Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas Eve at the Community Shop

Lesley Smith sent this report and photos.

The Community Shop was open for business on Christmas Eve. It was crowded with shoppers enjoying the free mulled wine and mince pies, as well as their regular shopping.
The cafe team of Dee, Steve, Sally and Monica had dressed in Victorian outfits, as had many of the stall holders.  The Hall looked colourful and cheerful and business was brisk,  with some stall holders selling out of their produce. The Tavy Tars came and sang two carols, thus adding to the festive atmosphere.  The Steering Committee would like to thank all those who helped in any way this year - the shop could not exist without you.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Bells, the Bells! ......and Bellringing.

Daphne McDonald has asked me to mention that, as usual, the bells of St Andrew's will be heralding the New Year on Saturday night.
She says: 'We will be ringing for New Year as usual and welcome the people who like to gather at the Tower. We would also welcome any experienced or willing-to-learn people to come along on Monday evenings at 8pm, which is practice time.'
If you would like to know more about what it takes to be a bellringer, John Adams is the Bell Captain and the man to contact and his telephone number is 841016. Or you could turn up on a Monday night!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Betsy Gallup

It is with regret that we inform you that one of our prominent parishioners, Mrs. Betsy Gallup of Cleave Farm, Weir Quay, passed away last week.  She was well-known on the Peninsula and was greatly involved with events in Weir Quay.  Our sympathies go to her family.

Pleasant Pre-Christmas Evening

Just enjoyed a very pleasant pre-Christmas evening before leaving for Oxford. Some of us villagers that won't be in the village for Christmas were invited to David and Caroline's to see their enormous tree!

This tree is so big it had to be winched up to the first floor then shoved through a window  to get it in!
After a pleasant hour or so there, it was off to the pub for a superb bangers and mash and a bottle of Chiraz.

Bere Ferrers Gets the Gritting Lorry

Thanks to good work by Bere Alston resident Peter Lansdell, the road into Bere Ferrers has been upgraded by Devon County Highways as a gritting route.
Mr Lansdell found out that Devon County Council’s criteria for Primary Route Gritting includes Secondary Schools and it also contains the following: “Railway Stations – Main highway access to mainline and branch line railway stations.” This obviously covers Bere Alston Station, but it should also cover Bere Ferrers Station. Therefore, that means that one of the roads from Quarry Cross should be gritted all the way to Bere Ferrers and out to the station.
The Emergency Plan co-ordinator, Cllr Mike Benson, followed this up with Devon Highways and they have agreed that the road from Quarry to the village and up to the station will now be a Primary route for gritting.
A spokesman for Devon Highways said, "Yes, it does look as if here was an oversight with Bere Ferrers station. It will now be added to the Primary network, so this now means that we can tie it in with the rest of the network."
Thanks go to to Peter and Mike for making this happen.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Carols Round the Village

After meeting at David and Caroline's for a hot toddy and a mince pie, a larger than normal group of carol singers processed through the village this evening, singing carols and collecting cash for charity.

The singers returned to the pub at about 8pm, somewhat wet, as it had started raining. But a hot mince pie or two and a glass of mulled wine soon warmed everyone up. A strange sight to behold was Carol Horner warming her conceritna in the fire to get rid of any water that may have got in during the jaunt round the village!
After a few carols, members of Bere Ukes reprised their rendition of carols they did in the shop on Saturday, followed by Lizzie warbling 'Santa Baby' twice. More carols followed and it was announced that the singers had raised £117.00 for Children's Hospice South West.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Post Office Open Again!

The post office is open again! Trevor, thoroughly bored with daytime television, has opened up. His leg seems to be the big problem and he's going to the doctor later, but he feels OK apart from that. The post office is open until such time that Trevor feels that it's too much.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

40th Anniversary Celebrations

It was a rousing evening last night in the church hall when Marcel and Tilley celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary (the way they look now they must have been about 10 when they married!!) with a roomful of family and friends.
After a champagne welcome, guests found a seat at the beautifully laid out and decorated tables. When everyone was seated, Marcel laid down the rules for the evening.
First up to entertain the guests was Josie Lloyd, a singer/songwriter who sang Delta Blues in her own style. It was a pity that some members of the audience didn't give her more attention.
For the meal, as the seating was rather packed, Marcel had worked out a superb plan of how guests could fetch their food in some order. As I was sat in the furthest seat from the kitchen I thought that I would be last in, but no! Under Marcel's excellent plan, I was first in the queue! I can't explain it, you had to be there!
Once the meal was finished and plates were cleared away, the headline band took over. 'Out To Grass' are a bluegrass band, mixing lively music with comedy and soon had guests up and dancing.
Thanks should go to those villagers who decorated the hall for the party, to Enya and Tom who worked endlessly to supply guests with drinks and Sarah and her team for the food.
Out To Grass

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Festive Singing at the Saturday Shop

Shoppers and villagers had a pleasant surprise this morning when some members of Bere Ukes performed three Christmas songs at the Shop and Cafe. The group, with Ukemeister Mike Grimshaw, met at Margaret's Hairdressing to tune up the ukes and have a quick run-through of the songs before heading over to the church hall.
The first song, 'Silent Night', was sung in the lobby to give shoppers fair warning, before the Ukies pushed their way into a packed hall and continued with 'Deck The Halls' and 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' before leaving while the audience were on their side!

Photo: LS

Post Office To Open on Monday

It is understood that Trevor has said that he will open the Post Office on Monday, but there will not be any newspapers. He is feeling good generally, but his leg is giving him some trouble; he is fed up with sitting round all day watching daytime television!

Events for Pre-Christmas Week

Carol Singing
Around the village then ending up at the pub (Well, can you think of a better idea?). Starting at David and Caroline's at 6pm for a hot toddy, mince pie and a quick warm-up with a couple of carols. Then off round the village with a collecting tin, singing carols on the way and returning to the pub. Bere Ukes will sing three Christmas songs, while more festive refreshment is kindly provided by Sarah and Ted. Jolly Christmas singalong by all!

Christmas Eve
St Andrew's at 2.30 and 4pm. All welcome.
The Village Band
Appearing in the pub with a seasonal offering.
Midnight Mass
St Andrew's, 11.30pm

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Allotment Association Annual General Meeting and Christmas Party

The Bere Ferrers Allotment Association held its AGM tonight in the Social Club.
Present: Bev and Juli Slaughter, Ken and Irene Sheaf, David and Caroline Clark, David and Margaret Willmott, Paul Willmott and Lindsay Gay, Gordon and Lizzie Spiers, Maggie Cartwright.
Apologies: Norman Gay.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and apologised to those members who turned up at the last cancelled meeting.
Treasurer's Report
Ken reported that we have 13 members  and the income from subs this year covered the cost of membership of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners. The amount in the tin is £40.50.
The last payment to the club for water was in March 2010.
Election of Officers 2012
The outgoing Chairman said that he was not standing again. Irene proposed Maggie Cartwright, seconded by Caroline. Agreed unanimously.
Bev said that he was prepared to continue as Secretary and was unanimously accepted, proposed by Lindsay, seconded by Maggie W.
Ken was re-elected, proposed by Bev, seconded by a unanimous vote.
Ken said that he would be holding a pruning session for black currants, red currants and gooseberries sometime in January. When exactly will depend on the weather; Ken will ring round.
Before the meeting closed, Caroline welcomed the new Chairman, Maggie Cartwright.
Next meeting: Thursday 19th January 2012 at 8.15pm in the Social Club. All members are urged to attend.

After the meeting, members had a delicious Bring 'n' Share Christmas Party, featuring magnificent peaches in brandy, supplied by the new Chairman, Maggie Cartwright.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

WI Nearly Cause Church Hall Fire!

The WI party was held on Tuesday 13th December in Bere Ferrers church hall. During the evening, as well as competing in a quiz and other entertainment, members were challenged to make fascinators out of the items provided.
However, during the evening, Ann Parsons nearly set the church hall alight!! The quiz sheet she was filling in caught fire quite spectacularly on the tealight in the middle of the table; she dashed (as much as she could at present!) to the outside door to put it out on the wet grass... but the door stuck shut! Disaster was, however, averted, the church hall saved and a new quiz sheet completed!
There was also a mini-panto of Sleeping Beauty.

Ladies with Fascinators.

Sleeping Beauty mini-panto.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

New Year's Eve at the Plough

Sarah confirms that New Year's Eve festivities at the Olde Plough will be a fancy dress theme, based on the letter 'A', such as acrobat, astronaut, ardvaark (that one should be a good one!) and so on.

P.S: This is an ardvaark, for those who don't know!

Art Group Breaks Up for the Holiday

The Art Group held its final session of the year this morning with an informative session from local artist Patrick King. Members were asked to sketch in pencil a collection of garden implements, including a wheelbarrow, axe and numerous canes.
After the session, it was time for the end-of-term party, with delicious food supplied by members.

Alan's Dustbin

At the Old Timers' Lunch in the pub today, Alan asked if anyone had seen his dustbin, blown away in the extremely high winds last night. Yes, someone had. It was outside Jenny Simpson's, about two hundred yards down the road! Someone (no names, no pack drill!) quickly sketched how Alan might take his bin home!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Decorations Go Up in the Club

A hardy bunch of volunteers braved the atrocious weather tonight to help put up the Christmas decorations in the Social Club. Now the Club is ready for the children's party and the visit of Santa on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Trevor Back Home

I'm happy to report that Trevor is back home after the operation on Thursday to restart his heart. He was in the pub last night, looking very cheerful; apparently everything went well and he has to go back to Derriford after Christmas for a check-up.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Irish Night Cancelled

The Irish Night, due to be held at Bere Ferrers church hall next Saturday (16th), has been cancelled due to lack of support.

Great Open Mic Down the Club!

There was a great Open Mic night at the club tonight: Stevie drove over from Torquay at breakneck speed because he didn't realise it was Open Mic tonight; Vic Gardiner and his band were there, the Summerhouse Strummers did a great set, followed by Lizzie and the Phantom Whistler. George Nixs was on hand, as always, assisting Ron, while Rob and Lesley were joined by George and Vic on drums for their set. Stevie finished off the evening with George and Vic.
It's a good musical evening out, so if you've not got anything to do and, particularly if you play an instrument, some on down on the second Thursday of the month.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Grass Mowing

After a report in the latest Bere Ferrers News regarding the mowing of the Recreation Field, the Villagers' Group would like to point out that this was nothing to do with Ian Lindsay and they apologise if this impression has been given.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Carols at the United Church, Bere Alston

There will be an afternoon carol service held at United Church, Bere Alston on Monday, December 12th at 2.00. It will be a traditional Nine Lessons & Carols and will have contributions from Bere Alston School Choir. It will finish with refreshments.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Carol Singing

The annual carol singing around the village will take place on Tuesday 20th December. The singers will assemble at Caroline and David's at about 6pm for a hot toddy and a mince pie before making their way around the village singing carols and collecting money for charity. The more the merrier!
The session ends up at the pub at about 8.30pm where Nick the Vic will lead a repeat, but this time inside and nice and warm! There will also be a short performance of Christmas songs by members of Bere Ukes.


DEJA VU II is coming! Three evenings of Victorian Music Hall Revue in Bere Ferrers Church Hall on 19th, 20th and 21st January! Heartwarming Harmonies, Mesmerising Monologues, Melifluous Melodies, Dastardly Dramas and Much More! Featuring Children of the Parish.
Tickets on sale soon at Margaret's Hairdressing - only £5!
Prizes each evening for the Best Dressed Gentleman and Lady in Victorian costume.

Irish Night: Tickets On Sale Now

Tickets for the Irish Night in Bere Ferrers Church Hall on Friday 16th December are now on sale at the Olde Plough Inn in the village or Simply Hair in Bere Alston. The cost is £12 and there will be a bar from 7 till 11.30pm. Four bands will be playing during the evening, including Kit Hillbillies and Commoners Muck. Tickets are limited, so get yours now!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Red Herring Christmas Dinner

The first Christmas Dinner of the season was held at the Olde Plough last night when a merry band of Red Herring Club members partook of an excellent festive meal. After arrival, members were invited to try a fish quiz supplied by the Ferret, the Diary Monitor and Scribe. A hearty welcome from The Big Fish (Caroline Clark) was followed by the pulling of crackers and the reading of the inevitable bad jokes inside them. This caused some problems as the type was so small that it was extremely difficult to read!
The meal followed, after which small presents were exchanged. Another excellent evening down the pub!

David tries to explain to Barbara
why he has a picture of a scantily
clad woman inside his tie!

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Tickets are now on sale at Margaret's, so get yours now before they all go!

Dog Fouling: It's Time to Clean Up!

Dog Fouling Still a Nuisance

There was a consumer programme on the television recently in which viewers were invited to email in with their pet hate and the programme would, the following week, report on one or more of the biggest hates. What caught my attention, not surprisingly, was that the main hate that particular week was Dog Poo!

This is one of the main causes of argument in the parish. The Parish Council has regularly run publicity campaigns over the last few years about the inconvenience and the health risk of dog faeces in public places and takes part in the West Devon Borough Council Dog Warden scheme.

Currently there is some friction between certain members of the Bere Alston United Football Club and some residents about dog poo on the football pitch. The Chairman of the club, Mr Will Westlake, recently presented some disgusting photographs at Council that had been taken on the pitch, all featuring dog faeces.

The Council is aware that some parishioners are against the football club fencing off the pitch, but this is a requisite for their participation in the league. On the other hand, there are members of the club who have been vociferous in their condemnation of dog owners allowing their dogs on the pitch, to the point of being abusive and aggressive.

Both the Parish Council and the football club are agreed that this has to stop and stop now! Regardless of how you feel about the club and the pitch and the dogs, the Recreation Field is, above all, what it says: a recreation area for ALL to enjoy. It is not the preserve of the football club or the dog walkers and the sooner people realise this, the better.

Part of the programme showed dogs defecating on a football and rugby field in Hereford. As the presenter remarked, ‘What numbskull allows their dog to defecate on a football pitch!’ This applies in the parish, too.

The time of dog owners taking their dogs to either of the Recreation Fields in the parish, letting them off the lead then standing around socialising amongst themselves may soon come to an end if people do not remove their dogs’ mess. Dogs will have to be kept on a lead at all times. If this does not work, the Parish Council has the power to ban dogs from the Recreation Fields completely.

Under the Dog Fouling Act, 1996, it is an offence to allow your dog to foul within a speed limit area and public recreation fields that may be outside such limits.

The parish pay, as part of the Council Tax, for the services of the Dog Warden, but there is only one for the whole of West Devon. That doesn’t mean that parishioners shouldn’t contact West Devon Environmental Health if they see a dog fouling and the owner not picking up the mess in a bag. If enough information is supplied, they will try and get the Dog Warden to come and investigate. But it is up to parishioners to act and contact the Dog Warden, it's no use complaining to the Parish Council and expect them to investigate!

There will be a public meeting in the Parish Hall early in the New Year, probably on 10th January,  to discuss dog fouling and how it has to be stopped. Watch out for posters or check on the Parish Council web site and thhis blog. We all have to be responsible for keeping the parish clean and free from this source of a potentially serious disease.

Cllr Bev Slaughter
Bere Ferrers Parish Council

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Wassailing Approaches!

It will soon be time for the Wassail - the date is Saturday 7th January 2012, the place is the church hall and the orchard. Tickets will be on sale very soon from Margaret's and will cost £5 each, which includes a pasty and an apple drink, plus the chance to join in the noisy scaring-off of the spirits in the orchard! Children of school age admitted free.
Dartmoor Border Morris Men will be dancing in the hall before and after the wassail in the orchard.