Nov 2000
 
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Revd Michael Crow & Mrs Jean Crow
216 Pinhoe Road, Exeter
Devonshire EX4 7HH
Tel: 01392 424804
 
Dear Members of God's Church at St Leonard's,
It is almost impossible to believe that by the time you read this we shall have been in Exeter for more than two months. The fact is of course that although we moved our belongings into 216 Pinhoe Road on 26th August, we have been backwards and forwards to Flamstead so often that we hardly seem to have left at all. Now, however, we are beginning to get settled.
 
The house is small (compared to the vicarage!) but very comfortable and cosy; The City of Exeter has so much to offer; and the surrounding countryside is really beautiful, even in the rain!
 
Susie has settled in with a bang! She came much later than Jean and me but is already into the third week of a three month Prince's Trust Training Course, the second of which was spent on Dartmoor and included absailing, camping out and other such exciting activities. "Its cool man!"
 
We have all settled in at the local Parish Church just up the road. We know it well having visited family here over the past eight years. Michael has Bishop's Permission to Officiate in this Diocese but intends to keep a low profile until we are more securely settled in.
 
Now that we have got our feet under the table, as it were, and are beginning to feel like Devonians, "my luvies", we shall be turning our attention to spending that generous cheque you gave us when we left. We have it in mind to buy a cabinet to fit into a chimney breast recess in the dining room so we need space for the glasses and for the bottles underneath! Our hope is that you will look us up at the above address and help us sink a dram or two. Do make a special point of looking us up - you will be very welcome.
 
With all our love,
 
Michael, Jean & Susie
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Letter from Jeanette Gittins beginning a new life in Somerset
 
In a letter to Jean and George, Jeanette writes that she is still between houses -the alterations to her own house seems to be taking longer than she would like but she is looking forward to moving in permanently. Otherwise she finds life in Somerset fantastic -lovely organic vegetables from a nearby market- fresh fish from Bridgeport, local meat from the butcher and everything so reasonable in price. Everyone around is so relaxed and friendly with plenty of time to chat. A surprisingly large number come from Hertfordshire. Someone from Enfield lives down the lane and also there is someone from Watford who used to work at Boots in St Albans as pharmacist. The Antique dealer in Castle Cary at one time lived in Markyate! At another time on a Pilgrimage walk through Glastonbury the first person she met was Fr. Jeff. and his daughter Jane. The Church she attends seem to be very active and she has already been asked to help with the flowers.
 
The local churches of which there are four in the benefice, are extremely well supported by all denominations, with concerts a Flower Festival and other money raising activities.
 
Her Golden Retrievers Danny and Rosie enjoy the space and freedom to run around enjoying the company of other dogs they meet on their walks. The only hold up, she says is on the lanes when the cattle are being moved from one field to another or going to the milking parlour. A young man comes to do the heavy work in the garden and his girl friend's mother helps with the weeding.
 
Its good to know Jeanette is settling in so well and we wish her the very best during the coming months and years.
 
Fr. George & Jean
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October Remembrances
 
Last month saw the funerals of two well known "members of the village community.
 
The first was for Timothy Gurney Mercer the husband of Elizabeth Mercer and son of Gurney Mercer. Tim died on 3rd September and was cremated at the Vale Crematorium Luton, followed by a funeral of Thanksgiving at St Leonards. Despite his increasing disability he was always pleasant to meet, witty, having a great sense of humour and enormous courage and resourcefulness. His journeying around the world whilst still confined to a wheelchair was an example of his determination to live life to the very fullest, despite difficulties. There was a good congregation with various members of the family and village friends giving tributes for his life.
 
Our condolences go out to Kate, Chris, Margery and the rest of the family.
 
*******************************
 
The second funeral was for Patricia Margaret Berry who died suddenly on October 7th in Hemel Hempstead Hospital. She was the wife of Roger Berry who died just over 5 years ago and was an active member of the Flamstead Allotment & Garden Association. Patricia missed her husband terribly and in recent years spent a good part of our winters visiting her family in Australia, where she planned to settle sometime in the future.
 
The family flew over to make arrangements for the funeral and were pleasantly surprised at the number of friends in the village who attended the service.
 
There was a collection in aid of MacMillan Nurses Fund.
 
May they both rest in peace.
 
Fr. George
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POLICE REPORT
 
Over the last six weeks crime within the village has been very low -only four offences were reported to police. Of these the most serious was a burglary at the Flamstead Sports and Social Club which took place overnight between 19th and 20th October. Unknown persons have forced open a door and smashed open one fruit machine and stolen a second one.
 
On Thursday 7 December in the Village Hall at 8pm there will be a Neighbourhood Watch meeting. I will be present as well as the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, Phil Anslow. This is an important meeting so please attend if you can.
 
Lastly, with the evenings closing in, it is obvious when residents are not at home. Although burglaries are rare (and even rarer in the village), it pays not to be complacent. Please leave lights on when you go out.
 
Pc 808 Chris Owen
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PC Meeting 16th October
 
Environment: The council wants to progress more recycling, and clothing is an obvious addition to the units on the recreation ground. The bins supplied by D.B.C. for plastic bottles, cans and printed paper to Parishioners and collected every two weeks needs to be expanded.
 
There will be a circular to the total parish to get more people to come under this segregation of waste.
 
We did not receive one reply on the idea of getting our own shredder; --so we have got the message!
 
Crime Prevention: There was a positive response on Neighbourhood Watch and a meeting is arranged for Thursday December 7th at 8p.m in the Village Hall to show what is involved, progress and set-up to ensure cover in the village.
 
Communications: Our web site is now available; it is a prototype, thank you David Gibson.
 
The address is:-http://flamsteadpc.members.beeb.net/parish/ Let us know what you want from us, we will be building the site, relaying information and hopefully networking with a variety of other web sites.
 
Millennium:
 
The Moor: We had the Ash trees cleaned up by the Environment Department, and we are trying to eradicate the dreaded weed known as Japanese Knotweed.
 
We are coming to the tree-planting season and will be looking for volunteers. There are three objectives, one, the waste ground behind the garages at the bottom of Parsons Close; second, the area south of Linnins Pond and thirdly verges and greens in the core of the village where we want to put a variety of trees. Trees were the most popular request, when we asked what you wanted for the Millennium.
 
M.W.
 
The next meeting of the Parish Council is on Monday 27th November at 8pm in the Village Hall.
 
These notes are produced for the Church and Village News. Please note that the full, official minutes continue to be available in the Village Hall and both shops after they have been agreed at the following month's PC meetings.
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