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No. 104 - October 01-10-2006

BERRYNARBOR W.I.

After the August break, it was nice to resume meetings and on 5th September a member of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust gave an interesting talk. There are now two helicopters operating from Middlemoor and Great Torrington, which means a helicopter can reach 50% of Devon within five minutes, and the remaining 50% within ten. The competition for an aerial photograph was won by Maureen Wonnacott and the raffle by Ethel Tidbury.

At our meeting on the 3rd October, Michael Hesman, from Ilfracombe, showed slides of Around Great Britain which illustrated what a beautiful country we live in. The competition for a souvenir of Exmoor was won by Maureen Wonnacott and the raffle by Inge Richardson. As usual, the meeting began with the business section and ended with tea, biscuits and a chat!

This year, the Autumn Group Meeting will be hosted by Loxhore W.I. on the 17th October. The Annual Meeting takes place on the 7th November, when new committee members and officers will be elected. How the year has flown by! The competition is for a photograph of a member as a baby.

We hope to arrange a minibus to go to the W.I. Carol Service in Exeter Cathedral on 5th December. There may be a few spare seats, so if anyone is interested in joining us for shopping, please 'phone either

Marion Carter on 882206 or myself, Doreen, on 589234. The meeting on the 7th December will be a Christmas Party, when we shall be entertained by Norma and Tony Holland. Please note this date is the first THURSDAY, due to the Carol Service on the 5th.

Visitors are always welcome at our meetings.

Doreen Prater

ST. PETER'S CHURCH

The Summer Fayre was a great success with £1,024.75 being raised in a short space of time. Our thanks to everyone who helped in any way and to those who gave donations, being unable to attend on the day. The performances by Puppet Power and the Hand-bell Ringers were much appreciated and added to the enjoyment of the evening. Items not sold on the china and bric-a-brac stalls have been passed on to the North Devon Hospice shops. Thank you to the stall-holders who packed everything away so tidily at the end. One plea: Please do not give electrical goods in future - we are not allowed to sell them second-hand.

The final total for Gift Day came to £1,090 and all the money will go to the upkeep and running of the church.

A steady flow of visitors made their way up to the church for the Holiday Festival on Bank Holiday Monday. There was something for everyone to enjoy and the atmosphere was so relaxed and friendly. The Village Shop was well represented with local and specialist foods to sample and the wine-tasting was very popular. Doreen and Janet kept us supplied with refreshments - the home-made cakes were delicious! Then there was the music, the spinning and flower arranging; the Newsletter display, the model railway and the stalls. There was even a team of visiting bell-ringers. Altogether a good team effort, co-ordinated by Stuart, which made some £320 for the church.

The Manor Hall has been booked for an Autumn Bazaar on the afternoon of Saturday, 4th November, from 2.00 p.m. There will be racks of nearly-new clothes plus the usual stalls and a raffle. Items for the various stalls will be most welcome. Please contact Mary Tucker [883881] if you have gifts to be collected. It is also hoped to have a stall selling Christmas items and there will, of course, be refreshments.

Following the Harvest, our next special service will be on Sunday, 29th October, at 3.00 p.m. when candles will be lit and placed on the altar in memory of loved ones. This simple service of hymns and prayers is open to everyone and affords an opportunity for quiet remembrance at All Souls tide. The afternoon ends with tea and biscuits.

Remembrance Sunday falls on 12th November this year, and together with the Parish Council we shall gather in church at 10.45 a.m. ready for the laying of wreaths followed by the special service.

Friendship Lunches continue at The Globe and will be on Wednesdays 25th October and 22nd November, from 12.00 noon onwards.

Mary Tucker

 

A BIBLICAL PUZZLE - HERE IS THE SOLUTION!

This is a most remarkable puzzle.  It was found in an airplane seat pocket by a gentleman on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu keeping him occupied for hours.  He enjoyed it so much that he passed it on to

some friends.  One friend from Illinois worked on this while in the john.  Another friend studied it while playing his banjo.  Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so involved, she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves.

  There will be some names that are really easy to spot.  That's a factSome people, however, will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalised.  Truthfully, from answers we get we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or scholar to see some of them at the worst.  Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph.

  During a recent fundraising event which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi Lemonade booth set a new sales record.  The local paper, the Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was the most difficult they had ever seen.  As Daniel Hamana humbly puts it, "The books are right there in plain view, hidden from sight."

  Those able to find them all hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown.  One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers.  Also keep in mind that the punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal.  A chipper attitude helps you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers.  Remember, there is no need for a mass exodus, there really are thirty books of the Bible lurking somewhere in these paragraphs.

Thanks to Patsy and Alan - it seems many of you have had great fun finding the books, with varying degrees of success!

 

MANOR HALL NEWS

Many thanks to everyone for all your help and support with the August Berry Revels, which were a great success weather-wise and financially - just over £1,500 - a big help towards meeting the requirements of the Disabled Discrimination Act. The porch ramp and handrail are in place, the door frame in the Bassett Room removed to enable wheelchairs to reach the fire exit and the outside path widened for a speedier and easier exit. We have also acquired an induction loop and two chairs with arms.

On the 23rd September, the Hearts of Oak gave a great performance as well as very generously donating their fee to our funds - £300 raised. As announced, they are disbanding but not before giving their final concert at the Roundswell Community Hall, Barnstaple, on Saturday, 28th October, 7.30 p.m. to 12.00 midnight. Proceeds for the North Devon Hospice [01271-344248], tickets £5.00 and take your own supper and beverages.

Thinking ahead, the village Christmas Card Collection and Delivery, with the help of the Community Shop, will be operating again this year. With a 10p per card donation, put your cards in the 'special box' provided at the shop. Cards will be sorted and delivery arranged at the Manor Hall Christmas Coffee Morning on Saturday, 16th December.

Thank you for your support.

Margaret Weller - Secretary, Manor Hall Committee

 

SINGING THE PRAISES

My long awaited and much looked forward to trip to take part in the Songs of Praise Big Sing in the Royal Albert Hall on 10th September was a wonderful experience and one that will last a lifetime. My hotel was only a 7 minute walk from the Hall and when I got there at about 5.00 p.m. already there were queues of people waiting outside the various entrance doors which was printed on their ticket. Mine was door Number 3. While I and a group of people were looking at the advertising boards reading about future events at the Hall, Pam Rhodes came along and asked us all to go to the stage door and queue to make it look as if we were queuing to get in. She explained that she was making a programme to be screened on 22nd October about how The Big Sing is made. We dutifully queued up while she did 3 takes and then she interviewed various people in the queue asking why they had come. Then we all returned to queue at our allocated door, and following a bag search were let in.

I had never been to the Hall before and when I got to my seat in a box on the 2nd tier, to look around at all the other boxes and the enormous size of the Hall was breathtaking. The seats were filling up very quickly and the orchestra tuning up. Aled Jones introduced the evening and two programmes were recorded - The Big Sing to be screened on the 29th October and The Big Party which viewers can see on New Year's Eve. The orchestra, conducted by Paul Leddington-Wright, began by playing the Songs of Praise signature tune and then through the evening, we sang 13 hymns and songs to make up the programmes, interspersed by solos from Hayley Westenra and Katherine Jenkins, plus Cantamus and supported by the Royal Choral Society, Sketchley Hill Primary School and High School. With the congregation, there were 6,000 voices. There were several hymns we had to sing twice because the floor manager considered they were not quite right. I never realised the amount of effort and hard work which goes in to making a programme - men with shoulder held cameras everywhere being followed by support people trailing wires, others with massive long boom cameras to get shots of people in the congregation and those in the Choir. Behind the scenes were scanners and sound people to ensure that it was all suitable for inclusion in the programmes. It did seem funny though when Aled Jones was talking about the New Year of 2007 in a few hours time, as if he was actually doing the programme on New Year's Eve! It was very hot and people were using their programmes as fans but the ones in the front row were asked to stop fanning themselves when the 'smoke' was used to create 'Autumn mist' for the soloists as the breeze would make it go everywhere. It was a lovely evening and Aled Jones a very able presenter.

The next day, I visited the Queen's Gallery, the Royal Mews and the State Apartments at Buckingham Palace. Bag searches once again and no bottled water to be taken in but left in a special area and labeled with a draw ticket with the other half given to the owner, to be collected on leaving. The Queen's Gallery had one room just full of a selection of 80th birthday cards sent to the Queen, mainly from children, schools, playgroups, Brownies, day care centres, Women's Institutes and Mothers' Unions. Some were very amusing and others had obviously had a lot of thought put into them - cross stitched with corgis and horses, 80 numerals and personalised with her name. Schools had sent scrapbooks and some good wishes were even sent on ribbons from Beavers. In other rooms, watercolours were displayed, items of furniture, paintings by Gainsborough and Reubens, to name but a few, and beautiful tableware used at the Coronation of King George V, hundreds of years old. Jewellery belonging to Queen Victoria was also on display, which was stunning. Then to the Royal Mews to see some of the horses (some were on holiday), the Rolls Royce Phantom and the Coaches, including the Glass Coach used for Royal Weddings, the Irish State Coach used for the State Opening of Parliament and the Gold Coach used for the Queen's Coronation. Needless to say, they were all beautiful and in pristine condition.

  Buckingham Palace was, as expected, very opulent, sumptuous and ornate. A lot of gilded things, gold and silver everywhere, thick carpets and heavy curtains. The Throne Room was smaller than I expected but very grand just the same, as was the dining room with a huge table for State Banquets. You'd have a hard job to pass the salt to the person on the other side of that one! The Ballroom, too, was lovely and where all the Insignia was on display to celebrate the Queen's 80th birthday year. Also on display to celebrate this was some of her beautiful and fantastic jewellery - tiaras, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches in aquamarine, diamonds, rubies and emeralds, all carefully described as to whom and from which Country had given them as a gift. A selection of the Queen's Evening Gowns from the 1940's to the present day was also displayed and grouped in colours - all the pinks together, the whites, creams, greens, oranges, yellows, blues including the outfit she wore for Princess Margaret's Wedding. It was interesting to see how the styles had changed over the years and again, each dress was carefully catalogued with the designer, the year and the occasion when it was worn. There were gift shops at each location selling the most exquisite bone china - £30 alone for a cup and saucer which you would be afraid to use; £40 for a cushion with either Queen, King, Prince or Princess on it; £8 for 2 tea towels with the Royal cipher, expensive jewellery; books, postcards, a set of 4 collectable spoons £20; CDs, DVDs, tins of biscuits and tea, calendars, t-shirts and fun things in the children's section.

  The last event of the day was coming back on the train, when a fire alarm alerted the train manager. It seems there was a fire in the back power-house car and we had a delay of over an hour on the track between Maidenhead and Reading. When that was isolated, if was found that the brakes had stuck on so pressure had to be built up to release them and then because someone had pulled the communication cord, that had to be reset. We finally got going but after a short time we heard a terrible 'clunk' and it was announced that due to a mechanical problem, the train would terminate at Reading and we all had to get off and get on the next train from Paddington, which itself had been delayed because of the problem with our train. Once we were all settled in the new train, I have to say I have never, ever been in a train which has travelled at such a high speed! The countryside was whizzing by and we went through stations in a split second, absolutely impossible to even try and read the name of it. People were walking to and from the buffet car as if they were drunk or on a rough sea. We got to Taunton approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes after leaving Reading and because of the delay of more than an hour, all the passengers were entitled to claim the cost of their ticket back, so a free trip home. It was a marvellous couple of days but very good to see the "Welcome to Devon" sign near Junction 27 on the M5, and later on the lights of Bratton - back home again safe and sound.

 Sue Squire

Illustrated by Paul Swailes

 

WEATHER OR NOT

After a slightly cooler start to the month the temperatures built up again in July. Nationally, with an average day and night temperature of 17 .8 Deg C, it was the hottest July since1983. Here the maximum temperature of 32.7 Deg C was slightly below July 2003 when we recorded a high of 34.1 Deg C, but if we take an average of the maximum daily temperatures, this year with 23.67 Deg C is nearly a degree up on 2003. The minimum of 9.3 Deg C was down on last year's low of 10.9 Deg C but generally up on previous year's.

We recorded slightly more rain in July than in June but with a total of 42mm (1 5/8") it was still the driest July since 1999, when we recorded only 27mm ( 11/16").

The barometric pressure was fairly steady with a high of 1031mb and a low of 1010mb and winds were about average for the month with a maximum gust of 23 knots.

The figures for August only go up to the 30th due to our holidays. It was a disappointing month, cooler, breezy with a bit more drizzle which was probably welcomed by gardeners but not by holidaymakers. Having said that, it was still a very dry month with only 37mm (11/2") of rain in total, which was drier than the previous seven years apart from 2003 when we had only 23mm (7/8"). The maximum temperature was 25.0 Deg C which was down on previous years and the average maximum temperature was 20.3 Deg C compared to 2003 when the average maximum was 25.2 Deg C with a high of 34.5 Deg C. The minimum temperature was 10.5 Deg C which was up on previous years. The winds were predominately from the north-west with a maximum gust of 22 knots which was about average.

The sunshine hours for July at 195.95 were the highest since recording began in 2003 which was the second highest year with a total of 177.71. However, the August figure of 166.58 was less than both 2003 and 2005 [each clocking up more than 182 hours], but more than in 2004 when the total was 160.88.

The trees are already beginning to show signs of their leaves turning and as we write this the weather has an autumnal feel to it and the nights are drawing in rapidly.

Simon and Sue

 

BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW

Saturday, 2nd September, saw another enjoyable and successful event in our busy village. The annual Horticultural and Craft Show attracted over 400 entries from more than 80 entrants, of which 75 were entered by 15 youngsters all under the age of 14. The afternoon Show of exhibits drew in villagers, other locals and visitors - as well as the entrants - to admire the displays and enjoy tea and home-made cakes and the prizes were presented by Ron Toms.

The displays ranged from beautiful floral art to mouth-watering cakes, flans, fudge and sloe gin! The colourful and skilled needlework and handicraft items were eclipsed by a 3 foot carved wooden hare, whilst the art, particularly from the youngsters, showed imagination and mastery of various mediums. In spite of first the long drawn out winter, the hot dry summer and latterly wind and rain, the excellent horticultural efforts - cut flowers, fruit and vegetables - defied the elements. No such problems, however, for the array of potted plants. A beautiful, pale mauve orchid exhibited by Pip Summers, won her not only the Best in Section award but also the Best in Show award for a Horticultural item.

The Globe Cup for Floral Art, for the second year running, went to Linda Dovell with Jasmine Pearce taking the junior prize. Linda Brown's Bakewell Tart took the Walls Cup for Home Cooking and Megan Jones' 4 fairy cakes gave her the junior award.

The Davies Cup was won by Eileen Hobson for her tapestry weaving and the Watermouth Cup went to Laura Matthews's magnificent hare. Sisters Olivia and Sarah Prentice took the junior prizes and Sarah also won the junior Art Section. The George Hippisley Cup for Art was won, also for the second year, by Lisa Shelley whose picture of a rowing boat on the shore was also voted by the judges to be the Best in Show for a non-horticultural item. Tony Summers certainly knows his onions - for the third year running, the Derrick Kingdon Cup for Fruit and Vegetables will be adorning his mantelpiece! Martin Oliver's marrow secured him the junior award. There were no junior entries in the Cut Flower section but the Manor Stores Rose Bowl was awarded to Maureen Jones for a vase of beautiful dahlias. Slightly down on photographic entries this year, the Vi Kingdon Award went to Colin Harding for his charming depiction of 'Helping Hands', and Jasmine Pearce took her second prize of the day for the 'Sport for All' entry.

The Men's Institute Cup, Manor Hall Cup and Mayflower Dish [awarded to pupils at the Primary School] were won by Oliver Ivan [Class 1], Lucy Fairchild [Class 2] and Henry Dallyn [Class 3] for art work on the theme of Brunel 200. Finally, the Rose Bowl for the Junior Entrant with the Highest Cumulative Score was awarded to Sarah Prentice, with Olivia Prentice second and Martin Oliver third.

Yvonne, Vi, Janet, Pip, Tony and Judie would like to thank all the entrants for their participation and enthusiasm; the judges for all their hard, and often difficult, appraisals; everyone who came in the afternoon to the Show itself, and to the many people who contributed in so many ways to the success of the event.

 

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Across the fields beneath the trees
I saw something which made me freeze
There stood a figure all in black
I stared at him and he stared back!

Oh dear, oh dear, now what to do
Put glasses on for better view
If I could only see his face
But that did nothing for my case

He was in shadow and obscure
Perhaps a Hoody - I wasn't sure
I rang my neighbour - he must see
This phantom who was watching me
With back-up one feels not alone
The truth would surely soon be known

My neighbour snorted "What a farce
You're looking at a black cow's arse!
And as my face was glowing red
The cow she chose to turn her head!

Lisa Shelley and illustrated by her

Yes, to my shame it really happened!

BERRYNARBOR SCHOOL

Our new academic year has got off to an excellent start with eager and happy learners ready for another exciting term.

We have improved storage inside the school over the summer to give children more space in their classrooms. Our playground is now complete and this also offers more space for children to work and play.

We have our usual Christian celebrations this term, including Harvest Festival and Christmas events to look forward to. Mr. Fletcher and his team have already entertained us and supported our worship programme with their engaging puppet shows in the church. We look forward to further visits from this local group.

Another exciting local connection is a new initiative we are trialling called 'Forest Schools' with South West Forests. This is a cross-curricular programme of outdoor learning based in local woodlands. John and Fenella Boxall are kindly allowing us to use their woodlands in the Sterridge Valley for this venture and Fenella is also volunteering an afternoon a week to come and join in with these activities with the children. Year 5 pupils are following an eight-week programme of learning in the woods this term.

We hope to send all our staff and volunteers on training courses if this trial programme proves worthwhile and beneficial to learning. We'll let you know how this goes and our great thanks to Fenella and John. Each year we ask the children what they think of their school. Here are some of their thoughts.

Mrs. Karen Crutchfield

[Head Teacher]


George Howarth - Year 2

Robbie Reynolds - Year 6
 

Kelsey Culley - Year 3

Ella Fairchild - Year 6
 

Charlotte Cornish - Year 5

 

Charlotte Cornish - Year 5 Ella Fairchild - Year 6

 

LETTER FROM THE RECTOR

The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends

The other day I came across the story of the cave. Do you know it? It goes something like this:

There was once a dark cave, deep down in the ground, underneath the earth and hidden away from view. Because it was so deep in the earth, the light had never been there. The cave had never seen the light. The word 'light' meant nothing to the cave, who couldn't imagine what 'light' might be.

Then one day the sun sent an invitation to the cave, inviting it to come up and visit. When the cave came up to visit the sun it was amazed and delighted because the cave had never seen light before, and it was dazzled by the wonder of the experience.

Feeling so grateful to the sun for inviting it to visit, the cave wanted to return the kindness and so it invited the sun to come down to visit it some time, because the sun had never seen darkness.

So the day came and the sun went down and was courteously shown into the cave. As it entered, it looked around with great interest, wondering what 'darkness' would be like. Then it became puzzled and asked the cave, "Where is the darkness?"

 

It seems to me that that is exactly the same response God makes when he enters our inner hearts and selves. Jesus the light and love of the world, dispels the darkness, fear and hurt in our lives when we invite him in.

With all good wishes,

Your Friend and Rector

Keith Wyer

 

LOOKING BACK

From 1939 to the end of 1945, my life went through an enormous change. In 1939 I was just a ten year old, but by the end of 1945 I was a young adult.

I had left my young friends in Upminster to live in Berrynarbor for the next six and a half years and when I returned after the War, most of them had gone their ways and I had lost touch with them. Just one or two were still about.

As I started school in Ilfracombe I made new friends and before long I was accepted by the locals. After a while, things got better and we all got along fine, I even picked up the local lingo, though I don't think this fooled local people!

Life was quite quiet in Berrynarbor and the school holidays were great. Cycling to Woolacombe, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe or Combe Martin was the norm. Buses didn't always come though the village but took the coast road and because of this we walked either from Sandy Cove or Sawmills - when Sawmills were really just that.

If I was dropped off at Sandy Cove, I would walk home in almost total darkness. A sheep might bleat in the field the other side of the hedge and you would jump out of your skin. Very dim torches were allowed if you could remember them and could get the batteries. Cars and buses were only allowed slit fittings in their headlamps. If you took a bus journey you would have to try and see where you were at each stop, sometimes having to 'count down' to your own stop or risk getting off at the wrong place. Some 'clippies' would call out the stops and that was a great help.

Then there were the school concerts. Ted Manley would be up there on the stage playing his accordion; Freddie Somerville would play his clarinet; Mr. Evans, the woodwork master, would always sing 'Little Sir Echo' and Mr. Trickett on the piano would accompany a lad who played the saw. I was never involved and went through the period when your voice is breaking and you speak high and low.

As the War wore on, quite a few relatives and friends stayed with us, but most were committed to jobs or families in the London area, and soon went home. My family gave servicemen a 'home from home' and they were always grateful. Sometimes they would 'borrow' a bit of camp or station butter to help out with cooking [rabbit friend with onions, etc.]. Other times we would cycle to Beaumont's in Combe Martin, bringing back a large punnet of strawberries [at 121/2p] to have with our home-made clotted cream.

Food was always a priority and the odd rabbit helped out as did herrings sold, at a penny or tuppence, straight from the boat on the beach at Combe Martin.

Having a sweet tooth, I found that visits to Miss Cooper's village shop for sweets were often disappointing. You only had a small ration and you had to have what she had or you went without, there was no choice.

Life for me for most of those years in North Devon was pretty good, but there were, of course, sad times.

Combe Martin's Barbara Berry's brother, known as Dick, was on The Repulse when it was sunk. Luckily, he was picked up by a destroyer, but Barbara had another brother who was a prisoner of war.

On a personal note, I had two cousins - Kenneth and Peter Jefferies. Kenneth, shown in the photograph, was a rear gunner in a Mark 3 Wellington twin-engine bomber. On a very large bombing raid on the Krupp Steelworks, Kenneth was unfortunately shot down and killed.

 

Peter, however, survived the war, but only just! He was a 'desert rat' in the Alamein Campaign, a crew member on a Matilda Mark II tank when it was hit and caught fire. Although badly burned, he managed to get out of the tank but was badly effected for some time.

So then in 1945 the War came to an end. What jubilation in Ilfracombe and everywhere! Contemporaries who had come and gone as evacuees came down for holidays from their different parts of the country that summer and it was so good to meet them again.

My thanks to Margaret and Laurie Piper and Ron Hawkins for their help.

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester

 

OF THIS AND THAT . . .

North Devon Branch of Epilepsy Action

Do you or a member of your family have epilepsy? Then you may be interested in coming along to the North Devon Branch of Epilepsy Action.

We are a friendly group who meet informally between 10.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at the

Henry Williamson Room at Barnstaple Library. Disabled access is available. For further information contact Steve on [01271] 863087.

World's Biggest Coffee Morning

Berrynarbor joined this event, in a small way, on Friday 29th September at Cherry Hinton, Barton Lane. £75.30 was raised for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. Yvonne would like to thank all those who contributed and supported in so many ways. Great fun was had by all.

 

BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE

September is proving to be another glorious month weather-wise. This last spring and summer has been difficult for all gardeners and no less so for Berry in Bloomers. Despite this we managed to win Silver Gilt for the Berry in Bloom award and came second in the Best kept Village competition. Britain in Bloom is not a competition as such, but awards are made on the merit of planting, quality of flowers, involvement of the village etc. As in the Chelsea flower show, Gold is the top award. then Silver Gilt, Silver and Bronze. In the Best kept Village we only lost by one point. No shame in that when the judges admitted the village was near perfect. But the whole point of our involvement in these competitions is not just to win but also to keep our village a clean and attractive place for us all to live in. Therefore, once again we must thank all the good folks who help in whatever way.

Later this month we shall be emptying the summer bedding and planting up the containers with bulbs and spring bedding. We are also helping the school by providing money and plants for their gardening club. Litter picks followed by tea and cakes are, of course, ongoing. The next one will be on Sunday, 15th October, 2.30 p.m. at Middle Lee Farm. Any help would be welcome. For future 'Picks' look out for our blooming posters! And once again well done Berrynarbor!

Wendy

 

NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST OFFICE

How time flies . . . and so do our summer visitors! Along the way, however, they enjoyed buying our new lines from the Fudge Tree Company, Fosters Traditional Foods and Redmoors. If you've not yet seen them it's worth a visit. You'll find gift boxes of jams, biscuits, fudge and a wide range of competitively priced herbs, spices, nibbles and dried fruits, all useful either as gifts or for Christmas baking.

Some of you visited our stand and tasted some of the goodies at the Holiday Festival held in St Peter's Church on Monday August 28th. Thanks to Ursula's magnificent Spode kettle, cup and saucer, Fenella's artistic talents and eleven of our suppliers giving samples of their products for display and tasting, the stand looked very good and raised the profile of our shop. We were also delighted to hand over £72 to the church from our raffle.

Sadly some of our volunteers have had health problems over the last months. These include Janet Gammon, Hedy Belka and more recently Mike Lane and Jill Jost. We thank them for all they have done for our shop and wish them a full recovery. This, however, together with holidays means that we have need of volunteers to fill the gaps. Our regulars are brilliant but we don't want to overwork them! Any 'stand bys' would be welcome, but particularly difficult are Saturday afternoons and Fridays 5.30-7pm. Any offers? Please 'phone Jackie on 883215

Happy Hour [plus a half!]

By now you should have received a copy of the 'Autumn Flyer - Use it or Lose it', so I will just remind you that we are now open on Fridays until 7.00 pm which will continue if there is a demand [and we get staff - see above!]. I hope you accepted the invitation to come to the shop to celebrate its 2nd Birthday on Friday October 6th and saw all the new goodies and sampled a few of them.

Hope to see you in our Shop . . .all for now.

PP of DC

 

NORTH DEVON HOSPICE GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Details of the gingerbread house appeared in the August issue and Ethel [Tidbury] has been busy knitting ever since!

Knitting from both the given patterns [copies of which are available - call 883544] and her own inspired ideas, butterflies, pots of flowers, dishes of liquorice all-sorts, doughnuts, gingerbread men, iced cakes and other goodies have slipped off her needles. Some of her offerings are shown on the inside rear cover of this Newsletter.

The gingerbread house [the size of an average room] will be set in a knitted garden with three large knitted trees. From squares [bricks, walls and the lawn] to sweets, there is something for everyone to knit.

Everyone taking part will have their name in the Gingerbread Cookery Book, together with any recipe that includes ginger that you can contribute.

So why not start knitting now and help raise money for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and the North Devon Hospice.

 

RURAL REFLECTIONS - 29

Last year I began carrying out monthly wildflower surveys. My choice of locations, the Cairn and the lane running through Score Valley, were for very different reasons; whilst the former was an official record for the Cairn Conservation Carers group, the latter was for purely personal pleasure. Come autumn I then discovered a third beneficiary.

It came to light during a telephone conversation with a friend who is an art teacher. Wanting her pupils to practice with colour toning, she had set them the task of painting four seasonal countryside scenes. The exercise was a great success, her class enjoying their experiments with various shades of colour: the reds, pinks and whites of spring blossoms; the greens of summer grasses; the gold of autumn leaves and the greys and browns of winter barks. Pleased with the work they had produced, my friend then set her charges a harder assignment: to produce four further seasonal paintings, this time WITHOUT the colours they had previously used. At this point in our conversation I sensed a shade of panic in her voice. My friend, you see, is a "townie" through and through. Not that she hadn't planned to do some rural homework of her own in order to advise her class on what they should paint. Pressure of work, however, meant time was fast running out. Cue the phone call to me. "After all," she pleaded, "You must know all about rural colours. Don't you do a regular article down there called 'Rural Refractions', or something similar?" Having put her straight, I then consulted my autumn wildflower surveys and proceeded to suggest the various subjects that could be included in her pupils' orange-and-gold-free paintings.

  White is still around at this time of year courtesy of a variety of wild flowers, including Enchanter's Nightshade, Yarrow, Hogweed and Bindweed. Old Man's Beard offers a subtle cream colour too. The stinging nettle is still just about hanging on to its green catkin-like flowers whilst the stalked, paler green flowers of Greater Plantain are still proudly standing to attention. Meanwhile the yellow-green heads of Ivy are just appearing. Both the Smooth and Common Cat's Ear and the stalked flowers of Goldenrod also provide yellow. All three have been flowering throughout the summer - unlike gorse, which according to my Cairn survey, began sporadically appearing in early November.

  As for the colour blue, my friend's pupils will no doubt use it to create various shades of mauve and purple to provide their landscapes with patches of heather - a flower that is still evident in early autumn. They will also have no problem using their red paint pots, as there are numerous wild flowers of this colour still in evidence, including Herb Robert, Ivy-leaved Toadflax, Valerian and Red Campion. Hemp Agrimony is also still out, the tops of its flowers boasting the most subtle shade of pink; one which I suggested my friend's class might particularly want to practice painting. As for the fruits of autumn, the banning of orange would of course limit their choice. There are, however, plenty of alternatives such as blackberries or sloes.

When out and about in the countryside, it is of course impossible to ignore the unique golden colours provided by our trees at this time of year. But it's nice to know that other colours are still around us, if not on such a grandiose scale.

Steve McCarthy

Illustrated by Paul Swailes

 

PARISH COUNCIL REPORT

August and September have been busy months for the Council due to the various issues concerning our village.

BUSES or rather the lack of them!

A meeting was held at the Manor Hall on Wednesday 13th September organised by County Councillor Andrea Davis. The General Manager and Operations Manager representing First Bus were present, together with 6 Parish Councillors and about 35 parishioners. Various proposals were suggested to First Bus, and many complaints were voiced.

I spoke with the General Manager Steve Grigg on Thursday. 28th September when he was addressing Combe Martin residents concerning their problems. I was told that various surveys, etc., had been carried out, they realised mistakes had been made and were working to resolve the problem. I shall notify you as soon as I have anything conclusive to report, but please remember if we do get a reasonable bus service resumed then use it or we will lose it.

YELLOW LINES in Silver Street

The Council understands the School's concern for the children's safety but does not agree with the proposals that parking restrictions in Silver Street would make any difference, but believes that parked vehicles do have a traffic calming effect. A meeting is scheduled shortly with representatives from the School, Parish Council, County Councillor Andrea Davis and Mr Mike Newcombe, the School Safety Officer. Residents' comments will also be considered.

WATERMOUTH COVE

A series of meetings have taken place with the new owners of Watermouth Cove and relevant County Council authorities to discuss the footpaths over the headland.

Congratulations to the Berry in BloomTeam and all their helpers for achieving two separate awards. The first being 2nd place in the C.P.R.E. Best Kept Village Award. This award will be presented by Mrs R. Kriteman, the local organiser of this event, to the Team on the 14th November, at 7.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall before the start of the Parish Council Meeting. The second award was for the South West in Bloom competition and was a Silver Gilt in the Mary Mortimer Trophy.

Sue Sussex - Chairman

 

BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE

The Wine Circle, which was formed in 1988, meets during the months October to May at the Manor Hall.

The evenings, which are usually on the third Wednesday of the month [December is always the second], start at 8.00 p.m. Membership is £3.00 and meetings are normally £4.00 per person, depending on the presentation.

A warm welcome will be given to all new members and if you would like more information, please contact: Alex Parke [Chairman] on 883758, Tony Summers [Secretary] on 883600, Jill McCrae [Treasurer] on 882121 or Tom Bartlett [Publicity] on 883408.

The Programme up to Christmas is:

18th October: Avery's Alternatives - presentation by John Hood

15th November: Presentation by Barney Dunstan of Laithwaites

13th December: Christmas Presentation by Jonathan Coulthard, Domaine Gourdon - vineyard owner and wine maker from the Duras region, inland from Bordeaux

 

BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL

The Pre-School will be holding a Grand Christmas Fair on the evening of Tuesday, 21st November, in the

Family Room at The Globe. More details to follow so look out for posters. There will be a selection of different Christmas Gifts to buy, a raffle and mulled wine refreshments. Make a note in your diaries now.

 

A DAY IN AUTUMN

R..S. Thomas

It will not always be like this,

The air windless, a few last

Leaves adding their decoration

To the trees' shoulders, braiding the cuffs

Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening

In the lawn's mirror, Having looked up

From the day's chores, pause a minute.

Let the mind take its photograph

Of the bright scene, something to wear

Against the heart in the long cold.

Illustrated by

Paul Swailes

 

R.S. THOMAS

Ronald Stuart Thomas was born in Cardiff in 1913 and educated at St. Michael's College, Llandaff and University College Bangor.

Ordained in 1936, he was a Vicar in the Church of Wales until his retirement in 1978.

Born to non-Welsh speaking parents, his passion was the Welsh language. He did not, however, learn to speak it himself until he was 30, although his poetry - more than 1500 poems - were written in English.

In 1964 he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and in 1996 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Admired by fellow poet Ted Hughes and widely regarded as the best religious poet of his time - although his work covered a wide range of themes - Thomas died in 2000 at the age of 87.


TRUDI JOANNA ROTHWELL

&

Lt. JON JAMES BROWETT, R.N.

The forecast wasn't great . . . in fact wind and rain were predicted for the big day, Friday 28th of July. This occasioned a mild level of concern in certain quarters, for the bride and groom had elected to have their blessing in the garden at Treetops and Sally had been preparing it for months, and it was looking wonderful! The optimists and romantics amongst us understand that the small matter of a gale warning must never be allowed to get in the way of the perfect wedding day, so plans B, C, D & E were brought up to condition 'AMBER' . . . Judie's marquee was booked just in case the rain dance or the offerings to the gods didn't work . . . mostly we just carried on as if everything was going to be fine . . . don't mention the weather!

The civil ceremony was held in the Registry Office in Barnstaple on the Thursday morning which left the afternoon and Friday to dress the Manor Hall and the studio at Treetops,  not to mention building a stage in the garden and arranging all the necessaries to accommodate and cater for 120 guests and The Parcel of Rogues . . . it was like an intensive version of 'Challenge Anneka' . . . we had just 24 hours!

Fortunately the Whist Club were very understanding and generously allowed us to go on working at one end of the hall while they 'whisted' away at the other . . not the first or the last example of the true Berry spirit that we all encountered. For example, a short-notice request for 'Bride and Groom Flowerpot Men', the groom to be in naval uniform of course, was met with hours to spare - in fact everyone involved seemed to enter into the spirit of the celebrations.

So, it was in the very early hours of Friday morning that the two teams, the Manor Hall squad and the Treetops lot, finally agreed that all that could be done, had been done. The Hall looked magnificent with unbleached cotton drapes around the windows and across the ceiling and the floral displays that adorned the tables, created by Lynda, Jon's mum and her team, were simply magnificent, all echoing the theme of sunflowers that Trudi had requested.

Everyone knew their role, nothing, apart from the weather had been left to chance - a hog had been ordered from Ivan and the roaster arrived from The Castle Inn in Combe Martin; a vintage coach, one of King Harry Coaches' fleet was arriving from Falmouth to ferry the guests and to deliver the waitresses and waiters - Sally's sisters and nieces and nephews; Carmen's team of caterers had everything ready; the band was arriving from London that afternoon; the naval guard of honour had practiced their salute and put a final polish on their swords; . . . we just needed the weather to hold off for 24 hrs. Not a lot of sleep was had on what little remained of Thursday night but when we awoke the weather was fine, not hot, but who needed hot, dry would do!

  And it stayed fine right the way through the day! Everything worked like clockwork, well almost, but nothing was going to spoil the day. The bride looked truly radiant - and so did the groom! The blessing was given, the guard of honour paid its respects, the band played, the happy couple were toasted, the guests were fed and watered ... and that was just the afternoon's celebrations in the garden at Treetops! The evening was yet to come and in its turn it too surpassed everyone's expectations.

  The meal was delicious, the toasts and speeches short and amusing, the band thoroughly excellent and the hog was just mouth-wateringly good. We danced the night away with not a thought to the Herculean task that would confront us in the morning . . . I have never seen so many happy smiling faces, we had pulled it off and a really joyous spirit of fun and teamwork had been established between people who 48 hours earlier had never set eyes on each other. It was a triumph for all concerned especially for Jon and Trudi who were of course the catalyst that brought us all together. Their friendship, their love, had been recognised and celebrated by everyone but we all went away the richer for having been a part of their special day.

  So, finally, Sally and I should like to express our sincere thanks to Gren and Lynda, to all our friends and families for all their help and unstinting hard work, and to all those in the village who, with their generosity and kindness helped in a very real way to make the occasion truly memorable.

 

Peter & Sally


 
 

Trudi and Jon: We send you both our congratulations and verybest wishes for health andhappiness in the many years to come.

Thank you Peter and Sally for sharing with us such a wonderful day - how goodour Manor Hall looks!

 

JOHN HANNING SPEKE


1827- 1864

West Country Explorer and reputed discoverer of the source of the Nile

An item in the Saturday Travel section of the Daily Telegraph last April and a chance walk a few days later taking in Speke's Mill Mouth on Hartland's rugged coastline, triggered a sudden interest in John Hanning Speke.

In The Telegraph, travel writer Lisa Grainger joined and wrote about a pioneering expedition by an Englishman, Neil McGrigor, and two New Zealanders, Cam McLeay and Garth MacIntyre. By the end of March this year they had reached the Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda, and were nearing the end of their approximately 4,200 mile journey up the entire length of the Nile to its longest source - a feat they believe that no man has done before. Now having registered the results of their expedition with the National Geographical Society, they hope to prove that the Nile is much longer and more winding than previously believed.

All this was done at a cost. During their journey, they survived crocodile charges, rebel attacks [in which one of their aides was killed], massive rapids and serious tropical diseases - many of which would have been familiar to John Hanning Speke. Their support equipment included GPS and MarineTrack, two Zapcats [light-hulled catamarans], a FIB - Flying Inflatable Boat [a bit like a boat suspended under hang glider wings which took off from the river], and very occasional help from a helicopter - definitely not known to Speke! Something else he wouldn't have dreamt of - you can look up details of the expedition on WWW.ascendthenile.com. Neither can I trace that Fortnum and Mason sponsored Speke - unlike our modern day heroes. However, Henry Morton Stanley [of "Dr Livingstone I presume" fame], was co-sponsored for his Nile expedition in the 1870's by the famous good emporium and the Daily Telegraph. His hamper included marmalade,sardines and humbugs!

So what of John Hanning Speke? Except for a possible local connection, at this late date it hardly matters that some sources state that he was born on May 3rd 1827 and lived at Orleigh Court and others that he entered the world a day later at Ilminster in Somerset. What is not disputed is that he obtained a commission in the Indian Army in 1844, served in the Punjab and gained a reputation as a soldier, sportsman and naturalist. In 1854 he joined Captain [later Sir] Richard Burton on an expedition to Somalia which ended abruptly when both men were attacked. Speke was invalided home. Shortly after, he was back in action serving in the Crimean war. It seems difficult to imagine now but in the mid-1850's little was known of Central Africa and in1857 Burton again invited Speke to join an expedition to try to find the great lakes which were rumoured to exist in the interior. Together they discovered Lake Tanganyika, although Speke was temporarily blind from a tropical disease and couldn't see it properly. Burton was also sick so Speke journeyed alone to a rumoured northern lake. He found it, saw its horizon stretching northwards and deduced it was the source of the Nile. He called it Lake Victoria. Survey equipment had gone astray, however, so he was not able to make accurate measurements.

Acrimony broke out between the two men when Burton didn't believe Speke's theory. Speke hurried back to England ahead of Burton and made known his discoveries and theories. The Royal Geographical Society backed a new expedition to settle the dispute, led by Speke and ignoring Burton. Captain James Grant was the only other white man in a company of 200 men who set out from Zanzibar in 1860. Nearly 2 years later and after many adventures they stood at the point where the Nile exited from Lake Victoria over the Ripon Falls.

Despite receiving great acclaim on his return to London and publishing his 'Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile' in 1863, controversy raged on. This is not a fairy story and has a sad ending. Burton and others argued that Speke could not be certain that he had found the source of the Nile because he had not followed it all the way from the mouth. He and Speke were due to debate this in public on September 16th 1864 in Bath. On the previous afternoon, Speke was out partridge shooting. He laid his gun down at half cock and as he got over a low wall pulled the gun towards him by its muzzle. One barrel exploded and entered his chest killing him. Whether this was an accident or deliberate isn't known. He was buried at Dowlish Wake and a memorial to him was erected by public subscription in Kensington Gardens. It took 14 more years for General Gordon to confirm that Speke had been correct, and 129 years more for our present day heroes to once again challenge it!

As for Speke's Mill Mouth, in spite of considerable research I've yet to find a connection. There were several families named Speke and the word crops up in Devon place names, [for example Brampton Speke] but it seems pretty certain that John Hanning Speke's family came from Somerset. I shall just have to return to Devon's highest waterfall, crashing 70 feet to the sea, and enjoy it for its own sake.

PP of DC

 

LOCAL WALK - 98

"Writes to Roam"

Illustrated by Paul Swailes

The Warren had been 'out of bounds' since a section of the public footpath, leading to it from Watermouth Harbour, had collapsed.

When access to a beautiful and familiar stretch of coastline is lost, I suppose one appreciates it all the more. So, when we heard that the path had been repaired, we decided to exercise our 'right to roam' - well, really just to enjoy the view and do a bit of sea-watching.


There was a light drizzle as we made our way along the finger of land, called the Warren, to the squat Martello-type tower. Opposite is the steep little island, Sexton's Burrow, guarding the entrance to the harbour.

It is pleasant to see the small boats gently bobbing on the water. Many of the boats which frequent Watermouth and Ilfracombe harbours have birds' names - wigeon, osprey, sea swallow.


Peter Rothwell

We were watching gannets diving, some of the majestic ocean-going birds flying close to the shore, when the sun came out and with it the holiday makers. It was late August. Some of the visitors had only arrived the day before and not yet got their bearings. "Is that Lundy Island?" asked one man pointing to the Welsh coast.

We continued over Big Meadow where Himalayan Balsam growing along the river, burst its seed capsules at the least touch and the sloes in the hedges had a blue bloom on them like plums.

From here we had a good view down to Small Mouth where a pod of porpoises circled close to a party of fishermen perched precariously on the rocks.

This stretch of the South West coast path is also the route between several camp sites and the beach so there was a constant movement of people in both directions. Yet it was still peaceful. The drama is in the quiet grandeur of the landscape.

As one small boy hauled himself up the steep field, he announced self-importantly, "That's the trouble with England - too many hills."!

We had a couple of sightings of a clouded yellow butterfly; bright yellow with a silver figure of eight pattern on the hind wings and prominent green eyes. 2006 seems to have been quite a good year for the clouded yellow.

It is a migrant butterfly [breeding around the Mediterranean in winter]. some years it is very scarce but occasionally it is abundant and such years, being special and infrequent, are dubbed 'Clouded Yellow Years'.

We paused above Golden Cove to look at the fulmars, snug on their high cliff ledges, and returned via Bamant's Wood.

In 'Along the South West Way. How the West was Lost - an Unofficial History', A.G. Collings describes the struggle to gain and maintain public access to the coast and some of the acrimonious legal battles which were involved.


Paul Swailes

In 1905 after a newly arrived land-owner had blocked a coast path and obstructed access to a Cornish cove, used 'from time immemorial' by the local fishermen an editorial in the Western Morning News, responding to the ensuring court case, suggested:

". . . centuries of use have consecrated these paths in the eyes of the public, and it would indeed, be a disastrous policy on the part of the land-owners were they to attempt to oust all public rights over them, and to asset to the uttermost their private rights of ownership . . . the rights of property can only be maintained when they are in accordance with the natural feelings of justice entertained by the people."

Fair comment from over a century ago. The opinions expressed by a columnist in The Cornishman newspaper at the same time, were less restrained. Angry and passionate on the rights to roam, with warnings of revolution and riot, it is stirring stuff and I am tempted to quote the article here but even a hundred years on it is still controversial!

 

OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 103

The Lees, Berrynarbor

The first view of The Lees was published by E.A. Sweetman & Sons Ltd. of Tunbridge Wells. The photographic postcard, postmarked the

30th May 1953, was sent by *Harry Whapple to a Miss W. Whapple, living in Coventry. On the left are the outbuildings and barn for South Lee Farm. In the centre is Glen Lee and on the right Middle Lee Farm. It is interesting to note that the very steep field behind Middle Lee is ploughed and probably being used to grow vegetables and potatoes following on from the Second World War.


 

The second view was published in both sepia and colour versions by Harvey Barton around 1955 and in the case of the coloured version, white clouds have been inserted into the view to enhance it. The first thing that anyone who knows Berrynarbor will notice is that there has been very little change in the buildings and scenery shown, and for that we should all be very thankful.

Both Sweetman and Harvey Barton published postcards depicting villages and towns all over England. The earliest Sweetman postcards I have date back to the mid-1920's, whilst Harvey Barton postcards date back to 1907.

Sadly, I had no response to the questions posed by me in the August Newsletter but if this is an oversight, please do contact me or the Editor.

I finish with the following piece of gossip from over 100 years ago which I found in the Ilfracombe Chronicle:

"The Ilfracombe Chronicle and North Devon News, Saturday, July 11, 1896 GOSSIP OF THE TOWN I should think the people of Berrynarbor have reason to be pleased with the work of the Parish Council. The effects of their labours for the first twelve months have been seen in the establishment of a daily delivery of letters in the village, where there was formerly a delivery three days a week; the carriage of letters to outlying farms every other day, an entirely new departure; and the opening of a money order and savings bank in connection with the local post office. Last, but not least, the proper apportionment of some charity funds has been sanctioned by the Commisioners. According to my information, the

income derivable from a certain charity should have been divided between the Church and the poor, but for the last 60 years the latter's portion has found its way into coffers of the former. When the Parish Council came on the scene, Mr. Besley, who was one of its members, continually pegged away at the charity question, with the object of securing the proper payment of the amount. The case has been brought before the Charity Commissioners, who, I hear, have upheld the view of the Council. The amount is not a large one; but nevertheless the result is satisfactory. Taking all these things together, the Berrynarbor Parish Council has justified its existence. The parish rate has not exceeded a halfpenny in the £."

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, September 2006

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

 

*Editor's Note: [and with thanks to Jan Gammon for her confirmation}

When we moved here in 1970, we had the pleasure of meeting Harry Whapple, or 'Whappy' as he was known. He lived in Coventry with his sister but was a regular visitor, spending all his summers here in Berrynarbor, first with 'Parky Smith' at Middle Lee Farm and latterly with the Altree family at Homeleigh. His last visit here before his death was in the summer of 1973.

 

CARNIVAL FLOAT

Once again our Carnival Float and its team of hard workers need congratulating on their wins. 'Never, Never Land' with pirate ship, Captain Martin [& Rob] Hook, Phil Pinkerbell and Peter Fen took a 1st in Class at both Combe Martin and Barnstaple Carnivals. Well done to you all.


 
 

 
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