I have always enjoyed reading – most of the time, I would much rather read a book than watch a film – and it is nice to see a younger generation taking up the pastime.
I have since heard that many children enjoyed the free book. If you or your child did enjoy it, you might like to know that Olli is writing another in the series and that he has written several other books for children and young people, which are available from good bookshops or even Amazon. They can also be bought directly from the publisher’s website at https://bluepoppypublishing.co.uk/. In case you didn’t know, Olli is a talented writer living here in Ilfracombe. Amii, the illustrator, is also local and currently attends Ilfracombe Academy.
Even if you miss the free admission period, admission at £5 for adults or £7.50 for an annual ticket which allows admission any time through the calendar year is not expensive considering the number and variety of exhibits on display.
Whilst you are there, find out about the plans the museum has for the future. Assuming the money can be raised, there are some exciting plans to expand the museum while still retaining the quirky nature which is part of its current attraction.
I am told that the Make the Move production of Dr Doolittle last week at St Peter’s Church was a triumph, with a full house on Friday – unfortunately, due to a series of minor disasters, I missed it. However, there are two lessons I learn from the success of this production. First, once again, what a talented lot of people there are in and around Ilfracombe. Second, that the disaster that was the closure of the Queens and Landmark Theatres is on-going. While the Landmark remains dark, all the amateur productions that might have been shown there are finding other venues. Once they become accustomed to using those other venues, it will be an up-hill struggle to tempt them back to the Landmark, which could then remain closed indefinitely.
The trustees of the North Devon Theatres Trust have a lot to answer for.
Which makes me think – what happened to the money that was donated specifically to the Lease Purchase fund? I would think that that money should have been ring-fenced, in which case, I imagine it could and should have been returned to the donors rather than bunged in with the general funds and used to pay the administrators. Did anyone get it back, I wonder.
I know it has nothing to do with Ilfracombe, but did you see that the company, Stephen C Associates Limited, promoting Olly Murs’ show at Powderham Castle has gone into administration, leaving Olly Murs with nothing to do and a bunch of his fans many pounds, in some cases hundreds of pounds, out of pocket? What I find astonishing is that Dorset-based marketing consultant Stephen McManus, the man behind Stephen C Associates Limited, has presided over six failed businesses, including Stephen C Associates Limited, in the past five years. Now, there are good reasons for having limited liability for businesses, and good reasons for not pursuing those running them for the money they have lost others, but it seems to me that we have gone too far in protecting failed businessmen. It is quite ridiculous that Mr McManus should have been allowed to start a sixth business after leaving behind him a trail of five failed businesses and doubtless innocent victims owed money they will never receive. He should have been banned from holding a senior management or controlling position in any company after the second or third bankruptcy, or, at least, should have been banned from taking part in any limited liability company. Given that the bankrupt companies were limited liability, I assume Mr McManus walked away with his wealth intact, a disgraceful outcome you might think.
I wonder whether Richard Purchase, the management consultant behind the closure of the Queens and Landmark Theatres, has a similar trail of bankruptcies behind him.
Last week, I read in the Western Morning News a report of a speech by Nanny Gove, sorry, I mean Michael Gove, newly appointed Secretary of State for DEFRA (or SOS for the Environment, as I think of him), in which he said that Brexit gave us the opportunity to set a new standard for environmental care. Yes, I thought, whether or not you agree with Brexit, that could be a good outcome.
Then I thought “Help. I’m agreeing with Gove. Is this the beginning of dementia?”. I had a nice cup of tea and calmed down. After all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And everything returned to normal a couple of days later when I read that Little Mikey Gove had had a good idea – after Brexit, farm subsidies will depend on farmers doing environmental stuff rather than on them producing food. “Oh dear” I thought. “Before Mikey is allowed to go on about his good ideas, he really should check with a grown-up”. Now, I am as keen on protecting the environment as the next man (the next man, in this case, is my son-in-law, David, who is a fully paid-up member of the Green Party), but this does not make sense.
A farmer must make money, whether that is by selling his produce at an economic price or by subsidies. If he does not make sufficient money, he will go bust. If he only makes money by doing environmentally friendly things, either he will turn his farm over to wilderness or he will lose money on the food he produces and will go bust. In the first case, we will lose a local food producer and will become increasingly dependent on imports. In the second case, we will also lose a food producer, but will gain no environmental benefits.
Of course, there is a middle way – pay subsidies for food production, but pay more to cover the costs of doing it in an environmentally friendly way. In these austere times, do you think little Mikey will think of that? Hmm.