We were all very sad to learn that Malcom had passed away on
the 3rd February at the age of 80.
Malcolm and Joan came from the Midlands
to live in Berrynarbor, at the Park, in the early '90's. they very quickly became involved in many of
the village activities, always ready with a smile to help where help was needed. In 2000 they moved
to Lichfield to be near Joan's mother and after she sadly died, we were able to
welcome them back in 2004, first to Corfe Cottage and
later to Staddlestones on the Park. Once again they became an active part of our
village and could often be seen striding out with their walking poles. It was a sad day for us when they decided,
once again, to move nearer the family to Stourport-on-Severn where they have
been happily settled since 2011.
Our thoughts are with Joan at this time of sorrow and she
would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their cards and
messages of love and condolence.
FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE
For all bird lovers out there, we have
terrific value Bird Boxes and Bird Tables that were made locally. The bird tables come with a substantial
stand and cost £60 whilst the boxes are only £8. You can also buy bird seed, bird nuts and fat
balls from us, again at reasonable cost.
Our new range of Wines is proving
popular following positive feedback. The
Gran Status (Red) goes well with cheese.
The Gran Reserva Angela (Red) complements pasta . . . and why not try our other lines such as
Bolland Cellar White and Red etc. We'd love to hear what you think!
Remember our £1 Stand constantly has new products, so worth a look.
Sale fundraiser will be held at the end of May, so please remember to grow
extra seedlings that you can donate. Also
any unwanted garden tools or equipment can be taken to the shop at any time as
we shall be having a stall selling these.
Thank you to all those who continue to
support the shop, we need you!
KN for the Shop Committee
YOU HELP BONNIE?
has been with k9Focus for over a year.
A gorgeous dog, she loves play, people and cuddles and is very
affectionate. Due to the length she has
been there and despite lots of TLC from the girls she is losing weight and
condition, she just needs a home she can call her own.
staffy x whippet, she would not be suitable in a home with cats or other small
you can offer Bonnie a permanent or foster home, please call Lynne on 07971
461806 or Clare on 07825314475. Or
please give them a ring if you would like to volunteer to assist with fostering
dogs, home checking, fund raising, etc.
WEATHER OR NOT
2014 began with a continuation of the
bad weather that ended 2013. The only good thing that can be said about January
was that it was mild, the maximum temperature 12.0 Deg C with an average maximum of
9.64 Deg C. The thermometer never fell below freezing with the lowest temperature
being 0.8 Deg C although there was often a cold wind giving a wind chill of
-9 Deg C.
9.47 hours of sunshine were recorded which was
slightly up on last year. The barometer
dropped to 983mb on two occasions and reached a high of 1016mb on the 12th. The storms continued to come one after another
with strong winds and plenty of rain. The
wettest day of the month was the 1st with 18mm and the total rain for the month
was 227mm, this was spread throughout the month with only three totally dry
days. In some parts of the country it
was the wettest January for one hundred years and in the south west it was the
5th wettest. We have recorded only three
wetter Januarys since 1994. Here in the
valley we have been sheltered from the worst of the wind so the strongest gust
we recorded was 40 knots which was not unusual.
For the first couple of weeks of
February the pattern of low after low continued with storms or severe storms
forecast for the 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th and 14th.
On the 12th hurricane winds hit
Cornwall and we recorded a gust of 50 knots which was the strongest gust of the
month and also the strongest gust since October 2002 when we recorded 57 knots. On the
14th the barometer fell to 970mb and hurricane force winds were recorded in the
Solent. We were in Cornwall so don't
know how strong the wind was here but it didn't exceed 50 knots. After that the wind did settle down a bit
though there were further gales on the 23rd and on the 28th violent storm force
winds were again forecast off Land's End. The total rain for the month was 180mm which
was not exceptional. It was another mild month with a high of
12.2 Deg C and a low of 1.1 Deg C though the strong winds on the 12th produced a wind
chill of -10 Deg C. Sunshine hours at 36.72
were again slightly up on last year. To
cap it all we had the earthquake on the 20th which measured 4.1 on the Richter
Scale and was the strongest felt in North Devon. We both certainly felt and
We have heard a lot about this being the
wettest winter on record so we decided to look back. December, January and February are counted as
the winter and we recorded 645mm in those months but in the winter of 1999/2000
we recorded 762mm in the same period and in 1994/1995 we had 840mm. Fortunately, and unusually for North Devon,
we missed the worst of both the wind and the rain this winter.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
At last Easter is just around
the corner! Special
Services will be as follows:
Sunday, 13th April Palm
a.m. Holy Communion with
of Palm Crosses
p.m. Christians Together Service
Combe Martin Baptist Church
18th April, Good Friday:
p.m. Quiet Hour with hymns and prayers
20th April, Easter Day: Family Communion, 11.00 a.m.
We look forward to seeing a full church
for these important dates in the church calendar.
The church will be decorated after the service on Good
Friday and Sue Neale will welcome gifts of flowers or donations towards the
cost [Tel: 883893].
As Easter is late this year, Pentecost,
Whit Sunday, will not be until the 8th June.
St. Peter's Annual Meeting will have
taken place on 25th March. Since my
last article circumstances have changed in that Teresa Crockett will no longer
be able to carry on as Churchwarden.
Stuart Neale has offered to return to the post after a break, but we
still need a second one and hopefully new people will come forward prepared to
serve on the PCC. A full report will
appear after the meeting.
Subject to confirmation, Friendship Lunches will be held at
The Globe on Wednesdays 30th April and 28th May.
The War Memorial, just inside the
lych gate, is shortly to undergo repairs.
The base and edge surround have deteriorated over the years, caused in
part by ground settlement and other factors such as the British weather, Following discussions with Berrynarbor
Parish Council, the necessary funds to give the go ahead for the repairs have
COMMEMORATING THE CENTENARY OF THE
OUTBREAK OF WW1
At a recent meeting of the PCC
the centenary was discussed and how our village might commemorate this
important event in our history.
I have approached every organisation within the village to
see if and how we should wish to proceed.
Following these meetings and with the support of the Parish Council, it
has been agreed that an Exhibition
event should be held in the Manor Hall on Saturday, 2nd August, from 10.00 a.m.
to 4.00 p.m.
A small group has been formed to
organise this special event and the emphasis will be on how the country reacted
and prepared for the war in 1914. There
will be reflections on the events spanning 1914-1918 but not to confuse it with
Remembrance Sunday when we celebrate the end of the war and honour all those
who gave their lives, not only in WW1 but WW2 and other conflicts.
There will be a wide range of memorabilia/artefacts to see
as well as a special reminder of how food was prepared at that time with, of
course, suitable refreshments throughout the day. It is hoped that the School will also be
contributing to the exhibition.
So, the group would welcome any help with memorabilia, etc.,
that can be put on display, or perhaps some personal reflection of one's family
accompanied by photographs of the period.
Please feel free to ring me on  883893 to discuss the
above or for more information. We
already have several items to show - some of which are extremely valuable
sentimentally and financially - and we can assure everyone that items on loan
will be protected in every way possible.
There will be a small charge for viewing the exhibition,
including refreshments, and all proceeds will go to one or more of the
deserving organisations, such as the British Legion, the Star and Garter Homes
and Help the Heroes.
The group and I look forward to hearing from villagers in
the weeks ahead and a final reminder to put this important date in your diary
to make this event a real success!
An oasis during the very wet and windy
wintry weather, the Activity Day in the Manor Hall was enjoyed by all crafters,
who took home with them the results of their hard work and fun, and those who
called in for coffee, lunch or tea.
Not only was it a fun day, it meant that
you have an April Newsletter! Yes, my
plea to help fill the coffers has been answered! After expenses, a sum of £370 was raised.
Thank you to all who supported the event in any way - in particular those who came from
Ilfracombe, Combe Martin, Kentisbury, Brayford and Exford - but special thanks
to Denny, Margaret and Jill, the hard workers in the kitchen who kept everyone
refreshed, and Sue, Jan, Margaret, Fran, Lani, Chris and Sarah, the crafters
who kindly shared their talents.
The Knit and Natter in support of the
North Devon Hospice was another happy time in the Manor Hall with plenty of
nattering and colourful strips appearing from knitting needles. We were sorry not to see Ali, from the
Hospice, this year but Rebekah came to join us and made herself very useful
serving tea and cakes and washing up!
Rather than calling on the same people
time and time again for sponsorship, it was a £5 donation and these with money
from the raffle amounted to £150, which has been paid into the Living Memory
Fund for Brian [Bikey] Hillier.
Everyone's support was appreciated.
Thanks to knitters who keep knitting all
year, over 126 feet of colourful strips [that is the length of 4 skittle
alleys!] will be going to the Hospice for making up in to blankets.
FROM THE RECTOR . . . FALLING TO EARTH
After a hard winter, it always cheers us
up to feel the sun on our faces, and its warmth nudging the natural world into
life and colour. At least that is how
it is today as I look out of my window!
You might like to know that we are
starting a new venture called Messy Church. This is a craft based event for all the family
and it will take place after school at the school by their kind permission, 1st
April, a Tuesday, from 3.15 to 5.15 p.m.
Also, we'll be having our usual 'Hymns
and Pints' community singing at The Globe on the first Sunday evening of April,
6th, from 8,00 to 8.30 p.m.
At Berrynarbor, we shall be celebrating
Easter through a devotional hour on Good Friday from 2.00 to 3.00 p.m. which
recalls the Last Hour of the Cross. Then
on Easter Sunday from 11.00 a.m. we have 'something to shout about' as we
experience the joy of Easter.
As Christians, we celebrate Easter
because we believe it provides the great hope of a fresh beginning for
humanity. The central story of Jesus'
death and return to life points us to God's great love for each one of us.
time to time in the news, we hear about the courage of someone who has put
their own life at risk - or sometimes lost it - in order to save others. I heard about a parachute instructor who
guided a woman down who was strapped to him but their parachute failed to open.
The instructor knew what he had to do. At
the last minute, he turned his body and absorbed the unimaginable shock of
falling to earth. He died and the woman lived.
The events of that first Easter really
are the pivotal moment that changed the world forever. They
say that about 9/11 but how much more did the cross and resurrection of Jesus
have epic implications that echo throughout history. Why did he do it? What
does it mean for us today? How did that man on the cross being taken down and
laid in the earth result in new life on the third day?
We'd love you to join our Easter
celebrations this year as we tease out answers to these questions.
would be sure of a warm welcome.
on the Manor Hall
February's newsletter noted the wide
range of repair items we need to address at the hall, and although at the time
of writing we await the structural engineer's report on the old roof [the manor
house wing], we don't think it will demand more than we already assume will be
So meanwhile we have begun to draft the
remaining list of repairs that will need to go into a formal contract for the
works. However, this raises another
issue which is that although essential repairs to the building must come first,
it feels quite wrong to carry out fundraising, ask the village for support, do
a lot of work but leave the main hall just as it is.
A number of comments have been made in
recent years about heating, comfort, lighting, etc., and that the kitchen can
service little more than the making of teas and coffees. I should
add that the toilets are of a poor standard and that neither the lighting nor
audio system on the stage work anymore. Given the windows behind the stage will need
to be replaced and the stage, for
example, is going to have to come out to allow the floor replacement, wet rot
and ventilation works to take place underneath, this raises questions such as
do we need the stage at all? Need it be in the same position? Should we have some sort of stage box system
instead? And so on. There seems to be an opportunity to consider
what could be done at reasonable cost to address a number of issues.
The Management Committee therefore
agreed to consult with all groups that use the hall, including the Men's
Institute and Pre-School, to ask for their views and ideas. While this exercise is underway, we will
have plenty of other things to get on with, such as researching funding,
working on possibilities for the main hall, liaising with the Listed Buildings
Officer and appointing contract managers for the eventual works contract.
But please note that actually
carrying out the work is still some considerable time away, so it's business as
usual for many months to come. Do not
hesitate to contact in the normal way should you want to book the hall for an
Len Narborough and the Manor Hall
For Exmoor Jean
For Exmoor -
For Exmoor, where the red deer run, my weary heart doth cry:
She that will a rover wed, far her feet shall hie.
Narrow, narrow, shows the street, dully the narrow sky.
- Buy my cherries, whiteheart cherries, good my
For Exmoor -
O he left me, left alone, aye to think and sigh -
'Lambs feed down yon sunny coombe, hind and yearling
Mid the shrouding vapour walk now like ghosts on high.'
- Buy my cherries, blackheart cherries, lads and
For Exmoor -
Dear my dear, why did nye so? Evil day have I,
Mark no more the antler'd stag, hear the curlew cry.
Milking at my father's gate while he leans anigh.
- Buy my cherries, whiteheart, blackheart, golden
girls, O buy!
What Bird So Sings
What bird so sings, yet so does wail?
O 'tis the ravish'd nightingale.
Jug, jug, jug, jug, tereu! she cries,
And still her woes at midnight rise.
Brave prick-song! Who is't now we hear?
None but the lark so shrill and clear;
Now at heaven's gate she claps her wings,
The morn not waking till she sings.
Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat
Poor robin redbreast tunes his note!
Hark how the jolly cuckoos sing
Cuckoo! to welcome in the spring!
Cuckoo! to welcome in the spring!
1553/4? - 1606 was an English poet, writer, dramatist and politician. He was born in Kent, the first of eight
children, and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford.
He sat in
parliament as member first for Hindon, then Aylesbury and later Appleby. Although he sought her patronage, he was
not favoured by Elizabeth I. He died
neglected and in poverty in the reign of James I.
proverb 'All is Fair in Love and War' has been attributed to John Lyly.
Spring is Coming
The spring, the spring is coming,
'Tis goodbye to all the snow.
Spring is coming, for the swallows
Have come back to tell me so.
Spring is coming, for the swallows
Have come back to tell me so.
In a corner of my window,
They have built a tiny nest;
Where the rosy sun can see it
As she sinks each night to rest
As the rosy sun can see it
As she sinks each night to rest.
[I don't know who the poet
is, or if I can remember it correctly.
Can anyone help?]
Looking this up on the
internet I found many others asking the same question, and in fact Trevor has
remembered more than anyone else. It
would seem to be one of those ditties, probably sung and at mothers' knees, that has been passed down over the years. Ed
drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion'. Miguel de Cervantes
Majestic sends their managers out to wine-producing areas to taste and
learn. In January 2013, Paul
Firman, Barnstaple's Manager, flew out, with others, to Chile.
It made sense to include him in this
season's programme, so we could gain from this education. Paul showed us, enthusiastically, just what
South America could offer. Vines and grapes benefit from temperature
variety. Chile's geological features include the Andes and the Atacama Desert,
which means that its grapes benefit from ideal climate conditions: hot summers,
cooling coastal breezes from the South Pacific and moderate rainfall. His six examples were single-grape only; four
Chilean and two Argentinean. Our first
wine was a white Chilean, with a grape usually associated with Germany: a
The Yali Reserva 2013 was produced in
the Colchagua Valley. It was
night-harvested, so that cool grapes are pressed without air contact and
fermented at cold temperatures. This
maximises its primary fruit character
and it did and had a nice balance of
texture and acidity. An
unexpected but delicious find; many members asked Paul for its price: £9.99 currently, but will have an April offer
price. Majestic recommends that it is
accompanied by lightly spiced satay, grilled tiger prawns or oriental noodle
salad. I'm sure it would be great on its own too or
with a salad. Two other whites a
Chilean Torrentes and an Argentinean Chardonnay followed before the reds:
Chilean Merlot, a Carmenère and finally the dearest red: an Argentinean Malbec;
however, the dearest wine of the evening was the Chardonnay at £23.00 per
Wine is personal preference, but I
wasn't the only one who thought the Malbec was another delicious sample. This Italian, family-owned vineyard, in
Vistalba, has been producing wine since 1901.
They produced the Luigi Bosca 2011.
It was deeply fruity with a dark colour . . . and had well-judged acidity. It was new to Majestic stocks and was £15.99,
but £12.99 if two purchased.
Bringing Burgundy To You is a
company set up by ex-pats, Lynne and David Hammond, in 2003, who live and work
in the heart of this world-renowned region, near Beune. They take everyday Burgundy to great Grands
Crus to tasting events for companies, clubs, societies and private parties. They are the region's 'Ambassadors'.
We learned a lot from this husband and
wife team with an expert, passionate and confident delivery. I didn't know that a proper 'Kir Royale'
should be made with Cremant de Bourgogne, a lightly-fizzy white wine, not
Champagne, and Cassis. I learned that
young Burgundies should be opened and left for up to 1/2 hour, old ones should be
opened and drunk; Grand Cru vines face east and have a low yield; growers are
not permitted to exceed yield. Fancy
the French obeying rules!
Bourgogne wines use four grape types:
Pinot Noir, Gamay, Algote and Chardonnay.
Our seven wines were single grape only apart from our first: a sparking
with a mix of grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Algote. Our other three whites were Chardonnay. The last was £25.95, but it wasn't a 'Wow'
for me! Our reds were Pinot Noir 2011
and 2012 and included the cheapest of the night at £10.66.
As it is Ladies Night next month, 16th April,
I sought the opinion of some on Bourgogne wines. Four and surrounding friends gave feedback:
more expensive was obvious, little bouquet, lacking in flavours. The general consensus was that they weren't
was an interesting evening. If wines are disliked by some, we all appreciate
that our Circle gives us the opportunity to enjoy a sociable evening and the
opportunity to taste, learn and be educated...
Tony Summers presents our final
gathering of the year, 16th May, which
begins with our historically brief AGM.
His topic: Tony's Mystery Tour.
We reconvene on 15th October, after what we hope will have been another
Adam: Secretary and Promotional
LOCAL WALK - 143
here's to you my rambling boy
all your rambles bring you joy."
by Tom Paxton
. . . and
sung and made famous by the legendary Pete Seeger 1919-2014 who died earlier
At great expense and after weeks of traffic delays, heavy
plant manoeuvres and hard labour in all weathers, we have a new footpath.
No longer will we be dependent on the tides for determining
the route between Watermouth and
On the first of March, a rare dry day, we decided to try out
the new path. The condition of the
existing fenced in path, alongside the road opposite Watermouth Castle, has
been poor for some years so it is advisable to walk along the road to the
harbour and emerge on to the main road via the gate between the sailing club
and the harbour master's office.
This brings you directly to the pristine new tarmac path
running beside the road for a short distance before a new flight of steps leads
down to the original coast path. A
little further on the previous entrance to the path has been cordoned off and a
notice states that further improvements are planned.
The path was quite muddy and had been churned up by
cyclists. Not a suitable route for
bicycles. There are pleasant views of
the harbour through the trees; of The
Warren and Sexton's Burrow. Owners were
working on their boats. Men were
fishing from the cliff below the Martello tower.
On a tree trunk lying along the edge of the path, I found a
colony of scarlet elf-cups [Peziza Sarcoscyphs coccinea] - a very attractive
fungus. The inner surface of the round
cups is bright red with a smooth, shiny texture. The outer surface is whitish with a chalky
texture. The cups can be between two
and six centimetres in diameter and appear from January until April.
Arranged in clusters, there were more than I have ever seen
in one place. My field guide says they
are 'widespread though seldom numerous' and are thought to be declining. They are most frequent in the west of
They grow on fallen and decaying wood, attached by a very
short stem. They can appear to be
growing from the ground but investigation will show that they are actually on a
branch or twig which has become partially buried.
There were banks of dog's mercury. Although the green flowers are small and
insignificant I am always pleased to see it because it coincides with the
beginning of spring.
Illustrations by Paul Swailes
The lambs in the field below Widmouth Farm looked strong and
sturdy. Nearby, the path became a
sticky quagmire beside the stile, above where the coast path crosses the track
leading to the private beach in its own tiny cove.
There were plenty of ivy berries but no blackbirds feasting
on them - in fact an absence of birds altogether. In January 2010 when there was widespread
snow in North Devon, except on the coastal fringe, we had walked out to
Watermouth and found the camping fields full of redwings. This last winter I have looked out for the
winter thrushes but have not seen a single redwing or fieldfare.
On the way back I glanced wistfully at the 'forbidden land'
on the outer edge of The Warren where we are not allowed to roam and remembered
the abundance of wild flowers on the cliffs there in springtime. The decision favouring the landowner
following the public enquiry four years ago was a surprise and disappointment.
Perhaps we villagers should have descended en masse, in an
act of civil disobedience, like the ramblers walking in protest on Kinder Scout
in the Pennines before the war.
I'm sure Pete Seeger would have approved!
Mystery is afoot and there will be
comedy in the Manor Hall on Saturday 17th May with Sophie Willan's one woman
show 'The Novice Detective'.
Brought to Berrynarbor by Beaford Arts this piece sits between
theatre, storytelling, comedy and cabaret. As with all Beaford's
productions it will be an intriguing and totally different piece so come along
armed with refreshments and settle down to an exhilarating night right on your
Inspired by their love of afternoon
detective shows, Sophie and her slightly psychic gran are picking up the
clues: a crumpled photo, a mysterious phone call and a 90's pop album
with encrypted lyrics. Could these lead to her missing father?
Come along and help solve the case.
Tickets will be on sale in the village shop for £7.50 with proceeds going to village
organisations. Doors open at 7.00 p.m. with the performance starting around
7.30 p.m. Afterwards, stroll over to the
pub for puddings and a post play chat over a pint. See you there.
Water, water everywhere - except in the
Ilfracombe Swimming Pool!
There I was all psyched up for the big
swim on my 72nd birthday, having trained for a couple of months ready to
attempt swimming 72 lengths (72x33mtr,= 1.5 miles) in aid of our Musical
Memories singing group for people living with dementia and other memory
problems. I had checked with the pool staff the day
before to confirm that there would be a lane available for me at 8.00 a.m. and
they confirmed that everything would be OK. However, shock horror, when I arrived I was
met by the manager who told me that the pool was closed due to a leak. My
reaction was that this was a 'wind up', as they had probably seen me parking
the car. I suggested coming back after breakfast,
giving them chance to throw a few buckets of water in to top it back up! The manager was not amused and confirmed that
the pool would be closed indefinitely. On looking through the window I realised that
I could actually walk 72 lengths as there was not a drop of water to be
seen. The catastrophic leak (probably
due to lack of maintenance) apparently occurred overnight and the pool remains
empty some 2 months later and is not likely to be opened for some time yet.
I had been promised sponsorship of over
£500 so I was determined to achieve the swim as soon as possible. So a few days later I went to the Barnstaple
pool which is only 25metres long and therefore I had to swim at least 96
lengths to complete the same 1.5 miles distance. I did
manage the 96 and felt good enough to make it the 100 lengths. However, I was too (kna) tired to haul
myself out and guess what, the steps were at the far end so I had to do 101
lengths in total!
I should like to thank you good people
of Berrynarbor for your generous support and especially for the donations made
via the Community Shop which came to over £155 - many thanks Debbie, Karen and
all volunteers for your help.
I should also like to thank the village
carollers for the donation of £87 from the collection at the Christmas Carols
around the tree, thank you Phil, Tony, Wendy and Karen.
The amount donated for the swim has
reached £660 plus the £87 will cover the rent and insurance for the hall for
this year. Thank you all.
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT
Hooray Spring has sprung! This last winter has been so long and wet but
at last there is some sunshine.
We had our A.G.M. on 25th February and it
was decided to enter the Best Kept Village competition again this year. So from May onwards we hope that the whole
village will be aware that the judges will be walking around and maybe chatting
with villagers. They are looking for
absence of litter, well-kept public areas, tidy gardens and general house
maintenance. But more than that, they
are looking for that something extra. We think that Berrynarbor has that something
extra so let's prove it to the judges!
This year we are planning to have the
gardens open again and the dates decided are Sunday 8th June for the Sterridge
Valley gardens and Sunday 7th September for the village gardens. We hope that many of the gardens that have
opened before will join in again but it would be nice to have some new ones too,
so please let me know if you can participate.
There is still time to bring your
hanging baskets to be re-filled by Streamways Nursery. They do a wonderful job and the charge is very
reasonable. Bring your empty and
labelled baskets to Bessemer Thatch and we will take them over all
together. They will be delivered back to
the village during the 3rd week of May. Please telephone me if you want to join
the hanging basket scheme or if you can open your garden on the above dates Tel
The first litter pick of 2014 saw a
really good group of volunteers turn out for the dirty job of picking up other
people's litter! Spurred on by the
promise of a hot cup of tea and a slice of lemon drizzle cake, almost the whole
of the village and outlying roads were covered. Some of the items collected were quite
interesting - a bed frame, a rucksack, a green rugby top, a number plate and a
patio umbrella pole, being among them. Sadly though the vast majority of items were
obviously thrown from cars with McDonald's containers, drink cans and crisp
packets being the most numerous. Also
there was quite a lot of plastic wrapping caught in the hedges and the dreaded
poo bags festooned on the bushes beside the path. Why do people do that? Many thanks go to all the good folk who
turned out on a Sunday afternoon for the love of their village.
Berry in Bloom has been
persuaded to enter a new competition run by the RHS called the Pennant
Award. The judging for this will be in
July and encourages group involvement in looking after villages. So, wish us luck and do join in.
Easter Simnel Cherry Tart
This teatime treat is a cross between a
fruity Simnel cake and a Bakewell tart. You can make it ahead and freeze it ready to
bring out and serve at Easter.
Did you know The tradition of decorating a Simnel cake
with 11 marzipan balls [to symbolise
the Apostles, minus Judas] developed in the late Victorian era. Before that, cakes were often decorated with
375g pack sweet short crust pastry [Sainsbury's
do an excellent fresh dessert short crust pastry] or make your own using your
1tsp mixed spice
6 tbsp good cherry jam
350g/12oz marzipan, 1/2 cut in to
1/2 rolled into 11 balls to represent
50g/2oz icing sugar
25g/1oz flaked almonds
flour, plus extra for dusting
140g/5oz butter, softened
140g/5oz golden caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
75g/21/2 oz ground almonds
175g/6oz mixed dried fruit
50g/2oz glace cherries halved
Zest and juice of 1 orange
On a floured work surface roll out the
pastry and line a loose-bottomed square or round tart tin - I use a 9 inch
round tin - crimp round the edge but make sure not to trim too closely as the
pastry will shrink when baked, then chill for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to200 Deg C/180 Deg C fan/gas 6. After 30 minutes chilling, line the pastry
case with parchment and baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove beans and parchment and bake for a
further 10 minutes. Leave to cool.
Reduce the oven to 170 Deg C/150 Deg Cfan/gas 3.
In a bowl cream the sugar and butter until pale and creamy. Add
the eggs one at a time with a spoon of the flour to stop curdling. Stir in the
rest of the flour and the ground almonds, then the dried fruit, cherries, 1/2 the
orange zest and the spices. Spread the
jam over the base of the pastry tart and dot with the cubed marzipan. Pour over the cake mixture. Smooth with a spatula and bake for 35 minutes
until golden and risen. Leave to cool in the tin.
If you want to brown the marzipan balls,
place them on a baking tray and grill under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes.
Mix the icing sugar with enough orange
juice to make a thick smooth icing and drizzle over the tart. Finish by scattering the flaked almonds and
remaining orange zest over and then place the marzipan balls evenly over the
Happy Easter - Wendy
Many of you will, I am sure, have visited Arlington
Court, the home of the late Miss Rosalie Chichester. If you have done so during the last two
years, you will know that the Music Room has been set out to cover the two
world tours that she, and her companion Chrissie Peters, made in the
1920's. This is where as a volunteer, I
have spent much time, enjoying talking to visitors as well as cajoling them
into buying raffle tickets! In quieter
moments there, I have read through the excerpts taken from her journals of the
tours which are extremely interesting - and now I know where and when some of
the shells for her vast collection were found.
Their travels began on the 28th July 1920 when they boarded
the Empress of France [by courtesy of Thomas Cook] at Liverpool bound for
"As the English coast faded in
the mist doubts occurred as to the wisdom of our venture. Was it wise for two women quite
unaccompanied to travel and ignorant of all that it
implies, to set forth on a voyage around the world?"
From Canada they travelled to Hawaii, Fiji and New
Zealand. They left New Zealand, bound
for Australia, on the 12th November, and left Adelaide on the 12th January 1921
bound for South Africa aboard the 'Nestor'.
"We spent some happy weeks on
board the 'Nestor' and shall always look back with affection to the boat which
carried us so safely from Australia to Africa.
She had many agreeable people on board, who helped to make our stay in
her a pleasant time. The cheery Captain
who had always a pleasant word for one and all, the Scotch doctor with his
never failing fund of anecdotes, and who kept the games going and started the
entertainment, Mr. F. and his charming Australian wife, Mr. and Mrs. S [of
Australia] and little Joan, the pet of the ship, a fair haired child who spent
her second birthday on board and will never now spend another birthday in this
world. [Sadly, Joan died on board before they reached South Africa.] Mr. and Mrs. C. travelling from America and
many others. Among the passengers must
be included Mr. C's 'Baby', a lion which he takes about with him to assist in
the entertainments he gives.
"Jan. 17th 'Ants Quiz' In the evening a competition was held in the
Lounge, printed papers with questions were given to each; the answers had to be a word ending in ant
such as 'a musical ant', the answer Chant.
The winner answered correctly 13 questions out of 28. [Chant
was actually incorrect, can you get it right?]
"Jan 30th - arrived in Durban.
Hiring a rickshaw, a
two-wheeled carriage drawn by a native, we drove in this not very comfortable
conveyance, our luggage following later, to the
Hotel Edward, a delightful
hotel on Ocean Beach, the ocean suburb of Durban.
"After leaving the rickshaws
we walked up hill to the hotel, where we had tea, and afterwards walked in the
grounds where six or seven wild monkeys came out of the bushes to take bananas
and nuts. Sometimes, so we were told,
quite forty can be seen. The babies
were delightful little creatures and kept running up the branches of the trees,
but an old gentleman had by no means a pleasing expression.
"Feb 8th - Train ride to
"Feb 10th - Train ride to
Ladysmith - visited Devon Regt. Boer War Cemetery.
"Here is an obelisk to the
Devons, the point of which has been damaged by lightning, but no doubt will
shortly be repaired, as there is a society in South Africa for care of war
graves and monuments. Relatives in
England may feel satisfied that everything is done to preserve these memorials
to the dead. Nearby is
another war memorial, and a stone marking the spot where Lord Ava fell.
GLORY OF GOD
AND IN SINCERE
FOLLOWING OFFICERS, NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE
BATTALION DEVONSHIRE REGIMENT
IN THE GALLANT AND
CHARGE MADE ACROSS THIS
THREE COMPANIES DURING THE
6th JANUARY 1900.
"Feb 16th Pretoria - visited
"18th Visited Johannesburg
"Feb 22nd Kimberley Diamond
A kaffir showed us his
diggings, here all the work is done by hand, the gravel dug, sifted, mixed with
water and then examined to see if any diamonds are there. For days perhaps none are found, yet the
workmen have each to be paid £1 a week.
Sometimes holiday parties come and camp there instead of spending their
time at the seaside, or in some other way.
One party, we heard, after paying expenses were able to take home
£50. It is mere chance if a diamond is
found, and when found if it is sufficiently large to be of value.
"Mar 11th Gordon's Bay
Collected shells and saw giant
jellyfish. Lunched at the Gordonia, for
such is its name, and climbed about the rocks, when to our great delight in a
cavity between the rocks we found such a number of turbo shells as well
including Omars and some reddish mussels, but after the turbos they seemed of
Mar 18th - Boarded RMS Briton
April 4th - Sighted England
"At noon the shores of England
were sighted. The coast of Devon from
Start Point to Torbay and beyond, but too far off to distinguish details
without glasses. The land soon faded
away in the distance and was not seen again
until 4 p.m. when the Bill of
Portland became visible, and after that we kept close to the coast, passing a
few other steamers as well as sailing boats. It was with a sense of disappointment
we looked at the chalk cliffs of Dorset, they had not the beauty we had
anticipated, and even the Isle of Wight, with the Needles much worn away since
I last saw them, was disappointing. We
missed the grandeur of the Canadian coast, the hills of New Zealand and
Tasmania and the rocky shores of South Africa.
Apr 6th - Train back to Devon
"Not until we were in the
train could we realise that 'It is good to be in England. Now that April's here'. Then we saw the incomparable beauty of the
green fields and the primrose covered banks, and the young leaves just
sprouting from the trees, and the picturesque cottages and farmsteads which
make the Homeland dear to all its sons and daughters."
Peter and Miss Chichester in New Zealand
1. A brave ant
2. A cringing ant
3. A pachyderm ant
4. A begging ant
5. A very short ant
6. A cheerful ant
7. a fluttering ant
8. A lowly ant
9. A lively ant
10. A fruitful ant
11. A suspended ant
12. A musical ant
13. A ship's ant
14. A military ant
15. A legal ant
16. A healthy ant
17. A hopeful ant
18. A wicked ant
19. An uneducated ant
20. A helpful ant
21. A sharp ant
22. A sparkling ant
23. A schoolboy ant
24. The only ant left
25. A commercial ant
26. A menial ant
27. A garden ant!
28. An occupier ant
Can you do better than the 13 correct on
board the Nestor? If so, put your
answers in an envelope giving your name and address, and leave it either at the
Shop or Chicane by the 7th May - the best entry will win a prize! Answers in the June Newsletter
THE PRECIOUS RING
is not flashy, imposing or valuable, but the engagement ring my late
mother-in-law gave me shortly before she died, is always on my hand.
It is now exactly 100 years old as my in-laws were married
in late 1914. In the wedding photograph
taken on that day, Peter Davey was in uniform and one can assume home on leave
from the Front.
He survived the Battle of the Somme and the horrors of the
trenches to return to settle on an Estate at North Tamerton in North Cornwall,
far away from the memories of Flanders fields.
He became chauffeur to the Lord of the Manor [very Downton Abbey!] and
lived there peacefully until 1934 when the family returned to Hertford to be
From 1918 to 1922, three children were born to the couple -
two daughters and then a son, my husband.
The daughters never married. Too
many young men had died in the trenches for all the young girls in Britain, but
both went on to have successful careers and became doting aunts to George and
my children. George went on to serve as
a Bomb Disposal Officer in the Second World War and then continued into the
RAF, where we met and married.
The diamonds in my ring are minute but set in a lovely gold
setting. I learnt recently that the
import of diamonds was banned during the First World War and rings contained
small chips of existing diamonds.
On studying the death certificate of George's father and
that of my own grandfather, who also served in the trenches, I found they had
both died in September 1939. I often
wonder whether their thoughts were, 'Oh no!
Here we go again!'
So many of our families must have mementoes of that War -
the War to end all wars - and the sacrifices that were made.
So that is why the ring is so precious.
DRIVING WITH DEFECTIVE EYESIGHT
Our vision is something many of us take
for granted and never give a second thought to. It is, however, all too easy not to notice
that our sight has begun to deteriorate as it can be a slow process. This might be due to age, medical conditions,
injury or even temporarily due to tiredness. There are also many who refuse or
forget to wear spectacles when they are at the wheel. Whatever the reason, there comes a time in
the lives of most of us when we would benefit from an optician's test.
a former traffic police officer I can recall dealing with a number of people
who had been found driving with uncorrected defective vision [the technical
term]. I can recall speaking to one
elderly gent who had been seen driving erratically in Barnstaple. With no reasonable explanation being offered,
I conducted a roadside eyesight test. I
asked him to walk forward towards the back of my motorcycle and to read out my
registration when he was able. To my
utter amazement he continued walking and finally read it correctly when he was only
2.7 metres away! He was in fact waiting for cataract operations and had refused
to stop driving. Needless to say the
matter was taken further.
The police regularly give eyesight tests
on the roadside - after a collision for example, where there is a suspicion
that a driver may have defective vision.
The law states that as a driver you must
be able to read a standard registration plate in good daylight from a distance
of 20.5 metres [67ft] or about 5 car lengths.
It is very simple to give yourself a basic eyesight test by pacing out
this distance and reading a registration plate. [Reading your own is cheating by the way!] If you do have problems then I suggest it
may well be time for a more formal test.
It is all too easy to miss other road
users especially in the sort of weather we have experienced since New Year so
please, just take a few minutes to check out your own sight and don't go making
a spectacle of yourself!
For more information on safer
motorcycling courses please email Paul@revolutionbiketraining.co.uk or
ring 0843 289 3529.
this be what you see when driving?
A DIFFICULT QUESTION
I was walking down our High Street the other day when I
bumped into an old friend.
"Hello Charlie", I said as I greeted him. "Haven't seen you for a long time, and how's
your lovely wife, Mary?"
"She's fine," he replied.
"I'm glad I met you as you can give me some advice."
"Oh, what's that?" I
"Well, it's her 86th birthday soon and she insists that as
she feels so young at heart, she would like a present that's modern or young in
its way. What would you advise?"
I scratched my head and stroked my chin and then suggested
she could have her head shaved and a spider web tattooed on it.
Charlie smiled, "Well, she would probably like the idea but
not the pain of the tattoo."
I thought again and this time suggested she have her hair
coloured red, green or blue.
"Well, a lot of women have that these days," he said, "But
can't you come up with something else?"
"Yes," I said, "How about these. There is Botox, pierced eyebrows, lips, nose,
"Carry on, you're getting warm!"
"Well then," I asked, "How about cosmetic surgery, or a
skateboard? Then there is parascending,
she might like that. And, of course,
Disneyland. A nice pair of sunglasses
to wear on top of her head or paragliding."
Charlie grinned, "Yes, you've got some good ideas but I
think I'll play it safe and give her some flowers and a box of chocolates."
"Good idea," I replied, "Nice to see you again. Bye."
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
When I was seven years old and outside playing with my
brother Clifford in the rear garden of our home at No. 5 Croft Lea, my mother
called us to the front to have a look at something.
It was a summer afternoon and I can clearly remember seeing
something that at that time I had no idea what it was. It was a Zeppelin German airship flying
quite low and close to Ilfracombe out over the Bristol Channel. It was massive and had a large swastika on
its tail. I had never seen anything
like it before or indeed since.
In October 2005 it was confirmed that what I had seen was
the famous German Zeppelin Airship, Hindenburg. I know this as a Bideford man put an article
in the Journal, which included pictures.
I quote from that article:
"A chance encounter during a cruise on the Norwegian Fjords
reawakened haunting memories of a Nazi airship coming off the North Devon
Coast. Retired Bideford businessman
Peter Adams found himself sitting next to Brian Hussey, a Zeppelin airship
enthusiast during a cruise dinner one evening.
Conversation soon turned to a striking image which had stuck with Mr.
Adams for about 70 years. He said, "I
told him that I remember as a very small boy seeing from Westward Ho! a Zeppelin
over Lundy Island, it was huge with a great big swastika on the tail and he
said he would look into it for me."
"Zeppelins, which are rigid body German airships made with
aluminium frames were designed by Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin in the early
20th century. Mr. Adams knew they had
flown near Britain in the 1930's but had no idea his
memory could be specifically pinned down to a date and time.
"Soon after returning home Mr. Hussey posted his detailed
detective work to Mr. Adams. He
explained that only 3 zeppelins ever had swastikas painted on their tail fins
and only one, The Hindenburg, ever flew near Lundy. Mr. Hussey checked the logs of all the
Hindenburg's flights and found that in 1936 it made 10 return flights from
Frankfurt to New York. He said "The
Germans had permission to fly over this country only in exceptional
circumstances such as bad weather because it was feared that they might be
spying on military and naval installations.
The zeppelins did not usually fly over Lundy but on the 4th American
flight that year flight records said the Hindenburg went over Lundy Island on
the 5th of July 1936 at 16.52 GMT.
"It turned out that Mr. Adams and many others who lined up
to watch that day in summer 1936 had indeed seen the famous Hindenburg Zeppelin
returning from a trip to New York.
"At 803.8 feet in length, the Hindenburg was the largest and
most famous of the zeppelins which provided the first ever trans-Atlantic air service
for hundreds of passengers.
"It was destroyed in May 1937 when the hydrogen which filled
the cigar shaped craft ignited."
After reading this article in the North Devon Journal and
being close to approaching 85 years of age, I am finally able to positively
identify what it was that I recall seeing all those years ago as a small
Berrynarbor boy stood in the garden with my little brother Clifford.
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
February and March 2014
Reports were received from County Councillor Andrea Davis,
District Councillor Yvette Gubb, the Police and the Parish Clerk, Sue Squire.
Plans to commemorate the centenary of WW1 were discussed and
it was agreed to give a donation of £250.
Councillors were informed of the work required on the Manor
Hall and agreed to give financial support once the total cost was known. It was also agreed that a Commuted Fund at
North Devon Council go to the Manor Hall and an annual donation of £1,000 be
Planning applications for Fuchsia Cottage and Rookery Nook
Bus shelters: the
shelter at Sandy Cove to be dismantled and the location of the shelter on the
A399 at the top of Barton Lane to be reviewed.
The Public Toilets - it is expected that the North Devon
Council will award the full amount following an application for a grant.
The necessary repairs to the War Memorial will be carried
out by Bobby Bowden and the Council has written to the Vicar offering to
replace the fox weather vane on the church tower, damaged in the recent gales.
Councillor Steve Hill continues to work hard on the
Emergency Plan and it is hoped that a representative of the Environment Agency
will contact Steve in the near future.
It was reported at the March meeting that Councillor
Charlotte Fryer had found it necessary to resign. She will be missed not only for her sound
opinions but in practical ways as well.
It is not known if a co-option will be necessary to replace her, but a
co-option is currently necessary to replace Councillor Gary Marshall, and
posters are in the village giving details.
Please speak to a Councillor or the Parish Clerk [01598 710526] if you
would like more information.
The next meeting on Tuesday, 8th April, in the Manor Hall at 7.00 p.m. will be the Annual Parish Meeting when Councillor
Andrea Davis has arranged for
Ben Pyle of SW Highways to address the meeting. Members of the public will be very welcome
and we expect him to be asked a lot of questions. An Annual Parish Meeting is just that - a
meeting of the parish on an annual basis.
It is not a Parish Council Meeting even though the Parish Council convenes
it, the Chairman chairs it and the Clerk clerks it. This meeting will then be followed by the
April Parish Council Meeting. The
meeting to be held on the 13th May is the Annual Meeting [or AGM] of the Parish
Sue Squire - Clerk to the Parish Council
RURAL REFLECTIONS NO. 62
Hope Springs Eternal - and I am
eternally hoping for a decent spring, something that was hard to envisage just a
few weeks ago. Yet as I sit to write
this article the outside thermometer is reading 88 Deg F and the forecast is for a
settled period of dry weather. The sky
is cloudless and, almost overnight it seems, the rural landscape has awoken
from the sodden days of January and February. Signs of spring are in the garden too. Bees are industrious upon the winter heather,
celandine is dotting the lawn, the camellia bush is flowering and a small
tortoiseshell butterfly, the first butterfly to be observed this year, is
basking in the warm sunshine. And this
is just the start of spring bursting forth.
But my mind is not in forward-thinking
mode. Instead it is in reflective mood,
the result of a recent visit from a relative. She brought with her three medals that had
been in her brother's possession for over ten years. Locked away in his safe,
he had initially assumed they were associated with a relative on his mother's
side of the family. It was only when a
friend asked to see them that a name was pointed out to him, one that was
inscribed on the outer rim of one medal and on the back of another [the backs
were difficult to see as the medals were mounted]. It was the name of both his father's and my
father's paternal grandfather,
McCarthy. More significantly, my cousin
had expressed a wish that I should have them. I was overcome with emotion and could not
thank him enough. For I was now the
honourable keeper of my great grandfather's World War One medals. Viewing them for the first time in my life was
made more poignant by the fact that I was doing so one hundred years since the
start of the "war to end all wars".
Moreover the sight and touch of his 1914-15 Star, his British War Medal
and his Victory Medal made the Great War real to me.
As is often the case with genealogy,
discoveries merely lead to even more questions and whilst further research
would solve some mysteries, one question would forever remain unanswered. How did he feel when he received his medals?
It is a question perhaps only those who
have been in active service for the defence of their country can possibly
answer. I can only speculate.
The effect upon the receiver of any
tactile award will vary. In the case of
my great grandfather, perhaps it gave a sense of justice to his actions or
maybe even helped him with a sense of loss.
For others, such as an Olympian competitor, a silver or bronze medal may
help with the disappointment of not winning, whilst a certificated award for
exam success makes the hard work put in by a student worthwhile. A certificate
for vocational achievement on the other hand will instil self-confidence and
self-belief in the worker. Then there is
the medal awarded for actively taking part regardless of where the competitor
comes but which still leaves the participant with a feeling of self-worth.
Some people, however, receive
materialistic accolades merely to fulfil their egos. Such recognition is often for good deeds and
whilst the recipient of the good deeds benefits, the good-doer makes sure that
everyone else knows about it.
There is, however, a recipient of an
award who is the complete opposite to this. It is a person who goes about their daily
business doing good deeds for people along the way and as a matter of due
course, deeds that in turn bring
pleasure to the people with whom they are interacting. Such a person does not expect reward, merely
gratitude; and when given praise or an award will feel humble that they are
being recognised for something they regard as a natural instinct or a vocation.
Mother Nature is such a person. And over
the next two months she will strive to bless our countryside with an abundance
of colour that cannot be attained at any other time of the year. She will
expect no medals for the victory she has fought over the bleakness of winter,
no certificate of achievement for all her hard labours. In her modest and humble way she will give
pleasure to any observer who chooses to take notice.
Illustration: Paul Swailes
MOVERS & SHAKERS NO.
ELIZABETH BLACKALL [ELSIE] KNOCKER
Baroness de T'Serclaes]
Nurse and Ambulance Driver in World War I
29 1884 - April 26 1978
You may have seen items recently by Justin
Leigh on BBC Spotlight about the part played by the West Country during the
First World War. One of these was about Elsie Knocker, who won, amongst others,
the Military Medal for her bravery and self-sacrifice, and on this basis
deserves recognition in this 100th year of the outbreak of the war. I wanted to know more . . .
Born in Exeter, the youngest of the five
children of Dr Thomas Lewis Shapter and his wife Charlotte, she was orphaned at
an early age. Her mother died when she was four and father
died from tuberculosis only two years later. She picked up the nickname Elsie as a small
child, which lasted for life. Elsie was
adopted by a teacher from Marlborough College who gave her a good education at
St Nicholas's Folkestone and then at an exclusive school in Switzerland. Before her marriage to Leslie Knocker in 1906,
she trained as a nurse at a children's hospital.
The marriage didn't last very long, and
soon after her divorce she further trained as a midwife. Edwardian England frowned upon divorce, so she
made up the story that her husband had died in Java. Her
passion at this time was motor cycles and when riding she wore a leather skirt
and a long leather coat buttoned all the way down 'to keep it all together'.
At 31 years of age, married, divorced
and with a 6-year old son, war broke out, so she and her 18-year old friend, Mairi
Chisholm - feisty, upper-class and a good mechanic - became volunteers with the
Women's Emergency Corps as dispatch riders. They caused 'shock horror' with their garb of
masculine breeches and leather boots!
They then joined the Flying Ambulance
Corps and were sent to Belgium to help the hard-pressed Belgian soldiers. Here, frustrated by the number of men dying in
the back of their ambulance, they resigned and set up their own First Aid post
and soup kitchen, just a few hundred yards from the front line in a town called
Pervyse, north of Ypres. Under a ruined
house they found a vacant cellar, with a ceiling under 6' high [shown by Justin
Leigh] and with donations had it reinforced with concrete and a steel door
fitted, supplied by Harrods.
Here they made soup for the troops and
nursed the wounded.
picked up some nursing experience, but was mainly the ambulance driver, taking
the severely wounded to a hospital 15 miles away, and often under fire. Elsie tended the sick. They worked here for 3 1/2 years until being
almost killed by arsenic gas in March 1918. Over that time, and not being attached to any
medical organisation, when there was a lull in fighting, they would return to
England on motorbike and sidecar to raise their own funds.
Their work became known and they were
dubbed by the press as 'The Madonnas of Pervyse'. Although some events were gruesome and they
witnessed many massacres, life wasn't all bad. They had good friendships with the troops,
love affairs and in 1916, Elsie married a dashing aristocratic Belgian pilot,
Baron de T'Serclaes. The new Baroness
wrote: "It was pleasant to imagine all would turn out well, and after 15 months risking
my life at the Front, marriage seemed a comparatively small risk to take . . . after
a lightning honeymoon we hardly saw one another again. I was too busy at Pervyse, and my husband had
to return to his squadron. In 1919, the
Baron and Catholic Church discovered the truth about her previous marriage and
thus this marriage came to an abrupt end. Mairi hadn't known the truth either and this
also ended their friendship. They
barely spoke again. As part of the
marriage settlement, Elsie was allowed to keep the title of Baroness - in name
During World War II, she once again saw
service, this time as a WAAF senior officer, working with RAF Fighter Command. Sadly, on the 3rd July 1942, her son Kenneth,
by now a Wing Commander, was killed when his 'plane was shot down. Baroness T'Serclaes
moved into an Earl Haig home in 1927 and remained there until her death in
1978. Life must have seemed very tame: she bred Chihuahuas and became concerned about
animal welfare and could often be seen walking 3 or 4 of her dogs on the nearby
common, noticeably flamboyantly dressed with large earrings and a voluminous
But her work in Belgium during World War
I wouldn't be forgotten by the troops she helped save and their many families.
If you'd like to know more about this
amazing woman, get a copy of Elsie and Mairi go to war: Two extraordinary Women
on the Western Front by Diane Atkinson. My copy should arrive any day!
I wonder if anyone notices
when some of the 50 Movers and Shakers, chewed over since February 2006,
starting with WH Smith, make the news?
On 24th February this year, the obituary
appeared in the Telegraph of Maria von Trapp at the age of 99, one of the
original Von Trapp singers. In the film
of The Sound of Music she was called Louisa. I wrote of her sister Agathe in Feb 2011.
Recently on BBC 5 TV the part played by
William Addis [June 2012] in bringing tooth brushes to the world was featured.
Octavia Hill, [April
2011] Co-founder of the National Trust, featured last year in the press.
Watching a back programme of QI the
other evening, Rev Samuel Henshaw, [October 2009] the
designer of Corkscrews, was up for grabs!
I've heard Henry Beck's name [June 2009]
several times in connection with the London Underground maps.
The sometimes dubious life of Sir
William Hillary [February 2009] founder of RNLI was shown last year, and as for
Isaac Singer's past [April 2007] . . . let's forget it!
But to all 50 Movers and Shakers I owe a
large amount of fun, interest and fact-finding - and I've met and talked to
some very interesting people on the way. I hope you've enjoyed reading about them too.
After what seemed months of endless rain
the children are finally able to enjoy the sun and play outside!
This term's topic for Strawberry and
Cranberry Class is 'What a Lot of Rubbish'!
The children have been really busy learning the three R's of waste
management: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE! They have visited Brynsworthy Recycling
Centre where they found out what happens to the recycling waste that is
collected - the children were fascinated by the amount of waste and what
happens to it. They were shown some of the many items made
from recycled materials including a fleece made from recycled plastic bottles!
classes also met the friendly and helpful crew who collect our recycling in the
village and have entered a competition organised by Devon County Council to
REDUCE waste in packed lunches. They
been gaining a real sense of responsibility and explained to the whole school
in an assembly about using REUSABLE containers and wrote letters to parents.
All the children are motivated and
consider themselves Superhero's on a quest to save the planet! Make sure you don't drop any litter in the
Elderberry Class enjoyed a trip to
Exeter to visit Places of Worship. The
children visited a Mosque, Synagogue and the Cathedral. It was a fascinating experience for them.
The Berrynarbor Restaurant has once
again been open for this year's Parents' Meal.
The children worked hard all day
to prepare the food, which tasted delicious! The waiting staff looked very smart and were
very polite. Well done class 4, and Mrs Lucas.
The topic for Blueberry Class this term
was 'Urban versus Rural' and this saw them on a trip down to Exeter so they
could see the difference between a city and a village. Blueberry Class will also be performing
their Easter play, 'The Selfish Giant, on Friday 4th April in the Church at 2.00
p.m. Everyone is welcome.
We hope everyone has an enjoyable Easter
break and look forward to the start of our summer term on Tuesday 22nd April.
Carey - Headteacher
BERRYNARBOR'S GOT TALENT
Have you secretly harboured a desire to discover your inner
performer skill or to be a judge on Britain's Got Talent? Well, now's your chance!
The School PTFA is organising
Berrynarbor's Got Talent on Saturday, 12th July 2014 and are looking for those
with performing skills to enter, and those with other skills, like a knack for
turning an ordinary stage into a shimmering spotlight for people to perform, or
are a technology nut who enjoys running sounds systems, to contact us. Well, we need you all.
The event is open to everybody, yes everybody - any age, any
talent - and entry forms are
now available from the Shop. There will
be 3 auditions in front of a panel of judges, to be held in the Family Room at
The Globe from 3.00 to 5.00 p.m. on:
the Final on Saturday, 12th July
[when it is even rumoured that Will.i.am will be a judge!]
If you wish to take part please collect your entry form now,
and if you would like to help as part of the organising team or would like more
information, please contact:
Beer 07917562216 email@example.com
Bacon 07773278199 firstname.lastname@example.org
Beccky Baillie 07866557808 email@example.com
Following a questionnaire seeking comments from users and
cuts in the Mobile Library Service, that service to the village has changed.
Sadly we have lost our long-serving Librarian, Jacqui MacKenzie, who will either be taking redundancy or
retiring. We must thank her for all her
help - incredibly she could tell you what you had read in the past and point
you to books she knew would be to your liking - and wish her well whichever
route she takes in the future. Thank
Our mobile library will now be coming out of Tiverton and
the day and times have changed. Make a
note of the new service which will be
at the Shop at 11.40 a.m., leaving at 12.10 p.m.
in the Sterridge Valley at 12.25 p.m. and leaving at 12.55 p.m.
Monday, 26th May
Lee Memorial Hall
All the fun of a traditional village fayre with stalls,
raffle, games and much more. The Fayre
is from 2.00 to 4.30 p.m. with refreshments.
Car parking is available. An enjoyable
afternoon for all ages, whatever the weather, all in the idyllic setting of Lee
Village and Fuchsia Valley. An event
not to be missed - we look forward to seeing you there!
greetings to all our friends and families! We are celebrating the season with a
trip to a local farm to see the lambs and maybe even some new lambs being born!
We are also holding a Spring Fair and Preschool open day on the 29th of March
at the Manor Hall from 11.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
are starting to collect used ink cartridges for the 'Empties Please' company.
This could be a great fundraiser for the preschool as we will receive £1 for
every used ink cartridge we collect. If you have any that you would like to
recycle then please put them in the recycling bins in preschool. We also
continue to collect textiles for the 'Rag Bag' recycling scheme.
we are taking enrolments for the new term. If you would like to come and visit
the preschool or enrol your child please contact Emma on 07807093644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BERRYNARBOR - VIEW NO. 148
Farm, Sterridge Valley
This photographic postcard of Lower Rowes
Farm was published by Twiss Bros. of The Arcade, Ilfracombe, around 1907 or
earlier. It was printed in Saxony by
Stengel & Co. and on the address side states: 'Inland half pence Stamp Foreign
In Kelly's Director of l883, John
Delbridge was the farmer and he remains so in all the Kelly's directories up to
1897. In 1902 John Bowden is shown as
the farmer for both Rowes Farms [Higher and Lower] and remains such in the 1910
Kelly's Directory. After the Great War
[World War I] the Directory shows William Lerwill as the farmer.
Lower Rows Farm, 115 Sterrage Valley,
was sold as Lot 17 in the Watermouth Estate Auction Sale held on 17th August
1920. The listing read: ' Lower Rows Farm, a Good Dairy Farm comprising: A good Slated Dwelling House, Slated
Outbuildings and about 48a [Acres] or [Roods] 21 [Perches] of Meadow, Pasture
and Arable Lands, in the occupation of Mr. W. Lerwill as a Yearly Lady-day
Tennant. The Apportioned Tithe on this
Lot is £7.4s.0d.'
The farm sold for £1,000 presumably to Mr.
Lerwill who continued farming there up to and possibly beyond 1939.
The small roof with two chimneys showing
on the top of the roof on the left is that of No. 74 High Sterrage Valley or
Pink Heather as it is today. The white
house showing in the distance is No. 72 Higher Sterrage Valley now known as
Cherry Tree Cottage.
Twiss Brothers of Ilfracombe published
the same postcard in colour tint and William Garratt published a similar
photographic card numbered 58 c1907, which was the subject of my article No. 88
in April 2004.
Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, March 2014
This photograph shows the farm
from the west side, but can anyone put a date to it.
Over the years, Lower Rowes has
changed and those who have walked up the Sterridge Valley recently will be
aware that it is currently undergoing a change once again!
In his article, Tom mentions
that in 1902 it was farmed by John Bowden.
He was followed by Joseph Bowden, his son, and then his grandson, Samuel
Bowden. All grandfathers with varying
'greats' to Michael Bowden. Samuel went
on to farm Ruggaton.
Lerwill, who was born in 1890 and his wife, Mary [nee Tucker] born in
1885, had been tenants at the farm and
purchased it at the time of the Watermouth Estate Sale in 1920, continuing
farming, mainly livestock - cattle and sheep - there for many years.
Sadly, they lost their only child at
birth. Mary herself died in 1956 and
for the next 20 years, Farmer Will, or Scat as he was known locally, lived a
lonely existence at the farm, never again going upstairs to sleep, spending the
night in his armchair.
In his article in June 2004, Michael
Most people who remember Farmer Will have an image of an old man, short in
stature with twinkling blue eyes, sat on a 'tetty' sack astride his pony,
plodding up to the village and home again, with 'dug' in tow.
would tether the pony and make his way to the Globe for his Guinness. He would collect his pony and walk it down
to the footpath from which he could launch himself on to the pony's back with
the instruction 'Homewards'. By the
time he reached Two Rocks, his eyes were closed and his chin on his chest - to
all appearances, fast asleep!
"Most evenings would find him sat on the
corner bench in The Globe, discussing, and sometimes arguing, with his friends
about the pros and cons of the farming world, all in a broad Devon dialect
which sadly is rarely heard any more and would certainly not be understood by
most of the patrons of The Globe today!"
of the village's real characters, full of fun, Will Lerwill died in the summer
of 1976 and is buried in Combe Martin.
Still remembered with affection.
cover showing Lower Rowes Farm was painted and given to Farmer Lerwill by
Lilian Thirkell probably about the time of the end of World War II.
The Thirkell family lived here in the
village and Lilian's son, Don, is a mail reader of our Newsletter. He says;
"My mother did a lot of painting of the locality and satisfied the
tourist trade at the end of the War.
She invented the painting of limpet shells with views of Combe Martin
would write in them and glue them together and sell them to Alexander Begrie,
the Jeweller of King Street, Combe Martin.
The method was copied after a while by Alice Orrin, who died in 1956 and
is buried at St.Peter's."
My thanks to Gary and
John Pearce for their help with this article.