August Sights and Sounds. Blog by Stephen Perham


In the beautiful village of Clovelly the happy weeks of August are punctuated by lively festivals and exciting celebrations. Sights, sounds and colours decorate the long days; flowers bloom into the peak of their performance, the simmering sea invites the swimmer to plunge in, the cobbled streets echo with the percussive ripple of daily visiting trippers, laughing, remarking and exclaiming at the perfection of a high summer’s month in an English idyll.

For one long, memorable week in summer the parish locals put on displays, performances and functions to encourage and delight. In the Village Hall there was the annual Garden Show with flora strewn tables, arts, crafts and cups of tea, vintage tractors, cars and tombolas; an old fashioned reminder that the village spirit has not packed its bags and moved away but is here to stay in Clovelly; it was an invitation to slow down, and take the time to appreciate the gentler aspects of country living.

The Lifeboat Day brought joy to the masses; it was an explosion of sound and excitement and not even the unscheduled emergency call-out disrupted the well-planned order of the day, but instead helped to focus on the reality of why we celebrate and why we dedicate our time. As the lifeboat sped away to the aid of the distressed, the Hartland Coastguard team who had been poised to demonstrate their own well-honed skills were also tasked to the assistance of someone in peril, but the day continued unabashed with stalls, games, demonstrations, challenges that saw buckets of icy water poured down the necks and over the heads of the lifeboat crews, sizzling barbecues, a helicopter fly pass and more cakes than flags and bunting. Following on from the previous day’s triumphant sponsored swim, the lifeboat station’s flagship event was a resoundingly phenomenal success, enough to gladden the heart of any grumbling, old salty lifeboat seadog.

The summer continues to welcome people with open hearts, inviting them into the village to take a tiny glimpse at how we live and how we celebrate our lives, cobble-dashed and salt-stained.