At close of play for nominations for councillors, on Wednesday night, Horrabridge Parish Council had eight candidates officially approved by the local returning officer – two sitting councillors stood down, seven coming back again and one new name put forward.

There are 12 seats on the council (although they have not all been filled for a long time) so there is no need for an election. All eight candidates look set to be assumed elected unopposed on May 3 and will meet on the second Tuesday in May to sort themselves out for the next year, one down from previous strength.

Returning councillors are Eric Hemsil, Steve Roche, Andrew Moorhead, Paul Beard, Tracey Lear, Mike Huda and Christine Edmondson. Forestry worker Adam Minns has resigned, although he will continue to help out in practical ways, and so has retired probation officer Doreen Keane.

Fiona Peart of Town Farm Close is the new volunteer – originally from Northumberland but well known in Horrabridge after nearly eight years resident, including a spell working in the village shop.

She served in the RAF, her first husband was RAF Regiment and her second husband, Laurence, a caravan builder in Plymouth, is the regular bugler at services events in the village.

In the past, Mrs Peart, now 51, has run a building business employing 50 people, chaired the policy group of the North East Chamber of Commerce and led a rescue group for a school one of her daughters attended after it ran into trouble with government inspectors. She now works as a temp through an office jobs agency.

On West Devon Council, the village is represented by two councillors for Burrator Ward, who also represent Walkhampton and Meavy and other neighbours. Horrabridge’s own man, David Cloke, is standing down. Diana Moyse is standing again, for the Conservatives, and Tim Bolton of Crapstone has come forward for the Liberal Democrats. With no opposition declared, those two are expected to sail home in the same way as the Horrabridge parish councillors.

In Buckland Monachorum ward, West Devon Council leader Philip Sanders, Conservative, and sitting councillor Ric Cheadle, Independent, are being challenged by candidates for Labour, Liberal Democrats and Green Party.

Nationally, there will be some interest in the results of a by-election in Newport West, South Wales, this Thursday (April 4).

The by-election arose from the death of a popular long-serving Labour MP, Paul Flynn, but will be seen partly as a referendum on Brexit, with 11 candidates representing a spectrum of attitudes.

Any reaction against the Conservatives could be significant locally on May 2, because the Conservatives currently have overall majorities, and control of key committee appointments, both in West Devon and in Totnes-based South Hams Council. And the party may get some blowback from West Devon’s failed plan, led by Cllr Sanders, to assist a national hotel chain to set up in Tavistock and motorway-style caterers to move into Okehampton.


Our reporter writes:

Even at £25 a ticket, The Wharf was packed on Monday for a chat with ghosts hosted by Sally Morgan, billed as “an ordinary woman with an extraordinary gift” and “psychic to A-list celebrities including the late Princess Di”.

Phenomenon or fake? Even if you were sceptical, you wanted to see for yourself.

Give her credit, at 68, she looked amazing – as if somebody had slipped her the secret of the elixir of eternal youth.

But to start with, the communications with the spirit world were shaky. She wanted to know if anybody recognised an Arthur holding a wooden mallet. Could be an Art. Or an Archie. Or a street name with Arthur in it …

A woman said it could be her husband. Sally asked a few questions about him and told the lady he had loved her very much and we all applauded.

She asked a man if he lived in a house with lots of windows and he said he had windows in every room. She saw somebody looking out of a high window. He said he lived in a bungalow.

But then she got some things right which were hard to explain – about a boy in a photo, the victims of a fatal car crash, and so on. Some people were clearly getting comfort from what she told them and in a packed theatre, it was easy to get caught up in their emotion.

Oh, and she predicted Harry and Meghan will have two girls and a boy. We can check that one, I suppose. But how long will it take?


Filming has been taking place in the village this week for a new serial called Glass Houses, starring Dawn French, as explained in the Horrabridge Times two weeks ago – previous story HERE

Dawn French plays the central character. But the local interest is in who plays the hairdresser, Kelly, using the Reflections salon on Station Road as a set.

A spokesman for the producers refused to allow any interview or pictures this week, saying: “Further details will be released in 2020, when the show airs.”

But somebody local must know. And here is the address to leak it to:


Tavistock Country Bus, a service run by a charity and volunteers, has extended its monthly run to Truro and back to include a drop in Falmouth and pick-up four hours later. The opportunity is on offer on the second Saturday in every month for the summer – meaning April 13, May 11, and so on – leaving Tavistock Bus Station at 9.10 am and stopping at Horrabridge by arrangement. On other Saturdays, the destination switches between Exeter, Barnstaple, Torquay and Dawlish. For full timetables, go to and click through to Weekday or Saturday timetables.


Somewhat overshadowed by other news, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government last week announced a £188,000 donation to Pub Is The Hub – a campaign to return local services to rural areas in partnership with pubs with spare capacity.

Details can be found HERE


* Chef James Martin went on tour for a new book, Great British Adventures, and has recommended the “amazingly good oysters” from Porthilly Farm, near Rock.

* London critics have been previewing the new film Fisherman’s Friends, based on the true story of the Port Isaac shanty singers who became a YouTube hit. Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent called it “amiable but cheesy”. Robbie Collin in the Telegraph said it was “apparently written by someone who depended heavily on an Anglo-Cornish dictionary”. Cathy Clarke in Time Out said there was a nice scene “in which the band, all beards and Navy tattoos, find themselves ‘on trend’ in a Shoreditch pub … but overall pretty groanworthy”.

* Jenny Coad had a weekend at the revamped Burgh Island Hotel for the Sunday Times and found it had become once again “the smartest hotel west of the Ritz” – with guests dressing art-deco to match the rooms. Double rooms from £355 a night including breakfast and dinner for two.


Tonight (Friday April 5):

* Prez Hotias at Calstock Arts – young guitarist from Falmouth College plays for a dollar in the tip jar. Hear him HERE

* New Dumbo film opens at The Wharf.

* UB40 at Plymouth Pavilions.

Tomorrow (Saturday (April 6):

* Village party for Lee Spencer, London Inn.

* Leaping Salmon trying for a music booking: check HERE

* “Live Lounge” at Drake’s Cafe, Grenofen – music and bar. For poster click HERE

* Classical guitar concert at Meavy Church, 7.30, with Alison Smith. For more about her click HERE

* Withnail & I at Yelverton Cinema, 7.30 pm.

Sunday (April 7):

* Spooners Hunt point-to-point racing day at Cherrybrook Tavistock, PL19 0LA. First race, 1.30 pm.

* Leaping Salmon trying for a music booking: check HERE


Friday April 12

* Solid Silver 60s Show at Princess Theatre, Torquay – touring for possibly the last time, with Brian Poole, Dave Berry and Peter Noone among the survivors.

* Bohemian Rhapsody at Meavy Cinema.

Saturday April 13

Wildwood Arts will be showcasing textile works by Jackie Gale in its spring exhibition and has organised a Meet The Artist afternoon for Saturday April 13, 1-4 pm. The artist, based in Ermington, was named Up and Comer of the Year by the Guild of Fine Artists in 2015.

Picture by Jackie Gale is s Wildpick, 55 cms by 58 cms framed, labelled at £595.

The Dartmoor Boot, £250 for two, is made at Green Shoes of Moretonhampstead – one of 10 craft studios who have put together a Moretonhampstead visitor trail for Saturday April 13. Demonstrations and hospitality being laid on by shoemaker, blacksmith, three potters, woodworker, jeweller, textile artist and a couple of others within postcode TQ13 8** – leaflets available at Information Centre and signage should be in place.

Local Masterchef finalist Thomas Elson-Knight, of Yelverton, will be cooking for charity at the Royal Oak, Meavy, on Tuesday April 16.

For more event listings, find the Horrabridge Times calendar HERE


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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.