Author Archives: SAS

SHARE Update May 2022


South Hill Jubilee Orchard

On April 24th, volunteers were invited to help plant a sapling hedge alongside the new parish Orchard.  Altogether, 15 people turned up to help for varying amounts of time, and we were able to plant more than 420 trees in just over 4 hours.  Species included Rowan, Elder, Dog Rose, Crab Apple, Blackthorn and Hazel.  Refreshments were provided and, after a damp start, the weather was kind to us.

On April 24th, volunteers were invited to help plant a sapling hedge alongside the new parish Orchard. Altogether, 15 people turned up to help for varying amounts of time, and we were able to plant more than 420 trees in just over 4 hours. Species included Rowan, Elder, Dog Rose, Crab Apple, Blackthorn and Hazel. Refreshments were provided and, after a damp start, the weather was kind to us.

The new hedgerow will form a boundary between the Jubilee Orchard and the new allotments, and a wildlife corridor along the internal boundary of the orchard.

A Grand Opening is planned at the Orchard on June 3rd as part of the South Hill Parish Jubilee Celebrations, with information for the public and entertainments for young and not so young.

Energy Crisis

Recent events have thrown into sharp relief the reasons why SHARE was formed by a group of concerned residents 7 years ago.  Our mission statement, “Powering renewable energy into a secure and sustainable future for all”, set us on a path which saw the installation of 40kW of solar PV panels at Church Park, South Hill.  To date this has generated 22.6MWh, saving 4.81tonnes of CO2 equivalent.  Unfortunately the abolition of the Feed-in Tariff made further similar installations financially unviable.  However, we have high hopes that in the near future it will be possible to have local energy networks, in which power generated locally can benefit local households directly through cheaper tariffs.  Totnes Renewable Energy Society (Tresoc) are on track to deliver this in Totnes, and we are watching with interest.

Meanwhile, what can we as individuals do to reduce our energy usage (to save both money and CO2 emissions)?  A recent post by Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert outlined ‘90 Ways to Survive The Cost of Living Crisis’, which includes many hints and tips for energy saving.  The Consumers Association website, which.co.uk is also a good source of advice e.g. ‘Ease the squeeze: how to save on your energy bills’

The Hydro-power struggle

More recently, regulars will have read about our attempts to measure the generating potential of a small river in the parish.  It seems we’re not the only ones to have our hopes dashed by the regulations and fees imposed by the Environment Agency.  Tresoc have recently had to abandon their hopes for a hydro scheme on the River Dart, a much more promising project than ours, at a location which had historically generated electricity for the Dartington Estate in the 1930s.  You can read about it here…  

To quote Rupert Armstrong Evans of Evans Engineering (Water and Power engineers since 1810), “Decades of environmental legislation designed to protect rivers have inadvertently caught small domestic scale waterpower and watermills in their web and will kill them off in a few years if nothing changes.”  Rupert’s home, Trecarrell Mill, a working mill for around 500 years, was one of the first to feed ‘green electricity’ into the National Grid.  Rupert was upgrading it to produce enough electricity for around 30 homes when the EA imposed new conditions that rendered the project unviable.  Trecarrell is only one of many historic water mills across the UK with the potential to become sources of renewable energy.

Congratulations from SHARE to South Hill Connection 


100 editions of the newsletter – what an achievement! SHARE is proud to be a regular contributor to the Connection since our early days in 2015.  We registered as a Community Benefit Society that year, and together with the Parish Council, installed our first solar PV array on the Parish Hall roof.  This continues to supply power for the Hall and will do so for years to come.

Kit Hillbillies Rock Calstock


On Friday March 4th 2022, the amazing Kit Hillbillies played at Calstock Arts, at the Old Chapel, Calstock.

A great time was had by all, and a generous collection for the UK Red Cross Ukraine appeal raised £1500.


How to describe the Kit Hillbillies?

Old-timey, good-timey bluegrass!
With rousing vocal harmonies that smuggle in occasional quirky local references.

Instrumental tasting notes: Banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar. Irresistibly tappy on the toes, with a crisp percussive finish.

Think Betty Stogs, rather than Harvey’s Bristol Cream!

In their words: “We throw in some original bluesy songs with many a knowing nod to the backwoods and badlands of Devon & Cornwall. These *usually* avoid causing offence (happily people don’t always listen to the words!). We always do some 20thC classics by the likes of Johnny Cash & Steve Earle. And like Hayseed Dixie we throw in songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Clash and even Radiohead – all delivered in good-time string band style. In short, it’s the makings of a rousing, stomping night of tunes.”

Pooh Sticks!


SHARE Hydro Feasibility Update, March 2022

Regular readers will remember earlier articles describing our initial investigations into the potential of water turbines. For the benefit of newer readers, those investigations involved installing a measurement weir structure, however this unfortunately came to a premature end when the Environment Agency took an active interest. Temporary measurement weirs are permitted, however in this instance the EA considered that expensive licences would be needed, and that special provisions would have to be put in place to enable eels and migrating fish to move upstream unhindered.  To our knowledge, eels and migrating fish haven’t been seen in this tributary of the Lynher in living memory, however the possibility that Samantha Salmon might take a wrong turn and find her path obstructed was enough to keep the good folk at the EA awake at night. Also, the required licences were unaffordable, and so the measurement weir had to go. Continue reading

A Newsletter produced by and for the Parish of South Hill


Latest Newsletter!

Read all about it!

Newsletter number 100, May 2022

In this 100th edition of the South Hill Connection:

  • 100 editions, 15 years – a trip down the Connection memory lane
  • In-depth articles from advertisers and users of the Parish Hall
  • Photos from the Connection Easter Egg Trail
  • Parish celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
  • Parish Hall news and AGM details
  • Horticultural Show – early details
  • Volunteers needed for Community Speedwatch
  • Latest from the St Sampson’s, SHARE, Recycling for Charity & Parish Council

And much more…

Next Edition will be a Jubilee Special.  If you’d like to make a contribution, please email editor@south-hill.co.uk or call THE NEWS DESK. Ali 07305 044049 or Areina 07788 300025.

Please email editor@south-hill.co.uk or call THE NEWS DESK. Ali 07305 044049 or Areina 07788 300025

Newsletter full version – click here…  and Condensed version here (with no adverts and fewer pictures, for slow internet connections!)

Please tell us what you think of it by contacting editor@south-hill.co.uk

Archived newsletters (all of them!)
can be found in our public Google Drive folder – here…

Some news articles are also posted here as a blog on our News page. The latest will always be at the top. If you want to search for news articles you can do so using the Search box on the right, or by selecting a News Category from the drop-down list.

Business advertisers can be found on our Local Business pageSave

SHARE – Spotlight on Recycling


Thank you

First of all, we’d like to thank our Cornwall Councillor Sharon Daw for a recent grant from her “Community Chest” fund.  We’re having hi-visibility vests made, with our logo on the back, for volunteers.  This will help reduce any risk to our regular volunteers collecting recycling (see below) in various locations; also planting trees, and helping with the firewood project.

SHARE Recycling for Charity project

The project continues to grow, thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers that help monitor collection bins, pick up, sort into boxes and send the vast amount of items to Terracycle every month. By saving these otherwise hard to recycle items from being incinerated, we are generating funds for charities.

Continue reading

Tom Brewer


Tom was married to his beloved wife Ann for 58 years. Ann was the niece of boxer Len Harvey, a national sporting idol. Their son Andrew lives in Tavistock and daughter Elaine still lives locally in Golberdon.

Tom is pictured below assisting Ley Daniel (South Hill Parish Chairman), Fern Friend and Les Hambley, Tom Brewer and one other, with the construction of The South Hill Parish Hall, which was established by an Order of the Secretary of State in 1965.

Fund raising from people of modest means via Whist and Beetle Drives meant that construction took a long time, as shown by the ivy growing on the structure.  Prior to and during this time Parish matters were discussed in the Sunday School of The Chapel in Golberdon. Tom’s unbroken service on The South Hill Parish Council exceeds 50 years and whilst he remembers Golberdon being a very tidy and clean place, with well-kept gardens, hedges and verges in his youth, he accepts that growth and infill of property amongst the original properties was a necessity.

Tom’s unwavering commitment to others is demonstrable in many ways. He gave up smoking his beloved pipe on the spot 16 years ago, when his son asked him not to blow smoke in his grandsons’ face. Years earlier he was part of the fund-raising efforts for the bereaved families of the Aberfan disaster and remembers The White Aces band came all the way from St. Austell to play. In recent years Tom has served by checking the Parish Hall children’s play area every day since its installation. He championed the alteration of the parks metal safety barrier onto the road, so that children leaving the park faced the oncoming traffic rather than away from it. The wildflower area, soon to be installed by The Parish Council was Toms’ idea, as was the bench within it that will benefit from a magnificent view of Caradon Hill.

Renowned and respected for his patience and compassion for both the animals he dispatched and for their often distraught owners, Tom travelled over 1000 miles a week working as a slaughterman. He recalls his first horse to dispatch was a large dray at Courage brewery, so tall in fact that Tom had to climb onto a beer barrel. He served the local hunts and attended the point to points of Spooners, Lamerton, Bolventor, East Cornwall and Tedcott hunts. Tom recalls the BSE (1980 – 1990) and Foot and Mouth (2001) outbreaks as being hugely traumatic for all involved, with millions of animals slaughtered.

Tom prefers to focus instead on the many animals he has saved over the years, one a horse, which survived for a further 6 years, and another, a heifer, for 18 months, following his advice to treat instead.

Tom’s eyes dance with merriment as he recalls the numerous bottles of whiskey bestowed upon him over the 55 years he served the Cornish and Devonian communities. Tom drinks whiskey, and always accepted it graciously. He remembers teaching young ladies, who were studying to become vets at Duchy College, about horse anatomy. Their gratitude was such that they bought him a fabulous statue for his retirement. Toms recalls that his leaving party at Duchy College was attended by over 50 guests, who of course brought him more whiskey. Nowadays Tom enjoys relaxing in his bright, sunny lounge reading the daily paper from PaperPhil. He loves to travel and is an avid fan of coach tours to Scotland. His warm personality draws others to him and his many friends clamour to meet up with him again on a trip at Christmas and next July, and of course Tom has readily agreed.

Looking backwards, looking forwards


The New Year is typically the time when we reflect on the past and then look forward to the coming year in the hope that it will be better.  The desire to have something to hope for that will improve our life is strong. The month of January gets its name from the Roman god Janus who has one face looking back and the others looking forwards. He is the god of gates and transitions.

Often, we can’t move forwards unless we have looked back, retraced our steps and asked some serious reflective questions such as: Is there a pattern in my behaviour and relationships that keeps repeating itself? Is there something I need to acknowledge and take responsibility for? Do I recognise my reactions could have been different? The key is to learn from the past and not just glance at it, so we don’t get stuck in the same old patterns of behaviour. If we do this well, we will grow and develop ways and means of working better with others; as well as being authentic to ourselves.

Continue reading