Winter 2017 edition new


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

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 Pictures

The winter pictures on our front and back covers were taken around Sheepwash by Jane Jackson and

Chris. Why not get out with your camera this winter, and send us your best shots to use next year?

Contents of this issue


What’s Been Happening? 3 Midwinter Thoughts 17

What’s Coming Up? 6 The Beach at Bude 18

Notices 10 Dates For Your Diary 37

Talking Shop 14 Useful Contacts 38

Memories of Sheepwash 16 Bus Timetables 39


Deadline for the next issue

(but the earlier the better!)

Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 24 th March, to ensure it is included in the

April (Spring) 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


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

Sheepwash Golfing Society

The Sheepwash Golfing Society is a longestablished

group of friends who go out every

Thursday to play golf. Although the society

originated in Sheepwash, our members are now

drawn from a wider area in North Devon and


We usually play at Bude and North Cornwall Golf

Club, where most of us are members, but we

also have a few away days - recent destinations

include Honiton, Holsworthy, Launceston, Oak

Manor, near Taunton, Ivy Leaf and Tavistock.

Golf is always followed by a few beers and

supper, so it is a very “convivial” day out, as our

captain Fred Heard would say.

The society is informal- there is no subscription,

no rules, and the ability range is very wide. We

have some very good golfers and others who

play more in hope than expectation!

Membership is by invitation. Our numbers vary - it just depends who turns up on a Thursday - but we

normally field between fifteen and twenty players.

In March every year there is the Sheepwash Cup, which attracts about forty invited players, and we have

the odd match against other societies.

Despite the informality, some serious golf is played. Members compete for the “Golfer of the Year”

accolade, based on the most points scored during our monthly Stableford competition.

The 2016 winner was our own Tony Jones, who is pictured here holding the coveted Sheepwash Duck - a

magnificent trophy!

David Ansell

Carol Singing Around the Village

Thank you to all who came carol singing around the village just before Christmas, and to those who came

out to listen, and to give so generously – a wonderful £200 has been sent to Children’s Hospice South


It was great to have the musical accompaniment of Mike Ritson on saxophone and Jan Hayward on clarinet

– thank you both. After nearly two hours carolling our evening came to a close with lovely festive

refreshments at the home of Pete and Jan Hayward of Oaklands – thanks to them for their hospitality, and

thank you all Sheepwash!

Helen Orr

Don’t forget to visit our website –


Flint’s New Year Revelations

And timely help with that resolution?


Debbie Flint is a new resident in Sheepwash.

She spends half the week here and the

other half in Chiswick.

She has two grown up children and two

Labradors and she is now to be found

helping to run Retreats for You (a venue for

writers) in Sheepwash.

Debbie will be known to many as the face of

QVC, the home shopping television channel.

She started her career as the first girl in the

hot seat on children’s BBC TV, replacing

Phillip Schofield in the Broom Cupboard.

Then she shared a couch with Eamonn

Holmes to help launch BBC Daytime TV.

Years later, she hosted her own BBC1 game show (Meet The Challenge) and has co-presented and reported

on numerous other live magazine and entertainment shows.

She is the author of short stories for children’s TV (Buena Vista, Rise and Shine), and has also self-published

novels on Amazon. Another contemporary novel, Take A Chance on Me, was published by multi-awardwinning

publishers Choc Lit in 2015.

Debbie might be able to help all of us with the resolution to – yet again – lose weight this New Year. In her

latest book, Till the Fat Lady Slims, she speaks openly and honestly of her life, stresses and

disappointments, and decades-long battles with her weight, in this semi autobiographical, weight-loss and

lifestyle book.

Alongside stories of her fascinating but often stressful life, she introduces readers to the concept of

Freedom Eating and how it helps to escape Food Prison. Debbie shares, in her very own personable way,

how she managed to break free from the habits of a lifetime - habits that so many readers will be able to

identify with. Her tale of regaining control is heart-warming and above all, inspirational.

Speaking from her home in Sheepwash, Debbie confides, “The last decade was particularly tough on several

fronts, and I share my experiences in this book. Some parts were not the easiest thing to admit to, but the

feedback I get is that letting others in on the ups and downs is what makes people realise they are not


“After managing to take back control and finding the secrets to my own success, I was asked to share those

secrets and Till the Fat Lady Slims was born.

“This book isn't really about weight. It's about listening to our own instincts and once we are back in touch

with what our bodies are telling us, we can start living again instead of being controlled by food. I'm

delighted so many people have experienced their own success having read this book.”

Till The Fat Lady Slims – 2017 edition was released in paperback in January and is available at all good book

shops and online retailers.

Debbie is planning some personal appearances at bookshops around Devon, and, of course, you’re likely to

see her walking her dogs around Sheepwash.

In Sheepwash Debbie is looking forward to expanding on Deb's legacy, creating a little tearoom - you’ll

probably recall Deb’s pop-up cafe was popular in previous summers. You never know, it may even become

a vintage tearoom destination and a good reason for visitors to travel to Sheepwash in years to come!

Initially, Debbie’s hoping to put on a couple of fundraisers for the well-known charity, Medical Detection

Dogs, for which she is an ambassador. They help humans in the detection of disease, and are just

incredible. Some medical detection dogs might visit Sheepwash on the weekend after Valentine's Day, so

watch out for notices around the place!

Praise for Till the Fat Lady Slims – 2017 edition

"When I first started reading it, I was truly amazed - it was like reading my

own story. Fast forward a couple of years and, to my surprise

(conventional diets never worked for me!) I'm slowly and effortlessly

approaching my goal of getting below the 11 stone mark - nearly 3 stone

lighter. It's not hard either, now, as eating sensibly has become second

nature! I love my new way of being around food and my new shape. But

most of all, feeling normal around food."


Being on crutches after always being a very active person all my life, was

quite a shock. Weight had piled on. Then I read Till The Fat Lady Slims. It

just clicked. No need to clear my plate, just stop when satisfied. Don't

start until I am at number 6 on my hunger scale. I lost two stone last year

even though I was fairly immobile. It's brilliant!


Till The Fat Lady Slims has changed my life so much, down from a size 30 at my biggest to a 12-14. Debbie's

Freedom Eating system means I no longer have to panic-diet if I put a bit on, like when I disastrously went

on hormones briefly. I just carry on with the basic principles from TTFLS and it slowly comes back off. The

ground-breaking difference is that in the bad old days it would have ALL gone back on, as I beat myself up

for being bad. This is such a life change for me, people who haven't seen me for a while don't recognise me,

and I have to say I love it when that happens. LOL!


Sheepwash Rainfall

Rainfall in inches November December Yearly Total


Charles, East Street




Graham, Middlecott





Charles, East Street

Graham, Middlecott








The rainfall in November and December was less than half that during the corresponding two months in


In fact it has been the driest year since 2011, with 41 inches, compared to the long term average of 45

inches, and almost 50 inches in 2015. Indeed, for the nine months since 1 st April there were only 23.5

inches, which is two-thirds of the long term average.

This winter the river has only been in full spate once - on 20 th November, when the road at Sheepwash

Bridge was flooded for a short while. Compare that with the last three winters, when the water was lapping

into the fields for weeks on end!

Not surprisingly, the reservoirs are unusually low for this time of year – for example, Roadford is only 64%

full, when in most years it is more than 90% full.

But no doubt nature will right itself!

Charles Inniss and Graham Tidball

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

Yoga with Jennie in the Village Hall

After six taster sessions at a reduced price – which were great – we are now

starting weekly Yoga sessions on a Tuesday evening from 7.00 p.m. to 8.00

p.m. in the Village Hall.

The cost will be £5 per person plus 50p donation for the Village Hall. You will

be required to pay £30 on the first session to cover six weeks. Jennie is happy for

you to carry over any weeks that you are unable to attend for a further two weeks.

We have really enjoyed the sessions so far even though some of us were very new

to yoga. Wear loose clothing and bring something to lie on.

You can contact Jennie on 0777 646 5236 or 01409 282842 for more information. She also has a

website -

Alternatively, you can ring Denise on 231694 or Anne on 231231 (Village Hall Committee).

Look forward to seeing you there!

Table Top Fairs in the Village Hall

The Table Top Fair just before Christmas was very well supported.

The atmosphere was very festive and all the stallholders were busy throughout the morning.

The cake stall did brisk business, raising money towards the roof fund for St.Lawrence Church, selling

wonderful Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes, and mince pies, to mention just a few of the treats on


A very merry time was had by all, and £150 was raised for Village Hall funds.

The next Table Top Fair is on Saturday 18 th February. To book a table, ring Anne on 231231 – there is a

small charge of £4 per table, which goes to Village Hall funds.

You can sell whatever you like - your own produce or craft goods, or anything else that you can think of!

You could make some extra cash for yourself, or raise some money for your favourite charity.

Look forward to seeing you at the next Fair!

Anne Gray

01409 231231

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 12 th February and 12 th March.

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!


Open Friendly Back Gardens

For St. Lawrence’s Roof

You might remember that the last time we had an opportunity to welcome all comers to our gardens was in

2015, when the funds were collected for helping the village in Nepal which had suffered the devastating

earthquake. I hope to organise another similar and even better event this summer.

I write now so that you have plenty of time for planning. The Friends of St. Lawrence’s Church are meeting

very soon to plan several fund/funraising events at various times during the year.

My intention is to encourage as many folk as possible to let visitors into their gardens towards the middle

of June, when gardens and vegetables can be at their most interesting or attractive.

Again, like the last time, the idea is to see not parks and ornamental gardens all prim and proper

necessarily, but work in interesting progress, the struggles and fun we have, the crops we grow and their

pests, the views of the village from normally unvisited places, and to raise more funding for the roof repairs

for St. Lawrence’s Church. (Our fund at the time of writing is more than half way to the goal of £25,000,

including great generosity from Sheepwash people and grants raised externally.)

So let’s plan a bit, grow a lot, and be ambitious for the gardening year in our gardens. There will

undoubtedly be plant sales, swapping of seedlings, offers of help from friendly villagers, chittings and

germinations, transplantings and trimmings, but the main aim is for fun and fundraising!

Mike Ritson

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 7 th February and 7 th March.


Sheepwash Evening Book Group

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

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 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.

Church and Chapel News

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.

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 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


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


Parish Council Matters

Sheepwash Parish Council has had a bumpy ride in the last few months. The resignation of our Chair,

Michael Francis, has left only a temporary Acting Chair, Mike Ritson, to coordinate the goings on. In our

next meeting, we are hoping to elect a new Chair who can continue to keep us all up to speed with the

progress of our village.

Our Clerk, Penny Clapham is looking to retire from her role with us, and though we have advertised before

Christmas, and interviewed one person, as yet that role has also not been filled either.

We are looking forward to having someone to fill Penny’s shoes in as capable and well-informed a way as

she has worked. Legal issues, insurance, keeping a careful eye upon planning applications, liaising between

ourselves and Torridge District Council - all these aspects of the job, and more, are important to help look

after Sheepwash and its residents in an open and fair manner.

Recently, we seem to have been occupied with issues about planning permission, where our aim as your

Parish Council has been to protect the integrity of the village while encouraging progress. The problem we

have, (or opportunity for those with spare land) is that Torridge District Council has been told by the

government that there are not enough houses being built down here in the South West, and village

boundaries which we had thought to be in place and decided upon by village plans are now no longer


That means far wider planning applications can be considered, even in Sheepwash, as we are seeing.

Facilities in the village are limited, and public transport is thin to say the least. Traffic through the village

causes some folk to be upset from time to time. The roads are in a poor state in some places. And despite

these drawbacks, planning applications are being made because our village boundaries carry less weight

with higher authorities.

The Parish Council often gets caught up in a balancing act between trying to please, “some of the people all

of the time, and all of the people some of the time.” Of course, not wishing to be acting for our parishioners

blind or deaf, we continue to hope more people would attend the Parish Council meetings.

The dates of these are published in the Chronicle – they are always at 7.00 p.m., always on a Wednesday,

usually the third Wednesday in the month, every two months.

Mike Ritson

Parish Council Update - Editors’ Notes:

A lot happened at the last Parish Council meeting, which took place on Wednesday 18 th January, after Mike

sent us his article above. We have been passed two pieces of information by a villager who attended in the

public gallery:

Mike Ritson said he could not carry on as Chairman, so the Parish Councillors voted Philip Hackett

in as Interim Chair until the AGM in April.

Three villagers attending the meeting in the public gallery made individual critical statements about

Philip Hackett’s conduct and the detrimental effect he has had on the Parish Council.

We have had no official communication about the meeting, so we do not feel we can go into any more

detail at this time. However, we hope to provide a comprehensive, clear, and balanced account of the key

issues raised in the next Chronicle.

It is unfortunate that such a long time will have to elapse, with the subsequent knowledge vacuum filled by

the village rumour and gossip networks spreading truths, half-truths, and misinformation.

We have asked the Parish Council to take the Chronicle publication deadlines into account when planning

their meeting dates, so there is sufficient time for them to provide us with a summary of the latest meeting,

but this has not happened. While we are sure there is no intention to keep villagers who cannot attend the

meetings in ignorance of the main points of business discussed, this is the effective result.

Based on Mike’s closing comment in his article, we think the next Parish Council meeting will be on

Wednesday 15 th March, but at the time of going to press we haven’t been able to confirm that, so look out

for other notices!


Holsworthy Rural Policing Update

Recent incidents:

Bradworthy: Theft of an HIAB crane.

Bridgerule: Burglary – local investigations ongoing.

Halwill: Male offender charged with driving a vehicle with a

blood alcohol level above the legal limit.

Holsworthy Woods: Theft from a vehicle.

Damage to a vehicle.

A Cannabis Warning issued to a male offender for

possession of a Class B drug.

Milton Dameral: Criminal damage of an oil tank.

Unattended vehicles

We have experienced two reported incidents of theft and damage to vehicles when parked up. Please be

aware that unattended vehicles can be a target for passing criminals. Make sure you do not leave valuables

on display, and where possible park in a well-lit and visible location.

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

Deadline for the next issue

Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 24 th March, to ensure

it is included in the April (Spring) issue of the Chronicle.


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

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!


Sheepwash Community Shop and Post Office News

Don't catch a chill

By the time you read this winter will truly be upon us, so wrap up warm and keep the house cosy. Your

shop is here to help, and carries a stock of logs, kindling, matches and firelighters.

Sadly, some of us will succumb to colds and the like, but never fear, we can offer tea and sympathy - and, of

course, welcome relief supplied by a range of remedies, including cough medicines, sore throat tablets,

Vick, pain killers, and (my own particular favourite) honey and lemon. Just mix with hot water and a tot of


Thank you

Sheepwash is very lucky in the way its good folk donate their time and hard-earned cash in support of

worthy causes and village institutions in need.

A big thank you to all you folk for your contributions of prizes and for participating in the Grand Christmas

Draw, as well as the November Safari Supper, both organised by Chris Vincent. So a big thanks to Chrissie


With no support, we tumble

Many of you may wonder why the village shop needs this fundraising help? Well, in the UK, 300 or more

privately run village shops are closing each year, yet many are saved by becoming community owned and

run like ours.

But even a community shop still has to balance its books. Sales (or rather the profit on sales) must be

great enough to cover the shop’s overheads. If not, the shop cannot pay its bills and will fold.

So, if sales are too low, or overheads are too high, there will be a shortfall. Thankfully, this is where

fundraising fills the gap. But even the donations made by our wonderful community have a limit, so the

shop team must keep addressing that basic shopkeeper's equation and try to increase sales and keep

overheads as low as possible.

The higher the level of sales, then the more gross profit (the difference between our sales income and what

we pay our suppliers) will be generated to pay our overheads. So the more you use the shop, the higher the

likelihood it will survive.

For our part, we will try to stock more items that you particularly ask for, and also try to tempt you with

new and interesting products. We are never going to compete on price with everything that the likes of

Tesco and Asda sell. However, many of our branded goods and price-marked specials do get close and are

sometimes even lower!

Instead, we hope to offset this by offering you the convenience of being just up the road, coupled with a

reasonable range of goods. This includes many tasty, locally sourced products that are not available from

the big boys, like Miles Tea, Stapleton’s yogurt, Sally's cupcakes, Endacott’s pasties, and the fabulous

Wessex Pantry pies.

I keep mentioning overheads, but what exactly are they? Well these include many costs that we have little

or no control over - like rates, licences, and the repairs and replacement of fridges and other shop


equipment. Other overheads that we can and do try to manage and minimise include accountancy,

electricity, insurance, and wastage - all of which have been reduced during the past year.

Finally, our biggest overhead is labour. Any community shop relies on its volunteer staff to reduce its wages

bill. Without them, it would not survive.

The Plunkett Foundation, a charity that helps rural communities, states that the average number of

volunteers in a community shop is 30. Ours total 13 1 / 2 - but this is much improved on last year's figure of

only five. However, Plunkett's figures are derived from villages with a population three or four times that of

Sheepwash - so maybe we're not doing so badly after all.

We would always welcome more though! So if you have a couple of hours a week to spare, and want to

add retail experience to your CV, or would just like to serve your community - and be first in the know of

what's going on in Sheepwash! - then do let us know. It's more fun than you might think!

What a card!

The new card payment and cash back facility are now fully up and running. Many thanks for your patience

while we ironed out one or two initial problems with the system.

It is encouraging to report that there were over £1,000 worth of card transactions made in December, so

hopefully this has increased our sales a little, along with proving to be a useful asset for the village.


Now that we are a CIC (Community Interest Company), we are encouraged to seek involvement with those

who, in modern speak, are known as our stakeholders - and that means you!

So please do let us know what you think - good or bad, it all helps us improve what we do.

So, whether it's your personal needs, good business ideas, or anything else - all your ideas will be gratefully

received, as they will all help turn the shop into our shop.

Simon Crossley

Can You Contribute Content to the Chronicle?

We are always looking for new content for the Chronicle.

Do you have a story you would like to share?

Is there a hobby or interest you have which you can tell us about?

Have you taken any photographs or made a drawing or painting or sculpture you

think other people would like to see?

Do you know any good jokes (suitable for a family audience!)?

Or is there something else you’d like to see in the Chronicle?

We want to see as many villagers as possible in the Chronicle.

Please get in touch with your ideas – see our contact details on the back page.

Deadline for the next issue

Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 24 th March, to ensure

it is included in the April (Spring) issue of the Chronicle.


Memories of Sheepwash

Some of you may enjoy just a few of my memories of Sheepwash from when I first came to live in the

village in 1958.

Father, having retired from the RAF, had bought the Half Moon Inn, mainly because of his enthusiasm for

salmon fishing. Our dear mother would do the cooking and organise the hotel, my elder brother, Benjie, ran

the bar, and father looked after the fishermen. I was 15 years old and preparing to take my “O” levels at

Shebbear College, so my involvement in the challenges of starting up a new business was limited.

Not long after moving into the village, my mother decided that it would improve the village square if the

hideous railings around the war memorial were removed. As soon we started to dismantle the

monstrosities, there was uproar in the village! What right had these outsiders to come into our village and

start tearing things abroad? It was many years later before the railings were finally removed.

As a family we quickly realised that many of the old village stalwarts had a deep distrust of newcomers.

These days, when a new family comes to live in the village, every effort is made to make them welcome. It

certainly wasn’t always Iike that.

Charlie and Emma Luxton used to live in Wren Cottage, where Paul and Jan Tomlinson now live. Whenever I

walked up East Street, whatever the weather and whatever the time of day, Emma would be sitting in her

doorway. I am not exaggerating, she was always there - at least she was when I went past. She never spoke

to me and I was too nervous to speak to her.

Then one day the silence was broken. Emma curtly enquired about the health of some poor old soul in the

village who I had never heard of. I politely informed her I did not know. “Of course you don’t know,” she

retorted, “you don’t belong ‘ere!”

Emma’s husband, Charlie, drove a cattle lorry for Percy Browne. Percy (he was our MP at the time) had a

cattle lorry business based in Sheepwash. His office was in Walden Cottage, at the top of the Square, where

Tony and Jenny Gent now live. It was cattle lorries, not motor vehicles, that filled the Square in those days.

Emma Luxton, sitting in her doorway seemingly for hours on end, was symptomatic of the pace of life in

Sheepwash. What had to be done was never rushed. Even the cows, having been milked by Walter

Newcombe or Alan Finnemore, would dawdle oh so slowly through the Square on the way back to the

fields, always leaving their evidence behind. More often than not, Walter would hold onto his bicycle for

support rather than ride it.

When Robert Glenton, the motoring correspondent for the Sunday Express, came to the village to promote

rural tourism in North Devon, he described our village as, “the sleepy land of summer”!

My reason for walking up East Street was often to visit a quaint little shop run by Miss Balkwill. I think it

was just beyond Oak House, where there was a row of thatched cottages. It was approached by going down

a narrow, dimly lit corridor. It was so tiny it would make our current community shop look like a


It might have been small, but it was a veritable Aladdin’s Cave, with an amazing array of goods for sale. I

well remember the row of large sweet jars behind the counter, with the goodies weighed out and handed

over in a paper bag. What joy! Sometimes Vera and Valerie’s mother, Gladys, would be behind the counter

and serve me.

Maybe these few thoughts will jog a few memories. Let me know if you can think of anything of interest, or

even better write it down yourself. Perhaps we could have a “page of memories” in every Chronicle!

Charles Inniss

Don’t forget to visit our website –


Midwinter Thoughts

Another new gardening year is upon us!

After a very dry December, January has made up for it,

and the ground is now cold and wet and best left alone

for the present – relief some may say, no challenging

cultivational suggestions from me!

However, there are some things to be getting on with,

like pruning apple and pear trees - don’t forget it’s the

fat buds that are the flower buds, so don’t cut those


Cut back autumn fruiting raspberry canes to ground

level, ready for feeding next month when growth


A light pruning of roses can be done, taking out the

weak growth and cutting to an outside bud. Then

make sure to clear up all the old leaves from the plant

and any that are on the ground, to help avoid

blackspot, a fungal disease of roses that is spread by rain splash. Mulching the ground under the roses also

helps - we use last year’s multi-purpose compost from summer bedding pots for this.

Check dahlia tubers that are in store for any signs of rot, and remove and clear it out.

As soon as the ground is workable (I won’t say dry!), start preparing seedbeds and sowing broad beans.

Some say you can still plant garlic, but I’ve never been successful with spring planting - come to that, for the

last two years my autumn plantings have also proved pretty dismal!

It’s coming up to time to buy new potato seed potatoes and set them to chit in a frost-free place in the

light. I use egg trays for them, as you can stand the potatoes individually.

You can also, should you be super enthusiastic, sow some cabbage and salad seeds in trays or pots in the


Otherwise, get everything cleaned, oiled, and sharpened, ready for spring, and keep reading the seed


From a local wildlife point of view, I haven’t been out and about much recently due to this horrible cold

that has been doing the rounds, but I’m sure it’s still all out there somewhere!

Jeremy Burden

Torridge Reflections

A memoir by Charles Inniss

Although primarily about the Torridge River and the Half Moon, the book

also recalls the many village characters and visitors to the inn who have

enriched Charles’s life, creating so much fun and laughter. It is factual,

historical, and above all, anecdotal.

Any profit from the book sales will be given to fishery and local causes,

such as the community shop and the Village Hall.

If you would like a copy of the book, please contact Charles on



The Beach at Bude


When I was a skinny, wee nipper at junior

school, we were asked to write an essay

on what we thought the future would look

like. Predictably enough, in the 1970s, that

future consisted mostly of flying cars,

silver outfits with big shoulders and teeny,

tiny tellys we could wear on our wrists.

I also imagined that proper, sit-down

meals would be a thing of the laborious

past. No more queuing for your sausages,

no more peeling and chopping endless

potatoes, no more boiled cabbage and,

especially hopefully for me, no more

lumps of meat that would have tested the

metallic gnashers of a Bond villain's

henchman. Just a simple little pill to save

all that time, effort and unpleasantness.

All your nutritional requirements ticked

off in one sugar-coated tablet.

It was a deeply attractive and eminently sensible idea to my eight-year old self. Aside from the entire range

of sweets on offer at our local sweetshop and Butterscotch Angel Delight, I could not imagine then what

pleasure could be had from refuelling.

If I had been able to go and eat at The Beach in Bude, I might have thought differently - our meal not only

tasted good, it looked good too. My fishcake was surrounded by pretty, little fresh flowers in a delicate

herb salad which was just delightful and a welcome

reminder of warm spring days on a cold, grey

December afternoon. Cheerful, glossy blobs of

chervil sauce and blackberries dressed Simon's

venison croquette.

Sat by the floor-to-ceiling windows, we had a good

view over the terrace to the town and

Summerleaze beach below. On sunny days, I

imagine the terrace is buzzing with bronzed,

cocktail-toting surfers, but that particular day the

rain lashed down and we were very happy to be

inside. The bright, modern interior is pretty cool, while the staff are warm, attentive, and friendly.

As it was approaching Christmas, we both chose the “Traditional Roast Turkey”. This came with a not-sotraditional

soft herb crust, and was served with small pools and piles of roasted and mashed parsnips and

crispy kale, all faultless.

The menu at lunchtime is limited to a choice of

three dishes for each of the three courses, but this

adequately covers meat, fish and vegetarian

options for starters and mains. Then there's

something fruity, chocolatey, or cheesey to follow.

At £12.50 for two courses or three for £15, it seems

pretty good value to me, even with cheese eaters

being charged a £3 supplement.

Evening diners can expect a lot more choice of

course. At £6-8, starters can include seared king

scallops, a poached egg on dressed Cornish asparagus and, on my own wish list, slow-cooked pork belly

rillette with citrus butter, orange marmalade chutney, toasted pistachios, fresh orange and brioche.

For the main course, you could indulge in a dry-cured Moorland sirloin for £20, or pan-roasted chicken with

chorizo for £16.50. Fish lovers are spoilt with seafood tempura, roasted grey mullet, or seared sea bream -

all with delicious-sounding accompaniments. I'm tempted by the Girolle mushrooms with rosemary

polenta, but I have Simon down for a gourmet beef burger on a brioche bap with crispy fries and fennel

slaw. However, head chef Joe Simmonds likes to use fresh local ingredients, so the menu changes quite

regularly and I'm informed there are always daily specials.

The choice of desserts is small but interesting.

Lemon pannacotta tops my list, quickly followed

by a “glazed vanilla set custard”, the latter of

which would no doubt have set my eight-yearold

heart fluttering and brought a cold sweat

out of the Intake Junior School dinner ladies.

The Beach isn't just a restaurant and bar,

though. You can also enjoy afternoon tea and

cake here, or grab a snack. And you can, of

course, stay here - it's not a bad spot to suggest

to visitors if you're strapped for space at home.

It's strange though, because before we left the house that day I did what I do most mornings, which is to

dole out a selection of tablets for us - fish oil and chondroitin for joints, plant sterols for heart health,

Lysine, calcium, vitamin D. And fewer people bother to prepare a home cooked meal for themselves these

days. Next thing you know, we'll be pulling on the silver lamé ...

Helen Crossley

Key Facts:


Tel: 01288-389800

Bar menu 12.00 - 2.30 p.m. and 6.00 - 9.30 p.m.

Restaurant open every day 6.00 - 9.30 p.m.

There is very limited parking at the front - use

Summerleaze beach car park and walk up from there.
















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


Philip Hackett acting

as Interim Chair

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 TBA

Ladies Skittles Helen Orr 01409 231199

Yoga Jennie Renshaw 01409 282842 or

0777 646 5236


Community Shop

01409 231531

01409 231628 or

Doctors’ surgery

(Black Torrington)

Dr Alan Howlett

Dr Asad Aldoori

01409 335830

Fax: 01409


Doctors’ surgery


Dr Francisco

Fernandez Guillen

01409 281913

Holsworthy Police

(station answer

phone and other


Emma Tomkies

PCSO 30538

Community Support


01409 259461 or

call 101 for all

non-urgent Police



To report a crime

Emma Tomkies

PCSO 30538

01409 259461


Mobile Library 01409 253514


Chronicle Editors

Alison Ansell 01409 231196

Chris Bell 01409 231341


Correspondent for

Okehampton Times

and North Devon


Vera Bryant 01409 231373


Description Person Telephone Email

Snooker Club


Village Hall


Charles Inniss 01409 231237

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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