Youth Resource Centre

The Youth Resource Centre will definitely close on 7 November as Devon County Council has virtually stopped providing youth services.  The only youth centre in North Devon funded by the county council will be in Barnstaple.

Ownership of the youth centre will transfer to the town as they own the land on which it was built. If agreement can be reached the YMCA will probably take over the running of the youth centre as a resource for the whole community – not just young people.

Running costs of the centre, even if it doesn’t open its doors, are in the order of £10,000 a year. A cost to the town, or rather a cost to the town’s rate payers!  Well done Devon County Council, well done central government!

Schubert the Sheep

Schubert the Sheep [Desktop Resolution]

That’s Schubert the Sheep sitting in the pulpit on the left – he’s the mascot of the Two Moors Festival (2MF). The photograph was taken on Saturday night in Exeter cathedral at a superb 2MF concert where I was helping out as an usher,  ticket collector and general factotum. Apologies for the scaffolding in the background, but if you’re from South Molton you’ll be very used to scaffolding!

The concert consisted of some Sibelius, a Bruch violin concerto and Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, featuring Polish violinist, Agata Szymczewska, , the Orchestra of the Swan, and the young Israeli conductor Gad Kadosh.

The Two Moors Festival  is held every October and features a variety of concerts and events which are held across Devon. For details of the current programme and the story behind the festival have a look at their website or their blog.  For the Twitterati amongst you look for #2mf.

I know that many people aren’t ‘into’ classical music, but take a look at the programme on their website. You might be surprised at the choice on offer (or that was on offer!).



Glad or Sad?

Catching the bus to Exeter on Saturday afternoon I was glad (or should that be sad?) to see that student behaviour hasn’t changed a great deal since I was at university. The statue of General Sir Redvers Buller at the junction of Hele Road and New North Road had three strategically placed traffic cones on it. Perhaps they’re a semi-permanent feature as Google Streetview also shows them?

If it hadn’t been for the cones I wouldn’t have known who the statue was of, or its history. So some good has come out of a student prank.

Leaning Tower of South Molton

LEaning Tower of South Molton
Apologies for the picture – it was taken from the top of a bus with an iPhone

I’m not sure how many people have noticed that the small clock tower on top of the Guildhall has a distinct list to it.

Apparently there’s a plumb bob fixed inside so that it can be seen if the tilt is getting worse. Let’s just hope that someone looks at it on a regular basis – and by regular I mean every month or so and not every ten or twenty years!

Vandalism Update

According to the police neighbourhood team website the South Molton policing team have received information regarding the flower shop vandalism and, in time honoured fashion, are pleased to say that a local male is assisting with enquiries.

Traffic Noise in the Town Centre

A large number of people have complained to me about the speed of the traffic along Broad Street late at night and early in the morning, and the noise and vibration that results – particularly from the larger vehicles.

One solution would be to implement a 20mph limit in the whole of the town centre – and ensure that is enforced. That would take a long time to implement and the county council would doubtless say they haven’t got enough money to do it (couldn’t the Town Council  help out here?). There might be a quicker solution.

Whilst browsing the Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) on the county council website I came across one* which states that there is a maximum weight limit in operation along Broad Street. In the part of the TRO which lists roads where heavy commercial vehicles# are not permitted it says this:

“Broad Street – from a point approximately 100 metres east of its junction with Church Street to its junction with New Road”.

That’s more-or-less from the beginning of the Enhancement (near the sorting office) to New Road. Perhaps the police could enforce the existing regulations?

* The County of Devon (Various Streets, South Molton) (Traffic Regulation) (No 2) Order 1993

# “Heavy commercial vehicle” means any goods vehicle which has an operating weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes


If you’re reading this you’ll know that I’ve revamped the design of my website, along with some of its content. It should be much easier to read on mobile devices now and hopefully the menu bar has become less cluttered. The old Out and About is still here, but has been revamped as a ‘blog’.

Abbeyfield – Bidders Court

Bizarre how the SMTC planning committee members knew so little about Abbeyfield. Surely they should have known that Abbeyfield is a charity and the reasons that they need to develop and sell Bidders Court? Abbeyfield can’t find people to go to Bidders Court anymore because there are no en-suite facilities. The money from the sale of Bidders Court would help modernise the facilities at Duffield House.

Mayor’s Charity Ball

Had a great time at the Mayor’s Charity Ball last night. Good conversation, the wine flowed, and the food by the Garfield Girls was fabulous. I must be getting old, because although I thought the music was good, it was far too loud. and I’ve never been ‘into’ dancing.

The guest of honour, Sir Nick Harvey, made not a single political point in his speech, and apart from mentioning the Tesco fiasco, told only jokes – none of which I can remember!


We’ve had an abundance of pigeons and crows in our garden recently and have found several dismembered pigeons. We blamed our local cats, but this morning I saw a bird of prey flying low over the garden clutching a pigeon in its claws. It’s a shame that  they can’t ‘take out’ the crows as well.