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Behind Green Doors

PUBLISHED: 17:25 21 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:44 20 February 2013

sally hurst old bag co

sally hurst old bag co

A couple of miles from Kingsbridge in the village of Churchstow is South Hams Business Park. Inside the utilitarian green units can be found some of the most enterprising and innovative businesses in Devon. Trudy Turrell knocks on some doors

A couple of miles from Kingsbridge in the village of Churchstow is South Hams Business Park. Inside the utilitarian green units can be found some of the most enterprising and innovative businesses in Devon. Trudy Turrell knocks on some doors

The Old Bag Company

It was Bantham beach that inspired a whole new business for mum-of-five Sally Hurst. As she sat surrounded by plastic bags bulging with beach paraphernalia, Sally thought there must be a better solution. That night she went home and designed a well-thought-out multi-pocketed beach bag... and The Old Bag Company was born.

Like a woman, my bags are multi-tasking, says Sally

Like a woman, my bags are multi-tasking, says Sally, as she shows me the waterproof inside, special pockets for a wet swimsuit, flip flops and even a bottle of wine. Sally went on to design handbags that double as work, shopping and gym bags, then baby bags, cool bags, cosmetic bags and purses. Her designs have been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire, The Sunday Telegraph and Daily Mail. The Duchess of Cambridge even owns one! Each range is named after one of Sallys five children the latest line after Burtie the dog!

Red Earth Kitchen

Next time you are short on time to cook and faced with an uninspiring frozen ready meal, Red Earth Kitchen offers an appealing alternative. Slow-cooked beef casserole with grainy mustard dumplings, fish pie with peas, sticky choccy pudding or seasonal fruit crumbles have all been created by Cordon Bleu-trained cook Linda Burgess to offer nutritious home-cooked meals for the time-tarved.
Linda (pictured right) was working for a local estate agent when long-time family friend James Marshall asked her to make some pies and ready meals for his newly opened Red Earth Deli in Kingsbridge. Demand soon outgrew her kitchen at home as she supplied delis in Kingsbridge and beyond with salads, pies, quiches and increasingly popular frozen meals.
I feel its so important to support local producers, and with the highest quality local meat, fish and vegetables nearby theres no reason to go further, explains Linda.
For a taste of Red Earth Kitchen foods, you can see Linda at Totnes Good Food Market, Bovey Tracey Farmers Market or buy direct from Red Earth Deli in Kingsbridge.

Quba & Co

In their design studio, where sewing machines whirr on the floor above, Managing Director Jim Hartley recalls how he and friend Will Bees started stitching jackets from sails discarded when yachts were refitted. Working in a barn above Lincombe Creek boatyard in Salcombe, the jackets and bags funded their summers.
The durable but funky products soon had a following, and customers loved the fact that each garment had a previous life. Well travelled and weathered by salt spray and wind, each was unique and offered the chance to take a piece of Salcombe home.
Over time Jim and Will built upon the uniqueness of the sailcloth products. Craftsmanship, individuality and a gently weathered look created a whole nautical-inspired clothing line. Jim designs many of the clothes, with a real eye for attention to detail. Sailcloth jackets and bags are still very popular and customers can even design their own online, featuring a memorable date or initials to make a very personal product.
And for those who wish to really wear a piece of history, Quba are cutting up the sails from Robin Knox Johnstons Suhaili in which he sailed single-handed round the world in 1968, or Ellen Mcarthurs yacht, from which a percentage of the proceeds go towards her trust for children with cancer.
Qubas warehouse opens its doors to the public with products at half price or less on Fridays.

Bananashark Boats & Racing

Even on its frame in an industrial unit, sitting deep in the dark cockpit of the new Stirling 34 racing powerboat gives you a thrill. Looking out along the incredibly long bow, it doesnt take much imagination to visualise the speed and roar of the 520hp engines as it lifts off the water to cruise at 70mph.
For John Cooke (right) and Kevin Stephens, designing and building such jaw-dropping craft is all in a days work, and for John racing them
is part of the job, too. Amongst other powerboat racing accolades, he was Formula 1 UK rib champion in 1995, so knows just how the craft should look and perform. On August Bank Holiday Sunday you can witness the Stirling 34 in all its racing colours race in the World Cup championship from Torquay to Cowes and back. But dont blink or youll miss it!

Endurance Life

If challenging yourself to seven marathons or crossing the county in two days on bike, foot and by kayak sounds like fun, Endurance Life is there to make it happen. Started in Kingsbridge by a small team of multisporters who love trail running, mountain biking, open water kayaking and more, Endurance Life offers people the chance to try endurance-based challenges in stunning locations.
Gary Joliffe (above) left Kingsbridge to study sports science, work in London then travel the world, but returned to the South Hams so that he could run, bike and kayak in some of the most inspiring locations he knew. Now he and his team organise the challenges year-round in Devon and beyond, attracting men and women with adventurous, athletic streaks to challenge themselves against others and the terrain.
This September will be the 8th annual Coast to Coast challenge, a 140-mile crossing of Devon from the North to South coast in two days by mountain bike, trail running and kayaking the River Dart. Its tough stuff, but for Gary and his team, organising challenges can be more exhausting than participating.
Whether its a large event, or the new Trailblaze route along the coast path from Plymouth to Dartmouth, which enables runners to time their mileage using electronic checkpoints along the way, Endurance Life aim for minimal impact upon the environment. With rugged coast, two moors, fast rivers and sea, our coast and countryside provides a challenging personal workout.

Triocean Surf

With Banthams surf beach just down the road, ex-policeman and keen surfer Dave Grover (below) decided his unit at South Hams Business Park was the perfect place to sell and hire boards, wetsuits and more. So, with business partner Neil Girling, Triocean Surf was born. Triocean combines the sale of blanks with a surfboard repair service and the sales and hire of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.
Dave and his staff offer expert advice on the right equipment to buy or hire from beginners to pros. Ever busy, Dave still makes time to surf daily and keep up his fitness.

The Wolf Rock Boat Company

Founder of Wolf Rock Paul McCarthy spent his childhood holidays playing in boats on the River Avon at Bantham, and his father, Richard, was a founder member of the Aune Valley Ski Club. Later, after a career waterskiing nationally and internationally, and working for Channel 4, Paul moved back to Bantham to establish The Wolf Rock Boat Company, which stocks a selection of new, ex-display and second-hand boats RIBS.
I know how precious time is to people who have a heavy workload. They just want to be able to get in their boat and turn the key, not spend time with their heads under the engine cover. Its got to be as stress-free as possible. So many boats dont get used because they are too big and too much hassle, says Paul.


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