The Exmoor Radio Show – Episode 14

We discover Allerford’s historic forge and blacksmiths, who are getting orders from around the globe | The ancient job of an Exmoor lengthsman | Take a dip at the Exmoor Open Water Swim at Wimbleball | The art at Gallery @ 500 Feet in Lynton | Take a Valentine’s Day challenge on the Cliff Railway

The Exmoor Radio Show shares stories and conversations with the people who work and play in Britain’s most magical national park. The programme is recorded on location in Exmoor and produced in Lynton by Keri Jones. In this episode of The Exmoor Radio Show:

We visit the historic forge in Allerford to hear about their plans for the future, which will be of interest to art-loving visitors. Director Kieren Roberts chats about some of the interesting and prestigious jobs the team has undertaken recently in this busy workshop, including a special project in Porlock. And he explains that staff didn’t believe that an overseas order they received was genuine. You’ll hear why. (00:58)

When Shaun Bryant was growing up in Kent he had never heard of a lengthsman. Most people are unaware of this occupation, but many Exmoor visitors and locals benefit from the work. Shaun is a maintenance and repairman for a number of parishes on the Somerset side of the moor. He talks with Keri Jones about his role, which can be traced back to medieval times. (11:32)

Hundreds of people will wade into Wimbleball Lake’s waters for the Exmoor Open Water Swim on 29th September. Event director Mike Morris explains why he started the swim and what it feels likes to take part – including how warm the water is! Entrants can support good causes. There are different lengths of swim, depending on ability, and Mike says that some swimmers are very fast. (16:42)

Two years ago, Paul and Helen Ridgewell moved from Cornwall to Lynton and opened a gallery in the town’s Old Bank House. Gallery @ 500 Feet’s name, of course, refers to the elevation of the upper twin village. Over the past two years the couple’s range of contemporary and eclectic art has become a firm favourite with both visitors and locals. Paul and Helen are not artists and they had never run a shop before. They explain why they have changed careers and why they love living on the moor. In March, Helen will open a second shop in Lynton, too. (21:33)

Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is planning a not-so-romantic Valentine’s Day event. They want to see whether couples can prepare and consume a Devon Cream Tea during the short ride from the upper to bottom station. Cliff Railway manager Ashley Clarke explains what will happen. (31:01)