Tibbets, Lundy, by Peter Rothwell
WEATHER OR NOT
The weather continues to be in a very
changeable pattern again for July and August.
July started off very dry with only
four wet days amounting to 7.8mm by the 18th.
The 19th produced 23.4mm, but then only 6.2mm up to the 29th.We then had another soaking wet
day on the 30th with 23.6mm and the 31st was dry. The total for the month was 61.0mm, which is
well below the average.
The top temperature was 31.2°C on the
23rd which is about average; the lowest was on 3rd at 6.9°C, the coldest since
my records started in 1994 with a wind chill of 6.1°C on the same day at
0600hrs which is again average.
Wind speeds were about normal with a
top speed of 28mph from the SSW on the 19th. In the early part of the month the barometer
stayed reasonably high with a top pressure of 1027.6mbars and tended to fall as
the month progressed with a low of 998.8mbars on the 30th.Sunshine hours totalled 200.78 which was
above average and higher than last year's 191.77.
August began with 2.8mm of rain up to 5th
and then we entered a very wet spell which continued until the 21st,
by this time it had produced 112.2mm!The
6th was the wettest day at 21.6mm. The
total for the month was 128.4mm. and so far for the year 566.6mm.
The top temperature was on the 24th at
28.7°C, a little above average and the highest since 2003 when I recorded 34.5°C.
The lowest temperature was 10.8°C on the
1st which is the highest on my records. [This may look like Double Dutch?]
The wind speeds have been quite high
during most of the month with a top speed of 40mph on the10th from
SSW, which managed to destroy most of my runner beans!This was the highest on my records with the
next nearest at 39mph in 2016.All
other years were considerably lower. The lowest wind chill was 9.6°C. The arometric
pressure was low on many days through the month and on the 9th was only
991.5mbars and a high on the 21st of 1026.6mbars. Sunshine hours totalled 165.26 which was
average and higher than last year's 150.82.
am now praying for a good start in September as I shall be away on holiday
visiting the Isles of Scilly.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
Our new Priest in Charge, .Rev. Peter Churcher,
is settling in nicely here in Berrynarbor and of course at
St. Peter's, Combe Martin and Pip &
Jim's in Ilfracombe. It's such a relief
that we have someone who is extremely approachable and 'at the helm' at last!
We must not forget, however, the wonderful support we have had over
several years from Rev. George Billington and Rev. Bill Cole. The only sad news is that Bill will be
retiring in December to be near his family, having served his 3-year contract
as House for Duty Priest. We wish him
and his wife Jenny a most happy retirement together.
PCC have received a very comprehensive quotation from a specialist
building/conservation company with regard to repairs
to our church and we have now received a second quotation from a specialist
company, a requirement stipulated by the Diocese of Exeter. We shall be studying all the details relating
to costings/time frame etc., at a special meeting of our PCC.
some of you may have noticed, we experienced a major structural problem with
three large commemorative headstones adjacent to the cobble path leading to the
Church Porch. These headstones, for
several decades, were completely covered with thick ivy and nobody actually
realised what was behind until the ivy died, revealing huge headstones dating
back to the early 1800's! Anyway,
something had to be done to save the headstones from imminent collapse and so
we instructed Kevin Brooks to literally rebuild the brick supports and install
special clamp brackets to permanently secure the headstones, one of which had a
hairline fracture from top to bottom! Kevin has done a really
superb job and we are all very grateful to him.
mentioned in the last edition of the Newsletter, we urgently need a new
Treasurer to take over from Margaret Sowerby, who will be stepping down from
this role. For anyone who would be
willing to take on this responsible position, please contact our PCC Secretary,
Alison Sharples on 01271-882782.
Choir continues under the direction of Graham Lucas, and Choir practice is held
on Monday evenings commencing at 7.30 p.m.
The Choir were invited to sing at a fund-raising event for Berry in
in August, to be held at the Old
Rectory, but due to the weather we had to adjourn to the Manor Hall and perform
a selection of songs, with audience participation in the famous Hippopotamus
Song! So successful was the event that
we are delighted to have been invited back to sing Christmas songs at a special
afternoon tea event to be held in the Manor Hall on Saturday 7th December.
Remembrance Service will be held on Sunday 10th November commencing at 10.45am
in Church, followed by the Roll Call of Servicemen who gave their lives, and
the traditional Silence at 11 o'clock by the War Memorial. We
always look forward to a large attendance for this special annual service. We also look forward to Berrynarbor School's
input with commemorative drawings, pictures and special poems from the
continue to pray for those who are unwell in this Parish, especially Viv and Brian
Fryer and Carol Lucas.
I noted in August's edition, Judie's thanks
to her contributors to the Newsletter over the past 30 years.
I have read with interest, amusement
and at times sadness, most editions during that time.
I should like to express my, and I'm
sure for many other readers, our sincere thanks to Judie herself for her
commitment and work in editing the Newsletter over those years.
Keep up the good work, Judie!
10th August 1946 -
4th August 2019
Into the freedom of
the winds and sunshine, we let you go.
Into the dance of
the stars and planets we let you go.
Into the wind's
breath, we let you go.
We love you, we miss
you, we want you to be happy.
Go safely, go
dancing, go running home, we let you go.
As Editor, and
friend, I was particularly saddened to learn that Peter had died peacefully on
Sunday, 4th August.
Peter's delightful pictures and illustrations have enhanced our
Newsletter almost from its beginnings, for which I am most grateful.
and loving husband, father, stepfather and grandfather, our thoughts at this
very sad time are with Sally and all his family.A beautiful and moving service remembering
his life and attended by his family and many friends, was held in Barnstaple on
the 23rd August, and to celebrate his lifelong love of Lundy, a walk in his
memory took place there on the 14th September, a beautiful early autumn day,
with clear blue skies and sunshine - go dancing, Peter.
naturalised North Devonian, was born in Manchester.His parents moved to Ilfracombe when he was
twelve, but he is proud of the fact that he spent every birthday up to that
point in Ilfracombe.He attended Barnstaple
Grammar School, leaving in 1965, to begin his art and design training at Dartington College of Arts, completing it at the West of
England College of Arts, Bristol, in 1969 with a degree in Fine Art.
worked as a freelance artist and designer for several years before being
employed by Grand Metropolitan Hotels as an interior designer.It was the arrival of the first two of his
four children, Marc, Trudi, Robin and Anna, that persuaded him to consider a
career in teaching and he subsequently taught art and design at every level,
from primary to post-graduate, ending his teaching as Co-ordinator for A Level
Art & Design at the North Devon College, now Petroc, and later acting as an
A Level Moderator.
undertook commissions in painting, sculpture and illustration.His work features in private collections all
over the world and he has illustrated a number of
publications, both fiction and non-fiction and is responsible for 'Lundy - An
Island Sketchbook'. He has also
published 'The Lundy Granite Company - an industrial adventure', a fascinating
account of the wheelings and dealings surrounding the
attempts by a group of Victorian entrepreneurs to capitalise on the demand for
granite, and 'Ancient Sunlight' a novel set in North Devon in the years
following the First World War, a sequel to Henry Williamson's 'Flax of Dream'.Peter's books are available on Amazon, and
his work can still be found and purchased in the Gallery Jessica Dove in
as the many covers and illustrations he did for the Newsletter, including the cover of this issue, Peter designed the
Millennium Fountain with its apt words by Lorna Bowden, 'Drink in this
beautiful place and leave refreshed'.
He designed the cover for Gary Songhurst's 'Potted History of
Berrynarbor' and the scenery for Gary's many BBC Shows.
Peter was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease more than a decade ago, but
despite this he maintained his independence and continued working until shortly
before his death, working as a Librarian for the Landmark Trust and travelling
around the South West.
child of elderly parents, Peter rejoiced in the love he gave and received from
his family and his step-family, especially his grandchildren Caitlin,
Millie, Dillon, Jack Evie, Missie and Heloise, and his step-sons, James, David
and Robert and his step-grandchildren Ollie and Amelie.
gentle person, Peter embraced life to the full.
friendship began in the mid '80s when Peter was asked to help design and
construct the village carnival float. We worked on these projects together and he
taught me a lot about visual effects and construction - especially how to make
a 15 foot peacock head out of withies and disused fertiliser bags! We
found that we worked together well. So,
when Gary Songhurst asked Pete to design and paint the backdrops
we decided to work on them together. Pete
was a hard worker and we often did 'through's' - working throughout the night,
Beethoven playing in the background, to get things finished by the morning. He'd then take himself off to work at Petroc
teaching A level Art and Design.
Peter started to follow The Parcel Of Rogues - a Berrynarbor band - and came on tour with us to
Ireland in the early 90s.
we renovated Wescotts Gallery and coffee shop in
Appledore during which Pete made and designed the 'Appledore Chair'. A chair made out of
three planks of wood with no screws, nails or dowels to hold it together. He wove a whole story about the chair,
claiming it was made out of old ships' timbers
salvaged from wrecks! We had joint
exhibitions of our work at the gallery when it first opened.
the late 90s Pete, together with Ann Westcott, ran Lundy sketching breaks on
the island. Peter asked me to tutor the
drawing and painting sections of the course. The time we spent on the island hold my
fondest and most poignant memories of him. We did a lot of drawing, painting, drinking,
talking and walking, sometimes late into the night. I got to know the real Pete
- highly intelligent, well read, cultured and generous. When we returned to the mainland we carried
on the drinking and talking at the George and Dragon on Friday nights!
was my pleasure to play for Pete and Sally at their wedding.
A much loved friend and "partner in crime", you will be sorely missed Pete.
Many readers will have happy memories
of Mary and Brian Shillaker who lived at Rockton,
moving to Shurton, Stogursey
near Bridgwater some ten years ago.So it was sad to learn that Brian, after a long time of ill
health, had passed away on the 15th August.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary,
Helen, Richard and Nick at this sad time.
28th March 1935 - 17th August 2019
with sadness that the village learnt that having lived at Park Lane Care Home
for several years, Inge, whose home with her late husband Alan had been in
Barton Lane, had passed away on the
August.Our thoughts are with Zoe and
her family in England, and all her family in Hamburg.
Inge, or Ingeburg
to give her her full name, was born in Hamburg in
1935.Her mother died soon after her
birth and as she grew up, she always had a close relationship with her brother,
Inge worked as a technical artist and
it was whilst she was on a holiday in Jersey, that she met Alan
Richardson.They fell in love, married
and Inge moved to England, initially to Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.
Inge and Alan's first home in
Berrynarbor, a holiday home, was Forge Cottage, but when they left Hemel
Hempstead to come to Devon to live, they bought and moved into Sherrards in Barton Lane.
Her brother also married
and he and Gisela had three daughters, Maike, Imke and Antje, who still live in Hamburg.Inge was Antje's Godmother and Alan was
Godfather to Imke.
Sadly, Harald passed away in 1990 and Alan in 1993.The girls spent family visits to England
when they enjoyed the country life and beautiful landscape, and in their words,
was a careful host and she liked to cook delicious meals.At our birthdays and Christmas, we always
received parcels with generous gifts."
Inge and Alan were active members of
the community.Alan founded the still
flourishing and successful Wine Circle, was Chairman of the Manor Hall
Committee, always with Inge at his side, and together they were early and
stalwart members of the local U3A group.
They both liked to travel.Inge
was an active member of St. Peter's Church until she was no longer able to
Inge loved her garden and her two dogs,
Rusty and Robbie; she
was always interested in fashion and liked beautiful clothes and make-up.
She loved Sherrards.In later years when she was unwell and in
care, on return visits there she became 'herself' again, making tea and
chatting with those she was with.
One of her friends described her as
being 'loud and fun'!She was certainly
a big character with a big heart and who it would be difficult to forget once
you had met her.
Inge and Alan gave so much to so many
people through their lives and activities - she has been missed over the past
She has run her race and is at peace
and will surely have heard the words, "Well done, you good and faithful
[From the Eulogy given by Zoe Curran at the
Service to Celebrate Inge's Life at St. Peter's on the
FROM REV. BILL
a summer of many long, bright, sunny days, the days are definitely
shorter, and the nights longer. Autumn is well and truly underway and some of
us may not be looking forward to the dark cold winter nights ahead. Fortunately, there are highlights along the
way such as Bonfire Night, Christmas Lights, Advent and Christmas. Imagine winter without those events, the
winter months would be darker.
person that turns darkness into light is Jesus, who said, "I am the Light of
the World", which is a very strange thing for Jesus to say if you really think
about it. What does he mean? It's not so much that Jesus magically changes
everything or everybody, but it does mean that he is the beacon of all that is
true and all that is right, and by keeping our eyes on him as he lights our way,
we will be transformed, as more light fills our lives.
also said that he came so that "we could have life to the full." A promise of a life knowing that God loves
you, a life of joy and contentment, a life of doing all kinds of good things, a
life that can cope with the hard times, a life of inner freedom, a life that
knows why you were born, a life that answers those difficult questions that
have never been answered: a full life!
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
to the corkscrew - a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit,
treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship and the
pleasant folly! W.E.P. French
Wine isn't for everybody, but it's the second choice after
beer in the UK: 32% versus 35%.Apparently,
in 2017, we consumed 20 litres of 'grape juice' per person. I know
that foreign travel has done a lot for this industry, so it's appropriate that
we shall start our season with a Brit whose home is in Hampshire but who works
in France. I know, too, that some of our
members have travelled to WBS on their return from elsewhere,
but stocking up here is also possible as a day trip!
Chris Bullimore is a Manager with
the Wine Beer Supermarket. He has worked for this company for many
years. Originally, he was based at Roscoff, Brittainy, but has changed location recently and
now heads up WBS in Cherbourg, Normandy.
We have been trying to get him to do a presentation for us
for some time: work commitments, ferry
travel, a house move and ill health have all accounted for his absence; however,
patience is a virtue and we start 2019-20 season with Chris. I hope I'm not tempting fate, but he has said
he will be with us for Wednesday 16th October.
I suspect his topic will be to introduce us to some of WBS stock
For November's gathering we shall be welcoming back Charlie
Cotton of Bray Valley Wines, South Molton, on the 20th. Charlie founded BVW and his passion and
knowledge are boundless. He will, I'm sure, be tempting us with some of
their samples, great for socialising with friends and
family during Yuletide. Talking of which, Christmas tipples and
sustenance will be enjoyed on December 11th.
Twenty-twenty is associated with vision, but it's next year
too! We shall start with our very popular and very
funny Call My Wine Bluff on 15th January.
David Rowe is also making a return. He
will be with us on the 19th February. David was the Recreational Wine Tutor at
Petroc. Those present in January will
know that we were treated to a fascinating slide show and tastings from Armenia
and Georgia. I'm sure his next
presentation will be another winter treat.
Our spring programme is too many months away to mention
here, but I hasten to add that our meetings are always Wednesdays, between
October and May. The Manor Hall is our
venue and we start at 8.00 p.m. It's a
great way to meet people other than your neighbours and is a cheap night
out. For just a £5 annual joining fee and a £7 per
person evening fee, you can enjoy six tastings, biscuits, cheese and free camaraderie!
- Promotional Co-ordinator & Secretary
NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL
We have had a very busy start to this Autumn
Term.Our new children seem to have
settled in well and we hope they are enjoying their learning journey with us.
Our topic of learning this term started with a settling in
period, learning about ourselves and our families. We supported in making new friendships and
learning about people who help us. We made new Pre-school rules;
learnt what we can and can't do
as well as how to stay safe.We have
read many stories such as Little Blue Tractor, The Gruffalo, The Ginger Bread
Man and Going on a Bear Hunt.
Outside, we learnt about the changes in our season; going from
summer into autumn. We looked at the
leaves changing colour and went on a couple of nature walks exploring our
environment. We learnt about animals
that hibernate and how farmers look after their animals as well as all the
different vehicles they use on their farms from quad bikes to a combine
Other seasonal activities included making bread, celebrating
harvest time and making a fireworks display.
Later in the term, we shall be practicing those seasonal
songs in readiness for a short performance on Thursday, 5th December at 2.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall to celebrate
Christmas. All are welcome and
refreshment will be available. Make a
note in your diary!
Christmas Cards Fundraising
have signed up to School Art Club, a fabulous service, which turns children's
artwork into unique Christmas/greetings cards.
It's exciting for the children to
see their artwork turned into professional greetings cards and great for
parents and relatives to be able to send their festive greetings in this unique
way. It is a great fundraiser for our Pre-school and it enables us to invest further in the children's
are holding a Quiz Night on Friday 15th November at Ye Olde Globe. We hope you are able to join us to have a successful fundraising
evening. Look out for our posters to book a table.
letter from the Committee
Pre-school is a Charity, run by a small Committee team
which allows the Pre-school to function legally. The Committee is made up of
volunteers, mainly parents of the Pre-school children but we also invite
members of the community.
As the new school
year has just started, we are looking for new members to join the team and help
us ensure Berrynarbor Pre-school can offer its services to the local families
that access it. This does take up
a small amount of time, with evening meetings being held approximately every 6
weeks and helping hands needed during our fundraising events.
We really hope that all parents and any members of the
community can make the AGM to be held in October even if you don't intend to be
a committee member, as it is important to understand how Berrynarbor Pre-school
runs. We certainly would love to hear
any fun ideas for fundraising or you may have some
handy contacts who would be interested in becoming a member.This is a great
way to make new friends, gain a new skill and be supportive in the children's
education and learning journey.
will be held on Tuesday 8th October in the Pre-school at
7.00 p.m., when all parent and carers should attend to ensure the continued provision of
the Pre-school and elect a new committee.
your input or support Pre-school cannot open or run or provide a service!
Clothes Recycling: We have booked our next
Bags2School collection for Thursday, 7th November. Bags2School bags will be available from Pre-school
and the Post Office and Community Shop. They take any unwanted clothes, bags, paired
shoes, belts, bedding [not duvets or pillows] and soft toys. Unfortunately, they
will not take school uniforms.
bags can be brought to Pre-school from Friday 1st November.
Ink Cartridges: We
are still collecting used ink cartridges [there are exclusions so please see
the box at Pre-school]. We can get as
much as £1 per ink cartridge. We are also registered to accept LaserJet ink
cartridges, so if anyone uses them in their work place, we can recycle them and
fundraise at the same time. Last term
we raised £14.00
Please tell your friends and family about our two recycling
schemes, to help raise funds for the Pre-school. Thank you
the staff Sue,
Karen, Lynne and Emma
07932 851052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
for any information.
MANOR HALL TRUST
Once again, we have had a busy time in the hall.During the summer we decorated the Bassett
Room and the toilets, thanks again to all the kind volunteers who gave up their
free time to help.New rear windows
have been installed at the back of the hall, bringing some welcome natural
light and a pretty view of the Pre-school garden.Thank you for all the pleasant comments we
Our Summer Fete held on the
August Bank Holiday was a lovely sunny afternoon with a very popular bar, the
Pimm's went especially well! We welcomed
Paddington and Rhubarb, the miniature donkeys, who naturally proved popular
with all the visitors old and young.
This had been the first fete to raise funds for the hall in a few years
and we should like to say a huge thank you to all those who helped to set it
up, baked, ran a stall or who generously donated towards prizes or helped in
any other way.It was a great afternoon
and we were delighted with the total raised of just under £1200.We very much hope to return the fete back to
an annual event.
There are two fundraisers planned for November. The first is a Ladies Night. The format will be a fashion show with a
collection of clothes, shoes and handbags available to purchase on the night,
along with stalls offering skin care products.
The date is yet to be confirmed but posters will be up shortly and the entry fee will include a glass of wine or
Prosecco and nibbles.
On Saturday 23rd November, Beaford Arts will be presenting a
show called 'Little Earthquakes', a comedy based on the '80's film,
Ghostbusters.The posters should be out
now and the tickets are available from the Post
Looking further ahead, we'll be having our usual Christmas
Coffee Morning on Saturday 14th December, fingers crossed the weather will be
kinder to us this year!
By the time this Newsletter goes to print we shall have
hopefully started a Table Tennis club in the hall.
Please contact either myself or Alison for details, all ages and abilities welcome
for a bit of ping pong fun!
Fun at the Fete!
FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
There was no Parish Council Meeting in
August.At the September meeting:
The Council heard concerns from a resident on the
parking conditions in the Car Park.The
Council would be interested in your views on whether the free car parking
should be available for a period of 24 hours or 7 days.This will be discussed at the next
meeting.Please contact Kate, Acting
Parish Clerk [07703 0050496] with your views.
Residents from the Berrydown
area spoke following the accident in August.
The Council agreed to support the residents in any way they can to
ensure something is done about the road at the junction.Councillor Andrea Davis is also campaigning
The Council agreed to maintain the use of the
Defibrillator for another 4 years through the South West Ambulance Trust.
Following the resignation of Councillor Clare White,
there is a vacancy for a Co-option on the Council.The deadline for applications has passed but
all applicants are asked to attend the next meeting.
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on
8th October, the Manor Hall at 7.00 p.m.Residents of the village are welcome to
Kate Graddock - Acting Parish Clerk [07703 0050496]
NEWS FROM THE COMMUNITY SHOP & POST
Changing of the Guard
After ten years - actually ten
years and one day precisely - working tirelessly at our Community Shop, Manager
Debbie Thomas has decided to step down. The good news is that our Postmistress, Karen
Loftus, has taken over the reins and is now managing the day to day running of
"Debbie is a hard act to follow," says
Shop Committee Chairman, Paul Weston. "She has been instrumental in turning around
the fortunes of the shop and making it the success it is today, and we are
truly grateful for all her hard work. She
is going to be missed by so many people."
New Manager, Karen, will be supported
by Annie Smith as Shop Supervisor and new recruit, Joanne
Karen and Paul present Debbie with a
bouquet of flowers to mark her departure.
customers should be aware that the shop has installed CCTV cameras. Their installation is not in response to any
incident but rather as an extra deterrent, should it ever be needed, and to
reassure the safety of our staff.
It's coming . . .
We don't want to be the first to
mention it, but the nights are fast drawing in and it
won't be long before thoughts turn to later in the year when that mysterious
chap in his famous red suit dominates. So, look out in the next few weeks for the
shop's special raffle for your chance to win one of our fabulous seasonal
We'll also be publishing the last
postal dates for UK and overseas parcels and cards and issuing the holiday meat
and vegetable order forms. Doesn't it
come around quickly!
OUR GARDEN PARTY
We should like to thank everyone who donated and supported our Garden
Party on Saturday, 14th September, in aid of Over and Above Cancer and
Special thanks to Ann, Ava, Linda, Hazel, Rowan and Ciara, for all their
help on the day. A big thank you, too,
to all who loaned equipment.
To date we have raised £905 - the
weather was perfect and we all had a lovely time!
Charlotte and Mickey
BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
year's Horticultural & Craft Show, held at the Manor Hall, was a great
success and thank you to all who entered and attended on the day.
For those of you who asked about the
judging, no one on the Committee is allowed to
judge.All the judges are from outside
the village, unless a judge cannot attend and we have
to commandeer someone.No judges are allowed to enter the competition.
For next year's Show, a new Committee
is needed, so please put your names forward so this great village event can
This year's results are:
Globe Cup for Floral Art:Sue
Walls Cup for Home Cooking:Karen
David Cup for Handicrafts - Needlework Judie
Watermouth Cup for Handicrafts Tee
George Hippisley Cup for ArtPhillipa Ellam
The Vi Kingdon Award for Photography Judie Weedon
Derrick Kingdon Cup for Fruit & VegetablesMike & Louise Baddick
The Lethaby Cup for Potted Plants Kath Thorndycroft
Manor Stores Rose Bowl for Cut Flowers Rose
Your Own Potatoes Alan
Manor Hall Cup for
The Best Horticultural ExhibitKath Thorndycroft
Ludlow Award for
The Best Non-Horticultural Exhibit Judie Weedon
Watermouth Castle Cup
for the Best Exhibit on Theme of the
Show Karen Narborough
The organising group would like to
congratulate all the winners and thank everyone who took part or helped run the
event in any way.
forget: Cups are held
for one year and should be returned by the
As many of you know, I went on an expedition to Cambodia and
have recently come back.I should just
like to thank everyone who donated any items or supported my fundraising in any
way. I really appreciate it as it provided me with an amazing experience as
well as the ability to help others.
Throughout my time in Cambodia, we travelled to many
different rural areas and helped out in the community.
One way we did this was through building a well for a family
who had no supply or access to clean drinking water.
In a different location we stayed at a camp nearby to a
school, and during our stay here one of our tasks was to teach the local
children English.The children were
very appreciative of this and it may have been one of the many highlights of
the trip. Another task whilst we were in
Cambodia was to construct a chicken coop for a family.
We also visited many temples during the trip, one of which
was Angkor Wat.This was an amazing
experience and wonderful sight to see.
As well as this we also learnt about the history of Cambodia,
which included visiting S21 as well as the Killing fields.This really opened my eyes to see how other
people have lived in the past.
All in all my time in Cambodia was
amazing.I have made a short video that
will allow you to see my trip in more detail if you follow the link https://youtu.be/giWw9-74VaQ
Thank you again to everyone who supported my fundraising, I
really appreciate it.
1.Here we are
teaching the local children English.
The group that I travelled with consisted of 12 of us from the
Ilfracombe Academy and 4 from a school in Leicester.
2. In this
photograph we are visiting one of the temples in Beng
Mealea. This particular one,
founded in the middle of the jungle, has over time become derelict.
3. & 4.
This photo shows us constructing concrete rings.These are used to put inside the hole that
is dug for a well.This allows the well
to be dug deeper without it caving in.
5. & 6.
Photos around Camp Ben Pae
RED BULL RACING
This year at school I had to find a work experience
placement. I spoke to my parents for
ideas and we came up with a few, one of which was Red Bull Racing. Dad
used to work with Greg Cooper, who now works at Red Bull - he's in the FF1
league and is also a race report writer here - so we spoke to him. Greg was able to help as it turns out that
Red Bull do run a friends and family work experience scheme.
On my first day, I had to sign in with HR and was given a
briefing on what was going to happen that week.
I also had to sign an NDA so I'm afraid I won't be passing on the news
on the latest tweaks that Adrian Newey has come up with! I have
always had an interest in cars and engineering but I
was given Adrian's book, called "How To Build A Car" - it's a really good read
covering his most iconic designs, for Christmas and really enjoyed it. This was one of the reasons we had thought to
come to Red Bull in the first place!
I was dropped off at the composites department.
Here they make all
of the parts for the car just from rolls of carbon fibre. We were set the task of building a 60% scale
model of a helmet from the carbon fibre.
Working with it was very different to
how I expected. I imagined sticking individual strips down
across the mould and eventually making a large,
strong Weave. However, it is more like
applying a large sticker as can be seen in the photo [not me!]. It is also very sticky, due to the resin that
holds it together, which I had not expected. The best analogy that I have come up for it
would be a stretchy fabric, covered in Pritt stick. To get the carbon fibre to lay flat against
the mould of the helmet we were given, we used
hairdryers to allow it to stretch.
we had completed each layer, we sealed it in a bag and put it in a vacuum to
really flatten it to the mould. We
repeated this three times for each half of the helmet,
before moving onto the HANS devices. These
were similar but came in three pieces, top, bottom and back. Finally, we bolted
the two halves of our helmet together before the pieces were baked in the
autoclave that evening.
My assembled helmet and HANS device prior to finishing
I was waiting in reception to be picked up, I was passed by Christian Horner
and a small camera crew. They were on their way to have champagne with the rest
of the people from the factory as they had won the German Grand Prix the day
before. I later found out that the crew were from Netflix,
filming the second series of the "Drive To Survive"
documentary - it is well worth watching!
On the second day, we moved from the laminating
section of composites to the assembly section. We were reunited with our parts
and began to remove them from their moulds. I was immediately struck by how light they
were! They felt like polystyrene chip
boxes to hold but were completely rigid. The first job was to glue the parts of the
HANS* device together. Next, we ground,
filled and sanded all the parts to make them smooth, with no rough edges or
holes. This took what felt like forever,
even just on a part the size of a small football. The sanding alone took nearly two hours! It gave me a real respect for the work that
goes on in the factories of any company that manufactures carbon fibre parts.
On the first day, I had been told that just to make the
outer casing of a gearbox took over two weeks, and I was beginning to see why! Whilst I had been working on my helmet there
were actual parts being made right next to me. On the table opposite, somebody was working
on a wishbone. To my left, somebody was
working on the centre section of a rear wing that had been on Gasly's car that had come back for a check over. To my right were two groups of people huddled
over two brand new chassis, working frantically to get it finished as I was
told that Gasly had no spare floors left after the German GP weekend, so they
were trying to get them finished for Hungary.
It was amazing to be so close to
all of this!
I spent days three and four in the model shop. This is where they construct all the models
used in the wind tunnel to test new designs. They use a 60% scale for all their tests as I
was told 75% is too big and 50% is too small, apparently 60% is just right! To quickly manufacture new parts to try out,
they use a special form of 3D printing. From what I could gather, they use a special
liquid, then shine a UV light on it. This
cures the liquid and forms a white solid which is eventually built up into the
finished part. Here is a video I found
on the technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a2xNaAkvLo
the two days that I was there, I created a model of a steering wheel using all of the techniques they use on the real parts. I was
given a kit containing all of the parts I needed from
the SLA machine. I had to sand, prime and paint all of
the parts before assembling them and adding stickers. I was really
happy with the end result!
My finished 60%steeering wheel wind tunnel model
As I finished with some time remaining on the second day, I
was able to help sand some of the actual parts that are being tested on the
2020 model in the wind tunnel which was really special.
I was working on the section that goes
over the air intake behind the drivers head down to the rear wing at the back.
On my final day at Red Bull, I was working in the paint
shop, which is a little misleading as I never actually used any paint! Instead, we moved back onto the helmets we
had created in composites earlier in the week, sanding them further before
polishing, adding stickers and lacquering them.
My finished helmet and HANS device after polishing and applying stickers
I had an amazing time at Red Bull
and it has really given me a much greater appreciation for the work that goes
into manufacturing carbon fibre parts. A big thank you to everyone at Red Bull
and especially Greg for getting me the placement!
I thought I should maybe add something about the race! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch it live, but from everything I have
seen it looked like a very good GP with Hamilton hunting down Verstappen in the
closing laps to take the win.
For the first time, I had a conflict of interests - should I
support Hamilton or Red Bull? After my
great week, it was a tough decision but, hopefully, RBR will be able to make
good progress next season [especially on the bodywork behind the driver's head!]
and make the Championship more interesting.
* If like me, you are wondering what a HANS device is,
it stands for head and neck support! Ed.
FF1 [Fantasy Formula 1]: Pit your
skills against F1 fans from around the world. Become team
principal, devise your strategy and manage your team throughout the season.
I often think that we are very lucky to live in the
beautiful village of Berrynarbor. It has all that we could want, except good
public transport. We have a shop and post office, a school, a church, a pub, if
not two, the Manor Hall with all its societies, the wine circle, art and hobby
groups, and this excellent Newsletter. I often ask myself, "How did we find such a
delightful village?"It was pure luck.
Pam and I were living and working in Coventry. Pam had inherited a flat in Leamington Spa and we thought that it would be a good idea
to sell it and buy a country cottage where we could escape at some weekends. But
where? We wanted to be near the sea,
and in an area where there was good country walking. If we
wanted to go there on a Friday afternoon, it should not be too far from
The Wash was the nearest coast, but not attractive. Wales? At
that time there was a lot of prejudice against English second home owners. How about the North Devon coast? So, one
weekend in 1973 we set out on an exploration.
We parked our car at Porlock Weir and set off along the
coast path. In about 2 miles we passed
through the Fairytale Tunnels and reached Culbone.Here, there are only a couple of houses with
no road access and the smallest parish church in England. It is
only 35 feet long and has seating for only 30.
A long time ago, there were
lepers in the area, and there is a leper window in the wall of the church, so
that they could watch the service without coming
into contact with the congregation.
From there we walked another 4 or so miles to Yenworthy Farm where we were able to get bed and breakfast. We
were very lucky, the farmer drove us down into
Lynmouth to get his pint and we had a meal before he brought us back!
The next day took us past County Gate. On the path round that I noticed that my boot
lace was undone. As I bent forward to
do it up my heavy rucksack slid up my back to round my neck and I pitched
forward head first into a gorse bush! Pam of course laughed like a drain. Even
now, if we drive past County Gate she reminds me of
when I ended 'base over apex' in a bush of thorns!
After a lunch at the Blue Ball we arrived at the tourist
information office in Lynton at about 4 o'clock, well tired, only to be told
that there was not an empty bed in Lynton or Lynmouth!The nearest was in the Vicarage Hotel at Martinhoe, some 4 miles distant. There
was no choice but to walk on through the Valley of the Rocks, past Lee Abbey
and Woody Bay. We arrived at the hotel
in our dirty boots and walking gear, just in time to join the elegant other
residents with a dry sherry before dinner. Our room overlooked the graveyard which was
full of hooting owls.It is a good job
we were not superstitious!
From there we returned to Woody Bay to rejoin the coast path
and on via the Hunter Valley and Great Hangman before dropping down, via the
silver mine, to the top end of Combe Martin High Street. It was
now late on a drizzly afternoon and everyone in Combe Martin had lit their coal
fire. We got to the harbour, choking in smoke, and to
our astonishment found a bus that would take us back to Lynmouth. We
walked back up Countisbury Hill to the Blue Ball,
swearing that we would never go back to Combe Martin again!
The Blue Ball was a lot smaller that it is now. There
was a landlord, call him Bill, who was helped by a university student, and we
the only guests. At the time there was a very popular TV show
called The Onedin Line which was about a couple of
sailing schooners and their adventures in about 1850. One of these was sailing up the Bristol
Channel the next day and Bill wanted to get a job as a chef aboard, so he was
going to Bristol and kindly gave us a lift back to our car at Porlock Weir. Sometime
later we were back at the Blue Ball and asked about kindly Bill. "Didn't you
know? He is inside in Exeter, doing 4
years for GBH!
A few months later we went back to Combe Martin and
consulted house agents called, would you believe, Brighton Gay. They had only one place to offer us and that
was in Berrynarbor. "Where?"
"It is near Combe Martin."
Oh dear! Still it
was wet, and we had nothing else to do, so we came to look at 30 Pitt Hill, now
Duckypool Cottage. We were shown round and, of course, Pam fell
for it - just what we wanted. However, there was a snag! At
that time there was a scare about 'concrete cancer' that was affecting blocks
of flats like the one where our flat was and we had not been able to sell it,
so we could not bid.
It took us about six months to sort that our and achieve a
sale, so we phoned Brighton Gay, to be told that 30 Pitt Hill was no longer on
the market. They offered us two or three other properties
in places like Alverdiscot and Newton Tracey. We
spent a Saturday morning looking, but nothing suited, so Pam said, "I'm going
back to 30 Pitt Hill to see what happened."She knocked on the door and the owner
confessed that he had withdrawn it to escape agent's fees.He had sold it privately a few weeks earlier
to a woman from Sutton Coldfield who was coming down
that Tuesday to measure for carpets and curtains. Pam gave him a card saying, "If anything goes
wrong, give me a call." She came out to
the car and banged her fist on the roof saying, "How dare that bl---y woman
from Sutton Coldfield buy my cottage!"
The 'phone went on that Wednesday morning. It was from Pitt Hill. The woman had re-read the specification of
the cottage and found that there was a septic tank in the garden. Coming
from Sutton Coldfield, she could not have that, and
the sale was off. We knew that mains drainage had been
installed three years earlier and the tank was dead, so we made our bid, and it
That is how we came to Berrynarbor - pure luck!
for the bare necessities,
The simple bare necessities,
Forget about your worries and your strife,
I mean the bare necessities,
Old Mother Nature's recipes,
That brings the bare necessities of life."
This well-known song, written by Terry Gilykson, and sung by Baloo, the bear, and Mowgli, comes
from the 1967 Disney animated adaptation of the Jungle Book, written by Rudyard
Kipling and first published in 1894.
The human child, Mowgli, is raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of
India.As he learns the often-harsh
rules of the jungle under the tutelage of a bear, Baloo, and a panther named
Bagheera, he becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own.
[Joseph] Rudyard Kipling was an English
writer of novels, poems and short stories, mostly set in India and Burma,
notably his books for children - the Jungle Book, Just So Stories and Kim, the
story of a young Irish boy in India.He
was born in Bombay [Mumbai] on the 30th December 1865.His parents, John Kipling and Alice
MacDonald, who had met in 1863 spent time at Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire,
were so taken by its beauty that they named their first child after it.
Kipling left India at the age of five
when he and his three-year old sister, Alice known as Trix,
were sent to Southsea, England, to live for 6 years with a couple who boarded
children of British Nationals living abroad.
Kipling recalled this time with revulsion, suffering from cruelty and
neglect, although Trix fared better.In the spring of 1877, their mother returned
from India and removed them.
In January 1878, Kipling was enrolled
at The United Services College at Westward Ho!, a
school founded to prepare boys for the Army, which proved tough for him.Apparently, not having the academic ability
to obtain a scholarship to Oxford University and as his parents did not have
the finance to fund him, his father arranged for a job for him in Lahore.So, in September 1882, he returned to India.
From 1883 to 1889 he worked for local
newspapers, the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore and The Pioneer in
Allahabad.During this time his writing
continued at a frantic pace, but following a dispute
he was dismissed from The Pioneer and with the money he had accrued from his
writing, he decided to return to London.
In March 1899 he left India, travelling
first to Rangoon, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan before starting travels in
America where he met with Mark Twain and then crossing the Atlantic arriving in
Liverpool in October.Finding lodgings
in London, he made his literary debut there to great acclaim.
In the next couple of years he published a novel, had a nervous breakdown and met
an American writer and publishing agent, Wolcott Balestier
with whom he collaborated and with whose sister Caroline, Carrie, he had an
intermittent romance.In 1891, on doctor's
advice, he took a sea voyage to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and
again India, but cut the visit there short due to the sudden death from typhoid
However, before returning to London he had proposed and been accepted by
Carrie via a telegram.
On the 18th January 1892 when Carrie
was 29 and Kipling 26, they married at All Souls Church, Langham Place, with
Henry James giving the bride away.
Following their honeymoon in the United
States and Japan, where they learnt that their bank had failed, they returned
to America and Vermont where in a small cottage, they called Bliss Cottage,
their first child, Josephine, was born in 3 feet of snow on the 29th
December.It was at Bliss Cottage that
the idea of the Jungle Book first came to Kipling.
They loved life in Vermont and in 1896
their second daughter, Elsie, was born.
Sadly in 1899, both Josephine and Kipling suffered from pneumonia from
which Josephine died when she was only six.
The couple might well have lived out
their lives in America except that global politics and family discord saw them
returning to England and in 1896 they were in Torquay.In August 1897 they welcomed their only son
By this time Kipling was famous, his
writings prolific and they were financially secure.They moved from Torquay to Rottingdean in
East Sussex and in 1902, Kipling bough Bateman's, a house built in 1634,
located in Burwash, his home until his death in 1936.
John was killed in action at the Battle
of Loos in September 1915, aged 18.He
had initially wanted to join the Royal Navy but his
enlistment was rejected twice due to poor eyesight.Kipling used his influence and John was
accepted into the Irish Guards.Kipling
was devastated by John's death and felt responsible.After the War, he became very active on the
War Graves Commission and by his perpetual endowment, The Last Post is sounded
every evening at the Menin Gate.
Kipling's later work does not make
popular reading although some of his best writing was produced then.After the War he became increasingly
isolated and anti-democratic, even opposing Women's Suffrage.In 1895 he had refused the role of Poet
Laureate but in 1907 he did accept the Nobel Prize for Literature - the first
English author to be so honoured.
Kipling died on the 18th January 1936
and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
at Burwash, East Sussex, is now the property of the National Trust, open daily
all the year, 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. March to October, 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
October to March.The house reflects
Kipling's association with India and the East and most of the rooms, including
his library, are much as he left them.
LOCAL WALK - 176
An afternoon with John Ridd,
Lorna, Tom Faggus, Jeremy Stickles & All
The hundred and fiftieth anniversary of
the publication of 'Lorna Doone' was celebrated in
August with a dramatisation at the Valley of the
Rocks by the Pleasure Dome Theatre Company.
This dramatic setting with the natural
sounds of the sea and birds in the background was ideal.
It was an appropriate location as well
because it was in the Valley of the Rocks that John Ridd
came to seek the advice of wise woman Mother Meldrum, when he witnessed a fight
between a sheep and a wild goat on Castle
Although R.D. Blackmore published Lorna
Doone in 1869, the story is set in the latter part of
the seventeenth century, a time of political and religious upheaval with the
restoration of the monarchy, the Monmouth Rebellion and the notorious Judge
I did not get around to reading Lorna Doone until last year.
I had been daunted by the 640 pages of close type.But I found it much more than the romance
between Lorna and John.I enjoyed the
historical detail and had not expected the radical views expressed, presumably
reflecting Blackmore's own.He had
little time for lawyers, the clergy or those in authority, regarding them as
unscrupulous and corrupt!
It is a pleasure, too, for those of us
living in North Devon to read his descriptions of places familiar to us on and
For example, visiting Tiverton it is
still possible to enter the courtyard of the original Blundell's School, beside
the bridge over the River Lowman, where in 1673 the twelve-year old John Ridd was a pupil when given the news that his father,
travelling home from Porlock, had been murdered by the Doones.
At Dulverton we can image John Ridd's great uncle Reuben Huckaback, the 'richest man in
town', who had the 'very best shop' there.
The first time I walked in the Doone Valley I was a teenager, staying at Barbrook on a hiking holiday.In those days there was a charge to enter
the valley.At Malmsmead an elderly
farmer stood at the gate collecting the money.
The first part of the walk is through meadows; the buildings
of Cloud Farm within sight, is gentle and benign; the route along the river and through oak
woods is beautiful but then the atmosphere changes.It's wilder, lonelier, rather sinister, but
in an exciting way, as you reach the remote territory of the ruthless Carver Doone and his clan.
From Malmsmead it's a short stroll
along the lane to Oare Church, scene of Lorna Doon's and John Ridd's wedding.
The National Park has produced a new
publication, 'The Lorne Doone Trail', helping walkers
to tread in the footsteps of the characters.
We'll meet again - so sang Vera Lynn
during World War II, the six and a half years of my life spent in North Devon,
Berrynarbor to be precise.
In that time, I went to Ilfracombe
Grammar School and it was there that I met Don Blake.We became great pals and spent a lot of time
together.Some of this time was a bit
naughty as we did a little bit of scrumping, and things like that!
However, when the war was over, all the
evacuees went their own ways back home.
Don returned to Wanstead and I to
Upminster.I lost touch with him, but
not for long.
I had joined a tennis club and one day
I was talking to another member about my years in Devon.
"That's funny," he said, "We have a
chap in our office who is always talking about Devon."
"What's his name?"I asked.
"Don Blake," he replied.And from that day we continued our
In 1954, Betty and I married and went
to live at Gidea Park.One day, when I had to attend the doctor for
some minor complaint, I saw a gentleman whom I recognised.
It was Mr. Nicholls, who was my English
master at Ilfracombe Grammar School.
Soon he was chatting to me about old times in a rather loud voice.
"Would you mind being quiet," the
receptionist called."Your turn now," I
My last tale is of Pamela or Beryl Horrell, who had moved back after the war to, I believe,
One day, Betty and I were near a
caravan site at Point Clear in Essex.
There was a woman watching her two boys playing on swings."I know her," I thought, and sure enough it
was Beryl.By now she had married and
had a family.
Betty and I invited them all to lunch
and we spent a very pleasant time talking over old times.
Tony Beauclerk -
JULY 26 1923
memory the family donated South Lodge, now
Day Residential Home
walking along Wilder Road in Ilfracombe, I used to wonder how the Susan Day
Residential Home got its name.Who was
Then in our February 2017 newsletter, Mary Clements,
Chairman of the Trustees of the Home, wrote an article about it, opening with
its first name, South Lodge.If you
remember the article, it said that this was the family home for 50 years of the
Day Family.In 1947 it was given to the
Ilfracombe Old People's Welfare Committee [founded in 1945 to promote the
welfare of the town's old people] by Mr. Thomas Fairchild Day, J.P., in memory
of his mother - yes, Susan Day - 'whose dearest interest was the care and
comfort of old people in Ilfracombe'.
So, with the help of Ilfracombe Museum and Mary Clements, I
was on my way.
Susan was born in 1839, daughter of Susan and Captain Moses
Cole, an Ilfracombe draper.There is
little known of her childhood, but she married Samuel Day in the Congregational
Church [now The Lantern] in the High Street on March 23rd
Over the next 13 years, they produced 4 sons and 2
daughters, the last being Thomas, born in 1883, who became the donor of the
If you look hard at the Home, you can still pick out the
original South Lodge [even to the triangular oriel windows on the first and
second floors] although over the years there have been massive extensions.According to a lithograph of 1840,
scaffolding of the building is shown.
The design was of a villa, not a country cottage, with attics and
basements, fairly modest but showing that the new
owner wanted servants. The site he chose stood on its own, well away from the
only other properties: the Tunnel's Bath House  and Runnymede House [c.
1840]. At that time, most of the development of Ilfracombe was on the south
side of Wilder Brooks, so this was a rural setting in meadows on the north -
and seaward - side of the town.
husband, Samuel Day was a prominent businessman in Ilfracombe and chairman of
the old Local Board which covered all aspect s of local health and welfare
before it gave place under the Local Government Act of 1894, to the Urban
District Council.He was largely
responsible for the Hospital Saturday Fund starting in Ilfracombe.This was a charity founded in 1873 when
there was little co-ordination of health services.Existing hospitals were voluntary [except
for workhouse infirmaries] and had poor facilities to deal with current
problems of lack of nutrition, over-crowding, poverty and general ill health.An appeal was made for all employed people
to pay a regular weekly amount to help the cost of hospital maintenance.Its name came from the fact that in those
days, pay-day was on Saturday. Samuel
Day became Chairman until his death on 6th February 1900.Family tradition carried on when his son
William succeeded him. The Fund is still
going today and offers a health plan complementing the NHS.
Susan Day was not active in public life in her latter
years, she took a lot of interest in her husband's work.She had joined the Congregational Church at
the age of 18 and throughout her life was very interested in religious, social
and philanthropic work.She was in
constant touch with North Devon's Congregational Churches,
and was much in demand for opening bazaars and other social functions.
South Lodge was always a centre of hospitality for the
church and many Congregational ministers were made welcome there.Twice she entertained General Booth of the
Salvation Army, who thought a lot of her and had a photograph in his bedroom of
himself coming out of the door of South Lodge.
When he died, his relatives sent Susan the red army cuff that he had
worn during his last illness.
Susan Day died on July 26th 1923.It seems strange that a family so involved
with the Congregational Church should be buried in Trinity Church graveyard,
but as you see from the photo I took, it is the resting place of her and
Samuel, and their two
daughters: 10-year-old Mary in 1882 and
Isabella  in 1932.
In October 2004, a family with ties going back more than 7
generations returned to Ilfracombe for a special memorial.Chris Flannery and his sons visited South
Lodge, now Susan Day Residential Home.
Flannery was Susan Day's grand-daughter.
She wanted her ashes put in South Lodge gardens
where she had spent many happy hours as a child.This was done and a tree planted in her
doubt adding to the
already pretty - and flat - gardens.
Susan Day's portrait hangs in the
hall of the Home, together with that of her son, Thomas Fairchild Day.And so her memory
The number of residents has expanded from originally 4-6 to
today's 33, all boasting en-suite rooms.
Initially the idea was 'of a thanksgiving Home where peace, quiet and
dignity could be enjoyed as the reward of a long life and patient toil'.On their website, is added 'These days our
residents still enjoy the tranquillity the Home offers but they also expect other forms of recreation and
entertainment which we are pleased to arrange.'Long may it last!
PP of DC
So we have
really done it, we have started our new adventure
in North Devon.
The boxes are unpacked, the dream cottage is ours, we
feel we own
a little bit of heaven.
Berrynarbor is our new home.
A village so warm and welcoming, you need never feel
Everybody has been so friendly, greeting us with great
It's a kind and caring community, as we had initially
From our very first visit, admiring the flowers in the
Meeting friendly locals, drinking in the pub.
We knew this was a special place, a village we'd like
Now we are living the dream, we have our very own key!
We feel quite at home only a few weeks in.
Indeed, it seems like a wonderful lottery win.
our cottage is a white one, along Sterridge Valley.
By the little bridge where walkers stop and dally.
It's quiet and calm with a stream outside our door.
I really don't think we could want for anything more.
I have realised happiness isn't just something that we
I can see it, I can touch it: it's totally real.
I confess to feeling a little nervous starting life
I need not have worried, if I only knew
people would welcome us right from the start
Would help us feel so comfortable, would warm my
What a wonderful impression you
villagers have created.
Simple smiles and 'hellos' can never be overrated.
A community so friendly, honest and true
Special for all the little things you say and do.
poem is my way of saying thank you to each and every one
I am looking forward to getting to know your more, in
the weeks and months to come.
[and Nigel] Robinson
REFLECTIONS - 90
On a hot morning in March 1982, a middle-aged man wandered
into St George's Park cricket ground in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. With time on his hands before the start of
play, he decided to pay a visit to the ground's Secretary in order to introduce
himself. An official duly led him to an
office where a large, affable man extended a huge right hand.
"Welcome," he said. "I'm Tom Dean." The visitor stood visibly shocked and unable
to speak, realising he had just shaken the hand of the Hampshire bowler who in
1948 had sent the bails of his wicket flying in all directions. Out without scoring, having faced only four
deliveries from Dean, the match would prove to be the visitor's last chance of
proving his capability of playing at county level and with it his ambition of
playing for England. Worse still, he
would no longer be able to fulfil his dream of walking into a Test Match arena
after the fall of the first wicket to bat alongside his idol, Dennis Compton. Instead, he did the next best thing and
aspired to make a career out of writing about the sport he loved. Which is just
what Ian Wooldridge duly achieved, eventually becoming the Daily Mail's main
sports columnist for many years.
When Wooldridge relayed to Dean the story of how that fourth
delivery had subsequently changed the path of his life, the now portly
secretary replied, "For the better, I hope."
Wooldridge considers Dean's reply in the last chapter of his
book, Travelling Reserve. Having reflected upon this he concludes,
without any doubt, that he is indebted to the off stump that Dean flattened on
Southampton's County Ground in 1948; and it is not just the thrilling
cricket matches and other sporting events that he mentions. He also makes reference
to the beautiful scenery he encountered whilst globetrotting the world on
Another great example of how life is all about making the
best of your circumstances can be found when one considers the events that
shaped the life of another cricket writer and more widely known commentator,
Henry Blofeld. Born in 1939, he had an
exceptional career as a schoolboy cricketer. Appointed captain of the Eton XI in his final
year, a prosperous cricket career beckoned, until, that was, he was hit by a
bus whilst riding a bicycle
which left him
unconscious for 28 days. Although he
went on to play first class cricket for Cambridge University, plus a solitary
game for Norfolk in the Minor Counties League, the accident affected his
playing ability, and in so doing, shattered any chances of playing for a team
in the County Championship, let alone for his country.
So, after a spell in banking which was not to his liking, he
drifted into journalism and a career that would lead to him becoming a
composite member of the Test Match Special [TMS] team from 1972 until his
retirement in 2017. "Blowers's" exit from the TMS box heralded the last of
his breed; commentators
who, despite lacking experience at cricket's highest level, had that
journalistic gift to paint a picture so that the radio listener felt they were
actually at the ground. One can argue
perhaps that as the 21st century has progressed, fewer TMS listeners want to
know when the first pigeon of the day has flown past the commentary box,
whether the Pennines are covered in mist and at what
time a red London bus passes through St John's Wood. Blowers also used to provide a running
commentary on buses running alongside the Trent Bridge ground, something that
led to Nottingham City Council naming a brand new
Bio-Gas powered double-decker after him. The Council presented it to Blowers on the
morning of his final Test commentary at the ground.
Today, the TMS commentary team are all ex-players, each one
giving their expert opinion and analyses which, along with its more eccentric
commentators, I still enjoy. But I do
miss the wider, artistic portrayal of events occurring on the periphery,
especially as I do not have television; and it is here that I draw an analogy
between Ian Wooldridge, Henry Blofeld and myself; for it is ten years since the
publication of my book, A Doorstep Discovery, Twelve Months on the Cairn in
The book's inception came from a procession of preceding
events. Having moved to the Sterridge Valley on a temporary basis, my partner
and I found a permanent home in Score Valley on the western fringe of
Ilfracombe. With a hillside woodland on
our doorstep, the Cairn became a regular venue for walking our two black Labradors; and with
so many paths to choose from, no two walks were ever the same. As the seasons passed, so we came to meet and
know many other canine owners who frequented the Cairn. In time, conversations steered towards the
setting up of a conservation group. We
were asked if we would be interested in joining. I considered the notion before a voice,
rising up from my deep and distant London background proclaimed, "Me, a
conservationist? You're 'aving a larf!"
- and with that we both duly signed up, albeit to make up the numbers in the
hope of enabling the new group to source much needed funds. In any case, I reasoned, I have a condition
that prevents me from carrying out physical exertion, namely epilepsy; letting
my body overheat whilst undertaking conservation work would be a recipe for a
The problem with me, however, is that I have never been one
to sit on the sidelines. I also felt a
fraud, knowing full well I was by now writing about the countryside in a
certain bi-monthly newsletter! But more
significantly, I felt as though I had let my epilepsy get the upper hand -
something I rarely allow. But in what
way could I be of use? My answer came
literally in the post courtesy, ironically, of the Cairn Conservation Carers' [CCC] quarterly Work Party Activity Diary. Usually listing just
the dates for planned conservation work, it also included a day for on-site
training in how to survey flora and fauna.
I perused the idea and considered
that this just might be a task I could undertake without necessarily breaking
into a sweat. Before I knew it, I was on the CCC's committee
and had my own allocated area over which I was to record my observations on a
monthly basis. From this a deeper fascination of nature
developed and with it a desire to learn more about the trees, wildflowers and
wildlife on my patch. All the while I was speaking to increasing
numbers of people who walked the woodland, open grassland and vantage points
whilst listening to their tales about the Cairn's history.
By now I had taken a career break to recuperate from the
tragic deaths of my parents, only days apart. With their departure from this earth, ahead
of their allotted three-score-years-and-ten, I felt sure I heard their voices
in the leaves as they were lifted from the branches by autumnal breezes saying,
"There is no time like the present, live for today." As
autumn faded into winter, I recalled how as a child I would only ever ask Santa
Claus to leave on Christmas morning enough writing pads and pens to last until
his next visit, for I loved to write stories.
In adulthood I fostered the dream
that, perhaps one day, I would have a book published. So, just like Ian Wooldridge and Henry
Blofeld, I decided that as I could not physically get involved in the CCC's
practical conservation work, I would do the next best thing. I
would write about it.
So it was that between the summer of 2006 and that of the
following year, I wrote all about what I saw and heard upon the Cairn, adding
history and folklore to the host of wildlife information. It was
a challenging yet enjoyable twelve months, being at the disposal of nature and
only able to write about the flora and fauna I happened to come across. Two
years in its collation of information, writing and eventual publication
following this, the book was launched in 2009 at Ilfracombe Museum. One of the proudest days of my life.
Yet there was to be an unexpected reward. The launch was attended by two dear friends,
John and George. A week or so after the
event, I received a telephone call from John. A Yorkshire man through and through, I was
certain, as one might expect, to always get a direct and honest opinion on any
matter he discussed. He began the
conversation by stating, "I've read your book from cover to cover."
wondered to myself, dreading his assessment.
"Now as you are fully aware, I am an amputee confined
to a wheelchair. So
I will never manage to get on that Cairn by you." I could tell by the tone in his voice he was
intent on coming straight to the point.
"But Steve," he continued, " I feel like I
have taken every step with you. I now
know that Cairn as well as you and everyone else who has walked its many paths."
His opinion gave me such a deep sense of satisfaction. For no
matter what enjoyment the book may have given to all
its other readers, to know I provided so much pleasure to a man who could no
longer walk and, more significantly, had managed to successfully paint a
picture of the Cairn for him, made every painstaking hour of effort to get the
book published worthwhile.
John sadly passed away this year at the age of 83 and is now
reunited with his partner of 59 years - George, who died three years ago at the
age of 90. I should like to dedicate
this article to them both.
BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
September and the bedding in the tubs and the hanging baskets is looking very
tired as the weather has been either baking hot or wet and chilly. It will soon be time to replace everything with
spring bulbs and bedding. However, everything looked wonderful when the
South West in
judges came on 22nd July 22. The whole team had worked so hard and I am
sure that the judges were impressed, especially with the wonderful community
spirit in the village. However, we are
still waiting for the results that will be announced at the presentation in
October. Many thanks to everyone who
community spirit was certainly on display when we held our fund
raising Tea on the Lawn afternoon on Sunday 11th August.Claire and Jamie Singer had kindly offered
to hold it at the Old Rectory but the run up to the 11th was wet and stormy and
at the last moment we had to switch
to the Manor Hall. We were all disappointed not to be at the Old
Rectory but we still had a wonderful afternoon. The
village choir sang beautifully, well done and our thanks to Graham, Stuart and
all the choir members. Also, thanks to all the bakers who donated
those who helped in whatever way
and a special mention for Saleh who made a great waiter. We made
almost £600.00. Wow!
As the afternoon was such a success and
feedback from villagers was positive, we are going to have a Berry in Bloom
Christmas Tea with the Choir singing Christmas themed songs on Saturday 7th December
in the Manor Hall from 2.00 p.m. onwards.
I do hope you will come and support us.
Crumble and Custard Cake
and October means lots of apples and this is a good recipe to use some of them
in a delicious way.
of a light oil such as sunflower
light muscovado sugar
285g self-raising flour
bicarbonate of soda
ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and
freshly ground nutmeg
grated Bramley apples, cored but grated with the skin on (approximately 2 large apples)
soft salted butter400g icing sugar
custard powder35mls milk
Grease and line 2 x 20cm
sandwich tins. Set the oven to 180/160 fan gas mark 4.Mix all the cake ingredients together in a large
bowl using a wooden spoon. Spoon in to
the prepared tins and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean and
the cakes have shrunk slightly away from the edges. Cool
in the tins for 10 minutes and then remove from the tins and transfer to a wire
rack to cool completely.
the cakes are baking, make the crumble topping by rubbing all the crumble
ingredients together until they have a rubble like consistency, spread in a
thin layer over a lined baking tray and bake for 25 - 30 minutes in the oven
with the cake until golden brown.
on a wire rack still on the baking tray.
When cold break in to smaller pieces about 2cm in size.
the custard buttercream icing by beating the butter until soft and creamy.Add the icing sugar 1tbsp at a time and beat
well. Dissolve the custard powder with the milk and
add to the icing and beat for 7 minutes until really light
and creamy. Use half to sandwich the cakes together and
the other half to smooth over the top.
Sprinkle the crumble mix around the edge of the cake.
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS THROUGH THE NEWSLETTER
might have been the first to mention it, but although it's rather early to be
thinking about Christmas, cards are already on sale and the charity catalogues
are popping through the letter box, it won't be long!
your seasonal greetings to friends and neighbours here in the village through
the Newsletter has become traditional and popular, and you can do so again this
everyone, especially newcomers, if you would like to do this, it is very
simple.Decide on your message and
leave it, with a donation, either at Chicane or the Shop and by Wednesday, 6th
November at the latest, please.
Traditionally, after covering the costs of printing, donations will be
shared between the Newsletter and the Manor Hall.Your donations have always been very
generous, so please carry on with that tradition as well!
are sending parcels for Christmas abroad, a reminder that last posting dates
for overseas surface mail are NOW or during October and early November.
OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 181
This month I have chosen two different
postcards showing the Toms Family outside 24-25 Hagginton Hill, taken by
William Garratt and published c1908.
The first is numbered 36 and first appeared in our Christmas 1989
Newsletter No. 3.
immediately shows just how well William Garratt was able to persuade children
and villagers to pose for his lens.In
this superb shot are Florrie Ley and Ada Toms making the arch, with Marjorie
Jones and Cecil Toms underneath.In the
line and from left to right are Albert Latham, Doris Richards, Fanny Toms,
Richards, Edie Toms and Polly Latham.Watching
from the steps are Mrs. T. Toms and young Leonard, and Mrs. Ley, young Johnnio and Emily. Note how Hagginton Hill was still just scraped
and compacted stone.
second view is numbered 41 and must have been taken by Garratt, probably on the
same day.This picture shows Ada Toms
standing in the road whilst sitting on the lowest step are Edie Toms and a boy
being either a young Toms or Ley.
Sitting on the wall are Emily Ley, Johnnio and
Mrs. Ley, Leonard Toms, Mrs. T. Toms and finally Cecil Toms.To the left of young Edie is the gap where
they would have obtained their water from a tap for cooking and drinking!
Cottage, e-mail: email@example.com