Latest News


Well…did you see the ‘Counter-fits’ at the Variety Show?  The group of staff and volunteers from the shop entertained many people from the village.

Well done to everyone who organised and took part in the show, it was fantastic!

We would like to thank the volunteers we have for their continued support, the Community Shop would not be here without you, please keep up the good work.

Are you someone that may be able to help but thinks ‘they probably have enough volunteers by now’?

This is not the case!! Just because we are a shop it does not mean that you have to deal with customers. We have some roles available behind the scenes and for as little as two hours of your time. Please come in and talk to us. We are still looking for a new Secretary and a new Treasurer, ideally with knowledge in those areas. Could it be you?

We’ve got you ecover-ed for all your cleaning, from the kitchen to bathroom.

Washing Up Liquid, Dishwasher Tablets, Toilet Cleaner, Bathroom Cleaner, Hand Soap, Floor Soap, Multi Action Spray, Liquid Detergent and Fabric Softener.

All the products have biodegradable plant-based ingredients, perfect for your septic tank and soakaway.

What’s new in store for you?


Apple Juice from Little Comfort, made with Organic Fruit.

Fresh meats from Withecombe Butchers delivered on Fridays and available to order.

Crochet Bookmarks, that would be ideal with one of the books from our selection of donated titles!

The new West Down Map has been extremely popular! Don’t miss out, get your copy soon. Only £2!


‡ Small Holders ‡

Check out our fridge and freezer for rare breed pork joints, sausages & bacon from a very local farm.

‡ Madrigal Craft Brewery, Lynmouth ‡

Burning House, Fossil,  Garland, Lost & Found , Severed Hand ,  Surfer Rosa,  The Hanged Man

‡ Local Honey ‡ Coming soon –  produced right here in the village

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to your next visit

Best regards from your West Down Community Shop

Community Notices

Macmillan Coffee Morning – In the Parish Hall from 9am – noon, Friday 28th September come in for a chat and enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee. Cake provided, but more would be welcome! Fake it or Bake it!

Quiz Night – In the Parish Hall at 7.30pm on Saturday 6th October. Get your tickets from the Community Shop (not available on the door) for £6 per person, Teams of 6. Only room for 13 teams so get in quick!            Sorry, no young children. Bring you own drinks & nibbles. There will also be a Raffle.

Mobile Library on the Square. Thursday 18th October at 10.20am – 10.50am

Pop Up ‘Witches Kitchen’ In the Iron Room on Halloween 31st October. Come and try out our brew!!

Ferret Racing – In the Parish Hall at 7pm on Saturday 10th November. Free admittance, and unmissable family fun! Bar and raffle. All proceeds for West Down Parish Hall Projects.

Hedgehog Survey – West Down Gardening Club and Anni of North Devon Hedgehog Rescue are asking that residents who have spotted hedgehogs (or their calling cards) in their garden record the information on a form in the Community Shop. This will show how the released rescued hedgehogs are moving around the area. Hedgehogs eat slugs and should be a welcome visitor in your garden!

Church Bell Ringers. Interested in learning to ring? Would you like to join the Award winning team from West Down? If so please call Margret on 01271 816393. Practice is usually on a Friday evening at 7pm.

The Post Office at the Parish Hall, Mondays 1.15pm to 4.15pm, Wednesdays 9.15am to 12.15pm & Fridays 9.15am to 12.15pm. The system is now connected via a land line ensuring a more reliable service.

Bus Service route no. 303 from the square, weekdays at 10am (not Tuesdays) to Barnstaple via Braunton. Heanton Punchardon & Ashford. Returning from Barnstaple Bus Station Stand L at 13.50 arriving in West Down at 14.27, going on to Woolacombe Sands via Mortehoe, but you will have to walk back!

A Defibrillator is located in the Community Shop Porchway, supplied by the Parish Council. It is available to all in need. It talks you through the process so just remember, if you need to use it you can’t make the situation any worse. There is an emergency contact list if necessary.

Parish Council. Want to know what the Parish Council deals with for and on behalf of our Village? They meet on the first Wednesday of the month, details in their notice board by the Royal Mail Post Box.


Dates for your Diary 2018

28th September – Macmillan Coffee Morning. (Details above)

6th October – Quiz Night. (Details above)

18th October – Mobile Library (Details above)





A Village Forum Meeting was held on 8th August 2018, attended by members of the community and 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
West Down Women’s Institute
West Down Productions

The organisations noted that volunteers are needed in a variety of capacities to enable our village to continue to provide the services that make it such a vibrant community. It is not always necessary to make long-term commitments, help with specific tasks is always welcome.

They reported as follows:-

Parish CouncilAir Ambulance It was hoped that the planning application for the landing light mast for the air ambulance would soon be approved. Raising the necessary funds has gone well, with grants from County Councillor Andrea Davies and District Councillor Malcolm Wilkinson as well as an excellent effort by West Down Women’s Institute who raised £600 with a cream tea and a donation of £100 from Pat Williams. This leaves £239.41 outstanding. Andy Lyons has kindly agreed to provide the electricity supply and will be reimbursed by the Parish Council for any electricity used. A meeting will be set up with the contractors; Devon Air Ambulance; West Down Green Field Association and the Parish Council to sign the relevant agreement. The grant from Devon Air Ambulance will be paid up front to the Parish Council. Village Clean up Councillor Richard Watts and Councillor Sue Ayre have worked on this and will be posting pictures of their efforts. Other Councillors are working when weather permits. Defibrillator This has been checked and the batteries and pads need replacing and a meeting will be convened to discuss this. Volunteers – An additional Parish Councillor is needed. It is hoped that everyone will do their bit to maintain the village by clearing up litter and removing debris etc., that could clog drains.

Community Shop. Manager Sam, the volunteers and Vanessa, the weekend worker, are doing a great job, making the shop a welcoming and friendly place with a good stock. The last month was above forecast, thanks to the good weather and tourists. Good feedback is obtained from the caravan sites who record visitor comments. Both of the local camping and caravan sites recommend the shop and these are a useful source of revenue. Volunteers – are always needed, not only to serve in the shop (which is a great way to meet people and make friends) but also to help with lots of routine and one off tasks. Training and support is given where needed. The roles of Secretary and Treasurer on the Committee need to be filled as the present incumbents are anxious to retire.

Gardening Club – is doing very well with 78 members, some of whom have come from Braunton. They had a successful holiday in Wales and next year the holiday will be in the East Midlands. The screen and projector are very useful and it is hoped that the sound system can be updated. It was noted that the West Down planter and sign at Dean Cross is not in good order and ornamental stones are being sourced. The club has an excellent reputation, but there are concerns about the future owing to the resignation of two, key, committee members. Volunteers – More committee members are required, particular help is needed in organising and planning the programmes and sourcing raffle prizes and refreshments.

West Down Green Field Association – It was announced that this Association has agreed to make up the shortfall in the funding for the Air Ambulance, and this generous offer was warmly received. A new Treasurer has been welcomed and praise was given for the way in which the field is maintained by the grass-cutters. The Village Fayre was a success, in spite of the cancellation of the Dog Show due to the heat. In the immediate future the Association is just raising funds for maintenance of the existing facilities, but ideas for improvement have been sought from the community. It was generally felt that the field was a very valuable and well used community resource. Volunteers – are needed to help with the organisation of the Fayre and someone with a strimmer would be extremely useful to put in a few hours work now and then. The grass cutters need someone to help them, even if on an ad hoc basis.

Parish Hall – Bookings have been good, with new customers such as a bridge club using the facilities, this means that the hall is self- sufficient. Fund raising has gone well with the committee working on improving the inside of the hall. The stage is to be retained after consultation with the community and as a result of the feedback it has been decided to upgrade it. The door to the store room has been enlarged to allow easier access. The apron at the front of the stage has been strengthened and improved. A new lighting system is currently being installed and the controls rationalised. Future plans include the redecoration of the hall, followed by the installation of new toilets. Wi-Fi is available free for customers of the Hall. Volunteers – More Committee members are needed and anyone is welcome to attend meetings. Personal expertise is always welcome, and thanks were expressed to Tony George, for his work on the lighting, John Alexander for his help with drawing plans and Sue Bond and Mark O’Halloran for the excellent Big Breakfast.

Future events are:-

6th October Quiz Night
10th November Ferret Race
26th January Quiz Night

West Down Women’s Institute- The Institute will be 70 years old this year and a celebration is planned for December. It has 31 members, many of whom come from outside the village, meaning that it is not always easy to raise funds for West Down causes. The meetings are now in the afternoons, on the second Thursday of every month at 2pm. Visitors are welcome. They were gratified by the support for the cream tea and were happy to share bunting etc., with other causes. Once again, poppies crafted by members will be laid on the memorials to those who served in the first and second World Wars, by the children from West Down School. This event was initiated in 2014 to mark the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

St Calixtus Church – There is now a Vicar, the Reverend Steve Painting, who is moving into the vicarage at Heanton with his wife Clare. This news was welcomed together with the fact that he attended the recent Village Fayre and West Down School, and is interested in becoming part of the community. Falling numbers of the congregation are a concern and it was hoped that the congregations from the churches in the area will join the services in all the churches. The Church is grateful for the support shown by the community at the recent Gift Aid event and work can now start on the repairs to the roof. There are two weddings coming up and Martin Hodsman and Andy Lyons were praised for their excellent maintenance of the churchyard. The meeting was asked about Christmas celebrations and it was noted that the star on the church roof had been an excellent feature last year and it was hoped that a traditional carol service could be held prior to Christmas. Volunteers – Bellringers and an organist are needed and the current Treasurer is hoping to relinquish the post. Flower arrangers are also needed, the usual Flower Festival has had to be abandoned, due to lack of support. Times of services are listed on the village website, future events are:-

Harvest Supper 16th September in the Parish Hall

West Down Productions – Revue – A Variety Show is under production, with performances on   Friday 31st August and Saturday 1st September. All welcome, tickets will be on sale in the Community Shop. Volunteers – always welcomed!

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 had technical problems. Bickington Outreach has experienced difficulties with the Post Office and it is hoped that these will be overcome. 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.

You will be pleased to know that the West Down WI raised £600 at their Cream Tea on Sunday 29th July to help raise funds for the Air Ambulance Landing Lights that will be located in the Community Field.

Many thanks to all our members who donated goodies and their valuable time (no expenses claimed).

Many thanks to Tony of the Pantry Bakery in Ilfracombe who donated 100 scones.

This event was a resounding success and as such a very special thank you to everyone who came along to support the occasion and to those who gave extra donations.

Catherine Williams
President West Down WI


Welcome to your Community Shop Newsletter for July 2018

We hope you enjoyed the Village Fayre as much as we did. Thank you for visiting our pitch and helping us raise almost £70 with our ‘Splat the Rat’ and ‘Human Fruit Machine’! Many thanks to Mike & Heather Reeves of Pipcott for the loan of their gazebo; it definitely helped keep us cooler on the super hot day.

Our sales in June were very good, better than last year! We have had lots of tourists and the hot weather has helped us to sell many more cold drinks and ice creams.

A very special thank you to Martin!

One of our longest serving volunteers is leaving us after more than 4 years.  Martin has been opening the shop on weekdays at 8am after sorting and preparing the newspapers.  We shall miss him greatly, but we need someone to fill his shoes asap!

Please seek out the Volunteering Posters around the village for more information on how you can help.

We are extremely grateful for the continued donations towards the cost of the new freezers. (You know who you are) – more donations are always welcome.

Lost Property from around the village is handed into the shop.

There is a variety of items, please check and see if any of it is yours!

In our New Freezer we have Farmer Toms Dairy Ice Cream. 1 ltr tubs available in many flavours including Toffee Fudge, Mint Choc Chunk, Butterscotch Crunch, Malty Munch, Clotted Cream Vanilla, Banoffee, Rocky Road, Banana and Honeycomb. Other flavours are available to order.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings we have our fresh bread delivered, in addition we get a variety of cakes which may include Jam Doughnuts, Tea Cakes, Eccles Cakes, Chelsea Buns and  Scones, Plain, Fruit & Cheese (we can also supply you with Clotted Cream and a selection of Jams!).

After listening to our customers, we are now stocking Maple Syrup & Ryvita.

Salad Days –  Salad vegetables, Coleslaw, Haloumi, Mozzarella, Cottage cheese, Fresh bread

Courage Copse Charcoal – 2kg £5.50.  Grown, harvested and produced in ‘Tarka Country’ in the Taw Valley.  Sustainably managed as part of an ancient woodland restoration project. Extracted with horses.  Easy to light no need to use lighter fuel or fire lighters.  No additives, so no food tainting.        

Hot Stuff – Pasties, Sausage rolls, Pork pies, Scotch eggs.  Available AM Mon, Wed & Fri.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to your next visit – from your West Down Community Shop.

Mobile Library in the Square, Thursday from 10.20 to 10.50 am, on the 26th July 2018

Please help save the Mobile Library by filling in a questionnaire available in the library on the 26th

Cream Tea being held by the West Down WI on Saturday 28th July 2018 between 2 & 4pm in the Parish Hall to raise money for the Air Ambulance Landing Lights Appeal.
Big Breakfast at The Parish Hall 9am ‘til12 noon on Sunday the 29th July 2018. Be lazy and have your Sunday Breakfast cooked for you, adult and child sizes available. Treat yourselves, you deserve it! All proceeds are for the Parish Hall Refurbishment, to include new stage lighting and redecoration.

Community Notices

Village Clean Up.  Sue Ayre with the Parish Council is leading the village clean-up over the weekend of 28th & 29th July 2018.   So, work off your Cream Tea and Big Breakfast by helping to make our village smart again!  Take a ‘before & ‘after’, or a ‘selfie’ and maybe post on the website!  Contact Sue for more details, or just get out there and do a spot of weeding or litter picking!

Village Forum – All welcome!  A meeting will be held in the Parish Hall on the 8th August 2018 at 7pm.  At this meeting, ALL local organisations are welcome to come together and discuss future plans and share information and resources.  It is also an opportunity for everyone else to come along and find out what is going on and maybe volunteer to do a one-off task, or generally help out where needed.  We are looking forward to seeing you there! West Down Parish Council.

West Down’s Variety Show at the Parish Hall for 3 nights! Thurs 30th Fri 31st Aug & Sat 1st Sept 2018.  ‘ACTS’ wanted – Anything and Everything!!  ALL AGES and ABILITIES – no previous experience necessary!! Interested? Please call 01271 866396 or 864349.

Dog Owners/Walkers do you know where your dog has ‘been’? Please clean up and dispose of in one of the 3 special bins located at the Parish Hall, Community Field and the Green Triangle. Let’s keep it clean.

The Post Office at the Parish Hall – Mondays 1.15pm to 4.15pm, Wednesdays 9.15am to 12.15pm & Fridays 9.15am to 12.15pm.  Available services: letters and parcels, bill payments, car tax. council tax and foreign exchange, some bank deposits and cash withdrawals.


Proposed Road Closure at South View, West Down Monday 30th July to Friday 10th August 2018

Letter from Western Power Distribution

Map of diversion

Great News for Bellringers

We are pleased to announce that West Down came in second place and won the cup at St Giles yesterday at the Devon Major ringing qualifier.  We now go to the final at Ashreigney in June.  Well done and thanks to Margaret and Fred White, Trevor Sellick and Tonys Jeffery and Barrable.  Great team.

Volunteers needed for West Down Community Shop

The West Down Community Shop is 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


Killacleave Recycling Centre Ilfracombe

From: Councillor Andrea Davis <>
Date: 7 February 2018 at 12:12:35 GMT
To: Councillor Andrea Davis <>
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,


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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