News & What's On

 Issue 150   JUNE 2017

With the Late Spring Bank Holiday and half-term an increasing number of holiday makers are in the village.  Many of these are regular visitors over many years.  It is clear that they appreciate the quiet and rural beauty, which is so often taken for granted.  To many residents, this often means business and the diary reflects this.  To Garden Club members it provides an opportunity to visit and appreciate specialist gardens.

For the July edition could we please have contributions by June 20th.  Contact, as usual, are Ron Thorne (540389), e-mail to  or you can always leave them in the shop. 
 Thank you.


Wed.         7th       12.30 – 2.00  Drop-In Lunch in Village Hall, all welcome.
Thurs.       8th       1.30              Garden Club meet in Village Hall Car Park to arrange transport for visit.
Tues.        13th      1.20 – 1.50   Library Van visits Village Hall Car Park.
Mon.        26th       7.30           Parish Council meet in Village Hall.

Each Tuesday   2 – 4 and 7 – 9 Indoor Bowls in Village Hall
Each Wednesday 6.30 – 7.30      Beginners Dance Sessions in Village Hall
            7.45 - 10         Improvers Dance Sessions

The Ladies Home Group will not meet again until September.


Sun.         4th           11.00       Whit Sunday Combined Service in South Molton Pannier Market             Sun.       11th           11.00        Holy Communion  (W)  
Sun.       18th           11.00        Morning Worship   (C)
Sun.       25th            11.00         Family Worship     (W)

As widely predicted, the North Devon Council Planning Committee approved the application for 58 chalets and extension to the hotel at their meeting on May 10th.
Several Parish Councillors and others had worked diligently to prepare submissions to the Committee encapsulating the concerns expressed at the various public meetings.  Regrettably, these appeared to be discounted in arriving at the decision. So much for localism!
The group who worked on behalf of the village deserve a very big THANK YOU.  A significant factor was that Devon County Highways had changed their recommendations and now saw no issues with access to the village for the increased traffic.  The challenge is now to preserve the quality of life within the community, which most residents see  to be under threat.

The Annual Meeting was held in the Hall on Thursday May 25th.  Reports for the past year were most encouraging.  There had been an increase in usage, both regular and occasional, with a surplus of some £2,500 thanks to fundraising events.  Looking ahead to the autumn and beyond it is planned to see the return of Cadence Band and Oggle Band, also the possibility of a Big Breakfast.  Next summer the possibility of an Open Gardens and Cream Teas is being explored.  This depends on sufficient gardens being available.  If you feel that you could open your garden do get in touch with Spence (540605).  There is no commitment at this stage.
The Officers for the coming year are Chairman, Spence Seaman, Secretary, Sue Churcher and Treasurer, Irene Emery.
Finally the committee would welcome new members and if you would be prepared to help in any way, please do get in touch.  The continued success of the hall relies heavily on people prepared to lend-a-hand.

This year’s sale proved successful raising £379 for the Village Hall while the stall run by villagers raised £171 for North Devon Hospice.  The number of visitors was marginally down on recent years but sales were again brisk.  The move to use the Committee Room for refreshments proved very popular and allowed an extra stallholder in the main hall.
Thank you to everyone who worked to prepare, run and clear up and a particular thank you to the stall-holders who once again rose to the occasion in providing such an array of plants.

Heather Petherick's talk on beekeeping in May was one of the best talks that the garden club had ever received. 
She had so much interesting information to impart interspersed with amusing anecdotes that the evening flew by. Washed down with glasses of mead and tastes of various types of honey an enjoyable evening was had by all.
The visit this month is to the garden of Martin & Judy Ash at Fremington.  This is a ¾ acre garden, surrounding a thatched mill house and bordered by Fremington water.  The stepped ups and downs and ins and outs give the visitor surprises around every corner.  There is so much on a small scale; bridges, borders, ponds, walkways, rockery, terracing, lawns, bog garden, quarry garden, wild garden, a small gallery and if all that isn’t enough there is also a henge.
Members wishing to share transport please meet on Thursday 8th June in Village Hall car park at 1:30pm.

The date for the Show is now approaching fast.  Schedules are available in the shop or from Show Committee members (or online here).  There is a wide array of classes, which cater for a variety of interests.  You don’t need to enter a whole list of classes.  In fact there is a real buzz in getting a red card in any class.  So why not give it a try.  You could be surprised! 
If you have any queries or just want to know more then please get in contact with Clare (540242).

May 31st marked the end of our fourth trading year and although it takes some time to finalise the accounts, indications are that this will again be a successful year.  Over this time we have seen numerous changes but we still look for ways in which we can better meet the needs of the residents. Our constitution clearly sets out that we are to benefit the community.  Over the years one thing has not changed and that is that the shop operates completely with volunteers.  We have been most fortunate in having a very dedicated group of people who ensure that things run smoothly.  However we would welcome new members.  If you could spare a few hours even on an ad hoc basis then do get in touch.  You may well find that you enjoy the experience. 

The visit of the fishmonger on Wednesday afternoons (4.30 – 5 pm) is proving quite popular.  He has an extensive range of fresh and smoked fish together with fish products.  There is no need to pre-order.  Reports received are very positive on the quality of the product.

 Church members together with those from other churches in the group joined the Methodists and the Umberleigh Fellowship to celebrate Rogationtide at Brightley Barton on Sunday May 28th.  Some 80 people were present. While most visitors visited various parts of the farm, there was a complementary service in the large barn.  Despite somewhat alarming weather forecasts, we enjoyed sunshine and a pleasantly warm morning. 
The Methodist Church are to be congratulated on their organisation while thanks must go Kate and Chris Pouncey for providing such an appropriate venue.  The Service was followed by a Bring & Share Lunch which offered a wide and very tempting array of dishes.  This concluded a very enjoyable social occasion.  
The collection during the Service realised £300 which went to the Farming Community Network Charity to alleviate stress and distress across the agricultural sector.

Margaret Thorne died recently. The Funeral and Thanksgiving Service for her life was held on Friday May 26th.
Margaret was a very loyal, much loved and respected member of the Chapel.  However many will always associate her with the Nursery which she ran with her husband in the village.  The diversity and quality of the plants were staggering and attracted visitors from a wide area.  But of greater value was the helpful advice and the sincerity with which it was offered. 
She will be sadly missed.  Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Maurice and the family.  May she rest in peace.

First Prize Sarah & Peter Holland
Second Prizes Mr & Mrs Stapleton
Marilyn Wailes-Fairburn
Third Prizes Dan Adams
Mr & Mrs Arscott
Diana Lethbridge

16th century fishmonger by
Bartolomeo Passarotti
The fishmonger van visits the shop every Wednesday from 4.30 – 5 pm. Initial response has been encouraging and hopefully this will be a viable service.