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 2016/January 2017 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.
Councillor Vacancy
The vacancy has now been filled and we are delighted to welcome Mrs Penny Crane to join the team. Penny has lived at Kedworthy Farm for many years and is particularly well known in the Exmoor community.

Parish Clerk
Joe Poole has attended recent meetings of the PC and it is anticipated that he will take up the position of Clerk as from the next meeting on 15 December. The retiring Clerk, Margaret Hartnoll, will ensure the handover to Joe will be smoothly effected and we are most grateful to Margaret for all she has done in her interim role.

At the November meeting the recent purchasers of part of Mockham Down Farm came along to outline their proposal for a “glamping” site. The plan offers an alternative tourist facility of yurts and small wooden huts and a formal planning application will follow in due course.

Academy Trust Lease
It is to be regretted that this matter has not yet been finalised but the terms of the draft lease place the PC at some risk particularly in regard to a possible Acland reversion. District Cllr Edgell is arranging for the legal department of NDDC to offer some independent advice and a meeting is to be arranged shortly. The PC in entirety still wish this matter resolved to ensure the school continues to operate for many years to come.

Nook Noticeboard
An improved board has been installed in the bus shelter where it is protected from the elements. Thanks to Mick Smith for carrying out the works.

With the autumn leaves now fallen many a drain will doubtless be covered or blocked – is there one near your property? With the ever increasing limits to highway budgets it will help us all if we each “do our bit” to ensure the winter rains get away cleanly.

Village Hall Tree
To be or not to be? Concern has been raised that the Douglas Fir in the roadside bank may be unsafe. Specialist advice is being sought but if you have a particular view please let us know.

Carols At The Nook
This will take place at 7 pm on Sunday, 18 December. We hope that the weather will be good this year and look forward to seeing lots of familiar and new faces there.

2017 North Devon Village Calendars
Only 20 calendars, out of 400 printed, were left by early November. All of the proceeds, after costs of printing and design, are held to support our communities and to assist local village projects. So far this year contributions have been made to help purchase playground equipment for Bratton Fleming's Millennium Green Project, towards the needed repair of Charles Church Tower and to a local entrepreneur working to start up a business. If you have a suggestion of a project which could use financial assistance, call Jonathan or Madeleine Brownell on 710389 and please support those local businesses listed in the back pages of the calendar. Without their backing, we wouldn't be able to succeed.

High Bray Medieval Bells
You've heard High Bray's bells ring out over the Village on a Monday evening. Why not join the team that is making that wonderful sound? No experience required, and any age can ring a peal. Call Raymond White our Bell Captain on 710417 and just come and try it once.

Do You Like To Sing? 
Join the Brayford Community singing Group. We have fun, we sing, we visit retirement homes to give pleasure, we host Puddings & Song at High Bray Church bringing all the community together to sing and to share puddings. The Singing Group does not ask for any previous experience or level of accomplishment. Many in the Group do not read music, we just sing for the fun of it. Please call Madeleine Brownell on 710389 to talk a little more about what we do.

Local Weddings
Were you married in Brayford or Charles before 1980? The Village Hall Committee is looking for wedding photographs of pre-1980 weddings which have taken place at High Bray Church, Brayford Chapel, Brayford Baptist Chapel or Charles Church in order to make a collage for the Village Hall. Dig through your old albums and let Madeleine Brownell know (710389) what you have found, of your generation and the one before and the one before that.

Village Hall
The Village Hall has now obtained a Premises Licence that allows the selling of alcohol at hired events. This brings us in line with most other village halls and will help us in our much needed fund raising. The Committee are planning a number of new fund raising events for the New Year. These will include a Bingo Night (scheduled for the middle of February), a Karaoke spectacular (we are looking for the new X Factor stars of 2017) and a Village Hall Auction (a la Flog It). Watch out for event dates and details in the next newsletter. Joe Poole has offered to become the new Bookings Secretary. Please contact him on 710236 or to hire the village hall. Steve Warren is our new Website Manager. Look on to see his embryo design. If you have any additions/ideas for the site please contact Steve on 711970 or We still need to find a Treasurer to join the Village Hall Committee. Although it not too onerous a role, it is very important for our financial control. For anyone interested in joining an active and enthusiastic committee please contact Geoff Dunford on 710901. 

Brayford Youth Club
for 11-16 year olds; Leaders Hilary Ayre 710352 and Nick Jefferson 740283. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 7-9 pm in the Methodist Schoolroom unless otherwise advised. Programme is worked out by the young people. They have been invited to North Molton for a Christmas dinner in early December. On 14 December a DVD night is planned and the Christmas treat on 11 January 2017 is to go to Air Extreme.

Women's Institute
We were delighted to welcome David Squires from RHS Rosemoor, whose slide show on the gardens brought added enjoyment to our merry Group Meeting. Mrs Helen Chugg brought antiques for us to see from the Edwardian era the following week and spoke with great knowledge on this subject. We took items for identification which proved to be most interesting. W.I. Ladies are now playing the occasional Skittles match, with notable success. 

Walkers meet at 11 am at the Village Hall on the last Wednesday of each month. David Kennard and his dog are joining us for our Christmas meeting, by which time we will be in the Christmas spirit, having met at The Fox and Goose for Christmas dinner the previous week. Our 2017 programme which, as always, will be full of interesting speakers and ideas is available at our Christmas meeting. Visitors are always welcome.

Brayford Academy
We are creeping closer to Christmas and there are several events which the school wish to invite you to. The children will sing Christmas songs at the Methodist Chapel on Wednesday 7 December at 10.30 am. Following this will be our Christmas community lunch served at the Village Hall on this day at1 pm. Tickets for the lunch are £5 each for adults, £2.30 for children over 4 and £1.50 for children under 4. If you would like to join us then please ring the school office on 710345 to order by Friday 2 December. The children will be performing a Christmas Nativity “Straw and Order” at High Bray Church on Wednesday 14 December. There will be two performances on this day, 2.30 pm and 6 pm. We have more children in school this Christmas than last so there will obviously be more parents and grandparents who wish to watch the performance. 

With this in mind, please could you attend just one of the performances and come to the afternoon one if you can. Thank you for your cooperation - we really want to ensure everyone has a chance to attend. The Brumble Bees unit would like to invite you to an open day on Tuesday 29 November, you can come along between 9 am and 12 pm or between 2 pm and 3.30 pm. You will have the opportunity to see the new facility and talk to Miss Mummery about the provision available, not to mention a cream tea. If you know of any parents with young children who would also be interested to find out more about Brumble Bees then please pass this message on to them.

Poltimore Arms
Congratulations to all at the Poltimore Arms, Yarde Down for making it into the 2017 Good Beer Guide. Great write up Steve and well done.

Charles Church
We are preparing for a Quiz night at the Sportsmans Inn on 26 November in aid of the repairs to the Charles Church Tower, the first of several fund raising events. Also a visit by the Archdeacon of Barnstaple on 27 November for the Holy Communion service and a breakfast to follow – an opportunity for him to meet us and for discussion with him. There will be a Family Carol Service on Sunday 18 December at 4 pmin the Church, followed by a festive tea. The storms and resulting floods, as we write, have caused havoc and distress locally. Great sympathy is extended to those flooded once again and a big thank you to those who turned out to clear the roads and drains to keep us safe. 

Methodist Church
Our concert and gift evening was most successful. West Buckland School gave an excellent performance enjoyed by a packed Church. We were grateful for the generous donations towards our expenses. John Barrow has been a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church since 1943. Gladys Barrow joined him in 1966. They have been preaching around North Devon all these years, and are now taking a well earned rest. We thank them for their commitment to this important work and their love and devotion to Brayford Chapel. There will be a Christingle United Service at 4 pm on 11 December led by Rev. Penny Lawson and our Carol Service will be at 11 am on 18 December. On 25 December there will be a United Circuit Service at Duke Street, South Molton.

High Bray Church
Thank you so much everyone who supported the appeal from Simon Rooksby for clothing, bedding, etc. He left for Serbia with a van full to the roof. We all pray he comes back to us safe and sound having delivered it himself. Our sympathy to the friends of the late Gill Brown. Gill enjoyed going to Rosemoor and loved roses and all trees. She attended High Bray Church and supported many local events. Exmoor Carollers will be at High Bray Church on Sunday 4 December at 4 pm with lots of singing, mulled wine and mince pies – the start of Christmas. Carols by Candlelight will be at 5 pm on Christmas Eve – a special time, the Church always looks wonderful so do come and join in. On Sunday 8 January, after the Three Church Service, we will be having lunch at the Poltimore Inn, North Molton. The cost is £10 for two courses. If you would like to join us please let Hilary, Gloria or Ruby know BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

From The Newsletter Editor 
Seasons greetings from all our contributors. Let’s hope the weather improves for the festive events and commiserations to all affected by the floods last weekend.


 Thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing Newsletter information.

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