Edition 112 - February 2008

Artwork by: Nigel Mason

Artwork: Judie Weedon


A Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a good Christmas and managed to steer clear of the many 'bugs' in circulation. If not, our best wishes for a speedy recovery. That message also goes to everyone who is or has been unwell, at home or in hospital.

Although the days are getting longer [by the way, British Summer Time begins on the 30th March], and the evenings are drawing out, the weather has been horrible! Wet, windy, dull and depressing, even the odd clap of thunder to disrupt our power supply, but it has remained very mild. Climate change? Global warming? Nothing is new!

    "It is strange what weather we have had all this winter; no cold at all, but the ways are dusty, and the flyes fly up and down, and rosebushes are full of leaves, such a time of the year as was never known in this world before."
    Samuel Pepys Diary: 21st January 1661

Easter is early this year, very early. In fact, since the Newsletter began in 1989, on only four previous occasions has it been in March and then the earliest was the 27th in 2005. Certainly, I can never remember schools having a long week-end for Easter and then breaking up in April for the Easter holiday!

So with it on the 21st March it is covered by this issue. A few years ago, 'fixing' the date for Easter was mooted, but this idea seems to have died a natural death.

Items for April will be needed by Monday, 17th March please - earlier is always helpful, later not so helpful! Contributions, written and drawn, for this issue are much appreciated - thank you everyone. The cover, by Nigel Mason, shows Pitt Hill, with the cottages and The Globe.

The bulbs are well on their way now and there is a sprinkling of early flowers, spring IS on its way. In the meantime, my best wishes for Easter.

Judie - Ed



Currently, Newsletter funds are looking pretty healthy, partly due to the continued support of the Parish Council, the Parochial Church Council and advertisers, but also to everyone who donates either via the Shop, Sue's of Combe Martin, The Globe, The Sawmill Inn or by post.

Thank you to the readers on the mailing list who have already renewed their annual subscriptions and sent donations. February, however, is the time for postal readers to renew their subscription and for those to whom this applies, a letter is enclosed with this issue.

On a different note, the Christmas greetings sent via the December issue raised a sum of £187 for Manor Hall Funds. Many people since have said they wished they had taken part, so it is hoped that there will be increased support next Christmas. But don't forget, greetings must be with me by mid-November - a reminder will appear in the October Newsletter and look out for posters.

Finally, I should like to thank Sue and Richard, not forgetting paperboy Dave, for distributing newsletters with their round to those in receipt of a paper, especially the Journal.





The Christmas Party held on 4th December was enjoyed by all. Norma and Tony Holland entertained us with songs and poems and everyone joined in singing Christmas Carols. During an interval, there were sausage rolls, mince pies, chocolate biscuits and sherry to enjoy! The raffle was won by Ursula Rouse.

22 members sat down to a Christmas lunch at The Lodge on Monday 17th and it was, as usual, "scrumptious". Our waistbands were decidedly tighter as we departed!

The Meeting on January 3rd was the AGM which was followed by a talk and slide show by our Secretary, Marion Carter, entitled "Not Another Elephant!" She related her experiences when on safari in Kenya last year, which were very interesting.

As our Chairman, Janet Gibbins, was unable to attend the meeting, Marion stood in for her and she thanked each member who had had a particular roll during the past year, all of whom were willing to continue during 2008, apart from Margaret Weller, the programme secretary, who expressed her wish to resign. Marion thanked her for booking some interesting speakers over the last few years. We are now looking for some one to take over this job.

It was decided to keep the individual yearly subscription at £12 plus 50p per meeting to cover raffle prize and refreshments. Visitors would be asked to pay £2 per visit.

Jenny Caswell and Jenny Cookson were in charge of the sales table, which brings in a welcome amount of revenue each month. They, too, are willing to continue but request the donation of more items as the table is beginning to look a bit empty! The raffle was won by Joan Wood.

As mentioned in the last Newsletter, Mrs. Cooke will be coming to demonstrate hedgerow baskets on the 5th February; Gerry Marangone will be telling us about his early years living in Italy on 4th March and representatives from the North Devon Hospice will be with us in April. All these Meetings take place in the Manor Hall at 2.00 p.m. Visitors or new recruits are very welcome.

Doreen Prater


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Still in the midst of redecoration, the church was dusted and tidied ready for Christmas. The crib, tree and the flowers appeared and suddenly everything was bright and cheerful. All the windows were decorated again and Sue and her team must be congratulated for their skill and imaginative arrangements. Thank you once again to all those who made very generous donations, making it all possible.

All the services were well attended. The Choir sang 'Ding-Dong-Ding' and 'In the Bleak Midwinter' at the Carol Service - we could have listened to them all night. On Christmas Eve, the service began with the age-old tradition of Blessing of the Crib and the singing of 'Once in Royal David's City' - Christmas had really begun! Visitors augmented the congregation on Christmas morning, in spite of the earlier start at 10.00 a.m. Then it was back to 'family' on Epiphany Sunday, 6th January, the last day of Christmas when the candles on the Advent wreath were extinguished. Finally, a big thank you to our bell-ringers who turned up for all the services and also rang in the New Year.

Lent begins early this year with Ash Wednesday on 6th February. Mothering Sunday will be celebrated on 2nd March, when we shall look forward to families in church and spring posies all round.

Palm Sunday will be on the 16th March, followed by Good Friday on the 21st and Easter Day on Sunday, 23rd March. A reminder that all Sunday services start at 11.00 a.m. and please look out for posters nearer the time giving more details.

Friendship Lunches will continue at The Globe the last Wednesday in the month - 27th February and 26th March. Please ring me on 883881 if you would like to join in. Everyone is welcome. We arrive any time after 12.00, order for ourselves from the menu and pay as we go.

Mary Tucker





Readers who knew Betty in any way, will know that sadly she died, after a short illness, on the 22nd December.

Although not a resident of Berrynarbor, I should like to pay tribute to this very special lady, a 'beloved Mum and Nanny to her family and Auntie Betty to hundreds'.

Betty, a great supporter of many of our village activities, art shows, coffee mornings, lunches, etc., and since we began doing the teas at the Valley Open Gardens, helping behind the scenes. She would be there preparing scones, cream and jam - there was always a discussion on which should go on first! - and donning her pink 'Marigolds' to keep the continuous stack of dishwashing under control. She was a keen reader of our Newsletter as well as a contributor and repeated below is a favourite piece of hers that appeared in the December 2005 issue.

Many youngsters, both girls and boys, were influenced by her, learning confidence, discipline and self-belief through dancing at the Betty Blackmore School of Dancing or one of her other interests. Betty herself was taught by the late Esme Preston as well as appearing for a short time as a Tiller Girl with her sister Mary. Through Betty's annual dance shows, literally thousands of pounds were raised for local and national charities and she was always a welcome, smiling face at the local residential homes when they joined in with her armchair keep fit sessions.

Ilfracombe Parish Church was full to say farewell at a happy service in her memory - Nigel Jackson-Stevens remarked that he had never heard so much laughter at a funeral - and at the crematorium, Betty's final bow saw everyone singing, a standing ovation and a well deserved round of applause!

Bless you Betty for all that you have done, making a difference for so many people over the years.



Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore and as he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I suppose I should have asked why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

"The sun is up, and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."

"But, young man, don't you realise that there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it? You can't possibly make a difference!"

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."

Author Unknown

Contributed by Betty



A dull, wet morning but a warm welcome at Lee Lodge when I called to meet the two new Joyce's, only to find that two other ladies had slipped through the 'welcome net'. So, to them all, the warmest welcome to the village, we hope you will be happy in your new 'home'.

Pam Atkins arrived at Lee Lodge last July, having lived at Milltown, Muddiford, for six years and coming to Devon from Old Windsor. Pam, who worked for many years in all areas of the retail trade, has two daughters - one who lives in the area, the other in Tewkesbury - three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Talullah [Tilly] having arrived very recently.

Pam speaks very highly of Heather, the manager, and all the other carers at Lee Lodge, calling them 'her friends' and 'wonderful'!

Coming from Norah Bellot Court in Barnstaple two months ago, ninety-seven year old Amy Noakes has a wicked sense of humour and a twinkle in her eye! A great reader, she is a Devon lass born in Plymouth, but is a seasoned traveller, having lived with her late husband all over the world, including Australia and New Zealand. Amy has a daughter and two grandchildren and shares her bed with an enormous floppy dog named Barney! Walter [Canham] has been rather put out as he is no longer the only male - Amy has brought with her, her blue budgie Nelson! He, and his cage, are very comfortable in the lounge, amongst many friends who are encouraging him to talk.

Joyce Davey, or Joyce 'D', lived at Braunton for 30 years before coming to Berrynarbor. Originally from Ilford in Essex, Joyce, a midwife, helped with the safe arrival of, as she says, lots and lots of babies. She also says that a disadvantage of this career is that 'wherever you go, you are recognised'!

Joyce, who enjoys reading, sewing and knitting, was no stranger to our village, having stayed here when she was 13. She remembers a day trip to Bristol on the steamer. Encountering stormy weather and having to batten down en route, they didn't arrive back in Ilfracombe until after midnight, and then had to walk to Berrynarbor!

As mentioned previously , Joyce is anxious to attend St. Peter's Church and would love to hear from anyone who might be able to give her a lift there on Sunday mornings.

Joyce Clay, or Joyce 'C', is still settling in and sorting out her room, having only arrived a couple of days ago. This lively lady, in her late nineties, has spent the last 32 years in Mortehoe, where she and her late doctor husband retired in 1975. Dr. 'Alan' [Albert Arthur] Clay acted, for several years, as a locum for David Dodds and other doctors in the local practice.

Like Joyce D, she was born in Ilford in Essex. Separated from Alan during his service years in World War II, on his demob they moved to Newport Pagnell where they lived for nearly thirty years, raising their three children, Vanessa, who now lives in South Africa, Robert and Nicolas. Joyce's family now includes 8 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Sadly Alan died, but not before they celebrated their Diamond Wedding.

A very keen rubber bridge player, Joyce and her sister were taught by their father when she was only 7 - and she has been playing ever since. If anyone can help or put her in touch with other players, please do contact her on [01271] 882030 or drop her a line at Lee Lodge, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SD. Joyce has high hopes and has even brought her card table with her!

** It is nice to welcome, and sad to say farewell, to people, but such information isn't always easy to obtain. If you, or someone you know, has either moved in or left the village, please do contact the Editor on 883544.




The last Council meeting was held on the 15th January but due to illness I was unable to attend, so Vice Chairman Councillor Gingell chaired the meeting. The Council welcomed a new member, Mrs Angela Boyd of Cherrydene, Sterridge Valley, to the meeting.

Councillor Crockett and I attended an Affordable Housing seminar on Saturday 19th January. We were urged by Councillor Andrea Davis, the North Devon District Council Portfolio holder for housing, to enforce our need for affordable housing in our community. Anyone in this category should ensure that they are registered with the local authority. There will also be a local housing needs survey distributed in the very near future, which will be very important for this community as the authority will then be able to ascertain the needs of Berrynarbor, allowing the village to move forward.

The District Council are also keen to bring any properties that have been totally empty for a considerable time into the letting market, so if you know of any properties that fall into this category, please let me know and I will forward the information to the relevant department.

The District Council Parks Department are being extremely helpful regarding the refurbishment of the children's playground and have requested suggested designs and costing from 3 different companies for the village to consider, along with help in securing some funding.

Councillors Gingell, Crockett, Richards and myself are trying to compile an emergency plan for the village. Although this may seem to some unnecessary, it is a requirement of this Council, so if you have any machinery that could be used or any relevant skills, would you please contact me as soon as possible. This information would remain confidential.

As a result of the request in a previous newsletter, I am pleased to report that Don Thirkell of St Columb Major, Cornwall has offered to donate a new bench to go outside the Manor Hall in memory of his parents who lived in Berrynarbor for many years. Thank you Don.

If you have a problem or need to discuss anything, please contact me on 882916. The answer 'phone is always on, so leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can - if I don't know about a problem, I can't deal with it!

Sue Sussex - Chairman

Your local North Devon District Councillor


Marwood Hill Gardens Barnstaple

Twenty acres of gardens with three lakes
A haven for plants from around the world
Three National Collections
Colour from February to late Autumn
Garden Tea Room and Plant Centre
Groups welcome by Appointment
Dogs welcome on leads.

Gardens Open daily 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Plant Centre and Garden Tea Room
open 1st March - 31st October
Contact us for other opening times or details of events.
Adults £4.50. Children under 12 Free.
Season Tickets available. Telephone 01271 342528.
E mail: info@marwoodhillgarden.co.uk
Visit our website on www.marwoodhillgarden.co

Why not take a visit to the Gardens? By the 1st March when they open officially, there will be spring flowers and, of course, the Tea Room will be open for warming hot drinks, home-made soup and other tempting light lunches and teas.

In its sheltered valley, snowdrops and daffodils, camellias and 'Brigadoon', an early flowering rhododendron, are already in bloom. Take a look at this winter's two new arrivals - a pair of life-size bronze swans, the work of sculptor Jonathon Cox - which are enriching the lower lake.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Taken from the Women's Institute Complete Christmas Cookbook

If you're tired of eating meat, particularly turkey that may still be in your freezers, this vegetarian dish is a delicious alternative. We love it even though we're carnivores! It is a wonderful way of using winter vegetables and is, in our opinion, the tastiest vegetarian dish we have ever eaten. You can vary the vegetable to suit tastes and availability. Eat it on its own or served with any cooked meat.

Serves 6. Preparation time 30-40 minutes. Cooking time 30-40 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, peeled & diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 3 medium Leeks, trimmed and cut into thick slices
  • 3 medium Parsnips, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm [1"] cubes
  • 1 small Celeriac [or Celery] peeled and cut into 2.5 cm [1"] cubes
  • 275g [9.5oz] Chestnut Mushrooms, halved if large
  • 1/4 pint good Vegetable Stock [or a vegetable stock cube]
  • 300ml [1/2 pint] Dry White Wine
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Cornflour, dissolved in water
  • 150ml [1/4] pint Single Cream
  • 115g [4oz] Cream Cheese [I use garlic & herb cream cheese]
  • 80g [3oz] Caerphilly Cheese, cubed [Lancashire could be used instead]
  • 60g [2.5oz] Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
  • 60g [2.5oz] Fresh Wholemeal Breadcrumbs

[If you use a large dish, you may feel that you need more breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.]

1.       Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until soft but not coloured. Add the leeks, parsnips and celeriac and cook gently for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.

2.       Add the stock and dry white wine, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the vegetables have softened but still retain their shape.

3.       Meanwhile, preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190 Deg C or fan oven 170 Deg C. Stir the dissolved cornflour in to the vegetable mixture and continue stirring until thickened. Add the cream, cream cheese and Caerphilly cheese and stir until dissolved.

4.       Spoon into a large ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs that have been mixed together, then bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and top is golden brown.

Judith and Geoff Adam, Flowerdew Cottage


Brian Wright

Solution in Article 22.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


I know I run the risk of criticism as soon as I mention foxes. I understand that people either love them or loathe them. The rural fox has been blamed for the killing of lambs and chickens. I can understand this, for a fox raided my mother's chickens at Upminster where we lived at the time. It killed ten hens and three ducks and not only were there carcasses in our back garden, but some were strewn around next door.

Now, the fox has realised that it can have an easier life by moving into suburbia and living out of dustbin bags, food put out for birds or food put out by sympathisers. Good note for gardeners, they also eat slugs and snails.

Being a canine, the fox is very dog-like in its ways. It sits exactly like any other dog and its ways of moving into areas or even premises are fairly dog-like as I can reveal.

At Mortehoe, a friend of mine who lived on a farm was in the habit of leaving the back door open. One day, upon returning home, he found to his surprise, a fox curled up in his armchair. I don't know if it left any little friends behind as it was shooed outside!

Some time ago, whilst walking the dog, I spotted a fox some yards away. At one point it would run on ahead and then stop. Then it would repeat the actions until it disappeared down someone's sideway.

One winter in daylight, upon looking out into our back garden I saw a fox sitting there looking at me. Presently it was off, over the six foot fence quicker and easier than any cat! I could still see it in the neighbour's garden for a while before it disappeared completely.

Here, at our bungalow, we are visited by three foxes. We know there are three as one has one ear up and the other down; number two is smaller and probably a vixen; the last is larger and probably a dog.

Now this is where we are a bit naughty! In the evening we put food scraps in a bowl and put it immediately outside the French doors of our sitting room. Despite the curtains being wide open, the lights on and the TV going, our foxes visit us for a feed. We watch them from a distance of about eight feet.

They suddenly appear as if from nowhere and stand looking at us, first right and then left, then they get on with their food. They are very nervous and easily frightened by car noises, gusts of wind, fireworks, etc.

To study these creatures at such close range is, to us, quite fascinating and a sight many people would like to see.

Now comes the daft bit! One day I looked out to see two foxes on a shallow pitch roof of a neighbour's garden shed. They were moving about and letting out the most blood curdling howls. Not wishing any animal to suffer pain and not knowing if they were injured or had been hit by a car, I rang the RSPCA.

The man on the other end of the 'phone said, "Not to worry, they always make these noises at mating time. It frightens quite a lot of people." I did feel a chump!

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester

Illustration by Paul Swailes


Ted Hughes - 1930-1998

I imagine this midnight moment's forest
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper with darkness
Is entering the loneliness

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.



Although it seems an age ago, I should like to thank everyone who came to the Ball and helped to make it a superb evening, not only did everyone appear to have a good time, but the evening also raised £1,036 for the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and £597 for the Ilfracombe Dogs Trust. Well done!

I should also like to thank those of you who could not attend the Ball but very generously still sent donations or raffle prizes.

Advance Notice: a Diary Date for the next Ball: Saturday, 28th November 2009



Artwork: Peter Rothwell


We had another successful Christmas Card collection and delivery this year. The children from the Primary School helped to sort the cards and distribute to those addresses within the immediate vicinity of the Hall. We especially enjoyed their singing for us in the Manor Hall on the Saturday morning, and many enjoyed the mulled wine and coffee. Many thanks to all who supported the event and those who kindly helped.

We raised £373 and of this £187 was raised for us by the greetings via Judie and the Berrynarbor Newsletter.

For the coming year, we hope to purchase some new padded seats! We also hope to resolve the problem of the leaking roof!

Happy New Year to all our Hall users and thank you for your support.

Bob Hobson - Chairman - Management Committee




2.00 p.m.
Cake Stall Raffle Tea & Coffee
Proceeds in aid of Local Charities

Please take items to the Manor Hall on the Saturday morning from 10.00 to 11.00 a.m.

If you have any problems, ring Lynn on 883246




The Christmas meeting on the 12th December was extremely well attended and proved to be a resounding success, under the able leadership and presentation given by our own Tony Summers. The food was plentiful and tasty and the evening more like a party than our normal meetings! Each table of six or twelve members having previously arranged what delicacies they would bring, meant that everyone participated instead of, as in the past, relying upon a lot of work by just a few members. Tony's selection of wines, champagne and port went down a treat and the evening closed with everyone wishing each other a happy and joyful Christmas.

Wineman's Bluff again proved popular and helped to cheer up what has been an extremely wet and miserable January. Chairman Alex gave a vote of thanks, in particular to Tony, but also to the remaining two members of the Panel; Tony added his thanks to Brett Stevens of the Fabulous Wine Company who had so ably assisted by providing all the wines and also some of the scripts for each of the three panellists to follow.

The February Meeting, on the 20th, will be a presentation by Andy Cloutman of Quay West Wines, and on Wednesday, the 19th March, Alex Parke will give a presentation. A warm welcome will be given to any new members who should contact the Secretary or Treasurer at least 24 hours before their first attendance. Meetings are held in the Manor Hall, commencing at 8.00 p.m.

Further information can be obtained from: Alex Parke [Chairman] on 883758, Tony Summers [Secretary] on 883600, Jill McCrae [Treasurer] on 882121 or Tom Bartlett [Publicity] on 883408.

Tom Bartlett



from Chu Chin Chow

I sit and cobble at slippers and shoon
From rise of sun till set of moon.
Stitch and cobble as best I may
Cobble all night and cobble all day
And I sing as I cobble this soulful lay.
The stouter I cobble the less I earn
For the soles ne'er crack nor the uppers turn.
The better my work the less my pay
But work can only be done one way.
And as I cobble with needle and thread
I judge the world by the way they tread.
Heels worn thick and soles worn thin
Toes turned out and toes turned in
There's food for thought in the sandal's skin.
For prince and commoner, poor and rich,
Stand in need of the cobbler's stitch.
Why then worry what lies before?
Hangs this life by a thread no more.
I sit and cobble at slippers and shoon,
From rise of sun till set of moon.
Stitch and cobble as best I may
Cobble all night and cobble all day
And I sing as I cobble this soulful lay.

Footnote 1:

Oscar Asche's musical fantasy, based on the Arabian Nights tale of Ali Baba, was first staged I believe during World War I, and an immediate success, being especially popular with troops on leave, to whom, no doubt, it was a welcome escape from the horrors of the trenches.

Some of you may remember the TV version which the BBC produced [in mono-colour] soon after World War II, with Jetsam [Malcolm McEachern] as the Cobbler.

Footnote 2:

Cobblers have enjoyed a reputation [well deserved in my view] as philosophers. Some years ago, when I bought a holiday cottage in North Wales, I was told of a cobbler who plied his trade in a wooden hut at the bottom of the garden. The village children used to come and watch him at work while he enlightened their minds from his store of wisdom. Later on I took my shoes to a cobbler in Corwen and had many interesting discussions with him. He was a philosopher without a doubt.

'Mr. Oscar Asche
En Chu Chin Chow'




The Phoenix rises! Be warned that on Friday and Saturday, the 28th and 29th March, the NEW all singing, all dancing Berrynarbor Broadcasting Company will be back in action!

The cast, some old, some new, with polypeptides and anti-aging properties, will be putting on a shrink-proof, ultra-concentrated Show, guaranteed to keep your colours bright.

A soap to end all soap operas. We even have a fat lady and she promises to sing! Should you wish to take part, or lend a hand back stage, please contact Fenella Boxall on 882575.

Look out for posters around the village. Tickets will be on sale shortly in the shop. And the good news is that the Manor Hall Committee is promising to buy some comfy chairs ... so, instead of bringing your cushion, book early to bag the soft seats.

Proceeds will be in aid of the Manor Hall and other local charities.



GOLF to the FORE!

My thanks to Clive Bartram for allowing me to use his photograph. Ed.

Warmest congratulations to our 'hole-in-one' golfer, Sue Wright, on her most recent golfing triumph, with her partner Moira Styles. Well done!

Sue will now put you in the picture:

Moira and I have been playing as a 'pair' for the last five years in many both home and away matches. Last year we were asked to represent Ilfracombe in the Doris Willis - Little County Knock Out Foursomes. Although we reached the semi-finals, we were knocked out by Holsworthy in the most atrocious conditions at Torquay Golf Club.

Two days later we went off - a very relaxed pair - to play in the regional finals of the Douglas Bader Moroccan Salver. The sun was shining, it was a day out and we went with the attitude 'we've got nothing lose' after the thrashing we received from Holsworthy! Devon, Cornwall, Avon, Somerset and Dorset were represented at Okehampton and we won, with 39 points!

The Douglas Bader Foundation looked after the twelve pairs from all over the UK and we set off on a Monday morning from Devon at 8.00 a.m. to Heathrow finally arriving at the hotel in Agadir the following morning at 1.00 a.m. The next day, after meeting fellow competitors, we had the day to ourselves. Moira and I went shopping, explored Agadir and relaxed by the pool, whilst the serious golfers went to practise and walk the course!

Wednesday, and the practice round took place first in drizzle, then heavy rain and later in a thunderstorm - we got soaked.

Competition day, the weather was better, breezy but sunny. We were allocated local caddies, who were excellent and we had an excellent round. On being told we had won and to go and prepare our speech [!], we were driven back to our hotel where we were, in our golf kit, thrown into the swimming pool - a tradition apparently.

The following day we left the hotel at 8.00 a.m., returning to Berrynarbor at midnight, shattered but elated!

New sponsors in 2008 and we go to Spain Desert Springs Golf Club to defend our title - all expenses paid!






Taught by a well qualified and experienced tutor

Wednesdays, 9.00 to 10.00 a.m. at
Berrynarbor Manor Hall

All ages and abilities welcome. Learn how to use your body correctly,
especially useful for those with back, knee or hip problems.
£3.50 per week - 10 week term, payable in advance.
Bring a drink and wear loose fitting clothing.

For more details, please ring Valerie on [01598] 763250



The Start: Just before Barnstaple Fair Week, an old friend, Mitch Warburton, asked if I would be interested in making some cider. As a few village worthies, myself included, had been thinking about this for a couple of years, "Yes", was my reply.

The next week, the Warburton Apple Processing Plant, Mk 2, was dropped off at Wild Violets. The press, which is portable, was sited behind the weeping ash tree and after a few site adjustments, was ready for use!

The Process: The apples, delivered in trugs, wheelbarrows, trailers, plastic bags, sacks, etc., are first cut into quarters. Then they are shredded, by an old garden shredder, into a mash. This is then put in between layers of straw which are laid in the barrel of the press ready for pressing when sufficient mash has been made. When pressing takes place, the juice is collected in a bucket before being strained into a barrel. The process is then repeated.




The Workforce: In part, the idea of 'the press' is to bring people together. T'was truly international! There were Combemartians, Barnstaple folk and, of course, a fair smattering of Berry people. The children were getting the apples from wherever and taking them to the ladies who were sitting around tables slicing them before they went through the shredder, to the press and then to the barrel.

The apples that were brought were loaded into a builder's trug [1 trug = 2 gallons], that way we were able to measure how much everyone had brought.

Finally, it was the turn of the 'tasters' [the men took that in turns!].

The Result: After two days' work we had made 140 gallons of cider, not bad, eh? Each day finished with a BBQ and, surprise, surprise, music supplied by our local musicians. The press was then taken to Barnstaple to do its job again.

The Future: Having surfed the net for information on the keeping of cider we've found diverse accounts. Some say it can be drunk after 3 months, others say leave it a year. One says it should be drunk only after the cuckoo sings, and given the number of cuckoos I've heard over the last few years, it could be some time! So, I think its going to be up to the individual's willpower.

This year's press has now been racked, so those of you who have yet to collect your spoils, it's ready and waiting. We hope to make this an annual event, so if you have some apples or pears, even better I think, and the inclination, bring them next year.

Songbird, on behalf of the Berry Suiciders


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Peter and Zoe Bowden are pleased to announce the safe arrival of their second grandson, Rory Hayes, born on the 9th September at St. Johns Hospital, Livingston, Scotland and weighing an eye-watering 11lb 9oz. A little brother for Jamie and second son for Vicky and Martin and a second nephew for Becky and Daniel.

June and Len Coleman are delighted to welcome the arrival of June's first grandchild. Weighing in at 7lbs 7oz, Max Lucas was born to Katharine and Chris in Romford on Christmas Day, 3 weeks early!

Colin and Doreen Harding are delighted to announce the arrival of their seventh grandchild, a fourth grand-daughter, a little girl for their son Guy and his wife Caroline. Romily Victoria was born on the 19th January, weighing 5lbs 4oz.

A warm welcome to the three little ones and congratulations to all the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles!




Before we look back at last year, let's just have a look at the last two months in more detail.

November was only slightly wetter than October and with a total of only 76mm [3"] it was the second driest November we have recorded, in 2004 we had only 59mm [2 5/16"]. It was a fairly mild month generally with the maximum temperature of 16.2 Deg C, which was about average for the last few years. We did have one sharp frost on the night of the 23rd/24th, when the thermometer dropped down to -1.3 Deg C. Winds were generally fairly light but picked up on the 30th with a maximum gust of 29 knots as the pressure started to drop.

December started off very unsettled. On Saturday the 8th, we had 18mm [3/4"] of rain in about three hours, added to the previous night's rain this deluge caused quite a bit of localised flooding on the roads. On Sunday the 9th, the forecast was for winds up to violent storm 11 but we were sheltered here and recorded a maximum gust of only 32 knots but in areas exposed to the wind, it was very severe. By Monday the 10th we had recorded 112mm [4 1/2"] which was more than any whole month since August. After that the pressure rose and the weather settled right down and the week was a complete contrast to the previous one. There were some sharp frosts overnight with temperatures dropping to -3 Deg C on the 20th. The last few days of the month the temperature rose again and we had some stronger winds and more rain with the 24th/25th being the wettest 24 hours with 28mm [1 1/8"]. The total rain for the month was 167mm [6 5/8"] which was probably about mid range for the Decembers that we have recorded previously. The maximum temperature of 13.9 Deg C was slightly higher than average, while the minimum of -3 Deg C was a bit below average. We also recorded a wind chill of -9 Deg C which was not unusual.

18.72 hours of sunshine were recorded in November which was less than the last two years, Decembers 7.60 hours was about normal. These figures are very local to the Sterridge Valley due to the low angle of the sun which means that it hardly rises above the hills at this time of year.

2007 was a year of extremes as far as rainfall went: January and February were about average, March was dry and April was the driest month we have ever recorded. This was followed by May and June which were up with the wettest and July which broke our July rainfall record of 59mm [2 5/16"]. August was average but September, October and November were again very dry, finishing with average rain in December. As a result of all this, 2007 was still overall a comparatively dry year with a total rainfall of 1308mm [51 1/2"]. It was also a disappointing year as far as temperature went; the maximum recorded throughout the year was 26.7 Deg C in June, which was the only month to climb above 25 Deg C. The minimum temperatures were not out of the ordinary. There were only two days in the year when there was some snowfall and they were in February. Looking at the barograph readings, we recorded a high of 1037mbs in February and November and a low of 982kbs also in February.

We should like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Simon and Sue


Ilfracombe Rotary Club's 'Startrek 2008'

The 17th annual 'Startrek' Challenge will take place on the night of 1st March, over a figure of eight course on Exmoor. Teams of four to six people (minimum age 16) are invited to enter and help raise sponsorship for the North Devon Hospice, Children's Hospice South West and other local charities and organizations. Over £400,000 has been raised so far. Please give one night of your time and add to the growing numbers who enjoy this challenge - if you can't do the walk, then please sponsor some one who is. Full details and application forms can be found at www.rotary-startrek.org .uk or ring Stan Westlake on 01271 863662.

Richard Sussex - Ilfracombe Rotary Club



Hi, my name is Debbie. I live in Berrynarbor and if you own a dog which has been to training classes in Chivenor, you may well have met me at the Canine Etiquette's dog centre. I have been a helper/trainer at the North Devon dog training behaviour and education centre for several years, since attending classes with my own dogs. Canine Etiquette offer puppy socialisation classes, beginners classes for adult dogs, advanced courses and behavioural work. They also provide free educational talks on responsible pet ownership to local schools, clubs, various events and run regular puppy parties at local vets giving up much of their valuable time.

I was so impressed with the work at the centre that I offered my help. Directors and highly qualified Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Tracey Berridge and Sally Ansell, took me under their wing and with their combined experience taught me lots about our four legged friends.

Last year I went on to qualify as an assessor for the 'Pets as Therapy' charity and I am currently studying a C.O.A.P.E. (Centre of Applied Pet Ethology) companion animal course and learning lots more.

To help fund my fuel costs as a volunteer at Canine Etiquette, and buy books for my courses, I created a company called Barking Happy, selling essential pet products at reasonable prices. Barking Happy proved very popular and has now expanded into a pet product home delivery service offering all types of pet commodities, cat, fish, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, chicken and wild bird, not just dog. We supply food, treats, grooming equipment, training gear, activity toys, leads, food bowls, cleaning sprays, cat litter, fish flakes, tick removers, natural remedies and lots more. We deliver free of charge to Berrynarbor, Combe Martin, Ilfracombe, Woolacombe, West Down and surrounding villages. Orders can be placed by 'phone or e-mail and must be received by midnight Monday for delivery that week. Orders will be confirmed and a suitable delivery time arranged. If you need something urgently please call, we may have it in stock and will do our best to get it to you as soon as possible.

Here at Barking Happy, we try our best to be competitively priced, and offer a prompt efficient service to keep pets and owners happy! If you have a pet we hope you will give us a try. Tel: [01271] 883773



Berrynarbor VC Primary School


We are pleased to welcome Anna, Zoe, Indiana, Freya and Bradley to our Reception intake for January. We should also like to welcome James to our Year 5 group. We hope they will all be happy and fulfilled during their education at our school.

Katy, our temporary Kitchen Manager, has finished her temporary position with us and we thank her for our lovely school dinners - Sarah has returned from maternity leave and we look forward to more lovely school dinners! George has now relinquished his post as temporary Caretaker and we are grateful for all his hard work, we will miss him. We say 'Hello' to William, our new Caretaker, and hope he will be happy with us.

Senior Dudes Christmas Meal - once again, this was a great success. 35 senior dudes came along for the Christmas evening. The children prepared and served the wonderful turkey dinner, with all the trimmings, and sang carols to our guests. Some memorable photos of the event are here for you to see.

Spring Term 2008 - The children all returned from their Christmas break full of excitement and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, we have been hit by the much-publicised flu virus which seems to have dragged on a bit and our numbers have been somewhat depleted. We are looking forward to some improved weather to get us all back on track again. We have received many enquiries from parents and residents within the village to

Come and help at school on a voluntary basis. All our volunteers are CRB cleared to enable them to be involved in working with children.

Years 2, 3 and 4 are embarking on their 10 sessions of swimming instruction this term and Reception and Year 1 will have their tuition during the Summer Term. Swimming is part of the curriculum and it is vital our children know how to swim living in a seaside locality.

The Fire Service will be coming in to give a safety talk to our Years 2 and 5/6. We've had lots of wet weather playtimes and the children are hoping for snow ... not something I'm sure you are wishing for!

Love from us all at Berrynarbor School.

Sue Carey - Headteacher



The Good News & The Bad News!

The Good: Thank you to everyone who helped us raise just over £300 at the children's Christmas Nativity Coffee Morning. It was a huge success and enjoyed by all. It was a delight to see all the young children performing and a big thank you must go to Emma and her staff for all their hard work.

The Bad: Unfortunately, during the Christmas holidays we have had two of our ride-on toys stolen from the shed. We have informed the police and the North Devon Journal but if anybody has any further information or can help us in either locating the people responsible or assist us in replacing the stolen items, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jenny Beer [nee Bailey] - Chairperson



[October 5th 1902 - January 14th 1984]

Builder of the McDonald's Hamburger Chain

Just before last Christmas, Alex and I "sloped off" to Prague for 3 days. The excuses? To have a rest before the onslaught of festivities, to see the Castle and Christmas Markets - and [what the hell!] for me to fulfil a long held dream.

Prague had all the answers! It also had a few surprises such as Tesco and MacDonald's.

I knew a bit about the starting of Tesco, but nothing of "Big Mac", other than the outlet on Barnstaple's "Tesco" road, so on our return, I checked "Google". McDonald's Corporation all started with a Mr. Kroc in the mid-1950's.

Ray Albert Kroc was a former piano player, who after ambulance driving and a few other jobs, became a salesman for the Lily Tulip Cup Company [selling paper mugs] for 17 years, ending up as Sales Manager for United States Middle West. But then, approaching 40 years of age, he felt it was time he was on his own. He mortgaged his home and invested his life savings to become the exclusive distributor of a machine that could prepare 5 milk shakes at a time: the Multimixer.

By 1954, now aged 52, Mr. Kroc heard about Richard and Maurice McDonald who in their fast-food emporium in San Bernardino, California, were using eight of his machines. As a milk shake expert, he later said in a memoir published in the New York Times, "I had to see what kind of an operation was making 40 at one time".

He had never seen so many people served so quickly! He seized the opportunity to suggest to the brothers a franchising scheme based on their restaurant, thinking initially that he could then sell eight machines to each one. However, he was an entrepreneur. He struck a deal, became their first franchisee and opened his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Chicago within the year. This is no longer a restaurant, but their Museum, containing memorabilia and artefacts - including the Multimixer.

The motto became: Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value. Within 5 years there were 228 restaurants, and just two years later, Ray Kroc bought all rights to McDonald's from the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million. So what was the reason for his success?

Ray Kroc was born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, the son of an unsuccessful real estate man whose family were from Bohemia in what is now the Czech Republic. He pioneered automating and standardising

operations in what was a fiercely competitive multi-billion dollar fast food business. He concentrated on opening outlets in suburbs, where family outings to the local McDonald's became almost like tribal rituals. He chose his franchised owners to manage the new outlets with great care, looking for, as he said later, "Somebody who's good with people, we'd rather get a salesman than an accountant or even a chef." What he wanted were people like himself - driven by a never-ending urge to build and to excel.

"We want someone who will get totally involved in the business", he said, "If his ambition is to reach the point where he can play golf four times a week or play gin rummy for a cent a point, instead of a tenth, we don't want him in a McDonald's restaurant"

Ray Kroc in 1978

He trained his franchisees at his "Hamburger University", where a training led to a bachelor of Hamburgerology with a minor in French Fries! Instruction covered grill cleaning, flipping hamburgers and how to tell if a hamburger was done, "It starts browning around the edges." He stressed quality, but then to keep operating costs down, he made innovative use of part-time teenage help. He also advertised a lot.

Mr. Kroc was an impressive man in appearance. His thin hair was sleeked down, his made-to-measure blazers impeccable, and his eyes were constantly on the alert for any dirt in his restaurants!

His 3,000th restaurant was opened in London in1974, and in1990 a Russian McDonald's was hailed as "an emblem for the new friendships between our people".

In 1955, Ray Kroc had made himself President of the Mcdonald's Corporation, by 1968 he became Chairman, and in 1977, now aged 74, he was Senior Chairman.

Mr. Kroc had a stroke later that year and soon after, entered an alcoholics treatment centre in Orange, California because, he said, "I am required to take medicine which is incompatible with the use of alcohol." He died aged 81 in 1984.

Now, whilst waiting for your 'Big Mac', you know it really shouldn't be called that, but would it sell as well if it was called a "Big Kroc"? Still, he was one 'helluva' guy.

PP of DC


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

Now that we are into 2008, will it be a good year or a bad year? Are you an optimist or a pessimist? George Bernard Shaw said we need both optimists and pessimists in society. An optimist invents an aeroplane. A pessimist invents a parachute.

There is a lovely story about two brothers who wanted horse riding lessons for Christmas. When they rushed down to the Christmas tree on Christmas Day morning, they did not find the usual presents all wrapped up neatly beside the tree. Instead they found two buckets of manure and a fork.

"Oh no!" said the first brother, "Where are all the presents and the money to go horse riding? No one ever listens, and no one cares! How rotten! This is the worst Christmas I can ever remember. All we have is a bucket of manure to put on the garden."

"Don't be so silly." said the other. "Can't you see? If there is a bucket of manure, then there must be a horse somewhere. We've got a horse each for Christmas! Come on, it must be outside waiting for us."

When we are in the middle of events, it's sometimes hard to see the wood for the trees. For many of us, it's only afterwards that we discover the silver lining in the storm clouds. But so often when we look back, it seems as if there was a pattern, or plan, in what happened, and sometimes we reluctantly (or happily) see that things have worked out for the best.

So often we feel pessimistic, but when we realise that we are in God's hands, then we have grounds for optimism.

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer

Illustration by: Paul Swailes


Artwork: Helen Weedon


Mid morning in late February. The wind swiftly moved patches of blue across the sky; a cold wind, but one worth tolerating, the bright day a refreshing change to recent mild but wet and cloudy weather. Heavy rainfall is reflected by the quaggy earth around the style beside St Brannock's Road. A little stream flows beneath the style, its water originating out of the moss opposite. The moss blankets a high rock face, providing shelter for both red campion and herb robert to grow.

The brighter day has encouraged birdsong to be heard once again on the Cairn. Blue tits and great tits whistle their merry little tunes within buddleia which lines St. Brannocks Road, whilst in the trees of Bailey's Wood two robins are having conversation with each other. The birdsong competes with the noise of the traffic so, with my folding seat over my shoulder, I headed up through Bailey's Wood to seek a place to sit and listen to the birdsong. As I set off, the sun peered through one of the breaks in the cloud. It's good to see the sun once again creeping over the hills, sending its rays into the Score Valley. What a lovely time of year this is, knowing that each day the sun will rise a little higher in the sky and hopefully bring with it a little more warmth. I stood to let the sun's glow hit my cold cheeks. For a moment I was tempted to take off my gloves and woolly hat, but no sooner the sun was behind a cloud again, the wind blowing to send the temperature plummeting. At least the weather was dry and bright and the birds felt the same.

As I headed up through the woods, the cooing of a pigeon added to the whistling tunes of the robins, blue tits and great tits whilst further up rooks squawked loudly. But it was a sight at ground level which brought a smile to my face; coltsfoot and the first lesser celandine were in flower on the Cairn. Their arrival showed that spring really must be around the corner, bringing with it other spectral delights. Climbing some steps, I admired the coral-spot fungus growing on branches put in place for path protection. Their orange colour enhanced by another burst of sunlight, reflecting on the shiny leaves of harts tongue fern which dominates the ground.

I gradually left the sound of the traffic behind and heard instead the melodic tune of a song thrush. It was coming from the summit of Bailey's Cleave, out of sight but still managing to throw its voice for all to be heard. As I neared the top of Bailey's Wood the trees gave way to blackthorn. Dense in places, a small opening allowed me to open up my chair which, having cleared it of ivy and debris, enabled me to get it in a comfortable and level position. A branch running along my right hand side made the perfect armrest, which in turn curved downwards and then in front of me, to make an ideal foot rest too.

Having made myself comfortable, I prepared to enjoy the surrounding birdsong. It was only then that I realised the wood had gone silent, but for the "teacher-teacher" call of a great tit down in the buddleia bushes. Its call became faster and harder to hear as the wind increased and caused the blackthorn's branches to clatter. I peered through the branches above and noticed the sky fast turning black. As the wood darkened, the great tit's call became desperate as though about to take its last breath. Then it stopped. For a moment, all in the wood went quiet.

The silence was broken by a drop of rain hitting one of the nearby branches. One by one, the drops increased until the wood became a deafening deluge of rain. The surrounding branches offered little protection and I wondered whether I was better off staying put or getting on the move. Yet before I had the chance to make a decision, the rain came to an abrupt halt. As it did so, the great tit began its call once more, soon followed by the blue tits, the robins, the pigeon and finally the song thrush. Through the branches I watched the black cloud move off to the south, the sound of a seagull following on behind the shower.

To my right, I sensed movement. At first I took it to be the wind disturbing the decayed leaves, but the sound was more distinct. Suddenly a blackbird came into view, just a few feet away from me, overturning the rotted debris in search of food. I was keen to observe its activities but another sound to my left distracted me. Clearly, something was hopping from branch to branch. Minutes passed by and the sound gradually got louder. All at once, the branches close by began moving. I wondered if, like the blackbird, this creature would become aware of my presence. Then, for a fleeting moment, the source of the noise appeared just a few branches away. It caught sight of me and immediately fluttered off through the blackthorn. However, the size of the bird and its unique little upturned wing, were all I needed to see to recognise the bird species.

I then became aware of other steps. Heavier this time, I guessed they were unlikely to be that of a bird. I was right. Rather than the feathered variety, this was a species of the four-legged variety. Having caught my scent, a collie dog had made its way through the little opening and, with little space for both of us, had its wet nose virtually touching mine. Panting heavily and excited with his find, I could tell he desperately wanted to bark in order to inform his owner. I instinctively put one finger to my closed lips (as if the dog was going to understand). It clearly took my action as a sign for some sort of game. With that, both of his front muddy paws came up on to my chest and pushed me off my seat. By now its owner was calling its name, and all I had wanted was to find place of solace to listen to birdsong! Time was against me. The owner's call was getting louder. In a desperate attempt to divert the dog's attention, I pointed to the opening, gave my face a surprised expression and whispered "Look!" It was something I did with my own dogs to send them away, although the command also led them to bark extremely loudly. Thankfully, this dog turned his head and decided to go and look for what I had said. And didn't bark!

I considered staying put but then realised that when the owner walked past, the dog would merely come in through the opening again. Thoughts of what the owner might think having found a strange man sprawled out among bushes on a cold February day, made me hastily decide to get out from under the blackthorn. Having managed to pull myself to my feet before both dog and owner appeared from the summit of Bailey's Cleave, I began walking through the woodland as though nothing had happened - although I did place one arm across my chest to cover up the two muddy paw prints. As we passed on the path, we bid "Good day" to each other. It appeared that the owner was none the wiser.

"What are you doing in there?" I heard the owner ask. I turned to find him trying to get his dog out from where I had been sat. "It's okay," he said to me, "He loves foraging about in the undergrowth." I smiled and went to walk on. "By the way, does this belong to you?" I turned to see his collie stood beside him - his tail wagging frantically - having become the proud finder of a collapsible chair!

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Stephen McCarthy


Watermouth Cove Footpaths update

The County Council is holding a public consultation on an application by Berrynarbor Parish Council to record paths at Watermouth Cove as public rights of way. Notices have been put in the North Devon Journal, posted on site and on local notice boards, with details sent to user and landowner groups, the landowners and made available for the public to see at the Civic Centre in Barnstaple, at Bideford Station and at County Hall in Exeter. The consultation provides an opportunity for any evidence to be submitted in support of or against the application. That will be considered,

along with evidence submitted with the application and from other research, for a report to the County Council's Public Rights of Way Committee later in the year, leading to a decision on whether or not an Order should be made to record the routes as public rights of way. The consultation is open until the 14th March 2008. For further information, contact the County Council on (01271/01392) 382856.

Sue Sussex - Chairman, Berrynarbor Parish Council



News from our Community Shop

Good News! Our new shop is progressing at an excellent rate. The roof is now complete and work is underway on the inside. We don't yet have an opening date but hope that it will be in April.

The other news is that before Christmas, Jackie decided that she would like to job-share preferably being in charge of the Post Office with someone else managing the shop. Following interviews, Anita Abbott was appointed and she and Jackie are working together at the moment as Anita needs to know how to run the Post Office when Jackie isn't there. Then, after a previously booked holiday, she will manage the shop and Jackie will have her wish to run the Post Office. Each will work half time and will cover for each other for holidays, sickness etc. We wish both of them every success in their new roles and thank Jackie for all she has achieved in the shop.

The generosity of the village is amazing! Since the last newsletter, over £2000 shares have been bought. Added to that was £412 from the delightful Christmas Market organised by Brian Hillier. Congratulations, Brian - we all enjoyed it! These combined figures make the target we set for funding from the village almost there.

I mustn't forget to urge everyone to use the shop as much as possible. Winter months are not easy, and some items are cheaper at our shop than in Ilfracombe. So maybe a walk there instead of a drive in to town may do both purse and body a good turn.

A Happy 2008 everyone!

PP of DC



Little to report at present, but once again we hope you enjoyed the Christmas Tree in the village, kindly provided by John and Fenella and decorated and lit by Berry in Bloom.

It won't be long now before we need to plan for planting and baskets for the spring and summer. There will be an open meeting, probably towards the end of February, so please look out for the posters and we hope you will be able to join us for 2008.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


As February is probably one of the coldest months of the year, comfort food is called for. This dark, sticky gingerbread can be served hot from the oven as a pudding or cooled and eaten as a cake.

For the Base : 2oz [50g] Butter or Margarine at room temperature
  • 3oz [75g] Demerara Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
  • 2 Bramley Apples [12oz or 350g after peeling & coring]
For the Gingerbread:
  • 1lb [450g] Plain Flour 6oz [175g] Black Treacle
  • 8oz [225g] Soft Dark Brown Sugar 6oz [175g] Golden Syrup
  • 6oz [175g] Butter or Margarine [Note: instead of syrup and treacle, substitute 12oz [350g] dark syrup]
  • 3 slightly rounded teaspoons of Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder 8 fluid oz [225ml] Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda 1 Free Range Egg beaten

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3 [325 Deg F or 170 Deg C ]. You will need a tin or dish measuring 8" x 12" and at least 2" deep, lined with baking parchment.

First prepare the base of the tin or dish by creaming together the butter and Demerara sugar with the lemon juice. Spread this mixture over the lined tin or dish. Next cut the peeled and cored apples into quarters, thinly slice and lay all over the base.

Now for the gingerbread. Sieve the flour, spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. In a saucepan warm the golden syrup, treacle, sugar and butter together until they are all melted but not too hot. In another pan warm the milk and beat the egg in to it.

Now pour all the liquids in to the flour mixture and beat together until all are well mixed. Pour over the apples in the tin/dish and bake for 1 hour. Leave in the tin/dish to cool for 30 minutes. Turn it out and carefully peel off the paper. Or just eat it hot with custard or chilled with pouring cream. Yum, yum!

Happy New Year - Wendy



Save the Date ... Bank Holiday Monday, 5th May

Please keep tending your excess plants for the sale. If you are planting seeds this spring, can you do a few extra for the sale please? We hope to have plants from all categories, including:

Trees & Shrubs, Herbaceous Perennials, Fruit & Vegetables
Indoor & Pot plants, Bedding and Annuals

There will also be some space for stalls connected with gardening and plants. If you would like to have a stall to promote and advertise your business or cause, please contact Kath Thorndycroft on [01271] 889019.

All proceeds to Berrynarbor Community Shop



"Listening to the swell born somewhere in the Atlantic
rising and falling, rising and falling
wave on wave on the long shore ... "

It was my sixty-first birthday so we had gone to Woolacombe for lunch; kleftican of lamb - shoulder cooked very slowly in red wine with coriander seeds and oregano, served on a bed of couscous with a Greek salad.

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

The chance of a walk afterwards did not seem likely as the weather forecast had not been good; a possibility of severe gales with winds gusting up to seventy miles an hour along the North Devon coast. [Later it was reported that Donegal had achieved winds of an incredible 107 mph.]

However, it is rare that we don't have a pair of binoculars and warm hats stashed away in the car 'just in case', so as the rain had not yet arrived we set off at a brisk pace along the sea front to Mortehoe. Baggy showed clearly and beyond it Harland Point but Lundy was only an indistinct blur on the horizon. The big waves thundered in, crashing over the grey rocks at Barricane Beach.

It was not until we turned back that the wind had strengthened and was roaring in our ears. We were sheltered by the high walls composed of thin slivers of silvery slate, arranged in a neat herring-bone pattern, which are such an attractive feature of Woolacombe. The broad slate gate posts splay outwards like buttresses.

The builders of the Edwardian villas adopted a variety of architectural styles and interesting features, many of which survive today. All along the esplanade the hebes were still in abundant flower although it was early January. A large unseasonal bumble bee was 'working' the purple blooms.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Recently, Woolacombe received some good publicity from an unusual source when two young characters in 'The Archers', who had just fallen in love, selected Woolacombe Bay for a romantic winter break. The resort was described in glowing terms.

A little way up the hill leading out of Woolacombe, the Church of St. Sabinus is well worth a visit. Sturdy red sandstone on the outside with its stocky tower; light and airy inside with a saddleback roof. Built in 1911, the church is dedicated to an Irish saint who was shipwrecked at Woolacombe.

Most years the bushes and shrubs of the Sterridge Valley play host to a rather special little bird and this winter was no exception; a firecrest making an appearance in the Valley several times in late November and December.

Europe's smallest bird [measuring three and a half inches] and related to the more common goldcrest, the official status of the firecrest in Devon is that of a scarce [mainly autumn] passage migrant and winter visitor. It is more often observed on the south coast and on Lundy than in North Devon.

Like its cousin the goldcrest, the female has a yellow crest and the male has an orange one bordered by a black stripe on each side. But the addition of a broad white supercilium and below black eye stripe, gives the tiny firecrest a vibrant and unmistakable appearance. Its shoulders glow with a golden bronze iridescence which the goldcrest lacks, and it is constantly active in search of insects and spiders.

A little egret has also been frequenting the valley this winter, dabbling its yellow feet in the stream beside Ruggaton Lane and landing several times in the River Sterridge.

Sue H



3rd [and fortnightly] Quiz Night at The Globe, 8.30 p.m. start
6th Ash Wednesday
Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
11th Craft Group KNIT IN, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m. Everyone welcome!
12th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m., Manor Hall
14th St. Valentine's Day: Special Meals at The Globe & Sawmill Inn
18th to Friday, 22nd: School & College, Half Term
20th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m. Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Andy Cloutman, Quay West Wines
23rd Jumble Sale, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m. [Items in morning, 10.30 a.m.]
25th School & College return after Half Term
27th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
2nd Mothering Sunday St. Peter's Church: Special Service
5th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
11th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m., Manor Hall
16th St. Peter's Church: Palm Sunday
17th Deadline for Newsletter Items for April issue
19th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Presentation by Alex Parke
21st GOOD FRIDAY School & College: Closed
23rd St. Peter's Church: EASTER SUNDAY
24th EASTER MONDAY School & College: Closed
26th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
28th BBC Show, Manor Hall
29th BBC Show, Manor Hall
30th British Summer Time begins
2nd Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
4th School & College: End of Spring Term [return 21st April]

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysCraft Group, 2.30 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesdays2nd & 4th in month: N.D.Spinners
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
Wednesdays9.00 - 10.00 a.m. Pilates Keep Fit Workout
ThursdaysWhist Drive, 7.30 p.m.
FridaysShort Mat Bowls, 7.00 p.m. *
SundaysShort Mat Bowls, 2.00 p.m. *

[* winter time only]

Mobile Library:
(Assistant - Jacqui Mackenzie)

11.20 - 12.05 p.m.Sandy Cove
1.15 - 1.35 p.m.The Square
1.45 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley


Artwork: Paul Swailes


A Happy New Year to you All.

To book for any of the above, our telephone numbers are:
Ye Olde Globe [01271] 882465
The Sawmill Inn [01271] 882259



COMBE MARTIN PETTY SESSIONS Monday Jan. 4th 1858. [Present - The Rev. S.T. Slade-Gully and J.C. Roe, Esq.]

ASSAULTS - Ann Williams, of Berrynarbor, was charged by Maria Huxtable, of the same place, with assaulting her on the 23rd ult. Some disagreement arising between the two parties in this case, about their boys, who had been playing outside their dwellings, when the defendant gave the complainant a slap in the face and several other blows, and then threw a pitcher of water over her by way of finish. Fined 5s, with 11s.6d. costs.

TRESPASS - William Adams was charged by A.D. Bassett, Esq., with trespassing on his coach road, at Berrynarbor, it being private property, on the 1st instant. Robert Lovering saw defendant on the road with a horse and cart, and told him not to go on, but he persisted in passing over it. Sentenced to pay 6d damages and 8s costs.

Marriages 7th inst., [January 1858] at Berrynarbor, by the Rev. S.T. Slade-Gully, Charles Henry, son of William Williams, Esq., Tregullow, Cornwall to Harriet Mary, eldest daughter of Arthur Davie Bassett, Esq., Watermouth, Devon.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage




"It can't be that time again!" you can be heard to be exclaiming, but the organising group are already thinking ahead to this year's event - contacting judges and gleaning ideas for classes - which will take place on


Details of subjects in the Art and Photography classes should be available in the April Newsletter, giving you all time to start painting, drawing, etc., and getting just the right photograph.

Also in April, on Saturday 12th, to raise money to help with the costs involved in running the Show, there will be another Gardeners' and Crafters' Lunch at the Manor Hall. Come along for a coffee and stay on for a lunch of home-made soup and a roll and filled jacket potatoes.

Please make a note of this date in your diary and keep it free. Look out for posters nearer the time.



Sadly, for the first time in many years, there will be no Pancake Coffee Morning on Shrove Tuesday. Thank you Sally and all your many helpers for keeping us supplied with delicious pancakes over the years - we'll be having withdrawal symptoms! - as well as raising funds for the Sunday School and Church.

So, what about the Knit In this year? Over the last four years, the pancake morning has been host to our North Devon Hospice's sponsored Knit In. During that time, the knitters have raised an astonishing £2,335 for the Hospice!

From these knitting and nattering gatherings, the Monday Craft group was formed. Meeting on Monday afternoons at the Manor Hall, from 2.00 o'clock, the group spends time 'doing their own thing'. Some embroider, some make cards, others do beadwork, knit, and quite a few have learnt to make lace as well as a lovely patchwork quilt that had been on the go for some time, being completed. If anyone is interested in giving yourself time to relax and indulge in a pastime, just bring whatever you are working on.

On Monday, 11th February, the group will be putting aside their own projects and knitting strips for the Hospice [size 4 or 8 needles,

20 stitches and double knitting wool]. Rather than seeking sponsorship from the same ever-generous friends, it has been agreed that each knitter will give a donation of £5 to the Hospice.

If you would like to join in - and EVERYONE is welcome - come along to the Manor Hall at 2.00 o' clock with your wool and needles [there will be some spare if you haven't got any]. To assist with the knitting and nattering, tea, coffee and biscuits will be available.

The more the merrier, so hope YOU will be there!


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


St. Peter's Church, Berrynarbor

The postcard I have chosen this month is a sketch of St. Peter's Church by the artist Harley Miller. Harley Miller had his pen and ink sketches reproduced as postcards by Harvey Barton, the postcard publishers of Bristol. I believe he came to the village around 19971-3, and as a result, this card, and one of Ye Olde Globe and looking down Pitt Hill, were published. Through the internet and Google, I have managed to contact Harley Miller, who now lives up in the Scottish Highlands. He was born in Surrey in 1934 and moved, around 1961, down to Sidmouth, Devon, where he worked as an architect and artist. As the latter, he had commissions with the South West National Trust and produced many pictures for them. In 1971, in partnership with the Maritime Trust, Harley published a Maritime Calendar featuring twelve fine line drawings of their collection of historic ships and boats and through this work was introduced to the Bristol publishers Harvey Barton, who were so impressed with his work that they retained him for a period of approximately three years, 1971-1974, to give them the first opportunity to print any of his pictures as postcards. In 1974, Harley moved away from Sidmouth to Horning in Norfolk and three years later moved to the Scottish Highlands.

He told me how he would visit certain villages and towns and as well as producing a rough sketch, would also take a photograph, with an old black and white camera, and the produce the true sketch in his studio.

I, myself, have eight of his postcards, six printed by Harvey Barton of Bristol and two of The Bowd Inn, near Sidmouth, by Sydney Lee [Exeter] Limited. The other four cards in my collection show Exford [Crown Hotel, etc.], the Chichester Arms, Bishops Tawton, St. John the Baptist Church, Bishops Tawton and lastly the card below showing an old boat with 'YH89' on its bow.

From this particular card I worked out the 'YH' as being Yarmouth and fortunately someone has written on the message side: "Lydia Eva, Steam Herring Drifter, built Kings Lyn 1930, now at Great Yarmouth". Harley informed me that this postcard was reproduced from the 1972 Maritime Calendar. Anyone who has the opportunity to go on the internet can go on to Harley Miller's website www.harleymiller.com.

You will immediately realise what an accomplished artist he is and how from his base in Moray, he is encouraging fellow artists to fulfil their dreams through his personal mentoring and articles. He will also, on the 27th January, present a talk entitled 'A Proper Living from Your Art' at the Moray Arts Centre, Findhorn Bay.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 2008
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com



Hartley Coleridge [1796-1849]

Yes, punctual to the time, thou'rt here again,
As still thou art: though frost or rain may vary
And icicles blockade the rockbirds' aery,
Or sluggish snow lie heavy on the plain,
Yet thou, sweet child of hoary January,
Art here to harbinger the laggard train
Of vernal flowers, a duteous missionary,
Nor cold can blight, nor fog thy pureness stain.
Beneath the dripping eaves, or on the slope
Of cottage garden, whether mark'd or no,
Thy meek head bends in undistinguishe'd row.
Blessings upon thee, gentle bud of hope!
And Nature bless the spot where thou dost grow -
Young life emerging from thy kindred snow!

Illustration by: Paul Swailes