Kingsbridge Jazz Club | Amyn Fazal

Review: La Vie En Rose, The Regal 9 April 2024

This was a joyous return to Kingsbridge for La Vie en Rose, who once again enchanted the crowd with their glorious and easily accessible repertoire. The five classically trained musicians have wide-ranging backgrounds, covering country and blues to ragtime and roots, but it is their shared pleasure of gypsy jazz and hot swing, inspired by the hot jazz musicians of 1930s Paris, that brought them together. Featuring David Jones (lead guitar), Laurie Light (rhythm guitar), Rebecca Willson (violin), Nick White (clarinet) and Yann Mahdjoub (double bass), the audience were treated to many of the songs that were popular at the time and have now become gipsy jazz classics. Make no mistake, these are highly talented virtuosi.

The set kicked off with the Django Reinhardt’s Stompin’ at Decca, which was apparently composed and recorded in one take to fill some vinyl space left at the end of a recording session at Decca Records. Then followed Dino Olivieri’s J’attendrai, Sidney Bechet’s Si tu vois ma mere and band member Laurie Light’s Eddie and Joe and the glorious Nuages by Django (this reviewer’s all-time favourite). As you would expect, some of the best-known tracks of the Reinhardt/Grappelli gipsy jazz and swing era were included in the session but it was great to see that the band had introduced some new material. The standout track of these was La Bikina by Ruben Fuentes, a catchy mariachi number underpinned by tight syncopation and infectious guitar riffs. No wonder it was a popular dance hit in the Spanish speaking world and also included in the Disney film Coco.

Never mind the weather, music can magically lift one’s mood and La Vie en Rose certainly made musical magic to lift one’s mood this night.

Dart Valley U3A | Jennifer Wright

Our next monthly meeting is on May 9 at The Flavel Arts Centre, meeting at 10am followed with a talk at 10.30 called ‘The History of the Dicken Medal (The Animal Victoria Cross)’

The medal is considered to be the Victoria Cross for animals. The presentation features several accounts of animals that have been worthy recipients of the fabled award and is both deeply emotional and thoroughly inspiring.

Non-members are very welcome to come along.

For further information on the Dart Valley u3a go to

The Arts Society, Kingsbridge | Roger Hardiman

Bees swarming, wild animals in pursuit of their erstwhile hunters, giraffes a-plenty, possibly a symbol of rain, musicians with bows, a rare sight of a young springbok suckling its young: just some of the rock art in the Namibian gallery presented to us by our April speaker, Paul Bahn.

Images might be carved in the rock or painted on the surface of the rock. There are still some gaps in technical research into dating but 30,000 years is a feasible figure. We were shown a new technique which brings out colour and shape from an apparently grey canvas.

The star of the show is the ‘White Lady’, accidentally discovered in 1918 in Brandberg, the Burnt Mountain, and possibly a representation of the myths of white women ruling in Africa. Possibly not. Our speaker suggested that we were actually looking at a man. As it is the only figure of its type in the area, comparison is a challenge.

There are a few souvenir booklets for tourists, and the logo is used sparingly for commercial exploitation, but this is not yet a tourist hot-spot. Temperatures of 40 degrees presumably explain the name of the mountain. The exhibits are a little faded.

Moving on to our May meeting, look out for a change of scene, with English Rococo silver of the eighteenth century taking centre stage in the context of the lives of the owners. We shall also be offering a choice of an afternoon or an evening meeting: make a note in your diary.

Thurlestone Bridge Club | Lisa White

The results for Wednesday 24th April 2024 are as follows: Howell Movement:  1st Jan Patrick and Elaine Bishop  2nd Lisa White and Vivienne Mugford  3rd Barry and Jan Cadnam  4th Howard and Barbara Parton  5th Barbara McLarty and Bunny Clark

Kingsbridge Estuary Bridge Club | Nick Barratt

Results. Friday 26th April: North/South - 1. Nigel & Sue Charlesworth, 2. Doug & Lulu Colliver, 3. Peter Coates & Jeremy Morris, 4. Jill & Bob Down. East/West - 1. Jean Sulman & Anthony Barlow, 2. Howard & Barbara Parton, 3. Ann Cripps & Maggie Stewart, 4. Audrey Ayton & Jean Lee.

Young Farmers

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has elected John Lee OBE DL, from Devon, as its new President.

Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) voted unanimously to elect the farming and rural leader at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Leamington Spa on Sunday 21 April 2024.

John has been involved with Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) since he was 16 years old, starting out as a member of Newton St Cyres YFC in Devon. He progressed through the organisation in club and county roles before becoming the Chair of NFYFC’s Council, and now the first former chairman to become President.


Most of us knew very little about micro artists until we heard a talk by Graham Short from Birmingham at the end of April. It was fascinating to hear the measures he has taken to enable him to create minuscule engravings only visible through a microscope. He only works at night to avoid any friction from traffic, swims regularly and takes drugs to lower his heart rate and help him to have a steady hand. His completed masterpieces are collected by fine art enthusiasts, and housed in some of the world’s most desirable homes, galleries and museums. The works include the Lord’s prayer on a pinhead,  writing  “Nothing is impossible” on the edge of a razor blade and putting the word LOVE on a grain of salt balanced on a lady’s hair. 

We enjoyed tales from Graham’s travels and anecdotes about the many celebrities he has met during his career, with many a laugh along the way. 

In May Chris Groves, the gardener at the National Trust Garden, Overbecks, will give us a virtual tour of the garden through the seasons. This is a hidden gem which is carved into the hillside 80 metres above the sea. Its extraordinary position not only provides breathtaking views but also allows tender plants to flourish, a fact the original owners were well aware of as they planted exotic and subtropical seeds. 

This will be at Malborough Village Hall on May 24th at 10am. As usual, visitors will be most welcome.