Saturday, 26 November 2016

Far Above a Midnight Sky

At the Art and Craft Fair today I had the pleasure of meeting Colin Upton, a lifelong fan of Devon, who has produced a spectacular album of music that was on sale at the Fair.
Far Above a Midnight Sky is the sumptuous new album of romantic classical music – orchestral, instrumental, vocal and choral – from Vista Musicale, accompanied by the John Wilson Orchestra. Featuring some of the finest musicians on the international stage, including Craig Ogden (guitar), Adrian Brendel (cello) and Harry Sever (treble), together with the immensely popular John Wilson Orchestra, the album comprises eighteen original tracks to soothe, move and inspire.
I quote from his leaflet:
‘If you enjoy soaring melodies, sublime singing and playing, wrapped in the sumptuous sound of a top-class orchestra, the album Far Above a Midnight Sky may well be one of the most beautiful albums you will ever hear. It is the work of Devon composer Colin Upton and the brilliant young Charles Mauleverer. The lush accompaniment is provided by the inimitable John Wilson Orchestra and the CD was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
This is pastoral music with a local flavour, reflecting the glorious landscapes and breathtaking views that epitomise the countryside of the South West.’ Some of this music has been played on Classic FM.
The album is available on CD or download. Go to for full details.

Christmas Art and Craft Fair

The annual BFS Club Christmas Art and Craft Fair took place on a crisp sunny November day at the Club. Organised by The Friends of the Club, all proceeds from the Fair went towards the Phase 2 refurbishment of the Club.
There was a wide variety of crafts on show, with some different stalls than in previous Fairs. Linda had compiled a fantastic list of raffle prizes, the top one being a pair of GWR rail tickets to anywhere on the network, followed by tea for two at the Horn of Plenty, and a meal at Robertson’s Restaurant and other exciting prizes.
As usual, a delicious lunch and other refreshments were on sale; the main meal was chilli (or vegetarian chilli) with jacket potato and coleslaw, followed by apple pie or cake. Well done to all those Friends who organised the Fair and also to the exhibitors.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

It's Not Available in Your Area: Part 3

Well, eventually, I've got high-speed fibre broadband, despite most of the providers telling me it wasn't possible! You just have to persevere and it helps if you miss out the middle men and go straight to the Managing Director, CEO or Chairman of the company.
Forget any mention of 'tags' and being at the end of the line, just keep pushing. High-speed fibre is available in the village, but most of the providers don't know - until you keep at 'em!

Beer Tasting at the Olde Plough

I've just spent a very pleasant evening at the pub, tasting 10 beers from the St Austell Brewery under the guidance of Mark, their Marketing Director and beer sommelier. Not surprisingly, the pub was full of hardened drinkers and those willing to be guided through the complicated world of hops, malts, flavours, etc.
We started off with Proper Job and on through about four other brews from the main brewery, then concentrated on beers of limited production from the small brewery, such as the Italian Job. The highlight of the evening was, to many people, Big Job, at 7.2% ABV Proper Job's big brother. Sarah finished off the evening with pasties for all. An excellent evening!
Bruce picks his winner.

Handing round some malt.

Some old geezer.


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The BFS Club: Entertainment for December

Art & Craft Fair at the BFS Club

A message from Tricia Kent:
Just a reminder that we are holding the 3rd Christmas Art and Craft Fair, this Saturday from 11-4pm.  We will be serving lunches, mulled wine, tea and home-made cake alongside the opportunity to do your Christmas shopping in the village, with a range of unique locally crafted gifts available to buy.
We are also asking any members who can to donate a (full) bottle or jar of anything, wine, juice, jam or bubble bath, for our bottle stall. These can either be handed in at the Club or there is a box outside my front door ('Eureka' down behind the war memorial) if you prefer to leave something in there.  The money we have raised at these fairs provided a good chunk of the cost of the last refurbishment project at the Club and now we are raising cash for the next phase.
If you haven't had the opportunity to buy tickets for our amazing raffle then please let me know, we have some great prizes, see the list below and I will make sure you get some tickets!
Hope to see you on Saturday.
3rd Annual Christmas Arts & Craft Fair
RAFFLE PRIZES £1 per ticket or £5 a book 
Two GWR rail tickets, valid for travel to any GWR station
Tea for two at the Horn of Plenty (Voucher)
Meal at Robertsons, Tavistock (Voucher)
Cut and blow dry at ‘Formerly Vaughans’ Tavistock
Family cinema ticket at The Wharf Tavistock
Framing Voucher, Tavistock Picture Framing Gallery (£25)
Club membership for two for the year – from March 2017
Christmas Hamper
Club drinks tokens £10
Two books from the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership: 'Time Travelling Trains' and 'Tamar Valley Trains'
Various Craft Fair items

Mobile Library Dates for 2017

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Goodbye to Maggie

This afternoon St Andrew's Church was packed with family and friends saying their last farewells to Margaret, Maggie or Aunt Mags, depending on which of the above you were. The service was conducted by the Rev Nick Law. We heard tributes to Maggie from family and friends and I'm sure many of us didn't realise what a packed life she had. Born in Congleton in Cheshire in 1943 her family moved several times, eventually ending up in Torquay. After university, Maggie joined Voluntary Service Overseas and did sterling work in Africa. On returning to this country Maggie spent most of her life helping with social care in Plymouth.
When she moved to the Peninsula, first in Bere Alston and finally in Bere Ferrers, Maggie joined the University of the Third Age, the Tamar and Tavy Gig Club, excelled on an art course curiously entitled Painting for the Terrified, was Chairman of the Bere Ferrers Allotment Association and a member of the Bere Ferrers Art Group, amongst others!
After the service, many friends attended the wake at the BFS Club, where numerous photographs of Maggie were on display. There were musical interludes from the Bere Ukes and the Tavy Tars.
Farewell Maggie, gone but never forgotten!

Friday, 11 November 2016

New Brewery on the Peninsula

Bere Beers: There is a new brewery on the Peninsula - in fact, as far as I know, the only brewery on the Peninsula. And its brews become available in early December. HOWEVER,  you can taste all these beers at a special preview at the Olde Plough Inn on Sunday 4th December. Don't miss it, I'll be there! Watch out on the pub's website for more details.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Windfall Apples

I have been asked to post that there are windfall apples outside the late Maggie Cartwright's house from the trees on her allotments. Anyone is welcome to help themselves to the apples.

'It's Not Available In Your Area' Part 2

I sent an email to Andrew Baker, Chief Exec. of Plusnet and received a call today from Piers Andrews. He told me that he had had my line checked and it was not available for fibre because it had been 'tagged'. This may be out of date. He sent me an email as follows:

'Thanks for your time on the phone today. As discussed I have now raised a tags query with Openreach in order to help clarify the records issue with your line. These generally take a few days to get a response to, so I'll be checking back on this on Monday for you to confirm a response. Hopefully they will be able to get this fixed up swiftly, and I'll let you know once I've got more information.
Kind regards,
Piers Andrews

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Unexpected Windfall

There was a sale of indoor and outdoor plants at the home of Maggie Cartwright today and I am pleased to report that the magnificent sum of £94.50 was raised for Youth2Youth in Bere Alston.

Maggie's Funeral

The funeral of our dear friend Maggie Cartwright will take place next Saturday, 12th November, at St Andrew's Church, Bere Ferrers. Mourners are asked to gather at the BFS Club at 1.20pm to follow the hearse through the village to the church for the service at 1.30pm.

Shanties Ahoy!

There was more than a taste of salt in the air last night at the BFS Club as two giants of the shanty world in the south-west, the Tavy Tars and The Press Gang from Mevagissey, sang their hearts out to a packed Club.
It was virtually continuous music from 8pm until 10.30 and both groups took it in turns to entertain an appreciative audience. Both the Tars and the Gang joined together for a joint final session, with the audience joining in enthusiastically. Songs included ‘South Australia’, ‘What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?’, ‘Sloop John B’. The Leaving of Liverpool’, etc.
There was a sort of serious side to the evening. The Tars presented cheques to various organisations from fees they had accumulated from their appearances. The Watersprts Hub Club received £300, as did the Alzheimer’s charity. A similar amount was given to Make a Difference and £500 to the RNLI. On her 16th birthday Kate Guest was presented with a cheque for £100 towards the cost of her forthcoming educational trip to Borneo.
A very enjoyable evening, even people who don’t particularly like shanties stayed to the end!

Robin Musgrave announces the cheque awards.

Kate receives her cheque from Robin.