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 2013/January 2014 Newsletter: 

Parish Council Meetings

The next Parish Council Meetings will be held on Thursday 19th December and Thursday 16th January 2014 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.
Flooding Seminar
Councillors and several parishioners attended a recent seminar hosted by the Environmental Agency to discuss the ongoing flooding problems that occur particularly in our parish when the River Bray rises. Several properties sit within the flood plain and it was disappointing to learn that no funds are available for river dredging or any other preventative measures. The newly installed removable rails in the Millennium Garden do help flood water to escape across the adjacent field but the fall to the river is not sufficient to solve the problem. Water tight doors are apparently available via the Agency for fitting to eligible properties and other self help measures for drains and vents were discussed at the meeting. 
Millennium Garden
Dog walkers are again in the spotlight for the wrong reasons after a plastic bag full of dog mess was found within the garden area. The Dog Warden is now visiting the parish on a regular basis and an instant fine will be issued to the owner if the culprit is observed. The wooden bench has been refurbished and is now back in place but the circular picnic table is beyond repair and is to be replaced shortly. A proposal to demolish the ivy clad shed is being considered but opinion is split and so the Council would be pleased to receive parishioners' thoughts before making a decision.
Play Area
The new swings are very popular and indeed a great success but the rubber chipping ground cover is proving to be unsatisfactory. Alternatives have been considered and rubber playmats set on to a concrete base in the central area are the most cost effective way to create a better finish. The swings will be out of bounds whilst this work is carried out as and when weather conditions permit.
The A399 continues to cause frustration when a third set of traffic lights were recently in place whilst further dangerous road edgings were examined. There is also a problem with standing water particularly to the north of Newtown Bridge with recent freezing temperatures causing ice to form and the road was closed whilst at least four vehicles were retrieved after skidding accidents. 


Charles Village Green
Estimates have been received for the proposed drainage and improvement works to create an attractive landscaped area. A grant application is being submitted and if successful the associated works will be planned for early Spring 2014.
Christmas Carols at The Nook
Planning is in full swing for the tree, lights, nibbles and mulled wine to ensure an enjoyable family evening of song at 7pm on Wednesday 18th December - in the event the weather is bad on the night, the event will take place on Friday 20th December.


Brayford Flower Show
A group of enthusiasts met at The Poltimore Arms in October to learn from the retiring Chairman, Mrs. Dawn Jemmison, how much is involved in the running of a Flower Show. Tasks were, as evenly as possible, distributed and the 2014 Flower Show will run under the chairmanship of Amanda Smith, ably assisted by Howard Tolley of Charles, with many enthusiastic assistants – the more the merrier! A further meeting will be held in January/February to sort out the Schedule and finalise the date of the Show – this is normally held on the 3rd Saturday in August. A copy of the Schedule will be sent out with the February Newsletter which, we hope, will fire everyone with enthusiasm as, without entries, there is no Flower Show! 


Village Farmers' Market
Our next Market is on Saturday 14 December (second Saturday of each month) with Besshill Farm’s prime local meats and vegetables, East & West Bakery Breads baked that morning, West Country Cheese hand-made quiches and sausage rolls, hand-made jewellery, home-baked cakes, vintage items, home-made jams/jellies/honey, Fair Trade and much more. In addition, our December Market will have locally made Christmas wreaths and decorations, a Santa's Grotto, and a Turkey Roast for everyone. The market opens at 11 am with Ray Hobbs on his accordion and offers tea, coffee and cakes until 1 pm. The January market will be on Saturday, 11 January. 

Youth Club
Christmas Meeting is on Wednesday 11 December at 7 p.m, meeting at the School Room, Methodist Chapel for a trip to the Climbing Wall in South Molton. Youth Club is open to young people, age 11 – 16 and the first meeting of 2014 will be held on Wednesday 8 January. A DVD will be shown AND please come 

with ideas for the planning of the SPRING PROGRAMME! Meetings are held at 7 p.m. in the School Room, Methodist Chapel, Brayford, unless otherwise stated.  

Christingle Service
A community 'CHRISTINGLE SERVICE" will be held at Brayford Methodist Church on Sunday 8th December at 4pm. starting with a tea and then a Service at 4.30pm. It is a lovely service of lights, with the local children, for everyone to enjoy so do come along and join us. 

Charles Church
The very popular Deanery Quiz has returned for those brave souls who participate. The next Quiz night is on 31 January at 7.30 pm in Bishops Nympton Village Hall - details from Michael "Brains" Wall on 01769 580265. Christmas cards and notelets are available for sale in the Church, through PCC members or the Village Market. Proceeds for maintenance of the Church. Watch out for more details of the Christmas Services, particularly a quiet service of Carols, readings and a Christmas tea on Sunday 22 December at 3 pm – all ages welcome. Offers of help from youngsters to assist with the crib would be most welcome.  

High Bray Church
We have had a letter of thanks from Barnstaple Poverty Action for the very generous donations of food and money from Harvest celebrations. Tony Poling played amazing music at the concert last Saturday, supported by Brayford Community Singers, which was much enjoyed by all, not forgetting faultless "ringing" of the bells by our team. The list of the carol services is on the back of the newsletter. There will be a beautiful, candlelit gathering on Christmas Eve of Lessons and Carols at 6.30 pm with everyone singing carols and Lessons read by many in the community. Bring a candle, your family and come to this very special evening.  

Methodist Chapel
We would like to thank everyone for supporting the excellent Concert given by the Newton St Petroc Male Voice Choir. We all had a great evening. The full to capacity audience gave very generously and over £2,165 was donated to Church Funds. Our Carol Service will be on Sunday 22 December at 11 am and there will be a Family Service on Christmas Day at 10.30 am. In the New Year, come and have a friendly lunch date at Meadowcroft on Wednesday, 15 January at 12.30 pm by kind invitation of John Thorne. Donations towards Chapel renovations will be appreciated.

Brayford WI
We were amused to hear ways to live to be 110 by Professor Brian Kirby at our November meeting – but a tricycle to race around on in our old age may have to be motorised for Brayford! We are much looking forward to our Christmas Dinner in early December at The Poltimore Inn in North Molton. Our Christmas meeting is on Wednesday 11 December when the Rev. Andrew and Mrs. Jan Jones are going to regale us with "Tales of Christmases past, with musical interludes". Guests are always welcome to our meetings (cost £3, which includes an excellent tea). We are now proud to announce that we have a W.I. Skittles Club! This is also a good time of year for the Theatre Club outings. On 15 January 2014 we are going to be reminded that we should Keep Fit by Clare Farrow, who will also update us on Emergency First Aid skills. 

Brayford School 
Soon after the half term holiday, the children went to Umberleigh to watch a performance of Michael Morporgo's, I Believe in Unicorns. A great surprise awaited them as Michael Morporgo joined them to watch the play. They were able to ask the famous author questions about his writing and his books. We are all avid readers of his fabulous books, so this was a real treat. The children have been busy learning new songs and carols in time for Christmas. On 8 December, we will be performing at the annual Fatstock Fayre in South Molton which is held in the Pannier Market at 1.45 pm. Please do come along as it is a great event, which the children really enjoy taking part in. Our Christmas performance this year will be on 19 December at 6 pm at High Bray Church. All are welcome, but please be aware of the parking 

problems at High Bray and share lifts to reduce the chaos! Cakes were sold for Children in Need day by the children and £92.74 was raised. Well done to all. Last day of term is Friday, 20 December and the first day of the spring term is Tuesday 7 January. 
Boomerangs Bingo

Brayford Boomerangs is to have a Bingo Night on 10 December. Eyes downs at 8 pm in Brayford Village Hall. If you would like any other information please email


Our sympathy goes to the families of the late Tony Moule and Harold Withers. Tony lived at High Bray most of his life and Mike & Gloria Elston were part of Harold's family and still very much part of "Brayford Life". 

Grateful Granny 
A grateful granny would like to thank the Parish Council for happy times on the new swings at the Play Area.  

From the Editor
On behalf of myself and all our contributors, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Healthy and Prosperous New Year. There is a lot happening in the Village in the next month, so we all look forward to meeting you there. 


 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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