Saturday, 28 April 2012

Jubilee Concert Announced

The Jubilee Concert IS on!  Helena Rogers has been waiting for responses from people who were asked to take part, but now there are enough good acts to go ahead.
It will be on June 9th, 7.30pm at the Parish Hall. Those taking part include the children of Bere Alston School, young people from Youth2Youth; the St. Andrew's Singers and 'Chordial' choirs, Ann-Louise Jones (Clarinet); and 'Under the Fingers' (guitar and harp). We await confirmation on other possible delights! BOOK THE DATE!! Cost to be advised.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Affordable Housing in the Parish

The last Full Parish Council meeting of the 2011-12 year was held last night in the church hall. This is the Ferret's personal view of what happened with reference to the talk by Mark Wilson and Andy Rigby from Bibbio Ltd about affordable housing in Bere Alston.

The hall was packed, mainly because a rumour had been going round for several weeks about a housing development at the end of Trevethan Park. As I explained on this blog some weeks ago, this is not in the West Devon Borough Council Future Strategy, but you know how rumours persist! The only development earmarked in the parish in the foreseeable future is a small one in Woolacombe Road.
Mark Wilson started by explaining what his company, Bibbio, was about. Subsidies for affordable houses have been reduced from £56,000 per house to £0,000 up to £25,000. Bibbio feel that a maximum of 20 houses per village is enough before the fabric of the village is disrupted.
Andy Rigby told the meeting that a minimum small amount of open-market houses are required to be built to finance affordable housing. He also said that there would be a strict criteria of who gets the houses: applicants need to be born in the parish, or used to live in but wish to return to the parish, or currently live in the parish. If all houses are not allocated within thirty days they are offered to physically adjoining parishes. After another thirty days any still vacant are offered to the next bordering parishes, and so on within West Devon.
This did not go down well with some Councillors and audience.
Mark Wilson said that there hasn't been a Housing Survey in the parish. Cllr Mike Benson pointed out that people were working on the Parish Plan and the survey will be part of that. Mr Wilson revealed that he was working with a local landowner in Woolacombe Road.
Cllr Benson said that he was reluctant to go along with something just because someone says so, without some benefit to the community (Memories of the Pentillie Road development). He received an enthusiastic round of applause from the audience.
He also corrected some information given by the visitors; as a member of the Planning Committee at WDBC he was more up-to-date with current and proposed legislation than Bibbio seemed to be.
Mr Rigby then said that if the parish doesn't follow the Bibbio route it would leave the door open for the big developers to jump in. This was seen by several people as a threat.
It was pointed out from the floor that the roads in and around the parish are not suitable for further development within the parish; this had been endorsed by the Inspector some years ago, but he had been overruled and the Pentillie Road development had been bulldozed through. We didn't want this to happen again.
Adrian Mitchell declared an interest in the Woolacombe Road development and he was concerned about giving our youngsters a home.
A question was asked about the cost of any homes, but it appeared that these houses would be for rent only, through a housing association.
The meeting ended with a lot of people in the audience relieved that Trevethan Park appeared to be safe.
It appeared to me and other people that Bibbio are just middle men for big developers and we have to be very wary about talk of development in the parish. We all appreciate that affordable housing is needed for the young people to stay in the parish, but not at the expense of another Pentillie Road and lining the pockets of landowners!
This was the view of the Ferret and not necessarily all people present at the meeting.

Christine at The House of Lords

Photos courtesy Joyce Bottse

Popular villager and former Borough Councillor Christine Grills was honoured yesterday in London. Christine says "I was at The House of Lords yesterday for a reception for The Patsy Calton Awards. Unbeknown to me, my name had been submitted and I was runner-up. Also included was a tour of The House of Lords, which was quite an experience. The Patsy Calton Awards were set up after a Lib-Dem M.P. of that name died of cancer and is aimed at women who are, or have been, an inspiration to others. This was for the period 2010 - 2011."

Monday, 23 April 2012

Rail Mast: A Message From Brian

This message is from Brian Lamb, head of TRAM:
'Work has now finished at Bere Ferrers with shortening and painting of the mast and box.  A contract has been let for plantings now and in the Autumn.
At Bere Alston, a 15 metre diapole mast has been erected at Collins Bridge with antenna directed up and down the line. No further work has been carried out at Bere Alston Station or at Calstock.
We have done our best with a fairly satisfactory conclusion I hope.
Thanks to all of you for your support and active help.'

Brian and his team have done an extraordinary job fighting Network Rail over these masts and stopped them 'steamrolling' the project through as they must have done in other parts of the country. With grateful help from Geoffrey Cox MP, the team have battled against these masts, to the extent that the top people at NR have been forced to visit the village, not once but several times, before we got a reasonable outcome.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Jubilee Weekend Timetable of Events

Saturday 2nd June

History Group
Display of Jubilee and Coronation items in the Parish Hall from 10am until 3pm.
Free admission, but donations welcome to pay for the hire of the hall.

Tea Dance
Tuition, tea and a lot of fun! In the Parish Hall from 4.30 till 7.30pm. Admission £3, plus a raffle to help cover the cost of the hall. Tickets from Margaret’s Hairdressing and the Saturday Shop (Bere Ferrers) and the Pharmacy and Hope Cottage in Bere Alston.

Sunday 3rd June

Church Service
An informal service at St Andrew’s, with the Royal British Legion and other organisations. 11am.

Cream Teas on the Quay
Games, music and cream teas on the Quay at Bere Ferrers (if it’s raining, in the church hall). Teas are £2.50.

Monday 4th June

Jubilee Trail
Official opening of the first part of the Trail (to be confirmed).

West View Garden Party
As part of the Jubilee celebrations West View will be hosting a garden party. The theme will be the Best of British.There will be a traditional afternoon tea in the garden (weather permitting).The planning is in its infancy at the moment but it looks as though they have managed to book the Callington town band, a ladies choir and a town crier so far. Their chosen charity will the be the local charity Powerpack. The garden party will be open to everyone, and West View hope that the local community will support them.

Barbecue at Bere Ferrers
In aid of RABI, the farming community charity, who have organised the UK-wide chain of beacons. The Olde Plough will be providing a barbecue on the Quay and there will be music from local groups and individuals. Time to be confirmed.

Tuesday 5th June

Picnic in the Park
For the children at the Primary School, in the school grounds in the afternoon.

Bere In Bloom
Don’t forget to make your front gardens, window box, hanging basket or window a riot of colour to celebrate the Jubilee!

Parish Meeting in Bere Ferrers: Affordable Housing Talk

The next Full Council meeting is this Tuesday 24th April in the church hall at 7pm. The normal meeting will be preceded by a talk by Bibbio Ltd. on affordable housing in Bere Alston. Bibbio is based in Tavistock, working around Devon and Cornwall providing community affordable housing. They have been working with a landowner on moving a scheme forward in the parish for the delivery of affordable housing and would very much welcome the opportunity of discussing this further with the Council and interested parishioners.
If you are interested (or worried) about further housing in the parish, come to the meeting on Tuesday. 

Friday, 13 April 2012

Summer Is Icumen In

Summer is approaching, but how do I know?
The tarring and gritting lorries are in the villages and around abouts, that's how! For several days now, gangs have been working in Station Road doing little repair jobs before the dressing started. And today the bottom of Station Road was clogged with different sorts of vehicles, all waiting to do their stuff.
And who was the driver in a little Ford who was driving along Station Road, busy talking on his mobile (naughty!), and failed to see a large hole in the road and drove into it? The front of his car had to be lifted out of the hole by a couple of strong men - how embarrassing!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

New Blood Wanted

New blood is wanted for the committee of the Bere Ferrers Villagers' Group. At the AGM in June, the Secretary, Bev Slaughter, and the Field Management Co-ordinator, Diana Mitchell, will not be standing for re-election.
Diana has been responsible for the successful management of the Recreation Field for many years now and she feels that the time is right for someone new to take over this role.
If you live in the village and would like further details of these two posts, please contact Bev.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Happy Birthday at the Shop

Betty's birthday celebrations continued at the Community Shop and Cafe this morning, when a passing bunch of itinerant ukelele strummers wandered in to sing 'Happy Birthday' to her.

Photos by Juli Slaughter

Shop and Cafe Birthday Approaches

This month is the Community Shop and Cafe's sixth birthday and on Saturday 21st April we will be celebrating by giving a FREE piece of cake with every drink bought! So you can have a cafetiere of coffee, or a pot of tea, or a glass of fruit juice, with a large piece of home-made cake for only 50p!!

Housing in Bere Ferrers

There is a rumour circulating that there is to be a housing development of between 14 and 16 houses behind Trevethan Park. A similar rumour started in November last year involving 45 houses and our two Borough Councillors, Robin Musgrave and Mike Benson, were contacted to find out more.
Robin replied: 'This...simply relates back to the central government requirement of identifying possible sites for long-term future development. (You may recall the meetings 2-3 years ago when this exercise was carried out and resulted in a highly-charged meeting in the church hall). The only relevant plans are included in the attached document which does include a possible development at Woolacombe Road.'
The excerpt below is from the Strategic Housing Update October 2011 referred to above, under the heading Future Sites:

Bere Alston
A developer has put forward an exception site at Woolacombe Road, and a parish housing survey is planned as part of the Sustainable Rural Communities toolkit to identify local housing need.

This is the only development indicated on the Peninsula in the near future.

Mike replied: 'Have been asked some time ago.....and made enquiries at the time. Was told...these are sites offered by land owners, there is no proposal at this time to develop any of them. This is the system used to determine sites as WDBC can't compulsory purchase development land and needs to know when houses can be built if required. The core strategy indicates developments to be constructed over the next four years. This does not include obviously single constructions of the type which comes to Parish Council.'

Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy Birthday, Betty!

Today is Betty Jeffries' 95th birthday - and it's very hard to believe! A lucky few of us were invited for pre-lunch drinks at her house and what a delight it was! The morning started sunny but it was cold, due to an overnight frost. However, Betty's patio faces south and by the time we arrived at noon it was a sun trap and we were soon warmed up, in no small part to a wonderful pink drink called a Gin Crusty!

Ann with nibbles.
Barbara talks to Juli.

Caroline, Keith and Betty.

Nelson and John talk boats.

Caroline's cheese nibbles.

Judy talks to Bruce.

The furthest guest came from Australia - Judy, Betty's Australian 'daughter', who arrived yesterday and who is staying in the village for ten days before doing the Grand Tour of Europe.

Jubilee Gardens

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Jubilee Meeting

Apologies Beryl Mills, Julie Overnell, Gill Larkin, Ann Parsons

The ‘group leaders’ from Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston discussed further actions needed to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on the Peninsula, at the Olde Plough Inn, Bere Ferrers last night and a detailed report on each of the projects was given.

Jubilee Gardens competition
It was agreed that, although there was time to organise a competition, parishioners might be put off by the competitive element so they will be asked to put on an appropriate display in their front gardens. Some people don’t have front gardens and it was suggested that a floral display or bouquet in front windows would do very well, perhaps surrounding a picture of the Queen. Bev will do an advertisement for the next Bere Link.

History Group
Jean Sharman said that the display was going very well and she had been promised lots of items, but more are still wanted. She already had several historical items from Queen Victoria’s reign, together with coins and First Day Cover stamps. Bev told her that a Bere Ferrers villager can provide copies of photographs of the Queen in India in the Sixties.
The display will be open in the Parish Hall from 10am until 3pm on Saturday 2nd June and will remain during the Tea dance later that afternoon.
Hilary said that there would be a charge for the hire of the Parish Hall on Friday (set-up) and Saturday. It would be around £50 and she was negotiating with Beregen to reduce this or eliminate it. However, we needed to find some way of paying for this. Any profits from the Jubilee Weekend will be given to the Youth2Youth project towards building the Jubilee Hall. As entrance to the display will be free, it was suggested that a voluntary donation on the door would raise some funds.

Tea Dance
The event on Saturday afternoon will run from 4pm until 7pm, with a teaching element. Helena Rogers has arranged a choir to sing during the afternoon.
The Hall has been booked; Tiddlywinks and Chatterbox will do the refreshments: sandwiches, cakes and tea.
The layout of the Hall is to be agreed with the history Group and their display panels. There will be bunting available to decorate the Hall but more is needed. Hilary will ask her church or perhaps the Scouts.
A cost of £3 per person will be charged for admission, with a raffle to cover the cost of hiring the Hall. Super prizes are requested. Tickets will be on sale at the usual outlets in Bere Alston and at Margaret’s Hairdressing and the Saturday Shop in Bere Ferrers.

Cream Teas on the Quay
The event will start at 3pm. Marcel Kelly has agreed to organise the games.
All residents on the Quay have been 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. Mrs Grills has agreed to provide power for the tea urn (very important!). In the event of bad weather the event will be held in the BF Church Hall, which has been booked. Val said that the WI have offered to decorate the Hall for the weekend and they were thanked for that.
Caroline suggested bunting along the street, similar to Watersports.
Scones and cakes have been organised. Bev said that a group of local musicians would be strumming away during the afternoon and any other musicians were welcome to join in when they could.

Monday Evening Event
Sarah Williams, from the Olde Plough, will be holding a barbecue in Bere Ferrers. More details later.

Picnic In The Park
Everything was sorted, as it was a simple event: children bring their own picnics and they will be provided with entertainment, which is being arranged. Invites are to be sent out next term. It was suggested that every child that attends be given a free cupcake.
A special commemorative coin is being sourced; every child in the parish from birth to the last year of primary school will be given one. Jean asked if one could be reserved for the History Group archives.

Youth Event
There will be no youth event. Hilary said that she had asked Rev Nick if there could be a commemorative plaque on the Jubilee Hall when it was built. He was in favour of the idea, but only if all the many groups on the Peninsula contributed to the fund.

Jubilee Trail
Robin Musgrave said that he and Clive Charlton were still 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 10th April.
There was good news: Robin said that there were several possible sources of funding and help: Tamar Valley AONB, Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, Natural England, so funding does not appear to be an issue.
The currently-planned trail leaves Bere Alston via Cotts to give walkers the fantastic views from there. Walkers could return to Bere Alston by rail. There are many ways of walking the whole Jubilee Trail. It was decided to include a loop to Weir Quay.
There is also a cycle trail in the Peninsula.
A leaflet needs to be produced urgently about the Jubilee Trail and costs need to be identified for applying for funding.
Benches were suggested at strategic places along the Trail. These could be sponsored by local businesses. Landowners’ permission would have to be obtained to do this.
Daphne agreed to look at the Natural England web site for details of funding available.
There is likely to be an official opening of a part of the Trail on Monday 4th June.

Church Service
Bev said that he had been notified that there will be a church service at St Andrew’s with the British Legion and other organisations on 4th June. Several people thought this was the wrong date as the service will be on Sunday 3rd.

Bere Ferrers Art Group
The Art Group are 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 under 5 feet square and already has a place booked on the wall in the refurbished Parish Hall.

Bev reported that he had received a cost for a stone wall type of bench, but it was over £1,500. The idea was shelved.
Diana suggested that a tree be planted at Bere Alston, Bere Ferrers and Weir Quay, with an appropriate plaque, instead of benches.

Jubilee Beacon
Hilary has asked with the Bowling Club as to whether they would consider building a beacon in their grounds for Bere Alston, but has not had a decision from them. Subsequent to the meeting the club has decided that it would not host a beacon but would help with other projects or put on a music evvent.

Bere Ferrers Social Club
Bev said that the Social Club were holding a special Open Mic night on Saturday 2nd June, tentatively entitled ‘Bere Ferrers Got Talent!’.

Parish Photos
It had been mentioned at previous meetings about having a photographic archive record of who lived where in the parish, with people being photographed outside their dwelling. A similar book was featured on Spotlight this week and the village benefitted from the proceeds of the sale. There are many proficient photographers on the Peninsula, but it needs a Co-ordinator. These photographers will, not doubt, adequately cover the events in the parish over the Jubilee Weekend.

Finally, it was agreed that any profits from the weekend will be donated to the Jubilee Hall appeal.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Rail Mast

The top five metres of the rail mast near the station was removed today and the large cabin was painted in olive.

New Band at the Club on Saturday

Club Social Secretary Margaret Ball has booked a new local band called Triple Trouble for this Saturday evening. The band is headed by Scotty, well known by participants in the monthly Open Mic nights at the Club, and there is a red-hot guitarist in the line-up. Not to be missed!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Betty's Birthday Celebrations Start!

Betty Jeffries celebrates her 95th birthday on Good Friday but the celebrations started this morning at the Art Group. During the session, Betty was presented with a card signed by the members, plus a bouquet of flowers. Pearl Dawe had baked a delicious cake which was adorned with 'Happy Birthday' and a mass of candles.

'Behind you!!'

After the presentation, masses of nibbles and bottles of alcoholic beverage suddenly appeared from nowhere and were just as rapidly consumed!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Blessed Are The Cheese Sellers!

Help is needed to sell cheese at the Saturday shop! Not every week, but as part of a rota. Contact Caroline Clark for more details.