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No. 167 - April 2017 01-04-2017

BERRYNARBOR NEWSLETTER NO. 167

APRIL 2017


WEATHER OR NOT

On the whole the start of 2017 was fairly quiet and there is not much to report. January was one of the driest that we have recorded with only 88mm of rain in total (212mm in 2016) and seventeen days when there was no recordable rain. There were some cold snaps when the temperature fell below freezing with a minimum temperature in the month of -3.6DegCC on the 21st [-2.8DegCC in 2016]. The maximum temperature in the month was 12.2DegCC which was average. The wind speed topped 23mph on several days peaking at 34mph on the 9th. Looking back to 1998, the wind managed to gust at 62mph. Sunshine hours of 23.87 were recorded which was the highest for January since keeping the figures started in 2003.

Although February has been another dry month with only 71.4mm of rain, (98mm 2016) with the high humidity and frequent showers the ground has not had much opportunity to dry up. Our garden at least is pretty sodden. The temperatures stayed in double figures for most of the month rising to a maximum of12.6DegCC on the 18th which was a beautiful spring-like day. The thermometer never fell below freezing in the whole of the month which is unusual, the lowest temperature being 0.1DegCC. Two named storms hit the country in February, Doris - a "weather bomb" - and Ewen, both of which caused problems in the north but we escaped the worst fortunately. The strongest wind gust here was 52mph on the 23rd which was courtesy of Doris. The 43.01 hours of sunshine were quite high for the month but not a record.

The only snow we have seen this year [so far!] was a light flurry on the 11th of February.

Although February has been another dry month with only 71.4mm of rain, (98mm 2016) with the high humidity and frequent showers the ground has not had much opportunity to dry up. Our garden at least is pretty sodden. The temperatures stayed in double figures for most of the month rising to a maximum of12.6DegCC on the 18th which was a beautiful spring-like day. The thermometer never fell below freezing in the whole of the month which is unusual, the lowest temperature being 0.1DegCC. Two named storms hit the country in February, Doris - a "weather bomb" - and Ewen, both of which caused problems in the north but we escaped the worst fortunately. The strongest wind gust here was 52mph on the 23rd which was courtesy of Doris. The 43.01 hours of sunshine were quite high for the month but not a record.

The only snow we have seen this year [so far!] was a light flurry on the 11th of February.

We could do with a dry spell now with a bit of easterly wind to dry the ground up, but there is not much sign of that in the forecast so far.

Simon and Sue


Peter Rothwell


ST. PETER'S CHURCH

We are very pleased that our new Priest in charge, Canon Michael Rogers and Rev Bill Cole, as House for Duty Priest, are settling in to their new roles here in Berrynarbor and Combe Martin. Their presence will be much appreciated by all in the village, our school and congregation, as well as our PCC who as many of you will know have worked very hard over the last two years during the interregnum period.

We continue to have the welcome support of our retired

Rector George Billington, and we shall soon be able to welcome back Celia Withers who is presently away on a Lay Readers course.

By the time you read this article our AGM will have taken place, but we are continuing to seek additional committee members to join our PCC, and should like to welcome anyone who can spare just a few hours per month to help spread the load and make things easier for us all.

As mentioned on several occasions, Margaret Sowerby and her husband Roger have taken on the important role of PCC Treasurer and together they have done a terrific job. The important thing to emphasise is that when occasional difficulties arise, we on the committee are all here to help each other by resolving matters quickly and efficiently.

As many in the village will know, the Church [and the Manor Hall] are experiencing problems with roofing, and the main central gutter which sits between the two church roofs and its supporting masonry, needs urgent repair. The PCC are currently approaching various organisations to obtain grants for the repairs in question, which will involve very high costs to the church. Therefore, we are taking immediate steps to effect a temporary repair to the central guttering, which is badly cracked, to prevent water from entering the interior roof and damaging the main roof beams. We hope to commence this work shortly, preferably when it's not raining, and will keep everyone up to date with our progress!

One of our oldest parishioners, Sylvia Berry, who is not in the best of health, is currently staying with her son Richard and his wife Vanessa at their farm just outside the parish. We hope that Sylvia is more comfortable being with her immediate family.


Church services for May, commencing at 11.00 a.m. will be as follows:

1st Sunday - Village Service

2nd Sunday - Holy Communion

3rd Sunday - Songs of Praise

4th Sunday - Holy Communion

Friendship Lunches will be held on the last Wednesday of the month at The Globe, meeting at 12.00 for

12.30 p.m.

Stuart Neale

IN MEMORIAM

VIOLET ELIZABETH SONGHURST

2.3.1923 - 11.3.2017

It was so sad to learn that Vi had passed away peacefully at home just following her 94th birthday.

A loving and much loved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother she will be so missed by Gary and Joyce and all her family, and our thoughts are with them all at this time of sadness.

JANET GAMMON

Rob, Shirley and Family would like to thank all friends and neighbours for their kind messages of support and all the lovely cards.

Thank you to all who attended the Celebration of Janet's Life. Your kind donations raised £324 which has been split between Diabetes UK and the Special Care Baby Unit, Barnstaple.

 

MAUREEN UNDERDOWN [nee Peachey]

3.6.1927 - 23.3.2016

It was sad to hear recently from Simon Underdown that his mother Maureen had died last spring. Maureen subscribed to the Newsletter and contributed a most interesting article in December 2013 describing the dance classes, concerts and ladies keep fit in which she took part during her family's stay in Berrynarbor during the War.

In his Eulogy, Simon spoke of that time:

"In 1939, some relatives were already staying in Devon in a pretty village called Berrynarbor and so the whole family went down there and found somewhere to stay. Maureen's father, Bill, approached his bank for work and luckily there was a vacancy in the Ilfracombe branch, so the family were able to stay together in Berrynarbor for the duration of the war. Despite the difficulty of transferring to a new school inundated with evacuees, Maureen had a very happy time in Devon, various other relatives went to live in the same village at different times and she made many friends locally.

"Despite being shy in everyday life, she revelled in performing and was able to express herself on the stage; she attended drama classes at the Manor Hall and took part in several shows there, wearing in one a dress that had belonged to Isadora Duncan. Her father became Captain of the Berrynarbor Home Guard and much of their life there had a distinct Dad's Army flavour.

"After the war the family moved back to Essex . . .

"Maureen was a vibrant soul who lit up the room and was always welcoming and happy to see you. She had a good and full life."

Simon finished his eulogy by reading a poem that Maureen had written for a W.I. competition which she won; the judge described it as a thoroughly pleasing, unusual poem . . . a literary delight. Simon hopes that readers of the Newsletter will think so too.

Our thoughts are with Simon and his brothers on the loss of a much loved and loving mother.

Scarecrow in the yellow frock
Leaning at an awkward angle
By the rusty wash-house mangle
Like a broken hollyhock.

Do you feel the wind and sun
See the change when light is dawning
Know your work starts in the morning
Take your rest when day is done?

Do those arms so stiff and straight
Yearn to curve around a waist
And to be turn embraced?
Are you happy with your fate?

Does that brain of string and straw
Know that there is life and death?
Do you almost draw a breath
At the thought of nuclear war?

Sunshine Lady stand at ease!
Other women can protest,
To each the job that suits him best,
Reign as guardian of the peas!


Debbie Rigler Cook

 

MAKING A BIG SPLASH!

Many readers will remember with affection Tony and Norma Holland who lived at Berrynarbor Park before moving a few years ago to Bradenstoke near Chippenham.

Before leaving, Tony started his birthday swimming challenge when he and Norma ran a singing group for people with dementia. This first attempt was frustrated when he arrived at the Ilfracombe pool to find it completely drained of water for maintenance that was expected to take a year. With £450 sponsorship riding on it, he completed the challenge at the Barnstaple pool.

Tony spent two decades in the Royal Navy travelling all over the world, often swimming with other crew members when they had a chance to relax in foreign climes. But it wasn't until he retired that he took up distance swimming as a hobby. Reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer, Tony spent the last years of his service aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

This year, as Norma is being treated for age related macular degeneration, he decided to raise money for the Macular Society and on his 75th birthday took to the water with the aim of swimming 75 lengths.

Even though he counted the lengths as he swam and then did a few more to be on the safe side, in 59 minutes and 45 seconds he had completed 81 laps which he only found out after checking his electronic swim tag!

Tony was bolstered by sponsorship from friends, family, pool staff, as well as groups including Malmesbury Community Choir, Devizes Afternoon Choir and the Bradenstoke Golden Girls and his swim will have raised in


excess of £700 for the Macular Society who have been very supportive. Age related macular degeneration affects more than 600,000 people in the UK and is incurable but can be slowed with treatment.

Well done Tony, we send our congratulations and best wishes to you both. What will the next challenge be?

 

NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL

It seems unbelievable that we are more than half way through this current school year and planning ahead for events in the Summer Term. Meanwhile there has been plenty going on. For example, the past month or so has seen various activities where parents have spent time in the classroom with their children.

Magical Maths


This was a great time when parents enjoyed a morning of Maths with the children. Here are some of their comments:

"Good to see children having fun doing Maths." "Brilliant. Lovely to see all the different ways to learn." "Maths isn't something to be afraid of!"

World Book Day

In early March we celebrated World Book Day. Our theme this year was Myths and Legends. Parents joined the children for part of the morning and, together, they explored the range of book inspired group activities set up around the school. The children also held a Book Swap bringing in books they no longer needed and swapping them with each other.

Parent Teacher Meetings Parents and teachers have spent time talking over their children's progress and looking at the next steps.

Celebration of Learning We are hoping that the weather will be kind to us towards the end of March as Key Stage 1 have an evening of Stargazing with their parents planned for the celebration of learning. This will round off their Space Topic brilliantly.

Swimming Gala A group of children from Key Stage 2 represented Berrynarbor in the Ilfracombe Inter-school Swimming Gala. They swam well and showed great sportsmanship.

Question of the Week Over the past few months the children have been given a weekly question to ponder over. The subject matter has been varied and entertaining, hopefully setting brains thinking and provoking debate. What would your thoughts and answers be to the following?

  • What are you thankful for?
  • Is prayer important?
  • What if people had wheels instead of legs?
  • What if houses were made of rubber?

Class Target

Each Class is set a weekly target to aim for. Here are a few:

•To be more organised personally

•To always be listening for instructions

•To show that you are putting in your best effort

  • To keep the classroom tidy

•To fill the silence with thought not talk

Audits and Checks

In January, because we are a Church School, we had a SIAMS [Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools]. This was conducted by the local Diocese and we have come away from it with some useful ideas to help further develop our Christian ethos.

A few weeks later there was an administration audit which went very well and, again, left us with pointers to make our systems even better. Early March saw an audit of our Safeguarding Practices. This was also a useful experience as the safety and well-being of our children is of the utmost importance.

Politics and Pounds

As you can see our school is a safe, fun, inspiring and nurturing place for our 93 pupils. However, it isn't an easy site to manage and maintain so keeping it safe for our children eats into the budget. We do not receive any more in our budget than a similar sized modern built school with little expenditure on maintenance. It's true, as you might have heard through the media, all schools are struggling to balance their budgets this year. In Devon, however, schools are facing further cuts alongside rising costs despite having been underfunded for many years due to a historic schools funding formula. Our precious children deserve the best education and our society needs the next generations to be well-rounded, well-educated people, but this will be difficult to achieve without adequate funding. Nationally, our school system is at breaking point. If you visit www.schoolcuts.org.uk you will see the scale of the problem. Please add your voice to the case for fair funding in education.

Easter Greetings

As this busy term draws to an end we are enjoying the lengthening daylight hours, the bright spring flowers that are blooming and are looking forward to the Easter break. We should like to thank you for all the support you give to the School and wish you all a Happy Easter.

Sue Carey - Headteacher

 

FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL

Appointment of Clerk

As you may have seen the Parish Council has recently undertaken a recruitment process for the position of Parish Clerk. Berrynarbor Parish Council is pleased to welcome Mrs Victoria Woodhouse as its Parish Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer. Victoria can be contacted on clerk@berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk , Tel: [07815] 665215 or postal address: Firstone, Yarnscombe, Barnstaple, EX31 3LW.

Defibrillator Awareness Training

You are all invited to attend the Defibrillator Awareness Training being held in the Manor Hall at 7.00 p.m. Tuesday 25th April 2017. The Assistant Community Responder Officer from the South Western Ambulance Service will be leading the event and showing you how to use a Defibrillator in the event of an emergency. Please do come along!

Flag Design Competition

The Parish Council is launching a flag design competition for the community. The Council would love to see your designs, which should reflect the character, history or community of Berrynarbor Parish, on an A4 sheet of paper. Entries should be sent to the Parish Clerk on the above contact details or handed to a Berrynarbor Parish Councillor. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 26th May 2017. There are three categories, Under 12's, Under 18's and Over 18's, so please don't forget to include your age, name and address on your entry. A winner from each category will be picked by the Parish Council.

Berrynarbor Village Signs

We should like to say thank you to County Councillor Andrea Davis who has secured funding to provide new wrought iron village signs which will be erected at the three main entrance points to the village. The designs have been agreed and it is hoped to be able to place the order soon.

Local Council Award Scheme

The Parish Council is pleased to announce that it has agreed to apply for the Foundation Level of the Local Council Award Scheme. This is a prestigious award that recognises the Council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement. Furthermore, the award confirms that the Parish Council goes above and beyond its legal obligations. It looks forward to submitting the application and hopefully receiving confirmation of the award in due course.

Keeping You Up-to-date

A second noticeboard has recently been purchased which has been erected on the wall of the public toilets in Castle Hill. You can find a list of Councillor Contact Details on the notice boards and Agendas for meetings will also be published on the notice boards prior to the meetings. The Parish Council also has a website www.berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk and all Agendas, Minutes and the latest news can be found on the website.

Waste and Recycling

Please see the article from the North Devon Council following this report.

New E-mail Addresses for Parish Councillors

Please note the new e-mail addresses for Parish Councillors given below:

 

HELP US TO RECYCLE MORE

North Devon Council will soon be introducing changes to its waste and recycling service.

The council's Recycle More campaign will implement a number of improvements to the service from Monday 5th June, including:

  • weekly food waste collection service
  • garden waste collection service for a small annual fee
  • trial of a major push on recycling in a small area of the district including three weekly rather than fortnightly collection of black bins

Why are we doing it?

We want to increase the amount of recycling we collect to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. We also intend to meet and surpass national recycling targets of more than 50% of all household waste by 2020 (currently at 44%).

New food waste service

All households in the district that don't already have one will receive a new food waste container called a kerbside caddy, along with instructions on its use, before the weekly service is rolled out. Food waste will be collected every week, along with your recycling box and bags. You will no longer be able to put food waste in your green or black wheelie bin/black bags.

Garden waste service

Also from the beginning of June, the council will be offering an optional garden waste collection service for £36 a year, as automatic free collections of garden waste will end. Currently, only around a half of homes in the district use their green bins for garden waste. Garden waste collection is a discretionary service, and charging a small annual fee for those who wish to use it will help to keep council tax charges down, making it fair for all. You can register and pay for this service from 2 May.

Trial areas

In addition to weekly food waste collections and an optional garden waste collection service, we shall be trialing additional changes in the following areas: Challacombe, Bratton Fleming, part of Brayford, Arlington, Shirwell,

Landkey, Whiddon Valley, Forches, Goodleigh, Stoke Rivers, Chelfham.

Residents in these areas will be given an unlimited recycling and cardboard collection service. This means that less waste will need to go in black bins and they can be collected three weekly rather than fortnightly. We will have dedicated recycling advisors on hand to help and advise residents in the trial area to recycle everything they can.

For further information, including why the we are making the changes, registering for garden waste collection (available from 2 May), and the trial please see the Recycle More pages on North Devon Council's website www.northdevon.gov.uk/recyclemore

 

IMPORTANT NEWS FOR ALL PATIENTS


We are excited to announce that we will be installing a new automated telephone system at the end of April 2017 to streamline our services and ensure that you reach us as quickly as possible. Team members at all of our three sites will answer your call whichever number you ring.

Callers will hear a new message welcoming them to Combe Coastal Practice and inviting them to select from different options within the system to reach designated team members. This could be the appointments team, the prescriptions team or general enquiry team. You will be asked for a brief reason for your call as this helps us deal with your request in the appropriate way.

We believe this new system will offer an improved service and accessibility to our team for callers to the surgery.

Look out for more updates on our website www.combecoastalpractice.co.uk or our Facebook page.

 

NEWS FROM THE POST OFFICE

Royal Mail add a Penny to Stamp Prices

Royal Mail announced that from 27th March, the price of a First Class stamp will increase by 1p to 65p, and a Second Class stamp by 1p to 56p.

In addition, the price of a Large Letter First Class stamp will rise by 2p to 98p, and a Large Letter Second Class will rise by 1p to 76p.

The New 12-sided £1 coin is here!

Key Dates : 28th March 2017 new coin came into circulation

There will be a six-month period when both coins can be used

15th October 2017, the old £1 coin will no longer be legal tender

So, check your money boxes and use your old £1 coins before that date!


£5 05.05.17 - A Date for your Diary

Paper £5 notes will be withdrawn from circulation on the 5th May, 2017. So, check under your mattress and spend old ones before that date!

 

NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL

We have all thoroughly enjoyed the topic on Space. The knowledge, interest and role play in this topic was very rewarding to see and stretched our own interest to find out more. The children brought in library books, stories, objects they had made and a volcano kit that they were happy to share with others.


We have talked about the sky at night and what we saw. The story of Little Moon was a great inspiration and the children were heard talking about Grumpy Neptune, Enormous Jupiter, Sleepy Venus, Old Mars and The Black Hole! Within all this, they enjoyed sorting, measuring, counting and have begun to recognize familiar numbers as well as using positional language and opposites.

Francesca Owen from eARTH studios, a local artist and parent of one of our children, came into Pre-school to support the children's learning. She specializes in earth pigments unique to North Devon and helped them make a mural to go outside. They used these pigments to explore new colours, different textures and used different resources to make marks, including hand prints, worked with sticks and brushes to build up a star, moon, space rocket for a space themed mural to go in our garden.


Outside play wasn't too badly affected despite all the building works going on around the Manor Hall. The children continued to enjoy the outside space and even did their own risk assessment. They were inspired to do some of their own building work as well, which was lovely to see.

You may have noticed [despite the scaffolding] that some of the bulbs and spring flowers that the children planted in the autumn are now coming on. So, with this in mind, and the children's interests, we are going to be looking at the changes in our seasons, grow seeds and include stories such as Jack and the Beanstalk, The Enormous Turnip, The Gruffalo and more. We celebrated Pancake Day and World Book Day and shall be celebrating Spring, Mothering Sunday and Easter. We shall also focus on healthy eating and keeping fit and take part in the fun of Comic Relief.


With the kind support of Berry in Bloom, we hope to have our garden area improved and made safe again and to grow more vegetables and summer fruits.

We are well attended at present but do have some days/sessions


free. If you would like to book a place for your child/children, then please visit us or call us on our NEW telephone number 07932 851052, or e-mail preschoolberrynarbor@gmail.com for more information. We are open from 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., Monday to Friday and are flexible with a range of session to meet your needs. Sessions are given in the Manor Hall Diary later in this Newsletter.


We are Ofsted registered and in receipt of the 2gether scheme and Early Years Entitlement, providing care and education for young children between the ages of 2 and 5.

All the Staff at Pre-school: Sue, Karen, Charlotte and Lynne

 

RURAL REFLECTIONS - 78

Over the next two months, cricket leagues up and down the country will begin their season. Although they commence, in general, during the second half of spring, the sight of a cricket match played upon a green is arguably the epitome of a summer scene in a rural village. And if the game is competed on a field beyond the heart of the village, the setting is likely to be complemented by an abundance of green shades enveloping the location of the pitch.

In the air wafts the strike of leather upon willow, the shout of "Run two!", the cries of "Catch it!", the cheers at the fielder's accomplishment and the ripple of consolatory applause as the batsman leaves the field with only a handful of runs to his or her name. Or maybe the thud of ball upon pad is heard followed by the desperate bellow of "Howzat?", the sense of anticipation drifting in the summer breeze and finally the batsman's disbelieving stare towards the nearby line of poplar trees having witnessed the fatal rise of the umpire's index finger.

Climbing the few wooden steps, the batsman smells, sooner than anticipated, the musty aromas of the pavilion and hears a comment above the chitchat, "Nice sandwiches, Fallon." "Thanks", she replies and then adds, "Though I can't take credit for the lemon drizzle cake. Jill Archer's been 'baking for England' since her recovery from that ankle injury." [Apologies to non-Archers listeners; though if the character did bake cakes for the current England side, I have no doubt it would improve their results.]

No cricket match is complete without the ticking over of its scoreboard. Whilst on the opposite side of the ground sit two characters beneath the tall copper beech. One can be heard sipping steaming tea from the thermos whilst scrutinising every change in fielding position. In contrast, the other can be heard breathing heavily, laid back fully in his deckchair with a magazine across closed eyelids that are only willing to reopen when ears hear the next loud appeal for a wicket.

This is, of course, a romantic portrayal of cricket - and not just at club level. For the game of cricket - is in crisis, none more so than at Test grounds. Throughout the Test playing nations, most games are played out in front of rows and rows of empty seats. The one-day game temporarily halted the decline in popularity until overkill made many of these matches tedious and meaningless.

And so it came to pass that the Lords of the English Cricket Board invented T20 - the twenty-twenty game, twenty overs per side. Thankfully it has stemmed the flow, for it meets the demands of a fast-moving society. Like football and tennis, a match now lasts the ideal length of time for the modem limited concentration span.


Paul Swailes

Yet it is a concept that conflicts with our rural surroundings; of the four seasons, summer provides the most prolonged period of our countryside in full bloom. Its months give plenty of opportunity to absorb its green beauty and to gain pleasure from the elegance of its flowers that will endure. Miss it one day, enjoy it the next. Spring is the complete opposite; a time when stormy showers can keel over daffodils and high winds wrench blossom from the trees. Fail to walk beside a verge, along a lane, across a field or through a wood at just the right times and you will miss the celandine, the primroses, the buttercups and the bluebells at their peak.

I often hear people comment on the prettiness of a magnolia in bloom. Yes, this positively always ends on a negative note. The trouble is one gust of wind and that's it for another year! But is that not the reason they were put on this earth? It ensures we make the most of the blossom for the short time it is on show. On reflection, maybe the leaves of the copper beech are the Test matches of our countryside - the prolonged version of the game, where one can take note of the score at any time. The magnolia, meanwhile, is the T20, on view for a very short period but providing great joy and pleasure

Happy Easter.

Steve McCarthy

Paul Swailes


BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE

At the moment, we seem to be having a bit of a cold, blustery start to spring, but the daffodils are blooming and the birds are singing to their mates, and hopefully it won't be long before the sun is shining.

At the annual meeting on 21st February it was decided that we should have a rest from holding the two Open Garden events this year. This is not to say that we shall not open again in the future, but after disastrous weather on the day of the Sterridge Valley day and not very many turning up for the Village Open Gardens, maybe a rest will enthuse everybody in another year. I should like to thank everyone who has participated in the last few years and don't give up on the weeding because I am sure we shall open again!

We are entering the Britain in Bloom competition and judging is at the beginning of July but we haven't been given a definite date yet.

The Quiz and Supper Evening on the 3rd March was a great fundraising success, bringing in just over £1000. I should like to thank all of you who supported us in any way. With this event in mind we have decided to hold a Soup and Pud Evening on the 10th November, so please put this date in your diary.

The first litter pick/work party of the year has already taken place. If you are interested in helping in any way, please do contact me on [01271] 883170 or 07436811657.


White Simnel Cake

This is a traditional light, fruit cake containing and topped with my favourite marzipan. It is then covered with fluffy butter icing flavoured with brandy, a real treat for Easter tea!

Cake Ingredients

125g white marzipan (buy a 500g pack and use the rest to cover the cake)

250g plain flour 1tsp baking powder

Half tsp ground allspice 200g softened butter

200g golden caster sugar

4 large free range eggs

Zest 1 orange and zest of 1 lemon

Half tsp vanilla extract and half tsp almond extract

2 tbsp brandy

200g walnuts chopped

110g sliced toasted almonds

100g raisins

200g glace/dried pineapple chopped

200g glace cherries (plus 11 extra to decorate the top of the cake)

200g chopped mixed peel

To Decorate

2 tbsp apricot jam

375g marzipan

140g softened butter

450g icing sugar

5 tbsp brandy

Roll out a quarter of the marzipan on a surface dusted with icing sugar to a circle a fraction smaller than the base of a 20cm round deep cake tin and set aside.

Heat the oven to 150C/130Cfan/gas2. Line the base and sides of the tin with double thickness baking parchment, cutting it so it stands at least 5cm above the top of the tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder, half a tsp salt and allspice together in a bowl, set aside. In another bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy then add the sugar and cream together. Beat in the eggs one at a time (add a spoonful of flour if the mix looks like curdling). Add the orange and lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract and brandy and stir to combine.

Using a large metal spoon fold in the flour mixture, the nuts, fruit and peel until thoroughly combined. Spoon half this mix in to the tin, place the marzipan disc on top then spoon in the rest of the cake mix, smooth the top and bake for 2hours to 2 hours 15 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cake is completely cool, warm the apricot jam with a splash of water and brush over the cake. Roll out the remaining marzipan to a circle large enough to cover your cake then use the rolling pin to help you lift it onto the cake and smooth down the sides. Trim away any excess at the bottom.

To make the icing beat the butter until smooth. Beat in half the icing sugar and stir in the brandy. Beat in the remaining icing sugar until smooth. Spread evenly over the cake. Finish top with the 11 whole cherries to represent the apostles.

It doesn't have to be Easter to enjoy this cake.

Wendy

Simnel cake is traditionally eaten during the Easter period in the United Kingdom , Ireland and some other countries. It was originally made for the middle Sunday of Lent, when the forty-day fast would be relaxed, Laetare Sunday , also known as Refreshment Sunday .

Conventionally eleven, or occasionally twelve, marzipan balls are used to decorate the cake, with a story that the balls represent the twelve apostles minus Judas, or Jesus and the twelve apostles minus Judas. This tradition developed late in the Victorian era, altering the mid- Victorian tradition of decorating the cakes with preserved fruits and flowers.

 

LOCAL WALK - 161

Twelve swans a-swimming

Last year a new riverside walkway was constructed at Barnstaple linking the Long Bridge to the Tarka Trail. Access to it is between the end of the bridge and the former Shapland and Petter building.


In the newspaper photograph, just before it officially opened, it looked rather bleak and stark but when we walked there a short time afterwards, patches of biting stonecrop had already pushed up between the concrete and tarmac and there were even the broad fleshy leaves of a sea kale plant. It is intended that the outer wall of this new six hundred and

seventy-five-metre long promenade will act as a flood defence. It certainly affords a good view of the river. As we arrived an elegant line-up of a dozen swans passed by.

The new track ends at the area of rough ground with its original informal path leading to the Tarka Trail below Anchor Wood. Turn right for Penhill and beyond or left for a short circular walk back to the town.

On a previous Walk in the Newsletter, I had been very disparaging about the dull section near the underpass but in June what a transformation. It had burst forth with blossom. There were wild roses and two types of wild viburnum bushes; foamy cream clusters of the wayfaring tree [viburnum lantana] and flat white umbels of guilder rose [viburnum oppulus]; the arrangement of true flowers at the centre with the false flowers around the edge resembling a lace-cap hydrangea.

We returned in March. Weeds had been kept at bay along the new track where we encountered just one cyclist, one walker and one dog. Redshanks stood at regular intervals along the water's edge. As the river broadened out there was the odd curlew and great black-backed gull.

Blackthorn and broom were in bud on the more established stretch of the trail. Tortoiseshell and ginger cats perched on walls and banks frowning in the early morning sunshine.

A word about the old industrial buildings which dominate the new walkway. Controversy has raged in recent times concerning their future.

They have suffered neglect and become an eyesore but they were hurriedly given listed building status to prevent their demolition.

However, in their heyday high quality furniture, in the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau style, was made there which found a global market. J.H. Rudd, the designer at Shapland and Petter was a friend of Barnstaple born William Lethaby, the famous architect and designer. An influential advocate of the Arts and Crafts principles, Lethaby founded an important school of design in London.

If you end your walk by crossing the Long Bridge and entering the Museum, you will find at the top of the stairs, on the first floor, a small display of examples of Shapland and Petter's furniture. It is worth taking a look.


Illustrations by Paul Swailes

 

RE. THE SHAMMWICKITE & W.W.D.P.

I was walking home from the latter [at St. Peter ad Vincula] when I picked up a copy of the former.

I'd not seen it for some years and my goodness, it's as dull and boring in style as ever. It is celebrating its 34 years and has not moved on at all. No enticing cover either. No colour. No photographs.

BUT, to its credit, it did publicise the Women's World Day of Prayer. I look in vain for details of this - location and time - in our newsletter. Neither in Stuart's interesting piece nor the At-A-Glance Diary, where whist at Kentisbury gets a mention but we wimmin are cast out into the wilderness!

This year, with its Philippines theme, it was particularly interesting but rather poorly attended I thought.

I don't like patriarchal religions which subjugate women, but I go as a feminist, as a bit of token solidarity with the 'sisterhood'.

Also, because my mother used to like going because it was interdenominational and she liked hearing about women in other lands.

Funny Stuart didn't publicise it [it wasn't in the Church magazine either], because he provided the music at the WWDP service at Combe Martin yesterday. Always a pleasure to hear him play. A mini concert in itself. S. 4.3.17

Apologies for this omission. The WWDP in 2018 will be held on Friday, 2nd March - Suriname, All God's Creation is Very Good. Location to be advised. Ed.

The World Day of Prayer is an international ecumenical Christian laywomen's initiative. It is run under the motto "Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action," and is celebrated annually in over 170 countries on the first Friday in March. The movement aims to bring together women of various races, cultures and traditions in a yearly common Day of Prayer , as well as in closer fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.

The Women's World Day of Prayer started in the USA in 1887, as Mary Ellen Fairchild James, wife of Darwin Rush James from Brooklyn, New York, called for a day of prayer for home missions, and Methodist women called for a week of prayer and self-denial for foreign missions. Two years later, two Baptists called together a Day of Prayer for the World Mission. The Day of Prayer initiated by these two women expanded to Canada, then to the British Isles in the 1930s. The movements focus on ecumenism and reconciliation led to growth after World War II. Since 1927 the March day is known as Women's World Day of Prayer. Catholic women were allowed to join the movement after the Second Vatican Council , beginning in 1967, and united what had been their May day of prayer with the March Women's World Day of Prayer in 1969.

 

NOW AND THEN AT NORTH LEE

In 2017, with North Lee restored in the last year, it is interesting to look back a century and beyond. This undated postcard of the farmhouse was sent when it was occupied by Richard, Dick, Huxtable, whose photograph hangs in The Globe, his wife Susan and their family.


Sent by Susan to their second son, also Richard, who in 1912 at age 26 had emigrated to farm in Australia. It reappears by courtesy of his grand-daughter, Freda.

Susan is just visible standing in the doorway behind her grand-daughter Lilian. Lilian's father William, known as Bill, the eldest son of the family, subsequently bought the farm at the Watermouth Estate Sale of 1924, his parents moving to Langleigh House.

At that time, as Ron Toms recalls and is clearly shown on the sale plan, there were farm buildings and land on both sides of the road.

It was probably at the entrance by the hedge opposite the farmhouse that the wedding postcard featured by Tom Bartlett in Issue No. 103, August 2006, was taken.

The mystery bride was Edith, Susan and Dick's younger daughter, pictured in 1904 with bridegroom Ernest Smith, her parents, sister Mary Jane and brothers William, Richard and Alfred.


Dick was born in 1857 and Susan in 1861; Mary Jane, on the right of the photo, in 1879; William, far left, in 1881 and Richard, next to him, in 1886. The youngest son, Alfred, right of the couple, was born in 1892. Edith was born in 1882 and her husband Ernest in 1871.

Thanks to Tom and the Newsletter for bringing it to attention, also Freda who sent the enhanced photograph and Robin Kiff, great grandson of Dick and Susan for help with the family history.


Ladies Up In Arms!

Despite their smiles, the ladies on parade in this third photograph seem ready for battle. Susan is on the right with daughter Edith next to her and grand-daughter Evelyn in the centre. Second from left is Eliza Norman who married Susan's youngest son Alfred in 1917. Can anyone identify the other young women?

Pre-dating the Home Guard, which did not come into being until 1940, were they, like Ilfracombe's Red Petticoats, a ladies' line of defence? Or was this a rehearsal for some more joyful occasion, such as a guard of honour?

SHS

 

PAUL'S PICTURES

The originals of Paul's pictures that appear in the Newsletter could, if you are interested, be for sale. Three that appear in this issue are shown below, mounted and framed. They are 22.5cms [c9"] square and could be yours for just £10 each. For interest in these and any past or future illustrations, just contact the Editor on [01271] 883544.


This atmospheric painting of Woolacombe Beach is one of a series of 20 large paintings entitled


Western Approaches which make up Paul's Spring Collection for the Ilfracombe Art Trail 2017.

This takes place on the 6th and 7th May when Paul's pictures can be viewed and purchased at the Carlton Hotel, Ilfracombe. During the Trail, some 50 artists will be displaying their work - painting, sculpture, textile art, jewellery, stained glass and more - in galleries, shops, hotels and other public places in the town.

This is an event not to be missed, so make a note of the dates in your diary and enjoy!

 

NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP

Would you like to help?

Could you spare a few hours a week to help out in the village shop? New volunteers are now being recruited to join the small army of helpers who give up, say, half a day a month to help keep the shop running.

Jenny Cookson, who has been a volunteer since the beginning, when the shop became a village-owned venture 13 years ago, still finds it very rewarding.


"The shop with its Post Office really is the heart of the village and it is so important to make sure that it remains open," she says. "I enjoy working there, getting to meet and chat with people from other parts of the village that I wouldn't normally see. It also keeps me on my toes and my mind active."

Having the shop, the village pub and the Manor Hall gives Berrynarbor an immense pull for those looking to settle in North Devon as well those visiting on holiday. So why not pop into the shop next time you're passing, have a chat with either Debbie or Karen, and see what you can do to help.

 



We are pleased to advise that the lock to the hall main entrance door has now been changed and the number of keys supplied with it are strictly limited. However, all regular users have been provided with a new key for their convenience and have signed an agreement covering their use of this new key. Anyone with one of the old keys should throw it away.

The structural work to the manor house wing roof was completed at the end of February and we are pleased that we can now concentrate on the main hall. As a small first step we have replaced the four pairs of curtains to the windows in the hall, as we hope users have noticed!

Lastly many thanks to those users who have helped with our Evaluation Survey during March - this will be really helpful as we apply for more grant assistance.

Manor Hall Management Committee

 

CHILDHOOD LITERATURE

"There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

"After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working."


"The clever men at Oxford Know all that here is to be knowed. But they none of them know one half as much As intelligent Mr. Toad."

Kenneth Grahame would never have believed that his delightful account of the antics of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad would still be a literary classic more than a hundred years after he scribbled them down, having been rejected by publishers several times before The Wind in the Willows was finally published in 1908. Toad of Toad Hall, as it began, was never intended to be a book, the character invented as a distraction to entertain his troubled only son.


Portrait of Kenneth Grahame by John Singer Sargent

Kenneth Grahame was born on the 8th March 1859 in Edinburgh. After his mother died of puerperal fever when he was five, he, his brothers Willie and baby Roland, and sister Helen were given into the care of their grandmother Ingles who lived in Cookham, Berkshire, where they were introduced to the riverside and boating by their uncle, David, Curate at Cookham Dean Church.

An outstanding pupil at St. Edward's School, Oxford, Grahame wanted to go to Oxford University but was unable to do so due to the cost and was instead sent to work for the Bank of England. He retired as its

Secretary in 1908 due to ill health, possibly the result of a political shooting incident when he was shot at three times, all shots missing.

He married Elspeth Thomson in 1889. Their only child, Alastair, born in 1900, was sadly blind in one eye and suffered health problems all his life, committing suicide whilst an undergraduate at Oxford, two days before his 20th birthday.

There is a ten-year gap between Grahame's penultimate book and the publication of The Wind in the Willows. The wayward and headstrong nature he saw in Alastair he turned into the swaggering Mr. Toad. Ratty was inspired by his good friend and writer, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.

Despite its success, a sequel was never attempted. The book is beautifully illustrated by E.H. Shepard, OBE, MC, [1879-1976], illustrator of Winnie the Pooh and other books by A.A. Milne.

Grahame died in Pangbourne, Berkshire, in 1932 and is buried in Holywell Cemetery, Oxford. His epitaph, written by his cousin

Anthony Hope - also a successful author - reads:

To the beautiful memory of Kenneth Grahame, husband

of Elspeth and father of Alastair, who passed the river on

the 6th of July, 1932, leaving childhood and literature

through him the more blest for all time.

Kenneth, Elspeth and Alastair Grahame


Elspeth [nee Thomson] born 3rd January 1862 in Edinburgh.

Died Pangbourne 19th December, 1949.

Alastair Grahame ['Mouse'], born 9th May 1900

Died 7th May 1920

 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 68

Edward Capern

The Postman Poet

23rd January 1819 - 4th June 1894

Several Movers and Shakers were drifting in and out of my mind, with none chosen, when on

27th February, Edward Capern, the Postman Poet was mentioned on BBC Spotlight. His great-great-granddaughter,

Lady Ilfra Goldberg, [a retired doctor, spoke of him, and young musicians, Nick Wyke and Bocci Driscoll, from Buckland Brewer, sang songs written by him. Now he sounded an interesting fellow - and I'd never heard of him!

Google came to the rescue once more, with articles, most of them complimentary, in abundance.


Although born into a poor family in Tiverton [his father, Edward, was a baker], he achieved national acclaim, and made many noteworthy friends during his lifetime.

At the age of two, his family moved to Barnstaple and by the age of nine Edward was working more than 12 hours a day in a lace factory. The close work affected his eyesight, the cause of giving up this work in 1847 at the age of 29. In the same year he married a 27-year old Bideford dressmaker, Jane Trick. He was desperate for work. He had had only 4 months' education in his whole life, but a kindly schoolmistress had taught him to read and spell, and he then worked hard to teach himself to write. This secured him a job in 1848 with the Post Office as a letter carrier based in Bideford. [It's interesting to note how new the postal service was. Just eight years earlier, Rowland Hill devised the four-penny post in December 1839 and reduced it to one penny in January 1840. Four months later, the Penny Black - the first adhesive stamp in the world - became available.]

Edward worked seven days a week for a wage of 10s 6d - 52.5 pence in today's money. By the time he reached Bideford to Buckland Brewer, his third route and a return journey of 13 miles, it took him until midday to deliver to farms and cottages along the way, and then he had to wait

3 hours for the returning post for Bideford. This was the time that he wrote his poems, sitting in a cottage whilst the owners went about their regular work. He grew quite portly and after a few years, acquired a pony and

trap for the daily slog. The sound of his bell and post-horn as he wended his way along the lanes summoned local folk to hand over their letters.

His verses were initially mainly about nature and he sent some of them to the North Devon Journal's Poet's Corner, where they became popular, particularly at county gatherings. William Frederick Rock, a well-known Barnstaple philanthropist and stationer, got together a number of subscribers, including the Duke of Wellington, Lord Palmerston, the then Prime Minister, Charles Dickens, Charles Kingsley and Rowland Hill

to publish a book of his poems. The first 1,000 copies of the first issue made a profit of £150 for Edward and 2nd and 3rd editions followed.

At some point, the Post Office recognised the popularity of his poems, raised his wage to 13s per week - 65p - and gave him Sundays off!

He retired in 1866 at the age of 47 after 15 years' service due to ill health, varicose veins and the loss of sight in one eye, and was awarded a pension of £8.9s.5d. a year.

Edward became known nationally when he wrote The Lion Flag of England, about the Crimean War. Lord Palmerston was so impressed that not only did he have a broadsheet sent for distribution to the soldiers, but sent for Capern and awarded him a pension of £60 per year from the Civil List.

I read constantly that there is nothing particularly striking about Capern's verse, but it appealed in ways more challenging poetry did not. You could have judged for yourselves if I'd included the whole of The Lion Flag of England, but as there are 9 verses of 12 lines, it would have taken up too much space! You can read the whole poem on Google, Edward Capern Poems, then turn to pages 165-170.

At heart Edward Capern was a family man and had been devastated when his only daughter, Milly, died in childhood, leaving him with just one son, Charles. In 1868.

Edward and his wife left Devon to live in Harborne, a village outside Birmingham where his son was now living, and where he became known as its local poet. Here he continued to write, publish and lecture. He also taught himself to play the flute and whilst in Harborne, published 'Ballads and Songs', then 'Devonshire Melodist' - his songs, some of them to his own music - and followed this with 'Wayside Warbles'.

His final and sixth book, 'Sungleams and Shadows' came out in 1881.

A hundred years later, a road in Harborne was named Capern Grove after him.

After 16 years in the Midlands, Jane's health deteriorated and in 1884 they returned to Devon, buying a pretty cottage in Braunton, where they lived for their final 10 years. After her death in February 1894, Edward was so devastated that he died four months later on the 4th June. He was buried in St Augustine's Church in Heanton Punchardon, the funeral expenses met by Baroness Burdett-Coutts, to whom he had dedicated his second book of poems. Having inspired the Crimean troops, it seems appropriate that near his grave are now 92 war graves of airmen in World War II from the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, cared for by the

War Graves Commission. Incidentally, Bideford Museum, in the Burton

Art Gallery, features his post-horn and several paintings of himself. Sadly, I didn't get there, but next time I'm in Bideford . . . !

When we arrived in the churchyard to take a photograph of the grave, the sun was shining, the views over Chivenor stunning and the primroses blossoming; enough material for another poem perhaps? His headstone is unusual in that in an alcove near the top is his bell. Surprisingly the wooden handle has lasted, and the clapper still works. [I tried it!] There are two verses inscribed on the headstone, one from the Poet Laureate,

Alfred Austin, and below it, a verse by Capern with which I shall close:

"For some word I said, some thought immortal,

Winged with passing breath,

But more for one, true tender-hearted deed,

Since such sweet things the world doth sorely need."

PP of DC


 

GREAT BERRYNARBOR PLANT SALE

Calling all gardeners!

The annual Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale will take place on Bank Holiday Sunday, 28th May in the Manor Hall. So, all you wonderful gardeners out there, please help us now by taking some extra cuttings, dividing up those perennials and sowing additional seeds ready for the big day.

Donated plants can be delivered to the Hall from 10.00 a.m. on the day with the doors to the Sale opening at 2.00 p.m.

There will be a prize draw and refreshments served,

so please make sure you put this date in your diary.

If you are going to be away over the

Bank Holiday, donated plants can be

pre-delivered to the shop at any time.

 


BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE

'If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good?'

Cardinal Richelieu

Wine presentations can be easy, sometimes! If professionals are giving them, then we can all sit back and enjoy them; however, there are occasions when members feel that they should or could stand before the Circle.

Geoff and I elected to do February's event because we had done a Danube and Rhine cruise in 2016 that provided some spectacular and particular views. We sailed from Budapest to Amsterdam passing through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Holland.

En route, from our floating hotel, vineyards became part of beautiful Austrian scenery and continued throughout and into Germany. We realised that every available space was given over to wine - if the soil and the aspect were appropriate. A few vineyards are flat, but others were incredibly steep and, therefore, everything regarding viticulture was carried out by hand: planting, managing the vines, watering and picking. It's hardly surprising that wine prices can also be steep!

Along the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, vineyards vied for space with captivating castles and palatial 'piles'! From the bottom of the ancient and charming town of Rüdesheim am Rhein, a cable car took us up to see Germania, an impressive and famous statute, but the vines came up with us! These were impressive too!

Our holiday route was memorable, not least because of the numerous and almost vertical vineyards! These gave me the idea for our BWC presentation. With Internet assistance, we managed, after many searching hours, to buy Hungarian, Slovakian, Austrian and Germanic wines. An almost-unanimous vote gave our first white top marks along with the same for our second red.

Berry Brothers & Rudd supplied our first winner: the 2013 Frittmann, Cserszegi Füszeres. BBR say that it would be more popular if it had a more pronounceable name. I agree! This Hungarian white is the result of crossing the local Irsai Oliver with Gewurtztraminer and made into dry and off-dry styles. It's 12% and was £10.95. It was good, but then BBR have been in wine since 1698, have two Royal Warrants and seven Masters of Wine.

Our second red was a 2014 Anselmann Dornfelder Trocken, but it was only £8.60. If there had been a blind tasting, it would have fooled many into thinking it was South American or Australian instead of German; it was a rich, full-bodied red, even though it was a single grape variety, Dornfelder, and it was 14%. The Anselmanns have been associated with viticulture for more than 400 years; among numerous accolades they were chosen to supply the German team for the Rio Olympics.

'Wine gives strength to weary men.' Homer

The evening was billed as The Old Bills & Virgin Wines because two retired policemen had offered to present Virgin Wines. The wines were described and, unusually, we also heard about the presenters' past: stories from their experiences within the Met and Birmingham constabulary.

Our first white was South African and, in many people's opinion, was the best white. Perdeberg Winery Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc Muscat, 2015 was different. It had all the floral, grapey loveliness of Muscat, jazzing up the brilliant freshness and body of Chenin Blanc. It was 13% and described as the most quaffable, not a cheap grape mix at £11.99.

In between wine descriptions given by John Hood, Bill Scholes, once of the Met, regaled stories of his early policing duties around the Kings Cross area. He joined in 1964 when this famous district was decidedly unsafe and undesirable. At the time, his equipment was a wooden truncheon and a whistle, to 'phone in, they had to find a telephone box.

After a night shift, he visited a shop to collect his breakfast; it only sold fresh eggs and bacon. To convey it back to the police canteen to be cooked, the bacon was placed on his head, the eggs were perched on the bacon and it sat under his helmet! To keep these safe, he would walk as if he was on a catwalk at a finishing school!

After we'd had a 2015 white Rioja, voted as thin, and a 2016 Australian Chardonnay that was lighter oak than normal, the reds arrived. Usually, I enjoy a Shiraz, but I didn't; however, the Zeitgeist 2015, 13.5%, from the Languedoc, was soft, smooth, delicious and £19.99 a bottle! La Traversee estate is a sensation in France, but doesn't export a great deal. It will improve for 10 years and beyond.

We finished with an Italian Fazzoletto Barbera Passito 2015. Virgin Wines sold 9,000 bottles in four days, but many thought that the Zeitgeist beat it, hands down.

This season continues with April's event a week later than norm: 26th April. Our host will be Nigel Pound of Totnes Wines and Radio Devon. May's is our AGM followed by a wine and food-match evening with

Tony Summers.

Judith Adam - Secretary and Programme

 

OLD BERRYNARBOR - NO. 166

Happy Easter 2017

For this month I have chosen three early Easter postcards from my Collection.

The first is the third in a set, two of which were shown in the previous Newsletter No. 160 in February 2016. The set is published by Wildt & Kray of London E.C. No. 2611 and printed in Saxony c1904.

Wildt and Kray are renowned for the early production of fine, coloured postcards.




The second postcard is again printed in Germany, exclusively for Postcard and Variety Stores Ltd. of London, N. 7, and is just one of five such Easter cards in my Collection.


The third card shows a rather typical Lucy Atwell little girl in an Easter bonnet, sucking her finger and sitting on a hat box. This card has been published by PPC under their Philco series and is numbered 3841.


I believe this was published during the First World War or shortly after, as it states 'British Throughout', Comic Series.

My thanks to our Editor, Judie, and Printer, Dave, for the great reproduction of last year's cards, and hopefully for this year as well!

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, March 2017

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

 

BERRYNARBOR

I was ten years old when we arrived at Berrynarbor in 1939. Seventy years ago.

This meant that all my friends in Upminster - my home town - were left behind and I had to start making new ones.

The house in Barton Lane was a fine, 4-bedroomed one looking across to Hagginton Hill; and to the right a good view of the Bristol Channel. Left was the North Lee area.

Well, what a wonderful place to spend the next six and a half years! Although only ten years old, I was sent to Ilfracombe Grammar School and as I have mentioned before, this was an educational disaster. However, I did make some good friends; among them was Bob Brecher, Don Blake, and John [whistle] Stevens.


Attending school in the early days of the war we had to carry gas masks. It was interesting to learn many years later that the filters contained asbestos!

Rationing for food and clothing began and the blackout started and you could be fined if you showed a light as this might attract the German planes that could drop their bombs. Travel in those days meant bus, bike or on foot.

The latter was always interesting with a nice walk up the Sterridge Valley to the very sharp bend at the end where you could follow the river and see otters and deer.

Then you could go down to Watermouth. In those days there were no caravan sites and perhaps only a single boat moored in the cove.


Here we could catch little elvers in the stream that ran out on to the beach.

Going on into Combe Martin there were, of course, the Hangman Hills and it was good to come up from Little Hangman beach to a nice small café where you might be refreshed with a lemonade or cup of tea, with, if you were lucky, a cake. I understand that this café is long since gone as is the one that used to be on Newberry beach.


Before I go on to the bike and cycling, I must mention perhaps one of the most beautiful views, that is from what is now Napps Caravan site. To your right you can see Combe Martin and the Hangman Hills; straight ahead, on a clear day, is Wales, and to your left Watermouth.

Getting our bikes out, a friend and I would cycle to Barnstaple and hire a boat to row up the river to a bridge and back followed perhaps by a walk around the lovely park. I also recall cycling to Woolacombe, again with a friend, and seeing that posts had been driven into the beach at regular intervals to stop the German planes from landing. A good place for a swim, but never out of your depth.

Ilfracombe was not far to ride, with its Tunnels Beach, Victoria Pavilion [now gone] and fine harbour. There were two cinemas, the Scala and the New Cinema. There was the Alexandra Hall where plays were presented and dances. I recall dancing was a little uphill and down dale as the floor sloped!

When the war was over, those who had gone to the North Devon area away from the cities left to go back to their previous homes, if they hadn't been bombed, and so tended to lose touch with wartime friends. However, I did stumble across Beryl [sometimes known as Pam Horrell] at St. Osyth. She, her husband and children came to lunch with us in later years at Colchester. I also kept in touch with Don Blake who had moved back to Wanstead.

Sadly, I have reached that age when travel is too much but memories are great and I can recall many happy times in your lovely area.

Best wishes and luck to all you who live in that wonderful village.

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket

Illustrations: Paul Swailes

 

WINTER PHOTOGRAPH COMPETITION

Calling all photographers! Have you got a favourite wintry picture of Berrynarbor - past or present? If so, be sure to enter it for the village 2017 Christmas Card Competition [yes, Christmas!].

Villagers will then have their chance to vote for their favourite photo[s] at this year's Great Berrynarbor Plant Sale during the May Bank Holiday, 28th May. The winning photos will feature on our very own Berrynarbor village winter scene Christmas cards, to replace the rather random church and robin pictures that have appeared on cards sold by the shop in recent years.

But we do need all pictures in as soon as possible as we shall have to start the production cycle early enough so that the cards are back with us in good time for Christmas. If you also have any ideas about the message you would like to see inside the cards, we'd love to hear from you.

So, if you have snowy or wintry pictures of the village and would like to see them in card form, please e-mail them to us at the Shop on berrynarborshop@onebillinternet.co.uk.

If you only have printed photographs we may also be able to use these. Please put your name and phone number on photos so we can return them to you.

The winning entry or entries will receive a voucher to spend in the village shop. Good luck!

Debbie and Karen

 
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