Cover kindly sponsored by Sue and Mike
Richards, Napps Touring Holidays
should both like to say a big huge sincere thank you to all our lovely neighbours
and many friends in Berrynarbor and Combe Martin for all the love and help
shown to us since I have been unwell.
generosity of you all has been very overwhelming. The cards, good wishes and
flowers, along with the goodies and meals have been so much appreciated.The
ladies down at the shop have been so very good to us and nothing is too much
you to all our many friends in the churches for your love and prayers. Lastly
but not least our loving family, so patient and always here for us both. Our
love and appreciation,
Following the Government announcement that church buildings will be able to
reopen for public worship from 4th July, it is hoped that in the weeks ahead we
shall have more detailed information from the Diocese of Exeter as to how the
shape of services will evolve for St. Peter's Berrynarbor, St Peter's Combe
Martin and Pip & Jim's, Ilfracombe.
there will be a continuation of social distancing and the sanitising of hands
on entry and exit. and these arrangements will be made clear prior to entering
the church for Sunday services. Notices will also be placed on the church gates
and entrance porch for visitors wishing to enter the church building to ensure
that social distancing and the sanitising of hands are maintained.
and funeral services will be able to proceed but with a limitation of 30
persons attending, but, as it stands at the moment, no singing of hymns will be
permitted or the ringing of bells!
is worth reflecting that the last three months have been an extraordinary time
- the first period without public worship and sacraments in England for more
than 800 years! There will be real joy as we come together again, even if at
a physical distance.
have now had approval from the Archdeacon of Barnstaple for our Faculty
application to carry out all the repair work on the church building.
continue to pray for our magnificent NHS, Ambulance Service and our Police
Force. Our special prayers go to all those in our community who are unwell
and recovering from treatment following their time in hospital, and those who
are lonely and finding things difficult to manage, especially during this awful
also pray for the family of Mary Tucker BEM who sadly died following a short
illness at her home in Lancashire. Mary was a wonderful lady who served our
church and community with so much care and compassion during her time here in
a word of sympathy for our intrepid bellringers who are still unable to
practice on Thursdays, and ringing for church services on Sundays. Due to the
close proximity of ringers within the bell tower, they must be totally frustrated,
and we can only hope that soon. all will be back to normal!
the weather can change so quickly in the U. K. with May and June no exception.
started with light showers totalling 3.0mm and cool with a minimum 7.8˚C.
and maximum of 12.0˚C. The wind was light with a maximum of 4mph from
the SSW. The barometer, which had been falling during the end of April,
started to rise from 996.3mbars [lowest in May] and continued with one or two
minor wobbles till the end of the 6th when it reached 1023.7mbars. The rest
of the month was variable but managed to reach a high of 1037.3mbars on the 26th.
Temperatures ranged from a low on 12th of 0.4˚C [average 3.55˚C] to a
high on the 29th 26.4˚C [average 25.25˚C] making it the warmest day
so far this year. We had more days when the wind was coming from the north
than the SW which is unusual; the highest gusts were on the 23rd and 24th at
39mph [average 31.62mph] from the SSW. The lowest wind chill factor was
-0.3˚C [average1.14˚C] from the north on the 14th. The total
rainfall for the month was 17.0mm [average 71.36mm] which fell on ten separate
days, the wettest day was the 22nd with 6.2mm. This May is the driest since
my records started in 1994. Total sunshine hours were 185.58 [average for May
155.46 since 2003] making it the second highest, in 2015 we had 201.79 hours.
first day of June started with a clear blue sky and a low temperature at
0600hrs. of 7.4˚C and by 1500hrs. had reached 24.2˚C with a gentle
breeze from the north and the 2nd was very similar. The weather then changed
to mainly unsettled until 22nd when we had four lovely days before it all went
downhill again. Picking the bones out for June, the barometer stayed low [readings
below 1013.25mbars] for a good part of the month; the lowest on the 5th at 1000.0mbars,
and highest on the 22nd at 1023.4mbars. The lowest temperature was 6.5˚C [average
6.52˚C] on the 9th and highest 29.9˚C [average 26.13˚C] on the
25th making it the top temperature so far this year. We had a fresh wind
throughout the month with a maximum gust of 35mph [average 28.91mph] from the
SSW on the 27th. The lowest wind chill factor was on the 6th at 7.1˚C [average
5.18˚C].The total rainfall for the month was 130.2mm [average 74.0mm], well
up on the average and contrasting with May being well down.The wettest day
was on the 10th with a massive 37.8mm. Total rain so far for 2020 is 645.8mm.
Total sunshine hours were extremely low at 128.58 [average164.05]. This is
now the lowest in my records, the nearest was June 2012 with 142.48.
for now and I hope an early solution can be found to end the Covid-19 problem.
care and enjoy the rest of the summer.
was very sorry to see the lovely old blue iron railings outside the school
building have been covered over with treated timber, a retrograde change to the
character of our village?
arrived in a steady stream
Our sense of security now a dream
One or two at first
Then a steady convoy at its worst.
Fear and anxiety come with them
Spread of the virus we wish to stem.
And yet for some this is their second home
Weeks cooped up - why shouldn't they now roam?
Our businesses need the income
Boris says it's ok, so why should we stop them?
Whilst our safety and security we wish to maintain
Things really cannot stay the same.
Life goes on in a new kind of normal
But there are rules to uphold; keep things formal.
However we feel about the grockles' arrival
Let's respect each other and support our survival.
Whilst there are many more people in the village and around
Remember the rules, stay safe and sound.
We all have our different points of view
But let's be tolerant, and continue to support each other too.
you're the pigeon and sometimes you're the statue."
Chabrol [1930-2010] was a French film director and a
member of the French New Wave group of filmmakers who first came to prominence
at the end of the 1950s.
is uncomfortable but certainty is absurd." Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de
plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher
famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity - especially the Roman
Catholic Church - as well as his advocacy of freedom of speech, freedom of
religion, and separation of church and state.
sad it was to learn that three past villagers, Jean, Margaret and Mary, had
passed away recently and our thoughts are with their families at this sad time.
suffered from cancer which she chose to treat in her own way, Jean passed away
peacefully at home on the 14th May. A kind and generous lady with a ready
smile and hearty laugh, Jean embraced life and even when she was unwell, she
continued to embrace life to the full, counting each day as a blessing.
are thinking of Peter and his family, and Jean's sons, Darren and Ben, and
granddaughters Jazmin and Ellena.
to Corona virus restrictions, Jean's funeral was foreshortened and had a
strictly limited attendance. When circumstances permit, it is proposed to
hold a Service of Celebration of Jean's life in St. Peter's Church.
was born in Epsom, Surrey on April 29th 1950 to parents Walter and Winifred
Rowland, growing up with her younger brother Tom. Walter met Peter Ede
whilst working at the Post Office and straightaway thought he would be a good
match for his daughter. Jean and Peter hit it off from the moment they met and
married on August 1st 1970, settling in Woodley near Reading as Peter worked
for British Airways at Heathrow. They soon welcomed the births of their two
sons, Darren and Ben.
leaving college Jean worked at The Bank of England but found the train up to
London every day was not to her liking and a number of jobs followed, including
market research but, although lucrative, her heart wasn't really in it. One of
her dreams was to open a tea shop. At the time her father said, "How many
cups of tea do you think you'll have to sell, to make any money?" But Jean
followed her heart and opened The Tea Cosy in the Thames-side village of
Sonning in the 1980s. It was hard work but she loved it. Although a great
success, Jean closed the business and decided on another career change, going
back to college where she trained and qualified as a nurse. It was a role she
enjoyed, working in the NHS and also for the Marie Curie organisation.
family they shared long and happy holidays but in May 1996, the unthinkable
happened - Peter had a heart attack and died and those who knew him had their
lives turned upside down but through these difficult times Jean found help and
strength through God and was reconfirmed into the Christian Church.
year or so after Peter's death Jean was introduced to a new man, Peter Pell.
From their first meeting, they found in each other, great love and
companionship living together in North Hampshire.
to make a fresh start, Peter and Jean moved to Berrynarbor in 2000, where they
spent 18 happy years together, making many lifelong friends. They took up many
pursuits with Jean loving walking and cycling, her favourite place to walk was
Watersmeet.Her love of cycling led her to cycle, on her own, from Land's End
to John O' Groats, on her old push bike, complete with shopping basket on the
front! Her decision to undertake this challenge in her 60's was for no other
reason than wanting to do it. It came as a bit of a shock for everyone but at
the same time, knowing Jean it came as no surprise! Peter had shown her how
to mend a puncture, of which she had quite a few, eventually running out of
patches and spare inner tubes on her last day. Undaunted, she rode on the
flat tyre until it shredded, then removed it, running on the wheel rim for the
last four miles! Such courage.
was a joyous occasion when Jean and Peter married in St. Peter's Church on May
8th 2010 with Jean gaining three step daughters, Sarah, Emma and Rebecca, as
well as eight grandchildren; Lottie, Jack, Maddie, Denis, Oscar, Lilly, Alice
and Martha, to add to her own two granddaughters, Jazmin and Ellena.
of Jean's passions was to go travelling in a campervan. After discussion a
suitable 'van was found and great times were had, including one year when the
house was let out, and she and Peter toured a great deal of the United Kingdom
and Europe. Having stayed at a lovely site in Spain, Jean proposed the idea
of buying a caravan and taking it to Spain, where they spent longer periods of
time enjoying the relaxed Spanish pace of life, good weather and a great many
lived life to its fullest. She had a bubbly spirit that always found the
positives in everything. To her, life was a fluid plan; which occasionally
challenged Peter's ordered way of doing things to its limit! Never the less,
their love and support for each other always won through.
Jean was diagnosed with cancer, her willingness to live her life fuller than
ever was driven from a great determination and a positive mind. Jean approached
her death with a humility, grace, peace and acceptance that is an example to us
all. She was many things to many different people; a daughter, a sister, a
wife, a mother, a grandmother and a friend but above all else, the way she
approached and lived her life was an inspiration to all she met.
was a wonderful organiser who enjoyed rallying her friends into many and varied
activities, including cycling, walking, camping, yoga, table tennis and boules
to mention a few.
enjoyed her tea from a china tea set and always had a nice piece of cake as a
treat after a walk, cycle ride or when entertaining friends.
she and Peter moved to the Sterridge Valley in 2000 they took up golf. Her
father had been a scratch player and would have been proud of his daughter's
achievements aspiring to be Ilfracombe Golf Club's Ladies' Captain in 2005 and
representing her Club and County on many occasions. At the Golf Club, we
were all proud of her for cycling from Lands End to John O' Groats.
2010 she married Peter at Berrynarbor church, a joining of two lovely families
- it was a joyous occasion. She had been a member of the church choir and a
church warden, and both she and Peter were volunteers in the Village Shop.
was diagnosed with breast cancer and despite her best efforts to improve her
lifestyle with diet, exercise and healthy living, she passed away on the 14th
May. It is a tribute to her determination that just a few weeks before she
died, she cycled to one of her favourite villages in Spain and back, a distance
of some 20 miles. Steph L.
a fall and a short stay in a care home, Margaret passed away peacefully on the
1st June. As she wished, her ashes, like those of her late husband Ray, will
be scattered off the North Devon coast.
thoughts at this sad time are with her nephew Ken and his wife Wendy, and her
great-niece and nephews.
and Ray moved from Maidenhead to Glenbridge in the Valley in 1989. They soon
became involved in village life, helping in the organisation of the
Horticultural and Craft Show and the neighbourhood Watch Scheme, and Ray was
also a member of the Parish Council.
village was shocked when on the 18th July 2000, Ray suddenly collapsed and died
whilst gardening. In his memory, the Ray Ludlow Award, a beautiful lead
crystal bowl, is awarded for the Best Non-Horticultural entry in the
Horticultural and Craft Show.
several lonely, but happy years in the Valley with her dog Toby, Margaret
decided to return to her roots and to be nearer her family, moving to
Bishopsdown near Salisbury in 2004.
very loyal supporter of the Newsletter, which she enjoyed reading until losing
her sight just a year ago, Margaret kept in touch with many friends in the
village. She will be sadly missed.
been diagnosed with throat cancer in January of this year, and electing to not
receive invasive treatment, Mary's death on the 9th June was very peaceful.
Her funeral took place on the 19th June and our thoughts are with her brother
Peter and sister-in-law Margaret.
and her husband Tom moved to Berrynarbor in 1986 and Mary's wish to serve the
community soon saw her as a leading light at St. Peter's Church, serving on the
Parochial Church Council as a Church Warden and Treasurer. Involving herself
in church activities saw her flower arranging, cleaning, acting as a Deacon in
administering the chalice and welcoming visitors and holiday makers into the
church and until she moved north, acting as the Newsletter scribe, reporting on
the many church activities. She also started and organised the monthly
Friendship Lunches at The Globe for the elderly and lonely.
apart from her involvement with the church, Mary would regularly visit
villagers who were lonely and sick, sitting and talking with them, shopping for
them and even helping in the home. Always actively involved in village
events, particularly fund-raising, Mary helped raise money to set up the
Village Shop and Post Office.
her services to the community, Mary was awarded the British Empire Medal in
June 2012, the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and was later presented
with her award by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Devon on the 8th October.
In May the following year, Mary was a guest at a Buckingham Palace Garden
in early January 2010, and after a brief illness, Tom died but Mary, in her
inimatable way, carried on looking after others before herself.
the autumn of 2014, Mary decided to return to the north to West Bradford, to be
nearer to her family. Their gain was the village's loss - God bless you Mary!
you would like to make a donation in Mary's memory, they are being given to
Cancer Research and the Church and Christian Centre where she lived and may be
sent to 18 Mather Avenue, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 5AU. Cheques should be
made payable to her sister-in-law, Margaret Capstick.
recently sent out to our main user groups a survey as to when they would be
comfortable to return along with the details of the necessary risk assessments
they would need to complete and comply to. Most of the groups would like to
start back in the autumn at the earliest if the government guidelines say it
continues to be safe to do so and the guidelines are manageable. With
understandably no current bookings, the main hall will remain closed until
Pre-school continues to operate under strict guidelines until the end of the
Snooker Club is able to start back under very strict guidelines and only after
the Pre-school has finished. So good news for those who enjoy a game of
snooker - play safe chaps!
you very much to Berry in Bloom for continuing to care for the tubs at the
hall, they look lovely, it is a great shame more people are not able to admire
them this year.
sincerely hope to bring you some better news in the next edition of this Newsletter.
Until then keep safe and well and enjoy the summer.
FROM BERRYNARBOR SHOP & POST OFFICE
It is hard to believe that it is nearly August and the lockdown started five
months ago! Throughout, our village shop has been at the service of its
community and we've been really touched by the wonderful messages of support
and thanks we have received.
Annie and Susan have worked so hard in very difficult circumstances to ensure
that all our customers' needs are met.It's not been easy for them and now
that restrictions have started to be eased, and the local campsites and holiday
homes have begun to fill, it's not likely to get any easier either. But we
have begun to cautiously welcome back a number of our volunteers who are now
helping out during our very busy times and we are really grateful to them for
you would expect, we continually review how the shop operates;firstly, to
ensure the health and well-being of Karen and all of her team and secondly to
maximise the service we can give to our customers in a safe and effective
manner. With the new influx of visitors, we have looked closely at how we are
have concluded that the current mode of operation is working well and suits the
needs of those we know rely on us - and they will always be our priority. So,
the Shop and Post Office will be open in the mornings 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., Monday
to Saturday, and open on Sunday mornings, 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon. You can
phone orders through on 01271 883215, Monday to Saturday, and if you are
self-isolating then one of our team of volunteers will arrange to deliver your
order to you. If not, you will receive a call to say when you can come and
thank all our customers for their support and understanding during these
difficult times. If we have to make any changes to the above arrangements, we'll
let you know by email, Facebook and shop and village postings.
new ales are local [and brisk]
as brisk as bottled ale' is a wonderful old saying and we fully expect sales to
be brisk for our new locally brewed bottled ales made by the Combe Brewing
Company, just up the road at Mullacott. We have Harbour Amber bitter which
has an earthy taste with a lovely blend of honey and spices;Beach Blonde
Golden light ale which delivers a light citrus-filled beer with hints of
biscuit and apricot fruit;and Dark and Stormy Premium Dark Ale which delivers
a smooth but full-bodied, caramel-rich beer with rich fruit and bitter notes. Lovely!
NORTH DEVON JOURNAL
Road area. Large
detached residence affording
views over whole town. Ideal
conversion to flats or
modernised lean-to nearing
central heating (summer
kitchen space, sports
facilities, office space
(little used). Locks in all
parts of buildings.
Greenhouse, interesting garden
fine collection of old
masters. Plenty of
study space, slight damage due
Comprehensive outlook but
Must sell £50,000 o.n.o. For
Ilfracombe 63304 or
THE SIXTH FORM SOLD THEIR SCHOOL
property, several acres, suitable for converting into flats or factories.
Giveaway price: £50,000.
was just one snag, the property has 1,300 "sitting tenants" - the children of
Ilfracombe Comprehensive School advertised for sale yesterday by Sixth Form
pupils in a local paper as an "end of school" joke.
has become a tradition for departing pupils to organise a prank before they
leave and this year it was the most successful ever. So successful, in fact,
that several people were fooled into ringing the school to ask for further
pupils' advertisement gave two numbers to contact. The first was answered by
the headmaster's private secretary. She made a brave attempt at being serious
when asked about the property, saying she could not give further details
herself but that it was a very nice building before breaking into a giggle and
admitting it was a joke by school pupils.
second number was a direct line to the school and was answered by an obviously
tired and very fed-up receptionist who had been turning down would-be buyers
"For Sale" advert and numerous signs all over the school was the idea of the 35
members of the Upper Sixth, whose last day at the school is today.
Stoneham, aged 18, said: "It was all done in good humour. All the teachers
accepted it as a joke."
Head of the Sixth Year, Mr. Alastair Crighton, said several people had been
caught out, "But I think most people guessed it was the school by the wording
of the advert."
case you're interested, and the property does come on the market, the
"desirable premises" include a large amount of study space - and a fine
collection of "Old Masters."
was the Year of 1982, and guess who got the giggles!
following year the unsuspecting Journal readers were asked to write in and give
their reasons why they should be chosen to have one of the 30 reserved places
in the proposed nuclear bunker. Here are 2 of the requests!
The Ashram, Combe Martin
have just read your advert in the NDJ. I would like to apply, if possible, for
all 30 places. I know this may seem rather a large order, at first sight, but
I feel you will understand that there are extenuating circumstances.
I suffer very badly from claustrophobia and for my own personal use I will
require quite a lot of room. To move around, you understand. And also to get
away from things when I begin to feel bad about all the people who won't be
able to get in.
although I have not lived in Ilfracombe all my life, I have every intention of
spending, the rest of it, pre-N day in the town. I realise this may only be a
short time but the intention is there.
I would like my Mum and Dad and Auntie Lil to be able to come. They always
have their hols in Ilfracombe and have done for some years. I realise that
when we emerge there will be a lot of clearing up to do and my mate George is a
window cleaner now but he used to be a bin man. He and his wife have ten
children, so that's another 12 people.
haven't quite sorted out the rest of the places. But I will be asking around
other useful people, like plumbers, etc. and I don't think there will be much
difficulty in getting the places filled.
I have maps of Ilfracombe which show the rights of way. This will be quite
important post-N day. I hope you will bear this in mind. Thank you.
R.S.V.P. - A.S.A.P
consider myself to have been extremely fortunate to have been in North Devon
this week and to have seen your advertisement in the local paper as I am moving
to this area very shortly.
think I am an excellent candidate for a place in the fallout shelter as I have
fathered nine children by four different women, all of whom have proved highly
intelligent. I assume that you will be accepting far more women than men so
that we can repopulate after the imminent holocaust and I think I can
contribute in this direction. I am happy to bring my wife if there is a place
but I realise in extreme situations this may not be possible.
am a demolition expert by trade so I think I will be useful when we clear up
send me an application form or acceptance to the above address but I shall be
moving to Combe Martin in September.
I believe in every man for himself - I am a Conservative, Parish Councillor and
Free Mason. I trust you are one of us.
in WOOLSCOTT CLEAVE,
Valley - part of the North Devon AONB
Cleave is a privately owned woodland under the aegis of the Forestry Commission,
lying in the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The
long-term plan is to convert it from the original evergreen pine forest into a
mainly deciduous woodland. Some of this work has already been carried out and
much more is in the planning stages.
have recently attached sign boards to the gates of Woolscott Cleave that
clarify people's rights of entry to these woodlands.
new sign boards at the main entrance gates explain that there is no public
right of way in the woodlands. This is a statement of fact. You may however
enter permitted areas as a pedestrian but that
is a decision you need to take. Additionally, you may take your dog(s) with you
but they must be in sight and fully under your control at all times. This may
require that they are kept on a lead, particularly during the bird
nesting season (usually March-July). If the dog approaching you is on a lead,
put yours on a lead too. Importantly, take your dog's waste home.
uses of the rides and pathways do NOT include cycling, mountain-biking or any
motor-driven vehicles of any description.
the area alongside the Sterridge stream has been designated as an environmental
zone and access to this area is now prohibited. The access from the Sterridge
Valley road, adjacent to the stream crossing bridge above Harpers Mill has a
notice to this effect. The same 'KEEP OUT' notice is repeated on the middle
gateway halfway along the main ride. This whole area is gradually being
upgraded by the removal of evergreen pine trees and the planting and natural
re-growth of broadleaf trees such as oak, beech, hazel and rowan.
is an account by Tim Davis of the wildlife found in this area and the wider
woodland during recent months. Considering that Woolscott Cleave was a black,
dark and largely sterile area 30 years ago, it is steadily recovering with a
green understorey that encourages wildlife.
you enter the permitted paths of these woodlands, please behave in a manner
that respects the wildlife, the trees, the plants and other pedestrians. If you
cannot do this then KEEP OUT. A number of 'woodland wardens' are helping us
with our 'rewilding' plans.
WOOLSCOTT CLEAVE - Bursting with Wildlife
During the Covid-19 lockdown I have been walking the
tracks of Woolscott Cleave - over the road from our home at Harpers Mill - on
a regular basis, in part for much-needed exercise but also to monitor the
continuing resurgence of wildlife since the felling a few years ago of all the
larch trees (vectors of the fungal disease Phytophthora ramorum, also
known as 'sudden oak-death') and the thinning of over-crowded conifers.
While the most obvious and immediate beneficiary of much
of the conifer clearance was bramble, which quickly responded to the abundance
of light after decades of dense shade, many of the open areas are steadily
being colonised by broadleaved trees, especially birch, willow and hazel, along
with oak, beech, rowan and especially sweet chestnut. Ash seedlings too
proliferate but are unlikely to grow old owing to 'ash dieback', yet another
new fungal disease that is gradually wiping out the UK's ash trees, with many
of our local ash trees, including in Woolscott Cleave, showing severe symptoms,
though there are hopes that a small proportion may prove resistant.
Mammalian life that I have encountered includes roe and
red deer (including last autumn a rutting stag), with one recent sighting of a
Sika deer (a Japanese native now widely dispersed in the UK and interbreeding
with red deer), grey squirrel, fox, and signs of otter passing along the
Sterridge River. One of the small spring-fed trackside pools annually has
frogspawn, pondskaters and whirligig beetles. Wildflowers in the form of bluebells,
primroses and red campion are increasing. On the downside, so too is the highly
invasive Rhododendron ponticum, though efforts are being made to
eliminate it before it gets a hold and begins to overwhelm the native
vegetation. Time is of the essence, as a mature flowering shrub - though
undoubtedly an impressive sight - can produce a million microscopic seeds
annually. These drift on the wind to infest new areas, making removal an ever
more daunting and costly prospect for landowners.
Along with butterflies (e.g. speckled wood, peacock,
green-veined white and meadow brown), it is the birdlife that has really
transformed the nature of a springtime walk around Woolscott, especially early
in the morning when the dawn chorus is in full swing. Here's a list of the
species known to be nesting in the wood this year: tawny owl (occasional
day-time hooting denoting their presence), raven (one pair fledging three
young), carrion crow, woodpigeon (many!), great spotted woodpecker (at least
three territories), nuthatch (three pairs feeding young), treecreeper, great
tit, blue and coal tits (the latter more of a conifer specialist so currently
higher in number), chaffinch, siskin (at least two pairs), goldcrest (which
sing, feed and nest mainly in conifers), many pairs of wren, dunnock, robin and
blackbird all with fledged young, song thrush (two or three pairs, and fledged
young being fed), and mistle thrush (males singing stridently from treetops at
either end of the wood). Jays too are probably breeding this year.
Moreover, the presence of a greater number of warblers
(all of them springtime migrants from African or Mediterranean wintering areas)
markedly indicate the increased value of Woolscott for birds following the
opening up of the once-gloomy conifer canopy. Chiffchaffs and blackcaps, the
two earliest-arriving visitors in March, sing long and loudly in areas of
birch, hazel, hawthorn and bramble (which provides perfect nesting cover),
while three pairs of willow warbler (declining fast in much of southern England)
sing mellifluously from the larger, more open areas of developing scrub, using
the taller trees to feed on insects. It is also in these areas that a cuckoo
has been present this year, singing its eponymous song sometimes into the late
evening - only the third time we have heard (and finally seen) one in our 19
years at Harpers Mill. Other summer visitors that have stopped off in Woolscott
on their way to breeding grounds elsewhere are spotted flycatcher and lesser
whitethroat, the latter more commonly found in central and eastern England.
At one point a male crossbill - very much a conifer
specialist, and an early breeder each year depending on seed availability - was
coming to drink from the Sterridge at Harpers Mill, and later sightings of
several birds over the wood suggested breeding may have taken place.
Woolscott Cleave also provides a winter home both for the
resident birds and for woodcocks, which arrive in the UK from their Siberian
breeding grounds 4,000 or more kilometres away. Very much a species in trouble,
the director of the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC)
exhorted its members to forego shooting woodcocks during the winter of 2018/19
(annually some 80,000 are shot in the UK). Woolscott also provides night-time
roosts for all or most of Berrynarbor's rooks and jackdaws outside the breeding
season, mixed flocks of several hundred calling loudly overhead as evening
gathers. At dusk in springtime too we have watched migrating swallows and house
martins settle in the treetops to spend the night before moving on early the
The burgeoning wildlife at Woolscott Cleave shows what
can happen when a dense, even-aged conifer plantation is partially
felled and thinned and natural regeneration (with some planting of
broadleaf trees using native, local stock) takes place. To maintain - and
further enhance - the variety and abundance of wildlife that has colonised the
wood, ongoing careful management will be required. Self-seeding larch will need
to be removed, while the mature nature of the remaining conifers (Douglas fir,
western hemlock and Sitka spruce) means that opportunities to increase still
further the proportion of native, wildlife-rich deciduous species will arise,
whether through felling or windblow.
I'd like to thank John and Fenella for their continuing
enthusiasm where Woolscott and its value for wildlife is concerned. I hope
their desire to create a restricted-access zone where wildlife can get on with
their lives largely free of human disturbance will be welcomed by all users.
Woolscott Cleave in Early Spring
Female Blackcap [Richard Campey] Willow Warbler [Richard
Poo-bags can kill!
number of dog-walkers are still leaving their poo-bags behind in Woolscott
Cleave, often beyond reach, hanging on branches or brambles.
shows that wildlife and some grazing livestock, especially horses and ponies,
attracted by the smells and the cereal content of dog poo, will ingest the
plastic along with the poo, resulting in an agonising death. Not only do
discarded poo-bags persist in the environment, taking years to break down,
they are an unsightly reminder of the thoughtlessness of those who leave
them. They are particularly disrespectful of the vast majority of dog-owners
and walkers and particularly of the woodland's owners who freely provide a
valuable amenity, especially in these difficult Covid-19 times.
PLEASE take your dog's poo home with you.
A LESSON ON LIFE FOR
A successful London City trader came to Ilfracombe for a few days
holiday and was horrified to find a fisherman lying down in the sun, snoozing
on his boat.
"Why aren't you out fishing?" asked the rich London
"Because I have caught enough fish for the day," said the
"Why don't you catch some more?"
"What would I do with them?"
"Well, you could earn more money. Then you could have a
new powerful motor fitted to your boat so you can go into deeper waters and
catch lots of fish to make more money. You could earn enough to buy strong
nylon nets. These would help you catch even more fish to sell and make more
money. Soon you'd have enough money to own two boats, maybe even build a
fleet. Then eventually you would be a rich man like me."
"What would I do then?"
"Well, then you could sit back and enjoy life."
"So, what do you think I'm doing right now?"
gardening and more gardening, but greatly enlivened over the hedges, to left
and right, by chatting to my kind and caring neighbours. Also, it's great to
meet [at a distance] friendly passers-by who must be convinced I spend my time
sitting in the sun on the bench in my front garden drinking coffee!
reality, I'm thinking how fortunate I am to live in Berrynarbor. Jill McCrae
all our friends and neighbours, we hope you are all keeping well and safe in
our beautiful village. We are missing seeing everyone and being at Fuchsia
Cottage, but we hope to be 'in residence' as soon as the rules allow.
Maureen and Pat
Pam and Alex wish
to thank all their neighbours and friends for help given during this wretched
pandemic. May we soon return to some form of normality!
you to the Hagginton Hill Team and the Village Shop for their help during
Barry and Rosemary
Thank you to our
wonderful Village Shop, Lesley for shopping, Nic and The Globe for meals, Berry
in Bloom for a beautiful village, Simon for a nicely kept churchyard and the
children delivering their painted stones. All making lockdown more bearable.
Barbara and Alan - Old Roost
all our friends in Berrynarbor, we have been missing you. We are both well,
as is our family. Hoping you are all safe and in good health. Cheers, Vicki and Jeremy Elden
are very grateful to live in lovely Berrynarbor and should like to say thank
you to everyone who has helped in so many ways to keep the village a safe haven
in these difficult times.
Colin and Wendy -
should like to say a big Thank You to the lovely family from Watermouth who
walked around our village every day leaving us beautiful decorated stones.
You brightened up the village and our lives. Also thank you to Ted and Gareth
from Cross Park for your amazing stones. You are all very kind people.
Jane and Keith Jones - Rose
everyone is keeping well and are looking forward to seeing everyone and getting
back to some form of normality.
Phil and Chris -
HAPPENED TO LOCKDOWN?
went by in a flash. All sorts of things were planned to pass the time,
clearing out the cupboards, organising the family photos and putting them in
albums, doing more family history research, the list was endless.
the sun shone, our big garden needed a good sort out and then perfect weather
for walking. So we went for miles and had flasks of coffee on a seat on the
coast path above Watermouth harbour with stunning views. Then we walked
through carpets of bluebells and wild garlic in the woods above Hagginton Hill,
the silence was magical and the birdsong glorious. For the first time in
years we heard the cuckoo, saw deer and watched sparrowhawk and peregrine
falcons from our garden and a very noisy wren woke us early, too early, from
her nest by our bedroom window sill.
world seemed to be holding its breath and Berrynarbor was in a bubble,
suspended in space and seemingly isolated from the world's health problems. It
was very surreal. We were lucky, very lucky, to live in a place such as this,
have a garden and be fit enough to leave out house and enjoy the outdoors and
benefit from passing chats with friends and neighbours as we took our daily
exercise. So not isolated at all really unlike many less fortunate than us.
then it rained. So there was some relief for the old aching body and time for
those indoor jobs. Now the charity shops will benefit from the tidied
cupboards, friends from all over the world will get replies to their e-mails and
the old family black and white photos will be sorted in time to have a
nostalgic visit with family.
can be learned from this experience. The value of small things, the beauty of
nature when it isn't dominated by mankind, enjoyment of silence and a slower
pace of life plus the kindness and caring of society.
A word unknown to us until a few months ago, and not appearing in either our
Concise or Pocket Oxford English Dictionaries has made unimaginable differences
to all our lives. Yet we both feel genuinely very lucky. Shortly after that
renowned word was imposed on us, posted through our letterbox was a message
from 'Team Hagginton', two doors up the hill, offering to shop for us, which we
gratefully accepted. Thankfully, to date, it is still continuing. Our
village shop has done an admirable job in fulfilling twice weekly orders, for
which we sincerely thank them.
must have been - and still is - a very tiring commitment. We hope that everyone
who has benefitted from their help will continue to shop there when the panic
is over. Further up the hill, Lesley has not only donated a selection of fresh
fruit and vegetables, but offered to shop at Mike Turton's and any other
Ilfracombe shop. A mop [which we'd worn out doing housework!] was replaced,
and our window boxes have never looked so good with plants that appeared from
her, unsolicited, on our doorstep. Janet across the road, and her daughter
Sarah, have added some items from Tesco to their delivery service for us. Our
problem will be when it's all over, having to do our own shopping! Oh, and the
Bell family next door have not only offered help, but brought round some
delicious pieces of chocolate cake to celebrate Avril's birthday. Finally,
we're very grateful to John and Fenella for letting us wander in their
forestry, largely undisturbed. We have even done the 'full circuit', and were
very pleased to ease our limbs on 'Pam's Seat' on the way back!
months of glorious weather, we have sat on our terrace admiring the view of our
lovely village, whilst enjoying breakfast and lunch. And we have thought often
of the different lives of folk who live in city centre flats, possibly
contending with fractious children. Thanks to our many helpers, it's no wonder
we feel so lucky!
As Nora and I reached our 80's just as
the Corona Virus was emerging as a threat to seniors, we took to lockdown
pretty seriously. The first steps taken were to shop a little more and
draw out some money in case there was a run on the banks. Thankfully neither
were necessary, as our wonderful Post Office and Shop continued to provide, and
a morning walk to the shop became a pleasure of sunshine with chats to
neighbours from near and far.
As lockdown continued, Nora took to
solving crosswords, sharing jig saws, and recovering the garden from
winter. We now have the beginnings of a wild flower lawn rather than a
green desert. In the evenings we played Bridge with family, often just after
downing a delivered most welcome meal from The Globe.
I took to improving my model railway, concentrating
on a military theme prompted by buying a Boche Buster 18" Rail gun. Many
weeks later, this activity has developed into swapping models via eBay,
including two new pals in New Zealand. Here again, I have to thank the Village
Shop and our postmen who have continued to serve as essential workers. But also,
I must thank here the most under-thanked of all, the Electricity Generation and
Supply Service - without whom hardly anything
we rely upon would function. Imagine, no lighting, no mobile or other
phones, no computers, TV, fridges, garage petrol, sewage, mains water, etc.,
etc., no model railways and NO NHS!. I'll say that again-NO NHS.
there enough words to describe our wonderful village shop? Throughout these
very uncertain and worrying times, the staff and volunteers have cared for us
so very well. No empty shelves or frustrating delivery slots to concern
minute it seemed that a very slick plan was put into place to cover every
eventuality. The weight of feeding ourselves through this unprecedented time
was lifted off our shoulders and before we knew it, we were assured of our
needs being met with the least possible hassle to ourselves. Every detail was
thought through from social distancing and cleanliness to delivering to the
door of those isolating and shielding. The ordering system of click and
collect has worked a dream in the safest possible way.
just can't begin to thank you enough for all of your hard work, thought and
care and for lifting our burdens and our spirits with a smile and caring
look around our beautiful village as we are slowly emerging from lockdown, to
see hanging baskets full of colour and gardens a joy to behold. A smile and
cheerful greeting from friends and neighbours in the village cements the sense
that this is truly a caring community and a wonderful place to live.
you to all.
Brian Hely - Rockton Cottage
S.R. Flour 3 oz Butter or Margarine
Demerara Sugar 4 oz Chopped Dates
Sliced uncooked Rhubarb
beaten with 4 tablespoons of Milk
butter or margarine into flour. Add sugar, dates and rhubarb and finally the
egg and milk mixture. Put in a greased shallow tin and cook at 180° until
firm and golden, approximately 30-40 minutes.
ideal recipe for people who are not very keen on rhubarb, especially if the
amount of rhubarb is halved making equal proportions of dates and rhubarb!
The recipe says serve dusted with icing sugar, but this is not essential.
FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL
a first taste of education
We managed to re-open our Pre-school
on the 3rd June after cleaning, changing the room lay out, removing soft toys
and furnishings, implementing regular cleaning routines and completing risk
assessments; complying with government guideline to include social distancing -
if that can be done with children aged 2, 3 and 4 years!
were only able to open to key worker families and to children due to start
school in September. Initially Pre-school felt empty and strange, but once
the children came back and began to play it felt like it was back to normal! We
had lots of outside play, ball games, water play, drawing chalk pictures, ride
on toys, hide and seek games, exploring the garden, as well as bringing stories
to life in role play. The Manor Hall Committee kindly allowed us to use the
hall on wet days, giving us extra space to play.The children have roared,
giggled, sang, counted and shouted "I've found you"! This must have been very
entertaining to all our neighbours.
children have been very good at understanding why Pre-school had to close,
about the Corona virus, that it makes people poorly, that you have to keep your
distance and you have to wash your hands lots! This is a real credit to all
our parents and carers who have explained the situation to their children. We
continue to have a duty of care to ensure that all our children and their
families keep well, physically, mentally and emotionally. During lock down it
was so lovely to receive messages and pictures from the children about their
home learning, gardening projects, walks as well as lots of cooking and baking.
Thank you to the
rainbow fairy who left this beautiful rainbow stone outside our Pre-school.
It is very much appreciated.
to wish all our children who are due to start primary school in September all
the very best and to enjoy their new learning journeys.
plan to open as normal in September, on the 7th, but we are aware that we need
to keep an eye on Government guidelines and ensure we follow them correctly.
to keep safe and well and we wish everyone a lovely summer holiday. We look
forward to a positive start to our new academic year in September.
the staff at Pre-school
Karen, Lynne and Emma
everyone in Berrynarbor
hope that you are keeping safe in these strange times.
if you are physically healthy, I think many people are feeling a bit fatigued
by it all now - me included.There's only so long we can keep up the feeling
of innovation or so many hobbies one can take up! I find that I have to often
remind myself at this time that this is not forever, that it is ok to find
things stressful, and to feel out of control. It's important at this time to
be reminded that, although we may feel out of control, God is in control. Part
of the good news of Jesus [the gospel] is that He is good and holds our future.
thing that people have been asking for is to be able to access our church
building. Unfortunately, St. Peter's Berrynarbor is unable to open its doors
safely at this time, but I am pleased to say that our sister churches are now
open for private prayer:
St. Peter Ad Vincula, Combe Martin:
Sundays 2.00 - 4.00 p.m. Thursdays 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon
Pip and Jim's, Ilfracombe,
Saturdays 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon Tuesdays 1.00 to 4.00 p.m.
be aware that as government advice changes, and as circumstances arise, we may
need to edit these times.
you enter the church buildings you will notice a few differences. As you
enter please clean your hands with the alcohol gel provided, follow the arrows
to a seat - marked 2 metres apart - where you can sit and pray, and once you
are ready to leave, please follow the arrows to the exit and use the alcohol
gel by the exit, this is a different door to the one you entered.When you
come to pray, you may like to bring your own Bible and/or prayer resources too.
At the entrance you will find QR codes linking to helpful resources, or you
can access them via these website addresses:
Light a virtual candle: www.churchofengland.org/light-a-candle
Read the Bible: www.biblegateway.com
also want to clarify that private prayer is the only reason the church building
can be used at this time. All church services are still online or by
telephone only, and tourist visits are not currently allowed. However, this
is under discussion and we will let you know once we are able to meet in person
also like to invite you to join us for our services online.
video goes live on our website each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. [but can be watched at
any time], along with a chat-box to join in with others watching and sharing at
the same time. It's a great way to
your toe in and experience a little of church. Why not take time to explore
what goes on.
end, I'd just like to give my thanks to everyone taking part in the amazing
work going on in the village.This attitude of care is nothing new in the
village of course, but speaks volumes at this time.
you know the peace of God at this time especially.
Peter, and all at St. Peter's Combe Martin
NEWS . . .
been a fight in the biscuit tin. A lad called Rocky hit a Penguin over the
head with a Club, tied him to a Wagon Wheel with a Blue Ribbon and made his
Breakaway in a Taxi.
say Rocky was last seen just After Eight in Maryland with a Ginger Nut known to
the police as Rich Tea. They didn't leave a crumb of evidence so the Jammie
Dodger got away with it!
Debbie Rigler Cook
a Dog's life in Lockdown
have done it! I have secured my place on the sofa and now I sneak on every
evening. Before this lockdown malarkey, I was not allowed up. It was the
floor or my bed for me. Ridiculous really as everyone knows you don't go to
bed during the day. It was also very unfair as Alfie the cat was allowed up
on the Mrs. knee every evening without fail! It was a real case of
prejudice. Nobody rallied to fight for my rights! I was being discriminated
against every evening! Quite unfair. Dog's rights matter too you know.
I don't quite know how I've accomplished it but I have.I am up on the sofa
every evening now and sometimes I even sneak on during the day. I think that
maybe the Mr. and Mrs. are getting a bit sick of only having each other for
entertainment night after night.The Mr. succumbed quite quickly. He
pretends to be tough but is a push over with me. I just have to nestle my
head on his knee and look up at him with my puppy dog eyes and he is putty in
my hands . . . or rather I am putty in his. He knows how to stroke and tickle
my ears. I love it. The Mrs. was tougher to crack . . . reckon it's cos she
has to clean the sofa or it could be that since lockdown she has definitely put
on a few pounds that she is eagerly trying to hide. Maybe she thought my
weight and hers would break the chair. Anyway, she has given up saying 'No'
and I now take my spot between them every evening.The only one getting their
tummy tickled now on that settee is me!
are a couple of problems I have had to adapt to with my new seating
arrangement. Firstly, that settee moves. I am just getting comfy and the
Mrs. presses a button and it elevates her feet so she is horizontal. No
warning, off she goes! Then a little while later when she needs a wee or a
cup of tea, it moves again. I will be lying in a really comfy way and my head
is jet-propelled down to the ground. No consideration whatsoever! Up down
all evening. It's like being on a seesaw. I can tell it annoys the Mr. too
although he never complains if it includes a cup of tea. .. Just wish I could
work out how to chew that button and stop the mechanism. Give me time!
there is the problem with Alfie the cat. It really is tough for us dogs when
we have to share our homes with cats. They are under the illusion that they
are the superior race. Don't get me wrong, I love Alfie. I always get
overly excited when I see him. I just can't help myself. My tail starts
wagging and I feel the need to lick
him to death. Alfie doesn't seem to appreciate it. Odd really, as all he
seems to do is lie around sleeping or licking himself all day. I am simply
saving him a job. Anyway, as I said earlier, he has the cheek to sneak onto
the Mrs. knee every evening, like a king taking up his throne. Sneak is
probably the wrong word as he proclaims his entry into the room with a loud 'Miaow'.
This gets me excited and I can't help myself, so I launch in to welcome him
and it ends in a flurry of hair, hissing and excitement, [all on the Mrs. knee].
Believe you me she is not amused and I always end up in the dog house!
there is the issue of my sleeping habits. You see I dream a lot. I can be
dreaming about running across the beach and my legs start racing much to the
annoyance of Mr. and Mrs.
can't help it and if it's really such a big problem they should go and sit in
I best sign off now, but before I go, I must say thank you for all the lovely
compliments you gave the Mrs. about my last blog. I am glad my blog makes you
smile. It's important we keep our spirits up during these strange times. Be
assured I would lick you each personally if I could, but social distancing
prevents me. Maybe one day soon . . . in the meantime stay safe.
As pubs, clubs and restaurants have re-opened,
is beginning to look more familiar. It was good to be able to support The
Globe, recently, and as it was a sunny evening, we grabbed the opportunity to
eat and drink outside 'over the road', once again. We didn't recognise
anybody else, perhaps because it was a Monday evening, which proves that
the camp sites and other hospitality venues, locally, are also open. All local
facilities need the trade, after enforced closures.
sure everybody is hoping that we do not become a regional lockdown and
village events will start to happen again. That said, I know Wine Circle
members have not joined the Temperance Society since our last meeting, which
also know that groups of friends have met up outside, socially-distancing, of
course, but enjoying a chatty atmosphere over a glass or two . . . or three!
The Wine Circle hopes to use the Manor Hall once again, on Wednesday, October
21st, 8.00 p.m. We look forward to seeing new and 'old' faces, for the
REFLECTIONS - 95
the June 2019 Newsletter, Jenny Williams compared the day-to-day life of a
butterfly to one that is lived solely in the present moment. She then added
that this is something that we can all experience with enjoyment and reward
during our time on this earthly plane. My last article was testimony to this,
the piece featuring the various bird activity I had observed whilst sat in my
back garden. By doing so, I had been able to appreciate my natural
environment at a time when, due to the COVID19 outbreak, the government had
initially put in place strict safety restrictions on our movements;limitations
which as a consequence inhibited usual explorations of my rural locale.
my observational practice did not just achieve the goal of bringing the
countryside to my doorstep. It also encouraged me to remain focused on the
here and now;for it was not just my visual radar that remained on red alert -
all of my senses became instinctively honed in on my surroundings.This in
turn helped distract my thoughts away from the coronavirus.No longer did I
dwell on previous news bulletins or fret over possible negative outcomes. Moreover,
it helped me maintain a healthy outlook - something I have continually
encouraged others to do by seeking out positive new items whilst the crisis
thinking is good for one's well-being.It was therefore interesting that when
the initial lockdown was imposed the government were keen for people, if they
could, to still go out once a day for a non-essential walk, cycle or run for
the benefit of their physical and mental health. I found it a curious choice
of terminology. Whilst I cannot doubt the physical benefits that can be
gained from undertaking these pursuits, I feel that any psychological gain, in
particular from walking, is dependent upon the participant's mental attitude.
For if a walk is to be mentally advantageous it is vital that, like a
butterfly, the walker enjoys the present moment by taking in their surroundings
and drawing upon the positive features that they notice within their
practice is similar to the concept of mindful walking, something Robert
McFarlane adhered to on numerous walks that he undertook in his book The Old
Ways. On one trip, he recalled how he had just set out on a hike with a
Spanish friend along a Calzada Romana [Spanish Roman road] when he noticed what
looked like a large jay feather [he later discovered it had come from an
azure-winged magpie.] "You see," his friend commented, "I
don't need to walk miles to find things out.Six paces will do well for
me." He then added, "There is a Spanish saying, Caminar ses
atesorar!, which means to walk is to gather treasure!" What a beautiful
metaphor; for if you mindfully walk in the present moment, you will indeed see
things you have never discovered before.
writing his book, McFarlane was keen to emphasis how Edward Thomas [b1878] was
his guiding spirit.Thomas was a singer, soldier, poet and essayist who from a
young age was both a keen walker and writer.After making a reputation with
travel logs, natural history books and biographies, he turned to poetry in the
winter of 1914, writing 142 poems in just over four years.Yet throughout his
life - one that was curtailed when he was killed on the opening dawn of the
battle of Arres in 1917 - he had battled with depression.Walking was Thomas's
therapy and in particular tracking along ancient ways which in his view were 'potent,
magic things . . . worn by the trailing staves of long dead generations.'
each walk, he would internalise the features of its path-filled landscape;
every corner, junction, style, finger post, fork, crossroad, each small track
that led off the path and all that beckoned from a hilltop.Thomas not only
thought on paths; he thought of each path and with each path, allowing him to
make what he called 'time as nothing'. But most critically, paths gave form to
his melancholy and hopes.
Downs were his heartland, being at the centre of his 'South Country'. For
this was an area he had walked on far longer than any other. On one occasion,
whilst he and his wife Helen were staying in Wiltshire, they were walking along
an old track when they noticed the prehistoric White Horse figure in the hills
at Uffington, formed from deep trenches and filled with crushed white chalk.Helen
immediately became thrilled by what she proclaimed as 'discoveries upon the
ancient ways' that allowed her to 'have a sense of being connected by footfall
to history and tradition.'Her comment pleased Thomas, now satisfied that he
had fulfilled his ambition to teach his wife to walk differently; not just with
her legs, or even with all of her body - but to feel the landscape as she moved
Thomas, the writer George Borrow [b1803] was also a depressive. Although he
took to tramping in the 1820's, he cut a distinctive figure in the countryside,
always dressed in a black cloth suit, white stockings and sombrero.He had an
awesome stamina, walking thousands of miles across England, Wales, France,
Spain and Russia.To help manage his depression he would study with intent his
vista as he walked. When reading his prose one can sense him feel the breeze
in his face, study the stars for his ceiling and use the hedgerows to
philosophise. In time, this form of what Borrow regarded as 'open journeying',
led to a growing cult of 'leisure vagabondage' which, by the end of the 1800's,
had led to the foundation of the first walking clubs. It also inspired the
writer and ornithologist W.H. Hudson [b1841] to pioneer psychogeography - the
concept of walking and waiting - which he regarded as 'the charm of the
across the Atlantic, the mountaineer John Muir [b1838] achieved a walk of 1000
miles from Indianapolis to Florida Keys in 1867. Fifteen years later, the
Sierra Club Foundation was conceived, inspired by Muir's conviction that 'the
walker's bodily contact with the wild world benefits both walker and world' and
that, 'going out . . . was really going in'.
Scottish writer and poet Nan (Anna) Shepherd [b1893] was especially expressive
about her bodily connection with the land upon which she walked, in particular
placing emphasis upon the union between the soles of her feet and the ground
beneath them. 'Walking barefoot has gone out of fashion', she wrote in 1945. 'But
sensible people are reviving the habit.'In his book, McFarlane recollects the
occasions when he too walked barefoot detailing the terrains' textures,
sensations, resistances, planes and slopes. He regarded these episodes as
occasions when 'the skin of the walker meets the skin of the land', adding that
such contact provides a tactile detail of the landscape that can go so easily
unnoticed when walking.A truly mindful approach - and one that Nan Shepherd
would greatly approve of.
is best known for her seminal mountain memoir The Living Mountain, based on her
experiences of hill walking in the Cairngorms. She brings the book to a close
by stating that 'on the mountains I am beyond desire . . . I am not out of
myself but in myself. I am.' In other words, she celebrated what is known
as the metaphysical rhythm of the pedestrian - put simply, the beat of the
lifted and placed foot.This is the true definition of mindful walking;and
for people who, despite their attempts to take in their surroundings still have
difficulty diverting their thoughts from the past or future, focusing on one's
footsteps should do truly bring one's attention into the present moment.
however, I find that studying all that I see around me suffices - and by
undertaking close observations, I find that I see new things every day even on
the same walk. It was the same for the American essayist, poet and
philosopher Henry David Thoreau [b1817] who found that great happiness could be
gained from the prospect of going for a regular walk and noticing something
new. As he put it, 'a single farmhouse which I had not seen before is
sometimes as good as the Dominions of the King of Dahoney.'
why not try it? Or if you have difficulty getting out, maybe studying a
pictorial book or magazine? Either way, you will be bringing your attention to
the here and now - and in so doing, allow your fears and worries to ease away.
travelled hundreds of miles and telling of them in 180 articles over a 30-year
span, our Local Walker has decided that the time has now come to hang up her
boots and other walking gear.
wonder how many miles have been walked and how many flora and fauna have been
described? Churches and other interesting and special architectural buildings
have been visited, encouraging us, the readers, to walk and go and see them for
the years, Paul has enhanced the walks with his charming illustrations.
am sure that, like me, readers will miss these delightful articles and I give a
sincere huge thank you to both walker and artist for their incredible and
generous support of the Newsletter.
you both and with my very best wishes for the future.
LIBRARIES RETURN TO THE ROAD
the time you read this, Kate and the Tiverton Mobile Library will be back on
the road and will have visited us here in Berrynarbor. For the time being
there will be a new type of contactless service, called Choose and Collect.
for Choose and Collect means that library staff will ask you about reading
likes and dislikes and will select up to 5 books for you based on your
preference. The books will be issued to your library card, placed in a bag
and you simply collect them from your regular stop.
of the mobile library should have been contacted and if you have not and would
like a Choose and Collect delivery, please contact the Tiverton Library by
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call
hopes to be able to allow readers safely back on the mobile library to choose
for yourselves in the not too distant future.
Library will be at the Village Shop from 11.40 a.m. to 12.10 p.m. and the
Sterridge Valley from 12.25 to 12.50 p.m. on Tuesdays 25th August and 22nd
PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME!
Headmaster of a small, private school, Prime College, used to have pupils back
to his house for special tuition when taking exams.
would leave the key to his home under a stone so that if he was late to come
in, the boys could let themselves in and sit and wait for him to arrive.
two boys, Brian and Vic, knew that on that afternoon he would be attending a
fete, so they decided to go and have a look in his house.
let themselves in and saw a large punnet of ripe strawberries on the kitchen
table. The temptation was too great! They scoffed the lot and left.
next morning at assembly the Headmaster demanded that Brian and Vic attend his
have brought you here to punish you for taking my strawberries." he said.
Sir" the lads said together. "But how did you know it was us?"
you both have strawberry juice down your shirt fronts." the Headmaster
"I think six of the best for both of you." And with that he took out his
cane and justice was done.
you know that hedgehogs are being lost from the parks and gardens of Britain at
a rate of around 5% per year?!
are very lucky to have hedgehogs here in The Sterridge Valley. A couple of
years ago we released a pair of rescued hedgehogs for Anni at North Devon
Hedgehog Rescue. We support-fed them with specialist hedgehog food for a
number of weeks before they disappeared out into the wilds!
couple of our neighbours have seen hedgehogs visiting their own gardens, and so
we know that they are doing quite well and seem to be thriving here.
you would like to help by supporting our hedgehogs there are a number of things
that you can do:
hedgehogs roam between 1-2km each night when they are active, and it is
therefore critical that they can access a wide range of gardens and habitat,
making the Sterridge Valley ideal. If you're lucky enough to see hedgehogs in
your garden, then please help by logging this information on the Big Hedgehog
Map - www.bighedgehogmap.org .
is not usual to see hedgehogs out during daylight hours, so this could possibly
be a sign that something is wrong.
out food and water for hedgehogs can be very helpful as hedgehogs can struggle
finding enough to drink, so a shallow dish of water, NOT MILK, as hedgehogs are
lactose intolerant, will help them if they are struggling.The majority of a
hedgehog's diet is made up of invertebrates, but they can benefit from extra
supplementary food - meaty cat or dog food or specialist hedgehog food.
ponds safe is another important thing you can do. Hedgehogs are brilliant
swimmers, but like everything, they can't swim forever, so make sure they have
an easy escape route, a plank of wood or gradual slope will work!
Careful When Mowing/Strimming And Always Check First because hedgehogs will not run away from the noise, they will
just curl into a ball, and if not seen, could face some VERY serious injuries! And
it's not just hedgehogs, other types of wildlife could be sheltering or nesting
of safety, Bonfires are another thing that should be checked carefully
first, or if possible, moved to a different location altogether! Again, this
is because a bonfire is the perfect nesting or foraging area for hedgehogs and
can be a dream home for other animals. When it comes round to bonfire night,
use the hashtag - #RememberHedgehogs on social media, and remind others to
check before they light!
finally, try to avoid using chemicals and
pesticides as they take away many animals' food supply! Ways to help keep
slugs away whilst not using chemicals:
natural predators into your garden!
is a slug deterrent due to its salt content. Use plenty of dried seaweed around
the base of your plants, being careful for it not to touch the stems. The sharp
texture will also make it difficult for the slugs to crawl over!
broken egg shells or coffee grounds around the base of the plant as slugs do
not like the texture!
garlic next to your crops will help as this is a repellent.
I should just like to thank Anni at North Devon Hedgehog Rescue for doing an
amazing job of helping these beautiful and fascinating little animals through
her voluntary rescue work.
you see a hedgehog that is injured, unwell or you are concerned about, please
contact Anni for advice on 07964522359
You for reading this and helping wildlife!
Ruby Reynolds 
1943 I was working for Claude and Gladys Richards, the owners of Hammonds Farm,
Berrynarbor. They employed two workmen, myself and a man from Berrydown called
had five Red Ruby fat bullocks he wanted to sell at Blackmoor Gate Auctions. At
that time, transport would have been expensive or non-existent, however, Claude
went along to see a farmer who owned a field next to the cattle market. His
plan was to take the bullocks to Blackmoor Gate and put them in the field the
day before the market in order to avoid them suffering from any stress. He
would then take them out the next day ready for auction. The farmer agreed, no
doubt for a handshake or a small fee!
one morning he said to me and Jack, "I want you to fetch two ponies from the
field and to drive the five bullocks to Blackmoor Gate and put them in the
field for auction the next day."
we saddled up the two ponies and off we set, at a slow walking pace, on our
way. I rode in front and Jack followed behind. There was little or no
traffic on the road then and it took us about four hours. Claude gave us one
shilling and six pence to buy lunch when we arrive at the Blackmoor Gate Hotel.
hotel in those days was mainly open to farmers with a long dining room. The
only menu was cold meat, pickles and mashed potatoes, with apple tart and
custard for afters and a cup of tea or coffee. By the time we had had our
meal and rode back home, there was not much time for anything else!
following morning, we had to leave home early and ride to Blackmore gate again,
round up the bullocks and take them from the field into the auction ring, ready
for auction - all very time consuming, but in those days, time did not seem to
hotel burnt down in 1970 with the tragic death of a young maid. I don't know
who the landlord was but I do know in the 1950's the landlord was Ron Meredith
who later took over The Globe Inn from Charley Blackmore. My brother, Ken
Draper, worked for him at The Globe when he was demobbed after the Second World
War, before he went back to his trade as a baker and confectioner for Southcombes
and later Lees of Ilfracombe.
Auction Day, Blackmoor Gate
Aerial View, Blackmoor Gate
Hotel & Restaurant
From the Tom Bartlett Postcard Collection
Thank goodness for beautiful Berrynarbor we are so lucky to live in this lovely
village and never more so than in these difficult times.
year because of the corona virus, all competitions were cancelled. However, this
has not stopped the group from planting up the tubs, and hanging out the
hanging baskets around the village. We had already put in our orders for
plants and we do it for the love of our village not just to win the
did have problems though as Grow@Jigsaw who
supply our plants were unable at the last moment to fulfil our order because of
social distancing - they work with many who are in the
risk group. We had to put in a last-minute order to St John's garden centre
and although the plants were of a good quality, cost us more.
We managed all the planting out while socially distancing and even
managed a cuppa and slice of cake 2 metres apart in the village square.
Wild flower planting in the small dog walking field has been
completed. The seed and plug plants arrived in lockdown and at the beginning
of 8 weeks of dry, sunny weather. The plug
were tiny so we potted them up [300 plugs] and waited. We have only planted
approximately a quarter of the small field, an area to the left and right of
the lower half of the field on either side of the new path. The seed has also
been sown which comprises annual and perennial wild flowers. We waited until
the dry spell of weather ended or the seed would otherwise have been expensive
fund this project we had a donation of £227.00 from a couple of generous
villagers and that was matched by a grant from the North Devon District
Council. We now await the results in hopeful anticipation of a glorious
display of wild flowers. We do not intend to do anything in the large dog
walking field as the grass there needs to be kept shorter.
we are not able to hold any fund-raising events this summer but hope we will be
able to nearer Christmas or in the new year when hopefully life becomes a bit
are in season at the moment and this is a lovely moist
cake but peaches would work just as well if you prefer. The recipe says 2lbs
of apricots but I used 2 punnets from the supermarket, slightly less. Cut the
apricots in half and remove the stones.
dessert spoon lemon juice
butter at room temperature
golden caster sugar
tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
sugar and apricot jam to finish [optional]
the oven to 350F/160C. Grease the bottom and sides of a spring form or loose
bottomed 9-inch cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment/greaseproof
a food processor or stick blender, puree one punnet [or half] of the raw apricots
with the lemon juice. If you don't have either, chop the apricots very finely
and set aside.
the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a
time with a spoonful of the flour mix to prevent curdling. Add the vanilla and
mix again. Now mix in the flour mix and
the pureed apricots. Transfer the batter to the tin, smooth the top and place
the halved apricots from the second punnet in a pattern over the top.
for 55 - 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out cleanly
or with just a few crumbs adhering. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes then
transfer to a cooling rack A little
apricot jam brushed over the apricots intensifies the flavour. This cake is
lovely served warm dredged in icing sugar or cold with a generous drizzle of
water icing or again dredged in
sugar with a big blob of clotted cream! Yummy
I will begin", thought Katy, as she dropped asleep that night", and that's What
Katy Did is an 1872 children's classic following the adventures of a
twelve-year-old American girl, Katy Carr, a tall, untidy tomboy, always getting
into scrapes, but wanting to be beautiful and loved. Invalided by a terrible
accident, her four-year recovery gradually teaches her to be as good and kind
as she had always wanted to be. Her adventures follow in What Katy Did at
School  and What Katy Did Next . The title is a play on the
katydid, a family of insects, which explains the insects on the 1st edition
book cover. The adventures of Katy's younger siblings appear in Clover 
and In The High Valley .
Katy books were the work of American author Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, who wrote
under the pen name Susan Coolidge.
Woolsey was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on the 29th January 1835, the eldest of
the five children of wealthy and influential New England parents, John and Jane
Woolsey. The family later moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1852.
the American Civil War [1861-1865], Sarah worked as a nurse, after which she
began to write, not only the Katy books but many other short stories, poems and
fictional Carr family was modelled on her own, with Katy inspired by Sarah
herself, and Katy's brothers and sisters on her own younger siblings: Jane
Andrews Woolsey [25.10.1836] who married the Rev. Henry Yardley; Elizabeth
Dwight Woolsey [24.4.1838-1910], who married Daniel Coit Gilman; Theodora
Walton Woolsey [7.9.1840], and William Walton Woolsey [18.7.1842], who married
Catherine Buckingham Convers, daughter of Charles Cleveland Convers.
Woolsey never married, always living in the family home until her death in
Newport, Rhode Island, on the 9th April 1905.
PARISH COUNCIL. . .
of us returning to the new "normal", we hope you are managing to stay safe and
up-to-date with the latest information. Devon County Council, and
NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and the Police and Crime Commissioner's
Office, recognise that not everyone has access to the internet and digital
information and have therefore commissioned a one-off newspaper, for news and
information related to coronavirus. It will be delivered to around
300,000 households across Devon over the next week or so, delivered
door-to-door to households that they know are less likely to have digital
access to news and information. There is also a digital copy and further
information on DCC's website https://www.devon.gov.uk/ The Government has now advised that play areas can re-open, the
Parish Council has completed risk assessments which are available on the
website and is awaiting appropriate signage for the Manor Hall and Recreation
Field Play Areas which, once erected, will allow the play areas/equipment to be
re-opened. The Parish Council is also investigating how it can safely
re-open the public toilets and is seeking advice on cleaning regimes.
Parish Council has received complaints about the cars parking along the
bridleway and blocking access to Broadsands Beach along with the amount of
litter that is being discarded on the beach by those visiting. These
concerns have been discussed with the County Councillor and the Public Rights
of Way Officer and it is the intention under the P3 scheme to instalLbollards
for public safety to enforce RTA S34(1) 1998* and provide safe access for
emergency vehicles at all times to BridlewayNo13, Old Coast Road,
1998 states it is a criminal offence to drive a mechanical vehicle on a
footpath, bridleway or restricted byway without lawful authority.
with regret that our Clerk, Victoria, has decided to resign.
already the full-time clerk at Fremington and together with her family
commitments, feels that she no longer has the time to commit to an additional
has had a profound effect on the way our Council operates. She has been
instrumental in implementing so many positive changes and as a result enabled
us to win the foundation level under the local council award scheme for the way
the council is run. She has been successful in winning grant funding which,
in turn, has improved the fabric of our parish.
Her knowledge of
the workings of parish councils is second only to her professionalism and she
will be sorely missed by all of us.
Victoria all the very best in her future career and family life and thank her
for all her help.
Parish Council is seeking a
PARISH CLERK & RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER
is an active Parish Council looking for someone with a 'can do' attitude who is
self-motivated and conscientious. Applicants will need to be computer
literate and able to prepare council agendas and record minutes; they should
also be familiar with financial procedures and able to communicate effectively
with a range of organisations and members of the public. The ideal
candidate will have prior experience or knowledge of Local Government. The
salary is in line with NALC's scales and is dependent on experience and
qualifications. The position is 25 hours per month to include attendance
at monthly evening meetings [currently held virtually]. For an application
pack or informal chat please contact: Cllr Adam Stanbury, Chairman on 07788668903 or
& SHAKERS NO. 88
[with his wife Patricia] St John's Garden Centre, Barnstaple
the troublesome days of Lockdown during the Covid-19 crisis, there has been a
blossoming of interest in our gardens, partly through fear of shortages of
vegetables, but mainly that it has been a healthy and rewarding activity at a
time when we were confined to our homes. Gardens have never looked more cared
- even if no one else can see and appreciate them! But now, thankfully,
garden centres are back in business. North Devon's leading Garden Centre, St
John's, and its offshoot at Ashford, are both seeing increasing sales. But
how did St John's Garden Centre come about?
we need to go back to 1958, when David Oliver and his wife Patricia, already
having two baby sons, Nicholas and Simon, started a nursery as a smallholding,
growing and harvesting flowers and vegetables for sale in the area.
was used to the horticultural side of this business. He moved to North Devon
in 1942 when he was 12. His father, Colonel John Oliver was in the British
Army, stationed at Chivenor at that time. He was based at the Imperial Hotel
and the rest of his family lived in Hele. He was de-mobbed in 1945 and
looking for a settled home for all of them. His brother lived at Pickwell
Manor, Georgeham, and offered one of his cottages to the family, and a bit of
his land to grow vegetables and flowers. Colonel Oliver jumped at the idea.
He had a large family to feed: four boys and two girls. So, he started a market
garden, producing mainly tomatoes and cucumbers as well as flowers. The
business was a great success, particularly the flowers.
David's oldest son, remembers his grandma picking bunches of polyanthus,
anemones and other flowers which were sent by train from Braunton to Covent
Garden. Their salad produce and other vegetables were popular locally.
National Service, David went to Bicton Agricultural College to pursue his
interest in horticulture. There he met Patsy and they married in 1956.
four sons continued the market gardening, but by 1958 David decided to splash
out on his own. He and Patsy set up a smallholding, growing harvesting and
selling vegetables and flowers, on a site that had been his potato field.
This is now home to the Rose Lane Tesco supermarket.
many years later, they acquired the piece of land adjoining them. This came
about due to the upheaval caused by Dr Beeching in 1963, closing the railway
between Barnstaple and Taunton which ran through what is now the site of the
garden centre. When the land along the line came up for sale, a consortium of
Adjacent Landowners was set up between Barnstaple and East Anstey, each
tendering for his piece of land. Nick recalls that his father paid £100 for his
bit - and £130 to his solicitors to complete the job!
1971, the enterprising couple expanded their business calling it St. John's
Nurseries, where they grew mainly salad produce. Nick recalls that the family
lived at one end of the packing shed and the fruit was housed at the other!
He also remembers that he had a childhood diet of split tomatoes and odd-shaped
John's Garden Centre opened in 1981 at its present site in Newport. Initially
it was fairly small but has been added to over the years to become the thriving
business that we all love.
ambition didn't stop there. In 1989 he opened a branch in Taunton which ran
for 11 years. During that time, however, it was hard to run, mainly because
of the difficulty in finding the right staff. The Hydrological Centre and a
national bank mopped up the good folk. When a Pensions Company approached him
asking if he was willing to sell, he agreed!
2007, David and Patsy made a nominal handover of directorships to their three
sons, Nick, Simon and Tom. This gave David more time to enjoy his hobby of
sailing - his special interest. In 1971 he had helped found the Watermouth
Yacht Club. It is still open to local members and visitors. Watermouth
harbour, as we all know, dries out at low tide, resulting in yachtsmen having
to stay at sea or not sail at their convenience, so eventually David moved his
boat to Plymouth. Here he became interested in the RNLI and ended up as
President of the Barnstaple and District branch.
his activities didn't stop him from keeping a friendly eye on the Garden Centre
and he visited most days when available.
is still continuing. In 2018 the former Wyevale Garden Centre at Ashford
became another branch of St John's. It is going well, and doesn't detract
from the main Barnstaple branch whose sales are still increasing. St John's
now employs a sizeable 120 staff.
of the forthcoming events have been cancelled due to the virus, but it is hoped
that by the end of October, the annual Pumpkin Carving Festival [open to all
ages] will still be held at Ashford.
is positive news at St John's Garden Centre. It has now been trading for 62
years. This, says Nick, is largely due to its founder's philosophy. He
says, "David was an inspiration to his family and to his business. He wanted
people to enjoy their visit to his Garden Centre. Then they would always come
back". He also instilled in his staff an ethic of enjoying work, meeting and
talking to people.
Oliver died on 20th June 2018 after a short illness, but Patsy, now in her 90's
is still enjoying life and is visited most days by one of her sons. Thanks to
this enterprising couple starting the business, we can all keep our gardens,
patios and homes well supplied with vegetables, fruit and flowers, buy the
necessary gardening products and furniture to relax in afterwards, treat our
pets, watch the happy faces of the young ones as they explore Jungleland, enjoy
a coffee and homemade scone or more substantial meal in the Conservatory Café,
or even buy a wooden mousetrap. It's all there!
you, David and Patsy.
thanks to Nick Oliver for information and use of family photographs
David with Nick and Simon
BERRYNARBOR NO. 186
month I have chosen two cards of the Sterrage Valley. The first a Frances
Frith No. 63954 first published 1911; the second published by E.J.B. and given
the number 504.02, which has been printed in Saxony, Germany, c1903.
sepia cards, virtually the same view, show just how steep and twisting the road
is. These days the trees have grown so high on both sides that the road ahead
is hidden from view.
the case of the Frith card, there is a person in the foreground, but as with
Frith cards, this could have been added to enhance the view! The card has an
Ilfracombe 4th July 1918 postmark with a red one penny stamp, and has been sent
N. Butler, Nursing Home, Manor Park, Lee, London S.E.13. The message reads:
"We are going to drive round this track one day, it is very dangerous part
good for the nerves. Love from S.
our village roads would have been just scraped stone, so very dusty in the
summer and very slippery in the winter or when it rained! Tarmacadam did not
appear on our roads or lanes until after the First World War.
Cottage, July 2020 e-mail: email@example.com