June 2020 2

RYDA Newsletter                                                       07/2020

Following the resignation of our Secretary, Helen Lancina, due to work commitments, we are  minus a secretary, and would appreciate it if you feel you can give up one evening 6 times a year, to drink wine, eat crisps and take notes.

Rest assured that during these difficult times, your Committee is still working on your behalf. Our committee meetings are currently held online. (showers optional, tea/coffee mandatory).

As you know, the AGM in April was cancelled, but acting on behalf of the membership, the Committee has complied with the Association’s rules by: adopting the accounts; reappointing the auditor; approving the Annual Report; and appointing the committee.

Please may I draw your attention to a press release issued by South Hams District Council notifying stakeholders of a Public Consultation starting on Monday 1st June running through to Friday 31st July 2020 as follows: 

Dog control Consultation – Have Your Say

A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) deals with potential anti-social behaviour in an area which could have a harmful effect on the quality of life for those in the local community. It can ban certain things, or need specific things to be done, in this case the control of dogs in public areas.

The Council know that most dog owners properly control their dogs and abide by the rules.  However, they want to encourage every dog owner throughout the South Hams to be responsible and these Protection Orders help with that. 

PSPOs last for three years before they need to be reviewed and the current orders run out in December this year.  The District Council now need to consult on the next set of Orders for the following three year period. 

The current review affects all existing PSPOs within the District and they want to hear what you think.  The Council is also considering introducing new orders within existing PSPO areas, as follows:

  • Dog walkers must carry dog bags or other container to collect dog waste
  • Restrict amount of dogs that can be walked at to four at a time
  • Reduce restriction on access for dogs on specified beaches between 10:00 and 19:00 from 1st may and 30th September inclusive in any year to between 10:00 and 17:00 from 1st July to 31st August in any one year to be consistent with Cornwall’s restrictions. 

South Hams District Council want your views in a public consultation about Public Space Protection Orders for dog control in the District.

If you would like to share your thoughts about the proposals, please contact the Environmental Protection Team on: pspoconsultation@swdevon.gov.uk

Because of the impossibility of maintaining social distancing, the annual harbour clean up in March was cancelled.

Fortunately some teams had already done their stretch. If circumstances allow, it may be possible to do the bits not yet done later in the year.

Thank goodness we don’t get the quantities of litter seen on beaches recently during the lockdown. If you do see litter, please pick it up and bin it.

Spirit of the Yealm


Chapter 4.7 The Sailing School

As is recorded in Spirit of the Yealm, the first sailing school on the River – and one of the very first in the country - was established in 1956 by Lt Cdr ‘RAB’ Moore and Denis Montgomery. The still photograph on Page 226 is taken from a British Pathé News film about the school. Whilst the video online address is given under the photograph, those interested in seeing how sailing was taught more than 60 years ago may find it easier to click on the following link: https://www.britishpathe.com/video/sailing-school.


Although Spirit of the Yealm did not have any entries about the authorities that have been in charge of the harbour, we have come across another British Pathé News film from 1961 about Miss Agnes ‘Aggie’ Russell who was then Britain’s only woman harbourmaster. Or maybe that should be harbourmistress! Click on the following link:



Chapter 2.1 Membland and the Barings


We drew your attention in RYDA Newsletter 06/20 to the fact that the Victoria and Albert Museum has a set of panel tiles that were designed by William Morris specifically for Membland Hall.

Mel Ellis has reminded us that much more information about Membland is contained in ‘Vanished Houses of South Devon’ by Rosemary Lauder, published by North Devon Books in Bideford. It is out of print but copies are occasionally available from Amazon or eBay.

Life on the Yealm

Life on the Yealm is a Marine Biological Association on-going project to develop citizen science surveys and public events around the Yealm Estuary. You may remember that they organised Yealm BioBlitz in 2018. A prize is offered by “Life on the Yealm” for everyone living around the Yealm estuary who takes photos of 30 different species during June. Send them to John Green and he will put them on to the Life on the Yealm page: john_in_devon@hotmail.com

Spotted so far by members during their walks; the swimming deer (photographed by Alison Ansell; Red Kites, Doves, & two seals near Stoke point (Seal & Kite are stock photos)

Looking for a local walk?

Have you looked out the walks on the RYDA web site? There are 18 walks detailed for you.



Strange but True:

  • In the 1400s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb.
    Hence we have 'the rule of thumb.'
  • Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only...
    Ladies Forbidden'... and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.
  • Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
  • Spades - King David,
  • Hearts - Charlemagne,
  • Clubs -Alexander the Great
  • Diamonds - Julius Caesar
  • In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... 'goodnight, sleep tight.'
  • It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink.
    Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
  • In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts...
    So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.'
    It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'
  • Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service.
    'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.
  • In 1696, William III of England introduced a property tax that required those living in houses with more than six windows to pay a levy. In order to avoid the tax, house owners would brick up all windows except six. (The Window Tax lasted until 1851, and older houses with bricked-up windows are still a common sight in the U.K.) As the bricked-up windows prevented some rooms from receiving any sunlight, the tax was referred to as “daylight robbery”!

         Now, there you have the origin of these phrases.
         Interesting ....
         Isn't it.....


Land at Kegwell Farm, Newton Ferrers, PL8 1JA

This is an outline application with some minor matters reserved, for the construction of a 3 bedroom dwelling. Planning Application Ref: 1367/20/OPA   (click on link for detailed application)

This proposed 3 bedroom dormer type house is to be located on land near the existing Kegwell Farmhouse, on the minor road from Butts Park to Wrescombe, between the turnings for Newton Downs Farm and Woodmeadow. (see satellite image below). The site is well outside the Village Settlement Boundary

The Newton and Noss Neighbourhood Plan at POLICY N3P-1: THE VILLAGE SETTLEMENT BOUNDARIES says:

“b) Outside the settlement boundaries development will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and where it will meet an essential local need which cannot otherwise be met including securing a viable long term future for a valued local asset which would otherwise be lost”

The Design and  Access statement provides the applicant's justification for the proposed house. Although it is worth the full read, here is an extract:

If the application is to provide accommodation for a farm worker, if approved, there should be no difficulty with the applicant agreeing to an Agricultural Occupancy Condition aka an agricultural tie.  This usually requires that ‘the occupation of the property is limited to a person solely or mainly employed, or last employed, in the locality in agriculture as defined in Section 290(i) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, or in forestry (including any dependents of such a person residing with him) or a widow or widower of such a person’.

Does this application meet the requirement for “an essential local need”? If allowed will this it breach the Settlement Boundary and set an adverse precedent? Should it be the subject of an agricultural tie? What are your views?

Do you have any news item you would like to see in the this newsletter?

Virtual lockdown get-togethers, Thanks to someone who has gone the extra mile; or an unusual bird/insect spotted along the Yealm. All items welcome. Please send to rydamembers@yahoo.co.uk

The River Yealm and District


Registered Charity No. 262929