A Christmas windfall for the Village Hall and Playing Field

Here’s some very good news for Christmas!  Brentor Village Hall and Playing Field has been selected to be one of the three participating beneficiaries of the Waitrose Community Matters scheme for December.
Shoppers receive a token at the checkout and the Village Hall and Playing Field will receive a pro rata award from the £1000 community budget for that month.  How much we receive will depend on how many tokens are posted for us.
So Waitrose could be a good place to do our Christmas shopping in December and to put a token in our box!

Brentor Quiz Night

Friday November 17th
Why not put together
your team of 4!
–  £5 per team  –
Bring your own refreshments
– and money for the Raffle –
To book your table contact
Robin and Helen on
01822 810412
or email helendecarles@gmail.com
All profits go to the Village Hall and Playing Field

Christchurch Airband transmitter now working, but with poor coverage as expected


18 months late, the Airband equipment on Christchurch tower is now working, fed from a temporary mobile relay transmitter in the carpark of the Brentor Inn.  Airband have submitted a planning application to Dartmoor National Park to erect a permanent wooden pole with transmitters on the site,  providing a permanent solution to the loss of the Bearwood Farm relay.

The Airband transmitter and relay dish on Christchurch tower

Some  villagers in the centre of Brentor are now enjoying superfast broadband, but others,  including some within 100 metres of he church tower, have been told by Airband installers that they have no line of sight, so therefore cannot receive their service!  The engineer explained that the church tower transmitter has had to be sited to be invisible from the ground.In fact it is very near to one of the corner towers and therefore there is no line of sight for a large wedge of Brentor.  Add the obstruction to line of sight due to tall trees in the village centre and quite a few properties will have no service.  Rather disappointing after a delay of 18 months and the huge amount of public money spent by Connecting Devon and Somerset on the Airband contract.  The many other properties in Brentor which cannot see the Christchurch transmitter, or any of the other Airband transmitters, still cannot receive Airband and there seems little hope of this situation changing in the near future.  Use of Airband is, of course, subject to taking out a contract with an Internet Service Provider using the Airband system (your choice is very limited, with no large national ISPs on board).

The Parish Clerk has received an apologetic letter from the Managing Director concerning the delay to activating the Airband transmitter on the Christchurch tower.  

Click here to read the full letter from Airband


Recently a website, ‘Airbad.co.uk’, appeared, critical of the Airband provision across Dartmoor, but it for reasons outside their website editor’s control it mysteriously ceased to exist for a day or so.  However, it is now back on line and can be seen at Airbad.co.uk

The Airband.co.uk website still exists and can be accessed by clicking here.

The news carried on our local website about the patchy Airband provision in Brentor has attracted attention across the moor – apparently other parishes are also having a hard time accessing its services.  

The Parish Clerk from Harford Parish Meeting near Ivybridge wrote:

I am the Parish Clerk for Harford Parish Meeting – we are on the southern edge of the moor, just above Ivybridge.  I have been following your news on the broadband issue and the promises of Airband to deliver.  We have had no end of trouble with Airband, who never did deliver here, as apparently, we are unique!  We are a linear community, all living on the side of a valley that has trees.  Trees that are taller than their desktop model.
We have now kicked Airband into touch, they no longer wish to communicate with us, which is fine.  We have a community fibre project on the go, we have just 40 properties in our Parish and we have an offer on the table from the BT/Openreach community fibre project to deliver Fibre To The Property (FTTP) via overhead telephone cables.  Meaning that if the residents are keen then the project is just about affordable.  Yes we do have to pay, but we were losing sight of any other option.
We have had Exmoor technology in to the Parish and they are permitting us to use the voucher scheme with CDS to have 4G with EE, this is not the cheapest, but it may offer a stopgap.
We like you have tried to ‘encourage’ CDS to use gainshare money to deliver FTTP, but they won’t budge on it.
Would like to talk more, but I think with all the bad publicity surrounding Airband, we may be better off without them.
Kind regards
Ann Willcocks
 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

Italian Night at the Village Hall

The Village Hall and Playing Field Committee is organising an Italian Night,  to be held on Friday 19th January 2018 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.

Along the lines of past Curry evenings, you are invited to get out your Italian cookery books and bring along a contribution to the shared meal.  Don’t forget to bring something Italian to drink!

Please make antipasti, pasta dishes or tiramisu – contact Sheryl on 870554 or Sue on 860374 to let them know what you intend to make – you can have too much of a good thing, even tiramisu!!

There will be a £5 charge at the door, all proceeds being split between the Village Hall and Playing Field funds and the Mary Budding Trust, a local children’s charity.  Click here to find out more about the Mary Budding Trust

Brentor Commons Update – September 2017

An early morning walk showed us the common in a different light. A heavy mist and still air created such a silent and peaceful atmosphere.  The mist shrouded spider webs, especially on the gorse, were quite incredible in their density.  Every branch had its own webs, perhaps up to fifty in each bush.  There seemed to be two types of web present, the classic fairy tale orb and the three-dimensional ones;  the water droplets on the latter, making them sink a little to resemble hammocks.  Towards the end of the walk the heat of the sun was able to ‘burn off’ the mist and allow the blue sky to shine through.  As this happened the area became alive with thrushes and blackbirds.  They were charging around in considerable numbers, many more than the common would normally hold.  I imagine that these were harbingers, probably from northern England or the near continent, of the fieldfares and redwing that will be arriving soon.  Several red admirals were also on the wing even though the air temperature was still low.
Our pond clearing effort was a great success. We were able to start a fire to get rid of the rubbish that had been dumped there earlier in the year as well as the huge pile of ‘brash’ that we had piled up when opening up the edge of the pond on our last clearing session.  We saw frogs and toads much to the delight of our five-year-old helper.
There has been no further attempt to use the track that was cut into Liddaton Common.  We hope that this is the last we will have to do anything about it and the ground can regenerate naturally.

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

Childrens’ breaks on hold at CHICKS in Brentor

It was reported in the Tavistock Times Gazette on 14th September 2017 that CHICKS (Country Holidays for Inner City Kids) will not be hosting breaks for disadvantaged children at its Brentor site  in 2018.  Apparently the charity, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, has not held breaks at the Brentor centre since April 2017.  It needs to raise a six figure sum to refurbish and improve the Brentor residential centre, although they will continue to use part of the premises as their headquarters in the meantime.  They will continue to offer breaks for children at their Cornwall and Derbyshire centres.

New Housing needs survey to be carried out

Although there has been no obvious movement for some time, the subject of Affordable Housing is still very much an ongoing matter.

Parish Councillors are aware however that the information collected from the Housing Needs Survey conducted some time ago may now be out of date.  In view of this, Councillors are intending to establish current need by means of a new survey.  Once this information has been collected, a meeting will be arranged to discuss the findings. The survey will be accessible to all and Councillors hope to circulate details of it and how to respond within the next few weeks.
Caroline Oxenham,  Parish Clerk

Editors needed for the Brentor News

Would you like to edit The Brentor News?
We are looking for one or two more editors to help our existing team.
You would need access to, and some familiarity with, desktop publishing software such as MS Word, MS Publisher, or InDesign etc – and be able to spend about half a day putting the paper together every three or four months on a rota basis.
I think all our current editors would agree that this is a pleasant and interesting ‘chore’ – and one of service to the local community.
If you would like to learn more, please get in touch with any of the existing editors, whose contact details can be found in every
edition of the Brentor News.
John Wheeler – 810083

We want your recipes!

This website now has a recipes page, but there’s only a few recipes on it! 
As we all know, lot of Brentor’s social life revolves around cooking and eating with family and friends.  The recipes on the new page have been provided by Brentor residents past and present.  No doubt some have been adapted and improved as the years pass – and they are reminders of residents past and present and of many good times around the table, as well as being household favourites. 
WE NEED LOTS MORE RECIPES!  So please email your contributions – a recipe with a small introductory text – to the editor, Colin Dawes, at colinvdawes@btinternet.com . 

Click here to go to the Recipe Book page

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

We need your contributions!

Do you have an interesting photo, an item about the village or an event that you need to promote?

We want to keep this website topical, local and up-to-date, so please send your potential contributions to 
colinvdawes@btinternet.com .

Sign up to receive Brentor event reminders by email!

How often do you think ‘I wish I had remembered to go to that!’?
If you sign up for the free village event reminder service that won’t happen again.
For many special village events or activities you will receive an email reminder during the week before the event. Occasionally events are put on at short notice and may only be advertised by this service.
So why not join almost 80 households who have already signed up!
To take advantage of this free service just send your email to brentorinfo@btinternet.com.
Colin Dawes

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