See more of Ewan’s local newspaper reporting…

Below are just some of Ewan’s numerous bylines for his local Archant title, the award-winning North Devon Gazette.

stories from summer 2018 here 

more since 2014: ‘north devon gazette’ tag

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 03.00.11
Shown are only a selection from 2018 – Ewan has been reporting for the Gazette since 2014

Pictures: ‘You’re not welcome here’ say Barnstaple Trump protesters

See this published

Around 100 people gathered in Barnstaple Square tonight to protest against the Donald Trump’s visit to Britain, “standing shoulder to shoulder to say go away Trump, you’re not welcome here.”

Keep on reading

Britain’s new fighter jet to star in 100-aircraft display for RAF centenary

See this published on The Telegraph

Britain’s new fighter jet will be at the centre of the most spectacular flypast in recent memory when the RAF celebrates its 100th anniversary this summer. It will be the debut appearance of the Lightning, and the first time the public have seen it since it arrived in the UK earlier this month.

Keep on reading!

Hundreds of students and staff defiantly march through Sheffield demanding fair pensions

See it published: Forge Press. This was a lead story in the print paper.

Scenes of defiance, anger and determination erupted across Sheffield City Centre today as hundreds of students and striking lecturers marched in unity against cuts to staff pensions.

Keep on reading!

Students, locals and lecturers rally together in defiant show of solidarity outside Firth Court

See it published for Forge Press. This was featured as a splash in print.


Flares, passionate chants and dancing were on show outside Firth Court today as hundreds of students, lecturers and local people rallied together in support of the UCU strike.

Keep on reading!

Green Party leader calls Vice Chancellor’s salary “obscene”

See this published for Forge Press. This made the front page in print.

Caroline Lucas has called the salary of the University’s Vice-Chancellor Keith Burnett “obscene” and supported the striking Sheffield lecturers whilst visiting the city.

Keep reading…

The Landmark Legal Challenge to Universal Credit System Explained

See it published on RightsInfo here. Shared over 300 times on social media.

A controversial new social security benefit, currently being rolled out across the UK, is facing a major legal challenge. But what’s the challenge all about and what impact might it have? 

Keep reading…

A Cabinet Reshuffle Can’t Change Careless People: A Window on Dead Modern Britain From The Failed Generation

See it published on HuffPost. This piece was promoted to the front of the Politics page Huffpost UK website, reaching millions of readers.

Most national websites offer similar advice for bloggers, centred around being specific; keeping the subject narrow. But when everyone does this, we can lose a broader perspective. You could say that’s for books and docs, but come on let’s be realistic – I’m a uni student.

Keep reading…

A Labour Party in pieces

See it published

We all knew that there would be a political fall out in the event of a Brexit, but we never expected it to be this sudden and extreme. The Labour Party is crumbling before our eyes, disintegrating into chaos, and its very own leader is at the epicentre of it all.

Keep on reading!

Jo Cox, the “wonderful woman”

See it published

It’s easy to get carried away with the events of recent weeks, but today we were reminded of the harsh reality of the democracy that we live in. Jo Cox was only 41, elected last year as Labour MP for the North Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen. She was a wife, mother of two children and had the world at her feet. As we’ve seen today, her light burned too bright for some to handle, but some lights cannot be extinguished.

Keep on reading!

EU Ref: Interview with Julie Girling MEP

I filmed this interview with Julie Girling, MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, following an EU debate in North Devon.

This was published for polify.co.uk, a brand new local political engagement project, designed to reach out to all demographics, especially young people, using modern, unique, and innovative methods.

Short Film: RNLI Lifeguards

I voluntarily shot this short film for North Devon Moving Image in September 2014 to showcase the brilliant work of the work the RNLI Lifeguards do nationally. This was filmed on one morning at Croyde Beach and I also composed the music. Please give it a watch and share!

Busy bank holiday weekend for ambulance crews in North Devon

See this published

This was an exclusive story. After thinking of the idea and contacting SWASFT, I wrote it for local title the North Devon Gazette and produced a radio report for my hourly news bulletins on The Voice commercial radio.

Emergency ambulances were sent out around North Devon almost 360 times across the bank holiday weekend, the Gazette can reveal.

South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) figures show 358 emergency responses from Saturday, August 25 to Bank Holiday Monday – a slight fall from 370 in 2017.

Across Devon the service responded to 1,797 calls, including 1,309 in the rural areas of North, East and West Devon combined.

A SWASFT spokesman said: “We experienced a busy long weekend, despite receiving fewer calls than we anticipated.”

There were 7,733 calls throughout the South West region – stretching from Wiltshire to Cornwall.

It is a six per cent decrease on the total number of calls in the August bank holiday last year, when the figure was 8,227 and Devon-wide saw 110 more incidents needing a response.

But the average of almost 2,600 emergency calls each day this year requiring an ambulance meant it was still a hectic weekend for paramedics.

It follows SWASFT’s campaign leading up to the August bank holiday to reduce unnecessary 999 calls, encouraging the public to call NHS 111 with non-life threatening issues.

“The reduced number of calls may have been in part down to our campaign,” the trust spokesman added.

 

Exclusive: North Devon cyclists fear decline of cycling despite Tour of Britain

See this published

This was an exclusive story. I was seeing plenty of positive coverage about the Tour of Britain coming to my home town (tourism boost, getting people into cycling, a spectacle etc), but I knew there was. another, less rosy, story deep down. So I went out, spoke to local cyclists and found it. Here it is published online and on my radio bulletins.

As the final potholes are filled for the Tour of Britain’s arrival on Monday, some North Devon cyclists have warned the ‘dangerous’ cracks in North Devon’s roads are causing the decline of grassroots cycling.

Teams of maintenance workers have been seen sprinkled along the tour’s Devon Stage route over recent weeks, racing against time to fill potholes before the cyclists arrive.

Devon County Council says the event will generate £5million for the county’s economy, but the Gazette has learned of a less rosy picture among the cyclists who see North Devon’s roads at their best – and worst.

Cyclist Andy Brock, who works at a North Devon bike shop, said: “The roads are getting worse and worse – it’s just dangerous and to avoid the potholes you often have to swerve onto the centre line, it’s so dangerous.”

The Raptor Racing member added: “We’re finding that most roads are deteriorating badly and they’re just not getting the funding they need. You get certain places like Stibb Cross near Bideford where the actual road condition is appalling, especially going downhill.”

Marten Gallagher, a cyclist from Torrington, said: “It’s certainly a shame that we suddenly buck up our ideas to make sure the roads are nice and smooth when we’ve got a cycle race. Let’s see it happen all the year round.

“It’s definitely putting people off of cycling in the grassroots, a lot of people, my two daughters for one, say that they won’t cycle on the road anymore.”

Devon last hosted the Tour in 2016, when 250,000 people were thought to line the route, and one in five came from outside the region.

Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for highways management, said the route was selected for low maintenance, or where it is already planned, so the cost has been kept low.

He said: “To put the costs into context the last Devon Stage to travel through North Devon in 2012 generated approximately £7.3m of extra spending in the county according to an independent report.

“This was a significant boost to Devon’s economy. This compares favourably to the £200,000 it costs the County Council to hold a typical Devon Stage.”

But Mr Gallagher disputed the economic case, saying: “If there’s an economic benefit to Devon from having the Tour of Britain come through it and because of that we can justify repairing the roads, then what about the economic benefit to the NHS and for the environment generally.

“In pure monetary terms for the NHS, in terms of people keeping fit and reducing our demands on that service, what about paying us back for that, in the same way.”

Featuring the likes of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, the 174.9km Devon stage will finish on The Strand in Barnstaple before travelling around the country ahead of the grand finale in London on Sunday, September 9.

Mr Brock, who works at a North Devon bike shop, added: “It’s not like you want to smash every Strava segment, but actually you can’t ride at a safe certain pace because of the potholes, and as soon as it starts getting wet it’s treacherous – you don’t know how deep that pothole puddle is so you’re starting to move across the road in reduced visibility”

“The A377 is really bad, you’ve pretty much got to ride in the middle of the road. It’s a massive knock on effect with repairs if you hit a pothole.”

Several cyclists that the Gazette spoke to said the roads in France and Italy are worlds apart from North Devon.

Mr Gallagher also said the Tarka Trail was ‘bloody dangerous and not being repaired’, so he feels no choice but to use the roads from Barnstaple to Torrington to avoid the track.

“The main issue for me is that the potholes at the edge of the road, where cyclists have to cycle, don’t seem to get treated with the priority they deserve, simply because they don’t fit in with the depth requirements that are aimed at cars,” he added.

Summer feast for foodies on the North Devon coast

See this published

North Devon’s wildest foodies are set to stage a summer feast on the rugged rocks of Morte Point this weekend.

Looking across cliff tops, beaches and valleys, foodies will tuck into a seafood stew over an open fire following a valley walk on Sunday (July 15) and revel in dessert from the heights of Bennett’s Mouth.

The ‘one-of-a-kind’ evening is a joint venture between The National Trust and successful local caterers Seadog Foods, which began in 2016, aiming to celebrate the coast and its community.

Seadog Foods has gone from strength to strength since it was established in North Devon five years ago with a street food approach, winning ‘Best of the Best’ at the 2015 British Street Food Awards and making the bill at Glastonbury and Bestival.

Sunday’s event will also feature sea shanty band Anchors Aweleigh, and foodies’ creative streaks will be unleashed in live painting and wood demos.

Peter Cousin from the National Trust said: “Seadog was the perfect partner to bring these foodie events to life as like us, they are committed to creating a sustainable future for food production.

“In North Devon, the National Trust is carefully managing their land to remain agriculturally productive and better for nature.

“We have been looking after beautiful areas across North Devon including Bennett’s Mouth and the Kipscombe, so it will be looked after forever, for everyone.

“These events will be a great occasion to celebrate these surrounds as well as the fantastic produce from the local area.”

The pair team up for another event on August 10 and 11 at Kipscombe Farm on Exmoor, with a long table barn feast, spiced with local ingredients and continuing into the evening with camping and campervan pitches.

Jim Coslett, co-manager of Seadog Foods, said: “Beth and I are really looking forward to creating a unique, intimate dining experience at these amazing secluded locations.

“We’re really happy to be working with the National Trust to showcase some of their best land and we’re confident it’ll be the ultimate foodie experience for everyone involved.”

Limited tickets are still available for Sunday’s event, beginning at 2pm in Mortehoe, for £40 by emailing seadogfoods@outlook.com.

 

Trump protest set to hit Barnstaple

See this published

Barnstaple will join nationwide shows of defiance to Donald Trump this evening (Friday) in its very own protest against the US President’s visit.

Organised by Stand Up to Racism North Devon, the rally will be held from 5-7pm in The Square.

Nearly 250 people have said they are going or interested in the Facebook event, protesting against the President having been invited by the Government on a three-day working visit to the country.

It forms part of dozens of rallies across the country, including protests planned tonight in Exeter, Plymouth and Totnes and thousands took to the capital’s streets today.

The President arrived in the country yesterday and following a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace last night, he today met Prime Minister Theresa May at Chequers and the Queen at Windsor Castle.

The working visit falls short of the state visit that was initially proposed, but it has not stopped protesters expressing their anger – with a 20ft tall ‘Trump Baby’ flying above Parliament Square today.

Dave Clinch, a member of the Stand Up to Trump group, said: “Some say the office of the president should be respected, but that does not mean you have to respect the person who is President.

“It’s appalling that he should have been invited. Today’s protests have been big so far, and anti-racists in Barnstaple will add their voice too.”

Michele Jayne, who is attending tonight, said: “North Devon is an open and tolerant community, and I march to support all the people who are marginalised by Trump.”