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 June/July 2011 Newsletter: 

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 9th June and Thursday 21st July 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.
Neighbourhood Watch

The Devon & Cornwall Constabulary have introduced a Community Watch Scheme, where members of the public can be contacted through a computer messaging system to ask for their help to prevent or solve a crime. In effect, everyone registered becomes the "eyes and ears" of the police service to try and make our community a safer place. To participate in the scheme a simple registration is required and forms are available from Councillor Tony George who can be contacted on 710549. He will be happy to discuss the scheme in more detail. As mentioned in past newsletters, should you see anything at all suspicious do report it – particularly the registration number of any vehicle as this is an effective way of tracing suspects. Anything of serious alarm, then telephone the emergency service on 999, or if it is something of a more minor nature, give Councillor George a quick call.

A new County Council Highways Officer has been appointed and he kindly attended the last Parish Council meeting. A substantial sum of money has been made available by the Government to Devon County Council to make good all the outstanding road damage that was mainly caused by the severe winter weather. Our local Officer confirmed that several roads in the Parish will be patched this summer and dressed next summer, although the main road from Brayford crossroads to Ditch End has been put on the system but not yet programmed.

Annual General Meeting
This took place on 19 May and Councillor Brian Symons very kindly agreed to be nominated as Chairman and Councillor Norman Barrow as Vice Chairman. Both were duly elected to the Posts to which they have devoted a great deal of effort over previous years and for which we are all very grateful. Councillors Barrie Lowe and Jonathan Collier have both resigned due to other commitments and are also thanked for their significant contributions whilst on the Council. As a result, there are now two vacancies on the Parish Council and any person living within the Parish who would like to be considered for one of the vacancies is invited to contact the Parish Clerk, Mrs Margaret Hartnoll on 710295.

Brayford School
The year six started their last term at the school with a week of SATS. They all did very well and finished with a big sigh and some chocolate biscuits. Nick Harvey visited us on 20 May with a question time style session with the children. He finished the afternoon toasting marshmallows with the infants, when he joined them for Forest School camp fire cooking. A great afternoon for all involved. The PTFA is looking for members from the community. If you have some spare time and would like to get involved, please telephone the school on 710345. The school also wants Brayford village memories, as the children have a community event planned for the end of term. Staff would like to hear from Brayford's older residents who have great memories of how the village used to be. Again, please call or visit the school if you have any.


This term the children will be visiting Broomhill at Muddiford for a day of sketching and drawing. They will be studying the sculptures and gardens for inspiration. The year six will be going to Ocean Fest at Croyde and will also be having their transition days at South Molton and Pilton schools. Hopefully the weather will be kind. We will be ending the school term with the sad news that the school will be losing two great teachers. Miss Lewis, our infant teacher, is leaving to pursue a career teaching yoga. Mrs Blackett will be retiring after 25 years at the school. We wish them all the best for the future. There is currently a vacancy on the School Governing Body, so if anyone is interested in learning more about what is involved, please contact Chris Bearman at the School.

Brayford Boomerangs
This half-term the children will be learning about animals and taking part in various activities. They will take part in their own Sports Day on Tuesday 28 June. We will also be doing a Strawberry Tea on Saturday, 2 July, 2.30 pm-4.30 pm at the Methodist Hall to raise funds for the Pre-School. There will be a few stalls and a raffle and the children will be performing some of their favourite songs. A fun afternoon for all, everyone is welcome. If you require any more details regarding Pre-School, then please ring Kate Trawin on 710401 or Pre-School on 710718 in session times 9.00 am – 2.30 pm Tuesdays and Fridays.

Gardening Club
In April, Ruth Knights gave us a very informative practical demonstration of flower arrangements for Easter, and in May we had an afternoon trip to Marwood Hill – lovely gardens and delicious refreshments. On Wednesday 15th June we have a Quiz Night (7.30pm in the Village Hall), and on Wednesday 20th July we are having an afternoon visit to Blakewell Fishery and Water Garden.
Brayford Flower Show
The Flower Show this year is on Saturday 20th August. The full schedule and entry form has been distributed with the Newsletter, and is also available here.  This year’s show is the 90th so let’s hope for lots of entries.

High Bray Church
Have you heard the Church bells ringing? They do sound wonderful. We had so much suipport for the project and are truly grateful. Puddings and Songs was a super night – everyone singing their hearts out, a packed Church and lovely puddings - "Community Spirit" there was lots. The painting of the Church is now back home and will be hung in the Church. Brayford School would be pleased to get information about the Church, whose history they are studying. We would like to say a huge thank you to Dick Raymond who allows us to park in his garden for big events and all the people who live in High Bray Farm complex, who also help out.
Methodist Chapel
We will be hosting a Strawberry Tea on Saturday, 11 June at 3.00 pm. Please support this annual Village event. It will be an opportunity to enjoy a village "get together" and an excellent, delicious, home-made, traditional afternoon tea. On Sunday, 12 June at 11.15 am we will be hosting a United Service when Rev. Mark Noakes is the Preacher. Everyone is most welcome. On other Sundays are services are at 11.00 am and coffee will be served after the service.

Charles Church
An amazing and unusual period of good weather has brought on the flowering trees, shrubs and roses. The local hedgerows are looking their finest. A breathtaking display of wild flowers appeared on the hedges between Walland Cross and Deer Park. Most of the season's lambs felt no rain for weeks on end.
Congratulations to Gessica Boddington, younger daughter of Alan, who was married to Paul Rice in Bristol at Easter and blessed with good weather. Another locally born and bred wedding took place at Charles Church on 16 April when Ian Kingdon, son of Clifford and the late Gwen, was married to Kathryn. We send them all good wishes for the future.
The deaths of two well known and much-loved people occurred in May. John Parker of West Park Farm, North Molton, known far and wide died suddenly. A huge crowd was present at his funeral, an indication of the great affection in which he was held. Dr. Sarah Burnett died peacefully in the Hospice on 13 May, after 30 years of treatment for cancer. She will be remembered for her courageous approach to the illness, and we believe, accepting not fearing or fighting the inevitable. She had the gift of 

turning bad news into something positive, and even after major surgery studying for a PhD. Her company, WTCS, helped thousands back into work. She was an inspirational leader in her professional life and in the many roles she undertook locally. As a Churchwarden and Treasurer at Charles Church she inspired and led many activities which would never have reached the drawing board without her, and her love and knowledge of local history was infectious as we were guided into fascinating old archives. With memories of her leadership, love and friendship to all, we shall remember her for her off-quoted phrase "this is what we are going to do.....!" and we will do it!
Therefore, on Sunday 17 July there will be a "Songs of Praise" for all ages at 6 pm, preceded by tea. Requests are awaited. On Saturday, 25 June, in the Church at 7 pm there will be yet another evening of light entertainment and music, arranged by Margaret Faulkner, entitled "Midsummer, Music and Moonlight". Entry is free, but donations will be welcomed for the North Devon Hospice and Charles Church. On the following day, Sunday 26 July, the Patronal Festival Service is at 10.30 am


Brayford WI
After discussion of two important W.I. Resolutions, our member Jane Horne brought her bees and beehive to our May meeting and kept us entranced by her account of being a new bee-keeper. Our June meeting, on 8 June, always incorporates an outing, and this year we are having lunch at Broomhill Gardens. We will enjoy not only delicious Mediterranean cuisine, but also a walk around the interesting sculpture gardens. On July 13, we are having an Archaeological Question Time and members are invited to bring any items they have found locally for possible identification and discussion. New members are always welcome.

Village Hall
Well done Geoff Mitchell and Geoff Dunford who have made and fitted the new hatch in the main hall and are now putting in warning lights on the heaters. So no excuse for leaving them on!! I am sure you will all have noticed that the Village Hall is in need of repair and renovation. We are looking for volunteers to help with this during week commencing 13 June. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Please ring Geoff Dunford on 710901.

Art Trek
Art Trek is part of the North Devon Festival and many of our talented, local artists will be exhibiting in venues right across North Devon. There is a booklet widely available giving details of all the venues. One such is situated in the lovely old school rooms in North Molton on the edge of Exmoor, six artists and craftspeople have joined together to exhibit their latest work. There will be demonstrations of wood turning, machine embroidery, silver jewellery making, ceramics, textiles and portraiture. This is taking place over three weekends, 10-12 June, 17-19 June and 24-26 June. A warm welcome awaits in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere, with delicious home-made cakes. Admission is free, there is ample parking and disabled access. For further details contact Sandra or Heather on 710684/740351.

Duck Race
Well, the ducks made it down the river once again, even though they didn't have as much water as they would have liked – still they battled on. Winners were Tony Bawden, Mike Naden, Ian Thomson, Martin Hickman, Marcus Sinclair, Sam Boyles, Ray Dart, Nicole Wilkinson, Hugo Burnak, Alana Manley, Dick Raymond, Florence Miller, Mandy King and Beth Mills. The rest of the event was held at the Village Hall due to the bad weather, and very well supported it was too. Winner of the Mini for a Day was Ian Thomson and the ducklings are now called Fluffy, Fudge and Fernando (won by Ruby White). Many thanks to all who helped and, indeed all who attended. Just over £1100 was raised for Village Hall funds, and this will make a huge difference to our maintenance budget.    Photos

Missing Duck Race Tape
Some years ago Mike Thorne made a video of the first ever Duck Race. The VHS tape was loaned out and has been lost track of.  If in sorting through your old VHS tapes you should find this Mike would be very pleased to have it back. We will arrange to have it copied on to DVD so it can be widely viewed.  Please contact Geoff Mitchell on 710177 if you find it.

Our thanks go to Marcus and Selina Sinclair for donating a new flag for the Millennium Green Flag Pole. It looks very smart.
In summer months, our children and grandchildren enjoy the river by kind permission of Joyce Prideaux and Peter Boyles. Please respect this and don't leave litter or dog poo in the field.

Used Computers & Mobile Phones Wanted For Charity
Computers for Charity is an international charity which collects used computers (not older than 5 years and no peripheral equipment) and mobile phones (working and not working) for recycling/refurbishing/donating to poverty stricken areas in Africa & Eastern Europe. If you have any of these now or in the future, we would be pleased to pick them up as we are acting as a collection point. Please ring Madeleine or Jonathan Brownell on 710389.

Warm Winter Clothing Needed
Computers for Charity also collect Shoeboxes for a winter Shoebox Appeal. Last year we sent over 20 boxes from Brayford & Charles, together with additional clothing. They are looking for used warm clothing of any sort, together with items to go into Shoeboxes, such as toiletries, make-up, scents, socks, scarves, warm hats, small toys for children, gloves. They will be collecting Shoeboxes for both adults and children. These will go over for Christmas, but must be collected by September/October. If you have anything you can give away, they would be overjoyed! Please ring Madeleine Brownell on 710389.

 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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