Editorial – Your Chronicle Still Needs You!
Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback on our last issue, and an even bigger thank you to all who
have sent us contributions for this one! Remember, we need your input to make the Chronicle what you
want it to be. You can do this in lots of ways:
• Give us your news – what has happened since the last issue, and what will be happening in the
next few months. We want to hear about special birthdays, anniversaries, new arrivals and departures,
forthcoming events - anything and everything that is of interest to you
• 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
• 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 spring pictures on our front and back covers were taken around Sheepwash by Chris, Alison, and
Jane Jackson. Why not get out with your camera this spring, and send us your best shots to use next
Contents of this issue:
What’s Been Happening? 3 Muriel’s Memories 23
What’s Coming Up? 9 The Chronicle Recipe 24
Your Letters 15 Then and Now 25
Notices 16 Ooops, I Did It Again! 26
Talking Shop 19 Impressions of Bogota and Columbia 28
Nature’s Corner 20 Dates For Your Diary 45
Spring Thoughts 21 Useful Contacts 46
The Sheepwash Golfing Society 22 Bus Timetables 47
Deadline for the next issue
(but the earlier the better!)
Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 19 th May, to ensure it is included in the
June (Summer) issue of the Chronicle.
• Just tell us your news when you see us out and about.
• Send or drop off news and contributions on paper to Alison at The Glebe in West Road
or Chris at Larcombe House in North Street.
• Telephone - Call Alison on 01409 231196 or Chris on 01409 231341.
• Email - We are very pleased to receive contributions or messages in electronic form.
Email Alison at email@example.com or Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lots of things have been going on in the village since the last issue hit the streets.
Welcome to Sheepwash
Welcome to Gary Silver and Ruth O’Malley, who have moved into Lake Cottage, South Street. We hope
you’ll enjoy joining in with all the community activities in the village.
Ladies Walk and Talk
The inaugural Ladies Walk and Talk took place on 4 th February with a circular walk to Black Torrington (3.5
miles). The weather gods were smiling and it wasn't raining!
We met at the bus shelter in Sheepwash and made our way down South Street, taking the first right on
the road after the bridge and coming back through Black Torrington and up West Road. There were six
walkers, a pair of twins in a buggy, and a very well-behaved dog.
Conversation ranged from children to the environment, and to what jobs we had done in previous lives
before coming to Sheepwash. It was noticeably quieter
on the uphill sections! We finished back at the Village
Hall for tea and cake.
Our second walk on 11 th March was slightly longer (4.25
miles), and in the opposite direction. It was another
circular walk, this time with seven of us (with twins in
the buggy and another well-behaved dog). We headed
out of the village on North Road, turned left at the
vineyard, through Upcott, and then turned left back
towards Black Torrington before turning left again to
come back up West Road.
Once again the weather gods were smiling, although
there were black clouds and some raindrops, but it was
warm with no wind and what little rain there was didn't dampen our spirits. There were slightly more hills
this time, but that didn't diminish the conversation, sharing local knowledge about people and places
(who knew there had been mussels in Musselbrook?) as well as enjoying the amazing countryside on our
doorstep and seeing things that you don't see when you are driving.
After saving a rather stunned pheasant on the way, it was back to the Village Hall again for cake and tea.
We want to make this as inclusive as possible for lady walkers of all abilities and ages. We only walk as fast
as the slowest walkers - it is not about getting from start to finish in the quickest time possible. We move
the dates to enable as many people as possible to come and join us, and we will be doing some Sunday
walks soon. We also hope to do some local “off road” walking when the weather improves and the fields
The tentative plan for next month’s walk on 1 st April will be a linear walk along the Tarka Trail. This will
allow those who only want a short walk to go as far as they want, whilst those who want to walk further
can do so. It is also a flatter walk.
If you would like to join us or you would like more information, either drop me an email or speak to Anne
in the shop.
The rather stunned pheasant.
(A good name for a pub?!)
Sheepwash Spring Lunch
The coming of spring was clearly evident in the Village
Hall, with bouquets of daffodils decorating the tables.
Despite a very drizzly grey day our forty-two guests
were in good spirits and an enjoyable time was had with
a lovely chicken casserole, new potatoes, Dauphinoise
potatoes, green beans, and Chantenay carrots.
Thank you Anne for managing to organise everything to
go so smoothly, despite poor Martin being unwell.
Thank you also to Pete for your sterling work with the
vegetables, to Sheila for the magnificently presented
tables, and to Anne, Muriel, Margaret Hall and Maggie
for the wonderful puddings. Thanks also to Roger for
collecting the money and doing the raffle, assisted by
Gary. And a big thank you to Jan, Annie, and Laura for
helping with the washing-up!
The Spring Lunch coincided with Women’s Day (8 th
March), and we all had a laugh about finding all the
women helpers in the kitchen, clearing up after the
Our next lunch will be on Wednesday 7 th June. It will
still only cost £5 per person, so see you there!
Rainfall in inches January February Yearly Total
Charles, East Street
Charles, East Street
What a difference a year makes! After one of our wettest ever winters last year, this winter has been
unusually dry. Last winter, in the five months from October to February I recorded 30 inches of rain, and
this year in the corresponding five months only 14.3 inches.
Indeed, in the last twelve months to the end of February we have had only 75% of our average rainfall.
Roadford is only 70% full, whereas in most winters it is overflowing at the end of the winter period.
We have experienced many more frosts than last year, but nothing exceptionally cold. The winter weather
has certainly suited the daffodils - they are giving us a fantastic display!
Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org
Table Top Fairs in the Village Hall
The February Table Top was very busy. Added attractions included Debbie Flint raising funds for her
favourite charity – Medical Detection Dogs – and the Friends of St Lawrence putting names on roof tiles
for the new church roof. £150 was raised for Village Hall funds, we sold out of bacon rolls!
The Table Top in March was well supported in spite of the wind and rain and we raised another £105 for
Village Hall funds.
There were some wonderful aprons and quilts for sale, and some hand-knitted socks – all made in
Sheepwash or nearby. Also homemade cupcakes and flapjacks – again made in Sheepwash – and some
very clever craftwork. There is a lot of talent about!
The next sale is on 15 th April, which will be Easter weekend. Hope to see you there – call me on 231231
for more information.
Pop-up Vintage Tearoom
A vintage tearoom popped up in Sheepwash over the
weekend of 18 th and 19 th February. New Sheepwasher
Debbie Flint hosted the event in aid of the Medical
Detection Dogs (MDD) charity, for which she is an
So far she has helped to raise in the region of £25,000
for the charity to aid both sides of MDD - partner dogs
who alert their owners to changes in medical
conditions such as Type 1 diabetes, and also for NHS
research into using dogs for cancer detection in
On Sunday 19 th February, the owners of the Launceston-based Bear House (Charlie Bears Ltd) presented a
cheque to the charity for £4000, raised through the sale of a limited edition collectable dog called Bones.
MDD also had a stall at the table top sale in the village hall on Saturday 18 th February, and Debbie has
official MDD merchandise for sale in The Court (Retreats For You), if you’d like to call in.
Chinese Meal on 25 th Feb
Once again Yan Ping did us proud with an amazing
array of authentic Chinese cooking.
This time we were treated to Lotus Root - a
crunchy vegetable with a delicate flavour, not
unlike water chestnuts. Apparently this innocent
looking pale tuber is reputed to have aphrodisiac
powers! Someone else may like to confirm that,
but it does have lots of
health benefits and we
would certainly have
topped up our levels of
and minerals with this
unusual side dish.
The show-stealer, as usual, was the Chinese Spice Fish. This recipe was so popular
before that it was reproduced in an earlier edition of the Chronicle. If anyone
would like a copy, you'll find it on Page 29 of
the December 2014 Chronicle available online
(go to www.sheepwashchronicle.org and
click on 'Past Issues'). It is definitely worth
having a go at yourself, and many of the
ingredients can be obtained in the shop - including fresh trout if you
order it before Tuesday.
Biggest thanks, of course, to the redoubtable Yan Ping
and Peter Bright, and to everyone who came along and
helped raise such an amazing amount of money - over
£560! This really does make an enormous difference to
the coffers in the shop. It enables us to make essential
repairs, replace broken equipment, and invest in new
appliances. Your shop team are forever grateful!
It was a great evening, rounded off with Yan Ping serenading us with
some beautiful traditional Chinese songs!
My thanks to all the people who worked really hard to make it
another wonderful event - those who decorated the hall, and all the
shoppers, choppers, chefs, and bar staff.
Special thanks to Linda Trace for organising it and working tirelessly
with Lynda Fenn to get all those delicious courses on and off the
tables and cleaned
Cakes For Comic Relief
Thank you to everyone who helped raise £44.39 for Comic Relief by donating money
for the cakes at the village shop.
The Sheepwash Cup 2017
This year's Sheepwash Cup was held on March 23 rd . It was a cold, gray
day, and we were subjected to a heavy shower for a good part of the
afternoon. Nevertheless, about fifty stalwarts set out to play an 18-hole
The winner was Alan Harris, a Bude resident, who scored 39 points, a
very good score in the difficult conditions. He beat Phil Leighton who
also scored 39 points, on a count back - he was one point better on the
back nine. The winner of the A division (for handicaps of less than 20)
was the club professional, Nick Cook, with 38 points and the B division
(handicaps of more than 20) was won by Glenn Johns, with 37 points.
After considerable success in recent years - Gary Fisher won last year,
and Tony Jones the year before, Sheepwash residents did less well this
year. The only “local” to win anything was David Manning - for nearest
to the pin on the 13 th - so we must all try even harder next year.
We were, however, rewarded for our efforts this year with a splendid supper in the evening, so everybody
returned home content!
Hatherleigh Silver Band
The Hatherleigh Silver Band produced yet another superb all round performance at the South West Brass
Band Contest at the Riviera Centre in Torquay on Saturday 11 th March to carry off the 4th Section
Champions Title for the second year in a row.
Playing first of twenty bands in the section (no-one likes playing first in these contests) Musical Director
Matt Green brought out every emotion in a performance of Alan Fernie’s St Andrews Variations to get the
band ahead of the other nineteen. The adjudicator’s comments on variation number eight, (a slow lilting
hymn) was just two words - “pure magic”.
To win the contest two years in a row is almost unheard of, and was a great achievement for all involved.
It means that the band will travel to Cheltenham in September once again for the national finals in Section
4, with promotion to Section 3 already assured for 2018.
For a small town band, whose ages range from 13 to 75, they are quite remarkable. We attended their
Christmas concert in the Community Centre a few months ago, and it was a marvellous night of highly
professional musicianship, as well as great fun for all the family.
Watch out for notices of dates and venues this summer. You will not be disappointed.
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
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 then? We look forward to seeing you!
Raymond Snow – Some Thoughts
This was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write,
and as I sat in dad’s chair I realised it was because my
ultimate proofreader wasn’t there to give it the thumbs-up.
Growing up, it was always dad who checked my homework,
with the patience and good humour I’m sure you would all
recognise. Dad was my lodestone, and I knew I could do
anything as long as Pa thought it was OK – he might not have
known that, but it’s true!
Born in Wimbledon in 1921, Dad, Raymond, was the only son
of Kenneth and Lucy Snow. He sang with Kenneth in their
Church choir, something Rachel and I later came to share
with him, as he led our church choir in Norfolk. Music was in
his blood, and we grew up listening to his Five Minute’s Tune
on the piano, gently fostering the love of music we both
Raymond lived through the horrors of the blitz in London,
and in 1950 he decided to combine his steadfast belief with
his love of cycling, and he set off to Europe on his bike. He
rode all the way through France and Germany to the
beautiful village of Oberammergau to see the famous
Passion Play, very much in the spirit of celebrating the end of
warfare and reaching out to others. He made many friends
along the way, and he maintained a fond correspondence
with one for over forty years. We were lucky to meet this
friend, Janine, when dad repeated his journey in 1990 with
Rachel, mum and me in our little caravan.
He and mum had 27 happy years together, but she was always a bit afraid of losing him, as he was 17
years her senior. He gave us all a good scare when he suffered a heart attack in his early seventies, but dad
was one of the most resilient people I’ve ever met. Sustained by the absolute faith that all would be well,
he made a full recovery and went on to support us through high school and university, the sad loss of
mum, our marriages, and parenthood. For a man who had wanted children for such a long time, to find
himself Grandpa to five wonderful grandchildren was something quite amazing. The nurses at Holsworthy
hospital told me how he lit up whenever he saw his babies.
Love was the driving force behind this quiet, kind-hearted, wilful, funny, mischievous man (love … and
chocolate!). He had a long life, and his fair share of heartbreak along the way, but he never let go of love
in all its many forms. He built his life on the notion of brotherly love, faith in God, and the power of
forgiveness. He believed that talents are precious gifts, and the use of such special gifts an act of worship.
And so he spent his days making things – from toys, cupboards, and gardens, to music, paintings, and
poetry. He wrote a full-length novel about Judas Iscariot, and had his poem against potholes published in
the Sheepwash Chronicle – a mighty man altogether.
And so, I come to the final chapter in his life, his time in Sheepwash, with many of the friends reading this
today. The initial draw was, of course, that Rachel and Matthew were across the street, and moving here
allowed him to share in their family life. But this wonderful community, which welcomed him so warmly
and made him feel at home, very quickly enhanced that. Every time we spoke he would tell me about his
good friend Rod, and dear Helen, Alan and all of home group. Your friendship meant the world to him, and
brought deep joy to his twilight years. Lately he was getting increasingly forgetful, and he’d lose his thread,
but he never let it worry him – he’d just shrug and say, “You gotta laugh” – and we did!
With much love.
There are lots of things happening over the next couple of months.
Raising the Roof: Progress in our Fundraising
Two thirds of the way now! Our efforts in Sheepwash have been well worthwhile and the Friends of St.
Lawrence’s Church want to thank all the people of Sheepwash for their continued support. Our total
raised so far is a little over £16,000 and we are still planning more events, trying to attract folk from further
afield as well.
The pancake evening on Shrove Tuesday was successful though the sum raised was smaller than expected
- a lesson there in our pricing perhaps. We raised approximately £50. But it all helps!
The selling of signed slates is racing along, having raised well over £1000 now. Brilliant!
Martin King’s presentation in the Hall about South American churches from photographs taken on his
travels was a very enjoyable event.
Martin writes: “I am very pleased to say my Worlds Apart talk raised the handsome sum of £100 for the
Raise the Roof fund. Many thanks to those who attended for being so generous, and particularly to Paulette
Jackson and Margaret Hall for producing the welcome refreshments afterwards. It is good to see the
repairs to the roof of the church are now well underway. Thank you all.”
Events to come
Gill and Richard Trace are arranging a cider and apple blossom walk in their orchards one evening in
early May. The blossom is at its best in the evenings with great scent. Arrangements have yet to be finalised,
but look out soon for advertising in the shop, on notice boards and flyers. The cost will be £6. Gill and
Richard will need to know exact numbers for this so please book early – reserve your place by contacting
me (or drop the money and a note through my door), and please include your phone number so we can re
-arrange the day if the weather is poor.
Friendly Open Back Gardens. Please see the article on page 12. And please don’t forget the barbeque
from 6.00 p.m. on that Saturday June 10 th evening at Gina Tidball’s house - on the corner, way up North
Street, opposite the vineyard.
Strawberry Tea. Strawberries and cream in the Jubilee Park or, if the June weather is fickle, in the Hall
on June 10 th .
Fete in the Park followed by a Barn Dance on Saturday August 5 th . It is early days yet for this, but
please add the date to your diary. We will organise events and stalls, competitions and fun during the
afternoon, and later on, a barbeque and dance. The money raised will not only be for the church roof, but
also the shop and Village Hall. I don’t think the Friends of St. Lawrence can put up a big marquee by themselves,
so we will be very, very grateful for lots of help with marquees, running stalls, etc., and advice and
imagination in organising this, so please be ready to be asked!
Harvest Lunch. Very advanced notice here - Sunday 24 th September. Gina Tidball and her gang are
doing this. Details will follow in good time. Bookings will be necessary!
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 8 th April and 13 th May.
It only costs £2 per person, and all of that goes to fund village activities. It’s a real fun
quiz, so come and have an evening of pure enjoyment!
Sheepwash Evening Book Group
It hardly seems possible that the book group has been running for over two
years. Our numbers have steadily increased - we now have eight regulars,
and in answer to a recent enquiry this book group is not “women only”. It
just so happens that all current participants are female.
We make use of the Devon Library Book Group scheme, and each summer
we select 24 books from their comprehensive list. Then each month the
library loans us ten copies of a book from our chosen list (for a nominal
fee). We benefit from not having to buy the books every month and feel
that we are doing our bit to support the library at the same time.
Our selections are based on recommendations, well known authors,
subject interest, or the very sophisticated “stick a pin in the list” method. This gives us an interesting range
of material, both fiction and non-fiction, that usually stimulates lively discussion.
Very occasionally there is a book that none of us enjoy. I doubt if any of us would be in a hurry to read
another book by Irma Kurtz. The blurb suggested that About Time was “a humorous look at growing old”,
but sadly none of us saw the funny side of it!
In the past six months our selection has included Shakespeare by Bill Bryson, The Life of Pi by Yan Martel,
Small Island by Andrea Levy, and Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo.
We meet on a Wednesday evening from 7.30 p.m. – usually the last Wednesday of the month.
Please contact me on 231884 for more information.
Deadline for the next issue
Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 19 th May, to ensure it
is included in the June (Summer) issue of the Chronicle.
Easter Services in Sheepwash
Easter Sunday 16 th April:
Good Friday 14 th April at
The “Procession of the Cross,”
beginning in the Baptist Church,
then through the village, finishing
in the Methodist Church, with hot
11.00 a.m. Methodist Church (with St Lawrence Church).
2.45 p.m. Baptist Church
All are welcome to join in these Services
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 Mike Ritson 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.
The mobile library now calls once a month. It arrives in the Square on a Tuesday at 1.55 p.m. and
departs at 2.40 p.m.
The next dates it will call are 5 th April and 3 rd and 31 st May.
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.
Friendly Gardens, Open Again
It’s been two years now since we opened our
friendly back gardens. And since I am involved
in raising money to help pay for the church
roof in Sheepwash, it seems a good time to
tempt you to open up again. Not for too long,
with time to visit other people’s gardens.
And perhaps I can tempt all the gardeners of
Sheepwash to enter an informal competition
so we can offer some prizes. I would
appreciate some feedback about the
competition aspects of the day.
It would be great if you could comment and
offer ideas well ahead of the next Chronicle
issue so between us we can have some fun
and raise some money for St. Lawrence’s roof.
Date: Saturday afternoon, June 10 th , 12.00 until 5.00pm. I chose this date because gardens are at their
most colourful, allotments are looking prim and productive, there is
plenty of time for good folk to prepare, and the weather will be at
Money: Rather like before, once I know which gardens are to be
opened, I can make a timetable to enable owners to tour other
gardens. It would be great if we can persuade the visitors to part
with a cash donation into a pot in your garden, all for the roof. They
could be encouraged by your kind offering of drinks and buns to
make it a very sociable afternoon. Later on, from 6.00 p.m. Gina
Tidball is opening her garden for a barbeque and bar. We will
charge £6 per adult, £4 for children and we hope to sell you beers,
cider and soft drinks.
The competition: I will create a map and mark on it where the
gardens are to be found, of course, and I hope also to make some
sort of score card so that judging can take place in secret so no-one
is offended. It could be fun. The visitors to each garden can be
asked to provide a simple score in a particular category (see below)
and we could work out a fair way to average the points. Prizes will be given to winners in each category -
garden tokens or cash?
More money: There will be a small entry fee if you wish to join the competition. (£2 per garden per
category seems OK, but we want to raise a decent sum and pay for the prizes, so I will listen to advice on
Competition categories: What do you think? Shall we go for four of the following?
Prettiest small courtyard garden.
Lovely garden despite the mess.
Prettiest bigger garden.
Most attractive vegetable garden.
Most quirky garden.
Best plant in show.
Most unusual plant.
Please contact me: If you want to offer to open your garden, or if you want to make some suggestions
for improving the competition, or if you have any other ideas on how to raise more interest (and cash!).
Phone: 01409 231680 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call in at Merchants, East St.
Hatherleigh Cricket Club 2017 Season
Everyone at Hatherleigh CC is eagerly looking forward to the new season. The smell of new mown grass
and linseed oil on bats heralds the Spring, with Summer not too far round the corner. The longer evenings
enable net practice to begin outdoors on Tuesday 28th March at 6.00 p.m., and thereafter every
Tuesday throughout the season.
This year the Committee have decided this is the time to extend and improve the clubhouse facilities. The
current clubhouse was opened in 1985, and at that time was a hugely impressive step forward for the
club. However, such has been the success of the cricket club, that the clubhouse is no longer adequate for
all the teams using it, including the juniors, and particularly the ladies/girls, who need separate changing
and showering areas. Also, the famed Hatherleigh tea ladies need an enlarged and improved kitchen area.
Plans have been submitted to the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) from whom we are hoping we
will get a grant towards the cost. This would depend on the club raising a substantial amount of money
themselves, and we will be holding several fundraising events throughout the summer.
If anybody in Sheepwash would like to contribute in any way, like joining the 250 club, sponsoring a
match, or even just popping in for a drink, it will all help the cause. The cost of the 250 club is £5 per
ticket, which will gain you entry to monthly draws for prizes of up to £50. Please contact Charles Inniss
or myself if you wish to contribute in any way.
On the playing front, our New Zealander, Mattie Thomas, is returning to help with the 1 st XI performances
and with all areas of the coaching set up, particularly the Ladies and Junior sections.
After the successes of 2016 (3 rd XI won their league and Sunday 1 st XI retained their title) Hatherleigh will
have three teams in the Devon league on Saturdays and two teams in the North Devon League on Sunday.
This is in addition to the midweek evening league- the Buckley Cup in T20 format. With several midweek
friendly matches, mainly against touring sides, there is always something going on at the club.
We are always looking for new players of all ages, experience and ability. If you do not wish to
play we would love you to come and support, when you will be made most welcome. Bar facilities are
available on all match days and practice nights throughout the season. The club’s teas are legendary if you
fancy an afternoon watching with refreshments to boot.
The women’s/girls’ teams mainly play on Sundays, with practice on Monday nights at 6.30 p.m. All
are welcome to join this highly successful section of the club.
In 2017, under the guidance of Alex Presswell , the youngest juniors will be taking part in a new national
ECB initiative called “All Stars Cricket”, which is a designed to get children actively involved in cricket at a
really young age. Hatherleigh CC will be one of the designated centres for this initiative in the heart of
Devon. It promises to be an exciting year for our juniors.
Junior cricket practice is as follows:
• The 8 to 10 years old group will meet every Saturday from 10.30 a.m. until 12 noon.
• The 11 to 15 year olds will practice every Friday from 6.30 p.m. until 8.30 p.m.
Formal registration for all ages will be at 6.30 p.m. on Friday 21st h April. For more details
please contact Charles Inniss on 01409 231237.
The season gets going formally on Easter Saturday, 15 th April with a home fixture against Shobrooke Park,
and from then on every weekend at Hatherleigh. 1 st XI matches start at 12.30 p.m., and most others at
1.30 p.m. or 2.00 p.m. We would love to have your support, especially in this year of fundraising!
Full fixture Lists will be available soon in the village shop, or contact Charles Inniss (01409 231237) or
myself. Let’s hope for another great summer!
The Petrockstowe Art Group
(People from Sheepwash welcome!)
The Petrockstowe art group has been in existence for at least twenty years, with four tutors to date.
Netty Holwill was our tutor from 2013 to 2016. She was running her own art classes in and around Hatherleigh,
whilst also being a senior art tutor at Kelly College (now Mount Kelly). Unfortunately her hours at
Mount Kelly increased and she no longer had enough time to continue to tutor our group. We were worried
that the Art Group wouldn’t be able to continue.
It must have been destiny that one member of the art group bought a painting from an artist who lives in
Dolton. From the purchase of a painting, a look at her website and a subsequent meeting, we have been
extremely fortunate to have gained not only a very talented artist, but also a tutor of a very high standard
in Teresa Tanner.
Teresa is originally from Canterbury in Kent and trained as a Town Planner. She spent many years working
in design for a national sewing magazine before completing a degree in Fine Art in 2000 at the University
for Creative Arts, Canterbury.
Teresa’s university work was predominantly based on large format monochrome photography, producing
room-sized images requiring very long exposures. During this time, she spent six months as the Artist in
Residence at Kings Wood, Ashford, studying trees, which led to employment as a tutor with the British
Trust for Conservation Volunteers, organizing environmental-based art projects.
Since then she has worked teaching various age and ability groups from Primary to Adult Education, and
has delivered a variety of art-based projects working in collaboration with several national bodies including
the National Paper Products Company Ltd, The Royal Opera House, The National Association of Decorative
and Fine Arts Societies, and The Wildlife Trust.
Working in mixed media and watercolours over the last decade, she has exhibited in many exhibitions
throughout Kent, London, and the South East, including solo shows.
Teresa moved to Devon in 2014 and has re-established herself running local art classes as well as working
as a tutor for The Burton Art Gallery and The Plough.
Teresa says, “My aim is to open up art to everyone, no matter what their level of ability, and to introduce
a new dimension of enjoyment. Petrockstowe Art Group are a joy to teach. They are responsive and open
to give anything a go. The cake and coffee at break time is pretty good too!”
We now have twenty-one members, and six of these are from Sheepwash.
We welcome anyone and everyone, whether they are trying art for the first time or need to hone their
artistic skills. We meet on a Friday from 10.00 a.m. until 12.30 p.m., and the cost for coming along
is £6.25. We supply tea, coffee, biscuits, and cake, which are provided by the group members on a strictly
The classes are very varied – they include working in watercolours, acrylic, and pastels. Some weeks we
just do our own thing, and at other times Teresa sets us a project to work on - for example, painting a
Greek or Roman face or bust, Aboriginal art, Byzantine icons, cave style animal paintings, and mist, snow,
and mountain techniques.
So if you have an artistic itch that you need to scratch, come along on a Friday morning! If you’d like more
information from Sheepwashers, contact Jan Burden (231480) or Louise Francis (231845).
Melvyn Elliot is planning an exhibition of framed pictures sometime in early summer – the date is still to
be arranged, so look out for details.
Funds raised will be donated to the Church Roof Fund.
A Minor Moan About Mowing
This is a bit of a moan. Would the person who kindly trimmed the dead brambles and other thorns and
branches and then dumped them in the compost area in Jubilee Park please not do that. They do not rot,
particularly when they are abandoned on top of the covers, in the way of lawn mowings and proper
compostable material, and they take a lot of time to remove and cut up for a green bin.
By all means use the compost bin for green trimmings and even thin hedge trimmings - it all helps to add
air to otherwise slimy grass rottings. But please, no thick stuff, thorns, or perennial weeds, and of course
no waste food.
Then we can share good compost with those who need it.
Mike Ritson and the mowing team
How is the county of Devon similar to Barbados?
1. Farmers in both places seem to have been keen on clean
livestock, hence washing sheep led to Sheepwash, Devon, and
washing cattle led to Cattlewash on the west coast of
2. The accent with which English is spoken in Barbados has its
roots in the Devon accent (according to an article in the
museum at Speightstown, Barbados).
3. A Royal Horticultural Society membership card can gain you
free entry to the lovely Rosemoor Gardens, Devon and the
beautiful Andromeda Botanic Gardens in Bathsheba,
4. The roads in Barbados are as full of potholes as those in
Devon (probably even more so, if you can believe it!)
5. Jan and Pete Hayward love their life in Devon but could
quite happily spend winter in Barbados given half a chance!
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
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 email@example.com.
Devon and Cornwall Alert System
Devon and Cornwall Alert is a free community messaging system which
informs members of the public about crimes and incidents affecting their
Recorded messages are sent by telephone (landline only), email, or text
message to individuals, groups, or businesses.
It is a two-way messaging system which helps us to connect with our
communities. It tells people what is happening in their area and allows
them to respond directly with any information.
The system is designed to allow people who register to choose the type
of information they would like to receive concerning crime and antisocial
behaviour, witness appeals, crime prevention, community events,
and local good news.
To sign up visit alerts.dc.police.uk or complete the registration form which is available on the Force
website - www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/our-services - where you can also find more information.
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
Parish Council News
This is just a brief summary of some of the more important items from the last Parish Council meeting,
held in the Village Hall on Wednesday 15 th March. For the complete minutes of the meeting, go to the Parish
Council website at http://www.sheepwashparishcouncil.co.uk/FullCouncil.aspx.
A new Parish Clerk will replace Penny Clapham from 1 st April. His name is Mark Crake, a retired police
A draft questionnaire has been prepared, to gather information to feed into the new Parish Plan. Once
finalised, this will be circulated to all parish residents for completion.
The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Wednesday 19 th April, beginning at 7.00 p.m. This is not
a Parish Council meeting, but a meeting for residents of Sheepwash parish.
The next Parish Council meeting is the Annual Council Meeting (not to be confused with the Annual Parish
Meeting above!), which will be held on Wednesday 17 th May, beginning at 7.00 p.m., and will commence
with the election of a new Chairman.
Don’t Leave Your Doggy-Do!
A number of people have asked us to remind dog owners to pick up their dog’s poo, and to
make sure that their dogs don’t poo on people’s front gardens and grass.
This is becoming quite a problem in East Street, in particular.
There are plenty of dog poo bins about, and big fines if you’re caught not ‘binning it’.
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!
Changes at the coal face
As reported in a previous issue of the Chronicle, community shops run by the villagers for the villagers,
rely on volunteers. Without them, the shop would have to turn more to paid staff, and staff wages necessitate
a higher turnover in sales.
In a town or on a busy commuter road that's not so much of a problem, but we're in Sheepwash - small
and perfectly formed - so we need to finely balance the volunteer/paid staff ratio in order to balance the
books. Thankfully, many of you have stepped up and have done, or are doing, your bit, and the shop and
community are very grateful.
The balance is just about right at present, but things are always changing. Roger is now taking a welldeserved
break after generously staying on as a volunteer for the best part of a year after he and Christine
retired. Meanwhile, Debbie from The Court has kindly offered her services.
And, of course, Anne continues her training with the Post Office. Please be patient while she gets up to
speed under the watchful eye of our Post Mistress, Caroline.
However, we really could do with more hands to cover times when, for example, staff are on holiday or off
sick. So if you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands, or you are new to the village and would like
to meet a few folk, then please think about volunteering at your shop. Nothing too onerous, just a couple
of hours a week would be great. If you fancy a go, then please let anyone at the shop know.
Disciples of Bacchus's younger brother ought to know about some government imposed changes that will
soon be upon us. May 20 th will see sales of small bags of roll-up tobacco banned. From that date, the minimum
quantity available to purchase will be 30g.
On the same day, the 10 pack of cigarettes will be no more. And who remembers the days when you could
buy a single ciggy for 5p?
Out with the old in with the new
The changes to our currency continue. The new 12-sided £1 coin is
being produced by the Royal Mint at a rate of 4,000 a minute, and
will be introduced on March 28th this year.
It will obviously take some time to replace all the old coins in circulation,
but in the meantime we are advised to start emptying our
piggybanks and coin jars, and checking under the mattress and
down the sides of the sofa.
You can change all your old coins and notes for new or, preferably, spend them at the shop! Whatever you
do, please do this before they cease to be legal tender. After the following dates, shops will no longer be
Old £5 notes cease to be legal tender on 5th May 2017
Old £1 coins cease to be legal tender on 15th October 2017
Spring has definitely arrived, the Spring Equinox has come and gone for this year and our hibernating
species are all out, keen to replenish themselves. It’s nature’s busiest time of year - the perfect time to
start planning how you can make your garden wildlife friendly!
This can be done in many ways:
• Use feeding stations to feed hedgehogs - give them natural peanuts (broken up, as whole ones can
cause choking), and dry and wet meat-based cat or dog food with fresh water.
• Create hedgehog highways.
• Stop using harmful chemicals - try natural
• Plant bird-friendly plants that attract pollinators,
and shrubs like holly, hawthorn, Guelder rose,
dogwood and ivy. (Anything that provides birds
with a natural food source - berries, seeds, and
bugs). These provide food, cover, and perfect
shelters for nests out of reach of predators.
• Provide birds with supplementary food by putting
up feeders. Ensure these are safe by putting them
in a location where small birds can escape into
nearby bushes. Make sure they are hygienic and
have no sharp edges, to prevent birds cutting
themselves and spreading disease. You'll
encourage a variety of birds by putting out a
variety of foods in a variety of ways! Avoid putting
out chunky food like large peanut bits - parent
birds may try to feed them to their young, causing
a choking hazard.
• Build a pond to attract a variety of animals and
provide birds with a regular water source. Ensure
the pond has a sloping edge and a “ladder” type
device, so animals can escape. Or place a birdbath in the garden, but avoid putting it in a location
where cats or other predators can sneak up on the birds.
• Put up nest boxes, which give birds a place to roost or nest.
Make sure that nest boxes aren’t too close to each other.
Shelter your box from the weather. Do not place it in direct sunlight, and shelter it from
prevailing winds and rain.
Height from the ground varies depending on the breed that you’re trying to attract. A nest box is
best placed on a secure fence, wall or shed. It can be placed on trees, but try not to cause any
Open-fronted nest boxes, a favourite of robins, should have shrubs or creepers hiding them.
Make sure the nest box is in an area that cats and other predators cannot get to. You can buy
metal plates to secure around the hole to deter squirrels.
Keep nest boxes away from busy areas of the garden.
Always remember to respect wildlife and keep your distance - disturbing them can have fatal affects.
Well, once again March has come in like a lion but does not seem likely to
go out like a lamb, as it appears to be maintaining its leonine character to
the bitter end! However, due to the dry weather we had earlier, when a
lot of muck spreading took place, all the fields look remarkably green, and
not wind scorched and hungry as is so often the case at this time of year.
And the daffodils and primroses are looking wonderful in the hedgerows.
The dawn chorus is under way, with blackbirds singing lustily - an
appropriate word I guess, as they are trying to attract a mate. The days
are getting longer, and the clocks go forward very shortly, although by the
time you get this issue it will have already happened! The chattering
starlings have departed for the Continent, as have other winter visitors.
The bumblebees are buzzing around the early spring flowers and all
should be well with the world, except it’s still cold and wet and frustrating
my efforts to get vegetables planted!
Early potatoes need to be planted now, in rows two feet apart with one foot apart in the row, and at least
six inches deep - sorry for those of you who are metric, I’m not! Broad beans should also be sown now, as
can an early row of peas. Onion sets and shallots all need planting if you have not done so already, but I
can’t do any of this as the ground is still too wet to get on!
However, at least if you have a greenhouse (and, as you were all made aware, Janet has) you can get on
with sowing cabbage, broccoli, French and Runner beans, courgettes, and sweetcorn - though it may be a
little early for this as it needs quite warm conditions and an unheated greenhouse is probably too cool just
As I am suggesting the possibility of sowing seeds, compost comes to mind - a subject we and our
esteemed editor and her husband David were discussing at the weekend. There is, of course, the usual
multi-purpose compost, and then there is John Innes soil-based compost, which comes in three grades:
No.1, which is low nutrient seed compost; No.2, which is for potting on and general usage, thus higher
nutrient; and No.3, which is for permanent pot plants.
I mix multi-purpose with John Innes No.2 in the proportions of one 50 litre (maybe I am metric!) multipurpose
bag to one 25 litre John Innes, and then mix in a generous helping of perlite, or horticultural grit,
which will aid drainage and thus prevent any possible waterlogging.
All these contain sufficient nutrient for about five weeks. Thereafter, we feed our potted plants every
weekend - with Phostrogen initially, and as they come to flowering we change to tomato food, which we
think gives stronger flowering.
For established plants in pots, try raking off the top two inches of compost and replacing with fresh. You
can also try taking them out of their pots and doing a little judicious root pruning, but first check that it is
safe to treat that particular plant in this manner.
In the ornamental garden, pruning of the roses should be completed, always cutting back to an outside
bud. Buddleia can be cut hard back now, and summer flowering clematis need cutting back to a low bud -
and be ready to train them as they grow or they will tangle.
Established herbaceous plants can be lifted and split, replanting the vigorous young outside areas and
dispensing with the old hard core of the plant. Cuttings of some hardy annuals and sub-shrubs can be
done and if you use rooting hormone powder, always buy it fresh each year. Weed borders now, if dry
enough, while the problem is small and the weeds have not flowered and set seed, and then feed
everything in the garden - we use organic pelleted chicken manure, Growmore, and rose fertiliser where
Also be ready to spray, and if you do, look out for aphids on roses and fruit trees and bushes, and
blackspot prevention on roses, but do remember to only spray very early in the morning or later in the
evening, when the beneficial insects are not active.
Good luck, and here’s to a new growing year!
The Sheepwash Golfing Society
In the last issue, David Ansell told us about the Sheepwash Golfing Society. Although I rarely play these
days I have been involved ever since the Society started.
It all began when Brian Jones (Tony and Buster’s father) decided to take up golf and he persuaded his
great friend, John Piper, to join him. And how they both loved those early days, struggling to master the
game and making so many new friends on the golf course at Bude, and in the bar afterwards!
I used to join them when I was at home, and for a bit of fun one Christmas we decided to play for a cup. It
was literally the size of an egg cup, and had been given to me years before by Freddie Hodge, who used to
live in the village.
The year was 1970. There were five of us, and the first winner was Tom Danby, a teacher at Shebbear College.
We decided that the winner should keep the cup but would have to present a larger cup the following
year. Of course, that was okay for a time, but as the years rolled on the cup became larger and larger,
and the glory of winning was tempered by the cost of purchasing a larger cup for the following year.
A few years ago, reluctantly but very sensibly, the organising committee decided to change the rules, and
the winner now receives the claret jug, which he proudly holds for a year. The Sheepwash Cup Day is now
one of the major events of the year at Bude and North Cornwall Golf Club.
In 1972 we decided to arrange a golfing tour to Scotland. Eight intrepid golfers travelled on the night
sleeper from Exeter, hired a mini-bus and played two rounds of golf daily for six days. That in itself was a
test of endurance even without the excesses of the socialising, often long into the night!
We were fortunate to be allowed to play at Muirfield Golf Club. Muirfield is one of the oldest and most
famous courses north of the border, and is home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. In
those days a round of golf cost £5: today it will set you back £300!
I remember well the sign at the entrance:
NO LADIES BEYOND THIS POINT AND DOGS ONLY ON A LEAD.
We must all have been male chauvinistic pigs (I still am at heart) because we all clapped and cheered on
seeing the notice! Indeed, it was only this week that the Muirfield members finally voted to allow ladies to
join the club, so another male fortress has succumbed to public and media pressure.
We toured every year for 26 years, playing some of the best courses in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Portugal,
and Spain. The tour members included Brian Jones, John Piper, Graham Tidball, Roy Urand (Randy), Dudley
Walters, Brian Duke, Roger Vick, John Spry, Geoff Stacey, Doug Alford, Colin Kidby, and many others.
As a grand finale we flew to America in1987 and enjoyed an amazing week in South Carolina. They were
wonderful holidays and left us all with so many great memories.
In 2020 our Society will be celebrating its 50 th birthday, and no doubt the committee will be organising
something very special. I can’t wait!
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 231237
Muriel’s father was a farmer, and she grew up on the family smallholding, Carwithens, in the village of
Langore. After completing her education at the Convent in Launceston, Muriel worked in the office at
Unigate, walking the three miles from Langore to Launceston every morning and back home again in the
evening. Unigate were wholesale grocers and, at this time - immediately after the war - supplies to all the
retail outlets in the district were rationed. It was Muriel’s job to eke out the supplies fairly.
In 1964 Muriel and her first husband, Donald, came to live in Sheepwash. Donald was a dairyman. He
worked at Hele Barton, the home of the Luxton family, where he also helped look after the horses. They
lived in South Street in the Methodist Chapel Cottage. Being a sociable person, and having worked since
leaving school, Muriel didn’t want to sit at home, so she often helped Mrs Luxton at the farm.
Before too many years had passed, Muriel got a message that Benjie and Charles’s mother, Ruth Inniss,
wanted to see her – would she help in the kitchen at the Half Moon? Mrs Inniss batted away Muriel’s
protestations that she knew nothing about hotel work - “I will teach you!” - and we know that she did that
very well. And so started what Muriel describes as, “a wonderful time”.
It was marred by the death of Donald and of Ruth Inniss in 1975. Both were in hospital in Exeter and died
within a few days of each other. Charles and Muriel were of great comfort to each other at that sad and
Muriel continued to live in the cottage in South Street until 1980, when she moved into Shippens to look
after Charles and his father. Shippens is the traditional name given to where cows were milked, and
before the barn on one side of the Half Moon courtyard was converted in the early 1970’s, this was where
the Half Moon herd was milked.
There were two Guernsey cows, Starlight and Delilah, and these were first milked by Tom Barriball, whose
family lived at Lake Farm, where Frank Cheshire now lives. Later, John Newcombe took over the milking,
and finally John Harris became head dairyman.
After Shippens was converted, a small dairy was built at the rear of the adjoining large barn. The herd
provided all the milk and cream for the hotel until regulations were introduced that meant unpasteurised
milk could no longer be used in the hotel.
Charles and Muriel, and villagers who have lived here a long time, have all got delightful stories to tell
about the “Inniss years” at the Half Moon. Guests became friends, and returned year after year with their
children and grandchildren. There were fishing and shooting parties, and trips out from Appledore in
Charles’s father’s boat.
Quite a few famous people have also joined in the fun – Jeremy Paxman’s brother and his wife raved
about the Half Moon, so Jeremy gave it a try, and was a regular visitor for many years. Noel Edmunds used
to come here when he lived locally. Geoffrey Palmer, who is best known for his roles in British TV sitcoms
such as The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Butterflies, and As Time Goes By, came to fish, and Roger
Taylor, the drummer with Queen, brought a shooting party to the Half Moon.
In 1992, Femme Fatale, a film starring Donald Pleasance, Simon Callow, and Colin Welland, was filmed in
Sheepwash, and these film stars and their crew made good use of the Half Moon.
Some readers may know of other famous folks who have dropped by – Barry Norman, the film critic, Sir
Ray Davies of the Kinks – any more?
Muriel and Charles retired in May 2000. Muriel remembers being so sad, with tears running down her
cheeks as she left what had been her life for thirty years for the last time. They moved just a short step
away, to The Beeches in East Street, and have continued to live there very happily. They put the icing on
the cake on July 6 th 2015, when they got married in St Lawrence’s Church.
Muriel Inniss was talking to Alison Ansell
Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org
Whole Roast Sea Bream with Potatoes and Olives
Sea Bream is becoming very popular and can now be found at most supermarkets.
This is a popular Spanish dish, where they cook it in Galician Albariño wine, but you can use any other
fruity dry white. For a change, you can substitute sea bass for bream.
Ingredients for two
• 1 whole sea bream, about 450g/1lb, gutted and scaled,
with the head on, rinsed and dried
• 400g new or small potatoes
• A large handful of small pitted black olives
• The zest of half a lemon
• A large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves
roughly chopped, stalks reserved
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, chopped
• A small glass of white wine
Heat your oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
Cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 10 minutes, cut into thick slices, then cool.
In a roasting dish, toss the potatoes with the olives, garlic, half the chopped parsley, half the olive oil, the
lemon zest and salt and pepper. Roast on their own for 10-12 minutes.
Season the fish and place the parsley stalks in the cavity. Lay the fish on top of the potatoes and drizzle
with the rest of the olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until the potatoes start to crisp up around the edges.
Pour the wine over, then return to the oven for 10 minutes more, until the potatoes have browned and
the fish is cooked.
Remove the dish from the oven, scatter over the rest of the parsley and bring the dish to the table.
When you serve up, don’t forget the lovely white wine juices in the bottom of the dish. Delicious with
spinach or green beans.
Then and Now
Barbara Laughton sent us this old picture of the shop on the corner of the Square. Tony and Brian Jones
have provided some information about it – the man on the left is Alf Balsdon, with Arthur Jones in
breeches next to him, and Doris Jones (Arthur’s wife) is seen with Brian and his sister Beryl. It was taken
between 1936 and early 1939.
The shop is now The Court, where Debbie Flint now runs Retreats For You, and the inset picture shows
just how little the building has changed, albeit refurbished. Hurrah for living in a conservation area!
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Ooops, I Did It Again!
OK so I admit it. My name is Debbie and I am a klutz.
This point was rammed home to me recently when the former producer of one of those bloopers shows
contacted me to proudly inform me they wanted to feature me on their new programme When Live TV
goes Wrong under the heading “most accident prone presenter”. Surely I’d only made two - admittedly
massive - howlers, hadn’t I? (That keep being used over and again on “those” programmes.) Then it
dawned on me that there may be a few more than I thought. And some have been classics.
Here’s one example. Imagine the scene. Live on air, a tower of fifty empty plastic bottles, all carefully
arranged in a pyramid taller than me. The guest was effusive as usual, going into overdrive for the QVC
audience. “This is how many times one litre of Eco Egg cleaning concentrate could refill your bottle!”
proclaims Rob, hoping to generate loads of interest in his new product.
Then, as my own enthusiasm rises a notch to match his, disaster strikes. Mid-gesticulation, my right hand
catches the corner of the top bottle. As it topples, it brings down the next bottle with it, which brings
down the next, and so on, so the bottles fly off the counter in an unstoppable cascade of disaster, and it
all happens in slow motion in my head. The guest is mortified, the crew dissolve into laughter, and I just
want to sink through the floor. Woops!
This is just one of the (many - ahem!) mishaps to befall me whilst presenting live on QVC in the last few
years. There have been more over the two decades I’ve been in shopping telly but mostly not as a result
of my clumsiness. Perhaps it’s a menopause thing. It’s certainly a live TV one-chance-to-get-it-right thing.
There’s no rehearsal, no auto cue, and no re-takes, so what happens is broadcast for all to see, warts and
all. The only way you can sometimes avoid being seen is if the director who cuts the shots is fast enough
to get you out of vision. BUT if they are feeling particularly mean, they will deliberately keep you in vision
and leave you to flounder, for the entertainment value. Thanks guys!
Another even more embarrassing blooper which has gone down in the annals of It’ll Be All Right On The
Night type programme history was entirely my fault - I really should have known better. I mean, who
thought that opening a tube of cream with my teeth would not end in tears as it squirted out and … well,
you can guess the rest. Or find it on YouTube, along with plenty more. Gawd.
So next time anyone says anything about my abilities or talents, please remember – when they handed
out Klutz pills, I got a double helping. It’s even featured in my fiction without me realising it.
Everyone’s first heroine starts off as themselves, right? Well mine was no different. The heroine in my first
novel, Take a Chance on Me, is called Sadie, and is clumsy too - when she meets the hero on a posh boat,
he ends up going overboard to rescue her bag from the sea, and the rest is “herstory”.
She definitely started off life being based on me, but I honestly didn’t realise it, because after a while we
became markedly less similar - especially once I got to writing the steamy scenes. (When the millionth
person had said, “Did you base it on your own experience, fner fner…?” I started replying, “Yes, I did - on
my experience of reading other steamy novels, lol.”) Her clumsiness did remain though. Not in the
edroom, admittedly, or that would have been a very different novel - Fifty Shades of Mayhem anyone?
I’m just glad there are no cameras at Retreats for You. Because I’ve realised that, like it or not, I’m actually
doing it in real life now too.
After all – most of the mistakes I did on the telly were just one-offs, weren’t they? Or so I kept telling
myself. Until February this year when all manner of little boo-boos began making their way into my home
life. As someone told me recently, “You might have many talents, but being a domestic goddess is not one
Lovely, long-suffering, patient saint Wendy Le Noury, my right-hand girl, guffaws at my latest mishaps on a
regular basis. Like forgetting the food left in the Rayburn for three days - cremated chicken fillets or
charcoal sausages anyone?
Or like knocking over the brand-new porcelain cistern which was just idly sitting minding its own business,
waiting to be fitted into the new loo, thereby smashing one corner off it.
Or like omitting the yeast from the bread maker mix: unleavened bread could come back into fashion, or I
could start a nice line in doorstops, or, as Anne in the shop quipped, “It’d make a good weapon!”
And the list goes on, but I’m working on it! With Wendy’s help. And the help of the other lovely people
who have been so completely welcoming to me since I moved to Sheepwash, from Gary and his pressie of
a lovely new house name sign, complete with mouse, that now sits outside The Court, to the lovely ladies
and gents who come and chat to me in the village shop on a Tuesday afternoon, to the Friday night pub
crowd (when I’m not working at QVC). One day I might even be here for the infamous pub quiz!
Hopefully we will manage to stage another pop-up vintage tea rooms event on Easter Monday, in
aid of both the village shop and Medical Detection Dogs (see the article in the What’s Been Happening?
section of this issue) – plus there’s a table full of info and merchandise including fluffy puppy dogs, tea
towels, etc, just inside the front door of The Court in the Square where Retreats For You is based.
And hopefully I will NOT mix up the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder measurements like I did in
today’s attempt at banana bread. It tasted just a little …soapy! Well I guess it might make a nice new
product to sell – an alternative face-exfoliator-come-bath cleaner if I added loads more bicarb. Or maybe
I’ll leave the cake making to Wendy, Linda Trace, and co.
Do come join us if you can – get more info about Easter Monday via email@example.com or on
the Sheepwash Sandwich Board Facebook page.
@debbieflint on Twitter, or DebbieflintAuthorQVC on Facebook.
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 page 2.
Impressions of Bogota and Colombia
13 th April 1975
I wrote this article while working at a school in Bogota in 1975, and I think it captures the mood in the city
fairly accurately. Certainly it was a considerable culture shock to see the “gamines” struggling to make a
life for themselves on the streets and adding to the general sense of tension in the city.
N.B. Pablo Zuloaga is a fictional character, but representative of the 4,000 – 5,000 “gamines” in Bogota.
Pablo Zuloaga - nicknamed ‘Negrito’ because of his colour – is ten years old. He is wearing clothes
salvaged from some dustbins, ragged and filthy. His face is smudged with grime. He is pulling a wooden
trolley loaded with two sacks of rubbish. He puts out a grubby hand at a passer-by who dismisses him with
a disdainful flick of the head. Pablo glares fiercely after the passer-by, then shrugs his shoulders and
trudges on with his trolley. He is small for his age, undernourished, yet his bearing is alert and his eyes
betray the mournful maturity with which he confronts the world.
Pablo is a “gamin” – a street
urchin. He ran away from home
and took to the streets at the
age of five because his father
beat him, and anyway there
was no room for him in the
hovel made of corrugated iron
and wood in which his parents
and their other eight children
He makes a living of sorts by
selling newspapers, cleaning
shoes, and stealing when the
opportunity arises. During his
five years on the streets he has
developed a fierce
independence and dislike of
organised society, which makes
all the attempts of charitable
organizations to “reform” him fruitless. He will ask for charity but will give no thanks if he receives it. At
night he sleeps in a doorway covered by newspapers and curled up into a ball to try to escape the cold. His
arms and shoulders are scarred from when a comrade “gamin” with whom he had fallen out set the
newspapers alight for a joke – “to keep him warm”.
Pablo stands with his trolley at a street corner watching the traffic of Bogota whirl by - the buses bulging
at the windows with busy citizens, the decrepit taxis jumping the lights in an effort to catch another fare,
the little Renault 4’s taking the family shopping, and the sleek American saloons slipping along the streets,
the drivers nonchalantly flicking cigarette ash out of the window.
Pablo starts to cross and nearly collides with a legless man “standing” on his stumps on a trolley, which is
being pushed along the gutter by a child of six. The man swears at Pablo, but his expression as he looks at
the boy is tinged with understanding. There is a bond of deprivation between them. Each has to make his
way in a society that does little for him and cares less.
Pablo, in his small yet challenging way, represents one aspect of Bogota. It is the aspect, bred and
nurtured in the strong contrast between rich and poor, that persuades commentators to describe the city
as the most dangerous in the world, and there may be some truth in this. Pablo belongs to a small group
of “gamines” who haunt the streets in the centre of the city. He will steal windscreen wipers and hubcaps
off cars, handbags and watches from people standing in bus queues, and will find a ready market for his
His elders will rob on a bigger scale and may have no compunction about using a gun if challenged.
Kidnappings are frequent, both of children and adults, and the rewards from these seem to outweigh the
risks. The popular evening papers regularly carry colour pictures of bleeding corpses shot down in some
Yet this violence and poverty is like a theme in counterpoint to the life of Bogota. It underlies it but does
not dominate. Bogota is a proud city. It sits astride a plateau 8,500 feet up in the Andes, looking down on
a country fascinating for both its geographical and ethnic variety. While the other cities of Colombia smile
their wares - industrial, traditional, or touristic - at inhabitants and visitors, Bogota commands.
It lies alongside a jutting spine of mountains that form a grand backcloth to the skyscraper blocks, the
majestic office buildings, the broad modern streets, and the old red-tiled colonial houses. The central
Plaza Bolivar serves as a meeting point of the poor section stretching to the south and the wealthy
residential area fanning northwards, and from the Congress buildings in the square emerge the decrees of
one of the few remaining non-military governments in South America.
The climate in Bogota knows no extremes of temperature or seasons, other than those termed “rainy”
and “dry” - the city can be lashed by violent downpours that flood the streets in five minutes, and then be
bathed in sunshine within a quarter of an hour.
The height can cause discomfort at first, yet once accustomed to it the visitor finds the air clear and
invigorating when out of range of exhaust fumes. And if they want a change of environment, within one
and a half hours’ drive from Bogota they can be in a tropical climate surrounded by banana trees, exotic
plants, chirruping crickets and – if lucky – swimming pools.
The scope of this article and limitations of space prevent a full description of what for me is the real glory
of Colombia - her landscape. Within an area of 450,000 square miles one can find humid jungle and snowcovered
mountains, fertile river valleys and arid desert, a crumpled panorama of hills, and mile upon mile
The Colombian people are equally varied. They range from pure white to pure Indian to pure black, with
all possible shades of colour in between.
The country cannot boast remains of pre-Spanish civilizations of the magnitude and importance of the
Incas in Peru and the Aztecs in Mexico. However, the collection of gold adornments in the unique Gold
Museum in Bogota, and the weirdly-carved stone statues at San Agustin in southern Colombia, are
sufficient to raise fascinating speculation on the peoples who inhabited the land before the arrival of the
If, therefore, one becomes tired of the tension and pace of life in Bogota there is an almost limitless range
of possibilities away from the city – that is, for those who can travel. Pablo Zuloaga is virtually condemned
to a life of privation and crime amidst the smoke and grime of the city, and those peasants who scrape a
living by cultivating the steep mountainsides will stay confined in their own valleys for the foreseeable
Many of the walls of Bogota have colourful revolutionary slogans painted on them, and violence is
growing once again in outlying areas of the country. But Colombia is not ready for a revolution. Insurgent
forces are weak and uncoordinated and “La Violencia” - a civil war in all but name that lashed the country
between 1948 and 1958 - is too closely remembered.
The army, though politically neutral, is strong, and the present government, despite dissensions in its own
ranks, appears to be in firm command. It is achieving creditable progress for those already established
within the system – but for Pablo and his kind it has little real hope to offer.
I was back in Bogota last November and found a much more contented and stable society, with a thriving
economy and a genuine sense of national esteem. The traffic, though, is still terrible!
Don’t forget to visit our website – www.sheepwashchronicle.org
See other pages for full details of all these events!
Saturday 1st April
Tuesday 4th April
Sunday 8th April
Friday 14th April
Saturday 15th April
Sunday 16th April
Wednesday 19th April
Sunday 30th April
Tuesday 3rd May
Sunday 13th May
Wednesday 17th May
Tuesday 31st May
Wednesday 7th June
Saturday 10th June
Saturday 10th June
Saturday 5th August
Sunday 24th September
Ladies Walk and Talk
Mobile library in the Square
Quiz night at the Half Moon
Good Friday - Procession of the cross through the village
Table Top Sale in the Village Hall
Annual Parish Meeting in the Village Hall
Merton Vintage and Classic Vehicle Rally
Mobile library in the Square
Quiz night at the Half Moon
Parish Council Meeting in the Village Hall
Mobile library in the Square
Village lunch in the Village Hall
Friendly Open Back Gardens
Fete and Barn Dance in the Jubilee Park
And don’t forget to visit our website for more news and articles:
Deadline for the next issue
Please get all your news and contributions to one of us by 19 th May, to ensure it is included in the June
(Summer) issue of the Chronicle.
Just tell us your news when you see us out and about.
Send or drop off news and contributions on paper to Alison at The Glebe in West Road
or Chris at Larcombe House in North Street.
Telephone - Call Alison on 01409 231196 or Chris on 01409 231341.
Email - We are very pleased to receive contributions or messages in electronic form.
Email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris at email@example.com.
Description Person Telephone Email
Member of Parliament Geoffrey Cox 01837 82000
County Councillor Barry Parsons 01409 211234 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward Councillor Philip Hackett 01409 231310 email@example.com
Parish Council Chairman
acting as Interim
Parish Councillors Philip Hackett 01409 231310 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nigel Hutchings 01409 231586 email@example.com
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01409 282842 or
0777 646 5236
Doctors’ surgery (Black
(station answer phone
and other enquiries)
To report a crime
Dr Alan Howlett
Dr Asad Aldoori
01409 231628 or
01409 259461 or
call 101 for all
Mobile Library 01409 253514
Okehampton Times and
North Devon Journal
Alison Ansell 01409 231196 email@example.com
Chris Bell 01409 231341 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vera Bryant 01409 231373
Description Person Telephone Email
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 number 642 leaves Sheepwash at 9.30 a.m. and arrives in Bideford at 10.35 a.m.
Bus number 642 leaves Bideford at 1.30 p.m. and arrives in Sheepwash at 2.35 p.m.
On Wednesdays (to Holsworthy):
Bus number 639 leaves Sheepwash at 9.52 a.m. and arrives in Holsworthy at 10.30 a.m.
Bus number 639 leaves Holsworthy at 1.30 p.m. and arrives in Sheepwash at 2.08 p.m.
On Saturdays (to Okehampton):
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
Bus number 631 leaves Sheepwash at 10.00 a.m. and arrives in Okehampton at 10.37 a.m.
Bus number 631 leaves Okehampton at 12.30 p.m. and arrives in Sheepwash at 1.07 p.m.
For further information about bus routes and timetables, call Turner’s Tours on
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