Parracombe Pieces – June 2014

Parracombe Pieces June 14
May Pole Dancing

The Beacon bonfire, which started out as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations seems to have become an annual event and plans are underway for the 2014 version. Bruce sends this advance notice;

The now traditional annual bonfire party organised by Martinhoe and Parracombe parishes will be held at Beacon Down Quarry, Parracombe on Friday 25th. July. This year’s event will start at the earlier time of 4pm in order to provide entertainment suitable for all members of the community, young, not so young and old. The tea tent will be open from the word “go” (from which teas, coffee, soft drinks, cakes, ice creams etc. will be available) as will the numerous stalls, sideshows and games.
There will be organised activities and games for the children during the late afternoon which promise to be hilarious, as well as the traditional Parracombe School Maypole Dancing (OK, so it’s July!). We have just learnt that the Parracombe Revels Queen will be honouring us with an official appearance and may even consider a “walk about”. A fully licensed (and very well stocked) bar will open at 6pm and, throughout the evening, a variety of hot food will be available to suit all tastes, including, a hog roast.
It is planned to feature live music and entertainment from local bands and artists throughout the entire proceedings which are expected to continue well into the night. At the time of writing, the very talented and popular Garden Club have agreed to perform and will provide a very fitting climax to this year’s event. The (already) massive bonfire will add sparkle and warmth from dusk. More detailed information will be provided in the July issue. In the mean time, if you have a significant quantity of material suitable for the bonfire that you would like to get rid of, would you please contact our Chairman, Brian Dallyn, on 763234 to arrange collection/delivery. Many thanks.

A very big thank you to all at the Craft Group who contributed to the big Knit-In, especially Janet, Mary P and Jean for knitting dozens of chicks between them, and the Post Office for a marvellous display and sales effort. A grand total of £240.80 was raised for the North Devon Hospice which included money from the chicks sold and from the tea and cakes at the knit-in session. The group meets on the second Wednesday of every month between 2pm and 5pm in the village hall and welcomes anyone else who would like to come along to enjoy a chat, tea, cakes, and the production of some interesting craft ideas. A small donation of £2 helps towards the hire of the hall and contributes to worthy causes. Visitors are especially invited to the session on 9th July to buy some local crafts raising funds for a Cold Cot (a specialist piece of equipment to keep still born babies cool). Please do join us, we will have a special child very much in our thoughts that day and would like to help his family.
pdate on Longstone Landscapes – GSB a commercial contractor in conjunction with ENP came to carry out a survey on Chapman’s Barrow and offered training to volunteers. Several of us took the opportunity to get involved and enjoyed learning about resistivity, magnetometry and Ground Penetrating Radar (as used on Ice Roads in Ice Road Truckers!) The contractors had previously worked with Time Team and were exceptionally good teachers. The results are expected in July. Rob Wilson-North and Faye Balmond ran a training day for field survey at the beginning of May, with two teams of volunteers, this was very successful, a follow up day is planned in June. The Springhead Flint Surveys have started and teams are set up to continue the work throughout the year.

A Bronze-Age Education Day has been held for West Buckland School and West Exmoor Federation. This was followed by a catch-up meeting to see what had been found so far. For updates for anyone interested, you can look up on

School news and by the time you read this, the official re-opening of Parracombe school will have taken place. Unfortunately the Bishop of Crediton was not able to attend at this time so a special service of re-dedication will be held on Thursday 12th June 2014 at 10:00 am conducted by the Bishop accompanied by the Archdeacon of Barnstaple. Everyone is of course very welcome to join in. While the rebuilding has been taking place, you will know that Parracombe pupils have been accommodated at Kentisbury in Young Berries and Elderforests classes. In the coming term, Young Berries will be studying Jack and the Beanstalk in their literacy work, and in maths the children have been exploring place value and are starting to use larger numbers, discovering patterns using a number square and improving their skill of estimating. The theme project for this term is plants and pupils have been investigating their environment and making still life drawings of different plants, labelling their parts and discovering what they need to survive and grow. If any of you have any pots, seeds or seedlings you could donate they would be very grateful. The children are in the process of making their role-play area into a flower shop and are making labels, signs and posters.

Elderforests class had a wonderful ‘team-building’ day at Saunton Sands when part of the day included using their senses to fully appreciate the special environment of Saunton and they have been drawing upon these observations whilst writing their own poems based upon the book, ‘If you’re not from the Prairie’. Over the last two weeks the children have been continuing to build upon their understanding of fractions, as well as developing their skills within multiplication and division. Within theme learning, the children are currently finding out about habitats and eco-systems and are also finding out about forces within their science learning and, in particular, have been investigating gravity this week. Earlier in May, Elderforests visited Rosemoor Gardens.

Hope for fine weather on Saturday 21st June for the Strawberry Fair, proceeds of which will go to Barnstaple Chemotherapy Unit and Christ Church. Stalls and cream teas will happen in the playing field if weather fine, otherwise in the village hall. Starts at 2:00pm. And a reminder that the next big thing will be the Flower/Harvest festival incorporating railway memorabilia so if you have any Hornby or Triang (who?) goodies in that odd corner of the attic, time to start rummaging.

Rainfall for April 2014, 97mm, 3.88 inches, compared to April 2013 34.5mm, 1.38 inches. Thanks Linda for the figures.

Best wishes to all
Mervyn and others.

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