Please click the photo to donate to St Paul's Church Bells

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Peacock on TRAIL

Our collection of peacocks' tails from our Peacocks' Tails History Trail is installed on Trail Recycled Art in the Landscape in Teignmouth. Mrs Peacock the Starcross Scarecrow has been modified to enable this 'sculpture of Captain Peacock and son' to withstand the seafront weather. All the tails have been fastened securely, and the central representation of the peacock no longer has any large bits of material which might get blown to bits. There's no wind resistance from the scaffolding netting, and the 2 ceramic pots have been pegged in place with  metal rods. Cable ties and wire have been used throughout to fasten everything down... but there could be some wind damage. When you go to have a look at all the sculptures on this year's exciting TRAIL, if you see any peacock bits blowing about, please can you pick them up, and maybe re-attach?

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Thatching Laurel Cottage

The Norfolk Reed on Laurel Cottage lasted over 30 years
Hello! Welcome to the online home of Singleton Brothers, Devon Master Thatchers.

Robin and John Singleton have over 30 years experience in the thatching trade having trained and worked with various Devon thatchers. We work mainly across South West England where we have built up a strong client base.

We can offer a prompt and knowledgeable service to home owners, builders and architects on projects from small porches and thatched features to listed buildings and large commercial developments.

We have carried out many projects over the years in locations as diverse as Florida, France and Guernsey as well as many parts of the UK.

Please take a look around our site, for more information please don't hesitate to get in touch.


Norfolk Reed and Thatching

Thatch is a traditional material that has been used for roofing in Norfolk since prehistory. Whereas in some parts of the country straw was used for thatch, the extensive reed beds of East Anglia gave our ancestors access to a much more durable, locally grown material. To this day most of the reed that is cut and bundled up in Norfolk is sold to thatchers.

Quality reed for thatching comes from reed beds which are cut every year or every two years. This is known as ‘single wale’ or double wale’ reed. Each bundle of reed is tied approximately 12” from the butt end and measures 24” to 26” circumference. A bundle of reed will cover about a square foot of roof.
It is estimated that 80% to 90% of the reed used for thatching in the UK comes from abroad. Local cutters have to compete with the imported supplies and some have to pay landowners a royalty to harvest the reed. Many reed bed owners qualify for grant aid to manage reedbeds. Sadly, some reed beds previously managed to produce reed for thatching are now cut on a longer rotation.

Norfolk Reed does, however, have some advantages over the competition.

  • As it grows in exposed, windswept beds it is a hardy plant which makes for a quality thatching material, lasting up to 70 years, much longer than some imported reed.
  • As well as being strong, our local reed is more tapered than longer reed from hotter climates making it much more suitable for the rounded curves of English thatch.
  • Because it is local, thatchers can check the quality of each crop before they buy it, rather than paying for an unseen shipment that gets dropped off on the day.
If you are a homeowner needing to rethatch, a thatcher wanting to know more about our reed, or a builder researching traditional building materials we would like to hear from you. Please contact us.

website of the North Norfolk Reedcutters Association

Monday, 11 July 2016


Evening Meetings booked: in St Paul's Church: 7:30pm: (speakers to be arranged - any volunteers please?)

The 2nd Wednesday in the month; every 2 months
Wednesday, 14th September 2016
Wednesday, 9th November 2016
Wednesday, 11th January 2017
 Wednesday, 8th March 2017
Wednesday, 10th May 2017

ADMISSION FREE but the room costs £20 to hire, and we are saving money for our projects - eg the recreation of the Stairs Cross, the exploration of the River Exe, provision of an archive
so we will have a collection AND we charge £1 for tea/coffee and a biscuit AND we sell our club badge for £5,

and Dick Forrester's pamphlet "What was an Atmospheric Railway?" for £3 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

19240 Shrouds of the Somme

Starcross Walkers visited Northerhay Gardens today to see the final day of the tribute to those who died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Names of the fallen were read out, and war poetry recited.

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

Read  about the exhibition on this link:…/story-29…/story.html