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PCSO 9511 Sharon Baker

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Oake churchyard lost a 150 year old cedar tree during the night of the storm on 14th February 2014.












We have been planning a permanent reminder of this part of our village landscape and with the help of the children at the school who came up with some ideas, we now have a sculptured cedar log with a fox, a badger, a hare, a hedgehog and a church mouse. The children came up to see the sculptor at work just before half term. Please take a look as it well worth a visit.

Part of this majestic tree has become a very fine seat - see lower on this page.


A lovely day, lots of happy people and more than £2000 raised to be shared by the Primary School and the hall.


Many thanks to all those who donated plants, bought them or helped to sell them for this annual event. Particular thanks to Ford Nursery for supplying a wonderful array of flowers and vegetables and for giving excellent advice to growers, and to Sue Davies for organising the morning. We raised over £435 for hall funds and the cakes tea and coffee served in aid of the community shop made another £50. It was a great community event and we are sure your gardens will look lovely!


Nearly two years ago, you might remember that the Oake landmark cedar tree was up rooted in the winter storms
- part of it's massive trunk has been transformed into this lovely bench situated in the church yard. 


Earlier in 2015  the Hall management committee applied for a grant from the Mayor's fund for a project to benefit the whole community. We are pleased to report that we were successful in our bid and £500 has been awarded to  us to purchase two outside tables, both with integral seating for eight people. We hope that villagers will be able to enjoy al fresco picnics on the field, in the play area, in comfort. Below is a picture of the pair of tables which should be assembled in early June.

Thanks to Kirsten, village hall secretary for preparing our bid. 


(Somerset Counrt Gazette 13 October 2015)

TRIBUTES have been paid to Cliff Bishop, who dedicated over 50 years to public service, following his death at the age of 91.

Mr Bishop, of Hillcommon, lost his battle with cancer at Williton Hospital on Saturday.

He was one of the longest serving councillors on Taunton Deane Council, having served since 1973 until he stepped down before the election in May.

He was last year awarded the Freedom of the Borough – the highest honour a council can bestow - in recognition of over 40 years on the council, including a lengthy period as chairman of planning (see lower down on this page) He was also a  councillor on Oake Parish Councill, including many years as chairman, and served on Wellington Rural District Council from 1964 to 1974.

Other bodies he served on included Somerset County Council Chairpersons’ Panel for Education Appeals, the Somerset Association of District Councils, the National Housing and Town Planning Council, Taunton Citizens Advice Bureau, the Somerset Association of Local Councils and the Postal and Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

Mr Bishop, who was born in Kingston St Mary and attended Oake County and Huish’s Grammar Schools, spent time as a governor at Oake and Bradford School and was on the village hall committee.

After completing his national service, he joined the RAF, training as a pilot in Canada and going on to fly Wellington bombers in the Second World War.

On his discharge in 1948, he married Bettie, who he met while she was serving in the WAF, and the couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last year.

He worked for the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance until his retirement in 1984.

Deane council leader Cllr John Williams said: “Cliff was universally respected by all and his passing will be a huge loss to his family and the community he loved to serve.

His contribution towards housing and planning were immense right across the borough and he was respected and his opinions sought nationally for his encyclopaedic knowledge of planning issues.

His contribution to public life has been immense with over 50 years of public service.

This tremendous service to the community was recognised last year when Cliff was made a Freeman of the Borough, something I know he was particularly proud to receive.

He will be a great loss as a he was a wonderful person and respected for his wise counsel. He will be sadly missed by his family and all of us.”

Mr Bishop is survived by his wife, Bettie.

(Somerset County Gazette   22 October 2014)

We hope to be able to include some pictures of this event shortly.

ONE of the longest serving councillors in the country has been honoured by being admitted as a Freeman of the Borough of Taunton Deane.
Cllr Cliff Bishop, aged 90, joins fellow councillor John Meikle in being awarded the rare honour – between them they have racked up an incredible 106 years in local government.
Mr Bishop, who represents the Bradford-on-Tone ward, was educated at Oake County School and the former Huish’s Grammar School, in Taunton.
He began his long service in local government 50 years ago, when he was elected to Oake Parish Council and Wellington Rural District Council.
Mr Bishop has always taken a keen interest in planning from since his time on the rural district council and chaired the Taunton Deane’s planning committee from 1974 to 1991 and 2010 to 12. He was also executive councillor for planning policy and transportation for four years. When local government was reorganised in 1973-74 he was voted onto Taunton Deane Council.
He still sits on the planning committee as well as corporate scrutiny, the Project Taunton Steering Group and Local Development Framework Steering Group.
In 1994 he was elected to represent the South-West on the national executive committee of the National Housing and Town Planning Council and continued to serve when the organisation merged with the Royal Town Planning Institute .The Freedom was awarded at a special meeting of Taunton Deane on Tuesday, when it was proposed by Mr Meikle and seconded by Cllr Mark Edwards, who succeeded Mr Bishop in his executive role.
Mr Bishop, who attended the ceremony with his wife Bettie, said: “I am deeply honoured by being admitted as a Freeman of Taunton. I would like to thank everyone sincerely – I am overwhelmed.”
Mr Edwards, who is deputy leader of the council, said: “Cllr Bishop has been more than a fellow councillor to me - more of a mentor. His understanding of planning and planning policy has been invaluable.“I was delighted to second this proposal and I want to congratulate him on being awarded this honour by the council - it’s well deserved and, on a personal note, I would like to thank him for his support and advice - it has been and will continue to be invaluable.”