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 2015 Newsletter: 

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 19th February and Thursday 19th 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.
Highways - Road Closure
The A399 is currently closed and the remedial works are well under way. The diversion signage is, however, unclear and inadequate and as a result lorries are arriving at Newtown only to find that they are unable to turn around. Devon County Highways have been asked to set out additional signage to restrict large vehicles from going beyond Northland Cross. Vehicles of any size wishing to access Brayford should leave the A399 at Northland Cross and proceed to Molland Cross, Yarde Gate and then turn left at Yarde Down by the Poltimore pub.
TAP Fund 2015

It is anticipated that a small fund will be available this year and the Parish Council have agreed to link with Kings Nympton again in order that Tidyman works can be carried out in December. Such works are deemed to be the best use of the funds as blocked drains etc can create a serious hazard. With this topic in mind thanks must go to Geoff Collier and Ken Leworthy for clearing blocked drains along the closed off section of the A399.

Centenary Gardens Project
Two beech trees have now been purchased and will be planted out in March. Commemorative signs will also be erected and the style and wording is in the process of being finalised.
Essential First Aid Course
This event will take place in the Village Hall on Saturday, 28 February from 1.00pm to 4.00pm and although numbers are limited please contact the Parish Clerk if you would like to attend.
Planning Applications

An application for the erection of a summer house at Lamb Cottage Charles has been approved by NDDC and also approved is a change of use for an annexe to holiday accommodation at Oakmead House. Applications for the erection of agricultural buildings at Little Bray Farm and Lower Hall Farm have both been recommended for approval by the Parish Council. 

Christmas Carols 2014
Carols at the Nook were a great success and the sum of £135.25 was raised for the Devon Air Ambulance. The event was much enjoyed by a good gathering and Sunday evening appeared to be a popular timing. To all those generous people who organised and contributed to such a successful evening - very many thanks.


Mr Barrie Lowe

It is with great sadness we are reporting that Barrie died suddenly on Sunday, 18 January. Barrie came to Brayford about 15 years ago when he bought Little Bray Farm. He was busy for a long time in "restoring" the bungalow and it was during this time he started to become known to the Brayford community. He became a very useful member of the Parish Council – his Rosa Rugosa plantings survive both at Charles and Brayford as growing examples. He helped with the Parish paths for some time. A good example of the way he worked is illustrated by his identifying the damp problem in his bungalow which was caused by rodents. The building had open topped cavity walls but they were being filled with debris from above – straw and various bits and pieces – so he found. He set to work and over a long period of time, gradually worked his way around the walls taking out a few bricks at a time and removing the debris. He got the job done and then set about the inside. He was a qualified electronics engineer – and many people here much appreciated his willingness to help mend or advise on both electrical and mechanical problems. His ability to turn up quite unannounced for a chat was well known. Clearly he was a very sociable person, although at the same time, very quiet and reserved. He had an amazing ability to store the most varied of old vehicles, which almost always needed repair, and he enjoyed the challenge. He did not always complete the project! He loved his motorbikes and owned a Harley among others. The purchase of a new Morgan three wheeler was a surprise to all, which also turned out to be another unexpected challenge. There are so many stories we could all bring to this account, but that is not the purpose here. This brief note above gives some idea of the man. We have been unable to say "goodbye" here in the way we would wish now as Barrie sold the farm a little while ago to start a new life. Unfortunately, it seems that this did not materialise as he expected and it was only relatively recently that he moved to a property near Derby, where his father and brother live. We have known a man who was most sensitive and capable, kind and loyal, not easy to understand at times and about whom we will always have many fond memories.

Brayford Show
Although Christmas has passed and we are still in the depths of winter it is good to have an event to look forward to. Already there is a hint of spring with the gentle twittering of birds, and snowdrops and primroses peeping from the banks. Our season for planting is just around the corner, so why not start preparing for the Brayford show to be held on Saturday, 15 August at Brayford Village Hall. There is a huge selection of categories plus some new classifications to suit all ages. So, put the date firmly in your diary as apart from being a competition it is also great community entertainment for all the family. There will more information with the next Newsletter on schedules, entry forms etc.


Village Market
Don't forget the Village Market held on the second Saturday of each month at the Village Hall from 11 am to 1 pm. The next markets will be on Saturday, 14 February and Saturday, 14 March. Lots of stalls and tea, coffee and cake to enjoy with your friends and family.

Youth Club
This is very much enjoyed by young people age 11 to 16, and they have produced their own programme which is obtainable from the Leaders, Mrs Hilary Ayre (710352) and Mr Nick Jefferson (740283). Meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 7-9 pm in the Methodist Schoolroom unless otherwise stated. 11 February is swimming at The Calvert Trust, 25 February, Skittles/Dodge Ball, 11 March, a walk and 25 March, Games at The Calvert Trust. 

Brayford Community Singing Group 
Do you like to sing? Do you like to have fun? Come and join us in singing once a week on Thursdays at 7 pm at High Bray Church. There is no need for previous singing experience, or auditions, or anything of the sort. We are about to start planning our next Puddings & Song (8 May) and would love to have more people in the community participate. Call Madeleine Brownell on 710389 if you think you might like to come, or just come to listen for one night to see what we do.

Thank you to Brayford School children for a really super Nativity in Church. "Jesus' Christmas Party" was played to a packed Church and we all enjoyed watching as they went around. 

Charles Church
Spring has arrived in Charles Bottom, but not quite in Charles. Charles Church Council meets on 19 February at 2.30 pm at Town Barton, and Deanery Synod in the evening at 7.30 pm. The quinquennial Inspection of the Church fabric is due this year. There is always an air of apprehension coupled with reassuring confidence, the team of supporters having done their best. Thanks are due to the group of friends who enjoy the building and help to keep it in good order. The Charles Village Stall at Brayford Village Market produces a modest but steady income, mainly greetings and Christmas cards. Anything suitable for sale will be gratefully received at the market or at Welcombe Farm. Thank you.  

High Bray Church
As in past years on Good Friday, people from our villages will read aloud the 2000 year old Bible story of human frailty, deception, treachery and death, each taking a part from the story. All are welcome to come and listen, and to participate if you wish. 7 pm on Friday, 3 April at High Bray Church. Celebrate Easter with an Easter Egg hunt in the Churchyard at High Bray, all ages, with prizes, Songs, Readings and Easter goodies for everyone. Come and join in the fun on 5 April at 3 pm. We will be looking for anyone with an hour or so to spare as we need to rub down and Hammerite the gates to the churchyard, hopefully in April. 

Brayford Methodist Church
On Shrove Tuesday, 17 February at 10.30 am Churches together will be holding a Pancake Party. We will also have a Bring and Buy. Proceeds from the morning will be sent to the Chemotherapy Unit at North Devon District Hospital. Our new Chairman of the District, Graham Thompson, will be preaching on Sunday, 8 February. He will be in South Molton at 11 am and North Molton at 6.30 pm. Women's World Day of Prayer – this year's service will be on Friday, 6 March at 10.30 am at North Molton Methodist Church. All women are invited to share the same service throughout the world. If you have never attended before, come and share this special experience. Messy Church will be on Sunday, 1 March from 3-5 pm at the Methodist Schoolroom. Parents and children under ten are welcome. 

Brayford WI
2015 is the one hundredth anniversary of the Women's Institute – 80 of these years have been enjoyed in Brayford! Our Programme Secretary, Mrs Ruth Knights, has produced another interesting programme for the year, so do ask her for a copy if you haven't already received one. We were delighted to welcome Diana Lewis and her colleague from North Devon Animal Ambulance in January. Diana told us about the variety of animals/reptiles they rescue and re-home. Everyone working for the charity is a volunteer and all money collected is spent on the care of these rescued creatures. We are going to hear more about Pilates on 11 February when Sarah Ayre is coming to talk to us. We will be joining Goodleigh Garden Club for our March meeting (11 March) to listen to Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener at Great Dixter Garden. This meeting is open to everyone and contact for tickets is David Hopkins (01271 345246). Ladies of all ages are invited to our meetings, cost £3.50 including high tea. 

Brayford School 
January not only marks the start of a new year but a new academic term at Brayford Primary School. The children this term are learning about the surrounding area through a topic entitled ‘On our Doorstep’. We are currently studying the geography and history of Barnstaple and will be taking trips into the town to explore it through first hand experience. The children have been stepping back in time to explore how Barnstaple has changed through history and looking in depth at why people settled there many years ago. They will also be doing map work and becoming more familiar with the geography of the area. After half term the children will be studying an area closer to home and looking at Brayford in more detail. If you have any old photographs of the village or any other items of interest for the children then please drop these in to school – thank you. Our links with Umberleigh and Pilton Bluecoat Schools are continuing and last week the older children enjoyed an assembly and workshop at Pilton about how to keep themselves safe. Both classes will also be taking trips out with the children from Umberleigh school. We will also be taking part in a football tournament at South Molton Community College where we hope to demonstrate our sporting skills as well as enjoy playing as a team. 

The children will be leading an Easter service on Tuesday 24 March at 9.30am at High Bray Church. We would be delighted if members of the community would join with us. 
Brayford Boomerangs

Boomerangs have enjoyed playing in the little bit of snow we have had. They have done some lovely winter displays for the Village Hall. We are now linking with the infants at the Primary School on Fridays for play times which the children look forward to. We are currently doing the theme of journeys and the children have enjoyed pretending the role play corner is a train station. Boomerangs and Brayford Primary School will be holding a Ferret Race evening to raise money on 21 February at 7 pm in the Village Hall. The cost is £3 to include a Hot Dog. Please call Beverley on 710908 if you would like to sponsor a race or a ferret. We still have places available at Boomerangs so please get in touch if you have child aged between 2 and 4. Our telephone number is 710718 in session times (Tuesday and Friday 9 am to 3.15 pm or Wednesday 9 am to 1 pm). 


Community Coffee Mornings
These will begin again on Wednesday 4 February at 10.30 am in the Methodist Schoolroom. If you would like to take a turn at providing coffee and biscuits or just come and enjoy, we would be pleased to see you. No fund raising or money, just chat. 

Anthony and Thelma Bawden are celebrating their Pearl Wedding Anniversary and we send our love.   

Defibrillator Course
There will be a refresher course on Tuesday, 10 February at 7 pm in the Village Hall. Please come along if you can. We have two defibrillators in the community, one in Brayford and one in Charles so it is important that we all know how to use them. 


 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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