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            3rd April 2008

1.     Gig racing

2.    House of Sand and Fog

3.    Modern heroes reach for the sky

4.    A play about John Hawley

5.    Summer in Dartmouth

6.    Small News


1.    Gig racing

The top photographs are from last year and the black and white was taken in 1904.

Kevin Pyne reports on the Gig Racing this Saturday:  The whole thing kicks off at around one. The club is helped tremendously by the Royal Dart Yacht Club and the Dartmouth Yacht Club, the former with the helpful provision of race marks and the latter by providing their catering facilities. The Harbour Office is also superb, as are the police and traffic warden and the district council who help with parking facilities. The Royal Regatta committee helps with tents and such, as do various locals with electric supplies and the provision of course and safety boats.

The course used is the old around course which was used by the pilot and boarding gigs until the Great War brought about their demise! Eddy at the tea hut will be unveiling his new Mr. Whippy ice cream machine with his pilot gig special. 

This is the tenth in harbour event and the eleventh gig regatta that the club have hosted.  Although owing to the bad weather recently they have had to surrender one of their gigs for transporting to the Isles of Scilly already.  Dart's other gig leaves on Monday morning. The sport is fast and furious and is enjoyed by spectators and rowers alike!”




The Giggers ascend

It is human propelled power
That takes over on the Dart River
For just a few hours today
As the pilot gigs they race again
As they did on long gone days
They’ll line them up above Eddie’s tea hut
Until the starter drops the flag
And sends them all away
As in a myriad of colours
They race full on fast stroked away
Down past the Dartmouth lower ferries
And down to the estuary
Then it’s around the a mark just above
The one gun cannon
Where Miranda the mermaid likes to be
And then it’s across to the light house
To the second turn and a rhythmic
Long pull home for the girls and boys
Past the Longford marker
Past the Royal Dart Yacht Club
All then passing to starboard
Of the welcoming yellow buoy
And the first one home gets the trophy
The last one gets a clap and a cheer
From beyond that natural maritime amphitheatre!
That is a spectator’s paradise
And the Dart in April so early in the year!

Come down for the weekend to see them?

Self catering accommodation click here

Dartmouth B and B  click here

Dartmouth Hotels click here

A Tourist Guide to Dartmouth click here

2.  House of Sand and Fog

An abandoned wife is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners. "House of Sand and Fog" boasts superlative performances, a fascinating character study, a melodrama of a script and a compelling score.

Starring Jennifer Connelly (Oscar winner for "A Beautiful Mind") and Ben Kingsley, "House of Sand and Fog" works and has "epic" written all over it.  Guest tickets for sale in The Windjammer 7.30 - 7.55 £3.50
Our bar at The Guildhall opens at 7.30 - the film to be shown at 8pm.

3.    Modern heroes reach for the sky

Jack Sparrow and the Sea Dragon are looking for the Sea Heroes to ride on their boat.  Life saving heroes from Dartmouth's new Lifeboat and hardy Sea Cadets are to face a 44ft high challenge to raise funds. The Mayor of Dartmouth, Cllr Iris Pritchard is also bringing 30 brave scouting youngsters to experience a new white knuckle thrill.

The Mayor is to christen the Sea Dragon Swing Ship with champagne at Woodlands on Pirates' Day, Wednesday 9th April. The Woodlands' mascot, Seawood the Sea Dragon will be ushering Dartmouth Councillors, the Mayor of Totnes and Kingsbridge dignitaries aboard the half million pound ride.  Using his naval skills to cut the mooring rope Lt. (SCC) Patrick Franklin will send the 18metre ship flying skywards. Feeling the full G Force of negative 2 the daring heroes and brave youngsters will be screaming for more.

The rip roaring Pirates' Day will see Pirates flocking to the park to receive half their entrance back when they enter the Davy Jones Best Dressed Pirate Competition. The first riders will receive Pirate Treasure Chests and onlookers will be showered with champagne, chocolates and surprises.  Families can hunt for golden chocolate loot, solve the Pirates' Treasure Hunt and win a variety of prizes from a mountain bike to a flashing cutlass. The Balloon Man will be making fantasy treasures to take home. Spangles the clown is the hilarious Master of Ceremonies while top entertainers Ben and Richie entertain families on the park stage.

All the Pirates Day Celebrations at the 80 acre Park together with 10 play zones and 16 family rides and the Big Fun Farm are included in the day out admission.

4.   A play about John Hawley

The Dartmouth Players are making a big contribution to this year’s Hawley 600 event with a new play about the famous 14th Century Dartmouth ship owner, privateer, politician and landowner. The play entitled “Blow the Wind Fair” has been written by Linda Churchill and will be performed on 30th June and 1st July 2008, at 7:30pm at St Saviour's Church Dartmouth. It is a fictional play, woven around historical documentary evidence, taking place in the period when John Hawley was incarcerated in the Tower of London in 1406. There are flash backs to earlier periods of his life, including the famous battle of Blackpool Sands. This is a theatre production taking place within a few feet of the tomb of John Hawley who died in 1408. “We hope he approves of the dramatic slant of the play and refrains from making a ghostly guest appearance!” says Linda Churchill. “The play is within the context of documentary evidence but fills in some gaps to bring him alive to today’s audience.”

The Dartmouth Players, now in their 79th year, welcome all new members whether you just fancy having a go, or are an “old hand”. If you are interested in taking part in this unique performance a reading will take place at St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth, at 7:00pm on Tuesday 8th April 2008.  Auditions will follow on Thursday 10th April at 7:00pm, same location. For more information call (01803) 832036 or visit their web site by clicking here.   See more about Dartmouth's history by clicking here.  The Hawley brass shown here can be seen in St Saviour's Church in Dartmouth

5.  Summer in Dartmouth

The photographs here and below were taken here this week, as was the one at the top of this page by Tony Pike.  You can see how warm and sunny it is here in our own little micro climate!

6.     Small News  

  • Does anyone have a record or electronic version of the theme music that accompanied the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, or even know who wrote it or preformed it please?

  • Easter Carol Service
    There will be a service of readings, hymns and carols for Eastertide at St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth on Sunday, 6th April at 6.30pm. Come along and join in the continuing celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • Is it time to book your holiday in Dartmouth now? 

    Self catering accommodation click here

    Dartmouth B and B  click here

    Dartmouth Hotels click here

    A Tourist Guide to Dartmouth click here


  • Images copyright Dave Cawley, Kevin Pyne, Tony Pike & others.


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