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Sales in June were quite a lot lower than expected. This is the second month in which we have had poor sales and we hope this trend will not continue. We have noticed that there appear to be fewer caravans on the site on Ilfracombe Hill, presumably due to the weather. Let’s hope that this changes and we can do some catching up. As you know, we rely on our visitors to help us balance our books. In the meantime please support your shop as much as you can.

Last month we reminded you that your accounts should be paid before the end of each month. At the end of June there was £1,076.87 outstanding. Slightly better but still a lot of room for improvement.

Donations went up to £75, which is really good. Many thanks for your generosity and thanks to our gardeners who have donated their produce. It all helps.

There was no specific fundraising in June except for the Mega Draw. Tickets for this are selling steadily. First prize is £300, second £200 and third £100 and there are around 100 other prizes. Tickets cost £1 each.

We welcome Wendy who has joined us as our weekend assistant. We are sure that many of you have already met her, as she has been training with us for a while. She is now also going to work for us on Tuesdays and Thursdays as Sam has decided that she wants to work elsewhere on those days and so she will only be working for us for three days a week starting in August. Wendy is happy to work the extra days and we have every confidence that these new arrangements will serve your shop very well.

We need some more volunteers Sadly a couple of our friends who help us a lot are unwell and we need some more help. It is always difficult during the holiday season so please help as much as you can. Please speak to Sam or Wendy if you can spare some time.

We now have a regular volunteer who works on the window displays in the shop. We have had interesting displays so far, including a bicycle placed in the window for Father’s Day, a decoupage shelf for make do and mend and The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for having your own tea party. Please take look at our ever changing displays and tell us what you think. Coming up in the autumn will be a Bagpuss window, featuring of course Bagpuss. If you have any unusual items that you would like to donate or lend and that we could use, please see Sam.

Jigsaws We are also looking for donations of complete jigsaws.

Website changes The Community Shop section on the village website ( is being modernised by Gail. She is also updating it frequently so you can keep up with our developments more easily.



West Down Gardening Club welcome Emma Van-Huysse from RHS Rosemoor to their meeting at the Parish Hall on Thursday 17th August at 7.30 pm to talk about Britain’s favourite flower – the rose. Non-members are welcome.


The PTFA are holding their Autumn Fayre on Friday 15th September in the West Down School field from 6 pm onwards. There will be a Bar and BBQ and a selection of games and stalls. Everybody is very welcome. Please come and join in.


Many thanks to all the helpers, sponsors, performers, stall holders and attendees of the Fayre and Dog Show. This successful and enjoyable day raised £1,785.60 towards the upkeep of the Community Field. A brilliant result.

The Dog Show judge had an unenviable task in selecting winners of the various classes! The dogs were all wonderful and very well-behaved. As were their handlers, as, despite the number of dogs present, no unsavoury deposits were left behind! Thanks to all the responsible owners for picking up after their pets.


Posters, produced by West Down School children, reminding people of the need to pick up after their dogs, are now being displayed around the Community Field. The original ideas and works of art are well worth seeing and will hopefully help towards keeping the site clean and safe for all users. We are grateful to the school and the children for undertaking this worthy project.


The alterations to the Parish Hall are now mostly complete with just a few things left to tidy up. The old kitchen has been divided into two rooms. One room is the new kitchen with new electric cookers, a plate warmer and more cupboard space. The other room is an extension to the hall floor area which makes the hall L shaped. We are now trying to raise funds for the next part of our plans, which is to make the usable floor space longer and more useful by removing the stage.

We welcome Pippa Stafford to our Hall Committee as a representative of the West Down W.I. This means we now have two ladies from the W.I. but our constitution says that we should also have two from the Parish Council and two from the Parochial Church Council, as well as eight elected members. The Parish Hall is a very important village amenity and we need more people to become trustees to help manage and develop this asset. We meet about 10 times a year on a Wednesday evening. Please come and help us to keep this hall successful.


We are fortunate to have a state of the art recording studio in West Down with instruments for hire and rehearsal rooms. Check the website of this charitable trust for information.


The Village website ( now contains a new village history page written by Tony Stafford. It is very interesting and Tony would like some more information if you have any.








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.


Village Forum (held at the Parish Hall on 20th October 2016)

This was attended by representatives of all the village organisations as well as some local residents. It was decided that the Village Forum would meet quarterly, hosted by the Parish Council.

Women’s Institute has monthly meetings and Craft Mornings. It welcomes new members and is happy to have a stall at local events. It gives active support to the Community Shop and interacts with the school. There will be a shared event on 11th November when once again the children will place poppies that the WI have made on the memorials to fallen servicemen and veterans from both World Wars. The purchase of a projector is under discussion. They ask that users of the Parish Hall store the chairs etc., considerately.

West Down School, expressed their gratitude to the community for the support received when the lead from the roof was stolen. The school is happy to offer facilities to all local organisations and welcomes stall holders to their Christmas Fair. A running group is being formed and the school will use the Community Shop newsletter and the Village Website to advertise events.  A copy of the Community Shop Newsletter will emailed to the school for circulation.

The Community Shop offers an invaluable service to all villagers and would welcome volunteers for a variety of roles. The shop sells tickets for functions that organisations are arranging and will display posters and advertise events in its newsletter.

St. Calixtus Church reported that the clock was being repaired. Unfortunately the Vicar is leaving the Parish, but there will be a curate in attendance.

West Down Village Green Field Association has completed the children’s play area and is currently raising funds to pay for routine maintenance. They welcome input from anyone who wishes to promote a project. They will be holding a Secret Santa on December 17th and are planning a Village Fair for next July.

Gardening Club currently has 60 members and welcomes non-members  to attend meetings. It has a variety of visiting speakers and is happy to support village functions with stalls etc. It organises a holiday in June which is open to non-members if there is insufficient take up from members. Future plans include the possible purchase of a screen which would benefit the whole community.

Ladies Walking Group have been considering an adult outdoor multi gym and the Chair of the WDVGFA was there and made note to investigate.

West Down Parish Hall is currently seeking funds for the planned re-design of the kitchen, re-organisation of the main hall and the replacement of the toilets. This is a long term project and plans are well under way. The Parish Hall is available for hire for both public and private functions and seeks volunteers from all organisations to join its Management Committee. Future events include the Ferret Race on 12th November, the AGM on 23rd November, the Quiz on 28th January and an Evening with Rick Tucker on 11th March.

West Down Website offers up-to-date news and information and is viewed by many people at home and abroad and welcomes contributions. The website has the contact details for all the local organisations

It was suggested that a cinema club might be a good idea and anyone wishing to organise this should contact the Parish Council for the next Village Forum.




The Parish Council comprises of up to 8 Councillors.  Following the resignation of one of the Parish Councillors there is now a vacancy for co-option onto the Parish Council. 

Apply by writing a short letter to the Parish Council Chairman at Osborne House, West Down, giving reasons why you would like to be co-opted onto the Council.

 For more information about becoming a Parish Councillor, please speak to an existing Parish Councillor or the Parish Clerk. 

Thank you. 

Qualifications  for  Candidature 

To be qualified to be elected a member of a parish council a person must be 21 years of age or over, and a British subject or citizen of the Republic of  Ireland, and either:-

(i) be a local government elector of the parish, or

(ii) have during the whole of the twelve months preceding the day on which he is nominated as a candidate occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish; or

(iii) his principal or only place of work in the twelve months preceding the day on which he is nominated as a candidate have been in the area of the parish; or

(iv) have resided either in the parish or within 3 miles thereof during the whole of the 12 months preceding the day on which he is nominated as a candidate.

 There are certain disqualifications for election, of which the main are:-  

(a) holding a paid office under the local authority;

(b) bankruptcy;

(c) having been sentenced to a term of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) of not less than three months, without the option of a fine during the five years preceding the election; and

(d) being disqualified under any enactment relating to corrupt or illegal practices.


Parish Councillors: Sue Ayre. Roy Drew, Fay Hookway, Carole King, Keith Oades, Sue Squire and Richard Watts.  

Parish Clerk:  Dave Lewis.__



For many years now, Margaret Thomas has been the ‘Voice of West Down’ as the North Devon Journal correspondent.  This involves editing anything that is going on or has gone on in the village and sending it off to the Journal for publication.  Items may include things occurring with different organisations like the Gardening Club, Parish Council Minutes, WI Meetings, Village Fayre days etc.

Margaret is not able to get involved with village activities as much as she used to and feels it is time for her to hand over the reins to someone else who would be willing to keep West Down in the Journal.

For more details please speak to or send an initial email to Margaret at to find out more about this exciting position.



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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