Monday, 31 December 2012

New Entertainment at the Club

Something new is coming to the Social Club in January along with some old favourites. This Thursday 3rd January is Open Mic night and all musicians are welcome.
On Saturday 12th January local girl Georgia Rolls will be doing her first gig at the Club. She is a great new talent and those who saw her at Watersports this year will remember her fantastic voice.
Saturday 26th January sees a new format: from 6:30pm to 8:30pm there will be a children's karakoe session. Following on from this will be the adult karakoe session. Children's karakoe is a new session and it is open to non-members as well, so bring your child down to sing their favourite songs!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Pub Closes for Refurbishment

The Olde Plough will be closed from 2nd to 10th January for Sarah and Ted to have a short break and for the pub to have its annual spring-clean! The first major event after re-opening will be Curry Night on 15th January.

Carol Singing Raises Funds

The carol singing around the village just before Christmas raised £185.04 for Children's Hospice South West. Thanks to Christine Poole for organising the event.

Friday, 28 December 2012

New Year's Eve in the Village

There will be a New Year's Eve disco at the club with a fantastic raffle. The prizes are from Thimbsanks, Downings the butcher, No.12 the hair dresser and many more. £1 for raffle tickets and these are on sale from the club at the moment.
The pub are holding a fancy dress themed evening. Come along in fancy dress, the theme is something beginning with 'B'.
Ring out the old, ring in the new, just before midnight at the bell tower.

Winter Apple Pruning Day

Do you have apple trees that need pruning and you aren’t quite sure how to do it? Now’s your chance to be shown how – by an expert!
The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group has arranged a Winter Apple Pruning Day on Saturday 26 January 2013 in two orchards in the Tavy Valley near Bere Alston.  The first orchard has trees up to ten years old, whereas the second has some very mature thriving apple trees planted in 1926.  In this way we will cater for apple tree owners with a variety of trees. This will give you the confidence to tackle your trees and will cover the pruning of neglected trees and formative pruning of younger trees. No ladder climbing required!
The tutor will be Charles Staniland, who has many years of experience with such courses throughout Devon and ensures that it is a “hands-on” day.
The day starts at 10am and finishes at 3pm. You will need to bring outdoor clothing, strong boots, gloves and a packed lunch.  You can bring any useful pruning tools, secateurs, saws, etc.
The cost is £14.00 to Tavy & Tamar Apple Group members (non-members £19.00 but includes two years’ free membership of the Group). To book your place, go to our web site or email

Wassailing Approaches!

The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group will be holding their annual Wassailing evening on Saturday 12 January 2013 at the Bere Ferrers Church Hall and adjoining orchard.

The Apple Wassail is a traditional form of wassailing practiced in the cider orchards of South West England during the winter. The first recorded mention was at Fordwich, Kent, in 1585, by which time groups of young men would go between orchards performing the rite for a reward. On Twelfth Night, men would go with their wassail bowl into the orchard and go about the trees. Slices of bread or toast were laid at the roots and sometimes tied to branches. Cider was also poured over the tree roots. The ceremony is said to "bless" the trees to produce a good crop in the forthcoming season.

After the poor crop of 2012, renewed efforts will be made at the Bere Ferrers Wassailing to ensure that the ancient ceremonies are complied with to the letter!

The evening will start with a short story about Wassailing, followed by dancing and singing by the Dartmoor Border Morris and  the Tavy Tars, who will then process from the Hall to the adjacent orchard.  There the Tars will exhort those present to sing various Wassailing songs, with much shouting and banging of drums and cans to frighten away evil spirits. This is followed by hanging of toast to attract the insect-loving birds and the solemn pouring of cider around the trees.

The evening then continues in the Hall with music and dancing with drinks and pasties!

Entry is by ticket only, from Margaret’s Hairdressing, tel. 01822 840380

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Fantastic 70th Birthday Party

The Social Club was filled last night when the Ferret celebrated his 70th birthday. Appropriately, about 70 friends enjoyed a musical evening, interspersed with a buffet and the cutting of TWO cakes! Guests came from far and wide, with some folk from America.
The Bere Ukes started the musical part of the evening, very ably assisted by Rob, Lesley and Clive, who kicked the session off with a very brief history of the origins of the ukulele. The group began with 'Ten Dollar Bill', followed by 'In The Pines', 'Wooden Heart', 'Tamar Train' and 'You Are My Sunshine'.
There followed a surprise musical item from many of the Tavy Tars, who sang a very humorous song about the Birthday Boy and his activities in the village!
A large buffet was enjoyed by guests, while special musical guest Fionnula played some delightful melodies on her harp during the break before the cutting of the two cakes and the toasts.
 After a suitable interval, the evening's headline 'act' took to the stage - The Summerhouse Strummers, who sang a medley of songs, many of which the audience sang along with. These included the popular 'Champion Dung Spreader', 'Pick a Bale of Cotton', 'Dirty Old Town', 'A Lovely Pint of Cider'. The finale was 'San Francisco Bay Blues' after which the audience gave the group a stirring round of applause.
The Ferret would like to thank all those friends who made the evening such a terrific success, thoroughly enjoyed by all!


Busy Time at the Saturday Shop

As you would expect, the Saturday Shop was packed yesterday for the last shop before Christmas, although the promise of free mulled wine might have had something to do with it! The cafe staff seemed to have been taken over by a bunch of Santa's elves.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Road Blocked

The heavy rains of the last twelve hours have caused problems locally: the Denham Bridge road is completely blocked following a landslip.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Carol Singing

Despite the atrocious weather (though not as bad as it was earlier in the day!) the annual carol singing around the village took place as usual. After a hot toddy and a quick vocal warm-up at the Old Chapel, the large group set off round the village, eventually ending up in the pub for more singing and seasonal offerings.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Someone's 70th Birthday

It was someone's 70th birthday in the village today and the Friday Rules gang (minus Lizzie and Gordon who were elsewhere) gathered at the Olde Plough for a lovely lunch. The pub had been suitably decorated by Sarah, Juli and Caroline.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Goodies On THe Way

Christmas is getting nearer and various activities will be happening soon:
Village Carol Singing
This Thursday 20th, starting off as usual at the Old Chapel, thanks to David and Caroline Clark. Wrap up warm for a walk around the village singing carols and collecting for a charity, ending up at the pub for more carols and some seasonal sustenance.
Gig Club Quiz
Same night, in the Club from 8pm.
Saturday Shop
10am till noon, with all the usual seasonal goodies on offer, including mulled wine and a glimpse of an elf or two, so I hear!
Carol Concert
The customary carol service at St Andrew's.
Christmas Eve
Nativity at St Andrew's at 2.30pm and 4pm. All welcome.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Gig Club Quiz Clash

The Tamar & Tavy Gig Club are holding a quiz at 8pm in the Bere Ferrers Social Club on Thursday 20th December and all are welcome.
The Big Question is: why is it on the same night as the popular carol singing round the village and afterwards in the pub?

Friday, 14 December 2012

Red Herring Christmas Dinner

Members of the Red Herring Club held their annual Christmas Dinner at the Olde Plough last night. Also on hand was Father Christmas, masquerading as Nelson Bowden, who handed out presents later in the evening.
The event started with a Fishy Quiz, twenty questions of a fishy nature; the winners were Daphne and Ken.
The Herrings then tucked in to a two- or three-course meal, followed by the presents opening.

Quiz time.

Quiz champions: Daphne and Ken.

Cracker jokes!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Bright and Crisp

It's a beautiful winter's morning today. There has been a sharp frost, but the sky is clear and the sun has risen. The lanes are slippery with ice and some new-born lambs are wearing a protective covering!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Country at the Club

Local band A Bit On The Country Side played at the Social Club last night to an enthusiastic audience. A highlight of the performance was Lizzie 'riding' coconuts, simulating a horse!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Wildlife Area Vandalised by Network Rail

Last week Brian Lamb, whose property backs onto the railway station, heard the sound of chain saws at the station; upon investigation he found that a gang of men from Network Rail had cut back all the foliage on the old up platform, well past the back edge of the platform.
This is a well-known wildlife area, home to numerous birds, butterflies, etc. and had been designated as such at the Railway Forum meeting recently.
Apparently, a local resident, also a member of the Forum, had given permission for the gang to to do the work. Brian immediately phoned the local Network Rail manager and got the work stopped. But not before the gang had already cut the new GSM train control cable in two places!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Some Yuletide Events

Some Yuletide dates for the diary:
Thursday 20th December  Carol singing around the village and after in the Olde Plough. Starts at 6pm at the Old Chapel, thanks to David and Caroline, then continuing through the village, ending up at the pub.
Sunday 23rd December  Carol service at St Andrew's.
Monday 24th December   Nativity at St Andrew's: 2.30pm and 4pm.
Saturday 12th January  Wassail at the church hall and the orchard, from 6pm. Tickets soon from Margaret's Hairdressing.

Ukuleles Hit Albaston

The cream of the Peninsula's ukulele players invaded Albaston in Cornwall last night for a short concert at the Albaston W.I. Christmas party at the Methodist church.
Most of the Bere Ukes attended, aided and abetted by their Musical Director for this event, Rob Smith, who was accompanied, in more ways than one, by his wife Lesley. Glive Charlton gave a descriptive account of the history of the uke, before an offshoot of the Ukies, the Summerhouse Strummers, started the evening with 'Folsom Prison Blues', 'Black Velvet Band' and 'San Francisco Bay Blues'.
The Ukies were joined by Rob, Lesley and Clive on 'Two Dollar Bill', 'In The Pines', 'Wooden Heart', 'Tamar Train' and 'You Are My Sunshine', with everyone joining in singing the last one.
Thanks go to the ladies of Albaston W.I. (and one gentleman) for their appreciation and the refreshments after (particularly the walnut cake!). Thanks also to Rob, Lesley and Clive for their support.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Local Band at the Club

Local band 'A Bit On The Country Side' will be playing at the Social Club this Saturday 8th December - don't miss it!