Thanks and God Bless.
I cannot believe how many cards, flowers and best wishes I
have received. What a lovely village I
live in, and what lovely people!
Thank you all so very much.
FROM THE RECTOR . . .
Well, so now June is
bustin' out all over! I trust your
gardens are blooming but it's not going to happen without some cultivation
having gone on.
like that. To ensure that they are
blossoming and at the end of our lives there is a scented garden of
remembrance, think what we need to do to cultivate relationships with those
close to us. Time spent with friends and
family is, of course, vital. Although
true friendship contains that awesome capacity to pick up where you last left
off, it is vital to build in some element of re-union and celebration to keep
things alive and well.
Amongst the special
flowers that need to be cultivated to keep close relationships healthy is the
gift of forgiveness.
A minister with
failing eyesight glanced at the note Mrs Jones had sent him. The note read:
'Bill Jones, having
gone to sea, his wife desires the prayers of the congregation for his safety.'
Failing to observe
the punctuation, he startled his audience by announcing:
'Bill Jones, having
gone to see his wife, desires the prayers of the congregation for his safety.'
Or there was the wife
who had just returned home at the end of the day and found her husband was
starving. This is what she said: "I've
been to karate class, so dinner will be late. Want to make something of
it?"! Ah yes . . . conflict!! They say
a good marriage is the union of two forgivers.
For want of
forgiveness, instead of being healing and soothing places, relationships are
war zones where destructive forces rage violently. Anyone who proposes to embark on a close
relationship of any sort needs to be aware of the forgiveness imperative. So many issues that cause friction would be
resolved through forgiveness. It is a
gift, being able to keep short accounts, clear away the past, not bring up past
crimes or past times and so build up the wall of frustration. It is a practice, something you learn to do
and be committed to keep it up. Forgiveness is a capacity that can cope with
conflict and does not mean you can never talk things through in the interests
of harmony. It is a gift that keeps the
air clear and disarms the skills of unarmed verbal combat.
Best of all, there is
the dramatic forgiveness God is prepared to impart to all those who apply
through the cross of Christ. Said Paul Flowers, the disgraced Chairman of Co-Op, "I have sinned in
the old-fashioned way!"
It is hard to talk realistically about sin in contemporary
society because fewer people acknowledge the target of the violation, God, just
think, you cannot confess if there is no one to
For me, I am upfront
about it. I have sinned in the old
fashioned way. Once I was a wilting
flower. Now I am a blooming Christian!
Church in June and July sees two weddings, the school leaver's service
and our new venture, Messy Church - the
craft activity for families being held at the school on the first Thursday in
the month. Why
not keep spiritually fit this summer and jog to church!
I truly wish you well as you cultivate
the life that is busting all around us and at closer to home!
NOTES FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
The Annual Parish Meeting was held on the 8th April when the
meeting welcomed visitors from Devon County Council Highways and South West
Reports were given by District Councillors Yvette Gubb and
Julia Clarke, and County Councillor Andrea Davis, who also spoke on the
consultation being held by DCC on winter damage repairs, on street parking and
Devon remembers the First World War, and Sue Squire, Clerk to the Parish
Council, all of whom gave reports at the Annual Parish Council Meeting on the
13th May. A report was also given by
To comply with insurance requirements, Councillor Linda
Thomas undertakes a weekly inspection of the Play Area.
The War Memorial repairs, the Emergency Plan, registration
of land with the Land Registry, the bus shelters and public toilets, for which
a grant of £705 had been received from DCC, were discussed.
It was agreed that future meetings of the Parish Council
would be held in the Manor Hall.
At the May meeting Councillors Adam Stanbury and Dave
Richards were re-elected as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively, and other
representatives elected were:
Footpath Officer: Cllr. Clive Richards
Dep. Footpath Officer & Officer to
Check Invoices: Cllr. Dave Richards
Highways Liaison Officer and Tree
Warden: Cllr. Linda Thomas
Emergency Plan Officers: Cllrs. Adam Stanbury, Dave Richards,
Hill [also Combe Martin & District
Tourism], and members of the village
Manor Hall Trust Committee: Cllr. Lorna Bowden
Planning and Financial items were discussed, noted and
approved. The revised Code of Conduct
circulated to parishes by North Devon Council was adopted.
As part of the Emergency Plan, Cllr. Steve Hill to hold the
emergency box sent by Western Power Distribution.
To date there had been no applicants to fill the two
vacancies on the Council. The date of
the next Parish Council meeting to be held at the Manor Hall at 7.00 p.m. is
Tuesday, 10th June.
Sue Squire - Clerk to the Parish Council
St. Thomas Church,
Saturday 5th July - Monday
11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Songs of Praise - Sunday
at 5.00 p.m.
Refreshments will be
served in the Side Chapel during the day
Plant Centre and Tea Room open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
Night was a first for the Circle; six wines presented by six lady
members. I appreciate that I am biased,
but everybody around me and other members I managed to speak to on the night
thought their selection produced another excellent evening.
We started with Camel Valley bubbles; Cornwall
Brut was pretty special. It was fruity and dry with a great bouquet and the
price was special too: £24.95 per bottle, but hey, it's for the Wine Circle!
Our next whites were French and New
Zealand: a Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc region and then The Ned from
Marlborough. Many thought that the Pinet
was a bit thin, the flavour didn't last, but a Majestic employee described the
latter as 'That's New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on steroids!' It is a punchy, fruity wine. Both of these are Majestic stock and were
£6.99 if two bought.
We followed these with a mixed-grape,
mid-Spanish red then two Pinotage wines from South Africa. If you're a red drinker, as I am, I should
be surprised if the Spanish Gran Status failed to impress; it was fruity, a smooth red with soft tannins. It's £8.50 a
bottle and from our marvellous shop.
Fancy being able to purchase a good red from a village shop!
The first Pinotage was Kadette from the
Stellanbosch region: the dearest red, at £10.50. It was typical of this grape: heavy and
fruity, but some described it as a 'Marmite moment'! Many felt it needed to be drunk with
It is unusual at Circle gatherings to
have two of the same, but our final sampling was also from the shop and another
Pinotage, but from the Western Cape: Cappupino Ccintage. It had been compared to the Kadette, tried
and tested you might say!
Their presenters agreed that they were different; they were! It was described as smoky, obvious coffee smell, could or even
should be drunk with smoky BBQ food!
Judith Adam - Secretary and
Hail Smiling Morn
a favourite piece of music for the local brass band when I was young.
smiling morn, smiling morn,
the hills with gold, that tips the hills with gold,
rosy fingers open wide
rosy fingers open wide
the green fields,
nature does enfold,
green fields, That nature does enfold.
flies, darkness flies away,
away! Flies away!
Hail, Hail, Hail,
Hail, Hail, Hail,
Reginald Spofforth [1769-1827], was an English
musician, active as an organist, conductor and music teacher, but mainly remembered as a
composer. His best known works are the glees Hail Smiling Morn [written in 1810 and described as having been 'possibly
the most popular glee in the entire repertory'] and Hark! the Lark at Heaven's Gate Sings.
about 75 glees, also three books of nursery
rhyme settings and many songs and duets, including songs for
various stage performances at Covent
Garden in the 1790s and two elaborate hymns. It is thought he never composed any instrumental
Written at an Inn at Henley
fair Freedom, I retire
From flattery, cards, and dice, and din;
Nor art thou found in mansions higher
Than the low cot or humble inn.
with boundless power I reign,
And every health which I begin
Converts dull port to bright champagne:
Such freedom crowns it at an inn.
from pomp, I fly from plate,
I fly from falsehood's specious grin;
Freedom I love and form I hate,
And choose my lodgings at an inn.
waiter! take my sordid ore,
Which lackeys else might hope to win;
It buys what courts have not in store,
It buys me freedom at an inn.
This poem was written in the Red Lion Inn in
Henley. It is said that Shenstone scratched it on a window pane of the Inn with
a diamond. A reproduction of the
original pane of glass is now in situ.
Lion was probably built in 1531, though it incorporates even older buildings
including a 14th century Chantry House. Famous guests include Samuel Johnson
(and his friend Boswell), Charles I and the Duke of Marlborough, who used
the Inn as a stopping point on his way to and from Blenheim Palace.
Son of Thomas Shenstone and
Anne Penn, Shenstone was born in 1714 at the Leasowes, Halesowen. He received part of his
formal education at Halesowen Grammar School. In 1741, Shenstone became bailiff
to the feoffees [trustees] of Halesowen Grammar School. He went to Pembroke College, Oxford in 1732 but took no degree.
While still at Oxford, he published poems on various occasions and in 1741 he published The Judgment of Hercules.
Shenstone inherited the
Leasowes estate, and retired there in 1745 to undertake what proved the chief
work of his life, the beautifying of his property. He embarked on elaborate
schemes of landscape gardening which gave The Leasowes a wide celebrity but
sadly impoverished the owner! Not a
contented recluse, he desired constant admiration of his gardens, and never
ceased to lament his lack of fame as a poet. Shenstone died unmarried.
NEWS FROM THE EXMOOR PONY CENTRE
Dulverton TA22 9QE
In an exciting partnership, the National
Trust at Arlington Court have taken Almond and Bergerac to help them
demonstrate how to put on a harness. As Almond is destined to be one of
our trekking ponies, as well as making an appearance at the Horse of the Year
Show, he will only stay there for this season when his place will be taken by
another pony ready to learn a new role.
A generous donation from Pluss, the
Social Enterprise that helps disabled people to find work, was recently given
to our representative at Exeter Football Ground by Ben Bradshaw MP. This goes a small way to helping with our
weekly costs but in an ideal world we need to raise about £350 per day to
ensure that the charity can continue.
Is there any way that you can help us?
One of our ponies will be putting in an
appearance at Witheridge Fair on 21st June along with some helpers, so please
come and support us there.
In Winsford Village Hall on the 6th July
at 2.30 p m., the High Park Music School Orchestra will entertain you in an
hour's concert followed by a cream tea and the chance to meet an Exmoor
Pony. The band of children will be
playing Saxophones, Clarinets and Flutes with a programme of jazz and pop
music. Please get your tickets in
advance from Winsford Village Shop.
Please look at our website
moorlandmousietrust.org.uk for more ideas of how to support us, follow us on
Facebook or Text MMTX22 £5 to 70070.
Richard and Doreen Brown lived in a pleasant detached house
not far from the river Blackwater, together with their son Chris and dog named Puzzle.
Chris and Puzzle were inseparable and Chris, who was only
eight, often took her for walks.
One week-end Chris decided he would like to go fishing - he
would fish in a dyke that ran alongside the sea wall to the river. That was where the eels might be. So, with a packed lunch box, fishing tackle
and Puzzle, off they set. The dyke was
close to home so all would be well.
Settling down on the bank of the dyke he cast his rod
several times, but to no avail. 'Never
mind.' he thought, 'I'll have a bite to eat.'
He had left his lunch box a little way up the bank and as he
got up to get it, he twisted his ankle, badly.
Despite his efforts to walk he could only manage to crawl along the
ground. Quickly he had an idea. He still had the wrapping paper to his lunch
box and fortunately a pencil.
'Help me, I'm hurt.' he wrote. Then he undid Puzzle's collar and threaded
it through a hole in the paper and did it up again.
"Take this home," he told Puzzle and incredibly that's what
she did. Arriving she stood at the
front door on her hind legs barking to attract attention.
On opening the door, Richard was alarmed to see Puzzle on
her own and upon reading the message, he quickly made off towards the dyke with
Puzzle leading the way.
When he arrived at the dyke, there was Chris.
"Sorry dad, but I had to get help somehow."
"Never mind," his dad replied, "Let's get you home" and he
gathered up the bits and pieces and picked up Chris to carry him home. Puzzle followed.
About a week later, Richard had reason to return a book he
had borrowed from a friend. He set off
for the friend's home and had just put the book through the letter box when he
heard a car approaching and at the same time, Puzzle who was not on a lead,
spotted a cat across the road.
In a flash she was hit by the car and was lying on the road
bleeding. The car carried on and
Richard picked her up and carried her home.
As soon as they got back, Doreen rang the vet who came straight
away. Among her injuries, Puzzle had a
torn ear and was spreading blood everywhere.
"We'd better put her in the outside toilet," suggested
Richard, as this was tiled and could be cleaned up easily. A bed was arranged and Puzzle made
The vet began his examination and turning to them said, "I'm
sorry but I'm afraid I shall have to put her to sleep."
"No, no, please not that!" pleaded Chris, with tears running
down his face, having arrived and overhead the vet, who was rather embarrassed,
not knowing what to do in the presence of the young lad.
"Well, I'll give her a couple of injections but I don't hold
out much hope," he said sadly.
The vet left and Puzzle, looking very down, curled up on her
new bed, with a little food and a bowl of water.
That night and every night after, Chris would get up after
his parents had gone to bed and go down with a torch and sit with his dog,
often crying a little.
Slowly, however, Puzzle began to recover and gradually her
wounds started to heal. After nine days
she was allowed out in the garden, walking slowly and wagging her tail a little
before returning to her bed. Chris
kissed her on the nose with tears in his eyes, but this time they were tears of
Puzzle miraculously made a complete recovery and she and
Chris enjoyed many more happy years of each other's company.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
Debbie Cook 1994
BERRYNARBOR SCHOOL NEWS
Well, what a busy time we are having -
The children are really enjoying the first half of our summer term!
Strawberry and Cranberry class are
learning about Growing Grub and have planted a variety of seeds.
Children in Strawberry, Cranberry and
Blueberry have recently enjoyed a trip to Tesco to take part in their new Farm
to Fork Trails. The children learnt
about fruit and vegetables and their origin along with a visit to the bakery
and a trip through the warehouse. The
trip was thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Elderberry class have been busy working
hard for their SATS which they sat in May.
Now they are complete, the children can relax, just a little, as they
will now be working on their end of year performance.
The summer term always sees lots of
events taking place and several of our KS2 children have taken part in a Tag
Rugby and Striking and Fielding festivals.
We shall be holding our Sports Day on
Tuesday 10th June, 1.00 p.m. in the playing field. Should we have typical English summer
weather that day, we shall move to the 17th June.
Elderberry and Blueberry class will be
going on their annual residential trips; Goblin Combe in Bristol and Embercombe
During the last week of June we hope
that the children will be out and about as we suspend the normal curriculum for
Community Week. The children will be out
helping and getting to know our neighbours.
As part of this week we'll invite you to visit our school and see what
the children have been doing - please keep an eye on the notice board outside
the shop for more details.
The whole school will enjoy a trip to
the Landmark Theatre in July to see The Essex Dance Group. The
children love watching this performance, all performed by children too!
Our pupils will also be enjoying a
Federation Day with West Down School.
This is a great and fun opportunity for the pupils from both schools to
mix and get to know one another.
The PTFA are working hard to organise
their annual Summer Fete. Beaford Arts
will be visiting us again this year and the Fete will be held on Saturday 12th
We hope everyone has a lovely summer and
the weather is kind to us!
Carey - Headteacher
OPEN GARDENS - SUNDAY 22ND JUNE
gardens in Central Kentisbury, Kentisbury Ford and Patchole, open from mid-day
to 5.00 p.m. Entry £5.00. Cream Teas £4.50 available
at 3 venues.
FROM THE SCHOOL PTFA . . . SUMMER FETE
We shall be holding our Summer Fete on Saturday, 12th July -
an action packed day guaranteed!
10.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon Farmers' Market in the Manor Hall
12.00 noon - 3.00 p.m. Fete outside Manor Hall with traditional
hook-a-duck, tombola, raffle, coconut shy, BBQ,
bric-a-brac, books, etc.
1.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. Beaford Arts Production of 'Boy Who Fell in
the Stars', each performance is 30 minutes
long, guaranteed to
be a fantastic story.
on sale at £4 adults, £3 children and £12 family -
call Jenny 07917 562216 for further information
4.00 p.m. Pet Show [details to be confirmed]
5.00 p.m. Final of
Berrynarbor's Got Talent, Manor Hall -
come and see all
10 finalists at the LIVE final.
tickets £2.00 adults, £1.00 children and
this includes your chance to vote for your
To finish off the day we are hoping to
hold an evening event with live music.
Keep an eye open for details.
Note: If you have not yet auditioned for
Berrynarbor's Got Talent, the final auditions will be held on Sunday, 22nd June
in The Globe, from 3.00 to 5.00 p.m.
Just come along.
Consultation in March
Thanks to all hall user groups who
responded to the questionnaires circulated in March. These focussed on the general
condition of the hall and the adequacy of facilities - overall these were seen
as less than good, with a general need for updating. Works seen as necessary include a larger
kitchen, improved storage, improved natural and artificial lighting,
refurbishment of toilets, redecoration, improved heating and replacement or at
least complete overhaul of the stage area. Externally, many respondents raised
concerns about car parking. Copies of a
summary analysis of the survey are being sent to all groups.
Meanwhile we are continuing to develop a
work plan for a series of grant bids; costings for surveyor support, an
archaeological review of the building to establish its heritage significance,
plus planning further consultation and discussion on other potential needs in
the area that could be met at the hall.
**And same message as last time, please
note that actually carrying out the majority of the work is still some
considerable time away. Do not hesitate to contact in the normal way should you
want to book the hall for an event.
Fund Raising and Berry Revels
Many thanks to our local councillors for
their prompt support of our plans. County Councillor Andrea Davis has
granted the hall £2,500 from her locality budget, and thanks also to Councillor
Yvette Gubb for supporting an award of £4,572 from commuted sums held by North
Devon Council, and the Parish Council for a £1,000 grant in March and its
statement of support.
Also watch out for the sale of raffle tickets, part of the North Devon Rotary raffle, with cash
prizes of £100 to £300, plus 100 smaller prizes. ALL proceeds from our tickets sales go towards
the hall refurbishment, so please support us when you see tickets on sale in
the shop and elsewhere.
Berry Revels this
year will be on 5th August, so
please make a note in your diary. Again
we should like wide support in our centenary year for the refurbishment of the
There is a new sign and notice board for
the Manor Hall - these have been placed at the car park entrance. So for all those arranging events at the hall
there is an additional opportunity for your posters. Notice board key holders are Len Narborough
and Geoff Adam.
Len Narborough and the Manor Hall
Annual General Meeting
The Manor Hall AGM will be held at the hall on
Wednesday, 2nd July, at 7.30pm.
It would be good to see people there. We will combine the AGM with an
update on the plans for the hall and all views are welcome!
LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
As a result of the discussions around
the village about the planned repair works to the old manor house wing of the
Manor Hall, and the possibility that the house may in fact be medieval rather
than the oft-quoted Tudor, a few people have suggested that it would be good to
explore the history of the village in more detail, with the Manor Hall and
surrounding old buildings being a good starting point.
Whilst architectural and archaeological
investigations are being planned to ascertain the history and built form of the
hall, this research and evidence could extend to other village buildings and
the way the manor influenced the development of the village and its way of
life. Such organisations exist in quite
a few villages and carry out some very interesting work.
So, I should like to propose that we
establish a local history society for Berrynarbor. It is, after all, a Domesday village. I am sure we should un-earth some
fascinating facts! Please contact me
if you are interested in joining such a society.
Judith Adam, Flowerdew Cottage Tel:  882828
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
For gardeners this is the busiest time of the
year but I like to take time to stop and admire Mother Nature as she does her
bloomin' thing. How lucky are we to
live in such a lovely place.
We have been busy planting up the tubs
and containers with summer bedding, hanging up the hanging baskets and
generally weeding and tidying up around the village. The plants we bought from Jigsaw have been
very healthy and as always Streamways Nurseries delivers beautiful baskets
ready for hanging up.
Best kept village judging takes place
anonymously and at any time between May and August. The judging for the new R.H.S. Pennant
competition takes place in July, so we will all have to be on our toes!
We ran a successful cake stall at Easter
and had a very kind donation of almost £200.00 from a kind villager, so the
coffers have been replenished. But as
any of you who buy plants know, the cost goes up year by year.
This year the Sterridge Valley Open Gardens will be on 8th June between 2.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. with Teas
in the Manor Hall from 3.00 p.m. The Village Gardens will be on
September 7th, again between 2.00 p.m. and 5.00 p. m. Please come to either of the Open Gardens (or
both) and support us, whatever the weather you are certain of a great tea. None of this could take place without the
support and generosity of our helpers, so thank you all very much.
Lime Cream Cheese Cake
With all the gardening to do, here is an
easy to make loaf cake with a nice zingy taste.
You will need: 1x900g loaf tin
(about26x12.5x7.5CM) greased and lined with a long strip of baking paper to
cover the base and up the short sides.
175g unsalted butter (softened)
150g full fat cream cheese (at room
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
250g caster sugar
3 medium free-range eggs (at room
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
For the syrup
4 tablespoons lime juice
50g caster sugar
For the glaze
150g icing sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lime and
about 1 tablespoon of lime juice
Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4
Put the soft butter and cream cheese in
to a large mixing bowl. Add the lime
zest and beat with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in
the caster sugar.
Break the eggs in a separate bowl, add the
vanilla and beat with a fork. Add to the
butter/cream cheese mix gradually beating well and scraping down the sides of
the bowl now and then.
Sift the flour into the bowl and gently
fold in with a metal spoon. Transfer to
the prepared tin and spread evenly.
Place in the heated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes until well risen and
golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly.
While the cake is baking make the syrup
by putting the juice and caster sugar in a pan and heat gently until the sugar
dissolves, then bring to the boil, remove from the heat but keep warm.
When the cake is ready and still hot,
place on a wire rack but leave in the tin.
Prick with a skewer and pour over the syrup. When the cake is cold run a knife around to
loosen then remove from the tin. Make
the glaze by sifting the icing sugar in a bowl adding the zest and enough lime
juice to make a thick but runny icing.
Spoon the icing over and allow it to run down the sides of the cake.
This cake will keep for up to 5 days -
but not in my house!
FREE REMEMBRANCE TREES
This August marks the 100th anniversary
of the outbreak of the First World War.
The Woodland Trust is honouring all those who took
part in the war effort by planting millions of trees that will stand as a
tribute for centuries to come. Will you stand with us by planting a
free tree pack in your community?
We have over 4000 packs to
give away in autumn and they come in three sizes - 30 saplings, 105 saplings
and 420 saplings in various themes (hedge, copse, wildlife, wild harvest,
year-round colour, working wood, wild wood and wetland). You can apply for more than one pack and
theme with 420 saplings being the maximum quantity. You can find out more and apply online at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees,
but I'd advise groups to apply sooner rather than later.
feel free to forward or share this information with any group or school that
might be interested or include it in your newsletter - many thanks to those who
have already helped to spread the word!
Deadline for applications is
4th September but we may need to close early if oversubscribed. If you have any questions at all please do
get in touch.
Gormley - BeverleyGormley@woodlandtrust.org.uk
WEST COUNTRY WALK - 144
'In ancient times . . .'
Hidden in countryside between Penzance and St. Ives are the
remains of Iron Age settlements. One
of these, Carn Euny, was built more than 400 years BC and was still occupied
during the fourth century AD.
We visited Chysauster [seven miles east of Pendeen], a
village last inhabited at the time of Roman Britain.
From a quiet lane in the parish of Gulval we climbed up to
the path across the fields to reach this fascinating relic of 'ancient times'.
Both Carn Euny and Chusauster consisted of cluster of round
stone walled rooms grouped around a central courtyard, with an outer wall
forming a circle around each homestead.
This pattern of dwelling is peculiar to West Cornwall and
the Isles of Scilly.
there are the remains of nine of these courtyard houses and we were free to
spend an absorbing morning roaming among the carefully excavated dwellings; wandering in and
out of the circles of low stone walls;
the round rooms which would have been roofed with turf or thatch.
During the course of our visit there
was a light drizzle. A kestrel hovered
above and underfoot was a dazzling array of wild flowers. Bluebells with wood
anemones and wood sorrel, but also lousewort, milkwort and tormentil.
In North Devon I should not expect to see all of these
species occurring together in the same place - bluebells in woodland and on
cliffs. Sorrel and wood anemone also in
woods but the latter alongside rivers too; whereas pink lousewort, milkwort
[blue, mauve or pink] and yellow tormentil would be
largely confined to the moor.
Perhaps it is the presence of the granite which gives rise
to such a rich and varied flora.
At Chysauster the houses were alighted in pairs along a
grass fairway or 'street'. With minor variations,
the usual pattern consists of a main entrance facing away from the prevailing
south west winds.
A paved passageway leads through the thick outer walls to an
open space, the courtyard, about twenty-five to thirty feet wide. To the left a lean-to bay was used as a
shelter for livestock.
Opposite the entrance is a large Round Room; on the right is the narrow Long Room and in
some dwellings there is a Small Round Room. In the Round Rooms a stone with a
hollow in it would have held the upright timber which supported the apex of the
In some rooms there remains a stone hearth and stone querns
had been found which were used for grinding grains. Water channels, lined and
covered with stone slabs, connected to a sump for the storage of rainwater.
Once forested with oak and hazel, by Roman times these
granite uplands had been cleared of trees.
The excavation of Chysauster took
place at various times from the 1870's until the 1930's. It is understood that in the early 1800's,
Chysauster was used as a venue for Methodist preaching and known local as the
by Paul Swailes
HOW SAFE A DRIVER ARE YOU?
As an icebreaker I regularly ask my
audience at road safety talks, "Who amongst you are above average
Of course the vast majority normally put
up their hands - none of us like to think that we drive badly or are below
average ability, and some of can get quite defensive over the subject. Strange also that from the date of our
driving test we may go through our driving career without even a second thought
of additional training. You might also
occasionally hear it said that if most of us took our test now, we would almost
certainly fail! Cars, motorbikes and the
rest have changed immensely over the last few decades, not to mention the
volume of traffic on the roads. Surely
then it is vital that we retain our driving skills in line with changing road
and traffic conditions.
There is an argument for introducing
some sort of driving assessment in the later stages of our driving
careers. Currently there is nothing
compulsory in place to check our driving standards but there are options for
voluntary assessments and coaching.
I'm talking about advanced driving and
riding. This is basically the art of
defensive driving where a system is put in place to help you plan your driving
in a more methodical and safer fashion.
There are a number of organisations that
will show you the ropes but the most well-known are the two national charitable
organisations: ROSPA [Royal Society for
the Prevention of Accidents] and the IAM [Institute of Advanced
Motorists]. There are many of these
groups scattered all over the country including North Devon, all of which are
singing from the same hymn sheet using the age old police system of car and
motorcycle control called Roadcraft.
I know personally many of those
volunteers who run local groups and can say with all confidence that they are a
very friendly, enthusiastic bunch just trying to pass on some of the skills
they have learnt over the years. It is
so simple to make contact and pop along one evening to find out a bit more
about safer driving and how you might become one of those brave enough to take
a little constructive encouragement. You never know, you could even be helping
with the assessing yourself after a year or two if you choose.
You might also say that it is giving
something back to the community and if you are looking for a hobby, look no
further. The ROSPA North
Devon Group also has a keen
social calendar with opportunities for visits as a group to
attractions/venues/events near and far.
If you think this may be worth a little
investigation please go onto the ROSPA or IAM website and look up the local
contacts. Alternatively you could
simply ring 01237 478982 and speak to Alan Powell who helps run the local ROSPA
group. He will be delighted to give you
more information and answer any queries.
If anyone has a topic or issue within
road safety on which they would like more information or that may be of use to
the wider community, please let Judie or me know and I shall do my best to find
out more for the subsequent newsletter.
You can also contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01271 882959 if you have any queries on
And Pig Roast
aid of Berrynarbor
Pre School & Macmillan Nurses
South Lee Farm, 7.30 p.m.
Classic Cars & Garden Machinery
by the Knowleberries
available if wet!
by donation at your discretion.
by Barb and Chris Gubb, the Bell Ringers,
Not nearly as old as Chysauster and not nearly so far
afield, Holwell Castle is just a stone's throw away from Berrynarbor.
Holwell Castle is an early and probably short-lived motte
and bailey castle, built either at the time of the Norman Conquest or in the
civil war of the 12th century. Its
location suggests it was built to dominate the settlement at Parracombe and,
more importantly, the river crossing.
Alternative explanations for its construction think it may
have been built to obtain taxes at the River Heddon crossing or to protect and
supervise the silver mining in the area around Combe Martin.
and bailey castle is a fortification with a wooden or stone keep on raised
earthwork called a motte, together with an enclosed courtyard or bailey,
surrounded by a ditch. Relatively easy
to build with unskilled, and perhaps forced, local labour, these castles were
still militarily formidable. By the end
of the 13th century, their design was largely superseded by alternative forms
of fortification, but the earthworks remain a prominent feature in many
Well worth viewing, here at
Parracombe the remains of this fine example can be seen clearly from the
churchyard of Christ Church.
Archaeological excavations and surveys record that it measures some 40
metres in diameter and 6 metres high above the bottom of a rock cut ditch 3
metres deep. Within the bailey are
traces of five
BERRYNARBOR PRE-SCHOOL NEWS
The children have been learning about Spring. We have planted
some bean seeds and are taking very good care of our strawberry patch and raspberry
canes, which are all in flower. We created a wormery
and a snail farm and visited a local farm
during lambing. We
were lucky to see lambs being born.
To continue our learning about spring,
we should love to hatch some chicks. We
are able to get the eggs and can rehome the chicks, we just need an automatic
incubator to borrow. Can anyone help us please?
Recently we have been visited by a hamster named Darwin and
two bearded dragons called Mango and Tinkerbell - all part of our learning
We are looking for new members to stand on our committee and
a new chairperson from September/October and if anyone is interested in finding
out more details to contact me on 07807093644. To stand on the committee will require
undertaking a DBS check.
MOVERS & SHAKERS NO.
DR. JAMES [JIMMY] SMART, MBE, VMH
Anaesthetist and GP and creator of Marwood Hill Gardens
December 1914 - 24th May 2002
In 1949, had it not been for a houseful of
rhododendrons, North Devon might have missed out on one of its glorious
gardens: Marwood Hill, created by Dr Smart over the
next half century.
During the six years of World War II, he
had served as a ship's doctor, seeing three of his ships mined, torpedoed and
bombed. When HMS Hermes was sunk, with
the loss of two thirds of its crew, he had swum between rafts, treating
survivors for which he was later awarded the MBE.
After the war, Dr Smart settled in North
Devon as an anaesthetist and Barnstaple GP.
In 1949 he bought Georgian Marwood Hill which was sadly neglected, with
no mains water, drainage or electricity and included a lawned garden in front
of the house, and across the road a broken down walled garden with a few fruit
trees, surrounded by less than 2 acres.
nobleanum alone, filling the house for his first viewing, almost persuaded
him to buy it. Sadly this, the only
plant of merit in the garden, died the following year from an acute attack of
With the help of his first
one-day-a-week gardener, he set to on his front lawn and the walled
garden. One of his early jobs was to
grub out the fruit trees which were largely not keeping varieties and he
started again. Although his day job
occupied most of his time, he managed to protect the herbaceous borders from
rabbits with wire netting and soon got the garden respectable enough to open it
for the National Garden Scheme on one Sunday a year.
In the early 1960's, he bought rough
pasture to the south and east of his land, including a small stream flowing
through the valley. Here he planted an
ornamental range of trees: birch, maple, eucalyptus and eucryphia, and by 1969,
the stream was dammed to form two lakes.
On the island created in the top lake is one of my favourite features,
the delightful sculpture by Australian born John Robinson of a mother and her
two children. The damp surroundings were
planted with moisture-loving plants such as Primulas,
Astilbes and Iris.
That same year, he built the first
greenhouse in the walled garden for his large collection of camellias - now the
largest number in the country - that flower best throughout March. If you miss those, then go in April to see
the outdoor specimens. You won't be
disappointed. There are now over 800 cultivars, some of which can be purchased
from the Plant Sales Centre in the Walled Garden.
In April, too, the spectacular Magnolia 'Marwood Spring' with masses of deep red
flowers and pale pink centres will be in bloom, just one of many different
varieties and colours.
Where did he get all his plants and
shrubs? Well, over the years he brought
them from Australia, New Zealand, United States as well as scouring venues in
Europe and the UK. Once, whilst being
interviewed by a journalist from The Independent, he introduced her to a pair
of Turkish rhododendrons and remembered driving them home 30 years previously.
"What, all the way from Turkey?" she
"No" he grinned "From Exbury!"
He introduced several new plants into
Britain, such as Prostanthera Cuneata
from Tasmania, smothered in pretty white flowers throughout the summer,
Lusitanica [Paradise Lily], also
By 1972, Dr Smart had built his new home
overlooking his beloved garden. This he
called Marwood Hill, changing the name of his former home to Marwood
House. His living room now forms the Tea
Room where we may enjoy locally sourced cakes, soups, hot dish specials, sandwiches
and home-made scones for very special cream teas. Gluten-free food is also available and dogs
on leads are welcome.
Also that year, he invited Malcolm
Pharoah to join him as Head Gardener. They worked well together, and having
come from Wisley RHS, Malcolm brought many new ideas. Over forty years later,
he is still Head Gardener.
Dr Smart retired in 1975 and had the
chance to buy 12 more acres, which were developed as and when they could be
coped with. Firstly came the Bog
Garden, which in his 1999 notes he wrote "has to have large masses of any
individual plant to be effective and we are fortunate to have the space to do
this". True to his words, it is in
colour from May when the Primulas start, and carries on through to October with
Astilbes, now the National
Collection, and Iris Ensata, then Lobelia, Lythrum etc.
By 1982, further land had been bought
downstream, making a third lake possible.
Four years later, an arbour scented with honeysuckle, Spanish broom and
a highly perfumed shrub rose hedge was in place, together with a folly complete
with cherub. And still wanting more
land, he acquired 2 more adjoining acres. The original 2 acre gardens have now
expanded to over 22 acres.
In his 80's and still very fit, Dr Smart
declared "I couldn't bear to have a level garden" [Berrynarbor folk please
note!] "A sloping garden has
advantages.as one can select the situation of a plant so that you can look up
into the bloom of pendulous flowers from below and conversely down into the
bloom of an upright flower".
On November 1st 1994, Dr Smart was
presented with the Victoria Medal of Honour [VMH], established by Queen
Victoria to honour British horticulturists.
There are only 63 recipients at any one time, reflecting the years of
Her Majesty's 'Glorious Reign'. The opening words at his presentation were,
Jimmy Smart is a doctor andI feel that his patients must have been
made to flourish
with the same
strength and good health as his plants so that he could spend as much
time in his garden
as in the surgery.
Sadly Dr Smart died in May 2002 at the
age of 88, but Marwood Hill still remains privately owned under the care of his
nephew, John Snowdon. He, with guidance
and help from Patricia Stout and Malcolm Pharoah, is determined to continue to
develop the Gardens for all of us to enjoy - this, our special and wonderful
haven of peace, Marwood Hill Gardens.
And you may still feel Dr Smart's
presence with the delightful bronze statue of him in working gear, overlooking
the lower lake.
Grateful thanks to Patricia Stout, Property Manager, and to John Snowdon
PP of DC
PS Last year, Folksy Theatre's production of
'Romeo and Juliet' was set outdoors near the Tea Room. This year they are returning on Wednesday
30th July at 6.30 p.m. to perform The Taming of the Shrew, which sounds great
fun, so why not treat yourselves?
have until September 30th to visit the Gardens. Nearer the date, check when it will be open
CAR BOOT SALE
There will be a Car Boot Sale at
Blackmoor Gate Market on Sunday 3rd
August. Sellers from 10.30 a.m.
£5.00 per car, Buyers from 11.00 a.m. Refreshments. Proceeds to Kentisbury W.I. Contact: Viviane  882487
THE 'ANT'QUIZ ANSWERS
1. A brave ant
valiant/gallant 2. A cringing ant sycophant
3. A pachyderm ant elephant
4. A begging ant vagrant
5. A very short ant
instant/scant 6. A cheerful ant jubilant
7. A fluttering ant
pennant 8. A lowly ant supplicant
9. A lively ant
vibrant/exuberant 10. A
fruitful ant currant
11. A suspended ant pendant 12. A musical ant descant
13. A ship's ant
sextant 14. A military ant adjutant/sergeant
15. A legal ant defendant/litigant 16. A healthy ant disinfectant
A hopeful ant expectant 18. A wicked ant
19. An uneducated ant ignorant 20. A
helpful ant assistant
21. A sharp ant
trenchant/piquant 22. A sparkling ant brilliant
23. A schoolboy ant savant 24. The only ant left remnant
25. A commercial ant merchant 26. A menial ant
27. A garden ant ant! 28. An occupier ant tenant
Thanks to those of you who had a go at this quiz, which is
harder than it looks! One or two
different but equally correct answers came in.
The winner on the ship taking Miss Chichester to South Africa only
scored 13, everyone here did better! The
winner is Kate from Castle Hill with a score of 20/28 followed closely by
Viviane from Kentisbury with 19/28.
Congratulations to you both you deserve your prizes!
you want to go fast go by yourself.
you want to go far go as a group."
RURAL REFLECTIONS NO. 63
It is mid-afternoon as a teenage boy
takes the family's golden retriever for a walk through the local woods. The distinctive trill of a nearby wren is
momentarily overwhelmed by the whine of an airliner decreasing in speed on its
gradual descent into Heathrow Airport.
Boy and bitch exit the woods and walk between two fields along a path
recently narrowed by a bounty of white umbelifers that brush against the boy's
arms. The boy visually acknowledges them
and in so doing espies smaller flowers beneath the shady canopy. Noting their patriotic display, he wonders
if the differing red, white and blue flowers are like those in his parents'
garden in having familiar as well as Latin names. His pondering is then distracted as he looks
up to observe another descending airliner with whirring engines that
continually lower in pitch like the song of the greenfinch on a lone copper
beech close by.
cease where the path runs between symmetrical high panelled fences cloaking two
gardens. Adolescent feet and canine
paws then feel pavement beneath as they tread the streets that represent the
suburb of London in which they have lived.
As he walks, the boy recalls recent enjoyable days spent with friends
during the spring half term. It has
been later than usual, running into the first week of June and meaning that the
last day of his school holiday coincides with a family celebration. Seeing his
close and distant relatives has always excited him, a feeling he feels hard to
share with his peer group; for they seem to prefer the company of friends ahead
As he reaches home he smells the
distinct aroma of food being bar-b-q'd