VILLAGE handyman Tom Dooley and parish chairman Paul Beard were out yesterday (Thursday) checking drains all clear as they could be in expectation of rainstorms starting today.

BY THE WAY the parish council wants to extend its equipment shed in Fillace Park so road salt can be stored in another room from machinery. Council has naturally voted in favour of the deal. Any objections to them and/or Dartmoor National Park Authority. Next council meeting, August 9, is expected to be a turning point for HPC, with co-option of new councillors and appointment of a new clerk both on the agenda.

OPENING HOURS at the new Leaping Salmon Cafe amended to 9-4 for now. Pub opening likely to be more mid August than early.

DARTMOOR PLANNERS have suspended their free advisory service until further notice because staff absences mean they are struggling to deal with the workload of plans that have made it to the formal application stage.

ROCK INN holds its 11th Rockfest this weekend, Friday to Sunday. Bigger alternative is the Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall, including London rockers Kitty Daisy & Lewis and an old Glastonbury-style arena known as the Elephant Fair.

Brentor Fair and Mid Devon Show (Tiverton) tomorrow, Sat 28. Totnes Show and Walkhampton Open Gardens Day on Sunday 29. North Devon Show next Wednesday. Honiton Show on the Thursday. Sidmouth Folk Festival starts next weekend and Horrabridge has a new Party In The Park, by council invitation, on Saturday August 4.

Jockey Club has announced a special events day at Exeter on Sunday November 25, including a Clydesdales race, to raise money for Devon Air Ambulance. Businesses and individuals invited to book tables and boxes now at around £100 a head for VIP treatment. Email, or call Caroline or Tracy on 013920 466666.

DEVON POLICE are calling for voluntary river bailiffs to help with “Operation Leviathan”, a national initiative to crack down on poaching gangs because they are a lead into organised rural crime such as … “modern slavery, drugs, prostitution, money laundering, illegal imports of large carp from France and firearms”. Contact for the brave is Nevin Hunter, south west regional enforcement manager for the Angling Trust: 07495 433622 or email

PLYMOUTH and TORBAY emerged in a bottom 10 of towns and cities for personal insolvencies along with Hull, Stoke, Corby, Gloucester, Scarborough, Isle of Wight, and Harlow, Essex.

BACK ON THE SUBJECT of rural gangs, Cornwall Police got a good result at Truro Crown Court a week ago, just six months after a gang of robbers armed with crowbars, pepper spray and an imitation gun, got away with a million pounds worth of jewellery from a shop in Truro.

The Cornish cops chased them all the way to Bristol and arrested seven people. Four of them turned out to be Lithuanians who flew in just a few days before the job – lined up for them by friends already in the country, who had identified what they thought was a soft target.

Police summary of the trial says:

Tomas Bakierskis, aged 24 from Lithuania, pleaded guilty to robbery and guilty to possession of firearm with intent and was sentenced to nine and a half years.
Andrius Buenvicius, aged 41 from Lithuania, pleaded not guilty to possession of firearm with intent and not guilty to conspiracy to rob and was found guilty for both and sentenced to 16 years.
Rogertas Slekatis, aged 25 from Lithuania, pleaded guilty to robbery and not guilty to possession of firearm with intent but was found guilty of both and sentenced to nine and a half years.
Gytis Inokaitis, aged 36 of Stuart Road in Plymouth, was found guilty to Conspiracy to Rob and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Agris Davidonis, aged 30 of Petroc Court in Gunnislake, pleaded guilty to Perverting the Course of Justice and sentenced to 21 months in prison.
Haroldas Ivanovas, aged 20 from Lithuania, pleaded guilty to robbery and to possession of a firearm with intent and was sentenced to seven years.
Salius Mickus, aged 28 from Lithuania, pleaded guilty to robbery and to possession of a firearm with intent and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Harijus Jackiaskas, aged 33 from Partington Lane in Manchester, was found not guilty
of assisting an offender but was sentenced to three months, which he has already served on remand, for breaching a deportation order so he will be deported back to Lithuania.

Detective Inspector Pete Found said: “This has been one of the largest armed robberies we have ever seen. The offenders took around one million pounds worth of jewellery, which we have yet to locate. I would like to thank members of the public who supported the investigation and who continue to make Cornwall one of the safest places in the country in which to live.”

MEANWHILE, Devon Police are reporting £32,000 worth of sheep recently stolen from a barn at Doddiscombleigh, near Exeter. Chains on the barn doors were cut, lame ewes were sorted out and the best butchers’ sheep were taken away either in several lorries or in several trips. Anyone with knowledge of or suspicions about this crime is asked to email or call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting CR/065093/18/

allfornow …

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.