The Old Dance School plays to packed hall
The Old Dance School, a seven-piece band from Birmingham, chalked up another resounding success for Villages in Action on April 4, when they played to a packed Clayhidon parish Hall.  We hope to carry a review here soon.

Reviewers fall for Rita's charms
“Is it always like this in Clayhidon?” asks Brian Lewis one of our reviewers of Educating Rita, performed by the Uncommon Players at the Parish Halll on 8 March.
“The audience were totally swept along during this production, and showed it, with the end coming to rapturous and well deserved applause. Furthermore, even the interval catering was fantastic.”
Diana Speiaght calls it an entertaining evening and days “The Uncommon Players produced an admirable performance full of humour and wit. “
You can read both reviews in full on this link.

Friendly fund-raising fry-up 
Big breakfast smiles: part of the kitchen team at Clayhidon Parish hall on 1 March, when Cancer Research UK volunteers cooked a delicious fry-up for dozens of local people. They raised over £1,160.
St Andrew's marks 740 years
St Andrew's Church, Clayhidon, celebrated 740 years of existence on 27 February, with a dedication festival eucharist.
A cloth of former ministers attended the special communion service and a lunch later in the church room. >Read more.

At the centre of local life for more than 740 years
>Read Rev David Burton's fascinating anniversary sermon

Poets with strings attached
Hmmm. How exactly did Ben and Alfie wow Clayhidon Parish Hall on 12 February?  Was this folk, was it jazz, was it world music?   It was all those things plus a dash of classical, but above all it was poetry.
Ben is 21, sings and plays the fiddle.  His brother Alfie is 19, sings and plays the double bass. Together they write music and invent songs full of wit and wisdom you don’t expect from men so young.
A hundred years ago they would have been penning heart rending lines from the trenches, but Ben and Alfie take their inspiration from funny or profound things they heard on Radio 4, or experienced on the train or on wacky taxi rides.
They spent two months with traditional Senegalese musicians and story tellers and the rhythms of West Africa come through strongly.  But above all they are writers of brilliant songs with clever lyrics.
They may not yet make it to the big time with their performances – although the Clayhidon audience absolutely loved them. But their songs deserve a much, much wider audience and you could easily imagine some really big-name performers snapping them up. Well done Villages in Action (who supported the event) for a great piece of talent spotting.
Outdoor school planned for Clayhidon
Four new planning applications have been submitted for Clayhidon properties, including an outdoor school and a barn conversion. For details and to find out how to have your say click here.





      A career working for the Queen
      The Queen's former correspondence secretary, Deborah Bean, spoke to Clayhidon Friends about her career in royal service.
      In a fascinating talk she described the Queen's dedication to her daily routine, the royals' yearly programme and the enormous size of the royal "machine". >Read more.

      Parish Council meeting meets
      Clayhidon Parish Council meets at the Church Room on Monday 14 April, when the election of a chairman and vice chairman will take place. For the full agenda click here.

      Drivers stopped in police clampdown
      Police and excise officers stopped dozens of vehicles at Smeatharpe and 20 drivers face prosecution for a range of offences. >Read more. 

      No budget for maintaining Clayhidon roads
      Clayhidon Parish Council has discovered that there is no budget at all for maintaining parish roads because they are of a low classification. 
      Potholes will be repaired when reported but otherwise the reduced road budget is directed to the major routes.
      The council is to invite Neil Parish MP to a meeting to explain how councils are expected to maintain roads when they do not receive sufficient funds from central Government.
      >Read more.

      Fast broadband would cost £2,000 per household
      Bringing superfast broadband to one Blackdowns village would cost around £2,000 per household, which would not be cost effective, a BT executive told a public meeting.
      Clayhidon and many other Blackdowns parishes are in hard to reach areas which are unlikely to see any improvements in the foreseeable future.
      These official replies have been rejected by Graham Long, the Upottery Parish Councillor who organised the meeting and is campaigning for more Government funding.
      >Western Morning News report.
      >Upottery Parish Council report.

      Farmer accused of neglecting animals
      A Clayhidon farmer pleaded guilty to 14 offences of neglect, failing to dispose of carcases, exposing livestock to hazards and inadequate record keeping, the Western Morning News reports.
      A judge at Exeter Crown Court on 24 January delayed sentence on Philip Govier, of Willtown Farm, and advised him to give up farming, >Read More.

      Blackdowns AONB faces 90% cash cut
      Staff working to protect and conserve the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are “astounded” by a proposed 90% cut in their grant from Somerset County Council. The AONB office in Hemyock has been warned its annual grant may be slashed to £1,000 on 19 February as part of an £18m budget cut-back . >Read more on Around Wellington.
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