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The Thursday Ace Group

Follow our Thursday Ace Group blogs and see what interesting things have been going on here

Posted by on in The Thursday Ace Group

In early September, Simon Akeroyl, Head Gardener at Colleton Fishacre and Green Way and Ali Marshal, Head Gardener at Torre Abby judged the ACE garden.

We felt really privileged to be judged by such experts.

They looked at aspects of our large garden that presently has leeks, cauliflowers, Runner Beans and French Beans, tomatoes, roses, summer flowers, Holly Hocks, lavender, grapes, apple and pear trees and numerous pot plants.

We enjoyed their company and the gardening tips that they shared.

We will have to await the Presentation Evening, on 19 September, to see if we have been successful.

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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.

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 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.

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On Monday 3rd November the Port of Brixham Trawler Association held a presentation evening at Brixham Rugby Club to donate monies to local worthy causes. The Association manages the money raised annually at the Brixham Trawler Race and at other fundraising events for later distribution to chosen local groups.

Robert Boyd, a trustee of the Brixham based charity, Access to Community Education, known as ACE, received a cheque for £500 from Pam Evans, the Association Chairman.

Robert, expressed his apprecation on behalf of ACE for this generous donation. He said, "The money will help the members of ACE, a charity for disabled adults, to afford the learning activities and transport provided by ACE to improve the conditions of their lives". 

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This week Grahame presented us with a very entertaining quiz that certainly tested our memories.

Competition is fierce to win the quiz and claim the team prize of a box of chocolates.

The ACE members are unusually quiet during the quiz but become their vocal selves when the answers are revealed.

“Thank you Grahame. You deserve your diabetic chocolates”.

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Chris Wardley joined us to celebrate her 70th Birthday. Chris has been a member of ACE for twenty years and has served as ‘chair’ on three occasions. She has also been a keen fundraiser with her regular Christmas and Easter raffles. She was presented with a small Palm tree and flowers.

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The members of ACE were very lucky and grateful to receive a donation that paid for a group visit to the Eden Project at the end of the Spring term.

We set off in heavy rain, which caused us concern. But when we reached Cornwall the sun shone and the rest of the day was beautiful.

We first explored the warm tropical dome. The lush tropical plants reminded us of the jungle pictures we have seen on the TV but which few of us have otherwise experienced. We learnt about the valuable food that is produced in such warm climates.

We managed to come together for a group photograph.

After lunch we explored the temperate zone with grape vines and numerous very colourful flowers.

We all had a marvellous day and we are very grateful to our kind donor that made it all possible.

The Eden Project is a source of amazement and wonder to us all.

Click here to see more photos of our trip to the Eden Project

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Gill’s desire to become a nurse started when she was ill in hospital with pneumonia and she watched her Auntie Freda nursing.

She left school in 1973, but, being then too young to enrol, she spent a year at South Devon College on a pre nursing course and 9 months employed in a nursing home.

In 1975 she started as an Enrolled nurse at Torbay hospital. She and her fellow students had to live in, which brought new freedoms, lifelong friendships and the new responsibilities of looking after themselves.

Gill’s basic nursing skills started with learning to care for her uniform; to fold her paper hat; giving bed baths, making beds and many other practical skills. She then moved onto a male surgical ward and teamed up with a more experienced student nurse. Nursing men at her age was both hard work and good fun. Her next ward experience was on a geriatric ward, which was not to her liking. Next came Christmas with fun on the wards; a serious tree and ward decorating competition to win plus a few parties.

!976 saw more successful examinations and a second blue stripe on her hat. Practical skills were tested and ticked off in the book. The next year she passed her finals and she moved to Newton Abbot Hospital with a new house of 12 other nurses.

In 1981 she married Larry and they had their three children. Gill then left full time nursing to become a bank nurse for 12 years on male surgical.

She then converted to a Registered nurse with the strain of hard studying and a growing family.

In 1996 she changed to an Endoscopy unit where she stayed for 8 years.

Gill loved her nursing. She had many fun times combined with hard work, responsibility and night shifts. The attached photograph captures her young, care free days. She gave up smoking many years ago.

Thanks Gill for a very enjoyable talk.

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Elizabeth creating her first abstract art piece in the Painting and Drawing class.

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'Our little gray cells' were well exercised by quiz master Grahame Young. A top score of 48 from 50 won the box of chocolates. We all enjoyed a share with our lunch.


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ACE members enjoy a friendly but highly competitive game of boule. The excitement and the health aspects of team games are invalueable to enhance the lives of disabled people.


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