ST. PETER'S CHURCH
It was a joy to welcome so many people into church for the
Harvest Festival. The service was led by Rev. Yvonne with
65 adults and 25 children present, including children from the Primary School and
their parents. The choir sang John
Rutter's arrangement of 'All Things Bright and
Beautiful' and the school entertained us with a harvest calypso. The church was beautifully decorated and our
thanks go to the arrangers and those who brought in produce and delicious jam.
After Evensong on the Wednesday, over 30 of us went over to
the Manor Hall to find a tempting buffet waiting. Thank you once again to Doreen Prater who
co-ordinated everything and to the many good cooks and helpers.
The School had held their Harvest Service in the afternoon
and their gifts were brought over ready for the auction. The fresh produce was soon sold by the
ringers and £72 was raised very quickly.
In total, £120 has been sent to WaterAid. A thank you letter has been received saying
our donation will be sent to Ethiopia to help provide safe water to communities
there. It was decided to donate the
large quantity of canned goods to the Freedom Centre in Barnstaple. This haven provides hot meals for the
homeless and needy.
Two further special services have taken place. Firstly the Candle Service on Sunday
afternoon 30th October to remember loved ones.
This moving service was led by Rev. Chris Steed and everyone present
went up to light a candle which was placed on the altar. Then Remembrance
Sunday was commemorated on
the 13th November, the bell ringers ringing a muffled peal. This well-attended service was led by the
Rev. George Billington and we were joined by members of the Parish Council. Wreaths were laid at the War Memorial by the
Chairman and Marion Carter on behalf of St. Peter's. The names of the Fallen were read out and
the Last Post and Reveille were sounded by Ivan Clarke. Afterwards we returned to our pews for the
church service during which the village choir sang the emotive 'Bring Him
Home', The lesson was read by
Councillor Lorna Bowden. The collection
of £177 will go to the Royal British Legion.
A special mention, on
the Friday before the school held their own service in church, placing poems
they had written by the main altar.
These were read by many members of the congregation on the Sunday.
Collections from the Carol Service and on Christmas Eve will
be donated to the Children's Hospice South West. The church will be decorated in time for the
carol service and any donations towards the cost of flowers should be given to
Sue Neale [Tel: 883893].
In the new year the time of services will remain at 11.00
a.m. but the pattern may be changed with Communion on the 2nd and 4th Sundays
in the month, a Family Service on the 1st Sunday and a Village Service or Songs
of Praise on the 3rd Sunday. On Sunday
29th January, the Group Service for North Devon Coast Team will be held in
Berrynarbor. Do come along and fill the
There will be no Friendship Lunch at The Globe in December
and the date for January has yet to be decided.
If anyone has yet to be
confirmed who would like to, please note that in January we shall be collecting
names of candidates. Names to Rev Chris
please in preparation for a confirmation course to start soon for a
Confirmation Service with Bishop Bob on 1st April 2012.
Pastoral Care Team
As of the beginning of
January, pastoral care support will be offered in our communities. The purpose is to offer a listening ear and
support to those in difficulty and need someone to talk to. It could be anxiety, loneliness or some form
of loss - bereavement, relationship breakdown or unemployment that is troubling
them. A group of people from our
parishes have been trained to listen and are prepared to offer up to six weeks
of confidential support. In the first
instance contact our Co-ordinator, Carolyn Gold, on 01598 753921, who is the
point of contact.
Chris Steed 
It was with sadness we learnt, although she had been
suffering from Parkinson's for some years and it was perhaps a happy release,
that Joan had passed away peacefully on the 2nd October, only just over a year
since her husband, Maurice, had died.
Her funeral took place on her 90th birthday.
Joan was born in Milltown, Muddiford - a true Devon born
lass. She married Maurice in 1946 at
Marwood Church and they moved to Brendon where they farmed until 1958 before
moving to Berrynarbor and Sloley Farm.
Joan was a true farmer's wife, keeping the farm running! She enjoyed riding right up until she was 70
and painting, particularly scenes of Exmoor, was a favourite hobby.
When Maurice and Joan retired from farming, they moved into
Little Oaklands, which Maurice had built and where they continued to enjoy life
in the village.
A mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and
great-great-grandmother, Joan will be sadly missed by her daughters Margaret
and Angela and all her family and friends and our thoughts are with them at
this time of sorrow.
Always interested and supportive of our Newsletter, it was
sad to learn that Daphne had passed away suddenly but peacefully on the 7th
October and our thoughts are with her family at this time. As Rev. Chris Steed said at her funeral, we
are all unique, and Daphne was no exception!
A Combe Martin lass through and through, Berrynarbor came a
close second for Daphne as her mother, Evelyn [nee Ley] was born here at
Goosewell, later moving to Orchard House and attending our school. Evelyn's marriage to Bill Challacombe took
place at St. Peter's in 1935.
After leaving school, Daphne's secretarial and
administrative skills were much appreciated first at Combe Martin Secondary
School and then when the local schools amalgamated, at Ilfracombe School and
Community College [now Ilfracombe Arts College] where she stayed until her retirement.
Passionate about all things Combe Martin, she was a founder
member and helped in the setting up of the Combe Martin Museum and for many
years was on the Committee of the Combe Martin Historical Society.
Her dogs were the love of her life, closely followed by her
interest in and support of Manchester United and the adventures of Rupert and
his Nutwood friends.
Daphne will be sadly missed by her family and many friends
tired heart is now at peace'
We were all shocked to learn that Laurel had passed
away suddenly on the 4th November, shortly after visiting the village and
having suffered from ill health for some time.
His funeral took place at St. Peter's on the 11th November, attended by
many of his friends from the village.
A loving and much loved husband, father and grandfather,
Laurel will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with Celia and all the family
at this time of sorrow.
Betty and her husband Bernard, who died in September
2000, moved to Goosewell in 1986, having spent many years at Lee where Bernard
managed the Lee Bay Hotel. They both
had a long and very happy association with Arlington Court, working and
volunteering there for well over twenty years.
When Bernard died, Betty moved to North Yorkshire to be
nearer her son Bernie, but has kept in touch as a reader of our Newsletter.
It was, therefore, with sadness that we heard she had passed
away and our thoughts are with Bernie and his family and her friends at Robin
Hood's Bay and her family and many friends here in Ilfracombe and North Devon.
Betty's funeral will take place on the 2nd December, but
there will be a short service in the Chapel at Ilfracombe Cemetery on the 19th
December at 11 o'clock
BEEF FOR CHRISTMAS
Not being over fond of the traditional turkey, we thought
this year we'd support the local farmers and treat ourselves to a prime cut of
Devon Ruby Red beef.
I thought you might be interested in the following extract
from 'A History of North Devon' written by the Rev. Richard Polwhele in 1797.
"Whether the famous breed of cattle in the North of Devon
are indigenous or not, is not easy to determine. They are in many respects superior to any
other breed in the kingdom, and those around South Molton, North Molton and
Barnstaple excel most other in the North of Devon. These are the finest bullocks in Smithfield
markets. They are a very healthy breed
and easily fed. They are fleshy with
small bones and they bear the best weight on the most faleable parts. They are cherry colour or bright red.
"Farmers chuse to breed only one colour and are as
particular in the points of a bullock as those of a horse. A small defect or disproportionate horn will
depreciate a bullock twenty shillings.
"Here breeding bullocks are the farmers chief dependence,
which they generally part with at about 4 yrs old, about half fat, when the
Somerset graziers come down and buy them, work them for two years or three,
then fat, drive them to London.
"Numbers of bulls are bought at a high price and sent even
to Jamaica. A heifer was bought lately
for 30 guineas."
Ivan and Bill Huxtable were the third generation to breed
Red Devons at Woolscott, following their father Jimmy and grandfather
Alfred. Bill says the Woolscott herd
would be housed during the winter and fed home grown swedes, rolled barley and
hay with a supplement of essential minerals.
In the spring they were turned out to 'green pastures' in the Sterridge
water meadows. The bullocks were sold
at 2-21/2 years and the heifers at 12 months at Hatherly Market.
Sadly it is difficult to find a Devon bullock in a field in
the Parish today.
Lorna and Bill
The photographs show some of the Woolscott herd in Venture
Meadow, so named in the Estate Sale of the 1920's. I love the use of natural resources in the
unique gate post.
These meadows, hedged with stone walls from Woolscott Quarry
are a feature of the Sterridge Valley from Harpers Mill to Barn Cottage. Sadly, from neglect, they are disappearing
in places. Bill says the meadows were
rich in nature's herbs and were excellent for fattening bullocks. L.
Ivan and Bill Huxtable's Red North Devons.
Sterridge Meadow Bountice Lane
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR -
TOO SMALL TO FAIL . . . .
Do you think Christmas is all it's cracked up to be? It
may be that if you are over a certain age, nostalgia for the ghost of Christmas
past brings a rush of pleasant memories but there is little cheer at the
moment. Having young children around
you as parents or grandparents or having a jolly good nosh is great fun and
lights up our lives of course. For many
people sadly, Christmas brings past or present experiences of family rifts,
loneliness or the passing of someone we loved which will drain the colour from
the way we see tree and tinsel. For me,
although busy, there is still something special about Christmas Day and what
goes with it.
Plus there is a message at the heart of Christmas we can so
easily forget - often because we think we have heard it all before and
familiarity brings not so much contempt as indifference. But the explosive impact of God becoming a
fully paid up member of the human race and dying in our place has lost none of
its ancient power for those who open themselves profoundly to it.
As I write, the world is aflame. The financial system teeters on the brink of
meltdown; there are convulsions in the
Middle East and demonstrations and protests in the West about greed, pensions
and spending cuts. Unemployment is
rising; a full throttle banking crisis
is a distinct possibility and we are sliding into what they call 'moral
hazard'; that there are incentives for
success amongst financial institutions but no penalties for failure. Once again, judgements may have to be made
about whether banks are too big to fail.
There is not much hope to go round.
Against that gloomy background, consider the Christ-child,
the focus of God's mission to save the world from itself. If there is anything to this Christmas
message it is that here is God inserting himself into the folds of history, not
as a mighty warrior righting all the wrongs, but as a baby. This intervention was too small to
fail. Delicate and vulnerable though it
was, what this baby came to bring could not be overcome. I thought of that because as the whole world
knows, I became a grandpa this year for the first time. A tiny baby, cradled with love and fragility
- how can this be any kind of answer to what is going wrong with the
world. But babies grow - that's what
they do! To hear some talk about
Christmas and to take a glance at cards and carols, you could be forgiven for
thinking that Jesus remained as a baby!
Think again: the babe of
Bethlehem became the man of Calvary!
So amidst all that seems a denial of hope in a world aflame,
why not pop to church this Christmas, catch up with carols and special services
that are being arranged? As we soak up
the atmosphere though, let's not allow the cosy familiarity to deny us a chance
to respond to the living God who came to relieve the heavy weights we carry
inside by taking them on himself.
I wish you a warm glowing Christmas and a new
Genetic fingerprinting was first discovered at Leicester
University in 1985.
was the first police force in the world to use genetic fingerprinting for
criminal detection in the case of Colin Pitchfork who appeared at Leicester
Crown court in 1987, charged with the murder of two school-girls. Pitchfork became the first murderer in the
world to be convicted on the evidence of genetic fingerprinting.
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled
our stockings at Christmas time. G.K.
Chesterton once said - Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings
Great Thinker and Inventor
'Opportunity is missed by most people
because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work' -
A thought to ponder?
The Isle of Wight, almost
an England in miniature, has for a long time been a retreat for troubled royals
trying to get away from their cares and problems on the mainland. In the 11th century, Odo, half-brother to
William the Conqueror, having been accused of treasonable acts, sought
sanctuary at Carisbrooke Castle, but was caught and arrested by William
In 1647, Charles I fled to
the Isle of Wight hoping that the Governor, Colonel Robert Instead,
Hammond imprisoned the King in Carisbrooke Castle. Charles tried to escape by climbing out of a
window and sliding down a rope, but was caught after becoming wedged in the
window bars. He was kept there until
1648 when he was taken away to await his execution at Whitehall on 30th January
1649.Hammond, would assist him
in getting away to France.
Charles I's daughter, Princess
Elizabeth, born in 1635, was sent to Carrisbrooke Castle by Parliament after
her father's execution. She died there,
of a fever, aged just 14, and was buried by the altar in the church at Newport,
where her grave was marked by a simple ES.
In 1865, Queen Victoria restored the grave from obscurity and erected a
monument in her ancestor's memory.
Queen Victoria herself retired to
Osborne House on the Isle of Wight after the death of Prince Albert and spent
much of her time there. She died at
Osborne House in 1901.
Went Too Fast
On 28th January 1896, Walter Arnold of East Peckham, near
Tonbridge, Kent, became the first motorist ever to be convicted of
speeding. On 20th January, he was
spotted by the local police constable doing 8 m.p.h. in a built-up area of
Paddock Wood, where the speed limit was 2 m.p.h. The police constable, who was having his
dinner at the time, selflessly abandoned his pork chop, grabbed his helmet,
mounted his bicycle and gave chase. He
eventually managed to overtake and flag down the felon after a breathless
pursuit of some 5 miles.
Arnold appeared before magistrates at
Tonbridge Police Court and was charged one shilling plus costs for the
outrage. Walter Arnold, however, was
undeterred and he went on to become the first man in Britain to manufacture
petrol-driven motor cars. The Arnold
Motor Carriage Company of East Peckham,
Kent, salesmen for Benz cars since 1894, manufactured an Arnold motor, based on
the Benz design, but with many innovations, in August 1896, the first
petrol-driven car ever manufactured for sale in England. Called an Adam, it was also the first car in
the world to have an electric self-starter.
DIGITAL TV PROBLEMS
about to get on the case again regarding poor digital TV reception. On my return from a trip abroad during
September and October, a couple of people in the village informed me of the
poor reception suffered during my absence.
In the April
newsletter this year I gave an account of the situation to that date and
published the letter from Peter Madry, Head of Television Technical Regulation,
which contained a lot of explanation and advice and contact numbers. For example the BBC's Television and Radio
Investigation Service can be contacted on 03700 100 123 or email email@example.com.
I have found that better
progress can be made in fighting a cause if it is done as a community rather
than as individuals, but for this I need information. So, if you have a problem with television
reception it is essential that you keep a record of date, time,
duration and description of the event and which TV channels were affected,
plus your name and address. Also which
Freeview channels you can't receive. Keep
records for the next 2 months, then pass them to me at Whitecote, 33, Pitt
Hill, Berrynarbor or email firstname.lastname@example.org My telephone number is 01271 882445. This is
the evidence we need to prove our case.
Meanwhile I'll start
nagging the relative authorities again and contact neighbouring villages so we
can unite further if necessary. When I
have the evidence and facts from you I can go further and even contact our MP.
So if you are affected by this matter, please let me know and help me do
something about it.
FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE
Not many more days to Christmas. As a friend said to me recently, "It's
hardly worth putting the decorations back up in the loft these days!"
But stay! Our Shop has loads of ideas for Christmas,
and soon there will be order forms for meat, fruit and vegetables, milk and
cream, cakes and puddings [if you've not made your own!]. In other words, all things to take the
stress out of the celebrations and leave you time to enjoy the fun.
As in past years, our Primary School
pupils are entering a competition to produce a picture of 'Our Shop at
Christmas' in paints, drawings or collage, to be judged again by Peter
Rothwell. Hopefully there will be a
photo in the North Devon Journal, and the prize winners' pictures displayed in
our Shop, so do come and see them.
For Christmas and New Year opening
times, please check in the shop. There
are two magnificent hampers to be raffled before Christmas, so get your tickets
now - a £1 each.
Anita and Deb have done a splendid job
again this year, providing us with loads of interesting ways to spend money and
we thank them very heartily. Thanks are also due to you, our customers, for
supporting the shop. Without you, the village would be a poorer place.
We wish you all a Happy Christmas and a
healthy New Year! PP
On 17th September we truly had the most memorable wedding
day. We were so happy to be surrounded
by all our family and friends and it made it even more special to get married
in Berrynarbor, a place and community for which we have great affection. We have been overwhelmed by the support and
kindness we received and thank you to all our Berrynarbor and Sterridge Valley
friends for playing an important part in the day.
With wonderful memories of the wedding and celebrations, we
left one beautiful place and set off for another. We started our honeymoon in a car heavily
decorated with balloons, tin cans and a 'Just Married' sign, by travelling to
Heathrow. After a ten hour flight, a
half an hour sea plane trip and then a short boat trip, we were on a beautiful
tropical island in the Maldives on the equator! We stayed in a water villa for six nights
and spent our time relaxing on white coral beaches, snorkelling and
diving. We saw crabs, bats, dolphins,
sting rays, manta rays, lizards, turtles, octopus, clams and many pretty,
colourful fish. We could quite easily
stayed there longer but we had more adventures to come after a short hop across
the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka.
We had hoped to see some elephants in the wild and our dream
came true when we visited Minneriya Park where over 100 elephants had migrated
down from the north to drink water from a centuries old tank [their name for
reservoir]. We were spoilt at our
luxurious hotels and our knowledgeable driver took us through spectacular
scenery to visit the island's main attractions. We stopped at a spice garden and a tea
plantation and saw various ruins, which helped to learn some of Sri Lanka's
rich and varied history. We arranged an
elephant ride, complete with getting soaked by it
in the river, an experience that we'll always remember! En route there were plenty of photo
opportunities and we snapped kingfishers, monkeys and temples. This was all thirsty work so the road side coconut
and fruit stalls were very convenient.
When purchasing a king coconut, the stall holder would open it with a
few skilled swipes of a machete allowing us to drink the milk through bamboo
Another highlight of the trip was a morning at Pinnawala
elephant orphanage where we fed a baby elephant milk from a bottle and watched
the elephants take a bath in the river.
All too soon it was time to come home, but the wedding and
honeymoon will stay with us as wonderful lifetime memories.
Karen [nee Sayer] and Nick
Congratulations Karen and
Nick on your marriage, we send our best wishes for your future health and
happiness together and thank you for sharing your wonderful wedding and
FOLLOWING ON FROM EARLIER
ISSUES . . .
Bourne [Movers and Shakers, August 2011]
In her article, Pam says that 'it must
take a lot of moving and shaking to have one's obituary in the Daily
Telegraph', but our Local Walker tells us that she was also included in Radio
4's obituary programme, which only features 4 or 5 lives each week, drawn from
all over the world.
The North Devon Journal reported at the end of September
that Hope had left a legacy of £28,000 to her beloved Exmoor. She was once an executive member of the
Exmoor Society who say that the surprise legacy will be used to promote and
protect Exmoor. They have recently
published, Jael, a manuscript novel, the only one Hope wrote.
Rowes - Of This and That . . . [October 2011]
The Rowe family were long settled in BerryNarbor from
the time Church Records began in the 1540's.
I presume they gave their name to the farm. John Willis was farming here about
1830-60. He was followed by Joseph
Bowden and his wife Mary, nee Richards, from Moules Farm. They were Michael's great grandparents. William Henry Huxtable must have followed
The 1841 Census records William Henry Huxtable aged one
year, the son of Maria and William Huxtable of Berry Down - master carpenter.
Four of Joseph's sons went on to farm - William at South
Lee, Samuel at Ruggaton, James at Ettiford and later Higher Rowes [sometimes
known as Commons] and Joseph at Dudlands.
Samuel, James and Joseph retired in the 1920's and built the properties
under Rock Hill, i.e. Rockton, Wood Park and Glamis [in honour of the Queen
Mother], now The Retreat.
[Would they, or Alice,
recognise it now?!]
Joseph Bowden senior was born at Court Barton [Home Barton],
so named because it was the home farm to The Old Court = BerryNarbor
Manor. The land included the whole west
side of Barton Lane down to the churchyard and the Lower Birdswell meadows down
to the Mill land. Joseph's parents were
John and Sarah Bowden. John's parents
were Edward and Tamasin Bowden, married 1702.
The Bowden family have been farming in Berrynarbor since
Church Records began. Many were Parish
Clerks. Some took the name Clerk as
their surname, e.g. Nichols Clerk alias Bowden. The earliest record I have found is Walter
and Thomas Bodyn in the 12th Century at Upcott on our Parish boundary with
Lorna - for Roslyn
Shoreline [October 2011]
In her article, Yvonne mentions her friend Jim to whom she
had sent a copy of the Newsletter. So
it was lovely to hear from Jim himself who writes:
There is something I should love to add to Yvonne's lovely
piece on the Berrynarbor Shoreline which is that I was there with the new love
of my life, Audrey. We had met late in
life, in our late 40's, and were really looking forward to a special holiday
far from the madness that was London at that time.
Having driven down
after the London bombings, the very first thing we saw from the beach were the
dolphins. We were then treated to
kestrels, buzzards, peregrine falcons, stunning views of Little Hangman from
Yvonne's garden, glorious sunrises and then on the 21st July, the most stunning
sunset which we sat and watched while sipping a very nice glass of chilled
white wine. I just couldn't help
myself, I dropped on one knee and proposed!
Thankfully she was kind enough to accept and we have had a wonderful
So, Berrynarbor and Yvonne have played a major life changing
role in our lives and we shall never forget that fabulous two weeks spent at
Rope's End. We shall also never forget
that we made friends with one of the nicest people one could ever wish to meet. Thank you Yvonne!
Yvonne must be unique in that there cannot be too many
people who have had relative strangers propose marriage in their garden!
The photograph of the sunset still hangs on our wall for all
in the Sterridge Valley [April 2011]
The Photograph of the flock of sheep being driven up the
Sterridge Valley shows Lyster Bowden and his sister Marjory [Hobbs]. Lyster was James Bowden's son and he farmed
at Sloley and Higher Rowes. The photo
was probably taken during the War, 1939-45.
As Marjory's husband George was serving in the Army, she worked with her
brother on the farms
Had the flock been 5 x larger, it would
have been Denzil Rice bringing them home to Stowford from winter grazing at the
golf course. They always rode ponies.
In the August issue we said
a sad farewell to Alice. This
photograph of her wedding to Len at Combe Martin church in 1948 shows the happy
couple with Best Man Bob Richards and bridesmaid Doreen Spear [left], Len's
sister. But who is the other
Tony Beauclerk's stories, often set in Berrynarbor and
roundabout, should be taken with a pinch of salt! The characters are usually fictional but
some of the events may have actually happened!
The mention of spells and strange happenings brought a
family story to mind for Lorna. In her
Berry Capers [June 2009], Marlene mentions a Tilly Delbridge. Lorna tells us that Tilly lived at Rectory
Cottage when her grandfather was a young man.
She was gifted with healing skills and people would go to her with their
ailments. Whether she was 'hands on' is
not known, but she did supply homemade herbal balms and medicines.
WEATHER OR NOT
The long awaited heat wave arrived at the end of September when
the temperature soared to 25 Deg C on the 29th, which made it one of the warmest
days of the year although it was not unusual for the month. The lowest temperature was 7.8 Deg C. It was a windy month with strong winds or
gale warnings on many days and we recorded a maximum wind gust of 32 knots on
the 12th. The total rain for the month
was 112 mm [41/2"] which made it one of our wettest Septembers; correspondingly,
the sunshine hours of 108.19 were down on the average.
We enjoyed a mixed bag of weather in October starting with
the continuation of the heat wave with a maximum temperature for the month of
25.5 Deg C on the 1st, which was the second highest temperature for the year behind
26.9 Deg C in June. On the 3rd the weather
broke in the middle of the day and a period of damp, drizzly weather set in
until the middle of the month when the temperature dropped away with overnight
lows in single figures. The minimum
temperature was 4.1 Deg C at 0330 on the 29th.
The total rain for the month was 119mm [4¾"], on the low side for the
month. We were fortunate on the 29th
when there was flooding in Cornwall that we only had 8mm [5/16"] but on the
31st it started to rain about 7.00 p.m. and in two hours we recorded 18mm
strongest gust of wind was 28 knots here in the Valley on the
17th. The sunshine hours of 66.94 were
among the highest that had been recorded for an October. So far we haven't heard of any warnings of
imminent severe weather - we'll just keep our fingers crossed!
Happy Christmas to you all.
Will it be a white one?
Simon and Sue
BERRYNARBOR MEN'S INSTITUTE
The Men's Institute held
their Annual Presentation Dinner at The Globe at the end of October - an event
enjoyed by everyone present. Special
thanks to the Globe management and staff.
The Chairman, Tony Summers, presented prizes to the
following Snooker players:
Handicap Singles Kevin Brooks
Gerry Marangone Bob Hobson
Kevin Brooks Tony Summers
Clarke/Brian Draper Keith Walls/Jim Constantine
Summer League Brian Draper Kevin Brooks
Highest Break Gerry Marangone 
4 Comp Phil
Brown/Maurice Draper/Greg Clarke/Jim Constantine
2 Comp Ivan Clarke/Kevin Brooks
John Huxtable - President
Congratulations and best
wishes to John who has been a member of the Institute for 60 years!
THE GOLDEN LIMPET
Another Story for the Young
and Young at Heart
You may remember our mermaid Marina who with her friend
Peter, the Devon Pixie, rescued a locket from the waters of Combe Martin and
returned it to an old lady on her birthday.
Well, Marina was sitting at the water's edge at Broadsands
when up popped her friend Mary, another mermaid.
"Hello Mary, I haven't seen you for a long time, where have
you been?" chirped Marina.
"Well, I've relatives at Swansea so I've been spending a lot
of time over there," replied Mary.
"Anyway, I've something to tell you.
I called in at King Neptune's Castle - you know, near Lundy Island. He still looks the same, with his long white
beard and that long coat made of seaweed and feathers. He was a bit upset and asked if you would go
and see him as he felt you might be able to help him."
"I wonder what?" questioned Marina.
The next day she began her long swim to King Neptune's
castle. She knew it was a long swim and
wondered if she would ever get there.
There was no need for her to worry, King Neptune had arranged for seals
and dolphins to give her a ride on their backs at intervals along the journey.
In no time at all Marina arrived at the castle, was invited
in and was soon talking to the King.
"It was those wretched jelly fish, they stole the golden
limpet from the top of my throne." he
told Marina, "I would like you please to try to get it back. I am asking you because I know you can swim
very deep down."
Marina looked puzzled.
"Tell me more," she said.
"The jelly fish swam a long way until they accidently
dropped the limpet into a deep and large hole in the sea bed just off Heddon's
It is said that submarines
used to lurk there at times, but I don't know if that is true. Do you think you can help me?"
"If I can have the help of the seals and dolphins again
"Of course you can and good luck!" The king smiled.
The next day Marina started her long swim. Taking rides on the backs of the seals and
dolphins, and avoiding the nasty sharks, she eventually arrived at Heddon's
Mouth and knew that this would be the deepest dive of her life.
Down, down she went.
The water was getting darker and it was harder to breathe.
"But there," she thought, "is a tiny glimmer." She swam towards it and the glimmer got
stronger. "That's it!" she said to
herself and grabbed the golden limpet in her right hand. Up to the surface she went as quickly as
Two seals were waiting to help her return to the King's
castle. At first they kept quite near
the shore, passing Hangman's beach, Combe Martin, Broadsands, Watermouth, Hele
and heading out towards Lundy Island once they were near Ilfracombe.
Soon she was back at the castle and greeted by the King.
"You are a wonderful mermaid!" he exclaimed, holding the golden
limpet in his hand. "It will be put
back in its rightful place on the top of the throne as soon as possible. Now my dear, you must get some sleep and I
will send you back to Broadsands tomorrow."
The next morning the King told Marina that she would not
need the seals or dolphins as there was a special coach waiting for her.
He led her down the steps of the castle and there it
was. A beautiful coach studded with
pearls and with ten sea horses to pull it.
What a wonderful way to go home and soon she was on her way.
But what a surprise when she arrived back. There was Mary and lots of their mermaid
friends, together with Peter the Pixie and some of his friends.
And there on a large flat rock was a banquet for them -
oysters, scallops, mussels , winkles, whelks and a seaweed which was Marina's
favourite - what a welcome back!
A happier scene it would be hard to imagine.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
Illustrations by Debbie Cook
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
Women... but no song!
2011-12 season began in a 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness', as our
first presentation was in October. It
was a good start, as Majestic of Barnstaple's Manager, Paul Firman, introduced
us to a few of their 'Chenin Blanc and New Wave Spain' wines.
Wine Warehouse is the 'UK's biggest and best retailer specialising in sales of
wine by the mixed case'. They were
founded in 1980 and now have over 160 stores throughout the Kingdom. 2011 has been a bumper year for them as they
collected the overall Merchant of the Year award at the International Wine
Challenge, as well as receiving the Decanter High Street Chain of the
Year. As a company, I suspect that they
would expect all of their staff to know more than their main competitors, i.e.
the supermarkets, as suppliers like Taylors, of Port fame, do tastings' trips
in order to educate Majestic staff.
prices were 'subject to buying 2 bottles of the same wine as part of a mixed
case of 6'. Our first was the cheapest
at £9.99 and our last was the dearest at £14.99.
evening's tastings began, typically, with a white, a 2009 Vouvray from the
Loire, which, if kept in optimum conditions, could be served up in 2031! Oher Chenin wines were from the famous South
African wine-growing region of Stellenbosch, with the final sampling of the
evening again from the Loire, but this was a dessert wine.
Spanish selection was intense... complex and structured, reds, with colours of
blackcurrants or blackberries, plums and cherries: a liquid fruit bowl! They were 'rich' too and would have made
great mates with 'game, charcuterie' or 'cow'!
South Africa: stunning scenery sits under blue skies
and hot sunshine. It's hardly
surprising that the climate of this big country makes it a well-known wine
producer, but it is its Western Cape that is the place for its vineyards.
These cluster around Cape Town and its beautiful coastline and head
north beyond Lambert's Bay and south and east ending at Plettenberg Bay.
Tony Summers with Majestic's help produced three whites and three reds for our
November meeting. The Bellingham
Homestead, close to Fransschhoek regarded as the dining capital of South
Africa, was built in 1693. It is a
National Monument and the home of Bellingham Wines. They provided our first and last: a white
Viognier and a red Pinotage. The white
was fruity but regarded by some as 'wincey', but their red Bush Vine had
sediment, a sign of quality and was regarded as excellent.
is another late 17th century estate;
we sampled one of their 'hand-picked' whites. Only one member present had heard of the
Roussanne grape, perhaps unsurprising, as it has been stated that it 'ought to
be extinct'! Its yields are irregular;
it has little resistance to mildew and rot and is easily damaged by wind and
drought. It was 14.5%, high for a white,
but it was good that its producers couldn't hear our verdict: not worth
Prices for our evening's selection began at £6.99 for a
Porcupine Ridge red and the £13.99 was our dearest. Six wines: a small sample from South Africa's
wine region, but they provided another interesting, convivial evening.
December meeting is our Christmas gathering, where the tables groan under
buffet food and it's all washed down with another six wines. As seating and feeding have to be organised
for this gathering, if you would like to join the Circle on Wednesday December
14th, please contact Tony Summers, 883600, or Jill McCrae on
Adam - Promotional Co-ordinator
CONGRATULATIONS - 100 YEARS
Local resident Joyce Clay, from Lee Lodge, celebrated her
100th birthday in style at the beginning of November, inviting over
100 guests to join her at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel for a splendid buffet
Organised by her eldest son, Bob, this
was the largest gathering of the family to take place in years, and spanned
four generations. Joyce's daughter,
Vanessa, flew in from South Africa, accompanied by her eldest son, and other
family members travelled from France and other parts of the UK to be there to
celebrate with her. Scores of local
friends and carers swelled the numbers.
Although less mobile than she was, Joyce enjoys getting out,
regularly playing bridge and attending lunch club, as well as keeping in touch
as best as she can with the many friends she has made in over thirty years of
living in the area.
The gathering all but filled the splendidly decorated
ballroom at the Woolacombe Bay, and the informal arrangements enabled everyone
to have at least a brief word with Joyce while enjoying delicious food and good
company. Surrounded by her many gifts
and cards (including one prominent one from Buckingham Palace!) and a continual
huddle of well-wishers at her side, Joyce seemed utterly thrilled by the whole
After cutting a huge cake with 100 candles (blown out for
her by her great-grandchildren) while everyone sang "Happy Birthday!", Joyce
thanked everyone for coming and making it all so wonderful for her.
And we all send you our congratulations, Joyce, very best
wishes and many happy returns.
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY
We have had a busy Autumn Term. Our Wild Night Out proved to be a very soggy
one; however, the children still managed
to have a great time. The whole school
are currently taking part in swimming on Monday mornings.
We have just completed our Inspire Mornings when parents or
carers are able to spend the morning alongside their child. We have received positive feedback and are
looking forward to holding more in the Summer Term.
Our Christingle Service will be held on Thursday, 1st
December, at the Church. Family and
friends are very welcome. The service starts
at 2.15 p.m. Classes 1 and 2 will be
performing their Nativity on Thursday,
8th December and again
family and friends are welcome at the Church at 10.00 a.m.
Our Annual Senior Dudes meal will be taking place on Monday,
12th December. This is open to the grandparents of the
children and the older members of the community. There will be a sheet in the Shop and Post
Office for those wanting to attend to sign.
Finally, our Christmas Carol Service will be held on Friday,
16th December at 2.00 p.m. We hope that you will be able to join us for
We should like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year from all at Berrynarbor Primary School.
Su Carey - Headteacher
REPORT FROM THE PARISH
The Budget for 2012/13 has been set with the Precept being
unaltered. Tenders for work on Parish Council assets around the village
have been awarded to Gary Songhurst, Terry Squire and Chris Townsend.
Parish Councillors have sent a letter of no confidence in
the Planning Department of North Devon Council. As a result, District
Councillor Mrs Julia Clark has
arranged a meeting between Councillors and Mike Kelly, Planning
Manager and Bob Pedlar, Senior Planning Officer, to discuss a number of issues
with which Councillors are concerned.
Berrynarbor is one of 11 villages to be selected for the
Pilot Phase to participate in the Devon Active Villages programme. The
Co-ordinator is attending the December Meeting to give more details and
parishioners will be very welcome to come along and hear more for themselves.
Each village in the pilot has the opportunity to receive up to £3,500 of
funding to deliver a variety of sports opportunities for the community which
Councillors have welcomed.
Councillor Clive Richards has been appointed as the Parish
Snow Warden under Devon County Council's Snow Warden Scheme. He has
received training and as a result the Parish will get 5 tonne of grit salt to
help keep the roads clear. At the
November Parish Council Meeting, Councillors agreed to purchase additional salt
which Clive will bag up for purchase by parishioners for use at their
properties. Please look out for signs giving more details. The grit salt provided by Devon County Council
is to ensure the highways are kept as clear as possible and not for individual
drives and pathways.
The Police ask people to keep their eyes open for any
suspicious behaviour and to report this immediately on the new 101 Police
number, or 999 if the matter is urgent. Metal thefts are occurring, as
are quad bikes from farms and with the run up to Christmas coupled with the
dark evenings, it is important that properties, sheds, garages and vehicles are
secured with nothing on display to attract the attention of a thief.
The Parish Councillors and Clerk would like to take this
opportunity of wishing everyone a Happy Christmas with peace, health and
happiness in 2012.
Squire, Parish Clerk
[Tel: 01598 710526]
101 is the number to call
when you want to contact your local police, call it when the matter is less
urgent than a 999 call. 101 is
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and replaces 08452 777444. You should continue to call 999 when it is
an emergency, when a crime is in progress or if there is danger to life or when
violence is being used or threatened.
Calls will cost 15p per call, no matter what time of day or how long the
call, and will be answered by call handlers in the control room of the local
OLD BERRYNARBOR NO. 134
Berrynarbor Home Guard
During the last war, 1939-1945, Berrynarbor had a very
strong Home Guard Contingent and this postcard picture was taken some time
between 1940 and 1945. As can be seen,
there are 38 members present for this picture taken outside the Manor Hall and
fortunately I took their names down many years ago. I do, however, accept that it is possible
there could be mistakes and should welcome any known corrections.
From left to right we have:
Reg Huxtable, Fred Ley, Ron Toms, Fred Spear,
Gordon Newton, Alf Leworthy, Alf Brooks, Jack
Jewell, ? Osborne,
Bert Kiff and Bob Lanston
Reg Ley, John Howells, Lewis Smith, Albert
Richards, Ivor Richards,
Eddie Priest, Leonard Dummett, John Vallance,
Dick Floyd and Percy Altree
Brian Richards, Stan Harding, Parky Smith,
Sid Dummett, Sgt. Newman,
Commander Peacher, Claude Richards [Senior],
Percy Thorne and Gordon Bowen
Claude Richards, Steve Brookman, Jim Floyde,
Ken Huxtable and
I covered this subject back in October 1996 [Newsletter No.
44] when I showed a picture of the Contingent circa 1940 when they only
numbered 29 members.
Sadly, as I write this article on the 11th November, and
having visited Ron Toms at South Lee Lodge, I am able to report that of all 39
members shown, only Ron, Reg Ley and John Howells remain with us at this time.
Ron was able to tell me that the picture was taken around
1944. He said that once a week, having
finished his farm work, he would meet up at around 7 o'clock with five other
Berrynarbor Home Guard members to be taken to what was the Kingston Hall, Combe
Martin, owned by
Percy Norman. As well as being in their uniform, they
would have loaded rifles and take sandwiches with them for an almost 12 hour
overnight stint 'guarding' Combe Martin.
In pairs they would take turns marching up through Combe Martin to
beyond the London Inn before returning to the Kingston Hall. In between such stints they would grab a few
hours' sleep. Around 6.30 a.m., all six
members would walk back down to somewhere near the Royal Marine at Seaside
before being driven back to Berrynarbor.
During their time in Combe Martin they would often hear
enemy 'planes going over to Swansea where they would drop their bombs before
returning to France where the Germans had their airfields.
Ron says that the most memorable occasion was when there was
a large gorse fire between Holdstone Down and Great Hangman when the entire
contingent had to walk all the way up to the source of the fire and attempt to
put it out with the fire beaters they had carried up with them. Having worked all night long, they would
again have to walk back to Seaside before being driven back to
Berrynarbor. Sometimes they would be
driven up to Berry Down and dropped off when they were expected to walk down in
the direction of Sandy Cover going across the fields rather than using the
roads! Once a month, there would be a
Sunday Parade around the village in full kit and carrying their rifles on their
My thanks to Ron and if there is anyone who can give me
further information, I should be very grateful to hear from you.
Tower Cottage, November
MANOR HALL MATTERS
We're pleased to report that Natalie Stanbury is set
to join our Committee and represent the interests of the much younger
generation in Berrynarbor - both the Pre-School [our major User Group, now
taking seven half-day sessions each term week] and also the Toddlers. Also, to report that our decorating
work in the rear passages and toilet areas to the left of the stage are now
complete after week-end working to minimise any disruptions.
We should now like to see the Bassett Room area freshened with a lick of
paint and believe that this might be possible in the New Year with a small team
of volunteers giving perhaps a couple of 3 hour time slots . . . if anyone has
time and is interested in helping, then please let us know.
By popular request, we
shall be offering a Christmas Card Distribution service again this December,
and with the help of our friends in the Shop, we'll see where we might best site the
Collection Box. This will be available
up until Friday 16th December. Please,
please be generous with your donations again, which we plan to channel
into a Roof Restoration fund, with added support from Parish Council and
grant possibilities from other sources.
village get-together in the Hall at Christmas has been a regular feature in our
calendar, and 2011 is to be no exception.
Put Saturday morning.. December 17th in the diary for a Coffee Morning
in the Hall and come along at 10.30 a.m. to meet friends, sing carols, win
raffle prizes and more!! Please
put all your Christmas Cards for the Village Distribution in the box well in
advance of this date , so 99.9% of "sorting" can be done ahead
of Coffee Morning. There will be no
charge for this event, but generous donations are always welcome!
Looking ahead to next year, like us, you'll be aware that 2012
is both Olympic Year, and also our Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Currently to our knowledge, there are no
plans in place for Village Celebrations for one or other or both events, but we
should be happy to make the Hall available for a first planning meeting if
anyone is interested in kick-starting a Jubilee Event or an Olympic 2012
Activity. Let us know!
Best Wishes and Seasonal
Greetings to All
Trinder and Your Manor Hall Committee
AND SHAKERS NO. 36
Born 260/280; died 6 December 343
Saint of children, students, sailors and voyagers, innocent prisoners, cities
[including Liverpool and Aberdeen] Russia and several European countries
If you have visited Turkey's southern
shores, you may have been to Demre [formerly Myra] in Anatolia. This used to be part of Greece, was home to
St Nicholas and where he became bishop of the church, without first practising
as deacon or priest . . but more of that
People sometimes think that ancient
saints are the stuff of legends and imagination, but St Nicholas was very much
a real person.
He was the only
son of wealthy Christian parents who lived under Greek rule in Asia Minor. Born towards the end of the 3rd Century in
Patara, a village just 40 miles west of Demre, he had a good education and from
his parents learnt to be kind to all people.
Sadly they died from an epidemic whilst he was still young, and his
uncle, an abbot, continued to bring him up.
How he became bishop of the Myra church
may be a legend, but it is said that when the old bishop died, the church
dignitaries met for several days to decide who should succeed him. Whilst praying, they heard a voice saying,
"Elect as your bishop the first person to enter the church tomorrow". The elders stayed there all night and their
prayers were answered, St Nicholas was that first person and in some
bewilderment he became bishop. It may
be that his uncle 'fast tracked' him through deaconry and priesthood, but certainly
he never practised in either profession.
He was already much loved because of
his kindness and generosity. When he was quite young, on the anniversary of
Jesus's birth, he would don a brown hooded cassock and distribute golden
apples, toys and food to children and the poor. For years no one knew who the giver was,
until one night the village watchman caught a man in a brown cassock with a
sack over his shoulder wandering stealthily around the streets. He was unmasked and St Nicholas, their bishop,
was revealed. And so the tradition of
Santa Claus began. He would have been startled to know what he had started.
The English of course still use Jesus's
birthday to give gifts, although in certain parts of the country - Canterbury
in particular - festivals are held on 6th December. This is the day that St Nicholas died and in
many countries around the world it is the day of gift giving - leaving
Christmas free to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
If you look up www.stnicholascenter.org and then Around the World
it is fascinating to read of different celebrations. I shall just pick on four:
In Belgium it is a season for
children. In Flanders, St Nicholas
[Sinterklaas] arrives in the evening of 5th December, in a sleigh pulled by a
horse, so children put their shoes or a small basket by the hearth [he may come
down the chimney!] or by the door together with hay, water, carrots or turnips
and a sugar lump for the horse and a glass of wine for the saint. In the
morning they will find saint-shaped biscuits, oranges, marzipan and toys.
Treats are for sharing not hoarding. A
naughty child [none in Belgium!] would receive twigs.
In Holland, that same evening is a
celebration for the whole family. Here the fun is not the gift, but the
surprise way of giving it. It may be
hidden in a potato or sock, or be small
in a huge parcel. The children wait
with bated breath for a knock on the door.
A black-gloved hand appears and tosses in candies, resulting in a
scramble to gather up the treats. There is also a bag of gifts.
In Croatia, St Nicholas [Sveti Nikola]
comes on 6th December. The night before
children polish their shoes until they gleam then leave them on the windowsill. Good children's shoes are filled with sweets,
fruit and presents; bad children get gold
twigs - the naughtier they are the bigger the twig! Every child gets a twig as a warning!
Italy not only celebrates the 6th
December when San Nikola piles plates with sweets and chocolates, but also
celebrates the 1087 arrival of the remains of San Nikola in Bari. When the Turks conquered Asia Minor,
Christians feared that they would no longer be able to go to Myra on pilgrimage
to the tomb of San Nikola, so Italian sailors spirited away most of the relics. A huge church was built to house them in
Bari, Puglia. They did not take all the
bones, some are now displayed in Antalya Museum. The Turkish Government has
been asking for many years for their return and although Italy has agreed, they
are still in Bari.
Over the years, many stories and legends
have been told about St Nicholas and
his good deeds and miracles. One of
these concerns the poor man with three daughters who needed dowries to
marry. In no way could he afford this,
yet on three separate occasions, a bag of gold was thrown through the open
window and landed on shoes or stockings left to dry in front of the fire -
hence the Christmas stockings! Other
stories relate to his calming seas and blessing ships, providing food during famine
in Myra, saving innocent children and many more good deeds.
If you go on
holiday on this lovely coastline, it is well worth diverting to Demre. There is a beautiful bronze statue of St
Nicholas with a bag of 'goodies' over his shoulder and children clustered
around his legs.
When we saw the church some years ago,
it was being excavated yet again. Built
in the 6th Century, it was destroyed in the 7th and 9th, restored in the 11th
until buried by sand and silt as the riverbed shifted. Russian Tsar Nikola sponsored its restoration
in the mid-1800's but it was buried again by 1903. In the mid 1950's, Turkey realised that it
had the beginnings of 'Santa Claus' fame and once again the church has been
unearthed. It is now in a vulnerable
position because it is several feet underground level. For many years in this
Muslim country, a Christian service was allowed on 6th December. It was cancelled in 2002-2006, granted again
in 2007 but in January 2008 the church was renamed the Father Christmas Museum
[Noel Baba Müzes]. All is not lost,
however. In December 2009 permission was
granted to hold a service conducted by Russian Orthodox priests and this year
on 22nd May a service was held to mark the movement of the relics to Bari.
It is interesting that in mainly Muslim Turkey
the western idea of giving gifts has grown.
St Nicholas still exerts an influence so many years after his
death. One wonders how he would have
reacted to giving a boost to Turkish tourism and the economy!
OUR WALK TO MOUTH MILL BEACH
As I lived in Berrynarbor for the majority of my childhood,
and still have family and friends there, I am always interested in reading
Mum's copy of the newsletter when we go as a family to stay.
We are a keen walking
family (including Thomas, aged 8 and Jack and Oliver, 3 year old twins) and so
were very interested in the article 'Good day at Black Church Rock [Local Walk
127]' in the August newsletter. As this
was an area that we hadn't been to before, the article gave us the inspiration
to explore this part of the coastline.
drove to the National Trust car park at Brownsham and set off through the woods
and up onto the cliffs on the far side of the valley. It
was a beautiful day and the views along the coastline were
incredible. There was quite a climb down
the valley and up the other side but we could soon see the beach - our spot for
lunch. The children were all very
interested in the long abandoned lime kilns and cottages as well as the
prospect of exploring the beach and all the rock pools!
After lunch in the sunshine
Thomas and his Dad went along the coast line to explore and the twins and I
stayed to build 'boats' from the beach pebbles.
We battled pirates whilst watching some brave children venturing into
the sea itself, before rushing to the shelter of a small cave as the rain came
down. When the adventurers returned we
all went to explore the amazing rock arch - now accessible as the tide had gone
out. It was a slippery and rather wet
expedition, but we were all amazed at how big the arch was when we got up close
to it. After a couple of hours on the
beach we headed back up the way we had come and then took a more direct route
back to the car along the near side of the valley.
As the article mentioned,
this was certainly a hidden gem along the coastline. The walk itself was a little challenging at
times, but the views were certainly worth it.
Thanks so much for the inspiration!
Green - nee
Delve, once of Bessemer Thatch
WALK - 129
C.F.A. VOYSEY IN NORTH
This month I am abandoning the moor and the marsh; the coast path and the river bank and going
instead for a walk around a building! A
very special building by one of the greatest architects of the Arts and Crafts
movement, Charles Francis Annesley Voysey 1857-1941.
The former Winsford Cottage Hospital at Halwill Junction
near Beaworthy [a few miles south-east of Holsworthy] is a rare example of
Voysey's work in Devon.
Built in 1899, in memory of her husband George, it was the
inspiration of Maria Webb-Medley whose country estate was in the
neighbourhood. She was the daughter of
a Victorian artist and illustrator of children's books, Henry Selous,
celebrated in his day but now largely forgotten.
In 1900 in a report about the new hospital, the Western
Morning News dubbed it 'A Lady's Noble Gift'.
A hundred years later the hospital closed and in 1999 the Winsford Trust
was set up to secure ownership of the building, recognising its architectural
importance - it is Grade 2 Listed - the Trust's stated mission was 'to ensure
that this distinctive building is fully restored; remains in public ownership and provides a
base for activities that will enrich the local people and a wider audience.'
When this year a series of open days was held to allow the
public to view the former cottage hospital, we jumped at the opportunity having
wandered around the outside of the empty and abandoned building about twelve
years ago, soon after it had ceased to be a hospital.
The one-storey building fronts a quiet, rural road and bears
many of Voysey's hallmark features; deep
roofs, gables, five broad chimneys and one tall and tapering one, long windows
tucked under the eaves, a generous and welcoming porch - all typical
characteristics of the domestic architecture with which he is most associated.
In fact Winsford was the only hospital
he ever designed and not surprisingly the Western Morning News remarked on its
'cosy and homelike air'.
To the rear of the building two wings project - these housed
the four wards - and between them a verandah, where convalescing patients could
sit overlooking a south facing garden with pleasant and open views of fields
and woodland with Dartmoor in the distance.
A small orchard was even provided at
one end of the lawn. The fruit trees
are still there today and on our first visit, when the site was not being used,
we found the secluded garden had become a haven for birds; a great spotted woodpecker, a flock of gold
finches and a spotted flycatcher making forays from an apple tree.
Voysey had wanted the building to be in harmony with its
surroundings, to give a sense of protection 'quietness in a storm', he
said. He held the conviction that no
detail was too small to deserve the attention of the architect and at the
Winsford Cottage Hospital this can be seen in the beauty and simplicity of his
window fittings, door hinges and handles, all of which have survived very well.
A principle of Arts and Crafts designers
was that form should follow function - hence the asymmetry of some of the
elevations rather than forcing rooms into the rigid proportions of formal
Georgian or neo-classical facades.
Voysey also designed
furniture, textiles and wallpaper.
Coincidentally, he was born the same year as Barnstaple born architect
William Lethaby, that other great luminary of the Arts and Crafts movement and
promoter of its ideals.
When we visited again in September this
year, we were greeted by Perry Evans who gave us a fascinating tour of the
building. The bright entrance hall has
an art nouveau fireplace with glazed tiles and the floor is paved with small
yellow mosaic tiles.
The operating theatre, kitchen, laundry and nurses' rooms
were along the front of the building.
Here there were smaller fireplaces with Voyseys' signature heart
motif. We were shown the decorative air
vents which incorporated animal and plant patterns. Such attention to detail. The place was light and airy and from the
wards the patients looked onto the garden and farmland beyond.
Should you have the chance to visit and walk around this
architectural gem in the heart of the Devon countryside, I would highly recommend
grateful thanks to Perry Evans, Development Officer at the Winsford Trust, for
showing us around and for additional information.]
from original drawings by Paul
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT
The bloomers are
coming to the end of a very busy gardening year. As most of you will have heard, we won a
GOLD in the National R.H.S. Britain in Bloom Competition and were thrilled to
be awarded this as we represented the whole of the South West in the village category. We were, however, pipped to the post by
Luddenden in Yorkshire who were the overall winners.
is the second time that Berrynarbor has won a Gold in the national competition
so we really have done our best.
We have had a
bit of a tidy up and taken down the hanging baskets, planted a few bulbs for
the spring and some little conifers and cyclamen at the war memorial.
national competitions is a lot of hard work especially administratively and we
plan to have at least a year off from entering the Best Kept Village and
Britain in Bloom competitions. However,
if anyone feels they might like to take on this responsibility, please do make
In the meantime
we'll be doing the digging, planting, litter picking, etc. and keeping
the village blooming beautiful.
Many thanks to
everyone who has helped us in any way in the last year and we hope to see
you again next year - don't forget the
tea and cakes!
As usual we'll
be getting together in the new year, probably in February, to make plans for
the special Diamond Jubilee year - I hope to see you there.
and Grand Marnier Truffle Cake
It is always a good idea to have some
of the Christmas preparations done early and in the freezer just ready to bring
out with a flourish! This unashamedly
boozy, no cook dessert is perfect.
tblsp Grand Marnier [or Cointreau]
Terry's dark chocolate oranges [separated in to segments]
free-range eggs, separated
pot of double cream
Rich tea biscuits
pot double cream lightly whipped
dark chocolate or chocolate curls
Line the sides and base of a 1kg loaf
tin with cling film. Squeeze the juice
from the orange and mix with 3 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier. Cut away the bitter pith from the orange peel
and cut it into very fine strips. Boil
the strips in a covered pan with 300ml of water for 20 minutes until soft. Add the sugar and simmer without the lid
until you have a sticky soft peel.
Melt the chocolate orange segments in a
bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.
Remove from the heat and beat in the butter and egg yolks, followed by
the rest of the Grand Marnier.
Whisk the egg whites until they hold their
shape, and then whip the cream until softly stiff. Fold lightly in to the chocolate mixture.
Spoon 5 large
tablespoons of the chocolate mix into the tin, then dip the finger biscuits in
the orange and Grand Marnier mix one by one and arrange over the chocolate in
the tin. Don't soak them too much or
they will fall apart. Scatter over some
of the sticky peel and then another 5 tablespoons of the chocolate mix. Carry on layering up the biscuits and
chocolate until you have 4 layers ending with chocolate - you should only use
half the peel.
Lightly cover with cling film and freeze
until ready for use, freezing the remaining peel separately.
To serve, take the cake and orange peel
out of the freezer no more than one hour before serving, remove the tin and
peel off the cling film. Top with
whipped cream. I like to pipe this on
in swirls down the middle, and scatter with the orange peel and grated
chocolate. Keep chilled until ready to
Have a lovely Christmas