The Tally is back in action!

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There were big celebrations at the end of March when the Tally Ho finally re-opened after two years of closure and over a year of hard work to buy and run it as South Devon’s first community pub. Between the purchase on Monday March 17th and the opening on Friday March 28th, a willing band of volunteers worked furiously to get the pub looking its best. Everybody agreed it was a job well done – the hundred or so people who packed the bar on opening night were very impressed with the new décor and all were very happy and excited to be back in the Tally. There was much merriment and raising of glasses! Local people and businesses have been very supportive, as has the press – the opening featured in many local papers, on Radio Devon, Heart Radio and was filmed by Spotlight.

Word had quickly spread that the Tally was back in action and by Mothers’ Day, it was fully booked. Those who could not get a table, sat outside in the garden and enjoyed the good local ale and sunshine. Diners were full of praise for the food prepared by chef, Chris Webley, and the warm welcome provided by landlady, Hollie Brockwell. The couple were helped by a bevy of volunteers, working in the kitchen and waiting on tables. A real community effort!

Many people who came over the weekend knew the Tally of old.There were lots of fond memories shared of drinking there in the 60’s and 70’s when it was a popular place to socialise. First to book for Mothers’ Day were Karen Young and her brother, Tim Budd. Their grandfather was Sydney Matters, who ran the pub from 1938 to 1952 (it was called the Bolton Arms back then). Karen has written to say: “Our Parents, Vera and Peter Budd, are buried in the Churchyard where they were married in 1940 and we visit regularly and have so missed not being able to go to the pub for lunch… Just to say again how much we enjoyed being able to come to the Tally Ho again for lunch! Please pass on our congratulations to everyone involved and we wish you all great success… We have so many happy memories of Littlehempston, the Church and the Pub.”

The official opening is on Saturday April 26th. Totnes Band will open the celebrations at 3pm and local MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston, will cut the tape at 3.30pm. Then it’s time for cake and more entertainment, courtsey of a local singer and friends! And at around 5.30pm, the Cornishman steam train pulled by two engines will pass en route from London to Truro. Caps in the air everyone!

Everybody is most welcome at this event – the more the merrier! For more photos, go to the Tally Ho website.

A Memorable Journey with Visible Ink

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All agreed it was a real privilege to be present at the debut of Visible Ink, a new spoken-word performance group, comprising Chris Waters, our local poet, Jane Barsby, Amanda Cuthbert, Anna Lunk and Martin Sorrell, who offer entertainments in support of local charities. Every corner of the church was filled, as the audience accompanied Visible Ink on a journey in poetry and prose with some delightful musical diversions on the theme of Travelling Hopefully. It was a wonderful evening filled with laughter and thought, as the five performers took the written words of many well known poets and writers off the page and made them “visible” to the audience through dramatic readings, interspersed with music from Malcolm Baldwin. The Community Space was delighted to host their debut gig and also to receive a contribution of £300 from the evening. A huge thank you to all those involved. Visible Ink are available to perform on various themes  – to find out more, contact Chris Waters or ring him on 01803 865458.

Delightful Voices of Littlehempston

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Jenny Galton-Fenzi delighted all with her presentation on the village’s history, with a mix of photos often not shown before, readings by local people and a specially written “Apple Rap” that celebrated and bemoaned the loss of our local apple varieties, delivered by an enthusiastic line-up of performers. The event inspired much reminiscence and raised a magnificent £200 into the bargain (thank you, Jenny!). The history of the village pub was particularly well timed, as the event coincided with the re-opening of the Tally Ho that day.

Afterwards, it was wonderful to walk down the churchyard path and see the lights beaming out from the Tally once again. Lots of people in the pub remembered it from decades ago and also dancing in the village hall, all things that featured in Jenny’s talk. Voices of Littlehempston is definitely an event worth repeating, as many were sorry to have missed it! And perhaps the history of cider-making will inspire a local renaissance!

Support the Coffee Morning

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Despite concern about dwindling numbers, attendance at the March Coffee Morning was very encouraging, well attended with plenty of chat, and as always an excellent raffle. Happily, Liz Miller pulled out the first winning ticket – deservedly so, as Liz puts much effort into organising this event. A splendid £96.25 was raised for the Church Fund. Liz asked everyone there if they would think about whether they wanted the Coffee Mornings to continue – a decision may be made at the next meeting in the church on 24th April from 10.30 to midday. Liz also requested that people try to bring someone along next time and possibly to volunteer help. Please come along if you can – the coffee mornings are a great place to meet people and raise vital money to keep the church going. The raffle is renowned and the plant & produce and gift stalls always have good things to offer. For more information, phone Liz on 01803 762638.

Beginner’s Luck in Lottery

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Liz Jeffery who runs Hemsford Yurt Camp was delighted to win first prize in the Littlehempston Lottery – especially as it was the first time she’d entered. A big thank you to Ken Wood, who runs the Lottery – half the proceeds go to support the Littlehempston Community Space, usually to pay the heating bills, so thank Ken when you next see him for a church that is much warmer than most! This last draw took place at the Pig & Whistle and produced a handsome donation of £160! Why not support the Space and church, as well as enjoying a flutter? There are three more draws coming up this year and you might just be a lucky winner!  For details of how to enter click here or contact Ken on 865541.