A rural parish in North Devon, England including Brayford village, High Bray and Charles, and a part of Exmoor National Park


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From the February/March 2007 Newsletter:

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 15th February (Agenda) and Thursday 15th March in Brayford Village Hall at 7.30pm. (Agenda)

There will be major road works on the A399 between Aller Cross and Huntstone Wood. These will extend for nearly 3 miles with large sections of the road being strengthened before the whole length is given a new surface. The main contract will commence on 22nd January, although the drainage works have been underway and some retaining works will follow later in the year. During the surfacing works it will be necessary, for safety reasons, to close the road between the hours of 7 pm to 6 am Monday to Friday. These closures will be between Aller Cross and Northland Cross and between Northland Cross and Huntstone Wood, however both sections will not be closed at the same time.
Affordable Housing
At an Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 11th January, representatives of Hastoe’s Housing Association passed round two new proposals for two 3-bedroom and three 2-bedroom houses to be built on land owned by Mr K Robins. North Devon Planning Department has asked that these houses front the road opposite the Methodist Chapel, four metres back from the road with a generous footpath in front and gardens and parking at the rear. The final plan will be chosen by the Planning Officer, then drawn up by Hastoe’s and submitted for planning approval. An Open Meeting has been arranged on 15th March in the Village Hall from 3.30 pm to 7.00 pm for parishioners to view the plans. Any comments have to be sent in writing to North Devon Planning Department. It is hoped that final approval will be given at the Planning Committee meeting in April. Once the date for the Open Meeting is known it will be posted on the Notice Boards at The Nook and High Bray, so if you are interested please keep a look out.

Carols at the Nook
Many thanks to those who helped make the Carols at the Nook a happy evening. The collection raised £138, which is a marvellous start to the Play Area Fund.
Neighbourhood Watch
Another change in Police organisation: PC George Furneaux is now our Beat Manager, however, he has pointed out that he covers 26 parishes across a very large area, albeit assisted by PCSO Simon Latham, and it is Simon who we are most likely to come across. George Furneaux urges us to contact the police if we notice anything that seems suspicious and particularly asks that we take note of vehicle registration numbers. He said there is an active group of local criminals currently targeting outbuildings in order to steal power tools.

Gardening Club
We had a lovely end to the year with Lynn Purse demonstrating how to make Christmas table decorations in terracotta pots.
Our programme for the coming year is now available and to commence we will be visiting Heddon Hall on the afternoon of Wednesday 21st February, meeting in the Village Hall Car Park, time to be arranged. For those who have not been to Heddon Hall before, they have a wonderful collection of Hellebores in a lovely garden and also some for sale. On Tuesday 20th March (changed date) Terry Shapland will be coming to tell us about the composting project at Bratton Fleming. This is a scheme run by the Council enabling local people to buy the compost at a very reasonable rate. This meeting is in the Village Hall at 7.30 pm.
We have decided, this year, to have a £10 membership fee for the Club, but will still welcome non-members to our meetings for £1 per meeting.
On 10th February, Carol Klein, who is presenting a "Grow Your Own Vegetables" programme on BBC2 at the moment, and lives in North Devon, will be at RHS Rosemoor Garden, near Torrington.

Village Hall
Geoff and Raymond have finished painting the roof inside the Village Hall and it looks very bright and clean. We shall be doing some more painting in half term week. Can you help please from 19th February onwards?
North Devon Conservatives
There will be a Social Evening to be held on Saturday 17th February at 7.30 pm at Brayford Village Hall. Neil Parish MEP will give a talk and there will be musical entertainment by Tony Poling and Friends, and a draw. Tickets are £8 at the door to include a Ploughman’s Supper. Please let Mrs R Boyles or Mrs D Gardner know if you are coming for catering purposes.
There will be a new Mixed Level Yoga class starting at Goodleigh Village Hall on 15th March from 6.15 to 7.45 pm. For more information contact Audrey Smith, email

Happy Ending
Rose Raymond was recently taken seriously ill and was rushed into intensive care; happily after a spell in hospital, she is home again and making a good recovery.  Her daughter, Janet, who works for Medcins Sans Frontieres, was at that time on the staff of a very small hospital unit in Nepal, reachable usually by helicopter. On leaning of her mother’s plight, MSF did everything they could to return Janet to the UK. However, they had to forbid travel using the Russian helicopters because of a series of accidents. The only way to get to the airfield at Katmandu was by walking, hitching a lift in a lorry in which Janet shared the cab with eleven others, and hiring a jeep. The jeep suffered a puncture and there was no spare, but after three days hard travel Janet reached the airfield and flew by light plane to Bangkok. After the longhaul flight into Europe, the last stage of the journey to Bristol was not straightforward as the pilot was unsure he could land safely due to fog: but they made it. With Rose on the mend and being cared for by Dick and other family members, Janet is once again back at work. She will complete a medical course in Brussels at the end of January and then be sent off to another trouble spot, this time probably somewhere in Africa.

Christmas may be a mere memory by now, but it is important to record some special events in the community. There were memorable services and carol singing and beautiful, "traditional" decorations in the Church and local houses. The floodlit church tower was a moving sight on a dark night. Thanks to all who contributed in any way.
There are a few deep pot holes appearing in the roads. If you have one near you, please mention it to Jonathan Collier.

Methodist Church
Don’t forget our Coffee Mornings from 10.30 am to 12 noon on Wednesday, 7th February and Wednesday, 7th March in the Methodist Schoolroom. Please join us for a chat. There is a Church Council Meeting at 7 pm on 13th February in the Schoolroom. We have no special services planned for February/March at present but our usual service is at 11 am every Sunday. There will be no evening service on 4th and 18th February. On 11th March at 11 am there will be a united service with High Bray and Charles Churches at the Methodist Chapel. Our Good Friday service on 6th April will be at 11 am.

High Bray Church
Carol services in church were "standing room only". If you took part, thank you, especially Brayford School pupils and teachers, Ruth Edwards and helpers and readers. If you missed it, make a date for next year!

Mothers' Union
We would like to thank all who supported our Coffee Morning in January which raised £113. Thanks also the school children and staff for the Carol Service in High Bray Church on 12th December.
On 21st February at 2.30 pm at South Lydcott Sharon O’Neill will be giving a talk on Taw & Torridge Caring. Sharon is a Sitting Service Co-ordinator for Taw & Torridge Caring, which is a charitable organisation of Torridge Voluntary Service. On 21st March at 11 am at Exeter Cathedral there will be a Commissioning Service of Mrs Mary Steer, Diocesan President.

Womens' Institute
We were very pleased to welcome Parish Councillor, Geoff Collier, to our January meeting to talk about Paths and Byways, the rules that apply to both and about their maintenance. It was a fun and interesting talk, and we enjoyed perusing maps and discovering more about our local area.
On 14th February, Marjorie Dix MBE will be talking about "The Rag Doll Illness" and on 14th March Geoffrey Green will be talking on "More than Just Books". Meetings start at 7.15 pm in the Village Hall and guests are very welcome.

Brayford Boomerangs
We are pleased to announce the safe arrival of Christine & Nik’s baby, Evan Rhys – mother and baby doing fine.
Many thanks to all those who supported the Christmas Fair, which was an enjoyable and successful event. Our thanks also to all the stallholders who worked so hard to produce such wonderful and tempting displays. Special thanks also to Ruth and Dawn for their hard work and very special bacon rolls! Funds raised for the main event have been divided between Boomerangs and the School.
Meanwhile, the spring term is well underway and Sarah has been busy creating some fun "Water" themed activities for the children.
Please don’t forget to mention us to friends and family. For information, please telephone Karen.


Special thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing extracts from the Newsletter.

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