17 May, 2009

Northam, Bideford

OK - the blog is here now, and working well. Only problem is, what to say! I live in the village of Northam, on the outskirts of Bideford - but don't go into town very often as I am mostly interested in the landscape and the fabulous Northam Burrows here on the Torridge estuary.

I was going to show you a few pics of the Burrows - but haven't figured out how to get them to do what I want when uploading. The only survivor is this photo here, taken back in the winter. It looks quite different now of course - all green and abundant. The land is used for grazing sheep and horses, as well as leisure pursuits like walking, surfing or playing golf.

I would love to see some images of your home surroundings over there in Manteo. To see what makes the place special and distinctive to you.

16 May, 2009

Combining Manteo with Bideford

The Bideford Manteo Blog was set up in Bideford but I would like to see an equal balance each side of the pond. The image used as a banner at the top of this page shows Bideford Quay and the new Torridge Bridge. I would like this banner to be a combination print joining Manteo with Bideford. Ideally an animated gif, alternating between Manteo and Bideford would be the best with Bideford-Manteo on one image and Manteo-Bideford on the other but I haven’t worked out how to add this to the blog yet – suggestions please. If anyone from Manteo has pictures of their town that I might combine with those of Bideford please send them to me and I will attempt a combined image of the two.

12 May, 2009

Why Bideford and Manteo?

Bideford and Manteo are about to become official twin towns, or sister cities.

Bideford has a long and fascinating association with the Eastern Seaboard of America, with the trade in pottery, tobacco and other goods being prominent in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Ships sailed to and from Bideford’s busy port up the river Torridge exporting goods to the Colonies and bringing back a variety of goods that helped the town to develop and prosper. Much of this can be viewed today as part of Bideford’s walking Heritage trail.

In particular, the ‘Lost Colony’ of Roanoke Island (where the town of Manteo is situated) is an amazing story of the colonisation of this Island with 117 people sailing from Bideford. They travelled to Roanoke Island with the promise of a new life but instead disappeared. A mystery still unsolved. What is mysterious is that there is no proof that they died or moved on; nor is there proof that they survived, despite documented stories of blue-eyed Indians and sightings of white men. Are any of their ancestors still alive today? DNA testing is taking place which provides the means to establish and determine whether the Lost Colonists did survive long enough to produce off-spring. If so, Roanoke Island will be considered as the birth place of America - some 33 years before the Mayflower set sail and the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia.
This is incredible and will totally re-write the history books if the evidence is found. Indeed this connection is already celebrated in Manteo through various tourist attractions such as the Lost Colony outdoor drama, Roanoke Island Festival Park and Fort Raleigh National Historic site.

We can continue to develop these strong links through the arts and creative people of both towns and countries and celebrate our special historical relationship. The arts provide a mechanism to bring communities together and to share in the past as well as to look towards the future.

01 May, 2009

Welcome to this blog

Welcome to this blog which celebrates the forthcoming twinning between Bideford and Manteo. The blog is designed to encourage the creative communities on both sides of the pond to interact, communicate with and inspire each other.

If you are a creative practitioner based in Bideford or Manteo and wish to add a post about yourself and your work, or about the creative scene where you live, please email me, Sadie Green, so I can set you up as a user of this blog @ info@experiencedevon.com