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 April/May 2013 Newsletter: 

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 18th April (with Annual Parish Meeting) and Thursday 16th May (with AGM) 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.
The Methodist Chapel have indicated that they would like to seek planning permission for housing on land adjoining the Chapel. The Parish Council have now submitted their response to the Local Plan consultation and have positively endorsed this location for a small scale development. Within the proposed Local Plan however, Brayford is designated as "Countryside" and is therefore constrained by restrictive policies. The PC has rejected this classification and is seeking to ensure that some small scale/affordable housing can be achieved over the next two decades.

Neighbourhood Watch
The two lifelines clipped to the bridge wall either side of the river recently disappeared but fortunately an observant parishioner discovered them in the river some way down stream and they have been put back in place. The conclusion has to be that someone threw them into the river – an idiotic, selfish act that we do not want to see repeated.
At the junction with the A399 the County Highways contractors have constructed new kerbs and a section of concrete path which has dismayed our District Highways Officer as the works are not as he directed. The intention was to set back a low sloping kerb so that turning vehicles can complete the manoeuvre without having to ride up over high kerbing. Observations from County Highways are awaited.
Millennium Garden
A parishioner has raised the matter of dog fouling as he has recently noticed and removed dog mess from the garden area. The signs banning dogs are to be moved to a more prominent position and we really must insist that no dogs are allowed to enter this recreational space. 
Satellite Broadband
To coincide with the next Farmers Market on 13 April, the PC are arranging for Tooway Direct – a telecommunications company – to demonstrate this alternative internet service. Laptop computers will be available or you can bring along your own device and link up to the wireless service that will be displayed. For those interested, the costs of installing a receiving dish are being met by Devon County Council and the monthly charge to households will depend on the amount of data transfer required. Many parishioners appear to suffer slow computer speeds and this will be a good opportunity to test out the latest technology. 
Council Tax
Comments have been made with regard to the substantial increase in the Parish Precept as from 1 April. Following the disastrous court case that resulted in an £18,000 charge in 2010/2011 the last two years have been subsidised down to just £500 per year. From the 1 April the sum of £5,313 represents the actual annual costs involved and this figure compares favourably with similar parishes in the North Devon district. 

Flower Show
The Schedule of Classes is enclosed with the printed Newsletter and is also here. We do hope the changes will help everyone enter at least one class! Everyone loves to see the Village Hall full of colourful vegetables, flowers and crafts, but we need lots of entries to keep the Show going.


Village Market
We had a good Market on 9 March. Everyone had a good time, both at the stalls and enjoying a lunch of Samantha's delicious soup and pasties, and Ruth and Marion's tea, coffee and cakes. We had some new and exciting offerings; Abi Faulkner painted faces, with the delightful sight of rapturous children running about the Hall being lions, monsters and kittens; Ruth Knights brought some fresh bread from the Combe Martin Bakery; Sophie Crane brought a collection of magnificent flowers, all made out of silk; Alan Thompkins provided home-made chutneys, jams and jellies; Jacci Gardner again made delicious fresh chocolate truffles; Hillary A'Brooke brought homemade marmalade as well as her honey; Ruth Edwards and Marion Wright generously provided tea and biscuits to all stall holders, and followed that with tea & cakes for sale to all visitors; Lisa Ward had a wide assortment of lovely gift items; Bess Hill Farm provided a large selection of fresh meats and vegetables; Fair Trade had a variety of organic and ethnic products; Margie and Ian Thomson offered a table of hand made walking sticks; Jenny De'Athe brought handmade jewellery; Diane Heard baked two tables of delicious fresh-baked cakes and fudge; Margaret Faulkner had handmade greeting cards from Charles; and Madeleine Boyles organised a table of games for the children. In addition, more people are beginning to come for a light lunch, to talk with neighbours and friends and to support their community. We have kept the fee at £1 per table, to which every participant contributes, in order to meet the rental for the Hall. This enables as many local people as possible to participate in our Market as a Village Event, not a money-making event. So far, this has resulted in a very local selection of products – just what we had hoped for. Please try to come to our next Market on Saturday, 13 April. If we are serious about continuing the Market, and perhaps looking forward to a Village Shop someday, it's up to us to show that we really want it.

Youth Club
Young people are enjoying meeting up on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month in the Methodist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.00 pm. Future events are:

27 March – Ten Pin Bowling – parents to help with transport please
10 April – Music Night
24 April – Charity Village Clean-up
8 May – Sports Night
22 May – Bike Ride
Everyone 11 plus is welcome.

Puddings and Song
Singing! Puddings! Fun! We will have numerous children performing, loads of puddings, the Singing Group, the Mothers' group singing "I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No!", the Brayford Youth Band, the School Singing Groups, and more. Bring a pudding and share in the evening with neighbours and community on Saturday, 27 April starting at 7 pm at High Bray Church. 

Duck Race
This year's Duck Race will take place on Monday, 27 May. Can you help to run a stall or do you have a game/stall to bring? Ruby is looking for any old china plates/cups/dishes for "China Bash" which was very popular last year. Do please buy at least one duck, £1 each, for Village Hall funds. We need more support to keep our Village Hall solvent! 

Charles Church
Michael Elson appeared in a photograph in the North Devon Journal recently, having been honoured with an exceptional crystal award for an amazing 100 occasions on which he has given blood. We congratulate and thank him. We also send congratulations and our thanks to the Rev. Dr. Andrew Jones on his appointment, by the Bishop of Exeter, as a Prebendary of the Cathedral, in recognition of his service to the Diocese. There will be another popular course by Andrew Jones on "Earliest Christianity", beginning on Tuesday, 7 May at 12.30 pm. More details from Margaret, 710440. For those interested in local history, an exhibition of Charles in former times will be placed in the Church from the end of June to the autumn. Further details will be published in due course. The Church Electoral Roll is being revised this year, for completion in April. Application forms from Margaret. News has just reached us of the sudden death of Pat Murtagh. His friendship and contribution to local history will be missed and we send our sympathy to his family.

Methodist Chapel
We are pleased to report that the ceiling has been relined and painted a pale yellow ochre, which gives a warm feel to the building. We had our delayed concert on Saturday. It was a lovely evening, enjoyed by both the choir and the audience. We are delighted that the collection taken reached the magnificent total of £1,982 to date. We would like to say a big thank you to all our friends for their support. It is very much appreciated. Services in April and May will be at 11.00 am except United Services (second Sunday in month) that begin at 11.15 am. 

High Bray Church
We are hoping to have a demonstration of a new Church organ on Thursday 4 April at 9.30 am in Church. Our "Little Explorers" Sunday School is on the third Sunday of each month at 11.15 am. We welcome children to join in. North Molton Church are holding a "Festival of Marriage" on Tuesday 23 April to Sunday 28 April, when displays of wedding dresses, photographs and flowers will be on display. At 10.30 am on Sunday, 28 April the new Bishop of Crediton, Bishop Nick McKinnel will be attending and introducing himself to us all. Please come to the AGM on 30 April at 7.30 pm by kind invitation of Richard & Fiona Tyson. If you need a lift, please let Ray or Ruby know.

Brayford WI
There have been two W.I. Birthday Parties recently, to which High Bray and Charles W.I. has been invited – North Molton 75 years and Heasley Mill 60 years. 2014 is our Eightieth Birthday! Two dedicated teachers from the local Libra School came to our March meeting and told us of the difficulties and joy they experience educating disturbed, and often, disadvantaged children. On 10 April, Mrs Valerie Jones is talking about the W.I. World Charity, which will also be interesting. All W.I.s subscribe to this charity, and we are looking forward to hearing more of its success abroad. 8 May is our AGM followed by a Quiz Night. Ann Widdecombe is talking at the Spring Council Meeting on 17 April. This is now held in Torquay as venues nearer are, unfortunately, too small. As always, we have received notices from Head Office, S.W., of the many activities and outings we could join if time permitted, e.g. a day at Newton Abbot Racecourse, Spring visit to Wells and the Bishop's Palace Gardens, Medical Research afternoon at Sidmouth and even a Canoeing Adventure Day on the River Dart! All ladies, any age, are welcome to our meetings which start at 7.15 pm on the second Wednesday of each month, except August, when there is no meeting. 

Brayford School 
We end this term with a very sad farewell to Mr Jon Berry, our Junior class teacher. Although he has not been with us for very long, he will be missed by all the children and staff at the school. We wish him well for the future. We begin the summer term with a new Junior class teacher, Mrs Linzi Langdon. We would like to give her a very warm welcome to the school. This term we have had a number of sporting events and visits. A visiting archaeologist, Howard Carter, came to tell the children all about his discovery of
Tutankhanum’s Tomb in 1922. All day the children learnt about the discoveries made and even how to disembowel a body to make it into a mummy! Both boys and girls have taken part in Tag rugby, football and hockey tournaments with varied levels of success. Well done to all those involved. Both the infants and juniors visited the Queens Theatre last week. The infants saw an adaptation of the story "The Owl that was Afraid of the Dark" and the juniors watched "The Tempest". A great time was had by all. The Juniors have also spent a morning at Barnstaple library for an audience with author Chris d'Lacey. A very entertaining and inspiring morning. We end the term with a trip to a Parracombe farm and Simonsbath including the sawmills.

Brayford School PTFA Bingo Night
We hope you will join us for a Bingo Night at the Village Hall on Friday, 26 April at 7 pm.

Road Works 
We have been notified that the A399 is going to be resurfaced between Mockham Down Gate and Shutescombe Hill between 7.30 am and 5 pm on 24 and 25 April.  Access to properties will be maintained but there could be delays. 

From the Newsletter Editor
What happened to Spring!  Let’s hope we make up for this cold weather by having a lovely summer.  

 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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