Pilton Panto 2018 : A Classic Combination

Pilton Panto has just completed its third year back in Pilton Church Hall with a production of Robin Hood & the Babes in the Wood over the February half-term holiday.  While Friday’s performance was only seen by a half full hall – were they all at The Gang Show in the Queen’s Theatre instead? – the crowds came on Thursday and twice on Saturday which almost sold out.

French Onion Johnnies for WPThis classic combination of two different pantomime themes – Robin Hood  and The Babes in the Wood – worked very well, thanks to the excellent writing and direction of Lee Smith. And this gave us so many of the key elements of the English panto – villains, a dame, a principal boy, slapstick, “they’re behind you” and “oh no he won’t” moments and, of course, romance – as well as being liberally scattered with well-known cultural references.  Admittedly a few of them didn’t actually occur until at least 300 years after the events in Nottingham, but why spoil a good story for a bit of chronology!  The story was narrated by an amazing talking Oak Tree – and why not?  Played out in front of wonderful scenery, it included an archery contest and the clever idea of a gallery of portraits coming alive to scare Robin Hood’s Merry Men.  It shows that you just need the right imagination to create a brilliant, albeit improbable, story.  It’s all about two and a half hours of suspension of the real world!   And this year an even larger number of people were involved in the cast and behind the scenes.  Well done all.

Panto is definitely going from strength to strength in Pilton.

Vera Macfarlane


Barnstaple Museum Exhibition : The Life & Times of Manning’s Pit

EPSON MFP imageThe recent application to build houses on the much-loved Manning’s Pit has prompted a great deal of activity in Pilton.

The closing date of 16th March for comments on the application ‘to build up to 43 dwellings’ on the fields behind Lynbro Road resulted in over 250 objections, a clear demonstration of the passion of Pilton people for Manning’s Pit.  The Friends of Manning’s Pit are putting on an exhibition in Barnstaple Museum from 1st April to 20th May entitled ‘The Life and Times of Manning’s Pit’.  In addition to The Pilton Story’s small collection of stories it has gathered together contemporary material from the 19th century, when the Manning family lived in Pilton and are thought to have kept cattle on the land we now know as Manning’s Pit.

Don’t miss the chance to see it.  It’s free and the museum is open from 10am until 5pm Monday to Saturday.