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Sidmouth campsite to move?

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GUEST 28 Oct 13 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 29 Oct 13 - 04:47 AM
Will Fly 29 Oct 13 - 04:55 AM
Will Fly 29 Oct 13 - 04:56 AM
Howard Jones 29 Oct 13 - 09:49 AM
Susan B 29 Oct 13 - 11:35 AM
Susan B 29 Oct 13 - 11:40 AM
Mr Red 29 Oct 13 - 12:03 PM
Mr Red 29 Oct 13 - 12:16 PM
GUEST 29 Oct 13 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Mr Positive 29 Oct 13 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 30 Oct 13 - 04:41 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 30 Oct 13 - 06:06 AM
Dave Earl 30 Oct 13 - 07:32 AM
cooperman 30 Oct 13 - 08:17 AM
steve_harris 30 Oct 13 - 11:37 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 30 Oct 13 - 12:17 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 30 Oct 13 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 30 Oct 13 - 03:25 PM
steve_harris 30 Oct 13 - 06:52 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 30 Oct 13 - 08:57 PM
steve_harris 30 Oct 13 - 09:45 PM
bubblyrat 31 Oct 13 - 05:18 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 31 Oct 13 - 06:40 AM
Pete Jennings 31 Oct 13 - 06:44 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 31 Oct 13 - 08:13 AM
steve_harris 31 Oct 13 - 11:59 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 31 Oct 13 - 12:40 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 31 Oct 13 - 02:43 PM
Jack Campin 31 Oct 13 - 03:00 PM
Dave Earl 31 Oct 13 - 03:28 PM
steve_harris 31 Oct 13 - 05:06 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 31 Oct 13 - 06:28 PM
Dave Earl 01 Nov 13 - 03:11 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 01 Nov 13 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Guest 01 Nov 13 - 09:37 PM
Mr Red 02 Nov 13 - 08:41 AM
Susan B 02 Nov 13 - 02:00 PM
Dave Earl 02 Nov 13 - 03:34 PM
ripov 02 Nov 13 - 08:22 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 02 Nov 13 - 08:53 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 02 Nov 13 - 09:11 PM
steve_harris 04 Nov 13 - 12:35 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 04 Nov 13 - 06:23 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 04 Nov 13 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Allen in OZ 05 Nov 13 - 12:40 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 18 Dec 13 - 07:00 PM
GUEST, topsie 19 Dec 13 - 04:58 AM
steve_harris 30 Dec 13 - 01:39 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 31 Dec 13 - 07:53 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 31 Dec 13 - 08:01 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 02 Feb 14 - 05:00 PM
Girl Friday 03 Feb 14 - 07:46 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Feb 14 - 08:43 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 03 Feb 14 - 08:52 PM
Girl Friday 01 Mar 14 - 12:42 PM
VirginiaTam 01 Mar 14 - 03:38 PM
VirginiaTam 01 Mar 14 - 03:39 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Mar 14 - 04:10 PM
ripov 01 Mar 14 - 08:03 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Mar 14 - 09:14 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 02 Mar 14 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,ripov 02 Mar 14 - 04:34 PM
ripov 02 Mar 14 - 05:48 PM
steve_harris 13 Mar 14 - 01:02 PM
Steve in Sidmouth 31 Mar 14 - 12:49 PM
Susan B 22 Apr 14 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,walker 22 Apr 14 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 23 Apr 14 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,walker 23 Apr 14 - 07:08 AM
Steve in Sidmouth 23 Apr 14 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,David 04 Jul 14 - 11:02 AM
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Subject: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Oct 13 - 08:39 PM

Front page story in Sidmouth Herald last week about a possible new site for camping and dance to replace the Bulverton.

Calling time at the Bulverton?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 04:47 AM

Here is the article in the Sidmouth Herald (apologies if the blue clicky thing doesn't work...)

Sidmouth Herald FolkWeek story


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 04:55 AM

Interesting page on the area


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 04:56 AM

whoops - interesting page on the area here.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 09:49 AM

It seems to be up a long, fairly steep and narrow lane. I'd like to know more about what's intended, and in particular what they're proposing to provide by way of 'dedicated transport'. My impression is that this will be much more difficult to access on foot or by bike, and if the transport is too crowded, too expensive, too infrequent or doesn't run at the times people want they will resort to their cars.

Will the LNEs at the Bulverton move here? If so, how will people who are not camping get to and from there?

What they are proposing might be wonderful, but at the moment it's easier to see the potential problems. There's no mention of it on the Folk Week's website. They need to tell festival-goers what's proposed, why it will be good, and bring them onside.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Susan B
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 11:35 AM

My understanding from the article is that Bulverton would close and all would be relocated to the new site (including day parking?). It has some advantages - the campsite and event venue would be more co-located and flatter, which is really needed for the increasing number of caravans. And it should be much better for noise - it won't disturb locals as much (until they build nearby and start complaining again...).

But ... I'm concerned about the access to and from the town. I've often ended up walking between town and the Bulverton site due to being up late, or the buses having problems. This proposed site is about three times the height above sea level. It is in the fields next to one used in the late 70s and I remember (when a lot younger and fitter) having trouble getting up and down that hill then. The OS map marks it as steeper than 1 in 5. I'll probably be able to walk up it, but down will be impossible (arthritic knees are like that!).

My other access concern is for people with significant mobility disabilities. In recent years my daughter has just trundled up and down the hill to and from Bulverton as the buses were not accessible. The steep hill to the proposed site will make it inadvisable to take your electric wheelchair or scooter up or down it, as they would overheat. Unless the "dedicated transport" is accessible the people in town won't be able to go to the venues, and disabled campers won't be able to get into town.

I'm also surprised that they say that it is a larger site. Looking on the OS maps the actual area is smaller. But maybe there is more usable area available?

These things may have been thought of and solutions found, but it would be nice if there was a discussion forum on the Folk Week website and more information! Annoying that they didn't put information there at the same time as telling the Herald.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Susan B
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 11:40 AM

An article on SeeRed (who does tend to be negative about things generally) - here http://seered.co.uk/folk213.htm


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 12:03 PM

For the record, SeaRed is in no way connected to any one of a similar name.

negative? I think that is understating somewhat.

if the intended site is in the direction of the Salcombe Golf Club (the toy golf fields opposite ie) then a bus already comes that way. I have walked from the Golf Club and it is a good 3/4 hour, so hopefully this campsite is nearer than that. The Salcombe bus has to traverse one road about its own width.

We have been on the Rugby Club for the last few years and that is convenient for town venues. Buses this year to the Weston Hall were somewhat erratic, especially given a lot of the dancers were older than average. Bus reliability and driver familiarity were cited as causes.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 12:16 PM

Streetmap of the area looks close enough to walk for many folkies. But steep enough to cause pain for old fogies.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 12:29 PM

Does anyone know what access is like to the field for those of us who tow caravans? I was concerned that lane is steep and narrow.
How do we make comments directly to organisers


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Mr Positive
Date: 29 Oct 13 - 12:52 PM

Access for dozens of caravans up the steep hill would be silly verging on absurd.

One breakdown (burnt clutch or whatever) and there would be a queue and chaos - no room for wide vehicles to pass unless both squeeze into the sides.

Much easier (flat but narrow) access is available via Thorn Park from the northeast which could be made one-way.

Access to the fields themselves (once you reach them) would be no problem at all. Walking from town is only just over a mile, but it is STEEP, UNLIT, NARROW and potentially far more dangerous at night than walking to the Bulverton site.

READ THE SUMMARY ALREADY PROVIDED.

Everything depends on reliable and frequent transport ??


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 04:41 AM

I'm sure here's been a huge amount of preparation & planning for this application, and some of the comments in the thread so far highlight challenges which were identified at the outset...

These include-

"people with significant mobility disabilities"

"Much easier (flat but narrow) access is available via Thorn Park from the northeast which could be made one-way." (concerning arrival & departure of caravans)

"Everything depends on reliable and frequent transport"

=====
While the application is still under consideration, I can understand why there is a reluctance on the part of organisers to jump the gun and go public - it might even affect the outcome.

My fingers are crossed.

John


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 06:06 AM

The link to the licensing applications for both Bulverton and Salcombe Hall sites are here: deadline for representations is 11 November. Discussion is permitted.

http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/app_list_23_10_13.pdf

The text quality within the link is appalling (at least on my screen) and you'll need to scroll down the list which contains many applications unconnected with the festival.

Given the number of things that have needed changing in past years including inadequacies that could so easily have been remedied sooner had people with relevant competences been asked, (or listened to), there is clearly merit in as much discussion as any competent person or persons wish to undertake.

It is rubbish to suggest that open discussion could 'affect the outcome' - except maybe in a positive way by instigating improvements at an earlier stage.

Having the details splashed across the front page of the Sidmouth Herald was intended surely to ensure a complete absence of both local and folkie debate.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 07:32 AM

I hope that the consultations mentioned above will include full consideration of the needs people with mobility problems.

Idealy I would like to see a festival officer appointed to oversee such aspects and who REALLY understands what people with such challenges require.

In recent years I have felt that although the festival team meant to do the right thing(s)there were some shortcomings that could have been avoided if matters had been discussed with a person who would need to use the facilities and access.

I know that there will always be technical compromises to be made but at least let them be discussed with a "user reprensentative" before installing whatever it might be.

Do you think that with a new site it may be possible to get things nearer to an optimum?

Dave


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: cooperman
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 08:17 AM

I never stayed there but wasn't there quite a slope on the old site?
I remember a few years ago talking to someone who said he had rolled out of his tent in the night and woken up next morning looking at the sky (he'd had a few pints though!)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 11:37 AM

Susan B touched on an important point - area. The area available for camping does look to be less than the current Bulverton camp site.

The current site appears to have spare capacity but if the festival grows or tent/car size grows this new site might not be big enough.

There might be a need for an "overflow" site. If so it should be offered as a "quiet" site. Simple overflow sites are unpopular as they tend to split up people who want to camp near each other. The availability of a "quiet" site could be an answer to some of the usual camp disagreements.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 12:17 PM

Dave Earl makes some good points concerning the benefits of management liaison with users of festival facilities. For many years the easily addressed shortcomings of the Blackmore Gardens marquee have remained substantially unaddressed. I have yet to write up this year's experiences.... The floor was entirely different - very springy but awfully sticky. If they had found a competent dancer and asked about the proposed change we might have got something more suitable. Towersey can do it, so why can't Sidmouth?

The Bulverton site and the roads leading to it do indeed have some gentle slopes but they are pussycats compared to Salcombe Hill.

All about slopes, angles and gradients, and towing caravans up them!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 12:28 PM

Approximate areas of new and old sites are given on my previous link.

If you include that some facilities may be on the field with the dance tent, the actual area for camping may be the same or larger than at Bulverton - and it promises to be much more user friendly (once you have got there).

There are a couple of very large and quite tempting fields immediately to the north east of the proposed new site: these might be a car park or overflow camping. They are flat too. And of course there are the alternative commercial sites nearby.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 03:25 PM

"Once you have got there" is the issue. Also, will this become the base for more events, and will this lead to a move out of the town?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 06:52 PM

Approximate areas of new and old sites are given on my previous link
I can find the new site area as 13 acres thanks, Steve but the figure for Bulverton campsite eludes me. Do feel free to quote it.

Incidentally, your picture at http://www.seered.co.uk/folk213.htm seems to show the Bulverton site incorrectly. The area you have labelled 2 is about 40% too big. You take it up to Greenway Lane whereas in reality, if only goes up to field boundary about 300m further South East.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 08:57 PM

Here are the calculations I did some years ago for the Bulverton site -

Bulverton camping land areas

I may have drawn the Bulverton site incorrectly on folk213 - I think it is OK on my page folk128? I gave a total of 21 acres for fields 1 and 2.

I've been trying to download material and diagrams from the EDDC website - they tell me site plans are there but the website is so convoluted and goes around in so many circles (including links to pages you are already on!) I have given up for the moment.

Anyone who wants a challenge can try and find the plans deposited for the Salcombe Hill site!

Start here: http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/app_list_23_10_13.pdf

You need to find the Applications Register. There is also (apparently) an Applications Received page but no plans I can find.

Anyone wishing to object would give up before they even found the appropriate page on the EDDC website - maybe that is the idea?

The application is titled Salcombe Hill Recreation Field and it's application number is 035154.

Several people have contacted me re: mobility access issues - it is obviously a topic of concern.

One other point that has been raised is that whereas the Bulverton site is not in an area where many people visit (except for the footpath down at the bottom of field 1), the Salcombe Hill site is in the middle of an area used by locals and tourists for scenic and dog walks and with casual car parking along the side of the road. It has been suggested there could be friction if the usual car parking spaces etc are taken over by folkies or made unavailable via cones. I'm not sure it is much of an issue.

East Devon used to do a splendid job of early morning beach clearance but there seem to have been cutbacks. In 2103 there was a lot of residual mess, broken glass, etc. It has been suggested to me that this had better not happen in Salcombe Hill woods!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 30 Oct 13 - 09:45 PM

Thanks, Steve

I think it is OK on my page folk128? I gave a total of 21 acres for fields 1 and 2.

Yes, folk28 looks about right and your figures reasonable. Given the 13 acres available for everything at the new site, capacity looks to be a challenge.

This year, the Bulverton campsite wasn't completely full & tent density nowhere near Towersey levels. However, I think some of the extra fields you identify near the proposed new site would be needed. I hope they are available so that what may be an attractive change is feasible for all who want to go to Sidmouth.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 05:18 AM

Get rid of all the noisy donkeys that kept us awake every night last year with their honking and braying ,and turn the Donkey Sanctuary site into a new festival amenity !!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 06:40 AM

As I understand it the new complex will comprise the 13 acres PLUS the field owned by the town council that is to be the site of the new 'hub' maybe modelled on the Ham - a central dance/music tent with other areas for sitting out, drinking, sunbathing(?). That field alone is over 3 acres - large enough to accommodate far more than just the 'hub'. Apparently it used to be quite a mess and the scouts cleared it up - it wouldn't be politic to have it churned up by lots of vehicles so the car parking has to be elsewhere?

Careful what you say about donkeys. The charity has an income of £32 million per year. One person is apparently employed full time just to deal with the cheques.....It does some good, especially overseas.

Their fields are all too far away from Sidmouth.

The official website has a small announcement on the latest news page - all about a full and open consultation but with no plans, maps or details. latest news page


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 06:44 AM

LOL, but the donkeys may be thinking something not too dissimilar...


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 08:13 AM

Also, will this become the base for more events, and will this lead to a move out of the town?

There are two issues, the number of scheduled events and attendance at those events.

The Bulverton experienced many very poorly attended daytime events - ten or twenty people in a freezing marquee with space for 800. It is to be hoped the new venue can be better utilised.

There are about 75 events each day. If the new venue drew 150 people over and above the numbers who attended Bulverton, and if it did this three times each day, that is 450 event-attendances down in town or an average of six per event - assuming all the people would have gone to an in-town event rather than stayed in their tents!

In practice, much will depend on the scheduling of 'attractive' events at the new venue - if they are at the times of 'attractive' major events in town there may be no noticeable effect.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 11:59 AM

As I understand it the new complex will comprise the 13 acres PLUS the field owned by the town council that is to be the site of the new 'hub' maybe modelled on the Ham - a central dance/music tent with other areas for sitting out, drinking, sunbathing(?). That field alone is over 3 acres - large enough to accommodate far more than just the 'hub'

Thanks. So we have:

2013 camp site alone = 21 acres
Proposed camp site, hub, car park, etc = 16 acres


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 12:40 PM

Back to the drawing board then - the draft site plan shown on the EDDC website (now reproduced on my webpage) indicates that one of the three fields I had assumed to be included for camping is not to be used.

So the 13 acres may refer to the two camping fields and the dance marquee field - which is to include a little car parking. But it now all looks rather small?

Updated diagrams and site map from EDDC website.

I've updated the pictures and someone needs to check these land areas!

There was a story in yesterdays D/Telegraph about a teenage party held at Escot House in East Devon - the noise disturbed people 3 miles away - the girl who organised it is quoted as saying 'I placed the speakers in the direction of the valley to minimise the noise, but the wind carried the music". The police were called at 4am. EDDC took robust action. They recommended an apology be made.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 02:43 PM

The layout is very neat - there is less wasted space from roadways than at Bulverton - the layout is similar to that at Chippenham. If numbers increase as anticipated they may adopt 'marked out bays' for caravans and maybe even for tents to maximise use of space?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 03:00 PM

Festivals have been known to have two campsites.

Couldn't there be a small and more disabled-friendly one as well as the proposed new big one?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 03:28 PM

That would be good J Campin if it could be organised. But where might such a site be?

It's still not clear to me what the access for disabled people(and I dislike that as a term)is going to be

Dave


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 05:06 PM

One possibility for a "second site" would be to retain use of all or part of the Bulverton camp site. For this to work, there would have to be enough customers who didn't care about being that far from the Dance Tent.
It is useful to have more than one camp site - it can help manage potential conflict between people with different ideas about sleeping times and noisy times.
Does anybody know what the bridleway between the proposed new site and Fortescue is is like? An answer to some of the road safety issues?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 31 Oct 13 - 06:28 PM

Bridleway: you would add about 600m to your journey and it would take far longer if you didn't want to risk your ankles. You'd be risking them anyway unless you had proper walking boots.

The bit I walked the other day was flat, covered in leaves and very muddy - but it won't be wet in August of course. There is a section of about 450m where you drop down 60 or 70 m in height so the gradient there is around 1 in 7 and without the benefit of tarmac. Trees overhang from both sides, delightful on a sparkling summer day.

Through the woods there is a sort of hairpin bend to take out the worst of the steepness but you do most of the 500' (150m) height up or down on the bridleway rather than along Sid Road, so it is still a real hike. Salcombe Hill turns at 45 degrees to take out the worst of the steepest slope also, but over that section it is still betweeen 1 in 4 and 1 in 5.

Salcombe Hill is what could be called a serious hill.

On the other side of Sidmouth there is Peak Hill, rising to 167m (compare with 172m) but the steepest bit is not as severe as that on Salcombe Hill. The road is much wider too. They use Peak Hill in the Tour of Britain cycle race - only a complete nutter would try and cycle up Salcombe Hill.

Mind you, that goes for dancing in cold river water too.

Tour of Britain - video here


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 01 Nov 13 - 03:11 AM

"dancing in cold river water" ???

That never happens!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 01 Nov 13 - 04:44 AM

Two camp sites??? Can you imagine the cost of the infrastructure from providing two sites??? Okay in the 70s when we didn't have showers or hot water and there was a more relaxed view about security (I was there ....) but not now.

Derek
(not speaking on behalf of the festival organisation)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 01 Nov 13 - 09:37 PM

Derek

Don't bother!

These people are mostly on their own agendas and will not listen to reasoned debate or even actual facts.

Precisely why busy organisers just ignore the site.

It could be great but just grates.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Mr Red
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 08:41 AM

Blackmore Gardens floor?
"Towersey can do it, so why can't Sidmouth?"
I seem to recollect a very similar if not same floor one year. A highly varnished floor - which is fine until people spill drinks on it, and although Towersey did not seem to suffer (this year) as much from the total lack of consideration exhibited by some of leaving drinks plastics on the dance floor even if they are empty they are a trip hazard, dancers don't look at the floor - it is a social endeavour - they look at the person they are about to dance with, and that might be 4 people or 44 in a longways.

I frequently kick detritus off the dance floor, it is primarily for my safety and freedom to enjoy dancing rather then litter picking. But the ensemble benefit - a good folk ethos I submit.

The Bulverton floor would be the ideal as long as it isn't patched with trip hazards (like it is). At least the (current) Bulverton site is flat enough not to get too much of the inevitable creep downhill that Shrewsbury ignored for many years.

The Sidmouth decision makers have an unenviable task - keeping the festival going, pleasing everyone, not getting too hung-up on the opinions of the loudest, and still wanting to do it another year. As I found on a Fringe committee when I suggested "we should.....". Back came the reply "Yes YOU should!". So I did - the things I had the skill for, and shut up.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Susan B
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 02:00 PM

Separate campsite for people with disabilities - no, no, no!!!! (And I know that the organisers have said no, for different reasons) People want to be with other people - not separate from friends. And to have a good support network you need to be on the same site as everyone else. If it was a separate site nearer town there would still be the issue of transport to get up to the new venue. If the transport issue is sorted adequately then this is potentially a better site for those with mobility problems.

Someone suggested consultation with users/people who know about disability. The problem is that people think they know, because they know (or are) one person. The reality is that different things will be barriers for different people. So, you really need several people who have a range of experience to advise. As a community occupational therapist (now retired) I have offered to do an assessment/survey of venues in the past, but this was not taken up.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Dave Earl
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 03:34 PM

SusanB

I accept that segregation of people with mobility issues is not a thing to be recommended for all the reasons you give. I'm not trying to set myself up as an "Expert" but I am a user of the "Equal Access" facilities as those of you who I have met will know.

The problem I have had in the past is not with "facilities" as provided', they have been excellent in themselves but I think they were sited in the wrong place. Halfway down the sloping field with an uneven surface to walk over or use a wheelchair/scooter on seems to me to be far from ideal. I have mentioned this to the campsite infrastructure people at the festival for the past few years. They say that the facilities have to be where they are because the water, drainage and power input points are in that part of the site.

At this point in time we don't know how the services are going to be provided on the new site so what I was asking for was cosultation as to where the camping /camper/ caravan area(s) are to be sited in relation to "Equal Access" loos and showers wherever such things get sited. Didn't I see somewhere that the Scouts have put a HQ building of some sort nearby. I imagine that will have all the services so tapping into those may be a possibility

I understand that the new site is more level than the Bulverton field so I'm expecting not to meet the difficulties experienced in recent years on the Bulverton site.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: ripov
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 08:22 PM

Many years ago there was a festival bus (run by Alpha) from Salcombe Regis campsite down that hill. Best white knuckle ride ever. The lady who drove it was (and still is) an absolute marvel. That was a 15 seater; later, larger buses didn't go that way! The road during festival week is clogged with pedestrians, so I assume that any bus service would take the longer route.

I wonder also if the local residents and many campers who use other camp-sites in the area, although well used to on-site accoustic performance, will appreciate a nearby Late Night Extra drowning out quiet music and conversation?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 08:53 PM

The field used by the scouts in Sidmouth (and intended to be the dance venue field) is having its mains electricity supply connnected sometime soon. They were digging the trench for the cables this week.

There is a plan to erect a new scout hut on the site at some future date. The electricity supply is costing £22,000 according to the local paper.

The proposed new scout hut is costing a reported £200,000 - you can build a sizeable house for that - excluding the land cost! Fundraising is ongoing.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 02 Nov 13 - 09:11 PM

I'm sure there is enough forward thinking to put in distribution boxes that could be used by the festival.

I recall a similar thing was done at the Ham recently, thus no more need for on-site diesel generators.

Even a normal 'domestic' single phase supply is 100 amps (maximum 24 kW), if they put in three phase, someone would have to pay the extra??

For sheer luxury, how about some hook up points for caravans and charge a premium rate? It could become a Caravan Club CL too!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 04 Nov 13 - 12:35 PM

Ok, some (small) corrections and further observations:

1. I used www.magic.gov.uk to measure several festival camp/caravan/motorhome areas:

(@Derek: Some festivals manage to have more than one site!)

Bulverton (Both fields): 22.3 acres
Proposed Salcombe Hill (as on Planning map): 8.8 acres
Chippenham Westmeads and Monkton Pk: 11.4 acres
Towersey 2013 (all 4 areas): 21.8 acres

Towersey is a useful benchmark because the sites there are close to capacity. If anyone knows how many campers (etc) Towersey has, a reasonably accurate max persons/acre figure can be derived for use at other festivals.

The proposed Salcombe Hill site has just under 40% of the old site's camping(etc) capacity.

I also used this tool to consider "noise distance". I put myself in the position of someone who wanted to camp(etc) as far away from potential noise sources as possible

Proposed @ Salcombe Hill Dance Venue - 269m
Proposed @ Salcombe Hill ASBO - (probably similar)
To Bulverton Venue - 657m
To Bulverton ASBO - 485m

2. I happened to speak to someone senior in the Sidmouth team (but not committee so this may not be "party line"):

* The (new) site is lovely
* They are using 2 fields!
* After I explained the acres, it was pointed out:
- Bulverton site wasn't full like in the Steve Heap days
- New site is better for caravans/motorhomes
- Don't worry, it will be fine!!

My comments:

* In 2013, the Bulverton site was at more than 40% of capacity
* I can see the argument about non-tent accommodation. There is demand and the price is higher. What could happen is that a lot of caravans/etc would go to the new site and the tent space available would go down to less than 40% of 2013. This could mean that young and/or poor late arrivals might be turned away.
* I usually arrive early enough to be sure of tent space so I'm alright Jack!

3. Caravan(etc) Access

I used Google Streetmap to look at the road from the A3052. The narrowest section is on the road that bypassess Salcombe Regis village - single track with high banks/hedges. I think a novice caravan user should be asked to test drive that section. There has a been a sensible suggestion that the road be made one-way but what happens on the Monday (say) when some caravan goes home after the weekend at the same time as a different caravan arrives for the remainder of the week? there could be an opposite direction one-way road through the village itself it the residents don't object???

4. Public Transport

The "Sidmouth Hopper" runs past the proposed new site. Points:

* It doesn't run in Folk Week so wouldn't object to any one-way scheme
* It uses minibuses. This may or may not be the largest practical vehicle for the route.
* A peak time for public transport is at the end of the evening in town up to the LNE. There's usually at tleast two completely full buses (100 people, yes, that's not legal!) and several less full. You probably want to move 300 people in 30 minutes. Assuming you can use 15 seaters, that's 20 trips so perhaps 10 vehicles managing 2 trips each.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 04 Nov 13 - 06:23 PM

That was food for thought....

On the licensing application maps for Bulverton this year, caravan pitches are shown as 8 by 10 metres. Allowing for roadways etc, each might utilise 100 squ metres of the available land area. That's actually generous - 10m by 10m or 33' by 33'. A caravan and a car alongside it only need 20 feet of width (+ any awning) + clearance to the next unit.

There are 4047 m2 in an acre. 135 m2 per unit yields the Caravan Club and similar guide figures of around 30 outfits per acre.

Maybe you'd get 50 outfits to an acre including small motorhomes that took much less space - but the required clearances should be maintained.

It has been asserted that the site could take 250 caravans - that implies nearly 6 acres? Small tents could nestle amidst the caravans.

I can drive a small caravan down the route - the problem might be the larger ones. There is no room for error or for reversing on such a narrow lane.

I'll try Salcombe Hill with a caravan if someone offers to buy me a new clutch. My handbrake passed the MoT with flying colours - but I wouldn't trust it to hold on that hill.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 04 Nov 13 - 06:55 PM

All of this discussion is based on using two fields for camping plus the Recreational Field for the dance venue, not three for camping as I had assumed originally.

So there is the third field - if it is in the same ownership and if it is available it could simply be added (if the festival could afford it) - and that would much increase the capacity for camping.

It really is a very nice flat field........and the sheep are friendly too.

If minibuses need to turn around and go back the way they came, my guess is using the entrance to the Observatory. Looks ideal......


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Allen in OZ
Date: 05 Nov 13 - 12:40 AM

As long as they haven't moved the Blitherscrum site, we out here in Oz will be happy

Allen In Oz, whom Mudcat insists is still a guest after about 10 years despite several applications . Oh well. Best of luck at Sidmouth ( a bloke who incidentally was a nasty piece of work 200 years ago )

AD


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 18 Dec 13 - 07:00 PM

There has been a lot more local discussion about the proposal to move the campsite - most of it very much opposed to the idea.

The site has received its licence to go ahead but with the comment from the chairman:

there were no relevant licensing objections and there was no alternative but to grant the application.

To date the transport and traffic aspects have not been publicised - many residents have objected on grounds of public safety with so many people walking up and down Salcombe Hill and with motor traffic in conflict.

It seems to be proposed to use a couple of 16 or 24 seat minibuses - to replace the double deckers - and maybe up and down Salcombe Hill Road.

People who know the road well say that any such idea is simply a fatality (or several) waiting to happen. Drivers of vehicles of this size generally avoid Salcombe Hill!

There is local concern (but no firm information as yet) about whether local folkies will be able to drive to and park at the new venue as they can now at the Bulverton.

Recent letters and articles in the local paper start here:

letters and articles late Nov to 13 Dec 2013

Some people are wondering if there is a hidden 'subtext' to the proposed move - that the council and/or organisers know that the Bulverton land may soon become unavailable and so a new site has to be found - whatever its drawbacks in terms of public safety.

The minutes of the council meeting should be on the EDDC website shortly.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 19 Dec 13 - 04:58 AM

Many years ago, before I got arthritis, I made it on foot from the Ham to the bar in the Late Night Extra with a pint in my hand - in 35 minutes. [No, I didn't carry the pint all the way, a friend was buying a round at the bar as I came in and caught my eye.]

(I have a recurring dream where I am in a campsite on my own, and there is a festival going on somewhere over the hill near the sea. I know that I am supposed to be at the festival but I never actually get there. I fear my dreams may come true.)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:39 PM

Some people are wondering if there is a hidden 'subtext' to the proposed move - that the council and/or organisers know that the Bulverton land may soon become unavailable

You might be right, Steve. I found a story dated Thursday, April 28, 2011

A non-political civic society, the SVA was prompted to send out the invitation after receiving information that surveyors acting on behalf of a national house builder were in fields stretching from Greenway Lane, Woolbrook, southwards, along the B3176 towards Bulverton.

"They said this was necessary work preparatory to applying for planning permission," said SVA.

"The area would accommodate hundreds of houses, and wipe out a very large area of countryside landscape to the west of Sidmouth."


Caveat: The story might not be true; Planning permission might not have been sought; Planning permission might have been refused, etc.

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/news/district_candidates_agree_to_protect_sid_valley_aonb_1_876234


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 07:53 AM

Persimmon Homes are active in the area, there has been creeping destruction of the AONB for years and more is proposed including 12 acres on a flood plain in Sidford for light industrial/commercial use. This is one issue due to be examined by a Planning Inspector early in the New Year:

"East Devon Local Plan - The oral hearing sessions for the Examination of the East Devon Local Plan will commence at 10:00 am on Tuesday 11 February 2014 at the Council Offices, Knowle, Sidmouth EX10 8HL."

The Bulverton land is not included in what is proposed for development but who knows in 5 or 10 years' time. There is therefore (as far as I know) no immediate threat to the camping fields. I am told that a housebuilder has an 'option to purchase' fields in the area if and when planning permission might be available.

Most housebuilding in the locality is at Cranbrook, a new town north of Exeter airport on what was once good agricultural land (and I am told some of the buildings there have already been flooded recently).

Cranbrook was in part EDDC's answer to the government imposing housing quotas on local councils ("build or else") and took some of the pressure off calls for more housing in every existing town and village in East Devon. But that pressure continues and the potential profits for landowners are huge. This is covered here:

http://www.seered.co.uk/folk210.htm

In the longer term, the Folk Festival fields at Bulverton may be sitting ducks for a swathe of housing. A wedge of land between the A3052 and the Woolbrook Road was developed recently.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 31 Dec 13 - 08:01 AM

I have drawn together some of the arguments for and against the move to the proposed campsite, based around who would benefit and who might not. There is more to add but comments welcome on the table in this webpage.

summary as of 31 Dec 2013, for comment

One recent comment (not yet included in the above) again stresses the difficulty of providing adequate yet safe transport for the hundred or more people who want to get down into town for around 9.30am. Some would walk, there are no footways, the road is in parts too narrow for two small buses to pass (even without pedestrians in the way), you cannot safely cycle, and so on.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 02 Feb 14 - 05:00 PM

Latest article in the Sidmouth Herald (31 January) states that the Bulverton campsite will be used in 2014.

Under a front page banner headline "FolkWeek campsite move delayed by red tape" it is stated that festival chiefs have been told they need planning permission!

Thus we are expected to believe that it has recently been discovered that the new site would require a planning application as well as a licence application (for alcohol/entertainment etc). This would have been known probably a year or more ago given the number of people who have been involved, including from the town council, and indeed it is referred to here:

views of a local resident

as well as in one of the articles published here:

articles published 13 December 2013

It is more plausible that the upbeat October announcement

First public announcement of campsite move

was intended to be a dry run to gauge opinions and the strength of any opposition. This is often done in planning for new homes on Green Belt or for contentious alterations to existing buildings - let the first wave of criticism die down and then slip it through when no-one is looking.

In October it was claimed that a final decision would be made by Christmas. In the latest article this deadline slipped to the end of January - and with the need to obtain planning permission being cited as the reason why the new deadline could not be met.

So for this year it is back to the Bulverton - "our much loved and well established campsite and clubhouse".

Other coverage in the Herald is centred upon the special acts for the 60th anniversary year. Details of these are on the official website too.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 07:46 AM

As users of the disabled area of Bulverton campsite.. it was frustrating that the flat area where we were situated was at the bottom of that steep slope - but we managed it. Having once walked from The Triangle to Woodlands Hotel.. that hill is steep enough... we couldn't manage anything steeper, or indeed longer. The buses are invaluable to us, though we could drive, and use our blue badge (if there was available town parking.)We don't like the sound of this new campsite at all, and the buses would have a struggle up Salcombe Hill - not to mention towing our caravan up it ! Think we shall not come to Sidmouth this year.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 08:43 AM

Sue, it looks as if you will be on Bulverton anyway this year. For when you do get forced to use the new site - bring your caravan in from the other end. At some point there will SURELY be buses and the sensible thing would be a temporary one-way system/partial road closure with ONLY pedestrians allowed down Salcombe Hill and ONLY buses - sensible sized ones - coming up.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 08:52 PM

There is a lot of discussion re: the mass transport issue.

It is key to using the proposed new site.

I'm loading some more material soon but for the moment, the Bulverton will be used again in 2014. That's really all you need to know!

No-one should ever try and tow a caravan up Salcombe Hill. Oh dear me no....... Getting caravans to the site is easy enough via the top road. It is the mass transport between the site and the town at peak times that is problematic, and potentially dangerous.

The proposed new site has some advantages ONCE YOU GET THERE - but not for some groups of people - here is my analysis as of the end of last year:

who would benefit or lose out by moving the campsite?

If you are interested in the new site, please do read the information that is already available before asking questions: sit down with a glass or two of something and start here. Page folk213 is the initial announcement in October.

And no more rain dances please. We know they work.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Girl Friday
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 12:42 PM

Just been on the festival website to see how much it will cost us. Prices have gone up a lot, and, weighing that and food, drink etc.against the enjoyment factor... have decided that£300.00 is a lot to fork out .


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 03:38 PM

We will volunteer this year (if the email request ever arrives) but if the campsite moves (given my mobility problems and the fact our car barely manages towing our wee caravan at Bulverton, we will not be attending Sidmouth again.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 03:39 PM

Oh and nod to Sue... The only way we can afford Sidmouth is by volunteering.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 04:10 PM

Read my effing lips. Towing the TOP road into the TOP site will be easy peasey. PLEASE look at the gradients on the TOP road using an OS map. There are only two real issues.

1. Cost on a new site.

2. Mass transport on a new site.

A temporary one way system UP the iffy hill and LOADS of busses 24/7 would WHOLLY solve the latter.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: ripov
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 08:03 PM

Buses (ie Alpha Coaches)from the Byes to Salcombe Regis currently go the long way round via the A3052, and then need to take a run at the hill. I would suggest that buses going directly up Salcombe Hill would need modified back axles (to get up the hill loaded) and improved brakes (in case they don't manage it.)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 09:14 PM

A fleet of 15 seaters would do it easy.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 06:23 AM

Just to confirm, that the Sidmouth festival campsite is NOT moving to a new location in 2014. It will be in its usual location, at Bulverton.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 04:34 PM

What- several chained together with a Scammel front and back?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: ripov
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 05:48 PM

Bues, that is, not campsites!


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: steve_harris
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 01:02 PM

A fleet of 15 seaters would do it easy.

Quite right, Mr Bridge. A fleet of only 20 buses at peak times :-)


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 31 Mar 14 - 12:49 PM

I recently drove up and down the Salcombe Hill route, 'pretending' to be a small bus. I concluded you could safely do 4 round trips per hour per bus but you might need to avoid buses meeting each other on the worst sections of the road. Turning around at the end of Millford Road is far from ideal even with a small minibus - bearing in mind the several roads that converge near this point and the number of private cars that may also be shuttling people to and from the campsite at busy periods. There might also be a conflict with the 'Alpha bus' if that sought to use the same turning area at peak times.

Steve Harris suggests a fleet of 20 buses - presumably so that several hundred people could be moved inside half an hour. This is an unrealistic expectation. More details on the webpages below.

When I drove festival minibuses down in Cornwall (ten years ago) it was all quite relaxed, but it was an easy route along 'normal' roads. You could much improve the projections knowing the actual figures for bus travel to Bulverton - but I am sure they are a secret! More people would use buses to the proposed Salcombe Hill site because of the much steeper road.

It would be an interesting exercise to utilise the Sidmouth Hopper this year to do a few trial runs, with lots of folkies as volunteers milling about along the route - and of course at night in the rain. The Sidmouth Hopper service only normally operates May to September and finishes at 5pm - so trips are always in daylight.

I'll put this forward as a research exercise! 200 volunteers are required: you all get to see the proposed new campsite and have tea and cakes provided by Town Councillors (not paid out of my Council Tax).

Seriously, everyone might learn from a few hours spent testing out the route under 'realistic' conditions.

I have tried to obtain from Devon County Council (DCC) a copy of the so-called Traffic Management Plan that was submitted at the last minute by John Radford's Event Services company on behalf of FolkWeek and used as the basis for DCC saying that they had no objections to use of the new proposed campsite when their (informal) input was used by EDDC's Licensing Sub-Committee in December 2013. DCC have refused to send a copy, so the matter will go to the Information Commissioner.

Devon County Council concede the draft TMP was inadequate. It is currently being reworked in consultation with 'locally interested parties' - presumably people in Salcombe Regis and thereabouts.

But no amount of reworking of the TMP can change the nature or potential dangers of using Salcombe Hill for a fleet of minibuses mingled with pedestrians. The correspondence can be viewed here:

emails to and from Devon County Council

I'll reproduce later the many (redacted) emails between John Radford and Devon County Council. These have been supplied by DCC under FoI.

I have heard nothing locally as yet about provision for substantial car parking near the proposed new camp site but will enquire.

An expanded version of this post and a couple of photos are on this webpage

Excerpts from mudcat discussions


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Susan B
Date: 22 Apr 14 - 06:55 AM

A fleet of mini buses, or whatever, would be fine, provided transport is provided for electric wheelchairs and scooters up and down the hill as well. It doesn't have to be the same vehicles, just a comparable service. Then it would be better than transport to the Bulverton, which doesn't have any services for electric wheelchair and scooter users, as the buses are not accessible.

Could foot traffic be banned on the relevant roads and re-directed up footpaths? On maps it looks like there is a route, but I don't know how practical that would be. Will ask my husband to try it out this year as he goes for lots of walks. Mind you, that means that his definition of practical has to be taken with a pinch of salt!

Are there any thoughts on what would be done for the social dancers?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,walker
Date: 22 Apr 14 - 05:10 PM

Now we know that the campsite is staying in its usual place, what is happening about the Late Night Extra and the workshops that were held at the Bulverton marquee?
Is that staying in its usual place opposite the campsite, or will it be moving to the new site up Salcombe Hill?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 06:10 AM

There is no change as far as the LNE and Bulverton events - they are staying in the same locations as last year.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,walker
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 07:08 AM

Thank you Derek


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: Steve in Sidmouth
Date: 23 Apr 14 - 01:10 PM

You can walk up and down the roads using Google Streetview. You don't need to come here!!

I recently walked from town up and down to the proposed new campsite.

Walking back on the flat from the site to the top of Salcombe Hill took 5 minutes. Walking down the hill took 15 minutes, then a further 5 minutes to the Ham, making 25 minutes. I walk quite fast, so allow 35 minutes for amblers.

Going to the campsite, the stretches of level road are the same (allow 7 + 7 = 14) but walking up the hill (which somehow I managed to do without stopping) takes at least twice the time of coming down. So 15 becomes 30+ or maybe 40+ for most people. So in round figures I'd allow an hour to walk from town to the campsite.

This lends itself to a competition, provided appropriate medical facilities are in place along the route!

I'll try and time myself from the Ham to the 'new' campsite entrance sometime soon. If I live to tell the tale, I might issue a challenge..........all money to charity.

In answer to Susan B - there are no separate footpaths up Salcombe Hill or anywhere else in the vicinity unless you'd like a yomp along uneven distant bridlepaths - this has been discussed before on this thread.

On the steepest parts, and elsewhere, Salcombe Hill is little more than 12 feet wide. Most of the way it is 14 to 16 feet wide. None of the route is lit. It is a nice walk up Cliff Road and winding around to Alma Lane, but there is no other option for the longest and steepest part of Salcombe Hill, except the long way around via the A3052 of course.


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,David
Date: 04 Jul 14 - 11:02 AM

We stayed at the official site last year, £40 for two on a sloping field filled with rocks...brilliant


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST,Returning to Sidmouth after a few years away
Date: 19 Jul 14 - 05:25 AM

Am I right in thinking the panic is over now?


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Subject: RE: Sidmouth campsite to move?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 14 - 07:35 AM

Only for this year unless there is news that I don't know about.


This thread has been hit heavily by spammers resulting in many posts being deleted. If it needs to be reopened, please contact one of the moderators, or better yet, start a new thread. --mudelf


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