Nineteen members attended
the October meeting, when birthday cards were given to Betty Brooks, Janet
Gammon and Ann Williams.
Mr. Roger Groos then began his talk on Reflex Zone
Therapy.The principle is well judged
pressure on the soles of the feet, which helps to alleviate anxiety and poor
sleep patterns and also beneficial effects on other parts of the body.This therapy dates back many years.The
Egyptians used foot massage for healing around 2330BC.Roger gave each member a diagram showing
which part of the foot relates to parts of the body.
At the end of the meeting, members enjoyed the usual tea and
biscuits.The raffle was won by Jenny
The November meeting was held on the 3rd when eighteen
members attended.A birthday card was
given to Joan McCallam.
Unfortunately, the Exeter
trip which was to be on the 9th November had to be cancelled due to
insufficient numbers to fill the minibus.It was suggested that going by train would be an option but trains were
not running to Exeter
that week!The Chairman confirmed the
annual lunch on 12th January had been booked at the Golf Club.
The speaker was Mr. Barry Webb who is the Station Commander
in Ilfracombe for the Devon and Somerset Fire
Service and is part of the Day Crew.Ilfracombe is part of a group which includes Barnstaple,
South Molton, Combe Martin, Woolacombe and
There are less house fires now than there were 25 years ago
when Barry joined the Fire Service and this is due to the construction of new
houses, installation of smoke alarms and fire retardant furniture.The greater risk now is of flooding.The call centre is situated in Topsham, Exeter, and this works
well with all the modern technology.Barry stressed the need for all householders to ensure that the smoke
alarms are working, to close internal doors at night and to keep clear the
escape areas - not forgetting to keep door keys close by the entrance
doors.His talk gave us all food for
thought and I am sure we have all now checked our smoke alarms!
The raffle was won by Janet Steed.
The next meeting will be the Christmas Party on 1st December,
when sherry and mince pies will be on offer!This will be the usual time of in the Manor Hall.Member Margaret Crabbe will be the speaker on 5th January when she will
be telling us about her experiences as a Special Constable.
This will be a good start to the new year, so please come and
join us in the Manor Hall.Happy
Christmas and New Year to you all.
I was saddened to learn from Patsy that her husband, Alan,
had died, following a long time of illness, on the 2nd October.I am sure that everyone will join me in
sending Patsy, her daughter Lisa and the family, our prayers and thoughts at
this time of sorrow and bereavement.
Not many readers will have had a chance to meet my husband,
Alan, even though we moved to the village nine years ago.This was because, following a stroke, he was
unable to walk very far - and not keen on using a wheelchair - we were not,
therefore, able to join in with all the lovely village activities.
I am sad to say that Alan, after a long series of illnesses
stretching back twelve years, lost his fight for life in the NorthDevonDistrictHospital.The hole that he will leave in the lives of
myself and our daughter, Lisa, and her two boys Dan and Jake, is immense.Even though he couldn't get about much, he
never lost his ready smile and the twinkle in his eyes.I was so thrilled that he was able to enjoy
the beautiful view from our windows, even though he was more or less
housebound, and that together we were able to fulfil our dream of one day
living in beautiful North Devon.
It is now my strong faith in our Lord, which he shared, which
I must rely upon knowing that the Lord has called him home.
It was with sadness we learned that Margaret had passed away
suddenly at home on the 9th October.Margaret and her late husband Graham were actively involved in the life
of our village and our thoughts are with all their family and friends.
Margaret came to Berrynarbor when she married Graham and they
lived for many years at Tree Tops on the Old Coast Road.For some years Margaret continued to work as
a Lecturer in Sociology at the University
of Plymouth, returning
home each week-end.
She played a full part in the life of St. Peter's Church,
acting as Secretary to the Parochial Church Council.On her retirement, and ten years ago,
Margaret qualified as a Reader, mainly taking services at St. Peter's and in
A keen member of the W.I., Margaret served on the Committee
as well as acting as Vice-President.She and Graham were dog lovers, enjoying the company of their
King Charles spaniel and Bichon Frise.
In 2002, when Graham's health began to fail, they moved to
Combe Martin to be nearer amenities.Sadly he died just over three years later.
suffered a fall from which she never really recovered,
becoming housebound and
devoting her time to her beloved poodle, Tammy, who was with her when she died.
Many of you will remember Bernard and Arline Lewis who spent
28 very happy years here in the village at Alberta in Barton Lane.Ten years ago they left to move to Martock
but always kept in touch through the Newsletter.Sadly Bernard died in 2007.
Earlier this year, Arline moved to a home to be cared for and
nearer her family in Essex.She had not been well for several months and
died peacefully in her sleep on the 31st October.Her ashes are to be placed with Bernard's in
Our thoughts are with their daughters Merilyn and Susan and
grandchildren Daniel, Katie and Charles at this time of sadness.
Hedi Belka has long been a supporter of the Manor Hall and
has acted as Caretaker for more years than she cares to remember!
So it is sad that she has decided to retire from the
role.Consequently, I'd like to record
everyone's sincere thanks for her much appreciated contribution over the years.
With Christmas fast
approaching, please remember you can again send your greetings cards within the
village using the Manor Hall distribution box, to be found in the Shop.All donations will be appreciated and will
go towards funds for the Hall for 2010.Please put Saturday, 19th
December as a 'not to be missed' date in your diary and on your
calendars for the customary Coffee Morning in the Hall, with festivegoodies, carol singing, raffle and more!Meet from
The New Year is when we'll be trialling a Saturday morning
'Table Top Sale', aka Indoor Boot Fair.We'll need 8 - 10 tables to be booked to ensure viability . . . please
'phone me on 889298 if you'd be interested in booking.
There is also the prospect of a Jazz Evening - provisionally
for Saturday, 20th February and new Beaford Arts events for the spring . . . so
lots in store!
All for now, except best wishes from your Hall Management
Committee for the Festive Season.
Colin Trinder - Chairman
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
The bright reds, oranges and yellows of the flowers brought
the church alive for the celebration of Harvest Festival on Sunday, 4th
October.Thank you once again to our
talented team of arrangers.The porch
looked particularly welcoming
and pumpkins werebrought in from the
Tongues of Fire event.The Sunday
service was a truly family occasion with children from the School singing and
also the village choir.Harvest
Evensong and Supper were not so well attended this year - about 30 in all
coming so soon after the Saturday event.But those of us who were there enjoyed a delicious meal, once again
prepared by the ladies of the church.The food looked most inviting and by the end very little was left!Michael Bowden and Bill Huxtable made short
work of the auction of produce raising just over £50, and together with the
church collection and donations, we'll again be able to send £100 to Water Aid.
Candles were lit and placed on the altar on Sunday afternoon,
25th October, for All Saints Day - a moving service for those who came to
remember family and friends.There was
time afterwards to talk and share tea and biscuits.
The Remembrance Service on the 8th November was very well
attended.Wreaths were laid by the
Parish Council and the Church and the Last Post and Reveille were sounded by
Ivan Clarke.Our thanks also to Chris
James who officiated and to the choir who sang 'From a Distance' by Julie Gold
A Coffee Morning was held on Saturday, 24th October, arranged
after the magazines had gone to press.Nevertheless, £134.30 was raised for church funds thanks to all who
contributed and supported us on the day.
The PCC are
constantly looking for new ideas for fund-raising and social events to help
with finances and would welcome suggestions for 2010.
There will not be a Friendship Lunch in December and details
of the January one will be announced later.
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
We often complain about the
commercialisation of Christmas and Father Christmas appearing in shops and on
cards in August.Well, I remember a
story about a class full of children in London,
of all religious faiths, being asked about Christmas.The teacher asked who celebrated Christmas
and was very surprised when a young Jewish boy said that they celebrated
Christmas every year.He was asked to
say why.He said his father was a toy
maker, and every Christmas Eve he used to take his son by the hand and take him
to the warehouse, and show him all the empty shelves and say, "Thank you
God for Christmas."
Now, presents, children and
Father Christmas are all linked.Father
Christmas is the same as Santa Claus, a European variation of our Saint Nicholas who was a Bishop in the year 326 and whose saint's day is
the 6th December.
He was going home one night
and overheard a conversation through an open window which indicated that the
children were to be sold off the next morning into slavery because the family
were so poor.This was to be their last
night together as a family and Nicholas was determined to do something about
it.In the dead of night, he crept back
to the house, leaned through the open window and deposited a gold coin in each
of the sandals at the foot of the bed.The family were saved by the 'miracle', although it didn't take them too
long to discover that it was Nicholas who was responsible. That's why we have Chocolate 'gold coins' in
our stockings at Christmas, and why we have Father Christmas, which actually
means the Father who gives Christ's Blessing.Christ's Blessing is for all God's children, whatever their
chronological age.His Blessing or gift
for us all is the gift of eternal life.
With all good wishes for a
Christmas and Wonderful New Year.
Your friend and Rector,
KING EDWARD VIII [1894-1972]
to the throne:20th January 1936
Abdicated:10th December 1936
Edward was not a traditionalist, evidenced on patterns for
the proposed coinage, where he insisted against all advice on having his effigy
face the same way as his father's, instead of opposite.He also let it be known that in the
inscriptions of the coins, he preferred to do away with the normal Latinisation
of Edward - Edwardus - leaving the inscription plain Edward.
No coins of Edward VIII were issued for currency within the United Kingdom
bearing his name and portrait. However,
proof sets of the gold five pound, two pound and sovereign were struck but not
issued.Similarly with the silver
crown, half crown, florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence, proof sets were
struck but not issued.Also patterns of
the bronze penny, half penny and farthing were prepared but no struck coins
This was the same with the Maundy Money which was to be
issued in 1936 - proof sets were struck by the Royal Mint.Several sets of those Maundy coins, four in
number, found their way on to the market and were offered at auction.I was fortunate enough to acquire a set of
From my archives I have selected the Instrument of Abdication
and the complete text of the King's farewell message on the radio on 11th December 1936.The Instrument of Abdication is signed by
King Edward and witnessed by his three brothers, the Duke of York, the Duke of
Kent and the Duke of Gloucester.
Dec. 11 - following is the text of the farewell broadcast of former King
Edward, who was introduced to the radio audience as 'His Royal Highness Prince
At long last I am able to say a few words of my own.I have never wanted to withhold anything, but
until now it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak
A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as King and
Emperor.And now that I have been
succeeded by my brother, the Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my
allegiance to him.This I do with all my
You know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the
throne, but I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget
the country or the empire which, as Prince of Wales and lately as King, I have
for twenty-five years tried to serve.
But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it
impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my
duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman
And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been
mine and mine alone.
This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself.The other person most nearly concerned has
tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course.
I have made this the most serious decision of my life only
upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all.
This decision has been made less difficult for me by the sure
knowledge that my brother, with his long training in the public affairs of this
country and with his fine qualities, will be able to take my place forthwith
without interruption or injury to the life and progress of the empire, and he
has one matchless blessing, enjoyed by so many of you and not bestowed upon me,
a happy home with his wife and children.
During these hard days, I have been comforted by Her Majesty,
my mother, and by my family.The
Ministers of the Crown and in particular Mr. Baldwin, the Prime Minister, have
always treated me with full consideration.
There has never been any constitutional difference between me
and them and between me and Parliament.Bred in the constitutional traditions by my father, I should never have
allowed any such issue to arise.
Ever since I was Prince of Wales and after on, when I
occupied the throne, I have been treated with the greatest kindness by all
classes of the people wherever I have lived or journeyed throughout the
I am very
grateful.I now quit altogether public
affairs and I lay down my burden.
It may be some time before I return to my native land, but I
shall always follow the fortunes of the British race and empire with profound
interest and if, at any time in the future, I can be found of service to His
Majesty in a private station I shall not fail.
And now we all have a new King.I wish him and you, his people, happiness
and prosperity with all my heart.
God bless you all!God save the King!
1936 saw the unprecedented situation of the country having
three monarchs on the throne:
V - 1910 to January 1936
VIII - January to December 1936
VI - December 1936 to February 1952
WEATHER OR NOT
After a disappointing July and August, September was a much
improved month.The first few days were
wet and windy but then a high pressure became established over us and the
weather settled to warm, dry and calm, just in time for our annual fortnight to
the Scillies!The total rainfall for
the month was 78mm [3 1/8"], most of which fell in the first four days, which
was also when we recorded the strongest gust of wind of 28 knots.The maximum temperature of 21.4 Deg C was
actually down on all the previous Septembers we have recorded, but the minimum
of 6.4 Deg C was about average.We had
121.04 hours of sunshine which was slightly more than the last couple of years,
but was not a record.
The dry weather continued into October giving us a chance to
get the garden back under control, but on Tuesday 20th, the heavens
opened!The rain started to fall about
0945 hrs and within 21/2 hours we had had 30mm [1 3/16"] and by 1400 hrs the
rain gauge had collected 41mm [1 9/16"].The final total for the day was 42mm.Despite this it was the fourth driest
October that we have ever recorded with 117mm [4 5/8"] in the whole month.The temperatures, particularly towards the
end of the month, were above average although the highest daytime temperature
of 18.3 Deg C was, if anything, slightly below the norm.66.37 hours of sunshine were recorded which
was also higher than average.Winds
were light for the majority of the time with a maximum gust of 28 knots on the
The first of November heralded a complete change in the
weather, with gales and heavy showers - autumn seems to have arrived with a
We should like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a
healthy New Year.
CHRIS'S SPECIAL DAY OUT
Many readers will remember Chris Jesson and her late husband,
Edward, who lived at Brambly Hedge.In
2004, Chris moved to Nottinghamshire to be nearer her family.For many years she has been a counsellor for
Cruse Bereavement Care and to celebrate their Golden Jubilee, a reception took
place in St. James's Palace in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, their
Thank you Chris for sharing your special day with us.She writes:
I suspect that invitations were sent out to cover one [at
least] guest from each branch and I felt very privileged to be chosen to
is a strange and overwhelming place to the uninitiated.Not since a teenager have I been there on my
own but with my return train ticket and a taxi to the Palace, it seemed
attainable and pretty straightforward.
My biggest fear was that with a strange handbag to carry, I'd
be out of routine and could easily lose my purse, and all the security I had to
take, somewhere along the way.But, by
following the rules, I found my way to the Marlborough entrance with all my belongings
and joined the queue going in.
Security was there but very discreetly.No one looking at credentials looked more
than anyone inviting us into their own home and the atmosphere was immediately
relaxing.We were spread through three
state rooms [including the throne room], mostly ladies but a fair number of men
too.There must have been several
hundred of us, all looking very smart in afternoon clothes, but by no means
There were drinks and canapes brought round on trays and
people being presented were advised in advance to line each side of a central
path and were presented in turn when the Queen approached.
I was just behind this line-up and so close I could have
touched her and at least claimed eye contact and a smile - or did I imagine
I am not very tall, as you know, but I am taller than the
Queen, still slightly built and wearing a simple light green two-piece. She had something to say to each person and
was introduced to a considerable number, and the whole event went very
smoothly.I was struck by the real
interest she took in us.There must
have been support and security all around, but we were hardly aware of
this.She seemed to be managing the
occasion on her own.
It was a rare privilege to be in a RoyalPalace
amongst the royal portraits - a test for any historian, to take in the red and
gold splendour of the drapes, the damask wall coverings, the throne, the sense
of occasion and to see The Queen.
Thank you CRUSE for making it possible.
SOME LOCAL CHARACTERS - 2
Dan and Lizzie Toms
Dan and his wife lived in Dormer House from where he used to
keep a sharp eye on the young village lads, often 'phoning the police if he
thought they were up to mischief.
One winter, after it had snowed heavily and the lads were
having a grand time, Dan thought things were getting out of hand and decided to
ring the police.As his home phone
wasn't working, he had to use the public one, which at that time was sited
where the bus shelter is now.Puffing
on his pipe and muttering 'I'll put a stop to this', Dan made his way across to
the 'phone box, dodging a few snowballs as he went.But, while he was making his call, the lads
built up a large supply of snowballs and were waiting patiently for him to
emerge;one even went up to the church
and got on the roof of the 'phone box.His call finished, Dan opened the door, when an avalanche of snow was
pushed off the box and a volley of snowballs came from the front.Dan hastily went back, shutting the door,
and was now trapped inside by the lads.His pipe had got wet and gone out and there he had to stay until the
lads decided to go and find some other sport!
Dan's wife Lizzie took in visitors and ran the cafe, so there
was always washing to be done.She used
to hang her lovely white table cloths, bed linen and towels on the grass area
between the garage by The Globe and Tower Cottage.Often the village children would be playing
football on the Manor Hall grass and many a time the muddy ball would hit the
washing, and poor Lizzie would have to wash it all again!
In his article 'Old Berrynarbor - View No. 21' in February
1993, Tom wrote about Dan and Lizzie Toms and their children Reg and Vi, and
included a photographic postcard of the family outside their home Woodvale in
Photo reproduced from
Newsletter No. 22.
From Woodvale, the
family moved to Middle Lee, where Lizzie sold full Devonshire Cream Teas to
visitors who would arrive by Royal Red coach from Ilfracombe.When ill health forced Dan to give up
farming, he and Lizzie moved into Dormer House, now Miss Muffet's and Dormer
In October 2001, in his 'View No. 73', Tom showed a postcard
from his collection entitled 'Tom's Tea
Room, Steerage Valley', showing Dan Toms standing in the doorway of Middle
Lee Farm, reproduced here.
HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
After a 7-year stint, we feel that the Show, an enjoyable,
successful and important event in the Village calendar, will be ready for a
further injection of fresh blood and new ideas, and 2010 will be our seventh
year of running the Show!
Before we took over, it was run under the umbrella of the
Manor Hall Management Committee.The
present Committee feel unable to take it back under their wing.
We are sorry to have lost two of our group this year, but
have been fortunate to be able to take Jack, with his previous experience of such
events, on board.
We are, therefore, looking for new recruits to come forward
to join us for this year with a view to perhaps forming a group to take over
If you would like to know more, please contact us or come
along and join us when we next meet some time in March.
MUST GO ON!
Please give positive thought to helping and give any one of
us a ring.We look forward to hearing
[Davey - 882822], Jack [Gingell -
Pip and Tony
[Summers - 883600], Judie [Weedon -
A FOOTNOTE TO WILL LERWILL
Scat, as he was affectionately known, never succumbed to
mechanised farming.Everything was done
by man and horse power.
He was very fond of little children and always found time for
a natter.Our boys loved to feed bread
to the glennies [guinea fowl].They
perched on top of the farm gate and set off an awful rattle when anyone
On New Year's Eve, Scat would keep up an old local tradition
by carrying a faggot of wood, on his pony, from Rowes to The Globe.At the stroke of , it was placed on the dying embers in
the Kitchen Bar to light in the New Year.When the bells finished ringing,he would lead the gathering with his
lovely, clear voice in singing traditional songs.
In spite of his hard physical life and his commitment to
nursing his sick wife for many years, he always had a twinkle in his bright
blue eyes and a quick witted sense of humour.Fondly remembered.
Michael and Lorna
ringers would like to thank everyone involved in providing such a pleasurable
evening at the Harvest Thanksgiving and Supper - a simple, meaningful service,
good company and lovely food.
The Harvest Supper is an old nationwide country
tradition.It brought the whole parish
together to celebrate, catch up on news [or gossip] and exchange ideas.
In times past, in Berry,
each farmer's wife 'took a table'.She
sat at the head of the table and served tea from the family silver teapot which
she brought with her.I'm not sure if
she provided the food or whether this came on a 'bring and share' basis, as is
the case in many surrounding parishes today.[I must ask Ron and Aunty Ivy.]
Before the Manor Hall was available, this would have taken
place in the Old Temperance Hall, the ruins of which still stand in the grounds
of Orchard House, and would have been part of the original Rectory.
THE BEST PRESENT
Jack and May Bryant were living in Berrynarbor in 1936 and
had a five-year-old daughter, June.A
pretty little girl and popular with the other children in the village, she
attended the school and was liked by the teachers who were always pleased with
her response to their lessons.
June had always wanted a kitten and one day her father came
home cuddling a pretty little bundle of fluff.
"What are we going to call her?" June's mother
"Let's just call her Fluff", chirped June.
"What a good idea," her father agreed.So they were all happy.
Over the months, Fluff became a lovely Persian fully grown
cat and every night would sleep at the foot of June's bed.Sadly, on the night of Christmas Eve, Fluff
didn't come in.
June began to cry, "Where, of where is my darling
Fluff?" she sobbed.Her parents
were equally upset, not only for the missing pet but to see June crying
so.They all went to bed with tears in
on Christmas morning, Jack was awakened by a curious clinking sound.It was a moonlit night and as he looked
out he could just make out a cat limping up the front garden path."It's got to be Fluff" he thought
to himself as he opened the door.
Sure enough it was Fluff!The clinking noise was due to a wire snare used for catching rabbits
which was attached to Fluff's left back leg.Somehow she had managed to pull the peg out of the ground and get home.
"You poor thing", Jack whispered, as he picked her
up and put her on the kitchen table, loosening the snare which he then cut with
Fortunately, the snare had only caused a cut and Fluff's leg
was not broken.He bandaged the leg and
carried her up to June's room, laying her on the bed.
Jack and May were awakened early by a very excited June."She's back, she's back, isn't it
June cried.More tears, but this time tearsof joy.That night as June said her prayers, she gave thanks for the
best Christmas she ever had - it was for
her parents too!
Tony Beauclerk - Stowupland
The wedding of Jancy, only daughter of Ann and Brian Davies,
and Simon, only son of Yvonne and John Overell of Ilfracombe, took place on the
12th September at Barley Town House, near Hitchin in Hertfordshire.It was a glorious day and a perfectly happy
occasion.Congratulations from both
families who wish them a very happy future together.
June Coleman is delighted to announce the safe arrival of her
third grandson, William Giles, who was born on 8th October in Surrey.A second son for Charlotte and Ian, and baby
brother to George Henry and cousin to Max-Lucas, he weighed in at 9lb 7oz.June says it's going to be an expensive
It was open day at Lee Lodge to help Amy celebrate her 99th
Birthday on the 11th November - one year to go for that special
also add our congratulations and very best wishes to Jancy and Simon, June and
all her family and Amy.
NEWS FROM THE COMMUNITY SHOP & POST OFFICE
Another year has gone - and quite an
eventful one:joining the Plunkett
'Making local food work' [which now yields nearly one third of our food
takings]; winning the Countryside Alliance award for the Best Village Shop and
Post office in the South West; opening all day for the summer visitors; Jackie
leaving and Debbie now assisting Anita and, of course, Anita's extending our
food range to an impressive choice.
For next year - there are plans for the
erection of an outside canopy stretching between shop door and unloading cover
thanks to a hard earned promise of £4000.grant.This will start as soon as we get planning
permission and will then give us a chance to display vegetables and fruit, and
reduce the amount we get wet when shopping!
From the great comments I've received,
everyone enjoyed Tim and Tim's 'stroll around Lundy to see the birds and other
wildlife' on November 12th.They put a
lot of hard work into organising their presentation and the quiz beforehand,
and we thank them for a very pleasant evening.The amount raised was £337, of which £72
was from the raffle.Cheques have gone
out to both the North Devon Hospice in memory of Brian Hillier, and to our
shop.Thank you to everyone who
supported the evening.
Don't let Christmas shopping get you
down this year - remember you can do quite a lot of it - quietly - in our
shop!We shall shortly be taking orders
for bread, cakes and meat - so please don't miss the deadline.
Astill-Chandler [age 8]
NEWS FROM THE VILLAGESCHOOL
They have arrived!Our two expectant teachers have had their babies.Mrs. Carey had a baby boy on the 28th
October, Gilbert William, weighing 9lbs 12oz!Unfortunately, Mrs. Barrow lost one of her twins at the birth, but has a
lovely little girl, Ruby Susan, born on the 24th October and weighing 6lbs 1oz.We look forward to them coming in to school
as soon as they can.
The rest of us carry on with many of our school Christmas
traditions, including the Christingle and Christmas Fair on Tuesday, 8th
December.The Senior Dudes Meal is on
Monday, 14th December and the Christmas Service on Thursday, 17th
December.The time and details of these
events will follow - please look out for these in the Village Post Office.
We hope to put in a visit to the pantomime in Barnstaple.It is
always a packed half term for us with lots to do and so little time in which to
do it all.
We made a brave decision to put our 'occasional' days
together at the end of the October half-term so parents could take children
away out of term time and take advantage of cheaper holidays without taking
them out of school.This we hope has
worked better for everyone and we are very grateful to those parents that did
use this time.With an overwhelming
level of support for this idea, we may well be doing it again.
The lovely pictures accompanying our news are the winners of
our school Design a Christmas Card competition.
We wish you all a Happy Christmas and thank you for all your
- Acting Headteacher
A very wet and windy Saturday afternoon didn't deter the
bargain hunters wending their way to the Manor Hall for the Jumble Sale
organised by Vi and Bett.With lots of
tables loaded with clothes, bric-a-brac, books and jigsaws and other items, the
hall was buzzing as pounds and pennies changed hands.There were greetings cards, plants, welcome
tea, coffee and biscuits and a raffle.Congratulations and thanks to Vi and Bett and all their helpers on a
very successful afternoon, raising an amazing £210.
And a big THANK YOU from me and the Newsletter because funds
have received a very welcome boost of £100!
ILFRACOMBE & DISTRICT COMMUNITY TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION is
very grateful to the Berrynarbor Minibus Ring and Ride Ladies [Bett, Vi and
Joan] who organised a jumble sale on Saturday, 21st November and as a result
kindly made a donation of £110 to the Association.There are many people in Ilfracombe and the
villages around who are eligible to use the community minibus services.Just ask!Joan Miller on 863425 has full information.
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 40
Mid-November, time for the annual climb into the loft to look
for the box marked "XMAS CARDS".Not that I'll be writing them just yet.I do admit, however, to enjoying the task of writing Christmas cards; or
more to the point, choosing which card to send to which person.So, with the kitchen table cleared after a
very late lunch, its surface was soon concealed beneath a multitude of packs.
I surveyed all the cards on the table and instantly realised
they had one universal feature.It was
on the robin's branch;it was on the
post box into which a small boy was on tiptoes posting his card;it lay across the field in which the stag
stood;it was on the rooftops over
which Santa and Rudolph were flying;it
was even on the tall hats of the men driving the coach and horses in the
Victorian urban scene.It was, of
As my eyes took in the white scenes strewn across the table,
my mind drifted back to last February when another table surface, this time in
the garden, was hidden beneath real
snow. I chuckled to myself as I
recalled how the weather gods had decided to play a trick on us all.Rather than sprinkling little parcels of
snow everywhere and dusting the countryside in white, the gods decided to
deliver it by parcel force instead!
Some people were frustrated at the havoc it caused.Ilfracombe, for example, was temporarily
cut off from the outside world.But the scene it created was purely
magical.Unable to get to work, or indeed
go anywhere, everyone just put on their big coats and boots and took advantage
of an opportunity to observe our countryside shrouded beneath a white
blanket.Residents from one village
spoke to residents from another as they passed along a country footpath.Meanwhile complete strangers began having
snowball fights in parks and whilst all other plants had their spring
preparation halted, the snowdrops were given the chance to stand
tall and boast their splendour and resilience in the face of harsh conditions.
Yet those early spring
flowers seemed to benefit from being stopped in their tracks.As days passed by and daylight hours
increased, urban and rural areas were dazzled by yellow.The
green blades of open grassland disappeared beneath dandelions, daffodils
dominated the parklands and hedgerows were immersed in primroses; and when the
yellow subsided we were, once again, blessed with a magnificent carpet of
bluebells in our woodlands; a carpet of blue which, for the third year running,
peaked early as a result of warm temperatures.
The snow of late winter and the warm sunshine of spring rose
hopes of a good summer.Optimists
argued that the seasons were possibly returning to their natural pattern.A harsh spell in winter usually bodes well
for a hot, dry summer, they were saying.Others were more sceptical; the previous two years had also seen exceptionally
warm springs - then look what happened!By midsummer it seemed as though the pessimists were right; and by the
end of August it was obvious that the weather gods had indeed played us another
trick.Whilst the spring countryside
had been healthy and vigorous,it didn't
take a medical or environmental expert to diagnose how our countryside was
feeling as summer reached its final stage: bedraggled and washed out.
Yet in early September [just as the children went back to
school], the clouds began to break.The
sun started to appear more and more on the daily register and the temperatures
rose.Trees which had already allowed
one or two leaves to decay and even fall decided it wasn't time to allow the
other leaves to go the same way.By
October we were having a mini renaissance, with temperatures well above the
seasonal average. Midges were seen swarming along country lanes, small
tortoiseshell butterflies were observed regularly following the contours of
garden bushes and woodlands were abuzz with the droning sound of hover-flies.
Then came the strong winds - but the autumn leaves failed to
fall.Once more the weather gods dealt a
trick card, confusing the woodlands with warm, southerly winds.With the trees now thinking that summer had
returned, they held steadfastly on to their golden leaves whilst their branches
were violently tossed about.The sight
was uncanny.The dawn of November
heralded another bizarre observation closer to home, when a sparrow cleared out
a nest box in the garden and began replacing it with new feathers and
straw.Did the little creature also
believe summer was still here?
My meandering thoughts were suddenly jolted by the sound of
rain thudding against the window pane.Only then did I realise how dark the afternoon had become, causing the
kitchen to lose much of its natural light. Unless it's just a squalid shower, I thought,
I'll be drawing the curtains and switching on the lights prematurely
today.Indeed, the next few weeks
would no doubt see the curtains being pulled a little earlier with each passing
I quickly decided upon the types of cards I needed to buy and
packed away those I already had, having enjoyed my little reflection of this
year's weather and its effects on the surrounding countryside.In a week or so I would begin the task of
writing my cards, adding snippets of news from what had gone on over the past
year.For that is what December is all
about; a time for reflection and for making contact with people who, if it were
not for Christmas, we might otherwise allow to permanently drift from our thoughts.
Christmas Day means many things to many people.For me, it represents a turning point; for we
are past the shortest day.It is a fact
that never fails to bring a smile to my face on Christmas morning, as I remind
myself that some day soon I will no longer be turning the lights on
earlier.The curtains will instead be
drawn a little later.Come New Year, the
time for reflection is over.It is time
to look forward.
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
you to all who attended the Public Enquiry on the 8th and 9th September, and on
the 6th November, regarding the footpaths at Watermouth Cove.And to those who braved the weather to walk
around the headland with the Inspector on the 5th November.This was a very informative afternoon with a
lot of local knowledge coming forward.My thanks also go to Councillor Paul Crockett for all his time and
effort in joint assisting me in preparing and putting forward our case, also
County Councillor Andrea Davis for her part in taking the lead role in the
Enquiry and to County Councillor Rodney Cann for all his help and advice.We await the Inspector's decision.
I have been very fortunate in securing a £10,000 grant from
The Lottery Awards for All fund for the refurbishment of the Manor Hall
children's playground.The order has
been placed and this project will be done in the New Year.
Finally, I should like to thank Richard Gingell and all other
members of the Parish Council, the Parish Clerk Sue Squire, the Manor Hall
Committee, Judie for the Newsletter, various contractors and anyone else who
has contributed in the running and success of our village this last year.
On behalf of the Parish Council I should like to wish you all
a very Happy Christmas.
Sue Sussex - Chairman
Joe Denyer lost his fight against cystic fibrosis on the 26th
September.Just six days before he
passed away, he went to watch Chelsea
play against Spurs and met all the players, who signed their shirts for
him.Joe said this was the best day of
Joe loved North Devon and spent many happy holidays here since he
was just 3 years old, staying at Watermouth Lodges, Langleigh House, The Lodge,
Leeside, Sandaway, the Marine and many other places.
He never gave up his fight for life, he never complained, he
just got on with it - a person who brought joy, smiles and inspiration to us
We all loved Joe very much.Jane
You will remember from the October Newsletter that for her
birthday Jane asked for contributions for Foulis Ward at the RoyalBromptonHospital where they
specialise in the treatment of cystic fibrosis - resulting in an incredible
donation of £820.Joe, the son of a
life-long friend of Jane, spent much of his short life at the hospital, where
he met Alex Stobbs, whose fight also against this disease was documented on BBC in two programmes - A Boy Called Alex and A
Passion for Life.The courage and 'joie
de vivre' of these two young men is a poignant reminder that life is for
I should like to say thank you, once again, to everyone who
has bought plants from me throughout the summer, making it possible to give a
donation to the Children's Hospice of £500.We all know that this is a drop in the ocean to the cost of caring for
these children who have such a short time here with us.The care at the Hospice is also taken of the
siblings of the sick children, helping them to come to terms with the illness
of their brother or sister and their eventual loss.
Many people will have seen this in the programme 'The Secret
Millionaire' which took us into the hospice to see some of the wonderful work
Thank you all again.The plants, all being well, will be outside Higher Rows from next
Easter, when I do hope you will 'stop and buy one' as you pass.
Penn Bar Nutters
By popular request, these biscuits are very suitable for
serving with drinks before a festive meal.
soft margarine31/2oz self-raising
semolina1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
strong Cheddar [or combination of any strong cheese] grated
Mix all the ingredients together, except for the nuts.Pipe or place the mixture in small 'rounds'
on a greased tin.Press a nut into the
centre of each biscuit.I have found
the nuts adhere to the biscuit better if you dip them in milk first.
Cook for 15-20 minutes at 180 Deg C/350 Deg F.
and Chocolate Truffle Cake
the winter months upon us and cold weather imminent, it is a time of year when
it's slim pickings from the wild larder.However, I always like to try and make the best use of what is available
. . . and for me that means chestnuts!
Nothing could be more 'Christmassy' than hot chestnuts over a
roaring fire and this cake is an excellent alternative for anyone who's not
keen on traditional Christmas pudding.Not only does this winter warmer scream decadence it is also the perfect
way to indulge with your family over the festive period.Enjoy!
Good dark chocolate250g Butter
Chestnuts (peeled and cooked)250g
Caster sugar4 Eggs
Pre-heat the oven to 160 Deg C/Gas Mark 3.Melt the chocolate and butter over a very
gentle heat.In another pan, heat the
cooked chestnuts with the milk until just boiling, and then process to a rough
puree.Separate the egg yolks from the
white.Mix the yolks with the sugar and
stir in the chocolate mixture and chestnut puree.Whisk the whites until stiff and fold them
carefully in to the mixture before transferring it to a greased, lined 23cm
cake tin and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until only just set.Serve warm or cold.
The Pickled Crofter
The Christmas Food and Drink meeting is on 9th December, when
members get together beforehand to organise food for a table of their
friends.The theme is High Quality
Wines for Christmas.Entrance is £6 for
members and £7 for guests.
In January, on the 20th, we have our very popular panel game
based on 'Call My Bluff', except ours is 'Call My Wine Bluff'.Each wine is offered for tasting as an
anonymous covered bottle, when a panel of 3 experts [?] each give an
explanation of what the wine is.Teams
of 6 then have to decide who is telling the truth, what year the wine is and how
much it has cost.Marks are gained on a
sliding scale according to how accurate they are.If super confident about a wine, they can
opt to play their joker, which doubles their points.An evening of much merriment.
AND SHAKERS NO. 24
Co-Founder of Banbury's
Department Store and Furnishings 1892 - 1973
Last week I received through the post my Banbury's Loyalty
Voucher earned during the last six months.In the same envelope was an invitation to their Gala evening: 15% off
for most purchases, a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie - a nice touch in
these straightened times.Yet it didn't
hold a candle to Arthur Banbury's days!Then, many of the farming customers paid their accounts once a year,
normally during the Barnstaple Annual Stock Fair.In recognition of their loyalty, Arthur
Banbury treated those that paid their accounts to lunch in his dining room, now
named Arthur's Restaurant.
If you want to check this, take a look at the plaque in the
restaurant whilst sipping your coffee.It also gives a brief history of the founding of this family department
store, which has operated on the same site for94 years, changing from a 'general
drapery store' to a modern and well-run department store.And all because of Arthur Banbury.
Arthur Banbury was born in 1892 in Bedford.His father was from a large farming family in Launcells, Cornwall, but became a
manufacturers' representative.When he
was old enough, Arthur followed his father, becoming a successful jewellery
representative [or traveller as they were then known] in Colchester.
There he met John B. Horwood, a draper, who recognised
Arthur's business skills and selling potential and offered him the opportunity
of a partnership for a drapery store, F. J. Oakley, in Barnstaple.To help finance the new business, Mr Brand,
a local investor, also became a partner.Arthur readily agreed to the partnership.
Shortly afterwards, in 1925, he moved into the top two floors
over the shop with his wife, Gwendoline, and baby son Peter.There is no record of staff living on this
site, yet graffiti found on the top floor suggest that staff were living there
Arthur became responsible for managing the business and the
shop was renamed 'Banbury Ltd. Drapers and Furnishers'.The front of the shop was fitted with
arcades of brass framed window displays, which were declared the largest and
finest in the area, occupying almost a third of the ground floor retail
space.Some of us may remember these
arcades, as they remained largely unchanged until the seventies, when they were
replaced to give extra selling space.
early days, mahogany counters ran the full length of the shop; the sales staff
served behind them and most of the stock was kept in cabinets behind, and
something after my own heart, bentwood chairs were placed at regular intervals
for the comfort of customers.At the
end of each day, young staff would sprinkle the lino floor with wet sawdust to
keep down the dust, and then sweep it up ready for next day's trading.
Company headed paper of that time shows there were four main
departments: Milliners, Haberdashers, Costumiers and Furnishers. Contrary to
today's trends, Millinery, Haberdashery and Silks [dress fabrics] were all
large and very busy departments.The
linens' department was known as 'Manchester'
and ladies' fashions or 'costumes' were found in the 'Gowns Room'.To telephone the store the number was easy
to remember - Barnstaple 4!
receipts from this period showed that a lady's hat could be bought for 4
shillings [20p], in the furniture department one could buy a '3-piece iron bedstead
with spiral spring and wool mattress' for just £2 [for some people, a week's
wage] and a settee suite was 14 guineas [£14.70p].
The business continued to develop and after the war, his son
Peter, and John Horwood's son John Bentall Horwood, who had just finished his
apprenticeship at Gamages in Oxford
St, joined Arthur.After Arthur Banbury and John Horwood
retired and the sad death of Arthur's son Peter at the age of 49, the young
third generation - Robert, David and Richard - took over, carefully
over-watched by Mrs Peter Banbury and charged with updating the business. David Banbury is still a director.
During the '60's and '70's, retailing changed a great deal.
draperies with arcade
windows and long counters were out and replaced by boutiques and self-service
shopping.Banbury's needed this new
And so the family company continues to keep up with the
latest ideas and trends.Over the last
35 years, the company has expanded into a department store, adding a carpet
store in Boutport Street
[now enlarged for furniture and furnishings], moving into Joy Street, firstly into small shops and
then with the closure of Courts adding a large fashion section. Added to this
was the acquisition of Eastmond and Co Ltd in Tiverton in 1989, which they
converted with their usual style to another excellent department store. This
had a furniture removals and storage business too, which they developed.In 2000, Ashford Garden Centre became part
of their 'empire', which was built up to become a finalist in the 'Garden
Centre of the Year' award. This they sold in 2005 to concentrate on their core
business of department stores and furniture removals and storage.
What would Arthur Banbury and John Horwood have thought of
all this development?They would no
doubt be delighted.So, too, are
residents of North Devon - if not further
afield.I was in the fashion department
one day when I overheard a lady saying, "I'm from Exeter, but if I want something special, I
always come to Banbury's and have not yet been disappointed."Quite a recommendation!
And their latest improvement?Peter Banbury, Arthur's great grandson, who
took over the managing directorship about 18 months ago, has noted the growth
in cosmetics.So the entrance area is
now solely given over to such items. To celebrate this, there are double points
for loyalty cardholders form December 1st to 26th, guess what some of my
friends will be getting for Christmas!
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT
We were very pleased to be awarded a Silver Gilt in
in Bloom competition.We should like to
thank Paul and Theresa for showing the judges around BerrynarborPark
and talking to them about conservation and compost!They commented favourably on our displays
and made a few suggestions for further projects.Well done to us, but next year we will be
aiming for Gold!
the last few weeks we have planted around 1000 crocuses in Claude's
garden.The children from the playschool
group were going to help but the weather was against us and we were afraid they
would blow away!We had our last litter
pick at the end of half term and all the tubs have been planted with
bulbs.We look forward to Christmas and
then another lovely Berrynarbor spring.
This is a lovely, no cook chocolate dessert that can be made
now and frozen ready for Christmas.It
is very rich but when served in small portions and with some chilled single
pouring cream, it is absolutely 'chocywockydoodle'!
of plain dessert chocolate [the very best you can afford]
tablespoons liquid glucose
from larger supermarkets or chemists)
tablespoons rum1 pint/570ml double
Amaretti biscuits crushed with a rolling pin
Line a 9"/23cm cake tin with a circle of
silicone paper.Brush the sides of the
tin and the paper with lightly flavoured oil such as groundnut oil.Sprinkle the crushed Amaretti biscuits on
to the paper in the tin.
up the chocolate and put in a large bowl over barely simmering water.Add the glucose and rum.Leave until the chocolate has melted.Do not allow the water to boil, if needs be
turn off the heat and allow to melt slowly.Stir and remove the bowl from the heat and let the chocolate cool for 5
In a separate bowl whip the double cream until just slightly
thickened.Fold half in to the chocolate
mixture and then fold the chocolate mixture in to the remaining cream.When smoothly blended, spoon in to the
prepared tin.Gently tap the tin to
even out the mixture and cover with cling film.Chill overnight in the 'fridge for
immediate use or freeze for Christmas.Just before serving run a palette knife around the edge to loosen, give
it a good shake, place a plate on top of the tin, invert and turn out on to a
plate, biscuit side up.Serve the torte
dusted with sifted cocoa powder.It
looks lovely garnished with physallis [cape gooseberries, available from larger
supermarkets]Tear the papery skins to
open them then dust with icing sugar andplace around the top of the torte.
Our Local LOCAL WALK - 117
Two peregrines were perched companionably on their favourite
ledge above HaggintonBeach.Along the path between Rillage Point and
Samson's Bay there were several unseasonal flowers, of late spring and early
summer, blooming again although it was now late September.
Men were fishing from the rocks and there were a number of
kayaks and small sailing boats out on the water.
had stopped at Widmouth Head to watch gannets diving when we spotted a pod of
about half a dozen porpoises beyond Sexton's Burrow.
Their backs were arching above the surface of the water in a
smooth, unhurried movement as they swam;their triangular dorsal fins prominent.
There were still a few tents and caravans at Watermouth but
the path around the headland itself was deserted.Had it been possible to walk there, a
wonderful view of the porpoises could have been enjoyed.
The combination of fresh air, exercise and beautiful scenery
is restorative;so effective that
walking is becoming more and more recognised as a form of therapy.
The poet and composer Ivor Gurney [1890-1937]
spent the final fifteen years of his life as an inmate of a mental hospital in
the City of London,
in a room with no windows, separated from the source of his inspiration - the
River Severn and the Gloucestershire countryside.
Eventually a friend brought him a set of Ordnance Survey maps
so that he could relive his favourite walks in his imaginations.
I remember when as a school girl I was given my first one
inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map of Taunton
and Lyme Regis.[In those days, the
cloth backed version cost an extra three shillings!]It was revelatory.
Not only was it aesthetically pleasing to look at but it
opened up a vast possibility of hikes - the steepest hills;hidden patches of woodland;remote churches.With it I planned round routes for my Girl
Guide patrol to venture out on Sunday afternoons.
This week we came a sizeable step closer to being able to
walk around the entire coast of England
- all 2,800 miles of it, with the passing of the Marine and Coastal Access Act
on the 11th November.The Scottish
coastline has already been opened up to walkers;the Welsh coast follows soon.The English coast will be available within
the next ten years.
by Paul Swailes
OLD BERRYNARBOR NO. 122
Caravans at Watermouth
This month I have chosen 'Caravans at Watermouth'The first of these two real photographic
postcards shows these caravans taken
c1955-60.In addition to the long line of static
'vans, a number of private ones can be seen - one in the foreground and two or
three further down the field.I imagine
the picture was taken in September, as the open field shows grass cut and
formed into small stooks.When dried,
this would be collected up as hay and stored for food and bedding for cattle
over the winter months.Note the almost
forest of trees beyond and above what was termed 'Big Meadow'.
second postcard has been taken at about the same time from Napps Campsite and
it gives a clear view of the whole of Watermouth, looking west-wards.Part of the roof of WatermouthCastle
can be seen on the left, the long line of static caravans can be seen forming a
semi-circle ending towards the harbour and the long building by the Cove and
Caves can be seen in the centre.
Following my request for information on the 'Berrynarbor in
the Snow' picture in article No. 121, I should like to thank Jenny Taylor [now
living in France],
Songbird and Peter Newell for responding.
Jenny says:"The moon gate is in the garden of 9 Goosewell and was built by
Edith Rumley's husband, Les.Edith was
a keen photographer.They lived there
from the '50's until the early '80's.They were there when I moved there in 1981, but Pete Newell can probably
give you better dates.Edith was a
member of the Women's Institute, with her sister Florrie Rendell, also with her
husband Les, who lived at 7 Goosewell.As far as I know, the gate still exists but I am not sure about the
"Les and Edith Rumley lived at Goosewell [where Pete
Newell lives].As I recall, Les was in
the army and took a course in building when he came out.When we moved here he was working for WatermouthCaves on the maintenance and father and
myself worked with him there for many years.The arch is either one he built in his garden, or the one at the Caves
he built.As I recall, his son Brian used
to run a speed boat over to Broadsands for the caves.This was when a concrete and steel fence was
put at the bottom of Broadsands steps . . . the locals duly removed it.Hope this helps - it was a long time ago so
some of the facts I have given may not be exactly to the letter!"Songbird
"With reference to the WI postcard taken by Edith
Rumley, I can tell you exactly where it was taken from!We moved into Meadowsweet, 9 Goosewell, in
1980, previously occupied by Edith and Les Rumley.We moved in partly due to that view from the
garden, although when we moved in the hedgerow was somewhat taller [and it was
not quite so snowy!]The garden has
changed a large amount, with the collapse of the circulate structure which was
built of roof tiles.Fortunately, we
realised its lack of security before it fell on one of our family!"Pete N.
now have no doubt at all as to where the picture was taken or who Mrs. Rumley
"Mr. and Mrs. Rumley lived at Goosewell, just a door
away from her sister and her husband.Mrs. Rumley was a trained dressmaker and her work was of a very high
standard.In fact, Mrs. Rumley made my
wedding dress and bridesmaids' dresses in 1961.When my daughter Tracey was born in 1963,
she took the skirt and made the christening gown and it has been used for the
christenings of all my children and grandchildren to date.
"The donkeys and horses that were said to be buried in
the field, were ones that were worked at the lime kilns out on the old coast