The Wonderland weekend at the Dartington Estate near Totnes offers a programme of affordable, accessible activities that embrace diversity to create great craft for everyone. From spoon making to building your tiny home, brewing beer to dressmaking, cheese making to kiln building, to crafting your own wooden surfboard in the Wonderland makers workshops, there are a range of courses where people can see craft created from the heart that has purpose, uniqueness and love channelled through it.
The Wonderland festival celebrates the Dartington Experiment conceived by
The event is run by Bovey Tracey Carnival Committee and profits from this and all events throughout the year are donated to charity.
HARBERTONFORD’S CHRISTMAS CRAFT AND ART FAIR
The popular Christmas Craft and Art Fair in this village near Totnes offers a wide variety of stalls displaying quality handmade crafts and original artwork from local makers. With free entry and free parking, it’s a great place to do some Christmas shopping while keeping the kids entertained making seasonal crafts and with face painting. There’s a raffle with prizes from participating stalls. The café supplies snacks, lunches , drinks and cakes with profits going to the local school.
Dubbed “one of folk’s great odd couples”, Belshazzar’s Feast kick off their December Two Wise Men tour with a gig at Harberton Folk Club near Totnes.
Their popular seasonal show mixes traditional folk music, seasonal material, stirring in classical, pop and music hall and all topped off with audience participation and lashings of wry humour. Paul Sartin (of Bellowhead and Faustus) and Paul Hutchinson (of Hoover The Dog) received a coveted nomination for the Best Duo Award at the 2010 BBC Folk Awards and are regulars at folk festivals across the summer and touring.
Paul Sartin was a member of the multi-bbc Radio 2 Awardwinning big band Bellowhead, and is currently in trio Faustus. Paul Hutchinson’s love of fusion music originates from his days in the renowned Celtic jazzers, Hoover the Dog. Pagoda Project, with jazz clarinetist, Karen Wimhurst, is the next exciting chapter in his musical journey providing a vehicle for his own compositions. Paul is resident tutor at Cecil Sharp House, Halsway Manor, Benslow Music Centre and Marlborough College. He has a keen interest in and knowledge of 17th and 18th Century dance music which has resulted in tours to Europe, Australia and America. He is currently working on a book of 18th century tunes to be published next May.
EXETER CHILDREN’S ORCHESTRA
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Raymond Briggs’ classic tale The Snowman about a friendship between a boy and a snowman. Four years later the book became an animated film with a delightful score by Howard Blake.
The Exeter Children’s Orchestra have been granted a special licence by Penguin books to perform the only screenings of the film with live music in Devon this year in the city’s Belmont Chapel.
Exeter children’s orchestra was formed in 1970 and currently has about 100 members ranging from 7-18 years of age.
They meet every Saturday morning during term time at St Leonard’s Primary School in Exeter. It is funded by charitable donations and run by a voluntary committee.
Mount Kelly will perform alongside La La Choirs and a group of performers known as the CLIC Sargent Singers.
This group of talented young musicians and singers met at CLIC Sargent’s summer music workshop, a programme for 16-24-year-olds which supports budding young singers and musicians with, or recovering from, cancer.
La La community choirs began in Lympstone in 2008 and is run by Sam Abrahams who also ran the Lympstone Military Wives Choir which performed with Russell Watson, Katherine Jenkins, and in front of the Queen. There are now four La La Choirs meeting regularly.
A series of Christmas concerts throughout December by the Exmoor Carolers will raise money for their chosen charity, North Devon Hospice. Last year their performances raised £2,500 for Children’s Hospice South West.
Confirmed dates include St Dubricius Church, Porlock (1 December, 7.30pm), Christ Church, Braunton (2 December, 3pm), St Mary’s Church, Lynton (8 December, 7pm), All Saints Church, Clovelly (9 December, 3pm) with a guest appearance from the Clovelly donkeys, Woolhanger Manor (14 December, 7.15pm), Mortehoe Village Hall (15 December, 7pm), St Hieritha’s Church, Chittlehampton (22 December, 7.30pm) and The Plough Arts Centre, Torrington (23 December, 3pm).
Some events include refreshments. For full details visit the Exmoor Carolers Facebook page or call 01237 477729.
North Devon Choral Society’s Armistice Centenary Concert at St Michael and All Angels, Great Torrington with music by Campling, Elgar and VaughanWilliams. 8 December, 7.30pm.
The Winkleigh Singers traditional Christmas Concert at All Saints Parish Church, Winkleigh, which includes Vivaldi’s Gloria. 15 December, 7.30pm.
SANTA STEAM SPECIALS
All aboard! What could be better for children and adults at Christmas than to combine the magic of Father Christmas with the spectacle of a steam railway journey?
Devon is blessed with several heritage railways, and many run special services for young passengers at Christmas.
South Devon Railway operates a year-round service between their base at Buckfastleigh and Totnes. They are running up to four services a day at weekends from 1 December then daily from 18 December to Christmas Eve. The Santa-by-steam trains start at Buckfastleigh with refreshments on board served by Santa’s helpers.
There will be entertainment on the train and Father Christmas will be meeting all the children in his magical on-board Grotto during the journey, when each