Devon Life - - Diary -


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.


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.


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.


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

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