A cleared gulley in Burn Lane
Walking around Brentor you may have noticed that many of our roadside ditches and watercourses have been cleared of debris that has been building up for some time. Water can now drain off the roads more easily, avoiding the formation of puddles that can be a danger to traffic and pedestrians. This is thanks to the work of the local Parish lengthsman, whose recent work has been funded by a grant obtained by the Parish Council.
A cleared ditch in Burn Lane
The County Council also employs their own lengthsmen who are scheduled to work for four days a year in Brentor. In addition if there is flooding or large puddles on a road the County Council will, 24 hours after the rain has stopped, take action if:
- the road is impassable
- the water is forcing vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians away from the nearside of the road by more than one metre
- vehicles have to cross the centreline marking
They undertake to attempt to clear the standing water if appropriate. If unable to clear the water, they will set up a flood sign, guard the area or close the road to make the location safe and then investigate a permanent solution.
To find out more click here to visit the County Council’s highways website.
You can notify the County Council of flooding, potholes and other road problems by clicking here and following the links.
Thanks should also go to the Parish Council which recently obtained a grant to rebuild the culvert in the centre of the village – the resulting work has made a huge improvement to the water flow and will help to reduce the amount of water that spills onto the road in very wet weather.
The parish lengthsman can only do a limited amount in the time he has, so it’s worth watching out for blocked gullies and drains and helping by keeping them clear of debris!
Villages in Action (VIA), the organisation that has provided entertainment events for villages throughout Devon, is sadly going to close due to lack of funding.
In the past the organisation was funded by the Arts Council, County Councils and District Councils in the county, but gradually these organisations have ceased to support the project financially. West Devon has been one of the last District Councils to provide funds, but even they are also now finding it necessary to reduce their funding. In Brentor VIA events have included music, from jazz to folk and classical, comedy, dance, drama and much more. These events have been one of the high spots on the Village Hall calendar – click here to find out more and to see photographs of some of the past events. The last VIA event in Brentor will be on Sunday 12th March, when we host the Kit Holmes with Al Greenwood blues performance.
Tomasso Starace Quartet, 2010
Villages in Action events in Brentor have been arranged through the Brentor Community Trust and excess ticket sales income has provided valuable income for this organisation over the years. This has enabled the Trust to arrange other events in the village and has even subsidised the cost of the Brentor News. The Trust will be meeting to discuss the implications of the closure of VIA. It will now be down to us as a village to organise similar entertainment events in the Village Hall in the future, but this will take considerable organisation and effort, as well as financial risk.
Brentor is one of the villages that has signed up for the VIA-organised ‘Unearth’ community project that, thanks to Lottery funding, will still go ahead – click here to find out more.
Roger Werner, the Director of Villages in Action, writes in a letter to the Brentor Community Trust…..
I am very sorry to tell you that the current season of Villages in Action performances will be the last in the present format.
As you will know from the May 2016 menu launch event, we have been struggling financially; within the last five years we have lost in the region of 80% of our funding. Despite the valiant efforts of the volunteers, staff and Board of Trustees, we have been unsuccessful in our recent attempts to secure further long term substantial funding (although East Devon, Teignbridge and West Devon Councils have continued to fund us). We are pleased that we could run a spring programme but this has significantly eaten into our financial reserves and the Board have therefore decided to cease the rural touring scheme as it is structured at present while ViA is still solvent and can meet its commitments and costs. As it is separately funded, the Board hopes that the “Unearth” project can continue.
The Board is very sad to have to do this and I know that you too will be upset to see the end of the current rural touring scheme. All staff will be made redundant and the office closed; please therefore direct all enquiries and comments to Catherine Devenish, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to support those promoters who still have events taking place during this season. I will be in touch with you about arrangements for this but please bear with us at this distressing time. Some of you already operate an events programme in tandem with ViA performances and I hope that others may feel able to ‘go it alone’ using the experience and advice you have gained from ViA.
The Board will be spending the next few months considering how the ViA legacy can continue and if there is some way we can sustain this service to villages, albeit in a different format, whilst seeking other potential funding.
I am so very grateful to everyone who has supported Villages in Action but especially to you, the promoters, because without you, none of the fantastic events we have enjoyed would have been possible.
With very best wishes
Director, Villages in Action
Registered Charity No. 1086138 Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England & Wales No. 4171822
The next, and probably the last, Villages in Action event in Brentor is a concert with Kit Holmes and Al Greenwood on Sunday 12 March at 8.00pm
Bring your own drinks and nibbles
Tickets £8 from Dom Carnell – Tel 810425
Enjoy an uplifting evening of gorgeous guitar, poignant lyrics and feisty fiddle playing.
Kit’s trademark sultry vocals and virtuoso guitar playing have wowed audiences across the UK. Described as ‘Macy Gray meets Nick Drake’ by The Observer, Kit’s third album, Driving into the Blue, was met with high critical acclaim.
Expect an enthralling and energetic live performance of blues-driven roots with a soul sensibility.
To see a video of Kit Holmes click here
To find out more about Kit Holmes click here
A still, warm day in February is always a pleasant surprise and it is good to see the wildlife is starting to herald the coming spring. There is a hint of freshness in the grass especially along the damp path edges. The sun was shining on distant Gibbet Hill and St. Michaels church is once again standing proud with the scaffolding and shroud gone.
We all like to see the snowdrops in our gardens and the few daffodils that have been planted around the base of the signpost on the common let us know that spring is on its way. The catkins of birch, hazel and willow are starting to put on a good show and most of the other shrubs and trees are developing their buds. It will be enjoyable to watch as they burst into leaf over the next few weeks. The willows in Liddaton pond are especially bright. Our newly created access paths are being well used and it is now easy to get down to the water’s edge to see the masses of frogspawn. How many generations of frogs have been breeding here?
Bird life is still rather scarce and only the usual suspects, chaffinch, robin, hedge sparrow etc. are singing regularly. I did however hear the high pitched zee zee zee of a goldcrest as it worked its way along the hedgerow in front of me as I walked. It seemed to be quite unconcerned about my presence and allowed me to approach quite closely.
Click here to see earlier monthly Commons updates by Barry Albrighton
Brenstock, Brentor’s very own music festival, returns again this year. It will be held on Saturday 15th July at the Village Hall, and will be bigger and better than the first festival held last year.
The festival relies on volunteers for its organisation and for help on the day for such things as stewarding, catering and decorations for the marquees. If you would like to help this year please contact Dom Carnell on 810425.
See more information about Brenstock by clicking here.
Go to the official Brenstock website at www.brenstock.org.uk by clicking here
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
Since mid-January several properties in the Burn Lane area have been connected to the Airband system, receiving signals from the Henscott Farm transmitter – and they are experiencing good broadband speeds. Sadly other properties at The Court and in Burn Lane cannot see this transmitter due to the height of the moor and there are no plans to provide an alternative service to them – the proposed Christchurch tower transmitter is also out of sight. Another email message from Openreach to the editor dated 16th January 2017 suggests that Brentor residents should consider part funding the cost of a fibre link to Mary Tavy themselves – although using the £20 per metre cost that Openreach quote this would cost £40,000 – £50,000 in total.
There are plans to provide Fibre to the Customers at a distance from the Exchange (in Mary Tavy) however they are in early stages of Planning. I would request you to keep an eye on our website: http://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/when-can-i-get-fibre.aspx, for latest updates.
I understand that you are looking for the options to get Fibre, I can suggest you to get together with neighbours or a local community group and raising the money to help build the network yourself. We offer a community fibre partnership scheme where we work with local communities to jointly fund fibre cabinets. We can’t always guarantee this will be feasible, but we’d be willing to look at it if you are interested. To find out more, visit our website https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/community-fibre-partnerships.aspx.
It should be noted that some other very small local hamlets such as Hornden and Cudlipptown are currently being connected by Openreach to the superfast fibre network at no cost to their residents, despite being in the designated Airband area! Unlike Brentor, their fibre cables are being routed on existing on telegraph poles, rather than underground. Of course the Government’s policy is that it is supporting investment to provide superfast broadband coverage to 90% of the UK by early 2016 and 95% by December 2017 – so it looks as if much Brentor will fall into the unlucky 5%.
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
Do you have an interesting photo, an item about the village or an event that you need to promote?
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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 over 60 households who have already signed up!
To take advantage of this free service just send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Photo by Colin Dawes
Our new Village Hall is there to be used! Why not use it for a party or other event? Very reasonable charges!
You can find out when it is available by using the Events Calendar on this website.