If you call in to the Custom House on the Quay, or talk to the nearby stallholders, you will get some insight into how the performance event has developed, what ideas have inspired the story, from the history of the Ship Canal and the serge wool industry, to current projects from flood defences to today's economy and current local wool use.
Exeter has had a quay since Roman times. During the 13th and 14th centuries, rival merchants built weirs across the river near Topsham to prevent cargoes reaching Exeter. Between 1564 and 1566 John Trew built the first stretch of the Exeter Canal to enable delivery of cargo closer to the city. The increase in trade led to the construction of the Custom House in 1680. Renowned for its sweeping staircase and ornate plaster ceilings, this beautiful building now houses a fascinating visitor centre.
The Custom House Visitor Centre provides tourist information, quayside treasure hunts, an accommodation booking service and a gift shop selling local pottery, replica maps and a wide range of local interest books. Quayside based Red Coat Guided Tours also depart from outside the Centre.
Inside you will find someone on hand to tell you more about its history and also a representative from the newly formed Friends of Exeter Ship Canal.
The Friends of Exeter Ship Canal work to conserve the historic canal for everyone to enjoy. We organise open-air volunteer work parties, we encourage boat users onto the waterway, we help to preserve the canal's heritage and stimulate interest in its future. We seek to keep the canal and its paths clean and pleasant for water users, walkers, families and wildlife. We arrange talks and social events.
The following stallholders will be on hand on the Quayside on the afternoon of 4th November (from 5pm) to talk to people about what they do.
Throughout the city's history the River Exe has brought pain to its occupants as well as economic growth. There are descriptions of floods destroying Exebridges from as far back as the 14th and 15th centuries. Serious flooding in the 1950s and 1960s led to the construction of the flood defences which have protected Exeter since the 1970s.
The Environment Agency, Exeter City Council and Devon County Council are working together on an ambitious city wide project to improve flood defences and reduce flood risk to Exeter by 2018. Their work will shortly bring them to the Quay where the history of this great city on the Exe continues to be shaped by the river's presence. Recognising the importance of this location to Exeter residents and to the local economy the project team have devised flood defences that work with the buildings and infrastructure on the quayside. They have also programmed the work to try and avoid the busiest times of year. To find out more about the project and how the Quay will be affected and protected come along and meet the team at their tent by the Customs House.
The Exeter Pound is a local currency designed to make sure money spent in Exeter stays in Exeter. It is like a voucher that can only be spent in local independent businesses. It is equal in value to sterling and people can buy £E1, £E5, £E10 & £E20 Exeter Pound notes at exchange points across the city.
Businesses have digital accounts to manage the paper money. We plan to add a fully digital Exeter Pound in 2016.
From fleeces to finished cloth and garments: Demonstrations of peg-loom weaving, spinning and knitting, a chance to learn more about the range of crafts that are based on wool.
There's fishy business going on at Wool on the Exe !
We're 'hooking up' with Theatre Alibi, to invite you to take part in a community project to benefit Knit for Peace - a London-based charity that matches charitable knitting with those in need. In February, Theatre Alibi will produce a play called 'Fish Eye'. We don't want to give the plot away, but it's safe to say that it involves knitting and fish-eye cameras and some pretty crafty sleuthing.
Our goal is to have 350 knitted and crocheted fish by mid-January that will then be distributed all around Exeter.
Meet some of the knitters, find out about 'Yarn Bombing' as a peaceful form of intervention! We will be having a knit-in on the Quayside, learn how to knit a fish - relevant to tonight's story!
As the centenary of the First World War continues, the Craft and Garden Marquee at Devon County Show 2017 is creating a carpet of handmade poppies as a tribute to the 11,000 Devon men and women who lost their lives in the First World War. The hand crafted poppies can be knitted , crocheted, made from lace, felt - anything other than paper. Anyone can contribute a poppy
Led by Deborah Custance Baker, this is a hand crafted poppy display and she is keen to meet and encourage other people to help create the knitted poppies. After the County Show they are going to Exeter Cathedral for Remembrance weekend and then will be sold in aid of the British Legion. Why not come along and see if you can add a poppy or two to the collection?
There will also be a box of poppies and a collecting tin for this year's Remembrance Sunday.