The Exmoor Radio Show – Episode 7

Dulverton by Starlight | Lynton’s successful independent cinema | The historic treasures of Timberscombe Church | The Selworthy Stargazer night run | Author Tracey Gemmell on her love of Exmoor

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:

A vintage tractor that features in its own Exmoor stories, a scale model railway reconstruction of 1930s Brushford and a portable planetarium were some of the attractions at the recent ‘Dulverton by Starlight’ Event.

Exmoor Radio went along and captured some of the event’s special atmosphere on 2nd December. You’ll hear a seasonal song sung by the Take Note choir, carols played by Exford’s handbell ringers and South Molton’s rousing brass band. Keri Jones talked to some of the people who helped make the recent festive event such a success, including Zoe Williams from the organising committee. (00:46)

Lynton’s cinema is a success story. Magazines and newspaper articles regularly declare it to be one of Britain’s best independent cinemas. They show the latest blockbusters, pay some staff and operate 7 days a week.

So how can a tiny cinema with 68 seats survive when there are just 1,150 residents in the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth? Keri Jones from Exmoor Radio spoke with cinema MD and founder Bill Pryor and discovered the secret of their success. (06:46)

St Petroc’s parish church in Timberscombe has been awarded around £50,000 in Heritage Lottery money to repair its roof. Keri Jones from Exmoor Radio met with churchwardens John Gratton and Marion Jeffrey to hear what a difference this grant money will make to the village community.

Keri also discovers why the church is one of the few Grade 1 listed buildings on the moor and he learns about the church’s most treasured features – its rood screen and wall paintings. (16:25)

Running at night on Exmoor offers a completely different experience, according to Dan Brice from Minehead-based Channel Events. Dan’s team is offering runners a chance to tackle a 5k or 10k run on Exmoor, under the stars, on the shortest day of the year. Dan talks with Keri Jones from Exmoor Radio about the Selworthy Stargazer on 21stDecember – the winter solstice. (24:18)

Author Tracey Gemmell will soon leave the cold winters of Wisconsin for the warmer climes of West Somerset. British-born Tracey has a yearning for Exmoor, which has grown stronger with each passing year. Porlock is pulling her across the ‘Pond’. Tracey has written three novels that each feature a desire to discover a place you feel to be home. There’s a Welsh word for this – ‘hiraeth’.

Tracey talks with Exmoor Radio’s Keri Jones about her book, ‘Dunster’s Calling’ which features its central character’s longing to return to the moor. The story is told through the woman’s strong connection with an Exmoor pony. And Tracey explains the special bond she feels with Exmoor and why she’s returning – permanently. (26:47)