News from around the Hamlets

NOTE: This page is no longer being updated, ahead of the redesign of this website.
Please see the Thornbury Tatler Facebook page for the latest news and events.


A new Hall For Thornbury – update August 2021

The Parish Council is delighted to report that we have now reached agreement on the long-running planning matters with Torridge District Council, allowing us to move forward on the two sites for both the old and new halls, and have formed a new charity to drive work on the new hall:

Old hall site

The Parish Council has been granted outline planning permission for two dwellings on the site of the derelict old hall, the adjacent car park, and a strip of land that is due to be transferred to the Parish Council under an out-of-court settlement. We are now working with our solicitors to move this legal work to a conclusion. A new valuation will be obtained, and in due course, the whole site will be sold to a developer. As a condition of this planning permission, we have entered into a Section 106 Agreement with Torridge District Council, whereby the nett proceeds from the sale of the site, after all legal and other costs, will be applied to the building of the proposed new hall.  This will give the new hall project a valuable “kick start”.

New hall site

At the same time, we have also renewed the existing outline planning permission granted in 2019 for the construction of a new community hall for Thornbury, on land that will be gifted to the village on the site at Windy Cross. This allows us 4 years to commence work on the site.

The new hall is intended to be the focal point for the whole Thornbury Hamlets community, both for charitable work, such as reducing social isolation, but also for lunches, parties and classes of all sorts. When we asked residents in 2019, as part of the Parish Plan update exercise, 80% of adults who responded said they would attend events at a new hall. A quarter of those who responded also said they would be willing to help with fund-raising, running a hall or organising events or classes.

The next step will be to develop the design of the hall, based on input received to date and experience of other local halls. We aim to hold one or more public meetings early in 2022, to allow residents to look at the outline plans, and to start engaging with those who are interested in supporting the project.

Thornbury Hamlets Community Charity

We have also completed the formation of a new charity for the community, which will take on most of the charitable activities  for the village. This will include the building, ownership and operation of the new hall, but in the shorter term, will also take responsibility for fund-raising and organising events in the village such as The Big Lunch and the Fun Day.

So, although we have reached a significant milestone on the road towards a new hall for Thornbury, there is much work still to do, and the involvement of the whole community will be essential to make it happen.

Summer in Thornbury 2021

As of today (May 21st) Thornbury is planning to hold its Annual Fun Day and Dog Show on 17th July. The Holiday Park has a full programme of Friday night guest food options, and the much-loved Cider and Pasty Walk is set for 5th September. Please watch the Events page of this web site and the Thornbury Tatler Facebook group for the very latest news.

A new Hall For Thornbury – update March 2021

You may recall that Thornbury Parish Council was granted outline planning permission for a new community hall for Thornbury on a site at Windy Cross in June 2018. Since then, we have been progressing with our plans to sell the old hall site (with planning permission for two dwellings), and to put the nett proceeds towards the cost of building the new hall. This would happen under a so-called Section 106 Agreement, recognising the linkage between these two planning applications. Our discussions with the Planning Department at Torridge DC have been ongoing throughout this period, but the Covid-19 pandemic has caused delays for all of the parties involved. We have therefore reached a new agreement with them as follows.
In order to allow sufficient time for the completion of the remaining legal and land transfer work relating to the old hall site and its sale, and for the design and detailed planning processes for the new hall to be completed, we will re-submit the planning application for the new hall (effectively resetting the clock), with a view to this being approved at the same time that the planning permission for the old hall site is granted. We have also agreed a period for each of these applications of 4 years for all reserved matters to be completed, and a further 2 years for practical start of work on site.  Our solicitors are confident that the outstanding legal matters for the old hall site can be completed in the near future.
We are also in the process of setting up a new charity, which has the objectives of fund-raising for, then building and running a new hall. Going forward, we believe that in the “post-Covid” period, there will be significant funding available at both the national and local levels for the regeneration of communities throughout the country who have suffered during the pandemic, and we expect that this will contribute to the fund-raising needed for the new hall, as a focal point for the Thornbury Hamlets.

We will keep you updated on progress and very much look forward to the time when Thornbury can once again come together as a community.

Keith Hutchings, Chair, and Paul Taylor, Clerk, Thornbury Parish Council

Lockdown 2 and 3 – November 2020 – February 2021

As we continue with periods of lockdown, The Parish Council wants to remind everyone in the parish that our support team of volunteers remains active and ready to support anyone who needs it. With Covid-19 cases still being reported in the Torridge area, there may be a need for quarantining, or just shielding for those who are more vulnerable. Don’t hesitate to call, message or email if we can help in any way.
Paul Taylor, Clerk to Thornbury Parish Council, call 261804.

Thornbury Virtual Dog Show 2020

Thornbury’s village Dog Show comes to you this year from the safety of the online world of Facebook! Sadly due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it will not be possible for the Fun Day and Dog Show to go ahead as per normal, however we didn’t want you to miss out! Instead we are going to hold the Dog Show virtually on Facebook!  On Saturday 18th July at 10am entries for the classes will open!
There is a choice of 6 classes that you can enter with pictures of your pooches:
1) Prettiest girl     2) Handsomest boy     3) Best rescued dog    4) Cutest puppy (5 months – 1 year old)
5) Best dressed pooch   6) Coolest trick (video)

Entries will only be counted between 10am-4pm. At 4pm class entries close to allow the judges a chance to select winners for each class.
After we have chosen a winner for each class we will then from this selection also choose a Best in show winner. Winners will be announced from 4:30pm. Winners will each be sent a certificate.

Thornbury Parish Council – EGM to approve accounts and AGAR

In the absence of our normal Council meetings, we need to hold a remote meeting to approve the audited accounts for 2019-2020, and the Annual Governance and Accounting Review (AGAR) documents. This will be held on 1st July, at 7pm, using a Zoom meeting. Please contact the Clerk on 261804 if any member of the public wishes to attend this meeting.

Thornbury Parish Council – AGM postponed due to Covid-19

Following the release of new legislation relating to public meetings in general, Thornbury Parish Council advises that the AGM of the Parish Council, which was set for Thursday May 21st, has been postponed. The legislation allows councils not to meet face to face, and also allows for remote meetings (on video or phone) if required, up until May 2021. As there is no urgent business for the council at this time, a postponement has been agreed: that also means that the current Chair (Keith Hutchings) and Vice-Chair (Gaye Tabor) will continue in post until a new date is set for an AGM. I will advise of any new dates either for remote or in-person meetings of the Parish Council.
Paul Taylor, Clerk to Thornbury Parish Council

Coronavirus – Advice from Parish Council

It is becoming clear that the most effective way for our community to address the threat from Coronavirus will be to follow government health advice, and then to actively support those vulnerable individuals in our community who may need to self-isolate to avoid infection, or when infected. The poster below is being placed on our noticeboards, and is aimed at those (unlike yourself) who don’t follow our social media. We appreciate that some (especially older folk) are not computer literate, and will need friends and neighbours to inform them of our local plans. The Parish Council has created an updated list of those we believe to be vulnerable at this time, and will be trying to make sure that there is always someone who can support them at a time of need. Please feel free to contact me (by email or phone) with suggestions of anyone you believe should be on the list (we won’t publish it for security reasons). Thank you for your assistance,

Paul Taylor, Clerk to Thornbury Parish Council.   01409 261804,


A New Community Hall for Thornbury – Update, February 2020

As I write, we are still waiting for the final approval of the planning permission for the old hall site, the sale of which will help to cross-fund the new hall construction. We understand that the fine legal details are all agreed between the parties,  so fingers crossed for an early result now!

Meanwhile, we have started discussions with architects about the design of the new hall at Windy Cross, using input from the Parish Plan survey to add to our existing thoughts. It is clear that there is a strong desire for a space where people can meet up, not just for sports and entertainments, but simply to chat. More details will be in the updated Parish Plan, to be featured in the next edition of the Tatler.

As part of our public consultation, and to give an opportunity to view a hall of similar design and size to the one we envisage for Thornbury, we have hired  Pancrasweek Hall, on Sunday 1st March, between 10.30 and 1pm  when you can give your ideas to the Parish Council. What is important to you ? What facilities must it have ? Can we attract users from outside the parish to use a facility of a more “cosy” scale than some, but with excellent parking ?

It’s your parish—tell us what you want a new hall to provide for the community, then get involved in making it happen!

Pancrasweek Hall is next to Pancrasweek Church, at EX22 7JS  If anyone needs a lift or wants to share a car, please contact the Clerk or 261804 or email:

Parish Plan Update – Thank you – January 2020

The Parish Plan group and Thornbury Parish Council would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill in and return the questionnaires that were circulated in November. We have 188 of them, and are now analysing the data. We will then create an update to the original Parish Plan, and circulate a summary to every household in the parish. We aim to do that with the June 2020 edition of the ‘Thornbury Tatler’, which (it turns out) the vast majority of people in the parish read!

Thornbury Parish Plan – we need YOUR input.     9th November 2019

Thornbury Parish Council is updating the Parish Plan, which was first published in 2012. A lot has been done since then to meet the objectives set in the Plan, (see the picture below) but its time to refresh the Plan and look to the future. From this weekend, volunteers will be visiting every household in the parish with new questionnaires, asking all our residents for their views of a range of topics, to help us build the new Plan. There are separate questionnaires for everyone over 18, and those between 7 and 17, as we want as wide a range of views as possible. Please take 10 minutes to fill in the form and pop it in the envelope provided, which will then be collected from you.
You can read the original Parish Plan here.    Thank you for helping us to help you.

Thornbury Parish Plan Implementation Group

Keeping Thornbury safe – more first aid and defibrillator training, 19th October 2019

Another well-attended defibrillator and CPR training session this morning at the Holiday Park. A huge thank you to Lorraine Buttery from the Royal Life Saving Society, who talked us through using various types of ‘defib’ (all of which will talk YOU through the process should you need to use one) and then coached the attendees on the correct techniques and speed for CPR. More ‘defibs’ are being installed all the time, and we will continue to look at expanding coverage of the Hamlets.






Thornbury Fun Day and Dog Show, 20th July 2019

Another year when the weather was kind to us: although we did have the new marquee to keep the sun off us !  Some 150 people visited the site, drawn by the Dog Show, which was run for us by Lizzie Marden for the first time, ably assisted by Dan and JJ from Holsworthy Pets, as well as the usual assortment of games, stalls and amusements.  The results of the Dog Show are here. Paul and Lisa from the Holiday Park manned the bar, and the Pimm’s and beer flowed freely; meanwhile, the BBQ served up hot dogs and burgers galore.  A big thank you to everyone who helped organise and setup the event, and the those who came along and supported the event. A total of £1,240.15 was raised for community and church funds.

Thornbury’s Cider and Pasty Walk 2019

Great to see such a good turnout on a damp afternoon at the Thornbury Cider and Pasty Walk on June 23rd. A good walk, fine company and delicious food – what more could you ask for ?! A big thank you to Michael and Dee for hosting, Roger Lawes for finding and marking the route, and to everyone who cooked, assembled, guided or served.


Thornbury’s BIG Late Lunch 2019

Thank you to everyone who helped to organise and set up the event, and who attended Thornbury’s BIG Late Lunch on 2nd June. Some 80 people of all ages were there – pretty good when you consider what the weather was doing that morning! But the rain stayed away, and we raised £300 for the Devon Air Ambulance, while enjoying a fantastic array of buffet food and desserts, and winning some very special prizes.

It was also the first outing for our new community marquee, the “pop up village hall”, which served our needs very well. A special thank you as always to Lisa and Paul for hosting the event again, and making this a great way for the community to get together and celebrate old and new friendships. See you next year !

Parish Council Elections 2019

The following six persons were nominated as parish councillors, and were elected unopposed to Thornbury Parish Council :
Keith Hutchings, Gaye Tabor, Liz Priest, Chris Ward, Trevor Jollow, Paul Taylor.  The first meeting of the new council (AGM) was held on 8th May at 8pm at the Church, where Lisa Serra was co-opted as our seventh councillor. See the minutes here

Parish Plan Update – Public Meeting held on 3rd March 2019

At an open consultation meeting held at Thornbury Holiday Park, members of the Parish Plan Implementation Group presented a summary of the achievements so far on the goals set in the 2012 version of the Thornbury Parish Plan, and invited parishioners to comment and suggest new questions for a fresh questionnaire to be issued soon.  The intention is to gather detailed needs and preferences for all of our community, as we plan for a new village hall and a larger number of events in the parish. Here are the display boards used – if you would like to comment on anything shown (click on the pictures to see a larger version), or would like to join the group and help shape the future direction of Thornbury, please email







We will collect all the comments and use them to create a new questionnaire to be sent out to every household in the parish, the answers from which will be used to create a new edition of the Parish Plan for the coming years. Have your say now !


Go ahead for a New Community Hall for Thornbury

As Chair of the Parish Council, I’m delighted to be able to tell you that our outline planning application, to build a new Community Hall for Thornbury Hamlets at Windy Cross, has been approved by Torridge District Council on 1st March 2019. This is great news, after much hard work by many in our parish over a number of years. The decision regarding the development of the old hall site is still in progress, but we hope for positive news on that front in the coming weeks.

Of course, the next phase now starts, to raise the necessary funding from grants and other sources, and to create a detailed plan for the new building. To do this, we need to have input from the community about their preferences, as to what they would like to see included, and what they would like to do at the hall when it is opened.

In parallel, the Parish Plan Group has started a new project to re-visit the existing Parish Plan from 2012, and as part of this, will be issuing a new questionnaire to every household in the parish. This will include questions on this topic, as well as Environment, Transport, Health & Wellbeing, Communication and other local issues.

We are always happy to welcome “new blood” in these groups, so if you would like to contribute to the development of our community, do get in touch.  Thank you all for your continuing support, Keith Hutchings, Chair, Thornbury PC

Thornbury gets a “Pop-Up Village Hall”

Thornbury’s Parish Plan Group is delighted to announced that thanks to generous grant funding, we have been able to purchase a large marquee for the village. As we continue the long process of applying for permission to have a permanent hall, having access to a temporary “home” will allow us to continue to develop our community spirit and support our residents, through a series of outdoor events.
We would like to thank Devon Communities Together, who provided a grant of £300 through their Community Unity “Let’s Do It!” scheme, and our County Councillor Barry Parsons, who supported our application for a grant of £400 from the Devon County Council Locality Budget. The balance of the cost was met from other funds held by the Parish Plan Group.

The new marquee is 12m by 6m, and solidly built to withstand typical North Devon weather, but, as we found this last summer, also able to provide much-needed protection from the sun! It comes with a set of stout storage bags, so it can be safely stored between events.

This year, we held our first “Big Lunch”, an Eden Project initiative which comprised a bring-and -share meal that brought together 90 people of all ages, and which was declared a great success by all those who attended. Our annual village Fun Day and Dog Show also attracted record numbers of people (and their dogs!).


Both of these events are planned for 2019, and we look forward to being able to have our catering and sitting areas under cover at last. We are also looking at other ways that the marquee can be used in the community, including the possibility of private hiring for parties, weddings etc.


Thornbury Remembers: 1918 – 2018

Read about the ways in which Thornbury remembered those who served and died in the First World War
on our special “Thornbury Remembers: 1918 – 2018” page


Pudding Club at St. Peter’s Church, 2nd September 2018

For those of you who didn’t make it to the Pudding Club at the church on 2nd September, here’s something to drool over. Thanks go to everyone who contributed to this delicious spread, to Lins Hutchings for bringing it all together, and to all who came along and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of chat, puds and cheese ! P.S. The pannacotta was as good as it looks….  Looking forward to next year’s event!


Fun Day and Dog Show 2018 –  a great success again!

On 21st July, the summer days continued to smile on us, as we gathered on Eddie’s Field for the annual Fun Day and Dog Show.  Around 120 people of all ages attended, and enjoyed a wide range of games and stalls, as well as eating everything the BBQ could cook, and had a good try at drinking the bar dry!

Sue Whitehead took over running the Dog Show, and said “Thank you so much to our sponsors, Holsworthy Pets, Thornbury Holiday Park, BlackBerry Farm, and Molly Professional Groomers. You helped us raise £161 for the Thornbury Fun Day. We couldn’t have done it without you.”
Dave Buckpitt from the organising group said: “Huge thank you to everyone who attended and contributed towards last weekend’s Thornbury fete. Fantastic day enjoyed by all. Total money raised was an impressive £1,013.40, including a generous donation from Paul and Lisa Serra at Thornbury Holiday Park who ran the bar. Thank you again  👍 🌞”

See you all next year !


A new community hall for Thornbury – planning applications re-submitted (June 2018)

Thornbury Parish Council has re-submitted the planning applications for the building of a new community hall at Windy Cross, and the demolition of the old hall, and the building of two houses at Thornbury. The plans are unchanged from last year: the summary below expresses their view, that changes to national and local planning policy should mean that the proposals will be passed this time. Details and all related documents can be found by going to the Torridge Planning website and searching for “Thornbury”:

The reference numbers are: 1/0588/2018/OUT for the new hall site, and 1/0589/2018/OUT for the old hall site. Comments in support of, or against, the proposals can also be made via the Planning website (you will need to register and log in), or by post to Torridge District Council.

Thornbury gets first defibrillator, June 2018

Following the award of a grant of £1000 from the Torridge District Council Community Grants Scheme, and fundraising through local events, Thornbury Parish Council has installed a defibrillator (AED), at Thornbury Holiday Park.  It was unveiled by Keith Hutchings at the Big Lunch (see below) and is located on the wall at the end of the car park. See the map below for details of where to find it (marked with a star), and tell your friends and family about it – it could save a life. Training courses to make residents familiar with the AED and CPR are being arranged and details will follow. We have the HeartSine Samaritan PAD 360P.








Thornbury holds it’s first Big Lunch, on 3rd June 2018

Thornbury’s BIG Lunch proved to be just that – 90 people of all ages came along to the Holiday Park, and enjoyed a vast array of savoury dishes and puddings (it needed two tents to hold them all!) and some wonderful sunshine, as they chatted with friends old and new. Shame about the sudden downpour at the end, but even that brought the village together to shelter in the tents – the clever ones picked the pudding tent….!

Thanks go to Paul and Lisa for hosting the event, to Meg Galley-Taylor, Linda Bond, Margaret Pett, Lindsey Hutchings, Lili Hansen, Jane Akers and Lisa Serra for planning the day and making it happen, and to all those who came along and made Thornbury’s Big Lunch a day to remember.  Thanks also to our raffle corporate sponsors:  Mole Valley Farmers, Harpers Feeds, Waitrose, HATS Theatre, Alex’s Wood-fired Pizza.  Congratulations go to Lili Hansen (pictured), who won our HUGE hamper, and all the other prize winners. The raffle raised £245 towards the Defibrillator Fund, and everyone got the chance to see the new unit in pride of place on the wall of the main building at the Holiday Park.


Thornbury wins grants for road maintenance and flood defences

Thornbury Hamlets has recently won grant totalling £1000: £710 from the DCC Highways Community Enhancement Fund for materials (Instarmac pot hole filler), “road works” signs, hi-vis jackets and tools, and £355 from Devon Communities Together, for flood defence and response equipment. This has been used to buy four “Flood” road signs with cones, fifty sandbags, and four hi vis jackets.

The pothole repair scheme kicked off with repairs to potholes on the Thornbury Manor to Strawberry Bank road.  With Colin from Bagbeare, we repaired 15 holes in 2 hours, using the “Instarmac” instant filling compound.  The repairs can be done in the wet (just as well in Devon!) and can be driven over immediately.  We have 1 ½ tons on the compound in stock, so enough to fill dozens of potholes!

Surveys and plans for further repairs are ongoing – report YOUR local potholes to the DCC website here AND to the Thornbury Road Warden, at


St. Patrick’s Day at Thornbury Holiday Park

On March 17th 2018, Viv Robertson entertained on the guitar with an evening of songs and stories from the Emerald Isle.  Lisa and Paul served a delicious Irish Stew, and the Guinness flowed freely !








Chinese New Year at Thornbury Holiday Park

On 16th February 2018, Thornbury Holiday Park was fully booked for a delicious Chinese New Year meal, prepared by Jayshree from Sonu’s Kitchen and hosted by Lisa and Paul. Watch out for future events, including the return of the popular Pizza Nights.


Remembrance Sunday, 12th November 2017

Residents gathered at the War Memorial in Woodacott, to remember the three sons of Thornbury Parish who died in the World Wars, and all others who died or were wounded in conflict. Particular thanks go to Creina Mandry for this poignant floral tribute, seen here on the steps of the War Memorial, and then displayed in the Church. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Parish Council and St. Peter’s Church.


Halloween at Thornbury Holiday Park

October 28th saw ghoulish goings-on at Thornbury Holiday Park, where graves, skeletons, ghosts and all things supernatural “came to life” in the bar and the (very dark) garden. Huge thanks to Lisa and Paul for putting it all together and hosting a great evening of tasty food, drink and chilled music in a truly spooky atmosphere. Special thanks to Fretted Knot for the music, and to all who came along – and survived…….!


Broadband Phase 1 rollout nears completion : 13th October 2017

Following a busy few weeks, with more fibre optic cables being connected, and a large number of properties finally getting a fast broadband service, I’m pleased to report that the CDS Phase 1 project looks like it is more or less complete. If you recall, this project was designed to provide fibre optic broadband to Thornbury, Woodacott and Lashbrook, but regrettably did not include South Wonford or Brendon. As of today, the Openreach checker website shows:


Total properties in Thornbury Hamlets, in Openreach records = 136
Total who can order fibre optic broadband = 94
Total “in scope” of Phase 1, and who cannot order (from OR website) = 9
Total of all in the Hamlets who cannot order = 42
Percentage of Phase 1 scope that can now order = 91.3%
Total of all properties in Hamlets that can order = 69.1%

So about 70% of Thornbury Parish can now get fast broadband over fibre optic cable, and the number of properties on the Phase 1 list that cannot order, is less than 10, and maybe even fewer.  Please contact me if you have any questions about ordering, choice of suppliers etc.  Paul Taylor


Harvest Supper : 22nd September 2017

At last night’s Harvest Supper at Bradford & Cookbury Hall, some 60 residents enjoyed an evening of thankfulness, delicious food and lively entertainment. After a short service and a rousing rendition of “We Plough the Fields and Scatter”, we were treated to a fine buffet of pasties and salads, followed by a tempting array of puddings which left us spoilt for choice. In between, Arthur Sillifant recalled his life, growing up in Thornbury and serving abroad for his National Service after some adventures learning to drive a truck in Rhyl. Julian Pomeroy then reflected on the role of apples in our culture, from Great Expectations’ Pip, to some truly excruciatingly fruity jokes, helped by his son Will, who also showed another use for fruit, for juggling! The Providence Trio then played a selection of tunes to warm appreciation from the audience. Hearty thanks to all those who laboured to bring the event together and ensure it ran smoothly on the night. Proceeds from the evening will go to chosen charities.

New Community Hall for Thornbury

A separate page has been set up to house the details of the planning application and other related documents. You can find it here.


Summer Events at Thornbury Holiday Park 

Until the end of August, there will be Bingo every Tuesday at 7.30, and a Pizza Night every Thursday, between 7 and 9pm.  Get a delicious pizza and a pint (or other drink) for £10, child size available at £5.


New Community Hall for Thornbury ?

At a meeting of the Torridge District Council Plans Committee on 6th July 2017 the application from Thornbury Hamlets Parish Council for outline planning permission to demolish the old school / hall building and replace it with two houses was refused, as being contrary to planning policy. Similarly, the outline planning application to build a new hall on a site at Windy Cross was also refused for the same reason.  You can find links to both applications and the relevant decision documents below:

Demolish old hall       Build new hall

Keith Hutchings, Chair of Thornbury Hamlets Parish Council commented “This is obviously not the result we were seeking, and the Parish Council will meet soon to decide on our next steps.  We continue to believe that Thornbury needs, and deserves to have, its own hall for local events. We will keep residents fully informed of any decisions.”

Thornbury Fun Day and Dog Show, 1st July 2017

Thank you to everyone who came to the Thornbury Fun Day and Dog Show —  we reckon about 80 lucky people enjoyed the afternoon, with plenty to do, as well as eat and drink !  Congratulations in the competitions go to:  Kate Prowse for the biggest oak leaf, Laura Priest for the best animal photograph, Natalie Waters for the best miniature flower arrangement (adult), Leah Waters for the best miniature flower arrangement (child).  The results of the Dog Show will be published in due course.  A big big thank you to Bradley Bond and his team for arranging the day, and to everyone who manned a stall, cooked or served.  See you next year !

New Village Hall for Thornbury

At a meeting on 11th May at Woodacott Chapel, Keith Hutchings, the new Chair of Thornbury Parish Council, outlined the plans for a new village hall for Thornbury. After describing the long legal and administrative journey necessary to get this far, he told the meeting that the plan was to demolish the old hall / school building near The Priory, and use funds from the sale of the plot and the resulting erection of two 3 bedroom houses to kick-start the new hall. Funds would then be sought from various bodies and local initiatives, to make the plan a reality.

In parallel, a plot has been identified at Windy Cross, where it is proposed to erect a new hall, with parking for 60 cars. The size of the hall would be similar to the one at Pancrasweek, which members of the council have inspected and believe is of an appropriate scale for Thornbury’s needs.

Outline planning permission for the above has been submitted, and residents cab view the plans online at Torridge Planning here

Points were raised by the audience, including access to the site, disturbance late at night and due to headlights etc, and the Council will consult further during the detailed planning stage, to ensure concerns are addressed.

District Councillor Philip Hackett commented that this would be a “community resource”, as a focal point for the area. Councillor Gaye Tabor echoed this message, saying that it would help to bring together the five hamlets that comprise Thornbury parish. The Parish Plan survey found at more than 50% of residents believed that a village hall is needed, and this initiative addresses that request.

More details will be posted here once the planning process is underway, and as the design for the hall progresses. Any questions can be addressed to Keith Hutchings or other members of the Parish Council in person, or via the Tatler, at

Thornbury Holiday Park – Grand Opening Day, 29th April 2017 

The holiday park at Woodacott re-opened on 29th April, with a day of celebrations and events, as Lisa and Paul welcomed visitors to see the fruits of all their hard work in recent months. Pasties and cakes were consumed, and the bar proved popular, with its wide range of beers and other drinks. Ashwater Steel Band were on hand to add a ‘calypso sound’ to a relaxed afternoon. The well-stocked shop will be open to all, for groceries, fresh produce and daily papers. Do call in and see what’s available.







The fishing lake was opened, and within minutes of the first cast, fish were being landed. There was also a chance to see the newly-decorated holiday homes.  Lisa and Paul would like to thank everyone who came along and supported them.

Broadband Update, April 2017 

Some properties in Thornbury and Woodacott now have fast fibre optic broadband installed, others have it on order. But many cannot order yet, and BT are being chased to make sure they can.  The Broadband Voucher scheme has been extended to the end of June,  so if you have one and want to use it, contact one of the CDS suppliers. We are still waiting for news of Phase 2 (expected in January!), to see if and when South Wonford and Brendon will get connected. The latest news is always on our Facebook group.

Broadband Update, 31st January 2017 

On 6th January, the BT fibre optic broadband service to Thornbury and Woodacott went live and started accepting orders.  Orders are being accepted for some properties that appear of the Openreach checker website at:…
The ordering process seems to work, and installation dates are being given within a few weeks. But as many have found out, although the main fibre optic cable runs from the Milton Damerel exchange, through Thornbury and onwards to Woodacott, not everyone who would expect to be able to connect (since they are close to the cable run or a “green box”) comes up as “able to order” on this tool. I am now in dialogue about this gap with the BT Project Manager for the CDS rollout. As far as I can see, there is no technical reason for this, other than gaps in the BT / Openreach database that drives the ordering process.
In parallel, we are still waiting for the award of the Phase 2 CDS contract for this area. That will open up a whole new discussion about options for the residents of Brendon and South Wonford, who are not passed by the Phase 1 cable run described above. Given that the Phase 2 rollout could still be a year or more away, I have advised those who hold a CDS Broadband Voucher in these hamlets to look at the 4G mobile option, as at least an interim solution to get faster broadband. For Lashbrook, we are waiting to hear if it will be served as part of Phase 1 (as has been promised), or Phase 2. Maybe this will become clearer when the Phase 2 contract is announced?
In the coming weeks, I hope we can start to see the first local fibre broadband installations happening, and better information being available about who can connect to what and when. In the meantime, please post your experiences on the Facebook group to help us get a better picture of the overall situation.

Church Tree Planting, 3rd December 2016

This morning at St. Peter’s Church there was a planting ceremony and blessing for the three remaining apple trees that were donated to the village by the Sylvanus Trust. The other trees (apples and a mazzard cherry) were planted last year on the Green at Woodacott. The Rev. Kathy Roberts planted the last of the trees, and then blessed them – we hope for plentiful fruit from them in years to come ! Everyone then retired to the church for a very welcome cup of mulled wine and a mince pie.



Faster Broadband meeting, 5th October 2016

audienceThe “Faster Broadband” public meeting at Bradford & Cookbury Hall, with an audience of some 80 people from across the two parishes, heard that the work to complete the “Phase 1” fibre optic broadband installations in both Thornbury and Bradford & Cookbury remains on target from completion by December. This uses the “Fibre to the Premises” solution, and will mean that a significant number of homes and businesses should be able to order fast broadband (at least 25Mbps, and maybe up to 300Mps) early in the new year. We also heard about the process for the “Phase 2” work, which will address those who are not connected in the current phase, and I have agreed to meet with CDS in January to look in detail at the lists of premises not already able to connect. Thank you to all those who attended and made their voices heard – it really does help in our efforts to make sure that this corner of Devon is not forgotten !

We also heard about the Broadband Voucher Scheme, which provides a free £500 grant towards the cost of an alternative faster broadband connection, if you have less than 2Mbps today (who doesn’t round here??) — if you don’t believe you will be connected by the Phase 1 project that’s due to finish in December, you need to apply for one.  Note that the closing date for applications is 30th November. I am still investigating which suppliers will be able to support you, and I hope that will give options other than satellite, based on approaches I have already had from voucher scheme approved suppliers. More when I have news. Also more news later on FREE 1-to-1 training courses for business and FREE group training sessions on how to get the best from fast broadband.   Paul Taylor.

Thornbury Fun Day, 16th July 2016

Well, the Thornbury Fun Day certainly lived up to the name ! Wellies were wanged, ‘cows’ were milked, sheep were weighed and fish were hooked. A massive raffle resulted in what looked like a prize for everyone, and vast quantities of burgers and hot dogs were eaten. Thank you to everyone who came along, and special thanks to Brad, Ben, Lisa and the team for arranging the side shows and games. It was lovely to see such a good entry in the Dog Show and our own local dogs doing so well. Sue Whitehead’s two year old Basset Fauve de Bretagne won her pedigree class and also the Best Local Dog. Jill Wiltshire’s beautiful matching pair of Deerhounds won first in the Brace class with Joan Smith’s pretty Paterdale sisters getting the second prize. It was great to see the St Bernard puppy bitch getting a rosette for the prettiest bitch. The best pedigree dog was the magnificent 16 month old Otter hound bitch and the best in show was the veteran Lurcher.

dock winlins prizewin bbotmilking 2

fire enginephoto compdogs3


Thornbury celebrates the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen: 11th June 2016

Wow ! What an amazing evening at the Thornbury Hamlets Queen’s 90th Birthday Party. Blessed with evening sunshine between the rain showers, some 60+ residents of all ages enjoyed a tasty BBQ followed by a delicious range of desserts and ice creams, and then toasted the health of Her Majesty in bubbly, and gave a rousing rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’. Keith Hutchings thanked our hosts and expressed everyone’s appreciation for the service that The Queen has given to this country for so long.
The Royal Raffle and other donations raised a total of £307.31 for the Air Ambulance and the North Devon Hospice. There are too many people to thank for making this happen, but special mention goes to Ray and Joan Smith for hosting the event in their beautiful garden, to the Parish Council for funding the food, to Martin Trevett for funding the Loyal Toast and bunting, to Meg and Lins as ‘Queens of the BBQ’, and Sue and Wendy for running the raffle. And of course, thanks to all those who came out to meet their neighbours and support these worthy causes.

bbq smraffle sm

group smkeith sm

Broadband update: “CDS to launch Broadband voucher scheme for “not spots””

The CDS Board has agreed to run its own broadband voucher scheme, separate to the national satellite scheme launched by BDUK. The local scheme will help people that are currently not able to achieve a broadband speed of at least 2Mbps within the CDS area and will also aim to offer a range of solutions including satellite and wireless. It is anticipated that this scheme will be up and running in March, and any residents or businesses that take part and are offered speeds less than 24 Mbps, will remain eligible for support under phase two of the CDS programme if they’re in a non-commercial roll-out area. We will provide a further briefing as soon as the details of the scheme have been worked up.

The rest of phase two

In consultation with BDUK and the EU Commission, CDS is analysing information from the commercial sector to determine how much of the remaining Devon and Somerset area will require a public funded broadband roll-out to achieve 95% coverage. CDS are aiming to complete this challenging work in March. Once concluded, the proposed public-funded area will be published for consultation which will refine this area based on any further evidence provided by the market. The consultation will run for a minimum of 30 days.

Meanwhile, BDUK continues to negotiate a new National Broadband Scheme with the European Commission and CDS has been asked to contribute. State Aid approval needs to be secured from the EU before CDS can go out to tender as the industry has indicated that it will not incur bid costs without this certainty. There is good interest from suppliers to bid for all or part of the Devon and Somerset area. These include fibre based and wireless providers.

BDUK is consulting the industry on a proposed State Aid scheme and has advised that the earliest this will be agreed with the EU is late April. The anticipated date for contract(s) award is October 2016 – still ahead of when BT could have started on phase two even if its bid had been value for money.

For further information contact: Matt Barrow – CDS Engagement Officer:


Roads petition presented in Westminster

The Parliamentary Petition to improve our rural roads, which was promised by Geoffrey Cox MP at a meeting of the Bradford Dangerous Roads Action Group was taken to Downing Street by Geoffrey and a group of local school children on Friday 20th November. Councillor Philip Hackett drove the group up in the Holsworthy College minibus. As he says, “This was a truly inspirational day for us all, as not only did we have a tour round Parliament, but spent an hour in Downing Street and had an opportunity to take many photographs outside No 10.”

number 10          westminster

Pictured are Geoffrey Cox MP and Philip Hackett, with Liz, Laura and William Priest, Katie Wood and others from Sheepwash, Milton Damerel, Holsworthy and Halwill, who attend Holsworthy School.

Background — Geoffrey Cox launched the Public Petition to the House of Commons calling for the improved maintenance of local roads. He said “This issue has been raised with me time and time again as your local Member of Parliament, and I am keen to take action. It is plain to see why people remain frustrated and angered by the state of local roads when I travel down the country lanes that connect the many small settlements that characterise our communities. While we have seen welcome investment and proposals come forward for major routes, I believe that our rural roads have been overlooked and have been allowed to fall into a state of serious disrepair. The petition therefore declares that Parliament and the Government have an obligation to ensure that those living in rural areas are not at a disadvantage when it comes to the maintenance of the roads network and that more needs to be done to tackle the problems of poor road surface quality and to make pothole repairs. I hope that by gathering as much support as possible we will be able to send a strong signal to Government Ministers that action needs to be taken to support local authorities.”

Faster Broadband for Thornbury — Update

As I write, BT are digging up the road outside our house to install more pits and cables. So progress continues slowly, with no better guess as to when they will be finished than very late this year, or during the first quarter of next year. At the public meeting in Bradford, I met with Paul Coles, the Regional Director for BT, and pressed him for commitments about connecting ALL of Thornbury. His follow up email to me was far from encouraging…..

“I believe the Thornbury area is served by Milton Damerel 1. We have to wait for the full surveying and planning to determine what can be done but we do believe the outcome will be a number “north” of 50 FTTP premises, possible significantly so. The Connecting Devon and Somerset will announce the areas as they go live.”

This is the context of their being approx. 120 premises in the area in question.

We have also heard that the CDS tender for Phase 2 of the project, which “fell apart” with BT this summer, will not now be issued until next year, meaning there will almost certainly be further delays for those not included in Phase 1. So I’m afraid there will be “haves” and “have nots” for some time to come. For those who are lucky, fibre optic broadband can deliver speeds of 70Mbps or more, with monthly costs of around £10-30, depending on the package chosen. The normal line rental cost of £17.99 /month will also apply. I will give more details when the service goes live — do follow the Tatler Facebook page to get the very latest information on when that will be.    Paul Taylor, 261804

Kerbside recycling services in Torridge

I am aware that some people are rather concerned that the recycling waste that is being collected from our homes is not, in fact, being recycled as they see it going into the back of a conventional refuse lorry. I therefore contacted Torridge Council to find out what happens to our waste and I was reassured that our waste IS being sorted and recycled: this is how.

When the Council first learnt, without prior warning, that its contractor could no longer provide the service we had been used to, they had to move fast to put something new in place. They therefore decided to use a different sort of service in which the recycling waste is collected with a minimum of kerbside sorting. In some cases, this has benefits in that less material escapes and is left behind on roads, pavements etc. At the moment glass is separated from other materials into a special compartment of the split bodied vehicles. Apparently this allows for a much smoother and quicker collection.

As before, we are still being asked to separate our recycling into different bags and boxes and these include a Green Box for cans, glass, plastic bottles, a Green Bag for Paper and a Brown Bag for Cardboard. The latter process has apparently caused some confusion with the general public who have, for example, questioned why they need to separate materials into different bags and boxes if most, apart from glass, is then co-mingled into the same compartment of the vehicles. The answer is twofold: firstly it keeps the cardboard and paper materials dry and easier to process later on; and secondly kerbside sorting may be re-introduced at some point in the future and so for the time being the same methods of separation are being advised. The same types of materials previously collected should be put out for now but the Council will continue to review additions to this growing list. The recyclable materials end up at the Coastal Recycling plant near Torrington where they are transported to a Materials Reclamation Facility for sorting. This has the ability to mechanically sort the materials by a system of magnets for tins, air blowers for paper and card, and other conveyors. All the materials are then baled and transferred to a range of companies for onward processing. In the first week of operation over 142 tonnes of recycling was collected which was far in excess of the 75-90 tonnes normally collected at that time of year. Feedback from the reprocessing facility has also indicated that the material is of a high quality with little contamination or unwanted product mixed in.

Carry on Recycling !



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