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100 turn up for Brunchtime

Galley slaves: A few of the kitchen crew who helped at Brunchtime


Brunchtime at Clayhidon Parish Hall on 8 September proved another enjoyable addition to Clayhidon social life,
Nearly 100 people - many more than expected - turned up during the three and a half-hour session. Organisers were kept frantically busy cooking and serving a choice of Full English or bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon. They ran so low on ingredients they had to send out for more.
The event raised around £800 for hall improvement funds, £100 of which came from a raffle. Chairman Gareth Weekes thanked members of the hall committee for a great effort and also other helpers including Bob and Doreen Pike, Jane Adair, Kim Burridge,, Julia Bearne, Alison Weekes,George Slabbert  and Chris James, who generously provided the eggs and Michael and Anthea Coates who supplied the sausages and bacon.



A bop across time

The best music  from the 1950s across the decades to the 2000s should get the good folk of Clayhidon bobbing about in a great night of pop, rock and blues this Saturday (6 October) at the Parish Hall.

Doors open at 7pm for 7.30, when  the Blackdowns based  five-piece band, Bar None, present “From the Fifties to the Noughties”. Whether you sit and tap your feet or get up and jive is your choice – there’ll be room for both – but be warned, their motto is “We’ll get you dancing”.

With their huge repertoire of brilliant songs from the past 60-odd years, Bar None have a strong local following, so it might be wise to book ahead, rather than take a chance on getting a ticket at the door, and that way you can make sure of supper.

Tickets are £8 (not £7),  and £5 for 11 years and under. To reserve call Caroline on 01823 681047 or email carouselle@btinternet.com. Supper is £5 but must be booked in advance. As usual there’ll be a licensed bar.   







Bridal dresses are a big draw
The wedding exhibition at St. Andrews over three days of the Bank Holiday weekend was a great success with plenty of visitors and donations.
The Clayhidon History Group's organising team, led by Pam Reynolds, of Thelma Blackmore, Bridget Drummy and Val Slabbert, decorated the church with 15 wedding dresses on mannequins, some complete with original headdresses and shoes. Also on display were photos, albums and details of all weddings which have taken place at the church this century and last.
Peter Fisher put together a second exhibition, recording biographical details of all the servicemen from Clayhidon killed in the First World War.
Cream teas and cake were on offer in the church room.
The church was beautifully decorated by the flower ladies, led by Nicola Bendle, who also organised the hog roast held on the Sunday.
The marquee unfortunately blew down in the heavy rain, so the event was moved to the parish hall.>More pictures


Belfry bats halt hall repairs
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Bats have forced contractors to stop work on Clayhidon Parish Hall. A small colony of long-eared bats was discovered roosting in the loft while its new slate roof was being fitted.
Kevin Bowden, of Wellington roofing firm Courtney Bowden and Son, found six adult bats when he stripped the slates behind the belfry of the 125 year old former schoolroom. 
Complying with bat protection laws could mean a hold-up of nearly three months in the work, which is being funded by a £25,800 grant by Viridor Credits. >Read more




Water main bursts

Dozens of homes in Clayhidon were without water or experienced severely reduced pressure on July 25, when a nine-inch water main burst near Deadbeer. The farm drive was turned into a stream as thousands of litres flowed down to the Culm, and South West Water subcontractors had to send to Exeter for a new pipe.




Don't miss Brunchtime

- call Caroline today
Since the end of January Clayhidon Parish Hall Committee has raised nearly £36,000 through grants, donations and fundraising events.
The campaign continues this Saturday (8 September) with Brunchtime, when everyone is invited to a delicious Brunch in the hall
There will be a choice of a classic English Breakfast or bagels with smoked salmon, cream cheese and other tasty toppings, plus tea, coffee and fruit juices. Children's portions will be available for the under-11s and Bucks Fizz for grown-ups.
Bring your friends and family and help the hall committee make this another thoroughly enjoyable Clayhidon social event.
We will start serving at 0930 and take last orders at 1pm. You can just turn up - but if possible please call Caroline Bendle 01823 681047 and tell her the size of your party and when you plan to come. >Read more about the fundraising campaign.  >Ten ways to support the hall  





A century of country weddings

Three brides slip back into their old wedding dresses to publicise more than a century of changing country wedding fashions in a unique exhibition next weekend in Clayhidon,.
Brenda Percy and her daughters Helen Pepperell (left) and Susan Upton were all married at St Andrew’s Church,  55, 15 and 28 years ago respectively,
Theirs are among 15 actual wedding dresses worn by brides who were married at St Andrew’s from 1947 until the present day, going on show with photographs of weddings dating back to 1902.
Put together by Clayhidon History Group, it all adds up to a wonderful account of some of the happiest days in the parish over more than 115 years.
‘Weddings at St Andrew’s’ is open three days, August 25,26 and 27, from 2 – 5pm. On Sunday it will be preceded by a Hog Roast from 12-2pm in the Church Field. Tickets for this (at £5) can be booked on 01823 680541. Both events are in aid of the church roof fund.





Murder marker restored


Clayhidon’s famous murder marker – which for more than a century has reminded passers-by of a brutal robbery - has been restored to pristine condition. 
Alex Hill, of Bollhayes, has cleared the undergrowth and repainted the unusual memorial in the hedge beside the spot in Battle Street where George Sparks beat William Blackmore to death with a pair of blacksmith’s tongs in 1853. 
The judge wept with grief as he donned his black cap and sentenced Sparks. A crowd of thousands, including
  many children, watched him hang in Exeter. 
The story is told in all its dramatic detail in Pamela Reynolds’ book, Clayhidon, A Devon Parish in the Nineteenth Century.





150 turn out for party
Perfect weather, a lovely location, a good band and 150 people in the mood to party – it all added up to a brilliant Midsummer Party and Barn Dance on 30 June, the first big fundraising event for Clayhidon Parish Hall’s planned extension. 
It was a proper old-fashioned village social, with Clayhidon’s oldest and newest families taking part. “This is amazing – it’s like a French village party,” said one of the newcomers. But this was very definitely an English event. The Stirabout Ceilidh band led the dancing and appeared to enjoy themselves as much as the dancers.

'No comment' on Higher Heazle plan
A planning application has been submitted for Higher Barn & Lower Barn, Higher Heazle, Clayhidon. Mid Devon planners have been asked for permission to retain a change of use from holiday let and office to residential use (incidental to main dwelling, Higher Heazle) as holiday let and residential dwellings. Clayhidon Parish Council decided at its meeting on 11 June to make no comment. >Parish Council Minutes, 11 June.
Bringing books to rural Devon
Devon County Council wants to consider ways of reaching  more people who can't easily access Devon’s 50 public libraries. >Read more and follow link to take part in consultation.

Want to receive reminders
of hall events?
If you are already on Clayhidon Parish Hall's mailing list you need to send an email confirming that you wish to remain on it.
If you didn't do this by the end of May we will have removed your name to comply with new Data Protection laws.
If you are not on the mailing list you are missing out!
Either way, if you would like to join or remain on the list simply email clayhidonhall@gmail.com and tell us.
Then we will ensure you receive a reminder every time we organise an event.


Monster truck hits bridge


It was designed for Europe's autobahns and motorways, and when this huge poultry wagon ventured into the narrow lanes of the Blackdowns an accident was inevitable. 
No-one was hurt, but Gladhayes Bridge, Clayhidon, recently restored at great expense, was cracked. Parish councillors are hopping mad, wondering why Devon highways departments do not put  up signs.
Some of them met Neil Parish MP recently to urge him to use his influence. Now parish councillor Graham Langford has asked if there is any reason why action correcting the road signage in Rosemary Lane should not be taken now, "or why temporary advisory route signs off the main ridge road for these lorries be put in place pending an holistic Blackdowns approach?"




Blackdowns bus for hire

After much effort by the Blackdowns Community Bus Committee and support from various fundraising events, a 13/14 seater bus has been purchased and which will be available for hire. >Read more
Car overturns
A car overturned on a bend above Ford Street on 9 April and you can see photos on the Somerset County Gazette website on this link 


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Trash busters

Meet the trash busters - just a few of the volunteers who gave up their Sunday afternoon on 25 March to collect litter from Clayhidon's road verges. To see the shocking amount they collected in a couple of hours click here.



Viridor to fund new hall roof


Rubbish from thousands of households is paying for a new roof on a popular Blackdown Hills entertainment venue.
Taunton-based Viridor Credits, which is funded by donations from Viridor’s 18 landfill sites across the UK, including Broadpath, near Uffculme, is giving £25,856 to Clayhidon Parish Hall.
The committee running the 125-year-old building, originally a Victorian village schoolroom, wants to raise over £100,000 to bring it up to 21st century standards.
“Worn slates, leaking ceilings and poor insulation mean we have no choice but to start with the roof,” said committee chairman Gareth Weekes. >Read more.



Buried cable soon exposed 

It hasn't taken long for weaknesses in the Blackdowns wonderful new ultra-fast broadband network to be exposed. Poorly maintained roads, huge tractors and lorries and plainly inadequately buried fibre optic cable have combined to produce this result at the Wiltown end of Smeathy Lane, Clayhidon.


Annual reports from local

clubs and organisations

>Click on this link to see the past year's annual reports to the parish council from:
Clayhidon Parish Hall
Footpaths
Clayhidon Friends
Clayhidon Art Group
Rosemary Lane Chapel
Clayhidon Local History Group
Blackdown Support Group
Violet Chapman Trust


Signpost is back

At last! The traditional signpost on the crossroads at the top of Ford Street, which  was wrecked in a serious accident three years ago, has been rebuilt using funds from a Somerset heritage scheme.  It was returned to its old site on 3 May. Picture by Yvonne Roth.


Shedloads of comedy

What do you get when you cross a former Cambridge music scholar and conductor of the Scottish Opera with an ex-bricklayer with a voice like Mario Lanza?
Answer: A pain in the jaw from laughing so much, according to one man who watched the Opera Dudes at Clayhidon Parish Hall on 14 April.
Before the show was over they had posted a video of themselves on Facebook, taking the mickey out the hall's artists' dressing room, a garden shed behind the stage. 
Read our review.


Don't miss The Amazing Film of Hemyock
Go and see ‘The Amazing Film of Hemyock ‘ and you will find it it not only amazingly well filmed but fascinating and absorbing and amusing in equal measure, writes Alison Weekes.
There are even quite a few well known Clayhidon faces in it.
I must admit that the thought of two hours watching life in Hemyock over the last seven years didn’t sound that riveting, but it truly was.  >
Read more




Parish Council minutes
See full minutes of Clayhidon Parish Council meeting on 9 April on this link.


110 turn up for breakfast

When you invite an entire parish for a slap-up full English breakfast you can never  be quite sure how many will turn up. But when 110 hungry people arrived for this year's Clayhidon Big Breakfast  at the Parish Hall volunteers were well prepared. They raised £1,160 for Cancer Research UK. >Lots more pictures.

Latest planning applications

>Click here




Hedge champ's double gift

Colin Risdon, Britain’s national champion Devon hedge layer, has used his famous skills to raise £200 for Clayhidon charities and open up another lovely public view of the Culm Valley.
For weeks, Colin has been working on Maurice Bendle’s hedge along the top road between the Half Moon Inn and Battle Street. He offered one day’s training to anyone interested in learning the craft and donated his fees to the Parish Hall improvement fund and St Andrew’s Church.
Hall chairman Gareth Weekes said: “We greatly appreciate Colin’s generosity. We have a lot to do to bring the hall up to standard and we need every penny we can get. This was a wonderful way to raise money.”




Join the war on potholes

There’s a simple way to get Devon County Council to repair Clayhidon’s potholed roads – and everyone in the parish can play a part, says parish councillor Graham Langford.
If there is a pothole in your vicinity 40mm deep,  with a vertical edge and at least 300mm wide , simply  go online via this link and mark the spot on the map.
If it is not repaired, go online and report it again and again, says Graham. Every report is logged  and his  theory is “in the end they will get so fed up with logging it they will come out and fix it.”
There are many isolated deep craters, but parish councillors agreed that the worst stretch is between in the parish hall and Hidewood Farm, which former councillor Alan Redwood described as “almost impassable “. At its meeting on 19 February the council decided to make this the priority when it approaches Dave Ashford, Devon CC’s new man in charge of maintenance in this district
> Clayhidon Parish Council minutes


Amazing Film of Hemyock
Go and see ‘The Amazing Film of Hemyock ‘ and you will find it it not only amazingly well filmed but fascinating and absorbing and amusing in equal measure, writes Alison Weekes.
There are even quite a few well known Clayhidon faces in it.
I must admit that the thought of two hours watching life in Hemyock over the last seven years didn’t sound that riveting, but it truly was.
Jenny Parsons has spent many many hours making this labour of love. Something that in 50 years time will give people such a snapshot of current life in this area of The Blackdowns that it will be treasured. >Read more. 

CPC backs house plan

A highly unusual application to build an “architecturally outstanding” modern house on the hill above Carlingwark, Clayhidon is to be considered by Mid Devon planners, 
Clayhidon Parish Council voted by a majority of three to one to support plans, by Susan Annett and Richard Brown, for a four-bedroom beech-beamed building with “an agricultural look”. 
Planning laws normally prevent new homes on the green belt, unless they meet specific criteria, not least that they should be architecturally outstanding. 
You can read what was said at the parish council meeting on 12 March on this link. The full application should be available for examination on Mid Devon’s website on this link , but there has been a recurring technical problem with the site making it hard to use.

Spring turns back to winter
Winter returned to the Blackdowns on 18 March when an easterly gale dumped nearly a foot of snow on Clayhidon. >More snow images in the Clayhidon picture gallery.

The Culm freezes over
 There's a river under there somewhere. The Culm completely froze over in places on  2 March.  It's thought to be the first time this has happened in about 20 years. The whole parish was effectively snowed in for the first two days of spring, when Storm Emma collided with the Beast From The East - a freezing gale that blew from Siberia.
 
Blues Night rocks
The prospect of two blues bands - the Moosehead Blues Band and 11th Hour - drew a crowd of nearly 50 to Clayhidon Parish Hall for what turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
It soon emerged that this wasn’t just going to be a Blues Night as advertised, as both  bands slipped into classic rock and roll covers.
The hall committee organised a raffle, supper and a licensed bar and made a profit of more than £400. >Read more.


Love story that crossed the generations

This Friday's (20 April) Clayhidon Film Night features the true story of a passionate love affair between an ageing Hollywood film star and a much younger man,
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (15) showcases the extraordinary talents of Annette Bening, Jamie Bell and Julie Walters. Read more, watch the trailer and see ticket info on this link

World class tenors at the hall 
 
Don't take our word for the brilliance of the Opera Dudes, who are performing at  Clayhidon Parish Hall this Saturday (14 April). Just read these comments from previous audience members.
"The Dudes are awesome. . . They should be on prescription. . . World class voices. . . Breath-taking performance. . .  These guys are nuts, but we love them. . .  Inspiring . . . Tremendous fun. . .Best night out ever."
It's not all opera - they sing all kinds of music, and there's lots of humour. And if that doesn't convince you, click on this link and listen to them on YouTube.
The show  is on Saturday 14 April. It starts at 7.30pm, doors open at 7pm. Tickets are £10. Pre-booked supper £5. To reserve, call Caroline Bendle on 01823 681047 or email carouselle@btinternet.com. As usual there will be a licensed bar. 
>More info



Gigaclear reassures critics

The public turned out in force for Clayhidon Parish Council’s meeting on 19 February – and everyone who wanted to speak had their say. Many were there to comment and ask questions about the laying of fibre-optic cable in the parish. 
If the officials from Gigaclear, MGM Utilities, Devon County Council and Connecting Devon & Somerset had expected a hard time from the audience, it never happened. All signs of hostility melted away as people praised the work teams. Their most vocal critics had apparently already had their say about the damage to roads and verges and been listened to. >Read more.  > Clayhidon Parish Council minutes






Bolham plans opposed


A planning application for Ticklepenny Farm in the Bolham Valley has provoked a wave of adverse comments from neighbours and the AONB and was unanimously opposed by Clayhidon Parish Council ib 19 February

The plan is for “the retention of mixed use building comprising farm workshop, storage, water reservoir, smokery, cold store and food processing area, farm office, welfare facilities, kennels and stables”.

Objections included light pollution, its "blockhouse design" and risks to public health.

Lisa Turner, AONB Planning Officer, wrote to Mid Devon District Council with a wide ranging list of objections.  >Read more.         >Other planning applications   > Clayhidon Parish Council minutes



Cable officials invited
Two officials involved in the fibre optic cabling being dug into some of Clayhidon’s lanes are being invited to the next parish council meeting on February 19.
They are Richard Olive, deployment manager for Connecting Devon and Somerset, and Andy Nicks, Devon highways enforcement manager.
Parish councillor Maurice Bendle says he thinks the dialogue that has taken place in the last few days has achieved as much as possible, but that discussion and reassurances are still needed about post excavation responsibilities. >Locals shocked by cable trenching
Sheep killed by dogs
Police have appealed for information about a case of sheep worrying on 5 February in Clayhidon.
A farmer found two sheep in lamb dead and another with severe injuries consistent with being attacked by dogs. Another sheep had to be put down as a result of her Injuries. 
Owners are liable to prosecution if their animals worry livestock. Police said the public should know where their dogs are at all times and put them on a leash when walking near farm animals.
If you have any information about this email 101@dc.police.uk, call 101, or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting CR/01754/18. 

Cash help for students

The Mary Waldron Trust may be able to assist you financially in vocational and further education (including Richard Huish College) with purchases of books and equipment, including computer requisites. Those applying should normally be resident in Hemyock or Clayhidon and must have received full time education at Hemyock Primary School or Uffculme School 

Applications from students (not their parents) are welcome and must be in writing or email. >How to contact the Mary Waldron Trust


New car park gets a hedge
The new car park at Clayhidon Parish Hall has transformed parking on busy nights, but it also meant the loss of an old hedge. That was put right on 2 February,  when parish council chairman Richard Kallaway arrived with 192 tree plants, which this team of volunteers promptly planted. Pictured from left: David Ball, Richard Kallaway and Russell and Caroline Bendle. They planted quick thorn, field maple, beech, hazel and horse chestnut.


Jazz genius at the hall

Jazz made a storming return to Clayhidon on 26 January after a five-year absence. The four virtuoso musicians who are the Neil Maya Quartet made a convincing case for more jazz gigs at the hall.
They played a mixture of their own compositions and those of the legendary Dave Brubeck and his band from the 50s and 60s. They varied the pace, tone and mood. They freshened up some of Brubeck’s wonderful old chestnuts, like Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk, and played lesser known masterpieces, like Strange Meadowlark and Kathy’s Waltz.
>Read more.


Author's Clayhidon life

Former neighbours of the best selling writer Peter Mayle, who has died,  have been remembering the delightful couple who once  lived in Battens Farm in the Bolham valley.

Soon after he and his wife Jennie left "damp but pleasant Devon" for the south of France in the 1980s he wrote A Year in Provence. It sold six million copies in 40 languages and made him a multi-millionaire.

But before that he beavered away on less successful work in his writing room, a conservatory that looked across the valley at Richard Kallaway's cows.

>Read more. 



Victoria and Abdul

Judi Dench and Ali Fazal star in the Film Night choice for Friday 16 February. Victoria and Abdul (15) tells the extraordinary true story of the hushed-up friendship between the elderly and cantankerous Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim, a young clerk who had travelled from India for her Golden Jubilee. Her inner circle hated the relationship, and disapproved of her learning Urdu and the Koran. Lord Salisbury half expected her to start wearing a bourka.. >Read more


Gigaclear team start work



These Romanian engineers arrived in Clayhidon on 15 January not just to dig up the roads but to give the parish the fastest broadband in Britain.
They are part of a large team laying a network of fibre optic cables and household connection pots for Gigaclear, which will eventually provide broadband speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second,  28 times faster than the national average.

Inspired by Dave Brubeck

The pulsating rhythms of Dave Brubeck's Take 5 inspired Devon sax player Neil Maya to recruit three of the best musicians in the west to join him for The Brubeck Project, and you can hear the result at Clayhidon Parish Hall on Friday 26 January.
Just about everyone remembers Take 5, even people who weren't even born in 1961, when it became the biggest selling jazz single ever, because even today it is constantly aired on radio and TV.
But the Neil Maya Quartet are not just about Brubeck. They love playing other styles such as funk, samba, African and even folk-rock. 
>Read more.


Friday 26 January 
7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00
NEIL MAYA QUARTET - THE BRUBECK PROJECT

A brilliant tribute to one of the finest jazz bands of the 20th century. Tickets £10.  Pre-booked supper £5.  Tickets £10. Pre-booked supper £5.  To book call Caroline Bendle on 01823 681047 or email carouselle@btinternet.com. 


Terrible title - great film
You couldn't think of a worse title than THE BIG SICK , but don't let that put you off this Friday's (19 Jan) film night choice at Clayhidon.  This is a terrific rom com. It's the true story of how Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student
Emily Gardner fell in love but struggled with her critical illness and a clash of cultures. Access to the hall is open, despite the Road Closed signs.  >Read more