The Brixham Ace Blog
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Born June 16, 1969. I have lived in Brixham since 1985. I used to be a fisherman until I suffered a spinal cord injury in May 1986. Since then I have been confined to a wheelchair. Hobbies include computing, amateur radio and carp fishing
Bob and Donna Myres met in 1996, when volunteering at the Torbay Hospital Radio charity, where they still broadcast to patients on a Monday evening.
In 2012 they formed the Torbay Times as a community newspaper to improve the publicity for voluntary organisations in Torbay.
Waitrose was the first large store in Torbay to sell their paper and others followed. They now have a steady circulation in the Bay and a large advertisement on a local bus.
They reached their 50th addition this month with regular columnists like our ACE member – Uncle Tom.
Dr Wollaston, the Totnes Member of Parliament, invited them to visit the Houses of Parliament and a reception, at Number Ten, for journalists. They soon discovered that their newspaper was the only one present without a bias.
They feature controversial issues, without a biased view, such as the possibility of closing local hospitals or the future of Oldway Massion.
Much of their newspaper is involved with Charity events with in Torbay
Yvonne, Janet and Sophia provided us with a most interesting, well-illustrated talk onthe Island of Madeira.
Sophia had created an expert power point presentation, which was very helpful for Yvonne’s talk.
We learnt how the island was born of an ancient volcano and that it was claimed for Portugal.
It is visited by approximately one million tourists annually and many cruise ships call.
Madeira is a lush, mountainous island popular for the numerous man made water channels called levadas, which provide lengthy walks amongst the mountains. Janet and her husband, Bruce, have visited Madeira seven times and she showed us photographs of them following the levadas amongst the mountain tops and low level clouds and views over the sea.
Yvonne showed us pictures of the world-famous New Year fireworks display, the Brazilian style carnival, the exotic flower shows, the dancing from all ages, the market of mouth-watering fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.
Yvonne had baked local delicacies which we sampled with small glasses of local wine and rum.
Their talk brightened up our grey day of frequent showers.
We would now all like to visit for ourselves.
Tina is a past friend of ACE. She started with an illustrated talk on her visit to India, which she gave dressed in a traditional Sari. Then she taught cookery on a Tuesday evening.
Now we welcome her back to share her craft knowledge. After her demonstration, wemade a Christmas Tree from an old book and decorated it.
The tree tested our dexterity, hand, eye co-ordination and skill with glue and tinsel.
It was very enjoyable and we took home our own Christmas decoration
Carl, an ACE member and our Guest Speaker organiser, provided us with an excellent talk on the ‘Sovereign’s Christmas Message’.The message was
The message was first broadcast by King George V in 1932 as part of the BBC Empire Service and is continued today by our present Queen Elizabeth II. She now broadcasts on the BBC World Service to the Commonwealth of Nations on television and the internet.
It was interesting to hear some of the topics that have been mentioned in the messages over the years. They can all be found in the Wikipedia section of the internet title.
Carl’s topic was followed by Yvonne our administrator, who told us about her trip in 2012 to Lapland in Finland.
At the time her son Carlo was a Thompson’s Holiday Rep. at the Santa Claus Villagein the Finnish capital of Rovaniemi.
We say beautiful sub-Arctic winter scenes of Santa Claus and his elves in his work shop, thick, dry snow cover fields and forests, the green Northern Lights-Aurora Borealis, reindeers and dogs pulling sleighs and the colourful costumes of the indigenous Sami people.
We finished by naming Santa’s reindeers and singing Jingle Bells.
I’d like to commend Carl and Yvonne for the pleasure of their talks, despite their nerves, and we would encourage others to follow their lead.
The Festival, in its 15th year, started on 20 October this year with its first readings at Brixham’s Access to Community Education group for disabled people known as ACE.
William Oxley, one of the festival organisers, introduced Gavin Boulus, from Edinburgh, to us.
He entertained us alone, for 50 minutes, with the following poems and songs sometimes accompanying himself on his bongo drums.
He started with ‘Black River’ a protest poem about pollution and careless waste disposal.
Napoleon whilst he waited in Torbay to learn his fate, after defeat at Waterloo. He was a very popular tourist attraction.
A very attractive waitress that he longed to talk with, but he couldn’t pluck up the courage.
The 42 bus as it journeyed around Edinburgh.
The Falkland’s war
The Drum beat of concern
Where the motorway used to end
We very much enjoyed his skilled recitals in many moods.
He enjoyed our warm reception and applause.
Lions Club International by Lion John Sims
John’s illustrated talk was very impressive. We learnt so much about an organisation that is very familiar to us all, but so little understood.
It started in 1917 when a Chicago businessman Melvin Jones called a meeting of his local business clubs and suggested that they reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of communities across the world. They agreed.
They contacted further groups in the USA and together held another meeting in June 1917. They laid the foundations of the Lions Club as an international group for good that is now approaching its centenary in 2017. Their motto is:”We serve.”
John elaborated on how Lions clubs work as individuals, but under one umbrella, to support both local and international issues.
From 1925 they agreed to be, “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” They developed the white cane, guide dog training, eye banks, the recycling of spectacles and the fight against River Blindness. They also provide support for international disasters, the eradication of measles and many local charitable projects.
They encourage youth membership to develop the Lions of the future, community leaders and young businesses.
There are now Lions Clubs in 200 different countries of the world with 1.41 million members.
It was fascinating to reflect on the good work by this universal group.
We felt the Lion’s buzz.
Rosemary Clarke and Helen Barrett of Brixham town council are strong proponents of Fair Trade, an organisation dedicated to making sure that producers and their employees receivea fair price for their goods with the aim of eradicating poverty and child labour. Some coffees,chocolates and all Tate and Lyle sugars are among the foodstuffs that are ethically producedand allowed to display the Fair Trade logo.
The supermarkets Co-op and Sainsbury's sell only Fair Trade Bananas. Non food products like cotton and footballs are often produced with Fair Trade ethics in mind.
The increased wealth of these regions & tea and sugar plantations for example' has financed building projects to provide dignified toilet facilities, schools and community centres.
Due in no small part to the work of Rosemary and Helen and the help of ethical businesses like Stokes shop, many cafes and other organisations, Brixham now qualifies as a Fair Trade town.
After an informative and interesting presentation Helen and Rosemary entertained us with a short quiz
Charles’s illustrated talk on Lupton House was most interesting and enlightening.
The site is first recorded as an Anglo Saxon village and then as Locktone in the Dooms Day Book of 1087. The present house was built by Charles Hayne in 1772 and it was bought by Judge Sir Francis Buller in 1792. He was a very active local judge, who apparently said it was permissible for a man to beat his wife provided the stick was no thicker than a man’s thumb. Hence the saying: ‘The rule of thumb’.
The house and the estate have been continually redeveloped with driveways, stables, kennels, a walled kitchen garden and an Italian formal garden.
The house was occupied, in the build up to D Day, by a transport unit of the American Army. In the years following it became a home to 3 different schools and is best remembered for the last being Gramercy Hall School.
It closed in 2004 and abandoned until 2008, when the council sort to sell it for private development. Fortunately for the community, however, it was secured by a newly formed Lupton House Trust and now provides an excellent wedding venue, a place to enjoy refreshments and a host of learning opportunities.
John knows our group very well having already presented us with a number of interesting talks.
He is an excellent speaker and very knowledgeable about his subjects.
Agatha Miller was born in Torquay on 15 September 1890 into an upper-middle-class family. She was tutored at home and she developed her imagination whilst playing alone in the garden.
She enjoyed bathing in the bathing machines of the day, roller skating and amateur dramatics.
She married Archie Christie in 1914 during his leave from the fighting in France as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps. During this war Agatha worked as a nurse in Torquay and later in the dispensary where she learnt about poisons.
Archie survived the war and joined the Colonial Service where they toured the colonies, leaving their daughter Rosalind with Agatha’s sister Mag. Archie later asked for a divorce, which Agatha reluctantly agreed to in 1928 after a period when she strangely disappeared.
She met and married Max Mallowan, an Egyptian archaeologist in 1930. She kept his records. In 1936 they bought Greenway, which was requisitioned by the 10th USA Coast Guard during WW2.
Ken and Pauline, who are regular volunteers in the house at Coleton Fishacre, provided us with an in depth, illustrated talk.
In 1920 Rupert Carte and Lady Dorothy Carte were sailing along the Devon Coast, east of the river Dart, when they saw a beautiful area of land with secluded views over the Mew Stone and Lyme Bay. It soon became Coleton Fishacre their country retreat for stylish entertaining and enjoyment of the countryside.
The building of their house, in an Arts and Craft style, commenced in 1923 with an Art Deco interior and extensive gardens extending down to Pudcombe Cove.
Ken and Pauline packed their talk with numerous photographs and detailed explanations, which meant we could all enjoy this fine house without leaving our chairs.
They answered all our questions and Eve proposed one for them, “Why are there 3 taps in the scullery sink?” They promised to research the answer.
We treated Ken and Pauline to lunch with us before they left.
We now look forward to their return talk on Greenway, the home of the late Agatha Christie.
Greenway and Coleton Fishacre are both National Trust properties that are administered together.
Graham’s quizzes are always popular and keenly contested. But despite the efforts of the other three teams the expert knowledge, especially in music, of Chrissie’s team came out on top again. Congratulations to you all!
The winners are Chrissie, Janet, Pauline and Debbie.
Well we finally got there, the website has now been upgraded and updated to the latest version of Joomla!. It was a long time coming, the older software was dreadfully out of date and was starting to become a security risk on our server. whereas the content has remained much the same, that will be up to Rob and David to sort out, I have installed various new components and modules. The most noticeable difference will be the blog system that is now installed. This blogging program is something I use on various websites and I find it extremely user-friendly. I have also installed the latest version of Ignite Gallery which enables us to create various categories which then means you can separate photos into their own section. A nice little addition is the Facebook like button. I would encourage people to click this as it will automatically put a link on to your Facebook page and spread the word about our new website.
So I hope the new look appeals to everyone. I am working with Rob in order to make a user-friendly website that everyone can enjoy.