Saturday, 11 June 2016

Rollicking Songs and Rides at the Railway

A huge audience of nearly a dozen people listened captivated at the debut of the nearly world-famous Bere Ferrers Railway Band at the Tamar Belle Heritage Centre this afternoon. This select little group were gathered to celebrate Her Majesty's 90th birthday.
The Railway Band (r-l above: Rob Smith, Bev Slaughter, Clive Charlton, Bruce Horner and guest washboard virtuoso Graham Hodgson) sang a variety of railway songs, many adapted from classic folk songs with new lyrics from Rob, Bev and Clive.
After the first performance the assemblage sang 'Happy Birthday' and the first verse of 'God Save the Queen'. Stationmaster Chris Groves suddenly appeared with a celebration birthday cake in the shape of a corgi, the Queen's favourite dog, which everyone enjoyed. Chris then invited everyone to take a trip in the goods wagon down the short piece of track. What he omitted to tell us was that he had placed a couple of detonators under the wheels, which went off with an enormous bang!
Later in the afternoon the Railway Band delighted the crowd (now with an extra five people, many of them children) to another rendition of the songs, followed by another jolting trip down the line, this time without detonators!

The Cake!

The Huge Crowd

Friday, 10 June 2016

Planning Deadline Extended

I have it on good authority that the planning deadline for objections to the Station Road development has been extended until 14th June. This is because there have been so many objections to the application. So if you haven't had your say, there is still time!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Stuff at the Station

If you've got nothing to do on Saturday afternoon, there is stuff going on up at the Tamar Belle at the railway station to celebrate Her Majesty's 90th birthday.
The afternoon features the nearly world famous Bere Ferrers Railway Band, who will be playing a number of well-known railway songs. They will be singing at 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

BFPC Planning Decision

The Bere Ferrers Church Hall was packed tonight and every seat was taken for the meeting of the Parish Council Planning Committee. The Vice-Chairman of the committee, Brian Lamb, welcomed everyone and explained the procedure for discussing the application to build seven houses in Station Road.
Members of the public were invited to comment and each was given three minutes to make their point. All the comments were presented well and each was greeted with applause from the audience. Among those who commented were Marcel Kelly, Alan Brown, Ken Harris, John Dawe and Norman Gay.
Several speakers said that they were not against developments, bu this particular application was not beneficial to the village. A great deal of discussion was about the road infrastructure and the amount of traffic on it. If developments like this were to go ahead, serious improvements needed to be made to the road.
Angus Doulton asked if there was a local development plan. Cllr Mike Benson explained about the local Neighbourhood Plan and the National Local Development Plan up to 2026.
After all questions were answered Cllr Lamb invited the members of the committee to make their decision on the application. Several pointed out that there was insufficient information, particularly with regard to the 'affordable houses'. There was also a failure in the application to show any local need for the houses.
The voting was unanimous: all the committee were against the proposal as it stood.
Cllr Lamb pointed out that the Parish Council's decision would be detailed in writing tomorrow and sent to West Devon.
Cllr Benson warned that if the application was rejected by West Devon it would certainly go to appeal and the inspectorate in Bristol would make a decision, which could be reversed. It would cost a very large amount of money to fight on.
Cllr Lamb said that we needed to look at what needed to be done if the application was approved: he suggested major road improvements to the 'corkscrew' just past the orchard and other conditions must be considered.

Community Notice Boards

Someone has said that the village needs a Notice Board so that villagers know what is going on. Apart from the Blog, which tries to carry details of village activities, there are two notice boards in the village: the first is next to the telephone box on Bristol Row, close to the Parish Council notice board, and the second is near the junction at the top of Station Road.
In addition, I have an email list of many of the villagers so that I can send details of important issues or events. If you're not receiving these emails, give me your email address and I'll put you on the list. Finally, there is an online diary for BFS Club and Village Events on the Club's website ( where most events are posted - if I'm told about them!
So I think we're amply covered for information - if folk know where to look! I hope this has been of some help.

Not to mention the Bere Link and the various telegraph poles in the village!!

Planning Application

Neill Mitchell has sent the following objection to West Devon Borough Council to the proposed development in Station Road. I print it here, as a public document (Neill's words!), as it gives a lot more detail to the objection with regard to traffic.



1.    I am writing firstly, as a resident of Bere Ferrers, to oppose the above Planning Application - as I would any such development proposal in Bere Ferrers likely to increase the population and consequential motor usage of the narrow single track access road serving the village. 

2.    This road is presently inadequate to cope with further growth in either domestic or commercial traffic, notably worsening of late as a consequence of internet shopping and grocery deliveries and multiple car ownership families etc.. A road which, too, has no safe pedestrian footpaths, is often in winter not fully gritted and in summer subject to periodic road work blockages/closures.

3.    Secondly, to suggest that, should the Council be minded to grant planning permission in this instance, then that the permission should be conditional upon the developers funding the provision by Devon Highways of at least 5 extra double width vehicle passing points along the length of the access road, between “Beer Town” junction and Bere Ferrers.

4.    Thirdly, again should consent be granted, for a limitation to be placed upon the times of days site HGV construction and pick-up building supply vehicles should be permitted to travel between “Beer Town” junction and Bere Ferrers, perhaps restricted to the daily period of 10.00hrs-12.00hrs Mondays-Saturdays only.


5.    The road has, over the last few years, witnessed an unprecedented growth in use especially by commercial and public service vehicles – some being HGVs, others transits and large pickups – to all of which ordinary residential motorists must give way, often requiring multiple and lengthy reversing actions.

6.    The character of the traffic (circa 07.00hrs- 22.00hrs) is as follows:- 

·         School run – oversized Volvo Coaches
·         School run – parental people carriers etc.
·         Bus services – Stagecoach, Citibus and Jacketts
·         WDBC Waste collection trucks – General, Garden and Recycling
·         Devon CC Mobile Library
·         Gritting trucks (occasional winter)
·      Internet shopping deliveries – food & drink as there’s no food shop in the village  (Sainsburys, Co-Op, Tesco, Waitrose)
·      Internet shopping deliveries – couriers (TNT, B & Q Trade Team (articulated), dpd, Tuffnells, FedEx, Big Green, Yodel, DHL, UPS etc.)
·         Commercial deliveries to the Olde Plough Inn - (St.Austell Brewery, M.J.Baker, etc.).
·     Commercial deliveries – builders merchants supplies, meter readers, utilities (gas, electricity, water, Open Reach)
·         Fuel oil and cess pit tankers
·         Postal deliveries – Royal Mail, Parcel Force
·         Multiple car ownership households (2- 4 cars)
·         Grossly oversized 4 x 4 motors (notably B & W)
·         Camper Vans (including a seeming business operating in the village)
·         Business vehicles – EuroLifts etc.
·         Visitors to pub and church, including weddings and funerals
·         Tractors & trailers (including stacked hay)
·         Slurry tanks and muck spreaders
·         Other agricultural machinery
·         Hedgerow growth and cutting
·         Horse boxes
·         Pony & trap
·         Horse riders (many being inexperienced minors)
·         Wildlife – rabbits, pheasants, foxes, deer, domestic cats and dogs

The Commuter Town of Bere Ferrers

It has come to my notice that the leaflets with the above heading, currently to be seen around the village, are being blamed on me. This is not so! 
I have been given the identity of the person (allegedly) responsible and when I have contacted her I will let you know the point of the leaflet.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Planning Meeting

Don't forget the Bere Ferrers Parish Council Planning meeting to discuss the proposed develoment in Station Road next Tuesday, 7th June, in the Church Hall with a prompt start at 7pm.

Woodland Talk

A sparse but very interested audience listened to a talk and hands-on activity at the BFS Club last night (Saturday) about the Sallerton Woodland project. Andy and Jane Morton gave a talk, with a pictorial presentation, about Sallerton Wood, ten acres of woodland obtained a couple of years ago.
Since then a covered kitchen area and a compost toilet have been built, several areas of trees have been felled and new cherry trees planted. Why cherry trees? I hear you ask. Andy was concerned about the spread of Ash Die-back disease and, because cherry trees are a tall straight tree, decided on these.
Springs in the woodland provide fresh water and everything is environmentally friendly and self-sustaining. Even local clay on the site was used to build a clay oven, where wood can be dried before being made into chairs, stools, etc.
After the talk, Andy showed how to make a spatula from a piece of wood, before members of the audience were able to make bookmarks from wood shavings.