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 December 2006/January 2007 Newsletter:

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 14th December (Agenda) and Thursday 18th January (Agenda) in Brayford Village Hall at 7.30pm.
Carols at the Nook
This "not to be missed" annual event will take place on Thursday, 21st December at 7 pm. Geoff and Sheila Collier will provide the music and there will be mince pies and mulled wine. Norman Barrow and Barrie Lowe will kindly install the Christmas tree around 9th December and thanks go to David Gosling for providing the lights and Jack and Doreen Woodrow for providing the electricity. The collection this year will go towards funds for the Play Area. Hope to see you all there.
Affordable Housing
Vaughan Lake (Hastoes Housing Association), Colin Savage (Housing Enabler for Exmoor National Park) and Rachel Webdell (Housing Enabler for NDDC) attended the meeting. Rachel Webdell confirmed that money is available towards this project from NDDC and that the deadline for project completion is December 2007. This does not leave much time to produce plans, to have a parish meeting for comments, to apply for planning permission and to construct these properties, but Mr Lake thinks it is just possible. A special Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday, 11th January, 2007 for Parish Councillors to view the plans, and discuss Hastoe’s application and make any comments or recommendations. Parishioners will be able to attend, but not to take part in, the discussion. The public can put questions to Hastoe’s in January.
Play Area
We are currently negotiating a lease agreement that will enable us to carry forward our commitment to the last village appraisal of establishing a play area in the village. We have had plans drawn up which will provide an area for play equipment and recreation. This will be in part of the school grounds and adjacent to the Village Hall. As with all of these projects, we will be putting together a business plan to enable us to apply for available grant money, however, we will also have to look at the potential to raise money ourselves to match grant funding through fund raising events. We had two replies to the last Newsletter appeal for volunteers and we thank them both and will be in touch, but we would ask again for your help. We will be setting up a working party for this project and we will need individuals who can give some time in helping us achieve this ambitious, but ultimately rewarding and beneficial project for the community. At present we are completing the paperwork for the lease, but hope to be able to start looking at grant applications, possibly in December, but certainly from January. If you would like to help, please contact Margaret Hartnoll or Dave Gosling. The Parish Council will look to formally launch this project sometime in December and will keep you up to date on our progress.
The Pound
We are still seeking capping stones for The Pound. If anyone has some suitable stone, approximately 9" x 4" x 6" please contact Jane Jeyes.
Devon County Council now have a Customer Service Centre for questions and problems, e.g. Highways enquiries, and this is 0845 155 1004.
Telephone Box
BT say that the telephone box in the village is only cleaned when the Telephone Engineer is called to repair the telephone. We would be grateful to anyone who is willing to volunteer to regularly sweep it out.
Neighbourhood Watch
Although there were no reported crimes in Brayford last month, Tony Abbott our Brayford rep learned that there had been four break-ins at Challacombe recently; enquiries at South Molton Police station revealed that there had been similar clusters of theft at Romansleigh, Chulmleigh and South Molton where the target seems to have been power tools.  These events take place late at night or in the early hours of the morning, and the Police would be grateful for a note of any relevant vehicle numbers should you happen to hear anything unusual going on at that time of the day.   The Police ask that you look to the security of your sheds and outbuildings.

North Devon Hospice
We are all aware of the invaluable contribution North Devon Hospice makes and they are appealing for volunteers. There are many areas we can help in with as little or much time as we have available. Drivers are needed from across North Devon and Torridge (mileage paid), volunteers to assist in the In-Patient Unit during evenings and weekends, volunteers to assist with the sale and distribution of donated items on eBay, and volunteers to help in the shops in North Devon and in the new shop due to open soon in Joy Street, Barnstaple. For more information please contact Barbara Andrew on 01271 344248 or email

Local History Group
Members of the Brayford History Society are combining with the South Molton Society and others, to research the subject of agriculture in this area between 1930 and 1960. The subject is potentially vast covering matters like harvesting, horses, tractors, vets, markets, blacksmiths, WW2, water and electricity supply, hunting, social life etc.  Any photographs, sale details, bills and brochures would be of particular value and would of course be taken great care of.   Can you help?  .  If there are persons in the Brayford or Charles parishes who would be willing to share their knowledge then please contact either Malcolm Faulkner in Charles or John White at High Bray. Jonathan Brownell can also be contacted regarding archaeology.

Gardening Club
Our November meeting was a social event with supper and greatly enjoyed by all who came. On 20th December Lynn Purst is coming to show us how to make wonderful Christmas Table Decorations, so please come and join in. Our programme for 2007 should be available then and we have some very good talks and interesting visits lined up. As there is no meeting in January, our first meeting will be on 21st February, when we will be visiting Heddon Hall to see their Snowdrop and Hellebore collection.

Millennium Green
The newly installed seat on the Millennium Green is in memory of the Huxtable Family of Brayford. The plaque reads "In affectionate memory of Dick and Ethel Huxtable and Muriel, Evelyn, Meta, Frank and Molly. A family of this village who loved this spot". Dick and Ethel Huxtable lived at the village shop, the present home of the Gosling family by the bus shelter. All their children named on the plaque were born in this house and stayed there until they married. Muriel Bowen moved to Grange 

Farm, Charles and Evelyn Radley to Ovis Farm, still of the same name next to Gratton Farm. Frank died in his thirties having moved opposite to the present Rock Villa. Meta Thorne, sometime later, moved to Rock Villa and Molly Hobbs moved to Little Bray bungalow. A part of the Millennium Green was, in fact, Muriel Bowen’s garden.

Charles Church
There are very reasonably priced Christmas and greeting cards for sale in the Church, made by local residents, in aid of Church maintenance. Please have a look as you go by.
As we approach a new year, we send our sympathy and best wishes to those who have been injured or ill in recent weeks.
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 or Madeleine with your orders.

Methodist Church
The recent visit by the Barnstaple Male Voice Choir (some 40 members strong) was a great success singing to a packed Church. We were delighted to hear three locals in the Choir’s Quartet items, Peter Jemmison of Whitefield, Brian Ayre of Kimbland Farm and Clive Faulkner of Lane Farm.
The Annual Christingle Service this year is on 10th December at 6.30 pm, organised by the Sunday Club. The Carol Service is on 17th December at 6.30 pm with Local Members taking part. There will be no service on Christmas Eve as we will join with our friends at High Bray Church for the usual Parish Christmas Celebration. On Christmas Day there will be a shortened service led by Deaconess Rona at 11 am.
Rev. Mollie McGee, who returned to The States at the end of the summer after a time with our Church sends Christmas Wishes and love to all her friends at Brayford. She is busy ministering in New Orleans, but says she is missing us all.

High Bray Church
We are having a stall at the Christmas Fair in the Village Hall on 9th December. Gifts for the stall will be gratefully received by Madeleine Brownell, perhaps at the Coffee Morning on Wednesday, 6th December at the Methodist Schoolroom from 10.30 am to 12 noon. A good place for a chat.
The School’s Carol Service will be on Tuesday, 12th December at 6 pm and the Christmas Eve Candlelit Service will be at 6.30 pm.
On Sundays in December leading up to Christmas Eve, there will be a special place in the Church to light a candle in remembrance of those who have died or for someone in need of our love and prayers at this time. Candles will be provided and Ruby will be available to light your candle if you wish.

Mothers' Union
Joan met with the World Wide President at Crediton in September. In October, members attended the Autumn Council Meeting in the Belmont Chapel, Exeter. The speaker was the Bishop of Jerusalem. Please save the Holiday Vouchers which are in the papers in early January. There will be a Coffee Morning at Purbrook Cottage on 17th January in aid of MU funds.
Womens' Institute
This is a busy time of year with lots of festive events. Our annual Christmas trip to the Queen’s Theatre to see The King and I took place on 24th November and then we are off to Bath for Christmas Shopping on Friday, 1st December with all of our WI friends in North Devon. I hope Bath is ready for us! Christmas Supper is on the 6th December and a joint Coffee Morning in the Village Hall for Children’s Hospice funds is on Saturday 9th December from 10 am to Noon. Please come as it is always a lovely morning for all the family and a most deserving cause. On Wednesday, 13th December at 7.15 pm we are having our Christmas Party in the Village Hall. We will all be making a Seasonal Table Decoration and will have expert help on hand if needed. This time we will be donating to Air Ambulance. A Peaceful and Happy Christmas to all from the WI Ladies. Further information on any of the above, or if you would like to join us please ring Selina.

Brayford School
We are having another busy term at school. The toilets are in the process of being renovated at the request of the school’s council and are already looking good. As part of the PEDPASS scheme the juniors are half way through a course of volleyball coaching with Denise (beach volleyball champion) and the infants will have a morning at the Tarka Tennis Centre.
The whole school were taken to Filleigh to watch a presentation, organised by Beaford Arts, of the ‘Hill Billy Goats Gruff’ on 7th November. For their Christmas treat this year the children will be going to the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple to watch Snow White.
The whole school were given a talk on the work of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and given a Helibag to return with unwanted items which DAAT can recycle to raise funds for the charity. Plus the school council are arranging to participate in the Lantern FM collection for North Devon troops who will be based in Afghanistan over Christmas.

Dates for your diary.
Christmas Fair joint with Boomerangs – 9th December Village Hall
Carol Service – High Bray Church Tuesday 12th December 6.30pm
Last day of term – 19th December
Back to school - 4th January

School Governor Vacancies
We currently have vacancies for 3 governors; if anyone is interested please contact the school.
Brayford Boomerangs

This half term the children are doing a "Shoe" Theme and have been having lots of fun doing collages, lace-tying, etc.
Please come to the Christmas Fair on Saturday, 9th December from 10.30 am to 1 pm. There will be lots of lovely stalls, refreshments, raffle and even a visit from Father Christmas! Admission free. Proceeds to be split between Boomerangs and the School.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas


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

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