BERRYNARBOR NEWSLETTER NO. 166 - FEBRUARY 2017
FEBRUARY & FINANCE
F is for Finance as well as February and once again the time has come to
look at the financial situation of the Newsletter and its funds.
Currently funds are looking quite good due to the generous support of the
Parish Council, the Parochial Church Council, the many subscribers who
receive their copies in the mail and the contributions in the collecting
boxes. To this must be added the donations for Christmas messages which
supported the Manor Hall as well as the Newsletter by sums of £160.00,
the kind donation from Maureen and Pat for their Coffee Morning, and Gary
who has donated the profits from his book to the Newsletter.
Costs have increased of late, but the subscription for postal readers for
the coming year will remain the same at £6.00 [February to December,
inclusive], as will the cost of advertising. Although the Newsletter is
technically a 'freebie', the postal rate only covers the cost of postage
and stationery, so it is very much hoped that those readers will include a
donation to help keep the Newsletter coffers well stocked. Currently the
cost is approximately £1.50 a copy so it is also hoped that readers
who receive their copy with their paper, or collect a copy from the Shop,
Globe or Sawmill Inn will heed this plea.
Some postal subscriptions have now run out and if you are someone to whom
this applies, a letter is enclosed with your Newsletter.
My thanks to Central Convenience Stores of Combe Martin and our new
paperboy Tyler, who deliver copies with the newspapers, and the Shop, The
Globe and the Sawmill Inn for having copies available and for collecting
Judie - Editor
26th October 1934 - 5th January 2017
It was so very sad to learn that after a trying period of stays in Belmont
Grange and the North Devon Hospital, Jan had passed away on the morning of
the 5th January.
A loving and much loved mother and grandmother, she will be very much
missed not only by her family and extended family, but by her very many
friends here in the village, locally and further afield.
Our thoughts are particularly with Rob and Shirley, Charlotte and Sophie,
Jane and Martin and all the family at this sad time and in the difficult
When I am come to the end of the road
and the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,
why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little, but not too long,
and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
miss me but let me go.
For this journey we all must take,
and each must go alone.
It's all part of the master plan,
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
miss me but let me go.
PETER RONALD WEST
22nd February 1931 - 6th January 2017
A keen walker and rambler, many readers will remember Peter striding out
around the village, so it was very sad to learn that after a lengthy and
debilitating illness, Peter had passed away on the 6th January.
A much loved family man, Peter will be sorely missed by his wife Helen and
his extended family - his twin brother John, his son Mark and his
grandchildren, as well as Helen's daughter Nicola and son Sean and her
Our thoughts are with you all at this time of sorrow.
WEATHER OR NOT
The first of November was the warmest day of the month at 15.8°C and
the last day of the month was the coldest at -3.4°C which was the
coldest November day since 2010 when we recorded -4.4°C. It was also
the coldest day that we recorded in 2016. The first couple of weeks of the
month were fairly mild and dry then the rain arrived on the 15th followed
by winter on the 18th when there was sleet, hail and snow on high ground at
Tavistock. On the 19th we had a very close thunderstorm which knocked out
our internet, then on the 19th/20th the first named storm of the season,
Angus, brought torrential rain and strong winds and the barometer fell to
978mb. Between Tuesday the 15th and Tuesday the 22nd, we recorded 109.2mm
which was over two thirds of the total month's rainfall of 147.2mm. The
winds calmed after a couple of days but it remained cold until the end of
the month. 33.08 hours of sunshine were recorded which was more than in
The first five days of December were cold with frosts, the coldest day was
the 4th with -1.6°C which was not out of the ordinary for December.
Temperatures started to pick up and the 7th was like a spring day with the
thermometer rising to our highest temperature for the month at 15.1°C.
This was also our warmest December day since we started keeping records.
The weather remained fairly benign until the 23rd when storm Barbara
arrived which mainly affected the north of the country; here it passed
through fairly quickly. Storm Connor on Christmas Day brought strong winds
with a maximum gust of 36mph. Overall December was a dry month with a total
of 57.6mm of rain of which 21.4mm fell on the 10th. This was the second
lowest on our records, only beaten by 2010 when we had 32mm. The sunshine
hours for the month were 13.41 which was fairly high for a December.
It was a dry year with a total rainfall of only 1070mm which was exactly
the same as 2013 and only slightly more than our driest year which was 2006
when we recorded 1054mm. Apart from a few flakes in February, March and
November we had no snow in 2016.
As we write this the snowdrops are starting to bud and the daffodils are
coming up. Spring is around the corner although there is still time for
some bad weather.
Simon and Sue
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
Following the installation of our new Vicar, Canon Michael Rogers, a
service for the Licencing and Installation of Rev Bill Cole - supported by
Michael Rogers - took place on Monday 5th December at St. Peter's Church,
Combe Martin. This enjoyable service was led jointly by the Lord Bishop of
Exeter, the Right Revd. Robert Atwell, and the Archdeacon of Barnstaple.
the Ven. Dr. Mark Butchers.
A special thank you to all the ladies who provided a superb buffet in the
Church Hall following the service.
We wish Bob Cole and his wife Jenny a happy stay at the Combe Martin Rectory and look forward to his involvement here in
Berrynarbor and Combe Martin in supporting Michael Rogers. Bob has already
taken services here in Berrynarbor over the Christmas period but his
initiation, accompanied by his wife Jenny, was attending the Senior Dudes
Christmas Meal in the Manor Hall, brilliantly hosted by the older school
children with support from the teaching staff. How smart they all looked as
they served all the food, teas and coffees, causing much merriment and
laughter all round. They all deserve a huge thank you!
Remembrance Sunday was well attended in a moving service led by Rev. George
Billington, and wreaths were laid by members representing Berrynarbor
Parish Council, Berrynarbor PCC and Berrynarbor School.
Our Christmas Carol Service was a huge success, and both Berrynarbor and
the School Choirs sang Carols and other Christmas music for the
congregation to enjoy. The First Lesson was read for the very first time by
four school children cleverly reading one paragraph at a time, the effect
was stunning! The service concluded with the singing of O Come all ye
Faithful, followed by the serving of mulled wine and mince pies! Special
thanks must go to our intrepid Bellringers - who as usual were fully
engaged not just over the Christmas period, but throughout the past year.
Christmas services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both well
A very special vote of thanks must go to Graham Lucas whose Monday morning
school assembly stories from the Bible were cleverly told and then
re-enacted by the enthusiastic pupils.
Graham's time is very precious in caring for his wife Carol, and our
thoughts and good wishes from all their friends in Berrynarbor go out to
both of them throughout 2017.
Church services for the moment will follow the normal pattern as follows:-
1st Sunday in the month: Village Service
2nd Sunday in the month: Holy Communion
3rd Sunday in the month: Songs of Praise
4th Sunday in the month: Holy Communion
All Berrynarbor services commence at 11.00 a.m. However, when a 5th Sunday
occurs, there will be Joint Service with Combe Martin and 'Pip and Jim's'
at one of the churches within the Coast & Combe Team. Posters at the
Lych Gate and within the village will inform Parishioners as to these
service venues and timings.
Don't forget the Mothering Sunday Service which will be on Sunday, 26th
The date of our Annual General Meeting - usually towards the end of March -
has not yet been finalised, but will be advertised in the village nearer
The Friendship Lunches will be held on the last Wednesday of the month in
the Globe Pub to meet at 12.00 for 12.30pm, 22nd February and 29th March.
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST OFFICE
Winner of the village shop Christmas Raffle was a delighted Bill Huxtable,
seen here being congratulated by village postmistress Karen Loftus [left]
and volunteer Patricia Weston. Bill, who wins a luxury hamper, has lived in
the village all his life and is a regular customer in the Shop.
Shop Manager Debbie Thomas said, "We're all delighted for Bill. He supports
the shop on a daily basis and without such loyal customers the shop would
really struggle. A huge thank you to all those who used the shop last year
and we look forward to serving you in 2017.
OUR PRICKLY FRIENDS
I write about hedgehogs because they are on the decline and I feel that we
can all do something to save them.
The way they die is very sad and because of their prickles, they can't
always reverse out of situations. For instance, under a shed and in a
corner they cannot go backwards due to the ratchet effect of their spines.
Another hazard is garden ponds. They fall in and cannot climb out. A piece
of wood from the water by the side would avoid this, and don't use slug
Then, of course, we have carnage on the roads and the risk of them
perishing in a bonfire.
Well, here are a few ways we can help.
Make sure there is a good sized hole in your garden fencing. Hedgehogs can
visit up to twelve gardens. Do not use pesticides as they eat worms,
beetles and slugs.
Put out small, shallow bowls of water. Apart from liking pet [cat] food,
the garden centres now sell special hedgehog food. They soon take to this
and if you put some out at night, they will soon appear.
Never give milk to hedgehogs as they are lactose intolerant.
Usually solitary, hedgehogs only pair up to mate. When mating, they often
make loud snuffling noises. The male circles the female, sometimes for
hours, to persuade her to mate. They will separate thereafter and the male
takes no part in rearing the family. The young are called hoglets.
The litters are from one to eleven and they stay with their mother for up
to seven weeks. Predators can be male hedgehogs.
If you worry a nest, the mother may eat her young or move them elsewhere.
The young are blind for thirty-two days and their spines are soft. Late
comers are unlikely to survive the winter.
After four weeks, the family will emerge and soon after they will go their
own separate ways.
We bought a little hedgehog house and within four hours it was being
investigated. Dry leaves inside are a good idea. Take care, hedgehogs have
lots of fleas!
So there we have it. Please do your best to help our prickly friends.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
We need your thoughts!
Community Renewable Energy
The Parish Council is considering undertaking a feasibility study for
Community Renewable Energy. If any schemes are found to be viable the
process would be very much community led and would require local investors
who would gain a percentage return on their investment through selling
renewable energy to the community. There is funding of up to £20,000
for the feasibility study; however, the Parish Council is reluctant to
proceed if there is no community support. If you are interested in such a
scheme, or would like further information, please contact your local
Councillor or the Acting Parish Clerk.
You may all just be recovering from the festive period and think it a
little early to look to the celebrations of 2017, however, the Parish
Council would like to add value to the festivities that already take place
in and around the parish and would like your views on how this can be
achieved. Please do contact us with your thoughts and ideas for discussion.
New Look Website
The Parish Council is pleased to announce the launch of its new look
website which can be found at the same address of
, please do have a browse. Council Agendas and Minutes of meetings can also
be viewed on the website. If you are involved in, or know of any groups
within the local community and would like the groups details on the Parish
Council's website, please either go to the website and complete the form
under 'Community' or contact the Acting Parish Clerk.
You will notice on the website that there are an array of lovely
photographs taken throughout the parish, if you are a budding photographer
or just a happy snapper and would like any of your photos included on the
website please send them to the Acting Parish Clerk,
Mrs Victoria Woodhouse
. Each photograph will be attributed so please include your name.
Berrynarbor Parish has a network of beautiful footpaths which are an asset
to the village for both locals and visitors. The Parish Council Footpath
Wardens, Councillors Mrs Clare White and Mrs Julia Fairchild have been
working hard to monitor the footpaths and keep them in good useable order.
We have been successful over the last year in obtaining a small grant and
having several improvements including 3 new galvanized self-closing gates
and other repairs.
The Council would encourage you to use the footpaths, which are clearly
marked on the local maps, if walking with a dog please be aware that there
could be stock grazing in the fields and your dog should be on a
lead in these areas. Please enjoy your walk and remember to stick to the
Unfortunately the Parish Council has received concerns about overgrown
hedges in and around the Parish which can hinder the safety of road users
including vehicles, walkers and riders. The nesting season is due to start
in early March until the end of August making now an ideal time to think
The Parish Council would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Victoria Woodhouse - Acting Parish Clerk
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Several readers have enquired about this picture that appeared in Pam's
Movers and Shakers in the December issue. The Christmas Tree was painted by
Albert Chevallier Tayler in 1911. He was an English artist who specialised
in portrait and genre painting. He was born in London in April 1862 and
died there in December 1925.
He was educated at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire and studied at
Heatherley's School of Art, Royal Academy Schools and avant-garde painters
in Paris. He was involved in the plein air [open air] methods of the Newlyn
His largest and most masterful work - The Ceremony of the Garter - painted
in 1901, depicts the scene at Eltham Palace in which the fallen garter of
Joan of Kent is picked up by Edward III c1348 and led to Edward founding
the Order of the Garter.
THE ORDER OF THE GARTER
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded by King Edward III in 1348, is
the highest order of chivalry and the third most prestigious honour in
England and the UK. It is only inferior to the Victoria and George Crosses,
and is dedicated to the image and arms of St. George, England's patron
It is awarded by the sovereign as a personal gift to recipients from the UK
and commonwealth and is limited to the Sovereign, Prince of Wales and no
more than 24 members or companions. It also includes supernumerary knights
and ladies, other members of the royal family and foreign monarchs.
Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster and later Duke of Lancaster [d1361],
the second recipient of the Order, wearing a blue mantle or garter robe.
Its emblem is a blue garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense -
shame on him who evil thinks. Members of the order wear the robes on
There are currently two vacancies due to the deaths of the Dukes of
Wellington and Westminster. The earliest current member is Lord Carrington
who was appointed in 1985 and is now 97, the latest Sir David Brewer, Lord
Lt. of Greater London and former Lord Mayor of London, appointed in 2016
aged 76. The youngest today is Lord Stirrup, Marshal of the Royal Air Force
who was appointed aged 63 in 2013.
The Royal Knights and Ladies Companion are the Duke of Edinburgh ,
the Duke of Kent , Princess Anne, the Princess Royal , the Duke
of Gloucester , Princess Alexandra , the
Duke of York , the Earl of Wessex  and the Duke of Cambridge
Extra Knights and Ladies Companion are the Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark , King Carl XVI Gustaf of
Sweden , King Juan Carlos I of Spain , Princess Beatrix of the
Netherlands , Emperor Akihito of Japan  and King Harald V of
New appointments are always announced on St. George's Day, 23rd April, and
the annual ceremony of the Order of the Garter is held in June.
SUSAN DAY RESIDENTIAL HOME
(Charity number: 205695)
Some readers may know the Home was first called South Lodge and was the
family home of the Day family for 50 years. In 1947, Mr. T. Fairchild Day,
who was a J.P., gave the house as a gift to the Ilfracombe Old People's
Welfare Committee in memory of his mother Susan, whose dearest interest was
the care and comfort of old people in Ilfracombe. Her portrait is hanging
in the hall of the Home as a tribute to her. Over the years, the Home has
developed, has become a Charity and is now called Susan Day Residential
The Home's physical structure has changed as well. It became apparent that
more people needed residential care, so further building work was carried
out in 1997 to complete the Home as it is today. Initially 4-6 residents
were accommodated and now we have 33!
Our purpose is to care for residents by providing a happy, comfortable home
where they will be encouraged to live full, enjoyable and independent lives
with the emphasis on personal choice in all aspects of their lives. We also
encourage our residents, as much as they are able, to maintain any outside
interests which they previously enjoyed and to participate in the Home's
variety of activities and outings which are
specifically arranged for them. Coffee mornings are held throughout the
year with themes appropriate to the season and are open to everyone. In
fact, the Home welcomes visitors at all times.
To keep up to date with changes in people's lives, we are installing Wi-Fi
throughout the Home which will enable our residents and their families and
friends to keep in touch with each other and for those who are 'silver
surfers', to continue their surfing!
Elderly residents are accommodated at the Susan Day Residential Home as
well those who are mentally frail but we do not specialise in dementia
care. Our waiting list has diminished with the changing times and care in
the community. However, in the last 3 years the Charity Commission has
agreed to extend our catchment area and we are now able to accommodate
residents from Combe Martin, Berrynarbor, Georgeham, Mortehoe, Marwood and
Braunton and places in between, giving priority to people living in
After 27 years of service to the Home, Mrs. Cherry Wild will be retiring at
the end of March. During this time, she has been our Registered Manager and
has guided the Home through many changes, both structural and legislative.
She has overseen all aspects of running the Home with skill but now has
come the time for her to have a well-earned retirement!
In October last year we welcomed Mrs. Simone Dunford as our new Registered
Manager. Simone has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in the care
industry and from the 1st November became entirely responsible for the care
of our residents and running the Home, with Cherry maintaining an
As you will see from the above, residents from a wider area are now able to
come and live in our Home. Please feel free to come in to look around, have
a cup of tea and meet the residents and staff, especially if you or a
family member are thinking about residential care. If you would like to do
so, please contact Simone on  862528.
We are always looking to augment our Board of Trustees. At the present time
there are 9 of us. We hold Board Meetings 10 times a year and our
responsibilities are for the oversight of the Home. Should you be
interested in finding out about us, and particularly if you have specific
skills in finance, knowledge of the building industry or management for
example, you would be very welcome. If you would like more details about
the role, please contact me on  862396.
Mary Clements - Chairman of Trustees
THE KAZAKH APPLE
Like many, I've had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people in my
life, with great stories to tell. One such person is Andrew Ailes. We first
met at the Old Twelfth Night celebrations at Lee in 1994. I had that night
been crowned 'Lord of Misrule', a role which I rose to with great gusto!
Keys to the pub until midnight, crazy party games, music and dance and
plates of food, all washed down with gallons of cider punch for all.
Later Andrew and I started to talk about apples and orchards. When I
mentioned I was planting an orchard of special varieties his comment was,
"Then I've got an apple for you!" And he told me this story.
Andrew worked for Reuters World Press Agency as an organiser and reporter.
He had lived in many countries around the world. In 1988 he was living in
Russia and was invited by the Russian government as a distinguished guest,
to a Soyuz space launch in Kazakhstan and to become the first westerner to
rent a transponder on a Soviet satellite.
While there he was asked to help with a TV documentary on the shepherds who
live high in the mountains at their summer pastures. On one location, at
lunch, a shepherd offered him some apples from a tree on the sheltered side
of his stone hut. Apparently, they were large, sweet and delicious. His
interpreter told him the shepherd had said, "They're just wild apples and
trees like that grow wild in this part of Kazakhstan."
Andrew was so impressed that a few weeks later two apple cores in an empty
cigarette packet arrived back in North Devon. His old gardener muttered,
"You can't grow good apples from pips." And he was right, it is almost
impossible to grow modern apples from pips because they have too many
ancestors and pollinators; where a natural crab and true wild apple will
far more likely throw a clone of its parent tree.
The pips were planted and over the next few years two trees grew and
survived, one being much more vigorous started to fruit in 1996. According
to Andrew the apples were the same as the ones he had seen and tasted in
Kazakhstan. He contacted DEFRA, but it was expensive to register an apple
unless it was for commercial use. They suggested some help could be found
at the RHS National Fruit Centre in Kent. This is where I got involved and
on their advice we sent some apples, leaves and a small twiggy bough for
examination, which was undertaken by
Dr Alison Lean and Dr Joan Morgan, author of The Book Of Apples.
Dr Lean said the apples were much sweeter than most domestic apples and
came from the original wild apple Malus Sieversii a rarity found
in countries east of the Caspian Sea.
In October 2009 and as a member of Devon Orchards Live, I took some apples
to RHS Rosemoor on Apple Day. They certainly caused a stir! Experts seemed
to come from every corner of the marquee, all tasting the sliced-up apples,
making comments, searching through the reference books, but nothing could
be found on this rare seedling apple. I was then approached by Kevin
Croucher of Thornhayes Nurseries in Cullompton, probably one of the top
nurserymen and authorities on fruit trees here in the West Country. who was
very interested in the apple and offered to add it to his catalogue of
A quick flurry of e-mails followed as Andrew was working in Canada and was
then off to India for a few weeks, before returning home in the spring.
Early in February 2010 I offered to deliver the first bundle of Grandpa
Ailes or Kazakh Beauty scions (graft cuttings) to Thornehays Nurseries for
grafting on to root stocks in April. From 2011 the apple trees were on sale
from Thornehays and RHS Rosemoor and still are to the best of my knowledge.
My own tree which I grafted onto a Bramley pip seedling in 2009, is now
almost fifteen feet high and expected to reach twenty feet in the coming
years. It is now bearing good crops of this sweet, large, semi red conical
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
New Year greetings to you all from everyone at the Village School. The new
term is well under way now, but here are some reflections on happenings
before the Christmas break.
Year 6 Friendship Day
Year 6 children had a great time at Ilfracombe Academy on Friendship Day
thinking about relationships and transitioning from Primary to Secondary
Sports Hall Activities
We trained in the Manor Hall for competitions with James O'Sullivan from
Ilfracombe Academy. We tested our running, jumping and throwing abilities.
We hope we can do it again next year.
On Wednesday 7th December we did our Christingle with Reverend Bill. We
enjoyed the service and got to eat the food afterwards! After Reverend
Bill's explanation on why we do Christingle we made them ourselves. Then we
lit the candles on them and sang Away in a Manger. It looked very pretty in
the candle light. Altogether it was great and we hope we get the chance to
do it again next year. Isabel
Following the service was the PTFA Christmas Fair in the Manor Hall. There
was a variety of activities, stalls and, of course, refreshments. A
favourite with the children, and their grown-ups, was the dress up
photography set up on the stage. As you can see, the staff enjoyed this,
too. Thank you to everyone who supported this event and helped raise just
over £400.00 towards updating the fitness tail.
Eily and her Grandmother
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Our trip to see the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Exeter University was
a long ride, but when we got there it was fabulous watching and listening
to them. We had to do some interactive things like body percussion and we
got to listen to some well- known music. Vincent
Elderberry Class Senior Dudes Christmas Meal
This was held in the Manor Hall on 30th November. We really enjoyed this
event as we cooked, served and sang for the Seniors. We have received a lot
of thank you letters to say that they really enjoyed it, too. Amber & Lily
Strawberry and Cranberry Nativity
The performance by Strawberry and Cranberry Classes was one to remember!
We'd like to say a big well done to all of the children for their super
singing and clear speaking voices. Superb dancing too! Thank you to all the
teachers, staff and parents who helped to make it such a great success!
Christmas Carol Concert
What better way to end the term and prepare for the holidays than a
Christmas Carol Concert in Berrynarbor Church!
On Wednesday 14th December Berrynarbor School held an outstanding carol
service for their parents. It was a great turn out led by Canon Michael.
The children sang their hearts out until they could sing no more and made
everyone proud. Thank you to everyone who came along. We hope you enjoyed
it. Finley & Amelia.
So, moving on into the New Year, the children are continuing with swimming
lessons at Ilfracombe pool, and the after-school football club with Rosie
Smith has resumed. We have World Book Day coming up on
1st February with the theme Myths and Legends. It hardly seems possible
that a year has gone by since last year's Book Day when we had the Space
Odyssey Planetarium set up in the Manor Hall.
The children in classes 1 and 2 have a Geography based topic this term
centred around the location, landmarks, food and culture of China. Class 3
have the Romans as their topic and class 4 the Anglo Saxons.
Sue Carey - Head Teacher
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
A bottle of good wine, like a good act, shines ever in the retrospect
Robert Louis Stephenson
December is synonymous with drinking and eating, and, therefore, I suspect
that none of us felt guilty imbibing and consuming our Committee's Choice
for wines and Members' Choice for a superb banquet. We do it every time!
Two wines presented at Members' Choice in November to 10 of us were SO
successful that these were served to the masses. Bray Valley and our
wonderful village shop supplied the goods on both occasions.
Sauvignon Blanc seems to be extremely popular with white wine drinkers;
many expect it to come from Marlborough, New Zealand. Bray Valley produced
a real find and a delicious alternative to expectations: a Pinot
Gris from The Crossings Vineyard in Marlborough. It's a shame it's a bit
dearer than 'Sav Blanc', but it's worth it. If it's in stock,
you'll pay £9.99.
The second was the South African Running Duck Pinotage, from the shop's
shelves; it's £7.98. As its name is unusual, it appears to be
memorable because its fame has spread beyond our Circle! A shopper, not a
Circle member, was overheard asking for a red wine: ". . something about a
duck . . . I've read about it in the Newsletter." Who needs to drive
anywhere when you can trot to the shop for a liquid Duck - red or white!
Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.
St Thomas Aquinas
Wine Circle members know that January means Call My Wine Bluff: it's a fun
evening. None of us are wine buffs, but we all try to use what knowledge we
have to work our way through the True and False
descriptions. Tony quoted Eric Morecambe's famous lines of 'All the right
notes, but not necessarily in the right order'; Eric applied these
musically but it works on Wine Bluff nights too!
Three whites, three reds were tasted, from France, Spain, Portugal,
Argentina and Italy. The High Street supplied in the forms of Lidl's and
Marks & Spencer. Tasting, prior to the evening, had not happened, so we
were all sampling these for the first time, including our presenter trio.
One wine created a resounding and unanimous response, with disapproving
grimaces all round. I have tasted acceptable wine from Lidl's; however, I
wouldn't say it is a renowned stockist, and I'm afraid I was totally
convinced that Tony had bought the Vino Nuevo de Tinaja sold as Fresquito
from LIdl's. I was wrong! It was from M & S! What possessed their buyer
to include this?
Tony's script said that it was a 'most unusual white wine' because it is
made 'from Pedro Ximenez grapes.' These are usually associated with a deep,
chocolaty, ultra-sweet sherry, often called the Christmas Pudding wine,
which is absolutely delicious, particularly
poured over ice-cream - fantastic stuff, but not this
Thirty-six members uttered a loud, "No," when he asked if we liked it. On
her first smell, one lady said it smelled of old carpets! Another thought
we had said 'armpits', which triggered another negative of, "Yes, that
too!" Never tasted a wine like it . . . hope I don't again, but, as another
saying goes, you live and learn!
Judith Adam - Secretary and Programme Co-ordinator
Important Notice - Incidents at the Hall
We have been unwilling to speak out openly about a number of incidents that
have occurred at the Hall since early last summer, as it has been hard to
believe that someone in the local area has been prepared to act maliciously
against the Hall, and indeed act criminally. However, we now feel compelled
to publish what has been going on even if it barely seems credible. Last
summer we had an unexplained flood to the corridor at the rear of
Pre-school, found first thing in the morning. Then we had an incident where
someone had deliberately blocked all four toilets in the Pre-school part of
the building by stuffing bundles of white paper hand towels round the
U-bend of each toilet. Again, this was discovered first thing in the
morning and it took a while to clear all the blockages. It is very hard to
think who would do such a thing or why.
Wads of paper used to block toilets in Pre-school
Later last year there was a further incident involving a piece of equipment
going missing and one night in January someone has gone into the boiler
cupboard at the rear of the building and vandalised the electric supply
plug to the boiler, meaning it wouldn't work the next morning.
Earlier, in December, we also found that most of the cutlery in the main
hall kitchen had disappeared but we have been unable to link its
disappearance to a precise event or time. It is hard to believe that anyone
would want to steal second hand cutlery and we have tried to think of
alternative explanations. However, we can't rule out theft, or that someone
seems to have some sort of vendetta against the Hall.
We have reported the most recent incident to the Police.
We therefore ask that if anyone knows anything about any of this, or
has seen anyone going in or out of the Hall at odd times of the night
or very early in the morning, to please contact any of the Manor Hall
Not surprisingly, we are now working out what to do with building security,
and will have to improve key security. This may not be straightforward and
may affect the way occasional users access the building.
Work underway at the Hall
You may have seen scaffolding up at the manor house wing of the Hall. This
is the long-awaited roof repair work as specified by our structural
engineer some time ago. We have mentioned in the past that the ceiling
above the Men's Institute has been deemed unsafe to walk around on, so this
needs to be remedied for maintenance purposes. There are also a number of
long term issues to do with structural movement and the much earlier
removal of a few original rafters which also need to be remedied. Most of
the work is taking place inside the roof space. Outside, the corner pieces
of the wall plates (the timbers on top of the walls on which the rafters
rest) are also being replaced with oak, as the original timbers are rotten
at the ends. As this roof is medieval and of rather rare construction in
Devon, it isn't surprising that it needs some attention. As part of the
planning and listed building consents obtained, we have had to agree an
archaeological 'written scheme of investigation' for the roof which has
required us to commission a historic buildings expert to survey and produce
scale drawings of the roof structure.
In a sense, we have been reluctant to carry out this repair work, as the
roof defects don't immediately affect use of the Hall whereas, of course,
the main hall has more obvious and perhaps more urgent needs. However,
someone at some time will have to tackle the roof problems, so we have
decided to have the work done and then switch our attention back to the
main hall. The problem is that, as we have said before, in terms of money
and priorities, we have a village hall with a modest income but also have
to maintain a 600-year old annex, and it is a difficult balancing act.
However, we do also feel a duty to maintain the whole of this historic
Conversion to a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation
Unfortunately, our conversion into a new charity is taking longer than we
thought, although at least we are now ready for the registration of title
to the Hall and Parish Room which is a legal requirement of this process.
We will explain all this fully when the switchover actually occurs.
New Charges for 2017
We are increasing our charges from April - the changes most relevant to the
village are the regular user session rate, currently £12 and going up
to £13, and the occasional village user rate for not-for-profit
events, which is going up from £30 to £35. Please note that our
charges are a lot lower than other village halls in the area, and that the
hall's running costs (even before any repairs or maintenance) are around
£6,000 per year.
We are also replacing our missing cutlery, and have finally thrown out the
old gazebos which had seen better days. To replace the old ones, we now
have one small gazebo and one new 4.5m x 3m pop-up gazebo, with at least
one more to follow.
Manor Hall Management Committee
The GREAT BERRYNARBOR PLANT SALE will
be held this year on Sunday, 28th May at
the Manor Hall.
Please all Gardeners, take a few extra
cuttings and sow a few
NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL
We should like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and welcome our families
back to preschools for the Spring term.
Last term the children celebrated Christmas with a performance of Santa and
His Work Shop. The children enjoyed singing Christmas songs and some even
sang solo. They all did so well, singing beautifully and for some, this was
their very first performance, so well done to all our children for their
The children also enjoyed making many Christmas crafts that they could
share with their families. We had a raffle fundraising event which raised
just over £250.00. Thank you to the community and our families for
their kind support and hope those who won enjoyed their prizes.
The Pre-school also shared their Christmas party with the Toddler Group,
with lots of fun games, dancing and we had a surprise visit from Father
Our other fundraising event was Bags2School, recycling old or unwanted
clothes. This raised £100.00 and again this could not have been
achieved without the community support. We hope to have another collection
in late spring. Date to be confirmed, so lookout for our posters nearer the
This term the children will be focusing on Maths; counting, sorting,
recognising numbers and measuring, and we have added Understanding the
World to the topic. Using the children's interests of transport, rockets,
transformers, space stations, planets and aliens, along with Buzz
Lightyear, we shall introduce new stories, games and find information about
our planet and our solar system.
Our Pre-school is well attended at present but we do have some
If you would like to book a place for your child/children then please visit
us or call us on our NEW telephone No 07932 851052 or
for more information.
Our opening times are
8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday.
We are flexible and have a range of session times to meet your needs
8.30am or 9.00am - 12.00pm
12.00pm - 3.00pm or 3.30pm or 4.00pm
8.30am or 9.00am -3.00pm or 3.30pm or 4.00pm
We are Ofsted registered and in receipt of the 2gether scheme and Early
Years Entitlement. We provide care and education for young children between
ages of 2 and 5.
From all the Staff at Pre-school - Sue, Karen, Charlotte and Lynne
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
Because of the mild weather in December and over the New Year, the spring
bulbs and bedding are quite forward and the nights are drawing out so we
are looking forward to getting back out and enjoying a beautiful Devon
Our thanks to Graham Sanders for donating the Christmas tree in the village
square and Ben and Phil Bowden for putting it up, and not to forget Dave
and Eve Walker for the electricity. What a team! Also, it was lovely to
read all the Christmas thoughts and wishes that the children from the
school had written on their paper Christmas baubles. Thank you, kids. The
evening of carol singing in the square on the 18th December [luckily
without rain this year] led, once again, by Phil and Tony, with mince pies
donated by Karen and family from The Globe, went really well and thanks
bottles given by all the good folks of Berrynarbor, the mulled wine was
certainly plentiful! A collection raised £210.00 which has been shared
shared between the Devon Air Ambulance and Freewheelers, a charity that
delivers organs for transplant by motorbike.
We shall be holding our annual meeting at The Globe on Tuesday, 21st
February at 7.00 p.m. If you are interested in our group do please do come
Don't forget the Berry in Bloom Fun Quiz and Supper on Friday,
3rd March in the Manor Hall. Bring your teams of up to 8 or join in with
others for a fiendish [only joking] brain teaser and a yummy cottage pie
supper. This event is one of our main fundraisers so do come and join in.
To contact me phone  883170 or 07436811657.
Golden Syrup Cake
This is a lovely cake for the winter months. It can be served warm with
ice-cream with just a dusting of icing sugar as desert, OR topped with
icing and frosted almonds as a lovely afternoon cake.
115g butter softened, plus extra for greasing
100g golden caster sugar
170g golden syrup
75ml boiling water
1 whole free range egg plus 1 extra yolk
310g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Icing
180g softened unsalted butter
180g soft light brown sugar
For the Frosted Almonds
200g whole blanched almonds lightly toasted, either roast for
8 minutes in a hot oven or toast in a dry frying pan
250g golden caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180c/fan 106c/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 23cm spring
form cake tin with butter and line the base and sides with non-stick baking
Using a freestanding mixer fitted with the beater attachment or an electric
hand mixer, beat the caster sugar and butter together until pale, light and
fluffy. Add the golden syrup and beat again. Mix in the boiling water, then
add the egg and the egg yolk and beat until smooth.
Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, the baking powder, nutmeg and
cinnamon together in a separate bowl then add it to the egg mixture a
little at a time making sure that each time the mix is fully incorporated
but try not to over mix.
Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until
well risen, lightly golden and a skewer inserted in to the middle comes out
clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove from the tin,
remove the paper and cool on a wire rack.
The cake can be served war dusted with icing sugar as a desert at this
To make the frosted almonds, warm the caster sugar in a saucepan over
medium heat until the sugar melts and just starts to colour. Add the
toasted almonds and stir until the sugar starts to crystallise and covers
the nuts. Tip on to baking parchment and cool. Coarsely chop half the nuts
but save a few whole for decoration.
To make the icing using a mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar
until light, fluffy and smooth.
Place the cake on a plate or cake stand and cover with the icing using a
palette knife to swirl the icing to give a textured finish. Top with the
frosted almonds and finish with a dusting of icing sugar.
On a rainy or frosty day this is pure comfort. Mmm!
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on
"It's so dreadful to be poor!" sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things,
and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
"We've got Father and Mother, and each other," said Beth contentedly from
So begins the story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March, Little Women. Published
in 1868, it remains today as one of the most read and re-read novels
enjoyed by young girls of 9 to 90! It follows the lives of the four sisters
through to adulthood, dealing with the strains of growing up and finding
themselves in different situations.
Written by Louisa May Alcott, it is loosely based on her life and that of
her three sisters, Abigail, Anna and Elizabeth, and her parents Abigail and
Amos Alcott. The family suffered from financial difficulties and Louisa
worked to help support the family from an early age, but also found an
outlet in writing for which she received critical success and sometimes
writing under the pen name of A.M. Barnard, writing novels for young
Born in Philadelphia in 1832, she was an abolitionist and a feminist and
unlike the characters in her books, never married, She died in Boston at
the early age of 55 in 1888.
Little Women was followed in 1871 by Good Wives, Little Men, and in 1886 by
Jo's Boys, none of the books receiving quite the same acclaim.
The book has been adapted six times for film; four television series have
been made, as well as a musical version and even an opera version in
America in 1998.
LOCAL WALK -160
"If you go down to the marsh , , , "
. . . you may have a big surprise. Braunton Marsh is one of North Devon's
greatest assets for walkers and nature watchers and last October the
Gazette ran the headline, 'Rare pelican is spotted on marsh.' An
exotic creature indeed. The word 'spotted' in this context may have been
the headline writer's witty pun for it was a Dalmatian pelican, more
usually found between Greece and Mongolia but now reported in the vicinity
of the White House. So, we headed for Horsey Island. En route .. had they
seen the pelican? No, but it had been spied by the fishermen's huts, near
where the River Caen meets the Taw. A passing jogger wondered, "Did the
Dalmatian pelican have spots like the dog?" No! But with its eleven-foot
wing span and distinctive bill, the big white bird would be difficult to
It was a lovely, balmy day to be on the marsh, more like summer than
mid-autumn. Some wintering waders and ducks had arrived - we counted forty
lapwings - but a few painted ladies and dragonflies were also still on the
The dyke known as Boundary Drain and the adjacent pond had joined forces
forming a more extensive lake with clumps of rushes. We watched a
kingfisher diving repeatedly from a twiggy bush; another landed on a post.
Two little grebe bobbed up in their winter plumage.
Further off among more than a dozen little egrets we were surprised to see
a tall slender bird, with a long
downward curved bill, stalking slowly through the shallow water, between
the rushes, sweeping its bill from side to side. It was dark with a
purplish bronze sheen. It was a glossy ibis. Its official Devon status -
'very rate vagrant'.
Our quest to find the pelican was unsuccessful but unexpectedly coming
across the ibis was a great delight.
Three weeks later we returned and found that part of the path around Horsey
Island had been closed due to a landslip. A man wielding a telescope told
us the pelican was still around and had been seen the previous day.
It was a quiet day; not many people or birds about. As we walked along the
causeway we noticed a small brown bird jabbing the grass with its bill,
searching for ants. We had a wonderful view of it as it seemed quite
unconcerned about our presence even flying a little closer to where we
stood. With its grey and brown mottled pattern, streaked with black; fawn
v-shaped markings and dark eye stripe, it resembled a piece of bark. A
It was a wryneck, an uncommon passage migrant. Our field guide says it is
an elusive bird more often heard than seen, so we considered ourselves very
fortunate to have chanced upon it. It has a rather attractive Latin
name - Jynx torquilla. Yet again we did not find the pelican and in
November when four cranes appeared on the Braunton Great Field near
Marstage Farm [opposite Velator Quay], we failed to see those too! But what
a fine sight those elegant, grey, four feet tall visitors must have been.
Illustrations by Paul Swailes
BLACK BINS - GREEN BINS
I wrote an article in the Berrynarbor Newsletter in April 2016 which to
remind those good people who did or
didn't read it, went something like this. One would have thought that most
people in this village would fully understand the difference between what
rubbish goes into a black wheelie bin and what rubbish goes into a green
wheelie bin! NOT SO!
Hello" I hear you say, "What's this all about?'
To cut a long story short, Sue and I still have to transfer plastic and/or
cellophane wrapping from dead flowers, plastic flowers, plastic flower
pots, [no plastic gnomes as yet?] on a weekly basis from the GREEN BIN,
adjacent to the water tank and tap, to the BLACK BIN, adjacent to the lych
As everyone knows [everyone?], Green Bins are for garden waste in the shape
of flowers, shrubs, weeds, foliage and the like. Black Bins are for general
rubbish - and this bin absolutely adores items that are made from plastic!
SO! Once again, please, please, please place any plastic related items in
the Black Bin by the lych gate - the short walk from the Green Bin
will do you so much good and will save Sue and me such a lot of
We do realise that the culprit/s may of course be visitors to the
churchyard and not from this beautiful village - but do we really need to
consider having CCTV cameras installed to catch the culprits in the act or
just put up with it?
Please read the notice on the bins - it tells you what to do!
Stuart & Sue Neale
MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 67
Dr Elisabeth Doreen Svendsen MBE
Founder of The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth
23rd January 1930 -11th May 2011
Last year, the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth was voted by the Daily
Telegraph as one of the best ten family days out in Devon. Here you can
see, fondle or cuddle up to some of up to 500 of these lovely animals, all
who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Worldwide there are 6,500
donkeys being cared for in linked sanctuaries in Latin America, Asia and
A donkey hospital with emergency room was founded in Ethiopia where the
lifespan of a donkey is just nine years compared with 25 in Britain, and
clinics have been opened in Mexico, Kenya and India.
All this has happened because of the life of one woman:
Elisabeth Svendsen, who during her lifetime cared for more than 14,500
donkeys. But it wasn't only donkeys she helped. She also founded the
Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys in Ivybridge during the
1970's [now called the Donkey Assisted Therapy work], a charity giving
children with disabilities the chance to meet and ride donkeys. Add to
this, writing over 40 books including two autobiographies and a series of
children's stories, and bringing up 4 children - Clive, Lise, Sarah and
Paul, one can see that she didn't have much spare time!
Elisabeth Doreen Knowles was born in Elland, West Yorkshire on the 23rd
January 1930, the daughter of a businessman. She fell in love with donkeys
when she was eight, on a drive with her father through the Calder Valley.
Here she spotted two of them and every weekend on trips to Lancashire, her
father had to drive 'Little Betty' eight extra miles so that she could, in
" . . . climb up on the post and rail fencing and shout
'Donkeys!' They would always come right across to
me . . . they had such soft warm muzzles, such beautiful
trusting eyes, and they seemed to look at me as if
perhaps they knew what was going to happen in
Her early career was as a primary school teacher and then company secretary
to her father's pipeworks company. In March 1954, her car caught fire and
she met Niels Svendsen who put out the fire with an extinguisher. they
married later that year. Together they achieved many business accolades,
including inventing a dryer for children's nappies. They sold the latter to
a manufacturer and with the proceeds, in 1966, bought the Salston Hotel in
Ottery St Mary, a large old run-down country house with 8 acres of grounds
- ideal for keeping donkeys as well as guests! The first donkey purchased
was called Naughty Face. At this time, Elisabeth was area representative
for the Donkey Breed Society and on a visit to Exeter market saw seven
donkeys cramped in a lice-infested pen. Having unsuccessfully failed to buy
the worst of them, she resolved, in 1969, to help donkeys.
She started to collect neglected donkeys but by 1973 when she had 38, the
cost of their upkeep as well as running the hotel was overwhelming. The
next year, after a late evening celebration, she and her husband returned
home to her son waiting up for her saying that she must 'phone Barclays
Bank immediately as it was very urgent. When she got through, the voice
said that she'd been left a legacy. Dreaming of cash, she asked, "How
"Two hundred and four donkeys and you're to take as many as you can and
those you're unable to take will be shot" replied the voice.
This was a bequest from a small donkey sanctuary near Reading. So Elisabeth
and her husband decided to sell the hotel and go into donkey protection
Since that day, the Donkey Sanctuary has taken in over 15,500 needy donkeys
and mules, in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. The Sanctuary employs
more than 500 people around the world [60 of them in Britain] investigating
complaints of abuse and checking on the 1,000 donkeys hired out at holiday
beaches. Injured donkeys are treated in the modern veterinary hospital and
once back to full fitness each one is given its own jacket.
In 1976, the same year that she launched her Trust for Children and
Donkeys, Elisabeth Svendsen launched the International Donkey Trust to take
care of the millions of donkeys and mules worldwide and by last year it had
rescued more than 400,000 donkeys in 29 countries.
Over the years she attained many awards. She was appointed MBE in 1980.
When asked by the Queen, "And what is your work, my dear?" she replied,
"Donkeys Your Majesty".
'A look of amazement crossed her face and then I explained I also worked
with donkeys and handicapped children, at which she smiled and said, "Well
In 1992 she received an honorary doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and
Surgery from Glasgow University; in 2001 an award from the RSPCA for her
contribution to donkey rescue and in 2009 an award from Edinburgh
University, again for her pioneering work with donkeys, but also for
founding one of the most successful charities in the world.
Elisabeth and her husband were divorced in 1982 and she died peacefully on
11th May 2011, at the age of 81, after a stroke, with her family by her
bedside. Despite having retired in 2007, she stayed involved with her
charity right up to her death.
For some people, the charity has been too successful. 200,000 visitors a
year arrive at the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary, which is open 365 days a year
and there is no charge for entry or car parking but donations are welcome.
As far back as 2009 it had an income of
£22 million, and regularly receives more donations than Age Concern,
Mencap and The Samaritans. It is sometimes cited by the Charities Aid
Foundation as 'the eccentric nature of British Philanthropy.'
Dr. Svendsen admitted, "We have many critics, those who feel the money we
spend on donkeys could be better spent on old people, young people,
battered babies, the list is endless. All worthy causes, but my love is the
donkey and it is to them I wish my efforts to go".
To a neglected donkey at least, what a mover and shaker! And in the words
of the Donkey Sanctuary website, " Dr. Svendsen's impact on the
lives of thousands of children assisted by riding therapy, as well as
millions of donkeys and the communities that rely on them for their own
survival, cannot be measured."
PP of DC
When Helen, our daughter, was born in 1965, I invested in a wooden dryer to
help dry nappies - yes, we used terry toweling and muslin nappies in those
Some 50 years later, this dryer, always known as the Nippy Nappy Dryer, is
still doing its duty, not for nappies but for drying other items of washing
when the weather dictates a lack of washing line use.
Looking up Nippy Nappy Dryer on the internet, I was surprised and delighted
to find that this was one and the same dryer, mentioned in PP of DC's
article, invented by Elizabeth and Niels Svendsen!
OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 165
This view of Watermouth Castle was taken and published by the Bristol
photographer, William Garratt. It would have been taken c1909 and shows the
castle and battlements completely covered in ivy. The main road between
Ilfracombe and Combe Martin can be seen in the middle of the picture and is
bordered by walls and hedges. Whilst in the foreground cows can be seen
munching away at the grass.
Note just how wooded the entire background to the Castle and how
undeveloped this part of Watermouth Cove was at this time.
Berrynarbor, Watermouth and much of the surrounding area comprising of
almost 50 farms had been purchased in 1712 by Joseph Davie Bassett. It was
not until 1825 that the building of the present Castle was commenced for
Joseph Davie Bassett and completed many years later.
Joseph married Harriet Sarah Crowforth at Dulverton in 1828. They returned
to Watermouth and set up home with a staff of approximately 40 domestics, 7
gardeners, 2 grooms and many workers and craftsmen employed on the estate.
The estate included quarries, saw and flour mills, etc.
Mrs. Penn-Curzon was the last of the Bassett family to live at Watermouth.
During the First World War the castle was used as a convalescent home for
Tower Cottage, January 2017