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 2011/January 2012 Newsletter: 

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 15th December and Thursday 19th January at 7.30pm in Brayford Village Hall.
  Parish Council meeting minutes are on show at 4 notice boards - The Nook, Village Hall, High Bray and Charles (by the Church).  Anyone living within the parish is most welcome to come along to a monthly meeting so if you have a local issue of any kind that you would like considered we will be pleased to see you at any future meeting.
Mud – As a consequence of the A399 closure, much traffic has been using alternative minor roads with resulting verge/bank damage and mud has filled into road drains. Although the County Council are hoping to clear drains in due course, they are very stretched, so it would be most helpful if we could all attempt to clear any drains that lie adjacent to our own property.
Snow – Councillor Alan Boddington has been appointed Snow Warden for the parish, but a proposal to kit him out in a Father Christmas outfit was defeated. Five tons of road salt will be delivered to the Parish and Councillor Boddington will be looking for volunteers to help to apply the salt as and when weather conditions require it. Priority will be given to Shop Hill, the bottom section of Little Bray Lane and either side of the school and village hall entrances.
Speeding – Residents of Little Bray Lane are very concerned by the increasing number of speeding vehicles that have recently resulted in the death of a family pet. A petition to reduce the speed limit to 20 mph has been organised and signed by a large number of residents and this is being submitted to the County Council with a request that they give full consideration to
this growing problem.

Affordable Housing
Having in mind the particular need to maintain a healthy number of school children in the Parish, thought is being given to a fresh parish appraisal to ascertain demand for more affordable housing, albeit of a limited nature. More details in due course
Village Shop
A proposal was aired at the last meeting to create a community shop at the end of the Methodist Chapel school room. Help and encouragement has been offered by Steve Cotton, who very successfully runs the shop in Bratton Fleming. The project will however require a significant number of committed volunteers and a questionnaire will shortly be circulated to all residents to gauge support and seek ideas and comment.
Christmas Carols
Carols will be sung at The Nook again this year on Wednesday 21 December at 7 pm. A tree will be erected with new LED lighting and mulled wine, mince pies, etc. will be provided. Everyone is most welcome to this lovely family event and if you would like to bring along a few extra "bites" they will surely be much appreciated.
Electoral Register
An alarming number of households have failed to complete and return the forms sent out by District Council many weeks ago. Not only will all concerned be unable to vote at future elections but also the Parish will lose a headage payment that goes towards Parish expenditure. If you have overlooked or forgotten this important procedure it is not too late to register please do so as soon as possible.
Exmoor Society Award
If you are aged between 16 and 25 and live, work or study on Exmoor, the Society have grants of up to £3,000 currently available. They are seeking projects or business ideas linked to Exmoor, so if you have something in mind that you would like to develop, then please contact the Exmoor Society on 01398 323335.
Neighbourhood Watch

Fortunately little crime has been reported of late but Christmas is fast approaching so extra vigilance will be required with presents in cars hidden from view, etc. It is a joyous holiday period for the majority but be aware the opportunistic thief will be on the prowl somewhere.


Restoration of High Bray's Bells
Our bells restoration project is completed! We have received final approval of the work, the Village Bell Ringers are practising every Monday at 7.30 pm, and we have a long list of teams from all over the South West who want to come and ring at High Bray. The Project Committee wishes to thank all those who, in so many ways, helped to bring the bells back to Brayford; without you, it wouldn’t have happened.


Coffee Morning
Please join us at the Methodist School room on Wednesday 7 December from 10.30-12.00.  Brayford School children will be visiting us. Come and have a cup of coffee.  No cakes, no money, no bring and buy, just enjoy each others’ company.

2012 North Devon Village Calendar
Thank you to all who have purchased a calendar – we have sold 500 this year, a record! There is, however, a correction which will need to be made for the October page. We have had the page reprinted, so if you purchased and received yours before 1 November please call Madeleine Brownell on 710389 and I will make the correction for you. If you received your Calendar after 1 November, then the replacement page will already have been inserted. I apologise for this inconvenience, but thank you very much for all your support.

Garden Group
At our A.G.M. on Wednesday 16 November, officers were elected or re-elected, and Tony George has volunteered to act as Treasurer. Very shortly the 2012 programme will be decided upon and will be available to everyone at our first meeting of the New Year on Wednesday 15 February. The Garden Group is a friendly, undemanding group of people interested, not only in gardens and the history of gardens, but especially in the growing of vegetables and flowers in this variable climate. We are always delighted to see fellow gardeners, so do come if you have questions or simply to meet other like-minded friends. Meetings are normally held in the Village Hall at 7.30 pm on the third Wednesday of each month. In the summer months we visit gardens. Membership fee is £10 p.a.

Methodist Chapel
We now belong to the South Molton and Ashreigney Circuit. The chapels that have joined us are Chulmleigh, Burrington, Kings Nympton, Stable Green and Ashreigney, making a total of eleven chapels. Our staff will be working across all the Churches in the newly formed Circuit. The staff consist of Rev. Mark Noakes, B.A. Superintendent Minister based at South Molton 01769 572637, Rev. Sue Howe based at Chulmleigh 04598 740283 (Sue will be preaching at Brayford on 4 December) and Circuit Youth Worker Nick Jefferson based at North Molton 07735 504234. Nick now lives in the North Molton Manse. Rona and Les Deacon, we gather, have settled well in Tiverton. Everyone is welcome to join our services each Sunday at 11 am. On the second Sunday of the month, we join our Anglican friends at High Bray and Charles for a United Service at 11.15 on a rotational basis. Our Christmas Day Service will be at 10.30 am.
It is true that we have sold a small patch of land down by the road including the stone shed. It is also true that we are actively exploring other ways in which we can meet the needs of the Community. Under discussion with others is the possibility of a Shop or Post office. A Mother and Babies weekly get together has started at 10.30 am on Thursday. We are open to any suggestions – we are centrally placed with facilities largely unused. If you have any thoughts, please let us know (01271 379164).

Our concert on 10 November was enjoyed by all who came. Thank you for all the support received from the village. The excellent Circuit Choir will be performing a Christmas Cantata on Saturday, 10 December at 7.30 pm. A collection will be taken for the BBC Radio Devon Air Ambulance Appeal.

High Bray Church
Our Christmas Eve Candlelit Service will be held at 6.30 pm, time to enjoy a good sing, no more shopping. A collection will be taken during the last carol for Barnstaple Poverty Action Group. Happy Christmas and New Year –we are blessed to belong to this caring community.
We have many newcomers to the village and we welcome you all. There are many events during the festive season and we hope you will take the opportunity to come along and get to know the Brayford inhabitants.

Charles Church
Calling all families and children to a Crib Service with carols to sing, at Charles Church on Sunday, 18 December at 3 pm. Come and play a part, and enjoy tea, mince pies and cake to follow. Contributions to the tea and offers of help with decorating the Church will be most welcome. On Christmas Day there will be a service of Holy Communion with Carols at 8 am. The early hour has the advantage of leaving the rest of the day clear for catering and entertaining!! The collection will be for the Bala Orphanage in Kenya. Gifts of dry or tinned foods or clothes will be collected during the month, in a basket in Church, for Barnstaple Poverty Action as usual. Donations towards the publication of "In Touch" would be welcome and should be handed to the Clergy or other Church Officers. The next Parochial Church Council Meeting is at Church House, Charles, on Friday 20 January at 7 pm by kind invitation of Pamela & Jonathan. Date for Diaries – the next Deanery Quiz is on Friday 3 February – teams needed. In the extended
Missionary Community, now called the Edgemoor Group, we have some really good news. The Rev. Dr. Andrew Jones (Vicar of Bishops Nympton) has recently been awarded The Hoskins Prize (in memory of W.G. Hoskins, Devon's foremost local historian and author of the famous book "The Making of the English Landscape"), which is awarded for a significant contribution to the study of local history. After much study, and many sources, Andrew's book "Victorian North Devon – A Social History" is a must for local historians – a good Christmas present – and is available from Bishops Nympton Rectory and local book shops.

Brayford WI
The following few weeks will be busy ones for W.I. Members, as there are several extra outings to enjoy! The November meeting was extremely interesting. Mrs Mollie Bond gave a slide show on the beautiful city of Prague, and told us some of its history. Some members thoroughly enjoyed the excellent production of The Sound of Music at the Queen’s Theatre. We have planned for December a shopping trip to Exeter, going by train from Umberleigh; lunch at the Calvert Trust; Christmas dinner at The George, South Molton; and a member is hosting a Coffee Morning in her home. Nick Romney has kindly said he will play music at our meeting on 14 December and by then our 2012 programme will be available.

Village Hall
We are missing four wooden tables – please could you look in your shed or garage in case you forgot to return them. Just leave them in the porch.
This item appears frequently and here it comes again. Please pick up your dogs’ poo - there is a considerable fine if you are seen and reported. Beware - this village has eyes. There is also a problem of dogs off the lead and out of control. At one incident in Molland Wood the police had to be called. Please don’t let your dogs frighten other people and their dogs.

A Huge Thank You
Emily Ward wishes to say a huge thank you to all of the people in the village who very kindly gave donations, sponsored her, and supported the race night. This kind generosity means that she is very close now to her target of £1500. This has enabled her to pay for her flights to
Kampala on 5 July. She will be in Uganda for 10 days, working at the orphanage and visiting villages around the area.

Brayford School
A great first term draws to an end. The new teachers, Mr Berry and Miss Austen, have settled in very well, as have the new children. The junior class has 20 new computers and the infant class has 5. This has opened up new lessons and opportunities for the children to learn computer and communication skills that are becoming more and more important in their day to day lives.
The children enjoyed a great day at the Bristol Science Exploration Centre learning all sorts of sciencey things! A few of the juniors took part in a netball and football tournament at South Molton Community College. Each team, although not winning, did very well and were a credit to the school and to their parents.
The school children will be very busy in the weeks leading up to Christmas. They will be singing
Christmas carols at the coffee morning at the Chapel on 7 December. On Sunday, 11 December at 1.30 pm they will be singing at the annual Christmas Fatstock Fayre in the Pannier Market in South Molton. 

On Thursday 15 December, they will be singing at the Macmillan evening in South Molton. This year the children will be performing "Peace Child" at the Village Hall. This will be our Christmas carol evening. Everyone is very welcome at all these events, although the Macmillan evening will require tickets. The PTFA have arranged a Christmas Tree Festival at the Village Hall on Saturday 10 December at 2.30 pm. Please come along and buy your decorated tree. They have also arranged a Christmas party for the children at 5.30pm on 16 December – lots of fun and games. The school is collecting any old ink cartridges. If you have some that you would like to dispose of, please bring them up to the school. School term ends on 16 December and starts again on 5 January. Everyone at the school wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Brayford Boomerangs
We would like to welcome some new staff to Pre-school. Abi Falkner and Kelly Houle are now working as Preschool assistants. Abi works both Tuesday and Friday, and Kelly is working on Friday and I (Kate Trawin) am working on Tuesday. As this goes to press, we will already have held our annual Christmas Fair. A big thank you goes out to all who came and supported us and for all who helped, so that it was possible for it to go ahead. You really know that Christmas is just around the corner. The children have been learning their Christmas songs for their end of term performance which will be held on Friday, 16 December. All are welcome to come along and join in with our celebrations to be followed by a cup of tea and mince pie. They have also been enjoying various craft activities making Christmas decorations, stained glass windows, angels and many others. If you need any further info on Boomerangs, then please contact Kate Trawin (Chair) on 710401 or, in session times (Tuesday and Friday 9-2.30) on 710718. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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