Edition 1 - August 1989

Artwork: David Duncan - St. Peter's, Berrynarbor.


Following the results of the Survey carried out by the Parish Council in 1988, a need was identified for a village newsletter. To get things off the ground, a group of volunteers met recently and have made a start.

It is hoped to publish bi-monthly initially, but if the response is good, this could be increased to monthly.

The aim is to make this an interesting and informative Newsletter which it is hoped you will enjoy. Everyone is invited to contribute any item of interest - village news, coming events, 'hatched, matched and despatched', or items re hobbies, travel, favourite recipes, etc. The success of this Newsletter depends on YOU, the reader, and the input received.

The way to contribute news is to 'post' items in the boxes provided in the Manor Stores and the Post Office. The deadline for each issue will be the 15th of the month prior to publication. The next edition is due in October, so items by the 15th September please.

This first edition has been distributed to every house in the Parish, in future Graham Jones (Post Office) and Sue and Melvyn Day (Meakings) have offered to deliver it with the newspapers. For those of you who do not take a paper, there will be a good supply in the Post Office and Manor Stores for you to collect.

It is not intended to charge for this Newsletter, so it is hoped that you will support any fund-raising efforts that might be necessary.

The first few issues have been made possible by Alan Bacon at Ilfracombe [Community] College allowing us the use of their facilities for printing and providing paper.

Just a few words of thanks to everyone who is helping to make the Newsletter possible:

    Ginny and Stuart Neale and Graham and Maureen Jones for collecting information and distribution; Sue and Melvyn Day for distribution; Ilfracombe College for all printing facilities; the Parish Council for arranging to distribute this issue and their very generous financial support, and our band of volunteers who are attacking the not inconsiderable task with great enthusiasm.

Jenny Taylor
Parish Council



[A brief report of the meeting held to discuss the results of the survey]


  • Councillors Mrs. Bowden, Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Long, Mr. Andrews, the Clerk and 5 members of the public.

To make the document legal, a return of 60% was required. Unfortunately, only 41% were returned, but the contents of the Appraisal proved to be interesting.

A number of parishioners expressed their satisfaction with medical facilities, whilst others would like to see the return of a surgery to the village. Councillor Andrews did not think this would be feasible. The bus service again came in for criticism.

In order to help tourists and visitors, it was suggested that a map of interesting places and footpaths be produced and displayed in the village.

Suggestions were made that the periphery of the Car Park be used as a Picnic Area. The North Devon District Council would have to be approached.

It was felt that the Mobile Library should be publicised and a schedule provided by the County to display in the village. Mrs. Morrow would make enquiries.

Concern was expressed regarding housing within the Parish for both the young and the elderly to rent and purchase at a reasonable price.

It was felt that a newsletter would be welcome.

Betty Davis
Clerk to the Parish Council



I should like to give you a little history of our Club. We started in the school hall at Combe Martin in 1948. The event took off in a big way and we moved to Combe Martin Town Hall - at that time we had over 100 members and a waiting list. However, attendance dropped and so we moved back to Kingston Hall.

The hall changed hands and the new owners increased the rent beyond our means and we moved to the Manor Hall in 1968. So you see, we have been at the Manor Hall now for 21 years of the Club's existence of 41 years.

A curious thing about the Club is that only two members actually live in Berrynarbor and a few from Combe Martin, the majority come from Barnstaple, Braunton, Bideford, Ilfracombe and other areas. It is a good club - nobody gets paid and all profits go back to cover expenses and for the benefit of the members

We welcome anyone to the Club and if you can't dance, we'll teach you free of charge! Membership is free.

Stanley Linehan
Hon. Secretary

The Sequence Dance Club meets every Friday night at the Manor Hall, 7.45 - 10.30 p.m.



Services 6.30 p.m. each Sunday through the summer. Afternoon services will begin again in October details in the next Newsletter.

The Chapel hope to hold a Jumble Sale, possibly at the end of August. Please watch out for notices giving details.



We are a small, friendly Playgroup who meet three times a week during term time, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon. Our supervisors are Mary-Jane Newell and Ann Davies.

We have just completed an outdoor play area and we must say a big 'thank you' to the Manor Hall Committee and the Parish Council for their kind donations.

All pre-school children are welcome to use the play area at any time.

If you would like any more information about the Playgroup, please contact Mary-Jane on Ilfracombe 65666.




Looking around the July meeting, I noticed several visitors and I sincerely hope that they enjoyed the afternoon. We certainly had two good speakers, Mrs.E. Huxtable from Lee W.I. who represented us at the London A.G.M., and Mrs. D. Antoniazzi, who spoke about the Citizens Advice Bureau. We have no meeting in August, but by kind permission of Mrs. Ivy Richards, we shall be holding a Coffee Morning at 'Southerly' Castle Hill, on Tuesday, 22nd August, 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon. ALL WELCOME. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 5th September, when the speaker will be Mr. Ian Tansley, Area Librarian.

Mrs. Joan AdamsA member who quietly sets to work every month preparing Birthday Posies for our members, who now number over 50. With our changeable climate, no easy task, but recipients' pleasure and surprise is reward enough for this very special lady.

Thank you, Joan.

Flowers are the sentiments,
Which binds those who care,
Flowers are the sweet scented breath,
Of wishes that we share.

Vi Kingdon




This friendly and cheerful group is open to all who love wine and good food. Meetings are held monthly at 8.00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Manor Hall.

  • 18th October - Wines of Portugal. Talk and tasting by Michael Morrow. Contribution £2.50 per person.
  • 2nd November - Wines from Unusual Places. Talk and tasting by Dr. Brian Malcolm. Contribution £2.50 per person.
  • 20th December - Wines for Christmas. Talk and tastings by Michael Alcock of Inter-County Wines. Contribution £2.50 per person.

Meetings in the New Year are planned to include wines from Bulgaria, Italy and English Country Wines.

Enquiries to: Alan Richardson, Sherrards, Barton Lane. Tel: 882831.



[North Coast Branch]

Berrynarbor is well represented in the membership of the North Coast Branch of the Third Age Group, with 23 members, including the Chairman, Secretary and Editor of the U3A Newsletter.

The University of the Third Age is open to retired men and women of all ages. It offers a programme of educational, social and leisure activities. Members offer their own skills, knowledge and experience to their fellow members in the belief that an active third age can postpone the fourth age.

The North Coast Branch covers the area from Lynton to Braunton and has 136 members and a waiting list. A monthly luncheon is held at various hotels within the area and informal monthly excursions are offered. Fourteen study groups exist led by different members, usually held in their own homes and often in the afternoons. Four of these groups are based in Berrynarbor. The groups include Art and Music Appreciation, Personal Finances, Poetry and Play Reading, Rambling, Bridge, Globetrotters, Discussion Groups and Wine Appreciation.

The U3A is a national movement which originated in Cambridge in 1982 and now has 110 groups throughout the country, four of these in North Devon. We firmly believe it fills a need in many retired people's lives, offering friendship, a social life, activity and stimulation in the company of men and women of similar age.

Patricia Gale

Moorings, Watermouth, Berrynarbor. Tel: 62553


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Berry Revels Craft Market - Tuesday, 15th August, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. at the Manor Hall. All welcome to come and buy. If you would like to take part in this event, please contact Jenny Taylor [62205).

A Berry Revels Evening - Wednesday, 16th August:

  • 6.30 p.m. start.
  • 7.00 - 8.00 p.m. Bratton Fleming Hand Bell Ringers.
  • Claude and His Guitar 8.30 p.m.
  • Muddiford & Milltown Morris Men. Every 45 mins from 6.30 p.m.
  • Professor Steven and Puppets

PLUS .... Stalls, Draw, Bar-B-Q, Cider Stall, Cakes and Baked Goods, Skittles, Teddy Bears and Footballs to be won, Tombolas, Clotted Cream and Apple Pie, etc. Ail profits in aid of the Village Hall NEW KITCHEN project.




Saturday, 2nd September in the Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m. Schedules will be available on the 16th August in the Manor Stores, Post Office and Willis i s of Combe Martin. ENTRIES close on Thursday, 31st August. Please enter just for the FUN of it let's make this a real VILLAGE EVENT.


Artwork: Harry Weedon


By the time you read this the judging will have taken place [13th July]. The village looks LOVELY and we have high hopes that we earn a cup this year. Thank you so much to everyone whose garden and baskets are 'in bloom', but especial thanks to the following team of flower planters, tub makers, bench and litter bin painters, slug killers, etc:

  • Josef & Heddy Belka
  • John & Jackie Weaver
  • Roy & June Perry
  • Les & Heather Levey
  • Carol Redwood and Noel
  • Edna Barber
  • Sally Barten
  • Arthur

Best Kept Village
Did you realise that what we call ' home' is a kind of paradise for the holidaymaker? At least this is what many visitors say about Berrynarbor. We are lucky to live in such beautiful village BUT the credit for such a paradise belongs to all of us who really CARE about where we live. We assume that the first round of judging is complete and we shall just have to wait and see how we fare this year. [No news at time of going to print]. Thank you to everyone who picks up litter, sweeps and just plain keeps their patch 'best kept'. Well done, Youth Club, for the litter walk.

Joy Morrow




At the end of the Summer Term, 'good-byes' were said to two members of staff. John Karslake, after a year's temporary post, has left to take up an appointment in a larger primary school. Rosemary Baxter has taken early retirement after teaching in the village for nearly 17 years. We wish them both well in their new ventures.

A special thank you to Rosemary from the many parents and pupils who have benefited from her thoughtful support and encouragement over the years.

We extend a warm welcome to Mr. Robert Simpson and Mrs. Babs Johnson who will be taking over from Rosemary and John in September.



Morris Dance has been part of English life for centuries. Exactly when and where it began, no one really knows, but some people think it was brought back from North Africa and named after the Moorish tribe. Morris Dancing has also been mentioned by Shakespeare, so was obviously being danced in some form in Elizabethan times.

The reason for the dance is believed to be based on part of an old pagan 'fertility ritual'. Evidently, the higher the men jumped as part of the dance, the taller the crop at Harvest time. The bells and the handkerchiefs were there to scare away evil spirits.

The dances performed are mainly from the areas around the Cotswolds, i.e. Bampton, Adderbury, Litchfield, etc. They come from a collection of Morris Dances put together by Cecil J. Sharp between 1899 and 1924.

Muddiford and Milltown Morris was formed in 1981, just before Christmas, and made their first public appearance on Easter Sunday, 1982. The team dance throughout North Devon every Wednesday evening during the spring and summer, and have danced at folk festivals all over England as well as France and Germany.

The lively and enthusiastic dancing is usually followed by a sing-a-long at a local pub, and they are always looking for new members. So, if you fancy joining in instead of watching, then have a chat with any of the men or give a ring for any further information to:

Ray Thorne [65496]
Dave Duncan [882141]
Lou Rowson [830467]

The Muddiford and Milltown Morris Men will be dancing at the Berry Revels Evening on the 16th August, at 8.30 p.m. and afterwards, 9.00 p.m., at the Globe.



The service operates fortnightly on Wednesday afternoons as follows:

  • 12.05 p.m. - Barton Lane
  • 1.40 p.m. - Sandy Cove
  • 2.00 p.m. - The Square
  • 2.35 p.m. - Sterridge Valley [Wood Park]
  • 3.00 p.m. - Goosewell Cottages

For dates please see 'At a Glance' Diary.



The Badminton Club recommences for the winter on Monday, 11th September. New members are very welcome. For further information please ring Mary Hughes [882580]



We are a highly popular Youth Club, meeting fortnightly on Tuesday evenings from 6.30 to 10.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall; from September to June.

At present we have a total of 40 members and our activities include table tennis, Uni-hoc, various table games, creative activities - e.g. drawing, music centre and games. The cost per person is 35p per evening and includes crisps and a drink.

During last year, the members organised a Variety Show which was hugely successful and attended by a large number of 'locals'. With the proceeds we went to Club Ruda in the 'Cascades' Swimming Pool, where a wonderful time was had by all - helpers included!!

Members are involved in the 'Best Kept Village' competition and their contribution has been the planting of a small garden and provision of a bird table betwixt the Manor Hall and the Park, and they regularly pick up litter throughout the village.

At the end of the season we had a 'Break Up' party and all dressed up in fancy dress and took food along to the meeting.

We received a grant of £160 from the Devon County Youth Club Association and this was put towards a new table tennis table.

Our helpers are Ann Davies, Mary-Jane Newell and Linda Denzey

Ann Davies



For Sale:   Chest Freezer tatty but in working order. £10 Marion Billett, Riversdale, Sterridge Valley.

Wanted:   Items of unwanted clothing, bric-a-brac, etc. are always gratefully received for the Sue Ryder Shop in Ilfracombe. Items can be collected - contact Marion Billett.

Wanted:    BROWNIES for this coming September. Ages 7-10 years. Meetings [at present] take place on Thursday evenings, 6.00 to 7.30 p.m. For further information please ring Debbie [66201].

Wanted:   Contributions of bric-a-brac, white elephant, etc for the REVELS EVENING on 16th August would be very gratefully received by Elaine Fanner, either taken to her house, Accra, Barton Lane, or 'phone 882139 for collection.

Wanted:   For Horticultural Show, Old Rolls of Wallpaper. Please deliver to the Manor Stores

Wanted ... Wanted ... Wanted ... :   Items for bottle stall, cakes and baked items, tombola prizes [children and adults] for the Revels Evening on the 16th August.Ring Betty Davis [833541] if you can GIVE or HELP. Betty also requires empty salad cream or ketchup squeezy bottles.

Would you Like:    Could you Save Someone's Life? Interested in a short series of First Aid classes? Do you find that you don't really use your Microwave enough? Maybe a few informative classes might help. If you are interested, please contact Joy Morrow - Fuchsia Cottage [882531] or drop a note through the door




Berrynarbor Sunday School has been in existence now for two and a half years. Several people helped to get it off the ground Ann Davies, Shaun Cooper, Miss Miller, Elise Fanner and myself. It is currently being run by Elise and myself.

We meet every Sunday, except during school holidays, at 10.30 a.m. for about an hour. There will be a stall at the Church Fete on the 24th August, when we shall be showing off our work, and will hopefully encourage more children to join. Our outing this year will be held on 30th July, when we shall be spending most of the day at the Monkey Sanctuary Wildlife Park at Combe Martin. I aim to return with the same number of children that we start out with!

The highlight for us this year was the Baptism of Katie Gubb on Sunday, 16th July, and the Baptism of John and Elaine Gubb followed by their Confirmation, with Amy Lewis, on Thursday, 20th July, by the Bishop of Crediton, who also blessed the Lady Chapel, built with loving care by our friend, Lewis Smith. This was followed by a buffet in the Manor Hall attended by over 100 parishioners and friends - a most enjoyable evening.

Please encourage your children to come to Sunday School - details can be obtained from Elise [882139] or myself [882746].

Sally Barten



2nd• Mobile Library in Village
6th• Open Gardens - Cherry Tree Cottage and Lee House, 2.30 to 5.30 p.m.
8th• Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room
15th• Berry Revels Craft Market, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Manor Hall
16th• Mobile Library in Village
• A Berry Revels Evening, 6.30 p.m.
• Muddiford Morris Men, The Globe, 9.00 p.m.
22nd • W.I. Coffee Morning, Southerly, Castle Hill, 10.30 a.m.
• Church Fete, 6.30 p.m. Manor Hall
  [All profits to help with extensive repairs to the Church Bells]
• Mobile Library in Village
2nd• Horticultural and Art Show, 2.00 p.m. Manor Hall
5th• W. I. Meeting - Speaker: Mr. Tinsley, Area Librarian
6th• Schools restart for Autumn Term
11th• Badminton Club recommences
12th• Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room
• Youth Club, Manor Hall
13th• Mobile Library in Village
21st• Parochial Church Council Meeting
24th• Chapel Harvest Festival Service
26th• Youth Club, Manor Hall
27th• Mobile Library in Village
2nd• Keep Fit, Manor Hall, 2.15 to 3.15 p.m. Enquiries: Joy Morrow [882531]
18th• Wine Appreciation Group, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall


and finally, before the last article for this edition...


from the 'Enthusiastic Band of Volunteers'

We did our best to contact all the groups in Berrynarbor that we could think of. If we missed you, we are very sorry. Please let us know who you are and we shall include details in our next Newsletter.

Our thanks to everyone who let us have articles for this first edition we were delighted with the response and if we did not have room for your piece this time, we shall be using it in October.

Please keep the articles coming - news, views, events, suggestions, sales and wants, etc. There are several events going on in the village over the next couple of months and we should like to hear about them.

The collecting boxes in the Post Office and Manor Stores will be emptied on 15th September ready for the No. 2 issue, or hand your article to any one of 'the band' -

  • Tom Bartlett
  • Elaine Fanner
  • Josef Belka
  • Margaret King
  • Vi Davies
  • Judie Weedon

Finally, the big thank-you to Judie for all her hard work in putting our first edition together and to the collaters. We hope you like it.




Lewis Smith was born on the 9th October, 1916 at Berry Mills [now known as Mill Park Camping Site - see picture], where his parents, Ernest and Edith Smith moved in 1904 when they were married. His father came from Braunton, but his mother was a Berrynarbor lass, and from the day they moved in, they used the large water mill to grind corn for local farmers and also sold corn and meal. The mill wheel was fed with water brought via a mill leat taken off the stream some distance beyond North Lee Farm, where his grandfather lived.

Lewis had an older brother, Park and a sister, Evelyn, and in October 1919 they all moved to the larger West Hagginton Farm. Lewis began to attend the village school when he was only six, but the long walk was too great for his then frail frame, so he left, restarting two years later.

At the age of twelve, he left the village school and spent the next four years at Braunton's Chaloner's School, boarding there from Sunday evening until Friday, when after school he would travel to West Hagginton Farm for the weekend at home. Leaving Chaloner's school in 1932, he worked with his father and brother at West Hagginton Farm until they sold up and moved back into the village in 1938.

On his 21st birthday, Lewis went up to Glasgow to visit Miss Ansley Sinden, his first sweetheart whom he had met several years earlier when she moved with her family to the new coastguard houses between Ilfracombe and Berrynarbor. He helped his father and the Combe Martin builder, Squires, knock down the old cottage they had bought and then to build their new house. He must have shown good promise as a builder, as he remained working for Squires of Combe Martin for the next twenty plus years, including the war years.

He met his wife, Vida, shortly after moving back into the village, when she was living in Berry Mills with her mother and step-father and their wedding took place at the Christian Brethren Assembly Hall, the High Street, Ilfracombe. Sadly, the marriage was not blessed with children. They lived together in Lee View right up until Vida's death in 1982. A few years later, finding Lee View too large, he sold up and after a brief stay at The Lodge, moved into Forge Cottage, just three doors up the road.

Lewis had taken an ever-increasing interest in St. Peter's Church and joined Len Bowden as a Church Warden around 1965, a position he retained until his death on Friday, 2nd June, 1989. He had been an active participant in the recent changes of the South Transept and its conversion into a Lady Chapel.

A note of particular sadness for him was that sometime after becoming a widower, he had found out that Ansley's husband had recently died and he wrote to her at Christmas inviting her down to visit him. Such is fate that just after Christmas he received a note from Ansley's sister-in-law to say that Ansley had had a stroke just before Christmas which had resulted in her death.

At mid-day on the bright and sunny Saturday, 10th June, the Church was almost filled to overflowing in honour of and respect for Lewis Smith.

Berrynarbor School c. 1924

1. Jack Hockridge
2. Gladys Seldon
3. Alfie Nicholls
4. Annie Coates
5. Lilly Huxtable
6. Phyllis Burgess
7. Les Irwin
8. Ivy Dinnecombe

9. Vera Dummett
10. Honor Irwin
11. Frank Huxtable
12. George Irwin
13. Lewis Smith
14. Edie Adams
15. Mrs. Earl

Note: For any inaccuracies in this Obituary, I offer my sincere apologies and would welcome any further information.

Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage. July 1989