Newsletter November 2021


Blagdon Bull Newsletter - Winter Edition, November 2021

Since our last newsletter, we have not only seen changes in the seasons (and the ownership of NUFC!) but there have also been changes to some staffing at the estate office:

Michelle Cairns has been appointed as Estate Secretary, a new role which has encompassed the estate receptionist and family PA responsibilities.  Michelle is located within reception during office opening times which are, Monday - Friday, from 9am-1pm.  We welcome Michelle to Blagdon and wish Jill Tindale and Gemma McKenzie, who have both now left the estate, the best of luck for the future.

The estate office is still operating an appointment system and we have an answerphone if there is no-one available.  If you do find the voicemail in operation, please leave a message during office hours and we will re-contact you with your enquiry.

Matthew Williamson, the managing Agent can be contacted out of hours.  Matthew will assess whether the matter is urgent, and determine how to respond to emergencies on the estate, accordingly.


How to Report Repairs:

When reporting repairs for Blagdon properties, please telephone the office on 01670 789621 rather than sending in an email, to make sure your call is logged into our works system and the appropriate resource is allocated to deal with the repair. The estate cannot always guarantee a response to reports of repairs when sent to individual email addresses which should be avoided.


Estate Office staff - here is a useful list of names, and job titles for the staff working at the estate office:

Matthew Williamson, Agent for Blagdon

Claire Scott, Estate Administrator

Chris Stonehouse, Finance Director

Michelle Cairns, Estate Secretary

Jayne Straughan, Secretary

Andrew Greenshields, Assistant Agent

Sam Sample, Accounts


Christmas opening times, Blagdon Estate:

The estate office will close for the Christmas break on Friday 24th December and re-open on Tuesday 4th January 2022. The normal out of hours service will be in place throughout the holiday.


20 mph speed limit:

The estate has received a few complaints about vans and cars being driven at excessive speeds through the estate.  Please be aware there is a 20 mph speed limit on estate roads, which are frequently used by pedestrians.  We ask that you adhere to the limits for everyone's safety and we ask visitors and delivery drivers to do the same.


Estate External Painting:

The external painting contract has now been completed by Southern's for this year.  This included some fresh white paint on the Blagdon Bulls at the entrance to the estate, at South Lodge. The estate will have a 2022 paint programme and tenants will be notified if they are due for painting next year and if they feature in the planned schedule.


Open Gardens 2022:

We are welcoming back some of our usual charities in 2022, for open garden events at Blagdon.  Each charity is responsible for organising their own event, to include volunteers, car parking wardens and catering.  The dates for the 2022 events have already been set and will be cirulated on our website in early 2022.  100% of the proceeds go to the charities, so its well worth supporting these events.



The newsletter is going to be published three times a year on the website. This will be a spring, summer and winter edition. Tenants can also keep an an eye on our website 'News' section for our latest updates, advice and guidance.  This section is kept updated throughout the year.


Electrical Condition Reports:

Rush Electrical, Bay Electrical and J&D Shepherd have completed numerous electrical condition reports and work on the estate. Most tenants have already had one of our appointed electricians at their homes and if you do have any concerns, let us know. The work the electricians are carrying out is considered to be essential, so please try to continue to effect access to your properties.


Footpaths and dogs:

The Home Farm along with the estates farm tenants, shooting syndicates and forestry team all work together to conserve and enhance wildlife habitats found on the estate - as a result we have seeen numbers of threatened farmland birds such as Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer and Lapwing stabilise or in some cases increase.  It is important to emphasize that footpaths are kept to and dogs are in close control or kept on leads. The shooting syndicate have begun shooting accross the estate, so please keep to the footpaths.


Permit to work forms:

If you are a residential tenant planning to carry out work to one of our properties, please apply for a permit to work form (available from this office), prior to having any work carried out.   All work should be carried out by a qualified person with the appropriate insurance in place.


Advice - looking after your property:

The estate offers advice and guidance about how to look after older type properties through winter.  Whilst the summer months offer excellent opportunities to open doors and windows, to let fresh air circulate and to help to prevent condensation and damp from forming, it is important for  tenants to continue ventilating their homes during the winter also.

Open windows every day,  especially whilst cooking and after bathing to let the steam out.  Avoid drying clothes inside e.g. in front of the gas fire or on the radiators as this can add moisture, leading to problems in future.

Blocked gutters can also cause damp when water runs over the top and down the exterior walls.  In most cases, tenants are responsible for clearing their own gutters and it is quite surprising how full then can get with leaves, seeds, pine needles, etc.  Whilst it is not the nicest of jobs to do, it is an important one - tenants should make sure they arrange to do a check of their gutters and clean them out a few times a year, to keep them in good working order.


Post Office @Stannington:

St Mary's Church, Stannington operate a post office on Monday's between 12 noon - 1.15pm & Fridays from 9.15 - 10.45am. It is understood the Church coffee shop is now open for visitors during the Post Office opening times.  This is an opportunity for anyone within our community to call in and have a chat over a cuppa.


Chimney Sweeping:

There has never been a more important time to have your chimney swept, this is due to the cooler nights and fires being ignited after long periods of time being off.  Birds tend to nest in chimneys and we cannot emphasize enough the need to have your chimneys swept! There have already been two chimney fires this Autumn.   The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps is a professional organization and members have a strict criteria for sweeping. It is worth considering whether the sweep you appoint is a member of this organization as they should follow the highest standards in the industry. Chimney sweeping certificates should be sent to the estate office annually, after your sweep.


Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarms:

All tenants are requested to test their alarms regularly to ensure they are in full working order.


Happy 100th Birthday!

One of our amazing, long term tenants in Stannington, turned 100 years of age in October. Congratulations to Vera and we hope you had a great time celebrating with your friends and family at the Ridley Arms.


Wanted - Blagdon news:

Blagdon is a great community in which to live and work, we like to share  important news amongst our people.  If you ave any news or events you would like to be added into the Blagdon Bull newsletter, please email me and we can add it into the next edition, due to be published in the spring of next year.


Wishing you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.


Claire Scott

Estate Administrator