Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Fleet St Closed on Sat 27 July but for a good reason


15 July 2013 at 11:45

Glastonbury Festival hit The People’s Tower is centrepiece for Torquay Festival 2013:

Saturday 27th July 2013 - 11am-7.30pm 


An art installation that was a hit at this year’s Glastonbury Festival and which featured in a national newspaper is at the centre of this year’s Torquay Festival, at the end of this month (July).


The People’s Tower – a giant cardboard version of Torquay’s Clock Tower made by the public from cardboard and tape – will be erected in the middle of the town as part of the Festival, happening on Saturday July 27th.


It’s just one of the highlights of the third Torquay Festival and created by Born Hectic Events, in conjunction with Torbay Town Centres Company, bringing international showmanship, street theatre, children’s activities, free family fun and high quality entertainment to the town’s shopping streets.


Torquay Festival 2013 will feature two open air street stages, presenting international comedy street performers together with high quality jazz, swing, samba and folk music.


One stage will be at the top of Fleet Street (which will be closed to all traffic), with a programme of free entertainments running from 11.30am to 4.30pm. The other stage will be at The Harbour, running from 11.30am until 7.30pm.


Quirky, funny street entertainers will be on patrol in the streets all day. Look out for Musical Ruth and her piano and a few more besides. Plus art experts Urban Canvas will be drawing a large pavement picture with the public's help at The Harbour.


The entire extravaganza will add to the vibrancy of Torquay’s busy town centre in a memorable and entertaining manner, says Born Hectic’s director Rick Worthy: “This will be a really exciting event for Torquay – it’s packed with funny entertainers and good music to ensure that we put the town on the map as an events destination.


“By having international artists performing here, it really raises everyone’s game. And we’ve chosen artists that really connect with people and children – we want everyone to get involved here and go away with great memories of Torquay Festival 2013.


“The main objective of The Torquay Festival is to raise the national and international profile of the town by putting it on the map as a ‘must-visit’ destination, whilst royally entertaining visitors and residents alike.”


The People’s Tower

A smash-hit at this year’s Glastonbury Festival will appear at Torquay Festival – and it needs the people of Torquay to help build it.


International artist Olivier Grossetete, from Marseille, France, is working with local people to create a breath-taking art-piece from cardboard and parcel tape that will be at the centre of this year’s Festival programme.


A futuristic version of the Torquay Clocktower has been designed by Olivier and, with the assistance of passers-by and participants, will be erected in Fleet Walk.


Starting at noon, and ending at 5pm, Torquay people will make the tower from cardboard building blocks, getting it as high as possible – at least 15 metres tall.


After it is built, hopefully by 5pm, the structure is pushed over, jumped on – and then sent for recycling.


“This is really fun art that everyone can get involved in,” says Born Hectic’s Rick Worthy, who oversaw the building of a Glastonbury Festival tower this summer. “It’s inclusive, it’s participatory and there’s a sense of community spirit when we all build this thing together. Yes, it’s contemporary art, but it’s not freaky nor does it leave people out in the cold. This is fun stuff to get involved in.”


The People’s Tower is produced by Born Hectic Events and supported through Arts Council England’s National Lottery-funded Grants for the Arts scheme, in partnership with UZ Arts and In-situ. 


Nick Green, Combined Arts Relationship Manager South West, Arts Council England said: “Born Hectic produced a similar tower replica for Glastonbury with amazing results, and we're sure that Torbay residents of all ages will be equally delighted with the hands-on experience. 


“The arts are an incredible way to bring communities together, spark creativity and drive income to the local economy. We hope as many as people possible get involved in this fun project!”


Children’s activities at Torquay Festival

Free children’s activities will be at the Town Hall from 12noon to 5pm. Performance, karaoke and a talent show with craft and clay workshops will be available, as well as a magician/storyteller. There will be a really big bouncy castle there too.


The Acts


BIG BEAT – High energy junk percussion band


2TONIC – Foot-tapping musical duo performing fun covers and classics on jaws harp, mouth-bow, harmonica, drums and guitar.

JONAH’S LIFT - 6-piece eclectic celtic-folk-rock band from Cornwall known for their musical arrangements, humour and ability to get any crowd dancing.


LE NAVET BETE - Brilliant 5-man comedy clown group with a series of high energy, spectacular and hilarious routines. Their name means The Stupid Turnip in French, by the way.


KIKI AND PASCAL - Comedy circus duo that brings all the frustration of married life to the stage engaging and entertaining all ages with acrobatics, singing, juggling, contortion and magic.


BREAD AND BUTTER THEATRE - A street-theatre company with a cast of characters that bring instant, improvised and interactive entertainment to the streets.

MUSICAL RUTH AND THE AMAZING MAGICAL MOBILE PIANO – Musical Ruth has performed at countless venues and events throughout the UK and Europe. She’s fun, daft, and side-splittingly funny, with comic dance moves, facial contortions, crazy sound effects, many styles of music and hilarious banter, making sure that nobody will forget meeting the singing nun.


HAGGIS AND CHARLIE - two of the funniest and most skilful jugglers you can imagine.


THE GASLIGHTS - Endlessly entertaining and amusing trio of street musicians giving all they’ve got and raising a smile wherever they go.


STREET HEAT – samba band that will be starting the day at the top of Union Street and will lead off the celebrations to give the whole day a joyous and rousing beginning.


URBAN CANVAS - a team of visual artists led by artists Anthony Donnelly and Peter Barber, who will be leading the street art intiative in Victoria Parade by The Harbour and asking people to join in and get creative with chalks to help decorate the street for just one day.


Who are Born Hectic?

Torquay Festival organisers Born Hectic Events are the premier organisers of arts, entertainment and commercial events in Devon and Cornwall. 


They work on the Glastonbury Festival, Port Eliot Festival as well as the Torquay Festival and the John Betjeman Cornish Birthday Party. They have produced many theatre shows, public events, poetry and cabaret shows.



Editor’s notes:

  • Born Hectic Events organises the Torquay Festival. Visit the website here: 
  • Visit the Torquay Festival’s Facebook page at: 
  • Follow Torquay Festival on Twitter @TorquayFestival and @BornHecticEvent
  • The Torquay Festival has been made possible through the Torquay Business Improvement District and with funding from Arts Council England. 
  • For further press and picture enquiries, email Katie Thompson at  



Saturday, 20 July 2013

Bert Trautmann, Soldier, Footballer, Gentleman. RIP

Bert Trautmann, the German goalkeeper who won the FA Cup with Manchester City in 1956, has died at the age of 89.

Bert was one of the mid 20th century greats in English football. A German soldier who was captured by the Russians on the Eastern Front and escaped. Then on the Western Front was captured by the French Resistance and escaped and then captured by British soldiers and didn't escape. After the war he stayed in England and joined Man City in 1949, there was still strong anti German feeling in Manchester, but his skill, bravery and the fact that he was simply a really nice guy won the hearts of not only the City fans but us Man U fans as well.

In 1956 he played in the Cup Final against Birmingham City, a game I watched on TV. City won 3 - 1 and with 17 mins to go he dived at the feet of a Birmingham play to save a goal when Birmingham were coming back into the game. Unknown to us all Bert broke his neck in that save but he played on despite being in pain, no subs back then. While he is best remembered for this game he was a great goalkeeper and was proud of the fact that a year before he became the first German player to play in a Cup Final, even though they lost 3 - 1 to Newcastle United.

He made a full recovery and played over 500 games for Man City.

A true hero and a true gentleman.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Cassini space satellite  which is travelling round Saturn taking photos of that planet and it's moons will attempt to take a photo of us all whether we like it or not. Don't worry, your human rights aren't going to be infringed because Cassini will be a billion miles away and no one will be shown in enough detail to be recognised even if you are coming out of the local sex shop. This isn't Google Street View having a nosey around, but an ambitious plan by NASA to take only the third such photo of Earth from such a distance. Enjoy, go out at the times below and wave.

Cassini's images of Earth to be included in the mosaic - both wide angle and narrow angle - will be acquired between 21:27 and 21:42 GMT (17:27 and 17:42 EDT) on 19 July. During these times, North America and part of the Atlantic Ocean will be in sunlight. The illuminated parts of the Earth and the Moon will each be no more than one pixel across in the final image
For full story and photos Click here

Friday, 5 July 2013

Stupid Email Address

If you had an email address this long would you want to change it to something shorter? Imagine having to type this out every time you wanted to logon in to read your emails. Now think what it would be like having to type this email address if you had never used a computer in your life and had no idea where all the keys on a keyboard were. It would take you so long you would probably give up half way through.

Forty key strokes. Who would make up an email address that long?

Well someone in a job centre did for a customer who told them he didn’t have an email address because he had never used a computer in his life. Did they do it to make life even more difficult for someone who was out of work and needed to register on the Direct Gov. Job site. I would point out that to register on the site the owner of this email address would have to type it out 5 times all together. And it didn’t help having a spelling mistake in the middle of it.

The reluctant owner of the address came to see me looking for help. I took one look at it, well I wasn’t having any of that and made a new email address, shorter and easier to type and remember. It’s what I do.

PS I changed the names in the address to protect the innocent.