ST. PETER'S CHURCH
The Easter Service led by George Billington came well up to
expectations. A good number of families
with children attended and the choir was well up to strength singing Rutter's
'A Clare Benediction' beautifully. Our
thanks to Stuart Neale for his dedication.
At the end, there were only just enough mini-eggs to go round!
Services will begin as usual at 11.00 a.m. during June and
July and will follow the usual pattern:
1st Sunday in the Month: Village Service following a simplified
version of Morning Prayer without Communion, so a good chance to make a start
if you are not used to coming up to the altar.
2nd and 4th Sundays: Holy Communion
3rd Sunday: Songs of Praise - again a simplified service
of worship with plenty of hymn singing.
I have just heard on the radio that nationally numbers
attending church are down again.
However, our core congregation has increased over the past two
years. For various reasons not everyone
is able to attend every Sunday and we have been fewer of late but hopefully
shall revert to normal soon, and we are already being joined by visitors to the
There will be a special occasion at 6.30 p.m. on Sunday,
23rd June when the Christians Together Service will be held in
Berrynarbor. The collection will be for
Christian Aid and donations from all the churches will be handed in. Do come along, this is always a lively
service and there will be refreshments afterwards.
Gift Day this year will take place on Wednesday, 26th June,
[St. Peter's Day is on the
29th]. Letters and envelopes will be
delivered around the village the week before and the Rector and members of the
PCC will be at the lych-gate all day.
Our main fund raising event, the Summer Fayre, will be on
Tuesday, 20th August. Please get in
touch with Stuart and Sue Neale  if you can help on the day and please
look out items and prizes for the various stalls and side-shows.
Friendship Lunches will be on Wednesdays 26th June and 24th
July. Again you will be very welcome to
come and join us.
. . . FROM THE RECTOR
What have Tigers, Thunderbirds
and the flats of Bonneville all have in common?
the turn of the last century, a man called Siegfried Bettman came to this
country and started selling bicycles. He
was joined by an engineer called Mauritz Schulte. In 1902 they produced the company's first
engine powered cycle and three years later had designed and built their own
This was the beginning of a great
British company. Through vision, it
even survived the Great Depression and in the 1930's, Edward Turner developed that vision and the
Tiger motorbike was born.
Any of you remember the Thunderbirds? No, not the puppets whose strings were all
too evident as they saved the world. This
was the motorbike intended to capture the American market. Marlon Brando rode a Thunderbird in the film
'The Wild One' in 1952. Remember that
In 1962, the company took the speed
records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Unsurprisingly, the motorcycles built in the
sixties were named Bonneville.
Alas, by 1983, this great British
company collapsed and died. Production facilities began to crumble. Who would have thought that by 1990 there
would be a rebirth and a new vision? In
this Easter season, it is not out of place to call it a resurrection. And the name of the company? Triumph!
I realise as I look out of my window
that we are still a few weeks behind but as I write this, finally there is
blossom on the trees and there is warmth in the sun. Despite the strange weather we have
experienced, the Easter season we have now left speaks to us powerfully of
rebirth and the planting of fresh hope. The
light truly shines in the darkest of places.
experienced that triumph and the resurgence of new life within yourself?
Why not have a discussion to explore how
you can find new life.
60 Glorious Years!
Dear Mummy, Mum-in-Law and
This card shows how it all
A family-tree for you to keep,
With details of your three
You may feel it's a sad event
surely one you can't prevent!
When sixty birthdays you
And days and years that made
But we beg you, wipe away that
recall, oh, Mummy dear,
through those years, Mama was there
wipe our noses, comb our hair,
wash our clothes and cook our food
cope with every childish mood;
help with 'prep' and lend an ear
every whine or moan or fear
adolescence always brings -
you were good at finding things
we had lost or sent astray.
hundred crises every day
out with cool aplomb -
did you get your patience from?
holidays down by the sea
built jolly cottages for me;
years later, up in Town,
'boyfriend troubles' got me down
at week-ends I'd often come
sympathy from poor old Mum!
we were ill, or sad, or bad
must have driven you nearly mad;
must have been, too, times galore
in the midst of dreary chore
had to raise a sunny smile
wondered, 'Is it all worthwhile?'
through it all, you'd always show
way 'twas right for us to go.
Daddy you were hand in glove
give us discipline and love.
for love, and treat [and spanks]
render you our grateful thanks,
now the birds have left the nest
wish for you a well-earned rest,
'peace and quiet', much joy, few tears -
these be your 'reviving' years!
This delightful tribute to a much loved
mother was written for Joyce Clay, now of Lee Lodge and at 101 last November,
one of our oldest residents, by her daughter Vanessa for Joyce's 60th birthday.
Some thirty years later, for Joyce's 90th birthday, another
tribute by Vanessa, the final lines of which are:
this very special birthday - I reiterate -
yourself upon a life well spent. We
wisdom, your tolerance - and your damn staying power
all the turbulent years.
have seen, experienced, taken on board,
lived through, dealt with, kept your cool,
sense of humour - and your dress sense!
may you find clothes that suit
look so good on you: they are [I've
outward appearance of an indomitable spirit -
spirit I've learned from during all
sixty years I've known and loved you.
the road rise to meet you.
the wind be always at your back.
the sun shine warm upon your face.
the rains fall softly upon your field until we meet again.
God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
Unfortunately, since the last Newsletter the village has
learnt of the deaths of Kathleen Bond, Val Bowden, Bill Jones and just before
going to print, Michael Patterson and our thoughts are with all their families.
Kathleen passed away
peacefully at Park View Residential Home in Ilfracombe on Monday, 25th March,
where she had spent just a short time having some respite care, at the age of
99. She would have celebrated her
centenary in August.
Ludleigh House on Hagginton Hill had been home to Kathleen
for nearly 40 years and until fairly recently she had been able to enjoy
village life. Many people will remember
the sales she held in the Manor Hall, the proceeds going to animal charities -
she loved all animals and birds, but especially cats. Gardening too was one of her pleasures, as
was choral singing, and she had enjoyed the fellowship and activities of the
Mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she will be sadly
missed by all her family and friends.
Val, beloved wife of Leonard
Bowden who passed away at home in March 1991, died peacefully, also at home,
Ruggaton Farm, on the 30th April at the age of 93. A much loved mother, grandmother,
great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, she will be sorely missed and
our thoughts are with all her family.
WILLIAM [Bill] JONES
September 1934 - 18th April 2013
How sad it was to learn that
Bill, a much loved and loving husband, father and grandfather, had passed away
peacefully with Jill and his family beside him, on the 18th April.
Although he had not been in the best of health for some
time, his sudden and unexpected death came as a shock. Only a couple of days earlier he had spent a
happy day out with family, enjoying his 'go faster' mobility scooter and plans
were being formulated for future trips and possibly some fishing.
The Thanksgiving Service for his life was celebrated at
Basingstoke Crematorium in its delightful setting on a beautiful sunny day,
3rd May. Conducted by our Revd. George and with the
village well represented, the Service was a lovely and heart-warming tribute to
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jill and all the family at
this time of sorrow.
* * *
Born in Sheffield , a life-long supporter of Sheffield
Wednesday, Bill was a true Yorkshireman.
Active sports, particularly cricket and football, played a
major role in his younger days but his enjoyment of sports of all kinds was
life-long. even if latterly
participation was from his armchair!
After a short spell in the RAF, he made a career in
electronics. On retirement, he and Jill
came to North Devon from Cheshire, moving into Berrynarbor and Riversdale in
1999. They soon became involved with
many village activities, and Berry in Bloom very much appreciated Bill's input.
Do-it-Yourself formed a compelling pastime, the garden his
pride and joy. He loved showing
visitors around especially on many village Open Garden days.
A determined man, following his untimely stroke and the
medical prognosis, Bill was single-minded in believing that he would walk
again, and he did! Although activities
in the garden were curtailed, he enjoyed pottering, enjoyed a spot of fishing,
continued to play skittles for The Globe and took pleasure in the boys' outings
to Taunton to watch the cricket.
Although sad to leave the village last year, he and Jill
settled in well to their new home where Bill was able to enjoy, for a brief
time at least, the nearby company of family and grandchildren.
* * *
and family would like to thank everyone for all their kind messages and cards;
it was such a great comfort to know everyone was thinking of us at this
difficult time. Bill loved his years spent amongst you all in Berrynarbor and
we all have wonderful memories of times spent in Devon.
Although he had not been well
for some time, Michael bore his illness bravely and he never lost the smile that would light up his face.
It had been so lovely to see
him at the Manor Hall recently for a coffee morning - he never could resist
cakes! It was, therefore, with much
we learnt that he had passed away peacefully on the 7th May.
Michael came to live at Stable Cottage
in April 2005 to be near his son and soon became a familiar figure around the
village, enjoying the Friendship Lunches, the Quiz at The Globe and attending
many of the activities in the village.
This true 'gentle'man will be missed by
all his friends in the village but even more so by his family and our thoughts
are with them all at this time of sadness.
WEATHER OR NOT
It has been a bit of a slow start to
spring but at least it has been drier over the last three months.
March, with 73mm was the driest month since
March 2012. But we were lucky here. On the 21st/22nd there was severe flooding
in Cornwall and South Devon whereas we recorded only 14mm. Our wettest day was the 15th with 34mm.
Unlike last March it was very cold with only six days when the temperature
reached double figures and nine nights were below freezing. The maximum temperature was 14.5 Deg C with an
average of 8.74 Deg C and a minimum of -2.7 Deg C. The easterly winds were bitter and at 0303 on
the 12th we recorded a wind chill of -20 Deg C which was a new record for us. There was also some snow on seven days and
although the amounts were very small, that was more than normal for March.
April was even drier than March with
only 34mm and the strong cold wind continued for much of the month holding down
the temperature. The maximum was 15.9 Deg C
which although a bit higher than last year was well down on previous Aprils. The minimum of -1.1 Deg C and wind chill of
-11 Deg C were not out of the ordinary.
hours of sunshine were recorded in March and 119.94 in April, both of which
were fairly average amounts and probably reflected the
May so far has started dry and we have
heard a rumour that it will be the driest May on record. If so we may hear the drought word used
FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE
We hope that you are enjoying Barton
Farm's local milk. It certainly seems
to be popular, is slightly cheaper and far fewer road miles.
The pretty tea towels, also locally
produced, are selling well either as little gifts for local people or for
visitors to take way as a souvenir of a happy stay in Berrynarbor. Jigsaw's strong plants are profuse at the
moment and hopefully will be able to fill tubs, window boxes and hanging
baskets out of doors, soon!
the time you read this, we shall have had our 9th AGM. Following this, there are a few changes to
Alex Parke, shop founder and
dedicated secretary is finally archiving his Shop computer programmes and
handing over to Paul Weston. We all
thank Alex for his hard work at initially getting funding for the new shop, and
latterly keeping us all on the right side of the law - and solvent! And we wish Paul well with his new
At the same time, Kath Thorndycroft and
Pam Parke have also resigned. Both have
been hard at work fund-raising and Pam has worked on publicity for the
shop. Karen Narborough has fortunately
come forward to cover both aspects and we all wish her well. Both Kath and Pam will continue with their
volunteer work in the shop.
So, with a new dynamic young
team - well some of them - we are set for a good year ahead!
Please keep up the good work - and shop
IN DAYS OF OLD WHEN LOVE WAS BOLD!
. . . this is how courtship
proceeded! It is said that spring is
when a young man's heart turns to thoughts of love but it seems to be true,
also, of the hearts of the fairer sex.
During WWI, when all but the men too young, elderly or otherwise exempt
were likely to be called up, young ladies in search of husbands had to take the
initiative. Those who sent these three
Valentine postcards, one at least in the Leap Year of 1916, to a Berrynarbor
farmer, were stylishly, if anonymously, equal to the task.
While all demonstrate a sense of decorum lacking in later
seaside cards, it is interesting to note how English proprieties of the time,
familiar through the village and rural novels of Elizabeth Gaskell and Thomas
Hardy, might, as ever, be both reflected and circumvented. Alas for Bathsheba Everdene,
whose mischievous Valentine in Far From the Madding Crowd brought about the
deaths of both her false-hearted husband, Sergeant Troy, and the respectable
February 14 was traditionally the day on which plants began
following on from Plough Sunday in January when farmers recommenced their
work on the land After
Christmas and New Year festivities ended with Twelfth Night. Not until Chaucer's 'Parlement
of Foules', about the gathering of birds to
choose their mates, written in 1382 to celebrate the first
anniversary of the engagement of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia, was Valentine's
Day associated with romance.
The Patron Saint of love was Anthony, whose day falls on
13th June, in warmer midsummer. So there is hope yet for those who missed out in
this year's belated spring!
No. A1142 printed
No. E.24. By B.B. London Printed in Germany
"SPURGIN" Series No. 921 Printed in England
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
You may have seen us beginning to tidy
up the flower beds and tubs around the village. We should soon be starting to
plant out for summer but as the weather has been so cold we may have to wait
before the tender bedding goes in. We
have been given a grant of £250.00 and plan to use it around the Manor Hall
where work has already started to repair the small wall around the flowerbed.
We had a fun fundraising car treasure
hunt in April and raised just over £100.00.
Some of the clues were quite fiendish but team G.B. (Colin, Jan, Gilly
and Fenella) were the winners with Charlotte, Mickey, Morgan and Roker the
winners of the family treasure hunt.
Tea, cakes and something a little stronger were on offer at the Globe
for both winners and runners up and a special prize went to Alan and Rosemary
for completing the route on a motorbike.
By the time you are reading this, we
should have held our next litter pick on Sunday, 12th May. Don't forget, we are entering the Best Kept
Village competition and the judging is on-going through May, June, July and
August, so we appreciate any help we can get.
Crunchy Lemon Topped Courgette Cake
Don't be afraid of the courgettes in
this recipe, just think how lovely and moist carrots make carrot cake and give
this easy recipe a go.
This quantity makes two 8-x 4-x
5inch loaf tin cakes. I always make two
and freeze the spare one. Of course you
could halve the quantity and make just one.
200g/7oz ground almonds
240g/81/2oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
350g/12oz golden caster sugar
225ml/8fluid oz olive oil (extra
virgin or light)
3 large free-range eggs
¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g/101/2 oz grated courgette (2
For the glaze
4 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp granulated sugar
125g/41/2 icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark
4. Grease and line the bottom of 2, 8 x
4 x 5inch (20 x 10 x 13cm) loaf tins with parchment paper.
Pour the almonds onto a baking tray
and toast in the preheated oven for 5 minutes then set aside to cool.
In a medium sized bowl combine the
flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, and
nutmeg. Stir in the cooled almonds.
Using a hand held or standing mixer,
whip the sugar and oil until light in colour, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating well
after each addition and then add the almond (if using) and vanilla extracts.
Add the dry ingredients all at
once. Give the batter a thorough mix and
then fold in the courgettes by hand.
Transfer to the tins and bake for 45 to
50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Run a knife around the tins and turn out on
to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile make the glaze by combining
the lemon juice with the sugars in a small bowl. While the cakes are still warm use a pastry
brush or spoon to coat the top. Sprinkle
a little extra granulated sugar on top if you like it really crunchy.
The way courgettes grow in the summer
may mean that you will be making this cake over and over, lovely.
IVY - TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE?
At long last the ivy invasion is beginning to be recognised. Recent
correspondence in several newspapers highlights the threat that Ivy has become,
both to trees and buildings.
Dunollie Castle, Nr. Oban
It would appear that although ivy doesn't
theoretically attack the trees which support it, the competition below the
surface at root level is always won by the Ivy roots and the weakening of the
tree causes disease with its inevitable result of the tree eventually
dying. Similarly the growth on the tree
itself, although not attacking it directly, does by blocking out the sun's rays
disable the photo-synthesis process which enables plants and trees to survive.
In years past, the linesman, as well as
keeping the drains and hedges in good order around the village, also kept the
trees and hedges clear of ivy. It is
very noticeable, having lived in the village for 40 plus years, how the many
stone walls which surround properties and fields are also covered in the
dreaded green creeping menace.
A walk from the village down to the main
road highlights how the majority of
trees are covered in the green 'wonder' and I find it very disturbing that the beautiful outline of many
trees is now lost and they are heading for premature death.
Recently a study has suggested that
gardeners should be urged to allow ivy growth as its flowers provide pollen for
honey bees which are in decline.
Obviously anything that can help the bees to survive and increase is
vital, but I can't help feeling that the ivy increase over the last 50 years is
far and away in excess of that required by the bees which have only been in
decline for the last 2 or 3 years.
For those who wish to assist in reducing
the invasion, the recommended method is to cut the growth around the tree trunk
a couple of feet up. Then work around
the base of the trunk and try to remove all ivy ROOTS. This should be redone every few months to
ensure success. It's not necessary to attempt to unravel the growth above the
cut as the plant, having been disconnected from its roots, will die. After a year or so the dead ivy will rot
and be blown off the tree by winter winds and the beauty of the tree's trunk
and branches will be revealed.
Unfortunately the many trees already heavily populated by ivy are in
many cases already doomed, as close inspection during the summer months shows
no tree leaves, just decaying timber where the green is prolific ivy coverage.
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Well, what a busy half term we
are pleased to announce that Elderberry Class are now back in their classroom,
work almost completed! They are working
hard towards their SATS exams that will take place the second week in May. The class will then enjoy a well-deserved fun
week away when they all go on a residential to Plymouth in June.
Class will be enjoying three days of activities at Beam House near Torrington
for their residential in July.
Strawberry Class have just started their
swimming lessons and will continue to be learning to swim like little fishes
for the next six weeks. We would like to
thank our parent helpers that come each week, it is much appreciated.
in our sensory garden is progressing well and hopefully this will be in full
use later this term.
I'm sure you have all heard
about Beaford Arts visiting us again this summer. It is set to be a big village event! Blueberry Class have designed leaflets that
have been delivered throughout the village inviting members of the community to
produce poems for the event. The PTA is
working hard to help organise the event and the school Summer Fete will be held
in the playing field on the 29th June alongside this event.
the coming weeks we shall be holding a 'Pride in our School' day. If there are any members of the community
that have a skill, any unwanted cans of paint,
or time they might like to give, please contact the school, we should be
extremely grateful. There will be
refreshments throughout the day!
We'll be holding our Sports Day on
Tuesday 11th June, 1.00 p.m. in the playing field. Should we have typical
English summer weather that day, we move to the 12th or 13th June!
whole school will enjoy a trip to the Landmark Theatre in July to see 'The
Essex Dance'. The children love watching
this performance, all performed by children too!
At the beginning of July the
children will be enjoying a 'Federation Day' with West Down School. This
is a great and fun opportunity for the children from both schools to mix and
get to know one another.
We hope everyone has a lovely
summer and the weather is kind to us, we all deserve it!
Sue Carey - Headteacher
TREV'S TWITTERS - SONGS OF THE SEA
sailor ploughs the main
A competence in life to gain;
Undaunted braves the stormy
To find at last content and
In hopes, when toil an
To anchor on his native shore.
When winds blow hard and
And thunders shake from pole
dreadful waves surrounding foam,
Still flattering fancy wafts
In hopes, when toil and
To anchor on his native shore.
When round the bowl the jovial
The early scenes of youth renew,
his favourite fair will boast,
This is the universal toast:
May we when toil and danger's
Cast anchor on our native
Blow High, Blow Low
high, blow low! let tempest tear
mainmast by the board!
heart [with thoughts of thee, my dear!
love well stored]
brave all danger, scorn all fear.
roaring wind, the raging sea,
hopes, on shore, to be once more
moored with thee.
while mountains high we go,
whistling winds that scud along,
the surge roaring from below,
my signal be, to think on thee.
this shall be my song,
high, blow low! let tempest tear
mainmast by the board!
heart [with thoughts of thee, my dear!
love well stored]
that night [when all the crew
memory of their former lives,
flowing cans of flip renew,
drink their sweethearts and their wives],
heave a sigh, and think of thee.
as the ship rolls through the sea,
burden of my song shall be.
high, blow low! let tempest tear
mainmast by the board!
heart [with thoughts of thee, my dear!
love well stored]
Come my Jolly Lads
Come, come, my jolly lads, the
Brisk gales our sails shall
Then bustle, bustle, boys,
haul the boat,
The boatswain pipes aloud.
All hands on board, our ship's
The rising gale fills ev'ry
Our ship's well manned and
Then sling the flowing bowl,
then sling the flowing bowl,
Fond hopes arise, the girls we
prize, shall bless each jovial soul;
Then the can, boys, bring,
we'll drink and sing,
While the foaming billows
Now to the Spanish coast we're
bound to steer,
To see our rights maintained;
Then bear a hand, be steady
Soon we shall see
Old England once again.
From shore to shore loud
Our tars shall show the
Britannia rules the main.
Then sling the flowing bowl,
then sling the flowing bowl,
Fond hopes arise, the girls we
prize, shall bless each jovial soul;
Then the can, boys, bring,
we'll drink and sing,
the foaming billows roll.
This broadside was a favourite with
sailors. It is said to have been
written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan [1751-1816]. An English dramatist and politician,
Sheridan is better known for his works 'The Rivals' and 'School for Scandal'.
A broadside ballad is a descriptive or narrative verse or
song usually in a simple ballad form and on a popular theme. Sung or recited in public places it was also
printed on broadsides for sale in the streets.
They were one of the most common forms of printed material between the
16th and 19th centuries, particularly in Britain, Ireland and North America.
last honest Jack, of whose fate I now sing,
anchor and cast out for sea;
never refuse'd for his country and King
fight, or no lubber was he;
hand, reef and steer, and house everything light,
well did he know every inch;
top lifts of sailors the tempest should smite,
never was known for to flinch.
from the masthead one day be espied
sail which appear'd to his view.
the decks, sponge the guns was instantly cried,
each to his station then flew;
fought until many of their fellows were slain
And silenc'd was every gun;
that old English valour was vain,
numbers, alas! they're undone.
think not bold Jack, though by conquest dismayed
tamely submit to his fate;
his country he found he no longer could serve,
round, he address'd thus each mate:
life d'ye see when our liberty's gone,
nobler it were for to die,
for old Davy - then plunged in the main
cherub above heav'd a sigh.
These four songs are selected as typical
of the period - early 19th century - from the Gentleman's Song Book, which
contains almost as many sea songs as hunting ones. What I find rather strange is that none of
them mention a captain or other officer apart from brief references to a bo'sun. They must
have had some!
by Paul Swailes
RURAL REFLECTIONS 58
When does a wildflower become a weed? Once it appears in a garden would seem the
However the Oxford English Dictionary
7th Edition defines a weed as 'a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and
in competition with a cultivated plant'.
This suggests that the question is subjective and that the definition of
a weed is a personal one and solely dependent upon the person tending the
Some people of course choose to leave their
entire garden uncultivated, a decision that can lead to neighbourhood disputes
- particularly if a gardener is refusing to grow any plant that may be found in
a wildflower reference book.
Both parties are arguably at fault. Whilst the neighbour with the untended
garden insists that by leaving it untouched for years they are making their
garden as rural as possible and therefore helping nature, one can argue that it
will allow certain species to dominate; species that will inhibit daylight and
consequently discourage wildflowers.
Likewise whilst one can feel sympathy for the gardener having to uproot
nettles and brambles that continually creep across from next door's wilderness,
compassion can be limited if they are cultivating a garden purely for its
cosmetic appearance, with no concern at all for wild flora and fauna.
At this point I should stress that
gardening is not my forte. But that
does not prevent me from appreciating gardeners who show empathy with
wildflowers, whether by sectioning off a specific area or by allowing them to
mingle within the lawn, amongst the flowerbeds or even in pots.
When spring finally arrived it soon
became apparent that mingling wildflowers with cultivated plants had been the
preferred gardening method of the previous owner of the property into which we
have recently moved. For example a few
wild primroses lined the hedge at the back of the garden. The lawn was at times a yellow spray of
lesser celandine. A semi-circle of dog violets appeared in the rose bed, in the
shade of a conifer tree. Native
bluebells had been left to flourish in other shady areas. Patches of germander speedwell bloomed
amongst the daffodils and within the grass and in the flowerbed beneath the
lilac tree was a lone wood anemone. One
wonders how many other wildflowers will appear as summer progresses.
Some gardeners may regard any of
these wildflowers as either 'nuisance plants' or flowers in the wrong part of
the garden. To any of you who do feel
this way I send a message, courtesy of an inscription on a small watering can ornament
I unpacked when we moved: May all your
weeds be wildflowers'.
Well, now we hope the better weather is here for a
while. It must surely be so when this
goes to print!
The bad weather took a last go at me the other day when this
I went out to get something from the summer house and the
wind was blowing really hard. I omitted
to fasten the door back and went inside.
Whilst my back was turned there was a terrific bang and the door was
About to come out, I tried the door. It would not open. What had happened was that due to the force
of wind blowing it shut, the hasp was flung into the position when you would
normally put the padlock through.
Try as I would, I could not open it. I undid the bolts of the other door to try
and loosen things but to no avail. The
only thing to do was to keep banging on the door.
Betty was indoors sewing and could not hear me and the wind
was howling so that didn't help. All I
could do was to keep on banging on the door.
Later, when at last I managed to attract her attention, it
turned out that she thought the noise had been that of a neighbour hammering
whilst repairing his fence.
Anyway, you might not have had this little story as I might
still be banging on the door or even smashing a window to get out!
Sadly we have just heard that a neighbour's cat has killed a
robin and a great tit, which we had hoped would nest in one of our boxes.
in our garden to look, watching for birds in our book.
soon flutter down to the table.
are sparrows and wrens, blackbirds and hens
and birds that nest in a stable.
have a bird bath, and that's quite a laugh
it with water each day.
in together, in all kinds of weather,
suppose it's some kind of way.
water and bath with a friend!]
come the starlings who eat all the food,
that which falls to the ground.
the small birds are there, who appear from nowhere,
at what they have found.
So buy a bird book and then take a look,
assured it will give you much pleasure
there, drink your tea, it will certainly be
sight of all birds is a treasure.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
LOCAL WALK - 138
Herner and Hall
Herner and Hall. It
sounds like a double act and in a way it is.
The Ordnance Survey map showed a large house on a hill with
woodland around it and nearby a weir and a church close to water meadows beside
the River Taw. It looked like an
interesting place to explore.
The mansion is simply called Hall and the church is at
Herner, barely a hamlet, two and a half miles south east of Bishop's Tawton. But we
decided to start our walk at Chapelton railway station which faces Herner
church from the opposite side of the Taw.
Leaving the little station car park we crossed the railway
line and soon reached a foot bridge over the Taw. The river is quite wide at this point and
the bridge is imposing, borne on a series of broad stone piers. There is a lozenge-shaped island where a
pair of grey wagtails bobbed about the gravelly shore. A fisherman stood in the middle of the river
casting his line.
The right of way over the fields takes
the form of a firm and level track and after about half a mile it brought us to
the lane leading to Herner where
a disused chapel still retains a large bell above its roof bearing the date
Opposite, a barn of cob with circular pillars to the front,
has its earlier thatch roof still showing beneath the corrugated iron and just
around the corner is the church with its fifteenth century tower embattled with
The nave and chancel were rebuilt in 1888.
The church is set above the road in a little garden, rather
than the usual churchyard. We climbed
the slate steps and walked past hedges mahonia
japonica and shrubs bursting with white and pink cameliasl.
A bicycle was propped against the porch.
This church is classified as a 'chapel
of ease' and appropriately an elderly cyclist had sought sanctuary in the porch
to enjoy a cigarette, his newspaper and flask.
As I tried the door, I said, "I suppose it's locked." He confirmed it was and added, "You haven't
One of the guide books I'd consulted beforehand agreed with
him stating, 'The church has little to offer the visitor' and other guides had
ignored it altogether. However, if we'd
been able to enter we should have found wagon-roofs throughout and a carved
Jacobean pulpit. Worth a visit I should
Another disappointed would-be visitor
had posted on the wall of the porch a notice of complaint about being excluded
from unwelcoming locked churches. In
response, the key holder had put beside it an indignant riposte accusing the
author of 'boorishness'. Oh dear!
On leaving, harmony was restored by the variety and quantity
of wild flowers along the roadside.
Among wood sorrel and stitchwort, archangel and alkanet, a single early
Now the mansion could be seen up on its hill, with sheep and
lambs grazing before it. We passed a
high curved wall with a gothic arched doorway set in it but the public right of
way to Hall is past Herner Bridge with its little weir, via a steep driveway
through a bluebell wood where peacock butterflies flitted.
We rounded a bend and found ourselves at the side of the
mansion and a walled garden. Of the
original building only a large barn with buttresses survives. The present house was rebuilt circa 1850 in
the Neo-Tudor style with a baronial hall at right angles designed by
Philip Hardwick in
collaboration with Gould of Barnstaple.
Along the front are bell-shaped gables and wide mullion windows. It is Grade 2 Listed.
The site has been occupied by the same family - descendants
of the Chichesters - for the past seven hundred
years. On a gate post is a figure of a
heron - symbol of the Chichesters - like those at
The route continues through a fascinating collection of
barns and outbuildings in a mixture of cob, stone and brick, some with gothic
windows and carved doors or sporting a fox weather vane or ornamental cupola.
In the middle of the yard is a quaint old granary, raised
off the ground by cylindrical supports,
Some pretty red-legged partridges appeared in a field behind the
barns. A hare raised its head above a
dip in the field and a green woodpecker landed close by; the only sign of human
activity, a post van rumbling down the stony drive.
Chapelton to Hall via Herner is a walk I
should recommend highly to anyone who enjoys old buildings, wild flowers and
quiet, gentle landscape.
THE PARISH COUNCIL
On Tuesday April 9th 2013, the Annual
Parish Meeting was held prior to the regular monthly meeting of the Parish
Council. There were some members of the public present
who were welcomed by the Chairman,
Cllr. Adam Stanbury. Reports
were received from the Chairman, Police, Footpath and Snow Warden, the Manor
Hall, Berrynarbor Pre-school and a report on Claude's Garden. District
Councillors Mrs. Julie Clarke and Mrs. Yvette Gubb gave their reports on the
year 2012/2013, and County Councillor Mrs. Andrea Davis was pleased to report
the improvements now made to the Parish Rooms for the children.
Funding is now in place to improve the South
West Coastal Footpath running alongside Watermouth Harbour, with work
commencing on September 9th for approximately 12 weeks. Traffic limitations will be in place between 7.00
p.m. and 7.00 a.m.
The provision of a super-fast broadband
connection for residents of Devon and Somerset is being rolled out which aims
to connect 90% of premises by the end of 2016.
Funding of £2.5million has been secured
towards the cost of temporary repair and clean up following last year's
floods. Comments were welcomed from
members of the public.
Len Narborough pointed out that there
was a change of name from the Manor Hall Management Committee which would now
be known as the Manor Hall Trust.
Wendy Applegate and her committee for
Best Kept Village have been awarded £250.00 towards their admirable team
efforts who do so much to make this village such a lovely place to live and
visit. And we look forward to the
results of the Best Kept Village competition this year.
Plans were made to call a public meeting
on Wednesday May 8th to invite parishioners to give their views and ideas for a
Parish Plan to take Berrynarbor forward in the next 20 years. Our thanks go out to all those who attended
Mr. Narborough and the Manor Hall
Trust for allowing us to combine the meeting with their AGM and share their
hospitality with some delicious cheese, wine, and good company.
The next meeting of the Parish Council
will be on Tuesday, 11th June, 7.00 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room of the Manor
A most entertaining and provocative
evening was had at our April meeting when the speaker was the Wine Circle
secretary, Judith Adam who came up with a novel theme which she billed as
"Judith's Mystery Tour". We have had
blind tastings before which are always great entertainment, particularly when
you hear suggestions of what the wine is that are wildly out. Judith produced a novel twist to this as she
took the Antiques Wine Show idea of basic, better, best and applied it to wine.
The wines were supplied in foil wrapped
bottles hiding all trace of what they were and although poured separately, we
were encouraged to keep an amount of each in three separate glasses so that
they could be compared. We had to decide based on our estimate of price, which
was basic, which better and which was the best of the three.
The wines were all from the Cotes de
Rhone/Languedoc area and sourced from Majestic wines in Barnstaple. The first group of three wines were all pale
rose, sometimes called 'blusher' wines and it was quickly apparent that we
found ourselves out of our comfort zone in trying to grade them. We had to agree on a consensus from the table
of 12 but we had such a variety of opinions that in the end we had a show of
hands for each one to decide on our result - and it was wrong! I think this was indicative of how little we
tended to drink rose wines resulting in little experience to base our marking
We then moved onto three reds to be
judged on the same basis. Here it was clear that red wine has become the first
choice for most people at the Circle as nearly everyone got it 100% correct.
The better and best of the red wines were really excellent. These were a
Rasteau, Cotes de Rhone and a very good Chateauneuf du Pape that Judith had
spotted months ago at a really bargain price, £9.99 instead of £17.99! No
wonder we liked it. The Rasteau was strong, fruity and full
bodied, particularly well-suited to accompany food such as red meat dishes and
strong cheese. The Chateauneuf du Pape
was similar although more complex, as one would expect from a wine that may
have up to 13 grape varieties in the blend and with a smooth, mellowness to it
that you only get from a top quality, well matured wine.
Well done Judith, a novel idea, well
presented and very much enjoyed by all.
Our last meeting of the season
is on the 15th May. Following our short
AGM, we'll be delighted to see and hear Jonathan Coulthard again with his
TO END ON A SHOPPING BIKE
On moving to North Devon and being a
keen cyclist, I quickly realised I was in the wrong place in the Sterridge
Valley! The hill up to the top was
daunting to say the least. I have,
however, managed to get on the bike when out with the campervan and we have
taken the bikes to flatter routes by car.
On our year away with the van, I was
lent a very moving book written by Jane Tomlinson. It had been written by her when she was in
the terminal stages of cancer. She
raised millions of pounds for children's and cancer charities whilst undergoing
extensive chemo and radiotherapy. She
describes how sick she felt whilst taking the 'end to end' route. We were in Scotland at the time and it
triggered a thought in my mind that, as a reasonably fit sixty two year old,
there was nothing to stop me doing it myself.
When back at home I bought a copy of the
Sustrans maps for North Devon and, in particular, route 27 from Ilfracombe to
Plymouth. My dear friend Chris Taylor
was roped in and we did a day ride of thirty five hard miles in poor weather as
a 'try out'. The following morning I
could hardly walk and we seriously discussed the trip to Plymouth and thought,
perhaps, we were taking on too much.
She, however, was still keen for the adventure and the following week we
tackled route 27 taking three days, all in beautiful weather and thoroughly
enjoying the experience.
It was then that I pencilled in my diary
a month from the end of March, taking in the advent of British Summer Time and
the longer hours of daylight. Peter did
all he could to point out the pitfalls and persuade me that if I was going to
attempt it, I should do it with a group.
A great many people thought I was mad but, as I have always liked my own
company, I wanted the whole event to test my resolve and to just be responsible
for myself. Not many women have the
opportunity to put themselves first for once.
On-line exploration revealed the
existence of a very good book The End to End Cycle Route by Nick Mitchell. A copy was purchased and, to my horror, it
was based on doing the whole thing in two weeks! [I have subsequently been told the record is
quoted in hours!] Having regard to my
ability I decided on a timescale that was a little less strenuous.
Peter took me to Land's End in the campervan. Up until that night the weather had been
quite fine but an easterly gale blew up accompanied by driving rain. What a way to start! The rain stopped but the wind, which turned
north easterly, did not, and stayed with me, or should I say against me, nearly
all the way. The End to End is normally
ridden south to north because of the generally prevailing south west wind! I
should have gone to John O'Groats to start!
However, I found I enjoyed the whole
experience, riding anywhere between
thirty and sixty miles a day and staying in Youth Hostels, which were usually
very good; a castle in Monmouth, St.
Brevilles, which I highly recommend; a converted watermill in Clun and a former
coaching Inn at Slaidburn. Many groups
and families use the hostels nowadays. On other days I enjoyed the comforts of
a bed and breakfast, the best of which was Bank House at Fort Augustus.
My route took me right over Dartmoor and
this is described as the hardest part of the whole trip. The Somerset levels follow with a restful
couple of days before crossing the old Severn Bridge into Wales. On along the Welsh border and, after
Chester, a grind through the industrialised parts of Greater Manchester. The Lake District was beautiful but busy as
it coincided with the bank holiday and half term week.
Although I had booked a few stopovers
before setting off I found that I could make more progress on some days and was
also getting fitter! Peter, at home,
acted as Mission Control and when I contacted him he would study Google Earth
and find something suitable ahead of my journey and book it up for me,
sometimes telling me I had to knock off another ten miles or so to save ten
Peter and I enjoy Scotland and once over
the border the landscape each day seemed to surpass the previous day. The cycle path ran through Glasgow along the
Clyde and past Loch Lomond, downhill through Glencoe, following the Caledonian
Canal and along the banks of Loch Ness to Inverness. The area through
Sutherland and The Crask Inn are an absolute must for all End to Enders. It is very remote and the start of the last leg, although I made a
stop at Thurso so I could make the final assault a short one, giving me time to
catch a bus back from John O'Groats to Thurso and train back to Inverness in
Good job I did as up until then I had
only punctured once, fairly early on near Hereford. I remembered what Peter had shown me and
repaired it with no trouble. This time,
however, big bang! The rear tyre had
not only punctured but split open. My
efforts at repair lasted only a mile or so and I had to ride the last six out
of over a thousand miles on the rim of the rear wheel! What a noise it made and I was near to
tears when the end came into view.
I can recommend the whole experience to
those of a reasonable fitness and my only advice would be to get yourself and
your bike into good condition, invest in padded cycling shorts, apply surgical
spirit to your bum regularly for at least a week before setting off, lots of
stretching exercises and remember that you are actually the machine that is
doing the work. So look after it and
feed it well with nutritious food at least every two hours!
MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 45
VOSS BARK MBE
7 1928 - November 28 2012
actress, hotelier, fly fishing expert and conservationist campaigner
Are you a fly-fishing expert? If so, you will have heard of Anne Voss
Bark. Do you enjoy spoiling yourself in a 200 year-old coaching inn famous for
its comfort and fine food reputation?
Then you might well have heard of her.
Voss Bark was the proprietor for nearly fifty years of one of Britain's
best-known fishing hotels: The Arundell Arms in Lifton, West Devon, less than
55 miles from Berrynarbor.
Starting her career as an actress, Ann
Voss Bark then became an advertising account executive in London where she met
her first husband, Gerald Fox-Edwards.
Because of ill health, he was advised that the countryside would be
better for him, so in 1961 they bought the Arundell Arms, a run-down fishing inn
with 17 bedrooms [only one with a private bathroom] and a coke boiler that
filled the dining room with smoke.
Gerald loved fly-fishing so he took charge of that. Ann knew nothing of fishing and not much
more of running a hotel, but ran it on a shoestring together with bringing up
two small children and working as a Marriage Guidance Counsellor.
Sadly Gerald died in 1973. Now with fishing an extra responsibility, she
decided she needed to know more about it.
She took a few lessons from her river keeper and soon work became a
hindrance. All she wanted to do was
Her particular interest was night
fishing for sea trout. "There's a magic about it", she remarked during an
interview. "All is quiet, you cast,
suddenly a fish comes up, takes your fly and then all hell breaks loose."
Enthusiastic words from someone not born a fisherwoman.
Her father was a barrister, Sir Wilfred
Bennett, 2nd Baronet, who just before the start of WWII moved the family to an
estate in Lincolnshire. This was requisitioned by the RAF in 1940 and Anne and
her brother Ronnie went to school in London and Wimborne St Giles. Sir Wilfred joined his regiment in Palestine
and wasn't home again until after the war ended. Although Anne was offered a place at London
University, she had set her heart on the stage. After training with 'an elderly actress of
the emotive school', she was taken on by Donald Wolfit, actor and impresario,
and toured Shakespeare in England and America.
to Britain, it was difficult to get parts.
When her father died in 1952 leaving the family short of money, Anne
decided to get a more permanent and reliable job. Working for Crawford's, the advertising
agency, she became interested in Commercial TV, rose to an account executive
and met Gerald Fox-Edwards.
Her second husband, Conrad Voss Bark,
former parliamentary correspondent for BBC television, met Anne during a visit
to the Arundell Arms to write a book on fly fishing - his real interest. They married in 1975 and were together for 25
years until his death in 2000.
Conrad gave witty lectures on fishing at
the hotel, but Anne, with her charm and efficiency gave the hotel its
increasingly good reputation. She was once described as 'svelte and dynamic' -
a description she loved.
became an expert on fly-fishing and was the first woman to give a talk to the
Fishflyers Club of New York. Her book of essays by experts such as Ted Hughes
and of course Conrad Voss Bark, West Country Fly Fishing, has become a classic. In 2001 she received a Lifetime
Achievement award for services to angling. She also championed river
conservation and co-founded the West Country Rivers Trust that was concerned
about farm fertilisers leaching into rivers. This foundation has become a model
for similar bodies in Britain and overseas. And she was heavily involved in
discussions on the construction of Roadford Reservoir.
her role as hotelier did not get overlooked. In 1994 she received an MBE for
services to tourism and in 2006 she was awarded the prestigious accolade of
Sporting Hotel of the Year by the Good Hotel Guide.
2008 Anne handed over the running of the Arundell Arms to her son, Adam Fox-
Edwards. Five years earlier, he had suggested to his mother that she 'slowed down'.
She responded by trading in her Porsche 928 for a three-litre Jaguar!
So what is Anne Voss Bark's legacy at
Well it is now a leading fishing hotel
in the country with 20 miles of private fly fishing on the River Tamar, its tributaries
and the lake.
employs two outstanding fishermen, who have taught men and women, boys and
girls, the joys of fishing. Today,
women often outnumber men and former students bring their children. Sometimes there are three generations
staying in the hotel.
As a true country sporting hotel, it
also offers shooting and stalking, hunting and riding - all for the experienced
or for anyone wanting to try out something new.
Then there is the delicious food served
in two dining rooms, supplied under the guidance of Master Chef of Great
Britain Steve Pidgeon with his
young team. I can vouch for the quality
having stayed overnight on a couple of occasions and had lunch when in the
area. Food in season and local produce
are very much in evidence and the presentation is superb. The Restaurants have received many awards
including AA2 rosettes.
hotel has been continually updated. All
rooms are of course en suite and very comfortable. If you want a massage or various therapies, they are on
It is a beautiful wedding venue, set in
lovely landscaped gardens, with staff intent on giving everyone a very special
day. There are two self-catering
cottages: Church Cottage [3 bedrooms]
and Fisherman's Cottage [2 bedrooms] for those who prefer a little more
privacy. And it has been voted the Best
Conference Venue in Devon, winning gold and silver awards in the last two
This is not a bad legacy from someone
who declared that she knew 'nothing about fishing and not a lot more about
Why not spoil yourself and give it a
try? Web address: www.arundellarms.com.
OLD BERRYNARBOR VIEW NO. 143
This photographic postcard was
taken and published by the Ilfracombe photographer G.K. Bolam around 1911. Bera Farm as it was then known lies between
Hele Bay and Berrynarbor, just off what is known locally as the Old Road to
Beara, along with West Hagginton and Little Town, probably
belonged to the Saxon Manor of West Hagginton.
In 1408, Beara was probably occupied by Michael atte Beare. The origin of the place name is Old English bearu meaning a grove, very common in
Devon with over 100 examples found in early documents. Many smaller settlements have a descriptive
name with Saxon origin, such as Hele, Bowden, Trayne, Hole and Slew. In the Tithe Map of 1839, the owner was John
Huxtable, held by John Read, part in hand to John Gammon.
My sincere thanks to the present owners Andrew and Katie
Bailey who showed me all over their very old and interesting farmhouse and
outbuildings forming Beara. They bought
Beara in 2008 and with their six children have been working hard to preserve
the seven upstairs rooms and nine rooms with large linking corridors at ground
level. Andrew informed me that a group
of historians from English Heritage spent nearly three days documenting Beara a
few years ago and he proudly showed me the two preserved and remarkable coats
of arms above fireplaces on both floors.
in the 16th Century, John Harper and his two sons - Nicholas and Edward, were
living in Berrynarbor. Nicholas, Rector
of Combe Martin [1553-1568] never married.
Edward married Agnes, daughter of James Oliver of Barnstaple, and they
had three sons and a daughter - Nicholas, Humphrey, John and Anne. Nicholas married Anne Strabridge of
Brishford in Somerset and was granted this coat of arms:
A similar coat of arms but without the crest can be seen at
In his Survey of Devon written in the
reign of James I [1603-1625], Thomas Westcote quotes the following epitaph on
one Nicholas Harper who lies buried in Berrynarbor Church:
the musique if thy life,
sweet, so free from jar or strife,
cromne thy skill hath raysed thee highr
place thee in angel's quier,
though that death hath throwen thee down,
Heaven thou hast thy harpe and crowne.
Facing east, Beara Farm is a
magnificent example of a 16th century, or earlier, farm/manor house. Built of local stone, the property stands at
one end of a courtyard of cobbled stone surrounded by its own farm
buildings. Behind is a stream-fed pond
providing the now tested water supply.
Bera, like Hele, Hagginton and Ilfracombe are mentioned in the Domesday
Book as formerly held by ULF, were held by Robert for Baldwin de Brioncis, who
came to England with William I.
Andrew kindly allowed me to take photographs and this one is
the second coat of arms, that of Edward, second son of Nicholas and Anne
Harper. Edward was baptised in 1591.
Bartlett, Tower Cottage, May 2013 e-mail: email@example.com
HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
Firstly, we should like to thank everyone for supporting the
Coffee Morning which has raised valuable funds for the Show and Berry in
Bloom. The cake stall was a huge
success and although numbers were down on last year, we raised approximately
the same amount. Thank you once again
to everyone who helped and all the donations from the stalls.
Schedules for the Show will be available from the Shop,
Sue's of Combe Martin and The Globe and Sawmill Inn from the beginning of July,
so make a point of looking out for them and organising your entries.
To get your creative juices flowing, the Floral Art, Art and
Photography details are given here.
Berrynarbor Horticultural & Craft Show
24th August 2013
Overall Theme: Wonders of the World
The Exotic East: 16"x16"x16"
The Beauty of the English
Rustic Charm: 16"x16"x16"
An Alpine Scene: [miniature] 6"x6"x6"
may be used in all four classes
Exhibits should not exceed A3
[297mm x 420mm]
Statues and/or Monuments
A Wonder of the World [to be
painted on any surface but paper/card/canvas, e.g. glass, pottery, stone, wood,
Photography Photographs must NOT exceed 8" x 5" and MAY
NOT be computer or digitally enhanced
Wonder of the World
a Surprise !
Statue and/or Monument [this may be digitally/computer enhanced, so let your
imagination run wild!]
We look forward to seeing you all at the Show on the 24th
Linda and the Committee
AND NOW . . .
Hills from Watermouth
'Combe Martin is a decayed market town,
in one long irregular street, With a deep and picturesque valley, about a mile
from a fine cover of the north coast of Devon, and 4 miles E. of
Ilfracombe.' White's 1850 Devon
Just to the east of
Combe Martin Bay are the Hangman Hills.
cliffs are made up of Little
Hangman and the Great
Hangman. The Great Hangman is a hog-backed hill of 1043 feet with a cliff-face of 820 feet, making it
the highest cliff in southern Britain, and can be reached by following the South West Coast Path which runs through the village.