Latest News

Latest News from Fairlynch Museum


Fairlynch is now closed until 14 April 2017

Posted 22 Mar 2017

Thanks to Generous Friends















Fairlynch Trustees have once again expressed their gratitude to Friends of the Museum who stepped in to help with a recent appeal. Much needed funds enabled new

doors to be provided for the Linhay, the building next to Fairlynch which houses the Museum’s valuable costume collection.


Not too many visitors and not all volunteers have seen inside our costume store. Those who have been given a tour of the area will know how important it is to

maintain the right environmental conditions in the Linhay, which contains hundreds of costumes and other items of clothing. Some of them have been described as

of national importance following a recent survey by textile specialists.

The new doors for the building were provided and fitted by a team from Honiton-based company Duralife completing the work most efficiently in time for the

new season’s opening.


Our Grade II listed building is one of Budleigh Salterton’s most striking and attractive features, cherished by the local community as a museum for half a century.

But 200-year-old Fairlynch is costly to maintain. If you would like to contribute to our fighting fund to protect this very special landmark our Chairman

Trevor Waddington would be delighted to hear from you.







One of the many corners inside the Linhay showing just some of the boxes containing garments and

intriguing items worn by people in the past. Fascinating tours of Fairlynch’s costume store

can be arranged by special arrangement.


Posted 21 Mar 2017

Museum Chairman’s Newfoundland Talk














The Agamemnon’s encounter with a whale in mid-Atlantic, as depicted by the Victorian artist Robert Dudley


Admiral Preedy, the heroic captain of the Royal Navy ship which was involved in the laying of the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable, will be featured

in a programme celebrating the 500 years of historical and cultural connections between Devon and Newfoundland.


Trevor Waddington OBE, Fairlynch’s Chairman, will give a talk ‘Admiral Preedy and the Victorian Internet’ focusing on the achievement of the former Budleigh

resident who captained HMS Agamemnon on its epic voyage in 1858 to lay the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable. The cable extended across the

floor of the Atlantic from Telegraph Field, Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island in western Ireland to Heart’s Content in eastern Newfoundland. The first

communications occurred on 16 August 1858, reducing the communication time between North America and Europe from ten days – the time it took to

deliver a message by ship – to a much shorter time.


Trevor has been working with Friends of Fairlynch and Woodbury residents Mike and Margaret Wilson on research for the Museum’s 2017 exhibition

‘Admiral Preedy and the Victorian Internet’ which is being staged to mark the bicentenary of Preedy’s birth in Worcestershire. Trevor and Mike, who both served

with the Royal Navy, have a special interest in Admiral Preedy’s distinguished career.


Trevor’s talk, ‘Admiral Preedy and the Victorian Internet’, takes place at 12.30 pm on Sunday 9 April, at County Hall on Topsham Road, Exeter.

The talk is one of many events in the Devon-Newfoundland Heritage Forum & Heritage Exhibition being staged between Monday 3

and Sunday 16 April by the Devonshire Association and the Devon Family History Society.

More information can be found at or by telephoning 01392 860456.

Posted 15 Mar 2017

Fairlynch 2017













Click on the above image for details of exhibitions being staged in Fairlynch during 2017

Posted 10 Mar 2017

The Primrose has grown


Friends of Fairlynch have been delighted for some time now with the new-look Museum newsletter, and were pleased to find that the recently

published Spring 2017 edition now has a total of 26 pages.












Contents include features on a visit made by Friends of Fairlynch to the historic Place Court, a Christmas party for volunteers, an article about

Admiral Preedy by Chairman and a tribute to the late Charles Lane, one of the longest-serving stewards (click on the image above for more contents).


The four-page increase has come about partly because there is just so much news about Fairlynch, and partly because the publication is now receiving

valuable support from advertisers who recognise the importance of the Museum as part of the community life of the Lower Otter Valley.


DuraLife Windows, Budleigh Salterton Dental Practice and the insurance broker Lycetts are among firms which have taken full-page adverts in The Primrose,

along with many other small businesses in the local area. If you are interested in finding out about our extremely moderate advertising rates and

attractive discounts for appearing in successive editions please contact the Primrose editor Michael Downes at

Posted 8 Mar 2017

A well-versed editor


For the past year, readers of Fairlynch’s Facebook page have been entertained by the monthly appearance of a photo, usually of an object in the Museum,

accompanied by a short poem. Michael Downes, a Fairlynch Trustee and editor of the Museum’s newsletter, decided that rhyming captions for

artefacts would present an amusing challenge and perhaps encourage visitors to create their own verses inspired by what they had seen in

the various collections. The Object of the Month and its accompanying poem are posted on the Museum noticeboard as well as on Facebook.


The current series of verses and objects relates to the forthcoming exhibition ‘Admiral Preedy and the Victorian Internet’ and began in February.

Here is the second of Michael’s offerings, inspired by Preedy’s service during the Royal Navy’s anti-slavery campaigns which began in the early 19th century.


Fairlynch’s Facebook page now has over 200 ‘likes’ from followers all over the world. Click on to view the page.

This slightly adapted picture of Sir Walter Ralegh and his young son Walt is one of the latest ‘posts’. The painting, by an unknown 16th century artist,

has a tragic note: Walt was killed during Sir Walter’s 1617 expedition in search of El Dorado. Ralegh’s friend Lawrence Keymis, an officer on the expedition,

was so stricken with remorse that he stabbed himself to death.













Make sure you visit the Sir Walter Ralegh Room at Fairlynch Museum. The celebrated Elizabethan courtier was born at East Budleigh,

just a few miles from Budleigh Salterton.


Posted 7 Mar

Contes du Cottage Orné










The local Anglo-French Society has a programme of events and activities for those with an interest in the language and culture of France, and a forthcoming

talk will focus on historical links between that country and the Lower Otter Valley. The speaker, Michael Downes, is a Fairlynch Trustee and edits

The Primrose, the Museum’s newsletter.


‘Some of the area’s links are quite visible, such as the motto on Budleigh Salterton Town Council’s coat of arms’, he explains. ‘But there are other connections which are a bit

more obscure but fascinating nonetheless. I’ve been intrigued by the fact that the young Sir Walter Ralegh may have spent as much as four years in France during the 16th century

Wars of Religion. And the even more surprising fact that the village where he was born had a Frenchman as its vicar just over a century later.’


Michael’s talk, entitled ‘Contes du Cottage Orné’, takes place on Monday 20 March at 7:30 pm, and of course is in French. The Anglo-French Society meets monthly on a Monday

evening at the Masonic Hall in West Hill, Budleigh Salterton and welcomes new members (£15.00 pa) and visitors (£3.00 per session).


Posted 6 Mar 2017

2017: A Golden Year for the Museum


Looking ahead to the 50th anniversary of our founding – or as it was officially known back in 1967 ‘The Budleigh Salterton Arts Centre and Museum’ –

Fairlynch was featured in a three-page article published in March & April edition of The Budleigh Diary (to read it, click the image below). Many aspects of the Museum’s history were covered in the lavishly illustrated article, which appeared as part of the Diary’s series of Community Interviews.











The Budleigh Diary has covered events in the Lower Otter Valley for over 20 years and is distributed to 4,200 residential and business addresses in

the area. With its sister-title, The Sidmouth Diary, it is run by publisher Nigel Jones together with the Devonshire magazine

and the website

Posted 3 Mar 2017


Tracks from Newton Poppleford to Exmouth


The Museum will be open briefly on Monday, 6 March 2017 when 40 members of the Otter Valley Association and railway enthusiasts set

out on a commemorative walk from Newton Poppleford to Exmouth. A stop for lunch will take place at the former East Budleigh Station,

with a further stop at Fairlynch for people to see the Museum’s railway display.














Above: BR Standard 3MT 2-6-2T No 82024 leaving Budleigh Salterton Station, with houses on Greenway Lane on the left.

Image credit: Dr T.A. Gough. More articles which mark 50 years since the closure of the Budleigh Salterton line are on pages 11 and 12

of the Spring edition of Fairlynch’s magazine The Primrose.

Posted 26 Sep 2016


Fairlynch to contribute to the Devon-Newfoundland story


In 2017 Fairlynch Museum will be mounting an exhibition to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of former resident Vice Admiral George William Preedy CB (1817-1894).

In 1858 Preedy was Captain of HMS Agamemnon which laid the British half of the first successful Atlantic telegraph cable from Ireland to Newfoundland.


The Fairlynch exhibition, titled ‘Admiral Preedy and the Victorian Internet’, is being staged in an important year for Devon historians. In the first two weeks of April 2017,

the Devonshire Association, working with the Devon Family History Society, is celebrating nearly 600 years of contact and interaction between Devon and Newfoundland.


Although the celebration will be county-wide, the main events will take place in Exeter (supported by both Devon County Council and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum)

and in Bideford (a port with strong historic Newfoundland connections).


The exhibition at Fairlynch Museum is planned to run from Good Friday (14 April), when the Museum opens to the public, to 29 October 2017. It will focus on Preedy’s naval

career and command of HMS Agamemnon in 1858. It will also explain the challenges of laying submarine telegraph cables and the revolution in communications

which this technology - the Victorian Internet - brought about to benefit commerce and the British Empire.



Click for more information


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