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Old Grammarians in the headlines

"Greatest Ever Devonian"

In August 2006, BBC Devon invited people to vote for their choice of Greatest Ever Devonian. Phil Beer is a winner! He's one half of the award-winning duo Show of Hands

An excerpt from the press release:

A Devon acoustic music duo have swept aside opposition from some of the greatest figures in history and biggest names in pop to run away with the title “Greatest Devonian”.

Against all the odds, Show of Hands (singer songwriter Steve Knightley and multi instrumentalist Phil Beer), polled over a third of the public’s 5,000 votes in the contest run by Devon County Council, leaving Devonian seafaring hero Sir Francis Drake trailing in their wake in second place and racing to an unbeatable lead against Coldplay front man Chris Martin, Teignmouth band Muse, father of computing Charles Babbage, singer Joss Stone, crime writer Agatha Christie, poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, artist Sir Joshua Reynolds and comedian Peter Cook, among others.

The dark horse winners – who grew up on opposite sides of the River Exe – and who now live at Topsham, near Exeter - drew votes from Devon, the rest of the UK and abroad and were praised not just as talented musicians but as fine ambassadors for the county.

Two of Devon’s best homegrown musical talents, Knightley and Beer, voted Best Live Act in the 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, are little known in mainstream music. But they have successfully carved an independent niche for themselves, coining the phrase “World Music from the West Country” and have built a dedicated following for their genre-juggling music and narrative songs.  

Full version of the press release

Have you seen Phil Beer in concert?

TOGs at the Palace

Mary Thomas at Buck House


Well what do you know. At least two Old Grammarians have attended 
Royal Garden Parties this month.

Pam BETTS (nee BOOKER, in her capacity as Chairman of Daventry District Council,
and Mary THOMAS (nee POWER) for her fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Relief.

We both had a wonderful day, in spite of the extreme heat, saw the Queen,
don’t think she saw us, and feel very privileged to have had the opportunity.
There must be many of you who have also been.

Do write and let us know. How many Mayors have we had out there.
Chairman of Councils etc?

Mary Thomas