NOTES FROM THE SHED – on this and that, Friday June 15, 2018

Footie fest warm-up for village fair

Diary note for next Saturday – Horrabridge Rangers will run an under-16s football tournament on the playing fields, morning of the Summer Fair, June 23, with eight teams playing from 10.30 am to early afternoon. Barbecue and other fund-raisers running alongside in aid of leukaemia research, in honour of a former player.

Fair itself runs 12-4 in Weir Park: school hall if wet.

Also upcoming …

Meavy Oak Fair tomorrow (Sat June 16), including the Burrator Horseshoe Run, a seven-mile cross-country – entries possible on the day. Looking further ahead, The Wharf in Tavistock has scored a bit of a coup, it seems, by booking two shows by rude Cornish comic Jethro, previously thought retired. A show scheduled for July 12 is sold out already but there are tickets available for September 27, at £22 each.

For a running guide to what’s on within reach of here, see our calendar at

and help us keep it up to date by emailing events to

Things not to miss about city life

One of the Bridge magazine’s trainee writers, Elsa Hopkins, rang some bells in the Shed with an article about going to Brighton for a week and feeling the buzz, but being glad to get home.

She wrote: “I missed the chewing-gum-free ground.”

It is one of the pleasures of Devon life that you are not always walking on pavements made squalid by gum spitters. To some extent it is just a matter of footfall, of course, but to some extent gum pox is a sign of lost values and clean streets are a good indicator of social health. Another indicator is weight of fag ends and the third big giveaway of sloppy attitudes is rubbish on highway embankments.

All these things are measured, believe it or not, in an annual survey designed to measure whether street and highways authorities are doing their jobs. But it is all about shaming and benchmark setting and nobody takes much notice. The Shed would be in favour of making some funding conditional on improvement,. Especially with highways authorities – get the plastic out of the hedges or no new dual carriageways, or some rule like that, might concentrate minds a bit?

Swap your heart for an app for doggie care?

Here in The Shed, we read Sophia Money-Coutts on Modern Manners, in the Sunday Telegraph, so you don’t have to. And we can therefore pass on a sign of the times in the world of dog lovers which she reported from sun-scorched California last week …

“Someone’s dog is trapped in a car and it looks bad,” screamed a portly man, running into the middle of the restaurant. “WHO HAS A WHITE CAR WITH A DOG IN IT?”

This is a scenario which would have everybody on their feet in most of the bars around here, of course, and the guilty party looking for the back way out.

But the owner of dog and car just waved his phone and invited everyone to have a look. He had a Tesla smart car, he explained, and he had set the temperature control to air condition the interior down to 60. Just take a look … “He’s fine, honestly.”

Whatever his phone said was good enough.

Sophia comments: “Reassured, everyone bent their heads back to their avocados. A very California moment.”

When it happens in the London Inn, we will have an idea how long it takes American far-out to become English mainstream. Especially if someone is eating an avocado for lunch at the time.

  • The Shed is the headquarters of the Horrabridge

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.