4th June 1943
- 26th October 2020
Gerry and his family would like to give
huge thanks to all friends and neighbours in the local community who have given
him and his dear late wife June, immeasurable and continuing support over the
last few months. Your love, generosity
and kindness has supported us all through this difficult time.
June displayed great courage and
stoicism until the end, rarely complaining and so appreciative of people's
time, love and care, always more interested in others' well-being rather than
her own. She leaves a huge void in all
of our lives.
Due to the current Covid situation, the
family plan to have a memorial service in the spring for local friends unable
to attend the funeral to celebrate June's life.
With love and appreciation
Gerry and Family
should wish to donate in June's memory, Gerry would be grateful for them to go
to North Devon Hospice
It was with much sadness
that the village learnt that after brave acceptance of her condition, June had
passed away peacefully at home, and our thoughts, prayers and love are with
Gerry and all the family at this very hard time.
6.9.1935 - 29.10.20
How sad it was to learn that after a short stay at the North Devon
Hospice, where she received outstanding care and compassion, Mary passed away
peacefully on the 29th October.
She will be missed and fondly remembered by her family and many friends.
Our thoughts and prayers
are especially with her daughter Liane, and her family at this time of sorrow.
Donations in Mary's memory
may be made to the North Devon Hospice through Braddicks and Sherborne, St.
Brannocks Road, Ilfracombe.
CAROL PATRICIA LUCAS
03.01.1949 - 6.11.2020
We were all sad to learn that after a long illness
which she always bore with a smile, Carol had passed away on the 6th November.
Our thoughts and prayers at this time
of sorrow are with Graham and their five children, Elenor, Catherine, Oliver,
Ivan and Colette, all the family and Carol's many friends.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
At the time of writing it will come as no
surprise to everyone that from Thursday 5th November [Bonfire Night!] this
country will be under new lockdown restrictions. These restrictions will have a knock-on
effect with regard to Church services. St.
Peter's will be open on Sundays for Private prayer only, from 11.00 a.m.to 4.00
NB: Please look out for posters detailing
AGM was cancelled yet again, but to the relief of all our PCC members, this
important meeting [limited to 6 people] was held in church and the following
resignations were recorded. Doreen Prater, who has served on the PCC for over
20 years; Margaret Sowerby, our Treasurer, will remain in office to the end of
this year; and myself, who as PCC Chairman, Churchwarden and Organist, has
served here since the year 2000.
situation which now presents itself is extremely worrying, for we desperately
need a new Treasurer to take over from Margaret who has, with much help from
her husband, served brilliantly over the last few years. Both Margaret and myself are willing to help
any newcomers - come the new year - to guide them into their new roles. We meet 6/7 times during the year, so it's
not a big ask for anyone who wishes to keep this church going in the years
ahead, so important for this village with Services, Weddings, Baptisms,
Funerals, Churchyard Burials and Internments, plus the holding of special
events, some of which involve Berrynarbor School. Whatever your beliefs, religious or otherwise.
it is vital that Berrynarbor Church remains at the centre of this beautiful
village for the foreseeable future!
pleased to confirm that building repairs to the church roof and other areas
requiring attention are well under way.
NB: Scaffolding has been erected and we politely ask anyone who uses the
church path takes heed of the warning signs in place.
extremely grateful to Karen Loftus and all those working in the Village Post
Office and Community shop for assisting in the collection of food items for the
Ilfracombe Food Bank, and of course our thanks to all those who have
contributed to this worthy cause.
very sad note must be the passing of June Marangone, who, as a volunteer, served
in the shop and was a regular churchgoer. She will be remembered for her smile and
welcoming manner. June, who had been ill for many months, died
peacefully at home in late October. We shall all pray for her devoted husband
Gerry and family during this very sad time. We continue to pray for our magnificent NHS,
Ambulance Service and Police Force, and all those in our community who are
with some relief that our Service for Loved Ones was able to take place on
Sunday 1st November. This short service
is always extremely poignant in that parishioners have the opportunity to
remember their loved ones in a special candlelit service which was presided
over by our Priest in Charge, Rev. Peter Churcher. Maintaining all the safety restrictions
imposed by the UK Government, this service, the first since March, was warmly
welcomed by the local congregation.
Remembrance Service, like most of the services in North Devon and elsewhere,
was cancelled following the new lockdown measures. However, it was decided that poppy wreaths
should be laid on the War Memorial and so a modified service was held. Adam Stanbury laid a wreath on behalf of the
Parish Council; his daughter Emily laid one on behalf of Berrynarbor School and
Sue Neale laid one on behalf of our PCC.
I read a short service and the two-minute silence was observed. We were joined by a very small number of
villagers who arrived in time to pay their respects.
as retiring Chairman, I wish to express my deep appreciation to all PCC Members
who have served and supported Berrynarbor Church over many years. Special thanks to all those Choir members
from Berrynarbor, Combe Martin and Parracombe who have given so much pleasure
to everyone in this village. I shall never forget all those wonderful
musical moments, including us singing on two occasions with the Chivenor
Military Wives Choir at special concerts held here in Berrynarbor!
NEWS FROM OUR VILLAGE SHOP
All of us
here at the village shop were deeply saddened to hear that June Maragone had
passed away. Known to us affectionately
as Aunty June, she was one of our longest serving volunteers and her cheery and
cheeky nature always brightened our days and those of our customers too; she made everyone feel welcome!
We miss you June, God bless.
We're here to help!
As we near the end of an extraordinary
year, a difficult year for so many people and for so many reasons, Christmas
shopping will now be high on our list of priorities. It is likely to be more chaotic than ever in
our high streets as people rush out of lockdown and into the shops to make up
for the lost weeks.
So here's our suggestion for a stress-free
way of making Christmas merry and bright for all our villagers and those you
are buying for. We're here to help. Come to us, tell us what you want, we will
put it together for you and, if it needs to go further afield, we'll even post
it for you.
If you can't find what you want on our
shelves, just ask and whatever you want we will try to get it for you.
But we have a wonderful range of local
produce that can be put into amazing gift packs - this includes Quince honey;
Waterhouse's delicious jams, marmalade and chutneys; Miles tea, coffee and chocolate drinks; Roly's fudge; Discover chocolate; a wide range of Bakehouse
biscuits; plus local speciality cheese
to suit all tastes.
And that will all need washing down
with something appropriate. We have a wide range of red, white, blush and
sparkling wines at very competitive prices.
As well as locally crafted
speciality beers and ciders, we also have locally produced rum and gin.
For that gift with a difference we have
a great selection of handicrafts all locally made - from glassware, hardware,
flowerpot people, crocheted animals and many more.
We can also help you to avoid those
dreaded last-minute Christmas crowds fighting over the turkey, tatties and
sprouts and help to make this a stress-free experience for you. Order forms are available in the shop now for
all your Christmas meat and vegetable needs. Complete the form and then sit back and
relax, knowing that your order can be collected on either the 23rd or 24th December
[morning only] as your village shop once again goes the extra mile so you don't
Don't miss the chance to win our two fabulous hampers
in our ever popular and traditional Christmas raffle. The first is packed with
a range of luxury treats [chocolates, jams, chutney, Jon Thorner meat pie and
much more] and the second is a drinks hamper with red, white and blush wines
plus locally crafted beer and a local cider. Tickets are just £1 and the lucky winners
will be announced on the 23rd December. Hurry!
WEATHER OR NOT
September and October
Here we go again as the days shorten
and we have the dark nights to contend with and probably some not so good
September was a much better month than
August. On the 1st it was a bright,
sunny day with only partial cloud cover and a light wind from the SSW [maximum
gust 12mph]. The temperature early in
the morning was only 7.7˚C but with the sun it soon warmed up reaching
19.9˚C by 1400 hrs. The day was
dry and the sun shone for 5.76 hours, the barometer was tending to fall slowly
and this continued until 0500 hrs. on the 3rd when it was reading 1013.4mbars.
I went out to the Isles of Scilly on
the 9th enjoying my first break of the year and the weather was lovely. Looking at my records, North Devon was
having similar weather with very little rain and a maximum temperature on the
14th of 28.4˚C [average 23.87˚C].
This was the highest September temperature I have recorded with the next
nearest in 2000 at 26.3˚C, the lowest temperature was on the 28th at
6.2˚C [average 6.70˚C]. The
highest gust of wind was on the 18th at 31mph. from the North [average 29.79mph],
lowest wind chill was 6.3˚C on the 28th [average 6.53˚C]. The wettest day was the 24th when 22.4mm
fell; total rain for the month was 76.4mm [average
99.37mm]. The highest barometer reading
was exactly midnight 9th/10th at 1026.5mbars. and lowest on the 24th at
989.5mbars. The total sunshine hours were 108.34 [average 123.10 hrs]. Outside humidity ranged between 48% on the
14th and 94% on the 22nd.
October lived up to its reputation of
being a miserable month. The first day was mainly dull, with 5mm of rain, a minimum temperature
of 5.7˚C and a top of 13.7˚C. The wind was in the WSW with a maximum speed
of 16mph. The barometer started the
month at 1001.3mbars falling and by 0100hrs on the 2nd had fallen to 983.7mbars. This was part of the storm named Alex and
was the lowest pressure for the month, the highest was on the 11th at
1028.2mbars. Total sunshine on the 1st was
only 2.73 hours. During the rest of the
month the top temperature was on the 20th at 16.1˚C [average
19.87˚C] and the lowest on 16th 4.2˚C [average 3.09˚C]. The maximum wind was on the 31st at 33mph [average
37.09mph]. The lowest wind chill factor
on the 16th was 4.5˚C [average 0.55˚C]. The rain was never far away with the wettest
day on the 2nd with 26.6mm. Total rain
for the month was 182.1mm [average 158.85mm] and the total so far this year
1079.4mm. Outside humidity ranged
between 70% on the 14th and 96% on the 5th. The sunniest day was on the 11th with 4.16
hours, total for the month was 42.42 hours [average 64.77].
November has started off very lively
and now we have a new Covid -19 lock down ahead of us. I think dodging the rain and Covid may well
keep us on our toes?
The next time I write it will be in the
New Year so I should like to take the opportunity of wishing you all a Very
Happy and Safe Christmas and hopefully we will have some better news on Covid
NOTES NO. 2 - JAYS
Writing this in the dying days of October, with autumn well
and truly under way and the annual rain of leaves gathering pace, jays have
suddenly become more evident in our Sterridge Valley garden. Normally a noisy but shy, almost reclusive
bird of mainly broadleaf, but also coniferous, woodland, these large colourful
members of the crow family take advantage of the abundance of food that nearby
gardens have to offer. They are opportunists, their omnivorous diet consisting
mainly of seeds, nuts and berries, but insects, small mammals such as voles and
bats, and eggs and nestling birds also feature on the menu.
The jay's scientific name, Garrulus glandarius, is as
beautifully descriptive as the bird itself, the former meaning noisy or
chattering, and the latter referring to acorns, the food with which it is most
associated - in particular for its habit of burying acorns, as well as
hazelnuts and beech mast.
For a large bird, similar in size to a rook or carrion crow,
jays can be surprisingly difficult to see well, rarely moving far from cover. As Richard Campey's striking photo shows, the
jay's plumage is pinkish,
the wings black and white with a panel of distinctive kingfisher-blue feathers.
The head has a pale crown with black streaks and a well-defined black !moustachial'
it is the raucous call or the flash of a broad white rump that draws the eye.
This autumn we have enjoyed watching
the antics of up to four birds moving around the garden, collecting nuts and
burying them in the meadow for retrieval later in the winter. That not every
acorn or hazelnut cached is later collected and eaten is evident from the
numerous oak and hazel seedlings that appear across the meadow every spring.
The realisation dawns that the meadow, if not managed as such for its
wildflowers, butterflies and other insects, would quite quickly become a
woodland. The important role that jays play in woodland ecology thus also
Jays occur across most of the UK, with the exception of
northern Scotland. The current breeding population is estimated at 170,000
pairs [www.bto.org/birdtrends]. In some
years, typically when a good breeding season is followed by a poor autumn for
nuts and berries, large flocks may roam nomadically, covering great distances
in search of food.
by Richard Campey
Six North Devon teachers, well into
their retirement, decided to use their routine ramble to raise money for BBC
Children in Need on Sunday, 11th October.
The sextet were David and Fran Plumb, Arthur Symons, Phil and Alison
Norman and Richard
As half the group were all over 75,
they decided on a beautiful, but not overlong, route of about 8 miles. The walk started from Simonsbath and took in
Birch Cleave, Cow Castle, Horsen Farm, Wintershead Farm, Blue Gate and back to
Thanks to the generosity of sponsors,
over £600 was raised for this worthy cause.
... and the sixth one took the photo!
Congratulations - well done and well walked!
THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
We are so pleased with the way the children are
working extremely hard in lessons, they are happy and everyone is very busy! Due to restrictions we have not
managed to do lots of the lovely things we normally do and this has
changed school life quite a lot. We normally pride ourselves on all the
lovely extra-curricular activities we provide for our children, helping them
become amazing young adults. However,
we are trying to adjust and adapt where we can to make sure we do get to do
some extra special things.
As a staff team, we are
very aware that due to the regulations of the second lockdown children are not
able to go to clubs, keep up sports and meet with friends. With the dark, winter nights closing in this
also makes being active a challenge. Therefore,
this term we shall be prioritising the physical and mental health of our
children. We'll be making more time in the curriculum for children to be
active, be outside and play with their friends. This may mean that
children don't get through quite as much of the curriculum as normal, however.
the well-being of our children must be a priority.
Our school came together to mark Armistice
Day and take part in a socially distanced two-minute silence on the school
It was lovely to be able to bring all the
bubbles together for such an important moment in time!
Finally, we should like to
take this opportunity to note the passing of one of the most truly
inspirational teachers we have ever had the pleasure of working at our school. Mrs
Lucas inspired and touched the lives of so many local children and adults during her time
teaching at Berrynarbor. Her dedication
to the profession and our school ensured every child that crossed her path made
excellent progress. She gave so much of
her own time to additional revision clubs and extra-curricular activities. Many events she introduced are still run by
staff now. She will remain in many
people's hearts and minds forever. A
true Berrynarbor Legend!
were so sad to hear that Nanny June had passed away over the half term. She was such a large part of the school and
local community. Nothing was ever too much trouble and she
always had time to talk and see how everyone was. Nanny June would come into school regularly
to hear readers and was also always there to serve tea and coffee at every
event. Sometimes she would just turn up
at school with a smile and KitKat!
She will be very much missed by both adults and
Faye Poynter - Co-Headteacher
A Story of North Devon by Bessy Hawker
Several years ago, whilst living in Exeter, I was browsing
in the many outlets on the Quay selling old books, postcards etc., when the
above book caught my eye. When I saw
the sketch of Berrynarbor Church on the inside page, I just had to buy it.
It is a simple story and rather long, 270 pages (!) but
worth reading because of all the references to the village and the very
familiar family names of people still living there and well-known to many
people living there now - Toms, Chugg, Gammon, Gear, Bowden, Hancock, etc., etc.
The places are thinly disguised. Berracombe is Berrynarbor, Sturridge Lane,
Sterridge Valley, Withycombe, Ilfracombe and many others easily recognised from
the descriptions. The title refers to
someone who has had a run of bad luck believing he has been 'overlooked' by
someone in the village and the only way to stop it is to visit a white witch in
Exeter who will tell him how to break the spell. This involves him standing on the church steps
and when the clock strikes 12, whoever comes into the street and enters their
dwelling will be the person who has put the spell on him! There is no mistaking the description of this
that it is Berrynarbor Church steps.
The story, published in 1898, is mainly about the Rector
Hawker and events in the village during that time, for example, the Band of
Hope movement. I have not been able to
establish what relationship the author was to Rev. Hawker but, as she knew him
so well, was most likely his daughter, niece or even sister.
When researching the Rev. Hawker to verify the references to
his character, the article in Genuki - obituary, John Manley Hawker - was
really interesting, as was an article published by the Devonshire Association -
Hawker: John Manley. Also, the
Devonshire Association article he wrote, The Manor House, Berrynarbor.
Finally, the book was presented to Kathleen Bird by the
officers and teachers of the Primitive Methodist Sunday School Teignmouth in
We know that the Rev. Hawker was the Rector of Ideford
before Berrynarbor, but as he died in 1884, why this book was given to her so
long after its publication and his death is puzzling.
I have not been able to
find any connection to Berrynarbor for her.
Maybe someone in the village may
have some information about
FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Due to current restrictions, the Parish
Council continues to meet virtually.
All Agenda and Minutes of the Parish Council meetings
are published on the Council's website and Agendas include a link to the Zoom
meeting. Members of the public are always most welcome
to join the zoom meetings.
Information, help and support during
remember that you can find the latest Covid-19 local information, including the
number of confirmed cases throughout Devon, on Devon County Council's website: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/.
Working alongside local community support
organisations and town and parish councils, NDC is helping to co-ordinate a
range of services for those most in need.
To help people access services, there is a
dedicated NDC phoneline and webform and councils are urging people to ensure
that their vulnerable and elderly friends and relatives are aware how to
contact the team at North Devon Council. Call on  388280 and the online form is
on the Council's website.
The weather has been challenging with the heavy rain
recently and good news from our County Council is always welcome. The Government has given a seal of approval on
£60m for the North Devon Link Road improvements, and nearer to home, the
Sawmills £50k drainage scheme has also been approved. Work on both will take place next year.
Meanwhile, work continues to enhance the Manor Hall Play
Area and equipment in the Recreation Field, and there are new plans to plant a
willow screen near the slide in December.
And finally, please be aware that there has been a number of
Avian Influenza cases in the UK, one of which is in Devon. This has resulted in
a National Protection Zone being put in place for all poultry keepers,
including those who only keep a few birds in their back yard. Please see the Defra information opposite for
guidance. This is also on the Parish Council
Petters - Parish Clerk
think last edition's blog got me a very bad name so I am going to refrain from
confessing to all this time. I am
getting blamed for all sorts now in the Sterridge Valley. Once a criminal always a criminal! It seems honesty is not always the best
policy. I have learnt that from
observing the social interactions between the Mr. and Mrs. The Mrs. really doesn't want the truth when
she asks, "Do I look alright in this?" The
Mr.'s honest response. "Well it looks a
bit tighter than when you last wore it" was not received well. Lying is not a good idea either, especially
if others know the truth! So, I have
decided I am staying quiet this month and not admitting to breaking into
someone else's home and trying to eat their dinner, or sneaking out during the
family's quarantine period and going for a swim in the river. In the words of the pop star Shaggy "It
who are you guys to judge me? I have
come to realise you humans are an odd bunch yourselves. I have noticed that the majority of you have
clearly been misbehaving since this pandemic thing started. All of a sudden you are all walking around
with muzzles on. I am quite shocked as
even I know biting and snarling is not good. And you've stopped going out to work. Can you imagine if my sheep dog friends opted
to work from home? How would they manage? Could they supervise the sheep from a web
don't get me wrong, I do quite like this home working rule as it means I have
exclusive company all day every day. Not
being put in 'that room' whilst they all go out is great. It has also meant the daughter has been able
to come and stay as she can work from our house. She is lovely; gives me loads of attention, as long as Alfie
her cat's not looking. She has even
learnt to type with one hand so she can pet me with the other. I have
made loads of new friends as I saunter into her web-calls every day. I bring her lots of extra attention when her
team all swoon and say how cute I am! Reckon
she is the most popular member of the team, thanks to me.
is another issue we should discuss about this pandemic. This quarantining
thing! Why is it the Mr. and Mrs. go
away for a week and then we all have to stay indoors for two weeks? Who thinks that's fair? I
certainly don't, although I have to say I have realised what kind people live
in our village. Judie took me out for
some walks. She is lovely but her lead
is very, very short! There was no risk
of me escaping, but I think she liked having me close. She also gave me some
great dog biscuits. Reckon she knew I have been missing Gary's
treats. Vicky Thorp allowed me to
become one of her Devon's Dashing Dogs. With her, I made loads of new friends and
visited some great new places. Look her up on Facebook she is amazing. I must also say thank you to Sharon and
Caroline who ensured I had dog food and plenty of dog treats. And, of course. my
wonderful mate George from next door, he brought me some presents which
included a new toy. I loved it but the
Mrs. was less keen as I have been leaving bits of rope all around the house the
last two weeks! Tee hee! 🤣
of presents reminds me this is the Christmas Newsletter isn't it? Time to say happy Christmas to you all. I have
a feeling it may be a little bit different this year. Whatever happens though, try and make it a
good one and if nothing else, we can all enjoy saying goodbye to 2020!
As we pull out the lights and ladders we climb
to decorate our homes this Christmas time
give a thought to the strange year that has been
for the things we have heard but may not have seen.
Think of others' families I beg you please,
whose lives have been torn with this dreadful disease.
Whilst we have scorned our politicians for the rules
they have made
appreciate the new waters they have had to wade.
None of us saw this coming a year ago.
None of us appreciated the way things would go.
We each may have our own point of view
of the way to handle it, the things we should do.
But really all we can do is look out for each other.
The people on the streets, your sister, your brother.
Communities, pulling together has become the new norm.
Supporting each other to weather this storm.
Let's continue next year, realising other people matter.
Caring for society and our world - our new mantra.
The true meaning of Christmas can then come to the fore.
The gifts of tolerance, love and community will mean
so much more.
Let's make this year, our best Christmas yet.
After a year that none of us will ever forget.
MANOR HALL NEWS
NOVEMBER 2020 CHAIR REPORT
Firstly, apologies that this year's AGM is for obviously
Our year from April 2019-20 was another successful
fundraising year for the Hall with several well attended events. We reintroduced the summer fete in August
which was blessed with a lovely sunny day.
It was a successful day with locals and holidaymakers alike enjoying a
traditional village fete. In November we
had a new event in the form of a Ladies Night.
The Ilfracombe clothes shop Clathers showcased their stock to a packed
hall of ladies who enjoyed nibbles and a glass of Prosecco whilst watching
local models showing off Clathers' winter collection. It was a highly enjoyable
and fun evening raising over £2000. We
had hoped to repeat the format with their spring collection but this obviously
sadly had to be postponed. In December
we had another first with a Christmas Wreath making day. Our annual Christmas Coffee Morning went
ahead as usual and the first [and it turned out to be the last] 2020 fundraiser
was a Pancake Morning enjoyed by young and old.
Once again, we thank the many generous donations from
various groups within the village, the donations from these events are most
The entrance to the Pre-school and Snooker Club had a
much-needed makeover, kindly done by our fantastic painting volunteers. A large new shed was constructed outside
which enables us to store among other things our plastic chairs and gazebos. The
wooden barge boards on the gable end and the front of the main hall have been
renewed. We have been awarded a grant
from the Parish Council to help towards the replacement of the rotten bay
windows in the main hall, this current project is delayed with planning issues.
It is with regret that we failed to seek listed building
consent for the large rear hall window replaced a year ago and this has been
notified to the planning office and an enforcement officer subsequently visited
the hall. This has resulted in a
request for its removal along with the other windows at the rear of the Pre-school
that were installed many years previously without consent. Naturally this is disappointing news but we shall
endeavour to put right our mistake.
At this present time the hall is once
again closed due to Covid-19 and so this report was presented via Zoom. I
very much hope that 2021 brings better times for us all. If you would like to see a full copy of the
minutes of the 2020 AGM, including the financial report, please contact either
myself or Alan.
Despite that at the time of writing we
are under another lockdown, we very much hope that we'll be able to hold a
planned Christmas Story in the hall in conjunction with Beaford Arts on Tuesday
22nd December. Posters with details of
this will be up around the village as soon as we know the situation. Obviously, it will be under Covid secure
restrictions and so tickets will be limited.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a
much happier and safer 2021.
Julia Fairchild - Chairman 
Alan Hamilton - Treasurer
Ordinarily, we should have had meetings this year from January
through to May and then October onwards. Twenty-twenty has not been the
year most of us were expecting!
During this unprecedented year,
sadly, some of our members have been seriously ill, but others have passed
away. Mary and Gordon Hughes used
to live in the village, but moved to Combe Martin a few years ago; however,
Mary still came to the Wine Circle on a regular basis. Carol Lucas, with Graham, was also a frequent
visitor to our meetings. These
ladies were both regular 'tasters' at our gatherings and will be missed. I am
sure I can say, on behalf of all our members, that we wish their families
well, and that they gain the support they need
from their families and friends to cope with operation recovery or
bereavement during difficult times.
Let's raise a glass to a
vaccine and to 2021 being a much better year!
Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator & Secretary
first taste of education
During the second part of our autumn
term we remained open and concentrated on celebrating the festivals - Bonfire Night,
Remembrance Sunday, Diwali and Christmas.
We added Maths concepts within this topic - counting, sorting,
measuring, recognising numerals and shapes. We also introduced Number of the Week and
focused some of our activities around this number.
We talked about keeping safe,
especially as the clocks went back in October and our evenings became darker
earlier. This year's Bonfire night was
different for all of us, but we still talked to the children about firework
safety. We learnt about the sounds of
fireworks and all the colours they make in the night sky.
Diwali was celebrated on the14th
November. It is the Indian Festival of Lights,
usually celebrated over five days. This
is one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism. Diwali
symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and
knowledge over ignorance. We introduced
the design of rangoli patterns looking at shapes and texture. We also made some flavoursome sweets!
For Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, where we
remember the members of the armed forces, the children made their own poppy
badges in recognition.
Celebrating Christmas at Pre-school will be different this
year, having no performance to work toward. However, we shall still sing our Christmas
songs in setting and get into the spirit of Christmas by decorating the room
and reading the Christmas story.
suggested by one of our parents to have a fancy dress day as the children
haven't been able to dress up in our preschool costumes. We suggested Friday 13th as this coincided
Children in Need event and are donating towards this fundraising event.
We are pleased to say that we raised
£72.00 with our Bag2school collection. Thank
you to parents and members of our community for sorting out your wardrobes and
drawers for unwanted clothes, shoes, bags etc.
We shall be using this money to buy new Maths resources.
message from the Community Nurse
Immunisation It's really important that children continue
to receive their booster vaccines and MMR vaccine. They are also entitled to the Flu Nasal spray. For more details see
A Zoom AGM was held on Monday 12th
October. We send a big THANK YOU to Kirsty
Kritikos,Tina Barbeary, Laura Maughan for all their voluntary work and
contributions in supporting and running the Pre-school. They have been a great team to work with
especially over this difficult period. They
have now stepped down from their positions on the committee.
new Committee is Kayleigh Richards who has taken on the role as Chairperson,
Jody Latham our treasurer and
Verity Seldon our secretary. We welcome them all and look forward to
working with them and all the Committee to ensure that our unique and
much-loved Pre-school continues to run and provide the happy child care that
the children enjoy so much.
you for the Bulbs, Berry in Bloom
This year the children missed helping
the Berry in Bloom team plant bulbs in the planters in front of the Manor Hall.
However, Wendy and the team kindly
donated bulbs for us to plant at
which the children thoroughly enjoyed. We
look forward to seeing the beautiful colours in spring.
We wish Everyone
a Safe and
Happy Christmas and look forward to a Happy New
From the Pre-school Committee, the Children and Staff
is hard to believe that we are already in December! Winter is upon us, or will
be shortly depending on your preferred definition, but hopefully with it has
come an ease in lockdown restrictions. Of
course, I'm writing this in November so cannot be certain. This is good news as we look forward to
Christmas, which although won't be as normal, will at least be with lighter
restrictions. I wonder how you are preparing for Christmas this year? I imagine that you have an advent calendar on
the go already. This year mine is
teabags rather than chocolate! It is a wonderful way to count down to
Christmas, and having something to look forward to is more important than ever,
isn't it. For the church, advent
started on the 29th November this year and with it came a new year [in the
church calendar at least]. Advent is a
season of preparation: Not only of our
decorations and presents, but more importantly of ourselves. It is a good time to reflect on why we
celebrate Christmas at all, and our own place in it.
Despite all the glitz and glamour that
is associated with Christmas now [largely thanks to savvy Victorian salespeople],
it has certainly not always been the case, especially with the first Christmas.
The first Christmas was in the context
of a woman being misunderstood and mistreated, a 'global' government putting
restrictions upon the people, a local government bringing oppression and
violence against those that threatened their power, of families being
separated, of the most vulnerable being side-lined and forgotten. I'm sure that at least some of that feels a
bit too close for comfort this year. However, that is why Christmas is more
important than we normally give it credit for. It is the story of light in the darkness and
hope in despair. It is the story of God with us - Emmanuel. Take time this year to look at Christmas
with fresh eyes. You may want to read
the story for yourself in the bible or perhaps read this short book over
advent: Fixated by Tim Chester. Of course, I'd love to help you explore this
world changing message.
we approach Christmas this year it is unfortunate that many of the usual events
that you may be used to attending are unable to happen. There certainly will be events happening but
at time of writing we're not sure the form they will take as it depends a lot
on what happens on the 2nd December. Please
do keep an eye-out for posters at the church as well as information online to
keep informed about what will be happening.
In the meantime, I have some good news. Once lockdown has ended, we shall be
resuming physical services. These
be at 3.00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. Until then we shall be continuing our online
services at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday morning, which you can catch up on anytime.
Simple, go to: www.combetocombechurches.co.uk
There is also our evening service at 7.30
p.m. every Sunday via the 'phone. If
you'd like to join in, just be in touch and I'll pass on the details to you. For more information on these service as well
as much more please see my latest letter on our website.
Some other great news is that there is
now a Community Mental Health Practitioner working with St. Peter's. Her name is Lisa and is here to serve the
community. I won't say too much here as
she has introduced herself in her letter below, but please do be in touch. I expect that lockdown has made all of us
realise the importance of looking after our mental health. Lisa
would love to help you do that.
Finally, may I wish you all a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year. God
bless, Rev. Peter
email@example.com / 07803253286
"Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on
whom his favour rests."
a short [up to 10 seconds-ish] video to lisa@thinkhealth and we'll post the
whole thing on our socials and e-mail it out over Christmas. We're working on a couple of ideas, but I'd
LOVE to chat through any ideas you have.
You can catch me on my e-mail, phone
or text: 07539953420 Instagram: @lisa_thinkhealth. Take care, God bless you guys, and remember .
. . "There's room for everyone on the nice list!" - Buddy the Elf, 2003. Legend.
wish all their
village friends a Happy Christmas and a
Peaceful and Healthy
In this very abnormal year, we wish everyone a safe
and happy time during the festive season.
May the New Year bring us good news, and an effective vaccine! Very best wishes from
Wishing all friends
and villagers a Very Happy Christmas.
Let us all look
forward to a virus-free New Year.
David, Highgate Lodge
We wish everyone in
Berrynarbor a Very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
Wishing our family
and village friends a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
Hoping everyone has
a Happy Christmas and New Year. Take
care and be safe.
Brian Franks, now in Bickington
Bob wish all their friends a Very Happy Christmas.
Roger Paget wish friends and neighbours a Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year.
Phil Pocock would like to wish everyone who
knows us a Very
Happy Christmas and a Healthier 2021.
Wishing all our
friends and neighbours a Very Happy
Christmas & a
Happy & Healthy New Year.
and Alan at The Old Roost.
Keith at Rose Cottage would like to wish
everyone a Happy
Christmas and a safe New Year.
everyone. Keep safe.
Juanita Billington xx
would like to wish
all villagers a safe and HappyChristmas.
Let's hope we can
all get together
again in 2021!
Laura and the Crew of the Boat Café send
best wishes for
Christmas and the New Year and
hope to welcome you
aboard in 2021.
website/Facebook page for opening details]
Wishing all readers,
friends and neighbours in the Sterridge Valley and our new neighbours in
a Very Happy
Christmas, may 2021 bring you all renewed good health, success and
Jill and little Amber
Berrynarbor and here's to a different and better New Year 2021, Dave and Ann
Inge send warm greetings for Christmas and wishes for a
Healthy New Year 2021 to all friends, neighbours, villagers and readers of the
Sending best wishes
for a Very Happy Christmas and
New Year to all our
friends and neighbours.
& Pat, Fuchsia Cottage
To all our friends
and neighbours in the village,
a Very Happy
Christmas and the best of health and happiness in 2021.
Wishing all our
friends and neighbours a very Merry
Christmas and a
Happy and Healthy 2021
Judie wish you all a safe and peaceful
Festive Season and a
Happy New Year.
Norma [Holland] send best wishes to all
friends in the
village and on The Park, and please
stay safe and
healthy in 2021.
Elaine and John
everyone a Merry
Christmas and a
Happy, Healthy New Year.
McCrae wishes everyone a Happy
Christmas and a
Healthy New Year.
A Merry Christmas
and a Happy
New Year to everyone
time of year. Gilly L.
Here's to a happy lockdown Christmas to all in
wishing you all well
and trust 2021 is a better year for all.
Love Fenella and John -
Staff & Volunteers
at Marwood Hill
Gardens thank all visitors from Berrynarbor and wish everyone a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year.
times, please see our website, Facebook page.]
Wishing all our
friends in the village a Very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. Wendy and Chris
Tony send Greetings to all friends and acquaintances and
best wishes for good health and happiness in the New Year.
Wishing everyone A
Merry Christmas and much better 2021.
Stay safe. Greg and Sue,
wish all friends and
neighbours in the village a
Happy Christmas and
hope the New Year will bring happier times.
We don't see our
friends and neighbours so often now due to covid virus restrictions,
still think of you all in the village.
So, here's our very best wishes to everyone for a Happy Christmas and a
Healthy New Year.
Jill and Tim Massey
Wishing all our
wonderful friends in the village a
and a brighter New Year! With love and
[Wootton], dad Brian, Posh and Ginny xxx [Shambles]
Phil at Holmleigh wish all friends a
Very Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year.
To all our friends,
neighbours and acquaintances: for all
of us this has been
a year unlike any we have ever known
and one we shall
never forget. So, our Christmas
greeting to you all
is that you will find joy in celebrating all
that Christmas means
to you, possibly in a different way, but
remembering all your
past Happy Christmases and special
memories. Happy Christmas from Chris and Jen
greetings to all friends and neighbours and
Charlotte and Mickey
and Sonny wish all friends and
neighbours a Very
This article is written by Helen
Weedon, Senior Investment Manager at the Arts and Humanities Research Council
How my Inner
Tigger Survived Lockdown
Bouncing back from this year hasn't
been easy, but I've found a few things that work.
your chin up." The phrase has echoed
throughout my life. I think my mum first
said it to me when I started
pre-school. She definitely said it to
me in a text earlier this week.
I am naturally a glass-half-full kind of girl, a bit of a Tigger, full of
and bounce. That's not to say life hasn't been tough or
that I haven't been pushed to the very limits
of my coping strategies. There's been divorce, redundancy and most
recently, a son with a serious
psychotic mental health condition.
of course, Covid has forced me to re-examine my own health and wellbeing and
throw all my best tricks into the ring.
work in the arts. Early on, I was a
teacher and a lecturer in dance and performing arts. I then
went on to work in the public sector as a Cultural Manager, and now I work for
the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
6 months in the office and just starting to feel at home, we switched overnight
to homeworking and Zoom. For an
extrovert who gets her energy from being around other people, this has been tough.
years ago, I decided I needed to get to grips with my health. I quit smoking, started cycling to work and
finally discovered running. Looking
back, I can see that getting physically in shape was a prerequisite for getting myself mentally fit for the turbulent times that followed.
to life in lockdown.
had stopped running following an injury, and I wondered if now was the moment
to try again. I downloaded the excellent BBC C2K app, dusted off my running shoes, and got started.
I feel very lucky to work for a boss
who gets it; someone who supports people with real and complex lives and who
knows that we are all different and all work differently.
The routine of getting up 3 times a week and going out was great; the
fresh air, the endorphins, a chance to feel good about achieving
something. I started to feel a bit
better. Around that time, my yoga teacher switched to online classes. I re-organised the
lounge, created a yoga corner, ordered some rather lovely incense sticks and
taught my very excitable diva hound, Desmond, that when the mat comes out, he
is to sit quietly and not bounce all over me while trying to lick my face.
There's downward dog, and then there's "Down, dog!"
So at least 3 times a week I do yoga. Talking of Desmond, the once-a-day exercise
slot was, of course, dedicated to him and his needs. Together we discovered new routes, explored
fields along the edges of Swindon, observing the natural world all around us. We watched spring turn to summer turn to
autumn, watching the farmers tend their crops and livestock as the seasons
passed. All the while Desmond pursued
his life goal of catching a squirrel. One
day Desmond, one day!
moments spent in nature gave me time to reflect, to breathe, to observe my
inner thoughts and feelings. It was
like recharging my batteries for the next challenge, and I discovered I really
quite enjoyed my own company. This was super important,
particularly as my son would spend time in the mental hospital over the summer
my greatest lesson was to allow myself to be flexible.
I stopped trying to work the routine 9 to 5. I went
outside when the sun was shining, hung my washing out, interspersing housework
with office work. I worked earlier some days and later others,
but always on my terms. I took regular
breaks — even just walking into another room would change my outlook and mood. I wasn't afraid to say how I was feeling and
encouraged my colleagues to do the same.
lockdown and the ongoing challenge of Covid-19 have taken their toll. Yet
rebalancing my home and work life, staying active, getting outdoors and taking
control of the things I can control have all really helped keep me stay upbeat.
Some days I still get down.
week has been especially tough, but this morning I went out running, this
evening I will walk my dog, and tomorrow will be another day, and my chin will
A HISTORY OF BERRYNARBOR SCHOOL
found this photograph in Judith Adam's Berrynarbor book. The original belongs to Lorna Bowden and
perhaps came from her aunt, Muriel Richards, who was a teacher at the school. Judith's book says that it was taken in 1898,
but we don't know how this is known, perhaps the date is written on the back. Unfortunately, school photographs are not
mentioned in the logbooks, otherwise we might have a precise date. However, it is unlikely to be winter and so
perhaps the photo was taken between May and October. I'd like to work out exactly where it was
taken, the hills in the background are readily recognisable and it was probably
somewhere in the school grounds.
Ron Toms identified a few of the people in the photograph:
pupils James Ley [front row, third from left] and Bruce Pedrick [second row
from the back, on the left, next to the teacher]. He suggests that the Headteacher was Mr. Brown. However, Alfred Brown did not start working
at the school until January 1899, so perhaps this is his predecessor William
Sanders Tarry, Headmaster from 1896 until the end of 1898. The other two teachers are Mrs. Burgess [to
the right of the Headmaster] and Miss Lewis [on the extreme right of the photo].
Christiana Burgess was originally from
Wolverhampton and had married an Ilfracombe man; she taught the Infants' Class
for two years and in 1898 would have been about 54 years old. Florence Lewis was the Supplementary Teacher. She was 20 years old in 1898 and remained at
the school until 1909. She was the
daughter of Richard and Ellen Lewis of Watermouth Cottage. Her father was a farm bailiff, presumably
for the Castle. Florence Lewis had been
a pupil at the school, had gone on to be a monitress and eventually become a certificated teacher.
James Ley, one of the two boys identified, is six or seven
years old on the photo. He was the
youngest of the 12 children of Thomas and Mary Jane Ley who lived at Hole Farm.
James left school at 14 and worked on
his parents' farm until 1914 when he joined the Royal North Devon Hussars. During the First World War he took part in
the Gallipoli Campaign. In 1918 he
married Evelina Stanbury and they went on to have at least three children; the
family lived at Hole Farm. The second
boy, Bruce Pedrick, was ten years old in 1898.
He was the youngest of the three children of Thomas and Emma Pedrick of
North Lee Farm. After he left school, he too worked on his
parents' farms; they moved from
Berrynarbor to Morwenstow in Cornwall and then back to Arlington. Bruce does not appear to have gone to war. In 1915 he married Minnie Brooks and in 1917
was granted a conditional exception to work as a horseman at Tidcombe Farm in
The school logbook records that on 7th
June 1898 there were 131 children on the books and only 86 children appear on
the photo. We wonder where the other 45
children were - is this a reflection of school attendance at the end of the 19th
century? There may have been a degree of transience in the lives of some of
these children, perhaps particularly those of farm labourers, with families
moving between parishes and the children frequently changing schools. Large families also meant that it was common
for children to live with grandparents or other relatives for periods of time. The Admission Register shows that children
aged from four to fifteen were at the school and that the most common family
names were: Crocombe, Harding, Huxtable and Ley. Apart from the three teachers and two pupils
already described, there are two more children who probably appear on the photo
and would be found on the back row. These
are the Monitresses: Marian
Lewis [aged 15] and Bessie Harding [aged 13].
Marian was the younger sister of teacher Florence Lewis. They may well be amongst the four taller
girls standing on the back row and the one on the left may be wearing a badge. Monitresses
assisted the teachers and were usually drawn from the school pupils. It was a paid position and in 1899 a yearly salary at Berrynarbor School was £4-0-0.
The HMI Report for the school year 1897-98 reads:
If any reader recognizes any of the other children in the
photo, please get in touch, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 97
Smuggling from shipwrecks
was once a regular occurrence along the coastlines of North Devon and North
Cornwall. At its worst, the practice
brought out the most calculated and deceitful nature of the coastal villages'
inhabitants. For example, a contemporary
report about the wreckers of Morwenstowe stated that they would "allow a
fainting brother to perish to the sea, without extending a hand of
safety." It was within such an
environment that the Reverend Robert Hawker [b1803], or Parson Hawker as he became
known by locals, chose to carry out his service to God when he became vicar of
the Church of St Morwena and St John the Baptist in the remote rural parish of
Morwenstowe in 1831. Yet by the time of
his death in 1875, this eccentric character, with a strong aversion to black,
was held in such high regard by his parishioners that as a mark of respect at
his funeral they chose to wear purple instead.
In fact, such was his disdain for black, any onlooker was sure to
witness a vibrant choice of dye colouring for his clothing. During church services he donned a yellow
vestment and scarlet gloves; whilst going about the
parish on his beloved mule he would be seen wearing a claret-coloured tailcoat,
a fisherman's jersey with a cross embroidered over his heart and a pink
brimless hat; and if the weather was
inclement he would sport a yellow blanket he had especially sourced in
Bideford, having discovered a hole in its middle which was perfect in circumference
for his head!
But his eccentricity was not just limited to his dress
code. He could also act in ways which
were regarded as somewhat curious. One night, for example, he decided to swim
out to a rock at Bude naked, except for an oilskin wrapped around his legs and
strands of seaweed delicately positioned upon his head to give the impression
of a wig. Once secure and comfortable
upon the rock he began singing in an unearthly voice whilst looking at his
reflection in a glass in order to comb his green slithery hair. The rural natives began to gather on the
shoreline in wonder at their discovery of a real mermaid with hair that
glistened in the moonlight! Relishing
the attention, Hawker repeated the act the following night, noticing on his
arrival that a larger crowd had gathered.
In order not to disappoint his audience, he chose to end his performance
by plunging into the sea and disappearing out of sight. The next evening an even bigger crowd
arrived, the throng now including onlookers from neighbouring villages. This time before submerging into the water he
ended his singing with a vigorous rendition of God Save the King.
Like many eccentrics he was also a loner - perhaps the
reason why he chose such a remote area to ply his trade. However, the best example of his need to be
alone was the hut he erected close to Higher Sharpnose Point, roughly one mile
from Morwenstowe Church. Built out of
driftwood and timber from shipwrecks, Hawker constructed it into the hillside
so he could look out to the Atlantic. This was a place, no doubt, where he
gained inspiration for his sermons and poems.
The original hut has since been replaced by one of mainly timber with a
turf-covered top. Now owned by National
Trust [it is their smallest property], it can be accessed from the South West
Hawker probably also used his hut to observe the moods of
the weather and sea in order to foresee the likelihood of any shipwrecks; for it was in such a scenario that he carried
out what was arguably his greatest deed.
He had been in the parish around 25 years when on an autumn evening a
violent storm erupted. It rattled the
windows of the old Morwenstowe Church so furiously, Hawker had to shout during
the service so he could be heard above the din. In the churchyard, sycamore branches were
whipped and headstones knocked flat.
The storm raged throughout the night, the doors to his vicarage
clattering and its windows flapping.
Yet Parson Hawker slept through it all.
Only at daybreak did he stir, awoken by one of his choirboys banging on
the front door. "Oh Sir," the
boy cried. "There are dead men on
Vicarage Rocks." The Parson
immediately rushed out in his dressing gown and slippers, ran the quarter of a
mile to the cliffs and descended the 300 feet to the beach. He instantly began bringing to shore
sailors, both dead and alive; and, more
significantly, as locals arrived on the scene and witnessed Hawker's actions,
they instantly did the same. Looting
goods or leaving men to die was not given a second thought, such was the high
esteem in which the parson was held - in an era when, as the saying went, 'save
a stranger from the sea and he'll turn your enemy'. In sheer contrast, however, these locals
respected how Parson Hawker gave every dead sailor a Christian burial and how
he had survivors stay at his vicarage until they were fully recovered.
So what was it about Hawker that led these isolated, rural
and, in some cases, law-breaking locals to change their attitude? Why was this parson held in such high
esteem? To answer these questions, I
believe there are two factors to bring to light. Firstly, he was widely known for his
reckless generosity to the poor of his parish and those who were
shipwrecked. Secondly, people who go
about their lives on an even keel, their temperament always
calm and their demeanour
emitting a sense of solidity and security naturally gain respect. Parson Hawker was one such person. For there was an upper stillness in which he
lived. To him the remote, rural village
of Morwenstowe was a truly holy place, his church 'a chancel in the sky'. What's more, it was in that dusty chancel
that he was confident that he could see St Morwena; and whilst nobody knows quite who she was or
precisely what she did to become a saint, Hawker felt he knew her
intimately. But his bond with heavenly
forms extended beyond Morwenwtowe's dedicated parochial saint. In one of his poems he tells of how, whilst
praying in his church, he could hear angelic hymns: 'We see them not - we may not hear; The music of their wing; Yet know we that they sojourn near; The
Angels of the Spring.'
We talk of Christmas as the season of goodwill. However, this year we saw, to quote Reverend
Robert Hawker, the emergence of 'Angels in the Spring' with the onset of
Coronavirus. Tragic though this has been, the outbreak has brought communities
together and led people to go out of their way in order to support vulnerable
neighbours, friends and family during these unprecedented times. Like Parson Hawker, may your acts of
boundless generosity and kindness continue.
Jennie Brooks, who had a riding horse,
was in her van and on her way back from a farm where she had just bought two
bales of hay. Suddenly, what does she
see sitting beside her on the passenger seat?
Why, nothing but a huge rat!
Jennie was used to small mice showing
themselves but this was a bit much. By
now she was on the motorway and was unable to stop but fortunately she was able
to get back to her stables.
The rat sat fast, so what to do now?
Call her sister Joan who lived with
her! Her mobile 'phone was handy so she
gave her a call.
"Hello" said Jennie. "Can you please bring Ginger the cat to the
yard outside. Don't question, but do as
Joan grabbed the cat and went to the
van. "What do you want me to do?" she
"Just throw Ginger in through the van
Joan did as she was told and, in less
time than you could say "Jack Robinson", the cat grabbed the rat and it was
dead in a moment.
"I think that deserves a drink!" said
"Agreed!" replied Joan.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
AN IRISH TALE
remember that this is written about happenings some
ago, and Ireland is a very different place now!
Some of you may have read about how Pam and I found
Berrynarbor. This is about how we nearly
lost it again.
Only a couple of months after we had bought 30 Pitt Hill [now
Duckypool Cottage], Courtaulds, for whom I worked, promoted me saying, "You
will go to Ireland won't you!" They
were building a new factory to make polyester yarn, called Lirelle, in a brand-new
factory at a town called Letterkenny in County Donegal. I was
to be one of six senior managers, reporting to a General Manager. Five of the other six were polymer
production, spinning, engineering, personnel, accountancy, and I was
site-services, that is Lord-high everything else - housing, transport, safety,
security, communications, canteen, property etc., etc. - a Poo-Ba of a job that
took a lot of getting used to.
was 25 miles or so west of Londonderry, in the Republic of Ireland, and at the
height of the IRA troubles. We went to
look, flying to Belfast and hiring a car to drive over the Glenshane Pass to
Londonderry, then across the border to Letterkenny. This was on a dark, wet evening and six armed
masked men jumped out of a hedge and stopped us to demand identity documents. Fortunately, they were a British Army patrol
and we went on our way! In spite of
this, I accepted the job, and we kept 30 Pitt Hill to rent as a holiday
When we came to buy a house in Ireland, we found a
delightful cottage, Rose Cottage, on the edge of a village called Rathmullan on
the shores of Loch Swilly, within yards of a beach that would rival Woolacombe!
When we were negotiating the purchase, I asked, "What are
the rates?" The only reply was, "T'is best you don't ask". We
eventually found that the cottage had belonged to a local hotel that had put
its rates onto their bill. When they
sold the cottage to the present occupiers, they had simply crossed the item off
their own bill, and the council had not thought to put it on another, so the
cottage had not paid rates for about 3 years!
When it was eventually sorted out, and we got a bill for a year, I was
cross as we had only been there for 8 months. Pam said, "Look at it." It was for £36. The
cottage had been last rated in 1922 at £2 and not updated. The rates were now £18 in the pound. Modern Letterkenny houses were paying
hundreds, so I kept quiet!
This was the late '70s. In Ireland then, there were only two
telephone directories, one for Dublin and the other for the whole of the rest
of the republic. Our phone was Rathmullan 74. It didn't have a dial, just a handle to
turn. I would occasionally pick up the phone on my
desk in the factory. I would wait for about a minute for one of twenty ladies
in the Letterkenny exchange to say, "Number please" and I would say,
"Rathmullan 74 please". A minute or so
later another voice would say, "Rathmullan" and I would say "74 please". She
would then say, "Oh no, Dr Parke. Your
wife has just gone out with Mrs. McCarthy, I'll put you through to 68."
house was at the end of the drive of one of the best hotels in Ireland. They also had a number of self-catering
cottages, as did another hotel a few hundred yards away in the same
village. Looking for an occupation, Pam
put a notice saying 'Open' at our front door, and started selling home bakery
to the visitors. News travels fast in a
village, and before we knew it, she had queues at the door. Eventually, the strain on our old cottage
electrical system became so great that it collapsed, and we had to get
emergency help from the factory electrician.
Pam then found a holiday home for sale in the village. It was
two up and two down. The front bedroom
had a double bed and a cot, the back one a two-layer double bunk bed, so the
house, which was only about 10 feet wide, slept up to 7! We understand that granny had the inside
lower bed at the back! After stripping the house and building a
lean-to extension at the back, Pam was able to buy second-hand ovens, a huge
mixer, etc., and she had her home bakery, The Buttery.
She trained a number of local girls to work in the shop and
was very flattered when one of the older girls married, moved to another
village at the far side of the county and opened her own Buttery on the lines
that Pam had taught.
There was a habit in the village for having a wake after a
funeral. It could be a dry wake, or a wet wake, but
there would always be lots of food served.
One day a lady came to the shop and said to Pam, "Aunty is sinking fast,
she will not last to the end of the month.
Would you ever make me a big cake for the wake?" Six months later the same lady came in and
said, "Aunty recovered so we ate the wake cake, but she is very poorly again. Would you make me another wake cake
please?" Aunty recovered again, she must have been a
tough old bird! The next request was
"Would you make us a lot of wee buns for the wake please?" We understand that they were properly used
In our second year there, Pam celebrated her 40th birthday,
and I could not think of a suitable present. She had always wanted a dog, so I bought her
a golden Labrador puppy. Because of its
origin, it had to be called Seamus - not a clever thing to do. If you
shout "Seamus", anywhere in Ireland, every other Irishman will turn and say, "Yes"!
were both busy and had neither the time nor the skill to train Seamus properly,
so he was always a handful. One
Saturday morning Pam was in her shop and I wanted exercise, so I took the dog
on to the beach. Usually, if there were
three couples there, it was busy, but today was the annual Apprentice Boys'
March in Londonderry. Anyone who could
escape had come to our beach, so there were dozens of families there. Seamus
ran amuck, scattering sand, stealing towels and sandwiches. I yelled at the top of my voice, "Seamus, sit!". Unfortunately, I got the sibilants wrong and
for once in his life, the dog did what he was told. It took me a long time to live that one down!
When Pam and I had been in Ireland for two years, we became
treated as Irish residents. That meant that our UK driving licences were
no longer valid in the republic. We had
to take driving tests. I went first,
and to get a broader licence, I borrowed the company minibus. All went well until we were on a quiet road.
"Pull in and stop." The examiner said. "You see that side road behind you to your
left. please back the bus into it, keeping as close to the kerb as you can." I looked, and the road was unfinished and into
a new estate. The tarmac dribbled into the
dirt, there was no kerb. "Ah
well," he said, "Just keep as close as to where you might imagine it would be!" I did
and I passed.
When Pam went, she had to do a theory test and was shown a
road sign, a white disk with a red rim and a bent arrow pointing to the right
with a red bar across it. "If you saw
that, Mrs. Parke, which way would you not turn?" It took Pam a while to decide that it wasn't
a trick question! After that she drove safely and carefully
through Letterkenny on market day, negotiating hand carts, animals and
pedestrians with great confidence. She
then drove with relief and enthusiasm back to the office, where the car park
was up a steep ramp to the second floor. At the end of the ramp all four wheels of the
car left the ground! She and the tester
looked at each other and he said, "I wish my other clients drove as well as you
did, but if you come back, do go more slowly up the ramp!" She
THE CHRISTMAS WASTE CRISIS!
And What We Can Do About It
I think with the year we've had everyone is
looking forward to Christmas, but the planet? Not so much. And that's because of the colossal amount of
waste we produce every year.
you can see we waste A LOT, 30% more per household than at any other time of
year [in the UK]! So
what can we do about it?
1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away
74 million mince pies and 2 million turkeys go uneaten
tonnes of cardboard and 250,000 tonnes of plastic are discarded, the equivalent of 30 times the mass of the Statue of Liberty!
- 13,350 tonnes of glass go to waste
- 17.2 million Brussel sprouts are chucked out
- And we throw away enough wrapping paper to
stretch around the world 9 times
are lots of small actions that you can take to reduce your environmental impact
at Christmas! These include - but are
not limited to:
you aren't sure what to get someone, please, please don't buy them something
useless just so you have something to give. Instead, try thinking/asking about what they
really want/need, give them an experience rather than a physical gift, or give
them a pre-loved [aka second hand] gift. There is nothing wrong at all with giving
someone something second-hand; in fact
in many ways it's better. It's cheaper,
but it doesn't mean you care less because you didn't spend money on them, it
means you care more because you are trying to protect the planet. And, second hand gifts often have stories to
them that don't come with things that have never been used and/or loved before!
- Re-using Christmas cards as post cards, gift
tags and on collages/for making other cards
- Using fabric and ribbon/gift bags instead of
wrapping paper, and reusing them year after year
- If you do buy wrapping paper, making sure it
is recyclable and doesn't have glitter [although it's pretty it's also a microplastic - presuming that
it's made of plastic; nowadays some
- Making sure other things you buy don't have plastic glitter
- Not buying people gifts for the sake of it!
If you are given something you don't want, don't throw it away. Instead,
re gift it, give it to a charity shop, or to a homeless shelter/refugee
- Let people know you don't mind second hand
you so much for reading this. We are
only a small village but by all doing our small parts and telling other people
about them, we really can make a difference!
wish you a Merry Christmas full of kindness and joy and a very Happy New Year!
Ellam, Sterridge Valley
"We are one people globally and at our best when we
Pascal Soriot CEO AstraZeneka, June 2020
AstraZeneka plc/AB is a British-Swedish multinational
pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company with its global headquarters in
Cambridge, United Kingdom and Sodertalje, Sweden.
Its Research and Development is concentrated in Cambridge in the UK, Sodertalje
in Sweden and Maryland and Toronto in North America.
grunted. He was lying very comfortably
on a grassy bank, and did not feel disposed to talk. "Conversation and Comfort" he reflected, "do
not go together."
Published by Wills & Hepworth Ltd. of
Loughborough for Ladybird Books, the Adventures of Wonk is a series of six
titles - Going to Sea, Strawberries and Cream, Fireworks , The Secret
, The Circus and The Snowman .
of the books has two stories recounting the everyday adventures of Wonk, a
sleepy, loveable Koala character and his best friend, a young boy named Peter. Through all the stories, Peter and Wonk are
fairly care-free and left to their own devices much of the time, capturing the
innocence of childhood in the 1940's.
Written by Muriel Levy, 'Auntie Muriel' of Radio fame, they were all
illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe.
Muriel Augusta Levy was born on the 2nd
August 1908 in London, the daughter of Polish-born Louis Levey and his British
wife, Amelia. By 1911, the family had
moved north to Liverpool where Muriel attended the prestigious Liverpool
In the early days of BBC Radio, Muriel was
one of the voices heard on the Liverpool Station, which
began broadcasting in 1924, soon becoming a radio personality known to generations
of children as 'Auntie Muriel'. By the
late 1920's, she was organising Children's Hour and Woman's Hour, as well as
writing scripts for radio, eventually totalling over 3,000, and adapting
literary works such as The Forsyte Saga.
Taking an active interest in promoting
literacy, from the 1920's through her weekly column in the Liverpool Echo,
Auntie Muriel's Treasure Chest, she encouraged children to read and draw for
including in her articles. Sitting on
the Committee of the National Library for the Blind, she chose books for
translation into braille. She was also
Chairman of the Liverpool Child Welfare Fund.
Muriel married twice, firstly Rudolph
F. Taylor and then James Goodier, and had one daughter. She died on the 30th March, 1972, aged 68.
Joan Kiddell-Monroe, a British author
and illustrator of children's books, was born in Clacton-on-Sea on the 9th
August 1908. She studied at the Chelsea
School of Art and worked in advertising before becoming a freelance
artist. In the late 1930's she married
Webster Murray, a Canadian illustrator, travelling with him before the War in
Africa. Following his death in 1957,
she returned there with their son. Her
later years were spent in Majorca where she died in 1972.
At the time of writing, we have just started a new lockdown
and are wondering what will happen at Christmas. This year, with the inevitable restrictions,
it is not going to be the same and may not even feel like Christmas. Four years ago, just over a week before
Christmas, the most important person in my life died. It made Christmas feel surreal and lonely. But it brought into sharp focus why we
celebrate Christmas and the meaning behind it.
I hung on to that and got through the most difficult time of my life.
Christmas is definitely on! No matter the restrictions, the meaning and
joy behind it can never be taken away.
The song, All the Angels Sing, by Doug Horley
from the album Oomph really captures this.
All the angels sing, that
Christ has come, to a manger bare. Mary
laid him there.
Come on fill the sky, with shouts of praise.
Lift your voice with me, and sing, sing, sing, sing, sing!
Emmanuel, Emmanuel God is with us. It's the true meaning of Christmas.
Jesus has come and changed
Emmanuel, Emmanuel God is with us, every day and not just Christmas.
Jesus has come and changed our lives forever, more.
All the angels sing, that
Christ has come, to a world in need.
Good news indeed. Love wrapped as a
Gave everything, for you and I. Let's
sing, sing, sing, sing, sing!
Join with all the angels
singing, giving glory unto him.
One and all now lift your voices, to him praises bring.
All of heaven sings together. All
creation worships him.
He is Jesus Holy one. He is Christ the
Here is a link to the song. Warning - it is very catchy! tinyurl.com/CBYangels. May we
all have the best Christmas we can, and a happy and healthy 2021.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
JAMES ALBERT BOND
30 January 1928 - January 2005
Military Careerist and briefly Secretary/Archivist
for the British Embassy in
Usually for the December Newsletter I
try to write something Christmassy: St
Nicholas, Tom Smith [crackers], Mr. Doyley, Queen Charlotte, who introduced
Christmas trees, Sir Henry Cole who sent the first Christmas card, various
saints and so on. But this is an
extraordinary year and in late September I learnt of an extraordinary name
co-incidence - a tale stranger than fiction!
"My name's Bond, James Bond". Does
it sound familiar? He is described as 'debonair,
talkative, cautious - and with a penchant for women'. But no, that's not describing Ian Fleming's
spy hero, but a man born in Bideford on January 30th 1928.
He was sent by Sir Richard White, Head
of the Secret Intelligence Service [SIS] to Warsaw, ostensibly as a
secretary/archivist to the Military Attache at the British Embassy, in February
1964. Needless to say, with that name
he was automatically put under surveillance by the Polish Ministry of Internal
Affairs Counter Intelligence Department, with a case code-name of Samek, Polish
for same. Ian Fleming's books had been
around for a decade [Casino Royal was the first] and even the communists would
have possibly read the books, or at least seen the films.
This James Bond's details emerged on
September 23rd this year through the Polish Institute of National Remembrance
[IPN], which chronicles its communist past. It briefly made news in the UK's main
newspapers and the devonlive website.
James Bond was the son of a farm
labourer and rabbit trapper. He married Janette Tachi in Taunton in June
1954. They had one son the following year, also called James. When he was 36, he was sent to Warsaw. Both his wife and nine-year old son moved with
Widowed in 2005, Mrs. Bond, recently
approached by one newspaper, confirmed that her husband had been a spy. She didn't know exactly what he was doing,
but "I knew it was dodgy and he was doing things he shouldn't have been doing."
she reported. He would write her notes
when he wanted to say something important because he suspected the apartment of
being bugged. When in their car they
were followed everywhere, because little James looked out of the rear window
and reported on the cars tracking them.
During his stay, he accompanied senior
staff from the local SIS to north east Poland several times. It is said that the reason for their visit
was to gain information on the areas' military facilities. There is some doubt
about this. A decade earlier, this
would have been most likely as Western Intelligence was on high alert following
the threat of communist forces sweeping through Western Europe.
At that time, the SIS took regular
trips into the countryside, taking photos, mapping areas and checking on army
units. They were also interested in
railway lines. A 1955 memo stated that
only nuclear bombing of 55 points in Poland could stop the advance of Red Army
insurgence. By the time of James'
appointment, however, the prospect of communist invasion had calmed down and
was no longer considered a threat.
In the event, after only 11 months,
James was recalled to Britain. He took
a commission of Captain in the British Army and continued his military career
until he retired in his late 60's.
So, was he a spy? We shall probably never know. It could be that the SIS recruited him to
fool spy catchers. It could be an
uneventful episode in the life of a career spy, or Sir Richard White planning
for the communists to waste their time putting him under careful surveillance.
The report's final words on the
incident of 007's file in the IPN's archive says, 'The only thing that appears
fairly certain is that since Ian Fleming had put so much espionage into
fiction, British Intelligence reasoned they could put a bit of fiction into
espionage as well. That almost says it
all! This James Bond may not have
been an ideal Mover and Shaker, but the Poles have been stirred and definitely
P.S. No time to Die! No, we can't see it before Christmas! We've heard about the latest James Bond film
so many times recently
on TV, in our newspapers, even being partially responsible for closing
indefinitely a large group of cinemas. Why?
Because the promoters, who have already
delayed it from last Easter when the virus hit, then the coming November, have
rescheduled it for next April. They
feel that there won't be enough 'bums on seats' to justify the expense at present.
Oh, but the Royal Mint has gone along
with launching its three coins commemorating the 25th James Bond film, which
when combined, a micro text engraved on each coin spells out 'No time to Die!' You can buy the latest one for your loved
one for £4,760, or if that's too much then buy her/him a gold and silver
bullion bar weighing 1ounce or 10 ounces, that display the names of all twenty-five
007 titles. The smaller one is a snip at
PP of DC
PPS What a
coincidence, the death of Sean Connery!
I rarely send in my contribution until almost the deadline, but our
James Bond was submitted on October 12th whilst still fresh in my mind
after the Poles announced in late September his 1960's presence, together with
the photo of Sean Connery as the Bond.
Still, it is accepted that Sean gave his Bond character a style for all
subsequent Bonds to live up to. May he
rest in peace.
OLD BERRYNARBOR -
Christmas 2020 &
New Year 2021
card, A Christmas Greeting, was published by Stewart & Woolf of London
E.C., and posted on the 24th December 1909.
At that time there were up to five collections and deliveries a day!
This particular card has the holly spring embossed and
has a small, thimble postmark from Overton, Hants.
The card was sent to a Miss M. Wake,
also in Overton, and reads: Dear
Auntie Just a p.c. to wish you a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope
you will get heaps of presents. Much
love from Ena.
second card, A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year, shows four robins sitting
on a sprig of holly. The postcard dates
from c1902-1903 and has an unsplit back stating 'This side for the address'.
I should like to wish everyone a Happy,
Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2021.
Tower Cottage, November 2020