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No. 134 - October 01-10-2011

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.

Mary Tucker

 

MUSIC CONCERT

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 'Oklahoma'!

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 worthwhile organisations!

Stuart

 

FLOWER FESTIVAL

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 Love'.

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 programme.

Sue


 

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.

  • Who? - Why not you?

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!

Rev. Chris

 

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 [15/16"].

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

 

IN MEMORIAM

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 sadness.

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 years.

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

4.7.1928 - 20.8.2011

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 person.

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 hello.


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

01398 323093 to check if you are making a long journey specially. You can also contact us by email on info@exmoorponycentre.org.uk 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 existence.

 

NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST OFFICE

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

    [Which 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 pam.parke@eclipse.co.uk

That's about it for now - but we'll keep in touch.

PP of DC

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 [889298] - Chairman

 

BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE

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.

 

Pumpkin Muffins

Children will love these autumnal muffins, but they will go down well with the adults as well.

 

125g/41/2oz unsalted butter at room temperature

175g/6oz dark brown muscovado sugar

125g/41/2oz golden syrup or clear honey

1 large free-range egg

225g/8oz cooked pumpkin or butternut squash mashed

200g/7oz self-raising flour

11/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp-grated nutmeg

75g/3oz currants or raisins

Pinch of salt

17.

 

Butter Cream Icing

200g/7oz icing sugar

150g/5oz unsalted butter at room temperature

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 muffin cases.

In a large bowl cream the butter until soft, then add the sugar and syrup or honey and cream together until light and fluffy.

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 October tea

Wendy

 

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.

                    Sue Squire, Parish Clerk

Tel: 01598 710526, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, EX32 4TG

 

WEDDING

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 together.

Sue 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 2011

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 Hill, Berrynarbor.
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 Junior Award.
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 thanks

The Committee.

 

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 with Teddy.

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 environment.

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 Berrynarbor School.

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 well.

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 [01271] 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 . . .

Escape 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

 

The Men I Love

Diary Date: Wednesday, 23rd November, 7.00 p.m. Manor Hall - Beaford Arts production Barb Jungr 'The Men I Love'.

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.

Fenella

 

Middle Age Texting Codes

ATD - at the doctor BFF - best friend fell

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

 

Sea 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.


Can 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:

 

19th October Majestic Wines presentation

16th November South African Wines with Tony Summers

14th December Christmas Food and Drink

18th January Call My Wine Bluff.

 

Our programme for February through until and including May is 'under construction', so we'll keep you informed, as they say!

It 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 882121.

We 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.

Our first meeting may herald autumn, but it's one of the many village delights! We look forward to seeing you all.

Judith Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator

 

 

RURAL REFLECTIONS 51

Fullabrook: 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 are.

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 turbines.


Paul Swailes

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

Constable to 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 that point.

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 Muddiford.

Stephen McCarthy

 

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 Berrynarbor.

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 resident.

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 reception.

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 decorations.

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 second that!

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.

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2011

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

 

BERRYNARBOR'S SHORELINE

For nineteen years, from 1986 to 2005, we were privileged to live on the cliff top at Berrynarbor.

It 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.

An example 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 beaches.

If 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.


This 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!

Birdlife 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.

Friends 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 house.


Our 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 Davey

 

NEW BABY

Yvonne is delighted to announce the arrival of her first grandchild. Grace was born on the 15th 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.

 

WALTER'S WHISPERS

The 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 a mystery.


Focus 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 day; such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

So, why not start something useful today?

 

Gallileo

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.


 

The 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 performed today.


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

Illustrations by Paul Swailes

"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 birds.

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 below.

On the 31st December 1982 the Johanna, a 978 ton Panamanian registered coaster, ran ashore just south of the lighthouse.

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 month.

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.

 

FARMER FENBURY

Back in 1922, on the road to Berry Down, there was a farm called Fenbury. 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.

Ivor Fenbury 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.

Paul Swailes

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 as well!

Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket

 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 35

SIR FRANCIS CHICHESTER KBE

Aviator, Sailor and Businessman

17th September 1901 - 26th August 1972

Whilst 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.

On 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.

PP of DC

With grateful thanks to Giles Chichester for his CV of Sir Francis.

 

 

THANK YOU

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.

Margaret

P.S. Please 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.

 
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