Edition 101 - April 2006

Artwork: Debbie Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Support for the Newsletter has been overwhelming - thank you!

The Day of Celebrations marking 100 issues was a great success, both financially but more for having fun! My first thanks must go to Fenella whose ideas and organisation [before she shot down under] were original, interesting and amusing and had you all eager to see what was going on. Thank you for coming and enjoying yourselves whilst you spent money for Newsletter funds! Further thanks must go to EVERYONE who helped or participated in any way whatsoever, especially those behind the scenes, the cake makers and the ladies who spent the day happily preparing and serving food and washing up.

My Webmaster felt that 100 issues should also be marked by a new look website. This is currently underway and is already looking really good. So, if you have access to the internet, do take a look - www.berrynarbor-news.co.uk and see how it's going. Don't forget that the pictures, and particularly photographs, are much improved [and in colour!] when viewed on the website as they scan in their original form.

By the time you read this Newsletter we shall have put the clocks forward taking us into British Summer Time - time perhaps but not summer!

In spite of the still wintry weather, the next issue will be June! Articles and items for this are welcome at any time but by mid-May, 15th, at the latest please. Thank you in anticipation that they will come and thank you, too, to those who have contributed to this issue, but most of all thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Judie - Ed




On 7th February, Alan Hedges, a retired Police Dog Handler, brought along his dog Fern. He explained the work involved in training a dog and handler, and spoke of various incidences in which he personally had been involved. The competition for an embroidered tray cloth was won by Beryl Brewer and the raffle by Win Collins.

We were pleased to welcome Malcolm Pharoah, Head Gardener at Marwood Hill Gardens, on the 7th March. His slides showed the progress of the gardens over the years, started by Dr. James Smart in the 1950's, up to the present day. As well as a delightful garden, there is now a tea room offering lovely views over the garden and good food.

This month there were two competitions - a posy won by Linda Brown and a jar of marmalade won by Janet Steed. These two items, together with the tray cloth, are to be placed on a tray and entered in the Group Competition at Shirwell on 11th April. The raffle was won by Mrs. Naylor.

Les Tovey will be showing slides of Combe Martin, "Then and Now", on the 4th April, and the competition is for a member's photograph of a dog. On the 2nd May we shall be considering and voting on the two resolutions - namely Renewable Energy and Sport for Health - to be voted on nationally at Cardiff on 7th June. The competition is for 6 cookies - to be consumed at the meeting!

New members and visitors are always very welcome at our meetings, which take place at 2.30 p.m. in the Manor Hall.

Doreen Prater - President


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The Annual General Meeting this year will be held on Wednesday, 3rd May, at 7.30 p.m. We shall be saying goodbye to Jane Vanstone as our Secretary and we should like to thank her for all her hard work. It is hoped that a replacement will be available. Jane may stay on as a Committee Member representing village views. We should also like to welcome any other members of the village who would like to bring their views on how the Manor Hall could be managed.

In the kitchen of the Manor Hall our stock of tea towels and tablecloths is somewhat diminished and we should be grateful for any replacements. Please leave them either at the Community Shop or at the Manor Hall. In the meantime, users of the kitchen might be advised to take their own tea towels, etc.

Bob Hobson

Chairman - Manor Hall Committee


[6th March 1904 - 9th January 2006]

Aunty Lorna was born at Widmouth Farm, the third child of Edith and Dick Richards, who was shepherd for Harriet Basset on the Watermouth Estate. When she was two, the family moved to 22 Henton Hill where she spent her childhood, playing in the woods with the numerous other children living on 'the hill'.

No. 24 Henton Hill, 1908

Holding Arch   Florrie Ley & Ada Toms
Under ArchMarjorie Jones & Cecil Toms
Left to rightAlbert Latham, Doris Richards, Fanny Toms, Freda Ley, Lorna Richards, Edie Toms & Polly Latham
WatchingMrs. T. Toms & Leonard, Mrs. Ley & Johnnie, Emily Ley

She loved school at BerryNarbor. At the age of 11 she moved to the Hermitage School in Wilder Road in Ilfracombe, walking via Goosewell, in all weathers, with other village children including her elder brother - my dad.

She thrived on hard work. Apart from the six years of her married life, she worked looking after people and serving the public from the age of 14 to 74, as well as bringing up her little daughter. The last fourteen of these years she worked in the village Post Office for Keith and Margaret Walls and only gave up then because she broke her arm.

Gardening was her favourite hobby and she was turning and tilling the garden at Wood Park until well into her eighties. To most families of her generation, the garden was the main provider of vegetables and fruit but she also created a lovely cottage garden from virgin field with just her energy, a spade and a fork.

Her sense of humour was apparent to all who knew her. There was always a twinkle in her eye and the ability to see the funny side of any situation.

She loved children and children loved her. She spent hours occupying and entertaining my boys and later my grandchildren, who thought the world of her. They never thought of her as an arthritic old lady but their story-teller and playmate.

She has left an inspirational legacy to us all.

Lorna and Margaret

Lorna [with the cake] celebrating the Community Shop's 1st Birthday with Ina and Ron, and Hazel, the newest villager, with her mum Kate

My aunty would want me to mention a special thank you to her friends - Ivy White for her neighbourly kindness especially when she was so poorly with cancer; Mary Tucker who rarely failed to visit her each week and chat for ages; Judith Maunder, her carer, who looked after her so well and Judie for popping in and out and collecting her library books.

Bless you all.



Artwork: Helen Armstead


The Church Annual Meeting was held in the vestry on Thursday evening, 2nd March, with the Rector in the Chair. We are pleased that Doreen Prater is able to continue as Church Warden and she has been joined by Stuart Neale. We are represented at the Deanery Synod by Margaret Andrews and Doreen Prater. Margaret is to be re-licensed as Reader and we hope she will feel ready to take an active part in services again soon.

Two new members have joined the PCC and we now number eight: Sylvia Berry, Marion Carter [Secretary], Jean Ede, Janet Gibbins, David Steed, Mary Tucker [Treasurer], Margaret Walls and Susan Wright. Reports on all the work done during 2005 were read and it is always interesting to look back on how much has been achieved and how many people have contributed to church life in so many different ways. A copy of the Annual Report has been fixed to the church notice board. We look forward to the challenges of 2006, not least meeting financial commitments. The amount to be paid to the Diocese this year stands at £13,155. Planned giving and collections at services increased last year and members of the congregation are to be thanked for their dedicated support.

EASTER is late this year, falling in the middle of April. Palm Sunday is on the 9th April and the Sung Eucharist will be celebrated at 11.00 a.m. There will be a Quiet Hour in the church on Good Friday afternoon [14th April] from 3.00 to 4.00 p.m. Later on the church will be decorated ready for Easter Day when the Family Communion Service will begin at 11.00 a.m. and we shall be joined by the Choir and Sunday School.

Lent boxes for the Bible Society should be returned at Easter and there are envelopes still at the back of the church if you would like to make a donation. Also, if you would like to contribute towards the Easter flowers, please contact Linda Brown [882600].

The PCC will be holding a Coffee Morning at the Manor Hall on Thursday, 4th May, 10.30 a.m. onwards.

There will be stalls for cakes, bric-a-brac and plants and a raffle - gifts always welcome! There will also be a Fairtrade stall and a stall selling goods for the North Devon Hospice. Do come and support us on the day.

Christians Together in Combe Martin and Berrynarbor will be 'Beating the Bounds' on Sunday evening, 21st May. This year the group will meet in Combe Martin Church car park and end in Berrynarbor where tea/ coffee and biscuits will be waiting in the church. Please look out for posters giving details nearer the time.

The week before, 14th - 20th May, is Christian Aid Week. This year it is hoped to make a house-to-house collection around the village - again more details nearer the time.

Friendship Lunches will be held at The Globe on Wednesdays 26th April and 24th May.

Mary Tucker




They say that spring has arrived! Well, I haven't seen it yet, I know I'm slow so perhaps it's whizzed by me and I've not noticed, but I'm sure I'm not alone in longing to see and feel some sunshine.

Anyway, life goes on regardless of the weather and people came out in force to our Pancake Day last month. This year we cleared, after expenses, £160, a record so far. £20 of this has been donated to the Cardiac Recovery Unit at the North Devon District Hospital - one of the two treadmills has broken down and needs to be replaced, costing several thousand pounds. This unit is so important in helping patients after a heart attack or severe accident - it gives confidence and mobility under trained supervision to get their lives back on track again.

A very big thank you this year to our cooks Janet Gibbins and Rachel Thompson, I have been told that the pancakes were so much better this year! Sincere thanks also to Val, Sarah, Mary, June, Sylvia and Judie for her unfailing support with all the extra's, e.g. tables up and down, cloths, flowers, all the details that contribute to its success. Our thanks also to the Spinners, who tuck themselves down at one end of the Hall, Tuesday is their regular meeting day, but they kindly make way for us. Our ladies and children were also there, knitting and nattering for the Hospice - a busy hive of industry.

The children are now practising a play organised by Val for Mothering Sunday and we hope that many mums, aunts, God mums, grandmas, etc., will be in church on that day to be presented with their little posies of flowers that the children so love to give out.

Easter soon follows, another joyful occasion, particularly with the promise of an Easter egg at the end of the Service! Surely by then it will be warmer.

We all wish you a happy, joyous Eastertide, and leave you with a child's thoughts about Heaven and Hell.

"It's always dark in Hell. You never know who's going to grab you or what you will step in"!

from Andrew and Sally



This quiz, as already mentioned, originated to raise money for the McHenry Rural Health Care in Cameroon, a charity set up by Mary McCarthy, and Jill and I were fortunate to be able to meet the lady in question and to hear all about her work when we visited a meeting of Brayford W.l. A truly inspirational lady and a charity well worth support.

I understand that quite a lot of people enjoyed puzzling over the answers to this quiz and thank you to everyone who sent in their answers. No one managed to get them all right and there were some inspired guesses! Only one person got all but one - our own Vi Davies who didn't 'quail' at having a go! With only two wrong, was Mr. Millar of Holdstone Down who cannot 'crow' about missing a 'dipper'. Congratulations to you both.

Here are the answers:

    1. A good golfer might get one - EAGLE 26. Not the whole edge - PARTRIDGE
    2. Darkness in the storm - NIGHTINGALE 27. Colourful toy - RED KITE
    3. Headless host gets wealthy - OSTRICH 28. Grumble - GROUSE
    4. Tip ragman [anagram] - PTARMIGAN 29. One of 26 JAY
    5. Coloufful beater - YELLOW HAMMER 30. Rub a measure- CHAFFINCH
    6. Boast - CROW 31. Polish the Air Force unit - WAXWING
    7. Musician on the beach - SANDPIPER 32. Blowin' a bit - PUFFIN
    8. Fish follows leading actor - STARLING 33. This athlete likes it wet - MARSH HARRIER
    9. Sounds like gasoiine - PETREL 34. Timber male - WOODCOCK
    10. Uplifts - CRANE 35. Sounds like poor English - PIGEON
    11. Entrance for knave - JACKDAW 36. Do you pay the barber this? - RAZORBILL
    12. A pleased puppy - WAGTAIL 37. Speedy - SWIFT
    13. A race pill ice [anagram] - CAPERCAILLIE 38. Heavenly frolic - SKYLARK
    14. Architect - WREN 39. Say 'through' quietly - THRUSH
    15. Alias castle -ROOK 40. Tar played on garden tool - DRAKE
    16. Useful after snowstorm - SHOVELER 41. Reveille for a feline - KITTIWAKE
    17. Fight over a tier - SPARROW 42. Pastime - HOBBY
    18. Lack courage - QUAIL 43. Rock talk - STONECHAT
    19. A shining top - GOLDCREST 44. Wizard - MERLIN
    20. Symbol of peace - DOVE 45. Out of date court headdress - BLACKCAP
    21. Burglar's occupation? - ROBIN 46. Sunbathing in scarf effect - WHITETHROAT
    22. A bulb or an insect - CORMORANT 47. One who reads superficially - DIPPER
    23. Fix the end - PINTAIL 48. Obsolete bad coin - GUINEA FOWL
    24. Alter a tale - TEAL 49. Insect after devout cap - PHEASANT
    25. Colourful beginning - REDSTART 50. Quick look up & down stairs - GANDER


Artwork: Paul Swailes


A very warm welcome to our new and not-so-new newcomers! We wish you all every happiness here in our Village.

Derrivale in the Valley is now the 'pad' of Sam, a ten-year-old Golden Retriever and his owners, Paul and Julie Lightfoot. Paul, who is Devon born and bred, and Julie, a Wiltshire lass from Salisbury, have a retail business in Honiton. Paul's past surfing acquainted him with North Devon, but unfortunately he doesn't have time to pursue this hobby at present. Currently time is short except for work and walks with Sam. We hope that they will find time before too long to come and join us in village activities.

A rather belated welcome to Mike and Gail Pascoe who moved in some time ago to the newly named Maple Cottage [Dene Cottage] in Birdswell Lane. Mike and Gail found Berrynarbor by accident! Retiring and wishing to move from near Glastonbury in Somerset, they initially looked at South Devon, but were then attracted by the rugged look of North Devon and seeking a village with character off the main road, where else could they come? Mike is a retired lawyer and Gail's work and hobby was breeding cats. Not just ordinary cats but Bengals. Bengals were originally bred from Asian Leopard Cats - small, shy wild cats - and Abyssinians, Egyptians and even domestic short hairs [I hope I've got this right, Ed.]. They are intelligent with soft coats with dark spots. Mike and Gail have one of their own, Jamakas, and Gail's cats have found homes all over the world.

Originally from Sussex before going to Somerset and now here, Gail and Mike have two grown up sons who both live in Southampton. Hopefully, Gail will tell us more about her breeding of the delightful Bengal cats!

It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Diane and Danny Lloyd who have moved from Cross Park to Molland. Having been part of our village for many years, we wish them well in their new home.

May Tree Cottage is now home to Debbie and Keith Thomas, who have moved down here from Billericay in Essex. Both Debbie and Keith spent time holidaying in North Devon as children, and when their son, Neil, came along, they brought him down for family holidays too. Debbie and Keith are lucky to have their grandchildren nearby, as Neil and his wife Romana and their two children, Jeremy and Elinor, moved down here to Ilfracombe from Billericay at the same time.

May Tree is also home to Jake, a border collie and Labrador Sasha. Walking the dogs, photography, craftwork and in the near future archery, keep Debbie and Keith busy when they are not gardening. Gardening is both a hobby and a business.



Eve and David are delighted to announce the arrival of their fourth grandchild. Thomas David, a son for Jamie and Nicola Walker, was born in Massachusetts on the 14th January, weighing in at a healthy 9lbs 101/2oz. Eve and David, who have three grandchildren in the UK, the three daughters of their daughter Suzanne, who live at Mortehoe, were in America to witness the arrival of the first grandson. Congratulations and best wishes to you all.

Proud owners Julia, Rob, Ella and Lucy of 1 Wood Park, Sterridge Valley, would like to announce the birth of 3 adorable puppies - two girls and 1 boy - to Lily and Alfie, born on the 22nd February. These very cute [scruffy coated] terriers will be ready to fly the nest by mid-April. They will make excellent family pets or companions as their parents have proved to be. They are cheap to run and don't mind missing a walk if it's raining!

If you were thinking of buying a dog, it would be lovely to find homes for them locally. For more information and to come and visit - you'll be smitten! - telephone 882783.



Most of us seem to have succumbed, at some time, to this winter's unpleasant, flu-like cold and cough bug and hopefully everyone is now feeling better or will be feeling better soon. That wish goes to anyone not feeling their best at the moment.

Berrynarbor seems to be the place of Hip H[op]! Going round with their new bionic hips are Pip, John, Mike, Peter and Alice, who can claim two! We are delighted that all your ops have been successful and that you are once again getting mobile without pain. Best wishes to you all and also to Jan who has just got 'plastered', having slipped and broken her wrist - fortunately not her skittling or drinking arm!

I wish to thank all my family and friends for their cards and kindness, both whilst I was in hospital and during the past months whilst waiting for my hip replacement. I am now recovering at home and my special thanks to my sister, Rose, for taking care of me, also Derek [Ted], Clive and Sue

Watson-Harrison, June, Ronnie Toms and Julie Parkin.

Johnny Clark - Birdswell

I should like to express my thanks to my family, friends and neighbours who have supported me over the last 7 years, 51/2 of which have been spent in a wheelchair in intolerable pain.

An operation for me was a high risk but thanks to the skill of Mr. Trebble and his team, including Andy Warner and the staff of Capener Ward, I now have two completely rebuilt new hips and I am 4" taller!

There are so many people I must thank for their kindness over the years: Dr. Mather and the doctors at the Waterside Practice, the Community Nurses, Jill and Mary, and the ambulance crew. Sister Diane and her staff at the Tyrell Hospital - what angels you all are. Having spent 3 months with you, I know what a remarkable team you run and it was a laugh a minute too!

Thank you to all the kind people who sent gifts and cards and for mentioning me in your prayers at Trinity Parish Church and St. Peter's.

My sincere thanks to Sue and Richard and all their staff, and Sam and Andy and the staff at Monica's; to Marlene, Anne, Mary and June, and Gary for being so good and looking after the pups.

I am indebted to you all and I am progressing but it will be a long process. Thank you.

Alice Dummett

Alice also tells us -

    Uncle Bill, known as Skatt, Lerwill did have a family. He and his wife Mary had a baby daughter named Ethel, who fell asleep as a very young, small infant. This affected Auntie Mary's health.

    He often spoke to me about his daughter, he loved her very much and he kind of smiled and said 'folks think I don't know how to nurse a baby.'

    Uncle Bill's bank was a white china hen on a nest. He had a very talented sister, Miss Emily, who sang and played the piano. He was my mother's second cousin and they were neighbours in Combe Martin for quite a while.

Alice Dummett

* Memories of Skatt Lerwill appeared in the June issue 2004



Celebrations at the Manor Hall. First impressions arriving to find the Manor Hall transformed by an array of balloons, clouds and swags in burgundy, gold, white and pink, thanks to Sheila from Grattons. With these and the matching floral decorations Judie had contributed, the atmosphere was decidedly festive.

Stalls offering homemade jams and chutneys, makeup and jewellery, needlework items, books, cakes and pastries were set up. Coffee brewed and plates of cakes arranged. As the activity level increased, a sense of pride in our village had the air in the hall buzzing with a pleasurable feeling of anticipation.

At 10.30 the doors opened and a steady stream of people arrived to browse the stalls, buy raffle tickets, enter the sealed bid auction for a painting by Debbie Cook and enjoy coffee and cakes with friends, old and new. Gary and Richard provided the entertainment - their music competing cheerfully with the clatter of crockery and conversation.

As the morning coffee session drew to a close, an army of volunteer waitresses were kept busy clearing uneaten cakes [very few] and dirty crockery so that lunch could be served. Jacket potatoes with a variety of delicious fillings very kindly provided by Don, Edith, Karen and Karl, from The Globe and meat from Louise and David, were much enjoyed by those who hadn't already overdosed on cake!

Lunch over it was time for the auction. A line of Action Men, or should we say men of action - Colin, Mark, Martin, Matthew, Michael, Ben, Ivan, Phil, Richard and Gerry - awaited the attention of the bidders. The wares on offer included a chef to cook dinner for you and your guests in your own home; a boat and skipper for two trips - a sea fishing trip and a scenic coast trip; hours of work from a number of handymen offering gardening, strimming and house decoration and maintenance, etc: a chauffeur driven car excursion; a physiotherapy session and breakfast cooked for you.

With Ann Davies in charge of the mic and Tony Summers recording the bids, the grand slave auction was under way and a great deal of fun was had and money generated; the silent auction for a painting by Debbie was equally successful.

So to the next meal - we all know armies march on their stomachs which must make Berrynarbor a good recruiting area! Cream tea and "Fun with Phil" said the programme, except Phil was elsewhere [skiing in Lapland!], so the event turned into "Fun with Lynne and Bett". The quiz was much enjoyed and quite a challenge, especially as some of the anagrams of well known village places were short of a few vital letters -try making Duckie Pool without a K! The "Dinner for Two at The Lodge"prize was won by Jane.

And now a toast: bubbly by courtesy of the Wine Club, and birthday cake, provided by Sue and Richard! What an achievement - the 100th edition of our Newsletter. Congratulations!

Finally, no event in Berrynarbor would be complete without the Raffle! This was a particularly large and splendid affair, which had been running throughout the day under the watchful eyes of Ann and Peter Hinchliffe. Many excellent prizes were won [not by me!] and yet more money raised for the cause.

All over except the clearing up and this was quickly achieved with many willing hands. Everyone heading for home with a day of good fun and friendship behind them and the pleasant glow of knowing it was all in aid of the Newsletter. After expenses, over £1,300 was raised making Judie a very happy lady able to put the begging bowl away in the cupboard for a good while!

Jenny and Gilly


Artwork: Paul Swailes


As no doubt most of you will have noticed, January and February were both cold and dry. The winds were predominantly in the north or north east, a fairly unusual direction for us. The lowest temperature we recorded in the two months was -3.4 Deg C on one night in January and two in February.

In January the maximum wind recorded was 30 knots which was lower than normal, probably as we are sheltered from a north easterly direction. We had a wind chill of -12 Deg C, which was the same as last year, but the average temperatures were down, with a maximum average of 7.86 Deg C and a minimum average of 2.47 Deg C, compared with 10.2 Deg C and 5.63 Deg C. Although it was a dry month, with only 34 mm [1 3/8"] of rain in total, this was not a record as in January 1997 we had only 14 mm [9/16"].

February's average temperatures were similar to last year although slightly down with an average maximum of 7.41 Deg C, an average minimum of 2.47 Deg C and a wind chill of -12 Deg C, compared to 8.32 Deg C, 3.24 Deg C and a wind chill of -13 Deg C. The maximum wind speed was again 30 knots. It was another dry month with only 72 mm [2 7/8"] of rain of which 22 mm [7/8"] fell on the night of the 14th, accompanied by strong winds.

We had no snow in either January 2005 or 2006, but in February last year it snowed on five days producing only about 2mm of cover on the 28th. This year we also had five days of snow but there was no measurable amount.

The barometer reached a high of 1036mb on the 22nd January at 1000 hours and a low of 985mb at 2300 hours on the 16th February. As we write this, the temperature is up, rain is lashing down and the wind is blowing, but the days are drawing out nicely and the daffodils are all coming out, so spring is on its way.

Simon and Sue




Once again the Shrove Tuesday morning was a great success. As the clock struck ten, 24 knitters were casting on their 20 stitches in wools of every hue, cooks in the kitchen were preparing batter and cutting up lemons, and there were good smells beginning to issue forth.

Whilst the knitters clicked and clacked for the next two hours the Hall was full of people enjoying a coffee and a pancake.

We were delighted that Ali Hunt, from the North Devon Hospice, was able to drop in once again, encouraging us to knit harder, although everyone took a break to enjoy a pancake with her.

At mid-day, platefuls of pancakes had been made and consumed raising a record £160 for the Sunday School. Knitters cast off and although their number was slightly down on last year, over 25 feet of strips - to be turned into blankets - had been knitted. Sue and Jean took the honours for the longest strips but everyone had contributed sponsorship which exceeded last year's amount by £150! A magnificent total of £752 was taken, together with the strips, to the Hospice.

Congratulations to everyone - another very successful morning.



Banish the winter blues, abandon the spring-cleaning, put your best foot forward and spring into life by joining our WALK FOR LIFE!

North Devon has some of the most magnificent coastal and countryside walks and you can explore at first hand a variety of plants and appreciate some of the most outstanding scenery in Europe. There are 10 magical walks to choose from, and whatever your age or fitness levels, there will be a walk to suit YOU.

The walks will be fun, and will have an expert guide from HM Coastguard who will give you anecdotal stories along the way. The walks will also be incredibly meaningful because every mile we walk we will be helping someone who needs the care and support of the local North Devon Hospice. All participants will receive a free 'Walk for Life' t-shirt and you can walk in memory of a loved one or as a tribute to the work of the Hospice, or just for the love of our beautiful North Devon coast and countryside.

Working at the Hospice, it becomes obvious on a daily basis that cancer and other life-threatening illnesses are not selective and can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. This event is for all the family and your friends - let's make it something big and make a difference for someone else.

Come on, Spring into action - your support will make a rally positive difference to someone in our local community who relies on hospice care.

Walks for Life takes place on Sunday, 26th May, starting at 10.00 a.m. [registration from 9.15 a.m.] and vary in length and difficulty, from 3.5 miles [easy] to 10 miles [difficult].

If you would like to take part in this very worthwhile activity, please contact the Hospice on [01271] 344248. A few copies of the leaflet giving details are available from Judie at Chicane.




The Manor Hall, Friday & Saturday 10th & 11th March 2006

A thoroughly enjoyable Show, even better than last year and, with memories of previous shows starting in the early 'nineties. In fact, the third act, 'Underneath the Arches', first performed in 1993, was watched by Jack Elliott, in the audience, who was one of the original performers. Many performances were notable, including 'Synchronised Swimming', 'Murphy's Song' and 'Riverdance', but perhaps most notable of all was the younger element for whatever act they performed, they gave the Show great support and a feeling that things continue to look bright for the future. Congratulations to Gary and all the BBC gang.

Bill and Jill



When I am asked if I am on holiday when my husband John and I are in Berrynarbor, I find it hard just to say 'Yes', as part of me feels we belong here.

We first came to Berrynarbor in July 1957, staying at the Seaview Guest House, which was run by Phyllis and Ted Taylor. Our bill for the seven days was eighteen pounds and fourteen shilling - to include morning tea and garaging for the car: how times change! Seaview is now the annexe to the Sandy Cove Hotel and I know the pricing structure is different now!

Many years after our first visit, having looked in 'Pets Welcome' for pet-friendly accommodation for our two black Labradors, we stayed at Sandy Cove, and then again the two following years, as we had so enjoyed our holiday.

This last time, on our return we happened upon the pine lodges at Berrynarbor Park - and that was that! Could we really come to Berrynarbor whenever time allowed? So, here we are, three years later, coming and going, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

We have followed the story of the shop as anxiously as anyone and are full of admiration for the determination that 'closure' was just not on. Sadly, we do not have our dogs anymore, but we are so grateful that they led us back to this delightful place.

So - yes, we are on holiday but we are made so welcome we feel we are at home.

Daphne Holmes - Chalfont St. Peter and Berrynarbor




This term Class 1 have been thinking about safety and how to look after themselves. They have carried out surveys around the school site, looking for possible dangers and places to be extra careful. They have found out about Road Safety, with a Road Safety visitor from Devon County Council, using our wheeled toys and playground road set.

They have a fire engine in the role-play area and last week had an exciting visit to Chivenor Air Base and Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station.

Here is some of their work:

Karen Crutchfield - Head Teacher



Direct Gov - Sometimes you want to find a diverse range of public information without having to hunt high and low for it.

Direct Gov is the website for you and if you are over 50, an extensive selection of material has been developed especially for you and your views: www.direct.gov.uk/over50s, This website offers services and guidance on learning new skills, changing careers, employment, health and well being, benefits, travel, social care and planning for retirement.

Margaret Andrews

Men's Institute - In the Men's Institute, there are six cues in locked cases, owners unknown. If anyone has any information on these, could they please ring 882401 or contact any club member. Thank you.

John Huxtable

The Combe Martin & Bertynarbor Community Car Service - provides transpont for elderly or physically impaired villagers to enable them to visit doctors, dentists, or hospital. At present there is only one vehicle in Berrynarbor performing this service, and this means that if there is a double booking, or the volunteer's away, someone from Combe Martin has to make the double journey to Berrynarbor and back. Is there anyone in the village who could spare the occasional hour when needed? It would be very much appreciated by the organiser, and you may contact her on [01271] 883742 [Pauline Whittle].

Brian Hillier

To our Friends in Berrynarbor - Dave and I retired in June 2005 and briefly visited Berrynarbor, meeting up with Doreen, Anita, Vic and John and it was lovely to be back! Since then we have spent some time with our daughters, Fiona and Angela in Surrey and Rebecca in Wiltshire. In September we flew off to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore for our ten week retirement trip to visit family and friends. It was just a wonderful time. We returned a couple of weeks before Christmas which we spent with the girls and their families. Since our return home, we have been redecorating as we are planning to move closer to the family and will let you know if and when it happens.

We send our best wishes to everyone who remembers us and hope to visit you in the not too distant future - we have great memories of our family life in North Devon.



Brian Wright

Solution in Article 28.



The Group meets monthly in members' homes, when we discuss the chosen book for that month. There is a charge of £2.00 which covers the cost of refreshments. The next meeting will be held at Middle Lee Farm on WEDNESDAY, 12TH APRIL, at 7.30 p.m. Everyone welcome. We shall be discussing 'Driving Over Lemons' by Chris Stewart.

Future book choices are:

  • May - The Kite Runner - by Khaled Hosseini
  • June - Labyrinth - by Kate Moss
  • July - Girl with a Pearl Earring - by Tracy Chevalier

We look forward to seeing you.




April and May will be the last two meetings of the Wine Circle for the current 'Season'. The Circle next meets on WEDNESDAY, 19TH APRIL when we travel to France! No, not really, but Ruth Diggle will be presenting 'The Rothschild World of Wine'. The May meeting, on WEDNESDAY, 17TH MAY will be the Annual General Meeting, which only takes a short time, after which Brian Wright will give a presentation on 'Wines from Australia'. The new Season commences in October.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Every so often in the month of January, nature throws us a beautiful, clear, brilliantly sunny day and it was on such a day this year, the 28th, that more than seventy guests congregated at Broomhill Art Hotel to help Tim Davies and Tim Jones celebrate their Civil Partnership Ceremony. Guests came for this special occasion from all corners of the globe - Canada, Switzerland, Holland and even Berrynarbor. So, after spending 21 years together, moving from the Alps in Switzerland to settle in the Sterridge Valley and proceed to lovingly restore a 17th century mill, it was with great pride and happiness that they were now able to demonstrate openly and legally to all their friends, relatives and acquaintances exactly what their partnership means to each other. The ceremony was followed by a wonderful champagne reception, in a truly magical setting and this special day was enjoyed by all present. So I am sure I speak for everyone who knows Tim and Tim when I wish them all good fortune and happiness for the rest of their future together.

Chris Taylor


[Ode to the Channel Tunnel]

For a million years I've rested, long since past my best
By a thousand pounds of pressure, naturally compressed.
Biding my time while turning to lime I've not had much thinking to do,
Now all this is changing - through man's rearranging, upon me is something new.

It started with a quiver or two, a rattle then a constant shake,
Out to the west a monster approached with progress in its wake.
Chewing and spewing it dug close below me, my ancestors digested away,
Then it was past and going quite fast, headed for the Pas de Calais.

I thought that was the end of it, a transient - nothing more,
How wrong I was for in its tracks came humans by the score.
Through collection and seizure of the monster's excreta they emptied the dank vacant space,
Into this wound came concrete cocoons, holding the vastness in place.

Now their labours are over and I dread each troubled hour,
Four times they come with rumble and roar, each a terrible power.
I am only a shellfish but I don't think I'm selfish for the yearning my mind has in store,
For fifty years hence, when erosive events, let me rest in peace once more.

Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook

Nigel Waters - Ragstone Cottage


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Illustrated by:Paul Swailes

The Rectory,
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

As I write this Springtime letter I have to tell you that this is a massive act of faith! Why? Well, it's the 17th March with the heating full on, a bitter east wind, with flurries of snow and the promise of much more to come. And we had snow in November! Is winter ever going to stop? I am very much reminded of Narnia where the world was in a constant state of ice and frost with darkness and greyness being the "norm". The whole world was under the spell of evil and the ice queen, until Aslan made the ultimate sacrifice and Spring came with the melting of the snow, and the rise of the sun, and the glow of its warmth, restoring everything to its natural beauty.

But I have to admit that even as I write, I can see daffodils bravely defying the wind and cold, and yes, there are buds on the hydrangeas, and I suppose the grass does need a slight trim. So there are signs of hope and promise of a future Spring and (dare I say it?) Summer.

In the world we see and hear such terrible acts of violence and destruction, with so many innocent people suffering, that we often despair for the future. It's a cold uncaring world! But there are signs of hope if we look for it. Young people often get a bad press and yet there so many wonderful and caring children at our own Berrynarbor Primary School. People in the village stop and talk with one another, sharing the news of family and friends. Love and care are all around us if we look.

And God's love is mediated in and through the world and people around us. Easter reminds us that love is here! Even when things seem very black, God's love still shines through, and gradually his kingdom of love is being established in every little act of kindness and consideration that one sees. At Easter the Disciples saw love overcome even death itself, when they saw Jesus again, and that love, like the returning sun, is gradually creeping into the hearts and lives of people everywhere.

So have a wonderful Easter, and "may the sun shine warm upon your face" and love fill your hearts. With all Good wishes,

Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer




The Annual Parish Meeting will be held in the Manor Hall on Tuesday, 11th April at 7.00 p.m. In attendance will be Sergeant Sean Harris to discuss and listen to any police issues raised and to give a report on our village and surrounding area. Mr Joe Deasey, the local service officer of the Environment Directorate of Devon County Council, will also be attending. He will try to answer any questions put to him regarding highway issues in connection with the Parish.

County Councillor Andrea Davis should have some answers regarding issues raised at the December public meeting. Mr Bob Hobson, Chairman of the Manor Hall Committee, will also give a brief report.

This should be a very informative meeting and the Council requests that as many parishioners as possible attend. To go forward we need your support.

Sue Sussex - Chairman

Chairman's Report for Annual Parish Meeting 2006

The past year has been one of great change for Berrynarbor Parish Council. For the first time in its long history, there have been three Chairmen in one year. Last year at this time, Graham Andrews wrote this Report and he had already signalled that he would not be seeking re-election. Jim Constantine was elected in his place and served for just two short months before resigning due to a move from the area. I was voted in as Chairman in August and have spent the following months getting used to my role and the very many varied issues which come with being a Parish Councillor. In order to better myself as your Chairman, I have enrolled on an Effective Chairman's course organised by the Devon Association of Parish Councils in July.

This Report would not be complete without me now mentioning the sadness I and the other members of the Council and the Clerk felt upon the passing of Graham in September, and it was a fitting tribute to him that many of us were able to be present at his funeral and all sit together in St. Peter's Church, Combe Martin. Due to the removal of Jim and the resignation of Graham in August, two vacancies occurred on the Council within a very short time. We have been delighted to welcome Councillor Mrs. Madeleine Worth and Councillor Clive Richards on to the Council, both of whom are a great asset and help to strengthen the Council into an effective Team.

There was also a change on the County Council with Mike Knight retiring and Andrea Davis taking up the reins in his place. We are very glad that she has time, among her many other commitments, to attend as many Council Meetings as time, other meetings and circumstances permit.

It is pleasing to see the Community Shop gaining popularity and continue to be well supported by local people. The Parish Council has now assumed responsibility for the public toilets and we thank Peter Hinchliffe for his efforts as caretaker until ill health forced him to relinquish this post in September. We are indeed very fortunate that Brian Davies was willing to step into his shoes at a moment's notice and ensure that they are as they should be for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.

You will recall that a Public Meeting was held in December with Devon County Council official Mr James Anstee in attendance. The Councillors are still in dialogue with him as a result, and are determined to get all the outstanding problems ironed and sorted out sooner rather than later.

Other items which have been regularly discussed have been trees at various locations in the Parish, the footpath at Watermouth, refuse and recycling collection, Claude's Garden maintenance, Manor Hall valuation and opposition to the BT payphone at Berry Down becoming cashless.

It was a very proud moment again to hear of the success of the Best Kept Village Team being awarded another accolade and thanks go to them for their interest and efforts in ensuring that the high standard is kept up. As a Parish Council, we lobbied the powers that be regarding the location for the North Devon Gateway and were extremely pleased when it was announced that the Aller Cross site had been chosen, which had been our preferred option.

We have responded to all Planning Applications received, have participated in the annual Remembrance Sunday wreath laying and service in the Parish Church and were delighted to support and congratulate the Berrynarbor Newsletter on its 100th edition printed in February. It was encouraging to hear from District Councillor Mrs. Julia Clark that a free bus service is shortly to be introduced for the over 60's supported by the North Devon District Council, and it is hoped this will have a positive impact on our residents, not only for being able to get out and about, but on the environment too, with fewer cars on our roads.

On a personal note, shortly after being elected Chairman of this Parish Council, my fellow Councillors supported a nomination for my name to be put forward for a place on the Devon Association of Parish Councils County Committee. I feel very honoured to have been asked to stand and was subsequently co-opted on to the Committee. I am following in the footsteps of my predecessors Graham Andrews and Jim Constantine who were both members of this Committee. In October I, along with Councillor Paul Crockett, attended a day and a half Planning School organised by Barnstaple Town Council which, although very intense, provided great insight into this sometimes complex subject. Our Clerk unfortunately had some health matters last year requiring surgery, which meant that she was unable to attend two of our meetings but she sent a very able substitute to take the Minutes in the form of her husband who is Clerk to another nearby Parish. There was, therefore, no disruption at all to the satisfactory running of the Council.

Finally, I should like to take this opportunity of thanking all the Councillors for their support, hard work, interest and commitment who have the good of Berrynarbor and its parishioners at heart. I believe we have a very strong Council and look forward to it going from strength to strength for the benefit of the residents of Berrynarbor.

Sue Sussex - Chairman


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Jonathon Smith lived at Pilton, just outside Barnstable. It was 1934 and the music halls were, despite the 'talkies' coming in 1929, still providing a certain amount of employment. Even at school, Jonathon was quite good at doing tricks which mystified his friends.

His ambition was to be a professional conjurer and to his surprise and pleasure he managed to get a few bookings. He carried two suitcases - one with his stage clothes and one with his tricks. He would travel the narrow gauge Lynton to Barnstaple line, stopping off to give performances, even in the village pubs along the way. He appeared at the John Gay theatre in Barnstaple, the Victoria Pavilion, the Concert Hall opposite and the Alexandra Palace.

The odd thing about him was that he quite often 'messed up' his tricks and sometimes, though he could do them, he didn't quite know how they worked! He wanted to broaden his act and would send off to London to the Magician's Company for more elaborate illusions.

Jonathon could do most of the rope tricks, those with cards, those that 'vanished' and so on. He had tried some of the guillotine tricks with helpers from the audience, but gave up after a few accidents, one of which had to be hospitalised. His worst nightmare was when he hammered someone's Rolex watch and failed to restore it!

One evening, after a performance, a pretty, blue-eyed, blonde girl of nineteen, called Daisy, burst into his dressing room. "I've been a conjurer's assistant," she said without hesitation, "But I've split up with him and I need work. Can I join your act?" Jonathon's mouth dropped open for a full minute. He immediately fell in love and they were soon married.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Jonathon and Daisy got along famously and ventured into further illusions, including the box that Daisy got in and into which Jonathon stuck swords. However, they gave this up when Daisy was just a little too slow in getting into the compartment beneath and suffered some scratches.

"Have a look at this catalogue," said Jonathon to Daisy one day, having called her to sit beside him on the settee. "It's got the saw a lady in half trick. I've just got to have it!" Daisy smiled, "Why not. You send for it."

A few days later, Willis the carrier arrived with his van and knocked on their door. "Looks as though I've got something special for you," he said, groaning under the weight of a huge box. Little known to Jonathon, Daisy had been a tight rope walker in a circus and was also a contortionist and singer. We'll try out the trick tonight," smiled Jonathon, "We'll do it in the kitchen in case anyone calls."

At about seven on that winter evening, the long box on castors was set up. Daisy opened the two top doors and climbed in, Jonathon got out the instructions. "Ah, here we go," he said, looking very seriously looking at the instructions. He read allowed: "Place the assistant long ways in the box and after inserting the two leaves, place the saw in the middle slot. Proceed to saw. There may be some sawdust, but no blood."

"Well, that seems quite straight forward," and he started sawing. He had only done about three strokes when the light went out. "Oh heck, it's a power cut," screamed Daisy. "Go and get a candle, they're in the drawer."

Jonathon found the candle and some matches. "That's better, everything will be OK now." He struck a match and lit the candle. Holding the candle rather too close to the instructions, they suddenly caught fire. "Only you could do that," shouted Daisy, "For goodness sake, stamp it out."

Too late, the instructions had gone and what were they to do now? Both were in a panic. At that moment there was a knock on the door. Jonathon answered it. It was his friend, Bob, the policeman.

"Hello," he said, "I just called to remind Daisy that it's her night to do the teas at the W.I. Daisy usually answers the door, is she alright?" Thinking quickly and not wanting Bob to come in, Jonathon replied, "Well we've had a bit of a domestic and she is a bit cut up at the moment." Bob didn't like to hear of any problems of this kind but bid Jonathon farewell, saying he hoped they would be back together soon. So did Jonathon!

It was still dark and Daisy called out, "You'd better get me out of here." Assuming an authoritative attitude, Jonathon tried to open the cabinet doors. "They're jammed!" he cried, "What are we going to do?" "Phone the Magic Circle," shouted Daisy, "They're bound to know." It was too late, there was no answer from the Magic Circle, they had either all gone home or maybe disappeared!

By now the power had come back on. "I'll make us a nice cup of tea" said Jonathon as he stood at the sink filling the kettle. He turned round and there stood Daisy. "How the heck did you get out?" he gasped. "By pressing the safety lever on the inside of the box. I might also tell you that I had my legs drawn up, so there was no danger."

They talked into the night about Daisy's early days and how she had been a contortionist and agreed that their new trick would probably not fool anyone. After a while they gave up the theatre work and both went to work at a small, local cinema - he as a projectionist and she as an usherette. They both also worked at Barnstable in the same jobs.

Sadly, Jonathon has now passed on but if you meet Daisy in your local, she will tell you their story and make the pint you buy her disappear quite quickly!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester



DACL has two courses in the village at the Manor Hall: Upholstery on Monday mornings, from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and All Round Body Work Out on Wednesday mornings from 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Classes for the summer term commence the week beginning 24th April.

If you would like further details or to enrol, contact llfracombe Adult Community Learning on [01271] 864171, or go along to the first class.





Life isn't just counted in candles or measured by years. It's counted in the laughter and friendships and all of the good things you've known.

Picture this:

    Four year old Gerald, trying to chat up a very young Jane and getting very little response, became exasperated and exclaimed, "What are you, a hooman bean?" The same Jane, now about 5 years old came to tea. I said, 'This is home-made bread.' She looked very doubtful, tasted a mouthful, beamed at me and said, "Oh well, you'd never know it's just like real."

and another true story:

    A large family reunion with much chatter except for those around Auntie Margaret, where it was more like a monologue. Her chatter to the adults stopped briefly, she turned to her young nephew, "How old are you Jamie?" "I'm seven Auntie." More chatter, then, "How old are you Jamie?" "I'm seven Auntie." More chatter and "How old are you Jamie?" "I'm still seven Auntie." The adults collapsed with laughter!

My very best wishes to all my friends in Berry - my heart will always be in our beautiful village.

Doreen [S]



Ethel Tidbury

Life is a book, of volume three,
The past, the present and the is to be.
The first is done with, and laid away.
The second we are reading, day by day.
The third and last of volume three,
Is kept from sight,
God keeps the key.



The following is an e-mail I have received from Jan Kingshott of Exeter, who is researching her family tree.

Like many people I am a family history buff and a significant proportion of my family originate in Combe Martin and Berrynarbor. I will attempt to explain how.

My maternal grandmother was a Burgess, from the large Burgess clan of Combe Martin. In the 19th century every other house contained a Burgess and it was one of the larger families in the area, having arrived from North Molton in the mid 18th century. My grandmother's, great grandfather was Richard Burgess and he married Mary Hicks. It is the Hicks family that originate in Berrynarbor and I can trace them back to a John Hicks who married Grace Hutchings in 1712. Both the Hicks and the Burgess family were large and as a result the women married into other well established local families such as the Dovell and Willis families, as well as others.  

 My purpose in writing is to request contact from anyone who is related to any of these families, and especially to anyone who is researching their own family links to the area. I am especially keen to locate anyone who still lives there, and who descends from any of these families. I research my direct line as far back as I can, then siblings of these people, then descendents so as you can imagine the tree is massive.

I look forward to hearing from you.

If anyone can help Jan, please do write to her at 21 Vuefield Hill, St Thomas, Exeter EX2 9NW or e-mail her on jankingshott@blueyonder.co.uk or contact Judie - Chicane or [01271] 883544.




Scottish business man and sugar refiner

A chance mention on the radio of Abram Lyle pulled me up short. I'd never thought of the originator of the famous Golden Syrup having a Christian name! Pulling out the famous green and gold tin from my store cupboard, I was back in my childhood, pondering the trademark of the lion and the bees with its caption: 'Out of the strong came forth sweetness' [but more of that later!]

My interest aroused, I searched for more information. Born in Greenock, Abram started work at the tender age of 12 as an apprentice in a lawyer's office. He then joined his father's cask-making business before entering into a shipping partnership with his friend John Kerr. Together they grew the Lyle fleet into one of the largest in Greenock. He thus had the barrels and ships to transport sugar, which he did for many years. In 1865 at the age of 45, he and 3 partners, including John Kerr, bought the Glebe Sugar Refinery in Greenock. Seven years later, John Kerr died, so Lyle sold his shares and in 1881 sent his 5 sons to London in search of suitable premises. He and 3 of those sons bought two wharves in Plaistow, East London on which they built a refinery specialising in producing golden syrup.

Lyle had discovered that although a by-product of the sugar refining process was a treacly syrup, it was usually discarded. However, he refined it further to make a delicious preserve and sweetener for cooking. Initially the syrup was poured into casks [think of that when you are measuring out 2 tablespoons for the treacle tart!] and sold to the workers and locals. It was a hit! The wooden casks gave way to large dispensers and were sold through grocery stores. The first tins appeared in 1885 and the Victorian design has altered little over the years. During World War 1 the 'tin' was made out of thick cardboard, as the metal was needed for the war effort. Today nearly 1/2 million tins a month leave the Plaistow refinery, having been filled at speeds of up to 240 tins per minute.

So back to the trademark: 'Out of the strong came forth sweetness'. Abram was a deeply religious man, so it is perhaps not surprising that to advertise his brand new product he chose a quotation from the Bible. It is, however, an odd choice to advertise this product with a picture of a decaying lion that bees have made a home in! Neither is it known why he chose this particular text. Was he referring to the can holding the syrup or to the company producing it? If you want to check the quotation, you will find it in Book of Judges, Ch. 14 vs. 14. In case you don't, then here's the story:

Samson was travelling, on God's instruction, to the land of the Philistines with his parents in search of a wife. On the way, a lion attacked him, which he killed. He diverted on the return journey to check on the body and noticed that a swarm of bees had formed a comb of honey in the carcass. Samson later turned this into a riddle at his wedding, "Out of the eater came forth meat and out of the strong came forth sweetness". The Philistines were outraged that they couldn't crack the riddle and ordered the new wife to find out the answer. She wormed it out of her husband - no pun intended - and he was so cross that she had let him down that he killed 1000 Philistines as a revenge. The Philistines thought this was not on and as the marriage had not yet been consummated [Samson was too busy killing Philistines!], the parents took back the new wife and that was that. It took 20 more years to meet Delilah but that's another story . . .

Back to Abram Lyle. His new refinery was within 2 miles of that of Sir Henry Tate [1819-1899], founder in 1897 of the Tate Gallery. It seems surprising, but is thought probable, that the two captains of industry never met. Abram Lyle died in 1891, leaving his business in the hands of four of his sons and the two companies were merged in 1921. Today Tate and Lyle is the only cane sugar refinery in the UK and the largest in Europe. It has expanded into products as wide ranging as animal feeds and potable grain alcohol used in high quality alcoholic drinks. Yet still Lyle's Golden Syrup remains a firm favourite.

Quite a legacy!

PP of DC



Street traders. I don't know if any such visited Berrynarbor, but when I was a wee nipper, Long ago, we had a variety of them parading our streets. The most colourful was the man who cried his wares thus:

"Hot peas and warm pies, Parkin pigs with curran' eyes."

The peas, of the mushy variety, were carried in an enamel pail with a lid, while pies and pigs were on a covered tray carried on the head. I don't remember sampling peas or pigs, but the pies [pork] were delicious.

Then there was the vinegar seller who wore a blue and white striped apron and announced his arrival by ringing a hand-bell. The vinegar was in an enamel pail with lid and was ladled into your jug or whatever, as required. We used a lot of vinegar for pickling, so he was a frequent visitor.

Salt was sold in blocks about the size and shape of a modern sliced loaf and was brought round, piled high on a horse-drawn flat cart. A block would last for months, although mother used a lot for cooking. She would carve off a slice with the carving knife and then pound it with the rolling pin to fill the salt cellars.

I don't remember any other food bought at the door, apart from milk, of course. This came in a large churn on the dairy farmer's 'float' [horse drawn] and was ladled into your jug by the pint. No bottles in those days.

The knife-grinder often came round with his "Knives and scissors to grind" call. His grindstone was attached to the handlebars of his bicycle and was driven by a system of pulleys and belts from the pedals, the rear wheel being raised off the ground.

Another frequent visitor was the organ grinder. It wasn't an organ really, more like a player piano operated by turning a crank. As soon as he began to play, kids would appear as from nowhere and dance round in time to the music. One or two would give him a penny and I suppose that was how he earned a precarious living. Did he have a monkey? I don't think so, I'm sure I would have remembered if he had.

Lastly I must not forget the gypsy women with their baskets of clothes pegs. These were made from cleft hazel, shaped at one end to form a 'V' notch, fastened together at the other end by a metal strip wound round and fastened with a 'brad'. Very effective they were and lasted for ages. Gypsies had a reputation for theft so you never let them over the threshold, even if they offered to read your palm.

Illustrations by: Nigel Mason



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The good old fashioned parkin is a rather filling moist ginger cake made with oatmeal and treacle and usually served cut in squares. Originating in Yorkshire, it is ideal fodder in the 'parky' weather November brings and is traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night.

4 oz lard or margarine
4 oz golden syrup
8 oz plain flour
4 tsp. ground ginger
4 oz sugar
4 oz black treacle
8 oz med. oatmeal
tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg
tsp. bicarb of soda
pinch of salt

Oven: 300 Deg F [150 Deg C] or gas mark 1

Melt the fat and add the syrup, treacle and sugar, warm over a very low heat until the sugar begins to dissolve - avoid heating the mixture - keeping the saucepan warm rather than hot. Sieve the dry ingredients, make a well in the centre and gradually beat in the liquid from the saucepan and the beaten egg. Mix to a soft consistency, adding a little milk if required. Pour into a greased, flat tin so that the mixture is 1" in depth. Bake for 1 hour and then partly cool it in the tin. Turn out to finish cooling. Serve it cut in squares.

Parkin should be moist, bake for 5 minutes less - it tastes awful if burnt!

Wendy Applegate




By the time you read this, we shall have said farewell to Ross who is leaving to join his father's new business. We all wish him well in his new venture. We are grateful for what he has done in helping us establish the Shop, for expanding the stock and for keeping the Post Office going. His gentle management style will be missed by us all. However, we are happy to welcome his successor, Jackie Borley, who if you are a regular customer you will already have met. It will be a change to have a lady in charge. Jackie lives in Ilfracombe with her husband Paul and their 3 children aged 13, 17 and 19. She has experience in retail management, childcare and working with volunteers. We look forward to her fresh ideas and hope that you will call in and see these for yourselves.

Yet again we need your help. We are contacting all new residents, telling them about the village and our shop and offering them a small welcome pack. It is sometimes difficult to keep up to date with newcomers so if you are aware of anyone who has or will be arriving from 1st January this year, please 'phone Pam Parke - 883758 who will follow it up. As part of this welcome, a list has been drawn up of tradesman and other useful contacts who live within the village and already I have a list of over 20 names. [If you have not yet been 'phoned, please get in touch with Pam soon who will add your name to the list - for a nominal fee to cover expenses].

Notices have gone out regarding the Community Shop Annual General Meeting to be held in the Manor Hall on April 22nd at 11.00 a.m. All shareholders are invited to attend. The Committee has now approved the external plans for the new shop and these are in the hands of the North Devon Planning Committee. We will keep you in touch with developments.

Finally, we'd just like to remind you that in the shop there is a good stock of Easter eggs, chocolates and plants and that you can send flowers to any part of the country through our Post Office.

Happy Easter from Jackie and the Committee!

PP of DC

May I please add to Pam's plea for news of newcomers to the village - it IS difficult to keep up to date and it is nice to welcome them [and say farewell to those leaving] in the Newsletter.




We shall be opening the Tea Room from Sunday, 2nd April, for morning coffee, light snacks and traditional cream teas. It will be open from Sunday through to Thursday each week, from 10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m . Closed Friday and Saturday.

The Bistro will be open on Friday evenings commencing on the 24th March, from 7.00 p.m. The menu will be placed in the window and as previously, it will be a case of bringing your own alcohol. Booking is essential, so please telephone [01271] 883014 - ask for Eve or [01271] 870640 - ask for Sue.



In the hope of having warmer weather, this year's Sloley Farm Barn Dance will be on SATURDAY, 6TH MAY, from 7.30 p.m. onwards. EVERYBODY is welcome, from the youngest to oldest. Entrance will be by donation [as last year] and as usual, bring your own drink and glasses.

Look out for posters giving more details nearer the time, but make a note of the date NOW and keep it free.



On the trail of wild animals

"The Tarka Trail is still open" called out the fisherman, wheeling his bicycle to the bottom of Sticklepath Hill. Since the construction work had started on the new bridge across the Taw, we had avoided the area but now we followed the detour through side streets and factory sites to reach the riverside.

Just below the newly created causeway I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a bright shape start up from the rough grass and quickly disappear again. I turned and watched a fox pounce repeatedly, springing high in the air, this, despite the earth moving machinery and constant procession of trucks nearby. After a while the vixen sauntered off towards the causeway and so, even closer to the heavy plant activity and noise.

Like a puzzle picture where you have to spot the odd one out, we scanned the huge gathering of Canada geese, grazing the water meadows below Anchor Wood, to find among the pattern of black and fawn and white, a bar-headed goose, two greylags and a white-fronted goose.

As we headed towards Fremington Quay we were pleased to see, on Penhill salt marsh, about a hundred Brent geese, elegant in their black plumage with the narrow band of white on the neck.

Recalling the fox, active in the middle of the day, so close to Barnstaple town centre and major road works, made me think about the wide range of larger wild mammals which can be observed, during the hours of daylight, within the parish of Berrynarbor.

A routine car journey out of the village can be enlivened by the possibility of seeing red deer or brown hares.

Recently, as we travelled along the Sterridge Valley, we noticed in the sloping field opposite the forestry, thirty deer lying in the sun, grouped around an island of gorse and brambles. On our return a few hours later they had moved to the corner of the field to graze.

More elusive in North Devon than the red deer is the hare so it has been especially thrilling during the last year to observe them [again from the car, which serves as an effective hide] in fields near Smythen Cross. We watched four hares there at the week-end. They are beautiful creatures with their large golden eyes, black and white markings on ears and tail and tawny brown coat shading to darker, greyer brown.

That same evening, as early as half-past six, I had a clear view from my kitchen window as a black and white head pushed through the hedge. The badger mooched about some shrubs; standing on its hind legs it put its paws up on the bird table, trotted around the apple tree and completing its circuit of the lawn, it went back through the hedge.

Red deer, badger, hares - all this within the first two weeks of March. The badgers tend to start appearing in the garden in March or April just before darkness falls, with nightly visits concentrated throughout May and June, gradually becoming less frequent; with the odd appearance; in the autumn up to about November.

Last April we saw for the first time, otters in the river at the bottom of the garden, between eight and nine in the evening. A persistent 'fluty' whistling sound drew us towards the bend of the river. Near the bank, a section of the surface of the water appeared to rise up and then turn itself into a sleek grey-brown head and back. It swam slowly across the river. On another occasion, while we had a brief view of the otter in the water, the one responsible for the whistling was hidden apart from movement in the vegetation.

At the other end of the parish, marine mammals are regularly sighted near the entrance to Watermouth Cove, off Widmouth Head and Samson's Bay - pods of porpoises and the odd grey seal.

The village of Berrynarbor is certainly rich in its variety of wild life and is home to several species of the larger mammals.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H




"No, it can't be that time again" you're saying, but it is time to just let you know that this year's event will take place on SATURDAY, 2ND SEPTEMBER. So keep that date free, please.

The provisional schedule will again be given in the June Newsletter and it is not expected that there will be too many changes. In the meantime, however, start sewing those seeds, plant out the cuttings and keep working on those craft and embroidered items.



Our first meeting for 2006 was well supported and we have decided to enter both the Best Kept Village and Britain in Bloom competitions. We hope the whole village will support us in our efforts and do their best to keep the area near them free from litter and tidy.

We had our first litter pick of this year on Sunday, 19th March. The first of the year is always the worst and as the weather was so cold and the pile of black bags so large, we could almost see snow on the summit! Thank you to all who worked so hard - hope you all enjoyed the tea and cakes afterwards.

This year we shall be opening the gardens again to raise funds for both Berry in Bloom and Best Kept Village, and for other charities. The dates have been set for 18th June for the centre of the village, and the 23rd July for the Sterridge Valley.

By the time you read this we will have had our second meeting and we will be doing our second litter pick the week-end after Easter, the 23rd April. Meet at Middle Lee Farm at 3.00 p.m.

We are a friendly bunch and welcome all who love living in this beautiful village.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Saturday, 1st April - Our LAST "All You Can Eat" Nights until after the summer. MEXICAN £9.00 per person. Booking advised, 'phone 882259.

Quiz Nights at Globe - There will be a break over Easter, and then on the 23rd April and 7th May, when they will finish until after the summer.



Recently my youngest son challenged me to tell him what I had for dinner yesterday. Naturally I couldn't but as I resented his grounds for asking, I wouldn't even if I could've!

Nevertheless, while I was letting my thoughts drift backwards, I found myself recalling incidents from my early working days before I was married and saved enough to set up my small farm.

There was a time when I worked for the Post Office as a telephone engineer and I suddenly found myself chuckling aloud at the recollection of a day when two of us were working on the roof of a house when a sweep's brush was thrust up through an adjacent chimney, and quick as a flash we unscrewed the brush and replaced it with a note saying "Where's your brush?" We thought it the height of wit and fell around laughing. A few minutes later up came the stick with another note saying, "I've got a spare, but where's your ladder?"

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Another day, after renewing a pole in the yard of Wandsworth Prison - a job for a team of six men - one of the lads hopped off the back of the lorry to help close the massive gate when a warder shouted, "Is this man with you?" "No, never seen him before," we called back and poor Henry spent the next six hours behind bars until a very important civil servant could be despatched to free him!

I then remembered - it was stew.

Peter H.


are looking for anyone creative to enter our
at our
on Saturday, 8th April. 2.00 p.m. onwards
at the Manor Hall
Raffle - Refreshments - Cakes - plus lots more
Proceeds towards the redecoration of the Pre-School facilities
Come along and join in the fun and don't forget to bring your Easter Bonnet!
Prizes for the best adult and best children's bonnet.
Please support us!



2nd Miss Muffet's Tea Room Opens, Sunday -Thursday, 10.30 - 5.00
4th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Les Tovey - Combe Martin 'Now and Then' slides
5th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
7th Primary School and College: End of Spring Term
8th Pre-School Easter Fayre, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m. Easter Bonnet Competition
9th St. Peter's Church: Palm Sunday - Eucharist 11.00 a.m.
11th Annual Parish Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
W.I. Group Meeting & Competition at Shirwell
12th Berrynarbor Reading Group, Middle Lee Farm, 7.30 p.m.
14th GOOD FRIDAY St. Peter's Church: Quiet Hour, 3.00-4.00 p.m.
16th EASTER SUNDAY St. Peter's Church: Family Communion Service 11.00 a.m.
17th Easter Monday bank holiday
19th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Ruth Diggle - the Rothschild World of Wine
20th Combe Martin Historical Society; Maureen Wood - Illustrated presentation on Barnstaple Fair. Visitors welcome £1.50
22nd Community Shop: Annual General Meeting Manor Hall, 11.00 a.m.
24th Primary School & College: Start of Summer Term
26th Friendship Lunch The Globe from 12.00 noon
1st May Day Bank Holiday
2nd W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: National AGM Resolutions
3rd St. Peter's PCC Coffee Morning, 10.30 a.m., Manor Hall
Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
6th BBQ and Barn Dance, Sloley Farm, 7.30 p.m. onwards
9th Parish Council Meeting, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
14th to 20th May St. Peter's Church - Christian Aid Week
17th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m. Manor Hall: AGM and Brian Wright - Wines from Australia
18th Combe Martin Historical Society: AGM, Moose Boyer - 'More with Moose'. Visitors welcome £1.50
21st Christians Together: 'Beating the Bounds' Evening
24th Friendship Lunch: The Globe, from 12.00 noon
26th College: Non Pupil Day
29th Spring Bank Holiday
30th to Friday, 2nd June: Primary School & College - Half Term
31st Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
6th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysBadminton, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesdays2nd & 4th in month: N.D.Spinners 10.00 a.m. onwards
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
ThursdaysWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m.
FridaysShort Mat Bowls, 7.00 p.m.
SundaysShort Mat Bowls, 2.00 p.m.

Mobile Library:
(Assistant - Jacqui Mackenzie)

11.30 - 11.45 a.m.Sandy Cove
11.50 - 12.05 p.m.Barton Lane
1.15 - 1.40 p.m.The Square
1.45 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


The Harbour, Watermouth

This month I have chosen two early views of Watermouth Harbour. The first published by W.H. Smith & Sons under their Kingsway Real Photo Series would have been taken around 1908-1910 and been sold in their shop in Ilfracombe High Street, nearly opposite where Turton's the Butcher is today. This card is postmarked 1910 and sent to Master C. Millman of St. James' Place, Ilfracombe and the message reads: "Dear Claude, How is your tongue to-day? Hope you have not eaten it all yet, are you tired of it. Love Minnie." The sailing brig or ketch shown could have belonged to Squire Basset and note how the anchor chains are tied to the large marker posts and that it is tied down in all directions.

The second view, postmarked August 1931, was published by Pelham under their Real Photo Series and is numbered 8291. There is quite some activity taking place and particularly note the 'BE20' painted on the large dinghy/fishing boat, indicating that it was registered at Barnstaple, viz first and last letters. Today, the fishing vessels are registered at Bideford and have 'BD' markings.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, March 2006
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com

Congratulations Tom on reaching your 100! Although this is 'Old Berrynarbor No. 100', Tom has in fact contributed to every single issue of our Newsletter and I am sure I speak for everyone when I say a very big thank you.