Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Spring Flower Show

This year's Bere Ferrers Flower Show will be held in the Church Hall on 29 March (doors open at 1330).
As usual, the show will have a colourful array of Spring flowers, plus pot plants, orchids, vegetables, flower arrangements, a photographic competition, Domestic classes and more. 
There will also be specialist plants for sale and refreshments will be available.
 The Show will be open from 1.30 to 5.00 pm, with prizes and trophies being presented at 5.00pm by Stan Sherrell.
Entrants can stage exhibits on Friday evening and Saturday morning before 10.00.

Schedules are available from Margaret's Hairdressing or Ian Peacock at the Pharmacy.

Also available on the Flower Show web site:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Burns' Night Celebrated

A celebration to mark the 255th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's National Poet was held at the Olde Plough on 25th January 2014. Ferrers Reel performed a selection of Celtic tunes and Lesley Smith sang a traditional Scottish air entitled Busk, Busk Bonnie Lassie.
Rob Smith greeted the assembled company with the Selkirk Grace and then Roger White gave a light-hearted account of a somewhat dubious local connection between Burns, Devon and Plymouth Argyle!
On a more serious note, Rob, Clive Charlton and Bruce Horner sang about a battle that took place on the Braes o’ Killiecrankie.
After the soup it was time for the haggis, which was piped in by Tim; Ross addressed it, stabbed it, then toasted the beastie!
As the haggis was plated and served, Bruce sang a topical Burns song about the 1707 Union of Crowns, entitled Parcel of Rogues.
Ross gave an amusing account of the problems of Scottish wind – and not the sort that blows in from the Atlantic!
Clive robustly led the singing in a traditional Highland air, Westering Home before Mike Tucker, wearing a magnificent pair of trews, toasted the Lassies. The reply was given by Penny Tucker.
Rob, Bruce and Clive sang about Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin before Clive  gave a detailed and interesting account of the life and times of Burns and proposed the Immortal Memory toast.
The assembled company sang Flower o’ Scotland and the evening came to a close with a traditional rendering of Auld Lang Syne.

Thanks must go to all participants, the assembled company, Sarah and Ted and the hard working team for an excellent evening and delicious four- course meal of traditional Scottish fare.
Ferrers Reel started the evening.

Enjoying the haggis.

Rob chats to guests.
Ross tells about the wind!
Mike toasts the Lassies.

Clive tells (almost) all about Burns!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Burns' Night Tonight

Burns' Night celebrations will take place at the Olde Plough tonight and, although  places for meals may be fully booked, there is always space at the bar for any followers of Robert Burns or anyone who enjoys listening to/joining in an evening of traditional Scottish entertainment.

Ferrers Reel will start the evening off at 7.30pm by playing a selection of Celtic music.  At 8pm, following the Selkirk Grace, a 4-course traditional meal will be served and, between courses, there will be the usual songs, recitations, speeches and, of course, toasts to the Haggis, the Lassies and to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns. The proceedings should end around 10.30 with the assembled company singing Flower o' Scotland and Auld Lang Syne.

Lang may yer lum reek!

Kit Hillbillies Back in Village Soon!

The popular musical group the Kit Hillbillies, featuring BBC Spotlight's Neil Gallagher and Dr Cullen from Abbey Surgery, will be performing at The Olde Plough on Friday 7th February.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

        The Bere Ferrers Social Club
 Annual General Meeting
8.30 pm
Wednesday 26th February 2014
at the Bere Ferrers Social Club

All proposals from Members of the BFSC for consideration for inclusion in the 2014 Annual General Meeting Agenda must be written, signed, include address, phone number, Membership Number and handed to the Secretary by
6.30 pm on WEDNESDAY 12th February 2014


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Excellent Panto!

The production of 'Aladdin' at The O'Flynn Theatre the last few evenings has been brilliant! In my opinion it was the best for a long time; all the cast were excellent, with many seasoned 'veterans', from Kate and Niamh Guest (always very good) to Helen Smith and Maggie Willmott and now the Kelly family!
With the new backstage set-up, the colourful set design by Bill Stables came over very well. Lighting and sound effects were very good and the hall is getting a very theatrical feel (new curtains next!!!).
The whole cast were excellent and the hard work that everyone has put in since last September was evident. Special mention should go to Ken Render as Widow Twankey and John Chadwick as Abanazer, a suitably oily and untrustworthy villain, and the children were outstanding!

Well done to all the backstage crew and Monica Mitchell and Jane Hamlyn.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Brilliant Panto!

The first night of a panto is usually somewhat short of bums on seats, but not so last night when the eagerly awaited production of 'Aladdin' opened at The O'Flynn Theatre - and the packed house were not disappointed! There will be a report and pictures after the last performance on Saturday, but if you haven't got your tickets go and see Maggie Willmott as soon as possible!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Forthcoming Events at the Club

Private Party - Venue hired
Red Herring Club  Meeting
Skittles Team - Home Match
Children’s Party followed by -
Karaoke - come have some fun
Christening Party - afternoon venue hire
Quiz Night - come make up a team
Tavy Tars rehearsal -  come hear your local group
Darts Team -  Home Match
Horsewatch Meeting/Red Herring Club Meeting
Tavy Tars rehearsal -  come hear your local group
Birthday Party - venue hire
Open Mic - come try your hand at making music
Darts Team -  Home Match
Live Band  new: not decided on their name yet
Karaoke - come have some fun
Christening Party - afternoon venue hire
Quiz Night - come make up a team
Comic Night – new: come see what you are missing
Red Herring Club  Meeting
Skittles Team - Home Match
Darts Team -  Home Match
Quiz Night - come make up a team

Monday, 13 January 2014

Betty Jeffries Leaves Us

Flowers on Betty's bench.

The Blessing
The sun shone bright and warm over the Quay at Bere Ferrers this morning as the Rev Nick Law gave the blessing as our dear friend Betty left the village for the last time on the way to Bodmin Crematorium for a family service.
As soon as the hearse left the village the sun went in, a cold wind blew and soon there was rain again.

The Thanksgiving Service
St Andrew's church was filled to standing room only for the Thanksgiving Service for Betty this afternoon. Family and friends arrived from all over Great Britain, France, USA, Canada and even Australia, as Tim Hampson played the harp. After the first hymn Digby read 'Cherish in your Memory. We had been given a potted history of Betty's life as we arrived at the church and, as we were to hear from daughter Jane and granddaughter Saskia, what a full life she had!
The Tavy Tars sang a special Goodbye Shanty for Betty, followed by grandson Ian reading Matthew 5 v 1-9.
Lizzie Spiers was accompanied by George Firk as she beautifully sang 'Can I Forget You?', one of Betty's favourite songs.
Ann read a message from Betty, before the Blessing.
The hymns were: Now Thank We All Our God; All Things Bright and Beautiful and Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven.
Rev Nick Law conducted the service and the organist was Ann Parsons.

The Wake
After the service the congregation repaired to the Social Club for the Wake. There was a delightful slideshow on the wall of the Club showing photographs from Betty's life with her huge family. There was a glass of bubbly or whisky on arrival as guests mingled, before an excellent tea was served. Digby proposed a toast to Betty before guests were invited to say something about Betty. Steve Rickhards and Robin Eastwood both responded. Steve finished by saying that 'a bright star has gone out in our night sky.'

'To Betty!'

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Betty Jeffries' Funeral and Thanksgiving Tomorrow

A message from Ann Jeffries:
The funeral procession for Betty Jeffries will start at the Quay at 10am on Mon 13th Jan with a blessing by Rev'd Nick Law. Everyone is welcome to salute her departure from Bere Ferrers. The family will then accompany Betty to Bodmin Crematorium for an 11.30am service. The Thanksgiving Service for Betty's life will start at 3pm in St Andrew's followed by a wake in the Social Club. 

The family wish to thank the villagers for their support during Betty's final days and hope to see you all on Monday

A Dry Wassail!

The sun shone on the Wassail last night, figuratively speaking! After weeks of dreadful weather, Saturday was lovely and sunny and by the time the Wassail started inside the church hall, outside it was dark, dry, still and crisp with not a cloud in the sky! 
The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group Chair, Brian Lamb, welcomed everyone to the event, many wrapped up in winter woollies. He introduced Clive Charlton who, in his own inimitable style, gave a brief (for him!) description of the hows and whats of wassailing.
Following Clive, our old friends the Dartmoor Border Morris entertained the guests with a couple of traditional dances, before Carol Horner and the Tavy Tars led the ‘process’ to Richard Peden’s orchard.

A small bottle of cider was taken to the orchard for part of the ceremony, but unfortunately Richard thought he was being given a drink – and drank it all!
A welcoming bonfire and fairy lights greeted the crowd as they arrived at the orchard. The Tavy Tars sang a couple of traditional wassail songs prior to some people hanging toast in the trees and anointing trees with cider (what was left of it!). There followed a period of shouting, banging of sticks, drums, tins and, of course, John Dawe’s shotgun, before Clive declared that the evil spirits had been driven away!
Everyone returned to the hall, where hot apple and cider drinks and hot pasties were waiting. Dartmoor Border Morris gave us a few more dances, including some of the audience in the last one, before the Tavy Tars sang some well-known drinking songs.
The evening was completed by Bill Spread-Dip (alias Will Spearing) who gave us an appropriate poem entitled ‘The Cider’s Getting Low’.

A collection was taken in aid of Myeloma UK, the charity of Dartmoor Border Morris, before Brian thanked everyone for coming, with particular thanks to the dancers, the Tars, Joyce Peden for organising the drinks and pasties, and Maggie Willmott for front-of-house activities.

Friday, 10 January 2014

URGENT! Portakabin For Sale

The Portakabin currently used by the Youth2Youth near the Parish Hall in Station Road, Bere Alston, is available immediately to anyone who wishes to remove it and give a donation to the Youth2Youth Project.
If you are interested please contact Mrs. Taylor the Clerk to Bere Ferrers Parish Council on 01822 840748 or email

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Social Club Needs Your Help

For some time now the Social Club has been in financial trouble because it is not used enough by its members; unfortunately it is now in dire financial straits and may have to close by the end of the year if things don't pick up.  To try and raise some cash and bring in more people, the Committee decided at their meeting last night to hold a monthly supper and games evening in the club.  The first one will take place on 1st February, which is the same night as the Villagers' Group are presenting Gypsy Train in the hall to raise money for the maintenance of the children's play area in the Recreation Field! The Club are not in competition with Gypsy Train, as they feel sure that the people who will go to the games evening would not go to Gypsy Train!
It has been suggested that the Club serve their supper from 6.30 p.m. so that people going to Gypsy Train can have the opportunity to eat at the club first and go on to the music evening afterwards.  The Club will be serving steak and kidney pie, fish pie or cauliflower cheese at £5 a dish.
They will need to know if anyone is interested, and have orders the Tuesday before.
Some people may be interested in making an evening of it and have a meal at the club first - perhaps members of Gypsy Train themselves would too.
If you are interested, please let Margaret Ball know.
If you have any good ideas for events in the Club that would raise much needed revenue, contact any of the committee members - and as soon as possible. It would be a pity if the club had to close.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Remember the Days of the Mobile Library?

Do you remember the days when the mobile library used to visit the village every fortnight and villagers could get their books to read? The convenience of stepping out of your door, on to the library van to be surrounded by books, tapes and videos of all descriptions, without having to use fuel and increase your carbon footprint driving to Tavistock library.
Yes, I know the library still comes, but for how much longer?
Despite the recent 'consultation' (for which there was a great response from Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston) Devon County Council had already decided that from March the visits would be monthly and, having assumed that public support will drop off because of this, the service will stop completely sometime this year!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

No Trains to Plymouth

From First Great Western:

Owing to an obstruction on the line between Gunnislake and Plymouth all lines are blocked.                                
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled at short notice. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.


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

The Apple Wassail is a traditional form of wassailing practised 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 an excellent crop in 2013, as a possible result of the renewed efforts by all in that year’s wassailing event held at Bere Ferrers, it is important to ensure that the ancient ceremonies are again 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, Bere Ferrers, tel. 01822 840380
The profits will be donated to Devon Air Ambulance and Myloma UK.