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No. 119 - April 01-04-2009

 

BERRYNARBOR LADIES' GROUP

Unfortunately, due to the snow and icy weather, the February Meeting had to be cancelled. Hopefully Mr. Bernard Hill, the fox man, will be able to come to talk to us at a later date.

Twenty members were present at the March Meeting, when birthday cards were given to Janet Gibbins, Doreen Prater and Betty Richards, and Marion Carter won the raffle.

Janet Gammon has arranged a river trip on the Exe on 12th May at 2.00 p.m. with time beforehand for members to have lunch. The cost of the river trip is £4.50 each - the coach fare to be announced when numbers are ascertained.

The Chairman, Janet Gibbins, welcomed the speaker, Roger Groos, who spoke to us about healthy eating.

The total daily calories required by females is 2,000 - only 1600 if you are less active. Carbohydrates produce energy for the body, especially the brain and nervous system, but they pass through the stomach fairly quickly and are digested in the intestines, which leaves the individual feeling hungry after a short time, whereas proteins [meat, poultry, milk, eggs and cheese] stay in the stomach to be digested, so are more satisfying. An enzyme called amylase helps break down carbohydrates into glucose [blood sugar], which is used for energy by the body.

To increase healthy nutrients, eat more fruit and vegetables, rice, bread and cereals, beans, lentils and dried peas. Dark leafy green vegetables are a vital part of a healthy diet as they are packed with nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K.

Fats are another vital part of a healthy diet but it is the type of fat that matters. Foods such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines are rich in Omega 3 which supports brain and body functions. It is best to cook with olive oil or butter and put sunflower and rape seed oil on salads. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks as they are an easy way to pack calories and chemicals into your diet.

As you can imagine, during Mr. Groos' talk members asked numerous questions about their eating habits! Doreen Prater thanked him for all this interesting information.

The Meeting ended with the usual tea and coffee and biscuits and purchases from the sales table.

Tony Wright will be coming on 7th April to talk about the Life of Bees and on the 5th May, Bernice Putt will be speaking about the RNLI. All Meetings are in the Manor Hall at 2.0 p.m. All are welcome.

Doreen

 

IN MEMORIAM

Lead, kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom,

Lead Thou me on! The night is dark

And I am far from home; lead Thou me on!

Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene; one step enough for me.

 

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou

Shouldst lead me on; I loved to choose

And see my path; but now lead Thou me on!

I loved the garish day, and , spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

 

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still

Will lead me on. O'er moor and fen,

O'er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,

And with the morn those angel faces smile,

While I have loved long since and lost awhile!

John Henry Newman [1801-1890]

 

BRIAN WRIGHT [1925-2009]

As reported in the February issue, we were all saddened at the sudden death of Brian. St. Peter's Church was overflowing with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, all anxious to say farewell to a 'true gentleman' [and our Crossword Puzzler]. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Sue and the family.

* * *

Born in Basingstoke, Brian spent his early years in the village of Sherfield-on-Lodden. His interest in sport was developed on the village green - football and cricket. On leaving Queen Mary's Grammar School, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force as a navigator/bomb aimer, but didn't experience active service, spending some time at the Air Ministry, where he honed his 'organising skills'.

Before starting at teacher training college, Brian had a brief period at the Prudential Insurance. Most of his teaching career was spent in Reading, specialising in Sports and English, but his first love was football. He was Secretary of Reading Schools' Football Association for many years. In 1964 he joined English Schools' Football Association Council, representing Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and the Channel Isles. He took the English Under 15 team to Germany, France and Holland on many International matches, and in 1976 became Chairman of the E.S.F.A. when he had the privilege of taking the team to Australia.

Brian started playing golf at Henley but it wasn't until he retired and moved to Lynton, where we ran a guest house for five years, that he took up the game seriously. He joined Ilfracombe Golf Club in 1983 and quickly became involved in the Veterans' Section, taking over as Secretary/Treasurer in 1994. During his time at the Club, he became both Club Captain and President.

The family and I should like to thank everyone for the numerous cards, 'phone calls and support during this sad time. The collection following the funeral was overwhelming and we were able to donate £500 to St. Peter's Bell Fund and £500 to the Salvation Army.

Sue

JACK ELLIOTT

Jack, of Goosewell, sadly passed away on Tuesday, 25th January.

A much loved and loving husband, brother, father and grandfather he will be sorely missed by his wife Joyce, his sister June and brother-in-law Bill and his children Karen and Steve and the grandchildren.

Jack was a keen walker, a member of the Globe skittles team, the 'Seasiders' and a supporter of the Berry Broadcasting Company, taking part in the early shows at The Globe.

Our thoughts are with all the family at this time of sorrow.

 

DAVID BOWES [April 1939 - February 2009]

David was born and brought up in the village of Aldbourne in Wiltshire. The only child of Joseph and Rose Bowes, he attended Marlborough Grammar School and was a very keen scientist, in particular he was interested in chemistry. This led onto his first job working for many years at Harwell Atomic Research and Development Establishment in Oxfordshire, which was part of the Department of Trade and Industry.

With the general slowdown within the industry in the 1970's, David changed jobs and worked for the next 17 years as a computer consultant and lecturer in London, after which he worked as a freelance computer consultant, travelling all over the world to such places as Finland and Saudi Arabia.

He and Carol met by chance through friends and their relationship developed. They married in 1992 and for many years lived in Highworth, near Swindon, with Carol's daughter Lisa. For 3 years they both worked at GWR, a local radio network assisting at outside broadcasts.

After moving and living in Weymouth for 7 years, Carol and David visited Berrynarbor Park in 2001, decided to have a lodge as a second home - away from Weymouth at the height of the tourist season - but soon realised that Berrynarbor was far more tranquil.

David soon became involved within the local community, videoing events such as the annual BBC Show. He also joined and became Chairman of the Tarka Radio at the North Devon Hospital, which he loved.

On the Friday before he died, David attended the hospital radio where he did his show.

Lisa loved David dearly as a father, he was always kind and gentle. He was the love of Carol's life for thirty years and both Carol and Lisa feel privileged to have known him.

We, too, in the village feel privileged to have known him and our thoughts are with Carol and Lisa at this time of sadness.

 

DERRICK COOK [1933-2009]

Readers will be very sorry to learn that Derrick, Debbie's father, died suddenly in February. We send her, and her brother Steve and his family, our heartfelt sympathy at this time of sorrow and thank her for, even under such sad circumstances, once again delighting us with a cover and illustration for our Newsletter.

Derrick was born and brought up in Yorkshire - a farmer's son - and in farming circles he was known to plough the straightest furrow. Later, his engineering skills came to the fore and he worked in and produced some very beautiful and intricate wrought iron work - for churches and gates for prominent places.

In 1989, he and his late wife Margaret, moved with Debbie and assorted family pets, to Ellis Cottage, Pitt Hill, and it was during their three years here in the village that both her parents encouraged and supported Debbie with her involvement with the Newsletter. In 1992, they moved to Heddon Mill, near Braunton.

Derrick's pride and joy was his 1/3rd scale Showman's Steam Traction engine that he built and which he took, with the family, to many shows, including the Devon County Show and the North Devon Show.

A modest man of many skills, the reading at his funeral of writing by Charles Darwin was so fitting:

Whenever I have found that I have blundered or that my work has been imperfect, and when I have been contemptuously criticised and even when I have been over praised, so that I have felt mortified, it has been my greatest comfort to say hundreds of times to myself that 'I have worked as hard and as well as I could, and no many can do more than this.'

BETTY DUDLEY -WARD

It was with sadness that we learnt that Betty passed away peacefully on the 24th February at The Old Rectory Residential Home in Longhope, Gloucestershire, and our condolences are sent to her niece Lucille.

Known affectionately in the village as 'Matron', due to the fact that for many years she had been in charge of South Lodge, now the Susan Day residential home in Ilfracombe, Betty was in her late 90's. She left the village in the summer of 2005 to move nearer her niece and family.

On leaving, Betty wrote: . . . "I was in charge of the Susan Day Home in Ilfracombe - a resident post - so on my retirement I had to make a home somewhere. As I had friends in the village and there was a bungalow [Halldene, now Croeso] available, I decided to come to Berrynarbor.

I have spent many happy years here and I have made many friends. As I have become old - 92 now - I have appreciated these friends very much. Everyone has been so kind and helpful to me and I am very sorry to be leaving the village but feel it is right to go near my family at this time.

Berrynarbor is a lovely village to live in and look at - Goodbye to you all."

And we sadly say 'goodbye' to you, Betty.

 

BRIAN HILLIER

The whole village learnt with great sadness that after his long, courageous and always cheerful battle, Brian succumbed and passed away at the North Devon Hospice on the 14th March.

A loving and loved husband, father and grandfather, he will be missed so much not only by his family, but by all villagers who had the privilege to know him.

Our thoughts have been with him and Di, and continue to be with Di, Geoff and Sharon and all the family.

 

ST. PETER'S CHURCH

Special Services during April and May will be as follows:

5th April Palm Sunday, 11.00 a.m. Songs of Praise with distribution of Palm Crosses

10th April Good Friday, 2.00 to 3.00 p.m. A quiet hour for reflection with hymns & prayers

12th April Easter Day, 11.00 a.m. Family Communion [and will there be Easter Eggs for the children?].

The church will be decorated late Friday afternoon and on Saturday. Please let Sue know if you would like to give flowers or make a donation towards the cost. Her 'phone number is 883893.

Thursday, 21st May is Ascension Day followed by Whitsunday [or Pentecost] on 31st May, which is the Sunday after the May Bank Holiday week-end. The service will be at 11.00 a.m. as usual. Please look out for posters nearer the time.

Christian Aid Week will be 10th to 16th May, and once again envelopes will be distributed and collected around the main village.

Friendship Lunches at The Globe will be on Wednesdays 29th April and 27th May. On behalf of everyone, I should like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at The Globe for the delicious Christmas Lunch prepared for us - we finally managed to arrange it at the end of February!

Restoration of the Tenor Bell

The tenor bell was reinstalled on Monday, 9th March and the other bells were checked at the same time. Those venturing outside on the evening of Thursday, 12th, were overjoyed to hear a practice peal ringing out over the village. There was quite a gathering in church that night with our own ringers joined by others from Combe Martin and a photographer from the Journal.

The response to the appeal for the restoration of the bell has been overwhelming. Thanks to all your very generous donations and support of the special events held, there will be enough money in the bank to cover the invoice when it arrives. The Curry and Quiz Night was a runaway success and we cannot thank Jean and Peter enough for their magnificent effort. The Folk Evenings arranged by Tony Summers were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and together raised £656. Our thanks to Tony and Pip and everyone who gave so freely of their time and talents. Over the past few weeks there has been a prize hamper in the Community Shop provided by Bill Huxtable. The draw, which took place on Saturday, 14th March, was won by Gilly Loosemore and raised a further £122 . The total sum raised was increased by an incredible amount following the Coffee Morning on the 21st March, organised by Elaine Filer. And there are still a few more planned events in the pipeline, dates yet to be confirmed.

All the money raised has been placed in a Bell Fund and any sum remaining will be kept there for future maintenance of the bells. Since leaflets 'Help Us to Save Our Bell' were distributed all round the village, there will be no Gift Day in June this year.

Mary Tucker

 

LETTER FROM THE RECTOR

The Rectory,
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

A great big "THANK YOU" to everyone in the village who responded so magnificently to our appeal for help with the bells.

It certainly proved an 'opportunity' [see my last letter] for the whole community to come together and enjoy not only curry but some wonderful entertainment in the Manor Hall and the Globe - despite, on occasions, the weather.

Thank you so much to those of you who organised and took part in the activities. As I write this, the carpenters are due to start work on the bells and you have raised the money for that. I am sure it must be some sort of record for so much money to be raised in such a short time. I think it reflects the affection in which the bells and the bell-ringers of Berrynarbor are held and I take this opportunity to thank Michael and his intrepid band of ringers for all their hard work over the years. I think our ringers are great.

Oh, just in case you are wondering, I do not intend to have a Gift Day this year. Your love and support for the Church has been generously demonstrated already. Once again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

With all good wishes, Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer.

 

CURRY AND QUIZ NIGHT

We are sure that, by now, you will all have heard that the Curry and Quiz Night on 6th February generated a profit of £840 for the bell restoration fund.

We were very moved by the response and offers of help, which evolved from the idea.

We had a very stressful week because of the snowy weather and Michael and Bett were left on the door not knowing exactly how many people were going to make it through the snow and turn up. In the event we had advanced booking numbers of around 100, but although the snow kept a few 'far flung' quizzers away, several villagers came at the last minute as their other commitments had been cancelled. The result was an attendance of 97, which was fantastic!

We should like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for their support and generous donations towards the restoration of the tenor bell.

It was a great result from a great night - thanks. Jean and Peter

 

FOLK MUSIC NIGHT and SING-A-LONG AT THE GLOBE

I should like to say a very big thank you to all those who supported the two fund raising events that I organised in support of the Bell Fund. Without you they would not have worked and we would not have raised so much for the fund.

In particular, however, I should like to thank Tom and Barbara Brown for volunteering their services and putting on their show, A West Country Night Out, free of charge for us. Considering that this is their source of income and they live in Combe Martin, not Berrynarbor, I thought this was a wonderful gesture, and what a wonderful show they put on!

I must also thank my musician friends, John Stevens, Paul Jaggers and Pam & Al Cruse for coming along to the Globe and giving me some musical backing for the Folk Singing Night and assisting with the singing, and the Globe for providing the venue and a very generous contribution.

Last but not least, I am most grateful to Tony and Norma, Tim and Bobby for taking the time and trouble to practice a couple of songs ready for the 'sing' and everyone who gave so generously. I thought if we made £150 or so from the "Sing-a-Long" we'd be doing well, but the notes kept being tossed into the bucket and we ended up with a great £250!   Absolutely fantastic! It just shows what we can do when we all pull together. [Sorry about the pun!] Once again, thank you everyone.

Tony S.

 

TENOR BELL COFFEE MORNING

The Coffee Morning held on the 21st March for the Tenor Bell Fund raised an amazing £500!

A warm and sincere thank you to all those who worked so hard to make the event such an awesome success. It is impossible to name everyone involved, but may all of you know that this is to say how much we appreciate your support.

I should also like to say how grateful we are for your support, efforts, hard work, guidance and generosity, not forgetting a huge thank you to everyone who has come along and supported all our fund raising events. We have been astounded and overwhelmed!

Behind the scenes we have enjoyed working together and shared much laughter. The fact that the Tenor Bell is now repaired and ringing is all thanks to you! And, there are more events to come, so watch for the posters. Your kindness and giving in whatever form this has been has been very much appreciated.

Elaine Filer

 

MANOR HALL NEWS

We have had a busy time at the Manor Hall over the past weeks, with the completion of the decorating of the main hall and putting back all the items which are displayed. A major water leak occurred and the repair of this has cost over £1800, but this should ensure it does not occur again for many years to come!

We applied for a grant of £400 for new curtains and rails and I believe we will have the cheque from the North Devon District Council shortly.

The Hall has been busy with events for all sorts of fund raising activities, and we thank the people who have used the hall, as it maintains our efforts to collect enough money to keep it going, we are after all a charity that needs funds too!

I should like to thank all the people who have supported me as Chairman over the past 41/2 years and hope that the new Chairman will have similar support.

Bob Hobson - Chairman

N.B. Look out for Hallmark Awards as the Committee works towards the first stage of this award.

 

ANOTHER ADVENTURE

Our wartime evacuee friends, Dave from Goosewell and Tom from Barton Lane, spent a lot of the school holidays mucking around together. One day, as they sat chatting on the seat in the village, they hit on the idea of building a raft.

"All we'd need are a couple of five-gallon drums," Dave pondered, "And a couple of long pieces of wood."

"You strap the drums each end and have a few bits of wood to sit on in the middle," Tom added, scratching his head and stroking his chin, while wondering where they could get the drums. "I know!" he started, "Napps Wood dump, on the old coast road."

"Come on, let's go now!" Dave replied, and off they went.

They soon arrived at the dump where they were able to find two suitable oil drums, complete with stoppers. They then took them up to the lime kiln, hid them by covering them up with leaves, ready for collecting later.

Losing no time, they soon found some drift wood on the beach and knocked up what they thought to be their one-person craft to paddle about on.

When next the boys communicated with semaphore across the Valley, they arranged to carry the raft up to the kiln, collect the drums and take it all down to Broadsands.

After precariously carrying their raft down the many steps to the beach, they found the tide to be high, but going out.

"You go first." Dave said to Tom.

"OK, I'll give it a try", was the reply, and they placed the raft at the water's edge, but Tom suddenly noticed that he had no paddle. "That bit of wood over there will do," he thought, and picked it up. Soon he was sitting on the raft and pointing out to sea.

"It doesn't seem very stable," he muttered to himself. "Whoops!" he cried as it capsized and threw him into the water, up to his middle.

Wading ashore he called to Dave that it wasn't going to work. "Hey, it's drifting out, we'll lose it if we're not careful!"

Tom looked a bit glum, "Then we'll have to lose it, 'cos I'm wet enough already."

As the raft drifted out to sea, they decided to abandon ship.

"Got any money?" enquired Tom.

"Yeh, a bit," was the reply.

"Then let's go to Combe Martin and get some fish and chips."

"Good idea."

As they walked to Combe Martin Tom's clothes began to dry out and they agreed that their raft project had been both stupid and dangerous and they wouldn't try it again.

As they approached the shop, a lovely smell of fish and chips wafted towards them. Two pieces of rock eel were ordered, together with a penny worth of chips.

Thoroughly enjoying eating their food from the newspaper wrapping, they made their way back to a seat in the car park.

"We've just about enough money to get home by bus," said Tom.

"Well, to Berrynarbor Corner, anyway," chipped in Dave.

They got the bus and parted at the Corner to make their own ways back. As each arrived home, and almost in synchronisation, they enquired, "What's to eat?"

"I'm more interested in why you've a piece of seaweed sticking out of your pocket?" was Tom's mother's comment.

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester

Illustrated by Paul Swailes

 

WEATHER OR NOT

The cold snap continued into 2009 and it was the coldest start to the year for 20 years. On the night of the 6th January, temperatures as low as -12 Deg C were recorded in parts of Devon, here we went down to -5.6 Deg C. On Saturday, 10th, the temperature started to rise and it was the first night of the year to stay above freezing. Overnight on the Sunday the rain arrived and we recorded 27mm [1 1/16"]. The maximum temperature that we recorded was 11.1 Deg C on the 12th, with the coldest being -5.6 Deg C. Both of these were the lowest we have recorded in January. We also recorded a wind chill of -9 Deg C, which compared to the -18 Deg C in January 1997, was almost warm! The total rainfall for the month was 158mm [6"] which was fairly average, as was the maximum wind gust of 30 knots. The sunshine hours were 12.96, slightly up on the average and the barometer recorded a high of 1022mb on the 11th and a low of 978mb on the 23rd.

Bill Tanton, the late amateur weather forecaster, forecast the worst February weather for many years and on the 1st the temperature started to fall and at 22.38 hours we had a wind chill of -15 Deg C. The next day we had a light dusting of snow, although other parts of Devon had more and the east of the country had ground to a halt. It started to snow properly here on the 3rd and by about 9.30 a.m. we had a depth of 110mm

[4 5/16"] in our garden. This was the deepest snow we can remember in Berrynarbor since the early 1980's. There were some more snow showers over the next few days but nothing really settled here.

 

We were away from the middle of February to the 4th March, but Bill, Jill and Judie kept some details for us and the last fortnight of February was milder and reasonably dry. The total rainfall for the period up to the 4th March was 75mm [3"], but some of this fell in March, which made February a fairly dry month. It was also a dull month with 23.28 hours of sunshine, down on the average and nearly half the amount we had last year.

Simon and Sue

 

RURAL REFLECTIONS - 39

The daffodils beside the boating lake sway in a gentle, spring breeze, the bright sunshine enhancing their yellow trumpeted faces. In turn, they light up the faces of passers by, yet their cheerful presence fails to uplift me. Instead, my mood is more akin to the depressing layer of drab-coloured silt that suffocates the lake's bed; a surface recently exposed when the water was emptied.

It mirrors the emptiness I feel inside; for our dear, black Labrador, Bourton, has walked up that country lane which leads to the field of eternal pleasure. I still cannot believe that I will never see his face again, at least not on this earthly plane. No longer will I see his ears characteristically cocked forward, his sparkling eyes, his nose twitching and that long, pink tongue which disguised his increasingly grey chin. Nor can I conceive a time when this ache inside my heart will ease.

Perhaps, when the pain of his loss eases, the void will be filled by the memories of happiness and laughter, not to mention the loyalty and unconditional love, that our "Mr. B" gave us; and at least I have the countryside that surrounds me to evoke these special memories.

Take the local green, something that is synonymous with a rural village. It will remind me of Mr B's "first outing". Finally allowed out after all of his inoculations, he ran wild on our nearby green. Nose to the ground, he ran and he ran, his tail excitedly wagging with every new scent of discovery. Everything then suddenly came to a halt for a quick stoop and a wee-wee, then he was off again! After a few minutes, flop. Lying on his stomach, he panted heavily whilst his tail still wagged as his eyes took in the new world surrounding him.

There was a corner shop on one side of the green; how Bourton loved to carry the wallet on his way home. Years later, when he began to make a habit of sniffing every blade of grass in order to drag out the last few yards of a walk, we realised that by popping his lead into his mouth he would then instinctively trot home. Somehow though, I think he knew the trick we were trying to play on him.

Seeing rabbits in a field will always cause me to smile. Bourton loved to chase them. As a young dog, taken for a walk at dusk, he would spy in the distance a host of rabbits. Having been told to 'sit', he would then wait for his command. On hearing "Go on, then!" he would be like a bullet out of a shotgun. He never reached them in time, but he loved the chase. Only once did he catch a rabbit, in the field above Berrynarbor Park; a baby rabbit which he brought to our feet and gently dropped on the ground. The rabbit was completely unhurt and, after getting over the shock of it all, hopped off into the nearby hedgerow.

The sight or sound of a pheasant will also remind me of an occasion when, running through a meadow of long grass, he unexpectedly flushed one out. I don't know who was more shocked, me or the pheasant - or who made the loudest shriek! A field of long grass will also remind me of our first motorcaravan holiday with him. I can picture him now, aged about three months, running about the field with his little body and gangly legs peering out above the long grass with every stride he took in order to see where he was going. The site was a mile from Gatwick Airport. He was mesmerised by these gigantic birds, a fascination that remained with him until he went deaf. He was the only dog I knew who became a fully-fledged plane spotter. During that holiday, a gymkhana was held in the field. It led to Mr B's lifelong love of horses. In future, whenever I hear the sound of hooves clip-clopping down a country lane, I will expect to see his two ears pricked forward and hear his fervent, excited barking. He just couldn't stop himself! He was the same whenever he heard a gunshot - another sound which will remind me of him, along with thunderstorms and fireworks. He just loved them!

Bourton, however, was never happier than in a wood. His gundog instinct made him investigate any little track or trail that led off a winding path. Walks in the woods are going to seem strange for a little while.

That first climb to Cairn Top will also be difficult. He loved to either mooch about the summit, sniffing the trails of other recent canine visitors or just sit with his head slightly raised whilst his nostrils flared and picked up any scent on the wind. Other walks will also be hard. Mr B loved the walk from Lee Bay which follows the coast. I can see him now as we reached the winding descent leading to a narrow wooden bridge which crossed a stream flowing into the little cove. He was down their like a light; for a moment he would disappear beneath us on his way down, before coming back into sight stood on the bridge. He would look back up, face alert and tail wagging profusely. Go on then!" we would shout down and he just loved water. It was fitting, therefore, that he should be named after the village near to where we were staying when we first saw the advert for him: Bourton-on-the-Water.

Most of all, the sight and sound of country streams will invoke the strongest memories. Bourton would spend all day if he could gathering up stones from a stream bed, completely submerging his face if need be, in his determination to bring us his chosen item; and on a summer's day, it was Bourton who had the sense to lie down in the stream to cool off whilst watching his younger brother, Gifford, getting all hot and bothered.

When the daffodils come into flower next spring, I am sure they will once more bring me happiness.

Even now, they are to some degree giving me comfort, reminding me of the last walk Burton did two days before he died.

Josh Age 9

We had driven to Morewenstowe, intent on walking to Hawker's Hut. It was obvious that he would not make it. Instead, we took him for a little walk around the nearby churchyard. Situated on a sloping hillside, we took a slow walk down its zigzag path, reading inscriptions whilst waiting for him to catch us up. I can still see him now as we climbed back up, his two back legs kicking together as he ascended through the daffodils, nose to the ground.

So, farewell Bourton, we'll miss you terribly, but thank you for all the happiness you gave us during your fourteen-and-a-half years. Run freely through those woods and fields up above.

Stephen McCarthy

 

Readers may remember that Steve has been writing a book about the Cairn in Ilfracombe. 'A Doorstep Discovery - Twelve Months on the Cairn in Ilfracombe' is to be launched at Ilfracombe Museum on the day this Newsletter comes out. Retailing at £12.99 it will be available from Ilfracombe Bookshop, Ilfracombe Museum and Ilfracombe TIC.

So many readers will empathise with Steve on the loss of a much-loved pet, we wish him well. We also wish him much success with his book.

 

COMBE MARTIN WALK & TALK

Take the Boredom out of Exercise

Come along to the Combe Martin Walk and Talk Launch Day, Learn more!

The launch of this new health initiative which can benefit anyone and everyone, at any level of fitness [and it's free too!] will be on

Thursday, 23rd April 2009

at The Royal Marine Function Room

Free Light Refreshments at 12.00 noon

Avoid a gym membership, stay fit for free and have a good time. Exercise in nature brings health, happiness and friendships. Come and listen to the birds and the bees, walk your way through the credit crunch.

Tired of feeling lonely, isolated, depressed, unloved or unwanted? Take steps now to find the real, vibrant you!

If you want to improve your physical health, your bone density and the way you feel, think and look - then Walk and Talk is for you.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to improve the fitness and well-being of our community and to make new friendships while exploring our magnificent countryside", so says Julia Clark, Chair of Combe Martin Parish Council.

 

NEW ARRIVAL!

 

Chris and Wendy are delighted to announce the arrival of their first grandchild - a granddaughter. Holly Yvonne Jenner, a daughter for Tim and Jackie, was born on the 6th February, weighing 6lbs 10oz.

Our congratulations to the proud grandparents and parents, and a warm welcome to the little one.

 

A MESSAGE FROM RON

I should like to use the Newsletter to send my best wishes to all friends and neighbours in the village.

I moved to Lee Lodge on Friday, 13th June, last year, and it was 'lucky' Friday 13th' for me. It was completely the right thing to do after a six-week stay in hospital following a bad fall - first at the North Devon District Hospital and then at The Tyrell in Ilfracombe.

I have settled in nicely and have absolutely NO complaints - everyone is very kind and supportive. In fact, no sooner had I arrived than they helped put on a special birthday tea on my 92nd birthday! Perhaps I shall be able to have another this July!

I had another fall after Christmas but am now feeling much better. Thank you for all my cards. A big thank you to all the 'Carers' here and to everyone who calls in to see me - I enjoy seeing you all. Best wishes,

Ron

 

Maureen and Pat

would like to thank everyone who came to their Coffee Morning at Fuchsia Cottage, and thank you to all those who kindly donated cakes, raffle prizes and helped on the day. We raised a grand total of £200 for the Village Shop & Berry in Bloom

MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 20

 

JOHN FOWLER

Chairman, John Fowler Holiday Parks

November 1928 -

It's difficult to catch Mr. Fowler at home. At 81, when most men are cultivating their gardens, then taking an afternoon nap, John is still working a 40-hour week. As Chairman of John Fowler Holiday Parks, 'the buck stops here' and some buck! But having been in the self-catering business for over 50 years, John knows how to manage his empire of 14 holiday parks [some of which have taken in other smaller parks], in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

But all this is far removed from the very humble beginnings . . .

In 1952, after serving in the Korean War, John left the Navy, with just £300 in savings. Although quite a sum 57 years ago, it was nowhere near enough to buy a business, such as a hotel or farm. Having given it some thought, he bought a pre-war caravan and renovated it. He then had to find a site for it. He had no 'phone, so went into a public 'phone box with a pile of coins and a list of possible contacts and made a whole host of calls.

One farmer offered him a field with a gate. In it stood a 'sentry box' [the loo] and a standpipe for water supply. The caravan had gas lighting and cooking and so all was ready for the season - except for visitors. John put an ad. in several Birmingham papers and was inundated with replies. Amazed at the response, he realised that he had found a niche market. Self-catering accommodation was unknown in the early fifties, yet there was obviously a need for it.

After a successful first season, the next year he bought three more caravans, which again he renovated. Now with 4 caravans, he felt he had really 'made it'! Following on from this, he bought chalets and let them - always on other people's land. Some of these were in Westward Ho! and by the early 'sixties he had developed his first holiday park in that resort. So for more than 50 years, his vast and growing empire has consistently delivered great holidays, which are still based on the same high standards that have been operating for decades. The Parks are all in seaside locations, so the great beaches and our stunning countryside are never far away.

You have to go no further than Combe Martin to see two of them. Firstly there is Sandaway Beach Holiday Park, and then still this side of the village, Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, but the 'flagship' Park is at Ilfracombe, currently halfway through a major new development. At present there are 337 units, which include 124 very modern and well-furnished apartments. When work is complete, there will be a total of 500 units. The project so far has meant an investment of £6-8 million and as part of the upgrading, a conference centre has been added. You may have noticed in a recent copy of the North Devon Journal, a photograph of Johnny Kingdom who was a speaker at the North Devon+ Conference on March 5th in the John Fowler Conference Centre in Ilfracombe. A two-liner stated, 'The venue has been donated free for the evening'. This was a generous act of Mr Fowler's who has long been a supporter of tourism agencies in the area.

So what is the secret of his success? Well, all the Parks have a price-watch policy - particularly important for families during the credit crunch. This means that prices are kept reasonable for accommodation, meals and drinks and there are no hidden extras on the booking price, so all fuel, bed linen and facilities are included. Children have meals at half price and most of the Parks have superb facilities such as cabaret and live music, a heated swimming pool and a 'Foxy Club' to keep the children entertained.

All these extras show how much organising needs to take place. It's no wonder that there is a staff of 1200 [including seasonal ones] to make it all happen. And doesn't it astonish that all this came about from one pre-war caravan?

Congratulations, Mr. John Fowler!

PP of DC

 

A LOVER AND HIS LASS

From 'As You Like It' - William Shakespeare

 

It was a lover and his lass

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,

That o'er the green cornfield did pass

In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,

When birds do sing hey ding a ding ding

Sweet lovers love the spring.

 

Between the acres of the rye,

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,

These pretty country folk would lie,

In the spring time, etc.

 

This caro they began that hour

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,

How that a life was but a flower

In spring time, etc.

 

And therefore take the present time

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino

For love is crowned with the prime

In spring time, etc.

Trev

 

As recently reported, after several years of analysis, x-rays and infrared imaging, experts believe this to be the only surviving portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime. It is thought to have been painted in 1610 when he was about 46. The portrait will go on display at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon on the 23rd April

 

LOCAL WALKS - 113

In the footsteps of Elinor and Marianne,

Along the valley of the Abbey River

Snowdrop Sunday at Hartland Abbey drew the crowds. Wellington booted and accompanied by a large contingent of dogs, they surged along the wooded track, beside the Abbey River, to the sea at Blackpool Mill.

Blackpool Mill Cottage was used as a location in the recent BBC production of 'Sense and Sensibility', and this has added to the popularity of the Snowdrop Sundays when the Abbey opens its grounds to the public.

Elinor and Marianne, the heroines of Jane Austen's novel, move to the modest cottage with their widowed mother and younger sister following the death of their father; their former home and its large estate having been inherited by their half brother.

Elinor represents the cautious good 'sense' of the title and her sensitive and more impetuous sister Marianne - the 'sensibility'.

Since watching the television dramatisation I had been curious to see the cottage and its rocky cove. As we set off, a green woodpecker passed in front of the Abbey with rapid undulating flight and a blur of yellow and olive green.

A few wild daffodils were scattered about the banks; there were patches of strongly scented winter heliotrope and growing on a half buried twig, two perfectly round Scarlet Elf Cups - white on the outside and with a smooth, deep red lining. The fungus makes its appearance between January and May.

After a mile and a quarter, we reached Blackpool Mill and it was in a lovely and romantic setting with a rugged coastal hill rising behind it and the wild Atlantic close by. However, it seemed a surprising choice for Sense and Sensibility', its isolation, difficult access and bleak situation in adverse weather conditions must have presented the film crew with plenty of potential problems.

In the book Jane Austen transports the family to the less remote Barton Cottage ["small, comfortable and compact"], four miles north of Exeter and though surrounded by hills, open downs and woods, it is within sight of a village.

A whole cast of characters awaited us. The head of a Grey Seal emerged for air. A Peregrine Falcon sped past. A flotilla of Lesser Black Backed Gulls bobbed about among the rocks and further out could be seen the stately form of a Great Northern Diver.

We climbed the steep cliff path to obtain a view of the twin waterfalls spilling out onto Blegberry Beach below. Ravens tumbled about the cliff tops.

On the way back we made a detour to the pretty gazebo on its elevated viewpoint; saw the camellias in the bog garden and visited the walled garden, with its globe artichoke plans and potting sheds and conservatory with limed growing abundantly in it. The sheltered garden was lively with feeding birds.

It is remarkable that even with so many visitors that day, the gardens and woods and the beach at Blackpool Mill all maintained an atmosphere of peace in this far north-western corner of Devon.

 

BANKS WERE IN TROUBLE 200 YEARS AGO ---

Some 600 private banks in England issued their own paper currencies well over 200 years ago. Among those private banks was the Workington Bank which was set up by the Partners Bowes, Hodgsons, Falcon and Kay in 1801. But like many other banks of that period, it had to cease its activities in 1810. The Faversham Bank was set up by the Partners Hilton, Rigden and Rigden in 1824, and I have an example of one of its one pound notes. The inscription on the note declares that the money can be paid to the bearer either at the Faversham Bank or at Messrs. Drescott, Cave, Buxton and Company, Bankers, London. The currency note is dated 19 January 1886. The Faversham Bank ceased its activities in 1892.

Country banks in the UK had been growing slowly in the early 18th century. From the mid-eighteenth century, private bankers began to gain momentum. When the Bank of England was prohibited from redeeming its notes issues in gold in 1797, country banking began to flourish. The additional government sanction allowing bank notes of less than five pounds gave rise to private note issues which circulated in abundance. It was not until 1826 that a banking concern could be established on the basis of company law. Until that date, the existing banks were based on partnerships, often family owned, and without government control over note issues. The existing weakness of the economy, brought about by the several crises which periodically swept through the country, caused the collapse of many of the country banks. Between 1791 and 1818 alone, over one thousand banks suspended payment. In 1826 the Bank Act was passed through parliament and the joint-stock banks were allowed to establish themselves. The Bank of England, however, kept the monopoly within a 65-mile radius of London for the next seven years. In 1833 joint-stock banks were allowed to operate in London but could not issue notes and suffered from considerable additional legal difficulties until the Bank Charter Act of 1844. By now the Bank of England had a network of branches established throughout the country. the bank note issues circulated far and wide and began to replace private note issues. The Bank Charter Act provided for the eventual closure of many private banks which lost their right of issue when they were absorbed into other banks. Between 1890 and 1918, the British banking system consisted of a small number of very large banks. With the start of the First World War in 1914, only thirteen joint-stock banks, operating through a system of branches, were in existence in England and almost no local banks had survived. All Bank of England and Treasury notes [issued since the reign of King Charles I] are redeemable and consequently their market value exceeds their face value. Until 1939, Bank of England notes of denominations higher than one pound were issued by branches of the bank throughout the country. The ten shilling note of the Bank of England, introduced in 1928, was the first fractional issue in British banking history, and the one pound issue released at the same time had not appeared for over a century.

So, you see, what is happening now within the banking industry happened a long time ago. But were any lessons learned?

Walter

 

DID YOU KNOW . . . . ?

Watling Street

Standing almost side by side on Watling Street, in the Buckinghamshire town of Stony Stratford, are two inns of ancient repute, The Cock and The Bull.

In the 18th Century, coaches would stop off there on their way from London to the North West, and many a traveller's tale would be embellished as it was told between the two establishments, followed by laughter and fuelled by plenty of ale. And a good audience.

It was in that way that an unlikely story became a 'cock and bull' story.

 

Joseph Hansom invented the Hansom Cab at his workshop in Hinckley, Leicestershire in 1835. He drove the prototype along Watling Street, causing a lot of interest in the new contraption. The vehicle quickly

became very popular with the Victorians and soon hundreds were on the road in London. It is said that Queen Victoria had her first ride in a Hansom cab shortly after her reign began in 1837.

Don't Tread on Me

The United States of America issued a series of ten postage stamps on 4th July 1968, depicting historic flags of between 1775 and 1778, most of which were associated with specific States in the Union. One 6 cent stamp, showing the First Navy Jack 1778, had the design of seven red horizontal lines on a white background, with a rattlesnake image superimposed and the legend 'Don't Tread on Me'.

Walter

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

Ann and Brian [Davies] are very happy to announce the engagement of their daughter Jancy Lee to Simon Overell of Ilfracombe. The engagement took place in Barcelona on Valentine's Day.

 

Berry in Bloom & Best Kept Village

Another year another litter pick. We have had our first litter pick of the year with quite a good turn out and loads of litter picked up, at least 12 large bags, which we took to the tip. The centre of the village was, as usual, pretty tidy thanks to the regular walkers who do their best to keep it so. Unfortunately the main roads were very bad as is normal for the first pick of the year. Regular picks will be made throughout the coming year.

At the first meeting of the year it was agreed that we should continue to enter the Britain in Bloom and Best Kept Village competitions, even though last year we had a spectacular fall from favour in the Best Kept village competition. Claude's garden is the 'bugbear' and this is really not up to us but the Parish Council. We shall send a covering letter to the judges to explain this and keep our fingers crossed that they understand.

We also decided that the Open Gardens dates would be Sunday, 7th June for the Village, and Sunday, 5th July for the Sterridge Valley. We are looking for gardens to open, so if you are interested please ring me on 01271 882296. They do not need to be perfect!

For the last few years we have had our hanging baskets planted by Streamways Nurseries at Georgeham - they do a wonderful job! If you would like to have top quality planting in your own baskets we can take them over for you. Streamways deliver them back here in the last week of May. The guide price is: 12" basket £14.50, 14" basket £16.25, 16" basket £17.25. Again, if you are interested please 'phone me on the above number.

Our first fund raising event of the year was a Coffee Morning at Fuchsia Cottage, A big thank you to Pat and Maureen and the ladies who supplied the lovely cakes. £200.00 was raised with half going to Berry in Bloom and the other half to the shop.

Meanwhile, despite the coldest winter for 20 odd years, our spring planting is springing in to flower. Tempting the first bumblebees of the year are the mini daffodils and chunky hyacinths, we hope you enjoy them.

Easter Muffins

I have tried making hot cross buns in the past with varying success. However, these are lovely little Easter muffins and easy to make.

Makes 6

125g/41/2 oz marzipan

75g/3oz unsalted butter or margarine

150ml semi-skimmed milk

50g/2oz caster sugar

2 large free-range eggs

175g/6oz plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground mixed spice

100g/4oz luxury mixed dried fruit

sprinkle of Demerara sugar for the topping

Preheat the oven to 200 Deg C, fan180 Deg C, Gas 6. Line a 6-hole muffin tin with muffin cases.

Chop 75g/3oz of the marzipan in to small pieces, set aside and roll the remainder in to 12 strips each about 7.5cms long and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat or in the microwave. In a large bowl whisk together the milk, sugar, eggs and cooled melted butter until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder, spices and a pinch of salt on to the butter mixture. Using a large metal spoon, lightly stir together with the chopped marzipan and fruit. Do not over mix; a few lumps will not matter, if too smooth the muffins will be heavy.

Divide the mix between the 6 muffin cases. Lay two strips of marzipan across the top to make a cross and sprinkle over a little Demerara sugar. Bake in the centre of the oven for 18-20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Leave the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes then cool on a wire rack.

I should double up the mixture because they are yummy and nice for an Easter tea.

If you don't like marzipan, leave it out, they will still taste good.

Wendy

 

WILDLIFE FACE TO FACE with DAVID CHAFFE

Many of you may recall an article in the Newsletter of February 2003 recounting how a very young, orphaned otter was found in the Sterridge Valley, eventually caught by a group of excited neighbours, placed in a cat basket and taken over to David Chaffe at Bideford. Sadly, the weak creature did not survive more than 48 hours despite veterinary care and all David's efforts.

David is the author of two books - STORMFORCE, a touching and illustrated account of an otter's rescue

and struggle for survival; and FACE TO FACE with NATURE, a book which recalls memorable moments of David's life and work with wild creatures. David writes of himself: "I am passionate about, and draw inspiration from, the natural world. I want others to similarly enjoy and share nature and to understand my concerns both for its ultimate survival and for the very future of planet earth itself."

On FRIDAY, 8TH MAY, David will be at the Manor Hall, with his barn owl, to share with us some of his experiences and thoughts and genuine love of the natural world. Tickets are £2.50 for adults, £1.00 for children or a Family Ticket £6.00. Proceeds to the Church Bells Appeal.

 

THE GREAT BERRYNARBOR PLANT SALE

Monday 4th May

2.00 p.m. onwards, Manor Hall, Berrynarbor

Free Entry

Plants and Flowers,

Cream Teas,

The Hall will be open from 10.00 a.m. for those wishing to bring plants or set up stalls. If you have not yet booked your space, please contact Kath Thorndycroft [01271] 889019 or leave a message at the Shop.

 

News from our Community Shop and Post Office

Anita, Jackie and the Shop Committee were all very sorry to hear the sad news of Brian's death and send much sympathy to Di and family. Brian was a great support on the Committee and 'cooked the books' extremely well from the first day we started business back in October 2004. He was a true friend as well as a valued colleague. Di has spoken so highly of the help given by the North Devon Hospice that there is a collection box in Brian's name in the Shop where it will stay until mid-April.

We have, however, been lucky in that Robin Downer has agreed to be our new Treasurer - or as it was put to him "to do a bit of book-keeping"! We wish him every success - as a 'trainee cook'!

As you may know, our Shop won the Best Village Shop/Post Office Award in the 2008 Countryside Alliance Awards in the South West. Four of us went to the House of Lords for the national final on March 18th. Unfortunately we didn't win - but hang it, it was our first try! Many congratulations to Anita and Jackie - and to all those who wrote in to say what they liked about our Shop. Look out for the 2009 awards! If we make it to the finals next year, we hope that Anita and/or Jackie will be able to go - it's quite an experience.

For the summer season, from Good Friday to end of October, we are hoping to keep the Shop open throughout lunchtime. The only way we can manage it without increasing the number of volunteers or adding to the 4-hour session, is if afternoon volunteers are willing to work from 1.00 to 5.00 p.m. We thought of 12.30-4.30 originally, but didn't want too many 'domestics' on our hands! I hope that all afternoon volunteers have been told and agree. Please note the new hours.

On the subject of hours, we normally open on Bank Holidays for the morning only. This summer we'll be keeping open all day [usual times].

It has been - and will be - a great fund-raising few months for the Shop and other needy causes in the village and there are lots of folk to thank:

The shop benefited from "Tales of Time and Tide", a great evening of music and slides by Tom Bliss, organised by John and Fenella, which raised £200 each for the Shop and Manor Hall, and Pat and Maureen gave a scrumptious coffee morning at Fuchsia Cottage, raising £100 each for the Shop and Berrynarbor in Bloom.

Future events are in the pipeline:

Sunday April 5th: Alex Horne is presenting a Bird Watching Comedy - his publicity says 'A Twitcher with a Difference!' Tickets £7.50 - children £4, doors open 7.00 for a 7.30 p.m. start, and the bar will be open. Profits will again be for our Shop and the Manor Hall.

Monday May 4th: The Great Plant Sale in the Manor Hall. From 2.00 p.m. onwards. Admission FREE. Kath Thorndycroft [Tel: 889019] would be very pleased if you have any spare plants to boost sales.

Friday May 22nd: Berrynarbor Golf Tournament - sign up to reserve your place.

Congratulations to all organisers and helpers - it's what makes this village so special!

And a note for your diary: Thursday November 12th! Tim Davis and Tim Jones will be giving their famous 'Birds of Lundy' show in the Manor Hall, profits to be shared between our Shop and The North Devon Hospice. Full details nearer the time.

Easter is not far away and the Shop has pretty cards, Easter eggs, chocolates and other gifts, so please call in and buy.

And finally, it's time for our Annual General Meeting. This will be held on Saturday 2nd May at 11.00 a.m. in the Manor Hall, when we hope that as many shareholders as possible will be there.

Happy Easter from Anita, Jackie and the Committee.

PP of DC

 

BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE

The February presentation by Majestic Wines was not to be - they had not put it in their diary! So, having purchased the wine and written the notes for the 'Call My Wine Bluff' evening, Tony brought this forward and a superb evening was had by all. It was great to see two teams play their jokers on the last round, full of confidence, only to get it wrong and get no score at all!

The March meeting was a resounding success with Jonathan Coulthard, owner and winemaker of the Domaine Gourdon vineyard in the Duras region of France, giving a really informative presentation. He bought and established the vineyard in 2003 and has concentrated on producing top quality wines, which certainly showed in the three white, one rose and two red wines sampled, together with French nibbles and sliced baguette. The slides he showed confirmed how well his vineyard was organised and just how involved he was through all the steps of wine production, from planting root stock to picking grapes and producing quality wines.

He was welcomed by Tony Summers, who had made all the arrangements for his visit and who gave the vote of thanks.

Jan Tonkin will be giving, much to his surprise, the presentation at our next meeting on the 15th April. Jan believes he will be a panel member on Call My Wine Bluff - could be interesting!

The May meeting on the 20th, will be the AGM, and the presentation to follow has still to be confirmed, but it looks as if it will be given by a committee member hopefully they won't all resign at the AGM!

The meetings take place in the Manor Hall at 8.00 p.m. and new members are always welcome. However, due to licensing laws, please contact Tony Summers on [01271] 883600 giving at least 24 hours' notice of your intention. Tom Bartlett - Publicity

 

BERRY CAPERS - 2

The Sledge

One winter, the boys built themselves a wooden sledge. It was a beauty, about 8 feet long, and Norman [Richards] obtained the steel for the runners - the rims of old cart wheels. Four boys could ride on the sledge at one time.

One day, after a very heavy snow fall, Mr. Sid Dummett, who lived at South Lee, couldn't get his horse and cart up Ridge Hill to collect the mangolds with which to feed the stock he kept at South Lee.

So, he asked the boys if they would go up to the mangold cave [pit], which was half way up Ridge Hill, and fill some 'West of England' sacks with mangolds and bring them down on the sledge. Always up for a challenge, the boys were quick to respond.

After a hard pull up the hill, they filled the first couple of sacks and loaded them on the sledge. With a good hard shove, off they set, down the hill like a rocket! A sharp left turn at the Rectory into Jan Braggs Hill, with snow spraying from the boys' boots as they tried to slow the sledge down a little, and with a right turn into Blind Lane, the sledge flew out of the end of Blind Lane and came to a halt very close to South Lee.

The older residents of the area were aghast!

The boys returned up the hill to collect more mangolds. But, in the meantime, the delivery men from Cleaves, the baker from Combe Martin, couldn't get beyond Sandy Cove with their van to deliver the bread and cakes, and had decided to walk into the village carrying their wares in big wicker baskets to sell to their customers. At the same time, the concerned locals decided it was time to halt the boys and their sledge.

Bill Blackmore, who lived at Little Sanctuary, unfortunately had a stutter, heard the sledge and the boys coming down Ridge Hill again, and said, "I'll stop the b b b------!" and threw a shovel of hot cinders and ashes on the road. However, on went the sledge undeterred, only to scatter the poor men who had walked from Sandy Cove with the bread. Cakes and bread spilled all over the place, and the rolls rolled down Jan Braggs hill almost a fast as the sledge!

Again, the boys took the route down Blind lane but someone had shovelled up the snow at the bottom to block the exit and to try and stop them. All to no avail - the loose snow scattered everywhere and the sledge again came to rest at South Lee.

Sid got his stock fed; the boys got some extra pocket money from Sid and the locals talked about the escapade for days!

Someone else to encounter the sledge was Les Toms. Les lived on the corner of Silver Street and Barton Lane and worked in Ilfracombe. He used to cycle to Sawmills o catch the bus. Coming home one night when it had been snowing, he was pushing his bike up Pitt Hill when he heard a commotion. He looked up to see the sledge and boys racing around the corner towards him. He dropped his bike and jumped out of the way, only for the sledge to hit the bike. All the boys fell off into the snow, none the worst for wear, but that's more than could be said for the bike!

Ridge Hill runs down from Cross Park to the Rectory, and Blind Lane runs down beside Beech Lee.

 

The Ghost

Arthur Edwards, or Tiddly Edwards as he was known locally, lived on Castle Hill.

One evening he had been in to Ilfracombe to play bingo, at which he won some money, and after catching the bus back to Berrynarbor with his pockets full of his winnings, he decided to go to the pub for a drink.

There were the usual lads in the bar and, like the beer, the banter was soon flowing. One of the lads told Arthur that he'd seen a ghost up in the churchyard, but Arthur was having none of it. He said he didn't believe in ghosts, However, the lad told Arthur that if he went up into the churchyard and touched seven grave stones then he would see a ghost. Still protesting that there was no such thing, Arthur reluctantly agreed to go and touch the seven grave stones.

Off he went with the lads following but they remained at the lych gate, trying not to laugh. When Arthur got to the seventh grave, he hitched his toe and fell over, his winnings spilled out of his pocket but that was enough for Arthur, he took off out of the churchyard and up Castle Hill like a bat out of hell. He returned next day to retrieve his money!

Marlene

Illustrated by Paul Swailes

 

ELECTIONS

A timely reminder to all newcomers to Berrynarbor: The European Parliamentary & Country Council Elections are due to be held on 4th June 2009.

In order to be eligible to vote, your current name and address need to be entered on the Electoral Register to be used for this election. If you think you may not have registered in October, be sure to contact electoral services at the Civic Centre, Barnstaple on [01271] 388277, as soon as possible, to be included.

 

THANK YOU

It is good to have him home again, and Gary sends this message: "I'm back! Thanks to all the people who sent cards, phoned me and came to Exeter, etc. I was really taken aback, and not a little touched, by the amount of support and encouragement I received."

Bill and Jill would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their good wishes, cards and support. Bill is making a good recovery and hopes to be able to thank you all personally in the very near future.

 

EARLY DAYS AT 'THE FLICKS'

There was a period in my young life - I was about 8 I think - when mother, no doubt to get me from under her feet, would give me 3d [1p!] to take myself to the local 'flea pit' for the Saturday morning children's matinee.

We called them 'the flicks' because they flickered, due to an inadequate number of frames per second, leading to jerky movements by the characters. Not that it mattered to us, in fact, in the comedies it seemed to be an asset.

Anyway, there I sat with the other kids for a couple of hours, cheering the hero or booing the villain as the situation demanded. They were, of course, silent films with text on the screen, supplemented by suitable background music [Hearts and Flowers, etc.] from a pianist. They were also in black and white, being long before technicolour.

They gave us a varied programme. The feature film might be an early Western, featuring Tom Mix and his bronco, a romance with Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, or a comedy with Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton. We also had the Pathe News and a series called 'The March of Time', which charted the evolution of various organisations, both largely over our heads. We also had animated cartoons, often featuring Felix the Cat, a forerunner of Mickey Mouse. His signature tune, as I remember it, went:

Felix keeps on walking
Keeps on walking still.
With his hands behind him,
You will always find him.
Blow him up with dynamite
But him you cannot kill.
He'll come down in Timbuctoo
Pick himself up, say "Toodleoo
And keep on walking still.

We sang this with great gusto, to piano accompaniment. We also exercised our lungs, with the help of the 'bouncing ball'. Words and music of a popular song would appear on the screen and the ball would move along the lines to keep us in time.

Finally, there was a 'shortie' called, I think, 'The Moving Pen'. This showed the line by line, creating a pen-and-ink sketch. Just as you thought you recognised what was appearing, the artist would change tack and produce something quite different. One example I remember began as the head of a hippo, but turned in to a 'hippo-pot-o-mustard'!

I wonder if any of our older readers have similar memories?

Trev

 

OLD BERRYNARBOR NO. 118

This month I have chosen three photographic postcards from my collection in the hope that some of our senior Berrynarbor villagers may be able to identify one or two of the people shown!

The first, and oldest picture, shows a gathering of adults and children in the Berrynarbor Chapel taken, I believe, between 1925 and 1935. It appears to be quite an important event as apart from, presumably, the local minister on the stage, a further two ministers can be seen on the left. Note the potted palms and aspidistra on the tables and the bouquet of flowers, which I presume has just been presented by the young girl on the left of the minister's wife. I wonder if the cross on the wrapping signifies the British Red Cross and there is a nurse [matron] standing on the right?

The second has been taken in the Manor Hall and is the 'Welcome Home' Social held in 1946. Note the Victory 'V' sign above the stage and 'Long Live the King'. The Union flags, with the picture of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, are in the centre.

The third and last picture is of a Children's Christmas Party, again in the Manor Hall, and taken around 1946-1950 by the Ilfracombe Photographers, Lee & Sons of 24 High Street. Depending on the date taken, it may include some of the many evacuees living in Berrynarbor at the time.

Can you put names to anyone in any of the pictures? If you can, I should love to hear from you, by telephone, letter or e-mail.

Finally, can I again appeal for information or pictures of Berrydown Chapel, particularly if you ever attended a service or function there? In the meantime, my thanks to John Clark, Sheila Brain and Caroline Verney for getting in touch. If you can help, please do contact me [883408].

Tom

Copyright Photographs Tom Bartlett Collection

Tower Cottage, EX34 9SE e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

 

NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL

Spring is here and the children are certainly enjoying the sunshine. It is amazing how a bit of fine weather can change the atmosphere in the playground! It is great to be able to get the children out and about again - long may it continue.

It has been an interesting winter and I think we shall all remember the snow! It was quite magical to take the children out into the garden as the first few flakes fell - for many of them it was the first snowfall they had experienced and to describe the atmosphere amongst them as electric would be an understatement! Children were vying to catch the most flakes and marvelling at their beauty [that first sprinkling really did have some rather fine examples of perfect snow, didn't it?]. It really is one of the great joys of teaching to be able to share such a wonderful experience with the children.

After all the excitement and disruption of the snow, we are now gearing up for what looks to be another busy summer. Year 6 are off to London next week-end - the trip planned for February had to be cancelled as we were concerned that the adverse weather conditions could mean that we wouldn't be able to get the children home. I have to say, the children weren't too bothered by this prospect and were very disappointed when I had to cancel. However, once again Mrs. Lucas came to the rescue and after walking into school on one of the 'closed due to snow' days to collect the paperwork, she spent the day on the 'phone and persuaded all the companies involved to rebook the trip at no extra cost! So the children will be off on Sunday to the bright lights of London.

Class 4 and Class 3 are preparing for residential visits to Plymouth and Simonsbath, not to mention a

whole host of sporting fixtures and experiences. Years 2, 3 and 4 will be taking part in a singing celebration with children from other schools in the local area. Singing is a bit of a theme in Class 3 at the moment, with the children rehearsing to take the lead in the Easter Service - at 9.00 a.m. on Friday, 3rd April, to which you would all be warmly welcome - and where they will tell the story of the Selfish Giant.

In addition to the usual summer festivities, we shall also be receiving a visit from the Bishop and, with the Rev. Wyer's help, are hoping to do a mini 'Journey Through Time' presentation.

Watch the notice board for more news.

Sue Carey - Headteacher

Enjoy the delightful pictures of spring dafffodils that Josh, Mo, Johnny and Kyle have drawn. Josh's picture has been chosen to illustrate the article Rural Reflections.

Kyle Age 7

Mo Age 8

Johnny Age 9

 

PARISH COUNCIL REPORT

Items of particular interest discussed at the last two meetings in February and March were as follows:

Watermouth Cove: The Public Meeting/Enquiry originally scheduled for June has been postponed until the 8th and 9th September. An Inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State, will be present to hear the evidence from all parties.

Playground: A specification for the refurbishment of the new playground has finally been agreed by the Council. I have, however, applied for a grant of up to £10,000 towards the cost of it. This project will go ahead, but obviously the addition of a grant would be very beneficial to the Parish.

Claude's Garden: The new metal perimeter fencing has been commissioned and we hope will be ready for installation soon - then the rest of the works can go ahead.

David Farwig of Digital UK, who was due to give a presentation at the December meeting on the digital switchover due to take place this July, will now be joining us at the April meeting on Tuesday 14th at 7.00 p.m. Please remember that this will also be the Annual Parish Meeting. It should be a busy but interesting one, so please do attend if you can.

Sue Sussex - Chairman

 

BED IN SUMMER

from a Child's Garden of Verses

Robert Louis Stevenson [1850-1894]

 

In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candle-light.

In summer, quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day.

 

I have to go to bed and see

The birds still hopping on the tree,

Or hear the grown-up people's feet

Still going past me in the street.

 

And does it not seem hard to you,

When all the sky is clear and blue,

And I should like so much to play,

To have to go to bed by day?

 

Illustrated by Debbie Cook


 


MARWOOD HILL GARDENS

With April, the jewel of the Garden is opening its large, deep pinkish-red flowers. Situated in front of the house, it is now some 30 ft in height. Named 'Magnolia Marwood Spring', it is a seedling raised from a plant growing at Caerhayes Castle in Cornwall. From March through to the end of May, a succession of daffodils create a dazzling spectacle. The Camellia collection, of course, is also looking stunning at present.

We shall be exhibiting Rhododendron and Camellia at the RHS Rosemoor Show during the week-end of 25th/26th April, where we shall have a variety of unusual plants for sale in the Plant Heritage Group area outside.

There will be delicious goodies in the Garden Tea Room during the Easter week-end and 'Bangers & Mash' to celebrate St. George's Day on 23rd April., and there is always a stock of unusual plants for sale in the Plant Centre.

 

 
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