Today on my second day of work experience with Paul, we started at South Molton school and gave some children guitar lessons. After that we came back to Braunton for my own guitar lesson. Next it was my sisters lesson which I played the cajon (small drum) for, and assisted her along with songs that Paul had shown her recently. Next we headed back to Ilfracombe to collect the equipment for a ukulele workshop that evening, once everything was packed up it was time to go. For this particular workshop, we drove to Simonsbath house on Exmoor. The workshop was full of enthusiastic children, and ran very smoothly. After the workshop we headed back home. A very long tiring second day, and much of the same tomorrow.
Today on my first day of work experience, the day was based around the recording studio as we where trying to start recording a song for Paul'scampfire songs album. Early on in the day, we handed out ukulele workshop posters to shops in Ilfracombe. After that we tested Paul's lighting equipment ready for upcoming gigs, and carried on with the recording. Probably the easiestday this week, as we are heading of tomorrow to Exmoor for a uke workshop.
This is a following Ilfracombe Rotary Star Trek. The information provided is from David Jones of Hele Mill.
The Star Trek Challenge on twitter is @star_trek_walk
Well they are all off and running the last team 8:45 pm.
All going well on this moonlit night. First team back, half way 9.40
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First team to complete the Star Trek in at 0:44 am
I stand corrected Nicola was the last. finding a more interesting route via the Cairngorms or some such place. The ghost team had gone home after doing half the course but neglected to tell
North Devon Gazette coverage http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/pictures_successful_startrek_takes_to_exmoor_1_3984020
Billy Bragg talks about the the demise of the protest song. http://audioboo.fm/boos/2213757-where-are-all-the-protest-songs
We are wanting to find people who would be willing to join the network hub we are proposing to set up for the North Devon area. We are members of the Permaculture Association.
Wenderlynn & Iain
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
Win a free half hour guitar or ukulele lesson by Skype, FaceTime or google hangouts. During #DevonHour on twitter, this week only (21/82013), 10 questions about me will appear under the hash tag #SoYouThinkYouKnowMe. Simply tweet the answers back to me. All the answers are in my twitter time line and blogs.
The winner will be announced shortly after Saturday 6 pm (24/8/2013) when the competition closes, here and on Twitter. In the event of a tie, I will draw a winner from the most correct answers. Anyone is eligible to play, except me. Good luck!
You must be able to get your hands on a guitar or ukulele.
No cash alternatives.
My decision is final.
As many of you know, I'm not a fan of open mic nights. You don't need to get ripped off to get your first gigs. http://paulclews888.weebly.com/1/post/2013/03/open-mic-nights-why-you-should-not-play-them.htm You could play at family and friends parties for instance. These kind of events will offer you a supportive audience, and introduce you to other party guests who may never have heard of your band, or if they have, may not know what you sound like. This could lead to another gig.
Another simple way to get a gig is to book yourself. Hire a pub or hotel room, or even a village hall or similar and sell tickets. In the old days in Ilfracombe, all the bands used to hire the Vaults Bar. Advertise your gig with posters in local shop windows. Many shop owners are happy to do this for free. These days it is much easier to make your own posters and tickets with computers and printers. They were just not available to me. Advertise your gig on gig web sites and of course on social media. Twitter being the best way to get your word out because of its size and the fact you can reach many people with no followers what so ever, with clever use of hash tags. Always include the name of the town or city where you are going to play, and including the surrounding towns is a good idea too. Facebook is important but difficult, in comparison. You need to actively collect 'likes' on you page, which for an unknown band is not easy. But you can advertise in local and other type specific groups. It is also well worth having a Google+ page to promote your gigs, because it is searchable on Google.
Gigs can also be promoted, often for free in local news papers, and on local radio. Just be creative.
Sell as many tickets as you can, and don't forget you can charge on the door too. It's a good idea to charge a little more on the door to encourage ticket sales. Get all your family and friends to buy tickets too, and you will make a profit from your gig.
What if you don't have enough songs? Well set up the gig as a double or triple bill with other local bands in a similar position to you. Split the overheads, split the profits. More bands promoting, means more advertising, bigger audiences, and more exposure for your band.
A word of warning before you start gigging. It's a little boring, and not very rock 'n' roll, but you need to get public liability insurance to protect yourself, your audience, and the venue you are playing at. The best way to get this in my opinion is to join the Musicians Union.
Good luck and get gigging.
Well, Paul can't get much further North in Devon and We can't get much further South. Paul asked on Twitter during DevonHour, a weekly spot where Devonian Twits get together and tweet the bejasus out of a #hashtag (don't ask, either you know or you don't) if anyone would like to write a guest post for his blog. I volunteered.
I'm involved with tourism. I thought I'd nail my colours to my mast at once, but the mast is stainless steel. No, really, it is. I run a tourist based business in Dartmouth with a lovely charter boat. Paul and I chatted about the topic, and I suggested tourism and Dartmouth rather before I realised what I was suggesting! Do I do a catalogue of all the tourist attractions in Dartmouth?
Pretty obviously no, I do not. We have an excellent Tourist Information Centre for that. I'm not going to bang my own trumpet nor blow my own drum much, either. After all, you'll visit my web site and make your own decision about whether to come out on Alucia or not. I'd like you to, of course I would, but that's up to you.
In Dartmouth we depend on tourism. That's fine, because we're a great town to visit. We have some of the best eateries, drinkeries and shops in South Hams. We're a destination town with a great quayside to catch crabs from, river boats of all shapes and sizes for river trips, glorious floral displays, a food festival, a wonderful , the views of Kingswear across the river, ice cream fish and chips, the lot. We have broad vistas, sea air, easy access to the wilderness of Dartmoor, and wonderful places to stay.
The part that saddens me is that many of our tourists arrive by coach and, because they are not always in the first flush of mobility, don't find our beautiful places in the town. Often they leave the coach and manage only to reach the town pontoon before boarding an excellent river boat and being given a lovely tour up the river Dart to Totnes before being met by their driver and whisked away. They bypass our fleshpots entirely. How do we attract them to spend time with us? Don't they know that much of The Onedin Line was filmed here?
Do they know that the huge area around Slapton Sands was evacuated in the second World War to provide a training ground for our US allies, or anything about the enormous training disasterExercise Tiger, some of which happened on the beach at Slapton, some of which in Lyme Bay, and which was the single largest disaster in loss of life of the war, a mixture of bureaucratic incompetence, friendly fire and enemy action?
Do they know that the French 'General with the Big 'Ooter' ('Allo 'Allo, do keep up) de Gaulle, was stationed here with the Free French Forces, and that we can show them the house, or that HMS Cicala couldn't be sunk because it's the Royal Dart Hotel?
Honestly, we'd love to tell them that and have them explore. There are folk who are pretty much the last generation directly affected by that war, and they need more stories to pass on to their kids and grandkids.
We also would dearly love more younger folk. It's term time still and the 'happily child free' are with us at present, but this really is a town for the kids, too. It isn't a bucket and spade holiday town, it's a town to do stuff, visit castles. We have, well, at least three! We even have a Palmerston Fort. Dartmouth was invaded by the Brittany French, but we repulsed them. Find that in your history books. They were sent packing at Blackpool Sands.
There's stuff to find out about pirates. Politely we call them 'privateers', but we had 'em. The tugs for the Lower Ferry are named after one of them. We were also involved in the Triangular Trade, but not the one with slaves. Hmm, where to find out about that. Ah yes, the museum! And how about those Pilgrim Fathers, the Mayflower and Speedwell lot? Left from Plymouth, did they? Have a look in Bayards Cove and see how correct that is. Come to that they didn;t arrive in Plymouth on the other side either. They anchored of Provincetown on Cape Cod. The wonderful irony is that Provincetown is now a major gay resort!. As my US friends say, “Go figure!” I keep apologising for the Mayflower lot. I keep explaining that the boat was meant to sink, but that's a whole other story!
How was Dartmouth defended from invasion from the sea over the years? It wasn't the big guns of the Brownstone Battery, they had a different job. What to know what? Easy, take a walk on the South West Coast Path, and visit it and find out. Chat toCoastwatch volunteers there, at Inner Froward Point. I volunteer for them can can spin quite a yarn if I'm there when you drop in.
Did you know that Dartmouth was on the Front Line in WW2? Have you ever knowingly been to a front line town? Looking at the peace and quiet today you;d never realise the vast invasion forces assembled here. It was bombed, too. The bombing almost ruined the unique plaster ceiling of the Tree of Jesse, something you can see by appointment with the museum, but it was recovered, all bit one bit.
You see it ain't just the stuff you expect. Dartmouth isn't just one of the most beautiful little towns on the face of the earth. It has a military history, a social history and a whole industrial history I haven't even touched on! Have I even scratched the surface? Seriously, I have no idea. I know there were slums, social deprivation, a jail whose last tenant was a friend's grandfather, stocks, shambles (meat market), a mill, limekilns, one of which claimed the life of a young lad who fell asleep at the top and rolled in to be incinerated, poor kid. There's a powerful river that claims two lives a year, and we have the Navy training baby officers in and around the harbour.
And that's without even thinking of listing eateries, drinkeries, our wonderful local theatre and social centre, glorious and quirky shops, the best cream teas in Devon and so much else.
I bet you just thought we were good for crabbing on the quayside!
We are. But we're a whole lot more, too.
So tell me, did anything catch your eye?
Tim Trent runs a private skippered charter boat, Alucia, in Dartmouth, Devon, and wishes he'd been born and raised in Dartmouth, but has to confess that he is an incomer who adores the place.
I caught the bus a 8:45 and got picked up on the way to Paul's house by Paul. We had to go to his dads house so he could alter the bridge on his Kala arch top ukulele. Once that was done we got back to Paul's house to check the ukulele and found that Paul's Amp was broken. After that we went to Ilfracombe infants school for a couple of lessons. During which Paul mainly taught some new chords and then used songs to help them get learned. Then we went to Berrynarbor School and Paul taught someone Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. After that we had a lesson in Northam during which Paul was teaching scale modes and fancy chords using music theory that I had no clue about.
By Jake Cole