When The Voice UK came to Pilton

The Voice UK is a Saturday night television talent show which started on the BBC in 2012 and moved to ITV in 2017.  The idea is that musical talent is judged simply on the voice of the contestants alone and not on what they look like.  After contacting Esther Davies in The Reform Inn, on 23 April 2018 they sent Lauren and Sarah to record at the Open Mic Night which is held every Monday.   This was apparently part of the research process for participants for the 2019 series of The Voice UK.

The Open Mic Nights have been running since 2001, initially by Brendon Taylor for about 10 years until he emigrated.  Now, every Monday evening, Simon Darling introduces all the performers and Neil Rolfe does the ‘buttons’ – the sound desk.   The photo below was taken during the evening in which 18 people auditioned, a mix of regulars and others who had applied specifically for the show.

Recording acts in The Reform Inn

Recording musical acts in The Reform Inn during the Open Mic Night

Said Esther Davies “It was a great event!  I was contacted by phone out of the blue and asked if our Open Mic Night could be filmed!  They sent me a poster to advertise the event, and that was pretty much it until the two girls, Lauren and Sarah, arrived!  They enjoyed the evening as much as we did, stating that there was a lovely sense of community and support! They hope to return next year, and who knows, they may have discovered the next number one artist here in Pilton!”

Remembering Sapper Harry Fry-Vicary of the Royal Engineers

Harry Fry-Vicary was born in 1897 to William and Adelaide Fry-Vicary and lived on The Rock, Pilton.  Before enlisting in 1916 he was a cabinet maker at the Barnstaple Cabinet Works.  In France he would have been involved in bridging and water work as part of the Fifth Army.  He died 100 years ago on 24th March 1918 in the First Battle of the Somme, probably during an action defending the river crossings when the Germans launched ‘Operation Michael’.

Fry-Vicary Memorial Death Plaque for WPHis commanding officer wrote “I have to inform you that your son, Sapper H. Fry-Vicary, was killed in action on the 24th ult.  The company was called up to hold part of the line at a critical moment, and your son died in the performance of his duty.  Owing to the splendid behaviour of the men, who all did their part nobly, the enemy was kept in check.  I should like to express my great regret at losing your son and my sympathy with you in your loss.

Above is an image of the Memorial Death Plaque awarded to Harry’s family after the war.  Harry is also commemorated in St Mary’s Church, Pilton and Christ Church, Barnstaple, on the Barnstaple Cabinet Works Roll of Honour held in Barnstaple Museum, and on the Pozieres Memorial in France.

For more of the story of Harry Fry-Vicary, follow this link to The Pilton Story archive.

The Story of Harry Fry-Vicary