Whisky Galore for our Film Night, 2nd February

The next Film night will be on the 2nd February when we will be showing the film Whisky Galore. This is a British film, a remake of the 1949 Ealing Comedy of the same name.

Admission is £5 (including coffee and biscuits) and the films starts at 7.15 pm, all welcome.

The film is a celebration of canny Scots outwitting humourless (and partly English) officialdom: a ship runs aground on a fictional Hebridean island during the second world war and the locals do their best to liberate some of the thousands of whisky bottles in its cargo. Cue cat-and-mouse shenanigans as the home guard try to reinforce wartime discipline and prevent imbibement above and beyond the quota level.

Christmas Carol Services in our parish

Here are the Christmas Carol Services in our parish:

3 pm on Sunday 16th December. Everyone welcome – tea/coffee and mince pies will be served after the service.

Bridge Sollars:
9.30 am on Sunday 23rd December

Byford and Mansell Gamage:
6 pm on Sunday December 9th (St John the Baptist church) followed by light refreshments at Byford Court by kind invitation of Marlow and Rachel. Everyone welcome.

6 pm on Sunday 23rd December. We welcome all to join us for mulled wine and mince pies in the church after our service.

The Christmas Eve Holy Communion Service is at Bishopstone at 10 pm.

Local History Evening – Thursday 29th November 2018

At our next meeting we welcome Steve Edwards who will tell the story of Rowland Vaughan of Newcourt, his pioneering water meadows and complicated private life.

The illustrated talk takes place at the New Bridge Community Centre on Thursday November 29th at 7.30pm, admission £2 to include coffee and biscuits. Everyone welcome.

Rowland Vaughan (1559–1629) was an English Manoral Lord who is credited with the introduction of a new irrigation system that greatly improved the grass and hay production of meadows through a system of periodic “drownings”.  It was one of the many new methods introduced during the British Agricultural Revolution that increased crop yields and allowed for the development of large cities.

Film Night, 1st December – The Greatest Showman

Our final film for 2018 is The Greatest Showman, a musical film starring Hugh Jackman which celebrates the birth of show business through the story of PT Barnum and his famous circus. He was a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The film stars Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron.  Admission is £5 (including coffee and biscuits) and the films starts at 7.15 pm, allwelcome.

Let’s rescue the Black Poplar from extinction

Could you find a home for a black poplar tree (or 2 or 3)?

According to the Forestry Commission the black poplar is the most endangered native timber tree in Britain. It has suffered severe declines and it is estimated that only 8,000 now exist in the UK, with only 400 being female. Many of our native black poplars are getting old and without a concerted effort to protect existing trees, to plant saplings and to restore habitats to enable natural reproduction, black poplars could soon become extinct in the UK.

We have been offered some black poplar truncheons for our parish. These truncheons are basically large cuttings approximately 2m long with the bottom third going in the ground. These truncheons are taken from trees which have been identified as on the Herefordshire list of true Native Black Poplars. (Ideally cuttings should be taken from local trees to preserve any local genetics.)

They grow best in boggy conditions, alongside ditches or on floodplains – an old name for this species is ‘Water Poplar’. A wet place with a good depth of soil is ideal; a dry place will likely result in a failed tree. They are not a woodland species and will not tolerate shade or being overgrown by other trees. Initially they also need to be in an area fenced off from livestock

Historically black poplar played a significant role in local communities and the wood was often used commercially as the tree is fast growing and has many desirable properties.

It can be coppiced or pollarded to provide a crop of wood for bean sticks, thatching spars, scaffolding poles and fruit baskets. Young shoots (which do not split easily) were used in Victorian times as clothes pegs. The wood is relatively fire resistant and was often used for flooring when paraffin lamps were still in use. It is naturally springy and was used to make cart wheels, wagon bottoms and clogs. The branches of mature trees grow in a natural curve such that the timber could be used to make the arched supports of timber framed buildings.

Later, it was discovered that the wood absorbed paraffin so it was used to make matches.  The Black poplar tree is famously depicted in John Constable’s painting ‘The Hay Wain’.

The tree is also valuable for wildlife and has over 100 specialist insects associated with it. Moth species include the hornet moth, wood leopard moth and poplar hawk moth. The catkins provide an early source of pollen and nectar for bees and the seeds are enjoyed by finches. The rare migrant butterflies the large tortoiseshell and the Camberwell beauty rely upon poplar and elm species for their food plants. A decline in both of these tree species has resulted in these butterflies becoming extinct in the UK.

If you think you have a place for one or more black poplars please let me know.  The truncheons are free and we will help you to plant them or plant them for you. There is no obligation to do anything more.

Cllr Lewis Goldwater, Bishopstone Group Tree Warden

Byford Bazaar, 24th November 10am – 2pm

Byford is holding a bazaar on Saturday 24th November 2018 10:00am – 2:00pm at the Bridge Sollars Community Centre in St Andrew’s Church.

Stalls to include:

  • Collectables: China, Glass, Pictures etc.
  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Produce & Cakes & Delicious Xmas Goodies
  • Other Household Items

Refreshments will be available and donations go to St John The Baptist Church, Byford

Come and learn to identify Winter Trees, 1st December

As part of National Tree Week, Lewis Goldwater who is Tree Warden for the Bishopstone Group parish will be running an all day session on “Winter Tree Identification”.  This is being held at New Bridge Community Centre on Saturday 1st December 2018.

Starting at 10am and running until 4pm, there’ll be an introduction to the techniques and skills required for identifying tree species (winter conifers and broadleaved). The indoor class in the morning is followed by an afternoon field visit presented by Lewis Goldwater of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust.

£5 for non-Tree Wardens.  Places will be limited so please contact info@htreewardens.org.uk or 07777 661252 to book a place or for more info.

Bring your own packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided through the day.

Curry and Games Night, 5th October

Join us for a CURRY AND GAMES NIGHT at the Bridge Sollars Community Centre at 7.30pm on Friday October 5th.  Tickets are £7-50 in aid of Bishopstone church – for further information or tickets contact Hazel tel. 01981 590627.

Reminder: The autumn programme of the LOCAL HISTORY EVENING starts on Thursday September 27th with “Opening the Parish Chest” as Richard Wade from Hereford Archive and Research Centre tells us about the many different kinds of documents found in our parish churches and what they reveal about life in our villages over the centuries.

The illustrated talk is at the New Bridge Community Centre at 7.30pm, admission £2 to include coffee and biscuits. Everyone welcome.

Film nights – 6th October, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Film Nights at Bridge Sollars Community Centre returns this Autumn with the following films:

  • 6th October :- The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
  • 3rd November :- Finding your Feet
  • 1st December:- The Greatest Showman

Doors open at 7.00pm and film starts 7.15pm. £5 to include draw and light refreshments. We look forward to seeing you then.