Here in The Shed, we still have to learn the new rules for sorting rubbish for West Devon Council but we are fairly sure we will still be left with lots of little plastic bits like vegetable nets, dead cable ties, plastic straws, labels, polystyrene beads, etc, which don’t fit any bag or box but are no doubt just the sort of thing which ends up choking an eel ten thousand miles away if you are not careful.

There is an argument for saving them in bottles. Packed rigid, a milk bottle can make a useful brick, we are told – lthough it will be a brave man who delivers a conservatory made of em. However, we wondered: wouldn’t a brick of mixed plastic have some value as fuel?

We asked for advice from Ursula Mann, who has spent a lot of time researching the recycling options for plastic for the Tavy Scrapstore project.

She couldn’t see a lot of advantage in it. Plastic bottles are good for recycling anyway, she said. And the odds and ends might as well go in your black bag, to assist incineration in a generator furnace in Plymouth, where most of the any-other-rubbish now goes. However, there are charities collecting some kinds of plastic. See

Tavy Scrapstore has had an injection moulder restored by the engineering history enthusiasts of Tavistock’s venerable Robey Trust and plans are afoot to put it to work making soapdishes out of scrap plastic – hopefully in time for Christmas. The machine and a sample dish will be on show at the Tamar Energy Festival in Butchers Hall this Saturday (Nov 23).



Yelverton Cinema has been celebrating the 10th anniversary of its debut screening in 2009 – which was, incidentally, Atonement, based on the Ian McEwan story of a doomed wartime romance.

The volunteer-run cinema set an example which has been copied all round Dartmoor but remains ahead of the pack as the most regular and ambitious alternative to the city multiplexes except for Tavistock Wharf,

Tavistock once had three cinemas. Tell us more about them?

At Yelverton, the Saturday Cinema for kids regularly gets attendances of a hundred and so do many of the Cinema Cafe events, where tables and chairs are laid out for parties to picnic. The organisers have dabbled in the live screening of big events like Wimbledon, a Strictly final, and Last Night Of The Proms, and are looking for new ideas. Meanwhile, keep in touch with their programme, and sign up for alerts, at

The cinema was launched with a bequest for a community project. Since then the cinema has made enough to keep itself going and pay some back into community funds.

Sam Whitehead, one of the technical team, used to work as a cinema projectionist in London and Brighton, when it involved splicing rolls of film. He has learned to do it digitally, usually from a Blu-Ray DVD, with trailers and so on mixed in from YouTube. The “projector” cost £4,000 and is due for an upgrade. But its Dolby sound system can handle the shootiest of shoot-outs and the screen quality is no yokel compromise, says Sam.

A lot of cinemas still use film because there is a nostalgic belief in it having the edge in quality.

But Sam says: “I find it very hard to see or hear any difference in on-screen quality between what we do and the average commercial cinema.”

Films usually become available to small venues after they have had their big-city runs but before they are on general release via Amazon and so on.

The Yelverton committee have learned to be a bit wary of running anything with subtitles, he says, but their “alt cinema” thread is doing well.

Book now for Downton Abbey on February 29.


TODAY, Thurs Nov 21: It’s Ladies Night, with wine and shoportunities, at Horrabridge School. Matthew Bourne’s ballet Red Shoes is on last day of a run at Theatre Royal. The Tavonians are winding up their annual tour of local halls til Sunday. Newish film Yesterday is on at Calstock Arts.

Sat Nov 23: Some sort of dress-up party with performance events, going under the title of The Starry Night Ball, is on all day at Dartmoor Zoo, with transport and dining packages available for booking in advance.

Tues Nov 26: Parish hall from about 1 pm – parish councillors and anyone else interested are invited to a demonstration of a possible new sound system for council meetings and other uses.

Tuesday Nov 26: Horrabridge plays Calstock at chess, Leaping Salmon from 7.30, upstairs room.

Weds Nov 27: Horrabridge Community Association, which runs the school hall as a community venue, is holding its annual meeting from 7 and can use anyone willing to lend a hand.

Also …

Thurs Nov 28: Mayflower shindigs kick off with a light show in town.

Griff Rhys Jones plays student venue Red House Theatre in Plymouth – and moves on to Launceston Town Hall on the Friday.

Calstock Arts has booked comic commentator Mark Thomas for an episode of his 50 Things About Us tour, Tuesday December 10.

Dartmoor Zoo is calling for stalls for a Xmas Crafts Fair – “local, ethical, sustainable” – being arranged for evening of Thurs Dec 5. Mail


Finally, a fine picture of Dartmoor Prison at dawn, used here with kind permission of Myles Pinkney of Tavistock, who sells his photos at

Myles, only 20, is at university up north but still takes his cameras out on the moors when home for holidays.


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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.