No need to travel far to find something happening - there's entertainment on our doorsteps

Expanding the skate park in Phear Park is one option for how the money could be spent.Picture: Archant

Emma enjoyed taking in the Phear Park Skate Jam - Credit: Archant

Exmouth author Emma Richardson writes for the Journal

Exmouth author Emma Richardson.

Exmouth author Emma Richardson. - Credit: Emma Richardson

This last couple of weeks has been a time for experiencing amazing local things that were right on my doorstep; things that it would have been easy to miss had I not seen an advert online. Take for example Exmouth’s new skate park.

To the uninitiated it’s a bit of concrete in Phear park that gathers teenagers like wasps around a jam sandwich, but to the boarders, bmx-ers and scooter riders, it’s a dream come true. And a few weeks ago Phear park was inundated with visitors coming to take part in the Phear Park Skate Jam.

Having seen it publicised on Facebook, I wandered down to take a look and was amazed not only at the calibre of riders who had come down for the day, but also at the distances some participants had travelled to take part.

There were kids, adults and even a wheelchair user sharing the space in-between the competitive rounds; it was truly a joy to behold.

We’re always quick to condemn the council when things don’t get done, but in this instance I’d like to thank them for having provided our town with such a great facility.

I personally can’t wait for the next Skate Jam, and if I had less dodgy knees I’d be having a go myself.

Most Read

The other little gem on our doorstep-admittedly a bit further afield, is the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth.

Again, I happened across an online advert for a stargazing and storytelling event, so we popped along one Saturday night to see what it was all about.

The free gathering had drawn quite a crowd, and I was reminded of just how beautiful the stretch of coast is heading East of Sidmouth as we all strolled out to the Frogstone to admire the views before heading back to the Observatory for storytelling round the campfire.

This was followed by a spot of stargazing led by one of the very knowledgeable volunteers pointing things out in the night sky before finishing the evening off taking a look through one of the large telescopes.

The Observatory is the largest volunteer-run facility in the UK and home to an amateur astronomical society; it has a planetarium and a whole host of equipment from Victorian telescopes to state-of-the-art computers but many local people don’t even realise it’s there.

If you check out the Norman Lockyer website there are lots of opportunities- open days and so-on when you can go and take a peek for yourselves.

Having experienced two fab events like this I have now resolved to seek out more. So if you know of an obscure event happening locally, get shouting about it on the Internet and hopefully I’ll see you there.