1st Class 1: Thomas [Aged 5]
St. Peter's Church
Fund-raising over the summer has gone well. The final total for Gift Day came to £1,032
and the Summer Fayre made a profit of £1,142 with all expenses paid. Our thanks go to all those who helped in so
many different ways to make the evening such a success. A special thank you is due to those who so
willingly turn up every year offering to do whatever is necessary, plus the
clearing up was done in record time. As
always there was a wonderful atmosphere which is particularly appreciated by
visitors and holiday-makers.
Congratulations to Stuart and Sue Neale for the superb
Concert and Flower Festival staged over the August Bank Holiday week-end. One comment made: "It is so nice to see the church full and being
used in this way." A full report by
Stuart and Sue follows.
A reminder that the Harvest Festival will be celebrated on
Sunday, 2nd October with a Family Service at 11.00 a.m. The church will be decorated on the Friday
and Saturday before and gifts of fruit, vegetables and flowers would be
appreciated. The Harvest Buffet Supper
will be in the Manor Hall on Wednesday, 5th October at 7.15 p.m. and will be
preceded by Evensong in the church at 6.30 p.m. Tickets at £5 will be on sale the week
before, available from the Community Shop or in church on Sundays. The auction of produce will follow the
Supper with proceeds to WaterAid.
Back to Church Sunday will have taken place on 25th
September. We hope that some of you
were encouraged to come along and will come again. Following the Harvest, there will be
Communion Services on Sundays 9th and 16th October and a Songs of Praise on the
23rd. On Sunday 30th October there will
be a Team Service in Parracombe Church at 10.00 a.m. with no morning service at
Berrynarbor but at 3.00 p.m. in the afternoon there will be a Candle Service
when we are all invited to come along to remember loved ones. The service is quite short, with hymns,
prayers and a reading and at the end everyone is invited to the altar to light
a candle. Tea, coffee and biscuits will
be served afterwards.
Remembrance Sunday falls on the 13th November this year and
we shall gather in church at the earlier time of 10.45 a.m. ready to lay the
wreaths at the War Memorial at 11.00 a.m.
On the 27th November Advent begins and we shall start
looking forward to Christmas by lighting the first candle on the Advent Wreath.
Friendship Lunches at The Globe will continue on Wednesdays
26th October and 23rd November, 12.00 noon onwards - everyone is welcome.
The recent Concert held at St. Peter's was a great success
in more ways than one! The church was
filled to capacity and judging from the comments afterwards, the audience
thoroughly enjoyed the evening's entertainment.
Personally, I cannot praise enough the wonderful
performances by all the instrumentalists:
the lovely sung duets, the moving rendering of The Green Fields of
France and the opening of the second half of the concert by St. Peter's Belles
with a 'rip roaring' presentation of 'Berrynarbor!' based on the song
I am immensely proud of our Church Choir for their wonderful
singing and without wishing to single anyone out, I must convey my thanks to Uda Goode for her arrangement of Scarborough Fair and her
performance of Habanera from Bizet's Carmen.
A music concert is nothing without a compere 'knitting
together' the whole proceedings and on behalf of everyone involved my sincere
thanks to Tony Kitchin for his professionalism throughout the evening.
It is with pleasure that I can announce that the money
received for the Concert and the Flower Festival amounted to £704 and after
expenses paid, Shelter Box and Singing for the Brain [Alzheimer's] will each
receive £275, with the Flower Fund for the church receiving a smaller sum.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who attended and
supported the event, enabling us to give a substantial gift to two such
A wonderful display of flowers adorned the Church over the
Bank Holiday week-end. The theme
'Composers' gave the arrangers scope to do some beautiful interpretive work
ranging from John Barry's 'Goldfinger', Gershwin's
'Rhapsody in Blue', Bizet's 'Carmen to Lennon and McCartney's 'All You Need is
My thanks to all the arrangers: Margaret Sowerby,
Pip Summers, Judith Adam, Doreen Prater, Denise
Reynolds, Janet Steed, Sylvia Berry, Barbara Clatworthy,
Bet Brooks and Nancy Heard.
Special thanks to our generous sponsors who contributed to
the cost of the flowers: Moules Farm
Meat, Grattons Chalets, Stowford Farm Meadows, Sandy Cove Hotel and to
Watermouth Castle for donating tickets.
Sincere thanks to Judie Weedon for the delightful and informative
HOPE IN TROUBLING TIMES
What a turmoil the world seems in at the moment . . . .
As I write, this week has seen the anniversary to mark the terrible day
in 2001 when planes flew into skyscrapers and Manhattan's two front teeth were
knocked out. Then there is news of rising unemployment, especially for young
people. Sadly, a society that does not
effectively invest in its young will reap the consequences. That was
accompanied by further news of financial instability in Europe with knock-on
effects that will concern us all. Real income is already falling on average.
Sorry to sound gloomy and I do hope that this autumn finds most of us in
good heart and enjoying community life. As a tinge of brown begins to colour
the trees, there is certainly much to give thanks for which is why harvest with
its celebration of the creation remains an important marker of life. Our
Harvest service on 2nd October and follow-on service and Supper on
the 5th October will be great celebrations of and with food! Get spiritually
fit- jog to church. Book early to avoid disappointment!
Although the venue is Combe Martin, this is close enough for me to want
to mention an event coming up which some of us may find helpful. The church
wants to give an opportunity to explore the message about Jesus and to do so in
a non-threatening and entirely open way.
To do this, we are offering a course this autumn that will allow local
people to bring their questions and comment into a discussion group.
The course is called "Christianity Explored" and is a 7 week exploration
of the claims of the Christ. Who was this man? Liar, lunatic or Lord? The
course is based on Mark's Gospel and enables us to sit down and read what those
who knew Jesus said about him. It will be held at the Pack of Cards by their
kind permission and takes place every Wednesday evening at 7.00 for 7.30
p.m. The evening will finish around 9.00
p.m. The first session will be a taster
evening over a tasty meal. You will need
to sign up as numbers will be strictly limited (people can't just drop in and
drift off if you see what I mean!).
It all makes for an interesting series of evenings. Why not come along this autumn?
- Where? - Pack of Cards at Combe Martin
- When ?-
WEDNESDAY 19th OCTOBER until WEDNESDAY
30th NOVEMBER at 7.00 for 7.30 p,m.
Sign up - either in the church foyer or
numbers to Rev. Chris at the Rectory on 01271 883203.
Maybe our perception of church is in a box which we think we have
clearly marked and labelled - especially when it comes to births, marriages and
deaths. That continues to be important
of course and people seem to appreciate those occasions when weddings,
Christenings and funerals provide meaningful times for all concerned. But is
there a whole lot more to the Christian message than that? Is it possible to
have a living relationship with the living God- or is that so much hype?
Come along and explore the issues. No questions are barred!
WEATHER OR NOT
We ended the last report on a comment about awaiting the
heat-wave that was forecast - we are still waiting!
July was another disappointing month, the middle week-end
brought gale warnings and heavy showers and preceded a week with an unsettled
forecast due to an unseasonal low over the North Sea. Temperatures struggled to reach 21 Deg C for
most of the month and only topped 23 Deg C on three days. The maximum temperature for the month was
24.7 Deg C with a low of 9 Deg C. In the
previous l7 years we have only recorded three other years when the maximum
temperature was lower, but despite this the 185.23 hours of sunshine recorded
was above average. July has produced
rainfall totals between42mm [1 5/8"] and a massive 303mm [12"], so this year's
total of 99mm [31/2"] was nothing unusual and very similar to last year. The 6th was a very wet day with 23mm
It was a breezy month but because of our position we only
recorded a maximum gust of 24 knots.
August was decidedly autumnal with only 12 days when the
temperature reached 20 Deg C or over and the two warmest days, being the 1st and
3rd, when the thermometer hit 21.8 Deg C on both days. It was the coolest August that we have ever
recorded although 2009 and 2010 were also cool. The Bank Holiday week-end was particularly
disappointing and chilly; on the Friday
we recorded only 14.9 Deg C. The total
rainfall for the month was l83mm [3¼"] which was about average, much of that rain
falling in torrential showers. The wind
was also average with a maximum gust of 24 knots. The 150.88 hours of sunshine were nearly
identical to last year and were well below average.
According to the Met Office it has been the coldest summer
for many years and already there are signs of the trees starting to turn - does
this mean we are in for another hard winter?
Simon and Sue
PETER WISH HINCHLIFFE
30.5.28 - 9.8.11
We were sorry when Ann and Peter left the village to live in
Combe Martin and saddened to learn that after a long struggle, borne with
bravery and a smile, Peter had lost his battle, passing away peacefully on the 9th August.
Our thoughts are with Ann and all the family at this time of
Peter was a man of many talents with a rich variety of
interests. As a young man he walked
through Lapland before it opened up to tourism, seeing people living as they
had for generations. He was a climber,
climbing throughout Scotland and Wales and exploring many of the wilder parts
of Europe, as well as being a member and walking with the Mid-Surrey Ramblers.
Singing was another passion and his lovely bass voice was
heard with the North Devon Choral Society, the Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir and
for many years in the Gilbert and Sullivan productions staged by staff, pupils
and friends of Ilfracombe College.
A gentle giant and a true gentleman, he will be remembered
by those seeking help from the C.A.B. for which he was a volunteer for many
A keen member of the U3A, Peter participated in many of the
groups, particularly Play Reading, World Religions and his great love, Poetry
Reading and Writing.
Peter himself asked that his thanks be expressed to the
staff at the North Devon Hospice, where he was loved and well cared for, as he
was by everyone involved in his medical treatment.
He will be sorely missed by many.
Ann and her family would like
to thank everyone for their kindness at this time; for the cards and letters showing in so many
ways how close they were to Peter and their fond memories of him.
Never one to blow his own trumpet, they were justly proud
when Peter was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in his 70's. They also say that throughout his 83 years,
he always looked forward and enjoyed life to the full.
So friends, don't grieve, he would like you to enjoy the
memories you have of him.
SYLVIA LILY YATES
Our thoughts are with Viv, Brian,
Charlotte and Mickey following the death of Viv's
mother, Sylvia, on the 20th August.
Mum passed away peacefully with her family around her on the
20th August. She was a very loving and caring Wife, Mum
and Nan. She was also a very private
Born in Portsmouth, she spent her working life in various
pharmacies in and around the Portsmouth area.
After the death of her husband Harry in 1987, she came to live with us
in West Sussex before we all moved to Berrynarbor in 1988. She loved living in the village and made
many friends at W.I. Following her
first heart attack in 2004, she spent most of her time at home or on regular
family outings. One of her pleasures
was watching the wildlife that frequented the garden.
Donations of £350 were given at her funeral and this will be
passed on to the Waterside Practice.
Mum will be sadly missed by us all.
Viv, Brian, Charlotte and Mickey
NEWS FROM THE EXMOOR PONY CENTRE
The Exmoor Pony Centre was set up by the Moorland Mousie Trust in 2006 to
further their work to preserve and promote the endangered Exmoor Pony, our
oldest native breed. It is a very small
enterprise within Exmoor National Park and during the better months of the year
we arrange Exmoor Experience Rides on the moor or Taster sessions on site to
enable people to meet Exmoor ponies at close quarters. The Centre is open to visitors all year round
and free to visit although we hope that visitors will want to contribute to our
work with donations or by buying something from our small onsite shop.
In the winter months we handle wild
foals, born on the moor, to gain their trust and give them a future that they
would not otherwise have had - in past years they would have been sold off for
pet-food. The Centre only employs two
full-time staff along with some part-timers in the summer holidays and one
administrator, so it is also quite dependent on the goodwill of volunteers from
all around the country to help out with the work. Many young ponies go to
foster homes, either on a short-term or long-term basis and they really benefit
from this personal attention. Many
others go out to conservation grazing sites where they are highly valued as
they will eat the invasive plants that threaten the rare species.
Cream Tea afternoons are behind us but
they were great fun and we were delighted to welcome so many visitors; it was a treat for us to have the Green Room
to serve teas in and I'm sure everyone enjoyed the extra space. We really
want everyone to come and enjoy this new addition to our facilities, so please
give us a call, come along and have a look at it, and see if you can come up
with any ideas for its use.
At the end of August we held a Quiz
night in the newly renovated Green Room; it was a very enjoyable evening, even
for the dunces, the food was good and plentiful and it also helped with the
funds. There will be other events to come and we already have another quiz
night planned on Friday 14th October.
Please call for further information on 07709 817606.
The Handling Demonstration at the end of
August was well-attended and the filly chosen for the event was well-behaved
although the process was all new to her.
Although most of the foals that we handle are colts, this was one of the
youngsters abandoned at Combe Martin earlier in the year - she certainly looks
much better now.
With the end of the school holidays,
exercising becomes a priority again and some of our boys will need to keep up
their exercise regime over the winter months so if you think you might be able
to take this on and keep one or two of our boys going, please get in touch on
the number below. They are all really friendly and enthusiastic, albeit rather
too fat after a summer of too much grass growth, and they are very sociable so
we do like them to have company.
Cadbury, now 5 years old, will be
attending the Horse of the Year Show
at the NEC for his third year running, with staff and volunteers, between 4th
and 9th October so if you are planning a visit up there, please go along and say
Our Patron, The Duchess of
Cornwall, visits in July 2011.
It is the second time she has seen
our work with the ponies and shows our attempt at a guard of honour as she
left. She was just giving Barney a mint
but he was not grateful and spat it out in front of her!
Please look at our website and blog,
find Moorland Mousie on Facebook
or just drop in and see us! Remember to book in advance for Experience Rides or
Taster sessions at half-term as it is always busy. The Centre is free to visit
and normally open every day 9 till 5 but do ring
323093 to check if you are making a long
journey specially. You can also contact us by email on email@example.com
or visit us on www.moorlandmousietrust.org.uk http://exmoor-pony.blogspot.com/
Reg Charity No. 1116710
The Exmoor pony is a horse
breed native to the British Isles, where some still roam as semi-feral livestock on Exmoor. The Exmoor is one of the
British Isles mountain and moorland pony breeds, having conformation similar to that of other cold-weather pony breeds. They are hardy and used for many activities, as well as
contributing to the conservation and management of several natural pasture
habitats. Ponies were first mentioned on
Exmoor in 1086, though a breed society was not formed until 1921. The breed nearly became extinct following
World War II, and today is at 'critical' status by the Equus
Survival Trust, with a worldwide population
of about 800 animals, with between 100 and 300 active adult breeding mares in
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST
Sue Neale is giving one of her superb
flower demonstrations for the benefit of the Shop. Entitled 'Romantic Melodies' - there's a
hint that Stuart may be involved too! - it will be in the Manor Hall on Friday 30th September at 7.30pm. With tickets at £5 including coffee or tea and
biscuits and an opportunity to win one of the arrangements, it promises to be a
very enjoyable evening. Tickets are
available from the Shop.
If you've not yet bought one of the best
quality hand-made Bird Tables in North Devon, act now as we only have four
left. The price is still £45 for a bird
table and stand, £8 for a nesting box and £3 for bird feeders. They would make ideal Christmas gifts.
- We now have two bakers supplying our
local bread: Combe Martin Bakery and The Pantry in Ilfracombe. The latter sends different speciality breads
daily [date and walnut, Mediterranean, rye, corn, oat, etc.] and HUGE
scones. Our Combe Martin baker continues
to send his wholemeal, granary and multi-grain bread and luscious cakes. Come in early if you want choice as it all
goes very quickly!
- We have Wolf Blass Shiraz wine
selling at £6.99 per bottle. Tesco price? £9.99
reminds me that every Monday, prices are checked with Tesco and new goods are
added to the shop's 'pink labels' if we are cheaper. Do look out for these.]
- There is now a new selection of Red
Cow frozen foods - both savoury and sweet.
- Don't forget IZZY's single portion
frozen puds for a real treat!
And dare we mention Christmas? Well, if Tesco can, so can we! We shall be adding new ideas over the next
few months, but what about:
- A Berrynarbor Calendar? It's full of
local pictures by Barbara Fuller and at £14.99 for a limited edition, it may
become a collectors' item!
- BAM socks - from the bamboo range.
These high performance socks, which are super soft, eco-friendly, non smelly
and in a lovely range of colours, could be great stocking fillers. [No pun intended!]
- Hele Bay hand-made soap. We have it at the moment in 'sweet pea slice'
and 'Devon violet' in a bag. We're
already on to our second order in a fortnight!
Don't forget to check BerryBay. There
are wooden plaques, pretty bags, a range of iron items and lots more.
If you would like to receive up-to-date information,
please email your address to firstname.lastname@example.org
That's about it for now - but we'll keep
P.S. By the December issue it
will be almost too late to make that cake!
Ingredients are now available, many of which are our own brand.
MANOR HALL MATTERS
The first thing to report is the result of the Berry Revels
2011 and the news that it was a record, with £2,005 going to the bank and net
proceeds approaching £1,600 - all achieved in the two hour time span of the
event! So there's every reason to be
smiling and big thanks go to the individuals and organisations who were again
so generous in their gifts and support for the raffles, auctions and the many
various stalls and entertainments.
Also, thanks to the volunteers who helped with the organisation and
setting up, running things on the night and the clear-up afterwards, again over
40 helpers! But thanks also go to all
villagers and visitors who came along, dug deep into their pockets and combined
to give us such a tremendous result. We
were well blessed with good weather, which helped enormously, and there is a
new high target to aim for in the 2012 Revels Olympic Year! So thank you all!
As autumn fast approaches, many of our regular groups are
re-forming and commencing their activities in the Hall, but there still remains
space for any new groups to trial events and enjoy the facilities. We still have a table tennis table in the
Bassett Room, which could be brought into play if anyone is interested . . .
The new dinner plates and coffee mugs have arrived and are
ready for use in the kitchen, complementing the existing kit.
Within the Hall Programme between now and the year end is a
Beaford Arts musical event on the 23rd November, and we hope to organise a
Christmas Card distribution around the village and host a Seasonal Coffee
Morning on Saturday, 17th December.
Please use the Comments Book located in the kitchen to
record any thoughts/ideas you'd like the Committee to consider as we move
forward and if anyone has time and energy to help with Hall Matters, then there
is always space to come and join the present eight committee members . . .
please give me a call if you would like to meet or discuss this.
Colin  - Chairman
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT
The Judges for the National Britain in
Bloom competition arrived via the Sterridge valley on the 1st August and had a
whirlwind tour of the village as they were only allowed one and a half hours in
which to make their appraisal. We felt
that the judging went well and despite the rain the village was looking
great. We know they were impressed with
the School Garden; the Community Shop and car park and the carnival float
because they told us so, but we will not have the results of the competition
until the 25th September when Wendy Jenner and Ann Harris and their spouses
travel to Scotland to the presentations.
We can, however, announce that in the Regional Britain in Bloom, we have
again taken a Gold Award.
Meanwhile we have had the results for the
Best kept Village competition and having won last year I am sorry to say that
we have not done so this year, but it is nice that another village has a
chance. We did, however, receive 90+
points out of 100 and had glowing comments.
The judges remarked on the sensitivity of the care of the village,
pointing out the wild flowers in the hedgerows and the churchyard and how nice
the hanging baskets looked outside the bus shelter. The swallows' nest in the porch at the Manor
Hall, the community spirit and the clean ladies toilet were all favourably
commented on. There were, however,
suggestions that there should be doggie bins on the footpaths. All in all we are very pleased and a copy of
the full report can be seen in the shop.
Many people in the village have worked very hard this year and we should
like to thank them all.
Unfortunately we have had to take down
the planter at the bottom of Pitt Hill leading to Lee lane because although it
has been there for at least ten or more years the Parish Council, after a
complaint, deemed it to be a visual hazard.
Children will love these autumnal muffins,
but they will go down well with the adults as well.
125g/41/2oz unsalted butter at room
175g/6oz dark brown muscovado sugar
125g/41/2oz golden syrup or clear
1 large free-range egg
225g/8oz cooked pumpkin or butternut
11/2 tsp ground cinnamon
75g/3oz currants or raisins
Pinch of salt
Butter Cream Icing
200g/7oz icing sugar
150g/5oz unsalted butter at room
1-2 tbsp crème fraiche
or double cream
A few drops of orange food colouring
Chocolate or black piping icing
Preheat the oven to 200 Deg C, fan180 Deg C,
gas 6. Line a muffin tin with 12
In a large bowl cream the butter until
soft, then add the sugar and syrup or honey and cream together until light and
Stir in the egg and mashed pumpkin until
well mixed then sift the flour with the salt and spices in to the bowl and
lightly fold in.
Stir in the raisins or currants and
spoon in to the cases so that each is 2/3rd full.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a skewer
comes out clean when pushed in to the centre.
Allow to cool.
The muffins can be topped in any way you
like but butter cream is nice. Beat all
the ingredients together with a few drops of orange colouring and smooth on top
of each muffin.
Leave plain or pipe a Halloween pumpkin
face on each with the chocolate piping icing.
These are a lovely treat for a late
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Councillors were very pleased to receive a letter from Linda
Thomas to advise that she was interested in being co-opted on to the Council.
Her co-option took place at the August Meeting and we now have 5
Councillors with vacancies for 4 more. If you are interested in being
co-opted all you need to do is send me a letter expressing your interest and
saying a bit about yourself. It would be really good to have the
vacancies filled by the end of the year and even better if it was earlier so
that the Parish Council can work at full strength once again.
We are grateful to the Police for
providing a Report for each Meeting and in most cases they are able to attend,
despite the enormous pressure on them to be out and about on their patch.
Their presence at meetings is much appreciated, even if it is only for 10
minutes, and the demands on their time is fully understood. As you will
have probably heard, there was a large theft in the village recently and
everyone is advised to be on the look out for
anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, and keep sheds, vehicles and other
property securely locked and nothing left lying about for organised or
opportunist thieves. If the Police are required to attend in an
emergency, the number to ring is 999 but as from 5th September there is a new
number to dial for all non-emergency calls, which is 101. It will get you through to Devon and
Cornwall Police Headquarters at Middlemoor, Exeter
and they will direct your call in the most appropriate way.
There has been a lot of
discussion about the running costs of sewage treatment plant at the Community
Shop where the Parish Council has agreed to pay one third of this on an annual
basis. We are waiting to hear if an application made by the Parish
Council to North Devon Council for funding to help with the cost of running the
public toilets has been successful. Other items regularly discussed are
signs, the state of the roads, the playing field, vehicular obstructions and
invasive growth of weeds such as Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.
We hope he will never be needed,
but after the last two winters, who can tell? Councillor Clive Richards has
offered to take on the role of Snow Warden. We don't know when the
training for this will be at the time of writing.
As part of Devon County Council's
commitment to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce the cost of electricity, a
consultation is in progress regarding part night lighting of street lights in
towns and villages across Devon. The proposal for Berrynarbor is that the
lights will go off for 5 hours from 12.30am [the same as in other places] but
the lights at the top of the hill on the A399 will remain on. Councillors
voted in favour of this at the September Meeting.
A Working Party was formed to
inspect the Parish Council assets and as a result, Tender documents are being
prepared for the work to be carried out during the 2012/13 financial year.
Please note that the October Meeting
will not be on the 2nd Tuesday as usual, but for that month only, on Tuesday,
25 October at 7pm in the Penn Curzon Room of the Manor Hall.
Squire, Parish Clerk
01598 710526, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming,
Barnstaple, EX32 4TG
St. Peter's Church on Saturday, 10th
September was the setting for the marriage of Lynsey
Day and Ashley Bryant. Lynsey was given away by her mother Sue Sussex and attended
by four bridesmaids and three flower girls.
Ashley is the son of Sean and Tracie Bryant of Ilfracombe.
The Sandy Cove Hotel with its magnificent views was the
venue for the afternoon and evening Reception.
Lynsey's photograph wish came true
when, in her bridal gown and white wedding wellies, she
posed with her new husband and pet brindle boxer Bentley on Newberry Beach!
Lynsey, a Sales Office Manager and
Ashley, a Web Designer, spent their honeymoon in Canada before returning to
their home in Leamington Spa.
We wish them both health and happiness in their future life
would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made it such a
perfect day: organist Stuart, the
choir, the bell ringers,
Teresa Crockett for her
beautiful solo, Pie Jesu, during the signing of the
register, Sue Neale and Liz Goodenough for the stunning flowers in the church
and the bridal bouquets, Chris Steed for a lovely and moving service, the Sandy
Cove Hotel for a wonderful reception, and all the great guests.
BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
The committee would like to thank
everyone who entered and supported our first Show!
The planning has already started
for next year and we should love to hear from you if you have any suggestions
for categories that you would like to be included. Please get in touch with Linda Camplin, Barton
Congratulations to all of this
year's winners! There was a shock defeat in the Vegetable category when
Tony Summers' onions were beaten by Mick and Sandy Gadd
- let's hope Tony will come back fighting next year! Best in Show Horticultural was won by Sylvia
Mason with her fantastic raspberries; the Best Non-horticultural exhibit was won by Judie
Weedon with a stunning embroidery and Kate Rees won the 'Village Life' category
for her superb photograph. Congratulations to
Caitlin Burgess who won the
Again, could we just thank each
and every one of you for supporting the Show and making it a success. We
look forward to seeing you all next year so get your cameras and paint brushes
out, start organising those vegetable patches and let's see if we can continue
the success of this year's event. Many
OUR ADOPTED PUPPIES
Thank you to everyone who supported the Coffee Morning for
Canine Partners. It was lovely that
Wendy and Teddy [and Peter too] were able to join us and they brought with them
Sheila and her dog Hubert, a hearing dog for the deaf.
Teddy has been chosen as the mascot for the British Olympic
Medical Team and is waiting to hear if he will be one of the torch
carriers. He has also been put forward
for a Life Saving award by the PDSA.
After expenses, a cheque for £150 was sent ensuring that we
are able to continue to support the training of Amelia and Alfred.
Wendy has written:
Please pass on my heartfelt thank you to all your helpers and visitors
to the coffee morning. We had a
wonderful time, a good natter and lots of lovely cakes! As you know, Teddy is not only a lifeline to
me but also the best friend I could ever wish for. He is a clown at times and makes me
laugh. My life has been one happy time
Without kind people like the residents of Berrynarbor,
people like me would not be able to have such support. We love our visits to you - you have the
most beautiful village, it feels so relaxing to be there.
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
The six weeks have just flown by and we
hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday.
Our caretaker had a busy August as we
have had most of our very old carpets replaced.
Most rooms have had a lick of paint and some new tables have replaced
the broken ones that after being welded many times had come to the end of their
life. Our classrooms now look brighter
and lighter and the children are enjoying their spruced up learning
We welcomed Ben, Dulcie,
George, Fergus, Amber, Arthur, Jed, Ruby, Olivia, Xander
and Caleb into our Reception Class and Xanthe into Year
6. We hope they enjoy their time at
At the end of the Summer Term we said
goodbye to our Year 6 pupils and wished them every success in their new schools.
We have been hearing how well they have
settled and a few have popped back already to let us know that they are doing
We also welcome to the school, Mrs
Debbie Wellings who will be teaching Reception and
Year 1, and Mrs Catherine Orr who now shares Years 5 and 6 with Mrs Lucas.
The children will be taking part in Wild
Night Out at Stowford Meadows next week - weather permitting. This is a great experience for them, where
they learn to appreciate the natural environment during the magical twilight
times of dawn and dusk. Last year we got very, very wet so fingers
crossed the weather will be kind to us.
Our Year 5 pupils are taking part in
Forest Schools again this year, where they learn forest crafts. Their first week was muddy but very much
enjoyed by all!
Our Harvest Festival this year will be
held on Wednesday 5thOctober, at Moules Farm.
We shall be collecting food gifts for the local poverty action group and
will also take a money collection for an international charity.
Our federation with West Down Primary
began on 1st September. Staff are
already working together and the Governors
are establishing our new Governing Body.
We also have an Ethos Committee [at the suggestion of the Diocese] to
ensure that our unique Christian Distinctiveness is maintained. Teresa Crockett is leading this committee and
has already recruited members of the church and local community to help
her. If you would like to be involved
with this or would like to support our school in any other way, please contact
us on  883493 to discuss your ideas further.
Su Carey - Headteacher
Ron Toms would like to thank all the
pupils who visited him to wish him a happy birthday, sang their wishes to him
and gave him a beautiful card they had made.
OF THIS AND THAT . . .
to the Country
On Tuesday, 13th September, two men with
professional-looking camera and a microphone muffle were noticed in the Square
photographing the bus stop and our awards' sign. They repositioned themselves, stood at the
corner of Miss Muffet's, facing the Village, and shouted 'Action'; a couple began to walk up the hill towards
them. Equipment, crew and couple
repositioned, standing on The Globe's car park. As they were feet away I asked them what
they were filming. 'Escape to the
Country' was the reply. Their
participation will be shown 'sometime next year'.
No date can be supplied by those
interested viewers of this programme.
The Beeb's Customer Services don't have the
relevant schedule for that series yet.
All they could advise was to wait and watch.
Judith A. Flowerdew Cottage
Men I Love
Diary Date: Wednesday, 23rd November, 7.00 p.m. Manor
Hall - Beaford Arts production Barb Jungr 'The Men I
Another great night is expected when Barb Jungr, courtesy of Beaford Arts,
takes to the stage of the Manor Hall and turns it into a candle-lit cabaret of
love. Hot from New York, Jungr will give her unique rendition of an eclectic mix of popular
classics including Dylan, Diamond, Cohen and more. Doors open at 7.00 p.m. with dinner and show
starting at 7.30 p.m. Tickets £12 from the Shop.
Age Texting Codes
ATD - at the doctor BFF - best
BTW - bring the wheelchair BYOT
- bring your own teeth
FWIW - forgot where I was GGPBL
- gotta go, pacemaker battery low
GHA - got heartburn again IMHAO
- is my hearing aid on?
LMDO - laughing my dentures out OMMR
- on my massage recliner
ROFLACGU - rolling on floor
laughing and can't get up
View [Newsletter No. 133]
Rosslyn Hammett has written to
say that she understands that her father, Stanley Huxtable, was born there, but
doesn't think that her family is the same as that in the article. She says her grandfather was William Henry
and he farmed at Lower Rowes farm, where her aunt Florence Lilian
was born, and then later at North Lee which he had bought from the Watermouth
Castle Estates sale.
anyone put a date to this early photograph of Lower Rowes Farm?
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
'. . . new wine into new bottles and
both are Preserved.'
Yes, it's that time again; October is the first of Berrynarbor Wine
Circle's 2011/12 programme, for
newcomers and 'old-timers'
alike. Our first four dates and topics
for you all are Wednesdays,
8.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall:
November South African Wines with Tony Summers
December Christmas Food and Drink
January Call My Wine Bluff.
Our programme for February through
until and including May is 'under construction', so we'll keep you informed, as
has been said before, but as removal vehicles have been seen in the village
since last May's meeting, newcomers will be given a very warm welcome. It is a great way to meet the 'old-timers'
and others like yourselves who have moved to the village recently and have
joined our Circle. If thinking of
coming to your first meeting, it would be a good idea to contact Jill McCrae on
have a £3 membership fee and members pay between £5 and £7 on the night. All monies received are 'returned' because
the meetings' fees covers the cost of participants' samplings. Joining is
possible throughout the programme.
first meeting may herald autumn, but it's one of the many village
delights! We look forward to seeing you
Judith Adam - Promotional
For or Against?
"It's a bit late complaining about
them." I was told, "They're here now.
And will be for the foreseeable future."
It wasn't that I was complaining - more expressing my difficulty in
accepting what I viewed as a blot on the North Devon landscape. Making a complaint about them would not have
halted their arrival in any case, whatever form it took. For there are times when the powers above us
enforce their wishes, despite the opposing views of those beneath them -
regardless of how those views are formally expressed.
And so it came to pass that the opinions
of many North Devon inhabitants, concerned about the visual impact on their
stunning countryside, were tossed aside in favour of
the need for an alternative form of energy.
I was one of those who were extremely concerned. I did not, however, vent my feelings at any
formal meeting, for I felt that this was one of those occasions when the
decision had, in effect, already been made. The powers-that-be were not for
turning. The blades of the wind turbines
Since the arrival of the Fullabrook Wind
Farm [on an area surrounding Fullabrook Down] I have tried desperately
hard to come to terms with its presence - as well as listen to the favourable arguments.
But I'm still struggling, really struggling. Pre-scepticism has
not helped, a view I expressed in a previous Rural Reflections article
[Berrynarbor Newsletter, December 2008] which I wrote whilst on holiday in
South Wales. Referring to the area's
rural similarities with North Devon, I then noted how the two landscapes
sharply differed industrially, our Welsh counterpart's natural horizon being
frequently broken by naked flames, tall chimneys and the turning blades of
Although the windfarms
were in my view unsightly, those that I observed in Wales at least had a sense
of planning about them; if not situated perfectly symmetrically, the turbines
did at least look neat in their arrangement. The same cannot be said for Fullabrook. It is as though one of the directors, whilst
looking over a map of the area, bit into a biscuit and where the crumbs fell a
turbine was situated.
"They haven't got wires drooping in
between them. That's what I like about the turbines", a colleague said. True.
But at least pylons have some regimented order about them. They're also not as tall.
"I think they enhance the surroundings,"
a friend commented. Enhance? How can 22
brilliant-white plastic structures, each standing over 360 feet tall, enhance
North Devon's unique rural landscape?
In any case, my friend's comment carries no weight for he openly admits
that he is an urbanite through and through with no appreciation for pastoral
scenes. Living where he does, he's more
likely to donate an original by
the London City Mission, preferring instead to decorate his flat's walls with
city skylines from around the world.
Another friend, living more locally,
felt the turbines looked graceful. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In my view a swan up above, neck outstretched
and its flight feathers producing a hum as its wings beat slowly and
powerfully, looks and sounds graceful.
The sight - and hum - of the blades of a wind turbine? No.
"I'd rather have to look at them than a
nuclear power station," I've been told.
True. But I'd rather we had
neither; not on land, at least. Let's be
honest; if ever there was a case of "water
here, water there, water, water everywhere," the British Isles has to be
the perfect example - both with its rivers and with the surrounding seas - for
sources of water and tidal power. "Our local charity is also hoping to benefit from
one of the community handouts being offered by the windfarm company," they
added. Fair enough. Having been involved in charity work I cannot argue against
But one fact remains. Whether it's
looking from high points such as Clovelly in the west, Exmoor in the east or Eaglescott airfield in the south, the turning blades will
draw my gaze and, in so doing, hypnotise me into looking at them instead of the
beautiful rural vista in which they are set. But at least that's only from
North Devon's peaks. Thanks to the
area's undulating countryside there are also just as many troughs where the
turbines are hidden from view - unless, of course, you happen to live in
TYING THE KNOT BERRYNARBOR STYLE!
Saturday 10th September was THE BIG DAY
for Laura Matthews and Daniel Toms who said 'I DO!' at our sister church in
Combe Martin and then went on to celebrate in style at the Manor Hall here in
Laura is the only daughter of Neil
and Carolyn Matthews of Sunnyside, Combe Martin. A well-known family - Neil is often found in
and around Berrynarbor as he tends to the gardens and grounds of many a
I first met Laura when I had a trade stand
at Saunton Sands Wedding Fair in January of this year. Whilst
chatting to her about her flowers and all things wedding in general, she
mentioned that the couple had still to secure a venue for their wedding
I recommended that she take a look at our
Manor Hall, which having had its recent make over and with its new kitchen
pending, could have everything to offer that they were looking for. I was delighted to learn that Laura and
Daniel had booked the Hall for their date and additionally that she had chosen
me to help her with her bridal flowers!
The bride and groom wanted a traditional
English country wedding to which the Manor Hall lends itself perfectly. Having met with Laura and Carolyn and
discussed all their thoughts and ideas we decided to go with decorating the
porch entrance with a full floral archway which gave a beautiful welcome to all
guests as they arrived and a fantastic opportunity for photographs.
In keeping with everything seasonal,
puffball heads of hydrangeas in muted, antique shades of lilacs and pinks were
gathered from many of the gardens in the village and these featured throughout
The inside of the Hall was totally
transformed, as the tables were covered in crisp linen and set with vintage
fine china and crystal. The chairs were
all covered and adorned with beautiful satin sashes. Pretty coloured bunting was strung across
ceiling and walls and pots of herbs and garden blooms in jars with gingham bows
decorated the tables. Every attention to
detail was there. The overall effect was
a credit to the couple and their families and worthy of magazine coverage.
Like all of us who are lucky enough to
live in Berrynarbor, I love the Manor Hall and believe that it is one of our
greatest assets as a village. How wonderful it would be if we could host a
wedding party every week of the year!
I took the liberty of notifying the Manor
Hall Committee of the intended plans for the decoration of the Hall as I
thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to take some photographs for
future marketing purposes of the Hall and the village in general.
I hope that other brides and grooms-to-be
can see what Laura and Daniel saw - that with a bit of vision and planning, our
village hall can compete with any other venue on offer, and I hope you all
Denny Reynolds - Thistledown &
Cobweb Floral Designs.
OLD BERRYNARBOR NO. 133
Glen Lee, Berrynarbor.7.
Again this month I have chosen yet another postcard
photographed and published by William Garratt, the Bristol photographer. This photographic postcard was No. 7 of 20
produced with new numbers around 1937.
From the outset I should mention that this house with its
original name of Glen Lee was built in the early 1930's and has subsequently been
named Elizabeth House and today is known as Lee Side. Indeed, our last newsletter mentions in the
memorial to Alice Dummett that when she was married
in 1948, she and Len moved into Elizabeth House and ran it as a guest house
until Len's retirement in 1969.
Elizabeth House was then purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Merchants
who with their daughter continued to run it as a guest house. Their daughter was a keen gardener and grew
many plants, mainly fuchsias, which were despatched by post to customers all over
the United Kingdom. Around 1975 they
stopped taking in guests and finally sold the property to the Davies family.
Vi and Alec Davies, together with their son Brian and his
wife Ann, reopened and ran it as a guest house for several years before altering
it into two self-catering holiday apartments and renaming it Lee Side. Brian built a tennis court at the back on
which locals were allowed to play and Vi remembers that the most popular time
was when Wimbledon was on!
Today Lee Side has reverted to a family home.
Cottage, September 2011
For nineteen years, from 1986 to 2005,
we were privileged to live on the cliff top at Berrynarbor.
was a time of a constantly changing drama. Sometimes the people at sea provided this
drama, but the weather and wildlife were the main source of action.
of this was the winter storms, which moved the rocks on the beach, and the
waves that brought an interesting selection of flotsam to Berrynarbor.
The landscape of the beach seemed to change
after every storm. There were [unofficially]
three beaches between our beach below the house and the area below Sandy Cove
Hotel, but they were often not accessible. Rocks
were moved by the sea and gaps appeared and disappeared in the structure of the
the passageway between the rocks was open, it was possible to access the beach
below the Sandy Cove Hotel, where the remnants of an impressive outdoor pool were
just visible at low tide.
photographic postcard by Garratt of Bristol, from the Tom Bartlett Postcard
Collection, featured in a very early issue of the Newsletter - October
1991. The pool and hotel were originally
built for Mr. Singer [of
Singer Sewing Machines]. Note the
diving boards complete with ladder to ascend and the slide on the left, It could be said that the water in the pool
changed twice in 24 hours!
was totally different from the activity I now see in our village. A shag was often seen drying its wings on the
rocks below the cliff, and the noisy oystercatchers giving their harsh call
whenever the dog was on the beach. Obviously
there were always the gulls, but sometimes after a storm a racing pigeon would
land, exhausted, on the lawn. Its leg
tag would be recorded and the information passed on to the Racing Pigeon
Association, who could then inform the owner.
from London - who still come to stay every year - arrived for two weeks
holiday. This was the Saturday following
the London bombings in July 1995. My
friend Jim had been outside Kings Cross Station that morning, and had helped
the injured and confused on that awful day.
His arrival in Berrynarbor, with
its peace and tranquillity did a lot to erase the trauma he felt after the
scenes in London.
Jim's wish that week, as well as an
evening in The Globe, was to see Kestrels flying above the cliffs and dolphins
in the sea. He saw the Kestrel - and
this year I saw them flying in the valley between Barton Lane and the quarry
cliffs. The dolphins also put on a
spectacular display that week, leaping from the water in the bay beneath the
village, nestling in the valley, and providing some shelter from the winter
storms, also includes the cliff edge, which starts at Newberry and continues
towards Watermouth, giving a variety of scenery enjoyed by very few villages.
Yvonne is delighted to announce the arrival of
her first grandchild. Grace was born on
September, a daughter for Nicola and Gary, and granddaughter for Susan and Ian Kenworthy.
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Our congratulations to great granny, the
grandparents and parents and a warm welcome to the little one.
Instant Way of Life
The simple press of a button, a click of a switch and we get
what some people call the 'instant way of life'. Or click the mouse beside a computer and a
letter can be delivered many thousands of miles away.
It is all modern progress but too often, it seems, life
depends on forever trying to beat the clock.
When we slow down we start to experience a real quality of
life. It gives us a whole new
perspective on what living is all about.
I think that the author H.G. Wells put it well when he
said: "We must never allow the clock and
the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and
on this . . .
It is all too easy to live for tomorrow, continually putting
things off, but as these words translated from ancient Sanskrit show, today is,
and always has been, a good time to focus on:
Look to this
day: for it is life, the very life of
life. In its brief course lie all the
verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth, the glory of action, the splendour of achievement are
but experiences of time. For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision; and today
well-lived, makes yesterday a dream of
happiness and every tomorrow a vision
of hope. Look well therefore to this
such is the salutation to the
So, why not start something useful today?
In his day few men understood the universe like
Galileo. His real wisdom was to look
for wonder, not only in the vastness of space or in the minute detail of the
everyday world, but in both at the same time.;
The majesty and intricacy of Galileo's world were summed up
in these words: The sun, with all those
planets revolving around it and dependent upon it, can still ripen a bunch of
grapes like it has nothing else in the universe to do.
Birthplace of English Theatre
Standing at the crossroads of the Icknield
Way and Watling Street, the ancient town of Dunstable
is the unlikely birthplace of English Theatre.
Here, in the 12th Century, Geoffrey de Gorham wrote and directed the
first play ever seen in England.
While he was waiting to become Prior of St. Albans, de
Gorham established a school in Dunstable where he was living. The town possessed a large colony of weavers
and he decided to compose a play as a way of teaching his pupils about St.
Catherine, the Patron Saint of Weavers.
The play proved such a success that others copied his example and put on
the first mystery plays, which tell stories from the Bible and are still
Dunstable Priory was the scene
of the trial and divorce of Catherine of Aragon. It was here that Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
pronounced the Queen's marriage to Henry VIII illegal.
The document he issued to
record this was the last ever to describe the Primate of England as an official
of the Church of Rome.
LOCAL WALK - 128
'Somewhere beyond the sea : The north-west extremity of Devon
"If an unfortunate vessel is driven by a north-west or a
south-west gale within the horns of
Hartland and Padstow points, God help her hapless
crew for she is doomed to certain destruction!" wrote William Hurton in 1852.
"Along the coast there is no harbour or refuge, nothing but iron
rocks. Here the roar of the ocean is
incessant and mighty waves fling themselves against the giant cliffs."
In more recent times, in his attractive
book 'Along the Shore', Mike Towns the former warden of Northam Burrows Country
Park commented: "Struggling to remain
on your feet in the teeth of a
gale at Hartland Point brings home just why the Romans called this wind
blasted spot 'the Promontory of Hercules'."
By contrast it was a lovely day
when we walked out to Hartland
Point; mild and sunny with a gentle breeze. Four grey seals were surfing the waves in
Barley Bay on the eastern side of the point while out at sea gannets were
converging. Eventually there must have
been about thirty of them. We watched
as they started to dive; wings drawn back, then the plunge from a great height
followed by a big splash. Magnificent
The narrow road beyond the lighthouse
gate is now out of bounds to the public and when we saw the huge chunks of rock which
had fallen from the cliff on to the track we could see why.
So instead we walked past the emergency water catchment area
and up to the coast guard lookout, 325 feet above sea level, where there is a
good view of the lighthouse on its small plateau 200 feet lower down.
Built in 1874 it took three years to construct. First the inaccessible site had to be
surveyed from the sea before the road was blasted out of the side of the cliff
and the site levelled.
When completed, Bishop Temple of Exeter, later Archbishop of
Canterbury, officiated at its blessing.
From Blagdon Cliff, to the west of the coast
guard lookout, can be seen the rusty remains of a wrecked ship on the beach
On the 31st December 1982 the Johanna,
a 978 ton Panamanian registered coaster, ran ashore just south of the
Hartland Point is a good place for sea watching and we saw
flying past fulmars, great black-backed gulls, a few razorbills and further out
towards Lundy - which is only
twelve miles from the point - a line of manx shearwaters. They are present between April and September
as they breed on Lundy.
Ninety per cent of the world population of manx shearwaters
breed in colonies around the coasts of Britain and Ireland. In the autumn the shearwaters from Lundy
cross the Atlantic to the shores of South America, a journey which can take a
A team from Oxford University has been monitoring their
movements and has found that the shearwaters tend to fly down the western coast
of North Africa so that they can make the shortest possible crossing of the
Atlantic to the coast of Brazil; from
there along the coasts of Uruguay and Argentina, finally reaching Patagonia.
As we headed for the Radar Station on North Cliff we found
clumps of wood vetch drifting down the
cliffs; its tendrils allowing it to
sprawl over other vegetation. Its white
flowers are delicately veined with purple and nationally it is rather a
scarce plant, though less so on sea cliffs between Minehead and Hartland.
It is occasionally found on the edges of
woods and I have seen it growing on a section of the old railway line near the Slade Reservoirs.
The Radar Station is the strange
structure; a large white sphere on top
of a tall 'stalk' which can sometimes be spotted from our own shores,
especially Baggy or Morte Points.
Back in 1922, on the road to Berry Down, there was a farm
Built of timber, as were the outbuildings, it was occupied by
Ivor Fenbury. He bought
the land to the farm, including a large wood, which he let out on the basis that
he could have as much time as he needed to build his farm outbuildings.
Once established, he stocked up with a large number of
cattle, sheep, chickens, turkey and pigs.
It was said that he stole some of his stock from neighbouring farmers
and in the case of sheep would shear off any identifying marks.
was also known for upsetting other farmers and would put it around that land of
certain farmers had a spell on it so that it would not produce crops, etc. He cunningly did this when there was a
drought which caused his victim to lose heart.
He would then buy the land by appointing his farm labourer to do so, and
at a very low price. It would then be
conveyed to him.
In those days people were much more superstitious and
inclined to believe stories of ghosts, spells and apparitions.
Fenbury was the only farmer in the
area to own a bull. It was called
Angus, was very large and completely unmanageable. Despite his lack of goodwill to his
neighbouring farmers, they would take their cows up to Fenbury
Farm hoping to get one or even two calves in due course. This was usually fruitful.
One very wet Wednesday afternoon,
farmer Jack Bowes drove his two cows up to the farm - it was the custom to
drive two as it makes life easier.
Angus did his duty and Jack started off
back with his two cows.
He had paid the fee and hoped
that would be the last of seeing Fenbury for some
time. He was about a hundred yards down
the road when he could vaguely hear someone screaming and shouting, but ignored
it and went on his way.
The next day when Jack met the postman he was told that Fenbury had been gored to death by Angus.
"I'm not surprised, but what will happen to all his stock?"
remarked Jack. The postman shrugged his
shoulders and walked on.
Fenbury was buried in his home
town of Barnstaple and two weeks later his farm and all the outbuildings were
burnt to the ground.
No deed could be found to the farm and so other farmers
gradually encroached, having a 'reasonable' portion each. The animals were shared likewise.
Today there is no trace of Fenbury
and no longer do people believe that their land can have a spell on it - just
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 35
SIR FRANCIS CHICHESTER KBE
Aviator, Sailor and Businessman
17th September 1901 - 26th August
writing about Rosalie Chichester last June, I mentioned Francis Chichester, a
distant cousin and by her mother's second marriage, her step-nephew. To enable Rosalie and her widowed mother to
run the estate at Arlington, her mother married [a Victorian marriage of convenience] a distant cousin of
her late husband, Sir Arthur Chichester. Francis was his grandson. Got that?
Born in Shirwell, son of Rev. Charles
Chichester - by some accounts an unloving father - he was sent to a residential
boarding school at the tender age of six and finished his education at
Marlborough College. When he was
eighteen he emigrated to New Zealand where over ten hard-working years he built
up a thriving business in real estate, forestry and air transport.
During this time he married Muriel Blakiston and they had a son, George in 1926. Muriel died 3 years later, and George died at
the age of 41.
Hit by the global recession, Francis
returned to England in 1929 and learnt to fly.
He bought his first plane, Gypsy Moth, for apparently £650 and by the
end of that year flew from Croydon to Sydney - only the second person to fly
solo to Australia.
Two years later he converted Gypsy Moth
into a seaplane by fitting her with floats and flew the Tasman Sea from New
Zealand to Australia. For this epic flight, he was awarded the first holder of
the Johnson Memorial Trophy, which pleased him greatly. During this time, he devised a Navigational
System that became standard procedure for Coastal Command during World War II.
From Australia he flew on to Japan,
where he had an accident so serious that he nearly died. With careful nursing he recovered and in
1936 he flew back across Asia to England, carrying a passenger.
The following year he married Sheila Mary
Craven and their son, Giles, was born in 1947.
During the War he wrote instruction manuals for the Air Ministry and
became Chief Navigation Instructor of the Empire Flying School. One of his skills was teaching pilots and
navigators low flying without the use of maps.
At the end of the War, the day after he
was demobbed from the Royal Air Force, he set up a map and guide publishing
business, Francis Chichester Ltd. His
first commercial project was turning 15,000 wartime Air Ministry maps into
jigsaws and selling them to large shops. But he didn't lose touch with his
navigational skills. Between 1953 and
1957 he took part in 16 ocean races in Gipsy Moth II [note the different
spelling from his 'Gypsy' plane].
In 1958, however, he developed lung
cancer, was advised to have a lung removed and given six months to live. His wife defied the medics and nursed him
back to health, helped by prayer and nature's cure.
The next year, in Gipsy Moth III, he
entered the Transatlantic Race 'to complete my cure', and in the following year
won the first single-handed race Plymouth to New York.
His sailing expertise culminated in
1967 with his greatest glory: sailing solo around the world in 226 sailing
days, stopping only in Sydney for a month.
The day before he began his return journey, 28th January 1967, he was
awarded a knighthood, later dubbed by the Queen who used the same sword as
Queen Elizabeth I had used for Sir Francis Drake.
his return to Plymouth [28th May 1967], thousands of small boats escorted him
into Plymouth Sound. Hooters sounded,
fire boats sprayed red, white and blue water, the Royal Artillery gave a 10-gun
salute, his wife Sheila and son Giles joined him on board with two bottles of
champagne, the Lord Mayor welcomed him home and a quarter of a million people
cheered. That was quite a welcome! He
was driven to the Guildhall and when at the press conference he was asked what
he would most like to do now, he replied, "What I would like after 4 months of
my own cooking is the best dinner from the best chef in the best surroundings
and in the best company!"
On July 24th that year, the
GPO issued a special Gipsy Moth IV postage stamp to commemorate his journey and
on the 12th October, he was given the freedom of Barnstaple. Add to this his best sellers 'Gipsy Moth
Circles the World' and 'The Lonely Sea and the Sky' as well as a host of
awards, it added up to quite a year!
By 1971 he was again suffering from
cancer, this time at the base of his spine.
His spirit was such that he didn't give in and although needing frequent
blood transfusions, he entered the 4th single-handed Atlantic yacht race but
after a few days, however, had to admit defeat. His son, Giles and 3 volunteers from HMS Ark
Royal were helicoptered out to him and sailed the yacht back to Plymouth. Sadly, a few weeks later, he died in
Plymouth and is buried at Shirwell.
Over the last 40 years, his record of
solo round the world voyages has been broken:
Ellen MacArthur managed it in 2001 in 94 days, and in 2007 Francis Joyon, in his state of the art multi hulled vessel, got
round in 571/2 days. These people deserve our respect, but it should be remembered that Francis Chichester did it
first, without any of today's technology to help him, and when asked why he did
it, he replied, "Because it intensifies life!" He was a true pioneer.
With grateful thanks to Giles
Chichester for his CV of Sir Francis.
Once again summer has come to an end and people will no
longer be buying plants for their gardens, so I must bring them in from my
front gate and get propagating ready for next spring!
Sales have been so good this year that I have been
able to give the Children's
Hospice £700, which is absolutely wonderful - £100 more than I achieved last
year. Without the great support from
our villagers and visitors on their holidays, this would be impossible.
The caring and help which the Hospice gives to children and
their families is quite beyond belief, having seen their work during a visit to
the Hospice. Giving short holidays to
the whole family of a sick child and that child having the care and treatment
of their totally caring staff, is a lifeline which I am sure is something we all
hope will carry on. This gift is just a
drop in the ocean but I am certain you will feel as I do that it is helping if
only in a small way.
Visitors and locals all buy plants and some people come each
year while on holiday in the village.
So my thanks to everyone who has helped to make this donation possible.
Thank you everyone.
may I ask if anyone has any 5-6 inch pots to spare? I can make good use of them! I am OK for other sizes.