rural parish in North Devon, England
including Brayford village, High Bray
a part of Exmoor National Park
From the December 2003
A very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year
The Christmas festivities are listed immediately below so that you don't
miss an opportunity to get into the 'spirit' at the earliest opportunity.
Carols at Charles Church will start at
6.30pm on the 14th December.
Brayford School carols and nativity play will be held at High Bray Church
at 6.30pm on the 15th December with refreshments afterwards in the Church,
provided by the Motherís Union.
The School will also be holding its Christmas Party at 2.30pm on the 18th
December. Pre-school children are also welcome.
Carols at the Methodist Church will be held on Sunday 21st December at
The Parish Council invite everyone to gather around the Christmas tree for
carols at the Nook, starting at
7pm on 22nd December when the traditional mulled wine, mince pies and good
company will make it a festive gathering.
Candlelit carols will be held at High Bray Church on 24th December at
6.30pm. Don't forget to bring your own candle.
Christmas Day Holy Communion at Charles starts at 9.00am.
Christmas Day service at the Methodist Church will be at 11.00am.
Members of the Parish Council would like to wish everyone a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Annual parish paths survey
Members of the Parish Council survey the footpaths in Brayford annually to
identify any work required to make them safe and easy use. Any work required
is then prioritised within the funds available.
If you would like to walk one of Brayfordís lovely paths and help the P.C.
to inspect them for maintenance requirements, please contact any member of
the Parish Council. They would welcome volunteers to help with this annual
task. You could also let them know of any footpath problems you are
currently aware of.
The P.C. have a copy of the map showing the ĎDefinitive Footpathsí in
Brayford, again contact one of the two Parish Councillors above if you
The County Councilís parish
lengthsman is about to visit Brayford shortly so if you are aware of any
problems on the highways, particularly regarding blocked gutters or drains,
contact Norman Barrow on 710569. D.C.C. will be spending more on this
type of work in the current year (see D.C.C.news). Letís
hope that Brayford benefits.
Land at Brayford Bridge
Earlier this year the P.C. purchased a small piece of land
at Brayford Bridge. They are currently seeking planning permission for
change of use and hope to encompass this within the Millennium area.
The P.C. would like to
thank those who responded to the request for ideas of where to build
affordable housing. A meeting was held to discuss the issue on the 27th
November and news of the outcome will be reported in the next newsletter.
The builders who were
asked to quote for the rebuilding of The Pound at High Bray are all too busy
to undertake the work. If you know of a suitable contractor, contact a
Parish Council Meetings
If you have a
view, opinion, idea or comment on anything that impacts on the parish, the
P.C. want to know about it. Read the minutes of each meeting posted on the
notice boards and if you agree or disagree with anything you see, donít be
afraid to mention it. Either attend the public participation part at
the beginning of each P.C. Meeting (see diary for dates) or if you canít
get to the meeting, tell your local Parish Councillor.
Members of the school would like to take this opportunity of wishing you
a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Donít forget the School Carol
Service and Nativity Play and Christmas Party (see diary for dates).
Members of Brayford Methodist are pleased to welcome the Rev. Clay
Andrew and his wife Jen, from Texas, who have settled in as the Minister for
Brayford and its Circuit.
The Motherís Union Autumn Council meeting will be held in South Molton
on Tuesday 9th December at 10am. A speaker from Betheney House in Barnstaple
will attend to talk about their work. Currently there is no meeting
organised for January 2004.
If you havenít already bought your Christmas cards and crackers, its
not too late to purchase them from any member of Charles Church. Proceeds
will go Church funds.
Fifty four feet (25 people and a dog) aged between two months and 81, set
out on 15th September from High Bray Church to walk to Challacombe on a
perfect autumn day. With a stop for lunch at North Whitefield, cream tea at
Fullacott and good conversation on the way, most of the group arrived at
Challacombe Methodist Chapel for a brief service. As well as being
enormously enjoyable, the group raised over £800 for the churches and
chapel represented as well as for the Devon Historic Churches Trust. This is
the third of these annual walks - plans are Ďafootí for next year.
Members of the Church were amazed to see so much local talent at the recent
packed Church concert where £340 was raised for the Church Roof Fund. They
would like to thank the performers as well as everyone who supported the
The Church Kneelers Group next meet on Monday 5th January at 7.30pm at
Little Bray House. If you are interested, you can join in at any time -
novices are welcome.
The W.I. Christmas dinner will be held at the Sportsmans Inn, Sandyway on
Thursday 4th December.
At the Christmas meeting on Tuesday 9th December Rosie Wedlake will bring a
caseful of artefacts which will prove to be very entertaining followed by a
Christmas party - guest welcome. Starting at 7.15pm in the village hall.
The group recently enjoyed vists to see Annie at the Queenís Theatre, a
shopping trip to Bath and an evening visit to the newly refurbished Ashford
Garden Centre. They get around a bit!
The new programme for 2004 will be available at the Christmas meeting.
The Boomerangs are looking forward to their Christmas Fayre on Saturday
6th December (10am - 12.30pm). This seems to have become an annual event in
the village and they are hoping lots of people will attend the event.
There will be a wide variety of fabulous 'stalls' to suit all tastes and
pockets, including plants, Christmas wreaths, cakes, homemade yummies in aid
of Childrens Hospice, RNLI goods, wooden crafts, candles, cards, lace goods,
educational toys, bric-a-brac, jewellery, knitted toys, garments, crafts etc
There will also be competitions, an excellent raffle, skittles, and of
course Ruth's delicious bacon rolls! They also have a professional portrait
photographer coming - photographs will be ready to view and buy on Thursday,
11th December (1pm-2pm approx.) at the Village Hall (if you cannot make this
time an alternative can no doubt be made).
I hear that Santa will be dropping in at the Fayre too! £1 admission including tea/coffee. Children Free.
The Boomerangs would like to thank everyone in Brayford for their continued
support and wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Children In Need
The recent Halloween Party was not only a successful event but raised £235
for Children in Need. The charity benefits many local projects including
this year, the Womenís Refuge in Barnstaple.
On Wednesday the 26th November the Gardening Club met at The Bell,
Chittlehampton for Christmas dinner and to catch up on gardening news. They
had an excellent supper and many laughs. The 2004 programme was distributed.
There is no meeting in January but the 18th February is a members evening
whereby cooking with herbs will be discussed. Start 7.30pm in the Village
Free membership is on offer to encourage more people to join the Club during
2004. A good programme is planned for the year - do join them (admission is £1 per meeting).
A few weeks ago Brayford had a troublesome Monday night with three cars
broken into and a private outhouse burgled with a £1,000 worth of tools
stolen. In spite of the Police Messaging System, nothing was communicated to
the households in the Parish. A strong representation has been made to the
Police and it is hoped that this "blip" in the system has now been
Brayford is now listed as a Ďhot spotí and is regularly patrolled at
night. A good contact with the Police at South Molton has been established
and they will ring our co-ordinator direct whenever there is any cause for
concern. It is hoped the Messaging System will also be effective next time.
Remember its the time of year when there are more items in your house worth
stealing. Try to avoid leaving presents under Christmas trees on view from
windows. Be extra safety conscious and vigilant over the festive period. Donít
let someone spoil your enjoyment of the festive period.
It is probably timely to remind everyone about fire safety, particularly
over the festive period. Most safety issues are fairly obvious but as many
fires start at night, make sure you have a 'bedtime routine'.
Switch off and unplug all electrical appliances (not designed to be left
on), make sure no cigarettes are burning, switch off portable heaters, do
not leave burning candles unattended (place candles in suitable containers)
and close all doors. Make sure you have smoke alarms fitted.
Devon County Council News
Fifty percent of Devon's pensioners could benefit financially from
Pension Credit which was introduced in October. Many people are now entitled
to Council Tax benefit for the first time as well, and many more are getting
increased benefits according to CAREdirect. Ring CAREdirect on 0800 444 000
to find out more. At any given moment between 15 and 20 children in Devon
are waiting to be adopted. Devon's Social Services is calling for potential
adopters to contact their Adoption Unit on 01271 388050.
The risk of flooding to properties from surface water on roads is being
reduced in Devon thanks to a programme of drain clearance and improvements
works. Additional 'Parish Lengthsmen' have been employed to resolve minor
drainage problems such as blocked gullies and drainage ditches. Work will
also be undertaken to improve ponding on road bends.
Devon Trading Standards is warning the public to be on their guard against
bogus charity collectors currently active in the Devon area. If you suspect
anything fraudulent please contact the Charity Commission on 0870 3330123.
Trading Standards are also warning the public to be on the look out for the
sale of imitation babies' dummies which could be life threatening to babies
and young children. The product looks very similar to a standard dummy and
can be easily identified by the flashing lights and the packaging which
normally bears the wording "I am a baby I need to be loved" or
"Disco Dummy". If you have any concerns ring Trading Standards on
The debate about the Council Tax increase this year is still continuing with
Devon's Councillors asking the Government to consider funding local services
from a new local taxation. The County Council says that the successive
Governments have pursued a policy of switching funding of local authorities
away from central to local government. It is stated that the majority of the
increases this year was due to:
* 5.2% to cover the loss of Devon's grants switched to help councils in the
* 4.7% to meet Government spending targets, particularly on education.
* 4% to cover the £8 million shortfall in the roads budget.
Special thanks to the
Newsletter Editor for providing extracts from the December Newsletter.
Supported by Brayford Parish Council