Saturday, 28 December 2013

Betty Jeffries' Funeral

The funeral of much-loved Betty Jeffries, who passed away last week, will take place at St Andrew's on Monday 13th January at 3pm. Her family has invited her friends in the village to join them for the service and afterwards at the Social Club.

Don't Forget the Ceilidh Next Week!

Bad Weather Doesn't Reduce the Carol Singing Cash

Almost in spite of the dreadful weather last Monday when the carol singers weren't able to get round all the village, a total of £120 was raised for charity - a fantastic amount! Well done everyone, including Christine Poole, Caroline and David Clark.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Refuse Collection

Refuse collection next week will be on TUESDAY, not Monday.

Carols Sung Despite the Weather

The appalling weather conditions severely curtailed the activities of the carol singers this year. Four singers, soaked to the skin, came into the pub having completed half of the route through the village before the weather got the better of them.
Later, more carol singers arrived and under the direction of Kathy Sirey and with piano, concertina and ukulele accompaniment the singing began in earnest. Mince pies, clotted cream and mulled wine were passed around as the pub echoed to carols.


Monday, 23 December 2013

Atrocious Weather on the Peninsula

The weather here as I write (noon) is very bad. We have extremely heavy gales and lashing rain. No one is going out if they can help it! The worst part is that it's dustbin and recycling collection day and there are green recycling boxes everywhere, lids sliding along the road and big black dustbins overturned and their contents blowing along the streets, causing chaos.
Branches are coming off trees and the roads are awash with brown water off the fields.
Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Damage to Grass Verges

Significant damage has been done to the grass verges at the top of Station Road. According to one of our Borough Councillors, Robin Musgrave, this has been going on for several months and has been caused by vehicles being parked outside Windy Ridge and Mid Rivers (though not, apparently, by residents of these dwellings). This inconsiderate parking has caused problems for buses and gritting lorries which have to turn round at the junction.
Devon Highways have indicated that such parked vehicles will be classed as a highways obstruction and appropriate action will be taken.

Church Hall Redecoration

The church hall will be redecorated in February and volunteers are requested for this task, not only to wield a brush but also to provide cake, biscuits, tea, coffee etc for the work force.
If you can help, contact Adrian Mitchell (841086) or Graham Fine (841337). There will be a rota available for villagers to fill in their availability.

Christmas Singing Opportunities

Sunday 22nd December
St Andrew's Church. 6pm.
Come along to this carol service with a difference - you can request a carol!

Monday 23rd December
Carol Singing around the village
Start at The Old Chapel at 6pm, then process through the village singing carols, ending up at the pub for a singalong!

Christmas Eve
St Andrew's
Two performances of the Nativity at 2.30pm and 4pm.

Betty Jeffries

It is with much sadness that we report the passing of a village favourite and a dear friend, Betty Jeffries. She died peacefully in her sleep at 5.30pm yesterday at West View Residential Home where she was a resident.
Betty was an integral part of the village and joined in most of the activities and, until this year, was an enthusiastic member of the Bere Ferrers Art Group. She attended the Saturday Shop as often as she could and was last there last Saturday. Betty will be missed by everyone. Our condolences go to her large worldwide family at this sad time.

Christmas Eve at the Club

Thursday, 19 December 2013

New Additions to The O'Flynn Theatre

Panto-goers to the January production of Aladdin will see a fantastic transformation of the stage area after the purchase of a new backdrop and wings - and the panto will be the first production to use these new facilities.
The backdrops and wings are controlled using a system of ropes and pulleys. The rear drop covers the large window and will also allow a small access corridor for performers to move from one side of the stage to the other during a performance.
The drops and wings also increase the capacity for different scenes, as they can be used both sides.

Today, set designer Bill Stables and his two willing brush artists Daphne McDonald and Nelson Bowden, were busy painting the first coat of the new set for Aladdin. The full impact of the new system and the vibrant sets will only be seen at the first performance of the panto on Thursday 17th January - tickets are available now from Margaret Willmott, but the Saturday evening performance is almost fully booked.
Now the theatre has this professional equipment, it now urgently needs new curtains to complete the effect! The funding for this latest phase came from the Belinda O'Flynn Trust.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Pub Closes After New Year

As usual, the Olde Plough Inn will close after New Year for a week. It will be closed from 2nd to 9th January inclusive. If you've got nowhere to drink and you're a member of the Social Club, drink there and help save the Club!!

Ceilidh in the Club

Monday, 16 December 2013

Top Whack for Nick-nacks and Bric-a-brac

Thanks to the generosity of villagers and a stern controlling hand from Ann Street, the bric-a-brac stall in aid of the church has raised £1,200 this year! Well done, everyone!

Friday, 13 December 2013

December and January Events at the Social Club


17th      Christmas Bingo
24th      Christmas Eve Karaoke
31st      New Year's Eve Party with Georgia Rolls and Disco. Fancy Dress.
             Donations at the door gratefully accepted.


4th        Tim's Ceilidh
9th        Open mic
25th      Kids' Kristmas Karaoke: 6.30 - 8.30pm
             Adults' Karaoke:  8.30 onwards; no children.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Red Herrings' Christmas Dinner

The Red Herring Club held its annual Christmas Dinner at the Olde Plough last night, when most of the members attended and enjoyed a delicious meal, thanks to Sarah, Ted and Jenny.
The evening started with a quiz while waiting for latecomers, followed by the meal and the giving of small presents.

Concentration on the quiz.
The meal arrives!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Christmas Comes Early for the Tavy Tars

It may only have been the 23rd of November, but it felt very much like the festive season when the Tars were singing in the John Lewis store on Oxford Street that day. We were there to help promote the Seasalt department in the John Lewis flagship store on what is apparently the busiest shopping day of the year (In August we were performing for Seasalt in the John Lewis store in Southampton, so this is becoming almost a regular event).
Both the store and Oxford Street were incredibly busy, and we think we have “logged” our biggest audience ever. This is mainly because we were standing opposite both the up and down escalators, so shoppers were passing us at the rate of perhaps a hundred a minute. Over the day we did three sets of 40 minutes each, so that could be about 12,000 lucky folk who got to hear the Tars, even if very briefly (a few did get of the escalator and stop to listen!).
Another highlight was our first experience of a “green room”. No fridge with a selection of alcohol, but some very nice sandwiches and Danish pastries, and it was a real pleasure to share these facilities with Father Christmas and some very attractive Elves.

Photo supplied by Peter Key.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Bere Alston Victorian Evening

Bere Alston Telephone Exchange Upgrade

As reported in the Bere Alston Facebook page:

BT exchange news!! Our exchange is being upgraded next month! It'll be going from 8mpb to about 20mpb. This isn't the super fast one, that won't be in the next couple of years, this is just to bring us in line with the rest of the world! Full article in The Tavistock Times.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

New Fish Man at the Saturday Shop

We have a new fish man at the Saturday Shop! The previous fish man found that coming from Bovey Tracey for few customers was not on, so we now have the man who sells at Bere Alston. His first visit was yesterday and the display of fish was very good. He will be at the Shop every fortnight - if you can, use this facility or we may lose him as well!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Beaujolais Nouveau Est Ici!

A disparate bunch of Francophiles and/or winos gathered at the Olde Plough last night to celebrate the 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau! I'm certainly not a Francophile, so I guess I come under the 'Winos' heading!
In a week of excellent evenings at the pub, it was noticeable that there were only three villagers at the function - where were you all? However, there were many friends who had made the long and hazardous journey from Weir Quay and even a quartet from North Somerset!
The menu was excellent and too varied to mention here (I had baked Camembert - still in its cardboard pack - followed by Steak Béarnaise with Boulangere potatoes and green beans, and a great French cheeseboard to finish). The Beaujolais was delicious and I've tasted much worse!

Ferrers Reel at the Pub

Ferrers Reel will be playing a selection of Celtic music at the Olde Plough Inn this coming Sunday 24th November, starting at 8 and finishing at 10 - so don't be late!!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Calling All Little Stars...

....who would like to twinkle on Christmas Eve!
St Andrew's is now casting for the major parts in the two Nativity services at 2.30 and 4pm on Christmas Eve. If you know of any youngsters who would like to take part, please contact Sheila Gay on 841181.
Of course, there are always unlimited spaces for any amount of wandering shepherds and angels to just turn up in costume and join in!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Scrubbers in the Village!

I've received this report and photos from Clive Charlton about some village scrubbers (his words, not mine!).

Several people had mentioned recently that the ‘Bere Ferrers’ sign at the entrance to the village was looking decidedly grubby. So we paid a visit last Sunday armed with soapy water and brushes. Those two well-known ‘Bere Ferrers scrubbers’, Chris Poole and Ruth C, donned their rubber gloves and set to work – and quickly spruced up the sign itself and also the 30 limit signs. The ‘Bere Ferrers’ sign is now a lot cleaner, although still has some wear and tear from what looks suspiciously like a shotgun blast.
Well, if Bere Ferrers can’t have a fancy new sign like Bere Alston, the least we can do is give the one we do have a bit of a facelift!

The scrubbers with the dirty sign.
Halfway through.

The finished - and much cleaner - sign!

Friday, 8 November 2013

November Events at the Olde Plough

A message from Sarah and Ted:
Just a quick reminder that tomorrow night Saturday 9th November (not Sunday as advertised previously) we are having a Dementia UK fundraising night with a Piano Soirée, music whilst you're dining on Pie Mash 'n' Liquor followed by Apple Crumble, then participate with some old wartime songs and some Chas 'n' Dave. 

Also Monday 18th November is our Youth2Youth fundraising event, music from Georgia Rolls and magic by one of the Youth2Youth boys and a music and magic quiz! Supper is Lasagne followed by Tiramisu.

Finally we have our annual Beaujolais Nouveau Evening, a French extravaganza, on Thursday 21st November.

Our regular events are:
Tuesday 12th November - Curry Night Buffet from 7.00pm
Sunday 17th November - Acoustic Night from 8.15pm 
Tuesday 19th November - Jam Session from 8.30pm

If you would like to book for any of the events please ring on 840358

Many Thanks

Sarah & Ted

Villagers' Group Meeting Minutes


PRESENT: Daphne McDonald in the Chair, Brian Lamb (Chairman of Bere Ferrers Parish Council), Doris Chapman (Parish Council rep), Roger White (Treasurer), Bev Slaughter, Ruth Charlton, Dave Mills, Diana Mitchell (Secretary)

APOLOGIES: Betty Endean, Chris Grills

1. Fundraising Event:

Gypsy Train music group.

Date: Saturday 1st February 2014

Venue: Church Hall (already booked)

Time: 7.30

Style: Cafe style.  Bring your own drink.  Nibbles provided.

Suggested ticket price £7

Funds raised will be used for repairing and upgrading playground equipment.

The Committee agreed to the above.

There will need to be good publicity, starting with advertising in December and January Bere Links.

Members of the committee were asked to think about an activity such as a quiz to take place during breaks in the music.

2. New Agreement with Parish Council

Brian Lamb brought along the new agreement between the Parish Council and the BFVG Management Committee.  This is similar to the previous agreement but includes the clause that "Public liability insurance for the field and all structures will be the responsibility of the Council".  This was signed by Brian Lamb on behalf of the PC and Daphne McDonald for the BFVG.

3. Field Management

a) Zip slide.  The ramp is very slippery when wet.  Ian Lindsay has suggested in the first instance washing it with bleach to get rid of the slippery film on the wood.  There is an anti-slip spray on the market, costing about £17 which would be worth trying, but only when the wood is completely dry.  The Committee agreed that Ian Lindsay be asked to carry out his own suggestion of washing with bleach.  Diana will order the spray and will use it when the wood is completely dry.

Diana will order more bark for the base of the zip slide, in the spring when the weather is better.

b) Bird Hide.  Dave Kent who had offered to look after the bird hide and train the willow stems into a structure, is away at the moment.  His wife has suggested he will deal with it in the spring.

c) Hedge trimming and strimming. Early this year John Gallagher cut the hedge.  Diana will ask him if he is prepared to do it again either now or in the spring. 

Strimming the banks of the football pitch and cycle track remain a problem because it is a big job for volunteers.  Diana will ask Paul Willmott, Alan Willmott and Ian Lindsay for quotes to do the job.  Ken Sheaf has the Villagers' strimmer because he has offered to take care of the cycle track.  Earlier in the year he applied weedkiller to the path itself, and he is prepared to strim alongside the path to keep it clear of vegetation.

d) The "big" swings will need new seats fairly soon.  Diana has found some that look suitable replacements at a cost of about £70.  Hopefully John or Adrian would be able to fix the new seats onto the chains.  The Committee agreed.

e) Thanks were expressed to Roger White for his hard work in demolishing the barbecue and moving rubble, Paul Willmott for clearing away most of the rubble, Robin Musgrave for strimming and mowing the banks of the bird hide, and the twelve villagers who helped plant hundreds of jubilee bulbs in the Field.

4. Defibrillator.

It has been suggested by some villagers that it would be a good idea to have a defibrillator in the village.  Diana had spoken to Carolyn Dawe about this, because she is a First Responder and has a defibrillator when she is on duty.  Carolyn explained that there is one other First Responder on the peninsula, in Bere Alston, and one of them is always on duty.  However, she agrees that it would be a good idea to have one permanently in the village, but only if it is instantly accessible.  If it is locked away in the church hall, for instance, it could take 20 minutes or so to find someone to unlock the hall, in which case a First Responder might as well have been called.

A Defibrillator would cost about £800 and is, apparently, easy to use.

The Committee agreed in principle but a safe site for it needs to be found.  Ruth agreed to research this.  Fundraising for such a piece of equipment shouldn't be a problem.

5. Finances

Roger reported that BFVG has £579 in its current account, £1004.17 in a savings account and £20.69 in petty cash.  He has just received a donation of £10.  Funds total £1614.24.

6. Any Other Business

Daphne asked if the Parish Council would arrange for the damaged dog fouling sign at the entrance to the Field to be replaced.

It was noted that someone has ridden a horse through the field.  The lower gate used to be kept slightly ajar by being padlocked to a post, so that walkers could go through, but vehicles could not.  If the post is replaced, it would deter horse riders (and vehicles).

Doris will raise these matters with the Parish Council.

Roger asked that the Committee agree to him dropping the matter of a cheque for £25 which has remained unpresented for a couple of years.  Agreed.

Brian asked that when the Committee arranges the next AGM, it avoids Tuesdays!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


I know several people like to comment on some of the posts on my Blog, but have experienced some difficulty in doing so lately. Unfortunately, I don't know how to correct this - all the settings seem to be as they were when I started the Blog.


There seems to be some misunderstanding by some villagers about the orchard next to the allotments at the entrance to the village. It has been called, erroneously, the Community Orchard and consequently some people assumed that it is open and available to all and have been accessing the orchard, some with dogs which have messed among the trees.
This orchard is, in fact, rented by a member of the village who has spent a great deal of money and time in bringing it up to the standard that it is now. Many villagers will remember what the orchard was like before: there was a derelict caravan in a disgusting state just inside the gate and the orchard was in a very overgrown state - and no one was prepared to do anything about it!
Now it has been transformed, but please remember, it is a private orchard, so please do not trespass.

Wassail Approaches!

The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group will be holding their annual Wassailing evening on Saturday 11 January 2014 at the Bere Ferrers Church Hall and adjoining orchard from 6.30pm.

The evening will start with a short story about Wassailing, followed by dancing and singing by the Dartmoor Border Morris and the Tavy Tars respectively, 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, banging of drums and cans and the odd shotgun 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 ceremony is said to "bless" the trees to produce a good crop in the forthcoming season.

Tickets will be available at the beginning of December, only from Margaret's Hairdressing, so get yours early!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Community Plan Questionnaire

The closing date for questionnaires has now passed. The Group would like to say a big Thank You to everybody who took the trouble to respond in our survey. The response has been really rather good.
The process is by no means over. Our next task is to collate and analyse the data from your completed questionnaires. This is going to take us some time, as we have received so many responses. We anticipate that issues may emerge from that analysis, which will then be the subject of further public consultation, when preliminary findings from the questionnaire survey will be presented. Only when everybody has had a chance to discuss those issues will we begin to draft the Plan.
Please look out for further announcements about public consultation meetings. In the meantime, please feel free to contact the Group with any comments, or if you feel you would like to get involved in our work: e-mail or telephone 01822 840209.
Again: Thank You.
Bere Peninsula Community Plan Group, November 2013

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Improve Your French!

Cours de conversation française hebdomadaires informelles commencera dans le Hazel Room, salle paroissiale de Bere Ferrers, le jeudi 7 novembre à partir de 17.00-18.30 heures.
£5 par session.
Liz Rowley vous pouvez téléphoner au 840425 pour plus de détails.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Apple Pressing a Success!

 The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group brought their crusher and press to the Saturday Shop at the Social Club yesterday. It's been a bumper year for apples and some folk couldn't make it to the Apple Fest, so a special pressing was arranged.
Five people brought apples to press into juice, which doesn't sound a lot, but the crew crushed and pressed over a ton of apples during the session! Well done to everyone who helped out.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Severe Weather Warning

From James Kershaw
Environmental Health and Emergency Planning
We have received a number of emails today from the Met Office advising that there is expected to be some quite severe weather problems on Sunday night and Monday morning. They are advising that “Currently there is expected to be very strong, gusty and damaging winds along with very wet weather. Wind direction is expected to start off from the south to south-southwest during this event on Sunday evening and then veer (or turn to the right) during the event and become more from the west during Monday morning. Wind speeds are currently forecast to reach gale or severe gale force with gust speeds widely 60-80mph – even inland – but some areas – especially along coasts – could be 80mph or possibly more. Amounts of rain are expected to be quite widely 15 – 35mm and possibly 40 – 60 mm over hills and moors – especially Dartmoor – where even 80mm is possible.”
Please can you make those households that you are aware of who may be at risk of flooding so that they can make adequate preparations to minimise the impact.
Many thanks

Tension at Skittles Match

In a nail-biting skittles match at the Social Club last night, the skill and experience of the home side finally brought victory over the novice challengers from the allotment group. The latter showed plenty of original approaches to the task of dispatching a ball from one end of the room to another but tended to find the side channels too easily. For the home side, even Gordon appeared to have the knack of the dead straight ball, while several of the lady members of the team displayed both skill and remarkable deportment.
Margaret's excellent supper gave us all a break from the high tension of the match and introduced a game of 'killer' where some players were extraordinarily lucky in being left with the chance to aim at all nine. Once again your correspondent was left wondering how long you have to live in Bere Ferrers before you actually manage to win a raffle! Thanks to all for a great evening.
Angus Doulton

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Worries Over Mobile Library

There are worries over the future of the mobile library in the village. There is currently a consultation period happening for villagers to make their feelings known about the service. The plan by the Library service at Devon County Council is to reduce the service from fortnightly to monthly. This, according to an informed source, has not worked in other areas and has resulted in the cessation of the mobile library service.
Apparently, according to my source, the Library Service is trying to cut costs within Devon to pay for a new costly library being built for the good folk of Exeter!
The Parish Council urge you to complete the questionnaire (available when the mobile library comes again on Tuesday 29th October or download from the Devon County Council website so that the library service know the feelings of the village on our library!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Community Plan

From Cllr Mike Benson:
Bere Peninsula Community Plan
We hope by now that all households on the peninsula will have received a copy of the survey questionnaire. We, the Plan group, would like to express our thanks to BATS, Bere Alston Trekkers, for their help in delivering the majority  across  our large parish. It is vital for our community that you return yours as soon as possible. Please do not worry if you think it looks  complicated, fill in what you can.
The deadline for returns is the end of the month, so we urge you to return the completed copies by the 31st October. We have placed boxes for returns in the Post Office,Spar Shop, Pharmacy, Edgcumbe Hotel, Parish Hall, Hope Cottage, Primary School, Victoria Social Club, Doctors’ Surgery, Bere Ferrers Social Club, Olde Plough Inn, Margaret’s Hairdressing in Bere Ferrers or direct to the Parish Council, who are supporting  the creation of the plan,  making  it easy for everyone to return the document. Failing that, they can always be completed on line                                      
We must stress this survey is only part of the process; following the deadline the information will firstly be analysed and then public consultations will be held, enabling local residents to discuss with group members what they would like to see in the completed plan. It must be stressed that the group will not be creating the plan on their own - you will, through the information you are providing .
We cannot stress too highly how important it is to return the completed questionnaires; the future of our community will depend on your views being registered, so please have your say. The evidence gathered will be used by West Devon Borough Council – the Local Planning Authority - when considering future development in our area.
Your Response Matters, Help Us to Help You
The Deadline is Near!
Get your returns in by the end of the Month


Monday, 21 October 2013

Villages In Action

For those of you who haven't made their mind up about Simon Egerton in the church hall on Thursday night, have a look at this short clip.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Club Dates

Quiz - come set up your team
Tavy Tars rehearsal -  your local group
Skittles Team - Home Match
Darts Team -  Home Match
Royal British Legion Meeting
Tavy Tars rehearsal -  your local group
Horsewatch Riding Club Meeting
Tavy Tars rehearsal -  your local group
John Stevens (Live Music)
Open Mic Night - have your minutes of fame
Tavy Tars rehearsal -  your local group
Skittles Team - Home Match
Quiz - come set up your team
Tavy Tars rehearsal -  your local group