Quiz Night
Clayhidon Parish Hall
Saturday 5 December at 7.30pm
with quizmaster Peter Walter.
Licensed Bar. Teams of up to four members. £4 per person,  includes bread and cheese supper. To Register a team call Caroline Bendle on 01823 681047 or email

Lights Parade

Saturday 5 December
6pm starting at Longmead, Hemyock.

Procession of lanterns  
through he village,
ending outside the church
and pub, with music
and mulled drinks.
>Click to enlarge poster

Bluegrass music
 The Thunderbridge
Bluegrass Band
Clayhidon Parish Hall
Friday 5 February 2016 at 7.30pm
Tickets £8 (£6 concessions)
For tickets call Caroline Bendle on 01823 681047 or email 

Wildlife & countryside
Lots of wildlife and countryside events on the Blackdown Hills AONB website

Other local events listings


Casey's designs beat best in south west
Casey Blackmore’s tiny wedding stationery design business Oyster & Pearl has been judged best in the south west in the Wedding Industry Awards.
Barely a year after she opened her design studio in Clayhidon she has shot to the top of her profession by winning the regional final in the Wedding Stationery of the Year category. She was presented with the award in a gala evening at Maunsel House, near Bridgwater and said she was “over the moon”. >Read more. 
Picture by Adby Creative. 

Horrible histories: Life 200 years ago
Clayhidon, now seen as a rural idyll, was once a place of extreme poverty, of great inequality and cruel injustice.
Pamela Reynolds' new book about life here in the 19th century, launched on 20 November 2015, is an everyday story of country folk. But forget Ambridge, this is more shocking than East Enders. These were absolutely not the good old days.
This is human interest history, not about kings and queens but about farmers and pub landlords and starving labourers and tramps, their struggling wives and illiterate children, of magistrates and murderers, of clergymen and drunken peasants. >Read more.

Four from same family die in air crash
The four people killed in the Churchinford plane crash on 14 November were  a mother, father and their two adult children.
The six-seater Piper Malibu Mirage  aircraft came down in stormy weather in a field on Dave Manning’s Higher Southey Farm, just above the Bolham Valley, four miles short of its destination, Dunkeswell airfield. The airfield  was not expecting it, said The Times newspaper.
The victims, from Woking in Surrey, were named as amateur pilot Phil Garvey, his wife Ann and two of their five children, Emily, 23, and Dan, 20.  who were all pronounced dead at the scene.

Film Nights to continue after trial
Clayhidon Film Nights look set to become a regular monthly feature of parish life after a second trial show on 13 November proved a success.
Forty five people turned up at the Parish Hall to watch Russell Crowe’s post-First World War film The Water Diviner. They were also treated to a brilliantly funny series of 90-second films.
This time the hall was turned back to front, with the screen higher than last time and at the opposite end to the stage. The result was much improved visibility for people at the back. The sound proved a problem, but this seems to have been more to do with muttering Australian and Turkish actors than the hall or the equipment. 

Food and garden waste to be collected
Waste collection services in Clayhidon and the rest of rural Mid Devon are about to change dramatically.
Weekly black bag collections will go fortnightly.
Food waste will be collected weekly in new animal-proof blue plastic boxes.
For householders willing to pay extra, garden waste will be picked up fortnightly either in brown boxes or bags.
The changes will be rolled out between 23 November and 18 December.
You can read the details on this link.

Packed parish hall warms to Blackheart

Like wandering minstrels, Blackheart will play anywhere they can find an audience, however large or small  – be it Amsterdam, Sydney – or Clayhidon. Four days before Rick Pilkington and Chrissy Mostyn rolled up at the Parish Hall in their van a mere 13 tickets had been sold.
Rick was undismayed. He didn’t mind how small the audience was, he was sure we would have a good time and his advice to the hall committee was “Don’t panic”.
By the time the lights went up on 30 October, over 40 had been sold. The hall, with table and chairs laid out in café style, was packed. The band forsook the stage and played from the auditorium. 
The atmosphere was warm and appreciative. And Rick was right. We did have a good time. >Read more

Flying start for parish Film Nights
Local history was made on 9 October when the parish hall was turned into a cinema for Clayhidon’s first-ever Film Night.
Moviola, the Dorset based community cinema charity, filled the stage with a large screen and provided superb projection and sound equipment. A team of local film enthusiasts chose the film, advertised the show, ensured it broke even by selling 55 tickets, and even generated a small profit through the sale of ice creams, snacks, drinks and raffle tickets. >Read more.
At the very moment when England was facing its Rugby World Cup Judgment Day with Australia a poet was booked to perform at Clayhidon Parish Hall.
So, no-one was going to turn up at the hall, right? Wrong. Actually 50 people forsook what turned out to be England's night of horror and instead enjoyed 80 minutes of the cleverest, wittiest, funniest entertainment they are ever likely to see in a village hall or anywhere else for that matter.
>Read more.

Molly and Ellie ring the changes 
Molly Upton, aged 12, and music teacher and clarinettist Ellie Roberts helped ring the changes at Clayhidon Harvest Supper on 2 October. 
Mollie, granddaughter of the event’s long-standing entertainment presenter Brenda Persey, sang a song from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Ellie brought a touch of professional class to the event with a clarinet solo. >Read more.

With love from Clayhidon
In a poverty stricken African village a mother goes down on her knees to thank someone who by comparison is a billionaire. 
Pamela Reynolds, from Clayhidon, who has been sponsoring children through the international charity World Vision for more than 20 years, was on a visit to Uganda to see how donors’ money is being spent. 
“Nothing could have prepared me for the incredible week that we have just had,” said Pam, a retired Hemyock Primary School teacher. 
>Read more and see more pictures.

Riders and their mounts enjoyed the annual St Andrew’s horse riders’ service at Clayhidon on 20 September. Our former Rector, the Rev David Sherwood, returned from Ashburton for the afternoon to take the service in Garlands Bower.. >More pictures.

Fun and friendly fete a big success

A fun and friendly church fete was held in Clayhidon on 29 August involving a hotly contested bake off competition and a crowd pleasing duck and dog show.
Farmer's wife Thelma Blackmore won the Victoria sandwich cake class while the signature challenge in a muffin tin was won by dog show organiser Freddie Parker, with a group of marshmallow topped sheep.
The event was a real community occasion organised by the Friends of St Andrew's and the £1,000 raised was for the church and the Little Princess Trust. >Read more,     >Album of pictures from the fete.

Spectacular flower festival

Blooming marvellous: Some of the volunteers who have created spectacular displays for the St Andrew's Church flower festival. It lasts from Saturday 28 August until Monday 30 August, 2pm - 5pm. Cream teas will be served in the Church Room. From left: Alison Weekes, Margaret Prettejohn, Ann, Anne Chidgey, Kim Burridge, Anne Hughes, Pippa Lovering, Saranna Cogswell, Julie Bullett, and organiser Nicola Bendle>More pictures from the flower festival.

They're on top of the world
Katie Blackmore and Jake Porch were married on 13 June. and this stunning photograph was taken on the hill above Palmers, Clayhidon, home of Phil and Thelma Blackmore. Picture by Beth Wright Photograohy. >See more,

Councillors see video of trash dumping

The repeated dumping of rubbish opposite the entrance to the Kingsmead Centre, Clayhidon was raised at the latest meeting of the parish council. 
Councillors were shown a video of people dumping rubbish at the site and were told it was damaging the business. 
Police, Devon County council and enforcement officers from Mid Devon District Council are involved. The council asked district councillor Frank Rosamond and county councillor Ray Radford to lend support and apply pressure to resolve the matter. >Minutes in full.

Caravan chaos ends motor mayhem
Caravan Chaos was the name of the last race at a packed Smeatharpe Stadium on Sunday 16 August and it certainly lived up to its name, wrecked caravans all over the track. It brought to an entertaining climax another afternoon of motoring mayhem which included saloon stock cars and Old Skool National Bangers. >Read more.

Planners ignore pleas for screening
Mid Devon planners have ignored residents’ pleas for the latest 24-hour cattle shed at Callers Farm, Rosemary Lane to be screened by trees.
They have approved plans by RH Drew and Son to further expand the cattle complex without insisting on screening along the southern side of the building to hide it from the valley.
And they appear to have disregarded complaints about light pollution. The bright orange glow that annoys lovers of Clayhidon’s dark skies comes not from street lamps but from lights left on inside the existing sheds.
However they did insert conditions about external lights and screening of the less visible north eastern gable end of the new shed.  >Read more.

Clayhidon Film Nights trial  

Helen Mirren, Russell Crowe, popcorn and ice cream will all be on the menu in the autumn in a two-night trial of Film Nights at Clayhidon Parish Hall.
A dozen enthusiasts recruited by the hall committee have teamed up with Moviola, which runs village hall film shows throughout the West Country, to launch what they hope will become regular monthly events.
Moviola will provide high quality projection and sound equipment. >Read more.

Wellington Monument under siege
This stunning image of multiple lightning strikes on the Wellington Monument was taken on 3 July by Lord Parker Photography. You can buy a high resolution copy from their studio in East Reach, Taunton or via their website on this link.

Council clerk's amazing 42-year stint
Past and present councillors of Clayhidon gathered to honour the service and commitment of two of their members and an incredible 42 years from the parish clerk, Michael Osmond.Alan Redwood and Robert Pike have both recently retired after 24 years service to the parish and Mr Osmond also retired after overseeing the May local elections.
A presentation evening was held in the church rooms on Thursday, 2 July with refreshments provided by the Clayhidon Friends.





      Councillors oppose
      farm worker house
      Plans to build an agricultural worker's home and a livestock building at Ten Oaks Farm, Clayhidon were not supported by parish councillors at their meeting on 9 November. They said there was no viable and sustainable agricultural evidence to support it.
      But they supported "in principle" an application for a change of use of land at Barne Farm, Clayhidon to allow three lodges, although they had some concerns.

      Guardian blasts failure to act on Culm pollution
      The Environment Agency has been ridiculed in the Guardian for its “farcical” investigation of the River Culm pollution case it exposed in September. The agency has decided to take no action against the farmer, as “the long-term ecological impacts on the environment were fortunately low”, but environment commentator George Monbiot said the case highlighted how budget cuts had left it "toothless".
      >Read more. 

      Paedophile posters untrue, say police
      Posters put up recently in Clayhidon saying there is a paedophile living nearby are incorrect, say Cullompton police.
      "These rumours are untrue and we can confirm that there are no registered sex offenders living in Clayhidon," said a spokesperson.
      "If you have any information regarding these posters, or discover more of them we ask that you inform the police via 101 and we will come and remove them."

      Church services

      For dates and times of services at St Andrew's Church. Clayhidon over October and November click here.

      Coffee morning
      Clayhidon Friends wish to thank those who supported them at the coffee morning at Lynda and Adrian Ridout's home at Acre Ridge on 10 October. The event was thoroughly enjoyable, and a total of £170 was raised for Macmillan. 

      Culm polluted
      says Guardian
      The Guardian claims the River Culm has been badly polluted by farm sewage. Environment commentator George Monbiot came to the Blackdown Hills to fish, believing the Culm to be a wildlife haven.
      "Well, the river certainly made an impact – on my nostrils," he wrote. "I could smell it from 50 metres away. When I reached the bank, I saw that it had been reduced to little more than a farm sewer. It stank of cow manure. The bed was covered in feathery growths of 'sewage fungus'.

      Councillors support extension plan
      Clayhidon Parish Councillors met on 14 September and voted to support a planning application for a single storey and a two storey extensions at Lytchett Farm by M and Mrs Carl Purbrick. 
      Council opposes plan to build house and garage
      Clayhidon Parish Council voted to oppose a planning application to build a home and garage to replace a caravan at Ten Oaks Farm. 
      At its planning meeting on 24 August the council doubted whether the business was viable and sustainable. “It notes there is no functional or financial justification information provided and nor is there any justification given for the 200% increase in the size of the agricultural building." 
      The council asked the Mid Devon District Councillor Frank Rosamond to call in the application for decision by planning committee. 

      Changes afoot for paths and bridleways
      Six proposals for change to the public rights of way in Clayhidon have been published on the parish consultation map and are under consideration. They are: 
      1. Suggested upgrading of Footpath No.14 (part) Clayhidon to a public
      2. Suggested addition of a public bridleway; Nick Reed’s Lane
      3. Suggested upgrading of Footpath No.31 Clayhidon Ridgewood Lane (part) and Footpath No.40, Hemyock Lemons Hill to a Bridleway
      4. Suggested addition of a public footpath as a continuation to join Bakers Farm footpath in Somerset
      5. Suggested downgrading of Bridleway No.38, Gotleigh Moor, Clayhidon to a public footpath
      6. Suggested addition of a public bridleway along Routy Lane near Newcot Cross.
      You can see full details of the proposals in a notice from Devon County Counci, and download the Clayhidon parish consultation map and the county Public Rights of Way Committee’s plans and reports on this link. 

      Houses planned to replace mobile homes
      Planning applications for houses to replace mobile homes at Ten Oaks Farm and Jewells Farmn are on the agenda for the parish council meeting at Clayhidon Parish Hall on Monday 10 August. 
      Other items on the agenda include updates on proposed schemes for a road warden and litter pickers in Clayhidon, plus a discussion about The Pound, a plot of land next to the Half Moon Inn.
      For full agenda click here.
      >Planning applications

      Third crash in five weeks on ridge road
      There has been another crash on the ridge road - the third in just over a month. This time it was at the junction of Monument Hill and the Wrangway.
      Two cars collided on 4 July, and one ended up in a hedge. Police reported that no-one was injured.

      Farmhouse roof change supported by council
      A planning application to replace the thatched roof of Knowle Farm, Clayhidon with one of slate was supported by Clayhidon Parish Council at its meeting on 13 July. >Planning applications.

      Concert delights
      The St Andrews concert on 6 June was delightful. Read more 

      Pirate in the hills
      Have you heard the Blackdowns pirate? According to Newsweek magazine if you climb through a certain gap in a hedge on the crest of the Blackdowns, you'll stumble on a crime scene. “Tied to a branch in the canopy of an old birch tree is the transmitter for Rage FM, Taunton's only pirate radio station.” >Read more.

      Extension idea for the parish hall
      Major improvements are being mooted for Clayhidon Parish Hall. The committee wants to build an extension to provide a store room for tables and chairs and a ‘green room’ where visiting performers can rest and prepare. It is also hoping to conquer the old problem of mouldy walls in the toilets, by adding a lining to stop condensation. >Read more.
      Our 5,000 readers
      There has been a huge jump in the number of users of the parish website – from to 2,065 in 2013/14 to 5,024, a rise of 87 per cent. >Read more.

      Have you got news?
      If you have news of a Clayhidon event and would like to use this website to publicise it, or if you have any local information or pictures worth sharing, email   or call Gareth or Alison on 681093.


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