Monday, 30 May 2011

Villagers' Group AGM

The Villagers' Group AGM will be held on Thursday 30th June at 8pm in the Social Club. A full agenda will be advertised later, but there will be Elections for Officers, Treasurer's Report, Field Management Report, Railway Report and a Tennis Report.
There will be an opportunity to discuss the future of the zip slide, which has been temporarily closed due to rotted support timbers. Suggestions are requested on how the Group can raise sufficient funds to repair the slide.
There may be further items, but these must be given to the Secretary, Bev Slaughter, no later than Friday 24th June. No items will be discussed from the floor.
All villagers are welcome.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Celebrations for Norman's 90th Birthday

The pub was packed with villagers tonight as a surprise birthday party was held for Norman Grills, who was 90 today. Accompanied by his wife Christine, he was taken to the pub on the pretext of having a quiet drink with the family, to be met by a rousing chorus of 'Happy Birthday' by his friends.
Having kissed all the girls, he sat back and enjoyed the entertainment on hand. This was started by Syries Sirens, Ian and Lizzie, the Blaxton Band, ably assisted on one number by some Bere Ukes, Squandered Youth,  'Johnny Cash' (Nigel) and the Tavy Tars.
The family.
A beautiful cake with flaming candles was presented to Norman and he cut the cake before Robin Musgrave presented Christine with a gift as an appreciation of her 16 years as a Borough Councillor. Carole gave Norman a present (and a kiss!).
Kissing the girls!
Blaxton Band.

Tavy Tars.
Villagers enjoyed a tasty buffet supplied by Sarah and a slice of the excellent birthday cake.

Chris and Norm listen to 'Danny Boy'.
Here comes the cake.

Norman cuts the cake.

Norman receives a gift from Carole.
Robin presents Chris with her gift.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Film Crew Pick Worst Day of the Year

A film crew of 40 persons, so the Ferret understands, is in the village today filming a commercial for Dove men's cosmetics range. The filming, which was done on a small boat on the river, was hampered somewhat because the crew had picked the lowest tide of the year - and the weather was grey and drizzly!
One bystander said, There was not enough water in the river and the boat kept running aground. They couldn't have picked a worse day!'
Some of the crew were not used to the bracing Devon weather and repeatedly requested hot drinks - some even had hot water bottles!!

Photos by Martin Hawkins.

Plymouth University Students and Schoolchildren Write New Railway Book

University of Plymouth students and schoolchildren from Keyham launched a new book today all about the history of the Tamar Valley and its railway, the scenic Tamar Valley Line which links Plymouth with Bere Ferrers, Bere Alston and Gunnislake.  “Time Travelling Train on the Tamar Valley Line” takes readers on a tour of the Tamar Valley through the ages, from copper mining and market gardening to the Blitz and Beeching rail closures of the 1960s.

The Ferret attended the launch of the book at the AONB HQ in Gunnislake this morning, together with Clive Charlton, Stan Sherrell and John and Iris Snell, who have all given help with the book.

The book has been written, illustrated and published by students from the University of Plymouth working with pupils from Drake Primary School in Keyham.  Work on the book saw the schoolchildren visit the University and make two trips by train on the line, learning about the history of the Tamar Valley and its railway from local people. It has also provided a real opportunity for the university students to gain invaluable experience in the competitive world of publishing. 

 Rachel Gippetti, a creative writing student and the book’s author, said, “Writing the book has been a fantastic experience. Not only did I get to discover the fascinating stories of the Tamar Valley, but I have learnt all about writing and editing books which should be great preparation for life after University.”

The artwork for the book was done by Brendan Kearney, also a student at the University, who did this mammoth task while also doing his course work!

Rebecca Catterall from the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership said, “The Tamar Valley is full of rich history, beautiful locations and is easily accessible by train from Plymouth. We are hoping that this new book will encourage people to discover this gem on their doorstep.”

The book will be available to buy from local outlets or through the University of Plymouth Press on the University of Plymouth website
Rachel Gippetti (second left) and Brendan
Kearney (right)
Some of the children and others
involved in the book at Gunnislake.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Diary Dates

Sunday 24th July
Alpine House will be opening the garden in aid of St Luke's Hospice from 10am until 4pm. The admission is £2 and teas, coffee and cakes will be on sale. Plus, there may be some plants you might like to buy!

Saturday 30th July
Maggie Willmott will be doing the Midnight Walk again in Plymouth for St Luke's Hospice. It will be a 13 mile walk and she is looking for generous sponsors, so dig deep and support this worthwhile effort!

Saturday 10th September
Bere Ferrers W.I. will be holding a Recycle Sale in the Hazel Room, starting at 10am, so go along and recycle things, then have a coffee and a piece of cake in the cafe! Only new clothes and good quality items are required - no jumble!

Work and Play on the Allotments

The Allotment Association did some important work on the allotments last Sunday. The large water containers that store rainwater from the Social Club roof needed to be moved away from the club wall and reinstated on solid bases. A small band of workers completed the work in about an hour, half the time anticipated! The containers are all ready for use - all we need is a good downpour of rain!

After the work was completed, the workers enjoyed a barbecue in the late afternoon sun!
Maggie, Caroline and David relaxing.
Ken has a wee tipple.
Some of us have work to do.....!

Friday, 20 May 2011

'Suspicious Characters' Seen in the Village

A resident of the village has reported seeing 'suspicious characters' in the village this week.
On Tuesday nmorning, three youths and one girl were seen walking up Station Road in the direction of the station.  They were pausing outside houses and even stopped and took photos.  The villager made sure that they saw they were being watched and called the police. A policewoman came and took details, but there was no sign of the youths.  They were shaven headed, wearing bomber jackets and jeans.  The girl had long, straight blonde hair.  They may have been innocently sightseeing, but it is important to be aware that there are nasty people out there - be vigilant!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Network Rail Meeting

The protest group TRAM (Tamar Residents Against Masts) had a meeting with representatives from Network Rail yesterday about the three huge masts on the Tamar Valley Line.
Chairman Brian Lamb said, 'A meeting was held on 18 March between our Action group  and the Network Rail Project Team responsible for the location and design of the two 100 feet radio masts.
It was a helpful and informative meeting, followed by visits to a number of possible alternative locations.
The Project Team will now evaluate these other sites to ascertain their physical and technical viability, including live testing during overnight possessions using a special train. This should be achieved within three months.
They will then let us know their results and the next steps to achieve their requirements having considered our views.'

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Geordie's Gallery

Here are some photographs taken by our new village resident, Geordie, and thanks to him for sending them in.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Updating the Blog

The Ferret apologises for the lack of information recently but is away after a family bereavement in Norfolk. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

New Parish Council Signs In

The new Parish Council met for the first time tonight at the start of its four-year session. There were two new Councillors: Dr Neal Harmsworth and Richard Leithall, with two vacancies to be co-opted. Elections were held for officers for 2011-12. The results were as follows:
Chairman of Council: Cllr Mrs H Boot-Handford
Vice-Chairman: Cllr B Slaughter
Chairmen of Committees:
Finance & General Purposes: Cllr Mrs J Nash, Vice-Chairman: Cllr B Lamb
Recreation: Cllr B Slaughter, Vice-Chairman: Cllr K Smith
Cemetery: Cllr P Dennis, Vice-Chairman: Cllr Mrs D Chapman
Plans: Cllr B Lamb, Vice-Chairman: Cllr Mrs H Rogers
Footpaths & Environment: Cllr Mrs D Chapman, Vice-Chairman: Cllr Dr N Harmsworth
Observers at BereGen: Cllr M Benson, Cllr Mrs H Rogers
Port of Plymouth Marine Liaison: Cllr M Benson
Southern Parishes Link: Cllr B Lamb, Cllr M Benson
Devon Association of Parish Councils: Cllr Mrs D Chapman, Cllr B Slaughter
Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership: Cllr B Lamb
Bere Ferrers Villagers' Group: Cllr B Slaughter, Cllr Mrs D Chapman
Tamar Valley AONB and Friends of Weir Quay: Cllr Mrs D Chapman
Bere Peninsula Residents' Association: Cllr Mrs H Boot-Handford, Cllr M Benson
Play Parks Inspectors: Cllr B Slaughter, Cllr K Smith
Bere Link reporter: Cllr B Slaughter
Youth2Youth: Cllr Mrs H Boot-Handford
Parish Council representative, Maynard Trust: Mr P Archer

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Old Gaffers in Bere Ferrers

What are Old Gaffers? They are to do with the Old Gaffers Association: 'The aims of the Old Gaffers Association are to preserve interest in and encourage development of Gaff Rig, and to participate in the maintenance of our Maritime Heritage. Membership of the Association is open to all who are interested in sailing, building; restoring or simply admiring gaff rigged and other traditionally rigged craft. There is no requirement for members to be boat owners.'

The village welcomed a Kiwi on Friday; his name is Graham and he joined in with Bere Ukes at their practice, then turned up at the pub with John G in the evening.
About 20 Old Gaffers are in the village today and are going to see Will Sterling's brig at a secret location!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Election Results

In the local elections for two seats for the Bere Ferrers ward on West Devon Borough Council, Robin Musgrave was re-elected and Mike Benson won the other seat.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Another Good Night at the Jam Session

Despite the fear that not many people would turn up, there was a comprehensive core of artistes at the penultimate jam session before the summer break. There were a few Ukes, but not as many as the last session, unfortunately. However, there were a couple of cowboy songs, an Indian song and one about a pirates' training day, amongst others. The session finished with Rob Smith leading the ensemble in a rousing version of 'The Glendale Train'.

Bruce, Lesley and Rob sing a May song.
Ferrers Reel in action.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Pipit Launched!

Under grey skies and with a brisk wind blowing onto the Quay, Trevor's boat Pipit was launched this afternoon at 5pm. A small bar was set up, with lager, cider, red and white wine and tequila. Several villagers turned up for the launch: Will and Sophie, Ann Jeffries, Dyno, Owen E, Stewart and Karen, Sarah, Fin and Enya.
Trev was given the boat when he was 18, but for several years it languished on the Quay and it was in a sorry state. As far as Trev knows, it is the only one of its type ever made. It is a GRP construction.
He, Will and John Gallagher have spent a large amount of time and money on the restoration.
The boat was pushed down the slipway and gently eased into the water by Trev, Will, Dyno and Owen. A pair of the correct paddles was supplied by Ann, who just happened to have a pair in her porch!
Once in the water, Trev was in the boat and off! The boat is very fast in the water. Next for a row was Will, accompanied by his wife Sophie, with Enya and Fin from the pub.
On their return, Trev was off again, with Enya and Fin and they were last seen heading for Blaxton!

The bar.

Owen discusses the finer points of the bow.

Trev gets some paddles!

Into the water.

Will christens Pipit with red wine.

Trev takes the boat out.

'All aboard!'

Trev takes Enya and Fin out again.

Wedding Day Thanks

After the super celebrations on the Quay and in the pub on Friday, Big Thanks must go to Sarah and Ted for arranging everything, for making the cake, sourcing the commemorative mugs and co-ordinating the day. Thanks to Trev for erecting the gazebo on the Quay, Glynis for decorating the cake, and Watersports and the Villagers' Group for funding the mugs - oh, and anyone else I've missed!