March Update

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Bertie & Crew are offering up to 60% discount on many items in the store. Please don’t forget to take you FoBL Membership Card/ Loyalty Card with you.

Cow Town 1850 – 1900: come celebrate a great project for Brixham

This month sees the culmination of our two-year lottery project in St Mary’s Churchyard – Cowtown 1850-1900. Almost without exception a group of volunteers has regularly met on Wednesday and Saturday mornings to record as many names as possible of all those buried there. Unfortunately, the original records were lost in the Exeter Blitz and a sad reminder that despite sending them so they would be kept safely, this wasn’t to be the case. As the project has developed and more and more people have become aware of it, the project team have recorded not just the names and the dates but where possible they have added the details of many of the individual’s lives, along with photographs of where they lived and where and what work they undertook. Thus, a living history has been constructed that will provide inspiration for today and for future generations. Copies of the work will be held in St Mary’s Church; Brixham Museum, Brixham Library and Torquay Libraries Local Studies Section.

A dedicated website is being created by team members and all project material including a searchable family ‘Commemorative Headstone’ database of the existing graves in St Mary’s churchyard is soon to go online. So far over 9,500 names have been added to the database.

Weekly project updates have been posted on social media including Facebook.

The project also owes a huge debt to local artist Peter Archer, sadly no longer with us. However, before he died, he drew and painted a number of pictures for the project to show what the inhabitants of Cowtown would have looked like and as a result will be a lasting tribute to his wonderful work. Peter’s illustrations also complement the project Primary School Key Stage 1+2 ‘Victorian Britain’ (Brixham) booklet and story-bag. The contents of which include a pair of ‘Workhouse Children’ thanks to Martine Brumwell, a cat and mouse, thanks to Angela Trayhorn plus samples of ‘oakum’ and ‘junk’ old rope unpicked by the workhouse children and then added to tar to waterproof wooded hulls.

Churston Grammar School VIth Form Photographic Studies Students have also joined our project team and their photo studies will be displayed in our March 23rd Exhibition in St Mary’s Church.

To further illustrate the project, an aerial map has been painted by Dave Brumwell to show the area as it would have looked at the end of the 19thcentury. In addition, a very fine tapestry by Barbara Dawes has been made. Finally, a scale model of the church and the churchyard has been created by local model maker Paul Bennett to recapture the many features lost through the passage of time. Both the model and painting will be on permanent display in St Mary’s Church from March 23rd.

A number of Cowtown family histories have been written and illustrated by team member Jenny Crisp. These have been put on DVD and will form another part of our Key Stage 1+2 ‘Victorian Britain’ (Brixham) educational packs. The DVD’s will be streamed on our website.

Written by team member and ecologist Nigel Wood an introduction to ‘The Lichens of St Mary’s Graveyard Brixham’ has been written proving that the Graveyard is a living space for wildlife. The guide is in leaflet form and will be available at our exhibition and downloadable from our website.

Project member Nina Hannaford has created a series of ‘Cowtown Walks’. These guided/historical walks of the parish will be on display at our exhibition and will be downloadable from our website.

Date for your Diary – Saturday 23 March 2019  The project’s climax comes with an exhibition of all of the above work in St Mary’s Church on Saturday 23 March 2019 when project members will be there to tell you about all that has been achieved. Paul Bennet’s scale model is to be unveiled at 2.30pm which opens the exhibition.

A concert entitled ‘Cowtown in Words and Music’, is being held in the church in the evening, the proceeds of which are being donated to the St Mary’s Church Tower Appeal Fund which is in urgent need of restoration.

Doors open at 7pm, tickets will include a ‘glass of wine’ and will be £5 for adults and children have FREE entrance. Performers include Harpin’ Mad, Folk Inspired, Missin’ Tackle Shanty Crew and Friends with ‘Words’ from ‘Victorian Cowtown’ spoken by members of South Devon Players written in part by local playwright David Murphy.

As I am sure you will agree, the project has achieved an incredible amount of work which will provide a lasting legacy for people interested in and researching into the history of Cow Town, Brixham. FoBL acknowledges the dedication and enthusiasm of all those involved and my thanks go to all for them for everything they have achieved.

Library Shop

For many years now libraries have embraced the need to create their own income, generating funds in a variety of different ways. This can at first seem daunting and alien to those who have worked in local authorities for many years. However, it can also be inspiring, motivational and, once targets are met,  can see real returns to each individual library. In Brixham, the sale of spectacles, cards as well as seasonal calendars and other offers has almost become part of the furniture. Now  the library has a wide range of stationery items for sale at very reasonable and competitive prices. These include fun items for the children as well as something for your office needs. So next time you’re in the library do take a look as you’ll be helping the staff and you may come away with something to tick off your shopping list too. For more information about this, do ask the staff as Emma and her team will be pleased to help you.

Coffee Morning Update

Our next coffee morning is being held on Friday 5 April between 10.00 – 12.00 noon. We hope to hold a plant sale and any plants you can bring along on the day for sale would be much appreciated.

Our last coffee morning raised £161.51 of which £75.00 was raised through the selling of silk flowers that were donated by one of our members. We were also selling jars of marmalade which sold very quickly. All in all, another very successful morning and once again thank you for your continuing support. If you have any similar ideas for future coffee mornings, do talk to us about them.

Eunice Dodd (Secretary)