IRWIN [nee Richards]
It was sad to learn that Alvina, a long time reader of the Newsletter, who
spent the last couple of years at Lee Lodge, had passed away on the 17th February.
Alvina was born just before the end of WW1 in October 1918 in Combe Martin, but
spent the first 11 years of her life with her grandparents at Hammonds Farm.
She always looked upon Berrynarbor as her home village and spent her school
days here being taught by Miss Veale, Miss Balkwill,
Lily Richards, Miss Jones and later by Miss Muriel Richards.
After the death of her grandfather, she went home to live with her parents,
four sisters and brother at Kentisbury.
In November 1949 she married Maurice Irwin, who was born in Appledore in 1911,
and they lived all their married life in Combe Martin. Maurice was a keen
bridge player and introduced Alvina to the game. Although they both enjoyed
playing bridge, they did not partner one another! After retiring as a haulage
contractor, Maurice spent time boating and fishing. Sadly, he died in May
Alvina's funeral took place at the North Devon Crematorium on the 5th March.
Although she and Maurice had no family of their own, our thoughts are with
their many relatives at this sad time.
those of you who keep past copies of the Newsletter, Alvina wrote of her
memories of the village in August and October 2003, unfortunately just before
the Newsletter went on line! Ed.
FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
and March 2015
Reports were received from PCSO A Drury, County Councillor Andrea Davis,
District Councillors Julia Clark and Yvette Gubb, Councillors Linda Thomas
(Play Area Inspection), Lorna Bowden (Manor Hall), Steve Hill (Emergency Plan,
new play area equipment) and Sue
Squire, Parish Clerk (attendance at 'Preparing for Elections training course').
Planning Applications in February and March were considered and approved,
including the crown lifting and selective removal of 1 branch of beech tree at
St. Peter's Church.
North Devon Council Decision Notices were noted for various planning
applications at Wheel Farm, Moules Farm, Sandy Cove Hotel, Yellaton Farm and
Smythen Farm Holiday Cottages. Representations were made from the Parish
Council to the Planning Officer regarding the refusal of a planning application
at Hempster Farm.
Various payments were authorised.
A Community Toilet Grant Application had been submitted to North Devon Council.
Compliance. The following were reviewed and adopted: Statement of
Internal Control, Financial Risk Assessment, Freedom of Information Act
Publication Scheme, Equal Opportunity Policy, Grant Giving Policy, Complaints
Procedure and Asset Register.
There is one more Meeting in the life of the current Council before the Parish
Council Election on 7th May to be held on the same day as the General Election
and District Council Elections. There are 9 seats on Berrynarbor Parish
Council to be filled. The Parish Clerk has nomination forms which can
also be downloaded from the North Devon Council website.
These have to be delivered by hand to the Elections Department of the North
Devon, Civic Centre, Barnstaple by 4.00 p.m. on Thursday,
April. If you would like a pack sent to you or more information, please
contact the Parish Clerk: email@example.com or
telephone 01598 710526. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday in each
month at 7.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall.
Squire - Clerk
Firstly, Berrynarbor PCC warmly welcomes three new members with Jean Pell
taking on the important role of Secretary, plus two committee members, Jill
McCrae and Yvonne Davey.
As mentioned in the February edition, we on the PCC are continuing to work very
hard indeed to maintain regular Church and other related services throughout
the interregnum - which could last up to nine months!
North Devon Coast Team comprises of nine parishes of which Berrynarbor is one,
and we - Berrynarbor and Combe Martin - have been advised that the 7 remaining
parishes, which include Lynton & Lynmouth, are breaking away to form their
own team! This action will have serious consequences for Berrynarbor and
Combe Martin with respect to obtaining full time clergy. It is very likely, despite
much lobbying from both PCC's, that we shall have an allocation of what is known
in church parlance as a .5 vicar, which putting it bluntly means a part-time
Both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin PCC's have been working very hard to rectify
this situation and Joint Parish Profiles, together with lobbying letters have
been sent to the acting Archdeacon of Barnstaple and we are currently awaiting
Because of the current situation, but still maintaining our individual
identities, it is looking very likely that both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin
will be linking with one or other of the churches in Ilfracombe in the hope
that we may achieve a full time Rector or Vicar.
Things have not been on our side in many ways and were not helped recently by
the fact that the Church Insurance Premium has been increased from £2,300 in
2014 to a whopping £3,487 for the current year!
However, we assure the residents of Berrynarbor that we shall do everything in
our power to maintain the role of the Church in this beautiful village.
At this point, we must convey our sincere thanks to 'Our George' Billington - a
retired Rector - and to Celia Withers from Combe Martin for taking two services
each per month. Furthermore, sincere thanks to
Roles of Ilfracombe and Giles King Smith of Woolacombe for offers of help in
taking some services this year.
Keith Wyer, who very many of you will recall was our Rector here and at Combe
Martin, has offered to take several weddings this year at both churches and we
are extremely grateful for his dedication and commitment. It was especially
poignant that he officiated at the recent funeral of Vic Cornish with so many
attending. Our sincere thoughts, of course, must go to Anita and her family at
this sad time.
Berrynarbor PCC is urgently seeking a new Churchwarden to take my place as I am
retiring after 10 years in the post. Volunteers please step forward!
The Berrynarbor Choir will be having a somewhat forced rest following orders
from my Doctors to ease up over the next six weeks as a result of my continued
illness since Christmas.
On the 31st May there will be a Joint Service with Holy Communion, 9.30 a.m. at
St. Peter's Ad
Combe Martin. Friendship Lunches in The Globe will be on Wednesdays 29th
May, from 12.00 noon. Everyone welcome.
enquiries for Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms and other Church matters - please
contact Mr. Stuart Neale on
or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
request is purely temporary whilst we await the arrival and installation of a
new Rector for the Parish of Berrynarbor.
January was wet and windy for most of the month although we did escape the
worst of the 'weather bomb' [cyclogenesis] which hit Scotland bringing winds of
up to 113 mph in Stornaway on the 8th/9th.
Fortunately here we experienced only 35 knots [40 mph] which was the strongest
wind in the month. The wind did calm down in the second half of the month
before picking up again at the end.
were only three days without any rain falling at all, making a total for the
month of 184 mm. Some of the showers were wintry with hail, sleet and snow
though the snow didn't settle or last for long. The maximum temperature was
13.4 Deg C with a minimum of 0.9 Deg C and a wind chill of -12 Deg C on the 31st. There was
only one day when we recorded a ground frost and the sunshine hours were higher
than average at 16.67. Overall, though, it was a fairly average January
By contrast February had a lot of dry days interspersed with some very wet
days, two giving 23 mm and the wettest day giving 29 mm. The total rain for
the month was 123 mm.
The first weekend of the month was glorious though with a cold wind, Then on
the 23rd there was a sudden thunderstorm which caused the electricity to flick
on and off several times in the night. Like January it was a fairly average
month with a maximum temperature of 2.9 Deg C, a minimum of -1.7 Deg C and a wind chill
of -10 Deg C. The brighter days were reflected in the sunshine hours of 57.70, a
record for February since 2003. The wind gusted up to 32 knots 37 mph] on the
1st. Generally January and February were a lot calmer and kinder than in 2014
and now it is beginning to feel as though spring is on its way with the
snowdrops starting to go over and the daffodils coming on.
OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST OFFICE
THE GREAT BERRYNARBOR PLANT SALE
time to split your perennials, time to sow some seed
you - please support your shop, donated plants we need
25TH MAY 2015
donations welcome from 10.00am - Manor Hall
Doors Open 2.00 p.m.
& Shrubs, Herbaceous Perennials, Fruit & Vegetables,
& Pot plants, Bedding & Annuals.
aid of your Berrynarbor Community Shop
this delicious ice cream in your village shop
Tom's Dairy Ice Cream - local ice cream from Dunstaple Farm
"Dunstaple Farm manufacture and supply quality ice creams and
sorbets; we are based near Holsworthy, Devon and have outlets
throughout the region.
"Our ice cream is made on the farm using our own fresh, whole
milk, clotted & double cream which is sourced from local dairies. All
the ingredients used, including flavourings and colours, are natural and of the
highest quality." www.dunstaple.co.uk
you haven't tried Farmer Tom's Ice Cream yet then you are in for a treat; we
stock a wide range including award winning Clotted Cream Vanilla, Double
Chocolate and Strawberry!!!
also have many other delicious flavours: Banana, Oreo, Banoffee, Black Cherry,
Chunky Ginger, Irish Chocolate Cream, Maple & Walnut, Mint Choc Chunk,
Malty Munch & Lemon Meringue.
Remember to check out our special offers at the end of the £1
Congratulations to Be and all her helpers for a really souper evening at the
Soup and Pud evening at the Manor Hall raising over £979 for the Chemotherapy
Appeal at the North Devon District Hospital and Berrynarbor School.
As well as a great raffle, diners sat down in a beautifully decorated Hall to
enjoy bowls of steaming soup with a choice of 2 varieties, served with a
selection of bread rolls and croutons, followed by a choice of 25 delicious and
mouth-watering puddings - and there were seconds as well!
A fantastic evening.
While from the outside perhaps nothing much seems to be moving in terms of the
restoration of the Manor Hall, a lot is taking place behind the scenes
regarding the preparation of our submission for funding from the Lottery and
surveyors Abercorn have now prepared scale drawings of the entire existing
building, which are required for planning and listed buildings consents
(extract on left). The next step for Abercorn is to prepare a full schedule
of the essential repair work in order that costings can be obtained.
In addition, the drawings also enable us to consider the various options
available to enhance the building's facilities to meet users' requirements;
these will form the basis of future group consultations prior to a final plan
being drawn up.
As there are several specific internal components of the building that need to
be considered, we have set up a number of 'Work Groups', each tasked with
looking at particular issues and how best these can be addressed. The areas
under consideration are: Kitchen Facilities; Heating and Insulation; Lighting
and Electrics and Internal Layout. Discussions are underway, with much more to
do, but the findings of these groups will be part of the wider Open Forum
consultation process that will take place within the next few months.
As we've said before, if you are interested in joining any of these
discussions, please contact us on our new email address: email@example.com
The opportunity was taken during the recent Berry in Bloom Quiz Night in the
Manor Hall to circulate a questionnaire to gather feedback from those attending
in order to understand how the current facilities are viewed and to identify
where improvements can be made. More than 66 questionnaires were returned.
Well over half the respondents consider the present facilities provided overall
to range from poor to adequate, with a similar number considering improvements
need to be made. The main areas of dissatisfaction are the heating (90%),
lighting - natural and artificial (85%/79%), toilets (82%), the kitchen and its
facilities (82%/75%). Access and parking were also of concern.
Although not a scientific survey, the feedback is extremely useful as we go
forward into the final stage of preparing the formal questionnaire ahead of the
Open Forum and other public meetings.
to all those who participated.
Hall Management Committee
IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
Spring has sprung with March winds and April showers and the Berry in Bloom
gang have leapt into action to bring forth May flowers. We started the year
with a well-attended meeting in The Globe when we decided to enter both the
R.H.S. Britain in Bloom and the Best Kept Village competitions for 2015. The
dates were set for the garden open events; Sunday 14th June for the Village and
Sunday 6th September for the Sterridge Valley.
On Friday 6th March we held a Fun Quiz at the Manor Hall and raised just over £600
to help fund the purchase of flowers, hanging baskets, compost etc.
On Sunday 8th March we had our first litter pick of the year and as usual the
first is the worst and we collected 22 bags of rubbish, mainly from the main
roads - some of the items picked up were unmentionable! But weather wise it was
a lovely afternoon and the tea and cakes went down a treat afterwards.
We shall be holding a Coffee Morning and Seed & Plant Swap on Saturday,
18th April, from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon in the Manor Hall, and look forward
to seeing you all there.
We are always looking for villagers to join our group so for the dates of the
next litter picks and work parties please ring me on 01271 883170 or keep an
eye on the blackboard in the bus shelter in the centre of the village.
I know there are hundreds of carrot cake recipes but I made this one for our
first litter pick this year and several people asked me for the recipe. It is
nice and moist with walnuts and sultanas.
125g self-raising wholemeal flour
[or if you find it hard to get ordinary S/R flour will do]
1tsp ground mixed spice
1tsp baking powder
150g softened unsalted butter
finely grated zest of an orange
150g golden caster sugar
3 free range eggs
75g ground almonds
250 g finely grated carrot
75g sultanas or raisins
75g chopped walnuts
Pre heat the oven to180 Deg C/gas mark 4. Sift the flour with the spice, salt and
Put the softened butter and orange zest in to a large bowl and beat either with
a wooden spoon or a hand held electric mixer, then add the sugar and continue
to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour in between to stop curdling.
Use a large metal spoon to fold in the rest of the flour followed by the
almonds, carrots, sultanas and walnuts.
Spoon the mixture in to an 8 inch well-buttered loose bottomed cake tin lined
with baking parchment. Smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes until the
cake is well coloured and springs back when pressed in the centre. Mine took
almost an hour. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin then remove from the
tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
The cake can either be topped with a cream cheese frosting and decorated with
tiny marzipan carrots or split in two and sandwiched with an orange butter
cream icing. Either way this is a yummy cake to eat after a walk in the fresh
it back getting on with it
towser an apron made from a corn sack
an adge laying the hedge and casting it up
be ee? how are you?
gawk a fool
about what are you about?
over a hedge or roof
tettie a large potato
say what did you say?
fore back to front
comer someone new to the village
used for 'she'
tan no definitely not [Jimmy Huxtable]
draught born before time, very small
when grinding corn
sod of earth
ade done something stupid
was sad to learn in the December Newsletter that Don had passed away. During
the Second World War I made his acquaintance, a most likeable lad of a very
believe he and a lad called Derek Alltree were responsible for turning an old
disused Austin Seven into a form of tractor!
think Don liked to be his own master. At one time he constructed at his home
a number of small stables in which he kept British Toggenburg goats and
understand that he had a small milk round for a while.
was very good with car engines. At the end of 1945, as a family we were
preparing to return to our home in Upminster and my mother had an old Ruby
Austin 7 which had been laid up throughout the war years and was reluctant to
start. The cylinders had been filled with oil to prevent rusting.
came to help. He cranked it over by hand [cars had cranking handles in those
days!] in order to lose some of the oil. Then after fiddling with the
electrics, he managed to get it going. This was near his home in the
Sterridge Valley and amid clouds of thick smoke he drove to our house in Barton
Lane. Eventually after a while the smoke cleared and out he stepped with a
very satisfied grin on his face.
also riveted a plate of metal over a rusted hole on the wing of another car for
was always helpful and one of those people you have been glad to know.
from the Editor:
sharing Tony's piece about Don with readers, I felt I should contact his
daughter, Jenny, who was delighted and said she felt proud on reading it and
how, even as a boy, he left his mark helping others.
told me that she and her mother, June, came to the village on the 10th
February, which would have been Don's 86th birthday, to scatter his ashes.
Arriving at lunchtime, they decided to have lunch first at the Globe, where
they were made so welcome and enjoyed a delicious sandwich and a chat.
says that the sun was shining and everything so quiet as she scattered the
ashes on the ground around the war memorial that she felt as if she was the
only person in the place, it was so still.
upset she decided to sit in the church and was delighted to find it unlocked.
The smell and stillness comforted her, and looking at the beautiful stained
glass window, she felt so peaceful and able to spend some time thinking about
the wonderful and loving Dad that she misses so much.
says: "Thanks to you and your wonderful readers, Dad's memory goes on."
while ago Don sent me the following photographs of the village.
first one actually appeared in the February 1996 newsletter and was sent in by
the late Terry Babbington. He wrote:
old AEC charabanc parked by the lych gate has the registration number T6970 and
judging from the solid tyres is from around the time of WW1. It
has apparently been nicknamed Jumbo and the sign on the side reads:
Shapcott, Combe Martin Phone 3X1. The man at the front and lady at the side
appear to be locals. The passengers, all ladies, appear to be a sight-seeing
group, possibly from a local W.I. or something similar. Can anyone shed any
light on the charabanc or its owners?
reply in the April issue said that Ben Richards of West Seven Ash Farm was
convinced that the man is John Bowden, c1916, who moved to Kentisbury.
A visit to Ron and he told me that this is the school, taken in the 'big yard'
around 1924. He and Noel Reeve [nee Richards] who was visiting Ron, were able
to name many of the pupils.
Row: Reg Ley, Leslie Irwin, Lewis Smith, Ron Toms, Fred Spear and 2 along,
girls standing are Brenda Richards, behind Lily Tucker, Vera Ley, Verna
Richards and Lily Huxtable, beside Brenda is Fred Richards and Vera Dummett.
2nd is Lorna Draper and in front of her Frank Challacombe and beside him
and Noel both thought that the man in front of the charabanc could be Reg
final photograph of the blacksmiths has drawn a blank although it was felt that
it might be from Combe Martin rather than Berrynarbor.
anyone help further on any of these photographs please? Ed.
on Joan, stop arguing, you look absolutely ugly when you get like this."
it's alright for you to talk, you started it. You are going red in the face."
you chose me in the first place so that was your fault. I thought you liked
the name Joan."
only like the name Joan because the last two letter of your name are A and N
and an reminded me of an old girlfriend. I might 'phone her up."
Fred, that's about what you should do. Good night!"
said Jane, "I'm glad we've got our parts right, word perfect I should say."
indeed," John replied, "I'm glad we joined the drama group. It's a good
can't always have your own way
you did, you'd be hated someday.
would be a good trend
that came to an end
all have a new friend today.
come on, I insist I must say,
sunny and the merry month of May.
put on a smile
stack's half a mile
then we can play in the hay. Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
PAUL SWAILES - BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
Paul's artwork will be familiar to most regular readers as he has been
illustrating the Berrynarbor Newsletter for the past twenty five years. He
says, "I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The Local Walks and Rural Reflections
have allowed me to find out about all manner of wildlife and our area past and
Last year he retired from his position as Assistant Headteacher at the
Ilfracombe Academy, where he had taught Geography and Art since moving back to
North Devon in 1986. Paul said, "I decided with more time on my hands I should
get back into painting. I did not have far to look for inspiration and over
the past few months have put together two collections of images based on our
The first collection, 'You Can't See the Wood for the Trees' is a series of ink
drawings of his favourite local woodland walks. The style and subject matter
will be familiar to readers of this Newsletter. The second, 'The Turning of
the Tide' are acrylic and mixed media images based on the North Devon
These two collections are now nearing completion and Paul is delighted to have
been given the opportunity to exhibit his work at the Manor Hall. Paul said, "It
is always nice to have a focus to work towards and I look forward to being able
to chat about my work."
The exhibition entitled Under Western Skies takes place at the Manor Hall,
Berrynarbor on Saturday April 25th from 2.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. and on Sunday
April 26th from 10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. It is hoped that some of the work of
the Berrynarbor painting group will also be displayed. There is an admission
charge of £2.50 to include light refreshments and in support of the Manor Hall
and the North Devon Hospital Chemotherapy Appeal.
UNDER WESTERN SKIES
The Manor Hall, Berrynarbor
SATURDAY, 25TH APRI, 2.00 to 6.00 p.m.
SUNDAY, 26TH APRIL, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
REFLECTIONS NO 67
I have a friend who has what could be regarded as rural claustrophobia.
Although I have known her for some years her condition, if it can be deemed as
that, only came to light when she came to stay with us after we had moved to
North Devon; and even then, not until the day of her departure. Over one final
brew, she said how much she had enjoyed her stay, but then concluded with
complete honesty [like only true friends can] that she could not live in North
Devon. It was far too enclosed for her liking and did not compare with the
open countryside of the South Downs close to her Brighton home.
I argued that the vastness of the Downs stripped away the many layers of detail
that North Devon had to offer, the patchwork quilt fields, undulating valleys,
busy streams and wooded slopes. She conceded the point but reiterated that the
steep contours within my local peninsula still made her feel hemmed in.
Arousing a need to defend my home soil [note: this was in BST time - Before
Soaring Turbines], I remarked that one might feel justifiably unnerved driving,
for example, through the narrow passage of Cheddar Gorge or within the
precipitous mountains of Glencoe. But hardly up and down the rolling hills
My friend then emphasised that it did not matter how shallow or steep the
valley may be. She needed to be in the open. To feel free. And it all
related to her childhood; more specifically growing up on an island and being
acutely aware from a young age that, with water surrounding her in whatever
direction she looked, her adventures and explorations were limited. Put
simply, she felt trapped - a feeling which, every time she ventured onto the
Downs, she could expel.
Like my friend, I too use the countryside to take me back to my youth, though
unlike her I seek out the complete opposite in order to invoke a pleasurable
childhood memory, one I made reference to in my last article. It relates to the
hideaways my school pal and I would seek out in the local parks, woods and
alleyways; or camps as we called them, even though all the items one would
expect to find in a survival camp were imaginary.
I came across one such hideaway when I discovered a path running adjacent to a
stream in a deep recess - just the sort of place in which my dear friend would
feel undoubtedly trapped! The path was rarely explored, as making it part of a
circular walk required using the farm road at one end and then taking a
significant and strenuous detour. Yet the path was at the same time
exceedingly well maintained and for the third of a mile or so that it ran, it
had plenty of variation. I soon grew fond if its quirkiness and began to
think about what names my school pal and I would give the path's notable stops
Jacob's Junior was the first to be christened, a small flight of steep wooden
steps that descended from the tarmacked road. A sheer bank neighboured the
path's right hand side as it headed off from Jacob's Foot, whilst on its left a
young river ran below having emerged from under the farm road's cattle grid.
Its clear water rushed over the large grey and mauve boulders, deflecting
splashes against a tall bank on the left. Initially the path ran faultlessly
straight, its uniformity dictated by embedded symmetrical logs. Tumble Bridge
was soon reached, a basic wooden structure enabling water to flow underneath it
and into the river from an adjacent fierce yet narrow waterfall. Before long
the hastening river's passageway was dictated by deep concrete embankments
steering it 90 degrees beneath the path at Borderbay Bridge. An exact replica
of the previous bridge, its name reflected the river's destination after
darting off within a natural dip in the bank by the path; for this river would
now act as a border between two farms and then head underground, occasionally
re-emerging to greet local inhabitants, before flowing out and into a little
Although my path was now devoid of running water I soon reached The Glue, an
area so boggy that another walkway had been created on a small embankment in
order to bypass the main path. Looking around I could see gullies cut into
the high sided banks allowing water to run off the sloping fields; hence the
area being so wet under foot. It also validated the sound of something I
could hear close at hand but was unable to confirm with my eyes. For the
squelchy ground around me was the embryo of a stream about to begin its infant
life just around the corner, one that would develop into adolescence as it
followed the remainder of the path's course.
Together both track and waterway would provide different environments in which
a wide variety of wildflowers are able to flourish. But I will save that for
next time. For now, I will leave you with a wildflower I observed just beyond
The Glue. It grew unaccompanied yet quite content, making the most of an
unpretentious opening that allowed sunlight to reach the base of the bank by
the path. There, in all its glory, grew a perfectly formed primrose; or to call
it by its Latin name, prima rosa, the first rose of spring. Happy
in the Manor Hall I have often admired the wonderful portrait that hangs over
the old fireplace and wondered if others are aware of it and if they know who
the lady is. She is Mrs. Edith Penn Curzon [nee Bassett].
Edith Bassett Williams in 1862, she married Captain Ernest Charles Penn Curzon
[1856-1938] on the 18th October 1882 at the Curzon Chapel, Mayfair, London.
Ernest was the son of Col. Hon. Ernest George Curzon, son of Richard William
Penn Curzon-Howe, 1st Earl Howe. The couple had three children, one son and
1908, after the death of her father, Edith inherited from him all the Bassett
Estates including Watermouth Castle, the Manor of Berrynarbor and Umberleigh
House, where she had lived.
World War I Watermouth Castle was used as a military hospital and at the same
time, Edith was beginning to sell off the ancient Bassett lands, including
Umberleigh House and the manor. In 1918 she was awarded the C.B.E.
the 1920's many of the village farms and cottages were sold off and in 1942,
most of the contents of Watermouth Castle.
died in 1948 and to this day her portrait hangs in the Manor Hall.
so to the picture! Interested, I noticed that it was signed 'B. Bright
1897'. The internet came up with an artist of that time called Beatrice
Bright. Enquiries of a local fine art dealer and Bearnes Hampton and
Littlewood of Exeter, suggested that I contact the National Portrait Gallery in
London, and Robin Francis was extremely helpful:
you are probably aware we have two portraits by eatrice Bright signed and dated
are not presently on display but I have checked on one on screen the signature
in much the same place as yours and as far as I can tell from extremely dark images
of both portraits may be the same hand. At least there seems no reason
to presume that your portrait is by another artist than Beatrice
was born Annie Beatrice Bright in London in March 1861, the daughter of Sir
Charles Tilston Bright, an engineer. She studied under Sir Arthur Stockdale
Cope, a distinguished portrait painter who established an art school in South
Kensington. She maintained an address in London although living in Aberdeen
in the 1890's. In 1897 she became an Associate in the Society of Women
Artists with whom she frequently showed. She also exhibited at Liverpool, the
Royal Academy [1896-1928], the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Walker
Art Gallery. From 1909 to 1914 she studied for periods in St. Ives, primarily
marine painting with Julius Olsson, another distinguished marine and landscape
artist. Beatrice died in 1941.
Bay St. Ives Cornwall B. Bright
Michael Faraday B. Bright
The painting in the Manor Hall, including what appears to be its original and
lovely frame, is approximately 10' x 4'. A big picture!
Next time you are in the Manor Hall, look again at this beautiful portrait of
one of Berrynarbor's many worthies.
wine ruins the purse, bad wine ruins the stomach.'
The ever-popular 'Call My Wine Bluff' was the February topic for the Circle.
Teams heard 18 descriptions for 6 wines and decided between the bluffs and the
truths. Wine Masters Summers, Hobson and Thorndycroft presented the evening's
For the first white, it could have been from Thailand or Austria, but proved to
be an Essex Blonde'! It was a Bacchus, 2013, from the New Hall Vineyards,
Purleigh, in Essex. Bacchus is a great grape for our English climate and,
even though Purleigh's soil is London Clay, members described it as lively and
a real fruity one! For a white, 10.5% alcohol level is low, and for an
English wine its price was too: £8.65.
The Essex then a Spaniard, were well received, but the last was the most
expensive: £12.90 and disappointed. It was agreed, generally, that the
Sandstone White, from Walker Bay in South Africa, 2009, was quite old for a
white . . . past its best. Perhaps a much younger version would have
delighted palates, but may have been dearer...
Pictures of Australian, Spanish, Italian, French and New Zealand producers and
wines followed. Obviously, the real origin was there somewhere! The first red
was an Auzzie: a 2012, Wild Paw Cabernet Sauvignon and at £6.55 it was very
popular or 'bonza' you might say!
Spain produces some brilliant wines that often pack a punch. Ribero del Duero
is less well-known than the Rioja area, but members enjoyed a Crianza from
here, but it was £13.60 a bottle.
The final wine of the evening was unusual: a Pinot Noir from Italy; most are
produced in France, particularly Burgundy. Even with the vat, this was only
£6.60. It was regarded as very good value and excellent, which sounds to be
an accurate description of yet another Wine Circle evening!
All wines were purchased via Brett Stephens of Hallgarten Druitt Wines, who, after
the AGM, will preside over our final meeting of this season on 20th May.
LIDL AND LARGE or
Lidl and ASDA - March meeting
It was felt, sometime ago, that wines from the cheaper supermarkets should be
tested, so Geoff Adam and John Hood researched, then presented.
Geoff bought 3 Pinot Grigio from ASDA: Chile, California and Italy, with
prices of £4.00, £7.25 and £9.00. ASDA's most expensive wine appeared to be
£12. All of these were 2013 or 2014.
The cheapest was described as light, whereas the next, a Barefoot from the US,
had more character, deeper taste. It has won numerous awards, American of
course; however, it can be purchased in other supermarkets including Waitrose.
It seemed that I wasn't the only one who would drink it again, because it was
good summer drinking.
Many, I'm sure, assume that if one wine is the dearest of a selection offered
that it will be best. Wine is subjective, but, I described the dearest, the
Italian, as wincey, or should I say highly tannic. It was as if I was sucking
a lemon - and I wasn't the only one to pull faces!
Lidl's reds proved to be an interesting investigation! John's French were all
£8.99. Generally, I am a red drinker, but the first two, a 2012 Bordeaux,
then a 2011 Medoc, did not appeal. Bordeaux, described by experts such as
Jancis Robinson, has the Quality Factor and is the 'world's biggest resource of
fine wine'. Mmmm, don't think she'd include this one! Medoc's label
described it as perfectly balanced but perhaps the Bordeaux and the Medoc would
have been easier on the palate with a meaty meal! Food makes a tremendous
The last was a Vacqueyras Serabel, 2012, which was worth the wait - smoother
tasting. It, like the Bordeaux, were both awarded Appellation D'Origine
Protegée status, once the French had removed the Cotes du Rhone Villages label
in 1990, but Protected designation of Origin is also applied to French food.
The criterion is four-fold: a. geographic and historic origin b. a craft or
form of expertise c. a link with the region and d. quality control.
Banter and laughter abounded. You do only get what you pay for, but it proved
that Wine Circle nights, can, obviously, be wincey or tasty!
Adam - Secretary
BERRYNARBOR SCHOOL NEWS
and Pudding Evening
We should like to say a massive thank you to the organisers of this event in
January and also to each one of you who supported it and helped to raise so
much money for the Chemotherapy Unit and the School. This donation will
greatly help the development of our outdoor learning space, such a useful
resource for our younger children.
Thanks to Graham Lucas who, since the departure of Rector Chris Steed, has
taken on the Monday School Assemblies. The children really appreciate them.
Class 3 write:
"Mr Lucas has done really fun stories and has had us interacting by getting us
to be characters in the story. Reuben was Goliath and George was David."
Years 1 - 6 have been enjoying their weekly swimming lessons at the newly
refurbished pool in Ilfracombe.
Year 6 visited Ilfracombe Academy to take part in an event aimed at promoting
and inspiring children to develop in Science, Technology, Engineering and
Maths. It was run by scientists from the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car
Development Team. This car has been designed to break the world land speed
record and is now being built. The goal is to achieve speeds in excess of
1000mph! The children were shown a full size model of Bloodhound. They used telemetry
equipment and studied the data produced. Then they built and raced their own
Over the course of the day they discovered how jet engines work, how rocket
motors are fuelled by rubber, and then even experienced a sonic boom. Everyone
had a fantastic day investigating, exploring and learning about the ways in
which science, technology, engineering and maths impact our everyday lives.
We have some budding engineers!
In the first week of March we celebrated World Book Day with a book based
competition. The children were asked to design a sash based on a book they
enjoyed, or on their favourite character. They could choose how many items,
drawn or real, to put on to their sashes. We also had a bring and buy book
sale. During the day a team of three children represented the school at an
interschool Book Quiz. One of the team, Hazel, reports back:
of us from Berrynarbor School went to a Book Quiz in Barnstaple Library. It
was Berrynarbor's first time competing and we came fifth out of the fourteen
schools taking part. We hope to compete again next year and come home with
the trophy! We had great fun working closely together as we were tested on
our knowledge of books."
Carey - Headteacher
& SHAKERS NO. 56
REGINALD BEATTY WOLSELEY
Baronet of Mount Wolseley, County Carlow, Ireland
January 1873 - 6th July 1933
I wasn't too sure of Sir Reginald's Mover and Shaker title, until, tongue in
cheek, I considered that his job as an elevator operator [in American-speak] in
a large US office certainly made him a mover, and he shook America and other
parts of the world in 1930 when it was discovered that he'd inherited his
baronetcy - but still preferred to keep his day job!
This is the extraordinary tale of a man born on 31st January 1872,
the son of physician and surgeon Dr Cadwallader Brooke Wolseley of Dublin and
Katie Maria Beatty. He was a cousin of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Beatty. Yet,
in 1897 at the age of 25, he left England for the United States and after
wandering for many years, ended up as a lift boy at a hotel in Waterloo, Iowa. He
stayed there for 14 years. Half way through his time there, in 1923, he
inherited his title on the death of his cousin, Sir Capel Charles Wolseley, but
kept it secret because he so enjoyed his work in Iowa, where he preferred just
to be known as 'Dick'.
why he never found a better-paid job, he replied, "Fallen arches! I might have
been a go-getter, but my poor feet wouldn't stand any rushing about."
Dick's secret came out in 1930. Miss Marion Elizabeth Baker, a Devon nurse,
visited him in Iowa, as a messenger from his mother who had just died. Mother's
deathbed wish was that her son should marry Miss Baker and return to England to
claim his inheritance. A few days after Miss Baker arrived, they married. He
was 58, she was 40.
The next day, she left for England on the understanding that he would follow as
soon as he'd sorted out his job affairs. It wasn't so easy. He stayed put! What's
more, he sued for divorce on the grounds that his wife harassed him with
telegrams trying to persuade him to return to England and had deserted him. She
was obviously a determined woman. Returning to Iowa in December 1931, she
finally won. The divorce was set aside and they sailed for England on the
steamship Baltic in January 1932.
When asked why he had changed his mind about the baronetcy, he replied, "I took
the title for my wife on marrying her out of gratitude for what she did for my
mother. The title will be of advantage to her in English society. A lady is
a lady over there." Later he added, "A title in itself is all right, but
without something to back it up it's sort of empty." Maybe here he was alluding
to the fact that there was no money, no land, no chattels.
Sadly only 18 months after their return, he died, here in Berrynarbor, at their
home, Capel Cottage. It was 6th July 1933 and he was only 61.
The news, firstly in 1930 of his baronetcy and continuation of working as an
'elevator operative' and then his death in 1933 in "Berry Harbor, Devon" swept
the billboards in the United States, Canada, Singapore and Australia. The
Montreal Gazette of July 11th 1933 stated that "Only a few villagers attended
the funeral service at which his widow, the former Marion Baker, dressed
entirely in white. Twelve farmers acted as bearers." The Singapore Free Press
and Mercantile Advertiser goes further, describing Marion's clothes in detail
and ending that "a flower covered mound separated only by a low hedge from the
garden of his best friend Mr R Lincey marks his grave."
When he had arrived in Berrynarbor, a local person [could this be Mr.Lincey?]
who knew him well said, "When he first came amongst us,
Reginald's strong American accent made him a little misunderstood but he soon
won his way into everyone's heart. He would say sometimes "I am a democrat. Titles
mean nothing to me. I do not care two pence for them.""
After the funeral, Lady Wolseley never used her title, preferring to be called
Mrs Marion Wolseley. She didn't have much time for this, however, only 11
months later, on 20th June 1934 she fell from her bedroom window, again dressed
in white, and according to local legend, thinking she could fly. She died
later of multiple spinal injuries,
Reginald Beatty Wolseley former Iowa elevator operator, has gone to England to
assume the baronetcy left him by his brother, who died in 1923. After
inheriting the title, Sir Reginald discarded and kept his elevator job at
Waterloo until his wife persuaded him to assume the title and estate.
for the poor reproduction from this newspaper cutting.]
I was curious to find their grave, and thanks to Judie and Marlene, who
had surveyed the graves and their epitaphs in the old churchyard, I did. If
you come down the path through the top gate from Barton Lane, you will find it
first on the right. It looks very sad and weather-beaten, but it is now over
80 years old. I could just identify ". . .Beloved . . .Reginald Beatty. . . 10th
Baronet. . .." and on the length of the grave "Marion Elizabeth. . .", but Marlene
gave me the whole epitaph:
TENDER MEMORY OF
BARON OF MOUNT WOLSELEY
WENT ABOVE 6 JULY 1933
LEAVE WITH YOU.
PEACE I GIVE UNTO YOU.
THE WORLD GIVETH.
UNTO YOU. ST. JOHN 14.27
HIS WIFE MARION ELIZABETH WHO DIED 26TH JUNE 1934
think his grave deserves a tidy up!
thanks to JC for giving me much of this information.
PP of DC
In April 2013 I wrote about Charles Nicholas Pedlar, his son Charles Glanville
who joined the business in 1946 and then about Nick and his daughter, Helen. The
years roll on: Charles Glanville sadly died on
February this year, just 150 days short of his 100th birthday. He had an
illustrious career, not only at the helm of Pedlar's, but also working for the
community, including acting as Secretary of the United Reform Church for 25
years and as a local Magistrate for 30.
We send our sympathy and condolences to Nick and his family.
The area of woodland up the Sterridge Valley, often referred to as 'the forest'
is an area of approximately 75 acres, of which 45 acres are known as Woolscott
Cleave and the other 30 as Molton Woods.
loved by dog walkers it is also used by Berrynarbor Primary School for their
annual Forest School.
Originally the area was rough farmland with at least ten quarries, the stone
from which was used extensively for building works in the village. In the
early 1900's, the land was part of the Watermouth [Bassett] Estate owned by the
Curzon family. Following Edith Penn Curzon's death the land was sold in 1947
to the Norman family.
Kathleen Norman, who died in 2005, sold the land in 1960 to the Forestry
Commission, when it was designated part of the Eggesford Forest. The original
field walls, planted with beech date back some 200 years, were retained by the
Commission and they planted a mix of Japanese Larch, Western Hemlock, Sitka
Spruce, Norwegian Pine, Douglas Fir and Lodge Pole Pine. Wood from the latter
was planted for pit props, but with the demise of the mines and the
introduction of more modern methods, it was no longer required.
In the 1980's, the Government ran a scheme whereby the purchase of woodland
could be off-set against income tax. A time when many of the country's and
Forestry Commission woodlands were purchased as private enterprises by such
people as Rod Stewart and the Boxalls!
At that time, Fenella and John were in Hong Kong and learnt of the 'Woodlands
for Sale' through the Financial Times. A woodlands expert to the Money
Exhibition, organised by Fenella, waxed lyrical about the scheme and in
particular of some woodland in Berrynarbor. And so it came to pass, site
unseen, in the Dickens Bar in Hong Kong, they found themselves proud owners of
Woolscott Cleave in North Devon, a place they had never visited!
There were and are no Public Rights of Way over the land although at the time
of purchase the late Maurice Fry, of Sloley Farm and later Little Oaklands,
rode extensively in the woods with his niece Elizabeth. This right to ride was
renewed for the princely sum of a Queen's Shilling! In return Maurice kept a
wary eye on the woods reporting if a blade of grass had been disturbed or a
stone overturned, so intimately did he know it. When he passed away in 2010,
his mantel was taken over by Tom Tucker who walked there on a daily basis. No
fly tipping or rubbish went unreported. Great custodians both.
In 1988, the management of the plantation was in the hands of Fountain
Forestry. A first thinnings was carried out and the Lodge Pole Pine, which
had died, was left as skeleton trees, or standing deadwood much loved by
woodpeckers and insects.
John and Fenella did not return to the UK until 2001. However, John's
sister Jill and her husband Brian visited the woods on a regular basis and over
time were captivated by the charms of Berrynarbor.
Although the plantation should have undergone a second thinnings in 2008, the
recession and the low price of timber meant a contract to carry out the work
was not signed until 2012. It has taken a further 3 years for it to become
effective. So, this explains the large, timber carrying vehicles currently
going up and down the Valley!
Work, under the agency of Euroforest, began in January with the felling licence
stating that all the Japanese larch must be cleared due to the larch die back
disease, Phytophthora Ramorum. The rest of the woodland will be maintained as
continuous cover with just 20% of the trees being felled. Specialist halo
thinning, ie thinning around selected trees, will allow natural regeneration
and expansion of the hardwoods.
The heavy duty, computerised harvester machinery is operated by just two men,
and the wood is cut to order. 2,000 tons of soft woods, some 90 lorry loads
[about 40% of the woodland] are being removed. Their destinations? The
larch is going to the Duchy sawmills in Cornwall, the rest either to Yelland
Quay for onward transmission by boat to Belgium, or overland to South Wales and
a Hereford sawmill. Unfortunately, the size of wood makes it too large to be
taken to local sawmills.
Future replanting plans are to change, and expand, from soft to native hardwoods,
including oak, beech, ash, hornbeam, crab apple and wild cherry. There will
continue to be no public right of way and dog walking may be restricted to the
area adjacent to the main ride, with the area along Sterridge Stream becoming
an environmental reserve.
BERRYNARBOR - 154
Village, Berrynarbor & Cottage at Berrynarbor
For this issue and appearing on the front and back covers, I have chosen two
watercolour paintings of our village by the artist
Hughes Richardson painted by him in 1922 for the art postcard publishers J.
Salmon of Sevenoaks, Kent.
'Cotttage and Roses' 'Cottage, Henton Hill, Berrynarbor'
were two of four of his watercolour paintings of the village and as well as
being sold as individual postcards, all four could be purchased in a special
display pack set entitled ' Picturesque Berrynarbor' for the sum of just 6d!
This was described in my Old Berrynarbor No. 9 in February 1991. The other
two paintings appeared as the covers for the June 2003 Newsletter.
The postcard for the front cover shows Silver Street before the arrival of
tarmacadam and when our streets used to be regularly scraped clean. On the
left is Berrynarbor National School opened in 1848 and where at that time 150
children were crammed in! Of particular note is the slate topped bell housing
complete with a bronze bell. Sadly, both are now lost to the school and
village and no one appears to know to where the bell vanished. The small
fuchsia hedge and low railings against the road facing the school have long
since disappeared. Just beyond the school is the blacksmith's shop then
occupied by Sam Harding and beyond is No. 50, Little Gables, St. Peter's
church steps can just be seen as well as the shelter.
the right of the picture is the single storey building which became our Post
Office on the 25th March 1921. Tom Hicks, the village Postmaster and his wife
Sarah acquired the building of 62 Silver Street for £155.0s.0d. when they found
they could not afford the original post office at 36 Pitt Hill when it sold for
£350.0s.0d. at the auction of part of the Watermouth Estate held in Barnstaple
on the 17th August 1920, with completion date of 25th March 1921.
I am almost certain I think the second picture, on the rear cover, is of the
garden and front entrance of South Lee. I have a late postcard [about 1930's
by William Garett entitled 'South Lee 8' which is similar.
four paintings show how accomplished a watercolour artist H. Hughes Richardson
Cottage, March 2015
WALK - 149
years ago a derelict piece of ground in the middle of Swimbridge was
transformed to create a streamside garden. It occupies a part of the
churchyard of St. James' church, which had never been used for burials as it
was too close to the stream.
locked gates it had become overgrown with brambles. Villagers who were
children in the 1940's and '50's remember squeezing through the railings to
pick blackberries there.
years ago during the national 'Plant a Tree in '73' campaign, the parish
council had planted trees and shrubs on the land. [You may recall the
subsequent slogans 'Plant some more in '74' and 'Keep them alive in '75'.]
by 2006 many of the Plant a Tree Year trees had died. The railings had rusted
and the gates were still locked when the church and parish council decided to
turn it into a public open space for everyone to enjoy, and thus Swimbridge
Streamside Garden was born.
finally began in 2011. Designed by landscape architect, Peter Leaver with
advice from the Devon Wildlife Trust, the garden incorporates plants which
provide flowers to attract butterflies and bees or bear berries for birds.
hedges include native species such as hawthorn, spindle, holly, guilder rose
and field maple. Mazzard trees have been planted - the wild cherry peculiar
to North Devon.
old granite roller from a local farm creates an unusual seat. Sculptor and
mason, Gabriel Hummerstone has carved on it words from
Psalm 23: ' In pastures
green he leadeth me, the quiet waters by.'
benches have been made from a beech tree, blown down in a gale at
Chittlehampton - called spalted beech referring to a pattern of dark markings
caused by a fungus.
poem by pupils of Swimbridge Primary School has been carved into stepping
stones along the path.
stream itself is the Landkey Stream, also known as the Venn Stream. It rises
on high ground to the north of the village, near Gunn, and flows via Riverton
along the valley to Swimbridge and on to Landkey; then by Venn Quarry to join
the River Taw at Bishops Tawton. It once powered several mills and a tannery.
we walked along the stream last April a dipper sped past, with whirring wings,
alerting us with its 'tsitt tsitt' call. Its flight is fast and direct, just
above the water. It landed on a large stone with its characteristic bobbing
motion, flicking its short tail.
dipper [cinclus cinclus] can appear black and white when only glimpsed fleetingly
but viewed at close quarters the head is dark brown
to a grey-brown back and wings. Underneath it is bright chestnut brown. The
most conspicuous feature is the large white bib across its throat and chest.
watched it plunge into the water. It has the ability to swim under water
using its wings. It can walk along the bottom of a river foraging for
invertebrates. Its diet includes aquatic insects and their larvae, small
crustaceans, molluscs and worms.
streamside walk provides a gentle, level stroll at the centre of one of North
Devon's most attractive villages. The last line of the children's poem carved
on the stepping stones: 'mythical paradise, lush and green.'
by Paul Swailes
TO THE EDITOR
Reading the article in the Christmas issue about the
replacement of the weather vane brought to mind a story my late mother -
Phyllis nee Draper - told me.
Phyllis was one of the five children of William and Nellie
Draper of No. 94 Berrynarbor [Jacobs Well]. There were four 'maids' and a boy
Denzil served in the Royal Engineers during WW2. He and
Mum were kindred spirits and according to their sisters Winnie, Margaret and
Sheila, a pair of 'ellers'! Apparently when home on leave Denzil brought
with him a pistol liberated from a German soldier, I guess it was a Luger. He
and Phyllis decided to have some fun with it. They went to the bottom of the
garden of 94 where he held a large Colman's mustard tin at arm's length and
bade her take a shot. In true Annie Oakley style she did and sent the tin
from his hand. However, he had rather a long thumbnail and she managed to trim
a bit off! Once the dust and sound had settled, Denzil urged her to have a
pop at the big hand on the church clock, which she hit easily.
Now to the point of the story, he then took pistol in hand
and hit the weather vane. Mum always said there was a dent in the clock hand
and a hole in the weather vane for years. I'm assuming this was the vane
taken down 40 odd years ago. I wonder if there really was a hole in it?
today returned home from a lovely week spent in your beautiful village of
Berrynarbor. I have walked every nook and cranny and met many of your lovely
residents, I have indulged in looking at all the beautiful houses, farms and
cottages, and I agree that you really are the Best Kept Village.
BUT, I am
so sad about something else I found on my walks and trundles, I am really
shocked by how much dog mess is around your streets and path ways. I took my 2
dogs and my 10000 doggie bags and cleaned up after my fur-babies but I was
shocked to spy that the offenders were many times your own local residents,
letting their dogs run freely to mess up your lovely streets. I am not one to
write like this normally, but was really astonished by the level of poop! I realise
that of course the perpetrators may be wild animals, which may account for
some, but for the majority, the offenders are dogs, and as it's not really the tourist
season and not too many holidaymakers around, may I recommend you advise your
lovely residents that they are really spoiling your beautiful village!
Mrs Lisa W.
FROM CHILDREN'S BOOKS EVERY ADULT
me you'll remember, you are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem,
and SMARTER than you think.'
Milne - Winnie the Pooh
person's a person, not matter how small.'
act of kindness, not matter how small,
- The Lion and the Mouse
'How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.'
Milne - Winnie the Pooh
true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.'
Frank Braum - The Wizard of Oz
you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and
will always look lovely.'
Dahl - The Twits
said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."'
Milne - Winnie the Pooh
moment where you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever being able to do
Barrie - Peter Pan
did you do all that for me?" he asked, "I don't deserve it. I've never done
anything for you." "You have been my friend" replied Charlotte. "that in
itself if a tremendous thing."'
White - Charlotte's Web
"How do you spell love/"
"You don't spell it, you feel it."
Milne - Winnie the Pooh
no place like home.'
Frank Braum- The Wizard of Oz