Editions 121 - August 2009

Artwork: Isabelle Fogg - A resident in the 50's and 60's

Artwork: Judie Weedon


With this issue, the Newsletter moves into its 21st Year! It has come a long way since Issue No. 1. It has doubled in size and from stencilled and roneo printing and minimal pictures of poor quality, it now sports coloured pages and photographs of a vastly improved quality. Over the years only a handful of articles have been repeated and no two covers have been the same.

Talking of covers, this issue's is 'A corner of the village from a pencil drawing by Isabelle Fogg'. It shows St. Peter's from Silver Street, with Briar Cottage and the old shop, and Brookside. Isabelle lived at Orchard House in the '50's and '60's and now you need to read the article 'A Further Coincidence' on page 22!

The promised long, hot, summer is still awaited! Yes, we've had some glorious sunny days, even lasting a week or so and some almost too hot, but there has also been some torrential rain - the Valley Open Gardens nearly drowned under deluges.

Out with the Newsletter are the Schedule and Entry Forms for the Horticultural and Craft Show [except for the far-flung readers]. Please give this event your continued support and don't forget the Berry Revels on 4th August and St. Peter's Summer Fayre on the 18th.

Included are two important notices. One gives Notice of the Public Local Inquiry to be held on the 8th September at the Manor Hall at 10.00 a.m. regarding the Footpaths at Watermouth; the other gives preliminary details of a Village Happening to take place on the 3rd October, for which fuller details will follow. Please make a note of these events and their dates.

We welcome any newcomers to the Village and hope you will be happy here, and wish all those currently 'under the weather' well and hope you will be feeling better very soon. Sadly, the supply of Brian's Crosswords will shortly be coming to an end. Can anyone help? Are you a crossword compiler and puzzle producer? If so and you could assist in keeping the 'Corner' going, please do get in touch with me.

As always, I must thank everyone who has contributed to this issue. With the next one - October - the evenings will be drawing in again and autumn with us. Items for same can always be handed in as soon as possible but by MONDAY, 14TH SEPTEMBER, at the latest please. Thank you.

I'm beating the shops and advertisers to declaring that Christmas is coming! So, remember if you are considering purchasing cards in the not too distant future, you can send your messages to friends and neighbours [with donations to the Manor Hall and Newsletter] via the December issue of the Newsletter. In the meantime, enjoy, hopefully, some summer days.

Judie - Ed



The June Meeting was held in the Manor Hall on Tuesday 2nd when the Secretary, Marion Carter, took the Meeting in the absence of both the Chairman and Vice Chairman.

It was reported that the outing on the Stuart Line Cruises along the River Exe on 12th May had been enjoyed by all and thanks were expressed to Janet Gammon for making the arrangements.

The speaker was Brenda Farley who came to talk about Talking Newspapers for the Blind. This began in North Wales in 1970 from an idea in Sweden and has now spread internationally. It started in North Devon through Barry Squires of Combe Martin - who was losing his sight - and the Lions Club in Barnstaple. Initially there were ten readers. Numbers grew and the readers then formed into teams recording onto tape. The articles will soon be recorded onto disc which will be more costly. Information is taken from newspapers and anything else the readers think will be of interest to the recipients. At present the readers are based in Landkey. The tapes are sent out weekly through Royal Mail, who do not charge for the service, and Social Services also check that the recipient has the proper equipment. Currently there are 180 recipients in the Barnstaple area.

The vote of thanks was given by Rosemary Gaydon, the raffle won by Ann Williams and the meeting ended after tea and biscuits.

Before the Meeting on 7th July, Fenella Boxall spoke to members about the Beaford Arts Centre and the possible workshops for various arts in the village. The plan is to create a new tradition for the village based on Bishop John Jewell who was born at Bowden Farm. It is envisaged to hold a party on the 3rd October, which will tie in with the Harvest Services, and with a parade through the village.

The Meeting was then reminded of the Berry Revels taking place on Tuesday evening, 4th August and St. Peter's Church Summer Fayre on Tuesday evening, 18th August, and a request for cakes, raffle prizes and bric-a-brac for both events.

Darryl Birch continued the afternoon by talking about the ecology of Wistlandpound Reservoir. It was commenced in 1950 and dams a major tributary of the River Yeo. The land surrounding the reservoir was originally open moorland and now has extensive Sitka spruce planted for commercial purposes by the Forestry Commission, who manage the land, together with the Calvert Trust and South West Lakes Trust. The reservoir supplies drinking water to Barnstaple, Combe Martin and Ilfracombe. In 1984 it was opened to the public and in 1996 the Calvert Trust was licensed to use the reservoir, although water sports are restricted. In 2007, the "Discover Wistlandpound" project was started and there is now an information centre, toilets and parking area.

Mr. Birch was thanked by Rosemary Gaydon and the raffle was won by Janet Gibbons. With all business done, everyone adjourned to "Miss Muffets" for a cream tea!

On Tuesday, 1st September, Peter Christie will be talking about 'Unexplained Mysteries' and on the 6th October, Roger Groos will be joining us to tell us about his subject - reflexology.

Marion Carter & Doreen Prater.




Look upward for the sky is not all cloud
Look forward, think not of the dismal shroud;
No lane has not a turning, and no road
That leads not somewhere to a warm abode.
Take courage, if the day seems rather long
The cooling dew will fall at evensong.
[From the Chapel at Powderham Castle]


"Nothing is so strong as gentleness
Nothing is so gentle as real strength"

Although she had not been well for some time, it was still a shock to us all to hear that Sally had died peacefully on Sunday, 7th June. Everyone was saddened by the passing of a lovely lady who had given so much to our village, the village she loved.

Her funeral on the 15th June was a joyous celebration of her life, with the bells of St. Peter's ringing out a happy peal, the full church decorated with country flowers and cheerful music and hymns, but there was not a dry eye when at Sally's request, 'Danny Boy', was sung so beautifully by Bobby - a very poignant moment.

One person to whom Sally meant a lot was Shaun Cooper, and unable to attend her funeral he wrote:

'Dear Wendy, Rachel, Janet and Sally's friends,

I am so sorry not to be with you today to remember and celebrate Sally's life. You are all in my thoughts and as Sally often said to me - they can only be positive thoughts!

Whenever I think of Sally, I see someone who was a genuine 'giver', someone who was always interested in you, wanted you to enjoy life and was always there when needed. I am sure wherever her spirit is now, it will continue to inspire us to live life to the full and face challenges head on.

In 1985, Sally mobilised Berrynarbor and its unique community spirit to rally round to help me to fight, win and recover from a cancer scare.

Before each chemo treatment, I would always receive a little card from Sally at the hospital, either in Barnstaple, Exeter or Birmingham - she seemed to know exactly where I would be - with an inspiring message and most important of all, a piece of Devon heather. That piece of heather from her garden, wrapped in aluminium foil, would follow me around the hospital reassuring me that I had a little luck on my side.

Then when I returned home to recover from each session, I would pop down to see her and we would talk, just talk about stuff that I couldn't say to anyone else in case I should worry them. Sally would simply listen and offer a perspective that helped me face the next treatment, operation or problem with a little more courage.

Courage is a word that isn't used very much today and without unique people like Sally, there would be even less of it.

Thank you Sally for your luck and I hope that one day I can pass it on to someone . . .


Like Shaun, our thoughts are with Sally's family, but especially her three daughters Wendy, Rachel and Janet and the grandchildren.



Pat at Fuchsia Cottage has sent this letter from her mother, Rose Perry.

I should like to take the opportunity through your wonderful newsletter to say 'Thank You'  to everyone in Berrynarbor who has sent me their kind thoughts and best wishes following my accident at home in March.  After surgery and many weeks in hospital, I am now at home and making slow but sure progress.

I always love my visits to Fuchsia Cottage and your beautiful village and enjoy reading all about village life in your newsletter. It brings back wonderful memories of my childhood growing up in the village of

Withington in rural Gloucestershire with my brother Ted. My parents, Mary and Walter Heyden, ran the small village shop and my father was also the village postman, verger, bell ringer and member of the church choir. In fact he contributed so much to village life that he was awarded the B.E.M. by the Queen in 1967.

I shall always remember that very special day as I accompanied him to Buckingham Palace for the ceremony. Back at the village the next day, Lord and Lady Dunrussell, our local dignitaries, held a garden party at their home for all the villagers in his honour to celebrate this prestigious award.

 I left the village at 14 [we left school early in those days] to work at the Russian Embassy in Millionaire's Row, Kensington and later on married my husband, Ernest. We moved to the Sussex coast to bring up our daughter Pat and her three brothers Michael, Phillip and Anthony.  They all loved going back to Withington to visit my parents and my father often let them ring the church bells which they thought was a great treat. They still remember creeping down the stairs of the cottage into the shop in the middle of the night, taking the lids off the big jars of sweets and running back upstairs to eat the sweets in bed, thinking that the adults didn't know, while we quietly smiled and turned a blind eye.

Following my parents' death, I visited the village infrequently. Then my brother, who had also moved away, died  seven years ago and Pat, Maureen, my three sons and I went back to scatter his ashes in the village we both loved. We stayed at The Mill Inn, where for so many years my father had spent his evenings drinking a pint by the inglenook fireplace after his long working days. We visited the church and stood proudly at the stone wall plaque installed in his honour and generally walked down memory lane with me telling my children all the tales of my childhood. We returned once more last year and, health permitting, I hope to visit both Withington and Berrynarbor again in the near future,

Thank you again for all your best wishes and excellent newsletter. 

Rose Perry, Littlehampton, Sussex.

The British Empire Medal [BEM] rewarded both civilians and military personnel for 'meritorious service'. The recipient was still entitled to wear the BEM if promoted to a higher grade of the Order of the British Empire. The BEM replaced the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service in

December 1922. The medal no longer forms part of the British honour system. It is silver and has a red ribbon with three vertical, grey stripes. A British Empire Medal for Gallantry was also awarded from 14th January 1958 until its replacement with the Queen's Gallantry Medal in 1974.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The rain cleared for the Pig Roast held on Saturday, 27th June, at South Lee Farm - a great village evening thanks to the generosity of the Gubb and Clarke families, and so many others, not forgetting Gary and his fellow musicians. Once again the response was over-whelming and over £800 has been added to the Bell Fund.

Friday, 3rd July, saw us back in church for the Concert given by Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir. Their varied programme was most entertaining and the choir's own enthusiasm added to the atmosphere. Donations at the end amounted to £111.

Before these last events, a special Thanksgiving Service was held on Sunday, 21st June, for the restoration of the Tenor Bell. Drinks and nibbles followed kindly provided by Jean Ede - thank you Jean.

Over the past two months, other charities have not been forgotten. Collections for Christian Aid made through the churches in Combe Martin and Berrynarbor amounted to £811 this year - quite an increase on 2008 - and £41 has been forwarded to the African Mercy Ships from donations at the Pentecost Songs of Praise.

St. Peter's Summer Fayre will be held in the Manor Hall on Tuesday, 18th August, starting at 6.30 p.m. Gifts for the various stalls will be most welcome - cakes, books, toys, good bric-a-brac, plants, etc., also prizes for the raffle, tombola and bottle stall. We look forward to a bumper evening.

Friendship Lunches will continue through the summer and we shall meet at The Globe on Wednesdays 26th August and 23rd September from mid-day. Everyone welcome.

Looking forward, the Harvest Festival will be celebrated the first week-end in October. More details next time.

Mary Tucker




The three National Collections - Astilbes, currently making a real splash of colour by the lake, Iris Ensata and Tulbaghia are at their best in July and early August.

Varieties from all three collections, together with a selection of unusual rather than usual plants are on sale at very competitive prices.

Morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon teas, with a wide selection of delicious home-made cakes, are available in the Garden Tea Room. Annual Season Tickets, allowing you to visit the Gardens [and Tea Room] whenever you like - there's always something different to see - are a great bargain at just £20.00. Check our website: www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk for August events, especially for children.



Brian Wright

Solution in Article 27.


Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


An ADAM addition - Thirteen days after her due date, Freya Emma Louise Adam arrived, finally, at 11.01 a.m. on Saturday, 23rd May, weighing in at a healthy 8lbs 12.5oz; no wonder first-time mum took her time! She is the first grandchild for Geoff and Judith, who are very proud grandparents, and are delighted that they have joined this special 'Club'.

Elaine and John [Fanner] are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their fifth grandchild, a daughter for Elise and Paul in Australia and dear little sister for Stanley and Sunny. Tilly was born on the 16th June, weighing 8lbs 4oz, in the tub at home, with Paul as midwife!

Sue and Alan Richards and Don and Edith Ozelton are delighted to announce the arrival of a grandson, Tyler James, to Karl and Louise on the 8th July, weighing 6lbs 11oz. All are doing well! Tyler is the second grandson for Sue and Alan, and fourth for Don and Edith.

Jan [Gammon], and her son Martin and his wife Simone, are very happy to announce that Elexaus, a sister for Tom, Ben and Alex, arrived safely on the 9th July weighing 9lbs.

Our congratulations to all the proud grandparents, parents and, of course, a warm welcome to the little ones.




Good with your hands? Are you a joiner or a painter or have general building skills? The North Devon Hospice volunteer team needs your help! We are looking for volunteers who can help with a range of practical tasks around the hospice. Would you like to use your skills and give some of your time to help North Devon Hospice maintain the high standard of care of our premises?

For more information or an informal chat about the range of volunteering opportunities available, please contact Barbara Andrew by phoning [01271] 344248 or e-mail: barbaraandrew@northdevonhospice.org.uk.



Notice is hereby given that an Inspector will be appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to determine

Devon County Council
(Footpath Nos. 28, 29 & 30, Berrynarbor)
Definitive Map Modification Order 2008

and will attend at:
Manor Hall, Birdswell Lane, Berrynarbor,
Ilfracombe, EX34 9SE

On Tuesday 8 September 2009 at 10.00 am

To hold a public local inquiry into the Order

The effect of the Order, if confirmed without modifications, will be to modify the Definitive Map and Statement for the area by adding to them:

Footpath No. 28, Berrynarbor from the Ilfracombe-Combe Martin road (GR SS 5574 4804) on the access track into Watermouth Cove Holiday Park and along the top of the cliffs around the holiday park and the camping field on The Warren to connect with Footpath No. 2 on Watermouth Cove (GR SS 5538 4836) and near Watermouth Harbour (GR SS 5557 4818), for approximately 1,200 metres A-B-CD-F-G-H;
Footpath No.29, Berrynarbor from Footpath No.28 on The Warren (GR SS 5546 4838) along the top of the cliffs to end on Footpath No.2 on the north side of Watermouth Cove (GR SS 5533 4842), for approximately 140 metres D-E; and
Footpath No. 30, Berrynarbor from Footpath No.28 on The Warren (GR SS 5563 4829) crossing the camping field and onto a track to connect with Footpath No.28 on the track to The Warren (GR SS 5557 4829), for approximately 80 metres C-G.

Any person wishing to view the statements of case and other documents relating to this Order may do so by appointment at Devon County Council, Public Rights of Way Section, Environment Economy & Culture Directorate, Lucombe House, County Hall, Exeter; the Area North Highway Management office, Room 512, Fifth Floor, Civic Centre, Barnstaple; and the North Devon Coast and Countryside Service office at Bideford Station, East-the-Water, Bideford, between the hours of 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Planning Inspectorate Reference: FPS/J1155/7/75
Contact point at the Planning Inspectorate: Ayesha Naeem, 4/05 Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN. Tel: 0117 372 8021




There will be a Cream Tea held at 9 Berrynarbor Park on Saturday, 15th August, 2.00 to around 5.00 p.m. There will be a Cake Stall, a Draw and Guess the Teddy's Name [Teddy kindly donated by Ethel]. Proceeds are for the Hospice in Brian's memory.

Please come and help us raise as much as possible so that they can continue to help and support many patients and families in the future. Di [Hillier]




Despite the lashing rain and high winds, everyone who came to the car park on Saturday 4th July enjoyed tasting the various offerings at the Local Food Launch. The Plunkett Foundation was represented by David Geeves, their local marketing consultant - who got wet with the rest of us! And thanks to those who braved it back so that the north Devon Journal had some people to photograph. We haven't so far seen a marked increase in local sales, but as these already represent almost a third of all sales, it is not too surprising.

Talking of local sales, our attempt to buy local standard milk hit problems, and due to village pressure, we are now back with Robert Goodman. Organic milk and milk products remain with the original suppliers.

After a hiccup, the 'Recipe of the Week' is again in action and you can pick up a copy in the coffee area. If anyone has a favourite recipe that they would like to share - using items available in the shop - please let me know - Telephone 883758 or e-mail: pam.parke@eclipse.co.uk .

We are still looking for someone willing to work on one Sunday morning in four. Please get in touch with Anita if you think you can help.

And [almost] finally . . . when your summer visitors arrive, do send them to the shop. Most visitors are so surprised to see the vast range of products on sale and rarely go out without having bought something! There are often comments, too, about how reasonably priced a lot of items are. Which reminds me that Anita wants to remind you that if you want any particular item - cheese, clotted cream or cakes for instance - she can usually get it for you for the next day. And fruit and vegetables still have a 10% reduction when ordered in advance.

Hope we have the hot summer that was promised us and then the ice creams and cold drinks will have a bumper year!

PP of DC


Artwork: Paul Swailes


The first few weeks of May didn't show much promise of being the beginning of a scorching summer. Strong and cold easterly winds predominated to start and eventually gave way to south-westerly gales which brought heavy showers and continued cold , despite the change of direction. It remained cool with maximum temperatures ranging between 13.7 Deg C and 19.5 Deg C until the 29th, when the temperature shot up to 25.5 Deg C. The total rain for the month was 86mm [3 3/8"] with 21mm [7/8"] falling on the 14th. This was fairly average and 5mm [5/16"] more than last year. Much of the month was breezy with a maximum gust of 31 knots on the 8th. Chicane recorded 142.66 hours of sunshine, which was more than 2006 and 2007, but down on last year.

The first few days of June were glorious with temperatures up to 24.8 Deg C, but this ended abruptly on the night of the 5th when the rain started. By the end of 24 hours, we had measured 36mm [1 7/16"] though compared to other parts of the country we got off lightly. After that it picked up again and the rest of the month was pretty dry with a total rainfall of 58mm [2 5/16"], which was nothing out of the ordinary. Temperatures stayed below 21 Deg C until the last week when they started to climb, peaking at 26 Deg C on the 30th and only dropping back to 16.5 Deg C overnight. Although there was a lot of talk about heat waves and scorching temperatures, most Junes since 1994 have had maximum temperatures which have exceeded 26 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 6.4 Deg C on the 8th was about average. Winds were light for most of the month with a maximum gust of 20 knots on the 17th. Again the sunshine hours at 173.9 were down on last year although they exceeded 2007.

In the first six months of this year we have recorded only 419mm [161/2"], making it the second driest first half of a year since our records began in 1994. For the same period in 2006, we recorded only 389mm [15 5/16"] and that went on to be our driest year.

Simon and Sue



It was lovely to see a group of people drawing or painting benefiting from the recently restored Garden in early July. A question revealed that this art group of 10 were from Portishead in Somerset; their tutor told me, "We are delighted to be here . . . wonderful space."

She had reconnoitred the village a month previously and had visited the Shop. When she had said disappointedly that there was nowhere for them to sit, she was directed to Claude's Garden.

Unfortunately, scattered showers curtailed their activity and they headed for shelter and sustenance at Miss Muffets Tea Room for their elevenses. I gather a few repeated this exercise at lunchtime.

The afternoon 'class' resumed and a donation was made for Berrynarbor in Bloom. This was a great example of our community gaining and working as one: a shop recommendation, usage and appreciation of a local amenity and trade for a local business. A good day for many - including the artists - we hope!

Judith - Flowerdew



In 1995 I made a film of the village helped by my friend, Andy Marangone - a local lad who had left the village, drawn by the city lights of London and now a freelance editor but at the time editor for LWT. He put it into shape and we added specially commissioned music. The result was quite pleasing and Berry in Summer found itself all over the world, even to a performance in Australia for 'ex-Berries' on New Year's Eve.

Not much physically has changed in the village since then, but a few of the film stars have left us to live up above. I've been asked quite a few times if I have any copies left or was I intending to make any more - I always found an excuse to say 'No'!

I've been badgered again so shaking off my 'Mr. Grumpy' image, I in turn badgered Andy and we have copied the film to DVD. Initially, we have produced only eight copies, they are simply packaged to keep the cost down. They are on sale at Little Orchard, Barton Lane, at a price of £5.00.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


It is sad to report that Mary and Brian Shillaker have now finally left Rockton and moved to be with their daughter and family in Stogursey near Bridgwater. They say they will 'miss all the lovely people we got to know and please give our regards to everyone'. They are already busy working on their new garden, which is large, with both a flower garden and vegetables. The only drawback is that they have had to wire fence the vegetables to keep the rabbits out!

We will miss them and send them our very best wishes and hope they will be really happy in their new home.


Artwork: Harry Weedon


We have had some lovely weather over the last two months with extremely hot and humid days. The hanging baskets and tubs have loved it and the village is looking at its best. Claude's Garden is now tidy with its new railings and gate, just like a village green, although not all village greens have such a lovely view! The planting to the side of the shop is also complete and should fill out by next year. We have planted mainly scented climbers on the fence and trellis with lavender and roses. The idea is to mask any nasty whiffs from the septic tank and the public toilets!

The first Open Gardens afternoon on 7th June was the best we have ever held. The weather was lovely, the gardens were lovely and the cream teas at The Lodge, in their beautiful garden, were absolutely yummy. The second Open Gardens afternoon could not have been more different. Sadly the heavens opened at 1.00 o'clock and there was torrential rain with thunder and lightning that lasted for virtually the whole afternoon. Despite this, a few hardy and loyal [dare I say foolish?] villagers with a smattering of [desperate?] visitors turned up to make it unbelievably a fairly successful afternoon. The teas went down a real treat, with tables in the garage and indoors at Chicane and, of course, the men's final at Wimbledon was something to watch on the television out of the rain. Between the lovely afternoon in June and the wettest afternoon in July, we managed to raise over £600 for Berry in Bloom. Many thanks go to Phil and Lyn at The Lodge, Judie and Ken at Chicane, all the gardeners in the village and Sterridge Valley and not forgetting the willing cake bakers and helpers. This money will be spent on floral displays in the village next year.

The 16th July is the date for the judging of Britain in Bloom, which will have taken place by the time you read this, and we hope we do as well as last year when we won a GOLD. The judging for the Best Kept Village is on-going until the end of August, so please keep up all your good work.

We must thank the art group who were in Claude's Garden and made a donation of £20.00 to Berry in Bloom because the views down the village were so pretty. Nice to know we are appreciated.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Gooseberries have such a short season but when they come there is often a glut. This is another of those 'could be a cake, could be a pudding' recipes.

Sponge Mix

  • 4oz\110g Margarine or butter
  • 4oz\110g caster sugar
  • 4oz\110g self-raising flour
  • 2 large free range eggs

Crumble Topping

  • 4oz/110g self-raising flour
  • 2oz/50g margarine or butter
  • 2oz/50g Demerara or granulated sugar
  • 1-tablespoon water
  • 1lb gooseberries topped and tailed (uncooked)
  • Desiccated coconut

Prepare the crumble mix first. Rub the margarine in to the flour until it looks like fine bread crumbs, stir in the sugar. Add the water, just enough to make the crumble a little sticky.

Make the sponge by either creaming the fat and sugar with a wooden spoon, adding the eggs one at a time with a little flour with each and finally folding in the rest of the flour. Or, put all the ingredients in to a food processor and beat well.

Line and grease either an 8 1/2 inch loose bottom cake/flan tin or a Pyrex dish approximately 2inch deep. Put the sponge mix in to your chosen tin/dish, top with the gooseberries, and then cover with the crumble mix. Finally sprinkle over some desiccated coconut.

Bake for approximately 1 1/4 hours at 160 Deg C /325F/gas mark 2. Test to see if cooked by pushing a skewer in to the centre of the cake. If it comes out sticky cook for a little longer.

Serve hot or cold with custard, cream, clotted cream or ice cream. It is also lovely drizzled with a very little undiluted elderflower cordial for that quintessential English gooseberry and elderflower summer taste - Mmmm!




Saturday, 18th July, was a very special day - we were celebrating Ron's 93rd Birthday. By 7.30 p.m., the Manor Hall - beautifully decorated for the occasion by Gary and Sheila - was already full with an estimated audience of 130 plus. Tom and Barbara Brown delighted us all with 'This Farming Life', a collection of songs, readings and films. Due to the unexpected high turn out, the Ploughman's Suppers served during the interval ran out, but resourceful as ever in Berrynarbor, extra rations were soon brought in and enjoyed! A wonderful evening.

Ron would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with the celebration, but especially Jan and Nobby, Shane and all the staff at Lee Lodge, Tom and Barbara, his daughter Sheila and her husband Tony, all his friends and villagers, in fact everyone who came to enjoy the special evening with him.

He has now been at Lee Lodge for just over twelve happy months and he thanks everyone there - staff and other residents - for the care and friendship he enjoys every day. Like Ron, those who enjoyed a great evening also thank everyone involved and send Ron best wishes and many happy returns.



In the June issue, Linda Melhuish was seeking information about the Vaggas [Ackland or Cutcliffe] family and Richard Sloley his Sloley relations. Lorna and Marlene have kindly come up with the following information which makes interesting reading.

"Burial of George, son of George and Sussanna Vaguires 31.8.1761".

The Cutcliffe's were an important family in Berry and Combe Martin and were some time landowners.

From Baptisms:

  • 1550 - Elizabeth daughter of John Cutcliffe
  • 1553 - Johan daughter of John Cutcliffe
  • 1567 - Matthew Cutlie [?] of Yellston [Yellaton Farm]
  • 1568 - Joane Cutlyfe
  • 1571 - Julian Cutleth ye daughter of Robert Cutleth
  • 1572 - Humphrey Cutfly ye son of John Cutley?
  • 4.3.1824 - Elizabeth Richards m. John Cutcliffe

Joyce Songhurst also tells us that her mother, Ivy nee Adams, who lived at Knackers Hole, married Frederick Ackland. I have found a little more information about the Sloley family that Richard, from Tavistock, is researching. Church records show the Sloley family have been in and out of Berrynarbor for a long time.

The farm, I think, is an ancient homestead. Like Hammonds and Chichesters [next door and opposite] it seems to have taken the name of ancient occupiers, who probably farmed these places for generations. Until fairly recently, my own Richards family farmed Hammonds for well over a hundred years. Moules Farm has been in the family for over two hundred years through the Draper/Richards line.

In the church records previous to 1746, there are entries where the writing is difficult to read but could be that of the Sloley line. The first clear name is that of Henry Sloley who married Mary Clark on 11.2.1746. In 1752, a Catherine Sloley died.

The 1861 census records:

    William Sloley   HeadAged 44   Cattleman on farm   born Berry
    Ann SloleyWifeAged 44born Berry
    Mable A.Daughter   Aged 9born Berry
    Richard J.SonAged 7born Berry
    AlfredSonAged 5born Berry
    EdithDaughterAged 3born Berry
    WilliamSonAged 1born Berry

The inscription on the grave near the top gate in the churchyard reads: "In loving memory of William Sloley died Sept 1946 aged 90".* The dates do not tally with the census, but census record dates were not always correct. This William Sloley was Bet Richards grandfather and her father was called Alfred. Alfred's brother moved to near Tavistock.


Richard has confirmed that the Sloley who moved to Tavistock was his great-grandfather, Dick. He remembers him as a small child as a very tall, former Royal Marine. Marlene, Ivy White's daughter, also has connections with the Sloley family. From her research:

    *William Sloley married Ann Norman in May 1880 in Gloucester. They must have moved to Wales as five of their children - Louisa Jane [1881], Frederick Norman [1882], William Earnest 1 [1884], Florence Gurtrude [1887] and Violet May [1889] - are shown on census records as being born in Cardiff. On their return to Devon, Mable [1891], Richard J. [1894], Alfred [1896], Edith Mary [1897] and William Earnest 2 [1900], were born in Berry Down. The first William Earnest sadly died in 1887.

William and Ann's Diamond Wedding was recorded in the North Devon Journal on 16th May, 1940:

    "Mr. and Mrs. William Sloley, of 61, The Village, Berrynarbor, celebrate their diamond wedding on Wednesday, having been married 60 years. They are both 84 years of age and were born in the parish of Kentisbury. They had a family of eleven children, eight of whom are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Sloley have lived in Berrynarbor for forty years. Mr. Sloley, who started work at the age of twelve, has seen many changes. He is also one of the oldest bell-ringers and still loves to pull the ropes. Our readers will wish them every happiness on this anniversary."

William died in September 1946 and Ann in January 1949. 61 The Village is where Bet Brooks lives today.

William's sister, Mary Ann, married Charles Harding Huxtable and their daughter, Rosie, married Fred Bray. Their daughter was Ivy White who was my mother. So, William Sloley was my Great Great Uncle!




"Come pretty one, come pretty one,
Come, come, come, come.
Come to my garden and whistle and hum
Come to my window and pick up this crumb.
Come pretty one, come pretty one,
Come, come, come, come."

We all enjoy the sight and sound of our little feathered friends in our gardens and most of us encourage them by putting out nuts, seeds and other titbits. At Barn Cottage our chief 'clients' are blue, cole, great and occasional long-tailed tits. We also have occasional nuthatches, jays and spotted woodpeckers. We used to have green finches, but these seem to have disappeared. Less welcome are the jackdaws [because less colourful?] but they only seem to take the odd nut before flying off. The odd magpie appears not to take anything. I must not forget our two resident robins [we have had more] who come to our picnic table for the crumbs we put out for them.

It is also a delight to hear the song of the blackbird, though we shall shortly be paying for it in soft fruit.

We don't begrudge them their share, so long as they leave a reasonable amount for us! "And what about the thrushes?" I hear you ask. Sadly, we have no residents, just the odd one passing through. Why they shun our garden is a mystery, as I am sure we have as many snails and slugs as anyone.

Over the years, two small episodes come to mind. I was once watching two robins squaring up to each other over a peanut on the ground between them. While they were debating who should have it, down flew a blue tit, picked it up and flew off with it!

On a hot summer's day, I was in the workshop with the door and window wide open. In through the window flew a blue tit with a sparrow hawk in hot pursuit. The latter appeared to catch a wing against the window-frame, as it perched on a shelf looking slightly dazed and giving me a marvellous close-up. The tit made good its escape through the door. After blinking a few times, the hawk recovered itself and flew off through the window. I like to think it survived many months longer.

I wonder if any other readers have bird stories to contribute?

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes



Artwork: Paul Swailes


The Sawmill Inn:

August - Open All Day

  • Breakfast: 9.00-11.30 a.m. daily [except Sunday]
  • Pub Food Daily: 12.00 noon - 9.00 p.m.
  • Takeaways: Pizzas/Burgers/Fish and Chips 12.00 noon to 9.00 p.m.
  • Carvery: Every Friday Night and Sunday Lunchtime
  • Saturday 1st - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Karaoke
  • Sunday 2nd - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Quiz
  • Thursday 6th - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Disco
  • Saturday 8th - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Karaoke
  • Sunday 9th - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Quiz
  • Thursday 13th - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Disco
  • Saturday 15th - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Karaoke
  • Sunday 16th - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Quiz
  • Thursday 20th - 7.30 p.m. Exmoor Border Morris Dancers 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Disco
  • Saturday 22nd - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Karaoke
  • Sunday 23rd - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Quiz
  • Saturday 29th - 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Karaoke
  • Sunday 30th - 4.00 p.m. Duck Race from Mill Park Waterfall 9/9.30 p.m. to Midnight Disco

September - Open Lunchtime and Evening with food 12-2 p.m. & 6-9 p.m.

  • 20th - All You Can Eat - Chinese Night . . . . Book Early!

Ye Old Globe

August: Open All Day

  • Bar 12.00 noon to 11.30 p.m./Midnight
  • Food 12.00 to 2.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Monday 24th - 7.45 p.m. Exmoor Border Morris Dancers

September: Quiz Nights start Sunday, 6th and run fortnightly. 8.30 p.m. start - all welcome. Teams of up to 6. * Regular Raffles at Quiz Nights during

2008-2009 raised £350 which has been shared - £70 each - to Berrynarbor - Berry in Bloom, The Carnival Float, Church Bells, Pre-school and Primary School.


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Charles and Ruth Benson were comfortably off and lived in a timber house near Berrynarbor Corner. For mobility they had two horses and a carriage. They also employed a groom, Fred, to feed and muck-out the horses, generally look after the place as well as doing the garden.

Oddly enough, Charles, Ruth and Fred were all very tall and so were always recognised by the friendly village folk.

It was a lovely sunny day in 1923 when Charles suggested to his wife that they should visit his brother John and his sister-in-law Rita, who lived in a house near the Pack O' Cards in Combe Martin. Fred was grooming one of the horses when Charles looked across to the stables, "Get the horses ready and harness them up to the carriage, we're going to Combe Martin", he called.

Fred carried out his master's wishes as quickly as he could because he always knew it would be an opportunity to sink a pint or two at the Pack.

In a short time the horses and carriage were ready and waiting for Charles and Ruth to take their seats, which they duly did. "Take it nice and slowly," Ruth called to Fred, "The horses won't mind as its downhill all the way and they can save some energy for the journey home."

*Oh look, Sir and Madam," Fred remarked, "You can see Little Hangman, or at least the top and bottom of it, as there is a cloud in the middle."

"What a lovely sight," replied Ruth, "We are so lucky living here."

Soon they were down to Woodlands and approaching the top of Seaside Hill and looking down could see that the tide was very high. Gradually they started the descent to the village, passing the steps where people once got their water from the river Umber.

Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a Jack Russell ran out, barking at the horses, which in fright gathered speed. Their passengers were terrified. In desperation the horses veered left, still with the carriage and passengers in tow, and into the sea.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Fortunately, as the tide was so high and the drop relatively little, the horses swam for a short distance before pulling the carriage up the harbour beach.

This could not have happened a few years later for in about 1928, the road was improved and a footpath with rails was erected.

By now the horses had pulled the carriage to the . more level part of the beach and stood there shaking themselves. The passengers were shaking too! After a few minutes, when they had calmed down a bit, Ruth said to Charles, "What do we do now? We had better get to John and Rita's and dry out." Charles replied as though such an escapade was almost normal.

A crowd had gathered and cheered them on. It was not long before they were at John and Rita's and all given dry clothes to wear, and Fred across the road for his pint. It was probably more than one and most enjoyable, as relating what had happened earned the treat of at least another pint, if not two.

After enjoying their meal and making a fuss of the horses and giving them carrots and sugar lumps, it was time for the return journey, which was uneventful. With the horses bedded down, everyone had a good night's sleep.

The following day, Charles was in his garden, and so was his neighbour. "Looks like its going to be wet today," the neighbour remarked.

Grinning, Charles replied, "Not as wet as yesterday".

Tony Beauclerk - Colchester



Orchard House - Sterridge Valley

The internet is full of surprises. My husband, Peter, and I were amazed to find my name on the Berrynarbor Newsletter site and quickly pressed buttons to discover what it was all about.

A piece entitled 'A Coincidence' was published in the April 2008 issue. The writer [Ivy White's daughter] had been reading about Orchard House in the October 2007 edition. Soon afterwards she went to Abergavenny Market, in Wales, where she noticed two picture postcards of Berrynarbor scenes and bought them. Copies of both were printed in the Newsletter - one, an aerial view, showed the church in the distance and Orchard House at the bottom right hand corner. This card, postmarked June 1961, was written by Heather Fogg [me], "who was staying with her grandparents." I recognised the picture straight away as I still have one exactly the same that I sent to my parents. I wonder how the other one eventually reached Abergavenny Market and to whom had I originally sent it?

Peter and I met while we were students and in 1953 I came to stay at Orchard House for the first time. Peter's parents, Charles and Isabelle, had bought the house on retiring and moved there from Cheshire in 1952. I was entranced by the delightful spot, which was certainly a great place to come for holidays. Peter and I married at my home village in Kent in 1956 and by 1961, when the postcard was sent, we had a daughter of three. That is why I said on the card that we were staying with 'Grandma and Grandpa Fogg'. Our children, of course, loved their holidays at Orchard House and a few years ago our daughter revisited Berrynarbor, this time with her husband and sons.

Charles Fogg [1890-1963] and Isabelle [1892-1973] were very happy living in the village. Charles was on the Parish Council for several years and was largely responsible for establishing a path to Sandy Bay. He had been an officer in the Merchant Navy during the First World War and was a keen supporter of the RNLI. Both he and his wife were loyal members of the Liberal Party.

Isabelle had been a teacher in Cheshire and did some supply work at several local schools after she moved to Devon. We remember that she taught at Barbrook for a while and had to leave early every morning to catch the bus. She took over the headship of the school at Hele just before it closed. She was also a talented artist.

Peter's career in chemistry as a researcher and lecturer took us to various part of the UK, but by the time his father died we had settled in Hertfordshire. Isabelle sold Orchard House in 1967 and came to live near us. Both their names are on a grave stone in the churchyard at Berrynarbor, the village they loved.

I took the photograph of Charles and Isabelle outside Orchard House when we were staying there in 1961.

Heather Fogg







We are nearly at the end of another year - the time has flown by but when I look back at everything that we have done since September, it is not surprising that our feet don't seem to have touched the ground!

We have been lucky enough to enjoy three whole-school trips this term. In June we all went to RHS Rosemoor for a day of exploring the grounds and taking part in workshops on a range of science topics. Last week we all went to watch the Essex dance group perform at The Lantern. As usual, the dancers were inspirational to watch. Then on Friday, we all went to The Landmark to watch local young people perform another style of dance based around a poetry theme. All the trips were enjoyed by everyone and it has been fun to be able to do such lovely activities together as a school.

The whole school have also visited the beautiful Tinnerdy Farm. Tinnerdy's owner - Capt. Nick L'Deau - has encouraged a wonderful array of different habitats and ecosystems in the valley and a postbox trail for the children to find their way around. All the children have spent half a day at the farm in small groups and Nick has guided them through the history of the property and was on hand to answer the many questions about the flora and fauna. The children had a great time and we very much hope we might be able to visit Tinnerdy again at a different time of year to see how the habitat changes with the seasons [and as Alfie pointed out - "everything will look different so we can have the fun of finding the postboxes all over again - especially the one with chocolate hidden in it."]!

Our oldest children have had a particularly busy half term since their tests. They have been on a residential trip to Dartmoor, enjoyed a day at Ocean Fest, had an end of Year 6 treat on Exmoor [sponsored by the Round Table, to whom we are very grateful] and this week are undertaking Bikeability training. You will probably have seen them out on the local roads learning to cycle safely following the Highway Code.

Not to be left out, the younger children have taken part in a Tri-golf Festival held at Ilfracombe Golf Club with other local schools. Class 1 have visited the police station and have just finished their swimming lessons - nearly all of the children were swimming without arm bands which is quite impressive for 4-6 year olds!

We should all like to say a huge thank you to the parents who helped to transport children to various trips over the year helping us to keep the cost down for everyone. We are also very grateful to the PTA who have helped to fund many of the trips. Thank you from us all to the many people who have welcomed us to their property or place of work and done so much more to bring learning to life for our children.

I am sure you will all be as proud as I am to hear that without exception the children of Berrynarbor Primary have conducted themselves impeccably whilst out and about this year. I have had many messages and e-mails over the year complimenting our children on their polite manners and good attitude.

Our Sports took place on a beautiful afternoon at the end of June. All children took part and many family and friends came down to the field to support us. The PTA sold cream teas and a wonderful afternoon was had by all.

As many of you know, both Christina Barrow and I will begin our Maternity leaves in the Autumn term. We have been lucky enough to appoint Tania Slade and Amy Lewis to teach while we are away. Both Tania and Amy will start at the beginning of term so there will be some overlap between us but by starting the term with their new teachers, I am sure the children will have the continuity they need to make a great start to the year.

We shall end our year with our Summer Fair on Tuesday evening and then our Leavers' Service on Friday afternoon when we will say a fond farewell to Paige, Aimee, Lucy, Shannon, Tom, Verity, Matthew, Ellie, Isobel, James and Joe. We all wish them every success at their secondary schools. We will also say 'Goodbye and Thank You' to

Julia Fairchild who has served as a PTA member and Chair of our PTA for several years, helping to raise thousands of pounds to support school activities for all our children.

Over the summer holidays we shall be making some improvements to our school grounds and buildings. Our caretaker, Mr Colton, will be rebuilding the steps to Class1, the windows in Class 1 will be replaced, the kitchen floor will be renewed and a new servery fitted and we are hoping to have the external windows repainted. We have also been advised that a number of trees in our playground need to be pollarded. It is with regret that we will see some beautiful trees reduced in size and we'll certainly miss the shade they provide. However, following a comprehensive tree survey conducted on behalf the local authority recently, we have been told that there is no other way of ensuring the safety of the children and neighbouring properties in any future inclement weather.

Sue Carey - Headteacher


In spite of dubious weather, the Summer Fair was another successful evening, raising over £1,750. Congratulations to all concerned.

We thank all the staff at the school for the exceptional support, encouragement and care they take of their pupils, and wish Christina and Sue healthy and happy maternity leaves - we'll look forward to hearing about the safe arrivals of their little ones.




The first thing many of us do in a crisis is to switch on the kettle. A hot, soothing cup of tea shared with friends, or taken alone, never fails to lift the spirit. Rudyard Kipling obviously knew how it felt to be without tea, when he wrote:

We had a kettle, we let it leak:
Our not repairing made it worse,
We haven't had any tea for a week . . .
The bottom is out of the universe.

Another man of note who was fond of a good cup of tea was William Gladstone, the 19th Century British Prime Minister. He had this to say about his favourite brew:

If you are cold, tea will warm you.
If you are too heated, it will cool you.
If you are depressed, it will cheer you.
If you are excited, it will calm you.


  • Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the wind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.

    Plato gave us that.

  • The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as being heard.

    William Hazlitt wrote those wise words in 1826.

  • Nothing is as easy as it looks. Everything takes longer than you think. If anything can go wrong, it will.

    Murphy's Law

  • The beginning is the half of every action


  • Between saying and doing many a pair of shoes is worn out


It has been well said that the person who never made a mistake never made anything. Nobody likes to make a mistake, but one way of looking at it could be that if you make a mistake today, you will be wiser tomorrow.

You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.

Watching squirrels gambolling about and digging up the nuts they buried earlier in the year, makes one think that we human beings can be in possession of good things too. We can keep stored all the special and important moments in our lives and bring them out again when we feel downhearted.

Some years ago a painting by the famous French Impressionist Henri Matisse was put on display in New York's Museum of Modern Art. It is thought that in over forty days, about one hundred and sixteen thousand people passed by "Le Bateau" before someone pointed out that it had been hung upside down! It seems incredible that anyone could fail to notice the error, but it proves that it sometimes pays to take another look.



Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


Congratulations to Katrina Parkin, daughter of Julie and Michael of Bowden Farm, who has graduated from the University of Exeter with a 2:1 degree in Psychology. Katrina will be going to Worcester in September to take a PGCE after which she will be able to teach Psychology in secondary schools. Well done, Katrina, and good luck for the future.

Happy Birthday! Congratulations and best wishes to the 'Mrs. Reading Lady', Ursula, who celebrated reaching her four score years and ten with a very happy and enjoyable cream tea for family, friends and villagers at Sloley Farm on the 19th July. In lieu of gifts, Ursula asked for donations for the Primary School Library and she thanks everyone for their kindness in supporting the Library, funds for which were boosted by £100.


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


The Rectory,
Combe Martin

Dear Friends,

At the railway station or the bus station I used to hate the words "All change!" Having made oneself comfortable in the seat, and having just started a good book, everything was thrown in the air. Out we got, onto a draughty station platform, sandwiches in one hand and suitcase in the other, to wait yet again for another train. And, of course, the inevitable rush to secure the best compartment and the seat by the window.

Prices in the supermarket are "all change" as well with precious little change from a ten pound note! The cost of things, especially petrol, is "all change" and one feels the security we once had is being undermined all the time. It's the same in the church. "All change" seems to be the message from the Diocese in the way we run our parishes. Is nothing sacred?

In periods of uncertainty and change, it's always worth hanging on to the fundamentals. Take my train journey for instance.  The reason for my journey was to reach my destination - for a holiday or trip out. As long as I reached my destination it really didn't matter if I changed trains once, twice, or even more frequently. Yes, it was inconvenient, but there were other considerations of which I knew nothing.

It's the same with changes in the church. What really matters? We can change or even get rid of clergy and bishops, because the real foundation is God and his love for us as revealed in Jesus.  That's what the church building and the congregation stand for. Yes, it is easier to have the care and oversight of a clergy person, but even if there were no clergy, we would still be expected to show God's love for the world.

It may be "all change" in the world but in our community we need to hang on to the values that unite us. We need to maintain that caring, concerned attitude which some would describe as good neighbourliness, and others would describe as the love of God shown in practical concern. And it is this attitude that the world needs to learn from us, so that we can, in our own quiet way, change the world for the better.

And of course, the one thing that doesn't change is God and his love for us as revealed in and through Jesus. Now that's the real foundation!


With all good wishes,
Yours Friend and Rector,

Keith Wyer



[9th November 1880- 8th February 1960]

Architect of: Battersea Power Station, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and ... the G.P.O's Red Telephone Box

"In this day of mobile 'phones," I wondered, "Does anyone use telephone boxes?"

I was heading for the village telephone box to take a photograph for our Newsletter and was beaten to it by an elderly couple wanting to use it!

Thirty or so years ago, these boxes were so much in use that very often one had to queue to get in, whilst the occupier whispered to a loved one, rang for a doctor or chatted with a friend. Now mostly they stand unloved and if like the one at Berry Down Cross, very neglected. Fortunately, Nora looks after ours, voluntarily, as Royal Mail has apparently abandoned it!

Even so, it will be a long time before the kiosks are forgotten. People have bought redundant ones for their gardens, in Covent Garden there is a row of 5 of them preserved as a tourist attraction and at airport shops there are usually post cards or models of them. They have even crossed the channel as we found out on a boating holiday on the Canal du Nivernais. We arrived in Auxerre on a very rainy night and the first thing I saw was a red 'phone box, not to be used but as a memento to the townspeople from their twinning town of Redditch.

So why did I need a photograph? Well, nearly a year ago I saw in the press that the Norfolk village of Burnham Norton felt bound to protest when the Post Office was going to scrap its telephone kiosk. Living next door to it is Richard Gilbert Scott, the son of the designer, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who was leading this protest. They won their case and it was interesting that a BT spokesman said, "It seemed only right that Gilbert Scott's son should have access to his father's famous design." How nice that someone in BT has a heart!

So who was Sir Giles Gilbert Scott? Born on 9th November 1880 in London, he came from a family of architects. His grandfather,

Sir George Gilbert Scott designed, amongst other things, St Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial. He even made it to Barnstaple where he renovated the Parish church of St Peter and St. Mary Magdalene - and you can see the reference to him [as Sir Gilbert Scott, as he was some- times known] in the stone floor plaque outside the church.

Sir Giles' father was another George, commonly known as Scott Jnr. He was very gifted as a young man, designing a series of churches in London and Yorkshire, but sadly he succumbed to alcoholism and ended up in a mental asylum.

Sir Giles admired his grandfather as a brilliant architect, but loved his father's work and said that he was a true artist. In the early 20th century he himself had a reputation of combining modern and historical ideas in his designs. When commissioned as a consultant to make Battersea Power Station more attractive, he chose exterior bricks to give detail to the plain walls and designed the four corner chimneys to represent classical columns. It remains the largest brick building in Europe, completed in 1933 it became redundant in 1982 and its future is still under discussion.

Perhaps his best-known work is Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. In 1902, a competition was launched for a "Design for a 20th Century Cathedral." He worked on his ideas in his spare time and was surprised to be chosen as one of 5 architects to get through to the second round. He was even more surprised to win the following year at the age of 22 years. This project, interrupted by World War I was ongoing for the rest of his life. The cathedral was consecrated in1924, but not finished until 1980, 20 years after his death. He had a lot of other contracts of course, and between the wars worked on churches and other buildings around the country.

His design that everyone knows, however, is the red telephone box. In 1924 the Royal Fine Arts Commission invited him as one of 3 architects to design a 'friendly' rather than 'intimidating' public telephone kiosk. At that time he was a trustee of Sir John Soanes Museum.

He was a great admirer of this architect who had designed a Portland Stone mausoleum for his wife in St Pancras' Old Churchyard in London. It was topped by an elaborate domed structure. This inspired him for the top of his kiosk. It sported an ingenious ventilation system through that dome and small panes of glass easily replaceable if broken. He wanted it built in aluminium and therefore silver, but the post office insisted it be made of iron and painted red for emergency use. This was the K2. He was called back in 1930 to modify it in concrete for rural use [!] and in 1935 modified it again, the K6, with the now familiar-shaped glass panes, for King George V's Silver Wedding. 70,000 of this design were sited around the country. In 2002 public 'phone boxes reached their peak of 95,000. Since then this has been reduced by about 30,000 and another 9,000 are under threat.

Whilst working in Liverpool, Sir Giles met and married Louise Wallbank Hughes, a receptionist at the Adelphi Hotel. As a fervent catholic, his mother apparently was greatly displeased because Louise was a protestant!

Sir Giles was working on designs for the Catholic Church of Christ the King in Plymouth when he fell ill with lung cancer. He took his designs with him into hospital where he continued to revise them until his death on 8th February 1960 at the age of 79. He and his wife are buried outside the main entrance of Liverpool Cathedral.

PP of DC




The Council, chaired by Councillor Richard Gingell, met on the 14th July.

It was noted that Councillor Andrea Davis had been appointed to the Cabinet of Devon County Council as member for Children's Health and Wellbeing. She is the only cabinet member from the North Devon area.

Enquiries were made about the garden area adjacent to Birdswell Lane and the entrance to the Manor Hall. A low maintenance scheme was approved to upgrade the area.

The erection of a fence round Claude's Garden had been completed and the grass area cut. The work to continue this for next season would be put to tender in the autumn. Trees in the vicinity of Lee Lodge had been inspected and the owners contacted.

Of late there had been a spate of vandalism, particularly damage to vehicles parked in the area outside the Shop, and incidents of petty theft. Residents are asked to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour.

The Parish Council will be meeting on the 11th August and 8th September, and all villagers are welcome to attend - 7.00 p.m. in the Penn Curzon Room.



The Cockerel

Ivor Richards, who lived at Moules Farm, kept a fine cockerel. It had large spurs on its legs and strutted on the road outside the farm as though it owned it! Woe betide anyone who got in his way. The cockerel would charge at their legs and had even been known to draw blood.

Behind the farm was a field, called Hospital Field [local legend has it that it was the burial ground many years before for donkeys and horses]. Being very flat, it was ideal for playing cricket and many a visitor was challenged to a game up there.

One day, the boys were walking home after such a game, and as they got close to the farm they spied the dreaded cockerel. One lad picked up a stone and threw it quite close to it to scare it, but to no avail, it kept coming towards them. Arthur [who we met in the Ghost story in the April issue], was with the boys and he picked up a stone and threw it, hitting the cockerel on the leg, which broke.

Well, the noise and commotion brought Ivor on the scene, at which the lads all began denying that they had thrown the stone, but Arthur said: "All right, I'll pay for the bu**er, it was worth it"!

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Strawberry Time

The boys had gathered at Billy Smith's to decide how to spend the day. It was decided that bird nesting would be the order of the day and so they set off to the glen between Glen Lee and Hill Barton, going the long way round which took them up the lane behind Middle Lee.

Along the fields below Lee Hills, they kept to the bottom hedge. Part way along the field they heard voices from the other side of the hedge and peering through they saw Morna Parsons with some other people picking strawberries.

Morna's family ran a market garden from Glen Lee and the strawberries would be put in punnets before being sent to market or Morna would sit outside Woolworth's in Ilfracombe High Street and sell them along with flowers and other produce from the garden. Morna was a well-loved local character - she always had a flower in her beautiful black hair.

The strawberries looked large, red and delicious. How the boys' mouths watered! They signalled to each other to keep quiet and went on their way. Once out of earshot they agreed that a visit to the garden was a must!

When it was time to go home after their day of fun up in the glen, they returned the same way, pushing through the hedge and in to the garden. The smell of the ripe strawberries . . . oh, how delicious they were. There was also a row of peas, all plump and ready for picking, just waiting to be eaten. They, too, went down a treat!

Feeling full and contented, the boys made their way home, agreeing that a return visit would be a wonderful experience. So, at dusk, a few days later, they made their way up the lane and through the hedge again. They had only picked a few strawberries when one of the boys let out an almighty scream. He had put his hand down to pick a strawberry and had caught it in a gin trap which been tilled to catch thieving varmints, both two or four legged! It was very lucky that the boy's father was a trapper and had taught him how to deal with traps because his accomplices fled the scene leaving him to fend for himself.





Saturday, 29th August 2009

Schedules and Entry Forms for the Show, which this year will be held on Saturday, 29th August, in the Manor Hall, are included with this Newsletter. Extra copies are available from the Shop, Sue's of Combe Martin, The Globe and the Sawmill Inn.

Open to residents, and non-residents and visitors, we hope that everyone, including all the youngsters, will try to put in at least one entry - more preferably! But do come along on the day of the Show, from 2.00 p.m. to view all the exhibits, to take part in the raffle and auction.

If the 70 plus spuds sold earlier are all growing well [let's hope they are], we are going to be very, very busy on the morning of the Show, weighing and sizing them all up! Bring your potatoes, still in the pot but minus any foliage, along to the Hall, either on Friday evening, from 7.00 to 8.30 p.m. or Saturday morning, from 9.00 to 10.30 a.m. Make sure it is clearly labelled with your name and the official' Show sticker. Your haul [and pot] may be collected for later consumption during the afternoon. Uncollected potatoes will be deemed free to auction.

So, LOTS and LOTS of entries please, and lots of visitors for the Show, Prize Giving and Auction.

Yvonne, Vi, Janet, Pip, Tony & Judie The Organising Group



'Let there be cuckoos, a lark and a dove . . . ' [song - Nat King Cole]

When in May 2005 I heard the cuckoo call from woods in the Sterridge Valley, for the first time in ten years, it seemed an encouraging sign.

Last year I heard it in the valley only once, briefly and distant. This year I did not hear it at all in the village. In fact I did not hear it anywhere else either and I miss it; those strange evocative notes that mark the passage from Spring into Summer.

A decade earlier while walking along the River Barle from Simonsbath in May, we had witnessed six cuckoos between Wheal Eliza and Cow Castle and along the hill path above Sherdon Hatch, perching in trees and bushes, fanning their long tails and calling exuberantly.

I now think it unlikely that we shall ever see anything like that again. It's hard to like the cuckoo with its ruthless behaviour; laying its eggs in the nest of a meadow pipit or dunnock then leaving the host bird with all the work of rearing and feeding. The baby cuckoo shoving out of the nest the surrogate bird's own eggs or newly hatched young.

Nevertheless, the prospect of its absence from our countryside in the future is to be regretted. The cause of the cuckoo's decline may lie in its Winter quarters in Africa. It may be that climate change has led to insect prey [such as moths and caterpillars] hatching too early before the migrants' return. The decline in the birds whose nests it parasitises may also be a contributory factor.

But whatever happens, I shall always associate the path along the River Barle and the grandeur of its scenery with our close encounters with Cuculus canorus. Of Exmoor's most popular walks, this route from Simonsbath must be one of the most beautiful and spectacular.

Yet on one occasion the highlight of the day took place right at the beginning of our walk as we were leaving the elevated National Trust car park at Simonsbath. Slowly and unobtrusively down the steep bank at the edge of the tarmac came a fawn bird with stripey markings on face and head, about half the size of a partridge. It matched the colour of the dead beech leaves covering the bank.

We stood intrigued as it continued towards us and then crept round the edge of the car park. From its shape and general appearance it was obviously a game bird of some kind, but what exactly?

Luckily in the Exmoor National Park office below we found a Ranger at his desk. When I described what we'd just seen he became quite animated, grabbed a camera and shot up the steps. "Sounds like a quail", he said.

After a while we relocated the bird, which had climbed to the track above, and the Ranger confirmed that it was a quail [Coturnix coturnix] a rare Summer visitor to Exmoor, which once bred widely in the Brendon Hills and in the Porlock Vale in the nineteenth century.

The quail is the smallest European gamebird. We did not hear it utter a sound but its trisyllabic call is supposed to resemble the phrase 'wet my feet'. It usually remains hidden so we were fortunate to see it out in the open and this will probably turn out for us to be yet another 'one-off' wild life experience.

Soon afterwards I happened to be given an old poetry anthology in which I found a poem called 'Quail's Nest' by John Clare. In it the poet describes coming across a quail and her nest and wondering what it could be. His curiosity is satisfied when he meets a shepherd and tells him what he has seen. The shepherd, 'knew and said it was a quail's'.

The poem seemed to closely echo our own unexpected meeting with the quail and our inability to identify it without the expert knowledge the quail and our inability to identify it without the expert knowledge supplied by the park ranger 'standing in' for John Clare's shepherd.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Sue H



Berry Goes Berserk - Saturday, 3rd October, Harvest Festival Week-end and Berrynarbor is going to party! Make sure you have the date in your diary and invite all your family and friends down for the week-end, because the Village will be making history by creating a new tradition.

As you know, the Community Shop and Manor Hall have been working with Beaford Arts to bring performing arts to the village. Beaford have now secured funding from 'Awards to All' to create a series of free musical and artistic events. Berrynarbor has been privileged to be selected as one of only three rural communities in North Devon to host The Village Band.

So, what exactly is the Village Band? Acclaimed artists and musicians, Tim Hill and Dan Fox* will bring their street band Tongues of Fire, 'a 5-piece riot of reeds, brass and percussion' to make a joyful noise in Berrynarbor. Their music draws inspiration from the sounds of church, village, street, circus and gypsy life. This will be combined with making and sharing food and delighting young and old alike with a series of workshops, processions and musical performance. The workshops will include creative art, as well as producing a specially commissioned piece of music that everyone can join in.

On the day there will be a street carnival, feast, concert and dance, all to the sounds of the Tongues of Fire, the church bells, the village choirs and school orchestra. The concept is to create a new village tradition with everyone participating.

The linchpin for the event is the Bowden Screen, which we hope to recreate on the day. As you probably know, John Jewell - Bishop of Salisbury - was born in the village at Bowden Farm. A wooden screen, dating from his birth in 1522, was found at the farm and now forms part of a display in Barnstaple Museum.

The screen consists of ten panels and it is proposed that each sector of the village, e.g. the Primary School, Berry in Bloom, Craft Group, etc., will join in by decorating a frame [or panel] to a set of instructions that will be given to them in September. How the frame is decorated, displayed, paraded [we trust the various groups will dress up] and presented is entirely up to that group, but should reflect their part in village life. It is hoped that some friendly rivalry develops and the various panels kept secret so that it is only on the day itself that the full beauty and variety of

our dynamic village is revealed. The panel will be displayed outside on the day and eventually placed in the church for more permanent viewing.

I have contacted different groups in the village but look forward to hearing from anybody else who would like to join in. The more the merrier for what should be a fabulous day of fun.

So, if you have any ideas or suggestions, and more importantly want to help, please contact me on 882675. The more input, the better this event - your event! I look forward to hearing from all of you.


* Check out their website: www.tongues-of-fire.co.uk.



1st Primary School: Non-Pupil Day
4th Berry Revels, Manor Hall, 6.30 p.m.
11th Parish Council Meeting, 7.00 p.m. Penn Curzon Room
15th Cream Teas at 9 Berrynarbor Park, 2.00 to 5.00 p.m.
19th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
21st to 23rd North Devon Hospice: Sheep Dog Trials and Country Fayre, Castle Hill, Filleigh
24th Horticultural & Craft Show: Entries Close at 6.00 p.m.
26th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
28th Horticultural & Craft Show: Staging of Exhibits, Manor Hall, 7.00 to 8.30 p.m.
29th Horticultural & Craft Show: Staging of Exhibits, 9.00 to 10.30 a.m.
Show: Manor Hall from 2.00 p.m.
1st Ladies' Group: Unexplained Mysteries - Peter Christie, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
2nd Pilates, Keep Fit Recommences, 9.00 a.m.
Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
3rd Primary School: Start of Autumn Term
8th Public Inquiry [Watermouth Footpaths] Manor Hall, 10.00 a.m.
Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
14th Last Day for items for October Newsletter Newsletter
16th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
23rd Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
30th Mobile Library in Village from 11.20 a.m.
3rd A Village Happening - Tongues of Fire Day
4th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Festival
6th Ladies' Group: Reflexology - Roger Groos, Manor Hall, 2. 00 p.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 - 12.30 p.m.Car Park
1.40 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Watermouth Harbour and the Martello [Shaped] Tower

The two views of Watermouth Harbour and Headland, nos. 84 and 157, were both taken by William Garrett.

The first around 1919 or earlier shows the almost enclosed harbour at high tide with two sea-going ketches and what appears to be a sailing dinghy. Gerald Walters of Combe Martin informs me that the ketches were the 'Olive and Mary' and 'Lady of the Isles'. Note that at the time there is no development of the harbour and headland at all.

The second and later picture shows two sailing ketches, but the one on the left is already being dismantled and broken up. A large tent or marquee can be seen and this was probably for one of the Boys' Brigade Camps, which were often held at Watermouth [see View No. 97, October 2005].

Note the Martello shaped tower which appears in both pictures. This must surely be the oldest surviving building or structure at Watermouth. Indeed, the Reverend John Swete, [1752-1821], producer of 'The Illustrated Journals: Travel in Georgian Devon' between 1789 and 1800, refers to the structure as follows:

    "The restrospective view of Watermouth as I ascended the northern side of a steep hill was extremely pleasing - the Cove, and the rocky headland were beheld in high perfection, and the little Edifice about midway on the latter [now seen sideaway], exhibited its Portico more conspicuously than it had done when viewed from the House. I had conceived this Building which wore the semblance of a Grecian temple, to have been erected for the purpose of recreation, imagining that it had a room which commanded the whole extent of Sea, and all the Beauties which were comprised within the little circle of Watermouth; in this however I was wholly mistaken, for I learnt from the Servant, that it was a Dove house and had been erected as an object merely from the House."

This picture, again showing the tower, is an artistic view entitled 'Watermouth seat of [blank] Davie Esq.' is dated 1796, well before the construction of today's Watermouth Castle, which was commenced in 1820 and completed in 1840.

My father, Thomas L. Bartlett, B.A., M.B.O.U. [Member of the British Ornithological Union] was both a historian and ornithologist and until his death in 1973 was the Chairman of the Selborne Society and Editor of the Selborne Magazine. The Selborne Society, founded in 1885, existed at that time : to perpetuate the memory of Gilbert White; to protect places of interest and natural beauty; to conserve Britain's heritage of wild birds, animals and plants; to encourage the study of Natural History and to campaign for small Educational Sanctuaries near built-up areas.

In the Summer 1968 issue of the Selborne Magazine, my father wrote:

    "Since 1905, when from the top of the old Lorna Doone coach I saw a great Red Deer silhouetted against a sunset sky, I have traversed the whole North Devon coast. To that coast after Arctic wanderings, one of my sons has now returned to live whilst another, who has studied wild life and taught school children in the Falklands, regularly brings his young family to explore the caves at Watermouth and play on the sandy beaches south of Ilfracombe. Soon these youngsters will be wanting to range northwards towards Lynton to see where their parents pitched their tents under Buzzards' nests and found at least one Dipper's nest each year along the Lyn. I know from my own observations and from 'Ilfracombe Flora and Fauna' published in 1946 that during the last two decades Buzzards, Dippers and other interesting land birds along this coast have been too rapidly decreasing. I am also wondering what birds, what paths and what nature study facilities for school children will be available along that coast in the seventies and eighties.

    "Accordingly after studying the 'Outline Development Plan for the Coastal Strip, Ilfracombe to Combe Martin' displayed at the County Hall, Exeter, I have suggested that the County Planning and Education authorities should consider registering the Tower illustrated on the cover of this magazine and a few acres round it not only as a site of outstanding natural beauty but as one of Special Scientific Interest which could be adapted as a field centre, observatory and museum, to give school children and others a greater interest in Devon's natural history and a deeper concern about its conservation. T.L.B."

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, August 2009
e-mail: tomandinge40@gmail.com.