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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris at email@example.com.
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
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!
Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org
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
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!
Rainfall in inches November December Yearly Total
Charles, East Street
Charles, East Street
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 - www.nimblelimbs.com.
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members practice every Sunday evening, so why not come along and join us. We look forward to seeing
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 email@example.com.
Food Bank Donations Welcome
A Food Bank box is situated at the back of St Lawrence Church. Tins of soup, baked beans, tomatoes, fish,
meat, fruit, etc. will be gratefully accepted for people in crisis.
PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ANY PERISHABLE FOOD.
All the items donated will be taken to Torrington for distribution.
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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksJcSq9sSjU or https://youtu.be/s5ZPLXdXPBc
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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
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.
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
For other matters, an email to email@example.com 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
VILLAGE HALL LETTING FEES
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.
TO BOOK THE HALL
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
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.
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!
Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org
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!
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
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 ...
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.
Description Person Telephone Email
Geoffrey Cox 01837 82000
County Councillor Barry Parsons 01409 211234 email@example.com
Ward Councillor Philip Hackett 01409 231310 firstname.lastname@example.org
Philip Hackett acting
as Interim Chair
Parish Councillors Philip Hackett 01409 231310 email@example.com
Nigel Hutchings 01409 231586 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Ritson 01409 231680 email@example.com
Gill Trace 01409 231291 firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Tubby 01409 231694 email@example.com
Christina Penn 0797 976 3547 firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Clerk TBA email@example.com
Ladies Skittles Helen Orr 01409 231199 firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga Jennie Renshaw 01409 282842 or
0777 646 5236
01409 231628 or
Dr Alan Howlett
Dr Asad Aldoori
phone and other
01409 259461 or
call 101 for all
To report a crime
Mobile Library 01409 253514
Alison Ansell 01409 231196 email@example.com
Chris Bell 01409 231341 firstname.lastname@example.org
and North Devon
Vera Bryant 01409 231373
Description Person Telephone Email
Charles Inniss 01409 231237 email@example.com
Anne Gray 01409 231231 firstname.lastname@example.org
Village Hall Chair Denise Tubby 01409 231694 email@example.com
Buses to and from Sheepwash
Turner’s Tours of Chumleigh operate the following bus services to and from the village. All buses pick up
and drop off at the bus shelter in the village square.
On Mondays (to Bideford):
Bus No. Departing from Time Arriving at Time
642 Sheepwash 9.30 a.m. Bideford 10.35 a.m.
642 Bideford 1.30 p.m. Sheepwash 2.35 p.m.
On Wednesdays (to Holsworthy):
Bus No. Departing from Time Arriving at Time
639 Sheepwash 9.52 a.m. Holsworthy 10.30 a.m.
639 Holsworthy 1.30 p.m. Sheepwash 2.08 p.m.
On Saturdays (to Okehampton):
Bus No. Departing from Time Arriving at Time
631 Sheepwash 10.00 a.m. Okehampton 10.37 a.m.
631 Okehampton 12.30 p.m. Sheepwash 1.07 p.m.
For further information about bus routes and timetables, call Turner’s Tours on 01769 580242.
EXTRA COPIES OF THE CHRONICLE
A copy of the Sheepwash Chronicle is delivered free to every house in Sheepwash.
Extra copies are available in the community shop on a first come, first served basis,
at a cost of £1 each.
However, if you would like one or more extra copies of every issue in a year
(perhaps to send to family or friends), please let us know and we will deliver them
with your free copy. We only charge £5 a year for each extra copy, saving £1 on
the shop price, and guaranteeing your extra copy – the shop sells out fast!
The Sheepwash Chronicle is printed by
Hedgerow Print Ltd, 16 Marsh Lane, Lords Meadow, Crediton, Devon, EX17 1ES.
Telephone: 01363 777595. Web: www.hedgerowprint.co.uk