The Exmoor Radio Show – Episode 9

The secrets of Simonsbath’s sawmill | Porlock cider-maker Marc Salter | The origins of the Exmoor accent | Winter wildlife walks at Watersmeet | The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway’s video biographer

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:

Keri Jones visits Simonsbath’s sawmill to watch the volunteers cut timber using equipment that harnesses the power of Exmoor’s abundant water supply. Water-powered sawmills are rare and a group of dedicated volunteers is keen to keep this mill operating, including former Exmoor National Park officer Graham Wills. Graham has uncovered a family connection with the sawmill. During his tour, Keri learns that the sawmill has played a wider role in local life in this part of the moor. (00:44)

Exmoor Radio visits Ex-Press Cider. Marc Salter talks about his journey from America’s West Coast to West Somerset and the success of his craft cider, which is produced at Hawkcombe from locally grown apples. Marc explains why he’s currently happy to keep his production levels low. But, as Keri Jones hears, his future plans include the roll-out of a luxury cider brand and a visitor experience offer. (11.41)

Can you work out where an Exmoor resident was brought up, just from their accent? Vicky Garnett has been looking at language and accent change on the Somerset side of the moor as part of her research for a PhD in linguistics. Vicky tells Exmoor Radio about her project and she says that she’s noticed a specific vowel sound, which has interested her. (18:14)

Are you desperate to find something to do during ‘Twixmas’ – the period between Boxing Day and New Year? The National Trust has arranged a series of educational and interesting walks around Watersmeet. Peter Cousin tells Exmoor Radio about some of the wildlife sights that walkers might enjoy. And following a successful trial in 2017, the café will be open, so returning walkers will be able to warm up with a drink and snack. (25:06)

Trevor Garnham has been tracking the development of Exmoor’s narrow gauge railway through his videos. The filmmaker records and then edits hours of footage from the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway’s Gala Days to produce his DVDs. The twelfth compilation has just gone on sale. Trevor explains why he spends so much time producing this video archive and tells Keri Jones how the L&B Railway first fascinated him. (28:52)