The Knives and Forks are out in Littlehempston!

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Four great reasons to visit the Tally Ho in July. Four local ladies are going head to head in Littlehempston’s version of Come Dine with Me to add a bit of spice and zest to the menu at the Tally. Every week throughout July, one of their signature dishes will appear on the Specials Board and customers can sample the dishes and vote for their favourite.

Chef Paul has already selected his favourite four from the many recipes submitted and the chosen chefs will show him how to recreate their dishes. The winner will receive a meal for two at the Tally!

The competition was launched amongst much good-humoured rivalry at the Tally Ho Pop Up bar at Littlehempston Fete. The first week in July stars Kendal Tredinnick (second left in the photo) who offers an unusual butternut squash dish, followed by Anna Ash (second from the right) who wows with a seafood recipe. Third week, Josephine Ash (far right) is in competition with Kendal to win over the taste buds of vegetarians with an imaginative veggie burger, and the final week is a Touch of Thai with Susie Dorman. Organiser Kate Rudman (far left) wished all the women good luck and suggested they get their knives sharpened!

So tickle your taste buds at the Tally – click here to book your table.

Sun Shines on the Littlehempston Fete

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Over 900 people including visitors, volunteers and stall holders enjoyed a sunny day at Littlehempston Fete, which proved one of the most successful fetes ever. Keys to the success of this traditional village fete were loads of things to keep the kids amused while parents relaxed in the free deckchairs, enjoying high quality BBQ food and excellent local ales – and lashings of Pimms provided at the Tally Ho Pop Up bar.

Music was provided by Chez la Vie followed by Waves from Broadhempston. New attractions this year were Emma and her donkeys, the racing ferrets, and Ash Levin in the Story Telling Tent.

Fete Team rep Bee West said, “The fete was a real feat of community coming together. Everyone can be proud of their amazing achievement in providing such a wonderful day of fun. Money raised by the fete will go towards supporting new activities in the parish, the beautiful church, the Community Space, which acts as the village hall, Berry Pomeroy School and Rowcroft Hospice.” A donation also went to the Dartmoor Beast Explorer Scouts who did sterling work, manning the car park and packing up the next day. Thanks to the Fete Team for all their hard work. Early estimates suggest around £4,000 had been raised. More photos will be posted on the Gallery soon – honest!

Johns win the lottery!

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Lots of people came down the Tally for a meal and to watch Lottery draw recently. Lawrence Joiner, who used to live in Littlehempston and had returned to help with the Fete, drew the lucky ball – John Hoare scooped first prize of £82.  John Todd’s number came up next, winning him a £20 prize.  As usual, half of the receipts – £102 – was donated to the Community Space.

Entries to the Lottery have dropped off over the last year, which is a pity as the money comes in very handy to support village activities. Over the last year, hundred of pounds have been raised to help get our Youth Club going in the Community Space. The draws are quarterly and the next one is on Wednesday September 19th. So why not have a flutter and support village causes at the same time? Full details here.

Let the organ thunder and the bells ring out!

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The celebration of the 150th anniversary of the installation of our fine organ in Littlehempston church was a tremendous success with the church packed on both days to hear some wonderful music. For the Saturday concert, Let the Organ Thunder – Let the Trumpet Blast, we were fortunate to have Dr Noel Tredinnick, organist and director of music at All Souls, Langham Place, London, deliver a rousing and accomplished concert of works by, amongst others, John Stanley, Purcell, J.S.Bach, Torelli and Handel. Dr Tredinnick (pictured far right), whose reputation is international and has family connections with Littlehempston, stayed on to conduct a Littlehempston in Praise event on the Sunday, when we sang some old favourites and newer hymns. On both occasions we were privileged to hear talented young Brazilian trumpeter, Izalni Batista Nascimento junior, who had travelled down with Dr Tredinnick. At the Sunday service, when our own organist Mark Ekert accompanied us, we also enjoyed beautiful solos by local soprano Clare Lash-Williams. In all, a wonderful weekend of music and celebration which we shall remember for a long time.

This all took place on the first weekend of June. On 12th June 1868, such a large congregation gathered for the inaugural service that many could not get into the church. More than 20 rectors and vicars of all the neighbouring parishes were present. This was a result of efforts by the Rev Fitzhenry Hele, rector of Littlehempston for 50 years in the 19th century. After the service, a cold collation for 300 was laid out in the barn at nearby Grattons Farm. This was owned at the time by the Evans family, who were all extremely musical, and who sang in the church choir and played the organ. Their grandchildren later presented a stained glass window to the church in their memory; it has three panels showing St Cecilia, St Gregory and King David.

We didn’t have a cold lunch for 300, but the quality of cakes and refreshments was highly commended and a magnificent £907 was raised to support the church and Community Space. Many thanks to all involved in putting on such a special event and, in particular, organiser, Jenny Galton-Fenzi.

The funds raised during the two concerts have given an enormous boost to church and Community Space funds. Some of the money raised will be put into a fund recently set up to raise money for new bell ropes for the church. There has been renewed interest in getting the bells of Littlehempston ringing out again on a regular basis, but new ropes are urgently needed. Around £1,200 is needed – appealing suggestions on fundraising welcome.

Fancy a spot of thistle thwarting?

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No, not a new local custom! To cut or not to cut? That’s been the recent local debate about mowing Lot 7 which was knee high in grasses and wildflowers. (Lot 7 is the piece of land bought back in March on behalf of the community to preserve it for future generations.)  The call went out to local people to come and chop the thistles that might spread to neighbouring farmland. Pictured here are Jenny Galton-Fenzi, Anna Ash, John Todd and Sandra Law who together with Jill Todd (pictured separately in a bush) and Ali Taylor spent a happy evening nattering and enjoying the beautiful setting and wildlife. The flat area has now been mown and the orchard area left for the moment.

A wide range of wildflowers had appeared and as one local said: It’s refreshing to see the land used for something other than grazing. Whilst that remains important, we also need to try and reverse the significant level of decline in biodiversity. The UK has lost 97% of its meadows since World War II and now we are seeing unprecedented declines in wildlife, particularly the pollinators, which, if left unchecked, will one day have repercussions for all of us. Hopefully (with the right advice) we can find a way of improving the odds a little for wildlife, whilst retaining enough control so the village does not disappear under a forest of thistles!

An expert lichenologist who visited the site recently was hugely knowledgeable about wildlife in general, and amongst other things identified a Lesser Whitethroat singing in Lot 7 (she thought possibly nesting in one of the bramble clumps), two male Beautiful Demoiselles dancing around down by the river, and she also pointed out the patches of Bird’s Foot Trefoil, favourite food plant of Small Blue butterflies, and the many spikes of Sorrel, favoured by Small Copper butterflies.

On Monday 2nd July at 7pm, a meeting in the Community Space in Littlehempston Church will consider management options for the land, together with how this large piece of land, which includes an orchard, can be best maintained.