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2017 archive

Game of Thrones star in gripping local drama

The Film Night choice at Clayhidon Parish Hall on 17 November, The Levelling, stays with you like a remembered dream, one critic wrote. A disturbing dream, by all accounts. This low budget scary movie, set in the muddy wastes of the Somerset Levels, is a corker. Trainee vet Clover (Ellie Kendrick from Game of Thrones) returns to her family’s waterlogged dairy farm after 2014 floods. Tickets are selling faster than usual for this screening, so if you are interested  it might be wise to reserve yours. >Read more.


New planning applications

Two new planning applications are to be considered by Clayhidon Parish Council on 13 November. One involves a change  of use of land and conversion of former agricultural building to form 1 dwelling at Willtown Farm. The other is a revised scheme for a two-storey extension at Rosegarland Barn.

>Links to planning applications      >Council agenda


Another juggernaut comes to grief at Gladhayes

This 60ft lorry somehow got down Rosemary Lane before becoming stuck at Gladhayes Bridge, Clayhidon on 26 October. It was  on the  way to Jules Farm, Hemyock and the driver said he was following his commercial sat nav, which had guided him here from the A303.
John Bendle, who helped him reverse out of trouble and turn, said he would be raising the incident with the parish council, to try to get effective signs banning lorries from Rosemary Lane.
It is the second time in 18 months that a lorry has become stuck at the bridge. The last one did some damage to banks and buildings in Rosemary Lane, and this one apparently knocked off someone's guttering and left tyre marks all the way back up the hill. Picture by Nicola Bendle,
 


3 Daft Monkeys
Can you help identify these old parish photographs?
Clayhidon Local History Group
>Could these be your ancestors? If you have an idea who they are Clayhidon Local History Group would like to hear from you. >Read more.

Car boot sale raises the roof





















A table top and car boot sale at Clayhidon Parish Hall  on 23 September raised £210 for the hall improvement appeal.  The hall was filled with tables stacked with a huge range second hand items, while in the car park sellers enjoyed a glorious weather. There was a roaring trade in teas and cakes made by committee members.

Drewfest and council boost for hall improvement fund

Offers of financial support from Drewfest and Clayhidon Parish Council have given a huge boost to plans to improve Clayhidon Parish Hall.
Richard Drew is giving a £1,000 from the proceeds of this year’s Drewfest music festival in Clayhidon, while the council at its August meeting agreed a £2,000 grant.
The next stage of the improvement project is to renovate the roof. The hall committee is to apply in October to Viridor Credits for funding of between £30,000 and £40,000, but must raise 10% from third parties.  
Voting unanimously to give £2,000, the council added a “strong recommendation” that the committee takes advantage of any available grants and fits renewable energy panels to the roof at the same time. 
Gareth Weekes, hall committee chairman, said: “The council’s support for the hall this year has been fantastic, and combined with this incredibly generous gift from the Drew family we are now close to the 10% we need before we can apply to Viridor.”

Clayhidon in the dark over Merry Harriers rebuild plans

While everyone seems to be in favour of rebuilding the Merry Harriers, the plans submitted to Taunton Deane Borough Council  have stirred controversy for being out of keeping with the character of the Blackdowns – and for not being shown to Clayhidon people. >Read more.



Gift to end parking chaos
It’s hoped that blocked lanes and parking chaos at Clayhidon’s parish hall have been abolished with the creation of a new car park by the parish council. >Read more


Sunshine and sponges bring
summer to an end
A church barbecue and hog roast on 27 August cleared a profit of £400 for St. Andrew's, Clayhidon.
Organised by Casey Blackmore, Gemma Gilbert and Nicola Bendle, it included a hotly contested Clayhidon Bake Off competition and entertainment from Julian Day with his racing ducks.
>See more.


Tractor stolen
Clayhidon was the scene of two crimes and two incidents in August. PCSO Tracey Peters told the parish council: “ Between 12 – 16 August, a tractor was stolen from a paddock within a farm. Offenders appear to have cut the lock on the gate in order to gain access.
“On 28 August, a minor assault occurred at an event at Smeatharpe Stadium. Police attended a road traffic collision on 2 August, and we also received a report of a vehicle in a ditch on 29 August.”


National success for pony-mad Grace
Pony-mad Clayhidon seven-year-old Grace Gendall and her pony Crackle won great success at the SEIB Trailblazers Championships at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

Pint-sized cop on speed patrol
Everyone knows policemen get younger every year, but perhaps not as young as Clayhidon’s own pint-sized village speed cop, Ryland Higgins.
Viewed from the wheel of a speeding car,  Ryland and his radar detector might just be mistaken for the real thing for a second or two, before drivers realise he is an 11 year old with a toy.
He and his mum Lynda, landlady of the Half Moon Inn, will try anything to persuade drivers to slow down while passing through the hilltop centre of the parish.












If you know who did this please report them
Do you know who dumped their unwanted mattresses in this gateway near Shackles Cross, Clayhidon? Fly tipping is illegal and if you know you can help bring the perpetrator to justice by reporting it to Mid Devon District Council, either an online form on this link or by phoning 01884 255255.


Parish Hall


Friday 15 September
8.00pm
FILM NIGHT: Their Finest (12A).  Their Finest is a charming, funny new British film to start the autumn season of monthly movies at Clayhidon. It's set in wartime London, where. Gemma Arterton stars as a scriptwriter in charge of writing the female dialogue for government propaganda films.
As bombs are dropping all around them Arterton and a colourful cast, including Bill Nighy in excellent form, work furiously to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation. It’s a heart warmer for us too, a wittily written tale that won four star reviews and is sure to become a classic.
Tickets £6, available on the door. Ice cream, popcorn and a licensed bar. Sound and projection by Moviola. Note the later starting time Watch the trailer -
https://youtu.be/eebasw3h-Lg


Did you see the Clayhidon masterpieces?
If you haven't seen the exhibition of Blackdown Hills paintings in Taunton's Museum of Somerset time has run out.
Some of the finest British art from the early 20th century, inspired by the beauty of Clayhidon and the hills around, was on show until 8 July.


Walk in the woods and a cream tea
Twenty people enjoyed a stroll in the woods and lanes  of Clayhidon on 2 July and another 25 joined them for a cream tea in the Parish Hall.
Caroline Bendle led the walk in glorious sunshine while the hall committee prepared scones with clotted cream and jam.
The event raised £310 for the     hall improvement fund.  
'Lovely lady's' wise words
The speaker at the Clayhidon Friends' June meeting was 88-year-old Marian Bull, who gave a wonderful talk about her life. The herdsman's wife who became a writer, local newspaper correspondent and later a talented calligrapher, loves quotes and shared some her favourites with her audience.  >Read more. 

Neil Parish back with bigger majority
Neil Parish retained his Parliamentary seat of Tiverton & Honiton on 8 June with another huge majority, despite the Labour vote more than doubling. The full results are:
  • Caroline Kolek, Labour, 15,670
  • Neil Parish, Conservative, 35,471
  • Gill Westcott, Green Party, 2035
  • Matthew Wilson, Liberal Democrats, 4,639

    The turnout was 72%, 2% more than in May 2015. The Lib Dems and the Greens both lost ground.

Danger junction scythed
Alex Hill and Chris Houghton, the parish lengths man, have  done a magnificent job clearing the undergrowth at the Ford Street junction on the top road.
Alex scythed a section of the Clayhidon side of the dangerous four way junction on 2 June to make it safer for all residents struggling with visibility as they try to cross. Somerset Highways always say when asked that they will get round to clearing the weeds which block the view of high speed traffic but they are always months too late.
As Alex points out, the cost of accidents in police, fire and ambulance time let alone to the people involved would pay for the work many times over.
Somerset Highways has also said recently they won't replace the signpost knocked over in an accident nearly two years ago. But if they would produce it maybe the local community could do the work.
Some slow down, dangerous crossing signs might help too.

Ray Radford wins  by a mile
Ray Radford was the runaway winner in the Uffculme and Willand division of the the Devon County Council election on 4 May, gaining 52% of the vote and helping the Conservatives retain control of the county. 
The results were.  
Simon Clist, Liberal Democrat, 805, 21.9%;
Margaret Dennis, independent, 414, 11.59%;
Fiona Hutton,  Labour, 298, 8.19%;
Jo Norton, Green, 224, 6.1%;
Ray Radford, Conservative, 1,932, 52.5%. 
>Results in full.  
>Democracy in Devon         



Please join us for a walk and a cream tea

Please join us with your friends and family this Sunday, 2 July, for a gentle, sociable walk followed by a cream tea.
Caroline Bendle will lead a stroll  through the beautiful Upper Culm Valley, starting at Clayhidon Parish Hall at 2.30pm. Most people will find the going easy. Depending on who turns up, we may run two walks at the same time - one mainly off road and one through the lanes more suitable for people pushing buggies.
Fresh baked Devon scones with jam, cream and tea will be served from 3.00pm – and even if you don’t come on a walk you are welcome to join us.
It’s open to all ages, and we are hoping it will be a sociable mid-summer fundraiser for the hall improvement fund. The cost is £5 per head or £2.50 for under-16s. If you are definitely coming please let Caroline know on 01823 681047 or email carouselle@btinternet.com. If you’re not sure yet, just turn up.
- Clayhidon Hall Committee
       

Is this the loveliest walk in the parish?Was there ever a bluebell season to match April 2017?  And throughout Clayhidon's network of well cared-for public footpaths is there a lovelier place to stroll than this beautifully maintained track through the wood below Carlingwark?

Service for a Clayhidon hero
A memorial service  marking the 100th anniversary of the death of one of Clayhidon's First World War heroes,  Corporal Hubert Bright, was held in Holcombe Church, near Dawlish.
After surviving two of the greatest battles of the war, Hubert was fighting in the Machine Gun Corps when he was killed on 17 April 1917, one of 100,000 Allied troops to be lost or injured in the Battle of Arras. His body was never recovered. 
Although his mother came from Holcombe, he had spent  part of his adolescence at Burrows Farm, Clayhidon. His name and that of his brother who was lost at sea a year later, are recorded on the Clayhidon war memorial and on the roll of honour in the parish hall.


Mystery of the reappearing bus shelter explained
Who uncovered the bus shelter at Clayhidon Crossway?
Several residents have been wondering who has cleared up years of ivy and undergrowth from the shelter recently.
The answer is Chris Houghton, Clayhidon's new parish lengthsman, who has been working in the parish since the autumn.
The parish council has been unhappy for years at the lack of work done by Devon County Council on this kind of maintenance of parish drains and roads and finally, last year, agreed to get the work done itself.
Mr Houghton had agreed to be a road warden initially and has had Highways training last November and been given lengthsman equipment.


She loved music, dancing and her African homeland
\

Obituary for Dee Carter:  first class mum and famously forthright Clayhidon resident.

Chairman recalls highlights of a busy year
A Royal Street party, our MP opening the church fete and the promise of faster broadband were three of the highlights of 2016 recalled by Clayhidon Parish Council chairman Richard Kallaway at the annual parish meeting on 20 March.

Beware fraudsters sending emails
Fraudsters are sending out a high volume of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses, pretending to come from various email addresses, which have been compromised, say Devon and Cornwall Police. >Read more


Project to save the Culm's crayfish
The River Culm is at the centre of a project to save Britain's only native crayfish from extinction, Clayhidon Parish Meeting was told on 20 March.
In Devon, only two small populations survive. The other is on the Creedy/Yeo.
The white-clawed crayfish is facing extinction because of an invasive alien crayfish, falling water quality and habitat change.
>Read more








The Merry Harriers public house is to be rebuilt and a national pub chain is interested in buying the site, says the owner, Reg Payne, according to  the Wellington Weekly News. He said he was planning a new pub on the site and hoped  to be able to move it back from the road. Mr Payne told the newspaper it would  be rebuilt. The insurance companies had agreed a settlement, but this had taken  a long time because the fires were suspicious >Read more

Parishioners learn First Aid
Twelve people from the parish took part in an all day first aid course on 25 March at the parish hall, paid for by money raised at Drewfest.
 >Read more

How a few words from you could win finance for hall
Could you spare a few minutes to write a letter or email in support of the Hall Committee’s plans for extending and modernising Clayhidon Parish Hall? Evidence of strong community support could make all the difference to a potential corporate sponsor’s decision to back the scheme. >Read more.

66 years on - their wedding reception venue has gone

Victor and Ivy Stamp have more cause than most of the  passers-by who stopped to watch the demolition of the Merry Harriers to be sad about the end of a once- fine pub. They had their wedding reception here 66 years ago. >Read more

Working wonders with fabric
Clayhidon Friends welcomed Yvonne Whittamore, who gave a fascinating talk and demonstration of the art of making things out of fabric.


Film night record
Sixty five people paid to watch Tom Hanks in Sully at Clayhidon Parish Hall on 17 March. It was by far the biggest audience since film nights started at the hall in 2015. The hall was so crowded some people had to sit on the stage.

When Jane Austen's aunt escaped the noose
The story of when Jane Austen's aunt was tried for theft at Taunton Assizes was told to Clayhidon Local History Group in a fascinating talk. >Read more.


Nautical farewell to Patrick
St Andrew's Church was crowded for the funeral on 9 March of Patrick Meredith. There was a nautical theme as family, friends and neighbours said goodbye to the Royal Navy war veteran. >Obituary and funeral report.

Another crash at blackspot
A WOMAN was taken to hospital with a serious stomach injury after yet another crash on the Clayhidon/Ford Street crossroads on 2 March. >Read more

Update on ultra-fast broadband
The arrival in Clayhidon of ultra-fast broadband has been rescheduled to late summer. Gigaclear's sub-contractors have already started work in Churchinford and further road works are already booked to allow fibre cable laying in Rawridge, Upottery, Smeatharpe, Churchinford and Churchstanton . The first properties in those parishes are now due to be connected between May and July and Clayhidon connections can be expected to follow shortly afterwards.
>Read more.

Certificate of lawfulness sought for farmhouse
Construction of Glebe Farm, Clayhidon failed to follow the planning conditions imposed when permission was given.  But because all this happened more than four years ago  Mid Devon District Council cannot take action other than to grant a Certificate of Lawfulness.
This is one of two planning applications being discussed by the Parish Council at its meeting on 8 May. The other is seeking permission to build an extension to Far Longham.
You can find links to both applications on our planning page.

.
Morris team to dance at Half Moon
Mayhem Border Morris, a team of male and female Morris dancers, will be dancing at the Half Moon Inn at  8.00pm Tuesday 9 May.

They want your vote on 4 May
The candidates, left to right: Simon Clist, Margaret Dennis, Fiona Hutton, Jo Norton and Ray Radford
Psst! Do you know there’s a Devon County Council election on Thursday 4 May–and that you are expected to vote?
There has been so little publicity and an almost total absence of electioneering, so we can expect a low turnout. 
The polling station at Clayhidon Parish Hall will open at 8am and close at 10pm. Clayhidon is in the Willand and Uffculme division and there are five candidates: 
    Simon John Clist, Liberal Democrat, of Windward Edge, Hemyock. 
    Margaret Dennis, Independent, of 2 Damson Close, The Orchards, Willand. 
     Fiona Hutton, Labour, of 26 Richmond Close, Sampford Peverel. 
     Jo Norton, The Green Party, of Beacon View, Red Ball, Burlescombe.
    Ray Radford, Conservative of, 1 Townsend Gardens, Halberton.


Film Night postponed

Due to an unfortunate double booking of Clayhidon Parish Hall the 21 April  Film Night showing of A United Kingdom has had to be postponed until 5 May.

Spring is sprung

Spring is sprung and the banks of the River Culm at Clayhidon are festooned with wild daffodils. >Another picture


Thank you, litter pickers - anyone else like to help?

Thank you so much to all the volunteers who have picked up a huge amount of crisp packets, sweet papers, cans, bottles, coffee cups and broken car bits in the last few days,  writes Alison Weekes.
We still have time to collect a few more bags before we ask the council to come and take it away from the back of the village hall, so more collections will be gratefully received.
>Read more

Big Breakfast bags a record

Clayhidon's Cancer Research UK volunteers served 100 breakfasts in the parish hall on 11 March, raised £1,200 and laid on a great social occasion. Pam Reynolds started the Clayhidon Big Breakfast with Margaret Wenham 15 years ago, using a two burner stove in the church rooms. They are still running it and this year's event was more successful than ever, just beating last year's record sum.

Guitar wizards spell end of arts scheme
Clayhidon's long association with Villages in Action, Devon's performing arts scheme, ended on 10 March when two brilliant guitarists, Kit Holmes and Al Greenwood, performed in the parish hall.

Woolly jumpers galore
For Trish Andrews happiness is a brand new shed full of healthy lambs and contented ewes.
It would be hard to find anyone who loves sheep quite as much as Trish, of Mill View, Clayhidon. Farming is in her blood, and at lambing time  she and her husband Tim take it in turns to endure long cold nights seeing the little woolly jumpers safely into the world.
Not that she is complaining. Their new shed replaces an ancient and grotty chicken shed, soon to be demolished. "For me this is as good as winning the lottery," she says.


Do you recognise this farm?
Is this Gollick Farm, Clayhidon?  It was painted by Charles Ginner, one of the celebrated Camden Town Group of artists who stayed in the parish and produced many fine pictures of the Blackdown Hills, and is simply called 'Clayhidon 1914'.
Some of the best of these pictures have been borrowed from museums, galleries and private owners for a unique exhibition, which opens  in Taunton’s Museum of Somerset on Saturday 25 March. The curators asked if anyone could identify  'Clayhidon 1914'.  Maurice Bendle says it looks  like Gollick, where he lives, but there is probably "too much artistic licence" for it to be the same place.
>Read more.

Alex makes a storming return
Local singer/songwriter Alex Hart made a storming return to her home valley on 26 February, when she played to a capacity audience at Clayhidon Parish Hall. The gig raised around £850 for the hall.  >Read more.




Wanted: volunteers to clear littered roadsides

Could you spare an hour or two to clear litter from a lane near you?  It's litter-picking time in Clayhidon and you can find out how to get involved by clicking on this link.

Last Villages in Action event
Devon's own rural arts organisation, Villages in Action, is closing through lack of finance, and 10 March is the last of its sponsored events in Clayhidon.
Don't miss the chance to hear Kit Holmes's blend of blues-driven soul, sultry vocals and virtuoso guitar playing at the Parish Hall.
Kit, who will be appearing with Al Greenway, has been described as "a young composer and singer-songwriter with all the makings of a new British guitar heroine."
She is amazingly versatile, able to switch from folk baroque to pop to flamenco and jazz.
Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start. There'll be a licensed bar and supper if you book, and a lovely warm atmosphere. We are hoping for another sell-out following the recent success of the Alex Hart Band at Clayhidon.
Tickets are 8.50 (£6.50 concessions), available from Caroline Bendle on
01823 681047 or via email carouselle@btinternet.com. Supper is £5. This concert is promoted by Villages in Action.
>Read more
Crayfish talk at parish meeting


A scheme to save the River Culm’s endangered white clawed crayfish will be explained at a meeting in Clayhidon Parish Hall on Monday 20 March. James Maben, of the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project, will speak at the annual parish meeting about the Culm Community Crayfish Project.
The public are invited, and in a change to the usual format, local clubs and organisations have been asked to submit a report prior to the meeting for inclusion in a pack which will be available to take away from the meeting. The meeting starts at 7.30pm. >Read more.

Hall extension approved

Mid Devon District Council has given planning permission for an extension to Clayhidon Parish Hall, to include new toilets, a meeting room that would double as a changing room for performers plus a small upstairs room for a parish archive.
The existing toilets will be converted into a storage area for tables and chairs.  Planners have imposed a condition that the new roof much match the natural slate of the existing roof,
The hall committee meets on 1 March to plan how to seek funding for the project.
The parish council has already agreed to fund a car park extension, thanks to a donation of land by Russell and Caroline Bendle, and an offer of practical help with surfacing by the Country and Western Club. The car park has also been given planning condition.
  >Read more.    >Parish Council Agenda.



Saturday 11 March, 9am - 1pm Clayhidon Parish Hall
The Big Breakfast
In aid of Cancer Research UK
To book a place, call 01823 680481
(scroll down to see poster)




Saturday 4 March from 8.45pm
Half Moon Inn
Get Carter 
An eclectic mix of styles from local musician James Wilment and his band

Sassenach whisky lovers toast Burns
Haggis, cock-a-leekie-soup and cranachan – all the traditional elements of a Burns Night supper - were enjoyed by members and guests of the Clayhidon Whisky Appreciation Society at the Half Moon Inn, when they celebrated the 258th anniversary of Robbie Burns’ birth.
The only connection between the society and Burns seems to be the enjoyment of whisky, but that was enough to get the Sassenachs of Devon to recite some of his poems, including the famous “address to the Haggis”.
David Ball proposed a toast to the lassies, to which Saranna Cogswell responded with a toast to the laddies in an evening of speeches, poetry, enlightenment and much humour.

History Group celebrate a new year

Clayhidon Local History Group started 2017 with their annual dinner. The group, which meets on the third Thursday of every month in the Church Room, has issued  an open invitation to everyone to join them. Read their programme of activities for the year on this link

Disappointment as Gigaclear  announces broadband delay


Dozens of Clayhidon residents who signed up for Gigaclear in the hope that they would be getting ultra-fast broadband by the spring are likely to be disappointed. The company has announced it is reviewing its timetable. It has won contracts to deliver fibre broadband to thousands more homes in the region and this means a delay for customers in the Ford Street and Clayhidon area. >Read more

Council to fund hall car park

Clayhidon Parish Council is giving financial help towards parking improvements at the Parish Hall.
At its December meeting the council agreed to pay the cost of creating 13 extra parking spaces, plus the £594 legal costs of Russell and Caroline Bendle, who are donating part of their field. It has already paid the £192 planning fee to Mid Devon District Council.
The country and western club has also offered to help with surfacing the new car park.
Parish Clerk Donna Evans is to submit an application to County Councillor Ray Radford for assistance with the parking extension from his Locality Budget fund.
>Council minutes.
Meanwhile the parish hall committee has paid the architect’s fees and other expenses as part of a planned extension to the hall. This would house new toilets, a meeting room that would double as a changing room for performers plus a small upstairs room for a parish archive.
The existing toilets would be converted into a storage area for tables and chairs.  >Read more.





    Email scam
    Devon and Cornwall Police are warning of fraudsters who send emails to people expecting to pay a bill for property repairs. >Read more

    Poultry must be kept indoors
    Even tiny flocks of poultry must be kept indoors under a new Government decree aimed at stopping the spread of bird flu, Clayhidon Parish Council has been told. >Read more.

    Dunkeswell tragedy
    Police are treating the deaths of a married couple at Abbey Mill Farm, Dunkeswell  as "domestic related murder and suicide". There is a full report by The Telegraph on this link.

    Film Night at Clayhidon Parish Hall
    Friday 13 January, 7.30pm

    I, Daniel Blake (15)

    Ken Loach’s  angry and moving story of a disabled carpenter trapped in a web of bureaucracy who befriends a single mum.  Loach’s portrayal of their humiliation as they struggle to cope with poverty won this film the Palme d’Or at Cannes. >Read more and watch the trailer.