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 August/September 2017 Newsletter: 

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 17th August and Thursday 21st September 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.
Devon Air Ambulance Volunteers Wanted
The Trust are constantly seeking volunteers for various roles such as box collecting, assisting in charity shops, assisting at events, attending cheque presentations and giving talks. If you feel you can help in any way or would like to know more, please contact the Volunteer Manager, Cara Jones, on 01392 466666 or email

Devon Air Ambulance Helipads
The Trust are seeking to establish a network of community helipads across the county so they have pre-surveyed lit sites to land at during the hours of darkness, which in winter can be as early as 4.30 pm. Any parishioner who might have a potential site is urged to contact the Trust Head Office on 01392 466666.

Crime & Policing
It would appear that the low level of reported crime and financial cutbacks in the South Molton Urban & Rural area has resulted in there now being just one Officer and one PCSO to cover the entire patch. Crime reports to the PC have been scrapped but a monthly newsletter is proposed by the one remaining Officer, PC Warrick Lansdell. He also stresses that residents should continue to report any matters as it is important to know what is going on in our community even if action cannot be taken immediately.

Free Boilers on Benefits
For a limited period a Government backed scheme is offering a free service to replace boilers in eligible homes to reduce their heating bills and help reduce carbon emissions. If you are receiving a qualifying credit such as Child Tax, ESA or Pension Credit and want to know more then contact Ignite Sustainable Energy on 01409 271606 or look at their website

Transform Ageing Community
This Lottery funded programme is designed to improve people's experience of ageing and brings people in later life and their families and carers together with social workers to help with the various challenges that ageing brings. Topics include physical and mental health, social isolation & loneliness, hospital discharge, staying active and opportunities for informal care & casual interaction. Anyone interested is invited to a special day to meet the Devon Communities Together team at Barnstaple Library on Friday 4 August from 11 am to 4 pm or for more details telephone 01392 248919.

Macmillan Coffee Morning

A note for your diary, this year's Macmillan Coffee Morning is Saturday 7 October in the Village Hall. There will be stalls, old favourites and new and refreshments. This is always a very well supported event and we hope to make it an even better fund raising morning for such a worthwhile charity this year. For further information contact Sally on 710771.

Brayford Show
Don't forget the Show on Saturday 5 August. You should all by now have received a copy of the Brayford Show leaflet and entry forms. It has been a difficult year for flowers and vegetables but hopefully we can all find something to enter as there are plenty of other categories. If not, just come along to have a look and enjoy the tea. Hope to see you there.

Village Hall
The most recent Bingo evening proved to be as enjoyable as the first one earlier this year. The generosity of all those who contributed prizes, more than 50, was overwhelming and proves what a supportive village Brayford is. Our thanks to the organisers for making this event one of our future fund raising mainstays. We plan to arrange another Bingo evening on Saturday 21 October 2017 so come and join in the fun and win lots of prizes. On Saturday 2 September we will be holding a Table Top indoor car boot sale in the Village Hall. We invite all the local Brayford organisations to “purchase” a table for £5 as well as anyone else wishing to sell. Priority for tables will be given to residents of Brayford Parish (see leaflet sent out with newsletter). We are already compiling a list so let Joe Poole know your table requirements as soon as possible. Free up space in your loft, garage, shed, stable, barn and home by selling items you no longer need or use. Contact Joe Poole on 710236 or The Village Hall Committee is proposing to have the car park tarmacced in the near future as the surface is deteriorating quickly. It is hoped that everyone will appreciate that this large expense will improve the facility for all who use it.

Anthony's Quiz
It's time for the next High Bray Church Quiz on Friday 15 September with a 7.30 pm start in Brayford Village Hall. Teams of four to six with prizes for First, Second and Booby. Adults admission is £3, 11-16 year olds £1 and Under 10s free. There will also be a Prize Draw. The ten categories will be England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Pot Luck, Words, Animals, Food & Drink, Literature, and Theatre & Musicals. Please bring your own drink.

Shoeboxes, Old Clothes and Blankets for the Destitute 
Do you have any ‘retired’ clothes, blankets, duvets, shoes, toiletry items, ‘in-date’ medicines unopened. High Bray and Charles Churches collect these items for donation to a charity which gives them to those in dire need in the UK and in Eastern Europe. We would need to have your items before the end of October, as the charity attends the Remembrance Service at High Bray Church every year. If you have any questions, or would like to know where to deliver your items, or to have them picked up, please call either: Madeleine & Jonathan Brownell on 710389 or Gloria & Michael Elson on 01271 379131. Thank you for any assistance you can give.

Coffee Mornings 
We have enjoyed the community coffee mornings in the Methodist School Room for several years and now we need some more volunteers for hosting them. Two hours once a year is the only commitment.. If you can help, please let Ruby know on 710417. There are no coffee mornings in January and August, but any other month would be gratefully accepted. 

Youth Club
A warm welcome to Mrs Lisa Ward, Youth Club's new team leader. A huge thank you to Mrs Hilary Ayre who has been a stalwart champion of our young people for many years and a very popular Leader of Youth Club in Brayford. Please note that Brayford School leavers are welcome to come to Youth Club in September. The Club is open to 11 to 16 year olds and meets in the Methodist Chapel School Room at 7 pm on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. No Youth Club during the school summer holidays, resuming on Wednesday 13 September. Please come with ideas for the new programme. Leaders Mrs Lisa Ward 710488 and Mr Nick Jefferson 740283.

Women's Institute
Mrs Julie Elkin gave a fascinating account of life as a beekeeper at our July meeting. One of the many problems bees face is pesticides. We were delighted to sample a variety of honey and went home with lists of special flowers bees love in the garden. We are looking forward to a coffee morning and Bring and Buy at a member's home in July. Our summer outing is to Knightshayes Court followed by a canal boat trip with cream tea in Tiverton in mid-August and, also in August, Mrs Ruth Knights is hosting a lunch in aid of the W.I. Charity, ACWW which helps women help themselves in developing countries. 

At our meeting on 13 September one of our members has kindly volunteered to display her costume collection from the early 1920s. We also fit in Travel Club outings, Skittles, trips to the cinema, lovely walks, so if you are new to Brayford, do join us. We meet on the second Wednesday of each month in the Village Hall at 7.15 pm except in August.

Brayford Academy
We have had a fantastic Summer Term at Brayford Academy and in fact a brilliant academic year. The children and adults at the school have worked incredibly hard and we have achieved a lot this year. We are all off to Tunnels Beaches at Ilfracombe for an end of term treat paid for by our PTFA. The children (and adults) will enjoy some rock pooling and ice creams. If there is anyone in the community with an interest in joining our PTFA group then please contact the school in September. We are always looking for willing volunteers to help fundraise for extra trips and treats for the children. This year the PTFA would like to raise money to buy some new lights and a microphone system for the children's drama and singing performances. All willing volunteers will be very welcome. 

We have said goodbye to eight of our Year Six children who will be starting secondary school in September. They have been a fantastic group of children who have made a very positive impact on the school in their time here. They will be greatly missed by the staff and children and we wish them all the best for their secondary education. Since last September, TEAM MAT have been working in partnership with Taw Valley Federation (Witheridge and High Bickington Schools). This has been a successful partnership and has benefitted our school in terms of curriculum opportunities and professional development for staff. We are pleased to announce that the two schools will have formally joined our MultiAcademy Trust by the end of July. 

In the broader context, our Trust continues to provide a relevant and memorable education for our children, within an ethos that will always aim to ensure each child enjoys participating in their learning. As a small Trust it is very likely that we will be asked to expand further in the months/years ahead, but the starting point for any discussions is to always ensure that we place our children at the centre. Next term the community lunches will be on Wednesday 20 September, Wednesday 18 October, Tuesday 7 November and Christmas Lunch on Wednesday 13 December. Lunch will cost £5. Please ring the school office to book a place 710345.

Charles Church
Events in the community have kept us all busy but happily entertained. The first Yard Sale proved very popular raising over £300 for the Church Tower Fund. Cream teas and burgers were served and there was a good variety of saleable goods donated. The popular Jubilate Choir returned and gave a wonderful performance of familiar music, also in aid of Church funds. The church Patronal Festival was a moving service. The Rev. Penny Lawson brought with her water from the River Jordan to illustrate her talk on St John the Baptist and the congregation were invited to dip their fingers in the water as they renewed their baptismal vows. Once more the Church was packed out for the baptism of little Will, the son of Rachel and Jeremy, with Flynn. It was possible to fit in 95 people and children for this. There was another large crowd for the Big Sing, when apart from all the singing over £300 was given for the North Devon Hospice and the Tower Fund.

Lovely refreshments and gifts of food have been enjoyed at all events – thank you to those behind the scenes. Repairs to the Church Tower and bells have been completed. The bell ringers are pleased and have been present at most of the events. Thanks and congratulations to them on winning the North Devon Bellringers Novice Competition.

High Bray Church
Thank you for supporting the river service. Lovely day by the river raising £101 for Water Aid. Bells have rung out at lots of events at High Bray and Charles. Thank you to all the ringers, the bells sound lovely. Gate painting will take place, hopefully, in August when the Church gates will receive a much needed face lift.

Methodist Church
We were fortunate enough to have a lovely day for our Strawberry Tea. It was so nice to see so many Brayford and ex Brayford folk enjoying the delicious food and good company. Thank you so much for either the food or your company, or both. Our United Riverside Service was well supported and again the weather improved to enable us to have our barbecue lunch afterwards. Our Services continue through the summer, each Sunday at 11 am, except the second Sunday when we meet at 11.15 am for the United Service at one of the three Churches. See the calendar on the back of the Newsletter for the host Church).

Duck Race 
The Duck Race was a huge success attracting even more visitors than last year. The winning duck was bought by Dave Spice, second Hilda Bawden, third Natilda Brian, fourth Pheobe Gardner, fifth Lucy Davies and sixth Ruth Edwards. More than £2,000 was raised for Village Hall funds and we are extremely grateful for all the hard work put in by the organisers and helpers on the day. Pictures put on Facebook had thousands of hits. Who knows we may go viral next year and become a “must go to event” not only locally but nationally as well.

Historical Help
Jay Cruikshank, in Australia, is researching the life of the writer Peter Van Greenaway, who lived in Charles, at Walland Farmhouse, in the 1960s and 70s. Very little is known about this period in his life and Jay wonders if there are any people in the area who knew him or remember him being there. If you do Jay can be emailed at, or if you don't have access to a computer contact the editor.

Brayford Bridge
We are so lucky to be able to swim in the river here but sadly people are leaving the gate to the field open. There are thirty young cattle in the field at present so it is vital that the gate is shut at all times, even if you are in the field, so there is no chance that they can escape on to the road.
We have several new families in Brayford and look forward to welcoming you at all our events. We hope you enjoy living in our village.

From The Newsletter Editor 
Good luck to all entering the Show - we hope it will be even more successful than last year. Thanks to all contributors for getting their copy in so early so that we can get the Newsletter distributed in good time.


 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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