Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Burns' Supper

About fifty people gathered last night in the convivial atmosphere of The Olde Plough for the annual Burns' Supper, organised by Rob Smith.
He welcomed the guests, some of whom were in Scottish national dress, before giving the Selkirk Grace.
Tattie Soup was the first course on the menu, which was followed by a series of appropriate musical items by members of the audience.
The haggis was piped in and Ross gave the Address to the Haggis before the main course was served. It was, of course, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties.
More entertainment followed before the Tipsy Laird Trifle was served.
There were several toasts during the evening: Gordon proposed a Toast to the Lassies and Lizzie replied to this. Andy Stewart gave a recitation of Holy Willie's Prayer and Patrick gave an amusing toast to The Immortal Memory before coffee, cheese and oatcakes.
The evening was concluded with a rousing rendition of 'Flower of Scotland' and 'Auld Lang Syne'.
Contributors to the evening included Rob and Lesley, Ferrers Reel, Clive, Mike, Seth, Bruce, Jane H and Jane M.
Clive, Mike and Rob in fine voice.

Photos: Mike Grimshaw

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Watersports Day Date Announced

The date of Watersports this year will be Saturday 16th July, starting at 3pm. Apparently there are three teams already confirmed for the games, so if you want to enter a team, do it soon!

Otter Seen in the Tavy

An otter was seen in the estuary of the Tavy today by Trevor Grinstead. He said  'All the years I've spent on this river, never seen one here before. Amazing sight!'
Trev was driving along the causeway when he saw the animal's head swimming close by. 'I stopped at the Quay and watched it swim along. It was looking at the beach but there were a couple of swans there so it moved along the top of the bank opposite the Quay towards the river. It  swam into the stream channel back up to the beach. It ran up the beach, across the road, through Robin Musgrave's and into the marsh!'
Trev has reported the sighting to the Devon Wildlife Trust.

Pictures of Bere Ferrers

These pictures were taken on Tuesday by Rebecca Catterall from the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership.

Cold Weather Back

After a week or so of miserable, damp, rainy weather, the cold stuff has returned. The last couple of days have been cold and sunny, with clear blue skies and yesterday we had thick fog in the early morning.
As I write this, the moonlight is highlighting the heavy frost. All the cars are covered in thick frost, so it will be out with the de-icing spray and scrapers. Yesterday morning many people found ice inside their car!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Tamar Valley Line

At a meeting of the Tamar Valley Line Forum today it was reported that passenger figures for the line for 2010 were up again. The final figure is not due until next week, but it is expected to be around 165,000 for the year.
There were no closures of the line for maintenance and none are due this year.
More refurbishment at the station is due to be done by students from the University of Plymouth in March.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Music Sessions Resume

The Tuesday Jam Sessions resumed at the Plough after the Christmas break. There were a few guest musicians from over the water at Calstock, plus the regulars from the village. There were contributions from Mike, Tilly, Clive, Bruce and Carol and Lizzie.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Bere Ukes Celebrate First Birthday

Last night, at a private party in the church hall, the Bere Ukes celebrated their first year as a group. Everyone brought food and drink and the hall was set out in a bistro setting with the sound equipment at one end.
After a super meal (and a few drinks), founder members Ann Jeffries, Monica Mitchell and Penny Grimshaw sang 'Happy Birthday', followed by Mike Grimshaw cutting the ukelele birthday cake.
The Ukes then gave rousing renditions of several songs before individual sessions featuring solo, duo and group contributions. The complete ensemble finished off the night with several encores.
One of the group sessions.

More details and photos will be available on the Bere Ukes website soon. Use the link at the bottom of the blog.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Panto Debrief

At the debrief meeting at the Club tonight, various points about the panto were discussed. It was announced that an overall profit of £241.61 was realised after all costs were paid, including £200 to the Lighting Project.
The money will be banked for use at the next panto.

Spring Flower Show

The Spring Flower Show will take place in the church hall on Saturday 26th March.

Pub Open Again

The pub has re-opened after a short post-Christmas break. This enabled Sarah and Ted and their staff to give the pub a good clean, finish off the windows, remove the mantlepiece and fix the menu board over the fireplace.
Sarah has replaced the material in some of the seats and settle with a brighter cloth.  To be done is the fixing of a shelf where the menu board used to be so that customers can move away from the bar.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Bad Weather in Bere

There is a strong south-westerly blowing this morning, with a warning of heavy rain later. There are spots in the air already. The tide is high at the Quay.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Excellent Wassail!

The annual wassail was held tonight in the church hall and the orchard. A willing crowd gathered in the hall, where they were entertained by a couple of dances from Dartmoor Border Morris, welcome visitors to the wassail every year.
Dartmoor Border Morris
Following this, Clive Charlton gave a comprehensive description of the origins of wassailing and what it entails. He then invited everyone to 'process' to the orchard for the short ceremony. Led by the Tavy Tars singing a wassailing song, the assemblage walked to the orchard under clear skies.
The Tavy Tars lead the way to the orchard
A bonfire was burning in the orchard and some people gathered round it to warm up. There was more singing, before the traditional banging of tins, trays, etc. to frighten away evil spirits.
Slices of toast were attached to branches to encourage birds to the trees to eat any pests. The group returned to the hall for hot pasties and cider or apple juice. The Tars sang a couple of songs before the Dartmoor Border Morris finished off with four more dances. A collection was held in aid of Devon Air Ambulance. Thanks were given to Brian Lamb and his team for an excellent evening.


Friday, 7 January 2011

A Good Night at the Club

'Twas a good night at the Club tonight! There was lots going on - a darts match was in full flight, the pool table was busy all night, but most importantly it was the birthday of Keith Blackhurst's mother, Sheila. There were plenty of presents and a tasty Victoria sponge cake.
It was good to see the club buzzing!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Dreary January Weather

Oh, bring back those crisp December days, with clear blue skies, a chill in the air and the crispy crunch of snow underfoot! Now we have dreary January weather - grey, damp days, sometimes with rain, that make old bones ache and dull the mind.
Still, the Art Group has started its winter term and Mrs Ferret and I bowled along there on Tuesday with our art bits and had a go at a Dartmoor watercolour. We enjoyed ourselves and the company and will be signing up for the full stretch next week.
The Social Club was busy tonight, with the Annual General Meeting of the Red Herring Club, a meeting to finalise details for the Wassailing on Saturday, plus a merry band of villagers playing darts and pool. The pub is shut for the week, so it's not surprising that there was a bit more activity in the club!
Thanks to those people who have commented on the posts or given feedback on the blog. Constructive comment is always welcome!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Result from the Carol Singing

I've heard from Christine Poole, who organised the Carol Singing around the village before Christmas. She says: 'Caroline and David hosted the warm-up with mulled wine and mince pies and The Olde Plough thawed us out with their generosity.  A dozen people braved the freezing cold to sing, Carol Horner played the concertina until her fingers wouldn't move any more and Finnley ran around knocking at doors and encouraging donations.  A total of £155.60 was raised for the very worthwhile charity, Children's Hospice South West. Thanks to everyone who contributed.'

Monday, 3 January 2011

Here We Go A-wassailing!

The annual wassailing takes place in the orchard and the church hall this Saturday. Let's hope we have better weather than last year, when it rained. Dartmoor Morris will be on hand to sing and dance, as will the Tavy Tars (singing, not dancing!). Hot pasties and a hot drink will be on hand. Admission by ticket only, available from Margaret Willmott.
There will be a report after the event.

All Quiet in Bere Ferrers

It's been a quiet few days in the village and today is another public holiday. At least the sun's just come out after about a week of grey days. And there'll be a few more grey days soon, because the pub closes tomorrow until the evening of the 9th!!! Still, it'll give us time to get the alcohol out of our systems.
Although it's a holiday today, we're still expecting the refuse collectors through the village. They came to part of the village last Monday, which was also a holiday, but missed other parts. A disgruntled citizen phoned the rubbish company (no pun intended!) but no-one in authority was in the office. So he volunteered(!) to contact Radio Devon to broadcast an appeal for help; this had the desired result! Within ten minutes he received a call from a manager of the company and very shortly the rest of the village rubbish was collected!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Ring in the New!

In the time-honoured tradition, many villagers gathered at St Andrew's just before midnight to ring out the old and ring in the new, out with the old year and decade and in with the new. The church bells pealed as the merrymakers sang 'Auld Lang Syne' before returning to the pub for more merriment. Happy New Year everyone!