Parracombe Pieces – March 2014

My Grandfather was an inveterate collector of bits. Walking down the street, he would spot a nail, screw or washer on the path, take it home to add to his collection in multiple tins and jars, saying, “that might be useful for something”. I have been accused of being like him. Perhaps a house full of half broken, redundant and certainly obsolete machines that “I might get around to fixing one day” has got something to do with it. Certainly I am reluctant to throw away anything with possible future use, which is why I follow internet groups like Freecycle and Trashnothing. But then, just occasionally a real gem comes along, though to be accurate, I think the following was on Facebook, not Freecycle. The story is relayed by Sheila.

Organ Transplantation

Alerted by Mervyn to an advertisement in the ether we learned that an electric organ of considerable size (and weight) had outgrown its home and was looking for bigger accommodation. On behalf of Christ Church Parracombe the Parochial Church Council seized the opportunity to acquire it, having ample space to house it. We are most grateful to Chris Ford and his family of Walner Bungalow for parting with the organ, to Gerald Tombs for transporting it aided by Chris, Mike Hall and Mike Crabtree. The organ was installed in Christ Church on February 15th without incident and no apparent significant injury amongst the removal men. The organist, gazing in awe at its 2 manuals, foot pedals and numerous stops & knobs, assures us of its versatility, superior volume generation which will be demonstrated in due course when she has had time to ‘work it all out’. With many thanks to all involved.

While rebuilding is continuing at Parracombe School, Parracombe pupils have joined the Young Berries and Elderforests classes at Kentisbury. Young Berries have been investigating features of non-fiction writing and using these in their own information poster. The children are continuing to progress with their Letters and Sounds and are not only reading new sounds but applying their phonics in their writing. A big thank you to those parents who read with your child at home, it makes a big difference having that support enabling the children to grow into confident readers. In maths the children have been exploring data handling and have had to collect data and show this in a variety of ways such as Venn diagrams and Pictograms. The awful weather hasn’t stopped them getting out and putting up their bird feeders and taking part in the RSPBs ‘Schools Bird Count’.
In Maths, Elderforests have been continuing to explore the world of fractions and in literacy Dr K Fisher and his amazing weather has remained their focus. The children have also been finding out about the moon landing of 1969 and music from the 50’s and 60’s. As they are now part way through their theme learning, the children have just started small group research projects on an aspect of Great Britain Since the 1930s that is of particular interest to them – themes include football, WWII, toys and TV programmes. Anne Roper will be working with the children on Wednesdays and Thursdays up until Easter when they will be undertaking a cross-curricular project focusing upon the work of Rolad Dahl and, in particular, James and the Giant Peach.

Parish Council; at the January meeting is was reported there had been no crimes reported in the previous two months. At Tarr Path where a hedge is overhanging, this had been gifted to the village in 1904 by the owners of Pimbury when it was built. The National Park were unable to take any action over the hedge as it was not obstructing the footpath. However it was suggested setting up a meeting between all interested parties and that they would be willing to attend. Clerk to arrange. All agreed. A tree report had been received from Mark Evans of Arbmark Tree Care. This recommends reduction or felling of the sycamore on the hedge by Prestonford Cottages, a limb reduction of a beech on the hill hedge and of the beech at the top of Tarr Path. Clerk to get 3 quotes for the works. Steve Cheetham had volunteered to carry on the Best Kept Village work.

Councillors approved Listed Building Consent at East Bodley for proposed internal alterations to existing utility area, including the removal of existing asbestos roof sheeting and replacement with natural slate. At the Quarry fields, a quote of £200-250 to clear scrub was received from Andrew Adams. However the council does not want to sell at present and non-intervention management was agreed. There had been 2 expressions of interest in the vacancies on the Parish Council, it is hoped they will be filled at the next meeting. Payments were authorised for hire of village hall, clerk’s wages and expenses, toilet cleaning and sww charges. At close of business, council’s accounts were £14017.62 in credit. It was agreed to award the contract for toilet cleaning to Sharon Winn who would also be unlocking and locking the toilets. Clerk to ask that the toilets are left open for as long as possible during the summer months. Finally at the end of the meeting, Cllr Goode tendered her resignation from the Parish Council as she has moved to Cornwall. She thanked all the Cllrs for their support over her 15 years as a Councillor. The Parish Council wished her well in her new home and job. They gave their thanks for all her work on the Council and as Chairman. Also for all the other activities she has been involved with, including best kept village, Revels and Christmas choir.
Rainfall; Linda has taken on recording the weather at Bardell so January 2014 255mm (a little over 10 inches) compared to 191.5mm (7½ inches) for January 2013. Thank you Linda.

And finally, Parracombe History Society are looking for a filing cabinet to keep all the documents and records they are amassing. It does not need to be cosmetically perfect as long as the drawers slide smoothly, preferably I suppose a three tier would be ideal. If you can help please contact Nick or Karen at Renaissance House.

And that’s it again for another month. Well it’s March and BST will come in some time towards the end of the month when we will be out in the garden or wherever taking advantage of the lighter evenings, weather permitting. See you all here again, beginning of April.

Best wishes to all
Mervyn and others.

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