Incidentally, the Combe Christmas committee have all sorts of exciting things planned for the next few months, like …. And … Sorry, you’ll just have to wait and see, but I am excited and I am sure you will be too.
It is a registered charity and is dependent for its continued existence on donations and income from admission fees and sales from its gift shop. It is registered for gift aid, and, if you are a UK tax payer and sign a gift aid form, the museum can claim an additional 25% on anything you give them (other than sales from the shop), including the admission fee. If enough people sign up, the amount of tax recovered can be very significant. So, if you visit, and I urge you to do so, please ask for a gift aid form.
There’s all sorts of stuff in the museum and loads of documents – far more than the museum has room to display. People – some household names – and organisations – again some household names, like the BBC – regularly contact the museum for information. The museum, as they say, punches way above its weight.
The museum is heavily dependent on volunteers for all sorts of things. If you would like to help, get in touch. We need people to show visitors around, but, even if you don’t have “people” skills, you could still help. The building is old and needs constant maintenance. Could you help with that?
Last week, the museum held a meeting for town councillors and our MP, which, I think raised its profile a little. Peter Heaton-jones has promised to get the relevant minister to come and visit, which, I am sure, will be of interest to all concerned.
Presumably, one or more of the various local government reorganisations that have taken place since then resulted in the transfer of ownership. I would guess that there is a similar explanation why so much property in the town is owned by NDDC, including most of the car parks, and, for all I know, many other properties.
Surely it would be much more sensible for the property in Ilfracombe to be owned by the Ilfracombe Town Council, the spiritual, if not the legal, heirs of the old Ilfracombe Urban District Council, rather than the NDDC. The property can then be operated for the benefit of the people of Ilfracombe, rather than, as seems to be the case at the moment, for the benefit of the people of Barnstaple!
The present government claims to believe in localisation – decentralisation. That doesn’t just mean passing powers down from Westminster to local councils – it should mean passing powers down to the lowest tier of government possible.
Fortunately, my friend, Kelly Raveney, with the help of a number of volunteers, has breathed new life into it, and, once again, there will be a Green Man procession through town on May Day. The parade starts at Wilder road carpark, heading to the traffic lights, going via the High Street, down Fore Street, then to the clapping circle, ending on the beach where we strip Jack – the Green Man - to start the summer season.
Because Kelly did not get involved until relatively late, some acts that might have been able to attend have other engagements. However, as a result of help from North Devon Theatres, there will be some exciting things to see, so do come along.
Mostly, I think, this is for the children, so, if you can encourage your children to join in, please do. If they can dress up, so much the better. Fairies, elves., piskies, spirits of earth and sky would be good costumes, but, if the child wants to dress up as Dracula or Spiderman, no problem. The more the merrier. I’ll be there. Will you?