We may still be asking visitors to #ComeBackLater due to the latest Government advice to #StayAlert and #StaySafe however you can still support many of our local, independent businesses by shopping online with many offering free postage, or if you’re local you can take advantage of some of the home deliveries available.

As always, let me know if I’ve missed anything. Local businesses, if you have any updates or NHS / key worker special offers please DM me and I’ll add them to the list, thanks.

nhs.uk OFFER

China Blue – they have been giving away a little box of treats to the NHS army in blue, carers, police force and all other key workers in the area to say thank you. You can collect from the front door

The Kitchen Table – they are offering free stews to Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust paid for by the lovely community members. They can be claimed at any time but need to be collected

Devon Yurts – will offer special discounts to NHS workers as soon as they’re able to re-open. Get in touch with owner Liz to find out more, discounts depend on the length of stay (ID to be presented please)

TTS Tyre Services – offering NHS workers free puncture service, free tyre safety checks & discounts on purchases

A Choice of Gifts from Out of the Blue – they will be offering 20% off to all NHS staff as soon as they are able to re-open (ID to be presented please)

Canoe Adventures Devon – watch this space for their NHS offer for as soon as they’re able to open again.

Smitty’s Hairsalon – watch this space for their NHS offer for as soon as they’re able to open again.

JazKids – watch this space for their NHS offer for as soon as they’re able to open again.

FAB Totnes – watch this space for their NHS / Key Worker offer as soon as they’re able to open again with a discount and relaxation package

GIFTS / HOMEWARE

ME AND EAST – check their website or send them a DM. FREE postage with orders over £50 or £2.95 https://meandeast.com

China Blue – online shop including paint your own kits https://china-blue-shop.co.uk/collections/arts-crafts/products/paint-your-own-kit-mug-1

A Choice of Gifts from Out of the Blue – buy online www.a-choice-of-gifts.co.uk

Yvonne Comber – offering a 25% discount off her prints, hand embellished canvases and original paintings. www.yvonnecoomber.com – enter code LOVEISTHEANSWER at the checkout

Love Frankie – buy online https://www.lovefrankie.com

Little Blue Budgie – buy online https://www.littlebluebudgie.co.uk/ or phone 01803 847800 / message via facebook

Penelope Tom – buy online https://www.penelopetom.com/

Pagoda Interiors – free delivery for online orders https://www.pagodainteriors.co.uk/

FASHION

Colony Life Store – online orders via their website with FREE delivery on orders over £20 https://colonyshops.com

Conker Shoes – UK customers get FREE UK delivery for all orders made online including shoes, belts, bags, use code FREESHIP20 https://conkershoes.com

Salago – check out their online shop with this season’s ADINI and the 2020 sandals by Earth Spirit all with BIG DISCOUNTS. https://salago.co.uk

Fifty5a and Fifty5a men’s store – offering free p&p and personal Totnes delivery via their telephone ordering – 01803 866681 or DM or email shop@fifty5a.com

SMALL-FOLK – check their online shop & free UK shipping (no end date). Use code POSITIVITY at checkout for the free postage https://small-folk.co.uk

ART

White Space Art – check out their online gallery. Offering 10% discount & free delivery on all artworks in the Easter exhibition (and across the site) while the gallery remains physically closed. Use discount code SPRING20. https://www.whitespaceart.com

Eastgate Gallery in Totnes – contemporary art and craft from local makers including jewellery, textiles, ceramics and much more. Shop online with FREE delivery https://eastgategallerytotnes.com/shop/

the bowie gallery Totnes Devon – the gallery lights are on daily during normal working hours (pre lockdown) so you can window shop at leisure. Contact Annie Bowie if there’s something you want to inspect closer or buy. Soon open by appointment!

TAKEAWAYS & HOT FOOD COLLECTIONS

The Cott Inn – open 7 DAYS A WEEK Monday to Saturday 4 – 8 pm and Sunday 12 – 3pm for takeaway services, drive through collection in the car park

Willow Vegetarian Restaurant – they will be offering take-aways from 3rd June. They’re asking you to ‘Keep your eye out for menus and details on ordering’

Waterside Bistro Totnes – their take-away menu is now open from Wed-Sat 5-8pm. Please order online https://www.watersidebistro.com/

Totnes Grill – Kebab and pizza delivery, call 01803 863835

Cafe Mumbai – From 5.30pm Tuesday to Sunday call 01803 866171

Room 101 – pizzas for delivery Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm, call 07727 278428

The Kitchen Table – still offering dairy, gluten & nut free stews and some houmous. Order for delivery call/ text Sima on 07583400998 or email sima@thekitchentable.org.uk to collect from the Totnes Indsutrial Estate kitchen

Pie Street – from 13th May take away & delivery Wednesday to Sunday 1pm-8.30pm. Call 01803 868674 to order http://www.piestreet.co.uk/

Lamaro Bakery – Italian food on Friday and Saturday 5-9pm, call 01803 862288

Silver Grill – The Totnes Chippy – Opening hours Tuesday – Thursday 16:45-20:00 Friday – Saturday 11:45-14:00, 16:45-20:00 with orders taken over phone and social distancing with one entrance and one exit

tamarindtree.totnes – on the Industrial Estate next to Kitchen Table with superb Indian food on Friday 1-8pm or Saturday 4-8pm. Let them know what you want by DM, phone 07768964024 or email tamarindtree.totnes@outlook.com

Taguchi-ya Canteen – Japanese food on Friday and Saturday collect 5-9pm, order online by Wednesday 12pm https://www.taguchiyacanteen.com/takeaway

Good Food House – Delivery from 6-10pm every day (except Tuesday when closed), call 01803 864696https://goodfoodhouse.co.uk/

Back for 2 Seconds – daytime opening in Fore Street

Pizzaside – Thursday to Sunday 5-8.30pm for collection or delivery. https://www.pizzaside.co.uk/

FOOD & DRINK

Sharpham Wine – grab a few bottles at sharpham.com at 10% off with the code sharpham10 on checkout

Roly’s Fudge Totnes– buy online https://rolysfudge.co.uk

Ben’s Farm Shops – Order and Collection service available via their website. Go to the collections form and add your order, they we will call for payment the next day and tell you to collect. https://bensfarmshop.co.uk/self-isolation-collection/

Earth.Food.Love – free delivery on orders over £20. Full product & price list on their website. Order via email. Click & collect option for those not in the delivery area. http://thezerowasteshop.co.uk

The Happy Apple – open with social distancing rules in place

A W Luscombe Butchers – delivering their products and a range of products from other local businesses including Annies Fruit Shop, New Lion Brewery, The Almond Thief, The Wild Fig Deli and more – check their FB page for more details and list of products in one of the images

Bridgetown Butchers – call 01803 866165/863323 to order where possible to help reduce waiting times in the shop. Minimum order for delivery £25 – free delivery within the Totnes area

McCabes and Halls Butchers are both also operating

Majestic Wine – email for delivery or call if over 70. tot@majestic.co.uk

Annies Fruit Shop – online with delivery to Totnes & the wider area www.anniesoftotnes.co.uk

The Refillery Totnes – daily deliveries to Totnes & Dartmouth areas, visit the website or call Tracy 07950 269955

Dartmouth Dairy – deliver to Totnes & surrounding villages on Monday & Thursday 🐄https://www.dartmouthdairy.com

Wine & Greene – delivering nationwide via courier and doing local drops every weekday (free over £20 to TQ9) – www.wineandgreene.com

Seeds 2 Tonnes – delivery service available, check their FB page

Bridgetown Stores – open Monday – Friday 2pm – 6pm Saturday & Sunday 11am – 3pm and delivering

Follaton stores – open normal hours 7am-8pm mon to sun with social distancing rules in place

Dartmouth Fine Foods – home delivery of frozen ready meals, alongside boxes of veg and essentials to Totnes and the surrounding areas – www.dartmoutfinefoods.co.uk

SERVICES

Barnes the Cleaners – free deliveries & collections daily for Totnes residents

The Potting Shed Totnes – email thepottingshedtotnes@gmail.com with your order, name, address and PHONE NUMBER and they will call you back

PHARMACIES

Most pharmacies are open with reduced hours and social distancing – please check each page and site for more details. Keep safe and well everyone 🌈🧡

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Revamp of the Bull Inn

Article by Kate Philbin at the Totnes Times. As the planning application was submitted for the transformation of a historic town centre pub, the woman behind the plans has been speaking out about her extraordinary life. Geetie Singh-Watson, 48, known to many as the wife of Riverford entrepreneur Guy Watson, is the driving force behind the redevelopment of The Bull Inn in Totnes which aims to become an organic gastropub with letting rooms upstairs. However, it is not an extension of the Riverford empire but a project in its own right and it is hers and hers alone, Geetie insists. She says that people assume The Bull will be run by Riverford or is being financed by Riverford but actually it is neither. Raised on a commune in Herefordshire by a mother who was a builder, Geetie was no stranger to hands-on manual work from an early age. Her mother, Liz Singh, bought and restored a derelict cottage, installing everything from the sewage system to the windows. She was “a powerful role model” for Geetie as was her father, Gurmukh Singh, a Sikh entrepreneur who first came to the UK in the 1950s. He founded the first Indian restaurant in London that was owned by its staff. One of its backers was Salman Rushdie. Later, her mother remarried and her stepfather, Geoff Petty, an educationalist whose work is used to this day by schools such as Totnes Progressive School, also proved a great role model. At the age of 28, Geetie opened her first “values-driven gastropub”, The Duke of Cambridge in Islington. Inspired by her hardworking parents and the example set by women like Anita Roddick, Geetie was determined to create a thriving pub business that was both ethical and profitable, without compromising on staff welfare or the quality of ingredients. She needed £350,000 to build the business. “I asked everyone I knew if they would be interested in investing. No one gave anything they couldn’t afford to lose, it was a gamble but it was fun.” The pub broke even in its first year. Geetie admits she was “too young and cocky” and she “should have listened” to advice from Anita Roddick, who told steadily to build a stable and effective business. Instead, swept along by the dotcom boom, Geetie bought two more pubs in London. “As the business expanded the passion got lost. Within five years I sold off the two other pubs and just kept The Duke of Cambridge. Overall it was a positive experience but I felt bad for the investors.” Despite these knockbacks, Geetie believes the experience gave her a far greater understanding of business. “You don’t learn in business when you are being successful, you learn from your failures. If I were investing I would never invest with someone who hasn’t failed at least once because they know nothing.” Geetie sold The Duke of Cambridge to Guy Watson four years ago. At the time she was a trustee of the Soil Association and a founder member of the London Food Board with Ken Livingston. She was also working with schools in deprived areas to teach children about healthy cooking. When she met Guy it wasn’t exactly a match made in Heaven. She said: “I had known of him in the organic world for many years but he came to talk to me in 2007 about setting up a pub in London. I thought, what are you doing here on my patch? I was very frosty.” The pair met again some years later through the Soil Association and it was a very different meeting. “I realised our business values were completely aligned and that he was extraordinary.” They married in 2014. Geetie spent three years running The Riverford Field Kitchen but stopped to concentrate on developing The Bull.
She has always been fascinated by town centre pubs and looks out for any that are for sale in a town “in the way that other people look out for houses”. She said: “I love The Bull. It looks beautiful and it has great views and a big, corner site in front of an open square. It is slightly off the beaten track which I love as it means tourists have to put some effort into discovering it.” The pub is currently in a run-down condition and requires extensive restoration. Geetie has plans to turn it into an organic, values-driven gastropub but without losing its traditional heritage. Its name won’t change as she believes “pub names should be protected, they are part of our history”. The restoration work, which will cost in excess of half a million, is being funded by the sale of Geetie’s London flat. “I rather like the fact that property equity, which feels like an unfair distribution of wealth, is being used to bring a historic Totnes pub back to life.”
If all goes to plan, the pub will open in Summer 2019. Around 30 jobs will be created and it will use local, organic suppliers. Geetie said: “I grew up in a staunchly feminist household – my mum could strip down a car engine! The fact that people assume Guy is funding my business has opened up a new conversation in our household about feminism. It is great. Guy is a real feminist, he took my name when we got married. It is an exciting time.” The planning application for The Bull is available on the SHDC website, reference: 3376/18/LBC      

The atmospheric town taken by the sea

Only 18 miles from Totnes the village of Hallsands near Kingsbridge in south Devon is the village that fell into the sea. To say the village is still there would be bending the truth slightly, however the remains (which are now closed) can still be seen from the safety of a viewing platform over the cliffs. No-one knows exactly when Hallsands was established although some say it was probably in about 1600 and growing in the 18th and 19th centuries. By 1891 it had 37 houses, the London Inn and a population of 159 with a very close community. Most residents owned their own homes and depended on fishing, mainly crab, for a living. It was a hazardous business with irregular earnings and frequent losses at sea. Everyone, including women and children, helped haul in the boats and nets. Everything was fine until the 1890s when the Admiralty decided that the naval dockyard at Keyham near Plymouth should be expanded which required hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete. In January 1896 the construction company Sir John Jackson Ltd was granted permission to dredge shingle from the coast between Hallsands and neighbouring Beesands. Many fishermen at the time, who knew the area offshore intimately, opposed the plans saying the dredging would alter the seabed as well as the beach and what was taken would certainly not be replaced. Despite the resident’s protestations dredging began in the spring of 1897 and during the next four years some 660,000 tonnes of material were removed. Activity was eventually paused when opposition from several fishing villages grew as they saw their shingle beaches being relentlessly carried away.  
It took 18 years from the start of the dredging to the final destruction of Hallsands village. It had been assumed that the removal of any shingle would be replaced naturally but we now know that the same shingle which protects the nearby villages of Beesands and Torcross was deposited thousands of years ago during the ice ages, and is not being replaced.
  An inquiry was established in response to protests from villagers who feared the dredging might threaten their beach and village, but dredging continued after it was decided that the activity was not likely to pose a significant threat. However by 1900 the level of the beach had started to fall and in the autumn storms that year, part of the sea wall was washed away. In November 1900, villagers petitioned their Member of Parliament, Frank Mildmay complaining of damage to their houses, and in March 1901 Kingsbridge Council wrote to the Board of Trade complaining of damage to the road. The Liberal MP for the area was extremely supportive of the residents of Hallsands and on more than one occasion offered his own money to help out the residents. In September 1901 a new Board of Trade inspector concluded that further severe storms could cause serious damage and recommended that dredging be stopped and on 8th January 1902 the dredging licence was revoked. On 26th January 1917 a combination of easterly gales and exceptionally high tides breached Hallsands' defences and the village fell into the sea! Miraculously no one was hurt but many families had to relocate to neighbouring villages having lost everything. Only one house was left standing after the destruction. The owner Elizabeth Prettyjohn stubbornly refused to leave and lived there with her chickens until her death in 1964. She acted as a guide to the visitors who came over the years curious to see the remains of the village. Today her house is used as a summer holiday home. Another famous Hallsands resident was Ella Trout together with her sisters Patience, Clara and Edith. When their fisherman father, William, became sick, Patience and then Ella gave up school and operated his boat which was the only source of income for the family. William died in 1910 when Ella was 15 years old. On 8th September 1917, after the Hallsands disaster, Ella was crab fishing with her 10 year old cousin William when they saw the SS Newholm struck by a naval mine one mile south of Start Point. With William Stone, another fisherman in the vicinity, they rowed to the scene and helped rescue nine men. In recognition of her bravery she received the Order of the British Empire. The sisters, with compensation for the destruction of their cottage at Hallsands plus some earnings, built Trout's Hotel on the cliff above the deserted village. The Trouts ran the hotel successfully until 1959. More recent owners moved down from London and attracted some of their well-known friends to stay including Danny La Rue and Larry Grayson, and for years their signed photographs hung on the walls of the dining room. The hotel has since been turned into apartments now called Prospect House. In more recent years the story of Hallsands has been turned into an opera called ‘Whirlwind’ commissioned by acclaimed company Streetwise Opera and written by Will Todd, one of the country’s leading young opera composers, and Ben Duwell, and has also featured in a book by Steve Melia called “Hallsands; A Village Betrayed”. You can walk to Hallsands from the villages of Beesands or Torcross following the South West Coast Path. Beesands, albeit a small village, has a café and toilets and free car parking. Torcross is bigger with a few cafes and a pub and more (charged) parking. Please note that you can no longer drive from Blackpool Sands to Slapton Sands and then on to Torcross because of the recent storms and road damage which in itself is somewhat ironic. Hallsands and Beesands are both walkable with a moderate degree of accessibility from Torcross, which has ample (paid) parking. Beesands however has free parking. If driving from Totnes head for Dartmouth, then Slapton and finally Torcross. If you want to travel by bus you can take the 164 to Kingsbridge or the X64 to Dartmouth and then catch the number 3 to Torcross. All routes joining the coastal villages are part of the South West Coast Path and therefore accessible at all times.

World Breastfeeding Week begins

Mums on a Mission… Totnes on its way to becoming UK’s most breastfeeding friendly town as World Breastfeeding Week begins As World Breastfeeding Week begins on Wednesday 1st August, two mumpreneurs from Devon are delighted to announce that they are on their way to making Totnes the UK’s most breastfeeding friendly town. On a mission to improve breastfeeding rates in the UK, which has according to UNICEF some of the lowest in the world, working mums Lisa Lessware and Philippa Doyle launched their ‘Breastfeed Here with Confidence’ scheme in March. Widely known for its unique vibe and independent spirit, nearly every cafe and eatery on Totnes high street is now displaying the latest breastfeeding friendly badge. Over 40 cafes, eateries and businesses have signed up to the ‘Breastfeed Here with Confidence’ scheme in Totnes alone, all highlighting their support of breastfeeding mums. Both the NHS and UNICEF list embarrassment at feeding in public as a major barrier to breastfeeding and Lisa and Philippa wanted to do more to minimise this, helping mums be safe in the knowledge that they can do so with confidence.   blog   Lisa and Philippa are welcoming nominations for new establishments to display the badge. Gathering with local mums in Totnes to celebrate putting Totnes on the map as the UK’s most breastfeeding friendly town, they said – “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of the scheme, we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response and passion to show support to breastfeeding mums. The ‘Breastfeed Here with Confidence’ scheme is so important not just for mums, but to let all customers and diners that walk through the door to know that it is a breastfeeding friendly space. The more women who feel able to breastfeed confidently in public, the more normal it will become.”   blog 2     Lisa and Philippa celebrate putting Totnes on the map as one of the most breastfeeding friendly towns in the UK with local mums, ahead of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August) The family friendly destination store, Dobbies Garden Centres, became the first official national retailer to sign up to the Bshirt ‘Breastfeed Here with Confidence’ scheme during National Breastfeeding Week in June, with the badge becoming a permanent fixture in all 34 centres throughout the UK. The scheme has been commended by leading breastfeeding specialist, trained nurse and midwife, Clare Byam-Cook. Author of the top breastfeeding guide 'What to Expect When You're Breastfeeding and What If You Can't?', Clare is a regular main speaker at The Baby Show and an expert on many sites including Annabel Karmel. Commenting on the launch of the latest scheme, Clare said: “It is well-documented that many mothers feel apprehensive about breastfeeding in public. I am delighted to support this initiative, which I hope will encourage more mothers to feel confident that, whenever they see this badge they can be assured that breastfeeding is encouraged and they will receive a warm welcome. I hope this idea takes off and that many businesses will display this badge.” blog 3 The ’Breastfeed Here with Confidence’ badge on display at Delphini's Gelato in Totnes Signups in Totnes range from cafes, restaurants, business and shops, including - Rumour, The Curator Cafe, Waterside Bistro, Hairy Barista, Maisie’s Cafe, Hill House, Mange Tout, Saveurs, South Hams Citizens Advice Bureau, The Old Bakery, Pie Street, Room 101, Seeds Bakery, The Cornish Pasty Co, Delphini's, Zero Waste, Woods Bistro, Rare Breeds Farm and Willow to name just a few. In and around the South Hams, the response has been equally positive with the likes of Riverford Field Kitchen and The Venus Company displaying the badge. blog 4   With the world spotlight on breastfeeding, the news follows the US announcement that it is now legal to breastfeed in public everywhere in the United States, following the passing of laws to legalise public breastfeeding in Idaho and Utah. Lisa and Philippa are looking forward to welcoming even more businesses to the scheme in the South Hams and beyond to help women in the UK breastfeed with confidence. To read more about the Bshirt’s ‘Breastfeed Here with Confidence’ scheme, register interest or nominate a venue to display the badge, visit breastfeedwithconfidence.org.uk. blog 5    
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