Latest News

Latest News from Fairlynch Museum


Fairlynch is now open for the 2017 season

Posted 23 Jun 2017

Punch & Judy


Ever-popular Punch & Judy are back at the Museum on Friday, 21 July and Friday, 4 August. Two shows at 17:30 and 18:30 presented by the Puppetree Company.

Just yards from Budleigh’s famous beach. Refreshments available, including Pimms. Barbecue with Mr Punch’s special sausages plus home-made cakes and

other delicacies. In association with Budleigh Salterton Lions Club.

Posted 2 Jun 2017

Object of the Month: June 2017


This portrait of Queen Victoria is Fairlynch Museum's Object of the Month for June 2017. Come and see our Victorian costume display after visiting the

Admiral Preedy show in the Museum's Exhibition Room.


Posted 3 May 2017

Object of the Month: May 2017


Continuing in the series of verses marking the bicentenary of a local hero: Fairlynch Trustee Michael Downes sings the praises of former Budleigh resident G.W. Preedy

as the future Admiral takes command of the ship which would make him famous, the Royal Navy’s HMS Agamemnon.

You can read the verse or even sing along to it here.


Posted 26 Apr 2017

The Making of a Museum












A long-awaited booklet about the history of Fairlynch is now available with the publication of The Making of a Museum, edited by Fairlynch Trustee Michael Downes. Based on

a 1987 study of the museum building itself, the new title has been brought out to mark Fairlynch’s 50th anniversary and chronicles the development of a much-loved

Budleigh institution from its beginnings up to the present day.


At over 50 pages and lavishly illustrated with almost 100 images, The Making of a Museum is a tribute to the original founders of Fairlynch as well as a story of determination

and vision. It was a story crowned by many achievements. One of the most notable was persuading the Tate Gallery to allow on two occasions the showing in Budleigh of

Millais’ original painting ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh’.


The booklet is available from the Museum shop, price £5.00. All profits go to Fairlynch.


Posted 24 Apr 2017

Bradleys: A Force For Good in The Nello


As a community asset and registered charity we are pleased to be supported by many local businesses, and not surprisingly Fairlynch has a special relationship with leading

West Country firm Bradleys estate agents. It is after all one of the most painted and photographed buildings in East Devon according to the Western Morning News.


Prominently featured on much of our publicity material is the Bradleys logo, acknowledging our debt to the firm which, as one of our Corporate Friends, has provided printing

facilities for the Museum for almost ten years.


Another good cause, apart from Fairlynch, currently being supported by Bradleys is Force Cancer Charity. Robin Burne, manager of the firm’s Budleigh office, is a well known

name both in the local property scene and as an athlete who enjoys endurance challenges to raise money for charity.


His various achievements include the Plymouth half-marathon in 1 hour 44 minutes, beating his time from the previous year’s event by seven minutes, abseiling down Haytor

on Dartmoor and a sponsored cycle ride from London to Paris in just 24 hours with Bradleys colleague Richard Greetham.


On Sunday 25 June 2017 Robin and the Bradleys team will be taking part in The Nello Century Cycle Challenge, based on a choice of either 100 or 55-mile rides, setting off

and finishing at Topsham Rugby Club.


Please sponsor them on


Posted 24 Apr 2017


Frills and Thrills – Unlocking the Fairlynch Costume Collections

Illustrated talk by Lucy Johnston and Shelley Tobin

Following the AGM 4 May 2017


Members of the public will be welcome at Fairlynch Museum’s 2017 Annual General Meeting, which will be followed by some fascinating revelations about one of its many

special collections.


Last year saw the start of a review of Fairlynch Museum’s priceless costume collection of some 4,000 items by three renowned textile experts with a view to their conservation

and enhanced storage. The origins of the collection go back to the 1930s when Joy Gawne – one of Fairlynch’s founders and the current President – and her sister

Elizabeth began acquiring costumes from the Caledonian Market in London.


Shelley Tobin, Lucy Johnston and Morwena Stephens are specialists in the field of costume research, display and conservation. They have many years of experience

between them, curating as well as conserving valuable collections at museums both in the UK and abroad.


Their final report has yet to be published, but meanwhile the three experts are unanimous in their view that the Museum's dress and textile collection contains an astonishing

range of objects reflecting over 200 years of textile and dress manufacture and consumption in Britain.


A red flannel hood from the Pile family collection, worn by women walking along the cliffs at nearby Ladram Bay to stave off attack during the Napoleonic Wars is described as

an extremely rare object and tells a fascinating story that is very relevant to the history of Budleigh Salterton.


‘The Gawne sisters and their collaborators clearly had a good eye as collectors,’ reads one conclusion from the experts’ interim report. ‘They also added their own and family

clothing to the collection. From bathing dresses and shoes worn on the beach at Budleigh Salterton, to an exquisite 18th century Dresden work apron, the collections at

Fairlynch are rich and varied.’


The AGM for Friends of Fairlynch takes place on Thursday 4 May at 15:00 in Budleigh’s Peter Hall, followed by an illustrated talk ‘Frills and Thrills – Unlocking the Fairlynch Costume Collections’ by two of the experts involved in the costume review. An admission charge of £2.00 will be made for non-members, which will include refreshments.



Notes for Editors:


Lucy Johnston is a freelance curator specialising in fashionable dress and rural worker’s clothing. She is developing an exhibition for Dorset County Museum entitled

Thomas Hardy: Fashion, Fact and Fiction and is in discussion with Linhay costume volunteer, Iris Ansell, about borrowing Fairlynch costumes. She is a former curator of costume

(1800-1947) and wedding dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum and publications includes Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail (Revised edition, 2016), Shoes (revised edition, 2017).



Shelley Tobin is a curator, dress historian and author, specialising in dress and fashion collections and exhibitions, who currently divides her time between the National Trust and

the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter. She serves on a National Trust advisory panel, the Costume Working Group. Shelley is a member of the executive committee of

the Costume Society and chair of the communications sub-committee whose aim is to promote the study of fashion, textiles and dress both historic and contemporary.


Morwena Stephens is an Independent Textiles and Ethnographic Artefacts Conservator whose previous experience includes working in The National Museum of the American Indian,

The Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum of Welsh Life. Morwena conserves costume and textiles for the National Trust and museums across the South West. She is currently conserving banners for the HLF funded 'Raising the Standard' project and delivers training in the care of textile collections widely. She has lectured on her work at St Michael's Mount

as well as at professional conferences.


Posted 24 Apr 2017

Our Object of the Month: April 2017


Continuing in the series of verses marking the bicentenary of a local hero: Fairlynch Trustee Michael Downes sings the praises of former Budleigh resident G.W. Preedy

as the future Admiral rises through the ranks of the Royal Navy. You can read the verse or even sing along to it here.


Posted 11 Apr 2017


Community Venture


Not all our volunteers are retired people. We are grateful to those members of the local community who combine a full-time job with helping at the Museum. Some like our Treasurer Chris Searle, even manage to participate in admirable community ventures in parts of the world very different from the Budleigh area. To read more click on the image below.


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 15 Mar 2017

Fairlynch 2017













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

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 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 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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