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 October/November 2006 Newsletter:

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 19th October (Agenda) and Thursday 16th November in Brayford Village Hall at 7.30pm. (Agenda)
Best Kept Village Competition
We were delighted to be told that Brayford is Runner Up in the New Entry Category of the above competition. We were complimented on the absence of litter and they commented, "That although small, Brayford is not compact, and so to keep it tidy must require a co-ordinated effort. Furthermore, houses, gardens, walls and fences were all well maintained and in good condition. The Churchyard was well cared for and it was good to see that when it was mown some areas rich in wild flowers had been left to flourish. The Parish Pound, restored as a Jubilee Project, was immaculate. Footpaths and signs were all in good order."
Parish Councillors were concerned that drivers in Charles are speeding in the village. Speeding vehicles should be reported to the police on 08452 777444 or 01769 572221. This equally applies to vehicles speeding along the A399 in the village. The SLOW DOWN signs do not seem to be having much effect and there has been some very fast moving traffic.
Play Area
If anyone is interested in being on a Working Committee, please contact Margaret Hartnoll.
Dog Mess
There is an increasing amount of dog mess being left in the village. Donít forget there are hefty fines for not clearing up after your dogs.
Neighbourhood Watch
At the September meeting of the Parish Council, it was agreed that Tony Abbott would be the villager who will replace Joe Stampfli as the Brayford Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator. Tony lives in the heart of the settlement, has done the job before when he lived and worked in Enfield, Middlesex, and in addition has gained police experience working as a special constable from the former well known (to some) police station at Bow Street. If you see or hear anything in the valley of concern please contact him.  Tony George at Charles or John White at High Bray continue to be contact points for reporting crime or vandalism.
Sergeant Helena Searle, from South Molton, who attended the PC meeting was pleased to say that there had been no crime reported during the past month.

Community Harvest Celebration
Please join us at Brayford Village Hall on Tuesday, 3rd October at 7 pm. We shall be celebrating Harvest and having a Bring & Share Supper, together with Brayford School. Gifts brought on the evening will be sold in aid of "Shelterbox", who provide much needed help to places when disasters happen. "Shelterbox" is ready to give immediate relief.  A donation box will also be available.  Please come!

The 85th Brayford Flower Show
Well what a lovely show!  Entries were up by over 100, 367 entries in total.  Many thanks to everyone who helped: to Jan Bakay for making a lovely cake to celebrate our 85th Show, and to David Swash for producing the souvenir programme.
Well done everyone for all your hard work.

Cup Winners
Most points in Show     Brian Stirland
Runner Up                   Dawn Jemmison
Lady with most points  Dawn Jemmison
Gent with most points   Brian Stirland
Vegetables most points Brian Stirland
Best collection of veg.   Bill Maddox
Potato cup                   Ian Thompson/
                                   Brian Stirland
Craft Cup                     David Swash

Best exhibit in show    Hilda Bawden
Flower Cup                 Donald Bawden
Flower Arr Cup            Ros Brookes
Sweet Pea Cup           Brian Stirland
Cookery Cup              Amanda Smith
Childrenís Cup 8-14     Ben Thorne
Runner Up                  William Osborne
Childrenís Cup Under 8 Barney Thorne
Runner up              Madeleine Osborne

The School Marrow competition winners were Terrie-Anne Groves and Ella Kingdon. They share £5. All the other marrow growers will each get 50p later in school.

Gardening Club
We had an enjoyable meeting at Donald & Hilda Bawdenís in September. It is always interesting to look round their lovely garden and enjoy a chat and a glass of wine. On 18th October we are holding a short AGM and we will be planting bulbs in containers to sell at the Christmas Fair in December.
On 15th November we will be having a Christmas Meal in the Village Hall, the details of which will be finalised at our next meeting. 

Yoga Classes
Audrey Smith is starting an extra Beginners Yoga Class from Monday, 2nd October at Goodleigh Village Hall from 1.00 to 2.30 pm. There is also an advanced class at Goodleigh Village Hall on Thursdays starting on 28th September from 1.30 to 3.30 pm. For more details please ring Audrey or email

Coffee Morning
Donít forget our usual coffee morning on the first Wednesday of the month (4th October) at 10.30 am in the Methodist Schoolroom.

Christmas Lunch
Calvert Trust are again putting on two Christmas lunches on Wednesday, 13th and Thursday, 14th December. Whether you have been before or never visited the Centre, why not join us for a delicious three-course lunch, accompanied by live festive music. With great food and a Christmas carol sing-a-long, the lunches are sure to be lots of fun! The festivities will start at 12.30 for lunch at 1 pm. The price is £16.95 per person, which includes reception drinks. For further details and to book, please contact on 763221. We look forward to celebrating Christmas with you.

The annual Devon Historic Churches sponsored walk took place on a wonderful day and, thanks to sponsors, £50 was raised. On September 30th a large group of supporters witnessed the licensing of Clive Whinney as Reader in the Church of England. He joins the team of clergy in this area and we thank him for his devoted service to the Church and community.
Margaret and Seymour Husbands celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary and we send congratulations and very best wishes to them on reaching this amazing milestone.

Methodist Church
This yearís Harvest Thanksgiving is on Sunday, 1st October at 11 am when the preacher will be Rev. Amos Cresswell (ex President of the Conference), with a Circuit Service led by Circuit staff at 6.30 pm. There will be a Church Council Meeting on Tuesday, 10th October at 7.30 pm at the Methodist Church. The Barnstaple Male Voice Choir will be coming to give a concert on Tuesday, 14th November at 7.30 pm in the Methodist Church.

High Bray Church
Our Harvest Festival Service will be on Sunday 8th October at 11.15 am with a cup of coffee to follow. The Church roof repair has been carried out "on budget" and we would like to thank you once again for all you did to support us and help keep our lovely old Church OPEN.

In August we heard of the death of John Lawrence, late of Church House, after a long illness. On 13th September a service of celebration and thanksgiving for his life took place in Charles Church. A large number his friends were able to appreciate a beautiful service conducted by the Rev. Peter Attwood. He was remembered as the hub of the village, a friend to many, and a lovely, warm and happy man. Parish Councillor, Church Warden, and Neighbourhood Watch Warden were some of the official roles he held. After a long life in Burma and India, he was very thankful to retire to Charles. We send our heartfelt sympathy to Joan, John, Jacqui and all the family.
2007 Diaries
An unusual and special Christmas present! A 2007 Diary with twelve poems, season by season, chosen by Christopher Hewetson; twelve photographs to match of people, landscapes and animals in Charles, Brayford, North Molton and Twitchen by Alison Hewetson and Madeleine Brownell; and professionally bound in A5 size by XDS Printing in Taunton. The sale of the Diary will be for the benefit of our rural villages, and is on sale at £5 each in local shops, or call Christopher on or Madeleine with your orders.

Brayford School
For our return in September we had a theme of colour through the whole school. This has resulted in some wonderful displays decorating many areas. As part of this week the children made kites. Great fun was had by all on Friday 8th September when they tested them. They all flew and were a great success! The topic this term is "on the move", with the infants concentrating on transport and the juniors on invaders and settlers. Video conferencing is now in place and both classes have "hooked up" with their peers at Broadhembury school in Honiton. The intention in the future is to "hook up" with schools in inner cities to promote multi-cultural issues. The staff were extremely grateful for their new staffroom, which has given them a much needed place to have meetings and discussions.
Our new school council chairperson is Ben Thorne, with Chilli Small and Natasha Evely as his deputies. They have already initiated some interesting ideas and we look forward to informing you of their progress. We congratulate all the children and parents who helped or took part in the Barnstaple Carnival on Sat 18th Sept. They dressed as what they would like to be when they grow up and ranged from pop stars and grand prix drivers to farmers and millionaires! We are pleased to announce they won First Prize.

Brayford Boomerangs
We have had a great start to the new term, with very good numbers attending the sessions. Our Playleader, Chris, is soon to commence her maternity leave. We would like to wish her all the very best and look forward to seeing her again soon. Sarah Beard will be stepping into Chrisí shoes whilst she is away and Carole will be assisting Sarah. Our AGM took place on 26th September. Please come along to the Village Hall on 9th December and join us for a coffee, a chat, a mince pie and take a look around the Christmas stalls. Look out for posters nearer the time! If you would like to book a stall, please telephone Carole Gentle. We would also like to say a great big thanks to all those, including Ray White and Geoff Dunsford, who have made the Village Hall look so lovely.
School Governor Vacancies
Two vacancies have arisen on the Governing Body of Brayford School. If you are interested in becoming a Community Governor and supporting our local school please apply in writing to Fiona Tyson, Chair of Governors or contact her for more information. Thank you to Ruth Knights who is retiring after eight years of service as a Governor. Ruth has been a dedicated, committed and supportive Governor and her much valued experience will be greatly missed. Thank you also to Shirley Barrow for all her hard work who also leaves the Governing Body.


Special thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing extracts from the Newsletter.

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