Edition 102 - June 2006

Artwork by: Paul Swailes

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Flaming June - well it's not quite that yet! June is associated with hot weather, and hence the expression, and also the summer solstice which brings the longest day. Coleridge described it as the leafy month and Burns associated it with the red, red rose of love.

The Old Dutch name for June was Zomermaand, summer-month, the Old Saxon Seremonath, dry month, and in the French Revolutionary Calendar it was called Prairinal, meadow month. It is, of course, the month of rich foliage, colourful flowers, the start of the strawberry season and Wimbledon!

The Newsletter is also rich - due to everyone's generosity the coffers are fuller than they've ever been, and articles have come in abundance! So I shall be brief and leave space and just say a sincere thank you to you all.

The August issue will be due out on the 3rd and articles will be welcome as soon as possible and at the latest by the middle of July, when we'll be in to our season of summer fetes - the Friends of the Primay School are holding theirs on the 18th July, St. Peter's will be on the 1st August and the Manor Hall revels on the 15th.

Judie - Ed




Members were very interested to see the slides of Combe Martin "Then and Now" shown by Les Tovey at the April meeting. Some buildings have now disappeared or changed beyond recognition, whilst others have remained more or less unchanged. The competition for a photograph of a dog was won by Josie Bozier and the raffle by Margaret Andrews.

As usual, the May meeting was devoted to discussing the two Resolutions on which delegates will vote at the National Federation AGM in Cardiff on the 7th June. The first Resolution urges the Government to legislate for the use of renewable energy technologies in all new buildings, re-building and renovation. The second Resolution urges the Government to recognise that participation in sport is an essential factor in the creation of a healthy population; to ensure that sport is re-established on the curriculum in all schools and to reverse the decline in the availability of sporting facilities for all citizens.

All members present voted in favour of both Resolutions.

The competition for six cookies was won by Beryl Brewer and the raffle by Janet Gibbins. At the end of the meeting, after the 'serious' part, there was a social time when tea and cookies were consumed!

The next meeting is on 6th June where there will be a demonstration of belly dancing and the competition is for the prettiest scarf. An Exmoor Ranger will be talking to us on 4th July and the competition is for a deer. There will be no meeting in August.

All meetings take place in the Manor Hall on the first Tuesday of the month at 2.30 p.m. Visitors and new members very welcome.

Doreen Prater - President


Artwork: David Duncan


Easter Services

A quiet time on Good Friday afternoon when a group of us spent an hour in prayer and contemplation interspersed with hymns and readings. Our thanks to Margaret Andrews for leading us at this service.

Easter Day at last and the joyous celebration of the Resurrection. The Choir sang an unaccompanied anthem and again it was lovely to see so many families in church with the children all coming up to the altar for a blessing. The newly lit Easter Candle and the flowers brought the church alive and our grateful thanks go once again to the arrangers and to all those who made such generous donations.

Two special services will be held in June - Sunday, 4th June is Whitsunday [Pentecost] when there will be a Family Communion at 11.00 a.m., and on Sunday, 18th June, the Christians Together Evening Service will be held in Berrynarbor Church beginning at 6.30 p.m. This is always a lively service and the singing is not to be missed! There will be tea/coffee and biscuits afterwards.

The Sunday School children will be in church on 2nd July - their last Sunday before the summer holidays - and members of the PCC are planning a Family Service with a difference, come and see! In spite of disappointing attendance at the Coffee Morning held on 4th May, £115.45 was raised for church funds. Thank you once again to everyone who gave support in any way.

Gift Day will be on Wednesday, 28th June. Envelopes and a letter from the Rector will be distributed round the village the week before and members of the PCC will join Keith at the lych-gate on the day, from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Do come along for a chat but if you can't make it please hand your envelope to any member of the PCC or bring it along to church.

Tuesday, 1st August, is the date of the Summer Fayre. As always offers of help will be appreciated as will any new ideas and gifts for the various stalls. Friendship Lunches at The Globe will be on Wednesdays 28th June and 26th July. Newcomers are most welcome to come and join us - any time after 12.00 noon.

Mary Tucker




On this occasion there is little to report from the Sunday School. Members attended the Family/Village Service on the 7th May and will again attend on the 2nd July. This will be the last meeting for the summer term.

Following the success of last year's outing to Crealy Adventure Theme Park, we shall again be returning to spend a day of fun during the summer holiday - a treat the children richly deserve.

Children's Thoughts of Heaven:

  • Tim - How high up is it because sometimes my nose bleeds.
  • Sue - Heaven is all the love in the world collected in one place.
Bye for Now.




Volunteers Week - 1st to 7th June, is the UK's annual celebration of the work volunteers do. During the week, events are held across the country to recognise, reward and recruit volunteers. This year, North Devon Voluntary Services [formerly North Devon Volunteering Development Agency and llfracombe Volunteer Bureau] volunteers are being rewarded with a trip to RHS Rosemore and a picnic.

On Monday, 5th June, both llfracombe and Barnstaple Volunteer Centres are holding open days from 11.00 a.m. until 3.00 p.m, in llfracombe and from noon until 3.00 p.m. in Barnstaple. These events are also being held in conjunction with World Environment Day when local environmentalists will be on hand to talk about their work. Also on that day, young and old can take part in a 'work-in' in the flourishing Cow Green community garden. Further information from Erica at the Volunteer Centre on 866300.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


After careful consideration, the Committee have decided that hiring charges for the Hall should be increased and the following table shows the new prices from March 2006.

Room/EventCategorySession £
Main HallA8.00
Penn Curzon RoomA7.00
Fund Raising, i.e. Coffee Morning20.00
Children's Party25.00

Category A: Is for Non Profit Organisations working for the benefit of those living in the Parish
Category B
: Is for all other regular user groups

Sessions: 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. 1.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. 5.00 p.m. to 12.00 midnight

We are always happy to discuss any other type of session not covered by the above.

The AGM was held on the 3rd May and the following Officers were elected:

Chairman: Bob Hobson
Secretary: Margaret Weller
Treasurer: Nora Rowlands
Booking Clerk: Alan Rowlands

The Chairman would like to thank the outgoing officers for all their hard work over the past years and was pleased that they agreed to remain on the Committee as village representatives.

The work over the past year has mainly been in looking after the fabric of the buildings, including the work on the gents' toilets. Our main concern over the coming year is to run the Hall and break even at the end of the year. Pressures for not achieving this include escalating prices for services, such as gas, electricity and water. We also have to come to terms with the latest legislation - Disability Discrimination Act. This will affect many parts of the building, one in particular will be the installation of a hearing loop system which could cost over £2,000!

Finally, many thanks for the tea cloths donated and could anyone please help with the whereabouts of the small, folding table which has gone missing from the Hall?

Bob Hobson - Chairman



In the April issue, we welcomed Gail and her Bengal cat, Jamakas. Here she tells us more about the breed:

Jean Mill in the USA founded the breed in 1975 by crossing an Asian Leopard (a small Leopard cat weighing around 8 to 10lbs and extremely shy) to a domestic cat.  Jean met a lot of opposition along the way but persevered to get the Bengal breed started. The early generations, variant Bengals had 'F' (foundation) numbers denoting the generation from the wild or from an outcross, e.g. the first kittens out of a mating between an ALC and a domestic cat were F1 hybrids.  These kittens then had to be mated with other domestic breeds to prevent inbreeding and the result was F2 hybrids etc.  It is not until they are F4 hybrids from the wild and/or from an outcross, and there are three generations of Bengal to Bengal breeding, that they are true Bengals. 

They have always been bred to retain the look of their wild ancestors combined with the temperament of loving family pets. They need no extra care and should be treated the same as any other domestic cat.  Most pet Bengals are around 10+ generations from the ALC and are being bred and shown worldwide.

Characteristics: Bengal cats are extremely intelligent and learn quickly how to open doors, retrieve toys, attack toilet rolls and take the ham out of sandwiches!  They are truly beautiful; with soft coats sparkling with golden glitter, dark spots which are often rosetted like cats in the wild.  


Artwork: Paul Swailes


March and April

The dry, cold start that we have had to this year continued in March and April. For the first four months of the year we have had a total of only 218mm (8 5/8") of rain compared with 533mm (21") in 2001, 525mm (20 5/8") in 2002, 310mm (12 1/4") in 2003, 465mm (18 5/16") in 2004 and 288mm (11 5/16") last year.

March produced 85mm (3 5/16") of rain of which 58mm (2 1/4") fell in the last eight days. The wind speeds were about average but as in January and February they were often from the North or North East and, as a result, the maximum temperature of 15.3 Deg C was at least 3 Deg C down on the previous four years for the same period and the wind chill of -12 Deg C was greater than any March in the previous five years.

April, with only 22mm (7/8") of rain was the driest month we have recorded since January 1997. The maximum temperature of 17.3 Deg C was at least 3.5 Deg C lower than the last four Aprils. The wind speeds were again about average with a maximum wind chill of -4 Deg C which was not as low as we have recorded in previous years.

March's sunshine hours were incomplete but 139.96 hours were recorded for April which is the highest since keeping records in 2003, the next highest being April 2003 when 121.38 was recorded.

Looking at the barograph papers for March and April there were no outstanding changes in the barometer pressures with a maximum of 1036mb on the 12th March and a minimum of 988mb on the 24th March with a fairly steady line in April.

While writing this the weather has changed from early morning sunshine to being quite foggy. Is this a sign of warm weather on the way? More about that in the August issue of the newsletter.

Simon and Sue



Another fantastic village event - we certainly know how to party in Berrynarbor! Thank you, Fenella and John [and all your helpers], for hosting another great Barn Dance - the best yet, many say. We raised over £800 and have donated £600 to the Devon Air Ambulance, £120 to the Manor Hall and the balance to Berry in Bloom, the Carnival Float and a smaller amount as sponsorship for the Hospice 'Walk for Life'.

Judging from the number of empties, about 200 turned up and Greensweep were outside our place for about twenty minutes - our reputation is now completely shot to pieces!

The band - Folk in Motion - was terrific and thanks go to Kevin for organising them for us. There are so many people to thank:

  • Bett, Vi and Ursula for running the raffle and raising £130
  • Phil and Lynne for all the electrics, disco, p.a., and musical entertainment, and Phil's brother for once again cooking all the sausages
  • The pig came at a very generous price thanks to Ivan and June, and all the family helped with the carving. Roger's lighting of the BBQ and tending of the pig roast ensured it was cooked to perfection
  • Edith and Don for kindly providing the baked potatoes and lots of ladies who produced wonderful food
  • Keith Jones who kindly carted all the chairs to and from the barn, and Richard Gingell for allowing his field to be used as a car park, and EVERYONE who helped set up and more importantly clear up afterwards.
  • And anyone else I may have forgotten!

The barn has never looked cleaner, neater or tidier! So everyone's a winner!

Cheers - Fen



Have you got a hospital or doctors appointment? Do you need to go shopping or want to see a friend? But perhaps you do not have a car, or you find it difficult using the bus or you can't afford the alternatives? Then we might just have the answer for you.

Volunteer Driver Scheme - We are here to meet the transport needs of the elderly, the disabled, the isolated, low waged and disadvantaged people of llfracombe and the surrounding area, If you are eligible to use the service we can take you door to door and back again.

To check your eligibility or to ask on behalf of someone you know, please call Tim (in strict confidence) on: 01271855951, Phone line open 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday and also with a 24 hour answer machine.

All we ask for is a few days' notice to find a volunteer driver and a donation to cover the driver's expenses. All services are subject to vehicle and driver availability.

This project is supported by the EU and Defra through the North West Devon LEADER+ Programme Charity Number 289872.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Briarwood [Sloley Farm] is now home to Debbie and Gavin Denyer and their family, having moved here recently from Braunton. Gavin, who comes originally from Brickett Wood, St. Albans in Hertfordshire, is an IT Technician at Ilfracombe College. Debbie, from Radlett, also in Hertfordshire, is what is now called a Domestic Engineer - to you and me, the most commendable post of Housewife! She is currently educating their two youngest children at home. Both Gavin and Debbie enjoy walking, with Gavin enjoying music and art and Debbie knitting and needlework, in particular patchwork and quilting.

The family are Ellie, 22, a Receptionist at the Saunton Sands Hotel; Mike, 20, who is working in Barnstaple and is a skim boarding [surfing] enthusiast; he is followed by John, 17, a keen guitarist and a student at the North Devon College; then Kathryn, 15, and Ross, 11. Kathryn is a horse lover and Ross an animal lover, having sponsored wolves at the Combe Martin Wildlife Park with his birthday money.

Completing the family are their three dogs - Sam and Skye, two collies, and Archie, an English springer spaniel. The family have already become part of the village, having been roped into a litter pick on their first week-end, and thoroughly enjoying the barn dance at Sloley.

It is so nice to see Kathleen's home, Maryvale, lived in and loved once more. Tony and Maggie Kitchin are the new residents and they've moved only a short way, from Prixford, although coming some years ago from the South East. Maggie is an accountant and if you are thinking of buying a property in France, then Tony is the man to consult! Jack and Tom, their two black Labradors, make up the household.

Maggie and Tony have four children and five grandchildren. Their son Adam, wife Donna and little girl Caitlin, are in South Africa; Claire and her husband Nigel and their two boys are in Australia; but nearer, in Sussex, are Matthew and Pam and their son and daughter, and Rob and Jo are in London. Both keen golfers, Maggie says they are currently attacking work that needs doing around the house and she is looking forward to seeing the end of the chaos!

Having spent many years holidaying here with their caravan at Napps, Trevor and Val Walton have moved into the recently converted barn, Millwood, on Hagginton Hill, next to East Hagginton Farm. The barn conversion and their moving here from Hatfield Heath in Hertfordshire, came about when Trevor's early retirement left him needing a project! Now they have the conversion of the second barn to complete.

Val and Trevor have three children, two married daughters Kate and Victoria and a son, Stuart. An architect, Kate from Kingston Upon Thames, helped with the plans; Victoria is a school secretary and has two sons, Samuel and Rory. Stuart has just returned from France where he was a ski instructor. Val, who enjoys floristry, is a pre-school teacher at Lynton and they both enjoy walking and travel, Trevor is a crossword addict and they have enjoyed participating in the Globe quizzes. Ruling the roost is Tinker, their tortoiseshell cat.

Juliet and Pyers Cameron have exchanged the 'smoke' of North London for fresh Devon air! 3 Lee Cottages is currently home to them and their two interestingly named cats - Somer and Kodai. Somer because Juliet was born in Somerset and Kodai because Pyers was born at Kodai Kanal, India!

Juliet, a physiotherapist at the North Devon District Hospital, and Pyers a self-employed property and garden maintenance contractor, found and fell for Berrynarbor whilst visiting friends in Georgeham. They are both keen scuba divers and Pyers enjoys sailing and fishing, but hobbies may soon be curtailed as they are expecting their first baby in August. We wish them both well.

To all our newcomers, some newer than others, a warm welcome and every happiness in your new homes.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


On the 2nd March, a card from the Queen arrived at Little Oaklands yes, Maurice and Joan Fry were celebrating their Diamond Wedding! At the time of their wedding, Maurice was living at East Down and Joan at Marwood, and it was there at St. Michael and All Angels church they were married in 1946. They moved, with their two daughters, Margaret and Angela, to Berrynarbor in 1958.

With sixty years of happy marriage to their credit, and five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Maurice says they are 'doing fine' and enjoying life, although we miss seeing him riding his horse around the village. Their special day was celebrated at the Braunton Motel surrounded by family, friends and neighbours.

We add our congratulations to those of the Queen and wish you both more happy years together.

Our congratulations and best wishes also go to Linda and Fred Brown who will be celebrating their Golden Wedding in June. Celebrations began back in February when they took all the children and grandchildren to Euro Disney via Eurostar - wonderful - and they will be on a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Oceana when the actual date arrives. This is to be followed by four different parties and get-togethers during the summer.

'Roll on 2007 for a rest', they say! When asked the secret to a long and happy union, they reply, 'Don't analyse it, just get on with it!'

A belated Happy Birthday to Ann Harris, who has recently joined the merry band of Senior Citizens!

I should like to thank my family and everyone for the cards, presents and good wishes received during the extended [Two weeks!] celebrations for my big six O birthday. The highlight of which was the family's present - a trip, with my daughter, to New York, followed by parties galore! Thank you all.


Our congratulations and very best wishes to Sarah and Terry Peach, who celebrated their marriage in the beautiful surroundings of Arlington Court, attended by bridesmaids Tia and Katie, on the 20th May. The ceremony was followed by a reception for family and friends at the Manor Hall.



All night time as I lie in bed
the worries swirl around my head

What if I melted in my bed
What if a giant roasts me dead

What if the monster bit my head
What if a building fell on my shed

What if the sky rained pencils and pens
What if the school overflows with hens

What if people watch me drool
What if I drown in the pool

What if I'm in the house when the door locks
What if my dad wears forty pairs of socks

What if my Mum loses her tickets
What if my fish gets attacked by crickets

What if people use rules as rakes
What if my fingers turn into snakes

All night long as I lie in bed
the worries swirl around my head

David Jones


[David, who is 7, is a pupil at Combe Martin Primary School and the grandson of David and Janet Steed]


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Zoe and Peter Bowden are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their first grandchild. Jamie, who was born in Edinburgh on the 25th April, weighed in at 9 lbs 4 1/2oz, a son for Vicky and Martin.

A warm welcome to the little one and best wishes to you all.




Our Annual General Meeting was held in the Manor Hall on 22nd April when about 27 members attended and the main points of interest were:

  • The Chairman, Sandy Anderson, welcomed the members who attended, also Jackie Borley the new manager who is settling in well.
  • In the first 12 months of trading, the Shop turned over a very creditable £100,000 compared with the previous year's turnover of about £65,000.
  • In the first financial year [in this case 15 months] there was a net profit of just over £7,000 but through accounting convention, this included some £11,000 of grants. In fact, after deducting non-recurring start up expenses, the Shop broke even, which, given the low start, was satisfactory.
  • The Committee are optimistic about this year; with Jackie at the helm and the continuing support of the volunteers, it is hoped that the turnover will reach £110,000.
  • There were no new nominations for Committee Members and the present Committee was re-elected en bloc, with Jackie replacing Ross.
  • The site of the new shop has been moved to the south eastern edge of the car park [below the existing toilets] and the design modified and planning approval is confidently awaited.

A reminder that shares in the Enterprise are still available and information and application forms are available either in the shop [883215] or from Alex Parke [882758].

Calling all enthusiastic gardeners! Some of you already support good causes by selling 'garden goodies' but if any of you could support our Shop and help with some fund raising, Jackie would love to hear from you. You may have flower or vegetable plants, an overflow of garden produce or - particularly at weekends - bunches of cut flowers. Obviously it would be great if you felt you could donate these, but otherwise the shop would buy them at a modest price on a sale or return basis and re-sell them. For everyone else, do call in and see what's on offer... and please BUY!

Finally, don't forget Victorian Week in Ilfracombe, 10th - 18th June. Souvenir programmes are on sale in the shop for £1.00.

Let's hope we all have a bumper summer season all round.

PP of DC

*GOOD NEWS! Since writing this report the good news has been received that Planning Approval has been given for the new shop. Now starts the serious process of gathering in the necessary funds to start building. Our congratulations and thanks to the Committee for all the hard work they have put in to ensuring that approval was obtained and the shop move forward.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Edward Reardon was a likeable lad who lived in a house on the right-hand side of Hele Hill as you approach Ilfracombe. He was a fine looking chap, tall with dark curly hair and brown eyes. He attended the best school of its time up on the hill in Ilfracombe and was very scholarly. He passed his matriculation and his aim was to become a doctor like his father, who had died when he was quite small.

Sadly, just before his 18th birthday, he awoke to a world of darkness. His sight had just gone. Dr. Ganik, to whom he was taken, told him that at present nothing could be done.

His girlfriend, Joan Kelly, who lived nearby, stood by him and after a while she qualified as a midwife and they were married. As his mother had also died, Edward and Joan continued to live in the home on Hele Hill.

As a midwife, Joan was ideal for the job. Kind hearted, tolerant and pretty, she was liked by everyone and was the breadwinner, and as they had moderate tastes, they made the best of life and loved one another.

When Joan was out attending to the new arrivals, Edward would mostly while away the time 'tapping' his way around the area with his white stick. Sometimes he would stumble over a child's bicycle left outside a shop or a pedal car left out in the street. At other times he would go to Bicclescombe Park where there was a garden of aromatic flowers and plants for the enjoyment of those unable to see. Edward would know his whereabouts often by sounds - the sound of the church clock near the harbour where he remembered the words "Time to Seek the Lord". He would love the smell of the seaweed down at the harbour and the popular music being played at the bandstand.

At other times he would go to the Tunnels Beaches to hear the lap of the sea, children's laughter and the enjoyment of families on holiday. Edward made the best of life, despite his inability to see things like others.

One day he received a letter and Joan opened it and read it to him.

"It's from Dr. Ganik, listen to this.

    Dear Mr. Reardon, It is some time since you were struck blind and medical science has advanced quite considerably. In conversation recently, I understand from the Consultant, Mr. Forbes, that there is an operation which might possibly restore your sight. If you will make an appointment with me, and if you are agreeable, then I shall arrange for you to see Mr. Forbes."

They immediately arranged to see Dr. Ganik and the appointment was made with Mr. Forbes, who, after a very thorough examination, told Edward, "There is a very good chance that we can restore your sight and if you wish, I'll arrange a date for your operation."

Edward and Joan were bewildered! What if the operation was not a success? But then again, there was nothing to lose. "We'll go for it," said Joan, almost in disbelief.

The weeks passed and along came the appointment card. Edward went into hospital, underwent the operation and lay there until the day arrived for the bandages to be removed. Joan waited patiently for news.

With two nurses in attendance, Mr. Forbes gradually began to remove the bandages and quietly whispered, "Now, Mr. Reardon, I want you to slowly open your eyes." "My tears are blinding me," choked Edward. The consultant gently asked the nurse to dry Edward's eyes and slowly he opened them.

At first everything was blurred but the operation had been a success and gradually his focus returned. After just a few days he was out of hospital.

Life was very different now for Edward. He could see Joan and she was more beautiful than ever. He could still shed tears and often did when he saw so many of the things which he had only been able to hear before. For a while he re-traced his old walks - now he was able to see the people at the Tunnels Beaches; he was seeing the musicians and the bandstand; on visiting Bicclescombe Park he could see the colour of the flowers, the fine water arrangements and the parents with their children enjoying themselves. He could see Joan smiling at him and he smiled back.

One day he was walking towards the pier when he again heard the old familiar sound of the church clock striking. He looked up and there was the writing - 'Time to seek the Lord'. What could he do? "I have to say a prayer," he said quietly to himself. As he entered the church, the organist was playing Bach and with emotion he said his prayer of gratitude before making his way back to Hele.

Edward and Joan lived on for many loving years and feeling that he would like to repay those who had helped him, Edward trained and became a nurse at the Tyrell Hospital.

If you have been touched by this story , the next time you see a collecting box for the blind, please remember Edward and put something in. Thanks.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester.


Brian Wright

Solution in Article 30.



"Hope is the fuel of progress."

Tony Benn




At the April meeting, our own member Ruth Diggle gave a wonderful presentation on the Rothschild World of Wine and showed how the Rothschilds were producing wines from all over the world. All six wines sampled were well received by members and her knowledge of the subject made for an extremely enjoyable evening.

Following the AGM, when the Committee were re-elected en bloc, the May meeting, in the hands of Brian Wright, was also excellent. Brian presented some superb wines, both red and white, from Argentina.

This was the last meeting for the 2005-6 season, meetings will recommence in October and details of the 2006-7 season will appear in the August and October Newsletters.




Open daily - Monday to Saturday 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and Sunday, 11.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. -the Garden Tea Room at Marwood Hill Gardens is the ideal place to relax for a morning coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, either before or after experiencing the delights of the gardens.

However, with a £15 Season Ticket, you can call in at any time to enjoy delicious home-made soups, salads, cakes and other delicacies.

There is always something different to see in the gardens and take a look at the wide selection of plants that are on sale.

Illustration by: Debbie Cook




Old memories, on demand, are painted fables,
Not history at all, but pictures in the mind
Of happenings not weeks but years apart.
For then is never now and time disables sequence.

Days silted over by long sleepless
Fearful nights are colourless as dull defiant winter
And as by winter streams are washed away
To merge with watchful endless summer.

In memory it seemed that London's villages
Had always sheltered in a fortress walled
By wire cats cradles hanging from a studded
and this must be, like other sieges, overcome.

A vision too of nights when swords of light
Swaying, swinging, dancing, flooding the low
Fat clouds with lakes of swirling pearly
Beauty trapped high sparkling gnats in bright display.

Caught, and passed on for mile on thundering flaring
Mile while distant bombs cried long in their descent
Cascading screams each shorter than the one before
Until, at last, unwarned the old familiar walls reduced to quaking silhouette.

But catch a breath of unlit gas or hear the frantic clink
Of bricks and now becomes as then and, with
Eyes closed and watering we hear the hymn our dying neighbour
Sang beneath the rubble of her home and smell the burning city.

Peter Hinchliffe

At the age of 12, I was sent to stay in London's East end with relatives because my mother was ill. We live in the country and it was the height of the blitz. I thought I had forgotten it until a realistic setting at Flambards brought it all back and I found myself shaking. The poem is the result.

Peter's poem won a First Prize in an International Poetry Competition at The Plough in Torrington. Our warmest congratulations, Peter, and thank you for sharing with us your poem and memories of wartime London.




The Summer Term is proving to be another busy term for the school. SATs are over, reports out and now the children and teachers can relax a little with summer activities including trips, Ilfracombe Victorian Week celebrations, sports days, etc.

We are in the process of having an outside classroom built which we hope to have finished by Half Term. We are also making good use of our greenhouse area - children growing fruit and vegetables that will hopefully be edible before the end of term.

Thank you again for the continued support of the Berrynarbor community - collecting Sainsbury and Tesco vouchers - giving book tokens for our library - coming in to school to hear readers - sharing expertise to enhance the curriculum. All help is welcome and gratefully received.

Thank you one and all.

Mary-Jane Newell - Acting Headteacher


Class 3 having been writing a type of poetry called 'Kennings'. Can you guess what the poems are about?


Grass eater
fast runner
hard breather
nose flairer
angry kicker
greedy muncher
silky tail
flowing mane
soft toucher
smooth fur
foot stamper

Olivia Needham [11]


Round ear listener.
Pint nose sniffler.

Tickly feet scurryer
Round pipe hider.

Water bottle licker.
Sawdust nicker.

In hutch sleep time.
Out in day time.

Dandelion eater
Couldn't be sweeter.

Charlotte Cornish [9]


Sometimes annoying
mostly enjoying
often crashes
game player
information bringer
sometimes singer

Kyle Chivers [11]


great glider
mouse muncher
golden feathers
super swooper
great hunter

Danny Ellis-Fuller [10]


Slow mover,
Race winner,
House carrier,
Lettuce eater,
Shy creature
Lonely preacher
Winter sleeper
Garden stroller

William Cornish [10]

You guessed! 1. Horse 2. Guinea Pig 3. Computer 4. Eagle 5. Tortoise


Monika Butler of Skipton, North Yorkshire

[as sent to Tom Bartlett - March 2006]

Rumours about an uprising by Indian soldiers had been circulating for months around Delhi, but when, late on 10th May 1857, John Ross Hutchinson, the Joint Magistrate and Collector of the town, received confirmation that the mutineers were on their way from Meerut, he bundled his wife Harriet and their two youngest children, Katie and Lily, into a native carriage and sent them into the provinces, carrying few possessions and just the clothes they were wearing. His foresight was providential, for the very next day the mutineers reached Delhi, broke down the gates, and killed most Europeans, certainly unarmed civilians, including John Ross Hutchinson himself. His young widow met up with her sister-in-law Augusta Belcher and, with other women and children fleeing from the mutineers, they spent several weeks in hardship crossing India eastwards to the river Indus, then travelling down river in appalling conditions before boarding a sea going ship at Karachi and reaching England in summer 1858. There, Harriet gathered her other four children who had already been staying with relatives and, homeless though not penniless [the Honourable East India Company paid a reasonable pension to its mutiny widows], she initially moved into her aunt's house in Reading with Carrie [Caroline], 10, George, 8, Arthur, 6, Eddie [Edward], 4, Katie [Catherine], 3, and Lily [Lydia], 1.

You may well ask, what has all this to do with Berrynarbor? Well, in 1880, John and Harriet's eldest daughter Caroline was to marry Reginald Churchill who, in 1884, became the rector of Berrynarbor and was very much part of the community for more than 54 years. Although Caroline had never enjoyed very robust health, she lived to be 84 years old and died at the Rectory in 1932, her husband following her in 1941. Their daughter, Elsie Kathleen Gordon Churchill, who had been born in Blandford in 1882, did not marry but was much involved in the life of Berrynarbor, including teaching in Sunday school. She eventually moved to Braunton where she died in 1976, aged 94. In her will she requested to be buried at her beloved parents' side in Berrynarbor, where they still rest.

If you are wondering what happened to the remaining offspring of John and Harriet Hutchinson, George became a painter and art master at Clifton College, Bristol. He died in Exmouth in 1930. Arthur became a solicitor in Croydon [he was my late first husband's grandfather] and died in Eastbourne in 1929. Edward returned to India for a short period at the time of the Raj, but died, aged 39, in England. Catherine married the Rev. Henry Armstrong Hall, Chaplain to the King and Archdeacon of Richmond, Yorkshire, and, like her brother George, died in Exmouth in 1930. Lydia, the youngest, never married, looked after her mother and died in Eastbourne in 1940. And their mother Harriet, who had raised her six children on her own? She died, aged 79, in 1903 in Ilfracombe.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Friedrich Wilhelm, who ruled Prussia in the early eighteenth century, apparently had a short temper. He also detested ceremony. He would walk the streets of Berlin unaccompanied and if anyone happened to displease him - a not infrequent occurrence - he would not hesitate to use his walking stick on the poor offender.

Not surprisingly, when people saw him at a distance they would quietly "disappear". Once Friedrich came pounding down a street when a Berliner caught sight of him - but too late! His attempt to hide in a doorway was foiled.

"You there!" said Friedrich. "Where are you going?"
The man began to shake. "Into this house, Your Majesty."
"Is it your house?"
"No, Your Majesty."
"A friend's house?"
No, Your Majesty."
"Then why are you entering it?"

The man now began to fear that he would be taken for a burglar. So he blurted out the truth.

"To avoid Your Majesty."
Why would you wish to avoid me?"
"Because I am afraid of Your Majesty."

At this Friedrich Wilhelm became livid with rage. Seizing the poor man by the shoulders, he shook him violently, crying, "How dare you fear me! I am your ruler. You are supposed to love me! Love me, wretch! Love me!"

I am reminded that St. Paul, talking about God, said, "Perfect love casts out fear." Love makes its appeal to us through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. (The Pauline hymn to love, so often read at marriages services, can be found in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13.)

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer


Christina Rossetti

What is pink? A rose is pink
By the fountain's brink.

What is red? A poppy's red
In its barley bed.

What is blue? The sky is blue
Where the clouds float through.

What is white? A swan is white
Sailing in the light.

What is yellow? Pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.

What is green? The grass is green,
With small flowers between.

What is violet? Clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.

What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!



[22nd July 1920 - 16th February 2006]

Designer of the Russell Hobbs electric kettle

Today's kitchen can boast all sorts of small electrical gadgets: a pop-up toaster, food processor, kettle, espresso coffee maker, sandwich maker, slow roaster, deep fat fryer, can opener, knife sharpener - the list goes on and on. But it is easy to forget that just 50 years ago most of these weren't even twinkles in their designers' eyes!

After the deprivations of war, housewives were hungry for labour saving appliances. There were toasters, but not those that 'popped up'. There were electric kettles, but these were largely of near Victorian design, hazardous to use, with unreliable means of switching off automatically. Users ran the risk of getting burned or scalded, and at the least boiling the kettles dry.

Onto this stage stepped William Russell, in his mid 30's. His brilliantly designed K1 kettle, launched in 1956, was streamlined, lightweight and what is more, would switch itself off. Now when the water boiled, steam was pushed through a hole in the kettle on to a bimetal strip sited in the handle, which became hot and cut off the switch. The K2 followed in 1960 and was still in production in the late 70's. Such was its success that The Design Centre in London acquired an example.

In the 50's, 60's and 70's, no wedding present list was complete without a Russell Hobbs electric kettle - and possibly a ceramic coffee percolator [well, they were both on mine!]. Yet it was not until I read William Russell's obituary earlier this year that I thought about the man behind half of the name!

Encouraged into electrical engineering by his father, a printer, and inheriting his aptitude for design from his mother's side, William Russell won a scholarship at the age of 13 to High Wycombe Technical Institute. He then became an apprentice to a Slough manufacturer of automated controls and switchgear. Here he gained a diploma in engineering. Even though in a 'reserved occupation' during World War II, in 1943 he volunteered for REME, and was finally demobbed at the rank of major in 1947.

Joining Morphy Richards, he helped design the two-slice pop up toaster, a range of steel and enamel electric safety irons and the first effective hairdryer. Meanwhile Peter Hobbs, who was running the company's South African division, returned to England to join another company. Here, struggling with the problem of designing a ceramic coffee percolator with an electric element to keep coffee hot but not boiling, he turned to Russell for a solution.

Problem solved, they decided to market the percolator themselves, forming a partnership in 1952. Russell took over the product development whilst Hobbs became the sales director and the rest is history . . .

The two men found a run down factory in Croydon for their embryo business. Later it would be revealed that in the early days, packaging prototypes were assembled by hand on Russell's sitting room floor and tools were devised with the help of Meccano, but the business was a success right from the beginning. By 1963, to help further expansion, Russell and Hobbs sold to Tube Investments and moved to a factory in Staffordshire where it shared a site with Creda cookers. William Russell eventually became Creda's technical director. And what of Russell Hobbs? The company has changed hands several times and is now owned by an American company.

I've not been able to discover what happened to Peter Hobbs. If anyone knows I'd love to hear. What I can say is that because of the partnership of these two men, their names will continue to be associated. Their work also brings to mind the words of David Everett, a late 18th century US author:

"Large streams from little fountains flow
Tall oaks from little acorns grow"

A worthy epitaph!

PP of DC


[An Anthology]

Agile as a monkey
Artful as a cartload of monkeys
Bald as a coot
Beautiful as a butterfly
Black as ink
Bold as brass
Brave as a lion
Brown as a berry
Busy as a bee
Cold as charity
Cool as a cucumber
Cunning as a fox
Daft as a brush
Deaf as a post
Deep as the ocean
Dull as dishwater
Easy as a wink
Firm as a rock
Fit as a flea
Fresh as a daisy
Good as gold
Grand as owt
Green as grass
Happy as pigs in muck

Heavy as lead
High as the sky
Long as your arm
Mad as a hatter
Natty as a band box
Neat as a trivet
Nutty as a fruitcake
Old as the hills
Pale as death
Plain as a pike staff
Pleased as Punch
Proud as a peacock
Quiet as a mouse
Red as a cherry
Rich as Croesus
Round as a barrel
Strong as an ox
Tall as a steeple
Tough as old boots
Weak as water
Welcome as flowers in May
White as a sheet
Yellow as a buttercup





I was honoured at being elected as Chairman of Berrynarbor Parish Council for the next year, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge, to working closely with my fellow councillors and to continue working for the best interests of the parish.

We were all extremely disappointed and concerned about the vandalism in the village, especially after all the effort and hard work put in by the Berry in Bloom committee and their helpers. I hope that whoever was responsible is reading this and feels thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Councillor Coleman has now stepped down as Footpath Warden to deputy warden, after holding the post for in excess of 20 years. Our thanks go to him for all his years of service and hard work in this role, his knowledge, experience and help will be of the utmost importance to the new footpath warden, Councillor Clive Richards.

The information shelter on the Old Coast Road at Sandy Cove has now been repaired, the damaged village road signs are to be repaired or replaced as necessary, and the County Council has advised us that plans to reinstate the footpath at Watermouth Cove are being drawn up.

Sue Sussex - Chairman

Your Parish Councillors

ChairmanSue SussexHenstridge House, Berry Down[01271] 882916
Vice ChairmanRichard GingellEaster Barton[01271] 882885
Mark Adams Capel Cottage [01271] 882191
Len Coleman Swan Cottage [01271] 883763
Paul Crockett Berrynarbor Park [01271] 882631
Ann Hinchliffe Castle Hill [01271] 883708
Clive Richards Home Barton Farm [01271] 883406
Keith Walls Higher Rows [01271] 883762
Madeline Worth Thistledew [01271] 883485]

Parish Council Meetings are held in the Penn Curzon Room of the Manor Hall at 7.00 p.m., normally on the second Tuesday of the month.

The next two meetings will be held on: Tuesday, 13th June and Tuesday, 11th July.



There is no question that we all live in a beautiful village with a warm, welcoming and friendly community spirit, but there are two things that seem to upset people and which continually crop up in the 'mail to the Editor' bag that spoil this - yes, you guessed, dog pooh and bonfires!

Do you think of others? Dog owners can you imagine how unpleasant it is for the people who, in order to keep our village clean and tidy [resulting in the awards received for Best Kept Village] have to contend with dog mess? How unpleasant it is when walking along our lanes and having to step in to the side to allow cars to pass, you put your foot in it!

Please, please, pick up the pooh and drop it in YOUR dustbin. Left in bags in the bushes is even more offensive, since it will not decompose.

And those of you who love to have bonfires, please give some thought to your neighbours when on a dry, sunny day [especially in the mornings on that first dry one in a few days] they have put out or want to put out their washing, or are enjoying a coffee or lunch in the garden and YOU put a match to that pile of garden/household rubbish!

Please, please wait a little longer and light it in the evening.




Rooks building near a house are a sign of prosperity.

East Anglia [1830]

Rooks are very much liked in our neighbourhood; they are supposed to keep the crows away, and, as the crow steals chickens, the rook is thus regarded as a protector.

Cardiganshire [1928]



Once again I should like to thank everyone [both local residents and our visitors] who have supported our local Children's Hospice by buying plants from me. I was able to give the Hospice £400 last year and I am well on my way to the first £100 for this year. Please continue to support the wonderful work that is being carried out at Little Bridge House for these children by such a dedicated team of people.

Thank you again.

Margaret Walls

P.S. If anyone has any spare 5-6" dia. plant pots lying around in sheds, etc., I should be very pleased to have them at Higher Rows.


North Devon Spinners

Wingham Wools, from Yorkshire, will be holding a Sales Day in the Manor Hall, Berrynarbor on
SATURDAY, 3RD JUNE from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Sale of Natural and Coloured Fleece
Knitting and Tapestry Yarns, Books and Equipment
Spinning Demonstrations

Come and join us Tea or Coffee and Home-made Cakes
Entrance: £2.00

For more information please contact Kathy on [01271] 883278 or Pam on [01271] 863291

The North Devon Spinners will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary with an Exhibition on the 8th August. Look out for posters and details will be given in the August Newsletter.




Following the AGM held on the 18th May, there was a presentation by Moose Boyer. This meeting was the last before the summer break and the Society will recommence in September. Details of the new calendar will appear in the August Newsletter.



comedy and farce touring in July

While the original Latin phrase concerns the rights of a person against unfair imprisonment, Alan Bennett's play of the same name is a far more entertaining affair. Experience this for yourself when Studio Theatre's fast-paced production tours Berrynarbor [Ilfracombe and Woolacombe] with its sparkling writing, comedy and farce.

Far from being dry and academic, the play is set at the time of what used to be called the 'permissive society' and handles a range of issues from sexual frustration to the problems of growing older with hilarity.

Anne Bacon directs the cast to bring out every comic twist and turn and she and the cast are looking forward to touring in July.

You can catch Habeas Corpus at Berrynarbor on Thursday, 20th July, at the Manor Hall.

To find out more about the production and our entire 2006 programme, please call Secretary Anne Bacon on [01271] 882193 or Robert Zarywacz on [01271] 879376 or visit www.studiotheatreonline.org.uk for all the dates, details and booking information you require.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Quiz Nights and the special 'All You Can Eat' nights have finished for the summer season, and both pubs are now open from 6.00 p.m. every evening.

The Sawmill Inn will be open all day during the school summer holidays, with Take-away Food from 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. - Burgers, Freshly Battered Cod and Chips and more, 'Phone orders [01271] 882259 welcome.

Hoping you all have a good summer from all at The Globe & Sawmill Inn




Isambard Kingdom Brunel

by Robert Howlett,
published by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company
albumen carte-de-visite, November 1857
Given by an unknown source, 1947
NPG x5177

© National Portrait Gallery, London
Licenced under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the most famous and exciting of the Victorian engineers was born on the 9th April 1806. His father, Marc Isambard Brunel, was a distinguished engineer and from a young age, Isambard showed a gifted talent for drawing and mathematics. Working with his father on the construction of a tunnel under the River Thames in London in 1827, he was badly injured in an accident and was sent to Bristol to recuperate. It was here that he heard of a project to design a suspension bridge over the River Avon at Clifton. Eventually, his design for the bridge was accepted and although it was not completed in his lifetime, it was the start of his career.

During his time in Bristol, plans were being made to build a new railway from London to Bristol, and in 1822 he was appointed Engineer of the Great Western Railway.

Brunel also designed other railways, including the Bristol and Exeter, the South Devon, South Wales and the Cornwall and West Cornwall Railways. Today, some of his drawing and surveying equipment can be seen in the STEAM Museum in Swindon.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

He was not always entirely successful. The use of his controversial 'Atmospheric' system in the construction of the South Devon Railway was a conspicuous failure - the system never really worked and the shareholders of the railway were left with a substantial loss. His use of the timber viaducts he designed, many of which were used in the West Country, proved cheap to build but with a short life span had to be replaced by the GWR at considerable cost. An accomplished marine engineer, Brunel designed three steamships. The Great Western, launched in 1838, was a conventional wooden hulled paddle steamer, but its revolutionary successor, the Great Britain, was the first iron-hulled, screw propeller driven Atlantic liner, and except for an unfortunate wreck some years after its launch in 1843, it would have been a complete triumph. The Great Western Steamship Company unfortunately ran out of money, the SS Great Britain was sold and rebuilt and for many years transported passengers to and from Australia. The Great Eastern was launched in 1859 and again designed to sail from England to Australia, it was enormous and weighed more than 18,000 tons. Its construction and launch was fraught with difficulties, hastening Brunel's untimely death in 1859.

However, many of Brunel's successes, particularly his railway accomplishments still survive - Paddington Station, Maidenhead Bridge, Bristol Temple Meads Station and perhaps his greatest achievement, the Royal Albert Bridge over the River Tamar at Saltash, which was opened in 1859. A prefabricated hospital for the Crimean War and the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851, were among the many other projects Brunel undertook.

There are many events taking place in the South West over the next few months celebrating the birth of Brunel 200 years ago. From Swindon to Bristol and Bath to Falmouth, from now until mid-October, his achievements are being celebrated at Tyntesfield, Clevedon Court, Bristol Zoo and Museums at Truro, Torquay and Newton Abbot.

For more information go to the website www.brunel200.com.




Saturday, 2nd September 2006

The funds for running this year's event were boosted on the 21st May thanks to everyone who supported the Coffee Morning, and we shall again be awarding prizes for all the different Sections of the Show.

We look forward to lots of entries again, particularly from youngsters in the Junior Sections, who must be under 14 on the 1st January this year.

The provisional schedule, as promised, is given below and one or two items have been included to reflect the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Brunel. Paul, who gives so generously of his time to regularly illustrate many articles in the newsletters, has done us [and Brunel] proud with his cover for this, the June issue. The final Schedule and entry forms will be included with the August Newsletter, but will also be available at the Shop, at Sue's in Combe Martin and from members of the organising group.

May we remind the holders of Cups and Trophies that these should be returned to one of the organisers by the 1st August please.

So, make a note of the date: SATURDAY, 2ND SEPTEMBER; look at the list of classes and give thought to what YOU will be able to enter; and get to work sowing, sewing, knitting, painting, etc., and encourage all friends and relations and everyone you know [don't forget, the Show is open to non-residents as well as residents of the village] to have a go. Let's make it another show to remember. But remember too, that no one expects perfection, just the best that we can all muster.

  • Floral Art: The Brilliance of Brunel, Kitchen Garden, Special Occasion [a corsage], Summer Sparkle [arrangement in a wine glass]
  • Home Cooking: A different, but similar range of jams, cakes, etc, home-made wines and other alcoholic drinks
  • Handicrafts: The usual selection giving a wide choice of knitting, sewing, embroidery, wood and metalwork
  • The Watermouth Castle Cup: A representation [of your own choice] to celebrate Brunel 200. How imaginativecan you be?
  • Art: A Self-portrait [in any medium], 'Steam', a collage using only natural materials, A Sea or Landscape [any medium], A watercolour Still Life [max. A4] to include flowers and a personal precious object, A Celebratory Card [A5] on card, A Favourite Animal, pen and ink, pencil or charcoal sketch
  • Photography: Brunel 200 - from the steam age to the space age, Sport for All - from the World Cup to the London 2012 Olympics, Helping Hands, Shades of Green, Attention to Detail
  • Fruit & Vegetables, Cut Flowers and Potted Plants:

These follow last year's pattern and a reminder that potted plants that have been purchased, must have been bought before the end of December 2005.

In the Potted Plant class only, items that were entered last year, having been nurtured for a further year, may be re-entered.

Good Luck!

Vi, Yvonne, Pip, Tony, Janet and Judie



With talk of the World Cup, partying at Beckingham Palace and red-crossed flags flying out of car windows, football is definitely in the air!

Can you find the location of the following towns and cities who all boast a football club? Have a go and if you would like to let the Editor have your answers before the August issue is out [when the answers will be given] you never know, there might be a prize!

  1. What a sauce! [9]
  2. Build up the fire [5]
  3. Direction to finish [8]
  4. Hawaiian greeting [5]
  5. Staffordshire pig [8]
  6. Abscond with foot ailment [7]
  7. Boy surrounded by water [8]
  8. Shipshape fashion [7]
  9. Male city [10]
  10. Send the enemy here [8]
  11. Nothing consumed [8]
  1. Bird with added consonant [5]
  2. Part of a ship [4]
  3. Scottish cake [6]
  4. Body organ fund [9]
  5. People's building material [10]
  6. Bigger than a duck pond! [7]
  7. Smashes the joint [7]
  8. Place of many tales [10]
  9. Detectives need them [5]
  10. A Welsh warmer [8]
  11. Ancient cut of pork [6]
  1. Gracie's home town [8]
  2. Robin's shade of green [7]
  3. Hill jetty [7]
  4. Soak in this [4]
  5. Wartime flyer [9]
  6. Bonnie's partner [5]
  7. A recent dock [7]
  8. Plunder is underway [5]
  9. City of steel [9]
  10. Simmer on alert [9]
  11. Sleep on it with Henry [7]
  1. Tailor on river [6.2.5]
  2. River opening [9]
  3. Buildings on sheltered side [8]
  4. Dirty pond [9]
  5. Home of Boots' first shop [10]
  6. Ship's complement [5]
  7. Currency [8]
  8. University lecturer of sugar [9]
  9. Resting place complete [9]
  10. Ma is fine [10]
  11. Sweetheart's hundred [10]


Lani Shepherd Stained Glass
Castle Hill Lodge, Newberry Hill, Berrynarbor

I shall be opening my studio for Art Trek, part of the North Devon Festival 2006, to the public on Friday to Sunday, 16th - 18th June, from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. There will be an opportunity to see stained glass being designed and constructed, together with an exhibition of my work. Refreshments will also be available and everyone is welcome to visit. Due to the location, parking is limited.

A fellow artist, Ros Osbourn, is also opening her studio that week-end at Queen's Shute, Shute Lane, Combe Martin. Visitors may see paintings, sculptures and ceramics.



"When the budding scarf of April
Ravelled on the Devon Hill."

from 'Keats at Teignmouth' by Charles Causley

When Cornish poet Charles Causley was a little boy, his mother took him on a trip to Teignmouth. As she told him how John Keats had once lived there, she cannot have imagined that her own son would grow up to become a famous poet too.

Those lines, ". . . the budding scarf of April ravelled on the Devon hill", always conjure up an image for me of the drifts of snowy blackthorn blossom lightening the Devon landscape in springtime.

On a breezy, sunny morning in late April, we were on Little Haldon, high ground a couple of miles to the north of Teignmouth with viewpoints over the Teign estuary; the peak of Haytor on Dartmoor on the horizon and the string of pits along the river valley and the old Stover canal where a special sort of ball clay, a derivative of granite, has been extracted.

This heather clad plateau, dotted with a few Scots Pines, appears quite barren but is an example of the rather scarce type of habitat called lowland heath, characteristic of parts of Dorset and East Devon. A couple arrived with wicker baskets which looked like picnic hampers but as they opened the lids a cloud of pigeons was released. The birds were on a 'training flight' and we watched them winging their way back towards Totnes.

We trudged along the network of overgrown and prickly tracks, reaching a wide ride where a lizard wove in and out of the dried grass.

We met a man who recalled his experience of Little Haldon Hill during the War when, as a teenager in the Home Guard, he had taken part in training manoeuvres there.

Scanning the surrounding farmland where there were a few red Devon cattle [always a pleasure to see], we noticed in a little field flanked by woods on two sides, a small herd of fallow deer, some grazing, others lying down, still in their dull brown winter coats.

Great Haldon loomed nearby. Also known as Exeter Forest, it is a vast area of coniferous plantation and heathland. It looked rather daunting so we stuck to exploring its smaller neighbour.

Illustration by Paul Swailes

Sue H


[as reported by Songbird]

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.  No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student; but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot.  She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.  He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him pass this on.  If not join the majority and do nothing.



3rd Wingham Wool Sales Day, Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
4th Whitsunday St. Peter's Church: Family Communion, 11.00 a.m.
5th Primary School & College: Return after Half Term
6th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall: Belly Dancing!
10th to 16th June: llfracombe Victorian Week
13th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m., Manor Hall
14th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
16th to 18th Lani Shepherd - Open Studio, 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
18th Berry in Bloom: Open Gardens, the Village 1.30 to 5.30 p.m.
Combe Martin, Strawberry Fayre, 1.00 to 4.00 p.m. Cross Street
St. Peter's Church: Christians Together Evening Service, 6.30 p.m.
28th St. Peter's Church: Gift Day, Lych-gate, 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
2nd St. Peter's Church: Family Service with the Sunday School
4th W.I. Meeting, 2.30 p.m., Manor Hall - Exmoor Park Ranger
11th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m., Manor Hall
12th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
18th Friends of Berrynarbor School: Fete, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
20th Studio Theatre: Habeas Corpus, Manor Hall
21st Primary School & College: End of Summer Term
23rd Berry in Bloom: Open Gardens, Sterridge Valley, 1.30-5.30 p.m.
26th Mobile Library in Village from 11.30 a.m.
Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
1st St. Peter's Church: Summer Fayre, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.

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: Harry Weedon


Spring is a very busy time for all gardeners but despite the cold weather, the Berry in Bloom helpers have been out trying to keep the village tidy and shipshape. So far we have had a couple of litter picks and planted out the tubs with summer bedding plants. This year we have invested in some new tubs and plan to add more. All the spring bulbs that were removed have been planted at the car park, so look out for some colour there next year. Sadly, the very first night that the planting was done, we had vandalism when one of the standard fuchsias at the bottom of the church steps was snapped off and thrown on the doorstep nearby! The police are very keen that any vandalism in the village is reported, so please either 'phone them or let me know about it.

The hanging baskets arrived on the 21st May in time for the Spring Bank Holiday [Whitsun]. Unfortunately, this was a cold, windy and rain-swept day but we hope they will thrive and be enjoyed by the village and holidaymakers and, of course, help us to win again!

We have removed dead conifer and tree stumps from outside the Manor Hall and plan to plant a tree and some perennial planting there. Although we may have to wait until we get the bindweed under control! The next urgent project will be to replant the large bed by the bus stop opposite the Sawmill Inn.

Sterridge Valley with teas at Chicane

Times: 1.00 to 5.30 p.m. Tickets available from the
Shop and at the Gardens on the Day
Adults: £3.50 Under 8's: £2.50

Proceeds to Berry in Bloom and other Local Charities

Please come along and support us and have a good time

For any other dates, please look out for our 'Blooming' posters. Thank you to the Combe Martin Carnival Committee for their kind donation, and also the folks at the Village Barn Dance, for their donation.

Wendy Applegate



Jamaican Beach from 'Spring Laughter'
by Christina Rainsford

Far out upon the reefs the breakers pound,
tossing their white spume in the sun,
guarding the tranquil bay whose waters lie
in shifting shades of turquoise and of blue.
In its clear depths small silver fishes dart,
safe from the threatening jaws of open sea.

This is the lotus land where time is not.
The-turmoil of the world breaks on the reefs and is forgotten here.
Peace is a presence and care transmuted by the alchemy of sea and sky.


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


If the Berrynarbor Congregational Chapel were still open for services, 6th June 2006 would see it celebrating its 125th Anniversary. Sadly, it closed back in the 1990's, but it still remains possible to read the original Memorial Stone in the porch of the building, which states:

The first photograph (above) was taken by me around 1990. The second picture (below), by Garratt, shows the village and Chapel in about 1904. The original chapel was built about 1841, but some years later it was found to be unsafe and the present building was then built in 1881 with funds provided by Ilfracombe Congregational Church.

This leads me to an article that appeared on page 5 of the Ilfracombe Chronicle, one hundred years ago, dated 9th June 1906.


On Friday last, in the course of a Mission Tour, the Rev. C. Silvester Horne, M.A. of London, and J.D. Jones, M.A., of Bournemouth, visited this Church. A large congregation assembled, including a number of friends from Ilfracombe. After prayer by Dr. Stevens, Mr. Tribe, of Bristol, who presided, said he had spent a delightful week with his friends visiting the churches in North Devon, they were interested to find such nice village churches, and large congregations to welcome them throughout their tour. The speeches touched on many important matters in Free Church Life; the eloquent and earnest words of both speaks made a deep impression and was a season of great inspiration. At the close of the meeting the Pastor returned thanks on behalf of the church.

On Sunday last the anniversary of the church was held, Mr. J.P. Verney, J.P., preached two excellent sermons, the services were much enjoyed. On Whit Monday, tea was provided, successfully arranged by Messrs. W. Ley, J. Bowden, Jos. Bowden. The following ladies presided at the tables: Mesdames Huxtable, Bowden, jun., Slee, Harding, Jones and Richards. A public meeting followed, presided over by Mr. Foyster, of Ilfracombe, practical and earnest addresses were delivered by the Rev. T. Dixon, Dr. Stevens, and Rev. F.G. Walker.

The pastor at the close apologised for Mr. H.J. Bobbett who was unable to be present, and thanked all the friends who had so kindly assisted them on Sunday, and at the meeting. Miss Barnett presided at the organ.

For further information on the Chapel, please refer to my article, View No. 26 in the December 1993 issue of Newsletter No. 27, pages 21-23.

Also in the Ilfracombe Chronicle, there is a record of the Wreck of H.M.S. Montagu which, in thick fog on the 30th May 1906, had struck the Shutter Rock on Lundy Island. H.M.S. Montagu was a battleship, built at Devonport in 1903 at the then colossal cost of £1 1/4 million, weighing 14,000 tons and with a crew of 750!

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, May 2006
: tomandinge40@gmail.com