Archive for October, 2016

Tar Barrels Ottery St Mary.

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Every year on November 5th for reasons lost in antiquity, the Flaming Tar Barrels are carried through the streets of Ottery St Mary to the delight of thousands of townsfolk and visitors.

Ottery St. Mary is internationally renowned for its Tar Barrels, an old custom said to have originated in the 17th century, and which is held on November 5th each year. Each of Ottery’s central public houses sponsors a single barrel. In the weeks prior to the day of the event, November 5th, the barrels are soaked with tar. The barrels are lit outside each of the pubs in turn and once the flames begin to pour out, they are hoisted up onto local people’s backs and shoulders.

The streets and alleys around the pubs are packed with people, all eager to feel the lick of the barrels flame. Seventeen Barrels all in all are lit over the course of the evening.

In the afternoon and early evening there are women’s and boy’s barrels, but as the evening progresses the barrels get larger and by midnight they weigh at least 30 kilos. A great sense of camaraderie exists between the ‘Barrel Rollers’, despite the fact that they tussle constantly for supremacy of the barrel. In most cases, generations of the same family carry the barrels and take great pride in doing so. It perpetuates Ottery St Mary’s great sense of tradition, of time and of history.

Opinion differs as to the origin of this festival of fire, but the most widely accepted version is that it began as a pagan ritual that cleanses the streets of evil spirits.

It is an incredible night to remember – one of the biggest bonfires in the South West is ignited on the banks of the River Otter and behind it are the flashing neon’s of the annual fun fair.

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Half term Activities

Happy Half Term from us all here at Team Removals. We have included some local half term activities for you below.

Half term events in Devon
Devon’s Top Attractions/ Halloween Events

Devon’s Top Attractions are busy preparing for an October Half Term full of ‘Happy Hauntings, pumpkins and trick or treats’.
See what’s on now and make your kids have a hauntingly great half term.

From: 21 Oct 2016 to 31 Oct 2016
Dartmouth Food Festival 2016
The Dartmouth Food Festival is back for 2016 with a tempting mix of delicious regional food and drink, chef demonstrations, workshops, lively food debates and fun for all the family. Set in the beautiful estuary town of Dartmouth in the South Hams…

From: 21 Oct 2016 to 23 Oct 2016
Witches & Wizards Tours
Celebrate Halloween this October half-term at Exeter’s spooky Underground Passages. Between 22–30 October there will be special ‘Witches & Wizards Tours’ where children are invited to explore under the city’s streets on special guided tours

From: 22 Oct 2016to30 Oct 2016
Woodlands Family Scream Park
Woodlands Family Theme Park is offering a family friendly fangtastic Halloween experience this half term.
Marty’s Monster Manor is back for your chance to meet Woodlands friendly monster ‘Marty’ with spookier surprises around every eerie corner…

From: 22 Oct 2016 to30 Oct 2016
Halloween Fun – Kents Cavern
Participatory Event
Halloween Fun
There’s lots to do over October Half Term at Kents Cavern with cave tours, spooky dig and the underground pumpkin hunt. Activities included in the cave admission price. No booking required

From: 22 Oct 2016 to 31 Oct 2016
Halloween at Devon’s Crealy
Saturday 22nd – Sunday 30th October. Grab your hats, broomsticks, whiskers and pussycat tails this October half term and get ready for some spooky spellbinding adventures!

From: 22 Oct 2016 to 30 Oct 2016
Half Term Craft and Trail
School Holiday Event
Keep the kids occupied this half term at Knightshayes. With a week of nature craft activities to keep them occupied and a wild child trail in the garden to keep them busy – let us help keep the bogeyman of boredom away

From: 22 Oct 2016 to 31 Oct 2016
October Half Term Activities at The Donkey Sanctuary
This October half term there will be lots of spooky goings-on at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. Plus, we will be celebrating the Family Learning Festival with free Donkey Interaction and Bat Beacon sessions.

From: 22 Oct 2016to30 Oct 2016
Pecorama – Autumn Half Term
Participatory Event
Special children’s entertainment for the half term break including spooky rides of our Beer Frights Ghost Train for Halloween

From: 22 Oct 2016to29 Oct 2016
Halloween – Come Trick Or Treat Us If Yee Dare!
A Spooktastic Halloween week on board in Brixham – Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October. There bee Walk the Plank, Sid’s Stamps and Spot the Skulls as well as a guest appearance from Shirley the Skeleton to reunite with Sid, the Ship’s mascot.

From: 22 Oct 2016 to30 Oct 2016
Snakes & Lanterns at Powderham Castle
A thrilling half term awaits….. children can follow the Pumpkin Trail to win their own pumpkin to carve in the Potting Shed. The braver ones can have a close encounter with Dartmoor Reptiles.

From: 23 Oct 2016 to 31 Oct 2016
Halloween Horrors – Halloween at Paignton Zoo
Participatory Event
Halloween Horrors
Join Paignton Zoo this Halloween for some spooktacular fun!
Price: Standard Zoo admission prices apply

From: 24 Oct 2016 to 30 Oct 2016
Pennywell Farm – Jollyween event
Jollyween at Pennywell Farm
Carve a pumkin, watch a world class entertainer and enjoy the lighter side of life with Jollyween.

From: 24 Oct 2016 to 30 Oct 2016
Halloween at Tatooine
Exmouth, Exmouth
An out of this galaxy event for all the family October half term. Spooky games, pumpkin carving and loads more see website for full details.

From: 24 Oct 2016 to 30 Oct 2016
Harry Potter themed crafts
Join us to celebrate the magic of Harry Potter in the amazing space of the Chapter House. Imagine that you are in the Great Hall of Hogwarts and take part in a range of themed crafts. Get ‘sorted’ as you arrive, and make a banner to support your house

From: 24 Oct 2016 to 28 Oct 2016
Witches’ Brew Week
Ottery St Mary, Ottery St Mary
Halloween fun for all the family, including pumpkins, witches and tasty treats!

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Rhino trail update / auction


Earlier this summer we blogged about The Rhino trail that Paignton Zoo had organized to help with fund raising for the endangered Rhinos. These have been on display in various locations between Torquay and Exeter for the last 8 weeks and are now due to be auctioned off on Thursday 3rd November at 6.30pm. All proceeds will go towards Rhino conservation.

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Rowcroft Update


Well done to Fiona and her husband Pete for completing the charity bike ride this weekend for Rowcroft Hospice. They helped to raise more than twenty thousand pounds to help the hospice after serious budget cuts.

Rowcroft’s first EVER sponsored cycle challenge took place on Saturday 1st October 2016. Together over 300 people completed the 24km challenge. It is hoped this brand new event will raise in excess of £20,000 for people living with life-limiting illnesses in South Devon.  If you took part and would like to pay in your sponsorship, you can do so in a number of ways.
Online – visit

By card – call 01803 217641 to pay over the phone

By bank transfer – pay you sponsorship in using these details:

Name: Rowcroft House Foundation Ltd.
Account no: 0597 7703
Sort code: 55-70-01
Reference: Your participant number

By cheque – please make cheques payable to ‘Rowcroft Hospice’ and send them with your sponsorship form(s) to: Freepost RTKK-UJRJ-XBKS, Ride for Rowcroft, Rowcroft Hospice, Avenue Road, Torquay, TQ2 5LS

Don’t forget to freepost us your sponsorship forms so we can claim the Gift Aid back too – this will increase the total amount you raise by a further 25%.

For more information on paying in your sponsorship, please call 01803 217641 or

If you’re interested in taking part in future Rowcroft fundraising events, please keep an eye on our Facebook page for up-to-date news and information.


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