Readers' forum

To have your say on Clayhidon issues email
The only rules for the forum are: keep it short, keep it local and avoid personal criticism. The editors reserve the right to edit contributions. 

What is so special about Clayhidon?

Dear residents of Clayhidon,
Why should we come to live in your village?
Sandra and myself, Mick, with our not-so-little 'working', 112 year old Bedlington Charlie, are traveling around your patch looking for somewhere to live.
What is so special about Clayhidon?
We recently left the largest Parish in Cheshire, where I did work as a parish councillor, not very exciting though.
We plan a trip shortly to see you all. I like what I see on the Wikipedia accounts, the photgraphs, and what seems like a lot of community action.
Listening out for your reply/ies.
-The Glovers


We love watching the car rally go past our house
On reading the local parish web site I am very saddened by the complaints and opposition that has been made by a organisation labelled Action Against Noise and Nuisance in the Blackdowns, to a rally event which has been taking place on the Blackdown Hills for many years.

My family and I look forward to watching the rally from our home which is on the rally route (literally on the road) , local people have managed to avoid injury and harm since its start.

My own experience has been that the rally is well organised and safety and risk have always been assessed and managed to a very high standard. 

It is my view that pleasure comes in many forms for different people just because we live in a rural area it should not mean that we become totally averse to pursuits which are not labelled as "rural". It would seem that what one person labels as Noise and Nuisance is another person’s pleasure and enjoyment. 

Unfortunately we all do not have the time to create counter opposition groups who support non conventional rural activities. 

I fear that the next thing being campaigned about could be the use of tractors at night or even the church bells being rung too late or early. I fear this is the way things are going! 

The Blackdown Hills was once a place where all were welcomed, now it seems to be becoming something of a rural retreat for those who seek peace and quiet , which for 340 days a year approximately this is the case. Surely we can be a little bit more accepting and accommodating.
- Kate Pike, David Hewitt, Doreen Pike, Robert Pike , Dan and Erica, Jane and Mick Bennett, Damien, Derek
and Margaret Prettyjohn, 
Residents of Oakleigh , Battle Street

Motor Sports Association urged to act against Carpetbaggers

Email by Graham Long, of Action Against Noise and Nuisance in the Blackdowns, to Simon Fowler & David Powell of the Motor Sports Association and  Richard Pryce, of Devon and Cornwall Police, and John Burnett, of Avon and Somerset Police.

Almost two years ago, Simon Fowler wrote to me (see email below) agreeing that there were a number of inaccuracies in the leaflet put through doors on the route of the 2010 Carpetbagger Rally which takes place on the lanes of the Blackdown Hills AONB in Devon and Somerset. 

In their leaflet of December 2009 the organisers (Road Rally Register) had no right to say that the event "has been authorised by the Department of Transport and a permit has been issued". The organisers also went on to incorrectly say "Notice has been given to the Devon and Cornwall Police and Avon and Somerset constabularies who have confirmed that they will monitor and patrol the rally".

Both of these statements are untrue and are clearly designed to inhibit residents from complaining about the rally and requiring it to be moved away from their properties. Please see also the email below from Mandy Jutsum at the Department for Transport (aka DoT) to the RAC, confirming that DfT play no part in the organisation of such events. 

The rally is being organised again in January 2012 and leaflets (see attachment) are now being put through residents doors which contain all the same untrue statements as did the leaflet distributed in December 2009. 

Simon Fowler - You said (see below) that the Motor Sports Association would "require the organising club to submit all future such leaflets to you for approval before any future route notifications are made". This has clearly not happened or the club have ignored your authority. As the only authorising body for this rally, I call on you to apply whatever sanctions on the organisers are appropriate. 

Richard Pryce and John Burnett - The organisers of this rally are clearly misrepresenting what you do and giving the public the view that you are closely involved with the running of this rally when you not, (although I understand you may have been notified that this rally is taking place in your territories). I call on you to take whatever action you consider appropriate to correct this misrepresentation and ensure that the public understand that although local beat policing teams may be notified that the rally is taking place, D&C Police and A&S Police take no specific actions to monitor and patrol the route of the rally, nor are you paid to provide such a service.

Graham Long

Click image below to read rally organisers' leaflet:

Bizarre history blogger researches Clayhidon witch
Dear Clayhidon-Web, 
First of all great website: a model for what every English village should be doing and yet how many do?
And so to business. I run a bizarre history blog: see below. I've just come across a great story relating to Clayhidone (with an e but surely you) and a pregnant witch in your midst and a rev John Clarke in the mid nineteenth century.Do you have a local historian who would know anything about this? I'll probably publish mid August or mid September and I'll gladly send you a link when I do so. 
All the best!
"Dr Beachcombing"

Sign our petition to stop more banger racing
I have just come across your Clayhidon website and would like to congratulate you on it.
I live in the parish just south of you, Upottery, in the village of Smeatharpe. I am a member of Upottery Parish Council and have contact with a number of your parish councillors.
In and around Smeatharpe and including many people who live in Clayhidon, we have a group called ANNB (Action on Noise and Nuisance in the Blackdowns) which was set up in 2008 when the noise from motor sports on Smeatharpe Airfield was growing out of control.
Since then we have managed to get a Noise Abatement Order placed on the airfield by EDDC to limit such noise, but because the landowners have indicated that they want to run an many motor sports events as they can, we monitor the number of events to make sure they do not exceed the limits set.
We have a website ( where information about current, past and future events on the airfield is recorded.
We also monitor the banger stadium, (which is in the Clayhidon parish), because in 2008 they were allowed an increase in the number of race days by MDDC from 14 to 17 per year without going through the normal planning application process.
Since then the stadium has run a full 17 races each year, but this year, on July 24, they are attempting to run an 18th event and by calling it a "demonstration" rather than a "race", they believe they can by-pass 17 event limit.
MDDC have been "taking legal advice" on this since January when we told them about it, but since July 24 is now getting closer, we have proposed to MDDC that they prevent any additional events like this by applying a Noise Abatement Order similar to that that exists on the rest of the airfield (see

This open letter has also been placed on the MDDC petitions website (see where 41 people have signed it.


Graham Long

The Old School House