As we say goodbye to a very strange and difficult 2020 the Village Hall Sports & Social Club committee feels we should be looking forward to a more positive and safer 2021 and, hopefully, a much better year of village events and get-togethers.

Who could have predicted that within days of our events programme dropping through your letter boxes in March 2020, that we would be thrown into a lockdown which has effectively shut the village hall, and much else, ever since?

Now that a vaccine seems a viable solution in the first quarter of 2021, we know everyone will be keen to get back to their clubs and skittles teams just as soon as they can do so safely.  This may now be more towards second half of the year, sadly.

Welcome to all the people who have moved into the village over the course of 2020, you may not be aware of the many clubs that use the village hall and the ‘‘usual’’ annual events.  Favourite events like our Big Breakfasts, barn dances, curry and quiz nights, the summer fete and the Christmas craft fayre.  No doubt everyone will be keen to get back to their skittles teams and regular clubs. We hope to have an “oven-ready programme’’ of new, and tried and trusted events for you to enjoy as soon as we are able to open safely. It will be wonderful to meet as a community again.

As well as regular club activities the hall is available for private functions including birthday parties, dances, anniversaries and has a fully licensed bar, kitchen and plenty of car parking.  

Alongside our regular seasonal flyer, you receive through your letterboxes, we would like to draw your attention to the Longdown Village website  where you can check out which clubs and events regularly take place at the hall.  This is where you will also find community, church and Parish council news. There is also a Facebook page as well as a growing community on our Facebook group so check out the posts there.

We look forward to welcoming old and new members just as soon as permitted. 

Hopefully see you soon and stay safe and well – Longdown Village hall Sports & Social Club news.

Parish Council Update

Each year a tiny part of your council tax bill, known as a precept, is earmarked for your local Parish Council who exist to represent the concerns of the community and who work to improve matters within it. Over the last 18 months or so, for example, Holcombe Burnell Parish Council, which encompasses Longdown and its surroundings, has used the precept to renovate and repair the playground, including replacing the floor with a super-safe rubber surface, purchased a defibrillator which is now sited at the entrance to the village hall, refurbished the bus shelters, removing the graffiti, bought and installed a litter bin for the lay-by along the “straight” and bought a dog waste bin for the popular footpath beside the village hall. These were all matters brought to the council’s attention by residents. 

The Parish Council also organises and pays for grass-cutting around the common areas, oversees the upkeep of footpaths and arranges for litter picks all of which improves our environment for everyone, especially in these difficult times when many of us are spending so much time at home. The Parish Council is also, at present, working with our District and County Councils, to lower the speeding limit through the parish and to solve the pernicious litter and inconsiderate parking problems.

Most recently we have appointed one of our councillors, Kate Morley, to be our nature warden and Kate is producing regular bulletins on this wonderful environment in which we are lucky enough to live. In order to assist with this important work the Parish Council has purchased a subscription to Parish Online which is a detailed map of our area and which can be used to highlight our footpaths and any special features or other matters which Kate can bring to the attention of the council and residents. Kate’s bulletins can be accessed via our village website, which is assisted by councillor Chloe Bickley, www.longdownvillage.com and is proving to be a popular and useful resource for everyone. Council business is posted on the website as well as displayed on the village notice boards outside the village hall and in the bus shelter opposite The Lamb.

Kate also posts her nature bulletins in the Mount Boon Milk Shed and this month her theme is WINTER- THINK BIRDS, reminding us of the need to provide fresh, clean water and food, and advice on how we can manage our gardens for wildlife. Kate recommends this as the perfect time for planting wildlife-friendly trees such as holly, wild cherry, elder and rowan. There is no shortage of apple trees in our parish which is great as these attract the insects which will feed the birds. We should also leave scruffy areas in our gardens, which, alongside hedges, are crucial habitats. This is the ideal time for cleaning out bird boxes too. 

If you have anything you want to bring to the Parish Council’s attention contact our new Parish Clerk, James Roberts, on clerkhb@yahoo.co.uk. Do also keep up to date with village news on our website and Chloe is always keen to post anything of interest www.longdownvillage.com.