Edition 122 - October 2009

Artwork: Dylan Bacon

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Twelve days without rain - and still counting - must be a record for what can only be described as a dismal summer! It would appear that we have suffered more than most and certainly the eastern side of the country appears to have fared better.

Never mind! A few sunny days have cheered us slightly as the evenings begin to draw in and unbelievably there are already signs of Christmas!

In spite of the inclement weather, all the village events have been very successful - for fun and finance. Our next big event - and there are others to follow - is the TONGUES OF FIRE. This whole village event, in conjunction with Beaford Arts, is taking place on Saturday, 3rd October. It promises to be fascinating and full of fun, from music to crafts to feasting. So, if you don't want to miss out on the fun, be there!

A good response to my plea for crossword puzzlers - thank you all. I was delighted to hear from Stanley Barnes who has had the ingenious idea of using Brian's grids [saves me a lot of time] with new words and clues. His crossword in this issue is based on that of June 2009. I now have a selection of puzzles-in-waiting.

Stanley, who is a long-distance reader from York and whose grandfather was our village blacksmith, Sam Harding, joins my wonderful band of nonagenarian contributors, having celebrated his 94th birthday earlier this year.

As Editor I am privileged to hear from and talk to readers - both near and far. And having been given a copy of the June Newsletter by neighbours who had stayed in the village, Eric Leworthy was fascinated to find the article about the Leworthy family. Now on the mailing list, Eric moved from Hagginton Hill in 1979 and is currently living in Exmouth.

Coincidence? Eric's father, Alfie, features in the first of Marlene's 'Local Characters' articles and Eric has kindly supplied photos of his parents.

Then there is the coincidence of Heather Fogg and the card that Marlene discovered at Abergavenny Market [April 2008/August 2009]. Marlene has just told me that it was sent by Heather to a Mrs. C. Evans of Llangollen - and here another coincidence as Ken and I had visited there only a week earlier!

Mention of the field where donkeys were buried stirred memories for Alvina Irwin [nee Richards] of when she was a little girl and living with her grandparents at Hammonds Farm. When walking up from school, the children would drink from the stream that ran down the side of the road. Hearing of this, her Aunt Audrey warned them not to do this, as the stream came from the field where horses and donkeys were buried! Alvina remembers that in the spring wild daffodils would flower there and wonders if they still do.

And is it really true that donkeys and horses were buried there?

Christmas greetings for friends and neighbours? Yes, these may again be sent via the Newsletter. If you would like to do this, please let me have your message, together with a donation [donations will be shared between the Newsletter and the Manor Hall] AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. They may be left at the Shop or Chicane but by Monday, 16th November at the latest please.

That is also the deadline date for items for the December and Christmas issue, which should be out on the 3rd.

And finally, after this long editorial, I must express my appreciation to everyone who has contributed to this issue, but especially those who contribute regularly, most of whom have done so for many years. Thank you all.

Judie - Ed



After the August break, we started off the new season with a visit from Peter Christie talking about 'unexplained phenomena'. Fortean Times, 'The World of Strange Phenomena', is a British monthly magazine devoted to anomalous phenomena popularised by Charles Fort. The Loch Ness monster, or Nessie, is one such phenomena. The first written account was made by the Viking Adamnan in 565 AD. He described how St. Columba heard about the monster. In 1934, an English surgeon named R. Kenneth Wilson took what is perhaps the most famous photo supposedly showing a head and neck above the water and indicating a very large creature. Sea monsters have also been reported in Lake Manitoba, Canada and, surprisingly, off Instow in 1911 and Falmouth in 1976!

The most famous land creature is the Yeti. It is a large, hairy man-ape which reportedly inhabits the mountainous regions of Tibet and Nepal. As early as 1921, Colonel C.K. Howard-Berry found a series of tracks while climbing Mount Everest. In North America one of the earliest sightings by a white man took place in 1811, when a Canadian trader found large footprints in the snow near Jasper, Alberta. The Beast of Exmoor has produced much speculation. Sightings were first reported in 1970, although the period of its notoriety began in 1983, when a South Molton farmer claimed to have lost many sheep. Most eye witness accounts claim the animal is a large cat, either a puma or panther with jet black fur.

Another topic highlighted by Mr. Christie is 'weird rain'. There have been accounts from all corners of the globe of frogs, fish, squid and worms dropping from the sky. The logical explanation is that a tornado or strong wind picked up the animals from a shallow body of water and carried them, sometimes hundreds of miles, before dropping them. There have been amazing cases of living frogs, toads and lizards being found encased within solid rock.

The last account was human phenomena. Spontaneous human combustion is a name used to describe the burning of a living human body without an external source of ignition. In many of the more recent cases it is alleged that there was an external source and nothing occurred spontaneously. In rare instances, children are born with body hair, additional nipples and occasionally with a small tail-like protrusion at the base of the spine.

Some of the above reports were illustrated by photographs and members found Mr. Christie's talk very intriguing.

The raffle was won by Janet Gibbins, birthday cards were given to Joan Garbett and Margaret Weller and the Meeting ended with the usual tea and biscuits.

The October Meeting will be on Tuesday 6th, when Roger Groos will be explaining reflexology [a form of therapy in alternative medicine in which the soles of the feet are massaged]. On November 3rd, a member of the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service will be coming. The Christmas Party will be on 1st December.

Visitors and new members are very welcome to attend these Meetings.

Doreen Prater




Because I have loved life,
I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings,
to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain,
I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child
to the face of the earth I have pressed.

Amelia Josephine Burr [1878-1968]


It is with regret that we report the passing of Vera on the 22nd July. Our thoughts are with Jill, John and their families at this time of sadness.

Vera died at home on July 22nd aged 94 years. The eldest of the seven children of Fred and Emma Richards, she was brought up at Barton Farm and attended Berrynarbor Primary School before going on to the then new Grammar School in Ilfracombe.

On leaving school, Vera ran the farm milk round for her father in Berrynarbor and Combe Martin, often assisted by younger brothers Brian, Bob and Claude.

In 1940 she married Jack and moved to Wheel Farm - a true farmer's wife until Jack's death in 1973. On moving to Combe Martin, Vera still maintained her strong links with the village, supporting many events, often with sisters Brenda and Freda, until ill health and age prevented her.

Vera is now back in Berrynarbor, reunited with Jack.

John and I and our families wish to thank everyone for all the cards, messages and telephone calls we received, we were touched that so many people remembered her.



It was with much sadness we learnt that Daisy had passed away peacefully on the 15th August, just short of her 96th birthday.

Daisy came to Berrynarbor with her daughter, Marion, in the summer of 2000 and attended many of the activities and events held in the village. A football fanatic, she maintained her interest in the game right to the end.

Our thoughts are with Marion and all her family at this time of sorrow.

We should like to thank everyone who sent cards and letters to us after my mother Daisy died.

We are very appreciative of all your kind words and sympathies and should also like to thank everyone who attended mum's funeral and made such a wonderful congregation.

Marion and Family


Mum was born in April 1940 in Romford in Essex. The war was on and she and her two brothers, John and David, looked forward to getting away to Devon to stay with their cousins, Pat and Janet, who lived in Combe Martin.

The family loved North Devon and in the 1950's decided to relocate to Lydford Farm where Mum spent the remainder of her school years living on the farm. She would walk to the old coast guard hut and stretch out in the sun, ostensibly doing her homework, but in reality dreaming her dreams of becoming a nurse.

Mum was a very competent horse woman and would ride for hours on her horse Heidi, riding right out to Hunters Inn and exploring the countryside. Her independent streak showing itself early perhaps?

She began her nurse training at St. Helier Hospital in Surrey and loved her chosen profession, she was sure that nursing was what she was cut out for.

In March 1959 she married Dad at St. Peter's in Berrynarbor. She had three bridesmaids, her cousins Pat and Janet and her new sister-in-law, Val. These friendships were some of the most important in her life and they remain true to this day. She was loyal and her lifelong friendships are a testament to the wonderful friend she was.

She postponed her training and settled in Barnstaple where two of us were born, Wendy in 1960 and Rachel in 1962. Shortly after, the family moved to Berrynarbor and took over the Manor Stores, which is now known as Flowerdew Cottage. She would tell us the story of the day we moved in - arriving in the rain with our furniture only to find the previous owners sitting down to dinner!

The family settled in to being shop owners and quickly became part of the village. In June 1965 Jan was born upstairs and had the decency to arrive outside opening hours! Mum was to be found two days later back serving customers. Jan was the last baby to be born in the village until Mum delivered a little girl, Skye, on the bathroom floor of Hammonds Farm, in late 1996.

Our mother had a beautiful voice and in the late '60's she started the Choir at St. Peter's. On Christmas Eve at the Midnight Service, she would stand on the top step of the font and sing the solo first verse of 'Once in Royal David's City' as the choir walked in - beautiful and moving, a treasured memory.

In 1973 she found herself single handedly raising three girls and running a business. She taught us to be independent, self-sufficient and resilient. She ran the shop through the day and worked behind the bar at The Globe in the evening to make ends meet. They were tough times but she displayed strength and courage and guided us through the storm.

In 1977 Mum sold the Manor Stores and moved to Berryhome. She rekindled her dream of becoming a nurse and in 1980 completed her SRN training at the North Devon District Hospital - one of the proudest moments of her life. She became a brilliant nurse who was loved and respected by colleagues and patients alike.

She had a wonderful sense of humour and loved to tell amusing stories about her day. Her observations on life were very dry and she enjoyed a sense of the ridiculous. One story she told was of a young nurse just starting out. Mum asked this girl to collect all the patients' false teeth so that they could be sterilised. She eagerly set about her task and when Mum asked if she had completed it, she proudly showed her all the false teeth in one big bowl - it took ages to reunite the right teeth with the right owner!

In 1982 she was diagnosed with non lymphatic Hodgkin's disease, receiving treatment at Charing Cross Hospital in London. We were told to expect the worst but they had underestimated Mum's bravery and determination to beat the disease. The next two years were spent at Charing Cross or recuperating with her cousin Pat, finally coming back to the village in 1984 with the cancer in remission. The support from her family and friends gave her the courage to face this dreadful disease and win.

Recovered, she went back to nursing and her personal experience with illness only enhanced her skills and she was a calm, empathetic, supportive friend to those who trod the same path. She enjoyed many more years doing the work she loved and retired in 1998.

Her retirement was spent pottering around her lovely garden, making baskets of colour to hang around the village. She did tapestry and loved a good book and taught the village Sunday School, keeping her close connection with the church. She enjoyed long chats with Philip, her companion of many years. Her extended family grew and she revelled in the role of Grannie to Molly, Rory, Jane and Fergus and Godmother to her nine Godchildren. She loved and cared for her parents and nursed them through their old age.

She adored living in Berrynarbor, and in her final days when she was told she was going back to Berry, she smiled.

Our mother passed away on the 7th June, surrounded by people she loved and on the 15th June, the village came together to celebrate her life. On the 17th June, a rainy afternoon, the Fanner girls and her brother laid her to rest, within the length of the church tower, under a tree, beside the park that she helped to raise funds for when we were children.

Our Mum was a kind, gentle woman with a good heart. She was honest, loyal and worked hard her whole life. She fought many battles and taught us how to be brave. Her advice was invaluable and we miss her. We are so proud that she is our Mum and through our memories we continue to cherish her presence in our lives.

We should like to thank you all for all the kindness you have shown us over this sad time.

Wendy, Rachel and Jan



Illustration by:Helen Armstead

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up your quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae



25th July was one sunny day amongst many others of rain. We had planned for months for the party, but all depended on the weather. The bouncy castle arrived, the tents were up and tables and chairs in place. Family and friends came from far afield to celebrate a wonderful evening. The children loved the bouncy castle and rides on 'Willow's wheels'. DJ Phil was excellent and his choice of music soon had everybody dancing and singing [including Keith!] and Debbie and Tony provided a wonderful spread of food.

I want to thank everyone for a lovely evening and for your generous donations to Foulis Ward and below is the letter of thanks I received. A final thank you to Chris and Dave, my neighbours, who came round at 7.00 a.m. on Sunday morning, in the pouring rain, to help clear up.

Now I'm going to enjoy all the perks of reaching a certain age!

Royal Brompton Hospital

I am writing on behalf of the patients and staff on the Foulis Ward who will benefit from your generous donation of £820.00 raised through donations in celebration of your 60th birthday. The money has been paid into the Foulis Ward Amenity Fund.

It is through the generosity and continuing support of individuals such as yourself that I and my staff are able to ensure that patients we nurse are able to benefit from many of the little extras that make a stay in hospital more bearable. Joe is an amazing and courageous young man who has taught both me and my staff so much during his many admissions to hospital. He is always a pleasure to nurse.

As you may be aware, many of the patients nursed on the ward have repeated and extended stays on the unit. It is therefore essential that we try and make this as pleasant and enjoyable experience as possible, with your support I am able to ensure that we continue to offer a high quality service.

Once again many thanks . . . I have also forwarded a copy of this letter to Joe's mum Sarah.

Stephen Barton

Steve Barton is a senior nurse and the modern matron for Foulis Ward. a 34-bed unit which specialises in the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients from the age of 16. He originally trained as a psychiatric nurse and joined Royal Brompton 23 years ago.

He set up the ward 18 years ago, using his experience in both palliative care and nursing cystic fibrosis patients, many of whom transfer from children's hospitals such as Great Ormond Street.

Although there are strict rules, the patients are given as much independence as possible. While they are staying for treatment, they can go out and explore London and they also have TV's, video recorders and 'phones in all the rooms.

Patients are encouraged to study whilst they are in hospital and some have taken exams. Individual's achievements, as well as social events, are displayed on an up-to-date notice board.



Here in Berrynarbor we are very lucky to have a Club with excellent facilities, including a snooker table and a licence to sell alcohol.

We, the members, would like to make all men-folk, young or old, and particularly newcomers to the village or surrounding area, aware of this facility, which can be used both in the afternoons and evenings, or even in the mornings!

Like so many club premises, the cost of upkeep has increased and the more members we have, the merrier, as well as helping the finances! Annual membership is currently £15.00 and for just 50p per person, you can have a game of snooker - can you get better value?

If you are interested in using these facilities you would be made most welcome. For further details, please ring our Club Chairman, Tony Summers, on [012271] 883600.


Artwork: Helen Armstead


Everything went well for the Summer Fayre which took place on 18th August and turned out to be the most successful for some time, if not ever. The day was fine and we were able to make full use of the Manor Hall Car Park. As always, there was a lovely, friendly atmosphere and our thanks go to everyone who took part, gave so generously and helped in so many different ways. With all expenses paid, a total of £1,186 was raised. Remaining items from the bric-a-brac stall were given to the Hospice Shop and books were delivered to the Combe Martin Museum for their stall.

HARVEST THANKSGIVING will take place the first week-end in October, with a service in church at 11.00 a.m. on 4th October, the day after the Beaford Arts events in the village, in which St. Peter's hopes to take a full and active part. The church will have been decorated ready earlier in the week and please contact Sue Wright [883893] if you have flowers, fruit or vegetables to donate or would like to contribute towards the cost of flowers. The Harvest Supper will be held on Wednesday evening, 7th October, with Evensong in church at 6.30 p.m. followed by a buffet in the Manor Hall. Tickets price £5 for adults, £2 for children will be on sale the week before in the Shop or from church on Sunday. Any produce will be auctioned after the meal, with proceeds going to Water Aid.

Looking forward to November, All Saints falls on Sunday, 1st November. There will be a service as usual at11.00 a.m. and the Special Service at 3.00 p.m. when candles will be lit in memory of loved ones. Do come and join us - you will be assured of a warm welcome and there will be tea and biscuits afterwards.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY is on the 8th November, and this year the service will probably start earlier at10.30 a.m. Please look out for posters.

Finally, Advent Sunday will be on 29th November when the first candle will be lit on the Advent Ring and we shall start to think of Christmas! Friendship Lunches at The Globe will be on Wednesdays 28th October and 25th November. Anyone is welcome to come and join us - please contact me on 883881 if you would like to give it a try.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Mary Tucker



The Inspector appointed by the
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to determine
County Council
(Footpath Nos. 28, 29 & 30, Berrynarbor)
Definitive Map Modification Order 2008
attended at the Manor Hall, Berrynarbor to hold a public inquiry into the Order on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th September 2009

The inquiry was adjourned and will be reconvened as follows:
Thursday, 5th November 2009
, 1.00 p.m.
Public Site meeting at Watermouth
Friday, 6th November 2009
, Manor Hall, 9.30 a.m.
Public Inquiry to continue



In the light of the recent public inquiry concerning access to the coast at Watermouth, this account of a disgruntled would-be coastal rambler nearly 140 years ago may strike a chord. The restrictions he encountered at Clovelly, Ilfracombe and Lynton so incensed him that he felt provoked to write to The Times in September 1871:

"Here, where I wandered years ago without let or hindrance, fished, sketched, roved about caves, corners, coves and covers, are now spiked fences, man traps, spring guns, and every other deterrent abomination . . .

"Where only a few years ago I strolled at will over gigantic crags, wave-worn rocks and precipitous hill-sides, tangled with furze, eglantine and honeysuckle.

"Now what I wish to urge is a healthier tone among the owners of property which happens to be a favourite resort with the ramblers and scramblers of England, old and young. Property has its duties as well as rights, however much the 'other side' may be disposed to deny our claims . . .

"Will our good friends reflect that the beauties of God's nature are not all their own, that accident has given them what they possess, and that to deny their fellow creatures a peep into this loveliness is at once selfish, unbecoming and to be resented?"

THE TIMES September 1871

[Source: "Along the South West Way" by A.G. Collings]





July was a record-breaking month - unfortunately the record broken was not for temperature and sunshine! After the last two years, we have decided that July is now our 'monsoon' month. The heavy rain started on the 5th when the Sterridge Open Gardens day suffered torrential rain, which produced 20mm [13/16"] during the day. Then, between 11.00 a.m. on the 16th and 11.00 a.m. on the 17th, we had 81mm [3 1/8"], which was the most we have ever recorded for a single day. The total rainfall for the month was 303mm [11 15/16"], which made it not only the wettest July that we've ever recorded, but also the wettest month of any since October 2000. Spare a thought for Princetown, which had 368mm [14 1/2"]. The maximum temperature was 27.3 Deg C, which was a little cool but not exceptional with a minimum of 11.8 Deg C, which was above normal. The wind was fairly strong for most of the month, with a north westerly gale on the 17th, but we are sheltered from that direction so our strongest gust was 30 knots on the 22nd. The miserable weather meant that Chicane recorded only 135.59 hours of sunshine, which was the lowest for a July since we started keeping records in 2003 - the nearest to this was 2007 when we had 150.97 hours.

August was a little improved. It is often a wet month so this year with only 69mm [2 3/4"] it was one of the drier Augusts, but the rain was spread fairly evenly throughout the month, with only six days without some precipitation and only three of those were consecutive. The wettest was the 4th, with 9mm [11/32"]. It was a fairly cool month with a maximum temperature of only 23.1 Deg C, which was down on previous years; the minimum of 10 Deg C was slightly above the normal. August was slightly sunnier than July with 152.7 hours, but again, apart from last year when we had only 127.64 hours, it was a duller month than usual. Another breezy month, there was a maximum gust of 28 knots on the 20th.

We all need an Indian Summer now to set us up for the winter.

Simon and Sue

Indian Summer: an unseasonably warm, dry and calm period of weather, usually following a period of colder weather or frost in late autumn.

The term 'Indian Summer' reached England in the 19th Century, during the heyday of the British Raj in India. This led to the mistaken belief that the term referred to the Indian sub-continent. In fact the Indians in question were the Native Americans, the term being used there in the late 18th Century. 'Indian Summer' is first recorded in Letters from an American Farmer, a 1778 work by the French-American soldier turned farmer, J.H. St. John de Crevecoeur.


Artwork: Paul Swailes


A big " Thank You" to everyone who helped and supported this year's Berry Revels fundraiser at the beginning of August. Notwithstanding the rather indifferent weather, attendance numbers were similar to earlier years and the result has been £1200 going into the funds to help finance the running of this key facility of the village.

With costs for everything always 'on the up' it's perhaps worth reminding everyone that some £15,000 is now needed to run the Hall for a year, that's fast approaching £300 a week or nearly £45 a day, which puts the still very competitive rental rates into perspective!

Work is planned for the repair and external decoration of the windows in the immediate future, and there seems to be a need to be up on the roof again to fix loose slates and avoid wet ceilings - it's on-going!

Your Committee is always asking itself "How might we do better?" So if you have ideas which could fit for next year's Revels then please let us have them, or indeed, other ideas for events you'd like to see staged at Manor Hall at some time.

We've set a date of Saturday 19th December for the Christmas Coffee Morning & Christmas Card Distribution event, and are considering the idea of a Cheese & Wine evening around that time too. We'd also like to hear from people who might be interested in a Table Top Sale, on a Saturday morning were we to organise one, either in November or in the New Year. The New Year is also when we hope to hold a "Quiz 'n Curry" Supper Evening. So please watch notice boards for further details as the ideas unfold!

Colin Trinder - Chairman of the Management Committee



Many of us would imagine that the first holiday camp would be one of those opened by Billy Butlin, who was later knighted by the Queen to become Sir Billy Butlin, but they would be mistaken.

In truth, Joseph Cunningham, a successful flour dealer and baker from Liverpool and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to the Isle of Man in the 1890's. They opened summer camps in 1892 and 1893 in Laxey, but in 1894 they opened an all-male, tented summer camp in Howstrake, I.O.M. for up to 600 men per week. The success of these holiday camps was largely down to the organisational ability of Mrs. Cunningham that led them in 1904 to acquire five acres of agricultural land at Victoria Road, near Falcon Cliff. Here 1500 tents and a 100 foot dining pavilion were erected for the March to October season. Shortly after the First World War commenced, internees were given the job of replacing many of the original wooden huts for chalets. In September 1914, the camp was cleared of its campers and staff and requisitioned as an internment camp for enemy aliens.

I found this information as a result of purchasing, through e-Bay, a quantity of Isle of Man postcards, which included three of 'The Cunningham Camp, Douglas, Isle of Man'.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, September 2009



The Lunar Society was a group of brilliant engineers, scientists, inventors and thinkers who met in and around Birmingham between 1765 and 1813. Their preferred venue was the home of Matthew Boulton [see MOVERS AND SHAKERS - NO. 23] in Handsworth, and they would arrange their meetings each month for the Monday nearest the full moon, so that there was plenty of light for the journey home along the unlit roads. Hence the name lunar circle, or lunar society or, as they sometimes called themselves, the 'lunatics'.

The members of the Lunar Society were hugely powerful and influential, leaders and designers of the revolution that was sweeping the world, the Industrial Revolution. At meetings they would discuss not only the new inventions and the science behind them, but how that science and invention could be applied to the real world of industry, medicine, transport, education, politics and social issues. They knew that they were changing the world and they had the confidence to believe that they were changing it for the good of mankind.

Their outlook was liberal. They abhorred slavery and tyranny, and sympathised with the ideals behind both the French and American Revolutions, yet at the same time they believed in capitalist self-help and the need for success to be rewarded.

Leading members of the Lunar Society included:

  • Matthew Boulton the leading industrialist of the day, who developed modern-day industrial practice with the first workers' insurance schemes and sick pay.
  • James Watt, the inventor of the world's first practical steam engines. The unit of power, the 'watt' is named after him.
  • William Murdock, the inventor of the gas light.

  • Erasmus Darwin, a poet, inventor and botanist, published a theory of evolution 60 years before his grandson Charles Darwin, developed a steering system adopted by Henry Ford and a mechanical copying machine.
  • Josiah Wedgwood, the father of English pottery.
  • Joseph Priestley, discoverer of carbon dioxide, carbonated drinks, nitrous oxide and oxygen.

  • Richard Lovell Edgeworth, an inventor who published books on educational theory.
  • William Small, a mathematician and philosopher, was also a mentor of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States of America.
  • William Withering, a doctor and botanist who discovered the benefits of digitalis, which is extracted from the foxglove plant, in the treatment of heart disease.
  • Walter


    Brian Wright

    Solution in Article 31.


    Artwork: Harry Weedon


    We have had a quiet couple of months with not much happening apart from watering and dead-heading, but we had a litter pick and work party mid-September to start clearing up after the main holiday season. The weather has not been very kind to the summer bedding plants even though early September was lovely, so we have started clearing them ready for the spring bulbs. We plan to plant crocus bulbs in Claude's garden with the help of the school children and tulips and daffodils in the tubs around the village.

    We did much better this year in the Best Kept Village competition, although we were not first or second, but came equal third with a few other villages. It seems we shall have to work even harder next year! The funny thing is that last year they marked us really low because Claude's Garden was unfinished, but this year in their summary they did not even mention it. We thank all of you who have helped to keep the village tidy, but we really could do with a few more litter pickers, so don't feel shy, come and join us and enjoy tea and cakes after. The next litter pick is planned for the end of the autumn half term school holiday and will be the last litter pick for this year. Look out for the posters with the date and time. Hope to see you there.

    As we go to press we have not yet had the results for the Britain in Bloom competition, but we are hopeful.

    Wendy Applegate


    Artwork: Angela Bartlett

    Preserved Ginger Cake with Lemon icing

    This is a lovely light, zingy ginger cake often made by Wendy Jenner for fetes and coffee mornings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

    • 5 pieces preserved stem ginger in syrup chopped
    • 2 tablespoons ginger syrup [from the jar of stem ginger]
    • 1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 heaped teaspoon grated fresh root ginger
    • 6 oz\175g butter or hard margarine at room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing
    • 6 oz\175g golden caster sugar
    • 3 large free-range eggs at room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
    • 8 oz\225g self-raising flour
    • 1 tablespoon ground almonds
    • 2 tablespoons milk

    For the topping

    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 8 oz\225g icing sugar
    • 2 extra pieces preserved stem ginger in syrup

    First prepare a cake tin 6" x 10" x1" deep by greasing lightly and lining with silicone paper: Press it into the tin folding the corners to make it fit. The paper should come up 1 inch above the tin. When I didn't have the correct sized cake tin, I used a roasting tin. Set the oven at 170C/325F/gas mark 3.

    In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter or margarine and the sugar until light and fluffy. Next break the eggs in to a jug and beat them with a fork until fluffy, then gradually beat into the creamed mixture, a little at a time. Next fold in the ginger syrup and golden syrup. Sift the flour and ground ginger together and then gently fold in to the mixture a little at a time. Next fold in the almonds followed by the milk and lastly the grated root ginger and chopped stem ginger.

    Spread the cake mix evenly in the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is risen, springy and firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then turn out on to a wire rack and allow to go cold completely before icing.

    For the icing: sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in enough lemon juice to make the consistency of thick cream, you may not need all the lemon juice. Spread the icing over the cake and allow to dribble down the sides. Cut the remaining ginger into 15 chunks and place in lines across the cake so that it will cut into 15 squares with a chunk of ginger in the centre of each square.

    Mmm just lovely!

    Wendy Applegate




    The Garden Tea Room will be closing at the end of October, but during October, visitors intending to come for coffee, light lunches or cream teas are advised to check in advance that it is open as times might vary. During the month we shall be participating in the 'Celebration of Food' event.

    However, during the winter months, it is always possible to book the venue for meetings, lunches or suppers, or for that family celebration. Once again we'll be open for Christmas Meals, at lunchtime and in the evenings during December . . . just the answer for your group's festive feasting. For full details and menus speak to Patricia on [01271] 342528 and check the website [www.marwoodhillgarden.co.uk] to keep up to date with happenings at the Gardens.

    As for the gardens themselves, there is still plenty to see and the green hues are changing to the colourful oranges and golds of autumn.

    There is a vast and varied selection of plants for sale, and annual Season Tickets at just £20.00 make welcome presents or, of course, give you yourself access all the year round.


    I HAD A DREAM . . .

    I'd been dreaming of visiting the bustling city of New York since I was a little girl. Influenced by films and books I found myself intrigued by the architecture, culture and the lifestyles presented in the media. I was expecting something fabulous, and the 'big apple' certainly exceeded my expectations.

    The first thing that surprised me was how green it was; landing at JFK after the 8 hour flight, we were surrounded by grass - houses with large gardens and parks on every few blocks. Although the towering buildings are worlds apart from the country buildings of Berrynarbor, I found myself at ease.

    The city itself was magnificent from both angles; from the top of the Rockefeller Center the views of the enormous Central Park (843 acres) were breathtaking, as well as the swarms of distinctive yellow taxis congested below. Meanwhile, from the ground the feeling could only be described as insignificant as skyscrapers loomed above.

    The list of attractions is endless, and an action packed two weeks could never be long enough. From museums of art, history and religion to streets which alone were famous [e.g. Fifth Avenue, Broadway] there was no chance of being bored.

    Broadway was a favourite place of mine, but being a theatre lover I was doomed the moment I entered Times Square. The energetic atmosphere and bright colours tempted me to fork out for four shows [Mamma Mia! Wicked, Blithe Spirit, West Side Story], when I had only planned to watch one!

    To escape from the vigorous yet charming mayhem, I visited nearby Long Island on two occasions. The first was for three nights in the charming town of Southampton, The Hamptons are notorious for hosting New York's famous and wealthiest vacationers each summer. In fact the largest house in America is nearby, and my taxi driver also drives Paris Hilton and her siblings around! Southampton itself was beautifully peaceful with long white beaches that were virtually empty -it seems the rich have private beaches instead!. The second occasion was a day trip to the beachside amusement spot of Coney Island, where working class New Yorkers spend their hot summer days. The boardwalk had a certain retro feel, and the amusements included neo-freak shows, 'the world's smallest woman', 'the world's largest live rat', etc. - as well as the iconic rickety 80 year old Cyclone Rollercoaster which really was frightening - the cars actually left the track at one point.

    New York undoubtedly has something for everyone and is worth a visit.

    Ali Lawson Smith


    SATURDAY, 24TH OCTOBER, 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
    Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe

    Illustration by:Peter Rothwell

    A day of talks on the archaeology and history of the North Devon coast, to mark the 50th anniversary of NDAS and North Devon AONB.

    Talks by leading archaeologists and historians include:

    • Archaeology of the North Devon Landscape from the Air: Frances Griffith
    • Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud: Environmental Change in the Severn Estuary and Coastal Levels in the last 10,000 years: Vanessa Straker
    • The Medieval Church in North Devon: Prof. Nicholas Orme
    • Coal, Ore and Metals: The Coastal Mining Landscape of North Devon: Dr. Peter Claughton
    • Friendly Invasion - The North Devon Coast 1943-4: Richard Bass

    Tickets: £5.00 or £12.00 including Buffet.
    Please contact Margaret Reed on [01271] 325276 or e-mail: margaret.reed@talktalk.net



    Local characters all contributed to the fabric of the village and the fact that they are remembered many years later is a tribute to them.


    Alfie Leworthy was known to most of the village children in the 1950's as 'Uncle Alfie'.

    He, George Geen and Frank Meluish worked for the Council, trimming hedges, clearing ditches and gutters and keeping the verges and the parish very tidy. The children were always pleased to see them working in the village as Alfie would save the Corona and Dornets bottles he found thrown in the hedges and give them to the children to take back to Miss Cooper's shop where they would get the 3d refund, which they then spent on sweets!

    One day the three had just sat down to have their lunch in the field at the bottom of Ridge Hill, when several children descended on them, one of whom was Larry White. Now Larry loved the beautiful grey horse which belonged to Sheila Jones. Alfie told him he had a plan which was for Larry to go and find some black paint and then he would help him paint the horse black so that he could take it home! Off went Larry and his friends in search of black paint. However, when the grown-ups found out why they wanted the paint, they were sent off with a flea in their ears!

    Undeterred, Larry went to Miss Cooper's to see if he could buy some. No luck! By the time he got back to the field, Alfie, George and Frank had had a quiet lunch and the horse a lucky escape!

    Alfie and his wife Vera


    Farmer Will lived at Lower Rowes Farm and was a familiar sight riding up and down the Valley on his pony.

    One day he decided he needed a pig, so he and a friend managed to hitch a lift to Blackmoor Gate market, where they purchased a fine looking one. Now to get the pig home they had to walk, and all was going well when they reached the London Inn in Combe Martin. Will and his friend were thirsty, so they made a sort of harness from a rope and tied the pig to the drain pipe. They were just downing their second welcome pint when there was a commotion and someone shouted, "Anyone in 'ere got a pig, 'cos ee's just run down road dragging a drain pipe."

    The two friends dashed out and down the street, looking for the pig. When they got to the Pack O' Cards, they just had to go in and see if anyone had seen the pig and grab another drink - it was thirsty work chasing a pig! By this time, the pig and drain pipe were causing some excitement in the street and were well on their way to the beach where watched by quite a crowd, farmer Will caught up with it. The rest of the journey back to Berrynarbor was uneventful, but they didn't stop at The Globe, just in case!

    Farmer Will would also ride his pony to Hele for a drink. After a number of occasions when being helped up on one side of the pony he fell off the other, he decided to leave the pony in Higher Oaklands and catch the bus or hitch a lift in to Hele. In the early '60's, Dave Yeo had a Lambretta scooter and he would pick up Farmer Will from Hele. They were quite a sight with Will waving his crop and calling to people as he passed by on the back of the scooter.

    Farmer Will was a regular at The Globe, always sitting under the frying pan clock and amusing both locals and visitors with his tales.




    Congratulations to all the pupils from our Primary School whose delightful and colourful pictures were judged as part of the Horticultural and Craft Show.

    The work of the winners appears as the front and rear cover and centre page spread.

    Details are:

    • Front Cover: Class 1 Winner and the Men's Institute Cup - Dylan Bacon
    • Back Cover: Class 2 Winner and the Manor Hall Cup - Miles Rees
    • Shown Below:

      Class 1

      1. 2nd - Sam Walls
      2. 3rd - William Cook
      3. Highly Commended - Millie Gray

      Class 2

      1. 2nd - Charlie Haines
      2. Joint 3rd - Caitlin Burgess
      3. Joint 3rd - Ben Miller

      Class 3

      1. 1st and the Mayflower Dish - William Haines
      2. Joint 2nd - Ben Gibson
      3. Joint 2nd - Lucy Fairchild
      4. Joint 3rd - Molly Crook
      5. Joint 3rd - Scott Hodgen




    We have had a lovely start to the year. The children have come back settled and ready to learn despite such miserable weather over the summer holidays. The whole school feels happy and our new teachers , Miss Lewis and Miss Slade, are very much part of the team already.

    We have welcomed Keely-Rose, Jake, Louis, Jed, Ryan, Lola and Harry into Class 1 and Max into Class 3. All our new children have settled well and we are particularly proud of our oldest children who really seem to have taken on board the responsibility of being the 'big children' that the younger ones look up to. They have been helpful and kind as well as working really hard.

    Year 5 started their Forest School last Monday and had a great time up in the woods. They came back to school suitably muddy and excited about all that they would be learning over the course.

    This week has been a busy week as all our children have taken part in a Wild Night Out [7-11 year olds] or Wild Day Out [4-7 year olds] up at Stowford Farm Meadows. Mr and Mrs Noall kindly arranged for us to use a beautiful meadow near the woods and away from the main camp site. Their team of staff have been wonderful - helping to move kit bags and tents up and down the hill and even dragging huge logs out of the woods to make a sitting circle around the camp fire. I popped up to visit Class 3 -I couldn't stay away from the fun! - and was greeted with the heart-warming sight of a cosy looking camp with children charging around delighted to be in such a lovely setting with the freedom to run and play with their friends in the fresh air. The children have also been learning about the natural environment, experienced 'real darkness', and found out about the bugs that come out at night and how they are different to the daytime creatures that we are used to. They have visited the Petorama to handle and feed the animals and the older children also went swimming. Of course the children have had to learn to look after their belongings and survive for a night without home comforts and mum and dad to look after them - a challenge for some children for whom it was the first time away from home over night! It has been such a magnificent opportunity to start the year and we are very grateful to Mr and Mrs Noall for providing such a great venue and for popping up and down to check if we had everything that we needed. I am also hugely grateful to all the staff who worked so hard to get everything ready and gave up a good night's rest to take part in the experience with the children - particularly Mrs Lucas for doing most of the organising, Miss Lewis for being brave enough to camp for the first time ever and with 23 children in her charge, Mr and Mrs Balment for rolling up their sleeves and mucking in, and Mr Newell and Mrs Gooch for drawing the short straw and emptying the composting loos!

    Next week we have our annual sponsored Woolacombe Beach Walk , which most of the children appear to think is a beach run! Then the week after we shall be celebrating our Harvest Festival. We have already started planning the Christmas festivities which will include a meal prepared and served by the children to the 'senior dudes' - but it is far too early to be talking about Christmas so I shall say no more for now.

    Mrs Barrow will be starting her maternity leave at the end of the week and we all wish her well. I shall be starting my maternity leave at the beginning of October and will leave the school in Mrs Newell's very capable hands whilst I am away. I feel confident that this is going to be another good year for Berrynarbor Primary and I shall certainly miss everyone whilst I am away learning to be a mum.

    Susan Carey - Headteacher


    Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook


    Chris and Wendy are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their first grandson - Daniel Jenner. A son for Nick and Suzanne, Daniel was born on the 26th July weighing 7lbs 5oz. Congratulations and best wishes to the proud grandparents, parents and a warm welcome to Daniel.


    Edward Lear

    Choice of Trev

    The owl and the pussycat went to sea
    In a beautiful pea-green boat.
    They took some honey
    And plenty of money
    Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

    The owl looked up to the stars above
    And sang to a small guitar,
    "O lovely Pussy, O Pussy my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are
    What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

    Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
    How charmingly sweet you sing!
    Oh let us be married;
    Too long we have tarried;
    But what shall we do for a ring?"

    They sailed away, for a year and a day
    To the land where the bong-tree grows,
    And there in a wood, a Piggy-wig stood
    With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose,
    With a ring at the end of his nose.

    "Dear Pig, are you willing, to sell for one shilling,
    Said the Piggy, "I will."
    So they took it away and were married next day
    By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
    They dined on mince and slices of quince
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
    And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand
    They danced by the light of the moon, the moon,
    They danced by the light of the moon.

    The 20th child of Jeremiah Lear, a London Stockbroker, and his wife Ann, Lear grew up to be a prolific writer as well as a talented artist of landscapes and birds and gave drawing lessons to Queen Victoria. He was particularly enchanted with nonsense rhymes and devoted a number of his books to collections of these poems.

    Just prior to his death and left incomplete, he began to pen the sequel to The Owl and the Pussy Cat - The Children of the Owl and the Pussycat:

    Our mother was the pussycat,
    Our father was the owl,
    And so we're partly little beasts
    And partly little fowl.
    The brothers of our family, have
    Feathers and they hoot,
    While all the sisters dress in fur
    And have long tails to boot.

    Illustrations by Debbie Cook


    Artwork: Angela Bartlett


    Our two evacuee friends, Dave Brooks from Goosewell and Tom Clark from Barton Lane, had decided that at the week-end, on Saturday afternoon, they would cycle to Ilfracombe.

    "We could have a look at the Tunnels Beaches," suggested Tom. "What a good idea," Dave replied.

    They met at the bottom of Hagginton Hill just after 2 o'clock to start their journey. Chatting, they passed Watermouth Caves and Castle. "Where shall we leave our bikes?" enquired Dave. "How about down at the Police Station at the bottom of Northfield Road," was the reply.

    They were soon at Ilfracombe and enquired of the duty sergeant if it would be all right to leave their bike. "Yes, of course you can," replied the rather portly, red-faced and smiling policeman. That settled, off they went towards the Tunnels Beaches. "It's rather amazing that Welsh miners cut these tunnels, and look you can see the pick axe marks," said Dave, "It must have taken them ages too."

    Coming to a suitable beach, they decided to sit down. It was a warm afternoon and there were families sunning themselves and enjoying a paddle or swim in the pools created with the retaining walls. "Do you know that mixed bathing was not allowed here many years ago? What's more, a man was employed to blow a bugle should he see any hanky panky going on, such as a man ogling at the women," Dave told Tom. "You seem to know everything!" replied Tom. "Well, I'm a teenager, aren't I?" came the reply.

    The two boys were soon paddling to cool their feet when Tom spotted something at the water's edge. "Look, it's a brooch. It's bit like one of my mum's, it's a cameo," said Tom as he picked it up. He put it in his pocket and they carried on paddling. Dave suddenly turned to Tom and suggested that when they went back for their bikes, they could hand it in at the Police Station.

    The afternoon began to turn cooler and before long it was time to make their way back to collect the bikes. The same sergeant was still on duty and quite delighted when the boys showed him what they had found. "That brooch belongs to Lady Felbrigg up at St. Brannocks Grange. Do you know where that is?" "Yes, we do," said both boys together. "Then you shall take it back to her." The sergeant beamed.

    Off they went not knowing quite what reception they would receive from her ladyship. They rang the door bell, which was soon answered by the maid. "Wait here please while I tell my Lady," she said, looking rather puzzled at what the boys told her.

    "My brooch, my lost brooch, come on in," called Lady Felbrigg. "Do sit down, you must try some of my elderberry wine." Neither of the boys knew of any such thing, but as it sounded rather good they thought they would give it a try. Soon, each had consumed rather a large glass, and as they left thanking Lady Felbrigg for her hospitality, they both felt decidedly squiffy. They rode back and were on their way to the coastguard cottages when they spied a haystack.

    "My head's swimming," Tom groaned. "So's mine and I feel awful sleepy," was the slurred reply. So it was agreed that they rest under the haystack and before too long, they were fast asleep. Waking up first, Dave groaned, "Heck, I don't think I'll try that again." "We'd better get back," moaned Tom.

    When they got home, both boys told their mothers that they didn't feel well and were going straight to bed. "I know you won't tell me, but I bet you've been up to no good," said Tom's mum, whilst Dave's mum said his breath smelt and she hoped he would not be so silly as to try anything strong at his age. "Me? Hic, of course not, hic."

    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

    Tony Beauclerk - Colchester


    Artwork: Peter Rothwell


    The Rectory,
    Combe Martin

    Dear Friends,

    How's your memory these days? I hope it's not as bad as the tale I heard about a young barman.

    An old man walked into a pub and ordered a pint. Just as he finished his pint and was about to leave, the barman said, "Oi, you haven't paid me."

    "Oh yes I did." replied the old man. The barman eyed him suspiciously, and said, "OK, I believe you."

    The old man rushed outside and told the first person he met that the barman inside had a bad memory. Why not go in and have a free pint?

    Looking forward to his free pint the man went in and ordered a drink. As he was finishing his pint, the barman said, "There is something strange going on today. A man just came in and ordered a pint and then left without paying. If anyone tries that again I'll sort him out."

    "Quite right too," replied the man, "Just give me my change and I'll be off."

    Often as we get older our memory gets a bit 'overloaded'. It's like the man who said he loves looking at Midsomer Murders because although he knows the story, he cannot remember who 'done it'. Sometimes we need reminding again and again, like children have to be reminded to say "Thank you." 

    Harvest Festival is here to remind us to say "Thank you" to God for all his gifts, and also to say "Thank you" for his Son, Jesus Christ and all he has done for us.

    And, of course, Remembrance Sunday is there to remind us of another sacrifice made for us and our country, and the opportunity to say "Thank you" in our hearts for all those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice that we might have life and freedom.

    I'm sure that is something we shall not want to forget.

    With all good wishes,
    Your Friend and Rector,

    Keith Wyer




    The Wine Circle's new season is about to start! The first meeting will be on Wednesday, 21st October when the presentation will be on Portuguese Wines by John Hood.

    This wine appreciation group meets every third Wednesday in the month [except December when it is the second] in the Manor Hall at 8.00 p.m. from October to May, to further knowledge and enjoyment of wines by talks and tastings.

    Esplanade, Sidmouth, drawn from nature on stone by Geo. Rowe, 1826

    Anyone requiring more information or wishing to become a member is invited to contact either Alex Parke [Chairman] on 883758 or Tony Summers [Secretary] on 883600 at least 24 hours before the day of the meeting. This is to comply with licensing laws.

    Future Meetings:

    Wednesday, 18th November: Quay West Wines - Andy Cloutman
    Wednesday, 9th December: Christmas Food and Drink
    Wednesday, 20th January: 'Call My Wine Bluff'
    Wednesday, 17th February: West of France Wines - Nicola Keeble

    Lunch in Sidmouth

    Members of the Wine Circle were delighted to receive a kind invitation to join Allan and Heather Maynard [who regularly attend the Circle] at their home in Sidmouth for a lunch in August. The invitation was extended to partners [whether they are members or not] and to bring your own booze - a light lunch would be provided, hopefully in their garden.

    The day dawned dry with some sunshine and a small cavalcade of cars set off to drive from the north to south of Devon. Sadly, it was too cold to eat outside, but inside we were treated to a wonderful lunch with delicious sweets and cheese and biscuits, washed down with good wine and with everyone remembering not to imbibe too much, thinking of the drive back home. I must add that the view from their home and garden is spectacular, with view across Sidmouth and the sea, and I am sure that everyone will join me in thanking Allan and Heather for their hospitality and a wonderful day out.

    Tom Bartlett - Publicity


    A stroll around Lundy in words and pictures, with Tim Davis and Tim Jones, authors The Birds of Lundy.

    12th November Quizzes, Raffle Manor Hall, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m. Tickets £5.00, to include light refreshments, available from the Community Shop, Sue's of Combe Martin and Goodenough Florists, Ilfracombe, or on the door THURSDAY, 12TH NOVEMBER.



    In Bermuda, older people are issued with a small, laminated pass. This entitles the holder to various concessions, such as free travel. The pass is embossed with the words "Special Person".

    The makers of sundial inscriptions in days gone by tended to include rather serious thoughts. However, one sundial motto might equally well be applied to many people - Let others tell of storms and showers, I'll only count the sunny hours.

    Friendship is like a circle or ring, it goes forever and has no ending. Friendship is the only rose without any thorns.

    Old friends are like diamonds, precious and rare. New friends are like autumn leaves, found everywhere.

    It is all right to have enthusiasm for thirty minutes, better still for thirty days, but it is the person who has it for thirty years who makes a success of life.

    Walter Canham





    MORE BIRDS . . .

    In my last article I dwelt chiefly on feeding them. This time I want to tell you about some of their nests.

    First, we had a great tit build a nest, as has happened before, in the wooden letter box attached to the entrance gate. It was Kathy who first spotted the bird popping in at times. Sure enough, a thick layer of moss appeared at the bottom of the box, to be topped by a layer of wool. We put up a 'keep out' notice and provided an alternative. Despite this, various items were dropped on the sitting bird. She stayed put all the same, and in due course hatched out and reared successfully a clutch of 5 or 6. We left the nest in case it was reoccupied, but no luck.

    Later on, I was in the woodshed [a former pig sty] down the garden when I espied a clump of moss in the centre of an old coiled garden hose, hanging on the wall. On investigating, out flew a tiny wren and I caught a glimpse of a little gaping beak. Needless to say, I kept well away afterwards and, as the nest is now empty, I assume the little brood was successfully reared.

    I had been for some time watching the activities of a pair of wood pigeons around a big, old nest high up in our giant eucalyptus. Although no chicks were visible, I feel sure the pair successfully hatched and reared a family.

    Some years ago, walking along the bottom of the garden, I almost trod on a mallard duck sitting on a nest under a bush. I did, in fact, disturb the nest to the extent that several eggs rolled out. Hastily popping them back, I kept well away and I'm sure the duck returned, reared 5 or 6 ducklings and in due course, set them afloat down river.

    Then there was the hen pheasant which laid her eggs on the orchard side riverbank. She laid 8 or 9 eggs, but we never saw any chicks, so I'm not sure what happened. Perhaps a badger took the eggs, or a fox the chicks another little tragedy. Neither of the above two nestings has been repeated.



    Lee Lodge, Berrynarbor

    We shall be having a 'Get Together' Coffee Morning at the Lodge on Wednesday, 4th November, from 10.00 to 12.00 noon.

    Please come along and join us.

    And please come again on Wednesday, 11th November, from 2.00 p.m. when we'll be celebrating, a day early, our Amy's 99th Birthday.




    Well, the weather will not stop the brave souls of North Devon! It was another very damp Saturday afternoon on 15th August when a good number of people gathered to enjoy a cream tea held in Brian's memory.

    There was a crush inside, but some hardy folk sat out under umbrellas and a good time was had by all. The good news is that with many kind donations as well as attendees and a final generous sum, I was able to send a cheque for £600 to the Hospice. Thank you so much to all who took part in any way at all.

    My special thanks to Alan and Izzy, Sharon and Chris, who worked so hard in the kitchen. A number of requests have been made to make it an annual event, so, as they say, watch this space!

    Di Hillier




    In spite of the poor summer weather, entries in the fruit and vegetable and cut flower sections of the Horticultural and Craft Show were plentiful and of good quality. Judges for the non-horticultural sections were impressed by the high standard of floral art, cookery, handicrafts, photography and art.

    Luckily the weather on the day was once again favourable, staying dry if not sunny. During the afternoon, over 200 visitors viewed the 400 plus exhibits, partook of tea and cakes, purchased raffle tickets and participated generously in the auction, putting some £420 in the funds ready to cover the costs of next year's event and prizes.

    The 'Grow A Spud' competition proved great fun - a must again for next year - with varying degrees of success. Mike Amos-Yeo's 24 potatoes weighed in at 5lbs 3 3/4oz, whilst the lowest weight of 2oz came from just 4! Junior entrant Morgan Rudd's pot yielded only 3 potatoes but they were all big 'uns with the largest weighing in at a healthy 1lb 10 3/4oz! The heaviest haul for a junior came from Miles Rees whose 27 potatoes weighed 2lbs 1 3/4oz.

    And so to the other prize winners. Taking the Junior Rose Bowl with the highest cumulative score of 97 was Caitlin Burgess, closely followed by sisters Sarah and Olivia Prentice. Caitlin was awarded the junior prize for Floral Art, Cut Flowers, Fruit and Vegetables and Photography. Hazel Rees, just 4 years old, won the Cookery with her cheese straws, Sarah Prentice the Handicrafts and Art and the Sally Barten Bowl for Junior Needlework, presented by the family in Sally's memory and awarded for the first time this year, was won by sister Olivia.

    On to the 'oldies'. Stanley Dart took the Vi Kingdon Award for Photography and the Lethaby Cup for Potted Plants. Once again Tony Summers's onions proved unbeatable, regaining him for the sixth time running, the Derrick Kingdon cup for Fruit and Vegetables. The Walls Cup for Home Cooking went to Kim Hodgen with a mouth-watering mocha meringue. A delightful watercolour of boats gained Audrey Lewis the George Hippisley Cup for Art, whilst Iris Hopkins' needlework and Mavis Bird's beading won them the Davis and Watermouth Cups for Handicrafts. Taking the Globe Cup for Floral Art with 'Ding Dong Bell' and also the Ray Ludlow Award for the best Non-horticultural Exhibit was Judie Weedon, and Laurie Harvey's beautiful white and pink tipped gladiolus took both the Manor Stores Rose Bowl for Cut Flowers and the Management Committee Cup for the best Horticultural exhibit.

    The Men's Institute Cup, the Manor Hall Cup and the Mayflower Dish, presented to pupils of the Primary School for art work, were won by Dylan Bacon, Miles Rees and William Haines.

    All that remains to be done is to thank everyone who helped or supported the event in any way and the judges for their unenviable task of choosing the winners. Thank you all.




    Inventor of the 'piratical screwmaker' or corkscrew

    On 21st October the Berrynarbor Wine Circle opens in its present form for its 16th year of 'convivial consumption' at the Manor Hall.

    So it was with interest that the name Samuel Henshall cropped up today. He was the first man to be granted a patent on a corkscrew, and described his new invention to the Birmingham metal smith, Matthew Boulton, as 'a new mode of applying the screw, and a mode which every person who sees it will be surprised that he himself didn't find out.' Matthew Boulton, who is famed for his work on steam engines with James Watt, spent two weeks with Professor Henshall perfecting the design, and then made his corkscrew in one of his factories.

    The son of a Cheshire grocer, born in 1765, he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and then went up to Brasenose in 1782, gaining his MA in 1789, shortly before his ordination. His academic career didn't live up to his expectations, which was to become Oxford's Professor of Anglo-Saxon. Instead, he became curate of Christ Church, Spitalfields, and then rector of St Mary's Church in Bow, where he remained until his death 7 years later in 1807.

    So what was his invention? His design of a corkscrew included a concave cap fixed between the worm [screw to you and me!] and the shank, which prevented the screw going too far into the bottle and also gripped the cork, which broke the seal on the bottle.

    Similar corks were available which led to attacks on his claim to have invented this one. In a writing of 1829, he was referred to as a 'piratical screwmaker', and the design was attributed to 'Miss O'Rourke' [really, first a vicar and then a miss!].

    However, Henshall was not a good businessman. He was having legal problems and Boulton's legal adviser wrote in 1795: 'I doubt that I shall not easily extract £50 from the Parson, as he would Cork from a Bottle."

    As recently as 24th August this year, 214 years to the day after Samuel Henshall's patent was granted, a carved stone plaque was unveiled in his honour at the 'Bow Church' where he was rector and is now buried. It was a scene of celebration as fifty corkscrew enthusiasts, members of the International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts [or ICCA - I kid you not!] from around the world gathered. The current Rector, Rev. Michael Peet, welcomed the visitors and talked of the importance of Henshall's work in the invention of corkscrew evolution. The service ended with a toast of wine from bottles opened with an original Henshall corkscrew. As Psalm 104:15 says, "Wine that maketh glad the Heart of Man".

    Now, if you have a corkscrew lurking in a drawer, have a look for an inscription on the button. If it says "Obstando Promoves" on it, take it straight to Mark Parkhouse. Its value might surprise you. Incidentally, the Latin motto translates as "by standing firm one makes advancement", or so Google says!

    If you think you might like to join ICCA, think again. Its first meeting was held in the Guinness Brewery in 1974. Membership is strictly limited to 50 and potential applicants must specify the 'size and nature of collection, number of years collecting, how addiction was developed and any research done' as well as supplying biographical details.

    It's much easier to get in to Berrynarbor Wine Circle! All you need to do [apart from having an interest in wine] is 'phone Tony Summers, our Secretary, on 883600 and come along on October 21st.


    PP of DC


    Are Your Worried About Paying Your Mortgage?

    Homemaker Southwest is a local charity established in Exeter in 1991. The service offers free, confidential and independent advice and support to individuals across Devon who are at risk of losing their accommodation due to rent or mortgage arrears.

    The Mortgage Arrears Advice project is a new service from Homemaker set up in response to a growing national concern about the rise in home repossessions. The advisor will listen to your concerns, discuss your options, suggest other sources of support and give advice about such things as benefits and new government initiatives. You will also be sent a free information pack.

    Phone [01392] 686760 for free, independent advice.


    LOCAL WALK - 116

    Larks ascending over Dunkery

    Illustration by: Paul Swailes

    The Bristol Channel islands of Steep Holme and Flat Holm could be seen clearly and far, far away like a finely drawn white mirage, there was the Severn Bridge. I was surprised to be able to see it from such a distance but a motorcyclist from Watchet arrived and confirmed that it was the Severn Bridge and that although he came to Dunkery Hill most weekends, just to enjoy the spectacular view, the bridge had never shown up so distinctly before.

    As we walked to the Beacon, skylarks rose up from the heather, soaring higher and higher. A female kestrel hovered, fanning out her tail. In the direction of Horner a troop of horses, round the escarpment, broke into a canter. I picked a few bilberries but in this dull damp summer they had not had enough sun to draw out their flavour and sweetness.

    There was a small yellow and white flower I could not identify. It looked like cow-wheat but I was curious, never having seen a bicolour form of this plant; only the all-yellow cow-wheat common and plentiful in the sessile oakwoods of Exmoor [and more locally, in the weeds at the bottom of the lane leading to Bowden Farm]. So this open moorland seemed the wrong sort of habitat. However, later when I looked it up I discovered that as well as the yellow woodland variety, there is a white cow-wheat splashed with pink which grows on moors. It is semi-parasitic on bilberry.

    It is also the food plant of the caterpillar of the heath fritillary, which is found only in two places in the Tamar Valley; a site to the north of Canterbury and - following a successful reintroduction programme to save it from extinction - some combes below Dunkery Beacon. It is on the wing in June and July.

    A recent edition of Radio 4's 'Living World' featured the heath fritillary when Lionel Kellaway visited Hallscombe near Dunkery in pursuit of the butterfly. These 'radio nature trails' are a hidden gem, being broadcast at the unsocial hour of half-past six on a Sunday morning. The orange and brown butterfly had faced extinction when grazing was reduced, allowing invasive plants, such as bracken, to increase and crowd out its food plant.

    We were returning from Taunton via Wheddon Cross when it occurred to us that it must be about ten years since we had last been to Dunkery. Perhaps we shall make our return visit sooner - next June or July - to search for the heath fritillary, one of our rarest butterflies. Now there's something to look forward to!

    Sue H


    Artwork: David Duncan


    Globe: Quiz Nights run fortnightly from Sunday 4th October. All welcome. Teams of any size. 50p per person. 8.30 p.m. start

    NEW! - THE HUB - Open Mic style Rhythm and Blues/Jazz Club in the Backroom. Bring an instrument to play, or sing with our 'House Band', or just sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of entertainment.

    The House Band hopes to run the evenings fortnightly or monthly [to be confirmed] on Sunday Nights alternating with the Quiz. From 8.00 to 11.00 p.m. The first night will be Sunday, 11th October . . . so come early to get a seat!

    Sawmill Inn:

    Saturday All You Can Eat Nights, £10.95 pp - starters and main meal:

    • 10th October - Italian Night
    • 24th October - Curry Night
    • 7th November - Mexican Night
    • 21st November - Chinese Night

    All You Can Eat Nights will then resume in January

    Our Christmas Menu is now available to collect from both pubs. Look out for offers such as '2 for £10', 'Kids' Meal Deals', 'Curry and Pint' on posters for full details.

    If you are not already on our customer database and would like to be e-mailed discounts and exclusive offers, please e-mail us at: thesawmillinn@googlemail.com


    Artwork: Paul Swailes


    We are very sorry to be losing Jackie from the Shop. She has worked here for 3 1/2 years, firstly in charge of the Shop and Post Office, and latterly job-sharing with Anita. She will be missed. We thank her for all her hard work, and wish her well in the future. Thanks also go to her Mum, Rita, and daughter Kate, who have often supported her in the shop.

    However, we are pleased that Debbie Thomas has been appointed as her successor and hope that she will be happy in her new role.

    As you know, the Shop has been open all day throughout the summer. There has been mixed reaction, and now it is quieter, we are reverting to our winter timetable, that is closing between 12.30 and 1.30. I don't think that either Anita or Jackie have had one proper lunchtime all summer!

    By the December issue, our Shop will be overflowing with Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gifts and orders for Christmas Fayre. Why not call in and solve a few problems?

    Incidentally, we are still looking for someone to run the shop one Sunday in four. Could it be you? If so, please get in touch with Anita.

    Happy shopping!

    PP of DC


    You are Invited to




    DRESS: POSH! COST: £: 17.00

    Tickets available from Anita Abbott [889287]
    or the Community Shop



    Cancer affects many of us during our lifetime, whether it be a member of our family, a friend or indeed ourselves, and that is why it is so comforting to know there are establishments like the North Devon Hospice which can help to make a different to the lives of those living with this life threatening illness.

    It is for this reason that I am organising a Charity Ball on the 28th November, and I do hope that you will give your support to this very worthwhile cause.




    3rd Tongues of Fire Event, 2.00 p.m. Village Square
    4th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Thanksgiving, 11.00 a.m.
    Quiz Night at The Globe, 8.30 p.m.
    6th Ladies' Group, 2.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Roger Groos - Reflexology
    7th St. Peter's Church: Harvest Evensong, 6.30 p.m., Harvest Supper
    10th Sawmill Inn: All You Can Eat - Italian
    11th The Globe: House Band, 8.00 to 11.00 p.m.
    13th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
    14th Mobile Library in Village, 11.20 a.m. Shop
    18th The Globe: Quiz Night [then on fortnightly]
    21st Wine Circle, 8.00 p.m., Manor Hall: Portuguese Wines - John Hood
    24th 'Time and Tide', 9.30 - 4.00 p.m. Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe
    Sawmill Inn: All You Can Eat - Curry Night
    26th to Friday 30th: Primary School and College - Half Term
    28th Mobile Library in Village, 11.20 a.m. Shop
    Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
    1st St. Peter's Church: All Saints Service, 11.00 a.m. Special Service in Memory of Loved Ones, 3.00 p.m.
    2nd to Friday 4th: Primary School - Non-Pupil Days
    3rd Ladies' Group, 2.00 p.m. Manor Hall: Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service
    4th Coffee Morning at Lee Lodge, 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon
    5th Watermouth - Public Inquiry: Site Visit, 1.00 p.m.
    6th Watermouth - Public Inquiry: Re-convened, Manor Hall, 9.30 a.m.
    7th Sawmill Inn: All You Can Eat - Mexican
    8th St. Peter's Church: Remembrance Sunday, Service 10.30 a.m.
    9th Primary School Returns
    10th Parish Council Meeting, Penn Curzon Room, 7.00 p.m.
    11th Mobile Library in Village, 11.20 a.m. Shop
    Lee Lodge: Amy's Birthday Party, from 2.00 p.m.
    12th Birds & Other Wildlife of Lundy, Manor Hall, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m.
    18th Wine Circle, 8 p.m., Manor Hall: Quay West Wines - Andy Cloutman
    21st Sawmill Inn: All You Can Eat - Chinese
    25th Mobile Library in Village, 11.20 a.m. Shop
    Friendship Lunch, The Globe, from 12.00 noon
    28th Charity Ball in aid of North Devon Hospice, 7.30 p.m. Manor Hall
    29th St. Peter's Church: Advent Sunday
    1st Ladies' Group: Christmas Party

    Manor Hall Diary:

    MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
    Craft Group, 1.30 p.m. onwards
    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 - 12.10 p.m.Car Park
    1.40 - 2.05 p.m.Sterridge Valley



    Mr. Flower Pot Man, a.k.a. Rainer, will reluctantly be closing the Potting Shed, situated in the grounds of Langleigh Guest House, as from the end of September. The time seems right to enjoy a little retirement.

    The web site has already been closed down, however, the business will still exist into next year, with existing stock. We shall continue to supply the Community Shop with a variety of Flower Pot Men, subject to requirement.

    We wish to thank all in the village who have supported us over the years, in particular local businesses. Rainer will miss meeting and sharing a joke with all the visitors.

    Any further requirements or repairs to existing flower pot men, please contact us, c/o Hillside Cottage, Sterridge Valley, or telephone [01271] 883785.

    Rainer and Jill



    Do you remember the Hovis advert, portrayed on television many years ago? There was this small boy pushing a tradesmen's bicycle up a steep hill. The big basket on the bike was piled high with loaves of bread - obviously Hovis.

    The little lad was puffing up the hill to the musical accompaniment of the Adagio from the New World Symphony by Dvorak. The sequence was filmed on Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

    Some time later, words were added to this particular piece of music under the title 'Coming Home'. Rather apt, yes?




    The following nations have a lower rate of heart disease than we do:

    • The Japanese eat little fat.
    • The Mexicans eat lots of fat.
    • The Chinese drink little red wine.
    • The Italians drink red wine to excess.
    • The Germans drink beer and eat lots of sausages.
    • The French eat foie gras and full-fat cheese and drink lots of red wine.

    So, you may as well eat and drink what you like - it's speaking English kills us off!

    [Adapted from a paragraph in a local expat magazine on Cyprus]



    Artwork: Angela Bartlett


    For this issue I have chosen a postcard entitled 'Berrynarbor in Snow'. This relatively modern postcard has been published by the Devon Federation of Women's Institutes as a 12-month tear-off postcard calendar, some time prior to 1988.

    We are informed that the photograph has been taken by a Mrs. E Rumley of Berrynarbor W.I. To date I have been unable to find out where the photograph was taken or any information about Mrs. Rumley.

    I imagine it may have been taken from somewhere up Barton Lane or Goosewell, as the view appears to be looking towards the sea. The picture is quite striking as the garden has not only a stone or concrete bird bath [snow bath!], but also a stone or concrete 'moon gate', similar to the ones seen in Bermuda.

    Can anyone please throw some light on the location of this postcard or on Mrs. Rumley? The card was sent from Honiton on the 7th March 1988 to Luton in Bedfordshire.

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



    No doubt you are aware of all the frenzied activity that has been going on around the village in the last week. The school children have been working at various musical and artistic workshops, while the rest of you have been involved in lantern making and pumpkin decorating. You might also have heard the ghostly tones of the bookwhackers. Yes, we are ready to party with Tongues of Fire, thanks to Beaford Arts.

    You will be called into the village square at 2.00 pm with the bells ringing out. Make sure you are there, festively dressed and ready for fun. Street processions and music making will follow with the new Bowden screen being created. Food and drink will be on sale in both the Manor Hall and the Globe.

    Have you got your vegetables ready for racing or are you going for the more sedate best dressed vegetable award? It's not too late to enter so contact Phil and Lyn. If you want to join in the singing talk to Tony Summers and Tania Mugleston. As dusk falls the lantern procession will move up Castle Hill to witness Roger's "Towering Inferno", and a night of feasting* and dancing.

    * Simple value for money BBQ. Please bring any drinks in plastic bottles and use plastic cups. No glass.

    Timetable of Events

    Thursday, 1st October TODAY!

    • 3.30 to 6.30 p.m. - Make sure you have your lantern for the procession by joining the free lantern making workshop in the Manor Hall.

    Saturday, 3rd October:

    • 2.00 p.m. - Church bells ring to open the event. Refreshments available in the Manor Hall and Globe
    • 2.00 to 3.30 p.m. - Procession & music from school children and community in the Square, and creation of the new Bowden Screen.
    • 5.30 p.m. - Vegetable Rolling, The Square
    • 6.00 p.m. - Choir and music and performance in the Square and lantern procession assembles.
    • 6.30 p.m. - Procession to Sloley Farm Barn
    • 7.00 p.m. - Tongues of Fire Concert and BBQ at Sloley Farm Barn
    • 10.00 p.m. - End of Event


    Artwork: Miles Reece