A pint at the pub should be on here and there from Saturday week but there is still a lot of uncertainty about exactly where and when.

After the Prime Minister announced July 4 as lockdown lifting day for pubs, churches and other gathering places which would be part of normality, the Rock Inn spoke up for all the local landlords who remain unsure they can make use of their severely restricted new freedom.

The Rock’s owners said in a Facebook post:

“Unfortunately we will not reopen on July 4th. Please understand that as a family business we are desperate to reopen. However, the government guidelines that come with reopening make it very difficult to move forwards without running at a loss.

“Having to collect customer details when entering the premises, providing table service and logistics of glasses, cutlery and toilets, is purely unviable at present. In order to protect our future as a business we must be sensible and realistic at this time.”


London Inn manager Mike Huda sympathised. This week he was having a glass screen installed at the bar counter, to make it possible for customers to fetch their own orders, but was still wrestling with how to get people in and out of his toilets while staying a metre apart, what kind of table gatherings he could allow, and so on. Still waiting on advice from Punch Taverns – may be added in here later.

The Walkhampton Inn has used the closure for some extensive rebuilding, of toilets and garden area, which should make the new rules a little easier to meet, but manager Frazer Reed is still cautious about declaring a date for re-opening. Once the work is finished, in another week or so, anyone looking for a drink outside, at least, will probably be accommodated. But he is planning a slow return to normality sometime soon rather than a big re-opening on July 4.

Leaping Salmon team apparently still considering the position with caution too although not available for comment today.


St John’s Church faces similar difficulties. The West Dartmoor Mission would like to re-open it for funerals, at least, with a maximum congregation of 30 and at least 72 hours between services. But the organisation and cleaning involved, with largely elderly volunteers, is a major problem and although weddings are up for discussion, July 4 is too soon to contemplate. For the time being, they have re-opened St Paul’s at Yelverton for private prayer, noon to 3pm daily, but that is taking a lot of effort. The Parochial Church Council will meet on Tuesday to discuss the way forward.

The new rector for Horrabridge, Rev. Andrew Thomas, who has yet to address a live congregation, said: “It’s very frustrating. Every time we think we have a plan, the guidance changes. Meanwhile, I’m working on the phone, by email, and online, which is keeping me busy, but it’s not satisfactory.”


At the Old School Guest House, Maxine Limon said she and husband Chris were getting plenty of inquiries but could not see a return to anything like normal for some time yet. They are taking bookings from July 9 for a self-contained annexe to the main house, and provisionally for August and September for their main accommodation, to “see how it goes”. But they are having to do a lot of work to make it even possible and feel obliged to offer no penalties for cancellations.


Meanwhile Tavistock Pannier Market has promised a phased re-opening starting Thursday July 2, Friday July 3 and Sat July 4, 9am – 3pm.


And The Garden House at Buckland is open again for the same three days at the end of the week, 11-3.



More than 70 people have promised to organise boot sales on their doorsteps in Tavistock and neighbourhood this Sunday.

Organiser Lucy McManus, who runs Happy Tails Pet Care & Cleaning from Tavistock, 0790 535 9165, said she had realised through work that almost everyone has had a clear-out and has a box or two of odds and ends waiting for the charity shops … “but I never expected the response we got”.

Sellers are free to decide for themselves if they want to keep their money or donate it. Local addresses holding sales from 11 am Sunday include 7 and 10 Riverside Close, Horrabridge, PL20 7SR, and The Old Exchange at Leg O’Mutton, PL20 6AA.

Tavistock sales, starting 1 pm and open to at least 4.30 pm, are listed on the Tavistock Doorstep Boot Sale site HERE



Horrabridge Rangers Sports Association is pressing on apace with plans for development of the football club and calling for new volunteers to help with admin, coaching, fund-raising, match-day first aid, and so on. Annual meeting to be held in the open air on Monday July 6 in Fillace Park, from 7 pm Bring your own chairs, sanitizer, face covering & keep to the social distancing guidelines”.

To offer help or ask questions, contact club sec Ian Mulholland on 0776 498 3441 or



West Devon Borough Council has re-organised its website to make it easier for those who have difficulty reading and typing. The new “assistive technology” includes a read-out-loud option called Recite Me, a text magnifier and a translation service for 100 languages. To try it, go to and click on “Enable Accessibility Tools” at the top right of the screen. And tell us how it goes? Email



Okehampton Round Table working on a plan for a drive-in cinema event on July 24, featuring the musical Grease. Book HERE


allfornow …

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.