Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Views around the Village

Taken on an iPhone using Photosynth.

Tennis 'Stars' in Action at Bere Ferrers

Robin serves a winner!
Village tennis stars were out in the sunshine today with their version of the Men's Doubles Final! Robin Eastwood and Ken Sheaf played Rob Furneaux and John Young. There were some spectacular rallies and tremendous shots from all players, particularly John, who patrolled the net and delivered some wicked returns!
The players in action.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Villagers' Group AGM

The AGM of the Villagers' Group is this Thursday at 8pm in the Social Club. The Agenda is as follows:
Minutes of last AGM
             Matters Arising
Chairman’s Report
Treasurer’s Report
Field Management Report
Tennis Report
Railway Report
Update on the Rail Masts
Zip Slide Repairs
            Cost and fund-raising
Bere Ferrers News
            Should the committee interfere?
Bere Residents’ Association
            BFVG representative?
2012 Garden Competition
Election of Officers:
Secretary (Current Secretary not standing for re-election. Open for nominations)
Three committee members
BRA representative? (See above)

As this is the AGM, no items of business will be accepted from the floor.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Network Rail Refuse to Dismantle Mast

Network Rail has told Brian Lamb, Chair of TRAM, that they have no intention of dismantling the 100ft high mast in Bere Ferrers. After what appeared to be a fruitful meeting with senior NR executives in May and a walk along the track to find suitable alternative sites, NR have given Brian various excuses why the mast remains where it is.
In a strong reply to NR, he says '… we are shocked, disappointed and bewildered at your response about relocating the Bere Ferrers mast. It may be that your decision to move it is based more on cost grounds than the acceptance that it is in the wrong place. The mast is unacceptable because of its visual and environmental impact on the AONB, its close proximity to residential properties and the need to have regard to the precautionary principle of sighting it in a location that is unlikely to have any long-term health implications for people, particularly children, and its effect upon house values.'
TRAM had identified an alternative site alongside Ley Lane, where there used to be railway cottages. However, NR claims that the signal would not be sufficient and there was no power for the operation of the mast.
Brian replied ' state, “No RF coverage benefit identified through propagation modelling”.... However, it is thought that when you undertake the promised carrier wave testing that you will find that this will not only give you coverage to St. Budeaux and Collins Bridge [Bere Alston] but also possibly to the alternative Calstock site south of the viaduct allowing you to exclude both Bere Alston sites as originally planned.'
With regard to the power issue, Brian continues 'Your second point on power connectivity is not sustainable as there is a low voltage power line crossing Ley Lane 154 yards north and another one 393 yards south, also crossing the lane. The clearance of the vegetation is no greater than what was cleared from the two present cleared sites and does not involve tree felling.'
There was an unseemly rush to complete the mast, even after a 'stop' order was given by NR. Brian says 'The rapidity of the build with contractors working a seven day week until dusk each day surprised local residents until we were told by a couple of the workers that their wages depended upon such quick turn-rounds. They told us that the concrete had to set for a month before mast erection but this started a few days later and was completed in two days. The second day being 30 March, when we were told by email that all work was to be stopped. It continued through the following day. Your contractors returned again on night of 9 April to connect up cables! I reported this to you as it seemed in breach of the stop order and Richard promised to investigate and report back but no more was heard.'
The health issues to nearby residents, particularly children, have been strongly pointed out to NR.

The fight goes on: the local MP, Geoffrey Cox QC, is being brought up to date with developments and it is also likely that, after keeping a low profile with the media to help negotiations, TRAM will now pursue more aggressive public awareness of the problems and solutions that are being ignored by Network Rail.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Weather in the Village

It's 'orrible! It's been raining all morning and it looks as though the wet weather is here for the day. But it's good for the gardens and allotments!

Watersports Update

Trev tells me that he's got enough teams for Watersports (the one in Bere Ferrers, not Weir Quay!) but he is looking for sponsors.
It  doesn't cost much, but the more sponsors there are to cover costs, the more money is left over for village projects. Anyone or any Company who would like to sponsor this excellent event should contact Trev at the Post Office on 01822 840062.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Ninth Bere Apple Fest is on its Way!

Some say there’s a local legend that tells that any maiden who sees 15 different types of apple before Michaelmas shall be gifted with a complexion like a peach, the wisdom of Solomon and be able to explain clearly the offside rule. It is not on record whether this is true, but anyone visiting the famous Bere Apple Fest will certainly be able to see more than 15 types of apple! This year’s event, organised as usual by the Tavy & Tamar Apple Group, will take place in and around Bere Ferrers Church Hall, Bere Ferrers, Devon, on Saturday 8th October from 1.30pm until 5pm.

The Apple Fest will be opened by a guest celebrity at 1.45pm. The Apple Fest once again features a host of interesting guest experts, demonstrations, competitions and other apple-related items. Visitors are welcome to bring along their apples and turn them into juice (don’t forget to bring a clean container to take the juice home in!).

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Alan Willmott Retires (Or So He Thinks!)

Most of the village joined Alan Willmott's relatives as he officially retired this week and celebrated with a big party in the church hall. Braving the awful weather, friends enjoyed drinks and a super buffet before Alan was 'allowed' to say a few words of thanks! Before thanking everyone, he said that someone else had a birthday today and pointed to Kay Lamb, just as she slipped under the table to hide! The guests sang 'Happy Birthday' to both.
He then cut another superb cake from Glenys, this time in the shape of the type of lorry that Alan used to drive. It is alleged that it even had numerous dents in the bumpers!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Villagers Help to Raise £19 million for British Legion

To celebrate its 90th birthday, the Royal British Legion held a cream tea afternoon at the Tamar Belle to help raise £19 million - not all from the village, obviously! A steady flow of villagers throughout the afternoon paid their money and were treated to strawberry and raspberry scones with cream, in huge quantities, followed by cake, all washed down with tea or coffee.
The tea was organised by Peter York, who unfortunately was unable to attend as he was in hospital having a hip operation. However, Chris and Bill at the Belle and Caroline Clark ably ran the afternoon.
There was a raffle at the end and, in total, about £130 was raised, thus reducing the £19 million target somewhat!
'Scottish Widow' Caroline greets  guests
and relieves them of some cash!
Mrs Ferret enjoys her cream tea.

Villagers awaiting the raffle.

Caroline and Ted do the raffle.

Latest News From The Weir Quay Watersports Hub

The Weir Quay Watersports project is getting to an exciting stage, clearing three major hurdles in the run-up to making its planning application, expected at the end of June:

Ø  A new website opened 10th June.  The public, as well as members of Tamar and Tavy Gig Club and Weir Quay Sailing Club, can now read all about the plans to create a joint watersports facility for the two homeless clubs.

Ø  The project succeeded in becoming a registered charity.

Ø  The funding target for Phase 1 has been achieved.  This means the charity now has enough money to buy the site next to the public slipway at Weir Quay, if planning permission is granted.

 “These are all major hurdles for a small volunteer group,” said Peter Key who chairs Weir Quay Watersports.  “Now we are really getting to the exciting stage. On the website we explain in plain English what the project is all about. Members of the two watersports clubs and local residents have asked many questions about the project.  Some have real doubts.  We can now address these as well as keeping everyone informed as the project moves forward – and continues to be shaped by what local people say.”
Achieving charity status has been an important aim from the start for several reasons.  “Firstly it gives everyone great assurance that the project is going to be properly run,” Peter said. “Secondly it opens up a range of grant funding that is only open to charities, as well as bringing more certainty to future benefits such as reduced rates and perhaps taxes. And thirdly, most importantly, it has already enabled us to secure £5,000 from the Dulverton Trust through Devon Community Foundation, and a legacy for a similar amount which depended on us becoming a charity."

An ongoing appeal to club members for cash donations has, with Gift Aid, raised some £20,000.  A debut concert for the local community by ‘Bere Ukes and Friends’ recently raised £1,255.
“With grants from Devon County Council, West Devon Borough Council, and the AONB, as well as some smaller gifts and donations from the local community, we are now turning our thoughts to raising the money needed for Phase 2.This will be to make the site usable for boating activities, including outdoor storage areas for dinghies and tenders, and a dry Boat Shed for the gigs and sail training gear.This will give the two watersports clubs a good land base from which to operate without the current uncertainties which hang over them,” Peter said.

Much further into the future, as a third phase, the Hub Club hopes to build a clubhouse with toilets, showers, and a room that can be used for small social events, training and lectures. A separate planning application will be made for that phase.

“It is brilliant news that we have reached this stage when the Hub Club was only formed in November 2010 and exciting that we can now be turning attention to the next phase of our work” Peter Key said.

For more details go to the new website.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Thumping Good Time at the Club

There was a thumping good time at the Club last night when Margaret Ball (briefly!) sat in on drums during the Open Mic night. Several other villagers had a go, but it can be safely said that no-one plays the skins like Margaret!!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Home-made Strawberry Jam On Sale

Sarah and her staff at the Olde Plough have spent an enormous amount of time preparing jars of strawberry jam, cooked in the Olde Plough kitchen from fresh Hewton strawberries. It seems only fair that after all the time and effort put in, we should go and buy several jars each. A jar costs only £2.50, so get down the pub and get yours now.

Watersports is Coming!!

Doesn’t time fly? It’s Watersports time at Bere Ferrers again! Saturday 16th July at 3pm is the information you need for your diary, calendar or mobile phone – put it in now, so that you don’t forget! Organiser Trevor Grinstead says that this will be his last Watersports, so let’s make it a great one!

As usual, games start at 3pm in the gooey mud of the Tavy and continue until the tide is up, culminating in the dreaded Greasy Pole! While all the contestants are getting covered in mud, other interesting things are happening on and around the Quay: bouncy castle, various stalls, barbecue and bar, pig roast in the evening, the best face painter in the South-west and much more.

For the evening entertainment, Trev has surpassed himself and is going out with a bang (not counting the fireworks later on): he has booked two quality bands, Black Friday and Girl Friday, local duo Ami, and more to be announced, plus a disco.

Keep up to date on Facebook at Bere Ferrers Watersports 2011.

Sponsors are wanted! If you or your company would like to be a sponsor, contact Trevor on 01822 840062.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Coming This Saturday!

Part of a nationwide tea party to raise funds for the Legion. 3pm, Tamar Belle at the station. Admission: Adults £4, children £2.50. Tickets from Peter York or Caroline.
Social Club at 8pm, in aid of the Brownies. Tickets from Margaret Ball.