Village Open Meeting

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A warm welcome (and slightly chilly church) greeted those who braved the icy roads on January 22nd to attend a meeting about two important features of village life: the Community Space and the Tally Ho. The evening kicked off with a glass of wine, followed shortly by an update on how the Community Space was faring since the church re-opened last May. There was general enthusiasm for the events and activities organised so far – there was a request not to have Cinema Night always on a Friday.

People were then asked what they’d like to see happen in 2013 and lots of useful ideas emerged. There were volunteers to investigate more activities for the younger members of the community that included a film show at Easter and a table tennis tournament. Wine tasting, an Auction of Promises, a talk by a local gardening expert and an evening devoted to local wildflowers & history look promising candidates for 2013, alongside the activities already planned – a concert in March, Get to know your Graveyard tour and a Spring Supper in April with a Craft Fair later in the year. Of course, it’s all hands on deck for the Littlehempston Fete in June.

It was agreed that so far the right balance had been struck between fundraising and fun when choosing events – long may it continue! The Community Space finances were in reasonable shape – a loan repayable over 10 years of £22,000 had been secured from the Diocese to finish paying for all the works to date, and further fundraising was in hand to secure support for creating a porch that would keep the cold out and new lighting. An special thank you was given to the Fete Committee and Ken’s Lottery for their huge support for the Community Space.

There were no concerns raised (especially now the car parking problem has been resolved) and it seemed that even those who were apprehensive about the adaptation of the church were pleased with what had been achieved. Everyone was encouraged to keep the suggestions coming in for 2013 activities and also to voice any worries.  To see what you missed, click here. There’ll be a Community Space AGM in May (the first!) at which you’ll get another chance to have your say! And if you would like to find out about organising an event yourself, please contact Jill Todd.

Next it was the turn of the Rally Round the Tally Team. An overview of the current position was given and the floor was then thrown open for questions as to what Littlehempston Community Pub Ltd. was all about. These were ably answered by the team and more information was provided by Tony Woodwalk from CAMRA. Sadly, weather condtions prevented David Fisher from the Plunkett Foundation, a charity supporting community enterprise, from getting there. If you too were unable to be there and would like to find out more about Littlehempston Community Pub Ltd., click here for the information leaflet that was distributed on the night. Hopefully this will prove a historic meeting – the first of many that will see the Tally Ho regain its place at the heart of the village.

Dancing in the Aisles

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For just one merry night, Littlehempston Church was turned into a barn, transformed with eucalyptus and bright lights into a cheery, beautiful Community Space. On January 19th, villagers danced away the winter blues to the barnstomping music of the band, Hogwash. Despite freezing temperatures outside, the place soon warmed up, as we galloped, weaved and bumped our way up and down the Space, and enjoyed delicious hot soup (butternut squah and tomato – thank you, John Joiner!).

We also had a raffle, much chat and merriment and some lovely folk songs from the band when we were too tired to dance. Not only did we have a grand time, but after all was paid up, £140 was put into the Community Space coffers. Many thanks to all who helped, but especially organisers, Lawrence Joiner and James Drummond. When’s the next one, lads?

Joy of Handel’s Messiah

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A packed Littlehempston Church enjoyed a beautiful rendition of Handel’s Messiah performed by the Torbay Singers on Sunday January 13th. To have such lovely sound reverberating through the church was a privilege: the audience was treated to both solos and full choral works by a choir of over 30 singers, beautifully conducted by Tina Guthrie and accompanied sensitively on the organ by Jonathan Watts. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a veritable feast of scones and cakes.  A big thank you to the Torbay Singers who gave of their time most generously, to Ruth Massey who organised the event, to Liz Miller who made sure everyone had lots of good things to eat and to all those who baked.

Wildflowers and Patchwork Meadows

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Jenny Galton-Fenzi is currently doing a wildflower survey of Littlehempston parish, which she hopes to complete by the end of the summer. This will consist of a list with Latin and common names, giving rough locations for each flower, and a dvd of photos. The aim eventually is to sell the dvd in aid of the LH Community Space. And if anybody knows of orchid sites in LH, please contact Jenny.

If you enjoy wildflowers, you may be interested in a proposal to create a giant “Patchwork Meadow”, made up of 15cm squares and worked by individual contributors of any ability. It’s being organised by the charity Plantlife (Patron: the Prince of Wales), who are the only UK charity devoted solely to protecting wild flowers, plants and their habitats. The square can depict a wild flower or plant of your choice and can be sewn, woven, painted, printed, felted, beaded or made of lace. Get stitching soon as the deadline is the end of March 2013, after which time the patchwork will go on a UK tour. You’ll find lots more fascinating information if you click here.

Rally Round the Tally – part 5 !

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We’ve moved a few more steps closer to re-opening the Tally Ho recently.

We’ve had an independant, professional valuation of the pub and barn done by Jon Stone of Stonesmiths. When we get Jon’s report we should be well on the way to agreeing a purchase price for the Tally Ho with the current owner Phillip Saint. Then a couple of days later the Rally Round the Tally Team spent most of a day together with a visit from David Fisher, the community adviser assigned to us by the Plunkett Foundation.  We completed our application to register Littlehempston Community Pub Limited as an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community – and that went in the post the next day.  And we made considerable progress on our action plan, business plan, SWOT analysis, etc.

Most recently we’ve heard that South Hams District Council have received notification from the owner of the Tally Ho Inn of his intention to dispose of the property through a Freehold Sale.  As the property has been listed by SHDC as an Asset of Community Value with the Land Registry, the landowner is temporarily restricted from selling the asset unless it is to a local community interest group.  This restriction is initially in place for 6 weeks from 10th January 2013.  The interim moratorium period will cease on the 21st February 2013.  During this interim period, a community interest group may request, in writing, to be treated as a potential bidder for the asset.  If a request from a valid community interest group is received, this will bring the full moratorium of 6 months into place.  The full moratorium period will cease on 10th July 2013. You can read the formal notice from SHDC here.

The Rally Round the Tally Team are sharing an open meeting with Littlehempston Community Space on Tuesday 22nd January at 7.00pm in the church. Please come along if you can, to find out more about the project to set up a co-operative to buy and run the Tally Ho – and to show your support !

Open Meeting for Community Space and Tally Ho

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Please get to this meeting if you possibly can, as it’s your chance to have a say in two important aspects of village life – the Community Space in Littlehempston church and the proposal to establish the Tally Ho as a community pub. It’s on Tuesday 22nd January in the church, starting at 7pm.

The New Year is a good time to review the progress made with the Community Space since its opening last May and, most important of all, to gather ideas from the village for activities and events in 2013.  You won’t get your arm twisted to do things (though all help is welcome), but those working hard to keep our “Amazing Space” going will appreciate your views on what direction to take over the coming year. So if you value the Community Space, please help keep the ball rolling by coming along and showing support.

Then it’s the turn of the Rally Round the Tally Campaign Team to let you know what they’ve been doing and hear your views on the proposal for a community pub. You’ll be able to find out what investing in a community owned pub involves, and seek answers to all those questions that any prudent investor should ask.  David Fisher, our community adviser from the Plunkett Foundation, Tony Woodwark, Vice Chairman of the South Devon branch of CAMRA, and Steve Casemore, finance officer for TRESOC and the Atmos Project, will be there.  You should also be able to find out what else you can do to help, tell the Rally Round the Tally Campaign Team what you think of their plans, and let them know about your ideas.

Wine and nibbles provided throughout.  Hope to see you there !

Midsummer Madness?

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The Littlehempston Fete Committee have realised that several “key players” will not be available in late July this year, so rather than risk a “fete worse than death” have decided to hold the 2013 fete on Saturday June 22nd with a “midsummer” theme. There’ll be the usual fun and frolics, but the committee would be delighted to have any new ideas for stalls and activities. An early request from the Plant and Produce stall – please hang on to some bottled goods and preserves from your winter store, as they sell very well.

The 2013 committee is slightly reduced this year, as Ken Wood is stepping down. It is to Ken we owe huge thanks for the delicious barbecues and amazing raffle prizes, as well as splendid ideas. If you would like to help with the fete preparation, you’d be made extremely welcome – there are lots of little jobs that would be good to offload! Phone Sue Wellum on 01803 863088 or send her an e-mail if you can help out.

Village Lottery – Don’t Delay!

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Have you entered the Littlehempston Lottery yet? This is an ideal way to have a bit of a flutter and support village activities at the same time. The brainchild of Ken Wood, the lottery last year raised around £1,000 for the Community Space with the same amount distributed as prize money to lucky villagers. The draw is quarterly and tickets cost £10 each. The first draw takes place at the Pig and Whistle on Wednesday 30th January – have your application in by January 23rd at the latest. Why not come along and eat first? There’s more detailed information on the Lottery page of this website’s Useful Info section.

Didn’t we have a lovely time ….?

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A grand start to the festive season was had at the annual Villagers’ Night get-together, where all enjoyed fine food and wine, along with lots of chat. A big thank you to Lesley Colley who co-ordinated the food so well and to everybody who brought along such delicious dishes. Crackers were provided courtesy of the Millers, and James Drummond organised a very successful raffle – guess who won the shower hat! The church was warm and cosy, courtesy of the new heating, and the evening raised £220 to help pay for such luxury. A lovely evening! More photos in the Gallery.