Notice Board

18/9/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Fish and Chips
Please don’t leave it to the last minute to let Jill know you’d like a portion of fish. I neglected to give the time in the email I sent 2 days ago – the van will be serving from 6pm.

‘Flu jabs again
It’s been pointed out to me that you can get a flu jab in almost any branch of Boots if you book ahead, and if you are eligible for a free one on the NHS Boots will also do it with no charge.

 The sump, and the playing field
Work is progressing steadily on the sump up by Hallendale, but unfortunately there will still be a bit going on there early next week. New concrete has been spread today and this should be ok to walk on over the weekend, but Bonds Lane will remain closed to vehicles until Monday to give it a chance to set properly. The playground can however reopen for the weekend – all the diggers and dumpers will be gone by then.

 East Devon District Council
Resident update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2a142bb

 Devon County Council
Latest update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/2a10c80

 Fake Penalty Charge Email
From Devon and Cornwall Police:
We would like to make the public aware of a recent fake penalty notice scam which is sent by email, the email looks genuine and official and states that a penalty charge is due, the email normally contains a link to pay online, please do not click on links.
To check a fine is genuine please use a reliable source of information to make contact to check.
Please be wary of this type of scam with emails that contain links, links can take you to a phishing website that is used to steal financial information.
If you have any concerns please phone 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk
Suspicious emails can also be forwarded to the National Security Centre’s “Suspicious Email Reporting Service” (SERS) report@phishing.gov.uk and if you have fallen victim to a phishing scam, please report this to: Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

16/9/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Fish and Chips
It’s that time of the month again when the fish and chip van calls at the village hall car park on Saturday 19th delivering freshly fried cod, chips, mushy peas, pies, scampi and of course curry sauce.
Come along with cash (£5 for cod and chips) and join Jill’s queue organised with military precision. Once again, ordering ahead is vital; contact Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984, or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. Perhaps you’d like to ask a neighbour if they’d like a portion too – you might make a new friend!
Please consider wearing a mask (though you are allowed to remove it when eating chips on the way home

 Encouraging developments on the Yarcombe Inn:
I was pleased to learn that the pub is now featured on Gumtree, where a tenancy is being offered which indicates the possibility of imminent availability.  Furthermore, prospective tenants are already showing interest.  We all look forward to the reopening of the Yarcombe Inn and to meeting and welcoming the new tenant.

 Nature news!
Tony Marsh writes:
On the subject of Nature notes, in Furley we have had over the past few days a truly awesome number of migrant warblers (chiffchaff and willow warbler) and spotted flycatchers, they have moved on today, they come through every year but I have never seen so many at the same time.

 Axminster Medical Practise
Our flu clinics are starting from the 26th September, but due to constraints brought about by the pandemic, they will be run very differently this year. Appointments for flu vaccination will be offered by invitation only, PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE SURGERY. We will be writing to all patients eligible for the flu vaccine to offer them a flu jab, but we will be prioritising patients at higher risk.
When you receive your letter, you will be given an allocated day and time for your vaccination. If you are unable to attend the offered appointment, please contact the surgery as soon as possible on 01297 32126 (Option 1). You will be placed on a waiting list and we will write again when another appointment becomes available.
If you do not want a flu vaccination at all, we would be grateful if you would return the reply slip on your appointment letter, so that we can log your written dissent, and will not bother you with further appointments.
When you attend for your flu jab appointment please follow these instructions:
Turn up at your appointment time, if you are early or late you will not be able to be seen
Come alone if possible
Wear a face covering if possible
Dress for the weather as you may have to queue outside for a short time
Once again, please do not contact the surgery to book for a flu jab as our reception team will be unable to help you. Please wait for us to contact you with an appointment.

Police call for vigilance
Police in Mid Devon are appealing for information after a spate of burglaries this month in Mid Devon and East Devon.
In each case, the break-ins have occurred at residential addresses during the day and tools have been used to gain entry. The offenders have then used bleach or other cleaning products to cover their tracks.
On two occasions, a silver Skoda Octavia was present with two or three occupants, and a false number plate was used.
Three burglaries occurred on Tuesday 8 September in Cullompton, Bradninch and Newton Poppleford, near Sidmouth. Another burglary occurred in Willand, near Cullompton, on Monday 7 September.

Does anyone have a pallet or two?
Meredith, formerly of Lachooga, is looking for a couple of pallets for a garden project. If anyone can help her out, please let me know.

We had a great visit to Uphay Farm yesterday to meet the piglets and pick up some sausages. Nick Cunningham is planting hedges and trees as well as rearing a huge pile of free range pigs, and lambs. If you want to pick up some of his traditional or cracked black pepper sausages, contact him directly on 07977490574, and make sure to ask to see the piglets while they are cute and before they become delicious!


14/9/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Roger’s pictures
What can I say? What a generous village we live in. The auction for the four beautiful pictures Roger has given us has raised over £400 for the Merrymakers. Step forward Richard and Vivien Wells, Mark and Caroline Jones, Paul and Sue Nicholson and Helen and David Neill – I’ll be in touch over the next day or two for you to choose your pictures

Work at the Sump
Work at the sump started this morning with a friendly gang who have managed to suck almost a skipful of muck from the bottom of the reservoir. They’ll be putting a new trash screen on in the next few days, and concreting the path to provide better flow for the water into the sump. The equipment will be there all week, and as previously stated the playing field will be closed for the duration.

Christmas cards
Two of the nine designs selected for the ARC Christmas cards have been photographed by Membury residents – Sue and Suzie! They’ll be available for sale from November onwards. Is now a good time to mention that there are only 102 more days until Christmas?

arc cards

Lydia’s squares
The squares for Lydia’s lockdown patchwork need to be 7×7, theme is COVID/ lockdown. No colour theme.
Please can you get them to Webble Green by Saturday 24th October. She’ll then take it to Bristol and create it. If anyone wishes to speak to her she can be reached on 07724014212.

 Kings Arms, Stockland – update
Eat out to help out Extended.
We are pleased to announce the extension our of Eat out to help our scheme.
We will continue to offer 20% of all Food only. every Wednesday and Thursday lunch and Dinner until Thursday 1st October.
Please book, sorry no tables bigger than 6 People.
Looking forward to giving everyone a warm welcome with new dishes on our menu
Kings Arms Team

Devon County Council update
An appeal to reach our younger residents, access to testing in Devon and our Social Care Re-ablement team go the extra mile: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/29fc44a

Nature news!
Look out for flocks of swallows and house martins lined up on telegraph wires as they gather before heading south for the winter. You might also find large flocks gathering in areas of reedbeds, where they feed on insects before their journeys to sub-Saharan Africa.

 Fruity pickings
Along with Vivien at Castle House, Robert and Iain at Toehill also have quinces available for jamming and jellying, as well as medlars. Aside from their health benefits, the French thought medlar trees had magical powers which could protect their homes from witchcraft and sorcery. They nick-named the fruit ‘cul de chien’, which describes the back end of a dog and alludes to the fruit’s unusual appearance. Don’t all rush to pick them at once!

13/9/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Footpath issues
John Wells at Hillview, Greendown, has contacted us to say that a transformer near his property has leaked a significant amount of oil on to the footpath that runs from Hillview to Playstreet (footpath 19). Western Power are there this morning, and he thought it best for walkers to avoid the footpath for the next few days.

Roger’s Pictures
It has been pointed out to me that the invitation to bid for Roger’s pictures has neglected to mention the sizes of them.
The landscape format watercolour is 32cm x 24cm
The two portrait format watercolours are 29.5cm x 41cm
The charcoal drawing is 41.5cm by 59.5cm.
These magnificent unframed pictures and are being offered to bolster the funds of the Merrymakers. Get your bid in by tomorrow (14th) to the Haccombe post-box or membury.auction@gmail.com. If you wish, you will be welcome to stop by and view the pictures before bidding.

Vivienne from castle house has a tree full of quinces and would hate for them to go to waste. Give her a ring on 07770903973 if you can make use of some

And while we are on the subject of fruit, Joe Arend at Luggs farm has an apple orchard containing eaters, cookers and cider apples a-plenty. Get in touch via joe.arend@luggsffarm.com if you want to go and pick a few bucketfuls. If you are already awash with apples you might be interested in this article from a recent Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/sep/09/easy-as-pie-17-mouth-watering-apple-recipes-from-tarte-tatin-to-roast-pork-belly

Hermes deliveries
The courier company Hermes will now accept what3words locations for deliveries. In a village such as Membury this is a great feature allowing them to pinpoint the precise spot for a delivery in the area – really handy since postcodes cover such a wide area: https://what3words.com/hermes-how-to

In other news …
An article on page 2 of the Midweek Herald 9/9/2020 reads as follows:
“A visitor has been jailed for calling mourners at a wake ‘mud munchers’ and glassing a customer who asked him to leave.
Dean Wicks was working on a roofing contract in the town when he became loud and obnoxious at the Volunteer pub in Honiton when a family wake was in progress. He called other customers ‘mud munchers’ an apparent reference to Devon being less sophisticated than his home town of Watford”
As a former resident of Watford for over 20 years I can only apologise

STOP PRESS 9 September 2020

The Oak Apple Café

The trustees of the village hall have just issued the statement reproduced below, and therefore, regrettably the café will not now be reopening this Friday (11th). We’ll be back as soon as we can be without jeopardising the village. The Post Office will open as normal.
I had a phone call from Allan this morning telling me how much he was looking forward to the sausage rolls, so if anyone wants to drop some round to Lea Hill he’ll be very grateful!

“You will be aware of the announcement by the government last night, see BBC website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54081131
In light of the rules due to come into force on Monday, Richard, John and Sue have discussed the matter and agreed that it is best to close the hall again. We are extremely disappointed that we have to make this decision but we must abide by the law which will come into force on Monday 14th September. Therefore the hall is closed from now until further notice.
This will mean plans for the Cafe and the Badminton Club to re start are now on hold.
The hall has already been adjusted to take account of social distancing and hand hygiene etc and has been made ready for this restart with Risk Assessments in place, so hopefully when we see there is a relaxation of the rules on the horizon, it will be a quick and easy job to get things up and running once more. We are sorry but we feel this is necessary but it is a measure needed to keep us all safe.
If you or your members have any questions please contact John Hodge or Sue McLaney
best wishes,
Richard, John, Sue”

Meanwhile …
I’m jamming, pickling and jellying and I’m running out of jars. If anyone has any spare, with their lids I’d be very grateful!

8/9/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Sumpthing is up
The sump, by the big chestnut tree is having some work done next week. From Monday access to the bottom of Bonds Lane, and the playing field will be restricted during the day. The playing field will therefore be closed until the end of the week. It may be possible to allow it to be used during the evenings, but we won’t know until work starts and we see how much equipment the contractors bring. Watch this space!

 The Oak Apple Café
The café is all set for Friday. Cakes have been baked (or very nearly). Tea bags have been dusted and visors have been purchased. Provide you and your household are symptom free and you haven’t recently partied in Bolton, we’re really looking forward to seeing you there!
If you’d be happier to bring your own mug, we’ll even fill it for you. Everything will be free, so lighten your pocket and leave your wallet behind – unless of course you want to stock up on stamps from the postmaster.
To whet your appetite, here’s the menu for the café …

  • Sausage Rolls
    (Sausage Meat, Jus-Roll Pastry, Egg) made by Jenny
  • Cheese Scones served with Butter, Cheese and Pickle
    (Self-raising flour, Salt, Mustard powder, Cayenne pepper, Baking powder, Butter, Vegetarian cheddar cheese, Egg, Milk, Pickles) made by Daniel
  • Chocolate Cake with GF Chocolate Butter Cream
    (Rice flour, Cocoa Powder, Bicarbonate of soda,
    Sugar, Vegetable oil, Vanilla essence, Eggs) made by Bobbie
  • Rhubarb and Orange Cake
    (Rhubarb, Sugar, Butter, Orange, Flour, Almonds, Baking powder, Eggs) made by Barbara
  • Rock Cakes
    (Flour, sugar, butter, sultanas, dried cranberries, egg, milk) made by Sue – so they might contain real rock.
  • Various Coffees and Teas, and squash

Your Helpers will be:, Daniel and Jan Lazar, Sue and Paul Nicholson, Jenny and Mike Beaman

Neighbourhood watch
Read the September newsletter here: https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2020-09/Sept%202020%20Our%20News.pdf

 Devon County Council
Recycle Devon have a message for you all: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/29f0b91

Following the mention of the phantom bin-filler I’ve had a report from a resident noting that someone has been dumping rubbish in their bin as well. One clue is that whoever it is seems to shop at M&S. If it’s you please stop it!

 Roger’s pictures
There’s still time to get a bid in for any of the four pictures drawn or painted, and generously donated by Leonardo da Clemens. They sum up the beauty of the trees in Membury, and capture the spirit of the iron age hill fort by East Membury Farm. Drop your bid in to Haccombe, or email it to Membury.auction@gmail.com

 Have you lost a cat?
A pretty pale grey, white and part ginger coloured cat has been living near Yarcombe (just out of the village towards Longbridge) for sometime. It is very family friendly and likes children. The cat has attached itself to a family, but they  don’t want to be feeding it regularly if someone has lost it and would like to have it back.

If you are the owner or know whose it is, please contact Frances on 881522.


4/9/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Village hall
The village hall has now reopened for business and it looks magnificent, having just been repainted, and having had all the lights replaced. Hand sanitiser is available at all entrances and exits and the floor is covered with tape to assist with social distancing. Groups wishing to use it are requested to complete a risk assessment and first off the blocks is …

 The Oak Apple Café
We will reopen at the hall next Friday (11th). To maintain social distancing a maximum of 24 people will be allowed at any one time. The café will be open from 13:30 to 16:00 and for at least this first week, everything will be free. I’ll send more details including a menu next week, but in the meantime let us know if you think you’ll be coming, and if there are any special measures you’d like us to take to make you feel safer.
Here is a picture of three of us completing our risk assessment – note the stylish masks!


Today, the rubbish bins in the hall car park are full of bags that look to have come from a kitchen bin.
This has happened in the last 24 hours. Is it someone in the village who is responsible, or just someone visiting?

 Books and puzzles
All the boxes of books and puzzles have now been removed from outside the hall, and will be taken to a charity shop. The plant stand has also been removed, but may be replaced soon behind the hall, near the shed. “Down to Earth” will be doing a bit of plant tidying round there over the next few days.

 Devon County Council
Read the latest update from DCC: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/29cee73

 East Devon District Council
Residents update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/29c972c

Police News
During the month of August the Rural Affairs Team had the monthly theme of ‘Equine Crime’. They produced an information sheet with some crime prevention advice for horse owners. These can also be applied to a farm/yard environment.
Unfortunately, over recent weeks our force area has been subject to a number of rural crimes where barns, stables, yards and other isolated areas have been targeted and items such as tools, plant/machinery, quads and other farming equipment has been stolen.
If you see anything/anyone behaving in a suspicious manner in your area, please report to us on 999 (if ongoing) or via 101 or 101@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk

 Axminster Nub News
The latest on-line source of news for Axminster and the surrounding area has (eventually) published news of the making of our Neighbourhood Plan. Read about it here …

 Police again
You will be pleased to har that once again there were no reported crimes in Membury during August.

 Dog thefts
Dog thefts are massively on the increase. Please do not leave your dog unattended at any time.
Every dog has a value whether for resale, ransom, breeding or baiting.
Make sure your dog is microchipped, and report any suspicious activity or vehicles to the police via 101

ARC charity shop, Axminster
The ARC charity shop has reopened, and is having its summer clothing sale.Get down there and grab a bargain! They’ve also got a huge variety of paper craft items for sale as well

 Storm names
And now the news you’ve all been waiting for …
The Met Office, along with partners Met Éireann and KNMI have revealed the list of storm names for the UK, Ireland and Netherlands for the next season.
Let’s hope Storm Oscar is as well behaved as Oscar Purchase!
A        Aidan
B        Bella
C        Cristoph
D       Darcy
E        Evert
F        Fleur
G        Gavin
H       Heulwen
I        Iain
J        Julia
K        Klaas
L        Lilah
M       Minnie
N        Naia
O       Oscar
P        Phoebe
R        Ravi
S        Saidhbhin
T        Tobias
V        Veronica
W       Wilson

Fruits of the Forest
We went for a walk the other day and discovered a decent crop of porcini mushrooms in a secret location. They were scruffy, but it’s still very early in the season – and anyway who am I to talk?
We will be down every few days from now on to see if there are any worth collecting!

31/8/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Beckford Bridge
As you can see from this picture sent to me by Ruth Foster the bridge is currently notable by its absence. I popped down the other day and had a chat with the foreman; they are slightly behind with the work due to adverse weather, but hope to catch up soon. The new bridge is going to be completely flat – as the old one was. Let’s hope it’ll withstand the winter torrents. There must have been a good reason why the builders of the original bridge made the arch so high …


Wobbly slabs
You may have noticed that rocking gully-covering slabs on the side of the road in the vicinity of the Village Hall have been making quite a racket recently when a car or van drives over them. 19 loose ones have been identified and this has been reported to Devon Highways to be fixed. The last time this was reported was in 2016 when I believe they were patched up.

Road repairs
Don’t hold your breath, but the road down through Rock to Beckford Bridge is provisionally scheduled for patching work on December 17th. It was pulled last year due to pressure of other jobs, but let’s try to be optimistic. Pothole patching (3 days) is due to be completed by the end of October based on potholes reported by residents – so get on with reporting any problems via https://www.devon.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/report-a-problem/report-a-pothole/

A message from PCSO Chris Bolsover
Our Local Police features on ‘Call the Cops’
Devon and Cornwall Police features in series two of landmark Channel 4 documentary Call the Cops which starts at 9pm Tuesday 1 September.
The show follows force control and frontline officers and is an eye-opening portrayal of policing.
Filmed in 2019, the program covers a wide range of jobs across the force area and also highlights the challenges our staff and officers have to face on a daily basis.
Here’s a link to the trailer… https://crowd.in/PbdBPl

Mobile Library
The mobile library will be visiting the car park at the village hall on September 4th at the regular time of 13:50. To take advantage of their “choose and collect” service ring Tiverton on 01884 244644

Devon County Council
Back to school special https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/29b32cf

Roger’s pictures
As you may have read in the Mercury Roger has donated four pictures which will be auctioned off to raise money and help fund the Merrymakers. We’ve already have the first sealed bids, and if you are interested get your offer in soon. The four highest bids will each win their choice from the four available, with the person bidding the most getting first pick when all the bids are examined on September 14th. They are beautiful pictures, and if anyone wants to pop by and see them they will be most welcome


25/8/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Take care tonight; there’s more wind on the way, and the Met Office has issued an amber Warning.

The Return of the Village Hall
We are writing to you as regular users of the village hall to let you know how things have been since March and to let you know that we are now preparing for the village hall to reopen from 31st August. Some of you may already know the following information as we have been keeping Trustees up to date and they have all been involved in decision making and in compiling the risk assessment.
In March when we closed, the hall was deep cleaned and mothballed. Our insurance company was informed and cover continued on the basis that we kept the hall under safe surveillance. Each day since we closed, the hall has been checked and weekly the water has been run to prevent build up of bacteria etc in pipes.
During June/July/August the hall has had new lights installed. LED strip lights which are dimmable and new wall lights also dimmable. These all help create a good bright light when needed and a lower pleasant ambient light for evening events. The hall walls and paintwork have also been redecorated.
More recently, the executive, Richard Barrell, John Hodge and Sue McLaney, along with the trustees, have been preparing the hall for re-opening. A risk assessment has been prepared – Signs and social distance markings are being installed and hand sanitising points have been installed throughout. You will see differences in the hall when you next go in and hopefully you will feel a lot has been done to make it a pleasant and safe space for users. Of course, like everything to do with this pandemic, things can and will change, and so we imagine the risk assessment will be updated.
The latest version will be published on the village hall page of the website.
Jill and Jan are giving the hall another full clean ahead of 31st. However our cleaning team are not full time and therefore each user group also has responsibility for keeping the hall clean and safe before and after each event. Before using the hall, each group is requested to sanitise the parts of the hall they intend to use and again to sanitise those areas at the end of the event. The hall will provide wipes, spray sanitisers and disposable towels. The hall will resume its routine daily/weekly checks and cleaning from 31st August.
In preparation for events re-starting, user groups will be required to prepare a risk assessment to cover their own circumstances/events to ensure the safety of all users.

Devon Historic Churches Walk, 12th September 2020
Reproduced from the Stockland Tree
The annual Devon Historic Churches fundraiser will be going ahead on 12th September.
The Rural Dean has given St. Michael and All Angels Church the ‘all clear’ to open specially on this occasion for coffees, teas and toilet facilities before and after the walk. We will be adhering to social-distancing rules and safety guidance that applies at this time.  The walk is being organised by Bryan Drew and will start and finish at Stockland. More information is given below – click on the image to open a full size, printable version.
If people would like to bring a picnic to have either in the grounds of the church, (or in the church if raining in the designated areas), they can leave the picnics in the church whilst walking.
For more information and to book in for the walk please contact Bryan direct on: 01404 881538 or bryandrow@yahoo.co.uk.

Change of Phone Number
Janet Andrew will be abandoning her old phone number (881036) on 14th September. From then on, anyone wishing to get hold of her should ring on Keith’s number 881177

Crates at the Village Hall
The crates that have recently been on the steps outside the village hall have now been removed, and remaining books and puzzles will be taken to a charity shop. If anyone wants a last delve into the depths, please just give me a ring.

Seaton Hole Kiosk is again open!
Two local young people have taken it on and renamed as: “ Jurassic Bites”
Tel number: 07788 262620.
Their approach and menu is upmarket and comprehensive. Parking is free, view is beautiful. Dogs welcome. There is of course the Covid restrictions but they amount to little being outside.
Just visit to enjoy the food, enjoy the scenery or just walk your legs off popping down to the beach and recovering with an ice cream on return..

East Devon District Council
Residents update https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2995c96

 Trees for Devon Webinars
The Woodland Trust is heading up the LNP’s new Trees for Devon initiative and has worked with Devon Wildlife Trust, The Forestry Commission and the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum to organise a trio of free tree webinars: Expanding Devon’s Woodlands, Ash dieback and Ancient Woodland Restoration. The first webinar is Tues 8th Sep, 1-2pm, and responds to the welcome surge of interest in tree planting by discussing the issues that need considering.  Register for free via the Woodland Trust website.  Videos of the webinars will be placed on the LNP website

The Yarcombe Inn
If anyone has a big stack of money burning a hole in their pocket, the Yarcombe Inn is being auctioned on September 10th by Charles Darrow. The guide price is £210,000

Ted Espir Requests …
I know there is a lot going on at the moment so I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you.
At the end of 2019 I was diagnosed with the rare condition Guillain-Barré Syndrome. I was initially hospitalised and then during my 3 month rehabilitation in the Somerset Neurological Rehabilitation Centre. Here, I was fortunate enough to have Music Therapy and this had a profound impact on my physical and mental health.
The Music Therapists have now lost their funding due to the Covid pandemic and are now unable to offer Music therapy to the rehabilitation unit.
Having previously planned to skydive with my daughter Sarah, and now not being physically fit to do so, I have asked Helen a former Health Care Assistant at the SNRC to do the skydive and help fundraise. The aim is to raise enough funds so the Music Therapists can be employed for up to 6 months and in the hope that this will attract further funding in time.
Please click here to donate through our JustGiving page.
Thank you for reading this and I hope you feel motivated to donate to this worthy cause.

19/8/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Molly and Richard
would like to thank the lovely Membury folk for their kind messages and offers of help within hours of Richard being taken into hospital. He is home now, and expected to make a full recovery.
East Devon District Council
EDDC have now confirmed that they intend to start the trash screen/sump improvement works on Monday 14th September, with works lasting no more than a week. If you live close to where they’ll be working, you should receive a letter to confirm the date.

Trouble in Stockland
Yesterday in Stockland during the late morning / lunchtime period a team of fraudsters were operating. A cold call was made to an address by two white males in a white transit sized van. They proceeded to “service” solar panels at the premises which took about an hour. The householder was charged £3,500 pounds before they left.
Due to the diligence of a neighbour the cheque used to pay has been stopped and the matter reported to the police and Trading Standards. The company name used on this occasion was “Hybrid Homes”.
Please visit the Trading Standards website for advice on buying goods and services at your door.
Trading Standards Consumer Helpline: 0808 223 1133

TRIP is a Honiton based charity dedicated to relieving rural isolation and loneliness in East Devon by providing affordable transport, specialised disability equipment and a personal befriending service. They have sent a funding request to the Parish Council, but councillors are unaware if anyone in the village uses them. If you are a user of any of their services, can you please let me know. You can find out more about TRIP from their website www.tripcta.org

ARC Axminster
Do you shop with Amazon? If you do, you can automatically donate to your favourite charity – include ARC – by logging in to https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ and selecting ARC as your chosen charity

16/8/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Some good news for you
Katy Henderson, star of stage and village hall, received her A level results this week and was awarded A*, A, A which is terrific considering all the problems that many people her age have had. She has decided to take a gap year before re-applying to study medicine. We wish her well!

Axminster Country Market
Axminster Country Market plans to reopen on Thursday 3rd September in the Masonic Hall South Street. Starting time is now slightly later at 9a.m (as following several months laziness Patricia can no longer get up at 5.45 to help set up at 7a.m!).
The good news is that several new cooks have signed up to join us, so exciting new produce should be available on the food table . There will also be craft from our ex Membury resident Lorette who is returning to the market with her craft which is really beautiful.
Every effort is being made to keep us safe, and hope that you understand that masks are required in the Hall.

Parish Council
Don’t forget that the Parish Council is meeting via zoom on Tuesday evening at 7:30pm. The agenda and joining details were sent round a few days ago – it would be great to see you

Fancy a quiz?
The Notorious Q.I.Z. aka Leigh Conley of the Axminster Drama Club is running two quizzes next week; a movie quiz on Tuesday and a music quiz on Friday. Both quizzes start at 7:30pm, cost £4 per team and offer a £10 prize for the winners. Book your tickets via www.ticketsource.co.uk/quizzical-quizzes

Scams again
Despite all the warning messages scams are still on the increase; There has been an upsurge of people buying Amazon and Apple vouchers to “pay debts they owe”. No reputable company will ever ask for debts to be paid this way. Amazon Prime, HMRC, and COVID Test and Trace scams are also prevalent. If you are asked for money and you have any doubts contact the company directly, using a different phone if possible.

Devon Wildlife TrustFind out all about what is going on in Seaton next Friday and Saturday 21st-22nd August

The Old Dairy Kitchen
We had the Vietnamese Feast a couple of weeks ago and it was outstanding.
Order this one by 1pm Tuesday – for collection or delivery 21 August 2020
Earth & Fire Feast
Gazpacho & Ciabatta
Barbecued Chideock Champignons oyster mushroom with samphire and oyster emulsion
Squid salad with grilled aubergines, basil and almond vinaigrette
Onions baked in clay with thyme, blue cheese and beetroot borani
Smoked venison, grilled baby gem and Sauce Gribiche
Grilled plums in red wine with meadowsweet panna cotta

Attached is the agenda for the Parish Council meeting to be held using zoom on Tuesday 18th August at 7:30pm, along with details of how to join it. Members of the public will be very welcome.

MPC Agenda 18.08.2020

11/8/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Fish and Chips
It’s that time of the month again when the fish and chip van calls at the village hall car park on Saturday 15th delivering freshly fried cod, chips, mushy peas, pies, scampi and of course curry sauce.
Come along with cash (£5 for cod and chips) and join Jill’s queue organised with military precision. Once again, ordering ahead is vital; contact Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984, or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. Perhaps you’d like to ask a neighbour if they’d like a portion too – you might make a new friend!
Please consider wearing a mask (though you are allowed to remove it when eating chips on the way home

The Playing Field
Some loose pieces of rubber matting have been removed from the playing field, and the car and tractor tyres are being collected by the council during the next few days. The grass is being regularly cut, the birds are no longer fouling the swings and it’s all lovely!
Two small issues:
someone has been bringing a quantity of cut grass into the field – probably to play with, but it makes cutting difficult; please just have a word with your children if they use the field.
Someone has recently left a full dog poo bag by the gate; if this was you, please just take it home next time – there is no bin at the field.

Crimes recorded in Membury during July
There weren’t any!

Fancy travelling the world?
Well, perhaps not for a while, but Alex has about 50 issues of National Geographic magazine dating from 1988 to 1992 if anyone is interested. Just ask at Haddon Fields.  It’ll be a shame if they have to be recycled.

The Church
In case anyone was concerned, there needs to be a little work done on the edge of the roof and also the capping stones at the church which is why scaffolding has been put up

Summer Watch. Stockland Turbary news from Dr. David Allen
After a hot dry spring, some rain in early June seemed most welcome. The spring-line mires on Bucehayes and Quantock Commons burst into flower with widespread Cotton-grass, Forget-me-not, chains of the pink flowered Bog Pimpernel and the paler pink Heath Spotted Orchid. I counted 87 flowering spikes of the rare Early Marsh Orchid this season, slightly up on the number in 2019.
Despite lock-down, we were able to obtain moorland ponies again, with seven Exmoors and eight Dartmoors being released in mid-June onto Bucehayes and Quantock, respectively. Just ahead of their arrival, three of us set up an electrified tape on Quantock to leave an area of Purple Moor-grass ungrazed, in the hope that Reed Buntings will be attracted by seeding Molinia later in the season. Meanwhile, Geoff Pearce reports that several broods of Tawny Owl have fledged successfully from his boxes: two broods each with two young on Shore Bottom; one with three fledglings on Quantock and one with two on Bucehayes. Excitingly, he also found that Kestrels were breeding in boxes both on Quantock and Horner Hill, with four and six chicks fledging, respectively. A pair of Sparrowhawks nested high in a Birch tree on Quantock Turbary where four young have just fledged.
Neither Pied nor Spotted Flycatchers have been recorded form the turbaries this summer. But we have not been without more ornithological excitement: the escaped Laughing Kookaburra found its way up the Yarty and appeared at Quantock where it was heard, seen and photographed by Jean Spiller at Brimpit Farm. The following week, while checking his owl boxes, Geoff witnessed an attack on a Tawny Owl by a large raptor that then flew off into a tree where he had a good view of the bird. It was a Goshawk!
Now, as I write in August, butterflies seem to have been rather few. I was pleased to see a Marbled White in the wood-pasture on Horner, topped by Robin Gundry in mid-July. Silver-washed Fritillaries are on the wing and there is the occasional Comma in addition to the usual Vanessids. I see that berries of Alder Buckthorn (the larval food plant of the Brimstone) are turning red then black. They may well be poisonous; the dried bark of the shrub is well known to be a laxative and purgative!
Some rain has prompted the appearance of a few fungi including several species of Russula, or Brittlegill, as well as the foul smelling, phallic Stinkhorn. Oak leaves are turning white in the hedgebanks, at the hand of a powdery mildew, a fungus that appeared in the UK after WW2. A much more recent and important introduction is the fungus that causes Ash dieback, now present on Shore Bottom Turbary and no doubt elsewhere. A Woodland Management Plan, which may be the parish council’s “passport” to entry to the Higher Tier of a Countryside Stewardship, is likely to address this disease.

Pictures below courtesy of the Stockland Email Tree.


8/8/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

The Helpline …
Will be ending in its present form on 16th August. The email will still be regularly monitored, and the phone number will go straight to voicemail – which will also be regularly monitored. If you need urgent assistance, your first port of call should be friends, family or neighbours.

Once again – thank you to the volunteers who have been manning it every day since mid-March – Stephen Tetlow, Ron and Judy Martin, Rose Shepherd, Paul and Sue Nicholson, Jakki Henderson, Terry and Bobbie Pitt and of course Lucy Noyes who has coordinated the whole thing; without her none of this would have been half so easy.

Update on face coverings
From today the government list of places where face coverings should be worn has been extensively extended to include a range of community and business venues
Currently you are required to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, indoor transport hubs and public transport.
For members of the public, from 8 August this will be expanded to include:
funeral directors
premises providing professional, legal or financial services
bingo halls
concert halls
museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments
massage parlours.
public areas in hotels and hostels
places of worship
libraries and public reading rooms
community centres
social clubs
tattoo and piercing parlours
indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities such as laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites)
storage and distribution facilities
veterinary services
auction houses

Combe dingle Nursery
Whenever we drove out towards the Eagle on the way north we’d pass a signboard on the left that read “Interesting Perennials”. Last autumn we called in and picked up some garlic, some onion sets and one or two interesting perennials. We called again a couple of days ago and bought some cauliflower, cabbage and kale plug plants – at £1.25 for six. It’s a great nursery with lots of well cared for plants and offers good value and high quality – these plug plants will allow us to try a few things the easy way to see what grows well in the garden. Certainly the garlic and the onions we planted last year over wintered beautifully, and would have won us prizes if we’d been able to enter them in the flower show!
Claire Pearce can be reached on 07817 851419 and the Nursery is open 9am – 4:30pm daily.

East Devon District Council
Residents update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/298be69

Axminster Food Bank
Many thanks to everyone who has contributed since the lockdown. Ruth has taken the box away over the summer as most people are using the supermarket boxes now. She’ll start it up again if there’s a need over the autumn. In the meantime, the Axminster Food Bank organisers are extremely appreciative of the efforts made from Membury.

Kings Arms Update
Kings Arms have registered for Eat out to Help Out
On a Tuesday and Wednesday lunch and Dinner, you are entitled to 50% of all food and non-Alcoholic drinks up to the value of £10.00.
We are aware that not everyone can take full advantage of this offer on a Tuesday and Wednesday so we have introduced a special 2 course menu for £14.00 per person available Thursday and Friday Lunchtime.
We will start a slimming class in September
Please telephone to reserve a table 01404 881686
Set Price Two Course Lunch Menu:
Thursday – Friday £14 pp


  • Kings Arms Soup, sourdough bread. (V / GF option available)
  • Ham Hock Terrine, piccalilli, toast. (GF option available)
  • Crispy Cauliflower, peanut and chilli dip (VG)


  • Fish and Chips:
    ‘Catch of the Day’ served battered or grilled, triple cooked chips, crushed peas, kings arms tartare. (GF option available)
  • Ham, Egg and Chips:
    Local Ham, Free Range Eggs, triple cooked chips. (GF)
  • Kings Arms Cheese Ploughman’s:
    Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar, Sharpham Brie, Devon Blue, Kings Arms coleslaw, balsamic pickled onion, celery, apple, tomato chutney, Kitchen Garden salad, sourdough bread. (V / GF option available)


  • Homemade Dessert of the Day (please ask for todays option)
  • Two scoops of Baboo Gelato or Sorbet (please ask for todays flavours)

6/8/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Mobile Library
The mobile library will be in the car park at 13:50 tomorrow (Friday 7th). You can return books, but you won’t be able to browse new ones. If you want to borrow books at the moment, you need to contact Tiverton Library and give them an idea of the sort of stuff you’d like – they’ll allocate a selection to you which you can pick up when they next visit on September 4th. Ring 01884 244644 and ask to speak to Kate

A message from Tina and Tony Bastin
Tony and I would like to let our customers know that if your MOT is due September, October, November, December you will take priority over people that took advantage of the extension so there is nothing to worry about.

Lydia is still seeking squares, making masks and looking for help …
Lydia is asking for lockdown themed squares. What did you do during the last five months? Make it into a patch made from material, knitting/crochet, tapestry, cross stitch etc! 7×7 square please. There’s no colour theme and this will be hung in the village Hall once completed.
She is also still making masks: £5 Adult, £4 child. New fabrics to choose from. Ties or elastic. 07724014212/ l.e.happle@gmail.com
Having now been passed as competent she is looking for someone to make a patchwork stuffed teddy/animal out of her student nurses uniform as a memory of her student days. Can anyone recommend someone who can make please?

Television licences
If you are currently in receipt of a free TV licence due to your great wisdom, ignore any phone calls you might receive asking you to pay for a new one. TV Licencing will get in touch by letter during August.

Jason’s broadcast moment
About 78 minutes in you’ll hear Jason Hawkes being interviewed on Radio Somerset about the Chard Coronavirus group https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08lbmty

And Finally …
Stop press – Polce toay have sa they are nvestgatng a strng of ID thefts

4/8/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Hurry hurry!
Copy deadline for the Autumn issue of the Mercury is this FRIDAY – AUGUST 7th. News, views and items of interest – including works of fiction and photographs – all welcome.
Please submit items via e-mail to memburymercury@hotmail.com.

ARC Axminster
Friends of Arc are reopening their charity shop in Chard Street, Axminster, on Thursday (August 6).
The Arc Shop team has worked hard to make the shop as safe as possible for all, and they are look forward to welcoming back all their regular customers and supporters.
Hand sanitiser will be available, a one-way system will be in place, and only three customers will be allowed in the shop at any one time. Face coverings must also be worn.
Anyone who would like to donate items should call 01297 639333 before visiting the shop. Due to the need to quarantine donations are currently restricted to two bags per person.
A large range of summer clothes, all at very good prices, are on offer with a number of special offers in the children’s section, with the majority of items at 50p.
The shop will start by opening on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm

ARC Axminster Again!
Support Arc Axminster and enter our Christmas Card Competition.
Christmas is coming and arc wants to be able to once again offer a lovely range of Christmas cards – this year get the whole family involved during August and enter our competition. Simply submit your photos or artworks that you feel could make attractive seasonal greetings cards. Winners will be selected from 4 age categories, 5 & under, 12 & under, 18 & under, and adults. Entries should be submitted electronically as high resolution images by August 30th . The highest rated entry will be framed and we will invite the artist to a photo/press call. There are no other prizes or prize money as this is a fundraising activity and we are exceptionally grateful for all contributions. For full details and an entry form please visit our website www.arcaxminster.org or view posts on Arc’s facebook @arcaxminstercounselling.

Eat Out to Help Out
The Cotley Inn, Wambrook https://www.cotleyinnwambrook.co.uk/  is also taking part in this discount scheme but you need to book as they are very busy.

When is your MOT due?There is likely to be unprecedented demand for MOTs during September, October and November.
This is because some MOT due dates were extended by 6 months to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and they’ll now be due during this time.
Your local MOT centre will do all it can to meet the demand for MOT tests. But it will be very busy.
Your test may be due during peak demand. You may struggle to get a test date at your preferred MOT centre when your MOT is due.

Jurassic Coast Trust
Crowdfunder alert! – we need your help!
A very rare and exciting opportunity has arisen to acquire an original letter, written from Mary Anning to William Buckland, which is due to be auctioned by Sothebys at 2pm tomorrow.
The Jurassic Coast Trust, in partnership with Lyme Regis Museum, is exceptionally keen for the letter to come home.
Support our campaign here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfun…/mary-anning-letter-1829
The letter is of significant cultural importance for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, offering a unique insight into the mind of Mary Anning. Mary opened the door for improved inclusion and engagement on the Jurassic Coast, inspiring future generations of geologists and palaeontologists who still walk in her footsteps along the beaches of Lyme Regis today.
We very quickly need to raise funds to be able to bid for this item. We have set up a dedicated JustGiving Crowdfunding page where any donation, however small, would be greatly appreciated.
We only have 24 hours to raise the funds so please don’t delay, the clock is ticking!

Devon greater horseshoe bat project
Download our orchard management guide to find out how important they are for bats https://buff.ly/3jLuZ0J. Other habitat guides also available!

Blackdown Hills Challenge Fund (Covid-19 green recovery)
This year, we’ve created a one-off Blackdown Hills Challenge Fund to help support Blackdown Hills communities on the path to a green recovery.
As we emerge from the worst of the Covid-19 crisis and continue to tackle the challenges it brings, an even greater challenge awaits us – tackling climate change and the loss of biodiversity. We cannot underestimate the importance of the natural world to our very existence. It is vital that we take care of it.
In recent months, many more people have started to appreciate the restorative benefits of accessing our green spaces. We want to ensure that the growing public interest in the UK countryside results in visits to the Blackdown Hills AONB that are safe and positive for all concerned, including our wildlife! Helping people to learn about and appreciate the value of habitats and species is an important part of that work.
Through the Blackdown Hills Challenge Fund we’ve made budget available which will provide grants of up to £5,000 for two to three projects within the Blackdown Hills AONB which protect or increase biodiversity, encourage community engagement and promote local community action. Examples might include:
• A large habitat/species restoration scheme on a site that the public can easily access and enjoy
• An arts or creative project that engages people in nature’s recovery and creates a long-lasting legacy.
The scheme can provide up to 75% funding for projects, with the remainder of the cost being met by the group, organisation or individual leading the project.
Deadline for applications: 17 August 2020
For more details please visit https://blackdownhillsaonb.org.uk/get-involved/find-funding/blackdown-hills-challenge-fund/

And Finally …
If you have yet to venture down to Beckford Bridge to see the repair work then here is a snap shot. A huge amount of structural work is being undertaken to stop the seasonal floods washing it away. Works are due to complete by Christmas. You can still cross the beautiful old arch bridge (unaffected by the floods) on foot.


31/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Hands, Face, Space and Get a Test
First the good news; there were no new cases of COVID-19 in East Devon yesterday, in fact there were no new cases at all in Devon.
Now the bad news – some measures to ease restrictions in England, which were supposed to come into force on 1 August, have now been put back until 15 August at the earliest:

  • Indoor venues such as casino, ice rinks and bowling alleys, which were due to reopen, will remain closed
  • Remaining close contact services must remain closed.
  • Live indoor theatre and concerts, which were due to resume with socially distanced audiences, will not take place
  • Pilot sporting events allowing limited numbers of spectators at Goodwood, the Crucible and The Oval, will not go ahead
  • Wedding receptions with up to 30 guests cannot yet happen
  • Extension of face covering rules to include museums, galleries and places of worship

As far as I can tell, the following rules are now operational, but please don’t blame me if I’ve got something wrong!

  • People who test positive for coronavirus or show symptoms in the UK must now self-isolate for at least 10 days, rather than seven.
  • Two households of up to 30 people are now able to meet indoors or outside, including overnight stays.
  • The two households have to maintain social distancing throughout, unless they are part of the same support bubble.
  • Households can meet with multiple others as long as each meeting is separate.
  • Outdoors, people from multiple households can meet in groups of up to six.
  • People who are clinically vulnerable and have been shielding can gather in groups of up to six people outdoors from 1 August, when shielding is paused. This includes individuals outside of their household, and form a “support bubble” with one other household.

Eat Out to help Out
From Monday to Wednesday during August you’ll be able to benefit from 50 per cent off the price of meals at certain restaurants, up to the value of £10 a head, with the government reimbursing the restaurant the remaining 50 per cent.
Many East Devon establishments have signed up to take part in the scheme, in a bid to boost numbers coming through the doors.
This list, plagiarised from AxminserNubNews, contains restaurants, pubs and cafes in the local area which have signed up. If you know of any local places offering the discount missing from the list, please let me know.
Costa Coffee, Axminster
Golden House Chinese, Axminster
River Cottage, Axminster
Arts Café Bar, Axminster
The George Hotel, Axminster
Le Pisani, Axminster
The Kingfisher, Colyton
The Ridgeway Inn, Smallridge
The Hunters Lodge, near Axminster
The Tuckers Arms, Dalwood
The New Inn, Kilmington
Pebbles Coffee House, Seaton
The Lamb Inn, Axminster
The Old Inn, Kilmington
Honiton Wine Bar
The Garden Shop, Colyton
Route 303, Yarcombe
A35 Pitstop, Kilmington
Cherries Ice Cream Parlour, West Bay
Blues Wine Bar, Sidmouth
Bruvs Bar, Honiton
The Sidmouth Arms, Upottery
The Kings Arms, Stockland
The Wheelwright Inn, Colyford
The Harbour Inn, Axmouth
The Grazing Cow, Offwell
La Campagna, near Chard
The Station Café at Seaton Tramway, Colyton
The Old Picture House, Seaton
The Dolphin Hotel, Beer
Ye Olde Poppe Inn, Tatworth
The Otter Inn, Weston
The Greyhound Country Inn, Fenny Bridges
The Malthouse, Seaton
Italia Ristorante & Pizzeria, Lyme Regis
Costa Coffee, Lyme Regis
Tom’s at The Pop Up Kitchen, Lyme Regis
Goose & Badger at The Pop Up Kitchen, Lyme Regis
Pizza Steak House, Lyme Regis
Bell Cliff Restaurant, Lyme Regis
The Pilot Boat, Lyme Regis
SWIM, Lyme Regis
The Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis
Beach House Café, Lyme Regis
Charmouth Fish Bar

East Devon District Council
Residents update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/29800da

Devon County Council
Latest update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/297d297

We’re Still Here for You
Just a brief reminder to all of you, especially those who have been shielding that the Membury Support Group is still here for you if you need help shopping, with medical appointments or just a friendly chat. Our number is at the top of this message.

Neighbourhood Watch
We are delighted to launch the first ever Neighbourhood Watch Impact Survey.
This is a survey open to all members of the public including our supporters and members and we are asking our partners to share across their public networks. It will enable us to look at how Neighbourhood Watch impacts in our communities and identify the concerns surrounding crime, fear of crime and the increase in neighbourliness and community spirit.
We ask that you share the survey IMPACT SURVEY with friends, neighbours, colleagues and your partners, to ensure that we get a good mix of responses. You can do this in various ways through email, using social media and any other methods that you may have.

Stockland and Yarcombe Preschool presents:
A Car Treasure Hunt on Sunday 2nd August
Start time 12-2pm. Route time 1 hour. £5 per car
Start and finish Stockland Village Hall
A friendly, safe, local fundraiser for all the family. Cake sale at the finish line. Bring a picnic and your own refreshments if you wish. All donations gratefully received. All proceeds will go to the preschool.
Contact Rosanne Derryman 077368 807899 for more information and to book your place.

Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count
This UK wide survey is running until August 9th – all you have to do is pick a nice spot, in your garden or out on a walk and spend a quarter of an hour counting butterflies. More details here: https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/ where you can download an identification chart, and submit your count.

And Finally …
Still with flying things, we had an interesting visitor to our garden yesterday – a hummingbird hawk moth, with a wingspan of about two inches. I couldn’t get a photo because a blackbird was eying it up for supper so it fled swiftly – but here’s a picture of one from the butterfly conservation website credited to Graeham Mounteney.


28/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

There’s Safety in Neighbours
Devon and Cornwall Police have a new Neighbourhood Watch campaign to prevent burglaries
As lockdown eases in the UK, we’re expecting a rise in burglaries. We’ve partnered with the Home Office to create a new social media campaign to help keep people safe.
Our new Safety in Neighbours campaign is particularly exciting as it has a modern and eye-catching design to grab younger people’s attention and attract even more new members. Read more about the campaign below.

Quizzical Quizzes
Do you like Quizzes?
Would you like to do them from the comfort of your own home against other people from around the country?
Leigh Conley, chairman of Axminster Drama Club would like to invite you to follow Quizzical Quizzes on Facebook to be kept updated with all of their online quizzes as and when they are announced

Face Masks
Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign. This is a personal choice and is not necessary by law.

If you know someone who would like to use an exemption card there are PDF attachments on this page: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

The Post Office
Please don’t forget to wear a mask if you want to make use of the Friday Post Office at the Village Hall. One rather embarrassed person forgot last week, and was given a gentle reminder.

Coronavirus testing
Royal Mail is a key partner for the Government’s coronavirus testing programme. If you are sent a test kit you may be asked to return it via a Priority Postbox. Our nearest Priority Postbox is in the car park by the Village Hall.

East Devon District Council
EDDC residents update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/296fa8a

The Yarcombe Inn
The Yarcombe Inn had, until recently, been seeking a new tenant landlord. It has now been placed on the market with a selling agent. It is hoped that a buyer will soon be found, and that the Yarcombe Inn will be reopened in the near future.

And Finally …
All systems are “Go” at Beckford Bridge!


23/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

July 24th marks the Ruby Wedding Anniversary of Molly and Richard Barrell
We’ve been together now for 40 years
And it don’t seem a day too much (most of the time!)
On our 29th anniversary, we were given the special gift of a grandson – who, with 2 sisters and 5 cousins, have been a great joy – as has living in this lovely place! In spite of restrictions, we have much to celebrate.


The recommencement of church services
Membury Church is having a service this sunday 26th July – it’s the first one since the middle of march. It will be a shortened communion service, working with social distancing. No hymns but there will be some music. Anyone wishing to attend will be most welcome. There will then be a service here on alternate Sundays.

Warning from the police – cold callers in the area:
Devon & Cornwall Police have been informed that there are people offering generators and tools for sale from the back of a van in the Honiton and East Devon area. The police advise that you: “Do not buy items from cold callers as the risks are high, the items may be misdescribed, overpriced or unsafe and not meet required safety standards. If you wish to buy such items, use reputable businesses who provide paperwork including a legitimate address. Please make friends and neighbours aware of this.”
If you have any concerns or see cold callers in the area please contact 101 or email 101@dc.police.uk

Being socially responsible
From Friday, July 24, Government COVID-19 legislation changes mean it is mandatory to wear a face covering in all shops and retail premises.
The measure will see all shops able to prevent entry to the premises to anyone not wearing a face covering.
The new measure will see police given powers to issue a fixed penalty notice to anyone refusing to comply with the legislation, although Devon & Cornwall Police will be adopting an educate, engage and encourage approach with enforcement as a final option.

Let’s hear it for Jason Hawkes
In their last week of delivering prescriptions, the Chard Support Group have passed the (tiny trumpet) milestone of having carried out 5000 separate deliveries for prescriptions. Jason’s meds team have done a fantastic job, and they’ve help out one of our residents too.

21/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, the boules tournament planned for Saturday August 8th in the car park by the village hall has been cancelled.

Milk and More
Have you signed up yet? Don’t forget that aside from delivering milk on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays they can also top you up with bread, cheese, butter and whole range of other things. When the lockdown started, they were unable to take on new customers, so if you join now you’ll be sorted if things get a little tricky again over winter. Sign up here: https://www.milkandmore.co.uk/

The Membury Mercury
The deadline for the next edition of the Mercury is 7th August. There are a few spares from the last edition if anyone wants one. They are outside the Hall for anyone to collect if they so wish and will topped up if needed.
Send your contributions to memburymercury@hotmail.com

Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill
The ODK have adapted their popular Lunch offering in the interest of safety for their guests.
Prebook your lunch to eat at Trill Farm or to takeaway to the beach, your own garden or wherever you’d like. All food will be packed in compostable containers, regardless of whether you’re eating at the Farm or taking it away. You can see a sample menu and book via their website.
Adults – £18 eat in / £15 takeaway
Kids (5-12yrs old) – £12 eat in / £10 takeaway
Little Kids (5 and under) – free

Stockland and Yarcombe Preschool presents:
A Car Treasure Hunt on Sunday 2nd August
Start time 12-2pm. Route time 1 hour. £5 per car
Start and finish Stockland Village Hall
A friendly, safe, local fundraiser for all the family. Cake sale at the finish line. Bring a picnic and your own refreshments if you wish. All donations gratefully received. All proceeds will go to the preschool.
Contact Rosanne Derryman 077368 807899 for more information and to book your place.

And Finally …
Our globe artichokes are beginning to flower and the bees are getting very excited, diving in head first.


19/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Funeral of John Watkins 1, Clarence Cottages
John’s funeral is to take place this Wednesday, 22nd. July at 2.30 p.m. at St. John Baptist, Membury.
The cortège will first pause at Clarence Cottages at 2.00 p.m. to allow Anne and those who would like to join her to walk down the hill and through the village to accompany the hearse.
Naturally, the family would love you to also join them at 2.30 p.m. for the service in church, but it’s difficult to know in the current circumstances how many relatives and friends will attend, and there may be more than the maximum number of 30 people allowed. So please be understanding if some of you will only be able to be present at the churchyard burial ceremony at the end of the service. Normally, the family would invite you back to the Village Hall for refreshments, but sadly, in the current climate, they are not able to. We hope you understand and accept their apologies.

The future of prescription collection
From the Membury Support Group.
This is just a gentle reminder that we are no longer running the prescription collection service.
There’s a really helpful article that breaks down the government’s advice on who still needs to be shielding in a really clear way – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/coronavirus-guidance/social-distancing-and-self-isolation/ – and I would encourage you to give it a read.
We need to be encouraging people to start collecting their own prescriptions again or asking for help from a neighbour/friend/loved one. This is to ensure we can sustainably continue to help those who most need our help.
There are of course some people in the village who are still being advised by the NHS to shield and there are others who may still be very uncomfortable about going out. We will still continue to find ways to you, but where possible we do need to encourage most people to start going out and collecting their own prescriptions again.
We appreciate this may seem harsh or unkind – it is not intended to be so and we will, of course, help those who continue to need us. However, at the same time, we need to be recognising that things are changing and opening up again and in order for us to be able to continue helping those in the greatest need, we need those who are able to, to start resuming their normal responsibilities.
We will continue to help those who really still need their prescriptions collected on an individual basis. Just contact us by phone or email, and we’ll find someone to collect on your behalf.

Still without a facemask ready for the next Friday?
Our correspondent currently exiled in Cornwall (Lydia) is still busy stitching masks – now with elastic or ties. A bargain at £5 each. Contact Lydia by email l.e.happle@gmail.com

A Saturday market and a village store
On the 8th of July I included the message below on the update. I haven’t had many responses, so if you feel strongly – positively or negatively – and haven’t already let me know please just drop me a quick email. It’s fair to say that with regard to the market it isn’t something that we’d want to do for several months at least – when we are much closer to being back to “normal”

The café team sat down the other day to talk about the possibility of creating a store of key items, probably at the village hall, should the second wave of the virus (if there is one) creates the same difficulties shopping as were experienced over the first few weeks of the lockdown. It would be nice to think that the supermarkets will be more proactive, and will have sorted out their supply lines, but even now there are still items that can be difficult to get. It’s worth noting that unnecessary panic buying, staff shortages, and uncertainty over the rules all contributed to the situation.

To get this to work we need your help. Please let me know by responding to this email answers to the following:

  • Would you use this service?
  • Would you be prepared to help set it up and run it?
  • What items would you like to see stocked as part of this project?

Another possibility we discussed was holding a monthly Saturday market at the village hall – we would look to find various stall holders – crafts, a baker, a cake maker, a butcher, local produce. Again we’d like your views on this.

  • Do you think it would work?
  • Would you be prepared to help organise and run it?
  • Do you know anyone who might like to take a stall?

If there is sufficient interest, we hope to get a small committee together to take this further.

Are you Shopping online
Have you bought anything online recently?…
Almost 34% of all retail sales during May 2020 were carried out online, and new research suggests that only 16% of UK consumers intend to return to their old shopping habits post-lockdown.
Online shopping fraud during lockdown
Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, received over 16,000 reports relating to online shopping and auction fraud during the lockdown, with losses totalling over £16m. Members of the public have reported buying mobile phones (19%), vehicles (22%), electronics (10%) such as games consoles, AirPods and MacBooks , and footwear (4%) on sites such as eBay (18%), Facebook (18%), Gumtree (10%) and Depop (6%), only to have the items never arrive.

Top tips for shopping online securely:
Choosing where to shop:
If you’re making a purchase from a company or seller you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first. For example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was.
Email accounts:
Use a strong, separate password for your email account. Criminals can use
your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping.
Scam messages:
Some of the emails or texts you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. Not all links are bad, but if you’re unsure don’t use the link, go separately to the website. And remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Payment method:
If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

What to do if you’ve fallen victim to online shopping fraud
We all make mistakes and these days the scams can be incredibly convincing.
If you think you’ve visited, or made a purchase on, a bogus website, you should first, take a note of the website’s address, then close down your internet browser. You should then report the details to Action Fraud and contact your bank to seek advice.
Whether you’ve been a victim of fraud will depend on how much information you’ve provided to the website, so keep an eye on your bank transactions, if you can. Contact your bank immediately about anything that you don’t recognise, even small amounts.

Axminster Car Boot Sale
Reopened today at Axminster Showground. Every Sunday 1-4pm. All sellers £8. £1 for public parking – Strictly on dogs on site. No helpers or buyers on site before 1pm. Gates open to sellers from 11am. Puclic advised to wear masks and gloves. For further information please call 07861 672936 / 07802 176993

Note on Nature from the RSPB
Read their latest newsletter http://view.email.rspb.org.uk/?qs=b6881a07e12b9937da681764978f4ffd38a09e0ada7045d9c315e6df4f46927e23a3583a57f4a1d31fff8c09d620cb0ede30d17a6191ab1165879f94a53bcea861d763a905edb53a166c592d286d3a747497dc85731feb64

And Finally …
We had a very strange looking bird on one of our peanut feeders yesterday


17/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Fish and Chips
Final call for the fish and chips tomorrow night …

Once again the fish and chip van will be in the car park from 6pm on Saturday 18th. £5 per portion as usual. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home. Jill be performing some Irish dancing to entertain everyone in the queue

Devon County Council update

East Devon District Council
Residents update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2962120

National Theatre at home
Don’t miss the epic finale to our free National Theatre at Home streams, as Lucian Msamati plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic Amadeus.  Enjoying two sold-out runs in the Olivier Theatre, Michael Longhurst’s acclaimed production features live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.
Audiences who are d/Deaf or hearing impaired can watch with captions, and audiences who are blind or visually impaired can watch a separate audio described stream.
Streaming until 23 July https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNQk19d1Rbk&feature=youtu.be

There’s something up there …
Alasdair and Kim Managed to see and photograph comet NEOWISE last night!
For anyone interested, basically  look to the NW, bottom of Ursa Major(Big Dipper) and along to the right. It rotates with the stars slowly eastwards….getting brighter and tail getting longer as it gets darker. Will be around for a while yet, but around 23rd July is when it’s predicted to be at its brightest. Worth a look quite rare to see one with the naked eye.


15/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Miranda has passed on some sad news from Yarcombe. Some of you may know Michael Oliver, war hero and the oldest resident of Yarcombe. He died this morning at the age of 99, peacefully at home with his family at his bedside. He will be greatly missed.

Wild East Devon News
Here’s a link to the latest Wild East Devon newsletter. It’s worth noting that they are resuming some activities including personal guided tours with a ranger, each for a single family or bubble of up to 5 people. The cost is £50 per half day excursion. Most of those advertised are already sold out, but if you ring them up they may be able to lay on extra dates. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2935a6b

Eat out to help out
The Tuckers Arms is signed up to the government eat out to help out scheme, dine with us any Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in August and receive 50% or £10 maximum discount for every adult or child dining.
valid on food and non alcoholic drinks.
no need for a voucher or pre sign up we do all the work for you.
So if you usually order a steak for £20 it will cost you £10 instead! We’ve already had a lot of enquiries and with fewer tables available than usual so we can keep to social distancing, we would recommend if you are planning on joining us on any of these dates to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Book by ringing 01404 882342

Axminster Drama Club Presents …
An online live virtual quiz, run by Leigh Conley. Friday 17th July 7.30pm.
£4 entry per team in aid of the NHS. There will be a cash prize. Questions via Zoom on a laptop, tablet or phone. Answer using the free Redtooth app on a kindle fire, android phone or iPhone. www.ticketsource.co.uk/axminster-drama-club

Trouble on the Membury Road
Vivien Wells from Castle House reports that last night (Tuesday) between 8:30pm and 11pm a pair of high sided vehicles passed one another outside Castle House sadly taking all the guttering and smashing the end of the roof of her studio. They left a mess and plenty of skid marks but no apology.
This has been reported to the police.


14/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

It’s been four days since the last update – so there’s quite a lot to digest in this one

It will be compulsory to wear a face covering in shops in England from Friday 24 July.
Those who fail to wear a mask will face a fine of up to £100. This will be reduced to £50 if people pay within 14 days.
The rules will be enforced by the police, rather than shop workers.
People won’t be required to wear a covering in places where it’s not practical – such as in a pub, cafe or restaurant.
Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.
Shop staff do not have to wear them, but it is “strongly recommended” in the guidance that they do.
If you want to make your own – follow this link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

 Fish and Chips
Once again the fish and chip van will be in the car park from 6pm on Saturday 18th. £5 per portion as usual. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home. Jill be performing some Irish dancing to entertain everyone in the queue

The Kings Arms, Stockland
Many thanks for all your support with the takeaways over Lockdown, we hope you have all enjoyed being able to treat yourself to a takeaway.
We would like to let you know we will continue to offer this service on a Wednesday Evening, Friday Evening and Sunday Lunch. Please see below for menus, which will be the same on a weekly basis.

Wednesday Night: Burger Night 6pm – 9pm
Friday Night: Fish and Chip Friday 6pm – 9pm
Sunday Lunch: Sunday Roast 12pm -3pm

We are now open to eat in for meals and drinks everyday except Monday.

Food served 12pm – 2.30pm and 6.30 – 9pm Tuesday – Saturday and Sunday Lunch served 12pm – 3pm (approx).
The bar will be open from 12pm – 11pm every day for alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and coffees

Kings Arms at Home – available throughout July and August

Takeaway beers available from £3.60 per pint
Choose from Carlsberg, Thatchers Gold, or our Real Ale of the day (ask for today’s local ale)
Wednesday night is burger night

  • Homemade Beef Burger, in a brioche bun, with Wookey Hole Cheddar, Bacon and Pickled Cucumbers, Served with Kings Arms Chips. £10
  • Homemade Burger Special (will change weekly, but may include Lamb and Mint or Pork and Apple burger, please check when ordering), Served with Kings Arms Chips. £10
  • Vegetarian Lentil Burger, in a brioche bun or vegan bun, roasted peppers, Kings Arms hummus, Kings Arms Chips. (v/vg) £10

*Add one of our homemade side orders:
*Kings Arms Coleslaw £2
*Extra Portion of Kings Arms Chips £2.50
*Kings Arms Kitchen Garden Salad with dressing £2

Fish & chip friday

  • Kings Arms Beer Battered Catch of the Day, with Kings Chips & Homemade Tartare Sauce. Adult £13 / Child £6
  • Lewies Lyme Bay Lobster and Chips: 1/2 Lyme Bay Lobster, Garlic Butter, Kings Chips, Aioli. £15 (subject to availability)

*Add one of our homemade side orders:
*Kings Arms Kitchen Garden Salad with dressing £2
*Kings Arms Crushed Peas £2
*Kings Arms Coleslaw £2

Sunday Roast – £11 / 2 Courses – £15

  • Roast Topside of Devon Beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes,
    cauliflower cheese, selection of seasonal vegetables, gravy.
  • Roast Leg of Devon Lamb, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, selection of seasonal vegetables, gravy.
  • Slow Roasted Free Range Belly of Pork, apple sauce, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, selection of seasonal vegetables, gravy.
  • Vegetarian Dish of the Day, roast potatoes, selection of seasonal vegetables. Please ask for vegetarian option when ordering.
  • Dessert of the day (please ask for dessert option when ordering)

River cottage farewell supper
Order by 5pm Wednesday hollie.styler@rivercottage.net for collection Friday

  • Creamy potato, garlic and spring onion soup, lemon and thyme focaccia
  • Sticky smoked River Cottage organic brisket in rhubarbbq sauce
  • Barbecued peppers, aubergines and courgettes from the garden, home-dried tomatoes, nasturtium & pumpkin seed pesto
  • New potato, cheddar cheese and sage gnocchi
  • Potato, carrot and beetroot gratin
  • English chickpeas with greens, orange and chilli
  • Lemon verbena and fennel blossom posset, strawberry and red wine compote, gingernut crumble
  • Petits fours – Cider brandy ganache, Peppermint fudge

Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command.
Since 2006, Thinkuknow has been keeping children and young people safe by providing education about sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. Thinkuknow is unique. It is underpinned by the latest intelligence about child sex offending from CEOP Command. Thinkuknow aims to ensure that everyone has access to this practical information – children, young people, their parents and carers and the professionals who work with them.
Online gaming can offer many positive experiences. It can give children and young people the chance to escape into a virtual world, to learn, and to connect with others. However, there is a risk of children and young people viewing inappropriate content in games and being contacted by adults seeking to exploit them.
This week the activity packs for parents and carers to deliver to their children explores how they can stay safe while gaming: Each activity pack contains links to a number of simple fifteen minute activities to do with children.

The return of the mobile library
The van will return on August 7th – but not quite as you might be expecting!
To make sure that customers and staff are safe, we will only be offering a new type of contactless service for the time being. It’s called Choose & Collect.

  • You need to contact Tiverton Library at least a week in advance of the van calling by phone or email.
  • Tell them you are a mobile library customer
  • Staff will select up to 5 books or audio books based on your preferences
  • You collect from your usual mobile library stop.
  • Selections available for adults and children.
  • New customers are welcome, just mention you wish to join the mobile library.

Food for East Devon residents:
Forwarded from Miranda from Yarcombe
From EDDC:  We have put useful information on our website which details a lot of the options about help with finding food. This may be useful to help people get back to being more independent if possible: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/east-devon-district-council-coronavirus-community-support-hub/how-can-i-get-help-with-food-deliveries/

Scams yet again!
The Government announced on Tuesday that grants for energy-saving home improvements including insulation and double glazing, would be available from September. By Wednesday, scammers had started making phonecalls to residents in Bishops Stortford, pretending to be a part of this scheme.
Trading Standards advises that if you receive a call referring to a grant for loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or double glazing it is a Scam. Just say ‘No Thank you’ and terminate the call.
The genuine scheme will launch in September, with online applications being required for recommended energy efficiency measures, giving details of accredited local suppliers. Once one of these suppliers has provided a quote and the work is approved, the voucher is issued. There is no cold calling involved. It is up to the homeowner to make the approach, so instantly you know it’s a scam if you are contacted out of the blue.
Please warn family and friends who may be vulnerable to these types of scams. If you have fallen for a scam please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on www.actionfraud.police.uk
For advice or to ask for help for a scams victim from Trading Standards please call the Citizens Advice Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

This month Get Safe Online’s campaign is all about Social Media scams – and the attached leaflet provides some great tips on how to avoid being scammed on social media. For more tips on staying safe online then visit www.getsafeonline.org and download the latest leaflet. July20_SM_Scams_Leaflet.pdf – 506.4 KB

And Finally …
Do you know your poo?
Richard Barrell is requesting help in identifying a creature that left a substantial deposit on the tray underneath his bird feeder. Can you help?

10/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

John Watkins
1, Clarence Cottages

We’re sad to hear of John’s death. He will be remembered as an enthusiastic Footpath Warden and as someone who, as a member of the Membury Steering Group, devoted a great deal of time and energy to ensure our Neighbourhood Plan reflected the wishes of the community.

John died most peacefully in his sleep this morning. We send our respects and heartfelt condolences to Anne.

Parish Council
The draft minutes from the last MPC meeting are on the website.

A Partial Cure for Telephone Scams
Call blocker update
The National Trading Standards Scams Team is re-opening applications for free call blockers from 08/07/2020. Call blocker devices completely block all recorded messages, silent calls and calls from numbers not already pre-identified by the home owner – offering particular protection to those with dementia. The new process does not allow applications on behalf of anyone else and applications are only for people who are able install the unit themselves as engineers are no longer able to visit the user to install the unit. If you want a unit, but are unable to install it, contact the Membury Support Group. Direct applicants can apply online on the Friends Against Scams website. The Scam Team have developed a social media pack which is available on request by emailing FriendsAgainstScams@surreycc.gov.uk.

Devon County Council
Update https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/294c238

East Devon district Council
Residents’ update https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/294d21e
Business update https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2943798

Axminster Rural Crime Report
For period 1st June to 30th June 2020 – there were no reported crimes in Membury

National Theatre
This week, Helen McCrory plays one of contemporary drama’s greatest female roles in Terence Rattigan’s masterpiece The Deep Blue Sea, directed by Carrie Cracknell.
When a woman is found in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair and the breakdown of her marriage begins to emerge. With it comes a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion.
Audiences who are d/Deaf or hearing impaired can watch with captions, and audiences who are blind or visually impaired can watch a separate audio described stream. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw68DjwzexU&list=PLJgBmjHpqgs5yAmjGVeaA6Zus60ijnmF0&index=2&t=0s

Axminster Medical Practise
Thank you to our patients who have embraced eConsult and appreciate the speedy responses. We brought in eConsult because we had to – the Government put it into our contract – but we have found that it gives us so much more information about our patients allowing us to operate much more efficiently.
On any given day we could have hundreds of patients contact the surgery for help and advice. If all those patients ignore our requests and call reception directly, then not only are they likely to sit on hold for a long time, but following that they will sit in a very long list waiting for a call back. We do not know how urgent the problem is so there is no way to prioritise those in need. However, with eConsult – we can quickly check through a lot of important information and make sure that those who urgently need help get it faster. This also means that the phone lines are clearer for those people who do not have a smartphone or internet access (often more elderly or vulnerable people), or those patients that the eConsult system advises to call instead.
We know that eConsult isn’t perfect. Particularly for patients contacting us for follow-ups, ticking the same boxes can be very tedious. We have fed this back to the company that create eConsult and they inform us that a ‘follow-up’ feature is coming.
Similarly, sometimes the questions will not seem relevant. Please try and complete the questions as thoroughly as possible, but if something really does not fit, it is absolutely fine to put anything in the box; N/A or X for example.
eConsult is accessible through any internet connected device. If you have any feedback specifically about the eConsult site, the team who provide it would be glad to hear from you. Please visit https://axminstermedicalpractice.webgp.com/static…/contactUs
Thank you for helping us out and using eConsult. Spending a couple of minutes filling out the form means that we can provide you with a much safer and effective service, which will continue to improve as we go.

8/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

The times they are a-changing …

Prescription Collection and Distribution
The collection as we know it will be ending on 16th July.

  • If you are continuing to self-isolate, please call/email and we’ll find someone to collect on your behalf.
  • If you are uncomfortable collecting your prescription but not self-isolating, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do (but no promises!).
  • If you have a monthly prescription and would be happy to collect it along with a couple of other prescriptions for people in your area (e.g. near by/neighbours) please let us know.

Otherwise, everyone should be collecting their own from the week after next.
If we go back into lockdown/face tighter restrictions in the future, then Kim and Ali will be happy to resume the collection.

Chard Museum
Chard Museum is planning to open at the beginning of August. Their opening will be restricted to booked groups of 3-4 maximum led around the Museum by a Tour Guide/Steward. These groups will probably also be restricted to the same household or bubble. Plans are still dynamic as they await final Government advice.

How Will Coronavirus Outbreaks in Devon be Managed?
This week, Devon’s multi-agency Health Protection Board launched its Local Outbreak Management Plan – a plan and a set of measures to contain and reduce cases of coronavirus in Devon, reduce risk of outbreaks in the county, and prevent the virus from spreading. The plan is published on the coronavirus pages of our website.
It’s important that every Devon resident is aware of the plan, and to help explain it we have produced this email bulletin that you can find here.

Some Thoughts For The Future – We Need Your Help
The café team sat down the other day to talk about the possibility of creating a store of key items, probably at the village hall, should the second wave of the virus (if there is one) creates the same difficulties shopping as were experienced over the first few weeks of the lockdown. It would be nice to think that the supermarkets will be more proactive, and will have sorted out their supply lines, but even now there are still items that can be difficult to get.

To get this to work we need your help. Please let me know by responding to this email answers to the following:

  • Would you use this service?
  • Would you be prepared to help set it up and run it?
  • What items would you like to see stocked as part of this project?

Another possibility we discussed was holding a monthly Saturday market at the village hall – we would look to find various stall holders – crafts, a baker, a cake maker, a butcher, local produce. Again we’d like your views on this.

  • Do you think it would work?
  • Would you be prepared to help organise and run it?
  • Do you know anyone who might like to take a stall?

If there is sufficient interest, we hope to get a small committee together to take this further.

Axminster Drama Club Presents …


6/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Burglary in Yarcombe
From Miranda
This is to warn you that there are thieves in the area. In the past twenty-four hours there has been a theft of a pole saw from a garage in Yarcombe. Please be alert and keep a check on garages, sheds and other outbuildings where equipment is kept. In addition, there have been attempted break-ins in Upottery. The police warn that suspected burglars are passing through the area and are in Honiton. In addition, there have been attempted break-ins in Upottery. The police warn that suspected burglars are passing through the area and are in Honiton. Yesterday morning (Sunday) a suspicious vehicle was seen at The Garden House. It was a small silver car. Please be alert and report anything suspicious to the police and, if you would be kind enough, also to me, so that I can send out a warning to everyone in the community.

Getting bored with your raspberries and blackcurrants?
From Joe Arend
We have six sweet cherry trees full of fruit if anybody wants to come and pick them for free. They should last for the next week or so.
Phone Col at Luggs Farm for more info 01404881665

World Chocolate Day
Tomorrow is world chocolate day, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to plug our favourite chocolate maker – Chocolarder – based in Falmouth, Cornwall and providing gainful employment to our eldest daughter. www.chocolarder.com

 Crime? No crime!
The mystery of the missing newspapers has been solved. We’ve cancelled the order for CCTV at the hall, removed the mouse traps from the filing cabinet and stood down the hard OP at Folletts.

A message from Wendy in Stockland
Hi Folks,David and I are planning to run a stall at Honiton Market ( date TBC) for the local Admiral Nurse campaign-Honiton Dementia action alliance as the Gate to Plate is cancelled and they would have had a fundraising stall there. Most of us have done a bit of de-cluttering during lockdown I wondered if anyone has any pre loved scarves and handbags that they would like to donate for the stall.Please ring me (01404881207) if you would like me to pick up any items or if you can drop them off at The stores that would be fab. Please ensure that the items are washed /clean and in a bag so that we can be covid safe. Many thanks, our local Admiral nurse Fay is fantastic!

The Wood Wasp
There’s a scary looking insect buzzing round the village, but it’s completely harmless. It looks a bit like a hornet – it’s about 4cm long, and what looks like a stinger is just an ovipositor, the device the female uses for laying eggs. It’s also called the giant horntail – which makes it sound like something out of Harry Potter!


5/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

An evening of images.
The playing field equipment has been rigorously inspected by a ministry official who was quite satisfied. Here are the pictures of him conducting his tests…


Another scarecrow has entered the arena to entertain the pigeons at Red Lion House – designed and built by Oliver White


We popped down to Beckford Bridge this afternoon. Lots of wildlife, and the first swifts we’ve seen in the area this year. The real purpose of the visit was to take some pictures of the bridge before they dynamite it. It’ll be closed from Monday for 24 weeks – or so the sign says.


A postcard from Cornwall …

Hope everyone is well in Membury. Being in the land of Cornwall is great until it rains. Hospital life is teaching me a great deal of new skills- anyone fancy letting me practice taking bloods from them is more than welcome! Only another 187.5 hours to go until student days are over. On days off I have been exploring the delights of Cornish coastlines and TV sets! Poldark and Doc Martin in particular as you can see in these photos, as they are great favourites of mine. Looking forward to when I’m back in the Devon countryside and drinking tea at the Oak Apple Cafe with Membury Citizens!

Lots of love Lydia Hartnell xxx


4/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Membury Playing Field
The playing field has now been reopened. It’s in lovely condition, the swings are free of bird droppings and the grass is nice and soft.
The following text is displayed on the gate and on the wooden structure.

Help Keep this Playground and Play Equipment Covid-19 Secure
This Playground is not supervised, and equipment is not regularly cleaned.

  • Social distancing of 2m MUST always be maintained (or 1m with risk mitigation where 1m is not possible).
  • Only one family is allowed on each piece of equipment at a time.
  • No eating or drinking in the playground
  • Parents/Carers: You will need to clean the equipment before your child uses it. Use hand sanitiser or wipes to clean your children’s hands before and after use.
  • Do not touch your face. Remember to cough or sneeze into a tissue. Please take tissues home (use an arm if a tissue is not available).
  • Children’s clothes should be washed when they get home.
  • Families with clinically vulnerable members: Do NOT use the equipment without first cleaning it.

 A village Mystery
Would people who have papers delivered to the file cabinet at the village hall please only take those designated and ordered by them from their own paper slot and not from others if yours is not there.  Certain papers are ‘disappearing’ every Saturday. (Six times so far) Confirmation has been received that these papers have been delivered yet go missing

 The Yarcombe Inn
From Simon and Celine Peniston-Bird
With pubs re-opening on today you will be wondering what is happening about The Yarcombe Inn. The Yarcombe Inn needs a new landlord and for the last few weeks we have been looking for a suitable person. We have met a couple of local potential tenants but unfortunately no one has yet taken their interest forward. We have instructed a commercial agent who specialises in public houses. Their advice is to market the pub ‘To Let’ and to also include the opportunity to take the freehold, as it is not uncommon for a tenant to require the option to buy after a couple of years in their lease.
We look forward to giving you an update when we know more.

And Finally …
Jo Bailey has today dispatched three rosemary beetles on her lavender, they are not native to the UK and eat rosemary, lavender, sage and thyme. Not what you want in the garden! Please could all gardeners check their plants.


3/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Tomorrow the pubs reopen – but that doesn’t mean were over the Covid-19 pandemic. Take it easy, and don’t be the one who brings the virus to the village.

A final Clap
The 72nd anniversary of the NHS falls on Sunday 5th. Everyone is encouraged to give them a final clap at 5pm.

 The Oak Apple Café
The Oak Apple Café is planning to reopen in Early September, subject to the prevailing rules regarding social distancing, PPE etc. We’re sorry to miss the summer, but we are all looking forward to seeing you in the autumn. Look out for more information in the next Mercury, and in these regular newsletter updates.

East Devon District Council
Residents update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/293be70
Business update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2935a26

Devon County Council
Latest update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/293aef5

National Theatre At Home
This week we premiere our never-before-seen archive recording of Les Blancs, the final work by Lorraine Hansberry: a brave, illuminating and powerful play that confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution.
As an African country teeters on the edge of civil war, its society prepares to drive out their colonial present and claim an independent future. Yaël Farber directs a cast featuring Siân Phillips and Danny Sapani.
Head to our YouTube playlist before the stream to watch Ola Animashawun from the National Theatre, join director Dawn Walton and producer Tobi Kyeremateng to discuss the role of trauma in the play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTML9zh4sLc

The Show Must Go On
Join us this Friday for Michael Flatley’s spectacular dance show Celtic Tiger! The international dancing master returns with another stage performance, taking as his subject the history and spirit of his native Ireland and its long traditions of music and dance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8ACvCGPN8I
Donate to the Royal Trinity Hospice’s Urgent Appeal: https://url.emailprotection.link/?bfY…

Keeping a Diary
Today we are at a very dangerous point in the life of this pandemic and relaxation of lockdown could easily create a second exponential peak. Keeping a Covid19 Diary could significantly aid future contact tracing irrespective of whether an individual becomes an asymptomatic infectious carrier of the virus or is open to infection from someone who already is.
You don’t need to record anything more than date, time, location and which people you interact with, and if on public transport it’s the train/bus time and route plus carriage number etc as appropriate.

The patchwork
Our correspondent currently exiled in Cornwall (Lydia) has asked me to remind you that she is hoping to put together a lockdown wall hanging to go in the village hall, and if anyone wishes to contribute a square to it, they will be most welcome. If you want to know more about this – contact Lydia be email l.e.happle@gmail.com

And Finally …
Victoria Gibson found this ghostly looking dragonfly in the water tank in her garden yesterday afternoon, just out of its chrysalis, drying out its wings and waiting for the colours to come through.
One of my friends has tentatively identified it as a Southern Hawker. It’s the only hawker species where the coloured marks at the end of the abdomen join in the middle


1/7/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

We went for a drive to Seaton on Monday at about noon. The weather wasn’t great, but it wasn’t raining, and it wasn’t at all cold. There was hardly a soul on the beach and there was plenty of available parking. It was fantastic to see the sea after three months.

Dear Parish Councillors and Members of the Public,
Councillors are summoned and members of the public are invited to attend the virtual Council Meeting of Membury Parish Council, to be held online on Tuesday 7 th July 2020 at 7:30pm to discuss the following matters:
RDavey Clerk to the Council

LOGIN – please follow these instructions: Topic: Membury Parish Council Zoom Meeting Time: Jul 7, 2020 7:30 PM Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/98421486559?pwd=UVpNVUlWQnpLNWJYWjFPalVOQmthdz09
Meeting ID: 984 2148 6559 Password: 523877
One tap mobile +443300885830,,98421486559#,,,,0#,,523877# United Kingdom +441314601196,,98421486559#,,,,0#,,523877# United Kingdom
Dial by your location +44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom
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Meeting ID: 984 2148 6559 Password: 523877
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abLzRBlZDg
Please call the clerk on 01297 24009 if you are having any problems logging in

2020.43 Welcome by the Chairman
2020.44 Apologies for Absence:
2020.45 Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct: Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any interests either at this stage of the meeting, or as soon as they become aware of the interest. The reason for the declaration must be given, and whether it is a personal or pecuniary interest; any actions they intend to take when the item is being dealt with
2020.46 Minutes: To adopt the minutes of the meeting held on 5 th May 2020 as a true record. These will be signed at the next face to face meeting
2020.47 To resolve to adopt supplementary Standing Orders to meet the statutory requirements for the holding of remote meetings:
2020.48 County and District Council Reports:
2020.49 Membury Support Group Update:
2020.50 ‘Doing What Matters’ An update following a meeting with Dave Ashford, DCC Highways Officer: Cllr Lazar
2020.51 Finance: Unless stated otherwise, documents will be signed at the next face to face meeting

a) To approve the financial statement for June 2020
b) To review the first quarter budget
c) To consider and approve the Annual Governance Statement for the Annual Audit (This will be signed outside of the meeting)
d) To consider and approve the Annual Accounting Statement for the Annual Audit (This will be signed outside of the meeting)
e) Registration with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office)
f) To approve the following payments:

JJJ Wallace Grass Cutting Contract – May BACS £150.00
BT Group Broadband DD £ 32.40
HMRC Clerk’s Tax – April BACS £ 68.00
Mrs R Davey Clerk’s Salary – May BACS £272.34
JJJ Wallace Grass Cutting Contract – June STO £150.00
BT Group Broadband DD £ 32.94
Came & Company Annual Insurance BACS £396.00
Mr D J Terry Footpath Strimming BACS £ 42.00
HMRC Clerks’ Tax – May BACS £ 68.00
Mrs R Davey Clerks’ Salary – June BACS £272.14
Other payments may arise for payment during the meeting

2020.52 Planning:
2020.53 Correspondence:
Date of the next Parish Council meeting: 18th August 2020

Beckford Bridge in a slightly more understandable format
Please be advised that the works to replace the Irish ford at Beckford Bridge with a new two span structure are due to start on Monday 6th July. The scheme will also incorporate repairs to the extensively scoured riverbanks at this location.  Due to the nature of the works, a road closure will be required at this location for the duration of the works, which are currently anticipated to run until November. As the existing Irish ford will need to be removed in its entirety, the road here will also be closed at night and over the weekend. The diversion is via the A35, and will be fully signed.
The public right of way over the Packhorse Bridge here will remain open for pedestrians throughout the works.

Please do get in touch if you have any queries
Kind regards
Elizabeth Kurton
Assistant Engineer (Bridges and Structures)
Engineering Design Group
Devon County Council
County Hall, Matford Offices, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4QD
Tel:  01392 383000

Devon Climate Emergency July Newsletter
What does a net-zero Devon look like to you?
Devon Climate Emergency response is a collaborative process with everyone involved. We are currently designing a new website and we want it to reflect your visions of what a net-zero Devon might look like.
We want the new website to look and feel like Devon and we need your help! Soon, we will be launching a competition asking for your photos of what a net-zero Devon may look like with the chance of being featured on our website.
So, get snapping some photos for the following categories and keep an eye on our social media for when the competition launches!

  • Travelling
  • Eating & Cooking
  • Heating & Lighting
  • Washing
  • Shopping & Consuming
  • Nature
  • Community Spirit

Devon County Council Update
What if there’s a Coronavirus outbreak in Devon? Read about the county plans here. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/2934d70

And Finally …
It’s good that the Packhorse Bridge will remain passable during the replacement of Beckford Bridge that may take up to 24 weeks. It’s worth noting that you’ll be able to get through on a bicycle if you want. If you go down that way, please take a photo or two of the progress of the works, and send them to me for inclusion here.

29/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Tomorrow marks 100 days of lockdown. Seems like years ago that we were enjoying Rag Mama Rag in the village hall!

Kings Arms
Reopening at noon on 4th July with plenty of outdoor seating, limited indoor seating and table service all round. Please book if you want a meal 01404 881686. They are still doing take-aways – a midweek Wednesday special, fish and chips on Friday and a Sunday roast. Full details are on their website

Beckford Bridge
Traffic Order – Bridge repairs, road from Beckford Cross to Wellands Cross
Please Note that the start date for these works has been revised and will now start on Friday 3rd July 2020.
Stockland Parish Council have passed on the following information from Devon Highways regarding this long awaited repair:
NOTICE is hereby given that Devon County Council has made the above titled order.
From MONDAY 29 JUNE 2020 for a maximum of 18 months
Anticipated Finish FRIDAY 27 NOVEMBER 2020
No person shall cause or permit any vehicle to proceed or wait on the sections of Affected Roads.
Roads affected –
This temporary restriction is considered necessary to enable –
For additional information contact:
Telephone: 0345 155 1004
Dated: MONDAY 22 JUNE 2020
Meg Booth
Chief Officer of Highways, Infrastructure Development & Waste
Devon Highways
Devon County Council
Lucombe House
County Hall
Ref: TTRO2035430

Tuckers arms
Opens 4th July, but still doing take-aways all this week and from then on, Fridays and Saturdays only. All the following are £8 each

  • Mixed seafood chicken and chorizo paella with garlic bread
  • Chicken korma with rice and flatbread
  • Slow braised beef and peppercorn gravy hotpot topped with creamy sliced potatoes
  • Sticky hoi sin duck wings with salad and potato wedges
  • Smoked salmon and prawn salad with marie rose sauce and crusty bread
  • Vegan chick pea and spinach masala with rice and flatbread

I’m devastated there’s no steak and ale pie this week!

Countryside Restoration Trust
If you’re missing the Village Show, maybe support this worthy cause:
(Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is the Food and Farming Patron of CRT; established 1993 by Robin Page and the late Gordon Beningfield). https://www.countrysiderestorationtrust.com/crtvillageshow#
We had to cancel all CRT farm open days due to lockdown, but we still wanted to find a different way to bring new and existing CRT Friends together and raise money for the charity!

Fancy a holiday bargain?
Richard Barrell writes:
Due to a cancellation our Canal boat week has become available on Llangollen Canal 7-14th August at less than 1/2 commercial cost. Contact Richard on richardbmus13@gmail.com If you, friends or family may be interested. We’ve travelled the Llangollen canal and it was absolutely fantastic. The trip across the Pontcysyllte was spectacular. This is one of the most beautiful canals on the network.
It’s moored at Blackwater Meadow Marina, Ellesmere, Shropshire
4 berth boat, 1 double bedroom + make up double berth All mod cons, TV, DVD, Heating


£629 per week + services (diesel & gas) approx £150
Free parking at Marina

River Cottage At Home
Order by 5pm Wednesday £20 per person. hollie.styler@rivercottage.net

  • Roast carrot, ginger & orange soup, black onion seed focaccia
  • Spicy slow-cooked organic River Cottage beef ragu, fresh peas, broad beans and tomatoes OR Heritage tomato, fresh pea, broad bean and smoked chilli ragu
  • New potato and Beenleigh blue cheese gnocchi
  • Cabbage & kohlrabi slaw, tamari & camelina dressing
  • Roast beetroot, chard, kale and roast baby carrots all from our garden
  • Lemon verbena posset, roast apples, gingernut crumble

Parish Council Meeting
From Councillor Paul Nicholson
Please find below a link to the draft minutes from the latest Membury Parish Council meeting held on the 5th May 2020. The meeting was our first virtual meeting using Zoom, and as such was a trial meeting with a relatively limited agenda.
We are emailing this to residents as part of an initiative to improve the quality and timeliness of communications. The minutes are a draft and will not become finalised until approved by the council at our next meeting.
The next meeting of the MPC will be on the 7th July 2020 and will be via Zoom. Members of the public are welcome to join the meeting, details to follow.

And finally …
The Community Waffle House will be opening on 15th July every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2pm – 7pm, with seating on the Minster green. They are looking for 6 parasols to borrow or buy locally to create some shade. Does anyone have one that they can lend to them please?

26/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Apparently, according to the National Trust, today is National Cream Tea Day. Who’d have thought it? As far as I’m concerned, every day ought to contain within it a cream tea.

Now you come to mention it …
Sarah Coles of New House Farm has had a stall at the end of the drive where she has sold cakes and preserves. She is branching out into cream teas, which she will deliver locally on Saturdays and Sundays for orders placed on Friday or before. The price of the cream tea will £5.50 per box for 2 scones , cream and homemade raspberry or strawberry jam. Contact details for Sarah are scoles1971@icloud.com, 07860 947367or 01404 881585

Fish and chips
Jill hasn’t taken many bookings for the fish and chips this Saturday. Consequently, she may have to cancel unless she gets more requests.
As ever, £5 per portion. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment.

The Playing Field
We are hoping to be able to open the playing field in early July, but we are awaiting information from the Government. Watch this space!

Kings Arms, Stockland
Telephone 01404 881686
Friday night :5:30 – 8:30

  • Fish & chips with Tartare Sauce £13.00
  • Half Lyme Bay Lobster with Chips or Salad£13.00
  • Beefburger (Cheese) with Chips and relish £10.00
  • Coleslaw£2.00, Mushy peas £2.00 Garden Salad £2.00

Sunday Lunch 12.00 – 3.00pm

  • Roast beef, Lamb or Pork with seasonal vegetables and sauce £11.00
  • Vegetarian dish of the day , with seasonal vegetables £10.00
  • Desert of the day £4.00

Devon County Council
Latest update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/2928535

East Devon District Council
EDDC business update https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2928423
EDDC residents update https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/292a042

National Theatre at Home
This week, we premiere the London Theatre Company’s immersive production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed live at the Bridge Theatre in 2019 by National Theatre Live.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the production features Gwendoline Christie, Oliver Chris, David Moorst and Hammed Animashaun in this hilarious tale of flying fairies, love triangles and mistaken identities. Available to 2nd July.

And Finally …
Kim and Alasdair write:
A follow on from our firefly photo the other day. After three nights of performing, our lady of the light found a man last night! She will now go off and lay her eggs.


23/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

What’s this? Two days on the trot?
I’ve one thing to mention in particular that potentially needs your attention by tomorrow (the Trill feast) and a couple of other bits too.

Park Farm Lamb
We now have our home reared spring lamb available.
Half lamb £75
Whole lamb £140
Buy local – support the farmers.
Orders/enquiries to Claudia Pearse 01404881129 / 07525144543

We’ve not shut up shop yet …
Lucy has asked me to remind you that we are still here for you if you need any shopping done, dogs walked or just fancy a chat. The surgery is still keen to have a single weekly pick up for the village – so don’t forget to order any prescription drugs that you require by Friday, for collection the following Thursday. Order on line, and let us know by email or telephone so we can collect it for you.

News from Exeter Cathedral

Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill
Middle eastern feast £25 per person order by 1pm Wednesday for collection or delivery 27 June 2020. https://www.olddairykitchen.co.uk/shop/saturday-summer-feasting

  • Crispy duck, peanut & apricot dolmas with carrots, hummus & za’atar
  • Grilled & stuffed baby courgettes with lemon & basil
  • Slow smoked lamb “shawarma” with parsley, fennel, cucumber & mint
  • Midsummer fatteh with purple peas, pomegranate & tahini
  • Cumin & sesame ka’ak, smashed olive & spring onion labneh
  • Pistachio & orange cake with strawberries & rose

And Finally …
Kim and Alasdair write:
Venturing out in the dark last night we saw a tiny blob of light in the grass…..which turned out to be a female firefly flashing her mating signal…!!
As the females can’t fly, we observed the rule and returned her to her original position after she had her photo taken.


22/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Now seems to be a good time to say thank you to all the people who have contributed to running the services of the helpline since we set it up. I apologise if I’ve left anyone off the list

For running the helpline:

·       Sue and Paul Nicholson

·       Ron and Judy Martin

·       Jakki Henderson

·       Stephen Tetlow

·       Rose Sheppard

·       Lazar family

·       Terry Pitt and Bobbie Clarke

For Dog walking:

·       Jo and Dom

·       Sue and Paul Nicholson

·       Alice Sopwith

·       Helen and David Neill

·       The Cruze Family

·       Rob Noyes and Clare Sikorska

·       Trina and David Noyes

For collecting and distributing prescriptions

·       Kim and Ali Bruce

For shopping:

·       Sheena Denny

·       Phil and Eileen Smith

·       Penny and John Stevenson

·       Steve and Jane Liddicoat

·       Barbara and Duncan MacKinder

·       Edwina Osment

·       Reshma and John Lakhani-Robinson

·       Genevieve Lazar

For collecting and distributing milk:

·       Mike and Sandra Capper

·       Helen and David Neill

·       Christopher Wigdor

·       Suzie McFadzean

·       Trina Noyes

For contributing to the daily updates

·       Lots of people!

For coordinating the whole scheme

·       Lucy Noyes, despite starting a new job during lockdown.

Plenty of people have been helping out others independently, and I can’t celebrate them here because I don’t know who they are!
Despite the suffering, it’s been an opportunity for many people to make new friends, get to know their neighbours and make a real difference to the lives of other families. This village has really come together beautifully, and we are proud to be part of such as lovely community.
So many others have joined in with putting bears in their windows, making scarecrows, swapping seeds, trading books, ringing bells, collecting take-aways, organising an Easter egg hunt, providing oak leaf favours, making masks, taking photographs and devising other diversions for families. We must also thank the Axe Valley Wildlife Park for the brief loan of their kookaburra.
The general view seems to be that if we have to be confined to one small part of the world, there aren’t going to be many better places to be. We aren’t out of the woods yet. Gradually now the village will begin to return to how it was; the church has reopened, the post office is back in business, and the Oak Apple Café will be coming back soon! Things like the choir, badminton, bowls and other activities that take place in the hall aryet to resume, and when they do, they’ll be quite different for a while.

Stay safe.

Fish and Chips
Once again Stockland’s loss is our gain and the fish and chip van will be in the car park from 6pm on Saturday 27th for the second week running. £5 per portion as usual. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home. Who’s up for organising a sing-along in the queue?

River cottage supper club
£20 per person – collect Friday 26th June. Email hollie.styler@rivercottage.net

  • Beetroot, tomato, fennel and cumin soup, caramelised onion and elephant garlic scape granary bread
  • Lamb merguez meatballs, River Cottage bacon, tomatoes, fresh peas, broad beans, olives and chilli OR green lentil curry, greens from the garden, fresh peas, broad beans and baby carrots
  • Roast potatoes, wilted baby gem, roast spring onions
  • Seaweed and roast root bash
  • English smoked quinoa, greens from the garden, chilli and orange
  • Sticky toffee pudding with creamy River Cottage yoghurt

Could you be a stem cell donor?
Many of us give blood, but if you are under 55 have you ever considered becoming a stem cell donor?
To become a potential blood stem cell donor:
Check your eligibility and request a swab kit.
Complete the swabs posted to you at home and send them back.
Once your swabs have been received, they will be analysed to determine your tissue type and your details will be added on the UK stem cell registry in an anonymised form. Your details will then be part of blood stem cell donor searches for people all over the world who need a genetic match to get a second chance at life.

Ash dieback
Many large ash trees you see are showing signs of ash dieback with withered, leafless branches. Now is the time to take action and plant afresh if we want to retain the trees that make Devon so beautiful


East Devon District Council
EDDC Residents update https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2916b65

EDDC Business update

 Tytherleigh Farm Shop
The Tytherleigh farm shop that has been delivering to many of us over the last few weeks has now opened up for shoppers in person, taking over part of the site of the bathroom shop opposite the Tytherleigh Arms. They have a fantastic range of very high quality fruit and veg much of which is organic as well as a full range of meat, deli goods and everything else you’d expect to find in a high quality farmshop including unusual Italian flour and tinned jackfruit! They are still delivering if you wish, but it’s well worth a visit to see their entire range.

Kings Arms, Stockland
Wednesday 24th June Steak Night £12 per person. Order on 01404 881686

  • Heritage tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil with olive oil dressing
  • Sirloin or rump steak cooked to your preference OR Cauliflower steak roasted with cumin
  • Mushroom or pepper sauce
  • Dauphinoise potatoes
  • Seasonal vegetables
  • Chocolate mousse with almond tuille

Tuckers Arms, Dalwood
Here’s the menu for this week. All £8 per head for collection. Ring 01404 881342

  • Antipasti meats with parmesan, olives, salad and crusty bread
  • Thai chicken curry with lime and coriander rice and flat bread
  • Steak and ale pie with mashed potato, peas and gravy
  • Italian style chicken topped with a tomato and olive sauce and mozzarella with new potatoes and salad
  • Mixed fish chowder with crusty bread
  • Smoked duck salad with a plum and ginger dressing and potato wedges
  • Vegan Chinese style noodles with black bean and chestnut
  • Moroccan lamb curry with coriander and lime rice and flat bread

18/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

I am inundated on a daily basis with information about fresh scams – either from parishioners who have received a suspicious telephone call (humans and robots), email, letter or even a visit, or from “official” sources.
According to Citizens Advice we have just begun “Scam Awareness Fortnight”. You’ll find further information below

Fish and Chips
Don’t forget that the fish and chip van will be in the car park from 6pm on Saturday 20th. £5 per portion as usual. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home. For a change, why not bring along a musical instrument to play while you await your turn? Only those carrying a trombone are liable to breach the social distancing rule.

National Theatre at Home
Filmed live during its sold-out run in 2019, our epic production of Andrea Levy’s prize-winning novel “Small Island” is streaming this week to mark Windrush Day 2020.
Trace the tangled history between Jamaica and the UK, as we follow three intricately connected stories on a journey through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury.

Devon County Council
Read their latest update: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/2913a57

A message from Action Fraud
Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.

How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:

There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams.
Here’s what need to do:

  1. Watch out for scam messages
    Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk
  2. Shopping online
    If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.
  3. Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
    Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.

NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.

Those of you who took advantage of the Cappers’ weekly trips to Sutton Lucy Dairy and really enjoyed their delicious milk, cream and yoghurt might be interested to know that it is sometimes in Millers but always in at the Grazing Cow on the road to Honiton. The shop cafe /takeaway has a family connection to the dairy and they will be willing to take orders, but unfortunately won’t deliver.

The Clock Tower, Sidmouth
Join us in CONNAUGHT GARDENS this Friday & Saturday from 4pm for LIVE PIANO MUSIC (all genres) courtesy of the very talented Mark McGrath, (whom you’d normally find tinkling the ivories in the prestigious Harbour Hotel, Sidmouth.
Have a glass of wine, cakes, treats, ice-cream, or even pre-order supper; feast-fest.com

Don’t forget to BOOK your team in (up to 5), for our GARDEN QUIZ  (general knowledge) – also THIS Saturday 20th at 7pm. £5 entry fee to local hospice. Prizes. Pre-order supper @ FEAST-FEST.COM, sit in the gardens, have a drink enjoy some music. (All socially distanced of course!). Weather permitting – if in doubt call us on the day &/or watch our social media. (It WILL be going ahead unless the weather is just too awful). 01395 515319

Limited places so please book your team in now via email pls; hello@clocktowersidmouth.com

And finally …
A photograph from Kirsten’s garden. Tomorrow, I’ll include a recipe!


15/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Please keep stories, photographs and poems coming – they certainly make these updates more interesting!

Fish and Chips
It’s that time of the month again, and the fish and chip van will be in the car park from 6pm on Saturday 20th. £5 per portion as usual. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home

The church reopens (correction) …
St John Baptist Church, Membury
The Parochial Church Council, in consultation with the Rector, is delighted to be able to re-open the Church for individual private prayer and reflection. It will be open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm.
Wednesday 24 June is St John the Baptist’s day and our Church’s Patronal Gift Day. During lockdown there is no income from Services, but thanks to some income from the Parish Giving Scheme the regular bills are being paid.  If anyone would like to Give for Gift Day  – details below.
Please do not go into the Church if you have a cough or are sneezing. Thank you.
The Church has been cleaned, and surfaces likely to be handled will be cleaned before each opening day.  A nearly three day gap between openings should ensure any virus has died in between.  Hand sanitiser will be available, although visitors may prefer to wear gloves during their visit.  It would be helpful if visitors touch as little as possible with bare hands, and observe the Social Distancing rules if others are in Church.
You are welcome to leave a prayer on the prayer board, now in Children’s Corner, or a card in the Memorial window in the Lady Chapel.  (We must avoid flowers and water just now).
The Bible will be open with the Reading for the day.
We all hope that we shall be able to open the Church more often, and eventually for Services, as soon as it is safe to do so.
Sara can be contacted on 01404 881 567.   She is kindly doing the opening, cleaning and closing for the time being, which makes opening possible.
Gift Day contacts – online to Membury PCC at Lloyds Bank, 30-92-40 account 00582149; or by cheque to Marilyn Burrough Treasurer at Thorn Farm, Membury, EX13 7TU.
Parochial Church Council, 15 June 2020

 A message from the Axminster Medical Practise
Good Morning to all our patients. We have been extraordinarily fortunate in the South West to avoid the huge rates of COVID-19 infection that have been seen in other parts of the country and the world. Despite the relatively low numbers many of our patients have been infected and been very unwell, and several have sadly died. The situation could have been a lot worse had you all not adopted the social distancing measures and made so many sacrifices, so thank you.
We are now concerned about the possibility of a ‘second wave’. The South West currently has the highest rate of coronavirus spread in the UK. Therefore, although many shops are opening today, please be aware that in line with Government guidelines we are still trying our best to minimise contact with patients and not allowing patients to book appointments directly. If we can manage a condition over the phone or using video or photos then we will – for your safety.
If you have a medical concern please use eConsult to seek advice, unless you have no access to the internet in which case please call reception.
We are working on getting some of our routine clinics such as B12 and joint injections and minor surgery back up and running but please bear with us as we carry out full risk assessments. We will contact you when these services are available.
Lastly, we just wanted to plea for your ongoing understanding at this difficult time. We totally appreciate that for many people the significant changes to the way this surgery has run for many years have been challenging. However all the changes we have made have been as a result of Government guideline or contractual obligation – including the introduction of eConsult. We are fed up of not being able to safely see patients. No GP or Nurse gets into this job to sit in front of a computer and make phone calls. We want to see, and interact with and help patients. But right now we can’t do that freely because it would put you at risk. So please remember that we hate the situation too, and are constantly working on ways that we can improve our service within the imposed restrictions.

Tuckers Takeaway
The Tuckers Arms in Dalwood is continuing to offer a terrific range of delicious meals every day. Order on 01404 881342, and collect before noon or 5pm. All dishes £8
For this week the menu looks like this:

  • Antipasti meats with parmesan, olives salad and crusty bread
  • Smoked duck salad with a plum and inger dressing and potato wedges
  • Steak and ale pie with bubble and sqeak
  • Beef masala with rice and chapati
  • Cod and cheesy leek gratin served with crusty bread
  • Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with a plum tomato sauce and garlic bread
  • Sweet and sour chicken with spring onion rice and prawn crackers
  • Vegan sweet and sour tempura vegetables with spring onion rice

Sunday roast can be ordered for father’s day, 21st June. Choose from slow roasted silverside of beef, crispy half roast chicken or slow roast lamb. £10. Please ask for veggie / vegan options. Order by 9pm Friday.

Stockland Tennis Club
Pay and play for non members. The court is available for hire at £5 per hour. To book, visit https://fastcourts.com/clubs/stockland-tennis-club and click on “We Welcome Guest bookings”, book a time slot and pay online.

Kings Arms, Stockland
Wednesday 17th – A night of Eastern Promise …

  • Spiced nuts and olives
  • Middle eastern spiced lamb, carrot and cabbage pickle, with a mint and chilli yoghurt on a home made flatbread OR
  • Butternut squash roasted in cumin and chilli, homemade labneh (cream cheese), topped with herbs on a homemade flatbread
  • Honey and pistachio halva

Friday 19th – fish and chips (£13) or beef burger and chips (£10)
Sunday 21st – roast beef/pork/lamb with all the trimmings – £11

Mobility for All
A local non profit making service offering a wide range of mobility aids and equipment on short or long term loan to anyone in need. Contact Trudi on 07810 411311.
Any mobility aids or equipment you would like to donate would be very gratefully received.

River Cottage Supper Club
Collect Friday 19th, £20 per person. Email hollie.styler@rivercottage.net by Wednesday.

  • Dalwood asparagus, fresh pea and mint soup, garlic and rosemary focaccia
  • Slow-cooked organic pork with roasted spring onions, broad beans, cream, cider and mustard OR
  • Roasted spring onion, broad beans, new potatoes, Rosary goats cheese and pumpkin seed gratin
  • Roasted beetroots from the garden, apples, nigella and cumin
    Char-grilled lettuce from the garden, pickled veg and nasturtiums
  • Roast Rhubarb and elderflower fool with gingernut and oat crumble

East Devon District Council
EDDC Residents update https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2900996

Fancy a cream tea?
Sarah Coles of New House Farm has had a stall at the end of their drive where she has sold cakes and preserves. She is branching out into cream teas, which she will deliver locally on Saturdays and Sundays for orders placed on Friday or before.  The price of the cream tea will £5.50 per box for 2 scones , cream and homemade raspberry or strawberry jam. Contact details for Sarah are scoles1971@icloud.com, 07860 947367or 01404 881585

Milk deliveries – thank you to the Cappers’
When the Corona virus arrived, various companies stopped accepting new customers, and amongst these was Milk and More – which is why we have all been very grateful that the Capper family have stepped forward and have organised a separate milk round for the village. The round will be ending this week on Wednesday 17th June. If you’d like to set up an alternative to ensure you get a regular supply of milk, especially if there is a second wave of the virus and another lock down, here are some details of Milk and More.
Our milkman is Daniel Honeybun, and he delivers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Organic milk is 95p per pint; ordinary milk is 81p per pint – all in glass bottles.
Your account has to be set up on line, using an app on a smart phone, tablet or computer.
Milk and More can be contacted via milkandmore.co.uk, or by telephone 0345 606 3606

12/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

The church reopens …
On Monday 15th June, the church of St John Baptist will be open for private prayer & reflection, from 10am – 3pm.
Thereafter, it will be opened twice weekly on Wednesday & Sunday, 10am – 3pm. Whilst we are not expecting vast crowds, please repect social distancing & do not come in if showing any symptoms of covid-19. The church will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day opened, then with the 72 hours between opening, this will hopefully mean the risk of infection is greatly reduced.
The church will have disinfectant wipes & hand sanitiser for all visitors to use. Pens & paper should you wish to write your own prayer to pin to the prayer board, located in the Fry Chapel, will be available.
We would ask you not to bring any flowers into the church at present.
hould you wish o come to the church outide these hours, please contact Sara Cranfield on 881567, who will happily come down to let you in.
Clive Sedgewick, rector, is still available for any spiritual needs, and the church wardens can be contacted at any other time for church related issues.
It will be wonderful to be able to have a little bit of normality returned to our lives, and pray that we will all be able to mix and match again as soon as safe so to do.
In the words of psalm 122, ‘I rejoiced when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the lord’.

Anti Littering Campaign
There is a campaign underway to encourage legislation requiring drive-through takeaway outlets to print the registration number of the purchaser on the food wrapping… could deter a lot of littering. Details here https://www.change.org/p/fast-food-restaurants-to-print-vehicle-reg-on-packaging-taken-away-to-discourage-littering This has been suggested by Otterford Parish Council who regularly litter pick in their parish – the vast majority of the litter they dispose of is from MacDonalds

PPE equipment
As I’m sure you are aware the advice on face masks seems to be changing every few days, so it’s good to be prepared. At the moment, from Monday, you will be expected to cover your face if you use public transport, or visit a hospital in any capacity. It’s probably not a bad idea to wear one whenever you think you might be in a position where social distancing is difficult. I’ve had a look at various different suppliers and concluded that you are probably better off buying one locally or on eBay, or making your own. There seems to be some doubt regarding the effectiveness of those designated as “KN95” on which a safety alert has been issued. The government advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Or advice from the BBC can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52609777. The BBC shows three different simple methods of making your own facemask


Lydia’s going to be even busier…
Lydia has a seven week placement at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro starting on Sunday – but don’t let that stop you contributing to her patchwork project! We wish all the best and look forward to welcoming her back home at the beginning of August.

National Theatre at Home
Enjoy six more weeks of incredible theatre for free.
Following 10 productions and over 12 million views to date, we’re thrilled to announce the final National Theatre at Home plays to be shared for free on YouTube:

  • Currently streaming is “The madness of George III” Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough and Debra Gillet feature in the acclaimed Nottingham Playhouse production of Alan Bennett’s award-winning drama.
  • “Small Island” – The epic stage version of Andrea Levy’s prize-winning novel, directed by Rufus Norris, streaming to mark Windrush Day 2020.
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – Gwendoline Christie plays Titania in the Bridge Theatre’s immersive production directed by Nicholas Hytner.
  • “Les Blancs” – An African country teeters on the edge of civil war in Lorraine Hansberry’s epic, directed by Yaël Farber
  • “The Deep Blue Sea” – Helen McCrory plays one of contemporary drama’s greatest female roles in Terence Rattigan’s masterpiece, directed by Carrie Cracknell.
  • “Amadeus” – Lucian Msamati is Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, directed by Michael Longhurst and featuring lve orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.

East Devon district Council
EDDC Business update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/290307c

The village playground
Unfortunately, current guidance means we are unable to reopen the playground at the moment, but the grass is being regularly cut, and as soon as it can be used again I’ll spread the word.

And finally …
A duck walks into a pub and orders a pint of beer and a ham sandwich.
The barman looks at him and says,
“Hang on! You’re a duck.”
“I see your eyes are working,” replies the duck.
“And you can talk!” Exclaims the barman.
“I see your ears are working, too,” says the duck.
“Now if you don’t mind, can I have my beer and my sandwich please?”
“Certainly, sorry about that,”
Says the barman as he pulls the duck’s pint.
“It’s just we don’t get many ducks in this pub. What are you doing around this way?”
“I’m working on the building site across the road,” Explains the duck.
“I’m a plasterer.”
The flabbergasted barman cannot believe the duck and wants to learn more, but takes the hint when the duck pulls out a newspaper from his bag and proceeds to read it.
So, the duck reads his paper, drinks his beer, eats his sandwich, bids the barman good day and leaves.
The same thing happens for two weeks.
Then one day the circus comes to town.
The ringmaster comes into the pub for a pint and the barman says to him
“You’re with the circus, aren’t you? Well, I know this duck that could be just brilliant in your circus. He talks, drinks beer, eats sandwiches, reads the newspaper and everything!”
“Sounds marvellous,” says the ringmaster, handing over his business card.
“Get him to give me a call.”
So the next day when the duck comes into the pub the barman says,
“Hey Mr Duck, I reckon I can line you up with a top job, paying really good money.”
“I’m always looking for the next job,”
Says the duck.
“Where is it?”
“At the circus,”
Says the barman.
“The circus?”
Repeats the duck.
“That’s right,”
Replies the barman.
“The circus?”
The duck asks again.
“With the big tent?”
“Yeah,” the barman replies.
“With all the animals who live in cages, and performers who live in caravans?” says the duck.
“Of course,” the barman replies.
“And the tent has canvas sides and a big canvas roof with a hole in the middle?” persists the duck.
“That’s right!” says the barman.
The duck shakes his head in amazement, and says .. . ……
“What the hell would they want with a plasterer??!”

10/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Jan has joined a virtual book group with friends from Watford. Has anyone got a copy of “The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra” by Vaseem Khan?

Another medical issue
We spotted what we thought initially was a young greenfinch yesterday that was having trouble feeding. A bit of research suggests it was probably suffering from Trichomonosis (canker).


Trichomonas gallinae affects bird’s digestive system. It typically affects finches, and doves and pigeons. Any bird can catch the infection, but being bird specific, it does not pass on to mammals, including humans.
Trichomonosis causes lesions in the throat of the infected bird, which makes it progressively harder for the bird to swallow its food. In addition to showing signs of general illness such as lethargy and fluffed-up plumage, affected birds may regurgitate food, have difficulty swallowing or show laboured breathing.
The infection is spread through food and drinking water contaminated with freshly regurgitated saliva. Sick birds, unable to swallow, will spit out food particles, which then carry the infection.
If you spot birds showing symptoms of trichomonosis, it is recommended to temporarily stop putting out food, and leave bird baths dry until no further sick or dead birds are found in the garden.

Lydia’s still busy …
I am organising a community patchwork project to hang in the village hall. I am looking for people of Membury Village to make a patchwork square of 7inchx7inch about something which they or Membury did during COVID-19 and lockdown. Please contact me to let me know what idea you have and if you would like to do a square. Telephone 07724014212 or l.e.happle@gmail.com

Moviola Update
Moviola is not likely return to us in the village until the autumn but in the meantime if you want to you can join the #MoviolaTogether initiative. You can help select the film of the week and Moviola will indicate where and how it can be watched at home. We then “chat ” about it using various social media such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
In the past few weeks, Moviola viewers have chosen wider-ranging films from The Titfield Thunderbolt to Sexy Beast – a real variety, reflecting the differing tastes of community audiences.
Visit this link if you are interested: www.moviola.org/noticeboard

Wild East Devon newsletter
Find out what’s happening in our area https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/28f986a

A message from Millers
We just wanted to take a minute to thank all of our customers (new and old) for the support and co-operation over the past few months. It has been an incredibly challenging and unknown time for us all, but we are extremely grateful for your support and patience.
Thank you also to the customers and friends who have sent us letters, cards, sweets and even a meal to keep the staff morale up.
We also owe a huge thank you to all of our staff who have worked unbelievably hard to continue providing a valuable service to the community.
Please continue to stay safe. All our love, The Millers.x

There’s a new Government Discretionary Grant
Which is aimed at supporting small businesses and charities in East Devon launches today, 10th June.
Online applications for the Scheme 3 fund will be open for two weeks, from 10th June to 24th June at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/discretionary-business-grant. This follows previous schemes which supported businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as well as small businesses more generally and has seen over £40m being deployed to over 3,000 businesses in the District. The fund aims to support businesses which were not previously eligible for grant funding.

National Theatre at Home
Coming up from tomorrow, for a week you can watch “The Madness of George III”, the acclaimed Nottingham Playhouse production of Alan Bennett’s award-winning drama, with Mark Gatiss, streams from 7pm UK time on 11 June. When the film of this was released in America, they dropped  the “III” because they were worried that most Americans would assume it was just a sequel that they’d missed the first two parts of.

Our House to Your House
Join The Royal Opera for a Premiere stream of Puccini’s Il trittico: Il tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Follow this link anytime before 19th June https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEYvbFLQBu8&feature=push-fr&attr_tag=MUMbvLB3TTFSQNAx%3A6

Devon County Council Update

And Finally …
Sandra Capper’s lawn is going to be looking a bit shaggy, particularly after this rain …
Mike’s ride-on mower has been commandeered by a family of wrens with five babies who are definitely not socially isolating.


7/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Does anyone use Brita Maxtra water filter cartridges? They are the newer oval ones, not the older round ones. I found 4 we brought with us from Watford but we no longer use that type. Free to anyone that can use them.

A message from Ron and Judy
Ron & Judy would like to send a massive ‘thankyou’ to everyone for all their kind messages for our special wedding anniversary day. We had a lot of enjoyment reading the sentiments. Who’s next?!

 Flash! Bang! Wallop!
Suzie McFadzean has now raised nearly £1400 for ARC by snapping 22 local families whilst remaining at least 2 metres from her models. She has another 2 families booked in, but is happy to take on further commissions. Can we help her reach £2000?

 As the lockdown begins to ease …
Help slow the spread of Covid-19 and identify at risk cases sooner by self-reporting your symptoms daily, even if you feel well. Download the app

A correction to the last edition of the Mercury
GK Plumbing
Grahame Kent, of GK Plumbing has asked me to correct his telephone number, which is included in the list of advertisers the Mercury with a missing digit. The correct number is 07896 344457. If you support people who advertise in the Mercury, please let them know where you saw their advert!


River Cottage Supper Club
This week River Cottage are offering the following menu for collection from their HQ on Friday. Cost is £20 per person. To order email hollie.styler@rivercottage.net by 5pm Wednesday

  • Beetroot, apple & carrot soup with oregano and fennel focaccia df/v/vg
  • Slow-cooked organic pork, River Cottage bacon, tomato, paprika, chilli and fennel or English yellow split pea dhal, roasted spring onions, Dalwood asparagus, fresh peas and green herbs
  • Fennel, orange, chilli and mint salad df/gf/v/vg
  • Potatoes roasted with lemon, garlic and lovage df/gf/v/vg
  • Smoked English quinoa with greens from the garden and toasted seeds df/gf/v/vg
  • Blackcurrant leaf and elderflower posset with ginger nut crumble

 Fancy a cream tea?
Sarah Coles of New House Farm has had a stall at the end of their drive where she has sold cakes and preserves. She is branching out into cream teas, which she will deliver locally on Saturdays and Sundays for orders placed on Friday or before.  The price of the cream tea will £5.50 per box for 2 scones , cream and homemade raspberry or strawberry jam. Contact details for Sarah are scoles1971@icloud.com, 07860 947367or 01404 881585


Our very own drug mules
Kim and Alasdair Bruce have been running drugs for us since the lockdown started.
Since 26th March they have collected a total of 177 prescriptions for Membury’s residents, and have become well known at the surgery. They have progressed over time from the doorway to the drop off point!kb

East Devon District Council
EDDC residents update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/28f2e5a

 And Finally …
In line with the government’s graphical presentation of statistics I’d like to offer the following I found somewhere in the interweb.


5/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Getting tested
One of our village friends went for a Covid test at the Taunton drive-in.  From requesting an appointment on-line at home to having it taken in Taunton took just one hour, including preparation and traveling time.  A very efficient process.  There’s was the only car there in the entire park and ride complex.  The whole process is dead easy – provided you have access to a car.

National Theatre at Home
Currently showing the Donmar Warehouse production of Shakespeare’s searing political tragedy Coriolanus, captured on stage in 2014 by National Theatre Live. This critically acclaimed version is directed by Josie Rourke and features Tom Hiddleston, Mark Gatiss, Alfred Enoch, Hadley Fraser and Deborah Findlay. As part of our commitment to making National Theatre at Home accessible, audiences who are blind or visually impaired can watch a separate audio described stream. Audiences who are d/Deaf or hearing impaired can watch with captions.
Streaming 11 June but brace yourself – it’s 2 hours 35 minutes long!

Yet more scams
One by SMS message, and one by one of those old fashioned letters. Both recipients reported them to the appropriate authorities. The police are also braced for “test and trace” scams – if you get a call or message bear in mind that you should never be asked to pay for anything or reveal any financial information, or passwords.

One villager received an obviously fake  text message as follows:
“PayPal:We need your help resolving an issue with your account. Please log in via XXXX to confirm your identity and restore service.”
The astute Scotsman sent a copy of this to spoof@paypal.com where they will do the necessary to take down the imposter and he also reported with originating phone number to report@phishing.gov.uk and since the message was from a mobile phone, he reported the number on https://who-called.co.uk/ as dangerous.

The second scam in the form of a letter allegedly from Capita began as follows
“Dear Mr. xxx
We are writing to you on behalf of Scottish Widows who have appointed Capita Tracing and data solutions to check that details held within their records for their customers are correct.”
The letter went on to suggest that there may be unclaimed assets, and noted that due to covid-19 all the telephones were closed and all correspondence should be by email.
This was duly reported to ActionFraud, initially by telephone, and then on-line

Marshwood Magazine
You can find the June edition of Marshwood here
As ever it is an excellent read

East Devon District Council
EDDC Business update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/28e67c5

And Finally …
Our bathroom is hosting a beautiful Hoya Carnosa plant, also known as a wax flower. When it flowers, as it does prolifically, the house is filled with its strong scent every evening. In the picture you can see the sweet sticky drops of nectar on the wax-like flowers which give this plant its name.


1/6/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Found on the footpath above Yarty House

sunglassStake your claim at memburysg@gmail.com

Support your local bookshop
The Archway Bookshop is trying to get back to normal in easy stages. Have a look at their plans here: https://archwaybookshop.co.uk/

River Cottage At Home
Order the £20 per head supper club menu by 5pm Wednesday for collection on Friday

  • Starter – Chard, parsley & herb soup with smoked hake and new potatoes or chard, parsley, & herb soup with toasted pumpkin seeds and new potatoes
  • Main – Lamb & merguez sausage and bean tagine with apricots or asparagus, spring onion and bean tagine with apricots
  • Sides – Smoked quinoa “cous cous” with preserved lemons and fresh herbs and Lightly pickled carrot and green strawberry salad/slaw
  • Dessert – Rhubarb, honey and cherry oaty fumble

Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill
Chris Onions has come up with a really interesting sounding British Isles Feast this month. For £30 per head, you get a meal to be collected Friday, and some picnic food to carry you through the weekend. Only snag is that you have to order it by 7pm this evening

  • Spiced candle with pork scratching & wild garlic salt, bread for dipping
  • Laverbread black pudding, Dalwood asparagus, English caper & egg dressing
  • “Finnan Haddie”, lovage & parsley sauce
  • Jersey Royals & condiments
  • Elderflower rice pudding, poached strawberries in English sparkling wine


  • Picnic Sourdough bread
  • Trill Garden Salad
  • Potted crab, mace butter & pickled beetroot
  • Pork & duck terrine with Cumberland sauce
  • Eccles Cakes & Lancashire cheese, an ode to St John

Or would rather have proper food?
The Tuckers Arms in Dalwood has the following menu this week to tickle your tastebuds. I can thoroughly recommend it – and it’s great value for money at £8 each.
Call them on 01404 881342, and collect at noon or 5pm.

  • Curried lamb rendang with coriander and lime rice and flatbread
  • Steak and ale pie with bubble and squeak
  • Haddock and mozzarella fishcake, hollandaise sauce and salad
  • Smoked salmon and white crab meat salad in marie rose with bread
  • Creamy garlic and herb chicken pasta with garlic bread
  • Dalwood asparagus, feta cheese, cous-cous and beetroot salad (can be vegan on request)

News from Waitrose
Mark Shepherd has had so much positive feedback on Branch collections, he has managed to increase his collections operation at Bridport by 70% from today. In addition to this the collection slots have been refined to give Customers hourly slots to improve the service even more

Beef From Park Farm
Last chance – Claudia has one pack left of her delicious beef. Pack size is 20kg, if that is too much how about sharing with a friend or neighbour?
Anyone interested please contact Claudia Pearse on 01404881129/07525144543

Tutoring service
We’ve had an email from Kate Sopwith who lives near the Longbridge. She is available for tutoring, either social distancing or online for pupils ranging from reception to university level. You can reach her on katherinesopwith@gmail.com
She writes …
I have a 2.1 degree in English Literature with History of Art from Newcastle University, gaining a 1st in my dissertation. I also got 3 A’s at A-Level. I would be available to help with tutoring or babysitting. I am 24 years old and I have looked after and taught from reception to University level. I am friendly, artistic and can also cook well. Please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you!
*available on my email all times of day, please message for contact number*
**Full DBS Check done in last year** **Full drivers licence**

And Finally …
Two fair maids were spotted on Oak Apple Day last week jauntily wandering round the village accompanied by their faithful companions


29/5/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Restoration Day, more commonly known as Oak Apple Day, was an English public holiday observed annually on 29 May, to commemorate the restoration of the English Monarchy in May 1660. Membury is one of very few places where this is still celebrated.
Traditional celebrations to commemorate the event often entailed the wearing of oak apples or sprigs of oak leaves, in reference to the occasion after the Battle of Worcester in September 1651, when Charles II escaped the Roundhead army by hiding in an oak tree. Anyone who failed to wear a sprig of oak risked being pelted with bird’s eggs or thrashed with nettles. In Sussex, those not wearing oak were liable to be pinched, giving rise to the unofficial name of “Pinch-bum Day”. We’re more civilised in Membury.
This year the traditional procession and barbecue couldn’t take place, but Jenny and Judy have decorated the street with oak leaves on people’s gates.

The shows must go on
This weekend you can watch Hairspray

From the editors of the Mercury
Have you done the tree quiz in your new Mercury yet?
Did you spot the mistake(not deliberate, unfortunately) ?
The answer to number 7 Should be Walnut, and not as printed. Apologies for the confusion!

From our resident botanist
How lovely to see Janet’s beautiful Echium (looks like E. pininana) and absolutely right that as a native of the Canary islands, it is most commonly associated with gardens in the south of the UK. Did you know however, that several Echium species also grow happily and spectacularly at Logan Botanic Garden on the Galloway Peninsula in Scotland where there is an almost subtropical microclimate?

East Devon District Council
EDDC residents update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/28d89c6

Amphibians and Reptiles
Slithery, smooth, or squelchy, ALL of these cold blooded critters are amazing. Why not see how many you can spot out and about?

The Proms
125 years on from its creation, the Proms will once again provide a remarkable summer of music, fulfilling founder-conductor Sir Henry Wood’s vision to ‘bring the greatest classical music to the widest possible audience’.
The current situation with COVID-19 means the planned season is sadly no longer possible. Instead the Proms have been reconceived in a different format, but with the same aim – to create the world’s greatest classical music festival by reflecting world class music-making from leading artists around the globe, highlighting emerging talent, and featuring work by some of today’s most exciting and innovative composers.
The 2020 Proms will celebrate the past, reflect on the present and build for the future.
With new commissions, gems from the Proms archive, and the ambition to present events from the Hall itself, the 2020 Proms season promises a multi-platform offer to reflect the current times.
As originally planned, the season will run from 17 July, culminating in the Last Night of the Proms on 12 September. It promises 8 weeks of broadcasts on television, radio and online.
Programme details will be announced in due course. Please sign up to the Royal Albert Hall newsletter if you want more details as they are released

National Theatre at home
Enjoying two sold-out National Theatre runs, a NT Live broadcast in 2013, plus a West End transfer and UK tour, “This House” is a timely, moving and funny insight into the workings of British politics by James Graham (Ink, ITV’s Quiz) and directed by Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things).
It’s 1974, and Britain has a hung Parliament. The corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backstabbing as the political parties battle to change the future of the nation.
Streaming until 4th June. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vsSHyjEMrg

Kings Arms Stockland
Tel no. 01404 881686
Friday Night 29th May Take Away Menu 5.00 -8.30pm

  • Fish & Chips with Tartare Sauce £13.00
  • Beefburger (With Cheese optional) with Chips £10.00
  • Side Dishes: Coleslaw £2.00 Mushy Peas £2.00 Garden Salad £2.00

Saturday Night May 30th Take Away Menu 5.30 – 9.00pm
Lyme Bay Fresh Fish Night: 3 courses per person £20.00

  • Hand Dived Lyme Bay Scallops or Braised Cuttlefish and chorizo salad with croutons and Garden salad.
  • Lyme Bay Lobster, grilled with garlic butter, served with chips or Lyme Bay Crab Tagliatelle, crab in a white wine, cream and garlic sauce
  • Sicilian Lemon Sorbet with Limoncello

Sunday Lunch 31st May Take Away 12.00 – 3.00pm

  • Choice of Roast Beef /Pork or Lamb served with season vegetable gravy and sauce. £10.00
  • Roast Cauliflower Steak with Cumin, crispy cauliflower and puree £10.00
  • Summer fruit salad with Chantilly Cream £4.00

And Finally …
Here is a montage of all the oak leaf favours Jenny and Judy have decorated the street with. Can you find your gate?

oak applee favours

26/5/2020 Membury Support Group periodic update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

You’ll be pleased to hear that the helpline re-routing system is now working, so please revert to the number above if you need to contact us.

Douglas Hull RIP
From Axminster Nub News
The father of Axminster Town Council Douglas Hull died yesterday afternoon (Monday) after a long illness. A life-long Liberal, Cllr Hull gained a seat on the old Axminster Rural Council representing his home village of Hawkchurch where he was active in the youth club and village hall committee as well as serving on the parish council. He went on to serve the community in a number of roles including a seat on Devon County Council. During his last term at county hall he was elected as deputy chairman and when he finally stood down he was made an Honorary Alderman of the County. He was the town council’s longest serving member and served as mayor on three occasions. His wife Joy also served as mayor, the first husband and wife to be elected as First Citizens. He and Joy were both great friends of Membury

 Deliveries from Tierra Kitchen
One of the best restaurants in Lyme Regis is now offering free
deliveries every Wednesday to Membury. They have a great selection of veggie and vegan food at very reasonable prices. We’ve ordered a selection for tomorrow – I’ll let you know how it goes!
Contact them on 01297 445189. If you look on the website there’s wine and puddings too! www.tierrakitchen.co.uk
Order by 2pm tomorrow and choose from the following – all at £5 each:

  • Marinated and grilled halloumi skewers (charred halloumi, seasonal veg, Malaysian marinade, satay sauce, coconut rice)
  • Roast red pepper roulade (carrot and cashew filling, spring greens, tomato and basil relish)
  • Early summer tagine (slow cooked seasonal veg, ras-el—hanout spices, preserved lemon, seasonal legumes, tierra falafel and mint couscous)
  • Roast pepper and walnut lasagne (rich layered bake of Wookey hole cheddar, tomato sauce, early summer legumes and buckwheat pasta)

Goren Farm, Stockland
This weekend there’ll be a small farm store at Goren Farm selling wildflower seed, cider, apple juice, honey, meat, fruit and veg. The fields will also be open with a one way path through the 70 acres of meadows and woods. Refreshments available, or bring a picnic. 12 noon to 8pm. EX14 9EN

A little ditty from Pam Ayres
I’m normally a social girl
I love to meet my mates
But lately with the virus here
We can’t go out the gates.

You see, we are the ‘oldies’ now
We need to stay inside
If they haven’t seen us for a while
They’ll think we’ve upped and died.

They’ll never know the things we did
Before we got this old
There wasn’t any Facebook
So not everything was told.

We may seem sweet old ladies
Who would never be uncouth
But we grew up in the 60s –
If you only knew the truth!

There was sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll
The pill and miniskirts
We smoked, we drank, we partied
And were quite outrageous flirts.

Then we settled down, got married
And turned into someone’s mum,
Somebody’s wife, then nana,
Who on earth did we become?

We didn’t mind the change of pace
Because our lives were full
But to bury us before we’re dead
Is like a red rag to a bull!

So here you find me stuck inside
For four weeks, maybe more
I finally found myself again
Then I had to close the door!

It didn’t really bother me
I’d while away the hour
I’d bake for all the family
But I’ve got no flaming flour!

Now Netflix is just wonderful
I like a gutsy thriller
I’m swooning over Idris
Or some random sexy killer.

At least I’ve got a stash of booze
For when I’m being idle
There’s wine and whiskey, even gin
If I’m feeling suicidal!

So let’s all drink to lockdown
To recovery and health
And hope this awful virus
Doesn’t decimate our wealth.

We’ll all get through the crisis
And be back to join our mates
Just hoping I’m not far too wide
To fit through the flaming gates!

And Finally …
Janet Andrews has an Echium that is probably fifteen feet tall in her garden that is full of bees. You see them in sheltered spots in Cornwall, but this is quite exceptional.


23/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

It was on March 16th that a group of us met at the village hall in response to the threat from this accursed virus. Represented were the Parish Council, the Merrymakers, the trustees of the hall, and other concerned local people. The lockdown began in England a week later on March 23rd with an announcement from Boris Johnson.

Since our first meeting, we have recruited a good number of volunteers, set up a helpline, organised a system for the collection of prescription drugs, a milk round, bulk ordering for flour and other things, shopping, dog walking and responded to other calls from villagers who were shielding or self-isolating. We have a pile of crates outside the hall full of books, puzzles, seeds, plants, food bank donations and scrub-hub materials. We have our own photographic archivist and mask maker. We’ve even had our own kookaburra who, faced suddenly with the big wide world, decided Membury was the place to be.
I don’t want to name individual people – I’m bound to forget one or two – but let’s include all the villagers who have helped out, in our thoughts at the final clap next Thursday.

It’s now two months since I started these daily updates, and as the lock-down begins to ease, I will reduce the frequency of these emails to once every couple of days or so – depending on what’s going on. Don’t let that stop you sending me photographs, poems, stories, recommendations or indeed money (fat chance!). The help line will continue to be operational for the foreseeable future as will the general email address, but be prepared to leave a message if your call goes straight to an answering machine.

 Green Waste Collections Update…
The green waste collection with existing customers is continuing to go well, therefore the council are now pleased to announce that they are able to take new green waste customers.
Their customer service team will contact those interested customers on their waiting list, wishing to sign up to the green waste service. The website, the App and Alexa have been updated, together with social media coverage on Facebook /Twitter and in the weekly resident magazine.
Interested customers can subscribe to green waste collections, by visiting the website http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/green or by calling the Customer Service Centre on 01395 571515.

 From the RSPB – Nightjars
Nightjars must be one of the oddest birds in the UK. They’re like a cross between a cuckoo and a swift, with huge eyes, tiny legs and long, tapered wings. Like both swifts and cuckoos, they’re migrants, traveling here from Africa each spring, before leaving again just a few weeks later, allowing them to take advantage of the big, juicy moths that are flying in the UK at that time.
They’re expertly camouflaged, secretive and mostly nocturnal, so very few people will ever be lucky enough to see one. If you hear one, you may not even think you’re hearing a bird, as their call – called a ‘chur’ – could easily be confused for a frog or perhaps even an electronic toy that’s been left out running overnight.
We are fortunate where we are – Nightjars can be heard locally at dusk on Trinity Hill over the next few weeks. Visit on a quiet, warm evening without too much wind, and listen out. The call is unmistakable! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOAGUfBFcvM

 Face Coverings
The government is now advising the public to wear a face covering in some circumstances, such as enclosed spaces where social distancing may not always possible. Face coverings do not protect you from contracting coronavirus. However, if you are infected but haven’t yet developed symptoms, they should help to provide some protection for people you come into contact with in a busy shop or on public transport.
A face covering is made of cloth or other textiles and covers the nose and mouth. You should be able to breathe comfortably through a face covering. You can use a simple scarf or bandana that ties behind your head or make your own ‘no-sew’ face coverings using the advice available online at the gov.uk website. Simply search for ‘face covering’. Face coverings are also available to buy online and are being made in the village.
If you have symptoms of Covid, you (and all members of your household whether they have symptoms or not) must self-isolate promptly. Follow the stay at home guidance, and get tested as soon as possible if you are eligible https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test
Face coverings do not replace social distancing, good hand washing and good hygiene (coughing and sneezing into a tissue, disposing of tissues immediately and washing hands), as these are the most important and effective measures that we can all adopt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The safe use of face coverings is crucial. Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, taking it off, washing it and storing it. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them. Clean any surfaces your face covering has come into contact with. You should wash your face covering after each use in your usual laundry, using your normal detergent. The government has advised that face coverings ‘do not need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices and retail’. They are also not recommended for those who may find them difficult to wear, such as children under two, primary aged children who cannot use them without assistance, or those who may have problems breathing while wearing a face covering. The perception of risk and the level of anxiety about coronavirus varies between different people and there are different cultural attitudes to wearing face coverings. If people choose to wear a face covering within environments such as offices, schools or outdoors, it is important their wishes are respected. It does not necessarily indicate they are unwell or there is an increased risk from that individual.

 Axminster Nub News
Axminster is soon to have a new on-line source of news. They are actively seeking contributors so if you have a story for them – just get in touch

 And Finally …
Thanks to everyone for the support and uplifting comments I’ve received so far which have encouraged me to keep this up for two months!

22/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

We’ve had further reports of a cuckoo in Yarcombe that’s been there for about three weeks now – but it’ll be heading back to Africa soon. Has anyone heard one in Membury yet? We lent them out kookaburra for a day or two – it would be nice if they reciprocated with their cuckoo!

Fish and chips
Just a brief reminder that the fish and chip van will be gracing our car park again this Saturday 23rd from 6pm. £5 per portion as usual. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. As ever there’ll be a collection pot for the NHS. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home

 East Devon District Council
EDDC residents update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/28c9018

 Beef from Park Farm
Try our delicious Aberdeen Angus beef fresh from the farm, ready packed for the freezer. Each pack contains about 20 kilos of beef, with a variety of joints, steaks, mince and stewing meat. Cost £10 a kilo. Orders taken for June 1st.
Enquiries/orders to Claudia Pearse 01404881129 / 07525144543

BBC Gardeners World Magazine
At this time of the year Gardeners World Magazine always contains a little bonus.
If (like us) you are not heading out much you can order one here post free. https://magsdirect.co.uk/magazine/gwmay20/
Be ready to visit 461 of the UK’s most beautiful and fascinating gardens when the time is right with our 2-for-1 Entry Gardens to Visit Card and Guide. From landmark gardens such as Kew and Eden Project to hidden gems it’s the ideal way to enjoy the outdoors.
2-for-1 Entry for two adults
Valid until April 2021 – so plenty of time to use it
Reusable – visit as many times as you like
38 new gardens this year
Visiting alone? 156 gardens offer single-visitor
Free entry to children at 131 gardens
Whatever the size of your garden or balcony, the May issue is packed-full of expert advice and inspiration for you to do now! Including:
· Summer colour with Monty Don · Easy to grow veg for under £10 ·
· 10 ways to garden through self-isolation  · What To Do Now ·
· Home composting – the dos and don’ts · Planting in Containers
Also available
VALUE PACK – £7.99
Enjoy tasty salads and summer colour in your garden with our easy-to-grow seeds worth £17.95
Lettuce ‘Salad Bowl’ – Fast to harvest
Zinnia ‘Early Wonder Mixed’ -Easy colour mix
Cosmos ‘Purity’ – Big impact plant
Calendula ‘Nova’ – Great for bees
Eschscholzia ‘Orange King’- Great for dry soil
Echinacea Pallida – Pollinator friendly

 And Finally …
Thanks to Alasdair Bruce I’ve learnt all about extrafloral nectaries. This is why the bees are going crazy round our laurel hedge – and making me think I really oughtn’t to give it even a light trim at the moment.
If you look on the underside of every laurel leaf (and some other trees) you’ll see two small paired marks (the extrafloral nectaries) that provide a quick and easy way for bees to get nectar – it’s much less work for them than mucking about with a complicated flower


21/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Can anybody explain why our laurel hedge – and one by the church at Membury House – seem to be absolutely packed with bees at the moment, with so many assorted fancier flowers for them to choose from. In our garden the buzzing is almost deafening!

 Post Office
Don’t forget that the post office will be open between 1pm and 3pm tomorrow at the village hall. We expect it’ll be very busy, so please prepare for a socially distanced queue, take a packed lunch, and lets hope the computer connection works properly!

I’m doing another Bidfood order tomorrow for delivery on Monday. They were prompt and efficient at their delivery last week, and the quality of their goods seems very reasonable – as are their prices. Call me for more details. Don’t forget, even though the flour comes in 16kg sacks, we can split them if necessary. https://www.bidfood.co.uk/

 National theatre at home
Tonight we whisk you away to New Orleans with a contemporary take on the American classic ”A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams, featuring Gillian Anderson and Vanessa Kirby.
As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister Stella for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski.
This critically acclaimed Young Vic and Joshua Andrews co-production was filmed live at the Young Vic in 2014 by National Theatre Live.
Catch it over the next 7 days. Jan and Sue have seen this production and rate it very highly.

 The show must go on
A few of our favourite things: a free stream of ‘The Sound of Music’ on YouTube this Friday for 48 hours, starring Carrie Underwood as Maria… go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5AtR2jJjTs
This is based on Rogers and Hammerstein’s legendary 1959 stage production of the same name

 Millbrook allotments
The Symington’s have been busy at Millbrook Village in Exeter where they now live, tidying up the allotment and are after some raspberry canes and a gooseberry bush if anyone is thinning any out later in the year.

East Devon District Council update
EDDC Business update

 More volunteers
As the lockdown begins to ease slightly and people start returning to work we may lose some of our volunteers. If anyone would like to help out with things like dog walking, shopping or delivering stuff around the village to people who are self-isolating or shielding please get in touch via memburysg@gmail.com.

 Are you OK?
It’s Mental Health Awareness week this week, so its a good time to remember that taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body, especially during this difficult time.
The coronavirus outbreak means that life as we know it has changed for the time being, and this can understandably affect your mood. It’s perfectly normal to feel frustrated, anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, bored, sad or lonely. Many of us are feeling the same way – you are not alone.
There are lots of simple things you can do to help take care of your mental health and wellbeing.
The Mental Health Foundation has lots of useful advice specifically about looking after your mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The BBC has picked up the story about sluggish broadband in the blackdowns https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-52635610

 And Finally …
Our Crinodendron tree is looking fabulous at the moment – if only those flowers were edible! The clematis and rose over our front door are harbouring a quarrel of very noisy sparrows, but we really don’t mind the noise too much.


20/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

What’s this? Nothing about food today? I’m sure normal service will be resumed tomorrow!

Because Lucy is working full time now, could all requests for medicines to the support group please be made by Tuesday evening. As a reminder, you need to order your prescription online or by phone on Friday, provide the Membury Support Group with your name, date of birth, address and whether you pay or not by the following Tuesday, and collect your medicine from the Village Hall from about 1pm. If you are self-isolating or shielding, your medicine can be delivered.

 Oak Apple Day 29th. May
Notice From Membury History Society
We realise that our celebrations this year are going to be curtailed, but we wondered if those of you who live along the Street would like to have one of our usual Oak Apple posies. The History Society would be happy to deliver a little bunch of oak leaves tied up with a ribbon for you to display on your gate on Friday 29th. It would be a small reminder of our traditional procession through Membury led by King Charles to the Church where, watched by a sombre Oliver Cromwell, he would normally celebrate the return of the monarchy and declare a public holiday.
Please let us know if you would rather not receive one. But if you live in the outlying areas of the village and would still like a posy, please let our secretary Jenny Beaman know (tel. 01404 881828) and we’ll get one to you.

 The Return of the Giant Hogweed
Which coincidently is the title of a track on “Nursery Crime” released by Genesis in 1971
I had a phone call from Jeremy Wallace earlier regarding the cautionary tale about Hogweed from Roger Clemens. Jeremy’s father made the first recorded discovery of giant Hogweed in the area in the 1960s in the garden at Colecroft, where Roger now lives. It’s likely that it was the offspring of this plant which did for Roger!
There is an even more dangerous plant of the same family which grows in damp places in the neighbourhood – although it is very uncommon. This is called cowbane, and looks similar, except that it only grows to about 5 feet, and the leaves are a lot narrower. The stem and root exude an oily yellow liquid if cut. It is thought that this is the poison that was administered in Ancient Greece as a method of capital punishment. Even small doses can be fatal to animals and humans. Contact with the skin will cause serious burns in sunlight


Ascension Day message and prayers
From Dr Paul Avis
Ascension Day (21 May) follows forty days after Easter Day. After his suffering, Jesus presented himself alive to the disciples by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God’ (Acts of the Apostles 1:3). Then Jesus gathers his disciples around him on a mountain top, tells them to await the gift of the Holy Spirit, blesses them, is enveloped in a cloud and is taken from their sight (Matthew 28:16-17; Luke 24:50-53).
This is classic biblical picture language. In the Bible, forty days is a stereotyped period of the communing of humankind with God (Moses on Mount Sinai; Jesus in the wilderness). The mountain top is where earth touches heaven. The cloud always symbolises the presence of God in our midst. So the Ascension speaks of Jesus’ return to the Father, after his earthly work was complete. It marks the end of the resurrection appearances. It sets the scene for the next great moment in the biblical drama and in the Christian Year – the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the infant Church at Pentecost (Whitsun). Ascensiontide tells us that Jesus is now one with the Father in heaven and one with his people on earth. In Matthew 28:16-20, at the Ascension, Jesus commissions the apostles to ‘make disciples of all nations, baptising them and teaching them’. He ends with the promise: ‘Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
Grant, we pray, O loving Lord, that as we believe your only Son Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens, so we in heart and mind may thither ascend and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: we beseech you, leave us not comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us and to exalt us unto the place where our Saviour Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Merciful God, we entrust to your unfailing care those who are suffering from pain or grief at this challenging time, knowing that your everlasting arms will hold us safe. Comfort and heal, restore to health and strength, all those in need; guide and support all who care for them, through the great Healer, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer. +The Grace.

Life in Lockdown
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert publishes many useful guides. This one is particularly good, and has links to lots of other guides within it. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-help-and-support/

And Finally …
I went for a short walk earlier, and I met the pop singer Suggs down by the village hall. Do you think this is the first sign of Madness?

19/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

I’m sure you are all aware that it was Jill’s birthday yesterday. Far be it for me to reveal her age, but let’s just say she was 7 when the European Convention on Human Rights came into force.

Devon and Cornwall Police
Protect our rural communities
As our police dogs will tell you, they like taking their humans for a nice walk.
If your dog wants a stroll through the countryside, make sure you keep them under effective control and away from livestock, other dogs and people. Always think twice about your plans. There have been incidents recently in Axminster of teenagers with a dog chasing cattle.

Axminster Scrub Hub
From Suzie …
After collecting the goodies from “the field” a fabulous stash is being delivered to the central depot today — Can you spot your donated duvets etc ??
The ladies listed below have made 10 pairs of scrubs. 20 ear defenders, 13 scrub bags, 50 headbands – You ladies ROCK ! Proud to be part of the wheels helping you ladies sew !!
The Champions:- Karen Hawton, Susanna Gambie, Margie Purchase, Lydia Ellen, Jan Lazar, Trina Noyes, Molly Barrell, and Jennifer Pyke


Axminster wildlife Park
A huge thank you to Lydia Hartnell who donated the proceeds from making and selling face masks to help with our animal feed bills while we are closed. Lydia lives locally and regularly visits our park. Such kindness is being shown to us at this uncertain time

Spot the nurse answers
From top left

  • Nurse Jenny McGee from Invercargill, NZ. Nursed Boris Johnson in ICU
  • Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan from MASH
  • Edith Cavell, nurse in WW1
  • Nurse Gladys Emmanuel from Open All Hours
  • Jo Brand, comedian and former psychiatric nurse
  • Nursie from Blackadder
  • Julie Walters, actress and former nurse
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Charlie Fairhead from Casualty
  • Seymour Nurse, West Indies international cricketer in 1960’s

Fish and chips
And now, for the second week running …
the fish and chip van will be gracing our car park again this Saturday 23rd from 6pm. £5 per portion as usual. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. As ever there’ll be a collection pot for the NHS. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home

And Finally …
Robert and sue Thompson sent me a message this morning. The red kite from Membury had paid them a visit whilst they were on their daily walk in Guildford but it was being mobbed by crows so they believe it high-tailed it back to Devon quite swiftly. They are hoping to do the same soon.

18/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

The government has just announced that anosmia (a loss or change in your sense of smell which can also affect your sense of taste) is to be considered a symptom of Covid-19 – and people suffering from it should self-isolate.

Stop Press!
I have some brilliant news for you – Baboo Ice Cream will now deliver to our village from their base at Bridport. The minimum order is 4x500ml tubs at £22. Extra tubs are £5 each. You can get smaller pots, but who are you kidding? You really want the larger ones. For those of you who, as a family, can agree on a single flavour can get the huge 2¼ litre pots – a bargain at £20 each. Call Baboo on 01308 488629 or email them at info@baboogelato.com
The following flavours are available in the 500ml tubs, and all but the last three are available in 125ml pots:

Madagascan vanilla, Salted caramel, Double chocolate, Maple & walnut, Strawberry, Mint choc chip, Hazelnut, Blackcurrant ripple, Rum & raisin, Lemon sorbet, Orange sorbet, Blackcurrant sorbet, Passionfruit sorbet, Crystallised ginger, Sea Pink Rosé sorbet, Gin & tonic sorbet.

More wildlife
A red kite was seen flying over Furley this morning. Where we used to live in Hertfordshire we’d see them by the dozen, but they are not common in this part of the world. They are huge, very distinctive birds of prey with a characteristic triangular tail.

Tuckers Arms, Dalwood – take-away
Order in advance by noon. Collect between 12 noon and 1pm, or at 5pm. Each meal is £8. Everything supplied ready to heat up at home. Steak and Ale pie is to die for.
This week:

  • Antipasti meats with olives, parmesan, salad and crusty bread
  • Smoked salmon and prawn salad in Marie Rose with bread
  • Moroccan style lamb curry with rice and flat bread
  • Steak and ale pie with bubble and squeak
  • Thai spiced mixed fish chowder with crusty bread
  • Italian chicken in tomato and basil sauce with mozzarella cheese, new potatoes and salad
  • Vegan chickpea and spinach Masala made with coconut milk, with rice and flatbread

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue
Tack-Room Theatre Tuesday Night Live present Colin Sell – an hour of songs and laughs with the legendary pianist from Clue at 7pm. Admission free, but there’ll be a collection for Covid-19 urgent appeal. Go to www.facebok.com/tackroomtheatre

Kings Arms, Stockland
Thai Night Wednesday May 20th 5.00pm-8.30pm
Ring: 01404 881686 to reserve your pick up slot. £11 for three courses

  • Selection of Thai Fish cakes, Sweet & Sour Seared scallops, Chicken satay.
  • Pad Thai served with Noodles – Vegetarian or Prawns (£2 Supplement) or
    Thai Red Curry with Pork served with Rice
  • Thai Fruit Salad: Lychee, Pineapple, Mango with coconut

Suzie’s ARC Lockdown Photography Project
Its now Mental Health Week 2020 with the lead topic of kindness – a lot of people doing so much for friends, neighbours and complete strangers at this time.
I am fundraising for ARC – our own local mental health charity and there is still time to take part in my ARC Lockdown Photography Fundraiser and capture some of those Lockdown memories …Just give me a call/message. No charges to you – just a donation to ARC via my just giving page. You will get all images for downloading via an online platform. Social distancing observed and photos that I post have permission granted by the families – mrsmacspics@gmail.com 07484 163 901

And Finally …
We were passing East Membury Farm last night when we came upon some very attractive thirsty cows, and yet another scarecrow for the collection


17/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

If you are tempted to nip down to Seaton over the next few days, be aware that the car parking on the Esplanade is no longer free!

Ron and Judy Martin
Ron has asked me to mention here that their planned party to celebrate 50 years of marriage that was due to take place on June 6th has been postponed – it’ll be back bigger and better than ever just as soon as the rules allow!

Marchwood Magazine
There’s a special mid-May edition of Marchwood available on-line here. https://issuu.com/marshwoodvaleltd/docs/marshwood__mid-month_special_may_20
This includes details of the Bridport Prize – an international creative writing competition. Submit in one of more categories (poetry, flash fiction, short story or novel) and be in with a chance of international stardom.

40% of our cuckoos have been lost over the last 20 years – but cuckoos have recently been heard in Membury.

Cuckoos have a crafty breeding strategy. Instead of building their own nest, they use the nests of ‘host’ birds, such as dunnocks and meadow pipits. When a female cuckoo finds a suitable nest, and the hosts aren’t looking, she removes one of their eggs and lays her own egg in its place.

The young cuckoo hatches after only 12 days and quickly pushes the hosts’ eggs or babies out of the nest. After 19 days it leaves the nest, but the hosts continue to feed it for two more weeks, by which time it has grown much bigger than them.
Adult cuckoos are among the earliest of our summer visitors to leave. They have no need to help rear their young, so they are free to go. Most leave the UK during June. Young cuckoos leave later, when they are fully fledged. They never see their parents.
The British Trust for Ornithology has been tracking cuckoo migration since 2011. These new technological advances show that cuckoos spend the winter months in Central Africa. They take a different migratory route in autumn to their spring journey and places to stop off to rest and feed – in both Europe and Africa – are important parts of the cuckoo’s migratory journey

River Cottage
The river Cottage Supper Club is offering the following menu ofr collection from their HQ next Friday …

  • White onion and Beenleigh Blue cheese soup, thyme and fennel focaccia
  • Slow-cooked River Cottage organic beef with chilli, ginger, coriander and lime or Roast fennel, asparagus, olive and yellow split pea stew with preserved lemon and chilli
  • Both served with cabbage, pickled radish and seaweed salad; Roasted beetroot with greens from the garden and tamari; Roasted potatoes with garlic, parsley and olive oil
  • Prune, apple & rhubarb sponge with malt extract and creamy vanilla yoghurt

Email carrie.berry@rivercottage.net to place your order by Wednesday.

Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is offering a great selection of streamed concerts free of charge. https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/series/royal-albert-home/

The Village Playing field.
Unfortunately the outdoor space that is our playing field must remain closed at the moment. Current evidence shows that the Covid19 virus can remain active on metal for 72 hours.

And Finally …
Jon and Cherry, our exiles in New Zealand have put together this set of pictures to belatedly mark international nurses day last week. Can you recognise them all? I’m told the last one is a bit tricky.


16/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

If you are tempted to nip down to Seaton over the next few days, be aware that the car parking on the Esplanade is no longer free!

Something to celebrate
Michael and Sarah Bell celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary today. There was a Zoom event with friends and relatives from at least three continents (and Scotland) taking part. Coming up soon – Ron and Judy Martin will be reaching for gold on June 6th. Any advance on that?

The Old Inn Kilmington
Free delivery 7 days a week. Call 01927 32096 for more details.
2 Large pizzas £20, 2 medium £16 – gluten free if you wish. Choose from Margherita, Meat Feast, Pepperoni, Vegetarian, Sweet Chilli Chicken, BBQ Chicken or Hawaiian. Traditional Sunday roast – beef, pork, turkey or Mediterranean tart with all the trimmings – £10 adult, £6 child.
They also sell a lot more than pizza – there’s fish / burgers / scampi/ pasta / lasagne /kids meal and more.

Kings Arms
The usual Sunday Roast £10 – 01404 881686. Veggie option this week is cauliflower steak with mushroom sauce. Pudding is chocolate sponge with custard. Look out for details of the Thai night on Wednesday.

Waitrose food boxes
Waitrose Food boxes are now available from john.lewis.com. Customers can now purchase a Waitrose food box packed with a range of essential products directly. A box will keep a customer stocked up with a week’s worth of food. Each box costs £25 and contains 24 products including pasta sauce, potatoes, rice and treats such as biscuits and rice pudding. Each box is constructed and distributed from the John Lewis Magna Park distribution centre and has been developed by the Waitrose Product Innovation Team working with Waitrose nutritionists and food technologists to ensure a customer gets everything they need.
Orders are limited to two boxes per customer so that vulnerable customers can be prioritised. Free delivery for orders of at least £50

National Trust car parks
On Monday 18 May a booking system will open on the National Trust website for some of their larger car parks so you can once again get access to more open green spaces and nature.
The opening of larger car parks in England will come days after they start opening some of their smaller car parks in line with government advice. They will be opening up some of our larger car parks in England from Thursday 21 May to visitors who’ve pre-booked their spaces.
Property web pages will contain the details about which car parks are bookable. They’re urging visitors to check online for the latest details and booking instructions before travelling. Members will be able to book a space for free, while non-members will need to pay in advance for their space.

And Finally …
My favourite insect.
Meet the bee fly! Pretty cool, right? Unless you’re a bee grub. In which case, the female bee-fly flicks her eggs at the entrance of your nest (the nests of ground-nesting and solitary bees), so that her larvae can hatch and feed on you. Bee flies have been whizzing round the village for a few weeks now – look out for them! Photo credit, Nate Evans


15/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

In the absence of Wimbledon …
Anyone for Tennis? Stockland Tennis Club is welcoming new members to join our local friendly club. For further information contact Ted 07770787979 / ted.espir@btinternet.com, or Rowena 01404 881538.

Tuckers Arms
We took advantage of the Tuckers take away this evening and splashed out £8 each for steak and ale pie, mash, peas and gravy. Pie was packed full of meat, mash was delicious and there was enough gravy to sink a battleship.

They change the menu weekly, and only advertise it via Facebook. I’ll put a copy on here when they publish next weeks selection. If the pie is still on there, I’ll definitely have it again though. One portion will serve two small eaters, and two potions will be sufficient for three people. Pick up is noon or 5pm, and you need to reheat it for 25 minutes when you get it home

We are all ‘country folk’ ….. Really.
Ron’s Craddock’s Musings
The present circumstance creates time gaps because “I can’t do this” … “I’d better not do that”. So, we sit and ponder – in nice Membury, a village, steeped in farmland – the way it has been since time immemorial. And many of us find it difficult to think of themselves as being steeped in farmland – be ‘country folk’, because so many of us have come down ‘from the smoke’ … of one sort or another. But that is what we are. Go back a few years, maybe a hundred years or two hundred years and there were your forbears toiling the land. How many ‘country folk’ story episodes occurred in those lives?
When did your transition from ‘country folk’ to ‘towny’ take place? One, two, three or more generations ago? When reader, did you stop being ‘country folk’? You can tell I had a time gap … and pondered. So, I filled it with thoughts of the past because I recalled it was two hundred years ago this year that my great grandfather was born in a nice little village in Wiltshire called Goodworth Clatford. His dad was a gamekeeper, a good country occupation, at Hinton Ampner (NT), in Hampshire, for a period. But it seems he had an itch to move or was led astray by the excitement of the big city, London, that resulted from the activities of the Industrial Revolution. He next appears as a publican at the Bedford Arms in Walworth Road, and then running the Old Globe Inn, in the Mile End Road.
The transition seems to have been encouraged by, and supported by, other members of the family who were living and working in Kensington – family relatives who had also moved from country struggle to urban struggle to be dyers. Dyers … publicans – was that worth the change and effort? Probably not, following generations clocked up a Tailor (of course), a Soldier (of course) amongst other occupations. By the time ‘towny’ life was imposed on me, the reverse itch was in play, I am now ‘country folk’, of a sort, after thirty years in Membury, where one can sit and ponder in time gaps.

Oxford Dictionary of Family Names
This just-published work is free to access for the next 7 days – if you can get on the website …
Family historians can discover the stories behind thousands of surnames as the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland lifts its paywall today.
Oxford University Press and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) are offering free access to the dictionary from the United Nations International Day of Families on 15 May until 21 May.
The print version of the dictionary is 3,136 pages long and costs £400, and the online edition is only available via subscribing institutions, so this is a unique opportunity to access information about over 45,000 surnames.
Sarah Williams, editor of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, said: “The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland is the most authoritative resource for anyone wanting to understand the origin of their family name.

From the Police
There has been an increase in theft of valuables from vehicles parked in local beauty spots  over the last fortnight and Police would like to advise people not to leave valuables in their vehicles. Locations that are targetted include Trinity Hill Axminster, Peak Hill Sidmouth, Weston, Salcombe Regis, Salcombe Hill, Blackberry Camp and Joneys Cross on Aylesbeare Common.

Also, there are national reports of pet related fraud – beware of trying to buy a dog or cat online – make sure you check out reviews of the seller, and if you can’t actually visit the animal before committing, at least make sure you see a video of it.

Finally, Devon & Cornwall Police is joining with other police forces across the country today, Friday 15 May, in a virtual ‘Operation Owl’ day of action to highlight birds of prey persecution, as numbers of reported incidents show no signs of slowing down.
Launched in February 2018, Operation Owl is a joint initiative by North Yorkshire Police, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA), with the Yorkshire national parks. The initiative set out to raise awareness of raptor persecution, encouraging the public to be vigilant for signs of this criminal activity, and to report suspicious activity to the police.

From East Devon district Council
Residents update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/28b8e4a
Business update – https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/28af3a5

And Finally …
I think I’ve reached number 5.


14/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

The notes from Roger on Giant Hogweed have struck a chord. Derek Eades has pointed out that you shouldn’t strim Hogweed or Japanese Knotweed; apart from spreading it around the place, you won’t be doing the hedgehogs any good. Jamie Howse notes that there are two types of Hogweed usually found. Common Hogweed, also known as Cow Parsnip (NOT poisonous or harmful) and Giant Hogweed. They are often confused. The best way to tell them apart is by their size; giant hogweed often reaches 4 metres before flowering, and the stems can be up to 10cm across, but you can also tell the difference between Giant Hogweed and regular hogweed by looking at the leaves – regular hogweed leaves are going to be more rounded versus the jagged edges of Giant Hogweed leaves. Both can cause skin burning – but it’s much worse with the giant variety.


Fish and Chips at the Village Hall
Don’t forget to book your fish and chips for this Saturday by contacting Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com. The van will be in the car park from 6pm. As ever there’ll be a collection pot for the NHS. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home

 Axminster market
Fruit and veg is back at Axminster market on Thursday mornings. There’s a different set up to allow social distancing and a one way system. They’ll also now take card payment.

National Theatre at home
Join us from 7pm tonight for Inua Ellams’ smash-hit play, Barber Shop Chronicles.
For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.
Directed by Olivier award-winning director Bijan Sheibani, this hilarious, heart-warming production leaps from a barber shop in Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra over the course of a single day.
Barber Shop Chronicles is a co-production with Fuel and Leeds Playhouse. This never-before-seen enhanced archive recording was captured by the National Theatre in January 2018.
Streaming on YouTube for free from 7pm Thursday 14 May until 21 May.   

Kings Arms friday night take away
It’s the usual fish and chips, burger and chips or veg tagine with cous cous available tomorrow night from Stockland. Call 01404 881686 to order.

 Dalwood Vinyard
Have 8 asparagus and wine bundles for this week
Order quickly … they soon go
£25 including delivery
Order at dalwoodvineyard.co.uk or ring/text 07909545426

Lyme Bay Winery
Offer next day despatch, and discounts on their wines on offer during their month of English wines. They also have a range of spirits and other locally produced alcoholic drinks. Visit https://www.lymebaywinery.co.uk/ or call 01297 551355

 A message from Devon Wildlife Trust

 And finally …
Now delivering nearly 140 litres of milk to the village every week we have Mike and Sandra Capper.


13/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Back in Business!
We’ve just had call to say the Post Office will definitely be open in the Village Hall on May 22nd from 1.00-3.00 as usual. They will have PPE and screens and insist that users must obey the social distancing rules at all times. It is suggested that people queue from the bottom of the steps back up towards the school. Please be patient as this may take longer than usual for the first time.

Beware the Giant Hogweed… or any hogs or weeds, come to that.
Last Summer I was strimming and sensibly, so I thought, I was wearing trousers and a pair of waterproof gardeners’ shoes, no socks. I dutifully strimmed around nettles, grass and later, as I realised, Hogweed.
After I’d finished I sat in the sun with shorts on and read my book. I became aware of uncomfortable itching on my instep and lower leg. A nasty insect bite I thought, so went in and put some ‘After-bite’ gel on, as I find this usually helps. It didn’t, it became worse, so I bathed it, and that helped a little. During the evening I was amazed to discover the biggest blister I’ve ever had where the itching had been. I popped the blister and put some tea tree cream on. To my surprise, another blister of similar proportions arrived, and this I dealt with in the same way. This happened four times. Well, I had my suspicions about Hogweed so looked it up on line and found out that, to keep things simple, Hogweed contains a chemical in the sap that can be contained in the small bits that fly in the air when you strim. This chemical destroys or inhibits the bodies protection from the damaging effects of UV rays – so what you end up with is an intense area of sunburn and possibly other problems. So if you intend to strim where there might be any form of Hogweed make sure you’re well covered not forgetting a visor, getting that stuff in your eyes would be very dangerous. If you do, or suspect that you have some on you, wash it off before the sun gets on you. Also, weeding or otherwise working around Hogweed definitely requires gloves. A river keeper I once worked with told me, ‘I got some. (Hogweed) under my watch strap.’ He then moved his watch strap to reveal a very angry red mark. ‘And that was over ten years ago.’ he said. So be careful.
Roger Clemens

Test your knowledge
In the absence of another one of my quizzes this week there is a quiz for Christian Aid this Saturday 16 May 7.00-8.30pm. An evening of virtual fun on Zoom for anyone to join!
Make a donation to Christian Aid online at www.christianaid.org.uk or via the Axe Valley Mission Community Facebook page.
Please bring your own drinks, snacks, pen, paper, humour and invite your friends!
Why not get creative and wear your best ‘Thinking Caps’ ?!
Zoom details are https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86884149926  or contact Shuna 07971 759997.

Roadworks – remember what it was like when we had those?
From Miranda at Yarcombe
A30 Road From Devonshire Inn Farm To Stoneshelves Farm, Yarcombe, Devon
05 May – 03 July Delays likely – Diversion route with road closures
Works description: Streetworks

A30 Road Past Crawley Bridge, Yarcombe, Devon
05 May — 03 July Delays likely – Road closure
Works description: Crawley Bridge No.1992 – Grid Ref.325641 108089 – A30 – Over River Yarty – EX14 9AX – Just east of Yarcombe Bridge Repairs

Chard and Ilminster U3A Natural History Group – Special Web Edition
From Stuart Musgrove, U3A
So we are talking webs, webs on hedges, webs that certain moths, just a few species, produce to protect their caterpillars from predation.
Along the road from Ilminster to Curry Rivel, B3168, just past the Barrington
turn, going north, there is a vast amount of webbing produced by Small Ermine Moth caterpillars. This appears here annually.
The Small Ermine is classed as a “Micro-moth”, and as a group, Small Ermines are widely distributed in the UK.
The caterpillars hatch in late summer and stay under the protection of the egg mass on the host food plant till the following spring. As in this case, they produce a communal web and feed within, expanding the area as the food source is consumed.


Yet another scam
According to Devon and Cornwall Police there is a new HMRC phishing email circulating. Recipients are sent fake emails claiming that th government has introduced a new tax refund programme as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the recipient is entitled to £179.21. The cyber criminals are spoofing the email address of the HMRC to make this seem genuine.
You should be so lucky!

And finally …
The latest of Suzie’s lockdown project images. She took her life in her hands this time and ventured into Rock!


12/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

The family funeral for David Warner at Whimple Crematorium is in fact on Thursday 14th May at 2:30pm and there’ll be a memorial service in the Minster church when we can do it at a later date.

What you can and can’t do from Wednesday 13th May
The latest Govt FAQs with more about the effect of the changes in policy are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy – 60 page document – released 11th May 2020 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-go
Section 4 describes changes to policy that will apply from Wednesday 13th May in England. Appendix A contains detailed information about staying safe including face coverings, the regular washing of clothes, avoiding coming face to face and ventilation, etc.

Wildlife update from Seaton Wetlands
from Assistant Site Warden Izzi da Silva:
At the wetlands we have had less people visiting the site as lockdown restrictions have continued, but this hasn’t meant we’ve had a lack of wildlife visiting! Over the past weeks we have had lots of great sightings of birds passing through, some on their migration to summer breeding grounds and some just checking out new areas.

Early April saw the first sightings of Ospreys which were heading to their breeding territories further north. These individuals have spent the winter in Africa before migrating back north to breed. We had a great sighting of an Osprey fishing over the estuary, which succeeded in catching a meal before heading off back on its journey.

It was also great to have a Spoonbill stop by Black Hole Marsh. The species had stopped breeding in the UK for a period of 300 years (since medieval times!) and had been a rare sight until recent years were they seem to be making a comeback. They use their large bills to scoop up invertebrates and other tasty morsels, by sweeping it side to side in shallow water. Old country names for the spoonbill include ‘Banjo Bill’ and ‘Shovelard’ and it’s not hard to see why they were named that!

Recently, a female bearded tit stopped by to check out the reedbeds at Colyford Common. Although it would be great to have the species move into the wetlands so far they have only been recorded stopping by briefly. The reed beds found at Colyford Common are saline which this species does not usually inhabit, preferring to opt for freshwater reedbeds instead.

Bearded tits actually lack ‘beards’ and have more of a black ‘moustache’ marking on their faces. Although its name suggest it maybe a member of the tits, it is actually thought to be more closely related to larks. So its name really is a misleading one! Not bearded and not a member of the tits!

Swallows, swifts and house martins have also made their return to the UK from Africa. Like the Ospreys they sensibility avoid the cold, wet winter of the UK and return as the weather warms in spring. Watch out for these speedy aerial acrobats as they spent their days whizzing overhead catching insects on the wing.

The view from Chard

Firstly, I want to say what a real boon it is to get the update from Membury. Seeing Suzie’s photos and the pictures from VE day has helped us see what our friends are up to.

Here in the big city, we have been hard at work in the Support Group for 8 weeks now. Every day a new challenge and we are all doing things that seemed impossible just a short time ago. In terms of sheer numbers, we will have delivered over 2500 prescriptions by the time you read this. Our team at the Guildhall staffs the phone from 8am-5pm Monday to Friday and administers a group of over 300 volunteers supporting over 850 people in the area. Our necessary expansion into ‘phone buddying’ and safeguarding is very difficult for a spontaneous support group, but highlights the impact on mental welfare of this crisis. So, I hope you all stay safe and well and look out for each other. See you on the other side.
Jason Hawkes

Kings Arms Wednesday take away
2 course £11, 3 courses £15. Ring 01404 881686 to book your slot.

  • Beef croquettes with salad and horseradish mayo or stuffed mushrooms with mushroom and rosemary sauce.
  • Fish pie with veg or roast butternut squash with couscous
  • Lemon posset

 Axminster Food Bank
Many thanks to everyone who has contributed so profusely. Last week our local food bank helped over 90 people. Membury residents have gone to lengths to empty cupboards etc and we may not be able to keep up the same level but I will leave the box outside the village hall for now and collect about once a week. Just the odd item now and then all adds up. The Food Bank is happy to take non-perishable foods, cleaning products and unopened personal toiletry items.

If you know anyone who may need to access the Food Bank, the telephone number is 01297 32331 and it is open 10am to 1pm Mon – Fri at the Health and Wellbeing Centre on Chard Road. Ruth Foster 01404 881787 ruth.foster12@gmail.com

And finally …
Margaret Wilson née Taylor used to live at Ferndale (where Joy and Drew now live) in the early 1940’s. She wonders if there is anyone still around in Membury from that period. Let me know or send her a message directly using Facebook.


11/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

David Warner’s funeral
The cremation of David Warner will take place on Wednesday afternoon. There will be a memorial service at some point in the future.
VE Day was remembered at the Minster War Memorial by the Ladies Section of the Royal British Legion, organised by Mrs Leslie Frankau.
A wreath was laid commemorating the fallen of the war and also remembering David Warner.
Valerie Warner read out the following exhortation:

They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them
We will remember them.

 Swallows and Swifts
You may be wondering where all the swallows and swifts are.
According to The Guardian (10 April) thousands of swallows and swifts migrating from Africa to Europe have been left dead by high winds battering Greece. The birds have been found in the streets of Athens, on apartment balconies in the capital, in the north, on Aegean islands and around a lake close to the seaport of Nauplia in the Peloponnese. The Greek ornithologist association said: “The night of April 5-6 was disastrous for migrating birds due to strong winds, low temperatures and rain in some regions. “Southerly winds pushed flocks of birds from north Africa into air currents from the north of the Aegean sea and particularly the islands. “To escape, exhausted birds, mainly swallows and swifts, which catch flying insects for food, headed for the Greek mainland.” Greece is on the flightpath for hundreds of thousands of birds which migrate north in spring, and south in autumn.

River Cottage at home
The supper club menu is available for collection from River Cottage HQ on Friday but you’ll need to order it by 5pm Wednesday. Cost for all three courses is £20 per person. Contact carrie.berry@rivercottage.net. This week’s treat is as follows.

  • Starter – Beetroot, carrot, apple and cumin soup, thyme and lemon focaccia
  • Main course – Slow-cooked, organic River Cottage beef, English haricot beans, chilli, leeks and coriander or English organic yellow split pea dhal, Dalwood asparagus, roast fennel and onions, English pea and bean dukka
  • Sides – red cabbage, cider-soaked raisins, pickled radish and parsley salad
    greens from the garden, roast broccoli, toasted seeds and olive oil
    organic roasted potatoes with lemon, thyme and garlic.
  • Dessert – rhubarb, orange & cardamom upside-down cake with creamy River Cottage yoghurt

Old Dairy Kitchen
Along with the meal hampers, Chris Onions has launched some new recipe kits to cook together with the family at home. There’s a BBQ dinner kit, a sourdough kit, a rhubarb and frangipane tart kit and an English muffing kit which includes all you need to make your own butter too. Prices start at £20. You need to order by 1pm Wednesday for a Friday delivery. Contact them on-line or by phone 07999 923089. For every kit sold they’ll be donating 10 portions of soup to the Axminster food bank.

Tytherleigh Pop Up farm shop
Tytherleigh Bathrooms has never been more useful! This is only advertised via Facebook, so some of our more mature residents might be unaware of it. Organic meat boxes are £40, and a veg box is £20 delivered; you can also add various bits and pieces to it. The quality and value are first rate. We had our first box from them last week and everything was fantastic; we’ll definitely be ordering again. Call them on 01460 221639. They can usually deliver next day. Pay over the phone.

pop up

Pet, animal and bird food, supplies and accessories at Slades in Honiton
(Thank you Miranda!) Order & pay by phone, safe collections:
Slades in Gloucester Crescent, Heathpark Industrial Estate, Honiton has a new phone and collect scheme: telephone Slades on 01404 45966, give your order, pay over the telephone. Let Slades know when you are going to be arriving or telephone them when you arrive at the store and someone will bring out your order and put it in the boot of your car. No contact needed.

And finally …
One more scarecrow picture, taken by Suzie with John and Jeanette Tuck. I think John is the one on the right.


10/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

I’m sure you don’t need reminding that May is International Respect for Chickens Month – and I’m sorry that the grand celebrations planned here in Membury can’t take place. Let’s just be grateful to Sandra Little and the other egg producers here in the village for keeping us supplied. If anyone is short I can get them five dozen at a time from Bidfood!

Fish and chips
Can it be that time of the month again already?
the fish and chip van will be gracing our car park again this Saturday 16th from 6pm. £5 per portion as usual. Please order by calling Jill on 881641 or 07710 849984 or by email to jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. As ever there’ll be a collection pot for the NHS. Please bring the correct cash, keep 2 metres apart and wash your hands when you get home

Board Games
I’m nearly all the way through cataloguing my board games now – there are 851 of them taking up a huge amount of space. There’s a way to play many of the best ones online if anyone is interested – just register at https://boardgamearena.com/. Add me as a friend if you wish (my username is Nad Razal) and let the dice rolling begin.

Lockdown and Covid-19 in Dumaguete and the Philippines
Passed to me by Sara Cranfield
“I am very fortunate, living in the province of Negros Oriental because by taking strict measures from the outset, the local authorities have managed to keep the number of positive cases and deaths to zero since mid-March.
The conurbation of Greater Manila, lying just over an hour’s flying time north-west of Dumaguete, is in a completely different situation with the vast majority of positive cases and deaths in the Philippines located there. Manila and the province of Luzon are now subject to what is known as an enhanced community quarantine, about which I’ll explain later.
In contrast, as I stated, Negros Oriental has fared much better. From the first week in March, there was a 24-hour curfew for everyone over the age of 65, as well as a general curfew from 9 pm until 5 am. This meant that I could not leave the house, except in exceptional circumstances, for which I would have to explain the reasons if stopped at a checkpoint.
In mid-March, the local authorities tightened up the measures with an enhanced community quarantine, which meant that only those involved in frontline services were allowed out but would have to show their ID at any of the checkpoints, set up throughout the city. Everyone else between the ages of 20 and 59 was confined indoors and allowed out at certain specific times during the week to do essential errands, such as shopping (there is no delivery service!).
One pass per household was to be given out for the purpose of going out for essential errands and shown to any of the checkpoints in the city. Fines were given out for those without passes. In our subdivision, where there are at least 20 households only 6 passes were given out.
Last Monday when I went to extend my tourist visa, we happen to go past one of the hospitals. The entrance was blocked off and there were obviously health checks made on everyone before they were allowed in.
Dumaguete is fortunate in its number of mostly private hospitals, two of which have recently been opened. In normal circumstances, if you need to see a doctor, you have to go to the hospital and wait on a first-come-first-served basis (often for hours). There is no such thing as a GP service. You have to pay to go and see the doctor and for any prescription. I get a distinct impression people are reluctant to visit the doctor. There is some assistance for those who have to go to the public hospital for an operation. Provided you are in employment (not many people are so lucky!), organisations such as Philhealth will pay up to a third of your medical expenses, if you need an operation. Your family are tasked with keeping you fed while you are in hospital.
When it comes to caring for the elderly, this is done largely within the family unit. There is a large number of so-called Overseas Foreign Workers who leave their families behind in the Philippines and earn enough to send money back. Most of them find employment in the caring professions, as indicated in the numbers of Filipino nurses and caregivers working in  the UK, for example. Many of those working in the Middle East and elsewhere have now been sent home as a result of COVID-19 and so the family income has dried up.
Of course, everyone has to keep social distancing, fined for not wearing a mask, and are subject to a mandatory executive order to stay at home, except for essential purposes which must be proved to be essential.
The local economy has been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis and the amount of financial assistance the local authorities can give is extremely limited. So the longer this situation lasts, the more difficult it will be for the local economy to recover despite the stringent measures being taken. The contrast between what Western governments can do and the Philippines administration in Manila is able to offer could not be greater. There will be many more families who will go below the poverty line and in too many cases starve.
During the time the enhanced community quarantine was in force here in Negros Oriental, all boundaries between towns and villages were manned by checkpoints, and the borders with other provinces and beyond were closed. The enhanced community quarantine was eased slightly on May 1st. We now have a general community quarantine. The borders are still closed. I think the boundaries between villages and towns may now no longer be manned by checkpoints. However, there are still random checkpoints, and from Tuesday of this week (May 5th), the passes have been reinstated to ease the traffic situation in the city.
What this has meant for me personally is that since early March I have been confined indoors – a sacrifice I am willing to make for the sake of my health. I am even willing to carry on for a few months yet. The crisis of COVID-19 is going to be around until at least another year and perhaps longer. The secret is to adjust our lives to that indisputable fact, however unpalatable it is for us to admit it. I had planned a trip to Europe this year but have had to postpone it until the time when this is all over, whenever that may be.”

And finally …
There appears to be another stray dog at Lewsley Farm; it seems to have made itself quite at home!


9/5/2020 Membury Support Group daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

How do you fancy a Chelsea Chop?
Sandra Capper recommends performing a Chelsea Chop this weekend. “What’s that?” I hear you cry …
A Chelsea chop is when you cut your yet to flower perennial plants to make the flowering period last longer. Sandra does it on her phlox plants; cut the stems round the outside of the plant and they then reproduce flower buds that will come out later so you get a longer flowering period. If you google it there are some good web pages – RHS, Gardeners World etc. You can do it on sedums nepeta and quite a few others.

Cornerhouse Bakery, Axminster
Some excellent sounding produce from one of our local café / bakeries:
All delivered free of charge on Tuesdays. Phone 01297 598903 to place your order, and leave your details with your phone number.
Loaves available in white, wholemeal, granary or seeded white. Large £2.75, small £1.50. Also available walnut bread, soda bread, baguettes, rolls, tea cakes, croissants and scones. Cakes include brownies, banana loaf, apple cake, carrot cake.
Available with 48 hours notice soups, quiches, sausage rolls, salads, pate and butter – all homemade.

Kings Arms, Stockland
Sunday roast – beef, pork, lamb or butternut squash, followed by golden syrup sponge and custard. Call 01404 881686 to book your slot

Computer issues getting you down?
If you are struggling with technology you might find this sketch starring Ronnie Corbett and Harry Enfield illuminating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAG39jKi0lI

Support our local Kookaburra
Lydia has raised £333 from selling face masks to support the Axminster Wildlife Park. The masks are reusable, washable and designed to be tied on so they won’t hurt your ears. There’s a picture of them in use below. Have you ordered yours yet?

And finally …
From various locations, some lockdown and VE day pictures – oh, and a small grass snake.


8/5/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

We sat by our veg plot enjoying a cream tea with our Maltese flag flying and enjoyed a beautiful handbell concert as the players strolled towards the village hall, some cake and a toast to the Queen. The weather couldn’t have been kinder to us.

Tuckers Takeaway
The Tuckers Arms in Dalwood is offering a daily takeaway menu, and a Sunday roast. Ring them for more details 0n 01404 881342.

The menu changes each Monday. When they post their next one I’ll put it on this update. Sunday roast (£10) must be ordered by 9pm tonight (Friday). Choose from slow roast belly of pork, slow roast silverside of beef or chicken breast; veggie and vegan options available.

Local support fund for people in financial difficulties
Thanks to Neil in Stockland:

A Hardship Support Grant funded by Devon County Council will address economic vulnerability and financial hardship and help rebuild financial resilience. An applicant will need to meet eligibility criteria, as well as a telephone interview to discuss their needs. For details of the grant see

Applications for the fund can be made on-line at https://eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/benefits-and-council-tax/request-financial-support-coronavirus-covid-19/

So far, the following categories have been identified as being eligible:

Self-employed people who are not able to trade, in the interim until their tax-based grants are paid from June 2020.
Self Employed people who started business recently and are not eligible for a grant.
Employees whose employment has been terminated or those still in work but on short time, and where Universal Credit is not yet in payment.
Employees laid off, but not eligible for furlough.
Employees who are sick and either not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, or where Statutory Sick Pay represents a significant drop in income.
People who are isolated and unable to source supplies and are not served by local voluntary help or by shielding.
Older people who are struggling because of increased vulnerability (carers and family cannot visit etc), and again are not served by local voluntary help.
People with little or no access to disposable income.

If you or you know someone who you feel may benefit from the fund please ask them to complete an application on-line. To speak to someone about this please telephone 01395 516551. Alternatively please send details including their phone number and email address to hardship@eastdevon.gov.uk.

Bored stiff?
If you are bored the list compiled by Neil from Stockland now contains over 140 free sources of things to watch or do at https://www.stockland.org.uk/Lockdown

Pork from Uphay Farm
Nick Cunningham from Uphay Farm has a fresh batch of pork in which he can deliver to you. I can vouch for the quality, and the pigs were delightful when I paid him a visit. We are hoping these will also be available at the Oak Apple Café when it reopens! Call him on 07977490574 before it’s all gone.


East Devon District Council coronavirus updates
For residents: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/289c7e1
For business: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/289c279

Lockdown Photography Project
Suzie still has some slots available this weekend. If you’d like to take part please give her a shout. All donations go to Arc Axminster.. Staying safe and at a distance …please contact her mrsmacspics@gmail.com 07484163901. It’s great fun, and we’ll end up with a terrific archive!

National Theatre at home
Now streaming free – Anthony and Cleopatra. Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo ‘dazzle’ (Financial Times) as Shakespeare’s infamous fated couple. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWc6_aCTqI0

And finally …
Here is a medley of a few pictures of the celebrations today

ve day collage

7/5/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Today, on the eve of the 75th anniversary I offer memories of VE Day from some of our villagers. Other news will appear tomorrow. I have, however attached the next quiz, and the answers to the last one as promised.
Don’t forget to listen out for the handbells tomorrow at lunchtime!

From Tim O’Donnell
Tim worked in the radar room of HNLMS Soemba, a Dutch Gunboat, but happened to be on shore leave at his home in London, when news broke that the war in Europe had ended. He happened to be meeting up with some mates for a drink, in the Edgeware Road. Having had a couple of drinks, they then decided to walk to Piccadilly to see what was going on. By the time they got there, the streets were heaving with people, all friendly, cheerful, singing and having a fine old time of it. However, Tim said it was also a little bit frightening to be in amongst so many people all at once. Oxford Circus was just a mass of people, so they didn’t move from Piccadilly to get to the Palace to see the King & Royal family.

If you want to read more about HNLMS Soemba, please look it up, as it has a fascinating history, some of which Tim was involved in, especially the Normandy landings.

From John Abrahams
I was with the 2nd Battalion South Wales Border Regiment.

After we had taken Arnhem we went on Troop Carriers to Hamburg arriving on 3rd May – my 20th birthday!

On arrival we marched for hours through absolute ruins, with people standing in their cellars waving white flags. The devastation was the result of 1000 forces bomber raids. When we got to the centre of Hamburg there was just one church standing with a copper dome surrounded by rubble. We were confined in police barracks until peace was declared on 5th May.

From Jim Gallantree
On 8th May 1945 the war ended. That day a friend and I paraded around the estate carrying a large Union flag. That night, we and all our neighbours, celebrated around a huge bonfire that had been built on the road in the middle of a T-junction not far from our house. Everyone was so happy that the war was finally over that it didn’t seem to matter that the bonfire completely destroyed the road surface on which it had been built.

Later, street parties were organised for the children over the whole estate. The neighbours all rallied round and contributes ration coupons and party food, and tables were erected along the centre of the road

From Bill Foster
Bill’s memory of VE Day was joining a children’s fancy dress parade in Kemsing (Kent). He was dressed as Coldstream Guard with an impressively tall Bearskin Hat! In 1944 Kemsing was on Doodlebug Alley and some fell short of London, including one that injured Bill’s mother as she was slower than Bill and his brother to shelter under their reinforced kitchen table. Fortunately, the blast was shielded by a small copse of trees and Bill’s mum was not seriously hurt. Earlier in the war, Bill remembers watching the vapour trails of dog fights high in the sky, and clearly seeing the Luftwaffe crews of low flying bombers sneaking their way to London.

 From Michael Bell – Memory of a 4 ½ year old
Just a hazy memory of my Church of Scotland Minister Father leaving his Dumfries Parish to join the 20,000 ton troop ship “Orontes” zig-zagging in convoy to Italy and the Gulf of Taranto. In support of the 8th Army’s “Operation Slapstick”. Though unopposed initially, graphic details of the campaign followed later at my primary school as our one-eyed headmaster, a Colonel at Taranto, needed only minimal encouragement to disgorge details of fighting to us kids. “What happened at Taranto, Sir?” was much more fun than the 5 times tables!

My Father set up the Church’s huts and canteens fast food(?) network behind the American and British troops as they advanced up through Italy. His letters home described a war-ravaged country – punctuated by visits to Herculaneum, Pompeii, Naples and Rome. Were these the possible inspiration for my (useless?) classics studies later?

For me, billeted with Grandparents in Edinburgh’s Morningside had the excitement of the odd nights in the Anderson Shelter as planes flew over. Yes, we had no bananas. Then, with the surrender of German Army Group C on 29th April and a ceasefire in Italy on 2nd May1945, we had the real prospect of a returning Dad in early summer. His troop ship back was the liner “Carnarvon Castle” which had seen action in 1940 in the South Atlantic, taken hits and been repaired in Montevideo with plate salvaged from the German pocket battleship “The Graf Spee”. The “Carnarvon Castle” held the record (12½ days) for the Cape Town mail run from 1938 to 1954 and with no zig-zagging, Father’s voyage back was swift. Dad was back in Britain and there was great excitement in the household.

So, it was on a sunny afternoon this khaki uniformed figure came up the steps to the house, all set to recount the experience of his life in war torn Italy. I met him on the doorstep and in an early sign of a legal career to follow and got the first words in, “Daddy – I’ve had mea-thelleths”. That was my special VE Day

Post script – sharing my VE Day reminiscences on a call from my 94 year old American Cousin (also in lockdown in Worcester, Massachusetts) – Duncan chipped in, “I didn’t experience actual fighting as I arrived in Europe as part of the US Army of occupation posted to Bavaria. However, being close to Nuremberg, I managed to get a pass to the War Crimes Trials to see Herman Goering, Rudolph Hess and the other bad guys in the dock. “I’ve never forgotten that experience and I’ve still got my pass.”

 From the 100th edition of the Mercury, Spring 2011, written by Jim Gallantree
On the fiftieth anniversary of VE Day the Merrymakers celebrated by hosting a series of events over a three day period. To start the weekend, a wartime cinema was created in the village hall. The film programme comprised a documentary of the time, together with a cartoon and the main feature “This Happy Breed” featuring Robert Newton and Celia Johnson. Unfortunately, the efforts of both the cinema manager and commissionaire to persuade the residents into an orderly, authentic queue outside failed miserably. During the interval the usherettes costumed by Ruth Abrahams,  donned sale trays and dispensed home-made ice cream and drinks to the patrons.

On Sunday morning a service of remembrance was held in the church followed by a luncheon at the village hall.

On Monday afternoon a large crowd of residents gathered on Bewley Down to await the ceremonial lighting of the Membury Beacon. Everyone brought picnic food which was shared and the children played rounders. Our beacon was lit by Walter Burrough and at 9:00pm five rockets were fired, each representing ten years since the end of hostilities.


Membury quiz 27 April Q and A

membury quiz 7 May answer sheet

membury quiz 7 May Q

6/5/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

The Tytherleigh Arms posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago.
A dear customer of ours, who sadly lost his wife last September and has just lost half his house in a fire, is looking for a bungalow to rent to house himself and his small dog. He’s currently residing in a hotel, but obviously needs something more permanent for maybe 8-12 months whilst his house is repaired. He is a local war veteran who has a carer to keep an eye on him, but needs a fixed address for the time being. Please contact the Tytherleigh Arms directly if you know of anyone that may be able to help.

Green and other Waste
Hooray! the green waste collection is back – leave your bin out ready on Tuesday 12th. Please note that they will only be collecting bins, not extra sacks or boxes of garden debris.
Sutton Barton Recycling Centre (Honiton) reopens on Monday 11th May for essential use only. I can’t see evidence that the Chard Recycling Centre is opening yet.

A Mini Saga
From Nat Bruzon

Social Distancing
“Government recommends wearing face masks.”
“Won’t make much difference.”
“But the two metre rule’s fine.”
“If.. everyone keeps it.. like us.”
Two women walked towards them, two metres apart, holding the handrail on each side.
“I’ll take this one,” said the first virus.
“This side’s mine” said the second…. “Enjoy”.
A small celebration …

V.E. Day Poster PDF

Blackdown Hills Parish Network
Heather Stallard, chair of the BHPN was interviewed yesterday about rural broadband, and the result was shown this lunchtime.
Move the slider in to 5 minutes 15 seconds to see the piece if you are interested

 Call Out for Rural Stories
Stories from the Sticks is a brand new podcast featuring stories from rural communities. We are looking for members of rural communities to interview. We want to gather your stories of community in tough times, personal experiences during isolation as well as the local history, myth & legend of your village, town or hamlet.
While touring our shows to remote villages around the UK, we have met extraordinary people with extraordinary stories. This podcast will bring together the city-dwelling Scratchworks members (Siân, Alice & Laura) with special guests from isolated communities who invite you into their village and share stories of love, history, local myths and community spirit, especially during this time of lock-down.
If you would like to share your stories with us and be featured on the podcast please email scratchworkstheatre@gmail.com including your name, where you live (just the name of the town/village) and why you would like to share your stories on our podcast by Wednesday 13 May.
**The interviews will take no longer than 1 hour of your time and will either be conducted via skype/zoom video call or telephone**
Scratchworks Theatre Company are a physical ensemble of three women who work collaboratively to create highly visual, playful theatre from scratch. They have toured extensively with rural touring networks since 2016.

Quiz stuff
Sorry, the quiz has missed the cut again, but it’ll definitely be here tomorrow …

 Some more of those songs …
These were donated by our New Zealand Correspondent.


And Finally …
Woman spotted walking a chicken through Membury !


5/5/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Postal Deliveries
From 2 May Royal Mail will temporarily no longer deliver letters on a Saturday. They will continue to provide a letter delivery service from Monday to Friday as normal. The majority of parcel services will be delivered on a Saturday including 1st and 2nd Class Parcels, Royal Mail Tracked 24 and 48, Royal Mail Tracked Returns, Special Delivery Guaranteed and International tracked services.

Customers should continue to post both letters and parcels as usual on Saturday. Royal Mail will continue their Saturday collections from businesses, post offices and post boxes as normal.

They will resume the six-day-a-week delivery of letters and parcels from June 13th.

Treasure hunt
Attached is another brilliant Treasure Hunt/Walk from Carey Swarbrick. This one is aimed at older children and anyone that fancies a lovely walk. It’s a loop of Membury Castle and a hunt for the Golden Hind.Membury Castle Loop and a hunt for the Golden Hind

Kings Arms
Wednesday night is a French take-away. 3 courses for £11 or £20 for two people. Pick up between 5pm and 8pm 01404 881686

Blue Cheese, pear and walnut tartlet or Wood Pigeon Crostini, pea and broad bean fricassee.

Cassoulet with Confit Free Range Chicken Leg or Local Rabbit Stew with a puff pastry lid, both served with Duchess Potatoes.

Apple Tarte Tatin with Baboo Vanilla Bean Gelato.

Royal Albert Hall
You can follow this link to get to the Royal Albert Hall and see what they are streaming free of charge over the next few weeks. Highlights include a VE Day concert with Katherine Jenkins on Friday 8th, The Great Jelly of London read by Samual West on Saturday 9th and Richard Thompson on Sunday 10th May

Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill
Order by 1pm Wednesday for delivery Friday 8th. It all looks delicious

 Quiz stuff
Answers and new quiz tomorrow …

 And finally …
More songs to sing while you do your garden …
Contributions welcome!

Violet’s Twist Again
Never Too Mulch
I see you baby, shakin’ that grass
Whole lotta lovage
Puff the magic snapdragon
Thistle land is your land, thistle land is my land..
Tie a furlough ribbon round the old oak tree
The isolation waltz
Take the R train

4/5/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Well, May the 4th be with you. While on the subject of Star Wars, does anyone local have a DVD or Blu-ray of Rogue One I could borrow for a night or two?

Monmouth pantry
A new name has appeared in amongst the local dinner delivery services. It’s the Monmouth Pantry based in Axminster, and they deliver within 10 miles of their base. They offer Friday night feasts at £29 or £45 including wine, and a range of other interesting looking items. If you fancy trying it, do send me a review please! https://www.themonmouthpantry.co.uk/shop

Patricia’s Churros
These are as bad for you as they are wickedly delicious Eat hot for breakfast smothered or dipped in sugar. A friend suggested a sacrilege which was to smear in Nutella. But horses for courses
Put one glass of water with about 15 grams butter a tablespoon sugar and half tsp salt and bring to boil
>> Add this to a glassful of plain flour and beat with an electric hand whisk It will will clog up a bit but just push it off once you have switched off the whisk.
>> Add one beaten egg bit by bit ( I chucked it all in and actually added two eggs) beat .
>> Put the mixture into a piping bag with a half inch pointed nozzle which will allow the mixture to come out with ridges and should be about half an inch thick
>> Have a pan of hot deep vegetable oil, then squeeze pieces of the dough into the oil and fry till golden do a few at a time.
You can dip each piece in sugar, but the best way to eat these is to put a large spoonful of sugar on your plate and dip you churro into it before devouring. Eat whilst hot.
They are indigestible, will require five hours heavy gardening to compensate but so delicious

Fuel thefts
Motorists urged to be vigilant
Police in East Devon have issued a warning to motorists, urging people to report suspicious activity to them, after a spate of fuel thefts from motor vehicles.
There has been an increase in reports of fuel thefts since the beginning of April, including nine incidents in Sidmouth and Sidbury and three in Honiton and Gittisham.
On each occasion the thief has drilled a hole in the fuel tank to syphon its contents.
Sergeant Roy Hutter, said: “These thefts have been from cars parked both on the roadside and in car parks. We would urge people to park their cars as publicly as possible and make sure they are secured.

Axminster Food Bank
Many thanks for Membury’s great generosity, I emptied an overflowing donations box this afternoon which will be going straight to the Food Bank.
I’ll leave the box there for people to add as when they can, and collect every few days. Household cleaning items and toiletries are valued as well as non perishable in-date food contributions.
Ruth Foster ( let me know if you want me to collect from your gate.) ruth.foster12@gmail.com; 01404 881787

 Bidfood bulk items
Here is a link to the unbelievably comprehensive Bidfood catalogue – all 448 pages of it. Open it on a laptop or a computer if you can rather than a tablet or phone. I plan to order tomorrow; If I get the order in before 4pm it’ll be delivered on Wednesday. Splitting large packs should be feasible; to help, I’ve ordered a quantity of degradable carrier bags which should also be here Wednesday. Some goods will carry VAT, but most won’t. No prices are shown, because these are dependant on the type of customer that one is – but they seem pretty competitive. I’ll ring and let you know the damage when I get the order placed. https://cloud.3dissue.net/6512/6514/6519/27715/index.html?50738. If this link doesn’t work, I can send you the catalogue directly, but it’s 100Mb.

 And finally …
Songs to sing while you do your garden …
Contributions welcome!

If I Said You Had a Beautiful Buddleia Would You Hold It Against Me
Red red twine
Is this the way to Daffodillo
Twist and sprout
Weeds don’t need no education
Take me home country Rhododendrons
Azalea, you’re breaking my heart
I fought the lawn and the lawn won
Brassica In Pocket
Bohemian Raspberry
Going to chapel and we’re gonna get marigolds
It’s my Parsley and I’ll cry if I want to

3/5/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Are you ready for Star Wars Day tomorrow? Let’s hope it’s a slightly less grey and damp day than today was.

Lydia has been making masks in very stylish fabrics for use by the villagers. Donations please, in cash, to go to the Axminster Wild Animal Park via Lydia to help feed our Kookaburra and their other creatures. Contact Lydia on l.e.happle@gmail.com or 07724014212 and she’ll deliver.


VE day Memories
VE Day is coming up on Friday and it’s a special bank holiday too, so you can take the whole day off!

There are a number of octogenarians and nonagenarians in the village who might have some memories of the day. If anyone would like to contribute a paragraph or two to this daily newsletter for Friday that would be great. Just ring me up and tell me about it over the phone – you won’t have to type anything; I’ll do all that.

Marshwood have been unable to publish and distribute their local magazine, but it’s available to read free of charge via this link: https://issuu.com/marshwoodvaleltd/docs/marshwood__digital_times_may_20?fr=sOTI5NzEwNzU0MQ

River cottage
River Cottage have details of their produce boxes and supper boxes available via this link. Order by 5pm Wednesday, for collection on Friday 8th.

Churches together in Axminster
To keep us all in the loop regarding prayer, the work of Axminster Churches Together’s teams and of other local organisations, and the value of financial giving at this time, Rev. Kay d’Albertanson, chair of Axminster Churches Together (ACT), has supplied the following update.

Last week ACT delivered hampers and boxes to 171 people, and more went out this Tuesday. If you would like to donate to the ACT Hampers Scheme, you can donate via BACS, using the name Axminster Churches Together Hampers Scheme, to: Sort code 30-97-37, account number 31608260 or by writing a cheque payable to Axminster Churches Together Hampers Account (please use those exact words on the cheque or BACS, Ted our Treasurer says!), and sending it to: Ted Steiner, ACT Treasurer, 4 Silver Street, Axminster, Devon EX13 5AH

ACER is providing a wide range of help to local people. This link: https://gofundme.com/f/axminster-community-emergency-response-acer?fbclid=IwAR36vAM-nPv4L6-zI8MkaQKpNPgTJWtJcYDIZLgrtiW1yAcFN4sE-dO_lyG0 provides information on what they’re doing and how to give to their appeal via their gofundme campaign. Axminster Foodbank, Axminster Care Service and ARC, the local counselling charity, are all working as part of ACER, and need continued funding, especially as the income stream that normally comes in via the Care Service’s ‘Charity Togs’ shop on South Street and ARC’s on Chard Road have dried up as the shops cannot open at present.

Axminster Foodbank has given out three times as much food this month as during a normal April, so please also keep putting donations into its food collection bins in the supermarkets – ACT and the Foodbank liaise with one another and help each other in various ways.

The Bidfood order is proving a bit of a nightmare. They seem to have stock of most things you are likely to need (many thousands of them) including masks and handgel, but it’s impossible to download their catalogue, and the items details are ambiguous, as are stock levels. I suggest that if you are interested in ordering anything you have a look at their website and jot down specific things that interest you. If you want something that is only available in large quantities – don’t worry; there may well be other people wanting some too. If you have issues with the website (and it’s one of the worst I’ve come across) just give me ring and I’ll talk you through it all. I hope to get the order placed within 48 hours and I believe it should be delivered within a day or so.

And finally …
After Trina picked up an impossible borderless puzzle with 5 extra bits from the Village Hall the other day, David and Lucy have at last completed it – so you can expect to see it back at the Hall shortly! Collect it at your peril – you have been warned!


2/5/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

We’ve had a nice letter from Liz Pole who was the labour party candidate in the last general election thanking us for the speed with which we set up our support group for the benefit of the village. Liz came second to Neil Parish from whom we haven’t heard a dickiebird.

Satellites again
A few days ago I mentioned Starlink Satellites passing overhead so John Hodge wondered if this may be of interest for insomniac residents….
Here is a photo he took about 5am this morning of the International Space Station passing overhead. It’s a composite of 144 individual images taken 2 seconds apart. It could be confused with an aeroplane because it crosses the sky at about the same speed, but there’s no flashing lights. The ISS is much higher, approx 250 miles & travelling at 5 miles a second, a complete orbit of the Earth takes 90 minutes. There’s a pass almost directly overhead Membury on 4th May starting due West at 05.07 and ending due East at 05.18. Sighting is obviously dependant on a clear sky. Other passes are listed here. https://www.n2yo.com/passes/?s=25544#


Bulk ordering
I have now registered with Bidfood who previously only supplied to the catering trade. The minimum order is £100 but at least delivery is free. They have a huge catalogue of stuff but likely to be of most interest to our village is flour, cheese, butter, yeast, tea, coffee and other things that we’d like to have delivered, but may be out of stock at local places. Most things come in large packs – does anyone want to go halves on 48 crème eggs for about £22? Flour comes in bags containing 16kg but these (own brand) are less than £7 each for plain or self-raising, and £9 for strong bread flour. Splitting packs may be feasible, but certainly flour lasts a good long time.
I’ve had some interest already, but I’d like to firm up an order in the next few days. If you let me know the type of stuff you’d like I’ll publish a price list tomorrow or Monday.

 And finally …
Iain and Robert at Toehill have discovered who it is that’s nibbling their roses!


1/5/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Happy Mayday! Here are the weekly updates from our local government, and some much more interesting stuff.

East Devon District Council
Residents weekly newsletter https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/2890263
Business weekly newsletter https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/288d6ec

 Devon County Council
And here’s an update from our county

 Axminster Food Bank
Our local food bank is experiencing treble the usual demand. People may not be able to drop items into the supermarket boxes in the usual way at the moment. I have put a collection box outside the village hall. Please donate anything you can: food items or personal household items. Food should be sealed, non perishable, and in date. I will empty the box every few days and take it to the Food Bank. Items can also be dropped off at Beckford Farm, or I can collect from your gate if that’s easier.
Many thanks, Ruth Foster (ruth.foster12@gmail.com or 01404 881787)

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve provisionally booked Ninebarrow to perform for us in the Autumn. If you’d like a taste of their original folk music, join them for a live streamed concert tomorrow night at 7pm https://www.ninebarrow.co.uk/live

Ninebarrow’s live stream checklist:
Check you have snacks (no one’s going to hear those rustling crisp packets!)
Check the fridge (you don’t want to run out of liquid sustenance!)
Find the biggest screen you can watch on!
Find the best set of speakers of headphones you can listen on!
Check our live streaming top tops and FAQs if you have problems.

 Blackdown Hills Parish Network
The BHPN Steering Group has today written an open letter to the government pointing out that Connecting Devon & Somerset have still not let a contract to complete Phase 2 High speed Broadband rollout to their rural communities. They were allocated £27m eight years ago to do it! The vast majority of that rural community is struggling to work from home, complete educational assignments, shop and stay in touch during the lock down with abysmally low speeds and unstable broadband. Govt should take charge and take it out of county hands.

 Lockdown Photography Project
Suzie has just been here for the best part of an hour wandering round our garden, capturing images of Jan and me hiding behind trees, sitting in front of bushes and generally enjoying Devon and this beautiful village in which we live. Here are a couple of the snaps – including one of me writing this update!


And finally …
From Ali Wigdor
Between the bands of April showers.
On a walk the other day
Rain bubbles on dandelion seed heads and bowed cow parsley flowers.


30/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

VE Day looms on 8th May and we all have a bank holiday to look forward to. Perhaps you’d consider decorating your house in red white and blue, and having a picnic in your front garden at 1pm. Those in the outlying areas can wander down the road and share the moment – maintaining strict social distancing rules of course. Does anyone have any views on this stay-at-home party?

Heating Oil
Southern fuels are now offering heating oil at 16.2 ppl. This is slightly irritating, as I bought 1000 litres at 40ppl only a few weeks ago. I’m told they’ll also do a top up until full delivery, rather than a preordered set amount. They are based in Honiton and their phone number is 01404 831775

Garden Centre on our doorstep
Just realised, we have a garden centre on our doorstep. Sharon Wallace is selling a selection of plants and vegetables outside their home at Rice’s. The prices are on the plants with an honesty box by the shelving.
This may help with the withdrawal symptoms for those unable to visit garden centres at present, plus support our local community, as opposed to going out of area.
Unexpected deliveries and missing parcels
Nationally there has been an increase over the past week of reports of people receiving unexpected deliveries. Victims reported receiving packages containing goods they had not ordered. A short while later a woman wearing a DPD courier uniform arrived to collect the packages, claiming they had been delivered to the wrong address. The packages contained either iPhones or laptops and had been despatched by AO. Please beware taking receipt of any parcels addressed to your homes containing items you did not order. If possible, don’t accept or sign for parcels you haven’t ordered.
If you receive something you’ve not ordered, beware anyone knocking on the door asking to collect it because it was delivered by mistake. Just because they are in a uniform does not mean they are who they claim. You should not hand it over unless you’ve made a prior arrangement for its collection and you are able to verify the identity of the caller. If you have already handed over a package in the circumstances described, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via www.actionfraud.police.uk
If someone is at your door claiming to have come to pick up a parcel you never ordered, ring 999.
There have also been a number of incidents across the UK where people have had parcels stolen after they have been delivered and left on doorsteps. Bring deliveries indoors promptly to avoid opportunist theft.

National Theatre at Home
Frankenstein, directed by Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternate the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation.
Both performances will be available to stream for free, with Benedict Cumberbatch performing as the creature from 7pm tonight, and Jonny Lee Miller performing as the creature from 7pm tomorrow.
Available on demand until Friday 8 May.

And finally …
With thanks to Mike Capper; next year’s pantomime …


29/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

We held a trail zoom meeting for the parish council on Monday evening which was very successful, so we will be holding a full meeting next week, as detailed below. This is being done via Zoom. If anyone is interested in attending virtually, but needs a bit of technical help they are welcome to give me a ring. It’s surprisingly easy, and you can attend via a phone, tablet or computer.

Parish Council Meeting details
Dear Parish Councillors and Members of the Public,
Councillors are summoned and members of the public are invited to attend the virtual Council Meeting of Membury Parish Council, to be held online on Tuesday 5th May 2020 at 7:30pm to discuss the following matters listed in the agenda below:

Bec Davey, Clerk to the Council

LOGIN – please follow these instructions:
Bec Davey is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Membury Parish Council’s Zoom Meeting
Time: May 5, 2020 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 846 167 2964
Password: 289541
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 846 167 2964
Password: 289541
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/amczX8b2l
Please call the clerk on 01297 24009 if you are having any problems logging in.

2020.33 Welcome by the Chairman
2020.34 Apologies for Absence:
2020.35 Declarations of Interest under the Code of Conduct: Councillors are reminded of the need to declare any interests either at this stage of the meeting, or as soon as they become aware of the interest. The reason for the declaration must be given, and whether it is a personal or pecuniary interest; any actions they intend to take when the item is being dealt with
2020.36 Minutes: To adopt the minutes of the meeting held on 25th February 2020 as a true record. These will be signed at the next face to face meeting
2020.37 County and District Council Reports: Attached
2020.38 Clerk Report: Attached
2020.39 Membury Support Group Update: Attached
2020.40 Finance: Unless stated otherwise, documents will be signed at the next face to face meeting

a) To approve the financial statement for March 2020
b) To review end of year budget for 2019/2020
c) To certify Membury Parish Council as exempt from a limited assurance review. The certificate willbe signed outside of the meeting.
d) To approve the income and expenditure accounts for 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020
e) To consider renewing the membership with Blackdown Hills Parish Network& paying the subscription
f) To approve the following payments:
Mrs R Davey Clerk’s Salary – February BACS £281.34
JJJ Wallace Grass Cutting Contract – March BACS £150.00
HMRC Clerk’s Tax BACS £ 58.80
Axminster Printing Co Ltd Neighbourhood Plans CHQ £ 60.00
Mrs R Davey Clerk’s Salary – March BACS £281.34
SLCC Annual Membership (1/2) BACS £ 70.00
JJJ Wallace Grass Cutting Contract – April STO £150.00
BT Group Broadband DD £ 60.19
Playsafety Limited Annual Playground Inspection BACS £ 86.40
Simpkins Edwards Payroll Services (Jan – Mar) BACS £108.00
DALC Annual Membership BACS £121.20
Membury Village Hall Hall Hire (Jan & Feb) BACS £ 14.00
HMRC Clerk’s Tax BACS £ 59.00
Mrs R Davey 12 month Zoom Licence BACS £ 71.94
Mrs R Davey Clerk’s Salary – April BACS £272.34
Other payments may arise for payment during the meeting

2020.41 Planning: 20/0752/FUL: East Membury Farm, Chapelcroft Road, Membury, EX13 7JR: Construction of single storey extension to north elevation. Application available to view here: https://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=Q87Z5TGHL4F00
2020.42 Correspondence:
Date of the next Parish Council meeting: TBA

 An update from Devon County Council
Testing for essential workers, support for families with disabled children and the NHS is still here for you https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/288d301

 Cath’s quiz
The winner of the quiz last weeks was Rhubarb Bikini from New Zealand with 47 points. Answers are attached.

 Supporting ARC
From Suzie MacFadzean
Dear All — thinking about how I can continue to support ARC during the lockdown .. many of the traditional fundraisers have been cancelled – so I thought about using my photographic skills to raise some money for ARC … I am proposing to do a Lockdown Memories Photographic Project
I’m looking to get my camera out during my daily exercise/sheep visits and create a series of doorstep portraits of families, couples, individuals & pets – basically anyone in lockdown with you during these unprecedented times.
There is no charge to be part of the project but a donation to ARC Axminster , via my justgiving page, would be greatly appreciated.
To be involved in the project, all I ask of you is that you live in either Tolcis/Membury or nearby areas and allow me around 10 minutes of your time. In return I will email you your (doorstep/or window or whatever) portrait as a high resolution digital file for you to use as you wish.
Social distancing will be respected at all times, I will not enter your house or touch anything/or anybody except maybe a garden gate !!
You can dress up, dress down or even wear fancy dress.
Let’s get together and create a snapshot of our local community during lockdown whilst raising money for Arc Axminster.
If you would like to take part please e-mail me on mrsmacspics@gmail.com or call/text on 07484 163 901

 And finally …
Looks like Trina’s Flowerpot woman has been sowing wild oats. Here’s a little imp from Greystones.


28/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

The Met Office picked a fine time to announce that this is provisionally the sunniest April on record – mind you our vegetables have appreciated the gentle drizzle.

There were loads of hand wash dispenser bottles at the village hall today. I have collected them and will be arranging for them to be picked up. Thank you to all who have contributed. Keep ‘em coming!

Yet another scam
One of our residents just received a scam email telling them to renew their TV license. It really looked like the real thing but He knew it wasn’t due for renewal until August and he checked the license number which was wrong. Don’t click on the link if you get a similar message.

Trina Noyes’ complaint
Today I learnt a lesson.
That lesson is that you should always read the small print.
However, that was a bit tricky, as I didn’t have my glasses.
So, undeterred, I borrowed a jigsaw from the box today – puzzle number 145. It looked fun, and it was only 750 pieces, so I thought it wouldn’t be impossible.
How wrong appearances can be! The puzzle is called Impossibles and David has just informed me that not only is it a borderless puzzle, it has 5 extra completely useless pieces and no complete picture…..!!
I’ll take my glasses next time….

Treasure hunts in the village
From Carey Swarbrick
Her email address for help home schooling is wrong, it’s burtoncarey@hotmail.com
She has produced three trails round the village, for use by families once the sun has reappeared. For each trail there’s a sheet for the children, and a parent’s sheet that contains the answers. I think that these look brilliant. Does anyone else want to have a go at contributing one? They’ll be jolly useful after the lockdown when residents get grandchildren visiting!
4.6km Animal Hunt
4.6km Animal Hunt Parent Sheet
OS Explorer Map Key
Toddler Trot Parents Sheet – 1 km
4.3km Animal Hunt
4.3km Animal Hunt PARENTS SHEET

Kings Arms at Stockland
Wednesday night is chilli night
Nachos with Wookey Hole Cheddar, with homemade guacamole, tomato and chilli salsa and sour cream – £5 followed by Kings Arms Beef Chilli with Rice or Kings Arms Vegan Three Bean Chilli with Rice – £10.
They also have bottled drinks for collection; 2 pint take home – £4 (choose from San Miguel, Thatchers, Devon Mist or our Real Ale of the day). Bottle of Les Terrasses French sauvignon or merlot, or Vezzani Italian white or Vezzani Italian red – £10. Bottled lagers – £2. Luscombe soft drinks – £1.50.

Following the lead of Sam in Yarcombe, I am going to open an account with a large company that previously only supplied trade. I am hoping they can supply things like flour, cheese, yeast, and various other items. If there is anything still missing from your life (that they are likely to be able to supply) let me know. The minimum order for delivery will be £100, but if things like flour are only available in large sacks, I’ll be happy to split them.

 And now what you’ve all been waiting for …
It’s another quiz. I was told that they’ve been a bit tricky, so I’ve tried to make some of the questions a bit easier this time. I’ll include the answers to last weeks quiz tomorrow when I’ve marked the entries.
membury quiz 27 4 2020 answer sheet
Membury quiz 27 April Q

 An update from the lady with the damaged head
Nobody need fear going to the surgery – it was very well organised and there was no contact with other patients when she went to have her stitches removed. You’ll be pleased to hear that her marbles are entirely intact.

 The Community Waffle House Virtual café
The waffle house bring you their first virtual café. They have a primary teacher on hand to discuss any issues you may be having around home learning. It’s tonight at 7:30pm on zoom. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88095592779

And finally …
Pauline and Barry at Quarryfields are having their best year for green winged orchids for a long time. These orchids are classified as near threatened on the red list.


27/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

There was an incident in the village recently where one of our favourite people had a fall outside and hurt herself rather badly. Informed that the ambulance could be significantly delayed she was conveyed to the Musgrove in Taunton by her husband where A&E was practically deserted; she was completely segregated from all parts of the hospital dealing with covid-19 victims, and she was sorted out very quickly. Make sure that if you need to visit a hospital you don’t let fears of catching the corona virus frighten you. Delaying your visit could make things much worse.

 Don’t worry, Bee happy
This is the time of year that honey bees start to swarm. There is a team of swarm collectors at East Devon Beekeepers, but in the present circumstances they need to keep travelling down to a minimum, if anyone has a problem, Please call Alasdair Bruce 01404 881589

The Mercury deadline looms
From the Editorial team
Hey, folks, time is getting short for Mercury contributions. We have some articles already, but without reports from societies, it’s your opportunity to fill the pages! You’ve been doing a grand job for the bulletin, but let’s not forget those who look forward to the Mercury because they’re not online.
Be creative, if a short story about the solstice appeals to you, or a poem; tell us about your hobbies and interests; send us nuggets of local knowledge, historical, or about the natural world; and how about a collection of pre-virus happy memories? Doesn’t matter how short – we’re constantly told life isn’t about to return to normal, so let’s remind ourselves what that is, to keep looking forward, and especially for the benefit of those young enough to think its “Corona Pirates” that are keeping us indoors, and making us wear face masks! May 1st is the deadline – and that’s only next Friday! So let’s be hearing from you!

Village Hall Update
From Richard Barrell, chair:
Currently the Hall is, as you know, closed to all activity. Jill, Jan and Sue have been taking advantage of this and have deep cleaned the hall, including all the chairs and fittings so when we are eventually open for business it will only take a minimum of work to get up and running again. The Sound system and Hearing Loop are also being upgraded by our in-house team and are nearing completion.
Every electrical appliance has been turned off and the heating has been put on standby mode which ensures that it is on for a period of two hours a day when the solar panels are at their most efficient, this will ensure that the fabric of the building is kept in good order. All has now been done to reduce the day-to-day running costs.
We have informed our insurer of the change in use in the hall. They have advised the
measures we should take in order to comply with the policy terms which we have taken into account. In addition, between them, Jill and Jan check the hall daily to maintain safety and security in the premises.
The lighting upgrade has been postponed until the electrician can work again but all other works will be put on hold for the time being and this will be reviewed when things return to normal.

OnLine Pharmacy
Hve you ever considered using an online pharmacy to reduce the burden on our surgery and their dispensary?
There are quite a few, but a specific one gets a recommendation from one of our parishioners who has been using it for some years. Go to https://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk if you need medication, and it’ll come by post. If you have a regular repeat prescription, they send you SMS and email reminders. They even deliver epipens. You can order other medications from them at very competitive prices.

Ambulance bosses have told patients “don’t be alarmed” when paramedics wear personal protection equipment (PPE) at any incident they attend. The South Western Ambulance Service said all of its crews were wearing PPE “for every patient we see” and “it doesn’t mean we think you have coronavirus”. Equipment they could be wearing may include gloves, an apron, a face mask and goggles or a face shield. “It’s to protect us all,” the service added.

And finally …
Nick Yool has contributed this list of rules which should make everything abundantly clear …

  1. You MUST NOT leave the house for any reason, but if you have a reason, you can leave the house.
  2. Masks are useless at protecting you against the virus, but you may have to wear one because it can save lives, but they may not work, but they may be mandatory, but maybe not.
  3. Shops are closed, except those shops that are open.
  4. You must not go to work but you can get another job and go to work.
  5. You should not go to the Doctor’s or to the hospital unless you have to go there, unless you are too poorly to go there.
  6. This virus can kill people, but don’t be scared of it. It can only kill those people who are vulnerable or those people who are not vulnerable. It’s possible to contain and control it, sometimes, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster.
  7. Gloves won’t help, but they can still help so wear them sometimes, or not.
  8. STAY HOME, but it’s important to go out.
  9. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarkets, but there are many things missing. Sometimes you won’t need loo rolls but you should buy some just in case you need some.
  10. The virus has no effect on children except those children it affects.
  11. Animals are not affected, but there was a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…
  12. Stay 2 metres away from tigers (see point 11).
  13. You will have many symptoms if you get the virus, but you can also get symptoms without getting the virus, get the virus without having any symptoms or be contagious without having symptoms, or be non contagious with symptoms…it’s a sort of lucky/unlucky dip.
  14. To help protect yourself you should eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have on hand as it’s better not to go to the shops, unless you need toilet roll.
  15. It’s important to get fresh air but don’t go to parks but go for a walk. But don’t sit down, except if you are old, but not for too long or if you are pregnant or if you’re not old or pregnant but need to sit down. If you do sit down don’t eat your picnic, unless you’ve had a long walk, which you are/aren’t allowed to do if you’re old or pregnant.
  16. Don’t visit old people but you have to take care of the old people and bring them food and medication.
  17. If you are sick, you can go out when you are better but anyone else in your household can’t go out when you are better unless they need to go out.
  18. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house. These deliveries are safe. But groceries you bring back to your house have to be decontaminated outside for 3 hours including frozen pizza.
  19. You can’t see your older mother or grandmother, but they can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver.
  20. You are safe if you maintain the safe social distance when out but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance.
  21. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours … or four hours…or six hours… I mean days, not hours. But it needs a damp environment. Or a cold environment that is warm and dry… in the air, as long as the air is not plastic.
  22. Schools are closed so you need to home educate your children, unless you can send them to school because you’re not at home. If you are at home you can home educate your children using various portals and virtual class rooms, unless you have poor internet, or more than one child and only one computer, or you are working from home. Baking cakes can be considered maths, science or art. If you are home educating you can include household chores within their education. If you are home educating you can start drinking at 10am.
  23. If you are not home educating children you can also start drinking at 10am.
  24. The number of corona related deaths will be announced daily but we don’t know how many people are infected as they are only testing those who are almost dead to find out if that’s what they will die of. The people who die of corona who aren’t counted, won’t or will be counted but maybe not.
  25. We should stay in locked down until the virus stops infecting people but it will only stop infecting people if we all get infected so it’s important we get infected and some don’t get infected.

Hope that makes things clearer for you.

26/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Something a bit different today – it’s just a reminder of most of the village initiatives for those of you who weren’t receiving this update from the start, and various sites that might help relieve the stresses and strains of this situation we find ourselves in. If you want more details on any of these items, just reply to this email, or call our helpline. And so, in no particular order …

The Paper Shop in Honiton delivers to the village 01404 41222

We have arranged a weekly delivery of milk every Wednesday to the Village Hall, from where a network of volunteers take it round the village.

Puzzle / Book Exchange
There’s now a box outside the village hall where people can exchange books and jigsaw puzzles. Make sure you follow the hygiene rules – wear plastic or latex gloves if possible, and wash your hands before you go out, and as soon as you get home

Get safe online
Devon and Cornwall Police have put together some top tips about how to protect yourself, from the scams that are currently circulating. www.getsafeonline.org/coronavirus

Home Schooling
Carey Swarbrick from Rock is a biology teacher, and is happy to help with GCSE Science and A level Biology – you can reach her via careyburton@hotmail.com

Telephone Directory
I’m happy to compile a telephone directory for Membury residents. There has been very little uptake of this idea – but let me know if you want to be included.

National Theatre At Home
The National Theatre is streaming some fantastic performances over the next few weeks free of charge; each show will be available for a week. Go to https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home.

Paid-for things now FREE – box sets, audiobooks, fitness classes, wellbeing apps and more
MoneySavingExpert has provided a list of free things to while away the hours.  Click on this link for more details. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/team-blog/2020/03/paid-for-things-they-ve-made-free-boxsets–audiobooks–fitness-c/

Seeds, sunflowers, swaps and scarecrows!
There are sunflower seeds by the steps at the Village Hall. A Seed swaps box is also on the shelf along with donated plants and seedlings. If you are bored, why not make a scarecrow to entertain passers by.

The Show Must Go On
There will be an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical streamed on YouTube free every Friday at 7pm. https://youtu.be/OLeErO8nXsc

The Playing Field
The playing field remains closed, and there is a sign on the gate to support this, as well as a sign saying “no dogs”.

Itchy feet?
You could always learn to Salsa! https://youtu.be/Ay0wKqQL95g

Covid-19 Tracker
Sign up to the Kings College London’s citizen science study set up to help the UK’s Health Services understand as much as possible about the spread of Covid-19. More here:https://covid.joinzoe.com/

Recycle Box
There’s a box down by the village hall for donations of dispensable soap bottles and triggers. https://recyclebox.co.uk/taxons/collection/cleaning-products.

Get creative with Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey have a whole page of activities for adults and children.

Teddy bear hunt
Put a teddy bear in your front window to give children a fun and safe activity while walking round the village. The hunt has been by the children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, written by Michael Rosen – who is currently in intensive care

How’s your car battery holding up?
Turn the engine over on your car, and if necessary put the battery on a trickle charger. When you start it, run it quite fast for a few minutes to recharge the battery a bit or you risk making it worse. We can lend you a charger if you need one.

Face Masks
Here’s a pattern to make your own facemask

BBC Bitesize
Over the coming weeks the BBC will be sending regular newsletters with home learning tips and tools to minimise disruption to your children’s education.

Find out more about Bitesize Daily  Check out the TV lesson schedule

Covid-19 FAQ from Devon and Cornwall Police
The police have pulled together answers to some of the more commonly asked questions you might have.
If you need support and advice, please visit their domestic abuse help page

Who do you think you are?
You can now access Ancestry Library Edition at home using your Devon Libraries membership card.
Find out more, including how to access Ancestry Library Edition on the Libraries Unlimited website.

More on sewing masks
There is now a collection box by the village hall for materials such as poly cottons including sheets and old duvet covers, and buttons required to make scrubs for NHS workers. Offers of help sewing would also be appreciated.

The national trust have published a link to a useful guide.

Axminster Scrub Hub
A FaceBook group has been set up to help coordinate requests, donations of materials and deliveries in the local area, to avoid unnecessary travel. Please do join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/559155654710749/

Diversions during the lockdown
Neil from Stockland has put together this list of ideas to entertain people to help us all out over the next few weeks. The list is already quite extensive and is being added to all the time – and you can find it at https://www.stockland.org.uk/Lockdown

Use your time wisely
Harvard University is offering a wide variety of science and arts based courses free of charge at the moment. Registration seems quite straightforward. Why not brush up your CV a bit? https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog

Masks for Membury
Lydia Has been busy making facemasks from material of all sorts of different patterns. If you’d like one, please contact her via facebook, or on 01404 881640 or 07724014212.

A Message for our key workers
We all know it means a lot to all the keyworkers out there to get messages of appreciation for all they are doing, so I will be putting a thank you on the front page of our website. Not many people have so afar asked to be part of this initiative.

Join the NEA 2.6 challenge
The 2.6 Challenge will launch on Sunday 26th April – what should have been the date of the 40th London Marathon, the world’s biggest one-day annual fundraising event. Get inspired at twopointsixchallenge.co.uk

Membury Treasure hunts
Carey Swarbrick is creating a few different treasure hunts and orienteering activities for kids (or adults if they fancy) around Membury, aimed at different ages. I need some help to find out about quirky things, sights of interest etc around Membury so if anyone is aware of any thing / places of interest could they please email her (burtoncarey@hotmail.com).

News from Yarcombe
Only a few days left to enter their virtual photography competititon

  • Colour photo “Enjoying my home & garden”
  • Poem “2020”


  • Colour photo “Fun times at home”
  • An A4 picture “Happiness & Hope (any materials can be used, with a photo used as the entry, if necessary)

All entries to be emailed by 30th April to editor@yarcombevoices.co.uk

The tutor for the Chard and Ilminster U3A yoga group, Kay Mendlson has produced a video to help people exercise gently. Much can be done sitting down and you just do what feels comfortable. She has kindly given me permission to share this video. https://youtu.be/ezRYk63i5D4

25/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

A huge update to food suppliers today, and tomorrow I plan to review all the other bits and pieces such as the jigsaws and books, milk, plants etc from past updates. Monday will mark the first month of these notes. If anyone would like to contribute more literary works, or photographs they would be most welcome, but don’t forget that the deadline for the Mercury is coming up very shortly – so you might want to concentrate your efforts there.

I’ve had reports form several parishioners today about an email scam. They’ve all received emails purporting to be from another member of the parish well known to them asking for financial help to purchase iTunes vouchers or an Amazon E card. It starts off innocently enough but then amounts of £200 are requested. The “from” address in all cases is genuine but it has been spoofed. Please take care and look out for emails like this:

“hi, I hope you’re keeping well in these very unsettling times! please i need you to do something for me.
Kind regards”

Followed by a request for money. The victim has been made aware of the issue

Kings Arms
Sunday lunch is roast beef, lamb or pork with veg, or a mushroom and leek gratin, followed by rhubarb and apple crumble with custard. 01404 811686

AVMC Zoom Service
11.00am AVMC Zoom Service –https://us04web.zoom.us/j/71885450686
We have a range of people involved including the Mayor of Axminster, Anni Young- speaking about how faith impacts on her life and work.Uplyme Church Service on YouTube at 10am (or later if you wish) .
You can view the service on YouTube by clicking this link

Fresh food and other supplies
I have compiled this list from the ACER (Axminster Community Emergency Response) spreadsheet, from Facebook and from emails and telephone calls I have received. Suppliers are presented alphabetically.

 For suppliers and customers, please practice stringent food hygiene. Food handling and environmental health and safety legislation still applies.
It is also critical that you follow the most current government guidelines regarding social distancing when visiting premises, accepting deliveries or collecting any orders. This information can be found at www.gov.uk

 If you know of a business or organisation that should be included on this list, or you have more up to date information about the suppliers listed below, please contact danieljlazar@gmail.com. Not all of these businesses that claim to deliver will deliver to all postcodes in the area. Please check with each individual supplier before ordering.

 Please note. This list is intended for reference purposes only. The products and services listed are not endorsed by the Membury Support Group and use of them is at your own risk.

Our wonderful local bookshop which of course has had to temporarily close is offering home delivery or a ‘drive by pick up’ of book orders. Details on the website archwaybookshop.co.uk or phone 01297 33744.
Home deliveries
Bread, milk and basic groceries
Monday – Saturday 6:30am – 1:30pm Sun 7am – 9:30am
01297 598942 07901 502508 gurjeb@hotmail.com
Basic grocery supplies for those in need who are unable to afford food supplies for whatever reason. Use of The Axminster Food Bank is usually accessed via referral. However, if you find your circumstances are changing too quickly due to COVID-19, they may still be able to help you.
If you think you need The Axminster Food Bank’s support, please contact them by phone or email, or call ACER who may also be able to support you through alternate schemes.
MON – FRI 10am -1pm
For those self isolating delivery can be arranged
01297 323 31 info@axminsterwellbeing.com ACER helpline: 01297 35550
Barleymows is open and well stocked.  You can pre-order, pay over the telephone and then collect in the car park; give the shop a phone call when you arrive and someone will bring your oder out to you so you don’t need to get out of the car. Telephone Barleymows on 01460 62130.
Tony Smith is a regular smallholder at Chard Market.
Please phone Tony on 07977 935047 for more details.
Nursery and Gift Shop
General groceries including perishable, non perishable foods & frozen foods, cleaning supplies, alcohol and over the counter medicines
01297 639888
Delivery or collect
Fruit and veg boxes, meat, dairy, eggs, handmade ready meals, and some non perishable groceries
Order by phone for delivery or collection
Monday- Friday 11am – 2pm
01308 3011207 07973 631059 facebook.com/Cherries-Ice-Cream-Parlour-659737857777248/
Christine Parris (Yarcombe) has eggs, cheese and cream.  She can be contacted on 01404 861207
The Churchinford Community Shop -01823 601026 – will take card payments over the telephone (they don’t hold card details which are taken and then destroyed after the transaction has gone through).  Then you can just go to Churchinford and pick up your shopping.
2 or 3 course meals for reheating at home – a variety of baked goods, deli food, fruit and veg acan be added to the order as extras
01395 513319 hello@clocktowersidmouth.com www.clocktowersidmouth.com/home-deliveries  facebook.com/clocktowersidmouth
Bean to bar chocolate of the finest quality
Fresh meat, eggs, pies, pasties, cheese, hand made ready meals etc
MON – FRI: 8am – 5pm SAT: 8am – 2pm
Order by phone for home delivery:
MON – FRI 9am – 4pm
Free home delivery on orders over a set amount
01297 33282 info@completemeats.co.uk
General groceries including perishable,non perishable foods & frozen foods, cleaning supplies, alcohol and over the counter medicines
7 days a week: 7am – 8pm
NHS, Key workers, the elderly and vulnerable customers only:
the first hour of trading each day
General groceries including perishable,non perishable foods & frozen foods, cleaning supplies, alcohol and over the counter medicines
7 days a week: 7am – 8pm
NHS, Key workers, the elderly and vulnerable customers only:
MON – SAT: 8am – 9am SUN: 10am – 11am
you can donate to the Food Bank at this store.
01297 32157
Freshly baked bread
Free delivery MON – SAT
Order by phone and leave a message before 9am on the day your order is required
01297 598 903 facebook.com/cornerhousebakery/
Baked goods eg cakes, bread quiche and a variety of flours
Order by phone or text monday – Saturday 9am – 7pm
Laura 07552 999752 facebook.com/lymeregis.co.uk
Currently operating a delivery service of plants and garden supplies. Ring them on 01460 63088 to find out what they have. You pay over the phone.
Nutritionally balanced meals for reheating at home
Free meal for nhs workers
Mon-fri 9am-6pm delivery wed and fri
01395 267540 info@devonfreshfoods.co.uk www.devonfreshfoods.co.uk WhatsApp 07979 374814
has a surplus of eggs for sale from Little Winsors – up above the late Fred Board’s bungalow. Contact her on emmatindall@hotmail.com for more information
Fruit and veg boxes plus limited stock of some other fresh and dried groceries
7 Days a week: 9am – 5pm Simon: 0777 378 296 01460 221 639
thefarmshoptytherleigh@outlook.com facebook.com/The-Farm-Shop-Tytherleigh-110620763914730/
Delivery or collection
Fruit and veg boxes (+ milk) delivered to your door
Order by facebook direct message or by phone:
7 days a week: 9am – 10pm
payment can be made in advance or upon delivery by cash or contactless card payment. – safety protocol in place
07702 242 167
Delivery or collection
Wholefoods, dried goods, toiletries, supplements and spices
MON – SAT: 9 am – 5pm
Order by phone or email for home delivery or collection.
Free delivery on orders over £40
01297 33957
We offer a local delivery service to customers living in the EX1 to EX15, EX24 postcode areas.  Fresh produce from our farm and fishing fleet is packed into our vans and delivered to your door.  The cost is £4.95 or Free when you spend £75 or more.  Choose a ‘specified day’ (starting approx one week from ordering) during checkout.
Fresh fruit and veg, eggs, milk, juice and handmade ready meals
MON TUES & SAT: 9.30pm – 1pm WED, THUR & FRI: 9 30 – 2pm
Order and pay by card over the phone. Free delivery within Axminster. Outside of this area, a charge may apply.
01297 631 782 info@halff.org.uk facebook.com/halff.charity
Fresh seasonal fruit veg and meat.
Order online before Thursday evning
Collections available on Fridays after 3pm
TUES – FRI: 9am – 5pm SAT: 10am – 4pm
07477 937 916 hewoodorganics.org hewoodorganics@gmail.com
“In My Back Yard” describes itself as the East Devon food hub offering produce from a number of local companies. Order by Wednesday and pick up Friday from Seaton, Branscombe or Ottery.  https://openfoodnetwork.org.uk/inmybackyard/shop#/shop
General groceries including fresh, non perishable & frozen foods, cleaning supplies etc
Order online (prefered) or by phone:
MON – SAT: Order before 6 for next day delivery.
01392 445 510 www.jrfoodservice.co.uk facebook.com/J-R-Food-Service-Ltd-112722830353195/
Joshuas Harvest Store in Ottery St Mary (opposite Otter Nurseries) is now doing home deliveries. Go to their website for details.  Email joshuasharvest@gmail.com or phone 01404 815473 for more details or to place your order.  You can pay via Paypal.  Note that there is a £40 minimum spend with a £5 delivery charge.
Details of takeaways and food boxes are below.  01404 881686 to order.
Veg box £11, Large veg box £22
Mon- Sat 8am – 10pm, Sun 10am – 4pm
(pork, sausages etc) can be contacted on 07966 583896.
Delivery and collection
Raw meat boxes
MON – FRI: 7.30am – 5pm SAT : 7.30am – 4pm
Free delivery within 10 miles of Lyme Regis
01297 445 000
www.lymeregisbutchers.co.uk/product/home-delivery-pack facebook.com/lymeregisbutchers/
Boxes of fish for £18 for 2 people and £24 for 4 people
call 07891975513 https://www.facebook.com/thewetfishshop/
Fresh fish and seafood
TUES – THURS: 9am – 12pm
Call or text Mark: 07711 756 575
Fresh vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, bakery, dried and canned/jarred foods
MON – SAT: 7:30am – 3:30pm SUN: 8:00am – 1:00pm.
01297 35290 facebook.com/Millers-Farm-Shop-360326114151924/ www.millersfarmshop.co.uk
Free frozen handmade cook meals for for reheating at home.
For those from vulnerable groups within the community who are struggling to afford food.
This service can be accessed by contacting the ACER Helpline or by contacting Nourish directly. Meals will be delivered to your door.
Nourish: 07708 731826 facebook.com/NourishAxminster ACER helpline: 01297 355 50
Pop up farm shop
Orders must be placed by noon Wednesday and will be delivered on Friday
Now do seeds by post (link below). Phone 01404 815815 Monday to Friday, 9.30a.m. – 4p.m., with three phone lines being manned.
If you would like to be added to Philip’s Wednesday delivery round please telephone him on 07831 368798.
Boxes of 5 dozen Staffordshire Oatcakes for £12
A food service distribution company who supply the catering trade – but they are extending their service to members of the public to support the wider community with essential food deliveries. Their brochure runs to 125 pages – so their range is pretty comprehensive. Visit https://www.rdjohns.co.uk
This week’s Supper Club Menu and River Cottage Produce Box details are now online. They have joined forces with Haye Farm and Lyme Bay Fish Shack, so now in addition to the River Cottage Produce Box, you can order a Meat Box and a Fish Box to collect from River Cottage HQ. Orders must be placed by 5pm Wednesday for collection on Friday.
Mon- Fri 8am – 9pm, Sat 8am – 9pm, Sun 10am – 4pm
Priority hour 8am – 9am
Freshly Indian meals delivered frozen.
Menu is live each Thursday at 5pm (on Facebook or by phone)
Order and Pay by phone until Midnight.
Delivered to your door on Friday (with a text delivery alert to avoid face to face contact)
07254 432 095 facebook.com/streetcurry/
Fresh fruit veg and bread
Order online before midnight on Thursday, for a delivery the following Thursday
www.squirrelseaton.co.uk facebook.com/squirrelseaton
Mon- Fri 8am – 10pm, Sat 8am – 9pm, Sun 10am – 4pm
Priority hour 9am – 10am
Mon- Fri 8am – 10pm, Sat 8am – 9pm, Sun 10am – 4pm
Priority hour 9am – 10am
Click and collect
Mon- Sat 8am – 10pm, Sun 10am – 4pm
Priority hour 9am – 10am
Basic groceries and confectionary
MON – SUN: 7am – 8pm
01297 220 26 facebook.com/Tower-Services-Seaton-Ltd-498681600150896/
Delivery of booze

And finally …
The most beautiful dawn this morning captured by Kerstin Langdon


24/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

It is with great sadness that I can report the death of David Warner, formerly of Orchard House from the corona virus. His widow Valerie has requested no personal contact at this time, but if anyone wishes to send a card her address is

Valerie Warner
Cedar Tree Bungalow
Old North Street
EX13 5QD

Fish and chips
Don’t forget that the fish and chip van will be visiting the Village Hall car park again this coming Saturday (25th) between 6:00pm and 7:15pm. Please remember the rules and bring the correct cash – £5 per portion. Please queue 2 metres apart by individual cones, and make sure you wash your hands when you get home. There will be a box for contributions to The N.H.S. It is imperative that you order from Jill – 01404 881641, 07710 849984 or jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment

Covid-19 FAQ from Devon and Cornwall Police
With the current situation regarding the corona virus, we are living in unprecedented times. With this in mind, the police have pulled together answers to some of the more commonly asked questions you might have.
The police are also keen to remind victims of domestic abuse that you are not alone. If you need support and advice, please visit their domestic abuse help page.

East Devon District Council weekly updates
For residents: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/287cb21
For businesses: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKEDDC/bulletins/287ff17

Join the NEA 2. challenge
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on charities, with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in fundraising income. In response, the organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events across the country have come together to create a new campaign to raise vital funds to help to save the UK’s charities.

The 2.6 Challenge will launch on Sunday 26th April – what should have been the date of the 40th London Marathon, the world’s biggest one-day annual fundraising event.
NEA are asking you to take part in an activity of your choice based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise or donate to support National Energy Action (NEA) via twopointsixchallenge.co.uk
People of all ages are taking on The 2.6 Challenge with a host of activities – from walking, running or cycling 2.6 miles, juggling for 2.6 minutes, to holding online workouts with 26 friends, the options are endless!

There are currently nearly 2.6 million households in England in fuel poverty (around 4 million households in the UK) and on average 10,000 people will die each winter because they live in a cold, damp home. Your donations will help to continue this fight against fuel poverty!

The only requirement is that you must follow Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing. Most people are taking part from Sunday 26th April but you can do your activity whenever is most convenient for you!

There are just five simple steps to take:

  • Dream up your 2.6 challenge
  • Head to Virgin Money Giving to donate £26 – or whatever you can afford to National Energy Action or to set up a fundraising page
  • Ask all your friends and family to sponsor you and challenge them to do their own 2.6 Challenge
  • Complete your challenge
  • Share a photo or video of your challenge on social media with #TwoPointSixChallenge and tag NEA so we can share your support

 More birds
This funky bird is the hoopoe. One of the reserves officers from Devon Wildlife Trust, Ian, spotted one these charismatic birds in his back garden! It doesn’t breed in the UK, but as many as 100 birds can turn up in spring whilst migrating north to Europe from Africa! I’m sure the delights of Membury have spread far and wide in the avian community (probably via Twitter) so I’m confident that this bird ill be with us soon. A guinea for the first photograph of a hoopoe in Membury.

Yesterday the bard, today the diarist.
“On hearing ill rumour that Londoners may soon be urged into their lodgings by Her Majesty’s men, I looked upon the street to see a gaggle of striplings making fair merry, and no doubt spreading the plague well about. Not a care had these rogues for the health of their elders!”
Samuel Pepys Diary London 1664

And finally …
I have another scarecrow for you today; this one is from Lydia Hartnell, one of our NH heroes

23/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

We’ve had a concerned neighbour remark on the condition of our scarehare sitting on the bench above the veg plot. What with all the sun it has become rather red of face. You will be pleased to hear that we have now provided it with both some sun cream, and a bottle of water.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the deadline for ordering prescriptions for collection next Thursday. After you have ordered your medication (online preferably) let us know with an email or a phone call. When requesting prescriptions, please let us know if it contains a controlled drug or refrigerated item as we need to follow a different procedure when collecting and distributing these prescriptions.’

 National theatre
Twelfth night is available from this evening – coming up soon Frankenstein and Anthony and Cleopatra. That’s two separate plays, not an attempt to blend Mary Shelley with William Shakespeare (more on him below!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aig5ObghHS4

Not satisfied with a kookaburra and Simon Foster’s nightingale? There’s a grass snake about a mile long at Lewsley Farm, or why not visit the live webcam on Skomer Island, off the south west coast of Wales during daylight hours for more puffins than you’d believe possible.

Shakespeare and The Plague
From Sara Cranfield:
‘A plague on both your houses’. So, which of Shakespeare’s plays is this from? The romantics amongst you will recognise it’s from ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

With our national bard sharing this day with our patron saint, St George, I was minded to a look at some of the major events of the late Tudor early Stuart period, and low and behold, there was a plague going on.

When he was born, young William’s parents, who had already lost two daughters, locked themselves into their home, sealing the windows, to try and reduce the risks of the disease which was spreading through Stratford Upon Avon. In the town’s records, is an entry for a young apprentice weaver who had died, with the following next to his name – ‘Hic insipit pestis’, to translate ‘This infectious pestilence’. How the Shakespeare family survived, when all the rest of Henley Street was wiped out, we shall never know.

The Plague continued through much of his life. Shakespeare resided in London during the lockdown of 1593, when wrote ‘a batch’ of his plays during this time. Some of these have references to the plague, including the Scottish play and ‘King Lear’. The quote at the beginning of this piece perhaps being one of the better known, said by Mercutio as he lay dying after the sword fight with Tybalt. (Why do the dying have such long and drawn out speeches?)

It is thought that because of his early exposure to the plague, Shakespeare developed an immunity to it. However, it played havoc with his later life, as no one wanted to go and see his plays, due to the risk of contagion.  Early social isolation.

Shakespeare was a resourceful cove and he managed to survive the rigors of London, becoming a ’Lord Chamberlains Man’ walking in the coronation cavalcade of King James in 1604, he was able to buy properties in both Stratford and London, which included building  the Globe Theatre, plus travel the realm with his band of actors, both acting in and producing the plays he’d written.

Sadly, tragedy was to strike again on his family, as Hamnet, William’s  11 year old son, died of illness.

So, whilst we’re in lockdown, we can look back to other occasions when disease was rife, death became the norm and fear pervaded the land, and recognise similarities  with our lives today. I’ve just tried to re-read Albert Camus’ ‘La Peste’, and I’m sure you all have your personal favourites, where disease and pestilence is the main theme behind the story.

There are also many of Shakespeare’s plays being ‘streamed’ online at present, including ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ and afore mentioned ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

Then let’s raise a glass, and on this special day, say Happy Birthday, William.

And finally …
From Patricia Bruzon
Looks like we have some competition going on around Membury so may as well join in. I measured the parrot tulips and the petals are twelve centimetres long when opened . There are two rows of tulips with over 150 tulips at the back of the garden . They are mostly very large but the orange ones are the biggest . Is size important ? No idea but it is great to be able to enjoy some colour when looking out from the kitchen. These have been indoors for four days hope to get another three out of them, but they are always thirsty


22/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Bonfires at this time can cause real problems for people with breathing difficulties, particularly if they are confined to their home. The Government has recommended that people do not light bonfires whilst the Covid 19 protocols are in place. Axminster Town Council has agreed that bonfires will not be allowed on its 3 sites until the current situation is over. The fire brigade is also requesting that people do not light bonfires, as are East Devon District Council. Please abide by this new rule for everyone’s benefit. Here in Membury houses are a generally a reasonable distance apart, but if you do have near neighbours please have some consideration for them

Ninebarrow comprises Jay and Jon, a folk duo from Dorset. They were high up the list of possible bands to entertain us in the spring, subsidised by Villages in Action. You may have heard them with Claire Balding on Radio 4’s  Ramblings in November. Unfortunately the dates didn’t quite work out for us, but there’s a chance we may be able to have them here in the Autumn, provided government advice is that such events can restart. To whet your appetite they are streaming a live concert on Saturday May 2nd at 7pm. They had over 2500 people who attended their last concert from all over the world. I’ll publish a link to the concert nearer the time, but you can visit their site now if you wish

BBC Bitesize
Over the coming weeks the BBC will be sending regular newsletters with home learning tips and tools to minimise disruption to your children’s education. Whether you’ve got toddlers or teenagers, they’ll help out with creative ideas to keep them occupied and educated during these challenging times.

Bitesize is changing to support you. We’ll provide more support to students and their parents with a series of special daily broadcasts for both primary and secondary students, complementing a whole host of extra resources online
Find out more about Bitesize Daily
Check out the TV lesson schedule

Devon Communities Together
There’s an important article from Post Office Services. Anyone who cannot leave home may now be able to ask a trusted friend or volunteer to withdraw cash at any Post Office using a single-use voucher. Click here for details.

Lockdown ideas to entertain you
This is still a work in progress by Neil in Stockland. Hopefully there will be something of interest to you even if it’s just the glimmer of an idea. Everything listed is claimed to be free or has a free version. Music, Exercise, Learn a New Skill, Just Escape, Reading, Writing, Education, Art & Craft, Computer Simulations, Magic, Family History, Theatre, Video Tours, Relaxation & Sleep

And finally …
Hands up everyone who remembers Bill and Ben? Trina obviously does, and the miniskirt is a nod to the sixties too. Let’s hope that Little Weed doesn’t make an appearance at Lewsley Farm as well. Flobalobalob.


21/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

I published a list of places offering hot food for collection or delivery a few days ago, and today I’m featuring a couple of them in more detail. If you want these places to keep going after this pandemic is over please give them a chance. I’m still working on my list of general suppliers of food, drink and other consumables – expect this in the next day or two. Meanwhile – enjoy he sunshine, and don’t bother trying to do any digging!

The Lyrids
The early hours of Wednesday morning will be peak viewing for this year’s Lyrid meteor shower – though it should be visible any night there’s a clear sky this week. Look for shooting stars, possibly with long tails, towards midnight in the North East near Vega, which is the brightest star in the constellation of Lyra, and progressing higher in the sky through the night.
The Lyrids have the distinction of being the oldest recorded meteor shower – records of viewings in China date back over 2.500 years. The meters it produces are from the Comet Thatcher which takes around 400 years to orbit the sun.

The other thing to look out for in the sky at the moment are some of the Starlink satellites. Space-X, owned by Elon Musk (he of Tesla fame) has launched 362 so far out of a planned deployment of 12,000 with which he’ll provide cheap wifi to the world. They can appear as a line or train racing across the sky over several minutes. They are much brighter than most stars. They are due to pass overhead at 10:34 tonight, and 9:34 tomorrow night, give or take. To read a bit more about them, and to see timings for other days go to https://findstarlink.com/#50.814,North,3.1918,West;3.There are some good apps you can download to follow their path, and to provide general astronomical information. If you use an iPhone, try Night Sky, which is free and helps you find all kinds of celestial wonders. If you use an Android phone use Satellite Tracker.

The Kings Arms, Stockland
Wednesday is Greek night.
Each meal comes with torn sourdough with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Choose from Greek salad with dressing or courgette fritters with tzatziki followed by pan fried squid with garlic and lemon served with chips or moussaka, and there’s Greek strawberry cheesecake for pudding.
Order on 01404 881686.

River cottage
This week’s Supper Club Menu and River Cottage Produce Box details are now online. They have joined forces with Haye Farm and Lyme Bay Fish Shack, so now in addition to the River Cottage Produce Box, you can order a Meat Box and a Fish Box to collect from River Cottage HQ. Orders must be placed by 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday) for collection on Friday.

Bike ride
Ron and Judy’s son in law has now raised £3030 – and it’s still open, so if you want to contribute, you still can.

What on earth is a Pantoum?
A Pantoum is a very clever poem, and here’s one written by our very clever poet Jakki Henderson. If you want to know more about the structure of a Pantoum just google it!

Just a Little Water
There’s just a little water in my kettle,
each bag of tea for one or maybe two;
Lemon, Rose-hip, Peppermint, or Nettle
in some way help improve the inner you.

Each bag of tea for one or maybe two,
a special blend of fine dried leaves and fruit,
in some way help improve the inner you –
frees tension, causes toxins to dilute.

A special blend of fine dried leaves and fruit,
steeped for a while in water freshly boiled,
frees tension, causes toxins to dilute –
sugar free, so appetite unspoiled.

Steeped for a while in water freshly boiled,
brings out full flavour of ingredients –
sugar free, so appetite unspoiled.
A discipline worth the obedience,

brings out full flavour of ingredients;
Lemon, Rose-hip, Peppermint or Nettle.
A discipline worth the obedience – only,
there’s just a little water in my kettle.
And finally …
John and Jeanette have sent me a picture of their first rose at Bramleys. Unfortunately, unless you are prepared to form an orderly queue you won’t be allowed to smell it!


20/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

For those who have not seen it there is an excellent section of the NHS website HERE which has advice, not only on how to stay fit mentally during this enforced confinement, but if you click the “For your body” tab, there are also some very simple exercises which you can do in the comfort of your own home which require no equipment whatsoever. Pop along and have a look.

Masks for Membury
Lydia Has been busy making facemasks from material of all sorts of different patterns. If you’d like one, please contact her via facebook, or on 01404 881640 or 07724014212. Donations please. All money raised will go to the Axminster Wildlife Park, to help support our Kookaburra and his friends.

 By popular demand
The fish and chip van will be visiting the Village Hall car park again this coming Saturday (25th) between 6:00pm and 7:15pm. Please remember the rules and bring the correct cash – £5 per portion. Please queue 2 metres apart by individual cones, and make sure you wash your hands when you get home. There will be a box for contributions to The N.H.S. It is imperative that you order from Jill – 01404 881641, 07710 849984 or jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment

And finally …
The Duchess, and Clive Cussler fan is after an exercise bike. He was wondering if anyone in the village has one for sale that they no longer use. Please phone Allan on 01404 881501 if you can help

And here is a photograph from Janet Andrew of a pigeon enjoying a moment of personal freshness in the rain we had the other day.


19/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

More bird news …
Well it seems I got it wrong yesterday – It was sue Pittendrigh collecting the duck from Jill’s house to give it a temporary home in Tolcis until its true owner comes forward. It was so comfortable in their truck on the way home that it even laid them an egg!. Sue describes their house as the Ferne Annex, and reports that “Dilly” is very happy there.
While we are on the subject of birds, there’s a nightingale down by Beckford Farm; listen out for it if your walk takes you down that way.

12 hours of exercise
An update from Ron on Joe’s sponsored ride. On behalf of N.H.S. Charity.
He started at 6.30am yesterday and completed at 18.30, peddling continuously to a virtual route, taking in mountains, valleys, woodland and other virtual roads. We are pleased to say that he has raised a magnificent amount of £2624.70. He wants to thank everyone who donated ,He never expected to raise this much.

Use your time wisely
Harvard University is offering a wide variety of science and arts based courses free of charge at the moment. Registration seems quite straightforward. Why not brush up your CV a bit? https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog

Car batteries
Any of you concerned about your car should start it up regularly as suggested the other day, but if you do, make sure you run the engine at a decent speed for a few minutes to give the battery a bit of oomph. If you need one I’ve been offered two machines to boost the batteries, and I can promise that there’ll be no charge!

Easter Quiz
Answers will be attached tomorrow, with a new quiz. Any last minute entries?

The Membury Flower Show
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly the flower show has been cancelled for this year. Depending on the outcome of the existing situation there may be a future activity or competition – but don’t forget that there is a competition open to us all running in Yarcombe. The closing date for entries is the end of this month. The classes are as follows:
Colour photo “Enjoying my home & garden”
Poem “2020”
Colour photo “Fun times at home”
An A4 picture “ Happiness & Hope” (any materials can be used, with a photo used as the entry, if necessary)

And finally …
Our volunteer coordinator, Lucy Noyes, has accepted a job with the green energy supplier Bulb. Eventually she’ll be working from an office in East London, but for now she’ll be based here in Membury so she’ll be able to carry on with the fantastic work she is doing connecting volunteers with people who need help. Let’s all wish her every success in her new role.

Here’s a picture of another scarecrow. It’s Mike the Mechanic, from Playstreet. He is offered by Jane Liddicoat as a tribute to all those who suffered a puncture outside their house

18/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

More bird news …
You will be pleased to know that the owners of the duck came forward and collected it. Simon did suggest that it might have been one he had on the way from Waitrose. Fortunately this duck will live to quack another day.

EDDC latest links:
Please find below links for our weekly residents and business updates.
Residents’ Update: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/latest-updates/east-devon-residents-coronavirus-update-17-april-2020/
Business Update: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/latest-updates/east-devon-business-coronavirus-update-17-april-2020/

Takeaway and hot food delivery services in the Axminster and Chard area
I have compiled this list from the ACER (Axminster Community Emergency Response) spreadsheet, from Facebook and from emails and telephone calls I have received.

For suppliers and customers, please practice stringent food hygiene. Food handling and environmental health and safety legislation still applies.
It is also critical that you follow the most current government guidelines regarding social distancing when accepting deliveries or collecting any orders. This information can be found at www.gov.uk

 If you know of a business or organisation that should be included on this list, or you have more up to date information about the suppliers listed below, please contact danieljlazar@gmail.com. Not all of these businesses that claim to deliver will deliver to all postcodes in the area. Please check with each individual supplier before ordering.

 Please note. This list is intended for reference purposes only. The products and services listed are not endorsed by the Membury Support Group and use of them is at your own risk. 

Axminster Conservative Club
Collection and Delivery
Home cooked hot lunches on Thursdays and Sundays.
Order by phone the day before required. Delivery / collection available Thursday and Sunday 12pm – 2pm. Payment on delivery/collection. Contact Jill 07980 471981
Cinnamons Axminster
Collection and Delivery
Indian food. Order 7 days a week 5pm – 11pm. Deliveries within a 5 mile radius.
Telephone 01297 631175 or 01297 631185
Lemon Plaice Axminster
Collection and Delivery
Fish and Chips
Order by phone Tuesday – Saturday 4:30pm – 8:30pm.
Collect or deliver – delivery service gives priority for those self-isolating
01297 35888 facebook.com/Lemon-Plaice-152840024748032/
Safar Axminster
Collection and Delivery
Indian food. Orders can be placed by phone or online. Tuesday – Sunday 5:30pm – 11pm.Free delivery within 7.5 miles.
01297 631 607 www.safarrestaurant.com Facebook.com/safarresteraunt
The George Chardstock
Collection and Delivery
Various meals including pub food, chargrill menu, kids menu and daily specials. Menu can be found on Facebook. Order by phone or email for collection or delivery:
WED – SAT 6pm – 9pm. SUN 12pm – 3pm Delivery subject to availability
01460 929831 facebook.com/theGeorge.chardstock
The Old Inn Kilmington
Collection and Delivery
Various meals including roast dinners on Sundays (+alcohol and some very basic groceries like bread and milk) MON – SAT 4pm – 8pm SUN: 12pm – 6pm
01297 32096 facebook.com/oldinnk
The New Inn Kilmington
Takeaway and delivery
Pub food including roast dinners on Sundays
01297 33376 facebook.com/oldinnk
The Ship Inn Axmouth
Collection and Delivery
Various meals – visit the facebook page to see what is on the menu each day
Order by phone:
MON – FRI: 10am – 2pm & 5pm – 7.30pm SAT – SUN: 10am – 2pm & 5pm – 8pm
Free delivery within a 5 mile radius
01297 218 38 07834770434 facebook.com/ShipInnAxmouth www.shipinnaxmouth.com
Kings Arms Stockland
Collection only
Various meals.
Wednesday midweek takeaway night; fish and chips Friday, Saturday brunch, Sunday lunch (preorder Saturday).
Call 01404 881686 to order, pay and arrange collection time.
River Cottage Supper Club Axminster
Collection only
3 course meals and drinks  to reheat at home (also produce boxes)
Menu available every Monday, order by Wednesday for collection Friday
https://www.rivercottage.net/supper-club for menu and to order.
Spice and Rice Chardstock
Delivery only
Indian food
Monday, Wednesday Friday delivered between 1pm and 4pm
Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill Musbury
Collection and Delivery
Organic cooked food and fresh local food.
Order by Wednesday 1pm for delivery Friday
07999 923089 https://www.olddairykitchen.co.uk/popup-shop
Chard conservative Club Chard
Delivery only
Ready Meals for home delivery. Call Zoe on 07469705615.
Boss Hog Pizza Chard
Collection and Delivery
01460 66767 or order by the Just Eat App. From 4pm until 9pm.
Spice Villa Chard
Collection and Delivery
01460 64025 Delivery and takeaway everyday apart from Tuesday.
Domino’s Pizza Chard
Delivery only
Order online or by phone 01460 66171. Minimum order for free delivery is £12.99 https://www.dominos.co.uk/chard
Portuguese café Chard
Collection and Delivery
The Portuguese Cafe on Holyrood street offers burgers, hot dogs, breaded chicken and soft drinks Contact Paulo on 07990 659264.

 Diversions during the lockdown
Neil from Stockland has put together this list of ideas to entertain people to help us all out over the next few weeks. The list is already quite extensive and is being added to all the time – and you can find it at https://www.stockland.org.uk/Lockdown

 And finally …
Something extraordinary has been going on in the village over the last few days … Yes; it’s fresh tarmac! Don’t get too excited though, there are still plenty of holes that’ll need skirting.

17/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

The Clap at 8pm last night was fantastic – does anyone want to own up to the fantastic rendition of “somewhere over the rainbow” that we heard in the village centre?

It seems that geologists are particularly good at bird spotting, even though they really ought to spend their time looking at the ground. The Bruces’ spotted their first swallows on April 5th!

Honey for the NHS
The East Devon Beekeepers delivered 130 jars of honey to the RD&E hospital on Tuesday. Here’s Alasdair Bruce delivering to hospital charity coordinator Debbie and her volunteer Kim.

The Show Must Go On!
You can stream Andrew Lloyd Webbers’s “Phantom of the Opera” on YouTube free of charge for 24 hours only from tthis evening

Hello again from Axminster Medical Practice!
It is clear that most people are taking this situation as seriously as they should, and following the government guidance on social distancing and isolation. Thank you so much for this – it is making a difference, but we must keep at it.
Despite the great job you are doing with staying at home, if you have a medical need please don’t delay seeking advice or treatment. Remember that the surgery is still open, and it is now really easy to make contact using eConsult.
eConsult does tend to ask quite a lot of questions but this is to ensure that you are dealt with by the right person at the right team. However if you just need to send a quick message about something, or follow up on a previous consult, use the ‘I want administrative help’ option and you won’t need to tick so many boxes.
If you do need to come into the surgery for blood tests or other routine but essential appointments please be reassured that we are making significant efforts to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. We have sectioned off part of the Practice and designated specific team members to work in this area. Any patients who need to be seen who we suspect may have COVID-19 will be seen in this area, which they access through a side door. This should make things a lot safer for our dispensary users or patients attending for booked appointments. If you have a new cough or fever, or feel otherwise unwell, please contact us before attending a booked appointment.
Thanks again to all of you for understanding at the moment.

Archway Bookshop
Staying at home can be a real challenge. The little team at the Archway Bookshop has therefore decided to do what we can to help by providing you with a bit of inspiration. Maybe you could come out of home isolation with a new skill, a lot fitter, with a better garden – or just plain happier.? And then there are the kids – what do you do to keep them busy? We have looked at the books that are out there to inspire you and decided that no-one does it quite like DK. All those shown on this page can be ordered online or by phone for postal delivery. We have also sourced from DK some invaluable FREE resources that you can use with your kids. It’s all here in our new Stay Home … Be Happy department. Do ‘call in’ now and again as we will be updating.

Axminster Scrub Hub
From Laura Coombs:
With so much incredible work being done in the community in response to requests for scrubs, scrub caps, scrub bags and headbands a FaceBook group has been set up to help coordinate requests, donations of materials and deliveries in the local area, to avoid unnecessary travel. Please do join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/559155654710749/

 And finally …
Two more scarecrows – both probably looking a little soggy today after the rain. Here are the efforts from East Membury and Bowditch Farm

16/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Our intrepid Geologists at Hasland Farm spotted the first swallows of the year yesterday. Summer has arrived!

Axminster Medical Practise
If you need a prescription collected, please order it with the surgery as normal AND send your details to memburysg@gmail.com or ring 01404 819145. We CANNOT collect it if you only tell the surgery and not us!
Don’t forget to order your meds online or by phone by tomorrow, for collection by our volunteers on Thursday 23rd.

Kings Arms
Friday’s menu – Cod and chips, beef burger and chips, fish pie with peas or coleslaw, and you can order extra coleslaw or mushy peas with any dish.
Order on 01404 881686

National Theatre
This week, we bring you Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny, Treasure Island, available to stream for free for the next 7 days.
Olivier Award-winner Patsy Ferran (Summer and Smoke) plays Jim Hawkins and Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) plays Long John Silver in this rip-roaring adventure for the whole family. Recommended for audiences aged 10+

One of the benefits of the current situation we find ourselves in is that there are few cars, and even fewer airplanes – this means that the beautiful Devon birdsong can be heard in all its glory. The national trust have published a link to a useful guide.

 Ever done a 12 hour shift?
From Ron and Judy Martin:
My daughter Sally’s partner Joe has decided to do a fund raiser on this coming Saturday. He is going to ride his turbo trainer (a posh bike on a stand indoors) for 12 hours nonstop to mimic NHS workers 12hour shift. He’s set up a fundraising page and hopes to raise £850 to help the fight against COVID-19.
He would be grateful for a donation of any amount.
The site is – www.gofundme.com/f/joes-nhs-12-hour-ride-shift
Thankyou to everyone who contributes. Every little helps!

And finally …
More flowers; an orchid from Bowditch, and white daffs from Bramleys. Thank you to Sarah Bell and John Tuck.


15/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

From the Midweek Herald …

Stop Press – the kookaburra is back at home.
He escaped from its aviary after the netting was damaged by a broken branch during high winds.  The hungry bird, which had apparently been keeping alive by eating frogs and other bits and pieces, finally returned home on Easter Sunday, spotted by wildlife park owners Andrew and Jayne Colier. Mrs Collier said: “So because he was hungry Andrew held out the feeding bowl and as he stretched out to reach the food Andrew swung around with his left hand and caught him.
Mrs Collier said the wildlife park was struggling financially because there were no paying visitors, but she said they still had more than 500 creatures – from zebras to cockroaches – to feed.
If you want to help feed the animals you can go to a GoFundMe page – https://uk.gofundme.com/f/axe-valley-wildlife-park-save-our-zoo
There is also an amazon wish list for the animals (food or enrichment toys) and a bin at the entrance to drop in supplies.

Axminster Medical Practise
Thank you so much to all our patients for your understanding during this difficult time. We have been relatively sheltered so far compared to other areas of the country, but we are sorry to report that in the last few days we have been identifying more and more COVID-19 cases in the Axminster area, some of them very serious. It remains absolutely essential that where possible our patients strictly socially distance. This is not just to protect the elderly or more vulnerable – there are significant numbers of patients in ITU or sadly dying who are relatively young and without any previous medical problems.

The majority of patients are getting on really well with eConsult – the new way to speak to one of our GPs or ask any administrative question. We are dealing with most eConsult queries incredibly quickly and it is definitely the fastest way to get in contact with a doctor or nurse. Even if you do not have a computer, you can access eConsult from any smartphone via the surgery website. If you really do not have any access to the internet, even by smartphone, then you can still ring the surgery but unfortunately there may be a delay in getting back to you.
We wish all the very best to our patients and their families.

Don’t forget to order your meds online or by phone by Friday, for collection by our volunteers the following Thursday.

Fish and Chips
Don’t forget that the fish and chip van will be in the Village Hall car park at 6pm this Saturday. It is essential that you order in advance by calling Jill on 881641, 07710 849984 or jill-folletts@outlook.com to avoid disappointment. She’ll give you the necessary password. It’s £5 for regular fish and chips, with mushy peas or curry sauce an extra £1. Please make sure that you bring the correct money, and observe the social distancing rules – especially considering the message from the surgery above. There’ll be a box out for contributions to the NHS.

Urgent appeal from Devon County Council
Devon County Council is urgently appealing for members of the public to return community equipment they no longer need, including commodes, walking frames, shower stools, and raised toilet seats, as increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic for these items has meant stocks are in danger of becoming short in supply.

Please contact Millbrook Care on 0330 124 4491 to arrange a free contactless collection.

 Who do you think you are?
Are you interested in finding out about your ancestors? Would you like to research your family tree?
You can now access Ancestry Library Edition at home using your Devon Libraries membership card, giving you access to historical records, photos and information about your family tree and distant descendants without having to step foot out of your front door.
Find out more, including how to access Ancestry Library Edition on the Libraries Unlimited website.

More on sewing masks
Suzie MacFadzean has posted this on Facebook. Not everyone has joined up, so I’ve added it here.
I have now placed a collection box by the village hall, which I’ll empty every couple of days … Thanks so much. If you can sew too that’s brilliant ( I can’t) but would be happy to connect you with the clever ones that can !!
I have just read in the Axminster pages that there is a wonderful lady who is part of a network making scrubs, scrub laundry bags, scrub hats, headbands for masks (so they don’t slice off ears)– being sent to our local health workers….. they need more helpers and more materials.
1) People who can sew any of the above items
2) Elastic 1/2 or 3/4 inch
3) Running buffs and T-shirt weight jersey
4)Material – Poly cottons including sheets and old Duvet covers they can all be washed at 60 degrees, any poly cotton scraps – make hats or laundry bags,
5) buttons – size of 10ps

 And finally …
We have two new scarecrows to report, one very relaxed, and one very scary!


14/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Has anyone noticed that there seem to be more butterflies around this year? Today we saw lots of peacocks, orange tips and brimstones. Watch out for your vegetables!

The Kings Arms, Stockland
Wednesday night is midweek take away night – and this week they are taking us to Thailand. £15 for three courses, £28 for two people with prawn crackers thrown in. Choose from chicken satay, tom yum soup or chargrilled tuna salad, followed by Thai green curry (brisket) with jasmine rice or pad Thai (veg or prawns) with noodles, and chargrilled spicy pineapple for dessert. Order in advance on 01404 881686 and pick up between 5pm and 8pm.

Membury Mercury
A message from the Mercury Editorial Team.
Dear contributors –
Which potentially means all of you, on this occasion! Though our usual printer is currently closed, we have managed to source an alternative, and there will be a printed Mercury coming out in the first week of June. It will be slightly different from usual, since the reports from groups and societies will be severely curtailed, like their activities. This is where those creative urges that we have seen displayed in the daily bulletin comes in. Traveller’s tales and anecdotes, poems and notes on interests and hobbies, items about nature and local history – with pictures, where appropriate – would all be welcome. However, we must emphasise that since there will be fewer pages and a more limited turnaround time than usual, your piece needs to be received by the deadline (Friday, May 1st); and please keep an eye on your word count – overlong and late pieces may not be included.
Send to the Mercury e-mail: memburymercury@hotmail.com – we look forward to hearing from you!

How’s your car battery holding up?
Nick Yool had some difficulty in starting his car today, having not used it for several weeks. He recommends you turn the engine over on yours, and if necessary put the battery on a trickle charger. If you haven’t got a charger, there are bound to be a few knocking around across the village, and I’m sure someone will come forward and offer to lend you one.

Face Masks
I haven’t checked whether or not our local hospitals will accept this type of mask, but since it’s quite possible we’ll all be expected to wear masks in the not too distant future you might like to have a go at making some for your family. Here’s a pattern recommended by Jakki Henderson

Here’s a little ditty …
From Sara Cranfield, with apologies to Flanders and Swann.

We’re All in Lockdown Isolation Here

T’was on a lockdown Monday, with Spring so newly sprung,
I thought I’d do a clearing out, and hardly just begun,
When I remembered that I couldn’t trip
With the rubbish to our local tip!
As we’re all in lockdown isolation here.

Then on the Tuesday morning, I decided I would bake,
My mother’s family recipe, for a most delicious cake.
But looking in the cupboards for the ingredients to use,
Realised I needed shopping and didn’t want to join in queues.
As we’re all in lockdown isolation here.

So then comes Wednesday morning, an instrument I’d learn,
What should it be, a violin or brass trombone?
However, as all I’ve got is pots and pans
Decided to put that this suggestion in the can,
As we’re all in lockdown isolation here.

At last Thursday dawns, another idea comes to mind
To learn to dance to help unwind.
But a partner with whom to swing
Turns out to be the dog, and only a ball was all he’d bring.
As we’re all in lockdown isolation here.

A Friday – what can I try that’s new today?
I know, a brand new, Shakespearean type play!!
But I sat and locked about for some sparkling inspiration,
Realised that nobody could come to see it, due to social isolation.
As we’re all in lockdown isolation here.

On Saturday, I thought I’d try, to do arpeggios and joy I’d bring
To all my neighbours as I’d learn to sing!!
But the dogs started howling and the babies screamed,
Wasn’t quite the ovation that I’d dreamed.
As we’re all is lockdown isolation here.

Finally, it’s Sunday, the end of this long week,
My ideas to help pass time I’m going to have to tweak.
A day of rest, as I said to myself,
It’s Monday tomorrow, so will fix that shelf
As we remain in lockdown isolation here!!!

And finally
Here’s one of the Belles of Membury amongst the blues. You will be pleased to hear that full social-distancing rules were followed – this was taken 12 months ago in Yarty Copse!


13/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

We all know it means a lot to all the keyworkers out there to get messages of appreciation for all they are doing, so Stockland will be putting a thank you on the front page of their website. I think this is an excellent idea, and I’m not above pinching excellent ideas from our neighbours. It will say:

“We would like to say thank you to everyone working so hard to get us through these difficult times and especially the doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital staff and carers on the front line.
Thank you from all of us”

You can have your name added to this message on our website simply by replying to this email. You can add just your first name or your full name which ever you prefer. You can also add your location (town, parish or hamlet ).

Most importantly you can add your own personal message to particular groups of local people if you wish.

A message from Suzie MacFadzean about one of Membury’s favourite charities

Jaime has clipped for ARC Axminster.
Jake the local celebrity knows all about wing clipping and we are all getting used to being housebound. Whilst we are under this lockdown, charities are also heros who continue to work and support those in need at this difficult time. Jaime Lee has decided to do a sponsored head-shave in aid of Arc Axminster. Jaime said, “Arc has provided my family with outstanding lifesaving mental health support and I believe that this support will needed to an even greater extent due to the Coronavirus pandemic. I have decided to do a sponsored head-shave as traditional methods of fundraising can’t be undertaken right now and Arc needs funds to continue to operate” You can support Jaime and ARC, our unique Mental Health charity operating in Axminster via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jaime-lee1

 Axe Vale and District Conservation Society
From their newsletter 89, Fran Sinclair (Chair) writes:
On an alarmingly wet day back in November I forded the torrents of the Membury Road to collect a donation from Membury’s volunteer-run Oak Apple Café. Their very generous donation came out of the blue and it was a great pleasure to meet everyone there. The committee decided to use the money to plant some crab apple trees at the Borrow Pit

 There’s a new gardener in town
I am currently staying at Lea Hill with the Avis family (you may know them) and I will be here for the foreseeable future, as you can imagine. I am wondering if any of you would like some help/support in the garden?
Maintenance, planning, pruning, weeding, planting and odd jobs… I’m your man. I’m not asking for any pay, just donations where possible.
Strict social distancing rules will apply, of course. I’ll even bring my own tea.
I would love to offer some support to the village and I am very passionate about gardening (plus it keeps me active). I’m more than happy to lend a hand. I’m a very green fingered man and I have recently started studying RHS level 2 in principles of gardening planning, establishment and maintenance, so any experience is a great help. Hopefully I can be some help to you too!
Feel free to drop me a text, email or a message on Facebook.
07769264930 Jamiestuarthowse@gmail.com

Time for a Haiku
Everybody has time to compose a Haiku – but be warned – they are very addictive! The rules are as follows: It must consist of three lines, with five then seven then five syllables. Not rhyming, and traditionally themed meditatively around the seasons.
Ruth Foster has started the ball rolling …

Blossom struts its stuff
The toad croons to the twilight
We wait, listen, wait.

Crouching on a leaf
The caterpillar chuckles.
Farewell to my kale.

We are in lockdown
Silence falls softly around
But birds still sing free.

And finally
Here’s a picture I took last year in Yarty Copse, at around this time of the year to remind us what we have to look forward to very shortly …


12/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

I am delighted to tell you that the fish and chip van will be in the Village Hall carpark again next Saturday (18th) at about 6:15. Please bring the correct money, prepare to queue two metres apart and wash your hands before you leave your house and when you get home. Once again, if you know your isolated neighbours might appreciate some freshly cooked fish, please let them know about this, and perhaps pick some up for them.
It’s vital that order by emailing Jill in advance jill-folletts@outlook.com. You will then be given a code; this is because last time some people came for fish and chips without pre ordering and consequently those who came last and had ordered their supper couldn’t have any as despite Stuart bringing extras he ran out.

This afternoon Cocoa Runners delivered us a chocolate tasting experience, bought for us by our Cornish daughter in lieu of a Easter egg. In the box were 8 decent sized chocolate bars of various sorts, and some tasting notes. We logged on to a Zoom meeting at 5pm where they talked us through the whole thing. It was very interesting, and if you are separated from a loved one with a slightly sweet tooth it would make a great gift. https://cocoarunners.com/

Membury local food and produce suppliers
Over the next few days, together with Stockland and Yarcombe I’m hoping to compile a list of local suppliers who deliver, or can be collected from. If anyone has anything to contribute to this list please let me know as soon as possible.

 V.E. Day Commemoration
It’s V.E. Day on May 8th and we would have expected huge country-wide celebrations since it is the 75th anniversary – but not now.
It is likely that some of the school age children in every family will be covering it in their online lessons, so if there are any people in the village who remember the original VE Day celebrations perhaps they’d like to tell us their stories. Most of those left would have been quite young children at the time and some of them may not be on-line. If you are aware of any older friends and neighbours, perhaps you could ring them up and ask them to tell us what it was like.

 The National Theatre
The National Theatre are screening Jane Eyre free of charge this week. It’s a bit epic (3 hours!) but if it’s half as good as One Man Two Guvnors was last week we’ll be in for a treat. https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/nt-at-home-jane-eyre

An appropriate poem

Michael Rosen, who I believe is still in hospital wrote this poem for the 60th anniversary of the NHS

These are the hands
That touch us first
Feel your head
Find the pulse
And make your bed.

These are the hands
That tap your back
Test the skin
Hold your arm
Wheel the bin
Change the bulb
Fix the drip
Pour the jug
Replace your hip.

These are the hands
That fill the bath
Mop the floor
Flick the switch
Soothe the sore
Burn the swabs
Give us a jab
Throw out sharps
Design the lab.

And these are the hands
That stop the leaks
Empty the pan
Wipe the pipes
Carry the can
Clamp the veins
Make the cast
Log the dose
And touch us last.

Easter quiz
I was going to include this tomorrow, but I thought since the theme is Easter I thought I’d send it out today. Answers in a week or so.

And finally …
Here are a few scarecrows – see if you can spot them while exercising round the village. Does anyone have any more photos of scarecrows they’ve seen or made?


Easter message and prayers

Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Day are the Three Days at the heart of the Christian faith and at the heart of the Church’s praise and prayer. Holy Saturday is a day of quietness, waiting and expectation. For Jesus’ disciples, however, it was a time filled with misery, hopelessness and despair. They did not understand what was to come and when it did come, they naturally found it hard to believe.

The Four Gospels present Christ’s resurrection through two kinds of story. First, the women and the disciples separately discover the empty tomb. For almost all of them this discovery was inexplicable and deeply distressing. It did not bring faith. Secondly,  Jesus appeared many times to the disciples. He could be recognised – though not easily or immediately – as the same Jesus with whom they had walked and talked. But in other ways he was not the same: he was mistaken for the gardener; he appeared when the doors were locked; he was met with on the road or by the lakeside. He bore the wounds of the nails and spear, but he brought a powerful message of peace.

‘Christ suffered for sins, once for all, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit’ (1 Peter 3: 18). In these perilous times many are enduring a painful illness or facing the prospect of their own death or grieving for the death of a loved one. Easter brings Christ’s promise that he is present with us ‘in the power of his indestructible life’. ‘To bring us to God’: the Lord gathers us to himself, first in his Church and then in heaven.

Lord of all life and love, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son drew the sting of death and brought hope into the world, grant that we, being alive to you in Jesus Christ, may know his presence upholding us on earth and come to share his glory in heaven. Amen.

Almighty God, who through your beloved Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened the gate of everlasting life, grant that we may be risen with him and seek the things that are above, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Merciful God, we entrust to your unfailing care those who are suffering from pain or grief, knowing that your everlasting arms will hold us safe. Comfort and heal, restore to health and strength, all those in need, through the great Healer, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer.  +The Grace.


11/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update
How to reach us 01404 819145 or

Do you remember that long, long ago we had a fundraiser at the Oak Apple Café organised by the Down to Earth gardeners? It was touch and go whether it would go ahead or not, but as things turned out it was extremely well supported and I can report that £220 was raised for Greenfingers. Greenfingers is a national charity dedicated to supporting life-limited children who spend time in hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in and benefit from. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Food (and Drink)
Greendale Farm Shop, Farringdon:

Deliver to Membury fresh produce from their farm and fishing. The cost is £4.95 or Free when you spend £75 or more. https://www.greendale.com/customer-support/home-delivery/

The Tytherleigh Arms has made a real effort during this pandemic to help out locals by offering take-away food, and also delivering wines and spirits. Deliveries are free to Membury if you spend over £20 https://en-gb.facebook.com/TytherleighArms/

Also at Tytherleigh Bathrooms is a new pop-up farm shop which has a great selection of produce, and offers fruit and veg boxes for £20 including delivery

The tutor for the Chard and Ilminster U3A yoga group, Kay Mendlson has produced a video to help people exercise gently. Much can be done sititng down and you just do what feels comfortable. She has kindly given me permission to share this video. https://youtu.be/ezRYk63i5D4

Clap for cash – a clarification from yesterday
Together with the third such show of appreciation on Thursday, NHS Charities Together is asking people to text “clap” to 70507, which will trigger a £5 donation, along with a message of support.

Dave in Yarcombe received a telephone call today from a man named ‘James’ who said he was from the local help group. He told Dave that he knew how difficult things were at present with shopping and medical appointments and also paying cheques into the bank and accessing cash. At that point Dave smelled a rat and put the phone down. 1471 revealed ‘number withheld’. Please be aware that this is a scam. Do not touch it with a bargepole! If anyone calls you claiming to be from the Membury Support Group – be suspicious, unless you know them or are expecting a call

50 Word Fiction
From Jakki Henderson
“But what about the five twenty-five?”
“It’s never on time,” he’d said and jumped down on to the tracks.
Retrieving his father’s watch which had slipped from his wrist, he looked up at me, triumphantly, waving the heirloom high.
“See, five twen-”

And finally
There seem to be a few scarecrows appearing the village …
Jan’s fed up with me spending all my time on the computer while she toils in the garden, so she made a new companion to help her. See if you can work out which one of this pair is more useful to her.

10/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Well, our Kookaburra had a brief trip to Yarcombe yesterday, but clearly wasn’t too impressed so now he’s back in Membury. He was seen and heard in the centre of the village today, and spent some time admiring the view from the scaffolding atop Red Lion House. Let’s hope he doesn’t discover the newts in Helen and David Neill’s new pond!

Membury Treasure hunts
Carey Swarbrick writes:
I thought I would create a few different treasure hunts and orienteering activities for kids (or adults if they fancy) around Membury, aimed at different ages etc.
I need some help to find out about quirky things, sights of interest etc around Membury so if anyone is aware of any thing / places of interest could they please email me (burtoncarey@hotmail.com). I can then compile a list to create the hunts. I can put extra info on the answer sheets so we can all learn more about Membury.
Once created I can put electronic versions of the hunts on the Facebook page etc for people to access.
All help would be appreciated.

Cash with clapping
For the past two weeks people across the nation have taken to their gardens, windows and balconies to applaud NHS staff treating those suffering with coronavirus.

Nowin a major appeal for financial support aimed at helping those on the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19, the NHS Charities Together umbrella group, which incorporates 150 NHS charities has called on people to accompany their claps with cash.
The organisation hopes to inspire at least a million people to show their backing for the NHS by texting “clap” along with a message of support and a donation of £5 to 70507.
Donations will then be used to provide supplies and support to NHS staff and volunteers – including food, travel, accommodation and counselling.

Easter Egg Hunt
An alternative Easter Egg Hunt – there are 9 fabric eggs hidden at Lewsley Farm. All are visible from the footpath that runs past the house. Can you find them?’

Local Meal Takeaway services
Just a reminder that the Kings Arms Stockland is doing takeaways every night except Monday. Fish and chips on Fridays, Wednesday specials, Sunday Roasts. Telephone O1404 881686 to place an order.

 News from Yarcombe
This is from Miranda; let’s show our Yarcombe friends a thing or two…
Dear All,
In view of the current situation, it is with regret that the Flower Show Committee has decided to postpone this year’s show. As we are all locked down at the moment, we thought we would run a little competition for those people that might be looking for a challenge to fill their days. The classes are as follows:

  • Colour photo “Enjoying my home & garden”
  • Poem “2020”


  • Colour photo “Fun times at home”
  • An A4 picture “Happiness & Hope (any materials can be used, with a photo used as the entry, if necessary)

All entries to be emailed to editor@yarcombevoices.co.uk, I will then log the entries and forward them to the judges, with no identification attached. Please note children’s names and ages in the email. Entries are restricted to one per person and there will be no entry fee. Under the current situation this competition is open to anyone, so please feel free to circulate to family and friends beyond Yarcombe.

A number of you may know Tony Smith a regular smallholder at Chard Market. He has produced a price list and is offering an order collection service for customers. Tony says he is offering “heavily planted 14″ rattan baskets, which have consistently provided lasting colour to my customers. To ensure reliable performance and quality these are not normally available this early in the season but when ready will be priced at an amazing £12. (The comparative garden centre item is usually around £35).” Please phone Tony on 07977 935047 to order.

And finally
Here is a very short video which demonstrates why social distancing works:

And here is a picture of a toad amongst the violets that Jan took this morning in our garden.


9/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Membury is wearing yellow this season, with fields and hedgerows full of primroses, celandines, cowslips, dandelions, the last of the daffs and even some yellow archangel. All this is about to change as the bluebells, speedwell, vipers-bugloss and forget-me-nots, and the white wild garlic flowers take over and cover the hedgerows , banks and woods in blue and white. What a beautiful spring display, even if we can only enjoy it once a day!

Phoenix the calf
It seems that the Last time Membury made the headlines was back in 2001 during the foot and mouth epidemic. There were news reporters and TV satellite trucks here for several days on the trail of Fred Board’s “miracle” calf Phoenix who had escaped the slaughter by the men from maff twice. In the end she was reprieved by Tony Blair in an announcement outside 10 Downing Street.

Axminster surgery is open Good Friday and Easter Monday. Help protect patients and their staff by using their online service eConsult which is available 24/7 via their website www.axminstermedicalpractise.nhs.uk. You will receive a response much faster than if you call them.

Fancy trying a pasta recipe
From Patricia Bruzon.
One of the items that disappeared from the shelves almost overnight was pasta. This needless to say immediately became a challenge which I wanted to overcome .
I looked up internet recipes and having found several, decided to have a go. My pasta machine which had not been used for twenty years needed a little clean up (understatement) but all the parts were there so it was time to have a go.
Suffice to say that making pasta might not win masterchef first time round, but it still tasted better than any shop bought product.
Whizz 150 grams plain flour and two eggs in food processor till it looks like breadcrumbs.(or mix by hand)
Turn onto floured surface and knead . Wrap in beeswax wrap or clingfilm and leave in fridge for 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and cut in half.
Roll each piece into an oblong and either put through the widest setting of a pasta machine or use good old muscle power and a rolling pin to work the dough. You need to put through the machine seven times on the widest setting, and seven times on a finer setting folding in half each time you put it through the widest setting. If using a rolling pin stretch and fold fourteen times and make sure the last stretch results in very fine dough . Cut in strips and cook in boiling water till al dente.
I used a simple tomato sauce made with one sautéed onion two cloves garlic and two tins chopped tomato cooked for twenty minutes with salt pepper and a teaspoon of sugar.
Drain pasta cover in tomato, swirl around add grated cheese. Serve at once. Dinner for under £3.00

Ode re:Covid 19 by Judy Martin
It’s put us in a lock- down, this nasty little bug,
It’s called coronavirus, that no-one wants to hug.
All across the country and all around the world
It’s spread itself, not caring, as its wickedness unfurled.
There are lots of people poorly and lots have sadly died
Some have come back from the brink and fooled the little guy.
It started getting serious when we were told to stay at home
And make sure we had food to eat, to wait for news to come.
Then shops were stripped completely as people made a dash
For bread, veg, meats and toilet rolls, all gone in just a flash.
And tissues for you to blow your nose, most butter swept away
From every food store roundabout ‘til nothing much remained.
But gradually it quietened down, as we started to respect
The families with children and the poor and housebound set.
The government said ‘now it is time to put some rules in place’
‘to stay at home, daily exercise, keep your distance, just in case.

But sadly, in this country, there are idiots about
Who flouted regulations, causing mayhem (stupid louts!).
The minister of health said, ’This is something we must stop.
This virus is so deadly and your behaviour tops the lot!’
So we went in total lockdown and advised of what to do,
Adhere to three but DON’T GO FAR’ one-hour exercise for you!
Keep off the beach, don’t go to parks, just in your garden be,
Buy only just the food you need as there are others who must feed.

Well, most of us did what was asked and easier it became,
But now we had to think of things to help our ticking brain.
Then the sun came out, it was a treat, men to the garden went
Once more to get the mower out. To chat and moan and vent!
The women, mostly did the chores and tided after HIM,
Then sat amongst the daffodils, hoping for a gin.
They mostly did the shopping, assistants at the door
To make sure we went one way round the arrowed shopping floor!

All of us are hoping that soon the virus is not there
And we are immensely grateful to the NHS, who bear
The heavy load of patients and the awfulness of death
But stay and play a vital role reviving peoples’ health.
We must impart much gratitude to other helping hands.
To carers, police and industry who do much to help the land
To store workers and shopworkers who graciously took the lead
To everyone who gives their time to help someone in need.
To pharmacies, dispensaries and doctors who play their part
Retirees that came back when called to help. They have a massive heart!

You’re giving of your time and help beyond the normal ways
You are our heroes, one and all, hear our heartfelt praise.
To one and all I want to say, you’re doing all you can,
So just continue, just the same, conforming to the plan.
One day we’ll see that we are getting closer to the end
Coronavirus will be gone, we’ve rid the little fiend.

Good Friday message and prayers
From Dr Paul Avis dr.paul.avis@gmail.com
I am writing this short message on Maundy Thursday, the eve of Christ’s crucifixion, death and burial. Gathered with his disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus washed their feet, just like a slave, setting them an example of humility and service. Referring his impending death, he took the bread, gave thanks to God, broke it and gave it to them with the words, ‘This is my body’. Then he shared the cup of wine with them, saying, ‘This is the new covenant in my blood.’ With these words, Jesus spoke of his death as a sacrifice that would bring about a new relationship (covenant) between God and humankind. The cross would form a bridge between heaven and earth. And that new relationship, based on faith and received in the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, would be embodied in the Church, which for that reason is called ‘the body of Christ’.
Why is this Friday called ‘Good’? A great evil was perpetrated. We read that ‘darkness covered the earth’. But in the hymn ‘There is a green hill far away’ we have the verse, ‘There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin; he only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.’ We also have the lines: ‘He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good.’ So here are two reasons why this Friday is ‘Good Friday’. First, because no evil could destroy the divine goodness and love of Jesus. Second, because through the Holy Spirit and the Church, we can become better people as we rejoice in his unconditional love. In our prayers we remember before God those who are ill, those who have died (and their loved ones) and all who are ministering to them so selflessly. We are humbled by many examples of goodness, compassion and self-sacrifice among those serving in the NHS, in care homes and in the community at this perilous time.

Loving Father, look with mercy on this your family
for which our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed
and to suffer death upon the cross;
who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, for all the blessings you have won for us,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly,
day by day. Amen. (St Richard of Chichester, d. 1253)

The Lord’s Prayer may be said and the prayers may end with ‘The Grace’:
+ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen.

And finally
Did anyone recognise the picture of Allan Gyngell – the Duchess and avid Clive Cussler fan?
Our kookaburra has now fled across the border to Yarcombe. He also made the Daily Mail yesterday where I was described as a bird expert, and a retired police officer – both wrong. Did anyone see it picked up anywhere else?

Instead of a Membury image today I have a picture of a starling murmuration I took in late January on the Somerset levels. What does it remind you of?


8/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Well, who’d have thought it? Our kookaburra has made it into the Daily Telegraph!
Does anyone know when the last time was that Membury made the national press?
Membury also features twice in the Midweek Herald; once regarding the success of the neighbourhood plan, and once featuring that bird again. Pity they’ve captioned the picture as Musbury! – at least the Telegraph got it right.

I know it’s not local to Devon, but Povey’s Oatcakes are posting boxes of Staffordshire Oatcakes out, and they make a great meal. If you’ve never had one, they look like substantial pancakes or wraps made with oats and they are delicious filled with savoury fillings (any combination of cheese, tomato, bacon, mushrooms and black pudding) or just with maple syrup and butter. They freeze well, and a box of five dozen will set you back £12 including postage. Go to https://www.poveysoatcakes.com/ to read about them and order some. Highly recommended.

Wild garlic pesto
Every where you go at the moment you are surrounded by wild garlic, from the road through Rock, to the Yarty Copse. You can’t miss the broad leaves and vertical flowers, mostly still in bud at the moment but about to open – and of tcourse there’s the smell!. There’s a farm shop locally flogging it for £2.63 for 250g. By my reckoning you could pick a sackful quite easily, and make your fortune selling it in Borough Market in London. You can make a delicious pesto with it.

  • 150g wild garlic leaves and buds, washed
  • 50g parmesan grated
  • Zest of half a lemon and a squeeze of the juice
  • 50g pine kernels toasted and crushed or you can use walnuts, hazelnuts or cashews
  • 150ml olive oil

Whizz up everything but the oil in a blender or processor, then slowly dribble most of the oil in, still whizzing. Transfer it into a clean jar and cover with a layer of oil. This’ll keep for a couple of weeks. Serve it sparingly on pasta – for which there’ll be a recipe from Patricia tomorrow

Doreen had a call from someone with an Indian accent yesterday trying to sell her an extended warranty for her washing machine at only £8.99 per month, or £99 for two years. When she asked him what make the washing machine was he replied “Hotpoint”. Nice try, but wrong make. Do take care with unexpected telephone offers – there are loads of scammers out there right now offering face masks, vaccines and goodness knows what else.

Honiton and Village News
There’s a pile of the April issue of this relatively new magazine in cardboard box by the hall – it has some interesting articles in it. Please help yourself to a copy (provided you are wearing gloves!)

A very short story
From Roger Clemens …
I’m a member of a local writing group and throughout the course we work on various projects and ideas. One of these was ‘Flash Fiction ‘ or ‘Nano Fiction ‘ or even ‘ Micro Fiction ‘. As you have probably guessed these are names for very short stories They could be 250, 100 or even 50 words. Ernest Hemingway is credited with one of the shortest:
“For sale, babies shoes, never worn.”
There you are, a story in six words
Here’s one of mine.

I loved keeping bees. The colony’s wonderful organisation, the hexagonal cells where eggs developed from larvae to adult and off course the honey. It was so pleasant to watch the girls foraging on our garden flowers and returning as blobs of sunlight back to the hive at dusk.
There was only one problem, my neighbour who quite simply didn’t like bees.
He aggressively accosted me one morning and said,
‘I had one of your bees in my bathroom yesterday!’
‘Did it have crooked antennae, a furry thorax and a striped abdomen?’ I asked.
‘Yes’, he said.
‘Then it wasn’t one of mine’, I said.’

And finally
Speaking of cute and fluffy, can you guess who this is?
It was taken when he was about 7 years old. I didn’t know that cameras had been invented that long ago …

7/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

As you may or may not know I have a collection of over 500 boardgames, and – try as we might – we just aren’t getting through them fast enough.
If you want to borrow one for a week or two please send me an email and let me know how many players, how old they are, how long you want the game to last and (on a scale from 1-5) how complicated you want it – then I’ll see what I can come up with. The worst bit about learning a new game is reading the rules, so I’m also happy to offer a Zoom or WhatsApp based tutorial service!

Don’t forget it’s milk delivery day tomorrow!

River Cottage have launched the River Cottage Produce Box full of organic local produce. It’s £25 and looks like very good value. You have to order it by Wednesday and collect it from their HQ on Friday. Unfortunately this week’s box is already sold out, but if you are interested, visit their website early next week.

“In my back yard” has launched today, describing itself as the East Devon food hub offering produce from a number of local companies. Again, you order by Wednesday and pick up Friday from Seaton, Branscombe or Ottery. We are hoping that if it proves popular they can offer a pick up at the Oak Apple Café when all this pandemic is over.

Easy no knead overnight artisan bread
Suzie has tried the following recipe and can verify that it is both easy and delicious

  • 360g bread flour, or plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 360ml warm water

In a large bowl combine flour yeast and salt. Add water and stir until well blended; the dough will be shaggy, sticky and quite loose. Cover the bowl with clingfilm or a suitable beeswax wrap and leave it at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.
Dough will be dotted with bubbles. Flour a pieceof baking parchment on your worksurface and place the dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and very gently fold it over itself once or twice. If it is really blobby, you can add a bit more flour to it at this stage. Let it rest for half an hour.
While the dough is resting preheat the oven to 230 degrees, or as hot as you can get it and put into it a large heavy cast iron , ceramic or enamel pot with a lid. Pick up the parchment paper with the dough on it and place it directly in the pot. Put the lid back on and bake for 35-40 minutes, then take the lid off and bake it for another 10-15 minutes until the loaf is golden and browned.

Get creative with Ordnance Survey
Hands up everyone who remembers what a map is … does anyone under 30 have their hand up? Ah well.

Ordnance Survey make lovely maps, and they’ve created a whole page of activities for adults and children under the theme of “bring the outdoors in”. There’s some really good stuff there.

 Teddy bear hunt
A mass teddy bear hunt is underway, according to the BBC, to help distract the millions of children locked down because of the pandemic. Place stuffed toys in windows if they can be seen from the road to give children a fun and safe activity while walking round the village.

The hunt has been by the children’s book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, written by Michael Rosen – who is currently in intensive care.

 Devon County Council
Here is the link to the latest bulletin from our glorious county leaders

And Finally …
Back to the cute and fluffy…
This baby cow at East Membury Farm spent a couple of days making lots of noise as it was missing being given lots of attention having been a little unwell.


6/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Several reports of our antipodean feathered friend – pictures from Jeremy and Sharon, and from Leo and Alexa Dugdale, and a few other people have heard him too. He seems to be doing his best to deplete the village of its amphibians – he’s got quite a taste for frogs!
Don’t forget there are sunflower seeds down at the hall, courtesy of Sue Nicholson, and we’re hoping to see a few scarecrows appearing round the village soon; Trina Noyes is planning to build a flowerpot man – If you were born in the fifties or sixties I’m sure you’ll remember Bill and Ben.

Recycle Box
Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak there is a shortage of dispensable soap bottles and triggers. All returned items will be cleaned and returned to Delphis to be refilled and reused. There’ll be a box down by the village hall tomorrow for donations. Have a look at https://recyclebox.co.uk/taxons/collection/cleaning-products for more information.

Food Wholesaler
R D Johns is a food service distribution company based in Newton Abbot who supply the catering trade – but they are extending their service to members of the public to support the wider community with essential food deliveries. Their brochure runs to 125 pages – so their range is pretty comprehensive. Visit https://www.rdjohns.co.uk

A Poem from Nat Bruzon – with apologies to Vera Lynn



(Verse Two)



The weekly quiz
Several sets of answers submitted to last week’s quiz with the top prize going to Cath’s Crack International Team who have scored an impressive 79%. Cath runs a monthly quiz at the Cotley Inn, and I’m sure she’d love it if when this is all over you’d like to try it out.
The answers to the quiz are attached, along with a new quiz submitted by Bobbie Clarke for you to try

East Devon District Council Updates

Here is the link to the East Devon Residents’ Coronavirus Update 3 April 2020:

And here is the link to the East Devon Coronavirus Business update, 3 April 2020:

And Finally …
Stepping back from the cute and fluffy for the moment, here’s a picture of Christopher Wigdor’s rhubarb cautiously poking its head out to see if it safe to emerge from self isolation.


5/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Beautiful day in the garden today which was being enjoyed by both a slow worm and a grass snake. Doreen Hosking accidently disturbed a sleeping dormouse yesterday, which would probably have won the cuteness title, but there is no photographic evidence I’m afraid.
Has anyone heard the kookaburra today?

The Playing Field
The playing field remains closed, and there is a sign on the gate to support this, as well as a sign saying “no dogs”. Why then was there a family of three and a dog seen there earlier today?

ACER – Axminster Community Emergency Response
Has put together a really helpful spreadsheet. Most of it is relevant to us – but things can change quite quickly, so phone to confirm a business is still open before making a special trip. Follow this link, and you will always get the latest copy. It’s too big to easily reproduce here, but I can print out a copy if anyone wants one, and they can collect it from Haccombe.

Covid-19 Tracker
A lot of people now have signed up to the Kings College London’s citizen science study set up to help the UK’s Health Services understand as much as possible about the spread of Covid-19. To join the study, one installs an App (Covid Symptom Tracker) on one’s phone and then (after the initial questionnaire) a once a day check in is required just to say if you feel okay (or not). More here:https://covid.joinzoe.com/

 Devon County Council
Here you’ll find the latest information from the county council; this was issued on Friday

 From our foreign correspondent …
She’ll Be Right!
‘She’ll be right!’ As someone who has spent most of the last three UK Winters (and now this Spring) in New Zealand, this is a phrase I hear a lot. In fact, it’s something of a national motto and perfectly encapsulates the very prevalent Kiwi mindset of optimism and innovation, a ‘we’ve got this, we’ll find a solution, it’ll be fine’ positive mental attitude that a predominantly ‘glass half empty’ kind of Brit like myself envies and finds inspiring and uplifting.
And so it is with the NZ Government’s response to Covid-19. Under the hugely impressive leadership of PM Jacinda Ardern, NZ went hard and early to respond to the threat posed. Most decisively and humanely, protecting public health was immediately put at the top of the agenda, above economic concerns, and after devising and articulating a series of alert levels, the PM acted quickly to place NZ at Alert Level 4, which effectively placed the entire country into lockdown. Generous ecomonic relief packages have been made available to try to ameliorate the very tangible impact on the nation’s businesses, but this government is one that gives every impression it’s not afraid to make tough and brave decisions in putting the welfare of its people first.
Thus, allied to the very important fact that my Kiwi-born wife’s family are all here, and vulnerable, it was a very easy decision for us to make to hunker down here at home in our relatively remote little fishing village in the Far North region for a few more months, rather than return to the UK. Sure, there are going to be many things we will miss back home this Spring; our friends in Membury obviously, but also the tree blossoms, the snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells, the tits fledging from our bird boxes, the tadpoles hatching in our ponds and the new-born lambs playing in the field opposite, to name but a few. But, thanks to the wonderful community spirit Membury continues to show during this pandemic, at least as we stroll along our local deserted beach for our daily exercise, we can rest assured our little cottage and garden back home is being looked out for – take a bow Jayne and Fergus, Vivienne and David!
So far, with life under complete lockdown here as surreal as I’m sure it is there, NZ has had only one Covid-19 related death, with currently only 13 people hospitalised, around 800 confirmed cases and one of the world’s highest per capita virus testing capacities. Jacinda is confident that if we are kind to each other and all work together we can get through this. And you know what, I have a very strong feeling she’ll be right! JW

And Finally …
It’s a big thank you to Ted who, almost single-handedly has managed to keep the eggs coming round the village every Saturday.


4/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Not a lot to report today – a few quizzes have come back for marking but the hotline has been relatively quiet.

My friend Lewis from Chard U3A lost a tooth filling recently. On speaking with his dentist, he was told to order an online “do it yourself” kit. There are plenty available, so if any of you decide to use one please tell me how you get on, so I can let his partner know.

Itchy feet?
You could always learn to Salsa! https://youtu.be/Ay0wKqQL95g 

Miranda from Yarcombe writes
Last week local thatcher Alan Ferrari suggested that bells should peal out on Fridays at 8p.m. in support of the NHS and all key workers, the hundreds of thousands of NHS volunteers, the pharmacists, the food shop workers, the cleaners and so many more who are holding the nation together. He suggested that we could use the moment to pause for reflection, remembrance, hope.
You rang… and the bells of hope echoed round the hills. From handbells to Tibetan prayer bells and wind chimes, from Christmas tree decoration bells to bicycle bells and doorbells, saucepans and spoons, there was a great show of support last night for ‘Bells of Hope’. Standing in my garden I could hear The Belfry bell ringing out – Lesley Sutton says the last time she heard it was when Commander Long (he and his wife lived at The Belfry some forty years ago) rang it each New Year’s Eve. Thank you and remember to put next Friday at 8p.m. in your diaries, spread the word and encourage friends and family near and far to join in with another ‘Bells of Hope’.

And Finally …
In a direct competition with Suzie for cuteness Chris Carter has sent me pictures of his lambs at Gowan Brae. This one is a coloured Ryeland. If you have a picture of something cute and fluffy you’d like me to feature, just send it over!


3/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Seeds, sunflowers, swaps and scarecrows!
A small shelf unit will be appearing outside the village hall, courtesy of Down To Earth gardening group , with some small envelopes containing some sunflower seeds. Anyone is welcome to take a packet and let’s see if we can grow some beauties!
A Seed swaps box will also be on the shelf. If you have sown and have spares please share and feel free to take others you wish to try.
If you have spare seedlings or plants then also consider donating to others by leaving on the shelf.
Let’s get inventive with scarecrows? Could be a good project for a bored household!
Keep safe – Before collecting/ donating remember either wear gloves , wash hands thoroughly and keep at least 2 meters apart if other people are there at the same time.
Jan Lazar

Combe Dingle Nurseries
Are now taking orders for collection or delivery.
Claire Pearce has put in place a collection service for all her plants, seeds and compost etc. Local Delivery is also available.
Call Claire on mobile 07817 851419 or by email sandcpearce@hotmail.co.uk

She will take your order, take payment by credit or debit card and leave the goods in her yard for collection when you can get there. Vegetable plugs will be available from 10th April.

Otter Nurseries
Now do seeds by post (link below). Phone 01404 815815 Monday to Friday, 9.30a.m. – 4p.m., with three phone lines being manned.


Fish and Chips
There were nearly 80 portions of fish and chips served last Saturday, with many people picking some up for their neighbours. Jill was enforcing the 2 metre rule with traffic cones, and nearly everyone paid with the right money, minimising cash handling. Stuart is next due on April 18th, if he is still allowed to operate. Make sure your reserve your plaice in the queue!

The Show Must Go On
There will be an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical streamed on YouTube free every Friday at 7pm

The first one will be tonight, and it’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

More entertainment from Moviola
Whilst Moviola screenings are on a temporary hiatus, we’ve been thinking of how best to comfort and talk to our audiences during these uncertain times.
From this week, we’ll be putting up articles on our noticeboard; for audiences the ability to access and enjoy free films legally, for venue organisers and exhibitors preparations for re-opening and forward planning. https://www.moviola.org/noticeboard/

We start this Friday with our initiative #MoviolaTogether – a means to bring our audiences together, wherever they are in the country, to share their thoughts and opinions as you would in a community setting. Please visit tis site if you want to take part.

We have also started to explore ways of enjoying community cinema at home – we will be expanding upon these in the near future, so please keep checking back
https://www. .org/5-ways-to-enjoy-community-cinema-in-your-home/

And Finally
Suzie Macfadzean writes – whilst uncertainty wafts around us all at the moment, some things carry on regardless – Meet Daisy and Barry. Barry a 5 kilo ram lamb born to Daisy a Coloured Ryland ewe. Mum and baby are doing well out in the field by day and tucked up in the car port at night !! Daisy is the fourth of my ewes to lamb so far this year, hope all 8 will lamb in the coming days….

IMG_4083 2

2/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

First of all an apology; it seems that the Rainbows for Nightingale just isn’t happening, so if you’ve got any lovely drawings, put them up in your windows instead. Sorry about that.

National Clap 8pm Tonight
We can do this sitting in our sitting room or at a safe distance in the street, but we need to show our support to all those who are continuing to work so hard during the current crisis, be they health or shop workers. They are all doing their bit to help.

Nothing new to offer on the food front today. People are reporting that Complete Meats, Barley Mow and Ganeesha are all delivering well.

It was Tapas night at The King’s Arms yesterday, but I sent the newsletter out too late for people to order, which had to be done by 6pm. Next Wednesday I’ll get the newsletter out earlier with details. Do keep supporting the small local companies to enable them to keep going.

If you have any prescriptions to be ordered for collection next Thursday, make sure you do it (online if possible) by tomorrow, and let us know

Burrow Farm Gardens
Sadly due to the Coronavirus outbreak and in line with Government regulations the Gardens will not be opening as usual in April.
In the meantime we have a Nursery and Gift Shop full to the brim so if you would like to order please contact the gardens by email Enquiries@burrowfarmgardens.co.uk. I’ve attached a spreadsheet list of their plants to this newsletter. It’s likely they will be able to deliver to the village hall if several people from the village can order together.
For the Gift Shop postal delivery is available and many of the items sold in the shop are listed on the Facebook market place here:
Michael Pritchard was brought up in Membury, so let’s support one of our own!

Paid-for things they’ve made FREE – box sets, audiobooks, fitness classes, wellbeing apps and more
MoneySavingExpert has provided a list of free things to while away the hours.  Click on this link for more details. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/team-blog/2020/03/paid-for-things-they-ve-made-free-boxsets–audiobooks–fitness-c/

National Theatre At Home
Just a reminder that from tonight, for a week, The National Theatre is streaming “One Man Two Guvnors” free of charge. Go to https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home for more details.

And Finally
We had a visitor form down under in the village today. I had an email from Richard Barrell this morning that I thought might be a wind-up, followed by a call from Jenny Beaman who was very confused at hearing a strange laughing noise in her garden. A swift trip up the road led me to this picture … yes, it’s a Kookaburra!


1/4/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

There’s a treat for you this evening – a short story from the Bard of Membury to inspire you for the stories we hope you are writing for the Mercury!

HALFF is offering a home delivery service – fresh fruit and veg, ready meals, eggs and juice. Call 01297 631782 to order or enquire, or email info@halff.org.uk. There’ll be a small delivery charge to Membury. Payment will be by card over the phone, and they’ll take “Healthy Start” vouchers.

Rainbows for Nightingale
NHS Nightingale are looking for pictures and messages of Hope drawn by children to decorate the bare walls.
Firstly THANK YOU for your support in this. The more pictures we get the better. These will be put up on the walls in the Nightingale Hospital to brighten the place up. At this awful time let’s bring some colour and hope to both patients and staff.
Please ensure that pictures are A4 so they can be laminated. Feel free to draw as many as you like there are no restrictions on sharing the love! Also if you’d like to write a message of hope or get well wishes please feel free to!
Post your pictures in the letter box at Haccombe and I’ll laminate them before sending them off.
Finally on a health and safety point – please adhere to all government guidelines and safe self distancing measures. Always wash or gel hands after handling post etc.

Gangster Lace by Roger Clemens.
The small satin pillow shone bright in the light coming in through the two large windows. The pins were placed right and the fine flaxen thread held taught by bobbins hanging off the sides. My big hands looked wrong against the pretty lace.
   Me and Joey had to whack a guy, we did it the long way and my fingers got it, they weren’t broken just swollen.
The design was ready to weave but I knew my hands weren’t up to it. So I walked across the room to the drinks cabinet and poured myself a stiff Bourbon, slugged it back and absent-mindedly put the glass down with a clink that echoed around the classy pad. Things were going well, I was running  the Numbers Book for the East Side. I was a trusted enforcer for the five families  and I was earning good dough. So I sat in the half light, had a smoke and took another swig.
A sharp Bronx light brought in a cold morning as I sat at my table making Lace. My hands moved slow at first, then confidence built as instinct kicked in and I began to weave. At times like this when my mind was fee I always thought of Corky and  even thought I could smell that lily scent of hers.
Corky was a Lace maker. She wove the Lace quickly and expertly, never looking at the job but laughing quietly to herself as if someone had made a wisecrack. I asked her once why she did it, and she said, ‘I don’t know Marty, but it seems funny when it makes itself.’
I can’t remember when I first saw Corky but I knew she wasn’t my mom or a close relative. Whenever I asked her about it she would look at me sternly and say, ‘I’m Corky and that’s enough for you Marty.’ Sometimes she cried, quietly shaking and I would put my arms around her almost afraid to crush those bird like bones. And we would sit like that in silence for a long time. Corky taught me many things through those long nights, but it was mostly Lace that we did. She was the only one I’ve ever loved.
One afternoon long ago. I remember it was wet, rain coming straight in from the River, Corky called me in to the front room. I knew this was important as she had stretched herself up to her full height and there was a cake on the table.
‘Marty,’ She said, ‘I’ve got your design, your motif’. She walked quickly to the smart cupboard and picked up a folded piece of black tissue, and unwrapped it with great ceremony on the table. There, clear against the black, in Corky’s precious Lace, two Bluebirds soared high above billowing clouds. I took it, practiced it and practiced it, learnt it. and loved it.
A loud ring severed my thoughts, strands of an early life were cut away as I reached for the phone and listened. There was a sharp intake of breath as the caller took a drag and then a broken Bronx voice said, ‘Marty, you ready? Lets get going.’
‘Ok.’ I said as I swung my big astrakhan on. I slicked my hair back, took the elevator down to first floor and walked to the car. Micky was driving and was looking a million dollars in his new light suit. He smiled as I got in.
‘Like the suit’, I said.
‘Best you can get’, he replied,
‘Hey Marty, like the coat, what’s the collar? Beaver?’
‘Yep.’ I said.
‘Classy,’ he said. You ready for this? Its a big show..you know all the heads of the families’ll be there?’
‘Looking forward to it’, I said.
Yes this was a big deal, the Estonia had pulled out all the stops. Classy drapes hung down from the oval windows and glass bowls full of white Roses decorated the white tables. Already veils of blue smoke hung in the air partly masking the expensive lighting.
All the families were there as well as some out of town crews.  I recognised some guys from Brooklyn and nodded to them as I moved toward a drinks waiter. Across the room, Lucky’s guys from Chicago gave me the hard stare.
‘Could get hot in here.’ I said to myself, as I took a drink.
That’s when I saw Frank. He stood tall, well above the goons around him and I could see by the way they kept looking up at him that he had their respect. Here’s trouble  I thought.
Somehow Micky got to him first I saw him grab the arm of the big guy, then he pointed at me. The big guy moved like a cat coming fast towards me.I tensed up, but I was ready.
‘Marty, I’m Frank’, he said, offering his hand, I’ve been dying to meet you, I’ve heard you make Lace ‘.
As he said this his jacket pulled away and I could see his shooter stashed in his shoulder holster, but beside it was something that interested me more, there on the front panel of his shirt was the most exquisite embroidery.
I gasped, and heard myself say, ‘Gee Frank love the embroidery .’
Frank leaned back with pride crooking his little finger and said ‘Do you, I made it myself.’
We sat down together.
As I turned to speak, there was a sudden hush , and then a loud commotion at the back. Two guys were coming fast, one with a sawn-off and the other with a piece. They slowed down opposite us, struck a cool pose aiming their pieces, and then did a gentle pirouette so we could all appreciate the cut of their suits from from every angle.
‘Love the pleats,’ said one big red faced Mick.
‘Yeah, and the cuts to die for,’ said another hard faced goon.
‘Well, careful what you wish for,’ said a joker near me, his comment drew a response of general laughter.
I looked at Frank and he was laughing, he looked at me and I was laughing. We were happy.

31/3/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

The wild garlic out past rock is beginning to flower. Have you tried nibbling it as you walk past? I particularly recommend the flower heads before they open, in a stir fry. The bluebells won’t be far behind!

The Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill (near Musbury) has just started doing deliveries from their online farm shop which are free if you spend over £20. Follow this link if you are interested. online farm shop Orders must be placed by noon Wednesday and will be delivered on Friday

Mental and Emotional Health Advice
Richard Barrell found this on the internet, but we can’t attribute it to the original author. It’s long – but well written, good advice.

So… my goodness. A couple of days ago, I threw out an off-the-cuff post on aid worker tips for surviving lockdown and quarantine. Today I’ve woken up to find it’s been reshared thousands of times. I’m getting comments from strangers around the world, messages of thanks, even requests to translate it. If you’ll forgive the expression, it appears to have… gone viral. The overwhelming reason it seems to have a struck a chord is that it talked about how we’re all feeling a bit wobbly. It sounds like there are an awful lot of people having reactions they don’t really understand. So today I thought I’d write a short follow up with my mental health first aider/therapist hat on. Ladies and Gents, this is Pandemic Anxiety 101. (NB for those asked for more lockdown tales, I’ll get to those in coming days).

IN CRISES, WE START DOING WEIRD STUFF: Over the last week I have struggled to sleep, stayed up late into the night reading endless news articles, bought pasta I don’t even like very much, got angry with my mum for not staying home. My spelling is a disaster and I’m definitely drinking more. I’ve been a bit teary, and all I really want to eat is cake, cake and more cake. From what I got back from my post yesterday, I’m not alone.

If you’re having a wobble, you may also have noticed all sorts of weird stuff going on. Are you arguing more, talking faster, struggling to sleep, restless, desperate for information? Or are you teary and overwhelmed, perhaps feeling a bit sick? Struggling to make decisions? Just want to stay in bed? Tummy upsets? Having palpitations, butterflies, headaches? Ranting, picking fights or getting into arguments? Laughing unexpectedly or saying random, inappropriate things? Developing Very Strong Opinions on epidemiology overnight? Or have you just completely gone to ground?

If you are feeling any of these things: good news! You are not going mad. And you are 100% not alone. You are, in fact completely normal: a fully emotionally functional human being. Congratulations! Why? I’ll explain: take a seat and put the kettle on.

WE ARE LIVING IN TURBO-ANXIOUS TIMES. Well, no kidding. We’re in the middle of an unprecedented crisis that has showed up unexpectedly (they do that) and which presents a mortal threat to ourselves, our loved ones and our way of life. It’s terrifying and it’s getting worse and it makes us feel totally out of control. And this is on top of anything else we have going on.

HERE’S THE SCIENCE BIT. When we are exposed to threats and need to deal with them, our brain springs into action. Specifically a tiny, innocent-looking thing buried behind your ear called the amygdala (fun fact: it’s the size and shape of an almond). It’s the bit in charge when we are frightened and right now, it’s in full tin-hat klaxon mode. Unfortunately, it’s also very ancient bit of kit. It came into being when threats basically consisted of being eaten by large scary animals like bears. You know that thing about when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail? Well, to the amygdala, everything looks like a bear. It’s also pretty basic, so it really only has two settings. They are no bear 🙂 and BEAR!!!.

SETTING: BEAR!!!. Because all threats look like a bear to the amygdala, it preps you accordingly. There are really only two reactions to a bear about to eat you: fight it, or run away really fast. So this is what the body gets you ready to do. It’s called the Fight or Flight response (there’s also freeze, meaning you just get paralysed). It does this by flooding your body with chemicals like cortisol, and adrenaline. Your heart rate goes up, you feel super alert, your breathing goes shallow, your muscles are ready for action. These chemicals are also largely responsible for the huge range of other cognitive/physical/emotional reactions in my intro. In group fear situation like a pandemic, this tends to happen whether you think you’re scared or not – anxiety is even more infectious than COVID. Your body reacts even if your conscious mind doesn’t.

BEAR V VIRUS: Obviously this is all great if you really are running away from a bear. But we’re now in a situation where we’re being asked to do the EXACT OPPOSITE of running away. We are being told to sit tight. Literally stay still. Process large amounts of information, make complicated and life changing decisions, and stay calm. All while a bit of your brain is running around yelling BEAR!!! BEAR!!! BEAR!!! This isn’t easy. The result is an awful lot of stress and anxiety. And if you’re anything like me, you end up feeling really overwhelmed and having all sorts of reactions.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Anxiety isn’t just mental – it’s also physical, cognitive and behavioural. You will notice all kinds of things: stomach upsets, headaches, insomnia, changes to eating, changes to the way you talk. It’s also cognitive: it’s very difficult to think straight when you’ve got the BEAR!!! BEAR!!! BEAR!!! thing going on – so we also become very bad at making decisions, absorbing information and generally thinking rationally. Which is EXACTLY what we need to do.

SO WHAT TO DO: well, the good news is it is possible to calm down. We can turn the amygdala from BEAR!!! to NO BEAR , and not just by distracting it with cake and tea. Her are some solid, scientifically proven things you can do.

BREATHE. It’s so basic, but breathing exercises are basically magic. They work in minutes and you can do them anywhere. They work because of all the physical reactions the amygdala triggers, rapid breathing is the only one over which we have conscious control. Control your breathing and you are basically telling your body: it’s OK. There is no bear. Your body will then start to dial down the adrenaline and cortisol and all the other reactions will slow to a halt. How to control your breathing? It’s easy – and if you want help just put “two minute breathe bubble” in into Youtube. The golden rules are these:

• In through the nose, out through the mouth. SLOWLY
• Make the outbreath longer than the inbreath – imagine there’s a candle in front of you and it mustn’t go out
• Breathe from the tummy not chest – really make your tummy go out when breathing in.
• Do it for two minutes – time yourself – and see how you feel

Seriously, try it – this technique is used by everyone from top athletes to the US military to help stay in control while under stress. There are all sorts of versions – from yogic breathing to box breathing to 4-7-8. Google them, mess around, figure out what works for you.

CALL A FRIEND: Don’t suffer alone. Call a mate – someone who’ll listen while you have a bit of a rant, or a cry, or a general wobble. Someone you can trust not to judge you and who’ll just sympathise. And if you get one of those calls, just be nice to them. You only need to be kind. You can’t fix what’s going on so just give them a bit of space to rant and tell them they’re normal and doing great. And if you’re OK, call your friends and check in on them. Especially if they’ve gone silent.

LAUGH: it doesn’t matter what is funny – laughter is a huge releaser of endorphins. Silly memes, silly jokes, stand-up, rolling around with your kids – videos on youtube. The sillier the better. Also v good for bonding with friends, which will also help you feel less alone.

DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR HANDS. Yes you can meditate if this is your bag, it’s amazing. But if it’s not, and personally I’m rubbish, then trying to start when you’re already anxious is really hard. So do something instead with your hands, that you have to focus on to get right. Cook. Tidy. Knit. Draw. Bake. Garden. Mend things. This is what nice middle class therapists like me call Mindfulness.

TREAT YOUR BODY: We hold stress in our bodies at least as much as our minds. Take a bath or a shower. Put on things that feel good on your skin. Use nice smelling body creams. Stretch. Skip. Do yoga. Dance. Eat healthy but delicious things – fresh if you can get it. All of these will help calm you down.

SUNSHINE. It’s SPRINGTIME amid this horror – enjoy it. If you can’t go outside, open the windows and feel it on your face and breath it in. If it’s safe for you to go outside (maybe you live in the country) do it, while of course observing social distance. Go for a walk. Being outdoors, connecting to nature, is hugely calming.

STEP AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA/THE NEWS: All it will do will scare you more and make things worse. Turn off the telly and for gods sake avoid the psychopathic digital wild west that is Twitter. Stick to sensible sources like the BBC and the NHS, and limit yourself to short need-to-know bits a day. You’ll feel better immediately. Talk to friends instead – this is physical, not social distancing

STEP AWAY FROM TERRIBLE COPING MECHANISMS: They will all translate as BEAR!! to your poor brain. Especially don’t get drunk, especially if you’re alone (BEAR!!!), take drugs (BEAR!!!), stay up all night reading (BEAR!!!), get sucked into conspiracy theories (BEAR!!!), pay attention to ANYTHING Donald Trump says (BEAR!!!).  See? Stress levels going up already. Breathe.

BE KIND: to yourself and others. Now is not the time to go on a diet. Nor is this the time to start on Proust or makeover your life. You’ll probably struggle to concentrate, fail and make yourself feel worse (hat tip Laura Gordon for this bit). Don’t make this more stressful than it already is. Think comfort books, comfort telly, comfort everything. Personally I re-read children’s books. Everyone is wobbly, everyone is going to have a meltdown at some point. Understand that if someone is angry or aggressive, then they are also just scared. And eat more cake. Cake makes everything better.

So, there we go. Hopefully a bit less BEAR!!. Now, that kettle should have boiled by now. Go make a nice cup of tea, sit by a window and drink it in this lovely morning sunshine. We are British after all. And save me some cake <3.

And finally …
There is a box packed full of jigsaws and books at the village hall. I plan to take another empty box down there tomorrow since this is proving so popular. Please help yourself, but make sure you follow all the rules with regard to washing your hands as soon as you get home if you’ve handled the box and contents.

30/3/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Even colder today, but you can warm up by doing some brisk digging in your garden – don’t plant anything too fragile though!

It seems that some of the emails from memburysg@gmail.com are disappearing into Spam folders. Can you please make sure that this address is whitelisted, or added to your safe senders, particularly if you are one of our volunteers.

Only a bit of an update on the shopping front today – mostly courtesy of Chard U3A. Tesco in Chard had quite short queues and their petrol station is open – but they ask you to pay at pump by card. Lidl seemed well stocked, and their car park was only half full. B&Q in Chard is closed but they can deliver or they take your order over the phone and put it outside for you to collect. Their phone number is 01460 238600.
In conjunction with local suppliers The Kings Arms at Stockland are also doing veggie boxes at £11 and £22. Ring 01404 881686 and give 24 hours notice. They will leave it outside with your name on it for you to collect it.

Telephone Directory
I’m happy to compile a telephone directory for Membury residents. You don’t have to be in it, and it will only be distributed to people who have contributed. It’ll help us all keep in touch if we can’t actually meet face to face.
If you wish please provide your name, address and telephone number, and confirm that you are happy for this to be shared.

National Theatre At Home
The National Theatre is streaming some fantastic performances over the next few weeks free of charge; each show will be available for a week. More titles will be announced soon. Go to https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home for more details.

A Useful Summary to avoid contagion
I have been sent this summary which allegedly comes from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. As far as I can tell the source and the content are both genuine – and it’s a clear, concise document.
* The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipids (fats) which, if absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or mouth mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and converts them into multiplier and attacker cells.
* Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and the type of material in which it is found.
* The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That’s why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam BREAKS THE GREASE (that’s why you have to rub so much: for at least 20 seconds or more, and make a lot of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.
HEAT melts the fat; then use water above 25 degrees to wash your hands, clothes and everything else. In addition, hot water produces more foam which makes it even more useful.
* Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol greater than 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
NO BACTERICIDES. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; one cannot kill with antibiotics what is not alive, but rapidly disintegrate its structure with all that has been said.
* NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or clothing. While it is glued on a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only between 3 hours (fabric and porous), 4 hours (copper, because it is naturally antiseptic; and wood, because it removes all moisture and does not let it detach and disintegrates), 24 hours (cardboard), 42 hours (metal) and 72 hours (plastic). But if you shake it or use a duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours and can settle in your nose.
Viral molecules remain very stable in external or artificial cold like air conditioners in homes and cars. They also need moisture to remain stable and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it more quickly.
* UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is a protein) in the skin, eventually causing wrinkles and skin cancer.
* The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.
* Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break the protective layer of fat.

29/3/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Cold and windy today – just as British Summer Time begins, but lovely in the sun! It’s going to carry on like that over the next few days, and there’s very little chance of rain.

If you want us to do some shopping for you, please bear in mind that this should be limited to essentials where possible – we don’t want our volunteers spending ages in the shops looking for outlandish items!

Barley Mow Farmshop Update
Please note that Barley Mow won’t deliver to Membury but you can do the following: Go to the Barley Mow web site, make a list of what you want to purchase then ring: 01460 62130. Introduce yourself and ask to place an order. Their stock is quite comprehensive. They will take details from you, go away and pack your order then call you back with the price. You pay by card and then arrange a collection time. When you arrive at Barley Mow you stay in the car and ring them (take your mobile phone) tell them where your car is and they will bring to the car and put in boot with no contact being made.

The Tuckers Arms, Dalwood
Are now offering a take-away service – see their Facebook page for details. Their weekly menu only costs £8 per portion.
Order in advance – ring 01404 881342

Home Schooling
Carey Swarbrick from Rock is a biology teacher, and is happy to help with GCSE Science and A level Biology – you can reach her via careyburton@hotmail.com

And Finally…
We have some residents who are taking this social distancing to extremes by maintaining a healthy 12000 mile distance between where they are in New Zealand and the rest of us in Membury!

28/3/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

To reach us call 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Milk will be delivered every Wednesday and you should receive the order form today or tomorrow. We are hoping to get volunteers to deliver to people in their immediate vicinity – one for Lewsley Lane, one for Tolcis, one for the central village, one for the northern part of the village and possibly others.

Home Schooling
As a village we want to support all our residents, young and not so young alike, throughout this difficult time. As such if you are a parent needing some help with home schooling please do get in touch and we will see how we can help through phone calls and online support. Equally if you can help with languages, science, maths or any other school work please get in touch to offer your knowledge and support.

Please note that I haven’t visited or contacted any of the people listed here to verify details, but they have all been passed to me in good faith. If you are aware of any other places to mention – drop me an email.

Kings Arms at Stockland
Offering a take-away menu on Wednesday and Friday night and a brunch box on Saturday as well as a selection of roasts on Sunday. You can also order wine, beer, lager and cider as well. They also offer veg boxes (large and small) and ready-meals for your freezer. Check their website (kingsarms.pub) or call them (881686) for more details. Everything must be ordered in advance.

Archway Bookshop
Our wonderful local bookshop which of course has had to temporarily close is offering home delivery or a ‘drive by pick up’ of book orders. Details on the website archwaybookshop.co.uk or phone 01297 33744.

Cuttisfords Door Garden Centre, Chard
Currently operating a delivery service of plants and garden supplies. Ring them on 01460 63088 to find out what they have. You pay over the phone.

Jaspal’s Newsagents
Main Street, Axminster delivers newspapers and milk, bread and sundries around the area. 01297 598942: 07901502508: email qurjeb@hotmail.co.uk

Barleymow Farm Shop
Open as usual and is well stocked. You can pre-order, pay over the telephone and then collect in the car park; give the shop a phone call when you arrive and someone will bring your order out to you so you don’t need to get out of the car.

Miller’s Farm Shop
Open as usual and also very well stocked. Plenty of fresh food, and also selling compost! They have complained that a number of people are going more than one a week and would appreciate it if people could observe this rule.

500 words
Before the world ground to a halt we were planning a Summer Solstice Celebration, and part of this was to be an invitation for writers to read out Short Stories they had written.

Perhaps our readers in the Parish would like to write a Summer Solstice story. The best of these will be published in the Mercury. What kudos!

Think a Midsummer Story, a Greenman Story, Something Historical or a Nature Story. Each story should consist of a maximum of 500 words – that’s a bit less than the length of this message!

Get safe online
We all have enough to be concerned about from the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. That’s why the online experts at Devon and Cornwall Police have put together some top tips about how to protect yourself, your loved ones, finances and devices from the scams that are currently circulating. As well as advice about keeping yourself and your organisation protected whilst working from home.

To see more about online safety during this uncertain time visit www.getsafeonline.org/coronavirus

And finally …

The Duchess is very happy to have received four books by Clive Cussler!

27/3/2020 Membury Support Group Daily update

How to reach us 01404 819145 or memburysg@gmail.com

Today is the last day you can request prescriptions from Axminster Surgery for collection next Thursday, April 2nd. Please do this online if possible and let us know on memburysg@gmail.com so we can arrange collection. Anything ordered after today will be ready for us to collect on April 9th.

There is a disruption with the newspaper delivery system. The driver who usually delivers is off sick – and might be off a while longer. They have a driver able to deliver at the weekend, but after that the situation is unclear. Whilst we recognise that for some residents a newspaper is a lifeline, we feel that we cannot in good faith ask one of our existing volunteers to drive to Honiton daily, partly because subscribers pay for delivery and we feel The Paper Shop ought to solve the problem itself and partly because we are unsure as to whether the government would this class as “essential”.
We do not have a list of newspaper subscribers, but if anyone who usually gets a paper, and is not self-isolating would like to take on the role of delivery back-up, and contact the shop (01404 41222) each morning to find out if a driver was available that would be fine.
Please let the Membury Support Group know if you make an arrangement with the shop.

The logistics of getting over 70 litres of milk a week delivered, distributed and paid for are proving tricky. Please bear with us until we’ve managed to sort this out. It’s looking likely that there’ll be a single drop every Wednesday but the milk will have a shelf life of ten days so this won’t be a problem.

Puzzle / Book Exchange
There’s now a box outside the village hall where people can exchange books and jigsaw puzzles. Make sure you follow the hygiene rules – wear plastic or latex gloves if possible, and wash your hands before you go out, and as soon as you get home

Local Food Suppliers, Home Deliveries & Direct From The Farm:
Most of this section shamelessly stolen from the Yarcombe e-Voices bulletin – thank you very much to them

  • Emma Tindall has a surplus of eggs for sale from Little Winsors – up above the late Fred Board’s bungalow. Contact her on emmatindall@hotmail.com for more information
  • Complete Meats (owned by the Vining family who live in Yarcombe) have started a home delivery service – telephone 01297 33282.
  • Christine Parris (eggs, cheese, cream) can be contacted on 01404 861207.
  • Lorna Burdge (pork, sausages etc) can be contacted on 07966 583896.
  • Ganesha, the health shop in Honiton and Axminster, has started a home delivery service and will deliver to Membury free if the order is over £40 or there’ll be a charge of £4.75 for smaller orders . Telephone 01404 43225.
  • The Churchinford Community Shop – 01823 601026 – will take card payments over the telephone (they don’t hold card details which are taken and then destroyed after the transaction has gone through). Then you can just go to Churchinford and pick up your shopping.

26th March 2020 – Membury Covid-19 update

Not everyone in the parish is receiving the emails sent directly. If you are aware of anyone who doesn’t get these updates please invite them to join by emailing memburysg@gmail.com, although most updates are being posted on the village website.
Similarly, if your neighbours don’t use the internet or email at all, please ring them to pass on any important messages

We now have a dedicated collector and distributor.
Where possible, ALL prescriptions should be requested online. If someone is unable to do it themselves they need to ask a family member or trusted friend to do it for them. If they need to register for online prescriptions they can ring the surgery and do it over the phone – they have waived the need for ID at this time. All prescriptions need to be requested by 6pm on Friday for collection the following Thursday. Anything requested after Friday will be collected the Thursday afterwards.
ALL prescriptions should be collected by us on Thursdays – please do not go and collect them yourselves. The surgery have requested one person to do it to reduce strain on the surgery and to limit the spread of the virus. Even people who are fit and healthy and not self-isolating should ideally let us collect their prescription for them.
If you need a prescription to be collected, please provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • First line of address
  • Date of birth
  • Whether you pay or not – over 60 years old is free and so someone’s date of birth is sufficient. You may have an exemption certificate but we’ll need a copy to show the surgery.

If someone needs to pay we would prefer them please to pay the surgery directly via cheque/BACS. Last resort is the collector pays and the receiver leaves cash on the doorstep. Meds will normally be delivered to the village hall, but if you are unable to get there they will be brought to your home.
If we need to collect drugs for you please contact us at memburysg@gmail.com or 01404 819145
We will email our collector and the surgery every Wednesday

Yes, you’ve only just had the Spring issue, but already we’re thinking of the Summer issue, to be delivered the first week of June. We’ve already had some interesting articles promised, but without any of the groups and organisations meeting, we’re likely be a bit short of reports. So – how to fill the pages? This is where you come in. How about using some of your isolated time to write something? Could be an anecdote, your own or someone else’s; a description of a pastime or hobby – photography, knitting, research – which has occupied you over the years, and perhaps you’ve become quite good at; or how about getting creative – an original poem or story – even a sketch or a photograph of a painting? Or perhaps you’ve read some good books you would like to recommend? Love to hear from you – just e-mail your piece to the address on the back of the Mercury. And if you possess a camera – how about some lovely Spring shots, while the weather lasts? Deadline is May 1st.
The Editorial team

The man who delivers the papers from Honiton was unavailable this morning, so other arrangements had to be made. We have a volunteer to collect them tomorrow (Friday) if he is still off, but after that there are no arrangements in place.

Book and Puzzle Exchange
We are hoping to put a box by the village hall for people to put books and jigsaws in to exchange with other people. If you use this make sure you wash your hands before leaving your home, and as soon as you get back, and if possible use plastic or latex gloves to open the box.

And on the subject of books, we have a bored gentleman in the village who would really appreciate it if anyone has any books by Clive Cussler he could borrow …

25th March 2020          Covid-19 Update

Milk – Urgent

We may be able to order milk and cream from Sutton Lucy Dairy in bulk for collection by a nominated representative of the village twice a week. Prices will be comparable with the shops. We need to have an idea of quantities by tomorrow (Thursday 26th) at the latest. Please ring 01404 819145 or email memburysg@gmail.com


Along with the recycling centres the green waste collections have been suspended. Please bear this in mind when doing your gardening, and report fly-tipping if you come across it.


Many of you will be using the fact that we live in such a lovely part of the country to go for a walk as this is still allowed, in fact it is encouraged, but do remember this should be “alone or with members of your household.”

Contact with your neighbours

It could get lonely for those living on their own so it is more important than ever to keep in touch with those around you.

Playing Field

Unfortunately, the playing field is closed until further notice.

20th March 2020            Membury Support Group

This has been prepared for all of us who live here, by a group of volunteers with the help of the Parish Council, Membury Merrymakers and the Village Hall Trustees with one clear objective: To help us to support each other during the difficult weeks and months to come. Many of us will have to stay at home for an extended period. Some of us will probably be infected with coronavirus. We have arranged a telephone and email helpline as well as a network of residents in our village, to provide assistance and moral support if you are stuck at home and need help or advice. We will arrange for one of our volunteers to help you – probably someone you already know.

Please keep this leaflet handy and use the helpline, even if you have neighbours, friends and family who can help you, because it is possible that they may be also affected by the virus at some stage and have to isolate.

The type of help and support that we hope to provide includes but is not limited to:

  • Shopping and running errands, such as collecting prescriptions.
  • Posting and collecting mail.
  • A friendly phone call.
  • Helping care for animals.
  • Virtual group activities….depending on demand but ideas such as a book club, chess club and knitting squares to make a charity blanket have already been suggested.

If and when you are stuck in your home and need such help, please call the helpline on:

01404 819145           or email                      memburysg@gmail.com

If you are willing and able to help, that will be much appreciated. Please email memburysg@gmail.com or call 01404 819145 and our volunteer co-ordinator will be in touch.