Saturday, 30 June 2012

Red Arrows Over Plymouth

The Red Arrows conclude their display over Plymouth today with a victory roll to celebrate Armed Forces Day!

Upkeep of our Recreation Field

There is something I have to say about our Recreation Field. This is my personal comment and is not necessarily the official view of any village organisation - in fact, I know a few people will think I'm being negative and argumentative.

We have in Bere Ferrers a Recreation Field to be proud of. I haven't seen anything comparable around this area and it has taken a lot of hard work by a FEW dedicated people to get it up to the standard it is. Look at what we have:

1.     A tennis court that is in use almost every day and is used for pleasure and for training.

      2.     A five-a-side football pitch.

3.     A cycle track.

4.     A children’s play area.

5.     A zip slide.

6.     Swings.

7.     Barbecue area.

8.     Chess/draughts table.

9.     Bird hide.

10.  Marsh.

11.  Hedgerow.

12.  Seating.

13.  Car park.

14.  Magnificent view.

15.  Dog exercise area.

This all takes some looking after and it hasn’t got to the condition it’s in now on its own! Diana Mitchell has, for the past 12 years, looked after the management of the Field and done a magnificent job!
The Villagers’ Group raised the funding for the tennis court and this is now ably run by the tennis group.
Sarah Mugridge lead the mothers of the village some years ago and got funding for, and the building of, the play area in record time.
The bird hide was built by villagers so that enthusiasts can watch the birds on the estuary. This takes an enormous time and effort to keep pruned and tidy.
The marsh, started in a notoriously damp corner of the Field, is now well established, but it still has to be managed.
The zip slide has just had major work done, thanks to fundraising in the village and the efforts of a local expert.
The hedgerow needs attention once a year, plus major layering of the branches every two years.
Villagers have donated trees and shrubs to improve the Field.
And now we have achieved the grass cutting programme that the Group wanted to keep the Field looking good – thanks to the Parish Council who have taken over this function and young Mr Willmott and his mower!

Those people who regularly keep the Field in trim have the thanks of the Villagers’ Group – they know who they are! There is a regular session of tidying-up the Field on the second Sunday each month at 2pm. It would be nice if some new faces came along to give the ‘old timers’ a breather! You don’t have to come every month, just when you can, so it doesn’t become a chore. The Villagers’ Group is not a political organisation, it was formed to help the village when it was needed.

The Field is now in tip-top condition and it will take little effort by an enthusiastic group to keep it that way. If it isn’t looked after, our Field will rapidly become just a field and all those amenities will be lost.

Come along and help if you can – give Diana a ring on 841086. We’d love to see you!

If you’ve read all this, thank you!

Bere Ferrers Villagers' Group: Annual General Meeting

The following are the Minutes from the poorly-attended AGM of the Villagers' Group. Apart from the committee there were only two villagers at this important meeting!

Present: C. Grills, B. Slaughter, D. McDonald, D. Mitchell, R White, D. Mills, A. Hooper, D. Chapman (BFPC representative)
Apologies: J. Gallagher, B. Endean, P. Dennis (BFPC representative) 
Villagers: J. Slaughter, B. Lamb (part).

Minutes of the Last Meeting were read and accepted.
           Matters Arising
           The ducks for the Duck Race cost £30, not £60 as reported.

Chairman’s Report
Christine thanked all members of the committee for their hard work during the year. She said that while she was happy to continue as Chairman for the coming year she will stand down next year.

Treasurer’s Report
Roger distributed his balance sheet and explained it thoroughly (full account attached). This showed that the following amounts are available to the BFVG:

            Deposit Account:          £1002.48
            Current Account:               272.28
            Petty Cash:                         20.69
             Total:                           £1295.45

Roger pointed out that the bank has now insisted that transferring money from the Business Deposit Account to the Current Account requires a letter signed by two authorised signatories, instead of just a phone call.
A cheque for £25 to Callington Lions for the hire of the ducks for the Duck Race before last has not been cashed. It was agreed to contact them and offer to replace it, as the original one is now out of date.
The Public Liability insurance for the Field has been taken over by the Parish Council, with the exception of the tennis court. We have our usual cover with Zurich until 31st March 2013 and Roger will check if this includes the court. If it does, the court is covered until next April, then the tennis group must arrange their own; if not, they must arrange insurance urgently.
The Devon Playing Fields Association subscription is up to date (we needed it to be able to get insurance), but do we need it next year if the Parish Council are providing insurance?
In future, the Panto money will be included in the Current Account, not shown separately.
There was a significant expenditure this year due to the work done on the zip slide and consequently our bank balance is not as healthy as it was. Roger warned that if we spend money at the same rate as this year we will have no funds in two years and he was concerned that they should not be run down. Discussions were held about how much we needed to keep in the accounts.
All present were satisfied with the accounts and thanked Roger for his excellent work.

Recreation Field Report
RoSPA Report
As last year, Diana said that she had read the RoSPA report, but was dissatisfied with their assessments, as the comments didn’t always appear logical. However, John G will be asked to have a look at the RoSPA concerns.
Scout Help
The Scouts did an excellent job tidying the Field last year and it is hoped that they may do the same this autumn.
Work Parties
Diana said that she has tried to get regular working parties on the second Sunday in the month to keep the Field tidy. She wants villagers to turn up without asking, not necessarily every month but when they can, but none have turned up without being asked by Diana. The maintenance of the Field has been left again to the same people and it would be nice if other villagers gave a hand with this important resource for the village. It doesn’t look as good as it does without regular help and if this help is not forthcoming the condition of the Field will deteriorate. Diana said that she wants to stand down now after some considerable time as the Field Manager, but no one is willing to take over.
Dave Mills suggested a similar scheme to that used at his golf course: when work needs doing, volunteers are called for and after the work is done there is food and drinks at the end. It was suggested that a barbecue or picnic could be held for those villagers who help with the Field maintenance. Angela will contact Caroline to see if she is interested in arranging something along these lines.
Grass Cutting
It was agreed that thanks be given to the Parish Council for the way the Field is now mown. It makes such a difference when the grass is cut regularly and the Field is looking better now than it has for a long time. This is also due to the work that the volunteers do and if this isn’t done the Field will rapidly deteriorate as an amenity, so volunteers are needed urgently!
However, Bev said that he and the Parish Council were not happy with the way the gravel on the car park has been distributed over the area. Most of it is at the hedge end and very little at the other end – it has not appear to have been satisfactorily raked evenly across the car park.
Bagged Rubbish
Someone has bagged rubbish in the Field and left it for the Council recycling lorry, but the men repeatedly miss the bags. Doris will bring this up at the Parish Council.
Oak Trees
Bev said that he and Juli have five oak plants grown from acorns and would like to donate some to the Field. It was suggested that one be planted infield on the cycle track and two others at the bottom of the car park bank. Diana has plastic rabbit tubes. Paul Willmott is to be warned about the oaks and also the foxgloves near the bird hide so that they are not mown down.
John Gallagher was thanked for looking after the play area.

Tennis Report
The following report was given by Angela.
The Tennis Court continues to be well used – there is now a regular game booked almost every day, and new players are joining in.
We are fulfilling our ambition of providing exercise for both young people and those who are retired or nearing retirement.
Younger players are being encouraged through our annual six-week coaching sessions, which have just started this year. We are pleased to have Roger Froud, the Tennis Coach from Yelverton Tennis Club, as our Coach again this year.
We  have retained our fees at the same level as last year – ie. - £30 annual membership for regular players, and £2 per hour for the hire of the Court for occasional players and visitors.
We have had no repairs to the Court, and our bank balance is slowly continuing to grow.  At 1st April 2012. this was:-
£5,009.00 (Savings Account) and
£     42.94 (Current Account)
The money we save will pay for any repairs and for resurfacing the Court when that is necessary.
We are very grateful to Margaret Willmott for collecting the monies and holding the key, and also to Gordon Spiers for continuing to be our Treasurer.

Railway Report
An up to date report had been requested from the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership, but none was forthcoming. Bev said that figures for the line up to May were up 3.5% over the same period last year.
Brian reported that the Tavy viaduct will be having major permanent way work done, starting this Saturday (30th June) during the night-time.
Bev read a copy of a letter from Mark Hopwood, the Managing Director of First Great Western, to Geoffrey Cox MP in response to our enquiry about mobility scooters on trains. Christine has the letter, which has the dimensions that are allowed on the trains.

Notice Board
It was agreed that the current board on Bristol Row is a mess. Dave’s father-in-law has volunteered to build a new one, with Perspex doors and a cork lining, free of charge. It would be painted a different colour to the Parish Council notice board. Dave said that he would make sure that it was kept tidy and current. All were in agreement.

Shop Award
It was unanimously agreed to send congratulations to the Saturday Shop and CafĂ© Steering Committee on receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Election of Officers
The new committee was elected as follows:
Chairman:        Christine Grills
Secretary:         Daphne McDonald for one year only.
Treasurer:        Roger White
Committee:      John Gallagher, Bev Slaughter, Diana Mitchell and David Mills.
Representatives from BFPC: Cllrs Doris Chapman and Peter Dennis.

It was agreed that new people from the village are urgently needed to join the committee to bring fresh ideas – can you help?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Jubilee Barbecue

The Jubilee Barbecue and Music held on the Quay earlier this month raised £535 for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Jubilee Proceeds Presented to Y2Y

Youth2Youth Treasurer George Nash (right) is on hand as Parish Council Chairman Hilary Boot-Handford hands over the proceeds from the various Jubilee events to Jen Potts, Co-ordinator of the Bere Y2Y, surrounded by members of the Y2Y committee, PC Vice-Chairman Brian Lamb and some of those involved in the organisation of the events.
The total raised was £1,031, which will go towards the £77,000 needed to build Jubilee Hall, the new youth centre.
Several grants have already been awarded towards the cost, but more funding is needed, Chairman of the committee, the Rev Nick Law, told the Y2Y AGM that followed the presentation. Any donations towards the cost will be gratefully received.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Strange Craft on the River

What is this strange craft that came up the river today? Obviously it's a hovercraft, but whose? It came up the water at speed then floated across the mud, stopped and the two men on board talked for a while, then it returned downriver.
The Queen's Harbour Master, perhaps? Environment Agency?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

(Nearly) Midsummer Celebration

A small party was held in the village to celebrate (early) the coming of Midsummer's Day, but why early, I hear you cry! Well, Ann Jeffries is paying a flying visit to the village on her way back to her summer home in France after her visit to California and Canada. She won't be here for Midsummer, so some bright spark suggested we celebrate with bubbly and strawberries while she was here.

Thanks to Sally

My thanks go to Sally, who printed 100 copies (at her own expense, as her 'contribution to the Jubilee') of the Bere Ferrers News Golden Jubilee Special Picture Edition for those villagers who are unable to receive it by email. Copies are now available at the Post Office or Margaret's.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Celebration Craft Day

This Celebration Craft Day on Saturday 16th June has been almost lost in the host of Jubilee Events, so the organisers, the United Reform Church, are now trying to make it known. 
The morning session (at Bere Alston School) is Fun Olympics for Children;  the afternoon session (in Bere Alston School Hall) is Fun Crafts for Adults and the evening is a pop concert for young people (in the Parish Hall).  Note the crafts and come and try your hand at some simple, but fun, new things...... The afternoon session starts at 2.30pm till 4pm.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Coming Up at the Pub

Sunday 17th June  Fathers' Day: book now. Acoustic Night, starts at 8.15pm.
Sunday 24th June  Midsummer's Day Barbecue and Fancy Dress (with a Midsummer theme - no pirates!)
Friday 29th and Saturday 30th June  Armed Forces Charity Weekend. More details to follow.
Sunday 1st July  Plugged and Unplugged. 8pm.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Integrity: Sneak Preview

The fantail stern

Several sailors and interested persons (me) were invited today to a sneak preview of the 1880 Gentleman’s Cutter Integrity which has, over the last two years, been lovingly restored by Will and Sarah Stirling and their team at a location on the Peninsula.

It was built on spec and has taken two years to restore inside a huge barn, but is now outside in preparation for being transported to Mayflower, Plymouth, where it will be moored until a buyer is found. The interior has yet to be finished off.
The length of the boat is 43 feet, the extreme breadth is 11 feet and the draught is 7 feet 6 inches. It will have seven sails: mainsail, staysail, balloon staysail, large jib, jib topsail, topsail and squaresail. The cutter weighs 20 tons plus 8 tons ballast, dry weight.

The mast is made from a Douglas fir and is 56 feet tall, including 7 feet beneath the deck. It a gaff rigged boat and the squaresail spar is 24 foot long; with all sail aloft it carries 2,000 sq ft of canvas. The main boom is 30 feet long and sticks out over the stern by 3 feet. All the bronze fittings were made on site

Interior facing aft.

Interior facing forward.

The slide show in the barn.
The mast rings.
Drawing of the cutter.
The mast waiting to be stepped.

Let's get the flock out of here!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Bere Ferrers Villagers' Group AGM

Several members of the committee, including the Secretary, are standing down at the AGM.
Some of these members have served on the committee since the Group was formed and perhaps now is the time for some new blood to take over. If you would like to serve on the committee please let the Secretary know, with a paper signed by a Proposer and Seconder, no later than Friday 22nd June.
The current Chairman, Christine Grills, has indicated that she is willing to continue in this role, if voted for, for the coming year, but will stand down at the 2013 AGM.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Bere Ferrers Art Group Summer Exhibition

The Bere Ferrers Art Group’s Annual Exhibition 2012 will be held in the Old Coach Barn, Bere Ferrers, courtesy of Daphne McDonald, on each Saturday and Sunday from July 14th to August 26th from11am to 3pm. Most framed exhibits are available for purchase and there are smaller unframed works for sale.

Art Group's Jubilee Project

The Bere Ferrers Art Group meets during ‘term time’ in Bere Ferrers Church Hall every Tuesday morning, with visiting tutors usually every fortnight with the other weeks available for doing ‘own work’.
Group member Bev Slaughter proposed that the Art Group commemorate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in some way. There is currently hanging in Bere Ferrers Church Hall a framed embroidery done by the Bere Ferrers Women’s Institute for the Millennium, showing the Bere Peninsula.
Each of the members was asked if they would like to do a similar representation of a place of interest within the parish of Bere Ferrers, in any medium they wished. The only stipulation was that each piece was done on a 6” x 4” piece of Bockingford paper or similar. The centre map, showing the mining lodes (silver, tin, arsenic and copper) within the parish, was drawn by David Pearce from Weir Quay.
Artists who contributed were Nelson Bowden, Jane Hamlyn, Angela Hooper, Bruce Horner, Frances Howard, Val Law, Gabby Morley, Chris Moulder, Sally Mountford, Helena Rogers, Bev Slaughter and Roger White.
The components were expertly arranged and framed by Rachel at Homeframe, Plymouth, who is the group’s preferred framer.
The project now hangs in the newly-renovated Parish Hall in Bere Alston.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Watersports Next!

Saturday 21st July is the date and Bere Ferrers is the place, so get it in your diary now! This is always a great day of fun, games and music, despite what the weather can throw at us, so come along for a fun-filled day. Those of you who have been before will know what a super time we have down at the Quay: there will be the usual games in the mud and the water of the river, crabbing; the afternoon barbecue and evening hog roast, the bar on the Quay, probably the best face painter in the south-west, stalls and refreshments and last, but not least, the music to finish of the day.

Steering Committee at Buckingham Palace

Four of the Saturday Shop and Cafe Steering Committee, Fran Gorringe, Pearl Dawe, Caroline Clark and Juli Slaughter, outside Buckingham Palace after the Royal Garden Party last week.
Photo by Pete Gorringe.

Special Jubilee Thanks

Special thanks go to the following people for the work they put in to make the Diamond Jubilee a success in the village (in no particular order): 
Sarah and Ted at the pub for the bar at the barbecue and also for financing the headline band; all the musicians who took part at three events free of charge; Rob Smith for organising the music; the Dawe family for the barbecue; the sponsors of the barbecue; Diana Mitchell; Margaret Willmott and the ladies of the Women's Institute; the Chairman and committee of the Social Club; the Saturday Shop and Cafe; St Andrew's church; Royal British Legion; the Scout Movement; Trevor; Marcel Kelly. If I have missed anyone I apologise.
Thanks also go to all those people who supported the events in Bere Ferrers and made them such a success.

Jubilee Barbecue Success

On a cold June night a hardy group of villagers arrived at Bere Ferrers Quay for the last of the Jubilee celebrations in the village last night. The evening kicked off at 7pm with sets from Cowboy Ian, Emmy-Lou Lizzie (not her real name!) and the Summerhouse Strummers.
The bar mascot!

As the numbers of visitors grew, the Blaxton Band took over the stage, followed by Scotty, then George Nix with Rockin' Ron, before George did a set of rockin' numbers on his own that got some of the crowd up and dancing (including Daphne!). The night got even chillier, but some of the hardier types stayed on the Quay, while others retreated to the pub to warm up.

The barbecue did a roaring trade.

Daphne trips the light fantastic with Angela.

Maggie W, Sally and Dave Munn

The barbecue did a roaring trade, as did the raffle. All proceeds were to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. Just after 10pm the beacon at Parsonage Farm was lit. One onlooker at the Quay was asked 'Did you see the glow?' 'No, just a lot of smoke!' was the reply.
The main band, the Skalettes(?) took the stage to finish off the evening and got the crowd warmed up and rocking with a great selection of rock, ska and reggae numbers.
Thanks go to the Dawe family for organising the evening and to Rob Smith for organising the musical entertainment.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Profit From Cream Teas

Diana Mitchell reports that the profit from the Cream Teas came to £231, which goes towards the Jubilee Hall Fund ! Well done!

Weather Doesn't Stop the Party

The bad weather in the village this afternoon didn't stop the Cream Teas On The Quay taking place - except that it all moved to the church hall. Marcel Kelly rearranged his 'games' to 'game' and what a popular one it turned out to be - Jengha!
At three o'clock villagers started pouring through the door, despite the attraction of the Jubilee Flotilla on the Thames. Awaiting their approval were tables groaning under the weight of cream teas and various cakes. Other tables were arranged in the hall and Marcel soon got teams from each table to play Jengha. Meanwhile, threequarters of the Summerhouse Strummers were joined by Jane Musgrave on concertina for an hour and a half set of various popular tunes.
Kate gingerly removes a block.
Intently watching Jengha.

Oh, no!

Strummers and guest musician!

The afternoon finished at about 4.45, with the weather still miserable outside, but everyone had a good time inside!

Jubilee Church Service

A packed St Andrew's church took part in a service to commemorate HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee this morning. Led by the Rev. Nick Law, the congregation, including representatives for the Royal British Legion and the various branches of the Scouting movement, sang several well-known hymns, accompanied by the St Andrew's Singers.
Rev Nick enjoys a joke with the Royal
British Legion...something about Peter
 York's bowling commitments!!
The Singers also delighted with a couple of their own, before the Tavy Tars made their second appearance of the weekend, singing patriotic arias: 'Hearts of Oak', 'British Grenadiers' and 'Rule Brittania!'.
The organist was Ann Parsons.
The collection at the end was in aid of the
Youth2Youth Jubilee Hall project.

St Andrew's Singers
Photo courtesy of Sue Hodgson
The Tavy Tars in full voice!