Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Oil Thieves About

If you have oil-fired central heating, keep an eye on your oil storage tank. Several people in and around the village have had oil stolen recently.

Beware of Tractors!

It's harvest time and the tractors and trailers are busy transporting maize from the fields. Unfortunately, they do move fast along the lanes, so if you're driving to and from the village take extra care! They generally travel in pairs!

New Watersports 2015 Date

The new date for Watersports next year is Saturday 18th July.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tamar Male Voice Choir

The Tamar Male Voice Choir will be singing in St Andrew's church at 7.30pm on Saturday 4th October. Tickets are £7 each and are available from Margaret's Hairdressing, Nick Law or Graham Fine.
So, if you don't fancy the ceilidh at the Club, this is for you!

Harvest Supper Auction Raises £63

Eleven villagers spent a convivial evening yesterday (Tuesday) enjoying a Harvest Supper at the Olde Plough, as well as raising funds for the Bere Peninsula Food Bank. A meal of marrow stuffed with minced lamb, a jacket potato and delicious cabbage was set before the hungry assemblage, followed by superb apple pie with either ice cream or custard.
While we waited for our meal, those so inclined joined in with Kathy Syrey on piano, singing harvest-type songs, including 'We plough the fields and scatter'. Then Christine Fine read a report on the local Food Bank, which is repeated at the end of this post.
Following the meal,  Graham Fine auctioned a fine display of produce that had been donated for the evening. A total of £63 was raised by imbibers and diners!
£2.50 of the cost of each meal was donated by Sarah and Ted.

Christine's Report on the Bere Peninsula Food Bank  
This year we have collected in 1080.55kgs of food, of which 63.04kgs were donated by the Yelverton Rotary Club and 27.76kgs came from the W.I. Christmas party the remainder being donations from people in the Bere Peninsula for which we are very grateful.   
We transferred 20kgs to Plymouth food bank as they were short of milk and we had plenty. We sent 212.59kgs to Shekinah Mission as it was nearing its sell-by-date and 44kgs of pet food went to Wingletang Rescue Centre as that too was nearing sell-by-date. We have distributed 759.42kgs of food to local people who needed it. We have received 32 vouchers which have fed 57 adults and 28 children. The reasons for coming to Food Bank were divided as follows:
Benefit changes or delays                         10 vouchers
Unemployment                                             2 vouchers
Low income                                                  10 vouchers
Debt                                                                1 voucher
Sickness                                                        2 vouchers
Domestic Violence                                      5 vouchers
Delayed Wages                                            2 vouchers
We currently have good stocks of food and some very good volunteers who not only help sort food but comfort and help our clients and provide signposting to other agencies where possible.
These are not just people on benefits but those who have fallen on hard times through illness, death and domestic violence – yes, even on our peninsula these things happen and we are there to help. It is very distressing for some of these people, who feel totally ashamed to come to a Food Bank for food, as it feels to them that they have failed their families in providing food. They are often in tears and very upset, but the excellent team we now have in place console, help and pray for them and they always go away with a smile on their faces and are extremely grateful for the help they have received.

We have all found it to be a very worthwhile cause. Please continue to pray for and support us, as without you we cannot continue.

Watersports 2015

For those of you interested in the date for Watersports 2015, it will be Saturday 1st August.
SORRY! Just heard there's a wedding in the village on that date, so new date being sourced. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

October Events at the Olde Plough

Although the weather is still good, autumn is now upon us and we've lots in the calendar to tell you about!
First on the list is Jane’s regular acoustic night this Sunday from 8.15 onwards.
Tuesday 23rd September is our Harvest Supper; the cost is £10.00p.p with £2.50 from every place going to the Peninsula Food Bank. Any donation of fresh produce is gratefully received, as after the supper we will have an auction of produce. Please book.
Friday 3rd October  We welcome back the Kit Hillbillies, a popular group with the locals, featuring Neil from BBC’s Spotlight. Check them out on YouTube. Ted will be creating a menu selection of light bites and sharing meals.
Saturday 4th October Apple Fest Day! Also the Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir are having a concert in the Church. Tickets are available on the door, Margaret's Hairdressing or from the Rev. Nick Law. Monies raised from the event are being donated to the rebuild of the Youth2Youth Hut. A pasty supper will be available in the pub after the concert with the choir.
Sunday 5th October Paul White’s open mic night from 8.00pm - a modern music evening.
Tuesday 7th October  Ted’s new and exciting Pie Night: we have Beef and Ale, Chicken and Mushroom, Homity and Fish Pie. Booking highly recommended!
Friday 10th October We welcome back the Roosters from Ripon, who come every year to play with their Bere Ferrers friends! From 9.00 pm onwards
Tuesday 14th October Our regular Curry Night Buffet from 7.00pm - booking required to guarantee a seat!
Friday 17th October We are hosting a West End musicals Karaoke Night. Sing with a friend, by yourself or in a group. If you have a favourite let us know to ensure we have it! A pre-theatre-style two-course  £12.50 dinner from 6.30pm. Booking preferred.
Sunday 19th October is Jane’s Acoustic night from 8.15pm.
Tuesday 21st October  is our open Jam Session from 8.30pm.
Tuesday 28th October is the new date for Mike’s Acoustic night from 8.30pm. Moved from the first Tuesday of the month before the holidays.
Wednesday 29th October We are hosting a quiz for St Luke's Hospice 31 Quizzes in 31 days organised by Shaun, previous publican of the Leaping Salmon, from 8.00pm.

We're sure that'll keep you busy before the start of Hallowe’en and our bonfire night celebrations! Many thanks for all your support of the pub and for all your cards, gifts and well wishes on our new arrival Connie Williams!

Sarah, Ted, family and staff

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Open House at the EcoHouse

Back in August 2011 I reported on my last visit to Pete and Helen Silcox's ecohouse, then being built on Vinegar Hill:
The ecohouse being built by Pete and Helen Silcox on Vinegar Hill has reached the roof stage. The external walls are in place and now the roof beams are being lifted into place. But this is no ordinary construction: the walls consist of two layers of polystyrene that are supplied with hinged spacers. When the two sheets are moved in opposite directions, the spacers lock, leaving a space between the polystyrene; this space is filled with concrete. The system is called Nudura and is from Canada.

Today (Sunday) it was Open House as the completed house opened its argon-filled double glazed doors to villagers. What a difference! Having seen the house develop from the foundations upwards to the roof, it was a surprise to see completed. From the front door, through the minimalist living area, across the lawn to the infinity pool, everything is high tech!
I can't begin to tell you how it works, but it is totally independent from the National Grid, collects rainwater for washing, flushing, etc; has its own private water supply and will soon be controlled completely by computer! Large expanses of solar panels take energy from the sun and store it in various storage systems for weeks. Plus there is an amazing view down the Tavy, across the Tamar and into Cornwall!

Apple Group's New Press

Members of the Tavy & Tamar Apple Group gathered at Chairman Brian Lamb's garage today (Sunday) for the inaugural pressing of the new hand press. Funded jointly by the Apple Group and West Devon Borough Council, this machine and a  new crusher will replace an older machine.
Several members brought apples to be crushed and turned into juice and it was a good test of the new purchases before the Apple Fest on Saturday 4th October.
Cllr Philip Sanders, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, presented a cheque for £730 to Treasurer Will Spearing as the contribution from WDBC.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Art Exhibition Open

The Bere Ferrers Art Group's Autumn Exhibition is now open at the Lopwell Dam cafe at 10am. It will be open every day until Sunday 21st September.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Tamar Valley Line Forum Update

The following update was supplied by the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership.

Journey figures  2014 is proving similar to 2013 and the total number of journeys to date are is 607 up on last year (the year to date total is 109,944).  There are some larger variations between the periods, e.g June being up by 1400 and August being down by 1300.
Given these fluctuations, there is no sign that the Dawlish problems have impacted on the Tamar Valley Line.  This is probably unsurprising given the very local nature of most of the line’s journeys.

Vegetation cutback The agreed vegetation cutback within the railway boundary to improve views and covering six different locations was completed in March.
The cost of this was just under £25,000, split between Network Rail and DCRP.  They were successful in obtaining a £7,365 grant from the Designated Community Rail Development Fund to help pay for this.

Great Value Days Out by train adverts DCRP will place further Tavistock Times adverts in October and in November/December, particularly to encourage more shopping trips by train.

Tamar Valley Line Spring promotion FGW have kindly agreed a Spring promotion for next year.  Half price Off Peak Day Return fares from Plymouth and branch line stations to Bere Ferrers, Bere Alston, Calstock and Gunnislake.  Saturdays and Sundays in January, February and March. 

Tamar Valley Line Guide  DCRP produced a new issue of the Tamar Valley Line guide in April 52,000 copies. Distribution 30k through FGW stations and 20k through Westward Marketing leaflet racks.

Walks from the Railway  DCRP launched this new free booklet in April.  It pulls together walks from each of the branchlines in the two counties.  The walk from Calstock to Cotehele is the Tamar Valley Line walk featured. There are twelve walks
100,000 were been printed.  Most are being distributed through FGW stations and have gone out in two tranches, one in April, the other just now.

Tamar Valley Line branding, interpretation boards, heritage signage and posterboards
DCRP are well advanced with it now. Working with Plymouth Station Manager Mark Chorley, they are organising a complete revamp of station signage and posterboards at Tamar Valley Line stations, to include new colour branded posterboards and improved signage. Each station would have a dedicated Community news and events board.
DCRP will also install some heritage signage at Plymouth and are also looking at installing Cornish Mining World Heritage Site Project designed interpretation boards.
All this would make a big difference to the line’s stations. Bere Ferrers would be largely excepted, given the heritage signage already in place there.

Bere Alston student volunteer projects.  DCRP’s Rebecca is looking at these now for the soon-to-start academic year. Three strands – planting at the station and work on the disused waiting room so that it can become a base for student projects, and painting the signalbox.

Carnets Following the photocall to celebrate the 25,000 Carnet being sold, DCRP celebrated ten years of the Tamar Valley Line with a photocall at Pearce’s in Drakewalls in June. 

Social media – Twitter & Facebook.  DCRP are using these to promote the branchlines.  Their Twitter account is @DCRailPart and our Facebook page is greatscenicrailways.

Complete redesign and revamp of the DCRP websites Initially focussing on their principal tourism/leisure website  This will include making them mobile- and tablet-friendly.  All well underway now. Meanwhile, go to the First Great Western website for live train timings. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Trees for Remembrance Garden

A Bramley apple and a cherry tree, all part of the local scene and heritage, are destined to be planted in a garden of Peace and Reconciliation in Devonport and will be despatched from the Quay on Friday September 26th.
Andy Whitehead with his little crabber is aiming to come in on the 6pm tide to collect the trees and sail them to Devonport; there will be a fast turnaround. It is hoped that  a few children from Buckland Monachorum School will be able to attend, with some local musicians and Dartmoor Border Morris might be able to rustle up a few members which would add colour. All very British and sets the scene as well for all apple and fruit growers. These trees will be part of an on-going project, tied in with Tamar activities, and will start a drive to raise funds from appropriate bodies.

Villagers are invited to come along and join in; it will only be a short ‘ceremony’ because of the tide.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Tavistock Line Update

Update on the Bere Alston to Tavistock line
Community Rail Conference
3rd September 2014

Update given by Lewis Ward, Transport Planning Officer, Devon County Council

Work done to date
Devon County Council is project managing and over 90% of the land is already in DCC’s possession.
All bridge assessments have been completed, as have embankments and cuttings.
Planning consent for the housing has been given.
Mine investigation has taken place.
Ecology surveys are ongoing.

Work Now and Next
Project Managing and the Business Case have to be finalised.
The design and construction of the line, including the timetable feasibility.
Consents needed; DCC Cabinet has approved the project.
Land: there are some minor issues; meanwhile agreements are being prepared for the Callington Road housing.
Various environmental issues to be resolved.

The proposed cycleway is being processed at the same time, but will not run adjacent to the railway line.

First Great Western will be assessing the availability of suitable rolling stock.

The project depends on the 106 cashflow from the build of the houses. Normally, this would be borrowed by DCC in anticipation of the cash income. This cannot be done with the huge amount needed (c £13m) so the houses need to be built before the railway can be built. DCC are working on a date of 2019 for the railway to be operational, dependent on this condition.

Just under half of the total cost will come from the 106 contribution from the housing developer, with the remainder coming from a local transport funding bid.

DCC has funded all work to date.