Events Calendar

Talk: The National Garden Scheme @ The Stables
Mar 7 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Julia Tremlett will give this talk on The National Gardens Scheme:  its origins, development and
how it is run today. Participants in the National Garden Scheme open their gardens –
large or small – on specific days each year and donate the money raised to
charitable causes. In 2022 over £3 million was donated in this way, supporting
mainly health, nursing and gardening charities.

Our speaker is one of those who open their gardens and we look forward to our private visit to Bickham House near Kenn in July this year.  For further details check out

Meet at The Stables for lunch from 12 noon. The illustrated talk begins at 2.00pm.
Contact Louise Clunies-Ross (preferably) or 01884 242606.
Booking deadline date: Wednesday 28 February 2024

Lunch: Belluno Restaurant, Newton St Cyres @ Belluno Restaurant
Mar 18 @ 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Monday 18th March 2024 – Belluno Restaurant, Newton St Cyres

The Belluno Restaurant is a very well-reviewed Italian restaurant with an excellent and varied menu choice of delicious food. We will be meeting at the restaurant at 12.00 for 12.30 pm.  The restaurant is situated on the A377 in the historic and welcoming parish of Newton St Cyres.

The full menu can be seen at    Orders can be placed on the day.

Public Transport: There are regular buses (5, 5A, 5B and 5C) from Exeter to Newton St Cyres at least every 20 minutes.

To book,  contact Anne Mayes on before 11 March.

Visit to Downes House, Crediton @ Downes House, Crediton
Apr 4 @ 1:30 pm – 4:15 pm

Situated about a mile east of Crediton, Downes House is a Grade II* listed building dating from 1692. It was the home of General Sir Redvers Buller GCB, GCMG, VC.  He won the VC in 1879 during the Zulu War. He was also at the Relief of Ladysmith in 1900 during the Boer War.

The house has been home to the same family for over 330 years, and is now lived in by the current owners, Henry and Susan Parker.  Set in the heart of the Devon countryside and positioned on a picturesque rise overlooking a tranquil valley, visitors will get to see wonderful portraits and paintings, together with items relating to General Buller.

If you are joining the tour, the grounds are open from 1.30 to 4.30 pm.  The conducted tour of the house commences at 2.15 pm.  If we have ten or more the individual price is £9, otherwise it is £10. Credit cards are accepted.

To book, contact Anne, preferably by email, by Tuesday 26 March.

Talk: ‘Climate change and ecological crisis?’ @ The Stables
Apr 19 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

We are delighted to welcome David Ramsden MBE, who will be talking to us about climate change and the ecological crisis. This is an extremely important talk that is both explanatory and challenging for the future. David is an excellent speaker who sets out clearly the issues involved and presents a path forward for us all to follow as individuals, in order to reduce the impact of climate change.

Speaker:      David Ramsden MBE

 Topic:          Climate Change and Ecological Crisis? What’s all the fuss about ?

Place:          The Stables. We shall meet downstairs for lunch (order food and drink at the bar) from 12, and the talk will be upstairs at 2 p.m.

Wheelchair access:     Using the direct route from the car park to the meeting room requires negotiating a few small steps. A better alternative for a wheelchair user is to go back down the slope a little way from the car park, and then enter the meeting room via the Fire Door from the patio. Here there is only one small step into the meeting room.

Transport:   The pub is located on the Crediton Road, just after Bernaville Nurseries. There are excellent parking facilities. Turn left up the slope just before the pub, then immediately right.

Bus:             There is a good bus connection (5, 5A, 5B, and 5C) from Exeter every 20 minutes or so.  For instance, there is a Stagecoach bus 5 running from Exeter bus station (Stand 7) at 11.45 which reaches Bernaville Nurseries at midday.

To book:      Contact Steve Pooley or on 07808 269297 by 12 April.


Great Torrington May Fair @ Great Torrington
May 2 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Maria is organising this visit to the Great Torrington May Fair Celebration.  This is the largest May Fair celebration in Devon, and its attractions will include the Torrington Silver Band, maypole dancing, country dancing, and the crowning of the May Fair Queen.  We shall meet for lunch beforehand.

Maria has full details of all the events taking place.  She is organising the lunch for us together, but bookings need to be made as soon as possible. Please contact her if you can come.

Visit to Bickleigh Castle near Tiverton @ Bickleigh Castle
Jun 4 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Bickleigh Castle originated in Saxon times when there was the fortified village of Bickleigh on the site, with a stone wall and watchtower.  The Castle itself was built in the early Norman period, remodelled and enlarged as a fortified manor house in the 1400s, damaged badly in the English Civil War, and restored in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The castle has a fascinating history, with many interesting, famous and even infamous characters in its past, and has particularly close links to the medieval monarchy, the Tudors and the Stuarts.  Come and hear about the various royal visitors, the families of Redvers, Courtenay and Carew, and see the armour and artifacts, as well as some fine 17th century portraits.

The tour will start at 2 p.m. and last about an hour, followed by a cream tea at 3.15 p.m.  The cost is £6 for the tour and £8 for the tea (pay on the day). We must have a minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 26. Lunch is available locally but is not part of the arranged visit.

There is plenty of free parking. There is no direct public transport, but the castle is about half a mile walk from the nearest bus stop served by the 55 bus from Exeter to Tiverton.

To book, and for further details, contact Ruth Hawker by 28 May.


Bickleigh Castle:


AGM @ The Stables
Jul 1 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

We shall be holding our AGM at our usual venue of The Stables in Cowley.  We shall meet downstairs for lunch from 12 (order and drink at the bar), and the AGM will take place upstairs at 2 p.m.

Created by Alex Volkov