Thursday, 29 March 2012

From Parish Plan to Plan-It

Cllr Mike Benson writes:
Many of you will have taken part  in helping to  produce  a Parish  Plan  for our community,  either through public consultations or workshops for which I thank  you. The Parish Plan Group, which has the support of the Parish Council, has made steady significant headway against a background of changes to the planning system and the Localism Bill.  These changes have given greater strength and empowerment to the community.
West Devon Borough Council  has  been evolving  and changing also, in  response the new legislations. The” Plan-It “process has been introduced by WDBC enabling local communities and parishes to have their final plans recognised and endorsed by the authority and its partners. It will give clear evidence of community priorities for the next 10-15 years, which will be used to determine future developments.

The Plan-It process has three basic stages:

a)     establishing a Plan-It Management Group of around 9-11 local people

b)    consultation with the community through a questionnaire

c)     feedback questionnaire results at an event, agree community priorities and write the Community Plan.

WDBC will also give our process greater support and assistance. It will, however, still be the community's plan and through the Localism Act  have  greater strength. All the work put in by the community will enable us to move forward with the” Plan-It”process.
If you have taken part already or would just like to know more, then please come along to Hope Cottage on Wednesday 11th April at 7.30 pm  All will be welcome, young or old .   

Mower Stolen! Did You See Anything?

Paul Willmott has had his brand-new ride-on mower stolen. Vital for a part of his new business, it went missing yesterday. Fiancee Lyndsay Gay said: "Someone has stolen Paul's new ride-on lawn mower. It is a Cub Cadet All Rounder and it is bright yellow and very big. It was taken from Ley Lane yesterday between 1pm to 7pm; they must have had a vehicle with a trailer or cattle lorry, as it would not have gone in the back of a van. If anyone saw anything that was not normal or any vehicles hanging around that area, please can they report it to the police, crime ref is JT12384."
This new machine was a vital part of Paul and Lyndsay's business and, having just been awarded two major mowing contracts, this has come as a major blow.
The type of mower.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ukies Wow the WI!

A contingent of Bere Ukes played a varied selection of songs at the Gulworthy Women's Institute Christmas Party (yes, Christmas Party!) in the Gulworthy Village Hall tonight.
The repertoire ranged from 'Jambalaya' to 'Running Bear' and from 'Jamaican Farewell' to 'If I Had a Hammer' with 'World Of Our Own' and 'Wildflowers' among the other songs.
Song sheets were supplied for certain tunes and many of the ladies were seen heartily singing away!
The Ukies donated their fee to a charity of the WI's choice.
Thanks to Maggie Willmott for the photo.

Annual Parish Meeting

Twenty-two parishioners attended the meeting held in the Parish Hall and were welcomed by the Chairman of Council, Cllr Hilary Boot-Handford.

Police Report
PC Callender gave a report on crime figures for the parish over the past year which showed that crime has remained fairly constant during this period, with 69 reported this year, against 68 last year.
New shift patterns mean more night work, which is why he hasn’t been seen as much during the daytime.
After reports about youths causing problems around events at the Parish Hall, PC Callender said that any problems must be reported to the police so that they can be logged and the appropriate action taken.

Committee Reports
The Chairman of Council and the Chairmen of Finance & General Purposes, Recreation, Footpaths & Environment, Plans and Cemetery gave reports on activities in the parish during the past year.

Community Groups Reports
The Chairman of Council read a report from Beregen, which was followed by reports from the Tavy & Tamar Apple Group (Brian Lamb), Youth2Youth (Jen and Nathan), Sailing Club (Mike Tucker), Tamar and Tavy Gig Club (Caroline Dawe), the Carnival Committee (Lyndsay Gay) and Bere Ferrers Villagers’ Group (Bev Slaughter).

Guest Speaker
After a short break for refreshments, Mr Clive Charlton gave a concise but hugely interesting illustrated talk about ‘Power on the Peninsular’ – a glimpse at the landowners, parliamentarians and other movers and shakers who held sway on the Peninsula over the centuries and gave our parish such a rich and varied history.
It was a fascinating story, which only scratched the surface during the half-hour or so before the end of the meeting at 10pm. Cllr Boot-Handford thanked everyone for coming and taking part.

March Parish Council Meeting

Councillor Resigns
Cllr Bev Slaughter told Council that because of personal reasons he would be regretfully resigning from the Parish Council at the end of the 2011-2012 session in May.

Dog Warden Scheme
It was reported by Cllr Mike Benson that our ‘membership’ of the Scheme ends in April, not October, as originally thought.

Thorne Point Rubbish Clean-Up
This will be on 19th May when members of the Sailing Club will attack the problem from the water.

Dog Fouling
West Devon Borough Council is preparing an article about dog fouling for their ‘Connect’ magazine. They are also producing a leaflet and it was agreed that we would ask for some so that they can be inserted in Bere Link. It was also confirmed by Borough that Police Community Support Officers and Environmental Officers will have the power to target offenders and issue Fixed Penalty Notices.
Chairman and Vice-Chairman will write a press release for the Tavistock Times Gazette.
The campaign will start on 1st May in conjunction with WDBC. They have confirmed that normal rubbish bins can be used for dog poo and self-adhesive signs to this effect will be stuck on all bins in the parish.

Grass Cutting
Council accepted a quote from Mr Paul Willmott for grass cutting in the Parish for the coming year. This will now start almost immediately.

Damage by 4x4s
Damage in a field near Collytown had been reported and it appeared that either 4x4s or motorbikes had made ‘doughnuts’, damaging the grass. It had also happened in Denham Woods and a parishioner had contacted the police, who said that if they could be given the registration number of the offending vehicles they will take the appropriate action.

New Road Sign
Councillors were shown the design of a new sign proclaiming that Bere Alston is a World Heritage Town and which will be erected at Quarry in place of the existing sign. All Councillors were in agreement with the design.

Dog Exercise Field
Cllr Benson said that the skip removal lorry was churning up the grass in the field when changing over the skip and he asked for a gravelled turning circle to be made to prevent this. To be discussed by Cemetery committee.

Assistance for the Parish Workman
There were times when the workman needed help with heavy lifting jobs and, after considering a price given for an ad hoc service by a contractor, it was agreed that this facility be put in place.

New Computer System
Replies have been received from several suppliers and consequently the specification for the system needs to be revised. A small group was formed to re-assess the situation and report back to Council.

Affordable Housing Meeting
Mr Mark Wilson will be addressing the next Full Council at the end of April about the need for affordable housing in Bere Alston. The meeting will start at 7pm.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Another Successful Flower Show

The 64th Bere Ferrers Spring Flower Show was held in the Church Hall on the 24th March 2012.
The weather was sunny and the many visitors were greeted with a host of Golden Daffodils, summer indeed is on its way.
Feature of this year's show was the presentation of the RHS Banksian Medal which was awarded to Colin Street. Colin also won The Daffodil Society Best Bloom in Show award for his daffodil Bere Ferrers.
In the decorative section an arrangement depicting the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was awarded to Margaret Crout.
In the children's section a, model of the RMS Titanic by Victoria Richards was First and a lovely Diamond Jubilee card by Harriett Smith won First.
Other cup winners were F Howard, I Paul, D Roxburgh, F Maddock, A Parsons, Eloise Alden, R Neal, N Mugridge, Pam Neave, Ann Street, B Hampton and Rhys Etherington.
The awards were presented by Dr Langsford.
Chairperson Margaret Willmott thanked the hard working committee and all who helped and attended the show.
Report by John Snell

Some of the happy winners

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Fly Tipping on the Peninsula

Fly tipping has arrived on the Peninsula - and the sooner it goes away, the better! This pile of rubbish was photographed at the lay-by near the Bere Alston junction. Some brain-dead individual obviously couldn't find the way to the Recycling Unit in Crowndale and just dumped it at the first open space!
It has been reported to West Devon Borough Council and will be mentioned at Parish Council this evening.
If anyone sees an individual or gang dumping rubbish at the side of the road, get as many details as possible and report it to Environmental Services at WDBC.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

St Patrick's Night

Diners at the Olde Plough Inn enjoyed Irish food tonight as part of the celebration of St Patrick's Day. Despite the 30-9 thrashing by England in the Six Nations, there was a happy atmosphere in the pub!
During the later part of the evening, the latest musical ensemble in the village had its debut - Black Velvet, formed especially for this evening. It featured a varied selection of Irish songs and tunes, played and sung by Rob and Lesley, Bruce and Carol, Clive and Bev.

Please Help the Foodbank

The Foodbank was set up by the Trussell Trust to help local people in crisis who cannot afford, in the short term, to buy essential food items. Please help these people by buying items from the list below and taking them to the Foodbank; the one in the village is at Margaret's Hairdressing daily and in the Saturday Shop and Cafe.
* UHT or powdered milk * Sugar * carton Fruit Juice * Soup * Pasta sauces * tinned Sponge Pudding * tinned Tomatoes * Cereals * tinned Rice Pudding * Tea Bags * Instant Coffee * Instant Mashed Potato * Rice and Pasta * tinned Meat and Fish * Tinned Fruit * Jam * Biscuits or Snack Bars.
Thank you

Another Rousing Ukies Party

The Bere Ukes held another of their parties in the Church Hall last night. Ukemeister  Mike Grimshaw reckoned that it was the third, but, hey, who's counting?
Nearly forty people - musicians and guests - crammed into one half of the hall, while the other half was full of equipment: speakers, mic stands, music stands, etc. A Bring and Share finger buffet was served - and eaten - before the entertainment began.
During the meal our Kiwi friend Graham produced a large bag with many types of hats he had collected on his travels, then another bag, in which was an accordion that he proceeded to play, ending up with a final bag containing percussion instruments, including a triangle, claves, maracas and drum sticks!
First up were the Bere Ukes who got the party going with four differing songs.
Following on from them was Kaleidoscope. It has to be pointed out here that all of the groups appearing are offshoots of the main Bere Ukes. It became a bit confusing, as some people were in several groups!
Part of Kaleidoscope
After Kaleidoscope it was the turn of the trio The Lumburn Hillbillies to entertain, with Bruce on Jew's Harp on one number.
Next were visitors from across the water - the River Tamar. Highly Strung are a group from Looe in Cornwall, some members of which regularly attend the Ukies practice sessions on Friday afternoons. As it was St Patrick's Day the next day, they sang a couple of popular Irish numbers.
Kiwi Graham did a solo spot, singing a couple of Maori songs, with tentative backing from Mike on guitar, who had only been told at 5 o'clock that he was doing the backing!
Follow that! as they say and next up were the Summerhouse Strummers, with a couple of scrumpy and western songs from the Wurzels.
Highly Strung
Strum Punch were the last of the 'guest' groups, before the Ukies en masse finished off the evening with several rousing numbers.
Marcel, without bouquets this time, thanked everyone who had participated in a wonderful evening and, in particular, to Mike Grimshaw for all his hard work with the Ukies.
Strum Punch

Friday, 16 March 2012

A Message from Millsey

Did you know there's an enthusiastic group of table tennis players in the village? Well, there is, and they meet in the church hall and they want to take on the village!
Dave Mills said: "We are planning to play a social friendly game against a team of villagers sometime in the near future, with a date to be arranged.  We play once a week, alternating Wednesday and Thursday mornings in the church hall.  New members are always welcome.  If anyone is interested in playing against our team they can contact me on 01822 840565." 
Photos by Millsey

Allotment Vacancies

There are a few vacancies on the allotments at Bere Ferrers. Anyone interested in renting one should ring Cheryl Malham, the Assistant Parish Clerk, on 840748 or visit the Parish Council office between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Mast Camouflage Discussed

Sue Fisher, Brian Maley and Brian Lamb discuss where
plants should go, as the 13.11 service heads to Gunnislake.

Brian Maley from Network Rail met Brian Lamb, Sue Fisher and Bev Slaughter this afternoon at the rail mast opposite Brian L's home. He had flown down from Glasgow to discuss how to reduce the impact of the mast on the environment. The mast itself will be reduced by five metres and painted dark olive. The cabin will not be painted.
After some discussion it was agreed that a retaining wall would be built approximately halfway between the road and the mast, the length of the mast and cabin. This would be filled with soil and mature trees planted. Wildflower seeds would be scattered on the soil to eventually produce a swathe of wild flowers. Evergreen holly bushes will be planted in front of the cabin. Hedging will be planted along the line of the roadside fencing and will eventually grow around the fencing.
It was agreed that Sue, who is a local horticultural specialist, would submit a list of plants and suppliers to Network Rail fairly quickly so that plants can be got into the ground while there is still time this year.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Diamond Jubilee Big Book of Thanks Signing

No, Her Majesty isn't coming to the Peninsula to sign copies of her autobiography!
Devon parishioners and children in Church of England schools have been invited to draw pictures and write personal messages of thanks to Her Majesty the Queen to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
These personal messages will be compiled into a special leather-bound book together with an introductory message from Bishop Michael and the Diamond Jubilee prayer handwritten in ink pen.
The diocesan Big Book of Thanks will be presented to the Lord Lieutenant of Devon at the Jubilee Garden Party held in the Bishop’s Gardens on 27th May. He will personally hand the Diocese of Exeter’s Big Book of Thanks to the Queen.
The Rector, the Rev. Nick, will be at the Saturday Shop between 10.30 and 11.30am on Saturday 24th March, with a fountain pen and some pages for parishioners to sign.
Please note: as it is the day of the Bere Ferrers Spring Flower Show, the shop will be in the Social Club.
The Bishop of Exeter handing over the
first pages of the Big Book of Thanks
to Revd Nigel Guthrie, the vicar of Crediton.
Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Exeter

Recreation Field Working Party

A working party of a few villagers took advantage of the sunny weather yesterday and started tidying up the Recreation Field for the summer.
Ian Lindsay has done a good job with repairing the zip slide and the Villagers' Group are now in the process of buying new bark to finish off the area. Unfortunately, bark is not cheap!
The trimmed part of the hedgerow.
The hedgerow got a trim to make it look a bit more presentable, but the team were not able to finish the job. Therefore, volunteers are wanted at the hedgerow at 4pm on Wednesday afternoon, 14th March, to finish the job.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Royal Regatta T&TGC Crew

David Auborn has sent a photo of the Tamar & Tavy Gig Club crew selected to row Ginette down the Thames as part of the Royal Regatta in front of H.M. The Queen to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.

Viv Barnes, Harry Birt, Nick Bailey, Brian Nobbs (Brian built the gig
and is going as Pilot) David Auborn, Kate Turner and Lynn Renton.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A Message from Joe

I recently emailed Joe Gilling in Vancouver and this is part of his reply:

We were away down in Palm Springs for a week (Canadians going south in the winter are known as snowbirds) then I went on to Salt Lake City (home of the 2002 Olympics) for some skiing with a friend. Skiing here at Whistler (home of the 2010 Olympics) has been good this winter and I continue to ski with the Whistler Senior Ski Team. This is a grand title for a programme that is run by the folks that operate Whistler mountain to entice people (about 250 in total) over 55 to re-learn to ski. Our coach/instructor is 80 so there's hope for me yet.
I heard about the great Valentine's Day bash at the Social Club and was very jealous about what we have been missing. There's certainly lots going on in Vancouver but it's not quite the same when you're part of the audience (as we are here) as opposed to being part of the act as I enjoyed so much "back home". You just can't have everything.
All the best to all our friends in Bere Ferrers.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Replacement of the Power Poles

Rob Smith has a very novel and amusing theory about the new poles (see post below). He says, 'I have an amusing theory that the poles needed replacing due to damage caused by the hundreds of drawing pins and staples which, over many years,were used to affix various notices highlighting musical and social events in this busy village. Before  the timely arrival of your Blog that was the way to let people know what was happening. Now that we have the Blog and we're all circulating news electronically this must result in  a saving in poles and trees!
However, this doesn't explain why only one half of the village was affected...!'

Perhaps Rob has a point - or two, in the case of staples!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Power Out in Part of the Village

Western Power Distribution were out in force in part of the village today, with about a dozen vehicles lining the road. They were replacing four electricity cables with one big one and changing over the distribution boxes to new poles that were erected some months ago.
The section replaced was between the Old Forge and Tavy Cottage and power was off from 9.30am until just after 2pm.
For some reason this is the only section of the village that is being done, according to one of the WPD men.

Lent Lunches

Lent Lunches start tomorrow (Wednesday) in the Church Hall, from 12.30pm. Lunch will be a bowl of soup and a roll, followed by cheese. There is not a fixed cost - diners are asked to donate what they feel.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Jubilee Meeting Report

The Chairman of the meeting, Bev Slaughter, welcomed a small audience of interested villagers from Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston to discuss further actions needed to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the Peninsula.
After a recap of what was decided at the previous two meetings, a detailed report on each of the projects was given.

History Group
Jean Sharman said that the Group would be putting on a display of memorabilia from Queen Victoria to Elizabeth II; they already have some items, such as Victorian souvenirs, original newspapers and a Coronation brochure, but more are needed. They do not think that the display will work on the stage in the Parish Hall, as nobody will bother to get up on the stage to have a look. It was agreed that it should be on the floor of the hall. Jean said that they have enough helpers, but they need display boards. These could be sourced from the United Reformed Church and the school.

Jubilee Trail
As Robin Musgrave was not available at the beginning of the meeting, Bev gave a short resume of the route. Later, Robin explained that he and Clive Charlton were working on the route, but he felt that endorsement was needed from the Footpaths & Environment committee of the Parish Council. This could be discussed at the next meeting on 13th March.
Bev said that Caroline Clark was unable to attend the meeting, but suggested that the Trail could be signed by small squares of timber branded with a crown over a ‘60’. Bev suggested that the AONB be approached so that the signs would be the same size as their signs – perhaps they might like to sponsor them?
Caroline also suggested that where local firms had sponsored a part of the Trail, a ‘plank and stumps’ bench, branded with that company’s name, could be erected on the Trail.

Best Jubilee Garden
Bev said that he had spoken to Colin Street about the Gardening Club/Horticultural Show taking over the organising of this competition and had been assured that they would.

Tea Dance
Gill said that someone she knows has offered to run the event on Saturday afternoon, from 4pm until 6 or 7pm, with a teaching element. Helena has arranged a choir to sing during the afternoon.
Tiddlywinks and Chatterbox will do the refreshments: sandwiches, cakes and tea.
Someone is needed to do the publicity and the tickets. Beryl said that there will be bunting.
It was suggested that the school could do a poster competition.
It was suggested that a cost of £5 per person be charged for admission. However, some people were not happy with this and it will go for further discussion.

Cream Teas on the Quay
Diana has been told that the old-fashioned games are in a sorry state, but will go and inspect them. Other games, like boules and throwing a horseshoe, could be used.
She will ask Mrs Grills if she will let us have power for the tea urn as she has before.
All residents on the Quay will be approached about the event to forestall any possible complaints.
A cream tea of two scones with cream and jam, plus a cup of tea, will be £2.50.
There was an appeal for people to make scones and also helpers to organise. Bev said that he would do the publicity. Steve said that he would help.

Monday Evening Event
Sarah said that there was no big evening celebration on the Monday evening. It was thought that a barbecue in each village would be good, as residents would prefer not to travel to the other village. There is a permanent barbecue in the Bere Ferrers Recreation Field which could be used (weather permitting!).

Picnic In The Park
Beryl reported that everything was sorted as it was a simple event: children brought their own picnics and they were provided with entertainment. Invites to be sent.

Youth Event
Hilary said that she had asked Jen Potts if the youth of the Peninsula would like to arrange a music event, but has not had any reply. Brian suggested that we should fundraise for the new youth centre to be built, called the Jubilee Centre. Any profits from the Jubilee events should go towards the Centre.
It was pointed out that some of the youths hold music workshops and it was suggested that perhaps they could do one at either village.

Art Group
Bev said that the Art Group were working on a project; David Pearce will be supplying an old mining map and several artists will do their interpretation of various locations on the map. These will be fixed to the map and framed. It will be 5foot square and has a place booked on the wall in the refurbished Parish Hall. Graham suggested that it be photographed before it’s framed and prints made for sale towards the Jubilee Centre.

Sewing Group/WI
No-one has heard whether these groups are planning anything.

Bev said that although the Parish Council and Bere Alston had rejected a bench, he was still pursuing having a bench made by a local stonemason. He had received a reply from one in Barnstaple who wants to come and discuss it.
Hilary suggested that Bere Alston might want to consider providing a suitable foundation stone for the Jubilee Centre instead of a bench

TV and DVD
Dee asked whether it was possible to show the days’ televised events live on a screen somewhere or use a DVD. Sarah replied that she could do that on the screen in the pub. Where could it be done in Bere Alston? Hilary said that the church has some equipment.

Jubilee Beacon
There are plans for 2,012 beacons throughout the Commonwealth. Those in the UK will be lit between 10pm and 10.30pm.
Apparently, the Dawes will be building a beacon near the bridleway off Hensbury Lane and will be having a barbecue. It was agreed that this would be the ideal event for the Monday evening, at least for the Bere Ferrers villagers. Hilary will check with the Bowling Club as to whether they would consider building a beacon in their grounds for Bere Alston.

Next Meeting
It was agreed to hold another meeting to finalise all the details. This will be at 8pm on Wednesday 4th April, at a venue to be decided.

Once again, it was pointed out that these events are not organised by the Parish Council or a few dedicated people, they are Peninsula events and have to be organised by groups of villagers. If the volunteers don’t come forward, the events don’t happen! It’s as simple as that!

Social Club Repainted

A group of volunteers have very nearly completed painting the lower bar in the Social Club. Gone are the gloomy pink walls, replaced by bright, whiteish walls that liven up the lower area.

Garden Party Invitation

Most villagers will know Daphne McDonald, who has lived in Bere Ferrers for many years and has always taken a participating interest in village life. During her residence here Daphne has been involved with St Andrew’s church and was for many years a church warden, bellringer and was greatly involved with the building of the church hall extension.

She was also, for many years, the Secretary of the Villagers’ Group and was a big part of the team that raised funding for many village projects, including the tennis court. Daphne also arranged, with TASS, for regular table tennis sessions in the church hall. She is now involved with the new car-sharing scheme.

A member of the Tamar & Tavy Gig Club, Daphne still rows and is a keen walker. Only last Tuesday she breezed into the pub at lunchtime with Maggie Cartwright after a five mile walk up and down the Drascombe valley at Cotehele! She is a stalwart of the Bere Ferrers Art Group and produces many excellent pastel works. Part of her home is given over each July and August to the art exhibition.

These are only some of Daphne’s attributes; in short, Daphne has done a lot for this village and, with an ailing husband, Keith, this was no mean feat!

Now she has been recognised for her work for the community; Daphne was nominated and seconded in a Parish Council draw for an invitation to a Garden Party in Exeter to be held by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon for people who had given service to their community, as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Daphne is the winner and will be attending the event later in the year!

Well done, Daphne – enjoy your day!

Gardens Open

Mr & Mrs Stowell at The Laurels, The Down, Bere Alston, will be opening their garden on Sunday April 15th from 2.30 – 5.00pm. Entry will be £2.50 and there will be cakes and plants for sale. The money raised will go to The Primrose Foundation, a breast-related diseases unit at Derriford Hospital.