is for Finance and February and this is the time when postal readers need to
renew their subscription and for those of you to whom this applies, a letter is
enclosed with your newsletter.Thank
you to everyone who has already renewed and sent donations.
receive your copy by post, the cost is £4.00 a year, which only covers the cost
of envelopes and postage;donations to the newsletter itself are always very welcome.If you would like to receive your copy this
way, please let me know.
average cost of a newsletter over the last year has been 90p - this has been
slightly higher due to the colour pages, especially for the December and
Christmas issue.However, the number of
greetings sent via the Newsletter increased this year and raised £280, £140
each for the Manor Hall and the Newsletter.
should like to take this opportunity to thank the Parish and Parochial Church
Councils for their continued support, the advertisers, everyone who donates via
the Shop, Sue's, The Globe and the Sawmill and by post.I must also thank Sue and our paperboy Dave
for delivering copies on his round.
'Credit Crunch' is affecting us all and although funds are not yet critical,
they are depleting and need replenishing.So plans are in hand to hold another 'Country Collection'.This will take place over the week-end of
18th and 19th April and take the form of a craft exhibition of local talent,
with refreshments being available throughout the day.Full details will be given in the April
issue, but in the meantime please try to keep some part of one or other day
free to come and 'view' and give your support not only to the exhibitors but
also the Newsletter.
BERRYNARBOR LADIES' GROUP
The Christmas Party was held in the
Manor Hall on the 2nd of December. Members
enjoyed a glass of sherry or fruit juice, sausage rolls, mince pies and
chocolate biscuits - a good start to the festive season!There
was a competition about places in North Devon
which was won by our Chairman, Janet Gibbins.The Christmas Lunch on the 8th December was provided by the ladies at Chambercombe Manor
Restaurant and was much enjoyed by all who attended.
The Annual General Meeting was held on 6th
January. Eighteen members were present and Janet
Gibbins began by thanking all who had helped in any way during 2008.Birthday cards were given to Jenny Cox and
Joyce Simpson and passed on to Nora Rowlands and Joan Wood who were not at the meeting.
Steed, as Treasurer, presented the accounts.After giving donations to the North
Devon Hospice, Cheshire Homes, BerrynarborSchool and Shelter Box,
the balance at 31st December was £64.97p.The monthly sales table had raised £125.70 and Jenny Caswell and Jenny
Cookson were thanked for running the table.The annual subscription remains
at £12, with members paying 50p a meeting for tea, coffee and raffle. The raffle this month was won by Jenny
Officers for 2009 are as follows:
- Janet Gibbins
Chairman - Margaret Crabbe
Treasurer - Janet
Secretary - Marion
- Jenny Cookson
Outing Secretary- Janet
Berrynarbor Newsletter Report- Doreen Prater
Sales Table - Jenny
Caswell and Jenny Cookson
of Thanks to Speakers - Rosemary Gaydon and Doreen Prater.
the business section was completed, member Margaret Crabbe was warmly welcomed
and she spoke about her roll in the WRVS co-ordinating
books-on-wheels for housebound people in Combe Martin.She is hoping more folks will avail
themselves of this service as at present few people are on the list for
visits.Elderly and disabled people who
are housebound do appreciate the personal contact.
1939 there were 165,000 members in the WVS, helping during air raids, the evacuation
of children, staffing hospitals and welfare work.The first travelling
library was in 1940 and by 1941 there were one million members.Meals on Wheels began in 1943 in Welwyn Garden City .
1966 Her Majesty, the Queen, became patron so the 'Royal'" was added to the
WVS.There is an emergency section
which has helped in various disasters -the Canvey
Island flooding, the Lewisham train crash, the
Lockerbie air disaster and Hillsborough, to name a few.
present there are 60,000 volunteers all of whom have had CRB checks and an ID
WRVS now has a 'vision' - a world where every older person has the opportunity
and choice to get more out of life and a 'purpose' - WRVS to deliver practical
support through the power of volunteering so these opportunities can be
achieved.At the end of her
interesting talk, Margaret was thanked by Rosemary Gaydon.
3rd February Bernard Hill [not a stockman, sorry!] will be talking about his
work with foxes.We shall be learning about
healthy eating on 3rd March and hearing about the life of bees on 7th April. All Meetings are at in the Manor Hall - do come and join us!
all a very happy and healthy 2009.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
again the church was transformed for the Christmas services by the flower
arrangers, with every windowsill and shelf decorated and stands by the altars
and pulpit.Thank you all.The crib took its place at the font and the
tree, decorated and lit up, looked lovely.The Carol Service on 17th December, fulfilled
its promise.The church was almost
full, the choir excelled itself and the added presence
of the school children gave much pleasure.The choir sang John Rutter's 'Nativity Choir'
with its truly beautiful lilting melody and then, with the school, a special
arrangement of 'Away in a Manger'.There
were a few empty seats on Christmas Eve when the '' Mass was celebrated and the crib blessed.So many have been laid low with 'flu, coughs
and colds already this season and we hope everyone will soon be recovered.
will begin with Ash Wednesday on 25th February and special courses will be
taking place in Combe Martin.
Sunday falls on 22nd March this year and the Family Service will begin at as usual.Please look out for posters nearer the time.
Lunches will continue at The Globe, the next two being on Wednesdays 25th February
and 25th March.This will be our tenth
year!We do appreciate all that the
Ozelton family does for us - we are always assured ofa warm welcome.
is sad to report the current demise of the largest bell in the tower of St. Peter's Church.At practice back in the autumn, ringers
noticed that the tenor bell stopped abruptly and on examination it was found
the gudgeon pin that supported the bell's headstock
had sheared off and the bell was jammed at a crazy angle in the tower.This means that a full peal cannot be rung
and continued ringing of the bells could cause more damage to the tower
has revealed that a considerable sum of money, between £3,000 and £4,000 is
required to repair it.Unfortunately, the tower fund doesn't
have sufficient monies to pay for it and events are being held to raise funds.
and Jean and the PCC are holding an event on Friday, 6th February, and Tony
Summers is organising an event at The Globe on Saturday, 7th March.It is hoped that as many people as possible
will support these events and enjoy great nights out.
14.9.1909 - 29.12.2008
I shouldlike to thank everyone who sent me
sympathy cards after the loss of my dear mother in Burrow House, aged 99 years.
in Berrynarbor will remember her as she lived with us in the SterridgeValley
after moving from Caterham in Surrey.For several years she was the School Cook,
until retirement, and remembered many of the children.
will be greatly missed by myself and all the family.
PAMELA ATKINS 1927-2008
Pamela was a friend
to everyone.Although she was not able
to get about very well she always had an open door, and friends and neighbours
frequently dropped in for a chat.
was poorly over Christmas, and suffered a fall just after, from which she
unfortunately did not recover.The
angels took her on the 30th December.Her cremation took place at Barnstaple
on 12th January 2009,
with many relatives and friends attending.
was a lovely lady.She had a wicked
sense of humour and was loved by all.God bless, Pam.
thoughts are with Doreen and all her family and everyone at Lee Lodge at this
time of sadness.Those of us who pass
by Lee Lodge, either on foot or in cars, will miss Pam's cheerful wave, from
her chair, well wrapped up, in the garden on sunny days, or her room during the
NEWS FROM BERRYNARBORPRE-SCHOOL
of you may not be aware that Berrynarbor has a fantastic Pre-School.It is small and friendly, in a lovely
setting in the centre of the village.We have recently improved the garden, laying
wet-pour surfacing and adding a sensory garden, so the children can now play
outside every day in a much nicer environment.
are currently working towards improving the IT facilities - hoping to get
another computer and more equipment for the children to use.We have lovely staff, all of whom the
children love and both staff and children really enjoy their sessions with lots
The Pre-School can have a maximum of
14 children and due to the older risers going to Primary School, there are
currently a number of free spaces.Session times are MONDAY - FRIDAY, -
If you are interested in sending
your child to Pre-School, please telephone Gemma on 0777 3278199,
or pop in and see what we do!
WEATHER OR NOT
was nothing really outstanding about November, the total rainfall for the month
was 122mm [4 7/8"] which was slightly down on the average, and the maximum
temperature of 13.8 Deg C was fairly normal.It was fairly breezy for most of the month with a maximum gust of 28
knots on the 9th.Chicane's record of
the hours of sunshine show that it was a much duller month than normal, in the
past we have had between 15 and nearly 25 hours, but this year we enjoyed only
December the temperatures dropped and it was the coldest start to the winter
for over 30 years.The barometer
started to rise steeply from 984mb at 0500 hours on the 5th to 1030mb by 0900
hours on the 7th and pressure remained fairly high throughout most of the
month.The+ maximum temperature was
11.9 Deg C which was slightly lower than usual though the minimum of -3.9 Deg C was not
the lowest that we have recorded in a December, this was -5.9 Deg C in 1995.What was unusual this year was the sustained
cold.As a result of the combination of
stiff breezes and low temperatures, we recorded wind chill factors of 0 Deg C or
less on twenty-seven out of the thirty-one days, with the lowest being
-11 Deg C.From Boxing Day night to the end
of the month the temperature didn't rise above 5 Deg C, day or night.It was one of the driest Decembers that we
have ever recorded, with a total of only 88mm [31/2"] it equalled 1996.It was a bright month though, with 26.02
hours of sunshine, the nearest that we have got to that in the past was just
under 9 hours.
back over 2008, it is surprising that despite the dismal wet summer and all the
floods, it was not a particularly wet year.The two wettest months were July and August with 197mm [7 7/8"] and
192mm [7 5/8"], but these were offset by February, April, June and
December being dryer than usual.The
total rainfall for the year was 1423mm [56"], well down on 1994 which had
2032mm [80"] and 2000 with a total of 2005mm [78 15/16"].
The average over the last fifteen
years works out at 1454mm [57¼"].
has been a chilly start to 2009 and it will be interesting to see whether this
is just a blip or whether it will be a harder winter than we have been used to
Simon and Sue
I should like to
thank each one of you villagers and visitors to our village who have bought
plants and shrubs from my plant stall at Higher Rows.
Your generous support has once again
enabled me to donate £500 to the Children's Hospice at Little Bridge House, Fremington, which I am sure helps to make the most of the children's short and
P.S.I could use 5" - 7" plant pots if
anyone has any lying around.Thanks.
FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Happy New Year from us all at
Berrynarbor VC Primary School!Christmas seems so long ago now.
It all started for us on 5th
December with our very first Festive Bingo in The Globe.It was a fun filled evening and we hope the
first of many Bingo evenings to come.The school took on a theme of The Twelve Days of Christmas and all the
children helped adorn the classrooms with leaping lords, piping pipers, flocks
of birds and golden rings.A few days
later we enjoyed our tradition Christingle Service which was followed by the
Christmas Bazaar, raising over £300 for PTA
funds.Class 1 wowed us all with their
slightly alternative nativity [complete with elephants], Mary was suitably
serene and the play helped us all to remember the true meaning of
Christmas.Classrooms 3 and 4 were
transformed once again to accommodate record numbers of 'senior dudes' at the
Christmas meal hosted by the very talented cooks, waiters and waitresses of
Class 4, expertly lead by Mrs. Lucas.Class 3 enjoyed a Friday Night Sleepover - a reward for their good work
and responsible attitudes.We had a
great time playing traditional Christmas party games that I remember from my
childhood and the children slept remarkably well [even if I didn't!].
term was finished off with a day of thinking about others and our Christmas
Carol Service when the children performed 'Bells Ring Out'.After only a week of rehearsals [though some
with expert tuition thanks to Stuart], the children sang and read beautifully.
joined our school just before Christmas and this term we have welcomed Reuben,
Poppy, Josh and Ptolemy into Class 1, and Isabel, Oli
and Dan into Class 3 [see pictures].
big news this term is that we have managed to secure tickets for our oldest
children to see a ballet at the Royal Opera House and if that weren't enough,
the children will be visiting the Houses of Parliament and a number of other
cultural and historical attractions too.Mrs. Lucas,
and ten children will be travelling to London
for three days in just a few weeks time.We are thrilled for the children to have such an exciting opportunity.
children at Berrynarbor Primary are really very lucky - many of the additional
opportunities, additional support and experiences are availablebecause of the many parents and
friends who volunteer their time and energy.We should like to thank those who have continued to support the work of
the school so generously over the past year.
Sue Carey - Headteacher
D' IS FOR DANCING!
started on Wednesday with a phone call from Judie. "Are you doing anything on
Saturday?No, well how would you like
to come and see Strictly with me?"Puzzled, I asked what she meant."I've just been given two tickets to see it
being recorded In London",
I stopped leaping about with excitement I remembered I was committed on Sunday
morning . . . but would it be possible to get home on the Saturday night?If so, the answer was a definite "Yes
please!"We then set about finding
our best way to do the trip there and back in a day.
the tickets are not guaranteed [more are released than there are seats], it was
an early start to drive to Bristol
to catch the train - travelling first class of course - a short tube ride and
we were at the BBC centre in Wood Lane.It was three hours before the doors opened
but we weren't the first in the queue!Two experienced queuers arrived after us with
their chairs and blankets which they kindly offered to us when they went off
for lunch, so we ate our picnic in luxury much to the amusement of people
the doors opened and we were given our tickets, relieved of our mobile phones
[couldn't let friends know where we were sitting] and shown into the audience
lounge.At this point lots of ladies
disappeared into the loo and returned in their sparkly outfits!Our e-mail failed to tell us that the dress
code was 'smart, glamorous'!The
excitement was building and at last it was time to go to the studio.We had to walk outside to reach the
building and then right around the very unglamorous back of the studio,
stepping carefully over electric cables, through a gap and then we were there -
at Strictly!Our seats were in the back
row [only 3 rows] almost immediately behind the judges.Our first thought was how small the dance
floor was - it looks so big on TV.There were lots of production people milling about on the floor and
finally everyone was seated.We craned
our necks to spot the celebrities - Lionel Blair and Elaine Paige were
first thing to be done was the recording of the guest singer, Estelle, with the
professional dancers - this would be broadcast during the results show on
Sunday - so that the stage could be cleared before the live show began.We had a warm up with the stage manager and Bruce
Forsyth, who was excellent, and practised our cheering and applause. Apparently we were one of the loudest
audiences they'd had but they probably say that to everyone!
judges took their places then the countdown began and the music started.Everything was magical with the lights, the
music, the fabulous dresses and the beautiful people.The dancing was lovely [remember Austin's Paso?],
especially when they moved out from behind the judges. But it was fascinating
to watch the cameras, especially the man in his shorts who runs on during each
dance, circles the couple and runs off. There was one camera on a long arm
which probably provided the illusion of a bigger room as it zoomed in and out.We cheered and clapped until our hands ached
and from where we were we could read Bruce and Tess's words on the camera and
yes, his corny jokes are all scripted!
the couples danced their hearts out and the live show finished.
were escorted back to the lounge to wait while the 'phone lines were open and
the stars of the show had a break.Then
it was back to record the results show - much more relaxed as it wasn't
live.Now it was time for the results
and it was very tense as first Tom and Camilla, then Austin and Erin and
finally, Lisa and Brendan got through.The dance off wasbetween Christine and Matthew and Rachel and Vincent.I think we all knew that it would be
Christine's last dance as Rachel and Vincent's waltz was exquisite.
a fabulous day - I think we had big smiles on our faces the whole time.It was certainly worth getting up at and getting home at
three-thirty the next morning!And
we'll certainly be applying for tickets next year now we know
what happens and now where did I put those sequins?!
the death of her mother Ivy, Marlene spent time with Ivy's brother, Gerald, and
he recounted tales of when he was a lad here in Berrynarbor, some of which she
has saved and sent them for Newsletter readers to enjoy.
says:I have called them 'Berry Capers'
because caper was a widely used word in the village when I was little.It was "Stop your caper",
"What caper are you up to now?", "I know what your caper
is" and "I am fed up with your capers!" always implying we were
up to some mischief - as if we were!
BERRY CAPERS - 1
George Irwin of Hill Barton had a sow that kept eating her young and so he
decided she would have to go.
day arrived and George, Gerald and a friend prepared a trailer for the sow and
hitched it up behind the Landrover.Whilst George went off to get dressed ready
for going to Barnstaple Market, the boys were left coaxing the sow
into the trailer.Suddenly she took it
into her head to make a run for it just as George was coming along in his best
suit.He tried to stop her but she ran
straight at him as he stood with his arms and legs spread wide.George ended up sitting backwards on her
back as she charged through a small pond where he was deposited.His suit was filthy, his temper frayed and
the air blue!
changed his suit, the sow was loaded and off to market she did go!
George has an evacuee boy called Peter Allen living at the farm, and he and
Gerald became friends.
has a horse that had just foaled and she was in a field the boys used to take
as a short cut.They were warned not to
go through the field, but Peter had to go to Miss Cooper's - the village stores
- on an errand and on the way back he told Gerald he was going to take the
short cut.Gerald was a bit scared and
wanted to go the long way round, but Peter was having none of it and so Gerald
gave in.They were just going through
the hunter gate into the field when the horse, which was at the top of the
hill, spotted them and came galloping down, ears back, nostrils flared and what
looked to Gerald huge teeth bared.She
kicked out with her hind legs and sent poor Peter over the
to death, Gerald fled the scene, and Peter got the beating of his live from
have some fun, the local lads decided that a scrambler was called for.The local paper was scoured and a likely
sounding bike was to be had at Filleigh.All the boys put forward their share of the cost and Roderick Long went
to collect the bike.
anticipation and excitement abounded when they took the bike up to Leonard
Bowden's farm at Ruggaton.There they
took it in turns to ride the bike in one of the fields.
was Billy Toms turn when the throttle stuck fast.Billy thought the only thing to do was to
ride it until it ran out of petrol.But, as the tank was nearly full, this was going to take some time.Riding at quite a speed, he lost complete
control and ended up in Leonard's potato field which was ready for digging.With potatoes shooting everywhere, like
bullets from a gun, Billy clung on for dear life, much to the amazement of the
Illustrations by Paul Swailes
Berry in Bloom & Best Kept Village
is proving to be a cold winter, good and bad news for gardeners.Good because the cold will kill quite a few
of the creepy crawlies that plague us and I am thinking particularly of the
'foreigners' that have thrived in the run of really mild winters we have had in
the last few years.However, the cold is
bad news for all of us trying to nurse tender plants
through the winter.This is a quiet
time for the Berry
in Bloomers but we dream of the spring and our plans for 2009!
shall be having a meeting at the Globe on Wednesday, 11th February at .If you would like to join us, we hope to see
Honey Ginger cake
you like a moist sticky cake this is the one for you.Make the cake at least a couple of days
before eating to allow it to mature.This will encourage the crust to become deliciously sticky.
15g/1/2 oz golden
70g/3oz runny honey
225g/8oz plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate
1 heaped tsp ground
2 medium free-range
2 tbsp lager
Butter a 22cm non-stick loaf tin [if not
non-stick line the base with baking paper].Pre heat the oven to 180C/160Cfan/350F/gas4.Place the butter, sugar, syrup and honey in
a small pan and heat gently and stir until liquid and smooth.Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and
ginger into a large bowl, add the melted ingredients and blend.Beat in the eggs and lager.Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and
bake for 50-55 minutes until risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted
in to the middle.Leave to cool in the
tin for 5-10 minutes and then run a knife round the edge and turn out on to a
wire rack to finish cooling.Wrap the
cooled cake in cling film and allow to mature for up
to a week before icing.
100g/just under 4oz
1 rounded tsp black
A squeeze of lemon
ready to ice, whisk the butter in a bowl using an electric whisk for a couple
of minutes until pale and fluffy.Blend
in the sugar and then the treacle and lemon juice until moussey and light.Spread over the top of the cake taking the
icing to the sides.Enjoy with your feet
up, a cup of tea and a seed catalogue.
Nor any drop to
- The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
New Year resolution is to lose my bottle" was the headline for Johann
Hari's article in a recent edition of The Independent, in which he points out
that our addiction to bottled water [and Coke], is ruining the lives of the
poorest people on earth.
states that:it is tempting to imagine
that our luxuries appear fully-formed on the supermarket shelves - they come
from nowhere and we toss them away, back to nowhere.How can something we slurp down daily be so
many youngsters think today, and Hari thought, water comes in bottles.It costs 10,000 times more to drink bottled
water rather than tap water, and its sales have surpassed those of milk and
are we paying a fortune for something we have running almost free into our
homes?In the past, the bottled water
industry provided a series of myths claiming that tap water was filthy, when in
the US and Europe
we have the safest drinking water on earth.They also falsely claimed that you need to drink 8 glasses a day to
promote better health.
goes on to say:Look at one of the
primary sources of mineral water for the developed world - Fiji.
day, a million litres of freshwater are pumped from an aquifer beneath a Fijian
rain forest, it is then shipped 10,000 miles to Europe
and the US.The water may come from one of the last pristine ecosystems onearth - the adverts state - but they don't mention that it also
helps to destroy it.By the time we
factor in making the bottles and shipping this heavy liquid half-way round the
world, every bottle of mineral water is, in effect, filled a quarter of the way
up with petrol and the fizz might as well be greenhouse gases dissolving in the
And what of the people on the island of Fiji?While we are sipping their water, a third of
them have no clean water at all.There
are regular outbreaks of typhoid and dengue fever, culling the children and the
is claimed by the water companies to be justifiable to take their water as they
are carbon-neutral because they buy 'carbon off-sets', but evidence shows this
is just a con. a way to salve consciences rather than
the environment.Last July the
government there decided to bring in a tax on the bottled water being shipped
off the island to pay for clean water for ordinary Fijians.The bottling companies went ballistic,
threatening to shut down factories.The
government rescinded.The typhoid
article continues in a similar vein on the disturbing facts surrounding the
production of coke.He finishes off by
saying that although it will be annoying for him not to have his favourite drinks, he does not want to drink oil or blood.
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
The Rectory, Combe Martin.
There was once a Hotel in the West
Country which was drifting along quite nicely, but the manager wanted to
improve things.So he got all his staff
together and told them that things needed to improve, especially their mental
attitude. There was too much laziness
and negative thinking. People complained too much, and that was just the staff!
He wanted a new start with a fresh
attitude! In future there would be no
problems, only opportunities.
With this in mind, he wanted to see a
big improvement starting with the clergy conference which was starting that
Inevitably some clergy arrived early [glad to get out of the parish] and were shown
to their rooms.After a few minutes the
telephone rang down at Reception.
"Good morning, Reception.How
can I help?"
"Good morning.This is the Revd. Jackson-Smythe
in room 201.I have a problem."
The receptionist, remembering the
"pep-talk", responded. "We don't have
problems here, only opportunities."
"Er, hum . .that may well be, but I have a blonde in my bed."
opportunities?It depends on how
we view things. The problem of the village
Post Office and Shop closing, became an opportunity for the village to come
together to produce something which was vital for the community.What
a blessing it is too!
This year will bring many problems I
expect, but we can view them as opportunities to improve the quality of life
for all the villagers.
It's the same for the church.As some of you may know, we have a "problem"
with the bell frame which will need replacing or repairing.
However, while we are waiting for the various authorities to give their
permission, we have an opportunity to start raising the money necessary for the
repair.I am sure that with a good positive attitude
and the good-will, which is obvious in the village, Michael need have no
worries, and bells will once again ring out over Berrynarbor.
With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,
held its Christmas Food and Drink evening on the 10th December and once again
it was a resounding success.The food
was organised by the members, table by table, so that the food brought was
plentiful and varied, with all tables finding themselves with a multi-course
meal to accompany the wine.This side
of the evening was organised and presented by one of our favourite presenters -
Brett Stevens from the Fabulous Wine Company in Barnstaple.As always, his knowledge and enthusiasm was
superb, as were the wines he presented for tasting.
February, the presenters will be from Majestic Wines in Barnstaple
and will be on the usual third Wednesday, the 18th.In March we have a change to our published
programme as Jonathan Coulthard, winemaker and owner of the Domaine Gourdon
vineyard in the Duras region of France
will be our guest speaker.
wishing to join us is most welcome, but please contact me on  883600
Tony Summers -
THE LYNTON & BARNSTAPLE RAILWAY
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway was promoted by Lynton businessmen, including
wealthy publisher Sir George Newnes, and was officially opened on 11th May 1898.It started at sea level in Barnstaple
and climbed steadily for most of its 16 miles to Woody Bay Station, the highest
point on the railway and the entire Southern Railway network, nearly 1000 ft
above sea level.It continued to its
terminus 3 miles away at Lynton.
to a narrow gauge [600mm], the line was able to follow the landscape
contours.Engineered to a very high
standard, the eight span Chelfham Viaduct was the
largest narrow gauge viaduct in the country.
could not compete with improving road transportation and only survived 37
years, closing on Sunday,
29th September 1935, the last train leaving WoodyBay
at 2010 hours - the time marked by the clock in the tea rooms at the Station
the following day, a wreath was placed on the stop block at Barnstaple Town
Station by a WoodyBay resident.The card read:
"To Barnstaple & Lynton Railway
with regret and sorrow from a constant user and admirer - Perchance it is not
dead but sleepeth."
2004, thanks to the enthusiasm of volunteers, it has been waking and if you
have not already done so, do pay a visit to the railway at WoodyBay,
it is well worthwhile, especially for youngsters.For more information visit
Camptown ladies sing dis song - Dooh-dah!doo-dah! De
Camptown racetrack five miles long - Dooh-dah,doo-dah-day! I come
down day wid my hat caved in - Dooh-dah!doo-day! I go
back home wid a pocket full of tine - Dooh-dah, doo-day-day!
run all night!Gwine run all day! I'll bet
my money on de bob-tail nag - somebody bet on de bay!
tail filly and de big black oss - Dooh-dah!doo-dah! Dey fly
de track an dey both cut across - Dooh-dah,
dooh-dah-day! De blind
hoss sticken in a big mud hole - Dooh-dah!doo-dah! Can't
touch bottom wid a ten foot pole - Dooh-dah!doo-dah-day!
run all night!Gwine to run all day! I'll bet
my money on de bob-tail nag - somebody bet on de bay!
Races' was one of the many songswritten by Stephen Colins Foster and
with 'Beautiful Dreamer', probably his best and best known, are still popular
today more than 150 years after their composition.
was born in Pittsburg
in 1826, the youngest of ten children in a relatively well-off family.He had little formal music
training, but had several songs published before he was 20, when he moved to Cincinnati to become
bookkeeper with his brother's steamship company.There he had his first 'hit' song, 'Oh!Susanna', later the anthem
of the Californian gold rush in 1848-9.
1849 he returned to Pennsylvania, formed a contract with the Christy Minstrels
and so began the period on which the majority of his best-known songs were
written, amongst them 'Camptown Races' , 'Nelly Bly', 'Old Folks at
Home', 'Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair [written for his wife Jan McDowall,
from whom he became estranged as his life spiralled downhill], and 'Beautiful
Dreamer'.His songs were in the
minstrel show tradition, poking fun at the slaves and provoking merriment.However, he never lived in the South and
only visited the Deep South once on a river-boat on the Mississippi in 1852 whilst on his honeymoon.
life unfortunately went from bad to worse and the impoverished Foster died at
the age of 37 in Lower East Side Manhattan in 1864, following an accident when
he collapsed with a persistent fever.In his worn leather wallet were 37 cents and a scrap of paper that
simply said, 'Dear friends and gentle hearts', these words are now the title of
a book of the Songs of Stephen C. Foster.He is buried in AlleghennyCemetery in Pittsburg.
THE GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER
Blackbird sings enviously As you hang Oh, so casually From the little basket Of green plastic
That holds A few delectable kernels.
This upside-down Tit-like
agility is, Sadly, Beyond
the wit Or skill Of a
mere Blackbird All it
can do Is
whistle in admiration.
Peter Rothwell - Treetops
Illustration by Paul Swailes
is stork news from Fuchsia Cottage.Maureen has a sixth grandchild, a little boy named Archie who was born
on 3rd November weighing in at 9lbs 3oz.A son for her son Kevin and his wife Clare, and a baby
brother for Megan  and Imogen .
Melanie and Chris
are delighted to announce the arrival of their baby daughter Grace Olivia on
the 14th November, at
home, and weighing 6lbs 12oz.Grace is a little sister for Harry who is approaching his 4th birthday,
another granddaughter for Carol and Dave Ayres and the first grand daughter,
after four grandsons, for Chris and Glyn
Evans of Combe Martin.
congratulations and best wishes to you all.
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Farwig of Digital UK was to give a presentation at the Meeting on the 9th
December regarding the switchover in July 2009.Unfortunately, due to illness, he had to
cancel at the very last minute.Apologies to those of you who came to hear his talk and it is hoped that
he will be able to give his presentation in the near future.
January meeting was held on the 13th in the Manor Hall, with County Councillor
Mrs. Andrea Davis and District Councillor Mrs. Yvette Gubb in attendance.
you to all who completed the Local Housing Needs Questionnaire which has been
evaluated and Mr. Colin Savage, the local housing needs enabler will be attending
the February meeting to discuss the analysis of the survey.Mr. Savage will address the Council at the
start of the meeting, at Do please try to attend as this is very
important and concerns the future of the village.
PLEASE NOTE that the next meeting, the
February meeting, will not be on the usual second Tuesday, but on the 4th
Tuesday instead, that is TUESDAY, 24TH
Watermouth Cove:A Public Meeting/Enquiry has now been
arranged for the 11th and 12th June 2009 in the Manor Hall.An Inspector, appointed by the Secretary of
State, will be present to hear the evidence from all parties.
Sue Sussex - Chairman 
REQUIESCAT IN PACE
35 years, in the garden at Lee Lodge, it stood at the head of the valley, erect
and majestic, like a monarch inspecting a guard of honour.
that time, from small beginnings, it had grown in stature, with outstretched
limbs which were resting places for a myriad of birds.Squirrels also found shelter amongst its
branches, and pigeons often called to one another as they sat on the swinging
a strong breeze came along, a motley of needles fell
to the ground, adding a carpet of colour to the green of the grass.On bright summer days it was a welcoming
shade from the glare of the sun, the coolness and the subtle scent
of pine combining to the tranquillity for those seeking shelter beneath.
Now all that is in the past.
noisy chainsaw came along, lopping branches right and left, leaving the stately
monarch bare and sombre.
Soon that, too, was levelled, the
stump looking forlorn, surrounded by sawdust and wood chippings.A sad day in the
the birds are grieving.There are no
birdsongs.The squirrels are casting
about, looking confused.The pigeons
have given up calling to one another.
was a living tree.Requiescat in Pace.
THE GREAT BERRYNARBOR PLANT SALE
the success of last year's event, we shall be holding another Plant Sale on
Bank Holiday, Monday, 4th May 2009
save some of your plants and seedlings to help make it an even bigger and
better sale.We hope to have plants
from all categories including:Trees and Shrubs,
Herbaceous Perennials, Fruit and Vegetables Indoor and Pot
Plants, Bedding and Annuals.
will also be some space for stalls connected with gardening and plants.If you would like to have a stall to promote
and advertise your business or cause, please contact Kath Thorndycroft on
to Berrynarbor Community Shop
TO PARK, OR NOT TO PARK, THAT IS THE
of car parking charges going up, yet
again, reminded me of the following story.Many years ago when parking cost 6d [21/2p], I saw a sign outside a car
park which said "Pay as you Enter".I duly put my sixpence in the box and entered.Alas, on driving around the car park there
was not one free space.Being rather
annoyed, I drove my car some distance away and parked very inconveniently
behind a friend's shop.As I walked
back into town I thought, "Why should they get away with it?I'll call at the Town Hall."This I did and spoke to the man behind the
counter."Can I help you?" he
asked."Yes," I replied,
"I have just put sixpence in the box at your car park and there were no
spaces available.This is a breach of
contract and I should like my money back."
could read his mind which said:"We've got a right one here!"
he reached into his pocket and took out a sixpence which he handed to me.I thought:"Heck, now the council's employees have to pay for the mistakes of
two weeks later I had reason to go to the same car park.Cautiously I parked first intending to go
back and feed their meter.Reaching in
to my pocket, I found that I had no small change."Better go to the nearest shop and get
some," I thought.Which is what I
did, but upon my return to the car, I saw a nasty ticket under the wiper.I read the note and decided to go to the
Town Hall right away.Yes, you've
guessed it!It was Mr. "What can
I do for you", the very same man.
explained what had happened to which re smiled and said, "Well, we'll
overlook it this time."
shook him by the hand and thanked him for being so considerate.
When I got home, I told my wife about
the event before asking "By the way, what's for tea?""How
about a large slice of humble
pie," was her reply.
Beauclerk - Colchester
Maureen and Pat
you to a
delicious Home-made cakes
Friday, 13th March
The Community Shop
NEWS FROM OUR
COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE
North Devon Journal has started a timely initiative to help businesses face
both the credit crunch and lack of visitors during the winter:
it local - backing North Devon.'If you didn't read the start on January 8th,
you can catch up as it's running for several weeks.This will be a really worthwhile project if
it keeps local businesses prospering.I
remember reading last Autumn that if you spend £10 locally, then £8 will remain
in the area, some buying more local products, and some to pay local wages, much
of which will again stay in the area.
our shop, Anita tries to buy as much locally as possible:nine suppliers are from Combe Martin and
Ilfracombe [including baked goods, water, fruit and vegetables, biscuits and
fudges, jams and chutneys, potato salad and coleslaw], two more are within 8
miles [organic milk and fresh meat] and 16 within 25 miles.Not bad for our little shop!
And whilst you are buying locally, don't
forget Valentine's Day, February 14th.We shall have cards, red roses, and chocolates - or if you want
something different, how about Brasso and cleaning cloths? [!!]
On Saturday 7th February, 'Tales of Time
and Tide' - an evening with Beaford Arts has been arranged.Our Shop, the Manor Hall and the RNLI will benefit.Doors open at and the show begins at Tickets cost £10, to include a light
supper.Do try and support this event
and help all three good causes.
There will also be another event to
raise funds for the Shop and Manor Hall. 'It's Not Just About Birds', again with
Beaford Arts, will take place on Sunday, 5th April with Alex Horne, who has
performed at the Edinburgh Festival - a Twitcher with a Twist!Look out for further details.
it's not too late, very best wishes for 2009 to everyone.
PP of DC
BERRY BROADCASTING COMPANY
show must go on . . . and it will' and it did!The phoenix rose and once again we were treated to a lively and
excellent programme of songs and sketches.Those who arrived early were able to benefit from the new, soft seated
chairs and as usual there was a bar and fish and chip suppers after the Show.
the BBC is planning to entertain us all once again.The Show will be on Friday and Saturday,
27th and 28th March, so book the date in your diaries.Tickets at £6.00 each will be on sale
shortly in the Shop and the show will begin at , doors open at There
will be a raffle, bar and hopefully fish and chip suppers again, and proceeds
will be in aid of local charities.
for the Posters!
AND SHAKERS NO. 19 SIR
June 14th 1774 - January 5th 1847
Founder of the
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
things persuaded me to find out more about Sir William.Back in May last year, the Daily Telegraph's
'Weekend' featured an article on the RNLI - 'Come Hell or High Water' - that
mentioned him.Just before Christmas,
the Six O'clock News did a short piece on people who were giving up Christmas
to serve others, and one evening featured the lifeboat men.
are now some 4,800 lifeboat crew members, 300 of whom are women and 95% are
volunteers.They man 230 lifeboat
stations -our local ones are Ilfracombe, Appledore and Minehead.In 2007, around the country there were 8,141
launches that rescued 7,834 people and saved 306 lives.This is quite a feat, considering that 185
years ago, no one thought of rescuing ships;the wives and children just waited for the bodies of their loved ones to
be washed ashore. So how did the
was all due to one man:William
Hillary.He was a Yorkshire Quaker who
became a soldier, author and philanthropist - and also enjoyed adventure.He learnt his seamanship and navigational
skills whilst serving as equerry to King George III's young son, Prince
eloped with an Essex heiress, Frances
Elizabeth Disney Ffytche and married her on 21st February 1800.Later that year, their twins - Augustus
William and Elisabeth Mary - were born.The bride's father did not approve of William's religion and it wouldn't
have helped that William spent his wife's inheritance [about £20,000] on
largest private army, which he put at the disposal of George III for fighting against
Napoleon.It is thought that this is
how he achieved his baronetcy.
1808, the inheritance had gone and his marriage was in ruins.He fled to the Isle of
Man, some saying that it was to put a few miles and a little water
between him and his creditors.In 1813
he married Emma Tobin, a Manx woman, his first
wife having died by then.From his
coastal home in Douglas, he became very aware
of the many ships in difficulties on the Irish Sea.In the early hours of October 6th 1822, the RN cutter 'Vigilant' foundered on
rocks visible to Sir William's home.He
rushed down to the shore and offered men payment if they would crew the nearby
pleasure craft to help the ship.It was
pulled to safety and for the next two days, as the storm continued, they saved
97 men . . . and the seeds of his idea of saving lives at sea were formed.
February 1823 Hillary wrote a pamphlet to the British Navy on Saving Lives and
Property from Shipwreck.The Admiralty
was not interested, but on appealing to the more philanthropic members of
London Society, his ideas were enthusiastically adopted. On 4th March 1824 the National
Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck was formed. Thirty
Years later, the title was changed to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
the age of 60, Hillary commanded the lifeboat that rescued the packet St
George, which had foundered on Conister Rock at the entrance to DouglasHarbour.He was washed overboard with several other
membersof the lifeboat crew, but in the
end everyone was rescued safely.This
incident prompted Hillary to build the Tower of Refuge
on Conister Rock, which was completed in 1832.It still stands today at the entrance to DouglasHarbour.
the years, he helped to save 509 lives and was awarded the Institution's Gold
Medal three times for Gallantry. Yet he never learnt to swim!
died on January 5th 1847
and is buried at St George'sChurch, Douglas.Even in death it is said that his creditors
pursued him.They dug up his body and
sold it for dissection.
by the time you read this we will almost have missed the RNLI's big fund
raising effort: SOS Day.[30th January
this year.]Schools, businesses, fund
raisers and individuals think up an appropriate title - Sponsor Our
Silence, Savour Our Spices and so on to raise
funds.If you are interested for next
year, go onto www.rnli/sos.com or for any
other information on the RNLI, www.rnli.com
should give it.
Don't forget, however, that there is still a
chance to help the RNLI [and our shop!] by attending the evening 'Tales of Time
and Tide' being put on by Beaford Arts on Saturday February 7th when Fenella
has arranged for the RNLI to be there to sell their range of products and for
just £10 you'll get a light supper too!Hope to see you there!
LOCAL WALKS - 112
the centenary of the birth of the French composer Olivier Messiaen was
commemorated.He had a lifelong
fascination with birdsong and this was an important influence on his work.
anecdote from his childhood claims that while out in his pram one day, he had
asked his mother, a poet, to stop talking so that he could hear the birds!Later he was to transcribe birdsong into
so many of us share an interest in observing the behaviour of birds and derive
such please from their beauty and colours and movement intrigues me.I suppose we envy and admire their ability
it's an interest which can all too easily tip over into eccentricity and
obsession.For some enthusiasts, pagers
alert them to the latest unusual sighting and the internet keeps them
others there are no electronic prompts but simply a case of going for a walk
and finding the unexpected.Or a
passing stranger might say, "Have you seen the . . . ?" or "Did
you know there's a . . . ?"
belong to this latter category and over the last year we have been fortunate in
coming across by chance some very special birds while out on our usual stamping
October we were walking around Capstone Hill and going up the path from Windy
Corner on the seaward side, my companion said, "There's a little bird here
and I'm afraid there must be something wrong with it because it's not flying
away.I almost trod on it."
there was nothing wrong after all.It
just wasn't very shy and was soon pecking about the grassy slopes beside the
was a Snow Bunting, a native of Norway
white with apricot fawn striations on its back and a short yellow finch-like
beak.Later, on our return, we found
the pretty bird sheltering between two vertical slates on top of a low wall.
same day we continued on to Ilfracombe harbour.From a distance there appeared to be a
cormorant out on the water.Nothing
unusual there but as we approached the harbour wall we saw it was a Great
Northern Diver.A stunningly glamorous
bird, still in its summer plumage;a
black back with a white chequer pattern which created a sparkling effect like
spangles;a glossy black head and neck
with a band of black and white stripes around the throat.
had ruby red eyes and a large dagger-like bill.It was diving frequently.We watched it catch a fish and a crab.In America it is known as a Loon and
is noted for its melancholy wail.
March we were walking along the river between Braunton and Barnstaple
when a man ran past and asked if we'd come to see the Long-eared Owl.No, we had not known about it.His friend had seen it the previous evening
and if it was still about it would be roosting high up in a tree, probably obscured by the
foliage of a conifer.We crept along
not wanting to disturb the owl, craning our necks as we peered up into the
far from the lime kiln near Heanton
Court we found the owl fully exposed and perched
in a low hawthorn bush staring at us.Its streaked buff and brown plumage made its body resemble a piece of
bird was motionless so that when two young women with children in pushchairs
came by, they asked, "Is it real?"The owl winked at them as if in reply.
couple of twitchers arrived.They
showed us their pagers which informed them that the Long-eared Owl was in an
olive tree!We were amused by the idea
of olive groves flourishing along the River Taw.
you have ever come face to face with a Barn Owl or Tawny Owl, you will have
noticed that their eyes are wholly black.In contrast, the eyes of the Long-eared Owl are golden orange with a
black pupil which gives it a feline expression.
spring I mentioned the King Eider which had appeared in the Taw Torridge
estuary;the first ever seen in Devon.It was
hoped that it would return later in the year.It did, having spent the summer in Ireland.It arrived in October and stayed just over a
month in the vicinity of Northam and Appledore.
And finally, it is good to know that as
a result of government proposalsthe
coastline should be open to walkers, we Berrynarborites will again be at
liberty to walk our local stretch of coast between Big Meadow and The
OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW 117
This month I have chosen a postcard I was
very fortunate to pick up at an Exeter Postcard Fair way back in 1995, from one
of the best known dealers in the West Country, Anne Scott of Exmouth, who can
often be heard on Radio Devon.This
real photographic postcard was taken and sent around 1904 and shows Mr. Ephraim Street,
an agricultural labourer, outside his cottage, 71, HigherSterridgeValley with his horse and
The postcard was sent by Kitty - his
daughter - to Miss F. Clarke at
Wildersmouth Villa, Ilfracombe.It is
interesting as it had been sent without a stamp and had incurred a 1d
postage due charge, which Miss Clarke would have had to pay!
Ephraim, who was born in Marwood in
about 1844, and his wife Susan, who was born in Berrynarbor about 1854, had a
large family:Mary Jane, Richard,
William, Ellen, Elizabeth [Tilly], Caroline [Kitty], John, Edward, Matilda and
The second postcard shows Tilly and
Dorcas feeding the ducks and chickens outside No. 71.This appeared as View No. 4 in the April
issue of the Newsletter in 1990.
It shows on the right the tap house
which supplied fresh water to all the nearby cottages.It was lovingly restored in the 1980's by
the late Vi Kingdon who by her marriage was related to the Street family.Barn Cottage, home of Kath and Trevor, can
be seen in the background in both views.
Does anyone have any information on or
pictures of Berrydown Chapel?I should
really like to produce an article on this Chapel at some future date.If you can help, please DO contact me on
January 2009 e-mail:email@example.com
What the Papers Said 150 Years Ago
Combe Martin Petty Sessions Monday Feb 7th 1859:
Ley, farmer's wife of Berrynarbor, was charged by her servant, Prudence Perin,
with assaulting her. The charge was
admitted, but circumstances of provocation were pleaded.Fined
2s 6d, with 6s, costs.
February 1859. Ilfracombe.
Drunkennessand Disorder:Richard Snow and John Slee, two married labourers, of Berrynarbor, were
brought before N. Vye, Esq., on Saturday, charged by P. C. Hodge, with being
drunk and creating a disturbance in the street on the previous night. The defendants had been locked up all night
in the 'Stone Lodge', a small cell under the town clock. Before
hearing the charge, the magistrate told the policeman that he would not have
any whom he might find it necessary to take into custody, kept in that small,
cold, close place, all night; especially during the winter.It was
not a place fit for a human being to be confined in the whole of a cold
winter's night: in summer it might do,
but even then not for two persons. The
cell might serve for the confinement of a prisoner for a few hours in the day,
but if they were required to be kept all night, it must be a private house:
when the new station was built, the difficulty now felt by the police with a
prisoner in charge would be done away. On
the charge being laid against the prisoners above named they denied being drunk
- they only had 'two pints o'drink' each. P.C. Hodge found them in Portland Street about half-past followed by a mob of
noisy fellows, using the most horrible language.Slee having his coat off and offering battle
to any one that would fight him. As
defendants refused to leave or give any satisfactory accounts of themselves,
Hodge found it necessary to stop the outrage by
him into custody. Much scuffling ensued
in getting him to the cell, his fellow tippler demanding him as his 'property'
and on reachingthe Lodge, Snow
assaulted the officer, and attempting a rescue, was himself seized and first
placed behind lock and key.By this time his 'property' had walked off,
who had to be pursued and re-captured, which was soon affected and the pair left
to their reflections in the rogue's roost. - Mr. Sommers, watchmaker, described
the conduct of the men as outrageous and profane, but that the row was greatly
heightened, perhaps, would not have occurred if they had not been maddened by
the hounding of a knot of lawless youngsters in the street. Mr.
Henry Harding, postman, gave evidence to the same facts.The magistrate said there could be no doubt
about the defendants being drunk, and that a very disgraceful outrage had been
committed. Until recently, all a
magistrate could do in such cases, however disorderly parties might have been,
was to fine them 5s, and the expenses, but he would take the opportunity of
saying that by a late act, persons guilty of disorderly conduct might be fined
40s, or sent 7 days to prison, at the discretion of the Bench. Those whom it concerned would see that conduct
of this description would be followed by far more serious consequences than had been
the custom, and which would certainly be inflicted. In the present instance, he would not inflict
the severer penalty, as they had already been punished by being locked up all
night, and he understood the police constable intended in bringing a charge
against them at the petty sessions for assaulting him in the execution of his
duties.Fined 5s each, with 2s 6d each
HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
Come for Coffee at
and Stay for Lunch at mid-day
Home-made Soup & French Bread
Filled Jacket Potatoes
Raffle, Produce &
All Proceeds to the Show
This year there will be a new competition
for the Show - Grow a Spud!
your seed potato at the Gardeners' & Crafters' Lunch and plant it in a
container of up to 10 litres of compost or soil.Prizes will be awarded at the Show, to be
held this year on 29TH AUGUST, for the largest [heaviest] potato and the best
[heaviest] crop, in both the Overall and Junior classes.Potatoes cost £1.00 each and must be
purchased either at the Lunch or by telephoning 883544 to reserve your spud.
simple and fun competition for all the family.Get them all - kids, parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents to grow
their own lunch!
Further details will be available
with each purchase.
for the Art and Photography Classes of the Show should, as in the past, be
available in the April issue of the Newsletter and it will soon be time to
think about planting those flowers, vegetables and fruit.
MANOR HALL NEWS
The Pre-Christmas Coffee Morning and Christmas Card distribution was
well attended and very successful.Money raised from the coffee, cards and raffle amounted to £184 and with
the contribution from messages in the Newsletter, the total amount for the
morning was a very welcome £324.Thanks
to all those who supported the event, helped in any way, the pupils from the
Primary School who entertained us with Christmas songs and carols, and Judie
and the Newsletter for the shared message funds.
is in progress for the redecoration of the main hall and by the time you read
this the work should be complete.We
also hope to replace the four sets of curtains and for the future we are
looking at obtaining grants to put new double glazed windows in the hall to
improve the light and reduce heating costs.
are two events being run by the Manor Hall and Shop committees, Tales of Time
and Tide on Saturday, 7th February andTwitcher with a Twist on Sunday, 5th April.Please make a note of the dates and we hope
to see you at one or both of these performances by Beaford Arts.
AGM for the Hall will be with us again before too long and I again urge people
who use the hall to come and join the Committee.We shall also need a new Chairman, as I
shall be resigning at the AGM, so please ring me to discuss the situation.
wishes to everyone for the New Year.Bob Hobson - Chairman
FIVE HUNDRED YEAR-OLD FACTS
Here are some facts
about the 1500s:
people were married in June because they took their yearly bath in May,
and still smelled pretty good by June. However,
as they began to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide their
body odour. Hence today's customof carrying a wedding bouquet .
Baths consisted of a big tub filled
with hot water. The man of the
house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons
and men, then the women followed by the children and last of all the
babies. By then the water was so dirty
you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, 'Don't throw the
baby out with the bath water'.
Houses had thatched roofs made with thick
straw, piled high, with no wood underneath.It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other
small animals [and mice and bugs] lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and
sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, 'It's raining cats and
There was nothing to stop things from
falling into the house.This
posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could
mess up your nice clean bed.Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung
over the top afforded some protection. That's
how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was rough and dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than
dirt so hence the saying, 'dirt poor'.
The wealthy had slate floors that got slippery
in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh [straw] on floor to
help keep their footing. As the
winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it
would all start slipping outside. A
piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. This is where the saying 'thresh hold'
those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always
hung over the fire.Every day they lit the fire and added things
to the pot, mostly vegetables, they did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving
leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over again the
next day. Sometimes the stew had food
in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, ' Peas porridge hot, peas
porridge cold, peas
porridge in the pot nine days old'.
Occasionallythey obtained pork, which made them feel
quite special. and when visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to
show off.It was a sign of wealth that a man could, '
bring home the bacon'. They would
cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and 'chew