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Serving your community since 2007

Rammed! Traditional sheep fair returns

October 2021


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Molton Monthly - October 2021 Welcome to the October edition of Molton Monthly. You may have already heard the sad news that ChemoHero founder Lisa Wallis, featured on last month’s cover being presented with her British Empire Medal, passed away. She led an inspirational life despite being on her own cancer journey for almost a decade - tributes are on pages 22-23. We look at how Nicola Berry from Chulmleigh is adapting to having two arms for the first time in her life. You might remember we reported in July how she had crowdfunded to get a state of the art bionic arm fitted, after being born with one hand. Read more on pages 18-19. What can I say about this month’s cracking cover photo! It’s stunning Dorset Horn ram at the return of South Molton’s annual sheep fair. You can enjoy a photo feature from the lens of Karolina Andreasova on pages 26-28. Covid-19 seems to be digging its heels in as we head towards winter, for the latest go to the Community News on pages 50-56.

What’s Inside - October P6-7 P8 P11-14 P18-19

Photo of the month Lottery ‘win’ for YMCA service What’s On ‘Hero arm’ is life changing

Congratulations to South Molton YMCA on their lottery award, helping them provide vital services to the local community (page 8). And finally, we have more on a sustainable future as North Devon Council join Molton Monthly and sign up to the North Devon Biosphere Nature Recovery Declaration (p47). As always, please stay safe. Pete Robinson, Editor & publisher Molton Monthly is also published free to read on our website moltonmonthly.co.uk and we have daily news updates on Facebook and Instagram @MoltonMonthly

P22-23 P26-28 P31 P34-37 P38-39 P42-43 P47 P50-55 P60-61 P62 P63

Tributes to ChemoHero Lisa Cover story: sheep fair returns October gardening tips Health & Wellbeing Farm Life - farming’s green future Rescue dog inspires new book Support for nature recovery plan Community News Schools and Learning Index of Advertisers Local Information

South Molton Business Association is open to anyone running or planning to start a business in South Molton and the surrounding 32 parishes. SMBA - ‘promoting investment & growth in the community’. Please visit smba.info to find out more about the benefits of joining us.

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Heavy harvest

by Karolina Andreasova

The thud of 16 heavy hoofs over dry Devon farmland, the clank and creak of vintage machinery. Summer rolls into autumn, and Jonathan Waterer is captured here with a team of four of his Shire horses, combining organic and ancient varieties of wheat. He farms regeneratively at Higher Biddacott Farm, Chittlehampton to increase biodiversity and enrich the soil. The wheat is then stoneground into wholemeal flour and marketed as ‘Flour by Horsepower’. Regular contributor, South Molton artist and photographer Karolina Andreasova, captured this timeless rural scene for our photo of the month. “It’s a privilege for me to stand alongside these stunning Shires and document this aspect of farming life. It makes one truly grateful for the beautiful Devon countryside we live in,” said Karolina.

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You can see more of Karolina’s work on her website: karolinaandreasova.com and on her Instagram and Facebook pages. Whether it’s rural life like this, nature, sports, special events, wildlife, a local character or something else - please keep emailing us your pictures. We usually only feature one each month in the magazine, but show more on our Instagram and Facebook pages: @MoltonMonthly

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Lottery ‘win’ for South Molton YMCA

YMCA South Molton and its team of dedicated volunteers, are celebrating after being awarded £167,000 in National Lottery funding, to support its work in bringing people together and building strong relationships across the community. The money from the National Lottery Community Fund will be used over the next three years to continue to provide a vital hub for a growing range of community activities for all ages. “We’re delighted by this news as the centre has been a huge source of support to people across the South Molton area during lockdown, as the venue for a large foodbank and community larder,” explains Gareth Sorsby Joint CEO of YMCA Exeter Group. “Now we’re excited to get the centre open more and provide activities and opportunities for people of all ages.” “Thanks to the funding we can ensure that YMCA South Molton can provide consistent support to well over 500 people a year and provide a central hub for the community.” There has been a YMCA in South Molton since 1890, and the national organisation has strong historical links with the town. To find out more go to: ymcasouthmolton. org.uk/community-activities

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What’s On - October 2021

Please contact organisers to check events are still running, with Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines subject to change - be prepared for possible amendments or cancellations.

1st - 8pm First Friday Jazz presents Neil Burns Trio & Terry Quinny at Swimbridge Jubilee Hall 2nd - West Buckland School open day (advert page 61) 2nd - Moonlight Memory Walk for Children’s Hospice South West, for info see: chsw.org.uk/moonlight 3rd - 10am South Molton Vintage Rally Club autumn tractor run (see page 14) 3rd - 10am Flea Market at South Molton Pannier Market 6th - 11am Dunster Outback Guided Walk - booking via Exmoor National Park 8th - 6pm Fundraising fire walk at The Amber Centre, Chawleigh (pre booking essential) 8th - 7.30pm (doors 6.45pm) Chulmleigh Rural Cinema presents ‘Dream Horse’ (PG) tickets £5 (£4.50 members) - refreshments available, contactless payment/face coverings encouraged 11th - 7.30pm Chittlehampton Village Hall AGM - all welcome 10th - 9.45am Mission Unbreakable raising funds for North Devon Hospice at North Molton Sports Club 12th - 10am u3a coffee morning at Filleigh Village Hall; speaker Jonathan Edmunds - ‘Imposters & Hoaxes’ 17th - 10am Salvage Fair at South Molton Pannier Market 22nd until November 7th Exmoor Dark Skies Festival (see pages 54-55) exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/darkskiesfestival 28th - 11am Bampton Charter Fair - the annual Fair is now over 750 years old, returning for 2021 and featuring live music, children’s entertainment, funfair, food court and more 31st - 10.30am Coldharbour Mill, Uffculme - ‘Halloween in Steam’ event (until 3pm) South Molton Museum - exhibition ‘South Molton People at Work’ throughout September Text only what’s on listings in Molton Monthly are free - please email to info@moltonmonthly.co.uk deadline 12th each month. Display adverts may carry a charge.

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My hero! Nicola gets state of the art bionic arm It’s a miracle of modern science. Nicola Berry now has a life-changing prosthetic arm for the first time - created using the latest 3D scanning and printing technology in Bristol. “On the day of receiving my arm, when the box was bought in, that’s when reality hit. I have a second arm!” Nicola told Molton Monthly. “After 28 years I never thought it would be possible. I am already starting to really see the benefits in daily life.” “So far I have used it to make a cake, make a cup of coffee, put some washing in the washing machine, take the dog out and open a drinks bottle... all with two hands!” Nicola, who lives in Chulmleigh, was born with one hand. As we reported in the July

One girl and her dog - the hero arm in action and inset, before the bionic arm was fitted

edition, she set about crowd funding the £10,000 needed to have the revolutionary multi-grip bionic arm designed, made and fitted by Open Bionics in Bristol. “I would like to thank each and every person that made a contribution towards my ‘Hero Arm’, as without any of you this dream would never have become a reality,” said Nicola. “I would like to thank Open Bionics for all they have done and all they do. There are no

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words for how extremely amazing the Hero Arm is and how it will change so many lives for people with limb differences.” Nicola’s arm without its white cover

Nicola went through a three stage fitting and training process for the arm, which is custom made for each person. If you would like to help others receive their very own ‘Hero Arm’, donations can be made to The Open Bionics Foundation: openbionics.com/open-bionics-foundation You can follow Nicola’s progress on social media: @thegirlwiththeheroarm

For the first time in her life, Nicola can use two hands for tasks like home baking

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Tributes paid to leading cancer campaigner Lisa Wallis the founder of the North Devon based charity ChemoHero has passed away, after being diagnosed with breast cancer almost a decade ago. As we reported last month, she was presented with the British Empire Medal at North Devon Hospice (opposite right) for services to people with cancer and their families, she died just a few days later on August 26th. “She lived life to the full, putting others before herself,” her husband Rob wrote in a tribute on Facebook. “Lisa hated the expressions like ‘lost her battle with cancer’. She said if it was a battle or a fight, she would stand a chance of winning, and it was soon evident there was no chance.”

Lisa Wallis - photo Robert Wallis

“But what she did win was the hearts of everyone she met with that unforgettable smile, and her overwhelming sense of kindness. She carried herself with dignity, humour and such courage.” Her funeral took place at North Devon Crematorium on September 17th, and more than £16,000 has so far been raised for North Devon Hospice in her memory. Among messages she left for her husband Rob, to help him with her passing, she asked those who loved her to make individual pieces of bunting to decorate her coffin. Lisa’s family say they’re “incredibly proud of all she has achieved in her short life”. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, the day after her 30th birthday, Lisa worked hard to establish and run the charity ChemoHero.

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They provide ‘boxes of kindness’ containing 40 items chosen to help bring relief and comfort to cancer patients. The charity has so far sent more than 1,500 boxes to local chemotherapy patients here in North Devon. “Lisa was one of a kind and helped so many people with cancer,” added Rob. “She often stayed awake, even after having tough treatments herself, to message someone else struggling with their own diagnosis.” Paying tribute, Jessica French said, “Lisa was an unimaginable inspiration to everyone around her and she felt like sunshine!” “Her courage, strength and resilience has been an example to everyone who’s hearts she touched,” said Naomi Holbrook. Della Dunckley added, “Our hearts break for such a beautiful, kind, brave warrior and inspirational soul, who made everyone feel like a friend.”

The Lord Lieutenant of Devon presented Lisa with her award, with husband Rob and son Stanley

Information and support: chemohero.org

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In pictures - South Molton sheep fair All photos by Karolina Andreasova

The annual South Molton Sheep Fair returned on August 25th with 2,500 animals entered into the auction run by Stags Agriculture - photos pages 26 - 28

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Jobs to do in October 1. If your greenhouse is fairly empty, now is a good time to clean and disinfect it. This will let in more light and prevents pests and diseases over-wintering. 2. Lift Dahlia tubers, Begonia tubers and Gladioli corms to store dry over the winter months. Remove and dead foliage before storing them. 3. After tidying borders, mulch with bark chips, well-rotted manure, leaf mould of spent mushroom compost to insulate plant roots for the winter, and keep weed growth in check. 4. If you plan to grow beans next year, start preparing the site by digging trenches and fill with manure or kitchen waste. 5. Invest in bird baths and bird feeder this autumn. Birds are a gardener’s friend and keep pests down. Before you cut back your herbaceous plants this autumn, take photos of where they are located so you don’t damage them during a winter dig. It’s also a great way of remembering which seeds and plants you want to order again for next year. Starting a photo diary is a great way of recording your garden’s journey. Until next month, Jenny Howells

One free Cyclamen worth £2 with a purchase over £20 with this voucher - valid to 31.10.21

Opening hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9am to 5pm.

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Highlighting homelessness

Photo: Guy Harrop

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Farm Life - ploughing a sustainable furrow by Roger Hill

We do not grow maize ourselves, but often look over the hedge at our neighbours (photo opposite). As I mentioned last month, I have always loved ploughing the land in preparation for our crops. I used to watch my dad with his Shire horses, whilst I started with a two furrow plough. Today the machinery giants complete their task in double quick time. However, with the ambitious plan for agriculture to be net carbon zero by 2040 we have to question many of our farming practices including ploughing. Fortunately British farmers are more than half way to the target already compared to the massive industrial units situated in many other countries. There are many areas to look at such as locking up the soil, artificial fertiliser, animal digestion and planting more trees. A lot of research is already being done with trials of new initiatives and many practices evolving. It will not be easy, but we as farmers have always accepted new challenges. Overall it has to be a balance. Our core business must be to produce high quality food in this country to feed our nation. In turn this will keep the shelves full, cut imports and food miles. ‘Til next time, Roger #TuppertheTractor (website: quoit-at-cross.co.uk)

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Over the hedge - maize harvest underway

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Rescue dog is inspiration for new children’s book North Devon is proving to be a hotbed of producing unique new children’s books at the moment. Sharon Brown, from Rose Ash near South Molton, is the latest to join the ranks of local authors with ‘Mitzee the Scribble Dog Goes to the Shops’. “The book is aimed at children around the ages of 3 to 6, and was inspired by a real life dog called Mitzee who was rescued by my daughter and family, from the Ilfracombe Dogs Trust,” Sharon told Molton Monthly. “As in the book, Mitzee is always wet, muddy, dirty and up to mischief, but is a loveable dog!” added Sharon. “This, along with observing the vivid imaginations of children, inspired the story.”

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She hopes this will be the first in a series children’s books in which Mitzee and Amelie have all kinds of adventures. This is Sharon’s first book, and it has been illustrated by her lifelong friend Mik Elliott - she says he has captured Mitzee and her character beautifully. A donation of £1 from the sale of each book is going to the local Dog’s Trust charity. Copies priced £7.99 (inc P&P) from: sharonbrown200@btinternet.com 07941491470

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Author Sharon Brown from Rose Ash, and inset Mitzee the dog

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Council supports Biosphere nature recovery plan The leader of North Devon Council has signed the North Devon Biosphere Nature Recovery Declaration, pledging that the council will commit to helping them achieve their vision for tackling the ecological emergency in the area, and making northern Devon a better place for nature. Councillor David Worden (right) says, “Our wildlife has been in decline for many years, and key species are in long-term decline or have already been lost. We can all do our bit to act now and help nature to recover before it’s too late.” “Here in North Devon, much of our economy, like tourism and agriculture, rely on nature. A rich natural environment also improves the quality of life for residents.”

For more info: northdevonbiosphere.org.uk

North Devon Council says it is committed to working with other organisations, community groups, businesses and individuals to contribute towards nature’s recovery. It aligns with the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and the Prime Minister’s pledge for 30% of UK land to be protected by 2030. “As the public becomes more concerned about climate change and the environment, I would encourage businesses, organisations, individuals and regular visitors to sign the declaration and stand up for nature,” added Mr Worden. Molton Monthly is a North Devon Biosphere Business Partner helping to promote sustainability - the magazine has made commitments towards conservation, local development and awareness raising. Please mention Molton Monthly when contacting advertisers

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Community News pages 50-55 Can wind make Devon a powerhouse? A leading climate scientist says Devon has the opportunity to be the heart of a ‘Southwest Powerhouse’, with communities creating their own electricity from new onshore wind farms. A glimpse of this future was given by Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth, during a recent session of Devon Climate Assembly. “What kind of future do you want Devon to have in terms of you, your kids, and your grandkids - because that’s what the Climate Assembly is being asked to do here,” said Professor Stuart.

Wind power in North Devon Photo: Bianca Robinson

“There is hope - and in Devon we have a plan - but the message is that all of us Devon residents, the UK Government and people all over the world must act now,” added Professor Patrick Devine-Wright, chairman of the net-zero task force. Johnny Gowdy, of Exeter based non-profit organisation Regen, estimates that onshore wind power could create 14,000 new jobs by 2035. Wind farms can be controversial in the countryside, because of the visual effects and noise, but campaigners believe the benefits outweigh the impacts. Turn to page 47 to read the latest on the North Devon Biosphere campaign to help nature recover where we live and work. To find out more about Devon Climate Assembly see: devonclimateemergency.org.uk

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Fair success! The first ever North Molton Country Fair raised almost £2,000 for a local charity. Hundreds attended the event on the village sports ground on August 22nd. Organiser Kate Tearall is a community champion at the Tesco Extra in Barnstaple. She presented a cheque for £1,929.28 to the Over and Above Hospital Charity on September 9th (pictured right). A spokesman for the charity said, “A big thank you to Kate for organising this fantastic event, and to all the Tesco staff who supported her and our wonderful volunteers. I think I can speak on behalf of everyone who attended that it was a huge success, and after a year and a half of no events, it was so good to be back.”

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Covid rise hits health services The continuing high Covid-19 rates in Devon are adding to pressures on the health and care system locally, due to increased numbers of patients in hospital with Coronavirus and the number of staff off because they or a close family member has the virus. Last month Devon was made a Covid ‘Enhanced Response Area’ to try to tackle the latest large spike in cases. But local health officials say everyone across the county can play a part in reducing transmission and the impact the virus is having on health and care services. Dr Paul Johnson, Clinical Chair of NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said, “We still need to take Covid seriously. Many people who are very ill in our hospitals with Coronavirus are not fully vaccinated and some of them are young adults.” “Many people in Devon will have friends or family who work in the health and care system, and you know how hard they have been working throughout the pandemic and how tired they are.” While the number of positive cases of Coronavirus has almost halved since the peak in August, they have generally remained higher than the national average and the rate of decline has slowed. In the third week of September there were still around 360 positive cases recorded in North Devon and more than 200 in Mid Devon.

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“You can help by choosing the right service for your needs, only using Emergency Departments for emergencies. Plus getting vaccinated, having both jabs if you’re eligible, social distancing and maintaining good hygiene are all vital,” added Dr Johnson. Doctors urge everyone to follow current public health advice to: • Have both vaccinations when you are eligible • Test regularly and isolate if you have symptoms or test positive • Follow social distancing and wear face coverings indoors in public places • Maintain good hygiene including hand washing • Meet people outside or in well ventilated areas The Covid-19 testing van (right) visits South Molton between 9am and 12.30pm on Tuesdays and 1.30pm to 5pm on Fridays. As well as testing by the trained team at the vehicle, lateral flow test kits are also available for people to take home. Pop up vaccination clinics are also continuing in North and Mid Devon.

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Festival celebrates dark skies Exmoor was designated as Europe’s first Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association back in 2011. Roll forward ten years and there are almost 50 events taking place in celebration of this year’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival from October 22nd to November 7th. Free copies of the programme are available from National Park Centres and participating businesses. Now in its 5th year, it features a wide range of things to do for families and adults. For more information on what’s on go to: exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/darkskiesfestival

35 years of service

Colin and Sue Wallis marked 35 years running E. Bulled & Sons shop in North Molton on September 1st. The village store and Post Office remains at the heart of this vibrant rural community.

Revelling in success

Kings Nympton Church Revel on August Bank Holiday weekend raised a whopping £3,250. The organisers thank all those who volunteered, attended and supported the village event.

Explore Exmoor

Are you over 55, want to get more active and explore the beauty of Exmoor National Park? Why not book onto the ‘CAN Explore Exmoor’ programme. To book or if you would like further information email: tom@shoc.info or call 01643 831259

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Exmoor Dark Skies Festival - Porlock Marsh by Richard Presley

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Index of advertisers Accounts & Bookkeeping Elaine Fields p19 Philip Milton p59 Acoustic Surveys Parker Acoustics p27 Agricultural Services Bobcat Hire p38 Jack Croft Contractors p39 Andrew Symons front cover Tarka Trax p30 Appliance Repairs Don Bailey p57 Bronze and metalwork Industrial Coating Supplies p40 Business Services NOIS Business Services p56 South Molton Business Association p3 Building Services Bobcat Hire p38 Dan Jury p57 Darren White p57 Hotworks Engineering p52 RGB p17 Sheds4You - back cover Variety Building p49 Care Homes/Social Care Abbeyfield South Molton p20 Filo Project p37 Children’s Activities South Molton Methodist Church p14 Cleaning Services North Devon Cleaning p47 Oven Wizards p45 Computing/Internet/Websites CBM p40 PC Geek p56 Decorating Plastering Tiling Highland Artexing p41 DIY & Building Supplies MP Supplies p29 RGB p17 Electricians Chris Thorne p53 Engineering Hotworks Engineering p52 Estate Agents Michael Adey p25 Financial Services Lendology CIC p24 Philip Milton p59 Town & Country p32/33 Flooring Homechoose Carpets p40 Food & Drink The Real Ale Girls p26 Fuel Supplies Kiln Dried Logs p18

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Winson Fuels p38 Funeral Services H N Blackmore p49 Garage Services Custom Valets p56 R&L Mechanical Services p46 TGB Automotive p42 TGB Car Keys p48 Gardens & Landscaping Andrew Symons front cover Ash Moor Nursery p31 BWA Gardening p7 Dan Jury p57 Darren White p57 Four Seasons p30 Sally’s Garden Services p30 Sheds4You - back cover Tarka Trax Ltd p30 Timber Lads tree surgery p30 Variety Landscapes p49 Health & Wellbeing Anna Worthington Counselling p35 Ear Wax Nurse p34 Electrolysis Solutions p18 Rose & Crown Clinic p27 Slimming World p36 Step Ahead p34 Home Maintenance & Improvements Care 4 Bathroom Solutions p5 Darren Smallbone p57 Energise Leisure (pools) p54 Exmoor Fascias p41 Finishing Touches p43 Homechoose Carpets p40 Kitchen Exchange p5 Lendology CIC p24 Living Needs Home Solutions p46 Mid Devon Garage Doors p19 Mitchell & Dickinson p2 MP Supplies p29 RGB p17 Senior Citizen Services p28 Sheds4You - back cover Stove Centre p48 Insurance Services NFU Mutual p59 Town & Country p32/33 Jobs Mole Valley Farmers p4 South Molton Swimming Pool p54 Locksmiths Darren Smallbone p57 Marketing NOIS Business Services p56 Medical South Molton Medical Centre p35 Music & Entertainment First Friday Jazz p11/14

Opticians Atlantic Home Eyecare p36 Byrnes & Byrnes p21 South Molton Eyecare p23 Pest Control Pests Off p44

Plumbing & Heating Jad Mottram p45 Mark Berry p58 MS Plumbing p40 Printing & Design Services Blue Orange Signs p55 Property (also see Estate Agents) Lendology CIC p24 Marsdens Devon Cottages p24 Pubs & Restaurants Bell Inn p10 Exmoor Riverside p12 Grove Inn p9 Poltimore Inn p16 Quince Honey Farm p13 Red Lion p16 Royal Oak p15 Schools & Education Chittlehampton School p60 Kings Nympton School p61 North Molton School p60 South Molton Library p11 West Buckland School p61 Solicitors & Legal Services Davies & Partners p59 Sports & activities South Molton Swimming Pool p54 Stained Glass Ken Bracher Stained Glass p50 Storage Snell Self Storage p8 Ucanstore p41 Telephone Engineers CBM p40 Tourism Exmoor Riverside camping p12 Marsdens Devon Cottage p24 North Devon Hawk Walks p51 Taw & Torridge Coach Tours p58 Quince Honey Farm p13 Training RE Consultancy & Training p44 TV Services CBM p40 Clearview TV p41 Vehicle Hire Forent Van Hire p22 Water Services & Septic Tanks GWT Sewage & Waste p29 Windows Darren Smallbone p57 Exmoor Fascias p41 Mitchell & Dickinson p2

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Local contact numbers

Utility Services - emergencies South West Water 0344 346 2020 Western Power 105 or 0800 678 3105 British Gas 0800 111 999 Local Community Services Devon & Cornwall Police 101 (non emergency) 999 (emergency) Citizen’s Advice Bureau 03444 111 444 South Molton Town Council/Tourist Info 01769 572501 South Molton Library 01769 572128 Swimming Pool 01769 572522 Children’s Centre 03300 415 493 Learn Devon 0345 155 1014 Go North Devon including: North Devon Ring & Ride/Shopmobility 01271 328866 Age UK Devon 0333 241 2340 South Molton Volunteer Bureau 01769 573167 The Rotary Club of South Molton 01769 574109

Health Centres & Hospitals South Molton Medical Centre 01769 573101 Chulmleigh 01769 580295 NHS Direct 111 (non emergency) North Devon District Hospital 01271 322577 South Molton Community Hospital 01769 572164 Churches Parish Church - St Mary Magdalene 01769 572079 Catholic Church of St Joseph 01271 343312 Our Lady & St. Benedict Church 07851 187335 Baptist Church 01769 574365 Gospel Hall 01769 572908 Methodist Church 01769 572637 One Way Community Church 01769 572786 Quakers 01271 344203 To minimise the environmental impact of this magazine, Molton Monthly is printed in the West Country using vegetable based inks on uncoated sustainable paper. All content © Molton Monthly

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