WEATHER OR NOT
After the somewhat mediocre summer we
felt that September and October were an improvement.
We were away for a fortnight in
September so cannot break down the figures into daily ones but overall
September was a warm month peaking at 25.9 DegC on the 7th. In some parts of the country September broke
records for the highest temperature but we recorded 27.6 DegC in 2003. The rainfall total at 113mm was a bit above
average, it was the highest monthly total since 2008 and considerably more than
the 11mm in 2014. Wind speeds were about average with a top speed of 32mph on
the 3rd. and 19.66 hours of sunshine were recorded which was also fairly
October has been quite a first-class
month, notably it was the driest October that we have recorded since 1994 with
a total of only 41.6mm of rain which fell over six days. For the rest of the month there was no
recordable rainfall - the highest October rainfall we have recorded was 352mm
in 2000. This brought the total
rainfall for the year to date to 865.2mm.
At the moment we are on course for a fairly dry year but this could all
change! It was a very settled month
with no extremes and although we recorded no particularly high temperatures
during the month, due to the predominately light winds and dry conditions the
days were very pleasant. The 82.59
hours of sunshine recorded was up on most previous years. Early morning temperatures were quite cool
with a low of 3 DegC on the 22nd. The
maximum temperature for the month was 18.4 Deg on the 24th. As you might have guessed, the barometer has
been constantly high with one exception, on the 15th it dropped to 1002mbs.
After what seems such a long time, and at a special joint service, we, in
both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin, had the greatest pleasure in attending the Installation of our new Vicar, the Rev.
Michael Rogers, in St. Peter's Church on Sunday 23rd October. The service was led by our Archdeacon, Rev.
Mark Butchers. The event was very well attended by
parishioners from both communities. Whilst
this service was predominantly for Berrynarbor and Combe Martin, we must not
forget that St. Phillip and St James, Ilfracombe [perhaps better known as Pip
and Jim's!] will be welcomed and linked to both our parishes. Rev. Michael will now be responsible for all
three churches in the years ahead. Suitable refreshments were served following
this important service.
We now look forward to the Licencing and
Installation of Rev. Bill Cole, supported by Michael Rogers in St Peter's
Church Combe Martin on Monday 5th December at 7.30 p.m. Bill will take on the role of House for Duty
Priest in support of Michael Rogers to cover both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin
parishes. This important service will be
led by the Lord Bishop of Exeter.
Following the success of the Flower Festival
entitled Anniversaries 2016, a fabulous Concert featuring the Chivenor Military
Wives, together with the Berrynarbor and School Choirs, was held on 4th
November. The church was packed to capacity, just over 200, and an evening of
superb singing was enjoyed by all. There
were 28 Chivenor ladies, 18 Berrynarbor Choir members and 13 wonderful
Berrynarbor School children who sang their hearts out. The finale, at the Chivenor Military Wives'
request, featured all three choirs singing my arrangement of Joshua fit the
battle of Jericho, with rapturous applause from the audience.
It must be recorded that Judith Adam was
responsible for organising the evening
with support from her husband Geoff, and much credit must go to them for
staging this wonderful Concert.
Bouquets were presented to Judith and
conductor Rachel Smith by Sue Neale, and to pianist Sue Trick by Berrynarbor
School conductor Christina Barrow. Special
commemorative medals were presented to all 13 schoolchildren by members of the
Chivenor Military Wives Choir and all featured in a photoshoot at the end of
From a personal point of view, it was
such a pleasure to work with Rachel in rehearsing together the finale with the
Military Wives at their base in Chivenor, and likewise with both Berrynarbor
Choirs who have worked so hard over the last few months. A
final thanks to Dot Stairmand who expertly conducted three of our choir pieces
at very short notice due to our regular conductor and alto vocalist, Bish Muir
being regretfully unable to attend. Also,
a personal thank you to Christina Barrow who conducted the Children's Choir.
A special thank you to the bell ringers
who not only rang for us, but also helped to transport chairs from the Manor
Hall to and from the church before and after the concert. Superb refreshments were organised in the
Manor Hall following the Concert by Wendy Applegate and her team.
What a wonderful evening to remember and
a huge thankyou to all who attended the concert, which will raise much needed
funds for the repair of the Manor Hall and Church roofs. I'm sure I've forgotten to mention many other
people who also helped on the night - but many thanks anyway!
Sunday will have passed by the time this edition of the Newsletter goes to
print, and we hope that many in the village will have supported this important
service in remembrance of all servicemen and women who died during two World
There may be some minor changes to
church services over the Christmas season, so please do check the posters at the
lych gate and village shop for up to date information.
The annual Christmas Carol Service,
followed by mulled wine and mince pies, will take place on Wednesday, 21st
December, at 6.30 p.m.
will be the usual Christmas Eve Holy Communion Service on Saturday, 24th
December, commencing at 9.30 p.m. A short Family Service will be held on
Christmas Day at 11.00 a.m.
There will be no Friendship Lunch in
December but there will be a Friendship Lunch on the last Wednesday in January
NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL
The children have enjoyed learning
about the season, playing in the autumn leaves, going on a nature walk, carving
pumpkins, making soup and pumpkin muffins.
We also helped the ladies from Berry in Bloom and Best Kept Village to
plant spring bulbs in the containers outside the Manor Hall. The children have already been watching them
closely and anticipate their beautiful arrival in spring.
We held our AGM on the 3rd
October. Geoff Barrett, Amber Graham,
Jo Williams and Nicola Draper all stepped down from their positions and we wish
to thank them for all their voluntary time, work and contribution in supporting
and running the Pre-school.
Jenny Beer has also stepped down at
Treasurer and we seek someone to fill the post. Unfortunately, without a Treasurer the
Pre-school is not allowed to remain open.
This role needs to be filled either by a parent or trusted member of the
community, willing to donate just a few hours of their time to this voluntary
position. None of us want the
Pre-school to close, of course, so if you can spare a small amount of your
time, please do get in touch.
Tim Stedeford has taken on the role of
Chairperson and is looking forward to working with the rest of the new
Committee to ensure our unique and much love Pre-school continues to run and
provide the happy child-care the children enjoy so much.
The children are now preparing for
Christmas and are looking forward to putting on a small performance of
Christmas songs and music, as well as getting very creative making seasonal
crafts, gifts and cards.
And so from all the staff, the children
and the Committee, we should like to wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and
Our opening times are flexible from
8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. with a range of sessions to meet your needs. We are Ofsted registered and in receipt of
the 2together scheme and Early Years Entitlement. We provide care and education for young
children between the ages of 2 and 5.
Please visit us or call 07807 093644 or
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
A 'POTTED' HISTORY OF BERRYNARBOR
Congratulations Gary on writing the
above book. I found it most amusing,
especially the tale of you at Pink Heather.
Being married to Grippsey for ten
years, it brought back so many memories of the lads and Farmer Will in The
Globe. Grippsey was definitely in the
Merchant Navy - I saw his Seaman's Record Book listing the ships he sailed on,
as steward, mostly out of Avonmouth to far flung countries, a lot of the time
How time flies as it was thirty years
ago in October that Gripps died.
[Songhurst] - Shamwick
LETTER OF THANKS
may Alex and I, through the Newsletter, thank friends who have helped so much
in speeding up my recovery from the knee operation by phoning, bringing or
sending cards, fruit and flowers and popping in for a chat?
been my mentor having had a similar operation two weeks earlier, and I am very
grateful to him. We send special thanks
to Janet who has been a true friend having supplied us with delicious suppers, puddings
and cakes. What a lovely village we all
Thank you everyone.
THE MANOR HALL CRAFTS AND ART SHOW
See What You Missed!
For anyone who failed to visit the
Craft and Art exhibition, which was held to raise much needed funds for our
Manor Hall, I can only say that you missed a real treat.
Nearly 30 individuals, mainly ladies of
course, put together a superb display of close on 200 items, showing a variety
of skills and talents, ranging from painting to collage, needlework to cross-stitch,
upholstery to spinning and weaving, not to forget flower arranging, photograph
and much more.
The entrance fee included endless tea
or coffee plus a generous helping of cakes, all donated by the participants,
and many home-made.
A note of thanks should go to the
organisers and helpers for the considerable effort put into this village event.
Although the number of visitors was a
little disappointing, the sum of £450 was raised for the Manor Hall fund. All who attended expressed their delight at
the displays, their appreciation of the food and drink, and their
at the wealth of talent to be found in our village. Perhaps next time more villagers could
attend, and, along with visitors to the area, enjoy the skills of their fellow
villagers and support the Manor Hall which is such an asset to our village. The photographs give you a taste of what was
the Hall and New Charity Structure
There has been some progress regarding
the current two items of work facing the Committee, but it may be a while
before they are fully resolved. We now
have tenders back for the planned work to the manor house wing roof, but these
are more expensive than we had estimated and at the time of writing we await
the tender report before we can move forward.
So, unfortunately, we cannot yet
advise the Men's Institute when the work will be on site. Although the work will take place inside the
roof space above, the ceiling below will need to be supported for safety
We can, however, advise that our new
Charitable Incorporated Organisation is close to going live - our solicitors
are now drafting the vesting deed required to move goods and chattels, money
and the title to the Hall and Parish Room over to the new charity, so this long
process is nearly at an end.
Raising - Our thanks for the events held in October and November
Our thanks go to those who organised and
helped out with two big events this autumn. Firstly we should like to thank Judie Weedon
and the Craft and Art Group who put on an impressive display of work in the Hall
during the last week of October. This
raised £450 for the Hall and is much appreciated.
Many villagers will have attended the
Military Wives Choir event held in the church on 4th November, which was also a
fund-raising event for both the Manor Hall and the Church. More on this is being said elsewhere in this
newsletter, but we wish to thank Judith Adam for her initiative in getting this
event off the ground and pulling together the volunteers who are so important
in making village events work. We should
also like to thank Stuart Neale for organising the church and the choirs. It seems to have been a most enjoyable and
moving evening, and a memorable shared experience for all those who were there.
The event raised just over £2,400 after
expenses, which has been shared equally between the Hall and the Church.
Both events have therefore made major
contributions to our funds.
FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
The Parish Council received a very
interesting presentation at its October meeting on Community Energy and Hydro
resource within the parish. The concept of Community Renewable Energy and
whether or not it would be appropriate for the Parish is something the Parish
Council will be investigating further.
There is funding available, which we hope to be able to secure, to
produce a feasibility study. We know
there is a lot of hydro resource within the parish and the study will help to
identify whether or not this could be utilised for a scheme. The feasibility study will also be used to
ascertain whether or not there is community support, if there are suitable
sites available and would a scheme be technically and financially viable?
An offer from Communities Prepared of
free support to increase the communities' resilience has been made to the
Parish Council. Communities Prepared is
a partnership, between Cornwall Community Flood Forum (CCFF), Groundwork South
and Cornwall College, supported by the Environment Agency, Devon County Council
and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. This project has the capacity
with communities to assess the risks in their local environment
communities complete a community emergency plan and exercise it or review your existing plan
support to recruit volunteers
equipment to support resilience activities
presentations about preparing for emergencies like flooding to local groups,
businesses and schools
communities to information on insurance for Flood Wardens
In addition, this project has developed
a series of community resilience training modules. We
cover six key topics in the training, each with a focus on flood resilience:
Councillors Mrs. Fairchild and Mrs. Beer
have shown a keen interest in this area which will be progress in partnership
with Communities Prepared.
For those of you that are not aware the
Your Future Care Consultation is now open for comment. If you
have not seen the consultation document please contact the Devon CCG on 01392
267642 for a copy.
The Parish Council wish to thank Chris
Wassall for his donation towards the playing field equipment.
The Parish Council would like to
contribute in some way to the festivities of the Parish and is considering how
it could add value to those arrangements already in place for Christmas 2017.
If you have any suggestions please do let us know.
A CURIOUS INCIDENT ON WINSFORD HILL
Some years ago, returning from
Dulverton, we were stopped at Spire Cross and told the road ahead, across Winsford
Hill, was closed. We retreated to
moorland above the Caractacus Stone and as we poured our flask of coffee saw a
vehicle coming down Winsford Hill, closely followed by another and
another. The road must have reopened.
We the noticed that all the vehicles in
the long convoy were vans. They
represented all the utilities, water, gas, etc. and various trades.
When they reached the junction at Spire
Cross they all turned around and went back up the hill the way they had come.
We speculated that it could be some
sort of Civil Defence exercise. The man
who had prevented us from going up Winsford Hill, though courteous and not in
uniform, had conveyed the impression nevertheless that he expected to be obeyed
and would not welcome questions as to why the road was closed.
Several months later while watching
television we recognised Winsford Hill and a long convoy of vans descending
it. The sequence only lasted about
three seconds. It was an advert for the
Ford Transit. So much for conspiracy
HOW THE FULL MOON
MAPLE GOT ITS AUTUMN COLOUR
When the trees were very young, many
moons ago, they used to play in the forests.
When autumn approached they held a festival to celebrate the
season. The full maple was most excited
of all and his leaves sang over and over, a song of joy, "Summer was warm, we
work in the summer! Winter is cold, we
sleep in the winter."
The dormice were angry.They were trying to get to sleep."Every year!" the eldest dormouse shouted,
"Every year half the trees have their festival while we are trying to get our
babies to hibernate - BE QUIET ALL OF YOU!"
The rowan and larch fell quiet.The full moon maple was enjoying himself so
much that couldn't resist another burst of song."SUMMER WAS WARM . . ."his leaves bellowed.
Now dormice are generally very gentle
creatures, but everyone is grouchy when they are sleepy and the eldest dormouse
shook her tiny fists.
"WE WORK IN THE SUMMER. . " the full moon maple continued.
The dormouse stared at the tree with a
sort of death stare. "Winter is cold . .
." she continued in a smaller voice.
The dormouse lost her temper altogether and
slapped the faces of all the maple tree's leaves. As she slapped each one, they turned
brilliant reds, oranges and purples and stopped singing. The forest was silent and the dormice
nestled into their beds.
The full moon maple kept the beautiful
colours each autumn and sometimes, you can still hear him singing quietly to
Bennett - Westonbirt Arboretum
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
What a lovely Autumn it has been, making
all our outdoor learning activities so much more pleasurable. As well as the usual curriculum studies,
there have been many other events and opportunities for the children to be
involved in. I'll let the children tell you about some of
you to all the parents who attended. We had a wonderful time to appreciate
Harvest and all the hard work the farmers put in. We hope the people who came liked our
was one of the best events I have ever been to. There were loads of exciting experiments; we got to make slime walk on water. We would definitely like to visit Great
Torrington School for another event like this.
to the Centre of the Brain
5 and 6 went to a brilliant presentation called "Journey to the Centre of the
Brain" - not a very catchy title! - which was performed by Make Believe Arts.
This educational play, which took place in West Down Hall, told the children
all the things your brain does and how they do it. There were songs to help you
learn it and parts where people got to join in. What an excellent way to teach!
It was performed by four people and, as you can probably tell, they all had to
play several parts each, now, that's clever! Part of why we went was because
our topic is Ourselves, meaning our body and what happens. Amelia
was a great night starting with the Military Wives Choir singing 3 songs and
then Berrynarbor Village Choir sang a funny song about the opening of Ascot
horse racing track. In the first half we
sang a song that I had written the words to, called 'Somewhere in the World'. A lot of people thought it was quite
emotional. In the interval we had some
snack boxes and a welcome chat after being silent [mostly!] for when the
Military Wives Choir and Berrynarbor Choir sang their songs. In the second half
the Military Wives sang my favourite song of theirs 'Wherever You Are', and we
sang our second song 'This Little Light of Mine', which was a cheerful contrast
to our first song. Finally, to end such
an amazing evening, all three choirs sang
'Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho' as the grand finale. After that, the
school choir were each given a medal saying 'I sang with the Military Wives
would like to thank everyone involved for putting on such an amazing evening.
children in Key Stage One would like to share some of their firework pictures
and acrostic poems with you.
Fireworks sparkling in the air.
the fireworks go.
up in the air the fireworks sparkle.
people waiting for fireworks.
a beautiful sight.
the hills, the hills the fireworks go.
singing in the breeze.
Crackle in the air.
whizzing and popping
like firework time.
fly up in the air.
cheers and laughs.
Bang! Go the fireworks.
we go to watch the fireworks.
zooming and whizzing.
full of colour.
There have also been ongoing football club,
cookery club, choir, music lessons [violin, piano, guitar and ukulele] and
since the Half Term break, weekly swimming lessons. Now we are busy preparing for a Spotacular Children
in Need Day, the Senior Dudes Meal and all our Christmas events. Term finishes
on 16th December this year so there is a lot to pack into just a few
The children have a Christingle Service
in the church on Wednesday,
December which will be followed by the PTFA Christmas Fair, held in the Manor
Hall. There will be a variety of stalls
and activities and we would love to see you there. The PTFA are currently raising funds to update
the fitness trail at school.
On the theme of fundraising, a huge
thank you to all who supported West Down PTFA's Raise the Roof Appeal, a total
of £4,298.30 was raised. Thanks to the
generosity of Cornwall Flat Roofing, the roof was repaired with plenty of funds
left over to have the internal damage repaired as well as the external lights
that were damaged by the thieves. Also,
many thanks to Foxhunters for providing the men with amazing breakfasts each
morning free of charge, and to John and Fenella for their overnight
We should like to wish you all a happy
and blessed Christmas.
Many readers will be aware of the
wonderful illustrations Nigel has produced for our Newsletter and will have
seen the article in the North Devon Journal:
"An Ilfracombe artist has landed a
lucrative publishing contract with a leading UK fine art publisher. Nigel Mason burst onto the national art
scene in August last year at Washington Green's Spring Fair IN-SIGHT 2015. The nationwide campaign to find promising
artists from across the UK saw Nigel exhibit his work - and go on to sell all
18 of his paintings.
Nigel subsequently became one of three
artists chosen to work with Washington Green, the art publisher which counts
names such as Bob
Dylan and Ronnie Wood on its books."
Our belated but sincere congratulations
Nigel - well done!
A Year with
When asked to attend the promotional day at the Insight
Exhibition I didn't know what to expect.
When I started out as a professional artist my experiences of
previews, meet the artist and
promotional events were of short lived, sparsely attended do's with little
effort from gallery staff.
experience of the Insight Exhibition was polar opposite. On arrival at the event in the ICC in
Birmingham, the gallery staff were welcoming and up-beat. They had a positivity and energy that was
My work was framed and displayed to best
advantage and this played a major part in the successful sales.
It was a pleasure, as well as informative,
to meet the directors and founder members of WG. I learned the history of the company and an
insight as to its workings, its systems and ethos. I enjoyed meeting other artists, putting
faces to the names and swapping stories of the trials and tribulations of being
a working artist.
The exhibition was a sell out for me,
which had a positive effect on me in regards to pointing a direction for future
work, promoting a professional practice and giving me a feel-good factor that
has stayed with me all year.
The main aim of any artist is to
continue to make art. This year with WG
has enabled me to work exclusively on my painting. I have been able to develop my personal
practice in terms of quality of materials, presentation of work, hitting
deadlines and developing a steady studio practice. But the main effect of being financially
independent as an artist is the ability to concentrate on my own work and
develop finer technique, work through ideas and, most importantly, to find my
My work with WG has included carrying
out commissions for collectors, working to deadlines, attending promotional
events, doing interviews for the media, writing artist statements, giving talks
about my work, and signing limited editions. These activities are far removed from the
refined atmosphere of the studio but are absolutely crucial in obtaining a wider
understanding, and appreciation, of the artists working life. I now
appreciate the symbiotic nature between the creator and the promoter of
On a personal level I have had a blast
this last year! I have grown as an
artist and feel welcomed amongst my fellow artists. I feel confident and optimistic about the
future and I intend to work hard for the mutual benefit of everyone involved. Here's to next year!
I wrote the above in July of this year
but since then unforeseen events have cast a shadow across my creative life.
Most of you will have seen the news of
the fire in Exeter City centre that gutted a row of buildings, including the
oldest hotel in England and an art gallery. The hotel was the Clarence and the art gallery
was Castle Fine Art, a sister company to Washington Green Fine Art. I was due to give a talk in that
gallery concerning my latest paintings and the design I made for the Exeter
Cathedral Christmas card. 35 of my
paintings had been sent to the gallery in advance of the talk. All the paintings were lost in the fire. Directors of Washington Green are busy
looking for alternative venues for the gallery and the promotion for the
Cathedral Christmas card will be re-scheduled. The creative and physical effort invested in
my work, however, is irretrievably lost.
The fire has caused old ghosts to re-surface.
When I left home aged 17, I was
determined to make my way in the world as an artist. In an effort to dissuade me of my chosen
path, my father burnt all my drawings and paintings. Everything!
From my first childish scrawls to my drawings from the life class. My drawings of insects and frogs found in the
woods and ponds around my home, to my copies of old masters, Rembrandt, Monet
and Vermeer. The drawings I made left
handed as a result of a broken right wrist playing rugby. All my examination drawings that enabled me
to be top of the art class every year at secondary school.
At the time that irreversible act by my
father served to make me more determined to succeed in the art world. I have long since come to terms with not
having early drawings that show development or remind me of how I thought and
felt as a boy, but this fire has resurrected old feelings of loss that are not
so easily thrown off.
No one was hurt in the fire and, thanks
to the heroic efforts of the emergency services, the damage to property was
kept to a minimum. It seems that not
all burn scars are visible.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR CHRISTMAS?
Of course, this is the question being
asked at this time of year.
Firstly I'll go back to my childhood
when after my father died in 1936 when I was six, my good half-brother Gerald
[30 years older than me] did his best to please us at Christmas time.
For Christmas that year he took our
family to stay at Newhaven, not far from Brighton, where there were some
These shows somehow worked with such
acts as trapeze artists, conjurors, tight rope walkers and so on. There were so many acts thrown in that you
almost lost the plot - wonderful days when every theatre had a full orchestra!
These pantomimes were always clean fun
and very suitable for all the family.
Brighton also had a skating rink where you could hire skates and rush
around like mad. Although in later life
I learned to do the skaters' waltz!
In 1937 the whole family were again
taken away, to Seaford. This time there was a considerable snowfall. Gerald lost no time going to the local
carpenter's shop and got us a toboggan made.
Seaford Head was the place we headed
for next. A very good slope with the land rising towards the cliff edge,
meaning the risk of going over
limited! The snow was just right and to
make the day, Father Christmas was there with his sleigh. My mother, sister, Gerald and I had a
So now, what about Christmas this year?
Well, as each part of my family will
have their own
PS Christmas dinner, I thought instead of a
Christmas dinner get-together. We shall, for a complete change, go to a
Chinese restaurant where you pay just one sum and you can eat as much as you
like - no doggy bags allowed though!
Oh, just one more of my memories. After the war, I decided to have a holiday
Christmas in Devon. I stayed with a
friend, by the name of Bob Becker, in Combe Martin. His parents had invited lots of his family
to Christmas dinner and most of them had huge appetites and later they all fell
asleep in the front room trying, I think, to out snore each other.
So much for me.
I wish all you good people of
Berrynarbor a lovely Christmas with happy family get-togethers. I hope you will have made your own paper
My best wishes to you all for a Happy
and Prosperous New Year and after all the presents and get-togethers, please
don't forget the real reason why we have Christmas.
Tony Beauclerk -
HAYMAKING 59 YEARS AGO
A few months ago, I was sent some
photos of my father building a hay rick.
These were dated 1957 - there were no bales, just hay being forked from
a trailer to make the rick. The rick
was then thatched and the hay would have been baled later in the winter with a
Because the hay rick could internally
combust, it had to be watched constantly.
If the hay had been a bit damp, it would often be charred in the centre
when the rick was opened for baling.
Within a couple of years, the moving baler had taken over, creating the
rectangular bales that were much easier to move and stack up.
The gathering of hay required a great
deal of extra labour. When the hay was
ready to 'carry', men and teenage boys would come from other farms or after
work to help, working until it was almost dark and the dew had started to
form. Everyone would then come in for
supper which with cream [of course!] and plenty of tea, chat and banter. My mother often prepared this after cooking
dinner for our summer visitors.
The normal work of the farm, milking,
tending the stock, etc., still had to be fitted in around the hay harvest in
June/July and again in August/September with the corn harvest, but it was hard,
How much it has changed today! So much more silage in huge plastic rolls
and not as much hay being made, but with bigger and better machinery the job
can be done by one or two men.
The old labour intensive days have gone
and in my lifetime, we have lost a way of life forever.
Jack Sidebottom building a hay rick at Wheel Farm
CHRISTMAS AT THE MANOR HALL
1950's, the Old Scholars Association of the village School ran summer dances
and funfairs in the Manor Hall to raise funds
to buy every child up to 15 years old in the Parish, a very nice Christmas
The little picture shows Muriel
Richards, School Teacher, awarding Mrs. Ella Graves a lovely cabbage - her
prize for winning the Mrs.
Berrynarbor competition at an Old Scholars Summer Dance.
Richards junior is MC having a laugh with Mr. Ward who was the judge. Those
were the days!
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
a man drinks wine at dinner, he begins to be better
with himself.' Plato
Bray Valley Wines [BVW] is a privately-owned wine importer
in South Molton, run by Charlie Cotton and Peter Rollinson; they are
enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Peter
presented six wines that were recent stock.
Apart from the Chardonnay, a grape and
white wine that many dislike, the general consensus was that the other five
were either lovely or very good. If a
red-wine drinker states that they think a white wine is lovely, it must
be! Their Dourthe No 1 Sauvignon Blanc,
2015 from Bordeaux is £8.99.
A Galician vineyard in Spain produced
our Albarino, Pazos de Lusco, Rias-Baixas, 2015. BVW retail it for £11.99, probably a bit more
than you'd pay for your daily quaff, but it would be good as part of a social
event. All Peter's reds were delicious
in my opinion, but my white-wine drinking husband thought they were too! Valpolicella Ripasso, Classico Superiore,
Cantina di Negrar, 2014, was our first and cheapest red, at £10.99. Our next, was a 2010 Graves, our dearest
wine of the evening at £19.99. It was intensely
fruity and would be a superb accompaniment to any red-meat dish.
We finished with a brown-red, smooth,
fruity Gigondas Cuvee les Pigie, Domaine Font Sarade 2013, from the southern
Rhone. It was £17.99, not cheap, but it
could be regarded as a delicious investment, if you can manage to keep it in
not only drinks the wine, one smells it, observes it,
it, sips it and - one talks about it.' King Edward VII
Geoff and I joined the Circle in October
2007 and haven't encountered a Members' Choices evening before, so we were
intrigued! Six couples, per table,
provided and presented a bottle of wine, continuing our usual six tastings per
person. Three people presented their
choices at any one time, but three tables of members added atmosphere and
plenty of additional vocal noise!
Suppliers for our wines were the new
Asda's in Barnstaple, Bray Valley Wines, South Molton, Majestic and Sainsbury's
in Barnstaple and our village shop. We
began with a 100% Pinot Gris, from New Zealand, at £9.99, chosen by the
ever-knowledgeable Peter, from Bray Valley.
Tony's Muscadet, Chateau La Bidiere, is
from the Loire, via Asda's. It was a
good buy at £5.99 only.
wine with food is beneficial as some wines appear to improve with an appropriate partner. Gewurtztraminer, a
pink-skinned grape variety, is quintessentially Alsatian, eastern France, and
complements spicy or exotic food. It was
Kath provided a Chianti Reserva, a young
Sangiovese, made by the Piccini
family, wine producers in Tuscany since 1882, from Sainsbury's at £8.50.
We are fortunate in this village to have
a shop; we are also fortunate as it
stocks drinkable and reasonably-priced wine rather than wine for the pot only! Their Running
Duck Pinotage, £7.98, was a great choice.
It is, according to Debbie, very popular with the young mum's in the
village, because the lack of sulphites means a lack of hangovers! As a red-wine drinker, I'm glad it was
included; others were impressed with it
Californian Zinfandel, probably, doesn't
have the best reputation in the world, but, perhaps it's one of those 'Marmite
moments'! Having sampled Phil's Choice
from Majestic says that it would be good 'by itself, with flavourful duck
dishes or a cheese platter.' I think it
would be good with any red-meat dish as well.
Currently, it could be yours for £7.99 a bottle, instead of £11.99.
Our wines proved that gone are the days
when you could produce a fiver to buy a respectable bottle of wine, and get
change, but nothing stays the same. They
also proved that you don't have to spend a fortune to taste an acceptable glass
of wine either.
January:Call My Wine
HELP FOR HEROES
is Rachel Luckham. I am a local
Berrynarbor girl and have recently
passed the prestigious Royal Navy Physical Training Instructors Course, a
gruelling 26 week course, and took part in the Passing Out Parade on the 11th
Whilst on the course, I volunteered to
fundraise for Help for Heroes and will now be trekking through the Burmese
jungle and farmland with injured personnel in February 2017. Help for Heroes is a fantastic charity that
helps injured service personnel and their families.
If you would like to sponsor me in my
efforts or just find out more about my fundraising, please visit my just giving
page below. Every penny makes a pound
and every pound makes a difference!
Congratulations Rachel on your
achievement and lots of luck for your February venture. Hopefully readers will sponsor you and we'll
be trekking with you.
of the qualifying Leading Physical Trainers Qualifying Course 62. Rachel is 3rd from left in the middle row.
RURAL REFLECTIONS 77
In my previous article I made reference to a form of therapy
that I use in my work to help people with mental health problems. Now mainstream and, to some perhaps just the
latest craze, Mindfulness has become an effective technique; and if those who are cynical require evidence
then just speak to the people who attend the eight week course I help to run.
The example I use for 'living in the
present moment', the basis of Mindfulness, was a sycamore leaf in the midst of
its autumnal decay and how, having brought it home from a walk, I spent time
studying it. To some this may seem a
futile exercise but not when put into context. For I had received a telephone call from a
friend the previous evening who had got himself into a right pickle - so much so
I spent all of the walk the next morning brooding over his predicament. But for what purpose? After all, no end of worrying on my part was
going to conjure up the right ploughman's, figuratively speaking, to complement
his pickle. More important, however,
was that my fretting led me to miss out on the beautiful autumnal colours
around me - in other words appreciating the present moment. I was
therefore fortunate that the sycamore leaf caught my eye.
But what if I had not been able to go for
a walk? What if say, I had become
poorly overnight? More than likely I
would have chosen to browse through a book, rural in its theme and defined by
pictures, ideally scenes from Exmoor. Not
that I have always been this way. There
was a time when these pages would have been worthy of a mere glance. But
nowadays, just as the sycamore leaf received my undivided consideration, so the
leaf of a page with a countryside view merits my time to the extent that I can
spend an afternoon on this type of book without feeling guilty or regarding the
time spent as unproductive.
Only this morning I was sifting through
the pages of such a book, looking for any one picture that might catch my
attention. The page at which I stopped
had a caption beneath that emphasised the scene's three key components: the River Barle swollen and rapidly flowing
from overnight rain; a dense woodland
stretching from the far bank upon which a sunbeam streamed onto a handful of
trees and enriched their golden colours; and the striking silhouette of a thick tree
trunk in the foreground. Facts
registered, time then to turn the page. Or maybe not. Instead, time to consider the
I initially espied a carpet of pale
brown leaves straddling the near bank, so many I could almost smell the potent
decaying aroma they emit en-masse. Just visible within the trunk were two large
crevices, the higher one boasting deep green foliage stretching claw like into
the early morning air. Moss suffocated
the nearside bank from which two trees rose to embrace dappled sunlight. Here and there, jagged rocks jutted from the
ground to form an uneven and rugged pathway beside the river. The picture denoted a starvation of sunlight
in recent times upon the trees in the foreground, bereft of their leaves and
once again baring their winter coats; and
this in shocking contrast to the density of golden-brown trees beyond the river
where high trees permitted glimpses of a pale blue sky upon the print. A mere peep too of a mossy island in the
middle of the river which in calmer waters would have disclosed a more
hospitable show. I could go on.
However, it is this very going on that
can be dispensed not only to service users in emotional crisis but to all of
us; and the subject matter can be
anything. In cases where I am taking a
duty call at work it could be asking someone to describe their feelings,
emotionally or physically, at that very moment;
or tell me what they can see, hear or smell in as much detail as they can. If they are in a room it may be a picture,
any fabrics, decorative pieces or an ornament which if it is close by they
could hold it and describe how it feels - even better whilst stroking a pet! Alternatively, it may be what they can see
out of a window. A garden plant, a tree
or shrub, any wildlife, the sky or even just traffic and people passing by. Put simply, living in the moment rather than
concerning themselves with the past or future.
Naturally, one might argue that looking
out of a window in the depths of winter may not be ideal advice. Think again. For contrary to the first line of the
Christmas carol, the deep midwinter is not quite as bleak as it may seem. I cite as an example the weeping willow
trees in Bicclescombe Park I used to see from my lounge. Stripped of leaves, their branches bore an
orange glow, pale on bright days but a shocking and burnt shade when dull and
becoming luminous on the darkest of days. Add driving rain and a forceful wind
which violently tossed their branches and it was mesmerising. Once the storm had passed, the lane through
Score Valley would beckon, its air filled with vanilla fragrance induced by the
raindrops that had fallen upon the wintering flowers of heliotrope. Meanwhile
the bare hedgerows were now setting me the challenge of seeking out any
secluded red campion or herb Robert still in flower. An opportunity too for easier bird spotting. Climbing up to St Brannocks
crossing over to the Cairn followed by a further steep climb allowed a stroll
along The Beard path where naked trees revealed once more the woodland floor's
startling nose dive. Reaching Cairn Top, I was in time to see the
winter sun send rays upon linear clouds that in turn reflected a covering of
dusky pink upon the countryside. Looking
to the southeast I was reminded of the breathtaking sunrise watched on the
winter solstice when the frozen ground twinkled with a million stars. To the north, the welsh mountains had been
beautifully draped in earlier snow. The
lack of summer haze had presented me a view deep into Wales; a sight even more astounding on the morning
when its coastline was still visible above a haunting low winter fog that
shrouded the Channel. Nearing home I
then observed a great variety of bird species upon our feeders, all of them
seeking winter fuel having cleared the shelves of their own rural pantries. Finally, back inside with a hot drink and the
dogs slumbering in the heat emitted from the open fire, I admired the unique
outline of each bare branch upon the London plain in the park. Make the most of the season. The rural winter's special offers will end
soon; and it's therapy will not cost you
a penny. Merry Christmas.
CHIVENOR MILITARY WIVES CONCERT
Friday, 4th November, was a special day for Berrynarbor, as
we were treated to a visit by the Chivenor Military Wives for an event that has
been described by Stuart Neale, as the 'most prestigious musical event in the
village'. Many knew that there had been
plans afoot for nearly two years, to secure their participation in a
fund-raising concert. When their music
started, I sat listening to 'Amazing Grace' feeling a bit dazed, almost in
disbelief that they were actually here and realising that my determination had,
finally, finally, borne fruit!
Geoff and I went to a Wives concert in
December 2014, at Woolhanger Manor, in aid of
the Children's Hospice in Barnstaple.
I realised that this well-known choir, formed in Braunton by Gareth
Malone in 2011, had a schedule that was able to include local, charitable
events. During their interval, I asked
them if they would be able to do a concert for us in Berrynarbor as our Manor
Hall was in desperate need of funds. At
the time it was the only needy building, now joined by the church.
I completed an on-line application form
in the following January and waited and waited and waited . . . I won't bore
you with the details as to why it took so long to happen; my first Chivenor events contact moved away to
Bridgwater but retained links with the choir in her official capacity even
though she was coping with a serious close-family illness. Finding a mutually suitable date was a
struggle too; however, it happened, eventually!
On the night, the Wives said that these
local good causes are their favourite events.
They much prefer to sing at these over and above attending prestigious
events such as those in London.
described our welcome as warm; the Penn
Curzon room, their dressing room, was luxury compared to some they've used and
thought our organisation and planning was up there with the best. They loved seeing a packed St Peter's Church
and one Wife, who lives in Pilton, told me that she had described it to her
youngest and they intend to come to our Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
The audience of 200 at the sell-out
concert were treated to a varied programme from the Military Wives, supported
by members of the Village Choir, led by Stuart, along with children from
Berrynarbor Primary School, led by their Music Teacher, Christina Barrow.
Each choir sang their own set pieces,
including wartime melodies, familiar popular songs, as well as those from hit
musicals; the Wives also sang their
signature song 'Wherever You Are' before
all three choirs performed'Joshua Fit the
Battleof Jericho' as a finale.
Rachel Smith, musical director of the
Military Wives described the performance of the School Choir, as
'brilliant'. All 13 children were presented with a
commemorative medal, specially commissioned by Stuart, and inscribed 'I sang
with the Military Wives Choir'.
Some of the Wives and the children had
to go home, but a decorated Manor Hall, filled with the aroma of mulled wine,
hosted a happy, noisy post-concert party for our refreshments. Relaxing and eating with us, many Wives added
that they want to return to Berrynarbor; they would love to do another concert
here, but in the summer, so they can see our beautiful village. Watch
A total of £3,557 was raised during the
evening. The balance, after costs, will
be shared by the Manor Hall and St Peter's Church.
FUCHSIA COTTAGE COFFEE MORNING
We should like to say a huge Thank You to
everyone who came to Fuchsia Cottage for our Coffee Morning on 14th October.
We are delighted to have raised £220
for both the Newsletter and Berry in Bloom and to have had the opportunity for
everyone to raise a glass and celebrate Wendy and her Team of Berry Bloomers
for winning the Gold Award. A special thank you to everyone who donated
cakes and helped with the big pile of washing up!
Maureen and Pat
LOCAL WALK - 159
The heart of Exmoor:
A village and its hill
With its thatched cottages and inn;
ancient packhorse bridge and attractive green at its centre, Winsford is
considered one of the prettiest of Exmoor's villages.
There is a total of seven bridges as
the Winn Brook as well as the River Exe flows through the village. From under one of these bridges darted the
lemon-yellow flash of a grey wagtail.
Nearby stands the solid, four-square
house which was the birth place .in 1881 of Ernest Bevin who was Foreign
Secretary from 1945 until 1951 in the post-war Labour government when he was
instrumental in the formation of NATO.
Earlier in his career he had been a
farm worker, founder of the Transport and General Workers' Union and was the
Minister of Labour during the Second World War.
Beyond the ford over the Winn and occupying
an elevated position is the church of St. Mary Magdalene with its tall
ninety-foot tower, Norman font and Jacobean pulpit.
We were fortunate that our visit
coincided with a lady tending the flowers who pointed out a small remnant of
fourteenth century stained glass depicting the Madonna and Child and showed us
a book which had been compiled with pictures and biographical details of all
the parishioners who had had an involvement in the two World Wars.
She told us about one former Winsford
resident, a psychologist called Doctor Meyer who, at the time of the First
World War, had identified and named the condition 'shell shock' [which we now
know as post-traumatic stress syndrome].
In this way he sought to save the lives of soldiers.
We left the village to climb Winsford
Hill via Spire Cross where we watched a female redstart flitting among stunted
hawthorns; a small, brown, inconspicuous
bird until you notice its brick red tail - the start - which it moves up and
down on perching.
is the Caractucus Stone, amid mauve flowered ling, tormentil and bilberry. Accounts of its age and origin vary [as does
the spelling]. Some guides suggest it
was erected by a local Celtic chieftain during the time when Roman power in Britain
was in decline. The leaflet available
in the church considers the stone to be an early monument to British Christians
pushed westward by Saxon invaders in the fifth century.
Winsford Hill is about a mile
south-west of the village; 1,399 feet
above sea level it provides a 360 degree viewpoint.
On its northern flanks is a deep hollow
known as The Punchbowl. By the trig.
point at its summit are three Bronze Age Barrows, burial chambers called
Wambarrows. Cotton grass and eyebright
grew round about.
A group of ten Exmoor ponies with two foals came over
the brow of the hill, frisky and lively, their manes and forelocks lifting in
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
The autumn weather has been lovely and
certainly drier than usual, but now winter is upon us. The Berry in Bloom group has almost finished
all the tasks for this time of the year, just the hanging baskets to take down
from the shop and centre of the village.
However, at the time of writing they were still going strong as the
weather has been so good.
The GOOD news is that the village has
won Gold again in the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom competition. We have also been awarded a Highly-Commended
Certificate from the C.P.R.E. Well
done, and thank you to everyone involved.
The Coffee Morning hosted by Pat and
Maureen at Fuchsia Cottage raised £220.00 shared between Berry in Bloom and the
Newsletter. Again, thanks to all
Throughout the year we rely on the
support of the village and our next fund raising event is our Annual Fun Quiz
and Supper Evening to be held in the Manor Hall on Friday, 3rd March, with Phil
as our Quiz Master.
Carol Singing in the Square with mulled
wine and mince pies will be on Sunday, 18th December. Normally we ask for donations of wine, but
this year there has been a kind donation of wine left over from the Military
Wives evening in the church - thank you Judith and Stuart and all involved in
that splendid event. Hope to see you at the Quiz.
Bacon and Chestnut
Filo Pastry Rolls
It is always a good idea to get ahead
with some of the Christmas cooking.
These easy and tasty filo rolls can be made and frozen a couple of weeks
before Christmas, ready to bring out with a flourish when needed.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion diced
200g/7oz bacon lardons or your favourite bacon chopped
125g/or approximately 1/2 of a 240g tin of vacuum
packed peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped.
[Freeze the remaining chestnuts in cling film and add
them to your Christmas sprouts.]
75g/3oz chopped dates [NOT the sugar-coated variety]
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
6 sheets of filo pastry [I use fresh, not frozen, filo
pastry from Sainsbury's as you can then freeze the finished product.]
Plain flour for dusting
Cranberry relish or sauce to serve
For the filling gently fry the chopped
onion in the oil until translucent.
Remove the onion to a bowl. Add
the bacon to the oil left in the pan and fry until crispy. Pour off any excess oil and add the onion
back to the pan along with the chopped chestnuts. Fry for a further minute and add the thyme
and chopped dates. Give everything a
good mix then remove the filling to a bowl and cool, then chill in the fridge.
When the filling has chilled, unwrap
the filo pastry ready to use. Keep the
sheets of pastry that you are not using covered with a slightly damp tea towel
to stop it drying out and crumbling.
Lay one sheet of filo on a lightly floured board. Brush with melted butter and fold in half
with the long edges together, so you have a long shape. Repeat with the remaining 5 sheets. Keep covered with the damp tea towel. Divide the filling equally between the 6
sheets leaving a 1cm gap on either side of the filling, fold over the shorter
edge to almost cover the filling, brush with melted butter and then roll each
up like a spring roll.
If you are freezing the rolls to use
later, open freeze them on a tray and then carefully pack in to a plastic
box. Defrost and cook on a baking sheet
lined with baking parchment. Bake for
20 minutes at 180 DegC/fan 160 Deg/gas 4 or bake for 15 minutes from chilled in 2
batches. Drain on kitchen paper
Serve as a starter or snack with
cranberry relish or sauce.
Happy Christmas bakers.
OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 164
Christmas 2016 and New Year 2017
issue I have chosen two Christmas and two New Year Greeting Post Cards. The first postcard was published by Raphael
Tuck & Sons, chromographed in Saxony [Germany]. It shows four young girls as artwork by
Frances Brundage [1854-1937] an American illustrator best known for her
depictions of attractive and endearing children on postcards.
This postcard has an un-split back allowing
only the address to be written on the back and has been sent to 'Miss W Creek
Montebello Local'. The card has a
green, King Edward VII half penny stamp with a squared thimble Ilfracombe
December 1904 postmark.
The second upright view is also
published by Raphael Tuck & Sons and has been photographed in Austria. It shows a charming young lady holding a well-groomed
The first New Year postcard shows a
beautifully dressed young Victorian lady with a fan in front of an ornate
pedestal mirror. This embossed postcard
has been printed in Berlin and has a split back allowing a message as well as
an address and has been published around 1905.
The second needs no explanation! Published by Miller & Laing of Glasgow
under their National Series, this card has a split back with a December 21st
1905 postmark. It is interesting to
note that 'This Space For Inland Colonial and certain Foreign Correspondence,
is printed on the left-hand side of the card.
It has been sent to 'Miss A Passmore Railway Terrace East-the-Water Bideford'.
picture of St. Peter's lych-gate which appeared on Page 5 of the October 2016
issue of the Newsletter, was in fact taken by William Garratt and numbered 49,
and as such was taken c1905. I have one
such card postmarked 1907 ref:136.6.
Tower Cottage, November 2016
MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 66
German Wife of George III, introducer of the Christmas
Tree to England
19th May 1744 - 17th November 1818
In December 2012 I ventured away from
local 'movers' to write about Tom Smith, inventor of the Christmas cracker; in December 2014 it was the turn of Mr. Doyley
and his eponymous doilies. So, in 2016, I don't hesitate to write about the
lady who first introduced the beloved Christmas tree into our country: Queen Charlotte.
I'd always associated Prince Albert with
its introduction, but as you will see, when he imported several spruce firs
from his native Coburg, in Germany, they were already well-known to our
aristocracy. It was only when periodicals
such as the Illustrated London News and The Graphic highlighted the royal
Christmas trees from 1845, and for the next 14 or so years, that the custom was
established in ordinary homes throughout England.
An old story bases another German,
Martin Luther, the religious reformer, on inventing the Christmas tree. He is said to have been walking through a
pine forest near his home in Wittenburg one winter's night in 1536, when he
chanced to look up and could see thousands of stars twinkling through the
foliage. This inspired him to set up a candlelit fir tree in his home that
Christmas to remind his children of the starry heavens and God's presence.
But the first English Christmas tree was
brought in - and decorated by Queen Charlotte and her ladies-in-waiting - to
Windsor Castle for Christmas 1800.
In 1761 and at the age of only 17, she
became the bride of George lll, having known him for only a few hours on the
day she arrived in England. Apparently he chose her because her upbringing had
been in a small north German state, with no knowledge of royalty, and he
quickly told her 'not to meddle' with the affairs of state, to which she gladly
agreed. She spoke no English, so had to
From her home in Mecklenburg-Strelitz,
she brought many of the customs of her childhood, including bringing in a yew
branch for decoration at Christmas. Once
at the Royal Court, the young Queen abandoned the idea of a private ceremony
and made it a public celebration to be enjoyed by family, friends and the Royal
decorated it with the help of her ladies-in-waiting. When all the candles were
alight, the whole court gathered round and sang carols. Then it was
present-giving time from the bough: clothes, jewellery, toys and sweets.
In 1800, however, she created an
enormous sensation. That year she
planned to give a party for all the well-to-do Windsor families. She decided to bring the whole tree instead of
just a bough in to Windsor Castle - and so started a habit that has lasted
until today: our English Christmas tree.
She stood it in the middle of the
drawing room floor and
John Watkins, one of Queen Charlotte's biographers, who was present on this
occasion, gives an 'on the spot' account of the tree
'from the branches of which hung bunches
almonds, raisins in papers, fruits and
toys, most tastefully
arranged; the whole illuminated by small
then adds that
'after the company had walked round and
admired the tree,
each child obtained a portion of the
sweets it bore, together
with a toy, and then all returned home
Immediately Christmas trees became a popular status symbol with the wealthy, where they were the
'stars' of childrens' parties. Any
evergreen tree could be used: pines,
firs, yews or box trees, and all would be lit with wax candles. [I still remember this dangerous practice as
a child!] There would be baubles, trinkets and piles of
presents. Some folk would set the tree
on a table and surround it with a Noah's Ark or with brightly coloured animals
set amongst the presents for extra amusement. It is known from family archives that by
Christmas 1802, George, 2nd Lord Kenyon, bought candles for the tree that he
had set up in his drawing room at Lincoln Inn Fields and in 1804, Frederick, Fifth
Earl of Bristol, set up a tree for his children at his home in Suffolk. Yet it is doubtful if any of these trees
created such pleasure as the first one thoughtfully presented for the children
of Windsor in 1800.
And you can see why Prince Albert was
only following the aristocrats' habits of the previous 45 years.
Of course, Queen Charlotte did much more
than introduce Christmas trees to England during her years on the throne. For one thing, she was a Super Mum, raising 15
children, 13 of whom reached adulthood. And
she believed in women being well educated and gave her daughters a good
education. She was a patroness of the
arts and an amateur botanist who helped expand Kew Gardens. She started many orphanages and also
the General Lying-in Hospital in London to stop it closing. This is now known as the Queen Charlotte and
Chelsea Hospital and is renowned as a centre of excellence in maternity
Her husband was the first of the
George's to be born in England and to speak English. Sadly by 1765, he had a bout of insanity
which the Queen's mother-in-law kept from her.
In 1788 she realised how sick he was and was
terrified and much distressed. His
illness changed her personality. Her temper was violent; she had fits of depression, and no longer
wanted to appear in public. In 1810 George
had a final relapse causing their oldest son to become Prince Regent [later
George IV] and although she continued to care for the King and was his official
guardian, for the last 8 years of her life she became quite scared of him. She died on the 17th November 1818, the
second longest serving consort at 51 years and 70 days [Prince Philip holds the
number one spot]. Her husband. who by now was blind, deaf, lame
and insane died 14 months later aged 81, not realising that she was already
There is no doubt that after Prince
Albert publicised Christmas trees, they reached the 'common people', but we
shouldn't forget that it was Queen Charlotte who introduced them and gave so
much pleasure to children and adults alike.
A Happy Christmas to you all - but
please don't decorate your tree with wax candles this - or any other - year!