News & What's On

 Issue 157   January 2018


Thank you everyone for sending your contributions on time. It is more helpful in compiling at what is invariably a busy time.  Looking through the items there is much to celebrate but there are challenges on the horizon.  The expected assistance in strengthening the village community now appears to be delayed for an indefinite period and once again we will have to be self-sufficient.
Items for next month’s issue should reach us by January 20th.  Contacts, as always, are Ron Thorne (540389), e-mail to  or just leave them in the shop, whichever is most convenient.  Thank you.


Tues.    2nd     1.20 - 1.50       Library Van visits Village Hall Car Park
Wed.   10th    12.30 – 2.00    Drop-in Lunch in Village Hall.  Everyone welcome.
Wed.   17th     1.30 – 3.00     Ladies Home Group meet at Chapelgate. 
Thurs.  18th  6.30 for 7 pm   Garden Club Dinner at Higher Biddacott.
Sat.       20th   7.30                  Ceilidh with the ‘Ogle Band’ in the Village Hall
Sun.     28th    1pm                  Plough Sunday Lunch in Village Hall
Mon.   29th     7.30                 Parish Council meets in Village Hall.
Tues    30th     1.20 – 1.50     Library Van visits Village Hall Car Park
Wed.   31st                                Ladies Home Group Lunch at The Bell,   details from Barbara (540216)


Sun.  7th      11.00        Holy Communion (C)          
Sun.  14th    11.00        Holy Communion  (W)                              
Sun.  21st    11.00        Family Worship  (C) 
Sun.  28th    11.00        Plough Sunday Service   (W)

The December meeting was a thoroughly enjoyable social gathering with plenty of food and mulled wine to celebrate thirty-five years of the club's existence. Several of our previous speakers were invited to join us.
Unfortunately the Ashreigney Handbell Ringers were unable to entertain us, due to illness, so we had an Alan Titchmarsh quiz instead, which even tested the professionals.
We start the New Year with our Annual Dinner which will be held at Higher Biddacott Farm, Chittlehampton on Thursday 18th January 2018.  Details of the menu were circulated to all members in December.  The completed forms, indicating the menu choices, together with full payment should be returned to our treasurer, Val Hummerstone no later than 11th January 2018.

Thank you to all the ladies who prepared and served the Christmas Lunch.  It was good to have so many of the village together. Sadly a number of regulars were indisposed but it was possible to send meals to most of them.  Thank you for the many kind messages of appreciation.
The January lunch is on Wednesday 10th, as the normal date (first Wednesday of the month) falls so close to the New Year holiday. As mentioned last month the charge is increased to £5 reflecting the increased cost of ingredients.  Otherwise everything remains the same.

The very popular local ‘Ogle Band’ will return to the Village Hall on Saturday January 20th for a Ceilidh.  This band have appeared here several times in the past for what have been very enjoyable evenings.  In fact, if you are not in the mood to dance, their music is ideal to just listen to.
Dancing is from 7.30 until 11.30 and tickets cost £10.  These are available in the shop or from Mike Hopkins-Burt (540057), Debs Steer (540325) or Nikki Seaman (540605).  There is a Bring & Share Supper and a bar serving wine, beer and soft drinks.  Tickets will  be available on the door.  There will also be a raffle. All proceeds go to the Restoration Fund.
The upkeep of the hall is a costly business requiring both dedication and perseverance and above all a vision, which keeps it relevant to community needs.  Anyone prepared to rise to this challenge will be most welcome to join the committee.  Do contact Spence on 540605.

December has been an interesting month in a variety of ways.  The sales, which had risen in November, maintained this increased level.  This is most encouraging as it further strengthens the shop as a business with a long-term future.
At the beginning of November, certain committee members entered the shop in the People’s Choice of the Community Co-operative Awards.  These are presented annually to enterprises or persons who have made a significant contribution to the life of their community.  The member’s application cited the efforts of Ron Thorne and this was shortlisted by the sponsors.  The short list of three was then opened to an on-line ballot.  At the Awards Ceremony in London on December 6th the application was announced as the winner with 48% of the votes cast. So once again the Community Shop has been highlighted as outstanding among community ventures across the UK. Thank you to everyone who voted for us, which underlines the strength of community spirit.

The volume of mail handled before Christmas was the highest since we opened. We experienced problems in obtaining sufficient stamps on time and we apologise to those who were unable to obtain the necessary stamps.
Finally, the Christmas Squares competition was won by Amanda Johnstone, who received £67.

Earlier this year various groups in the village were invited to submit proposals on how the money sourced from the Section 106, relating to this planning approval could be used.  We now understand that this money will not, as envisaged, be paid up front but will be available in three stages.  The first payment will be made once fifteen chalets are occupied, so the timing is uncertain.  The Parish Council are disturbed by this decision of North Devon Council.
On the surface, it now appears that the benefits which were anticipated will only happen through community efforts.
 (the agenda for the next meeting will be available here asap)

Warkleigh Church will celebrate Plough Sunday on January 28th at 11 am.  In the past this marked the beginning of the farming year, with winter ploughing and spring sowing.  This has now changed but many areas continue the tradition.
There will be a Luncheon on Sunday January 28th in the Village Hall which everyone is welcome to attend.  There is no need to attend the Service although you would be most welcome if you did.
To book for lunch, cost £15, please contact Jan (540533) by January 19th, at the latest.
Some people may have seen notices with Pauline Elworthy as the contact.  Pauline is at present moving and possibly will not be contacted on 540295 as previously noted.

Carols by Candlelight has become a firm fixture in the Village Calendar.
This year we had the pleasure of the company and singing of the ‘Making Waves Choir’ from Chittlehampton.
Thank you to everyone who came along to this and gave generously to raise £260 for Shelter Box.

Carol singing in the Exeter Inn raised a further £50 for the same cause.  Thank you for this support, which will help Shelter Box respond to the many calls on their services.


First Prize           Mrs Winson
Second Prizes    Deluca Mussington,Freya & Lily Wright                  
Third Prizes       Deanne Boucher, Derek Guard, Mr & Mrs Sam Wright              

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