SOME INSPIRATIONAL WORDS FOR 2018
Recently, a programme about GNP and how
it is calculated included the recording of a speech given in 1968 by Robert
Kennedy, who was then a US Presidential candidate.
He pointed out that although the
measurement of Gross National Product includes the production of weapons and
cigarettes and products which cause air pollution and the destruction of the
natural environment and films which glorify violence
"Yet the gross national product does
not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the
joy of their play.It does not include
the beauty of our poetry, the strength of our marriages or the intelligence of
our public debate.
"It measures neither our wit nor our
courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our
devotion to our country.
"It measures everything in short,
except that which makes life worthwhile."
These sentiments were expressed fifty
years ago but in our new world of Brexit and Trump, these values are worth
revisiting.Thanks to our esteemed
Newsletter editor who tracked down a transcript of Robert Kennedy's speech.
ALICE EMILY KELLY
It was with sadness we learnt that June had died
suddenly at her home, Watermouth House, on the 1st November and our thoughts
are with all her family at this time of sorrow.
Alice emily Kelly Annear, June to her
friends, grew up in Ilfracombe, the daughter of Frank, Solicitor, and Alice
Annear and sister of John, who died in 2015.
The family moved to Watermouth House when the Watermouth estate was sold
June's higher education was in catering
and she initially took a position as Domestic Bursar at Somerville College,
Oxford.Together with the Treasurer,
Miss Jane Hands, who in later years was a regular visitor to Berrynarbor, she
kept a firm hand on the tiller, but they also both enjoyed spending time on fly
fishing expeditions in Ireland.After
her mother died in 1962, June returned to Watermouth, to support her father, and
took over as Catering Manager at the North Devon College, as it was called in
those days, where she stayed until her retirement in 1990.
On her retirement, and with her friend
Miss Dina Sifton, who lived at Ding Dong, also at Watermouth, she went on a
round the world trip, visiting a great many places and friends, often with an
equestrian connection.June kept horses
at Watermouth for many years along with Hannah the goat, and various other
livestock, always including a succession of Belgian Griffon dogs.She enjoyed riding with friends and was able
to continue this for a number of years, until she suffered an accident that
left her needing the use of a wheelchair.
This in no way affected her individual sense of humour, her
determination or her style and thanks to the District Nurse team, Homelife Carers and other
positive, supportive professionals, she was able to enjoy the company of her
good friends at home and remain living at Watermouth, which was one of her most
How sad it was to know that following a tragic
accident at home nearly 4 years ago, and after dedicated nursing care at
Tyspane, Bet had passed away on the 26th November.A much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother,
she will be sadly missed by all her family and her many friends and our
thoughts are with them at this time.
Betty, who was always known as Bet, grew up in Combe Martin; her dad,
Alf. was a market-gardener and her mum, Nan, proudly ran a summer B&B at
Homedale, close to the seaside.
Her courtship with her husband to be, Bob, was one in which Bob pursued
her with much love, which was evident from the letters that they exchanged at
After they married, Bet slid easily into the role of a farmer's wife;she looked after the house, her family, the
chickens and in the summer ran the B&B.
Lodgers, many of whom became lifelong friends, were always exceptionally
well looked after.The farmhouse was a
place alive with tempting, appetising aromas because, Bet was a wholesome
cook, who always provided delicious food for the family and farm workers, using
everything proudly grown or reared from the farm, as was the way in those
times.There always seemed to be a big
pan of full-cream milk from their cows simmering for hours on the Aga, skimming
the top for clotted cream etc., and what always seemed like
hundredweights of runner beans each summer, frozen to eat year round with the
mandatory tag of roast beef every Sunday.
When her sons, Mike and Clive, were young, wider family always gathered
regularly at the farm at Christmas time, New Year, or other occasions to eat,
drink and play cards and games.
Socially, Bet played bowls with Bob and skittles in the local pub
ladies' team with a few local friends.
She also enjoyed some great holidays with Bob and friends, or relations
in Portugal, a place they both loved.
Latterly, especially after a knee operation, Bet became a keen TV fan.
She liked to watch the shopping channels, snooker and soaps, munching on her
favourite chocolate brazils, or dunking a digestive biscuit into a cup of
tea.Whenever anyone visited, the
sweets were always out - Bet always said she preferred giving to receiving, and
that was very true.
Bet had a lovely lifetime friend/companion in Rose, a childhood evacuee
to Combe Martin, who regularly enjoyed long visits with Bet once or twice a
year at the farm, and later at Seascape, the bungalow she and Bob had built for
their retirement.Bet and Rose maintained
close contact right up until Bet's accident;
sadly after that Rose, through illness, could not continue the visits,
but they remained loyal friends until the end of Rose's life, often speaking
together on the phone from Bet's bed. Unfortunately, Rose passed away just a
few months ago.
Bet maintained almost total independence prior to her accident;still driving and enjoying trips out to
Barnstaple and exeter.Losing her
mobility was a very difficult time for Bet - she spent nearly four years in Tyspane,
with memory failure associated with worsening degree of dementia, which in some
ways was a blessing, and suffering several bouts of infection.All the staff at Tyspane looked after her so
well that she always seemed to rally round, but sadly her condition gradually
deteriorated and this last time she couldn't pull through, passing away on the
26th of November, after 84 full and eventful years.
I suppose I've known Bet longer than anyone here today, we used to share
the same school bus to Ilfracombe - Bet to the Convent School, me to the
In our late teens, Bet became friendly with
my brother, Claude. I went away to college at 18 and left Devon.
Things changed, apparently, because two or three years later I received the
invitation to the wedding of Bet and my other brother, Bob. Somehow, she was destined to be my
Bob and Bet moved into Home Barton where I
was brought up, so it always felt like going home to me, and Bet was always
welcoming. She was a somewhat feisty character at times, but always
Her Sunday lunches were legendary;always a huge joint of beef, and anyone was
welcome to share. She was a great
wine-maker too; although she, herself, was almost tea-total. The big
demijohns of wine stood high like sentinels along the big kitchen mantelpiece -
wheat, barley, damson, ginger etc., until one summer evening when a crowd of us
went back to Barton after some 'do' in the village, the men, including my
husband, decided it was time to sample the contents of the wine jars. The
alcoholic content must have been vast.
I've never seen the like of, men staggering down the lane hitting the
hedges from side to side with, no doubt, a few headaches next morning - what a
laugh that was!
I must just mention Ron, who spent all his
working life at Barton.He often said to
me, "You never knew quite which mood Bet would be in, but she was always
kindness itself ", and he has "Very fond memories of life at Barton".
My father, Fred Richards, too, had a very soft spot for Bet. She was very kind to him during his four
years of incapacitation following a stroke.
Now she is at peace, after a gruelling four
years, which she endured with huge fortitude.
We shall remember the happy times with love, Bet.
The night before mother passed away, she
asked to look at photos which she always liked to do. They always
made her chuckle and would bring a smile to her face.Later in the evening, a nurse walked over to
mother looking confused and forgetting why she had come!Mother piped up and said jokingly to the
nurse, "You'd forget your head if it wasn't screwed on!"
That night she asked to go home with
us on leaving.She said "I'll come
home with you".The last thing mother
said as I left her room was, "See you later alligator!"So, I put my head back around the door and said, "In a while
crocodile!"To which she replied, "Love You".
Throughout mother's life she had a
strong will that she kept right to the end.
The village was very sad to learn that
Ron had passed away peacefully on the 6th January at Lee Lodge in his 102nd
year.A very much loved and loving
father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be missed not only by his
family but by his very many friends.
Our thoughts are with Sheila and Tony
and all the family at this sad time.
Ron was a true inspiration to all who
had the pleasure of knowing him, but we couldn't keep him forever.
HUXTABLe [nee Bowden]
How sad it was to learn that so shortly
after Michael's death, his older sister, Sheila, had passed away on the 11th
January.Her funeral is to take place
in Chichester on the 7th February.Our
thoughts are with her husband David and all the family at this very sad time.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
Following the announcement of Michael
Bowden's death, his funeral in St. Peter's Church on Friday 3rd November was
attended by no less than 270 people. The
service was led by Rev. George Billington which, despite the sadness, was most
uplifting and a real tribute to Micky, as he was widely known!Unfortunately,
Lorna was not well enough to attend but she must feel proud that so many people
from far and wide came to remember him. The
congregation was very generous in supporting the Devon Air Ambulance and St.
Peter's Church, two organisations which were very special to Michael's heart.
A special joint service was held at St.
Peter's Church, Combe Martin, on Sunday 26th November led by Rev. John
Roles.This service was especially
important in that we welcomed congregations from Ilfracombe Parish Church,
Bittadon, Woolacombe, Mortehoe and Lee, which was followed by refreshments served
in Combe Martin Church Hall.
It is, however, with great sadness that
Rev. Michael Rogers who came to Combe Martin and Berrynarbor churches 18 months
ago, has recently announced his retirement from May 2018. This now means that we, on Berrynarbor PCC,
and including Pip and Jim's and Combe Martin, will be facing a second
interregnum period come May of this year. We sincerely hope that the powers that be
will find a welcome replacement with the utmost speed and not the excessive
delay that was experienced during the last interregnum!We
are, of course, extremely fortunate and grateful to have Reverends Bill Cole and
George Billington to help us with church services when they can, but both are
retired and they need to have spare time like everyone else.
A special thank you to Graham Lucas for
leading the Monday morning School Assembly.
His Bible stories are always interesting and easy to understand and enthusiastically
re-enacted by the children!
The Christmas lights [by courtesy of the
Parish Council] were already in place for a superb Concert given by the exmoor
Carolers, who entertained an audience of over 80 in our church on Sunday,
10th December, and a lively
rendition of special Christmas carols, including hand bells, and with vocal
support from all, made for a fantastic evening's entertainment!Mulled
wine, mince pies and other nibbles were served during the interval and many
thanks to the ladies who organised this part of the evening.
Berrynarbor Primary School had their
special Village Walkabout on Wednesday,13th December, to sing Christmas carols
to residents within the village, ending up at Lee Lodge to give the residents
there some special Christmas cheer!
Whilst on the subject of Berrynarbor
School, those parishioners who attended the Senior Dudes' Christmas Dinner in
the Manor Hall give a wholehearted thank you for the superb evening's meal and
entertainment.Well done to all the
children and to their supporting staff!
Our Christmas Carol Service, including
the very young ones on early at 5.45pm, was a great success with a church
filled with people, and it was uplifting to hear both Berrynarbor and School
Choirs in full voice during this joyful service.Many
thanks to Sue Neale and her willing team in serving mulled wine and mince pies,
as well as drinks and sweets for the youngsters following the service.
Our Christmas eve [Midnight Mass]
service was very well attended and how nice to welcome visitors from far and
wide to our beautiful church and village!
Our Christmas Day Family Service
was led by
Celia Withers from Combe Martin,
and a big thank you to Graham Lucas who deputised on the organ for me on this
A joint service for the Coast and Combe
team was held on 31st December at Pip and Jim's,
Ilfracombe, with no service at Berrynarbor or Combe Martin on New Year's
Church services for the New Year will
follow the same pattern as for 2017.
Finally, a very special thank you to our
Bellringers for ringing superbly for all services throughout 2017, and to Church
Caretakers, Betty and Kevin Brooks for tending the church on a regular
Happy and peaceful New Year to you!Stuart Neale
WEATHER OR NOT
New Year.I hope you all have enjoyed a good Christmas
and New Year.
have been surprised by the number of requests for me to start the weather
reports which Sue and I produced for a good number of years.
am going to try and write an article for each edition, but it may depend on
what happens as I try to recover from the events of last year.
This first article will start having a
general look at the records for 2017. I hope I don't bore you with all the
The total rain for the year was 959.4mm.This was the driest year since I started
records in 1994, my average annual rainfall shows 1455mm.The
next closest was 1019mm during 2010, the highest was in 1994 at 2033mm.I am surprised as I felt it was a wet
year.The wettest day was June 25th at
24.2mm which is low as I can remember some 24-hour
periods up 50/60mm in previous years.I
think perhaps, we have had a lot of wet days but the total rainfall was not
that great.The wettest month was
December at 120.2mm, the driest April at 29.4mm.
The Met office named 6 storms in
2017.Those which affected us most here
was Doris on the 23rd February when we had strong winds in the Valley, the
highest gust was 52 mph from the SSe, the barometer fell to 996.4mbars which
was not particularly low.Then on the
26th we had storm ewan which dumped 17.2mm of rain and on the 7th December, Caroline
produced our lowest barometer reading for the year at 975.8mbars.
The temperatures were about average for
us - January 21st was the lowest temperature at -3.6 DegC, the lowest I have
recorded was -6 DegC in December 2010.June
21st - longest day - the temperature topped out at 31.6 DegC, my highest was
34.5 DegC in August 2003.
I think this leaves me with looking back
at the sunshine hours kindly provided by Chicane.The total hours for 2017 was 1248.75 which was
very close to 2016 at 1249.25 - it's a pity we don't get a bit more!The sunniest month in 2017 was July at
181.50 and in 2016 was June at 201.78. The month with the least sunshine in 2017
was December at 11.51, and in 2016, January at 12.93.
I have some snowdrops and primroses in
bloom so I hope we are now on our way to a good spring.
PLAY EQUIPMENT - RESPONSE
We feel we should respond to the article
from the Berrynarbor Parish Council [PC] in the December 2017 issue of the
Berrynarbor Newsletter, specifically the paragraph headed Update on the Play
equipment in the Recreation Field.
As the main objectors to the location of
the equipment in the field we wish to set out our side of the matter.
1.In April 2015 we arrived home one afternoon
to see the equipment being erected very close to our boundary with the field.
2.Although we were aware that there were plans
to purchase such equipment we had had absolutely no warning of, or discussion about, its location
within the field. We were not
3.We contacted the PC about the closeness/nuisance
to us etc., and discussions were held over the next several months. We stressed from the start that we welcomed
the equipment for the use of the village and visitors - it was the location to which we objected.A
petition to re-locate the equipment to the south-west corner of the rec was signed by over 50 village
inhabitants. Nevertheless, the PC refused to re- locate the equipment, stating
that there was, according to the "expert"
equipment suppliers, no alternative suitable site within the field - something that we had always disputed.
4.We sued the PC on the grounds of nuisance. At an interim hearing at exeter Court, the
judge ordered the 2 sides to jointly appoint a neutral
surveyor who would decide on the suitability, or otherwise, of alternative locations within the rec.
5.The PC's insurers made us a substantial
offer of damages due to the nuisance to us of the equipment. We
said that we would accept the offer on
the basis that we could use the money to:
Finance the re-location of all
the equipment to another site within the field and
b. Make a donation of £1,000 to the PC for them
to spend for the benefit of the village.
Acceptance of this offer by the PC would
clearly have benefitted everybody.
6.The PC refused our offer. We had no wish to make money out of our
action - our objectives were to remove the nuisance and retain the value of our
property. We therefore rejected the insurer's offer which meant that we had to finance our entire claim from our own
funds - unlike the PC who were funded by their insurers.
7.We had our own surveyor investigate the
field and he reported that the south-west corner was a suitable site. The neutral surveyor separately confirmed
this but, even when confronted with his report, the PC again refused our offer.
8.Following a court hearing and our appeal,
which incurred us with significant extra expense, the PC and ourselves came to an out of court
agreement which, among other things, meant that they would remove the basket swing from the field. The moving of this item to another location in
the field was not acceptable to them.
The PC have inexplicably said that they
have no record of any conversations, meetings or decisions concerning our offer as in 5 above. They continue to
refer to the advice from the equipment suppliers.
These expert suppliers had previously recommended/agreed to the original
location of the equipment. One of these, a climbing frame, was
extraordinarily erected under part of a large tree. We had previously
questioned the condition of this tree with the PC.
In late October last year a large branch on this tree broke off and fell directly onto the climbing frame -
fortunately when nobody was using it. So much for the advice of the expert suppliers in terms of suitable
We are truly sorry that the basket swing
has to be removed from the field. This
was never our wish and, had the PC accepted our offer and all the equipment
been re-located to the south west corner at our expense, then all requirements
would have been satisfied - as well as the village benefitting from our £1,000
If there are any comments/queries about
the above please feel free to contact ourselves.
Vale, Pitt Hill.
This photograph picture of the village
was found in a charity shop in Ilfracombe.
entitled Berrynarbor Village, 1911, it is part of the Francis Frith
Francis Frith, the english photographer
of the Middle east and many towns in the UK, was born in Chesterfield in
October 1822.He was educated at Quaker
schools before starting a cutlery business.
However, in 1843 he suffered a nervous breakdown.and during his two-year recuperation, became
interested in photography, opening a studio in Liverpool, known as Frith and
Hayward.Although he had been a
successful grocer and later, printer, he sold his companies in 1855 to dedicate
himself to his photography.
During the next few years, this took him and
his very large camera [16" x 20"] to egypt and the Middle east.Returning from his travels in 1859, he
opened the firm of Francis Frith & Co. in Reigate, Surrey, the world's
first specialist photographic publisher.
In 1860 he married Mary Ann Rosling and
they had five children - Mary Alice, eustace, Francis edgar, Mabel and Cyril.
Frith then embarked on a colossal
challenge, to photograph every town and village in the UK, in particular
notable historical sights.At first, he
took the photographs himself, but with success, he hired others to help him and
set about establishing his postcard company - one that became one of the
largest photographic studios in the world.
Within a few years, over 2,000 shops in the UK were selling his
Frith was a devout Quaker, recorded as
a minister in 1872, serving on numerous committees and frequently speaking in
favour of pacifism and abstinence.
Frith died at his villa in Cannes in
family continued the firm, which was finally sold in 1968 and closed in 1971. Following closure of the business, Bill Jay,
one of Britain's first photography historians, identified the archive as being
nationally important, and at risk, managing to persuade McCann-erikson the
London advertising agency to approach their client Rothmans of Pall Mall in December
1971 to purchase the archive to ensure its safety. Rothmans went ahead and
acquired the archive within weeks.
was re-launched in 1975 as The Francis Frith Collection by John Buck, a
Rothmans executive, with the intention of making the Frith photographs
available to as wide an audience as possible.
In 1977, Buck bought the archive from Rothmans and has run it as the
Francis Firth Collection since that time.
The company website enables visitors to browse, free of charge, over
180,000 photographs depicting some 7,000 cities, towns and village.In 2016, a two-year project to scan the
entire collection was completed holding over 330,000 high resolution digital
A notice seen before
CHRISTMAS NOTICE TO
Please be advised that all employees
planning to dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, going over the
fields and laughing all the way, are required to undergo a Risk Assessment
addressing the safety of open sleighs.
This assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only
one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are multiple
passengers.Please note that permission
must also be obtained in writing from landowners before their fields may be
entered.To avoid offending those not
participating in celebrations, we request that laughter is moderate only and
not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.
Benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs
are now available for collection by any shepherds planning or required to watch
their flocks at night.
While provision has also been made for
remote monitoring of flocks by CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd
observation hut, all facility users are reminded that an emergency response
plan must be submitted to account for known risks to the flocks.The angel of the Lord is additionally
reminded that prior to shining his/her glory all around, he/she must confirm
that all shepherds are wearing appropriate Personal Protection equipment to
account for the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and the overwhelming effects of
last year's well publicised case, everyone is advised that eC legislation
prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any part of Mr. R.
Reindeer.Further to this, exclusion of
Mr. R. Reindeer from reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and
disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence.
While it is acknowledged that
gift-bearing is commonly practised in various parts of the world, everyone is
reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to Hospitality Guidelines and all
gifts must be registered.This applies
regardless of the individual, even royal personages.It is particularly noted that direct gifts
of currency or gold are specifically precluded under provisions of the Foreign
Corrupt Practices Act.Further caution
is advised regarding other common gifts, such as aromatic resins that may
initiate allergic reactions.
Finally, in the recent case of the
infant found tucked up in a manger without any crib for a bed, Social Services
have been advised and will be arriving shortly.
Compliance of these guidelines is
advised in order for you to fully participate with the festive spirit.
Risk Management Team
In the early days of cinema, known as
animated photography, very short films were shown at travelling fairs.These were very short but had such novelty
that seeing a train rush at you would send some people rushing outside in
The early cinemas were often comprised
of a couple of shops knocked together into one.But soon it was realised that cinemas were
to have a wealthy future.
Fine buildings were constructed
allowing for dressing rooms in case live shows were required.
Before the advent of sound recorded on
film, other methods of synchronisation were tried.Gramophone records hopefully played in synch
was one method, until someone jogged it and it jumped a groove or two.
Of course, early films had no sound, so
some of the larger cinemas had orchestras, the smaller ones had a pianist and
eventually an organist.
When true sound came in, some
proprietors said "It'll never last", and would not instal a sound system - they
went bust.Cinemas sprang up
everywhere, even in small villages.
had ten cinemas but probably the largest and finest was the State at Kilburn,
seating over 4,000 people.
[The Gaumont State Cinema is a Grade II* listed Art Deco theatre located
in Kilburn, a district in northwest London. Designed by George Coles and opened
in 1937, the Gaumont State was one of the biggest auditoria in europe, with
seating for 4,004 people.]
Before the advent of television,
cinemas were often packed, with people queuing outside waiting to get in to the
next show.Cinemas ran continuously
from about half-past one in the afternoon until about ten o'clock.Shows lasted
about three hours and would comprise of a main film, a supporting film, cartoon
and a news reel.
Before the show started, the screen
would have beautiful changing lights which would be almost an art form.
In my time in Devon [1939-1946], there
were two cinemas in Ilfracombe.One was
in the main street, called The Scala [later the Clifton] and was purpose
built.It had a proper balcony and was
quite pleasant, though not elaborate.
The other was called The New Cinema in
Northfield Road.A converted hall, it
had a built-in projection box and about four steps up to the balcony!
Getting back to the Scala, this
happened to me.I went there in the
afternoon.However, there was a notice
to say the advertised film had not arrived so they would be showing a
substitute, which I sat through.
Anyway, at the end of this, the proper film show arrived, so I sat
through that as well - six hours, how's that!
Tony Beauclerk -
sketch of the Scala and photograph of it later as the Clifton Cinema, and the
photograph of the New Cinema are reproduced by kind permission of Ilfracombe
MANOR HALL TRUST
Charitable incorporated Organisation 1169090
Firstly, may we thank our editor Judie
and the Newsletter for kindly giving a generous donation to the Hall to go
towards lights for next Christmas. It
will be great to be able to make the outside of the Hall look as lovely as the
centre of the village.On that subject, thank you to all who came and
enjoyed a coffee or mulled wine in the hall in December, it was nice to see
lots of familiar faces.A big thank you to Jane and Martin for
bringing their sweet donkey Joseph, he was a big hit and so very well behaved!
Plans for 2018 so far - the annoying
leak in the main hall is being mended in February. The PA/sound system is being
replaced with one that works! The
little cooker in the kitchen is being replaced and a range style one is being
installed. We are looking into
improving the outside security/safety lighting and marking up the car parking
area.Sadly, we cannot tell you that a
new floor and heating system are going in yet but we hope to have news of our
lottery bid in the next issue.
Fundraising is going to be a big
priority this year, so look out for posters: a 70/80's Disco is in the pipeline along with
a Bingo Night and a 'Strictly Come Dancing' themed evening.We shall also be having a Summer Fete this
year in July so we shall be busy!With that in mind, we do have 2 places
available on our Committee and would welcome any interest to join our jolly
team - and it is really not too arduous and can be fun! Please contact any one of our Trustees below
if you think you would like to find out more.
finally . . .
We are delighted to announce that we shall
be launching a new Community Fundraising (CFR) initiative in conjunction with
The Utility Warehouse Discount Club which can save you money on your
Utility Warehouse (UW) is managed by
Telecom plus plc, a major FTSe 250 UK plc supplying over 600,000 homes and
small businesses across the UK with great value and outstanding service across
a wide range of essential home services: home phone, mobile, broadband, gas and
You can help fundraise and participate
in this scheme by calling a dedicated CFR team via Freephone who will explain
all the benefits without a hard sell, or you can sign up yourself
through a new Manor Hall UW website.Then
for as long as you remain a customer, the Utility Warehouse will contribute up
to 5% of your monthly bill to the Manor Hall funds.
This is a unique scheme that allows
community groups or organisations to raise money at the same time as saving money
for its supporters. Watch this space
for more details!
Fairchild , Secretary:Natalie
Stanbury , Bookings:Alison
Sharples , Louise Baddick, Jim Constantine, Karen Coppin [Treasurer], Phil
Crompton, Alan Hamilton, Martin Johns, Len
Narborough, Denny Reynolds
The Craft Group will again be holding
its annual afternoon to raise funds for the North Devon Hospice.
We shall be holding Open House in the
Manor Hall during the afternoon of Monday, 26th February. from 1.45 p.m.
onwards.Knitters can knit strips which
the Hospice turn into blankets and for this you will need an odd ball of wool
and size 8 needles.But those who would
like to just natter or do some other craft are very welcome.All we ask is that you give a minimum
donation of £5.00 to the Hospice, take part in the raffle, enjoy coffee or tea
and cake and the company of others wishing to support this very worthwhile
We look forward to seeing YOU
A reminder that the Craft Group meets
every Monday afternoon in the Manor Hall from 1.45 p.m.everyone is welcome.Just come along and bring whatever craft you
are currently working on - needlework, knitting, embroidery, beading, painting,
etc. - chat amongst friends and enjoy tea or coffee and biscuits - and all for
just £2 a session!
The Art section of the Craft Group
meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays in the month, again at the Manor Hall and
from 9.30 a.m.On the 3rd Tuesday,
Christine Grafton comes to support the group, either with a technique lesson or
to help with individual work.
New artists, beginners and those with
little or lots of experience are most welcome.
Why not come along to find out more?
NEWS FROM BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL
Welcome back to Pre-school and a Happy
New Year to you all. We hope you all
had an enjoyable Christmas break and are ready to start the new term
We should like to welcome all our new
families and their children and hope they enjoy their learning journey with us.
performance and a visit from Father Christmas
We were very proud of our children as
they performed the Nativity. They sang Christmas songs and some even sang solo.
We had a raffle fundraising event which
The children also enjoyed making many
Christmas crafts that they could share with their families.
A special thank you to our local Santa -
Tom - who arrived at our Toddler and Pre-school Christmas party with gifts for
all the children. He played the part
well and helped us to celebrate this special time.
of Learning for this Term
Following the early Years Foundation
Stage curriculum and using the children's interests, our topic of learning this
term is focused on Maths, counting, recognizing numbers and learning about the
names and properties of shapes.
Activities are based around stories such as Thomas the Tank engine and
The Three Bears.
We shall introduce many counting songs
and rhymes as well as include other Maths concepts such as measuring, weighing,
positional language, identifying and naming shapes and doing simple sums,
adding and subtracting numbers.
We have been visiting Berrynarbor Primary School on a
Monday morning while the older school children have had swimming lessons.This has been an opportunity for our
pre-school children to explore the school environment, all the resources and engage
with the Reception Class children as well as meet the teachers.This has been received positively by all the
children and their families and helps with school transitions.
soon - a Bingo evening near you!All
funds raised will go towards our Pre-school.
Some great prizes to be won so get involved and have some fun!Look out for our poster for more details.
have spaces available for children to start, so if you would like to book a
place for your child/children, then please visit us or call us on 07932 851052
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We are open
from 8.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., Monday to Friday.
We are flexible and have a range of session times to meet your needs,
and these are given in the Manor Hall Diary later in this Newsletter.
Ofsted registered and in receipt of the 2-year-old funding and early Years
entitlement.We are offering 30 hours
free childcare to eligible families.
Further information in regards to this funding can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/30-hours-free-childcare-eligibility.
From all the Staff at Pre-school
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Although 2018 is now well under way, we'd like to send New Year
greetings from us all at the village school.
The final weeks of last term were full of Christmas activities and
enjoyment, with performances, choir items, Christmas dinner, community events
and lantern making, to mention a few.
Senior Dudes' Meal
elderberry Class traditionally puts on a
meal for their grandparents and senior citizens in the community.We
spent the day preparing the meal and people started arriving at 6.00 p.m.We
started serving the food at 6.30 p.m. They
loved the food and having us serve them. We also sang carols to them.We were given a box of Celebrations as a
thank you, and money was donated which will go towards next year's Senior Dudes'
On Wednesday 13th December we had our
Walking Nativity. even though the
weather was extremely miserable, we still had lots of fun! We stopped at many different places in the
village and sang lots of different Christmas Carols. Our final stop was in the barn where we sang
"Away in a Manger", "Silent Night" and "We wish you a merry Christmas". We would like to thank everyone in the
community who came to it! Thank
It certainly was an enjoyable evening
and we'd like to thank
Spelman for playing the guitar to accompany our carol singing. We'd also like to thank Chris and Barbara
Gubb for the use of their barn for refreshments and our final sing accompanied
on ukuleles and guitars played by some of the children. We hope the cattle were entertained!
Our School Choir sang at the village
Christmas Carol Service. We sang "When
a child is born" and "We're walking in the air" accompanied by Mrs. Gill's
enthusiastic piano playing.The Berrynarbor Choir was there, too. Our singing teacher, Mrs. Barrow, runs the
school choir and conducts all of our performances. She is great with music. Sometimes Stuart Neale also helps us with
things and gets us in tune. We had
three children, Benjamin, Ruby and Rosie singing "Once in Royal David's City"
as they walked up the aisle. May,
George and Isabel read out a Bible reading. The service ended with refreshments and we
all had a great time.
B, Rosie T and Isabel.
Thank you to all who supported this. It
was a lovely social time and we hope you enjoyed it, too.
The year ended with a fond farewell to Mrs.
Mcentee who has taught at the school for many years. We shall miss her humour and turn of phrase
but wish her a very happy retirement. There
was also a joyful hello to a little boy born to Mrs. Orr and her husband just a
few days before Christmas, another grandson for Graham and Carol Lucas.
Now our attention is on the term ahead
of us. There has been some shuffling around of teaching staff with Mrs.
Poynter, our Deputy Head, and Mrs. Kentall teaching elderberries, our oldest
children. Mr. Jones is teaching
Cranberries in the mornings and running booster groups for some of our older
children in the afternoons here at Berrynarbor and at West Down school.Mrs. Barrow is teaching Strawberries and
Cranberries some afternoons each week and will be having some music fun with
various groups across the week.
The children from Year 1 through to Year
6 will be having swimming lessons this half term. There are also music clubs, football clubs
and a sewing club starting up as after-school activities. So, as you can see it's going to be busy!
Carey - Headteacher
LOCAL WALK - 166
We don't hear so much about the Beast
of exmoor these days.There used to be
regular reports of sightings in the Journal and Gazette.
A few weeks ago, I heard a natural
history programme on the subject in which it was claimed that a big cat [or
cats - there may well be more than one] is still often seen by people who live
and work on the moor.
But they keep quiet about these
sightings because they have adjusted to their presence and do not want the cats
People have not only learnt to tolerate
them but are fascinated, even enchanted by them and the slight frisson of risk.
Some years ago, near the entrance to
Titchcombe, between Goat Hill Bridge and Simonsbath, we witnessed crossing the
road a large panther like animal.It
had a long stride - steady, not running - strong muscular shoulders and the top
of its head and back made a continuous straight line.It was about four feet in length.
Time seemed to stand still as we
watched and afterwards my companion and I compared notes in case we had deluded
ourselves.We thought about all the
animals, wild or domestic, that could be on the moor, but what we had seen did
not resemble any of these.
Not long afterwards, we were walking
along the River Taw at Yelland and got talking to a man who was viewing
wintering wild fowl through a telescope at the edge of Isley Marsh.After a while he lowered his voice, looked a
bit sheepish and said, "You won't believe this, but . . ."
He went on to say that as he had
arranged to lead a group of ramblers for a hike on the moor near Simonsbath,
he'd decided to walk the area beforehand to check out the route and had been
astonished to encounter the exmoor Beast.
His description fitted exactly to what
we had seen.I have since learnt that
what we thought was a black panther or puma is most likely to have been a
Apparently in some lights [and if you
can get close enough!], the outlines of the spotted markings may be seen
beneath the short black fur.
The leopard is regarded as 'the
ultimate cat'.There is a Cult of the
Leopard and pound for pound it is one of the most powerful of animals.
It is naturally solitary, cautious, shy
and secretive;stealthy and
intelligent;ideal characteristics for
surviving so long on exmoor.
We feel fortunate to have observed this
handsome and impressive but elusive animal.
SOUTH AFRICA - LAND OF CONTRASTS
I am sure we all have our own idea of
what South Africa is like based on the images we see in the media. For
many, the passing of apartheid and the rise of the ANC under Nelson Mandela is
the defining moment for an entire generation.
The reality is South Africa still
faces problems with great discrepancies between rich and poor and rural and
area similar to Western europe, a rich and varied history involving warring
kingdoms and colonial invaders, not to mention varied landscapes and wildlife,
it has always been on my list of places to visit.So, this year, for a special birthday we took
a three- week trip with exodus, an adventure travel company. It involved travelling from Johannesburg to
Cape Town in a mini bus.Here are just
a few highlights.
Our trip began in the north with several days
in Kruger National Park, staying in lodges and searching for game, both on foot
and from safari vehicles.We were rewarded with sightings of all the 'big
five' and many more besides. The Kruger
plays a vital role in safeguarding endangered species.South Africa has a zero-tolerance policy on
poaching and while we were there, 9 poachers were shot in the park.Proof of how serious the problem is.
Kruger we moved on to The Drakensberg, an area of outstanding natural
beauty.We spent days trekking on almost deserted
trails deep into the mountains. For me this was a real highlight.
the road and across the border into two of South Africa's neighbours.Firstly,
Swaziland and then Lesotho.These two independent kingdoms were both
beautiful and fascinating.They are both
very poor countries, with serious socio-economic challenges who now rely on
sustainable tourism to bolster their economies.
returned to South Africa and stopped at Rourke's Drift made famous by the film
Zulu featuring Michael Caine.Islandwana, nearby and not so well known, the
site of another battle with the Zulu nation, was for me far more moving.
We passed through The Great Karoo
desert, a journey which took nearly two days on our way to the coast.Within minutes of arriving at Titsikamma
Nature Reserve we were treated to the sight of migrating humpback whales from
final destination was Cape Town, a true world city.The Volvo Round the World Yacht race was in
town and the waterfront in the shadow of Table Mountain was buzzing.A far cry from the mountain farmsteads of
Lesotho or the bush of Kruger.
is my opinion of South Africa now?It
certainly is a land of contrasts and a country at a cross roads.Without doubt there is an abundance of natural
beauty and fascinating history and culture.
The serious inequalities leading to a divided society with its haves and
have nots, however, mean there are serious challenges ahead.
holiday destination it is difficult and shocking at times, thought provoking
and thoroughly worthwhile.The only
thing that might stop me going back is the world is a big place . . .
If you would like to see more of Paul's travel
photography of Africa, India and Nepal please contact him:
Berrynarbor Wine Circle
carry a corkscrew and the wine shall provide itself.Basil Bunting (poet)
Our Christmas event, Committee's Choice and Members' Festive
Fare, occurred on Wednesday December 13th, in the Manor Hall.It was an amazing event;amazing because the Hall was filled with
happy voices, when they were not eating superb cuisine made in the village, by our
lady members, washed down with six excellent wines and all for free!Where can you beat that?
Wine suppliers were: our friends at Bray Valley Wines of
South Molton, Majestic, Morrisons and Virgin Wines.The
cheapest was surprising; it was a Hungarian Gruner Veltliner and only £6.99 a
bottle.Many thought it was a great
find.This 2016 wine was one of over 300
blind tastings carried out by Majestic in order to find 'the cream of the
crop'.It really delivered on incredible
quality and value.
Our dearest was a Marlborough-busting
Adelaide Hills classic!This was a cool
fruit, Sauvignon Blanc from South Australia, rather than New
have been £13.49, but, Virgin Wines Online supplied it for just under
£10.00 per bottle.Beneficio, Adelaide
Hills is described on the VWO website as having aromas that leap out at you and
a killer citrus zest that keeps the fruit charging along to the juicy end.
Both whites were very good.It was easy to decide which was the cheapest;
however, if you want to crack open a
chilled bottle on a summer's day, that won't break the bank, the Hungarian
deserves tasting, perhaps, repeatedly, just to make sure, of course, that it's
I have taken more out of alcohol than
alcohol has taken out of me. Winston Churchill
spotted this quote, I felt I had to use it, as the film, The Darkest Hour,
focuses on his early days as P.M, is to have general release days before we
have our popular, Call My Wine Bluff event, on Wednesday 17th January.In our household, both are awaited
As has become usual for our January
meeting, the theme was Call my Wine Bluff. This is a great fun evening loosely based on
the old BBC2 program Call My Bluff.
The wines for the evening are tasted
blind and after each one, the panel of three experts, also known as the three
prevaricators, each give a description of the wine.Of course, only one is telling the truth!
The members in teams of 6 have to decide
who is telling the truth, the age of the wine and the price, and get points
As the scores are revealed at the end of
each round one can imagine the banter and leg pulling that goes on,
particularly for a low score!
The winners for the evening were called
the Cuatro Amigos, who won a wonderful prize of a packet of M & M's, for
the rest, a wonderful social evening with some very tasty wines!
Next month's meeting will be held on the
4th Wednesday of February, 28th, as our presenter is coming from
Roscoff and prior to that date, there are no suitable ferries.
New From the Village Shop
Offers for Special Days
even if you are not a pheasant or a
partridge, there are so many reasons to be optimistic as the days get longer
into February, not least because of the very special days the next two months
contain.And the shop has some special
offers to help your celebrations.
This year Shrove Tuesday falls on the 13th
of the month.Buy your eggs plus flour
in the shop and we will give you a free lemon to make your pancakes taste the
way they should.
Closely following on its heels is St
Valentine's Day on the 14th.And while
we don't want you to lose your head like the unfortunate original Valentine
[historical note: beheaded around the end of the 3rd century AD and his flower
adorned skull can still be seen at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome!], we
are offering half price on a range of boxes of chocolates to go with a
Valentine's Day card and either a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja or a bottle of
Chablis Grande Reserve.Hurry while
stocks last!Add a box of chocolates
to a card and a bottle of wine and get your chocs half price!
Mothers' Day falls on Sunday 11th March, and we think they should be
spoiled too, so a similar special offer will be in place for them - a card,
either a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja or a bottle of Chablis Grande Reserve and
a half-price box of chocolates.Great
Congratulations to our three Christmas
Brennan won the Cheese Hamper, Brian Fryer the Cake and Port Hamper and Katie
Simpson the Curry Hamper.A big thank
you to all those who bought tickets!
As many of our regular customers will
know, we have been beset with problems with our freezer cabinet.The good news is that the shop has invested
in a new three-door freezer which by the time you read this [fingers crossed]
will be full of mouth-watering goodies at competitive prices.Come and see.
delighted to welcome a new member of staff. Villager Annie Smith joins our team as Shop
Supervisor and she will be working alongside Debbie and Karen to help manage
the Shop and Post Office. Annie has been a volunteer for some time so knows the
shop and its customers well.Pop in and say 'Hello' to her soon.
Report from the Parish Council
The Parish Council would like to wish
everyone a Happy New Year.We start the
year with an update on outstanding Council projects.
As reported in the last newsletter, the
winner of the Flag Design Competition has been chosen, the winning design has
been made into a flag and will be flown from the flag pole outside Ye Olde
Globe Inn.Thank you to all those who
took part and please do have a look at the winning flag.
Thank you to everyone that voted in the
Ilfracombe Tesco Store for the Parish Council's project to replace the old bus
shelter on the A399.We are awaiting
confirmation but believe the Parish Council was in third place.We shall continue to pursue further grants
to complete the project.
The basket swing will be relocated from
the Recreation Field to the School before the end of January and we should like
to thank those that have pledged donations towards the installation at the
school and welcome any further donations from anyone wishing to assist.
The new wrought iron village signs have
been completed and are due to be installed at the three main entrance points to
the village by the end of January and we really hope they will be a welcome
addition that reflects the history and character of the village.The Parish Council would like to thank the
North Devon AONB for the grant to install the signs.
Moving forward the Parish Council considered
and set its precept and budgets for the forthcoming financial year at the
December meeting.The Parish Council was
disappointed to learn that the District Council has reduced the Parish Grant
the Council receives by 50% in 2018-2019 and the Council Tax Support Grant has
also been reduced.When considering the
precept for 2018-2019 the Parish Council had to take these reductions into
account along with an increase in costs.
Therefore, the Parish Council has decided to increase the precept for
2018-2019 and the agreed increase is approximately £2.11 a year [or 0.04p a
week] based on a Band D property.
Unfortunately, the Parish Council has
received complaints about the storage of large vehicles and motorhomes in the
village car park.The car park, which
is currently owned by the North Devon Council, is free of charge to help
service the village.The Parish Council
is saddened by the abuse of the car park which is not a storage facility and
has also prohibited members of the community from being able to park when
attending functions in the village, such as funerals.The District Council has been made aware of
the complaints and is taking enforcement action where necessary.
Woodhouse, Parish Clerk, January 2018
Mover and Shakers No.
of Tasmania, Lieutenant, Royal Navy
20 October 1827
love it.It's just like england,"
remarked a friend. Why then, were we travelling half way round the world to
visit it I thought? In fact, although the scenery looks familiar, the trees are
not deciduous, so no autumn colours, no skeleton winter trees, or lush spring
foliage.And we do not have to spray
our socks and boots to stop leeches climbing up, nor do we suffer those vicious
creatures: white tailed spiders and the Tassie Devils!
Still, it's a great country and, having
been there, I was interested some time ago by an article in the North Devon
Journal by Francesca Taffs.She wrote a
tale of a Tasmanian historian who was trying to keep alive the memory of a 18th
century Ilfracombe lieutenant who led the first expedition to his island.
It appears that Reg Watson, the
historian, had written a book - one of many - entitled Lt. John Bowen and the
Founding of Tasmania.In 2013 he was
decrying the defacing of a memorial to John Bowen, erected in 1904 in Risdon,
just north of Hobart, to celebrate 100 years since he led the first settlers to
this Australian island.
Sydney had been settled in 1788.
The French were sniffing around in the Pacific, but by 1803 Napoleon was
dictator and we were at war with France.
It was important that we had a base in what was then known as Van
Into the story comes John Bowen.Born early in 1780 in Ilfracombe, he was the
son of James Bowen, a master in the Navy and later Rear Admiral, and his wife
elizabeth.He was just 14 when he began
his naval career and by 1798 had served on several ships before graduating from
Dartmouth, joining his father on the Argo as a midshipman.He served mainly on that ship until1802 when
as a Lieutenant he joined another ship, the Lancaster, then the Glatton,
carrying convicts to New South Wales.
Here he volunteered to the Governor, Philip Gidley King, to sail for
Risdon Cove to form a settlement.
The site was chosen by the Governor
and ultimately it wasn't a good one.
Although good for defence, the soil was poor and water scarce. John,
aged just 23, had with him 49 folk:21
male and 3 female convicts, a few members of the New South Wales Corps, plus
free settlers and their families.Most
of them were reluctant and several of the convicts stole a boat and
escaped.He also had a major problem
with some of the free settlers, particularly with Lt. William Moore who was in
charge of the military.He referred to
John Bowen as a 'mutinous rascal', and sent him under arrest to Philip King in
Sydney, who dismissed the charge and sent him back to Tasmania.Back there, John worked enthusiastically,
discovering a large amount of coal in the surrounding area and even naming a
river after it.
Word again reached the Governor, this
time about John's 'private affairs'.He
was living with Martha Hayes, the daughter of one of the female convicts, who
by this time had a daughter by him, Henrietta, who died young.Later Martha had another daughter, Martha
again visited Sydney with the intention of resigning, but the Governor ordered
his return, knowing that he had family responsibilities. When John returned, to
his frustration and annoyance, a Royal Marine, David Collins, had arrived, also
to settle the colony.Collins decided
to abandon Risdon and move the group to Sullivan's Cove, now the capital,
During this period, there was an ugly
confrontation with the aborigines, several of whom were killed.According to historian
Watson, Bowen was away exploring, leaving Lt. Moore in charge, but Bowen was
blamed and had to return to Sydney for the last time.Before leaving, he arranged for Martha to
become a settler, meaning that she could get land grants and have access to
government stores.For the record, she
continued to live in Hobart, later marrying Andrew Whitehead with whom she had
another daughter.After his death she
married a police clerk, and according to Tasmania University, her life was
'closely interwoven with many colourful characters in Hobart during its first
Bowen left Hobart after less than two
years at his post and in January 1805 sailed for england.He refused money for his work at Risdon, but
was given the promotion he wanted.In
May1804 he had been promoted to Commander and in January 1806 he became
Five years later he applied to succeed
Collins as Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land, but he was rejected
because it was said that as a naval officer he couldn't command the
troops.He applied twice more without
success, saying that he had long felt a lively interest in the colony and had
shared in the difficulties of starting it.
He eventually returned to england and on
13 May 1825 he married elizabeth Lindley Clowes, a niece of the countess of
Newburgh.It was a short-lived marriage
though, because after a long and painful illness he died back in Ilfracombe on
20th October 1827 aged 47.
And so we return to Reg Watson and his
ambition to renovate the memorial.
From photographs of it on the internet it looks miserable - daubed with
red paint and surrounded by slogan boards.
In his words "What should be a site of national historic and cultural
significance and a place to celebrate dual heritage [Tasmanian Aboriginal and
white] has become instead a site of confrontation, neglect and vandalism."By 2016 there had been no improvement.
you are off to Tasmania in the near future, do try and look up this memorial
near Hobart, and report back!The
address is: east Derwent Highway, Bowen Park, Risdon.So, a town did eventually arise on John
Bowen's original landing site.
Berry in Bloom & Best Kept Village
There is not much going on gardening
wise at this time of the year but it is good to look back on the previous year
and our success in the R.H.S. Britain in Bloom competition when we achieved
gold.Our thoughts are on how we might
emulate our good work this coming year.
Therefore, we shall be having our annual
meeting on Wednesday, 7th March to
discuss our plans and finances for the forthcoming year.We shall
be meeting in The Globe at 7.00 p.m. and if you are interested in helping with
litter picks and planting around the village, you are very welcome to join
us.If you are new to the village, it is
a nice way to make friends.
Also, on Friday, 9th February, we are having a fund raising Fun Quiz and Supper
evening in the Manor Hall with Phil as quiz master and our yummy supper. We hope you will be able to support us.
The months of January and February are
when Seville oranges, the ones used to make marmalade, come in to the shops. Colin
is a great marmalade maker and so it seems appropriate to serve a moist
marmalade cake at this time of the year.
golden caster sugar
tangy orange marmalade (homemade if possible)
orange peel to decorate [optional]
Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Line a
loaf tin about 25 x 11 x 7cms deep.
Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of
a food processor or use an electric whisk, and beat until pale and fluffy.
Finely grate the orange and squeeze the
juice, reserving 2 tbsps for the frosting.
Break the eggs into a small bowl and
lightly beat with a fork. Add a spoon
of the flour to the sugar and butter mix and gradually beat in the eggs and
orange peel. If using a food processor,
remove the bowl and mix in the marmalade and then gently fold in the flour
using a metal spoon.If using an electric whisk, mix in the
marmalade and then gently fold in the flour again using a metal spoon.Gently
stir in the orange juice except for the 2 tbsps reserved for the frosting.
Spoon into the lined loaf tin and
lightly smooth the top.Bake for 40 minutes checking it after 35 with
a metal skewer.Leave to cool in the tin, and then remove to
a wire rack to cool completely.
Sieve the icing sugar and mix with the
orange juice until you have a smooth, slightly runny consistency [you may not
need all the orange juice]
Drizzle the icing over the cake letting
it run down the sides and leave to set.I
like to decorate the top with a sprinkle of candied orange peel but this is
BWRRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
reminder that the Show this year will be held on Saturday, 18 August 2018. Subjects for
the Art and Photography are as follows:
1. Under the
item on any surface other than paper, card or canvas
3. True Blue
4. Food from
Bit [anything goes, may be enhanced in any way]
Photography - This Lovely
Please keep the date free and give
thought to what YOU can enter - crafts, flowers, fruit, vegetables and, of
course, home cooking.
Last year, as a result of a telephone
call from Henry Hemming, author of
'M', I discovered that two sisters, Helene and
Marguerite de Munck had owned Old Court, a spacious, period home in Birdswell
Lane and run it as
B & B.They were Belgian, but Helene
had lived and worked in London for many years as a nanny and a model;however, in early 1940, she was 25 and out of
At this point in the war, 'M', Maxwell
Knight, MI5's greatest spymaster, knew he needed more officers and more agents
to help 'M Section' infiltrate the growing band of Nazi sympathisers.One new addition was
who became 'M/I', an MI5 agent.Apparently,
she had model looks, but she ceased modelling and began a new, but brief
'M' asked her to reacquaint herself with
Admiral Wolkoff, once an aide-de-camp to the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas
II.'M' saw this renewal as a means of
learning more about Wolkoff's daughter, Anna.
The Admiral's London posting, as a naval attache, shortly before the Bolshevik
Revolution in 1917, was life-saving, but this aristocratic family were unable
to return, ever, to their homeland.
Anna, and her parents, were, under-standably, angry about their enforced
and permanent lifestyle change.
One MI5 report described Anna, as 'a
staunch Nazi propagandist' who had also displayed 'pro-Communist and
anti-British tendencies'.She had been
a successful fashion designer, with a Conduit Street shop, but due to her
chaotic finances, the business ceased shortly before the outbreak of WW2.Its collapse infuriated her;she felt entitled to a job and to have her
views heard.She and others voiced their
sympathies, about Hitler, frequently and loudly, which is why they had come to
MI5's attention, on several occasions.
Anna used her parents' business, the
Russian Tea Rooms, a South Kensington cafe as a meeting place for herself and
her aristocratic friends, all members of the Right Club:a secretive anti-Semitic group committed to
undermining the war effort and spreading the idea that this conflict was part
of a global Jewish-Communist-Masonic conspiracy.
The Right Club's activities became Helene's
sole focus, as 'M' was concerned about their activists and activities.One of Anna's contacts was Tyler Kent:the son of a senior American diplomat.The Kents were a prominent Southern family
and Tyler worked for the US State Department.
In October 1939, he was transferred from
Moscow to London.He believed that his
new position of a cipher clerk in the US embassy was beneath him.His education had included Princeton and
the Sorbonne. In Moscow, he had come to believe that America was en route to
participate in 'hostile coalitions in europe (for which they) had no mandate'.
This had made him angry.In Moscow, he collected copies of
confidential papers;Kent burned these
before his transfer.His London
collection was even more sensitive.In
six months only, he amassed more than a 1000 documents that included exchanges
between Churchill and Roosevelt.These
showed that the American President was colluding with Churchill to help Britain
win the war, despite America's neutrality at this time.
Kent and Wolkoff met at the Tea
Rooms;both realised that they were
anti-war and anti-Semitic.Soon,
classified documents passed between them, then onwards: Germany and Italy.eventually, their secret crusade ended in
arrest.Helene de Munck was one of two
women whose detailed testimony, in 1940, at their Old Bailey trial, meant that
Kent served seven years;Wolkoff served
ten.It was arguably Britain's major
wartime spy scandal.
As it was a high-profile case, Helene
had to retire.She is recorded as
having a Chelsea address in 1947, but at some point the sisters left
London.Both ended their lives in North
Devon.When 'M' took
on, she said she wanted British citizenship.
She was granted naturalisation in December 1946, having served our
country, admirably, as a Crown Servant.
She died, at 49 years only, in the North Devon Infirmary, Barnstaple, in
Perhaps it seems hard to imagine that
members of this secretive world would live in a North Devon village, but they
had to live somewhere and, after her espionage activities, a quiet rural life
was what, probably, she needed in retirement.
Court c. 1930's from the Tom Bartlett Collection
STOPPING BY WOODS ON
A SNOWY eVeNING
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Lee Frost was an American poet.His work was initially published in england
before it was published in America.He
was born on the 26th March 1874 in San Francisco and died in Boston on the 29th
January 1963.He was at one time the
United States Poet Laureate and was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for
Yes, it's that time again - February
and Finance and time to look at the financial situation of the Newsletter.
Currently funds are looking stable
thanks to the generous support of the Parish Council, also the Parochial Church
Council, donations from the Christmas messages, the donation boxes and the
subscribers who receive the Newsletter in the mail.
However, that does not mean we can be
complacent.Prices for stationery,
printing inks, etc., continue to rise.
The annual subscription for postal readers will, for this year, remain
the same at £6.00 to cover the cost of envelopes and stamps, as will the cost
of advertising.However, it may be
necessary to increase these in future, the costs having remained the same for
Although technically a 'freebie', the
Newsletter costs approximately £1.50 a copy, so your donations are not only
welcome and appreciated, but necessary!
Some postal subscriptions have now run
out and if you are someone to whom this applies, a letter is enclosed with your
My thanks to our Shop, The Globe and
Sawmill Inn for having copies available, and to Tyler who delivers Newsletters
with the papers from Combe Martin.It
is understood that Central Convenience have been taken over and it can only be
hoped that the new set up will continue delivering papers to the village.
Judie - editor
"I hope you will grow up gentle and
good, and never learn bad ways;do your
work with a good will, lift your feet up well when you trot, and never bite or
kick even in play."
Narrated by a lively, gentle horse,
Black Beauty, as both the horse and book are called, has remained a children's
classic since it was first published in 1877, and earned a name and fame for
its author, Anna Sewell.
Anna Sewell was born in March1820 in
Great Yarmouth, a daughter for devout Quakers Philip and Mary Sewell, a
successful author of children's books.
Anna and her brother Philip were largely educated at home due to
When she was only four, Anna slipped at
home severely damaging her ankle, which with another accident ten years later,
resulted in her being unable to stand without a crutch or walk any distance for
the rest of her life.Consequently, for
mobility, she would use horse-drawn carriages contributing to her love of
horses and concern for the humane treatment of all animals.In 1832 the family moved to Stoke Newington
and Anna, at the age of 12, attended school for the first time.
Over the years the family moved several
times;to Brighton, Lancing, Wick and
Bath, often in the hope of improving Anna's deteriorating health.
In her late teens, she and her mother
apparently left the Society of Friends to join the Church of england, although
they remained active evangelists.
In 1866, her brother Philip's wife died
leaving him with seven young children and the family moved to Old Catton, near
Norwich, to support him.It was here
that Anna began to write the manuscript of Black Beauty, often so weak and bed
ridden that writing was a challenge and she would often dictate the text to her
mother, or write snatches on slips of paper.
Anna, who never married or had
children, died of hepatitis or tuberculosis on the 25th April, 1878, only five
months after Black Beauty was published, but she lived long enough to know of
its initial success.
Although now considered a children's
classic, Black Beauty was originally written for those who worked with horses,
with the aim of inducing kindness and sympathy in their treatment.It is considered to have had an effect of
reducing cruelty to horses, particularly banning the painful use of bearing
Black Beauty, one of the top ten
best-selling novels for children, has
sold more than fifty million copies world-wide, and been adapted for film and
television many times.
Letter from the Rector
Nicky Gumbel, Vicar of Holy Trinity,
Brompton, writes: "I belong to a squash
club, which is also a gym. each year on
1st January they bring in extra gym equipment. The place is packed out. By about 7th January, they move out all the
extra equipment, as most people have given up their New Year's resolution, and
the club returns to normal!"
I don't know whether you have the same
trouble with New Year's resolutions - or any other resolutions for that matter?Making important changes in our lives is
always difficult, whether it is about improving our health and wellbeing or our
bank balance or our relationships or something else.
St. Paul compares our life to running a
race:"Do you not know that in a race
all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. everyone who competes in the games goes into
strict training.They do it to get a
crown that will not last; but we do it
to get a crown that will last foreverTherefore I do not run like someone running
aimlessly." [1 Corinthians 9:24-26]
I find that helpful because most
successful sportsmen and women get a lot of help with their training. Some are in teams with a manager, others meet
a trainer on a regular basis. Achieving
our goals and making life changes is much easier when we get someone else on
board to help us.
What are you trying to achieve which you
could ask someone else to help you with? And might we find some community goals,
which we have to work on together?What
would make our village even better than it already is?
New Year to you all from my colleague Bill and me.
OLD BERRYNARBOR -
VIEW NO. 171
Middle Lee Farm
For this Newsletter I have chosen an
upright postcard showing the wife of farmer Phillip Pethrick at the gate of
Middle Lee Farm around 1903.She is
dressed in typical village clothing of the time, boots, long skirt with white
apron, blouse and a straw boater.One
can only presume that she is going to take water to the animals or chickens
with the large and heavy watering can she is holding.
It appears that the photograph, by W.
Garratt of Bristol, was taken in the summer, as both bedroom windows are wide
In September 1906, the occupancy of
Middle Lee Farm [119 The Village] was taken over by Francis [Frank] Toms.This tenancy continued until the large
Watermouth estate Sale took place on Tuesday,
August, 1920, at the Bridge Hall, Barnstaple, when Frank Toms purchased Middle
Lee Farm, Lot 21, for £1,350, with completion set for Lady Day on the 25th
Upon Frank's death in 1923, his son,
Daniel, took over the farm and Tea House.
Dan and his wife Lizzie had two
children, Reginald and Violet.Reginald
went to live in Weybridge, Surrey, until his death in 1997.Vi remained in the village and married Dave
Goodman and they lived in Dormer Cottage.
Dave died in 1987 and shortly after Vi moved in to the Cottage, 44 the
Village, until her death in 2002.
Dan's nephew, Ron Toms, was brought up
by his mother Hilda and his grandparents, Frank and ellen Toms, at Middle
Lee.He married his wife, Gladys, in
1943, and they lived in Birdswell Lane with their two children, Raymond and
Sadly, whilst writing this article, I
learnt that Ron had died aged 101 at Lee Lodge, where he had been well looked
after for nearly ten years.
In 1939, Middle Lee Farm was purchased
by Raymond George Smith and more recently it has been owned by Alex and Pam
Parke, Jenny and Robin Downer, and currently by Phil and Chris Brown.
THe LOST DISC - A PLAY AND A PUD
Friday, 2nd March, Manor Hall
Come and join fictitious Radio 6 music
journalist Stuart Morecombe on his quest to find the lost disc.
A night of riotous music and theatre in
aid of the Village Shop's 10th Anniversary.
As the story unfolds, the audience is
taken on a hilarious and strangely moving trip through popular music of the
20th century, taking in WW2, JFK, the Smith's at Glastonbury and Carnaby Street
in the swinging '60's.
There will be a lot of music, laughter
and puddings, but above all fun!
Tickets £10 from the Shop, bring your own drinks.
Best of all, Berrynarbor gets to
preview this show, thanks to Beaford Arts, before it goes to Latitude and