ST. PETER'S CHURCH
The Church was full to capacity for our
annual Carol Service held on 17th December! The evening commenced with some joyful songs
and carols by the younger children from Berrynarbor School - all dressed up in
their wonderful costumes of birds, shepherds and angels to set the Nativity
At 6.30 p.m. the main service commenced
with the solo voices of Melanie and Poppy from Berrynarbor School singing,
unaccompanied, the first verse of Once in Royal David's City. The School Choir later sang in German Silent
Night, Holy Night from the earliest German score dated 1818 with lyrics written
in 1787. How wonderful they all sounded!
The Berrynarbor Choir sang my
arrangement of O Holy Night and a special thanks to all the soloists,
especially soprano Elaine Fanner who had to hit some very high notes.
The service ended with a rousing O come
all ye Faithful and all were invited for mulled wine and mince pies to round
off a wonderful evening. A special thank
you to all parents, villagers and visitors for supporting this special event.
Sunday 21st December was chosen to say
farewell to our Rector Chris Steed at a special buffet lunch held in the Manor
Hall with a presentation of a gift towards his new computer. The event was organised by Berrynarbor and Combe
Martin PCC's and a special thank you to all the ladies who supplied the
refreshments. We wish Chris well in his
new parish of Totton, near Southampton.
The Christmas Eve service was taken by
George Billington and it was pleasing to
see so many visitors attending this lovely service.
Christmas Day Service was a
short family based service and thanks to Graham Lucas for playing the organ in my
With the departure of Rector Chris
Steed, we, Berrynarbor PCC, will have to work very hard indeed to organise
visiting clergy during the Interregnum period - which could last between six
and nine months!
The church service
structure will remain unchanged as follows:
1st Sunday: Village Service 2nd Sunday:
3rd Sunday: Songs of Praise 4th Sunday: Holy
There will be the occasional group
service, where there is a 5th Sunday, and these [advised in advance] will be
held in either Berrynarbor or Combe Martin.
Our thanks to Graham Lucas who has very
kindly offered to assist with School Assemblies on Monday mornings.
We have a small dedicated team of
flower arrangers to decorate the Church throughout the year. Sue Neale would welcome anyone who would like
to join this team -you don't have to be a Churchgoer- so please
free to contact Sue on 883893.
There will be a Friendship Lunch at The
Globe on Wednesday,
25th February from 12.00 noon
Easter is early April this
year and Special Service will be as follows:
15th March, 11.00 a.m. Mothering Sunday
29th March, 11.00 a.m. Palm Sunday
3td April, 2.00 - 3.00 p.m. Good Friday, Hour of Devotion
5th April, 11.00 a.m. Easter Day
The church will be decorated for Easter
following the service on Good Friday and Sue Neale will welcome gifts of
flowers or donations towards the cost [Tel:
Finally, a very special thank you to all
our wonderful Bellringers who ring for Church Services throughout the year, as
well as for Weddings, Funerals and other special events! They have two new ladies in their team - Debbie
Thomas and Pat Weston - who are showing the guys that they too can pull the
bell ropes! We wish them well.
The following very
important notice is now displayed on the
Lych Gate Noticeboard:
Any enquiries for Weddings,
Funerals, Baptisms and other Church matters - please contact the Churchwarden,
Mr. Stuart Neale on
01271-883893 or by email: email@example.com
This request is purely
temporary whilst we await the arrival and installation of a new Rector for
the Parish of Berrynarbor.
February 1913 - December 2014
It was with much sadness we learnt that after breaking his
arm and spending time at the North Devon Hospital and Bideford Hospital, Trevor
passed away peacefully with Kath beside him on Friday, 5th December, just two
months short of his 102nd birthday.
Our thoughts, at this time of sadness, are with his daughter
Anthea, son Victor and his wife Caroline, his grandchildren and
great-grandchildren. They are also with
his adopted family; Kath, whom Trevor called his 'guardian angel', Carol and
John, Donna and James, Jill and John and all their families.
At his wish, Trevor's funeral on the 11th December, with his
family and all his adopted family, took place at Great Bradley Cottage Burial
Ground, Templeton near Tiverton. This
secret garden, high in the hills, is unlike any churchyard or cemetery where
the graves are amongst the flowering trees and in the spring surrounded by
snowdrops, primroses and daffodils.
Poems, taken from his recent 'Twitters' in the Newsletter were read,
together with the following poem by Pam Ayres.
lay me in some gloomy churchyard shaded by a wall
Where the dust of ancient bones has spread a dryness over all,
Lay me in some leafy loam where, sheltered from the cold
Little seeds investigate and tender leaves unfold.
There kindly and affectionately, plant a native tree
To grow resplendent before God and hold some part of
The roots will not disturb me as they wend their peaceful way
To build the fine and bountiful, from closure and decay.
To seek their small requirements so that when their work is done
I'll be tall and standing strongly in the beauty of the sun.
would like to take this opportunity to thank all the kind people who took her
to visit Trevor, first in
Barnstaple and then in
Bideford, and everyone for their many cards and messages of sympathy.
Long term residents of Berrynarbor
and members of the Bridge Clubs were sorry to learn that Richard had died,
peacefully at home, on the 8th December.
His funeral took place on the 9th January at Barnstaple Crematorium and
our thoughts are with his daughters Kate and Jan and all his family at this time of sadness.
Latterly better known as Dick and a resident
of Berrynarbor since the 1970's, Dick Pool will be known to only a few here, as
Higher Trayne lies almost in Hele. However, he was influential in so
many diverse fields, that a few words of remembrance are well deserved.
His parents were both part of Sir Frank Whittle's team in
inventing the jet engine, so with this background he too became a scientist. A Doctorate in Physics and Chemistry at
Oxford led to a place on the team developing the first British fast-breeder
nuclear reactor at Dounrea, Scotland.
Later, he became a barrister-at-law and
gentleman farmer at both Trayne and Sloley Farms, and was active working for
the independent milk producers battling against the Milk Marketing Board, and
also within the European Common Market.
Sadly after his wife Pam and two of his
daughters died, he withdrew somewhat, but eventually took to competitive bridge
with Roger Luckham, and worked to the end refurbishing his Grade 1 listed home.
Dick died at home as he wished, fiercely independent, aware of
his illness, yet in good spirits and humour. Many people have said to his daughters
Katherine and Jan, "A nice man, I liked him!" Who could ask for a better epitaph?
CORNISH - 'VIC'
June 1931-December 2014
After suffering from a
debilitating illness for several years, how sad it was to learn that Vic had
passed away peacefully on Christmas Day.
St. Peter's church, on a blustery day
with sunny spells, was full for his funeral on the 10th January. Family, friends and villagers gathered to
say goodbye as he was laid to rest in the churchyard.
A loving husband, father and
grandfather, Vic will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with Anita, Mel,
Bill and Samantha and all his family at this time of sorrow.
Vic was an Ilfracombe lad, a 'Quayite' as
people who lived down at the Quay were known and where he spent his early
life. When the Americans were based
near St. James's church, Vic would run errands for them. His reward? A doughnut!
Living on the Quay gave Vic his lifelong love of the sea and boats. He was a keen member of the Yacht Club sailing
up and down and across and back the Bristol Channel. Unable to swim and never using a life
jacket, he always said there would be a plank of wood floating by of which to
When he was 14, his mother told him to
go to the shoe repair shop and ask for a job.
He did so and other than when he did his National Service, he remained
there repairing shoes until he retired in 1990 when he was 58. By this time it had become the age of 'throw
away shoes' and although the stiletto heel era had provided some good business
- young ladies were always getting their heels caught and breaking them, and
always needed them straight away to go to the dance that night! - business had declined.
Vic and Anita, an Ilfracombe lass, were
married in 1961, their daughter Melanie was born in 1964. After living in Ilfracombe for a while, they
moved to Berrynarbor, the birthplace of Anita's grandmother, in the early
When he was not dicing with the Bristol
Channel, Vic enjoyed snooker, a game he took up when he was 14, playing in
Ilfracombe and acting as Treasurer of the Ilfracombe Snooker League for many
He was, of course, a member of
our own Snooker Club at the Men's Institute where he was also the Caretaker.
Anita would like to thank everyone for
their cards and kind messages of sympathy, especially the staff of the Park
Lane Care Home whose care and kindness for Vic had been wonderful. Also to Keith Wyer and Stuart Neale for the
beautiful service in Vic's memory, and the wonderful spread put on by Karen and
all the staff at The Globe. Finally,
she would like to thank everyone for attending the funeral and for the generous
donations to Dementia UK.
WEATHER OR NOT
Although last year started very windy
and wet, the spring and summer were much dryer so the year ended with a total
rainfall of 1230mm which was slightly below the average.
November was almost a month of two
halves. The first half was reminiscent
of last winter with low after low bringing stormy and wet conditions resulting
in flooding in South Devon. The second
half was calmer and dryer with some sunnier days. Overall apart from a couple of frosty
mornings it was a mild month with a maximum temperature of 15 Deg C and a minimum
of 0.1 Deg C. 29.83 hours of sunshine were recorded which was the most in November
since records began in 2002. The total rainfall was 154mm and because we were
sheltered from the worst of the wind, we recorded a maximum of 30 knots.
December started benignly. Then on the 10th there were warnings of a 'weather
bomb'. Fortunately for us the worst of
that hit Scotland and the north of the country and here it was only blustery. On the 11th winds did reach 31 knots and we
had 27mm of rain making it the wettest day of the month. It was
a changeable month but generally mild apart from a cold snap with sharp frosts
on 29th and 30th. The year ended mild,
overcast and slightly damp. The maximum temperature was 12.9 Deg C falling to a
minimum of -2.1 Deg C and we also recorded a wind chill -7 Deg C. Again
the sunshine hours of 18.21 were high, only beaten by 26.02 hours in 2008. The
maximum gust of wind was 33 knots and the total rainfall was 121mm.
At the time of writing it is still mild
and we already have primroses and daffodils in flower, let's hope we don't pay
for this later in the year.
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & P0ST
For all of you who attended our party in
November you must have tried some of our cheeses. We have a large selection of South West cheeses which
Devil Taw Valley Cheeses
(Mature-Tasty-Tickler-Vintage) Devon Blue Cornish & Somerset Brie Dorset Blue Vinney
(Brie-Elmhurst- Rustic) Cornish
other Regional cheeses such as Wensleydale, Double Gloucester, Red Leicester
and a range of other Cheddars.
10th Birthday Celebration
should like to thank all our helpers, volunteers, customers and suppliers who
attended our 10th Birthday Party and making it a very successful, memorable
you holding an event? Why
not get your supplies from the Shop on sale and return. This can range from Milk, Tea, Coffee and
Biscuits to Wines and Beer. Just come
in and speak to Deb or Karen.
Come and check out our Special Offers,
starting on the 5th February: Trewithen
Milk 2 litre now £1.22 [was
£1.36], Heinz Soups 95p each or
for £1.75, Wisdom toothbrush 75p [was £1.00], Bells Whisky £18.49 or 2 for
£32.00 . . . and there are lots more in store.
The Christmas Show went really well and we raised over £100
for our outside project.
We had a
rather unusual nativity with
Eliza [Frozen], Aurora [Sleeping Beauty] and the Little Mermaid as angels, and
the Gruffalo as a Wiseman!
It made the show all the more special and unique!
We have had a number of new starters this term and hope to
do some fundraising in the near future - look out for posters of these events.
Our Breakfast Club for children aged 2 to 11 years runs from
Monday to Friday, 8.00 to 9.00 a.m. at £2.50 per session per child to include a
breakfast. All children are walked to
school for morning registration. Please
ring me on 07807093644 for further details.
We are trying to increase numbers.
There is limited space for Pre-school left until July 2015
and we are already taking bookings for September 2015, both for pre-school
sessions and Breakfast Club.
Are you aware that we have a Rag Bag Collection bin in the
Manor Hall car park? This is a great
fundraising opportunity for the Pre-school as well as helping other
charities. Items need to be placed in
tied bags and must not be wet. We
collect any materials but nothing that has wadding, for example pillows,
cushions, etc. You can also deposit
shoes, soft toys, bags and belts. Any
TREV AND HIS TWITTERS
Trevor was born in Elland in Yorkshire in 1913 and after
attending secondary school there gained a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at
Manchester University College of Technology.
Various jobs with Metropolitan-Vickers, Record Electrical
Co. Ltd. of Altrincham and the firm of Industrial Energy Costs at Lytham St.
Anne's followed until his retirement in 1978.
Sadly, his wife Lilian died just three years later and with his family
having flown the nest, Trevor found himself alone. Leaving North Wales, to where he had retired
and after various moves, he found himself in North Devon where on joining the
Ilfracombe Walkers he met Kathy, who kindly took him into Barn Cottage. Here he stayed for over 20 years, becoming a
real member of the village and where with many friends and neighbours he
celebrated his 100th birthday.
Trevor began writing for the Newsletter in 2006 and his
Twitters began in 2007, his December contribution was No. 44.
Always ahead of any deadlines, he would hand me, with his
winning smile, poems he had remembered, written in his spidery hand-writing and
on paper torn from a notepad! So I have
just a few left for this issue -
Twitters from Beyond No. 45!
Bless you, Trev.
intended an Ode,
turned to a Sonnet.
began a la mode,
intended an Ode:
Rose cross'd the road
latest new bonnet;
intended an Ode;
turned to a Sonnet.
Henry Austin Dobson
Henry Austin Dobson was an English poet,
critic and biographer, whose love and knowledge of the 18th century lent a
graceful elegance to his work and inspired his critical studies. In 1856 he entered
the Board of Trade where he remained until his retirement in 1901. He married in 1868 and became the father of
10, living in the London suburb of Ealing until his death in 1921.
of Verses underneath the Bough,
of wine, a loaf of bread - with Thou
me singing in the wilderness -
wilderness were Paradise enow!
An excerpt from the Rubaiyat of Omar
Khayyam, 1048-1131, the Middle Eastern poet and translated by Edward
Come to the Fair
sun is a-shining to welcome the day,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
the stalls on the green are as fine as can be!
trinkets and tokens so pretty to see,
it's come then, maidens and men,
fair in the pride of the morning.
yourselves out in your finest array,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
fiddles are playing the tune that you know:
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
drums are all beating, away let us go,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
be racing and chasing from morning till night
roundabouts turning to left and to right,
it's come then, maidens and men,
fair in the pride of the morning.
lock up hour house, there'll be plenty of fun,
it's Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
too, if so be you've a mind,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
hearts that are happy are loving and kind,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
'Haste to the wedding' the fiddles should play,
warrant you'll dance to the end of the day;
then, maidens and men,
fair in the pride of the morning.
sun is a-shining to welcome the day,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
and men, maidens and men,
to the fair in the morning.
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
[Trev's message at the end of
this says: 'I can't recall who wrote
this, please help my faulty memory.'
The song was written in 1917, the lyrics by Helen Taylor and the music
by Easthope Martin.]
Under the Greenwood Tree
the greenwood tree,
loves to lie with me,
tune his merry note
the sweet bird's throat.
hither, come hither, come hither,
shall he see
winter and rough weather.
doth ambition shun,
loves to lie I' the sun.
the food he eats,
pleased with what he gets.
hither, come hither, come hither,
shall he see
winter and rough weather.
As You Like It, William Shakespeare [1564-1616]
Illustrations: Paul Swailes
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
December 2014 and January 2015 Meetings
No letters of co-option had been received to fill the remaining two
Councillors declared the relevant Declarations of Interest where
appropriate when discussing various Planning Applications.
Reports were received from the Police, County Councillor Mrs Andrea Davis, District Councillors Mrs
Julie Clark and Yvette Gubb, Councillor Mrs Linda Thomas for the Play Area
Inspection and Councillor Mrs Lorna Bowden on behalf of the Manor Hall Trust.
Councillor Steve Hill had attended a Flood
Planning Meeting on 25 November and would be attending a two
day Meeting in January.
The Parish Clerk, Mrs Sue Squire, had attended a parish Forum organised
by North Devon Council and her written Report had been circulated to
Six Planning Applications were considered at the December Meeting.
Five Planning Applications were considered
at the January Meeting.
Councillor Steve Hill gave further details regarding the Emergency Plan. A grit bin was agreed for the entrance to the
Councillor Steve Hill had obtained four quotations for the Play Area.. It was decided to go with Wickstead Leisure
for the equipment and claim TAP [Town and Parish] fund allocation with partner
Parishes Combe Martin and Bishops Tawton.
The usual payments to Mr Brian Davies for the toilet cleaning contract,
the Parish Clerk's salary and expenses and HMRC for PAYE were approved.
Councillors also approved a request for a donation of £105.50 for the
School to purchase 'A' frame signs and a banner to prevent parking problems
near the School.
Arrangements were being made for a further supply of grit salt to be
delivered to Snow Warden Councillor Clive Richards.
Various Road Closures:
26/2/15 - 4/3/15. Ridge Hill, Rectory Road. For patching.
2/2/15 - 13/2/15. A399 Newberry Hill, Combe Martin. For drainage work.
Temporary Speed Limit south of Newberry Road junction and south east of
Berry Lane junction. For surface
dressing and associated works including carriageway preparation and road
PCSO Drury advised there was a very
great problem regarding telephone and paper scams, so much so that she and her
colleague, PCSO P Grantham, had been tasked to investigate at Combe Martin,
Ilfracombe and Braunton. Efforts were
being made to get the information across to potential victims and their
BEWARE! TELEPHONE AND PAPER SCAMS
As reported above, these scams
are now a serious problem. Below is the
full text of the information PCSO Ade Drury gave Parish Councillors at the
A survey conducted by Help the Aged and
Barclays revealed that seven out of ten older people in Britain - more than
6.6m people, are targeted by scams every month, either by telephone or letter.
22,000 victims replied to one scam alone and sent £500,000 in one day. 20
pensioners in Cornwall collectively sent £350,000 to criminals who work in
During 2014, at least 35 offences have
been reported in the North Devon area resulting in approximately £800,000 being
passed to criminals. These figures are
alarming and there will be many more that haven't been reported to us. We ask you to warn your elderly relations,
neighbours and friends about these scams.
If they are in doubt about
anything that comes through the post or someone calling by 'phone, then ask
them to speak to someone else within the family or another trustworthy person.
There is a new website called "Think
Jessica" which can be found at www.thinkjessica.com. There is a lot of good advice which can be
found on this very informative website.
Criminals worldwide are hunting down the
most fragile members of our society by working from mailing lists which
categorise people as being elderly or vulnerable in some way. Everyone is at risk but those listed as
living alone, not having the internet or any way of being educated about scams
or how to report them are their preferred targets. They contact them by letter and 'phone call
and try to trick them into parting with cash.
Those who respond end up having their
details put on what criminals call 'suckers lists'. They sell these lists to other scammers all
over the world. This can result in
victims being delivered hundreds of scam letters and plagued by international
'phone calls. Millions of victims have a condition which
Think Jessica is trying to get recognized as Jessica Scam Syndrome (JSS). People
with JSS have been brainwashed by criminals who are having an easy and assisted
passage into their homes, minds and bank accounts.
In March 2014 the National Scams Team
estimated £10 billion a year was being sent to postal scams alone. However, Think Jessica believes this is only
the tip of the iceberg.
People we visit often ask why have I
been targeted? It's either because scammers have bought a
mailing list with your details on it or you have responded to a tempting
letter, 'phone call or advertisement. A great many organisations, businesses and age
related charities sell mailing
lists; often advertising those on them as good targets for lottery /
sweepstakes / catalogues or good charity donators - scam mail can come from
anywhere in the world.
Scammers are very crafty. They know how
to dazzle minds and shut down the normal thought process. Someone whose mind has been dazzled will
become excited and start to focus on the prize rather than the fact that they
are being asked to send cash to claim it.
Here are just a few of the dazzling
words and statements scammers use: Congratulations,
Won The Lottery, Guaranteed Winner, Highly
Confidential, Unclaimed Prize / Award, Sworn to Secrecy, Time Sensitive Document.
Once scammers have dazzled and hooked
their victims, they trap them in a never ending cycle of letters and payments
by asking for taxes, release fees, administration charges and anything else
they can think of to keep the victim sending cash.
To make the scams more convincing,
scammers often ask the victim how they would like the non-existent payment to
be made, e.g. cash, cheque or money transfer.
type of crime is happening to people who live in your community. Please help us
to make sure someone you know doesn't become a victim to one of these criminals.
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 66
Although the phrase 'never work with
animals or children' has probably been said by thespians for centuries, it was
the juggler and comedian W.C. Fields who made the quote famous. Without doubt they are words that have also
been uttered by countless celebrities ever since - just watch an old episode of
'It'll be alright on the Night'.
Whilst Fields' proclamation referred to
his acting profession, it cannot be said to relate to all lines of work. Moreover, when it comes to the care industry
and in particular to the care of people with dementia, the addition of children
or animals can enhance care towards them.
Blend both together to create an infant animal and the recipe will
result in an almost guaranteed success.
I cite as an example a lady I once knew
who lived with quite progressed dementia in a care home where I worked. Although she was able to understand guidance
from a member of staff up to a point and so comprehend what was being said to
her to some degree, she gave no visual or verbal response. Day after day she never spoke and throughout
every day her face remained utterly expressionless. Until that was I brought into work with me
our twelve week old black Labrador, Bourton.
When he entered the lounge where the
lady was sitting, her eyes immediately locked onto him. Gone was her characteristic distant stare, instead her eyes displayed an intense
interest in Bourton's curiosity as he went about sniffing foot stools, poofs
and fluffy slippers. Satisfied that he had received sufficient attention from
one resident, he then moved onto the next though not before he had fully
investigated their lounge footwear.
And then Bourton reached her. She leant forward in response, her eyes
still mesmerised by this bundle of black wagging fur. Bourton reacted by jumping up at her
legs. Clearly some sort of engagement
between them was taking place. I
stifled my impulse to tell him to get down and instead went across and picked
him up. Instinctively she put her arms
out to take him from me. Staying
utterly calm, Bourton was happy to be taken into her arms. Slowly she positioned him like a mother
cradles a baby and began gently rocking him.
And then I saw an image of the lady I had never witnessed. A contented smile upon her face. Somewhere,
deep within her mind, a memory had been evoked. To what point in time her thoughts had
travelled, in which location she believed to be and indeed whom she was
cradling, only she knew. But of this I
am sure, a lovable black puppy had unlocked a memory that aroused a feeling of
happiness that she was able to express.
Whilst some people with no cognitive
impairment may enjoy rocking a furry puppy as though it was a baby, there are
others for whom the notion holds no yearning.
Yet there is a third group of people who would cherish such an
opportunity but feel that the ordinance of adulthood forbids such immature
behaviour, indeed, one could argue that our lady's
dementia excused her from openly
enjoying her childish act. Regardless
of which group we fall into, one fact remains, the child inside us never goes
away. For evidence, just ask any adult
who took part in a board game during the Christmas period!
For me personally, it is a new rural
discovery that can ignite those juvenile stirrings within me In an instant my mind can be transformed to
childhood days creating camps in the local park with my best pal, each one
christened a name to reflect its characteristics whether it be a natural pond
hidden away, a dense copse of trees or a deep natural dyke. And it was whilst living in Combe Martin
that I discovered a pathway right on my doorstep that allowed my imagination to
be transferred back to those days. Walking that path for the first time, I
permitted myself the opportunity to
become a child once more. It was a path
that wound its way in a deep recess, naturally created over thousands of years
by the stream that ran within it.
Before the path was created, the recess merely housed a mud track that
in winter became hidden beneath the excess water running into the stream off
the sodden fields. Now footpath and
flowing water equally shared the flat, narrow base. Within a week I had christened various
places along the path and imagined my pal and me using these as stop off points
en route where we would discuss our plans and dreams. These place names along with the amazing
abundance of spring wildflowers with which each camp was adorned is something I
will save for the April issue.
The King's England, Devon, Cradle of our Seamen is a book
edited by Arthur Mee which identifies some of these seamen and on reaching
Berrynarbor he documents the exploits of one Roger Turpie or Captain Courageous!
Roger Turpie was born in Kirkaldy, Scotland, in 1834 and in
the mid to late 1800's was well-known in shipping circles, serving the London
Missionary Society first as Mate and later as Master of their various vessels
spreading Christianity in Polynesia, New Guinea and the South Pacific.
As Mate on the John Williams I, when it struck a reef and
was wrecked at Danger Island in the South Seas, Turpie, with a crew of six in
an open boat proceeded to Samoa to seek help.
The British Consul there chartered a vessel in which the shipwrecked
party were taken safely to Sydney. A
similar fate struck the John Williams II, again on which Turpie was Mate.
He took command of the John Williams III and for 20 years
navigated the vessel safely through all the perils of the South Seas, later
taking command of the John Williams IV, a steamship.
In 1860 he married Elizabeth Perrin who was born in
Berrynarbor in 1834. In 1894, due to
ill health, he and his wife retired here to Berrynarbor where he became a
A man of a giant physique, in the Short History of
Berrynarbor it says of him: "During his
stay here it became necessary for him to undergo a serious operation and he is
reputed to have refused an anaesthetic and to have sat in a chair for the whole
operation. It is said that the arms of
the chair were afterwards found to have been crushed during his paroxysm of
His grave lies on the east side of St. Peter's and the
headstone bears the following words:
years in the service of the London Missionary Society
Officer and Captain of the ships John Williams I, II, III, IV
January 18 1901 aged 67 years
of the above
August 27 1905 aged 71 years.
BERRYNARBOR NEWS 1860
A court at South Molton hears that of the 6 houses at Berry
Down Hamlet, "four of them are beer houses and Joseph Huxtable of the Smith's
Arms, Berrydown Cross, is fined £1 for allowing police to drink in his
house"! The old forge still exists.
My great, great grandfather, Richard Dyer, owned a beer
house here. He was also recorded as the
Toll Keeper, an auctioneer and maltster.
The Dyer family were the millers and farmers at Berry Mill at this time. My great grandmother was born in 'the Old
Court' - the old Manor House when local families occupied it.
Lorna [researched by Gary]
My grandfather told me that it was local knowledge that
several Berrynarbor cottages were built to house the itinerant stone masons who
came to the village when the church tower was built. The old church house, which stood to the
right of the lych gate, was probably built at the same time and perhaps the
church wall was constructed at the same time.
THE HICKS FAMILY - BERRYNARBOR
The earliest reference to the Hicks family that I can find
is the marriage of John Hicks to Tabitha Dennis - July 7th 1673. They've been around a long time!
The 1882 Tythe, records William Hicks at Blurridge Farm,
Charles Hicks at South Lee and Thomas Hicks at Middle Hagginton.
first shows Tom Hicks, his wife and son at Whitecote. Later Tom Hicks became Post Master at
Langley House. The Post Office then
moved to Lower Town, sometimes called Silver Street. The photos of Langley House show the family
outside the Post Office.
The gentleman on horseback is Samuel Bowden, Michael's
grandfather. His son Ralph married Tom's
daughter, Emma Hicks.
They farmed Oakwell at
Shirwell. In the photo, Samuel is
possibly at Lower Rows, which he farmed before moving to Ruggaton. Another photo shows him with pony and trap
at Watermouth Castle, possibly to pay his rent.
The first of the final two photographs shows Ralph Bowden
and Emma [Hicks] at Oakwell Farm, The
other, is also from the Hicks album but can anyone throw any light on
what/where/who it is and why everyone has a bow on their dress or apron?
Betty Brooks, with her sons David and Kevin, are probably
the only people with blood links to the Hicks family today. Bett's great grandmother was a Hicks.
LOCAL WALK - 148
"A Strange but beautiful plant."
Throughout the three mile stretch of
Braunton Burrows there is only one specimen of henbane, a plant which has
become quite rare.
We usually access the Burrows via the toll road or Sandy
Lane but this time we had come to the Saunton car park because it was near
there that henbane was discovered growing about ten years ago and we hoped to
find it, only having seen photographs of the plant.
Henbane [Hyoscyamus niger] has creamy white flowers almost
an inch across, purple at the base with a network of purple veins. The plant can be up to four feet high, has
toothed leaves and sticky white hairs.
It occurs mainly near the sea in sandy waste places.
It is a member of the Solanaceae family which includes
deadly nightshade and it is very poisonous.
However, originally a Mediterranean plant, it was cultivated by medieval
monks in their herb gardens and regarded as an important medicinal plant, a
'hypnotic'. All parts of the plant
contain a narcotic drug called hyoscine.
We skirted the area known as Chalet Valley, a scattering of
various little wooded dwellings randomly placed among the dunes, half hidden.
We battled with the brambles as we crossed Strawberry
Ridge. The paths are less defined this
end of the Burrows, more overgrown.
Still no sign of the elusive henbane.
The books I'd looked up described
henbane as evil looking and evil smelling yet in her comprehensive guide to the
wild flowers of the Braunton Burrows, Mary Breeds dubbed it, 'a strange but
beautiful plant'. I was intrigued.
In the area of Hollow Hill we trudged up dunes only to find
on reaching the summit, a long and steep drop on the other side. We slithered down, our shoes filling with
It was a relief to enter Wintergreen Slack, a huge natural
amphitheatre, enclosed by high dunes where the flat area was covered in water
mint, fleabane and red clover; a carpet of fragrant mauve, yellow and pink and
no-one but us to sit and enjoy it because everyone else had gravitated to the
There were Michaelmas daisies and a lot
of the furry, pinkish haresfoot clover. There was also an active flock of small
heaths; modest little ginger-brown butterflies.
Eventually we admitted defeat and as we reluctantly returned
to the car park we witnessed a helicopter coming to land next to the Saunton
Sands Hotel. We had failed in our quest
to find the henbane, but the highlight of the walk had been being surrounded by
the gorgeous blend of colours of Wintergreen Slack combined with the scent of
mint and wild thyme.
Flowers of Braunton Burrows by Mary Breeds.
ELLEN HUXTABLE [WRIGHT]
Following on from the article about
Ellen in the October Newsletter, Paul Savje - from Boston, whose wife's
grandmother was Ellen Wright [nee Huxtable] - sent me the following photograph
of Ellen's school class around 1865.
Paul would love to know if anyone can
help him in identifying the school. It
is interesting to note that there are two masters and that the class seems to
be all girls, although one small boy appears in the second row up on the far
right. Ellen would have been about 7
when the photograph was taken.
Happy New Year everyone! After such a busy half term in the build up
to Christmas, the children enjoyed a fun filled two week break!
Hudson from Childline Services visited Elderberry Class. The
visit was to provide children with an understanding of abuse, knowledge of how
to protect themselves and an awareness of how and where to get help. The afternoons were very informative and we
are hoping that Colette will return every other year to visit.
Fire Safety Talk
start of the term KS1 and KS2 were visited by Devon and Somerset Fire Service,
who taught the children about fire safety.
They learnt to plan an escape route, how to test smoke detectors, steps
to take to avoid a fire and what to do if there is a fire. Remember to check your smoke alarm!
children from Elderberry class attended a football tournament at The Ilfracombe
Academy. The children all played well
and enjoyed themselves. Well done Team. Also,
Josh Richards who was Man of the Match!
was my first venture at putting on the Senior Dudes Meal. It was very well
received by our guests and there have been many compliments given over the past
few days. Thanks to Sarah Peach, Paul Newell and Louise Richards for all their
time and hard work. Also, thanks to the adults who helped on the
night. Congratulations to the children,
they were very well behaved and served their guests perfectly. This was all topped off by the seal of
approval from the creator of the Senior Dudes event herself, Carol Lucas!
generous amount was raised for the MNDA, and the children gained many life
afternoon was enjoyed by all. Children made their own Christingle and learnt
about its associated symbolism, they then walked to church to take part in a
& Cranberry Class Nativity
children did themselves proud with a fabulous performance of "A Little Bird
Told Me". The Manor Hall was packed,
and afterwards parents enjoyed tea, coffee and mince pies. An enormous well done to the children and a
special thank you to all the Staff team who made it possible.
Thank you to our School Choir for performing so
well at the Annual Carol Service. There
was a lot of praise from people in the community, which
made us very proud of you all. Well done to all of the children for singing
so beautifully at the School Christmas Concert.
Think Road Safety
you to all parents/carers who have supported our Think! Road Safety campaign. It has been a great success. Our
children and their parents have been able to cross the road and walk to the car
park safely. Traffic flow through the village has been much smoother. Might
we politely remind parents not to park in the junction opposite the bus stop as
this is not a safe option. We
appreciate that the car park gets busy, but spaces soon free up.
Following the initial Tea and Biscuits
discussion, it appears there is sufficient interest for a class to run.
We have now had our first full 1˝ hour
session - Thursdays, weekly, 2.00 to 3.30 p.m. - which was
good fun and enjoyed by all.
Hopefully we shall continue for the
remainder of this term and if anyone is interested in joining us, please ring
me on  883087 or 07837077313.
number of Thank You's this month!
Thanks go to all who used the Christmas
card exchange for the traditional distribution of their seasonal greetings
around the village, which saw some 300 cards posted into the box at the
shop. With the day of the card-exchange,
Saturday 20th, being so close to Christmas, attendance was less than usual -
even with the incentive of coffee, cakes
and mince pies - with only a handful of people turning up. Thanks to the Newsletter for the very welcome
donation of £200 from the messages in the December issue. With eleven months to go before next
Christmas, maybe we can add some further incentives?
Centenary Village Tapestry
Regular users of Manor Hall will have
noticed the arrival of the Centenary Village Tapestry - a contribution by local
lady crafters celebrating the centenary of the Manor Hall in line with the
national WW1 commemorations.
is an impressive addition to the main hall, taking many hours of work to
complete and using various techniques, including embroidery, hand-painted and photographic
prints and other artistic media.
Depicting various aspects of life around Berrynarbor, it has been sited
on the wall adjacent to the kitchen opening, replacing the old large
A really big Thank You to all the ladies
who gave their time to create such a wonderful snapshot of life in and around our
Restoration - Next Stage
received the £10,000 funding from the Big Lottery, we have now appointed
our surveyors from Barnstaple, who will begin to schedule all the works
required, including the structural engineer's specifications for the Manor
House roof, as well as do scale drawings for planning and listed buildings
are very aware that the Manor Hall is an essential and well-used asset for
the Parish and its residents; while the Trustees are tasked with being the
custodians of the building to maintain it for the future generations, we
welcome input from all within the Parish.
that end, we plan to hold an 'Open
Forum' shortly at which time four specific concepts will be discussed,
the outcome of which will help us determine the architectural plans
required for the major funding that will be needed for any restoration and refurbishment. Details of the Forum will be distributed
house-to-house in the next few weeks.
The ongoing heating problem in the main
hall continues, with two out of the four old gas heaters inoperative and unable
to be repaired. In the short-term,
electric heaters have been provided to supplement the two remaining and - at
present - working gas heaters; the controls on the electric heaters have been
set and therefore we ask all users of the hall to only switch them on/off at
the socket at the beginning and end of each session.
Clearly such heaters are not the most
economical form of heating such a large area and we are looking at how best to
resolve the whole heating issue throughout the Manor Hall so as to gain better
comfort levels with reasonable running costs.
Every month there are various regular
groups using the Manor Hall, from the above-mentioned craft group, to pilates,
badminton, as well as the art group and wine circle, not to mention the school,
pre-school and toddlers. If you're not already a member of one of them - why
not join, or is there a group you would like to start?
Manor Hall Committee
Diary Date to Honour THAT
Bank Holiday Monday 4th May
Following the challenge thrown
down during the recent Auction of Promises to raise funds for the Manor
Hall restoration, the date has been fixed for the Naked Tractor Wash at Easter Barton
when Geoff Adam will 'Bare All for Manor Hall' - for a
As a starter, £130 has been
donated already … more to follow?
More details in the April
The History Society met at 8.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 14th
January in the Globe and will meet again, same time and place on Wednesday,
Our investigations are about the parish of Berrynarbor, the
farms the old buildings, particularly the church and Manor Hall, and the people
who have been part of this Domesday village and Berry Down.
We are not historians, just an interested group of villagers
keen to learn as much as we can and record our findings for posterity. If you'd like to give a helping hand, please
join us next month.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 55
ST. CALLIXTUS or CALLISTUS1
c160's - 222 or 223 AD
name given to
Down Parish Church
In April 2012 I mentioned St Callixtus
when looking unsuccessfully for the grave of Mary Challacombe on a cold wet miserable
and miserable January day.
Sadly, we returned to St Calixtus Church on a similar day this
year - but looking for news of the Saint himself.
Here we found a short history, but not
of why the church was named after him. A
kind volunteer in West Down Community Shop [opened in 2012] was very helpful, saying
that the name had been changed, but not the reason. Does anyone else know?
of the story we know of St. Callixtus is from someone who hated him, Saint
Hippolytus, who rivalled him in his bid for the Pope and was enraged by Callixtus's
mercy to sinners - 'adulterers, murderers and fornicators' - and his desire for
equality among church members.
a young slave, Callixtus, a Roman from the Trastevere
district, was made by his master, Carpophorus,
manager of a bank in the Publica Piscina
in Rome where his responsibilities were to collect alms donated by other
Christians for the care of widows and orphans. Somehow, the bank failed and he lost the
funds. [That sounds familiar!] Hippolytus
declared that it was Callixtus's loose living that used up the money. It seems
unlikely, however, that Carpophorus would risk his reputation and fellow
Christians' savings on such an unlikely candidate.
Whatever the reason, Callixtus fled by boat
but was soon caught and jumped into the sea
- to commit suicide according to Hippolytus.
He was taken back to his
master, put on trial and sentenced to forced labour on a treadmill.
He won his release by convincing
Carpophorus that he could get some of the money back for creditors.
He was then arrested for fighting in a
synagogue whilst trying to borrow money or collect debts from some Jews. This time he couldn't escape punishment and
was sentenced to work in mines in Sardinia. He was released with other Christians at the
request of Marcia, favourite mistress of Emperor Commodus. By this time his health had deteriorated and
his fellow Christians sent him to Antium to
recuperate. At the same time he was
given a pension and an unnamed job by Pope Victor I.
ten years later he became archdeacon to Pope Zephyrinus and in this post was
entrusted with the burial chambers on the Appian Way. Callixtus made them
available to any Christians, rich, poor or slaves. In the
3rd century it became the burial place of 9 Popes and eight Bishops.
These catacombs were rediscovered by the
archaeologist Giovanni Battista de Rossi in 1849 and have become among the
greatest and most important of Rome. Should
you wish to find them, they are on the right of the Appian Way, after the
church of Quo Vadis. Be prepared to spend some time there. It is
a huge complex. A network of galleries
12 miles long, on four levels, 20 metres deep and covering about 90 acres.
When Zephyrinus died in 219, Callixtus
was proclaimed Pope despite protests from his rival, Hippolytus. It was interesting times for the new Church. Callixtus started to open it up to sinners
and Hippolytus found this shockingly lax, feeling that in time it would
downgrade the Church. Consequently, he was elected as a rival Bishop of Rome,
the first antipope.
Callixtus didn't have long in his new
role. He was martyred in either 222 or 223. Legend
has it that he was thrown down a well and his church in Trastevere certainly
has a well. The legend continues that a
priest of Rome, Asterius, recovered his body and buried it at night. They all lived in hard times. Asterius was arrested for his action, killed
and thrown off a bridge into the River Tiber!
So ended the life of this colourful man
- slave, banker, bishop, Pope and martyr.
In the Catholic Church he was
designated as patron of cemetery workers and his feast day is October 14th.
Now you know my interest in why West
Down Church is named after Saint Calixtus [sic]. Please help!
information picked up in the church, I recognised the name of one of the
churchwardens. Having just 'phoned him,
I learn that the previous name was Holy Trinity. This was changed to St Calixtus in the 1920's
or 30's because there was confusion over the mail delivery with Ilfracombe's
Holy Trinity Church. The powers that be certainly wanted to avoid
For their help, my thanks to Pauline from the
shop and David from the church.
TO ALL VALLEY DOG & OTHER WALKERS
to timber extraction from the private forest at Woolscott Cleave involving
heavy lorries and other machinery, the woods will be closed to dog and other
walkers for a period of approximately
months, until around April.
be aware that 2 to 3 lorries a day will be taking the timber out of the
IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
Well Christmas has come and gone and I
hope you all had a lovely one. This year for the first time we had to
abandon carol singing in the square because of the rain but we all squeezed in
to the back room of the Globe and very jolly it was too. The collection raised £145.00 which was split
between Devon Air Ambulance and Motor Neurone Research. Thank you all carollers and a big thank you
to Phil and Tony for leading us in the music.
Thank you also to Graham Sanders for
donating the lovely Christmas tree in the square and to Dave and Eve from
Muffet's for their electricity and again to Phil for putting it up and
Not much happening on the gardening
front in January and February, other than willing the daffodils to start
cheering us up, but plans are being made for 2015. Our order for bedding plants has gone in to
Ann at Jigsaw as the quality of plants they grew for us last year was
excellent. Now we have to raise the
money to pay for them. To that end we
are planning our annual Fun Quiz and Supper in the Manor Hall on Friday 6th March. We do hope that you will come and enjoy
yourselves and support us.
We shall start the litter picks in
February or March depending on the weather - look out for our posters and on
If you are interested in our group and
in keeping the village tidy and in flower, please join us at our annual meeting
on Monday 2nd March at the Globe at 7.00 p.m.
We are always looking for new members and new ideas.
Lastly, every year we take the empty
hanging baskets to Streamways for re-filling. Their prices are very reasonable and they
deliver them back to us 'ready to go'. If you would like to have your baskets
re-filled, please drop them off to me at Bessemer Thatch before April.
Lemon Curd and Almond Tart
I was given a jar of home-made passion
fruit curd at Christmas and when looking for something a bit different to do
with it I came across the recipe for lemon curd and almond tart. I made it using the passion fruit curd and it
was very nice but a little sweet so I tried it with lemon curd and it was
lovely, especially the topping, and quite easy to make. You can use a good shop bought lemon curd but
it is nicer to make your own fresh lemon curd to this recipe:
30z/75g caster sugar
1 large juicy lemon (grated zest and juice)
2 large free range eggs
2oz/50g unsalted butter
the grated lemon rind and sugar in a bowl. In
another bowl whisk the eggs and lemon juice, then pour over the sugar. Add the butter cut in to little pieces and
place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently till thickened - about 20
minutes. Cool the curd and use as required. Any left over can be stored in a screw top
jar in the fridge.
to your own recipe or use a good bought pastry
do an excellent fresh dessert pastry and I often use it.]
3 rounded tablespoons lemon curd
butter or margarine
teaspoon pure almond essence
almonds finely chopped or you could use all ground almonds
used ˝ flaked almonds and ˝ ground almonds)
range egg beaten
teaspoon baking powder
You will need a lightly greased baking
tin, preferably non-stick, or line with paper, 11 X 7 inches and 1˝" deep. Heat
the oven to350 Deg F/180 Deg /Gas mark 4 and heat a baking sheet in the oven
Roll out the pastry and line the
tin. Spread the lemon curd evenly over
the pastry. Refrigerate while you make
Melt the butter gently in a saucepan and
when melted remove from the heat, add the almond essence, stir and add the dry
ingredients. Lastly stir in the beaten
egg - it will be a stiff mixture.
Spread as evenly as you can over the
lemon curd and bake the tart on a hot baking sheet on a high shelf for about 25
Served straight away this is lovely with ice
cream or custard and you would never know that there was semolina in it.
2015 to you all, Wendy
'Wine is the most healthful and
hygienic of beverages.'
Bugs and viruses abound and circulate
during autumn and winter and I succumbed in November. I was due to deliver this month's wines, but
at the 11th hour it had to be a presentation by proxy; thankfully, my very able husband, Geoff,
'Romania Surprises' probably, begs the
question why, would you choose wines from here? One sociable evening last summer, courtesy
of a friend, we sampled a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Wine labels interest me, I saw that it was
from Romania. I was sceptical. However, it transpired to be a very pleasant
Romania is landlocked, mainly. A small, south-eastern section of its border
is coastal, created by the Black Sea. It has a varied landscape, hot summers and very
cold winters, and, therefore, its winemaking regions follow a diverse
pattern. The north-east makes aromatic whites; the
coastal winemakers produce Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc; whereas the south,
with its warmer temperatures, is better for reds.
sampled a Feteasca Regala, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. These were followed by a Pinot Noir, Merlot
and a Syrah. The reds were preferred by
the majority. I wasn't there, but I did
have a tasting sample of all and the last two wines, the Merlot and Syrah were
excellent value for their money, both £7.99, and I'd drink them again, Many members agreed that the Syrah was the
best of the bunch!
Their prices ranged between £8.95 and
£6.99, but they were couriered from Bristol and London wine merchants, so these
charges had to be added to the final bill.
Worth it, I think, to achieve a
better knowledge of this beverage.
Our Christmas celebration is very
popular. Sixty-one of us enjoyed
homemade 3-course meals and 6 good wines to round off a very successful Wine
Circle year. We started with a
Prosecco, followed by a star - a Pouilly
Fumé made by Jonathan Pabiot. It was a
delicious white, an organic Sauvignon Blanc - a star of the Loire. It was pale
and refined, with a citrus fruit core.
It should have been £19.99 per bottle, but Majestic's deal was and is
£13.32 if you buy 2 bottles.
Unusually, we followed this with 4 reds:
two Spanish and two Italian: a Sicilian Corolla Red, 2012, and a Vina Del
Perdon, a Navarra Reserva, 2004, described as a 'historic vintage' and rated as
excellent by the Rioja and Navarra Control Board. Aged wine has been nurtured, costing money,
but this was only £9.99 from Avery's of Bristol.
I was keen to try a different supplier
and drove to Bray Valley Wine, in South Molton, but it was worth it. No tastings possible, but I was recommended
the Renato Ratti Ochetti 2012, Nebbiolo D'Alba, a
red. It didn't
come cheap: £15.98 per bottle, a Christmas reduction of £2. Ratti's
website says: 'A slightly faded ruby red . . scents of strawberry and raspberry
. . elegant and full. It adds that it has: 'class, finesse and delicate aromas'. There were many complimentary voices,
Tony Summers, our Chairman, provided us
with a Ribero del Duereo for the evening's finalé, with a Cillar de Silos 2010,
from Majestic's. Another aged, oak-barrel-matured red, £17.99, but £13.40 if 2
bought. It was another great wine to
end another great evening.
to May programme:
February - Call My Wine Bluff.
March - Lidl and Large
April - Jonathan Coulthard from France
May - AGM and to end this season:
Emerging Regions by Brett
Stephens Hallgarten Druitt Wines:
Judith Adam - Secretary
My name is Tom Banks and I'll relate to you my guilty secret
which I kept from my wife for some time.
As with most secrets, you eventually confide in someone, so
I told Fred Parsons, a friend of mine, about Peggy.
"You know, Fred, I've completely fallen for Peggy.," I told him.
"I've been to her home three times and I'm going to see her tomorrow."
"Well," Fred replied, "If the whole thing comes to a head,
you will have to tell your wife or surely she will find out sooner or later,
and you will be in trouble!"
"I've confided in you and please don't tell anyone."
"OK, your problem," he muttered as he walked away.
The next day I called at Peggy's place with the idea that we
could go to the park.
We wandered into the park and sat on a bench. I put my arms around her and gave her a
kiss. She kissed me back and looked at
me with those lovely brown eyes. What
would my wife think if she knew?
It's not as if I'm unhappy at home. I love my wife. Somehow the problem has to be resolved.
"It's no good," I thought, "Peggy and my wife will have to
meet." So that was it and Peggy and I
started off for my house.
As I put the key in the door, Peggy stood
My wife was cleaning the porch and greeted
me with, "Hello, have you been down to the pub yet again?" Obviously she suspected something.
Before I could
reply, Peggy walked out from behind me, wagging her bottom and tail and bounded
up to my wife.
"A Labrador!" she exclaimed as Peggy sat
down for a pat and stroke on her head.
"Where did you get her?"
"From the dog rescue centre," I replied.
"Well, I'm sure we three will be very
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
MEMORIES OF WATERMOUTH CASTLE
I have just been reading the Berrynarbor Newsletter and
looking at Tom's pictures of the Castle.
The guide book of c1960
says it is difficult to establish when the Bassets moved there. I have heard two reasons for the move and
the building of the castle. The first was
that it was built as a wedding present and secondly when they learnt that the
railway would be running close to Heanton Court they decided to move to
Watermouth although they would have owned the land that the railway was built
on and, I suspect, were paid a tidy sum for it.
During the occupancy of Mr. Black the property went downhill
and he removed the lead in the valleys on the roof. I remember working on the roof slating and
found that he had missed a few and on one of the front left hand valleys I
found the initials and date scratched in the lead of the workmen who had roofed
the castle in the first place. I think
the date was 1849.
The Castle was one of the first jobs my father worked on
when we came to the village. It was
then, in 1958, owned by the Braine family and I think I am right in saying that
Mr. Braine wanted the land for caravans and the castle was in such a state that
it was thrown in for little or nothing.
Dad started by repairing the oak doors to the conservatory
and then the rest of the building. Some
of the bedrooms were turned in to flats.
one of the rooms was reported to be haunted by a grey lady [you could
think of a less common colour than that!].
Dad was asked to make a new casement for the window of the room as it
was always open. The frame was made and
fitted, but Mr. Braine said he could never keep it shut.
I went to work there in the summer holidays to earn a bit of
cash. There was no electric light in
what we called the dungeons and that was where the building materials were
kept. The Castle itself had a generator
but it only worked upstairs so we had to use hurricane or tilly
lamps in the cellars - 'twas a bit spooky down there by yourself!
After a while Mr. Braine had restored
enough of the building to open it to the public and Charlie Dredge had the job
of Tour Guide. As I said, the light
downstairs was by tilly lamp although at that time gas lights were being fitted
in the cellars.
One of the gas fitters was called Norman Bryant and as Mr.
Dredge was showing the rapped visitors the 'Norman Arches', Norman jumped up from behind a wall and
said, "I'm Norman and what the hell do you want?" There were a few gasps and screams.
When the sub-tropical gardens were being cleared, and I mean
cleared, Fred Davy, who was the gardener, found ornamental ponds under the
ferns and brambles. I think one had a
statue in it. The Gardens were lovely.
I remember when Frank Brown had the pond
at Mill Park drained and dug out, he stocked it with course fish. Like most youngsters, my introduction to
fishing, apart from tickling trout, was catching small perch there. Ray Toms and I decided to put some in the
ponds in the tropical gardens, so we put some in a bucket and started off to
It was summertime and the light was dimpsey, or dimmy, as we
say round here, and it suddenly struck us as we walked up the path to the
gardens that there was no noise - no birdsong or anything. We dumped the fish and ran like hell! I found out later that one of the gardeners'
sons had fallen in the pond and drowned - 'twas a bit spooky!
There are many more stories to tell about the castle, but
I'll stop boring you now . . . if you
haven't nodded off already!
CAR BOOT SALE
held at Blackmoor Gate Market Place on
from 11.00 a.m.
to St. Thomas Church, Kentisbury Funds
OLD BERRYNARBOR -
Berrynarbor Village and Post Office - View
This month I have chosen a Francis Frith
postcard, No: 63947 first published 1911 which shows the top end of Pitt Hill
before the road was tarmacked in around 1919. The view shows a young Albert Jones and his
sister Edith outside Forge Cottage, No. 38, then No. 37 and below that what was
then the detached No. 36, with the steps from the road leading up to the Shop
and Post Office. In 1911 this was owned
and run by the postmaster, Mr. Thomas Hicks.
On the right of the picture is No. 39,
Fuchsia Cottage with its three steps and hand rails leading up to the front
door. It is interesting to note that in
the Watermouth Estate Auction Sale, conducted by John Smale, held on August 17th
1920 at the Bridge Hall in Barnstaple, Fuchsia
Cottage (Lot 46) was sold for £325. The Post Office (Lot 48) was sold
for £350. No. 37 (Lot 49) was sold for
The completion date for the sale was 25th
is interesting to note that in the sale details of 1920 Special Condition No. 8
water supply for the Village of Berrynarbor is obtained from a spring which
rises in Hagginton Hill in a plot Part Ordnance Number 844 belonging to the
Vendors north of Lot 73, and is carried from such spring by pipes into a
reservoir on the west side of Ordnance Number 831 also the property of the
Vendors, and from thence it is carried by pipes under the Public Road and
portions of some of the Lots included in the particulars to various taps in
I should like to congratulate Maurice
Draper and make everyone aware that he has just published a book 'The Life and
Times of Maurice Draper a Berrynarbor Man'. This can be obtained from the Berrynarbor Shop. Albert and Edith Jones were related to
Finally I should like to dedicate this
article to Vic Cornish, of No. 37, who
died on Christmas Day after a long illness and who played such an active part in
our village over a long period of time.
Cottage, January 2015.