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.  

Cantabile Concert raises £500!

Cantabile Concert success!
This concert, at the village hall on 9th December, raised approximately £500 for the CLEAR charity.
Cantabile gave the audience a wonderful selection of popular and seasonal music – thank you to everyone in the choir for a really entertaining evening.  
CLEAR offers therapy to abused children. It is one of the few charities in the South West who help children affected by domestic violence, sexual abuse and psychological abuse.  They use music therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, dance therapy, play therapy and equine therapy – all offering children a chance to express, explore and share their unimaginable experiences.

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 coop.co.uk/membership 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.

A Christmas windfall for the Village Hall and Playing Field

Here’s some very good news for Christmas!  Brentor Village Hall and Playing Field has been selected to be one of the three participating beneficiaries of the Waitrose Community Matters scheme for December.
Shoppers receive a token at the checkout and the Village Hall and Playing Field will receive a pro rata award from the £1000 community budget for that month, towards the provision of new swings and a slide.  How much we receive will depend on how many tokens are posted for us.
So Waitrose could be a good place to do our Christmas shopping in December and to put a token in our box!

Christchurch Airband transmitter now working, but with poor coverage as expected


18 months late, the Airband equipment on Christchurch tower is now working, fed from a temporary mobile relay transmitter in the carpark 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.

The Airband transmitter and relay dish on Christchurch tower

Some  villagers in the centre of Brentor are now enjoying superfast broadband, but others,  including some within 100 metres of he church tower, have been told by Airband installers that they have no line of sight, so therefore cannot receive their service!  The engineer explained that the church tower transmitter has had to be sited to be invisible from the ground.In fact it is very near to one of the corner towers and therefore there is no line of sight for a large wedge of Brentor.  Add the obstruction to line of sight due to tall trees in the village centre and quite a few properties will have no service.  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.  The many other properties in 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.  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


The news carried on our local website about the patchy Airband provision in Brentor has attracted attention across the moor – apparently other parishes are also having a hard time accessing its services.  

The Parish Clerk from Harford Parish Meeting near Ivybridge wrote:

I am the Parish Clerk for Harford Parish Meeting – we are on the southern edge of the moor, just above Ivybridge.  I have been following your news on the broadband issue and the promises of Airband to deliver.  We have had no end of trouble with Airband, who never did deliver here, as apparently, we are unique!  We are a linear community, all living on the side of a valley that has trees.  Trees that are taller than their desktop model.
We have now kicked Airband into touch, they no longer wish to communicate with us, which is fine.  We have a community fibre project on the go, we have just 40 properties in our Parish and we have an offer on the table from the BT/Openreach community fibre project to deliver Fibre To The Property (FTTP) via overhead telephone cables.  Meaning that if the residents are keen then the project is just about affordable.  Yes we do have to pay, but we were losing sight of any other option.
We have had Exmoor technology in to the Parish and they are permitting us to use the voucher scheme with CDS to have 4G with EE, this is not the cheapest, but it may offer a stopgap.
We like you have tried to ‘encourage’ CDS to use gainshare money to deliver FTTP, but they won’t budge on it.
Would like to talk more, but I think with all the bad publicity surrounding Airband, we may be better off without them.
Kind regards
Ann Willcocks
 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

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

Brentor Commons Update – October 2017

In many areas of the common small groups of silver birch trees have been planted or have established themselves naturally. The intricate filigree of their fine upper branches when seen against a bright sunny background has the quality of fine lace. Their silver trunks add further interest for our eyes when contrasted to the glorious gold of the autumnal oaks whose bronze and copper colours remind me of the brass ornaments around a blazing log fire.
We were surprised to see what almost looked like a large plastic bag in a distant tree, which, on inspection through binoculars, turned out to be a very pale buzzard.  The colour palette of buzzards varies from chocolate brown to almost cream. We all see them on the telegraph poles as we drive around and it is well worth giving them a second glance to appreciate the variety that is in the local area.
Our winter thrushes have well and truly arrived even though the berries of hawthorn and holly that they consume are rather sparse this year.  Look out for the ragged flocks of redwings, slightly smaller than blackbirds, as they dash from bush to bush in their slightly chaotic way uttering quiet ‘seep seep’ calls. In contrast the larger fieldfares seem to like the tops of trees and fly between them with a characteristic harsh ‘tchack tchack’.
The only song we are likely to hear is the robin that will defend its territory throughout the year.  They are very obliging and will usually sing their beautiful if rather mournful song from a conspicuous perch on top of a bush, post or building.



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

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

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 colinvdawes@btinternet.com . 

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 
colinvdawes@btinternet.com .

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 brentorinfo@btinternet.com.
Colin Dawes

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