Eat Out to Help Out, Locally, Independently

I am listing local restaurants, cafes and pubs who are participating in the “eat out to help out,” scheme and encourage owners in the Wiltshire area to contact Devizine, to be listed freely. Although you know me, have to have a little rant beforehand, so scroll past my waffling if you wish to get direct to the list! Note the list will be updated, so check back in August.

For information on how to apply for the scheme, see here. Note the scheme comes with restrictions. Only available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from the 3rd to 31st August 2020, and offers a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in.

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“I believe I dust my broom.” Robert Johnson sung that, the bluesman who sold his soul to the devil at the Mississippi Delta crossroads, in exchange for faultless musical flair, so he must know what he’s on about. Although, to dust your broom actually means to make change, derived from the expression “get up and dust,” or get out of town fast. I didn’t need to do that, just get out of B&Q!

Had my old outdoor broom for decades, but timeworn, it finally gave up the ghost. Sunday, I nipped into B&Q and returned home proud owner of a new broom with a screw-on handle. Too loose, one swipe and the head fell off, tighten it and it passes the thread and…. the head falls off. Time passed and my patience caved by numerous attempts to secure the handle on the head. I came to the forgone conclusion, it’s either fate; star alignment’s fault, since NASA claims I’ve moved from Pieces to Aquarius, or, more likely, it’s mass-produced shite.

After hand sanitising, queuing and following the one-way circuit around the entire store, I returned it, swung into town, parked dead outside Mainleys and picked up a far cheaper, better broom. By very design, glued and stapled, it’s old-fashioned, but a coupling method which has worked for centuries. If it’s not broke…. A lesson learned, then; should’ve shopped local.

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Make no mistake, I consider this soundbite “eat out to help out” nauseatingly haughty, coming from a government who had to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide basic meals for school children. Guaranteed, this is yet another move to line the pockets of big business, the mass-producing restaurant chains.

Never forget Boris’s bum-chum, Tim Martin and how he refused to close during lockdown, refused to pay his staff and suppliers. If a Frankie & Benny branch sadly closes, the staff will be the only ones to suffer; that’s sorrowful reality, I’m afraid. Note the variety you think you’re getting with a parade of Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquitito, et all, is false, they’re all the same company and will subside each other; different sauce, same old chicken, pal. If the government are going to open taxpayer’s wallets, I urge the small business and independent eateries, who would otherwise close, lock, stock and barrel, to dip in before the fat cats.

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Unfortunately, I’ve experienced the rubber chicken which bounced off the floor of Wetherspoons first hand, lost teeth on Hungry Horse waffles, and felt famished twenty seconds after eating an air-pumped big mac. Like my broom experience, I’m at my tether’s end; best to shop local.

Not that I’m trying to persuade you, the choice to eat out is your prerogative and risk; many pubs and restaurants are continuing to provide takeaway services, many established takeaways are delivering and continuing to provide an excellent service too. Sometimes though, it’s nice to be able to eat out, remember your mask. If you can, here’s a list, then, of local places participating in the 50% off “eat out to help out” scheme; let’s support them.


If you missed my social media requests for participating places to be included, do not worry, I can update this if you twist my arm with some love…. and remember the best way to a man’s heart! Ah, insert laughing emoji here; only kidding, cheeky blagger that I am. Just message me and I’ll get your café or restaurant added! Do take heed though, while we’re here, overflowing with banter, our foodie reviews are the most popular articles, and we’d love to do one for you.

You can find more participating eateries via postcode search on the Gov site here.  


Devizes

Massimo’s Ristorante

For twenty-seven years Francos was the finest Italian restaurant in Devizes, but with the departure of Sicilian chef, Massimo Pipitone things were never quite the same. Two years ago, Massimo returned to Old Swan Yard to recapture the restaurant’s reputation and with a name change, has succeeded in putting it back on top. Still operating the takeaway service, it begun during lockdown, they’ve now reopened the restaurant, excellently observing social distancing regulations. They serve traditional Italian and Sicilian cuisine, and the pizzas are awesome!

Take it from me, one who loves his tucker, you will not find better service, quality and tastier food this side of Roma!  Booking at weekends is essential. 

The Pelican:

Splendid inn situated at the Market Place, known best for its roast dinners, which can be takeaway too. The Pelican have various cuisine events and has a scrumptious bar menu. An example from this weekend’s roast option:  Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb. Chicken is always an alternative every week with a beautiful Home-Made Vegetarian Option. Vegan or Gluten Free diets also catered for with advance booking. £8.95 per person, £5.95 per child, £4.50 per Home Made Dessert. Please telephone 01380 723909 to book.

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New Society:

Sitting somewhere between glorious pub grub and restaurant, New Society in the Market Place was quickly established as one of our best eateries. Our review last September has always been one of our highest hitting articles, and they were glad to announce reopening on 3rd July. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, or perhaps a coffee stop, New Society is a comfortable setting and serves a large selection.  Operating usual daytime opening hours, but currently evenings are restricted to Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It is advisable to pre-book for these nights (01380 722288).

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1Spice

One of the newer establishments, it did not take long for 1 Spice in Maryport Street to earn the jewel in the crown of Indian restaurants in Devizes, and rightly so. It’s my chosen place for a knees-under, and is often cited top of majorities’ list. Conventionally, Indian restaurants convey an aptitude of exceptional customer service and etiquette, and 1Spice is of no exception. Expect to be welcomed, but what is more, expect a wide and gorgeous selection, mixing the flavours and spices of India with the finest seasonal ingredients the West Country can offer. It’s driving my appetite for a Ruby just typing this, and I’ve had my dinner already!

The Hourglass:

Tucked away at Devizes Marina, the Hourglass is a perfect location and serves a high-quality pub menu. Options have been restricted since reopening on 4th July, but expanding now, and takeaway service is available. Booking is advisable for food. Subject to change, opening hours are 11am-9pm every day, with food served between 5-8pm, Thursdays through to Sundays. Book online here.

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Tea Inc

A cup of Rosy-Lee for me, I’m not a coffee guy. Still, I’ve not been in Tea Inc in the Ginnel (just off the Market Place) and now in Marlborough, sovereign of tearoom towns. This must change, I’m coming for you guys, ensure you have some custard creams! This humble teashop throws off the doily and delicate fingertip-cup-hold stereotype of tea rooms and prides itself with an eclectic, quirky environment they affectionately call “The Shoppe.”

Serving crumpets (fnarr, yurkk, yurkk) sandwiches, salads and soup, this could just be the essential shopping stop-off for tea drinkers; get away from me with your X-L vanilla Nespresso dripping down your MacBook!

Times Square

Central to Devizes Market Place, Times Square is simply the perfect little coffee shop for a light lunch. Cakes and ice cream, say no more. As the name suggests it may have started by being inspired by American cuisine, yet only in the best possible taste. Times Square is no stranger to hosting the odd event, and is a welcomed shopping stop off.

  Brogans Café

Brogans Café in the Brittox is one I confess I’ve yet to try. Outside space, ice cream, cakes and milkshakes and smoothies, Brogans prides itself on its vegan options. “Vegan Jaffa Cake style cake” as pictured below, might just twist my arm!

Bengal Bite

Throughout my years here in Devizes, Bengal Bite in Sheep Street has always been the tandoori kitchen of choice. The Bengal Bite offers contemporary Indian and Bangladeshi food. It’s comfy and hospitable, a romantic place to woe a prospective love with a mild Korma, or equally a place for you and the lads to blow your pants off with a blistering Vindaloo! The Bengal Bite has been voted the best restaurant in Wiltshire by the readers of the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald, and 2014 finalist for Small Business of the Year in the Wiltshire Business Awards.

The Fox & Hound

A little out of town but worth the trek down Nursteed Road, The Fox & Hound is an inviting family pub, offering romantic carriage rides followed by lunch or candle-lit dinner, and successful horse-drawn ghost and historical tours of Devizes start and finish at the Fox.

Jeffersons

The most down-to-earth café you’ll find in Devizes, this is Monday Market Street’s gem; great service, gorgeous homecooked breakfasts and lunches at affordable prices, never had a bad fry-up there yet!

The Bell on the Green

Always a favourite for the location in its title, The Bell has reopened with times and obvious restrictions. Here’s their menu….

Bradford-on-Avon

 

Coffee Etc:

Marvellous little coffee shop in Lamb Yard, just off Kingston Road, serving hot and cold beverages, breakfast, lunch and afternoon teas with great homemade cakes, and vinyl records too. Comfy hideaway this place, perfect for a stop-off when strolling town. I reviewed it a long time ago for Index:Wiltshire, but the site has been taken down now, so you’ll have to take my word for it! Facebook page here.

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March On: Things to Do. Part 2

Everyone having a nice March so far, been alright, innit? I promised, when I featured the first fortnight of events, here, that I would return to complete the last two weeks. I’ve promised this before and totally spaced on it, for which I apologise; not enough hours in the day. Nothing to do with my goldfish memory. Here though, this month, I’ve actually only gone and done it, before the 31st March too! See below if you don’t believe it’s true, the last fortnight in March, stuff to do while waiting for the supermarkets to restock on bog roll, and all that. I know, it scares me sometimes too.

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Click on the hare here to see the first fortnight of March

Bear in mind, mind, our calendar is constantly updating, so do check in as more events and gigs are bound to magically appear like the shopkeeper in Mr Ben.

Week 3

Sunday 15th is where we were up to, and I got two fantablous gigs, Burbank are the White Bear in Devizes, while Jon Amor is at the Three Horseshoes in Bradford on Avon; nice.

Monday, I never know if the Devizes Folk Club is on down the Lamb or not, to be frank, but it’s a place for a beer if I’m wrong and it’s not!!

Tuesday 17th The Stonehenge lecture at the Wiltshire Museum is now sold out. Celebrated cartoonist and artist, Norman Thelwell is at The Merchant’s House in Marlborough, for a fascinating hour illustrated talk, tracing his life, passions and artistic development. Thelwell produced 1,500 cartoons and 60 front covers for the famed Punch magazine alone and some 32 books translated into a dozen different languages. His works were full of beautifully observed detail and mainly of rural subjects, including country and leisure pursuits, sport, house sales and renovation, stately homes, gardening and sailing. Failing that, Cracknakeel provides live music at The Sun in Frome for their St Patrick’s Day celebration.

Wednesday 18th is jam-packed, for a Wednesday! Acoustic jam down the Southgate, Devizes. Bromham’s Farm Cookery School has a Taste of Morocco class, where you could be learning how to make a Briouat which is like a Moroccan Samosa, make your own Khobz and Kefta Mkaouara. £40.00 per person. Over in Marlborough David Evans gives the second of three lectures in The Merchant’s House Study Series, focussing on Reformation in England and the Arts. The Roots Sessions continues at Frome’s Cheese & Grain with the fantastic Ruzz Guitar’s Blues Revue.

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Thursday 19th and you could be back down The Farm Cookery School in Bromham for a Mozzarella & Halloumi Masterclass with Josie. She will teach how to make both cheese which is technical but fun! £35.00 per person. The fantastic Ed Byrne is at the Bath Forum and Moles has a punky/metal night with the Anarchist’s Bookfair, Butter The Pavement and Out Of Reach.

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If it’s a slow start to the week, Friday 20th March makes up for it. If, like me, all you know about Jesus Christ Superstar is that he came down from heaven on a Yamaha, and you have doubts with your conviction of that, it’s the opening night for this amateur production by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd at Devizes’ Wharf Theatre. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical portrayal of the last seven days of the life of Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot runs until Sat 28th March and while tickets are still available as I write this, do be as quick, as if you were on a Yamaha yourself; take care not to skid though!

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Meanwhile Devizes Town Hall is the place to head for opera fans, as The White Horse Opera presents their Spring Concert. Including Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, Ruddigore by Gilbert and Sullivan and Hadyn’s Creation, this would be the perfect introduction to opera for those, like me, who thought Donizetti was a type of pasta sauce!

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If you fancy music more pop, the local supergroup I’m always raving about, the Female Of The Species play Melksham’s Assembly Hall. Fusing all their respective band’s influences, expect the best of rock, soul and ska as the girl’s combine forces for a fun-filled gig; I’ve been to see one of these shows and I’m not hyping it up because they’re all awesome chicks, I highly recommend it!

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Day one of two, at the inspiring Shoebox Theatre in Swindon of their FUSE Festival where six emerging artists test a new performance idea over three days. Fuse is about supporting the beginnings of new work before it’s fully developed. Watch, discuss, and be part of the creation of something brilliant. Two performances Kat Lyons’ Dry Season, interweaving music and movement with original spoken word poetry and extracts from medical literature. And the debut one-woman-show from Mighty Mammal Theatre, Swine of the Times, where you can meet the piggies at the troff; they sing songs, say prayers and even mime. Alice Wolff-Whitehouse employs her skills in physical comedy, dance and song to bring to life a series of flawed and quintessentially British characters, looking at the grotesque nature of privilege in the UK through a warped and colourful lens.

Staying in Swindon, Baila Coffee & Vinyl have some Disco Voodoo with DJ Amir, or try indie rock covers with Joli & the Souls at the Vic. Elsewhere, the Leathers play The Three Horseshoes in Bradford on Avon, Clannad are at Bath Forum, and Jack Dee’s Off The Telly tour is at Salisbury City Hall.

Saturday 21st then. After the hugely successful free concert in the Market Place last summer, The Full Tone Orchestra have taken their show to Marlborough, and return to town to rave the night away at the Corn Exchange. Taking the most popular section of their show, the club anthems, expect this to be something innovative and all glowsticks, as conductor Anthony Brown’s beloved orchestra reproduce the club classics which defined an era.

The Cavalier go country with the Stone Mountain Sinners, caught these guys before, they’ve a refreshing approach to country-rock which is a cut above the rest. And breezy, original songwriter Ed Witcomb makes a welcome return to The Southgate. For surf beats, odd time signatures, eccentric tunes and irony-fuelled free jazz, try The Barge at Honeystreet, where bonkers surf surrealists Mustard Allegro do their stuff.

Super Trooper Abba tribute, Sensations grace the Seend Community Centre, while Swindon’s Meca has a Whitney Houston tribute. Don’t forget though, it’s day two of the Shoebox’s Fuse Festival too.

Mercy Lounge at The Three Horseshoes, Bradford on Avon. Recommended ska night at Warminster’s Prestbury Sports Bar with the Train To Skaville, and Paul Carrick is at Bath Forum.

Train to Skaville

Week 4

Head to the Southgate for an afternoon pint or three, on Sunday 22nd, and our fantastic singer-songwriter Vince Bell will entertain you. Meanwhile, Groovelator play The Three Horseshoes in Bradford.

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Vince

Tuesday, Devizes Film Club at the Town Hall have the latest Ken Loach film, Sorry We Missed You, which you will be if you miss this one film fans. Full of drama, tension and heartbreak. Ricky and Debbie are the parents of teenage children. Ricky joins the ‘gig’ economy with a franchise for a parcel delivery firm. The job is sold to him as one where he will become master of his own destiny. Providing, that is, he complies with the labyrinth of deadlines, rules and conditions imposed by the company, a near impossible task. Debbie is a care worker who wants to care for the old people as though they are her Mam. But her working conditions thwart her in doing the job as she thinks fit. This modern Dickensian story dramatises the conflict between work and family life in contemporary Britain.

Don’t forget Wednesday’s acoustic Jam down the Southgate, and blues-folk singer Elles Bailey is with Phil King at the Chapel Arts, Bath. Thursday you can witness epic human-powered feats, life-affirming challenges and mind-blowing cinematography on the big screen at The Banff Mountain Film Festival world tour, coming to the Salisbury City Hall. Staying in Devizes on the last Thursday of every month though is no bore, as the regular and celebrated open mic night at the Cellar Bar is something to behold.

Seventies punk bands never had such a great name as Brighton’s Peter & The Test Tube Babies. Still going strong forty years on, they play the Vic in Swindon on Friday 27th. Tenner on the door. Swindon also has an Improv Jam at The Shoebox, and homemade function band Locomotion at the Swiss Chalet.

Locomotion

While it’ll sadly never be possible for the boys to be back in town, Preston’s tribute Twin Lizzy will. They make a welcomed return to the Cavalier, Devizes on Friday. Meanwhile, the Devizes & District Twinning Association take over the town hall to bring us some French Café Music with Jac & Co, tickets are also a tenner for both these diverse evenings.

How much more diverse do you want? A dedicated club night for adults with Learning Disabilities? This Is Me at the wonderful charity youth centre, Young Melksham is precisely that, a night of great music and friendship. There’s a series of these events, first one is Friday.

Another welcomed return to Marlborough Folk-Roots at the Town Hall on Friday, when Steve Knightley explores the themes and stories that inspire him and shows how music and words can become lyrics and chords and notes can meld to create songs that acquire a life of their own.

For want of an authentic tribute band, From The Jam play The Cheese & Grain in Frome, and I’ve heard all good stories about them. If originals are what you want though, The Queen’s Head in Box has a double-booking Friday. Katy Hurt stretches the country music genre in exciting new directions; haunting blues vocals, towering country rock guitars, even a reggae vibe, and she is followed by psychedelic alternative rock band, The Bohemian Embassy.

Saturday night of the 28th March is alright, but no fighting, please. Time for the Devizes Lions’ Spring Concert at St Andrew’s Church, where Ian Diddams comperes Bath Coleman, Bangers & Nash, and the Trowbridge & District Youth Band. Tickets are £10, proceeds to Wiltshire Young Carers.

The Corn Exchange has a Gin Festival. Tribute act, Motley Crude are The Cavalier and local heroes Rockhoppaz play The Black Swan. For high octane original and classic rock mixed with some tasteful Bluesy tracks, check the Mark Smallman Band at the Southgate.

Devizine is the unofficial Tamsin Quin fan club, if you wanna hear why, head to Bromham’s Owl on Saturday. Another Abba Tribute, Swede Dreams play Market Lavington Community Hall.

Tamsin Quin

Highly recommended for the mods, The Roughcut Rebels are at The Pheasant in Chippenham. Also, Blondie & Ska are great fun, they’re at the Wiltshire Yeoman in Trowbridge, checking ahead, they play in Devizes, at the Pelican in May. The Blue Rose Band at The Westbury Conservative Club and an Amy Winehouse tribute at Bath’s Odd Down AFC & Social Club. Level III have a “One Step Beyond-ska and punk club-night.

Elsewhere in Swindon, homemade Damm at Coleview Community Centre and P!nk tribute, Beautiful Trauma play Brookhouse Farm, and a Pearl Jam tribute, Earl Jam at the Vic.

Sophie Matthews explores the links between the visual and the aural in a one-hour presentation at the Merchant’s House, Marlborough. Drawing on the works of great painters including Brueghel, Hogarth and Rigaud, Sophie presents a feast of images featuring historical woodwind instruments in their original social context interspersed with live performances of historical music using authentic instruments.

Sunday 29th – Nearly there, and breath…. Yin Yoga & Gong Bath at Devizes Corn Exchange, The Sunday Sessions continue at The White Bear with Matt Cook and Gary Hall at The Southgate. There’s a Comic-Con at Bath Pavilion, to be frank, it’s a commercial affair rather than a genuine “comic” con, with cosplay, gaming and meeting vague TV actors and ex-Gladiators, but might be fun for the kids.

That’s it, folks, March done, save Bradford on Avon Folk Club have Geoff Lakeman on Tuesday 31st. Let’s regroup in April, but feedback on these articles are needed. Do they work for you? Long-winded I know, but in order to fit it in. Devizine is a work in progress, I enjoy and need to know what’s working and what’s not. So, if you’ve read this far, I salute you! Tell me about it!


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PREVIEW: Bradford Roots Music Festival 17th – 19th January 2020 @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford

Andy Fawthrop

If you’re looking for a whole week-end of music-based events, with lots of sessions for children too, then you should do yourself a favour and head over to Bradford-On-Avon. It’s a bit out of D-Town I know, but it doesn’t take long to just tootle over to the really splendid Wiltshire Music Centre.

Now in its eighth year, Bradford Roots Music Festival, now extended to three days, is all about two things – showcasing the vast array of musical talent that has any connection with Bradford, and raising (lots of) money for good causes. This year’s beneficiaries will be Dorothy House Hospice, Zone Club (creative club for disabled young adults) and Wiltshire Music Centre. All the artists play for nothing and the event is administered and operated wholly by volunteers. That way all the funds raised go to the good causes.

This year’s event starts next Friday night (17th Jan) with a concert featuring Louie Millar, Crossing The Rockies and Verdisa. This concert is almost sold out, so get your skates on!

Then the main two-day Festival spreads itself across Saturday and Sunday from 11am each day. Saturday’s programme goes through till 10pm, and Sunday’s programme finishes at 4pm. There are four stages in operation, including the superb main WMC auditorium. Over the two days there are more than fifty different acts scheduled to play, including music concerts, shanty sessions, children’s concerts, jazz, blues, poetry, morris dancing and much more.

Particular acts to look out for are The Magnificent AK47, Will Lawton & The Alchemists, Lee Broderick, Billy In The Lowground, and The Yirdbards, although there’s so much going on that it almost seems invidious to pick out individual artists.

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Apart from all the music events, there are several spaces given over to craft workshops, merchandising, tarot readings, a Peculiar Gin Company gin bar, a Box Steam main bar and an artisan fair. Just outside there’s a huge marquee hosting JC’s Kitchen, which runs all weekend serving hot drinks and great array of home-cooked food.

I can’t recommend this event highly enough – there genuinely is something for everyone to enjoy, with great food, great beer and a great atmosphere. It’s superb value for money and there’s plenty to do and see for children and for adults. If you’ve never been, I urge you to check it out. You can buy tickets online, or on the door. Day tickets for Saturday or Sunday are available, as well as a 2-day Weekender Ticket.

The Wiltshire Music Centre is also a superb venue in its own right, hosting a year-round programme of top UK and international artists from all genres – classical, folk, blues etc. Worth checking out if you are after top-class entertainment.


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Things to do with your Little Darlings during the Summer Hols!

Have I even got time between running around the house shouting “Pikachu,” and polishing my Minecraft skills to draft this article in time? Yep, take a gulp of wine parents, it’s school summer holidays, again. Take another gulp, it’s forecast to be hot and bothering, heck, give them the whole flipping bottle!

Ease up though, Devizine has bought you a guide of local things to do, which won’t strain your purse too much.

If you send me details of an event or activity I have missed, I can edit this; let’s make a comprehensive guide to everything going on for kids and parents, before they complain they’re bored……the parents that is!


Friday 26th July:

Legally Blonde @ The Wharf Theatre, Devizes

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Mini Fair @ The Rowdey Cow, Devizes

The mini fair is coming to the Rowdey Cow to celebrate the start of the summer holidays- with inflatables, roundabout, hook a duck and football fun and they will be staying with us for a couple of weeks!


End of term disco @ The Cavalier Community Hall, Devizes

5pm – 7:30pm. Admission is FREE, just turn up.

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Saturday July 27th:

Steampunk Workshop @ Wiltshire Scrapstore & Resource Centre

Get creative, take up the gauntlet and sign up for this Steampunk Challenge Workshop! Steampunk inspired refreshments provided. During the workshop, you’ll be making hats, masks and accessories. Bring your own items to upcycle, or let your imagination go wild and make something from scratch; all using our resources! They will provide all resources required.


Bowood’s Summer Garden Party

https://www.bowood.org/whatson/


Sunday 28th July:

Family Fun Day @ Fortune Inn Pub & Chinese Restaurant

https://www.facebook.com/events/295861581331046/


Monday 29th July:

Young Melksham

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Young Melksham’s Summer Holiday Activity afternoons kick off on Monday! So why not come down and join in the fun?! 2pm till 5pm Monday to Friday just £2.50 per session!! For all young people going into year 5 and up! https://www.youngmelksham.org.uk/


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Monday 29th July – Friday 2nd August:

MUSICAL IN A WEEK! @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Whether you were born to be on stage or this is your first step into the limelight, join Felicity Courage for a fantastic five days – jam packed with singing, acting, and dancing – creating a brand-new show-stopping mystery musical. 5 – 14 yrs: £120 child / £110 sibling (five days) Dress for movement / Bring a packed lunch.


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This Summer @ Fired Thoughts. Clay Fun Fridays & Ad hoc Saturdays! Call or email, or book online to come and make in clay. Simple projects to get you started or do your own thing. General studio sessions £10 per person per session. Wheel sessions: £22.50 per half hour with 1:1 tuition.


Tuesday 30th July:

Shires Craft, Trowbridge

Pop along to the Shires for fantastic, free crafts. Drop-in 10.30 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 3.30. Ages 4+.

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Wessex Water(y) Workshop @ Wiltshire Scrapstore & Resource Centre

Wessex Water provide water to your taps at home and at school. Gillian Smith, Education Adviser will be there to help you create some wonderful watery creations! Please bring your ideas and imagination! Perhaps you would like to make a friendly, fishy mobile to hang in your bedroom? Could you invent a new sea creature? Can you make a diorama to show where the sea creature would live?


Wednesday 31st July:

Free Children’s Boot Camp @ Rowde Playing Field

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Ages 5-16. Reserve your place: rpc.lisayouth@gmail.com


Thursday 1st August:

Kids Summer Sewing for 8-11-year olds @ Franklins, Salisbury.


Friday 2nd August:

Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves!’ outdoor family theatre @ Lacock Abbey


Saturday 3rd August:

Splash Park Grand Opening @ King George Playing Field, Melksham

Free to attend, its beach themed without the sand! Fish & chips, ice cream, deck chairs and water play.. fun for all the family.

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Summer of Fun @ Borough Parade, Chippenham.

Starting Saturday 3rd August and for the following 2 Saturdays at Borough Parade they can enjoy themed family fun for Free from 11am. Why not give our balloon modellers a challenge, have your face painted with your fave character or join in with some of the circus skills on show.


Monday 5th August:

FIDGETY FEET DANCE AND DRAMA @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

9.30AM – 10.20AM / 10.30AM – 11.20AM Join Fidgety Feet for a Pirate and Mermaid themed interactive dance, drama and storytelling workshop. Using props, music and lots of imagination come with us on an exciting journey on and in the high seas. Perfect for little performers! 18 mo – 5 yrs: £7 child / £2 adult. Supervision required, babes in arms attend for free.


Monday 5th – Tuesday 6th August:

NEON DANCE @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10AM – 3PM. Join internationally renowned choreographer Adrienne Hart for a two-day contemporary dance course. Morning technique class will be followed by choreography and rehearsal as participants work towards a final showcase. This is a friendly and inclusive course for young dancers to improve their skills. 13 – 18 yrs: £50. Open to all abilities. Dress for movement / Bring a packed lunch.


Tuesday 6th August:

A Treasure at Sea for Dragon & Me at Chippenham Library

Dorset & Wilts Fire & Rescue Service story session. Water safety for kids (and dragons!). FREE interactive story time suitable for 4-7-year olds. There will be fun activities and dressing up too! Booking recommended.
https://www.facebook.com/events/856298231403596/


SONGWRITING FOR IMPROVERS @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Develop your skills and take your song writing to the next level with songwriter, performer and artist Louise Jordan. 13 – 18 yrs: £15 All instruments welcome but not required


SONGWRITING FOR BEGINNERS @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Learn how to write songs and bring your ideas to life with songwriter, performer and artist Louise Jordan. 13 – 18 yrs: £15. Open to all abilities, all instruments welcome but not required.


Tuesday 6th August- Wednesday 7th August:

Dinosaurs and Fossils @ Wiltshire Museum

Art and craft activities for under 11s. There is a different theme each week: Activities to include creating miniature dinosaur lands. Two sessions per day: 11am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3pm. Booking essential as there are limited places. £5 per child. Under 8s to be accompanied by an adult please.

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Wednesday 7th August:

Free Children’s Boot Camp @ Rowde Playing Field

Ages 5-16. Reserve your place: rpc.lisayouth@gmail.com


Willy Wonka – Wonderful Wednesday Workshop @ Wiltshire Scrapstore & Resource Centre, Bowden Hill.

They’ve got the perfect crafting workshop for you… Willy Wonka inspired Workshop with super Sara, sweets & decorations are the order of the day. Light refreshments served during the workshop.


ANIMATION WORKSHOP @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Create your own stop-frame animation during this fun workshop with film producer and photographer Jamie McDine. You will learn professional film making skills with lots of hands on activities and working within teams you will plan and produce your own stop-motion film! 9 – 14 yrs: £25. Open to all. Bring a packed lunch.


Thursday 8th August:

BEAUTIFUL BUGS & BUTTERFLIES @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10AM – 11.30AM Join Chrissie to explore the magical world of creepy crawlies and butterflies through songs, creative art, messy play and a special interactive story. Activities will include making a caterpillar sock puppet, a peg butterfly and junk modelling. 2 – 4 yrs: £7 child / £2 adult. Supervision required, babes in arms attend for free. Dress for mess!


BIRDS IN FLIGHT @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Flap your wings and get ready to fly. Come along and make a unique bird mask and wings. Will you choose to be a tame garden bird, an exotic parrot or a soaring eagle? 5 – 7 yrs: £7 child / £2 adult. Supervision welcome but not required. Dress for mess.


Friday 9th August:

SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW@ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10AM – 11.30AM Join Chrissie on a very messy rainbow journey, explore colour in a variety of ways, using hands and feet, paint and playdough. Sing your way through the morning as you make colourful art to take home. 2 – 4 yrs: £7 child / £2 adult. Supervision required, babes in arms attend for free. Dress for mess!


FLAGS AND BUNTING @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

1PM – 3PM. Join Chrissie to make a string of bunting for your bedroom and a rainbow flag for your garden. We will experiment with wax, pens and paints to create special works of art. 5 – 7 yrs: £7 child / £2 adult. Supervision welcome but not required. Dress for mess.


Saturday 10th August:

Seend Village Fete

Undoubtedly one of the best villages fetes for miles; good family fun!


Summer of Fun @ Borough Parade, Chippenham

Starting Saturday 3rd August and for the following 2 Saturdays at Borough Parade they can enjoy themed family fun for Free from 11am. Why not give our balloon modellers a challenge, have your face painted with your fave character or join in with some of the circus skills on show.


Saturday 10th – 11th August:

Frome Comic Con

https://www.fromecomiccon.com/


Sunday 11th August:

Lark in the Park with Fantasy Radio @ Hillworth Park, Devizes


Monday 12th August:

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A THOUSAND TWANGLING INSTRUMENTS @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Calling all budding musicians, composers, actors and songwriters! Over the course of 3 days, we will put on a Shakespeare play, complete with songs and music written during the course. Work with two experienced professionals to create a unique performance with sound and music. 12 – 21 yrs: £85 Bring a packed lunch.


Monday 12th – Wednesday 14th August:

Create a play in a week! Summer Schools for ages 4-10 @ The Shoebox Theatre, Swindon

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Our drama summer schools are designed to support your child in their creative development. We introduce children to interesting stories, characters and text in an imaginative and fun way. As well as developing their performance skills, students will learn to work with others, build confidence and improve their communication skills.

At the start of the week our two groups (ages 4-6 and ages 7-10) will choose a classic children’s story to bring to life and will then spend the week creating their very own version including the performance, masks and props!

On the final day, we’ll invite friends and family to come and see the final show! Expect a week of learning, friend making, creativity and fun!

All our Teachers are Drama School or University educated and undergo enhanced DBS checks.

When: Monday 12th – Friday 16th of August, 9am-3pm
Cost: £125: https://www.shoeboxtheatre.org.uk/summerschool


DEVISING DRAMA @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10AM – 3PM Join Beth for an imaginative three days, devising from a variety of different stimuli, developing drama skills, making new friends and creating your very own show. Join us for a brilliant, busy three days of fun! 6 – 11 yrs, £60. Dress for movement / Bring a packed lunch


Tuesday 13th August:

August Children’s Holiday Clubs @ The Farm Cookery School, Netherstreet

We run Children’s holiday clubs throughout August for ages: 5+, 7-9, 8+ & 11+. Every week is a different cooking theme with Mexican, British & Greek food. These are great classes for kids to learn new skills and have lots of fun. Please see our website for more details: https://thefarmcookeryschool.co.uk/childrens-holiday-clubs/


JUNGLE FEVER – SQUAWK, RATTLE AND ROAR@ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10AM – 1.30PM Come and spend a morning making a range of simple instruments with Dave King to create your own Jungle Orchestra to play and take home! Learn how sound is produced using everyday materials and discover the amazing properties of bamboo, the world’s most sustainable plant. 8 – 13 yrs, £18


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Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th August:

Ancient Greek Mythology @ Wiltshire Museum

Activities to include golden head dresses and painting terracotta dishes with mythological designs. Two sessions per day: 11am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3pm. Booking essential as there are limited places. £5 per child. Under 8s to be accompanied by an adult please.


Thursday 15th August:

A Musical Zoo! @ Marden House, Calne or Trowbridge Town Hall

Music for Miniatures host concerts for kids, Join them for a musical journey to the zoo and more, with music from oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, bass clarinet and piano. Bring your cuddly animals along too, or dress up as an animal! A lively morning of amazing live classical music for you and your little one. Tickets available online or on the door.


Friday 16th August:

LITTLE PICCOLOS@ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

9.30AM – 10.20AM. Music Classes specifically designed to make music accessible for younger children. Each session is full of singing, playing instruments, and are entirely acoustic. 1 – 6 yrs: £7 child / £2 adult. Supervision required, babes in arms attend for free.


THE YOGA PATCH@ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10.30AM – 11.20AM Yoga comes to life in these fun and creative classes designed to stimulate younger children’s growing curiosity. We use playful yoga poses, animated breathing exercises and imaginative relaxation techniques, to help enhance language development, motor coordination and play skills. 2 – 6 yrs: £7 child / £2 adult. Supervision required, babes in arms attend for free.


Saturday 17th August:

Pirate Family Fun Day @ The Borough Parade & Chippenham Museum

If you’ve a little scallywag then make sure you bring them along on Saturday 17th August for some Pirate themed fun at Borough Parade. The fabulous Clare’s Circus are back with their incredible face painting creations, balloon modelling madness and unbelievable interactive circus skills. The lovely staff at Waterstones have confirmed they’ll also be running storytelling and activities that day to add to the holiday fun. Will you find the treasure or will you be made to walk the plank?
All the activities happening at Borough Parade are FREE and are funded by the generosity of our stores as part of our community engagement scheme.
There will also be lots more swashbuckling activities happening throughout the town thanks to Chippenham Town Council.

Pirate Family Fun Day


Warminster Medieval Fair

This free entry event will bring the medieval times to the historical town of Warminster with knightly combat, living history and historical education. There will also be live acoustic music contemporary to the era, storytelling and falconry as well as a folk market. Living history tents will demonstrate skills and replica items to immerse you into the medieval mindset and lifestyle. https://www.facebook.com/events/309398803255677/


The Hall Family Day, Bradford on Avon

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-hall-family-day-tickets-64958988082


Glow in the Park: Longleat

https://www.longleat.co.uk/whats-on/glow-in-the-park


Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August:

Outdoor Adventure Weekend- Climbing Wall @ Whitehall Garden Centre, Lacock

A selection of activities including archery, axe throwing and an 8-metre climbing wall. Experienced instructors are on hand at each event to assist you and all equipment is provided.


Sunday 18th August:

Picnic in the Park @ Hilworth, Devizes


Trowbridge Soapbox Derby

https://www.facebook.com/events/2457145290997609/


Miss Squire at Home @ Sevington Victorian School, Chippenham

http://www.sevingtonvictorianschool.co.uk
Wiltshire’s best kept secret. Homemade afternoon tea, children’s activities and free tours of the school. Admission per head: Adults £2 , Children £1 Family ticket £5


Monday 19th August:

The Fulltone Music School: Summer Holidays Musical Theatre Workshop, Potterne

A fantastic 4-day course on musical theatre for age 11 and up. Learning stagecraft, singing techniques, singing in harmony and singing a selection of fantastic musical theatre songs culminating in a SHOWCASE on the Thursday evening at 5pm! It will be a FANTASTIC few days! £100 email jemmaroberts@hotmail.com to book!


SINGING DAY WITH KATE COURAGE @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10AM – 3PM Come and sing for a whole day! Learn new songs, make new friends and develop your voice and singing techniques. We will perform a concert at the end of the day of everything we have learned. We will try out new warm-ups, work on performance skills and sing in harmony. 8 – 14 yrs, £25. Open to all abilities. Bring a packed lunch.


Tuesday 20th August:

August Children’s Holiday Clubs @ The Farm Cookery School, Netherstreet

We run Children’s holiday clubs throughout August for ages: 5+, 7-9, 8+ & 11+. Every week is a different cooking theme with Mexican, British & Greek food. These are great classes for kids to learn new skills and have lots of fun. Please see our website for more details: https://thefarmcookeryschool.co.uk/childrens-holiday-clubs/


MYTHICAL STORIES WITH MICHAEL LOADER@ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10AM – 3PM Join Michael Loader for an exciting workshop where you will hear and tell stories, play drama games, create theatre and make music. Bring your ideas, enthusiasm and imagination to put into your own creative performance! 7 – 11 yrs, £20. Costumes and instruments provided but you are welcome to bring your own. Bring a packed lunch.


Dinosaur Roar! Story and craft session @ Chippenham Library

Suitable for ages 4-7. Tickets £1.50 for library members and £2 for non-members. Please book at the library desk.


Tuesday 20th & Wednesday 21st August:

Summer Textiles and Craft @ Wiltshire Museum

Activities to include painting fabric bags with summer designs and mini sun and flower design rag rugs. Two sessions per day: 11am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3pm. Booking essential as there are limited places. £5 per child. Under 8s to be accompanied by an adult please.


Wednesday 21st August:

Let’s Go Fly a Kite Wonder Wednesday Workshop @ Wiltshire Scrapstore & Resource Centre

Do you want to experience a truly Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious workshop? Then come and join this Mary Poppins inspired workshop, and make your own kite from all our lovely Scrapstore resources. Light refreshments served during the workshop.


ROCK THE TOTS – SUMMER PARTY! @ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

Gigs for little people… and their grown-ups! With music, puppets, percussion and stories, you and your little one will have a blast. After lots of fun music events across Wiltshire in 2019, this is Rock The Tot’s big summer gig, where all our songs will have a summer theme! 0 – 5 yrs, £7 child / £3 adult. Babes in arms attend for free.


August Children’s Holiday Clubs @ The Farm Cookery School, Netherstreet.

We run Children’s holiday clubs throughout August for ages: 5+, 7-9, 8+ & 11+. Every week is a different cooking theme with Mexican, British & Greek food. These are great classes for kids to learn new skills and have lots of fun. Please see our website for more details: https://thefarmcookeryschool.co.uk/childrens-holiday-clubs/


Thursday 22nd -Friday 23rd August:

REVINYL SESSIONS@ Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon

10AM-3PM Calling all secret bedroom DJs! Hit the decks and learn from industry professionals in this two-day session perfect for beginners. Revinyl Sessions are here to share their love of music and DJing. 13 – 19 yrs, £50.


Sunday 25th August:

Devizes International Street Festival, The Green


Stompers Juniors: Juniors in The Jungle! @ Venom nightclub, Westbury

A Magical rave experience for the whole family in a safe, fun & friendly environment. With DJs Dougal, Miss Special K, Andy Demize, Slic and MCs 3man & Restless.


Children’s Treasure Hunt @ Swindon & Cricklade Railway

An easy day for the kids- spot 30 little engines around the railway and win a prize. https://www.facebook.com/events/1905855732797531/


Monday 26th August:
Devizes International Street Festival, The Market Place


Tuesday 27th August:

August Children’s Holiday Clubs @ The Farm Cookery School, Netherstreet.

We run Children’s holiday clubs throughout August for ages: 5+, 7-9, 8+ & 11+. Every week is a different cooking theme with Mexican, British & Greek food. These are great classes for kids to learn new skills and have lots of fun. Please see our website for more details: https://thefarmcookeryschool.co.uk/childrens-holiday-clubs/


Thursday 29th August:

Salisbury Forest School Holiday Club: for children aged 7-11

Forest School holiday club includes nature-themed activity sessions run by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust staff. Activities include: Bird watching- Woodworking- Nature discovery trail- Pond dipping. Cost: £20 per child. Drop off: 8:30amPick up: 5:30pm Children will need to bring a packed lunch/snacks for the day. Please make sure your child comes with the appropriate clothing for outdoor activities. Upon completion of booking an email will be sent to you with Parental Consent form, which must be completed prior to final confirmation. This reserve can be hard to find, so please look at directions before travelling and leave with plenty of time. More information on the reserve and directions can be found here. To book, please contact events@wiltshirewildlife.org or 01380 829070 or book online.


Friday 30th August:

First Aid Training for Children @ Marlborough Rugby Club

Do you want your children to have the confidence to step forward and save a life?

Then book them onto one of my first aid courses on Friday 30th August at Marlborough rugby club. These sessions are fun and practical and teaches them how to save your life, while you enjoy a well earned break in the shops and cafes of Marlborough, or catch up on some admin!

🔹️5-9 year olds at 1030am-12 noon – £18 (£15 for siblings)
🔹️10-14 year olds at 1230-230pm – £24 (£20 for siblings)

Price includes certificate, handout and refreshments.

Details and online booking at https://www.facebook.com/events/440730396483621/


Saturday August 31st:
Devizes Confetti Battle

Little introduction needed for this one, but The Confetti Battle takes place at the finish line of the new Colour Rush 5km route, so expect to see some exceptionally colourful visitors in the crowd.

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Last year saw the introduction of a token system where you can buy tokens to exchange for the confetti before the event, they’ll use the same system again this year. The token stand will be outside the Corn Exchange. Swap your tokens for confetti at the tables near to the front of Times Square. Keep your eyes peeled when collecting your confetti as one lucky person will receive a Golden Ticket in a confetti bag, info about the prize will be announced soon.

Jennings fairground will be in the Market Place on until 11.00pm


Melksham Food and River Festival 2019

The Melksham Food and River Festival is organised by the Festival Committee with support from the Melksham, Calne & Chippenham Branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and the Wiltshire Youth Canoe Club. The Festival seeks to provide a platform for local food and drink producers, community groups, local entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.
Come and visit us during the weekend 31st August – 1st September 2019 entry is FREE and after browsing the stalls and indulging in some retail therapy, you can relax and enjoy al-fresco locally produced food and drink, whilst listening to the live music and watching the boats on the river.


Sunday September 8th:

Children’s Proms in the Park @ Hillworth Park, Devizes

This is a free, family friendly event supported by Devizes Town Council. 2pm-4pm.
Singalong with Devizes Town Band at their annual hugely successful Children’s Proms event as they delight with film and TV themes from past and present; dressing up essential!

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Various Dates Throughout the Holiday!

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Wiltshire Council’s Camp Active

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Summer Fun Activities @ The Neeld, Chippenham

This summer, the Neeld Community and Arts Centre will be offering fun circus skills sessions with Clare’s Circus!
There will be lots of exciting activities for children, and parents will be very welcome to join in with the fun and games! Clare’s Circus can teach you to juggle, you can learn tricks with spinning plates and diabolo and there will be stilt walking and pedal go’s, as well as soft play for the little ones and a tightwire for thrill seekers.
In addition, there will be a great craft making table and the chance to make balloon animals with Mr Twister, the best balloon twister this side of the River Avon! Child (Under 16) £5 Free entry for accompanying adults: http://www.neeld.co.uk/whats-on/summer-fun-activities.


Active Trowbridge @ King George Playing Fields, Melksham

Each Wednesday Active Trowbridge will be in the park with activities, sports and bouncy castles!


Jurassic Farm @ Roves Farm, Swindon

Fire up your imagination on a Roves Farm tractor ride this summer. We’ve got three fun and interactive themed events that the whole family will enjoy, including our Jurassic Farm safari!
Join the Roves Farm ranger as we take a tractor safari through our very own dinosaur territories. We’ll be trying to detect and even discover a brand-new species of dinosaur as we go… What will we find?
Meanwhile back at the farm there’s a whole day of hands-on farm activities to keep you busy including; egg collecting, meet the animals, feed the goats, animal racing and lots more!

https://rovesfarm.co.uk/whats-on/


Family Fun Coaching @ Sleight Valley Golf Range

Family coaching with our Golf Coach is free but you will need to purchase the range balls you use; these start at £4.75 for 50 balls. club hire is free. There is no need to book just turn up.
Our Homefield Cafe will be open so pop in for something to eat and drink while you are here. For more details call 01380 729053. THURS 1st 10:00 – 12:00, FRI 9th 10:00 – 12:00, WED 14th 10:00 – 12:00, WED 21st 10:00 – 12:00, WED 28th.


Wiltshire Scrapstore & Resource Centre: Holiday Art Club

Scrap Modelling at its finest! Bring your mini-Monet’s along to these popular Holiday Art Clubs, and teach them the importance of reducing and reusing our waste; all whilst having lots of fun using the scrap resources! Each session is run by a qualified trainer. Find out more about them here: https://www.wiltshirescrapstore.org.uk/press-media/?v=79cba1185463


Australian Summer @ Longleat, Warminster

20th July – 2nd September
https://www.longleat.co.uk/whats-on/an-australian-summer


Devizes Marina

Looking for something to do over the school holidays that’s a bit different? Why not take our day boat out for the day? Up to 8 people (and a dog) can be aboard for a day exploring the Kennet & Avon Canal. Find out more at http://www.devizesmarina.com


Trowbridge Museum

Has a number of events, activities and workshops taking place over the summer holidays. This summer they take the “Museum on The Move” as they decamp to the Shires for a crafty day, spend a couple of days in the Sensory Garden on their Archaeological Dig, visit Salisbury’s Rifles Museum for some WW2 activities and put on a Summer School of craft demonstrations, local history and more at Trowbridge Town Hall.
Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th July, 11am – 3pm: Archaeological Dig in the Sensory Garden
If you’ve ever wondered what lies underneath the Sensory Garden, now is the chance to find out because we are going to dig several large holes to find out. Come along to our archaeological dig and see what treasures we unearth! Suitable for all the family.

WW2 at the Rifles Museum, Salisbury
Come and join us for three days of WW2-themed activities in the beautiful gardens of the Rifles Museum. There’ll be challenges, crafts and dressing up, with something different each day. You can drop in between 11am and 3pm.
Wed 7th August: Rifles
Wed 14th August: Rifles
Wed 21st August: Rifles
Fri 9th August, 2pm: Strange Stroll (Family History Guided Walk)
Discover the weird world of the woollen trade; £2 per person, Ages 7+, children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Walks starts outside Mastershoe.


Town Hall Summer School, Trowbrigde

Trowbridge Museum are working with Town Hall Arts to bring you a summer of art, craft, history, fun and (war) games. Together with our volunteers we’ll be demonstrating a diverse range of art and crafts, putting on some challenging Mouse Hunts, sharing the secrets of Napoleonic war gaming and revealing some snippets of the town’s history. These drop-in activities are free but a donation would be really appreciated – give a little or a lot – it’s up to you!
Mon 29th July, 11am – 3pm: Stick weaving
Wed 31st July, 11am – 3pm: Printmaking
Thu 1st Aug, 11am – 3pm: Felting
Fri 2nd August, 11am – 3pm: Printmaking
Mon 5th Aug, 11am – 3pm: Mouse Hunt
Tue 6th Aug, 11am – 3pm: Willow Weaving
Fri 9th August, 11am – 3pm: War Gaming Demonstration
Mon 12th August, 11am – 3pm: Crochet
Wed 14th August, 10am – 12pm: Weaving
Mon 19th August, 11am – 3pm: Mouse Hunt
Tue 20th Aug, 11am – 3pm: Willow Weaving
Wed 21st August, 11am – 3pm: Trowbridge Postcards & Photos
Wed 28th August, 11am – 3pm: Trowbridge Postcards & Photos
Thu 29th Aug, 11am – 3pm: Willow Weaving
Fri 30th August, 11am – 3pm: Felting


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Big, Music, Family, Fun @ Wiltshire Music Centre this Saturday

Kids banging their drum set upstairs, would-be guitar hero strumming in the lounge? Want to encourage them, don’t need the headache? I might have the answer to all your problems. This Saturday (22nd June) you need to get down to the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, as it’s a Big Family Music Day over there, and for only £6, or £3 for under 18s and students.

What promises to be “a jam-packed day of fun for all the family,” The Music Centre invites you along to experience something new. There’s music and activities for all the family, including these varied workshops and things to do:


Discover / Learn / Perform with Wiltshire Young Musicians:

Come and learn a new instrument with our friends at Wiltshire Young Musicians! Discover brass, strings, wind or percussion before learning with outstanding teachers to prepare for a big performance in the Auditorium.


Bath Youth Folk Band:

Experience toe tapping reels and exciting jigs in this open rehearsal with Bath Youth Folk Band and get involved by singing, clapping or dancing!


Jazz Factory Workshop:

Learn how to swing and play the blues with Ross Hughes of Jazz Factory.


Drum West: African Percussion:

Tap away with Victoria and Chris from Drum West and discover the exciting music of West Africa.


Uke Lift: Ukulele Workshop:

Join Danielle from Uke Lift and pluck away in a large ukulele ensemble!


Free Stage: St Laurence School & Zone Club:

Sit back and enjoy performances from young musicians based across Wiltshire, including Wiltshire Young Musicians, St Laurence School and Zone Club.


WEYO Screening: West of England Youth Orchestra

Enjoy a recording of the West of England Youth Orchestra performing a recent new commission and find out more about the flagship orchestra.


Crafts & Activities:

Get creative making instruments for the Junk Band, get your face painted and enjoy fun outdoor activities in our family zone!


Food & Drink:

Bring a packed lunch or enjoy delicious pizza from Bianco Rosso Pizza or artisan coffee from The Coffee Girl.


Buy tickets here. For any other queries about the day, please contact Adam at adam.laughton@wiltshiremusic.org.uk

 

Adverts & That!

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What a May Day! Things to do This Month; Part 2

Hark, the darling buds of May. Already looking quite blossomy isn’t it? Well, blossoming too is stuff to do in and around our local neighbourhood, and a few weeks ago I presented you with a lengthy look at what’s on during the first fortnight; see here.

Now though, sit down and brace yourself for some shocking news. I have, actually produced the second part of the monthly preview, and here it is! Though promised with previous months, I tend to side-track, or just plain scatter-brain and not carried it through. Not so this time, you don’t have to thank me, unless you have a choc n nut Cornetto.

Week 3: Mon 13th – Sunday 19th May

Regular sing-a-long at Devizes Folk Club in the Lamb, Devizes on Monday, similar on Tuesday if your go to the Bradford Folk Club, 8pm in the Cellar Bar of the Swan Hotel. Meanwhile, St James Wine Vaults in Bath where Radical Westie Productions presents Daisy, Television Villain, Ravetank and Devizine favourites Nerve Endings; £3 door tax.

Wednesday 15th, and Peter Vaughan does pasta at Vaughan’s Kitchen Cookery School, later don’t forget the acoustic jam at The Southgate, Devizes.

There’s Bach Suites by Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: Young Artists Anima Fidis Quartet at the Wiltshire Music Centre Bradford on Avon.

Thursday’s is acoustic night at The Royal Oak, Corsham. Hannah Rose Platt and Black Sheep Apprentice at The Tuppenny, Swindon or tribute night with The Quo Experience at The Cheese & Grain, Frome.

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There’s a barn dance on Friday 17th at the West Lavington Hall. Usually wouldn’t make a song and dance out of such, but all proceeds go to the wonderful charity Arts Together; read about my visit, and the great work they do, here. Please support Arts Together, they’ve music, buffet, bar and raffle, see the poster for details. Future Devizine Presents nights will also like to donate to Arts Together.

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Sheer Music is back in Devizes, the Cellar Bar has Smokin’ Donuts; one-part Carter USM and t’other festival cult hero, Doozer McDooze. Brilliant indie-pop Talk In Code and the talented Jezilyn Martyn support. £7 advance from Sheer Music, a tenner on the door.

But if you thought Devizes was a one-gig Friday town, you’d be very much mistaken. There’s Johnny 2 Bad, an eight-piece boasting to be the UK’s number one UB40 tribute at The Cavalier Community Hall. Except the reggae train-spotter in me upheaves that Johnny Too Bad is actually by The Slickers and only covered by UB40, eh? Bit of reggae in the Vizes, though; never going to knock it. £10 in advance and should be great night.

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It’s rather retrospective in the Southgate too, with sixties garage and Mod band, Absolute Beginners at The Southgate playing a debut in the town. Three-piece playing covers of songs by The Who, The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Eyes, The Creation, The Jam, Secret Affair, Squire, and The Purple Hearts.

Without a cinema, the Assembly Hall in Melksham shows movies, The Favourite is on Friday. Break Cover are at The Talbot, Calne. An Open Mic at The Pump, Trowbridge. Comedy Night at the Boat House, Bradford on Avon. Tensheds live at the Rolly in Swindon and amusingly named Antarctic Monkeys at the Cheese & Grain, Frome.

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Back on reggae for Saturday, although other events are available, it’s Devzine’s second gig of the month, a reggae and ska night at the Cellar Bar with Knati P and Razah and I’ll be warming up for them with a ska show live. Look, again I’m asking you to come along, listing door damage as a fiver but as long as you give us what you can, that’s good enough. For all the proceeds go to homeless charity, Devizes Opendoors. For want of a quieter evening Opendoors also have a Quiz Night from 7pm at Nursteed Community Centre.

Those Truzzy Boys play the Conservative Club in Devizes, £3 on the door, Drew Bryant at The Southgate, and Sound Affects support the Dusk Brothers at the Cavalier’s Ameripolitan Music Club. Meanwhile, The Wharf Theatre welcome back Hancock clone, James Hurn, with new scripts.

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Brother from Another at the Woodbridge Inn, Pewsey, and Woodborough Social Club has Humdinger. Blues Bros & The Commitments at Melksham Assembly Hall. Còig at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon while the Neeld Chippenham has medium Derek Acorah.

Fresh from Montreal LG Breton and drummer Marco Dionne joins Phil Cooper for his Vise-Versa tour, closet to us is Saturday at the Village Pump, Trowbridge, other dates here: http://phil-cooper.co.uk/tour-dates

Sunday 19th sees the Chippenham Soap Box Derby and John Etheridge’s Sweet Chorus is at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon.

Week 4: 20th -26th May

 

Devizes Folk Club down The Lamb on Monday, An Evening with Graham Gooch at the Neeld, Chippenham on Tuesday. Acoustic Jam at The Southgate, The Royal Ballet’s Mixed Triple Bill at Wiltshire Music Centre, and The Waterboys @ Bath Forum on Wednesday.

Thursday is Acoustic Oak night at The Royal Oak, Corsham. Boxing Day and All Better play Level III in Swindon, and Carus Thompson is at The Beehive. But if you ever doubted summer is on its way, the bank holiday truly kicks off festival season, with Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering in W. Midlands, or most fruitfully funky and stunningly popular dance fest, Shindig starts in Bruton. Shindig Festival is a glorious mash up of a gig, a house party, circus show, comedy night, a wellbeing retreat and kid’s party. No main stages, just an arrangement of stretch marquees, so you can be in amongst it, or chill on the grass. Kids can learn to DJ, breakdance and urban art.

This crazy weekend sees Chippenham Folk Festival starting Friday, as does Lechlade Festival. With Salisbury Live beginning, and Frome’s R&B festival with Frankie Miller’s Full House at the Cheese & Grain, you’re spoiled for choice.

Back in Devizes, Friday 24th, Bob Drury pays tribute to Neil Diamond at The Wharf Theatre. Adriano Adewele, Gwilym Simcock and Jason Rebello are at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon. While in Swindon, the Wyvern Theatre presents The Rolling Stones Story, Sheer Music has Press To Meco at Level III and there’s a Ska’mageddon at the Vic with SN Dubstation and King’s Alias @ The Vic, but for real roots adventurers, try RDK Hi-Fi meets Roots Inspiration @ Black Swan, Bristol. I’m steering clear of Bristol as there’s too much to list, but that one will go off.

Saturday then, the 25th. Long Street Blues Club celebrate the music of one of rock’s best-loved icons Paul Kossoff, with May Kossoff the band. A chilled but robust night is promised at the Southgate, with Nick Tann’s British folk take on Americana heartland traditions.

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It’s also time for Bromham to host the second combined cider and music extravaganza, OwlFest at the Owl, obviously. Did this last year, loved this last year, although I’ve no line-up info for you, you can bet your Bromham dollar this’ll be great. Another to watch is Marland’s showpiece, Gladstonebury at the Gladstone Arms, Chippenham, expect Steve Morano, the Sweet Swing Trio, The Chicken Teddys and Burbank.
Loud soulful, happy vibes will come from The Pilot, Melksham where Big Mama’s Banned play. The Gimme Gimme Gimmes and Devizine favs, The One Chord Wonders are at St James Wine Vaults, Bath, Frome’s R&B Festival continues at the Cheese & Grain with Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band.

The old English spelling of Savernake Forest, Safernoc inspires an intriguing event in Marlborough on Saturday too; “violin, voice and banjo music from the 16th century to the present day, world premiere of Paul Elwood’s Safernoc; a series of compositions for mezzo soprano Alice Simmons and violinist Tam Coates by composer Paul Elwood. Both Simmons and Coates live near the forest and both have found inspiration in the shadows of that ecosystem. The text by the composer is a play on trees and an imagined impression of Savernake taken from Dante, Bernini’s sculpture of Daphne transforming into a tree, and Mexican painter (Sister) Juana Beatriz de la Fuente’s, “The Tree of Life.” Admission £10, email contactamitytrio@gmail.com for tickets.

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Alex Roberts Live at The Southgate on Sunday 26th, the wonderful Sugar Motown returns to the Three Crowns. While Dr Feelgood plays the Frome R&B Festival at the Cheese & Grain.

End of May, Mon 27th – Friday 31st

Proper West Country, it’s the Coopers Hill Cheese Roll at Brockworth on Monday, Frome’s R&B Festival has Nick Lowe & Los Straightjackets.

With Bandeoke at Chippenham’s Neeld and Jackie & Felix Byrne at the Bradford Folk Club, that makes up Tuesday, while Wednesday it’s the World Music Club at The Beehive in Swindon, and of course, an acoustic jam at The Southgate, Devizes.

You can Meet the Gruffalo at Hillworth Park in Devizes on Thursday 30th, for his 20th birthday, Devizes Books bring the books, with a trail around the park, a prize draw and guest appearances, should be fun for kids of all ages.

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Acoustic Oak at The Royal Oak, Corsham and Jonathan James is Discovering Music at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon, while tribute The Commitments Experience are at the Neeld, Chippenham and Gaz Coombes is at the Cheese @ Grain.

That’s the month of May done, Friday 31st the Brodsky Quartet are at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon and Salisbury Live continues. Other than this, seems like a quiet Friday, save for the fact it’s time for the opening of the Devizes Arts Festival, I think it’s the best line-up yet, starting with An Audience with John Simpson at Corn Exchange. Check our preview of the festival here, and I will be highlighting some of the separate events as the month goes on.

More details of all events here are on our event calendar which makes up Devizine’s busy home page, but bear in mind this is not a exhaustive list, the calendar is updated (nearly) every day, so keep checking for updates; too much of it to continuously post to Facebook, you need to check in every now and then, or you might miss something you need tickets for.

Have a grand and blossoming May, it’s building up to a great summer ahead!

 

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What a May Day! Things to do Next Month; Part 1

Now your Easter eggs are nothing but screwed up tin foil it’s time to look towards May, and what’s in store for us during this early summer month. Part one, let’s get the first fortnight over and done with.

 

Week 1: Wednesday 1st May – Sunday 5th

 

First day of the month is a Wednesday, so it’s the regular acoustic jam down the Southgate, Devizes, an open Mic at The New Inn, Semington or a live stream of the The Royal Opera: Faust at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon.

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Thursday 2nd jabs at your funny bone, when the Moonrakers Comedy Night sets into the Cellar Bar, Devizes. Ed Pownall presents headliner Sol Bernstein, returning after twenty-five years of semi-retirement, only playing nursing homes. He’s performed all over the world at venues including The London Palladium, New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Paris Olympia, Caesars Palace Las Vegas, and Scunthorpe Baths, but it’s at night clubs where Sol really comes to life. With opener, Craig Deeley, a finalist in Jongleurs Last Laugh competition, and an additional special guest, tickets are £10, available form: The Bear Hotel, Devizes Books, The British Lion, The Southgate Inn, The Vaults, and on-line at “We Got Tickets.”

Along with a Charity Quiz Night for the British Heart Foundation at The Owl, Bromham, Swindon’s masters of downbeat, slack indie and wobbly pop, the Flour Babies bring an acoustic set to The Tuppenny with support by Callum McLean. Meanwhile, Chapel Arts in Bath has Will Lawton & Weasel Howlett (feat Buddy Fonzarelli) with support by our favourite, Tamsin Quin; Devizine is the #officialtamsinquinfanclub

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The second ale, cider and sausage festival, Hopdog, at the Woodbridge, Pewsey, kicks off Friday 3rd. Three days of family mayhem for a £10 advanced ticket, £3 for 12+ and children under 12 free. You can camp, for £7, space is limited so please book early via email: woodbridgeinnpewsey@gmail.com Friday sees Grizzly & The Grasshoppers. Saturday: Bob Bowles, Brian Stone, Jazz Wrann & The Ruby Welts and Sunday, firm Devizine favourites, the Larkin boys will be with Fly Yeti Fly and Kit Trigg.

Another festival in Blandford starts, the Teddy Rocks, in aid of Children’s Cancer, with a tribute-based line-up: details here: https://teddyrocks.co.uk/

Over in Devizes, the family club has Hariana, the UK’s number 1 tribute to Ariana Grande, and rumour has it, Vinyl Realm will host another fantastic Drum n Bass night at the Lamb, unconfirmed as of yet. Melksham Assembly Hall boasts Jethro’s The Count of Cornwall tour, while the Neeld have Queen II, and Bradford’s Wiltshire Music Centre hosts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. But if you like it raw, the Back-Wood Redeemers are at The Royal Oak, Bath.

Star Wars Day, oh yeah, bank hols too, Saturday 4th May, it’s over to Urchfont, for the Scarecrow Festival; always a lovely family day, starts at 9:30 through to Monday.

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Saturday night in Devizes is about rum and reggae at the Wyvern Club, where Michelle and Stuart Field’s Muck and Dunder rum bar hosts Swindon’s finest SN Dubstation while you dip into forty types of rum, ah-ha me hearties, tenner a ticket from https://www.muckanddunder.co.uk/ or failing that, dependable The Southgate has the great Sunset Service, free as always.

Out and about, you only need to get as far as Seend for beer, yep, it’s that time again for the Seend Beer Fest, their 19th, they know what they’re doing; gawd blimey, Train to Skaville will be there; love them. Certainly, reggae filled weekend though, with The Bob Marley Revival headlining Melksham Townfest at the football club, with Falling Fish, The Decibelles and whaaaa???? Train to Skaville will be there too??; must be an express train. The Ultimate Stone Roses are at the Assembly Hall, over in Bradford on Avon the NYJO Ambassadors and Mark Armstrong are at the Wiltshire Music Centre.

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Swindon has “kids for a quid” at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway, PinkMac at The Waiting Room and some groovy Disco Voodoo, with DJ Ashley Beedle at Baila Coffee & Vinyl.

Spring in the Park is a family fun-day in Warminster on Sunday 5th, or round up the weekend at The Southgate, with a band I’ve heard only good things about, The Astral Ponies. Swindon has the cool indie-sixties mod band, Six O’clock Circus at The Woodlands Edge, and Bath has Pigstock at The Pig and Fiddle; two stages, with Falling Fish, Pompadour, Cut Throat Francis, The White Lakes, Luna Lake, Jamie Watson, Eilis Tucker, and our own favourite, Mr George Wilding.


Week 2: Monday 6th May – Sunday 12th

 

Bank holiday innt? Those Devizes Lions have the May Day Fair in the Market Place, and Corn Exchange from 9am- 4pm. On similar lines as previous years, but in addition to trades and charities, a new class of stall is being introduced, for artisans who produce goods for direct sale to the public.

Sound Knowledge Marlborough are celebrating the holiday with a bang, with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes from midday in Club Thirty8, for a wristbands-only short set, after which they’ll be in the shop signing copies of new album ‘End of Suffering’.

Wednesday is acoustic jam at the Southgate. Thursday is regular Kinks tribute, Kast off Kinks  at the Assembly Hall, Melksham, but if you think there’s too many broken hearts in the world, head for the Cheese & Grain, yeah, yeah, I know; Jason Donovan.

Friday 10th sees Tom C Walker at the Long Street Blues Club, Teddy White Band returning to The Southgate, and legendary punk poet, Dr John Cooper Clarke at The Corn Exchange. English comedian and writer, Mark Steel gives contemporary rants with his Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright show at Melksham Assembly Hall.

Sam Sweeney’s The Unfinished Violin at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon and Sharron Shannon Band & Seckou Keita at the Cheese & Grain, Frome.

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Saturday 11th start the day browsing the Stert Car Boot Sale, it’s Devizes Cancer Research’s grandest event, supported by Grist, please come and help make a difference to this invaluable charity.

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In all actual fact, it’s a very charitable day in Devizes; yep, we’ve our first Devizine Presents gig at the Cellar Bar. If you like Larkin, then it’s a double-whammy, because while Fin and Sam will be there, it’ll be possibly the only place to see them both, separately, Sam with a newly formed band and Fin with cousin Harvey as the Truzzy Boys. If that’s not enough for you, The Hound on the Mountain, the incredible Jordan Whatley will also be showing off his new songs and Gail Foster I will be in charge of intervals with her spellbinding and, possibly, rude poems. It’s a fiver or whatever you can donate, in aid of Devizes Opendoor; so please come down.

Opps, UPDATE ALERT! Please see the poster above for a change in schedule, unfortunately Sam had to pull out, but every clown has a silver lifeboat, hurrah for sixties mod-rock covers band, The Roughcut Rebels, who’ve stepped in to save the day and will be sure to add an extra dimension to the festivities.

If my thing ain’t your thing, I might just forgive you, especially if you try the Devizes Town Band’s concert, “Greatest Love Themes,” which will be raising funds for Alzheimer’s Support at 7:30pm, The Corn Exchange. In a change from the traditional black, band members will be wearing some other colours to make the concert more dementia friendly. I can identify with this; my nan suffered this terrible ailment.

Some people living with dementia see a black mat or flooring as a bottomless black hole, which is understandably very scary. They can also see people wearing black as floating heads, because they cannot identify black clothes.

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Babs Harris, CEO of Alzheimer’s Support said: “People’s perceptions can change when they have dementia and it is fascinating to hear from some of them how they now see colours. It is so heartening that Devizes Town Band have taken this on board for their concert and taken this extra step to make their performance truly inclusive and dementia-friendly. It promises to be a wonderful evening of music and the bright colours will only add to the celebratory atmosphere.” Tickets are £7.50 and you can get them from Devizes Books, or online via www.devizestownband.com

 
Alternatively, Hip Route are live at The Southgate, and the brilliant Indecision at The Owl, Bromham.

 
In Marlborough The Skandals are at The Lamb and Room 101 are at The Bear. The Blue Rose Band at The Pilot, Melksham. London Mozart Players at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon, Operation 77 at The Woodlands Edge, Swindon. Martin Kemp’s Back to the 80’s at Cheese & Grain, Frome; take your own Rubix Cube.

 
For want a peaceful Sunday on the 12th the Marlborough and District Lions Club welcomes you to drive through the glorious bluebells at Westwoods, enjoy the Bluebells and help support your local Lions Club. This repeats again next Sunday.
Time travelling magicians Morgan & West present a jaw dropping, heart stopping, brain busting, opinion adjusting, death defying, mind frying, spirit lifting, paradigm shifting, outlook changing, furniture rearranging magic extravaganza at the Neeld in Chippenham Sunday afternoon, promising to be fun for ages 5 to 105.

 
That’s about it for the first two weeks of May, if you think it’s jam-packed you need to see the finale part of May’s what’s on article, which I’m working on now, okay – cut me some slack! But before I go, remember to check devizine.com regularly, as it’s updated, like, nearly every day, and you might well miss something.

 
Also, please shed my workload by letting me know about your event, or news stories; there’s only so much scrolling and clicking I can do. You can email your info to devizine@hotmail.com Tweet, message the Facebook page, or I now have a Facebook group called The Devizine Communications Group, to make it super easy to make me aware of your events and gigs and news and stuff, so use it, don’t abuse it, love it and get some free publicity for your efforts.

 
Most of all though, don’t whinge at me for omitting something if you haven’t actually told me about it, sounds bleeding obvious I know but you’d be surprised by that amount of people who do!

 

Hey, hey, hey; I have actually followed this article up, click the image to go to the rest of the month’s preview!

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The Yirdbards @ The Cellar Bar, Swan Hotel, Bradford; Original Multi-media Entertainment – In A Folk Club?

by Andy Fawthrop

 

What else are you going to do on a Tuesday night if you’re after some top-notch musical entertainment? There was nothing happening (musically) in Devizes that night, so a venture out into the wild and woolly West into the splendid old town of Bradford on Avon was called for.

The venue was the Cellar Bar in the Swan Hotel, right in the middle of town. The place is now a regular haunt for all types of music – jazz, folk, blues, poetry, Irish traditional, with each one settling into a regular weekly or monthly slot. James Sullivan-Tailyour has been the landlord here for a few years now, and has done much to support and promote regular musical (and other) events in the pub/ hotel, and in the town generally. The beer’s not great (it’s a Greene King place) but they do excellent Thai & fusion food in the restaurant.

Tuesday nights are given over to Bradford Folk Club, but don’t be fooled by the title. Whilst there is certainly some traditional and contemporary folk stuff performed, it’s more of a general Acoustic Club where pretty much anything goes. Three or four Tuesdays a month it’s an Open Mic affair, but once or twice a month there’s a guest act. The great thing is that it’s FREE to get in (although they do charge you an arm and a leg to get out!) Joking aside, they pass round the glass half way through the performance for contributions. What that means in practice is that you only pay what you think the music’s worth. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, people tend to very much like what they hear, going by the average amount that they put in. “Playing for the door” is still very much alive and well.

But to the music – last week it was the turn of local group The Yirdbards. Yes I did spell that right, and it may just be deliberate. The “Yirds” (as everyone knows them) consist of some pretty damn fine musicians – Iona Hassan on fiddle, Verity Sharp on fiddle and cello, Patrick Randall on guitar/ mandolin/ accordion/ whistle and the irrepressible Paul Darby on guitar and vocals. You might recognise Verity in particular, as she’s a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.

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Whilst the Yirds can knock out some damn good traditional folk songs and tunes (some great jigs and reels), they also tend to showcase quite a bit of contemporary writing from such songsmiths as Paul Metzers and Peter Please, and they’re not above writing and arranging their own material.

Last Tuesday they presented a complete show (the acoustic equivalent of a triple-disc concept album) entitled “Great Clattinger.” It chronicled the seasons and the farming year of that place, the wildflower meadows, the people and the traditions. Surprisingly it was a multi-media affair, featuring tapes, songs, spoken word, and instrumental passages. Many of the words were taken from the writer Elspeth Huxley (who lived there in the 70s) and Joan Ody (who farmed there for nearly 40 years in the earlier part of the 20th century) describing country ways & customs, and the resistance to those who wanted to exploit the land for commercial gravel extraction.

Thanks to their efforts, Clattinger Farm is now owned by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. All very “worthy” of course, but the music had to speak for itself, and it soared way above that. The Cellar Bar was packed out and the whole performance went down a storm – superb musicianship, well sung and well presented by four great performers.

It wasn’t rock n’ roll, and this music wouldn’t be for everyone, but if you’d been there you would have been amazed at the variety and quality of the performance. Simply stunning.

Next gigs coming up @ Bradford Folk Club:

• Tuesday 26th March Reg Meuross – singer/ songwriter/ story-teller
• Tuesday 30th April Lightgarden – Eastern influences, Mongolian overtone singing
• Tuesday 28th May Jackie & Felix Byrne –contemporary & tradition folk

 

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My Kind of Science Fair!

 

Virtual Reality

Throw on your lab coats and grab your goggles: My Science Fair 2019 is here!

 
For the eighth year running, on Sunday 3rd March from 10am-3pm, the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon will host the free family event My Science Fair. The annual Fair, which attracted over 400 visitors last year, promises a jam-packed programme, full of activities, presentations and performances designed to engage young people aged 5+ years in the amazing worlds of music, movements and science.

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The day will begin with a bang as Bath-based Fun Science and presenter Cressida Bullock (known by her scientist alter-ego ‘Chemical Cress’) take to the Centre’s Auditorium stage for an interactive experiment with colour, excitement and fire. The Fun Science team will also be conducting roaming experiments throughout the day around the Centre!

 

This opening performance will be followed by a percussion workshop exploring the fast-paced rhythms of samba music with music leader David Garcia, who will be putting a scientific twist on the vibrant dance music genre. Later, electro-acoustic composer Duncan Chapman will be recording soundbites from My Science Fair attendees to create an enthralling lullaby, complete with the swooping and ethereal sounds of the Theremin and the haunting vocals of an Indian raga singer.

Supriya Lullaby MSF

 
Elsewhere around the Centre, children can look forward to creating their own plastic models with a 3D printer from the University of Bath or blast off with water powered rockets out on the field. Explore the exciting world of electricity with a Van de Graaf generator in a hair-raising experience, or discover the science behind the music we hear with sonic crystals. Experience a Colourscape installation where you are able to create sounds and digital imagery using your body movements or explore far-off worlds using a virtual reality headset. Budding engineers can check out the LEGO robotics stand, as well as Bot Club, where you can create your own mini-robots, and find out how to use ultrasound to levitate solid objects with University of Bath students.

 

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The Fair also marks the culmination of the My Science Fair competition, for which students from 14 primary schools across Wiltshire and Bath have been devising their own exciting experiments exploring music, movement and science. Experiments will be exhibited throughout the day and will be judged by an expert panel, including scientists from the University of Bath, University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, as well as automotive-test specialists AB Dynamics, the Ministry of Defence and Unilever.

 
As you make your way around the Centre make sure to visit the experiment stands to find out about their investigations, which explore questions such as “Which ingredients are important in a cake?”, “Is it possible to make butter using a bike?” and “Classical or funky music – which is best for sleeping?”

Duncan Chapman Lullaby
My Science Fair is being generously supported by the Bradford on Avon Area Board, the Jack Lane Charitable Trust, NFU Mutual and Wiltshire Music Connect, as well as Wiltshire Music Centre Season Sponsor AB Dynamics. Entrance is free and there is no need to book tickets. Simply bring your enquiring minds and join in on Sunday 3rd March to investigate, discover and create!

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SUN 3 MARCH 10AM-3PM
Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1DZ
TICKETS: This event is FREE to attend. There is no need to book, simply bring inquiring minds on the day and get ready to discover something amazing!

TIMETABLE:
10am-12pm: Fun Science Experiment, Samba Science with David Garcia
12.15pm-2.30pm: Lullaby Recording and Performance with Duncan Chapman
2.30pm: Prize Giving for Young Scientists
All Day: LEGO Robotics Workshops, roaming experiments, Colourscape, virtual reality, Bot Club, water-powered rockets, Young Scientists’ Experiment tables.

 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Visit http://www.wiltshiremusic.org.uk/mysciencefair

or call the Wiltshire Music Centre Box Office on:
01225 860 100

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FOLLOW, LIKE AND SHARE:
Using the hashtag: #MyScienceFair2019
Twitter @wiltshiremusic
Instagram @wiltshiremusic
Facebook @WiltshireMusicCentre

 

 

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A Get Together with Arts Together

“What we have learned is that simply offering support or information is sometimes not enough,” states Age UK, “older people who are in the worst place often feel there is no hope, leading to a vicious circle of low self-esteem, lack of motivation and reluctance sometimes to ask for, or accept help.”

 
What sounds bad on paper, is often not as the eye perceives. While undoubtedly this is fact, I’m visiting Kestrel Court in Bowerhill, sheltered accommodation for elderly. I bear witness to a lively group, not just engaged in an art class, but merrily lapping up every minute of it. There’re cakes in abundance, tea, and some Mozart as background music. At one-point Gerald gets up to strum a guitar, and once the class is all but ended, the artist Clifton Powell slipped on some reggae; despite hard-of-hearing and cataract, Gladys, from Paraguay, is up dancing.

 
This is the doing of a charity group called Arts Together.

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“I’ve never been a person who joins groups,” Sue tells me as we sit together admiring her still life watercolour, “always been on the edge looking in. I really feel part of this group; that’s so unusual.” Arts Together is perhaps a slightly misleading name for this local charity, as while indeed it provides members with tutorials and equipment to engage in a wide variety of art projects, it also acts as wellbeing, and an invaluable social group.

 
I asked Sue about the community side to it, did she balance it’s worth with the actual art as half-and-half. She agreed it was equally vital, describing her battle with depression. “But this kind of thing really addresses it. There’s so many of the things they say you should do, going to your doctor, behaviour training and what have you, which has never helped me. And then you get something like this, which has been a real help. If this was on prescription, I’d be asking my doctor for it!”

 

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Sue reveals a creative nature, she’s written poems and performed them. Other members of the group, such as Carol, who proudly holds up her painting to show me, has no previous artistic calling. There’s a varied degree of skill, but Clifton commends and encourages all, a reason they all sing his praises. He was joined last minute by Rachel Heard, a Wiltshire artist, known for her “explorations of natural forms,” painting.

 
Arts Together have thirteen accomplished artists, and many group volunteers. In the last year they’ve delivered 180 art sessions, over their six locations across the county. Arts Together meet, in Bradford, Trowbridge, Devizes, Pewsey, Marlborough and here, in Melksham. Projects are as wide as wire and clay sculptures, mosaics and textiles. Sue particularly warmed to the puppet making workshop. I’ve invaded the final meet of this still life project, frames are scattered over the table, once completed a windowsill becomes a makeshift gallery, presenting their work.

 


Arts Together works to support older people who have become physically and socially isolated. I did ponder if they catered for dementia patients and such like, but was informed care homes and hospices organise their own activities, while the elderly in sheltered accommodation are often left out. “There’s nothing like this around here,” I’m told. So, while I didn’t class this as “art therapy” in similar light, it’s indubitably therapeutic, it stimulates and actively encourages the participants to try new things, to be creative and social. In a word, it’s wonderful.

 

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But I’m moved by Arts Together manager, Karolyne’s announcement, “We are on the brink of closure and desperately help.” While this is not the first time the charity has been under financial pressure, they assure me it’s the worst. “Any statutory funding from public money disappeared years ago and it has been our supporters and some enlightened Trusts that have helped us survive.” I find myself shrugging; sad sign of the times.

 
This isn’t some large charity with a whole department dedicated to fundraising, managers balancing campiagns with sessions. It’s lunchtime as I get my coat, I’m invited to stay but cannot. Agreeably I attended for some media exposure, but so welcomed I left with sensation of making real friends. I imagine life for these newfound friends without Arts Together, and shudder.

 
Without Arts Together members return to a solitary, empty week, consequently effecting their health and wellbeing. Wellbeing was a word passed around a lot today, the charity take pride in their achievement, help them maintain it.

 

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There’s a coffee morning at Rick Stein’s on the High Street in Marlborough, on 1st March. Admission by £5 minimum donation, includes coffee tea and cake.

 

I’d like to thank the members I met today, it truly was fun and an inspiration to meet you, and the team behind it. I was enlightened, and think Devizine should stage a fundraising event too, as soon as possible. Anyone interested in helping with me on that please get in touch.

 
Until then, you can donate on the website; please, please, if you can, do. If you’re an artist consider volunteering some time. Any donation from you will help around 80 very frail older people to rediscover their zest for life. Arts Together enables them to rebuild their confidence, self-esteem and resilience and remain living independently in the community for as long as possible.

 

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In Review: The Bradford Roots Music Festival 2019

By Andy Fawthrop

 

Bit out of D-Town I know, but it doesn’t take long to just tootle over to Bradford, and the really splendid Wiltshire Music Centre. I mean – it’s not as far as Tibet is it?

Now in its seventh year, Bradford Roots Music Festival, now extended to three days, is all about two things – showcasing the vast array of musical talent that has any connection with Bradford, and raising (lots of) money for good causes. This year’s beneficiaries were Dorothy House Hospice, Zone Club (creative club for disabled young adults) and Wiltshire Music Centre. All the artists play for nothing and the event is administered and operated wholly by volunteers. That way all the funds raised go to the good causes.

So it’s a local (indoor) festival for local people. But this is not Royston Vasey, it’s Bradford.

And what a lot you get for your investment in a weekend ticket! I counted over fifty performances and workshops you could have attended if you’d really put your mind to it. I had to skip Saturday evening’s offerings (due to the small matter of Mr Wakeman’s KGB putting on a little show back in The Vize), but I still managed to sample more than 30 acts for myself. Once the WMC have given over the building to the Festival organisers for the weekend, the place is utterly transformed. Apart from four different performing stages (including the massive and superb main auditorium), there are several spaces given over to craft workshops, merchandising, tarot readings, a gin and prosecco bar, a main bar and an artisan fair. Just outside there’s a huge marquee hosting Hartley Farm Shop & Kitchen, which runs all weekend serving hot drinks and great array of home-cooked food.

But the music is the main thing. So many acts to choose from, and so difficult to highlight only a few from such a talented array of performers. But here goes: the stand-out acts for me (in no particular order) were:
• A Night In The Blind House – a rock and indie covers band
• Georgia Lewis – a stunning singer, multi-instrumentalist and folk artist
• The Hazir Ensemble – playing some stunning music from the Middle East & Turkey
• Lightgarden – original material from the UK, Russia and beyond, including Mongolian Overtone chanting (don’t ask – you have to hear it & you’ll be amazed)
• Rockpipes – a Bristol-based Celtic rock band featuring bagpipes (honestly!) as their lead instruments. Sounds mad, but it worked!
• The Bumnotes – an 8-piece acapella close-harmony group singing Barbershop

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Over three days I think I heard music from Africa, the USA, Crete, Turkey, Mongolia, the UK and – yes I know I said it wasn’t that far – even Tibet!! There was rock, blues, folk, country, bluegrass, barbershop, choral, jazz, singer/ songwriter, world – you name it!

The Festival is now over for another year but will be happening again next January. I can’t recommend this event highly enough – there genuinely is something for everyone to enjoy, with great food, great beer and a great atmosphere. It’s superb value for money and there’s plenty to do and see for children and for adults. If you’ve never been, I urge you to check it out for next year.

The Wiltshire Music Centre is also a superb venue in its own right, hosting a year-round programme of top UK and international artists from all genres – classical, folk, blues etc. Worth checking out if you are after top-class entertainment.

 

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