Sunday, 31 July 2011

First Apple Pressing of the Season

The first apple pressing of the season took place this morning at the home of  Tavy & Tamar Apple Group Chairman, Brian Lamb. Despite an email invite to all members, only a few people turned up, probably due to the fact that not a lot of apples are ready just yet, though it will only be a few weeks now before they're dropping off the trees.
Brian had a small amount to press, so with the help of Will, Patrick, Robbie, Nick and his wife Ilmarie, Joe and the Ferret several trugs were filled with chopped apples and 'cheeses' were soon being pressed.
The next pressing is due to take place sometime in mid-August.

More of the Tars at Bristol

Here are some photos, courtesy of Carol Spearing, of the Tavy Tars at SS Great Britain and playing to the crowds on Irene at the Bristol Harbour Festival. This lunchtime they have been singing in the Olde Plough.

A full report and photographs are now available at


It's grey and cloudy at the moment, with a threat of drizzle during the morning.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Beer Festival Continues

The Beer Festival at the pub continued tonight with a birthday party of 40, without counting other customers. The Ferret and Mrs Ferret went early so we could get a seat - outside! We both had venison burgers, which were excellent! I had a pint of 'An Howl' and it was extremely good. By 7.30 the pub and garden were full and getting noisy, so we left 'em to it!

Duck Race Coming!

The biennial Duck Race, organised by the Villagers' Group in aid of village projects, will take place on Saturday 13th August at around 3pm on the Quay. There will be five heats, followed by the Final and there are prizes! First duck past the winning post gets £30, the second £20 and the third £10 - the ducks don't get the money, only the person with his or her name against those ducks.
The race is dependent on wind and tide; last time the race was held, the tide came in early and some people missed the race! On other occasions the ducks have raced up the channel to the winning line on the flowing tide, only to be blown back again with a gust of wind in the opposite direction.
A hardy group of volunteers will be in the water and in a boat to make sure the race goes without a hitch, so don't let them down, buy your ducks now - they're only £1 a duck, incredible value for a chance to win these large amounts of cash.
All profits from the event will go towards the cost of repairing the popular zip slide, which has been closed because it needs urgent repair.

So buy as many ducks as you can afford! This is your way of preserving a village amenity!

Ducks can be bought (not literally) at the following: Post Office; Margaret's; Plough Inn; Social Club and from any BFVG committee member. Buy now before they all go, there's only 500 ducks available!

In addition, there will be cream teas available, at the exceedingly good price of £2 each, featuring local strawberry jam from the Olde Plough Kitchens.
Ann Street will be manning her stall with items to buy in aid of church funds, there will be a raffle with lots of super prizes and the Villagers' Group are hoping for some car boot-style stalls. There are only five left and they are available at £5, but you have to bring your own table.
The Villagers' Group needs your support to raise over £2,500 for the repair of the slide.
BFVG Secretary Bev Slaughter appealed to villagers, 'We are hoping to raise money from grants from various sources, but it would be great if villagers would dig deep and support this event.'

Roof No Obstacle for New Water Tank

The Mitchells are building a small extension to their house, adjacent to the old Reading Rooms. Part of this extension includes an underfloor water harvesting tank. At the end of this week, all the foundations and fittings were ready for the plastic tank; this duly arrived on the back of a lorry but there was a slight problem. There was no easy way to get the tank into the Mitchell's garden and to the large hole.
So over the roof it went and down into the garden. Now it's safely bedded down in its new position, ready to be connected up.

'Are you pulling, Adrian?'

Photographs courtesy the Mitchells.

Several Villagers Successful at Show

Several villagers won prizes at the Bere Ferrers Horticultural Society's 103rd Annual Show, held in the School Hall at Bere Alston today.
Despite there being fewer than usual entries in some of the fruit and vegetable classes, Maggie Cartwright won Best In Show for her peaches, while Ken Sheaf won several categories for his fruit and vegetables. Other winners included Ann Parsons, David Pearce and Frances Howard-Pearce, to name but a few.
Apart from the depleted entries in the fruit and veg section, the Show was up to standard, with some excellent photographs from Clive and Mary Taylor.

Maggie with her peaches.
Betty Reid inspects the beans.

Ken and his entries.

Local Girl Weds at St Andrew's

Local girl Kirsty Lawton, who used to live in Silver Street, was married at the church today to Sam Bush.
The church was decorated beautifully with flowers and the ceremony was, according to reports, a more-than-usual happy family affair. The couple and their guests left for the reception at the Moorland Links Hotel at Yelverton.

Wasted Space

Community Shop: why is this space being wasted? There is room for a coffee table here and several villagers have complained about it not being there! It's not as though there's a huge queue to see Ann's excellent cards!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Bere Beer Festival is Go!

The Beer Festival is happening! The barrels are racked on the bar, the four ciders are ready to go and the burgers await. Among the beers are 'Otter Ale' from the Otter Brewery, 'Roughtor' and 'An Howl' from Pen Pont and Hunters Brewery's 'Full Bore' at 8%!!
There are venison burgers, lamb burgers, veggie burgers and much more!
And the sun's out!

What is the Bere Ferrers Villagers' Group?

The Bere Ferrers Villagers' Group was set up in 1999 because the Boating Association was closing down and wanted to donate its remaining funds to the village.
The committee of the new group is elected each year at the AGM to which all villagers are invited. The group has a constitution. The new Villagers' Group was given several projects that villagers had proposed:  
• A place for children to play and kick balls about
• A bus shelter
• A notice board
• Refurbishment of the area around the Memorial
All these the Group worked on and achieved.
The Recreation Field already had a football pitch, baby swings and a small slide. At a workshop with all the children in the village, we came up with a plan to include the tennis court, zip slide, bicycle track, new swings, a bird hide, a wildflower area, a five-a-side football pitch on level ground, tree planting, hedgerow and seating. By fundraising and applying for various grants we were able to construct all these.
We are now left with the upkeep and maintenance. The Parish Council is responsible for the cutting of most of the grass and verges, but some is taken care of by BFVG. We try to have regular work parties to tidy up the parts not done by the Parish Council and would welcome more volunteers.
The zip slide is currently out of bounds because it is unsafe.  We need to raise funds to repair or replace it. As it is very popular it is hoped that we will have no difficulty raising the funds we need. Of course, we will seek grants and there are some possible sources, but money raised locally among the people who enjoy the zip slide is also essential.
If  villagers wanted to propose another improvement to our environment they can always contact us.
The Committee (elected at the AGM in June) is as follows:  Chris Grills (Chairman), Bev Slaughter (Secretary), Roger White (Treasurer), David Mills, Daphne McDonald, John Gallagher, Diana Mitchell.
Supplied by Daphne McDonald and Diana Mitchell.

Tars a Big Success in Bristol

The Tavy Tars were a big success at their first gig in Bristol last night. Mike Grimshaw reports 'Thursday was a perfect summer evening around Bristol Harbour, with lots of harbour activity and crowded pubs. The Tars three outdoor sets went down very well, with plenty of audience participation and much favourable comment. The Matthew (a replica of Cabot's ship), full of passengers, came alongside on a couple of occasions during the performances.'

Bere Beer Festival Starts Today!

The internationally renowned (they've heard about it in Cornwall!!) Bere Beer Festival kicks off tonight at the Olde Plough Inn, with a range of local beers from some of the best micro-breweries in the South-west (and we've got a few!). The Festival lasts through the weekend and as well as the ale there will be four different ciders, a host of burgers and maybe the odd stave or two of music thrown in.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tavy Tars Bristol Schedule

Here is the schedule for the Tars' Bristol visit, as supplied by Mike G.

The latest programme we have for the Tars at the Bristol Harbour Festival is as follows. We hope to see you there.

Thursday 28 July harbourside pubs.
18.00-18.40 outside Nova Scotia pub.
19.00-19.40 outside Pumphouse Pub.
20.00-20.45 outside Cottage pub.

Friday 29 July
18.00 mini gig at Festival launch at Mshed, Wapping Road, Prince's Wharf.
19.15-19.45 onboard Kathleen and May to play to audience ashore at Bush Corner opposite Mshed.

Saturday 30 July
11.00-13.00 SS Great Britain in the dry dock by the propeller, on deck and in the first class saloon.
1400- Lloyds Ampitheatre - exact timings not yet known.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tavy Tars off to Bristol

The Tavy Tars had their final rehearsal tonight before heading up country tomorrow. They are performing at the Bristol Harbour Festival, which, coincidentally, is being held in Bristol tomorrow,Friday and Saturday. The Tars will be the only shanty crew in the Festival.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Barbara's 90th Birthday

Barbara Bousfield was 90 yesterday - and you wouldn't know! Last evening, a small group of friends joined Barbara for nibbles and drinks in the warm summer sunshine.

New Poles for the Village

No, it's not an invasion! A gang of men have been going round the village drilling holes next to existing telegraph/telephone poles and erecting new poles. It will be interesting to see how they move the power wires over!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Garden Party Money Raised

Maggie Willmott reports that the grand total of £512.84 was raised at the Garden Party today plus donations. She and Kerry already have promises of over £1,000 for the Breast Cancer run next Saturday night. So if you haven't promised money, please do so now.

Art Exhibition Open

The Bere Ferrers Art Group annual exhibition and sale of work was open again yesterday and today and will be every weekend until 21st August. Villagers and visitors were looking at the works on display as the Ferret wandered by this morning. Some paintings have been sold already, but there are plenty more left!

Maggie's Garden Party

Though the weather didn't come up to the forecast, Maggie Willmott's Garden Party in aid of St Luke's Hospice in Plymouth attracted villagers in the morning.
At the front of Alpine House was a display of garden machinery from Abbey in Tavistock. Around the back, visitors could buy a raffle ticket (what else?!!!) and tea, coffee and a vast range of cakes!

Alan gave a tour of his many compost 'bins', with a description of how he uses them. All of his huge vegetable garden was reclaimed from an overgrown lawn when he and Maggie moved to Alpine House five years ago. No wonder he needs five compost bins!

Party Time for Paul and Lindsay

The engagement was officially announced last night between Paul Willmott and Lindsay Gay. At a celebration party in the Social Club, family and friends joined in together to wish the couple every happiness.
It was, of course, a happy gathering, made better by the lack of music, enabling folk to talk to each other.
An enormous spread was laid out on the pool table and guests enjoyed the varied menu. After everyone had eaten, the happy couple cut a splendid cake - another one from the talented Glenys. The notoriously camera-shy Paul was forced to have his picture taken cutting the cake!
We wish Paul and Lindsay a long and happy life together. Oh, and the wedding is on 28th July next year!

A man's work is never done...

And it's Goodnight from him!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Party Time at the Club

It's party time tonight at the Social Club - in fact, it's an Engagement Party as Paul Willmott and Lindsay Gay officially celebrate their engagement (no, I didn't know either until the other night!). The Ferret will be going up to the club later and a report with photos should follow soon after.

Saturday in the Sun

It's a lovely warm sunny day here in Devonshire. The shop was busy this morning, much to Ian's disgust on the veg stall. He was bemoaning the fact that the previous two Saturdays had been quiet, so Amanda didn't come down this week and he's been rushed off his feet!
We welcome back Mike and Penny G after their State Visit to Canada, which they enjoyed tremendously. They visited relatives, drove into the Rockies, saw some bears and went sailing with Joe and Melody. On the second day.......!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Maggie's Garden Party

Don't forget, it's Maggie Willmott's Garden Party this coming Sunday in aid of St Luke's Hospice. The fun starts at Alpine House at 10am and goes on for several hours. The weather will be good, with lots of sun, so get along there!

Refreshments at Lopwell

I understand, from a very good source, that the old pumphouse at Lopwell dam has opened as a refreshment stop, serving teas, coffee, cakes, etc. The opening times are 10.30am until 4pm. This will be of great benefit to those folk walking to Lopwell - they can now get refreshment before the walk back!
Don't forget that the dam is tidal!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Tamar & Tavy Gig Club Regatta

The Tamar & Tavy Gig Club will be holding a Regatta at Weir Quay on Saturday 27th August and all are welcome. Below is the programme of events:

Registration from 12.30pm onwards
Coxs’ meeting 1.30pm
First race starts 2.00pm

Race order:
The Tamar Gig Race for the ‘Great Tamar Gig Race’ trophy
A six-mile handicapped pursuit race from Weir Quay to the Brunel bridge and back.  Open to all.
Followed by racing over a standard kite course:

·         Juniors
·         Vets inc Super Vets
·         Mixed
·         Barbarian
                        Refreshments ú drinks ú  BBQ Evening entertainment Camping available
                               This is very much a ‘fun’ event, open to all ages and abilities. 
                                                                     All welcome!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Clear Up Completed

A dedicated team have cleared the Quay from the remains of the Watersports yesterday. Some were up and out at 6am in lousy weather, joined later by a few bleary-eyed latecomers and the site was more or less cleared by the time the 'Oh! You've finished!' gang turn up!
Thanks go to: Ken and Irene, Maggie and Paul W, Nelson, Ted and Sarah, Robin M. Oh, and the Ferret turned up for a while. And, of course, Trev was there.
Next year, with Watersports 'under new management', it would be appreciated if some new faces would show up and help clear up. The more, the merrier; it is, after all, a village event.

Watersports a Great Success!

One of the games in the mud.
The weather was kind to us today, at least during daylight hours. Just like D-Day in 1944, a slot of fine weather drifted over Bere Ferrers while the festivities were under way during the afternoon and early evening. But we weren't to get away scot-free! The rain returned at about 9.30pm just as headline band Black Friday kicked off their slot.
The afternoon began with the barbecue up and running, ably set up by Abby Grinstead, the bar open, the pig still roasting (though wobbling a bit on the spit), stalls open, the static motorcycle display done and arguably the best face painter in the South-west, Karen, poised with brush and paints.
The games started and soon the seven teams were coated in glutinous black mud from the Tavy.
One of the teams takes a break.
As the games continued and the sun came out, more people flocked to the Quay to cheer on their particular team. The battle raged all afternoon, with a short break to wait for the tide to come in before the games on the water and the finale on the Greasy Pole.
The barbecue did a roaring trade.
Kids' Crabbing competition.

In You Go!
Ted and Owen, Sarah watches!
While all the merryment was happening in the river, visitors were enjoying Willy's ice creams, tea and cake from the W.I. stall, buying raffle tickets, inspecting the vintage motorcycles on display, helping the lifeboats and blind dogs, looking at plans for the Hub Club at Weir Quay, rummaging on the church knick-knack stall and buying copies of a book about our railway. Many were enjoying a drink (or two, in some cases!) in the warm sunshine, supplied by Ted and Sarah from the pub, who set up a bar on the Quay, selling Tribute and Proper Job, local Cornish ales, plus wine, cider, lager and soft drinks.
Betty, with two drinks (again!)
The motorcycle display.

At the end of the games, medals were presented to the winning team, then Robin Musgrave made a presentation of a silver tankard to Trevor for all his hard work organising Watersports over the last nine years of its 30+ years of running. Trev thanked everyone and said that it was a team effort and everyone did their bit to make each area happen.

After a short interval while everyone got their breath back, it was time for the evening's entertainment. Local duo Amis kicked off the session with a varied selection of Country and Western songs. They were followed by Rockin' Ron and Rob, who were unfortunately beset with sound problems after someone messed up their settings on the mixer.
Revellers watching the band.
Exeter duo Girl Friday were next up and produced a very good set that warmed the crowd up for the headliners, Black Friday, a local stomping celtic/folk music group. Unfortunately, rain started at about the same time as the band - but nobody cared! We're used to rain on Watersports Day, it's all about getting wet! The usual firework display shot into the night sky during the band's break, with Chinese lanterns floating slowly upwards to finish the display. Black Friday returned for a final session before finishing at midnight.
Girl Friday.

Black Friday.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Watersports Is Go!

The sun is coming out, it's warm, the pig is on the spit and folk are here enjoying themselves - Watersports is Go!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Watersports Preparations Underway

The weather was not too bad this afternoon, despite a nasty forecast, as a dedicated team helped Trev prepare for his last Watersports. On hand were Will, Maurice, Paul, Lindsay, Robin and the Ferret - plus Ron with his Mighty Tractor!
Ron dragged the Greasy Pole from its hiding place in a field somewhere and, with Trev's help, guided it into position across the channel to the scaffold tower. This is used for the finale of the games, when contestants try to knock their opponents off the pole into the river.
Once this was in place it was time to erect the big gazebo for the barbecue. For the first time that anyone can remember, the unit went up with only one of the poles coming away from its neighbour and was up and ready within half an hour.
Tables were put in ready for the first crew of the day tomorrow on the 3 - 4pm shift, the area was staked off and the spit for the pig installed.