Sheepwash Chronicle Spring 2016

sheepwasher

The Sheepwash Chronicle is a magazine for and about the residents of the little village of Sheepwash in Devon.

Issue 115 Spring 2016


Editorial – Your Chronicle Still Needs You!

Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback on our last issue, and an even bigger thank you to all who

have sent us contributions for this one!

Remember, we need your input to make the Chronicle what you want it to be. You can do this in lots of

ways:





Give us your news – what has happened since the last issue, and what will be happening in the

next few months. We want to hear about special birthdays, anniversaries, new arrivals and

departures, forthcoming events - anything and everything that is of interest to you and/or your

neighbours.

Send us a contribution. We don’t want your money! We do want interesting articles, photographs,

drawings, cartoons, jokes, puzzles, poems, and stories – anything that will help to make the

Chronicle a “good read”. We accept contributions on paper, electronically, or even verbally!

Write a regular column. We would love to hear from anyone who would like to write a regular

column on a hobby such as gardening or cooking, or country diary notes, or observations on village

life, or anything else which will give our readers practical advice, or just bring a smile to their faces.

Give us your feedback. For years the Chronicle has been something we’ve all looked forward to

receiving and reading, and we want to keep it that way, and make it even better. We can only do

that if you tell us what you think of it, and give us your ideas.

We will both be delighted to hear from you. Our contact details are on the back cover, so please get in

touch. The deadline for contributions for the next issue is 20 th May, but the earlier you get them to us the

better!

The Cover Photo

The picture of early spring primroses on our front cover was taken by Jo Driver on one of her regular

walks by the river. The pictures on the back cover were taken by Jane Jackson and Chris.

If you take any good pictures this spring, please send them to us – one of them could be on next year’s

cover!

Contents of this issue

Page

What’s Been Happening? 3 If You Are Ever Near Liskeard ... 23

What’s Coming Up? 7 The Bluebell Walk 24

Notices 14 Dates For Your Diary 41

Your Letters 16 Useful Contacts 42

Spring Thoughts 17 Bus Timetables 43

Tales From the Deep Blue 18 Spring Photo Montage 44

Wartime Escape From Paris 20

Page

Deadline for the next issue

Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 20 th May, to ensure it

is included in the June (Summer) issue of the Chronicle.

2


Lots of things have been going on in the village since the last issue hit the streets.

The Spring Village Lunch

The tables were beautifully decorated for Spring, with plenty of daffodils to brighten the Village Hall.

Despite a few power cuts in the morning, everything went very well, and forty diners sat down to a

wonderful lunch of roast gammon and vegetables, followed by very tasty puddings.

Thank you to everyone who helped with the lunch, provided puddings, and supported the raffle.

The next lunch will be in June. Look out for posters nearer the time!

Anne and Martin Gray

The Table Top Fair

The Table Top Fair in the Village Hall on 20 th February was well attended in spite of the atrocious weather.

Plenty of tea and hot bacon rolls warmed everyone up!

A welcome addition this time were Sally Pooley’s Cup Cakes – long may she bake … mmmmm, delicious!

£105 was raised for Village Hall Funds.

The sale is almost always held on the third Saturday of each month, so look out for posters.

Anne Gray

Village Hall Committee

3


Potholes Annihilated!

For a long time, North Street has had more potholes than flat

surface along its length. But in just three days in February, all

that changed.

In a process resembling scenes from a steampunk movie,

involving flames, smoke, the rumble of heavy vehicles, and the

smell of hot tar, South West Highways transformed what had

almost been like a badly-ploughed field into a flawlessly smooth

surface that is a joy to drive and walk on.

Residents of North Street were impressed with the speed and

efficiency of the crew, and the attention to detail taken in

finishing the road edges – an excellent job!

Paulette was so impressed, she even took a whole series of

photographs to record the pristine view along the full length!

Sheepwash Rainfall

Rainfall in inches January February Yearly Total

2016

Charles, East Street

7.40

5.80

13.20

Graham, Middlecott

7.87

5.27

13.14

2015

Charles, East Street

8.70

4.00

12.70

Graham, Middlecott

7.32

3.40

10.72

We have all complained what a horrible wet winter it has been. In fact, rainfall for the four months from

November to February has been just about average, and certainly not nearly so wet as two years ago - the

winter of the Somerset floods.

What has been really unusual is the exceptionally warm temperatures and the lack of sunshine.

Charles Inniss and Graham Tidball

4


Our Community Shop and Post Office

We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Christine and Roger White and Anna Jones for helping to get the shop

off the ground again in 2001, and for successfully keeping it going for the past 15 years.

We wouldn’t have a shop now if it wasn’t for these folks – they’ve put in hours and hours (and hours and

hours) of work over the years, both in the shop and behind the scenes.

Any modest early profits made were either reinvested in the fixtures, fittings, and maintenance of the shop,

or carried forward into later years to offset losses made when trading became more difficult.

THANK YOU again, enjoy your (soon to be found) free time, and we’ll look forward to seeing you in the

shop and Post Office, but this time on the other side of the counter!

* * *

Following the open public meeting held on 17 th February, a new Shop Team has been formed, and many

welcome offers of help came from the floor.

The shop will remain open!

Hopefully, the Post Office will too. Caroline has stepped forward to take on the role of sub-postmistress if

Post Office Limited agrees to us keeping the Post Office.

In terms of staffing levels, all will hinge on whether or not the Post Office continues - there will be a Plan A

and a Plan B.

Frank Cheshire is staying on to help Caroline and the new team, who are Simon and Helen Crossley, Bruce

Knight, Vinny, Sheila Fox, David Manning, Michael Francis, and Alison Ansell. Linda Trace and Paul Wheeler

have also offered to help.

This new group of people will help Caroline with buying stock and running the shop, with stocktaking, the

annual accounts and VAT, the PAYE system, cashing up, banking, and cleaning the shop, volunteering as

shop assistants, and all other aspects of running the shop – no doubt there are things that we’ve missed.

We still need more people to help by volunteering as shop assistants.

Being a shop assistant is actually good fun, you get to meet a wide range of people from the village and

around and about, and we won’t throw you in at the deep end – we’ll show you how things work, and work

with you while you get the hang of it. Let us know if you’re interested, please.

Simon Crossley and Alison Ansell

Our Community Shop

Far from the supermarkets stands OUR SHOP;

So close to hand, and cheerful, serving all

Who cross the threshold, never down to fall

Unless to stumble o’er the generous crop

Of goodies on display, for all to find

By careful search, since items are not

Always instantly to hand but a lot

Hide on the floor, ‘til fortune ever kind

Brings them to light. Oh! Happy Day indeed!

Dear Caroline, dear Christine and dear Rog

To whom our cries for help ought we to plead?

The SHOP as part of Sheepwash must not fall

Into the hands of greedy companies.

Sheepwashians! Cry, ‘Save our SHOP’ for All!

Raymond Snow

Mayfly Cottage, South Street

5


Our Newest Sheepwasher

Albie Gray Knight was born at 5.08 a.m. on 6 th January in Exeter

hospital. He weighed in at 8lb 9oz.

He now lives very happily in North Street with his Mum and Dad,

Nikki and Bruce.

Welcome to the world, and to the village!

See page 18 in this Chronicle for an insight into Bruce’s world of

work, underwater in the North Sea.

Dick Whittington and his Cat

The annual trip to the HATS Pantomime in Holsworthy

took place in February this year, and as usual a good time

was had by all. Charles delegated responsibility for the

coach load of 29 souls to John Newcombe, who took to it

with his usual cheerfulness - he even managed to count us

correctly both on the way there and back! Thank you,

John. Also many thanks to the Bridgeland Trust, and, in

particular, Charles Inniss for the organisation.

This year’s production was distinguished by a very strong

singing cast, who all gave their best in solo or chorus

numbers. As ever, the staging and costumes were

excellent - of a professional standard - and the music was

well led with skill by the “orchestra”.

A look at the programme will tell you how much effort goes into the Holsworthy panto, not just from the

cast, but also from the production team of over fifty people. Well done HATS!

Scene setting at the beginning of a panto can be very difficult, and there was little booing or hissing at the

Baddy (Queen Rat) throughout the whole first half. In fact it only really came to full life when the chorus got

stuck into a lively rendition of “OOM PAH PAH”.

The storyline is Dick Whittington (Hannah Cook) and his cat seeking fame, fortune, and a girl in London

(ending up as Mayor), being let astray by baddies (Rats in this case), but Dick and his cat defeat the Rats

and love conquers all.

There was a lot to admire about the show, the singing in particular. There were particularly good

performances from Colin Burton as Sultan Peppa and Crispin King as Captain Cutlass.

In the second half the pace was much better, and special mention must be made of Lesley Wonnacott’s

portrayal of Queen Rat.

The songs really came into their own in this half, with Michael Jackson ‘s Bad being well done by Queen Rat

and Rats. In the finale, with It’s a Good Day and Don’t Stop Me Now, the entire cast got us all singing away.

As ever, the production signed off with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem.

Great fun as always. I am sure we will all be back next year to see what HATS put before us.

David Manning

6


There are lots of things happening over the next couple of months.

Sallyann Barham

Sallyann’s daughter Hayley has posted the following message on Facebook:

On Saturday Spencer and I received the awful news that our Mum passed away. As it is the 21st century we

thought the best way to notify as many people as possible about her funeral in a short space of time would

be to announce it on Facebook.

Mum's celebration of life will be at Barnstaple Crematorium on Thursday 31 st March at 12.20 p.m.

Bright colours to be worn please, to match Mum's personality.

There will be family flowers only with any donations that would like to be made to Age Concern UK c/o

Norman Lock & Son, Black Torrington. XOX.

Our Visit to Windsor Castle

Sheepwash Ladies Skittles

Several people in the village have said they would

like to see the DVD of our visit to Windsor Castle last

September, when Charles attended the investiture

ceremony to receive his MBE from Prince William.

We are arranging a little do in the Village Hall on

Friday 8th April starting at 7.30 p.m. to show

the DVD and talk about the day.

All are welcome so please join us to recall and

celebrate a memorable occasion! There will be

some light refreshments.

Charles and Muriel

At the time of writing we have only a couple of matches left to play before the end of the season. We’ve

enjoyed lots of very good evenings, even though the scores haven’t been very high!

Unfortunately, we’re struggling to get enough players for our next season, beginning in September, so if

anyone would like to play, you would be made most welcome - it would be a great pity if this turned out to

be our last year just because we don’t have enough players. We are a friendly group of ladies of all ages,

and we look on our skittles evenings as times of good fun!

Each team plays with six people, and ideally there will be a pool of eight or more players per team, so not

everyone is required to play every Thursday (September to March). We would really love new players to

come along – no experience necessary.

If you would like to give it a try, just get in touch with either Sheila Fox (231649) or Helen Orr (231199).

Helen Orr

Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org

7


What’s Happening in the Village Hall?

Back by popular demand!

Saturday 21 st May at 8.30 p.m.

Big Al and the

Wild Strawberries

Tickets are £8 per person

(which includes nibbles and a pasty)

All proceeds from these events will go to the Village Hall, apart from the Barn Dance, where the proceeds

will be split between the Village Hall, the Community Shop and St Lawrence Church.

For more information please speak to Anne or Denise, and look out for future posters and details in the

Chronicle.

Anne and Denise

Bring your own drinks

Raffle prizes welcome

Tickets can be obtained from Anne on

01409 231231

This was a sell out last year so don’t delay

in buying your tickets!

EVENTS TO PUT IN

YOUR DIARY

Saturday 21st May

Big Al and the

Wild Strawberries

Saturday 4th June

Wine & Wisdom

Saturday 6th August

Stick the Fiddle – Barn Dance

(there will be a marquee in the park)

Saturday 22nd October

70s Disco

Saturday 3rd December

Games Night

(with fish and chips)

Plant Sale at the Table Top Fair

Jan Burden will be raising money for the Community Shop by holding a Plant Sale at the Village Hall on

Saturday 16 th April from 10.00 a.m. until Noon.

Contributions of plants for sale will be very welcome.

Please label plants clearly and take them to Jan and Jeremy’s house (called The Village House) in East Street

in advance of the sale.

Deadline for the next issue

Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 20 th May, to ensure it

is included in the June (Summer) issue of the Chronicle.

8


Puddle-jumping in Pizzendown

The little village of Pizzendown on Dartmoor is officially the wettest place in Devon.

Instead of letting this rainy state of affairs dampen their spirits, the villagers choose to celebrate their

sogginess with an annual puddle-jumping competition, which this year is being held on the first Friday in

April.

Over the years, the event has developed from a simple leaping and splashing activity to a proper

competition with complex judging criteria and its own strange vernacular for the various stylistic moves,

successes, and failures – a clean jump over a large puddle is called a “flair loop”, whereas too much limb

movement while in the air will be marked down as a “poor flail”, and landing with a splash on the edge of a

puddle is a “lo pro fail”.

But only a very few real enthusiasts take it that seriously. Although there is an overall champion, the judges

also award spot prizes to any participant of any age who catches their eye – a toddler can win a prize for

creating the biggest splash, and a pensioner can win one for an unusual use of a walking stick!

You don’t need to understand all the terms or the subtleties of the rules to enjoy the spectacle or have a go

yourself – it’s really all about having fun in spite of the wet weather.

Flora Poil, last year’s overall champion, executes

a perfect “flair loop” during her winning run.

Everyone can join in – even the crowd control

officers!

Last year’s overall champion, Flora Poil, said, “I’ve lived in Pizzendown all my life, and I’ve always enjoyed

this – it’s the one day in the year when you can be a complete fool. Everyone who can should come along

and be a fool for a morning!”

Even if you think you don’t want to join in, the sight of several hundred people of all ages and abilities

leaping and laughing and splashing over and into the puddles along the course around the village is bound

to make you smile and laugh along with them – and probably decide you will join in after all!

So pack your wellies into the car and head over to Pizzendown on the morning of the first Friday in April –

it’ll all be over by noon, so an early start is advised.

It’s definitely worth the trip - because there’s nothing more powerful than a smile to brighten up the early

April weather!

Chris Bell

Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org

9


Buckland Filleigh

Cider & Pasty Walk

A guided walk is being held on

Sunday 17 th April 2016

1.30 for a 2pm start at Buckland Filleigh Hall

Approx 2½ hours

Adults, children, and well behaved dogs on

leads are all welcome

Drinks will be provided at the halfway point,

pasty on return at the village hall

Adults - £5 / Children under 10 - £3

For further info and to book your place for

catering numbers

Please call Vron – 281535 / Adrian 281558

Merton Vintage and All Classic proceeds Vehicle to the village Rally hall

Sunday 1 st May 2016

11.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

See over 100 Vintage and Classic Cars, Motorcycles, Tractors

and more.......

1950 OB Bedford Bus Rides Arena Events Cream Teas

Rolls Royce Rides Repto Bug Man BBQ and Bar

Craft Stalls Art Exhibition Local Produce Stalls

Fairground Rides Live Music Hockings Ice Cream

Admission: £3

Under 16’s: £1

Under 5’s: FREE

A GREAT FAMILY DAY OUT – NOT TO BE MISSED!!

For more information regarding this fantastic event in it’s 8 th Year contact:

Vehicles – Tony: 01805 603400 Stalls, etc. – Janette: 01805 603604 email: mertonrally@googlemail.com

Merton is on the A386 between Torrington and Hatherleigh

10


Hatherleigh Cricket Club Season 2016

New Players, Helpers, and Supporters always welcome.

After last year’s highly successful season, in which we finished strongly in the Devon League “A” Division,

and won the North Devon Sunday League for the second year in a row, everyone at Hatherleigh CC is

eagerly looking forward to the new season.

The longer evenings enabling net practice to begin outdoors (on Tuesday 29 th March); the smell of new

mown grass; linseed oil on bats; the sound of leather on willow; all of this heralds Spring, with Summer not

too far round the corner.

This year Hatherleigh CC have engaged the services of another New Zealander, Mattie Thomas, to help the

1 st XI establish themselves in Devon League ”A” Division and hopefully go on to Premier League Cricket in

the near future. Like Carl Schwarz, Mattie is a well-qualified coach, and we are expecting him to help with

all areas of the coaching set-up, particularly the Ladies and Junior sections.

In 2016 Hatherleigh have decided to expand to three teams in the Devon league on Saturdays and two

teams in the North Devon League on Sunday. This is in addition to the midweek evening league- the

Buckley Cup in T20 format. With several midweek friendlies, mainly against touring sides, there is always

something going on at the club.

We are always looking for new players of all ages, experience and ability. If you do not wish to play

we would love you to come and support - you will be made most welcome. Bar facilities are available on all

match days and practice nights throughout the season, and the club’s teas are legendary if you fancy an

afternoon watching with refreshments to boot.

Watching cricket at Hatherleigh on a lovely summer’s afternoon or evening is a pleasure not to be missed!

Women/Girls

The women/girls teams mainly play on Sundays, with practice on Monday nights at 6.30 p.m. All are

welcome.

Last season the 1 st team went unbeaten throughout the season, so they have a real challenge to keep up

that standard.

Juniors

Junior coaching and matches make up the full picture of this thriving community club. Junior cricket

practice is as follows:



The 8 - 10 year old group will meet every Saturday from 10.30 a.m. until 12 noon.

The 11 - 15 year olds will practice every Friday from 6.30 p.m. until 8.30 p.m.

Formal registration for all ages will be at 6.30 p.m. on Friday 15 th April. Please come along and see if

cricket is for you - we are sure you will enjoy it. For more details please contact Charles Inniss on 01409

231237.

And it all begins ...

The season gets going formally on Saturday 16 th April with a fixture away at Shobrooke Park (wonderful

setting near Crediton), and from then on every weekend at Hatherleigh.

Pick up a full fixture list at the Community Shop, or from Charles Inniss or myself. We would love to have

your support.

Let’s hope for a great summer!

David Manning

01409 231176

11


Quiz Nights at the Half Moon

Quiz nights at the Half Moon are normally held on every second Sunday in the month, but in February that

would clash with Valentine’s Day, so the next two quizzes will be held on 10 th April and 8 th May.

It only costs £2 per person, and all of that goes to fund village activities. It’s a real fun quiz, so come and

have an evening of pure enjoyment!

Sheepwash Snooker Club

Perhaps those of you who have recently moved into the village are unaware that we

have one of the best full-size snooker tables in North Devon.

The Snooker Room is situated at the rear of the Village Hall. The club needs more

members so that the facility is used more regularly. The table is always available for

use, and in the winter we enter two teams in the local snooker league.

If you would like more details, or even better would like to come and have a game,

contact the Secretary, Charles Inniss, on 01409 231237 or e-mail charles.inniss@btinternet.com.

Members practice every Sunday evening, so why not come along and join us. We look forward to seeing

you!

Charles Inniss

Play Table Tennis in the Village Hall

We have everything you need for a game of table tennis in the Village Hall. Only £5 for an hour.

Great exercise and family fun.

Phone Sheila on 231649 or Anne on 231231 to book.

Mobile Library

The mobile library now calls once a month. It arrives in the Square on a Tuesday at 1.55 p.m. and

departs at 2.40 p.m.

The next dates it will call are 5 th April and 3 rd and 31 st May.

Food Bank Donations Welcome

A Food Bank box is situated at the back of St Lawrence Church. Tins of soup, baked beans, tomatoes, fish,

meat, fruit, etc. will be gratefully accepted for people in crisis.

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ANY PERISHABLE FOOD.

All the items donated will be taken to Torrington for distribution.

Deadline for the next issue

Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 20 th May, to ensure it

is included in the June (Summer) issue of the Chronicle.

12


Easter Services in Sheepwash

Easter Sunday 27 th March:

Good Friday 25 th March at 10.00 a.m.

The “Procession of the Cross,” beginning in the

Baptist Church, then to St Lawrence Church, into

the Square, and finishing in the Methodist

Church.

Saturday 26 th March at 8.00 p.m.

Easter Vigil at St Lawrence Church.

11.00 a.m. Methodist Church.

2.45 p.m. Baptist Church

6.30 p.m. St Lawrence Church

Church and Chapel News

All are welcome to join in these Services

St LAWRENCE CHURCH service times are displayed on the Church Notice Boards and the shop

window. The Torridge Team LINK magazine is produced every month and is available in the church.

METHODIST CHURCH news and information about services can be found on Chapel Cottage’s garage

doors, adjacent to the Church in South Street. We meet for worship most Sundays at 11.00 a.m. - a warm

welcome to all.

BAPTIST CHAPEL Our usual Sunday service is at 2.45 p.m. – see the noticeboard for further details. On

the first Sunday of each month (except November) we meet with the Anglicans and Methodists for a joint

act of worship. You would be most welcome to join us at any of these services.

Friends of St. Lawrence’s Church

For more information about the Friends of St Lawrence’s Church, phone me on 01409 231680, or email

Martin at martinwarren535@btinternet.com.

Mike Ritson

Making Money From Used Stamps

Even in this electronic era of emails and texts, we all still receive letters, many of which have stamps on

the envelope. These stamps are still valuable, even though you can’t re-use them to post another letter

– philatelists all over the world are keen to collect them.

There is a box in the community shop where you can deposit your used stamps. All stamps deposited

there will help raise funds for the Children’s Hospice South West.

So please save all your used stamps, and drop them into the box next time you’re in the shop. All

contributions will be very gratefully received, and this simple act can achieve a lot of good!

Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org

13


Our New Community Support Officer

PCSO Emma Tomkies will now be the Community

Support Officer for Sheepwash parish, as well as other

Holsworthy Rural Areas.

She has been a PCSO for Holsworthy Town for the last

six years, and has recently swapped areas with PCSO

Mark JAMES due to a role change.

Emma is more than happy to attend any meetings and

events that you would like her to, and can offer free

security and safety advice for a wide range of

audiences, or just a chance to meet your local officer.

If you would like any attendance or contact then

please feel free to contact her - PCSO 30538 Emma

Tomkies via 101 (non emergency number) or

30538@dc.police.uk.

She is looking forward to meeting all the residents of

Sheepwash, so please stop and speak to her if you see

her out and about.

Many thanks,

PCSO 30538 Emma Tomkies

Holsworthy Police Station, Well Park, Western Road, Holsworthy, Devon, EX22 6DH

Tel: 01409 259461 or call 101 for all non-urgent Police enquiries.

Join us on Facebook - Holsworthy Neighbourhood Police.

The Bridgeland Trust

Helping Young People

The Trust is keen to assist young people who may wish to participate in extra-school activities which have

educational benefits. These may be trips organised by the school or other organisations - scouts and guide

camps come to mind.

We are aware that these are often expensive, and the Trust would like to help. Each case would be treated

on its merits, and, of course, funds are limited, so a contribution rather than full cost coverage is to be

expected.

Applications in writing should be made to the Trust Clerk - Simon Crossley (Tel: 231757)

Power Cuts

To report an issue with your power, call Western Power Distribution on 0800 365 900.

If you have a general enquiry, call 0845 724 0240 or email info@westernpower.co.uk.

14


Sheepwash Sandwich Board on Facebook

Since launching our village page on Facebook, the group has so far

attracted 57 members from Sheepwash and a few members from

the surrounding villages of Black Torrington and Shebbear.

The page has already proven useful. We have shared news about

the state of the river and the recent black ice, which was very handy

for travellers over the Christmas period and those having to drive in

the early mornings. Members have also posted up-to-the-minute

news on road conditions between Sheepwash, Okehampton,

Holsworthy, and beyond.

News of lost sheep, Blake House Surgery hours, requests and offers of help, business promotions, general

information, and even some lost Christmas presents have all been posted on the Board.

Village hall events and the monthly pub quiz have all received their deserved space, and other news of local

events and information is very much encouraged.

Please do join in - the Sandwich Board is a useful tool to have and it will only get better as it grows.

If you are already on Facebook and would like to join the group, please find the page and send your

request.

If you are not on Facebook, but would like to join the group, or if you are unsure how to start, please get in

touch with one of the Chronicle editors and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction - there are

plenty of folk to help!

Fire and Rescue

At Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service we recognise the vulnerabilities of our rural communities

and the difficulties of reaching everyone with our fire and road safety messages and the services we offer

free of charge.

Please see below some links to our website home page and a link giving our free home safety visit number

(0800 05 02 999) which also offers a free alarm.

Our website is www.dsfire.gov.uk.

You can find the number for the free home fire safety visit and free alarm at:

www.dsfire.gov.uk/YourSafety/SafetyInTheHome/Index.cfm?siteCategoryId=4&T1ID=35

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Government Organization is at:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/Dsfireupdates

Fire Kills Government Organization is at : https://www.facebook.com/#!/firekills?fref=ts

If your community has a Facebook page, please would you “like” our Facebook links, which will then give

your members up to date regular and local information relating to road and fire safety.

If you would like to be included on our press releases, which offer reminders and information, please let me

know and I will be happy to include your details in the circulation.

I hope this is useful information and if there is anything further I can do to help, do please get in touch.

Kind regards

Caroline Anderson

Crew Manager Bideford Group

Tel: 01237 423859 Mobile: 07800 555340

Central Command (Bideford Group), Bideford Station, Old Town, Bideford EX39 3BH

15


Our Village Shop is a Valuable Amenity

Sarah and I attended the open meeting regarding the future of the village shop on Wednesday 17 th

February, and near the end of the meeting I was asked the following question, but not as a resident, as an

estate agent!

Question: Does having a village shop increase the value of our homes?

Answer: Negligible.

I can still hear the murmuring and feel the stares within the village hall!

I did respond very quickly with my short answer, but I was not expecting to be asked a direct question -

maybe I should have been sitting at the committee table!

After the meeting a couple of people approached me with their own thoughts, with one resident tapping

me on my shoulder whilst I was talking to someone else about it and saying words along the lines of, “That

was the wrong answer”!

So should I have said yes? No, but I feel I need to respond via the Chronicle to clarify my answer as an

estate agent.

A village shop, a renowned pub, fishing available on a nearby river, and a pretty village square (to name but

a few attractions) do not really add much value to an individual home, but what they do is enhance the

appeal of a village to some buyers due to their own individual requirements.

To be honest, when we talk to buyers about what they are looking for within a village location they will

normally ask, “Is there broadband, is it near/on a floodplain, and are there regular bus services?” It is very

rare we get asked about a village shop, and this is probably due to the fact that many buyers know village

shops have been in decline over the last ten years. Obviously, we will mention any shops, pubs, pop up

cafes, trails, etc., and then these become added benefits for buyers.

Consider these examples:





A Waitrose in Okehampton has not added value to the properties there, but does bring buyers into

the area and nearby villages.

We bought our home in the village seven years ago, and it was the location of the village and our

home which brought us to Sheepwash. Of course the other village benefits were a bonus, but we

did not have to pay over the odds for the property because of these amenities.

If the train station in Okehampton was fully operational for commuters then prices in the town

would increase, and this could filter out to nearby villages.

So just to reiterate - these amenities will significantly help the “saleability”, but will not necessarily

increase the value of a property.

I hope this clarifies my position - if not, I would be pleased to discuss this with any individual at any time.

Sarah and I want the village shop to remain open, and hence we attended this very important meeting. We

personally wish to thank the current committee and volunteers for all their hard work over the years.

We also thought there were some great suggestions, and it was good to see some new volunteers coming

forward. Also, as a suggestion, could the shop opening times be printed in the Chronicle?

[Editors’ Note – Yes! And we hope the new committee will provide a regular feature in every issue.]

I also want to take this opportunity to let you know I have resigned from Bradleys and joined Miller Town &

Country as a hands-on Director. I wish to thank everyone for their support and business during my time

with Bradleys.

Nic Scorrer

Local Resident and (unfortunately in this scenario) Estate Agent

16


Spring Thoughts

March came in like a lion; will it be going out like a lamb?

This last week seems to be looking like it, hopefully.

This is the time of year when the fields look hungry, and

everything is (surprisingly) waiting for a little warm rain

and warm weather and fertiliser, and then all will spring

into growth (sorry about the pun!).

A green haze will be seen across the trees and hedges, and

then they will burst into leaf and flower - though the

roadside banks are already starting their progression of

flowers with the daffodils and primroses.

The opening catkins on the birch, hazel and alder are the

harbinger of hay fever with their wind borne pollen, and

then later the maples and oaks will come into flower

before coming into leaf. Oaks are remarkable in that their

new young foliage contains a toxin to protect against marauding insects and their larvae.

Other things are the different species of bees we have buzzing around the hellebores, which are now at

their best, and thanks to the bees they are very promiscuous, producing hundreds of seedlings, which if you

don't control them would carpet the garden in no time!

The blackbirds, which to my mind have the best song of all, are getting into full voice, and the dawn chorus

is starting up nicely. However the chattering of the starlings seems to be tailing off as they head off to

Scandinavia and Russia for the summer. Now to start looking out for our summer visitors, though I guess

there's a few weeks to wait yet.

With this current dry weather, gardening can get on apace. Shallots and onion sets, peas, and broad beans

can be planted now (my autumn sown broad beans have suffered terribly with the wind and wet we have

had, so I don't think I'll try that again). Potatoes should be chitting well now, and I suspect some have

already been planted.

The greenhouse should be cleaned of potential disease and dead growth in preparation for sowing the

many crops that require some warmth to start them - tomatoes, courgettes, and cucumbers are the main

ones, but salad crops and summer bedding can also be set in motion.

Roses should all be pruned, cutting out any crossing branches and opening up the middle to allow air

circulation. Do not be concerned about hard pruning - roses thrive on it - just make sure you always cut

back to an outside bud, and feed them.

Buddleia can be cut back now, as can some growth from Philadelphus, but remember mock orange (for that

is its common name) flowers on second year wood, so be careful what you take out. Summer flowering

clematis need nearly all the dead growth from last year removing, leaving some short lengths with buds on

to be trained once growth starts.

Herbaceous borders can be tidied up now, and the border lightly forked over and all fed. Some plants may

need lifting and splitting, replanting with the young vigorous outside sections and discarding the old hard

centre.

Autumn fruiting raspberries need cutting back to ground level and feeding. They crop on this year's growth,

whereas summer fruiters need a thinning and trimming, tying in to their supports, and feeding.

Blackcurrants and gooseberries also need a good feed at this time of year. All these fruits are what are

called gross feeders, requiring lots of fertiliser to produce good heavy crops.

Enough of all this - I need to get out in the garden, so I'll wish everyone a good few weeks of toil!

Jeremy Burden

Country and Gardening Thoughts Correspondent

17


Tales From the Deep Blue

So how would you like to spend three

or four weeks in a space not much

bigger than your average shed? There

will be two more blokes for company.

Feeling a little claustrophobic? Well

you can always go out for a stroll on

the seabed. It's all in a day's work for

Bruce Knight of North Street.

When he was nineteen, Bruce started

work as a surface rigger on a Dive

Support Vessel (DSV) operating in the

UK and Norwegian sectors of the

north sea. The DSV is 100m long and

has a complement of around 100

people.

At the age of twenty, he was

encouraged by the offshore manager

(who happened to live in

Highampton) to develop his skills in

one of his main interests. Diving was top of the list, so in due course Bruce headed to the balmy waters off

South Africa for three months to train as an Air Diver.

He passed the HSE scuba course, and then progressed to 30m and then 50m depth surface supply

qualifications. As a contrast to South Africa, there was then some follow-up training in welding inspection,

located in Middlesbrough - young Bruce's first experience of a UK "big town" and all that entails!

50m was not to be the lowest floor level, and Bruce progressed deeper and deeper, way down to his

current maximum working depth of 189m. All this was achieved via further intensive and specialist training

and safety courses, both in diving techniques and on support craft. How about an inverted helicopter

emergency sea exit test - anyone?!

Bruce works in a self-employed capacity with just one or two companies at a time. There has been some

recent contraction in the market due to the knock-on effect of the collapse in oil price. All of his current

work concerns North Sea oil-rig platforms. A typical tour of duty would be four to six weeks in length.

My own layman's conception of a diver comprises a chap in a neoprene suit jumping backwards from a

surface vessel with heavy air bottles on his back. Is it like this? Er, no - not at all!

It's all to do with the depth, and more importantly the incredible pressures at that depth. A typical working

depth is 140m. Remember, each 10m depth adds 1 atmosphere (1 bar) of pressure, so we are talking 15 bar

pressure at the sea bed, easily 2 or 3 times that experienced by formula one drivers. Physical or what?!

"Yes, it's not really an old man's trade," jokes 29 year old Bruce. "There are strict medical tests to pass at

regular intervals."

So after a 12-hour work shift, including six hours in the water, what about getting back to the surface for

eats, entertainment and sleep? In order to avoid a too rapid decompression, or the "bends", which can be

lethal, then normally one would decompress at the snail's pace of one metre per hour - so at 140m working

depth, this would take around 5½ days! From the diving company's point of view, this is not very

productive. So they have come up with a novel scheme.

Bruce and his colleagues are housed in a chamber complex, six in each chamber measuring 7ft by 7ft. The

chambers, housed in the DSV mother ship, are pressurised or "blown down" to working depth at a rate of

one metre a minute. The working party diver team then pass into the bell section, which is their taxi to

work. The bell is lowered into the sea through a "moonhole" in the DSV's hull.

18


On reaching the working depth, the pressure inside the bell and the sea outside is equalised, and doors can

be opened. Each three man team works a shift and then the bell is hauled back onto the ship, but it remains

sealed and at working depth pressure. The bell is then reattached to the chamber complex.

Meals, which can include the odd lobster and fillet steak are transferred into the living chamber via a series

of sealed hatch processes. Eventually, human waste has to be transferred out. This involves a rather

complex process of sealing and then flushing the loo, done by a team member on board the DSV. Without

these essential steps the sudden pressure release would result in half of the chamber's pressurised air

being sucked out with you know what.

In this way, the divers remain inside the bells for 28 days or more. On their final return to the surface,

decompression then takes place inside the chamber on the ship. This takes five or six days, after which the

bell doors are opened and the divers are transported home. The DSV's are big enough to accommodate

three living chambers and two diving bells, so they can more or less operate diving activities 24/7.

So there is a lot of non-work time inside the bell - a lot of reading? Well yes, but these days there is also

wifi, TV and phone. No keep fit available, but hey, when working and supporting twice one's body weight of

kit and equipment, this in itself is likely to keep most of us in shape.

It really is a unique working environment - even the air they breathe is different. Apparently, ordinary air

can transform and become narcotic at more than 50m sea depth, so a mix of helium and oxygen is used in

the chamber and bell and during diving work. Breathing this mixture raises the pitch of the voice a few

octaves. Those of us over 45 might remember Kenny Everett's helium-induced squeaky voice sketches -

funny at first, but for 28 days?! Apparently the divers get used to understanding their workmates’ inflated

speech quite quickly.

A word about the work. Each of the three man team takes a turn at being the "bell man" whose job it is to

ensure that all safety checks are

carried out and that the proper To get an insight to the working conditions that Bruce encounters,

sealing processes take place as

have a look at these YouTube videos on the internet:

the other two divers pass

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc26Uv_BSu0&sns=em

between the internal and external

bell doors. All this is recorded on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3BWSMrgi3I&sns=em

video.

The diver has a diver's helmet, somewhat lighter than the 19th century Jules Verne model, that is sealed at

the neck to a baggy neoprene suit, to which is connected an "umbilical". This life-supporting connection has

two main flows, one of the helium/oxygen mix to breathe, and one of warm water which flows around

veins in the diver’s suit to prevent hypothermia.

Work is varied and can include weld inspection, fixing pipelines, and some repair and maintenance.

Amazingly, with the use of floats, just a two man diving team can manoeuvre a heavy 40-50m section of

pipeline into position.

Bruce really likes his job, and not just the helicopter rides and the odd £12-a-pint Guinness in a Norway port

(almost Half Moon prices!). There is a good team spirit, the money can be good when the business is up,

and it's a unique experience that can only be achieved by extensive training, discipline, and preparation of

both body and mind.

Simon Crossley

Starry Starry Night

Look up on a clear, starry night, and if you are lucky you may be able to see about 3000 stars. It is an

awesome sight.

But now be prepared to be truly amazed.

Because for every star that you can see, our galaxy is estimated to contain over 3 BILLION that are

invisible to the naked eye.

19


Wartime Escape From Paris

On making inroads researching my family tree on my father’s side, I came across my aunt and uncle’s

account of their escape from Paris in 1940, and thought it may be of interest.

My Uncle Laurie (the “WFL Smith” referred to below) was Chief Clerk for the Canadian Pacific Company

based in Paris.

The following article appeared in the Canadian Pacific Staff Journal on September 5 th 1940.

Story of Escape from Paris is Vivid Description of War

WFL Smith and Family Had Hazardous Journey

On bicycles, never much more than a day ahead of the advancing German Army, and often almost under

the bomb-barrage of their vanguard, WFL Smith, Chief Clerk, Paris office, escaped with his wife and two

boys, making their way to a coast port of France in time to board a freighter under British Naval control and

reach an English port in safety. His story is one of the most dramatic of the series of "Escape" adventures of

members of the European Continental staff. It describes an ordeal lasting 17 days in all.

"Up to the morning of the 11 th of June," says Mr Smith, "we were all only partly informed in Paris about the

actual trend of the war, and the general impression was that Paris would be defended against impending

enemy attack. In the office, however, under direction of Mr Clark, advance preparations had been made for

us aII to evacuate to La Rochelle, where a share of the offices of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company had

been arranged for.

“On the morning of the 11 th , however, I went to the office as usual to learn that Mr Clark was leaving for La

Rochelle that day, heard his instructions for us all to make our way there as best we could individually, as

bulk transport for staff was unavailable, and get out as soon as possible for the enemy were reported to be

within 20 miles of Paris.

“I completed my office preparations, mailing the last few documents to La Rochelle. I had reached the

office with difficulty owing to congestion of transport. My home was in North Paris. I got home, and told my

wife the position. We prepared to leave. Although I drive a car, it had been impossible to obtain one at any

price in Paris. We had decided to use bicycles, and only the day before I had secured these for myself, my

wife and two boys. They proved to be our salvation. Petrol was absolutely unobtainable along all roads out

of Paris; and beyond the Loire the roads were littered with abandoned cars left by owners who had to

trudge along on foot for lack of petrol.”

Gunfire Speeds Departure

"We were still at home getting ready at 3.00 p.m. when we heard the sound of heavy guns very close to

Paris. At 3.45 p.m. we were on out. We took very little with us, only a change of linen and a very little food.

We just hoped for the best, and, as it turned out, we did manage to get haphazard supplies of eatables

along the way.

“The roads were blocked with traffic. Soldiers and army vehicles were streaming inwards. Refugees were

streaming outwards. Hundreds of outgoing cars were held up by advancing troops. To be on foot or on

bicycles was the surest way to get ahead at all. And even though we had bicycles we were forced to walk

many times before we reached the outskirts of Paris.

“Army officers did their best to control the congestion. One at Fontainebleau kindly helped us through.

Narrow lanes were being cleared along the roads to let troops through. It was possible to wriggle through

by these lanes before the troops were using them. So we got ahead, while people with cars were stalled.

For days after we left Paris our progress was like that.

"The Officer at Fontainebleau had advised us to take to the secondary roads as soon as possible, both to

avoid the traffic congestion, but also for a more vitally important reason, which was to escape risk of

machine gunning by enemy planes which was directed along main roads. We did escape machine gunning

which we actually heard and saw happening on a main road a little way from the secondary road along

which we were travelling in safety from the horror.”

20


Farmers Were Friendly

"Food soon became a problem. Early in our journey we saw that bread was going to be hard to get. We

managed to buy biscuits, canned foods such as fruit and some meats, though these were very scarce. We

had a stroke of luck at a rusk factory where we laid in a stock of rusks to serve as bread for quite a while.

But we could not carry much on bicycles.

“We could always get water or something to drink, coffee from friendly farm-houses for instance. We slept

in barns and haylofts. Even the poorest farm-folk were kindly and helpful to us. Washing and changes of

clothing were pretty difficult, but we managed to buy some new undergarments, discarding the old at one

or two places. We had a couple of small blankets with us, and a waterproof coat, which helped our sleeping

arrangements.

"All the time the enemy were close upon our heels. There was hardly time for a pause to buy necessaries.

We were continually urged by every authority we met to press on without delay. We made early morning

starts, and only stopped for sleep at the last possible place of refuge we could reach late at night.”

Mad Race For Last Ship - Journey Across Channel No Pleasure Cruise

“On the evening of 19 th June we reached La Rochelle, and hoped that there would be the end of our

troubles. We found there that Mr Clark was leaving the very next day for Bayonne, because the Germans

were expected to reach La Rochelle on the afternoon of the 20 th . There, Mrs Smith, who had been bravely

bicycling against medical advice of an earlier, but still recent, peacetime day, had a minor collapse from

exhaustion and strain, but most pluckily she pulled herself together.

“We found brief refuge in a hotel, had a makeshift wash – there were no baths available – and tried to get a

little sleep in the first real beds we had seen for days. But that solace was denied us, for the port of La

Pollice close at hand was bombed during the night from 12.30 a.m. to 4.00 a.m., and the raiders returned

to the attack at 6.00 a.m. We had no sleep.

“In our final race for La Rochelle we had done our best mileage for any one day, spurred on by alarming

reports on every hand that to reach La Rochelle speedily was our last chance for safety. We covered 130

kilometres in that run, only to find that we must cover another 450 kilometres at an even faster pace if

possible to catch the last ship to safety from Bayonne. We did not make it. The ship had left 36 hours

before we reached Bayonne.

“The free-wheel mechanism of my bicycle broke down just after we left La Rochelle. It did not delay us

much, for I made shift to repair it somehow with electric light flex lashing the sprocket to the spokes, and

that held till we reached Bayonne. Other proper repairs were impossible.”

Push On Through Storm

“Baffled at Bayonne by the fact that the British Consul and refugees had left 36 hours before by the last

ship out, we were advised by the local police to push on to St Jean de Lux, close to the Spanish border, and

only 22 kilometres distant.

“It was not far, but that was by far the most arduous bit of bicycling for us, because we made the run

through a terrific wind and rainstorm. So violent was the wind and drenching the rain that we were literally

wet through to the skin as we pedalled along, struggling against furious gusts, and blinded by the rain. But

at St Jean de Luz, to our immense relief, we saw a British Naval officer when we reached the jetty, and were

told that a ship was waiting outside, though to embark was impossible that night in the storm that was

raging. The officer directed us to the railway station for shelter. There were many other refugees sheltering

there. That was the night of the 24 th of June.

"On the morning of the 26 th , at 8.30 a.m., we were able to embark by launch, climbing up ladders to board

the ship. Some 80 or 90 British were with us, and the ship had also aboard 400 Polish soldiers, and 400

other refugees of various nationalities.

“We slept or rested in the holds, on deck, or on the ship’s iron plates, for she was a freighter with no

accommodation for passengers. The crew rigged up canvas awnings to shelter the folk on deck.

21


The SS Baron Nairn

“The ship’s cook did his best to provide suitable food from meagre stocks for the women and children. It

was the plainest fare, just freight ship food, but there was some canned milk for the children, and bullybeef

and ship’s biscuit for the rest of us.

“The voyage to an English port took us three and a half days, and the weather was not too kind for the first

36 hours or so. It wasn’t exactly a pleasure cruise, but no one complained.”

* * *

The steamer the SS Baron Nairn, with its decks crowded with soldiers and refugees, was the last to leave St

Jean de Luz, when that was the last “open” port on the French Atlantic coast.

Women and children spent

the nights on a cargo of coal

in No 1 hold, over which an

old tarpaulin was spread. For

some reason the hatches

were secured at nightfall.

The SS Baron Nairn was later

torpedoed and sunk by a

German U boat off Northern

Scotland, whilst conveying a

cargo of coal to Argentina, in

June 1941.

Paulette Jackson

Here are my Auntie Gertrude, cousin Derek, Uncle Laurie, and cousin

Philip, taken several years after the war.

Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org

22


If You Are Ever Near Liskeard ...

We were originally due to visit

Carnglaze Caverns near Liskeard as

part of our three day trip around

Cornwall to celebrate Chris's 50 th

birthday, but yours truly managed

to leave the Groupon voucher at

home. I had never even heard of

Carnglaze Caverns before the daily

offers email from Groupon arrived

with a two-for-one tickets (£6 for a

pair) offer, but after a little

research I decided to purchase.

We subsequently found out that the following Saturday (which happened to be Buster's birthday) the

Cardiff City Voices choir were performing in the Rum Store at the Cavern. It transpires that a number of

musical events are held there each year, with a number of 60's and 70's tribute bands playing there,

amongst others, as well as being a very popular wedding venue, so best check what's on at

http://www.carnglaze.com/concerts-events/upcoming-events-concerts before travelling.

So, with another Groupon voucher purchased for Anna and Buster, we set off on a very wet morning to St

Neot near Liskeard. The rain continued to pour down, so it was actually quite pleasant to be given a hard

hat to keep the rain off when we arrived!

We rushed into the dry Caverns of the former mine where slate was both quarried and mined

underground. We stopped to view the displays on how the mine worked and browsed the comprehensive

collection of minerals mined and quarried in the South West before taking our seats in a sparsely populated

auditorium. I reckon that the choir outnumbered the audience two to one, which initially caused some

concern, but we need not have worried.

The song choices varied from traditional Christmas songs such as Walking in a Winter Wonderland and O

Holy Night, through Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now, to more modern classics like Coldplay's Fix You. My

personal favourite was an unusual rendition of Mettalica's Nothing Else Matters. A number of the songs are

on YouTube and very quickly found by searching for “city voices cardiff carnglaze”.

In all they performed for just over an hour, which was probably long enough purely because the caverns are

a constant 10°C underground, so cool in Summer, warm in Winter!

After the concert finished we descended the flight of sixty steps taking you about 150m into the hillside and

60m below ground before ending at the underground lake with its crystal clear blue-green water - very

beautiful, and if you can find a moment of quiet, very eerie, with just the sound of dripping water.

A jumper and sensible footwear are recommended, particularly if you are going to take on the half hour

woodland walk as we planned, although were ultimately foiled by the rain being even worse when we left

the caves than it was when we arrived!

So what else to do other than bring forward our lunch booking. We had booked at the Eliot Arms / Square

and Compass in Tregadillett, very conveniently situated just off the A30 near Launceston. It's one of only a

dozen pubs in the UK that has two names - although both the website and TripAdvisor listing use only the

Eliot Arms.

We were quickly seated beside a roaring fire in the very quirky restaurant area, where the walls are

covered in all manner of clocks! We each managed a starter and main, with the homemade steak and

kidney pie with shortcrust pastry a particular favourite of Buster and myself! The recent reviews on

TripAdvisor are a little mixed but we would all certainly return at the drop of a hat - a fine way for us to

finish a lovely day out, despite the weather!

Andy Vincent

23


The Bluebell Walk

24

"And like a skylit water stood

The bluebells in the azured wood"

AE Housman wasn't the only poet to have

been inspired by the beautiful but brief

display of these oh-so-pretty blue flowers,

massed together in dappled woodland shade.

The breathtaking blue glades that appear in

May inspire Simon and I to make an annual

pilgrimage to the bluebell woods near

Meldon reservoir.

This relatively short walk - just over an hour -

also rewards with fine views of Dartmoor

and, sometimes, the mesmerising vision of

hundreds of tons of water cascading over

Meldon dam.

Leave your car at Meldon Reservoir car park.

It's not far off the A30. Join at Sourton

heading towards Exeter and then take the

next exit. Turn right at the T-Junction and

follow signs to Meldon, then signs to the

reservoir car park. There is plenty of space

here, and some well-maintained toilets.

Once you're booted and suited, climb the

steps out of the car park and turn left. Turn

left again immediately and go through a gate

into a field, following the signposted bridlepath towards Meldon Viaduct. Walk down along the edge of the

field and through a thick copse of trees. The track brings you alongside the West Okement river on your

right and a steep-sided pool on your left. Keep following the path, go through a five bar gate, and then

continue to climb.

Along here, you'll pass under the huge wrought and cast iron structure of Meldon viaduct. At its highest

point it rises an impressive151 feet

above the valley floor. Built in 1871

to carry the railway, it now forms

part of the Granite Way, and

carries bikes instead - see last

year’s Harvest Special Chronicle

(edition 111) for details of a great

ride along this route. In 1927 the

speed limit across the viaduct was

20mph. Today, there are plenty of

enthusiastic pedallers who can

easily exceed that!

After a spell admiring the trusses,

continue up the track. Then, before

you reach a second five bar gate,

just by a telegraph pole, look for a

narrow path that drops away to

your right. Follow this path down

through the woods. Here, the ground is covered in a lovely seasonal show of primroses, violets, wood

anemones, and the first sightings of our native bluebells.


25

Eventually, you arrive at a sturdy wooden bridge

spanning the West Okement. Cross the bridge then

turn immediately left, following the river as it

rushes and tumbles downstream. At some point,

you become aware you're standing just yards from

the busy A30 and the burbling and splashing of the

river is replaced by the roar of traffic. Keep the dual

carriageway on your left (don't go under the A30)

and follow the path that leads to a small parking

area. This is a good spot to park for anyone

who wants to enjoy the bluebell spectacle

without walking too far.

Cross the road and, a little to the left, pick up the

path again. A half- hidden signpost points out the bridleway back towards Meldon Reservoir. You don't

have to climb too far before you find yourself immersed in that “azured wood”. Dots of white-petalled

Greater Stitchwort provide a bright counterpoint to the deep

violet blue of the wild bluebells, all set in the vivid green

Spring growth. On a sunny day, it's a magical and uplifting

sight.

After you have drained your camera battery trying to do

justice to the idyllic scene before you, you will at least have

recovered some of your own energy to continue the climb

upwards. Keep left, following signs that say, “Public Footpath

to Viaduct and Moor”. The bluebells eventually give way to

moss and ferns, and you pass under the magnificent old

viaduct to the other side. At a large tree stump, the route

forks. Take the right-hand path until the next fork, then go

left and up a short, steep section.

Eventually, you emerge from the trees and join another path

crossing at right angles. Turn right here and follow the level

track through more bluebells and bright blossoming gorse.

Up ahead looms Yes Tor but today it's a “No”! So, at the end

of the path, cross the road, heading uphill for a few yards,

then turn right and down into another car park. Here, you'll

find a handy picnic bench or two. It's a pleasant spot to empty your flask and admire some classic Dartmoor

scenery embellished by the odd pony.

Back on the wide gravel track, cross a stream and

bear right to pass an old quarry on your left. Climb

between more gorse until you spot a narrow path

branching off on the right. Follow this level route

back towards the dam. There's usually a good

display of what Simon tells me is called Laminar

Flow - the pattern that the water makes as it

cascades in layers down the steep bank of the

dam face. It's just as well this hypnotic display

can't be seen from the top of the dam, but

hanging your camera over the side of the wall

gives you a good idea of the vertigo-inducing

spectacle.

After crossing the top of the dam, join the road

and follow it round to the right. This takes you back up to the car park.

Helen Crossley


26


27


28


29


FRESH TASTY

VEGETABLES GROWN AT

PETROCKSTOWE

DELIVERED TO YOUR

DOORSTEP!!

Hallwood Fresh Veg is a truly local family business supplying local people & businesses with the freshest

food direct from their farm, where welfare and the environment come before profit and flavour comes

before yield.

Here, on the gentle rolling south facing slopes of Hallwood Farm at Petrockstowe, we grow a fine array of

wholesome seasonal fresh vegetables and tend to our contentedly grazing livestock. We can deliver veg

boxes or bags (which start from £8) or specific orders of meat and vegetables direct to your door, or you

can order through your village shop.

Phone Richard or Ruth on 01837 811762 , or email hallwoodemail@gmail.com

www.hallwoodfreshveg.co.uk

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FRANK CHESHIRE

LAKES

SHEEPWASH, BEAWORTHY

DEVON EX21 5LZ

TEL/FAX: 01409 231620

EMAIL: sales@fccleaningsystems.co.uk

WEBSITE: fccleaningsystems.co.uk

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ADULT AND KIDS

BOUNCY CASTLES

SUMO WRESTLING SUITS

BUNGEE CHALLENGE

GARDEN GAMES

PARTY MARQUEE

INFLATABLE SLIDES

JON DAVIS 0777 978 2716

WWW.SOUTHWESTBOUNCYCASTLES.CO.UK

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LYMATH & MOYS LTD

Central Heating and Plumbing Engineer

GAS : OIL : SOLID FUEL

CENTRAL HEATING

BOILER MAINTENANCE & REPLACEMENT

SERVICE COMMISSION AND SERVICE AGENT

RAYBURN - ESSE - AGA

D. MOYS A.M.I.D.H.E., A.I.P., R.P.

Holmans Park

Beaworthy

Devon

EX21 5NF

Tel: 01409 231381

Fax: 01409 231652

Email: lymathandmoys@gmail.com

DAVE CHAPMAN BUILDERS

Qualified Building Technician – with over 40 years experience in the building trade

Building for the future and tastefully repairing the past

Call me on 079806 89202

●interiors●exteriors●guttering●cob walls●uPVC windows●uPVC conservatories●plastering●roofing●

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Canine Cuts

Professional Dog Grooming For All Breeds

Member of the British Dog Grooming Association and Pet Care Trust

Clipping

Hand Stripping

Bathing

Nail Trimming

Anal Glands

Will do local collection/delivery

Call Jane Bridges on 01409 231139

If necessary, wait for the answer phone and I’ll call you back

Or email swbridges@btinternet.com

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= Peter Bright =

THATCHER

Wheat Reed - Water Reed

Tel: 01837 810148 (Petrockstowe)

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(Formerly Forest Fuels)

Quality Seasoned Firewood

£85: Single load

£160: Double load

£230: Triple load

Delivery charges may apply

Tel: 01409 281393

Email: info@grascottfirewood.co.uk

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Professional Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Receive a FREE bottle of our own branded Spot

and Stain Remover with every FREE no

obligation survey and quotation.

Carpet, rug & upholstery cleaning

Most carpets dry in 1-2 hours

We move all practically moveable furniture for you

Stain Removal

Stain Protection treatments

Safe for children and pets

Domestic and Commercial

For further details and special offers visit www.pt-cleaning services.co.uk

Call Richard on 01271 470074 or 07595 727491

To book your free survey and quotation

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West Devon Mat Company

Bespoke Mats and

Edging Service

Convert your carpet off-cuts into

useable and smart rugs and mats.

We offer a full edging service on most

qualities of carpet and most sizes.

In addition to this we carry a range of

carpet samples in various qualities

for you to choose from.

For more details

or to discuss requirements

please contact Lee Newby on

01409 231508

or email

info@westdevonmatcompany.com

BUCKLAND ACCOUNTS

& ADMIN SERVICES

Farm & Rural Business Accounts,

Admin Services

Accounts/VAT/

Payroll

Admin Services

Computer Help

Tim Cartwright MAAT, FIAgSA

Haddiport Farm

Buckland Filleigh

Day to day accounts, VAT,

Cashflows/Budgets,

Accounts Advice & Training

Letters, Mailshots, etc.

Help with Word/Excel,

Emails, etc.

07971 118964

bucklandaccounts@gmail.com

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Swedish and Remedial

Massage Therapist

Emma Barnes A.P.N.I.

T: 01409 231 296

M: 0785 278 5670

e.barnes66@btinternet.com

3 Sparke Villas, Black Torrington, EX21 5PX

Advertising in the Chronicle

is exceptional value.

Our advertising rates are:

Full page - £12 per issue, or advertise for

a full calendar year (6 issues) for only £60.

Half page - £6 per issue, or advertise for a

full calendar year (6 issues) for only £30.

Quarter page - £4 per issue, or advertise

for a full calendar year (6 issues) for only

£20.

We can even design and lay out the ad

for you, at no extra charge!

To place an ad, just call or email us – see

the back cover for full contact details.

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See inside for full details of all these events!

When

Friday 25 th March

Sunday 27 th March

Friday 1 st April

Tuesday 5 th April

Friday 8 th April

Sunday 10 th April

Saturday 16 th April

Sunday 17 th April

Sunday 1 st May

Tuesday 3 rd May

Sunday 8 th May

Saturday 21 st May

Saturday 21 st May

Tuesday 31 st May

What

Good Friday

Easter Sunday

Puddle Jumping in Pizzendown

Mobile library in the Square

Charles and Muriel’s Windsor Castle visit DVD show in the Village Hall

Quiz night at the Half Moon

Table Top Sale and Jan’s Plant Sale at the Village Hall

Cider and Pasty Walk at Buckland Filleigh

Merton Vintage and Classic Vehicle Rally

Mobile library in the Square

Quiz night at the Half Moon

Big Al and the Wild Strawberries in the Village Hall

Petrockstowe Beer, Cider, and Wine Festival

Mobile library in the Square

And don’t forget to visit our website for more news and articles:

www.sheepwashchronicle.org

Deadline for the next issue

Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 20 th May, to ensure it is included in the

June (Summer) issue of the Chronicle.

• Just tell us your news when you see us out and about.

• Send or drop off news and contributions on paper to Alison at The Glebe in West Road

or Chris at Larcombe House in North Street.

• Telephone - Call Alison on 01409 231196 or Chris on 01409 231341.

• Email - We are very pleased to receive contributions or messages in electronic form.

Email Alison at alisonansell2@gmail.com or Chris at chris11egg@aol.com.

The Sheepwash Chronicle is printed by

Hedgerow Print Ltd, 16 Marsh Lane, Lords Meadow, Crediton, Devon, EX17 1ES.

Telephone: 01363 777595. Web: www.hedgerowprint.co.uk

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Useful Contacts

Description Person Telephone Email

Member of

Parliament

Geoffrey Cox 01837 82000

County Councillor Barry Parsons 01409 211234 barry.parsons@devon.gov.uk

Ward Councillor Philip Hackett 01409 231310 hackettsthename@gmail.com

Parish Councillors Melvyn Elliott 01409 231742 melvynkelliott@gmail.com

Philip Hackett 01409 231310 hackettsthename@gmail.com

Nigel Hutchings 01409 231586 hutchingsnigel@yahoo.co.uk

Mike Ritson 01409 231680 mike.ritson2@btinternet.com

Gill Trace 01409 231291 trace.gortleigh@btinternet.com

Denise Tubby 01409 231694 denise_tubby@hotmail.co.uk

Michael Francis 01409 231845 mjf.43@icloud.com

Parish Clerk Penny Clapham 01647 253066 clerk@sheepwashparishcouncil.co.uk

Ladies Skittles Helen Orr 01409 231199 helenorr@mac.com

Yoga Di Sluggett 01409 281637 chrisanddisluggett@tiscali.co.uk

Sheepwash

Community Shop

01409 231531

Doctors’ surgery

(Black Torrington)

Dr Alan Howlett

Dr Asad Aldoori

01409 231628 or

01409 335830

Fax: 01409 231029

Doctors’ surgery

(Shebbear)

Dr Francisco

Fernandez Guillen

01409 281913

Holsworthy Police

(station answer

phone and other

enquiries)

Emma Tomkies

PCSO 30538

Community Support

Officer

01409 259461 or

call 101 for all

non-urgent Police

enquiries

emma.tomkies

@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk

To report a crime

Mark James

PCSO 30643

01409 259461

Mobile Library 01409 253514

mark.james

@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk

Sheepwash

Chronicle Editors

Alison Ansell 01409 231196 alisonansell2@gmail.com

Chris Bell 01409 231341 chris11egg@aol.com

Sheepwash

Correspondent for

Okehampton Times

and North Devon

Journal

Snooker Club

Treasurer/Secretary

Vera Bryant 01409 231373

Charles Inniss 01409 231237 charles.inniss@btinternet.com

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Description Person Telephone Email

Village Hall Bookings Anne Gray 01409 231231 sheepwashvillagehall@hotmail.com

Village Hall Chair Denise Tubby 01409 231694 denise_tubby@hotmail.co.uk

Buses to and from Sheepwash

Turner’s Tours of Chumleigh operate the following bus services to and from the village. All buses pick up

and drop off at the bus shelter in the village square.

On Mondays (to Bideford):

Bus No. Departing from Time Arriving at Time

642 Sheepwash 9.30 a.m. Bideford 10.35 a.m.

642 Bideford 1.30 p.m. Sheepwash 2.35 p.m.

On Wednesdays (to Holsworthy):

Bus No. Departing from Time Arriving at Time

639 Sheepwash 9.52 a.m. Holsworthy 10.30 a.m.

639 Holsworthy 1.30 p.m. Sheepwash 2.08 p.m.

On Saturdays (to Okehampton):

Bus No. Departing from Time Arriving at Time

631 Sheepwash 10.00 a.m. Okehampton 10.37 a.m.

631 Okehampton 12.30 p.m. Sheepwash 1.07 p.m.

For further information about bus routes and timetables, call Turner’s Tours on 01769 580242.

EXTRA COPIES OF THE CHRONICLE

A copy of the Sheepwash Chronicle is delivered free to every house in Sheepwash.

Extra copies are available in the community shop on a first come, first served basis,

at a cost of £1 each.

However, if you would like one or more extra copies of every issue in a year

(perhaps to send to family or friends), please let us know and we will deliver them

with your free copy. We only charge £5 a year for each extra copy, saving £1 on

the shop price, and guaranteeing your extra copy – the shop sells out fast!

Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org

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