S4E12 Dionne John
Somerset Stories goes glam, with the current Mrs Somerset Galaxy – Dionne John. As an advocate and campaigner for heart health awareness, Dionne has represented Somerset at multiple pageants over the last five years, and has used her position to raise awareness and funds for local causes and cancer charities. She’s due to compete at the UK final at the end of November, and we chatted earlier this month about her journey, her charity work, and her own family life.
S4E11 Cindi & Chas Barnstable
This week we meet Cindi and Chas Barnstable, the mother and daughter duo at the head of Somerset leather goods institution, Owen Barry. Following in the heritage and footsteps of generations of leather specialists in their family Cindi and Chas continue to produce top quality goods for an international market. As a member of Leather UK, The trade association for the UK leather industry – they’ve also been featured in a recent publication – The Art of Leather. We chatted last month, and talked about keeping things in the family, and the history of tanning and leather goods production in Somerset.
S4E10 Freya Mitton
Freya Mitton is an independent art dealer, with a specialism in 20th Century British Art. Having spent a decade in charge of the Modern British sales department at Sotheby’s in London, Freya works from her home on the edge of the Mendips. Exhibiting at art fairs around the country, Her aim is to sell great quality paintings by established artists, and she is passionate about helping clients find and acquire art works which they can enjoy in their homes and lives.
S4E9 Mike Dean
Our guest this week has made a career out of turning his own knowledge and passion for history into relatable, human stories – first as a teacher, then as a tour guide, and finally, as an author. Mike Dean has written books about Bath, and Somerset, which give a window into the rich history of the area, but condensed into simple chapters, and explained in layman’s terms. Having spent all his life in the West country, Mike is now sharing his enthusiasm for the area, with visitors and locals alike.
S4E8 Caroline Corr
A very special guest for the podcast's 50th episode is Caroline Corr, a member of Ireland’s most famous musical family, and one quarter of the band that shares their name - The Corrs. Combining traditional folk music with popular and rock influences, The Corrs have sold over 40 million albums worldwide, including the multi-platinum, Talk on Corners, which ranks in the UK charts as of the most successful albums of all time.
S4E7 Victoria Humphries
We reach the half way point in Season 4, bringing you an interview with polar adventurer Victoria Humphries. As part of the first ever all-female expedition to the North Pole, Victoria went through staggering physical and mental endurance, as well as a near-death experience. Since that adventure she's been back to the Arctic, ran marathons, climbed Kilimanjaro, and attempted other feats of stamina. We chatted through her life lessons and how she uses these to motivate and inspire the people she speaks to through her work.
S4E6 Jemma Warren
As we approach the traditional carnival season, my guest this week has been part Vagabonds, of one of the county’s well known clubs from a young age. Jemma Warren has also spent over ten years as one of the minority of Somerset’s female lorry drivers. While we’re in the middle of an HGV driver supply crisis in the UK, we chatted last month about her journey towards being a driver, some of the prejudices we face, and just how difficult it is to drive a carnival cart!
S4E5 Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Somerset Stories gets our heads in the clouds... as we meet advocate and evangelist for one of nature’s most transient and poetic displays. Gavin Pretor-Pinney founded the Cloud Appreciation Society around 15 years ago after a career in the creative industries. He has united tens of thousands of people around the world with a passion for clouds. Along with this global community, he has also written books on the subject, and spoken to a wide range of audiences, from literary festivals to TED talks.
S4E4 Dr Grace Alexander
Somerset Stories meets consultant clinical psychologist, writer, flower grower and seed merchant – Grace Alexander. Keeping extremely busy through writing several psychology books during lockdown, building a successful community around the slow flower moment, and publishing her first gardening book, Grace brings a thoughtful and profoundly truthful perspective to all of life’s complexities. On a personal note, Grace was one of the first people I discovered when looking to launch the podcast. Our conversation covers off so many areas I find deeply interesting about our minds and approach to life, and as such, it was a delight to interview her for this episode. I hope you enjoy listening.
S4E3 Simon Parkin
Somerset Stories meets Simon Parkin a professional broadcaster who has been informing and entertaining audiences through radio and TV for over thirty years.
With a career that’s seen him in The Children's BBC Broom Cupboard, Top of the Pops, and GMTV, as well as a whole host of radio shows, his voice is well known up and down the county to BBC Radio Somerset listeners.
Our chat includes a great trip down memory lane, and discussing about supporting the local community during the pandemic.