New faces at the Tally Ho

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The Tally Ho’s new management couple Rachel and Marc Davies jumped straight in at the deep end as they set to work on the first May bank holiday. They bring wide experience of the hospitality and food industries, and are delighted to be settling down in our tiny rural village.

Rachel and Marc were welcomed by a crowded pub on Friday 29th April and, at the same time, grateful thanks and a fond farewell went out to Kim and Ian who have been holding the fort at the Tally for the past few months, and also to popular barmaid and waitress Chanel who’s leaving to join the army. They all plan to come back and see us again one day.

International Fame for Pews on Wheels

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The innovative idea of Rev Nicholas Pearkes to put wheels on the pews in St John the Baptist church has been attracting lots of attention recently, even featuring on ITV Local News last week. Churches from as far away as Canada have been in touch to find out how they can make their pews mobile in order to create spaces for different activities. In Littlehempston, we now take for granted that our Community Space can be re-arranged in a variety of ways to cater for such things as exercise classes, theatre and craft fairs, while still keeping the traditional look of the church for services.

But for many, this is a new idea. A church in Wiltshire hosted the Panta Rei dance company and wrote to say: We spent the day lugging our church pews around to make the space and the dancers kept saying “Well, in Littlehempston they are on wheels!” … and of course we were intrigued to hear about this. I’ve googled “pews on wheels” and you come up immediately. In response to the many enquiries, an article with photos has been put on the Community Space Project section of this website, providing more details of this “revolutionary” idea.

ITV Local News picked up the story and came along to film the ease and speed with which the Pilates class set up the Space, and also interviewed Rev Pearkes and Space Team member, Ali Taylor. The South West news Agency also filmed and interviewed the Pilates class, which has resulted in articles in newspapers around the country. Here’s a YouTube clip of their visit:

Our PCC showed a lot of forethought when they decided to adapt the church for “Village Hall” activities and happily the result has been a great success. At a time when many rural churches are closing, as use dwindles, the future of our church seems assured at least for the moment. Not only do Space events provide much enjoyment and pleasure, they also raise the funds to keep this beautiful Grade 1 listed building open for all. It’s been a busy four years for this small village, who also rose to the challenge of saving its local pub, the Tally Ho, from closure. Rural decline is not always inevitable!

What a Show!

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This event certainly lived up to its name. It was impossible not to feel merry, as the music from the amazing Newton Abbot Ukulele Club flooded the Space and the audience sang along to popular music from across the board. A delicious two-course meal was served up in the interval by the now very slick Space Catering Team and then all settled down to listen to some hilarious verse delivered by Thelma Portch, an Ipplepen lady who writes all her own material. All agreed it was a great night’s entertainment and one to repeat. And it raised a welcome £360 for Space funds.

Thanks to all who helped put on this great event. And if you’d like to take up the ukulele, the Club is open to all and meets weekly every Wednesday. Find out more at