Edition 120 - June 2009

Artwork: Paul Swailes

Artwork: Judie Weedon


The village has certainly been busy over the last few months. Things began to happen when the tenor bell broke and everyone rallied round to raise the necessary money for its repair - we made our way to the Manor Hall on many occasions - first in the snow for a Curry and Quiz Night; a Coffee Morning; a West Country Night Out with Tom and Barbara Brown; a Sing-a-Long Folk Night at The Globe and just a couple of weeks ago, an evening with David Chaffe and his barn owl, Phantom. The necessary money was raised and the bell repaired.

But, there have also been events raising funds for other village activities including the Horticultural Show's Gardeners' and Crafters' Lunch [by the way, how's your spud doing?], Alex Horne and his evening of bird watching fun, Tales of Time and Tide, the Country Collection Display week-end, a Barn Dance, the Great Plant Sale and, of course, the ever-colourful and professional annual BBC Show, Berry Entertaining. All first-class events, very well organised and equally well supported.

We'll shortly be in to the 'fete' season, beginning with the Primary School's on the 14th July, the Manor Hall Berry Revels on the 4th August, and St. Peter's Church Fayre on the 18th. But, it doesn't end there! Rumours abound that Fenella and Jane have something up their sleeves. In conjunction with Beaford Arts, they are planning a big village 'happening' - Tongues of Fire - in early October: bells will be ringing, choirs singing and children and villagers processing! So, watch this space as they say.

This year it has been Paul's turn to depict Watermouth from Napps and sincere thanks to Mike and Sue Richards of Napps for once more sponsoring our colour cover, and Paul for coming up trumps, as he always does. Within the cover - another bumper issue, thanks to all the contributors. Next issue - August - when in addition readers will receive the Schedule for the Horticultural and Craft Show. Can it really be that time again? Don't forget the date - 29th August. Articles and items for the August Newsletter will be required please as soon as possible and by WEDNESDAY, 15TH JULY, at the latest. Thanks.

So far the forecast long, hot summer seems to be eluding us but we can't complain too much. However, it would be nice if it warmed up a little, especially at night - after all, we are only four weeks off the longest day - keep your fingers crossed!

Judie - Ed




We arrived back from holiday on 4th March to be greeted by fairly heavy snow showers over high ground but fortunately that was the end of the snow, although the month remained chilly with a cold wind on many days. The strongest wind gust was 33 knots on the 8th. The maximum temperature was 16.5 Deg C with a minimum of -1.4 Deg C and a wind chill of -9 Deg C, none of these temperatures were exceptional for the month. We don't have accurate figures for the month's rainfall, it rained heavily on the 3rd but from then until the end of the month, we recorded only 32mm [1 1/4"] of which 13mm [1/2"] fell in one day and there were 17 days without any rain at all. 91.45 hours of sunshine were recorded at Chicane, the highest recorded in March since 2003 when we had 94.96 hours. The first three months of the year were dryer than normal and also colder, which following on from the cold weather we had in December, made for a more traditional winter.

The dry weather continued into April which also started off chilly, but unfortunately it became more unsettled in the week leading up to Easter, though the Easter week-end itself was lovely and heralded a dry, bright spell. The maximum temperature was 19.3 Deg C, which was below normal for the month, though the lowest temperature of 1.8 Deg C was slightly up on most previous years as was the wind chill of -2 Deg C. April is often a fairly dry month and this year was no exception with only 67mm [2 5/8"] of which 23mm [15/16"] fell in one night. In spite of this, we still recorded more rain this April than in the previous three years, in fact the total for the last three Aprils comes to only 73mm [2 15/16"]. Winds were generally light with a maximum gust of 22 knots on the 25th. The hours of sunshine recorded for the month were average at 127.00 hours.

We have heard rumours that the Met. Office are forecasting a hot, dry summer, an improvement on the last two would be something.

Simon and Sue



Eighteen members attended the Meeting on 7th April. Birthday cards were given to Edna Barnes, Margaret Crabbe and Janet Steed, and the raffle was won by Jenny Caswell. Mr. Tony Wright gave an interesting talk about the life of bees.

A colony of honeybees at the height of the summer contains 50,000 bees. There is one queen, capable of laying 2,000 eggs per day, about 600 drones [males] and the rest are workers [sterile females]. The queen is reared in a queen cell and receives a richer and more plentiful diet of royal jelly or brood food. The workers are responsible for cell cleaning, collecting food and processing nectar into honey. The drone's sole function is to mate with virgin queens, after which act he dies. Drones still alive in the autumn are no longer required and are killed. In the spring, the old queen leaves with half the colony and a virgin queen hatches from one of the several queen cells. She then kills the other queens. The colony needs 36lbs of honey to keep going through the winter. Britain produces some of the best honey. Mr. and Mrs. Wright kindly gave some jars of honey to be raffled which were won by Nora Rowlands and Margaret Crabbe.

The May Meeting took place on the 7th with 20 members attending. Birthday cards were given to Marion Carter, Jenny Cookson and Rosemary Gaydon whilst the raffle was won by Janet Gammon. The speaker was Mrs. Bernice Putt, who came to talk about the RNLI.

In 1824 Sir William Hillary recognised the need for a co-ordinated lifeboat service and his appeal to the nation led to the foundation of the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, later to become the RNLI.

There are 231 lifeboat stations in Britain, including 4 in the River Thames, and since its formation 137,000 lives have been saved, 8,000 last year. A great deal of money has to be raised as it costs two million pounds a week to run, with the government contributing just 1%. On the beaches, the RNLI operates over 100 lifeguard units throughout the south west and east of England and Wales. Ilfracombe has celebrated nearly 180 years as a lifeboat station and has two lifeboats. One is an all-weather boat and the other is a D Class small rubber boat for inshore work. A supporters group has now been formed and a newsletter is produced each quarter. The Flag Week will be August 7th to 14th.

There was the usual tea and biscuits at the end of the Meeting and time for a chat. Janet Gammon has arranged an outing to Exmouth on 12th May with a boat trip in the afternoon.

Brenda Farley will be explaining about Talking Newspapers for the Blind on 2nd June, and on 7th July, Darryl Birch will be speaking about the Ecology of Wistlandpound. Please come and join us at 2.00 p.m.in the Manor Hall. There will be no Meeting in August.

Doreen Prater




If I should go before the rest of you,
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone.
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, parting is hell,
But life goes on, so sing as well.
Joyce Grenfell [1910-1979]


It was with sadness we learnt that after losing Ivy last November, Walter himself had passed away peacefully on the 21st April. The muffled bells of St. Peter's - an honour accorded to royalty, the clergy and bell ringers - preceded his funeral at St. Peter's on the 30th April. A much-loved 'Dada' to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he will be sorely missed by them and our thoughts are with Marlene and all the family at this time of sadness.

Born in West Down, Walter was the eldest of five children. At an early age he followed the family tradition and learnt to bell-ring. Ringing alongside his father and other family members, they were the formidable West Down team which won a great many competitions. The greatest accolade came when West Down team was chosen to be part of the BBC broadcast to welcome home the Queen from her overseas tour. Walter rang as often as he could until poor health in his later years meant he had to give up.

He was also a keen sportsman and in his younger days enjoyed playing football and cricket and he had been known to enter the boxing ring at Barnstaple fair!

He learnt his trade as a bricklayer, and after the war returned to bricklaying, working on many of the local civic projects such as the North Devon College and the sea wall at Ilfracombe. Later he began to work on bigger contracts and became Site Foreman/Agent, working away from home.

In 1955, he and Ivy were married and he moved in to Beech Hill, but two years later, the family moved to Wood Park, their home for more than fifty years. For many years Walter continued to work away, coming home at week-ends whenever he could. Sometimes, Ivy would go and stay with him.

He always enjoyed driving and when he bought a Capri in British racing green it was his pride and joy - he also enjoyed a flutter on the horses! Always willing to lend a hand to help anyone, he took a lot of pleasure in helping his grandchildren. But when his sight began to deteriorate, he was unable to carry on driving and became depressed, finding life very difficult at times. However, the arrival of the great-grandchildren gave him a lot of pleasure.

When Ivy's health became so poor that she was no longer able to look after him, he moved reluctantly into Burrow House, but with their kindness and TLC he soon came to like it there, His brother Fred, and sister-in-law Margaret, would pick him up and take him out to Wood Park once a week to have a fish and chips lunch with Ivy, which was lovely for them both.

After Ivy died, Fred and Margaret would take him to their house at Braunton for fish and chips, but Walter thought he was doing them a favour by going! He was usually pleased to have visitors, but would soon let them know if he thought they had stayed too long.

To all friends and family who came to Walter's funeral and donated to the bell fund, Rector Keith for the service, Mr. Baker for his undertaking services, the bell-ringers for the muffled peal [he would certainly have appreciated that], The Globe for the buffet and Burrow House for the care and affection given him, many thanks to you all.



For some time we watched with admiration the cheerful and determined way that Brian, and Di, coped with his illness and his death has left a gap in our village community. The sum of money, raised so far, and given to the North Devon Hospice in Brian's memory has amounted to well over £650.

We are still thinking of you Di and all the family.

Brian's glass was always half full, he always saw the best in everything. Even when diagnosed with terminal illness, he was determined that it would not beat him down. To the last he managed to drag up some humour, and there wasn't a lot to smile about at times. He remained patient, good humoured and independent as long as possible.

He loved Berrynarbor and as a 'newcomer' liked to be involved in village life. He was very enthusiastic about the shop, becoming the treasurer, was very keen to see it succeed, and I suppose only the long suffering me knew just what he put into it! He was like a dog with a bone when it came to solving problems and if he came over as stubborn it was only because he had the best interests of everyone at heart. He always had a strong sense of justice and fair play.

Another of his projects was the 'Berrynarbor Bikers'. When he came up with this idea, I thought it hadn't a chance in a place like this. I was wrong. A group was formed and various rides enjoyed as well as a couple of Christmas meals. Few were as enthusiastic as he was, especially when it came to 'breakfast runs'. As far as he was concerned, it was great to be out on the bike, come rain or shine, or time of day.

I know that of all the places anywhere, there is nowhere else he would have chosen to spend his last years than in this village.

Thank you so much to all who have been so kind with offers of help, for coming to the funeral and for all the lovely cards and messages of sympathy - he would have been overwhelmed. A special thank you to all our friends and neighbours on Berrynarbor Park.

Brian was a big personality and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him, even his 'song of the day'! God bless you Brian, enjoy riding those heavenly roads.




Summer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweth seed and bloweth med
and springeth the wood nu.
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleateth after lamb
Lhouth after calve cu
Bulluc sterteth
bucke verteth
Murie sing cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu cuccu:
Ne swike thu naver nu!
Sing cuccu nu, sing cuccu!
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu nu!


  • Lhude = loud
  • Lhouth = loweth
  • Sterteth = leaps
  • Verteth = grazes
  • Swike = cease

According to the Oxford Book of English Verse, this is the earliest known poem in English, and is dated around [sic] 1226. Today it is printed in many forms, and below is a modern version.


Summer is a-coming in
Loudly sing cuckoo
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
and springs the wood anew
Sing cuckoo!

Ewe bleateth after lamb,
Calf loweth after cow,
Bullock starteth, buck verteth,
Merry sing cuckoo!

Cuckoo, cuckoo! Well singest thou cuckoo:
Nor cease thou never now!
Sing cuckoo now, sing cuckoo!

Sing cuckoo, sing cuckoo now!

In April come I will
In May I sing night and day
In June I change my tune
In July I fly away.

William Shakespeare

When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
Cuckoo, cuckoo, O, word of fear!
Unpleasing to a married ear.
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
Cuckoo, cuckoo! O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear.





The North Devon Hospice are organising a fantastic event and are looking for volunteers. Castle Hill, by kind permission of Lord and Lady Arran, will be hosting, for the first time in nearly 100 years, the English National Sheep Dog Trials and to complement this they are organising a Devon Country Fayre with loads of lovely local produce and crafts. It is a 3-day event and runs from 21st to 23rd August. Volunteers will be needed for a wide variety of tasks and will be well looked after! If you would like more information, please call Ali Hunt on [01271]344248. The days will start at 10.00 a.m., so if you can do half a day, or a whole day, Ali looks forward to hearing from you. Full details of the event will appear in the August issue.




A big thank you to Sue Wright for making up the colourful posies which were presented by the Rector to all the ladies on Mothering Sunday, ably assisted by Katie Crockett. Although we had a good congregation, there were very few families with children on this occasion. However, the church was full on Easter Day and it was a joy to welcome children from the school who came along and sang 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing'. The choir led the hymn singing and also sang the anthem 'Come, ye Faithful' - a very beautiful and moving arrangement. Once again, the church was beautifully decorated thanks to Sue and her helpers, and Rector Keith had more than enough Easter eggs for all!

Christian Aid envelopes were delivered round the village in mid-May. If you still have an envelope which has not been collected, please hand it in at the Community Shop or at church on any Sunday before the end of June. The final collection is usually made at the Christians Together service which will again take place in Berrynarbor on the last Sunday in June: 28th June at 6.30 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend this service and there will be refreshments afterwards. Most important, on the Sunday before [21st June], the village service at 11.00 a.m. will be given over to a thanksgiving for the repair of the Tenor Bell.

Everyone was enthralled by David Chaffe and his barn own Phantom, who entertained us on the evening of 8th May. Has the Manor Hall ever been so silent? Our thanks to Malcolm and Pat Sayer for arranging this evening and the ringers and helpers who provided the refreshments and raffle prizes.

The date has been fixed for the visit to St. Peter's of the Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir - it will be on Friday, 3rd July at 7.30 p.m. We look forward to your support. Entry will be free with a retiring collection and light refreshments will be provided. A 'Musical' week-end is promised with the 'Open Organ Day' following on the Saturday.

Friendship Lunches at The Globe will be on Wednesdays 24th June and 29th July. We meet between 12.00 and 12.30 p.m. and order whatever we choose from the menu. Everyone is assured of a warm welcome and good company. Please get in touch with me on 883881 if you would like to come along.

Advance Notice: St. Peter's Summer Fayre will be on Tuesday, 18th August this year. As always, gifts for the various stalls will be very welcome, as will anyone who would like to give a hand.

Mary Tucker



After a gap of nearly 21 years, St. Peter's Church Choir was re-formed in 2000. Since then it has grown and we have had the pleasure of singing a wide range of music, both traditional and modern, at church services and weddings. However, due to many of our members leaving the village to live elsewhere, we now find ourselves reduced to a very small number and we need more children and adults to come and join us.

We realise that not everyone wishes to be involved singing in church and so we have decided to broaden our range of music to include folk, negro spirituals, popular music from stage and screen, and to change our name to The Berrynarbor Choir. It is hoped that in time we should give concerts at various venues and it has been suggested that in the near future we could hold our practice night in the Manor Hall.

So, there you are - music for all to sing together! You don't have to be an opera singer to join, just come along and ENJOY!

Please contact me on [01271] 889115 and if I'm not at home, please leave a message, or join us for the first few practices at St. Peter's Church on Monday evenings at 7.30 p.m.



The day is open to everyone, from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., to have a chance to play the church organ at St. Peter's, Berrynarbor

Mums and Dads . . . bring your children!
Children . . . bring your Mums and Dads!

Come and enjoy playing your favourite music
Refreshments will be available

Stuart Neale [Organist and Choirmaster]




As they have done for at least 450 years, the bells of Berrynarbor Church are ringing out over the village again. BerryNarbor history of rising to a challenge has been proved positive once again. The target set has been met and exceeded by the generosity of people, not only in our own parish, but also from further afield and by all those people who gave their time, energy and expertise at all the fundraising events. These were all so well organised, so well supported and so much enjoyed. Thank you all very much.

To date, 7th May, the amount raised has been £6,480. The bell repair bill of £3,162.50 has been paid and the balance will be held by the PCC in a fund for the future upkeep of the bells.

Kevin, Michael and the repaired tenor bell

John and Kay Webber, Kevin Brooks, Ryan Darch, Beth Wilkinson, Ron, John and Sarah Phillips, Bill Huxtable, Colin Trinder, Elaine Filer, Trevor Selleck, Gary Songhurst, Chris Bowden, Michael Bowden [Captain]


54 years ago, Jim Brooks, Ivan and Bill Huxtable and I decided literally 'to learn the ropes' and began bell ringing. We had very good teachers: Percy Thorn, Reg Ley, Long Jack Draper, Frank Melhuish, George Diamond and Jack Dummett.

Besides carrying on a centuries-old skill and tradition, it gave us the opportunity to travel to many village churches in North Devon, North Cornwall and Somerset. In doing so we met like-minded people, many of whom have remained good friends. We also rang further afield, using the traditional method of Devon Call Changes.

No peal of bells is the same. Some are very light, others very heavy; then there's the range in between. The draught of rope from the bell to the sally can make all the difference to the ease of ringing. Our peal has one of the longest draughts in the country and is one of the most difficult to ring.

The weather can also affect the ropes. On rainy, damp days the ropes stiffen and shrink, sometimes rising the sally by a foot, making it necessary for some ringers to stand on boxes. When the weather's warm and dry, the ropes become very floppy and tend to dance about when being rung. The use of nylon in modern ropes has alleviated a lot of these problems.

The art of 'call change ringing' is to keep the bells cart-wheeling at a constant rhythm and pitch. The ringer has to listen to and count each bell. when a change is called, the ringer has to cut in or lie off so the bell changes place in the sequence, without altering the pitch or rhythm of the cart-wheel. That's the aim!

Perhaps the most memorable day for me was ringing out the last thousand years and ringing in the next. A thousand years ago there was a little Saxon church in the village. I dare say the volks then was celebrating like us and perhaps the priest was ringing a little hand bell.

Michael Bowden

Remembering good ringing friends:
late Jim Brooks, Ivan [Aggie] Huxtable and Derek Jewell.
Also Walter White of Wood Park who rang for West Down and BerryNarbor and who died recently.




IN THE GARDEN NOW: The Wisteria Pergola with its twelve different varieties, is coming into its own now and the Candelabra Primulas in the Bog Garden are a favourite of visitors at this time of year. A family of goslings has recently hatched and there are many families of ducklings down by the lake. Anyone who has fed the ducks will know that the fish will be waiting for bread as well!

You won't need to wait for bread - visit the Garden Tea Room for delicious cakes and coffee, light lunches and cream teas.

Why not spoil yourself, buy a Season Ticket, just £20 to include your current visit and you will be able to visit the Gardens at any time for a whole year and, of course, you can just call in to the Tea Room either on your way to or from Barnstaple.



In 1874 Frank Cooper ran a grocer's shop in Oxford. His wife, Sarah Jane, made marmalade from a recipe handed down to her by her mother, and it became very popular. So popular in fact that to satisfy demand, Frank Cooper had to open a factory. The marmalade, called Oxford Marmalade, was a best-seller and it remains so today. The recipe remains unchanged from those days in 1874, although the marmalade is no longer made in the original factory.

Burton-on-Trent was originally a prosperous textile town, but because that industry declined, another, brewing, took its place. It became the brewing capital of Britain. In 1777, William Bass attracted by the clear waters of the River Trent, set up a brewery and over the following years many well-known brewing names followed suit. Drawn to Burton-on-Trent by the abundance of brewer's yeast, the Marmite Food Company was established in a malt house and produced the world's first jar of Marmite in 1902. A marmite is a French cooking pot and one is pictured on the label of a jar of Marmite. In France the cooking pot is used for making a famous soup, called petite marmite.

There are two stories about HP Sauce and although there are similarities in the anecdotes there are differences as well. So, to be fair, I give you both and leave you to decide which is the most credible.

Harry Palmer had a grocery shop in Bootle in the early 1900's, and found time to formulate a recipe for a fruit sauce, which he sprinkled over his supper, usually of some cold meats. He was friendly with the local member of parliament and one evening invited that worthy to join him at supper, when he introduced him to the sauce. It was immediately voted a success, and the MP took a bottle to London for use in the members' dining room. It became popular and soon Harry P was inundated by orders for his creation. He was persuaded by his MP friend to change the label on the bottle, and so the image of the palace of Westminster became associated with HP Sauce.

The recipe for HP Sauce was created by a grocer called Fred Garton, who began marketing Garton's Sauce in 1903. When he learnt that his sauce was being served in the canteen at the Houses of Parliament, he decided to call it HP Sauce. Fred Garton eventually handed over his recipe and the HP Brand to Edwin Moore, owner of the Midlands Vinegar Company, in return for £150 and the writing-off of some unpaid debts.

In the 1960's, HP Sauce became known as Wilson's Gravy because Prime Minister Harold Wilson was said to pour it all over his food!

Walter Canham


Brian Wright

Solution in Article 38.



Yes, on Saturday 25th April, the bells of St. Peter's were once again ringing to welcome the guests and the bride and groom. It was the wedding day of Debbie Bott and Stuart Radley and after the noon service in the beautifully decorated church [did you see the lilies over the lych gate?], a reception was held at The Woolacombe Bay. The wedding breakfast - posh fish and chips!

Stuart and Debbie, who live at Bali Hai, first met whilst working together for a motor racing team at Silverstone, and began going out together a few months later. Due to pressures not to travel abroad because of swine 'flu', their honeymoon in Florida has had to be postponed. However, they enjoyed a mini-honeymoon instead. Guess where? Alton Towers, where they scared themselves silly on all the rides!

We all wish you both good health and every happiness together.

I just wanted to say a big thanks . . . to all my friends, relatives and neighbours for making our wedding so fantastic. It was the best day of our lives. The weather was kind to us, a bit blustery but the rain held off and Rector Keith and Organist Stuart performed a lovely service, not forgetting Michael and the bell ringers who did a great job too.

I must say a special thank you to my friend Denise and her family for all their help and for producing such stunning flowers for the day. The extra mile she went was really appreciated. My hairdresser and make-up lady Rebecca also deserves a medal for her hard work behind the scenes and for the extremely early start to the day. My good friend Christine must also be mentioned for all her support up to and during the day and I owe it to her for dragging me to the swimming pool in the early hours for the past few months to ensure I fitted in to my dress!

Then it goes without saying that I am very grateful to my parents for giving us such a wonderful day. My mum created a stunning wedding cake and much, much more, ably supported by my dad and sister and we were delighted that my brother and his family managed to relocate in time, all the way from New Zealand. We will never forget the faces of our guests when they saw our surprise first wedding dance. Going from a slow dance into a medley of Agadoo, The Twist, YMCA and more, for 6 1/2 minutes in your wedding gown, was exhausting, but such a buzz! We won't win 'Strictly Come Dancing' but we understand it was very entertaining. A perfect day which we both thoroughly enjoyed and did not want to end.

Lastly I should like to give my biggest thanks to my new husband, Stuart, for all his help and support over the years, but most of all for marrying me!

Cheers and best wishes everyone from the new

Mrs. Radley



Meetings, which are held at the Henry Williamson Room, Barnstaple Library, unless stated otherwise, for June and July are:

  • 10th June: 10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. Speaker: Mike Jones
  • 17th June: 11.00 - 1.00 p.m. Coffee Morning at Hilldale, Parkway Ilfracombe
  • 24th June: Carers Meeting, 7.00 - 9.00 p.m.
  • 8th July: 10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. Speaker: Diana Lewis
  • 29th July: Carers Meeting, 7.00 - 9.00 p.m.



We are very fortunate to have this excellent service in the village, so DO use it! Please note that as from the visit on the 10th June, the Library will stop from 11.20 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. in the Car Park by the Shop. It will then go to the Sterridge Valley where it will stay from 1.40 to 2.00 p.m.


The Cat

Gerald and Charlie Floyd decided they would go to visit Kate Diamond who lived at Rowes Farm. Kate's white cat took a liking to Gerald, purring and rubbing itself against him. Kate asked Gerald if he would like the cat, and as Gerald's cat had died just a few weeks earlier, he said he would. Kate found a box and the cat was placed in it and the boys went on their way home with their precious load. Charlie lived at Blind Will's, which is only a stone's throw from Rowes Farm and as they were going past his house, he decided he needed to go in and get something. So up the steep steps they went but as they reached the house it began to rain. Charlie suggested it would be a good idea to wait for the rain to stop before they walked on to Gerald's home in the village.

The cat was making a lot of noise at being shut in the box and Gerald wondered what to do about it. Charlie told him to let it out as there was nowhere it could go in the kitchen, and it would be quite safe.

Well, when the box was opened the cat sprang out in a flash and frantically dashed for the window leapt up curtains and pulled them down. This scared it even more, and it chased around the room before racing to the fireplace and disappearing up the chimney in a cloud of soot which billowed out in to the room.

At this point Charlie's father Jim, home from work, arrived on the scene and as it was skittles night, he needed to be quick with his meal to be ready when George Diamond called to give him a lift to Ilfracombe, and decided he would have a quick fry up in the pan on the fire for his meal. At this, Gerald and Charlie didn't know whether to own up or keep quiet - keeping quiet was the easy answer. Jim put the pan on the fire which must have made the frightened cat move further up the chimney, and down came another cloud of soot, filling the pan! Jim began cursing the birds that must be up the chimney, whilst Gerald and Charlie raced outside, trying hard not to laugh, or even worse, cry! Just at that moment, the cat emerged from the chimney and it definitely was not white any more! It climbed down the roof, jumped in to the trees and headed back towards Rowes Farm.

At that moment there was a hooting of a car horn, George in his Austin Seven was at the bottom of the steps, so poor old Jim had to rush off without any supper.


Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Firework day was huge excitement for the boys and on this particular Guy Fawkes Day Gerald was about 8. The boys met in the village and together let off their penny [1d] bangers. When they had no more, they made their way to Billy Smith's house at Middle Lee Farm. Billy loved fireworks so much that he saved all his pocket money, and did odd jobs to get more money to buy them.

This year, the boys had built a bonfire up on Lee hills above the farm. The old gorse had been cut down and a monster of a bonfire had been built. Billy's father grew potatoes, so there were plenty to put in the fire to cook.

The boys arrived at Billy's to find a great big hamper filled with fireworks - all shapes and sizes, more fireworks than they had ever seen before! It took two of them to carry it up the lane towards the bonfire, and they couldn't resist letting a few off on the way. Then disaster struck! A spark got in the hamper and all the fireworks blew up. There were rockets, jumping jacks and Catherine wheels whizzing everywhere; bangers echoing in the night air, Roman candles intensely bright, lighting up the night sky and children diving for cover. It was all over in just a few minutes, leaving a very crestfallen Billy.

On another firework night Tilly Delbridge had put her milk can out ready for Lester Bowden to fill it with milk in the morning. The can had a saucer on the top. One of the boys put a jumping jack in the can and replaced the saucer which jumped up and down, much to the amusement of the other boys.

Marlene Slocombe



I should like to thank everyone who donated plants for the sale on 4th May. We had many visitors and the day was a great success, raising over £500 for the Shop.

Thanks are also due to the many helpers who ran stalls, prepared the delicious cream teas, sold raffle tickets and cleared up at the end of the day. Some of the plants not sold on the day, will be offered for sale at the Shop. So, if you missed the chance to buy at the sale, you have another chance!





For our April meeting, the ever popular Jan Tonkin once again presented us with an interesting and amusing evening with wines purchased from Majestic Wines in Barnstaple. Jan took the theme of 'how to afford your wine in a credit crunch' and all his offerings were bought on the basis of 'buy 2 save £3', or similar. However, when he said that 'for every three bottles bought you could have another one free with the savings', it was very tongue in cheek, as that would clearly be 'having one's cake and eating it'! A great fun evening.

At the May meeting, stalwart Pam Parke presented the theme 'The versatility of Grenache' [Garnache in Spain]. Pam explained how white, rose and full bodied red wines can all be made from the one grape variety!

Preceding the presentation and taking up minimal time, husband Alex chaired the AGM, when as usual he managed to agree the minutes of the last one, accept the resignation of the existing committee, elect a new one and officers and give both the Chairman's and Treasurer's Reports in less than quarter of an hour - we don't like infringing on wine tasting time, do we?

This meeting concluded our 2008-9 season and we shall start again next October after all the summer events have taken place. As usual the meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of the month at 8.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall, so put October 21st in your diary now.

Anyone wanting more information about the Wine Circle may contact me on [01271] 883600, or by e-mail to tony.veranos@gogglemail.com.

Tony Summers - Secretary

The Wine Circle was formed by Alan Richardson in 1989, meeting then in the Penn Curzon Room. The logo, designed at that time by Tom Bartlett, has been used ever since. Due to the popularity of the Circle, it soon moved to meet in the Manor Hall.



Berrynarbor's Got Talent! The week-end of 18th and 19th May saw a steady stream of villagers, locals and holiday visitors making their way to the Manor Hall to enjoy delicious morning coffee and cakes, lunchtime soup and afternoon cream teas and to see the stunning display of arts and crafts - patchwork quilts to rival those at the American Museum in Bath; lace, beadwork, cross-stitch, knitting and embroidery by the Monday Craft Group; furniture restored and reupholstered by the Monday Upholstery Group; hand-made greetings cards; soft [toys, but not toys] doorstops and tea-cosies and photographs of the village and other subjects. There was a display of old and interesting postcards, paintings, drawings and collage, whilst visitors could delight in creating their own stained glass panels, try their hand at spinning, watch floral art demonstrations, talk to our local 'Doorstep Discovery' author or even learn how to refurbish that old chair of granny's!

A big thank you to all the exhibitors, helpers, cake makers and raffle prize donators and, of course, the visitors. Your support has benefited not only the village Newsletter, but the Children's Hospice South West.

You didn't go? Well, you missed a real treat!

I was thrilled to witness so much talent within the locality on show at the recent Craft Display. From enchanting stained glass work to stunning flower arrangements, the art of quilting, spinning, embroidery, photography, hand-made cards, pictures by local artists and book by a local author - wow! A magnificent vista to browse round.

Well done all of you for a spectacular insight into your individual talents and thank you for sharing them with us.

A big thank you, too, to Jan in the kitchen for her morning coffee, lunchtime soup and afternoon tea, which simply 'put the icing on the cake' so to speak!

Elaine Filer


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory,

Dear Friends,

There was once a caretaker at a synagogue who was made redundant. He lost his income and started to fall behind on his mortgage.  He went to the synagogue every week and prayed. He poured out his heart to God asking him to help him. He pointed out to God that all his problems would be solved if he won the Lottery. Nothing happened.

During the following week his car was repossessed and he was threatened with eviction. At his weekly prayers he explained all this to God, and as God was all-powerful, surely it was within his power to let him win the lottery? Nothing happened. 

During the following week the bailiffs turned up, removed most of his furniture, and his wife left him. At his weekly prayers he told God all about this, and said that all his problems would be solved and his wife would come back to him if he just won the lottery, "Please God."

Suddenly a voice thundered out of heaven, "Give me a break! At least buy a Lottery ticket."

So often we ask God to do something without lifting a finger to even show how important a thing is to us. If we are asking God to bless and help the poor through organizations like Christian Aid, do we actually support them financially? If we see an injustice do we just pass by on the other side? Are we part of the 'silent majority'?

On our own we may feel powerless, but if God has put into our minds 'good desires', he will also give us the power to achieve them.

That's what Whitsun or Pentecost is all about. It is God's power enabling us to change, both our sometimes selfish attitudes and the way we treat other people. It is all a question of co-operation, working for and with God, rather than against Him. Then we are fulfilling our vocation to make the world a better, not worse, place to live.

With all good wishes,
Your Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer



You may have read in the Journal that the Manor Hall is to be one of the causes during the next year to benefit from 'Your Pics'. You can help to raise funds for the Hall by sending in pictures of social gatherings, parties, etc. and nominate Berrynarbor Manor Hall to be the beneficiary.

So, get taking those pictures and e-mail them to: yourpicsilfracombe@northdevonjournal.co.uk



the wife who says, "It's hot dogs tonight",
because she is home with you and not out with someone else.

the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato,
because he is home with you and not out at the bars.

the teenager complaining about doing dishes
because it means she is at home, not on the streets.

the taxes you pay because it means you are employed.

the mess to clean up after a party, because it means
you have been surrounded by friends.

the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means
you have enough to eat.

your shadow that watches you work, because it means
you are out in the sunshine.

a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning,
and gutters that need fixing, because it means you have a home.

all the complaining you hear about the government,
because it means you have freedom of speech.

the parking spot you find at the far end of the parking lot
because it means you are capable of walking and
have been blessed with transportation.

your huge heating bill, because it means you are warm.

the lady behind you in church who sings off key
because it means you can hear.

the pile of laundry and ironing because it means
you have clothes to wear.

weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day
because it means you have been capable of working hard.

the alarm that goes off In the early morning hours
because it means you are alive.

And finally, for too much e-mail because it means you have
friends who are thinking of you.

Live well, laugh often and love with all of your heart!

Tim Jupp's 'Moment of Reflection'
Good Morning Sunday, 10th May 2009



At the heart of the seaside resort of Weymouth is the Radipole Lake nature reserve. An area of lagoons and extensive reed beds, it provides a refuge for a variety of wildfowl. When we visited in April, the duck species included Gadwalls, Shovelers, Pochards and Tufted Ducks.

A rare duck called a Hooded Merganser had over wintered there. When it first arrived, it had not yet acquired its fully mature plumage but now it was gorgeously attired - a white fan-shaped crest outlined in black; a white breast with two black bars and brown flanks.

It had the spike-like bill common to sawbills and with crest raised, as it swam under the footbridge, its baffle-shaped head looked huge in proportion to the rest of its body.

Although native to North America, it was thought unlikely that this one had crossed the Atlantic. If you followed the BBC's 'Autumn Watch' last year, you may remember Bill Oddie making a detour to Weymouth to take a look at this unusual bird.

We left the RSPB's lakeside Centre - manned by helpful people keen to share their knowledge and enthusiasm - for a very enjoyable stroll around the reserve. We were in for a surprise.

Our field guide had pointed out that a visitor to Radipole Lake in springtime would be unlucky not to hear the loud, explosive song of a Cetti's Warbler - seeing one is a different matter, however, as the shy, wetland warbler sings from dense vegetation and rarely emerges. At intervals along the path we heard the distinctive and ear-blasting series of notes but the birds were hidden from view.

Eventually, some movement in the bushes and our first sighting was of the bird's reflection in the water. We froze. The little bird was soon revealed, climbing a vertical thorn branch, splaying its broad, round-ended tail and extending its white throat at it sang. Its back and tail were reddish brown, its face and breast grey. We were close enough to see the pale eye stripe.

Some years ago I'd been sent postcards of two Radipole churches, the thirteenth century St. Ann's with its triple bell-turret and the stained glass chancel window at St. Aldhelm's, designed and made in 1985 by Jon Callan of Dorchester. We decided to track down these churches.

Not far from the northern boundary of the reserve we found St. Aldhelm's, a fairly modern church. Sunlight flooded through the huge window above the altar. It was impressively beautiful. Mainly bright blue with seven stars and 'seven lamps of gold', the window illustrates a passage in Revelation Chapter 1. The red alpha and omega were a reference to Jesus saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last . . ."

We walked to the outskirts of town where in a rural setting, close by a large Tudor manor house, we found the little church of St. Ann's. It had a painted interior. The pale blue panels on the bench ends were delicately painted with wild flowers and butterflies. Each one was different - cowslips, ragged robins, bluebells. On the ceiling were three paintings by Anne Tout depicting the nativity, the baptism of Christ and the resurrection.

We started back towards town through a community woodland where oak, ash, crab apple, field maple, holly and hazel had been planted.

Rare birds, churches with unexpected works of art, Radipole is full of visual delights.

Sue H


Artwork: Helen Weedon


The sound of a chainsaw echoed through the valley. "I hate to hear trees being cut down," a fellow dog walker remarked as we strolled around the park. She had a point. A tree in its twilight years not only provides a home for woodpeckers and bats; there are certain invertebrate species that depend on decaying trees. Lichen also thrive on ageing trees, as do fungi, the latter continuing to eat away at a tree once it has collapsed and not stopping until the wood has completely rotted.

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell
In effect, fungi break down a tree's nutrients so that they can return to the soil and encourage new ones to grow in the space provided by the old tree.

Trees, however, which tilt near collapse on ground owned by statutory authorities find their life being dictated by an issue commonplace in today's culture: Health and Safety. Whilst this can be viewed as man interfering with the natural decaying process, society's constantly evolving "green" attitude is at least encouraging all of us to intervene and work with nature in order to give it a helping hand.

Examples of this are all around me. The nest boxes erected in our garden are currently busy with blue tit and sparrow activity. In the park, ducks are merrily swimming in a pond which, thanks to mechanical diggers, is once more completely full of water and devoid of any silt; silt which was left alone for a few days to allow its wildlife to crawl back into the pond. Meanwhile on the Cairn's grassland, orchids, yarrow and campion are replacing the violets and primroses of spring, all of which have flourished through the local conservation group's clearance of bracken and gorse. The Cairn has also recently received mechanical intervention when a chainsaw took out a significant sycamore residing beside an open area of woodland - to the benefit of bluebells which thrived from the increase in daylight.

The work of the Cairn Conservation Carers was just one subject I covered whilst writing my book, "A Doorstep Discovery - Twelve Months on the Cairn in Ilfracombe". Composing the book was a tale of two halves in itself. Having researched the Cairn's history, I was able to decide on what to include and what to leave out and so had control on what I wrote. This was in complete contrast when writing about my observations on the Cairn, for I was completely in nature's hands and could only write about what I saw. Much as I wanted to go into depths about badgers, I did not see one; as it was, the fox only just got in the book with one making an appearance on my final walk. Neither could I describe the Cairn immersed in snow - although recording the area carpeted by frost when I walked to Cairn Top to see the sunrise on the winter solstice was magical and an utter pleasure to write about.

Bringing together in one book the Cairn's history and my twelve-month's observations on the area's flora and fauna, along with ensuring the text flowed smoothly from one chapter to the next, was a challenge.

But in essence that is what has made the book all the more rewarding to see in print, not to mention the fulfilment of a lifetime's dream to have a book published.

But best of all was the enjoyment at being completely at the disposal of nature in dictating what I could write about.

Next month I shall be writing about another example of man giving nature a helping hand - literally - and how certain paths that we take in our lives prove that, like the writing of my book, we are in the hands of forces much more powerful than us.

Stephen McCarthy

Stephen's book, A Doorstep Discovery - Twelve Months on the Cairn in Ilfracombe, is on sale at £12.99 at Ilfracombe Book Shop, Ilfracombe Museum and Ilfracombe TIC.


Sent for inclusion in our the Newsletter, this picture is the work of Fleur Noad who has recently enjoyed a short stay in the village. Fleur, who lives in Bath, is the mother of Brendan and Emma Noad of Ellis Cottage. Thank you, Fleur, for your delightful picture - an appropriate way to introduce:


Artwork: Harry Weedon


Over the last two months the weather has been fairly dry and bright. However, we managed to pick an afternoon for our last litter pick when the heavens opened and we all got soaked! Never mind, a hot cup of tea and a large wedge of cake revived us, and we did have a sense of satisfaction that a job had been well done. We have now removed the spring bedding from the tubs and planters around the village and started to replace it with summer flowers. The small sitting area outside the shop has been planted with lavender, climbing roses, honeysuckle and clematis, the idea being to screen the area from the toilets with scented plants. This has been a joint project with the Shop Management. We hope to do some more planting to the left of the shop and keep the car park area tidy. At the bottom of Mill Lane, by the bus shelter, we have cut the small hedge and weeded and cleared the planted area.

In the last few days a fence has started to be erected around Claude's Garden. Maybe work can start here now. Watch this space.

The village Open Gardens with Cream teas are our main fund raising events of the year, so please come along and see our wonderful village from the perspective of other people's gardens. Have a stroll and then enjoy a cup of tea and delicious homemade cakes - hope to see you there.

  • 7th June, 1.30 to 5.30 p.m. Village Gardens with tea at The Lodge
  • 5th July, 1.30 to 5.30 p.m. Sterridge Valley Gardens with tea at Chicane

Tickets will be available in advance from the Shop, The Globe, or at one of the Gardens on the day.

Please keep up the good work of litter picking: the judging for The Best Kept Village is on-going throughout the year. If you are advertising an event, don't forget to remove the posters afterwards, out-of-date notices leave a black mark on the judging sheet! Our floral displays for Britain in Bloom will be judged in July.

If you are in to gardens and would like to look further afield, Kentisbury will be holding their Open Gardens and Cream Teas in aid of their village hall on Saturday, 20th June, at Beach Borough. Entrance is £1 and teas £3.50 and you can visit from 2.00 p.m. onwards. There will be a WI Cake Stall and for more information speak to Viviane on [01271] 882487.

If you are having a summer B.B.Q. or party you might like to try this easy dessert recipe that needs hardly any cooking. It does however contain uncooked eggs so is not suitable for pregnant women or the very elderly.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


For the base

  • 6 digestive biscuits, crushed or processed
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 50g/2oz butter melted

For the Filling

  • 2 limes
  • 400g tin of condensed (sweetened) milk
  • 2 large free-range egg yolks

Mix the biscuits, sugar and melted butter and press into the base of an 18cm/7inch loose based cake tin. Refrigerate.

Take the zest off the limes with a zester or pare finely and cut into very fine strips. Set aside. Juice the limes [microwave the limes for 30 seconds, before juicing, this helps release the juice] and mix with the condensed milk and egg yolks - the milk will thicken quite quickly. Refrigerate.

For the Meringue

  • the 2 whites from the large free range eggs
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar

Heat the oven to 200 Deg C/180 Deg C for fan oven or gas 6. Whip the egg whites until beginning to stiffen, then gradually whisk in the sugar.

Assemble the tart, spoon the milk mix on to the biscuit base, then top with the meringue making sure it reaches to the edge of the tin, as the meringue will shrink a little. Sprinkle the lime zest over the meringue and bake for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. When cool remove from the tin. Cut into large slices and serve with lashings of cream. Yum!

Wendy Applegate



As many of you know, North Devon Theatres and Ilfracombe Community Transport have continued with their successful scheme to provide transport to shows at both of our local theatres. If you have not joined this scheme yet and you would like to be able to see shows but have difficulty in getting there, call Janice or Sandy on [01271] 865655 and we will send you details.

We are now arranging the spring and summer seasons. This year sees the return of Last Night at the Proms at The Landmark on Saturday, 13th June with the Welsh National Opera Orchestra, followed by fireworks over Capstone. On 18th June, we have a wonderful production of Cabaret at the Queen's Theatre. On offer for the summer there is a great range of shows, which you will find in our new brochure. Looking to the autumn, we are already taking names for The Nutcracker ballet on Saturday, 10th October, and a wonderful concert by the Philharmonia Orchestra on Tuesday, 27th October, both at the Queen's Theatre.

We'll always do our best to arrange transport for any show in the brochure, so if it is not on the list, give us a call. There is a minimum number required to arrange transport for a show, so encourage your friends to join you.




At the Annual Parish Meeting held on 12th May, Councillors Sue Sussex and Richard Gingell were re-elected Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. Councillors were re-elected to offices as follows:

  • Mark Adams [882191]: Member to Check Invoices for Payment at Each Meeting
  • Angela Boyd [882619]: Member to North Devon Police Liaison Group, Ilfracombe & District Crime Prevention Group and Berrynarbor Neighbourhood Watch
  • Paul Crockett [882404]: Home Defence Adviser & Emergency Officer, Member to Combe Martin & District Tourism Association, Member to receive Planning Applications for Clerk to study ahead of the Meeting
  • Richard Gingell [882885]: Highway Liaison Officer, Home Defence Adviser & Emergency Officer, Tree Warden
  • Ann Hinchliffe [883708]: Member on Manor Hall Committee
  • Clive Richards [883406]: Footpath Warden, Deputy Highway Liaison Officer
  • Dave Richards [882707]: Deputy Footpath Warden
  • Sue Sussex [882916]: District Councillor, Home Defence Adviser & Emergency Officer
  • Madeleine Worth [883485]: Member of Berrynarbor Community [Sure Start]
  • Yvette Gubb [882364]: District Councillor
  • Andrea Davis [[883865]: County Councillor
  • Sue Squire [01598 710526]: Clerk to the Parish Council

It was noted that crime figures in Berrynarbor remained the same as for last year and that the lengthsman will be visiting during July, October and next January.

The new railings for Claude's Garden have been fixed, a new post and gate will be fixed shortly.

Councillors would like to thank John Huxtable for all his commitment to the community, ensuring that the War Memorial and bus shelters have been kept clean and tidy, and wish him well for the future.

Parishioners are reminded that they are most welcome at Parish Council Meetings, held on the 2nd Tuesday in the month at 7.00 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room. At the beginning of each meeting, the public are invited to raise any issues or matters of concern.

Sue Squire
Clerk to the Parish Council


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


There would be an up side and a down side to being a tree.

Firstly, the up side. How lovely to grow beautiful branches spreading out towards the sky. Foliage which people could admire; even blossom and a place where birds could nest and bring up their young. Picture it now with those little beaks opening as soon as the parents arrive with food. A tree could be part of an avenue or like a huge oak in park lands. Trees are usually beautiful and loved by most people.

Now secondly, let us think about the down side and please don't mention dogs! It is what is going on below ground.

Those uncontrollable roots, growing and travelling where no eye can see. Forward across boundaries, into drains, disrupting water mains, rucking up footpaths and deeper down, damaging house footings. And, when discovered, along come the men with their chain saws and shredders. You could end up as a lorry load of chips and a few logs - even the latter are split, what a nasty end!

No, fortunately, I am a dandelion standing here in a crevice in a garden path. I am upright with my yellow hair, just minding my own business. What's this, someone is coming? What have they got in their hand? I can see on the spray can, 'kills all weeds and roots', what shall I do? Oh, oh, oh . . .

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester



Thank you to those who supported the recent charity events at the Manor Hall, especially those of you who enjoyed designing your own stained glass panel.

I shall be at Appledore Visual Arts Festival, 28th - 31st May, on The Quay, when I shall be offering the same opportunity. This is a wonderful week-end with lots of exciting activities and shows.

The Studio at Castle Hill Lodge, Newberry Hill [A399 coast road] is open from 22nd to 28th June for Art Trek. You can see demonstrations and visit the gallery. Visitors are welcome at other times, please telephone for an appointment on [01271] 889221.

We hope you will join us for tea on the terrace overlooking the sea and enjoy a ramble round our steep, woodland garden. Commissions welcome. Classes and demonstrations. Have a look at my website www.gloriousglass.co.uk.




Designer of the London Underground Tube Map

This man really was a 'Mover'! I was reminded of his name whilst listening to a DVD that had been lent me of Bill Bryson reading his own "Notes from a Small Island". Then recently my sister-in-law took Alex and me to London's Transport Museum in Covent Garden and there he was - photograph as well.

As some of us may be venturing into the big smoke in the next few months, we may well be grateful for his work. In the early 1900's, different companies controlled different undergrounds and no official map was produced until 1906. The maps were geographically correct but complicated, showing streets and other local features and often superimposed on road maps. This meant that centrally located stations were very close together and out of town ones had too much room. Also the colours of the lines were not consistent, so for example, the Central Line was blue in 1908, yellow in 1926 and orange by1932. A slight improvement was made in 1908 when a new type of 'map' appeared inside carriages: a simple straight horizontal line with equal spaces between the stations.

Then Henry Beck [always known as Harry Beck] came on the scene. He was a young engineering draughtsman employed on the Underground. He had the idea of creating a full map in colour believing that because the railway ran largely underground, passengers just wanted to know how to get from one station to another, and where to change. So, in his spare time, he redesigned the map as a simple diagram, consisting of stations, straight lines between them, and the River Thames. The lines were vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Ordinary stations were marked with a tick and interchanges with a diamond. The central area was enlarged and stations, whether central or out of town, were shown as equal distances apart.

On the whole, this worked extremely well, although there were a few anomalies. For instance, just in case I [as an 'up from the country' traveller] needed to travel between Bank and Mansion House stations, checking the map I would take the Central Line to Liverpool Street and change onto the Circle Line to Mansion House [about 6 stops and 1 change]. A more 'savvy' person would take the escalator connection to Monument and then the Circle or District line to Mansion House [2 stops and an escalator ride]. The really clued up Londoner would walk 164 feet between stations and be halfway through afternoon tea before I joined him. This could not be worked out from the map. Actually, the escalator between Bank and Monument is longer than the distance between Bank and Mansion House. As you may imagine, Bill Bryson had a field day with this anomaly in 'Notes from a Small Island!

Map of the Underground, by Henry C Beck, 1933

In 1931 Harry Beck presented his first version of his Tube map to the Underground managers. Initially they were sceptical of a non-commissioned spare-time project and rejected it. It took them two years to accept his ideas for a trial printing. To their great surprise it was a huge success. From then on he added new lines and stations where relevant, altering designs right up to 1960. His final map bears a strong resemblance to modern maps. Then he had a disagreement with Harold Hutchinson, the Publicity Officer. He had added the Victoria Line and other changes to Harry's map without his approval. After that date, various people had a hand in updating the maps and in 1986, Tube maps stopped bearing the designer's name.

After many years of failing to acknowledge Beck's importance as the original designer of the Tube map, he belatedly got his reward:

  • London Regional Transport created the Beck Gallery in the early 1990's, in London's Transport Museum.
  • A commemorative plaque was put up at Finchley Central Station. The Finchley Society marked his home at 60 Courthouse Road, Finchley with a plaque in 2003.

Today, his talent has been recognised with Underground maps bearing the legend 'This diagram is an evolution of the original design conceived in 1931 by Harry Beck' in the lower right hand corner. For the 70th anniversary of Mr Beck's Underground map, a limited collection of his original map was reproduced.

In March 2006, viewers of the BBC's Culture show and visitors to London's Design Museum voted his Tube Map as their 2nd favourite British design of the 20th Century. To put this in perspective, the winner was Concorde.

Although he produced two non-commissioned versions of a diagram for the Paris Metro, it wasn't used. Nevertheless, subway, bus and transit companies around the world have copied his ideas, and many metro and rail maps use his ideas.

In fact today we've returned from delivering our visitors to Tiverton Parkway and there on the station platform is a Route Map showing connections between the South West, Midlands and Home Counties of First Great Western's and other companies' train routes, plus bus links, airport connections and the London Underground interchanges - and all because of the foresight of Harry Beck.

For his painstaking and revolutionary design, he was paid just 5 guineas.

As a quick postscript, Frank Pick, Head of the London Underground in the 1910's and '20's and of London Transport in the '30's, commissioned in 1916 Edward Johnston, a calligrapher, to design the still familiar underground logo of a blue bar and red disc with suitable lettering. In 93 years, no changes have been made to it - that can't be bad!

PP of DC




As I am writing this, I am sure that lots of the children from our school are busy preparing for the week ahead.

The Year 6 children will start a week of national tests on the 11th May [SATs]. They will sit nine tests in total over the week and have been working very hard in preparation. At the beginning of the year when the children return to school after the summer break, the tests and the children's transition to secondary school seems so far away. Mrs Lucas always has a huge list of 'learning to get through' - the task seems so big it appears impossible! However, once again Mrs Lucas has worked her magic and with the children's perseverance they are ready to show the world how great they are and with a little prod in the right direction, they'll be ready to move on to 'big school' in just a couple of months!

The children and Mrs Lucas have planned to escape to the woods after their last test on Friday and I know that lunch cooked over the fire and the chance to relax and play some games will be a great incentive to keep them going during their tiring week.

Years 3 and 4 are off to Simonsbath House on the 11th May for a three day residential. The children will try a mixture of outdoor adventurous activities and geography field studies. For some it will be the first time away from home. On Friday the children were VERY excited - some had already been packed and ready to go for days! I'm sure we'll have a great time and our absence will hopefully give the older children some space to settle to their tests.

Not to be left out, Class 1 start their swimming lessons on 11th May, Class 2 join us at Simonsbath for the day on Tuesday and then all of KS1 will be off to explore Tinnerdy on Wednesday!

So as I said, I'm sure that as I write children will be packing [or repacking again!], finding swim gear, wellies and sunscreen, revising or just relaxing and thinking through just what the week ahead has in store for them.

Dates of events coming up: EVERYONE WELCOME!

  • Monday, 29th June: Sports Day from 1.00 p.m. on the Village Field
  • Thursday, 9th July; 'Annie', the Musical, will be performed by Class 4 in the Manor Hall at 6.30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 14th July: School Fete, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.

Watch the School notice board outside the Community Shop for more information and updates.


James Uzzell [11]


Isobel Moore [10]


Daisy Wyatt [10]


Ellie Gray [10]


Lucy Fairchild [10]


Bradley Watkins [5]

Sue Carey - Headteacher



Our website has, over the last few years, attracted people who are researching their family trees and who know their ancestors were born, lived or are buried here in our village. Thanks to Lorna, it has been possible to help them in their quest.

One recent enquiry came from Helen Lawrence in South Wales who was 'Looking for Leworthy's' as reported in the August 2008 Newsletter.

Once again Lorna has come up trumps and a wealth of information has been sent to Helen:

Betsy and her Donkeys at Watermouth
[from the Tom Bartlett Collection]

The known story starts with John Leworthy, the son of Thomas and Grace born in 1841 and very probably the great-grandson of Thomas and Prudence Leworthy who were married before 1770. In fact it was Betsy Willis, John's colourful wife from Combe Martin, who inspired the stories my grandfather told me when a child. Betsy Lewrdy [local dialect] and her donkeys were quite famous throughout the area.

John married Betsy in the 1860's. He was a blacksmith journeyman and she owned a coal yard business. She used her donkeys to cart coal from Watermouth, where the Welsh colliers landed, back to Berry. When not carting coal, she would ferry Victorian visitors around the BerryNarbor lanes and beyond - quite an entrepreneur!

There could have been several children but I only know of their son, Alfred Richard Leworthy. He was born in 1866 and married Annie, the daughter of John Rook, in 1887. He was head gardener to the Bassets on their Watermouth Estate. They lived in the Manor Cottage which was probably built as a dower house for the Manor. Their first child, also called Annie, lived in the cottage all her life although she told me she had been born in what is now the Men's Institute Room in the Manor House.

I've always understood that John and Betsy lived in the Manor House which had been deserted by the Bassets. Sadly, there are no Leworthys in the village today. After at least 250 years, I can think of no one of the blood line living here. The only representative of the family is Alice Dummett, wife of the late Leonard Dummett, who still lives in Wood Park. There are, however, many descendants of Louisa and William, two of Annie's siblings, living in Combe Martin and Ilfracombe.


* With lots of help from John Tossell and Jenny Stuckey [great-great-great grandchildren of Thomas and Grace Leworthy] and the late Ivy White.

More recently, Linda Melhuish from Bath, Ontario, Canada, e-mailed:

    "I have recently begun research on my ancestors and have discovered that some of them resided in Berrynarbor. Would you happen to know anyone in Berrynarbor who is researching their Vagges [Vaggas], Ackland or Cutcliffe ancestors? I am told that my great-great-grandmother, Ann Vaggas, was born in Berrynarbor about 1831 to Catherine [Kitty] Ackland and John Vagges. John's parents were Anne Cutcliffe and John Vagges, but I don't know who Catherine's parents are."

Although information can be found on the 1851, 1871, 1881 and 1891 census records, is there anyone descended from the family that can help Linda personally? If you can, please contact me on [01271] 883544.

Unbelievably, whilst typing this another e-mail has come in! It reads:

    My name is Richard Sloley and I live just down the road in Tavistock. However, I am currently stuck in the middle of the desert serving as an intelligence officer with the RAF. Whilst I have been here, working the long night shifts, I have had the opportunity to start investigating my family history.

    I was quite surprised to find that, through marriage, I am linked to the Luttrell's of Dunster, the Courtenay's of Powderham and subsequently to the Plantagenet's and beyond.  However, I am equally interested in discovering more about my more recent family history, including any military service during World Wars I and II.

    I knew from my father that most of our namesakes came from North Devon, and I was aware of Sloley Farm at Berrynarbor. Through Ancestry.com, I have traced our family name back to Hugh Sloligh [b1512], but I am particularly interested in trying to discover more 'recent' anecdotal history from my great-grandfather's era [Richard John Sloley b1893] and his parents [William b1857, and Ann] who I understand were the first Sloley's in the farm.

    Would any of your readers have any recollection of the Sloley's at Sloley Farm, or any photos or stories that they would be able to pass on?

Once again, if anyone can help Richard please contact me on [01271] 883544 or e-mail me on judiew12@gmail.com.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The first thing I should like to do as the new Chairman is to convey a vote of thanks to Bob Hobson for his efforts and achievements of the last 3 1/2 years as Chairman of your Management Committee.

With the main hall freshly decorated and new curtains now ready for hanging, things are looking good . . . but, round the corner are always new projects to take on in buildings the age of ours.

Recently the systems and procedures operated by the Committee have been independently audited and it's pleasing to report that the Manor Hall has achieved the award of a Hallmark standard for the way it works. There will be a presentation of the Award in the coming weeks.

Running costs of the last year were close to £16,000 and this level of expenditure seems likely to continue. It means £300 a week, or approaching £50 per day, irrespective of occupancy levels. This in turn has called for a review of Rental Rates which have been unchanged now for three years, despite large increases in utility bills, of which you will be aware. The new rates - given below - mean your facilities at the Hall remain the most competitive of all village halls in the area. They come into effect from the 1st May 2009.

The Committee continues to strive to ensure the buildings and facilities are developed and run to a good standard, and would welcome your input of constructive ideas and suggestions for the future.

This year's Berry Revels will be on Tuesday, 4th August. Please make a note in your diary and come to give your support to our Manor Hall.

Colin Trinder - May 2009




Price per Session

Main Hall



Main Hall



Penn Curzon Room



Penn Curzon Room




Other Functions

Main Hall/Day

Fundraiser [e.g. Coffee Morning]


Fetes, Exhibitions,Markets, etc.


Children's Party


Wedding Reception


Other Activities

On Application

Category A: Regular non profit-making meetings [at least monthly]
Category B
: Regular commercial events or other less frequent meetings
Session Times
: 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. 1.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. 6.00 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.



The following is a selection of courses on offer during the Summer Term:

Thursday 4th June, 1.00 - 3.00 p.m. Aboriginal Art Two Lanes, Ilfracombe
Saturday 6th June, 10.00 - 3.30 p.m. Digital Photography Workshop Combe Martin Community Centre
Sat 13 June, 10.00 - 1.00 p.m.Nomadic Feltmaking Two Lanes, Ilfracombe
Saturday 13th June, 2.00 - 5.00 p.m. Nomadic Feltmaking Two Lanes, Ilfracombe

Telephone 01271 864171 for further details or to book your place www.devon.gov.uk/adultlearning




Summer Offering

Tayberry clinging to the wall
Berries, red blue about to fall.
Netted to protect from birds,
Not for them to feast in herds.
Into the cage with bowl to pick,
Tayberry branches start to prick.
With juice stained finger
The berries are plucked
She doesn't linger.
Eager to taste the food of a dream -
A bowl of tayberries laced with cream.



Artwork: Paul Swailes


It seems hard to believe that our shop held its Fifth Annual General Meeting on 2nd May with around 30 members attending, and I confess it was our shortest one to date!

After thanking those who had come to the meeting, our Chairman, Sandy Anderson, spoke of the highlights of the year: moving into the new shop on 31st and the official opening ceremony by Yvette Gubb on 31st August, which was well attended and great fun. It is notable that there was an increase of turnover of about 23% last year, and twice the turnover of when we started in 2004.

Sandy mentioned that we had won the award from the Countryside Alliance for the Best Shop and Post Office in the South West - and that was before Berry in Bloom gave us a great new outside area for refreshments. We are pleased to report that as well as our gratitude to existing volunteers, we have had 11 new volunteers within the last twelve months.

Over the next year we shall get new road signs to attract passing visitors, a covered porch for fresh produce display, an internet point and during the summer season the shop will stay open during lunchtime, except Wednesdays and Sundays.

Sandy praised Brian Hillier's contribution with his enthusiasm and help as Treasurer, and then welcomed Treasurer-elect, Robin Downer, who was later voted on to the Committee. All members of the Committee had agreed to continue to serve and were re-elected en bloc.

Whilst talking of volunteers, the 19th July will be Mark Adams's last Sunday morning working in our shop. Having done the job faithfully for nearly five years, as well as working full time, he has done a stalwart job and we are very grateful and thank him. BUT, we are now looking for some kind person to take over . . . perhaps even two or three kind persons and then each would work only once a month. If you feel that you could help, please speak to Anita or a Committee Member.

Thanks to the efforts of Kath and her helpers, The great Berrynarbor Plant Sale, held on Bank Holiday Monday, went with a swing, and over £500 was raised for our shop as a result. Well done to all.

Anita would like to remind you that fresh meat products [chicken, sausages, etc], ordered from West Gate Angus before Wednesday mid- morning will be delivered next day. Items ordered from Ivan Clarke will be delivered within 24 hours. Also, don't forget that if you order fruit and vegetables in advance there is a10% discount.

Jackie says that you can now get Euros on demand from our Post Office; other currencies still need to be ordered in advance.

By our next newsletter, our summer will be well underway, and hopefully it will be a good one for all of us.

PP of DC



The President of the United States was once on a hunting expedition in Mississippi. Things were not going well, but then he caught sight of a grizzly bear cub. It was so cute that he refused to shoot it.

When the press got to know about the incident, a cartoon appeared in the Washington Post which caught the attention of a Russian immigrant who ran a small, novelty shop. His wife made a stuffed toy bear with button eyes and moveable limbs.

It was soon sold and attracted a lot of interest locally. Demand for the toy increased and the craftsman wrote to the President asking permission to use his name. That was granted, and in 1906, the American Toy Trade magazine 'Playthings', coined the term 'Teddy Bear', enhancing the popularity of President Teddy Roosevelt and ensuring that many children and grownups have a cuddly toy from which they are reluctant to part.

Left: 'George' the Steiff Bear at Arlington Court, who has just celebrated his 100th birthday with a Teddy Bears' Picnic.




1st Primary School: Non-Pupil Day
2nd Primary School & College: Return after Half Term.
Ladies' Group, 2.00 p.m. Manor Hall: Talking Newspapers - Brenda Farley
7th Open Gardens: The Village, 1.30 p.m. Teas at the Lodge, 3.00 p.m.
9th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m. Penn Curzon Room
10th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
20th Kentisbury Open Garden, 2.00 p.m., Beach Borough
21st St. Peter's Church: Thanksgiving Service for Repair of Bell, 11 a.m.
24th Mobile Library, 11.20 a.m. Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00
28th St. Peter's Church: Christians Together, 6.30 p.m.
29th Primary School: Sports Day, Village Field, 1.00 p.m.
3rd Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir, St. Peter's Church, 7.30 p.m.
4th St. Peter's Church: Open Organ Day from 10.00 a.m.
5th Open Gardens: Sterridge Valley, 1.30 p.m. Teas at Chicane, 3 p.m.
7th Ladies' Group, 2.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Darryl Birch - Wistlandpound
8th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
9th Primary School: 'Annie', Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
14th Primary School Fete, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m. Penn Curzon Room
17th Primary School & College: End of Summer Term
18th Ron's 93rd Birthday Bash, 'This Farming Life', Manor Hall, 7.30 p.m.
22nd Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
26th Car Boot Sale, Blackmore Gate, from 11.00 a.m.
29th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
4th Manor Hall MC, Berry Revels, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
5th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.

Manor Hall Diary:

MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Craft Group, 2.00 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
Tuesdays2nd & 4th in month: N.D.Spinners
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
WednesdaysPilates Body Workout, 9.00 a.m.
FridaysTerm time only: Toddlers Soft Play and Activity
Penn Curzon RoomTerm time only: Monday - Friday Mornings: Berrynarbor Pre-School

Mobile Library:
(Assistant - Jacqui Mackenzie)

11.20 - 1.15 p.m.Car Park
1.40 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


This month I have chosen a William Garratt real photograph postcard, No. 89, showing a large part of the central village and Hagginton Hill.

This picture was taken by Garratt some time between 1915 and 1925, from the steep field belonging to the Richards' Family of Moules Farm. The impressive tower of St. Peter's stands proudly out on the right, beyond which can be seen the roof of Tower Cottage [51 The Village], the Penn-Curzon Room and the Berrynarbor Men's Institute Room. Also pictured are The Old Court and the Congregational Chapel.

In the foreground - from the right - Hill Crest [No. 55] can be seen and the row of cottages, followed by Dunchideock [No. 54]. A thatched Bessemer Thatch is followed by all the cottages on both sides of Pitt Hill, including The Lodge. On the left is North Lee Farm, at the foot of Hagginton Hill, which stretches with its cottages right up to Grattons at the top right of the picture. Note the large gaps between the properties on the hill, which have now largely been filled in with further cottages and houses.

May I once more appeal for information or pictures of Berrydown Chapel, particularly if you ever attended a service or function there? My thanks to Caroline Verney in the last Newsletter for getting in touch with me was very sad as she had recently died. If you have any information, please do contact me on [01271] 883408.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, June 2009