Editor: Judie Weedon, Chicane, Berrynarbor,
Ilfracombe, EX34 9TB
Tel:  883544 e-mail:
N.B. Parts of this Newsletter will appear on the
website. If you have concerns regarding
this, please contact the Editor immediately.
subscription [February to December] is £3.50 p.a. to cover postage and
envelopes. Donations towards the cost
of Newsletter itself
[approx. 50p per
copy] would be most welcome!
cheques payable to 'Berrynarbor Newsletter'.
The November Annual Meeting proved to be rather eventful in more ways
than one! Members entering the Manor
Hall were confronted by a smoke filled room.
On closer inspection, the smoke appeared to be coming from a room at the
back of the hall so it was decided to call the fire brigade. Fortunately for us, Edith from the Globe,
kindly offered us the use of the family room, so twenty five ladies departed to
the Globe, leaving the fire brigade to deal with the problem. Apparently the boiler had overheated and an
instruction booklet lying on top had begun to smoulder. Please forgive me if I have got the wrong
The Meeting began with the Secretary, Marion Carter, reading the minutes
of the last Annual Meeting which were then approved by members and signed by
the President. Ordinary business was
then conducted, which included final arrangements for the trip to Exeter on 5th
December for shopping and attending the W.I. Carol Service in the Cathedral.
Treasurer, Janet Steed, presented the Financial Statement which was adopted and
then Marion read the Annual report, which recorded a full and interesting
programme of events during the year.
The President thanked Marion, Janet and all members of the Committee for
their help and support. Linda Brown and Beryl Brewer were thanked for manning
the sales table each month, which had produced a substantial amount of
income. The Annual Report was then
A certain amount of dissatisfaction had grown during the year regarding
next year's subscription which has risen from £22 per member to £26 to include
a new monthly magazine called W.I. Life.
At present the Home and Country magazine is only taken by three members. Consequently, it was decided to hold a
ballot to decide whether to stay in the W.I or leave and form an independent
ladies' group. The outcome is that 11
members wish to stay and 18 members wish to leave.
At this point in time I am able to
report that the 18 members will form an independent group - hopefully the 11
members will join too, but they may decide to form their own W.I. Group - more
on this next time.
It is my fervent hope that the new Group
will continue to be supported by present members and also attract new
ones. We shall put together an
interesting programme with speakers and support local charities. There will also be outings. One already put forward for the spring is a
visit to the National Trust property, Tyntesfield, near Bristol. The raffle at
the Meeting was won by Ann Hinchliffe and the "baby" competition by
December meeting will be on THURSDAY 7th
December. This will be a Christmas
party when everyone is asked to bring a gift to the value of £3. These gifts will be distributed at the end
of the Meeting. Norma and Tony Holland
and friends will be entertaining us.
Prater - President
shed a tear that he is gone
can smile because he has lived.
close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
your eyes and see all he's left.
heart is empty because you can't see him,
can be full of the love you shared.
turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
remember him and only that he's gone,
can cherish his memory and let it live on.
cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
can do what he'd want: smile, open your
eyes, love and go on.
MISHEL MILADIN PESIC
darling Mish passed away after a short illness,
peacefully at home during the evening of the 26th October. His funeral, a beautiful, private family
humanist service, followed by a celebratory lunch in his honour, took place on
Thursday, 2nd November.
should like to thank all friends and neighbours for their messages of sympathy
and kindness at this sad time of bereavement.
was with much sadness we learnt of Mish's death and
we send our condolences to Mavis, to his daughters and son, Daniela, Joan and
John, and Mavis's son Clive.
Mish was born in Yugoslavia in 1921 and as a young man in
the 1930's played international football as a member of his country's Under 23
came to this country in 1948, after the War in which he found himself a
prisoner of war, and it was 45 years before he was reunited with his mother.
Mish, an engineer by trade, and Mavis moved to Berrynarbor
from Bideford over thirteen years ago, having come to the South West from
Shropshire in 1976.
from his family, the loves of his life were bridge and sport. He had played or taken part in virtually
every sport and even had a go at banger racing! Latterly he had enjoyed all sport on
television, especially horse racing.
But bridge was perhaps his favourite pastime and in the 1980's he was a Local Master, Club
Master and County Master of the English Bridge Union. He loved gardens but was quite happy to
leave the gardening to Mavis, and enjoyed sitting in the sun in the garden
watching her work!
thoughts are with Mavis and all his family at this time of sadness.
JOHN JAMES STEWART 26.6.1918 TO 9.11.2006
had a long association with Berrynarbor, being the husband of our cousin
Margaret, daughter of the late Lorna Grove-Price. We shall remember him as a modest, quiet,
upstanding gentleman with wide interests and a nice sense of humour.
it is the time of year for remembering our Service Personnel, past and present,
we've written this little tribute to John, although he rarely spoke of his
was born in Northern Ireland where, aged 16, he joined the 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles as
a boy soldier in the Military Band.
Here he learned to play the clarinet.
He served in Egypt, Hong Kong and Shanghai, protecting British interests
during Japan's incursion into China. He
went on to India and served on the North West Frontier. As a full rank NCO, he landed by glider in
Normandy on D-Day with the Sixth Airborne Division. He was a keen sportsman and a fine shot,
winning many trophies in this sport.
the War he joined the Civil Service and was on the administrative staff of the
Victoria and Albert Museum in London, continuing his career in Barnstaple and
St. Austell until retiring back to Barnstaple six years ago.
Lorna Bowden - for Margaret Stewart
are thinking of Margaret and all the family and thank Lorna for her tribute.
PHYLLIS [PHYL] DUMMETT
those of us who were privileged to know her, it was with real sadness we learnt
that Phyl had died suddenly but peacefully on the 7th
November. Her funeral took place at St.
Peter's on the 16th November.
for some time she had lived in Ilfracombe, Berrynarbor was always a second
'home' to Phyl.
She was born in Wales but in her early years spent long spells here, at
Cockhill, the family home of her grandparents, attending the primary school, a
classmate of Ron Toms. The family later
moved to Chambercombe and Phyl worked at the
met her husband, Lionel Dummett - one of the Dummett brothers - whilst visiting her sister Ivy
[Richards] and her husband Ivor and they were married
in 1942. Their first move to
Berrynarbor was to Rockville [now Budicombe House]
and later, in the early 50's, to Tower Cottage.
Phyl suffered very badly from arthritis from an early
age and this was one reason for moving to Ilfracombe. However, she did not let it stop her making
the most of life. A gentle but very
determined lady, with a ready smile for everybody, she never ever complained.
will be missed by her many relatives and friends and our thoughts are
particularly with her daughter Maureen and her husband Eddie, her three
grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and her sister Ivy.
was sad to learn that Olive had passed away at Park View on the 13th November,
at the grand age of 94, and our thoughts are with all her family and friends at
this time of sorrow.
born in Devon, Olive [nee Pugsley] grew up in Croydon in Surrey where she met and married James Kent in
1944. Before his retirement in 1960,
they undertook an epic cycle ride to Devon to seek a quiet place to live. Proud of her Devonshire ancestry, Olive fell
with the little cottage up on the
hill - Woodlands Cottage - that became her home for over 40 years.
many, it seems that Olive has always been a part of Berrynarbor and we remember
her with great affection and visualise her walking to the village, stick in
hand, in welly boots, accompanied by her dogs, either
Panda or Pickles.
was saddened to hear of the death of Olive Kent but reminded myself I was to be
considered fortunate that she came into my life or, to be more precise, I was
thrust into hers.
time in 2001, as a care worker, I was asked to make a home visit to a client in
Berry who was in need of some help.
Eventually, I found myself walking up a primrose clad lane to be met by
a beaming lady with cats at her ankles.
This was to be the first of many looked-forward to visits to the
delightful Olive, who was always full of greetings, happiness and extraordinary
generosity, whether offering a cup of tea or her last piece of cake. Her beloved cats, both house and semi-feral,
were similarly spoiled - how she loved them!
conversations were always lively and stimulating. As her carer, Olive paid me one of my most
cherished compliments, calling me "one of the jewels in her
crown." I thought that was just so
lovely. May she rest in peace.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
The Harvest Service was
celebrated on Sunday, 1st October, for which the church was beautifully decorated. The Evensong was held on Wednesday, 4th
October when the bells rang and the service was well attended. Our thanks to Mary Tucker and all her
helpers for the supper which was very much enjoyed, and to the Rector for doing
such sterling work auctioning all the produce.
With the money raised through the auction and the
collection, the amount of £100 will now be sent to WaterAid,
the charity helping communities to
establish their own safe water supply in under-developed countries. Marion
successful Autumn Bazaar was held on
Saturday, 4th November when £144 was raised for church funds. Our thanks to everyone who came along to
give support and especially to those who gave to the various stalls. There were lots of bargains to be had and
some of us now have space in our wardrobes!
Everything left over has been given to the Hospice shops. The Fairtrade and
Hospice stalls also had a very profitable afternoon.
during the latter part of October were somewhat depleted with people ill or
looking after others, as well as taking a break before the winter. Nevertheless, services continued with their
usual vigour and the enthusiastic input of those present made up for the lack
of numbers. Our thanks, especially to
Keith and Stuart, for arranging the Candle
Service on 29th October - a quiet time to remember loved ones and of
comfort to us all.
church filled up rapidly for the Service
of Remembrance on 12th November when we were joined by members of the
Parish Council. This year the service
was led by Reader Mike Taylor and in his talk the question was asked once
again: what lessons have been
learnt? The lesson was read by Sue
Sussex and the choir sang 'Bring Him Home' from the show 'Les Miserables'. Before
the service, the two minutes' silence was observed at the War Memorial and
wreaths were laid on behalf of the Parish Council, the Church and the Women's
Institute. The Last Post and Reveille
were sounded by trumpeter Neil Hamilton.
The collection of £113.50 will be sent to the Royal British Legion.
Advent Sunday falls on 3rd
December. The first candle will be lit
on the Advent Wreath and the service will take the form of a 'Songs of Praise'.
There will be no Friendship Lunch in December and we shall meet again in the New
Year on Wednesday, 24th January, 12.00 noon onwards.
nice it was to pay another visit to Berrynarbor at the kind invitation of our
good friends, Margaret and Keith Walls.
As this fell over the 11th & 12th November, we were able to attend
the Armistice Service, where we met many old friends. The service appeared well
attended and we were impressed that
there was a choir of 10 ladies and 3 or 4 men in good voice. Also a trumpeter sounding the last post at
the war memorial. I wondered how many
villages the size of Berrynarbor could put on a service such as that.
course it also brought back other memories.
This was the first time in the church since I walked my daughter Sally
down the aisle in 1982 (for the second time), the first in1972, Sally
unfortunately having been widowed at the age of 26 years.
only part I did not enjoy was looking over the Lee Hills from the churchyard
and finding they had just about reverted to 'jungle' after seeing the photos in
your August news letter of them in 1953, and remembering the many hours I spent
keeping them in good trim during the 70's.
and I look forward to reading your excellent Newsletter.
& George Ferguson
WHEN I SAY . . . "I AM A
Author Anon - Submitted by Laurie Harvey
say . . . "I'm a Christian", I'm not shouting 'I'm clean-livin''.
I'm whisp'ring "I was lost, now I'm found and
say . . . "I'm a Christian", I don't speak of this with pride.
confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
say . . . "I'm a Christian", I'm not trying to be strong,
professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.
say . . . "I'm a Christian", I'm not bragging of success.
admitting that I've failed and need God to clean my mess.
say . . . "I'm a Christian", I'm not claiming to be perfect.
are far too visible, but God believes I'm worth it.
say . . . "I'm a Christian", I still feel the sting of pain.
my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.
say . . . "I'm a Christian", I'm not holier than thou.
a simple sinner who received God's grace somehow.
WEATHER OR NOT
September was on course to be one of the
driest months that we have ever recorded with only 11mm [7/15"] of rain by
the 27th. The unsettled end of the
month with very heavy showers, however, brought the total to 37mm [11/2"] still
making it the driest September since we started keeping records in 1994.
The remnants of Hurricane Gordon passed
on Thursday 21st but we hardly felt it here, the maximum gust being 27 knots
which was the strongest of the month and about average.
Nationally this September was the
hottest on record by an average of 3.1 Deg C.
Here, however, the maximum of 26.1 Deg C was slightly down on 2003 when we
recorded 27.6 Deg C. The minimum of 8.6 Deg C
was at least 1 Deg C up on the previous five years.
The unsettled weather continued into
October with very heavy, squally, almost violent showers on the 1st and a
violent storm [fortunately not too close] overnight on the 10th which produced
42mm [1 5/8"] in just under ten hours.
The total rainfall for the month was 187mm [7 3/8"] which made it
the wettest month of the year so far, the next wettest being May with 136mm [5
3/8"]. It was still drier than the
two previous when we recorded over 200mm [4"].
The maximum temperature 19.2 Deg C was down
on the previous five years bar 2004 when the temperature was only 15.6 Deg C. The minimum of 5.8 Deg C was exactly the same as
last year and up on previous years.
Wind speeds were slightly higher with a maximum gust of 28 knots.
In the South West, this summer was the
hottest on record and Chicane's recorded hours of sunshine for both September
[139.29 hours] and October [60.15 hours] were up on the previous four years
which is as far back as we can go.
The start of November has brought
another complete change with high pressure in charge and sharp frosts.
School Forest Schools : An exciting term
for Year 5 who have just completed an eight week course based in the woods in
the Sterridge Valley, by courtesy of John and Fenella Boxall. We had funded training from South West
Forests and this gave us the opportunity to trial a new initiative. The course which the children followed was
structured and planned carefully to enable them to learn new skills gradually,
safely and successfully. These skills
included: woodcraft using specialist
tools, woodland awareness, species identification and a whole variety of games
and activities to encourage team work.
At the end of the course the children invited their parents to come and
join in and to have a cook-out. The feedback from children, staff and parents
was very positive. We have three
members of staff now qualified as Level l Forest School Assistants, after a
three day training course at Bicton College. Our next steps will include training a member
of staff to become a Level 3 Forest School Instructor and to work as a staff
team to plan further opportunities out in the woods.
Christmas Church Service: Monday 11th
December at 2.15p.m. The collection
will be for the R.N.L.I. Everyone
Safety in Berrynarbor Village: The
Parish Council have commissioned a group of 72 local artists (the children at
our school!) to design signs asking visitors to slow down when driving along
the narrow lanes. The Parish Council
will judge the winning entries and these will be made into proper signs. The competition hasn't closed yet but here
are a few of the children's ideas.
a restful and enjoyable Christmas and best wishes from everyone at the school.
Mrs. Karen Crutchfield [Head Teacher]
Miles Rees, Year 1
Ella Gibson, Reception
are sorry to have lost Rosemary Gaydon from Barton Lane but fortunately she has
not gone far, just to Belmont Road in Combe Martin. We wish her well in her new home and know
that she will continue to visit us!
several years in the process, the chalet bungalow, Fernlea,
designed and built by themselves - with a little help! - is now home to Iris
and Andrew Carrington.
spent time in North Devon as an evacuee during the War, Andrew was well aware
of the delights of this part of the world, so he and Iris moved from Seaford in
Sussex to Ilfracombe some 25 years ago.
A 5-year stop in Woolacombe preceded their move to Berrynarbor a few
is a retired Research Engineer Draughtsman and Iris was employed in a variety
of office and retail posts. As one
would expect, a major hobby is DIY but in the past, Iris and Andrew have very
much enjoyed walking in our lovely countryside. We wish them both every happiness at Fernlea.
has again been movement and newcomers at The Park. Paul and Theresa have moved in to Mandalay
and Saddlestones is now home to Joan and Malcolm Garbett.
slipped through the October 'net', it is lovely to welcome Elaine Filer, who
has already become part of the village, singing in the choir and ringing the
bells at St. Peter's. The Park is her
new home. She says she loves the peace
and quiet and is very content, "It's as if I have died and come to
has come from the East Midlands, having been acquainted with the area as her
sister lives in Ilfracombe. Three
years ago when she was thinking of retiring to North Devon, she saw The Park
and fell in love with it, counting the days from then until she could retire
is no wonder Elaine finds it peaceful, having worked, as she says, for twenty
long years of 'busy, busy' at East Midlands Airport. She says the television programmes are true,
only it's actually worse! Apart from
bell ringing and singing, Elaine enjoys walking and swims regularly.
door to Elaine are our newest arrivals, Mike and Joyce Simpson who have only
just moved in to The Park. Having been
born and bred in Hayling Island, Hampshire, and
holidaying on Exmoor, they decided to take retirement and move somewhere
quieter and thus found Berrynarbor!
who was a motor mechanic and says his hobbies are fishing, photography and
motor racing, and Joyce who, in the past has been a keen sportswoman playing
netball and badminton, etc., and has had various jobs in shops and schools,
have two children. Their son Colin and
his wife Jackie live on Hayling Island with their son
Bradley. Their daughter Clare is
currently in Tenerife.
and Joyce are looking forward to becoming part of the village and being keen
walkers, have already explored walks up the Valley.
and Jo Carlaw, whilst staying in Dormer Cottage last
spring, decided they would like to spend Christmas in Berrynarbor. They have now sold their home in Maidenhead,
Berkshire, and move to Dormer Cottage with their two cats at the end of
November. Jackie and Roy wish them
every happiness in the new home, and we do too!
warmly welcome all our newcomers and wish them luck, health and happiness in
their new Berrynarbor homes.
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
The November meeting was presented by
the ever popular Barney Dunstan from Laithwaites Direct Wines Ltd, the people who run the Sunday
Times Wine Club and many others. If you
encounter a mail order wine club it is usually run by Laithwaites!. Barney is undoubtedly a natural speaker and
extremely knowledgeable about wine. He
is also very amusing and kept us laughing all night with comparisons of
the meeting with his present day job as a Biology Teacher at a secondary
school. When someone's mobile phone
went off he went into school mode and asked the "boy" responsible to
hand it over, it would be returnable at the end of term!
Our next meeting is on the second Wednesday of the month,
13th December, as usual for the
December meeting as it would otherwise clash with Christmas. This is a combined wine and food meeting and
this year those attending are expected to bring along, either alone or in
conjunction with others they will sit with, whatever food they wish to
consume. They should also bring along
their own cutlery and crockery. Tickets, from Jill McCrae or Tony Summers, are
This meeting will be presented by a
vintner from France.
Jonathan Coulthard is the English owner and wine maker of a vineyard
in the Duras region of France inland from Bordeaux,
who is visiting England to promote his wines.
In January 17th [back to the third
Wednesday of the month], we are having a new style presentation "Call My
Wine Bluff". This will be a panel
game with the members divided into teams trying to decide which panelist is
bluffing and which telling the truth.
AIRCREW [UNSCHEDULED] VISIT TO FINCHINGIELD
Following on from his October
article in which he spoke of his cousin shot down and killed on a bombing raid
on the Krupp Steelworks, Tony has sent this article
by Ron Hawkins.
on the 16th of June 1942, a fine English summer day at Mildenhall
RAF Airfield in Suffolk, our pilot Flight Sergeant Swanson approached us in the
Sergeants' Mess and called, "Don't
forget we've got a briefing at 1500 hours." Another day and another raid - I wonder
where it will be?
at the briefing room we didn't have long to wait to find out. The Operations Officer announced, "Your
target tonight is the Krupp Steelworks in Essen, on
the River Ruhr." With the
exception of Berlin, the Ruhr was one of the most dangerous and difficult
targets because of its heavy anti-aircraft defences. The officer went on to say, "Moose
Squadron (419 Royal Canadian Air Force) will be providing thirteen aircraft
towards a thousand bomber raid, and take-off is 20:30 hours".
the late evening sunlight, several crews stood outside the parachute store
waiting for transport to arrive to take us to our respective dispersal points
on the far side of the airfield where the aircraft were parked. Arriving there, we saw, bathed in sunlight,
our trusted steeds, Mk 3 Wellington twin-engine bombers.
aircraft did not have the rugged and purposeful appearance of the Lancaster or
Halifax Bomber, but rather the appearance of an aircraft that had been made by
a group of enthusiastic amateurs. In
fact the Wellington Bomber was the brain child of Barnes Wallis, who became well
known for his 'Dam Buster' bouncing bomb, his 22,000Ib deep penetration Grand
Slam bomb and Tallboy bombs. The
Wellington aircraft is built with a series of tubular aluminium struts,
reinforced with a series of metal strips similar in appearance to a smaller
version of a garden trellis, built onto an aluminium frame and then covered
with fabric. The great thing about this
design was that it could take a lot of punishment, but would still carry on
flying in a severely damaged condition.
crew members had their own personal routine prior to getting into the
aircraft. Many would relieve the
tension by peeing on the aircraft's wheels.
Whilst the first and second pilots were doing their final pre-flight
checks, the rest of us climbed aboard, the crew made their own final checks,
then over the intercom we heard the pilot asking each crew member if everything
was serviceable. Receiving the reply,
"Affirmative Skip", he then replied, "Okay chaps, here we
off and heading east in an ever darkening sky towards Southwold
on the Suffolk coast, we assembled with other members of our group. At this stage everyone was keeping a
watchful eye out for other aircraft, to avoid a mid-air collision. We then headed east towards the Dutch coast.
the darkness you occasionally saw the red exhaust flames from other aircraft,
otherwise we could have been the only aircraft over the North Sea. The crossing was uneventful but as we
approached Holland we could see ahead that the leading aircraft were under
attack from the coastal defences. A few
minutes later it was our turn to meet the flak.
The sky lit up with the explosions from the enemy shells, and it wasn't
long before a shudder went all through our plane and we quickly realised we had
been hit. Fortunately, the damage was
only superficial and we flew on towards our target.
over our target a few minutes before midnight, we were hit a second time in the
rear section of the fuselage. We
continued our bombing run, straight and level, until we heard the bomb aimer
call out 'bombs gone'. We then made a
hurried retreat, as the flak over the Ruhr was decidedly unfriendly. Shortly after turning for home, at a point
above the Düsseldorf area, the aircraft was again hit, twice in quick
succession, but fortunately no serious damage resulted.
over Antwerp, we again, for the fourth time, ran into heavy flak, receiving a
direct hit on the underside of our fuselage, setting fire to the flooring from
the front turret to the navigator's table.
The navigator, Flight Sergeant Brichta, and
wireless operator, Flight Sergeant Crosby, managed to snuff out the worst of
the fire, but it damaged some of the electrical circuits and rudder and
elevator controls, causing the aircraft to stall and drop from 15,000 feet to
200 feet. Equally alarming was the
unexpected opening of the bomb doors and then the wheels dropped, causing a
marked reduction in our flying speed.
But crew members managed to manually close the bomb doors and retract
the wheels, allowing our skilful pilot to regain control and return to our
normal height and cruising speed.
As we continued to extinguish the small fires, our worst nightmare
occurred. A twin-engined enemy night
fighter (probably a Me-110) homed in on us, shooting holes through our wing and
tail elevators and fuselage. The Second Pilot, Flight Sergeant Eden, and the
front gunner were both wounded.
Fortunately the enemy aircraft broke off its attack and flew away. We put out all the fires but by then we had
lost our radio, direction finder and most of the aircraft's navigation
equipment. Our navigator passed
directional information on to our pilot from plots on the stars.
due east for some fifty minutes, we came across a coast, hopefully England, but
were unable to recognise any landmarks in the darkness. We flew on, hoping we were over friendly
territory, because by that time, the engines had started to run very rough and
the aircraft dropped lower and lower.
It was not long before the pilot decided we would have to make a forced
landing. We noticed a church tower and
a windmill on our starboard side and the pilot told us to take our crash
positions. He told us that he believed
we were about to land in Holland, which was disappointing news as we had hoped
to be on English soil. The aircraft crash-landed in what appeared to be a large
field of standing
barley. The landing had fortunately been fairly
smooth and the aircraft seemed to be still in one piece. The crew made a hurried exit, assisting the
Second Pilot Flight Sergeant Eden, who had been badly injured over Antwerp and
in need of urgent medical attention, and the front gunner who, whilst injured,
was still able to walk.
first thoughts were to get as far away from the aircraft as possible, as we
didn't wish to be captured by the enemy.
We noticed in the moonlight a small round house a short distance from
our crashed aircraft, and agreed with the pilot that we must have landed in
Holland. The pilot walked to the door
of the house, whilst the crew hid behind some bushes. Hoping that the occupants
would be Dutch and friendly, he knocked on the door, and on hearing movement
inside the house, called out in French "Please help! We are English airmen and have an injured
man with us".
A voice in English replied.
would soon be breaking so we decided to hide, it would not be long before the
Germans would be out looking for us. We
found a ditch after crossing some allotments, and after about thirty minutes in
hiding we heard people moving about, presumably German soldiers. Looking over
the top of the ditch we could see a couple dressed in uniforms and as they got
nearer to us we were able to hear that they were complaining about "walking around this bloody
field" in English, which we thought strange. Dawn had now broken and we could see the men
quite clearly, dressed in army uniforms and heard them say quite clearly,
"The crew must have bailed out before crashing - they could be miles
away". Speaking to the other crew members I said, "I think we should
give ourselves up", hoping these soldiers were friendly and that they
would get medical attention for our wounded Second Pilot.
don't know who was the most surprised when we emerged from the ditch; the soldiers, who turned out to be members of
the local British Home Guard, or ourselves when we realised they were
English. The relief we felt was
unbelievable when we were told we had landed in England, in the Essex village
This story is based on fact. The
Mk 3 Wellington Aircraft was part of 419 Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron,
based at Mildenhall, and on the 17th June 1942 did
indeed bomb Essen, and were attacked on the way home and crashed in the field
next to The Round House. Sid Overall,
the tenant, had refused to open the door of his house because he believed they
were Germans. The Wellington bomber was
recovered from Farmer Whittaker's field and returned to be rebuilt at a RAF
Maintenance Unit. Following this, it was issued to another RCAF Squadron and
whilst returning from a raid on Kiel, on April 5th 1944, it was forced to ditch
in the North Sea ten miles off Cromer, Norfolk, with the loss of three crew
members of 426 RCAF Squadron.
following information is from the official Royal Air Force Records of the 419
Flight Sergeant Swanson, Flight
Sergeant Crosby and Flight Sergeant Brichta all
received the Distinguished Flying Medal, Swanson for "his skill and
devotion to duty", whilst the Crosby and Brichta
citations record "outstanding duty under harassing
circumstances". Twelve aircraft of
Moose Squadron returned safely to Mildenhall from the
Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force personnel were awarded several medals,
including a Victoria Cross (posthumously to Pilot Officer
A.C. Mynarski), 4 Distinguished Flying
Crosses, 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 3 Bars to DFC's, 35 Distinguished
Flying Medals and one Military Cross.
years ago, the late Ken Collar, the officer in charge of the Finchingfield Home Guard search party, told me his
reminiscences on the Wellington aircraft incident.
Ron Hawkins. Finchingfield
A very warm, if somewhat belated,
welcome to baby Alexander Michael Angus Cameron, born on the 8th August, weighing in at 8lbs 5oz,
at the Hospital in Barnstaple.
Congratulations to the proud parents, Juliet and Pyers and to the proud grandparents. Juliet's mother and father, Rose and Michael
flew over from Canada to welcome the new arrival, whilst he took one of his
first journeys up to Suffolk to meet Pyers' mother Jill. Now a 15lb cheerful chap, Alex is giving his
parents a good night's rest by sleeping through. Our very best wishes to you all.
Congratulations to Tracey and Linda Camplin on their recent success in the Great South Run at Porstmouth.
Training beforehand, they joined 12,000 runners on the ten mile run on a
very wet [Linda says 'terrible!'] Sunday, 22nd October, raising £300 for Marie
was Linda's first run, although Tracey has taken part in a couple of events
before, including the Hospice Race for Life, and they will both be taking part
in the Christmas Cracker run at Weston-Super-Mare in December. This is a charity event in aid of the local
Hospice and if you would like to sponsor them, please do get in touch, they
would be delighted to hear from you.
The Devon Association of Parish
Councils has asked if the following can be circulated especially as Christmas
is fast approaching: it has been
confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading
Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam: A card is posted through your door from a
company called PDS [Parcel Delivery Service] suggesting that they were unable
to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 [a premium rate
number]. DO NOT call this number as
this is a mail scam originating from Belize.
If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message, you
will already have been billed £15 for the phone call. If you do receive a card with these details,
please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 02072 396655 or CSTIS [the premium rate
service regulator] at www.icstis.org.uk.
MESSAGE COMES FROM OUR PARISH COUNCIL
MANOR HALL NEWS
parking space for the disabled has to be provided as close to the Manor Hall
entrance as possible and this will be in place by Christmas.
held a folk evening in September and thanks to our Secretary, Margaret, and her
team, raised over £300 for Manor Hall funds.
the new year we hope to update the electrical fuse box and rearrange the switch
by the door to meet safety standards - we are waiting for a further quotation
for the job.
I should like to thank our hard working team for their support over the year
and wish them a Very Merry Christmas.
Bob Hobson - Chairman
have had a fire in the boiler room and as a result part of the building is out
of use, but the main hall is still available although a bit grimy in
places. Work is in hand to clean the
Hall and other areas but we ask for your forbearance in this matter until we
can get back to normal.
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST
seems ages since our second birthday party on 6th October, yet so many people
to thank who helped to make it such a success.
The lowering skies and intermittent deluges couldn't dampen the
preparations. Garry's banner was fixed in the shop; Jackie and Roy's - and Gilly's
- gazebos erected, with Alan and Nora's permission; Ann was busy preparing food [in spite of
leaving for a 5-week holiday next day] and Stuart
was priming his keyboard on Bett and Kevin's front terrace. His vibrant music added much to the atmosphere,
whilst Richard and Angie uncomplainingly took up Mike and Jo's offer of a
parking space to allow extra room in the street. Charley on Sallamar
[not forgetting Melanie and Harry!], Richard and his tractor and Malcolm and
Joan with their rucksacks were stars!
John and Tony handed out tastes [or more!] of celebration wine provided
by John. Jill had been bullied at very
short notice to design the special label.
Pip fried sausages kindly provided by Ivan, whilst Anita and Mark
calculated the 10%'s at the till. We
had good publicity: ITV West Country
splashed through the torrents in the afternoon and produced a news item on
Tuesday 10th October featuring Jennie, Jill, Peter, Jo and Sandy. The North Devon Journal did us proud in both
the 5th and 12th October editions.
Finally, without Fenella's hard work behind
the scenes and about 100 shoppers, it wouldn't have been possible. It was a real community effort, so thanks to
everyone - including anyone I've missed.
The shop is now piled high with Christmas
cards and wrappings, wines, gifts, ingredients for seasonal cooking and other
goodies. It's not [yet!] too late to
order The Village Bakery Christmas cakes and puddings, yule
logs and mince pies [not forgetting extra bread], Mike Turton's
pork pies and your extra - and special - greengrocery.
The 'Buy a Brick' box in the shop is
yielding a useful amount towards the new shop in its first couple of weeks -
every little helps!
In July I wrote to Bill Deedes in the Daily Telegraph to see if he could help our
shop with an article. He replied
"Many thanks. I'll consider writing
something that helps but no promises!" Some of you may have seen his Comment
Column on 27th October entitled 'Village shops survive only if we use them' I
quote from it:
reckon that two-thirds of our household needs can be bought there. Village
shops do not sell fish or butcher's meat [We
sell some of Ivan's meat and chicken,
from the freezer] or strawberries and mangoes in December, as the
supermarket does. But they serve most
so much easier to run the car to Tesco and do the week's shopping in one
outing. Yes, and undeniably there is
also more variety, but the butter, cheese, cereals, soups, jams, pies biscuits
and a lot else taste no better than the village shop's offerings."
I'm reminded that we now have a super
new range of fresh soups from Sacks in Barnstaple, Turton's
pork pies at the weekends, tasty coleslaw and quiches from Swiss Cottage in
Ilfracombe and a good range of edible gifts from the Fudge Tree Company at
Finally, Bill Deedes
ends "If we lose these [village] shops, we cannot lay blame on the
government; it will lie with those who
neglected them." Thanks, Lord Deedes!
As you know, since September we have
kept the shop open until 7.00 p.m. on Fridays.
This was popular with visitors but it is no longer viable so we have
reverted to the 5.30 p.m. closing. We
may try again during the 2007 holiday season, but will keep you informed.
Talking of closing times, please note
that the Shop will be closed all day on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and on New
Year's Day - 25th, 26th December and 1st January - otherwise all shop opening
times will be as normal.
Seasonal good wishes from Jackie, her
many volunteers and the committee - and with everyone's help may we move much
nearer in 2007 to building our new shop.
NORTH DEVON HOSPICE
Great North Devon Knit In
Hospice will again be holding their Great North Devon Knit In and as in the
past few years, we shall be holding the Village's event as part of the Shrove
Tuesday Pancake Coffee Morning in the Manor Hall on Tuesday, 20th February,
2007, from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon.
will need a pair of No. 8 needles and one or two balls of double knitting wool
and they and [everyone is welcome to
join in] knit for two hours, although breaks are allowed for tea, coffee and a
pancake! A sponsored event to raise
money for the Hospice, the sponsor forms and posters advertising the event will
be available in January from the Shop or Judie,
but in the meantime please make a note of the date and keep it
free. Last year we hoped to top the
£400 we raised in 2004 and we did - raising just over £600. Can we do better this time? Let's try!
The Hospice are fortunate to have a
large team of valued volunteers but would like additional help from:
Volunteer Drivers from
across North Devon
assist in the in-patient unit during evenings and week-ends
assist with the
sale & distribution of donated items on e-bay
Volunteers to help in the
shops in North Devon and in the new shop due to open soon in Joy Street,
For further information please
contact Barbara Andrew on  344248.
should like to thank everyone - locals and our summer visitors - who have
bought plants from me during the last few months.
donations to the Children's Hospice South West this year have amounted to £400.
sum, added to the donations of the last 4 years, makes a grand total of £2,100.
behalf of all the children and their families who are cared for by the Hospice,
thank you most sincerely for your help and generosity.
achievement! Congratulations and well
We should like to thank the man driving
a silver-grey Volvo estate car, who stayed with our son Robert after his
accident with a fallen tree at the bottom of Sterridge Valley on the 31st
October until we arrived to take him to hospital. Robert has made a good recovery. Thank you.
Michael and Julie Parkin
WALTER WILLIAM [B] BASSETT
1863 - 1907
Owner of Watermouth Castle and
Designer/Engineer of the Riesenrad or Giant Ferris Wheel in Prater Park, Vienna
Last April we enjoyed a delightful
river cruise along the Danube from Passau in Bavaria
to Budapest in Hungary. A day was spent
in Vienna and dominating the skyline was the Riesenrad. Knowing the connection with the Basset
family, we felt we must pay homage to it. "How do we get there?" we
asked our purser. "We come from
the village where the engineer lived who designed it". "Oh", she replied, "You mean
Walter Basset" I confess that until that moment I hadn't known his first name,
and we were astonished that he was so well known here.
Having now done some research, I can
Walter Basset was born in September
1863. His family tree goes back to
Thurston Basset who came to these Isles with William the Conqueror. Fast-forward 800 years! The Berry family
who owned the BerryNarbor Estate lived in
the old Manor House next to the church.
In the early 1700's, the Davie family from Orleigh
bought the estate from the heirs of Thomas Berry. In 1797 they inherited great wealth from
their uncle, Frances Basset. In his will
he requested that they take the name Basset, to avoid the name dying out. Several succeeding generations changed their
Walter's family was wealthy. They travelled extensively, were seafarers,
landowners, tin miners, coal importers and rent collectors. The main structure of the castle was carried
out in 1825-6, by Walter's great grandfather, Joseph
Davie Basset and grandfather, Arthur Davie Basset. George Wightwick, a notable Plymouth architect completed the final
interior design in 1845 [although Murray's Handbook for Travellers in Devon and
Cornwall, published in 1859 describes it as "unfinished but commenced
about 40 years ago by the father of the present proprietor" who was A D
Basset]. It is not a castle in the true
sense, but a substantial Manor House built to resemble one. It was apparently modelled on Caerhayes Castle in Cornwall.
estate were grown bananas, grapes and oranges [so much for global warming!],
and it is recorded that in1871eight servants lived in the house and many
villagers worked there as gamekeepers, carpenters, coachmen, gardeners,
stonemasons, woodsmen and general labourers. The Basset family owned many of the local country houses including Heanton Court and Umberleigh
House. They also owned many of the
surrounding farms, the whole of Berrynarbor [with one exception - see below]
and property in Challacombe and East Down. Lorna Bowden records in her delightful
"Scrapbook of Watermouth Castle for my Grandchildren" that her grandparents
came from Cornwall in 1892 to work for the Bassets. Her grandmother was head laundress and
grandfather a shepherd. Because 'Gran'
lived in, when they wanted to get married, they had to ask permission from Mrs
Basset. She saw them in her study and
gave them a brass clock off the mantelpiece as a wedding present. But
let's return to Walter. He became a
Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and an engineer with
an interest, amongst other things, in Ferris Wheels. George W G Ferris had had
a meteoric but short career. In 1893 he
built his awesome wheel for the Chicago World Fair. It would show the world that America could
rival France's Eiffel tower.
years later he died, bankrupt and alone.
The wheel, too, had a chequered history being moved several times until it
was finally destroyed in May 1906.
However. it had been a success, and success almost always will be
imitated. Suddenly there was a spate of
Ferris Wheels, some large and some small enough for travelling fairs. The patentee of the Chicago Wheel, James Weir
Graydon, a US naval engineer, signed over his
European rights to Walter Basset who then erected the Great Wheel of Earls
Court for the 1895 Oriental Exhibition.
It was 300 feet in diameter and had 40 cars each carrying 40 passengers.
[By comparison, the original Ferris wheel was 100 feet in diameter and the
Millennium Eye's capsules rise 440 feet.] There were cars for smokers and
non-smokers and a hollow axle to walk trough for an extra fee. The wheel carried 2,500,000 passengers in a
decade and then ceased to be profitable and was demolished by Basset in
1906/7. The Gigantic Wheel in Blackpool
followed the Earls Court one. This featured a ping pong table in one of the
And so we come to his most
famous wheel, the Riesenrad, or Giant Wheel of
Vienna. Walter Basset proposed this to celebrate Kaiser Franz Josef's golden
Steiner, well known in the commercial life of Vienna's amusement circles took
up the idea and it was built in 8 months during 1896/7. Built to imperial units - 200 feet [approx.
61m] it is, over 100 years later, one of Vienna's most famous landmarks. [It held the record as the largest wheel
still operating until1981when the Japanese built a 208-foot version.] Those years, however, have not been without
their problems. Although very popular,
it was closed in 1914 and used as a lookout.
It remained closed for the next 2 years. In 1915 the new landowners refused to extend
the lease to the heirs of Walter Basset who had died in 1907. The decision was made to scrap it, but
dismantling costs were prohibitive. It
was mortgaged, again threatened with dismantling; again it was too expensive so
it was decided to re-lease it. In 1944
it was severely damaged by fire, but within 2 years was once again operating
albeit now with only half of the original 30 gondolas. And that's how we saw it.
The girl in the ticket office knew of Walter
Basset. The views were splendid but it
was just as fascinating to look inwards to the hub's construction. The gondola in front of us was laid out for a
romantic dinner for 2 [with curtains if required!] and another gondola was
equipped for small conferences or family parties. After
that, a modest 30-foot wheel, La Grande Roue, gracing
the Paris Exposition of 1900 was almost an anti-climax! Not too
much is known of Walter Basset's personal life. In 1890 he married Ellen Caroline Charlotte Daws of Bideford.
They had no children and he died comparatively young in 1907. His sister, Edith
inherited the estate. She married
Ernest Pencurzon and her portrait is in the Manor
Hall. Existing records show that the
farms were sold on 17th August 1920. Smythen Farm and its 216 acres fetched the
princely sum of £2,700 and Hempster Farm, [199 acres]
The cottages were sold on 5th
June 1924 - except for 15 Hagginton Hill, which belonged to the Water Board
[the pumping station opposite is still there today]. Lot 67 was 14 Hagginton Hill [Bess Hill]
which sold for £315. "This lot
gets water from the tap of the adjoining property." 15 The Village [Tower Cottage] "A good
slated cottage and the old pound" went for £275. The whole village raised £62,000.
Edith retired to her Scottish
estate in 1942 where she died in 1943. In September of that year her
daughter Lorna [who married Earl Howe] arranged a sale of "Antique and period
appointments". She left the area in
1946. The castle fell into disrepair
before being bought by Nathaniel Charles Black in 1949. He hoped to restore it, offer it to the
|National Trust and live there with his wife for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately he had set himself an enormous
task and anyway the National Trust turned it down. It was then acquired by several owners
including the Brain family and briefly by Peter de Savory. Fortunately in 1977 Richard Haines bought
and restored it and the grounds to their present glory.
There are many unsubstantiated rumours about the
Bassets: court cases won but with
crippling costs; bankruptcy and so
on. One is left to wonder how such a
wealthy family lost its money, why the village was sold, and where are the
descendants of this noble family whose motto is "Bene agere ac laetri" [Do your
best with joy]? Does anyone know?
I am indebted for help given by Lorna
Bowden, Richard Haines and Sue at Watermouth Castle, Keith and Margaret Walls,
Tom Bartlett and the 1989 souvenir book of the Riesenrad.
PP of DC
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
have had a lovely autumn and cannot complain about the well needed rain. We recently had a work party to clear the
summer bedding and plant spring bulbs and primulas in
the tubs. The hanging baskets are down
and in storage until next year.
presentation of a plaque was made to Sue Sussex, on behalf of the group, for
our position as Best Kept Village Runner Up.
This took place at the Globe [due to the fire in the Manor Hall] at the
beginning of the November Parish Council Meeting.
should like to thank the Parish Council for their support over the past year
and look forward to their continued support next year.
a group, we start again in the spring and hope to welcome any new faces.
Happy Christmas, Wendy
SPICED DEVON APPLE CAKE
This cake has gone
down well with the litter pickers and I pass on the recipe for you all to
try. It is lovely as a cake or served
warm as a dessert with cream or custard.
1lbs cooking apples peeled and sliced
6oz butter or margarine 6oz granulated sugar
12oz self-raising flour [sifted] pinch of salt
2 medium or 11/2 large free range eggs beaten
4oz sultanas or raisins 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
2oz Demerara sugar
icing sugar and extra cinnamon to dust
the butter/margarine in a large saucepan.
Remove from the heat and add the granulated sugar, sifted flour, salt
and the egg and using a wooden spoon stir everything in to a staff smooth
place roughly two-thirds of the dough in to an 8" greased cake tin with a
loose bottom. Press out the dough to
cover the bottom evenly. Mix together
the apples, sultanas/raisins and the cinnamon and place in the cake tin. Sprinkle over the sugar and level the
surface as much as possible. Place the
remaining dough in the tin and spread using your knuckles [it does not matter
if there are a few gaps, but try to cover the edges]. Bake for 50-55 minutes at gas 5, 375 Deg F
[190 Deg C]. Leave to cool for 10 minutes
in the tin. Remove from the tin and
dust thickly with more cinnamon and icing sugar. Eat hot or cold and enjoy!
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
I love the story about an eight
year old girl who was so excited on Christmas Eve. All the house was decorated, and there were presents
around the tree, including a big one with her name on it. It took her a long time to go to sleep,
because she was so excited. Her parents
were woken up at two o' clock in the morning, as she called out, "Mommy,
Daddy, come and look!"
"Oh dear", thought her father,
"She has opened her surprise present. Oh well, I'd better go down and then
come back to bed later." Wearily he put
his dressing gown on and left the bedroom, only to discover his daughter on the
landing, gazing out of the window.
Daddy, do come and look! Isn't it
beautiful? Look, there in the sky. The
star of Bethlehem is shining!"
The little girl's delight in the
shining of the star, beat all her presents for magic and beauty. She was captivated by the star and what it
represented. It reminds us that Jesus
has to be born in our hearts and minds so that we can experience the joy and
beauty of what Christmas really means.
It has nothing to do with profit margins and the "big
sell". Nothing to do with eating so
much that we feel sick. It is to do
with the miracle of God on earth so that we can share with God in heaven.
Have a wonderful and Christ-filled
Friend and Rector,
LOCAL WALK - 99
river running by"
was Friday the thirteenth, late afternoon when we stopped, on the way home, to
walk along the Taw near Pottington. A
few straggly blooms of tansy and St. John's wort
black-tailed godwits stood at the water's edge.
Their legs are longer and their bills straighter than their cousin the
bar-tailed godwit [which has the pretty Latin name Limosa
present along the river were mainly curlew, lapwing, redshank, dunlin and the
ubiquitous oystercatchers but a single whimbrel had
been observed on the estuary; most often
seen as a passage migrant in spring and autumn.
the redshank was one which looked rather different, taller and more slender. It
was a spotted redshank though in its pale ash grey winter plumage it did not
look particularly spotted.
is a good time to find interesting arrivals on the river but most unexpected
and spectacular was the appearance of twelve spoonbills flying in single file
up river, with long necks extended, swan-like;
slow and silent without the 'singing' sound made by swans' wings in flight.
twelve were mature spoonbills with greyish-pink bills. The adults have black bills with a yellow
landing, the spoonbills waded through the shallow water sweeping their bills
from side to side to feed.
Passing cyclists and walkers had climbed
onto the low wall at the side of the track to gain a better view of these
impressive birds. Something special for Friday the thirteenth!
PARISH COUNCIL REPORT
to the small fire in the Manor Hall, the November Council Meeting was held in
The Globe and our thanks to Don and Edith.
Kriteman, from the C.P.R.E., presented the Berry in
Bloom Group with the Runner Up Shield in the Best Kept Village [Devon]
Award. Following this, a discussion
took place with the Group regarding Claude's Garden and it was agreed to work
together in its refurbishment.
meeting took place between the School and Council representatives regarding the
yellow lines in Silver Street and it was decided that white lines only would be
put outside the school, the two bollards that used to be there would be
replaced and warning signs would be painted on the road either side of the
save money, the Council agreed that only the disabled toilet would be left
unlocked during the winter.
Sue Sussex - Chairman
OLD BERRYNARBOR -
VIEW NO. 104
first view, The Beach Smallmouth, was probably originally photographed by W.S.Woods the Bamstaple
photographer and produced by The Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd., London back in 1906-7 as a black printed postcard
No.6350. This version is published as a
photographic postcard and has a date on the back of July-August 1920. The number of rowing boats shown gives some
indication of just how popular the caves and beach were at the turn of the last
century. Visitors would pay a toll of
1d or 2d to enter the caves and beach and would be brought out to Watermouth by
coach and horses, later by charabancs. The boatmen and their boats would take
visitors over to Broadsands Beach and for trips to
Combe Martin and around the Bay.
In the background is the formidable but
breathtaking sight of Little and Great Hangman.
Note the lady on the left with her long dress down to her ankles and a
foiled umbrella to shade herself from the sun and wearing a large brimmed hat
with artificial flowers on top, as any lady would in those times!
The second view is identical but taken
over half a century later around 1958, numbered 2166 and published by Dearden & Wade of Bournemouth. It is likely that this picture was taken in
July or August and shows a very busy Watermouth Beach [Smallmouth Cove] with
children clambering over the rocks in every direction. Note the old fashioned knitted woollen
swimming costumes being worn and the lack of almost any beach chairs or
The other two
postcards, both published by J. Valentine & Sons and originally with the
Valentine's number of 18703, date back to c1905. You will immediately notice in the second of
these two cards that three sailing boats have been added as well as a small
rowing boat/dinghy. The latter card has
been given a different number by Valentine's and was sent in June 1938. So don't always believe what you see on a
also often updated their postcards by removing horses and carriages and
inserting cars and differently dressed people.
The small beach at the high tide end of
Smallmouth Cove became enclosed shortly before or just after the Second World
War by the building of a wall across the beach. This was to give not only a protected and
safe beach but ensured that a pool was present at all times with a change of
seawater at every high tide.
Wishing you all a
great festive Christmas and a healthy New Year 2007.
Tom Bartlett, November 2006
A CHRISTMAS LAMENT
computer's swallowed Grandma
honestly, it's true.
pressed 'control' and 'enter'
disappeared from view.
devoured her completely
thought just makes me squirm,
she's caught a virus
eaten by a worm.
recycle bin I've gone through,
And files of every kind.
I've even tried the internet,
But nothing did I find.
on to the website
searches to refine,
answer came back negative
thing was found 'online'.
her back for Christmas
always leaves nice presents
the Christmas tree.
you come across her,
she may be,
'scan','copy' and 'paste' her
e-mail back to me!
"Twas the night before Christmas
through the house
confusion and chaos,
of a mouse.
upstairs and down.
up the sleeve
tasted the turkey,
sampled the cake,
nibbled the mince pies
Ethel did bake.
catch him" sang father,
give him what for!"
for his stick
was hung by the door.
searched every nook
prodded each cranny
mousey was safe
Neath the bed where slept granny.
all goes to show,
where food is concerned,
cuter than men
doubt you have learned.
apologies to Clement Clark Moor, a professor of Religion, who published his one
celebrated poem in time for Christmas 1823.