Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Spring On Its Way?

It was a lovely Spring-type day today - warm sunshine and the birds singing away merrily. The Summerhouse Strummers, an offshoot of the Bere Ukes, actually held their weekly practice session in the summerhouse!
Some of us even did that Thing at this time of year - paid a visit to a garden nursery and bought a load of horticultural bits, like a bag of compost, wildflower seeds, patio cleaner and a hanging basket bracket!
We've been promised dry weather until the weekend and then the rain sweeps in on Friday night, so make the most of what we've got!

Jubilee Honours for Bere Ferrers Rowers

As you will know from reading this Blog (!!!!!), the Tamar & Tavy Gig Club have been selected to join the prestigious 1000-boat procession down the River Thames on the occasion of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June.
Now comes exciting news that three members of the village have been selected to be in the boat! They are Lynn Renton, Viv Barnes and Dave Auborn. Well done, you three!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Refurbishment of the Parish Hall Proceeds - Slowly!

I thought I'd let you know how the refurbishment of the Parish Hall is coming along. It's been going on for some time now, but as the frequency of the work is dictated in part by when the hall is available and also that the workforce arrive at 10am and depart at 3pm you will appreciate that is taking some time.
However, I had occasion to go in today to measure up a space for the Art Group Jubilee contribution and although work is nowhere near finished, all the ceiling and beams have been undercoated in white, together with part of the walls - and it makes such a difference! Soon we will see the last of the dreadful yellow and blue colours.
There is now a small storage area/bar near the entrance; there will be new radiators, lights and window blinds. Once all the painting has been done, the floor will be sanded and varnished.
Once all this work has been done we should have a Parish Hall to be proud of! Well done, Beregen!

A Message From Angus

Angus Doulton will soon be 'one of us' and he sent me an email about his circumstance. He has given me permission to print it here.

Just in case anyone is wondering as they go along Station Road: it appears that Tremayne has not been all that well cared for while it has mainly been used for letting. It needs some fairly extensive remedial work including repairs to the rendering which is why there is scaffolding up around it now. But there is no deeper plot than that; I am not secretly turning it into a pleasure parlour etc.
After that's done I am hoping to move in. I am afraid it's just me and I'm old, past most but not all things, and generally decrepit. None of which stops me looking forward to Bere Ferrers and hoping to meet people as and when.

Angus has already booked an allotment!

Jubilee Meeting Reminder

Don't forget, it's the Jubilee meeting in the Olde Plough at 8pm on Thursday 1st March to hear the latest updates on the various projects.
This is the third meeting in the Peninsula; if you have any ideas for commemorating this wonderful event, come along and tell us! Don't keep it to yourself - we don't want folk complaining later that we should have done this, or we should have done that!
Now is your chance! We also need volunteers!

Ale At Over £3 a Pint?!!! Pub's Brewery Competition

The cost of Sharp's beers is rising dramatically, mainly because the new owners, Coors, think they have the clout to impose whatever rise they want. With a rise, therefore, of about 35p a pint, plus any Budget increases, this will take the price of a pint over £3!
Sarah and Ted have approached other local breweries and offered them a fixed term to sell their beers at a reasonable price and several are interested. Now it's up to the beer drinkers in the village to decide which one they prefer!
Starting on Monday 5th March, various anonymous ales will be on sale in the pub, disguised so that no-one will know which is which and so not have any preferences. Drinkers will vote on each ale and at the end of March the results will be collated and the brewery that receives the biggest total will be offered the residency.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Women's Institute Have It Covered!

The local WI has many interesting activities, one of which is photography and to show how good they are, Bere Ferrers WI camera group members took over the front cover of the Devon Federation WI February news. 
A  good range of speakers are organised for each monthly meeting; new members are always welcome, so pop along, ladies, and have a look!
Photo of the cover supplied by Pam Watts.

Community Shop and Cafe Approaches Its Sixth Birthday

As the Community Shop and Café approaches its sixth birthday – yes we has been open EVERY WEEK for nearly six years – let us remind ourselves of the many facilities it offers to us all.
Each week many of us enjoy delicious tea or coffee for only 50p, and a large slice of home-made cake, again for only 50p, which must be the best value in the county!
Every Saturday we can buy vegetables, eggs, butter, cheese, and bread. There is a health food stall with a ‘refill service’ and a Fairtrade stall. There is food for pets and garden birds and a huge variety of other products including fudge, chocolates, cushions, handmade gifts and cards of local scenes. Knitted mittens and hats, bunting, children’s wooden toys, home-made cakes and meringues. 3D cards and chutneys, Christmas decorations, recycled home-wares, embroidered towels, picture frames and every fortnight we can buy fresh fish from Hamilton’s Fresh Fish van. We also support charities such as RNLI, Guide Dogs for the Blind and Agents of Change, and promote and sell tickets for local events.
With so many of us buying so much from the Community Shop and Café we are making fewer journeys in our cars, saving ourselves both time and money. So much we buy is locally produced so we are saving food miles and supporting our local entrepreneurs.  The Café brings much added value to our whole enterprise, as it has become an opportunity to meet friends and neighbours, catch up with Peninsula news and promote parish events.
We thank all our stall-holders and volunteers for their loyal support but we must also thank all of you who come each week to our Community Shop and Café and make it such a useful place to shop, find out so much about our community and have a happy time each week!
If you haven’t discovered the Bere Ferrers Community Shop and Café, come any Saturday, 10am - 12pm, in the Church Hall, enjoy a coffee or tea and a chat, and do all the shopping you need.
The Steering Committee

Friday, 24 February 2012

Cotehele Apple and Gardening Event

Chris Groves, the Orchard Officer at Cotehele, is organising this event on Saturday 3rd March and Sunday 4th March from 11am-4pm.
The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group has been invited to have a stall within a marquee down on the river.
The programme seems of great interest and includes grafting, seed swaps, a range of beekeeping and poultry, willow basket makers, local food producers etc. etc.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Jubilee Meeting

Don't forget, there's another Jubilee meeting next week to discuss progress on celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee on the Peninsula.
The meeting is at the Olde Plough at 8pm on 1st March.

Social Club AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Social Club was held on Tuesday evening.
All the existing Officers and Committee were re-elected unopposed.
Fees have been amended as follows: the joining fee has been abolished; Ordinary Members will pay £12 per annum and existing Senior Members aged 65 or over will pay £6. New Seniors will pay £12 for the first year, then £6 for following years. All members should renew within March and April or their membership will be null and void.
Rules of the Club are being revised to accommodate significant new laws. When these are available, a General Meeting will be called for members to be notified.

The Club is in the process of being redecorated: the entrance has been renovated, the bar has new wallpaper and the bar front has been painted. Within the next week the walls in the lower bar will be repainted,

Monday, 20 February 2012

Engagement Blessing

Now I, and I suspect a few other people, had never heard of Blessing an Engagement, but this was a special occasion. Colin, son of Ann Jeffries, and who lives in Los Angeles, is getting married on 26th May to the lovely Jennifer and as not many of the huge family over here could make it over there, they decided to hold a short Engagement Blessing at St Andrew's.
The sun shone as guests arrived at the church, though it was a bit chilly.
Colin, Jennifer, Pam (her mother) and Steph
The service consisted of a couple of hymns, two readings and two declarations, after which the couple greeted everyone at the rear of the church. After group photos outside, the party moved on up to the Social Club, where a super spread was laid out. Once everyone had had a cup of tea (or something stronger!) it was time to cut the cake. As Colin and Jennifer are not yet married they asked the two grandmothers to cut the cake.After short speeches by Ann, Colin and Jennifer, it was time for some music. Colin livened up proceedings by taking to the drums and laying down a heavy beat for Ron Ball and George Nixs.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Great Night In The Village

It was a great night for entertainment in the village last night! First up was a French Evening, a Villages In Action event, organised as always by Ann Turner. It celebrated the music of George Brassens in a candlelit cafe atmosphere. Prior to the performance, Marcel presented Ann with a bouquet of flowers.
A trio, led by Charlie Hearnshaw, played and sang a varied selection of French music while the audience tucked in to a selection of cheeses with bread and grapes, washed down with copious amounts of vin blanc et vin rouge! Among the audience were the 'Jeffries Party', including guests from America in the village to celebrate the Engagement Blessing tomorrow of Colin, son of Ann, and Jennifer from Los Angeles.

Following the French cafe atmosphere, many people crossed the road to the Club, where there was music, singing and dancing with a country feel! A Bit On The Country Side were playing their first big gig and the Club was packed! The band received a great reception, with a repertoire of different styles of music and it looks as though they will be back at the Club before too long!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Busy Time In The Old Village Tonight!

There are two big events in the village tonight: in the church hall there will be a French evening, featuring Charlie Hearnshaw Project Brassens Trio. French music in a cafe atmosphere, organised by Villages In Action. Once this is over, everyone will race over to the Club, where local band A Bit On The Country Side will be playing from 9pm until 11.30.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Watersports 2012: Date and Competition

The date for Watersports 2012 is Saturday 21st July.
Trevor has 'retired' from organising the popular event and it will now be organised by the 3Ems: Maggie Willmott, Margaret Ball and Maurice Crout.

This year, to get everyone in the mood, there will be a special event during the week before: a Scarecrow Competition with the theme of Water! Entries will be judged during the week and the winner will be announced at Watersports.

So get your thinking caps on and plan your winning scarecrow!

Monday, 13 February 2012

TRAM Reps See MP

Five members of TRAM, Brian Lamb, Caroline Clark, Clive Charlton, Dr Neal Harmsworth and Bev Slaughter met Geoffrey Cox MP on Saturday to hear the outcome of his meeting with Network Rail about moving the rail mast at Bere Ferrers.
After a meeting with Network Rail at Bere Ferrers last year, Geoffrey had given them a number of questions to resolve, the main one being, could the BF mast be re-sited away from its current position?
Network Rail said they would gain if they were to move the mast from BF because they would not have to have another fully-fledged mast further up the line. However, they would have to build another one south of the village and they would be left with the cost of moving the BF mast and erecting the new one, which they said would cost in excess of £100,000.
The technical case says that they can build south, subject to access, but there would be a cost decision. Geoffrey said there are two issues: is the technical case genuine? He wants more detail. Financially,can we justify pressing Network Rail to spend £100,000 to move the mast and erect a new one in the current climate of severe restraint? He has also asked for detailed costings to do the exercise. When these are available Geoffrey has told Network Rail that he wants them to come to a site meeting at BF.
We await the technical and the financial details with interest!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Diamond Jubilee Meeting in Bere Alston

From Hilary Boot-Handford:
We had a very successful meeting on Wednesday evening.
Those present: Hilary Boot-Handford, Brian Lamb, Jean Sharman, Beryl Mills, Yvonne Collom, Barbara Pine, Gill Larkin, Emma James, Fiona Maddock, Gill Wyatt, Helena Rogers, Pat Lean, Robin Musgrave
Apologies: Michael Malin, Carole Cowell and Judy Hember.

Hilary welcomed everyone and we all introduced ourselves.
Hilary then gave a quick rundown of the history as to why we were meeting: Council wanted to act as coordinators so that events did not clash and also the need to decide as a community how we wish to commemorate and celebrate the Jubilee.
Hilary outlined the areas of interest that had come up at the Bere Ferrers meeting, then opened the discussion to all present.
Carole Cowell: Stage curtains could be replaced as the originals were put up to celebrate Silver Jubilee.
Brian: Should use money to provide something needed by community and suggested we should use the celebration to get behind the new youth centre. Perhaps Jubilee week would be a good time to start serious fund raising? All organisations could hold separate fund-raising events throughout the year.
Pat: Pavilion could be rebuilt or at least refurbished and youth football team should be encouraged
After wide and varied discussions the following was agreed on:
History group will put on a display in the Parish Hall from about 10.00 Saturday 3rd June to be continued during the afternoon’s Tea Dance.
The Jubilee Trail was supported and Robin showed a preliminary route. How and where the ‘markers’ should go was a point of heated debate.
Tea Party: Hilary will book Parish Hall; Tiddlywinks and Chatterbox will arrange refreshments; Gill will investigate if her friend could provide the music; Barbara is available to also provide accordion music; Helena will provide some vocal music with her choir in the interval.
Gill and Helena have volunteered to arrange a Jubilee concert as a fund raiser.
The timetable of events needs to be publicised as quickly as possible so that other events don’t get organised. It could go in both the Bere Link and carnival programme.
Pat suggested that the sailing club could hold a water sports afternoon before the Bere Ferrers cream tea at Weir Quay.
Hilary will contact both Bill Roxborough and Colin Streeter about helping with the Jubilee garden competition.
Hilary highlighted the next meeting at 8.00 on 1st March at Bere Ferrers and invited all to come.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

From Julie Rendle, Tamar & Tavy Gig Club:

Tamar and Tavy Gig Club are absolutely delighted and honoured to have been invited to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's 60 years on the throne.

T & T Club Secretary Penny Twine originally made the very detailed application last summer and was surprised and thrilled to receive the invitation a couple of weeks ago.  Ginette, the club's Cornish Pilot Gig, built by local man Brian Nobbs, will be part of the 1,000-boat flotilla on Sunday 3rd June, rowing from Putney to Tower Bridge and passing under 14 other historic and iconic bridges. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, together with other members of the Royal Family, will be on board the barge The Spirit of Chartwell, which will be surrounded by all sorts of vessels, not only from the UK but from the whole of the Commonwealth.
This celebration will be one of the largest public events ever held in London with about 20,000 participants and also millions of spectators expected to watch from the banks of the Thames.
The Club have not yet decided who the lucky crew members will be, but whoever they are they will certainly be taking part in an historic and once-in-a-lifetime event.

First Great Western Franchise Bid

Both the Parish Council and the Villagers' Group have written to the Department for Transport giving their support to a document from Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership detailing their support for the First Great Western Franchise bid.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Jubilee Meeting Minutes

Present: B Slaughter, J Slaughter, R White, G Fine, M Willmott, K Willmott, J Musgrave, R Musgrave (part), J Gallagher (part), H Boot-Handford, C Clark, D Mitchell, D McDonald.

Apologies: S Williams

Bev explained that he and Sarah called this meeting to discuss whether the village wants to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee and in what form. It is an open meeting and is not part of any organisation. Ideally, it would be nice to have a permanent memorial and a party, but it will all depend on us raising funds – more of that later. The story so far…
Some months ago Sarah and Bev thought that the village should start thinking about what it needed to do to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee.
To kick the ideas off, a rustic bench was suggested, suitably engraved, for the Recreation Field. Then it appeared that a timber bench wouldn’t last long (25 years), so a more robust bench of stone or granite was sourced.
Then the Parish Council became involved as there was a need for a co-ordinating committee to co-ordinate the possible activities of the various groups on the Peninsula so that duplication did not occur.
Hilary Boot-Handford, Peter Dennis and Bev are this committee and it is stressed it is just a co-ordinating role they are taking on. It is down to parishioners to help with whatever needs to be done, rather than left to a few people. Hilary has already started the ball rolling on the Email Trail between the groups in the parish.
Whatever suggestions are put forward tonight will need funding of some sort. However, Bev has secured £500 from the Parish Council for some sort of permanent fixture in Bere Ferrers. A similar amount will be available to Bere Alston. It was hoped that the numerous activity groups on the Peninsula would be generous enough to donate between £50 and £100 each towards the celebrations, for which they would get suitable recognition.
Photographs of granite benches were passed round. After a discussion it was agreed that these were not suitable: they are imported and the look funereal.
Bev said that he had received no other suggestions, apart from one this morning. This was to make the shillit steps next to the war memorial more user-friendly and name them the Jubilee Steps.

Suggestions were invited; they were:

1              Planting an oak tree or trees on the bank near the BF Recreational Field car park, with a commemorative plaque.
2              A Jubilee garden outside the Parish Hall.
3              A sundial and/or obelisk.
4              Jubilee Trail: a circular walk between Bere Ferrers, Weir Quay and Bere Alston, using existing footpaths.
5              Maypole on the Quay.
6              Flower planters on the disused platform at Bere Ferrers station.
7              Cream Teas, old-fashioned games and local music groups on the Quay.
8              A music event for teenagers somewhere on the Peninsula.
9              Tea Dance in the Parish Hall.
10            Display by the History Group in the Parish Hall.
11            Display of Coronation and Jubilee memorabilia in Bere Ferrers Church Hall.
12            A Best Jubilee Garden competition in the parish.
13            Jubilee Steps at the BF war memorial.

After much discussion it was agreed that the following were worthy of following up:

Jubilee Trail
This would probably need approval from Devon County Council. Robin volunteered to liaise with the Parish Council Footpaths & Environment committee to start the ball rolling. It was agreed that special waymarkers could be put along the Trail, with sections sponsored by Groups or businesses, with plaques to show this. The Tamar Valley AONB could be involved. The whole Trail was unlikely to be completed by Jubilee Day, but a special opening ceremony could be arranged and sections opened as they were re-signed.

Best Jubilee Garden
This would be a competition for the best planted and decorated garden on the Peninsula.

Tea Dance
This would be held in the Parish Hall.

Cream Teas on the Quay
Cream teas, old-fashioned games, boules and music from local groups on the Quay at Bere Ferrers. However, Bev said that better support would be needed from the village than that given for the Royal Wedding event.

Picnic in the Park
This is already arranged by the Bere Alston Carnival Committee.

Music Event
This should be organised by Youth2Youth. Hilary will talk to Jen Potts.

Suggested Dates
Tea Dance                                 Saturday 2nd June
Cream Teas                               Sunday 3rd June
Jubilee Trail Opening                 Monday 4th June
Picnic in the Park                       Tuesday 5th June

It was stressed that volunteers would be needed for all these events and villagers must get involved and not leave it to the usual few. This would be a parish effort.
These Minutes will be circulated on the Email Trail, the Parish Council web site and on the Bere Ferrers Blog for comments and action from Groups and parishioners.

It was agreed to hold another meeting soon to determine the response to the suggestions and to finalise who is doing what. This meeting will be on Thursday 1st March at 8pm at the Olde Plough Inn, Bere Ferrers.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Recreation Field Work Parties

From Diana Mitchell, Bere Ferrers Villagers' Group

I would like to set up regular work parties in Bere Ferrers Recreation Field, on the second Sunday of each month, in the afternoon, starting on 11th March. I hope that villagers will be able to give their time – not necessarily every month – but from time to time.
Last year the Bere Alston Scouts did an excellent job of clearing brambles and tidying up round the marsh area, and it would be nice to try to keep it tidy – though we like to encourage wild flowers in the spring and summer.
The jobs that need to be done on a regular basis (except in the depths of winter) are keeping nettles and brambles under control, keeping paths round the wild area and the banks of the bird hide strimmed, pruning the hedgerow, trying to knock some shape into the bird hide and checking play equipment.
If you feel you can spare the time to join the first work party in March, or subsequent work parties, please let me know.
Diana Mitchell

Our Recreation Field is the envy of the Peninsula and is appreciated by many folk from further afield, so it would be nice to keep it looking good! It is an enjoyable and worthwhile couple of hours in the sunshine (fingers crossed!).