Latest News

Latest News from Fairlynch Museum

Posted 18 March 2020

In light of the latest Government advice, and in order to protect volunteers and visitors alike, the Trustees have taken the decision to cancel all public activities associated with the Fairlynch Museum until further notice.

Please note that the following events have been cancelled or postponed:

  • Wednesday 1st April - Coffee Time Talk (cancelled)
  • Thursday 9th April - Preview Event for Friends of Fairlynch (postponed indefinitely)
  • Wednesday 6th May – Annual General Meeting and Talk (postponed indefinitely)

In addition, the Museum will not open as planned on 10th April, but will remain closed until such times as the advice from the Government changes, and Trustees feel that it is safe to open the Museum to visitors.

Keeping the Museum closed will not reduce our running costs – last year it cost about £37 a day just to keep it going. With this delay in opening for the 2020 Season, we will be facing a reduction in our anticipated income from entry fees and visitor donations, so any additional donations would be most gratefully received. You can do this by cheque made payable to ‘Budleigh Salterton Arts Centre & Museum’ or through the Big Give button below.

Trustees will be reviewing the situation on a regular basis and we will keep the website updated about any changes.

In the meantime, we hope that you stay safe and well, and look forward to welcoming you to the Museum as soon as feasible.

Signed on behalf of the Trustees,

Trevor Waddington OBE


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Posted 11 Mar 2020

Annual General Meeting


Wednesday, 6 May 2020

The Museum's Annual General Meeting will take place in Peter Hall at 10:30 (doors open 10:00), folllowed by a talk by Tony Venning

on 'Samuel pepys, Diarist - His Life and Loves'.

The agenda and supporting papers will be available from 20 April 2020 here.

Of particular note, the Board of Trustees has reviewed the Constitution and will be proposing some changes in order to comply with legislation enacted

since the last review, or to clarify some areas that may be confusing.

Posted 4 Dec 2019

Cecil Elgee (1904 -1984)

Like many Budleigh residents of the past, the artist Cecil Elgee had an Anglo-Indian background and it was for this that her name will be

known by those familiar with 'Costumes and Characters in the Days of the British Raj', the book which appeared just before her death.

But her work as a painter and illustrator covered a wide range of subjects.

Born in 1904, Cecil Elgee, better known by her family nickname as Moppie or Mops, went out to India to join her parents in Bombay in 1922

when she was 18 and studied at the Bombay School of Art. On her return to England in 1927, the family settled in Budleigh Salterton and she continued her

art studies at the Exeter Art School, founded in 1854 as part of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

During World War 2 she served as a Naval VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) at the Royal Naval Hospital in Plymouth. She went through the Plymouth Blitz

and at the end of the war she was one of the twelve Naval VADs in the Victory Parade in London. When demobilised she returned home to

look after and subsequently nursed her elderly father and later her widowed sister.

Working from her home at 9 Copplestone Road in Budleigh Salterton she proved to be a prolific and versatile artist. Her work was always in demand,

especially when she portrayed animals - both family pets, and working animals. Cecil Elgee died in 1984 but her name lives on in the

Cecil Elgee Memorial prize, awarded by the Budleigh Salterton Art Club.

The latest acquisition is the fifth of her watercolour paintings in Fairlynch’s collection.

Cecil Elgee

Posted 4 Dec 2019

England's Oldest Lace Bobbin Discovered in Budleigh

Fairlynch has the oldest known lace bobbin in England in its collection!

This was recently confirmed by lace historian Brian Lemin of New South Wales, Australia. The 11½ cm long wooden bobbin is carved

with the initials MR and the date 1662.

Fairlynch's curator of lace Sue Morgan says “It came into the museum's collection in the 1990s and its origin is unknown.

However, style and decoration are typical of an East Devon trolly-lace bobbin made for a lace-maker with the initials MR in 1662.”

Museum chairman Trevor Waddington commented “It was made just two years after the Restoration of King Charles II and four years before

the Great Fire of London. If only these objects could talk!”

Lace Bobbin

Posted 29 Jul 2019

Coffee Time Talks

Fairlynch are introducing a series of monthly talks to be held at the Peter Hall, Budleigh Salterton. 

Titled 'Coffee Time Talks'  tea, coffee and biscuits will be available from 10:30 with talks commencing at 11:00.  Talks are scheduled to finish at 11:45. 

Admission is £3.00 for Friends and £5.00 for non-Friends.

Click here for the full programme.

Posted 18 Apr 2019

The Fairlynch Pig

Recently Christine Hadley, who curates the Fairlynch toy collection, re-discovered the Fairlynch Pig and has made this short video of him (or her).

He was made in about 1930 by the French automaton company Roullet et Descamps in Paris.  He is about 30cm long covered in pink chamois leather

with glass eyes.  He walks, nods his head and grunts!

Posted 20 Dec 2018

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. 

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