CHUGGING of stationary engines and old tractors mingled with the banging from the farriers in their hot tent, sounds of a brass band, with a panto Dame wandering about as well as a stilt walker and juggler all added up to yet another excellent Tedburn St Mary Village Fair.

Directing car parking were members of 2469 (Exeter St Thomas) Air Cadets.  There were 18 Cadets, three members of uniformed staff and three civilians all helping through the day.

They used to meet at QE School in Crediton but are now back to the main Squadron in Exeter.  Boys and girls can join, new members are always welcome.  It offers a lot of air adventure to them, both in this country and abroad.  There is a website. 

Members of Tedburn and Cheriton Bishop Scouts helped at the entry gate. 

Tedburn Amateur Dramatic Society (TADS) was promoting its January pantomime “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”.

Producer will be Linda Bellshaw again and the director is Charles Pallot who has taken this job before.  Their pantomime quiz was very popular with children and Phil Dyson was circulating in full Dame regalia with leaflets for the show. 

Advertising this year’s calendar featuring photographs of old Tedburn from the Tedburn History and Information Society were Malcolm Little and Karen Fletcher.  

Being printed that week, the calendar will show photographs received by the Society through this year.  Among these have been one showing the cemetery, Karen has worked through several boxes of information to list all the graves.

Surely one of the hottest jobs was that of Farrier Stuart Taylor from Tedburn and his apprentice Liv Roberts from Plymouth who spent most of the time demonstrating making horseshoes with their furnaces at full blast.   

Stuart explained that since 1975 when the Farriers (Registration) Act came into force, a farrier can do blacksmithing but a blacksmith does not shoe horses. 

Liv is halfway through her apprenticeship.  The number of young people enrolling these days for the four year course is declining, possibly as a backlash from covid.  They were kept busy answering questions and often watched by admiring little boys. 

Members of Tedburn Women’s Institute did a roaring trade in their tent with home made sandwiches and cakes for lunches and teas.  They also provided a free big jar of water with plastic cups for people to help themselves to water and there was a drinking water tap on the field. 

Exeter Railway Band played twice during the afternoon, Tedburn Community Choir also performed, there was a dog show, teenagers from Moretonhampstead and District Motor Club demonstrated their skills handling motor bikes, vintage tractors, cars, all sorts of things were around the field to entertain the family. 

Adventure Okehampton had brought the climbing tower and in the same area were free activities for children offered by Tedburn Church and Tedburn Toddlers with toys, books, shade, free drinks, and crafts.

Tedburn St Mary Judo Club gave a demonstration.  The club is 23 years-old, is run by Sensei Allen Carter, meeting on Fridays from 6.30pm in Tedburn Village Hall for young beginners right through to experienced seniors. 

Anyone interested can either go along to the Hall on a Friday or check the website.  

Stephen Eddy from Exmoor Zoo had taken along a few of his amazing creatures, fascinating young visitors especially with his selection of creepy-crawlies.

Michael Coleman from Coleford was showing a part of his collection of household items from a past era, intriguing people by asking what some were used for. 

Showing off some of their work and demonstrating their craft were members of Barley Park Spinners and Knitters. 

They are an independent group of spinners, weavers, knitters, crocheters and any other sort of yarn related to handicrafts who meet twice a month at the Barley Park Football Club at Tedburn.

They are always delighted to welcome new members  or visitors and can teach or advise at their relaxed and friendly gatherings.  Among other stalls in the craft tent were cards and woodwork. 

A beer tent in the village area near the music stage that went on into the evening with bands and more food stalls ended the Fair. 


There were 31 more entries for the open flower and vegetable show at the Fair this year, the organisers delighted to welcome more entries from children too.  

The cup for the most outstanding exhibit in the show was won by Peter Bromell’s roses.  He also won the cup for the most outstanding bloom. 

The cup for the most points scored went to Alun Ward who also won the cup for achieving most points in the vegetable classes, while Sophie Bowden won the cup for most points gained in the children’s classes. 

Archie Taylor won the cup for the best exhibit in the children’s handwriting classes.  

Winning the cup for most points in the adult craft classes was Hannah Smallridge.

Adrian Iles won the medal for the heaviest pumpkin.  Taking the cup for the most points in the cookery classes was Marie Finlinson. 

Martin Rich took home the cup for gaining most points in the dahlia classes and the shield for most points in the flower classes, while Angela Brewer won the rose bowl for most points in the flower arrangement classes. 

Linda Bellshaw’s jug of flowers for a kitchen top won her the cup for the outstanding flower arrangement in the show. 

Ollie Taylor won the cup for junior photography.  He also won the cup for most points in the children’s section aged 11-16. 

The cup for the most points awarded for the children’s classes aged 10 years and under went to Sophie Bowden.

The cup for the outstanding exhibit in the crafts section went to Doug Aldridge.

Back after a nine year gap was the Peter Bromell Tedburn Allotment shield, won by Patrick Merrell.

Among everything else was Matt Lemon the juggler and stilt walker form North Devon,  South West Adventures from Taunton, a mobile events company, had people trying axe throwing and other sports.   

Seventeenth century re-enacters Wardour Garrison who travel all over the Westcountry were telling people how life would have been then.  They had set up “home”, sleeping in their tents of the period, sleeping on fleeces, skins or woollen blankets.  They were showing living history as well as two drills and demonstrating sword skills for children.