The Shed is where the Horrabridge Times is put together. And where we end up with some leftovers which don’t quite count as straight news but might as well be passed on. And some opinions of our own, included in this occasional column.


The re-opening of the Leaping Salmon, which now looks certain, is good news for nearly everyone except Mike Huda at the London. But Mike can handle the competition until his contract runs out, in a couple of years. Then Punch Taverns has to outwit or learn to live with an independent operator who lives locally and can afford to sit on his investment for a while. Tough for both sides, but both pubs have a lot of fight in them yet and the result is great for locals and for the Horrabridge visitor trade. Walkhampton is jealous and between the Salmon and the Walkie Inn, it was a just matter of who moved fastest, seems to us.

However, some of the casual use of the carpark clearly has to move back to wherever it was before – our comment, not the landlord’s, by the way.

A village carpark was an early favourite in the discussion over what to do with £100,000 from the Walkham Meadows sale, but dropped down the wish list because everybody knows what the Dartmoor NPA and Devon Highways would say about access. But half the roads in Devon are single-track and a couple of passing points might make a site adjacent to Weir Park workable. With new technology in building, any site in the central village should be a fairly secure investment at the right price. And there would be revenue-raising possibilities, which might feed back into the council’s annual budget?

Here in The Shed, we are also in favour of some kind of pavilion rescue deal to secure the future of the football club. There have been dreams of a grander solution, involving turning Fillace Park into a village venue with area appeal. But that seems to us like a gamble for private capital, if and when the time comes, not for parish funds.

Finally, on the parish plan angle, the Shed’s favourite target would be restoring access to the river – through Horrabridge and for a mile each side. Some of the changes of many years are irreversible. Some go back to the days when Horrabridge was famous as a centre of fishermen without fly rods. Nowadays it would do no harm to the river, and a lot of good to Horrabridge as a visitor centre,  if there were rights of way and a stile or two, maybe even some steps, re-established here and there.

But then, arguably you could take up the cause without a parish plan. The Great Village Debate takes place in the village hall this Tuesday at 7.30 if you care either way.

Background and poster at


Village swimmers were entertained by the posting of a new set of pool rules at the old Meadowlands baths in Tavistock, now run by a contractor called Fusion Lifestyle.

A few eyebrows were raised, we are told, at a paragraph reading: “It is advised not to breastfeed whilst submerged in the water.”

The pool management told us: “It’s not a rule; it’s advice. This is a breast-feeding friendly venue and we are quite happy to see it almost everywhere. But if you do it in the water, you run a risk of contamination and we just wanted to caution against that.”

In short, underwater breastfeeding has not quite happened yet. But the mums of West Devon are getting close.


Dartmoor National Park Authority and the Dartmoor Hill Farm Project and a weaving company called Twool may have come up with a winner round this way – a Dartmoor Dog Lead, made from moor sheep wool, mainly Scotch Blackface but with a twist or two from the rarer Dartmoor Whiteface.

All of the nation’s profits will be wasted on leaflets and posters about controlling your dog. But the wool trade needs the business and we can probably all think of somebody who might really like one. £25 from Princetown Visitor Centre, or online.


The Shed’s gleanings from the general election included its treatment in the Beano, where the Bash Street School held an election for class president. Smiffy stood, promising to “do stuff” but was trounced by Minnie, standing on a giveaway manifesto that included games consoles, a duck for every child, a school trip to Disneyland and the return of the dinosaurs.


The Shed is a sucker for harmony duos and notes a fairly local booking, at Langaford Farm, near Moretonhampstead, TQ13 8RH, for Glastonbury performers Wildwood Kin, from Exeter.

They are part of an interesting-looking line-up for next Saturday, August 5.

Sample their Glastonbury show at

Get the festival programme at

And don’t forget to keep in touch with our What’s On calendar – link somewhere near here.

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.