Saturday, 29 October 2011

Queen's Jubilee

Various groups in the village and in the parish are considering what to do to celebrate Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee next year. The Parish Council has been asked to consider some sort of commemoration and the Villagers' Group, the Olde Plough and WI are having thoughts.
But everything depends on support from villagers! Maybe there will be a party in the village, but personally I would like to see something more substantial and of lasting value to the village as well.
The Villagers' Group committee will be meeting next Wednesday to discuss this and already have a suggestion for a lasting commemoration item. If you have any ideas, please contact any committee member: Christine Grills, Diana, Daphne, John Gallagher, Dave Mills or me, in time for our meeting.
It may be that the various groups in the village combine their efforts and funds into one item.
Do let us know!

Big Thanks from Louis

After the successful charity night at the Plough last Sunday, Louis says 'Just wanted to say a big thankyou to everybody that turned out to support a fantastic evening. I'm still recovering now and seem to find it a lot colder on top! Once again, thanks to all of the local businesses and make sure you all look in the Tavistock Times for photos and report on the evening. Many thanks!'

TRAM Protesters Meet MP and Network Rail

Brian Lamb, Chris Groves, Bev Slaughter and Caroline Clark from TRAM and WDBC Councillor Mike Benson met Geoffrey Cox MP at the Tamar Belle yesterday and briefed him on the current position with regards to the communication rail masts on the Tamar Valley Line. With them were two representatives of Network Rail: Carla Watts, in charge of the project and Ben Quinn from their planning department.
They confirmed the current position of building a mast at Collins Bridge, Bere Alston, with no mast at Bere Alston station or Calstock, but they might have to put a small repeater mast at Calstock because of a patch of bad reception. They stated they were already consulting with West Devon Borough Council.
The Bere Ferrers mast would be reduced by 4/5 metres, painted and screened with shrubbery and mature trees and the cabin painted.
Mr Cox has given us his support on the replacement of the Bere Ferrers mast by the Ley Lane site, which he visited.
Network Rail have promised that they will give him a fully detailed report on why Ley Lane is not suitable and also the report of their detailed investigations to find a suitable replacement site south of Bere Ferrers.
When he has this information, he will see the Secretary of State for Transport and also raise the question of the necessity for any such scheme on this single track branch line at a time when Network Rail are being required to make large savings.

Geoffrey Cox, Ben Quinn, Caroline Clark,Carla Watts and Brian Lamb look at the mast.

Ben Quinn points out which section of the mast will be removed.

Geoffrey is concerned about the fencing.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Crowded Charity Night at the Pub

The wind was howling outside and the rain was pouring down, but did anyone in the Olde Plough care? No, they were having too much fun at Louie 'Dude' Ormston's charity night, where people from all over crammed into the bar for a fantastic evening's entertainment in aid of the Eve Appeal for ovarian cancer.
The evening started off with pub regular Paul and his guitar with a few numbers, then he was followed by Ed, with a selection of songs he'd written himself. Then the first of the 'painful' sessions started, when Louie and some of his pals had hair removed from various parts of the body by hot wax.
There followed a superb prize draw, with many fantastic prizes donated by local firms. There was a buffet in the lower bar. Girl Friday played a set, before the headline band Needletones finished off this excellent event.
As the evening wore on, money was collected for John Dawe to have his beard shaved off, but unfortunately he had to leave before the end, so instead Louie had his head shaved and Eddie lost his moustache! The final amount raised for the charity was over £600, so well done to everyone who donated money and special thanks must go to the Dude for organising the whole event!.
Louie welcomes everyone to the event.

Locals round the bar.

Eddie Ember takes over as MC while Dude gets waxed!

Chest waxing in operation.

Rip it off!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Bere Ferrers Allotment Holders

November is the AGM of the Bere Ferrers Allotment Association and all members are invited to attend. We also invite those plot holders at Bere Ferrers who are not members to come and join us. It costs only £2 per year, payable at the AGM, for which you have access to the water tap and also membership of the National Society for Allotments and Leisure Gardeners. Membership of the NSALG gives members legal advice, should it be needed. The Association is also recognised by Bere Ferrers Parish Council.
The AGM will be on Thursday 17th November at Bere Ferrers Social Club at 8.15pm.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Charity Evening in the Pub

Don't forget the charity event in the Olde Plough on Sunday evening, starting at 7.30pm. Organised by Louis Ormston from Dude Music Promotions, the event is in aid of the Eve charity and features a number of musical groups, a free buffet (donations gratefully received for the charity)and, incredibly, a couple of lads will be suffering waxing of some of their body parts! addition, John Dawe is being sponsored (there's still time to contribute!) to have his beard shaved off by Maggie Willmott!! PLUS an excellent prize draw!
Louis said: "I would just like to say a big 'Thank you' to everybody who has supported me throughout the last couple of weeks to organise this event. I didn't have very long to arrange bands and prize donations etc. Look forward to seeing all the locals enjoy a good night in the village pub for an important cause."
So don't miss it - it's all for a very worthwhile charity!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Hub Club Proposal Gets Council Approval

Because of the controversial nature of the Watersports Hub Club proposal for a new boat shed and outboard store at Weir Quay, a Special Full Council of the Bere Ferrers Parish Council was held in the Parish Hall last night. It was attended by a large number of concerned parishioners.
Council Chairman Hilary Boot-Handford welcomed everyone and explained the structure of the meeting. Three Councillors who declared an Interest in the proposal were each given three minutes to address the meeting with their views, then all left the meeting.
Cllr Brian Lamb, Chair of the Plans committee of the Council, then explained to the Council a brief outline of the proposal, before Councillors were asked to make comment.
Mr Key, representing the Hub Club,and Mrs Logan from the Friends of Weir Quay, stated their respective cases, before the meeting was opened to a predetermined list of parishioners, who were each given three minutes to speak.
It soon became clear that there was overwhelming support from the floor for the proposal and many good points were raised. Two letters were read out, but these were from people outside the parish.
At the Council vote the proposal was supported, with some recommendations, by seven votes For, one Against, one Abstention, one Councillor absent and three not eligible to vote. This now goes to West Devon Borough Council for their consideration, though it appears that there will be some amendments to the proposal, which means that it will not be decided on until early in 2012.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Dates for Your Diary in January

To ease the gloom and doom of January after the Christmas festivities, there will be a Victorian Musical Revue in the Church Hall on 19th, 20th and 21st January. So pencil one of these dates in your diary and look out for announcements about buying tickets!

Ballroom Dancing at the Club

Wally's Dancing Party returned to the Social Club on Saturday and several couples turned up to either take part or just watch.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Bere Ukes Annual Party

Bere Ukes held their annual party in the church hall last night, with partners and special guests invited. It was a 'Bring and Share' affair, with everyone bringing an item of food for consumption by the party.
The food and table arrangements were ably organised by Maggie Cartwright and her volunteers.
After the meal, the full Ukes ensemble kicked off the musical content with 'This Land Is Your Land', followed by 'Sailing' and 'Bad Moon Rising'. Then it was the turn of the three summer vacation groups to show their abilities. First up were the Ukettes, followed by the Lumburn Hillbillies and finally the Summerhouse Strummers. There followed solo items from Bev and Lizzie and a duet with Lizzie and Mike.The evening was rounded off by the Ukes' rousing versions of 'City of New Orleans' and 'Will The Circle?.
Thanks go to everyone who helped set up the evening and, more importantly, those who cleared up afterwards - including washing up a huge pile of crockery! Special thanks go to Mike Grimshaw who has persevered with the Ukes for 21 months!
Photos of the event will no doubt be on the Bere Ukes web site in a couple of days.
The Ukettes
Lizzie and Mike
The Lumburn Hillbillies

Council Decision on Hub Club

There will be a Special Full Council in the Parish Hall at Bere Alston at 8pm on Tuesday 18th October for the Parish Council to discuss and vote on the proposals for a new boat shed and dinghy park at Weir Quay.
This will not be a meeting for public discussion (those have already been held) but will strictly be for Councillors to comment on the proposal, then vote. A representative of the Hub Club and Friends of Weir Quay will have the opportunity to address Council and there may be limited comments from those present.

Top Hat Top Notch

A small group of villagers travelled to the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, recently to enjoy a production of 'Top Hat', a musical based on the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film. The lead role was taken by Tom Chambers, who won Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.
The dancing was terrific, the sets were excellent and the show was well worth seeing.
Thanks go to Roger and Jean who arrange these trips now and again.

Zip Slide Money Raised

Villagers' Group committee member Diana Mitchell reports "I am delighted to say that we have raised £2728.50 to repair the zip slide. This is how the money was raised:
Duck Race                     £423.50
Villages in Action             380
Community Shop                 500
Bere Alston Carnival           200
Berefest                        75
Belinda O'Flynn Trust         1150
I have asked Ian Lindsay to go ahead with the repairs, and he tells me that he has the Douglas Fir poles on order.
The Bere Alston Scouts group did a good job of clearing undergrowth and especially brambles in the wild area of the field last Saturday.  There was an excellent turn-out and the youngsters were hard working and cheerful.  I will write to Paul Hughes, the Scoutmaster, to thank him and will suggest that they might like to make this an annual event!"
Thanks go to all those who helped raise the money and also to those organisations that donated so generously.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Another Successful Apple Fest

The ninth Bere Apple Fest took place on Saturday 8th October and, once again, under favourable weather conditions. The day started grey and damp, but as the afternoon wore on the sun shone down on the event.
The Tavy Tars kicked off the proceedings with a rousing drinking song before, with the Bere Alston Carnival Queen Harriott Smith and her attendants looking on, Richard Burningham MBE, manager of the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, officially opened the Apple Fest by switching on the apple press.

Tavy Tars and the Carnival Queen
Richard Burningham starts the press

During the morning, Seth and Sally Robertson from Robertson’s Organic Café in Tavistock, judged the entrants in the three categories of the apple pie baking competition. This took some time, as the standard of the pies was very good and there were several Highly Commended awards. The winner of the Adults section was Will York, who won a meal for two at the Robertson’s café. Harriott Smith won the 9 - 11 Years section, while Niamh Mugridge-Guest took the 5 – 8 Years prize.
Sally and Seth with some of the pies.

During the afternoon the apple press was working at full steam to convert the huge amount of apples brought by visitors into apple juice. There were many displays in and around the church hall, including wood turning, using an old-fashioned lathe.

A welcome addition to the Fest was a visit by Dartmoor Border Morris, who gave a couple of displays in the road outside the hall. They are old favourites in the village, as they always attend the Wassailing in the village in January.
The event was completed by the announcement of the winners of the various competitions and the Grand Prize Draw.
2012 is the tenth anniversary of the Fest so look out for details of this next year.
The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group thank all those volunteers and organisations that helped to make this year’s event one of the best.

Friday, 7 October 2011

New Parish Council Notice Board

There is a new Parish Council notice board in the village. The old Perspex-glazed thing has gone and has been replaced by a smart white double-door cabinet.

Former Villager Honoured at Plymouth University

Former village luminary Melody Mason, who successfully negotiated grants for many of the village projects of the Bere Ferrers Villagers’ Group, was honoured by the University of Plymouth recently. She was awarded an Honorary Graduate and is now a Doctor of Business.

Melody, now living in Vancouver, Canada, with Joe and Chris, has had an extremely interesting life so far. She started her career as a sociologist and social worker in England, before serving as a UN volunteer in El Salvador. Melody followed this up with a spell at the World Bank in Washington DC.

She has travelled extensively and has been involved with over 20 countries in Africa and Latin America and worked on developing transport projects in Russia and Turkmenistan.

Melody moved back to the UK in 1998 and became involved in charity fundraising and trustee work. She was appointed a Governor of Plymouth University in 2001. This latest honour is one of many awarded to Melody for her work. We congratulate her on her success, including the sterling work she has done on behalf of the village.
Melody paid a fleeting visit to the village recently, while over here to receive her Doctorate.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Charity Evening Coming Soon!

There will be a charity fundraising night at the Olde Plough on Sunday 23rd October in aid of the Eve Appeal. Don't miss it! Headline band will be the Needletones, who have played at the Wharf, playing classic rock numbers. Supporting will be Girl Friday (Watersports), Ed Lane and Paul White.
IN ADDITION there will be live waxing AND John Dawe will have his beard shaved off from 7.45pm! Now that's worth £10 of anybody's money, so sponsor John now!
There will also be a super prize draw, buffet and donations can be given all night!
Arranged by Dude Promotions

Train Naming Ceremony

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, a ceremony was held on Platform 3 at  Plymouth today to name a First Great Western 150 unit 'Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership'. The name was unveiled by Sandra Horne, who has been the secretary and archivist at DCRP for the whole of its existence.
The partnership was the first of its kind in the UK and has been so successful in promoting rail in the two counties that it is used as the benchmark for all the other fifteen rail partnerships. Out of the Top 10 of branch lines that have increased passenger numbers, the DCRP has six - no mean achievement!
As members of the Tamar Valley Line Forum, Clive Charlton, Chris Groves, Brian Lamb and Bev Slaughter attended the ceremony, followed by a trip up the line to the AONB HQ at Gunnislake for speeches and a superb Cornish buffet lunch.

Bev, Brian, Richard Burningham (DCRP) and Clive.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Hot Time in the Blinking Owl Last Night

There was a hot time at the Blinking Owl night club (aka the church hall) last night as Barbara Bousfield officially celebrated her 90th birthday. The theme was the Thirties and the Blinking Owl is a reference to a roadside cafe on the old A38 that Barbara remembers from the 1930s when her parents took her to Cornwall.

Guests were greeted by the hostess, then a selection of cocktails were on offer, served by a dubious-looking waiter!
The waiter
 There was a terrific display of Thirties attire on show, from blazers and boaters to gangsters and flappers!

Once everyone was settled in their seats in the cosy night club atmosphere, Peter Bousfield welcomed the guests and gave a brief outline of Barbara's life. Then the entertainment began, after 'church notices' by the Compere - the shy and retiring Marcel Kelly! First up were the Renegades, an offshoot of the famous Bere Ukes, featuring their new vocalist, 'Spats' Slaughter. They were followed by the Blaxtons, Lesley and Rob, who performed a couple of Thirties numbers. To end the first part of the entertaiment. Mike and Tilly sang and played, before Marcel announced that the buffet was ready!

There was much more entertainment during the evening, including a delightful Joyce Grenfell monologue from Jane Hamlyn.
Christine Poole and Tilly performed a Tea for Two mime before inviting Barbara to a table for tea for two with Marcel, before cutting her owl birthday cake. The evening continued with communal singing, before those still able to were invited to conclude the evening with dancing to Thirties music.

Barbara would like to thank all those people who organised the evening, particularly David and Caroline for the designs and decoration of the 'club', Mike for the musical content and Marcel and Tilly.
A great time was had by all those who attended.