Wiped out

 by invaders

Thousands of alien invaders have been found in Bolham Water. A survey of the River Culm and its tributaries revealed that while the endangered native white clawed crayfish was clinging on in parts of the main river, it had been wiped out by the American signal crayfish in the Bolham. >Read more.

Barn plan

Conversion of a barn to a home at Middleton Mill Farm, Clayhidon is among topics to be discussed at a planning meeting of Clayhidon Parish Council on Monday November 12. >Agenda >Planning applications


sighted in


A wallaby has been sighted in Clayhidon. Gareth Weekes spotted the Australian marsupial as he was driving down Battle Street at night on October 30.
“I caught it in the headlights on the verge before it disappeared into the bushes beside the pumping station at the top of the lane,” he said. “It was hopping in the way that only wallabies and kangaroos do.”
He says that when he got home and told his wife – parish councillor Alison Weekes  –she  looked at him in disbelief, but when he Googled “Wallabies Devon” his story was immediately confirmed.
It turns out there have been several reports of wallabies in the Devon countryside. Amy Couldrick saw one in woodland between Hemyock and Dunkeswell in May and on the Devon Live website you can see her video of it grazing on this link.  Wallaby picture by  Noodle snacks (jjharrison89@facebook.comBennett's Wallaby) - 

Gigaclear goes live

- but watch out

Ultra fast broadband has at last gone live in Clayhidon - two years after people signed up to be connected to Gigaclear's fibre optic network.
But the company are not telling customers that there are much better offers available to them than in 2016,
Among the latest offers is one for six times the speed of the original Home 50 service for an extra £3.70 a month.
Visit www.gigaclear.com and if you want to change you need to give five days notice by emailing support@gigaclear.com

Wit, wisdom and great songs

It was  a dark and foggy night in the Blackdowns when 50 brave souls rocked up at Clayhidon Parish Hall to watch Charlie Bicknell, not really knowing what they were in for.What they got was a slinky, sexy nightclub singer who  sang a series of provocative, contentious, extremely funny songs, engaged in dangerous acrobatics and persuaded men from the audience to do daft things. >Read more.

100 years have passed, but local heroes not forgotten
The names of the seven Clayhidon men who died in the Great War were read out and children laid a wreath at the war memorial on November 11, the 100th anniversary of the armistice. >Read more.
The Bookshop - Clayhidon Film Night, Friday 23 November

FILM NIGHT Friday 23 November – The Bookshop (PG). 7.30pm in the Parish Hall. Glamorous widow Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) risks everything to open a bookshop in a conservative English seaside town, where everyone is excessively polite to everyone else, but which is actually a seething nest of malice, gossip and backbiting. >Read more...

Millennium screen to
be restored
The Culm Valley Millennium screen is to be restored and put on display again.
Over 100 people helped create the tapestry, depicting the course of the River Culm as it wends its way from Clayhidon to Willand and showing many individual homes.
 Now Coldharbour Mill, Uffculm is trying to recruit volunteers to conserve and restore the tapestry. >Read more.

Who will erase this macabre invitation?
The parish council is appealing for a volunteer to paint out a macabre message that invites people to "die slowly" in Clayhidon
The clerk, Donna Evans, says a parishioner wrote to say she was unhappy about the effect of weather (and possibly vandalism)  on the wording of the sign and on the black lettering on the finger post at the top of Battle Street.
Apparently Devon Highways won't do it, so Donna asks: "Do we have a friendly volunteer who would repaint them? " Any answers on an email. please, to  clayhidonparishcouncil@gmail.com

A good old fashioned hop
Bar None promised to get people dancing and they did. People were on their feet for most of the second set in their Fifties to Noughties gig at Clayhidon Parish Hall on October 6.
Half the audience of teens to septuagenarians were jumping and gyrating in what turned out to be a good old fashioned village hop.
The Hemyock-based band have a huge repertoire of covers, but the evening didn't catch fire until near the end of the first set when singer Lou Naylor stepped into the audience and started handing out hula skirts, paper flower chains and tambourines. That brought dancers flooding onto the floor.
 Everything was faster and more frenetic in the second half, with great versions of the Rolling Stones' Route 66 and The Kinks' You Really Got me. The band were terrific and this proved to be a great family event. 
As usual the hall committee laid on an excellent supper and ran a bar and  a raffle, and added a few hundred pounds to the hall's funds.

Granny's girls sing for supper
Brenda Persey didn't have to go far to find performers for this year's Clayhidon Harvest Supper - she recruited five of her granddaughters. Singing songs and playing the piano, Drew and Molly Upton, Maisie and Grace Pepperell and Lydia Persey added a youthful touch to the entertainment, led as always by Brenda on her keyboard. 

Brenda introduced a whole new line-up for the traditional daft and dangerous song and dance routine (pictured below). Kim Burridge, Caroline Bendle, Chris Houghton, Sue and Peter Clark and Jo Blackmore had huge fun and the audience loved them. Mike Reynolds sang a topical 2018 version of On Clayhidon on the Hill. 
The delicious three-course  supper, organised by Casey Blackmore, followed a harvest festival service at St Andrew's, led by the Rev David Major. Proceeds from the raffle are going to help the earthquake victims of Sulawesi.

Globe trotter
Nicola Bendle gave a fascinating account to the Clayhidon
 Friends of her years as a BOAC air hostess. >Read more.

£37,000 raised in seven months to fund hall improvements
Since the end of January Clayhidon Parish Hall Committee has raised nearly £37,000 through grants, donations and fundraising events. It needs to find another £63,000 to fund an extension housing new toilets, a parish archive and an artists’ dressing room/small meeting room and the conversion of the existing toilets to a furniture storeroom. > Read more.

Winter cuts threat
 to parish drivers

Clayhidon  faces the real possibility of being virtually cut off from the rest of the country this winter by a decision not to grit or snowplough roads in the Blackdowns.
Key access roads to and from the parish, including Ford Street. the Wrangway, the ridge road and Blagdon Hill are all affected by Somerset County Council's cuts.
Parish Councillor Alison Weekes has urged people to sign a petition by clicking on this link.

Another horse
manege plan

Plans for a horse manege and barn and change of use of land at Poachers Rest, Clayhidon to mixed agricultural and equestrian are being opposed by a Clayhidon Parish Councillor.
Graham Langford  says there are already ten maneges in Clayhidon,  five of which are within 500m of proposed site. The council met on 8 October to discuss the application.

Rector retires

Clayhidon has said farewell to its popular Rector, the Rev David Burton, who has retired.

Volunteer drivers needed

Organisers of the Blackdown Hills Community Bus are  appealing for volunteer drivers - anyone over the age of 18 and under 70, with a full, clean driving licence. >Read more

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