Walking the Camino

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Good luck to Brian Payne, pictured here with his sister, Jenny, at the village fete. He is heading off today to St Jean de Pierre Port to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. He starts on Sept 1st and estimates it will take around 33 days, so there’ll be no T’ai Chi in the church for a while! He’s fundraising on behalf of Rowcroft in memory of his wife, Helen, who died last year. Brian says, “I can remember Helen whilst meditating on the way. This is something I have always wanted to do and we were going to do it together and so we shall, but she will be above as we walk along. She had Spanish ancestors, which makes it more poignant. She would have spent her final days at Rowcroft hospice and was a great supporter of its cause. This was not to be, but she would have loved to have known that we are contributing to keep this wonderful place of peace and love going.” If you’d like to support Brian and Rowcroft, visit his JustGiving page.

The Tally in The Times

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The Tally Ho featured in a letter to The Times last week sent in by local resident, Jenny Galton-Fenzi. It was in response to a letter bemoaning the closure rate of rural pubs and saying that planning permission for change of use should be harder. Good to see Littlehempston bucking the trend!

They are not forgotten

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The World War One memorial stone in the porch of Littlehempston Church has been cleaned by local sculptor, Bruce Kirby, who has also carefully restored the lettering. The memorial is “In grateful recognition of services rendered to King and Country” and lists 33 men of the parish. Now the names of those who served in the war are legible once again, as can be seen from the “before” and “after” photos. Many thanks to the Tally Ho for funding this work. The memorial to those soldiers who died in the war is inside the church.

Thanks also to those who raised the money to pay for the installation of the new internal porch – a handsome structure made of oak. This will act as an “air lock” and should cut down on the draughts in winter and avoid the battle with the curtain and the slamming of the door that were once a feature of coming in and out!

Sun shines for the Tally Beer Fest

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The crowds attending the Tally Ho Beer Fest at the beginning of August enjoyed unexpected sunshine. Good support was had from the Bays, Dartmoor and Hunters breweries plus local micro breweries New Lion and Platform5 with local musicians including Ladies What Lunch, Sean Hodder, Laura Fletcher, the Jigsaw Barbershop Quartet keeping all entertained. Saturday night revelry was provided by Moondog and the Moonfolk with some pretty impressive rock n’ roll moves being demonstrated by the Todds. Others just enjoyed the warm evening and tasty food from the BBQ and kitchen. One visitor arrived by horse – a first for the Tally, it is thought. Thanks to all who supported the raffle – the proceeds covered the band and also a donation to clean up the war memorial in the church. A successful “first event” for Hollie and Chris – hopefully the first of many.

Marvellous Moths

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You may have noticed mysterious lights and shadowy figures reflected on Littlehempston churchtower at the end of July. More than 20 people enjoyed an excellent moth trapping session, learning more about the surprisingly colourful and beautiful creatures that inhabit the long grass in the Living Churchyard. Did you know that there are 2,500 different species of British moths, of which only 4 eat your jumpers? The evening was led by Terry Underhill, a well-known local wildlife expert, and Rik Fox from the Devon Moth Group, who collect observations and keep the records that are vital to help conserve and protect wildlife. The moths were attracted to bright lights in the traps, identified and then photographed before being set free. Pictured here is young Henry, captivated by an Oak Eggar. Rik said that this was the first survey ever done in Littlehempston. 78 different species were recorded and in a letter listing all the finds, Rik commented “this is an impressive total for just part of a single night in a small churchyard and this is undoubtedly due, in part, to the areas of long grass and wildflowers that have been allowed to flourish”. Highlight of the evening was a splendid Elephant Hawkmoth. Many thanks to Jenny Galton-Fenzi for organising such a fun and informative evening that revealed what hidden treasures inhabit the darkness around the church – one man said he was going on to the pub, but stayed on till midnight, as this was so interesting.