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 2019 Newsletter: 


Emergency Traffic Lights A399
Devon County Council will be implementing a road closure on the A399 between Rapscott Cross and Newton Bridge from 4 to 29 November 2019. Remedial works require the removal and replacement of the existing retaining wall supporting the carriageway at this location. The advertised diversion route suitable for all vehicles will be via the A399, C459, A39 and A361. Map of diversion plan will be shown on the Notice Boards at The Nook and the Village Hall.

Neighbourhood Watch
Devon and Cornwall Police have advised that there has been a spate of break-ins and thefts from outbuildings, garages and barns. Parishioners are advised to keep all their buildings as secure as possible as many items have been taken from unsecured/open buildings. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police immediately.

Parish Council Vacancy
A vacancy has occurred on the Parish Council with the resignation of Councillor Collier. Applications are invited from anyone in the parish that meets the requirements of eligibility. Details of the necessary requirements and application process can be obtained from the Parish Clerk, Joe Poole 710236 or

Advertising in the bi-monthly Newsletter
Parishioners are reminded that the placing of an advert in the Newsletter must be paid for prior to the acceptance of the advert by the Editor. The cost per advert is only £3 but payment helps towards the cost of producing the Newsletter which is funded by the Parish Council. All payments to be made to the Parish Clerk.

The next edition of Anthony's Quiz will be on Friday 25 October in the Village Hall at 7 pm for 7.30 pm. Adults £3, 11-16 years £1 and under 10s free. Teams should be 4 to 6 players. There will be 40 questions on the History of Brayford, 20 questions on Spelling and 20 questions on Sport. Bring Your Own Drink but tea and coffee will be available. There will be 1st Prize, 2nd Price and Booby Prize. We look forward to seeing you.

At the end of the summer we look back on events over the last few weeks, our Village Pageant about R D Blackmore and the Exhibition of Victorian Life, a feature in Devon Life magazine and interview on Radio Somerset, plus a possible education package from all our material for Brayford Academy - all an amazing success for our tiny village thanks to the talent and hard work of our community and friends. It isn't quite over yet, as we plan a "World Premiere" of the Pageant Film at the Brayford Village Hall on 11 November at 7 pm. So if you didn't see the Pageant or would like to remind yourself come along and view, spot yourself in the audience. There will be a chance to meet the performers and have a supper and a drink. Get your black-tie and long dresses dusted off for this red-carpet event. Look out the posters and flyers with more details. We welcome the Muir family to Charles and wish them well at Victoria Cottage. A new family is moving to Higher Barn Park and we look forward to meeting them soon. Regrettably we will not be holding our traditional Harvest Celebration on 13 October this year and the service is cancelled. But if you wish to donate food items, please leave them at the Church (box provided) for distribution to local charities. I know it is a long time ahead, but put a note on your calendar for the Dine’n’Quiz night for Charles Church at the Sportsman on Friday 22 November.

We spent a few moments remembering our good friend, the late Phyllis Bond at the start of our September meeting and we laughed recalling the happy times we had with Phyllis on our earlier Travel Club holidays. Joan Stribland, a very talented and well-known make-up artist to the film industry described her life travelling around the world making up actors and how she and her colleagues do this. What an interesting life. Next month, 9 October, we are having a demonstration on How to Use the Defibrillator. In the meantime, there has been an excellent outing to the Willow and Wetlands Centre near Taunton and there are two extra W.I. meetings in October. On Wednesday 23 October the Autumn Council meeting will be held in Bideford and on Friday 25 October our local Group meeting is being hosted by Heasley Mill W.I. and will be held in the Methodist Hall at North Molton. Interesting speakers have been booked on both occasions. Skittles is recommencing and first practice will be on Monday 23 September at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall. Monthly walk is held on the last Wednesday of each month and an outing to watch Downton Abbey at Lynmouth is being arranged. We meet at the Village Hall at 7.15 pm on the second Wednesday of each month and visitors are always welcome.

We enjoyed a happy social at the Village Hall recently forerunner to the Auction to be held later in the Autumn and it occurred to us that thanks should be extended to the Village Hall Committee for all their work in redecorating the Hall, so, many thanks to Joe Poole, Geoff Bott and the Village Hall Committee for their hard work. The Village Hall is looking splendid and we are looking forward to seeing the new curtains.

These are now available at Brayford Market and other locations. For further details please telephone Doreen or Roger Grimmond on 710409.

The start to the school year is going well at Brayford Academy with the children learning about Stone Age Man in our topic called "Digging into the Past". Later this term the children will be taking a trip to Cheddar Gorge where they will get the opportunity to explore the caves and find out more about life in the Stone Age. On the day, the children will see an array of artefacts that our ancestors created and used, including weapons and tools, which they will be able to search for and draw. Gough's Cave is the site of archaeological finds including Cheddar Man. They will take a guided tour to find out how the cave formed, how it was discovered and how it has been used over the years. The visit to Cheddar will help students increase their understanding of Britain's past, by focussing on how our ancestors would have lived. The day is set to be a memorable experience for the children to support and enhance their learning. The Brumble Bees Pre-school will be entering the South Molton Carnival on 28 September. They will be walking the parade as a fancy dress entry - look out for the little bumblebees. We have places available at our PreSchool for 2 and 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 on 710345. We very much enjoy the company of the community at our community lunches. The dates for this term's lunches are: Wednesday 25 September, Wednesday 16 October, Wednesday 20 November and Christmas lunch in the Village Hall will be on Wednesday 18 December. If you would like to join us then please phone 710345 to order your lunch which will cost £5. We look forward to seeing you. (

With the successful completion of the majority of the refurbishment/redecoration of the Village Hall interior, the management committee are now looking forward to raising sufficient funds to enable it to complete the outstanding tasks on the hall interior and the outside decoration. Our ability to raise funds largely depends on Friends of Brayford Village Hall with their support of our various fund raising events. As a result of a generous donation from a villager, plus the continuing support of the Parish Council, we have been able to cover the cost of new curtaining for the hall. Please support your Village Hall so that we can improve its facilities for the use of all the village and its organisations. When you use the Village Hall you will see that we have increased the notice board space in the lobby (rhs) for the use of public/village notices. The increase in space is designed to avoid the need to put up notices anywhere else in the hall. Unfortunately the age of the walls means that any material pinned/stuck to them results in damage to the new paint. The four notice boards in front of the Bar area are place for event users only. There has been some confusion as to the cost of hiring the Village Hall both for private and community events. Application of the revised Village Hall rates for 2019/20 can be seen on our notice board situated on the wall next to the entrance of the hall. Any queries please contact Joe Poole on 710236 or The first of our popular Bingo events this year is scheduled for Saturday 19 October. Eyes down at 7.30 pm, more than 30 prizes, plus superb raffle, bar, tea/coffee/biscuits. All the usual fun with Anthony as your caller. The second event prior to Christmas is Ferret Racing with Terry Moules on Saturday 23 November. Our last event was a huge success especially with the children who attended. This is a must come to event for children and adults alike. We guarantee you will go home with a smile on your face. We are always looking for new members to join our management committee. Details of the Brayford Village Hall Management Committee can be found on our Village Hall Notice Boards. For anyone interested in joining a friendly and active committee please contact Joe Poole.

In the run up to Christmas, the October, November and December Village Markets will be offering for sale at auction all sorts of exciting pledges and gifts, which are listed on the enclosed flyer. Each item will be sold in December to the highest bidder or can be purchased at any time for a "Buy It Now" bargain listed price. You can put in a bid by calling Jonathan /Madeleine Brownell on 710389 at any time. Come to the Markets, the second Saturday of each month at the Village Hall and see what is there for your Christmas.

Harvest Festival will be on 6 October at 11 am. We are pleased to welcome Mr D Sutcliffe, Chaplain from West Buckland. All other services are at 11 am each Sunday. Community Coffee Morning is held on the first Wednesday of each month from 10.30 am to 12 pm. This year the Circuit Choir will entertain us for our Gift Evening on Thursday 7 November at 7.30 pm. There will be a buffet supper with donations towards the upkeep of our Church.

It is with sadness that we report the passing of Phyllis Bond. Phyllis came to be headmistress at Brayford School in 1947. As a young war widow, she lived at the adjacent School House. Besides running the school, Phyllis played a big part in developing the W.I. She encouraged the local women by running classes for cookery, etc., organising a coach to collect women from the local villages to go to night school in South Molton. She married Bill Bond and had a son and daughter, Robert and Sarah. It is thanks to Phyllis that the Village Hall was built. She arranged dances and dramas and other fund raisers to match fund grants. Phyllis was great company with a good sense of humour. We acknowledge the energy and interest Phyllis gave to this community. Phyllis lived at Molland Cross until recently when she moved to a care home in Somerset to be near her family. High Bray Church and Brayford Academy are grateful to the family for sharing donations at her funeral in lieu of flowers at High Bray.

Harvest Service is on Sunday 20 October at 11.15 am. Any gifts brought to the altar will be given to "EnCompass" in Barnstaple who do such valuable work with people who have hit hard times with no home, food or money and they make soup everyday for many people. Remembrance Day Service will be at 10.50 am on Sunday 10 November, meeting at the Memorial. We hope Simon Rookby will be able to attend, so if you have any spare clothes, bedding, toiletries or writing materials we will send them back with him to be delivered to developing countries. Ray & Ruby, on behalf of High Bray Church, would like to thank all who live at High Bray for respecting car parking on Sundays and especially the Raymond family, Geoff and Mike for allowing us to park for larger events. We couldn't manage without your help.

A pretty good summer with hot days and warm nights that certainly gave all of the many visitors to North Devon a holiday to remember. And for our local growers, excellent conditions for producing some wonderful flowers and vegetables. This year's show was held on 17 August when our Village Hall was wonderfully resplendent - full to bursting with a few more entries than in 2018. The 2019 event included a few new classes, together with the usual opportunities for those of us who love growing tomatoes although mine weren't 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 superb display of classics from the past and loved ones from the present - first place went to a "lived in" MX5. All of the cookery classes were once again very popular and competitive. Photography and handicraft classes saw an increase in entries over previous years - and with a very high standard of work. 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 ... "Out of Africa" - a mass of interesting and colourful face masks. 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 of the entries, and of course sitting down to have a chat at the "Village Tea". 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 of the running costs. The "Best Exhibit in Show" Cup was awarded to Doreen Woodrow (adult) and Izzie Hartnoll (child). Ladies overall was won by Doreen Woodrow with Bill Maddox taking home the men's award. The "Most Points in Show" Cup was won by Doreen Woodrow. Another year gone .... time to plan for 2020 but please let us know if you have any ideas to improve the show.

 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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