A rural parish in North Devon, England including Brayford village, High Bray and Charles, and a part of Exmoor National Park


Home Diary Geography History Clubs & Societies Who's Who Gallery About this site Links Archive

  From the August/September 2019 Newsletter: 


New Councillor
We are delighted to welcome Jamie Hartnoll who has been co-opted on to the Parish Council and feel sure he will bring some fresh young vision to future proceedings.

Play Area Now Closed
The entrance gate and adjacent fencing are in need of urgent repair, and as the gate closure has become a hazard, until further notice the entire area is out of bounds and must not be entered. Although the flooring to the Ship unit has been renewed there are other defects that need to be addressed whilst the fencing repairs are being carried out.

Neighbourhood Watch
Numerous telephone and internet scams are being reported and parishioners are reminded to be alert and avoid suspicious requests for personal information.

Highways A399 Junction
At long last the highways workforce have installed a red & white plastic bollard as a temporary measure until a proper repair to the railings is carried out. Let us hope this measure will be sufficient to prevent road users from damaging their vehicles.

Battery Disposal
Residents are asked to stop putting batteries in their recycling after a second fire within three weeks at the NDDC recycling hall. It is believed that loose batteries scraping along the floor when the recycling is being pushed along by machinery have ignited surrounding plastic. As an alternative many supermarkets have battery collection points and they can also be taken to recycling centres.

The world's biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Nursing and North Devon Hospice will take place on Saturday, 28 September from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm in Brayford Village Hall. There will be stalls, cakes and refreshments. Private stalls are available for a donation. Gifts of saleable items and raffle prizes will be gratefully received. Contact Sally Hirst on 710771 for more details

Sadly there will be no Kwik Cricket in Charles this year. It's hard to believe, but this year would have been the sixth staging of the Charles and Brayford "Single Wicket" Kwik Cricket Challenge - held annually just a few hundred yards from Charles Church. Last year the late summer sun was replaced by storm clouds and a cold wind, but despite the poor weather, over thirty "villagers" of all ages turned out to enjoy the competition, and the cream teas were delicious. It is unfortunate, but this year we just can't find a weekend to run the event and furthermore we will be too busy in August to prepare our fields for the competition. So in this, the year of the Cricket World Cup, no Kwik Cricket Challenge. We are very sorry, however, we promise to return next year, and don't worry, it will come around soon enough.

The North Devon Villages Community Calendar 2020 will be available from early September. For all information or to order telephone Doreen on 710409.

We were sad that lovely Phyllis Friend has slipped quietly away. She had lived in this area for most of her long life, and always been a loyal member of our Chapel. There is a wonderful photo of the opening of the Chapel in 1927, Phyllis aged 3 was in the front with her older sister. (There were hundreds there and they were provided with a celebration tea, quite a catering challenge). She was also married here. We will miss her kind, caring ways, lovely voice, organ playing and wonderful smile. We will have services on4 August at 11 am with Mr S Blake, 11 August the United Riverside Service and Barbecue led by High Bray which if wet will transfer to the Methodist Church. On18 August we have a 9.15 am Breakfast with Mrs Sue Procter, 25 August 11 am with Rev Stuart Innalls. Our September services each Sunday are at 11 am except 8 September which is a United Service at 11.15 am. We are very pleased with our refurbished kitchen and improved facilities.

It's been an OK summer so far, and if you were able to protect your plants from the late frosts and now get water to your plants, then the results will no doubt be very rewarding, giving you a fantastic opportunity to enter the flower and produce sections of this year's Show. Yes, Saturday, 17 August is the date for the Brayford Show. The Show schedule and entry form can be found within this newsletter and it includes a few new classes, together with more possibilities for those of us who love growing tomatoes and all other kinds of vegetables. Admission to the Show is free, and the competition entries are once again why not "give it a go". Without your support and entries the Show will have an uncertain future. Please read the Show Schedule, enter as many classes as you like, and help us make the 2019 event the biggest and best ever. The doors to the Show will open at 3 pm - giving plenty of time to view all of the fantastic competition entries and enjoy the "village tea" which will be available throughout the afternoon. And finally, if you were a cup winner last year, please return the trophy to Jacci Gardner in the week leading up to the Show. Thank you.

The last Church Quiz held in April raised 310. The winners were Table 11 with 91 points, Runner Up Table 10 with 84 points and Booby Table 3 with 51 points. The next quiz is Friday 25 October at 7.30 pm.

The annual Riverside Service is hosted by Charles, Methodist and High Bray Churches in the form of a Songs of Praise for young and old. This will be held on Sunday 11 August at 11 am followed by a delicious Barbecue and Puddings. This time, we would like your suggestions for what we sing. Please call Ruby White (710417) or Madeleine & Jonathan Brownell (710389) with your favourites old or new and we will sing it. No fuss, no bother, just a joyous time together.

A lot has been going on in Charles. Our pretty village with its banks covered with hedgerow flowers provided the perfect setting for our June Pageant celebrations. We stepped back in time to the nineteenth century with the choir singing folk songs resonating across the valley accompanied by piano and fiddle; extracts taken from the book Lorna Doone and "meeting & questioning" R D Blackmore, who was rather annoyed about being disturbed from tending to his fruit trees, was so cleverly narrated and acted. The atmosphere in Charles Church re-enacting the seventeenth century "wedding scene" directed by Robert Barber, was awesome as the miscreant Carver Doone, aptly played by Steve Cotton, burst his way in and shot Lorna with a flintlock pistol and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. All followed by a feast in the school room, built by R D Blackmore's uncle in 1856. Over 150 friends, neighbours and visitors came to see the performance and were entertained, fed and watered. Months of hard work went into organising this event, which is non-profit making, but we were rewarded by its tremendous success and a sell-out of both performances. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our residents, friends, local businesses and the neighbouring community who have not only voluntarily given up their time but have kindly sponsored the project financially and with goods. A huge thank you and total respect is due to those whose talents were unsurpassable from caterers, photographer, florists, costume-maker, musicians, singers, actors, carriage parking, our advisors and directors, the exhibition and project team, and of course all who bought tickets and came along....this would not have been possible without you. Our aim now from the day, which was professionally filmed, is to develop a learning package for schools and adult learning so we can keep our precious literary heritage alive. Watch out for further news as we plan a world-wide premiere of "Charles Village Pageant - the Movie". In the church a beautifully displayed Exhibition depicts nineteenth century Charles parish and a snapshot of the life of R D Blackmore and his family (grandfather and uncle both parsons in Charles) is now open throughout the summer. The "Open Day" was hugely successful with over 40 people turning up and enjoying the summer cream teas. Anyone is welcome to come and see, open daily from 10 til 5.30. "I ask the reader to wander though the Doone Country and try to re-live those days of old. He will, I am sure, be the better of it and will realise that in this England of ours we have some fair spots which vie with those of any foreign land." (L.B. Thornycroft, The Story of the Doones, 1939) At the end of July sadly we lose two of our families as Mark and Emma of Victoria Cottage are moving to the heart of Exmoor and also Roz and Stuart, residents of Sunnyside Cottage for 38 years move to be by the sea at Combe Martin. We wish them all well in their new homes, they are always welcome to come back and see us, and we look forward to meeting new neighbours.

We enjoyed a relaxed social evening with a glass of Pimms and a Quiz in July and we are looking forward to our Autumn programme. In the meantime, walkers will enjoy a morning's walk to Pinkery Pond at the end of July. During August, some members will go by coach to Bristol to have a guided tour of the BBC Studios and we have been invited to a Tea Party by Heasley Mill W.I. on 18 August. In September we are having an outing to the Willow and Wetlands Centre near Taunton. Our September meeting will be held on Wednesday 11 September, which will be an evening with Joan Stribling. Joan has been an award winning make up artist in the film industry, so I am sure it will be a fascinating talk. We welcome visitors to our meetings so please come along. Our meeting on 9 October will be a demonstration on how to use the defibrillator which will be a very useful evening for all.

Sandra Adams was invited to demonstrate wood turning recently at The Big Picnic at Simonsbath, which was a demonstration of craft and produce from Exmoor to celebrate 70 years of Exmoor National Park. She was told that there would be important guests but only found out a couple of days before that it was Prince Charles and Camilla. On the day, Sandra was introduced to Prince Charles and thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. It's nice to know that our local talent is recognised and rewarded.

Despite the threatening weather this year's Duck Race was financially the most successful Duck Race that has been held. Our thanks to all friends of Brayford Village Hall for their support of this annual event and a special thanks to all those who worked so hard in the Duck Race preparations and ran the events on the day. Some 2500 was raised for Village Hall funds and the additional money has enabled us this year to carry out the urgent redecoration of the Village Hall interior. From 22 July until approximately 16 August decorators will be working in the hall. We ask everyone to respect the disruption that will be caused by the work which we hope will be completed within the scheduled time scale. Our thanks to Geoff Bott and his team of Anthony Bawden, Chris Hirst, Malcolm Gardener, Steve Warren, Steve MacAllister and Russell Burrows for their sterling work in preparing the hall for the decorators, ably supported by Mary Poole and Judy Bott with running supplies of coffee and bacon butties. Since the last Newsletter two new members have joined the Village Hall Management Committee. We welcome Maxine and Mark Padgham to our group of able and active members. Planned activities for the remainder of this year include Bingo on Saturday 19 October and Ferret Racing on Saturday 23 November. More details in next month's Newsletter.

This year we are going to beat our last auction when enthusiastic bidders won:- a day's sailing with the Commodore of North Devon Yacht Club, a day out fly fishing, a truckload of split wood, a sumptuous hamper, a child's bicycle, a box of dressed beef, a hand made teak garden bench, a two course meal for 4, 2 tickets to Exeter Rugby Club, 2 tickets to Exeter Racecourse and much, much more. Keep watching the Brayford website ( and the "Brayford Devon", and "Brayford Farmers Market" Facebook pages. It's a Pledge & Gift Auction and will be held onFriday 20 September at 7 pm in Brayford Village Hall. Refreshments and sandwiches will be available and there is no entrance charge. All proceeds of the Auction will go towards the opening up of a space in High Bray Church for community events and meetings. Come and join the fun and find something you had always wanted, be inspired by things you hadn't thought of and attend an event you always wanted to try. More details

Thank you everyone who made such an effort to get High Bray Church ready for the wedding of Matt & Pheobe. The day was sunny, bells rang out, wedding party all looked fabulous. Rev. David and Chris made everyone very welcome in Church and it was a super day to remember. Thank you to Brett Jones for work on the Church cobbles entrance and Ray Leworthy for cleaning ivy from the church wall, helping to keep our Church open to all.

These will begin again on Wednesday 4 September at 10.30 amin the Methodist Schoolroom. Please join in for a chat and enjoy a coffee. No fund raising.

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. The children enjoyed a trip to "The Milky Way" as their end of term treat paid for by our PTFA. The children (and adults) enjoyed the rides and attractions including an ice cream. 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. All willing volunteers will be very welcome. We took a group of the children to enjoy a meal out at Pizza Express last week in recognition of their hard work this year in gaining 100 merits. Consistent effort and hard work is needed in order to gain 100 merits and these children truly deserved a special treat of dinner out with our CEO, Mrs Nicholas. We have said goodbye to six 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. Finally, thank you to the members of the community who have joined us for lunch this year. We very much enjoy your company and hope you have enjoyed talking to the children and sharing a delicious lunch. The first date for community lunch next term is Wednesday 25 September. If you would like to join us then please phone the school office on 710345 to order your lunch which will cost 5. We look forward to seeing you.

 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

Home Diary Geography History Clubs & Societies Who's Who Gallery About this site Links Archive

Supported by Brayford Parish Council