The Linhay @ Lower Park Farm, Coldridge, Nr Crediton, Devon

Saturday 4 May 2002

All images are copyright ŠJohn Vincent MA

Tony Mann, a fellow member of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, was having an 'airing' of his moving toys, at The Linhay, so Pat and I took the opportunity of a drive in the countryside to see the exhibition.

Well! What a pleasant surprise awaited us that Saturday afternoon in May.

Tony, his wife Barbara, and Michael Thorne, the Director of M.Thorne Construction welcomed us.

Michael is the 'brains and muscle' behind The Linhay and the adjoining Coldridge Collection of Ferguson tractors.

"Tony Mann specialises in making automata and moving toys for adult collectors, working mainly in painted wood. He has produced several hundred different designs since he began to make craft toys and automata in 1975." *IN THE MAKING exhibition leaflet

"Fine art tends to take itself so seriously that I prefer to be thought of as a toymaker. Automata are really toys for adults. Mostly I make one-of-a-kind, which means they have to cost more than production pieces. So it is lucky that most grown-ups have more pocket money than kids." * Tony Mann

Tony talking to Pat and James Kendrew (Blacksmith)

'Titanic tied to her fate'

My favourite piece!

The Linhay itself:

I quote from the publicity leaflet:

"The Linhay is a traditional former cart shed restored by Mike Thorne, who received a CLA award for the work. The building now provides a reception area, cloakroom and two study/work rooms on the ground floor, with a staircase leading to the upper gallery floor which is open to the timbered and thatched roof. The Linhay has it's own small garden with access to the grounds of Lower Park Farm which overlooks a peaceful wooded valley.

This setting and unique building have already proved ideal for creative workshops as well as for different kinds of therapy such as yoga and massage. We hope that from October 2001 an increasing number of people will be able to enjoy and share in such activities, and that we will be able to expand the courses and facilities, as well as setting up occasional exhibitions and special events." *For further information please contact Joy Taylor 01363 83166

The Coldridge Collection

What a bonus this was- a marvellous collection of lovingly restored Ferguson tractors. Brought back to life by Michael Thorne and his team. On returning home I showed my snaps to a retired farmer friend who enthused about the 'greys'.

Main collection