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No. 180 - June 2019 25-06-2019

 

WEATHER OR NOT

Time marches on and one third of the year has already gone by with a real mixed bag of weather.

When I was writing the last article, Storm Freya was out in the Atlantic and due to arrive in early March. Here in the valley it was not that bad, I recorded a wind speed of 47 mph from the SSW on the 3rd [down at Chivenor 68 mph and over at Swansea 76mph] 6.6mm of rain and sleet fell, the barometer dropped to 988.2 mbars along with a temperature of 5.5°C. The main belt of snow went well to the north of England. The next storm winding itself up in the Atlantic was Gareth, the main part of this arrived on the 12th with a maximum wind speed of 32mph from the south, 22.2mm of rain, barometric pressure 1003.8mbars and a wind chill of 2.9°C. No more storms arrived but towards the end of the month the overnight temperatures were much lower, the 29th produced the lowest temperature of the month at 0.2°C.

The main figures for the month were: Rainfall at 104.8mm, Temperatures Max. 14.3°C on the 27th [this is below average for March], the highest barometer reading was 1037.7mbars on the 28th and lowest 981.9mbars on the 6th. The total sunshine hours came in at 95.21 which was on the higher side of average. I don't think this March managed to break any records.

The first few days in April started off cool with some rain, we then went through a period of drier weather with reasonable daytime temperatures but overnight the mercury fell leaving us with light ground frosts on five consecutive mornings. By the time we reached Easter weekend, the weather was very good and on the 22nd we had our warmest day of 2019 at 23.9°C, our lowest temperature was on the 12th at -0.8°C. On the 25th storm Hannah arrived leaving us with the wettest day of April at 11.2mm and a top wind speed on the 27th of 38mph from the south. Sunshine hours totaled 126.70 which is about average. Barometer readings for the month were a high of 1031.2mbars on the 20th and a low of 985.8mbars on the 4th. The total rainfall for April was 60.4mm which gives us a total of 274.2mm so far for 2019. This makes it a very dry start for the year.

The trees and plants are all growing well along with the grass and unfortunately the weeds, and as I write this report there is a threat of overnight temperatures around freezing, so I will have to be careful with my tender plants!

I live in hopes of a summer like last year but only time will tell.

Simon

 

IN MEMORIAM

 

MATTHEW PHILIP BROWN

15.8.1981 - 9.4.2019

It was with profound shock and sadness that the village learnt that Matthew, Chris and Phil Brown's eldest son, had died suddenly whilst on business in Qatar on the 9th April, 2019. Our thoughts are with Chris and Phil and all the family at this time of unbelievable sadness.

Although living in Denmark, Matthew's funeral took place here in North Devon on 13th May and Chris and Phil would like to thank everyone for joining them to say farewell, for the many messages of sympathy, cards, flowers and for the generous donations for Young Epilepsy.

If there is anyone who would like to support this very worthwhile charity, donations in Matthew's memory may be sent to A.D. Williams, 31 Portland Street, Ilfracombe, EX34 9NL.

 

RAYMOND THORNE

15.10.47 - 17.4.19

A friend to many in the village and a supporter of our Newsletter, it was sad to learn that Ray had passed away peacefully, at home, with his family on the 17th April.

Our thoughts are with Lynn, Martin and Roy and all the family at this time of sadness.

Remembering Ray

Although Ray was proud to be a Berrynarbor boy, having many relatives in the village, he first lived temporarily in Ilfracombe - where he was also proud to be a 'Quayite' - for the first months of his life, while his parents were living with his grandparents in Rupert's Wood Terrace, his grandfather having a gentlemen's hair dressing shop in Broad Street. When he was a few months old, the family moved out to Berrynarbor, where they lived in the village, next to the primary school.

Ray was also quite proud of the fact that before he was three years old, he walked alone from the village, without being spotted, up to the Sandy Cove Hotel, to see his grandparents, who were caretakers there, and had to be brought home by car.

Later the family moved up to Croft Lee, where his sisters Lin, and eventually Debbie joined them.

A happy, carefree childhood, playing with his sisters and friends, getting into mischief, and wandering in the countryside observing nature followed, which led to his great knowledge of the countryside. He also spent many happy hours and days fishing off the rocks at Broadsands with family and friends.

Ray left Combe Martin Secondary School, aged fifteen, just as the savage winter of 1962-63 was beginning. This delayed him starting work for a while, so more exploring and adventuring took place. One of his enduring memories was walking on snow drifts as high as the hedges.

He finally started work for Harris, the builder, as a carpenter's apprentice in the workshop in Combe Martin, making coffins. During his building career he worked on housing estates around Ilfracombe and all around North Devon; working on Ilfracombe Comprehensive School, as it was called then, helping convert the Grammar School into the Junior School and spent a long time helping to build the North Devon District Hospital. He was proud of the work that he did there, and just a few weeks ago was able to point out features that he had built. Although the work was hard, he made many friends and enjoyed the camaraderie.

It was during these years Ray and Lynn met, famously, at Combe Martin Seaside, and were married soon after. Ray moved into Ilfracombe, where he and Lynn were later joined by their much-loved boys, Martin and Roy. A long and happy family life followed.

When the hospital was completed in the late '70's, work became hard to find and having bought a boat, Ray spent time fishing for lobster, crabs and mackerel and supplementing his income crewing on pleasure craft. He then worked sub-contracting as a carpenter, working for some time in the workshop in the Sterridge Valley.

In his spare time in the 80's he built his beautiful big boat, Thor, in Chris and Barbara Gubb's farm yard in Berrynarbor. She was sold soon after she was finished, and eventually found her way to Padstow where she appeared several times in TV programmes, with the likes of Rick Stein. She had been renamed Blue Fox, and was still going strong in January this year, when she was up for sale, in Rock.

The mid-80's brought Morris dancing into his life when son Roy started playing for the Cloggies. When the family saw what fun there was to be had, Ray and Roy joined the Muddiford and Milltown Morris Men and Lynn joined the Ilfracombe Red Petticoats. This made such a change to their lives, making dozens, if not hundreds, of friends and taking them to many places they would never have visited otherwise. Later, with friends, they started a Playford side, Playford being old English country dancing, and yet more happy times followed. Ray was also a founder member of the Oggle band - more fun and laughs! Later, Cotswold and North West Morris evolved into Border, with ragged jackets and blackened faces. Happy Days!

Retirement from Morris ended after twenty-six happy years, but not giving up on all things folksy, Ray continued with the Wassailing tradition that he had revived in North Devon, and where the apple crops had flourished. Always being an 'apple man', Ray planted a little orchard in his back garden. The blossom is just starting to bloom.

The family had moved to Bicclescombe Park Road in 1987 and Ray took a great interest in the park itself, eventually partly helping him to be awarded a Pride in Ilfracombe award.

He was the main instigator for getting the mill wheel restored, spending many hours in research and choosing the wood for the buckets. He was very happy to see it completed last year. He also supported the community tea rooms and for several Christmases played Father Christmas where at least one family thought he was the real Santa! 
Family was always paramount to Ray, always being there when needed. In his and Lynn's long and happy marriage, he was always there for her and their boys. Always there for his father in his final illness, and patiently looking after his mother-in- law in her last days. Looking out for his sisters, he was always ready with care and advice. The love and respect that all the family, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews have poured out for him in these last days have been such a wonderful comfort and he would be, and indeed was, very proud of them.

Throughout his illness, Ray was so brave, never really complaining, his thoughts and worries were for Lynn such that he planned his funeral, relieving the family of any decision making. Well done Ray!

He would be so very proud of all the wonderful words, messages and comments Lynn and the family have received since his passing. So, thank you everyone and thanks to all who came to the funeral and gave him the send-off he deserved.

See Ray's articles in the following Newsletters: Oct 2016 June 2017 April 2018

 

 

SIR IAN McKELLEN AT THE LANDMARK

March 25th was a special date for North Devon with the reopening, after more than two years, of The Landmark Theatre by Sir Ian McKellen performing his eightieth birthday one man show.

Because of the competition for tickets, the allocation of seats had been determined by a ballot and the sense of occasion was heightened by the red carpet and being handed a glass of 'fizz' on entering the theatre.

Before a warm and enraptured audience, Ian McKellen spoke of his childhood in Lancashire and early experiences with theatre as a school boy.

He told anecdotes of his stage and film career with superb comic timing, recited poetry and speeches from Shakespeare and moved about the stage with energy and grace.

He mentioned that he had never been to a theatre with such a 'glamorous' setting and during the interval had slipped out to enjoy a view of the sea.

The whole performance was a tremendous tour de force, a truly memorable occasion.

As we left, there was Sir Ian standing in the middle of the foyer with a bucket collecting donations in aid of the theatre!

S.H.

 

ST. PETER'S CHURCH

A large congregation from the churches of Berrynarbor, Pip & Jim's and Combe Martin, together with civic leaders, gathered in Pip & Jim's Church on Monday 13th May for the Installation of Rev Peter Churcher, who will be our new Priest in Charge. The joyful service was led by the Bishop of Exeter, The Right Reverend Robert Atwell, together with Archdeacon Rev. Dr. Mark Butchers and many local clergy.

At long last, following another extended interregnum, we can look forward to welcoming Rev. Peter to our church in the very near future.

Following this wonderful service, a superb buffet was ready to welcome the whole congregation in the Church Hall. A sincere thank you to the ladies from all three churches for preparing the refreshments.

A special Joint Service to welcome and meet Reverend Peter and his family was also held at Pip & Jim's on Sunday 19th May. The service was followed by a bring-and-share lunch which, again in the church hall opposite.

Our well-attended Easter Sunday Service was led by Rev. George Billington. Berrynarbor Choir sang the beautiful negro spiritual Steal Away, and the joyful service concluded with Rev. George handing out chocolate crème eggs to all the congregation! Yum, Yum!

Our Annual Gift Day will be held on Wednesday, 19th June at the church lych gate, and it is hoped that once again Berrynarbor School will be involved during the day. We are not quite sure what fun activity will be arranged since our new Vicar, Peter Churcher, may wish to be involved with the School in some way and we shall keep everyone informed nearer the time.

The PCC have started the ball rolling with regard to repairs to the church by obtaining quotations from specialist building/conservation companies, with the necessary approval of the Diocese of Exeter's Building and Architectural Department, and will keep everyone posted as to the outcome. In the fullness of time there will be the necessary erection of scaffolding around the perimeter of the church with safety for building workers and the public very much in mind.

At our recent AGM, our PCC Treasurer Margaret Sowerby stood down, and so we urgently need a replacement to join us as soon as possible. Margaret will be happy to spend time necessary to explain the workings of the Treasurer's role. Margaret, together with valued help from her husband Roger, has modernised much of the recording and filing of data, which will be invaluable to the new applicant. The PCC wish to thank Margaret and Roger for their hard work and commitment over the last few years.

Berrynarbor Choir continues under the direction of Graham Lucas, and Choir practice is on Monday evenings commencing at 7.30 p.m. We welcome anyone who enjoys singing to come along and join us!

We continue to pray for those who are unwell in this Parish. especially Carol Lucas, Viv and Brian Fryer and Jill Massey.

It is with much regret that the Friendship Lunch, held at The Globe on the last Wednesday of the month, is to come to an end. For some time now the numbers attending this lunch have fallen to such a low level that it is no longer sustainable. We wish to thank Jill McCrae for helping to organise this happy get-together over so many years.

Stuart Neale

 

FROM THE VILLAGE SHOP & POST OFFICE


Village Crest on Shop Souvenirs

Berrynarbor's village crest, which appears on the ironwork signs as you enter the village, is to be used by the Village Shop on a number of souvenir items. To start with the crest will appear on mugs and re-usable water bottles, with a view to extending its use onto other items in the future.

"Visitors to our village are always looking for something to take home," says Shop Manager Debbie Thomas, "Either to remind themselves of their stay here, or to take something for their friends and family. So, we are very excited to be able to use the crest to promote the village through the shop."

Over the Christmas and Easter holidays the gift packs of local produce have also proved extremely popular and these have now been extended to include new items. As an extra service to locals and visitors alike, the shop will even pack and post these gifts for you.

Plant Sale

Many thanks to all those who attended the village Plant Sale and a special thanks to our small army of helpers on the day. The shop is stocking excellent quality compost at a really competitive price so that you can pot-on those wonderful plants you bought at the sale!

Easter Raffle Draw

The lucky winner of the Easter hamper was Chris Pocock (pictured). Second ticket out of the hat belonged to Fenella Boxall who won the Easter Bunny and Chocolate eggs.

 


Sunday Opening Hours

Following a review of its footfall, the shop is making a small adjustment to its Sunday opening hours. It will now be open from 9.00 a.m. until 12 noon. These hours will be reviewed and extended during the peak season.

 

NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL


a first taste of education

We are now well into the summer term. We welcome our new families who have joined us in this term and hope the children enjoy their learning journey with us.

We have had to say farewell to Sophie who left us at the end of last term. On behalf of all the staff, committee and the children we should like to wish Sophie all the best for the future and to thank her for all her work and care.

Last term the children enjoyed our Maths topic and are now using Maths concepts, language and recognising numbers within their play which is lovely to see and hear.

This term we are focusing on Reading and Writing based around the Early Writing Programme using sounds, phonics, rhyming and letter recognition. Children are encouraged to look at books independently and listen to stories. These stories will include The Very Hungry Caterpillar which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and Going Through The Jungle, alongside other stories that the children choose. We'll find fun ways to develop the children's fine motor skills, strengthening their fingers and encouraging them to mark make before learning to form letter shapes.

Activities will be both indoors and outside. This is all based on the child's individual stage of learning. Don't forget that your child can also learn by watching you, looking at books together and modelling writing at home.

Other learning areas include looking at our environment, animals, insects as well as different occupations such as doctors, vets and shop keepers. You may see us in the village going on nature walks exploring and observing the changes that occur in nature.

We plan to visit Exmoor Zoo to extend our learning and to see the many the different animals and look at their habitats.

Events

Thank you to all who supported our quiz night at The Globe last term. We raised a total of £227.00 which was fantastic and fun was had by all.

We have again been supported by parents, friends and the community in raising funds through the clothes recycling scheme 'Bags2School' and wish to thank all who contributed.

We are taking bookings for the Autumn Term and sessions are filling up fast. Call 07932 851052 or e-mail preschoolberrynarbor@gmail.com for more information. Sessions are shown in the Manor Hall Diary later in this issue.

From the staff, Sue, Karen, Lynne and Ellie

 

MANOR HALL TRUST

After a long 5 weeks the Hall is now back up and running. The builders did a great job of keeping to their schedule despite finding more and more joists and paneling that needed replacing. The decorating was a true community effort and once again proved what lovely people we have in our village who are willing to give up so much of their spare time to help make it such a great place to live. Special thanks must go to Martin, Lloyd, Alan E, Alan H, Rob, Ray, Alison and Tee who spent many an hour wielding a paint brush. The result is fantastic and all the lovely comments we have received are very much appreciated. On Bank Holiday Sunday we had an enjoyable afternoon tea saying thank you to our user groups for their patience during the closure. The hall looked really pretty and a big thank you must go to Caroline, who has just moved into the village, who made nearly all the cakes - quite an initiation!

Our next target to paint is the Bassett Room and if you would like to get involved and help us with this then please let any of the trustees know. Recently, we have kindly been donated two table tennis tables and so we should like to start a table tennis club. If you think you would be interested in joining this, please get in touch.

This summer we plan to have a fete [date to be announced shortly] with games and stalls as a fundraiser. If you would like to have a table at this event please contact us for details.

We shall be holding our AGM on Wednesday, 26th June, 7.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall. Everyone is welcome - come and support your Manor Hall and the Trustees.

Julia [Chair] 882783Alison [Bookings] 882782, Alan [Treasurer] 07905445072


 


 

RURAL REFLECTIONS - 88


Henry Olonga was the first black cricketer to represent Zimbabwe. Born in 1976, he is also the youngest player to represent his country having made his international debut at the age of eighteen. An effective bowler who could take a cluster of wickets at key times, he spearheaded Zimbabwe's first overseas Test victory. But he is best remembered for the brave protest he made alongside his team mate Andy Flower when they wore black armbands in a World Cup match, 'mourning the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe'. The act not only ended Olonga's Test career; a warrant was also issued for his arrest on charges of treason, an act that forced him to go into hiding for a short time. These days he is a cricket commentator and singer.

Less well-known is his choice for a favourite ground. Some may regard it as surprising, considering the innumerable amphitheaters in which he would have played around the globe during his cricketing career. Capetown's Newlands Cricket Ground would be one such example, boasting as it does Table Mountain for a dramatic backdrop. Instead, Olonga elects an English cricket ground in a setting with an attribute, though not as imposing as Table Mountain, is still to the eye just as stunning. Indeed, whilst Table Mountain stands at 1085 metres (3559 feet), this feature is a mere 62 metres (203 feet) in height. But without its placement within the vista, one can be certain the ground would not be Olonga's favourite venue - especially as he only ever played there once in a game where his performance was indifferent at best. But this did not stop him picking Worcester's New Road cricket ground, where play is overseen by its beautiful cathedral.


Olonga described it as one of the prettiest grounds he had ever seen. It was in his view the only major sports arena that had not quite graduated from being a little village venue, describing the cathedral as the cherry on the cake. No doubt unaware, his anomaly could not have been more appropriate. For Worcestershire's home ground is renowned throughout the cricketing world for its Ladies' Pavilion; an institution revered wherever the game is played and with a reputation that causes Worcestershire's supporters, wherever they are, to be asked, "Do the ladies still serve their afternoon teas with their delicious homemade cakes?"

Olonga was clearly captured by the ground's surrounding views, its location by the River Severn, its warm and friendly atmosphere, its cheerful brews and homemade sponges, scones and pastries; all facets that led Olonga to portray the ground as quintessentially English.

It is an interesting definition especially when one considers his use of the term quintessentially, for it is a word used to emphasise what is the most typical example of something. So why did he choose such a description? Maybe the answer is in his earlier representation of it being like a little village venue.

So just for the moment let's lift the pitch up from New Road and lower it into an English rural valley. Imagine that on one side of the ground runs a country lane, beyond which is a steep woodland of beech and oak trees. It is June and they are now in full leaf.

On the other side of the pitch runs not the River Severn but a wide stream with waters that can be heard tumbling over rocks and boulders all the while a match is being played. Beyond the river the hillside opposite rises more gently. It is speckled with cottages displaying either slate or thatch roofs.

On the peak of the hill stands not a cathedral but a Norman church, its square tower overseeing the day to day movements of its parishioners whilst at the foot of the valley is the village's lone pub, The Bat and Ball.

Poplar trees line the far end of the ground whilst the end nearest the pub sites the pavilion and scoreboard. The umpires hear the church bell chime one o'clock, allow the bowler to complete his over, consult, check the pavilion's clock against that of the church and call "Time, gentlemen".

Rather than the presence of Worcester's world-famous tea ladies, a couple of villagers are serving a selection of ham salad, cheese and pickle or egg and cress sandwiches, followed by fresh strawberries, scones and, of course, tea. Now that's what I call quintessentially English! Enjoy the summer.

Steve McCarthy


A PERSONAL LETTER FROM JOE TUCKER

Your North Devon District Councillor

Dear friends,

Please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation for the very warm welcome I received when visiting Berrynarbor during the election campaign.

It is an honour and privilege to be representing you for the next

4 years, and I assure you that I shall give 100% support to my duties as your District Councillor.

During my election campaign there were issues brought to my attention which I shall discuss with the Parish Council and District Council to try and resolve. I should greatly appreciate if you would contact me direct if you require my help or assistance with any issue you may have.

During my visits to Berrynarbor over the election period, one of the main concerns regarding Berrynarbor was why you were removed from the Combe Martin ward and placed in the Marwood ward.

The answer is: The decision to carry out a review of North Devon District Council ward boundaries was not made by the District Council but by the Local Government Boundary Commissioner. A review is carried out when population changes have occurred resulting in an unexpectable proportion of the wards having too high a number of electors per councillor. The review must take account of local issues and must also plan population growth and changes for the immediate future.

In reviewing the boundaries, the Local Government Boundary Commission invites the District Council to submit its own proposals. Prior to doing this, the District Council consulted a number of times with Parish Councils.

The LGBC considered the District Council's plan, visited the area, and came up with recommendations which were again passed out with consultation with the parishes. The LGBC then made the final report and the conclusion of that came into force at the recent local elections.

I do understand and share your concerns but can assure you that I shall do everything to ensure that Berrynarbor and the Marwood ward is a success, and will receive a comprehensive representation from myself and the District Council.

I shall be visiting Berrynarbor on a regular basis so do not hesitate to contact me if you require a personal visit.

My e-mail is frederick.tucker@northdevon.gov.uk and my telephone number is [01271] 328890.

Kind regards

Joe Tucker

 

BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE

When I put my nose in a glass, it's like tunnel vision…every bit of mental

energy is focused on that wine.

Robert M. Parker, Jr. (a U.S. wine critic)

I have to admit to drinking wine as a teenager, but then I can blame my dear father. He came home one evening with a bottle of white wine and said that it would be good for us to taste it because wine was becoming the thing to drink with your evening meal. I shall never forget that tasting, it was Entre Deux Mers! I've learned a bit and drunk a bit since then!

Nigel Pound, Radio Devon's Wine Wizard taught me, and I suspect others, more during his excellent April presentation. He has sold his esteemed Totnes Wines' business, so all of his time is devoted, now, to his wine consultancy, here and abroad. His tasting trips sound fun and journeys of liquid education! He says choosing a good wine is easy. Once his nose is over that opened bottle, he asks himself: "Is it well made? Is it tasty? Does it suit my palate?"

When we, and I mean the Adam duo, drink a white wine, it is often a chilled Sauvignon Blanc and I know numerous others who choose the same. We do like others, but it tends to be SB. We started with one from Cotes de Gascogne. Animated Nigel stated enthusiastically, "This should be an aperitif." He's right, it was a great aperitif. Acidity ruins food! Drink with nibbles. White wine with food should be grassy and herby, not gooseberries.

I've heard people say 'Can't stand Chardonnay'. I know I've said I don't like it and I know it makes my mouth wince; it reminds me of chemicals, others say it's buttery. Chardonnays can be two things: oaked or unoaked and there is a huge difference. Nigel treated us to a single vineyard, single vintage Chardonnay, or Bourgogne Blanc, from the Domaine de Rochebin Clos St Germain. He only makes 600 bottles of this. It was lovely. It was a 2017, 12.5% and £15, the dearest of the night. I've tasted unoaked Chardonnays before, but I won't be generalising again and saying "I don't like Chardonnay 2, but I will say "I like unoaked Chardonnay!"

Here's another Nigel tip: Don't bother buying anything under £8. You're wasting your money. Wine at this price is moved around a lot and moving it means sulphites and, of course, you're paying tax on this! Sulphur gives you the headaches, but to keep wine, it needs sulphur, otherwise it would oxidise. Wine can be given up to four doses of sulphur, because of its process and transportation, but if you see 'Bottled on Estate', it only has one dose of sulphur!

Geoff liked all the reds, which is unusual, as reds can trigger a migraine, so he sticks to whites; however, Calmel-Joseph are consultants. Nigel told us: "They make good wines in other people's vineyards. They make the wine." Their Vieux Carignan, Cotes de Brian, was a hit with most or all. It was 2017, 14.5% and just a tenner. The Brians among us loved it too and the 'old' is due to this wine being pure Carignan vines that were planted in 1890.

I don't know all there is to know about wine. I like drinking it with my meal, as a chilled aperitif with or without friends on a summer's evening and tasting new ones, previously unknown, at our Wine Circle. I like it to be interesting enough to learn more. Jancis Robinson is synonymous with wine. I used her website to investigate Carignan. She says: Carignan is a curious red wine grape. It's planted worldwide and is the single most common vine variety planted in the world's most important wine producer - France; however, Merlot, at the end of the 20th century superseded it and most wine drinkers have never heard of it. I hadn't, but I have now and I enjoyed drinking it!

Wine is inspiring and adds greatly to the joy of living.

Napoleon Bonaparte

The Wine Circle ran amok while the cat, sorry, that's the Chairman, was away! We didn't have our usual May AGM as a result and the Treasurer was seen relaxing . . . oh, yes, and his table won both raffle prizes!

On a serious note, Members' Choices provided the finalé to our 2018-19 season. Each couple provided their choice of wine for whatever reason: bubbles and reds appeared to be the favourites.

Our table began with a pink fizz: Langlois Brut Rosé, a Cremant de Loire, 12.5% and pure Cabernet Franc. Everybody enjoyed its freshness, very drinkable. Purchased from Bray Valley Wines, it should retail at between £10-£15. Three good reds followed: a French Merlot-Cabernet minus sulphites, a trophy-winning French Cabernet Sauvignon and a Spanish Campo-Vieja Rioja. We ended with a 14% Italian silk: a Nero Oro: Sicily's Black Gold. It was delicious, probably because it was an Appassimento, meaning that grapes are left on the vine until they raisin or are air-dried after picking. Result: the grapes' sugar is concentrated and raises the alcohol producing a more complex, stronger wine. Majestic's are selling this for £9.99.

This season has finished; however, we restart at 8.00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16th in our re-decorated and very smart-looking Manor Hall. We managed to fill the enlarged area with laughter, but there's always plenty of space for new members!

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator & Secretary

 

NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL

We have a lot to look forward to this term and hope that the lovely sunny weather we are currently having will continue.

Our KS1 children are learning about the life cycle. They currently have caterpillars awaiting to make cocoons, eggs in an incubator and frogspawn. Spring really is an exciting season with everything bursting into life!

Our Y3/4 children recently travelled to the Roman Baths in Bath and are now looking forward to their residential trip to Beam House.

As we write, our Year 5 and 6 children are sitting their SATS exams. They are all doing an amazing job! After this week they will all be able to relax and enjoy starting to learn the script for their production in June.

After such a successful meal for the Senior Dudes, Years 5 and 6 students will host a meal for their parents. They will spend the day preparing the meal and then dress up and serve in the evening.

They also enjoyed their residential to London. It is a great experience; seeing a show, travelling on the underground and visiting the sights of the city.

As we move further into the term, our KS2 children will have the exciting opportunity to see a performance by the BBC Orchestra and a trip for Y3/4 to the Mix Festival. This is a large musical event where schools have the opportunity to listen to and take part in musical workshops.

Sports Day is just around the corner and in the coming weeks the children will be busy practising.

We have our PTFA Summer Fayre on the 5th July. We should love to see members of the community there. Please keep an eye out for posters with more information.

We are also planning a Wish Fish display for which the Village Shop have kindly given us space. The Wish Fishes' scales will show items that the school can use to enhance the curriculum - our PTFA hope that parents and friends of the school will take a scale and donate the items listed. We already have a very generous donation of some computing peripherals but other scales will list smaller items - for example the ingredients needed to make playdough - or things that we should like help making, for example outdoor cushions for a reading den.

It has been a busy year with lots of positive improvements. Our new school uniform and federation logo was part of our work on developing a strong ethos and vision for our schools. This vision and associated values have started to embed and we are very proud of what the children have achieved. Our teachers are busy making plans for next year which involve more subject specific teaching for KS2 children and hopefully more opportunities for links with our local community. If you'd like to get involved with school life please let us know. We welcome volunteers and can organise the necessary safeguarding checks and induction training.

From the staff and pupils, we wish everyone a safe and happy summer. Sue Carey - Headteacher

 

Our Vision and Values

"Streams today, oceans tomorrow"

Our Vision:

Being the best that we can be; committed to making a difference.

         A holistic curriculum which engages and excites through creativity and curiosity. Opening windows onto the world.

Develop independent, collaborative, motivated, self-reflective learners, through excellent teaching and learning

Give every child the opportunity to become self-assured, confident and compassionate; able to have a fulfilled life.

 

The West Berry Family - working together

to broaden horizons and constantly improve the outcomes

for each of our children

Our Values:

 

Truth

Freedom Honesty Justice

 

Respect

Responsibility Integrity Co-operation

 

Courage

Questioning Bravery Self-assurance

 

Endurance

Hope Determination Perseverance

 

Compassion

Forgiveness Humility Patience

 

Confidence

Calm Inner Strength Flourish

 

Curiosity

Questioning Reasoning Growth Mindset.

 

BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE

As we move from spring into early summer, the Berry in Bloom team shift up a gear. The spring bulbs and bedding have been removed ready for planting out the summer flowers. We have been given the 22nd July for the Britain in Bloom judging and there is lots to do but luckily we have a good team of helpers.

The area where the septic tank is next to the shop in the car park had become very overgrown and weedy but it's amazing what a man and a tractor can do! We have cleared it and will replant the area. Likewise, we are planning to remove a dead tree at the Manor Hall car parking area and cut back and tidy the hedge when the bird nesting season is over at the end of July.

The litter picks have continued and new 'pickers' are always welcome.

This summer, on the 11th August, we hope to have a fund-raising Tea on the Lawn afternoon at the Old Rectory, kindly hosted by Claire and Jamey Singer and family. Please look out for our posters in July.

Once again, we thank everyone who supports us.

 

Curried Cauliflower Salad

'Wot no cake!'

No, not a cake recipe this time but a further request for the easy raw cauliflower salad that I often take to friends' BBQ s, which appeared in the newsletter a few years ago.

1 cauliflower

1 bunch spring onions

1 small bunch fresh coriander

Mayonnaise [either full fat or light]

Patak's Brinjal/Aubergine pickle

[available from our Shop, the pickle is a vital ingredient]

 

Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and chop into small pieces. You can include most of the stalk unless it is too tough. Chop the spring onions into small pieces and include most of the green stalks. Chop up the coriander and include the stalks.

Place everything you have chopped in a large bowl and mix about four to six tablespoons of mayonnaise and two tablespoons of the Patak aubergine pickle. The consistency should be like a potato salad but the amount of pickle and mayonnaise depends on your own taste.

If you want to make this lighter use half mayonnaise, half natural yogurt or quark.

Looking forward to sunny yummy BBQ days

Wendy

 

 

WEARE GIFFARD HALL


Wednesday, 24th April, a rather special day for me. For the first time I was going on one of Judie's outings. A trip to the manor house at Weare Giffard with coffee and cakes in the Holy Trinity church afterwards.

The journey was spent wondering how to pronounce Giffard - a hard or soft G? I think we came to the conclusion that it was the former - we were right!

The weather was appalling after the gloriously hot days of Easter, and we were greeted at the church by a jolly, brolly-wielding gentleman, Keith, attempting to sort the car parking in the single, narrow road that winds through the village.

A group of 25 were gathered in the 12th century church which is well worth exploring. The place is a treasure trove as the locals have found many medieval tiles and coins.


We were led through the church yard, past the magnificent gatehouse and into the entrance hall. Here we met the charming William de Loecker and his housekeeper Gay.

Willie, immaculately turned out in tie, blazer and slacks, is Belgian and in his nineties, spends six months of each year in Devon. The consummate gentleman, his love of the place is evident, having researched the history over the past 40 years of ownership, and he delights in private visits to show off this exquisite architectural gem he calls home.

The Manor is referred to in the Doomsday Book but it is very much lived in and not a mothballed museum piece. Indeed, Willie's grandchildren had been staying over the Easter holidays and apparently fight to sleep in the magnificent medieval hanging bed [not a four poster he was at pains to point out] in the great chamber, complete with Elizabethan plaster work, carvings and stained-glass windows! Do they realise what a privilege this is? You bet Willie will have instilled this into them. He revealed that behind a red velvet curtain was a vanity unit, making the room useable, and you can only image the games of hide and seek that have taken place over the centuries!


Built of stone from the local quarries, Weare Giffard Hall comprises the great hall with two long projecting wings. It has been added to and modified in the 14th, 15th, late 16th and early 19th centuries by its owners, the Gifford's and the Fortescue's. Both were among the knights who came over with William the Conqueror and it is the soft French 'f' pronunciation that should be used for the village of Weare Giffard.

Willy has written a booklet on the manor and I could waffle on very badly for pages about this incredible, and yet little known, house that lies in the heart of a tiny Devon village. Indeed, there are so many superlative examples of different architectural glories it should be declared a UNESO site. From the ornately carved banisters and panel work of the entrance hall, to the stunning stained-glass windows in the blue room, the plaster work in the Tudor room and wonderful Elizabethan furniture in the dining room. As a single example of how understated and yet glorious the place is, Willy took us into the Great Hall. This would have been used as a court room. We waited outside in the passage way on a 15th century oak settle bench [with 16th century comical additions!]. The very same bench that miscreants sat on before being tried by the Lord of the Manor.

Willy proudly explained that the Hall boasts an oak hammer beam roof, then as a throwaway line, "One of the most tasteful specimens of perpendicular woodwork in England. Indeed, in quality of construction, it has justly been compared to the vast hammer beam roofs at Hampton Court and Westminster Hall!"


So, all I can suggest is that you start chatting up Judie so you, too, can get to discover some of the hidden gems of the Devon countryside! Thank you, Judie, a very special day and with a bit of luck Willy will be holding open house again - I should be back there like a shot.

Fenella

P.S. To round the visit off, three of us ladies decided to go and have lunch.  It was still pouring with rain and so it seemed silly not to and we settled on the boat cafe at the far end of Bideford quay.  None of us had been there and we are always looking for new and different dining venues.  Well I can assure you this is different!

You can't miss it as there is a manikin dressed as a jolly Jack Tar with the words "Hello sailor, welcome aboard" on a big black board.  There is a large outdoor seating area but stepping through the puddles we went inside.  To say the decor is quirky is an understatement - kitsch signs, slot machines, nautical memorabilia and, surprisingly, not an Elizabethan artefact in sight.

Toasty warm, we sat down cradling mugs of good coffee having ordered egg and bacon butties from the super friendly owner.  To our delight she was showing an old movie. The Gang's all Here - this is apparently the USP of the cafe!  In glorious technicolour, Carmen Miranda was flashing her incredible eyes and standing in a banana plantation.  The camera panned up to the tree tops to show monkeys with pill box hats. Back down to the beach and 40 Busby Berkley beauties, clad in gold lame bikinis were assembled each clutching a ten-foot banana! The ensuing kaleidoscope dance had to be seen to be believed. As the music swelled, we started laughing!  Nothing could be further removed from our esoteric morning of culture and elegance - what would Willy have made of it?  But as they say, variety is the spice of life and it all goes on in sleepy old Devon.

 

FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL

The Annual Parish Meeting was held on the 9th April when the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 10th April 2018 were approved. Following the Chairman's report, reports were given from the Police, Finance, Primary School, Pre-School, Claude's Garden, Manor Hall and Berry in Bloom.

This was followed by the April Parish Council Meeting.

Last Meeting of the Current Council

This meeting was the last of the current Parish Council as elections are due on the 2nd May. However, as Berrynarbor's Council is uncontested, an election is not necessary. It was the final meeting for the two District Councillors, Yvette Gubb and John Lovering. Yvette will be standing for a different ward due to boundary changes, and John Lovering will be standing down as a District Councillor. Also standing down are Councillors Jenny Beer, Julia Fairchild, David Kennedy and Denny Reynolds.

New Parish Logo

It was agreed to adopt a new logo for the Parish Council which will be produced by The Berrynarbor Community Enterprise.

Replacement of Bus Shelter on the A399 - Update

The replacement bus shelter on the A399 has been sited and the Parish Council would like to thank County Councillor, Andrea Davis, for facilitating the replacement and providing grant funding towards the purchase.

Litter Bin at Pitt Hill

The litter bin at Pitt Hill is in need of repair and the Council are working on providing a repair or a replacement and this to be discussed at the May meeting.

At the meeting held on Tuesday, 14th May, the Chairman gave a brief report of the year and welcomed Councillors Joe Tucker, the new District Councillor for Berrynarbor and Lesley Lowe a new Parish Councillor.

Unfortunately, no co-option applications had been received, so if you are passionate about Berrynarbor and feel you could make a difference, please contact the Clerk for an application form.  Co-options will take place at the next meeting on Tuesday, 11th June 2019.  More information is available on the Parish Council's website.  There are currently 3 spaces available on the Parish Council.

Litter Bin at Pitt Hill

Following discussion at the April meeting, Councillors approved the replacement of the bin at Pitt Hill which is broken and beyond repair.

Grants were awarded to:

Berrynarbor Pre-School: £100 towards an outside blackboard

Berrynarbor Newsletter: £250

Defibrillator Training

There will be a Defibrillator Awareness Training evening on Tuesday,

25th June, at 6.30 p.m. in the Manor Hall. This is in conjunction with The South Western Ambulance Service and the Parish Council, who invited you to attend. The Assistant Community Responder Officer from the Ambulance Service will be leading the training and showing you how to use the defibrillator in the event of an emergency. Please do come along, you could save a life!

Bonfires

Although there is no bonfire law, there is, however, a law against any subsequent nuisance that having one might cause. Can we please ask keen gardeners and bonfire lighters to think before lighting a bonfire, particularly on sunny days when your neighbours could be enjoying being in their gardens.

Kate Graddock - Acting Parish Clerk [07703 050496]

 

THE UNEXPECTED FIND!

Widow Mary Green and her two daughters, Jean and Maureen, had at last saved enough money to have a week's holiday in Weymouth. They had booked in to a cheap but cheerful bed and breakfast and spent most days down on the beach, the girls paddling and building sand castles.

One day, as Jean and Maureen were making one of their castles, and digging the moat, they came across a brooch. It was no ordinary brooch but had many colourful and shiny stones, diamonds, rubies and pearls.


"Mummy, mummy," they cried together, "Look what we've found!"

Mary took one look and said, "Wash it off in your bucket. Now children, we'll take it to the Police Station." So off they went.

The Station Sergeant took one look and immediately said, "This belongs to Lady Groves, who live in that big house on the hill. Look, you can see it from here. Take it to her now, I'm sure she will be very pleased."

They made their way to the big house and knocked on the door which was opened by a man who was the butler.

"Please sir, we have a brooch which we believe belongs to Lady Groves," said Mary.

"I'll take it to her ladyship." said the man, closing the door.

"Well, I don't know!" exclaimed Mary to the children, who were equally aghast. But the door opened again and the man, known as James, said "You had better come in."

"Hello," said a charming lady who they realised was Lady Groves.

"I understand you have found my long-lost brooch. It is worth a lot of money and of great sentimental value as it was given to me by my late husband."

The family were led into a back room and invited to sit down. It was large and had a grand piano. Looking out of the window they could see a tennis court and beyond that stables.

Lady Groves addressed them, saying "After we have had tea and cakes, I'll show you around."

After they had enjoyed the tea and cakes, Lady Groves took them into the garden, showing them first the tennis lawn and then the stables.

"Would you two girls like a ride on my ponies?! invited Lady Groves.

"Oh yes please." "Then go with James and he will fix you up," replied Lady Groves.

Off the children went with James and in no time two ponies were saddled up and the two girls were led around the field by James.

"Whilst this was happening, Lady Groves asked Mary where they were staying, and Mary told her about the boarding house.

"You must finish your holiday here," said Lady Groves at once. "I will send James to collect your things."

Mary, Jean and Maureen were later shown into a large, comfortable bedroom with one large and two single beds.

How kind Lady Groves was and even invited them to come again next year.

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket

Illustrations: Paul Swailes

 

A Slight Muddle:

I have SYAWLA liked ROBRANYRREB as I DEVIL there for six and a half SRAEY. It is a YLEVOL EGALLIV and I know everyone is YPPAH there. DOOG KCUL.

 

A VISIT TO THE GLOBE

A visit to The Globe was the subject of a recent e-mail from Phil Rollings of Bristol, which in turn set off a number of coincidences.

Phil wrote:

I read with interest in the December issue that The Globe had been saved and given a coat of paint. I hadn't been to Berry since November and didn't have time to stop for a pint then. However, on the 17th April in we went and had a quick one. How pleased we were to see the work and a thriving crowd enjoying lunch. I have been in and out of The Globe many times over the years. My mother, Phyllis Draper was born in No. 94, Jacobs Well, along with three sisters and a brother, Denzil. Their parents were William and Nellie. Sadly, all have 'gone on' now but I found this photo of me and my brother with Mum and Uncle Denzil sitting outside The Globe around 1959. Martin is enjoying his 'pint' and I am the stylish chap in the hat!


On enquiring if there was a connection to the Draper Girls in Ray Thorne's article [April 2018], Phil replied:

Sadly, earlier today I was at Ray's funeral in Ilfracombe Parish Church - we were second cousins. His mother Pam and my mother were cousins. Our great grandfather, William Draper, who owned Jacobs Well, was married to Ellen, née James, and their children included the three girls in Ray's article plus my grandfather also William Draper, John and Bert. There was also a daughter Lorna who died aged 3 in 1912. My grandfather married Nellie Lavinia Little of Simonsbath c1920. He had served in the Great War in Palestine, Mesopotamia and Gallipoli. After contracting enteric fever, a telegram was sent home to say he had died. to be followed a fortnight later by a letter from himself to say he was OK - what a relief! He completed the war in Belgium and was then sent to Ireland in late 1918 to be part of the occupation dealing with the IRA.

I have attached a photograph of my great grandparents and their brood taken I guess about 1910.


William and Ellen Draper with their eight children

Back row: John, Hilda, William, Florence, Bert

Front row: Rosina, Doris, William Draper, Olive, Lorna and Ellen Draper

 

William: married Nellie Little and they had 5 children - Winnie, Denzil, Margaret, Phyllis [mother of Phil Rollings] and Sheila

*Florence May: married her cousin Frederick Draper in 1914

John: [aka Little Uncle Jack]

*Hilda:

*Rosina: married Francis William Brookman. They had 3 children, Raymond [lost on HM Glorious in WWII], Frank and Pam. Pam married Ron Thorne, parents of Ray Thorne

and Albert [Bert], Doris Ellen, Olive Maud and Lorna Marian, who died aged 3 in 1912 and was buried in the churchyard of St. Peter's.


LORNA

the dearly loved daughter of

WILLIAM & ELLEN DRAPER

whom Jesus called to himself on

March 26 1912, aged 3 years.

Our dear little Lorna is gone to rest

God called for her when He thought best

We will not mourn but watch and pray

We'll meet again in Heaven some day.

 

* The 3 Draper Girls in Ray's article

 

LOCAL WALK - 174

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet."

In recent months it has been pleasant to have available a short alternative detour, to a stroll along the Sterridge Valley, between the two Restricted Byway signs.

The first section I had not been to since Olive Kent left Woodlands Cottage. You may recall her dog Panda, later succeeded by the more boisterous but fiercely loyal Pickles.

The lane was longer and much steeper than I remembered it but then I'm a quarter of a century older. The climb was worth it though for the profusion of wild flowers, especially one of my favourites, the delicate wood sorrel. As the afternoon progressed its petals and bright green shamrock leaves would close up.

I heard above my head a loud and witty trill I could not identify. I looked up. Perching on a branch was a male blackcap. I am more familiar with its 'clat, clat' alarm call.

The second stage of the detour - a turn to the left down a deep green lane with high stony banks and floored with a thick mulch of oak leaves; a tree house overhanging the start and further down, the sound of running water coming from a well with a caged front.

It's a hidden and rather mysterious track and I'd been unaware of its existence previously [although there is some indication of it on the Ordnance Survey map].

At the bottom of the track the third and final stage of the detour opens out with a stream, carpets of yellow archangel, comfrey and some hens. Here, passing between houses does feel a bit like invading someone's 'defensible space'. Hence, I suppose, the use of the word 'restricted' on the byway signs and the presence of cctv cameras.

I just managed to squeeze past the large vehicle, blocking the exit of the byway, in order to reach the 'highway'. Then on to Ruggaton Lane where the high bank soaks up the heat, providing each year an early display of spring flowers and butterflies.

I watched orange tip butterflies landing on Jack-by-the-hedge and this caused me to remember Olive Kent again - a debate we'd had years ago triggered by a butterfly fluttering past and my commenting that it was the first orange tip I had seen that year.

"Huh," said Olive, "It's just a cabbage white." She felt it was not necessary to identify a butterfly, bird or wild flower. It is just the same bird or flower, etc., and just as lovely whether or not you know its correct name. I could see her point. After all, it was Juliet who said, "What's in a name . . . " But some of the names are appealing and can tell us a lot about the characteristics, uses or folk lore attached to the plant - like Jack-by-the-hedge for example and the alternative name garlic mustard.


Paul Swailes

Footnote: If you haven't discovered it already, may I draw your attention to Sue Jerrard's regular nature observations, From a Bittadon Garden, in the Coast and Combe Church Magazine.

 

CHILDHOOD LITERATURE


Mabel Lucie Attwell

"In fact the fairies had turned him into a water-baby.

A water-baby? You never heard of a water-baby Perhaps not. That is the very reason why this story was written."

An uneasy book when read as a child and even more so when read as an adult, Charles Kingsley's 1862 novel, The Water Babies, is one of those perennial children's classics that is not so perennial today!

The story, initially written for his 4-year-old son, Grenville, Kingsley was appalled by the plight of young sweeps in Victorian times, whose masters were often brutal and condemned them to lives of misery often leading to early deaths.

When a young chimney sweep, Tom, is wrongfully blamed for a theft, he makes a run for it, together with his dog Toby, ending up jumping into a fierce running river where they encounter anthropomorphic underwater creatures. Before he can return and clear his name, Tom has to rescue his new friends, the Water Babies, from their nemesis.

A live action animated feature film directed by Lionel Jeffries loosely based on the tale of the Water Babies was made in 1978 with a star-studded cast including James Mason, Bernard Cribbins, Billie Whitelaw, Joan Greenwood, David Tomlinson, Una Stubbs, David Jason, Lance Percival and Jon Pertwee.


Charles Kingsley was born in Holne, Devon, in June 1819, the eldest son of the Reverend Charles Kingsley and his wife Mary Lucas Kingsley. His childhood was spent in Clovelly, where his father was curate and rector [1826-1836] and at Barnack in Northamptonshire. He was educated at Bristol and Helston Grammar schools before studying at Kings College London and Magdalene College, Cambridge, graduating from there in 1842.

He chose to pursue a ministry career in the church and from 1844 was Rector of Eversley in Hampshire. In 1859 he became Chaplain to Queen Victoria and was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge in 1860. In 1861 he became private tutor to the Prince of Wales.

He resigned his professorship at Cambridge in 1859 and from 1870 to 1873 was a canon of Chester Cathedral when he founded the Chester Society for Natural Science, Literature and Art and became the 19th President of the Birmingham and Midland Institute in 1872. In 1873 he was made a cannon of Westminster Abbey.

A social reformer, historian and novelist, Kingsley married Frances Eliza Grenfell [1814-1891] in 1844. They had two sons and two daughters.

Kingsley's 1855 historical novel Westward Ho!, the seafaring adventures of Amyas Leigh, led to the founding of the village of the same name near Bideford, the only place name in England with an exclamation mark!

Kingsley died in 1875 at his home in Eversley and is buried in the churchyard there.

In 2014, his bust was taken from St. George's Chapel, Windsor and relocated in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey and his statue stands on the Quay in Bideford.

His poem, Easter Week, was included in the 2019 Easter Service at St. George's Chapel, attended by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

Easter Week

See the land, her Easter keeping,
        Rises as her Maker rose.
    Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
        Burst at last from winter snows.
    Earth with heaven above rejoices;
        Fields and gardens hail the spring;
    Shaughs and woodlands ring with voices,
        While the wild birds build and sing.

    You, to whom your Maker granted
        Powers to those sweet birds unknown,
    Use the craft by God implanted;
        Use the reason not your own.
    Here, while heaven and earth rejoices,
        Each his Easter tribute bring - 
    Work of fingers, chant of voices,
        Like the birds who build and sing.


Kingsley's statue on the Quay at Bideford

Mabel Lucie Attwell, born in Mile End London, in June 1879, was a British illustrator and comic artist. Studying at Heatherleys and St. Martin's School of Art, she was known for her cute, nostalgic drawings of children, often based on her daughter Marjorie [Peggy] from her marriage to painter and illustrator Harold Earnshaw with whom she also had two sons. She died at her home in Fowey, Cornwall, in 1964. Her drawings and poems feature on many postcards, advertisements, posters, books and figurines, are still popular and loved today.


 


 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 81

MATTHEW POULTON

Owner of Discovery Music, 7 Litchdon Street, Barnstaple

3rd November 1970 -

"I don't own a computer! I don't deal with the internet! I don't possess a smartphone! What I do have is an ability to communicate with folk face to face. By the time we've shared a cup of tea and put the world to rights, we've made friends and I can get down to business."

So says this month's Mover and Shaker who has been in the record business for nearly 30 years.

Over the years, when in Barnstaple, I have sometimes seen a man dressed in formal black, from top hat to black boots, strolling along the High Street. He looked a bit scary and I couldn't possibly imagine chatting to him about his life. Later I realised that he owned Discovery Music, a small shop set behind the Imperial Hotel.

Then, recently on BBC Spotlight, there he was chatting to Jim and Julian about a record they wanted him to sell: Weight off My Mind. He looked a really nice guy and I wondered if he would agree to being another Mover and Shaker. So, I took the plunge, walked into his den, packed from ceiling to floorboards with vinyl records old and new, and yes, he was a fascinating chap with a fund of stories and a sound philosophy on life.

Matt was born in North Devon and has lived all his life in the county. His mother was from Selsey near Croydon, Surrey, and his dad from Oxted, but they moved to North Devon in the 1960's and brought up two of their younger sons here. Matt is five years younger than Michael, and Andrew, the oldest, is ten years Matt's senior.

Their parents brought the boys up to believe in common sense, common decency and courtesy. Neither was particularly interested in making money, although father had a good financial head. He was an antiques dealer, later specialising in jewellery. They were all encouraged to talk about their problems and life in general and grew up with love and respect for their parents. The family motto was to 'know thyself'.


At college, Matt, in the first year, chose the wrong 'A' levels: chemistry, physics and pure and applied mathematics. He didn't do too well. In the second year he did much better with sociology!

After leaving college he did various jobs but during a session of unemployment, a friend of his was trying to run a book/record shop in Bideford part-time to coincide with his teaching job. Matt said that he could run the shop and look after the records - he'd always been interested in these and learnt a lot during his teens, and he'd always loved books. That job lasted from the age of 21 for the next ten years. However, he'd always wanted his own business. Then the opportunity arose.

One thing that Matt and his brother Michael shared was that on completing their education they would 'flee the nest'. This they both did. Their father had bought 7 Litchdon Street, which has a cottage with garden behind. The cottage was renovated and let, and the upper of two flats was also let - to Matt. When he talked of his own business, what was better than to convert downstairs into his shop? And so began Discovery Music.

His shop is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and after that [and another reason why he's not interested in modern technology], his time is his own. Matt will value people's own records, walk miles of our lovely countryside ["What better way is there to enjoy scenery slowly", he says], take myriads of excellent photographs, some of which he makes into greetings cards for friends and generally enjoy life away from the digital scene.

He lives above the shop, paying rent to his mother who owns the premises. His girlfriend of 17 years, a seamstress, is independent and keeps her own property - a sensible arrangement for both of them. He says, "I may look like a punk but I'm not!" The bullets on the belt around his middle are not live, and the seven deadly sins tattoo-ed on his right arm correspond to the seven golden virtues on his left. Now I've Googled them, I can quote them! He still usually wears black, and always the top hat. He never got around to drink and drugs in his early years, partly through not having the best of health and partly from the emotional aspect.

Matt does a lot of work on the telephone, too. Not suffering from cyber psychosis means that he has time, again, to talk to folk whether they are customers or friends.

Back to the record Weight off my Mind. Jim and Julian are old friends of Matt's, brought closer together after the death of another friend, a saxophonist, who died far too young of a mental illness. The men wrote this song as a help to others in need and who better to sell the record than Matt. Backing up his interest is a small leaflet in his window: Positive Steps for Mental Health.

He also sells CD's and offered advice on what to choose. CD's he says are not built to last, 20-30 years at most before chemicals start breaking down, silver covering goes sepia, glue loses its strength and so on. Records, if looked after, will last a lifetime. And how much does one pay for these? "Well," he says, "In my sale area out the back, you can pick one up for 75pence. Over there is a Beatles original of Let it Be priced at £500. But most of my trade is between £5 and £20."

And what is his favourite? The Who, he answers immediately, but then goes on to say that he likes classical music, although he doesn't sell these as they are in a specialist class of their own, jazz and a whole host of others. I reckon he knows an awful lot about his trade!

Meeting Matt passed a very pleasant hour. Here is a man who goes against 'tech madness'. When even old souls like me can send e-mails, and order from the internet, as he says for convenience, comfort and escapism, he doesn't feel left out of what he sees as a negative cyber virus, bombarding people with quick information which can become addictive. All that information is available offline - if we only have time to search for it and the proof? If you want to know about latest recordings, pop groups and so on, he's your man.


It was a refreshing change to meet him. I doubt if his shop will ever make him a fortune, but his lifestyle says a lot about reducing stress. Long may it last!

PP of DC

 

FROM REV. BILL

Once again, the months go by. The blossoms have fallen by now but very little changes with regard to parliament and our country. If it's not MP's expenses its Brexit!

Brexit has become divisive, political parties are divided even amongst themselves, and the country is divided. It wasn't that long ago when parliament was in the news over affluent members fiddling their expenses. Certainly, our MPs get a lot of flak from all sides. But how many people in other walks of life are doing, or would do the same thing: perhaps thinking that fiddling the company isn't as serious as fiddling the voter?

Jesus once told a woman caught in adultery that her sins were forgiven, but added go and sin no more. You may be wondering what adultery and fiddling expenses have in common; they are similar in this way: they are both stealing something that is not rightfully theirs. Is adultery and fiddling expenses becoming more acceptable in our society?

When people choose to become politicians or members of parliament, they have a responsibility to those who elect them, they are placed in positions of trust and are given the title Honourable and promise to be so. In the same way men and women promise to honour their spouses, they too are placed in positions of trust and have a responsibility to one another.

If responsibility is not accepted and acted upon, trust goes out of the window. It seems to me that our political classes often go too far and many of them fail to understand what is right, but then are they the only ones?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us. But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins.

God loves you and even our politicians!

Bill


QUOTE

SHAKESPEARE FORSEES BREXIT!

 

This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,

Dear for her reputation through the world,

. . . England, bound in with the triumphant sea,

Whose rocky shore heats back the envious siege

Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,

With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:

That, England, that was wont to conquer others,

Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.

Ah, would the scandal vanish . . .

 

John of Gaunt's speech from Richard II

 

 

 

BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW

A reminder that this year's Show will be taking place

on SATURDAY, 17TH AUGUST.

Schedules will be available from the Shop in early June, so pick one up and see what YOU can enter. There are many classes to choose from. Entries will be able to be placed in the Hall on the evening of Friday,

16th August and again in the morning of Saturday, 17th August. The Hall will be open for everyone to view the entries from 2.00 p.m., when there will be refreshments and a raffle.

Keep the date free, give thought to what you could enter and support this village event.

 

 

OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 179

Berrynarbor near Ilfracombe


For June and July, I have chosen an early print of Berrynarbor which I hope you will enjoy. A genuine steel engraving by J. Harwood and J. Thomas. it is dated c1829-32, Prints from this engraving would also have been coloured by hand, as shown on the cover of this Newsletter.

Definitively, it is an artistic impression of our village which shows the church of St. Peter, with the original Manor House to the left as well as various cottages including Tower Cottage. There are boats sailing on Watermouth Harbour and a couple of cottages on the hill to the far left. Are these going up Hagginton Hill or maybe the cottages opposite the Sawmill Inn? Smoke is coming from the cottage chimneys. At this time, virtually all the cottages and farms were owned by Squire Bassett of Watermouth Castle.

It is interesting to note that the artist does not show the roof of the church, which is, in fact, level with the third section from the top of the tower.


Looking up the print on the internet - and it is available to purchase from various sites - there is a link to James and Sarah [Sally] Gear. But why? Are they and their family perhaps portrayed? Both were born in Berrynarbor: James 1796/8-1882, Sarah 1799-1876.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, May 2019

e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com

 

 
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