Thursday, 30 July 2015

Date Change at the Club

Because of holiday commitments the next Open Mic at the Club will be next Thursday 6th August, not the 13th.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Events at the BFS Club


13th     Open mic New musicians welcome!

25th     Quiz New teams please come and join us!
Karaoke: Ron. Give it a try, it's good fun!


5th     Supper Night

10th   Open mic Come and meet the famous guitarist Georg Nix. Join him for a song!

12th   The return of  AfterShock! The five-piece rock 'n' roll band. A great night in store!
22nd  Quiz 
New teams always welcome.

26th   Karaoke with Shane - all the way from Looe!!!
3rd  Apple Fest Supper Book early!
17th  The welcome return of favourites the Rubber Band after their popular appearance at Watersports.

The next Acoustic Jam Night: following the success of the initial Jam Night earlier in the year, the next one will be an Acoustic Jam Supper on Saturday 5th December, not October as previously advertised. By then we should have a new screen installed so that we can show the words and music of all the songs so everyone can join in!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Special Birthday

There was a special birthday celebration at the Saturday Shop yesterday - it was Barbara's 94th birthday and family and friends celebrated with a rousing chorus of 'Happy Birthday', followed by a tasty cake! It wasn't a big cake, as cakes go, but plateloads of slices came out of the kitchen and most people in the shop seemed to get a piece!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Bere Apple Fest 2015

Mysterious Explosion!

Once upon a time, a couple of months ago, on a nice sunny day, Pete Gorringe was idly standing by his open kitchen window at the back of Shutecombe, when he heard and felt a loud THUMP from relatively nearby. He thought it came from the Parsonage Farm direction but couldn't find out what it was - so he asked me. I hadn't got a clue, so, in turn, I asked people in the village who should know these things! Again, dumbstruck faces, no idea.
It turns out that some WWII ordnance was found at Parsonage and the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit and the Police were called out. Now, you would think that this was some dumped German bomb, offloaded during a raid on Plymouth, but no! It was a Home Guard grenade, which was safely detonated by Bomb Disposal. Mystery solved!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Watersports: Part Two

The Rubber Band was in full flow when I returned to the Quay. They played many of their well-known songs, such as 'Puttin' On The Ritz', 'Singin' In The Rain', with more folky numbers, which suited a summer's evening in an English village, with the river lapping against the Quay and a pint of bitter in one's hand. Many people stayed and enjoyed the music.
However, there was a gap of half an hour between the finish of the band and the headline artist, Dave Rich, starting his set, due to the large amount of instruments and equipment to be removed from the stage. Because of this unfortunate delay and the evening becoming very cold, a large part of the audience left.
It was unfortunate that the Rubber Band were not booked as the headline band as this may have enticed more people to stay to the end. Something to think on for next year?
Thanks must go to the two Margarets for organising the event with their band of helpers.

The Rubber Band in full flow.
Part of the audience.
A dog enjoying the water.

Martin arrives - backwards!
Dave Rich.         

Watersports: Part One

After a sunny warm morning the clouds rolled in just after lunchtime to give a grey feel to the afternoon, but it didn't deter the crowds that rolled in well in advance of the 3pm start.
The six teams lined up bang on 3pm for their briefing from Gamesmaster Robin Musgrave. The teams were: Maristow Mudsuckers; Bere Ferrers Incredibles; Stuck in the Mud (Wier Quay Sailing Club); All Late!; Mud You Like (Tamar & Tavy Gig Club) and Mansbridge Balment.
It wasn't long before the team members were covered in mud, with very few points between the teams.
Meanwhile, various stalls were doing a brisk trade, as were the face painting and the bouncy castle. The barbecue was slow at first, but picked up later and the bar, run by the BFS Club, was in great demand.
Pony rides were also a great attraction.
This year the pig was supplied near-cooked in its own roasting oven and the cooking was continued during the afternoon.
The teams get a briefing.

Some of the audience.

The bouncy castle in the Musgrave's garden.

John and Phil prepare the burgers.

Preparing the pig.

Pony rides.

More from Watersports later, featuring the musical entertainment: Calstock's Rubber Band, followed by Dave Rich!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Watersports Tomorrow

It's Watersports tomorrow and the forecast is good weather. Music from 6.30pm: Rubber Band, followed at 9pm by Dave Rich till 11pm.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

BFS Club: Events in August and September

13th     Open mic New musicians welcome!
25th     Quiz New teams please come and join us!
Karaoke with Ron. Give it a try, it's good fun!
 5th    Supper Night
10th   Open mic Come and meet the famous guitarist Georg Nix. Join him for a song!
12th   Back by popular demand!  AfterShock! The five-piece rock 'n' roll band. A great night in store!
22nd   Quiz 
New teams always welcome.
26th   Karaoke with Shane - all the way from Looe!!!
COMING IN OCTOBER!! The next Acoustic Jam Night. Following the success of the initial Jam Night earlier in the year, the next one will be in October.

Rail News

The Tamar Valley Line Rail Forum held a meeting yesterday in Plymouth, when First Great Western announced proposals to deliver the largest train fleet upgrade in a generation on the Great Western network as part of its plans for the new franchise that starts in September, and will run until at least April 2019. At that time, September this year, First Great Western will revert to the historic name ‘Great Western Railway’ (GWR).
In a deal put together with the Department for Transport, First Great Western’s plans will see the age of the train fleet slashed by more than half, and will create for their customers 9,000 additional seats every day by the end of the franchise.
This unlocks quicker journey times and additional services on both long distance and commuter services across the region.
The new deal brings together a range of benefits for customers and communities by the end of the franchise period, including:

   New or updated trains in every area of the network – including proposals for a brand new fleet of privately funded intercity trains for services to and from Devon and Cornwall - creating three million additional seats a year for customers across the network.
   Free Wifi will be extended to all the train fleets
    More direct trains into Devon and Cornwall, doubling the number of trains into and out of Cornwall, and reducing journey times between Paddington and Penzance by up to 14 minutes
   Faster trains between South Wales, Bristol and London, cutting journey times into Bristol Temple Meads by up to 17 minutes and Cardiff by up to 14 minutes
   More seats for local commuters on key routes across the franchise including services for Bristol, Exeter, Oxford and Gatwick
   100 more customer-facing colleagues on long-distance trains
   £50 million investment with their partners to improve stations, including 2,000 new car park spaces across the network, customer information improvements and improved PA systems
   Improved retail/ticketing systems
   £2.2 million Customer and Communities Improvement Fund to target improvements around areas of real social need, and additional funding for Community Rail Partnerships on local branch lines.
   First Great Western will also develop a community work placement scheme, and work with The Prince’s Trust to develop a ‘Get into Railways’ mentoring programme.
   There will be three Customer Ambassadors at Plymouth station to assist with passenger queries
   GWR staff will have new uniforms to reflect the new company. Three new Customer Ambasadors will shortly be available at Plymouth station to help passengers and deal with queries

The company will expand the use of the GWR brand, currently used in its long distance First Class carriages and will rebrand before the start of the new franchise in September.

Other Items Discussed
Another item discussed at the meeting was the proposed withdrawal of buffet services on express trains. Apparently, FGW did a survey of their express passengers and because the majority didn’t like leaving bags, laptops, etc. on their seats while they went to the buffet or risk losing the seat if they took these items with them, it has been decided, much to the disapproval of the delegates at the meeting, to discontinue the buffet service and replace it with a trolley – with all the disadvantages this entails: blocked aisles, long wait for service, etc.
As far as the Tamar Valley Line is concerned, once the electrification of the main line is completed and the new trains are in service in 2017, all the coaching stock currently on our line will be scrapped and we will have newer stock cascading down from the Thames Valley.
Currently, several of the units on the line have now been fitted with toilets for the disabled. All units will be refurbished in the new GWR livery. Locomotives and carriages will be in Teal Green, replacing the current blue and purple of FGW (see photo above).
At the meeting yesterday we were asked for our aspirations for the Tamar Valley Line. The most important one was for a late night train from Plymouth, initially on a Sunday, then extended to Friday and Saturday. However, the FGW representatives at the meeting said that if it was going to happen it will be easier to do it over the whole week. They have gone away to see whether the current last train from Plymouth could be rescheduled to 20.30, followed by the final train at 22.30 from Plymouth. Reactions were positive, so keep your fingers crossed!
Journey Figures
2014 ended 0.1% down on 2013 (250 fewer journeys), but 2015 is proving to be an interesting year, up 2.6% on 2014 (just under 2,800 additional journeys. However, the last period saw a worrying fall of around 2,500 on 2014. It was thought that this may have been in part due to a malfunction of the outdated ticketing machines, a national problem.
Bere Alston - Tavistock
In reply to a comment that nothing was happening on the rebuilding of the line to Tavistock, it was pointed out that it was approved by Devon County Council's Cabinet last year and an enormous amount of work is going on. 
Tamar Valley Line Branding
There has been a complete revamp of signage and poster boards at stations along the TVL. Bere Ferrers station has a new pair of poster boards to match the heritage style here. Still to come for each station is a dedicated community news and events board.
The website has had a complete rebuild and is now obtainable on tablets and mobile phones as well as traditional computers. It has a significant section on the Tamar Valley Line.
Other News
First Bus have announced they are pulling out of Devon from September. Stagecoach will be taking over some of their routes.