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No. 116 - October 01-10-2008

Matthew Reynolds - The Mayflower Dish, 1st Class 3

The Four Seasons, the subject of the pictures on the covers and centre pages, have been produced by pupils at the Primary School and judged as Section K of the Horticultural Show. Thank you to all the pupils at the school for their work and congratulations to the winners.

Unbelievably, as I write this the sun is shining and it has been another glorious but autumnal day. Let's hope that we get a few more similar days before we have to put the clocks back and winter sets in.

BERRYNARBOR LADIES' GROUP

After the summer break [what summer?] the September Meeting took place in the Manor Hall on the 2nd. Birthday cards were given to Joan Garbett, Ann Hinchliffe and Margaret Weller.

Members were invited to take part in the World's Biggest Coffee morning in the Manor Hall on 26th September, organised by Vi Davis. All proceeds go to the Macmillan nurses.

Janet Gammon had organised a cream tea at Fremington Quay on Wednesday 17th September and has suggested a Christmas shopping trip to Plymouth on 3rd November, but this will depend on whether members will be willing to pay £13 for the bus fare.

Janet Gibbins then welcomed Dave Webb to the Meeting. He gave an interesting talk about silver mining in Combe Martin. Mining became popular in the 16th Century and evidence of these silver mines is still present. Several disused mines are located on the eastern ridge and evidence of tunnels can still be seen, as well as the remains of a wheelhouse used to lift ore from the mine. There are items in the Crown Jewels made from Combe Martin silver. Enthusiasts have been exploring the old mine workings since 1999.

In the reign of Edward I, 337 men were brought from Derbyshire, where they had been working in silver mines, to work the Combe Martin ones, which are said to have furnished money for the wars in the reign of Edward III. The mines were again worked successfully in the reign of Elizabeth I. Unsuccessful attempts were made to work these mines with profit in the 19th Century, but were finally closed in 1880 as silver was being mined in the colonies less expensively. Any silver found today would legally belong to Prince Charles.

The archaeological finds from the site will go on display at Combe Martin Museum and in the longer term the Combe Martin Silver Mine Research and Preservation Society hopes to attract funding for a more detailed interpretation centre.

A vote of thanks to Mr. Webb was given by Margaret Weller. The raffle was won by Jenny Caswell.

The next Meeting, on 7th October, will include a talk on Hypnotherapy given by Mr. Pugsley. Jan and Bill Butcher will be demonstrating Encoustic Art on 4th November and the Christmas Party will be on the 2nd December - surely it's not that time already?

All Meetings are in the Manor Hall on the first Tuesday of the month at 2.00 p.m. and newcomers are always welcome.

Doreen Prater

ST. PETER'S CHURCH

So, once again we had the rain to contend with at our Summer Fayre held on the 5th August. Everyone opted to bring their staff inside, apart from Ivan, who with his family and friends nevertheless had a successful evening running the barbecue. We did miss the skittles, but it was just not practical to bring the board down in the wet. The hall was very busy thanks to everyone who braved the weather to come out and support us. So many also gave prizes and goods for the various stalls, not to mention their time. Including several generous donations and with all expenses paid, £760 has been raised for much needed church funds.

The Harvest Thanksgiving Service will be on Sunday, 5th October at 11.00 a.m. This promises to be a special celebration with the school choir joining the church choir for a Family Service. Coffee [or tea] will be served afterwards. The church will be decorated on the Friday and Saturday before and gifts of flowers and produce will be very welcome. Harvest Evensong and Supper will follow on the Wednesday, 8th October, beginning in church at 6.30 p.m. There will be a buffet again this year and ticked priced at £5 will be on sale at the Community Shop the week before. Please buy your ticket in good time to assist in accurate catering for the numbers. The produce will be auctioned off at the end of the evening with proceeds going to WaterAid.

November will see a number of special services and times will vary from the normal, so please check.

Sunday, 2nd November, is All Souls Day and the Candle Service will be held at 4.00 p.m. with refreshments to follow. We welcome everyone from the village or outside to this service and it gives us all an opportunity to quietly remember loved ones. Please note there will be no service at 11.00 a.m. on this occasion.

Sunday, 9th November, will be Remembrance Sunday. The service will begin in church at the earlier time of 10.45 a.m. and we shall be joined by members of the Parish Council for the laying of wreaths at the War Memorial.

Sunday, 30th November, is St. Andrew's Day and also the first Sunday in Advent when the first candle will be lit on the Advent Wreath. The service will begin at the normal time of 11.00 a.m.

Friendship Lunches will continue at The Globe and will be on Wednesdays 22nd October and 26th November.

Mary Tucker

Two Choirs

Some months ago I approached the Primary School Headteacher, Sue Carey, to see if some of her talented children could get together with St. Peter's Church Choir to sing something special for our Harvest Festival Service this year. It was quite clear to me that Sue was extremely

enthusiastic about the project and so it was agreed that those children who enjoy singing should start practising as soon as possible!

Under the expert eye of Mary-Jane Newell, rehearsals have got underway and as such will be 'recreating' an event that took place many years ago when the School and Choir performed John Rutter's 'Look at the World' anthem at Harvest Festival time. Rehearsals are going well and 'joint' rehearsals commenced in early September. Come October, we hope that the Church will be filled to capacity to hear this beautiful piece of music performed once again - the words and music being so appropriate for the celebration of Harvest.

My earlier plea for new people to join our Church Choir has not met with much success, but one new lady, from Ilfracombe, has joined us. We are very pleased to welcome Anne Baldwin to our fold and can only hope that more people will come forward to enjoy singing together in the very near future.

Stuart Neale - Organist and Choirmaster

 

IN MEMORIAM

After I Have Gone

Speak my name softly, after I have gone.
I loved the quiet things, the flowers and the dew,
Field mice; birds homing and the frost that shone
On nursery windows when my years were few:
And autumn mists subduing hill and plain
and blurring outlines of those older moods
that follow, after loss and grief and pain -
And last and best, a gentle laugh with friends,
All bitterness foregone, and evening near.
If we be kind and faithful when day ends,
We shall not meet that ragged starveling 'fear'
As one by one we take the unknown way -
And speak my name softly - there's no more to say -

DENNIS COLLINS

It was with much sadness that we learnt that Dennis, having suffered a stroke earlier in the year, had passed away peacefully on the 9th September.

Win and Dennis left the village two years ago - having lived here in Barton Lane for many years - to move to Westbury-on-Trym. In January this year, they celebrated their Golden Wedding.

Our thoughts are with Win and the family and we send her our love at this very sad time.

 

OPTIMISM

A Gypsy

'Life is sweet, brother.'
'Do you think so?'
'Think so! There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon,
and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath.

Life is very sweet, brother, who would wish to die?'

George Borrow

 

A Young Girl

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Mornings at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in His Heaven -
All's right with the world

Robert Browning

 

A Japanese Gentleman

The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la,
Breathe promise of merry sunshine.
As we merrily dance and we sing, tra la,
We welcome the hope that they bring, tra la,
Of a summer of roses and wine,
Of a summer of roses and wine.
And that's what we mean when we say that a thing
Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.
Tra la la la la, Tra la, la, la,
The flowers that bloom in the spring.
W.S. Gilbert

 

A Jockey

I've gotter motter -
Always merry and bright!
Look around and you will find
Every cloud is silver-lined;
The sun will shine
Although the sky's a grey one.
I've often said to meself, I've said,
"Cheer up, Cully, you'll soon be dead!
A short life and a gay one!"

[From the Ascot scene in The Arcadians by Monckton & Talbot]

Trev

Robert Browning and W.S. Gilbert are household names, but George Borrow and Monckton and Talbot are probably less familiar.

The writer George Borrow was born in Dumpling Green near Dereham in Norfolk. His father was a soldier in the West Norfolk Militia and as a young boy, George's family were constantly on the move, a pattern that may have contributed to his unsettled behaviour in later life.

He was a rebellious youngster and spent much of his time wandering around Norwich, going to fairs and spending time with the gypsies on Mousehold Heath. He was tall, over six foot, and energetic, but he suffered from bouts of manic depression. Ill at ease in polite society, he was drawn to wild places, often in the company of bandits and robbers, he was fearless and physically strong. At the age of 50 he plunged into 30 foot waves in Yarmouth to rescue a sailor in distress.

A skilled linguist, he taught himself Welsh and Romany and he is perhaps best known for his semi-autobiographical novel Romany Rye [1857]. As a member of The Bible Society, he travelled extensively on the Continent and after retiring married Mary Clarke, whom he had had met in Spain. They eventually settled at Oulton Broad in Suffolk, although they spent time in Great Yarmouth and London, but it was at Oulton that most of his books were written.

His critics were not kind to him and he became, in later years, a lonely figure. He died at the age of 78 at Oulton, but is buried in the Brompton Cemetery in Kensington.

What are EdMusComs? Edwardian Musical Comedies are, perhaps, the most neglected series of musical comedies today. Those shows that delighted a previous generation with robust humour, carefree atmosphere and catchy tunes, are rarely heard or seen. They are the shows from about the period in the late 1890's when Gilbert and Sullivan began to lose their dominance, and before the rise of the American musicals by Gershwin and Porter following the First World War.

Lionel Monckton was born in London in December 1861 and educated at Charterhouse and Oriel College, Oxford, where he played a prominent role in the formation of the University Dramatic Society. He married the Gaiety Star, Gertie Millar in 1902. Following his death, in London, in February 1924, Gertie became a real 'society lady' on her marriage to the Earl of Dudley.

Howard Talbot, the conductor and composer, whose real name was Richard Lansdale Munkittrick, was born of Irish descent in New York in 1865, moving to London when he was just four years old. He planned to enter the medical profession but changed course to pursue a career in music, attending the Royal College of Music.

It was in 1909 that he teamed up with Lionel Monckton to produce 'The Arcadians', considered to be one of the most successful Edwardian Musical Comedies. Talbot died at the age of 63 in Reigate in 1928.

 

THE HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW

Blessed with a rare beautiful sunny day and with over 450 entries and lots of visitors, young and old, in the afternoon, the Show was a great success. Thank you to everyone who helped or supported it in any way.

'How nice it was to see the involvement of the children, so many wonderful entries, and so many there in the afternoon', was a comment heard over and over again.

It was a pleasure to welcome Sue, the Chairman of our Parish Council, who presented the cups and awards.

Sue Wright won the cup for Floral Art with her arrangement for 'Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness', which also won her the Watermouth Castle Cup for the best exhibit on the Show's theme of The Four Seasons. Florry Braund won not only the Junior award, but took 1st place in the Class for a lively arrangement entitled 'Summertime'.

Once again the Home Cooking table groaned with goodies, with the judge complimenting the entries which she felt were of a very high standard. Dena Denham, from Kentisbury, took the Walls Cup with her Apple Crumble Cake [with the 2 eggs!] and the Junior award went to Olivia Prentice.

The wide-ranging and very professional display of handicrafts was impressive! Joan Wood and Ellis Rees won the Davis Cup and Junior award in the needlework section, whilst Colin Harding's scale model of an aeroplane not only took up much space, but also gained him the Watermouth Cup! Five-year old Florry Braund's mobile 'Bug' won her not only the Junior award but the judges felt it was deserving of the Ray Ludlow award for the best non-horticultural exhibit in the Show - well done Florry!

And so for the Art section. A good display but not too many adult works of art! Lisa Shelley's lovely ethnic 'Portrait' regained her the George Hippisley Cup she won in 2005 and 2006, and six-year old Samuel Prentice took the Junior prize.

'Through the Window' was the subject of Alex Parke's photograph from a train that won him the Vi Kingdon Award and Caitlin Burgess's 'Little Pony' dressed for spring, summer, autumn and winter gave her the Junior award.

In spite of this year's weather, there was an excellent display of fruit, vegetables, potted plants and cut flowers. How does he do it? Once again Tony Summers' onions took the Derrick Kingdon Cup [for the 5th year running], and the Manor Hall Management Committee Cup for the Best Horticultural exhibit, and Sam Walls was the winning Junior.

The green-fingered Bartletts took the Lethaby Cup for Potted Plants and the Manor Stores Rose Bowl for Cut Flowers - Inge for the magnificent and enormous plumbago and Tom for his beautiful roses.

The Rose Bowl for the Junior with the highest cumulative score was hotly contested this year with excellent scores from Poppy Andrews, Caitlin Burgess, Florry Braund and Sam Walls but once again the Prentice family reigned supreme with between them over 70 entries. In third place was Samuel Prentice, sister Sarah was second but this year Olivia took the honours. Congratulations to all our junior entrants.

So, another Show over and another Show to remember. We'll be back again next year - so keep up the good work!

The Organising Committee

 

BERRY IN BLOOM AND BEST KEPT VILLAGE

Disaster has struck! From winning the Best Kept Village award for several years and coming runner up twice, we have plummeted to third from bottom out of twenty-seven entries!

The reason? Not because the village was untidy, not because of litter or dog fouling, not because the flowers looked messy, not because of the lack effort from the 'Bloomers' and villagers themselves, but because of Claude's Garden! We feel this to be very unfair. We are waiting for the Parish Council to build steps and paths, tenders have gone out, but obviously work has not begun. The problem is that the judges come unannounced, we do not meet them and therefore we cannot explain that the garden is a 'work in hand'. The project will not be resolved until work has been completed on the Garden and we do not know when that will be. Our apologies to all who have tried so hard to make the village look 'best kept'.

No result yet of the Britain in Bloom competition, let's hope we do better. The flowers have been a bit of a sorry sight this year because of the atrocious summer weather, but the whole country has suffered the same and we can't change that. Late News: WE MADE GOLD!!

This autumn we will be putting in bulbs and spring bedding plants. Let's hope again that next year will be better.

Wendy

Advance Notice . . . Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May 2009

 

THE GREAT BERRYNARBOR PLANT SALE

Following the success of last year's sale, we plan to hold another one next year. So please save some of your plants and seedlings to help make it an even bigger and better sale. We hope to have plants from all categories including trees and shrubs, herbaceous perennials, fruit and vegetables, indoor and pot plants, bedding and annuals.

There will also be some space for stalls connected with gardening and plants. If you would like to have a stall to promote and advertise your business or cause, please contact Kath Thorndycroft on [01271] 889019.

Proceeds to Berrynarbor Community Shop.

 

THE MANOR HALL

In July, the BBC gave the Manor Hall the magnificent sum of £700, which was accepted with great delight and we should like to thank all the hard working team for this generous donation.

In August we held our Berry Revels and chose a dry day for the event! We made over £1200. Well done to all those who worked so hard and a special thanks to Ivan Clarke and his family for all their hard work and commitment to the village.

We are still waiting for further quotes for the decoration of the Hall, but we are hopeful that the leaks in the roof will soon be put right.

On Friday, 10th October, in conjunction with the Beaford Arts Centre, we are putting on a Comedy Play entitled 'Funeral Games', by Unpacked Theatre, who have recently appeared at the Edinburgh Festival.

This should be a very good evening, starting at 7.30 p.m. in the Manor Hall, with a bar and costing £7.50 [under 16'S £4.00]. So make a note of it in your diary NOW and come along and support this activity. This is a joint venture between the Manor Hall and our Community Shop.

Bob Hobson - Chairman

 

WEDDING

Saturday, 6th September, was the wedding day of
Melanie, daughter of Dave and Ann Harris, and Lee
Allen. Following the ceremony at St. Peter's church, the
wedding party celebrated in true style at Sloley Farm.
We send you both our congratulations and very
best wishes for your future happiness together.

We should like to say thank you to the following for all the very kind help and much appreciated help to make our wedding in Berrynarbor on 6th September such a memorable occasion, for so many reasons:

John [I'm too sexy for my shorts] and Fenella [I'm not drunk, the floor is uneven] Boxall, Phil [Kind Hearts and Coronets] Bridle, Roger Luckham, Richard Gingell, Martin Belitho, Reverend Keith Wyer, the Bellringers, the Olde Globe, and finally all the villagers who turned out and sent their best wishes. We hope it wasn't too noisy as our rabble of guests wended their ways back to their various accommodations.

Most of our guests had to make a 400plus mile round trip and many have commented on the beautiful setting and friendly community in Berrynarbor. We both feel very privileged to have been able to choose Berrynarbor as the venue for our wedding week-end.

Just one last mention must go to Mum and Dad [Dave and Ann], you pulled out all the stops, THANK YOU!

Melanie and Lee 'Whathisname'

 

THE NEW ROOF

The 23rd July was a great day for us - our new roof was finished! The 28th July was a great day for the village - the scaffolding disappeared, finally, from the road! Obviously in Health and Safety Britain, scaffolding is a necessary evil but we appreciated that it was also 'a pain' for some. It conformed to the Highways' requirements, but we know that it reduced the width of a main thoroughfare. Thank you to everybody for your understanding and patience.

Originally the job was scheduled for May, but licences for the scaffolding on the road, sheathing overhead cables and correct disposal of the asbestos-mix tiles had to be received by the contractor and took more than a month to be issued. It used to take a couple of days! Whilst the scaffolding was in place, we used it to inspect progress and can say that it is a work of art! We are delighted with the quality of the workmanship.

We were very disappointed, for the village, that the job could not commence until June and took longer than expected, due to the weather, as we had hoped that the scaffolding would have gone before the final judging of Berry in Bloom and Best Kept Village occurred. Let's hope the village, our Beauty, with this scaffolding Beast will still win something!

Geoff and Judith - Flowerdew Cottage

 

WEATHER OR NOT

You won't need us to tell you what a wet, miserable couple of months July and August have been! All we can do is provide a few figures to confirm it.

Over the first week-end in July, 76mm [3"] of rain fell in the 48 hour period, this was followed by 61mm [2 7/16"] in the 24 hours between 11.00 p.m. on the 8th and 11.00 p.m. on the 9th. As a result we recorded more rain in the first nine days of the month than in the whole of any previous July, apart from last year. The wettest day was the 5th with 57mm [2╝"] and the total for the month was 197mm [7 7/8"], which was 2mm [1/13"] less than last year. The weather did pick up a bit towards the end of the month before going downhill again. It was a cool month with only three days when the temperature rose above 25 Deg C and the maximum temperature we recorded was 28.5 Deg C on the 28th, the minimum temperature was 9.7 Deg C. It was also a fairly breezy month with consistently moderate winds and a maximum gust of 24 knots.

In August the total rainfall was 192mm [7 5/8"] which made it the wettest August that we have recorded since we started keeping records in 1994, although 1997 was not much dryer with 187mm [71/2"]. The rainfall was spread evenly through the month and there were only two days without some precipitation. Like July, the temperatures were nothing special for the time of year, with an average maximum to 19.54 Deg C, although on Saturday 30th, the temperature rose of 24.6 Deg C, making it the warmest day of the month. This was only 0.2 Deg C lower than the maximum reached last August, but generally last year temperatures were higher throughout the month. The maximum wind gust was 29 knots, which was the strongest wind that we have recorded in August.

July and August combined produced 389mm [151/2"] of rain, more than we have ever recorded before for these two months, but if we add June, which was a dry month, we had 427mm [16 15/16"] for the three months, as opposed to 444m [17 5/8"] for the same period last year. On the Shipping Forecast for sea area Lundy during July and August, there were so many gale warnings that we lost count! These are not reflected by our wind figures because we are fairly sheltered here in the Sterridge.

The sunshine figures for July at 166.22 hours were up on last year when we had only 150.97, but were a bit down on previous years. Not surprisingly, August was a very dull month with only 127.64 hours, which was over 30 hours less than last August.

We haven't enjoyed the wet weather very much but the slugs have had a field day! September hasn't started very well, more about that in the next Newsletter. Simon and Sue

 

NEWS FROM THE COMMUNITY SHOP AND POST OFFICE

Well, our Shop is now 'officially' open! If you were there, we hope you had a good time with plenty to eat. If you couldn't make it, the shop looked superb with the garlands, balloons and bunting provided [and largely put up by] Gary and Sheila and Stuart and his keyboard provided lovely background music. Sandy, in his speech of welcome, gave a good report on the progress of the Shop and District Councillor Yvette Gubb unveiled the brass plaque now proudly fixed on the wall, giving credit to our benefactors: Devon Renaissance, the Plunkett Foundation and the North Devon District Council. Little Hazel was a delight when she presented Yvette with a handsome bouquet of flowers. Wine and food in abundance provided refreshment.

Our visitors included the Chairman of the North Devon District Council, a member of the Plunkett family, representatives of the grantees and builders and shop fitters, and, of course, villagers - about 90 in all!

Now it's down to the hard work of all of us to continue to support our Shop throughout the long winter months. To help you, Anita is prolonging the opening offer of a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine at a good price. She also says that you can be early for Christmas - cards are now in the Shop!

PP of DC

 

LETTER FROM THE RECTOR

The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

The other day a colleague was telling me about a time when he was driving his very old Ford Fiesta at a steady 28 mph in a  built-up area, when he noticed in his mirror a very expensive Aston Martin driving up his tail-pipe, very anxious to get by.  My colleague, out of sheer devilment I suspect, carried on his sedate way. As they came towards a bend in the road, he noticed the police waiting with a radar speed gun. Being the careful driver he was, he actually slowed down.  This was too much for the high flying executive who wanted to go places! He put his foot down and shot round the bend, right into the arms of the men in blue. Sure enough a few hundred yards up the road the Aston Martin had been pulled over. My colleague waved politely as he passed - poetic justice.

The trouble is, I think we have all at some time or other been guilty of exceeding the speed limit and were just grateful that we weren't caught. So perhaps we ought to be more kind in our judgement of others, especially if the driver of the Aston Martin was a hospital surgeon on his way to an emergency.

We may judge others, and think "Poetic Justice", but God never does. He always looks for the best and even loves us when he knows that we have done wrong. He positively goes out looking for us to bring us back "home" with him. [Just think of the Prodigal Son and the love of the Father.] That's why Jesus was sent into the world, to reveal the extent of God's love for us. However, that does excuse us from driving carefully when the welfare of others is at stake.

With all good wishes,

Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer

 

MY ENGLISH CHANNEL SWIM

On Thursday, 28th August, I attempted to swim from Shakespeare Beach in Dover to Wissant Bay on the coast of France.

Following months of training down in Broadsands Beach, the odd paddle up to Heddons Mouth and fattening myself up on Devon cream teas, I felt ready for the challenge ahead.

So . . . after 12 hours and 22 minutes of dodging P & O ferries and ocean going tankers, I finally walked out of the English Channel in complete darkness and on to French sands - but not a glass of vin or a croissant in sight!

The swimming conditions were good in the early stages but as we approached France, the good old English weather soon whipped up a few white horses, making a nice smooth stroke difficult and resulting in me frequently feeding the fish. It was during those difficult periods - when all you want to do is join the others on the boat for some piping hop soup! - that I turned my attention to all the support and generosity of the people from the village. Without a doubt, the kind gestures and words of encouragement really helped when I was nearing the beaches of France.

So thank you all, your support is much appreciated. To date we have raised in the region of £2,500! Cancer Research also send their thanks and we hope to have made a little bit of difference to many people's lives.

Tim [Jenner]


Avoiding another ferry


Approaching the French coast in the dark

 

CHOCOLATE & LEMON FLAN

Many people, it seemed, enjoyed this dessert at the Berry in Bloom BBQ in July and I was asked to put it in the Newsletter. So, here it is.

If you're worried about your calorie intake, don't go near it! If you like it, you'll find one piece is not enough!

For a 7" or 8" flan dish

Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Oven setting: 310 Deg F, 150 Deg C, Gas 2. Freezes well.

The flan base can either be shortcrust pastry or biscuit

 

Biscuit Base:

4 oz digestive biscuits and 2 oz. butter

Break the biscuits into pieces over a bowl and then crush them into very small pieces with a rolling pin. Melt the butter, pour over the crushed biscuits and mix together well. Put this mixture into a flan dish and press it into a flat, even base with the back of a spoon. Bake in a slow oven for 8 minutes. Leave in flan case to cool.

Chocolate Layer:

╝lb dark and ╝lb milk, eating chocolate, 1/2pt double cream

Break the chocolate into pieces and put them in a glass heatproof bowl. Over a low heat, place the bowl over a pan of boiling water to melt. Stir thoroughly so it is a smooth, combined substance. Do not allow this to bubble fiercely. Once smooth, turn off the heat but leave the mixture in the bowl over the hot water.

Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan and over a low heat, bring it to the boil slowly. As soon as bubbles appear at the side of the pan, add the chocolate and stir into the cream until you have a chocolate coloured cream. Pour this over the chilled biscuit base and refrigerate until cold and firm.

Lemon Layer:

╝pt double cream 6oz. condensed milk 2 large lemons

Pour the cream then the condensed milk into a bowl. Mix together well. Grate the lemons and add the rind to the mixture. Juice the lemons and beat this slowly into the cream. As soon as you add the juice, the mixture will thicken. When the chocolate layer is cold, spoon the lemon on top and return to the 'fridge for several hours before serving.

Decoration:

Grate chocolate from the bars all over the lemon layer, OR buy a Cadbury's Flake and cut it into small pieces OR Flake pieces and fresh lemon slices.

PS: The chocolate flan can be served as a dessert without the lemon layer, but you do need to serve it with fresh fruit, such as orange slices, strawberries or raspberries, because it is VERY rich without!

Judith [Adam]

 

NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL

We've been back to school for a week and the children are in to the familiar routines. Our Caretaker has worked wonders over the holiday and has painted two classrooms and two toilets, and we have had a good sort out! We started the term with the school looking shipshape and the children are trying hard to keep it looking that way!

This year we are concentrating on improving our ICT facilities, continuing to develop the teaching of writing and helping the children to become more responsible for themselves, their learning and their actions. Our new mantra is 'Is this my best?' We'd love to hear any examples of children 'being their best' to be good citizens outside school.

Later this term we'll have a whole school theme week entitled 'Around the World'. Each class will be finding out about a country and then presenting what they have learnt to the rest of the school. The countries that we have chosen are China, Mexico and Nepal. If anyone can help us with photos, artefacts, stories or a knowledge of the language of these countries and is able to support us with this theme, we'd love to hear from you.

By the time you read this, we will have celebrated European Day of Languages when we hope to give the children the opportunity to hear, see and experiment with using lots of differing languages.

Our plans for Christmas include a Christmas Giving Day when the children will be encouraged to give something back to the community. We are hoping to sing to you, deliver cards and pack food boxes for a local charity to distribute to disadvantaged people over Christmas. We shall conclude the day with our Christmas Service in the Church. We hope these activities will help us all to reflect on the true spirit of the season. If you have any ideas for this special day, please get in touch.

A final plea would be for any handy person who might be able to restore a poorly Singer hand sewing machine back to working order! I acquired the machine from the tip in the hope of being able to teach the children to use it, but do not have the skill to get it running again.

After a few hitches, we are trying to use the notice board outside the village shop to let you all know of up and coming events, and to share our successes with you. We welcome the involvement of the wider Berrynarbor community with the life of the school and hope that you will join us at some of the events listed:

3rd October Harvest Festival

8th November Coach Trip to IKEA & Cribbs Causeway [see separate notice]

8th December Christingle Service followed by the Christmas Fair

15th December 'Senior Dudes'' Meal

18th December Christmas Service and Giving Day

Sue Carey - Headteacher

 

HONEY, HONEY

[No, not the Abba version nor the successful Mamma Mia! film]

Following Pam's piece about the Quince Honey Farm at South Molton in the last Newsletter - and nagged by our Editor - I thought you might find the following of interest. Like the honey . . . enjoy!

You turn fifty and this big box arrives on your doorstep screaming "Happy Birthday". Yippee, somebody loves me. Then, forced to open it in front of the post man, because it's the largest box he's ever delivered, you discover you've been given a bee hive by a very generous friend!

Oh my god, the responsibility! Like a dog, bees are not just for Christmas. So, next thing I know, I'm a fully paid up member of the North Devon Bee Keeping Association [NDBKA], attending bi-monthly classes.

From that day on every magazine, newspaper and Sunday supplement seemed replete with articles about bees: their importance in food production; their plight in the face of global warming; their decline due to the Varoa mite and Colony Collapse disorder through over work in the almond and orange orchards of America. In fact it could be the end of the world as we know it if the humble honey bee is not around to pollinate our plants. Thanks to this generous gift, I was now single-handedly responsible for saving the planet.

Fortunately help was at hand at the Horestone Horror House, as the NDBKA HQ at Bishop's Tawton is known. Not to be confused with Club Vanilla, in the same locale, although they look very similar, both being converted chicken houses - Horestone, however, is an apiary of over 20 hives, and truly a hive of astonishing activity.

I arrived at my first meeting to be confronted by half a dozen Captain Bird's Eye look-alikes. All sporting chunky-knit sweaters and large beards, these lovely gentlemen ushered me in, plied me with copious cups of tea and a plentiful supply of chocolate biscuits and in the warmth of an old pot- belly stove, suckered me into the world of the honey bee. Two hours flew past as these wily apiarists spoke their honeyed words explaining everything from hive management to bee disorders and the nuptial flight of the promiscuous virgin queen.

By April, so lulled by their sweet words, I was ready to go hands on and found myself dressed as an alien [see photo] handling frames smothered with bees. Before I knew it, I was persuaded to gently probe a throbbing mass of bees with my bare finger in search of the queen and these wonderful, intelligent, gentle insects obligingly moved aside to reveal her. All fear of these stinging beasts had been allayed by my Bee Boys. Treat them right and you will gain their respect - that's the bees not the boys.

By May I had signed the cheque for £150 and ordered a nucleus of bees from the National Bee Supply Centre in Okehampton. In July I collected a violently humming box of bees. With just a small piece of

gauze holding back the hoards, I drove home appropriately via Honeychurch and Beaford. After two days letting them settle and orientate, I transferred them, on a rare warm, sunny afternoon, to their new home, my birthday hive, and they have been happily nesting ever since.

Due to the atrocious weather, the poor beasts have hardly been out of the hive, but their dominatrix queen has been laying eggs frantically. I am now the proud owner of no less than 10 frames, of approximately 10,000 summer worker bees. You might have noticed them flying about the village. These will literally work themselves to death over the next couple of months and gradually be replaced by winter bees who, with a life span of 6 months, should survive the winter to kick start the colony next spring.

I won't reap any honey this winter, but keep feeding my babies with fondant over the winter and I'll hopefully bring you more buzzing tales next year. Meanwhile do not fret if you see an alien wandering abroad in Castle Hill, it is simply me talking to my bees.

Fenella

 

THE DREAM

It had been a long day. Highlights and lowlights had jostled their way through the preceding hours and I was tired. It had been a long day.

I was overdue for a period of relaxation so stretched out in a comfortable chair and selected orchestral music to enable me to chill out. The CD was on the player. Sitting in my armchair I settle down to listening to the soothing melody, shutting my eyes the better to enjoy the music. Drifting away into a world of peace and tranquillity, time stood still.

I awoke to find myself sitting on a beach. A brilliant sun was shining. It was warm. In the distance mountains looked down on a calm and peaceful bay. The lapping of the waves of a sultry sea accompanied the soft warmth of violins far away.

Nobody was about. The place was deserted. How did I come here I wondered.

The silvery sand stretched beyond into a haze of blue as the sea and sky seemed to merge. Sea birds flew lazily overhead. It was paradise.

I became aware of a figure approaching along the beach, far away. Drawing ever closer I now saw it was a girl wearing a flowery dress. The sunlight touched her dark hair. There was a smile on her face. Her lips were moving but there was no sound. I tried to speak but no words came. She had something in her hand which she was wanting me to take. As I stretched out to do so, my fingers brushed against hers - the vision vanished immediately.

I awoke with a start. I was leaning forward, hand outstretched. The music played on.

In the morning, as I collected the mail, which had fallen on the mat, I noticed a postcard among the letters. I looked at the picture. A beach bathed in sunlight, with mountains in the background. It was so familiar it was uncanny. Turning the card over, I read the written words.

They were from a friend who was holidaying on a remote island thousands of miles away. Extraordinary dream, wasn't it!

Walter Canham

Peter Rothwell

 

BERRYNARBOR PRIMARY SCHOOL

Kayleigh Hinsley - Class 3: 3rd

Oliver Ivan - Class 2: Joint 2nd

Megan Webb - Class 2: 3rd

Molly Marangone - Class 1: 1st and The Men's Institute Cup

Louis Orr - Class 1: Joint 2nd

Ella Gibson - Class 1: Joint 2nd

Sam Walls - Class 1: 3rd

 

RURAL REFLECTIONS - 37

Early October. Yellows and golds encroach upon the Cairn. Yet green still dominates; it shows how autumn's spectacle is shifting. Yellow does, however, have the monopoly amongst the bracken, particularly beside Station Path. Here, their leaves have decayed to reveal a bench hidden since May. On the other side of the path, a wren sings its heart out within the layered hedge. One year on from being laid, infant branches are shooting forth, enabling the hedge to slowly take shape once more.

I had left home intent on searching for one of the Cairn's long lost paths. But, as I stood by the hedge, I became acutely aware of how crisp the surrounding scene looked; hardly surprising, a fresh autumnal breeze taking with it the haze that had been a feature of the hot summer (remember them?). The Welsh coastline stood out in particular, a view that required better appreciation. Cairn Top would, therefore, be my first call; reached by taking the most direct route, past The Spindles and up the steep Shelter Steps.

No sooner had I set foot on to Spindles Path when rasping shrieks resonated through the air. They came from the southern end of Pall Meadow, blocked from view by the surrounding blackthorn. After a few minutes, the shrieking was replaced by the sound of slow, flapping wings. Soon a jay appeared from over the ridge of the meadow, struggling to gain height. Seemingly unaware of my presence, it passed directly overhead before landing in a tree within the grounds of the Round House. I wondered for a moment if its slow flight was the result of an injury. The shrieks were certainly loud enough to justify an aggressive squabble with another jay. Laboured flight is, however, a characteristic of the species but I had not noticed any injury as it flew past.

Instead, I had been given an opportunity to admire at close hand the pale pink feathers of its breast and the contrast of its white rump and black tail. These colours, along with the striking blue wing coverts and jet black flight feathers, blend to make the jay one of our most attractive woodland birds. It can also be one of our most elusive, yet this was not to be the last time today that I should experience jays at close hand.

Within the blackthorn along Spindles Path, a female blackbird was overturning leaves in search of food. Beneath each leaf she found plenty of sloe berries but these too were tossed to one side. And who could blame her? Now withered and imitating miniature wrinkled prunes, they looked far from appetizing. In any case, blackberries and hawberries are her particular fancy at this time of year. Their seeds will not break down once inside her stomach. Instead they will pass through her digestive system undamaged and then be deposited in individual "bags of manure". It is a process special to the blackbird, enabling the seeds to germinate much quicker. Furthermore, the blackbird's diverse fruit diet allows a host of plants including rowan, bramble, haw, ivy, and holly to benefit.

The action of a bird relentlessly turning over twigs, leaves and stones in search of food is always a joy to watch. Like all her fellow species, the female blackbird knows that now is the time to build up energy in preparation for possible leaner times ahead. Of course, she does not need anyone to tell her. All she needs to do is look at her surrounding scene; the hedge bank with its grasses now pale and its montbretia leaves and three-cornered-leek leaves now limp. Even the cluster of greater plantain is an insipid brown colour, not a hint of green in any of its flowers which once made up their distinguished stalks. At least there is greenery hanging over the hedge bank where it passes The Spindles. It is provided by ivy, a site that will give comfort in the coming months to our female blackbird; if food does become scarce, the ivy will at least provide her with berries late into winter.

A lone red campion flower brushed up against the bench just here, as though needing it for comfort. It must wonder what has happened to its many hundred counterparts which once cloaked the bench. Nowadays it looks down upon a Spindles full of seed heads; a reminder that nature is looking after its own and ensuring that flowers will grow here again next year.

Entering the woodland, it was clear that the sycamores were now losing their leaves at an increasing rate. With the sighting of birds becoming easier by the day, it was tempting to look upwards. On the Cairn, however, October heralds a time to look down, especially on damp mornings when the paths' exposed rocks become either slippery or hidden beneath wet leaves.

The climb through the woodland was in complete contrast to the brightness of the summit, enhanced even more due to recent gorse clearance by the Cairn Conservation Carers work parties. The area would have been brighter still if it were not for the cloud hanging wearily over the sky. Inland looked perilously dark. Yet on reaching the hills south of Ilfracombe, the cloud base lightened and, on reaching the town, tried its hardest to break up. Once over the Bristol Channel it succeeded, the skyline dotted with white puffy clouds. Each one stood out boldly against a sky of striking blue. In the distance a low strip of white cloud imitated an elongated piece of cotton wool. It is a regular feature of the view across to Wales. In fact, much of the sky was typical in character: thick cloud inland yet blue sky over the Channel. Often from Cairn Top, the North Devon coast can be clarified by the line of cloud petering out as it nears the coast. Today it was evaporating literally at the shoreline. With most of the town devoid of sunlight, occasional rays were moving west to east where the land met the sea. One by one, the rays highlighted the sheep on the Torrs, the flag upon Capstone Hill and the horses in the fields on the far side of Score Valley. Further away, rays of sunlight were lighting up the peaks of Little Hangman, then Great Hangman and finally Holdstone Down.

Closer to hand was an autumnal display at different stages. With the beech trees still green, the oaks were just turning yellow. The ash trees on the other hand were almost gold; and whilst the maples and sycamores were fast losing their leaves, the nearby cherry tree was already naked. The northern perimeter from which the tree rose was a hive of activity - not bees, but flies - with the matter of the "birds and the bees" their apparent concern. Rarely resting on the rock to be easily identified, a game of "kiss-and-chase" was clearly in evidence. When the male finally caught up with his female counterpart, the pair momentarily flew in tandem before uncoupling, the required deed for the day having been accomplished. The bulging red eyes of the fly species suggested they could have been flesh flies. As their name suggests, they are normally attracted to carrion and carcasses.

No doubt these "hot-blooded" flies appreciated the wind blowing across Cairn Top to lower their body temperatures following their five seconds of intimacy. Conditions, however, were far from cold, providing an ideal opportunity to rest awhile upon the summit before attempting to discover the long-lost path.

Not knowing the path's location, I felt an urge to descend Cairn Top via the North Kerne Path, one that is ideal for solitude on foot. With its surrounding beeches still resisting autumn, the sun came out and shone through their lime-coloured leaves to make them appear transparent. Dappled shade covered the ground, whilst higher up the leaves rustled in the autumn's breeze, a contrast to the stillness and the warmth of the air around me. Yet it was not just a bodily warmth; there is an atmosphere in the beech woodland here which penetrates the body to provide an inner glow as well. For all was indeed tranquil. But for the rustling leaves above, there was no birdsong or any sound of movement. Even Slade Valley was silent. Obscured from view, its houses might not even have been there.

Loud squawking then abruptly disturbed the silence. In the trees above me, three jays were viciously fighting. As they did battle, one was forced down on to a lower branch, the other two birds thrashing their wings and smacking their beaks savagely. Eventually the singled out jay was almost forced to the ground but, before giving up his battle and flying off, gave out one last aggressive squawk, loud enough to disturb a nocturnal creature from its slumber.

Out from the greenery, the bold white wings of a barn owl flapped profusely. At first it hovered just above the foliage before finding its bearings and flying off across the path just a few yards in front of me - whilst omitting an inexplicable glowing warmth. Within moments it had lost height and disappeared into the bramble. Keen to get a closer look, I gently stepped across the rough terrain and peered in. The owl was nowhere to be seen. Neither was the pair of jays. Silence had returned to the woodland and inside me was a warm bodily glow, penetrating from the inside out.

Stephen McCarthy

 

FOR ALL LOVERS OF LUNDY

'The Lundy Granite Company - an industrial adventure' by Peter Rothwell [one of our Newsletter illustrators] and Myrtle Ternstrom, is a book for all Lundy lovers.

The book tells of the reasons why the Granite company was short-lived, its ignominious collapse and the impact it has had on the island.

The remains of Bronze Age hut circles on the island show that its granite has been used for dwelling and enclosures since the earliest times. However, as a commercial resource, it was not until William Hudson Heaven, the then owner, began to explore its potential in 1838. The idea led to the establishment of the Lundy Granite Company Ltd. in 1863.

Beautifully illustrated with old photographs, other archive material and reconstruction pictures by Peter, this book relates the story of an industrial adventure, the effects of which are still evident today. It is published by Westwell Publishing Devon and is available from W.H. Smith at £14.99. If you have any problems, contact Peter on [01271] 866736.

A must on your Christmas present list!

Quarry Quay and Jetty - Circa 1865

[Reconstruction Peter Rothwell]

Quarter Wall Cottages - circa 1864 [reconstruction - Peter Rothwell]

 

WELCOME & FAREWELL

A somewhat belated welcome to Brendan and Emma Noad of Ellis Cottage. Brendan, who runs a scaffolding company, and Emma, who makes glorious cakes, have three daughters and a son. Jessica is now at college but Sophie [in the Sixth Form], Isabella and Sebastian are all at school. Bringing the family up to nine are their three dogs.

We are gone! It's goodbye to our welcome spring visitors.

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Photo by Wendy, North Devon Spinners

 

MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 17

GEORGE LEY

Mid 1600's - early 1700's - Gentleman of Leisure

Founder of the Pack o' Cards' Inn, Combe Martin

If you walk from the Pack o' Cards Inn in Combe Martin, towards the bar, skirting the Smokers' Den, you will see a single storey building with the following large notice painted on its walls: The story of the Pack o' Cards Museum - Entrance. Go inside and you will find fascinating photographs and information about not only George Ley and his Combe Martin House [the original name], but of the history of Combe Martin.

In the museum he is quoted as a 'gentleman of leisure', yet he was fairly active in the village. The dates of his life are not recorded, but in 1677 he received a licence from the Bishop of Exeter to teach at a private school in Combe Martin. In 1688 he became overseer to the poor and joined the local council that ruled the village.

The Ley family owned a lot of land, not only in Combe Martin, but elsewhere. They were also well connected in court circles, one relative, Sir James Ley, becoming in 1625 the first Earl of Marlborough and Lord High Treasurer of England.

George Ley enjoyed a game of cards, and legend has it that after a large win in 1690 he had the idea of building a house in celebration, based on "a stack of cards such as a child might make".

We've all grown up knowing that the building has four floors [four suits], thirteen rooms [number of cards in a suit], 52 windows and stairs [cards in the pack] and was designed to look like a stack of cards. Added to this, it was built on an area of fifty-two square feet, and the Squire's Library window, over the front door, has thirteen panes of glass. There is another interesting window to the right of the first floor entrance on the road. The central circle in each pane was made by the glass blower's iron. Glass at this time was very expensive and after the main glass had been used the centre pieces were either thrown away or used on less important windows such as this. And now people pay quite a lot to get almost the same effect!

The basic structure is of stone, rubble and cob. The wrought iron balustrade at the top of the house is original as is the oak panelling, except for the arched door to the Oak Room, which is thought to be much older.

All thirteen rooms have fireplaces, yet there are only eight chimneys. This was Ley's way of avoiding some of the Hearth Tax, which began in 1662. The tax assessor counted the number of chimneys from the outside of buildings to assess the due tax. Ley had another problem, however. In 1696, a Window Tax came into force to replace the Hearth Tax that people had learnt to avoid. The basic tax was two shillings plus an extra shilling for each window. Having put in 52 windows, Squire Ley promptly had many of them blocked up and they became known as permanent 'Pitt's Pictures' . The Window Tax was stopped in 1851 and replaced by a House Duty.

The house remained in the Ley family for over a hundred years. Personal family touches were added, such as the sundial on the wall above the car park. The Squire's eldest son, also George, added it in 1752 with the inscription 'G1752L'.

In the late 1700's and early 1800's, the pressgangs were busy, not least in Combe Martin. By this time, George Ley's mansion had become a hostelry. And mine host had a trick to outwit the pressmen. He would smuggle two or three free men, in strict order of seniority, under 'an ancient relicke' - a cunningly disguised hinged lid of a surprisingly roomy kitchen table. This ingenious hiding place was never betrayed.

The first recorded mention of an inn was in 1822 when Jane Huxtable was the landlady. It was then called 'The King's Arms' - proof that a previous unlisted landlord had lost an arm fighting for the King. [Good job it wasn't The Kings Head!] The King's Arms became a centre of activity for the village. Combe Martin Petty sessions were held in a 'large but very low and close room', but the Ilfracombe Chronicle of May11th 1878 then recorded that there was 'a new courtroom . . . reached by a flight of stone steps . . .31feet x 20 feet . . . at a cost of £200'. It was used for other activities: in December local residents parted with their money at the Lime and Manure audits; in January the Rector collected his tithes; in October when tenants paid their rents. The first livestock sale was held on 12thApril 1880 and after that every spring and autumn various auctions of property, hay and root crops took place. It was a popular watering hole for coaches and horses passing between Ilfracombe and Lynton and on August Bank Holiday 1899, 140 horses were watered there. By 1903 'Copp's char-a-banc' ran each day during the season from Ilfracombe, stopping n hour in Combe Martin for tea to be served at The King's Arms.

During the First World War, a bugler played the Last Post from its flat roof whenever news of the death of a local man was received.

It was obvious that the inn had been known for years as the Pack o' Cards but this became official on 1st June 1933 when the licensee was William Joseph Mills. Electricity was installed in 1940 but gaslights were kept 'in case there's a power cut'!

Some of you may remember that in 1987 Paul Daniel's Magic Show was recorded live from the Pack o' Cards. It was quite a night! The High Street was closed, and electricity supply for the whole village disrupted whilst the show was on. [Where were those gaslights?] Arthur Marshall

picked the nine of spades from a pack of cards and when Paul threw the pack at the Squire's painting, that card appeared inside the frame. That painting is now in the museum, still with the card in place.

As a finale, a local man drew from the pack the five of diamonds. Everyone then went outside - and from a chimney at the top of the inn rose a huge five of diamonds. Quite a Magic Show!

The present licensees are Debbie and Chris Batchelor - and the Pack o' Cards is for sale. We wish them well in their retirement. If you have a large sum of money, it can be yours. Otherwise you can enjoy a pleasant time in summer enjoying tasty bar and restaurant food, or a beer in the riverside gardens and there is a terrific adventure playground to keep the children happy. In winter there are skittles, darts and pool, and quiz nights. Special events for Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year's Eve keep the 'locals' happy.

So, nearly 320 years after George Ley came up with his one off idea, we hope that this quirky Grade Two ancient monument will be giving pleasant times to patrons for many years to come.

PP of DC with grateful thanks to Debbie and Chris for their help

 

BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE

The Berrynarbor Wine Appreciation Circle gets under way again shortly and I am pleased to report that we have a full and exciting programme lined up for members, but first a little background for those new to the area.

The wine Circle was started around 20 years ago by the late

Alan Richardson and has been continued since his death by a small group who got together and 'self elected themselves' to run the Circle for the first year. However, with a few variations, it is still the same group. Despite resigning each year at the AGM, they are then re-elected en-bloc. Either a sign that they are doing a good job or else that no-one else is prepared to put in the work!

The Wine Circle meets throughout the winter months, from October to May, on the third Wednesday of each month at 8.0 pm in the Manor Hall. Membership is still very cheap, just £3.00 per year, and the charge for each meeting to cover the cost of the wine, hiring the hall, etc., varies from between £4 and £7 according to the quality of the wines being presented. The Circle is non profit making.   We try to have professionals from within the wine trade whenever possible, with the remaining dates being presented by club members. The evening is a presentation and talk about the wines with normally six wines, three white and three red, to taste and discuss. There are no 'experts', just those who enjoy their wine and everyone is welcome to join. It is a lovely, relaxed way to spend a sociable winter evening amongst friends, and much cheaper than going to the pub!

Anyone wanting more information or wishing to join should contact me, the Secretary, on [01271] 883600 or by email to tony.veranos@googlemail.com. In fact I should appreciate all members who use the internet sending me a note to provide me with their email address as this would make communication so much easier now that most people are 'on-line'.

The Programme for the coming year, 2008-2009 is:

15th October Jonathan Coulthard from Domain Gourdon, Duras,

France, makes a return visit, perhaps with some local

delicacies to taste as well.

19th November The vineyards of Sussex and Surrey presented by new

member Judith Adam.

10th December Christmas Food and Drink with ever popular presenter,

Brett Stevens of the Fabulous Wine Company. Effectively a three-course meal and top quality wines for well under a tenner! Come to the earlier meetings to find out more.

2009

21st January Our popular Quiz Show - Call my Wine Bluff.

18th February The Majestic Wine Company - another regular favourite,

but this year it will not be Paul, but James, his boss.

18th March Pam Parke presents The Grenache Wines [or Garnacha if

you are Spanish.

15th April Regular favourite Jan Tonkin

20th May Committee man Brian Wright presents 'South African Wines - are we overlooking a top quality source?'

I look forward to seeing you all again in October and hopefully a host of new members. Please don't forget the email addresses.

Tony Summers - Secretary

 

JUST A GOOD DAY OUT!

That is the plan for Saturday, 8th November.

To raise funds for our Primary School, arrangements have been made with Filers Travel to have a day trip to Bristol to IKEA and Cribbs Causeway for Christmas Shopping or just to enjoy some retail therapy.

The day, which will start at 7.30 p.m. at the Church Steps - returning at 8.00 p.m. - will cost £15 per person, which will include refreshments on the way up and a raffle on the way home.

Everyone [but not children] are welcome - male or female and you do not need to have any connection with the School.

To reserve your seat on the coach or for more information, please ring Barbara Jordan at the School on [01271] 883493. First come, first served.

Berrynarbor Upholstery Group

The group meets every Monday morning from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. in the Berrynarbor Manor Hall, and with several members having completed their projects and not yet found the next piece to work on, we are able to take a few new members. The cost is very small, just a joining fee of £20.00 and then a contribution towards the cost of the hall for each day you attend. If you don't attend you don't pay!

We have instructional CD's available for your use at home or on a laptop at the hall, and all materials and tools are available to purchase at discounted prices.

Dig out Granny's favourite chair or stool or maybe something you have picked up at a car boot sale and bring it along for renovation. It doesn't matter if you have never done anything of this nature before, we will guide you on each step of the way as you turn that battered old wreck back into an attractive antique. The pictures give an idea of what you can achieve.

Ring Tony Summers on 01271 883600 for more information or turn up on any Monday, except Bank Holidays, at the Berrynarbor Manor Hall.

From this . . .

To this

 

THE BLINK

Combe Martin of many years ago was very different to how we know it today. In the earlier part of the last century, it had a number of fishing boats of the sailing type; there was the exporting of strawberries; many roads were unmade and Seaside Hill was narrower as the project of widening the footpath overhanging the beach had not been carried out.

One morning in November 1918, two brothers, Harry and Brian, set off from their home opposite the Church, walking the length of the High Street and stopping on Seaside Hill for a rest.

The area was shrouded in mist and cloud and when they cast their eyes over to Lester Point, it was one of those days when you can see the top and bottom of Little Hangman, but not the bit in between.

The other people about all witnessed what happened next.

Suddenly there was a slight tremor, a rumbling and a roar started to build up and everyone's attention was drawn to the Camel's Head. Because of the mist, it was only just visible.

"Look at that!" people called out in unison. "The camel seemed to blink its eye." "It couldn't have done," said another.

Following this event, a Mrs. Gladys Jones of Combe Martin wrote to her sister in Barnstaple.

'Dear Jane', it read, 'You won't believe this although a lot of people will tell you the same thing. The other day it definitely looked as if the Camel blinked.' The letter went on to talk about other, domestic matters.

The letter was held for many years by the late Colonel Brian Chambers of Barnstaple, a long time museum curator.

What was curious was that the 'blink' happened at 11 o'clock on the eleventh day of November 1918 - the end of World War I.

Now we move on to 1945.

Two sisters, Elizabeth and Joan, were ambling their way up Seaside Hill. Again it was one of those days of mist and cloud. They stopped for the customary taking in of the general scene, as were other people.

Just as there had been all those years earlier, there was this sudden tremor, roar and rumble - a difficult thing to describe. All eyes turned in the direction of Camel's Head, and together they witnessed what seemed to be a blink of the Camel's eye. A strange and almost frightening experience!

Everyone began exchanging views on what they believed they had seen and of course some exaggerated the matter as they related it in the local pubs, probably getting a free pint for their trouble.

As the two sisters made their way home, they passed a house where the window was open and the radio was on and could be heard quite clearly. The news was on and a voice told the nation that 'Today at 3.00 p.m. on the 8th of May 1945, the war with Germany has ended. A speech will follow by the Prime Minister, Mr. Winston Churchill.'

"That must have been about the time we thought we saw the Camel blink," said Elizabeth to Joan.

What do you think? There was no particular rubble found below the Camel's Head, by way of falling rocks which might have caused the 'roar.

There was a small insertion in the national press at the time. Theories have been put forward but no real nor satisfactory answer has been found. What do you think?

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester

Paul Swailes

 

LOCAL WALKS - 110

'Westleigh nestling among the trees . . . with Instow close to the

water's edge, will make the artist long to fix the scene on canvas.'

from a 1934 North Devon Guide Book

Between squally showers we ascended the hill to St. Peter's Church past rows of cottages, many of them thatched; rosemary bushes around the war memorial on a bank planted with potentilla, Rose of Sharon and deep pink cistus.

The centre of Westleigh is a tangled knot of little streets and the village is pleasantly situated within view of the River Torridge.

We entered the churchyard through a deep archway, forming the centre of a fine old building with mullion windows; part lych gate, part long

church house. Lych gates provided shelter for coffins on arrival at the church, lych being the Saxon word for corpse.

Westleigh church dates back to the early years of the fourteenth century, with a north aisle added two hundred years later. It is noted for the medieval Barnstaple tiles on the floors of the nave and aisle, and for a painting called 'Rizpah' by the celebrated Victorian artist, Frederic Leighton, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1893.

However, disappointingly we were not to see any of this as the church was locked and there was no information about a key holder, so we paused to admire the elaborately carved, decorative bosses on the ceiling of the porch before walking around the outside of the church. The tower, which dominates the village, is Early English with stout buttresses at its corners.

The lack of pinnacles emphasises its sturdy appearance. Red admirals were visiting the ox-eye daisies and knapweed flowering among the headstones. Although it has been such a poor year for butterflies a lot of red admirals emerged in late August in bright newly-minted condition,

their wings unfaded and unbuttered by encounters with spiders' webs or being buffeted against brambles and thorns. Seventeen red admirals on one small buddleia was a splendid sight.

. It was a short walk down the lane from the village and across the main road to the river where there are views across the estuary to Northam and Appledore. There were a lot of black headed gulls on the beach, still in their summer plumage, and oyster catchers, and at the water's edge a solitary bar-tailed godwit. Appledore was lit up by sunshine but soon, as we walked along the track towards Instow, a grey gloom settled over Crow Point and it was raining again. The bonus when it stopped - a rainbow spanning the junction of the 'Two Rivers'.

Illustrations by Paul Swailes

 

A LONG TIME AGO -

I think I was seven when I first had 'pocket money'. The one penny was a large coin and there were 240 of them to the pound sterling. At my age then, I was not bothered with pounds sterling!

In 1924 that one penny went a long way in the sweetshop. Liquorice was in abundance and it was cheap, so you got a lot for your penny. Pontefract cakes, boot laces - those strands of liquorice which were the favourites of young children, tiger nuts and gob stoppers. Those days are long gone. My collection of coins contains a large number of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V pennies. The weight of the album in which they are housed is enormous. No wonder that trouser pockets wore out so quickly, having to cope with such weighty items!

The other day I was talking to a youngster who seemed unable to grasp the fact at, at one time, there were small coins called farthings - 960 of them to the pound sterling. It took me quite a time to tell him what had happened to our currency since 1971 when everything went decimal. In schools, these days, they don't even tell children that we had a half penny once - that was discontinue in 1984. Going back even further, it was in 1956 when the farthing disappeared. So what happens next?

Walter Canham

 

OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW 115

Lower Town, Berrynarbor

For this issue, and because of holidays, I have chosen four different postcards showing 'Lower Town' or 'Silver Street', Berrynarbor.

The first card, a photograph taken by W. Garratt about 1925 shows the Post Office and Shop No. 62, Brookside No. 63, No. 61 Betty Brooks, and the two cottages, Nos. 60 and 45 [the nearest became a butcher's shop] and part of Berrynarbor School.

The second card is photographed and printed by E.A. Sweetman of Tunbridge Wells c1926 and was sent to some in Swimbridge in 1931l. This card shows part of the garden of Brookside, the Post Office and Shop, as well as St. Peter's Church and Claude's Dairy, with opposite the corner of Gable Cottage, the roof of the School and the wall of No. 61, Betty Brooks's house.

This photographic card was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd. and again shows Brookside, the Post Office and Shop and St. Peter's Church. It was taken around 1939 and the card is actually postmarked

'Ilfracombe 1939' and was sent to someone in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Lastly, another Sweetman postcard, in colour, of around 1950 showing the same buildings as before, but with two cars, possibly of 1939 vintage, and several villagers or visitors.

I felt these views of our previous shop and post office were apt for this issue. The new Shop was opened by District Councillor Yvette Gubb on Friday, 30th August, on an actual sunny day!

Tom Bartlett

Tower Cottage, September 2008

e-mail: tombartlett40@hotmail.com

James Uzzell - Class 3: Joint 2nd

 
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