Latest News


County Councillor Andrea Davies has sent the following information to the Parish Council.

Kilacleave Recycling Centre in Ilfracombe upgrade

Unfortunately, given the two snow events recently, the Killacleave Recycling Centre Improvement works are now running approximately 1 week behind schedule.

As such, the site will continue to be only open to the public at weekends only until 6th April. Between 7th April and 13th April the site will be open but with a limited service. The site should be fully back up and running with a full service from 14th April.

Over the Easter Weekend the site will be closed to the public on Good Friday (30 March) as works are continuing on that day, but will be open to the public with a limited service on Saturday 31 March, Sunday 1st April and Bank Holiday Monday 2nd April.

Reminder that it is a basic service for general non-recyclable waste, metal, cardboard and wood and garden waste only.

All other waste, such as batteries, plastics, oil, electrical equipment, fridges, TVs, glass, fluorescent tubes, gas bottles, paper, soil/rubble, textiles, tyres, and such like, will have to be disposed of in other ways, either via the kerbside recycling collections (see for what can be accepted), or taken to Barnstaple’s Seven Brethren Recycling Centre or Maclins Quarry Recycling Centre in South Molton.


Councillor Davies also reminds us that if you wish to report a highway problem you can use the following:-

Phone 0345 155 1004 or 0845 155 1004







The Post Office is now up and running as normal….please use this facility when possible. (26.3.2018)


Sales in January were lower than we had hoped. January and February are always quiet months but sales in January were significantly lower than in January last year and overheads were high. We therefore made a significant loss which we will need to claw back in the coming months.

We are working on our budget and forecast for 2018 and we estimate that our overheads will increase by about 8%. This means that we will need to increase our sales by about 0.9%, which is around £13,000 in the year or about £1,080 per month, just to break even. That will be very challenging. Sam and Gail have come up with some new display ideas and Sam is always looking for new products to further improve your choices. Bread is now in our new display boxes in the window near the counter and fruit and vegetables are now on the table. There is a beer and wine display in the other window and batteries have been moved to the stationery corner. Breakfast cereals are on the shelves where the beer used to be and the firewood, which is sourced locally, is in the porch. Please tell us if you think of anything else which may help you and your shop.

Sales must improve significantly to ensure the long-term future of your shop. 

Donations came to £44, mostly from very kind people putting their small change into the bottle.

Fundraising amounted to £10.37. Catherine’s knitted chickens, which fit over chocolate creme eggs for Easter, are selling well and are displayed on the counter.

Very sadly Wendy, our weekend assistant, has decided to return to the Midlands and she will be leaving us in March. We wish you a long and happy retirement Wendy, and many thanks for all you have done for us.

We welcome Vanessa Hunt who is taking her place. Vanessa, also known as Nessy, lives in the village and many of us already know her. She will start her training immediately.

We need more volunteers. Although we have a good number of very willing and helpful volunteers, we need more to provide more cover to ensure that your shop can stay open for the advertised 60 hours each week. This is particularly difficult when volunteers are away. Please join in.

Sales of wild bird seed have increased in this cold spell. We have ample stock and package the bird food and dog food in one kilo bags. Larger quantities can be supplied on request.

It’s Pie Day on 5th March. We stock Wessex Pies which are made with short crust pastry and hand filled. They are made in Devon and are available fresh on the delivery day and frozen on other days. Very tasty! We also have vegetable and cheese and onion pasties. Mother’s Day is on 11th March. Cards and chocolates are in your shop.

Please note your shop is now open on Saturdays from 9am to 4pm (closed from 12.30 to 1pm).



Saint Calixtus Church

On Friday 23rd March the APCM will be held at 7pm in the Iron Room, West Down.

On Maundy Thursday 29th March there will be a Holy Communion Service at Saint Augustine’s Church in Heanton at 10.30am.

On Good Friday 30th March – Walk of Witness, starting from West Down church gates at 10am, followed by Hot Cross buns in the Iron Room.

On Easter Sunday 1st April – Family Communion Service at Saint Calixtus Church, West Down at 9.30am.

West Down Variety Show

Calling all budding thespians, singers, jokers, dancers, jugglers, magicians, poets etc.,

….for a variety show to be performed in West Down Parish Hall in the Autumn.

Participants wanted – all ages and abilities. No previous experience necessary!!

If interested, please phone 01271 866396 or 864349.

West Down Parish Hall

In 2016 the Parish Hall management committee embarked on a programme of proposed improvements to the hall. Briefly, Stage One was to upgrade the kitchen – which is now complete. Stage Two was to remove the stage, thus creating a larger hall space, and when a stage is needed, to utilise a modular stage unit. Stage Three of the plan is to extend the front of the hall to provide new toilets and cloakrooms.

Having successfully completed Stage One, we have also created a very roomy additional space, which has prompted comments from hall users asking us to reconsider removing our existing stage and maybe renovate and upgrade it.

Would you like us to remove the stage to create a larger hall or keep it and upgrade it?

Please give us your views either by contacting a management committee member or by putting a note in the letter box at the hall very soon so that we make the right decision at our next meeting, which is scheduled for 21st March.

The evening with Rick Tucker has been postponed due to the bad weather and bad forecast. Some of the people who bought tickets live outside West Down. The event has been re-scheduled for 7th April. The tickets already purchased can be used on 7th April or the money can be refunded.



The West Down Community Shop is also calling for Volunteers to work Weekdays and Weekends.

All we ask from you is that you can commit a couple of hours a week and enjoy serving customers.

The West Down Community Shop is looking for enthusiastic people to help us create a great atmosphere where people want to come to shop.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer contact us on:

T:        01271 864264




From: Councillor Andrea Davis <>
Date: 7 February 2018 at 12:12:35 GMT
To: Councillor Andrea Davis <>
Subject: Killacleave Recycling centre Ilfracombe


Dear All,

As you may be aware, we have been planning some improvement works for the Killacleave Recycling Centre, Ilfracombe.

The works will involve changing the layout of the site and providing new/replacing old concrete container areas, tarmac and associated drainage works. It will result in an easier to use, safer facility.

The works will be carried out from Monday 19th February 2018 and the site should be fully back in full service by 6th April 2018.

During the construction works,  due to space restrictions, the Recycling Centre will only be open to the Public at weekends (with the exception of Monday 2nd April to Friday 6th April where the site will be open but with a limit service). We will only be able to provide a basic service during this period  and there will only be facilities available to accept general non-recyclable waste, garden waste, metal,  green waste and wood.

All other waste, such as electrical equipment, fridges, TVs, paper, soil/rubble, textiles, tyres,  plastics and such like, will have to be disposed of in other ways, either via  the kerbside recycling collections (see for what can be accepted), or taken to Barnstaple’ Seven Brethren Recycling Centre, or Maclins Quarry Recycling Centre in South Molton.

Information leaflets (Flyer for site works) will also start to be distributed on site later this week.  Information for the public will also be placed on the DCC website and posted on Social Media.

Please do forward to anyone who may be interested.

Best Wishes,



West Down Community Shop Newsletter – January 2018

Sales in November were just below our forecast but similar to November 2016 so that was good.  Overheads were also much as expected.

Sales in December were also a little behind our target but higher than in December 2016.  Thanks for all your support.  We hope you enjoyed all your Christmas food.  The expenses were high as expected.  This is the end of our financial year and we get a few large invoices.  Nevertheless the month was profitable.

December was the last month of our 2017 financial year, which was our 5th year.  Our management accounts show that we have made a small profit, but we will have to wait a few months to get our accountant’s figures.  Whatever the figure turns out to be, we are in a sound financial position and able to continue trading for the foreseeable future.

Donations amounted to £52.80 which included the very significant income from Sue Belton’s doll.  Many thanks Sue.

Fundraising amounted to £150 and this came from the 100 bottle decorations knitted by Catherine Williams.  Many thanks Catherine.  Catherine has started knitting 100 funky chickens to go on your chocolate creme eggs at Easter.  She is also planning to knit a large funky chicken for a large egg which we plan to auction by sealed bids at Easter.

Income from donations and fundraising is very significant and without it we may not have made a profit, so many thanks to those who support us in this way.  It really does help to keep your shop in your village.

Volunteers – We held a Christmas party in the Iron Room in December to say a big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers and to celebrate our 5th anniversary.  Without all these very kind people there would not be a shop in the village.  Not all volunteers serve in the shop, there are many other jobs.  For example Eric handles our recycling, Pat washes and irons our tea cloths and towels and Andrea delivers these newsletters.  Thanks to you all and to everyone else who helps.  If any of you can help us in any way, please come and join in.

Debit & Credit Card transactions – The rules have changed for debit and credit cards.  We are charged for every debit or credit card transaction, which is why we have previously made a small charge for small transactions.  But the law has changed and we are no longer allowed to do this.  Instead of increasing our prices to everybody to cover this cost, we have decided not to accept debit or credit card transactions on purchases of less than £5.  We would now make a loss on transactions of under £5 if we did not do this.  We will review this in a couple of months, but if you have any views on this, or anything else, please tell us.  There is a suggestions box in the porch.

New stock – Sam is now stocking up for Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day and Easter. Have a look at our website for more details.  Please tell her if you would like anything special. 

Please note that your shop closes at 2pm on Saturdays during January and February.



Parish Hall

The Annual quiz will be held on 27th January at 7.30 pm in the Parish Hall. Booking forms and tickets are available in the shop, but be quick as it is almost sold out.  No tickets will be available at the door.

There will be a film show with commentary showing the changes to our coast, towns and agriculture over the past 100 years.  David Edgecombe, who has lived here all his life and has worked for the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 1983, will describe the changes and compare photos of around 100 years ago with photos taken of the same scenes recently.

This will be a very interesting and enjoyable evening for those of us who are interested in our surroundings and the history of this area and will take place on Saturday 17th February at 7.30 in the Parish Hall.  Tickets will be available in the shop at only £5 each including tea or coffee.

Rick Tucker, our local professional music man, will entertain us on 3rd March.  Details to follow.  Always a good evening.


Community Field

The 5th Annual General Meeting of West Down Village Green Field Association will take place at West Down Parish Hall on Thursday 22nd February at 7pm for 7.30.   Any Associate Member wishing to stand for the next term of office please contact the current secretary by letter to Combe Hill House, West Down, EX34 8NF or email  Closing date for nominations is 16th February.  Full details are on the village website.

Come along and hear about the proposed Community Air Ambulance night landing site.

It is your opportunity to discuss the Field’s facilities including the Children’s Play Area and anything else.



West Down facilities

We are very fortunate to still have a shop, two halls, a community field, a post office, a pub, two hotels and a church in our village.  Some villages have none of these.  Such facilities make West Down a very valued place to live.  In order to maintain this special situation we must all do our best to support these organisations both by patronage and helping to run them where appropriate.

Use them or lose them.


Village website – The Village website address is








Village Forum


A Village Forum Meeting was held on 12th December, 2017, attended by representatives from the following organisations.

Parish Council

Community Shop

Gardening Club

St Calixtus Church

West Down Green Field Association

West Down Parish Hall Management Committee.

Women’s Institute

They reported as follows:-

Parish Council – Thanked Fay Hookway for retrieving the tiles that had fallen off the West Down Village sign at Dean Cross and Keith Oades and Roy Drew for replacing them.

It was noted that a representative from Devon Air Ambulance had attended the last meeting and had given positive assurances about the viability of using the Green Field as a night landing space with a lighting mast which would be supplied with power by a resident. Money would need to be raised to cover this. It would be just over £3,000, but District Councillor Andrea Davies has already promised to donate £1,000 of this.

Community Shop – had experienced a couple of poor months, but was breaking even. Volunteers for a variety of jobs, long and short term, are always needed. Organisations were reminded that the defibrillator is situated in the shop porch and training in its use has been given to many villagers.

Gardening Club – is doing very well with 79 members, some of whom have come from Braunton. It has an interesting programme of speakers with the additional room at the Parish Hall providing the necessary extra space. The screen and projector are proving to be very useful. Forthcoming speakers include Andy McIndoe of Chelsea Flower show fame coming in February and Chris Beardshaw later in the year. New members are always welcome and guests can attend for two meetings before joining. As well as a varied and interesting programme the members enjoy a number of outings and a holiday. Committee members are needed and the web page on the West Down website needs to be updated.

Green Field is currently holding a Christmas raffle and dates for events will be circulated. The children’s play area had been completed and a seesaw is to be installed shortly. It was noted that the entrance is very muddy due to recent bad weather and this will be discussed at the next committee meeting. Provision for the Air Ambulance will also be on the agenda. In the immediate future they are just raising funds for maintenance of the existing facilities.

Parish Hall Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the hall has been completed and other organisations reported that the extra room was very useful. The redevelopment had come in under budget and the current income is able to cover the basics costs of running the hall. It is hoped that the second phase will begin in June, this will involve the removal of the stage which will be replaced by a movable stage to be kept in the store room. While this is being done, the hall will be out of use for 2 weeks. It was felt that the trollies used to move chairs and tables were a real help. Two long serving members of the committee had retired, Eric Nott, who began working for hall by fund raising to help build the hall and Pete McGahran who, as well as being a committee member has been the booking clerk. Future events are:-

27 January annual quiz night

17 February Dave Edgecombe – fascinating talk illustrated with old and new photos of the North Devon coast.

3 March Rick Tucker – the popular local musician.

West Down Women’s Institute has over 30 members, but over 50% of the members come from outside the village, which means that it is not easy to ask them to do things for the village. However, they usually support all the initiatives and will continue to help when needed. Meetings are now held in the afternoons and although this could make it difficult for younger members to join, the support really comes from the older generation, so their interests have to come first. They have had joint ventures with the school, notably the recent remembrance ceremony when the children of Oak Class placed the poppies made by the WI on the graves and memorials of those who served in both world wars. The WI is offering to do a coffee morning to help raise funds for the Air Ambulance. The West Down WI is celebrating its 70th year in 2018 and the time capsule, which is currently in safe keeping will be opened. Concern was expressed about the Coronation Tree and its metal fence and this will be checked. The meeting to be held on the 8th November 2018 will be celebrating the 1918 Armistice and all are welcome.

St Calixtus Church is currently without a vicar and has been combined with a number of other local churches. Appreciation was expressed for the illuminated star currently on display and details of the carol service were given. It is hoped that attendance at the church will improve as it is an important part of the village. It was noted that the Iron Room will be available when the Parish Hall is out of action.

West Down School was unable to attend, but had recently hosted an excellent Christmas Dinner for older residents and supporters. The school is happy to support local issues and currently circulates the Community Shop Newsletter to all parents. The school also offers the use of its premises when needed.

Mobile Library – It was noted that this service will be withdrawn if it is not supported. Details of its timetable can be found on the West Down website.

Outreach Post Office – This service has been resumed after the Post Office had technical problems. Again, this service will be withdrawn if there is not sufficient support.

West Down Website This supports all local organisations and is happy to publish minutes of meetings, news and forthcoming events.

Fund Raising – It was suggested that Tesco provides funds for local causes, but it was felt that the application process was too complex.




The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet at an apiary near Woolacombe in Devon. The Asian hornet is smaller than the UK’s native hornet but poses the risk of destroying honey bee colonies. For more information please read the attached guidance notes.


West Down Parish Hall Clean Up and Improvement Works

As you are probably aware, the Parish Hall Committee are in the process of planning building works to improve and up-date the Hall.  Details will be available to view on the West Down website in due course.

We spent a morning cleaning up and removing unwanted items (rather a lot) from the main storage room a couple of weeks ago and Saturday (7th January) spent the morning removing items from under the stage.

Meanwhile, we had a visit from one of the 3 builders who have expressed an interest in the proposed works.

We are hoping for a late Spring completion and plan a “Grand Opening” combined with the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the Hall.

Any suggestions/ideas for inclusion in this momentous occasion would be most welcomed.

As is the nature of these types of plans, all works will be subject to the continuing Fund Raising and your support is much appreciated.

Parish Council Clean Up

Once again the Parish Council is going around the village and doing some clearing up.


This has included picking up litter, but Councillor Sue Ayre has really gone beyond the call of duty by tackling the litter bin by Pulland Bridge.  Sadly, this has been used to deposit bags of dog excrement, even though there is a bin specifically for these just 50 yards away on the ‘triangle’.


Sue removed 204 such bags from in and around the bin, cleaned the bin and put in a new bag.  She has put up a notice reminding people that the bin is for litter and not dog excrement and it is hoped that this will do the trick as we cannot expect the staff who empty the litter bin to empty it when it contains waste of this nature.


We live in a lovely village and it is in everyone’s interest to keep it that way so it is important that we all do our bit.




Dog Fouling2

We are well aware that this notice does not apply to the majority of dog walkers – but unfortunately the minority are spoiling it for the majority.


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