our meeting on the 6th June, we were given a colourful and interesting
introduction to belly dancing by Bernadette Smocznska and she explained the
history of each dance as the afternoon progressed. Unfortunately, nobody took up her offer to 'have a go'!! The competition for the prettiest scarf was
won by Beryl Brewer and the raffle by Maureen Wonnacott.
Eales, an Exmoor Park Ranger, spoke to us about red deer on Exmoor on the 4th
July. His talk was illustrated by
slides featuring firstly photographs of the different species of deer [not all
living on Exmoor] and then the life of the red deer through the seasons. He brought along some antlers which the
males shed each year. These are
different shapes depending on the age of the animal.
competition for 'a deer' was won by Ethel Tidsbury. She had brought along a charming soft toy. The raffle was won by
members enjoyed a visit to Eggesford Garden Centre on the 10th July. Unfortunately, the proposed visit to West
Hill Farm, West Down, was postponed due to the possibility of heavy showers - a
cream tea was going to be served on the lawn!
usual, there will be no meeting in August.
We commence again on the 5th September when there will be a visit from a
member of the Devon Air Ambulance. The
competition is for an aerial photograph.
Visitors and new members are always welcome.
Doreen Prater - President
DEVON AIR AMBULANCE TRUST
2nd June 2006
We are writing to thank you for the
wonderful donation of £600.00 raised from your Barn Dance. As a token of our appreciation, please
accept the enclosed Certificate of Thanks.
displayed at The Globe]
Devon now has two helicopters. The ED135 helicopter shares a base with the
Police Air Support Unit at Middlemoor and the Bolkow 105dbs helicopter is based
at Belle Vue Airfield, near Great Torrington.
This means that an Air Ambulance can reach 50% of Devon within 5 minutes,
with the remainder of the County being reached within 10 minutes.
The Charity has to raise £2.2 million
each year to keep both aircraft airborne.
This is a huge sum but it is possible thanks to the support of people
Your generosity will make sure that your
helicopters are here for anyone who needs them, whether young or old, resident
or holidaymaker. Thank you for making
a difference by your kindness and support.
Devon Air Ambulance Trust
YOU would like to support the Trust, why not play their Lottery?
At a cost of £1 a week you are entered in
the weekly Friday draw with a 1st prize of £1,350, 2nd and 3rd of £135 and 10
runner up prizes of £13.50.
can join by standing order, cheque or at a local agent - there are over 150 at
Post Offices, Newsagents, etc. For
more information, an application form or details on where to find your local
01392-469886 or log on to their website www.daat.org and follow the links.
support your Air Ambulance by joining now.
If I should go
before the rest of you,
Break not a flower
nor inscribe a stone.
Nor when I'm gone
speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual
selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
parting is hell,
But life goes on,
so sing as well.
Joyce Grenfell [1910-1979]
Longer term residents of the village learnt
with much sadness of the sudden death of Dave Yeo on the 20th May 2006.
will be remembered by people both here in Berrynarbor and Ilfracombe and Combe
Martin as their cheerful coach driver, and Ilfracombe Parish Church was filled
by so many people wishing to bid him farewell.
a Combe Martin lad, came to Berrynarbor when he married his first wife,
Marlene, living here for several years with their two daughters, Tracey and
Paula at Riversdale Cottage. A
mechanic by trade, he started coach driving first with Blue Coaches, continuing
when they were taken over by Loverings and latterly with Filers. 'Tacker' as he was
nick-named, was a bell ringer, here at St.
Peter's and also in Ilfracombe and Combe Martin; he loved playing skittles, was a proficient bowler and enjoyed
driving the bowling clubs to their matches and the gardening clubs on their
outings. Renowned for losing his way,
he was even known to drive three times round Mullacott roundabout!
thoughts and sympathy are with all his family, especially Marlene, Tracey and
Jason, Paula and Stuart and 'Mother' Ivy and Walter. Dave will be sadly missed
by them all, and he will be missed by his grandchildren Dylan, Vashti, Devon
and Scarlett and Tilly and Finn.
Village, as one, was shocked and saddened by Ken's sudden and untimely death on
the 2nd June. He will be sorely missed
by his family and many friends and our thoughts are with Sandra, Neil and Jayne
at this time of sorrow.
* * *
Neil and Jayne would like to thank everyone for their cards, letters, flowers,
visits and telephone calls following Ken's sudden and unexpected death. Also, thanks to everyone who came to his
funeral, it was a great comfort to us to see the church so full.
received donations in his memory amounting to £835.00, which we have taken to
The Children's Hospice. Ken was a
wonderful husband, dad and granddad, who had so much pleasure from his
lived and worked all his life on the farm and lived life to the full. We all miss him so much.
* * *
has left a big hole to fill. Not only
in the hearts of all who loved him, but in the lives of most of the
villagers. The Carnival Gang will miss
his jokes, his enthusiasm and his absolute dedication to the idea of carnival -
not only having fun but raising money for charity at the same time.
Carnival will go on - as it has for the past sixteen years - but he [and Jimmy]
will be very much in all our thoughts as we 'sail' through the carnivals this
Phil and Lynne
is with regret that we have to report the death, suddenly but peacefully, of
Alf Turner of Watermouth on the 23rd June and our thoughts are with Betty at
this time of sadness.
and Betty first visited the area when friends moved here in 1974, and they
themselves moved here from London ten years later, in 1984.
Although Betty took holidays away, Alf
didn't. He said that living here was
one long holiday. His world, with
which he was very contented, was Watermouth and Sandy Cove. Always a 'hit' with the holidaymakers, he
was like the Pied Piper, collecting children who enjoyed being with him.
lovers both, Bet and Alf became foster parents to a female jackdaw. Readers as far back as April 1999 may
remember the story about Tootsie. Her
arrival is reproduced here so that newer readers [and those who have forgotten
it!] can enjoy the antics of this amusing bird:
Our friends, Inge and Tom, brought Tootsie to us late one night in early
June 1990. She had been trapped down
a chimney for nearly a week and was full of soot. We quickly found our bird cage and Alf set to work on cleaning
her up. Poor little thing was so full
of soot she couldn't keep food or drink down and we were afraid she wouldn't
last the night.
However, next morning found her quite perky. She stayed in her cage for a few weeks, then took to wandering
around, indeed taking over the whole household. The dogs weren't too keen on
her at first, but soon accepted her as one of the family. We always have the kitchen window open, so
she started flying around in the garden and meeting the ducks and other wild birds. We put a green ring on her so we could pick
her out amongst the other jackdaws.
She always appeared at mealtimes and various intervals, and slept in the
cage at night, with the door open of course.
The first night she stayed out all night, we were worried sick - it was
a dreadful night, raining hard and very windy. She turned up the next morning, wet and bedraggled, but she must
have enjoyed it because she's stayed out every night since, although she's at
home all day to torment and amuse us!
She was a great hit last summer with the holidaymakers at the Castle -
they couldn't believe how friendly she was.
She loved sharing their lunches and picnics. A couple of loud claps and she'd appear from nowhere on to Alf's
shoulder. She's always around when I'm
cooking and gets to taste and pinch anything that's going. She loves onions - raw or cooked - and
eats anything from mustard to ice creams.
She sits on the tap and makes noises until we turn the tap on for her to
have a drink. She enjoyed Christmas,
with her own Christmas pudding and presents, along with our other pets. The cold weather doesn't seem to worry her
much as she can fly in and have a good feed, then settle on Alf for a
sleep. She doesn't bring her friends
in, but I've a suspicion she takes food out for them though!!
Bet and Alf
Tootsie sadly died
in 2000, having lived to the ripe old age of 111/2 years.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
collection around the village for Christian Aid enabled St. Peter's to
contribute £288 to the total of
£840 raised by Christians Together in Combe
Martin and Berrynarbor - a huge increase on last year. Thank you all for your willing
support. With so many demands being
made on our purses, we all know it is just not possible to give to everything.
weather for Gift Day this year and a day once again which was well worthwhile,
with so many coming along to hand in an envelope and have a chat with the
Rector. With donations still arriving,
over £1,000 has been raised - a welcome boost to church funds. We shall know the final amount by the time
the next Newsletter goes to press.
On Sunday 6th August, there will be a Songs
of Praise in place of the Family Service.
Do come along to enjoy some favourite hymns and a cup of coffee or tea
afterwards. Then on the first Sunday
in September, 3rd, there will be an Animal Service. Looking forward to October, the Harvest Festival will be
celebrated on Sunday, 1st October, with the Evensong and Supper on the
following Wednesday, the 4th.
Sunday morning services begin at 11.00 a.m.
Friendship Lunches at The Globe will
be on Wednesdays 23rd August and 27th September, 12.00 noon onwards. Everyone welcome!
BERRYNARBOR SUNDAY SCHOOL
Holidays have begun! For the Sunday
School anyway. The end of term was
celebrated in church where a Puppet Show had been arranged - it was fantastic
and enjoyed by children and adults alike!
the service, a quick exit by the children who ran into the Manor Hall, where
the food had been laid out - locusts spring to mind! Thankfully it was a dry, sunny day, so the children could play
in the park after a good feed.
a more serious note, Sunday School is lacking numbers. Once the children become teenagers, they
tend to do other things, so we are sending out a S.O.S. [Save Our Sunday
School] for more children and more helpers, so we can keep our School
all wish you a sunshiny summer.
Children's Letters to God:
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each
other so much if they had their own rooms.
It works with my brother.
I bet it is very hard for you to love
everybody in the whole world. There
are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Love Jen
little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could,
trying not to be late for Sunday School.
As she ran she prayed:
"Dear Lord, please don't let me be
late! Dear Lord, please don't let me
she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her
clothes dirty and tearing her dress.
She got up, brushed herself off and started running again! Once more she prayed:
"Dear Lord, please don't let me be
late, but please don't shove me either!"
Time: 11.00 a.m.
to 8.00 p.m.
are holding a special Holiday Festival Day on August Bank Holiday Monday at St.
Peter's Church, Berrynarbor, and invite all holidaymakers, village and other
residents from surrounding villages to come and enjoy this special day.
is yet another 'first' for Berrynarbor Church and will feature a wide range of
activities and attractions to include:
v Wine Tasting and
Talk on Wines from Other Countries
v Flower Arranging
v Model Railway
Display and Competition
v Face Painting for
v Music - with
visiting Soloists throughout the day
v Bookstall -
Postcards - CD's and Tapes on Sale
v Bell Ringing
v Plant and Produce
v Spinning and Craft
will be available throughout the day and Keith Wyer, our Rector, will be on
hand to offer pastoral care. He will
be joined by David Steed to explain the Church's unique history and architecture.
The day will end with a Wine and Cheese
Evening [7.00 to 8.00 p.m.] to which all residents, holidaymakers and other
visitors are invited!
Please come and support us on this Special Day!
MANOR HALL NEWS
main fund raising event will be the Berry Revels which will be on Tuesday, 15th
August, and we hope to see lots of people to support the Manor Hall.
September we shall be hosts to the South Molton group, Hearts of Oak, for an
be starting work on improving access for the disabled during the school holiday
period and the first step [!] will be a ramp running through the porch for easy
access for wheelchair users - other changes will then follow.
new book has been provided, kept in the kitchen, for reporting accidents. Please fill in details of any incidents
that occur. Tom Bartlett is now in
charge of the Health and Safety policy at the Manor Hall.
Bob Hobson - Chairman, Manor Hall Committee
at the Manor Hall on
SEPTEMBER at 8.00 p.m.
featuring the folk group
HEARTS OF OAK
£5 per ticket to include a Light Supper
will be available at the Community Shop
You are invited to bring your own alcoholic beverages
All proceeds to Manor Hall Funds
Make a note in
your Diary NOW!
A BIBLICAL PUZZLE
Hidden in the following passage
are the names of thirty books of the Bible. How many can you see?
This is a most remarkable puzzle.
It was found in an airplane seat pocket by a gentleman on a flight from Los
Angeles to Honolulu keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much
that he passed it on to
friends. One friend from Illinois worked on this while in the john.
Another friend studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Taylor, a
columnist friend was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly
newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so
involved, she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves.
There will be some names that are really
easy to spot. That's a fact. Some people, however, will soon find
themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily
capitalised. Truthfully, from answers we get we are forced to admit it
usually takes a minister or scholar to see some of them at the worst. Research
has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have
in seeing the books in this paragraph.
During a recent fundraising event which
featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi Lemonade booth set a new sales
record. The local paper, the Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who
reported that this puzzle was the most difficult they had ever seen. As
Daniel Hamana humbly puts it, "The books are right there in plain view,
hidden from sight."
Those able to find them all hear great
lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may
help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their
numbers. Also keep in mind that the punctuation and spaces in the middle
are normal. A chipper attitude helps you compete really well against
those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a
mass exodus, there really are thirty books of the Bible lurking somewhere in
Ding dong bell,
Pussy's in the
must have all learnt this nursery rhyme when young, and with the economy of
water in mind, here are a few jottings you may find interesting.
construction of old wells was done on a metal circular template, with a small
amount of brickwork being done on it.
This was dug down and around and lowered until the next brickwork was
added and so on until the required depth was reached. Modern wells use concrete pipes which are sunk in a similar way.
you ever think of burying old batteries, paint pots or things like that, then
don't because water courses can travel up to tens of miles and pollute wells or
is a village well at Goldhanger still used by the villagers for wine making, as
they claim this water is better than tap water. It is said to be 120 feet deep, starting 20 feet above sea level
and its source is said to be the other side of the salt water and tidal river
Blackwater. But it does not taste
we come to what happens when old wells are left and even forgotten.
builder friend of mine, Dave, had a small depression in his back garden where
he decided to plant a new tree. About
6 feet high, the tree was planted in the hole and given a good watering with
the garden hose, but inadvertently, Dave left the hose running overnight and
when he went to look at his tree the next day, the top of it was level with the
ground! It had sunk into an old well
where the filling had not completely consolidated.
Gidea Park, the back wheel of a lorry crossing a building site dropped into a
hole which turned out to be an old well.
Billericay, the Council had laid out drains and people who had cess pits or
septic tanks decided to get connected.
At our bungalow, a slabbed path ran from the front gate around to the
back door. The builder, who was to do
the connection, decided to follow that path for the new trench. "Start taking the slabs up
there," he told his man, Fred.
Fred prised a slab loose and managed to pick it up. Fortunately he stepped backwards, for had
he stepped forwards, he would have gone straight down into a barrel-shaped well
with the slab probably on top of him!
brother-in-law, Brian, at one time worked near Colchester Docks. One day when he was sitting outside with
his friends, taking their tea break, they thought they could hear a faint
whimpering. For two days they
could not make out where the sound was
coming from and Brian was unhappy about it.
Deciding to investigate further, he rummaged around
and lying on the ground was a rusty piece
of tin in which there was a hole, about a foot across. He lifted the tin and exclaimed,
"Oh! I see." "What do you see?" called his
will be revealed in due course", he replied asking, "Have we got a
good pair of stout gauntlets indoors?"
pair was duly found, Brian put them on and returned to the piece of tin which
he carefully lifted.
There, crouching in the bottom of Quite a deep hole - probably an old, partly filled in well, was a fox
cub. He reached down to grab it but it
grabbed him first by his gloved hand!
He held it up to show his friends.
Nearby was a low, chain-link fence and
there on the other side was the vixen mother, anxiously watching, half hidden
in the grass. Brian went over to the
fence and lowered the little cub to the ground. Mother and cub ran off and all was well. [No pun intended!]
are at least three wells in Barton Lane alone, and no doubt in many other parts
of Berrynarbor, so please take care.
Tony Beauclerk - Colchester
Ding Dong Bell
The origins of this nursery rhyme, a poem
with a moral theme, date back to the 16th Century and the time of Shakespeare, who used the phrase in The
'Sea nymphs hourly
ring his knell:
ark! Now I hear them - Ding, dong, bell.'
and The Merchant of Venice:
'Let us all ring
I'll begin it -
Ding, dong, bell.'
The original actually drowned the cat, but
the words were changed to encourage children to realise that it was cruel and not acceptable to harm any
animal. The words are also onomatopoeic, 'ding dong' when spoken convey the actual sound of the bell.
There are quite a few versions of this nursery rhyme and it is interesting
to find that the name of the villain of the piece varies from Little Tommy
Thin, Little Johnny Flynn to Little Johnny Green, but the hero is always Little Tommy Stout!
. and poor pussycat? She never did any
harm but killed all the mice in either his father's or the farmer's barn.
Illustrations by Paul Swailes
congratulations to Louise and Karl on their marriage at St. Peter's Church on
the 10th June - a lovely day enjoyed by family and friends.
is the younger daughter of Alan and Susan Richards of East Hagginton Farm, and
Karl the son of Edith and Don Ozelton of The Globe. The bride was attended by her sister Nicola and cousin Kaitlin,
Karl's nephew Callum was the pageboy, and Louise's brother Jamie flew in from
Australia to complete the family.
service was followed by a reception at the Barnstaple Hotel and the newlyweds
spent their honeymoon in Mauritius.
a Community Support Worker on the District, and Karl, Chef at the Sawmill Inn,
live at Sawmill Cottage.
wishes to you both for your future happiness.
reception at the Sandy Cove Hotel and a honeymoon in Las Vegas and Hawaii
followed the wedding of Kelly Gilson and David Cresswell at St. Peter's Church
on the 8th July.
who is the daughter of Richard and Dawn of Sandy Cove Hotel, was attended by
four bridesmaids - Naomi, Michelle, Gemma and Becky - and pageboy Daniel. David, son of Steve and Sue Cresswell of
Braunton, was supported by his Best Man Matt.
Kelly and David are both accountants and live in Westaway Heights at
and very best wishes to you both.
and our very best wishes to Paul, our Newsletter Illustrator, and Chris on
their marriage on the 15th July.
simple ceremony was attended just by their five children and followed by an
informal gathering of family and friends.
very best wishes and congratulations to Arline and Bernard Lewis on their
and Bernard were married on the 29th June 1946 having met when they were in the
Army. Arline was a driver - of a 3 ton
lorry - with the ATS and Bernard in the Tank Corps. They lived in Woodford for 26 years before moving to 'Alberta',
here in Berrynarbor in 1972, where, says Arline, they spent the happiest 28
years of their 60-year marriage. Sadly
they left in 1999 to move to Martock in Somerset.
The day was spent quietly but their
daughters, Susan and Merilyn, surprised them with a champagne and strawberry breakfast!
Our very best, but I'm afraid belated, good
wishes and congratulations to Mary and Brian Shillaker on their Golden Wedding.
WEATHER OR NOT
seemed such a wet and windy month that we decided to get all the figures going
back to 1994 and were surprised by what we found. According to the Met. Office, nationally it had been the wettest
May since 1979. Here, however, we
recorded a total rainfall of 136mm [5 3/8"] which was less that the 156mm
[6 5/16"] recorded in 2002, and the 147mm
[5 7/8"] recorded in 1996. Wind speeds were slightly above average and
there were more days with wind speeds over 20 knots than the last three
years. The maximum temperature of
23.1 Deg C was down on the previous five years although the minimum of 4.2 Deg C was
up. The sunshine hours reflected the
dull month, at only 130.89 hours they were 25 hours down on last year and 40
down on May 2004.
contrast, June was flaming from the 1st and was a very dry month with only 36mm
[1 7/16"] of rain, of which 27mm [1 1/16"] fell between Sunday night
on the 25th June and 8.00 a.m. on the 27th.
In the previous five years, the driest June was in 2004 when we had 48mm
[1 15/16"]. The maximum
temperature of 27.4 Deg C was exactly the same as last year though the minimum of
7.5 Deg C was slightly up. Generally the
winds were lighter through the month than previous Junes, with a maximum gust
of 22 knots. At 191.89 hours, the
sunshine record beat all the previous three years, the closest being 2004 with
first six months of this year with only 390mm [15 3/8"] of rain has been
drier than the previous five years although we had only 428mm [16 7/8"]
for the same period last year. In 2002
we had nearly double the rain with 749mm [291/2"].
heatwave continued into the first few days of July but it is now a bit cooler
and fresher. The rain has been fairly
welcome for the garden but not the wind which is currently trying to blow the
beans off their sticks.
Simon and Sue
seems a long time ago that we bid for a boat trip at the 100th birthday party
ofthe Newsletter. However, after many
tries, foiled by the weather, tide, etc., five of us set out on a Monday
evening in perfect
weather for a wonderful trip along the
coast toLee Abbey. On our way we saw
dolphins, cormorants and several other sea birds. Returning to Combe Martin bay, we anchored for a picnic and
watched a spectacular sunset. Ivan
was fishing but only managed to catch two small mackerel, which swum happily
away when released. Ivan then lifted
one of his lobster pots and we were very amused by two small lobsters
scrabbling around on the deck before going back into the water.
should all like to thank Ivan and June for a marvellous evening.
Jilly, Jane, Jackie and Jan
A LIST OF 'ISTS'
[not to be taken
Activist: PE enthusiast
Alienist: friend to little green men
Apiarist: keeper of chimps
Archivist; maker of pergolas
Anarchist: assist maker of pergolas
Arsonist: Woolwich fan
Baptist: regular at Burger King
Communist: vulgar person
Cornettist: ice cream seller
Dentist: maker of
Flautist: quality control expert
Illusionist: someone badly treated
Oboist: fat person
Pacifist: South Sea Islander
Pharmacist: agricultural worker
Physicist: dealer in soft drinks
Romanticist: teller of 'porkies'
Socialist: member of high society
Spiritualist: dealer in rum, gin, etc.
Taxidermist : opener of cab doors
Trappist: setter of snares
Violinist: low down inn keeper
CELEBRATIONS AT BARN COTTAGE
all started on the 1st February when my grandson, Ian Redwood, rang me to say,
"Gran, Yan and I got married today." "Oh, great!" I say, "We'll have a family
gathering during the summer to celebrate."
turned out that the 15th July was the most convenient date. Invites were sent out and I gardened,
painted garden furniture and cleaned the windows!
brought half a mile of bunting and 70 balloons, which spread around the cottage
and half way down the garden path.
Liz's flowers were beautiful and more than 'Goodenough'. It was hot but with a gazebo and three
brollies, we managed to shade the tables.
their arrival, Ian and Yan were suitably surprised! Thirty odd of my expanding family gathered - ages ranging from
Milly at 14 months to Trevor at 93. I
now have 8 great grandchildren and two ladies in waiting.
Six tents were erected in the orchard and
the young boys played football and the older boys played boules.
and Genevieve, my sheep, hid in their shed until it was safe to escape to the
had a great party and Ian and Yan returned to London on Sunday with happy
memories and lots of photos.
belated congratulations and best wishes to Ian and Yan.
FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE
a big 'thank you' to 3 new volunteers and several stalwarts who have changed
their shift. This has largely relieved
our summer holiday crisis but Jackie certainly won't be turning away further
offers of help!
and the duty volunteers were delighted to receive an unexpected accolade
earlier this month from a visitor who gave an extra £5 on top of his bill
'because it is such a nice shop'. Well
done everyone, and thanks kind donor if you read this - you made everyone's
too, to John and Fenella Boxall who provided the fridge for salads and
vegetables. It was proving a boon even
before this recent spell of hot weather and at the moment is invaluable!
now well into this year's holiday season.
If you have visitors, do tell them please that we have a range of 'take
home' gifts. These include local jams,
chutneys and honey, fudge and shortbread with a postcard of Berrynarbor on the
front, local cider, clotted cream, healthy plants and a pretty range of
inexpensive jewellery: surely a good
choice for the dog/cat/house sitter - or for friends and family.
We now have notices advertising the shop,
which we hope self-catering owners might display in their properties. I
apologise if you've not
yet received them but if this is the case
and you could use some, please get in touch .
you know, we now have planning permission to go ahead with building our new
shop and much work is going on behind the scenes to get grants to offset the
costs. We will keep you informed of progress. Meanwhile, do let me know if you
have new neighbours so that we can let them have our introductory welcome pack.
it's true, PP of DC [Pam] has admitted that she has passed her 'bb date' and is
now joining the ranks of those who cannot think how they ever found time to go
to work! Good luck and best wishes,
Pam, we know you will remain far from idle!
is a perverse fact that everything comes at once, and nothing more so than
crops of fruit and vegetables. If
nature has been kind to you and you have more produce than you can cope with,
can I ask you to consider giving some to the shop? We can sell it on at a 'less than Tesco' price to our customers
and in the process make a little money to go toward our new building fund. We'll arrange collection if that would
help, all you need do is tell Jackie  and she will make the necessary
and Katrina Richards are delighted to announce the arrival of their daughter
Amber on the 23rd April, weighing in at 7lbs 2oz.
sister for Kaitlin and Jay, Amber is the 13th grandchild for Maureen and No. 3
Granny Phil and Great Uncle Chris Walden are very happy to announce baby Ruby's
arrival. With her name already chosen,
she managed to arrive on the 14th May, her grandparents' Ruby Wedding
over 6lbs, Ruby is the second daughter for James and Beverley and sister for
stork arrived at Monks Path on the 3rd July bringing baby Isabella Summer, who weighed 8lbs, a sister
for Dylan and Lola. A warm welcome to
the little one and best wishes to the proud parents, Matt and Gemma Bacon, the
proud grandparents Mike, Anne and Alan, and the proud great grannies, Bett and
and best wishes to you all.
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Summer Term 2006
have achieved two major awards this term after a lot of work and effort from
everyone at the school.
extensive work in developing Personal, Health and Social Education at the
school we have had various official visits to see that all the correct working
practices are in place. In early July
two members of staff and two Class 3 pupils attended an official ceremony at
the Barnstaple Hotel.
Travel Plan Award
the last year we have been focussing on road safety and issues to do with how
families choose to travel to school. We have looked at large maps with the
School Eco-School Committee to see where families at the school live. Then we
considered the danger points for children living in this village. We have
worked closely with the Parish Council on highways issues e.g. children
designing 'slow down' posters for the village. The children have designed road
safety posters and we've asked parents if they'd like to join a car-share
scheme. We operate a small walking bus to the car park already and this is used
by three or four families. Dropping off and picking up children can be
hazardous times for children's safety and we work with our Community Police
Officers to tackle this problem. For completing an Action Plan and committing
ourselves to this work, we have received a new Digital Camera and £4170 which
will go towards outdoor facilities to develop cycling skills for our youngest
school grounds have really improved in the last year. Great thanks go to the Friends of Berrynarbor for raising money
for a greenhouse and plants. Mrs.
Fairchild, a parent at the school, teaches children about planting and she has
made our gardens a really wonderful learning resource. Mr. Howell, a grandparent at the school,
visits regularly to tidy up the borders and keep the gardens looking
wonderful. The Berry in Bloom team
continue to support our work in school with seeds, new plants and help. What fantastic support! We recently worked with a local artist,
Karen Hawkins, to create new outdoor sculptures too. We have also built a new fitness trail, shelter area and ball
before we broke up, Friends of the School held the annual Summer Fete. A lovely hot and sunny evening, the event
was a great success raising, before expenses, the grand total of £2,264. A big thank you to everyone involved - the
organisers and the parents and villagers for your support.
Karen Crutchfield - Head Teacher
are some photographs of our new outdoor learning spaces.
Our Fruit and Vegetable Garden
Our Outdoor Classroom
Our new Pond
THE STERRIDGE VALLEY
beautiful Sterridge Valley is the upper reaches of a long combe running from
Watermouth Harbour southwards to the foot of Hempster Farm. Sterridge officially begins at Riversdale
very ancient parish road runs through the valley, once the way for drovers and
pack-horse trains, vending their wares.
It was the important link between cottage and farm to the village,
church and beyond.
road has been improved and re-routed in places, probably in the late 18th and
early 19th centuries. At Rock Hill, a
cutting was made through the hill, most likely blasted with gun powder and
finished with a lot of 'pick and shovel'!
This by-passed the old route around the original Rectory [Wild Violets]
and Orchard House.
new road was made between Lower Rows and Venture Cottage, avoiding the steep
rocky lane through Lower Cockhill to Knackershole. The track to Harper's Mill was improved and a new road cut from
the mill to Berry Down via Smythen Farm - quite a feat with its steep gradient
and hairpin bends. The old road went along Bountice Lane towards
Bowden Farm, branching right up along the side of the ridge, through Smythen
then on to Hempster and Berry Down.
meadows along the valley from Saw Mills to Ducky Pool and Riversdale to
Harper's Mill were re-enclosed with a new wall, surely using the stone from
Rock Hill. Old photographs show this
wall quite clearly but sadly, through neglect over the years, some parts have
all but disappeared. Saplings root,
grow into trees whose roots push out the stones in the wall.
valley meadows were some of the best meadowland in the Parish. It was always a joy to walk in the spring
at lambing time, or watch the hay harvest or try to outstare the lovely Ruby
Red Devon Cattle. They were always
clear on intrusive weeds but rich in wild flowers, especially the tiny
indigenous wild daffodils. With the
demise of farming and the fragmentation of farms into the ownership of
non-farming families, these meadows are now struggling against the encroachment
of bracken, bramble, thistle, hemlock, ragwort and dock. It is heartening to see that some work is
being done to redress the problem.
valley is richly wooded. Ruggaton is a
mixed woodland holding a large copse of hazel, a lovely stand of beech and
mature wild cherry make a lovely show in spring. Woolscott Cleave was partially felled during the First World
War. Besides the 1960's planting of
larch and fir, many mature oak, ash and sweet chestnut survive. Smythen wood must contain a fair amount of
beech for in autumn it glows like burnished copper. Some small fields which border Smythen Hill are now overgrown
with young trees.
is no longer the large, grassy space rising to the horizon. It fell into the category 'too steep to be
viable' and has been planted with trees.
As much as I love trees and woodland, too much in the wrong place can
prove oppressive and enclosing. I hope
this new wood doesn't prove to be so.
the stream beyond Harper's Mill Bridge, the Bassetts raised pheasant. It is possible the derelict cottage on the
road above once housed the gamekeeper.
of the larger farms encircle the valley on its surrounding hill. I think as homesteads they are very old
even if their buildings are more modern.
The Bronze Age tumuli at Berry Down and Lynton Cross are evidence of an
old English Settlement in the area.
Our two manors are definitely pre-Norman and have OE names, even if they
were occupied by Saxons at the time of the Norman Invasion.
was certainly thriving in 1333 when Thomas de Smethenyston paid 1s 8d tax. The Withie family are recorded in Ruggaton
in the 1400's. The family of Bishop
Jewel, born at Bowden 1522, certainly didn't give it its name - Bowdens are
recorded living in the area in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Harper family [OE hearpere] were well established when Church Records began in
1540. Three Harpers were assessed for
goods and in 1641 Richard Harper was taxed £4 on his land. Also in 1641, six Harpers assented to the
Oath of Protestation in the reign of Charles I. I think the mill must be as old as the surrounding farms.
What is a Wormery?
easy effective way of converting kitchen waste into the best nutrient packed
compost there in, using the digestive power of worms.
have been farming premium worms for the angling industry for two Years. Now our stock is sufficient to offer for
sale wormeries made from recycled material.
We provide the wormery, worms and
bedding. All you have to do is feed
them with chopped up kitchen waste, which they eat and digest. The end product is worm casts which is a
highly nutritious compost.
are one of Nature's little 'recyclers'.
About 25% of landfill waste could be recycled by worms. It is this particular kind of waste that
causes pollution problems.
instructions are supplied with each wormery
Jane and Bobby Bowden, Lower Birdswell Telephone  883887
Lots of movement in the village to report
this time. To everyone, either coming
or going or moving, we wish you luck
and every happiness in your new home.
Dennis and Win were sad to leave
Red Tiles and we were equally sad to see them go. However, after down sizing
and trying, as Win says, to 'get a quart into a pint pot', their new home - the
first floor of a cottage - sounds delightful and they are settling in well.
Win writes: "The Trust [set up by W.D. and H.O. Wills] runs this complex
for about 200 people, centred on a lovely old listed house in about 30 acres of
beautifully maintained gardens and grounds.
The house itself has within it a library, an indoor heated pool, a
beautiful chapel and a huge dining hall where we can get a good 3-course lunch
for £3.50, so there is little else we need.
There is a hairdresser on site too.
What more can we possibly want, except a good pair of legs!
miss 'Berry' very much and send our fondest good wishes to our friends in
Berrynarbor and around."
and Dennis, we return your good wishes and hope you will both be happy in your
new home - it sounds so good I think some of us would like to join you!
Tiles will now be home to Dawn and
Gerrit of Sandy Cove Hotel.
people will have noticed the demise of the large poplar tree at Alwyns. This was the first job for Paul and Clare White, the new residents
there. Not, because it was blocking
out the light, but because it was diseased and likely to die in the next couple
Clare and eight month old Amelia [Millie] have moved from Braunton. Paul, who hails originally from the Channel
Islands but has lived in North Devon since the mid-70's, is in the Police
Force, a Traffic Motorcyclist at Barnstaple.
Clare, who is more local - her family farming at Ashford - is a Nursing
Sister at the North Devon District Hospital.
the family are three cats - Sylvester, their original one, and Minou and Zoe
who they have recently inherited.
Clare, understandably, has little time for hobbies but Paul enjoys
giving Advance Motor Cyclist Training to the public. A warm welcome to you all.
17 years, Alan and Christine Parr
have retired from Watermouth Cove Holiday Park and have moved to Knowle House,
are now enjoying a more peaceful and relaxed way of life, gardening and growing
their own vegetables. After working
hard for so long, they are also taking time to enjoy the beautiful local
countryside. We wish them both
happiness in their new life-style.
was sad to say goodbye to Hilary and
Roger when they moved to Braunton, and rather belatedly we welcome Debbie Bott and Stuart Radley to
Brambles on Hagginton Hill.
the cottage belongs to Debbie's parents, Judy and Geoff, who hope to move down
from near Oxford in the near future, Debbie and Stuart are currently in
residence, together with their two bearded collies - Poppy and Ozzy - and their
two cats - Casper and Mini-me. Debbie
and Stuart, from Woolacombe where they ran the Headlands Hotel, are in the
process of converting the hotel into apartments and looking for somewhere,
perhaps in the village, to live. Good
luck in your 'hunt'!
Vera and Tom Greenaway, their daughter June and their son Tony, have now left Newberry Farm and have moved to Little Stowford
at Hore Gate Down. Before moving to
Newberry Farm, Tom, Vera and their family lived first in one of the cottages
opposite The Globe, later moving to Lee Haven.
wish them all well in their new venture and look forward to hearing from them
27 The Park is the new home of Verona
Hardy. Verona has moved here from
Roundswell, Barnstaple, but has lived in the North Devon area for a long time
now. She was, before retirement, a
Nurse working at Tiverton Hospital and the North Devon District Hospital.
reason for moving was to be nearer her younger son John, his wife and son and
daughter, who live in Combe Martin.
Her older son, Robert and his wife, who also have a son and daughter,
live in Henley.
hope you will soon settle in, Verona, and become a part of not only The Park
but also the Village.
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
Have you found your dream home? The
place where you want to spend the rest of your life? The place where everything is just right and you
wouldn't want to change it? Well if
you live in Berrynarbor, then you
may well have found your "dream home". In which case I bet you had to dig deep into your financial
treasure chest to acquire it. But of
course it was worth it, and you can't measure the value of your dreams by mere
Some things are just beyond price.
It may be your home, your loved one, your family, your friends.
All these "treasures" are
mere "samples" of the joy, peace, love, and fulfilment of the eternal
treasure, which Jesus describes as "the Kingdom of God". All the most precious experiences of life
are but pointers to the reality of God's Kingdom.
Jesus tried to describe it in the
most joyful and happiest experience that most people of his day enjoyed - a
wedding banquet, which in Jesus' day went on for at least a week, with free
food, drink, accommodation
and wonderful happy company! Jesus
said that it was so good, that it was worth going "all out" to
enter. So where is it? All around you, and "look, The Kingdom
of God is right inside you." (Lk.17:21, "The New
Testament", a new translation by Nicholas King.)
I hope that as you relax during the
hot summer days, and muse on the blessings you enjoy, you will indeed find it!
With all good
Your Friend and Rector,
response when asked where he comes from is, of course, Berrynarbor. This rarely satisfies the enquirer and so
he explains that when living in South Africa with his wife, Jill, and two
daughters, one day Jill declared, "We sell up and go back to England, or
else . . ." He never waited to
find out what 'or else' meant!
recounted this story to Gwen Whitear from Redhill in Surrey, she wrote and sent
him the following poem:
The Flower Pot Man
Whilst staying at
Combe Martin Harbour,
we met a man in
We popped into his
and found that he,
with special care
made flower pot men
by the score,
in the village, we
We had a friendly
about his work and
this and that
then said goodbye
and came away,
we'd had a really
"I'd love to
take one home," I said,
My husband frowned
and shook his head
and then put
obstacles in my way,
then, I had my say,
I vowed, "I will
have one next year,
OR ELSE," I
told him loud and clear!
were first introduced to Rainer's flower pot men in the October 1995 issue when
Bill and Ben, tending to his and Jill's garden, were featured and illustrated
by Paul. It would be interesting to
know how many more have been created since then.
children's illustrated book went on sale just before Christmas and many thanks
must go to Rainer and Jill for the recently received very welcome cheque for
over £100 to Newsletter funds, donated from the profits of this book.
REFLECTIONS - 28
sees the holiday season at its peak with British seaside towns awash with
fetes, fairs and carnivals. Such
places, however, haven't always been in existence. In fact, prior to the mid eighteenth century, the term "coastal
resort" had never been heard of.
Until, that was, a physician named Dr Russell began recommending
seawater for his Sussex patients. Sent from his Lewes practice to the
dilapidated fishing town of Brighton, his patients were advised to bathe in,
and even drink, the seawater to ease their ailments. His prescription was to turn around the town's fortunes and when
in 1783 the Prince of Wales visited Brighton, expressing much pleasure at sea
bathing, the activity soon became a popular pastime of the gentry. Other coastal towns soon cashed in on the
idea, so much so that by the end of the nineteenth century much of the
population could be found flocking to the seaside.
were, of course, transported to the coast by that great nineteenth century
manmade power horse, the steam engine.
At Ilfracombe, a locomotive was first heard, seen and smelt in 1854. But how, one is left to wonder, did our
Victorian holidaymakers choose to spend their time? Was everyday spent promenading along the front inhaling
the benefits of the fresh sea air?
Probably not, and certainly not in Ilfracombe, where the more
adventurous explorer preferred to climb the surrounding hills for a better
And so it is today. Whilst
perhaps choosing to holiday in this area on the initial basis of it being by
the sea, many will use their time exploring, too, the surrounding rural
delights. And in this little part of
the world there are plenty. To name
but a few . . . there is the variety upon The Cairn, allowing one to
experience either shady woodland walks or the openness of Cairn Top orBaileys Cleeve.
Either walk offers an array of wildflowers.
along the edge of The Cairn and then out of Ilfracombe is the solemnity of the
Old Railway Line. Once through the Slade tunnel, one enters a world which is
silent but for the occasional birdsong and the intermittent sound of running
water. Alternatively there is the fluency of The Torrs, where cool offshore
breezes bring with them the sound of bleating sheep standing upon its steep
slopes. On the other side of town is
the supremacy of Hillsborough allowing one to enjoy panoramic views over Ilfracombe
and out to Lundy Island, across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh Mountains or
eastwards to the dramatic coastline of Exmoor.
is along this coastline that one can get a sense of anonymity upon the moor,
feeling insignificant among the vast swathes of heather that boast a formidable
presence at this time of year. In
contrast one could choose to experience the tranquillity of the Sterridge
Valley, its hills providing the quintessential sights and sounds of a summer
yes, breathe in the coastal sea air to clear the airways to your lungs. But take in, too, the nearby rural delights
to help release your brainwaves from the stresses and strains of daily life.
PICTURE OF THE PAST
With the skittle season just about to start again, can
anyone date this photograph, sent in by Gary, of the triumphant Berry team
following the Finals at the Holiday Inn? Gary believes that he and Ray Toms were their 'Sticker Uppers'. The team was:
Back row, l to r: Arthur [Tiddly] Edwards, Jim Brooks, Bill
Gammon and Gerald [Nipper] Bray.
l to r: Frank [Laddie] Huxtable,
George [China} Dymond, Les Thomas [the village Butcher] and Sid [Oh, my haversack] Russell.
NOT A WHOLE BOTTLE!
[courtesy of L. Bridle]
I tried to book a table for a Saturday
evening as close to Jane's birthday as possible - 21st July. There was nothing available until
September! So I suggested a Sunday evening
- only one available,
June. I knew that Ben, Jane's elder son,
was flying Mary Poppins in to Buckingham Palace for the Children's Party to
celebrate the Queen's 80th Birthday on that day, but I didn't know that David
Beckham was going to score a goal against Ecuador.
But [and never begin a sentence with a
preposition] all that comes later. Our
aim was to have a meal at Fifteen Cornwall.
It is the third branch of Fifteen and
has opened at Watergate Bay near Newquay, a partnership between Chef Jamie
Oliver and a local charity, the Cornwall Foundation of Promise. Cornwall College has guided the students
through Vocational training and since January 2006 NVQ 1 and Food Hygiene and
Health and Safety Certificates have been gained by each student. A month of work placements at a variety of
restaurants around Cornwall have been experienced. Fifteen Cornwall has a team of expert chefs to guide them every
step of the way - teaching all the skills needed to become outstanding
chefs. From articles I have read, the
'Fifteen' in the name comes from Jamie Oliver's idea to train 15 disadvantaged
young people from different areas. He
has a restaurant in North London and Amsterdam and now Cornwall. We were looking forward to our trip, leaving
Sunday 25th and returning on Monday - shouldn't drive after a 'whole bottle'.
Unexpectedly, neither of us was working
on the Saturday, so we decided to take the extra day and visit Padstow - enter
the internet. I booked us a night in
the Golden Lion pub in the heart of 'Padstein'. We left at 11.30 a.m. and took the A39 expecting to go straight
there, but a sign to Boscastle diverted us and I am so glad it did. The village is recovering well after that
fateful storm; buildings are renovated,
bridges rebuilt and we ate a delicious lunch of lobster in garlic and cream
with a salad and a glass of Chardonnay, sitting at the side of the river.
Onwards to Padstow, bright in
sunshine. We left our cases in the pub
and took the ferry to Rock - the estuary was 'still waters' and we enjoyed
sitting on a balcony looking at the sailing boats and the harbour in Padstow
from the other shore. Back across on
the ferry with the evening sun to a meal on the harbour - all very satisfying.
Next morning we took a boat to sail
around Puffin Island - and yes, we saw puffins - two on the water and one that
flew past us on to the rock. What a
pleasure, but aren't they small birds!
We left Padstow via the gardens at Prideaux Place and drove to Watergate
Bay and the hotel.
Our room was large and airy with a
balcony, table and chairs and whoopee! a flat screen TV - now Jane could watch
the football and then Mary Poppins at
We walked down to the bay, watched some
of the water sports and up to the restaurant.
It wasn't open but they let us in.
The whole of one side is windows and it is up a flight of outside
stairs. We asked for a table in the
window for our meal that evening, which we were lucky enough to get although
they don't actually book specific places.
Outside and down to the Watergate Bay
Bistro where we ordered a glass of wine and sat on the decking - literally as
it was packed with surfers and may be, we hoped, one or two of the 'Fifteen
Cornwall' chefs. Surprise, surprise,
another huge screen showing men running around chasing and kicking a
sphere! Jane was up and down reacting
to the collective gasps but once I got down I couldn't get up!! Not, that is, until we were ready to go
back to our room to get ready - shower and post outfits - whilst the flat
screen TV showed Beckham's goal and then Mary Poppins gliding gently down to
the Palace Gardens [well done, Ben].
We entered the Restaurant and it was
full - we nearly missed our window table - but it was worth the additional fuss
Jane made until we got one. A
fantastic view over the sea and a magnificent sunset accompanied our six-course meal. Portions are small but how much can you eat for each
course? We ordered a bottle of house
white and a bottle of house red so that we could choose what we drank with each
course and settled down to await the food.
We could see the chefs across the Restaurant beavering away for our
First, freshly baked sun dried tomato
bread with a dip of sweet olive oil and two spoons each, one with a crevette,
the other a cheese concoction; then
asparagus, artichoke and rocket salad;
followed by local mussel risotto;
on with local turbot, new potatoes and samphire; Cornish blue cheese
drizzled with local honey plus oatcake biscuits before finally strawberries and
Cornish clotted cream.
The whole experience was well worthwhile
- thank you Watergate Bay Hotel and 'Fifteen Cornwall'.
Why the title? We were going to have the Restaurant's package that was planned
for the meal - a chosen wine for every course, but Jane had soon worked out
that for each of us we wouldn't even get a 'whole bottle'!
You may have seen in the Journal that
the Hospice are once again calling all Knitters!
Following the success of last year's
knitted Christmas Tree, a new project is underway. Supported by Atlantic Village and the Big Sheep and to raise
money for the Hospice and Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, a
Gingerbread House - another inspiration of Alison Murray - and produced by
Nutty Knitters is being constructed.
About the size of an average living
room, the plan is to complete it by June 2007. It will then be displayed at Atlantic Village before going to
London to raise further funds.
There will be something to knit for
everyone, from squares [bricks, walls and garden] to sweets, cakes and cookies
in all colours - not just green!
There are 'Recipes' for a gingerbread
man, Battenburg cake, doughnut, iced bun, leaves and flowers. The exterior will be made up of 10"
squares in brown, the interior in 8" squares in pastels and the garden in
10" squares in mid to dark green - all in plain or fancy knitting.
If you would like more information, a
copy of the recipes or the form to say you are helping to create the Giant
Knitted Gingerbread House, please contact Judie on 883544, who will also be
happy to receive any knitted contributions.
Saturday, 15th July, was the day of Ron's
90th Birthday. One of the village's
oldest residents, he is a true local, 'Berry born and bred'.
He enjoyed the day thoroughly, delighted
to be surrounded by his family and many friends. A party was held in The globe in the evening, attended possibly
by one guest for each year of his very happy and contented life so far - he is
aiming to receive his telegram, perhaps from the King? The church bells were rung in his honour,
helping to make him a very proud and happy nonagenarian - and the weather was
Ron would like to say 'Thank You' for
all the gifts and cards he received [well over a hundred], to everybody who
came to his party and to the ringers who helped to contribute to this very
special day - one he will remember for a very long time.
THE HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
with the Newsletter is a copy of the Schedule for the Show - open to residents
and non-residents of the village - which will be held in the Manor Hall on
SATURDAY, 2nd SEPTEMBER. Entry Forms
need to be returned by Monday, 28th August, 6.00 p.m., and exhibits can be
staged either on Friday 1st in the evening, or on the Saturday morning
itself. The Hall will be open for
everyone to view from
2.00 p.m. and light refreshments will be
hope you will all 'Have a Go!' and enter something - there are many classes to
choose from - and support the event.
No one is seeking or expecting perfection but the best entries in each
section are up for a prize!
hope to see YOU and LOTS of entries!
And please encourage the kids to have a go too.
Yvonne, Vi, Janet, Pip, Tony and Judie
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
sun is shining, the birds singing and I hope you all agree that the village is
looking lovely. The Best Kept Village
judging is on-going and we do not know when the judges make their visits. So obviously we have to be on our toes all
judging for Britain in Bloom took place on 12th July. The judge is not allowed to give a hint as to what he thinks,
but he seemed to like what he saw.
Certainly he enjoyed the cream tea kindly provided by Phil and Lynne at
The Lodge. We could not have a band
of more willing helpers and thanks to all who help in whatever way.
first of the Open Gardens, the Village, took place on 18th June. The weather was fine but cloudy and there
were plenty of visitors. The second,
the Valley, took place on the 23rd July.
It was a very hot and sunny day and again there were a lot of visitors,
many of whom were anxious to look at the garden at Harpers Mill. Many thanks to Phil and Lynne and Ken and
Judie and their bands of waiters and cake makers for once again providing teas
at The Lodge and Chicane, where on both days, evening BBQ's followed for everyone involved. The two days together raised nearly £700 - a great effort by
keep an eye open for our 'blooming' posters as we are planning a car boot sale
in the late summer.
LOCAL WALK - 97
'The hedges full of
Willingcott Cross, half a mile south of the old Mortehoe Railway Station, a
small car park has recently been created to serve the extension of the cycle
track which follows the course of the former railway line. The car park is bordered by banks of wild
flowers - mugwort, spear thistle, yarrow and woundwort - which, when we arrived
there in mid-July, were noisy with warblers.
whitethroat balanced on top of a tall hogweed. There were blackcaps and a garden warbler, all three glorying in
the beautiful Latin name - Sylvia.
board in the car park carries interesting information about the history of the
railway line to Ilfracombe and some splendid photographs taken in the 1960's
showing the magnificent engines bound for Ilfracombe from Taunton,
Wolverhampton and Waterloo.
gradients of one in forty and one in thirty-six, the sections of the line known
as Mortehoe Bank and Slade Bank were among the steepest inclines for steam
trains anywhere in the country. At
Mortehoe Station additional pilot and banker engines were attached to the
heavier trains to enable them to cope with these steep inclines.
the track several large and small skippers fluttered about the willow herb,
tufted vetch and meadowsweet and reminded me of the popular Edward Thomas poem
'Adlestrop' about an express train drawing up at a lonely station on the
Oxfordshire-Gloucestershire border in late June. In the poem Edward Thomas lists some of the very same flowers
growing beside the platform.
scent of Rosa rugosa wafted over the bank for on the other side were extensive
hedges of this lovely deep pink rose.
Bristly ox-tongue and goat's beard, those taller and shaggier cousins of
the dandelion, added a dash of yellow.
Rabbits shared their field with vehicles belonging to a Dare Devin Stunt
show, the animals apparently indifferent to the big lorries.
track continues on the other side of the main road. When this section of the cycle route to Lee Bridge was
'improved' about five years ago, the rich variety of vetches and clumps of some
of our finest wild flowers, field scabious and greater knapweed, were
lost. In their place grow docks and
the weeds which soon colonise disturbed land.
are some pleasant views across the fields to Borough Wood and beyond it, the
sea at Lee Bay. Along this stretch of
track bloomed green flowered wood sage with yellow melilot and purple
self-heal. A flock of swallows flew
close to the ground. A tangle of
bedstraw was visited by ringlets and meadow browns, both dark butterflies which
are on the wing on dull days as well as sunny ones.
Lee Bridge, the track passes through a high-sided cutting. There was a lot of birdsong amongst the
dense vegetation; the sweet and
penetrating notes of a wren and the virtuosity of a song thrush running through
its repertoire of tunes.
we left the cutting I was pleased to find patches of wood vetch as this
graceful mauve flower is classified as 'scarce'.
we reached the Higher Slade Reservoir.
During the last couple of years work has been completed to provide
access to it from the cycle track. The
sun had come out and I was looking forward to some butterfly spotting. In previous summers the big grassy slope
falling sharply away from the reservoir, had been like a wild flower meadow
attracting a wide range of butterflies.
this year the area has been tidied up.
The grass has been mown very short.
The whole floral display had gone and there were no butterflies.
a consolation, there were several of the big emperor dragonflies whizzing about
and the greatest quantity of bright blue damselflies, common coenagrion [agrion
puella] that I have ever seen. They
formed little rafts of shimmering colour just above the surface of the lake
whose clear, still waters were ruffled only by the presence of two dogs
enjoying a bath on a summer's day.
BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 102
For this issue I have chosen a 'part
mystery' photographic postcard in the hope that one of our more senior
residents might be able to identify where the picture was taken and some of the
people shown. The postcard itself
dates from somewhere between 1903 and 1906.
1. The postcard was written by Miss Mary Jane
Huxtable, who appears on the extreme right of the picture,
dressed as a bridesmaid.
2. Her sister, Miss ? Huxtable, is the bride.
3. The marriage took place, presumably at
Berrynarbor Church, on the 16th March, and between the years 1903-6
4. The sender's address on the card is: Hillside Cottage, Barton Lane, Berry Narbor.
5. The writer, Mary Jane Huxtable, married
Arthur John Snell of Capel Cottage on Saturday, 7th February 1907
in St. Peter's Church
6. Arthur John Snell was the eldest of four
children brought up by their widowed mother from around 1903-1904.
Arthur's brother and sisters were
Nelly, Walter and Mabel Snell.
8. Mrs. Snell used to take in the washing for
the Rev. Reginald and Mrs. Churchill.
Finally, the undated message on the
reverse side of the card reads:
I am sending you another PC. for your collection hope you will like
it. I suppose you wont be able to find
anyone you know there. It was taken
the day my sister was married the 16th of last March. Well dear how are you all rubbing along. I wish you would drop me a P.Card
occasionally. My album is getting on
fine, have you got one yet. I will
send you some views of Ilfracombe when you have, if you will let me know. How is that saucy little Jess getting on,
big now. It is Sunday night now and I
have just come from Mrs. Snell's where I most times spend my Sunday
evenings. Mrs. Snell has had a very
bad cold for a week but getting a bit better now. The weather is dreadful here and the mud is something like it
was in the lane at Wiveliscombe. With
love to you all M.J.H."
It would be lovely if anyone can help
with further information relating to this beautiful picture.
Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, July 2006