Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Monumental Disaster at the War Memorial

Those people who attended the Remembrance Service at the War Memorial earlier this month may have noticed a new addition. A granite step had been recently positioned, at a cost of about £350, to enable wreath-layers to easily access the War Memorial itself. Unfortunately it was put in the wrong place! It should have been put directly in front of the cross, not 90 degrees to the left. No-one used it as it was very awkward to get to. Now the whole step has to be repositioned to its correct spot.
This was done by monumental stonemasons, but it turned into a monumental cock-up!

Another Dismal Village Turn-out

A special meeting was held tonight for villagers to decide how to commemorate the Queen's Jubilee, but only eleven people turned up - and seven of those were Villagers' Group committee members! Another dismal turn-out by villagers!
Before the main discussion of the evening, thanks were given to David Mills's father-in-law Joe, who had built the new Villagers' Group notice board; to John Gallagher for his work in restoring some of the posts near the zip slide, and Margaret Ball, who raised over £300 for funds.
Recreation Field
The bird hide is getting out of control and it was agreed that it be coppiced and the scaffolding and flooring removed.
The Scouts will come in March and do some work. Volunteers to help should let Diana Mitchell know when they are free.
The hedgerow will be trimmed with a hedge cutter this year, possibly in February.
Ian Lindsay has offered to spray the actual track in the cycle track to keep the weeds down. Ken Sheaf has offered to strim the remainder.
Tennis Court
The court need cleaning and re-marking. Tricia Wilks has obtained estimates of around £2,000 to do this, which should last for another five years. Resurfacing will cost about £10,000 and although it does not need doing yet a careful watch needs to be kept on funds, which currently stand at just over £5,000. All this money has been raised from income from the tennis court and not from Group funds.
Cleaning and re-marking cannot start until the weather gets warmer, so about April/May time.
Jubilee Commemoration
Daphne suggested planting bulbs in the grass verges throughout the village. There could be small signs at each end of the village saying that this was a commemoration of the Queen's Jubilee.
Roger suggested that a seat be placed in the open part of the barn in the Recreation Field.
It was thought that, with the £500 available from the Parish Council, that both suggestions could be done. This was passed by a unanimous vote and this will now proceed.
As the verges in the village are most likely the property of Devon County Highways, it was agreed that they be contacted for their approval. Varying types of bulbs (daffodils, tulips, etc) will be planted next July.The seat in the barn would be of a posts and plank construction, securely embedded in the ground.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Ladies' Netball Team Thriving

From Sue Chadwick
All that was needed to get the new Bere Peninsula netball group going was a sunny afternoon, a couple of chairs in the garden, and Lizzie Spiers and Penny Grimshaw sharing a glass of wine!
Next, at a meeting in the BF Social Club attended by around 30 enthusiastic ladies across the full age spectrum, it was agreed that sessions of approximately an hour and a half would take place on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings. It was agreed at the meeting that the Bere Ferrers tennis and basket ball court could be utilised for the netball sessions, and the (now unused) basketball court could be re-marked out as a netball court.
A few emails determined the date of the first session and, with the brilliant help from Dave Mills, we quickly performed some warming-up exercises ready to get on to more technical stuff. Dave designed some passing exercises and shooting tuition to get everyone in the swing and supervised a friendly game. It wasn’t long before we all agreed that an hour would be long enough!

 For the uninitiated, netball is a game played by 14 players, on two teams, with the winning team scoring more goals than the other. There are of course a few more rules, and proper ways to pass the ball, for us all to fully learn. More importantly for us though, it’s a really fun game and a way to get some exercise whilst hardly noticing it – what was quite surprising was how quickly the competitive spirit surfaced!
Sessions are open to all ages and abilities and cost 50pence per person, plus a £2 joining fee. If you are interested in joining in, email Penny Grimshaw ( to check on the next session.
In the meantime, more information about the game and the rules can be found on

Photo caption: Playing on Sunday 18th November were Ann (Jeffries) Carla (Humphrey-Trippen), Christine (Poole) Joanne (Harwood), Sam (Lowes-Tarrant), Sue (Chadwick) Sue (Milner) Sue (Venables) and Tricia (Wilks).

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

New Post Office Opens

Allan Willmott was one of the first to
use the new postal service.
Diana Mitchell buys stamps.

Despite atrocious weather, business was brisk at the new outreach post office in the Hazel Room at the Church Hall. Postmaster Steve Taylor said that he had had quite a few people through. All the services that are available at Bere Alston are now here at Bere Ferrers, every Tuesday from 9am until noon, including the immediate issue of car tax, though payment for this must be by cash or cheque only.
Steve pointed out that the recent report that 75 people per week were needed to keep the post office going were untrue - there is no minimum number required.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

A Message from the Mobile Library

Pauline Anderson, Outreach and Rural Services Manager, Devon Libraries Mobile Libraries Service, says:
'To ensure that everyone is able to access Devon Libraries, we work closely with the WRVS Home Library Service whose volunteers deliver our books and spoken word CDs to anyone confined to home, or who are no longer physically able to reach a library. If anyone in the village needs this help, please contact me via email or by telephoning 01392 384315.
Timetables for 2013 will be distributed as soon as possible (see earlier post on this Blog for details).
We are very keen to promote the mobile library as the stops only thrive if enough borrowers use the service. Please encourage your community to join the library and enjoy the benefits of this wonderful service.
The Mobile Librarian has timetables and fliers for both the Mobile Library Service and the Home Library Service that can be distributed by willing volunteers.
Devon Libraries Mobile Library Service
We have something for everyone!
Our fleet of eight mobile libraries visits over 500 locations in communities across Devon giving access to books, audio books, Large Print and DVDs to people who cannot easily reach one of our 50 static libraries.Membership is FREE, no ID needed. Join at any age – babies too!
There is no charge for borrowing books, and there’s a great choice.
You may hire a DVD from as little as £1 for a fortnight.
Non-fiction books, Large Print, and children’s books can be reserved FREE.

You can even reserve books online, and collect them from the mobile library.

Children have extra fun joining the Book Track and Summer Reading Challenge.

There is something to offer everyone on board so why not hop on and take a look?"

Friday, 16 November 2012

Postal Service Starts Next Tuesday

The new village outreach Post Office starts next Tuesday 20th November in the Hazel Room at the Church Hall, NOT the hall itself. The new service starts at 9am and closes at noon.
Come along and support this vital service, because if we don't use it we will lose it! Tell any villagers you see about this new service.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Service of Thanksgiving for Nick

St Andrew's Church was full today with over 100 family and friends for the Service of Thanksgiving for Nick Grinstead, who died from cancer recently at the early age of 42.
The congregation heard a reading from sister Sandra before Trevor Grinstead gave a fitting tribute to his brother.
The hymns were: 'All Things Bright and Beautiful', 'The Lord Is My Shepherd' and 'O Love Divine, All Joys Excelling'.
The service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev Nick Law and the organist was Ann Parsons.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

New Mobile Library Timings from January

The new mobile library timings for next year have just been announced.
The library will stop in Bere Ferrers at the War Memorial from 13.45 until 14.30  and at the Social Club from 14.35 until 15.05. Please note that the stop time at the Social Club has been drastically reduced.
This timetable takes effect from 8th January 2013.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance Service

Many villagers joined representatives of the Royal British Legion and the Parish Council in beautiful sunshine for the annual Remembrance Service at the war memorial and after in St Andrew's Church.
Just before the service two aircraft flew over: the first was later identified as a replica WW1 Royal Aircraft Factory SE5 and the second appeared to be a WW2 USAAF Norseman.
The service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev Nick Law.

The replica SE5.

Musical Evening for Joe

There was a near full house at the Social Club last night as a musical evening was held in honour of Joe Gilling, a former villager who is visiting from Canada. Joe showed some photographs of British Columbia and there was a cornucopia of local musical talent on show, including the Tavy Tars, of which Joe was a founder member, Squandered Youth, Bere Ukes and Blaxton, with Rockin' Ron.
Joe joins the Tavy Tars again.
Villagers watch the entertainment.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

  Christmas Shopping at
Bere Ferrers Social club  

Friday 9th November 7.30pm

For ladies for fancy less of the rush of Christmas shopping

For men that do not know what to buy

Companies attending so far

Body shop

Dot ~ teas

Here and Far – Fair Trade, recycled and homemade gifts

Bumpy bake nappy cakes - gifts for mums-to-be and babies

Ann Summers

Magic Sparkle Jewellery

Thimbleshanks – shabby Chic Handmade Creations

Avon, plus lots more …

So put the date in your diary and come shopping with us in the warm and you can have a drink as well

Everyone welcome even if you’re not a member

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

There's a Canadian in the Village!

The Olde Plough Inn echoed with the sounds of Canada tonight at the musical jam session. Former villager and resident of Vancouver B.C., Joe Gilling was back in town! Staying in the village for a few days, Joe joined the regulars at the pub for a selection of what was mainly Canadian songs or songs written by Canadians. These included 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' and 'Breakfast in Hell'.
Joe was persuaded to join in with Rob and Lesley on one song, but did sing along with many of the others.

Affordable Housing: Don't Be Fooled!

A company called Bibio have placed the following status on their Facebook page which they call Bere Alston Affordable – below is the direct quote.

“Hi Folks, The time has come to show your interest and support of affordable homes for local people living in Bere Alston. If you or someone you know is interested, we have booked the social club on November 21st at 7pm to come and talk to you about our ideas.

We will be asking for your input on design ideas and layout, holding a brief question and answer, and hoping that you will support this local project.

........there will of course be refreshments provided, and it will be great to meet you in person.

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you soon!”

Bibio have not contacted West Devon Borough Council or the Parish Council to say that they are doing this. If they had they would have been advised them that this is not productive, as it sends mixed signals out to communities when it is not even known if or what the need is.
The Facebook status does not say that it is from Bibio and that they are a developer and it could be misconstrued that this has come from West Devon Borough Council. This is not something that West Devon are supporting.
Some of you will remember that a deputation from this company addressed a meeting of the Parish Council at Bere Ferrers some months ago and were told then quite firmly that this proposition is not something that would be supported either by the Parish Council or West Devon. Any question of affordable housing in the parish would be addressed in the Parish Plan.

New Post Office Date Announced

The Post Office has announced that the date for the opening of the replacement postal service in the village will be Tuesday 30th November.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Local Man Loses Battle

Forty-two-year-old Nick Grinstead, brother of Trevor and Phil, lost his long battle with cancer and passed away last Wednesday, with both brothers at his bedside. Condolences go to the family.

Our Post Office

It was strange to come back from holiday to find that the village no longer has a post office. All the paraphernalia has gone from the windows and there is a M&B For Sale sign outside and soon the postbox will be moved to another location.
My thanks go to Trevor for keeping the post office going as long as he could under very trying circumstances and I wish him well for the future.

Bere Alston Post Office Should Be Safe

A communique was issued by the BPPOG recently:

A packed public meeting held in the Parish Hall, Bere Alston, recently were informed  about the progress that has  taken place, following concerns raised over the future of the Post Office in the village. A previous meeting held towards the end of August was informed that the post office was under threat. The Post Mistress had gone on long-term sick leave and indicated that she would not be returning to take up her post.
The property had been put on the market; however, up till then no possible buyer had come forward. If a solution was not found soon the Post Office company had threatened to close the facility and introduce a “Local” in a nearby shop, providing fewer services. The appeal from the public meeting was for “Someone” to help save the post office for the community.
It was also revealed that the Bere Ferrers village post office would close on October 22nd, leaving Bere Alston post office the only full- time facility in the entire parish, serving over 3,400 people. The nearest other available post would be in Tavistock seven miles away.
In response to this appeal, the Bere Peninsula Post Office Group was formed to facilitate a community buy-out. The group then sent out a series of appeal letters to every household in the  entire Parish of Bere Ferrers, over 1,300 properties, asking the residents to pledge contributions to the £200,000 required for the purchase. On top of this BPPOG approved a constitution and set up a bank account, all things required to be able to enable the group to acquire grants, which they had then set about applying for.

Last week’s meeting heard that local residents had pledged £34,000 to the campaign and BPPOG had been successful in being promised a similar amount from local authority grants. In the meantime, members had been applying for a series of grants.
Following these announcements, former postmistress Marion Gray announced that, partly in response to the work that had gone on, a private buyer had come forward and put in an offer that had been accepted. Solicitors were being appointed and it was hoped that contracts would be exchanged within five weeks. Conditions would be included requiring that the post office will be guaranteed to continue for over 20 years. She also indicated that she had now two local residents who had applied to become the new postmaster.

Following these announcements there were rounds of applause to signify the community’s relief that it would seem the post office had been saved and would be retained for many years in the future.