BNL logo
Section:  
 Newsletter Editions
No. 108 - June 01-06-2007

BERRYNARBOR LADIES' GROUP

The April meeting was well attended when Mr. Mandrey gave an interesting talk about the shipwrecks around the North Devon Coast, of which there are many due to the rugged cliffs and rocks. He brought objects he had found over the years and showed slides. We were amused to see an ornate ceramic toilet! The raffle was won by Ann Hinchliffe.

The hall was filled with lovely aromas on the 1st May when Susan Coles from the Tarka Clinic introduced us to the various treatments using the pure, natural essential oils extracted from flowers, leaves, wood and bark of plants. Aromatherapy is an ideal treatment to relieve stress and promote relaxation. The raffle was won by Jan Gammon and Ethel Tidsbury raffled another doll which was won by Joan Wood. Joan kindly donated this to St. Peter's Church to raise funds. We were pleased to welcome Vi Davies as a member, bringing the total membership to 29.

On the 5th June, our own Di Hillier will be talking about the Mission Aviation Fellowship - her interest comes from the fact that her son, Geoff, works for the Mission.

At the July meeting on the 3rd, Mr. K. Pugsley will be telling us about his travels. There will be no meeting in August.

On the 25th April, twelve ladies enjoyed an outing, travelling by mini-bus, to the National Trust property Cotehele, near Saltash. Other than a few spots of rain, the weather was fine which enabled most to walk down to the Quay as well as visit the house. Cotehele, the first house owned by the National Trust, is medieval with superb collections of textiles, armour and furniture. The restored Tamar sailing barge, Shamrock, is moored alongside the Quay.

There will be a visit to the Calvert Trust on the 10th July. This will include a tour around the complex and a cream tea.

A trip to Exeter is being planned for the end of the year when the new shopping mall is opened.

A reminder, meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month [excluding August] at 2.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall. New members are always welcome.

 

IN MEMORIAM

It is with sadness that we report the deaths of Alec Davies, Win Sanders and Brenda Walton.

Prayer in the Gethsemane Chapel, Bath Abbey

Keep joy within, keep bitterness out;
Keep generosity within, keep greed out;
Keep love within, keep self-seeking out;
Keep light within, keep darkness out.

 

WINIFRED MARY SANDERS

Win, late of the Lee House and latterly the Susan Day Home in Ilfracombe, passed away peacefully on the 22nd April at the age of 87. She will be missed by her family and our thoughts are with Graham, Sarah and Ben at this time of sorrow.


ALEC DAVIES

How sad we were to learn that Alec had passed away on the 6th April and our thoughts continue to be with Vi, Brian, Ann and all the family in their loss.

REGINALD 'ALEC' DAVIES

Leeside

18th May 1923 - 6th April 2007

Vi and family would like to say thank you to everyone for their kind messages of sympathy and support following the death of Alec.

Alec was a quiet man who enjoyed nothing more than walking his dogs Charlie, Badger and Nutty and 'pottering about' at home.

Following a private funeral, £400 was collected at Leeside and this has been donated to the North Devon Hospice who cared for Alec with compassion and dignity during his final days.

He will be greatly missed and not forgotten. A specimen oak tree is being planted at Leeside to celebrate and remember the life of this quiet and much-loved man.


BRENDA K. WALTON 1926-2007

Although Brenda lived in Combe Martin, her heart was in Berrynarbor where she had spent happy years at various points of her life. So it seemed fitting to say our last 'goodbyes' to her here in Berrynarbor under the kind guidance of Keith. Thank you to so many who were there.

Brenda never married but she had a very varied and interesting career. After graduating in Zoology at Birmingham University, she worked in Birmingham General Hospital as a haematologist. Whilst still in Birmingham, she worked at the Natural History Museum. A change of career to be an Abstracts Librarian, firstly at Avery's and then moving to Wantage to work at the Radio Biological Station. Back to museums to take up a post as Assistant Curator at the Manx Museum. She really loved the Isle of Man but indifferent health brought her back to Berrynarbor to recuperate. Her final career change was to teaching and she found great satisfaction in teaching the youngest in primary school.

Brenda took early retirement in order to look after our mother, which she did with great love and devotion. Once more she was living in Berrynarbor but then had to battle over nearly 20 years with cancer and depression.

God bless my dear Sister, who was also a much loved aunt.

Jill McCrae

 

Jill, our thoughts are with you not only in your loss but also for your stay in hospital - get well soon.

Eunice would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their generous donations. A cheque for £741 has been sent to Cancer Research UK in Bernard's memory.

 

ST PETER'S CHURCH

A happy service was enjoyed on Mothering Sunday although there were a few spaces in the pews. By the end of the service, all the posies had disappeared and our thanks to the ladies who spent time on the Saturday making up the bunches. It was lovely to see the children's faces as they went round the congregation making sure no-one had been forgotten.

What glorious weather for the Easter week-end! We had a good congregation for the Sunday service with families and visitors coming along to take part. Luckily Rector Keith had enough Easter eggs to go round! The choir sang "All in the April Evening" most beautifully and once again the flower arrangers had done us proud and our thanks go to those who gave so generously - we were able to decorate the south windows again this year.

The Coffee Morning held on Election Day was quieter than usual and we did miss the social side. However, proceeds came to £120 - well up to average - the cake and plant stalls doing particularly well. In addition, over £30 was raised on the Fairtrade stall. Thanks to the efforts of Janet Gibbins, a book of Gospel Readings for the Rector to use on Sundays and a table for the church have been purchased with the profits from the Fairtrade Stall to date.

GIFT DAY will be on Wednesday, 27th June. Rector Keith and members of the PCC will again be at the lichgate all day to receive your donations and have a chat. Look out for letters through your box!

Friendship Lunches at The Globe continue through the summer with the next on Wednesdays 27th June and 25th July. If you would like to join us, we meet from 12.00 noon onwards, ordering what we should like from the Bar Menu and paying for ourselves as we go. Ring me on 883881 if you would like to know more.

ADVANCE NOTICE: The Church Summer Fayre with all the usual stalls and attractions will be on Tuesday, 14th August.

Mary Tucker

 

CHURCH CHOIR

A few months ago I mulled over the idea of producing a photographic record of St. Peter's Church Choir to place on display in the church for all to see. I don't know what started me off on this quest, save to say that as Organist and Choirmaster, I naturally had a vested interest in the subject, so I set about obtaining as much information as possible!

Photographs that go back many years are not always easy to source. However, I had a stroke of good fortune in that Sally Barten - a choir member with her daughters in the 60's and 70's - furnished me with several excellent photos of the choir. Photos are one thing, but names are another! Here, several villagers came to my rescue, especially Vic and Anita Cornish, John Huxtable and Betty Brooks and, of course, good old Ron Toms! However, an unexpected surprise was presented to me by Lorna Bowden who came across a choir photo [sepia postcard] dated 1913! I couldn't believe my luck and by utilising the services of Kingsley Printers in Ilfracombe, I managed to enlarge this particular photo to A4 size with excellent clarity. The real bonus was to come, however, when Lorna actually identified everyone in the picture, taken to record a special day's outing to Woolacombe! My sincere thanks to Lorna for allowing me to incorporate this in my display which spans from 1913 to 2006. I am really pleased to include a photo of Reg Gosling [Organist and Choirmaster 1975 to 1999] and that young boy soprano, Bobby Bowden! How delighted we all are that Bobby is one of our tenors in the present choir.

I have now placed all the photos on a special display panel in the church and I hope that this historical photographic record will be of interest to villagers and visitors alike!

Stuart Neale

Footnote: If anyone has any other photographs of the Choir in their possession that have eluded my investigations, please contact me on [01271] 882447.

 

TRAINEE CHURCH ORGANIST

As you may know, I have been the resident organist at St. Peter's since 2000. During this period I have on rare occasions needed a 'deputy' to cover for me when I am on holiday or visiting family/friends. I am indebted to Phil Bridle who has stepped in for me sometimes at short notice - to play for the occasional service, wedding or funeral.

Although I have every intention of continuing to play for all church services [health permitting], I should welcome anyone from 14 years upwards who would be interested and enjoy learning to play the organ, to contact me at the earliest opportunity!

Some experience in playing piano or keyboard would obviously be helpful, together with a moderate ability to read music.

Playing the organ is not just about playing hymns but a whole range of music suitable for different occasions. I do not intend to charge for lessons, but a small charge may occasionally be made to cover the cost of sheet music. Please feel free to contact me on [01271]882447 - evenings only.

Stuart Neale

 

'PERKS'!

One of the perks of editing the Newsletter is receiving letters from readers for whom memories have been evoked by articles that have appeared. Following Pam's article on Walter Bassett, both Tom and Don Thirkell were able to add 'snippets' and since then I have received a letter from 92-year old Stanley Barnes from York, who lived here briefly just at the end of World War I. He writes:

My uncle E.J. Harding, who was born at 55 The Village in 1872, known as John or Jack, later trained as an engineer in London and some time later was employed by Mr. Bassett. I remember Uncle Jack telling me that he had worked on building the Ferris wheels, although I don't know if he worked on the wheel in Vienna.

Walter Bassett had a steam launch on the Thames at, or near, Richmond, and Uncle Jack was the engineer who manned the steam engine. My mother had a photograph in her album showing the launch with Jack standing just aft of the engine, the mast and funnel visible ahead of the engine. Unfortunately, I do not have the picture.

When Mr. Bassett decided to leave London and return to Watermouth Castle, Uncle Jack told me that he went by water in the launch with Jack accompanying him. The voyage was upstream on the Thames and into the Kennet, then into the Kennet and Avon Canal, into the Avon and out into the Bristol Channel at Avonmouth. It then steamed along the coast to Watermouth

Harbour - a distance, I estimate from measuring on the map, to have been at least 70 miles. How they managed for supplies and coal for the voyage I have no idea, or even how they located Watermouth. It seems to me that it must have been a most hazardous voyage and certainly must have needed much courage! I do not know the date of the venture.

After this expedition, my uncle went to Portsmouth to work in the Royal Naval Dockyard where he continued until he retired. My recollection of this adventure may add a tailpiece to the accounts in the Newsletter.

Stanley Barnes

And, following Tony's article on the Twin Towers, I heard from my 'boss' of some 50 years ago:

The picture of the Twin Towers intrigued me. It triggered in me a long lost memory. When I was five, or thereabouts, I have a faint recollection of my Uncle, then 16, and I standing looking down at a manhole cover over a drain outside this house and I have a feeling that he and his friends had played cricket on the waste ground outside the house, I dropped a stump or stumps through a hole in the cover! I cannot remember how I got there or how I got home but I was born and lived about three-quarters of a mile away below the railway line in South Woodford!

 

THE CARRION CROW

This little ditty was learnt at primary school, long ago, and surfaced in my mind recently. If you think it lacks a final verse, I have to agree, but can recall no single word of any such. Does anyone else remember it and if so, can they help?

Trev

A tailor kept a fine fat sow,
Caw, caw the carrion crow.
And she was plagued by a carrion crow,
Caw, caw the carrion crow,
Hey derry down derry dido.

Oh wife, oh wife bring me my bow,
Caw, caw the carrion crow.
And I will shoot that carrion crow,
Caw, caw the carrion crow,
Hey derry down derry dido.

The tailor shot but he missed his mark,
Caw, caw the carrion crow.
And saw his old sow lying stiff and stark,
Caw, caw the carrion crow,
Hey derry down derry dido.

Oh wife, oh wife bring brandy in a spoon,
Caw, caw the carrion crow.
For our old sow is lying in a swoon,
Caw, caw the carrion crow,
Hey derry down derry dido.

 

MANOR HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

The Annual General Meeting was held on the 2nd May at which the Chairman, Bob Hobson, gave his report:

Our main programme over the year has been twofold: [1] to maintain sufficient funds to cover the cost of maintaining the Hall and [2] to work on meeting the requirements of government legislation, in particular the Disability Discrimination Act.

We first paid for a 'walk and talk audit' of the buildings to find out what work was required. A report was issued from which we produced an Action Plan. This plan has been the focus of the Committee for the year with many of the projects being achieved. Many of them were required under the DDA, such as the parking bay by the door, the ramp and rails in the porch, the induction loop and access to the ambulant toilet.

In August the Penn Curzon Room was redecorated and new display boards installed. This was funded by a grant from Pre-School via Sure Start and the Manor Hall.

The Berry Revels raised over £1,500 with a further £300 being raised by an evening with the Hearts of Oak folk group.

On 7th November, a fire occurred in the boiler room resulting in the closure of the Pre-School and some hall activities. The cost of repairs and loss of earnings were covered by the insurance. Cleaning and redecorating took place where necessary and a new boiler installed.

Thanks to our cleaners, Barbara and John, who after 18 years of service have resigned. Charlotte Fryer has taken over the cleaning duties and Hedi Belka, after an absence due to illness, has returned as our Caretaker.

A humidifier was purchased and was successful in keeping the winter condensation at bay, but we have had many small maintenance problems with some still ongoing, and John Fanner has been helpful solving many.

Our other task of controlling the finances has been successful and we finish the year in the black to the tune of £275 and we have £18,000 in our building society account.

A new lease of 25 years for the Parish Room is near to conclusion which should mean the refurbishment of the building to meet legislation for schools.

For the coming year we are looking to improve the shrubbery around the buildings and car park and to look at the problems of dampness in the listed building, on the ground floor and in the Men's Institute. Advice is being sought on the best solution considering the age of the building and its category as a listed building.

Finally, a big thank you to all the team that keeps the main hall in good shape and financially viable.

Bob Hobson - Chairman

The resignations from the Committee by Vi and Ann Davis were regrettably accepted and they were thanked for all the hard work they had put in over the years and were assured of a warm welcome should they feel able to return.

The Committee for the year 2007-2008 is:

Chairman: Bob Hobson

Secretary: Margaret Weller

Treasurer: Nora Rowlands

Hall Bookings: Alan Rowlands

General Committee: Tom Bartlett, Marion Carter,

Julia Fairchild, Ann Hinchliffe,

Sue Sussex, Jane Vanstone

 

WEATHER OR NOT

The beginning of March saw some rain fall but this died away and after the 8th we recorded only 13mm [1/2]. We cannot give an accurate total for the month as we were away until the 7th, so rain that fell at the beginning of the month was included in February's figure but it was a very dry month.

The maximum temperature was 15.1 Deg C on the 31st, which was the lowest maximum since 1994, apart from March 2001 which was also 15.1 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 0.9 Deg C was a bit up on previous years but we also recorded a wind chill of -11 Deg C, which was colder than normal. In spite of these temperatures we had 73.44 hours of sunshine which was more than the previous three years. The strongest gust of wind was 35 knots - fairly average.

You do not need us to tell you that April was a very dry month. In fact we had a recordable amount of rain on only two days and with a total of 9mm [3/8"] for the month, it was the driest month that we have ever recorded, the next being August 1995 with 11mm [7/16"]. It was also a consistently warm month with a maximum temperature of 21.8 Deg C on the 14th, and an average maximum over the month of 17.19 Deg C. The daily minimum temperature ranged between 1.7 Deg C and 12.7 Deg C, giving an average for the month of 6.73 Deg C. Winds were generally very light with only six days with gusts over 15 knots and a maximum gust of 22 knots on the 24th. The 154.62 hours of sunshine reflected the dry warm weather - April 2006 was the next sunniest with 136.96 hours.

The total rainfall for the first quarter of this year was 389mm [15¼"] which although more than we recorded for the same period in 2003, 2005 and 2006, is quite low compared to many years. As we write this, however, it is pouring down with rain, cold and miserable but at least we don't have to water the garden.

Simon and Sue

 

DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTION

May I thank all those people who helped me over the weeks prior to Election Day on the 3rd May, and all those who kept my spirits up whilst walking the streets and knocking on doors - the kind words of encouragement were my strength, thank you all. My biggest thanks must go to those who voted me in, I promise not to let you down.

Over the next couple of months I shall be attending intensive training courses, but will be available to speak to anyone who wishes to contact me with regards to Council matters, either at my shop [01271 882214] or at home [01271 882916].

Thank you once again.

Sue Sussex - District Councillor

I should like to thank all those who supported me in the recent Elections. I am pleased that I shall be able to represent you for another four years, and continue the work that is already in progress. If you have any questions or issues that you wish to discuss with me, please do not hesitate to contact me on [01271]882364.

Thank you once again.

Yvette Gubb

My thanks to those of you who turned out on polling day to cast your vote - just over 50% made their way to the polling stations, down on previous elections but still a respectable turnout.

I wasn't re-elected, disappointing for me but that is the democratic process in action.

My regards and good wishes to you all.

Julia Clark

 

LETTER FROM THE RECTOR

The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends

John Constable [1776-1837] is one of the greatest artists England has ever produced and is considered to be one of the finest landscape artists in the history of art. His work includes such masterpieces as "The Hay Wain", "Dedham Vale", "The Cornfield" and "The White Horse", etc.

On one occasion when he was very famous, he was staying at a village inn where a young girl of eleven was also staying and trying to paint landscapes.

It so happened that one afternoon he came across this young girl painting but without much success. He stood quietly by as she tried to make the paint behave itself but she was getting more and more frustrated and angry.

The great man went and stood by her and asked if he could borrow her brush. The girl handed it over. With a few quick strokes, Constable, without altering in any way the work the girl had done, transformed the painting into a thing of beauty.

When we invite God into our lives, He never seeks to change what we are, but transforms us into what we have the potential to become.

With all good wishes.

Your Friend and Rector

Keith Wyer

 

WELCOME AND FAREWELL

A warm welcome to the first two residents at Lee Lodge, Bill Kieff and Walter Canham.

Bill, who originally comes from Essex, has been living at Woolcombe, where his family are. In his working days he was in the retail trade, running shops selling from groceries to hardware and Do-it-Yourself stores.

Walter has not moved far - just from Goosewell, where for the past few years he has been living with his son Malcolm and Sue.

Walter, who celebrated his 90th birthday in May with a party at Burrow House, comes from a family boasting longevity - both his mother and father lived to 96 and Walter says he is going to break that record!

Ex-Rotarian [and President for the Portslade Club in West Sussex in 1973, and founder member of the Sussex Film Society], Walter's career was in Chartered Accountancy, so he was the obvious man to be Treasurer of the British Automobile Racing Club for 12 years.

From the age of 7, a keen collector of stamps, mainly from Scandinavia and Great Britain, he also collected coins and is a very keen gardener. He has great plans for the garden at Lee Lodge and hopes that next year they will be able to take part in the Open Garden events as well as participating in Berry in Bloom.

We wish both Bill and Walter every happiness in their new 'home from home'.

 

Farewell to You All

I shall always have such happy memories of Berrynarbor. Bernard and I came here 28 years ago and we found paradise at Bali-Hai and the beautiful Sterridge Valley. We were always happy helping at the various activities in the village - growing the plants and manning the stalls, winning prizes at the Horticultural Show, doing the book stall, and many others.

We decided to move nearer to our children before Bernard's death and I have now found a bungalow close to them in Burgess Hill near Brighton.

I shall miss all the friends I have made in the village, but look forward to beginning again in my new surroundings where I hope to find some more very nice people. I shall keep in touch and read all the village news through the newsletter.

Eunice

We shall miss you too, Eunice, but wish you every happiness in your new home with the family nearby.

Last August we welcomed Debbie and Stuart, their two dogs and two cats and wished them well in looking for a home in the village. Achieved! Together with three inherited goldfish [!] they are all now the new residents at Bali-Hai. We wish you every happiness in your new home and good luck with the gardening!

 

CHURCH BULLETINS

·         The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

·         The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water". The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus".

·         Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale - it's a chance to get rid of

those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

·         The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been cancelled due to a conflict.

·         Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.

·         Miss Charlene Mason sang, "I will not pass this way again", giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

·         For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

·         Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

·         The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy ".

·         Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24th in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

·         A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

·         At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

·         Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

·         Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

·         The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. Potluck supper Sunday at 5: 00 p.m. Prayer and medication to follow.

·         The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

·         This evening at 7 p.m. there will be hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

·         The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

·         Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. Please use the back door.

·         The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

·         Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

·         The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours".

 

Alan and Patsy, Sheaves

 

SLOLEY BARN DANCE

Well another brilliant barn dance it has to be said! I'm not sure on numbers but judging by the empties and the length of time it took South Molton Recycle to tip them into their lorry last Tuesday there must have been about 200 - that's a lot of broken glass and very noisy it sounded at 8.20 in the morning. The Boxall reputation has certainly been blown for another year!  What needs to be said?  A great party and of course thanks to the usual suspects - in no particular order:

 Lynne, Phil and family - for just getting the whole thing off the ground; June, Ivan and the boys for the pig, sausages and hard work in carving; Jane Jones and Anne Davies for running the buffet; 'Folk in Motion' for their brilliant music and calling; Richard Gingell for sorting the barn [sorry about the smell but it does add to the atmosphere!]; Bett Brooks and Ursula Rouse  for running the raffle - between them they added almost another £200 to the takings and by the way, the dog was called 'Johno';

Keith Jones and Tony Kitchen for hauling the tables and chairs to and from the Manor Hall; and, of course, all the wonderful cooks in the village who contributed to the most magnificent spread - it just gets better every time - a bit like the loaves and fishes, holding out so everyone gets fed. Finally, of course, my dear husband who managed to return when everything had been tidied away nicely and ask casually, "So was it a good party?"

  The good news is that we raised over £900, which means you all had a fantastic night out for about a fiver a head - probably the best value dinner, let alone dance, in the whole of Devon, if not the world!

  After careful consultation, the beneficiaries are being notified as we go to press. They are: the Pre-School, Church/Bellringers, Carnival Club, Berry in Bloom & Claude's Garden, the Shop and Manor Hall.

Here's to the next one! Fenella

 

NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL

Hello, my name is Susan Carey and I am the new Head Teacher at Berrynarbor VC Primary School. I arrived after Easter and already feel very at home in our wonderful village school. I have been made to feel very welcome by the children and their parents and am being well supported by the committed team of staff and governors.

Children, parents, staff and school governors joined together to bid farewell to Mrs. Crutchfield at the end of the Spring Term - the children sang and presented her with gifts and flowers. We all wish her well in her new position as Head Teacher at Caen Primary School in Braunton.

We have had a very busy start to the Summer Term. We made the best of the good weather and have started a range of after-school clubs. The children thoroughly enjoy these opportunities to pursue their interests in a range of hobbies including recorders, football, choir, netball and guitar. Clubs are run by members of staff or parents who give up their time for the benefit of the children. Lee Barrow [coach and scout for Plymouth Argyll] will be running after-school training for six weeks later in the term and children are already enthusiastically signing up.

Parent Mrs. Fairchild has been visiting us weekly to work with groups of children from Classes 1 and 2 in the garden. They have been tidying planters and sowing seeds. The children look forward eagerly to 'their turn' at gardening and we thank Mrs. Fairchild for her continued support. Class 1 are learning about how things grow this term and the children have created some pictures for you to enjoy.

A Bean Growing in a Jar


Miles Rees, Year 1 [6]
   
Jak Daglish, Reception [5]

Caitlin Burgess, Year 1 [6]

Ellie Saxby, Year 1 [5]

Class 3 have been working with Mr. McMannus to learn to play tag rugby and Class 2 have been swimming each week. I have been impressed by the children's confidence and ability in the water - such an important skill in this coastal region. Class 3 will start swimming again after the half term break.

The oldest children have been preparing for their end of key stage tests [SATs] which they sat this week. As I write the children are returning from the beach - a treat for all their hard work. We are very proud of the responsible attitude that the children have shown towards these tests. They have studied hard and I am sure will obtain results to be proud of.

We have been experimenting with our ten new keyboards which were purchased for us by our hard working PTA. The Combe Martin Carnival Committee have kindly donated £150 to the school which we shall use to purchase some head phones so that the children are able to use the keyboards more regularly - the acoustics in our beautiful old build are good but unfortunately the sound insulation between classrooms wasn't designed for our very creative children!

Years 5 and 6 will be travelling to Bristol on Monday to start their week-long residential visit. Mrs. Lucas has an action packed programme planned for them: orienteering, a visit to @Bristol, a boat trip around Bristol's waterways, guided tour of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, visits to Cabot Tower and the Red Lodge and a trip to Bristol Zoo. All these experiences will help to bring the curriculum alive.

The PTA are already planning our Summer Fete which will be held during the evening of 17th July. I have heard that it is an event not to be missed and I am looking forward to meeting members of the Berrynarbor community. We are also planning an afternoon of sports to be held on the Parish field on Thursday, 28th June [or Friday, 6th July if the weather doesn't hold]. The PTA are organising refreshments and we are hoping that our young athletes will be well supported by family and friends of the school. The money raised by the PTA will help to fund the upgrading of our ICT facilities.

As a school we are at the beginning stages of planning strategic developments for the next three years. We feel very strongly that our role is to prepare the children for their future so that they are able to take their place in the community as responsible citizens. To that end we shall be considering how we deliver the curriculum to our children and would welcome the support and involvement of the village community. If you have any suggestions, skills or expertise or if you would like to know more about what we are doing, we'd love to hear from you.

Susan Carey - Head Teacher

 

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Ever since Mona Lott [ITMA] and possibly further back, we have been amused by incongruous juxtapositions of first and second names - remember Frank Muir and Denis Norden in 'My Word'?

Here are 24 first and second names for you to match up in the most appropriate [or inappropriate, as you will] combination. My own choice appears later on page 24.

First Names:

Barbara, Carol, Carrie, Evan, Gail, Harold, Harry, Honor, Hugh, Ivan, Jack, Joe, Justin, Maurice, Noah, Norah, Pete, Pierre, Sandy, Saul, Sean, Shirley, Terry, Toby

Second Names:

Angel, Banks, Boggs, Bone, Bull, Caine, Case, Hall, Inkling, King, Knott, Lamb, Mynah, Over, Peel, Ray, Rowe, Sattak, Savours, Shaw, Singer, Uppas, Warning, Wright

Trev

It is lovely to welcome two new babies and to wish them healthy and happy futures and congratulate their parents and grandparents.

Jack Peter arrived at Fondi, Italy, on the 26th March, weighing in at 7lbs 4oz to delighted parents Kim [nee Jost] and Mark Barber.

Big sister Sally has had a wonderful time celebrating her brother's arrival, Easter and her 3rd birthday, not to mention visits by her proud grandparents, Rainer and Jill.

Superceding baby Ruby as our youngest resident, Sarah and Terry are delighted to announce the arrival of Jed on the 12th May. Brother to Ryan, Keifer, Tia and Caolan, and grandchild No. 9 for Gary and Joyce, he weighed 6lbs 13oz.

 

BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE

At the April meeting, Ruth Diggle gave an extremely knowledgeable presentation on English wines based upon Denbies Vineyard in Surrey, near Box Hill. She presented four white wines, one rose and ended with a red wine.

The final meeting for the season was held on 16th May and was preceded by the AGM. Alex Parke, Chairman of the Club, welcomed everyone and undertook to make the AGM as short as posssible, hopefully even beating his record of 9.5 minutes, set last year! He summarised the attendance records, income and expenditure as all being slightly up on last year. It was agreed that the cost of membership and pricing system for the monthly meetings remain unchanged and with no new nominations, the committee also remained unchanged. Alex thanked the committee for their work and closed the meeting in a new record time of 7.3 minutes!

The evening's presentation with wines selected by long standing friend of the Wine Circle, Jan Tonkin, was a wonderful way to end an excellent season.

The committee will now start planning for next season, which starts on the third Wednesday in October and then meets on the third Wednesday of each month through to May 2008. Anyone who likes wine and enjoys an excellent social evening with like-minded friends, tasting and learning more about wines, is welcome to join us. A better value, friendly, social evening is hard to envisage! Contact either Tony Summers [Secretary] on 883600 or Alex Parke [Chairman] on 883758 for more information and inclusion on the mailing list. Or alternatively, e-mail Tony at tony@veronas.freeserve.co.uk.

Tom and Tony

 

SLUGS 'N' MICE!

We have had a problem with slugs and mice.

Slugs - we have tried pellets but they seem to enjoy them, they also love the taste of our hostas.

We have put down bait for the mice - surprisingly, when I went to move some pieces of old rock I found that they had moved some of the bait and stored it up for eating later. I thought I'd better consult the experts, so off I went to our DIY centre.

"Ah, yes," said the assistant. "We have a nice line in mouse traps at 50p each." I thought, that's quite reasonable, I'll have a couple.

"What is the best bait for mouse traps?" I asked, "Because I've heard that cheese is not that good."

The assistant smiled, "Chocolate, or better still a Mars Bar." Perhaps they might like to wash it down with champagne, I thought!

What about dealing with slugs?" He thought for a moment. "Yes, we have quite a clever device." He reached up to a shelf and removed the device from its cardboard box. It was made from plastic and had three reservoirs.

"Tell me more," I said.

"Well, you fill the reservoirs with beer which they love. They get drunk and fall in and drown."

"Very ingenious", I gasped, "Would they like a nice drop of Guiness?"

Surprisingly, both methods worked, though we did enjoy some of the beer and a bit of Mars Bar!

 

The Newsletter

It's time to get your pens out.
Write your tales, young or old.
Get it down on paper,
Come on, just be bold!

We all have a story, glad or sad.
Some with glory, some that are bad.
So set it down now, 'cause folks want to hear
Perhaps from The Globe over a beer.

You'll see your bit, set down in print,
I'm telling you now, it's not just a hint.
Your Berry family is wanting to hear
So tell us all, we're waiting to cheer!

Don't just talk about, Do it!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester

 

OF THIS . . . AND THAT . . .

THANKS:

Just to say thank you to all my friends who made my 90th Birthday such a happy event. Special thanks to Chris and Pat and the 'Marigold' girls.

With all the presents, flowers, bottles, chocolates and cards, I considered opening a shop in opposition to the village emporium!

Thanks again.

Phyl W - Cherry Tree Cottage

 

TAW & TORRIDGE CARING
Castle Centre, Castle Street, Barnstaple.


A charitable organisation running carer support services in the area, Taw and Torridge Caring provide volunteers who will sit with and befriend the 'Cared for Person' allowing the Carer to have some time for themselves.

If you are interested and would like more information or would like to volunteer, please contact Sharron O'Neil on [01271] 372250.

 

TAKE NOTICE!

Berrynarbor Park now boasts its own noticeboard. So, if you are bill-posting for a village event, etc., don't forget to pop up and advertise to all the residents there.

QUICK QUOTE [from Heather Maynard, given with feeling!]

"Grandparents are for life, not just for Birthdays and Christmas!"

 

COMBE MARTIN OPEN GARDENS

We, in Combe Martin, look forward again to meeting with some of you 'near neighbours from over the hill' at our Parish Church Open Gardens on the week-end of 23rd and 24th June, from 2.00 to 6.00 p.m. each day.

A time to meet old and new friends and visitors too, to join the trek to view some, if not all, of the 16 gardens open. Cream teas will be on offer at two venues and a plant stall at Adams Hay.

Programmes will be available from Sue's of Combe Martin and the Tourist Information Centre in Cross Street.

 

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Barbara Sattak

Justin Case

Carol Singer

Maurice Mynah

Carrie Over

Noah Peel

Evan Savours

Norah Bone

Gail Warning

Pete Boggs

Hugh Ray

Pierre Rowe

Harold Angel

Sandy Banks

Harry Caine

Saul Wright

Honor Uppas

Sean Lamb

Ivan Inkling

Shirley Knott

Jack Hall

Terry Bull

Joe King

Toby Shaw

.

PARISH COUNCIL REPORT

The first meeting of the new Council was held on the 15th May. I was very pleased to be re-elected as Chairman and to welcome a new Councillor, David Richards of Barton Lane.

The Council would like to thank Keith Walls, who stood down at the Election, for all his hard work, commitment and enthusiasm over the last four years.

As villagers will have noticed, major landscaping of Claude's Garden has started and an open meeting, to discuss plans and formulate ideas, was held on the 22nd May. Present were members of the Council, the family, the Berry in Bloom group and villagers.

Jill Sidebottom, one of the Trustees, gave details of the terms of Claude Richard's will: the land was left to the village for the creation of a quiet garden; it could not be sold, built on or otherwise used.

The five main issues were:

v      Low Maintenance

v      Safety

v      Funding

v      Privacy to Neighbours

v      Access

The first phase will be to erect fencing and grass the whole area. A landscaping scheme will then be drawn up and displayed in the village shop and villager's comments will be welcome. It is hoped to provide additional access from the corner by the bench at the bottom of Castle Hill.

The next Council Meeting will be on Tuesday, 19th June [a week later than normal], at 7.00 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room. Remember, Council Meetings are open to the public and you are welcome to attend.

Sue Sussex - Chairman

 

THE CHICHESTERS AND BERRYNARBOR

Originally from Sussex, the family bred many heroic sons.

Sir Richard de Chichester accompanied Richard Coeur de Lion on his crusades 1189-1199. His descendant, Roger Chichester, was knighted at the Siege of Calais 4.9.1346 by Edward III and was mentioned at the battle of Poitiers 19.9.1356.

The family arrived in North Devon when Roger's son, Sir John Chichester, married Thomasina Raleigh of Raleigh Manor, Pilton, in 1385. From this union descended different branches of the family, many of whom held high office, including High Sheriff of Devon. His own son, Sir John, was named in the list of lances in the retinue of Seur de Harington at Agincourt 1415 - Henry V.

In modern times, we are familiar with the exploits of Sir Francis Chichester and Gypsy Moth, of the Youlston Park family who is buried in Shirwell churchyard. Rosalie Chichester of Arlington was the last of her family and left her estate to the National Trust in 1949.

The little farm in BerryNarbornamed 'Chichesters' [Easter Court]opposite Hammonds Farm,possibly derived its name from

HENRY CHICHESTER - RECTOR OF BERRYNARBOR 25.10.1674 - 1714
and
EDWARD CHICHESTER -RECTOR OF BERRYNARBOR 1714 - 1735

Edward was Henry's second son and was 27 when he succeeded his father. Between them, they held the living for 61 years.

In 1727, Edward received a questionnaire from the Dean of Exeter which asked every parson in the diocese to complete a 'terrier' or report on his church and lands, including the nature of his tithes.

The original rectory stood somewhere behind Rectory Cottage [Wild Violets]. Joyce and Gary have a photocopy of the old terrier but the original had been torn and damaged and made little sense. They kindly let me have a go at deciphering it and after much pen sucking and head scratching, it came together, giving a fascinating picture of life in Berry 300 years ago.

It is too long to copy verbatim so I shall try and precis the contents although I shall copy entry 35 as written, because it gives an insight of a man with a 'modern' outlook but being aware of the need to manage and conserve the land of which he was custodian.

"Ye timber to ye parsonage is very considerable, ye present incumbent having been obliged to take down ye greater part thereof for ye necessary repairs of his house, much dilapidated at his first coming to it and erecting ye edifice as mentioned above* but in ye room he has planted a walk of trees in a field leading up to ye church called Oakland to ye number of fifty and about twenty ash; plants around ye churchyard and other plants of ye Globe, which are all in a flourishing condition."

*The edifice mentioned was 'an Anti-Hall which is floored with Bristol slate over which is a chamber floored with deal built by ye present incumbent from that harvested." He also built new stables and a Necessary House covered with Berry flatstone.

Edward's 'walk of trees' still lined the footpath across Little Oaklands in the 1980's. The powers that be deemed that they were dying of heart-rot and cut them down. After felling, it was proved that only one ash was affected, the others were perfectly healthy - a sad day.

The parsonage appears to have been as large as the original Manor House. On the ground floor was the anti-hall, little parlour, great parlour, 4 chambers, the stair plot and little room, kitchen, larder, pantry, dairy, a brew house, ale house, a chamber for keeping apples and wool, a malt house chamber and 4 cellars. Upstairs there were 6 chambers.

The doors were wainscoted, the walls all built of stone except the little parlour which was cob. "Ye house is rough casted after a handsome manner, covered with Berry slate stone". The malt house was thatched. All the rooms were clay [presumably plastered] except for the kitchen.

Around the parsonage were many outhouses including "a gate house with a chamber above", a pound house [could be round house], a barn, stables, a cow shipping, a dove house and 4 thatched pigs' houses.

"There are seven little orchards containing about 2 acres of land, some made by ye pore, some made by ye present incumbent viz Ye Easter Orchard, Ye Alder Park, Longmeadow, Rockhill. Barn(?), Little Meadow and Kitchen Orchard." He made two little walled gardens adjoining the house and also "Ye Kitchen Gardens taken out of ye bottom of a field called Oakland containing about half of one acre of land". This lovely old garden went on to provide for subsequent clergy including those later housed in the grand, new Victorian Rectory. It was still a very productive garden in the 1960's when Les Bowen's parents worked it for their market garden business. All that remains now is the crumbling wall and a lone pear tree defiantly displaying a wealth of beautiful blossom.

The Parsonage land totalled about 76 acres, some as far afield as Bitadon and Combe Martin. The large fields are named and familiar to us, such as "Peter's Meadow containing two acres and eight yards, bounded on ye west with a river and a meadow in ye possession of William Vellacott, on ye north with a little meadow of hempland in ye tenure of John Gold and a hempland in ye tenure of John Hicks and another part with Centuryland; which said meadow is watered with ye water yt runs from Berry Town."

The channels for this water are still visible following the contours at the top of Peter's Meadow. It was known in my family as the Water Meadow. I don't know what the term centuryland means - it could possibly mean the Parish Road or any land not belonging to the church.

There are many little unnamed meadow and closes listed, quite a few of which are hemp or hopland. Hemp was used to make rope and string and needed soaking or retting when harvested. "There belongs to this Parsonage two Hemp Pools, one of ye lower end of Oakland and Little Oakland, ye other at ye lower end of ye little meadow next the house" Hops were quite common in the hedgerows when I was a child.

Much of the land was occupied by tenants, but the land around the Parsonage, Edward farmed to provide for his own household.

Besides land, the Parsonage owned [1] a dwelling house of a hall and 2 chambers with a 2 acre close bounded by a little river, 2 orchards, the highway and Peter's Meadow - possibly Bet and Kevin Brooks' cottage.

[2] A little thatched house adjoining the Church House [right hand side of the Lych Gate] containing 1 under room and a chamber having 2 little gardens - still there in 1861.

Church Fees

1. Easter Offering 16 yrs + 2d. A tradesman 6d.

2. Marriage by Banns 5s.6d. By licence 5s.

3. Churching a Woman after childbirth 6d.

4. Nothing for burials

5. Breaking a grave in the church 6s.8d.

6. Leave to make a grave? in the chancel £1.1s.

7. Mortuaries are paid according to Status

8. "All tithes are due to ye Rector, in kind if he pleases to

take them so"

The parishioners repair the church and churchyard fences. "Ye minister ye chancel which is handsomely ceiled overhead by the present incumbent."

"The Clerks wage is £3 per annum, the Sextons 10s, paid by the Parishioners but appointed by the Rector."

John Hicks was Churchwarden.

Lorna Bowden
Re. Gary and Joyce Songhurst

Ref: The Knights of Raleigh Manor - Pat Barrow
History of Georgeham - Lois Lamplugh

Illustrations by Peter Rothwell

N.B. 1. The cutting through Rockhill had not been made.

2. I think Orchard House was built on the site of an old building.

3. The Temperance Hall - still standing - was probably the barn
belonging to the Parsonage. It was still being used for social

functions and meetings when Aunty Lorna was a child.

 

COMBE MARTIN CARNIVAL

At the Cheese and Wine Evening held in April, cheques were presented to organisations and individuals who received a share of the £2,200, and this included a donation to Berrynarbor Primary School for Outdoor Clothing and the Pre-School for Equipment.

A reminder that Strawberry Fair takes place on Sunday, 17th June, from 1.00 to 4.00 p.m. If you wish to book a table, £5 for charities and local organisations and £8 commercial, please contact John Fletcher.

Nominations are now being taken for Carnival Queen - entrants must be 16 or over and available for functions over the 8 days. Nominations must be received in writing by 30th June to Richard's Electrical or Sue's of Combe Martin.

If any organisation wishes to run a Barbecue, send a written request to The Carnival Secretary: John Fletcher, Field House, King Street, Combe Martin. Tel: [01271] 883924.

Sue Sussex - Chairman

 

BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE

The wonderful weather that we had in late March and April means that the spring bulbs, primroses and cowslips were over in a flash. We do not start watering the tubs and plants until the summer bedding is in, so the poor old tulips, daffodils and primulas suffered quite a bit. Who would think that we could complain about it being too dry in April!

This year we have been asked by the Parish Council to help with the rejuvenation of Claude's Garden. Over the years this has become overgrown and in need of a make-over. The idea is to open it up and make it more accessible. To enable the whole village to have their say as to how they would like to see the garden progress, a meeting was held on the 22nd May to discuss the options. The Parish Council is applying for grants to help the funding of this, but it is hoped that the whole village will join in and be involved.

The litter picks continue and the hanging baskets are due to be delivered on the 25th May. The dates for the Open Gardens are:

 

SUNDAY, 17TH JUNE

The Sterridge Valley

1.00 to 5.30 p.m.

Teas from 3.00 p.m. at Chicane

 

SUNDAY 15TH JULY

The Village

1.00 to 5.30 p.m.

Teas from 3.00 p.m. at The Lodge

If you would like to have your garden open on one of these dates, please 'phone Wendy on [01271]882296. It's a lovely way to meet people and your garden doesn't have to be perfect. If you are in the process of rejuvenating an old garden or creating a new one, we should love to see 'work in progress'.

Please make a note of the dates and come along and support us.

Judging for the Best Kept Village is on-going, so keep up the good work.

RECIPE FOR JUNE

Date and Orange Loaf

This is a simple, moist and sticky cake and it keeps well - if you can stop everyone eating it!

1 Packet [375g] Chopped Dates

4 fl. oz Water

6 oz [175g] Soft Brown Sugar

Grated Rind of an Orange

8 oz [225g] Self-raising Flour

3 oz [75g] Butter or Margarine

1 Free-range Egg, beaten

1 Rounded teaspoon of Cinnamon

2 tbsp Orange Juice

Put the dates and water in a saucepan and simmer until the dates are pulpy. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the butter or margarine, beat well and add the grated orange zest and juice. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes then add the beaten egg and mix again. Sieve the flour and cinnamon together and add a little at a time to the date mixture. Pour into a prepared 1kg loaf tin. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350 Deg F, 180 Deg C or Gas Mark 4. Cool on a rack. When cold keep for about 2 days wrapped in tin foil to mature before eating.

Serve the loaf sliced plain or buttered.

* This loaf will be the item at the Horticultural & Craft Show to be made to a given recipe - so try it out now and keep practising!

 

WILLIAM S. HARLEY

29.12.1880 - 18.9.1943

Founder [with Arthur Davidson] of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

Ever since Billy Connolly 'swanned' around Oz on a three-wheeler Harley-Davidson for a TV series, I've had the ambition to ride one of these beauties to celebrate my big Seven O. After all, my most recent driving licence is still valid for: 'A' Motorcycle Licence [for a Lambretta in the late '50's!]. It reads 'After 2 years any size motor cycle can be ridden', but not a word against after 50!

Fenella's 50th extravaganza, when she arranged for the local Harley-Davidson Club to offer rides for charity from our square, only fuelled my enthusiasm. For the entire ride, albeit as pillion of course, I had an idiotic grin on my face [hidden by the crash helmet] so that my cheeks ached. I can still hear the powerful roar of the engine.

So how did this superb machine come about? William S. Harley was the son of William Harley who had emigrated from Littleport, Cambridgeshire, in 1859. William was born in 1880. Arthur Davidson, a year younger, was the son of William C. Davidson, an immigrant Scottish carpenter.

As teenagers, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, neighbours in Milwaukee, were both mechanically minded and practical: they wanted to take the hard work out of bicycling. At 15, Harley started work at a bicycle factory. Through hands-on experience and college, he qualified as a draughtsman. After the first motorbike was built, he studied engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, paying his way by waiting at tables and working part-time as a draughtsman at a Madison factory. He was the only one of the four partners to get a recognised qualification and was to serve as Harley-Davidson's Chief Engineer and Treasurer until his death of heart failure in 1943.

In 1901, he and Davidson produced 4 engines designed to fit into bicycle frames. The engines were underpowered and the bicycle frame not strong enough, so it was back to the drawing board!

1903 was a historic one for the internal combustion engine: Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved powered flight with a 16 horsepower engine they'd made in their bicycle shop; Henry Ford founded his motor company, and the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle appeared and was sold to Henry Meyer, a school friend.

The Davidson basement was the 'factory' until father built them a 10 x 15 foot wooden shed in the garden. Arthur's older brother, Walter, joined the enterprise and his sister Janet playfully painted on the door 'Harley-Davidson Motor Company'. She also designed a logo - an eagle and flag, symbols of freedom and independence - which she painted in red on the grey petrol tanks: and a legend was born. In 1903-4 only 3 bikes were produced, but as an act of faith, C H Lang of Chicago set up a Harley-Davidson dealership. They also began to gain a name for themselves by participating - and winning - in motorcycle racing.

However, money was tight in the early days but family came to the rescue. An 80-year old hermit uncle, who kept bees, donated his life-savings, whilst Elizabeth Davidson, three years younger than Arthur, did the accounts and somehow they survived.

By 1905 the first employee was hired. In the next year, a new factory 28 x 80 feet was built and there were 6 employees. William A. Davidson, Arthur's older brother, decided to quit his job as a tool foreman for the Milwaukee Railroad and join the embryonic company. On 17th September the Harley-Davidson Motor Company was registered and the stock split between the four men.

The company grew rapidly, the factory was enlarged and more employees hired. Harley-Davidsons won endurance and reliability contests and the police started buying them. In 1910, the present bar and shield logo was patented.

In 1916, a dozen Harley-Davidsons with machine guns mounted on sidecars were ordered by the US army to drive the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa out of Texas. The next year, the United States joined World War I and 20,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles replaced horses in the cavalry regiment.

In 1921 a Harley-Davidson achieved fame as the first vehicle to win a race with an average speed of over 100 mph.

During the Depression, only two motor cycle companies survived: Harley and Indian, and in 1933 production fell from 24,000 to less than 4,000. Undeterred, they continued to develop classic motorbikes and by 1936, six of the sons of the founders were working for the company. After the closure of Indian Motorcycles in 1953, Harley-Davidson was the sole surviving American producer from more than 50 companies. After a few rocky years they were bought out by American Metal Foundries ending 62 years of private family ownership. AMF concentrated on bulk production, losing the Harley-Davidson character and the business went further downhill. There was a company executive buy-out in 1981, since when the brand has re-established itself, and in 2003 celebrated its centenary.

Arthur Davidson became Company Secretary and General Sales Manager and died in a car accident in December 1950.

On a personal note, William Harley loved outdoor pursuits, enjoying fishing, hunting and golf. In later years he took up sketching and wildlife photography.

And what of my ambition? Well…a little bird has whispered that a company in Wales offers day courses on riding a Harley Davidson, so you never know!

PP of DC

 

WALKS - 102

William Boot and "the Smith of Smiths"

Sidney Smith

Combe Florey lies in a small valley between the Brendon Hills and the Quantocks, close by the route of the West Somerset Railway.

With its thatched cottages built of the distinctive red sandstone, its mill stream and general leafiness, it conforms to the idyllic notion of how a village should be. And so thought the Reverend Sidney Smith, Rector of Combe Florey from 1829 until 1845.

"I am extremely pleased with Combe Florey and pronounce it to be a very pretty place in a very beautiful county", he wrote to a friend a few months after arriving there.

But the famous and much admired reformer and wit was a late convert to country life. Enjoying London, he had hitherto regarded the countryside as a "healthy grave".

However, he quickly took to Combe Florey and the residents of Combe Florey took to their eccentric but humane and cheerful priest. He continued to live there after becoming Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral.

His philosophy of life was "Do good and be happy". He was dubbed "the Smith of Smiths" and Macauley claimed he was "the greatest master of ridicule in England since Jonathan Swift".

I made my way to the church of St. Peter and St. Paul past the imposing gatehouse dating from 1590. A green pug moth fluttered against its dark red walls. Beyond its great arch was the Manor House, seventeenth century originally but given a new and 'modern' front in 1730.

Stitchwort and Jack-by-the-hedge were growing along the way, and opposite the church, ancient steps lead to a steep mount known as the 'Monk's Garden'.

The gnarled yew in the churchyard is believed to be fifteen hundred years old and has been awarded a certificate in recognition of its longevity!

A nuthatch appeared at its base. A song thrush could be heard, repeating each phrase of its inventive melody and in the bushes, a blackcap 'clatted' metallically.

The church has some 15th century carved bench ends but the rood screen is a 19th century replacement. On the other side of a little door at the back of the pulpit I found a flight of steps, very steep and narrow, rather claustrophobic being blocked up at the top. They had once led to the rood loft above the screen.

On the floor lie 14th century stone effigies of a knight and his two wives; stone images of their five dogs at their feet, an indication of how such people regarded their canine companions so long ago.

Behind the church I entered a meadow of speedwell and lady's smock and the buzzing of bees. Here is a small plot containing the graves of Evelyn Waugh and his wife Laura. The famous novelist lived at Combe Florey until his death in 1966.

In his novel "Scoop", a satire on journalists and the newspaper trade the unworldly William Boot is sent - in a case of mistaken identity - to report on a civil war in the fictitious country of Ishmaelia. Propelled from his uneventful life of badger watching in a small village near Taunton, he is truly an innocent abroad.

Until then, William Boot has been responsible for writing the natural history column for a national newspaper - "' Lush places' edited by William Boot, Countryman".

Examples of his oeuvre: 'Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole . . ." and "the wagons lumber in the lane under their golden glory of harvested sheaves; maternal rodents pilot their furry broad through the stubble . . ."

These parodies are often quoted as just how unstintingly funny such pieces can be. At one point, "William resolved to give rodents a miss . . . and write instead of wild flowers and birdsong.! Oh dear! I little imagined when I first read "Scoop" and laughed at these pastiches, that I should be writing nature notes for a village newsletter over thirty years later.

It is remarkable that such a small west country village should have been home to two famous men, very different in character and temperament and separated by more than a century but both noted for their mocking wit and sense of the ridiculous.

 

GLORIOUS GLASS

Open Studio at

Castle Hill Lodge, Newberry Hill

Friday, 22nd - Monday, 25th June

11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Lani Shepherd designs and makes contemporary stained glass panels using handmade glass. She uses the unique qualities of the glass to create original and exciting work. Her range includes window panels, doors, wall panels, screens, hangings, lamps and mirrors.

She is opening her studio to the public as part of the North Devon Festival's Art Trek Event and will be demonstrating the craft of stained glass making. She is joined by painter and designer Linda Hajdukiewicz.

The Studio is on the coast road, halfway between Berrynarbor and Combe Martin. Everybody is welcome. Refreshments available.

For further information visit www.artcrop.co.uk/arttrek.

 

CRAFT GROUP

On Friday 18th May, the Berrynarbor Craft Group hired a small minibus and had a splendid day out at The American Museum in Britain, situated at Claverton Manor, Bath. The Museum was started by two American and houses special displays focusing on American history, Native American Indians and textiles, with special exhibitions of early maps and beautiful costumes from the late Victorian and Edwardian era. There was also a wonderful collection of American Quilts, all in beautiful designs and colours - just mind boggling to think of the hours and hours of work involved.

The highlight for many of us was the recreation of a series of period rooms showing how Americans lived from the colonial era to the eve of the Civil War. Only time and weather prevented us from exploring the beautiful extensive grounds - maybe a good excuse to make another visit?

So, many thanks to Judie for organising the day so well.

Chris Taylor

 

A reminder that the Craft Group meets on Monday afternoons at the Manor Hall, from 2.30 p.m. Come along and enjoy 'doing your own thing' in company of others with tea or coffee and biscuits - all for £1! If you would like to know more, just give Judie a ring on [01271] 883544.

 

NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE

A good number of shareholders attended our 3rd AGM on Saturday April 28th. Sandy was able to report that in spite of the dreaded 'T' word, turnover had remained steady over the past year, thanks mainly to a considerable upturn over the last two months. During the year we had been sorry to lose Jenny Cookson and Mike Lane as committee members but had been pleased to co-opt KathThorndycroft onto it. Otherwise, in the absence of further nominations, the committee was re-elected 'en bloc'.

We now have enough funding to start building our new shop, hopefully before the end of the summer [although there will still need to be fund-raising events to complete it!]. Architects have been appointed to design the shop and North Devon District Council, who have been very supportive all along, have now formally fulfilled their promise of providing a site in the car park [valued at £50,000] for a peppercorn rent.

The 'New Building Fund' is mounting. Around £750 has been raised since last September through 'Help Buy a Brick' [£240], various raffles, and donations from villagers and by the sale of second hand books. Hopefully the 18th century quote still rings true: "Take care of the pence and the pounds will look after themselves"!

However, in spite of all this good news, we wait with baited breath the disclosure of the Government's policies on the future of post offices and on the Post Office's interpretation, to be quite sure that we shall retain our post office before committing to the project. We are in touch with the Area Manager who says that we should hear before the end of June. We are reasonably confident that Berrynarbor Post Office will survive, but if we're wrong then a major re-think will be needed.

Meanwhile, Jackie continues to improve the stock and sales are increasing. She would still like more help, particularly on Friday mornings and as reserves over the holiday season. If you are unable to work 4 hours, what about just 2 hours? The busiest time is from 8.30 - 10.30 a.m. but why not discuss with Jackie what you could do? Incidentally, we were all pleased that Hedi is feeling so much better and thankfully she is once again a stalwart on Saturday afternoons!

Finally, a big 'thank you' to Jill Massey who begs and borrows props to dress our shop windows and special displays within the shop and then sets them up with such imagination.

All for now except - please keep spending!

PP of DC

Once again a load of bonnets have been despatched to the baby unit at the Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre in Blantyre, Malawi - 160 in total. They have been knitted by friends living in the village and around.

Our daughter Mary is out there again working in the hospital, teaching anaesthesia. She e-mailed us recently to say that a man had come into the hospital with a horrible bite wound from a hippo and as there were no suitable antibiotics in the hospital, she was able to go out and buy them with money she had been given back here in England. The man was deteriorating but is now, thankfully, making a strong recovery.

Other funds sent out have been used to buy basic items like towels and flannels to ensure the nurses are able to wash their hands between patients, avoiding cross infection. Mary has also bought blood pressure machines and text books for the medical students she has been teaching. The last we heard she was out buying mattresses and blankets, having discovered that women recovering from anaesthesia for Caesarean sections were generally laid out on the floor or a cold steel trolley.

Jenny and Robin from Middle Lee have kindly agreed that together we organise the BBQ - details above - to raise much needed funds for Malawi, as well as the North Devon Hospice

Everyone is welcome and we do hope you will be able to support this event. If you feel you can help in any way with the effort in Malawi, please call us at "Pink Heather" on 01271 883093.

June and Bernard

A COUNTRY COLLECTION

After a lapse of three years, A Country Collection - a display of the art work of the four main Newsletter illustrators, Debbie, Paul, Peter & Nigel - will be taking place over the week-end of 23rd and 24th June, in the Manor Hall.

The Show, which will also include other displays of art, craft work and postcards, etc., will be open on each day from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and on the Saturday evening from 7.00 to 9.30 p.m.

Home-made refreshments will be available throughout the day: coffee and cakes in the morning, soup and rolls at lunchtime and cream teas in the afternoon. Wine and 'nibbles' will be served during the Saturday evening.

There will be a selection of items For Sale and a Raffle - proceeds will be for Newsletter funds and the Children's Hospice South West.

Please make a note of the dates and keep a bit of 'free' time to 'view', and tell your friends, family and visitors to come along too!

 

BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW

Saturday, 1st September 2007

The beautiful weather in April has brought plant growth forward, but hopefully there will be the usual fine array of flowers, fruit and vegetables - you might put in a second planting to ensure your entry!

Details of the Art and Photography were given in the April issue and they are:

ART

Any medium may be used for all classes - oil, watercolour, acrylic, pen and ink, pencil [even collage], etc. Other than Class 3, which is obviously smaller, the maximum size must not exceed A3 [297 x 420mm].

1. 'Music'

2. Harvest - a Still Life

3. An invitation to . . . an event of your choice. On A5 [A4 folded] card

4. 'Songs of the Sea'

5. 'In the style of an Old Master'

6. A design suitable for printing on fabric


PHOTOGRAPHY

All photographs must be maximum size 5" x 8" and mounted on A5 card or paper.

1. Happiness is . . .

2. Falling Water

3. The Sound of Music

4. Entrances

5. In the Pink

6. At Close Range

Home-cooking, Handicrafts, Fruit and Vegetables, Cut Flower and Potted Plants will follow the pattern of previous years with a few 'tweaks', and the Schedule will be available a month in advance of the Show, with the August issue of the Newsletter.

So, please make a note of the date and give thought to what YOU can enter. The Show is open to residents and non-residents of the village and we hope to have lots of entries for the Junior Sections and Prizes [you must be under 14 on the 1st January 2007].

Remember, we're not looking for perfection, just some fun, so go on have a go!

Vi, Yvonne, Pip, Tony, Janet and Judie

 

OLD BERRYNARBOR

James Norman "Reuben Dale" - View 107

James Norman, born in Combe Martin in 1844, became famous through the publication of The Mighty Atom by Marie Corelli, whose books in the late 1800's sold by the million.

Whist writing The Mighty Atom, Marie Corelli resided at 'Waverly' near the Seaside and is said to have also resided at The Pack of Cards and even had a room there named after her.

Her home residence was Mason Croft, Stratford-on-Avon, where she died in 1924. Quite eccentric, she had brought from Venice an exotic gondola, complete with gondoliers, and was often to be seen being rowed along the River Avon near her home.

Returning to James Norman, he was born in a small thatched cottage in Combe Martin's long High Street and was Sexton for the Parish Church for a period of 12 years. Some years after his death in 1898, at the still relatively early age of 54 years, the Ilfracombe Publishers Twiss Brothers even produced a postcard of his gravestone.

To illustrate this article, I have given Judie some six postcards in the hope that she will find room for them all.

James Norman on the path
to
Combe Martin Church

Marie Corelli's autograph on the frontispiece of her book 'The Mighty Atom'

 

MARIE CORELLI

1855-1924

The daughter of Charles Mackay, a Scottish poet and song writer, the novelist Mary spent her youth in Mickleham, Surrey, before moving to London in 1882. She was a talented pianist, using the name Marie Corelli for performances, but turned to writing romantic fiction using the same pseudonym. Her first novel was published in 1886.

Her romantic melodramas, written with exuberant imagination and far-fetched theories, enthralled her readers and she achieved outstanding success at the turn of the century, with Queen Victoria, Gladstone and Wilde among her admirers, but her popularity turned to ridicule long before her death in 1924.

The Mighty Atom, published in 1896, was written and set in North Devon, with the character Reuben Dale being based on James Norman, the Sexton of the Parish Church in Combe Martin.

James Norman's birth place
High Street, Combe Martin

Reuben Dale [James Norman] at the Belfry Door of Combe Martin Church

Marie Corelli's Home Mason Croft, at Stratford-on-Avon

Her over-the-top characterisations made even the weakest plots come alive and although her work lack literary quality, her greatest achievement is that with over 20 novels to her credit, she still commands a place in the study of women's literature.

Finally, can I appeal for pictures, preferably postcard based, of Berrynarbor up to the 1980's as it is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with something about which I have not already written.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage,
May 2007

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

 
Editions
2017
2016
2015
2014

All Back Issues ... All Back Issues ...
Home | Contact Us |