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 2019 Newsletter: 


The South West Ambulance Service supplied and maintains the two defibrillators at Charles and the Village Hall and the current contract expires in September 2019. The cost of maintaining this life saving facility is rising to around £3,000 for both units and although neither has been put to use over the last four years the PC has decided that the facility should remain in place. When someone suffers a cardiac arrest the heart stops and blood is no longer being pumped around their body. The longer they go without emergency life support, the harder it is to restart their heart. It is, therefore, important that as many people as possible have the knowledge to apply the defibrillator in case the need should ever arise. The SWAS have offered to give a defibrillator awareness session which could be on a weekday evening or a Saturday morning and would last about 2 hours. If sufficient interest is shown the sessions will be held later this year. Would anyone interested please register with Joe Poole on 710236 or email to

District & Parish Elections
The four year term is coming to an end and elections will take place on Thursday 2 May. The existing parish councillors are all proposing to submit nomination papers and seek reelection. Further detail can be obtained from the NDDC Election Office on 01271 388277 or email to

April PC Committee Meeting
This will be held on Thursday 18 April and will be preceded by the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.30 pm. This is an opportunity for any parish resident to attend and raise any appropriate issues they may have. The PC believe that it is doing a good job on your behalf so please come along and tell us if we are.

We will be back at High Bray Church on Friday 24 May at 7 pm with songs for everyone, events by the Brayford Academy, delicious Puddings at the interval and more. As always, entry is free and everyone welcome. Watch this space and the North Devon Journal for more details.

Thank you to everyone who supported our Big Breakfast in Brayford Village Hall in support of the North Devon Hospice on Saturday 2 March. To all of you who helped in any way – serving, washing up, donating prizes or simply enjoying our Big Breakfast – thank you. We raised an amazing £1675. By supporting our Hospice in this way you are making a real difference to the people in our community suffering from cancer and other life limiting illnesses.

Love and best wishes to a very special lady, Nora Clarke, on her milestone Birthday. Nora supports all events in the village in person or by sending a donation when unable to attend. Happy Birthday from us all.

The annual Charles Plant Sale and coffee morning will be held on Monday 6 May from 10 am to 12.15 pm at Lamb Cottage, Charles. This year all of the proceeds will be shared equally between Parkinsons UK and the R.D. Blackmore Pageant that will be held in June in Charles. Herbs, Perennials, Bedding and Vegetables will all be on sale, along with plant orders taken for delivery at the end of May - when we hope the cold nights have long gone. And for the first time we would love to see "first time gardeners" at the sale ... informal chats will be available to help you "get going".

Lots on the W.I. Agenda for the coming few months. We were disappointed our speaker was not well and could not come in March to tell us about "Farms for City Children" and hopefully she will be able to come later in the year. We do hope families will sign up for the Treasure Hunt the W.I. are running in conjunction with the Village Hall Committee in April (see enclosed leaflet). Also in April we are hosting the spring Group Meeting and our speaker will be talking about Life in a Lighthouse. We always enjoy seeing other W.I. members from our Group at these meetings. Skittles has finished for the season and the Walking Group is planning its first walk of the year at the end of March to Marwood Gardens. We are looking forward to Mike Warner telling us what it is like to be a Magistrate at our April meeting and in May it is our A.G.M./Cheese and Wine evening. We meet every second Wednesday of the month at the Village Hall at 7.15 pm. Friends are always welcome.

Another year, another Show. As winter passes and spring hovers expectantly in the wings it's time to turn our thoughts to growing things, making things and photographing or drawing things. And what better way is there to show off the talents that abound in our villages than to hold a Brayford Show. The show will be held on Saturday 17 August in the Village Hall and the detailed schedule, together with entry forms will be distributed with the August Newsletter. Please start to think about your entries now so that the Hall in August is full of wonderful displays. Changes from last year are only a few but include in the cooking class: coffee and walnut cake, Victoria sponge, chocolate brownies: in the crafts anything in memory of Lorna Doone: and the photography includes a tree, sunrise or sunset and a chicken. If anyone would like a more detailed list sooner than this, please let the Newsletter Editor know and we will let you have one as soon as they are ready.

The date for the High Bray Church Quiz has been changed from 5 to 12 April. Hope you can all still make it. 7 for 7.30 pm, teams of up to six people at the Village Hall. Bring your own drink and nibbles.

On Good Friday, 19 April members of our Village will read to each other the account of Christ's trial and execution 2,000 years ago. All are welcome, just to listen, to help sing the Taize chants, or take a part in the story. Joins us in a candlelit Church at7 pm. On Easter Sunday, 21 April at 11.15 am we will hold a celebration for young and old with a short family service, an Easter Egg Hunt and tea, coffee, Hot Cross Buns and a chance for conversation. Bring your Easter Bonnet for a Parade right after the service. Every third Sunday in each month after our 11.15 am service, we stay for half an hour of conversation, energetic questions and informal exchange of ideas over coffee, tea and biscuits. All are welcome, church goer or not. If you've ever wondered about why the Church does this or that, or had a question about something in the Bible, you might find this time interesting. The Church AGM will be held at 7 pm on Thursday 9 April at Whitefield by kind permission of Jonathan & Madeleine Brownell. Please come and share your thoughts.

During Lent, the Rev. Jonathan Richards will lead a study group on Thursdays at 2.30 pm in the Old School at North Molton. He says "come when you can". Quiz fiends should remember the popular and competitive Deanery Quiz. The next one is on 12 April at 7.30 pm in Umberleigh Hall. Teams of 4 at £2 per person - you could win the cup. Palm Sunday on 14 April will be a 3 Church Service at Charles at 11.15 am. Soup and puddings will be served after the service. For history buffs there will be lots to look out for during the summer, celebrating the 150 Anniversary of the publication of Lorna Doone. On 13 May at South Molton Church, Jonathan Edmunds will speak about Parson Jack Russell of Swimbridge, famous amongst other things for the terriers. Then on Friday 18 May as part of the Simonsbath Festival he will speak about R. D. Blackmore, the author. Locally, the 150 Anniversary will take off in Charles Village on Sunday 23 June from 4 pm. There is still time to register any interest in the Pageant celebrating R D Blackmore himself, followed by a reenactment of part of the novel in the Church. Good, period food will be served. Lots of skills needed, so anyone interested should contact Jonathan Hudson (710350). Look out for all the details as the weeks go by.

On 14 April we will be joining Charles for the Palm Sunday service. We will share Easter Day celebrations on 21 April with High Bray. On 28 April we are pleased to welcome David Hopwood to lead our 9.15 am Breakfast get together. Come and try this new venture, you can be sure of a warm welcome. All the May services will be at 11 am except the United Service on 12 May at High Bray which will be11.15 am. Our minister, Rev. Stuart Innalls will be on Sabbatical from 31 March. We are very pleased with our refurbished kitchen. It will be easier for future events. Hot water on tap is a luxury for rural churches. A happy thought for the future, our low cost, high calorie Strawberry Tea is booked for 15 June at 3 pm.

This is held on the first Wednesday of every month from 10.30 am to 12 pm in the Methodist Schoolroom. Everyone is welcome to come for a chat.

It is proving to be a very busy term with many exciting events and trips happening for the children. We celebrated World Book Day on 7 March when the children came to school dressed as detectives and took part in detecting activities throughout the day. The infant class were story detectives where they solved clues to find out what makes a good story; investigating characters and story plots within traditional tales. The junior class worked together and took part in an intriguing crime scene mystery investigation and solved "The Mystery of the Golden Pen". The children were excited about this special day based around reading and it helped encourage the development of literacy, group communication and a love of reading. We have focused on science this week and the children have spent their afternoons carrying out science investigations. The activities planned were designed to reinforce the fact that science is fun and excite the children about the subject. Some of the investigations the children took part in were making lave lamps, bubble pictures and bouncing light in a kaleidoscope. Our pre-school children enjoyed a trip to Ilfracombe Aquarium as part of their topic "Beside the Sea". The children enjoyed a guided tour of the aquarium and a beach walk where they were able to explore and learn about the seaside. The children were full of stories about the lobsters, crabs and other sea creatures they had discovered. The children have been lucky to have the opportunity to take part in the "Voice in a Million Concert” where a group of youngsters will perform at the SSE Arena, Wembley as part of a choir of about 5,000 to 6,000 other school aged children. Now celebrating its tenth year, Voice in a Million presents an opportunity of a lifetime for the children to come together united in song and perform in front of a huge audience of family, friends and members of the general public. We are very grateful to our specialist music teacher, Mrs Brayley for organising this event for the children of Brayford, Umberleigh and Pilton Academies and we hope the children really enjoy this special occasion. We are always open to new families interested in the school and they are welcome to come and visit at any time by ringing the office to let us know when it is convenient. If you know of any families looking for a good school for their children then please let them know about Brayford Academy. More information about the school can be found on our website: or our Facebook page The next community lunch at school will be on Wednesday 8 May. Lunch will cost £5. Please ring the school office to book a place 710345.

The quiz night at the Sportsman held in conjunction with the W.I. was a great success despite the dreadful weather. The buffet was excellent and great value and the quiz questions proved to be interesting and great fun. This is definitely an event that we must do again, hopefully when the weather is more amenable. Our next joint event with the W.I. is our Annual Treasure Hunt which will take place on 14 April starting at 2 pm and will include a two course dinner at 6 pm. For more details see the enclosed leaflet. Tickets can be obtained from Joe Poole on 710236 or Val Warner on 710613. Price per person including the meal is £10 and children under 5 £5. Anyone wishing to join us just for a meal are welcome, price £10. Then on 27 May we have the famous Brayford Duck Race. Last year the weather was fantastic and the pundits have forecast the same for this year. So come along and give your support. Helpers on the day in both setting up stalls, etc and running games are always welcome. We are trying to introduce new stalls/games this year. Please contact Joe Poole if you are able to help.

Taking place this year on Saturday 18 May, Nightwalk is a ladies only walk along the Tarka Trail with over 3,000 women stepping out to support North Devon Hospice. Nightwalk 2019 will have a "back to the 80s" theme with related party areas and entertainment on the Trail, including 80s dance routines (at Fremington Quay), Babycham stations, 802 stiltwalkers, Hopps and Chappel at Barnstaple and Bideford finishes and more. Sign up now to register for Nightwalk 2019; be part of this very special evening, and raise funds for our amazing Hospice night nurses. Please visit our webside to register.

We can help. We run a monthly structured programme for people living with mild to moderate dementia and their carers. It is an opportunity to choose some helpful activities, to get support and to meet people in the same position as you. Above all we all have an enjoyable time. Our programme is called “Memories are Made of This” and is run by the Barnstaple Link Rotary Club with professional support. It is held every third Thursday of the month from 10 am until 12 pm at the Roundswell Community Centre next to Sainsburys in Barnstaple. The next meeting is Thursday 18 April or you can choose just to drop in any month and see what we do. You can also get in contact by ringing Mike Warner on 710613. Give it a go.

So much to put in this time so I apologise for the smaller than usual print. Hopefully all our Village events will be well supported as usual.

 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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