the frame, which Rosie described as being “full of peace and tranquillity”.

The four Highly Commended photographs are as follows:

  • Emma How’s landscape of Dulverton “nestled within the valley with beautiful meadow foreground and framed with trees is also rather lovely”.

  • Michael Pilley’s phone box with wisteria “is a fabulous riot of colour, which always gives visual appeal”.

  • Gill Whitehead’s image of Exmoor House “is a beautiful rendition of Nature’s green and blue working together”.

  • Nick Thwaites’ image of the fields above Dulverton in the snow also deserved a mention “as the skyscape is as good as the landscape”, albeit the view is not readily identifiable as having been taken in Dulverton.

Rosie summed up the competition entries as follows:

“Overall, it was wonderful to see so many photographs in and around Dulverton, a beautiful town with such visual appeal.  The brief was that the images needed to be identifiable as being taken in Dulverton and unfortunately there were a great many, some really breathtaking, that could really have been taken anywhere.  It was also a shame that some were submitted at too low a resolution to be used and there were a few children/cars etc that could have been cropped out.  The iconic bridge featured heavily amongst submitted entries, as did the old tin shack in a field and also the postbox with wisteria.

Dulverton is clearly a stunning little town and I’m envious of anyone who has the opportunity to live or spend time there, so it’s been a pleasure for me, as an outsider, to view all the beautiful entries. One last thing I would say, is that given the beauty already there, that it is absolutely not necessary to add particularly heavy filters to images. They really create an unnecessary fakeness to an otherwise naturally stunning scene. There were a couple of images I really loved, but didn’t choose them because of the filters. Nature is best and Dulverton clearly has that in abundance!”

Visit Dulverton would like to extend their thanks to Rosie Barnes for taking on the judging of the competition.  All of these images will soon be seen on the Visit Dulverton website and in social media, and all those who entered the competition will be notified of the judge’s decisions.

A recital of Classical Music for the Violin by Lucy Melvin, to be held at Exmoor Studios, Bank Square in Dulverton, TA22 9BU.

Music by Bach, Corelli and Prokofiev, among others.

Tickets £15 from link below. Further details on Facebook @DulvertonClassical



It is with a huge fanfare that Visit Dulverton announces its new and exciting event for 2022 – The Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival!  Taking place over the weekend of 19/20 November and billed as ‘A new Exmoor festival for story-lovers of all ages!”

There will be six hour-long informal talks taking place throughout the day in Dulverton Town Hall on Sunday 20 November, given by bestselling authors and writers on a variety of topics such as politics and drama, sport, psychology, historical, romantic and crime fiction, food and wine, yoga and writing for children.

Festival-goers can expect an illuminating talk from Norman Scott discussing his recently-released memoir An Accidental Icon, looking back at his life and his much-documented turbulent relationship with 1970’s Liberal politician Jeremy Thorpe, including his attempted murder on Porlock Hill. The UK’s most respected rugby union columnist, Rob Kitson, will talk about his bestseller Exe Men: The Extraordinary Rise of Exeter Chiefs, and MasterChef judge William Sitwell, one of Britain’s leading food writers, will discuss the history of food, including the problems associated with feeding Britain during WWII – so topical today.

Festival Director, Ali Pegrum said “Since first imagining the festival at the beginning of the year, we have received an immense amount of encouragement and support from a host of authors, writers, publishers and libraries right across the South West – all keen to help promote Exmoor’s very own inaugural literary festival and encourage reading and writing for everyone. As the Southern Gateway to Exmoor, Dulverton is the perfect place to host such an event and we hope that it will be repeated annually.”

Details of other bestselling authors attending the festival will be released shortly, along with the full programme and links to ticket purchasing.  Each talk will include time for audience questions, followed by author book signing in the festival’s in-house popup bookshop provided by Waterstones Barnstaple. There’ll even be an opportunity for a brief seated yoga meditation therapy session with Colin Dunsmuir, writer and a leading voice in the global yoga community.

The winner and runners up of the Dulverton Exmoor Literary Festival Writing Competition will be announced on the Sunday, with the winning entry read out by the competition’s judge, historical fiction author Kate Lord Brown.  The competition will be open to all children from Reception to Year Six, more details to follow.

The entire two-day event has been generously sponsored by local businesses Stockham Farm Exmoor, Exmoor News, Hedley Price Funeral Directors, Jeff Pegrum Landscaping, PFG Fabrication, Town Mills B&B, Tozers Solicitors, Ware Construction, Rothwell & Dunworth Books, First Design Print Web, Stags Estate Agents, Osteo & Physio Tiverton, Maitland Walker Solicitors and The Exclusive Cake Company.

By popular demand, the pretty Exmoor market town of Dulverton is again holding its exciting Vintage Fair this year.  On Sunday 4 September you will discover a celebration of vintage style suitable for all the family from 12 noon to 5pm on the Exmoor Lawns beside the River Barle.  The event attracted over 1800 visitors to join in the fun last year, and it is hoped that this year’s event will be just as well attended.

The fabulous Liberty Sisters will be singing their favourite numbers from the 1940’s and 50’s with the energetic South West Lindy Hoppers dancing and lindyhopping along.  The ebullient Hot House Combo will bring their special blend of swinging jazz to get all toes tapping.  Visitors dressing in the clothes of the period are definitely encouraged!

There’ll be a wide array of stalls selling a great variety of vintage and retro clothing, vintage style homeware, brocante, jewellery, gifts, antiques, baskets and lots more.

Unique WWII military vehicles and vintage tractors will be there, as well as a host of historic vehicles from the North Devon Sports and Classic Car Club.  The organisers are delighted that this year a rare 1943 Half Track (an American armoured personnel carrier) will make an appearance at the Fair.

Traditional tea, cakes and other hot and cold refreshments will keep visitors fed and watered – including a Cocktail Bar run by Dulverton’s own award-winning Exmoor Distillery and beer from local Wiveliscombe brewery Nuttycombe Brewery.

The event is generously sponsored by local businesses Exmoor Distillery and Seddons Estate Agents; and through the event the organisers and Dulverton Town Council are proud to be helping the CareMoor for Exmoor initiative which supports nature and heritage conservation across Exmoor National Park.

Keep an eye on the Vintage Fair page for more information.

Join a group of wonderful musicians in Dulverton’s beautiful All Saints’ Church on Sunday 10th July for a special Woodwind Concert in aid of the church’s clock repair fund.

The concert will feature music from 1522 to 2022, with members of the Taunton Clarinet Quartet, The Fabulous DARE Ensemble, saxophone solos, unusual instruments and a piano duet.  Something for all music lovers in a very good cause.

Doors open from 7pm and entry is free. The concert commences at 7.30pm.


All are welcome to All Saints Church in Dulverton on Sunday 17th July at 3pm for a wonderful concert of 18th Century dance music by the unique South West Baroque Orchestra.  With a delicious cream tea to follow!

Proceeds will go towards the Clock Fund and advance bookings are available from Dulverton Post Office.  Admission includes the cream tea – £15 adults; £10 students; Under 12’s free.

Enquiries to 01398 323462 or email ajeffries15@icloud.com

Tag Archive for: Somerset

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