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 2020 Newsletter: 


A Question To All Dog Owners
If you went to High Bray Churchyard to visit the grave of a loved one would you be upset to find DOG MESS lying adjacent? Yes, of course you would but this is what recently confronted a visiting parishioner. For the umpteenth time of asking will all dog owners please keep dogs on leads in sensitive areas and pick up and take home all faeces that their charges expel. Those failing to do so face a fixed penalty of £80 or a fine of up to £1,000 and anyone seeing such acts is encouraged to telephone the District Council direct line 01271 388870 so that the culprits can be caught and prosecuted.

Although the structural works have been completed at Lions Rump on the A399 there is resurfacing and white lining to be carried out. These works will be undertaken under night closure so as to minimise disruption to traffic. A further stabilisation scheme for a gabion retaining wall is scheduled for Autumn 2020 and there is a scheme to address an area of repeated flooding on the A399 but no date has been set. Also repairs to the carriageway and possible drainage works to the road from Newtown Bridge to Popham Cross are planned but no date is available at the moment.

Climate Emergency
NDDC have declared a climate emergency and in order to inform, educate and engage communities across North Devon they are proposing a Climate Action Week at the end of March, immediately before the schools break for Easter. The intention is that Barnstaple will be the hub with events throughout the week and local communities would participate with their own events. The PC invite ideas for ways in which we could identify and promote the reduction of our own carbon emissions to be highlighted during the Action Week.

Neighbourhood Watch
Computer and telephone scams are being reported in growing numbers which stresses the need for everyone to be alert to the tell tale signs and report any concerns to the police. Elderly people are very much at risk so please make sure your entire family are aware and understand the issues.

Tony Bawden would like to thank family, friends and neighbours for all their help and support since his hip operations. Many thanks to you all. Best wishes, Tony.
Ray & Ruby are so grateful for all the love and care from this community. Bless you all, we are so lucky to share good and tough times together.

10.30 am on the first Wednesday of the month in the Methodist Schoolroom. Come for a chat not fund raising. Could you help by "doing" coffee any month? Just 10.30 until 12 noon providing coffee and biscuits.

We have been very sad to lose Tina Tester, who passed away at the N.D. Hospice on New Year's Day. Tina had been a valued member of our W.I. for many years and will be sadly missed. We are looking forward to welcoming Mrs Joyce Memmett from Diabetes UK to our February meeting but before then the Skittles Social will have taken place. We are also hosting, with the Village Hall Committee, a Barn Dance on Saturday 22 February. A bring and share supper has been suggested, there will be a caller and the bar will be open. Everyone is welcome. Tickets £5 for adults and £1 for children. One of the ways we are celebrating 100 years of Women's Institutes in Devon is to have 100 projects and our project is to encourage bees. So, in March we are having a speaker from Quince Honey Farm who will tell us how to have a bee friendly garden. We would welcome anyone who is interested to join us at this meeting on Wednesday 11 March. Our meetings are always fun and we welcome visitors.

We will be having the next Puddings & Song on Friday 19 June. We are hoping to fill High Bray Church in enthusiastic support for Brayford Academy Primary School and should you feel like it a small donation to the Academy would be welcome, please bring it along. We will have the School performing, the Brayford Singing Group, hopefully Harmony 4 with us, and with any luck another group or so. It is always a delightful evening of song, puddings and conversation. As this will be in June, we may even have a barbecue.

The Church Quiz held on Friday 25 October raised £220. Winners were Table 2 with 80 points, runners-up Table 6 with 77 points and Booby Table 1 with 54 points. The next Church Quiz will be on Friday 3 April at Brayford Village Hall at 7.00 pm for 7.30 start. Teams of 4-6 players. Adults £3 each, 11-16 years £1 each and Under 10s free. There will be 8 categories in the Quiz and there will also be a Draw. Please bring your own drink but there will be tea and coffee available.

We were runner-up in the county Food and Drink Devon competition in 2019. We hope to do even better this year. We have more and more tables in the Market now: Bess Hill Farm Shop, East & West Bakery's variety of fresh baked breads & pasties, local wool and hand-knitted jumpers and crafts, local bedding plants, hand-made children's clothing, local arts & crafts, homemade baked goods & savoury pies, Southwest Cheese Shop quiche & sausage rolls, cards with local scenes, and interesting household items of all sorts. Come along and see what you can find. Tea, coffee and homemade cakes available and tables for conversation. Every second Saturday of the month from 11 am to 1 pm at Brayford Village Hall. The next markets will be 8 February and 14 March.

The final fund raising event for 2019, Ferret Racing, was a huge success making this event the one we can repeat again and again. Adults and children had a great evening and as always the Ferrets didn't disappoint. For February we have our highly popular Bingo evening onSaturday 8 February and in conjunction with the Women's Institute we will be holding a Barn Dance (see enclosed leaflet) on Saturday 22 February. Both events open at 7 pm. On 13 March we have arranged, in conjunction with the Women's Institute, a Quiz night at the Sportsman Pub. This proved to be an excellent venue with a great atmosphere enhanced by an excellent carvery dinner. This is an event not to be missed. Back in January 2019 we were advised by Open Reach, in conjunction with Team Academy, that some 57 properties in Brayford would be eligible for inclusion in the gigabit broadband scheme being offered by Open Reach. The system is now available to those properties who should contact their broadband suppliers for connection. The Village Hall Management Committee have decided to equip the Village Hall with a level of broadband connectivity with download speeds of 78 Mbs. We have in the past been asked if we provided WiFi connection and so now will be able to advertise this facility to third party hirers. The Committee is also examining what other possibilities the new connectivity speeds could offer for village use including the possibility of providing basic computer training classes.

Thank you Brayford Academy once again for your Christmas production. The Church filled with new talent and happy little faces. Christmas Eve worked its usual magic at the Candlelit Service. The Church looked lovely in its Christmas decorations and lots of lovely singing. Thank you for your support of Church events and may it continue into 2020. Rev. Jonathan Richards has been very poorly so we send our love and best wishes and look forward to seeing him well again and back at High Bray.

Everyone at Brayford Academy would like to wish the community a Happy New Year. All the children have returned to school after the Christmas holidays with enthusiasm and are making a really good start to 2020 with their learning. Our topic for the spring term is "From Farm to Fork". The children will learn about where their food comes from: farming and food processing. They will consider what their food must go through to get to their dinner plate. The children will visit a farm and a supermarket to broaden their knowledge of this topic and ask their own questions. The children will learn some cooking skills, make simple meals and bake bread. Our preschool "Brumble Bees" are learning about the farm. The children will explore different types of farms and what they produce. They will learn about different animals, create their own farm models and engage in role play. They will read the stores "Farmer Duck", "The Little Red Hen" and "Rosie's Walk". The children have been enjoying their sessions at Rock & Rapid this term and are developing their understanding of rock climbing by playing games and using the climbing walls. The activities they are taking part in are designed to build on their upper body strength and core muscles. The children have shown real determination to improve each week and are keen to learn and develop new skills. If you would like to know more about Brayford Academy please see our website http:/ or phone the school on 01598 710345.

It was good to join with the local Churches for a United Service at North Molton Parish Church, followed by lunch at The Sportsman. Our services are 11 am on 2 February Rev. Stuart Innalls, Covenant Service, 11.15 am, on 9 February United Service at High Bray, 9.15 am on 16 February, Sue Radley ,11 am on 23 February David Peyton. There will be services at 11 am each Sunday in March, except the second Sunday when the United Service will be at Brayford Methodist Church at 11.15 am.

Charles goes into hibernation over these dark and damp winter days but the slightly longer days and, even at times, brighter weather and signs of life in the hedgerows and garden borders tell us all that spring is on its way. So enough of the weather forecast. Since our last news, our quiz night at the end of November was a great success and thanks to all for the support. We raised £450 for repairs to the bells. Our church was beautifully decorated for Christmas and the service on 22 December well attended. But Christmas and New Year are well out of the way by now. Rachel and Jeremy Weeks are providing food and accommodation at Sandy Park Farm EX32 7PY Sunday lunches, teas, special events catering and lovely accommodation and more as the warm weather approaches. Find on Facebook at https:/ or if not on social media call Rachel on 710171 or 07525 615430. Nice to have a venue close by for fine dining and so your visiting relatives don't have to stay with you. Charles village are planning events for 2020 so more in the next newsletter.

Or not it would seem. There is practically no information about Brayford and Charles on Wikipedia, apart from the quarries which is not exactly our finest attraction. Do we have anyone in the villages who could write something interesting and I am sure there is also someone who could put it up on Wikipedia. We have so much history with the Roman smelting, etc it is a pity not to have a better entry for visitors or potential visitors to read.

Thanks for the contributions - I know there is not much happening at the moment but itís nearly spring.

 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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