Characters in the World of Country Life

Characters in the World of Country Life Picture 1Characters in the World of Country Life Picture 2

When asked for images of “country life,” Google provides the following responses:

Hence the surprise many visitors experience when visiting the World of Country Life tourist attraction in Exmouth to find it full of motorcycles, 18th century transport vehicles, and South American fuzzy creatures. In fact, the background characters that populate World of Country Life with such seemingly incongruous exhibits are themselves as intriguing as the scenes they produce. The World of Country Life is a superbly valuable day-out because of the diversity of activities that it offers. But it’s also the superbly delightful setting for a curious mix of characters, stories, and unusual opportunities.

                World of Country Life was conceived in 1978 by a farmer with an affinity for “unusual machines.” He devoted a barn to transport vehicles ranging from fire trucks to miniature sports cars. As he aged his collection widened. He devoted more farm to carburettors than cows. Eventually, he left farming completely to create a museum, the World of Country Life. Maybe the farmer recognised the common association with “country” and “animal,” because they including petting zoos with their planes. Yet these were true to his penchant for the absurd: He included wallabies, cockatoos, and other expatriates in his cages.

                As they say, Birds of a feather flock together, so it’s no surprise that an outside contributor named Red took a liking to the World of Country Life. Reg kept a huge collection of motorcycles, an affinity he developed as a mosquito engineer during war times and speedway racer during peace. So the farmer converted another of his barns to storing the man’s motorcycles, antiquated and modern, quick and slow. Reg visits World of Country Life two or three times a week. He threw is 93rd birthday party at the location. Grinning, he rode up on a vintage Harley Davidson.

                Like Reg, many staff find their way to World of Country Life for their love of unusual machines. Take Graham, who doesn’t really have a title because he spends his days leading tours, crafting projects for special events, befriending parents and parakeets, and other significant tasks that keep visitors and staff smiling. “I love my job because I get to do something different every day,” he explains. “There is such diversity here.” In the past Graham was an engineer. Now he turns his penchant for construction to “making quirky things” like re-creations of Star Wars characters for Star Wars Day on May 4th. His other favourite duty is coming up with clever slogans like “May the 4th be with you” and blending animal names with event themes. What’s more country than that?

                With such a host of unique characters on-grounds day in and day out, it’s no wonder World of Country Life calls other idiosyncratic visitors to the location for special events. One regular visitor is the Exmouth Town Crier, a tall, white-bearded, jovial man wearing a feather plume, buckled shoes, silk stockings, and wielding a bell. He explains that being anointed Town Crier is a job for life, earning him £5.44 weekly. He details his obligations: “The Town Crier is a fellow with a bell, conch, shell, or trumpet. His job is to announce the opening of events. In the past he was not so welcomed. When royalty raised taxes on the illiterate people living in their hamlets, they sent the Town Crier out to notify the people. Criers shouted, ‘New tax to pay! New tax to pay!’” Guess what this Town Crier did before he retired to the speaking circuit? “I was a maker of unusual machines,” he smiles.

Visit the World of Country Life on the App for Devon. It’s listed under “Attractions” and near the town of “Exmouth” when using the “Near Me” function.

Contact Details

World of Country Life
Westdown Lane