News & What's On

 Issue 162   June 2018

It is hard to accept that here we are fast approaching the longest day.  Thankfully recent experience has brought some decent weather to enjoy in the increased daylight hours.  For many this has meant time in the garden trying to catch up after the late start.  In this issue we are encouraged to look ahead to the Village Show when the results of this effort are on display.  If you are short of ideas then go along to the Garden Club to experience what others have achieved.

For next month’s issue, we would appreciate items by June 20th.  Contacts, as usual, are Ron Thorne (540389) or email to  or if it is more convenient leave copy at the shop.  Thank you. 

Wed  6th 12.30 – 2.00  Drop-in Lunch in Village Hall.  Everyone welcome.
Thurs 14th  1.30  Garden Club visit the Hole Farm Garden at Woolsery.  Meet in Village Hall Car Park.
Tues  19th  1.20 – 1.50   Library Van visits Village Hall Car Park.
Mon, 25th  7.45  Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall  

The Ladies Home Group will not be meeting again until September.       
Each Tues  9.30 – 11.30   Tai Chi in Village Hall
           2 – 4pm          Short Mat Bowls in Village Hall.
Each Wed       8 – 10pm         Dance Sessions in the Village Hall.

Sun  3rd    11.00       Holy Communion  (C)
Sun 10th   11.00      Holy Communion   (W)
Sun 17th   11.00       Morning Worship   (C)
Sun 24th  11.00       Morning Worship   (W)

It may seem a long way ahead (July 28th) but the committee are already working on the detail to ensure that it is a successful village event. You will, we hope, have noticed the introduction of a not-too-serious dog show, which promises to be fun.  So get training your pets and let us have a good gathering.

The Show itself caters for such a wide range of classes that there really is something for everyone.  You don’t have to enter all the classes but you are free to put items in wherever you wish. So if you have vegetables, flowers, cookery items and/or preserves do enter. In particular the committee are keen to see as many children enter into the 'children's classes’ as possible and hope that they have provided ample opportunity for all to show their creative abilities.  Many of us delight in seeing the array of talent.

We hope that all the youngsters will enjoy the sports in the afternoon and trust that grandparents will encourage their grandchildren to take part as well.  You do not have to live in the village in order to take part.
Now is the time to start thinking about your entries.  Schedules are available from the shop, the secretary Clare at Uplands, or in digital form on  or click HERE  to the Show Page on this Blog

Yet another sunny afternoon accompanied the Garden Club to the delightful gardens of the Old Vicarage at West Anstey.

After a quick talk by the American owner on the history of the solid but graceful property 18 members and friends took off to explore the charming grounds which make full use of the steep sided valley and the flowing stream that runs through it. A series of ponds/lakes are enhanced by clever planting. The owners have a real flair for catching the eye with colour and structure. 

The Vicarage is definitely well worth a visit when it opens later in the year under the National Garden Scheme.

This month’s visit on Thursday June 14th is to Hole Farm Garden in Woolsery.  This offers a whole array of interesting features ranging from a bog garden, waterfall, ponds, vegetable garden and riverside walks through Culm grass meadows.  It also has a number of features created using stone from the original farm quarry.

These three acres should fill you with a host of ideas to bring home and use in your own garden.  An exciting prospect and all it needs now is decent weather!  Meet in the Village Hall Car Park at 1.30 pm


On May 31st we closed our fifth trading year.  Although it takes some time to pull all the figures together, the indicators are that it has been another successful year.  So thanks go to everyone who has contributed to this. In the first instance we look to the committee and volunteers who man the shop and rightly so.  But behind these are those, often unseen, who do the jobs which keep the area tidy and clean.  Thank you all.

At this time of year we have a range of local produce for sale.  It usually starts with rhubarb and this year we have had local asparagus, which has proved extremely popular.  As the year progresses we expect to have in-season produce, which includes preserves.

As a community cooperative our prime aim is not to generate profit, although we need adequate funds to operate effectively, but to represent the wishes and needs of our members.  To become a member and hence have a voice in the running of the shop you need to purchase a £5 share. Application forms are available in the shop and should be returned to the Treasurer.


This year’s sale was once again a popular and very successful event.  The early indicator is a full car park and this year there were virtually no spare spaces.  It was encouraging to see two new stall-holders and there are enquiries for next year from an additional two.  The morning raised £450 for the Hall Refurbishment Fund.  The village stall raised £114 for North Devon Hospice.  Altogether a great achievement.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this.


Some 70 members of the local parishes descended on Higher Biddacott for the Rogation-tide Service.  Thankfully the weather was good as we moved around the farm, embracing the many aspects of husbandry, before returning to the marquee to conclude the service.  The address, by a visiting clergyman who clearly understood country life, focussed on this as a time between Plough Sunday and Harvest. A time when crops are nurtured for what is hoped will be a plentiful harvest, to be responsibly used with everyone’s needs in mind.

We then enjoyed a Bring & Share lunch.  The amount and variety of food certainly meant that no-one went home hungry.  It was a real pleasure to be part of such a sociable gathering, which was able to spill outside the marquee.

A collection for the Farming Community Network realised £250.  Thank you for this generous donation to such a worthwhile and locally relevant charity.


In 2015, the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) undertook what is thought to be the largest rural policing survey ever undertaken. Over 13,000 people from rural areas, as defined by the Office of National Statistics, took part. Three years on, the NRCN are carrying out another survey to identify any changes since the last survey, progress made towards the issues which those who live or work in rural communities said were important in 2015 and determine the true personal, social and economic cost of rural crime and anti-social behaviour.     

If you would like to complete the survey you can find it online at  and it is open until Sunday 10 June.


Sadly, we have again been asked to appeal to dog owners to clear up after their pets.  It is clear that some people have not heeded previous requests.
So could all dog owners act responsibly so that we do not receive these requests in future.  Thank you.


Shortly before writing this we heard that Ray Stacey had died.  Ray will be known to many who come to the Drop-in Lunch, which he attended for many years.  He will be remembered by the ladies who serve for his enthusiasm and appetite for fish-pie.  We extend our sympathy to Averil and daughter, Jo.

‘100’ CLUB PRIZES FOR May                                                        

First Prize               M Pincombe 
Second Prizes         Mrs M Hill,
                  Debs & Brendan Steer
Third Prizes            Tracey Ashford
                  Anna Ferrari

                  Diana Lethbridge

 Note from Helen (blog admin) on behalf of all, our thanks to Ron and Anne for putting Round & About together each month