When I am
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it's pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.
Traditional Indian Prayer
The Native American Ishi People of the Pacific
It was sad to learn from Don's daughter, Jenny, that
following a short illness Don had passed away peacefully with his family beside
him on Friday, 10th October. His last
days were spent at St. Austell Community Hospital where the family say his care
was wonderful and they could not have wished for better.
A much loved and loving husband, father and grandfather, Don
will be sadly missed by his wife June, daughters Jenny and Amanda and son
Patrick, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Jenny tells me that her uncle, Patrick Thirkell, Don's
brother, is listed on our War Memorial.
Patrick Thirkell, DFM [Distinguished Flying Medal] was killed when his
Lancaster bomber was lost without trace while on an operation over Germany on
Friday, 8th May, 1942 at the age of 24.
The Thirkell family lived here in the village and readers
will remember that the cover of this year's April issue of the Newsletter depicted
Lower Rowes Farm, a watercolour by Lilian Thirkell, Don's mother, painted about
the time of the end of WWII and given to Farmer Lerwill. Like Lilian's, Don's ashes will be scattered
here in the churchyard of St. Peter's in the village that he loved and which
held many happy memories for him.
thoughts and good wishes are with June, Jenny and all the family at this very
On Saturday, 27th September, Berrynarbor
Choir gave a Concert in the Church. They were joined
by our illustrious Bell Ringers, resplendent in white shirts and red bow ties,
who performed brilliantly!
The Choir were in good voice and sang a
wide range of songs to suit all tastes.
However, the audience of around 85 in number didn't escape for they were
invited to join in with a potted selection of WWI songs to close the
evening. Cheese and wine refreshments
rounded off a very successful concert enjoyed by all.
Thanks to all who attended and bought
raffle tickets which allowed us to donate £150 to the Motor Neurone
Organisation and £100 to the Devon Freewheelers, a voluntary organisation of
specially trained motor cyclists who deliver vital body organs to hospitals for
patients requiring transplants. We
retained a sum of £45 to cover the heating and lighting costs of the church.
The Harvest Service and Supper were
again well attended and the lovely spread in the Manor Hall and the sing-a-long
of WW1 songs which rounded off the evening were enjoyed by all. Special thanks to everyone involved in
making the Supper such a happy event.
A special Service for Loved Ones was
held in the afternoon of Sunday, 2nd November when beautiful candles were lit
by parishioners in remembrance of their loved ones.
Our annual Remembrance Service was held on
Sunday, 9th November when wreaths were laid by the War Memorial followed by the
traditional two minute silence, broken only by the sound of thunder. It was especially poignant this year being
the centenary of the start of World War I.
The Choir sang a special tribute during the service, and Berrynarbor
School had prepared some beautiful letters for all to read.
We look forward to another joyful
Christmas Carol Service on Wednesday, 17th December at 6.30 p.m. Because of the vagaries of weather, the
really young children from Berrynarbor School will have their special service
commencing 40 minutes earlier at 5.50 p.m.in the Church, so we look forward to welcoming
all parents at this special event and hope that many parents and their children
will stay for the later service when the older school children's choir will
again be singing with the Berrynarbor Choir. This wonderful service will be followed by mince
pies and mulled wine [for the adults!] and everyone is welcome - so please come
24th December Christmas Eve Service, 9.30 p.m.
25th December Christmas
Day Service, 11.00 a.m..
No Friendship Lunch in December and look
out for details of the January Lunch.
wish you all a very happy Christmas and peaceful New Year!
WEATHER OR NOT
After such a chilly August, September
was a complete contrast. The jet stream
moved north and high pressure dominated. Temperatures were in the high teens or
low twenties for most of the month with a maximum of 24.3 Deg C. Overnight temperatures also held up well
until the 22nd [the first day of autumn] when for three nights the thermometer
dropped to a low of 7.9 Deg C but after that the temperature picked up again until
the end of the month.
The winds were mainly light with a
maximum gust of 19 knots and this helped to keep the temperatures up. The total rain for the month was only 11mm
which made it the driest September that we have recorded and nationally the
driest since 1910.
A record 170.29 hours of sunshine was
recorded, 31 hours more than any September since 2002.
October was a bit of a mixture. After the first couple of days it appeared
that autumn had arrived properly, the jet stream migrated back south and
started pulling the lows and temperatures dropped back a bit. On the 3rd we
recorded 11mm of rain - as much as for the whole of September. The weather stayed very unsettled with rain,
thunderstorms, strong to gale force winds and occasional hail. Then on Tuesday the 21st ex-hurricane
Gonzalo swept across the country bringing high winds and gusty showers. We recorded 36 knots of wind, the highest in
the month. Most of the month was very mild and it ended with a high of 20.5 Deg C
on the 31st. The total rain for the
month was only 114mm which was less than the average.
It was not only a mild month, it was
also sunnier than previous Octobers with 73.82 sunshine hours in total.
At least this year we have had some
decent weather to set us up for whatever the winter months bring.
As many of you will have noticed, we
have a newcomer to the village. Just
stand in the Village Square and look up!
The original fox weather vane, which
originally included directional: North, South, East, West, was made and put up
by villagers 46 years ago. Made of
aluminium with mirrored glass eyes, the fox stood proud for many years until
time and the elements finally took their toll.
Firstly in the 1980's when he
was hit by lightning and the lower part of the weather vane was removed, and
more recently when the wind caused him to split in half. Our new fox is made of stainless steel and
adorned with glass bead eyes which are bolted securely in place. Many thanks to Lani for these.
The photos show John Barten, the original fox
maker with the fox and villagers Jim Brookman and Ray Toms. Villagers on the church steps who
helped on the final day to erect the new fox.
Richard Gingell and Kevin Brooks work on the tower, and Salah Gingell in
the church porch - the original fox was made by his grandfather John Barten in
Autumn fundraising and the amazing
generosity of this village
A huge thank you to the village for
supporting us this autumn. The Rotary Mega
Draw raised £1170 - a great result with all funds raised kept for the
Manor Hall. We are also pleased to say
there were ten prize winners within the village!
How good it was to see the back room at
The Globe full for the Auction of Promises.
Hard to believe but this one evening raised over £2300, again all
proceeds going to the Manor Hall. Many
thanks to Judith Adam for the huge effort put into organising all the offers up
for auction and to Debbie Thomas. our irrepressible auctioneer. Special thanks also to those donating their
time or other items for auction. For this event we tried not to ask local
businesses for free offers yet again as there has been much local support in
recent years. So this time the net was
cast as far afield as Exeter.
Nonetheless thanks must go to Middle Lee Farm, Langleigh House,
Watermouth Castle, Mark Adams, The Globe, Loverings, South West Shooting School and many others -
well, you know who you are.
More BIG news for the Manor Hall!
We are delighted to announce that our first application to the
Big Lottery Fund has been successful!
We have just been awarded £10,000, the maximum within the Awards
for All category, which supports community groups. This
is a big thumbs up for our plans. The
money is to help pay for the necessary surveyor and community consultation work
required for the next stage, which is to develop a fully designed and costed
scheme, with all statutory approvals, ready to submit to funders.
In the meantime we are sorry to report
that a second heater is out of action in the Hall - we don't know yet if it can
be repaired. We are trying to see if we can manage with supplementary electric
heaters as we don't want to commit to expensive repairs prior to eventual
refurbishment which could mean wasting money.
It feels like we face a race against time - whether we can get to the
renovation of the Hall before the disrepair catches up with us! We are also currently looking at the
cleaning of the Hall and proposals on this will be in the next newsletter.
of the Hall
Most of the works to the Hall will
require Listed Buildings Consent and getting consent will involve us having a
Heritage Statement for the Hall, describing the Hall's key historical and
architectural features. We have, therefore,
commissioned Richard Parker, an architectural archaeologist, to produce such a
statement and review the history of the Hall. We await his findings with
To mark 100 years of the Hall we asked
some of our user groups if they might like to produce an artwork that could be
framed and hung in the Hall. As a
result members of several local art and craft groups came together under the
guidance and help of local quilt artist, teacher and speaker, Penny
Armitage. They have produced a
remarkable panel made up of a number of individual pieces depicting the
village. Many thanks to Penny and all
involved for this work. As this
newsletter is published, the work is ready for framing.
Exchange - Saturday 20th December!
Christmas card exchange event will be run again this year. Simply put cards
addressed to others around the village in the box provided in the shop [plus a
small donation] - save on stamps! These
will be set out in the Hall for collection or delivery 10.00 am - 12.00 noon
on Saturday, 20th December. Free
tea, coffee and cakes on that morning!
Len Narborough and the Manor Hall
and Jonathan France
Once upon a time not so very long ago,
four little girls started school on the same day. During their many services in the church they
all decided they would one day like to get married there, but only one of them
On a sunny Saturday, the 11th of
October, my daughter Philippa followed in the footsteps of many of our family
and walked up the cobbles to marry Jonathan France.
Following the service bride groom and
their guests walked to the Manor Hall to enjoy tea and the rest of their
Friends and family descended on
Berrynarbor from all over the counry to enjoy a proper 'village' wedding, that won't
be forgotten in a hurry! So all that
remains for me to do is to extend our thanks to everyone who helped Philippa realise
her perfect day and give the happy couple a wedding day in a million.
Our congratulations to Philippa and
Jonathan and we wish them every happiness in their
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
Wine is sunlight, held together by water.
Turnout for our first Circle meeting of the
season, October, was unexpectedly high at 54.
Great turnouts are lovely to see, but I think it made our Debs even more
nervous! It was good to see the superb
support for Debbie and Karen. Their
presentation of some of our shop's stock was pure theatre! The
six tastings were varied, great value and included some surprises . . .
Their double act was one-sided,
initially, as Karen led the way with descriptions of five wines: four of which
were from Boland Cellar, a South African-based producer. Surprisingly, the white favourite appeared
to be Flutterby - a Sauvignon Blanc. As it was in a plastic bottle, many admitted
that they would have picked it up and put it back; however, it was a fruity white, and, of
course, safe to take on picnics and only £6.99.
Debbie managed to overcome her nerves
and presented the final red: a Bordeaux Claret, regarded as delicious by me and
those around me. This was imported by
Bottle Green Limited: a Leeds-based company who believe they 'bring you the
very best of France'. It had body, great
colour, taste and price, just £7.99: a very pleasant revelation.
We may be a small North Devon parish,
but our village shop provides a great service, walking distance for many. You wouldn't need to drive to Ilfracombe to
shop in a well-known store for your wine; it's on Castle Hill!
November's topic, 19th, is a first for
the Circle, as all wines are Romanian. I do hope we'll see you there. Fifty-four is a good number, but our Manor
Hall can take more!
Our December meeting is always on the
second Wednesday, the 10th this year.
It follows a tried-and-tested pattern:
Committee's Choice with members' food.
January's meeting, 21st, sees a change of plan: we have Ladies' Night, 6 wines with 6 ladies.
Adam: Secretary and Promotional Co-ordinator
sense of humour is common sense dancing."
IT'S GOODBYE FROM ME . .
NOT GOODBYE FROM HIM!
Can it really be 'that time of year
There were always going to be problems
with combining the winter festival with the Christian celebration of the birth
of Jesus. The latter gets lost in the
former even as the shop tills ring out a happy seasonal cheer.
It's not being grumpy or churlish to
regret this, to feel that something important slips away. I enjoy the food and cheer as much as
anyone. I won't be decorating my house
much, if at all, as I am making tracks after Christmas but I hope you have
known me enough over these four years to know that I am no Ebenezer Scrooge. May the turkey roast well, let the wine flow,
good times roll and I hope you have a lovely time with family and friends!
You would expect me to say this so I
will! Let this Christmas be a time
when you give serious thought to the bigger issues of life and death which are
always there in the background. People
are lonely; people are sad. The
grieving have their memories and the homeless or those battling with health
conditions or financial strain will wish it all goes away quickly. Yet we are being entertained to death in
our culture and for lack of serious thought, people go hungry in a rather
different way. We are hungry
inside. We are hungry for a larger
purpose, for forgiveness and reconciliation, for peace deep down and most of
all, for love. How we want someone to
come to us and take our side, to comfort and to heal.
That is of course at the heart of what
we shall be proclaiming this Christmas through word and song. Someone has come to take our part and stand
in solidarity with the human situation.
The evidence for this is surprisingly robust and maybe you should
revisit it, especially if mental culture or life training has predisposed you
to take the good news about Jesus with a very large pinch of salt!
But good news it is. I have experienced it and pray that any lasting
legacy of my brief time amongst you will lead you to consider what it might
mean to acknowledge God and learn to receive the Christ of Bethlehem, not now
into a stable, but into whatever life setting you present to God.
Do come and join us for our village
carol service on 17th December. Children from the village school will be
singing that evening from 5.50
p.m. to welcome you all in to church.
There will be mince pies and mulled wine to follow
I shall depart with very fond memories
of Berrynarbor and its tribes. 'Tis a great village of which to be a part. So it is goodbye from me. But, with apologies to the two Ronnies, it
is not goodbye from Him!
every good wish,
It is surprising in life how things happen. It was, for instance, through Judie, our
Editor, and the Newsletter, that I was recently reacquainted with Stanley
Walker who now lives in Canada and stayed with us at Berrynarbor during World
War II - a really long time ago.
Similarly, Maureen Underdown - nee Peachey - who lived near
us at Prospect in Birdswell Lane during the war has been in touch, again
through the Newsletter. Maureen related
the following story which she gave to me to use. Here goes!
I don't know if it is still there, but in the higher part of
Birdswell Lane there was, cut into the side of the hill, a place to park a
car. This was done by the owner of
Cloverdale in Barton Lane to have a garage built there. However, the war regulations prevented this
at that time.
Now, the owner of Cloverdale had a daughter
who was always helpful to her parents.
One day she decided to get the garden roller out and roll their lawn. The lawn was very steep and she had great
difficulty in controlling the roller.
Whoops! She lost
her grasp on it and it rolled away out of control. Straight down and through the hedge it went
and there was an almighty bang. She
froze. "What on earth has happened,"
Plucking up courage she walked down the garden steps into
Birdswell Lane. To her horror, the
roller had smashed down through the roof of her father's car!
As to what her father said when he
discovered what had happened, I don't know.
Perhaps it's best not to think about it!
14TH FEBRUARY - ST. VALENTINE'S
and in Berrynarbor
Reflexology Pedicure Manicure
Massage [excellent for walkers!]
cutting, Trimming, Blow Dry
[and adults!] Face Painting
. . .
and maybe more
to the Manor Hall for Taster Sessions from 10.30 a.m. onwards. There will also be Morning Coffee, Light
Lunches and Afternoon Tea
participants and non-participants
KEEP THE DATE FREE
details in the February Newsletter
to the North Devon Hospice and the Newsletter
REFLECTIONS No. 65
The dawn of December heralds the
conclusion of an annual personal period of reflection that begins in
August. It is triggered by rural events
surrounding me and in particular the sight of an occasional leaf endeavouring
to conceal its yellow colour amongst the plethora of green shades. Its success, however, becomes futile when the
tree decides to prematurely terminate the leaf's summer tenancy; and if one
regards the leaf as a tenant of the tree, then the tree is merely a letting
agent working on behalf of its powerful landlord, the sun. For not only does August bear witness to the
embryo of autumn; it also observes the demise of the long summer evening.
September and October monitor the
constant invasion of darkness over daylight and the gradual dominance of a
bronze countryside. By November the
image of two people going for an evening walk in late summer sunshine down an
English country lane has suddenly become a distant memory. Bring the same walk forward one season and
one immediately thinks of Ivor Novello's song, "We'll Gather Lilacs in the
Spring". Written for his musical romance
"Perchance to Dream", the song became the most popular and enduring of all
those in the musical. With an evocative
tune, the emotive lyrics describe the yearning for parted couples to be
reunited with their loved ones when they "come home once more".
Although the lyrics refer to soldiers
coming home from World War Two, the song has been performed at most musical
events commemorating the anniversary of the start of World War One; an
anniversary that made me go into a deeper reflective mood at the start of
November when I noted the annual arrival of the commemorative poppy. For me, this year's Remembrance Sunday not
only highlighted the 100th anniversary of the start of the War to End all Wars,
it was the first Remembrance Sunday since being kindly given my paternal
great-grandfather's World War One medals by my cousin. It was also an opportunity to recall the
stories my mother had told me about the harmful psychological effects that the
Great War had on her father.
This year also marks another family
anniversary, for it is ten years since the reunion I arranged which brought
together under one roof many of my maternal cousins and their families - a
subject I wrote about in my Rural Reflections article in December 2004. So many memories, so many reflections.
But come December my mood alters. Rather than hankering for green woodland
canopies, I am making the most of the gold that is left as well as appreciating
other trees that have returned to their raw nudity. I also start to savour once more views that
have been hidden since late spring; and as for the dark evenings, by December I
have adjusted. For the curtains are now
drawn not only to keep out the cold of the night but to keep in the warmth of
the open fire; and as the month marches on, allowing the evening to invade into
late afternoon, I embrace the darkness and recognise its value in allowing
twinkling and flashing Christmas lights to be at their most effective.
The Christmas and New Year season passes
and within a few days there are the first whispers that daylight has stemmed
the flow of darkness. For the tide has
turned and the winter solstice has passed.
Temperatures may not reflect this, but our countryside still
notices. The wild flora and fauna of
early spring begin their creation. There
is much to look forward to.
I am also looking forward to a number of
personal anniversaries in 2015. I shall
celebrate my own half-century; my school pal and I will celebrate a sapphire
friendship; my partner and I will celebrate a silver relationship; and we shall
also celebrate a tin relationship with the Archers, for it is ten years since
we gave up television and became AA's - Archers Addicts! For those who do not listen in, The Archers'
storylines run parallel with real-life rural issues of today. One of these is currently following a family
considering moving North as a result of a road being built directly through
their farm. But there is a second
storyline running alongside this, concerning the farmer's mother who has an
extended family still living in Ambridge.
Residing as she does with her son and his family, does she move North
with them and leave behind the rest of her family?
As I approach fifty I have suddenly felt
a need to be nearer family again. And,
whilst I very much miss the beauty of the North Devon landscape, our move away,
pre-empted though it was by circumstances beyond our control, has brought many
positives. I am closer to family; the new home still
ticks all four boxes [read Rural
59]; and it has brought about new rural discoveries to explore in the coming
year. For that is
essentially what New Year is all about: making
new plans to do new things and to discover new places - places which can be
right on your doorstep. Next time, I'll
tell you of a rural discovery I made when we moved to Combe
few years ago - and it could not have been much closer to my doorstep!
But for now, may I take this opportunity
to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness everywhere!
And yet this time removed was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me
But hope of orphans and unfather'd fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.
Lung disease forced him to retire in 1882, and from that point on he
devoted himself to writing and literary research. However, his literary work started long
before his retirement, his first collection of poems having been published in
1873. In 1884 he married Monica
Waterhouse, daughter of Alfred
Waterhouse R.A., and spent the rest of his life in rural seclusion, first at Yattendon in Berkshire and then at Boars
Hill, Oxford, where he died.
He was elected to the
Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1900. Appointed Poet
Laureate in 1913, he is the only medical graduate to have held the office.
Illustrations: Paul Swailes
NOTES FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Councillors co-opted Clare Sampson on to
the Parish Council following her letter of application. There are now only two vacancies to fill and
if anyone is interested in being co-opted, please contact the Parish Clerk, Mrs
Sue Squire  710526 or email: email@example.com.
Reports for October and November were
received from PCSO A Drury, County Councillor Mrs Andrea Davis and District
Councillors Mrs Julia
Clark and Mrs Yvette Gubb. Councillor
Mrs Linda Thomas confirmed that following an inspection of the play area, all
was in order. Councillors had been circulated with a written Report on
the Clerk's attendance at a DCC Highways Conference and a Finance for Local
Councillor Steve Hill had produced a
further draft copy of the Emergency Plan which had been sent to the Environment
Agency and further details will be given in the village by way of laminated
posters as to where and who to go for help and assistance. The Clerk had
collected 100 sandbags from the Waste and Recycling Centre at Brynsworthy and
these were taken by Councillor Hill.
Arrangements were being made for two dumpy bags of sand to be positioned
on the verge of the car park within a screened area.
Councillor Hill to have a site meeting
at the Recreation Field with a second play equipment manufacturer and a third
quotation is to be obtained so that a decision can then be made by Councillors,
hopefully at the December Meeting.
Planning Applications were considered
and approved: Change of land use from agricultural to parking for cars
& domestic curtilage at The Farmhouse, Bodstone Barton Farm and Demolition
of flat roof garage & erection of new single storey extension at
Approval Notice from North Devon Council had been received in respect of the
retrospective application for stone track at Mill Park Touring Site, Mill Lane.
The 2015/16 Budget was set and agreed
and Councillors agreed for the Precept to remain unchanged. Councillors
were extremely grateful to District Councillors Julia Clark and Yvette Gubb for
giving funding of £100 each towards the refurbishment of the War Memorial.
Road Closures to take place in February
in Barton Lane and on the A399 were noted.
The next meeting of the Parish Council
will take place at the Manor Hall on Tuesday, 9th December, at
Squire - Clerk to the Council
The full Minutes of the Parish Council
Meetings are displayed on the notice board in the bus shelter in The Square and
can be read at the Community Shop.
LOCAL WALK - 147
a ramble with brambles
A warm September morning in the big steeply sloping field
which carries part of the footpath linking the Sterridge Valley to Slew Hill.
Hazel bushes at the top of the field. Around its lower border, a tangle of
brambles. This year there was an
abundance of berries and nuts so I had chosen to walk there with the dual
purpose of gathering hazel nuts and blackberries while enjoying this open, airy
There were sufficient low branches to make the nuts easy to
reach and not too many stinging nettles.
The clusters of shiny ovoid nuts
looked attractive encased in their light green deeply
Also called cobnuts, filberts [22nd August is St.
Philibert's Day], hales or baskets, they are available from late August until
and soft they are edible but with less flavour than when ripe with brown shells
and if not eaten soon after picking, they can wither in picking, they
can wither in their shells.
Richard Mabey of
'Food for Free' fame recommends late September for picking hazel nuts. That's if the squirrels and
jays have left any by then.
There had been plenty of sunshine to
draw out the full flavour of the blackberries.
Their sweetness had also attracted red
admirals, a comma butterfly and speckled woods.
A straggle of walkers on footpath above
waved a greeting. A jay screeched. Its harsh cry has been likened to the
sound of a piece of silk being torn apart.
I heard a light tapping coming from the little spinney beside the stream
and witnessed a nuthatch wedging an acorn into a crevice in the bark of a tree.
his poem 'Blackberry Picking' Seamus Heaney describes how as children they had
picked large quantities of blackberries, hoarding the fruit in a bath in the
barn and the disappointment when returning to find 'a fur, a rat-grey fungus
glutting on our cache.' He felt like
crying at the sight of the rotten, fermented fruit. The poem ends: 'Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they
would not.' Food for free but too good to waste.
This year I had noticed more people than usual out blackberrying. Richard
Mabey thinks the attraction is that
blackberry picking 'carries with it a sense of season and abundance and just
enough discomfort to quicken the senses.' I
just think the appeal lies in anticipating the jam or bramble jelly and the
rich variety of puddings and desserts.
Finally, homeward bound with a supply of nuts and berries;
purple stained fingers peppered with prickles, pausing to
buy tasty, home grown tomatoes, sold in aid of the hospice, from the roadside
stall at Higher Rows.
The Society continues to meet at The
Globe each month,
with all that is happening in December, the next get together will be on
Wednesday, 14th January, 8.00 p.m. in the Family Room.
Although there has been a comprehensive
research into the graves in the churchyard, one of the projects in mind is to
make additional research on particular headstones in the churchyard, many of
which are becoming difficult to read due to weathering. They are visible reminders of ancestors,
most of whom were village residents once upon a time. If anyone wishes to become involved in this
particular project, we'd love another pair of helping hands!
We are a friendly group of people
interested in learning about this parish.
If you feel the same, do come and join us.
We are pleased to announce
that at the Annual General Meeting on the 13th October a new Committee was
formed, with the vacant positions of Chairman and Treasurer being filled. The Pre-school Room [Penn
Curzon Room] has now been redecorated and looks clean and fresh. This was one of the projects for which we
have been fund raising.
There are still a few spaces in our Breakfast Club, for
children aged 2-11 years, Monday to Friday, from 8.00 a.m. We also have limited spaces available for
our pre-school sessions until September 2015.
If you are interested, please 'phone Emma on 07807093644 for further
After weeks of collecting feathers the
children made this giant peacock with Ruth Uglow a
parent at Berrynarbor Preschool. This was all part of our topic learning about
sizes and textures.
The children will be giving a
Christmas Performance on Tuesday, 16th December at 2.00 p.m. All welcome.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
everyone at Berrynarbor Pre-School
Jane and Keith
Cottage would like to wish everyone
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Colin and Doreen wish
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year
friends and neighbours in Berrynarbor.
From the Harris Family
all our friends in the village a
Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
Wendy and Chris
Very Happy Christmas and New Year to all friends.
Greetings to all our friends and neighbours in the village.
wish you a very Happy Christmas and the best of Health and Happiness in 2014.
Keith and Margaret
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014
wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year
from Ray Bolton and a sadly missed and beloved 'Marie'.
Eileen and Bob Hobson
their friends A Very Happy Christmas.
Happy Christmas to all our friends and neighbours.
love, Jo and
Greetings and best wishes for a Happy New Year to all friends and neighbours in
all my friends and acquaintances
Merry Christmas and a Healthy and
Happy New Year
Tom and Inge
warm greetings for Christmas and wishes for a
New Year 2015 to all friends and neighbours, villagers and readers of the
Ron Toms at
all his village friends and visitors
A Very Happy Christmas and Health and
Happiness in the year ahead.
Janet and Jasmine
all their friends a Very Happy Christmas and a good New Year.
should like to send best wishes to all
our friends and neighbours for a very Happy Christmas and Healthy New Year. However you plan
to spend Christmas, we trust it will be a very special time for you all.
Chris and Jen,
Jackie and Roy of Lee View
all friends, old and new, a
Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
all our friends and neighbours our best wishes for a
Happy Christmas and a great year ahead,
Pat and Maureen,
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year
our friends and customers.
Joyce and Songbird
Colin and Wendy
Christmas Greetings to all their friends in the village
everyone a Happy New Year.
everyone in Berrynarbor a
Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Liz and Roger of
friends and neighbours A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Ken and Judie
everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a healthy and peaceful 2015.
wishes friends in Berrynarbor A Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year.
Happy Christmas to all my friends in Berrynarbor.
Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year
our village friends.
Janet and David [Steed]
all my dear friends in Berrynarbor, wishing you every Blessing at Christmas and
in the New Year.
shall be thinking of you all.
Christmas and Happy New Year to all friends and neighbours in Berrynarbor and
best wishes from
Tim and Jill
The Parochial Church Council wish all
members of the Church and Villagers a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Christmas and
Patricia, Staff and
Volunteers at Marwood Hill Gardens
all their visitors from Berrynarbor and wish them a
Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The Davies Family at Leeside
all friends and neighbours a Very Happy Christmas and New Year.
Pip and Tony
send Christmas Greetings to all friends and
acquaintances in Berrynarbor and best wishes for Health and Happiness in 2015.
Don and Edith, Karen, Callum,
Morgan and Roka,
Karl, Louise, Tyler and
all the staff at The Globe and Sawmill
you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Mark and Hilary wish
all their friends and neighbours
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
all her friends back in Berrynarbor A Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New
Linda, George, Ethel, Allan,
Jasmine, Tracey, Darren and Caitlin
like to wish everyone a
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Pam and Alex of
Damson Cottage wish all friends in Berrynarbor
Merry Christmas & Good Health and Happiness throughout 2015.
Chairman Adam Stanbury and
members of Berrynarbor Parish Council wish everyone in the village A
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Rainer, Jill and Amber
like to wish all their friends and neighbours in the Sterridge Valley
Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year
Paul and Pat
warmest wishes to all their friends and neighbours for the festive
hope you all have a healthy and prosperous New Year
Tony and Norma [Wiltshire]
friends in the village and on the Park a Happy Christmas and a Healthy New
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our friends
from Phil and Chris, Middle Lee Farm
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST
Bake House Cakes We are very pleased to be running a new
range of cakes and cookies from The Bake House which has our own personalised
labels, making then not only a good buy but also a great gift. The Bake House is a family run business in
the South West which has been running for over 10 years focussing their sales
on local village shops and post offices.
The cakes are proving to be very
popular, the favourites being Lemon Fudge,
Golden Madeira and Carrot Fudge. Come
and see the range. How
about trying Clotted Cream Shortcake or any of the other many delicious cookies. If you prefer savouries try our Butterfly
Cheese Wings, lovely!
"Ecover have learned from nature; our
products are designed to provide a cleaner clean inspired by nature's genius.
That's why Ecover, unlike traditional cleaning products, provides great
cleaning in a way that's much kinder to the planet"
In the Community Shop we have a wide
range of Ecover goods for all your laundry and cleaning needs, Come and try some of the range.
Don't forget the last recommended
posting dates for Christmas mail. All
surface mail dates have now passed.
Last dates for International Standard [previously airmail] for all
overseas post are between the 3rd and 13th December. Second Class mail - 18th
December, First Class mail - 20th December.
A Very Happy Christmas and New Year
customers from all at
The Berrynarbor Community Shop
IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
What a lovely September we have just had
and October was mainly fine and certainly warmer than usual. This meant that we had to remove the summer
bedding when it was still going strong but we had to make way for the planting
of the bulbs for spring. This has now been completed and a big thanks
to everyone who helped. Ken has turned
off the watering systems for the winter and the hanging baskets are about to
come down. This is a sad time for
gardeners but we can all look forward to 2015 and hopefully a fine spring.
Next year we hope that you will be able
to join us to help keep the village clean, tidy and full of flowers. Thank you to everyone who helped in 2014.
Sun Dried Tomato and Feta Rolls
These more-ish, savoury rolls make a
change from sausage rolls at Christmas. Make them a week or two before Christmas, freeze
before baking, then bake when you want them.
range egg beaten
plain flour, plus extra for dusting
For the filling
streaky bacon rashers, finely chopped
sun dried tomatoes in oil [about 12-16] finely chopped
feta cheese, crumbled
bunch fresh basil, chopped
Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into
a large bowl. Grate in the frozen
butter. Using a kitchen knife, mix until
all the pieces of butter are coated in the flour. Stir in 150ml cold water to form a soft
dough, then bring together with your hands. Wrap in cling film and chill in the
fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas6.
Mix the filling ingredients together in
On a lightly floured surface roll out half
the pastry to a long rectangle about 9cm x 45cm. Scatter half the filling ingredients along
the pastry, towards one edge. Brush the
other edge with egg and fold it over the filling, pressing the pastry edges to
seal into a long sausage roll. Brush the
top with more egg, then cut into 3cm rolls.
Use scissors to snip little 'V' shapes in the top of each roll.
Repeat with the remaining pastry and
Arrange the rolls on baking parchment
lined baking trays. Bake for 15-20
minutes until golden brown.
Freeze on the baking
trays and when frozen pack in a plastic box in layers separated by greaseproof
paper and keep in the freezer until needed.
Of course you could cheat and use a good
quality ready-made pastry but trust me this pastry is easy to make and tastes
lovely and buttery.
Are you aware that Japanese Knotweed,
Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed in your garden could cost you thousands of
pounds in fines?
New Home Office rules and guidance class these plants as serious
problems and householders failing to control them in their gardens or on
their land, can now be fined for anti-social behaviour.
This is the first time that ignoring these plants has been
specifically named as anti-social behaviour and in residential areas effectively
allows neighbours to inform on neighbours.
Japanese Knotweed is the most invasive non-native plant,
capable of damaging hard surfaces, such as asphalt, underground pipes,
buildings and boundary walls. Even a
small fragment is capable of regenerating itself and extensive roots make it
hard to destroy. Eradication is
essential but also, unfortunately, expensive - so the sooner tackled the
better. Clearing the weed from the
London Olympic site cost more than £70 million.
These three plants threaten our native bio-diversity by
crowding out native species and establishing river banks as well as causing
damage to forestry, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.
Check and act now!
NO IDEAS GEORGE
George was really puzzled. He had no
ideas at all for his 500 Words entry. He really wanted to enter but could not
come up with a single idea. He thought, and thought, and thought some more -
but still nothing.
He decided to go for a walk to get some
inspiration. It was a cold but bright day and the sky was clear blue. As George
reached the park he heard the trees rustling in the breeze. Or was that the
breeze? Maybe there was something in the bushes. George bent down to look but
he couldn't see anything. George got up and carried on his walk, not noticing
the tiger that tip-toed out of the bushes behind him.
George reached the chip shop and
realised he was hungry, so he popped in. There was already an old lady being
served. She was very overdressed to be in a chip shop, George thought - she was
even wearing a crown! And she'd brought her dogs with her, little yappy dogs
that sniffed around George's ankles. It was very odd. The old lady was taking
ages and, strangely, the woman serving her seemed to be bowing. George got fed
up of waiting and decided to go somewhere else, not noticing the two bodyguards
outside the chip shop door.
Actually, when George checked his
pockets he realised he was a bit low on cash, so he went to the bank. There was
a big queue, although no-one seemed to be actually doing anything, just
standing around with their hands up. There were two guys in black in the
corner, with masks and pretend guns. "Must be 'Dress as a Robber Day' for Sport
Relief", thought George, and decided to leave.
George only had 50p, he thought he'd go to the corner shop and buy some sweets.
He looked around the shop at the delicious chocolate bars, chews and lollies.
He finally chose a chocolate bar, paid the miserable-looking shopkeeper, and
left the shop. He sat on a wall outside the shop and unwrapped his chocolate.
As he did, a piece of shiny, golden paper fell out from underneath the normal
wrapping. "That's weird", thought George, and shoved the paper in his pocket,
thinking he would use it for craft at home.
By now, George had had enough. He'd
walked all over town and still had no ideas. How was he supposed to come up
with an imaginative story when he lived in a boring place where nothing ever
happened? It was useless. George trudged home, still without any ideas,
munching sadly on his chocolate bar. He noticed a police car outside the bank
as he passed. "They'll have a long wait when it's so busy", George thought.
got home and got out his computer to type his story. He'd have to do something,
even if it was boring. So he wrote a story about a sunflower called Jeffrey. It
was dull but what else could he possibly have written about?!
Hopefully this short story brought a
smile to your face! It was written by
Robert Jordan, who at the time was 8¾.
He was the winner of the Silver Award in the 9 and Under Class of the
BBC Radio 2 500 Words competition in 2014.
Illustrated by Debbie Rigler-Cook
BERRYNARBOR SCHOOL NEWS
I cannot believe we are already on the countdown
to Christmas, where has the year gone?
At this time of year the children enjoy
10 weeks' of swimming lessons but this year has been set back a few weeks due
to the repairs and refurbishment at Ilfracombe pool. Swimming is an essential part of the PE
Curriculum and particularly important in the area in which we live.
We have been very lucky to have had a
visit from a GB Athlete - David Hill a Paralympic Swimmer. The
children took part in a sponsored event and had the privilege of hearing about
like to wish everyone a
Christmas and a Happy New Year
Sue Carey - Headteacher
THE TOWER & BELLS OF ST. PETER'S
The tower was built around 1480 and is one of North Devon's
very best. Berrynarbor folk, of course,
have always insisted that it is the best and it is quite right they
do! There are precious few grand towers
in this area where good building stone is hard to come by and, therefore,
expensive. It may be assumed that
Berrynarbor church at that time had wealthy patrons and that the village itself
was important and relatively wealthy.
In 1553, at the succession of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary,
following the recent 16 year old Protestant King Edward VI, the church in
England was suffering a great upheaval.
Someone was told to make 'an Inventory of Church Goods' throughout the
land. Quite a task, but it is from this
document that we have today a note of the number of bells in most churches at
that time. Berrynarbor is recorded as
having 4 bells, the norm for important towns and villages. Unfortunately, there is no record of the
founders or donors of these bells unless the churchwarden's accounts are
available for the period prior to this.
Again no sight has been made of the warden's accounts for
the period between 1553 and 1722 and it is not known if they survive. Perhaps a local historian could help
here? It is likely that the bells were
recast as a result of becoming cracked.
In any case, the obviously still wealthy parish decided in 1721 to have
a new peal of 6 bells cast, with which to grace their fine tower. At that time, few Devon village churches
sported a peal of 6 bells, 4 or 5 being the most usual number.
The Wardens and Incumbent of the parish then had to choose a
bell founder to provide the new bells.
The Pennington family were the principal founders in Devon and Cornwall
for over 220 years from around 1600.
They had, however, closed their foundry in Exeter and were operating
from Stoke Climsland on the western banks of the River Tamar. The Wroth family were working from
Wellington but the parish can be thankful that they were not chosen to do the
work as their bells were generally very poor in tone.
Perhaps the choice of a Welshman might seem strange at
first, but Evan Evans had already been working in North Devon and had set up a
small foundry by the church at Braunton in 1713. Following his work for that parish, he went on
to cast bells for seven other churches in the area and was, in 1721, casting a
set of 5 for Cruwys Morchard. The Evans
family bells were generally good in tone and their reputation ensured that many
others were provided for Devon churches until 1756, including 4 notable bells
for the immense peal at Exeter Cathedral.
So, the peal of 6 bells was
made for Berrynarbor and almost certainly made at Braunton. The largest of these [the tenor] is 40
inches [1019mm]ds across the mouth and weighs approximately 11 hundredweights
[550kg]. The smallest [the treble] is
27 inches [695mm] across the mouth. In
1893 it became necessary to recast the third bell and this work was entrusted to
John Taylor of Loughborough, a company still making bells today.
Inscribed around the top or crown of the treble are the
names of Evan Evans and his son William, and the date 1722. The second bell has inscribed the names of
two gentlemen, taken to be the donors,
John Tucker and Thomas
Clark. The third bell had the inscription
'Edw. W. Richards: Wm. Morris Ch. Wardens'.
The current third bell has the names for the two churchwardens of 1893,
Thomas Perrin and John Jewell.
The fourth bell has the names of two more local worthies,
again assumed to be donors: Thomas
Lymbear and Thomas Witheridge. The
fifth was apparently donated by a wealthy widow, 'Dorothy Francis, daughter of
ye late Thomas Berry Esqr.' The tenor
bell displays the names 'Joseph Davy Esqr. Lord of the Mannor [sic] and Richard
Coffin Esqr. Edward Chichester Rectr [sic].
Presumably these were the two big landowners in the parish and the
There is no record of the craftsmen who made the original
frame and fittings for these bells, nor if there was any subsequent renewal
until the current structure was provided in 1928 by Harry Stokes of Woodbury
near Exeter who had been a bellhanger since about
l877 and had built up a fine and deserved reputation for quality bell
frames. This job was one of the last he
completed. His earlier frames were of
good oak timbers well framed up, but always open to the latest developments,
for his last frames he provided cast iron.
That this frame is still in good order is testimony to the quality of
The elm headstocks to which each bell is fixed and from
which they swing were also replaced in 1928, along with the bearings, clappers
and pulleys. The bearings were replaced
with self-aligning ball races at some time during the last 50+ years and the
all-important pulleys more recently than that.
On Thursday [bell ringing practice night] the 23rd October
2008 at 8.30 p.m. the stub axle on which the tenor bell swings broke whilst the
bell was being rung. Luckily there was
no damage to either the bell or the ringer.
This was mended by Matthew Higby of Bath, once again with the generosity
of the parishioners, and rung again in February of the following year.
Researched and written by James M. Clarke who says that he has
rung at many towers around the country but nowhere at a tower with a longer
length of rope!
AND SO, TO THE RINGERS . . .
Some 54 years ago, Jim Brooks, Ivan and Bill Huxtable and
myself decided 'to learn the ropes' and began bellringing. We had very good teachers - Percy Thorn,
Reg Ley, Long Jack Draper, Frank Melhuish, George Diamond and Jack Dummett.
Besides carrying on a centuries old skill and tradition, it
gave us the opportunity to ring at many church towers in villages all over
North Cornwall, North Devon and North Somerset. In doing so, we met like-minded people, many
of whom have remained good friends. We
also rang in competitions further afield, using the traditional method of Devon
No two peals of bells are the same. Some are very light, some are very
heavy. Then there's the range in
between. The draught of rope from the
bell to the sally can make all the difference to the ease of ringing. Our peal has one of the longest draughts in
the country and is one of the most difficult to ring.
The weather can also affect the ropes. On rainy, damp days, the ropes stiffen and
shrink, sometimes rising the sally by a foot, making it necessary for ringers
to stand on boxes. When the weather is
warm and dry, ropes become very floppy and tend to dance about when being
rung. The use of nylon in the modern
ropes has alleviated a lot of these problems.
The art of call change ringing is to keep the bells
cartwheeling at a constant rhythm and pitch.
The ringer should listen to and count each bell. When a change is called, the ringer has to
cut, or lie off, so the bell changes place in the sequence without altering the
pitch or rhythm of the cartwheel - that's the aim!
Perhaps the most memorable day for me was ringing out the
last thousand years and ringing in the next.
A thousand years ago there was a little Saxon church in the village and
I daresay the folks then were celebrating like us and perhaps the priest was
ringing a little hand bell!
good ringing friends, the late Jim Brooks,
[Aggie] Huxtable, Derek Jewell and Walter White.
Michael has been Captain of our bell
ringers for about 50 years and he and Ronnie Phillips, who do not like the
modern way of 'method ringing', have trained many would-be ringers over the
years. They use the call change method
which has come down the ages from medieval times. Hopefully this method of ringing will be
handed down to future generations.
Finding this article about the bells and ringers
fascinating, I thought I really should see if I could take a photograph of the
bells. My sincere thanks to Kevin -
whose official title is Tower Keeper, and who, with Richard Barrett, was
muffling the bells for Remembrance Sunday - for taking me up the tower, in
spite of my dislike of both heights and confined spaces! What a privilege.
The photos show
 the tower
 the tenor bell and its new
 the tenor bell and to its
right the treble and No. 2 bell
 the new green, white and
 the Nos. 4 and 5 bells
 the clock striking
equipment on the No. 4 bell, which is struck to mark
 the positions of the six
I understand that the No. 5 bell, the
tenor bell, treble bell and No. 2 bell swing from north to south, and the Nos.
3 and 4 bells from east to west.
Today, under their Captain Michael Bowden, our team of
ringers are: Kevin Brooks, Richard and
Geoff Barrett, Michael Johns, Ron Phillips, John and Kay Webber, Bill Huxtable,
Elaine Filer, Gerald Walters and Norman Sanders. With their 'L' plates on and learning the
ropes are Pat Weston and Debbie Thomas.
Thank you all for keeping our bells ringing - a wonderful
HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW 2015
To get your creative juices flowing,
the Floral Art, Art and Photography details are given below. The overall theme will be Cities, Towns and
1. Country Garden 16" x 16" x 18" high
2. A Floating Centrepiece 16" x 16" x 18" high
3. Famous Landmarks 18" x 18" x 24"
4. Picture this - miniature 6" x 6" x 6"
1. Famous Landmarks
2. Painting based on an old photograph of the
theme [photo to be displayed with artwork]
3. Abstract Art
4. Painted item on any surface other than
paper, card or canvas, e.g. glass, pottery, stone, wood, slate
Maximum size for all classes
must not exceed A3 [297mm x 420mm]
1. Famous Landmarks 5.
2. A Village Scene 6. Invertebrates
3. A City, Town or Village Event 7.
Anything Goes [Landmark]
4. Memories of 2014 may be enhanced in any way
Photographs must be maximum 5
x 8" to be affixed to white card or paper size A5 for display purposes. Entries limited to 2 photographs per class.
Linda and the Committee
SOUP AND A PUD
SATURDAY, 31ST JANUARY
MANOR HALL, 7.30 p.m.
Enjoy an evening with friends with a
grand selection of homemade Soups and Puddings
[You won't go home hungry!]
Bring your own drinks and
Tickets: £7.50 from Village Shop
or contact Be and
Proceeds to New Chemotherapy Ward at
and another local charity
AND SHAKERS NO. 54
Draper 1600's - 1700's
of the doyley, or dish paper
"A change is as good as a rest" it is
said, so here goes, with a name and very little information, yet someone who
over the last 4 centuries has been a worthy mover and shaker! And just in case you may use a doyley over
the Christmas period, it might be interesting to know something of its history.
Firstly, its name as an 'ornamental
mat', typically made of fabric or paper, can also be spelt doily, doiley,
doilie or doyly, depending on which researcher you come across. But its origin can be traced back to Mr.
Mr Doyley [sorry, even his Christian
name isn't known] was a linen draper and member of the trade guild founded in
medieval times and still flourishing. He
'kept a Linnen Drapers Shoppe in the Strand, a little West of Catherine Street'
in London. He was obviously inventive.
In the late 17th century Doyley founded his business on producing and selling
cheaper alternatives to the fine silks and laces of that era. It is recorded in The Spectator No. 238 of
1712, [The Times of its day] that 'the famous Doily raised a fortune by finding
materials for such stuffs as might be at once cheap and genteel'. This referred to 'a woollen stuff' that he
introduced for use during the summer months.
So for the first time, the word doily
came into use as 'doily stuff' or 'doily suits'.
Later, he added to his range 'a small
ornamental napkin used at dessert' which was known as a doily-napkin. It soon became an essential part of
fashionable dinner table settings, particularly when serving desserts. In Jonathan Swift's journals of 1711, he
refers to 'coarse Doily napkins, fringed at one end upon the table to drink
with after dinner'.
the beginning of the 19th century, the
fashion had spread throughout Europe.
By this time, the Industrial Revolution was underway, and those great
engineering inventors produced ingenious machines to convert the simplest
material - paper - into the delicate lacy patterns of today. Australia's doyley
heyday was between the 1890's and 1914, by which time there were many different
uses; elongated sandwich doyleys, scone
cloths that folded over at each corner to keep scones warm, doyleys for tea,
milk and sugar and even large rectangular ones called antimacassars for placing
on the back of chairs so that the men's macassar hair oil wouldn't stain the furniture!
I still use a selection of doyleys, but
thought that there weren't many of us about, confirmed by Wikipedia who say:
'Disposable paper doilies "were designed as a cheaper but respectable
alternative to crocheted linen doilies" and are commonly used to decorate
plates, placed under food for ornamentation. In the UK "sales rocketed in the
1950's as a reaction to post-war austerity and the doyley quickly became a
symbol of upward social mobility." However
the UK is currently experiencing a decline prompting a "Save our Doilies"
campaign. Once a "symbol of suburban gentility" they are now perceived as
So that's that! Or is it?
I remember using them as a stencil and sieving icing sugar on top of a
chocolate sponge as a quick decoration, but they are undergoing a new lease of
life according to the internet. One
video shows using them as a theme for weddings: decorating the cake boards,
making place names, forming into necklaces - I think these must be linen
ones! - even for candle holders. Another wedding site shows how to dye them
to match the colour scheme, for envelopes
for special guests or to
use them as cupcake wrappers. There must
be more to life than this!
Still, it only goes to show what Mr Doyley
achieved. His inspiration has
certainly come down through the ages - and looks likely not to disappear too
Oh, and if you come across any D'Oyleys,
either Sir Robley, a follower of William the Conqueror, or Richard D'Oyly
Carte, don't be fooled. They are just
So as you use your doyley at Christmas,
think of that fine linen draper
- and have a Happy Time.
Watermouth Castle - View No. 152
This multi view of Watermouth Castle was
published by Frances Frith & Company Limited c1960. The five views show the castle, the bay, tropical
gardens, dining room and finally the castle, ground and Hangman Hills.
Around this time Friths published a small booklet as A Guide
for Visitors from which I now quote:
"The beautiful scenery of the rugged coastline between
Ilfracombe and Combe Martin attracts many thousands of tourists every
year. Along this stretch of the road
there are many vantage points of extensive views. From Rillage Point there is the magnificent
coastline that extends past Ilfracombe to Bull Point and on clear days to Lundy
Island, and at the other end of the road there opens up the grandeur of the
Hangman Hills which stand sentinel over the little harbour at Combe
Martin. Between these extremes lies the
pretty, almost completely land-locked natural harbour known as Watermouth. It is this feature of the coast which has
given its name to the Castle built on the woody slopes on the opposite side of
"It is difficult to establish exactly when the Bassets first
came to reside at Watermouth but throughout the years they appeared to be
Royalists and loyal servants of the community.
In earlier years the Bassets were seated at Heanton Court, between
Barnstaple and Braunton, and Colonel Arthur Basset, born there in 1597, was one
of the leading Royalists of Devon and was Governor of St. Michael's Mount.
The last of the representatives of the
Basset family to live at Watermouth Castle were Major Charles Penn-Curzon and
his wife Edith, who as a daughter of the Bassets and inherited the estate.
"After the death of Major and Mrs. Penn-Curzon, the property
was inherited by their son, Charles Ernest, who sold it. Their daughter, Lorna, the late Countess
Howe, also left the district.
"A TOUR of the CASTLE
Considerable interest is taken
in the Castle by tourists and every year thousands wander around its grounds
and make a tour of inspection of the parts which have been allowed to remain as
The great hall which was at
one time used as a magistrate's court by Squire Basset, who was Justice of the
Peace, is lined with decorative and exquisitely carved linen-fold panelling and
the fine screen which carries the minstrel gallery leading to other floors of
the Castle is well worth inspection.
The hall fireplace of a
pinkish tined 'Devon Marble' is the original one and a fine piece of local
workmanship. The finely wrought fire
basket, with its shield of the Basset crest, has a spacious capacity for
burning logs, which must have been very much needed as it was the only means of
heating the hall. Five shields, with
linking ribbons decorate the mantelpiece, but whether these have any special
significance is hard to say. One of the
doorways on the seaward side of the building leads into what was once a
magnificently oak-panelled library, but all that remains of its former beauty
is the oval wreath of oak leaves on the ceiling. It must have been an enormous task to carve
upwards of five hundred leaves with such painstaking accuracy.
Everywhere, there is the
evidence of skilful workmanship in wood and plaster. The thick walls and unusually deep spaces
between floor levels all indicate carefully planned construction, possible to
insulate the rooms from the severity of the weather and to reduce noise.
The drawing room stands next
to the library and sets us a mystery in that a false window appears outside the
Castle, whilst inside we see only a fireplace.
The dining room opposite has
recently been redecorated as the lovely oak panelling which surrounded it had
at some time been painted over and only the doors could be restored to their
The Castle stands on sturdy
foundations and the walls which intersect the ground level and the area cut out
of the hillside form a labyrinth of cellars.
There is little doubt that these were at one time connected with the
smuggling which took place at one time.
Only sixteen acres of the once huge estate now remain as property
belonging to the Castle. A little brook
runs through the grounds and keeps the lake supplied with water.
In the woods there is a pets'
cemetery and further away in the woods are marked the graves of favourite
hunters and race-horses.
These woods form a beautiful
'back-cloth' to the Castle scene and in this lovely setting it is hoped to
recapture and retain something of the peace and grandeur of the 'old world'
whilst providing holidays for pleasures for present and future
generations. Long may Watermouth Castle
remain an interesting example of 'the stately homes England'"
We can be thankful that after neglect during the early
1970's, Richard and the entire Haines family purchased the Castle and grounds
for the sum of £50,000 in
1977. Since then the Castle and ground
have been lovingly restored creating a seasonal 'Million Pound Plus
Extravaganza'. Finally, our thanks to
Richard, Christine, Jonathan, Tony, Rachel and the entire Haines family for the
incredible enjoyment they have given to so many, both children and adults, locals and visitors, over so many years.
Tower Cottage, November 2014