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 2018 Newsletter: 


Dog Excrement
Earlier this year it was reported that plastic bags of dog mess were being placed in the litter bin at The Nook. This offensive practice continues and in addition the bin at the Village Hall is being similarly filled. Observations are that the culprits are not passing strangers but dog owners living in the village. Will the offending owners please be community responsible and take all droppings home. It is an offence not to do so for which there are monetary fines.

Tarmac The Nook
The existing surface has deteriorated and the decision has been taken to resurface this area. Quotes have been received and it is anticipated that the work will be carried out well before the weather deteriorates and winter sets in.

Broadband Connectivity
The PC has been pressing the local MP for assistance in getting a better service for Brayford and the use of church towers is still to be resolved. In the meantime Team Academy at the School are in negotiation with Openreach to secure a fibre optic service to the School. Some 57 properties lying between the School and the A399 junction could also benefit if this scheme is successful and it is hoped that the catchment area can be enlarged.

Parish Grants
The nine organisations that benefit from annual grants are reminded that to qualify for payment the PC must receive copies of annual accounts to validate all claims.

Play Area
The Pirate Ship structure is damaged and out of bounds for the time being. Parents please ensure that children do not climb through until repairs are complete.

Christmas is coming - Carols @ The Nook
Advance notice that this popular event will take place on Sunday 16 December.

A Puddings & Song with a difference. It is Harvest and we want a Village Celebration. We will break for our delicious Bring & Share Savouries and Puddings. Already offered are courgette & potato soup. rustic bread, chutney & cheeses, homemade beer, homemade elderflower cordial, pumpkin pie & clotted cream, jacket potatoes and by the time we get to the event there will be many more exciting additions. Can you bring anything? We will have songs by members of the community including the Brayford Singing Group, Harmony 4 and Brayford Academy and we will all sing the old favourites "Come ye thankful people come", "We plough the fields & scatter", "Guide me O Thou great redeemer", together with "Combine Harvester", "Top of the world" and "What a wonderful world". Please come for our Village's Harvest Celebration. All are welcome, all ages, and wait until you see the scarecrows, pumpkin banners for children and much more. All happening on Friday 19 October for 7 pm start in High Bray Church.

Ray and Ruby would like to thank everyone for their love and support over these last few weeks. We are so lucky to live in this caring community. Thankfully Ray is making steady progress with dialysis three times a week at Exeter or Barnstaple.

The start to the school year is going well at Brayford Academy with the children learning about "The Great War - We will Remember Them" this term. Later this half term the junior class will be taking a trip to Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset. The children will get the opportunity to take part in workshops "Tommy in the Trenches" where they will be able to experience the Museum's superb reconstructed trench system and items from the handling collection including uniforms, helmets, gas masks and kit so that they are able to gain an insight on what life was like for the average Tommy. They will also be able to climb inside a real First World War Mark IV tank and learn why the tank was invented, how it worked and what life was like for the crew. The infant children will be going on a trip to War Horse Country Farm Park Valley, Parsonage Farm, Iddesleigh. On the day the children will get the opportunity to explore the farm and see the animals including miniature ponies, as well as learn how the farm was run 100 years ago. They will also be able to find out more about how life in Devon was affected by World War 1 through the artefacts and information at the museum. We are very much looking forward to these memorable experiences which will support the children's learning back in the classroom. The Brumble Bees PreSchool will be entering the South Molton Carnival on 29 September. They will be walking the parade as a fancy dress entry - look out for the little bumblebees. We have places available at our Pre-School for rising 3 year olds. Brumble Bees continues to operate 3 days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. For any further information or to plan a visit to the school please contact the school office. We very much enjoy the company of the community at our community lunches. The dates for this term's lunches are Wednesday 17 October, Wednesday 21 November, and Christmas lunch in the Village Hall will be on Thursday 13 December. If you would like to join us then please phone the school office to order your lunch which will cost £5. We look forward to seeing you. For more details please contact the school on the number below. If you would like to know more about Brayford Academy please see our website or phone the school on 01598 710345.

Victor Dartnall held his annual open day at Higher Shutscombe Farm, Charles on Sunday 9 September. The event was very well attended and a collection was made during the day for Chris Dowse, who is walking the 630 mile South West Coastal Path in support of Prostate Cancer UK and the "End Polio Now Campaign". The collection of just over £800 will be divided equally between the two organisations. A sincere thank you to everyone who so generously contributed to the two causes.

Our Harvest Festival will be on 7 October at 11 am, Breakfast Fellowship on 21 October at 9.15 am and on 2 November at 7.30 pm Jubilate will be coming to entertain us at our Annual Concert and Supper. Please come and share the evening with us, we are sure you will find it enjoyable. There will be an opportunity to donate to the upkeep of the Church, if you so wish.

What a fantastic late spring and summer, hot days and warm nights certainly gave all of the many visitors to North Devon a holiday to remember. But for our farmers the glorious weather was simply a different reason to suffer from the annual harvest headache.... no rain! This year's show was held on 18 August when our Village Hall was wonderfully resplendent - full to bursting with a 10% increase in entries over 2017. The 2018 event included a few new classes together with the usual opportunities for those of us who love growing tomatoes - even mine were ripe in time for the show - along with such a wide variety of quality vegetables and colourful plants. Brayford's hidden passion for old cars was once again exposed with a wonderful display of classics from the past - first place went to a beautifully prepared Mini. And for the first time we secured entries from the owners of some lovely classic motorbikes. All of the cookery classes were once again popular and competitive especially the coconut cake class. Children's entries, including photography, cake making and so much more were supplemented by a fantastic display from all of the children attending our local primary school. "Ancient Egypt" was both interesting and so colourful. Admission to the Show was once again free and it was really pleasing to see so many visitors coming in through the door to view all the entries and of course sitting down to have a chat at the "Village Tea", following the prize giving. The Show takes place as a result of a combined village effort and our sincere thanks go to all of the many individuals who work so hard to stage the event together with the judges who give up their time to assess the entries. Not forgetting the many individuals and organisations who give prizes and "cash" to cover all the running costs. The Best Exhibit in Show Cup was awarded to Geoff Mitchell (adult) and Lisa Warren (child). The Most Points in Show Cup was won by Mick Smith. Another year gone...time to plan for 2019. Please let us know if you have any ideas to improve the show.

Stallholders with traditional North Devon products including Bentwitchen Honey, Besshill joints of local meats and savoury pies & veggies, homemade artistic cards, East & West Bakery fresh breads & pasties, Southwest Cheese Shop quiche & sausage rolls, lots of knitted & local woollen products, beeswax candles, Jacci's scrumptious baked goodies & exotic items, Ruth's quirky handmade spoons made from local woods, organic local lamb and lots of beautiful plants plus tea, coffee and homemade biscuits and cakes. On 13 October we will have a demonstration by Jacci Gardner on how to make two delicious Christmas cakes. Help add ingredients, stir and see how to properly line a cake tin. Then in December we will all have a chance to taste one of our cakes and the other will be put into the Christmas Raffle. The 2019 North Devon Village Calendar will be on sale with snapshots of your friends & neighbours and glorious photos of our countryside. A perfect early gift for a family member far away from home. On 10 November we will have Santa's white woolly dog visiting and accepting your Christmas present wish lists. We may also see a pony and trap arrive to take the letters to the North Pole. You can also take the opportunity to purchase your Christmas Raffle Tickets and to place order with our stallholders for Christmas Roasts, Christmas Wreaths, presents and specialty food items. On 8 December the Christmas Market will have Father Christmas in the grotto, a Raffle, Christmas Hamper, presents on sale, Carols sung by all of us and Wreaths. All Village Markets are from 11 am to 1 pm in Brayford Village Hall.

We are planning ahead for the tenth year the Remembrance Day collection of items for the destitute and needy. If you have any blankets, warm clothing, sleeping bags, tents, duvets, medicines still in date, sweets, chocolates, nappies, tinned foodstuffs, etc. we would be most grateful for them. We pass them on to a volunteer charity who drives the goods to where they are needed most and dispenses them through local churches in the area. In addition, the charity is seeking used mobile phones and any loose Euros or foreign currency or cash donations to assist in paying for the costs of delivery of the items we collect. Any donation will be gratefully received. We will also be gathering Christmas Shoe Boxes for the elderly and for children in the UK and Eastern Europe of items such as toiletries, flannels, socks, warm gloves, scarves, handkerchiefs, soap, toothpaste & brush, combs, paper, small toys, perfume, etc. We still need to have the boxes labelled for a specific age group and for male and female recipients. Please leave the boxes open so they can be examined for safety. Get in touch with either Jonathan and Madeleine Brownell 710389 or Gloria and Michael Elson 01271 379131 who will be gathering items for High Bray and Charles Churches for collection by the charity Computers for Charities on Remembrance Day 11 November. We would be grateful if you could have the items available for collection or delivery by the end of October.

As a result of continuing support from the Parish Council a grant of £5000 from the Lottery Fund and £2000 from Garfield Weston, we are able to implement Phase 2 of the Village Hall Refurbishment Plan. Under Phase 2, the refurbishment/redecoration of the Village Hall kitchen is expected to be completed by 27 September. Later this year we will be starting the planning process for the complete redecoration/refurbishment of the village Hall interior and the redecoration of the outside of the building. The Village Hall Management Committee is looking for volunteers to join our Refurbishment Plan Project Group to broadly flesh out the future requirements of a refurbished Village Hall. The wider the views as to the facilities the refurbished hall should offer will assist us both in its planning and financing. Anyone interested in joining the group should contact Joe Poole via Please note our Fund Raising Event Dates: 27 October Bingo, 1 December Ferret Racing, 9 February 2019 Bingo, 21 April 2019 Treasure Hunt (in conjunction with the Women's Institute). Our Web Site Manager, Steve Warren, has been working hard on a dedicated site for the Village Hall. His aim is to have the site up and running by 26 October 2018. Please refer to the site and let Steve know of any difficulties in using it/suggestions as to improving its design. We will shortly be erecting two new Notice Boards outside the Village Hall for the purposes of better advertising village events and general administration. Personal advertising space will still be available on the notice board on the right hand side of the entrance lobby. Please use this area only as the notice board on the left hand side is for Parish Council use only.

Bell Ringing practice is on Monday evenings and new people are always welcome to learn. Harvest Communion will be on 21 October at 11.15 am and we would welcome dry gifts for the charity Encompass. Our Remembrance Day Service will be held on Sunday 11 November at 10.45 am at the Church gates. The Service will begin with the reading of the names of those young people from Brayford and Charles who gave their lives so that we here and now may live in peace and security. Join us in a quiet acknowledgement of what they have given to each of us.

Many ideas for activities over the winter months are being discussed. Travel Club much enjoyed their week's stay on the lovely garden island of Madeira and other W.I. members caught up on news over supper at The Stags Head, Filleigh. On 10 October we are having an Open Meeting - husbands and friends welcome - to listen to Paddy King-Fretts' talk on Nelson Battle of Trafalgar. Please let a W.I. member know if you would like to come. W.I. Autumn Group Meeting is being hosted by Bishops Nympton W.I. in October. We are planning a musical evening on 14 November. Visitors are always welcome. Cost £4 which includes tea and cakes.

During the wonderful summer there have been many events blessed with perfect conditions - not least the Kwik Cricket at Charles. A good attendance enjoyed the afternoon in great surroundings. Martin Southcott has kept the Churchyard green and neat and will again in readiness for the Harvest Thanksgiving Service in Charles Church at 11.15 am on Sunday 14 October followed by the popular barbecue. This is a community event so do come to meet, greet and eat. Another opportunity is the Charles Quiz at the Sportsmans Inn at 7 for 7.30 pm on Friday 23 November, £11 per head. Vegetarian meals and carvery available. Contact Jonathan Hudson on 710350 to book a table for your team or come as you are to make a new team. All are welcome. We send greetings to those who have been ill recently - wishing you all a speedy recovery.

We send our deepest sympathy to Thelma and Anthony Bawden and family. Thelma's brother, John Kingdom passed away unexpectedly recently. Johnny Kingdom become a much sought after local wild life presenter, film star and writer. He was born at High Bray and spent his early years at the local primary school, then moving on to South Molton Secondary as it was known then. Big families meant food was in short supply so the local boys led by Johnny would "rescue" any thing walking for the cooking pot, salmon in the river Bray would "disappear" at night. Johnny never forgot his local roots and opened several events. Julie, his wife, has always been there to support him through some great highs and awful lows. We are proud to have known the legend that was Johnny Kingdom. Ruby White

An exciting programme for the year is being drawn up by the young members of Brayford Youth Club and will be distributed at the next meeting. Meetings are held at the Methodist Schoolroom at 7 pm on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month - unless otherwise states. Leaders Lisa Ward 710488 and Nick Jefferson 740283. 11-16 year olds are warmly welcome with their ideas.

This is on the first Wednesday of each month (next one on 3 October) in the Methodist Schoolroom from 10.30 am to 12 noon. Come for coffee and a chat.

I canít believe we are talking about Christmas already. Please make sure your copy is on time next month so we can distribute the Newsletter as early as possible. Many thanks.

 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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