Colour in Billy the Burger and Sid Sausage and WIN a Burger or Hotdog!

Billy the Burger and Sid Sausage are raring to get to the Devizes Scooter Club’s Charity BBQ Day at the Conservative Club on July 21st, but they’re looking paler then Scooter Club’s organiser Adam Ford after a few blackcurrant Fruit Shoots. Can you help by colouring them in?

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Ask Mum or Dad to stop watching the football for just a few minutes and print out either picture, or both, below. Give it your best colouring-in job, bring it along with you to the family fun day and hand it to the DJ, who I think will be me. I’m a very tough judge, so make sure it is your best work!

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The winners of each age group will get a free snack of their choice, be it a hotdog or a burger. Age groups will be 2-5, 6-10, 10-100; See you there!

 
If you can’t print this out, don’t worry; I will try to get the Club to photocopy some too, and we’ll bring them and some colouring pencils with us; give your Dad something to do won’t it?!

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Meanwhile grownups will be treated to the excellent DayBreakers, who I’m delighted to announce will be playing live. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the day; let’s raise some funds for the Devizes & District Opportunity Centre, a preschool for children with disabilities and learning difficulties.

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The Day has FREE entry from midday, with music, fun & games , soft play and bouncy castle, a BBQ and other food and drink including cakes, teas and coffees, a Mega-Raffle plus side stalls, lots of scooters naturally, and trophies for the best scooters.

Click here for more info!

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Guys Over Forty, Don’t Ignore It: The Loganberry Trust and Wiltshire Freemasons Raising Awareness of Prostate Health with FREE Checks in Devizes

For a change his Sunday, I thought we’d talk ABOUT bollocks, as apposed to just talking bollocks. Or, more precisely, we’re talking about that walnut-sized gland just above them. Ode to your prostate, without which the acidity of a lady’s special passageway would neutralise all your little fishes and none of us would be here today, talking about it…..oh grow up, this is serious.

 
Sadly, cancer of this gland is nothing but serious, unless you like your doctor prodding his mid-digit where the sun doesn’t shine. While you can check yourself for testicular cancer, can even be a superb excuse if you’re caught by the missus bashing the bishop, you don’t know what’s-what in that prostate thingy-me-jig. And face it, we’re men for crying out loud, we stuffed a few burgers at last night’s barbeque, love our cheesy chips with pizza, aren’t too keen on eating greens, and consider there’s no need to bother a doctor unless we’ve physically dismembered all of our limbs.

 
It only takes a couple of seconds to check for testicular cancer, according to the limerick, only half the time if you’re Hitler. So, grasp each beauty in your nadsack separately, between your thumbs and fingers of both hands and roll that beastly meatball gently between your fingers. Find any hard lumps, or smooth rounded bumps, or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of the testicle, get over yourself and call the flipping quack for crying out loud.

 

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So the simple bit done, but a check for prostate cancer is nothing more than a PSA blood test; no coughing with a cold spoon on your gollies, no probing your Bournville boulevard, nothing to be sacred of, for peace of mind. Now, I know, about 99% of cases of prostate cancer occur in males over the age of 50. But fifty creeps up on you like a cheetah on a promise, it’s advisable to get checked if you’re in your forties.

 
So, in conjunction with The Loganberry Trust and Wiltshire Freemasons, all men aged 40 or over are welcome to be tested, free, although a donation to the cost will be gratefully received. It’s on Saturday 29th September, from 10:30 AM – 1PM, at The Conservative Club, 30 Long Street, Devizes SN10 1NW. You don’t even need to book an appointment, just turn up guys, and help raise awareness of prostate health, even if show no symptoms; early prostate cancer shows no symptoms.

 

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So, let’s get it out there now; if you find yourself getting up for a wee in the night more often than normal, and not just to check your Facebook, if you’ve trouble starting or maintaining a constant stream of piss, have any pain, or see blood in it, or in your gentleman’s relish, you really need to get a test done, and if you’re busy on 29th September and can’t make it, phone, for fucks sake don’t ignore it, it won’t go away like a bought of green apple splatters or a paper-cut on your thumb; call your doctor.

 
Being the Trust and Freemasons haven’t created a Facebook event of this, I have, so you can click you’re interested and it’ll remind you to come along, no excuses. I’d kind of imagined our first Devizine event would be a knockout musical extravaganza, but needs must. Check that out here.

 

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Devizes Well Being Day

Saturday 23rd June is Well Being Day in Devizes, I had to wonder what that’s all about, so here’s a shared post from The Rotary Club website to explain…….

 

Devizes Rotary, working in partnership with Devizes Communty Area Wellbeing Group, is hosting the inaugural Devizes Community Area Wellbeing Day on Saturday 23 June 2018 on the small green in Devizes.

On the Rotary website you’ll find all of the information you need to know about the day, including the Venue Layout and timetable for the day, what entertainment there’ll be, what exhibitors will be there and the parking options available to you. However if what you’re looking for isn’t here, or if you have any questions about the day, please get in touch using the contact menu.

The aim of the day is to provide FREE entertainment and information to the over 55’s in the Devizes Community Area. Visitors will have a great day discovering what activities and services are available to them, and will enable the organisations, charities and clubs that provide those services to promote what they do.

So, if you are over 55, or know or care for someone who is, why not come down to The Green and find out what is happening locally? There are so many activities in the Devizes area that you may not realise are available, so it will definitely be worth a visit.

Devizes Rotary, working in partnership with Devizes Communty Area Wellbeing Group, is hosting the inaugural Devizes Community Area Wellbeing Day on Saturday 23 June 2018 on the small green in Devizes. On this website you’ll find all of the information you need to know about the day, including the Venue Layout and timetable for… Continue reading About

via About — Devizes Community Area Wellbeing Day 2018

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Saddle Up! Devizes Most Prestigious Festival Steps Up Their Game

Your creative sorts usually appreciate music, but, stereotypically, entertainment for “sporty-types” would rather be waving fists and hurling abuse at a team projected to them via a widescreen TV, seemingly oblivious; television is a one-way communication devise. It’s not until someone puts “Eye of the Tiger,” on a jukebox, or Bonnie Tyler croaks she’s holding out for a hero, that they get all sweaty, and start flexing biceps in a dance comprising of getting friends in a headlock and rubbing knuckles atop their cranium.

 
It couldn’t be further from the truth for the Devizes Sports Club, and anyway, my generalising just a witticism in hope the lady’s rugby team might fulfil my daydream and chase me down the street! The Sports Club, enthusiastic for the remaining month before their Saddleback Festival, are serious about presenting the town with an exciting and professionally organised festival.

 

It’s the music festival’s second innings, after the sun-drenched blues event last year, and they’re determined to up their game…..not a lot, no point in running before they can walk, but enough to make this, in my opinion, our most anticipated event of the year.

 
For starters, they’ve dropped the “blues” tag from its title, making it less specialised. While the concentration on blues music still sturdy, it’ll be joined predominantly with rock, acoustic and folk.

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Certain other moves are to be introduced, I’m at the British Lion, having a pint with organiser, Mirko Pangrazzi, to find out what they might be.

 
I suggest they could drop the “music” label too, add a comedy tent, or possibly street theatre. Mirko considers, but stops at the idea of a “dance” tent. Their chosen genres equate to a family-styled event. A mass of fledgling “ravers” descending brings its own issues.

 
There’s an air about the conversation which leads me to believe the organisers value quality over quantity, with no intentions of expanding to Glasto proportions. We laugh as Mirko recalls people last year leaving, only to return with chairs in which they would switch the angle of to face their chosen stage; that is sooo Devizes and surely associates this family ethos.

 

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Jon Amor

Mirko is keen to show me a list of activities they’ve organised for children; a fun bus, inflatables, face painting, a bungee run, Striker game, slot machines and of course, a sweet stall, to name but a few. Plus, it goes without saying it’s at a sports club with abundant space to kick a football till you drop.

 
For here’s a thing, I’m convinced no one is to get fleeced at Saddleback, the food stalls enter freely, organisers only asking for a donation to chosen charities; Julia’s House, Wiltshire Air Ambulance and others, while punters get value with a wealth of talented acts for a reasonable twenty-five quid, and their kids under 13, well, they get in for FREE and for 13-17 it’s just a fiver.

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Mirko introduces me to John, a newcomer to the committee but with a wealth of experience on the festival scene. What John doesn’t know about coordinating a festival could be written on the back of a matchbox, with diagrams, pie charts and a few dirty doodles on the bottom.

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Mollie Marriott

Having worked on littler-known events like, say, Glastonbury and Boomtown, John is a welcomed asset to provide a fully professional team, determined to make this work wonders. There’s more than meets the eye to arranging such an event, a note others need take heed of in these cliché days of any Tom, Dick, Harry, or Harry’s pet dog attempting to hold one. They’re delighted to have halted construction plans for a new pipeline running through the site, due bang on the 14th July when Saddleback takes place. For when music promoter Mirko and Sports Club owner Rick get going on a project, they’re the sort who work tirelessly to make it the very best they can.

 
It didn’t matter of the success of last year’s, though Mirko was pleased with the result, they’ve assigned themselves to this ongoing project and intend to make it an annual event.

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Marcus Bonfanti

So, the second major change is camping. People will be able to set up a tent this year, from Friday to Sunday, for a tenner, or just fifteen smackers to bring their campervan on site. This will add an extra dimension to the ambience, with visitors able to mingle with locals. Add this to the real ale and cider bars, prosecco, Pimms, wines, soft drinks, and craft beer from Devitera, merge it with a wide assortment of food stalls, such as Happy Hog Catering, Asian cuisine, obligatory barbeque and a tea/coffee and crepe bus, I think they’re building the perfect recipe for a blinding day which will go down in Devizes history and will firmly put our town on the festival map.

 
Notwithstanding an unforgettable line-up, with blues singer, songwriter and guitarist, Marcus Bonfanti, rockers Bad Touch, ballad-esque pop-rockette, Mollie Marriott, daughter of Small Faces and Humble Pie singer and guitarist Steve Marriott, Devizes-own blues/alternate rock deities The Jon Amor Band, Bradford’s legendary John Verity, Blues/Rock guitarist Innes Sibun and Avebury’s own George Wilding.

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George Wilding

If you need further proof of the authenticity of my recommendation, bear in mind it was a great thing when George Wilding won his place at the festival at the Battle of the Bands earlier this year and said he’d do it, if the other contestants could have the opportunity to play too. But it’s an even greater thing when Rick and Mirko took heed, and before we knew what was what, a third “acoustic” stage was added, introducing local heroes and heroines Mike Barham, Jamie R Hawkins, Alex Cash, Sally Dobson and Clare, who was coincidently serving at the British Lion at the time!

 
She smiled when we chatted, not realising who I was she said, “but I’ve known you for years!” That is what’s special about Devizes, that is what Saddleback will adhere, and that is also what’ll make Saddleback a knockout.

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So, don’t miss out, leave a comment on a local Facebook group, giving it, “whats that wonderful music I can hear from my garden?” – there’s tickets on the gate, or in advance, here.

 

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Wharf Theatre Brings Local Playwriter’s “Broken Wing” to Life

Zara is therapist to a sixteen year old refugee, trying to come to terms with the brutal horrors of war. Her own adopted daughter of the same age is dealing with her ‘inner’ conflict. As the characters of the two girls, Layee and Thea, emerge, they tell not only their own stories but each other’s, to a world which they often feel doesn’t listen or understand.

 
Showing the deep anguish, feelings of loss of identity and abandonment which can link both adoption and asylum, it’s the intriguing plot of Broken Wing, the world premier play of Devizes author Annie L Cooper. Annie was prompted to write it after her personal experiences as a therapist working in Bosnia with the victims of concentration camps, and having witnessed the complex issues involved in adoption. It’s being staged by director Lewis Cowen at The Wharf Theatre in Devizes for Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd June.

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Not set in any specific time or place, because sadly these issues still occur in all corners of the world, it’s a powerful production with strong language and disturbing themes, hence its over sixteen guideline.

 
What an inspiring move for our local theatre, adapting a local author’s work and staging an exclusive play which hopefully will be taken up elsewhere.

 
Catch Broken Wing at The Wharf Theatre, Devizes: Tuesday 19th – Saturday 23rd June 2018 @ 7.30pm Tickets £12/£10; concessions can be purchased from the website: wharftheatre.co.uk or at the Devizes Community Hub and Library on Sheep Street, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm or by ringing 03336 663 366 For further information contact Karen Ellis www.publicity@wharftheatre.co.uk  

Ticket Source here

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Devizes Food Festival’s Grand Market was Indeed Grand

One small stall holder selling their own brew of beer at the Devizes Food Festival’s Grand Market yesterday told me he was hassled by a woman claiming to be from a nearby Wadworth pub. According to him, the lady in question yelled, “we don’t want your beer around here!”

 

Wherever she intended to rhyme or not is beside the point; shameless. This small-business guy trekking from Bristol only to be bullied by the town’s big boys; any truth in this, I pondered, and if so I wished I hadn’t heard it at all. Other than this bizarre claim though, the day went with full swing, and a great time was had by all.

 

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While Wadworth sponsor the Food Festival, it’s presence at the Market was minimal, the real heroes of the alcohol variety was surely the recently changed Stealth Brew Co, formerly The Kennet & Avon Brewery, as in promoting their new brands, bought the music of local Jamie R Hawkins and the brilliant Rob Lear from Wales.

 
As their acoustic vibes bought ambience to the event, preventing punters from wandering off, Cellar Bar event organiser Mirko was swinging around handing out flyers for the highly anticipated Saddleback Festival. He updated his Facebook status claiming “this is the best food festival yet!” I was still hauling my ass out of bed with all best intentions of checking it out. But I also spotted a video posted, it scanned the event from a birds-eye view, or an overlooking window view at the least; certain randy pigeons didn’t shoot the film. For a “festival” it looked kinda petite, taking up a fraction of the Market Place.

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Now admittedly, I’m a Devizes Food Festival virgin, so no previous years to compare it, but upon sauntering the stalls I contemplated, actually it’s not a festival, rather the market section of a larger event spanning the fortnight. Admittedly, while this was the only free occasion and the others came with a hefty price-tag, for a market it was lively, colourful with fine aromas reaching beyond its boundaries. In fact, when amidst the little stalls of independent cuisine companies, it was plentiful.

 
With my new Stealth brew in hand I blagged an organic apple from Riverford Organic Farmers in Devon, making my beer preferably cider-like, yeah, I dipped it! Worked until I met Harry of Harry’s Cider from Long Sutton, or Harry’s employee at the very least, who gave me some gorgeous samples of raspberry and blackcurrant, and sweet, but the mango and lime flavour was to die for!

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Booze-wise, for I figure it best to cover them first, Devizes Bubble Bar was in attendance, teasing me with filthy-named cocktails; catch up with them at the Caen Hill Flight Festival. I also sampled wines from Pieroth, and a few homemade brandies made me happy I chose to take shanks pony.

 
So I sauntered, dipping crackers or bread into fine chilli rapeseed oils from Stanswick Farm in Shrivenham, or awesome relishes from Rosie’s, based in Chippenham and garlic meshes from the Garlic Growers.

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Ewe Tree Tarts looked appetising, a Black Dog fish stall too. Street food supplied by Cantina El Burrito, and fine sausage rolls from Little Jack Horners, but it was the novel idea of Ravi Ollie and his mate, I was impressed with the most; unusual to see this refined ravioli as street food, I usually just have the squidgy-concoction of a budget tin variety. (You know it mate, hangover munchy classic, on white toast, with a grate of cheddar; can’t beat it, you don’t even need the effort of chewing, just suck.)

 
Sweets were also in abundance, with the most beautiful cupcakes of NestCake from Shepton Mallet, Jacqui’s colourful display of homemade sweets from Broughton Gifford, and Chock-Stock polished it all off, Marshfield Ice Cream goes needs no enlightenment, its reputation precedes.

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All in all, this was food heaven, with only Face Painting and Clare’s Circus as entertainment for the kids, I could imagine your little treasures would be bored after a while, unless sugared-up, and there was plenty of options available here, so yes, family-(ish) fun, but more so for adults, the Devizes Food Festival’s Grand Market was indeed grand, and fulfilling; hats off to all involved; maybe even one of those nacho sombreros which Homer Simpson wore. Do they really have nacho sombreros in America? I suspect they do!

 

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Goodnight Mr Tom at the Wharf

Michelle Magorian’s delightful novel about the experiences of young evacuee has been through a number of incarnations, most notably the TV film starring John Thaw. However David Wood’s stage version is enjoying great success, and directed by Kim Pearce, it’s the latest performance at The Wharf Theatre, Devizes.

 

Running from Friday 9th to Saturday 17th March 2018, 7.30pm each evening with a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 10th March, this sounds like a heart-warming prose (please note: there are no performances on Sunday11th and Monday 12th March.)

 

Willie Beech is a boy from the slums of south east London who finds himself unloved and unwanted when he is evacuated to the countryside as Britain finds itself on the brink of World War II. Widower Tom Oakley takes the shy young lad under his wing. The aging recluses’ stony heart is gradually softened and the experience poignantly changes both, in this heart-warming tale.

 
Tickets £12/£10 concessions can be purchased from: The Devizes Community Hub and Library, Sheep Street, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. The website Wharftheatre.co.uk. Or by ringing 03336 663 366.

 
To find out what else is on at the Wharf pick up the new Spring Summer brochure which is now available from the Community Hub and Library and many other outlets around Devizes.