Can’t you just tell that the Camper Van Cook and #2MinuteBeachClean man, Martin Dorey, is a writer? I’m fair swooning over these lovely, full responses. Martin is very keen on keeping beaches clean; he even got the idea onto the telly! He did say I could edit this, by the way, but there’s nothing wrong with an occasional ‘rant’, especially when it is with good cause.
- What sentiment do you feel sums up Christmas 2015 for you?
This year it’s all about home. Although this will be our 3rd Christmas at this address (and our 19th in the area) it hasn’t felt like home until recently because of the state of our house! So now we’ve got renovations almost done, we’re hosting my family, I’m cooking and we can’t wait. It also means we get to do our first Xmas day swim and don’t have to go anywhere. Bude has long felt like ‘home’ ever since I first came to surf here in the mid-eighties, but this year we nail it. We’ve got a bunch of old friends coming for New Year too – it’ll be chaos. Homely chaos.
- What’s your favourite carol or piece of Christmas music and why?
I’m a sucker for the “Now That’s What I call Christmas” album, but only on Christmas morning after a glass of wine when I’ve got my arm up a turkey. Any other time and it’s out of order. But if I was forced to choose a single track off it, then I’d go for Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’. Now that we know what we know, the video is a cracking piece of high camp, too…lovely.
- What do you feel has been the best event/thing to happen in Bude this year?
I really enjoyed Bude For Food. It was great to attend, lovely to sit out on the lawns with a pint and a bowl of street food enjoying the atmosphere, and fantastic to be asked to cook (although pressure to do something interesting for the ‘home’ crowd). I’ve been to lots of food festivals over the years and Bude For Food is easily one of the best. Congrats to the organisers and to everyone for making it so brilliant.
- What would you like to see happen in Bude in 2016?
Sorry for the forthcoming rant, but I’d like to see a dog poo free Bude. If it’s ok with the dog owners of Bude I’d also like to not have to pick up anyone else’s poo bag in Bude in 2016. Almost every time I go to the beach to do a #2minutebeachclean I end up picking up someone’s dog bags that they have left with no thought for anyone or anything but themselves. You go to the beach to enjoy the lovely walk and yet it’s somehow ok to allow your dog bags to foul it up. What is it with that? It’s worse than not picking it up in the first place. There are lots of dog owners in Bude who pick up and dispose of their bags properly (and a #bigupbude to them) but there are also a lot who don’t and they should be ashamed of themselves. It is beyond me how people think it’s ok to use a bag and then leave it somewhere other than a dog bin. It’s NOT.
- What Christmas greeting would you like to give to the people of Bude?
Happy Christmas! Thanks for having us and for allowing us to feel settled and properly at home. We hope everyone gets to enjoy ‘home’ as much as we do.
- Which person/people/group do you most admire in Bude?
I’ve got a lot of time for Emily Currie. She’s such a nice, friendly girl and seems to have a really positive attitude. And she’s always up for a chat in the water – even though she hardly knows me. She’s a great surfer too. I hope she goes far.
Also, gotta chuck in a mention to Ado. Without his inspiring work the #2minutebeachclean would never have happened here in the way it did. What he has achieved through hard graft is so impressive. Makes you realise you can make things happen if you roll up your sleeves and get on with it. Whinging doesn’t change the world. Direct action does.
Oh, and another. Mini Fry, of course. He’s been a bit of a personal hero ever since I saw him do a mass rescue of a whole class of school kids on Summerleaze in the early nineties. It’s something I never forgot. As a surfer, I could see what was happening but felt so useless. It has inspired me to keep up my swim times, get the kids involved with surf life saving and, in turn, get my surf lifeguard award and level 1 coaching and help out with training the next generation.
- Do you have a heartwarming real life story from your work this year to share?
If there’s anything, it would have to be how much the people of Bude have contributed to the #2minutebeachclean project in the last 12 months, perhaps without even realising it. From a simple idea for a ‘beach cleaning station’ that Kim Stevens came up with in the summer of 2014, the #2minutebeachclean beach clean stations have been a huge success. Rosie’s hosted the first trial station at Crooklets (paid for by Surfdome and Keep Britain Tidy’s Beachcare Project), and Tom and his brilliant staff dutifully looked after it for us. After that, Ado secured funding for stations at Widemouth and Black Rock from Richard at Norton Barton Wind Turbine Trust, which the lifeguards and Black Rock Café looked after. Then Trev’s Taxis sponsored the board for Summerleaze, with the Tourist Office looking after it in the season and now Life’s A Beach stepping up to be our new hosts.
Since the success of the pilot at Crooklets we’ve been able to send signs all over Cornwall and Devon – and are working with the council to try and get them on as many beaches as possible – and are about to launch 8 in Dorset. There are also 20 of them in Ireland and we are expecting another 80 to be ordered for Ireland’s Blue Flag Beaches (they help applicants tick boxes for the Blue Flag). We are also launching six #2minutelitterpick stations with Dartmoor National Park Authority early next year and are expecting to be part of the BBC’s Springwatch volunteer campaign in 2016 (more on that later).
After our trial station was on Crooklets for 12 months we were able to use stats from CR*P beach cleaning group to work out that they collected 61% less marine litter on Crooklets in the 12 months that the station was in use compared with the previous 12 months. You could argue there may be lots of reasons for this but we count it as a BIG win. The whole idea is to have less rubbish on the beach and that has been proven. So whether it’s the sign doing its thing or encouraging people to roll their sleeves up or just a rise in the level of awareness and participation thanks to people like Ado, Ian Saltern and Deb Rosser, it’s great news.
It also proves that Bude cares and is willing to embrace positive ideas – like the 2 Minute Beach Clean and the Sea Pool Water Project – with gusto. I feel very proud that the #2minutebeachclean is turning into a global movement and it all started with a collective effort here in Bude. That’s pretty heart warming. In fact, for me it’s lump in throat time! So thanks to anyone who hosted our signs, spread the word, posted their pictures to Instagram, picked up anything off the beach or just supported with positivity.
You made it happen! Bude rocks.
- Is there a particular group of people in and around Bude that you’d like to #BigUp – draw attention to? Are there any unsung heroes out there?
There are plenty. I’ve got involved a bit with coaching at the Surf Life Saving Club this summer so I have come into contact with a few of the juniors. Young people get a bad rap these days but I want to counter that and say that I think the kids at the surf club are epic. They work hard and are great kids. It’s a testament to the town, school, surf club and the way of life here. They’ve got great skills, too.
- If you could change one thing in Bude what would it be?
I find this really difficult to answer because it’s the way of the world and I am as guilty as the next person. But I think it’s a shame we rely on supermarkets so much. I think Bude has a reasonably healthy circular economy but it could be so much better. The supermarkets do provide much-needed employment – and the lure of cheaper stuff – but their profits don’t end up in Bude. And they use so much unnecessary plastic packaging that can’t be recycled – that’s a big bugbear. A banana in a bag, sweet corn in a plastic tray or a cucumber wrapped in plastic? That’s just stupid.
Having said all that, it’s hard to beat the convenience for people like me who work full time and usually end up nipping out at 7 or 8 to get that night’s dinner. So, that’s why it’s tricky, because it’s the same for all of us, and I wish it wasn’t so. We love shopping locally and do so as much as possible, but it’s not always as convenient.
So how about we had a locally owned, 100% packaging free supermarket? That’d be fantastic. Would anyone use it? Tricky.
- If you could preserve one thing in Bude what would it be?
The guys and girls at the Post Office! It’s like stepping back in time to another age – and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I overheard a visitor in the summer saying to her daughter, “This is what Post Offices were like when I was a child,” while waiting in the queue. I thought, “damn right, and don’t let it ever change”.
If appearing ‘old fashioned’ means you get good service, a smile and knowledgeable staff, then I’m all for it. Long may we live in that kind of past. It’s a rare thing.
Thanks, Martin, for some really thoughtful answers – and yes, those folks in the post office are amazing. Always cheerful and positive even in the most aggravating of circumstances! Well done. A #BigUp to them!