Honiton Memory Cafe celebrates first birthday

Folk singer Jim Causley provides some memorable entertainment.

A rising star and a Devon-themed cake formed part of the celebrations when Honiton Memory Cafe marked its first birthday last week.

Folk singer Jim Causley, who is currently working with David Rotheray, formerly of The Beautiful South, provided some nostalgic entertainment at the Methodist Church before a cream tea was served on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Causley, whose latest album, Dumnonia, comprises a collection of Devon folk songs, started his performance with a song in memory of Whiteways Cider, Old Uncle Whiteway.

He went on to sing a song inspired by a letter to a newspaper by Honiton Lace maker Becky Tidwell. She had responded to a request for women to write accounts of their daily lives.

Heather Penwarden, chairman of Honiton Memory Cafe, looked back over the charity’s first year and said: “It is supporting people through a very challenging time of their lives.

“The social aspect is vital and there is a genuine need for this facility in Honiton.”

Most Read

She recalled how the cafe got off the ground, starting with the appointment of ex-Bungalow worker Min Reynolds as co-ordinator, and went on to explain how Honiton Senior Council had supported the project with a start-up grant. Vic Bowsher, chairman of Honiton Hospital League of Friends, had also played a major role.

Future fund-raising will include a walking treasure hunt around Honiton on August 21.

A theatre group has been formed to provide cafe-goers with outings and other groups, for walking, pub lunches and short mat bowls, are to be launched in the near future.

Guests at the birthday celebration included local GP Dr Janet Ward and staff from Tesco in Honiton, who have chosen the Alzheimer’s Society as their 2011 charity.

Mrs Penwarden paid tribute to the senior council, saying: “It has supported the cafe from the beginning.”

The council’s chairman, Tony Smith, together with folk singer Mr Causley and well-known actress and singer Jan Sutcliffe, went on to support the cafe’s bid in the Jubilee People’s Millions contest, submitted by Age UK Devon. (They are featured together on this week’s front page.)

A Devon-themed birthday cake was cut by Winnie Cameron, a stalwart supporter of the memory cafe project.