Edition 117 - December 2008
Artwork: Charlotte Cornish - Primary School
Whilst completing work to get the December Newsletter to you on time, the sky is blue and the sun is shining, but there is a cold wind and a definite wintry feel - a little different from the temperatures Ken and I were enjoying in Florida a week ago!
Will we have snow this year? I think that Charlotte Cornish, whose wintry scene appears on the cover probably hopes we do. Her delightful picture, which did not appear with the other pictures from the Primary School in the October issue, was drawn as part of the school's entries depicting the four seasons for inclusion in the Horticultural Show and Charlotte was placed Joint Second in Class 3. Thank you, Charlotte.
With only a few weeks to go now, the pre-Christmas panic is about to set in - cakes, puddings, presents and cards, etc. Why, if you are like me, do we always leave it to the last moment - some resourceful people will be out in the January Sales preparing for next year!
Thinking only a few weeks ahead, our next Newsletter will be February and items for that issue are welcome as soon as possible and by Thursday, 15th January at the latest please. My thanks to everyone who has contributed to this, our December and Christmas issue, but especial thanks to Paul, who in spite of recently losing his mother, has continued to enhance it with his illustrations. Our thoughts are with you and your family, Paul, at this sad time.
There are an even greater number of Christmas messages being sent via the Newsletter this year. It looks as if with your generous donations [and still some to come] both the Manor Hall and the Newsletter funds will get quite a boost and my thanks to Debbie for the engaging Christmas scenes.
There are lots of festive events planned for our enjoyment, so make a note of them in your diaries and on your calendars - have you got your new one for 2009 yet?
In the meantime, my best wishes and thanks to you all for your support of the Newsletter, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.
Judie - Ed
BERRYNARBOR LADIES' GROUP
October meeting took place on Tuesday, 7th, when Janet Gibbins opened the
meeting by giving birthday cards to
The practice of promoting healing or positive development in any way is known as hypnotherapy. It aims to re-programme patterns of behaviour within the mind, enabling irrational fears, phobias, negative thoughts and suppressed emotions to be overcome. The technique does not involve the patient being put into a deep sleep and the patient cannot be made to do anything they would not ordinarily do. They remain fully aware of their surroundings. The important thing is that the patient wants to change some behavioural habit or addiction and is highly motivated to do so. Hynotherapy is used to relieve pain in surgery and dentistry and has proved to be of benefit in obstetrics. It has been shown to help people to overcome addictions such as smoking, alcoholism, chronic asthma and stammering. Mr. Pugsley said each therapy session takes about one to one and a half hours. At the end of his talk he invited members to relax while he spoke to them in a soft and calm voice which induced in them a feeling of wellbeing.
As usual the meeting ended with a chat over tea and biscuits with the raffle being won by Phil Walden.
Jan and Bill Butcher came to the November meeting and after demonstrating encaustic art, encouraged everyone to have a go! Encaustic art is decorating by fusing wax colours to a surface. The word "encaustic" comes from the Greek enkaiein - to burn in. Each member was given a small iron, pieces of white card and wax in various colours. When the iron was hot the colours were added to the surface and then ironed onto the card. Everyone made a great effort, but the results were more abstract than pictorial! Nevertheless, we all agreed it was great fun. A birthday card was given to Joan McCallam and the raffle was won by Janet Steed.
The Christmas Lunch this year will be on the 8th December in the restaurant at Chambercombe Manor. We are very sorry that Lyn from The Lodge is suffering so much with her hip and hope she will soon have the operation to ease the pain. [A sentiment echoed by us all, Lyn. Ed.]
The Meeting on 2nd December will be the Christmas Party when sherry, fruit juice, mince pies and tea and coffee will be offered.
The programme for 2009 is now being compiled and the first meeting, on 6th January, will be the AGM which will be followed by a talk about the WRVS given by member, Margaret Crabbe. At the February meeting, on the 3rd, Bernard Hill, a Stockman, will be coming to speak to us. We look forward to welcoming all existing members and hopefully some new ones!
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
There were over 60 of us in church to celebrate the Harvest Festival on Sunday, 5th October. We were especially pleased to welcome children from the school with their families and the singing of 'Look at the World' by them and the church choir was enjoyed by all. Once again the church was beautifully decorated thanks to the efforts of the flower arrangers, but not a lot of produce was given this year although more was brought in ready for the Wednesday evening auction. There was a happy atmosphere at the Evensong and we all walked over to the Hall afterwards to the sound of the bells ringing out over the village. The appetising supper prepared by Doreen Prater and helpers was much appreciated by us all. The auction, conducted by the bell-ringers raised £51.40 and, when added to the collection taken in church, the PCC will again be able to send £100 to Water Aid.
The moving Candle Service held on Sunday, 2nd November, was well attended and once again the altar was aglow with all the candles lit in memory of loved ones. The choir led the singing of hymns chosen by members of the congregation and they also sang 'Lead Me Lord'.
Members of the Parish Council joined us for the Remembrance Service on Sunday, 9th November. The congregation numbered almost 70 and it was good to see families with children present. In spite of the heavy rain and wind, Rector Keith led us to the War Memorial to observe the two minutes' silence at Ivan Clarke was the bugler and wreaths were laid by Marion Carter and Paul Crockett on behalf of the Church and Parish Council respectively. The lesson was read by Sue Sussex and the choir sang 'Band of Brothers'. The collection, taken up for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, amounted to £125.
There will be no Friendship Lunch in December but we shall all be meeting again at The Globe in the New Year on Wednesday 28thJanuary.
19.11.1925 - 30.9.2008
It was with real sadness that the village learnt that Ivy, one of its longest-term residents, had died peacefully during the afternoon of the 30th September, after suffering stoically, but with her usual humour, ill health for many years.
Ivy, a loving and much loved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother, and friend, was a real character - always ready with a smile, a joke and wonderful tales of village life past. 'Wild and wicked' was how Keith Wyer described her at her funeral on the 8th October, when the sun shone as she left, for the last time, the village she so loved.
Our thoughts are with Walter, Marlene and Gerald [Nipper] and all the family at this time of sadness.
16.6.1924 - 5.10.2008
Margaret's stay at Lee Lodge was brief and it was with sadness that we learnt that she had passed away peacefully on the 5th October. Margaret, daughter or the late and much-loved Lorna Grove-Price, was the beloved wife of the late John Stewart. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the family, but especially with Lorna and Michael at this time of sorrow.
Born in 1918 in Sutton Coldfield, Dennis was the youngest of six children, and after leaving school began training as an apprentice with Lucas, preparing him for the family business of industrial jewellery.
war interrupted his training and he joined up at the age of 21 in 1939,
spending the war in various postings both home and abroad - he was involved in
the evacuation of
a short leave home, he met his first wife Anne and they were married on a snowy
day in January 1941. After the war he
returned to the family business and he and Anne settled to family life in
On his retirement, in 1982, Win and Dennis moved to Berrynarbor and both quickly became a part of the village community - Dennis acting as a church Warden, both were members of the U3A and the local Gardening Club, and they enjoyed and supported the many activities and fund-raising events held in the village.
After living here for 24 years, they moved to Westbury-on-Trym to be nearer the family.
Always cheerful and willing to help everyone, Dennis was a family man, never happier than when he and all the family were together.
Margaret Stewart, nee Grove-Price
My cousin Margaret died peacefully at Lee Lodge after a long illness. It was fitting that she spent her last days in her home village.
Michael and I should like to take this opportunity to thank Ann-Marie and Jan for their dedicated care during the time she was with them. Our gratitude also goes to the District and Hospice nurses who attended her. They're great.
and John were very interested in the natural world, spending hours walking and
Margaret's love of nature was influenced by her early school years at BerryNarbor by Miss Veale and our Aunt Muriel.
1943, at the age of 19, she joined the ATS, finding her shorthand and typing
skills useful for clerical work. In
1945 she was posted to
had already met John when he was posted to Woolacombe. They met again in
Copied from Margaret's autograph book 1934:
There was a Knight of
His trumpeters were sparrows.
His castle was a wooden cross
Where on he hung so high
His helmet was a crown of thorns
Whose crest did touch the sky.
With best wishes from L.C. Veale
Think of me on the ocean
Think of me on the lake
Think of me on your wedding day
And send me a slice of cake.
Little Thatch Berrynarbor [now Little Gables]
Christmas Menu 1945
Breakfast: Porridge, Fried Egg and Bacon, Tea, Bread & Butter, Marmalade
High Tea: Cold Ham, Pickles and Sauce, Russian Salad, Tea, Bread 7 Butter, Jellies, Christmas Cake, Pastries
'Monty' - 1945
Margaret and John in their garden at St. Austell in the 1960's
found the following letter
addressed to me from Margaret in
"Does anyone remember in the 1930's going to school on Ash Wednesday with a piece of ash twig with at least one black bud? I was one of the children arriving at school with my piece of ash to avoid being pinched. But after , this was reversed, then any child still carrying an ash twig was pinched by those children who had thrown their's away.
I wonder if children going to
Phyllis Ivy White
Ivy, born at Castle Hill, was the second daughter of Fred and Rosie Bray, who worked a smallholding. In 1927, when she was only just over a year old, Ivy and her sister Audrey were very ill with pneumonia; sadly Audrey died but although she was not expected to live, Ivy made a full recovery. Some years later, in 1934, the family was joined by her brother Gerald.
Ivy always remembered how she nearly burnt the house down! Climbing on a chair to get something off the mantelpiece, she knocked down the shirt collars airing in front of the fire. Being cellulose, they quickly ignited and the fire spread rapidly to the clothes airing on the rack above. Quick action by Rosie and the farm boys saved the day!
The family moved to Beech Hill in 1935, due mainly to Fred's poor health - he suffered having been gassed in the First World War. He died shortly after in early 1936 at the age of 41, leaving Rosie to care for Ivy and the young Gerald, as well as her own elderly mother.
Being older, Ivy was expected to keep an eye on Gerald but she had other ideas, particularly when friends called to play, and on one occasion she locked Gerald in the porch whilst she went out, getting back just in time before her mother returned from work. She was suitably chastised and threatened with being shut in the attic if she did it again!
She was in trouble once more when the latest 'must have' fashion accessory was hair curling tongs. With no money, Ivy improvised by heating two knitting needles in the fire, but to say her 'model' friend ended up with a frizz is an understatement and the singed hair had to be cut off!
leaving school, Ivy worked at
In 1955 she married Walter White and with Marlene and Larry they moved into 2 Wood Park in 1957. In 1963, Tracey, the first of her grandchildren was born, followed by Paula, Tina, Kerry and Alex - she doted on them all.
During her working life Ivy had a variety of jobs, mainly in catering. Latterly at Coutant Electronics [now Lambda] where she made many friends with whom she spent happy holidays abroad, and then The Sandy Cove Hotel. She was reluctant to retire but a fall resulting in a broken foot when she was over 70 forced her to admit defeat.
Her life then revolved around her great-grandchildren and she was sure to tell anyone who would listen how wonderful they were, especially clever little Vashti and her temper to match her great-grandmother's!
the last ten years, Ivy endured a great deal of pain and several operations,
spending long periods in hospital. Her
final stay was at the
Being diabetic, Ivy's diet was strictly controlled but a lasting memory will be of her drinking Baileys through a straw during her last few weeks in hospital!
* * * *
We should like to thank everyone who gave their help, support and time to Ivy during her ill health, whether on a friendly or professional level, all who sent messages of condolence, attended her funeral or donated money in her memory, Rev. Keith for the service in which he summed her up to a T, Mr. Baker, the undertaker who conducted the funeral arrangements, and The Globe Inn where we held the wake.
Thank you all. Marlene and Family
WEATHER OR NOT
September carried on from where July and August left off and by the 11th we had recorded 143mm [5 5/8"] of rain. The morning of the 11th was the first completely cloudless sky since 27th July, and it heralded the start of a predominantly dry, settled period. Fortunately for us, it was also the day that we started our holiday in the Scillies, after which we only recorded a further 9mm [7/16"] bringing the total rainfall for the month to 152mm [6"], which made it the wettest September since 2000, when we had 198mm [7 13/16"]. It was also cooler than usual with a maximum 22.4 Deg C and a minimum of 5.9 Deg C. Wind speeds reached 30 knots, also a record for the month. At 98.08 hours, the sunshine hours were the lowest since we began recording, the second lowest was in 2004 when they were 105.94.
is often the wettest month of the year but with 163mm [6 3/8"] it was
easily beaten this year by both July and August. The total was, however, greater than other
parts of Devon, including
The sunshine hours at 51.37 were again down, only lower in 2005 when they were 49.77.
There have been rumours of a hard winter, but we shall have to wait and see whether they are correct or not.
We wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas whatever the weather!
Simon and Sue
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & POST OFFICE
We don't wish to boast [well, only a little!], but Berrynarbor has pulled out all the stops as far as the shop is concerned. The turnover is a fairly steady 20-25% higher than in the old shop and by mid-October was already higher than the whole of the figure for 2007. To all our regular customers, 'well supported', and thank you Anita for filling the shop to capacity. The range of items on sale might surprise those who never visit it. Why not call in and try it some time? The Post Office, in Jackie's care, is also doing very well. A paypoint machine is arriving shortly, which will improve the service. Please check with Jackie for details.
Dates have passed for sending surface
mail to far-flung places, but there's still time for air mail to get there for
Christmas. International air mail
should be posted between the 5th and 10th December,
It's not too late to order Christmas Fare: poultry and meat, Christmas cakes and puddings, Christmas ice cream, baked goods and fruit and vegetables. Don't forget that greengrocery has a 10% reduction when booked in advance but don't leave it to the last minute! The last date for orders is December 12th, although Ivan Clarke can take orders until the 19th. Our shop is bursting with gorgeous chocolates, a range of Christmas cards and wrapping paper, special jams and chutneys for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and lots more. Do come and indulge.
Several people in the village kindly nominated our Shop and Post Office in the Countryside Alliance Award for the 'Best Village Shop and Post Office'. Entries are now closed and results will be announced in the New Year. It would be great to get an award, but nice to know that some feel it's the best anyway! Thanks go to those who entered us.
A special thank you to our stalwart volunteers, including some who have joined recently. If in the New Year you feel that you could help - even for 2 hours, or as a standby - please have a word with Anita.
And finally, for the whole of December, why not treat yourself to a hot drink in the shop and enjoy a FREE mince pie?
Very best wishes to you all from Anita, Jackie and the Committee, and here's to another successful year!
PP of DC
WHAT GOOD NEWS!
I've just read in the newspaper [14.11] that the all-thinking [?] Gordon Brown has finally realised that it would be extremely damaging to the survival of the rural post offices if the POCA system was handed over to a private company and would create even more unemployment and further ravage rural communities. It was a long time coming, but what a relief!
thank goodness, we like others in similar situations, can at least rest easier
that this potential nail in the coffin has been removed. I don't think the mandarins in
It is therefore now vital that we ensure that ours remains viable both by using it and helping to run it. On the subject of which, it is a bit worrying to see more and more occasions in the afternoon when there is no volunteer on duty. If anyone has a few hours to spare in the afternoon, preferably on a regular basis, even if it is as little as once a month, I am sure that Anita would be delighted to hear from you.
Keep up the good work!.
We were all there at ready to start but no presenter!
When it got to ,
it was clear that Jonathan Coulthard from Domaine Gourdon in
The next day, having sent Jonathan an
e-mail to find out what had happened, on the principle of belt and braces I
found his telephone number in France and tried phoning. To my great relief, I did not have to rely on
my French, which is very suspect, as his wife answered. She checked his calendar and said it was
entered as 17th not the 15th, so I arranged for her to contact him in the
Our next meeting is on Wednesday 10th
December when we have our Christmas Food & Drink Evening for which the
presenter is Brett Stevens, the knowledgeable and lively owner of the Fabulous
Wine Company in
By now, if you are planning on coming you should have organised yourselves into tables of six and arranged who is doing what in the way of food for your table. If you haven't, please get cracking, there's not long to go! If you have not been before and wish to come along, please contact me  and I'll put you in touch with others with whom you can join.
Best Wishes, Tony S.
tantrums, scolding, cuts, bruises, knocks and
teardrops are the daily storms in a young child's life, but all
of them are tempered by love, kisses and hugs to restore the sunshine
. Children are loud noises with arms and legs, they are sweet-eating bundles of kicks and shouts, they are damp laps,
they are sleepless nights, they are precious, they are beautiful.
They are much-loved.
Val and David Hann [now living in
BERRYNARBOR MEN'S INSTITUTE
The Institute held their Annual Awards Presentation Dinner on Saturday, 22nd November, at Ilfracombe Golf Club. After an excellent meal, Chairman Tony Summers proposed toasts to 'Absent Friends' and to 'The continued success of the Institute'. He then presented the trophies for the 2007-2008 season.
The Winter League [played from September 2007 to April 2008]
Winner: Kevin Brooks Runners Up: Chris Jenner and John Hood
The Handicap Singles Knockout Cup
Winner: Gerry Marangone Runner Up: Keith Walls
The Scratch Singles Knockout Cup
Winner: Tony Summers Runner Up: Robert Draper
The Doubles Knockout Cup
Winners: Tony Summers and John Fanner
Runners Up: Gerry Marangone and Tim Davies
Summer Scratch League
Winner: Robert Draper
Equal Runners Up: Brian Draper, Gerry Marangone and Kevin Brooks
The Ray Toms Memorial Cup
Winner: [yet again!] Maurice Draper
Highest Recorded Break throughout the Season: Dave Harris
THE MANOR HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
will start on
We apologise for the inconvenience this work will cause and hope you will bear with us until it is finished. The Penn Curzon Room could be an alternative in the afternoon if any group is willing and able to use the space available.
With ever-increasing costs of maintenance and services, it is proposed to increase the charges for hiring the Hall and Penn Curzon Room by a nominal 10% as from May 2009. The current charges, operational since April 2006, are:
Penn Curzon Room
Fund Raising, i.e. Coffee Morning
Category A: Is for Non Profit Organisations working for the
benefit of those living in the Parish
Category B: Is for all other regular user groups
Once again we'll be organising the Christmas Card Collection and Distribution. The posting box will be available in the Shop from the 1st December and will close just before the Coffee Morning. The charge for using this service is 10p per card [a big saving on postage] or a generous donation! The Coffee Morning with mulled wine and mince pies will be from on Saturday, 20th December. Cards will be distributed, and we shall also have the pleasure of listening to the pupils of the Primary School singing carols, and of course you can catch up on all the gossip. We hope there will be lots of people there to say 'Merry Christmas' to each other!
Bob Hobson - Chairman
NEWS FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
The year is flying by and we are already planning hard for the many Christmas events that are coming up! We sent our shoe boxes of goodies to the Samaritan's Purse earlier this week and it is good to think that the boxes will be taking our best wishes to children across the world in time for the festive season.
Looking back over the school year so far, there have already been many highlights - a very muddy Wild Night Out for the oldest children and a Space Odyssey for the whole school, to name a couple. This week the children have been learning about road safety with the help of our Chair of Governors and local PCSO Katie Simpson. You might have seen the children around the village sporting our new high visibility bibs, purchased to improve the safety of the children when out and about - you'll certainly be able to see us coming now, even if we do resemble a class full of satsumas! Next week the national focus on anti-bullying will see our Year 6 children going to the college for a morning of art and drama with children from primary schools across the Local Learning Community.
Our philanthropy continues this year with fund raising for Breast Cancer care, Children in Need and the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal, already totalling over £200. The older children's efforts to organise a bring and buy sale in aid of the Poppy Appeal followed work to find out about the British Legion and the sacrifice made by so many during the world wars and subsequent conflicts. Five of the older pupils represented the school at the Service of Remembrance held at the War Memorial in Ilfracombe, whilst the rest of the school observed the two minutes of silence in their classrooms.
Our work to improve the school environment continues with the addition of PC's in Classes 2, 3 and 4. The children and staff are enjoying the flexibility that this new resource offers and we hope to extend their use by offering after-school access to computers and the internet by the spring.
We continue to build on the excellent academic standards achieved last year. Our focus on improving writing has led us to adopt the Big Writing Programme. The children are making good progress, writing for sustained periods independently of their teacher. I have included for publication a piece of writing by Dylan of which we are all particularly proud. He wrote a description of Bonfire Night and his mastery of the English language at just five years old should be applauded and celebrated by us all. Dylan is one of the many children making excellent progress - watch the notice board outside the shop for more examples of work to be admired.
the 8th November we organised a day out/shopping trip to IKEA and Cribbs Causeway in
Sue Carey - Headteacher
We are thrilled that we managed to get a Gold for
We have had our last litter pick of this year and completed our autumn clear up. 'Get a Stick and Flick it!' - this is the policy of Exmoor National Park, Devon Countryside Access Forum and the Kennel Club, as seen on the notices on the walks to Heddons Mouth, regarding the disposal of dog poo. How sensible! This is a far pleasanter and environmentally friendly way of keeping our 'walkways' free, and so much better than poo left in bags beside the road or beside paths. On a recent 'litter pick' walk up the Valley, no less than 4 poo bags were found surreptitiously hidden in the undergrowth on the side of the road - it can't rot in plastic bags but the rain and weather will break it down if it is 'flicked' into the hedgerow.
You may have noticed that the shrubs at the bottom of Pitt Hill have had a severe haircut, but they were very overgrown and will soon grow again in the spring. The planters and tubs have been planted with bulbs and polyanthus and we hope you enjoy them in the spring.
We shall meet early next year to discuss our plans, so look out for our posters and we hope you will join us.
White Chocolate Cheesecake
This cheesecake is easy to make and it can be made a month or so before Christmas and frozen. Then just whip it out of the freezer and serve it with fresh fruit or a compote of fruit such as blueberries.
For the biscuit base
225/8oz Hobnobs [or
chocolate chip] biscuits
100g/4oz melted butter
For the Cheesecake
chocolate broken in to small pieces
200g pack full-fat soft cheese at room temperature
25g/1oz caster sugar
500ml/18 fluid oz double cream
Line a 23cm round x 4cm deep loose bottom tin or spring form tin with greaseproof paper.
Process the biscuits to a fine crumb then mix with the butter and press in to the base of the tin. Chill in the 'fridge until you have made the filling.
For the cheesecake, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Cool until tepid. Beat together the soft cheese and sugar and stir in to the melted chocolate. Whip the cream to very soft peaks and fold in to the chocolate mixture. Spoon in to the tin and smooth the top.
If the cheesecake is to be eaten immediately, chill for 2-3 hours or better overnight, or cover with cling film and freeze for Christmas.
A very nice compote for the cheesecake can be made using a packet of frozen blueberries. Just bring the whole packet to a gentle simmer with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and thicken with 2 teaspoons of corn flour mixed with a little more lemon juice. Cool and serve with the cheesecake which may be decorated with white chocolate curls or crumbled white flakes. Another low calorie recipe!
Happy Christmas! Wendy
The Garden Tea Room, with its garden views and log fire, will be open for individuals and parties for Festive Food [but not the usual turkey and trimmings] on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December for lunch, 12.30 for 1.00 p.m., and in the evenings for Supper on Thursdays and Fridays, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th December, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m. 3 Courses £20;00: 2 Courses £16.00, including coffee or Tea. Booking Essential. For a copy of the Menu and a Booking Form, please ring Patricia or Katie on 342528 or e-mail: email@example.com.
The Tea Room will also be open on Sunday, 7th December, when
Glenda Ramsey will tell 'Sunshine Stories' with puppets at and Refreshments will be available.
Advance Notice: Sundays 8th, 15th and 22nd February - Snowdrop and Hellebore Days. Tea Room open for hot lunches. Booking essential.
The Gardens are seeking volunteers to join the team. If you think you might be interested to help, please ring Patricia on 342528 for more information.
THE EVACUEES - DAVE AND TOM
Keith Meldrew was a bit of a loner. People in the village thought he might be to blame for when things 'went missing', but never had any proof. However, in December 1942 there was a certain amount of stealing going on. It was on a small scale - things like vegetables, mud-scrapers from outside people's front doors, and even children's toys left outside in error. Something had to be done! And it was, in a roundabout and amusing way.
You may remember that for his prize for the best boat, Dave gave Tom one of his slowworms, but Tom was ticked off by his mother and told to get rid of it 'straight away'! However, Dave still collected a few at times and would take them to school to sell - a little bit of extra pocket money.
One evening, Dave and his mother were sitting in front of their coal fire at their cottage at Goosewell. Dave had managed to collect three slowworms, which he had put in a tin on the windowsill.
"I'll take them to school tomorrow", he said. But the next morning, when he was about to leave for school and he went to pick them up, the tin had gone!
The strange thing was that in the middle of the night, both Dave and his mother thought they had heard a loud yell and footsteps disappearing into the night.
"I didn't fasten the window last night, and someone must have taken it," said his mum.
On his way down Hagginton Hill, Dave met another lad from school.
"I had my slowworms pinched last night," he told him, "Did you hear or see anything?"
"Yes, I did," replied his friend, "there was someone shouting 'adder, adder, adder!'" Just then, Dave saw something shining, "Look, there is my tin and there is the lid," he said as he picked them up. There was no sign of the slowworms and the two boys continued on their way to school.
A week later and across the valley, Tom and his mother sat warming themselves by their coal fire. They hadn't bothered to put the lights on, nor pull the curtains, because of the 'black out'. The window to the left of the fireplace had a stay which often jammed and for this reason it was mostly left slightly ajar. As they sat there in the dim light, a hand came through the gap and was trying to unlatch the stay.
Tom's mother, who had been dressmaking, had left her very sharp scissors on the little table beside her. Silently she picked up the scissors and carefully took hold of the sleeve on the arm protruding through the window. Gently, she cut off about an inch from the sleeve to about half-way round. With the last snip of her scissors, the hand was suddenly withdrawn. She sat down again, with the piece of cloth in her hand. "That will teach whoever it is not to do that again!" she said to herself.
Meeting a few days later in the village shop, the two mothers were talking about how the mini crime wave had stopped. "What would you do", said Dave's mother, "If you caught the villain? I'd give him a cuff or at least a bit of a cuff!" was the reply. "And what would you do? I wouldn't adder a thing to what you say." The two mothers laughed and went on their way.
Tony Beauclerk -
Illustrations by: Paul Swailes
LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
All too often in the past, the Church has been charged with making people believe in a better world to come because life is bad on earth, preaching a form of 'escapism'. Christmas can be a time when people wish to escape from the harsh realities of the economic situation into a world of beauty and wonder, as highlighted in children's eyes and our imagination. Some people think they can buy their way into the hearts of others by buying expensive gifts - trying to escape from the fear of rejection by others. But because our options may be reduced this year, for obvious reasons, let us just consider what Christmas is really all about. First it is all about Jesus being born in poverty. In a stable for animals, not a home for people. Placed in a manger not a cot. Born a refugee not in a secure home environment. [This is not escapism.] But nevertheless, born in an environment of love. How often on cards and in crib scenes do we see the 'holy family' together, bound in the mystery of birth and love. We cannot buy love, we can only give it away and see its results. There is no fear of rejection here - only a welcoming presence that seeks to embrace. [God has started his ministry of reconciliation by being born among us as being very vulnerable. We are all very vulnerable, and God shares that vulnerability.]
The shepherds - the outcasts of the
Jewish world at that time - have the vision of heaven and are invited to go and
see this thing that has happened at
That's what Christmas is all about. Not the giving of expensive gifts, but of responding to the vulnerable love of God as revealed at Christmas and sharing that love with others.
Have a really wonderful & joyful Christmas,
Your Friend and Rector,
MOVERS AND SHAKERS NO. 18
Founder of the Calvert Trust
On our way home from a lovely walk at Wistlandpound, my husband commented, as we drove past The Calvert Trust, "I wonder who Mr Calvert is - or was?"
Dear old Google came to the rescue once more. On their website, the Calvert Trust's history section tells us that they came into being in 1978 by the inspiration of John Fryer-Spedding, whose vision it was to enrich the lives of people, all with disabilities, by taking part in outdoor activities in the countryside.
When the first National Park opened in 1951, Harold Macmillan declared: "The National Parks are for all people for all time."
John Fryer-Spedding realised that this was not quite true in that without accessible facilities, people with disabilities could neither enjoy our superb countryside, nor benefit from outdoor activities. He consulted Elinor, Viscountess Rochdale, and together they searched for people with the same vision as themselves. Soon they gathered a small group of people who decided to form a Trust.
family donated to this Trust, two farmsteads in the
Because of the success of Keswick's centre, the founders realised that another centre was needed, including accommodation for families. Kielder, with its man-made reservoir became the setting, and after much fund-raising, Kielder Calvert Trust was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra in 1984. Today it welcomes over 5,000 visitors at the Centre, and also in 10 superb log chalets that are set in the beautiful Kielder forest.
And so we come to our 'local' Calvert
Trust. With two successful Centres in
the north of
A farmhouse near Wistlandpound
Reservoir came up for sale. Because of an anonymous donor and many other
generous gifts, together with the enthusiastic support of local people, the
Calvert Trust made the purchase and the Exmoor Centre opened in 1996. It offers rock climbing, abseiling,
canoeing, sailing, kayaking, fishing, horse riding, carriage driving, archery,
zip wire, orienteering, indoor and outdoor climbing walls, a swimming pool with
Jacuzzi and a steam room. If you've not
been to Wistlandpound recently, you could be in for a surprise. The Calvert Trust in conjunction with the
Forestry Commission and South West Lakes Trust have developed the area into a
£1 million natural and social heritage centre. There is a discovery trail
suitable for wheelchairs around the lake, with beautiful woodcarvings to help
visually impaired people, and a bird hide.
There is also a 2 km Challenge trail with exercises for wheelchair users
[the first in the
And all this has happened because of one man's vision and determination! John has now retired from being a trustee of Calvert Trust Exmoor so does not visit it as often as in the past, but his legacy will continue in all three Centres: friendship, support and the desire to help people with disabilities to further their potential.
So how about the name? Well, we have to go back over 200 years. Raisley Calvert had grown up with William Wordsworth, and the childhood friendship had lasted into adulthood. Sadly, at 21, Raisley developed tuberculosis. As he faced death, he wanted his friend to continue writing and a legacy was arranged allowing Wordswoth to write full time. The old Windebrowe Cottage was given to him and his sister rent-free. As we all know, Wordsworth went on to fulfil his literary potential thanks to his friend, even writing a poem dedicated to Raisley. When John Fryer-Spedding gave the same cottage to the Trust it seemed right that Raisley's name be used.
If you would like to help the Calvert Trust, you can find details on their website www.calvert-trust.org.uk. Calvert Trust Exmoor would be delighted if you wished to support them by joining its Friends. The fee for a year is £10 [single], £15 [couple] or £18 [family]. With this you may use the swimming pool for 1/2 price and get newsletters and details of forthcoming events. This might solve a Christmas present!
Contact 01598 763221 or e-mail them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
PP of DC
[Grateful thanks to John Fryer-Spedding for all his help and for providing a photograph. It was an honour to write about his work.]
REPORT FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Items of concern raised and discussed at the last Parish Council Meetings were:
- due to weather conditions and the fact that all the work done so far in the
Garden has been voluntary, the Council has not been able to proceed with this
project as far as it would have liked.
Councillor Clive Richards, after consultations with the Council and the
Trustee of the Garden, is endeavouring to arrange for ornate railings, in
keeping with the village and also to conform to safety standards, to be
erected. So hopefully by next spring
and working with the
No Smoking Signs - the signs in the bus shelters are continually being removed. We are obliged because of government legislation to replace them, and this is an added cost to the Parish.
The Children's Playground - revised plans have been drawn up and will be submitted to the Council for their approval at the next meeting.
Housing Questionnaire - thank you to everyone who completed the questionnaire. Answers are currently being evaluated but we have received an apology from the Housing Officer for the delay in receiving the results.
David Farwig of Digital UK will be giving a presentation at the Council Meeting on Tuesday, 9th December at regarding the switchover in July 2009. Please come and listen to this and air your views because as I understand the situation at present, Combe Martin and Berrynarbor will only receive half of the free channels to which we should be entitled.
Finally, I should like to thank all Councillors, especially Richard Gingell who as Vice Chairman has stood in for me, Sue Squire, our Parish Clerk, and District and County Councillors Yvette Gubb and Andrea Davis. Thank you, too, to Council Contractors for their services, Judie for her work [and patience!] with the Newsletter and anyone else who has worked for the benefit of our community in this last year.
With my best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year.
Sue Sussex - Chairman
INCIDER INFORMATION 2008
Given the weather this summer, it was amazing that we managed to make any cider this year. But, last Saturday was just the ticket for any outdoor activity.
Warburton Mk II Press was erected in the garden of 'Chez Wild Violets' and the
hoards descended from far and wide -
It was decided apples should be measured in Qwerts [old Berrynarborian measure].
2 Qwerts =
1 Trug , = 2 Gallons. The usual production line swung into
action: 1. Cutting apples,
2. Shredding apples [in the Mk I Warburton Chopper - an old garden shredder], 3. Pressing the apples and
4. Pouring into the barrels.
The Press Maister, Mitch Warburton, brought with him three trees of the Bens Red Variety. These can be struck by just pushing a small branch into the ground. After the planting, the well-known wassailer, Ray Thorn [as seen on TV], blessed the orchard - all three trees!
I think I should mention that during all this, some of last year's cider was being hastily consumed - no wonder I lost count of the Qwerts!
At the end of a thoroughly good and slightly drunken day, 85 gallons had been poured in to the vats.
A BBQ ensued with entertainment provided by part of the Berry Skiffle Ensemble, and Chris Townsend was last seen being pushed home in a wheelbarrow! 'Yers tu next yer.'
So, having told you all about the Berry pressing - a balmy, late summer day, with a gentle zephyr breeze blowing down from Lee hills and the sun sliding into the sea over Hele gasworks, the smell of new mown cider - truly stuff that halcyon days are made of - what happened a week later?
off to Combe Martian for the Silver Mine Pressing. I think we'll call it the Gloom Martian
pressing - the site, although covered with Barum
Boxing Club's tarpaulin, resembled a cross between Glastonbury on a bad day and
a good day on the Somme! But in true
stoic bulldog [no, sorry, this is
The work was going well, all be it slippery. The Mine Captain, Mitch Warburton, had a party of visitors from the Friends of Devon Society to show round the silver mine site - I'm not sure what they made of our antics - so we were left to puddle on unsupervised. It's hard treading apples when they are wet! All this said, another 50 odd gallons were poured into the waiting barrels.
We have been asked how the general public can obtain some of this highly medicinal potion ... only licenced persons are allowed to purvey it. Unfortunately, none of have a licence.
We have tried other legal applications: a hair restorer - Mitch tried it but he still looks like the white ball on the Institute snooker table; an underarm deodorant - attracted too many fruit flies; a soap on a rope - liquids tend not to stay on bits of string; paint stripper - no good. I guess we'll just have to drink it ourselves.
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
When the new premises of the
MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT
We should like to thank all who assisted with the Biggest Coffee Morning at the end of September and those who supported us with their attendance and donations, helping us to raise the sum of £513.
The Combe Martin Branch of this Charity held a Coffee Morning on 15th October.
We were especially pleased to welcome quite a few Berrynarbor folk and wish to thank you for making the effort to be there, for your contributions and gifts and for your general support.
You will be pleased to know that you helped raise £340 for this very worthy charity.
Ethel Parkin - Secretary
LOCAL WALKS - 111
"Welcome! wild rock and lonely shore,
Where round my days dark seas shall roar;
And they gray fane*, Morwenna, stand
The beacon of the Eternal land."
Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker
had only seen
months later, on an autumn Sunday that was more like high summer than any day
in August had been, we crossed the border to visit the
Morwenstow is in
King Brychan. In 'Westward Ho!', Charles Kingsley described the Atlantic coast there as "a howling wilderness of rock and roller, barren to the fisherman and hopeless to the shipwrecked mariner."
the trees at the top of the churchyard are the graves of many sailors including
those from the brig, the Caledonia of Arbroath which sank in 1842, on her
homeward journey from
Above the church porch is a
sundial with the inscription "Life is like a shadow". The church is large for such a sparsely
populated parish and has many unusual features. The Saxon font is an irregular oval shape,
with a cable moulding, like a twisted rope around its middle. One of the
a visitor commented on the 'zig-zags' on the capitals
of some of the pillars, the Reverend Hawker explained that the chevron pattern
represented the waves on the
*fane - archaic word for church.
The Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker
The Vicarage, Morwenstow
Next to the church is the vicarage, designed by Hawker in 1837, with chimneys made to resemble in miniature the towers of churches with which he had been associated. In its garden is a holy well, the water from it used for baptisms.
We walked across the glebeland fields and along the coast path to Hawker's Hut, a tiny hut with a turf roof, set into the side of the four hundred foot cliff, which the Reverend Hawker had built himself out of driftwood. It has been preserved by the National Trust and is the smallest property in its care. It was here that the Reverend Hawker came seeking inspiration for his sermons and poetry and it was here, too, that he was visited in 1848 by the Poet Laureate, Alfred Lord Tennyson. The following year Charles Kingsley came to see the clergyman in his hut. We clambered down to it, opened the stable door and sat inside watching the waves crashing far below and the ravens flying past with their 'cronking' cry and it was strange to think of the Reverend Hawker sitting in the same spot a hundred and sixty years ago, composing his sermons and being visited by those famous authors, with the sea pinks and yellow toadflax and wild scabious growing all around.
Continuing south we descended the steep drop to Tidna Water, with patches of water mint and betony and a pair of wheatears getting ready for their long autumn journey; then up to Higher Sharpnose Point with its wartime lookout, now serving as a useful shelter. The promontory is so high and narrow that it has been described as 'almost an arete' - like a mountain crest. But it makes a good viewpoint, overlooking sixty miles of coastline and Lundy seen from a different angle to the one we are used to.
neighbouring Lower Sharpnose Point is a collection of
large white dish aerials used for surveillance. [When we had turned off the
We returned our steps to Morwenstow and its church, forever linked with the memory of its former vicar, the humane Robert Hawker, whose normal garb combined the clerical collar with a fisherman's jersey and boots; who originated and made popular the celebration of the harvest festival and wrote 'The Song of the Western Men' [otherwise known as 'Trelawny'] which became an unofficial National Anthem for Cornwall.
He placed a stone over the doorway of the vicarage with this verse inscribed:
house, a glebe, a pound a day,
A pleasant place to watch and pray!
Be true to church, be kind to poor,
O minister for evermore.'
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 38
write this article whilst on holiday.
Yet in many ways I could easily be in
Alternatively, the stream will flow into a river which will disperse at a gaping estuary where curlews continue their never-ending search for food under the sands and where the call of an oyster catcher echoes across the sand dunes. For all intents and purposes, it could be the Taw or Torridge estuary.
Elsewhere, deeply sloping valleys are replaced by gently rolling hills and miles upon miles of hedgerows. The scene makes for an eerily familiar patchwork quilt - even the ploughed earth is red.
However, distant sights give the game away. To the north lie hills which rise to become mountains. Looking west, tall thin chimneys choke out smoke and naked flames.
the east is another source of industry; this time wind turbines which shatter
the rural picture. It is a sight which,
for a little longer, at least, confirms that I am not in
Within closer proximity are other reminders that I am away from home. Gone are the cosy villages with thatched roofs whose cottages would, if they could, tell yarns of self-sufficient villagers who lived off the land. Hard times, but happy times. Today, the happy smiles and friendly 'hello' can still be found.
This is in contrast to the villages dotted in the countryside around me. The cottages lack warmth and vitality. If I was an artist, I'd repaint the scene without browns and greys so that the drab, pebble-dashed buildings would individually stand out. Instead, these cottages reflect a different industrial era, one of coal rather than agriculture, and one devoid of any happy times, or so it seems.
Standing upon a headland, I look across the waters to a distant stretch of land - my home. Its presence on the scene brought my father to mind.
how I would get upset every December when he would turn down my invitation to
spend Christmas at my place. Now, older
myself, I have become just like him!
Just as that distant land on the horizon is reminding me now,
there is indeed nowhere quite like North
Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and happy new year.
Illustrations by: Paul Swailes
OLD BERRYNARBOR - VIEW 116
This month I have chosen a postcard
taken and published by F. Frith & Co., Ltd. of
On the right is the window of Dormer Cottage [Miss Muffets], the gardens of Whitley Cottage and Corfe Cottage before the 'TEAS' sign for The Globe Public House. Finally on the right, is the roof and chimneys of Fuchsia Cottage.
Note the girl sitting outside the Manor Stores and the Cadbury's Chocolate Bar dispenser, as well as the interestingly shaped windows, with the top glass panels almost chapel-like. Also of note is the large telephone pole outside The Globe with over 20 isolated cables. The postcard itself was sent in the 1940's from Ilfracombe to a lady in Torquay and posted with a King George VI green 11/2d and an orange 1/2d stamp.
Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage November 2008
What the Papers Said 150 Years Ago
A CHILD MORTALLY BURNT - On Friday, an inquest was held at Berrydown Cross, before R. Bremridge, Esq., county coroner, on the body of Emily Jewell, a girl between seven and eight years of age, the daughter of James Jewell, a labourer, residing in the hamlet. It appeared that on Wednesday morning, the father and mother left the house, the former to go to his work and the latter to the mill to get her grist ground, leaving the deceased and a younger child to take care of themselves as best they could. After the mother was gone, the children fastened the door by pushing something over the latch to prevent other children entering the house. In the course of the morning the neighbours perceived the smell of fire, and soon ascertained that it proceeded from Jewell's house. As the door was fastened they had to force it open; and, on doing so, found the elder girl burnt in a miserable manner. Mr. Stoneham, surgeon, of this town, was sent for, and on his arrival, pronounced the case to be hopeless. The poor child lingered until the next morning, when death put a period to her sufferings. The verdict of the Jury was in accordance with the facts, but the coroner thought it his duty to address the parents in strong terms of censure for their carelessness in leaving children so young in the house by themselves. It appeared that about eight years ago they had a child, of the same age, burnt to death under similar circumstances, and a third had since suffered from a like casualty, though the injuries had not proved mortal.
Tuesday, November 2nd -THE GAME LAWS -Quick v. Beer - Plaintiff is a farm servant, lately in the employment of Mr. Ley, of Crosshill, in the parish of Berrynarbor; and the defendant, gamekeeper to Arthur Davie Bassett, Esq., of Watermouth. The action was brought to recover £1.15s, the value of a gun and a quantity of powder and shot, the property of Quick, which Beer had illegally seized and taken possession of on the 20th of Sept., last. Mr. Incledon Bencraft appeared for the plaintiff; Mr. Hooper Law for the defendant. The plaintiff and James Ley [brother of his late master] were recently summoned before the Bench of Magistrates at Combmartin, for trespassing in quest of game, and convicted and fined for the offence; although the defence set up was, that they were upon ground where they had a right to be, and employed in farm operations - that the farmer had the right to kill rabbits, etc. It appeared that on the day named the two young men went to the field to work, taking with them a gun, intending to kill a rabbit if one should chance to start up - that Ley fired off the gun, which had been loaded several days, throwing up a stone as a mark at which to aim - that immediately after the gamekeeper and the Rev. Arthur Crawford Bassett entered the field and demanded who had fired the gun to which the plaintiff returned an evasive answer. Beer then searched in the hedgerow and found the gun hid under Quick's coat, of which he took possession, together with a quantity of powder and shot in the pockets of the coat. Evidence was given pro and con., the plaintiff and
his witness denied that either beat or searched for game, and Beer deposed that he saw Quick fire, and both beating the covers, though he confessed he was at a great distance at the time and several hedges intercepted the view. His Honour reviewed the evidence, and said he did not consider that adduced by the plaintiff worthy to be trusted, as much as that of the game-keeper. Judgement for the defendant - Mr. Law declined to ask for costs.
Tom Bartlett November 2008
THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY -
caustic and cynical definitions contained in the Devil's Dictionary are the
work of Ambrose Bierce. During his lifetime, 1842 - 1914, he
was a writer, poet and journalist, as well as being a veteran of the American Civil War.
best known creation was the Dictionary, in which he sought to influence
enlightened people who prefer dry wines to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to
humour and clear English to slang.
through the work at random one comes upon many gems. Here are a few:
best known creation was the Dictionary, in which he sought to influence
enlightened people who prefer dry wines to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to
humour and clear English to slang.
through the work at random one comes upon many gems. Here are a few:
through the work at random one comes upon many gems. Here are a few:
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
That was the question I asked in the piece I wrote for the October Newsletter [see page 39], and from research I have been doing recently, the answer may be forthcoming in a couple of years hence.
It appears that for some time there has been a shortage of five pound notes. The banks seem reluctant to issue this denomination in paper currency but nobody knows the reason why. Shopkeepers have remarked on the scarcity of the 'fiver' and rumours abound on the possibility of the note eventually being withdrawn and demonetised. To support this theory, it is interesting to learn of the activities of the Royal Mint in recent years during which time they have been striking cupro-nickel coins of five pounds value on an experimental basis, the coins being confined to low mintings.
These coins have been struck to commemorate certain important historical events. For instance, in 1999 a coin, measuring 38mm in diameter - that is large - was issued for the millennium. On the reverse side the design showed a representation of the British Isles with a pair of clock hands emanating from Greenwich, set at twelve o'clock with the inscription 'anno domini', with the denomination five pounds and the dates 1999 and 2000. The designer was Jeffrey Matthews who also has been responsible for the designs on many of our postage stamps. The mintage of the £5 coin was small, some 51,500 pieces.
Another coin, issued in 2001, was commemorating the Victorian Anniversary. The design was of a classic portrait of the young Queen Victoria based on the penny black postage stamp with a 'V' representing Victoria and taking the form of railway lines and in the background the iron framework of the Crystal Palace with the denomination five pounds and the dates 1901 and 2001. Again, the coin measures 38mm in diameter and was rather heavy. The actual mintage was only 21,000.
Since then further experimental coins have been issued between 2003 and 2007, the mintings varying from 50,000 to 100,500 per annum.
It is my guess that, by Twenty-ten, we shall be waving goodbye to the paper fiver and begin coping with its weighty successor.
[A guide to festive drinking]
to good old ale,
Drink it down, drink it down.
Here's to good old ale,
Drink it down.
Here's to good old ale,
It will never fail,
Drink it down, drink it down,
Drink it down.
to good old beer,
It fills you with good cheer.
to good old brandy,
It keeps you fine and dandy.
to good old cider,
It warms you up inside yer.
to good old gin,
Not to drink it is a sin.
to good old mead,
It's very good indeed.
to good old perry
It keeps you feeling merry.
to good old rum,
It stops you feeling glum.
good old sherry
[see perry] It keeps you feeling merry.
to good old whiskey,
It makes you feel quite frisky.
to good old wine,
It makes you feel just fine.
[With acknowledgements to the original]
Anyone brave a good rhyme for vodka? Trev
OLD YULETIDE CUSTOMS
The Mummers - An amateur band of players going from house to house at Christmas time and performing 'St. George and the Dragon', etc., in a dumb show - hence the name [Brewer].
As time went by, words in rhyme were added, also extra characters, for example 'Bold Slasher'. The object was, of course, to raise money. When I was 8 or 9, my elder brother and some of his pals got together to do the same, and I was included. My part was 'Little Devil Doubt' and I had to rush in with a broom and cry:
I am, Little Devil Doubt,
If you don't give me money, I'll sweep you all out.
Money I want and money I crave,
If you don't give me money,
I'll sweep you to the grave."
The Waits - People who sing carols outside houses at Christmas time, especially on Christmas morning. The name originated from the watchmen of former times who blew a horn to mark the passing of the night hours. They later developed into uniformed town bands [ Brewer]. I well remember hearing them on Christmas morning while lying in bed and opening my stocking. My father maintained that our own band used to swap places with a band from another town and for that reason, refused to contribute. I don't suppose it occurred to him that people in the other town were supporting our own!
Wassail [old English Waes Hael - Be Well]
Among the leaves so green.
Here we come a-wassailing
So plainly to be seen.
Love and joy come to you
And to you your wassail too,
And God bless you and send you
A Happy New Year,
And send you a Happy New Year.
The Wassail, or more exactly the Wassail Bowl, containing spiced ale, was carried from house to house by young women on New Year's Eve and presented to the inhabitants, together with a song as above, expecting a small tip in return [Brewer].
writing this note to remind you
That inflation has taken away
The things that I hold most essential -
My heating, my lighting, my pay.
forget Christmas cards and roast turkey,
Red peppers and peaches and cream,
The things that I once took for granted
Are now an impossible dream.
you'll know that I wish you sincerely,
The best for the season ahead,
As I pull on my old woollen bonnet
And retire, in the cold, to my bed.
Wishing all Readers
A Very Merry Christmas
Happy New Year