Mo  Joint 1st, Class 3
peace is yours
John's sudden death on the 11th August came as a great shock
to us all, but especially to Bett, Kevin and all his family, Nita, Vic and
Melanie. Our thoughts are with them all
at this time of sorrow.
The love and esteem with which John was held in the village
was evident from the very full church of those who attended his funeral. He will be sadly missed by everyone.
John was born at North Hill Farm, Shirwell, where with his
two sisters he had a happy childhood, working on the farm, riding his pony and
rabbiting with his pet ferret. His love
of ponies, the Exmoor in particular, remained with him all his life. The donations for the Exmoor Pony Society
made at his funeral amounted to a fantastic £850.
John went to school first at Shirwell, then Barnstaple and
later at Combe Martin. In 1949, when
his father died, John and his mother moved to Berrynarbor to live with his
grandmother, where he lived for the
rest of his life.
After leaving school, he went in to farming, always his
first love. When that came to an end,
he spent his time gardening for and helping people in the village and taking
care of his few sheep. A familiar sight
in his blue van with a silver roof.
John really enjoyed his snooker at the Men's Institute and
had been a member for sixty years. Not
only an excellent player, he served for many years as Secretary and latterly
President of the Club.
John will be remembered for his kindness, his friendly,
outgoing manner and his ever cheerful smile.
This 'gentle'man was happy with his lot!
With thanks to George Billington for sharing his Eulogy for
John with us.
* * *
Bett and family, Anita, Vic and family would like to say
thank you for all the messages of sympathy, cards, flowers and offers of help,
and everyone who came to the funeral, it was such a comfort to us to see a full
church. He will be missed so much by
all who loved him.
WEATHER OR NOT
June's miserable weather continued well
into July with rain or damp on 19 of the first 20 days. On Friday 6th into Saturday 7th, South Devon
experienced torrential rain with a month's worth falling in 24 hours; here we were lucky and had only 16mm
(5/8"). The wettest day was Thursday
12th when it rained steadily from about 10.00 a.m. then in the evening the
heavens opened and 6mm (1/4") fell in 15 minutes giving a total of 24mm
(15/16") by the next morning. The total
rainfall for the month was 120mm (4 ¾") which was fairly high for the month
although in recent years July has been wetter - 303 mm (11 15/16") in 2009! Temperatures struggled to get into the
twenties for most of the month although after the 20th the jet stream shifted
north and for a week it was quite warm with a maximum of 25.4 Deg C on the
27th. After that the temperature
dropped away again and showery conditions returned. The maximum gust of wind was 25 knots on the
There was no improvement in the weather
in August, temperatures stayed mainly in the teens or low twenties with a
maximum of 25.8 Deg C on the 11th. It was
yet another wet month with only five completely dry days and a total rainfall
for the month of 148mm (5 7/8"), not a record for August but still fairly high.
It is not surprising that the records of
the hours of sunshine were down on the average for both months with 166.47
hours in July and only 146.29 hours in August.
case there was doubt in anyone's mind that it was a wet summer we recorded
447mm (17 5/8") of rain in this June,
July and August which was more than in any previous year, although 2007 came a
very close second with 444mm (17 1/2").
It would be nice in the next Newsletter
to be writing about the beautiful weather we have been having but we shall have
to wait and see.
BERRYNARBOR CARNIVAL CLUB
Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make the
Old MacDonald float one of the best in the Combe Martin Carnival.
We all had great fun planning, making, painting, decorating,
etc., and it paid off. We gained a 1st
in our Class and came 2nd Overall. We
are looking forward to next year - please come forward with your ideas for
Richard and Be
BERRYNARBOR TODDLER GROUP
The Group is back after the summer break, 9.30 a.m. to 12.30
p.m. on Fridays, £1.50 per session plus 50p for additional children.
We welcome all babies, toddlers and parents on a Friday
morning in the Manor Hall. Lots to do,
plenty of activities and a variety of toys to play with, all in a friendly and
relaxed environment. Mums and Dads get
a cuppa as well!
Look out for posters soon for another Bingo Evening at the
Manor Hall in October, with cash and meat prizes! Any queries please telephone 
Our congratulations to Stuart and Sue Neale for
master-minding another successful Summer Fayre. In spite of challenging weather and fewer
visitors, £932.50 was raised and once expenses have been deducted we shall have
cleared just under £800.
A big thank you to the team who came to get everything ready
and to everyone who put in so much time and effort to run the stalls and
side-shows - again a wonderful atmosphere.
The Harvest Festival will be held on Sunday 7th October
beginning as usual at 11.00 a.m. and we shall be joined by the Choir and
children from the School. The church
will be decorated at the end of the week before and gifts of flowers, fruit and
vegetables will be most welcome.
Evensong on Wednesday, 10th October will begin at 6.30 p.m. in church
and will be followed by a Buffet Supper in the Manor Hall. Tickets will cost £5.00 for adults, £2.00
for children and will be available at Sunday services and from the Community
Shop. Proceeds from the auction of
produce will go to the charity WaterAid.
forward to November, the Candle Service in Memory of Loved Ones will be held on
Sunday, 4th November from 3.00 p.m.
This is a simple service of hymns, readings and prayers, open to
all. At the end everyone is invited to
go up to the altar to light a candle.
Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided afterwards.
Remembrance Sunday actually falls on the 11th
November this year and we shall gather in church at the earlier time of 10.45 a.m. ready to
assemble at the War Memorial at 11.00 a.m.
Friendship Lunches at The Globe will
be on Wednesdays 24th October and 28th November, from 12.00 noon onwards.
MANOR HALL MATTERS
The record result for the Berry Revels
in 2011 was a tough act to follow, but the outcome this year was very pleasing
indeed, with takings in excess of £1500 and a net result of over £1200.
Thanks go to all who came and supported
us on the night, to the individuals and local businesses who were so generous
in their donations to support our raffles, etc. and to the 42 volunteers who
combined to staff our stalls and activities across 2 hours or more on a very
showery August evening - well done and many, many thanks!
The next Manor Hall fundraiser will be
the customary Christmas Coffee Morning and Christmas Card Exchange. So Saturday, 15th
December is a date to go in the diary NOW!
I'm told that plans are afoot to stage a
Christmas Market in late November, Beaford Arts events are scheduled this
Autumn, also 2 Bingo sessions . . . so plenty planned for the coming months!
Project work at the Hall in recent times
has seen new vinyl flooring fitted in the Penn Curzon Room. The mains water pipe under the floor in the
Main Hall has a history of leaks so we're taking the opportunity to replace it
with new, modern piping ahead of a major project to re-surface the Hall floor -
more news on that and its timing will follow.
Finally comes the invitation to anyone
in the parish wishing to contribute to the on-going planning and running of
Manor Hall business to step forward and
join the Management Team, to bring fresh ideas and purpose. Please discuss with me or, indeed, any of
the Committee whose names are listed on the notice boards inside the Hall.
Colin Trinder - Chairman
BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
Another well supported Show. In spite of the inclement summer's weather,
the horticultural entries were good and not that much down in number. The Hall was buzzing with activity in the
afternoon as villagers and holiday makers viewed the exhibits.
Sue Neale made a clean sweep in the Floral Art class winning
the Globe Cup and Sarah Lee-Pettifer's beautifully decorated cupcakes walked
off with the Walls Cup for Home Cooking.
Angie Rumson went home with an armful of cups - The Davis Cup for
Handicrafts, the Ray Ludlow award for the best Non-Horticultural Exhibit and
the Watermouth Castle Cup 'Jubilee Year',
all with a fantastic counted cross-stitch embroidery. The Watermouth Cup for Handicrafts was won
by Judie Weedon and the George Hippisley Cup for Art by Judith Adam. From a varied and interesting set of
photographs, one of Jim Constantine's won him the Vi Kingdon Award. Back on form was Tony Summers but this year
carrots not onions! The Derrick Kingdom Cup for Fruit and
Vegetables is back where it has been so often of late. The Lethaby Cup for Cut Flowers was won by
Tom Bartlett and the award - the Manor Stores Rose Bowl - for Cut Flowers went
to the Sloley All Starts and Ron Toms, whilst the Manor Hall Management Cup for
the best Horticultural Exhibit went to the Sloley All Stars for their very
decorative large marrow!
Some sunflowers and spuds defied the weather and the widest
sunflower went to Sloley Farm and the Junior prize to Matt and Josh
Rumson. The heaviest haul of spuds was
grown by Sylvia and Dave Mason, and for the juniors by Louis Beer.
The Rose Bowl for the Junior Entrant with the most points
was again awarded to Caitlin Burgess, with a massive 244 points. Caitlin took honours in Floral Art,
Handicrafts [The Sally Barten Bowl], Art, Fruit and Vegetables, Potted Plants
and Cut Flowers. Shannon Wedlake took
the honours for Junior Home Cooking, Jack and Tom Thorne for Handicrafts and
the Junior Photographer was Shannon Hill.
The organising group would like to congratulate all the
winners, thank everyone who took part or helped run the event in any way and
they look forward to seeing you next year!
THE BOOK OF BERRYNARBOR
The proofs have been returned, the School Registers lodged
with the North Devon Record Office, Halsgrove have done the final editing and
the publishing date, I am told, is the 16th October.
There will be a book signing, organised by Waterstones,
Barnstaple, once we have the copies.
The pre-publication offer of £19.99 is still applicable if ordered
through the Shop, and they gain £7.00 from every copy ordered.
To those of you who have placed a pre-published order: Thank You.
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
August and September 2012
At the August Meeting Reports were
received from the Police and District Councillors Julia Clark, who advised that
the Customer Service Department at North Devon Council is now open for longer
hours on Tuesdays, from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., and Yvette Gubb who reported that 47% of all household rubbish is now
being recycled instead of being sent to landfill. Councillor Lorna
Bowden, as Parish Council Representative, gave a Report on behalf of the Manor
A request for a donation was made
from Berrynarbor Pre-School and Councillors unanimously agreed to donate the
sum of £2,000 to include the purchase of a printer, ink cartridges and a dongle
for internet connection. This part of the Meeting was chaired by Vice
Chairman, Councillor David Richards, the Chairman, Councillor Adam Stanbury
having declared a pecuniary interest, left the room and did not take part in
the discussion, decision or voting due to a family connection.
Councillors have adopted the Model
Code of Conduct to mirror the Code adopted by North Devon Council in connection
with the Localism Act which came into force on 1 July 2012. Councillors
Linda Thomas, Lorna Bowden, Clive Richards and Lee Lethaby attended Code of
Conduct training in Ilfracombe and the Parish Clerk, Sue Squire, attended a
similar training session at the Civic Centre, Barnstaple.
Councillors Clive Richards and Lee
Lethaby will represent the Parish Council at a Planning Seminar in October, the
day-long event being organised by Barnstaple Town Council.
Councillors spoke at length
regarding the state of the road surfaces, particularly those with potholes.
The telephone number to report road defects and potholes is 0845 155 1004
[My Devon Customer Service Centre].
They were pleased to hear that the Millennium Fountain in the Square had
been repaired and was now in working order.
A Working Party was formed to
inspect the Parish Council assets with a view to preparing and issuing Tender
documents which were expected to be awarded at the October Meeting.
The 2012 Annual Return has been
signed off by the Audit Commission as satisfactory with no issues arising.
Sue Squire - Clerk to the Parish Council
the Museum, please ring  889031.
OUR ADOPTED PUPPIES
It is some time now since we last had news of our puppies
and newcomers to the village may not be aware that, through the Newsletter, we
have adopted two puppies - Amelia and Alfred - with Canine Partners.
These dogs are trained to help people with disabilities in
many different ways, giving their owners independence, confidence and
transforming their lives.
Alfred tells us that he is possibly a slow
learner but now enjoys going into town to do 'shop work' and is now learning 'gold level' tasks
such as being controlled and steady through doorways, of particular importance
if he is partnered someone in a wheelchair. Approaching the end of his early
stage training he will be leaving his puppy trainer Jim to embark on his next
stage of becoming a fully qualified partner'.
Amelia is also coming to the end of her puppy training with
Jill and has been learning the tasks that will progress her to touching buttons
that call lifts or at pedestrian
crossings. She is likely to be partnered with someone in a
wheelchair. Although, she says, she looks good in her purple jacket she doesn't
like wearing it but approves of the idea that she might just wear a bandana,
that looks really cool! Apparently the
jackets tend to make the fur of Labradoodles itch and
she couldn't be seen to sit and scratch
in public places!
Nothing Like Grog
A plague on those musty old lubbers,
Who tell us to fast and think,
And patient fall in with life's rubbers
With nothing but water to drink.
A can of good stuff, had they twigg'd it
Would have sent them for pleasure agog;
And in spite of the rules.
And in spite of the rules of the schools.
The old fools would have all of 'em swigg'd it
And swore there was nothing like grog.
My father, when last I from Guinea
Return'd with abundance of wealth,
Cried, "Jack, never be such a ninny
To drink." Says I, "father, your health."
So I pass'd round the stuff soon he twigg'd it,
And it set the old codger agog
And he swigged it and mother
And sister and brother
And I swigg'd, and all of us swigg'e it,
And swore there was nothing like grog.
One day, when the Chaplain was preaching,
Behind him I curiously slunk,
And, while he our duty was teaching,
As how we should never get drunk,
I tip't him the stuff, and he twigg'd it,
Which soon set his rev'rence agog.
And he swigg'd; and Nick swigg'd,
And Ben swigg'd, and Dick swigg'd,
And I swigg'd, and all of us swigg'd it,
And swore there was nothing like grog.
Then trust me, there's nothing as drinking
So pleasant on this side the grave;
It keeps the unhappy from thinking,
And makes e'en more valiant the brave.
For me, from the moment I twigg'd it
The good stuff has so set me agog
Sick or well, late or early
Wind foully or fairly,
I've constantly swigg'd it,
And dam'me there's nothing like grog.
Charles Dibdin 1745?-1814
A British musician, dramatist, novelist, actor and
song-writer, Charles Dibdin was born in Southampton, the son of a parish clerk
and the youngest of 18 children.
He had a colourful life with connections
to many of the London theatres and playhouses and wrote in excess of 360
songs. Married early in life he
deserted his wife leaving her destitute.
Two illicit relationships followed, marrying the second, Miss Wild, on
the death of his wife. Father to numerous
children, his two sons, Charles and Thomas John, were also popular dramatists
in their day.
There is a memorial plaque to Dibdin on the tower of
Holyrood Church Southampton, and one at the Royal Hospital Greenwich. Michael Heseltine, MP, is a distant
relative. A fan of Dibdin's works, he
was responsible for the Government's erection of a statue in Greenwich.
An Irish Drinking Song
ancients it's speaking my soul you'd be after,
they never go, how come you so;
you seriously make the good folks die with laughter;
sure their dogs tricks we don't know.
your smallilou nonsense and all your queer boddens,
whisky's a liquor divine;
sure the old ancients as well as the moderns
not love a sly sip of good wine.
Aesop, as authors assure
swig 'till as drunk as a beast.
what do you think of that rogue Epicurus,
not he a tight hand at a fest.
your smallilou, etc.
the Great at his banquets who drank hard,
he no more worlds could subdue,
tears to be sure, but t'was tears of the tankard,
refresh him and pray would not you.
your smallilou, etc.
that other old fellow they call Aristotle,
devil of a tippler was he.
one night having taken too much of his bottle,
thief staggered into the sea.
your smallilou, etc.
they made what they call of their wine a libation,
as all authority quotes;
threw on the ground, musha what baderation,
sure 'twas not thrown down their throats.
from the Musical Miscellany, 1808 Edition]
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP
We had an expensive blip in early September when our refrigerator
holding cooked and raw meats and dairy items stopped working during the night,
resulting in a room temperature 'fridge the next day! Anita and Deb worked very hard to keep up
supplies, but if you were not able to get everything you wanted, we apologize. Fortunately the replacement is now installed
- at a cost! If you're feeling generous
next time you are in the shop, the tin on the counter would love to hear a
jangle of pennies falling into it!
The National Lottery is finally with
us. Installed in mid-September, it
promises 'It could be you' - providing you buy a ticket! At the very least, it saves lottery patrons
having to go in to Combe Martin - and might even persuade folk to think of
buying a ticket as a weekly donation to good causes and shopping at the same
time. With 2012 visitors largely back
home, we need your support now more than ever.
The publishers of Judith Adam's 'The
Book of Berrynarbor' has kindly offered to extend the pre-publication offer of
£19.99. The only difference is that it
is too late to get a dedication in the book.
If you order it from the shop, you avoid postage of £2.99 AND the shop
gets a bonus of £7.
That's all for now - next time it will
be nearly Christmas!
PP of DC
THINGS THAT HAPPEN!
Out of Date
It was very late in the day and George Murray had had a long
day at the office. He thought he'd get
his newspaper on the way home so that he could browse through it before going
His local supermarket stayed open all night so he would
probably get one there. He drove into
the car park and made for the newspaper section. A man was sitting behind the counter,
chewing gum and reading a newspaper.
"Excuse me, is that the Inform You Daily paper?" he asked
"Yes, it is" said the man, not bothering to look up.
"Well, I'd like to buy it," George replied.
"You can, when I've finished it", the man whispered, again
not looking up.
George began to get annoyed. "Look here, I want to get home and have a
read before I settle down and go to bed."
"And so you shall", said the man, "When I've finished."
George's temper was beginning to get the better of him. "Look here, if you don't stop mucking about
I'll call the manager."
"I am the manager", the man grunted.
"I'll tell you what", said George raising his voice, "I'll
give you half the normal price of
that paper right now!"
"What do you mean?" the man replied, looking up.
George was now getting impatient. "Well it's second-hand now, it even looks
fainter now you've rubbed half the print off it."
"A couple more minutes and my shift will be up and you can
have it then", the man grunted.
Reluctantly, George agreed to wait.
The minutes ticked by and at twelve o'clock midnight the man
said, "You can have it now."
"I don't want it now", George replied.
"Why's that?" the man asked.
"Well, it's gone midnight and that paper is now yesterday's.
Goodbye." George stormed out.
The Telephone Trick
In January 1946 we moved back from Berrynarbor to
Upminster. The war being over we had to
re-settle and resume our lives in our old home.
Soon we applied to have the telephone laid on and this took
about two months - things were very slow and material in short supply. Eventually a man from the GPO [as it was
then] came and installed our new 'phone and I watched with interest as he
finally tested it.
I noticed its bell ring was almost identical to our front
door bell and thought, "I can have some fun with this!"
All I had to do was to nip outside and
ring the front door bell. Hurriedly
coming back in I would listen to hear other members of the family answer the
'phone! As they could see there was
no-one at the front door, they fell for the telephone trick. It was all taken in good fun and we all
laughed about it.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
FROM THE RECTOR
People like living round here.
Apparently, inhabitants of the rural areas of the West Country are almost twice
as likely to cherish where they live than city dwellers. A recent study by insurer NFU Mutual found
that more than a third of those living in the countryside 'loved' their local
area. Of all areas surveyed in their Countryside Living Index, no one said they
disliked their surroundings. Introducing
the satisfaction survey of attitudes towards rural and urban areas, the NFU
Mutual Chairman observed the clear preference for country living that continues
to rise. This was despite the rise in the cost of living which had increased at
twice the rate of urban areas in the previous twelve months. The cost of fuel and the cost of running a
car results in financial pressure on life in the countryside that is tantamount
to year-on-year rural inflation. Crime was also very much the main bone of
contention for country people, a blot on the landscape.
despite crime and the cost of getting around, the countryside continues to have
much to offer. An abundance of amenities and vibrant high streets in urban
areas are clearly no match for the fresh air, outdoor pursuits and community
spirit cherished by those who live in the country. As one West Country incomer
put it, "I think you tend to work more efficiently when you know you can go for
a walk on the beach in the sunshine."
Of course, how communities think of
themselves is not just a matter of beautiful natural surroundings that enhance
that mysterious factor called 'quality of life'. It is a complex mix of
tradition, history and previous experiences. Local people here probably make
sense of life in a different way according to whether your family has lived
here for generations or whether you are an incomer. The effect of social change
on patterns of life and faith is indeed fascinating and I hope to have some
conversations with local people in the near future on this subject.
As I write, change is of course in
evidence in physical and not just the social environment. Autumn is coming on and summer is ended. What
a mixed experience that was! A summer
of sport like none other combined with the wettest summer for a hundred years!
Now we are looking towards harvest time
and school and church celebrations I
am away in Africa from 21st October for twelve days - Kilimanjaro here we
come! I return in time for the Candle
Service and Remembrance Sunday.
By the way, October and November sees
that discussion and DVD course about life and faith I told you about before,
taking place at The Globe Inn on Monday nights. It is called Alpha and will be
Billington and myself. No questions too
hard or too easy to discuss and it's all interesting and enjoyable in a completely
non-threatening atmosphere. Why not try these things?
Best wishes, Rev. Chris
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT
It looks like we are coming to the end
of one of the wettest summers on record, but just as the day of the village
Jubilee celebrations turned out to be one of the only fine days in June, we
were lucky with the weather on the 9th September for the Village Open
Gardens. The sun brought out at least 50
villagers and holidaymakers. The
gardens, surprisingly considering the wet summer, were looking lovely and the
teas were as usual yummy. Many thanks
to everyone who opened their gardens and to Phil and Lynn and all the 'girls'
involved with the teas.
We shall be removing the summer bedding
and hanging baskets and planting some spring bulbs and hope to have another
litter pick in October. Please look out
for our 'blooming' posters.
One of the cakes I made for the last
litter pick proved to be very popular and as it was so simple to make here is
the recipe. This cake does not contain
any flour and takes long slow cooking.
Toffee Banana Loaf
115g/4oz butter, plus extra for greasing
115g/4oz soft brown sugar, dark or
light (I used half and half)
115g/4oz golden syrup
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, roughly mashed (if
very large use 21/2)
2 free range eggs, lightly beaten
250g/9oz ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas
2. Grease a 20cm/8inch loaf tin (or
20cm/8inch round loose bottom tin). Line
the tin with baking paper and grease once again.
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a
saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, boiling for 3 minutes. It should have the appearance of fudge
sauce. Allow to cool for 10
minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and
Beat in the eggs one by one and then
fold in the almonds. The mix will look
very wet and a bit lumpy but that is OK.
Bake for about 11/2-2 hours or until a
skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool
for 1/2 hour in the tin and then finish the cooling on a wire rack. This makes a very moist cake.
Of course the cake can be eaten warm as
a pudding with some fudge sauce and cream.
 1st, Class 1
 Joint 3rd, Class 2
 1st, Class 2
 Joint 2nd, Class 2
Conor  Joint 3rd, Class 2
 Joint 2nd, Class 2
 3rd, Class 3
Jak  2nd, Class 3
Ivy Richards had a wonderful 100th Birthday on the 8th
August. She would like to thank
everyone for their good wishes, cards and gifts. Special thanks to the ringers who rang the
church bells so joyously to celebrate her 100 years.
She was delighted to greet the many family and friends who
came to see her - especially her great, great grandson George, just five days
It was a joyful, memorable day. Thank you.
It is nice to be able to welcome baby George [Junior] who
was born on the 2nd August weighing in at 7lbs 9oz.
George is the son of Kirsty
Richards and George Kritikos of Combe
Martin, both of whom have done tours of duty
in Afghanistan and Iraq. Congratulations to you both.
Congratulations also to the grandparents, David and Julie,
great grandfather Norman and, of course,
great, great granny Ivy - five
JAN BRAGGS HILL - RECTORY HILL
Jan or Janny is a local familiar name
for John and is still used today.
In the 1800's an extended family of Braggs lived in the
village. Of these, I think Jan Bragg
senior was the man who lends his name to Jan Braggs Hill because he was a 'quarry
man'. As such he would have been
experienced in the use of explosives and stone-knapping. This was the term used for breaking up large
stones into small ones used to dress roads.
I think it must be a local word because I can't find it in the Oxford
Dictionary. There are many old quarries
in the parish.
During the late 18th Century and into the 19th, the
Industrial Revolution was changing the face of Britain. There was extensive building of new roads, railways
and bridges. During this period most
of our ancient Saxon lanes, which criss-crossed the parish interlinking farms,
villages and towns were being improved.
Many were widened, levelled and hedged with high wide banks, which are a
feature of our countryside today.
The old ways were only suitable for walking or riding on
horseback. They were the routes of the
pack-horse trains carrying goods - the original door to door salesmen. Drovers followed these ways taking all kinds
of livestock to markets near and far.
Jan Braggs Hill didn't exist on the 1842 Tithe Map. Just Blind Lane and the track across Little
Oaklands, which led into the valley around Rock Hill via what is now the main
drive to Wild Violets and the drive from Orchard House. Rock was probably already partially quarried
for its slate. Nevertheless , the cutting of the road through was no mean feat with
a pick and shovel. The Reverend
Chichester in 1727 wrote in a terrier to the Bishop of Exeter about his 'necessary
house' [toilet] being 'covered and slated with ye Berry Flat Stone'. As Rock Hill was on the doorstep of the
original old parsonage, it must have come from here.
Jan Bragg died a blind man and in poverty and is buried in
I think it would be fitting for a little memorial to Jan
Bragg to be placed at Turn Rounds. It
would remind us of how much was achieved by the men of his generation by the
strength of their arms and the sweat on their brows for little return.
Lorna - with help from Garry S and Micky
REFLECTIONS NO. 55
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary
(11th Edition) defines 'rural' as 'relating to, or characteristic
of, the countryside rather than the town'.
Of the word 'reflect' it states, 'to embody or represent in a faithful
or appropriate way'. The beech trees
surrounding Riddlecombe, the mystery hamlet in my last article, will turn to
gold during the next two months
and in so doing will become one of the most appropriate representations
The hamlet of Riddlecombe meanwhile has
many appropriate features that reflect the countryside. Originally a combe farmed for generations by
the Ridd family, it eventually developed into thirty or so dwellings. Bereft of a church or inn, its population was
still able to justify three shops one of which combined as general store, post
office and a one pump petrol station!
All are now gone of course.
Though the car has replaced the horse and cart, other features ensure
the hamlet retains its rural character: sheep hurriedly driven along the main
thoroughfare by farmer and sheepdog, horses slowly clip clopping in a yard,
cockerels idly pecking at the verges and jersey heifers randomly drinking at
the trough adjacent to my back garden fence.
On a personal level Riddlecombe also
represents the twilight months in the life of our dear black Labrador, Gifford,
who was put to rest in August aged 14.
When we moved to the hamlet last October his legs were already too
arthritic to go for walks. A wander to
the end of the road was sufficient.
There he would lay on the grass beneath the tall copper beech and we
would sit on the bench for as long as was needed for him to regain his strength
in order to manage the 200 yard stroll back home. At times he struggled, but he loved it,
sniffing every blade of grass along the way. And when even that short amble
became too much, he was content to just sit on the front lawn sniffing the air,
listening to the sounds of livestock and wildlife and watching passers-by. Arthritis may have got the better of his legs
but he was blessed with excellent hearing and sight till the day he died.
The death of a pet, friend, or family
member brings about what one may regard as a period of reflection. Yet my dictionary defines reflection as 'a
serious thought or consideration'.
Perhaps in the case of when we mourn the word serious is too
strong. I know from personal experience
that in the days following the loss of a loved one I can be crying one minute,
be in a serious and reflective mood the following minute but then be laughing
the next. Thinking about Gifford is no
exception. When I first realised he
would no longer be there to fetch the post it broke my heart. It was even worse
the first time I returned home from work. Not only was the post still on the
mat, my slippers were still in the bedroom. Where was Gifford's lovely
greeting? His tail wagging so profusely
it caused the rest of his body to swagger.
How proud he was to hear me coming down the
path so he could retrieve my slippers in time for my opening the front
door. I just sat on the bed and
sobbed. Yet the next moment I was
chuckling as I recalled how we trained him to yawn on command; and then laughed
as I remembered the day on Putsborough Beach when he ran across the rock pools
before suddenly disappearing, having misjudged the depth of the water!
If reflection involves serious
consideration, maybe the word "
would better describe our thoughts when bereaved. For one is certainly looking
back; but with happy as well as sad memories. Of course you do not need to be bereaved
to reminisce. Friends, for example, can
reminisce over old times. I am blessed
to have a friendship that began over 40 years ago when we were both aged 5; and
whenever we meet up we find ourselves either reflecting on the affairs of the
day (grumpy middle aged men putting the world to right is another description)
or reminiscing over previous times spent together. On hearing of Gifford's passing, he wrote
is sobering just how much can happen in the space of a pet's lifetime. Due to
all kinds of things that have happened, personal and worldwide, I think we are
all different people to what we were in 1998 when Gifford came along - perhaps
that's one of the reasons we have pets: to maintain a constancy when everything
else in our lives insists on changing. If only they could talk."
The same can be said of the beech tree
beneath which Gifford used to lay. If
only it could talk. Appropriate,
therefore, that Gifford's ashes were returned to us in a beech casket. It now rests beside the casket of his old
pal Bourton. Together again on earth, it
is comforting to know their spirits have been reunited up above. Farewell, Gifford. No more aches or
stiffness. Run free once more with your
old mates through the golden beech woods of heaven.
THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
We hope everyone enjoyed the summer
holidays, despite the weather. They seem
to have flown by and I can't believe we are starting the autumn term already.
We should like to welcome into Mrs
Wellings class; Keira, Sophie, Ben, Dillon, Daniella, Joffre, Kensa, Lucy, May
and Alex. Also joining us this term are
Oliver, Emily and Melanie, we hope they enjoy their time at our school.
At the end of last term we said goodbye
to our year 6 pupils; Isabel, Kelly, Caitlin, Harry, Kyle, Charlie, Mo, Miles,
Kaitlin, Morgan, Lucy and Xanthe. We
wish them all every success in their new schools.
Children in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 will
be starting their swimming sessions now.
This is an important part of the curriculum, especially in the area we
Class 3 and 4 children will be taking
part in Wild Night Out at Stowford Meadows.
This is a great experience for them, where they learn to appreciate the
natural environment during the magical twilight times of dawn and dusk. It really is a 'wild night out' as they are
not allowed to use the facilities after teatime!
Year 5 pupils are taking part in Forest
Schools again this year, where they learn forest crafts.
Our Harvest Festival will be held on
Wednesday 3rd October, 2.15pm at Sloley Farm.
We are looking for members of our local
community to help our Ethos Committee.
Volunteers could join the committee, help with projects in school, or
help by preparing and researching things at home. The Ethos Committee are developing our
community links and Christian distinctiveness.
If you would like to get involved please telephone the school on 
883493 to find out more.
OLD COB WALL
C. Fox Smith
On a recent visit to Rosemoor, this poem by Cicely Fox Smith
and illustrated for us by Debbie, hanging on the wall of the summerhouse made
me smile - I hope it makes you too!
Cicely Fox Smith, an English poet and writer with over 600
poems to her name, was born in Lymm, Cheshire in 1882. The daughter of a barrister and
granddaughter of a clergyman she was educated at Manchester Grammar School for
Girls. For a short while she lived in
Canada before returning to the UK shortly before the advent of World War I, settling in Hampshire
where she lived until she died in the spring of 1954.
cob wall have fell at last;
Us knowed he might a good
Great-grandad he built thicky
With maiden earth and oaten
He built en in the good old
And there he've stood until
But wind and rain and frost
Have all combined to lay en
Us propped en up with stones
Us done our best but t'weren't
He give a bit and then a lot,
And at the finish down he
And now, since barns has got
Us'll build another 'stead of
But not the same he was afore,
no one builds cob walls no more.
LOCAL WALK - 134
We Saw Meshaw
by Paul Swailes
In a hollow where six roads converge, lies the small village
of Meshaw, seven miles south-east of South Molton; a cluster of thatched cottages and pretty
gardens packed with traditional cottage garden flowers.
This is reflected in the choice of house
names. I saw at least three with the
word 'rose' in the title. Apart from
the main road to Witheridge, the other roads rise steeply out of the village
giving the impression of a compact and sheltered little settlement.
Lavender and pale yellow rock roses grew near the church
gate and tight rubbery clumps of stonecrop hugged the ground; the yellow flowers so luminous that an old
country name for the plant was 'Welcome Home Husband Be Ye Ever So Late'.
The steep path through the churchyard was bordered by ox-eye
daisies, cat's ears and orange hawkweed - the latter a naturalised garden escape. I like its alternative name Fox and Cubs
referring to the bright flowers grouped closely together, several to a stem.
The church of St. John the Baptist was rebuilt
in 1838. The architect was R.D. Gould of Barnstaple who
was also responsible for Butchers' Row,
Bideford Town Hall and the rebuilding of Arlington church. The tower, however, is much older, dating
from 1691, castellated but without pinnacles.
The outer door of the porch was closed which often indicates yet another
locked church. There is always a brief
moment of suspense as you turn the handle but this time
the heavy door yielded. It is a simple, modest church; an all-in-one nave and chancel with no side
aisles. Some nice stained glass windows
in the chancel but no elaborately carved bench ends or other ancient
features. Even the guide books have
little to say about Meshaw church. However, there were two features which
impressed me, both unusual in their different ways and which said a lot about
the village, suggesting a generosity of spirit. The door of the bell tower was ajar and bore
a notice ; 'Welcome to Meshaw Book
Exchange' with an invitation to swap or buy books. The small space had been fitted out with
book cases crammed with a good selection of contemporary fiction such as A.S. Byatt and William Boyd whilst classics available included
There was seating, a square of carpet, even a kettle. I bought a copy of The Pilgrim's Guide to
Devon's Churches with details and illustrations of all 618 Anglican churches in
Devon. Now there's a challenge - to
visit all of that lot! A useful
reference book, well presented and modestly priced.
In a prominent position in the nave, next to a copy of the
famous painting of Jesus saying, 'Suffer the little children to come unto me'.
was a large picture frame entitled 'Meshaw Evacuees 1939-45' containing
photographs of the children with names, ages, dates of arrival to the
village; a record of outings and
activities, a sketch of the village and a Prayer of Thanks.
One hears accounts of the callous, even cruel treatment of
evacuee children by their 'hosts' but here they seemed to have happily enjoyed
the presence of the evacuees among them, drawing them into the life of the
village and continuing to remember them.
When travelling less
frequented routes in North Devon it is interesting to stop off at unfamiliar
villages along the way, to have a wander and visit the church. There are always discoveries to be made.
MEMORIES OF THE FIRE AT BESSEMER THATCH
On the 5th May 1937 at about 4.30 p.m., Bessemer Thatch
House, the house owned by Canon Jolly of the Deanery of Southampton, and the
end property known as Little Gables, occupied by Miss Lillian Veale the Head
Mistress of Berrynarbor School, were burnt down. The weather on the day was good and very
The fire was first noticed by Mrs. Toms of Dormer Cottage
(now known as Miss Muffet's Tea Room] who raised the alarm. Two fire brigades tried to fight the
fire. The one from Ilfracombe tried to
dam up and pump water from the little stream that runs down from Moules Farm up
Castle Hill, but without success. The
more powerful machine from Barnstaple tried to pump water from the stream at
the bottom of Pitt Hill, but due to the length and gradient of the hill, this
was not very successful and the whole place was virtually destroyed.
. . .
. . .
I was only eight years old at the time
but I can remember the fire quite clearly.
All the residents of Croft Lee, where I was born and lived, came down to
the village to watch in devastation. It
was spectacular at the time and probably the largest gathering the village had
known, with approximately 16 people from Croft Lee alone.
My elder brother Kenneth, Raymond Brookman and my uncle,
Albert Jones, all from Croft Lee, helped to remove the furniture from the
The fire lasted for several hours with men still at the
scene at midnight.
News spread quickly and a group of men came down from
Berrydown on their bicycles to see what was going on. I remember the names of six of them because
they worked at Bodstone Farm at different times with my father Benjamin
Draper. They were George Barrow, Victor
Smallridge, William Irwin, William Coats, John
Hockridge and the local carpenter, Charlie Jewell, all of whom are now
deceased. A local police constable,
named Northey, was in attendance from Combe Martin.
The next morning an article appeared in the Western Morning
News stating that a spark from the chimney had caused a fire in Berrynarbor and
destroyed a thatched house. The damage
was estimated at over £900.
Maurice Draper - Holmleigh
The article from the Western Morning News the following day
was reprinted in the December 1990 Newsletter by Tom Bartlett. His article also contained a report, again
from the Western Morning News, of the 8th May 1937 which stated:
'Smouldering Beam - Fire
Breaks Out Again at Berrynarbor
Barnstaple Rural Fire Brigade returned to
Barnstaple about 2 a.m. yesterday after a night call to the scene of the fire
which destroyed Bessemer Thatch House, a picturesque dwelling on top of the
hill at Berrynarbor on Wednesday night and at which two brigades had been
'Barnstaple Rural Brigade under Capt. F.
Parker found a beam in the chimney between Bessemer Thatch House and a cottage
and stores occupied by Mr. R.J. Baker had apparently continued to smoulder
since the previous outbreak.
'A great deal of thatch among the debris of the earlier fire
had caught alight, but with a plentiful supply of water from a stream in the
village the brigade concentrated on extinguishing the fire and removing the
thatch and beams from the burnt-out portion and were able to save Mr. Baker's
cottage from any serious damage.'
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
Chichester's Big Adventure' There
haven't been many dry August days and evenings, but the 2nd was, which added to
the enjoyment of 36 members and friends attending a first: a Wine Tasting at Arlington Court. Majestic supplied the wine and Circle
supplied some of the support! Someone
has to do it!
In the 1920's, Arlington's lady of the
manor, Rosalie Chichester, travelled to South Africa, Australia and New
Zealand. Twenty-first century testers
tasted a trio of samples from each - a small selection from Majestic's current
stock. It gave us all an opportunity to
socialise, discuss and decide those we liked or not. Samples were ample, so too were the
delicious canapes produced by the National Trust's caterers.
Many seized the opportunity to have a
private house tour or a quiet walk around the grounds as well as a drink and
chat on a summer's evening in majestic surroundings. The homeward coach journey was a noisy,
high-spirited affair. I wonder why!
Via the 'grape-vine', I have
heard that there are couples who are interested in our group, but one person is
either a teetotaller or doesn't drink wine.
Geoff and I joined the month after we moved into the village and have
always enjoyed, thoroughly, these evenings because it is a superb way of
meeting and getting to know fellow villagers.
Usually, there has been a £6 charge for every person attending each meeting; however, from October, there
will be no charge for anybody that wishes to socialise, comes with their
'partner' but does not participate in the wine tasting at all.
Adam: Secretary and Promotional Co-ordinator
OLD BERRYNARBOR VIEW NO. 139
This photographic postcard was published
by the local photographer Grattan Phillipse at the Royal Kingsley Studios in
Ilfracombe around 1927-28. It shows the
marriage of Polly Huxtable to Archie Brittan of Bratton Fleming at our Parish
Church of St. Peter.
However, the significance of this picture is the fact that
it shows our latest Berrynarbor centenarian, Ivy Richards [nee Watkins]. Ivy, who celebrated her 100th birthday in
August, is seen here to the right of the bride as a bridesmaid then aged around
15 years, with her younge4r sister, Phyllis, the bridesmaid on her right. On the left of the groom is Dora Delve who
many locals will remember helped run Bessemer Thatch together with her mother,
Annie Gray, her son Ron and daughter-in-law Marian.
The young lad on the left in a cap and holding one of the
many streamers is Bill Huxtable, but not the Bill we know here today.
I am sure everyone will join me in wishing Ivy many more
years living in her bungalow, Southerly, next door to Moules Farm which she and
her husband Ivor farmed for many years.
The second photographic postcard was
taken around 1939 by the Bristol photographer William Garratt. This shows Ivor with his two sheep dogs and
three cows outside Moules Farm. Note
the shippen on the left and the Virginia creeper growing on the farmhouse and
the two 'phone lines.
On the reverse side of the postcard is written:
'This is a photo of the farm
we are staying at - although the weather is not as warm as it might be, we are
having a good time. The food is
delicious and every day, chicken, in fact everything we can't get at home. I hope Nick isn't giving any trouble. Yours D & G'.
The card was sent in 1942 to a Mrs. Welsford living in Poole
Bartlett, Tower Cottage
SHAKERS NO. 41
Executive Officer of Camelot, Operators of the UK National Lottery
As you probably know, you may now buy
Lottery tickets at our shop. Personally I've never bought one: it would be just
my luck to win millions! Many folk look at their weekly purchase not as a form
of gambling, but as a 'regular charitable contribution'. Whatever the reason,
good luck to everyone.
The UK National Lottery is run by
Camelot, started in1994 and now in its third term, with a licence until 2019,
which in March this year was upgraded to 2023, giving it a 30-year run.
Originally it was set up by five
companies: the Royal Mail, Thales, De La Rue, Cadbury Schweppes and Fujitsu,
but was bought up by the Ontario Teachers Pensions Plan in 2010 for
Dianne Thompson, who joined Camelot in
1997 as Commercial Operations Director and took over as Chief Executive in
December 2000, has a formidable CV ranging from Product Manager with the
Cooperative Wholesale Society, a seven year Lectureship at Manchester
Polytechnic, Director of Marketing for Woolworths, Signet Group [formerly
Ratners], ICI and Wyevale, amongst others and has won various business awards
including Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year.
In appearance, Dianne is tiny. Until a
back accident in France in 2009 she was 5'01/2", now she is just 4'11". In her words she "shrunk a bit, but I'm
fine now!" She is also at 61 a
workaholic. Even after her accident, when advised by Stoke Mandeville to lie on
her back for 3 months, every Wednesday for 6 weeks she worked all day, standing
upright at her kitchen table. Two
nights a week she gets home at midnight, and is on call every weekend. Even on holiday, although she turns off her Blackberry,
she checks it once a day in case of emergencies. No wonder she describes herself as 'a woman
with balls - balls of steel', yet the Daily Mail interviewer wrote after
meeting her that she was 'surprisingly warm and twinkly'.
But then she is a Yorkshire lass from
Batley with a strong work ethic, ingrained into her by her parents. They were poor though loving: her father was
a butcher and mother worked in a shoe shop.
Their home had an outside lavatory and the sink doubled as a bath, but
they taught her that "Nothing comes to people from my background on a silver
plate. If you think you can, then you
can, but you've got to work hard for it."
And so she did. After winning a
place at the local grammar school, she went to Manchester to do an honours
degree in English and French and then began her marketing career.
Nine years ago, long hours at work cost
her her 29-year marriage to Roger, her teenage sweetheart and father of her
only child Jo, and she now lives alone in Buckinghamshire.
Since she became CEO she has built up
28,000 retailers [28,001 with Berrynarbor!].
Anyone who wins £50,000 or more is allocated a special Winners' Adviser,
who does everything from mopping up tears to reminding you to take your
medication. There is also a panel of
advisers on tax, finances and law who stress, as Dianne says, to "make no
decisions, go abroad, sit in the sun and try to get your head round it all".
Perhaps I should try just ONE ticket!
Oddly enough, her interest in
prize-winning millionaires runs second place to her interest in the Good Causes
that the lottery helps - around £30 million weekly. Camelot has no say in choosing causes to
receive funding but raising funds for the Olympics was high on her agenda. In 1994 when John Major launched the lottery,
he said that sport was one of the 'good causes' to benefit. By 1997, British athletes began to get
funding and their standards have improved ever since, leading to this year's
achievements, beating all previous records.
For these Olympics and Paralympics, the National Lottery has contributed
£183.5 million investment in sports out of a total of £313.5 million, and £2.2
billion towards construction of the Olympic Stadium, Velodrome and the Aquatics
Centre - and all because people buy lottery tickets!
Amongst various trials and tribulations
during her time with Camelot, Dianne has had two major battles. Back in 2000, she fought Richard
Branson in a David and Goliath contest when he tried to grasp the Lottery from
Camelot. She won, and averted her worst
nightmare: telling her 850 staff that they no longer had a job. Later at a TV interview, Branson met Dianne
and his most memorable comment was "God, you're short!" After her surprise win, he was very
This August, she has done battle with
Richard Desmond, whose parent companies are Channel 5 and The Daily
Express. "It is my fortune in life to
be haunted by Richards," she joked.
Desmond has set up a Health
Lottery which Dianne said was unlawful and contravenes the 2005 Gambling
Act. If it continued it could
jeopardize the thriving National Lottery - and its Good Causes. The High Court
ruled against Camelot, so she is now taking on the Government to close the
loophole in the 2005 Act before other commercial ventures trade in.
Her best achievement she reckons was
launching Euromillions in February 2004 in partnership with lotteries in France
and Spain. Today taking part are 9 countries, with 3 currencies, in 2 time
zones. billions have been paid out in Europe, the UK alone gaining over £1.1
So, at 61, when does she think she will
retire? Initially she planned it this
year, after the Olympics. "I had this
romantic vision of stepping down as the flame was being extinguished at the
closing ceremony". That dream failed
when her new bosses asked her to stay on until 2015. "I will retire after that," she says - but
who knows? Even if she does admit to
enjoying slobbing around in her
watching the Eastenders Omnibus, when she retires from Camelot it's a safe bet
that she does more than that with her retirement!
PP of DC
We are hoping to hold a Christmas Fair at Mill Park in early
December with stalls and a Santa's Grotto for the children. A donation from the event will go to The
Children's Hospice South West.
We invite local 'crafters' and 'producers' to 'buy' a stall
[tables provided] for £5.00 to display and sell their wares.
Cards, Plants, Knitted Items, Cakes, Jams, Beaded articles,
Cakes, Eggs, Meat, Christmas Gifts, Soaps, Candles, etc., all would be very
There would also be refreshments for stall holders and
visitors, a raffle and, of course, Santa and his Grotto for the children.
If you would be interested in helping us to get this event
for such a worthwhile cause off the ground, please ring me on  882036
If we do, full details, dates, times, etc. will be in the
December issue of the Newsletter. So
give me a ring and let's get going!
Steve - Mill Park
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS THROUGH THE NEWSLETTER
Yes, it might seem rather early to mention the 'C' word but
it will be upon us all too soon!
This popular way of sending greetings to all friends and
neighbours in the village could be even more popular this year with postage charges
having increased and the cost of cards also risen.
To all villagers and particularly newcomers, if you would
like to participate please let me have your message, together with a donation,
as soon as possible and by THURSDAY, 8TH NOVEMBER at the latest. Messages may be left at the Shop or Chicane
and I look forward to receiving them.
If you are concerned that the Manor Hall Christmas Card
Exchange might lose out, just to let you know that the donations received are
shared between the Manor Hall and the Newsletter. Last year's donations boosted funds for
both by a very welcome £150 - so give as generously as you can!
 Joint 1st, Class 3
Dulcie  3rd, Class 1
 Joint 2nd, Class 1
 Joint 2nd, Class 1