Littlehempston Fete Bonanza

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Lots of good things at this year’s fete – a great range of stalls, record-breaking admissions and the sun shone! The Fun Dog Show proved a big hit and will no doubt return next year by popular request. There were loads of things for children to enjoy, Elfic the Jester had everybody rolling off the straw bales with laughter and the happy crowds enjoyed all the traditional fun such as Maypole Dancing, the Duck Race and the Tug o’ War. Most of the parish turned out to man the stalls and side shows, the Bar and delicious Hog Roast from the BBQ did a brisk trade with dashes into Totnes for further supplies. A special thanks to Donna and Phil from the Pig & Whistle who helped supply the bar and lent us the hog roast machine. As the stalls closed, Hogwash the Band struck up and the evening was rounded off with Country Dancing and music. Magic!

A big thank you to all those who helped man stalls on the day and who helped set up the fete and clear up afterwards, and, of course a huge thank you to the Fete Team for yet another memorable Fete. Provisional figures show that almost £3,500 was raised – a record we think – which will go towards supporting Rowcroft Hospice, Berry Pomeroy School and Littlehempston Church and Community Space.

Lots of lovely photos in the Gallery!

Exploring the Tin Mines of Dartmoor

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Long ago, Claire Donovan bid in an Auction of Promises for a guided walk, investigating the tin mines of Dartmoor, led by local resident and industrial archaeology expert, Mike Wright. Then the voucher was lost. Happily it reappeared and, on June 14th, a group departed from the church car park to learn more about this local industry that has been in operation from pre-Roman times to the present. Before leaving, Mike demonstrated the workings of a blowing house, a water powered mill where the tin was crushed and smelted, using a model he’d made. That helped interpret what could be seen once we were out on a sunny warm Dartmoor (no kidding). It was a grand day, full of fascinating facts, ice cream and opportunities to dip hot feet in cool ponds and streams. The day ended with a delicious cream tea in the garden at lovely Brimpts Farm near Dartsmeet.

Just behind the garden is a little museum created by the Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group, housing another of Mike’s models and where the Brimpts Tin Mine Trail starts. (Well worth a visit.) After a quick look at the site of an old water wheel below the farm, we returned home happy and enthusiastic to do another walk! Donations made after the walk have gone to supporting the church.

Loop System Appeal

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The Community Space Team are currently investigating installing a Loop system in the church so that those with hearing aids can hear what’s being said.  A generous villager has already offered a substantial contribution towards the cost and we are looking to raise a further £500. If you’d like to make a contribution towards this, however small, please contact the Community Space.

The Talented Ben & Alfie

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Success! No flooding, storms or downpours stopped them this time! Ben and Alfie played to a highly appreciative audience at the Community Space on Friday 6th June. An amazingly talented pair of brothers, their performance is engaging and informal – some members of the audience asking their ages, experiences at school etc. They write all their songs themselves, so there tends to be a story for each one. Their stay in Senegal is apparent in their percussive rhythms. Aware of the state of the planet and life’s big questions, they don’t have a whole load of happy songs; but lyrical and moving music with a foot tapping beat is worth every second. If you have a chance, go and see Ben and Alfie perform.

Thanks to Sandra Law for writing this article and for organising this lovely Villages in Action event in support of the Community Space.

It’s Goodbye to Nick, and Hello to Tom

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The church was packed in May as the parish bade a fond farewell to the Rev. Nicholas Pearkes. Liz Miller proved a worthy competitor for Kirsty Young as she gently grilled Nicholas on his past history and musical preferences in his Desert Island Discs selection – a warm, wonderful and entertaining evening of celebration.

Rev. Tom BensonFollowing Nicholas’s retirement Littlehempston becomes part of the newly-formed benefice of the Dart Valley Mission Community. As well as our church, this comprises the churches of Buckfastleigh, Dean Prior, Staverton and Landscove. The parish is delighted to welcome our new vicar, the Rev. Tom Benson.

The first joint service for the 5 parishes, which will be the official launch of the Mission Community, will be on Sunday June 29th at 10.45am at St Luke’s Church, Plymouth Road, Buckfastleigh.

All are welcome!

There’s a new website at where you can find details of services and the contact information for the Rev. Tom Benson and other members of the team who will be helping to lead our services.