Events Around the Village
January. Planting started on the new Bye Hill Wood - the National Park's ambitious project to plant 13,000 new trees over 12 hectares.
February. Plans start gathering for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June. A meeting is called, ideas are shared, and a committee is formed.
February also saw the welcome return post pandemic of the communal Coffee Mornings, as well as the Craft Club - both organised by Sue Hayes and in the Village Hall.
A succession of violent storms hit the area, the worse being Storm Eunice which caused many roads to be blocked by fallen trees, such as Ash Lane, just above Brimclose.
Fallen tree on Ash Lane after storm Eunice
March arrived, and it became clear that money was needed to replace the children's swings on the Village Green. A Bingo session in Exford kicked off the fundraising, and then Winsford ran a quiz, the first for a couple of years.
We also waved goodbye to postie Colin, retiring after delivering our mail for 34 years.
Russia invaded Ukraine, and throughout the country people offered assistance through donations of money and goods.
Winsford was no different, being a collection hub for Exmoor Aid for Ukraine , gathering food, medical and other essential supplies which would be sent firstly to Taunton and thence packed in large lorries to be sent to Poland and Ukraine.
In April spring-like weather welcomed the return of the Annual litter pick. Volunteers gave up their time to scour the lanes filling bin bags and maintaining the village.
Covid had been running through the village for a few weeks, leading to the cancellation of the Advent lunch, as well as meetings of the bowls club, and a Moor movie.
Fundraising for the swings appeal continued apace, firstly with a hugely successful Bingo Night in the Village Hall, followed by the return of the Easter Sale. Between them the two events raised just short of £1500.
Easter Sale 2022
April also saw the unveiling of a memorial bench for Ann Le Bas. Lettering on the bench was later enhanced by gold highlighting
In May we had Parish Council elections, the first for many years, and three new councillors were elected.
A successful Plant Sale and coffee morning raised £684.50 to go towards replacement swings on the Village Green.
The cricket team started their 2022 season - their first home match was an exciting win over Churchinford.
June featured the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations stretching from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th.
A very impressive beacon was lit on top of Winsford Hill, courtesy of the Thomas-Everard family.
Volunteers bathed the village with bunting and other decorations in preparation for the main events on the Sunday.
The Sunday started off with St Mary Magdalene's bells ringing, and a village quintet of flute, clarinet, violin, cornet and saxophone delighted the early comers to the church Celebratory service.
Down by the green a magnificent collection of vintage cars and motor bikes surrounded the war memorial. The green itself was a wonderful collection of marquees and gazebos containing an impressive array of cakes and photographs from down the years, and of course the maypole.
Over 100 residents filled the marquees with a bright assortment of lunches, and had a thoroughly good time, dancing to the band, and around the maypole.
The day finished off with two very exciting races each involving 200 ducks navigating their way down the Winn Brook.
There was an Interhunt cricket tournament run in memory of Timmy Gill. Teams from Winsford and three hunts competed throughout the day, with a beer tent, burger tent, bucking bronco and bouncy castle making it a great day out for many families
The worst kept secret in Winsford came to fruition in July as Jayne Davis, owner of Thorne Cottage, took over stewardship of the Royal Oak, Winsford.
Opening night was nice and busy with several villagers making their first visit to the Royal Oak for many years.
High drama occurred in the village as guests at the Royal Oak noticed smoke pouring out of Dowry Cottage. A group of locals and some of the celebrating cricket team went to investigate, and the fire service was called.
Three engines took up position in Ash Lane and the fire was successfully put out.
Mike and Sue Hayes raised over £800 for the swings appeal by hosting a Pimms and Strawberry Cream Tea, with hat stall, in the grounds of their home, which was enjoyed by many in the summer sun.
July ended with major electric upgrades around the village, causing power cuts for several days
August saw a (very) brief fly past by the Red Arrows as they made their way north from Exeter
Blink and you'll have missed them.
This year's Fete and Flower & Produce Show, the first for three years, was held in glorious sunshine in marked contrast to the rain of recent events. The heat proved too much for several competitors at the dog show, and the odd chocolate cake, but it did sales at the Pimms tent and Ice Cream stall no harm at all.
The flower and produce show produced some wonderful entries. The following were the Cup winners :
Flowers - Liz Hillier.
Decorative Flowers - Sarah Cox.
Kitchen Garden (Ted Hedges Cup) - Mike Hayes.
Domestic - Carol Vellacott.
Men's Domestic (cake) - Steve Pickard.
Hobbies and Handicrafts (adults) - Abi Farmer.
Photography (adults) - Sami Jones
Photography (junior) - Zara Westcott.
There were 140 entries across the categories.
Many congratulations and thank you's are due to Sue Hayes and her dedicated band of helpers.
There was a very enjoyable weekend of Skittles and Duck Races around the Village Green. The skittles was of a high standard and the ducks enjoyed some leisurely swims, meandering down the slow flowing Brook, with stragglers being helped along. With the Royal Oak and Bridge Cottage Tearooms both open, a jolly time was had by all.
The end of August sadly brought the closing of the Winsford Garage, with the retirement of Nigel and Bryany Neal who had run it for 36 years. A large gathering and presentation was arranged for them in the Royal Oak
There was a very informative and well supported tour of Exe Vale house by the Spiers family who bought it from the estate of Ann Le Bas. They have put in a lot of effort to maintain the feel of the old house which was fascinating to see.
There was also a display of old photographs from the Village Archive compiled by Mel Mileham, and home made cakes were of course served with tea.
The studio of Ann Le Bas was transformed to a tearoom for the event.
Recreation Association chair Frazer Lawrence, in his role as Colonel of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, formed part of of the late Queen Elizabeth II's funeral procession.
Frazer, can be seen top left here at Wellington Arch, where coffin was transferred to its hearse.
As summer slowly turned to Autumn, in September we were given a rare opportunity at St Mary's belltower to watch the bellringers gave a demonstration of their craft. Some brave novices were even allowed to have a go.