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Ilfracombe Ukulele Club have raised £306.74 for BBC Children in Need appeal. This beat last years total of £209.51. We toured the pubs, clubs and restaurants of Ilfracombe, playing our ukes and shaking our bucket.
Mick Cockram on Twitter https://twitter.com/Mick180/status/401649702707683328
North Devon Gazette http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/north_devon_s_children_in_need_round_up_1_3012392
Ilfracombe Ukulele Club meet Verity on the Children In Need tour
Counting up the cash at Larkstone Cafe
If you would like to Join Ilfracombe Ukulele Club, we meet every Tuesday 7pm a Larkstone café. All uke players welcome, all ages. http://paulclews888.weebly.com/ilfracombe-ukulele-club.html
Many thanks to Paul for the invitation to guest blog. I’m Ruth and I live in
Ilfracombe, which is why it’s been an expensive week so far.
I had to go to a meeting in London yesterday. The meeting lasted less than an
hour but it took nine hours, twenty miles of driving and a stonking train fare
to get there and home again. Not to mention the cost of the mysterious
transformation that yet again took place somewhere between Barnstaple and
Paddington. How is it that I get on the train in Devon looking respectable, and
when I get off it in London I look like a bag lady? I’m sure I’m not the only
person this happens to. Maybe that’s why there’s a branch of Monsoon in
None of the people at the meeting knew where Ilfracombe was. That was
interesting, because they’re in the book business, and while most of the trade
is mourning the fact that bookshops are closing down all around us, what do we
have right here in our own High Street?
I suppose its relative remoteness is one reason that Ilfracombe has managed
to hang onto all sorts of businesses which, for friends who live in bigger towns
with easier communications, are only a fond memory. A proper greengrocer. Two
real butchers. Bakeries and a post office that aren’t just add-ins to
supermarkets. A fish shop. A local printer. Pedlar’s. Shops that deliver. Shops
that don’t charge silly prices. Shops where the staff know what they’re talking
about - usually because they’re the owners. That’s not to mention the proper
pubs, the farmers who sell locally-raised meat and the places to buy free-range
eggs at the front gate. As the daughter and grand-daughter of former Ilfracombe
shopkeepers, I listened to the Londoners saying, "Ilfracombe? Where’s that?" and
I smiled, and I thought, it’s in a very good place.
By Ruth Downie
Lots of photos of this and previous years Victorian Celebrations. http://pinterest.com/paulkclews/victorian-celebration/
My old shop 'Flipside', in Church Street. I used to sell CDs VHS videos, and musical instruments. This was the late eighties and early nineties.
The inside view. That's me on the right.
If you remember the shop, or even better, if you were a customer, please leave your memories in the comments section.
My mom received an award for her many years of being Queen Victoria, an annual job she does during Ilfracombe's Victorian Celebration. Well done to her. Other winners were Jenna King, Carol Turner, Debbie Barrow Rigler, Vanessa Archer and Gary Tovey, Mike and Yvonne Norris, Jenny Coates, Louise Coad and Mr and Mrs Shaw. Well done to them too.
Mayor, Lynda Courtnadge presented the awards.
Coming soon, please check back.
North Devon Gazette
North Devon Journal
Ilfracombe Victorian Celebration website
I have been meaning to write this blog for a long time. A couple of years in fact. I keep putting it off because I know it's a little controversial and I want to get it right. In other words, I've done my research. Many of you may disagree (I have had many debates on Twitter and Facebook about it). It makes my blood boil.
Now just to be clear, when I say 'why you should not play them', I also mean, you should not watch them, or eat or drink in the venues that promote them.
The pub landlords that promote such events will tell you, they put them on
'to give new talent an opportunity to play in front of an audience', as if they are doing the 'new talent' a favour. Well let me tell you, this is a big fat lie, they put them on for profit. Now profit is not a rude word, but everyone contributing deserves a slice of it. They are using the musicians skills and talent to line their own pockets, and not share any of it with the musician. Okay, they often give you a 'free pint'. Let me tell you about that 'free pint', it's not free, you worked for it. I wonder if the landlord pays his plumber and staff in pints. Pints do not pay your mortgage, kids shoes, or even a packet of guitar strings. They should also be declared to the VAT man by the landlords because, as an accountant informs me, they are in effect making a taxable supply to the musician in exchange for services, so the VAT on the full value of the pint should be paid over. I hope you landlords are declaring them. Equally, musicians should be declaring them to the tax man. You are accepting beer as income. I suspect the whole thing is a hot bed of petty tax evasion. I suggest musicians should try going down to Soundpad in Barnstaple and offer them a couple of flat pints of beer for a packet of Ernie Balls. I can ensure you they will laugh you out the building. Musicians are consequently 'paying to play' as the old musicians slogan used to say.
Another trick that the landlords and agents use to pull you in is, 'come
play the open mic night, and we'll see how good you are. If you are good enough I will book you'. This is another lie. They rarely give gigs this way, although they will deny this. I know many venues that book a whole year or seasons entertainment on this basis, abusing the good will of hopeful entertainers.
Entertainers need to stand together, say no to this rip off, and put an end to this awful practice, that is in all but name slavery.
People have argued 'but they're fun'. I don't think putting musicians out of work and treating them as slaves is fun. I take no pleasure in it. Where are your principles? It's a nobel art.On occasions, I've had other musicians tell me, 'I only play for fun, I work in the week, I don't need the money'. Again, I don't see how putting other musicians out of work is fun. How would you like it if I go to your boss and say to him I'll do your job for free, because I work as a musician, therefore I
don't need the money? There is a minimum wage law, some how musicians fall through the net. Has this musician got public liability insurance? I have never
met one that has. Therefore any accident, such as taking someone's eye out with
a guitar neck, or burning the pub down with your untested (PAT) electrical equipment, is not usually covered by the landlords insurance policy. You're taking a hell of a risk.
When it comes to these practices, I want venue owners to give up, and pay up!
I'm off for a walk to calm down.