Tag Archives: riviera

Riviera to Riviera Charity Bike Ride

Local spinning instructor, Mark Mallen, and his friend, Chris Halls, are going to cycle from South Devon’s English Riviera all the way to Nice on the French Riviera, to raise money for local charity, Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN). The THHN gives free holidays to families who have seriously ill and bereaved children, recently bereaved families, couples who have lost a child and to families who have a terminally ill parent. It has been up and running for nearly five years, in which time the charity has provided nearly 400 holidays to those in desperate need of a break.

The duo will set off on 18 May and plan to cycle the 770 miles in just a week. Training has been mainly on the English Riviera and has been fairly tough. Mark says “Inevitably you get various injuries when doing this amount of training. But with a long-distance ride like this it’s as much of a mental challenge as a physical one. You ride 110 miles a day, and have to prepare yourself to do that again the next day and the next and the next.” He added “We’ve received great support from everyone and would especially like to thank GallifordTry, Royal Mail, Spinnergy, Winners Gym and all our families and friends.” Mark and Chris will be accompanied on the trip by Mark’s son who will be driving the motorhome as support vehicle, and home, for the week along with Mark’s wife Jan.

Mark and Chris, Riviera to Riviera

Last year Mark undertook a 12-hour marathon spinning session to raise money for the THHN but had already had the idea of the Riviera to Riviera ride. The route will take them through some spectacular scenery but quite how much of it they will be able to enjoy remains to be seen. The two men have set up Just Giving pages at www.justgiving.com/chrisandmarkR2R and www.justgiving.com/markandchrisR2R and, if anyone would like to sponsor them on this trip, they’d be really grateful.

For more information about the THHN go to www.thhn.co.uk

Summer Fun in Babbacombe

Organisers of this year’s Babbacombe Festival have just announced the full line-up for the marquee that will grace Babbacombe Downs from Wednesday 19 June to Sunday 23 June and it’s a mix of family entertainment, great food and drink and, of course, a host of live music.

Martyn Strange, one of the Festival Marquee promoters, said “We’re making excellent use of our fabulous marquee this year with events on every day and every evening and we’re pretty sure we’ve got something for everyone.”  The first event on Wednesday 19 June is a completely new one for the Babbacombe Festival.  Andrew Cooper, international award-winning wildlife film-maker is presenting ‘Around the World in 80 BBC Wildlife Films’.  Martyn said “We’re delighted that Andrew is able to join us for the Festival this year.  He’s a well-respected film-maker and, as he’s local too, it seemed a great opportunity to add a really different event to our line-up.  Wildlife photography and films are incredibly popular and we’re sure that tickets for this event will sell well, especially as they’re only £7 each.”

Andrew Cooper

Other ticketed events include Saturday night’s Babbacombe Festival Palm Party in conjunction with Palm FM.  This is an over 18s only event with tickets selling for £8 each.  Palm’s Jennie Park said “We’re really looking forward to our evening in the marquee.  We’re going to be taking you back to the 70s and 80s for a night you won’t want to miss!  With music, DJs and live band Funkty Dumpty to headline the evening, it should be a great night and the start of the summer party season in south Devon.”  Tickets for both these events, along with the ever-popular Oompah Night are available to buy at www.babbacombefestival.com.


If you’re interested in local history then on Thursday 20 June “A Step Back in Time” could be just what you’re looking for.  From 10am to 1.30pm there are film shows, guided walks, an exhibition and an opportunity to delve into your family history with experts from the Devon Family History Society.

Saturday 22 June sees the return of Armed Forces Day to Babbacombe Downs. With the Veterans’ Parade, fun displays and all the usual great activities.  Apparently, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for plenty of surprises too!

As usual, the marquee is also home to a variety of important fundraising events including a Devon Cream Tea for CLIC Sargent from 11am to 3pm on Friday 21 June with scrumptious scones and tea for just £4 per person on the door.  And of course the wonderful Hanbury’s Fish and Chips on the Downs Music Festival which provides the finale for these five days of summer fun on Sunday 23 June.  A great line up of live music and entertainment is on offer for people to enjoy whilst eating their Hanbury’s takeaway in the marquee.  David Hanbury said “I’m so looking forward to this year’s event, it really is the highlight of the year at Hanbury’s.  It’s lovely to see so many people come out and enjoy themselves in the marquee and out and about on the beautiful Babbacombe Downs.  We’re in such a stunning location and it’s the perfect day to celebrate that whilst hopefully raising lots of money.”  David’s chosen charity this year is the Torbay Holiday Helpers Network (THHN) which he has long been a great supporter of. Babbacombe and St Marychurch Rotary is also making use of the marquee this year with a Rotary Proms Night which is set to be an evening of glamour and patriotic music.

The marquee will be up and buzzing for the final 5 days of the longer Babbacombe Festival, which this year is being supported by the Babbacombe Bay BID, and which starts on Friday 14 June – full details of all the Babbacombe Festival events can be found at www.babbacombe.org with marquee event tickets available fromwww.babbacombefestival.com or by phoning 07977 535563.


Plot foiled at Babbacombe Cliff Railway

Sunday 9 September saw Babbacombe Cliff Railway and Oddicombe Beach busy with people attempting to help foil a dastardly plot. For one day only visitors were transported back to 1926 when the Cliff Railway first opened and found there was a fictitious plot to murder a VIP at the opening event. In order to foil the plot visitors had to find clues and use their detective skills to solve the mystery. To help set the scene there was also live music and dancing all day with a number of characters in period costume.

John Ayres, Chairman of the Babbacombe Cliff Railway Community Interest Company which runs the railway, said “We had a lovely day. Our volunteers, including me, really enjoyed dressing up in their costumes and helping people with the clues.” Once visitors had come to a conclusion they had to find the patrolling 1920s policeman and report their findings. The mystery even attracted the attention of a very special visitor who came to lend a hand! John added “This event was part of the English Riviera Agatha Christie Festival and was a first for the Cliff Railway. Having an event within a larger festival was definitely helpful for us as it spread the word about our day far more widely than we would have been able to on our own and we very much hope to take part in the Festival in the future.”

The day was supported by a number of local people and groups who all played their part. John said “We were delighted with the way people got behind our event to help out. Lionel Digby kindly supplied the costumes for the policeman and railway guard, Datel sponsored some of the entertainment. We had some vintage cars brought along to help set the scene and John Glanville supplied two lovely 20s bicycles which we had down by our Visitor Centre on the beach. We also have to thank Jo Lindsay who made all our other beautiful costumes and the Friends of Babbacombe Cliff Railway who contributed significantly to the cost of running this event.”

Now the event is over visitors can rest assured that justice was done and the culprit was stopped in their tracks. If you didn’t manage to work out who the plotter was and what they were plotting visit http://www.babbacombecliffrailway.co.uk/news/ where all is revealed along with some great photos from the day itself.

For all the latest on the Agatha Christie Festival visit www.agathachristiefestival.co.uk