Tag Archives: Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe Bike Show September 14th 2013

2nd anual Ilfracombe Bike Show


On Saturday 14th September bikes from all over will descend on Ilfracombe, gathering on the seafront around the Landmark Theatre.

Organised by M.A.G. (Motorcycle Action Group) this will be raising money for

Entry for all bikes £3 which includes parking on the seafront. Trophies will be awarded in various categories.

Money raised will be donated to Motorcycle Outreach, Devon Air Ambulance trust, and M.A.G.

Further details from north-devon-rep@mag-uk.org or telephone 08442 480174


Honey Jacks at Sunwest Festival

Last minute replacements wow the crowd

On the Sunday evening I spotted a post on Facebook that said Honey Jacks were playing their debut gig, stepping in for Tuesday Syndicate on the Monday afternoon. 

Honey_Jacks_sunwest_1This would be just before my own band were due to play and I was looking forward to checking out this band in particular.

You see three members of the five piece “Honey Jacks” were previously part of “Surrogate Suns” (my last failed project).

Honey_Jacks_sunwest_2The Suns imploded, suddenly (without rancour) due to the fact we were all gently pulling in different musical directions.
Honey Jacks were named after Honey Jack Daniels, a drink which Surrogate Suns were also rather fond of.

Honey_Jacks_sunwest_3The band consists of

  • Karen Yates – vocals
  • Nick Filby – lead guitar
  • Tony Dredster – rhythm guitar
  • Dan Emery – bass
  • Jay Allen – drums

I was a bit worried at first, because I expected there would be a lot of songs in their set that my band also did, but in the end it turned out that I recognised very few of their songs.  Honey_Jacks_sunwest_4Only Stevie Wonder’s Superstition crossed over, and their version was quite different from ours.

Musically the band were immensely tight, as you would expect from musicians who have worked together in other bands for some time. Not only were Nick, Jay, and Tony, part of Surrogate Suns but perhaps more importantly, Jay, Dan, and Tony were the powerhouse behind “The Padawans” who were a popular band for many years before I even moved to Ilfracombe, and Nick was in a band called “Monster“, with Jay, before that.

Honey_Jacks_sunwest_5Karen’s vocals were sufficiently powerful not to be lost in the thunder of such a high octane backline, yet still melodic and soulful.

Nick is also a guitarist who does not allow the excitement of playing live and loud stand in the way of playing it RIGHT.

All in all, this was a superb first outing for a band which I hope will run for a good long time. 

The Seahorse – Ilfracombe pub listing

The Seahorse pub, Ilfracombe

Wilder Road,
EX34 9AJ



Seahorse-2The Seahorse is arguably the most child and family friendly pub anywhere, there is an area set aside specifically for young children with a TV tuned permanently to cbeebies or similar, and dotted with all sorts of books and toys and small seating.


Seahorse-3They also welcome bookings for kids birthday parties, in fact my kids have been to them there and had a great time.

The pub hosts Karaoke every week. It is a large pub with helpful staff and the only drawback from my point of view is there are no real ales.


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Ilfracombe Carnival 2013

Ilfracombe Carnival 2013
New organisers same eclectic fun

This year’s carnival takes place on Thursday August 22nd starting at the swimming pool car park at six thirty in the evening with judging the best floats, and then the procession will move from there along the High Street and down to the sea front along to George Street.

In previous years it was organised by St. John’s Ambulance, who have a very active training scheme in town. But this year they relinquished their interest as it was becoming increasingly difficult to organise the event and still do all their other things.

So the event has been taken over by a consortium of organisers but it is expected that much of the event will be the same as it has been in previous years.

Uncle_Tom_Cobbley_floatAn ever popular float is one involving a large model horse carrying uncle Tom Cobbley and all, and with a tail that waves around splashing onlookers with water. It wasn’t so popular last year since everybody was already sick of getting wet from ordinary rain, but hopefully this year, with the weather back to normal the odd splash will be a welcome relief.

It is fairly obvious that the roads will be closed for this event from 18.45 prompt until the procession has fully passed. This may take several hours so avoid using your car in town and if you need to leave then make sure it is not trapped by the closures.

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Ilfracombe’s Verity looking green about the gills

What was the point of the polish?

Verity looking very green. Photo taken 1st August 2013 Samsung S3 camera unedited.

Verity looking very green.
Photo taken 1st August 2013
Samsung S3 camera unedited.

Damien Hirst’s controversial sixty foot bronze statue, “Verity” was polished up to a gleaming shine when she was installed, at the end of the pier, last October.

There was a great deal of talk about how she would revive the town’s fortunes and I, for one, thought that she would; however the jury is still emphatically out, despite the enthusiastic cheering by the North Devon Journal about increased use of car parks which conveniently ignored the fact that there was a corresponding increase in other towns which had not added a statue recently.

So now as I look at this vision of …. well this …. sight, for want of a better word, I wonder what was the point of all that polishing? She now looks almost completely green from verdigris. Not an attractive visage in the glorious Devon sunshine.

Surely a quick coat of varnish would have saved the need for a twice yearly polish at great expense, of this monstrous cabbage coloured object.

Bicclescombe Mill and tea rooms

Bicclescombe tea rooms
and Bicclescombe Mill

Ilfracombe’s Bicclescombe park is the largest public park in the town and has been awarded a green flag consistently for several years now. As well as beautiful landscaped gardens, children’s playground, and tennis courts, the park benefits greatly from the tea rooms housed in the old farmhouse which is part of the mill.

The tea rooms is entirely staffed by volunteers and is run as a not for profit organisation. Consequently prices are very reasonable. Many locals come here to relax and enjoy a cream tea (£2.50) toasted sandwich (£2.00) cold drinks (50p a can) and especially the Dunster Farm dairy ice creams for just a pound.

There are new picnic tables outside as well as seating inside in case the weather turns ugly. There are customer toilets and public toilets nearby and there are various toys fir younger children close by where parents can supervise while enjoying their snack.

The older children’s playground is the other side of some trees and a stream.

The Lamb Hotel, Ilfracombe – listing

The Lamb Hotel, Ilfracombe

The_Lamb_Hotel59 High Street,
EX34 9QB

01271 863708


The Lamb Hotel has been closed twice in the last two years, but has recently been sold by Enterprise breweries and reopened under new ownership. Update It has been closed again for the last couple of weeks for “a refit and change of management” and is scheduled to re-open today (Friday 13th September) Therefore the following information may no longer be accurate, pending a further visit.

The_Lamb_Hotel_barThe decor is modern with some quite bold wallpaper but it is not too overpowering in this large open space. There is a large upstairs room which can be used for functions as well as providing extra restaurant space during busy times, like Sunday lunch time.

The food served is good and reasonably priced. I had a very nice pint of Otter for £3 there is usually a choice of two local real ales. I was there while they had a live band playing. The venue intends to host regular music on Friday nights.

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Buddy’s, Ilfracombe – Pub listing

Buddy’s bar Ilfracombe


106 High St,

EX34 9ET

01271 879777


Buddy’s in the High Street is one of the largest pubs in town. The downstairs bar is trendy and aimed at younger customers, and “career” drinkers; with cheap lager, no real ale, and a noisy ambiance; dance music, and laser lighting.

Buddys_barThere are bottled beers, but the pub thrives on its reputation for selling cheap lager.
There is no beer garden and nowhere, except the narrow High Street, for smokers.
It has attracted criticism from some locals because of smokers and drinkers outside from quite early in the day.

There are large TV screens for showing major sports events, and seating on several levels. There is no parking but it stands in the centre of town.

Upstairs is a separate venue called Buddy’s Live Lounge which plays host to irregular live music, as well as other functions. It has two stages and a quite large capacity of about 150 people.  (Only the Pavilion and Landmark are larger for live music.)

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Boat House pub, Ilfracombe – listing

The Boat House, Ilfracombe

The_Boat_House_IlfracombeThe Boat House,
1-4 The Promenade,
EX34 9BD

01271 862545


Boat_House_barThe boat house was formerly known as The Wheelhouse and is an integral part of the promenade of shops on the sea front on Wilder Road which is designed to represent a paddle steamer. It is currently run by local landlord “H” and features live music, mainly during the tourist season. With a seating area outside this is a great place to sit and enjoy the sea views on warm days.

There is usually a choice of two local ales but, on this occasion, I was limited to Yelland, at a very reasonable £3. Service is warm and friendly. Decor is mainly traditional with nautical leanings.

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George and Dragon pub, Ilfracombe – listing

George and Dragon, Ilfracombe

I picked a bad time to take this as it was raining.

I picked a bad time to take this as it was raining.

George and Dragon,
4 Fore Street,
EX34 9ED

01271 863851


The George and Dragon is officially Ilfracombe’s oldest pub having been one since it was built in 1360. The Prince of Wales next door is the older building but has not been a pub for as long.

It is a small and cosy place with plenty of beams and old features. Outside on sunny days there is space to sit and almost no traffic as the road is close except for access.

George_and_Dragon_barApart from a small selection of decent real ales (I had an Exmoor at £3) the pub also serves excellent food.

There is a notice on the bar that requests customer snot to use mobile phones and this is enforced fairly strictly. Although I was allowed to use mine as a camera and notebook, actually taking a call would have had me asked to leave. As this is the only pub in town that I know of which has such a rule it means that if you do want a quiet pint this is where to go.*

Dogs are welcome as are children; the kids menu is good as well.

*Mobile reception in this part of town is dreadful anyway. A woman asked me (in a welsh accent) where she could find a mobile signal, I told her Cardiff. 

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