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 2013 Newsletter: 

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 21st February and Thursday 21st March at 7.30pm in Brayford Village Hall.  Parish Council meeting minutes are on show at 4 notice boards - The Nook, Village Hall, High Bray and Charles (by the Church).  Anyone living within the parish is most welcome to come along to a monthly meeting so if you have a local issue of any kind that you would like considered we will be pleased to see you at any future meeting.
Local Plan
North Devon Council is working in partnership with Torridge District Council to prepare a new Local Plan that will set out a vision of how the area will develop over the coming years up to 2031. A draft of the Plan will shortly be published and then be available for public consultation from 31 January until 15 March. Everyone is encouraged to view and comment on the document and in particular any land owner in the Parish who may have land suitable for development has the opportunity to submit a proposal to the Planning Policy Team who can be contacted by telephone on 01271 388392. A small number of Local Needs Dwellings could benefit the Parish and the Parish Council would be happy to discuss informally any proposals at the next Council Meeting on Thursday 21 February.
Flooding at the Millennium Garden
Several adjacent properties suffered from this terrible event and it is hoped that those involved will soon be restored back to the comforts of their own homes. Within the Millennium Garden, a 10 ft section of bank was removed in an attempt to reduce the water level and it has been decided that the gap will be replaced by posts and sliding rails so that on any future occasion of rising river levels, the rails can be removed to ensure flood water escapes more readily. A considerable amount of debris was evident when the flood subsided and thanks must go to the parishioners who kindly cleared it all away.
Carols at the Nook
Cancellation of this popular event was a great disappointment to everyone and it has been decided that for Christmas 2013 the event will take place a week earlier than normal to give scope for last minute weather dependent adjustment.
The snow and bad weather has created a large number of potholes and many have been reported to the Highways Officer, but until conditions improve, the contractors are unlikely to make repairs. Blocked drains have again been reported and will be cleaned out as soon as possible and parishioners are encouraged to clear their own drains or any they may encounter if they are able – often it is just leaves and silt that need brushing away. There will be a road closure of Shutescombe Hill for drainage works from 31 January to 7 February.
At long last the boxes have arrived and an electrician will be installing them in the next week or so, weather permitting.

Gardeners/Cooks/Crafts People
You are all invited to a meeting in the Methodist Chapel School Room at 2.30 pm on Monday, 18 February to give your ideas for entries for the August Flower Show, and ideas for Garden Club outings/meetings for 2013.


Quiz and Carvery
Boomerangs are holding a fundraising Quiz and Carvery at The Sportsman Inn, Sandyway on Friday 22 February. All welcome – arrive at 7 pm, get a drink at the bar and settle down with your team (maximum of 6 people) for an evening of fun and good food for just £10 per person. For tickets, ring Bev Ayre on 710908 or Debbie Tapp on 740492.

Youth Club
The first meeting of 2013 will be held in the Methodist School Room at 7 pm on Wednesday 30 January. All young people, 11+, are invited. Please come fired with enthusiasm and ideas. Leader Mrs Hilary Ayre, telephone 710352.

Coffee Morning
These begin again on Wednesday 6 February from 10.30 am to 12 pm. If the Chapel Schoolroom is not available it will be at Ruby's house. Please come along – no cakes or fund raising!!

Village Market 
Don't forget our Village Market returns on Saturdays 9 February and 9 March from 11 am to 1 pm. Lots of food and crafts on sale. 

Charles Church
Floods, rain and six to eight inches of snow around the district are hopefully behind us, but we shall not forget the last year and all that the weather threw at us. Thankfully, all the Christmas events survived, remembering particularly the visit of the Exmoor Carollers, who rang the bells and entertained us with old carols found on Exmoor. Thank you for donations totalling £214 for the Church, and to those who supplied the lovely Christmas tea. The Crib Service filled the Church, the children taking the figures to the crib as the carols were sung, and singing "Away in a Manger". Thank you to Tom, Emma & Ted for reading, singing and playing the trumpet so well. We welcome new residents to Victoria Cottage and Higher Barn Park and hope they will be happy here. The very popular Deanery Quiz (secular content!) is proceeding and teams of 4 from any parish will be very welcome at South Molton Methodist Church Hall on Friday, 1 February at 7.30pm and then 5 April.

Methodist Chapel
The damaged ceiling is now being repaired and we hope to be back in the near future. Meanwhile services have been continued, when weather permits, in the schoolroom. The postponed concert with the Circuit Choir will be held on Saturday, 23 March at 7.30 pm, either in the Village Hall or at the Chapel. This will be a very good evening's entertainment and we would be pleased to have your support. We have another Messy Church session on 3 February at 3 pm. Children and adults have a fun afternoon with plenty of activities. There will be a Good Friday Service at 10.30 am on 29 March and on Easter Sunday, Mrs Sheila Collier will lead the Café Church. This is a new, more informal type of Service. Everyone is invited.

High Bray Church
We welcome Archie James Symons, son of James and Helen, into the family of High Bray Church. We also welcomed Rev. David Baker and his family, who will be living at North Molton. The School Nativity held in the Church was performed with dedication and joy – how we all enjoyed the evening with each child playing their part to perfection. Candlelit Carols on Christmas Eve was so packed with people even sitting in the aisles. Thank you so much to all who attended and to our readers. We raised over £300 for Barnstaple Poverty Action Group, such a good cause in these cold, wet times. Easter services at High Bray are a "Taize" evening on Monday 25 March at 7 pm. If you have not heard of this, it is very gentle singing and music. On Good Friday, 29 March at 7 pm, there will be a reading of St Matthew, another quiet evening, followed on Easter Sunday by a joyous celebration at 6pm.

Brayford WI
We had some business to attend to at our first meeting of the year, and our Secretary drew our attention to the several lectures we could attend in North Devon – as varied as A Forensic Science Day at Bishops Nympton Village Hall on 20 March and a Pudding Party at Umberleigh Village Hall on 26 February. We were delighted to welcome Mrs Val Biebuyck as our speaker. Val lives at High Bray and we have admired her paintings and photographs at the Brayford Farmers' Markets. To learn the simple secrets of good art photography was fascinating. Please remember that our next W.I. Meeting will be held on the THIRD Wednesday (20 February) as on 13 February ALL GARDENERS are invited to join Goodleigh Garden Club at 7 for 7.30pm, when Toby Buckland from BBC Gardeners' World will be their speaker. Cost £7.50. This will be held at Goodleigh Village Hall. On 20 February Jonathan Edmunds will be talking about Education and the Vote for Women (1860-1939). On Wednesday, 13 March, Kirsty Crosby and Gina Dyer from Libra School will be coming to talk to us.

Brayford School 
The new term has started with snow disruptions (no complaints from the children) and a new teacher! We would like to give a warm welcome to Miss Melanie Webb. Miss Webb has brought a wealth of new skills to the school, including singing and languages. We are all looking forward to working with her. The children have another busy term, the topic being "Digging up the Past", with a trip to Charmouth at the end of term with Umberleigh, which children from both schools are looking forward to. Also, children from Key Stage 2 from both schools will be visiting the theatre in Barnstaple to watch a children's theatre production of The Tempest. The infants will be visiting the theatre to watch The Owl that was Afraid of the Dark. The juniors will also be visiting Exeter University to watch a performance by the Devon Youth Orchestra.

Brayford Boomerangs
Boomerangs Pre-School is held in Brayford Village Hall, adjacent to the Primary School, three times a week and is led by Laura Manley. Boomerangs currently have a limited number of places available on Tuesdays (8.45am-2.30 pm), Wednesdays (8.45 am – 1 pm), and Fridays (8.45 am-2.30 pm). It is one of the most cost effective pre-schools in the area, charging just £2.90/hour and £1 for the optional 8.45-9.00 am Early Bird sessions. Boomerangs offers 15 hours free childcare via Early Years scheme for over threes, and accepts "2gether" Funding, for two year olds who meet the criteria. If you have a child under five, why not take advantage of our free trial session offer over the next few weeks.

Thanks from Ken and Audrey
We would like to thank everyone who helped us on 22 December (day of the flood), also helping to clear out the cottage the following day, for some dry clothes and taking care of pets, offers of holiday accommodation, and loan of barn to store our belongings. A big thank you to Anna and Fay (daughters), Alan (our next door neighbour) and somebody's children who helped bucket water from out of the garage in the hope of stopping it getting into the house (all in vain). We've now moved to Broomhill Villas (above the river) and are settling in well. Once again, many thanks to you all, and wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

On 7 January, a dear friend, neighbour, W.I. member and former school governor, Pamela Hudson, finally lost her battle with cancer. An overflowing Church at Charles, filled with pink flowers and a beautiful service of hymns and prayers, were a fitting tribute from her many friends and family at her funeral. Tributes were paid to her bubbly personality, so full of fun and enthusiasm, her many talents, her love for her family. Many tales were told and memories relived as friends and family celebrated her life. Jonathan and Pamela's hospitality was legendary - we thank them for happy times and share in the family’s great loss.

Small field (2 acres) with stream available for free grazing. Fairly steep so only suitable for sheep, but good grass and south facing with good shelter from wind on all sides. Contact Jan or Geoff.
From the Newsletter Editor
We seem to have had such terrible weather for so long, it makes you wonder how much longer it can go on for. At least the snowdrops are starting to come out this week. Snowdrop Valley at Wheddon Cross should be open from 2-24 February this year and is well worth a visit if you have not already been, but at present it is blocked by fallen trees so check before you go that these have been cleared and it is safe.

 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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