Blue Bell Response

Dear Ray,
In reply to letter from last month from ex customer of The Blue Bell.
There were discussions with several customers re moving the bar as it happens it was a customer’s idea to put the bar where it is now!
Opening hours are clearly marked on the door
All businesses and life have rules. These are in place for many reasons as I have already written about in previous letters for the comfort and safety of everyone
I’m sorry that we feel that you didn’t receive a warm welcome and felt that there was a lump it or like it atmosphere. That has never been an intention of ours, but if you were a customer who didn’t behave in a manner that is acceptable in a public environment is swearing at the top of your voice dropping your trousers taking drugs or generally making a nuisance of yourself to other customers we would perhaps have had a not so friendly attitude towards you!
The changes made are to give more space and comfort to provide food. Which is building on nicely
For when music bands karaoke etc. there is then room to manoeuvre around the pub.
Mish mash we all have different tastes and ideas
We would like to point out there are more things we need to do and replace but we have to make money before they can be done!
If at any time you wish to discuss this further please feel free to pop over and I’m sure we can reassure you of our intentions
Kev and Linda at Bluebell

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,
I would like to say a big Thank You to all those who took part in the Village Treasure Hunt and a special mention to all those who helped put it together.
Janet and Trudy for your help with the questions and The Leamon Family for distributing the leaflets. Thank you to Bonnett’s and The Village Pump for providing the hampers for prizes and thank you to all those who agreed to display the clues that were scattered around the village. Congratulations to Jack Wilshire for getting 89 out of 90 clues and to Pat Sewell for finding all the clues in The Pump and the clues at the Playing Field. It was really nice to receive such positive feedback and for all those who asked if we would do another one, watch this space as you just never know.
Sue Lintern
Stoke Ferry Parish Council

Countryside Notes

One of the drawbacks of an English summer, apart from unpredictable weather, is flies. Apparently there are more than five thousand species in Britain which vary greatly in size. Some are useful, most are not. At least in England we’re not plagued with midges like Scotland or at risk of contracting malaria from mosquitoes although, having said that, it was rife in England’s marshes and fens until the late nineteenth century. A few such as hover flies, which look like small wasps and dart about as well as hovering, are beneficial to plants as pollinators while lacewings feed on aphids, mealy bugs and spider mites. Most flies however cause considerable harm. Perhaps the most familiar are house flies which show no inclination to go back outside once indoors. They are the major carriers of disease being attracted to food and faeces, are annoying when they settle on you and appear to be immune to fly spray (but not a swat!). Bluebottles/blowflies are also horrible but at least they oblige by going out the window when you open it. Fruit or vinegar flies also turn up indoors to aggravate us. In winter cluster flies seek to hibernate in lofts. It is they that appear from nowhere indoors on a sunny winter’s day. Often hibernating with them are minute yellow swarming flies. Outdoors in summer there are black flies which swarm round our heads and sometimes bite and several species which plague livestock. So called horse flies inflict very painful bites to both animals and humans. The males actually feed on nectar and pollen, it’s the females that go for blood – their mouthparts are like miniature knives which they use to slash through skin with a scissor-like motion. Clegs too are painful blood suckers. Greenbottles lay their eggs on a sheep’s dirty wool. This is known as ‘strike’ and the maggots when they hatch out eat their way into the sheep’s flesh. Large warble flies are parasitic with a most unpleasant life cycle. They lay their eggs on the forelegs of cattle and deer. When these hatch the larvae migrate through the body of the animal growing larger all the time and emerge through the skin along the back showing as large bumps from which huge maggots pop out. Thankfully warbles were eradicated from the UK in 1990. Less damaging but probably more stressful are autumn flies which plague cattle and horses by gathering round their heads in large numbers. They breed in animal dung as do khaki coloured dung flies which feed on any insects attracted to cowpats. Another familiar fly is the Crane fly, better known as ‘Daddy Long Legs’, a large, flying, long-legged insect which can sometimes be disturbed in their thousands when walking across grassland in late summer. They themselves do not bite although their larvae, better known as leatherjackets, cause untold damage beneath the ground by eating plant roots. The carrot fly and the frit fly, which can seriously damage cereals, are other major crop pests along with aphids, thrips and greenfly.

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A Spoonful of Sugar

I was going to tell you all about our wonderful holiday – unfortunately I can’t as it was a disaster! The Camper Van broke down on the way to the ferry and we eventfully arrived home on the back of a tow truck at 4.30 in the morning. As it took three garages, three tow trucks and two weeks to find the fault and fix it you could say we were not happy bunnies. The problem? The electrical management system! Whatever that is!
I did however visit Norwich to see Mary Poppins and it was magical, a show well worth seeing. Mary Poppins keeps her young charges in order with fairness, fun and LOVE. She insists that sugar (kindness) is a much better way to treat people than Brimstone and Treacle (nastiness).
After enduring the referendum, the nastiness of finding new leaders (both in and out of power ) the media’s( national and local) obsession with throwing muck, I do wonder if some know what democracy means. The children in the local school have a school parliament and they understand that a majority vote wins the day with the winners and losers returning to the playground without a thought of revenge, spitefulness or a paddy. Why then can’t grown ups?
Mary Poppins and her spoonful of sugar would do well to visit some who backed the In Campaigners who want another vote until they get their own way, some who are in government who stab their fellow ministers in the back and some locals who seem hell bent on bringing our villages down when we all should be doing our best to make where we live clean safe havens of rest. Brimstone and Treacle have no place in our communities.

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