Toil and Trouble

The latest Brentor Film, produced, filmed and edited by Dom Carnell and a vast band of local volunteer actors, was premiered to much acclaim on 6th March.  If you missed the chance to view it at the Village Hall’s pop-up cinema you can now see it on Youtube by clicking here.

Broadband update – Airband delivery up to one year late!


Back in November 2015 we were told at a public meeting in Mary Tavy that Brentor would have a wireless broadband service by mid-2016.  Recent information from Connecting Devon and Somerset is that the transmitter planned for the Christchurch tower in the middle of the village will be installed by the end of June 2017 – a year late!  However the May issue of the Brentor News has an article from David Harris concerning the Church’s recent application for a Faculty to install an Airband mast on the Christchurch tower, and for the need for planning permission.  Therefore it appears that the installation, while likely to go ahead, may run on from the deadline of the end of June.

Even when this transmitter is installed there will still be a large number of premises in Brentor that will probably not receive any service, due to hills or trees in their line of sight.  It also appears that even properties currently described by Airband as being able to receive a service cannot in reality get a signal due to trees etc in the line of sight and will still be unlikely to be able to get one when the Christchurch transmitter is operational.  

Some residents currently receiving a service from Airband report that, in adverse weather conditions, their signal is erratic.

At the November 2015 meeting we were told that the Airband network would be an ‘open’ service that can be used by any internet service supplier. In reality only small ISPs are willing to supply a service through the Airband system.  It now seems very unlikely that the larger ISPs, such as BT and Virgin, will supply their service via the Airband network as described at the meeting, so there will be very little price competition.

Many local villages and hamlets with overhead telephone cables are having these upgraded to fibre, but the link to Brentor is underground.  An email message from Openreach to the editor dated 16th January 2017 suggests that Brentor residents should consider part funding the cost of a fibre link to Mary Tavy themselves – although using the £20 per metre cost that Openreach quote this would cost £40,000 – £50,000 in total…….

There are plans to provide Fibre to the Customers at a distance from the Exchange (in Mary Tavy) however they are in early stages of Planning. I would request you to keep an eye on our website:,  for latest updates.

I understand that you are looking for the options to get Fibre, I can suggest you to get together with neighbours or a local community group and raising the money to help build the network yourself. We offer a community fibre partnership scheme where we work with local communities to jointly fund fibre cabinets. We can’t always guarantee this will be feasible, but we’d be willing to look at it if you are interested. To find out more, visit our website

It should be noted that some other very small local hamlets such as Hornden and Cudlipptown are now connected by Openreach to the superfast fibre network at no extra cost to their residents, despite being in the designated Airband area!  Unlike Brentor, their fibre cables are being routed on existing poles.  The Government’s policy is that it is supporting investment to provide superfast broadband coverage to 95% by December 2017 – so it looks as if much Brentor will fall into the unlucky 5%.

You can still check your broadband speed by clicking here. (Just click the button marked ‘Start Speed Test’ below the two dials).

For more information about how this issue has evolved click here

Colin Dawes, Editor

Brenstock 2017 – Tickets now on sale


Brenstock, Brentor’s very own music festival, returns again this year.  It will be held on Saturday 15th July at the Village Hall, and will be bigger and better than the first festival held last year.

Tickets are available in Brentor from Dom Carnell (810425) and Colin Dawes (811079).  Advance tickets are £8 for adults and £6 for children.  At the gate they will be £10 for adults and £8 for children, so don’t forget to buy early – they sold out last year!  They are also available at the Mary Tavy post office, Book Stop Tavistock and at the Lydford farm shop on the A386.
The festival relies on volunteers for its organisation and for help on the day for such things as stewarding, catering and decorations for the marquees.  If you would like to help this year please contact Dom Carnell on 810425.
See more information about Brenstock by clicking here.
Go to the official Brenstock website at by clicking here

Brentor Commons Update – May 2017

Bad news on the rabbit front, the bid for freedom seems to have come to an end as nobody has seen it for more than a week. Perhaps it has gone to the great burrow in the sky.
When driving past the same area of the common we saw a pair of linnets. It had been raining heavily and there were puddles at the roadside where they were bathing. There was a great commotion with splashes and much flapping of wings and we were able to sit in the car and watch them for quite some time. An absolute delight.
As the seasons progress there is always a new tapestry of colour to maintain our interest. The largely white umbelliferae, the umbrella shaped flowers along the roadside, are always changing. The cow parsley is now fading and the pignut is the dominant one on the common. It is so called because below each flower is an edible small tuber. I suspect they were a favourite of pigs when they led a much more foraging life. The hedgerows are now at their best with the pink of the campions and  the bluebells creating a back drop for many other summer flowers that are starting to bloom.
A tree we have noticed recently is the horse chestnut to the left of the big ash tree. It has been more obvious because of its white candelabra that have been apparent in recent weeks. This tree must have been planted there, but it was well before the plantings by the commons association. It would be interesting to know when this was done and by whom. There is also a grove of sweet chestnut in the northeast corner. These are youngish trees have quite smooth branches and stems, not the gnarled and spiral bark of the mature tree.

Barry Albrighton
Click here to see earlier monthly Commons updates by Barry Albrighton

Keeping our roads clear of water

A cleared gulley in Burn Lane

Walking around Brentor you may have noticed that many of our roadside ditches and watercourses have been cleared of debris that has been building up for some time. Water can now drain off the roads more easily, avoiding the formation of puddles that can be a danger to traffic and pedestrians. This is thanks to the work of the local Parish lengthsman, whose recent work has been funded by a grant obtained by the Parish Council.

A cleared ditch in Burn Lane


The County Council also employs their own lengthsmen who are scheduled to work for four days a year in Brentor.  In addition if there is flooding or large puddles on a road the County Council will, 24 hours after the rain has stopped, take action if:

    • the road is impassable
    • the water is forcing vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians away from the nearside of the road by more than one metre
    • vehicles have to cross the centreline marking

They undertake to attempt to clear the standing water if appropriate. If unable to clear the water, they will set up a flood sign, guard the area or close the road to make the location safe and then investigate a permanent solution.
To find out more click here to visit the County Council’s highways website.

You can notify the County Council of flooding, potholes and other road problems by clicking here and following the links.

Thanks should also go to the Parish Council which recently obtained a grant to rebuild the culvert in the centre of the village – the resulting work has made a huge improvement to the water flow and will help to reduce the amount of water that spills onto the road in very wet weather.

The parish lengthsman can only do a limited amount in the time he has, so it’s worth watching out for blocked gullies and drains and helping by keeping them clear of debris!

Ongoing community issues

A new section has been added to this website – ‘Ongoing Community Issues’

This sets out to provide a source of information about issues which are of ongoing concern to our village.  Often these issues first appear on this home page, but require additional space to do them justice.
Click here for information about Broadband provision for Brentor
Click here for information about Affordable Housing provision in Brentor
Click here for information about the possible new railway line through Brentor

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Colin Dawes