* The Shed took a browse around the new Butchers Hall and stopped for a look at the exhibition of old timbers and stones and guttering and so on which had to be replicated in the restoration. The builders have done beautiful and Tavistock was right to go for all the grant aid it could get to do a proper job. But it struck us that in the good old days, somebody would just have patched up some of those bits of wear with mortar and old newspapers and it would have been interesting, this time round, to leave a corner to Bodge & Sons and compare performance for money over the next 20 years, say.
In the Shed, we felt a spiritual bond with those lads at the Egyptian Museum who dropped the mask of Tutankhamun and fixed it with Araldite. When somebody finally noticed, the authorities were too quick to call in the experts to put it right. We would have bought a ticket to see the bodge and so would Shed men around the world.
* Dartmoor National Park Authority is keen everyone should notice that a Bere Alston man, Maverick Smith, 23, was fined £220 and ordered to pay £550 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge at Newton Abbot Magistrates a week ago, after being caught driving off-road near Nun’s Cross Farm last October by a park ranger.
The ranger concerned, Robert Steemson, said: “I am pleased with the outcome of this case and hope that other illegal off-road drivers, on either four or two wheels, keep off Dartmoor and understand that if they are caught we will prosecute. ”
* A lot of people object to the way roadsides are maintained with machine-driven flails and somebody might like to take note that the charity Plantlife is running a campaign to encourage highways authorities to use more manual labour and, according to a report from Dorset, still save some money – by cutting less often and more selectively. There is an online petition running to get your local authorities to take note – plantlife.org.uk/
* Further to our last note from the front line of pet ownership and new technology, couple of weeks ago, we liked the story from Florida about an African Grey parrot which can imitate its owner in order to control the Alexa robot which runs the house. “All day every day,” the owner said, “it’s All Lights On and All Lights Off.”
* Calling amateur snappers – July 31 is closing date for entries for the 2019 Ivybridge Calendar – made up of scenes in and around. Details at www.ivybridgewatermark.co.uk/
* Interesting story in The Moorlander about the possibility of official sainthood for John Bradburne, an ex soldier, born 1921, who became a missionary and wandered the world, living like a hermit, until he ended up working with lepers in old Rhodesia and got tortured and shot during the revolution there. At some point, according to the Moorlander and Wikipedia, he lived on Dartmoor. But we can’t Google it any more specific than that. Anybody know the details?
* Dartmoor Gogglebox, a Shed subsidiary, has been discussing an episode of Eastenders where somebody called on somebody else and took round a couple of takeaway coffees. Would you really call on somebody at home and take coffee with you, even in London? The world needs to know.
* Loved the story of Gary Barlow doing a concert at the Eden Project which ended with him using confetti guns to fire thousands of pieces of plastic into Cornwall’s temple of ecological awareness. He had to apologise but actually most of the litter got picked up by the audience and taken away as souvenirs, apparently.