Although July didn't break any of our records, it was warm (often hot), dry and
still for most of the month and it felt like proper summer weather. The maximum
temperature was 27.8 Deg C with a minimum of 10.6 Deg C and winds were light for most
of the month reaching 22 knots on two days.
The total rainfall was only 31mm, 18mm fell on the 4th and 6mm on the 7th so
the rest of the month was very dry, in fact it was the second driest July we
have recorded only being surpassed by July 2013 when we had 21mm. Likewise,
the hours of sunshine recorded at 210.93 was the second highest after last
August was disappointing. The first proper rain for a while fell on the
1st (21mm) and it continued showery. Hurricane Bertha made her presence felt
on Sunday 10th with heavy rain followed by blustery showers, although it was
not as bad here as forecast. Although the low tracked rapidly to the North of
Scotland, it upset the weather here for most of the month with cooler
temperatures and quite strong winds at times. Nationally it was the coldest
August for several years. We recorded a maximum of 24.1 Deg C on the 5th and a
minimum of 8.1 Deg C on the 20th with a wind chill of 6 Deg C. In some
parts of the county there were reports of frost with temperatures dropping to
3.7 Deg C and 3.6 Deg C on the 19th and 20th. The temperature started to recover on
the 25th, Bank Holiday Monday, but with 17mm of rain it was a washout! The
total rain for the month was 120mm,
August is very variable so that was nothing out of the ordinary. Despite the
cool conditions there were 181.97 hours of sunshine which was the highest since
WWI COMMEMORATIVE EXHIBITION
Berrynarbor has often been described as a special village as it has all the required
facilities, but it takes more than facilities to make a good village. It takes
people and it seems to have an abundance of special people, willing to offer
their ideas, prized possessions and time, but perhaps we all believe that if a
job's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
International events were televised, but cities, towns and villages played
their part too. Stuart Neale led the planning for Berrynarbor's tribute, ably
assisted by a team of volunteers. After several months of researching,
telephoning and gathering, the Manor Hall event was described by a villager as
'Excellent!' On the day, Saturday August 2nd, all volunteers wore
period costume, which added to this commemoration, visited by more than 200
Children from the village school, Years 3-4 and 5-6, created their own war
memorial, so effective that somebody thought the real one had been brought in
from the churchyard! Summarised life histories of three Berrynarbor Boys
were nearby, a reminder that village lads had lived and worked here before
leaving their homes, like thousands of others, but never returning.
Items lent included medals, beautiful and period hand-embroidered postcards
sent to loved ones, photographs and books of exquisite Great War drawings by a
Government War Artist. Stories of grandfathers or great uncles who left our
shores, once trained, and fought in battles such as the Somme in France, Passchendaele
and Ypres in Belgium and those further afield, including Palestine. All were
there for remembering and reading.
Colourful flags, one for every participating country, hung above Codebreakers'
Corner, a quiz-type game complete with a Morse Code machine for the children,
as well as numerous recruitment posters,
and information relating to the international leaders of the day. And, of
course, a delicious refreshments corner where homemade goodies were served
throughout the day and lunch was of the era - Trench Soup, Game Pie and
To see WW1 veterans in a video relating their personal stories of trench
warfare, the bombings and the fighting was extremely moving and made viewers
glad and grateful that they and their immediate family members had not been
involved in any World War, and so say all of us.
The day's event produced a very gratifying £420 which is to be sent to the
Royal Star and Garter Homes who have been helping injured servicemen since WW1.
Geoff Adam and Jim Constantine
WRIGHT, NEE HUXTABLE
Newsletter - and its website - is read all over the world, so it was great to
hear from Paul Savje of Boston, Massachusetts, who has been researching his
wife's family and whose grandmother was Ellen Wright.
Ellen Huxtable was born in 1858, the daughter of farmer John and Harriet [nee
Perrin] Huxtable. John and Harriet began their married life at Lidford Farm,
Ilfracombe, but by 1857 they had moved to Bowden Farm and around 1881 they
moved to Ruggaton Farm, a neighbouring farm of 130 acres.
Ellen was baptised on the 5th December with her 3 year old brother, Frederick,
at St. Peter's, Berrynarbor, the fifth of eight children.
December 1882 Ellen married James Wright, born in Sandford, mid-Devon in 1861,
and who started the West of England Iron Works, a very successful engineering
business. How James and Ellen met is not known. Berrynarbor is over 30
miles from Sandford.
about the time of his wedding Ellen was already pregnant and James left the
family business in Sandford and took a job as a blacksmith in Swansea. His
new wife was left behind with her parents at Ruggaton Farm. James's departure
to Swansea played a major part in initiating the tragedy that followed. Ellen
must have been missing her husband; she was pregnant and her behaviour
possibly triggered by emotions and hormones. For whatever reason, she
embarked on a most foolish crime, in which she was bound to be discovered and
seems to have had no understanding of the banking system.
North Devon Journal reported the incident in detail in its edition of 25th
OF FORGING A CHEQUE
Saturday afternoon Ellen Wright, a married woman about 23 years of age,
daughter of a farmer of Ruggaton Farm, Berrynarbor, was charged before N. Vye,
Esq., and G.N. Maule, Esq., at the Town Hall, with feloniously forging on
January 19th a banker's cheque, for the payment of £30 with intent to
defraud. The prisoner who has been but recently married, and was accompanied
by her father, mother and sister, was allowed a seat during the hearing of the
case. Considerable interest was manifested in the proceedings and the Town
Hall was densely crowded.
J.A. Thorne, barrister at law, instructed by Messrs. Barnett and Langdon,
appeared on behalf of the National Provincial Bank. The prisoner was
undefended." Full details of the trial follow.
Paul continues: Less than a week after committing the crime, Ellen, carrying
her first child, newly married daughter of respectable solid Victorian yeoman
and churchwarden and his wife, a member of a well-regarded tradesman's family,
was incarcerated in Exeter Prison. The Nominal Register of Devon County
Prison, Exeter, recorded the following about Prisoner No. l860 Ellen Wright:
on 20th January at Ilfracombe and at the Assizes at Exeter Castle on 23rd
January 1883, Forgery of a banker's cheque for the payment of £30. Sentence:
6 calendar months with hard labour. Aged 23, born in Ilfracombe. No previous
convictions listed, Married, Religion: C of E,
Dark Brown, Height: 5ft 5 ins, Education: Imp [imperfect], Distinguishing
marks - two cuts across left wrist. Slight scar over right eye. Date of
Discharge: 22nd July 1883.
can only speculate as to how she had acquired the two cuts across her left
wrist. Lilian Wright, the first daughter of Ellen and James was born on the
19th May 1883 in H.M. Prison, Exeter.
is difficult to imagine the horror that Ellen must have felt at her
imprisonment amongst sad and frightening examples of the Victorian female
underclass. Nonetheless, she survived.
she was released, Ellen found that James had changed both job and address. He
signed on as a signal man for the Great Western Railway in March 1883 at the
rate of 18 shillings per week, and moved to Cardiff. Ellen joined her husband
in Wales. Their second daughter, Florence Miriam was born in 1886. James
committed some minor infringements of the rules of work but managed to escape
with cautions and no fines, despite these, his weekly wage was increased year
by year to 22 shillings by 1886. Sadly, Ellen's father died in 1888, but in
March that year Ellen gave birth to a son, Arthur John. The family was then
living in Canton, Glamorgan.
might hope that the family had put their troubles behind them and could settle
down as if the events of l883 could be left behind. But in fact it was at
this time that the marriage and family fell apart. In about
1889 Ellen seems to have left James for another man - Ernest Frayling. And as
if this was not bad enough, in James's work record with the GWR there is a
final and unexplained entry for February 1889 'dismissed'. Was his dismissal
linked to the departure of his wife?
the time of the 1891 census, the family had split up. James had disappeared
completely and cannot be found on the return anywhere. Daughters Lilian and
Florence were living with their widowed grandmother, Eliza Wright, in Sandford
and Ellen was at Newcastle upon Tyne with her new partner. She claimed that
her occupation was tailoress and had knocked 10 years off her age! Ellen and
Frayling, who was a cabinet maker, had baby Arthur John with them. It may be
that Arthur was Ernest's son although his birth certificate
that he was the son of James. This move to the other side of the country
suggests that Ellen and Ernest were trying to get as far away from James, South
Wales and Devon as they could.
is no record of a marriage between Ellen and Ernest though she was using his
surname and over the coming years they had three children, Ernest Francis or
Frank, Alfred Sydney and Maud Eleanora.
3 sons - Arthur, Frank and Alfred
According to the family, Ernest had some kind of furniture business - a shop or
factory, which was burnt down. It appears that misfortune continued to follow
Ellen, for in 1899 Ernest died in Somerset aged only
Ellen's Great Granddaughter, Cheryl Frayling Wright, Coronation Street's Susie
ST. PETER'S CHURCH.
Our thanks to everyone who helped at the Church Fayre on Tuesday August 19th
at the Manor Hall.
a torrential downpour spot on 5.30 p.m., villagers and visitors alike arrived
in good number and everyone
thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A very special thanks to our Barbeque Team
[who got absolutely
soaked during the downpour] for providing excellent burgers and hot dogs for
all! After expenses, we
managed to raise the sum of £995 - well done all!
The Harvest Service will be held on Sunday 5th October at 11 a.m. which will
include music and readings from Berrynarbor School. We all look forward to a
The Harvest Supper will be held in the Manor Hall, 6.30 for 7.00 p.m. on
Wednesday 8th October. Following last year's successful evening, there will be
a sing-song, led by Stuart and a quiz organised by Malcolm
Sayer. Tickets at £5 each are available from the Shop as well as in Church.
NB: Please remember to bring your own cutlery!
A Candlelit Service for Loved Ones will be held on Sunday,
November at 3.00 p.m. There will be no morning service that day, so we hope
that this special afternoon service will be enjoyed by all.
The annual Remembrance Service will take place on Sunday,
November at 10.45 a.m. We look forward to having a large congregation this
year - especially mindful of the Centenary of WW1.
Our PCC, who look after and administer all Church matters, are looking to
someone in the village who might be willing to take on the post of
Secretary. Whilst this is a most important position which needs filling as
soon as possible, the PCC meetings are only held at six weekly intervals.
Friendship Lunches at The Globe will be on Wednesdays 29th
October and 26th November, from 12.00 noon onwards and as always, everyone is
Finally, we are all sad to learn of Mary Tucker's imminent departure from the
village. Mary Tucker BEM [to give her the correct title] has not only been
a pillar of strength within the Church community over many years, but also to
the whole village! She has given much of her time to the residents of
Berrynarbor, whether visiting the frail, sick or others over so many years - an
amazing example to us all!
We wish her many happy years with her family in the North of England, where I'm
sure she will continue to be a most valuable member of the community. God
Bless you Mary from everyone in Berrynarbor!
old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn; --
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.
are the songs of Summer? -- With the sun,
Oping the dusky eyelids of the South,
Till shade and silence waken up as one,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Where are the merry birds? -- Away, away,
On panting wings through the inclement skies,
Lest owls should prey
Undazzled at noon-day,
And tear with horny beak their lustrous eyes.
are the blooms of Summer -- In the west,
Blushing their last to the last sunny hours,
When the mild Eve by sudden Night is prest
Like tearful Proserpine, snatched from her flowers
To a most gloomy breast.
Where is the pride of Summer, -- the green prime, --
The many, many leaves all twinkling? -- Three
On the mossed elm; three on the naked lime
Trembling, -- and one upon the old oak tree!
Where is the Dryad's immortality? --
Gone into mournful cypress and dark yew,
Or wearing the long gloomy Winter through
In the smooth holly's green eternity.
squirrel gloats on his accomplished hoard,
The ants have brimmed their garners with ripe grain,
And honey-bees have stored
The sweets of summer in their luscious cells;
The swallows all have winged across the main;
But here the Autumn melancholy dwells,
And sighs her tearful spells
Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain.
Upon a mossy stone,
sits and reckons up the dead and gone,
With the last leaves for a love-rosary,
Whilst all the withered world looks drearily,
Like a dim picture of the drowned past
In the hushed mind's mysterious far away,
Doubtful what ghostly thing will steal the last
Into that distance, gray upon the gray.
go and sit with her, and be o'ershaded
Under the languid downfall of her hair:
She wears a coronal of flowers faded
Upon her forehead, and a face of care; --
There is enough of withered every where
To make her bower, -- and enough of gloom;
There is enough of sadness to invite,
If only for the rose that died, -- whose doom
Is Beauty's, -- she that with the living bloom
Of conscious cheeks most beautifies the light; --
There is enough of sorrowing, and quite
Enough of bitter fruits the earth doth bear, --
Enough of chilly droppings for her bowl;
Enough of fear and shadowy despair,
To frame her cloudy prison for the soul!
Red o'er the forest peers the setting sun;
The line of yellow light dies fast away
That crown'd the eastern copse; and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.
Now the tired hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo bids good-night from every glade;
Yet wait awhile and see the calm leaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.
How like decaying life they seem to glide
And yet no second spring have they in store;
And where they fall, forgotten to abide
Is all their portion, and they ask no more.
Soon o'er their heads blithe April airs shall
A thousand wild-flowers round them shall
The green buds glisten in the dews of Spring,
And all be vernal rapture as of old.
Unconscious they in waste oblivion lie,
In all the world of busy life around
No thought of them-in all the bounteous sky
No drop, for them, of kindly influence found.
Man's portion is to die and rise again:
Yet he complains, while these unmurmuring part
With their sweet lives, as pure from sin and stain
As his when Eden held his virgin heart.
John Keble [1792-1866]
THE RECTOR . . .
Warm congratulations to Stuart Neale and the group who put together a stunning
exhibition to remember the First World War on 2nd August. I was blown away by
the size and scale of it! Very well done also to the school children who
constructed a replica of the War Memorial; so lifelike that someone thought it
was the real thing and it won First Prize at the Horticultural and Craft
I was sorry not to have been in the village the night of August 4th. Candles in
many houses evocatively remembered the British Declaration of war against
Germany a hundred years ago.
That evening found me at Mons, the scene of the first encounter between British
troops and German forces that then forced a retreat. Our party saw the canal
bridge where the first Victoria Crosses of the war were awarded. We were
unable to get into the well-known cemetery of St
Symphorien just outside the town as there was to be a major event that evening
- televised nationally. We did look up, however, in Mons itself and suddenly
there were Prince William and Kate on the balcony! Along with Prince Harry,
they were making an appearance before the main event later. At Ypres on
another occasion, we saw Gareth Malone, whose daughter, I believe, took part in
a group of school children singing for the occasion. The Menin Gate is of
course where British troops marched through on their way to battle. To see
the various memorials round Ypres itself is hugely evocative. At Tynecot
cemetery, the graves stretch far into the distance. On the wall of memorial,
the first name was the son of the Vicar of Combe Martin at that time. Captain
Pine died in battle in 1915.
I fully realise that the First World War is a hugely complex historical event.
Our remembrance is often dominated by cliche of young British soldiers, many of
them budding poets, led to early and ghastly deaths in muddy wastes by
incompetent generals for reasons that were seemingly futile. Certainly, the
reality is far more nuanced and complex that such cliche suggests. It is only
part of the truth. Nevertheless, the visit left me angry, which is unlike me;
angry at tactics and a waste of lives.
"I need you to lay down your life Perkins", runs the strapline for a current
radio series. "We need a totally futile gesture at this time!" As a
Christian, I believe that the sacrifice of Jesus was not a futile gesture; that
it was for a reason. The good news that is offered to us through the events of
that first Good Friday and Easter Sunday are for real and can be
Alas, the time has come for me personally to take that message elsewhere. As
the great age of 60 beckons for me and in the wake of a re-organisation of
North Devon churches, I shall be moving on to pastures new [to invoke another
old cliche!]. I have been offered and accepted,
role of Team Rector of Totton, on the edge of the New Forest. It has 45,000
people, so it is a big challenge for my last lap in ministry and working life
but the bonus is that it is near our grandkids in Bournemouth.
Plenty of time to say goodbyes as it does not happen until after Christmas!
But I shall miss North Devon greatly and the many friends I have made here as
well as the parishioners - great characters all!
FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
still remain 3 vacancies on the Parish Council. These will be filled by
co-option by the Parish Council.
were given at the August and September meetings by County Councillor Andrea
Davis, District Councillors Julia Clark and Yvette
Gubb and the Police who reported that crime rate was 75% less than last year.
Linda Thomas reported on the Play Area, Lorna Bowden on the Manor Hall and
Steve Hill on the Emergency Plan.
applications were considered and approved.
Parish Council website, to include pictures, to be constructed by Mr. T.
bad quality of the road from Turnarounds to Wild Violets and the Pothole on the
road from Diggers Cross to Bodstone had been reported and the pothole repaired.
replacement Berrynarbor sign in the Sterridge Valley at a cost of £45 plus VAT
was considered and agreed that 3 new signs be ordered to replace it and two
other village entrances.
and payments were approved and authorised and the 2014 Annual Return had been
received back from the Auditors.
Highways had written in connection with the closing of Barton Lane from 22nd
September to 24th October for the renewal of water pipes.
and publications were received and considered.
next meetings of the Parish Council will be held in the Manor Hall at 7.00 p.m.
on Tuesdays 14th October and 11th November, Members of the public are warmly
invited to attend.
In the late 1950's, Jim Ley would walk from his home at Hole Farm at the back
of Northfield Wood, Berrynarbor, to visit my father at Lydford Farm,
Watermouth. My father, John Barten, then in his twenties, would enjoy Jim's
company and took an interest in the old ways of farming and his stories from
the First World War.
Time moves on and now both Jim and my father are no longer here, but I do have
a remnant from those stories between Jim and my father - a horse's bit from
Jim's prized horse, a horse which accompanied him during part of the First
World War. A Pelham bit I believe it is called, 'Solid Nickel' it says on one
side and on the other it is clearly stamped '391'.
The story I knew was that of two young Berrynarbor men, one being Jim Ley.
Both, once in the Devon Yeomanry, had survived the perils of the First World
War but could not return home with their beloved horses. Their final task
before returning was to despatch their own horses, a task which neither could
conceive possible. The two agreed to despatch each other's and it was
believed that Jim returned home with his own horse's bit, the one he then gave
to my father during the 1950's.
Over the years my father often talked of the 'old bit in the shed', 'the one
that came from Jim's War Horse', and as a child I was horrified by the deed that
had been executed.
More recently with stories of War Horse in the headlines and the anniversary of
the Great War looming, my interest in this horse's bit grew. I managed to track
down Jim Ley's grandson and was invited to his farm in North Molton where we
discussed the life of Jim Ley and perused shiny medals and framed photographs.
From that discussion, an article published in the North Devon Journal in 2012
and Barnstaple Museum, we can learn a little of Jim Ley's overseas service.
He left Liverpool on 24th September 1915 on the H.M.T. ship Olympic to fight on
the Gallipoli Peninsula. For three months the allied forces had endured
freezing temperatures and Jim was eventually evacuated from Gallipoli with
severe frostbite on
December 1915. He recuperated in St David's Hospital in Malta aboard the
hospital ship Karapara. Jim eventually returned to Norfolk to a regimental stud
farm where his equestrian knowledge was put to good use. According to his
grandson, Eric Ley, and my father and the stories they remember, it is believed
Jim saw more service at the Palestinian frontier and yet more fighting before
the war was over.
Jim Ley eventually returned to Berrynarbor and married Eva Stanbury in 1918.
They had three sons, farmed at Hole Farm, and for some time Jim was the warden
of Berrynarbor Church. He suffered from the frostbite he had endured in
Gallipoli for the rest of his life and died in 1976.
We now return to the North Molton Farm on the 4th July this year when Eric and
I discussed the journey through that war that his grandfather must have taken.
The story seemed to be more about the journey this horse's bit had taken
through the years and how it had been finally returned to where it belonged,
together with those sepia photographs and shiny medals.
As our discussion came to an end that evening, I took one last look at the line
of medals. I turned one over to read the back and clearly under the writing
'Royal North Devon Yeomanry' were the numbers '391', the very number stamped on
the horses bit.
by kind permission of Eric Ley
and Eva on their Wedding Day
Ley [3rd left seated] at Gallipoli
Before the outbreak of the war, the main source of power on the farm was the
horse. The majority of the new machinery introduced on the farm in the 19th
century was still horse drawn and it is estimated that by 1913 there were over
I million horses working the farms.
When the war began in 1914 the British army only possessed 25 thousand horses.
The war office urgently began to source another half a million to go to battle,
meaning that thousands of farming families had to give up their beloved
animals. The change that those horses must have endured was huge; they were
mainly used for logistical support as they were capable of travelling through
deep mud and over rough terrain. The death rate was high, but so was their
value to the armed forces; by 1917 some troops were told that the loss of a
horse was of greater tactical concern than the loss of a human soldier.
Fodder for horses was the single biggest commodity shipped to the front line.
In 1917, allied operations were threatened when horse feed rations were reduced
after German submarine activity restricted supplies of oats from North America
combined with poor Italian harvest. The British rationed hay and oats,
although their horses were still issued more than those from France or Italy.
The First World War was the last combat to use horses on a mass scale. The
loss felt by farming families by their absence was huge, and they were forced
to find alternative means of power.
from the NFU Farming and the First World War supplement and published by The
NFU. Agriculture House, Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. CV8 2TZ
FROM WORLD WAR I
During the 1914-1918
war, my aunt Constance Gladys Anderson Naylor, was given time off to be in what
was called the V.A.D. The initials VAD stand for Voluntary Aid Detachment, in
other words part time nursing.
With the huge number of
casualties of the war, many places - schools and even large private houses -
were turned into temporary hospitals.
Amongst the things left
by my aunt was an autograph book in which some of the injured soldiers she had
nursed had written contributions.
Beauclerk - Stowmarket
The Voluntary Aid Detachment referred to a voluntary unit providing field
nursing services, mainly in hospitals, in the United Kingdom and
various other countries in the British Empire. The
most important periods of operation for these units were during World War I and World War II.
The VAD system
was founded in 1909 with the help of the Red Cross and Order of St. John. By the summer of 1914 there
were over 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain. Of the 74,000 VAD members
in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls.
At the outbreak
of the First World War VAD members eagerly offered their service to the war
effort. The British Red Cross was reluctant to allow civilian women a role in
overseas hospitals: most volunteers were of the hospital discipline. Military
authorities would not accept VADs at the front line.
shortage of trained nurses opened the door for VADs in overseas military hospitals.
Female volunteers over the age of twenty-three and with more than three months'
hospital experience were accepted for overseas service.
During four years of war 38,000 VADs worked in hospitals and served as
ambulance drivers and cooks, serving near the Western Front and in Mesopotamia
and Chris Gubb and family thank everyone who helped to make the Pig Roast
on 26th July a great success.
was raised. £1,000 to be donated to the North Devon Macmillan Nurses and
£1,000 to be shared by Berrynarbor School and Pre-School.
pig was delicious, the burgers cooked to perfection. The Knowleberries
entertained us. The cider and beer went down a treat and the vintage tractor
rally was great fun. Thank you Berrynarbor for turning out and donating
Yet again I must say thank you to all the people of Berrynarbor and the many
visitors who buy plants from me in the Sterridge Valley.
you probably know, the proceeds go to our Children's Hospice at Little Bridge
House in Fremington, a wonderful place looking after terminally ill children
and their families. The care and understanding which takes place in this
hospice is unbelievable - it is a place of happiness rather than sadness and I
am always so pleased to be able to help by the donation you all enable me to
year because of my late start, it is a little lower than last year at £700, but
without all your custom this would have been impossible.
thank you again so much.
at Higher Rows
The six weeks break has just flown by and we hope everyone had an enjoyable
holiday. The weather has been great! We held 8 successful Summer Clubs
during the holiday - 4 at Berrynarbor and 4 at West Down. These clubs gave the
children the opportunity to meet their friends, have fun and do a little
reading and writing to help keep their brains busy.
During the holidays we undertook major building work, moving offices and class
1. Lee Gooch worked amazingly hard and we now have a beautiful early years'
classroom much more appropriate for the needs of our youngest children. Our
offices have moved to the front of the school and we hope to add a mezzanine
floor to provide a staff room and small group teaching space.
We welcome our new reception class and hope they enjoy their time at school.
We officially welcome Mrs Lucy Jones who will be working 3
days a week and Ms Pip Owen who will be teaching 2 days a week for the time
being. We have also been lucky to appoint Miss Jess Rollin who has joined our
staff team in Strawberry class and Mrs Loanna Ball who is supporting Sarah in
the kitchen. We are also pleased to welcome Mrs
Julie Gooch back to our school.
At the end of the Summer Term we said goodbye to our Year 6 pupils. We wish
them every success for the future. We have already heard that many are
enjoying their new schools and have settled in well.
Elderberry class have just experienced a Wild Night Out at Stowford Meadows.
Blueberry class enjoyed their Wild Night Out at Watermouth Valley campsite.
This great experience gave the children opportunity to appreciate the natural
environment during the magical twilight times of dawn and dusk.
The start of term has seen the start of our new curriculum with some exciting
new learning projects planned. We have also finally managed to establish an
afterschool club giving parents the opportunity to go back to work or training.
Our Harvest Festival this year will be held on Wednesday 1st
During the summer holiday we found some old school log books. These
fascinating documents have given us a window on the work of our colleagues from
the past. Looking back at the oldest log book I can see that the children had
just one calendar month for their summer holiday back in 1883 and they returned
to school on August 13th. They finished the school year in July with 122 on
roll and an average attendance of 88 children per session! We expect the
children to come to school every school day in 2014 and now have 87 children on
roll - I'm not sure where we would put 122 pupils!
September 1957 the head teacher recorded:
reopened at 9am. No's on registers 49 - seven new entrants.
During the holidays the three rooms have been tiled with accotiles and each
room has had an alicon stove installed in place of the old tortoise stoves.
Jordan called in school to see the work which had been done.
of the tiles in the big room has cracked badly.
tuned and cleaned today.
Vernon today gave polio vaccine to 10 children.
annual jumble sale was held today and £23 was made for the school fund.
Whitworth [district architect] called today. We are proposed new toilets -
contract for which has been given to Pearce (Ilfracombe)
Carey - Headteacher
IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
On the whole we have had a lovely summer and the first few weeks of September
have been warm too. However, the hanging baskets and tubs are beginning to go
over and it will not be long before we'lll be getting ready for winter and
spring by planting bulbs and winter flowering bedding. We have had lots of
visitors and villagers alike commenting favourably on the displays and one
plant in particular, the small violet/purple trailing scaveola, in the baskets
at the shop has been much admired.
On the first weekend of September we had the gardens in the village open and
as the weather was so lovely many garden lovers made the hike up Barton Lane to
view Longacre and then up Castle Hill to visit Sloley Farm, stopping on the way
at Maurice Draper's show stopper of a garden - a new garden to us - and to take
in the views from Gilly's garden. Back down to the centre of the village to
see all the work that has been done at Geoff and Judith's, Flowerdew, then Lee
Cottage and Langleigh House , where plants were for sale in aid of Berry in
Bloom. Finally a yummy cream tea at the Lodge with Phil and Lynne and a walk
round their lovely established garden. Thanks to everyone who opened their
gardens, helped with printing tickets, baking cakes, serving at table, doing
the raffle and transporting chairs and anything else. We made about £360.00
including the plant sales.
Not having entered for the last three years, we were thrilled to learn that we
had been awarded Gold in the RHS Britain in Bloom Competition this year - well
done to all the 'Bloomers'!
This is a good time of the year to think about Christmas! This year Colin and
I shall be making lovely fruit liqueurs to give as presents. They are SO easy
to make but start now as they need time to mature. Best fruits are sloes,
damsons, blackberries and raspberries but other fruits such as lemons and
apples are good too.
year is brilliant for blackberries and Colin has picked masses so we shall make
blackberry and apple gin - bramble apple gin sounds so nice! If you don't
like gin, vodka or brandy is fine. We look in supermarkets for their cheap
You will need a large bottle in which to steep the liqueur. We use large
lemonade bottles, but sterilised kilner jars are what the recipe states.
bottles available from kitchen shops, supermarkets and on line
Sterilise the Kilner jar either in the dishwasher or in the oven. If using a
lemonade bottle wash and rinse well.
Wash the apples - no need to peel or core - and the blackberries and then dry
as best you can.
Chop up the apple and put in the jar/bottle along with the blackberries. Add
the bay leaf and sugar and pour over the gin. Put on the lid and shake
well. Store in a cool dry and dark place and shake the jar/bottle every other
day for at least four weeks.
After the minimum time, pour the liquid through muslin or kitchen paper and
bottle up in sterilised bottles. Add a home-made label and Christmas ribbon
and give with love.
& CRAFT SHOW 2014
Although entries were down on last year, a big thank you to
everyone who made an effort as by judging time on Saturday morning the Hall
looked great. In the afternoon villagers, and holiday makers as far as
Germany and Wales, viewed the exhibits and supported the event.
The results for this year were:
Floral Art - The Globe Cup Sue Neale
Junior: Caitlin Burgess
Home Cooking - The Walls Cup Wendy Applegate Junior: Shannon Hill
Handicrafts - The Davis Cup Judie
Weedon Junior: The Sally Barten Bowl Shannon Hill
Handicrafts - The Watermouth Cup Susan Branch Junior: Berrynarbor Primary School
Grow Your Own Potatoes Jackie Pierpoint
Sunflowers [widest] Jackie Hews
Junior: Shannon Hill
Art - George Hipppisley Cup Judie
Weedon Junior: Isabel Astill-Chandler
Photography - The Vi Kingdon Award Hannah Rumsen Junior: Caitlin Burgess
Fruit & Vegetables - The Derrick Kingdon Cup Dave & Sylvia Mason Junior: Caitlin Burgess
Potted Plants -The Lethaby Cup Judie Weedon Junior: Shannon Hill
Cut Flowers - The Manor Stores Rose Bowl Susan Branch Junior: Caitlin Burgess
The Manor Hall Cup: Best Exhibit
Horticultural: Dave & Sylvia Mason
The Ray Ludlow Award: Best
Non-Horticultural Exhibit: Judie Weedon
The Junior Cup [Cumulative Total] 1st
2nd Shannon Hill
3rd Isabel Astill-Chandler
The Watermouth Castle Cup Best
Exhibit on theme Year of The Storm: Geoff Adam
Under supervision from staff, pupils competed for
the Primary School Class. Winners were:
Reception Fiona Cunningham &
Year 1 Sophie Bird & Daniella Hill
Year 2 Lilly Slater & Naomi Smith
Year 3 Amelia White & Katelyn Ball
Year 4 Hazel Rees & Jed Haines
Year 5 Karina Puodzuinaite & Holly Davies*
Year 6 Ellis Rees & Dylan Bacon*
We should like to congratulate all the winners, thank
everyone who took part or helped run the event in any way and we look forward
to seeing you next year!
We are planning to have the 2015 show programme possibly in
the December/Christmas Newsletter giving everyone plenty of time to produce
The Organising Group
start of the new school year has been a lovely time for the Pre-school. We
have welcomed many new children and their families and they are all settling in
well. The beautiful weather has meant there have been lots of opportunities
to play outside in our newly cleared outdoor space.
We are hoping to develop our outdoor space over the next couple of months with
some astroturf and other resources for the children. We are also going to be
decorating the pre-school room with a lick of paint and some new flooring and
we are always looking for volunteers to help with these sorts of jobs!
On 13th October at 7.45 p.m., the Pre-school will be holding its Annual General
Meeting, when a number of committee members will be stepping down. The
positions of Treasurer and Chairperson will become vacant and we shall be
looking for volunteers to fill these positions. There are also other general
committee positions that will need to be filled. The Pre-school can only
remain open if there are 5 committee members. We are therefore looking for
members of the community, as well as parents, to help fill these positions.
Volunteers do not need any educational experience, just a DBS [criminal record
check] and enthusiasm for developing the Pre-school. Please drop in to the
Penn-Curzon Room if you think this might be something you are interested in.
Pre-school now has a breakfast club that is open from 8.00 a.m. every morning
that children between the ages of 2-11 can attend. There are also places
available in sessions from Monday to Friday. The morning session runs from 9.00
a.m. to 12.00 noon and the afternoon session is from 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.
Please feel free to visit us and have a look around if you would be interested
in your child attending.
We should also like to say a very big 'THANK YOU' to those who organised and
those who attended the Hog Roast over the summer. We are extremely grateful
for your kind donation and will put it to good use!
Orr - Chair
WALK - 146
the old town stands fanned day and night
fresh ocean breeze."
KINGSLEY 1819 - 1875
Kingsley, clergyman, poet, novelist and radical, wrote part of Westward Ho!
while staying at what is now the Royal Hotel, East-the-Water, Bideford, and in
1944 the Chiefs of Staff of the armed forces met there to plan the Normandy
probably held their meeting in the conference room on the first floor, famed
for its ceiling which made architectural historian, Nikolaus Pevsner swoon, the
hotel's current fašade being something of an enigma. It was built around an
earlier house dated 1688 and parts of the original seventeenth century building
survive including that ceiling.
Pevsner claimed it is "one of the most gorgeous plaster ceilings in Devon with
a wreath of flowers in the
most daring relief so that whole fruits and flowers are completely detached
from the wall and also with cherubs and birds." It really is very remarkable.
few years ago the North Devon Journal published, side by side, a photograph of
the buildings along The Quay, viewed from this end of the old Bideford Bridge,
with a photograph of Curacao off the coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean. The
two places, so far apart, bore an uncanny resemblance to each other.
Whereas Barnstaple largely turns its back on its river, Bideford embraces its
River Torridge with gusto. The Quay is a bustling place. People promenade
along it; sit outside cafes and chat or watch the fleets of lorries unloading
Peters Marland clay into the large foreign vessels moored there. Bideford's
Newsletter, the "Buzz", includes a page of Shipping News with details of ships,
cargoes, crews and registered flag owners at Bideford and Yelland as well as
details of ships observed in the Bristol Channel.
the end of The Quay we find Charles Kingsley himself; an imposing statue and
just around the corner, one of North Devon's greatest assets - the Burton
Gallery, a pretty Art Deco building at the entrance to Victoria Park. As
well as housing the town's museum and permanent art collection it hosts a
changing series of exhibitions, some of national and international
importance. It is an attractive and welcoming place and even includes a
popular French cafe - Cafe du Parc. Look out for Robert Paterson's beautiful
stained glass window at the end of the craft gallery. Another example of his
work is in Combe Martin's St. Peter ad Vincula Church.
marshland which was drained, Victoria Park is a lively place enjoyed by all
ages. As well as all the usual features of a park it incorporates a Sure
Start Children's Centre and in the former municipal greenhouses, a Jig Saw
From the park there is a riverside walk which leads to council offices whose
design must have been inspired by the architect Sir Basil Spence. It is a
pleasing example of 1960' architecture, light and airy and featuring an elegant
stairway. Opposite the gallery and park, off Kingsley Road, is The Strand
with an interesting variety of buildings. At one end a house with an unusual
elevation is the subject of a painting in the gallery's local collection. At
the opposite end the former Northdown House was once the home of Charles
Kingsley. In more recent times it was the Stella Maris Convent. Nearby,
Bridgeland Street has a fine collection of late seventeenth century houses
built for wealthy merchants at the height of the tobacco trade with Virginia.
winter visit could include Kenwith Lakes to observe the wildfowl or a walk
along the saltmarsh southwards from the town. Bideford, so much to see, so
much to do. Whenever we have spent a morning or afternoon there we feel as if
we have been on a brief holiday.
Have you discovered yet the White Moose Gallery, hidden away in the old Moose
Hall in Trinity Street, near Barnstaple's square and bus station? It is a
pleasant modern space and from the 7th November until the 3rd January, it will
be showing the photography of Chris Chapman. You may have seen his television
films about Exmoor's landscape and people. Open Monday to Saturday, 10.00
a.m. until 5.00 p.m.
Fundraising for the Manor
In our pursuit of
grants for the Hall, something that is very important is the degree of local
support, partly evidenced by local fundraising. So it's a very big thank you
to those who came to this year's Berry Revels in August - we raised over £1800
despite the downpour halfway through. The best result in years. Thanks are
also due to Ann Davies, who co-ordinated the planning and whose powers of
organisation are a thing to behold!
At the time of writing
we are pursuing the purchase of Rotary Mega Draw tickets around the village,
and looking forward to the Auction of Promises at The Globe on Saturday,
25th October. Some will remember something similar done for the Jubilee,
and what an evening it was. All funds raised at the auction will also go
towards the much-needed work to the Manor Hall.
Works to the Hall
If anyone is unclear
about just what work the Hall needs, have a look at the August newsletter, or
you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking for volunteers
to join any of four design sub-groups - these will involve a few meetings
and contributing to particular topics which are:
1. A new and larger kitchen
2. Options for the stage 3. Heating and insulation options and 4. How to
deal with the storage problems at the Hall. Someone out there will have some
brilliant ideas so let's hear them please! If interested then again please
email as above or phone  883747.
I can now say we have
our structural engineer's recommendations for the old roof, above the Men's
Institute, and thankfully there is nothing too complicated in the works
Finally a welcome to
Andy Bird who has joined the management committee in interesting times!
and the Manor Hall Committee
AND SHAKERS NO. 53
owner of the ancient fishing village of Clovelly
29 1855 - November 12 1936
It was a hot, sunny day. As we stood at the top of Clovelly's Down-a-long
cobbled street, two ladies were finishing loading their week's shopping onto a
sled before starting the precipitous descent to their home, one holding ropes
at the rear, the other guiding and braking the sledge.
"How long have you been doing this?" I asked the older lady.
"Oh, about 40 years" she declared very matter-of-factly.
This set the scene for a pleasant - if energetic - descent to The Red Lion, 400
feet below. On several cottages, I noticed the initials CH and a date, not as
I'd originally thought, the date of construction, but the date of renovation by
Christine Hamlyn, a member of one of only three families who have owned
Clovelly since the middle of the 13th century.
At the time of the Domesday Book it was owned by the King. This continued until
1242 when the Giffard family acquired it. By 1370, it was owned by William
Cary, of one of the great Devon families. The Cary's lived in Clovelly for the
next eleven generations. The successors died out when in the final generation
of the seven children, the sons didn't marry and the daughters were childless.
In 1738 Robert Barber, widower of Elizabeth Cary, sold Clovelly to Zachary
Hamlyn for the princely sum of £9,438 and to this day it is still in the same
family. What a record!
Christine Louisa Hamlyn-Fane was born at Fulbeck, Lincolnshire on the 29th
November, 1855, the younger daughter of Henry Edward Fane and Susan Hester.
Her maternal grandmother had been a Hamlyn and the family adopted the name of
Her brother, Neville died in 1884 aged 26 and her sister Constance inherited
land at Ringwood. Christine was given the Clovelly Estate. She loved it, and
before her marriage in 1889 to Frederick Gosling, she asked him firstly to
change his name to Hamlyn and secondly to donate part of his considerable
fortune to restoring properties on the estate.
She became known as the 'Queen of Clovelly' and cared for it enthusiastically
until her death in 1936. Early in her 'reign' she realised that as the herring
shoals were diminishing, tourism was going to be more important than fishing.
She was tiny in stature but very strong in fighting any commercialisation or
modernisation other than to improve the cottages. Almost all the farms and
cottages were renovated by her, hence the initials and dates on many of them.
She installed drainage and water into the village, would allow no cars [as if
they could drive through!] and the only transport was by donkey or sled.
Tourists hated to see donkeys dragging Up-along with a large person astride -
horses were all right but not donkeys - so these were put to rest in a
sanctuary and now only appear for photographs or for small children to ride.
Souvenir shops were restricted and washing put out discreetly only on certain
days. An important point was [and still is] that all cottages must be leased
as primary homes. Today, about 70% of the residents go out of the village to
work, but come back home to roost! She also restored cliff paths and Hobby
Drive which was built between 1811 and 1829. These days, one can walk the
lower part of this Drive, but you may remember that in former years it was a
very pretty drive to the village for a small fee - a lovely start to one's
Apart from all the renovations, Mrs Hamlyn made several additions over the
years. At the top end on the left is Mount Pleasant, a picnic area known
locally as the Peace Park. Here she placed a memorial to residents killed in
World War I. The Queen Victoria Fountain, let into the whitewashed walls not
far below on the right and designed by a cousin of Queen Victoria, was given by
her to honour the Golden Jubilee. In 1910, Christine visited Oberammergau.
This is the home of the Passion Play and beautiful wood carvings. She returned
with some of these carvings and you may still see them on Oberammergau Cottage,
as the road turns right just below the Post Office. For her 80th birthday in
1935, the Wilderness Summerhouse, built in 1820, was restored. From there are
magnificent views of Bideford Bay and Lundy Island. It was restored again in
2008 and has become a popular venue for outdoor weddings. You can get
there by Land Rover. For a romantic wedding Clovelly is a perfect setting. If
you don't fancy the Wilderness Summerhouse, then you could book the Hamlyn Room
in the New Inn where hangs the beautiful portrait of Christine Hamlyn Fane on
her wedding day.
Mrs Hamlyn and her husband had no children and in 1936 the estate was passed
to her niece Betty Asquith, then to Betty's oldest daughter, Mary, in 1962.
By 1983 Mary's son, the Hon. John Rous inherited it.
work of keeping Clovelly beautiful and attractive to visitors worldwide
continues. John quit his work in finance in London in 1987 and since then has
lived with his wife at Clovelly Court, and has built on Christine Hamlyn's good
If you've been recently, you will know that access to the village is through
the award-winning Visitor Centre, where a fee is charged, stopping if you wish
to watch a 20-minute video of Clovelly's history. These fees, together with
modest cottage rentals and souvenir shops help to raise funds for the village
upkeep. Besides this, John arranges events throughout the year - gig regattas,
excursions to Lundy's puffin and seal colonies and a popular autumn herring
festival. The latest project is major renovation work at Clovelly Court
Gardens. It's well worth calling in here after your visit to the village, and
maybe buying organically grown vegetables and fruit, or perhaps cut flowers or
a pot plant.
Christine Hamlyn died on 12th November 1936, a few days short of her 81st
birthday. Inscribed on her tomb are the words 'I dwell among my people'.
During her 54 years of ownership, she achieved so much conservation and gave
the village so much love that she rightly earned her name 'Queen of
Clovelly'. In John Rous's words:
"She was a remarkable character, without whom it is unlikely that Clovelly
would have survived in its present form."
grateful thanks to The Hon. John Rous for his advice in compiling this article.
are officially in autumn, summer was kind, mainly. With autumn comes a new
Wine Circle season and I trust all current members are looking forward to it.
shall be very pleased to see newcomers. It is a very social event and a great
way of meeting villagers who are not your immediate neighbours.
meetings are always on the third Wednesday of every month, other than our
Christmas one which is always a week earlier, on the second Wednesday in
December. 8.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall.
first meeting is on Wednesday, 15th October when Karen Loftus and Debbie Thomas
will perform a Double Act with Shop Delights!
shall be giving Romania Surprises at the November meeting on the 19th.
December Christmas Meal and Committee's Choice
January Ladies' Night
February 3 Committee Members present Call My Wine Bluff
March Geoff Adam and John Hood - Lidl and Large, a budget supermarket
April Paul Firman, Majestic Wines
May AGM and Brett Stephens of Hallgarten Druitt Wines - Emerging
THE OTTER WHISTLES HIS MATE . . ."
Way Through the Woods - Rudyard Kipling
Sunday evening I went out into the garden and had a wonderful encounter. I
stood on our river bank that has a view of a bend where some lumps of rock have
formed a little natural trout pool.
heard a gentle rippling sound. What could it be? I hadn't long to think
about that as an otter had come into view, swimming towards me, face and back
exposed above water.
oh my goodness, there was a second otter behind her, smaller, and another. A
mother otter and her two cubs.
I stood rigidly still they were bound to sense my presence and take fright.
They were so close. But they continued to swim past me in single file.
few yards on where the water shallows, the mother otter stopped. She raised
her head, sniffed the air a little. The cubs came alongside her, three
abreast. They seemed to pause for some while before slowly the mother turned
and the three of them started to swim back past me
way they had come, this time the cubs were either side of their mother but
back a little, making a 'V' formation.
had a couple of sightings of otters here about nine years ago, but they were
fleeting and when it was dusk. On this occasion it was still broad daylight.
term readers may remember that in early 2003*, a young otter cub, perhaps
abandoned by its mother as the weakling of her brood, was found in the
Sterridge Valley. Sterridge, as it was named, was first taken to a veterinary
centre in Bideford before being transferred to the Otter Sanctuary at North
Petherwin. Sadly, following one-to-one support and an hour-by-hour vigil, the
little bitch cub lost her brief battle for life.
in Newsletter No. 82, February 2003
in the arms of one of her carers
BERRYNARBOR NO. 151
Village & Hagginton Hill
picture is from a miniature post card c1902-3 and measures as shown here, just
108 x 80 mm against the then normal 139 x 88 mm.
post card views of the village go it is unusual having been taken from the area
now known as the playing field or dog walking area. To the far left is North
Lee Farm and to its right is the Linhey which had slate/stone steps leading up
to the hayloft. On the bottom right are 30 and 31 Ellis Cottages, Pitt
Hill. Note how few homes were actually showing on the section of Hagginton
Hill at this time.
The second card, published by the Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd. London under
their Peacock Brand, has an Ilfracombe September 22nd 1904 postmark and the
following unusual message:
tell Aunt Lou I am sending her a little parcel by post today, as I believe she
prefers collecting such rubbish to post cards. Chas. L.'
Remember that at this time virtually everyone was collecting post cards and
putting them in albums - no radio or television at that time!
most noticeable aspect of this card is just how much ground on either side of
Hagginton Hill was being utilised for growing crops, fruit, etc.
well as the trees in the foreground and by Berrynarbor Church, note the then
thatched Bessemer Thatch and Jacobswell. Jacobswell was later to be turned in
to a terraced row of cottages now known as Ferndale, Jacobs Well and The Olives.
In the centre of the card can be seen the roof of the then Congregational
Chapel with its Memorial Stone dated 6th June 1881, together with a small part
of the adjacent Sunday School building.
Cottage, September 2014