No. 106 - February 2007

Artwork by: Paul Swailes

Artwork: Judie Weedon


A Happy New Year and I hope everyone had a good Christmas.

Our rather dreary, but not cold, weather continues into 2007. However, the mornings and evenings in particular are drawing out, the bulbs and shoots are coming along and the birds are more cheerful - spring must be on its way!

The Christmas Greetings sent via the Newsletter was most successful and will probably be repeated this year. Rather than robbing the Manor Hall Card Distribution, takings for that and the Coffee Morning were up, and the Newsletter was able to pass over a cheque for £106. Thank you to everyone who participated.

I should also like to thank the person who kindly left a 2007 calendar of Australian Gardens for me at the Shop, with a message that they'd e-mail me. So far no word, but their kind thought was very much appreciated.

This issue sees the 100th contribution from Sue, our Local Walker. Thank you so much, Sue, for your continued support and encouragement and thank you Paul for the fitting illustrations for the Walks. Other milestones have been passed recently. December saw the 50th article from Tony Beauclerk and Sue and Simon's 'Weather or Not' covering November and December is their 50th report. Thank you all and well done!

I have had the pleasure recently of hearing from several people via the web site and it has been particularly nice to hear from Don Thirkell - who lived in the Valley - and Sonia Duckett from Middle Lee. Both say they have old photographs of the village - we look forward to seeing them!

Our printer, Len, has gone into 'glorious Technicolor', so let's give it a try and see how it goes.

With daffodils and other spring flowers not yet readily available, lilies are still in the shops, and so we have them on our cover - a delightful depiction from Paul and my thanks go to him and everyone else who has contributed to another article-packed issue.

There seem to be quite a few events coming up to put in your diary for February and March, so add to them that items for the April and Easter Newsletter are welcome as soon as possible and by MONDAY, 12TH MARCH [a little earlier than usual] please at the latest. Thanks.

Judie - Ed



The list of readers subscribing to receive their Newsletter by post continues to grow with nearly a quarter of readers receiving it this way. If anyone else would like to receive their copy by post, please do contact me. Details are:

To simplify finances, the Newsletter year runs from February to December. The current annual cost for postage and envelopes is £3.50 and donations towards the cost of the Newsletter itself - approximately 50p per issue - would be most welcome and appreciated. Subscriptions for 2006 are, therefore, now due.




For many years now, Newsletters have begun with the report from our Women's Institute. Sadly, as reported in the December issue, there has been a split.

In early January, the members who wished to remain in the W.I. met and after much deliberation were unable to form a committee. A compromise was reached to join Woolacombe W.I. [on the 3rd Thursday in the month]. We have already met with them and have received a warm welcome. The accounts balance has been sent to Exeter where it will be held for 3 years to enable a W.I. to be started here again if there is a will to do so in the future. It is sad that another piece of village life has gone from Berrynarbor and anyone wishing to join us, please contact me on 882600.

Linda Brown

We wish both groups luck and perhaps some time in the future, a W.I. will be re-established here in the Village.



By the time you read this, the first meeting of the above Club will have taken place. It is to be held on the 25th January and it is hoped that ladies, previous members of the Women's Institute and others, will attend when the future programme of meetings, outings, subscriptions, etc., will be discussed.

The monthly meetings will run on similar lines to the W.I. but there will be more time for discussion and may be the occasional competition. It is hoped to continue with the sales table, and tea, coffee and biscuits will be offered during the meeting.

I hope to be able to report in the next Newsletter that the new Club is off to a flying start! Come on ladies, give it a go! In the meantime watch out for posters giving details of the next meeting.

Happy New Year to you all!

Doreen Prater





Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heap'd for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou are gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


For those of us in the village who knew or remember Gordon, it was sad to learn that he had died at the age of 86, on the 19th November. A much loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be sadly missed by all his family.

Our thoughts are with his partner Grace, his two sons Derek and Bernard and their families, and his four daughters Joan, Christine, Pam and Patsy and their families.

His funeral took place at St. Peter's on the 27th November and the church was filled with his family and many friends and neighbours from Berrynarbor, Combe Martin and Ilfracombe.

The family would like to thank everyone for their cards and kind messages of sympathy, and all those who came to say 'goodbye'. Donations in his memory amounted to over £500, to be shared between the North Devon Hospice Care Trust and Cancer Research U.K.


We learnt with sadness that Alf had passed away on the 12th December and our thoughts are with his sons Charlie and Martin.

It is with regret that we have to report the death of Alfred Bulled, aged 69, on the 12th December. Alf had lived in North Devon all his life. He had many friends and his sons, Charlie and Martin, were gratified to see so many of them at his funeral at St. Peter's here in Berrynarbor. Alf was known mainly for his work as a blacksmith and he produced wrought iron work for many businesses and individuals. Many of the stands for the Britain in Bloom displays, both in Ilfracombe and Barnstaple, were his work.

Money received in his memory amounted to nearly £500, which was donated to the North Devon Hospice.


Artwork: Steve Angold [Aged 10]


The church was packed and all the stops were pulled out for the Service of Carols and Readings held on the 20th December. The Choir sang 'Noel Nouvelet' in French and 'The Seven Joys of Mary', and the children, in Nativity costume, processed along the aisles during the singing of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'. They then grouped on the altar steps to sing 'Away in a Manger'. It was good to see so many children in church once again and their performance was repeated during the morning service on Christmas Eve. The rest of the Christmas services were enjoyed by all and the Family Communion on Christmas Morning was particularly well attended. The last service on Sunday, 7th January, saw the celebration of the Epiphany and also a Christening.

Then it was time to pack away the crib and the tree for another year. Our thanks to everyone who helped with the decorating - the flowers, as always, were lovely, in no small part due to the generosity of those who regularly make donations - you know who you are.

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on the 21st February. There will be Lent boxes at the back of the church for the Bible Society to be returned at Easter. Mothering Sunday will brighten the atmosphere on 18th March, when we shall be joined by the children who will help in handing bunches of flowers around the congregation. Easter is quite early this year with Easter Day on 8th April, preceded by Palm Sunday on the 1st. More details next time.

Friendship Lunches at The Globe will be held on Wednesdays 28th February and 28th March and new members are always welcome. Please telephone me [883881] in the first instance.

Mary Tucker

Monthly Church Services

1st Sunday11.00 a.m.Songs of Praise*
2nd Sunday11.00 a.m.Sung Eucharist & Holy Communion
3rd Sunday11.00 a.m.Village Service
4th Sunday11.00 a.m.Sung Eucharist & Holy Communion by Extension
5th Sunday11.00 a.m.Please see the Notice Board

* Songs of Praise: Your favourite hymns by request. Please let Stuart know your choice in advance - Tel: 882447.


Berrynarbor: Fenella Boxall
Tel: [01271] 882675 e-mail:

HELP! What have I let myself in for? Just a quick note to ease myself into the position as your latest Community News Officer.

I have been living in the village for seven years so know what an active place it is, with darts, dominoes, skittles, badminton, keep fit and short mat bowls played on a regular basis. There are lively committees for the Carnival Club, Manor Hall, Britain in Bloom, the Community Enterprise Shop, Parish Council and Friends of Berrynarbor Primary School, as well as regular meetings of the Wine Club, Book Club, Friendship Club; there is the Church Choir and Bell Ringers and up until now, the Women's Institute. And last but by no means least, our wonderful Pre- and Primary Schools, keeping the village young and on its toes.

So please let me know what you are all up to by calling, e-mailing or better still popping up to Sloley Farm for a coffee. If you have something to brag, boast, bitch or bawl about, let me know and I'll try and put all the village in the 'know'. Without you and your help - and apologies to anyone I have left out - I know nurrrrrthing!

I look forward to hearing from you and a very happy 2007.



Artwork: Angela Bartlett


A Further Story for the Young and Young at Heart

Our story, about happenings at Combe Martin, goes back a long way. As you may recall [Newsletter No. 88 February 2004], our mermaid who was playing in the sea and on the beaches is called Marina.

Now Marina is friendly with a pixie named Peter, who is a lovely little chap - a real Devon Pixie. Dressed in a pretty brown coat, with trousers to match, and a little brown cap with a bell on the top. For some reason, Peter has no shoes and always goes barefoot.

Illustrated by: Debbie Cook

One day, Marina and Peter were sitting on a rock near the Camel's Head, chatting about old times. Marina looked at Peter and asked, "Do you remember when they put the drainage pipe in for the village?" Peter nodded, "Yes, I do."

"And," Marina continued, "all the workmen had pick axes and shovels and they cut a hole through the base of Camel's Head to the beach beyond? People walked through that hole until the workmen cemented the pipe in."

She smiled at Peter and reminded him, "I haven't forgotten when you jumped on their wet cement and had to wash your feet in the rock pool beside the walkway. The cement made the water all cloudy and I put a little spell on it so that it would always look cloudy. People today often wonder why that is so."

Mary Trebble was standing by the railings at Seaside one day, feeding the seagulls with bread. They swooped and dived and flew around squawking, catching the pieces of bread as she threw them in to the air. People stopped to watch and admire the beautiful birds.

Suddenly, Mary cried out loud, "My locket, oh my locket's come undone and fallen into the river." The river Umber was flowing fast into the sea and it quickly carried her locket, with its gold chain, away and out of sight.

By chance, Marina and Peter were sitting on a rock right under the place where Mary had been feeding the gulls and had seen the locket fall into the water. Quickly, Marina dived into the water and swam in the direction the locket was last seen. Sadly, it had completely disappeared. She swam back to where Peter was still sitting. "I think we'll have to wait for low tide and then have a good look, it can't have gone far."

The mermaid and the pixie were both awake early next morning. The tide was fairly low and just lapping at the breakwater. They searched and searched all over the Combe Martin and Newberry beaches. They were just about to give up when suddenly Peter, who had been hopping from rock to rock on the breakwater, cried out, "I think I've found it!"

Sure enough, there was the locket down between the rocks, a little too far for our pixie friend to reach. Luckily, our two little friends found a strong piece of driftwood and were able to lever the rock sufficiently to pluck the locket out. Marina's face lit up, "Now we can return it to Mary." "I know where she lives," piped up Peter.

Next morning, although it was her birthday, Mary was unhappy, she was missing her locket. She went to the front door and began to pick up her cards that the postman had delivered and as she picked up the last envelope, there was her locket! "How on earth did that get there?" she cried. Well we know, don't we!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester



Thank you to those who sent in answers to the 'first line' quiz - once you had hit on the song or carol, it was pretty obvious if you were right and those of you who sent in your answers all got 30/30. Well done to Jen and Chris Caswell, Marian Delve, Alex Blagdon and Dave Westcott. Apparently others struggled a bit and for you the answers were:

  1. Have yourself a merry little Christmas
  2. The First Noel the Angel did say
  3. God rest ye merry gentlemen
  4. It came upon a midnight clear
  5. Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright
  6. On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
  7. Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fah, lah, etc.
  8. You better watch out, you better not cry
  9. Joy to the world the Lord has come
  10. I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus
  1. Hark the herald angels sing
  2. All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
  3. Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh
  4. We three kings of orient are
  5. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
  6. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
  7. Oh little town of Bethlehem
  8. Sleigh bells ring, are you listening
  9. We wish you a merry Christmas
  10. Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul
  1. Rocking around the Christmas tree
  2. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
  3. I'll have a blue Christmas without you
  4. Come they tell me par rum pa pum pum
  5. Away in a manger
  6. Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king*
  7. Oh the weather outside is frightful
  8. Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
  9. Go tell it on the mountain
  10. Ding dong merrily on high

* Although everyone got this right, in fact, the first line of this song is: Said the night wind to the little lamb, 'Do you see what I see?'


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The first week of November was a bit of a shock with temperatures dropping away to a low of -0.4 Deg C on the 2nd. There were sharp frosts every night with bright, crisp and warm sunny days. After that the temperatures rose but unsettled weather set in with rain on most days and almost continual strong winds. The total rain for the month was 206mm [8 1/4"] of which 45mm [1 13/16"] fell on one day. This made it the wettest month of the year.

Our records show the rainfall for November ranges from 59mm [2 3/8"] to 311mm [121/2"].

The maximum temperature of 14.9 Deg C was [apart from 2000 which only achieved 14.5 Deg C] the lowest November maximum since before 1994, generally the maximum has been at least 15 Deg C and last year reached 17.4 Deg C. The minimum temperature of -0.4 Deg C was also down on the average.

The maximum gust of wind was 38 knots which again was the strongest gust recorded in November since before 1994, apart from 200 when wind speeds reached 40 knots.

December started as November left off - very windy and wet but then a high pressure system arrived and dominated the weather from the 18th, the winds dropped right away to nothing and it was dry until the 27th when the wind started to pick up again and the month ended as it began. December was the second wettest month of the year, with a total rainfall of 155mm [6 1/4"]. Both the maximum temperature of 13.7 Deg C and the minimum of -1.1 Deg C were slightly up on the average.

The maximum wind speed of 36 knots was not the strongest wind we have recorded in December, but was above the average.

In spite of the wet gloomy weather, Chicane recorded more sunshine hours [24.78] in November than any of the previous years, the closest being last year with 20.67 hours. In December, there were only ten days of recordable sun, giving a total of only 6.34 hours, down on the previous two years] [7.77 and 8.54 respectively] but double what we had in 2003, which was also a wet month. Please remember we are in a deep valley!

Looking back over the years, the wettest year was the first that we recorded in 1994 with 2032mm [80"], the next five years each averaged over 1500mm [59 1/16"], then 2000 was another very wet year with 2005mm [78 15/16"]. Since then, however, apart from 2002 which was average, the rainfall has been diminishing and this year was the driest yet with a total of only 1054mm [411/2"].

The barometric pressures were about average for the year with a high of 1042mbs on 22nd December and a low of 985mbs on 19th October.

We take this opportunity to wish everybody a Happy New Year.

Simon and Sue


Artwork: Paul Swailes


During the Christmas period, a person or persons unknown entered the Penn Curzon Room and removed from the fuse box, which is inside a cupboard, all the fuses. The result was that Sure Start could not operate in the room and we had a bill from the electrician for finding the fault and replacing the fuses! The bill for this came to £40.00 and it would be very nice if a cheque could be sent to the Manor Hall Committee to cover this expense.

On a lighter tone, we had another very successful Christmas Card Distribution and Coffee Morning, raising £250, some £70 more than last year. This included a very welcome sum of £106 from the greetings given in the Newsletter. We also have a special parking bay marked out for the disabled and I should ask all car users to respect this area.

I must thank all Hall users for their forbearance following the fire in the boiler room, and finally I can announce that we have appointed Charlotte Fryer as our new cleaner for the Manor Hall and wish her all the best in her new task.

Bob Hobson - Chairman, Manor Hall Committee




2.30 p.m. at

painting, drawing, sewing, embroidery, knitting, lace-making or any other hobby or craft

Why not come and join us?

Indulge yourself working on your favourite pastime
in company of others
£1.00 a session including
Tea, Coffee and Biscuits Everyone welcome


Artwork: Paul Swailes


It was with sadness that, after ten years living here, Hazel and Ken Gosham left Bowden Farm Cottage just before Christmas to move to Hampshire to be nearer their son.

Hazel and Ken were keen bowlers at Combe Martin and enjoyed art classes but will, perhaps, be remembered more for their wonderful support of and entries in the Horticultural and Craft Show. Ken was renowned for his home-made wine and walked off with the Watermouth Castle Cup five times and the Best in Show Cup twice - and his fruit and vegetables took a lot of beating! Meanwhile, Hazel's green fingers secured her the Lethaby Cup for Potted Plants twice and the Manor Stores Rose Bowl for Cut Flowers three times.

They will be keeping in touch via the Newsletter but would like to thank villagers for their friendship, especially their very good neighbours Maddy, Julie and Mike.

We are also sorry to have lost Gail and Graham Davis and family who have moved to Ilfracombe. Chris and Geoff Taylor are also off to pastures new. Chris says that their new 'compartment' in Pilton will only be an interim measure as their intention, hopefully, is to return to the village.

Bowden Farm Cottage is now home to Lyn and Holly; Penrose to Katie Rowles and Michael Lyne, and Venture Cottage to Denise Inskip and Daniel Reynolds.

Denise and Daniel, who come from Ampthill in Bedfordshire, have been renting a place in Lower Loxhore for the last year whilst looking around. It did not take them long to decide that Venture Cottage was the place!

Denise, a florist by trade, and Daniel, a builder and landscape gardener, are keen gardeners and plan to follow Chris and Geoff's footsteps and take part in the Open Garden days. Denise is temporarily, in her words, 'pre-occupied' as they expect their first baby in late February early March. However, they already have a large family: dogs - springer spaniel Liz and Jack Russell Basil, cats - Abbie, Tach, Mouw and Trouble,

two rabbits and a guinea pig, not to mention the chickens and ducks! I think we can tell they are country folk and we look forward to hearing of the baby's arrival.

Cairn Cottage at Goosewell has been home to Catherine and David Allen for some time now and we are sorry not to have welcomed them sooner!

They have come to the south west from Stokenewington in London and David, who is an I.T. Project Manager, still spends some time working in London. Catherine was Head of a Special Needs School but is now teaching 'out of school' pupils on a part time basis for Devon.

Their twins have now 'grown and flown' - their son is in Brisbane Australia and their daughter works for the London Estate Agents Frank Knight.

Both enjoy a variety of hobbies. David is in to motor bikes, cycling and walking and is a keen musician, playing an assortment of instruments and would, we understand, have liked to have made music his career. Catherine also enjoys walking and is a keen gardener, currently creating their owncottage garden, but she also derives pleasure from the indoor hobbies of sewing, knitting and both dabbles in and looks at art.

To everyone leaving and everyone coming to the village, we wish you luck and happiness in your new homes.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


The Fox and Hounds at Eggesford on Saturday, 13th January, was the setting for the small, but with family and friends, wedding of Jenny Bailey and Lee Beer. Jenny, the youngest daughter of Brian and Ann, and Lee were attended by Elaine Gubb with their two-year-old son Louis as pageboy. A lovely day finished by guests enjoying the music of the Make Me Smile band.

Jenny and Lee are enjoying a holiday in Rome, whilst Brian and Ann are 'sitting' Louis, or is it, as Ann says, vice versa?

Jenny and Lee, we wish you both health and happiness for your future life together.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Sandy and Ann on the birth of their first grandchild. Lachlan Alexander Anderson, son of David and Amy, was born in Sydney on the 10th October, weighing in at 7lbs 4oz and Sandy and Ann arrived in Sydney to meet him when he was just three days old.

A warm welcome to the little one and best wishes to the proud parents and grandparents.



This friendly and informal group, run by parents for parents, meets on Friday mornings during term time in the Manor Hall, from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Tea and coffee and children's snacks are provided.

Toddlers participate in: painting, mess play, toy library, music and dance, construction, dressing up and water play and there are visiting acts.

If you are interested and would like more information, please ring Kay Barry on 883008 or call in one Friday morning.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Sue and Alan Richards are delighted to announce the engagement of their daughter Nicki to Tim Schneider of Helston. Nicki is a Primary School teacher in Plymouth and Tim a Chartered Engineer for DML at Plymouth.

Our congratulations and very best wishes to you both.




The end of the Autumn Term was as exciting and eventful as usual at Berrynarbor School!

Whole Group Collage

Class 1 had a special visit to St. John's Garden Centre in Barnstaple to sketch plants and to consider the jobs that people do in the world of work. We surprised them with a special visit to see Father Christmas whilst they were there, which was fun for everyone.

Our Christmas Fayre was well attended and thank you to everyone in the village who supported us by coming along and donating items for sale.

Our annual Christingle workshop and service in the church was again a very special event, especially when we light the candles and turn out the lights - there is a wonderful hush and all you can see are little faces lit by candlelight in quiet reflection. Once again, our Christmas Service was also a great hit with the children's musical input, art work, singing, drama and prayers.

Great thanks to the Friends of Berrynarbor who again put on a Christmas Tea on the last day of term in the Manor Hall, and a special visitor came to visit as well. We played some party games and the children had a great time.

Continuing our whole-school focus on developing musical skills, we invited two groups to work with the children and staff during last term. Junk Band came along to develop a performance for parents using old discarded oil containers and beaters made from tennis balls, as well as pots and pans and large sections of water mains pipes! We also invited a music tutor from a group called Drum Crazy who specialise in teaching children songs and drumming skills from Africa. This work really impacted on the work we do in school and we hope to develop these themes further in classes. Two teachers have also had some tuition in playing the ukulele. We have received funding from the Devon Music Service to buy 30 of them for whole class teaching. What a rich and varied musical programme.

Mrs. Karen Crutchfield - Head Teacher

The Friends of Berrynarbor School held a Dance in the Barn at Sloley Farm just before Christmas with music provided by The Parcel of Rogues. A successful, but chilly, evening, enjoyed by all, which raised some £250 to be given to The Children's Liver Foundation and the School's Music Fund. A big thank you to everyone who attended.

Class 3 spent last term working in small groups with a specialist Art Teacher, kindly seconded by Ilfracombe College. Here is some of the fabric and batique work which the children created with Mrs. Wyer.

Artist: Anna Bowden

Artist: Robbie Reynolds

Artist: Bethan Gamble


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Not much has been happening but we hope you enjoyed the Christmas tree in the centre of the village - the lights provided by Berry in Bloom, the tree a kind donation from John and Fenella and the electricity by courtesy of Dave and Eve at Miss Muffets.

We should like to thank Derek Phillips for the donation of £200 for the help given by members of our team at the Classic Moto-Cross des Nations meet on the 2nd and 3rd September. It has been agreed with Derek that £100 should go to the School to help with their gardening club.

We shall be having our first meeting in February and the date will be announced on one of our 'blooming' posters! Hope you can join us in 2007.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Winter and early spring is a good time for home-grown leeks. This recipe makes a lovely and easy soup with a bit of left over Stilton from Christmas.

Leek and Stilton Soup

  • 1/2 lb Leeks [weighed after washing and trimming]
  • 2oz butter
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • 2oz Stilton
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1/4 pint milk
  • salt and pepper

Slice the washed leeks in to 1 inch slices and sweat them in the butter in a large saucepan on a low heat for about 10 minutes with the lid on. Stir them two or three times during this time. Add the stock and milk and simmer for another 10 minutes with the lid off. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cooled blitz in a processor or liquidiser adding the crumbled Stilton. Reheat gently. This is lovely served with crunchy croutons topped with a little more crumbled Stilton and popped in the oven until the cheese is melted.

You may like to follow the soup with

Date and Walnut Cake with Brandy Syrup

This is another cake that doubles as a pudding when served warm. It is light and moist and yummy. You can omit the brandy if you must.

  • 2oz [50g] butter or margarine
  • 1 free-range egg beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 oz [60g] chopped dates
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2oz [50g] golden caster sugar
  • 4oz [110g] plain flour
  • 2oz [50g] chopped walnuts
  • 4 fluid oz [110ml] boiling water

For the syrup

  • 2oz [50g] sugar
  • 3 fl oz [75ml] water
  • 2 fl oz [55ml] brandy
  • 1 dessert spoon butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Place half the dates in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with the boiling water. Set aside and allow to cool. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy and then beat in the egg little by little. Sift the flour with the baking powder and fold in to the butter mix. Next add the nuts and the unsoaked dates followed by the cooled soaked dates along with the water. Fold together until well mixed. Pour into a well greased 7" or 8" loose-bottomed cake tin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 190 Deg C or gas mark 5.

Meanwhile prepare the syrup. Boil the water, sugar and butter together for 5 minutes, then add the brandy and vanilla essence.

When the cake is cooked and still hot, prick it all over and pour over the warm syrup. Eat and enjoy hot or cold.





There's lots of good news to report this month! Firstly, our planning permission has come through for the new shop. It will be a single storey unit in the car park. Some people have been concerned that it will not have a flat over. Estimates showed that the second storey would have doubled the costs and grants for accommodation were not available. The additional borrowing costs would have been prohibitive.

So far we have been awarded grants totalling £87,000. This means that we now have the money to start building - hopefully in a few months' time. It's not the end of the story though . . . we still need to borrow a considerable sum and raise about £6,000 from village events. We should welcome any suggestions and help in fund raising. Please speak to Jackie or any committee member with your ideas.

In spite of the opening of the Ilfracombe Tesco, in 2006 we managed to just about break even . . . but to make the new shop viable, we need to increase our sales. Jackie has introduced an excellent range of foods and gifts and to help our customers even more . . .

We can take orders for:

MEAT - Ivan Clarke or Westgate Angus
- Edds
- Village Bakery


Please give us 48 hours' notice . . . and if these are regular orders, Jackie will be even happier!

We continue to be very grateful to all our volunteers who do a great job. There are still spaces though, either on regular dates or for those willing to help in an emergency. Again, please let Jackie know.

2007 is going to be an exciting and eventful year for the Shop. Please help make it the success we all want!

Dear Fellow Villagers,

The village Shop and Post Office has now been in village hands for over two years and until TESCO opened in Ilfracombe, it was showing continual growth.

We have just received the agreement from Devon Renaissance that they will let us have a grant of £68,000, which together with the Plunket Grant of £20,000, means we are now in a position to move to the 2nd phase - the building of the new shop in the village car park. Hurray!

However, the sales rate, since the opening of TESCO, is not enough to make sufficient profit to keep the shop open - close but not close enough.

The support from the majority of the village has been immense:

  • £10,000 plus in shares bought
  • A very supportive Parish Council
  • Approximately 40 volunteers, who have for over two years come out in rain or shine to work in the shop

This is a plea to everyone in the village who does not use the shop to use it just a little - £5 to £10 spent in the shop each week will be more than enough to enable the shop to remain open and to flourish.

The village Shop and Post Office is not only an essential lifeline to many people in Berrynarbor, but is very much a major part of what makes Berrynarbor the desirable place it is to live and thus in turn increases the value of our properties.

Please Please Please use the shop or we all risk losing it.

Sandy Anderson - Chairman
Berrynarbor Community Enterprise Ltd.




The meeting on Tuesday, 9th January began with a presentation by Alex Parke and Sandy Anderson to explain the new proposals for the village shop, and the recent planning application. This was a very interesting and informative discussion in which Councillors were given the opportunity to ask questions. Our thanks to Sandy and Alex for attending the meeting.

Claude's Garden - This year the Council are working in partnership with the Berry in Bloom group to renovate the garden. The idea is to make it a low maintenance garden and something of which we can be proud. Money saved could then be used elsewhere in the village. Depending on the weather, the garden will be closed for a period of time in the spring to enable this work to be carried out.

Yellow Lines (Silver Street) - Further discussions with all the parties concerned have taken place and it has been decided that yellow lines will be placed immediately outside the school but will only be enforced for 30 minutes at the beginning and end of the school day.

Hedges - The Council has been advised that under the Highways Act 1980, landowners and occupiers can be prosecuted if their roadside vegetation is found to be a contributory factor to an accident. No trimming should take place during the main bird breeding season of March to July, unless unavoidable. As complaints have been made to the Council that some hedges in the Parish are causing visibility problems, could I ask you please to check your own property.

Parish and District Council Elections - These take place on Thursday 3rd May. If you would like to be more involved with your community and can spare one evening a month, please consider becoming a Parish Councillor - either come to a meeting and see what is involved, talk to existing Councillors or telephone me on 882916 to discuss it.

Sue Sussex - Chairman




The 2007 programme of events is:

  • Wednesday, 4th April - Easter Bingo
  • Sunday, 17th June - Strawberry Fayre Tables can be booked by telephoning John Fletcher on 883924 Charity & Local Organisations: £5.00 and Commercial: £8.00 per table
  • W/c Saturday, 4th August - Carnival Week
  • Wednesday, 31 st October - Halloween Procession


Philip Larkin

Lambs that learn to walk in snow
When their bleating clouds the air
Meet a vast unwelcome, know
Nothing but a sunless glare.
Newly stumbling to and fro
All they find, outside the fold,
Is a wretched width of cold.

As they wait beside the ewe,
Her fleeces wetly caked, there lies
Hidden round them, waiting too,
Earth's immeasurable surprise.
They could not grasp it if they knew,
What so soon will wake and grow
Utterly unlike the snow.

Artwork by: Nigel Mason

Philip Larkin

Born in Coventry in 192, Philip Larkin was the only son and younger child of Sydney and Eva Larkin. He attended King Henry Vlll School in coventry where he contributed regularly to the school magazine, becoming Joint Editor.

Failing his army eyesight test, he was able to complete his degree at St. John's College Oxford uninterrupted by the war, gaining a Ffirst Class Honours degree in English in 1943.

Failing also to enter the Civil Service, he took a post as Librarian at wellington in Shropshire. From there he became Assistant Librarian at the University College of Leicester, Sub-Librarian at Queen's University Belfast and finally Librarian to the University of Hull.

Whilst writing his many poems and novels, Larkin's work was acknowledged in many ways:

In 1945 he received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and in 1975 he was made a CBE. He received the German Shakespeare-Preis, became Chairman of the Booker Prize Panel and was made both Companion of Literature and an Honorary Fellow of The Library Association. He served on the Literature Panel of the Arts Council, was made a Professor by the University of Hull and elected to the Board of the British Library.

In 1984 he declined succeeding Sir John Betjeman as Poet Laureate, being unwilling to accept the attention associated with the post, and received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University. In 1985 he was awarded the Order of Companion of Honour but was unable to receive it personally due to ill heath.

He died in the December of that year at the age of 63.

Larkin's 'Selected Letters', published in October 1992, proved to be the literary event of the year.




Come and see the monstrous, theatrical and ultra Bohemian Bliss family in action, after they discover that they have all invited guests for the week-end and each has been promised the Japanese Room. This is the start of Coward's sparkling masterpiece, written in only 3 days. He regarded Hay Fever as his best comedy. Set in the 1920's, it is a tale of self-absorbed parents - she an actress, he a writer - and the son and daughter, who at one moment can be charming and affable, and at the next, rude and opinionated. Be amazed at the way their guests have to suffer indignities and humiliation over the week-end, which all adds to the humour of the piece!

See it at llfracombe College at 7.45 p.m. on Wednesday 28th February to Friday 2nd March. Tickets - £6.00 -from Alan Jackson, shoe repairer, High Street, llfracombe, on the door, or telephone Anne Bacon on 882193.



Do you like theatre, but have no transport
and can't always get there?
Do you have mobility problems, a disability that prevents you
from getting out and about or
perhaps you don't feel safe driving at night?

We should like to provide a minibus service that runs door to door to The Landmark or Queen's Theatres. The service will cover the Woolacombe, Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe and Combe Martin areas. We need a minimum of 10 people for each show for the service to run and the maximum cost will be £5.50.

If you would like to use this service, you need to register [for free]. The forms to do so are available at the Shop or Chicane and these should be completed and returned to Kat Wheeler, The Marketing Department, The Landmark Theatre, Wilder Road, Ilfracombe, EX34 9BZ. This form is to express your interest and register with the scheme. It does not commit you to anything. Another form will be sent directly to you in order to book your show tickets and to confirm the bus seat. Payment for the bus is required on the night.




Despite running for over 16 years, the Christmas meeting saw a first for the Circle when we had a vineyard owner visit us from France and give a talk and tasting of his wines. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about wine from the other side of the fence - that of the grower and producer. Jonathan Coulthard gave up his career as a civil engineer, bought up a run-down vineyard in the Duras region, not far from Bergerac, and set about renovating both vines and buildings. He brought us six wines to taste, two white, two rose and two red. The earliest vintage being a red from his first season 2003, which was absolutely excellent, drinking well now with potential to continue improving for several years. The Wine Circle is now awaiting delivery of a large order which they placed with him for personal supplies! TS

The January meeting was a resounding success with our first ever "Wine Man's Bluff'. Seven teams of six members had to identify the correct description for each of six wines sampled. Our panel of three experts, Tony, Brian and John, were referred to as A, B and C and made the evening memorable! The winning team, named 'Piston Broke', each went home with a bottle of Shiraz.

The next two meetings, on the 21st February and 21st March, will be presentations, by Brett Stevens of the Fabulous Wine Company and James Nancarrow of Majestic Wines respectively.

New members will be warmly welcomed but, due to licensing regulations, it is important to contact the Secretary or Treasurer at least 24 hours before your first meeting. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 8.00 p.m. at the Manor Hall. Further information can be obtained from the Secretary, Tony Summers 883600.

Tom Bartlett - Publicity [883408]



[with acknowledgements to Clapham and Dwyer]

A - for 'osses
B - for honey
C - for th'ighlanders
D - for salmon fishing
E - for sigh
F - for vescence
G - for putting your shirt on
H - for experience
I - for a pretty girl
J - fa oranges
K - for a cuppa
L - for leather
M - pha sis
N - for a penny n for a pound
O - for the wings of a dove
P - for soup
Q - for a bus
R - fa mo
S - for certain
T - for two
U - for mutton
V - for l'amour
W - for a tenner
X - for breakfast
Y - for goodness sake!
Z - pher breezes

[like C & D, I had to resort to the American 'zee' - couldn't find anything to go with zed].



Come and join us, dispel those winter blues!


amateur ballroom dancing classes, light-hearted, fun and gentle keep fit
led by Jo Lane [an enthusiastic amateur dancer]
and Alan Rowlands

Manor Hall, 7.00-9.00 p.m. £2.00 per session

Any enquiries: telephone [01271] 889393


Carol Ann Duffy

Into the half-pound box of Moonlight
my small hand crept,
There was an electrifying rustle.
There was a dark and glamorous scent.
Into my open, religious mouth
the first Marzipan Moment went.

Down in the crinkly second layer
five finger-piglets snuffled
among the Hazelnut Whirl,
the Caramel Swirl,
the Black Cherry and Almond Truffle.


I chomped, I gorged,
I stuffed my face,
till only the Coffee Cream
was left for the owner of the box -
tough luck, ....
oh, and half an Orange Supreme.


Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



[1804 - 1866]

Whig MP for Armagh and benefactor of the Rhenish Tower, Lynmouth

Recently a friend passed on to me a tourist booklet called 'Devon in Colour'. It is priced at 2/6d, and judging by the fashions, cars, and lack of reference to the devastating 1952 floods, it probably dates from the 1940's. One photograph catches my eye: There is the unmistakable Rising Sun in Lynmouth, and across from it the harbour and Rhenish Tower. But hey! It looks different! A couple strolls along the centre of an unmade road, a row of mainly occupied deck chairs lines the quay wall, and most amazingly, not a car is in sight! I quote from the caption:

"Lynmouth has many picturesque buildings and charming cottages and an unspoilt waterfront. On the quay stands the [Rhenish] tower which General Rawdon built in the nineteenth century in imitation of the towers of the Rhine."

My interest is aroused. Who was General Rawdon? Why was the tower built? What was the connection with the Rhine?

It's been a fascinating "delve" although fairly difficult to get information and had it not been for tremendous help from Brian Pearce, Exmoor Park's Research and Information Officer, I doubt if I could have found enough to make an article!

John Dawson Rawdon was born in 1804 into an aristocratic family: Rawdon was the family name of the Earls Rawdon, Earls of Moira and Marquess of Hastings. Many of his ancestors were well known army officers including one who fought in the American War of Independence. He followed the family tradition until on the 3rd May 1840 The Connaught Guardian reported that "Colonel Rawdon, Coldstream Guards, has left Stanhope to canvass the electors of Armagh in the Whig interest. . .The gallant colonel has the interest of his stepson, Lord Cremorne".

In the 1830's he had married Lady Cremorne, a member of the aristocratic Dawson family and widow of the 2nd Lord Cremorne. Thus Rawdon acquired his stepson, Richard Dawson, 3rd Earl Cremorne and later 1st Earl Dartrey [named after his mother's estate]. As John also carried the name Dawson, it is likely that there was a family connection as the two families had neighbouring Irish estates

"The gallant Colonel" was appointed Whig MP for Armagh on 22nd May 1840. In a letter to the Armagh Guardian in 1845 he is mentioned as Col Rawdon of Mayfair, London and in the same year was listed as being on the committee of a new Northern Ireland Railway and living in Armagh City.

By the 1860's, Rawdon had retired as an MP and in the Monaghan Directory of 1862 was listed as a magistrate of that county and appears to have been promoted to Major General. [I say 'appears to' but is it possible I wonder to continue rising through the ranks when no longer a serving officer?] By now he was living mainly at his wife's family seat, Dartrey [also known as Dawson Grove] in Monaghan.

With all this going on in his life, little is known of Col Rawdon's connection with Lynmouth! However, we do know that he owned Clooneavin, overlooking the harbour and now holiday apartments. The property was built for the Rev William Halliday in 1826. He moved out four years later when he started to build Glenthorne. It is thought that Colonel Rawdon moved in then, possibly using it as a holiday retreat, and renamed it, Clooneavin meaning 'happy rest' in Gaelic. About this time, it was reported that a bath house had been erected in Lynmouth. This had a classical facade like the one in Ilfracombe and stood on the site of the present Bath Hotel. [Unfortunately the hotel is closed until February or I might have got more information]. Around 1832 a short tower was erected on the shingle beach to hold a tank of sea water to supply the bath house. The quay must have been added later as photographs and paintings circa 1890 still show it on the beach.

Over the next few years, people complained that the water tower was an eyesore and around 1850 John Rawdon paid for a castellated top to be added. As he had no business interests in the bath house, it is thought that he did it to improve the view from Clooneavin. There is a story that inspiration for the design came from a painting owned by Col. Rawdon of a tower near Tyre in Lebanon. Nevertheless the result was thought to resemble a Rhenish Tower, even though there was never a tower like it on the Rhine. The name stuck! Halfway up the tower was displayed harbour tolls and by 1899 a 32-candle power arc light on top of the tower guided boats into safe harbour. This was powered by Lynmouth's own hydroelectric power station, built by

Charles Geen in 1890. Until then, Lynmouth lighting was by oil lamps, the residents having rejected gas as too dirty and off- putting to their burgeoning tourist trade. It made Lynmouth only the 6th town in the country to get electricity.

The disastrous 1952 floods demolished the tower. Today a stone plaque on the wall states that it was rebuilt in April 1954. A ceremonial fire beacon has replaced the arc light. Is this progress? There is one final record of the influence of General Rawdon. In 1861, Robert Roe, Lord of the Manor erected a chained toll gate at the Lynmouth end of what is now the A39 to Watersmeet and appointed a toll collector. He hadn't paid anything towards the road but as he owned the land, felt entitled to do this. This was a serious threat to the local economy and residents broke the gate down. They then appointed the feisty General to fight the toll. He agreed, saying that he would fight to 'assist the weak when they are right against the strong when they are wrong'. Using his influence as a former MP he won the case. He died on 5th May 1866 at the age of 61.

PP of DC



On 2nd December, the Men's Institute held their Annual Presentation evening at The Globe. A very enjoyable evening was had by everyone present. The Chairman, Gordon Hughes, presented prizes to the following winners:

WinnerRunner Up
Summer LeagueKevin Brooks
Handicap SinglesJohn HoodMartin Lancey
Scratch SinglesMaurice DraperMartin Lancey
Winter LeagueMark AdamsPeter Pell
Doubles WinnersJohn Fanner & Martin LanceyK.Brooks & G.James
Highest BreakMaurice Draper
Ray Toms CupMaurice Draper

Our thanks to The Globe Management and Staff for a very enjoyable evening.

John Huxtable



For details of the February meeting and the books to read please watch out for posters around the village. See you there!




Sundays 18th and 25th: Snowdrop Sundays, Garden Tea Room Open
Saturday, 24th: Propagation Workshop & Lunch*


Saturday, 3rd: Propagation Workshop & Lunch*
Saturdays 17th & 24th: Camellia Workshop, Talk and Lunch*
Sunday, 18th: Mothering Sunday Lunch*

*Booking essential. Further information available from: Patricia Stout on [01271] 342528.



Great North Devon

[North Devon Hospice]
The Manor Hall

10.00 TO 12.00 noon
Raffle and Stalls
Coffee or Tea and a Pancake

Has another year really gone by since we clicked our knitting needles and indulged in delicious pancakes?

All knitters are invited to join in this fun morning, knitting strips for the Hospice and hopefully raising money for them too. As usual, you will need size 4mm [8] needles and a supply of double knitting wool and be at the Hall ready to start knitting at 10.00. This is a sponsored event and sponsor forms are available at the Shop or Chicane. Last year we raised the magnificent sum of £752 - can we do that again [hard task] or do even better?

Whilst the knitters work, others can come along and enjoy coffee and a pancake. Val, Sally and their helpers will again be slaving in the kitchen and although there is currently no Sunday School, the money they raise will benefit the children of our church.




3rd St. Peter's Church: Advent Sunday, 'Songs of Praise'
N.D. Hospice: Light Up a Light Service, Holy Trinity Church 6.30 p.m.
7th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
11th Globe Quiz Night, 8.30 p.m.
13th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
14th St. Valentine's Day
16th 'Off the Peg' Fashion Show, The Sawmill Inn, 7.00 p.m.
17th 'All You Can Eat' Night - Mexican - The Sawmill Inn
18th Marwood Hill Gardens: Snowdrop Sunday
19th College and Primary School: Half Term to Friday, 23rd February
20th Shrove Tuesday - Great North Devon Knit In & Pancake Coffee Morning, Manor Hall, 10.00 to 12.00 noon
21st Ash Wednesday - Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Presentation by Brett Stevens of Fabulous Wine Company
24th Marwood Hill Gardens: Propagation Workshopand Lunch
25th Marwood Hill Gardens: Snowdrop Sunday
Quiz Night at The Giobe, 8.30 p.m.
28th Friendship Lunch at The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
Friday, 2nd March, inc., 'Hay Fever', llfracombe College, 7.45 p.m.
3rd Marwood Hill Gardens: Propagation Workshop & Lunch
7th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
9th BBC resents 'In the Beginning', Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
10th BBC resents 'In the Beginning', Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
11th The Globe Quiz Night, 8.30 p.m.
13th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
17th Marwood Hill Gardens: Camellia Worksho , Talk and Lunch
18th Mothering Sunday
Lunch at The Globe and Sawmill Inn and Marwood Hill Gardens
21st Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Presentation by James Nancarrow, Magestic Wines.
24th Gardeners' and Crafters' Lunch: Manor Hall, 11.30 a.m. onwards
'All You Can Eat' Night' - Italian - The Sawmill
25th The Globe Quiz Night, 8.30 p.m.
28th Friendship Lunch at The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
1st Palm Sunday
4th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
5th College & Primary School: End of Spring Term

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysCraft Group, 2.30 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesdays2nd & 4th in month: N.D.Spinners 10.00 a.m. onwards
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
WednesdaysBody Work Out, 11.30 a.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




Cries of 'Oh no, not that time again' can be heard! But yes, the organising group are already thinking ahead to this year's event which will be on - please make a note - SATURDAY, 1ST SEPTEMBER.

Details of the subjects for classes in the Art and Photography Sections will hopefully be available in the April Newsletter, giving artists and photographers plenty of time to work on their entries.

In the meantime, to raise money to help with the costs of running the Show, there will be a Gardeners' and Crafters' Lunch at the Manor Hall on
SATURDAY, 24TH MARCH, from mid-morning.

Come along for a coffee and then stay for lunch:

Home-made Soup and Crusty Bread
Filled Jacket Potato and Salad Garnish

Look out for posters giving more details nearer the time, but please keep the date free. Your support for this 'Fun Lunch' and the Show will be very much appreciated.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


By the time this Newsletter is popped through your letterbox or you pick it up from the Shop, we shall be at least six weeks past the shortest day; although in the weeks immediately following it, any difference to the evening sky can seem negligible. But with late December and early January seeing an accumulation of overcast days, the difference has been almost unnoticeable. Most of these days have been accompanied by wet weather, something which has led to me wasting a lot of time whilst waiting for a respite from the rain in order to take the dogs for their walk. And when it has abated, the respite was brief! For, no sooner had I shut the front gate when up blew the wind once more bringing swathes of drizzle with each gust.

These dull, damp and windy days do, however, have their compensations. Fortunate to have a view of Bicclescombe Park from my lounge window, I have been able to savour the sight of the weeping willow trees that line the path between the boating lake and the duck pond. On a gloomy winter's day, they come into their own - the dullness enabling them to stand out in a vista that is otherwise insipid and bland, each tree twinkles its orange branches in the blowing wind. The stronger the gusts, the more their seemingly elasticated trunks bend, allowing their thin branches to undulate as they wave a friendly 'how do you do?' to the ducks beneath them.

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

The fact that winter robs the trees of their leaves, and so prevents them from providing any shelter from the rain, is of little significance to the sucks. They, of course, love the water. For us, however, the yearning for drier and warmer days can, particularly at this time of year, be a strong one. Whilst the lengthening days may not be a guarantee of better weather, one can rest assured that they will at least bring with them a wider variety of sights and smells to the countryside. It is a scene which, due to the amount of recent dreary days, I have found hard to picture. To help, I have been looking at photographs of spring wild flowers and summer scenes, beneficial up to a point, for I am a person who likes to look forward not backward.

Today, however, has helped remind me of what is to come. On drawing back the curtains I discovered, for once, a brighter day outside! Not a beautiful sunny day, for most of the sky was still covered in cloud, but unlike the low, grey cloud of recent weeks, the sky was instead a mass of white - with occasional patches of a certain colour I hadn't seen in the sky for some time! It was time to get outside before the weather changed back again. After a quick gulp of tea, a quick 'click' of Bourton's harness [he even sits and raises the correct leg to go through the required loop] and a not-so-quick hunt for Gifford's collar [I know he is terribly pleased with himself when he fetches things, but I wish he'd leave his collar where I put it] and finally we were off up the lane.

Outside, everything seemed so much brighter - even the puddles, reflecting the white of the sky above. The dogs, too, seemed to have a spring in their step, their paws splish-splashing with every stride. True, everything around was still very sodden. In the field, the white patches on the Friesian cows highlighted mud kicked up by their hoofs. On the far side of the field, a lone cow stood ankle-deep in the gushing Wilder Brook, drinking the water whilst washing her feet.

In the trees beside the field came a sound unheard of late in such cheery tones - birdsong! A great tit giving out his 'tea-cher, tea-cher' call; a fast-trilling song from a blue tit. Closer to hand, was the melodic tune of a robin and in the hedgerow up ahead, the distinctive 'churr' of a wren.

Suddenly the sound of the wind blowing through the naked branches took precedence. A cooler wind, its fresh feel upon my cheeks, was invigorating and a refreshing change to the recent mild temperatures. Heading back home, the breeze brought with it a vanilla fragrance wafting down the lane: courtesy of winter heliotrope, the only wild flower to adorn the lane during these early weeks of the year.

On my return, I heard a loud 'crack' behind me. I turned to see a magpie flying off, his beak laden with twigs - it's obviously that time of year again. Walking the path leading round to our back garden, I noticed another sign of things to come: daffodil spears poking through the front lawn and on opening the back gate, I discovered more bird activity: a blue tit in the rhododendron bush eyeing up the nearby bird box. I quickly made the dogs sit and remained dead still. Moments later it perched itself on the hole of the bird box, gave his partner's potential home a long and thorough look before flying off into the hedgerow. His actions brought a smile to my face. Soon, hopefully, the bird box will be home to an expectant mother. And then, beneath the hedgerow, I noticed a sight whiich brought pleasure to my heart - the first snowdrop in flower. Soon the lawn will be a carpet of them. If the weather forecast is right, today's fine day is a one off. Tomorrow the drizzle, dullness and dreariness returns. But the memories of today will keep me going, helping me to look forward to all that nature has to offer in the months ahead.

Steve McCarthy



A farmer has thirteen sheep but only twelve fields. He wishes to put only one sheep in each field and not have any over or dispose of any. This is how he does it:

Tony B - Colchester


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

I had a digital camera at Christmas. It's a very 'posh' one, with 10 mega-pixel capacity and inter-changeable lens! Impressed, aah? Not only can you have wide-angle to telephoto in one lens, but you can also have macro lens capability as well. This little camera also has the ability, by pressing a little button, to focus automatically and a red light flashes when this is done!
If it's too dark, the flashgun pops up automatically and fires so that the perfect shot is recorded. I can then view the photograph at the back of the camera and 'zoom in' on any part of the photograph to make sure I want to keep it. If I don't, I just delete it and carry on. I think it even tells me the time anywhere in the world, but I've not yet
discovered if it can make me a cup of tea.
I was thinking, wouldn't it be marvellous if we could just focus in on God by pressing a button? But I suppose if we didn't like what we saw, or didn't like the message, we could just press a button and delete it and carry on. But God isn't like that. He is not an object to be photographed in that way. He is more of a presence or sensation.
Sometimes when we go into a Church, we 'sense' his presence and his peace. Sometimes when we see a wonderful view or a fantastic sunset, we feel a sense of awe and wonder. Sometimes we get a sense of his love when somebody does something for us we didn't expect. I suppose that's the problem really, the fact that God isn't static, like a photograph, but dynamic and active and trying all sorts of different methods ofcommunication to reach us.

It is not just a question of seeing, hearing,touching, but of being aware all the time. The wonderful photographs that we take just capture our subject at one moment of time. The views or the person we've photographed have been there for a long time, it's just that we have seen something that has attracted our attention at that particular moment. God has always been here, and he is trying different ways of attracting our attention. Perhaps like the keen photographer who always has his camera with him, we too ought to be on the look out for God in our everyday world.

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Mill Park Lake, View 105

This very early picture of the lake at Mill Park was taken by A.J. Vince around 1900 and numbered V531. There are few pictures taken of this lake/pond and this photographic post card is extremely rare, this being the only such picture that I know of.

A.J. Vince has taken this picture from the north end looking toward the village and with no buildings in sight gives us a truly atmospheric and rural picture.

These days, the lake looks just as rural and wonderful and gives a great deal of pleasure and delight to anglers from all over the country, as well as occasionally providing a really fresh meal for the odd heron or two! Indeed, over the last few years, keen and patient anglers have caught carp, bream, perch, roach, tench and golden orfe. Mary Malin informed me that the record for a carp caught there is 20lbs.


This picture comes from a photograph album of Miss Iris Hibbert entitled 'Watermouth 1910-1913' and shows a Mr. Setchell, complete with dog, being rowed in the lake or in Watermouth Harbour by 'Sister'.

The Lake at Mill Park Today

The final photograph shows Major Williams, flanked by 'Sister' in the long jacket and Iris Hibbert. Both photographs, I believe, have been taken in 1915-16 when Watermouth Castle was requisitioned as a convalescent hospital for army officers and where Iris served as just one of several nurses with Captain James in charge.

I should like to thank Pam for her informative article on Walter William Bassett [1863-1907] in the December issue. Looking through my postcards of Austria, I came across this photographic postcard [bearing the No. 27.656] showing the Vienna 'Riesenrad' in its original form, complete with all 30 gondolas.

We know from the information in Pam's article that this postcard must have been taken prior to 1944 and I should like to think it was taken in1927 from the number given.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 2007


The December newsletter was of particular interest to my wife and me as we spent our honeymoon at Watermouth Castle when Mr. and Mrs. Black owned it.

I had an Illustrated London News with a picture of the Ferris Wheel on the front cover and details of a court case concerning the Bassett's, but I was too young to understand - it was very complicated. Mrs. Penn Curzon presented my brother Patrick with a pair of cuff links [which I still have] and the British Legion gave him a wrist watch when he received the D.F.M.

Just prior to the start of the war, Mr. Parry reported my brother to the police for flying around the church tower - gosh, what a lot of stories I have to tell!

All the best to you all in Berrynarbor for 2007.

Don Thirkell - Cornwall


Artwork: David Duncan


Well done Terry and Graham for raising £775.25 from being waxed on the 10th December! £150 was used to buy presents for the annual Kids Christmas Party held at The Globe, and £625.25 has gone to Devon Air Ambulance.

2 for 1 Meals at the Sawmill, every night and Saturday lunchtimes throughout February and March.

Valentine's Day, Wednesday 14th February: Bookings now being taken. At The Globe: choose table service, a la carte served in the Dining Room, or pub food and specials in the bar. At the Sawmill: choose from the pub food menu or the specials board.

Fashion Show: 'Off the Peg' Fashion Show at The Sawmill on Friday, 16th February. Doors open 7.00 p.m., Show starts 7.30 p.m. Tickets, £5.00 each to include a glass of wine, available from The Globe, the Sawmill Inn and Goodenough's in Ilfracombe. Proceeds to Devon Air Ambulance.

All You Can Eat Nights: £9.00 per head at the Sawmil! Inn. Booking advised.

Saturday, 17th February - Mexican
Saturday, 24th March - Italian

Sunday Lunches: Traditional Roasts served 12.00 to 2.00 p.m. every Sunday at both pubs. Globe £5.95 Sawmill Catvery £7.25

Mothering Sunday, 18th March: Book early for this one, it gets very busy. Quiz Nights: Every fortnight at The Globe, 8.30 p.m. start. The first February Quiz will be on Sunday, 11th.

Parties: If you have a special occasion would like menus and prices, Karen on 882259. We can christenings, kids' parties, of buffet menus or set menus. Both pubs are able to offer midnight licence with guests leaving by 1.00 a.m. Disco/karaoke prices supplied on request or use of skittle alley, etc. can be available.

To book for any of the above, our telephone numbers are:

  • Ye Olde Globe [01271] 882465
  • The Sawmill Inn 1012711 882259



"Wild folk are these here, gatherers of shellfish and laver and
merciless to wrecked vessels."

Charles Kingsley 1849

When Charles Kingsley wrote about the 'wild folk' who lived in the vicinity of Woolacombe Bay, the seaside resort had not yet been built. Even today the length of the bay, from Potter's Hill in the north to Vention in the south, is mostly free of development.

The kestrels hunting over Potter's Hill on the breezy January morning, lived up to their poetic name - windhover. The round hill at the end of the Marine Drive was given to The National Truest by Rosalie Chichester of Arlington Court in 1935.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Woolacombe Warren, which stretches for two miles between the splendid beach and Woolacombe Down, was once a golf course. The fragrant Burnet Rose grows abundantly there. It has neat cream flowers and small crinkly leaves. As late as November last year we had found Burnet Roses still in bloom on the Warren.

Curiously, the plant only occurs in one small area of the more extensive Braunton Burrows. There were a few new shoots of cleavers and fumitory and the small quarries along the way were ablaze with gorse. Always, at whatever time of year, somewhere there is gorse in flower. Hence the saying, "Kissing goes out of fashion when the gorse stops blooming".

At Vention we took the lane down to Putsborough Sand where there is a large outcrop of red sandstone called Black Rock.

Just above the edge of the beach, among the row of white, flat roofed Art Deco houses, is the Grey House; its stone walls and slate hipped roof half hidden between cedars and palms.

Overlooking the Atlantic rollers, this was once home to the parents of the writer and broadcaster Daniel Farson. His mother, Eve, was a niece of Bram Stoker, the author of 'Dracula' and his American father, Negley, was a journalist who had reported the rise of Hitler for the Chicago Daily News. Henry Williamson wrote of him, "Dear Negley Farson, whose smile is like the sea and sands of Woolacombe Bay."

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Sue H


[Berry Broadcasting Company]



[with a cast of 1000's - well 20 or 30!]
THE MANOR HALL - 8.00 p.m.
Raffle, Fish 'n' Chips, Ice Creams and Bar

Tickets: £6.00

available at The Globe and Village Shop from the end of February

The Times on Lundy said:
"The Best Berrynarbor Village
Prodictions of 2007"
Voted the Best Epic of ther Decade
by The Women's Monthly


It starts at 8.00, so don't be late! And bring a friend

All Profits to Local Charities

Gary is threatening that this will be the last Show - Don't miss it!