WEATHER OR NOT
After the calm of October, three words
sum up November and December - wet, windy and warm. The first storm was Abigail which arrived on
the 12th and 13th of November; this was followed by ex-hurricane Kate
on the 14th and Storm Barney on the 17th.
Storm Clodagh brought very strong winds on the 29th and then on the 4th December it was
the turn of Desmond which affected the north of the country worst. After a brief respite, Eva arrived on the
23rd/24th and finally "weather bomb" Frank ended the year on 29th/30th.
Not surprisingly, with all the storms
the winds were often very strong and we recorded six days in November and seven
days in December when the wind speeds reached 35mph or more. The maximum in November was 42mph and 39mph
Only the first three days in November
were completely dry and the total rain for the month was 200mm. December also had only three totally dry
days but more rain overall with a total of 234mm of which 46mm fell on the
30th. Nationally December was the
wettest on record but despite what seemed like continual rain, neither month
broke any of our records and even combining the two months together there were
four previous years including 2012 when we recorded more rain. We really got off quite lightly compared to
the north of the country.
Both months were unusually mild. In November, apart from a couple of days
when the winds went round to the north and the temperature dropped, the daytime
temperatures were in double figures throughout the month with a maximum of
18.6 deg C on the 1st. In December there
was only one day when the thermometer dropped below 10 deg and even the night time
temperatures were often in double figures.
The maximum temperature was 15 deg C with the highest overnight temperature
being a very warm 12.8 deg .
With all the rain and gloom the hours of
sunshine were down, in November 18.05 hours were recorded which was below
average although not the lowest recorded for the month. December's meagre 3.18 hours were a record
but only just. he
total rainfall for the year was 1412mm which was fairly average for here.
A friend of ours keeps
weather records in Suffolk and
he had only 601. 5mm for the whole of 2015 and mowed his lawn on the 23rd
We wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year and hope
the weather improves soon.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
First and foremost we hope that everyone had an
enjoyable Christmas spent with your
families. In this new
year we are now looking forward to welcoming our new Vicar, Michael
Rogers, to serve both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin Parishes - hopefully by
April at the latest. His presence will
bring much needed support to our community as a whole, and welcome news for
Berrynarbor School with whom Michael will be working in the years ahead. Apart from Berrynarbor PCC, Michael will
have the support of a 'House for Duty Priest' who will be offering help and
assistance to both our communities on a part time basis. This important position is currently being
advertised and we shall in due course inform everyone who the successful
The Christmas Carol Service was a great
success, and how nice to welcome so many parents and relatives to the first
part of the Service which focused on the very young ones from Berrynarbor
School. Their singing of songs and
carols was a delight and it is a marvel that they all managed to remember all
the words! Well done indeed!
The main Carol Service commenced at 6.30
p.m. and a special mention to the School Choir who sang the carol Infant Holy,
Infant Lowly in both Polish and English to perfection. The Berrynarbor Choir sang The Angel Gabriel,
unaccompanied with difficult harmonies to contend with, creating a really
The very special version of In the Bleak Mid-Winter
by Harold Darke was also beautifully sung with special praise to our two tenors
- Graham Lucas and Bobby Bowden - for their superb duet in the third verse.
Congregation had their chance to sing popular carols, finishing with the usual
O Come All Ye Faithful at the end of the service. Many thanks to our retired Rector George
Billington, who conducted proceedings, and to all the ladies who helped prepare
and serve mulled wine and mince pies after the service. A truly wonderful evening enjoyed by
The Christmas Eve - Midnight Mass -
Service, again conducted by George Billington,
was well attended considering that many parishioners were away for the
Christmas break to visit family and other relations and the Christmas Day
Service, too, was very well attended
with many visitors present to enjoy a short Family Carol service. Grateful thanks to Celia Withers for Officiating
and to Graham Lucas who kindly deputised for me on the Organ.
Church Services will follow the same
format as in 2015, and are as follows
1st Sunday: Village
Service at 11.00 a.m.
2nd Sunday: Holy Communion at 11.00 a.m.
3rd Sunday: Songs of Praise at 11.00 a.m.
4th Sunday: Holy Communion at 11.00 a.m.
There will be a Joint Service with Combe Martin [Holy Communion] on Sunday 31st
January at 11.00 a.m. to be held in Berrynarbor Church.
Friendship Lunches at The Globe will
continue to be held on the last Wednesday in each month, from 12.00 noon
onwards. Everyone welcome.
With regard to Easter Services - my
goodness we're nearly there again! - these will be as
25th March - Good Friday: Hour of
Devotion, 2.00 p.m.
27th March - Easter Sunday: Holy Communion at 11.00 a.m.
Berrynarbor PCC Annual General Meeting
will be held on Tuesday 29th March at 2.00 p.m.
In conclusion I offer my sincere thanks
to all those dedicated members on our PCC who have worked tirelessly over this
extended period of Interregnum. I, for
one, will await the arrival of Michael Rogers with a great deal of pleasure -
coupled with a great sigh of relief!
Happy New Year to you all!
Stuart Neale - Acting Chairman Berrynarbor PCC
who remember Edna will be sad to learn that she passed away on Boxing Day at
the age of 91. Her funeral is due to
take place at the North Devon Crematorium on the 26th January.
outspoken, Edna was a very intelligent lady, fiercely independent and
private. Younger than she appeared,
many will remember her walking to shop in both Combe Martin and Ilfracombe -
something she continued to do well in to her 80's.
about flowers, she used to help Berry in Bloom by looking after the baskets and
containers both around the bottom of Pitt Hill and the seated area below
going into care over the last few years, North Lee had been Edna's home, for
May the roads rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your
And the rains fall soft upon your
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of
We should like to wish everyone a Happy
New Year and welcome back our families to Pre-school's spring term. We hope you
all had an enjoyable Christmas break and are ready to start this new term.
Last term we celebrated Christmas with a
short performance of Christmas songs.
This for some of our children was their very first performance! We want to say Well
Done to all our children for their brilliant performance. They all did so well,
singing beautifully remembering their words, actions and playing musical
This was followed by a shared party with
the Toddler Group and we had a surprise visit from Father Christmas. We now have our
shed in place and it is being used well to store all our outside toys.
We still have spaces available most days
and we continue to have good links with Berrynarbor Primary School who now run
a breakfast club from 8am - 8.30am. Pre-school children are then escorted over
to Pre-school ready to start their day.
Our Opening times are 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday.
flexible and have a range of session times to meet your needs;
or 9.00am - 12.00pm
- 3.00pm or 3.30pm or
or 9.00am -3.00pm or 3.30pm or 4.00pm
Please visit us or call 07807 0903644 or
e-mail email@example.com for
Our topic of learning this term will be
on counting, recognising numbers and learning about the names and properties of
shapes. Activities will be based around stories such as 'The three little pigs'
and 'The three bears'. Activities will include counting songs and rhymes, maths
concepts such as measuring, positional language, shape names and identifying
and recognising numbers.
Thank you for your support in raising
funds for our Pre-school at both the Indulgence Evening and at our Pre-school
Christmas Show. We raised just over
£250.00 and hope to purchase IT equipment to extend our children's learning in
We also raised £17.00 from wearing our
Christmas jumpers and this has been sent to Text Santa and all their good
Thank you again for all your support.
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
notes from the December and January Meetings
Parish Council has a website where the names and phone numbers of Councillors
are given: www.berrynarborparishcouncil.org.uk.
It is hoped that parishioners will find it interesting and
were received at both meetings from the Police and County and District
Councillors as well as Councillors who inspect the play areas and walk the
public rights of way.
vacancy created by the resignation of Steve Hill has been filled by the
co-option of Gemma Bacon.
Planning: The Council recommended approval for plans
at Treetops, Old Coast Road, Brinscot Farmhouse and
Summerhouse, Birdswell Lane. Approval
was also recommended for the Planning Application for the Manor Hall.
two telephone kiosks at Silver Street and Berry Down have been adopted by the
were given to the Community Shop towards the running and maintenance of the
sewage plant and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
the Memorial Fountain at the junction of Mill Lane and the main road at
Sawmills has been damaged by a van.
talk was given by Mr. Hancock, a representative of Devon and Somerset Fire and
Rescue Service, who covers the area including Ilfracombe, Lynton, Woolacombe
and Combe Martin. Visits are carried
out free of charge, advice given about home safety and smoke alarms fitted free
if necessary. The service is concerned
about vulnerable people about whom they are unaware, and hopes that neighbours
would look out for such people. Mr.
Hancock stressed that it was important for fire fighters to be able to gain
access to a property easily, both internally and externally. Property landlords, including holiday homes,
should provide smoke alarms and the Fire Service will provide these to keep
tenants safe. Blocks of flats come
under a different criteria and are visited on a referral basis.
there are 300 deaths a year in the South west alone from fires.
service is also involved in parking, although there is nothing they can do
legally except to put leaflets on windscreens where cars have been parked
defibrillator has now been purchased and villagers will be advised where it
will be located.
Council Meetings are normally held on the second Tuesday in the month. Those for February and March are on the 9th
and 8th respectively, at 7.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall. Villagers are welcome to attend.
Sue Squire - Parish Clerk
Berrynarbor Parish Council
Stanbury [Chairman] 882252
Kennedy [07791 781283]
Squire - Parish Clerk - [01598 710526] firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor - Andrea Davis 
Councillors - Yvette Gubb 
Warden - Clive Richards 
Parish Council normally meets on the 2nd Tuesday in the month, 7.00 p.m. at
the Manor Hall
FROM: LIEUTENANT COLONEL T J SALBERG MBE RE
24 Commando Engineer Regiment
Royal Marine Barracks Chivenor
Barnstaple, EX31 4AZ
United We Conquer
04 Jan 16
Happy New Year!
I have the privilege of
commanding 24 Commando Engineer Regiment based here in North Devon at RMB
Chivenor. 2016 marks the 300th
Anniversary of the formation of 'The Sappers', as Royal Engineers are known, as
a discreet element of the British Army.
The Corps of Royal Engineers will be celebrating the occasion with a
number of 'Sapper 300' events across the country, with our own celebration
planned for Saturday the 21st of May. I
know the military engineer connection to North Devon goes back some way, with
much of the training conducted here during World War 2 being conducted under
the charge of British and American Sappers.
More recently, Sappers moved to Chivenor, from Plymouth in 1996 and we
have built some strong links, and benefitted from some fantastic support from
the North Devon community in the twenty years that have followed. I should like to ask for your support
again? We are keen to learn of other
connections between Sappers and the North Devon community and wondering if your
parishioners would be able to help? Any event, whether large or small, where
Royal Engineers, supported, worked with or were supported by the people of
North Devon we are keen to find out about it.
Could I trespass on your good
will and ask you to advertise my request and perhaps include it in your parish
newsletters? We are trying to drum up
as much support as we can for this significant event and I would be extremely
grateful if you would include the Sapper 300 logo that is attached as we seek
to give it the maximum exposure.
Thank you for taking the time to
read this and I hope to hear from some of you parishioners in the near future.
FEBRUARY & FINANCE
F is for February but also Finance and
once again it is time to look at the financial situation of the Newsletter and
must go to all those who sent Christmas good wishes in the December
Newsletter. Your generosity supported
both the Manor Hall and the Newsletter to the tune of £150 each.
costs have continued to rise over the last year, Newsletter funds are in good
shape. The subscription rate for postal
readers for the coming year will, therefore, remain the same at £6.00 [February
to December, inclusive]. 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.
This plea also applies to readers who
receive their copy with their paper, or collect a copy from the Shop, Globe or
With all the costs involved in
producing the Newsletter - our Printer, my stationery, printing inks,
telephone, petrol, etc., [but not my
time!] - the cost of EACH newsletter is
approximately £1.50, that is £9.00 a year. It is only by financial support from all
readers that it is able to continue.
However, I must thank you all for your past donations as well as the
continued financial support of the Parish and the Parochial Church Councils.
Some postal subscriptions have now run
out and if you are someone to whom this applies, a letter is enclosed with your
My thanks to Sue's of Combe Martin and
our paperboys, Terry and Mick, who deliver copies with the newspapers, the
Shop, The Globe and the Sawmill Inn for having copies available and for
the 13th September 2015 we had the following happen.
take a look at the picture. Between the
two gables there is a pocket. The
double window is to our smallest bedroom.
There is a bench in this pocket where we sometimes sit to look at the
view of fields opposite.
went to bed quite early, about 10 o'clock, and were soon fast asleep. About 1 o'clock Betty woke me to say she had
heard a scraping sound. What could it
have vertical blinds to the small bedroom and when we pulled one to the side,
there, was a man lying on our seat!
Questions came to mind.
he a villain?
he have a knife?
I go and ask him what he was playing at?
rang the Police and they said they would look into the matter. A police car soon came along with a powerful
light on its side. This illuminated the
whole of our front garden. They drove
up our drive but the man did not move.
policeman and policewoman got out of the car and went over to nudge him. After some efforts to wake him, they got him
to his feet.
gather this young man had got very drunk and after taking his girlfriend home
in an area to which he was unfamiliar, he saw our bench and decided to sleep it
Police said he really seemed quite a nice young man and got him in their
car. They may have taken him home, I
must praise the Police for the prompt attention they gave to the matter.
Tony Beauclerk -
VACANCY FOR A TREASURER
you like to join one of the major village institutions?
use the Hall and would be happy to help out running it?
see the main Manor Hall article that
in this Newsletter
MANOR HALL TRUST
'Thank You' at the Hall
was good to have lots of Hall supporters and volunteers at the hall just before
Christmas - our feedback is that it was a good hour or so and people felt it
was a very worthwhile thing to do. The
mulled wine may have helped!
planning and listed building applications for the proposed renovation of the
hall were submitted to North Devon Council in December - full details can be
found on the Council's website. It goes
without saying that this is an important moment - a successful planning
application would be immensely helpful when applying for grant funding, and
obviously we can't improve the hall as planned without it. We should have a decision in March.
we have also now received detailed costings for the proposed works from
quantity surveyors PWH in Barnstaple, and we have worked through a detailed
breakdown of these costs in order to put together the right mix of work that
achieves everything discussed to date and is within the kind of guidelines set
in the Hall
know it has been hard to use the hall this winter and we thank users for
bearing with us. The one remaining gas
heater does work most of the time, although we know there have been occasional
problems with it. The wiring and sockets
to some of the [temporary] electric heaters are to be replaced so that these
work properly - it has just taken a while to get contractors to respond. We hope that in early February we shall also
have two radiators installed in the hall, heated from the boiler in the
Pre-School. All of these are of course temporary
measures pending the installation of a comprehensive new system, including
insulation if we can raise the funds to do so.
Management Committee - New Treasurer
stated in the December Newsletter, Alan and Nora Rowlands will soon be standing
down from the Management Committee, after many years of service.
therefore seek a new Treasurer, and obviously this is an important post. The
amount of work involved is not that great, but the hall can't function without
one. So we ask everyone to consider helping out, especially users of the hall.
If we cannot get a new Treasurer by April the consequences will be very
previous experience is necessary. We
should stress that the volume of transactions is quite small - the number of
expenses paid out in a typical month are very few and we don't hold any
cash. Invoicing to users is generally
done every two months for regular users, and once a term in the case of the
School. In future all invoices will be
issued by e-mail, and record keeping is very simple - just income and
expenditure details. Annual accounts
for the last two years have been done by Stevens & Willey of Barnstaple.
anyone is interested in these roles or joining the committee generally, please
contact Len Narborough [Chairman] on 883747 or e-mail email@example.com.
these are interesting times for the Manor Hall!
Hall Management Committee
AND NATTER FOR NORTH DEVON HOSPICE
again the Craft Group will be holding an afternoon of knitting and nattering to
raise funds for the North Devon Hospice and invite you all to come and join
We shall be holding Open House in the
Manor Hall during the afternoon of Monday, 22nd February from 2.00 p.m.
onwards. Knitters, knitting strips for
blankets for the Hospice, will only need some odd wool and size 8 needles and
those who would just like to natter can pop in at any time during the afternoon
for a chat, enjoy a coffee or tea and a cake.
No sponsorship is required, all we ask is for a minimum donation to the
Hospice of £5.00 and take part in the raffle.
Over the years the group, together with friends, has raised nearly
£4,000 and probably a good half mile of strips!
reminder that the Craft Group meets every Monday afternoon in the Manor Hall,
from 1.45 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Just come along and bring whatever you are
currently working on - knitting, embroidery, beading, painting, etc. - chat
amongst friends and enjoy tea or coffee and biscuits - chocolate ones are the
favourite and very often birthdays are celebrated with delicious cakes! All this for just £2 a session!
a month, usually on the first Monday, Chris Grafton takes an art group
alongside the craft group - again everyone is welcome. Come along and have a go, £5.00 a session.
BERRYNARBOR SCHOOL NEWS
Happy New Year to you from all of us at
The children from Classes 1 and 2, along
with Mrs Wellings and staff, would like to say a big thank you to all who
attended their Nativity. Funds raised
from the sale of cast photos and refreshments have been used to purchase some
role play furniture for Key Stage 1.
Blueberry Class were the first to take a
trip out this year. They spent a day in
Exeter visiting the Museum to further their studies of the Ancient Egyptians,
and the Cathedral as part of their R.E. Curriculum, looking at places of
By the time you read this, the Soup and
Pud Evening will be over but the children have been busy colouring in pictures
of Soup and a Pud to be displayed at the event.
We are looking forward to World Book Day
on 3rd March. The theme this year is
Space and we are organising various activities over a couple of days to foster
a love of books. The Space Dome has
been booked and will be open to the community during the evening. Keep a look out for posters with information
about the when and where, and how to book tickets.
We are currently planning and developing
a Community Project to create stronger links between the children and older
village residents. More information will
be available at a later date, but meanwhile if you are interested in being
involved we should love to hear from you.
To enable us to purchase sports
equipment, we shall again be collecting the Sainsbury's vouchers. Please help us by giving us your vouchers!
Sue Carey - Head Teacher
SALT IN THE SUGAR JAR
Join us for a great night
of entertainment and curry with Salt in the Sugar Jar, a Beaford Arts production. There will be 3 performances - Friday and
Saturday,19th and 20th February, at 7.30 p.m. and Sunday,
21st February at 1.00 p.m. There is a maximum of 20 tickets per
performance and all the action will take place in
room at Hewlett House, Sloley Farm. The
actual performance will be staged in our kitchen! Tickets £12.50 each. Be assured, we are not trying to fund a new
kitchen, all proceeds will go towards the Manor Hall Refurbishment Project!
and have a convivial time, with a fabulous performance, plenty of fine food
shared with friends, and just to ensure it really goes with a bang, bring your
own liquid refreshment and glasses!
IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
What very strange weather we have had
for the last three months. The constant rain has been a bit depressing and the group
certainly has not been doing any gardening.
However, Berry in Bloom has been involved in the village over the
Have you ever wondered where the
Christmas tree in the centre of the village comes from? In the past John and Fenella Boxall have
supplied the tree but for the last two years our thanks must go to Graham
Sanders who with the help of Chris Townsend has provided us with the Christmas
tree. Our thanks also to Roger, Ray
and Phil for putting it up and removing it, to Dave and Eve at Muffet's for
letting us use their electricity and it was Berry in Bloom who supplied the
Christmas lights. We hope you all
enjoyed the display.
Please note we are also having our
annual meeting in The Globe on Wednesday
24th February at 7.30 p.m. If you
are interested in helping keep the village clean, flowery and tidy we should
love to see you.
We rely on support from the village and
one of our main fund raising events is our annual quiz. This year the date is Friday 4th March with Phil as our Quiz Master and as usual we shall
be serving delicious cottage pie. We do
hope you will come to this fun event.
We shall also be holding a joint
Jumble Sale with Jigsaw to raise funds on Saturday,
19th March from 1.00 to 3.00 p.m.
Items may be taken to the Hall from 11.00 a.m.
Cherry and Marzipan Cake
I made this cake at Christmas as an
alternative to a traditional rich cake.
As I am a marzipan fiend I found it delicious and at this time of year
it is lovely with a cuppa in the afternoon.
ready to eat dried apricots
oranges, ideally un-waxed
golden caster sugar
free range eggs lightly beaten
whole meal plain flour (I used half/half with ordinary plain flour)
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoons ground cinnamon
Decorate: 175g white marzipan
Preheat the oven to 160C fan 140C, gas
mark 3. Grease a 20cm deep cake tin and
double line it with baking paper. Heat a
baking sheet in the oven as well as this will help the cake to bake evenly.
Quarter the apricots, halve the cherries
and rinse in water then drain well on kitchen paper. Roll 125g of marzipan into marble sized balls
and set aside with the apricots and cherries.
Grate the zest from the oranges and then squeeze 150ml of juice from
them. Set aside. Sift the flour with the cinnamon and baking
powder and add back any of the bran.
Put the butter and sugar into a large
bowl and cream together until light and fluffy, using an electric beater. Gradually add the eggs along with a little
flour so that the mixture does not curdle.
Now beat in the orange zest. Stir in the apricots, cherries, walnuts,
sultanas, marzipan balls and the orange juice.
Lastly the flour mix and stir until everything is well mixed.
Spread the mixture in the tin and level
the top. Place the tin on to the baking
sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. Then reduce the heat 150C, fan 130C, gas mark
2 and bake for a further 1 to 1.5 hours until firm to the touch and coming away
slightly from the sides of the tin. Test
with a skewer but be aware that if the skewer hits a marzipan ball it will look
as if the cake is not ready so test in several places and use your
judgment. Allow to cool in the tin for
ten minutes then continue the cooling on a wire rack after peeling off the paper.
To decorate: As I made mine at Christmas I rolled out the
marzipan, cut out large holly leaf shapes and decorated the top of the cake
with the leaves and some berries I made by adding a little red food colour to
some of the marzipan. So use your
imagination or just roll out a crimped 'pie crust' and stick to the cake using
a little water.
I think this recipe would also make a
good Easter cake so the 12 apostles represented in marzipan balls would look
I hope you enjoy your efforts.
LONDON MARATHON 24th APRIL 2016
Firstly I should like to wish everyone a
very Happy New Year!
I am running/stumbling the London
Marathon in April in memory of my amazing dad, George Camplin, who was first
the milkman and then the postman for our beautiful village.
Dad passed away in March 2015
from prostate cancer and I should like to raise awareness and as much money as possible
for the Prostate Cancer Research Centre to try and prevent this dreadful
So, I am writing to ask for your
help in order to raise as much money as possible and
I shall simply run/stumble a few
miles around London! If you would like
to sponsor me, you can do so by logging on to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TRACYBURGESS2 or
there are sponsorship forms in the village shop.
Thank you all for your
support. Let's hope that we shall soon
make Prostate Cancer a thing of the past!
LOCAL WALK - 154
hare seems a popular subject for paintings and sculpture judging by those
currently displayed in shop windows and galleries.
it is an elusive creature. Here in
North Devon we are more likely to see a badger or red deer - even a grey seal -
than a brown hare.
may be seen occasionally in the fields between Smythen Farm and Smythen Cross,
or may be spotted running along the road between Whitefield Hill and Honeywell.
you ever find yourself in the church at Iddesleigh or Ashreigney, look up and
you will discover one of the roof bosses is carved with a pattern of three
hares running in a circle, with their ears joined at the centre forming a
triangle and giving the illusion that they each have two ears, when they only
have a total of three ears between them.
This ancient, mythical symbol of the
three hares has been found in Russia, Nepal, Iran, Germany and France; the earliest dating
back to 581AD in caves in China.
Britain it is found mainly in medieval churches with Devon having the most
examples - seventeen churches in mid-Devon and around Dartmoor with twenty-nine
roof bosses, carved with the hare pattern, between them. Broadclyst near Exeter has nine.
significance is uncertain but the hare has been seen as a magical creature and
in Christianity the three hares were associated with the Holy Trinity - but why
visited Ashreigney, a hilltop village between the Taw and Torridge
valleys. Its economy was once based on
present village inn having been the premises of master wool-combers. A Roman road is thought to have passed
through Ashreigney from Exeter towards Bideford.
crossed the village green to the church.
The large porch has a cradle roof and an oak door with Tudor linen-fold
Church today and C1932 from the Tom Bartlett Postcard Collection
pulpit also has linen-fold panelling salvaged from the rood screen. When the church was restored in 1889, much
ancient oak was thrown out or sold.
thirteenth century font is square with an octagonal base. On the wall above the south door are the
Royal Arms of Queen Anne.
cradle roof is considered the finest feature of the church and there at the
intersections of the moulded ribs of oak are the bosses. Apart from the one with the three hares, the
other roof bosses are decorated with leaves, fruit and human faces.
leaving the churchyard, three dogs loose on the green gave chase and it was
necessary to jump down a bank to get away from them.
Three Hares Trail leaflet lists all the Devon churches containing this ancient
symbol. It has attractive illustrations
by the artist Eleanor Ludgate and is available from 20 The Square, Chagford,
to the Only Connect Question:
the last Newsletter I asked what is the connection between
the dunnock and self-heal. The
name of the actress who played the wife of Basil Fawlty was a clue.
MODULARIS is the dunnock
VULGARIS is self-heal
SCALES played Sybil Fawlty
Three Hares Trail takes in the following 17 churches:
St. Thomas Becket
St. John the Baptist
St. Michael the Archangel
St. Julitta & St. Cyr
St. John the Baptist
St. John the Baptist
St. Mary the Virgin
in the Moor
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
is one of the elegant extras in life.'
Dickens, Household Words.
November provided another first for us,
a visit by Peter Rollinson from Bray Valley Wines [BVW], in South Molton. This is a two-man concern: Peter, and Charlie
Cotton who started the business in 2002.
Charlie has spent all his working life in the wine business and
established BVW to provide quality, easy drinking wines, at affordable
prices. Peter 'fell into wine', has
been with them for 10 years and loves it.
Both men believe that they should know their wines: over a period of
time they have sampled every wine
type in their stock!
We started with a Viognier from the
Western Cape, South Africa, 2014 and 13.5%.
Some described it as sweet and viscose; it was only £6.99. The next two whites were French. The Pouilly-Fume, 2013, 12.5%, from the
Loire, was dry, full of fruit, with a flinty freshness and £11.99. Our last was
a Pouilly-Fuisse, a white Burgundy, 2012, 13% and the dearest of the evening at
£17.49. It wasn't my cup of tea as it
was made from the Chardonnay grape . . .
which just goes to prove that if your palate decides no, then the price
is of no consequence!
Our first red was a Spanish Rioja
Crianza, 2012, 13.5% and £9.99. It had a
spicy feel and spends 12 months in oak barrels. The next, a Cabernet Franc, also 2012, from
Mendoza, Argentina, was chocolatey and 14%; it was £12.99. Our last wine of the evening was a
Crozes-Hermitage from the northern Rhone, with the Syrah grape. Peter thought this was delicious. It was £14.99.
December's tastings are chosen by our
six committee members as it's our Food with Wine evening. Our Chairman, Tony
Summers, had won a bottle of pink 'bubbles' for a short quiz set by Peter
Rollinson, in November; Geoff Adam, felt
that we should all know what this was
like, so we began with some festive fizz: the said 'pink bubbles'.
This wasn't Champagne, but it was a Cremant de Loire, produced by the
Langlois Chateau, managed by the Bollinger family, so we knew it would be
good. It was and it is, because you can
still buy this from BVW. Currently there
is a deal: seven for the price of six, which means you can have a £10.99 wine
for £9.42. It has a freshness, fine
bubbles . . . with beautiful summer flavours.
It's 12.5%, from the best terroirs of the Saumur area . . . made
entirely from Cabernet-Franc and well-worth a drive to South Molton!
John Hood had contacted Avery's of
Bristol for his Spanish white, from Rueda. It was a dry Verdejo, a Palacia de
Pimente', 2014. It was 13% and
£8.99. He didn't give us many other
details, just said we should drink it . . . so we did!
I presented a Portuguese red: a 2013 Azamore from the DOP Alentejo
region. These reds are described as easy
drinkers, rich and fruity . . . popular all over Portugal. It was popular in Berrynarbor too! It was £10.49 and another BVW purchase.
An Argentinian, 2015, Malbec, from
Mendoza, Argentina, followed: a Fairtrade red, 13% and £6.99 only. Our Treasurer, Bob Hobson, was proud to note
that it was the cheapest of the evening!
Majestic described it as a powerful red. It was like many other Malbecs: smooth,
robust and fruity.
Majestic's currently have
Chateauneuf-de-Pape between £25 and £60 per bottle; however, John Thorndycroft noticed a
pre-Christmas deal and purchased ours for £9.99 instead of £19.99; it was a
Reserves de Capouiers, 2014 and 14%.
This revered red, probably the most famous Southern Rhone appellation is
always a grape mix. It's another robust
red and Mrs T thought it was very nice.
Our final tasting had legs . . . as it
had travelled, literally, all the way from Spain, and arrived at Mr Summers'
doorstep only 5 hours before it needed to be at the Manor Hall! An Amazon purchase, it was sourced and
couriered from Cordoba, Spain. This
dessert red is like a very sweet sherry only much better! This Pedro Ximenez1927 oxidises as it is
maturing and made from the solera system:
a mix taken from several barrels, started for this particular wine, in
1927. Amazingly, Tony purchased this,
including the courier charge at the time, for approximately £11 per
The February meeting on the 17th is Ladies'
Night, followed by Brett Stevens of Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines on the
BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
News for 2016
COFFEE MORNING & TABLE TOP SALE
SATURDAY, 2ND APRIL 2016
Sellers: 9.00 p.m.
[£5 per table]
Buyers: 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon
Stalls and Bargains!
a table please contact
Loftus at Berrynarbor Shop on 883215
Bloom Cake Stall
of Seed Potatoes and Sunflower Seeds for the Show
E-MAIL FROM PLYMOUTH
Thank you for the Christmas edition of
the Newsletter - always of great interest.
My family came down from London in
1937. I did not have a local accent, so
had few friends. The owners of The
Lodge were also from London and I was allowed to play with their little boy - I
was four at the time. In the main room was an odd shaped oblong
wooden box. It was about 14 inches
square and stood about two and a half feet tall. It had a glass front about 12 inches
square. I asked what it was, and was
told it was a television.
"What does it do?" I asked.
The reply, "It shows pictures, like the cinema."
"Can I see it working?" I
Probably the first television in
Berrynarbor, but it didn't work!
With reference to The Lodge pictured in
the December issue, Percy Norman had the Kingston Garage in Combe Martin, with
a dance hall over the garage. My father
was the workshop foreman, and my mother was the secretary.
I am fairly sure from the vague outline
of the rear of the car on the left, that it is a 1932, 1172 cc side valve
Ford that later became the 'Prefect'.
The car next to it is, I think, a 1935 Standard with a 1609cc,
cylinder side valve engine. Designed in
1939, but not brought into production until 1945 to 1948, that would equate
with the possible date of the photograph. I think the third one on the
right is a dear old Morris, the forerunner of the famous series 'E' about 1933.
MOVERS & SHAKERS NO. 61
June 1685 - 4 December 1732
starting the New Year with a tribute to a celebrated son of Barnstaple who made
his mark with well-known writers of the day and the British aristocracy - John
He was born in Barnstaple, in a
property on the corner of Joy Street and High Street, one of five children of
William and Katherine [nee Hanmer]. The Gay family had been in the area for
several centuries, but his father's occupation isn't known. Apparently he had only a modest income. He died on John's 10th birthday, and as his
wife had died the previous year, the five orphans were taken into care by two
uncles. John attended Barnstaple Grammar
School, housed in the stone built 14th century St. Anne's Chapel, where he was
taught firstly by a classical scholar and then by an arts-loving cleric. He didn't have the opportunity to go on to
university, but instead his uncles decided he should learn a trade, so he was
apprenticed to a silk merchant in London.
Here after a short time, "being weary" according to Dr Johnson, "of
either the restraint or the servility of his occupation" he persuaded his
master to release him. He then returned to his uncle, Rev John Hanmer, the
Nonconformist minister of Barnstaple, depressed and claiming ill health. A year later, his uncle died and John set off
again for London.
This time he linked up with a former
school friend, another orphan, who had gone later to Westminster School and had
now started a journal, the British Apollo. This was 1708, the first year John had a poem, Wine, published which started him on a
lifetime friendship with Alexander Pope, three years his junior, and later with
Little is known of the following few
years except that he studied music with George Frideric Handel and his love of
music was included in some of his plays. Then in Rural
Sport published in 1713 he bemoans the years wasted in attending courtiers
who were profuse in their promises which were never kept. For a brief time he became secretary to the
Duchess of Monmouth and throughout he continued writing drama and poetry.
In 1714 he was appointed secretary to
the British Ambassador in Hanover through the influence of Jonathan Swift. Three months later Queen Ann died and the
Elector of Hanover became our George l.
Gay was then recalled, with no hope of future official employment.
he made friends with some members of high society, who helped support him. Two of these were the Duke and Duchess of
Queensbury, whom he had met when working for the Duchess of Monmouth. The
became his most important patron until his death. He continued to write numerous poems, plays
and ballad operas and had numerous other patrons. Most of his works were well received, but a
comedy Three Hours after Marriage was
declared grossly indecent without being amusing and was a complete failure.
In 1720 he made a bad financial decision
to invest his all in South Sea stock.
Pope and other friends advised against it, and he lost a lot of money
when it crashed [the South Sea Bubble].
It is said that he was always spoilt, but again his friends and patrons
His most famous work was The Beggar's Opera, a lyrical drama set
to the tunes of popular songs, dances and ballads, and still performed to this
day. You can even find it on YouTube -
and in Barnstaple Heritage Centre*. It
caricatured Sir Robert Walpole and was disguised as a satire on society, John
Gay making it clear that his characters' moral codes were a reflection on the
corruption of the governing class. Many
scholars believe that it led to the successful operettas of Gilbert and
Certainly, Gay made a lot of money from
this opera, the plot of which, if you don't know it, follows the love life of
Macheath, a highwayman, and Polly Peachum.
Her father, a criminal and receiver of stolen goods, tries to rescue his
daughter by betraying Macheath. In
jail, Macheath finds himself torn between Polly and Lucy, the jailer's
daughter, both of whom feel they have a claim on him . . . and so on. It was a great success and was said to have
made "Rich gay and Gay rich". [Rich was
the manager of the Theatre Royal in Lincoln's Inn where the Beggar's Opera was
first performed on 28th January 1728.]
Even in the 18th century, the consequent merchandising raised further
songs were reproduced on snuffboxes and fans and scenes were painted on
screens. Hogarth also painted six versions of one scene in Act lll.
Gay tried very hard to gain favour at
court, but was only offered a post of gentleman-usher to Princess Louisa who
was still a child. He refused saying
that he was too old.
A sequel to the Beggar's Opera was Polly but this was regarded as too
salacious by the Lord Chamberlain. This proved an excellent advertisement, for Polly was then published by
subscription and brought Gay more than £1,000.
[Later, his two sisters inherited over £6,000 from two posthumous
pieces, The Distressed Wife  a
comedy and The Rehearsal at Goatham
 a farce.
Over his later years, John Gay became
very obese. To accommodate his size, there is a replica of a mahogany and
leather chair said to be his [the original is in the V & A] on the first
floor of the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon. I was privileged to be shown its
workings. Sitting on it in reverse, one
can swing outside pieces from under the arms for pens etc. and lift up the back
as a writing desk. There is a drawer
under the seat for books or papers and a concealed drawer behind. Also, on the museum's ground floor, is a
piece of wood from the parish church on which John Gay scratched his signature.
died on 4th December 1732 at the age of 47 in Burlington House, the town house
of the Duke of Queensbury. His doctor
diagnosed an inflammation and 'mortification of the bowels'.
He never married, and although
he had several women friends, none of them were serious. He was buried in the South Transept of
Westminster Abbey with bearers including an Earl, a General and the
ever-faithful Alexander Pope as pallbearers.
As Lois Lamplugh writes in her Barnstaple Heritage Booklet on John Gay,
it was "an impressive funeral for the Barnstaple boy who had been a mercer's
apprentice". On his tomb is his mocking
inscription from The Beggar's Opera "Life
is a Jest and all Things show it: I thought so once and now I know it". His friends the Queensberry's commissioned
an elaborate monument with a tribute by Pope that was installed in Poet's
Corner. You won't find it there now. In
1939 medieval wall paintings were discovered behind the monument, so it was
moved to the obscurity of the triforium**.
Heritage Centre has an interesting display about Gay and the Beggars' Opera,
but you will need to be quick to see it.
Sadly the Centre is closing for good at the end of March. Until then, you can see the exhibition for
free instead of the usual fee of £4.
** I had to check on
the triforium with Google! It is a
medieval level within Westminster Abbey, 70 feet above the nave floor and built
during the reign of Henry lll in the 13th century. It houses an Aladdin's Cave of Abbey
treasures and plans are afoot to open it up to the public for galleries and
exhibitions. It will also provide
splendid views of the Abbey and outside vistas of the Houses of Parliament and
surrounding London. It sounds an interesting addition for a visit to the Abbey.
thanks for help from Sue Howson at The Barnstaple Heritage Centre and Robert
Brain at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.
1. From a picture in
the Guildhall, Barnstaple.
2. Picture from the National Trust Collection at
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 72
I bought my partner for Christmas a
complete Hetty Wainthrop Investigates
on DVD. In truth it was a joint gift
for I also thoroughly enjoyed the four series that were first televised in the
late 1990's. In my view the storylines
were a blend of the traditional and the modern. Back in the '70's I can recall detective
programmes where the opening scenes revealed the perpetrator carrying out his
or her sinister deed and merely left the viewer observing the private
investigator's methods in unravelling the case.
Nowadays a shadow, a hand or even the
camera itself acts as the impostor, in turn necessitating a close study of the
proceedings in order to piece together the clues on offer. In contrast Hetty's character [played by
Patricia Routledge] makes one feel as though she is solving her cases alongside
her watching public. The initial
scenes, played out before Hetty enters the story,
seem to make it obvious who will be brought to justice; so obvious, Hetty assumes the same as
you do whilst carrying out her lines of enquiry. But a twist at the end then surprises both
investigator and viewer alike.
At least all three approaches bring
their storylines to a conclusion. However, not all fictional narratives end
this way, something that utterly frustrates me - especially if I have read an
epic that has left me pondering what may have happened next. I guess I was the same as a child; and not
just with books. Nothing irked me more
than venturing down a narrow wooded path that disappeared into low lying
vegetation, so terminating my chances of discovering the path's eventual
destination. I'm not much better with
paths now I am an adult. Present me
with a No Entry sign and I will become frantic to know why I can't go any further.
Such was the case on a regular dog walk
along what was no doubt an ancient track, similar to those I referred to in my
last article. Initially lined by
beeches and oaks, the track then entered woodland, privately owned I assumed,
and the reason access beyond was forbidden.
Oh, how I longed to climb the gate's bars and discover where that track
with no other option Chum, Teddy and I would pass through the kissing gate to
our left and enter a meadow bordered by the woodland's edge, a horse's field and the southern boundary of an estate of sleepy
bungalows. Our regular route took us
across the grassland and then past the bungalows with frontages that looked out
across the meadow.
day I would make a point of peering into a bay window with its now unrivalled crittall frames.
would see an elderly lady sat in her armchair
looking out. We would wave, the dogs would stop at her
gates and bring a smile to her face and she would point across to any wildlife
or flowers in the meadow.
Then one day I glanced in and saw a troubled
expression on her face. Rather than
gently waving she was forcefully pointing an index finger. I followed its direction to a lamp post upon
which I saw a notice - a planning
I very quickly discovered, conveying that the road along which she lived
would no longer be the estate's southern limit. For the field was to be built upon and her
natural world slowly disappear in front of her eyes. No longer would she see cuckoo flowers in spring,
swallows in summer and golden leaves in autumn.
The notice left me wondering if in
winter she could see through the bare branches of the oaks and beeches and make
out the sloping field on the other side of the track. Could she spot the sheep that wandered about
seeking morsels of grass and could she detect the derelict remains of a
structure built into the field's hillside a century or more before she was
born? Gone without trace was the
pathway to a dwelling where life once existed but had long since ceased. A construction that no doubt experienced its
own beginnings of human life. Now
another life form was in evidence, one that was there before the building was
erected and now took advantage of the shade and protection offered by the
jagged walls. Whilst wildflowers abounded at ground level,
creeping ivy escalated the
cobbled vertical surfaces in a desperate
attempt to blend them into their natural setting. The building's walls
know neither spring nor summer, just the
changes in the weather that slowly enact their execution. Its demise
encourages wildflowers to flourish; the same flowers whose existence will be
extinguished when the new houses are built upon the meadow. And therein lies their affinity. For both crumbling abode and flourishing
field are making a sacrifice for the birth of new life, both wild and
domesticated. Rather like another sacrifice that the Christian world recognises
at this time of year.
Illustrations by Paul Swailes
Or as he is more affectionately known, Teddy
Readers from yesteryear may remember
that through the Newsletter and for several years we adopted puppies training
to be caring dogs for Canine Partners.
We also had the privilege to meet Teddy and his human partner Wendy when
they came to tell us about this wonderful charity and demonstrate some of the
skills the dogs can acquire.
has been with Wendy since 2006 when he was only 9 weeks old since when he has
played a huge role in giving her back her confidence and independence. Wendy has a rare skin condition that causes
it to tear and blister at the slightest touch.
Teddy is so gentle and attentive that it is actually better for him to
help undress Wendy than a human carer!
He also loads and unloads the washing machine, can use a cash machine
and was even with her in the theatre recently when she had an operation.
condition means that she can stop breathing at any time. At the slightest sign of this Teddy will
raise the alarm and even call an ambulance for help. He has in fact saved her life. He is truly an amazing dog.
has now written a book about her life with Teddy, My Life in His Paws, which is
due to be published by Hodder and Stoughton this year and released on Mothering
Sunday. Look out for this book, it is
sure to be a poignant and good read.
Easter falling in March this year, for
my Old Berrynarbor View No. 159 I have in face chosen 2 of a Series of 3 Easter
Cards. Published by Wildt
& Kray, London E.C. they have been given the number 2611 and were printed
in Saxony from about 1912 or earlier.
Kray were a German company with offices in London, and began producing colour
postcards as early as 1903.
two cards show how advanced the company was at producing coloured cards and
they would have been sold in their thousands at that time. Being hand tinted, the same fine dresses can
appear in different colours as well as the dish of Easter eggs and most
noticeable, the large one changing from green to light red.
Cottage, February 2016