IT’s just over seven years since we launched The Fine Times Recorder, and since then we have covered all sorts stories about food and the environment, plays, concerts, comedy, exhibitions, travel and other things to do in and around our region, and further afield.
Now here we are in 2020, the year that Covid-19 changed all our lives. Those changes will continue at an unpredictable rate until an effective vaccine is found. We can’t suggest you book to see your favourite performers or visit your favourite theatres, sort out your holiday plans or arrange to meet at restaurants serving delicious local food without surrounding our stories with caveats and warnings of cancellations and precautionary measures, and without constantly updating our lists to try to keep up with the latest changes.
When we started the Fine Times Recorder, shortly after Fanny Charles “left” the Blackmore Vale Magazine that she had edited for 23 years, our plan was to cover what’s on offer at arts centres, theatres and village halls as well as on the music, film, comedy, dance, literary and visual arts scenes – not just in the rural areas but in the cities around the region, and sometimes even further afield. There is also information about local food … where to buy it and where to eat it, as well as who’s making it and cooking it and selling it to you.
We have tried to do this as much as possible since March 2020, including also a pick of streamed entertainment being offered on line to shielded and locked-down readers.
One of the victims of Coronavirus in our region was the final demise of the Blackmore Vale Magazine, which had changed its beloved A4 size magazine format to a sort of tabloid late in 2019, and, like so many other publications, ceased printing during the lockdown period.
During our first seven years our line-up has changed a little. We still miss our friend and colleague Rosie Staal, who wrote for the FTR on books, literature, the visual arts and travel (with her husband David Eidelstein).
Contributors to the Fine Times Recorder include Gay Pirrie-Weir, reviewing and writing about the theatre, dance, music and more, and Fanny Charles, reporting on local food, the visual arts and the environment.
Mark Blackham, whose reviews were so important in the early days, is now an Australian citizen. He met Ruth while he was performing with Milborne Port Opera, and they married in September 2019. After a stressful time juggling his citizenship application and then the onset of Covid, they were able to return to Ruth’s native land in July, and are now about to be re-united with their possessions from a container ship, once quarantine is completed. We miss Mark’s experience and insight, and especially his love of musician-actors and their productions.
David Grierson hopes to be reviewing concerts and musicals and Paul Jordon reviewing classical music, once they are allowed to, and we hope that David Eidlestein might contribute more travel articles.
We were delighted to welcome veteran Bristol print and radio journalist and reviewer Gerry Parker to the team, contributing reviews from the vibrant theatre scene in Bristol and surrounding area.
Fanny Charles and Gay Pirrie-Weir are the founders and co-editors of the FTR.
Send us an email at the FTR – firstname.lastname@example.org – with information about events you are organising, follow the listing to see what’s on offer, and see the directory for a useful (and growing) list of contacts, all in one place – your FTR.
If you have a personal email address for Gay Pirrie-Weir, it has now changed to email@example.com, so please amend your databases as emails to the old address will bring you a spammed viagra offer! Sorry.