I was once advised that if you wish to convey bad news it is best to put it in a sandwich that is start the story with a good taste put the bad bit in the middle and finish with a tasty happy feely  bit at the endThre is  something not quite right with this for surely the middle bit of the sandwich should be very tasty and nice.  However, I will give it a go.  Back in July I wrote a story about two ducks and then sadly theyboth  disappeared from the Quay and the Greenway Ferry perhaps they  got fed up with the crowds or maybe it was the dogs.   I am thrilled to say that the mallard or ‘Norman’s duck’ as we call her is alive and well and living on Norman’s boat off Greenway Quay.

The recent formidable rise in rateable values and the inevitable rise in business rates that will be due next year has hit our local enterprises badly. ‘Just shocking’ was the response from the owner of the Anchorstone Café.  Ray Benson, Landlord of the Ferry Boat Inn. feels like giving up. ‘People who work hard to make something  a thriving business are actually being punished for doing a good job’.    Richard Johnson of Fingals Hotel put the question ‘is it actually worth keeping going? At the Red Lion/Village Shop/Post Office the ladies said with some irony ‘times are tough enough and now…’  We are so lucky to have these amenities plus an active gallery at Coombe and they really only  have six months in the year to  make a living.  How much longer will they be willing to continue?  The Anchorstone Cafe has closed now for the winter season.  A good crowd went there for a final Sunday roast lunch binge let’s hope those proceeds sweeten the blow a little.

The previous day Ali James ex bar girl at the Ferry Boat became  Mrs. Chris Walker  and there was a good evening party at the pub on Hallowe’en night. The couple said  ‘we had the most perfect day and want to thank everyone for making it so special’.  They are honeymooning in Paris

Future events you might like to attend or support are:-.A toy sale tomorrow

Saturday, November 7th at the Village Hall in Stoke Fleming from 1.00pm to 3.00pm.  This is a unique opportunity to find a good home for all those toys cluttering up your cupboards, to make a bit of money and help fund the new roof that is desperately needed for the Dittisham Blackawton Playgroup cabin. Call Jo Rogers on 712 522 if you have toys for sale otherwise just come along and for £1 entrance fee you receive refreshments and can do some early Christmas shopping for the kids or grandkids. At a time when extraordinarily brave young soldiers are being maimed  or killed in Afghanistan it might be fitting to attend the Remembrance Sunday service at St George’s Church which will start at 10.55.  Also you might like to support the charity Help for Heroes by coming to a Mamma Mia! Extravaganza at the Village Hall on Saturday, December 5th. Greek supper, bar, film dancing and an auction.  If you have something special to give or need tickets please ring Sue Parkin 722 250 or Stella Stothart on 722 492. Don’t forget to support Ditsum Players and the other local drama groups at the Dart Drama Festival at the Flavel Centre  November 10 – 14