Ian's Blog

10th October 2021

10th October 2021

The Songs About Devon album is now listed on Amazon and Apple Music with a release date of 23rd October



3rd October 2021

3rd October 2021

Last weekend I spent most of Saturday at Torquay museum and enjoyed some very interesting lectures about the local history of Torbay. The first lecture was given by Dr James Kneale, associate professor UCL, which was about the Salvation Army being persecuted by the local authorities in Torquay in 1888.

One of the other lectures was given by the local historian Kevin Dixon who has an article about the Salvation Army's problems in late Victorian Torquay on this website:-


Last Sunday I decided to write a song about this. Here are the lyrics:-

They kept on Marching

The Salvation Army was marching in Torquay

With the sound of a trumpet and a joyful tambourine

Sustaining their challenge to authority

This confrontation caused such a public scene

They'd marched through the town

Unmolested for six years

Saving many souls

Like God's new pioneers

The Salvation Army was marching in Torquay

With the sound of a trumpet and a joyful tambourine

Sustaining their challenge to authority

This confrontation caused such a public scene

The local board passed 

A new harbourside Act

In the thirty eighth clause

Was a little known fact

No procession was allowed

On any Sunday

Except of the military

So the Act did say

To the Salvation Army many fines were handed out

Prison sentences served of that there is no doubt

The Salvation Army kept on marching in Torquay

With the sound of a trumpet and a joyful tambourine

Sustaining their challenge to authority

This confrontation caused such a public scene

26th September 2021

26th September 2021

I felt very sad when I heard that the actor John Challis had recently died. It was only just over 2 years ago that we recorded him reading the narratives for the Mortimer History Society album and also helping with the Mortimer comedy song.

Here is a link to the album on the Mortimer History Society shop webpage


Here is a link to the comedy song on you tube


19th September 2021

19th September 2021

I have now made a short promotional video for the next album of the Legendary Ten Seconds:-


12th September 2021

12th September 2021

I have now completed the submission of the Songs About Devon album to CD Baby. My wife heard me checking some of the audio for this and when she heard Peter Cartwright's spoken introductions she thought that I was listening to his radio show. This is exactly how I want it to sound to the listener. From start to finish it sounds like it is being played on Peter Cartwright's radio show on Riviera FM in Torbay! It start's with one of my jingles for his show, followed by his first introduction and at the end of the last track is my second radio jingle.

One of the songs on the album is about the Canadian Foresters who came to Stover in Devon during the First World War. Most of the lyrics for this song were written by Martyn Hillstead after he had visited Stover.

5th September 2021

5th September 2021

It was Mum's funeral on Tuesday and this is the eulogy for her:-

Molly was born on 4th July 1929 in Launceston to Clara and Stanley, younger sister to Betty. They moved to Hoopern Street in Exeter in 1939 when for her dad’s work on the South Western Railway. Molly went to Episcopal School – her great claim to fame was winning an English prize – most disappointed to receive a copy of the “Vicar of Wakefield” which she never read!

Of course the family lived through the Exeter Blitz and Molly would tell the tale of coming back from the Anderson shelter to find her underwear hanging on a picture frame, always regaled with great amusement. Once the family were using a torch to sweep up some broken glass following a raid – the whole of Exeter was ablaze, but they were nevertheless asked by the air raid warden to put the light out because Jerry might see it!!

Molly left school at 14 and undertook a secretarial course, her first job was in a building society, then she worked for a firm of solicitors called Ford Simey and Ford at Cathedral Close, and at their office in Exmouth. Molly met Geoff at the Wrentham Hall in Exeter where they went to dances. After marrying in 1951 they moved to Radstock for Geoff’s work as a teacher. Molly then had a number of jobs, her least favourite being Dents Gloves where she gave in her notice within the first week as she refused to co-operate with the rule of having to put your hand up to ask permission to go to the toilet! After a spell with Frys confectioners she then worked very happily for Prattens, a local building company and made many good friends.

In 1960 they moved to Pinhoe for Geoff to work at Exeter college and welcomed the arrival of Ian in 1961. In 1963 they moved to Grosvenor Avenue in Torquay for Geoff to work at South Devon College and welcomed Linda in 1964. It was a happy home with lots of fun

Molly was a full time mum until Linda started at Junior school in 1971 and then began a part time job with the Torbay Holiday agency, and she worked there with them until she finally retired in 1999. Geoff sadly passed away in 1997, but Molly was a capable, resourceful independent and joyful person, and made the most of her retirement enjoying the company of good friends and family. She was a wonderful Nan to Tom, Emma and Holly – when the children went to stay everything else was put on hold to spend time with them - they were her priority. She made Gentian and Guy, Ian's step children very welcome in the family and when their children came along enjoyed family occasions with them. She was lucky to have lots of good friends, and in particular enjoyed many holidays with Maureen, she was a regular swimmer at the ERC and enjoyed meeting “the girls” for coffee. Daily walks on the seafront befriending and chatting to anyone who might be sitting next to her on a bench was common.

By late 2018 Molly needed full time care and moved into Cornerways in Paignton, here she was well looked after by a wonderful care team and her family are grateful the love and attention she received.

29th August 2021

29th August 2021

Graham Moores has now sent me the completed Songs About Devon album cover. I should now be able to complete the submission to CD Baby to start the process of getting it onto Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube and Amazon etc

22nd August 2021

22nd August 2021

The recordings for the Songs About Devon album have been completed. I am due to see Lord Zarquon tomorrow so that I can obtain the files for two of the songs. I can then add the introductions recorded by Peter Cartwright to those two songs.

15th August 2021

15th August 2021

Phil Swann has recently recorded some guitar for my song about the Siege of Plymouth during the English civil war of the 17th century. I have written a new song about an eighty four year old lady called Mary Kelynack who walked all the way from Newlyn in Cornwall to London to see the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace . This was during the reign of Queen Victoria. I would like to use these songs for an album which I might call Songs of the South West. Some other songs that could be included on such an album have a Spanish theme, one about Catherine of Aragon arriving in Plymouth and another about the Spanish Armada. I recorded Ashley Dyer playing trumpet for these two songs and Martyn Hillstead has recorded some drums for the new Spanish Armada song. This is the third song that I have composed about the Spanish Armada and on Wednesday evening I really enjoyed recording myself playing bass guitar for it. 

The Spanish Are Coming!

Capo third fret

First verse

Cm Eb

The Alarms were sounded

Cm Eb

Church bells rang out

Cm Eb

The Spanish are coming


Up went the shout 

First chorus

Cm Eb Ab Cm

Greenery thrown onto signal fires 

Eb G Cm

To create smoke as the warning arrives

Second verse

Lord Howard's Fleet

Awaits the news

On all the ships

Are the anxious crews

Second chorus

In the mouth of the Tamar and Plymouth sound

The English ships are gathered around

Middle section

Fm Eb

Onshore many pray through the night

Bb Fm Cm

The sails of the armada seen in the morning light

Third verse

Smoke and thunder

Of the cannons blast

As the English ships

Fight the Spaniards at last

Third chorus

From the coast they watch the battle unfold

Attacking the armada the English so bold


Eb G Cm

The Spanish are coming so they were told

8th August 2021

8th August 2021

Graham Moores has sent me a low resolution first draft of the artwork for the Songs About Devon album. I am hoping that Lord Zarquon will finish the recordings of a couple further songs for this album. He is currently reviewing one about Perkin Warbeck's siege of Exeter during the reign of Henry VII.

Songs About Devon first draft

© Rainbow Starshine Productions 2021 - Version 9.0.4 October 2021