Trevor's reminiscences of games past got me thinking too - did it stir up some memories for you? Do they play 'Jacks' [five stones or knuckle bones] these days? The old pavements were laid in a perfect way for a great game of hopscotch. Then there was 'Donkey'', a game played with a rubber ball against a wall, performing various 'tricks' before you reached the final goal, and 'kick the cob', a variation of 'hide and seek'. I, too, collected cigarette cards as well as matchbox tops and cheese labels, but the biggest trade was in stamps and coloured beads!
As I start work on this, Issue 99 [December and Christmas], the rainy season appears to have passed and we are enjoying cold, crisp, frosty mornings with blue skies and sunshine - certainly a little more seasonal weather - let's hope it continues.
Now we are in to those hectic pre-Christmas weeks of panic - cakes, puddings, presents, cards - why do we do it?
Seeking your support!
As always I am indebted to the regular contributors - the mainstay of our Newsletter - but it really would be nice to hear from some others, particularly those who live in the village. If you enjoy the Newsletter - and I do hope, and believe, you do - why not make it YOUR New Year resolution to contribute just one item - article, photograph, poem, recipe, etc. - in the coming year. Just think what bumper issues we'd have!
After the printing of Debbie's delightful coloured cover, the kitty will be looking rather sick. So, to raise some money, plans are in hand to hold a Coffee Morning, to celebrate the 100'th issue, at the Manor Hall on Saturday, 4th February. This may be a long way off and there will be more details later, but please make a note of the date in your new diaries or on your new calendars. Your coming for coffee will be appreciated, but it won't let you off coming up with an article!
Yes, the Newsletter will be 100 issues old in February and in thanking everyone for their contributions over the years and for this issue, may I ask for articles and items for February to be with me or left at the Shop by WEDNESDAY, 11TH JANUARY, at the latest. Thank you.
With very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
At our meeting in October, Carole Roberts gave a very interesting talk about the role of the Victim Support Service. The vote of thanks was given by Jenny Caswell; the competition for a comfort toy was won by Maureen Wonnacott and the raffle by Margaret Crabbe.
The Annual Meeting took place on the 1st November, when nine members were re-elected on to the Committee. Edna Barnes, Josie Bozier and Linda Brown decided to stand down. Marion Carter agreed to continue as Secretary and Janet Steed as Treasurer. Doreen Prater was re-elected President with Margaret Andrews as Vice President. Marion read her Report on the meetings and activities during the past year and Doreen thanked the Committee for their continued support.
Viv and Steve Blackman brought along the mosaic for members to see and a few more pieces were added. The mosaic is nearing completion and it is hoped to have an unveiling ceremony in December.
As usual, Linda Brown and Beryl Brewer were in charge of the sales table - always a popular inclusion in the monthly meetings. The competition for gaudy earrings was won by Kath Arscott and the raffle by Jenny Caswell.
Twelve members are going to Atlantic Village on the 14th November to witness the unveiling of the knitted Christmas Tree by Tony Beard from BBC Radio Devon.
At the next meeting on 6th December, the speaker will be from the Exmoor Zoological Park and the talk will be followed by social time, with tea and mince pies and the exchange of Christmas presents. The competition is for a hand-made Christmas Card with an animal or bird theme.
The new year starts with a visit from members of the Bridge Chambers Health Practice speaking on complementary medicine. This meeting will be on Tuesday, 3rd January, in the Manor Hall at 2.30 p.m. The competition is a vase of herbs. Visitors are always welcome.
GRAHAM ERIC ANDREWS
1932 - 2005
A Valiant Pilgrim
Thank you all for the visits and messages to Graham during his illness and for all the letters, cards and telephone messages since his death. Berrynarbor was always regarded by Graham as his much loved family. These are a small number of your memories of him.
I shall always look back with pleasure to the years I served with Graham on the Parish Council
Many of us feel the loss of a great man who merited more national recognition
Graham will be greatly missed by many as he did so much in this community
He had years of struggle with his health but it never prevented him from being 'action man'
It's impossible to know the perfect words right now - just that we will miss him
With fond memories of a man who was above most others in so many ways
Graham was a man of great kindness who helped us on several occasions and will be greatly missed
The donations for Graham's three choices - the parish churches of Berrynarbor and Combe Martin and the Ilfracombe Lifeboat - now amount to the total of £930.
Again thank you all. M.E.A.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
The HARVEST FESTIVAL was celebrated on the first Sunday in October. The church was beautifully decorated and we were joined by the Sunday School. The children sang a song about a scarecrow and Keifer read a Harvest Prayer. The bells rang out again for Evensong on the Wednesday. The Supper was enjoyed by everyone - numbers were up on last year - and all the produce was soon sold in the auction that followed. Thanks again to Michael and his helpers. We shall now be able to send £120 to WaterAid, the charity helping communities establish their own safe water supply in under-developed countries.
The CANDLE SERVICE to remember loved ones was held on Sunday, 30th October, beginning with the hymn 'Lord of all hopefulness' and ending with members of the congregation going up to light a candle from the Easter Candle and handing it to the Rector to place on the altar. During the service the Choir sang 'There's a place for us' from West Side Story and Doreen Prater read some verses from Isaiah. Our thanks to Rector Keith for a sensitive service and to Stuart for the music.
Music of a different kind was heard when the BARNSTAPLE CONCERT BAND visited the church on Friday evening, 4th November. The Band performed a varied programme appreciated by all and it was good to see young people taking part. The retiring collection of £145 was divided between the church and the Band, which is a registered charity, sponsoring young musicians in their studies.
The bell-ringers rang a muffled peal for REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY on 13th November. Members of the Parish Council joined us for the special service and the lesson was read by the Chairman, Sue Sussex. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Church, the Parish Council and the Women's Institute, and the Sunday School children stepped forward to place their poppies in a basket.
Preparations for CHRISTMAS are already underway and on Sunday, 27th November the first candle will be lit for Advent. The Carol Service with Choir and Sunday School will be on Wednesday, 21st December at 6.30 p.m. and the Communion Service on Christmas Eve will take place at 9.30 p.m. There will be a Family Communion on Christmas Day at 11 a.m. and Carols will again be sung on Sunday, New Year's Day, when there will be another Family Service at 11 a.m. as usual. Collections at the Carol Service and on Christmas Eve will be taken up for the Church of England Children's Society. The church will be decorated on Friday and Saturday, 23rd and 24th December, and will come alive with the Christmas tree and flower arrangements. Please let Linda Brown  or Mary Tucker  know if you would like to contribute towards the cost.
There will be no Friendship Lunch in December and the date for January is still to be decided. We shall all look forward to meeting up again in the New Year.
BERRYNARBOR SUNDAY SCHOOL
The children and adults thoroughly enjoyed the Harvest Supper, delicious food, lovingly prepared, all our plates were empty, some having been filled more than once! A special thanks to Caolan, who carrying a tray nearly as big as himself, helped to clear all the tables, not stopping 'til all was done. The children are now preparing for Remembrance Day and Advent, with a Christmas play being organised.
It is with regret that I have had to resign from Sunday School - after 20 years the children need a break from me, and I just cannot catch them any more! At the Harvest Supper I was presented with a stone cockerel and a pot already planted up with daffodil bulbs. So, Thank You to the children and all my loyal helpers, who will continue as before.
It has been a tremendous privilege to see so many children over the years grow in body and spirit, some now married with children themselves. So children, you know where I live, I will always be pleased to see you and know that I am your friend.
With love from
True Story: Lucy, going to Communion with her grandma, says in a loud whisper, "Grandma I haven't had any breakfast, please can I have your bread?"!
A favourite piece of verse, copied by me from the Chemotherapy Unit at Charing Cross Hospital in 1984:
Yesterday is already a dream,
and tomorrow is only a vision,
but today, well lived,
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
On behalf of the children, the parents and the village, thank you Sally for all the tender, loving care you have given over so many years.
WEATHER OR NOT
We were on holiday in the Scillies for the first two weeks of September, so have no observer record of the weather here, but we think it was similar to the Islands', a mixture of sunshine and showers. Looking overall at the month, we collected 95mm [3¾"] of rain which was the same as June, making them the two wettest months of the year so far. The maximum temperature was 25.6 Deg C and the minimum 7.1 Deg C, which was very similar to last year at 25.4 Deg C and 7.3 Deg C. The maximum wind speed was 23 knots on the 25th, which was about average. The lowest wind chill factor was 3 Deg C at 0606 hours on the 16th. September had a total of 131.35 hours of sunshine, which was well up on last year with only 105.94, and was also up on the preceding two years.
The start of October was quite reasonable, we noticed that the trees were not really turning to their autumnal shades and had not shed many leaves. It was quite dry until the 9th when the rain started to arrive. We had one spell between 1700 hours on the 18th and 0700 hours on the 19th, which left 44mm [1¾"] in the gauge. The wettest day was the 18th with 49mm [2"] and the total for October was 218mm [8 5/8"]. The total rainfall for this year so far is 852mm [331/2], well down on the 1034 mm [40¾"] recorded in the same period last year. The maximum temperature of 19.9 Deg C on the 10th was a lot higher than the 15.6 Deg C in October last and the minimum of 5.8 Deg C was also slightly up. The maximum wind speed was 30 knots on the 21st and we had a wind chill of 3 Deg C at 2208 hours on the 19th. The barograph reading ranged from a high of 1031mb to a low of 995mb with no rapid rises or falls. In contrast to September, the sunshine hours recorded this month were down on previous years. In fact, since records started in 2002, the amount of sun in October has decreased each year, with only 49.77 this year.
November has started horribly wet and windy but very mild. At the moment there is no sign of the severe winter that has been forecast.
We wish everyone a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.
Simon and Sue
[a rough translation of Goethe's famous poem]
What makes me feel so sad tonight?
What can the reason be?
An old folk tale has come to mind
And will not set me free.
The air is cool as darkness falls,
And smoothly flows the Rhine.
The mountain summits gleam
In the mellow evening shine.
High up above the river sits
A maiden, wondrous fair.
Her golden bracelets glisten as
She combs her golden hair.
She combs it with a golden comb
And sings a song meanwhile,
Which a powerful melody,
Enchanting, full of guile.
The sailor in his tiny craft
Espies her with wild yearning.
The craggy reef escapes his eye,
Forever upwards turning.
Beneath the surging waters,
The sailor meets his end,
As with her evil singing
Did the Lorelei intend.
It was a pleasure to chat to Mike Patterson on a beautiful sunny, crisp day outside our shop and to welcome him, somewhat belatedly, as he has been here now since April!
Mike, his late wife Iris and their two boys visited North Devon and particularly Berrynarbor, several times a year for nearly forty years. Their son Richard and his wife Sheila moved here in early 2002 to Sloley Cottage, so it is no surprise that Mike is now here too, at home in Stable Cottage.
Mike retired as an Assistant Bank Manager for Nat West after being in banking for forty-two years. His eldest son, Andrew, lives in Launceston and he has two granddaughters, Jenna  and Laura .
Mike has already become a familiar figure around the village, enjoying the Friendship Lunches and taking part in the taxing pleasure of the fortnightly Quiz at The Globe, as well as attending many of the other functions in the village.
A very warm welcome, Mike, we all wish you happiness here in Berrynarbor.
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
This year the weather forecasters have predicted a very cold winter. Let's hope that this is not the case, although a cold snap would help to eradicate all the bugs that cause anguish to the gardeners and farmers. The Berry in Bloom brigade have stopped work for this year but we shall continue to pick up litter as we see it, and as usual we invite help from all villagers to keep the lanes litter free.
In October we removed all the summer bedding and planted spring bulbs and bedding in the containers around the village. We also tidied up and weeded the cobbles outside the church running up to Barton Lane. There have also been a couple of litter picks.
On the 24th October, the presentation to the village of the Best Kept Village award was a great success. The Council for the Protection of Rural England presented the award and it was received by the Parish Council on behalf of the village. There was tea and cakes aplenty [all kindly donated by kind folks in the village] and a lot of friendly chatter. The award is sponsored by Mole Valley Farmers, who kindly gave a donation of £200 to the Berry in Bloom Committee.
We shall be starting 2006 with a meeting at The Globe at 8.00 p.m. on Tuesday, 21st February.
A VISIT TO THE VET
This time of year, our Labrador Bessie has her annual injection against those infections that dogs get. The surgery is just along the road from us, and so we often see other owners trying to get their dogs in for treatment. At this point, many dogs have temporary trouble with their eyes. That is to say they will walk past the doorway instead of going through it. The larger dogs shake with fear, not knowing that the immediate future holds for them.
Today it was Bessie's turn and she gave no trouble going in the door and into the waiting room. The waiting room has just been refurbished and is very posh! In fact some people have thought it was a doctor's waiting room and sat there until the receptionist enlightened them. Why they should think people take their pets to the Doctor I don't know!
All was quiet for a while and then a little boy spoke to all the pets' owners. "We are going on holiday with our cat," he said. A rather serious man with an equally serious-looking bloodhound spoke to him saying, "And where are you going?" The little boy brightened, his little face lit up as he cheekily replied, "Well, our cat wants to go to the Canaries." Everyone laughed and the little boy beamed. "Got you there, didn't I?"
The waiting room was quite large and there were people with cats, rabbits, hamsters, mice and exotic pets [sometimes they get corn snakes, lizards, pythons and giant tortoises, etc.]. The dogs wanted to eat the cats, while the cats wanted to eat the mice - you could tell from the way they eyed each other!
"Mrs. Smith and Rover", the receptionist called out. Mrs. Smith stood up but Rover deliberately heard nothing. "Come along," she coaxed as she started tugging him towards the surgery. His claws were in the extended position, trying to plough furrows in the very hard floor. The noise was like a higher pitched version of a car skidding.
Most dogs were by now having a good sniff at the floor and some were whimpering; cats meowed and rabbits kept a low profile.
Presently, the front door opened and in came a very fat lady with a little Jack Russell - well, it could have been a Jill Russell. Whichever it was, it was a small, yapping hound! It's funny the way one dog can set all the others off - it would not stop barking and soon had all the others joining in!
"Are there any things that worry you about people's pets?" I asked the receptionist.
"Well, we do have a few laughs," she said. "Pigeons carry nasty little things under their wings, which tend to jump onto humans if they get the chance." She went on, "We had a young couple bring a 'Labrador' in for treatment. They were a little 'green' as it turned out to be a terrier cross!
Another time we accidentally shut a patient in our food cupboard. He ate himself silly! One owner collected their pet after an operation but before she could get to her car it jumped out of her arms and fled. Fortunately it survived and was found and reunited with its owner two weeks later."
A gentleman came in and sat down beside me. "I have to keep my dog in a cage in the car," he said. "Why is that?" I asked. "Well," he replied, "It's 'cos he ate most of the inside of my last car."
I got into conversation with the owner of a spaniel with a cone-shaped thing around its neck. It looked a bit like a megaphone so I asked him if it was to make his dog bark louder! "Don't be so daft," he scoffed, "It's just had an operation and that stops him licking the wound"!
A dear old lady came in carrying an open wooden box. She put it down gently and there, laying in it, was a little Vietnamese pot bellied pig! The lady was wearing a rather long string of pearls and as she bent down to kiss it and reassure her darling - and probably delicious! - pet not to be frightened, it raised its head catching its chin in the pearls. As the lady straightened up, "ping!", the pearls snapped and rolled on the floor in all directions. The dogs thought this great fun as they each tried to get one.
"Oh, there is one more thing I must tell you," the receptionist continued. "It was a long time ago but we had a customer who kept a lion and of course the vets had to attend to it at times and it could be very difficult. The way to give it injections was to put several rods through the bars of the cage until it was immobilised and then give the jab! When the lion died of old age, its owners had it stuffed and displayed it in a glass cage in their front garden. It was there for several years."
My name and Bessie's was called and we went in to the consulting room. Bessie had her jab without a yelp.
"The German shepherds don't like injections," the vet commented.
"No," I said, "I don't suppose their dogs do either."
"Pay as you go out," she said icily, opening the door.
We left and that is what I'm going to do now. Bye.
Tony Beauclerk - Colchester
NEWS FROM THE MANOR HALL
The stage doors have now been modified so that they hinge outwards and give easier access to the storage space underneath the stage. During the next few weeks, new locks will be fitted to the Manor Hall doors to help with insurance issues and new keys will be distributed to user groups on completion. The mosaic project undertaken by the Women's Institute is nearly complete and will be hung in the Hall in the near future.
The Hall will be decorated for Christmas in early December and anyone willing to help would be most welcome. Please contact Bob Hobson  or any Committee Member.
We shall be providing the usual Christmas Card distribution service and full details appear later in this Newsletter.
Bob Hobson - Chairman
THE EARTHQUAKE APPEAL
Early in November, the lofts and wardrobes of Berrynarbor were scoured for items to help with Rotary's appeal through the North Devon Journal for blankets, warm bedcovers and warm clothes to send to Pakistan. And what a magnificent turnout! Fenella and John kindly provided the use of the barn at Sloley Farm and trestles were appropriately laid out in front of our award-winning carnival float, depicting HMS Victory.
Between Saturday and Monday people brought 20 black bags of blankets, 13 of duvets, sleeping bags and eiderdowns and nearly 50 bags of clothing ranging from sheepskin jackets, Barbour's, anoraks and fleeces to woolly hats, gloves, scarves and socks. On the Tuesday, a further 8 duvets were taken separately to Barnstaple. Although there were few children's and baby clothes, on the whole they were well catered for by other areas.
What happened next? All the items were taken to Tiverton where they were sorted and loaded into 15kg bags. North Devon produced about 10 tons of aid and Devon as a whole generated enough items to fill 4 articulated trucks! Later, I spoke to George Kempton, the local organiser, who proclaimed the collection a 'phenomenal success'. By then, two trucks had been driven to Aid International in Perth, one about to go and the last would leave on Monday, 14th - in time for the deadline for goods to arrive before the winter freeze. Each truck took just 2 hours to empty - blankets and bedcovers were put on pallets and within 24 hours were in Pakistan. The clothing went into shipping containers to arrive at their destination within ten days. Lessons in Logistics could be learnt from both local and national organisers.
Many thanks to all who so generously contributed and to those who not only delivered the goods but also stayed on to help sort.
PP of DC
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore and as he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."
"I suppose I should have asked why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"
"The sun is up, and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."
"But, young man, don't you realise that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it? You can't possibly make a difference!"
The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said,
"It made a difference for that one."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
If anyone had said a year ago, come down and sit in Silver Street, for that is what it is called, and drink a cup of tea outside the shop, you'd have thought them mad. But on Saturday, 1st October you did turn up and sit around and chat and laugh and chew the fat and generally put the world to rights. And why? Because you knew that you would be in the heart of the village, with friends and family and acquaintances newly made through the Berrynarbor Community Shop.
The party might have been in aid of the Shop's 1st Birthday but it was also an opportunity to celebrate so much more. Indeed everything the shop has come to represent - the village hub where people meet, laugh, exchange ideas, drop/collect things, bump into old friends and generally feel welcome, part of a wonderful close knit community.
So there was little surprise when 80 or so of you turned up, to the stirring strains of a brass band (sadly this year, only on CD, but who knows what may happen in years to come!) for a bit of a yarn. And not only did you stay and have a chat, but you stayed and stayed and stayed, because on average you consumed four cups of excellent Miles tea and I should know because I was pouring!
And the reason you stayed was because you were having fun, at what is often affectionately known as the Comedy Store. The reason? More often than not when you walk past the shop you hear laughter, especially so on Sundays when that redoubtable duo of Adams and Jenner are performing. Or maybe it was because you'd heard that Eve, the Wendys and Marion had been strong-armed into producing their famed cakes. Or because you knew that Keith and Helen, newly arrived at the Village Bakery, had generously donated cakes, or possibly it was the smell of Carmen's sausage rolls as she drove the Blue Ginger van into the middle of the tea party. Certainly you weren't going to leave when she started splitting ginger scones and dolloping them with honey and clotted cream! Numbers were no doubt boosted by the birthday banner produced, out of the blue, by Gary from Grattons. Now there is a man who must be embraced by the village - a real gem, a volunteer who did not have to be asked!
And the celebrations were of course made complete when those well known village media babes - Lorna, Ina, Ron and our youngest customer Hazel Rees, nobly turned out in the morning to be photographed by the North Devon Journal, cutting the cake.
Thanks to you all - volunteers, customers, shareholders and committee members for making the day so special. And of course the ever patient 'Oh the till seems to have blown up on me' Ross, without whom we could not function.
Now if anybody can play the tuba could they please give me a call . . .?
NEWS FROM THE COMMUNITY SHOP
By the time you read this, the festive season will nearly be here! Ross urges you that there is still time [but not much!] to place your orders for locally reared Christmas turkeys, geese, ducks, pork, pies and puddings. There is an attractive range of reasonably priced jewellery and Christmas cards, including those especially printed for Berrynarbor. If you still have Christmas baking to do, then please call in for the ingredients.
Meanwhile, the shop has had a quieter few months, but much improved on this time last year, and it had a very busy summer. Again our thanks to all the volunteers who stalwartly turn up on their due day, or find a substitute. Tim and Jill Massey and Doreen Harding have all been through the wars over the past few months, but we wish them well - and hopefully a return to the shop in the New Year.
It is hoped that by the time you read this, Mike will be training a few volunteers to help him out occasionally with the papers. He's worked every day since the shop opened and would dearly love one or two lie-ins a week, or even the occasional holiday! If you have not volunteered so far, helping him only means a 7.45 a.m. start and the frequency depends on the number of volunteers. If you're not an 'early bird', coming into the shop at 8.30am to check the paperwork from Dawsons would also help. So please see Ross if you feel you can. Of course, training will be given.
In November, we again liaised with the Primary School for a competition. This year it was to make a Christmas money box. It was a difficult job to judge, as much ingenuity and effort had gone into some excellent entries. How nice it would have been to give prizes to all entrants but in the end we decided to judge only the ones made mainly at the school. The results were:
Class 1: 1st Reuben, 2nd Finn
Class 2: 1st Lewis, Special Award Joseph
Class 3: 1st William, Joint 2nd Simon and Bethan
Many thanks to all the pupils; we hope they enjoyed the project and that it helped them to save for Christmas!
Recently, a dozen or so owners of self-catering properties were circulated offering forms for their visitors to order groceries in advance. This was a popular service in 2005 and brought in extra visitors, many of them initially out of curiosity! If anyone was omitted and would like forms, please collect them from Ross.
Because of a recent flurry, shares in our shop have now reached a grand total of £10,255! If anyone is interested and is not yet a shareholder, please speak to Ross.
With regard to the new shop, plans are on line and there will be more details in the February Newsletter.
Seasonal good wishes to all!
PP of DC
THE VIEW FROM THE GREEN
In his book 'Bluff Your Way in Golf', Peter Gammond says: 'What golfer has not stepped out on to some glorious golf course on a sunny morning in early summer, the bogwort worting beneath his feet, the larks improvising overhead on a theme by Vaughan Williams, the air like a whiff of newly baked bread. Suppose, to lend fantasy to mere euphoria, that it is one of those heaven-planned courses like St. Enodoc in North Cornwall where the back half is a constant visual flirtation with the Camel estuary and the sparkling Atlantic beyond.'
Readers may recall John Betjeman's poem, Seaside Golf, in the June issue and the fact that he is buried in the graveyard at St. Enodoc's which extends in a natural way to a 'green, nestling in a valley with a stream behind. 'But equally well,' Gammond continues, 'suppose it is a course carved out of the Surrey woodlands, the Yorkshire moors or the Scottish highlands; or it runs through the evergreen glades of Florida or up the pebbled coast of California; or it lies in postcard perfection, graced by every fellow comfort, in Portugal or Spain; or it's a bit of the Australian outback or the African veld.'
However, on crisp, clear mornings, Ilfracombe is easily equal to any or all of these, with the coastguard cottages and the views up the Channel to Combe Martin and beyond and the coast of Wales improving the view of the blue waters below. The rabbits scud, the magpies chatter, the kestrel, peregrine and buzzard hunt, and there's even a chance of a vulture overhead, having escaped from Combe Martin Wildlife Park!
Such courses, made for our pleasure, are good to be on and challenge you to a game. The flag flutters over the clubhouse and the clubs in your bag are ready for action as you address a newly unwrapped ball, white and shining. You can almost hear the applause as the ball sails off, bounds on to the green, clipping the pin and neatly dropping into the hole!
What could be better? This is surely what it's all about, isn't it?
ADULT AND COMMUNITY LEARNING - JANUARY 2006 CLASSES
We have a wide range of new courses starting in January 2006 including Traditional Upholstery/Cane & Rush Seating, All Round Body Workout and many more. For more information or to enrol, look out for our list of new courses to be delivered with the North Devon Gazette and Advertiser week commencing 2nd January. Alternatively, telephone Adult & Community Learning at Ilfracombe College on  864171.
COMBE MARTIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The next meeting of the Society, the annual Social Evening and a slide show on Postcard Views of Barnstaple to Lynton Railway and Combe Martin and Around by Tom Bartlett, will be held on Thursday, 8th December.
The January meeting will be held on Thursday, 19th January when John Travis will give an illustrated talk on 'Lynton and Lynmouth, Secrets from the Past'.
Come and join us at Combe Martin Parish Church Hall at 7.30 p.m. Membership £4.00, Visitors £1.50.
BERRYNARBOR PRIMARY SCHOOL
We have had a very busy term of learning together.
The children have had various sporting adventures including an Orienteering day in Ilfracombe for our oldest pupils, an eight week Football coaching course for 6 to 11 year olds with a Plymouth Argyle Coach, Netball coaching from Fenella Boxall who has kindly volunteered to share her skills, Dance for Class 1 and clubs run at lunchtime by our older pupils.
Talking of clubs, we really do have a thriving range of opportunities on offer here! Parent volunteers, Staff, Friends from the village and older children all give their time to share their expertise with commitment. We have: Guitar, Saxophone, Pottery, Sewing, Christmas Crafts, Art, a Year 6 Magazine Group, Football, Netball, Lunchtime Sports, Eco-Club, School Council, Story Time, Library Club and Cookery. We are very lucky and thank all those who are happy to give up their time to help, including our older pupils. Every class swims for a term each year, as well as our other weekly Physical Education lessons.
As a school we aim to develop Citizenship and encourage the children to use their initiative to this end. The School Council and Class 3 organise regular fund raising events for the regular charity that we support, Amigos Orphanage in Uganda. This term we are also supporting Child Line and our children are organising a 'line of pennies' this week to raise much needed funds. Our Senior Citizens Dinner, on Thursday 15th December, encourages children to give their time to offer a special evening for our friends in the village. We also have an Eco-Club; the members are particularly interested in raising awareness about the environment. We support our village shop and worked with our friends in the shop this term to plan a Christmas Money Box competition.
Our new Library : We have a lovely new Library at the school and would like to ask our friends in the village if you would be able to offer us a Christmas book token to help us resource it? We will inscribe your name in the books we purchase as a lasting reminder. Thank you.
We have enjoyed various educational trips this term, including a Class 3 visit, in costume, to a Victorian School in Appledore.
Seasons Greetings from everyone at the School!
Karen Crutchfield - Headteacher
It was with relief and pleasure we learnt that Bett's operation had been successful and she was on the road to recovery. Bett is now home, taking life a lot easier than she would normally, but improving day by day. Our best wishes go to her and keep up the good work, and get well wishes go to everyone else who is not feeling their best at the moment.
* * *
Barbara and John would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and wishes whilst Barbara was in hospital and now she is home again. She has been overwhelmed with the number of cards and beautiful flowers she has received and once again gives a big thank you to you all. We both wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
* * *
Jane and Keith would like to thank everyone for their kindness, support, messages and cards. Thank you also for the prayers said for Kris. We are pleased that he is progressing, well on the road to recovery.
* * *
I should like to thank everyone who has sent cards, gifts and offers of help since my operation. I am getting stronger every day - slow but sure, I hope. The help and kindness I have had from so many people these past months makes me realise Berry is a very good place to live. Thank you all very much. Bett Brooks
BERRYNARBOR PARISH COUNCIL
I recently attended a meeting of the Devon Association of Parish Councils, where we were advised to warn our parishioners that there is a real threat of a severe winter and that we should stock up on things like candles and dried milk, etc. The reality of being cut off is a possibility so please be prepared for the unexpected. In the case of any difficulties, please ring and I shall endeavour to help or get help. 
Finally, thank you to all the Parish Councillors and the Clerk for all their help and support in my first few months as Chairman.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.
Sue Sussex - Chairman
WALK - 93
A Cornish Rhapsody
"Trust me to have a dog that's mad!" A dog's head had appeared suddenly above the hedge bank at the side of the lane. It quickly vanished and after a while popped up again a few yards further along. This sequence was repeated several times.
The dog's owner explained that this was a game of surprise the dog liked to play on his daily walk. The witty animal kept us amused and the walk to the lighthouse passed quickly.
We had arrived at Lizard Point, the most southerly point on the United Kingdom mainland. It is said that spring reaches the Lizard Peninsular earlier than the rest of the country.
Before continuing along the coast to Kynance Cove, we paused to watch some seals swimming among the rocks below the lighthouse.
There are rock stacks and islets at Kynance Cove and the distinctive serpentine rock can be seen in the cliffs; streaked and mottled red, purple and dark green, resembling the skin of a serpent. It is a magnesium silicate, capable of being highly polished and turned into decorative objects.
It was mid autumn but several bathers were enjoying the shelter of the secluded cove. We made the steep descent to the beach and then started the climb to the cliff top opposite, where a herd of highland cattle was silhouetted dramatically against the sky.
At the summit an English Nature information board explained how the grassland was being managed for the benefit of conservation and the part played in this by the magnificent beasts. With their long horns and shaggy ginger hair, there were about thirty of them and a few calves.
An easy elevated walk over Kynance Cliff took us to the curiously named Pigeon Ogo and a wonderful sweeping view across Mount's Bay to Penzance and Marazion.
It was a few miles to the north, along the Lizard coast, at Poldhu Cove, that Marconi had sent his first commercial two-way radio transmission between England and the USA, just over a hundred years ago.
Rain threatened as we retraced our steps. We heard a strange sound, like a spluttering, wheezy sneeze coming from beyond a low stone wall. The cattle had moved and were now lying down. Rather than disturb them, we decided to make a small detour. It was then that we saw what was making the noise. Two birds with cherry red legs and glossy black plumage were spiking their crimson bills into the short turf.
These were choughs. Once a popular symbol of Cornwall, the chough became extinct in England several years ago [though still found on the west coast of Wales and on a few Hebridean islands]. Four years ago a pair of choughs arrived quite 'out of the blue' on the Lizard and in 2002 the first wild choughs, for half a century, were hatched.
A rare member of the crow family, the chough feeds on a range of invertebrates, including worms and ants and favours coastal grassland; nesting in caves and on cliff ledges and cavities.
We watched the choughs feeding, probing the ground with their downwardly curved bills. They did not seem nervous although we were quite close. Three helicopters had been circling the neighbourhood and it was not until one of these flew directly overhead that the two birds took off, flying over the cliffs and
along the coast towards Lizard Point. We too headed off in the same direction.
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
Last night on Spotlight, part of the programme came from the shopping centre in Plymouth where they had an enormous illuminated "Big Wheel". The manager said that this was part of his effort to "put the original meaning back into Christmas". Illuminated big wheel to attract shoppers into the centre, part of the original meaning of Christmas? Sorry, did I miss something?
Is Christmas all about life being a big wheel going round and around? Or is Christmas a commercial bonanza time? Perhaps he meant the lights on the big wheel symbolized the Light of the World illuminating the darkness of our ignorance of God's love. On second thought, I think that is a bit too deep for our commercial manager, and it isn't at all obvious is it?
As I recall the Gospels, the birth of Jesus was, above all things, a family event when two people had their status altered by a child. No longer husband and wife, but father and mother with new joys and responsibilities. Theologians saw this event as the physical embodiment of God's love for the world. His love is expressed in solid physical terms - a vulnerable human baby. Mary and Joseph would have to express their love in practical physical terms as well. We express ourselves in physical terms, and part of that expression of love, is in giving. The giving of ourselves, in love, to another person. The giving which takes no account of cost, time or effort, because it is for the other person. That other person enables us to become the loving person as God intended, and part of that love is expressed in the giving of gifts. So Christmas is a time for giving.
God gave us His son, and that child changed our status as well as that of Mary and Joseph, for Divine love was pleased to become human, that we might share with Him, the eternal Divine love from Heaven.
Now that, to me seems part of the original meaning of Christmas.
Have a wonderful and Happy Christmas and New Year,
Your Friend and Rector,
Thus it was when Hazel and I made contact with our Robin. Although robins are known for their approachability, this one seemed particularly tame, almost friendly in fact. He even followed us to our back door on the first time of meeting. For this he was encouraged by an immediate handout. Hazel, as is her wont, gave him the name Robin. Not very original you may say, but eminently apt.
The first encounter took place in the early months of 2002. He quickly adopted us and made regular visits every day to the sill of our kitchen window. These visits followed a set ritual - he landed on a close tree, from there to the top of our side-gate and then on to our sill. There he would stare in until we opened the window and placed some grated Cheddar cheese in front of him. It was not long until he arrived with his partner. We were not at all sure at this stage if he was in fact Cock Robin, but when he started feeding his companion we were left in no doubt. We never named her, apart from Mrs. Robin, but she never became known to us, as she kept her distance never approaching. The food we gave them was passed on by Robin. We suspected that a nest had been built in a garden a couple of doors away. This was confirmed a little later when Robin started taking beak-fulls of cheese away before eating himself. It became obvious that he was feeding his mate and brood at the nest. This was demonstrated by his conspicuous and aggressive assertions of his territorial rights. No bird was too big to escape his challenge.
As time passed, a lull in the frequency of his visits became apparent. His brood dispersed as expected and at the same time we went away for a fortnight's holiday in early June. I did not really expect to see him again. However, on our return he was back within a day or so asking for his daily ration of cheese. It was not long after he made his departure. It was well into the summer and as is the habit of the avian kind, he left for pastures new.
With the arrival of 2003 we wondered and hoped that he would make an appearance. We set no great store by it, but were delighted when he arrived back during February. His habits exactly followed the previous year for the first couple of months. Then disaster struck. He turned up one morning for his cheese in the usual fashion, but with one serious difference. He had broken his left leg. It was broken just above his ankle and his foot hung in a clenched and useless attitude. The foot could not be put to the ground, a dreadful handicap for a bird. Although it worried us a great deal, he never showed signs of being bothered. He carried out his paternal duties to his two broods that year. Our admiration for him became even greater as he showed by his actions a high level of courage even by the standards of animals. He left us at the time of the season he had in 2002.
I felt strongly that his chance of surviving the coming winter highly unlikely. With such a handicap he would find it difficult to fend for himself and surely die. Our worst fears were to come true when in 2004 he did not make an appearance. We were saddened but not surprised.
You can imagine our amazement and joy when he turned up this February. When Hazel told me he was back I could hardly believe it. It must be a different bird? It had landed in the same tree as Robin, then the side-gate, then onto the window sill. Then it hopped forward, still trailing its broken leg. It was Robin, without a doubt. He has been coming every day for his cheese up until the time of writing [May]. He has his ration several times a day and we are sure that he has started his usual family.
To have come back after such a time seems like a miracle. At the risk of sounding anthropomorphic, we feel as if he knows and trusts us. He is costing us a small fortune in cheese, but every penny is amply repaid with the simple joy he brings to our life.
P.S. Later: Robin did in fact raise a family of four and although he has not been seen around lately, Mrs. Robin has been coming to the kitchen sill for her cheese supplement - although still not as bold as Robin.
DOES ANYONE KNOW?
This photograph was taken on the short but strenuous footpath walk from Watermouth Cove to the Coast Guard Houses. We have often
walked this particular path and noticed fresh flowers placed near the cross, which is just after the footpath style near Widemouth House. I wonder if anyone can inform me why, when and in whose memory the cross was placed there.
On our walk with Colin and Doreen on Sunday, 20th November, Inge was the first to spot a seal surfacing and feeding off the headland at the entrance to Watermouth Harbour. My thanks to Colin for taking the photograph at my request when my camera stopped working due to a low battery!
I do hope someone can throw some light on the memorial.
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
Well attended meetings were held in October and November and members were very grateful to Tony Summers for stepping in and taking over the first half hour of the November meeting when he became aware that Majestic Wines would be unable to commence their presentation until around 8.30 p.m!
Members are now looking forward to the Christmas Presentation on Wednesday, 14th December, once again with Barney Dunstan. This presentation includes wine and food and is by ticket only. These can be obtained from our Treasurer, Jill McCrae , price £7.00 per person and need to be obtained prior to the meeting.
The January meeting on the 18th is Members' Favourite Wines, when each member or couple are asked to bring a bottle of their favourite wine and say a few words about their choice - always a very popular evening. The price for this meeting is only £1.50 and new members are encouraged to come along and will be made very welcome.
Our meetings are held at the Manor Hall at 8.00 p.m., normally on the third Wednesday of the month.
Please Note: Due to the new Licensing Laws it is necessary for any 'would be new members' to contact either our Secretary, Tony Summers  or Treasurer, Jill McCrae  to enrol as members at least 24 hours before attending their first Wine Circle meeting.
Further information can be obtained from Tony, Jill or the Chairman, Alex Parke  or Tom Bartlett .
Putting Things Into Perspective
When we consider the world from a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation. . you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death . . you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the 'fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep . . you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace . . you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are still alive and still married . . you are very rare.
If you can read this message you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
Someone once said, 'What goes around comes around. Work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, sing like nobody's listening, live like it's Heaven on Earth.
Come, lovely Morning, rich in frost
On iron, wood and glass;
Show all your pains to silver-gild
Each little blade of grass.
Come, rich and lovely Winter's Eve,
That seldom handles gold;
And spread your silver sunsets out,
In glittering fold on fold.
Come, after sunset; come, oh come -
You clear and frosty Night:
Dig up your fields of diamonds, till
The heavens all dance in light!
It is amazing how the newsletter has grown with all your TLC over the years! I recall with fond memories the times spent collating, etc. It was fun and such a worthwhile community effort. Well done for all these years of loving and caring.
I head back to Texas in the middle of February and return to Malvern in May, and will make plans to visit Berrynarbor in the summer.
Have a blessed Christmas and love to all your readers.
Memories of a lovely Christmas Event in the mountains of Assisi: We waited a long time for me to get on a plane, but when I did and we got to Assisi it was a holiday always to remember. This is me in the snow 700 ft up. We saw the first Christmas acted out as it is today - lovely - and there were stars, so many of them, oxen and a real live baby [very well wrapped up!] lovely music and all in the open air. No Christmas was ever the same as I still go back to that Christmas Night as it was.
Down in the valley, the sheep safely graze, sheltered from the storms, sheltered from harm. Firelight warming and lights glowing in cottages. Darkness comes suddenly, night time approaching. Softly snow falls and the wind grows silent. And the Christmas peace in Berrynarbor touches us all.
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.
Ray and Marion Bolton - Erdington
By the time you read this it will be nearly Christmas, so I will wish all my friends in Berrynarbor a Happy Christmas and New Year.
I am settled in well in a really lovely home in Longhope in Gloucestershire. It is very comfortable and the staff will do anything and give you anything you need. My niece lives just along the road so I see her and her husband frequently and usually spend a day with them every week. It is ideal my being here - it makes them free to do what they want and go away on holiday without having to worry about me.
I have a lovely water-colour of the village hanging in my room, painted by Debbie Cook. It was given to me by all the congregation at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Combe Martin.
Nora and Alan have visited me when they were staying in the neighbourhood. I shall always be pleased to see any one of you from home if you are near to me. The address is: The Old Rectory Residential Home, School Lane, Church Road, Longhope, GL17 OLJ.
Best wishes to you all,
From Doreen at Belmont Grange:
Dedicated to all Carers
Blessed are they who understand my faltering step and shaking hand: Blessed are they who know my ears today must strain to catch the things they say:
Blessed are they who seem to know my eyes are dim, my mind is slow:
Blessed are they with cheery smile who stop to chat for a little while:
Blessed are they who make it known I'm loved, respected and not alone.
So far today I'm doing all right, I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
However, I'm getting out of bed in a few minutes and I will need a lot more help after that.
My good wishes for a peaceful, healthy, happy Christmas
and New Year for everyone
Readers of the North Devon Journal have probably noticed that except for the Parish Council Minutes, the many activities and events of our village go unreported.
Reason? Simply that we do not have an official correspondent!
Would you be interested and willing to take on this post? The only qualifications needed are a regular commitment to keeping Berrynarbor in the Community News - preferably each week, since so much happens in our village! - and the ability to e-mail [or to get a friend or neighbour to do so] the information to the Journal. A small remuneration will be made for your trouble!
If you are interested or would like to have more information, please contact our Parish Council Chairman, Sue Sussex, on 882916.
View No. 98
For this Christmas Newsletter, I have chosen two cards with festive cheer in mind. The first conveying Christmas Greetings depicts Briary Cave at Watermouth. Published by Twiss Bros., Ilfracombe, in 1904, it is postmarked 'Ilfracombe, December 24th 1907 6.45 p.m.'
The post was so good and prompt in those days that it would still have been delivered to Putney Heath in London on Christmas Day! It should be remembered that in the early 1900's, visitors often made special visits to the several large caves at Watermouth, paying one or two pence [1d or 2d] for the privilege.
The second card shows Sandy Bay and the Hangman Hills and wishes the receiver 'a Bright and Happy New Year'. The card was published by The Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd., London, and printed in Saxony around 1904. It was sent by 'Arthur' from Barnstaple at 7.15 p.m., December 31st 1905 to a Wm. Vickery living at Coombeshead, Arlington, and would have been delivered first post on New Year's Day 1906.
For my part I should like to wish everyone the Seasons Greetings and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
Tower Cottage, November 2005
P.S. Bird watching has been a real pleasure and we have had regular visits to our garden of nuthatches and a blackckap has been feeding on the seeds of the palm trees.
Wishing All Readers
HAPPY NEW YEAR