Italian Night at the Village Hall

The Village Hall and Playing Field Committee is organising an Italian Night,  to be held on Friday 19th January 2018 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.

Along the lines of past Curry evenings, you are invited to get out your Italian cookery books and bring along a contribution to the shared meal.  Don’t forget to bring something Italian to drink!

Please make antipasti, pasta dishes or tiramisu – contact Sheryl on 870554 or Sue on 860374 to let them know what you intend to make – you can have too much of a good thing, even tiramisu!!

There will be a £5 charge at the door, all proceeds being split between the Village Hall and Playing Field funds and the Mary Budding Trust, a local children’s charity.  Click here to find out more about the Mary Budding Trust

Duo Villanesca at Brentor Village Hall

Duo Villanesca are a London-based flute and guitar duo comprising Spanish flautist Ana Estefania Rodriguez and ex-Brentor resident the English guitarist Peter Joe Bennett. 
Formed whilst students at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2015, they have progressed from learning and performing the complex master work “Toward the Sea” by Toru Takemitsu,  to discovering and exploring the flute and guitar repertoire from all periods.
Together and separately they have performed regularly in concerts around the UK and Spain at venues including Cadogan Hall, St Martin in the Fields, Cheltenham Town Hall, Ateneo de Madrid, Blackheath Halls, Kings Place, Royal Greenwich Guitar Festival, Greenwich University and Madrid Royal Theatre.
Their concerts are a chance to express the joy they find in bringing this wonderful music to life, sharing with audiences some fantastic repertoire and combining intimacy with a joint sense of spontaneous risk taking.  Their repertoire ranges from early music through to works of the 20th/21st centuries with a particular focus on original music from the 20th century.
Peter and Ana are winners of the Alison Stephen´s Competition and the Harold Clarke Competition respectively.  They are recipients of the Colin Blythe Bursary Fund, awarded to support careers in chamber music and have been part of Trinity Chamber Music Artists since 2015.  Ana has been nominated for the prestigious Gold Medal Award, Trinity’s highest accolade which takes place at Kings Place in January 2018.

New Housing needs survey to be carried out

Although there has been no obvious movement for some time, the subject of Affordable Housing is still very much an ongoing matter.

Parish Councillors are aware however that the information collected from the Housing Needs Survey conducted some time ago may now be out of date.  In view of this, Councillors are intending to establish current need by means of a new survey.  Once this information has been collected, a meeting will be arranged to discuss the findings. The survey will be accessible to all and Councillors hope to circulate details of it and how to respond within the next few weeks.
Caroline Oxenham,  Parish Clerk

Christchurch Airband transmitter adjusted to provide better coverage


Parish Councillor Bob Lemon has written to the Editor:

“In order to ensure more accuracy and less bias on the village website, following comments regarding Airband:
1. The antenna on the church has been adjusted and most properties in village centre are now covered.
2. Take up in Brentor has been higher than most other villages, with over 40 properties now being supplied.
3. There was a minor speed reduction during roll out, but now corrected and 30MB is the norm.
4. The planning application for the feeder dish is proceeding and is looking as though it should go through. This is higher than existing so may enable some cover into valley.
5. The customer service has been excellent to date.

Bob Lemon”

In October 2017, 18 months late, the Airband transmitter on Christchurch tower became active, fed from a temporary mobile relay transmitter in the car park of the Brentor Inn.  Airband have submitted a planning application to Dartmoor National Park to erect a permanent wooden pole with transmitters on the site,  providing a permanent solution to the loss of the Bearwood Farm relay and possibly increasing coverage to some other parts of Brentor.

The Airband transmitter and relay dish on Christchurch tower before it was adjusted to provide better coverage

Initially some properties very near to the church tower could not receive an Airband signal, but now that the transmitter on Christchurch has been adjusted more  villagers in the centre of North Brentor should be able to enjoy superfast broadband. 

Residents in the village centre who do not have a line of sight due to tall trees in the village centre or the position of the transmitter in relation to the four corner finials of the church tower still will not be able to receive Airband.  The many other properties in outlying parts of Brentor which cannot see the Christchurch transmitter, or any of the other Airband transmitters, still cannot receive Airband and there seems little hope of this situation changing in the near future now that the contract period with Connecting Devon and Somerset has expired.  This is rather disappointing after a delay of 18 months and the huge amount of public money spent by Connecting Devon and Somerset on the Airband contract.  

Use of Airband is, of course, subject to taking out a contract with an Internet Service Provider using the Airband system (your choice is very limited, with no large national ISPs on board).

The Parish Clerk has received an apologetic letter from the Managing Director concerning the delay to activating the Airband transmitter on the Christchurch tower.  

Click here to read the full letter from Airband

 You can still check your broadband speed by clicking here. (Just click the button marked ‘Start Speed Test’ below the two dials).

For more information about how this issue has evolved click here

Colin Dawes, Editor

Mistletoe Fair raises £1500

This year’s Mistletoe Fair raised over £1500 for the Village Hall and Playing Field.  Without such events it would be very difficult for these facilities in Brentor to continue, so thanks must go to everyone who planned and organised the event.
The hall was packed with stalls and visitors and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. Thanks must also go to the choir from the Mary Tavy and Brentor Community School who sang their programme of seasonal songs so well.  

Brentor Commons Association to benefit from the Co-op Local Community Fund

Brentor Commons Association has been chosen to benefit from the next year of the Co-op Local Community Fund.  The funding started on 12 November 2017 and will  run until the 27 October 2018.
How it works
Every time Co-op members shop at the Co-op, 1% of what they spend on selected own-brand products and services goes to the Co-op Local Community Fund.  The Co-op will also give the Brentor Commons Association (shared with two other local causes) a share of the money they raise from sales of carrier bags.  Co-op shoppers who are Co-op members (ie  have a membership card) must first choose the Commons Association as their cause for their 1% to go to them and not the other causes – to do this click here to go to the website.
The more you shop at the Co-op, the more the Commons Association will benefit.
This is very welcome news for the Commons Association – as Government funding for conservation work becomes more difficult to win this grant will fill some of the funding gap that they are experiencing for the maintenance of our local commons.

Brentor Commons Update – November 2017

Winter has well and truly arrived.  Today there is snow on Dartmoor and even a scattering on the north facing slopes of Brentor itself. One of our regular winter visitors, the snipe, was seen as it zig-zagged away from us along the path from next to the big ash tree calling with its dry rasping “schaap” call.  This is a sighting I look forward to each year at this time.
Looking from the common out over the Lyd valley there was an aerial dogfight between a pair of ravens and a sparrow hawk.  This represents the eternal enmity that exists between corvids (the crow family) and raptors (hawks, buzzards and falcons).  The ravens would not allow the sparrow hawk to soar peacefully over the landscape until they had driven it from their territory.  We usually see the sparrow hawk from our cars hurtling along the lane at ground level but they are just as often to be seen high above us, in a different hunting mode, rather like smaller, long tailed, short winged buzzards.
The brilliant yellow of the gorse is providing at least one splash of colour.  The red bramble stems are also noticeable as they still support quite green leaves when all other shrubs have lost theirs.  One other more subtle and rather subdued colour is the soft green of the lichen that hangs in curtains from the hazel bushes.  It is always good to see lichen in any environment as it is a powerful indicator of clean air, not able to tolerate many of the industrial pollutants of our modern age.

Barry Albrighton
Click here to see earlier monthly Commons updates by Barry Albrighton

Editors needed for the Brentor News

Would you like to edit The Brentor News?
We are looking for one or two more editors to help our existing team.
You would need access to, and some familiarity with, desktop publishing software such as MS Word, MS Publisher, or InDesign etc – and be able to spend about half a day putting the paper together every three or four months on a rota basis.
I think all our current editors would agree that this is a pleasant and interesting ‘chore’ – and one of service to the local community.
If you would like to learn more, please get in touch with any of the existing editors, whose contact details can be found in every
edition of the Brentor News.
John Wheeler – 810083

We want your recipes!

This website now has a recipes page, but there’s only a few recipes on it! 
As we all know, lot of Brentor’s social life revolves around cooking and eating with family and friends.  The recipes on the new page have been provided by Brentor residents past and present.  No doubt some have been adapted and improved as the years pass – and they are reminders of residents past and present and of many good times around the table, as well as being household favourites. 
WE NEED LOTS MORE RECIPES!  So please email your contributions – a recipe with a small introductory text – to the editor, Colin Dawes, at . 

Click here to go to the Recipe Book page

Ongoing community issues

A new section has been added to this website – ‘Ongoing Community Issues’

This sets out to provide a source of information about issues which are of ongoing concern to our village.  Often these issues first appear on this home page, but require additional space to do them justice.
Click here for information about Broadband provision for Brentor
Click here for information about Affordable Housing provision in Brentor
Click here for information about the possible new railway line through Brentor

We need your contributions!


Mistle thrush in West Blackdown – photo by John Drury

Do you have an interesting photo, an item about the village or an event that you need to promote?

We want to keep this website topical, local and up-to-date, so please send your potential contributions to .

Sign up to receive Brentor event reminders by email!

How often do you think ‘I wish I had remembered to go to that!’?
If you sign up for the free village event reminder service that won’t happen again.
For many special village events or activities you will receive an email reminder during the week before the event. Occasionally events are put on at short notice and may only be advertised by this service.
So why not join almost 80 households who have already signed up!
To take advantage of this free service just send your email to
Colin Dawes

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