Sheepwash Chronicle Christmas 2016 edition


Issue 119 Christmas 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


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


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 just below, so please get in touch.

The Cover Picture

The picture on our front cover was created by Jo Filer-Cooper. See page 20 for more about her and

her work.

Contents of this issue



Christmas greetings 3 Lemony Parmesan Spuds 22

What’s Been Happening? 4 Torview Wines Update 23

What’s Coming Up? 7 Cider Apple Orchards in Sheepwash 24

Notices 13 Brilliant Brussels 25

Pre-Christmas Thoughts 18 Useful Contacts 42

Talking Shop 19 Bus Timetables 43

Jo Filer-Cooper, Photographer 20

Deadline for the next issue

(but the earlier the better!)

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

February (Winter) 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 or Chris at


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As is traditional at this time of year, the following people have asked us

to pass on their best wishes for a good Christmas and a happy 2017

to all their friends and neighbours in Sheepwash.

Charles and Muriel Inniss, East Street

Brian Jones, East Street

Anne and Martin Gray, East Street

Pete and Sue Reader, East Street

Tony and Angela Jones, East Street

Bee and Gary Draper, East Street

David and Hilary Manning, East Street

Michael and Louise Francis, East Street

Christina Penn and Alan Morris, East Street

Simon and Helen Crossley, East Street

Jan and Jeremy Burden, East Street

Stuart, Yolanda, Charlie and Ellie, East Street

Chris, Vinnie, Daniel and Gemma, The Square

Derek and Sally Pooley, The Square

Brian and Margaret Hall and family, Fayrefield House

Linda and Don, South Street

Gary Ellwood, South Street

David and Alison Ansell, West Road

Pete and Jan Hayward, West Road

Paul and Mary Wheeler, Jane, Henry, Alfred and Myrtle, North Street

Jo Driver, North Street

Buster and Anna Jones, North Street

Annie, Michael and Sandra, North Street

Bruce, Nikki, and Albie Knight, North Street

Paulette Jackson, North Street

Martin King, North Street

Roger and Christine White, North Street

Jean Maxwell, North Street

Chris Bell, North Street

Svend Bayer, Duckpool Cottage

Erica and Gary Fisher, Lake Farm

Maggis and Tim Harper, Netherton Farm

Barbara Laughton, Conkers, Merton

Caroline and Margery Ousley from Bideford

Brian and Jill Thomas, formerly of East Street


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

Welcome to Sheepwash!

Welcome to Kiran and Lolly, who have very recently moved into Sloe Cottage in North Street.

After attending the Table Top Sale on your first full day in the village, we hope you’ll join in with lots more

community activities and be very happy here!

Peter and Jay Got Married

The wedding of Peter Jones

and Jaysheena Gengadaran

took place in Kuala Lumpur,

Malaysia on Saturday 5 th


A small contingent of family

travelled across to witness a

spectacular union - three

separate events - which will

be finalised next summer

with a celebration in

Sheepwash for all our family

and friends who were

unable to attend.

Peter and Jay are now back

in Dubai and thank everyone

for their good wishes and

are very much looking

forward to seeing everyone

in the summer.

Angela Jones

Treats For You?

I have always considered myself more of a writer than a cook. So, when

guests to Retreats for You, our Sheepwash based writers and artists retreat,

suggested that I write a cookbook, I was flattered – and amused.

However, they kept on suggesting it, in between saying nice things about

my cooking, and so eventually I did. Write a cookbook, that is.

Eats for You, the Retreats for You cookbook is full of recipes, pictures,

anecdotes and general foodie thoughts. It was fun to write, those who have

already bought it say it’s fun to use and of course it features a few local


It costs £9.99, and if you’d like a look, try

Or pop round.

Deborah Dooley


Wow - Two Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty!

That’s the total takings from the Auction of

Promises, which we held to help “raise the roof” for

St. Lawrence’s Church. Although it took a good deal

of effort to arrange, the real effort came spilling

into the Village Hall on October 29 th .

About fifty residents of Sheepwash and a few

neighbours from nearby villages occupied the little

tables in the hall, where they were both

entertained and cajoled by our superb and funny

auctioneer, Dave Kent. We are very grateful for his

help and humour from the wobbly “scaffold cum

auctioneer’s lectern”.

Several folk pointed out that the Friends of St.

Lawrence bar prices were rather low - that bodes

well for the next money-raising event perhaps! Part

of our profit from the night was the £110 from the

drinks. And we perhaps took advantage somewhat

of looser purse strings during the selling of over

fifty lots in the auction. In total the auction raised £2,490. Many, many thanks to the generosity of the good

folk of Sheepwash.

You probably know Terry and Barbara Trinder from the bungalow opposite my house. Terry, freshly scarred

from his operation, spent the interval drumming up all one hundred £1 guesses for any one of a hundred

possible last two digits in the serial number of a £50 note, kindly donated to our appeal by his and

Barbara’s daughter Andrea and her friend Alison (who were here from Australia, and wanted to help). And

the £50 note was donated back to the fund at the end of the evening after its serial number had been


People were really kind and generous throughout the evening. A very large jug from Svend fetched a good

price. A cubic metre of leaves made a showing. The reserve of £150 was reached on Brian Mayne’s caravan

holiday in Exmouth. Simon Crossley has already fettled, sparkled and adjusted a bike. A couple of Pollock

and the left and right sides of a Harris lamb have been duly handed over. Evening meals, teas, cakes, bread

loaves, and pizzas have been arranged, as have trips to Rosemoor and around Devon and or Cornwall. The

Painting Ladies’ day of labour added a terrific wadge to the coffers.

And there were lots more lots, too many and varied to mention them all. By now the winning bidders have

probably used the contact numbers or emails which were displayed on the night to make connections with

the right people, but if some folk have lost track of who to phone, just ask me. I still have the lists of who

bought what and for how much and from whom.

Once again, well done folks, and thank you on behalf of The Friends of St. Lawrence’s Church.

Mike Ritson

01409 231680


Hatherleigh Silver Band Hit a High Note

Hatherleigh Silver Band are now officially one of the top 4 th section brass bands in the country, after coming

third at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, held on September 17 th at Cheltenham


The National Brass Band Championships involves some six hundred bands in eight regional qualifying heats

staged up and down the UK, plus two final national events. The championships, which have existed in their

current format since 1945, are split into five sections - the championship section, and 1 st , 2 nd , 3 rd , and 4 th


Hatherleigh was the only band representing Devon in the 4 th section competition. There were eighteen

other bands in the section, coming from as far afield as Dunfermline and Crystal Palace.

A band spokesperson said, “We worked very hard in the run up to the contest. It takes a lot of commitment

from all of the players and the enthusiasm and dedication of our musical director, Matthew Green, who

worked tirelessly on the piece outside of band practices. The hard work paid off!”

The piece performed by the band was Music from Kantara by Kenneth Downie. Matthew Green, who is also

marine bandsman at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone, had high hopes for

Hatherleigh, and he helped the band bring out detail and excitement in the piece of music, ensuring the

members gave a good performance in a difficult acoustic setting.

The band were pleased to have done so well in their particular section and went on to rehearse for their

next concert, the 70 th South West Brass Band Championships, which took place on November 5 th at the

English Riviera Centre in Torquay.

The test piece was the Saddleworth Festival Overture by Geoff Richards, which contains a lot of Australian

melodies. The band were hoping to continue their successful run of results – and they did, as they finished


For more information about the band, call the band secretary Jane Fawcett on 01837 810791. For more

news and pictures of them, visit their website -

David Manning

Chronicle Arts Correspondent

Don’t forget to visit our website –


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

Carol Singing Around the Village

Pete and Jan Hayward.

Hope to see you on the 22 nd !

Helen Orr

All are welcome to come carol singing around

the village on Thursday 22 nd December,

beginning in the Square at 7.00 p.m.

Traditional carol sheets will be provided, but

please bring a torch, and feel free to join in for

some or all of the evening.

We will be collecting for Children’s Hospice

South West, so please listen out for the singers -

maybe even join in on your doorstep.

And all the carollers can look forward to some

festive refreshments at the end of the evening,

at Oaklands in West Road, by kind invitation of



Local Rugby

Many of the citizens of Sheepwash are great supporters

of the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club in the lofty heights of

the Premiership and European Challenge Cup. Quite

understandable - the Chiefs rise to the top tier of

English Rugby has been a remarkable story, of which the

South West (Devon in particular) should be justly proud.

A trip to Sandy Park is a great day out.

However, at a much lower league level of rugby there

are a number of local clubs that deserve rugby fans

support. In my experience a trip to Okehampton RFC is

always worth it, as they are a local club with largely

young local players. They were very successful in gaining

promotion last year to the South West 1 league, and

they did it by playing some really attractive running

rugby, underpinned by a well-organised pack.

Many thought that they would be out of their depth this

season, but this is far from the case. They lie in mid-table, with five wins to their name already, the last of

which was a stunning 45-18 victory over North Petherton, which included seven tries!

Their coach says, “What Okehampton Rugby is about is a bunch of local guys who are usually the smallest

dog in the fight and almost always punch above their weight due to sheer heart and determination to do

well by your mates around you.”

Remember these “guys” are all unpaid for what they do, and go out to enjoy themselves. In my opinion

they also provide great entertainment just down the road (turn left at the sign before you go down the hill

into Okey).

It costs only £5 to get in, which includes the program, and refreshments are available in the bar all

afternoon. Kick-off is normally 2.30 p.m., but do check their excellent website for fixtures and kick-off times


There are other local clubs in the area, who also provide good entertainment on a Saturday afternoon – for

example, Bude (one league lower then Okey). Check their website for up to date information –

David Manning

Chronicle Sports Correspondent


Yoga in the Village Hall

The Parish Council/Village Hall Committee was approached to take part in an

Active Village Scheme where we could have six lessons of Yoga for only £1.50 a

session, as a taster.

The first session took place on Tuesday 15 th November, and all who attended

really enjoyed it.

Future sessions will be on Tuesday evenings, from 7.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m., but

please try to arrive about 6.45 p.m. Wear loose clothing, and bring something to

lie on if possible.

If this continues to go well we could carry on after the initial six lessons, at the regular price.

If you are interested in joining in, please contact Denise (tel: 231694) or Anne (tel: 231231).

This is a great opportunity so please come along and enjoy!

Denise Tubby

Sheepwash Evening Book Group

We meet at 7.30 p.m. on the last Wednesday evening of every


It’s all very informal and definitely not too highbrow!

New members or casual visitors are always very welcome.

Phone Jan on 231884 for more information.

Sheepwash Rainfall

Rainfall in inches September October Yearly Total


Charles, East Street




Graham, Middlecott





Charles, East Street




Graham, Middlecott




It has been a relatively dry spring, summer, and autumn - only 17.5 inches in the last seven months,

compared to 24 inches for the same period last year.

Peter Banbury, whose family have farmed at Iddesleigh for many generations, and who have kept rainfall

records going back for almost a century, tells me October 2016 was the driest since 1978. He also told me

the winter following that dry October in 1978 was exceptionally cold.

I remember it well - the Half Moon was full with guests celebrating the New Year when the central heating

and hot water system all froze solid on New Year's Day. You have been warned!

Charles Inniss and Graham Tidball


Christmas Services in Sheepwash

Church and Chapel News

Sunday 11 th December:

2.45 p.m. Baptist Church - Carol Service

Sunday 18 th December:

11.00 a.m. Methodist Church - Carol Service

6.30 p.m. St Lawrence Church - Carol Service

Saturday 24 th December - Christmas Eve:

9.00 p.m. St Lawrence Church – Christmas Night


All are welcome!

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

Mike Ritson

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.


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

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 date it will call is 13 th December. A timetable for 2017 has not yet been published.

Don’t forget to visit our website –


Quiz Nights at the Half Moon

Quiz nights at the Half Moon are normally held on every second Sunday in the month, so the next two

quizzes will be held on 11 th December and 8 th January.

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

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


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.


This Could Save a Life In Our Village

An AED (automated external defibrillator) is a device that gives the heart an electric shock when someone’s

heart has stopped (cardiac arrest). You can use an AED on adults and children over one year old.

Ambulances have them on board, but using an AED in the minutes before an ambulance arrives can double

someone’s chances of survival.

A defibrillator has been installed at the Village Hall in East Street. It is on the external wall just

near the front door – it’s in noticeable green casing with a green sign above. The unit is up and

running and has been registered with the Ambulance Service.

The idea is that when you have an emergency you first ring the Ambulance Service and they will give the

caller the access code. This is standard procedure.

However, all the Parish Councillors have the access code and sealed envelopes with the code will be put in

the pub and in the Village Hall. Also, if there is a particular person in the village who is at risk it may be

worth them also having the code.

How do I use a defibrillator/AED?

You can use an AED with no training. The machine analyses someone’s heart rhythm and then uses visual or

voice prompts to guide you through each step.

First, make sure someone has called for an ambulance, and, if the AED isn’t immediately available,

give CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) until someone can bring you the AED.

As soon as you’ve got the AED, switch it on. It will immediately start to give you a series of visual

and verbal prompts informing you of what you need to do. Follow these prompts until the

ambulance arrives or someone with more experience than you takes over.

Take the pads out of the sealed pack. Remove or cut through the patient’s upper body clothing and

wipe away any sweat from their chest.

Remove the backing paper and attach the pads to their chest.

Place the first pad on their upper right side, just below their collarbone, as shown on the pad.

Then place the second pad on their left side, just below the armpit. Make sure you position the pad

lengthways, with the long side in line with the length of the their body.

Once you’ve done this, the AED will start checking the heart rhythm. Make sure that no-one is

touching the person. Continue to follow the voice and/or visual prompts that the machine gives

you until help arrives.

You can watch demonstrations of using a defibrillator/AED at the following links: or

Denise Tubby

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


Self-Build in Torridge

Torridge District Council is exploring the idea of providing housing

through self-build. This initiative is aimed mainly at establishing the

number of local people who are interested in self-build and identifying

any suitable sites for self-building in the Torridge area.

Devon Communities Together is working on behalf of the District

Council to collect details of people who would like to build their own

home (or have it built for them), and owners of land or redundant buildings which might be suitable, in or

adjoining a town or village.

To register your interest in building your own home and/or registering a plot of land that you think would

be suitable for a self-build project, or for more information, please go to

Please contact Janice Alexander, Rural Housing Enabler at Devon Communities Together, if you want to

know more. Email or call 01392 248919 ext 122

Holsworthy Rural Policing Update

Recent incidents:

Thornbury: Criminal Damage to fence resulting in livestock escaping.

Chasty: Property taken from dwelling by unknown means.

Milton Dameral: Vehicle filled at petrol station and made off without

offering payment.

Black Torrington: Offensive phone calls made from unknown number.

Alternative methods of reporting of non-urgent matters online

Devon and Cornwall Police are reminding the public that there are alternative contact methods to contact

police, rather than calling 101.

People can now complete an online non-urgent crime report or use the “contact an officer” facility,

which will be dealt with in the same way as a call to 101, but can often be quicker and more convenient for

busy people.

For other matters, an email to is a convenient alternative option to calling 101.

We know some people want to speak to a person or don't have access to the Internet. We want to

encourage more people to contact us using these alternative contact methods, so we can manage our

demand more efficiently and provide an even better 101 telephone service to those people who really do

need to call us.

Contact us

The non-emergency telephone number is 101.

999 still applies in emergencies, but to call about any other issues or for any enquiries please use 101.

If you would like to contact your local PCSO directly please call 101 and ask for PCSO 30538 Emma

TOMKIES or alternatively email

I also now have a mobile phone number that you can use to contact me when I am on duty. This is not to

report emergencies, but can be used to contact me directly – 0771 857 5465.

PCSO 30538 Emma Tomkies

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


The Bridgeland Trust

St Lawrence's Church Roof

The Friends of St. Lawrence’s Church have recently made parishioners aware that the church is in need of a

new roof. To this end they have been busy organising various fund raising events and have also asked the

Bridgeland Trust to support the campaign. The Trust recognises that this building not only serves the

religious and ceremonial needs of many good folk, but is also a beautiful building in its own right and an

important village landmark.

The Trustees have therefore voted to help to preserve this important Sheepwash building. This year's

current account surplus, plus funds normally employed in the OAP Christmas Bonus and Panto Trip have

therefore been diverted in support of the church's cause. A donation of £2,000 has been pledged.

OAP Christmas Bonus and Panto Trip

These seasonal offerings have had to be suspended this year in favour of supporting the St Lawrence

church roof appeal. It is hoped that they may be reintroduced at a future date. However, the panto trip

seems to have run its natural course - the combination of a dwindling number of young village children and

rising transportation costs is making the venture less viable.

The Trust, and I am sure the great many people who have enjoyed past panto trips, are very grateful to

trustee Charles Inniss for spending a great many hours, over more years than he cares to remember, in

organising this treat. It has given great joy to a great many parishioners and their children over the years.

Tony Jones


Do You Care About Your Community?

What organisation was trusted enough to help set up the United

Nations, but has our local Mayor as a member?

What organisation helps provide clean, safe water to drought-ridden

communities around the world, but doesn’t forget the needy in our

local community, here in North Devon?

What organisation helps provide ShelterBoxes to areas all over the

world in the immediate aftermath of disasters, but also provides help to those in need in our local

community, here in North Devon?

What organisation has run an initiative that has almost completely eradicated polio

from the world, but also funded defibrillators in our local communities here in North


What organisation provides scholarships to educate exceptional graduates all around

the world, but also strongly supports all our children in local schools, here in North


The answer is Rotary.

With the support of the community rotary makes a difference.

If you would like to make a difference, why not come and join us. We are just a group of ordinary men

and women who care for our community - no other qualification, just a desire to make a difference and

have fun doing so.

David Large, Secretary Torrington Rotary Club

Tel: 01769 560556 Email:

See or our Facebook page - The Rotary Club of Torrington


Our Village Hall

The Village Hall is available for all sorts of functions. There is a fully-equipped kitchen with plenty of china

and cutlery.

The hall is well heated during the winter months.

The venue is not too large – it can accommodate about 70 people seated – which is usually adequate for

most events. There is room for a small music group or disco.

The Hall is an excellent venue for birthday parties, Christmas parties, New Years Eve, fundraising events for

your favourite charity, or even a very large family dinner party - the list of options extends as far as your

imagination. You can also extend your event into the Jubilee Park behind the Village Hall, which has proved

very popular for entertainment and wedding venues with marquees.

We can obtain a licence for you if you wish to sell alcohol – this costs £21.00. Wine and beer is available to

purchase from the Village Shop at a very reasonable price, and sale or return can usually be arranged. Draft

beer can be purchased from Holsworthy Brewery, who will deliver and collect barrels.

Do you feel able to run a craft group, or a flower arranging session? What about a gardening club, or a

ladies group? Most things are possible.

There is a regular skittles session on Thursday evenings, there are table top sales on the third Saturday of

every month, and a Village Lunch about four times a year. Come and join in!

This is your Village Hall – use it if at all possible.


HOURLY - 1 to 3 hours - £8 per hour

SESSION – 3 or more hours - £25 per session

Use of the kitchen is free of charge for teas/coffees and £5 per session for full use,

All charges include heating and electricity.


Please call Anne Gray on 01409 231231.

Please settle your fees in advance if possible.

When booking, please advise if alcohol is to be served, and whether a license is required, and if there is to

be entertainment at your event.

Please read and sign the Conditions of Hire when paying/ collecting your key.

Thank you for booking the Village Hall.

Sheepwash Village Hall Committee

Used Christmas Cards

As usual, I will put a box outside Mermaid House (next to the village shop entrance) early in the new year,

to collect Christmas cards for recycling.

I usually take them to Marks & Spencer's, who are working with the Woodland Trust to reduce the number

of cards that end up in landfill. Also, money generated through the card recycling scheme funds the

planting of new trees throughout the UK.

It is estimated that a billion Christmas cards (seventeen for every man, woman and child in the UK) could

end up in bins after Christmas. Waste sent to landfill can create methane - a powerful greenhouse gas.

However, if everyone in the UK recycles just one card, this would save 1,570 tonnes of CO 2 equivalent

greenhouse gases - the same as taking five hundred cars off the road for a year!

And if that one card per person is recycled through the Woodland Trust scheme It would enable them to

plant 15,000 trees in 2017. You don’t get much more win-win than that!

Chris Vincent


Submission Deadlines for the Chronicle in 2017

We publish six issues of the Chronicle every year, aiming to have each new issue out as close as possible

to the 1 st of the month in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

In order to allow time for editing, layout, and printing, the deadline for submissions for each issue has

to be at least a week earlier. To simplify matters, the deadline day is always on a Friday, and each issue

is then finalised over the following weekend.

Many contributors want to coordinate the organisation of events to fit in with our publication dates, to

facilitate pre-publicity for things that are coming up, and reporting on things that have happened.

So here are the deadline dates for 2017 – obviously, submitting before these cut-off dates is preferred,

but these are the latest dates when we can guarantee that content will be included.

For the Winter edition (covering February/March): 20 th January

For the Spring edition (covering April/May): 24 th March

For the Summer edition (covering June/July): 19 th May

For the Harvest edition (covering August/September): 21 st July

For the Autumn edition (covering October/November): 22 nd September

For the Christmas edition (covering December/January): 17 th November

Parish Council Report

At the November Parish Council meeting Devon county councillor Barry Parson's “Update Holsworthy

Rural” announced that our ward area had received £99k for pot hole repairs, the most of any of the 62

wards in Devon. At least it is an indication of the state of our roads.

Also within that report mention is made of “Wider Devon Sustainability and Transformation Plan and New

Devon Success Regime”. Not a good title, but this examines the “Future Care Mode” for the NHS, with a

focus that people are best supported at home with local, place-based support. This could have major

implications for rural areas like Sheepwash if it is carried through.

Councillor Gill Trace outlined some recreational facilities that might be beneficial for the village if the

necessary land was gifted. It formed part of a planning application based on the Luke's farm site in West

Road that would include affordable and mixed housing.

It was felt that this proposed application would best be covered by a pre-application parish council

meeting, to be arranged as soon as possible. I hope this special meeting will be well attended.

Michael Francis

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!


Pre-Christmas Thoughts

What an exceptional autumn we’ve had - the colours

of the trees, especially when the sun is shining on

them, has been spectacular! But now we seem to be

heading into a typical damp November, and everything

is gradually losing its glory.

Nevertheless, it has made the winter shorter and,

unusually for this time of year, at least one dairy herd I

see in the vicinity is still out grazing in the fields.

The maize harvest has been completed in dry

conditions, so the roads have not been covered in

liquid mud - just a few trails where muck spreading is

taking place. All in all, I would think, a very satisfactory

period for farmers and gardeners.

The winter visitors are now with us - the flocks of

twittering starlings, and chattering fieldfares - but

once again I have yet to see snipe or woodcock, or

even redwings, though doubtless they will be around soon.

On the gardening front, some say this is the end of the year - but it can be seen as the beginning, getting

the digging done ready for next spring, spreading manure over these areas, cleaning up weeds and getting

seeds ordered.

Get your garlic planted by the end of the month, and continue planting tulip bulbs, and there’s even still

time for your remaining daffodils.

Now that we have had a couple of slight frosts, the dahlias need lifting. Cut the stems back, and leave them

upside down in a dry place for a while, so that any water runs out and they start to dry out. Then put them

in a dry, frost-free place in dry sand or shredded paper for the winter. You can also dust them with Flowers

of Sulphur as a fungicidal protection whilst in store.

Roses should be cut back by about half to prevent wind rock during winter, which can loosen their roots.

Rake up any dead diseased leaves, and cut off any leaves that show black spot, and consign them to the

dustbin, not the compost heap.

Any shrubs you have just planted may also need firming in, but don’t compact the soil too much as they

need oxygen and an ability to have root growth.

Houseplants will need an occasional water and feed, but don’t overdo it - most indoor plants die through

an insufficiency of neglect!

Well, just a short resume this time, but by the next edition the days should be drawing out and things can

get going again - hooray!

Finally, a Merry Christmas to everyone!

Jeremy Burden


Sheepwash Community Shop and Post Office News

The Swallows Have Flown

Summer has gone and with it most of the walkers, cyclists and some of the builders. They all helped boost

summer sales and just fatten the shop up a little to face what is traditionally a leaner time in winter. Now

we must rely more on you, fellow villagers, to keep visiting us - even if you only need this and that, it really

does make a difference, helping to keep this convenient and, to some, vital service alive.

That’ll Do Nicely!

We are pleased to say that you can now pay for goods by credit and debit card. There is also a Cashback

facility linked to debit cards. These services are available whenever the shop is open. We have to pay some

ongoing fixed and variable fees to the banks and the service provider, so to recoup some of these costs we

have to make a modest 20p charge for use of credit cards and also for obtaining Cashback. Debit card and

contactless card purchases are free.

Super Staff

A big welcome to Anne Gray who has joined the team as a shop assistant and volunteer. Anne is involved

in many aspects of village life, including the village hall committee and village lunches, and we are chuffed

to have her on board.

Anne replaces Jen, who has moved on to a managerial position over in the bright lights of Atlantic Village.

In the short time she was with us we have benefitted a lot from her previous retail experience, and we

thank her for all her help. She has hinted that she wants to pop back and do the odd hour of voluntary work

when things have settled down in her new job. She would be most welcome – as would you, if you fancy a

stab at it! We always need good volunteers.

New Looks

Partly prompted by Christmas goods starting to arrive, and partly by the otherwise welcome Autumnal

sunshine streaming through the windows, we have had to move some stock around. The aim has also been

a more logical grouping of things like rice and pasta, household goods, snacks, relishes, sauces, and

preserves. All the local produce continues to be highlighted wherever possible. We hope this doesn't cause

too much confusion - please do ask if you can't find your favourites.

New Lines

Christmas cards have arrived. We have the usual "Greetings from Sheepwash!" individual cards, or a

choice of boxed sets. The boxes look like a bargain to me at £2.99 for 30 stylish or 24 luxury designs.

You'll also find shortbread, three different sherries, chocolate Merryteasers treats, and mince pies. For

home bakers, we have mincemeat, dried fruits, flour, butter, Stork, sugar, etc.

The new Wessex Pies have been a big hit. Beef and red wine, chicken and mushroom, venison, luxury fish

- it's pie heaven! The list goes on - and is all available at the shop if you wish to make a special order. They

have a wide range, and most are available in small, medium (to feed two), and large (feeding four). We

order weekly on Monday for a Wednesday delivery.

Simon Crossley


Jo Filer-Cooper, Photographer

Two or three weeks before each issue of the Chronicle, Chris Bell and I have a planning meeting to go

through possible content for the next issue - what’s been happening, what’s coming up, notices, parish

council news, and brainstorming ideas for articles. From time to time we’ve written about people and

enterprises in and around the village – you may recall articles about Svend Bayer, the Painting Ladies, the

Other Lady Thatcher (Yang Ping and Peter Bright), Marathon Woman (Jane Jackson) – and in the last issue

we had a Day in the Life of an Air Traffic Controller (Pete Reader). And there are lots of others (you can

revisit them on our website).

This time we thought we’d ask Jo Filer-Cooper if she’d talk to us about her photography. First, she said

“Yes”, luckily for us. Second, why ever did we wait so long?

There are some incredibly talented people in the village, and some of you have obviously already realized

that Jo is one of them – she’s taken wonderful photos for some special local weddings - but that’s just the

tip of the iceberg.

Jo has taken photographs since she was a child. For many years as an adult she provided a photography

plus wedding transport package– the transport being two VW split screen vans. This was hard work, every

weekend, and it involved travelling all over Devon. The weather, light, and people(!) make wedding

photography very challenging although enjoyable.

In 2009, Jo decided to get some formal photography training. She was accepted at Plymouth College of Art

and Design. First class Honours degrees are difficult to come by, but Jo got one in Fine Art Photography –

and no wonder, when you see the quality of her work. More recently, Jo’s gained a teaching qualification at

South Devon College, Paignton.

During her time at Plymouth she entered a TV art competition, BBC2’s Show Me the Monet, which was

broadcast in 2011. There were 3,000 entries to this competition, consisting of art of all sorts, including

paintings, sculpture, ceramics, and photographs. She didn’t quite make it to the final exhibition, but got

down to the last 30, was grilled by four art critics, and filmed with the other contestants at Eltham Palace

(where Henry VIII was brought up). She entered one of her favourite photos to the contest - Three Highland

Cattle Jumping, called Highland Fling.

You might think that Photoshop, photo editing software, was used on this photo – absolutely not, Jo took it

as it happened.

Jo also exhibited in London and Bristol as one of six finalists of the South West Graduate Photography Prize

and has twice been Highly Commended by the London Photographic Association for two series of work in


Jo and her fellow students exhibited their finals projects at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane - East

London’s arts and media quarter. She sold most of what she exhibited, including her photographic forms of

still life Old Masters. She printed these on canvas and experimented with different varnishes to make them

look more like paintings, and they were framed in the big gilt frames that we associate with Old Masters.


As a result of her success at Brick Lane, Jo was asked to put on a number of other exhibitions, including one

at Canary Wharf. However, putting on a show is extremely expensive – printing and framing – and the

galleries take 60-65% commission. It’s difficult to earn a living as a photographer.

Nowadays Jo sells most of her work through Getty Images, the biggest imaging bank in the world, and her

best selling photograph is White Cows, which was highly commended in the portrait section of the London

Photographic Association. The white cows in question were Betty Heales’ Charolais, which used to graze at

Coles Mill, Holsworthy.

White Cows was taken with a Nikon D700, a 12 mega pixel camera, and Jo made thousands of tiny changes

to the original to get to the best selling version of the photo.

White Cows has sold around the world – Korea, Germany, China, Africa. It sells particularly well in the

States, and there’s a restaurant in New York which has a massive version of the photo on its back wall.

Using Getty Images should mean that the photographs can’t be copied without permission, but there seem

to be loopholes, and images are stolen – in Holland White Cows is sold as an image on a cushion cover.

Facebook and Etsy have been prompt to remove Jo’s photos if she alerts them that they’re being used

without permission.

For those of you that like to get technical, here we are (I had help with this bit). Jo has about 50 cameras.

She particularly likes her old Digital Nikon D3 12 megapixels, and ISO capabilities that still cannot be beaten,

and her firm favourite is her Nikon D800E, a 36 megapixel full frame stunner!

Other cameras that rank high are an old Mamiya C330 professional, waist level view, medium format, and a

Kowa 6, a top down, waist level, medium format camera (medium format uses 6x4” rather than 35mm


Although she obviously uses digital cameras, Jo still uses film, and she has a roll of film in her fridge which

she will use eventually - no rush; it has a June 1969 sell-by date!

For the recent Auction of Promises for the Church Roof Jo offered a trip to Dartmoor to take photos, plus

an hour processing in Photoshop, and photo printing. Denise Tubby and Erica Fisher bid and won and off


they went with Jo on Sunday 13 th November – a beautiful sunny day.

It’s not possible to get the best images on a compact digital camera – you need to use a camera that will

take different lenses and where you have manual control, so the girls used Jo’s Nikon D800E and D3 (with

help and advice from the expert) and you’ll have to wait to see the results in the next issue of the Chronicle,

as the Photoshop and printing is a work in progress.

We’ve got a very talented photographer in Sheepwash – get

in touch with her if you’ve got photos that you’d like her to

take for you, or of you, or of your cows, or of your house, or

of your horses, or ...!

Alison Ansell

To see the wonderful range of photos

that Jo takes, have a look at her website.

Chronicle Christmas Recipe

(A Jamie Oliver recipe – I tried them last Christmas, and they’re good! – Alison.)

Lemony Parmesan Spuds – serves 8

Christmas Day: Cook


2.5kg maris piper potatoes

½ bunch rosemary, leaves picked

2 bay leaves

1 garlic bulb, cloves separated but skin left on

1 lemon

Olive oil

Parmesan for sprinkling over

Christmas Eve: Prepare

Peel and cut your potatoes so they’re evenly sized.

Place in a large pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil.

Cook for 5-6 minutes, then drain and leave to steam dry for 3 minutes.

(Shake the colander to roughen the potatoes, this will help make them

super crisp later).

Toss the potatoes with a little oil and spread in a roasting pan.

Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

One hour before you’re ready to cook, remove the cling film from the potatoes and heat the oven to 190C.

Put the potatoes in and cook for 40-50 minutes, until golden but a little undercooked.

Remove the pan from the oven, (but leave the oven on) and gently squash each potato with a masher to

increase the surface area for crisping.

Add a good measure of olive oil to a small bowl, then stir in the herbs, garlic, strips of lemon zest and a

squeeze of juice.

Drizzle the mixture into the pan of potatoes and give the pan a good shake.

Pop the pan back into the hot oven for 40 minutes.

Pull out the tray and sprinkle over a little parmesan, then pop back in the over for 5 minutes, until the

potatoes are gnarled, crisp and delicious.

See page 25 for another Chronicle Christmas recipe – Brilliant Brussels.


Torview Wines Update

The circle of life has definitely visited the vineyard over the last 12 months or so – what a year we’ve had!

The vineyard has had a fairly mixed bag of fortune, thanks to the mild winter not encouraging the vines to

shut down and reinvigorate in preparation for the

new growth year. This has meant that yields are

down this harvest, although the quality of fruit has

been pretty good.


Our sincere thanks go out to all the volunteers

who helped pick over the last month. It was all the

more appreciated because we had our hands full

following the birth of our twins, just prior to

harvest. We are delighted to introduce James and

Iona, who were born on 5 th September and are

doing really well despite arriving four weeks early.

Following the harvest, the winery is now pretty busy with both our own wines and several from other

smaller vineyards in various stages of fermentation. Our own Rondo, picked at the end of September, has

completed the fermentation process and is now resting in a tank prior to bottling in eight months time. One

of my favourite jobs is getting to taste the wines as they progress in their tanks although I haven’t been

able to do this since Christmas due to being pregnant with the twins. I’m pleased to say that the first taste

of the Rondo post ferment proved it to be very fruity and pleasant to drink. This flavour should continue to

develop in the tank over the next few months, making it a very marketable wine once it has been bottled

next year.

September was also the month of wine competitions. Having entered into the South West Vineyards

Association competition, we were delighted to find out that we had been awarded Bronze Awards for both

our Pinot Noir 2014 and Rondo 2014.

Finally, keeping with the circle of life theme, some of you may know that we lost

our Springer Spaniel Orla earlier on this year. After she broke her leg, we found

out that she had a genetic disorder. Despite two long operations and weeks of

cage confinement the fracture reopened and nothing could be done to help her.

Making the devastating decision to put your animal to sleep is something that

every pet owner dreads, but ultimately comes with the responsibility of owning

such a pet.

The next question is how long to wait before taking on another animal. We

decided that when we were ready, our next animal would be from a rescue centre.

In keeping with our favourite breed, we “adopted” Willie from the English Springer

Spaniel Welfare Charity and we’re pleased to say he is doing really well, having

settled into life as a vineyard dog - as you can see, he is directing operations from

his pride of place on the tractor seat!

As ever, we are planning to have a wine tasting evening and an open weekend, giving local people a

chance to come up to the vineyard to have a look around, taste the wines and have an opportunity to buy.

The wine tasting evening will be on Thursday 8 th December from 7.30 p.m. until 9.00 p.m. Can we ask

anyone interested in attending this evening to phone us on 07940 007837 or email

so that we can plan for numbers.

The open weekend will be held on 10 th /11 th December, opening from 10.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m.

There is no need to contact us prior to coming over for this. In addition to buying wine for your own

consumption, we think that the wines would make excellent Christmas presents and we are more than

happy to wrap the bottles in keeping with the festive period.

We will also be at the Ruby Country Christmas Fayre in Hatherleigh on Saturday 3 rd December. In

the meantime, many thanks to those who have supported the vineyard this year and it would be great to

see you all up at the vineyard very soon!

Cat and Tim Gowan

Cider Apple Orchards in Sheepwash

It is twenty years since Richard and I planted our first cider orchards on the west side of Sheepwash, around

Gortleigh and South Hill. Many Sheepwash residents have asked questions about our operations, so here’s

an update.

Cider orcharding is different to other crops, as most orchards are only planted with a guaranteed contract

from a cider maker for a minimum of twenty years, due to the high initial investment and long wait for

return income.

Before harvest the crop has to be

predicted and an attempt made to book

enough slots at each factory for pressing

the apples at the right time. In the peak

weeks there is often more fruit ready

than can be pressed, so the harvesting

has to be juggled according to fruit

ripeness, weather conditions and factory


Many of you will have seen our apples

leaving Sheepwash on Evans Transport

lorries. We currently supply four larger

South West businesses – Thatchers

(Somerset), Sandford Orchards

(Crediton), Hunt Cider (Paignton) and

Ostlers Cider Vinegar (Barnstaple), as

well as several small producers.

Sheep are grazed in the orchards in winter, but have to be

taken out if the grass is covered by snow, because they

would then eat the trees.

We grow six main varieties of cider apple to give a range of cropping time - Major, Ellis Bitter, Ashton Bitter,

Browns, Michelin and Dabinett. The apples usually ripen for picking in this order, with some overlap. The

four earliest varieties drop their crop over a long period of time and have to be picked up three or four

times in a season. The later varieties drop over a shorter, later period and usually have to be picked up


We usually start picking in the second or third week of September, but harvesting effort increases

significantly from mid- October until the second or third week of November. In one year our last apples

were sent on the 30 th November!

First the blossom, then the crop – the picture shows 50 – 60 tons (two lorry-loads) of cider apples.

We have three low ground pressure harvesters, which look a bit like large ride-on lawnmowers, a shaker

which is sometimes used to shake the last fruit off the trees, and a number of trailers to hold fruit. The fruit


is taken into South Hill, where it is put through a cleaning system. When we are busy it needs five full-time

people to keep the system going, and this year a total of ten different people have worked with us to get

the harvest in. A third of the value of the crop is spent on harvesting.

We are paid for clean apples delivered to the factory in the right time slot, and part of our purchase price is

paid as two bonuses, dependant on both the quality of the fruit supplied to the factory and it’s ripeness.

There is quite a lot to co-ordinate and get right, especially using every bit of good weather, which is why

Richard and I do not take on too many other commitments during apple harvest.

For both 2014 and 2015 harvests Richard and I received the Thatchers Grower Award, which is given for

overall best quality apples supplied over a whole season (this award was only started in 2014). Devon

growers are far outnumbered by Somerset and Herefordshire growers, so the award being won twice by a

Devon grower gives much satisfaction to the growers within our county!

Gill Trace

Gortleigh Farm

Another Chronicle Christmas Recipe

(Another Jamie Oliver recipe – I tried these last Christmas as well, and they’re also good! – Alison.)

Brilliant Brussels – serves 12


1kg Brussels sprouts

6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

200g vacuum-packed chestnuts

2 onions, finely chopped

7 sprigs of sage, leaves picked and finely chopped

2 large knobs of butter

Olive oil


Once the bacon is lightly golden, crumble in the chestnuts.

Put a large pan on a high heat. Slice the bacon into

chunky strips, then put in the pan with a drizzle of olive

oil, and turn the heat down to medium.

When the chestnuts and bacon start to turn deep golden, add the onions and sage, and turn the heat right

down. Let everything cook slowly for half an hour or so, while you prep the Brussels sprouts.

Use a small paring knife to trim off the base and peel back any tatty outer leaves. Leave smaller Brussels

whole and halve the large ones through the core so they hold together.

Put the Brussels in a large pan on full whack, and boil up a full kettle. Put some salt in with the Brussels. The

pan should be nudging up to hot, then carefully pour in the boiling water. Boil for about five minutes until

just tender – taste to check, they should be slightly undercooked.

Drain the Brussels, then throw them in with the chestnutty mix. Use a spoon to scrape the sticky bits from

the bottom of the pan. Add the butter, then adjust the seasoning.

You can serve these straight away or store them somewhere cool and reheat in the same pan until they are

piping hot.






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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

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Your Local Builders Merchants

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We stock everything from sand, aggregate and cement, to powertools, paints

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Come and see what we have to offer!


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Useful Contacts

Description Person Telephone Email

Member of


Geoffrey Cox 01837 82000

County Councillor Barry Parsons 01409 211234

Ward Councillor Philip Hackett 01409 231310

Parish Council


Michael Francis 01409 231845

Parish Councillors Philip Hackett 01409 231310

Nigel Hutchings 01409 231586

Mike Ritson 01409 231680

Gill Trace 01409 231291

Denise Tubby 01409 231694

Christina Penn 0797 976 3547

Parish Clerk Penny Clapham 01647 253066

Ladies Skittles Helen Orr 01409 231199

Yoga Di Sluggett 01409 281637


Community Shop

01409 231531

Doctors’ surgery

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Dr Alan Howlett

Dr Asad Aldoori

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Chronicle Editors

Alison Ansell 01409 231196

Chris Bell 01409 231341


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Vera Bryant 01409 231373


Description Person Telephone Email

Snooker Club


Charles Inniss 01409 231237

Village Hall Bookings Anne Gray 01409 231231

Village Hall Chair Denise Tubby 01409 231694

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.


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!

The Sheepwash Chronicle is printed by

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

Telephone: 01363 777595. Web:



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