Parracombe Pieces – October 2014

Parracombe Halt
I was stuck for a picture this month so it’s a scene from Parracombe Halt that I found on the internet. Just below the bridge at Parracombe, there was a large water tank that was filled by the stream that now runs down by the garden. Trains would often fill up at Parracombe before the climb up to Woody bay station.

At Christ Church, parishioners were sad to see the departure of Rev Yvonne, her final service here being a very well-attended Family Service at the beginning of September. Parracombe was privileged to offer the venue for the ‘Leaving Do’ and the Village Hall was filled with much laughter as everyone came together to say thank you to Yvonne for her ministry over the years. The buffet was excellent – thank you to everyone who contributed; the entertainment was exactly right – a good sing-along with musical accompaniment from members of Hearts of Oak was just what was needed to keep those tears at bay! Paddy’s reading hit the spot, and Barbara’s speech perfectly summed up how everyone felt at the time. A special thank you must go to Ginny for her sterling work in the kitchen and thanks to all who assisted.

This year harvest festival is being celebrated with a Harvest Songs of Praise on October 5th at 6pm, followed by an auction of produce and then, as in previous years, the Young Farmers are hosting the Harvest Supper at the Village Hall. All are welcome to attend – you are guaranteed a good meal and good fellowship. The school children are planning to have their Harvest Service in the church on Friday October 3rd at 10.30am. You are very welcome to join the children for this service. Finally, we are sad to report the death of our friend, Mary Potts. She was a gentle and courageous lady who will be much missed by her friends in the Craft Group. Our thoughts and prayers are with Carey and family.

After a long wait, the children have finally returned to Parracombe School and are settling in with their new teacher, Miss Hill. She says “I have thoroughly enjoyed introducing the children to the new parts of the school and exploring the grounds. The children have been, and still are, very excited to be back at Parracombe. As a new teacher to the federation, I also have loved my first week. Along with a fresh start comes a new class name – let me introduce you to ‘Oaks’. This term, Oaks will be studying Ancient Egyptians along with various literacy and science units. Last week, Oaks created a joint art display for the Kentisbury Show – we hope you saw it! We look forward to telling you all about our learning in the next newsletter! “

Parish Council, September meeting, in Police Matters, one theft from a motor vehicle had been reported. In Public Consultation, Kevin Green attended the meeting to highlight the difficulties being experienced by himself at the pottery and at the Fox and Goose over signage from the A39. Both businesses are in an ongoing discussion with ENPA over temporary business signs for the summer months. The Fox and Goose are loosing lunchtime trade and the pottery also as there are no signs on the main road. Clerk to write to Nigel Stone at ENPA to express the Council’s concern on this issue as businesses are vital for the health of the village.

A planning application was considered to fell a beech tree at the junction of Tarr Path and Bodley Lane. Many roots are exposed and there is concern it is damaging a nearby barn. As the Parish Council is the applicant it cannot comment, no correspondence had been received from members of the Parish. A Proposed formation of an opening with double doors to building ancillary to Wesleyan House, Parracombe, was considered. Councillors voted to turn down this application for the following reasons, the alteration to frontage of this old building seems inappropriate as it is within the village Conservation Area. As the building is just for household storage councillors could not understand the need for a second set of double doors as the single door is wider than standard already. There was also concern that the addition of double doors could lead to extra traffic in the narrow access lane.

Tourism signing- Parracombe historic church (St.Petrocks)- Councillors felt that it was inappropriate to put up extra signage directing traffic along the narrow road past the school and onto a bridleway. These comments have already been made and will be reiterated particularly in light of the difficulties being experienced by the village pub and pottery regarding signage.
Co-option – There are still 2 vacancies. Please contact any Council member or the Clerk if you would be interested in becoming a Councillor. Dog fouling- Clerk to ask for more signs and a letter to be sent out in problem areas.

A39 meeting with Highways and ENPA- as expected there was not much that could be done. A cross roads sign was found to be missing on one side of Parracombe Lane Head junction which will be addressed. A new bridleway sign is to be put up at the crossing point to Ark Lane. It was suggested that the Parish Council write to the owners of the land by the main road where the bridleways cross and ask if the hedges and verges can be cut back hard which should improve visibility. Clerk to contact Andrea Davis re. white lines at the Heale junction. Potholes- Clerk to report those on the Sunnyside corner. Beech Tree- 3 quotes have now been received for felling the tree. Clerk to write to James Tucker offering to double the Parish’s contribution towards this work subject to ENPA approval. Coronation Playing Field- Clerk to contact Richard Graham re welding for the slide and chase up quote for fence repairs. Park Pavilion- Ask Darryl Rickard to carry out repairs to tiles in the loo. Hard Court- Clerk to ask Gerald Tombs to moss treat the court.

Payments were authorised for hire of hall in July, clerk’s wages & expenses, eDF quarterly bill, Mrs S Winn- toilet cleaning May-July, and AFS Fire & Security check extinguisher. At close of business, council’s accounts were £14,857.49 in credit.

Blackmoor Gate YFC are holding a Big Breakfast on 20th September, 2014 from 9am- Noon at Parracombe Village Hall. They are also hosting the Harvest Supper at the same venue on Sunday 5th October, 2014 following the Harvest Festival service and auction of produce starting at 6pm. Draft council minutes may be amended before being approved and signed at the next meeting.

“If the oak bears its leaves in October, there will be a hard winter”, well I don’t see that far ahead but as I write this we are basking in late summer in the middle of September. I once heard that over a long period of time, weather conditions tend to balance out so perhaps the current weather is the flip side of the constant gales and rain last year. The period around 18th October is traditionally known as St Luke’s little summer and is supposed to give at least four fine days. Rainfall for August 2014, 202 mm, 8.08 inches, compared to August 2013, 152 mm, 6.08 inches, thank you, Linda.

Best wishes to all
Mervyn and others.

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