Toggle menu

Marland Messenger - Summer 2022




Spring finally arrived and it didn't let us down with its wonderful show of flowers and wildlife, and now we move on into summer. The weeks seem to have flown by and I'm sure our hardworking farmers will agree with that, as they have continued to work flat out in the fields and barns around us. What would we do without them? I wonder how their fellow farmers in the Ukraine must be feeling this year, will they ever return to the land that they love and tend.

The monthly service at the church has now returned to the main church building. It has also had some extra use due to Petrockstowe bell ringers needing a tower to use temporarily for practice sessions. It was good that we were able to help, and it is wonderful to hear the Marland bells ringing out. There have also been some family occasions, sadly some funerals, but also happier gatherings, for a wedding and baptisms to come very soon.

The Platinum Jubilee celebrations went ahead without a hitch, so good to have a community gathering, to meet up and enjoy the company of friends old and new. The food was fabulous and the lighting of the beacon was very impressive. (What a shame we weren't able to be part of it, but the wedding of our daughter in Greece had to come first, but we did raise a glass in honour of Her Majesty.)

Someone who would have thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations was our dear friend Reverend Susannah Metz. It was with great sadness that we learned that she had passed away, although we all knew that her life was rapidly shortening. She was such a great character the like we probably will not meet again. I'm sure heaven is a very lively place now she has arrived. Love and blessings Susannah.

Best wishes

Sue Beasley

For information on Church matters contact Chris Ley on 01805 601264 or email


Parish Council Meetings

Parish council meetings are now being held in the village hall. For more information, please contact the Parish Clerk Selina Woollacott at or phone 01409 281280.

The Parish Council

Following the annual meeting, the Council members remain unchanged:

Chair Becky Mills 01805 601965

Jim Mann 01805 601579

Vice-Chair John Eaton 07719 444963

Robert Beasley 01805 601952

Trish Ward 01805 601245

Ben Kirk 01805 601725

Mike Lamprey 01805 601331

Parish Clerk Selina Woollacott 01409 281280


The Quest For Fibre Broadband

There has been some activity with our Openreach Community Fibre Broadband application since the last report in March.

The Parish Council have received and signed a contract with Openreach to proceed with the application.  However, we received a report to say there were issues with the Gigabit vouchers for some of the properties, and that we were just short of funding cover for the costs of the Openreach work.
I had also reported to them that one property had not received their Gigabit voucher, which was also not helping with the overall voucher cover.

After some difficulties in communicating with Jamie the new Openreach contact, I managed to speak with Michelle the previous contact and she helped to re-request the outstanding vouchers. Since then all of the vouchers have been validated and accepted, so we now have sufficient cover for the work to proceed.

The parish council clerk may need to sign an updated contract as the next step. Then hopefully I will hear soon that the work has been scheduled. I understand this will take place within 12 months but probably a fair bit sooner than that.

I will provide further updates as and when I hear from Openreach.

Councillor Rob Beasley

Second defibrillator

It is planned to install another defibrillator in the parish, to be sited outside of Yarde Orchard. Vince and Michelle have very kindly offered the use of the café's supply to power the defibrillator.

Calls to the emergency services

In the event of an emergency, in some circumstances it may be useful to provide the emergency services with your grid reference. The parish website has six-figure grid references for each property in the parish: Parish Map and Property Grid References - Peters Marland Parish Council. There is also a copy of this on the notice board in the village hall.

Alternatively, you could use the what3words app, which is available from the Google Play Store or Apple Store. If using this, please be aware that when you give your three words you speak them clearly, as a misheard word will result in a completely different location being used by the emergency services.


Dear Parishioners

We are gradually getting back to 'normal' after our Covid outbreaks earlier this year, we still have a small number of cases across our three school sites but now minimal.  I hope that the local community are seeing a similar reduction and that things are generally on the up!

Peters Marland School Employees

In late February we welcomed village resident Chloe Pyatt to our Teaching Assistant team.  Shortly afterwards at the end of April we then said goodbye to our longstanding Residential Night Waking Assistant Darren Reece who left after 14+ years of valued service.  We wish Darren all the very best in his new ventures!  Chloe passed on a good word for us, and we then welcomed her partner Callum Catling who has joined us to take over Darren's old role.

We still have a few vacancies if any other suitably qualified and/or experienced parishioners are interested. These posts (student facing as well as other admin and support roles) will be challenging but equally rewarding opportunities for suitable applicants. These are / will be advertised in Devon Jobs  as well as on our school website at  

As stated previously, there are no plans to expand student numbers further on our Peters Marland site.

Governor opportunities

We have just recruited an experienced Local Authority Manager to join our Governing body this month and are looking forward to adding his expertise to that of our existing highly experienced team.  We now only have two Governor vacancies left if any of you are interested and feel that you could add value to this great group of volunteers?  If you are potentially interested, understanding of and sympathetic with our students' special needs, why not contact me at the school (01805 601324) for a no commitment, informal chat.

Ten Tors Jubilee Challenge Plus NEW category

We did it!!  Whilst our Barnstaple School team had to drop out at the last minute, a team of 4 students from our Peters Marland site successfully completed this inaugural 2-day challenge.  Not only did our students complete it, but the Army organisers were so impressed with our boys, the staff who accompanied them and the high standard of their overall organisation, that we have been formally congratulated and asked to act as mentors and points of contact for other schools entering next year.  They have also based the evolving rules and parameters for next year's second trial phase on how we set up, trained and organised our team this year.  Congratulations have been shared with all involved and suffice it to say, we are extremely proud of these boys (and their staff)!

Parents' Open Day

On the last day of the May half term, we held our annual 'Parents Open Day' at our Peters Marland site.  Yet again we were lucky with the weather, we had a strong parental turnout, and we believe that this was one of the most successful such events that we have had.  A very positive mix of formal learning progress feedback to parents, combined with the opportunity to informally engage with and discuss social and emotional development whilst having a fun time.  All in all, a very positive and worthwhile day.


As I write this report we are 2/3 of the way through our annual Year 10 & Year 11 exams, and students have generally engaged very well.  We have everything crossed that this will reflect equally positively in the results when they are published in August.

Year 11 Student Leavers

Our older students leave statutory education (and us) on the last Friday in June each academic year.  Some will return home after their final exams next week, whilst others will stay on for a further week to complete the last part of their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award.  All have positive destinations (most on post 16 Further Education College courses) and we wish them the very best for this next stage transitioning to successful, productive and happy adulthood!

Kind regards, Keith Bennett Executive Principal


OurApril event was a well-attended and lively Charity Quiz Night with wine and cheese in the Moore-Stevens Hall and was enjoyed by all the participants. Congratulations to the winning team of Chris Vooght, Jo and Paul from Thorne and friend Karen.

In May we trooped off to a large field in Little Torrington on a chilly afternoon for a demonstration of archery by Peter and Jen Hood. There was the opportunity for people to participate in loosing off a few arrows. This was followed by a meal at the Bull and Dragon in Meeth.

On 2nd June the group hosted a bring and share supper in the Moore-Stevens Hall followed by the lighting of the beacon. Many thanks to all those who participated and brought food, and to the members for the beautiful posies that decorated the tables.

A bring and share supper and BBQ was held at Yarde on Sunday 5th June and so celebrations to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee were held across the parish.


Tuesday July 5th Round Robin Cruise from Exmouth, Departure time: 9.45 am from Exmouth Marina.  

Duration: Approximately 1 hour Cruise, 20min train trip and leisure time. Departure point: Exmouth Marina (EX8 1FE), paid parking is available nearby. Includes Train Ticket from Topsham to Exmouth.

Price: £8.50 per person if we have 15 or more passengers. £11.50 if under 15. All social group members will receive a £5.00 credit towards the ticket price. Enquiries: Anne Pittman 601892 Tickets must be reserved and paid for by June 27th.

SUNDAY September 4th Car Scavenger Hunt followed by a BBQ at Coombe Farm.

Visitors are welcome to any of the Social Group events. More details will be put on the Peters Marland Community Page Facebook group, or contact Trish (01805 601245)


We have been helping people in our community in one form or another since 1940. We give free, impartial, independent and confidential advice to anyone who needs help resolving their problems. As part of the National Citizens Advice we have a firmly established reputation and as such, through our work with Research & Campaigns, our voice is heard and we have the ability to influence government at both a national and local level.

The last two years have been particularly challenging for us along with just about everyone else but we still helped 13,343 clients with 32,269 issues generating an astonishing income gain of £8,129,673 back into our local economy in the financial year 2021-2022.

We are a charity and we rely on volunteers to help us achieve our aims. We give full training and ongoing support and we are a friendly team! If you would like to learn more about volunteering with us, email  we will be very pleased to hear from you.

Meanwhile, if you or someone you know needs advice and help, you can either ring our free, local AdviceLine on 0808 27 87 999 or visit our website  and click on 'get help' for advice and webchat.


DEFIBRILLATORThis is located on the outside of the village hall near the main entrance door. Follow the instructions on the cabinet.

At 2.30 - 4pm on Thursday 14th July The Village Hall will be open for our MONTHLY GET-TOGETHER Please join us for tea / coffee - cakes and chat - book, puzzle and games exchange. All are welcome, just drop in. Donations for the hall restoration fund welcome

For further information please see the Peters Marland Community Page on Facebook or phone Helen 01805 601331 or Marilyn 01805 601552

Hall Hire Rates

Moore-Stevens Hall rates have increased for 2022. They are now £7.50 per hour inclusive of electricity and use of kitchen. The minimum charge is one full hour.

For further information regarding the hall, please contact Anne Pittman (01805 601892) or Mike Lamprey (01805 601331).


Due to the closure of Petrockstowe Church for safety reasons, David French has been using our bell tower as a venue for training novice ringers every three weeks on a Wednesday. He is very dedicated to this cause and is even coaching some quite young ringers. Times are 6:30pm - 8:30pm.

Local more experienced ringers were able to ring for the marriage of Jon and Lyndsey Aston on a beautiful sunny day in May.

On Saturday 18th June there is a visit by a group of ringers from Hertfordshire wanting to ring the bells at 14:20. This was originally planned for 2020 - glad they still want to come!

In the meantime, if you have any enquiries about ringing, please contact the Tower Captain Graham Ward on 01805 601245.


There will be an AGM in August to decide on plans for the winter season. I believe teams are keen to play in the league which usually starts in October, more details in the next Messenger.


The mobile library will stop outside the church between 10:05and10:40 am on the following Thursdays:

July 7th, August 4th, September 1st and 29th.

Library opening times may vary so please do check with your local library before you make your journey. More information can be obtained here: home - Devon ( or phone 01805 622107.


This stops outside the Devils Stone Inn, Shebbear on the days and times shown below and it offers a wide range of services.

Monday 9am - 11:20am; Tuesday to Friday 9:10am - 11:20am.

Opening times can change at short notice. Find out more by following this link:

Local businesses Local businesses Local businesses Local businesses Local businesses


Red Ruby beef available. If you are interested we can send you a price list, or just give a call.

Ring Graham and Trish Ward on 01805 601245 or email  for details.


The cafe will be open from 10am till 4pm (closed Mondays & Tuesdays but open Bank Holiday Mondays) for coffee, cake, lunches, ice cream, afternoon teas, and a fully licensed bar stocked with Sam's Cider.

Sunday BBQ & Friday Pop-Up Pizza Evenings will be advertised on the Yarde Orchard Café on the Tarka Trail Facebook Page and the Yarde Orchard website.

The bunkhouse B&B/self-catering accommodation is available throughout the year:

For further information please visit: or Facebook Yarde Orchard Cafe on the Tarka Trail for a menu.


Arwen at Santosha Healing Space, provides a range of in person and online Yoga classes. This includes Yoga Workout on Wednesdays 7-8pm and Gentle Hatha on Thursdays 2-3pm at Baxter Hall, Petrockstowe. She also provides holistic therapies such as relaxing massage, reiki and crystal therapy. For more information, see


Open Tuesday-Sunday for lessons for all levels and abilities. Children's and adults' groups and private sessions available.

Weekly term-time activities include: Tiny Tots village walk every Thursday Morning / Children's Saturday Club / Adults riding, coffee and cake Wednesday mornings.

Find us on Facebook or call 07950 733628


Car washing, dog walking, garden tidy-ups, lawn mowing (with your mower), or any little jobs.

Local teenager very keen to earn some pocket money in the summer holiday. Sensible, negotiable rates.

Call or text Herbie at Longstone 01805 601868 / 07376 676475

Local businesses Local businesses Local businesses Local businesses Local businesses


The following has been kindly sent in by Trish Ward and is fromThe Devon Village Book, written by members of the Devon Federation of Women's Institutes, published by Countryside Books (date unknown).

This parish is fairly rural, being five and a half miles from the nearest town of Torrington and about 18 miles south of Barnstaple. The population has dropped in the last 200 years -from 289 in 1801 to about 200 today. The majority of the land is farmed by about twelve farmers. The main road from Torrington to Plymouth used to run through the parish in the days of coaches and horses.

The parish consists of three hamlets, apart from Peters Marland itself. They are Yarde, Winswell and Woollaton. The village of Peters Marland contains the church of St Peter (rebuilt in the 1860s), the rectory (now a boys school), the old school and school house. Apart from one other old house the remainder of the dwellings (six) are modem.

Apart from the parish church, the other place of worship is Methodist chapel, originally the Bible Christian chapel built in 1870 and about one and a half miles outside the village. A smithy was once attached to this chapel.

There used to be two inns in the parish, one, the New Inn, burned down and the second, the Sheepwash Inn, was on the old main road to Plymouth but is now a cottage.

On the church lands there used to be four cottages for occupancy by paupers. They were given £5 per year and received bread at Christmas.

Twigbeare (now the post office), Week (now a farm), Winscott and Winswell were all pre-Norman Conquest estates. Stone was also small manor.

The clay works (owned by North Devon Clay Company) have been in existence for over 300 years and they are the only industry in the parish, apart from agriculture. Following much capital investment, the operation has changed from being very labour-intensive mining to highly mechanised open-cast and only 45 people are now employed. The ball clay goes to make a wide variety of products, e.g. face powder, toothpaste, drain pipes, toilets, and bone china.

The hamlet of Yarde largely consists of a row of cottages which originally belonged to the clay works and which housed some of the workers who used to travel by train to work. The train stopped at Yarde station on the Torrington to Halwill line, now sadly pulled up, and was known as the North Devon Joint Light Railway.

Winswell mainly consists of a small group of cottages which belonged to the Winscott estate and the Moore-Stevens family. Various tradesmen on the estate lived there, e.g. the blacksmith, carpenter, etc` A house had stood at Winscott for many centuries but was replaced in 1865 by a new one. After the death of Colonel Moore-Stevens in 1932 Winscott was sold and it gradually fell into decay and was eventually demolished in the late 1930s. All that remains are the lodge and entrance gates.

Woollaton has some very attractive thatched cottages, one of which used to be a smithy. Other tradesmen also lived in this hamlet, e.g. cobbler, cooper, rough carpenter, bag maker and butcher.

It seems now that, in common with many rural parishes, apart from the farming community most people travel outside to work. It is sad that the village school closed in 1949 and the two inns have gone. The school, which was built by Colonel Moore-Stevens in 1872 is now used as the village hall.

Did you know there arePeters Marland Community Pageand Yarde Folks Facebook pages? These can be useful for sharing information for the community.


Do you have a local event to publicise, or an anecdote or tale connected with the parish? Or maybe you would like to write a piece about a subject in which you have an interest and which may be of interest to others? If so, please email Karen:

Copy deadline is Friday 9th September 2022.

Many thanks to Marland School for printing the Marland Messenger.



Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email