Welcome to Belstone
Welcome to the Community Website for Belstone - a village on the northern edge of Dartmoor in Devon. If you have something to contribute please contact the editors Edwina & Robin Hill editor@belstonevillage.net

Last updated 3-aug-15

Belstone Village Hall


After a long wait, while finer details were being sorted, work has finally begun on Marion Walpole's new tearoom! Work began on Monday 20th July in the Sunday School room, behind the current Methodist Chapel, in the centre of Belstone. Built in the mid 1920s and unused for around half a century, it is now being renovated and will be opened by Marion later in 2015 as ‘The Old School Tearoom’, offering traditional cream teas, cakes and scones. Congratulations Marion and we look forward to visiting the new tearoom!

Click to see Marion's picture page and follow the progress of the renovation and Grand Opening added 28/7/15


Belstone_Village_Fair_2015Never before, in the history of Mankind, have so many gadgets been studied by so many people in order to ascertain the weather forecast! From seaweed hanging in kitchens to the iPad - for days all that could be heard all around Belstone was . . . "rain at 8am . . . Oh no, now it's going to be 10am . . . 2pm . . . 11am . . .." so, on and on it went until - on the day - all changed . . . after an ever-so-slightly dodgy start, we had sunshine and a brilliant time was had by all!
From Pimm's to plants, burgers to bric-a-brac, refreshments to runners and hot dogs to racing dogs - not to mention the books, ice creams, egg throwing, Morris Dancing (courtesy of Dartmoor Border Morris) and children's games (with many thanks to OCRA) - a wonderful time was had by all and was all held together admirably by Harry's brilliant commentary and announcements over the PA system!
Many, many thanks to Mel, Theresa and Julie for all their hard work in organising it and a huge thank you to all who set it up on the day, ran it and cleared it up afterwards! Also a special thanks to those who came along to visit and support us on the day. Great teamwork Belstone!

BELSTONE VILLAGE FAIR - SUNDAY 19th JULYBelstone Village fairNot forgetting, of course, our stalwart car park attendants, Chris and Nick, who managed to organise the parking of 130 cars VERY neatly on the cricket field. AND they managed time to down aBELSTONE VILLAGE FAIR - SUNDAY 19th JULYBelstone Village fair cuppa and piece of cake. Well done on all counts!

Visit the Picture Report page to see photos of the day. If you have any to add, please send them to the editors at the address at the top of this page. (Or to our own email address if you are among the privileged many who know it!) added 21/7/15 STOP
AND NOW WE KNOW - we made £2333 - our second highest ever, after last year! 26/7/15

Belstone Community Archive and the First World War

BelstoneThe highly acclaimed Dartmoor Life in the First World War exhibition at the National Park Visitor Centre in Princetown has been running from March and will continue until 9 September.  So far around 40000 people have visited it and I got the following comments from the visitors book today: excellent displays, We hope our future generations will appreciate; wonderful coverage of local history; history at its best; thank you for a wonderful trip into the past.  I was there setting up the Belstone exhibition A Village Vicar Remembers the War which will be running alongside the main display until 1 August.  It’s open every day, 10am to 5pm, with free admission.

I’ve called it A Village Vicar Remembers the War because it is based around a unexpected treasure we found last year by chance at the back of the church safe.  It was a book that had been unseen for decades, but the moment I opened it and read the first sentence – ‘it has occurred to me that it might be of interest in the future to try to set down in writing some of the things that have happened in Belstone during the past 21 years’ I could see it was a goldmine for a local historian. 
Written in 1927 by Belstone’s vicar Herbert Wilson Milner, it contains vividly written portraits of locals, quirky stories and important historical information.  There were many pages devoted to the impact of the war on the village so it was natural to base the exhibition around Rev Milner’s words, enhanced by photos from theBelstone History Belstone Community Archive. He writes about German spies, a recruiting march to the village where he says ‘one of the speakers got very drunk, the provisions for the tea fell short’, locals hoarding money, the need to continue sports ‘to relieve the strain of life’, makes a surprisingly rude reference to Belgian refugees, and much else.  And he doesn’t neglect the tragedy of the war which saw four men from the parish never return – the display includes some of the poignant postcards sent to one of these men, George Gratton, when he was at the front.

Hope you can find time to visit the exhibition. Chris Walople.

Belstone Community Archives contribution to this exhibition will run at the Princetown Visitor Centre between Monday 20th July and Saturday 1st August. added 14/6/15

Congratulations on a Successful Start to the "Pop up" Darmoor Chapel Crafts!

Dartmoor_Chapel_Crafts_BelstoneOn 11th July The old Chapel iDartmoor_Chapel_Crafts_Belstonen the centre of Belstone, which was used as the village shop and Post Office until 2004, opened its doors as a new venue for crafts on Dartmoor.
It will be open each weekend until 6th September as home to a number of local crafts people, who’ll be using the lovely old building to display and sell their products.
Popular with visitors to Dartmoor, Belstone is also known for its Craft Fair that takes place in the village each November and for its venues during ‘Devon Open Studios’, so seems an ideal place for the ‘pop-up’ studio & shop, which will be open between 11am & 4pm each Saturday & Sunday over the summer months.
There will be a great range of different handmade items available including:Dartmoor_Chapel_Crafts_Belstone
Natural Soaps from Dartmoor Soap Company
Studio pottery by David Gundry
Crochet work by Lou Mogridge
Silver jewellery by Dartmoor Silver
Local photography (cards & prints) by Jen Bryant
Children’s clothes & soft furnishings by Cher Middleton
Dartmoor Artworks by Marielle Ebner-Rijke
Artwork by Ellie Cox

There will also be some hand-crafted items from the markets in the South of France and a range of old-fashioned sweets.
The studio & shop will be staffed by the crafts people involved, who are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Chapel throughout the summer.
It is hoped that Dartmoor Chapel Crafts will prove a popular place to visit, for anyone who is looking for a gift or item that is a bit different and not readily available elsewhere.

A wonderful asset to the village and well worth a visit!
Dartmoor Chapel Crafts is on Facebook and Twitter @belstonecrafts



Over the last few weeks residents & visitors to the picturesque village of Belstone will have seen the old telephone box in the centre of the village transformed into a new home for a defibrillator.
Twelve months ago the Village Hall Committee started the process of fundraising to bring a defibrillator to the village and the telephone box seemed to be a perfect home for it, as BT had offered it to the community for just £1 as part of their ‘Adopt a Kiosk Scheme.
Recently there has been a significant drive to increase the number of defibrillators available in rural locations, where medical treatment is more than 5 minutes away, as following a cardiac arrest the chances of survival drop dramatically after each minute. The national charity ‘Community Heartbeat Trust’ has been established to support communities wanting to install their own equipment.
Belstone is a very active community, hosting many events and is popular with walkers so it was felt that having a defibrillator readily to hand would be a great asset, although of course it is hoped that it will never be needed.
The main fundraising effort came at the Village Fair last July, when all records were broken and over £2,000 was raised towards the costs. Since then, with the support of ‘Community Heartbeat Trust’ the telephone kiosk has been adopted by the Parish Council and over the last few weeks the phone has been removed, the box stripped back, repainted and undergone a complete transformation with paint provided free by the British Coatings Federation, including new gold paint for the crowns on the top of the box..
The defibrillator has now been fitted and is available for anyone to use should it be needed. The lightweight unit, once opened, guides the user with step by step voice instructions through the actions that are needed, identifying if a shock is required and ensuring it can be used effectively in any situation.
Rona Gundry, Chair of Belstone Village Hall Committee said ‘ Of course we hope it is never needed, but having a defibrillator in the village means that should anyone suffer a cardiac arrest we have the equipment available to give them the best possible chance of survival. Thanks to BT’s Adopt a Kiosk Scheme we have been able to retain and make good use of the phone-box for the community and with its new paintwork it looks great and we retain this heritage box for the future
Any community considering whether they may be able to fit their own defibrillator can get support from http://www.communityheartbeat.org.uk/
And www.payphones.bt.com/adopt_a_kiosk/HTML/payphone/index.htm

A rich crop of local and national artists will headline at the 38th Dartmoor Folk Festival, which will be held at South Zeal, near Okehampton, on August 7, 8 and 9.
Artists booked, to date, are Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, Huw Williams and Maartin Allcock, Alistair Anderson, Jeff Warner (USA), The Dovetail Trio, Liam Robinson Dance Band and Kestor Stringband.
Other artists attending include The Dartmoor Pixie Band (Friday and Sunday night), Tony Beard, Entertainingly Different, Dave Wills, various morris and dance teams, plus more to be confirmed.
The festival will include a packed programme of concerts, a ramble on Dartmoor, a ceilidh, folk service, craft displays, dances, a Children's Festival, a Dartmoor Fayre, music hall, pub sessions and music, song and dance workshops.
Competitions include the Dartmoor Broom Dance championships and Dartmoor Stepdance Championships.
It was 38 years ago that the festival was founded by the late Bob Cann, who lived in the parish of South Zeal.  He had the dream of a folk event on his doorstep that would help to revive and preserve the traditions of Dartmoor.
It was the traditional music, dance, song and crafts of the area that formed the basis for the first festival and they still remain for the association which runs the festival today.
Since it was founded it has grown so that it can invite some of the best folk artists around, whilst maintaining its reputation for being a relaxed, friendly and traditional festival.
For further details, visit the website:www.dartmoorfolkfestival.org.uk .
To enquire about booking tickets, telephone 01837 840102

West Devon Borough Council have introduced new dog control orders across the Borough. There are four Orders as follows:

1. DOG FOULING. It will be an offence for a person in charge of a dog who fails to remove any dog fouling. This applies on all land open to the air in the Borough, to which the public have access with or without payment. There is an exception on Forestry Commission land.
2. DOGS ON LEADS. Dogs will be required to be on a lead across the Borough in all car parks, near retail premises and in cemeteries, churchyards and war memorials. Leads will also be required in all fenced, hedged or walled ponds, areas of water or nature reserves, together with all marked sports fields whilst organised sport is in progress . Other locations have been listed on the Schedules by some Town and Parish Councils. On Open Access Land  (Dartmoor) across the Borough, dogs are required to be on short fixed leads (2 metres or less) as required under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, between 1st March and 31st July and at all times near livestock.
3. DOG EXCLUSIONS. Dogs will be banned from fenced, hedged, walled children’s play areas, bowling greens, tennis courts, skateboard/BMX parks and putting greens. Also dogs will be excluded from sporting or recreational facility pitches when sport is in play.  Other locations have been listed on the Schedules by some Town and Parish Council’s.
4. DOGS ON LEADS BY DIRECTION. Any officer authorised by SHDC (including certain external officers) can request a dog owner place their dog on a lead in any open public land, to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any other person. This also applies to prevent the worrying or disturbance of any animal or bird.
Full details of these Orders can be found on the West Devon Borough Council website: http://www.westdevon.gov.uk/dogorde

Results of the Photographic Competition 2014 can be found by clicking here for winners or here for highly commended.

BELSTONE CRAFT FAIR 7th November - Click for this year's exhibitors

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